Strong Results Lift RWS Shares to All-Time High

UK-based patent and life science translation specialist RWS released an update on its financial year ended September 30, 2017. The language service provider “enjoyed its best year ever,” according to the release, growing revenues by 33.6% to “not less than GBP 163m” (USD 213m).

RWS also did well in terms of its bottom line with pre-tax profits “expected to have performed strongly and ahead of market expectations, reflecting improved gross margins, the two acquisitions and currency benefits.”

In the release, RWS singled out the “strong contribution” by LUZ, the life sciences-focused language service provider RWS bought for a hefty USD 82.5m in February 2017, beating out several competing bidders. Furthermore, RWS’ core translation business appears to be doing well. China’s continued growth in patent applications helped RWS’ patent service and translation business.

Historically, RWS pursued a fairly low-profile sales and marketing strategy and built the business on referrals and word of mouth. Recent moves indicate, however, that RWS is pursuing a more aggressive sales approach. The company recently hired TransPerfect and Divergent Language Solutions veteran Mark Hjerpe as Vice President of Global Sales. The company also rebranded LUZ and CTi into RWS Life Sciences, folding the two acquisitions into RWS’ existing life sciences business. RWS Life Sciences is headed by Lionbridge veteran Sheena Dempsey.

Investors like what they see, pushing RWS’ shares to an all-time high in early trading on October 6, 2017 (as of press time). The company’s market capitalization is closing in on USD 1.3bn. UK-based rival SDL weighs in at around USD 0.5bn.