On March 4, 2020, UK-based language service provider (LSP) thebigword filed its Group accounts and annual report for the financial year ended May 31, 2019.
As featured in the Slator 2020 LSPI, thebigword generated revenues of nearly GBP 85m (USD 107m) for 2019, an increase of around 11% from 2018. According to the annual report, there was growth across all three company divisions: thebigword Translation & Interpreting, TBW Global, and Gould Tech Solutions.
EBITDA retreated to GBP 3.1m (USD 4m) in 2019, down around 30% from the year prior, while operating profit also fell to GBP 1.3m (USD 1.7m).
On a geographical basis, thebigword’s home market of the UK remained the biggest contributor to its top line: around 74% of revenues were derived from UK customers in 2019 compared to 79% in 2018. Revenues from North America and the Far East grew in 2019, while customer spend from Europe excl-UK fell by around GBP 3m.
The report highlighted the company’s plans to move its technology infrastructure to the cloud using Microsoft Azure. Technology is central to thebigword’s strategic objectives, which include leveraging machine translation “to improve our margins and secure new business opportunities,” the report stated.
Larry Gould, Founder and Chairman of thebigword, told Slator that the company had “increased technology spending by 80%” in order to complete development of WordSynk, a translation and interpreting management system (TMS/IMS), which is expected to support all operations by 2021.
“WordSynk will also house thebigword’s new proprietary machine translation (MT) offering towards the end of 2020,” he added.
Gould told Slator that progress on WordSynk had already led to “strong revenue growth and, in this current year, we expect strong profit growth.”
According to regulatory filings, thebigword has shortened its accounting period to December 31, 2019, which indicates that the company is likely moving over to a calendar-year reporting schedule.