Gloucester cyber firm that made its founder a multi-millionaire delivers more growth

It may have been overshadowed by the new cyber firms on the block in Gloucestershire of late, but one of the county’s original success stories from the sector – which turned its founder into a multi-millionaire at age 26 – is gearing up for growth.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
Internet-focused Fasthosts has revealed more growth is afoot as turnover goes above £40 million

Founder Andrew Michael’s story made him famous, the Gloucestershire student who turned his A-level project into a business after ‘borrowing’ £30,000 from his mother and selling the company for a cool £61 million in 2006 at the age of 26.

That is all ancient history as far as the modern Fasthosts is concerned. Now owned by multi-billion euro German business United Internet, the Gloucester firm has long been established as a successful provider of internet access and hosting services.

And since those distant days of 2006, the county has also become a hot-bed for cyber businesses gearing up for the arrival of the Golden Valley Development – a business park for the sector beside GCHQ. But the now veteran city firm is not to be outdone, and has just revealed another increase in turnover and profits, predicting more of the same to come.

Simon Yeoman, chief executive officer of Fasthosts, which employs an estimated 150 staff, said: 'In 2021 turnover increased by 4.6 per cent (to £42.1 million) and operating profit increased by 1.6 per cent (£7.7 million). The focus for the company in 2021 was to start to grow its customer base so that it can achieve more significant revenue grow in future years.

‘Over the course of 2021 the company successfully reduced the decline in customer inventory and by the end of the reporting period had started to grow customer inventory once more.'

Fasthosts, he said, was in 'a strong financial position' and now focused on maintaining its core customer base and delivering increased value to achieve 'sustainable revenue growth over the medium term’.

‘In the next financial year the business will also introduce new revenue streams with the launch of a 'managed services offering in order to achieve long term growth,' said Yeoman.

The bulk of the firm's £42 million-plus income comes from UK customers, with £2.3 million from the United States of America and just over £1 million from the rest of the world.

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