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Hot 100 2014 – 3: ESP Systex

ESP Systex

Latest turnover: 34,513,000
Three-year compound growth rate (%): 109.77
Latest EBITDA: £1,500,207

ESP Systex is a provider of integrated smart card and bureau services for smart card schemes. The Hull-based company prints and encodes smart cards for concessionary travel.

Demand has been so great that the company has issued over 7m ITSO contactless smart cards for the general population and concessionary schemes, all of which was sponsored by the Department for Transport, the Scottish Improvement Service, Traffic Wales and the Department for Regional Development in Northern Ireland.

Founders Terry Dunn (MD and chairman) and Robin Ellis (CTO and company secretary) worked in a barcode printing company prior to setting up ESP in 1994.

Rumour has it that they are now investigating mobile ticketing.

Through a six-figure sum investment ESP acquired the majority shareholder stake of Scottish business Journeycall, which handles customer ticketing/smartcard sales. Some of their clients include Transport for Londons Oyster Card and the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) Disabled Persons Railcard.

Dunn, now chairman of Journeycall as well, said: This major investment and expansion broadens our capabilities and means we can offer a complete package to the rail and bus sectors. We are growing as a business and that in turn means that the coming months and years will see further expansion and employment opportunities for the business as a whole.

2: Castlerock Recruitment

4: Pathology Group


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