Hosting provider UKFast has enjoyed an 18 per cent organic increase in revenue, driven by "outstanding customer support" and long-term investment in R&D.

The Manchester-headquartered tech firm generated revenues of £47m in 2017, an increase of more than £7m from a year earlier.

This was bolstered by a significant 30 per cent growth in the firm’s cloud offering, which now accounts for over 43 per cent of overall revenue. A number of major contract wins with large enterprises helped private cloud revenue in particular to grow by 40 per cent.

Launched in 2013, UKFast's flagship eCloud range offers public, hybrid and private cloud solutions, as well as cloud desktops; drag and drop vault storage; and flexible, OpenStack development space.

"We place huge focus on innovation and it's clearly paying off,” said founder and CEO Lawrence Jones MBE.

“Not only within the applications we've built to run the business like the telephone system, launch platforms and CRM software, but also the range of innovative products we're launching.”

UKfast

"eCloud has grown at such an amazing rate because users are realising the benefits of the level of automation we've built into the platform and they're expanding their solutions.

“We're continuing this focus on innovation and expanding our R&D team even further, rather than resting on our laurels."

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) placing increased focus on data privacy and security, Jones says UK-based hosting firms are at an advantage.

"Businesses and consumers understand the importance of hosting their data securely and within the UK,” he said.

"UKFast offers a really strong alternative to some of the giant cloud providers. Having UK data centres is extremely important. Our network and infrastructure are incredibly closely monitored and we guarantee that data won't be held outside the UK."

UKFast has enjoyed 18 consecutive years of double-digit growth and recently doubled the size of its campus HQ in Manchester.

Jones added: "I'm really proud of the team. This type of growth demonstrates our commitment to our customers and to delivering innovation to help them grow faster than their competitors.”

The portfolio of businesses owned by Lawrence and Gail Jones now employs more than 450 people across a number of brands, including building company UKFast Space, headhunting firm Mysort, technology magazine BusinessCloud and cybersecurity and ethical hacking specialists Secarma.