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Common Sense Advisory Blogs
Introducing the Fastest-Growing LSPs
Posted by Donald A. DePalma on June 26, 2013  in the following blogs: Market Data, Supplier Business Issues
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Last month Common Sense Advisory released its annual report on the language sector. It included a list of the world’s 100 largest language service providers (LSPs) and nine regional tallies of the biggest suppliers around the world, totaling 186 companies (see “The Language Services Market: 2013,” May13).

This month we add two more lists: 1) the LSPs with the highest sustained growth since 2010; and 2) LSPs with the most single-year growth from 2011 to 2012. We included companies that grew organically and/or by acquiring other LSPs. A total of 29 LSPs appeared on these two lists of 20 companies, some showing up on both lists due to their growth over both the three-year and one-year periods.

For the first list, we reviewed the annual revenue of the 84 language service providers that appeared on our top 35, 50, or 100 lists for each of the last three years and showed positive growth in each of those 12-month periods (see our reports from 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013).

Then we computed their average growth in revenue over that three-year period and the compound annual growth rate (CAGR). The simple average calculates absolute growth over three years, while the CAGR paints a smoother, less spiky portrait of growth on an annualized basis. Why did we include both averages? LSPs seeking investment or evaluating acquisitions will be more interested in the CAGR as an indicator of future growth potential. The simple three-year averages highlights how much growth a company achieved over that period, regardless of company size.

For our first ranking, we flagged the top 20 LSPs with the most growth. Here is one company from the top of that list:


Revenue, US$ Millions

3-Year Growth %






Capita Translation and Interpreting Ltd. (acquired Applied Language Solutions)






Our second list of fastest-growing companies took a shorter timeframe into account – this calculation identified LSPs that experienced incredible growth between January 1st and December 31st, 2012. As with the three-year computation, all that mattered was growth. This list of 20 ranges from a company with around one million in revenue to an LSP with more than US$100 million in turnover, all with substantial year-over-year growth. While our research has found that such year-over-year increases are rarely sustainable and are often due to unique events, it is noteworthy when it happens. Our future list will highlight such success stories. Here is one company from the top of that ranking:


Revenue, US$ Millions

Growth %



CTS LanguageLink




If you’d like to see the whole lists, click here to learn how. If you’d like your company to be considered for inclusion on next year’s lists, keep an eye out for our January 2014 invitation to participate in our annual study. To make sure that you get the invitation, please e-mail us with your name and your company name.


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The Language Services Market: 2013
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