Sophos named on Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 London & South East List

November 14, 2002 Sophos Press Release

Fast 50

Deloitte & Touche, the UK's fastest growing professional services firm, has unveiled its fifth annual ranking of London and the South East's fastest growing technology companies. Sophos, the Abingdon-based world leader in corporate anti-virus protection was placed 35 in the region's rankings.

"This recognition by Deloitte & Touche further highlights the large strides Sophos has made over the past few years, especially in terms of increasing profitability and market share," said Dr Peter Lammer, joint founder and CEO of Sophos Plc. "Our focus on developing anti-virus protection specifically for business users, backed up with the highest levels of customer support, underpins our success."

For the year ended 31st March 2002, Sophos's profit before tax grew 25% to £9.8 million and its turnover grew 40% to £31.6 million. This compares with analyst group IDC's estimation that the anti-virus market is currently growing at 15.3% per year.

Deloitte & Touche created the Technology Fast 50 to reach out to UK technology companies and champion innovation in the sector. The programme tracks the growth rates of technology companies in seven regions in the UK and Ireland, culminating in a national ranking in December 2002. This year's event is also co-sponsored by techMARK, the London Stock Exchange market for innovative technology companies, and supported by Intellect, the association for the UK's IT, telecommunications and electronics industries.

The Technology Fast 50 programme seeks out those companies that have shown impressive growth rates in the telecommunications, hardware, software and biotechnology markets over the last three financial years. All companies considered for the award must be headquartered in the London or South East region, must be technology-intensive or use unique technology in problem solving, or must devote a high percentage of effort to research and development.

William Touche, Chairman of the Technology Fast 50 Programme, said, "In a year of extraordinary adversity and when achieving growth remained the single biggest challenge the technology sector faces, these companies have demonstrated how to achieve excellence in niche markets. While 2002 was a period of retrenchment and soul searching for technology companies, during which many elected to rethink their core business strategies, these finalists have continued to reinvent themselves in difficult circumstances."

"It is all the more vital that the companies who continue to demonstrate strong growth are recognised accordingly for their strong management teams as they are the key to innovation and employment growth in the region and the UK as a whole," added William Touche.

About the Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 50 Programme

The programme consists of a series of regional programmes covering the East, London & South East, Midlands, South West & South Wales, the North, Scotland and Ireland. Each region will host an awards ceremony to honour the 50 fastest growing technology companies in that area. Following the regional programmes, Deloitte & Touche will publish a national ranking of the UK's Technology Fast 50 companies. A report on the award winners, with analysis of the critical factors for success in this industry, will be launched at a national press event to be held in London in December 2002.

The Technology Fast 50 programme was originally started in San Jose, the centre of Silicon Valley, California in 1995 and has expanded across the globe in the last six years. Both the regional Technology Fast 50 and the national Technology Fast 500 were created to recognise the outstanding contribution of fast growing technology companies to the US economy.

Deloitte & Touche's Telecoms Media & Technology group (TMT) brings global industry expertise and experience to its clients through local specialist teams who understand the business issues facing today's organisations.

Deloitte's TMT service professionals provide clients with global integrated services and are drawn from a variety of disciplines including: Tax, Audit & Advisory, e-Business, Human Capital Advisory Services, Corporate Finance, Strategic Advisory, Enterprise Risk Services, Management Solutions and Consulting. These distinct offerings are tailored especially for telecoms, media, and technology companies including software, hardware, Internet and e-commerce, semiconductor, biotechnology, communications equipment and services, broadcasting and publishing companies.

Deloitte & Touche is the UK's fastest growing major professional services firm in 23 locations, with over 10,000 staff nationwide and fee income of £713.6 million in 2001/2002. It is the UK practice of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a global leader in professional services with over 100,000 people in 140 countries and fee income of $12.4 billion for the year ended 31 May 2001.

Authorised by the Financial Services Authority in respect of regulated activities. The information contained in this article is correct at the time of going to press. For further information on Deloitte & Touche, you can access our website on www.deloitte.co.uk.