When someone types a query into an online search engine, Forward Internet’s software looks at it for key words and positions a relevant advertisement for one of its clients in the search results. The company then receives a fee when the internet user buys something from the client’s website. Founded in 2004 by managing director Neil Hutchinson, Forward Internet Group now counts leading companies such as Amazon, O2 and Dell among its clients. The London firm operates on the Continent, in America and Asia Pacific, which it sees as its biggest area for growth. Last year it won a large contract with Hilton International and acquired uSwitch, an energy price-comparison site. Sales grew 120% a year from £4.8m in 2006 to an annualised £50.8m in 2009.
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