Lloyd Dorfman was 24 when he started his money-changing empire with a small shop in London’s Russell Square. The former merchant banker became the first independent UK operator to win a licence to deal at airports.

Today Travelex’s foreign-exchange operation has 650 outlets worldwide. Since its acquisition of Thomas Cook Global and Financial Services in March 2001, it has become the world’s largest issuer of travellers’ cheques after American Express.

But its most important revenue stream comes from making payments in different currencies for medium-sized companies. The London firm moved into corporate work when its core business was threatened by the introduction of the euro. This diversification has driven up profits 80% a year from £3.6m in 1997 to £21m in 2000, when Travelex had 1,860 staff.

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Company details
ActivityForeign exchange operator
LocationCentral London
Annual profit growth80.32%
Latest profits £000s20,951
Latest sales £000s151,927

If applicable:

* supplied by company † annualised figure