Livingston, the company that rents out, outsources, manages and services test and measurement equipment, is looking to expand in Europe and Asia.
It currently operates in 10 western European countries, employing 200 in the UK and 800 on the Continent.
Mel Porter, CEO, said: "We have ambitions — nothing concrete — where we will see Livingston in the medium term going into south east Asia. Big customers are there, the technology is European and there is a lack of competition. We are in discussions with a group there with a view to a joint venture.
"Our first and primary objective is to build Europe. There are lots of places in eastern Europe, where some of our manufacturing partners have moved, and we are not in Scandinavia."
He says Livingston could increase revenue by up to as four times if it expanded only in Europe, but has ruled out setting up in the US and Japan.
"We are looking at something in the US relating to a disposal of assets," said Porter. "But we don't have any intention of going into the US market because it's mature. We would spend a lot of time sweating to establish ourselves. The same applies to Japan."
He admits the company has suffered from the industry downturn; business in Holland during the past few months has been "patchy" and revenue in France had fallen by up to £100000 in some months.
But business is already picking up as companies look to move assets off their balance sheets in the face of cost cuts and rising debt. In these cases, Livingston would purchase equipment from a customer and rent it back to them. The firm has just introduced long-term leasing programmes that can be bundled with services such as calibration or replacement as well as options to buy.
Porter says companies that own and manage their own test equipment see it used less than 40% of the time.
"Take a company with a lot of inventory, managing that is the last thing on their mind [in the current environment]. Some equipment is on the shelf for a year, some they don't know where it is."
For 2001, Livingston expects to increase revenue by 25% on 2000's £114m.