Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) shareholders received the machine learning and human resources company’s 2018 results today which revealed a doubling of revenue and a 73% jump in profit.

For the half-year to June 30th 2018, Appen reported a 106% increase in revenue to $153 million and a profit of $14 million, up 73%. A dividend of four cents per share, fully franked, was declared. (click here to learn what franking credits are)

Appen said its organic revenue, which excludes the effect of acquisitions, rose 47% year over year. On an underlying basis, profit rose 119%, Appen noted.

“Our investment in Leapforce coupled with increased scale and ongoing productivity initiatives has attributed to outstanding revenue and margin growth for Content Relevance,” Appen CEO Mark Brayan said.

Appen bought Leapforce for $105 million. The company had 21 full-time staff.

Brayan said Leapforce’s employees have been integrated into Appen’s network and will migrate projects on the Leapforce labour management platform, Appen Connect.

“The Appen Connect platform will be deployed across the group in the first quarter of next year and will lift productivity and improve margins across the business,” Brayan noted.

Despite declaring a four cents per share interim dividend, Appen co-founder and Chairman Chris Vonwiller said the company has the balance sheet to pursue growth opportunities throughout the world.

“We have a strong balance sheet and we are committed to maintain our role as a world leader in the development of high-quality, human annotated datasets for machine learning and artificial intelligence,” Vonwiller added.

Over the full year, Appen is targeting an EBITDA result between $54 million and $59 million (half year: $25.6 million).

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