The Intertek story starts at the inception of the modern testing industry. The history of Intertek spans 127 years, and evolves from the combined growth of a number of innovative companies.
1880 - 1900
- Mr. Caleb Brett founds a marine surveying business in the United Kingdom to offer independent testing and certification of ships' cargoes (1885).
- Mr. Milton Hersey establishes a chemical testing laboratory in Montreal, Quebec, pioneering the idea of independent testing laboratories (1888).
- Mr. Thomas Edison establishes the Lamp Testing Bureau of his Edison Electric Illuminating Company in America, the origin of the world's electric light industry (1896).
- The Lamp Testing Bureau is later renamed 'Electrical Testing Laboratories,' and later shortened to 'ETL.'
- It grows to provide testing to General Electric and other industries being created by new invention at the time, such as air-conditioning, over the next 40 years.
- SEMKO is founded in Sweden to provide Swedish electrical and electronic product safety testing (1925).
- SEMKO registers the 'S-Mark.' It becomes a product testing organisation accredited by the Swedish government for its mandatory certification.
- It further expands to provide certifications for products in wider Nordic markets, and the international electrical and electronic industries over the next 40 years.
- Mr. Chas Warnock forms the Chas Warnock Company in Montreal, Canada to inspect steel products (1927).
- Milton Hersey and Chas Warnock merge their companies to create 'Warnock Hersey', one of the largest testing and inspection entities in Canada (1954). The company expands into minerals, lumber testing and the US market.
- Inchcape, a diverse international group at the time enters the testing industry by establishing 'Labtest' Hong Kong to serve the internal needs of the Dodwell companies, a multinational corporation acquired by Inchcape (1973).
- Labtest originally focuses on textile testing, and later broadens across other consumer goods. It is the first commercial consumer goods testing facility in Hong Kong.
- Labtest expands internationally, extending its business in the United States (1975) and establishing labs in the Philippines (1979), Taiwan (1982), New York city (1983), Singapore (1984), Thailand (1985) and the UK (1987) and China (1989).
- Inchcape acquires multiple testing and inspection companies, ranging from petroleum, petrochemical, textiles, to electronics and minerals testing (1975- 1980)
- Inchcape reorganises. It forms a specific testing business stream, 'Inchcape Testing Services' (1987), including Labtest and its other acquisitions in the testing, inspection and certification area.
- Inchcape acquires the Caleb Brett group of companies, and the government trade and inspection services businesses in the UK ('Foreign Trade Standards') and the US (Intertek Testing Services and Intertek Services International) (1984-87).
- Labtest acquires the product safety consulting business RAM (Risk Analysis & Management™). RAM supports clients such as McDonalds and their toy safety programme (1988).
- Inchcape acquires ETL Testing Laboratories (1988).
- Inchcape continues its acquisitive path, buying Warnock Hersey in North America (1992) and SEMKO in Sweden (1994), and other testing companies. It amasses a range of accreditations and registrations needed to provide certification, inspection and testing services across various industries including automotive, aerospace, electronic and consumer goods.
Inchcape's Testing Services division is bought as part of a management buy-out by Charterhouse Development Capital, a global investment company (1996).
The company is renamed 'Intertek Testing Services,' forming the present-day Intertek. Richard Nelson, the existing CEO of Inchcape Testing Services, becomes CEO of Intertek.
2000 - Present
- Intertek lists on the London Stock Exchange on 29 May 2002, becoming Intertek Group plc.
- It lists with a share price of £4, market capitalisation of £614m, and joining the FTSE 250 in the Support Services sector
- Intertek's stock symbol is ITRK.
- Upon listing, Intertek had around 10,500 employees and around 750 laboratories and offices worldwide and generated around £450m revenue per annum.
Intertek continues to expand by acquiring complementary companies in the testing, inspection and certification arena, with the wider focus on providing quality and safety services across a wide range of industries (2000 to present).
- Intertek expands its own services and operations in growing areas such as supply-chain management and ethical sourcing services, industrial asset inspection, food, pharmaceutical renewable energies and bio-fuels, solar and wind-powered product services.
- It commences major laboratory outsourcing contracts with companies, including BP, Kodak, DSM, Unilever, ICI, Sabic, Volkswagen and Lilly.
- Richard Nelson, CEO of 20 years, retires. Dr. Wolfhart Hauser is appointed CEO in 2005.
- Intertek internal business units were aligned around customers' industries into four core divisions in 2006.
- In January 2011, we reorganised our operational structure to further improve the alignment of our business lines with those of our customers, and renamed certain divisions to better describe their core activities.
- Oil, Chemical & Agri is renamed Commodities, and incorporates Minerals; Analytical Services is renamed Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals, and incorporates Health & Environmental; Industrial Services is renamed Industry & Assurance, and incorporates Food, Agri, and Upstream Services.
- Intertek's share price on the London Stock Exchange exceeds the £10-mark for the first time in June 2007; and 2011 marked the first time that the share price exceeded the £20-mark.
- Intertek's annual revenue exceeds £GBP 1 billion in 2008, reporting total revenue of £1,003.5k for the full year.
- Intertek enters the FTSE 100 for the first time in 2009.
- In February 2011, Intertek expanded its brand identity to Intertek: Valued Quality, Delivered, underlining the company’s global mission of partnering with its customers to provide quality services that add value to their organizations.
- In May 2011, Intertek completed its acquisition of Moody International for £450 million. As a result, the number of Intertek employees reaches 30,000.