Sports development tour company inspiresport has claimed a third consecutive year of growth with earnings up by £800,000.

Revenue for 2017 was up by more than 30%, meaning that turnover for the specialist operator has more than doubled since the arrival of chief executive Steve Butchart in late 2013.

Last year saw more than 12,000 aspiring young players mainly from schools and clubs across the UK travel with the Cardiff-based operator.

The Midcounties Co-op travel consortium member’s growth in 2017 came against a challenging backdrop for travel businesses in the sector. Terrorist attacks, the failure of Monarch failure and turbulence within the foreign exchange markets post Brexit have all posed significant challenges.

The team sports travel firm has maintained a high repeat booking ratio through the growth period, with average satisfaction scores of more than 95%.

The business, which includes Inspiretec chief executive Simon Powell and Shearings Group chief executive chief executive Richard Calvert as shareholders, believes this is likely to increase on the back of a new loyalty scheme.

Inspiresport renewed exclusive deals in 2017 with leading football clubs such as Manchester City, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia CF, FC Porto and as a key partner of the Real Madrid Foundation. The company is also exclusively endorsed by leading governing bodies including both the English and Scottish schools football associations.

Butchart said: “It’s been a record breaking 2017 for inspiresport. Over the last few years the company has made significant investment in many key areas for which we are now seeing tangible results.

“2017 saw the EBITDA performance of the business improve by approximately £800,000 and departure revenue grow in excess of 30%.

“Without doubt we have the strongest portfolio of club partners in our industry and will add to this list during the course of 2018. “These milestones represent solid progress for the business with the forward booking momentum especially pleasing.”

He added: “These significant achievements could not have been realised without the hard work, commitment and dedication of all the inspiresport team both in the UK and overseas.

“We are on a fantastic journey of growth and transformation and I strongly believe that we have created the platform to deliver many more tours for schools and clubs looking to book that once-in-a-lifetime sporting experience.”