Travel software company Datalex saw its revenue rise by 5% to almost $32m during the first half of the year, when compared with the same period in 2017.

The firm, which counts some of the world's largest airlines among its customers, recorded a 14% increase in pre-tax profit to $6.1m.

Chief Executive of Datalex Aidan Brogan said he was pleased with the results, which mean the company remains "on track to deliver on our strategy to grow the business and this will help us underpin our earnings growth in the years to come.

"Fundamentally if you look at the travel sector, the number of people travelling by air will double in the next 20 years. So in this year approximately four billion people will take to the skies and in 2034 it's predicted that will be at about eight billion.

"China represents a significant opportunity, so of that eight billion people travelling in the sky, 1.7 billion will be in China."

Stockbroker Davy notes what it describes as a "bullish tone" with regard to the Datalex sales pipeline in the results statement. 

Mr Brogan said the company's sales pipeline is "stronger than it's ever been and I'm confident we will announce new customers in the coming months.

"The market opportunity in the digital world just continues to expand at a pace and Datalex is investing in our people and our products and our market to take advantage of that opportunity."

Datalex's current customers include Aer Lingus, Air China, Jet Blue, and Lufthansa Group.

Datalex's net cash levels, at $12.4m, are down $4.5m on this time last year.

This is largely down to software roll-outs at Lufthansa and Multiplus.

On Brexit, the Datalex head said: "I think Brexit and any trade war discussions are uncertain and not helpful for anybody concerned.

"Our business is geographically spread, so we do have sort of in-built resilience against local issues such as Brexit - on a global basis.

"We do happen to have an office in Manchester where we have 40 people, and we will be hiring people in Manchester as well as Dublin."

Datalex is investing heavily in what Mr Brogan describes as "the growing market opportunity in digital commerce for travel retail". 

He said the company is focusing on "how airlines and travel suppliers engage with their customers. If you go back a few years, traditionally it was primarily through travel agencies where people transacted across the counter.

"With the evolution of the digital world - particularly mobile devices and younger people - that trend has changed dramatically.

"What we're seeing is people want relevant contextual data and offers, and they want it immediately on the device that they have in front of them. Airlines have to be ready to embrace that world. Airlines that are ready to embrace it will flourish and do well and the others that do not will struggle."

On the positive outlook for Datalex over the next two to three years, Aidan Brogan said he is basing this on "the demand we are seeing in the marketplace".