Octopustravel.com has been named the second fastest growing business in the UK, according to Real Business’ Hot 100; a study produced in association with LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds TSB.

The study found that OctopusTravel.com had a compound annual sales growth rate over the past four years of 276.5 per cent. The company, which was established in the UK in 1999, had sales of £60m in 2004, compared with £1.3m in 2001.

In December last year, the company claimed fourth place in the definitive annual league table of the UK’s fastest growing unquoted companies. The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 report ranked the UK’s top 100 companies based on sales growth between 2000 and 2003.

The Australian version of Octopustravel.com has collected a Hitwise Top 10 Award for the first time. During the last quarter, the site was ranked seventh by visits in the Travel Agencies category against other Australian websites.

OctopusTravel.com general manager Peter Smith said that while the UK site had consistently ranked in the Hitwise Top 10, this was the first time the Australian URL had made it onto the list.

“It’s a significant breakthrough as it shows that increasing numbers of Australians are visiting our site which bodes well for our future growth in this market,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith says the awards are indicative of the company’s growing success globally.

“As a brand, OctopusTravel.com is going from strength-to-strength, with the opening of several new offices worldwide and consistent growth in all markets,” he said. “The online travel market is the fastest growing business on the web, and we’re pleased to be meeting continuing demand for our products and services.