OXFORD-based digital group White October is preparing itself for another year of strong growth after its events business increased annual turnover four-fold in 2015.

The company is also bulking up its management team, with entrepreneur Chris Thorpe joining as technology director two weeks ago.

White October founder and managing director Dave Fletcher said the White October Events division, which runs tech conferences, experienced a jump in turnover from about £250,000 in 2014 to £1m in 2015.

He said: “The events business is showing no signs of slowing down.”

The events arm, which was established four years ago, helped boost group turnover by about one-third to £3m over the same period.

But the core White October business – which is a development, strategy and design agency for digital products, mostly websites and apps – experienced relatively flat turnover of about £2m last year, he said.

He added: “We’ve been working on improving margins and delivery.”

Mr Fletcher, 37, who set up the company 13 years ago, described 2015 as a year for “consolidation”, saying: “We’ve been able to give guarantees about delivery and price, which gives us a competitive advantage.”

Quoting for software development jobs was often difficult because of the creative process, he added.

The MD said White October’s client base was still mainly spread across the UK, adding it had “an eye on international expansion in the future” but it’s not in the near term.

The company took on Mr Thorpe, 46, a 20-year veteran of the digital sector, in mid-January after being without a technical director for more than a year.

Mr Fletcher said he wanted to allow time “to find the right person” because “every technical decision you take has a huge impact on the bottom line”.

He said Mr Thorpe’s “vision for an exciting future for my team” made him an outstanding candidate.

Mr Thorpe, who has lived in Oxford for four years, said he was attracted to White October’s “great attitude to technology – they’re really pushing boundaries”.

He cites two White October projects in particular: the development of a smart-phone app for customers to locate a book in Foyles’ large bookshop in Charing Cross Road, London, which stocks about 50,000 titles; and building the trading platform for Oxford-based Ethex, which facilitates “positive investment”.

Mr Thorpe said his goals were to “manage the developers and make the most of their potential”, and to take White October into emerging areas of technology, such as artificial intelligence and “the internet of things”.

Mr Thorpe has a PhD in computational immunology from Birkbeck, University of London. He is co-founder of 3D-printing company I Can Make, and was chief technology officer at games and entertainment company Mind Candy.