A Birmingham software firm has been named as one the UK's fastest-growing small companies for its exporting activities.

Jewellery Quarter-based Mercato develops sales software for clients such as tech firms IBM and Lenovo and growth in the US, Middle East and Singapore helped international sales to reach £2.9 million in 2016.

It also hit annual international sales growth of 197 per cent over the past two years.

It is one of Seven West Midlands companies to feature in the 2018 Sunday Times Lloyds SME Export Track 100.

Published this weekend, it ranks Britain's small- and medium-sized private companies with the fastest-growing international sales over the past two years.

The final order of the top three places will be revealed in the national newspaper this weekend.

Thirteen firms from across the wider Midlands feature this year, compared to nine in 2017, including nine new entrants.

Their international sales have grown by an average of 96 per cent a year over two years to a total of £104 million and together they employ 1,400 people.

The other West Midlands firms to be included in the list are:

- Lift manufacturer Stiltz Lifts, Kingswinford, 10th, 161 per cent

- Craft products retailer Wool Warehouse, based in Leamington Spa, 20th place, 111 per cent of international sales growth

- IT consultancy REPL Group, Henley-In-Arden, 28th, 95 per cent

- Material surfacing specialist PMD Group, Coventry, 67th, 51 per cent

- Grocery exporter Y International (UK), Birmingham, 80th, 44 per cent

- Metal detection technology developer MetraSens, Malvern, 81st, 43 per cent

Gareth Oakley, managing director SME banking at Lloyds Banking Group which sponsors the research, said: "For businesses that take the leap to trade overseas, the rewards can be significant - the strong growth achieved by this year's SME Export Track 100 is proof of that."