Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 149,269 pages of information and 234,239 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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1973 Inchcape entered the testing industry by establishing Labtest Hong Kong to serve the internal needs of the Dodwell companies, a multinational corporation acquired by Inchcape.

Labtest originally focussed on textile testing; later broadened to other consumer goods. It was the first commercial consumer goods testing facility in Hong Kong.

1975 Labtest expanded internationally, extending its business in the United States (1975) and establishing labs in the Philippines (1979), Taiwan (1982), New York city (1983), Singapore (1984), Thailand (1985) and the UK (1987) and China (1989).

1975-80 Inchcape acquired multiple testing and inspection companies, ranging from petroleum, petrochemical, textiles, to electronics and minerals testing

1984-7 Inchcape acquired the Caleb Brett group of companies, and the government trade and inspection services businesses in the UK and in the USA.

1987 Inchcape formed a specific testing business stream, 'Inchcape Testing Services', as part of reorganisatiopn of the group; this included Labtest and its other companies in the testing, inspection and certification business.

1988 Labtest acquired the product safety consulting business RAM (Risk Analysis & Management™). RAM supports clients such as McDonalds and their toy safety programme.

1988 Inchcape acquired ETL Testing Laboratories.

1992 Inchcape acquired Warnock Hersey of Canada.

1994 Inchcape acquired SEMKO of Sweden and other testing companies.

1996 MBO of Inchcape's Testing Services division. Renamed Intertek Testing Services, providing a range of accreditations and registration services across many industries including automotive, aerospace, electronic and consumer goods.

2002 Listed on the London Stock Exchange

2015 Four acquisitions in 2015 including PSI in the US – a provider of testing and assurance services to commercial and civil construction markets

2016 Acquired the Italian food quality assurance business FIT-Italia, the Canadian cyber security assurance business EWA-Canada, and entered a joint venture with the environmental quality assurance business ABC Analitic in Mexico.

2018 Acquired cargo inspection specialist, Aldo Abela Surveys (AAS) Ltd. and announced its intention to acquire Proasem, a leading provider of fuel testing, inspection, metrology and training services to the Oil & Gas sector, based in Colombia. Acquired NTA Monitor. Acquired Alchemy, a provider of People Assurance schemes.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] Intertek history