A web solutions company expects to increase its profits fivefold thanks to an award-winning student.

Visualsoft UK Ltd, in Middlesbrough, said profits are likely to jump from around £50,000 to £250,000 a year after university student Ali Zaidi created a new web directory system for one of its clients.

The Internal Search Engine Optimised Directory System restructured the client's website into topics, categories and subcategories and Mr Zaidi made each page more accessible by adding search engines.

The system was successfully launched and has consequently been sold to other clients.

Mr Zaidi, 26, who studies Web Development at The University of Teesside, worked on the project arranged by the Teesside STEP Agency.

Earlier this month he won the Shell STEP award for the Most Enterprising Student in the North-East and will now go on to represent the region at the Shell STEP national finals in London next month.

Visualsoft, which is based in Queensway House, on Skippers Lane Industrial Estate, has increased its workforce from five to 12 since the start of the year.

Company director Richard Bendelow, who supervised Mr Zaidi, said: "Ali is a confident, articulate person who tackles challenges with zeal, logic and imagination. His contribution to Visualsoft has been outstanding and he has been a valued member of the team."