Not every young and growing company that appears in our On the Up features can maintain its initial momentum.

The Authentic Curry Company, from Wales, is one of these. In the first four years of trading, managing director Paul Trotman transformed a £300,000 turnover into £3m.

But the loss of Tesco's contract to supply its customer restaurants since we first spoke to Trotman in July 2004 has put something of a dampener on proceedings.

He says: "The past two years have been an exercise in treading water as far as the growth is concerned. Tesco has been contracting out its restaurants at a rate of roughly four per week. We have therefore gone from supplying more than 600 restaurants to currently fewer than 150 and it has been very difficult to replace this vast volume."

He's not disheartened though - the company still supplies Tesco's staff restaurants, the first national listing was recently gained with 3G Foodservice and 3663 will start listing The Authentic Curry Company's products this month.

Exports to Ireland and Spain are also on the cards and the innovation pipeline is flowing well too.

A range of high quality soups will be relaunched in the autumn and a range of gourmet meals is now available through a number of distributors.

Trotman says: "We hold great hopes for our Gourmet Collection - a combination of six extremely high quality recipes developed in conjunction with the brewery SA Brain in Cardiff. Our production facility lends itself to small runs of high-quality lines and this is hopefully where a large part of our future growth will come from."

The events of the past two years have obviously made Trotman a little warier, though. "As always with an SME, my first target for the next year is to remain in the game. Small controlled growth would be desirable."