DE Group sees pre-tax profits rise to £4.7m following management buyout

Prudhoe-based pharmaceuticals wholesaler grew sales 19% to £102.2m and eyes expansion in new sites

Alok Loomba, Sintons; Christopher Welch, Sintons; Paul Goodchild, RBS Invoice Finance; Mark Gulliford, DE Group; Andy Wilson, DE Group; Adrian Dye, Sintons
Alok Loomba, Sintons; Christopher Welch, Sintons; Paul Goodchild, RBS Invoice Finance; Mark Gulliford, DE Group; Andy Wilson, DE Group; Adrian Dye, Sintons

Profits have risen at Prudhoe-based drugs wholesalers Testerworld Limited, which trades as DE Group.

The 159-strong firm, which was subject to a £37m management buyout in 2013, saw pre-tax profits rise £1.5m to £4.7m in the year to the end of March 2014.

Sales for the period were boosted 19% to £102.2m, up from £85.7m, as the new directors of the firm were said to be pleased with the performance since their takeover.

The DE Group incorporates DE Pharmaceuticals, Doncaster Pharmaceuticals in West Sussex, National Generics in the Midlands, Eclipse Generics in Scotland and Crosspharma Pharmaceuticals in Northern Ireland.

DE Pharmaceuticals, the North East arm, operates from a facility on Low Prudhoe Industrial Estate where it employs 75 people, as well as sites in Manchester and Doncaster.

In December the firm said it was ready to expand into new sites in Manchester, Barnsley, the South East, Belfast and the Midlands.

At the time director Mark Gulliford, who led the 2013 management buyout, said: “Our expansion comes after another strong period for the company, and on the back of such national demand for our services comes the need to add significant extra resource to our operation, both in terms of people and floor space.”

The Journal Top 200 business is a “short line wholesaler” — meaning it concentrates on frequent deliveries of restricted ranges and fast moving products.

In a strategic report which accompanied the accounts filed at Companies House, director Andy Wilson wrote: “The directors are satisfied with the results for the year and anticipate the present level of activity will be sustained for the next twelve months.

“During the year the business was the subject of a management buyout funded via an asset backed lending package, arranged with the Royal Bank of Scotland. Since the buyout, the company has traded in line with expectations.”

The DE Group is one of the UK’s largest national short line pharmaceutical wholesalers, offering a leading range of generics, parallel imports, ethicals, dressings, feeds, OTC’s, dispensary consumables, veterinary products, and specials to independent pharmacy.

The firm sets itself out from competitors by offering twice daily deliveries across the UK.

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