Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies 'optimistic' despite losses widening to £3.7m

The Teesside-based biopharmaceutical firm said it had nearly completed a new manufacturing facility at its Billingham site

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies

Directors at Teesside biopharmaceutical firm Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies UK Limited remain optimistic the company will grow despite seeing losses widen to £3.7m.

Latest accounts show the Billingham-based firm, part of the Japanese multinational Fujifilm, reported a widening of operating losses from £3.6m to £3.7m in the year ended March 31, 2014.

The firm provides contract manufacturing services to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies who are developing new biologic medicines, and since coming under Fujifilm ownership in March 2011 the business said trading had improved – and directors reaffirmed they expected this to continue in a report accompanying the accounts, filed at Companies House.

Despite a dip in turnover from £48.1m in 2013 to £46.3m, the firm said significant cost savings, particularly around the cost of sales, had helped to improve their trading performance.

The fall was caused by a 24% drop in turnover across the firm’s small scale microbial operations, yet the firm’s “mammalian business” – operations to cultivate cells of mammal origin – increased turnover by 38%, and analytical services increased turnover by 26%.

Within the company’s strategic report director Stephen Bagshaw said: “Whilst turnover for the current year is slightly down on that reported for the previous year, the directors continue to remain optimistic that going forward the company will continue to grow and their focus on efficiency gains during the year is reflected in the improvement of cost of sales.”

The firm acknowledged that while turnover was shown to have fallen slightly, the level of earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) had actually grown year-on-year, and UK accounting practices showed a lower position than profit reported under US accounting practices, which are used internally by the company.

Looking to future developments, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies said it intended to expand its services in mammalian cell line development and process development.

The firm also said it was close to completing the development of a new Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) facility at the Billingham site, a move which is designed to take its contract manufacturing services into Europe and the US.

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies employs around 500 people at its Billingham operations.

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