Kromek Group plc wins £1.35m of new work with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

SIGMA programme radiation detection contract modification comes as technology firm foresees 38% revenue rise

Arnab Basu, chief executive of Kromek
Arnab Basu, chief executive of Kromek

County Durham-based technology company Kromek Group plc has won an additional $2.02m (£1.35m) of work over a 16 month period, after a modification to an existing contract with an agency of the US Department of Defense.

Since August 2014, the company, which expects to see a 38% rise in revenues to £8.1m this year, has been engaged with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), supplying large volumes of radiation network detectors as part of an advanced system that can provide information on radiation signatures over an extended area.

During the initial stages of the SIGMA programme - which has so far boosted Kromek revenues by $4.35m (£2.91m) - the company developed a product called the D3S to meet the performance requirements of both gamma and neutron detection in a small form factor with long battery life.

The contract modification will see the production of 1,000 of the devices at a price of $1,000 each - a result achieved through a mix of technological advancement and innovation.

Kromek will make this price and volume available to other organisations and says it is “aggressively pursuing the ultimate price target of the programme of $400 per detector at a quantity of 10,000”.

Funds under the contract modification will also be used to continue the development of more advanced detector solutions with additional capabilities in the coming months.

Kromek chief executive Arnab Basu said: “Under the SIGMA programme, Kromek has developed a revolutionary new product, the D3S, which goes well beyond the state-of-the-art for performance.

“We are delighted to receive another extension of the current contract from DARPA, which reflects the excellent progress the Kromek team has made.

“That we were selected by an agency of the U.S. government provides validation of our technological strength and capabilities, and demonstrates our leading position in the global markets.

“We look forward to achieving further milestones in this project and, ultimately, enabling safer environments for all.”

A Durham University spin-out established in 2003, Kromek has grown to employ more than 100 people across its headquarters at Sedgefield and offices in Germany and the US.

It is a leading developer of high performance radiation detection products based on cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) and works across the medical, security screening and nuclear markets.

News of the contract modification with DARPA came as the company released a trading update ahead of its financial year end on April 30, 2015.

In this, it said it expected to report full-year revenue growth of 38%, while EBITDA would be in line with market expectations.

Kromek’s order book likewise continues to grow, and, although it has faced some delays on projects, a strong pipeline would provide it with improved visibility going forward.

The business has also secured a £3m revolving credit facility, the funds from which will be used for working capital to support growth.

Lawrence Kinet, who recently took on the position of interim chairman, said: “I am delighted to take on this role at this time of great growth for the company.

“Kromek has solid fundamentals based on the strength of its technology as demonstrated by the success of our programme with DARPA.

“As a result, with every passing half year, the board has increasing confidence in Kromek’s future as we build ever-stronger ties with government and commercial customers.”

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