Major revenue growth at world leader Kromek

The rapid growth of the Kromek Group, has been highlighted in the company's first set of financial results since it joined the AIM last year

Kromek chief executive Arnab Basu
Kromek chief executive Arnab Basu

The rapid growth of Durham University spin-out Kromek Group, has been highlighted in the company’s first set of financial results since it joined the Alternative Investment Market.

The Sedgefield-headquartered technology firm, now a world leader in colour imaging for x-rays, floated on the London Stock Exchange for the first time six months ago with plans for major expansion in the medical, security and nuclear markets.

Half yearly results published yesterday show it achieved threefold year-on-year revenue growth for the six months ended October 31, driven by the acquisition of eV Products and growing customer demand.

During the period, the firm reported revenue of around £2.4m, compared to £710,000 for the same period in 2012. EBITDA losses, meanwhile, were £1.3m, compared to around £2m last year, with period-end cash of £10m. Kromek also eliminated its April year-end £2.5m debt position.

Chief executive Arnab Basu said: “Kromek is currently growing strongly as we enter the rapid commercialisation phase of our business, utilising our power IP and technology platforms.

“Having competed a successful IPO during the period, we are now in a stronger financial position as we look to grow our business. We have seen encouraging take-up of our products in all of our three target sectors and are confident about the future prospects of the business.”

Kromek, formerly known as Durham Scientific Crystals, started as a two-man spin-out from Durham University in 2003. It now employs about 100 people, half in County Durham and the rest in offices in America and Germany.

Based around cadmium zinc telluride (CZT), the company’s products have been tested and refined over the years, with Kromek’s focus now shifting to commercialisation.

In the six months covered by the latest results, successes in medical imaging include Kromek’s involvement in a two-year development programme worth up to $5.3m in the medical CT market as an exclusive partner with a top OEM. A further $990,000 contract has since been secured with a second medical imaging OEM.

In security screening, ten contracts were secured during the period from UK airports requiring bottle scanners, with further emerging since.

Kromek, which secured the highest level of certification from the European Civil Aviation Conference for the Kromek Bottle Scanner, is also set to benefit from new European legislation mandating a partial lifting of the ban on carrying liquids on aircraft by January 31.

In nuclear detection, meanwhile, the company won contracts worth up to $2.5m from Northrop Grumman in the USA for two separate programmes.

A contract of up to $1.2m from Domestic Nuclear Defence Office, part of Homeland Security, was also won, along with orders from a number of commercial customers in Asia, Europe and the USA.

Kromek and its US subsidiary Nova R&D are likewise team members of a Northrop Grumman-led consortium that has been awarded a contract under a $4bn IDIQ programme by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Basu said: “The technology is ready and the market is also ready. The prospects for Kromek are substantial.”

He added that challenges included unpredictably in the rate its technology would be adopted, as well as in the execution of expansion plans, but said the company was taking steps to mitigate those risks.

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