Medical kit firm doubles earnings

MEDICAL testing kit company IDS said yesterday it had doubled earnings as it prepares to relocate a manufacturing facility from Denmark to the North-East.

MEDICAL testing kit company IDS said yesterday it had doubled earnings as it prepares to relocate a manufacturing facility from Denmark to the North-East.

South Tyneside’s IDS (Immunodiagnostic Systems) told the City pre-tax profits had soared 109%, from £1.05m last time to £2.19m.

The company, which has grown rapidly since floating on AIM at the end of 2004, says the £17m purchase of Nordic Bioscience Diagnostics (NBD)10 days ago, could go through as early as this week.

It said production of NBD’s bone loss testing products would move to its headquarters at Boldon, creating an undisclosed number of jobs.

IDS reported a 22% rise in turnover to £9.9m, from £8.1m in 2006, as it moves towards an automated manufacturing process known as 3X3.

Managing director Dr Roger Duggan said: “At the moment Nordic has one facility which they share with a parent company with a lab for manufacturing the kits and a sales and marketing function.

“The sales office they have there effectively creates IDS Scandinavia and production will come back here [Boldon].

“We would expect that [move] to be completed within 12 months and that will bring forward an increase in the workforce.”

The company said in its preliminary results for the year ending March 31 2007 it would mainly seek to expand its business through use of 3X3 technology but that it was always on the look out for further acquisitions.

Dr Duggan said: “There’s opportunities out there and we do pursue them. We have quite a large meal to swallow with Nordic but that doesn’t stop us looking, we’re not so full that we can’t look at the menu.”

Meanwhile operating profits increased 97% to £2.21m, up from £1.12m in 2006. IDS said this reflected operational gearing – the effect of fixed costs on the relationship between sales and operating profits – and also because it had benefited from two one-off payments for work yet to be completed.

It was also benefiting from the collapse of a major global competitor, Nichols Institute Diagnostics in California in the US. IDS has appointed Dr Martha Garrity as its new technical director, who had previously worked for NID developing its 3X3.

He said: “This has provided an opportunity for us to gain sales in a significant, if temporarily chaotic, market.”

IDS also sees future growth coming from the US market and says it expects that “to pay” in the next two to three years.

The NBD business is very similar to that of IDS – making diagnostic testing kits, primarily for diagnosing conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis.

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