Medicine and food essential in tough times

YOU have to eat and you have to look after your health even during tough times.

YOU have to eat and you have to look after your health even during tough times. So it’s maybe no surprise to see food and pharmaceutical firms with sales enabling them to breakthrough to the Top 200 for the first time.

Piramal Healthcare is in at 98th and is ninth highest new entry thanks to the volume of active pharma ingredients (APIs) and tablets it is producing at Morpeth. IDS (Immunodiagnostic Systems) at Boldon, too, gets in at 170, 22nd highest new entry, powered by its progress in US markets.

At Billingham, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies aspires to be a global leading pharma division of Fujifilm Corporation. It is expanding its research and development having already acquired Merck (MSD) BioManufacturing Network, which includes on Teesside what was MSD Biologics and Avecia Biologics. At 90th on the Top 200 list, it comes in as seventh highest new entry.

In the food lines, two Derwentside firms are obviously tickling the public’s palate. Intersnack, the Tanfield savouries specialist and biggest pretzel producer in the UK, ranks 141 and thus becomes the 17th highest new entrant.

Ravendale Foods, the Consett maker of meat products, is 27th highest new entrant, coming in at 190.

In Durham, Refresco’s sales of its soft drinks, meanwhile, has broken into the list at 184, making it the 25th highest new entry.

Homes and pensions must be on a lot of minds, too. Home Group, the Gosforth provider of affordable and supported housing since the Depression of the 1930s, is the second highest new entry, standing 19th in the table, while Your Homes Newcastle is 29th highest new entry at 193.

Home Group manages 51,000 homes and yearly assists more than 20,000 people around the UK. Your Homes Newcastle, manages about 29,000 tenanted and 1,500 leasehold homes since 2004.

RPMI Ltd – the Darlington administrator of pensions – gets into the Top 200 at 195 and is the 30th highest new entry after 45 years in business.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer