Newton Aycliffe firm Filtronic cuts jobs despite profit rise

Filtronic, which provides equipment for the telecommunications market, cut the number of employees there from 100 to 84 last month

Filtronic chief executive Alan Needle
Filtronic chief executive Alan Needle

Technology company Filtronic has cut its Newton Aycliffe workforce by 16%, despite increasing profits over the past financial year.

The firm, which provides equipment for the telecommunications market, cut the number of employees there from 100 to 84 last month, bringing total staff to 159.

The news comes as the firm releases its preliminary results for the year ending May 31, in which revenues rose 53%, from �26.1m last year to £40m, and profit before amortisations and exceptional items went from£0.8m to £3.1m.

It was, however, mainly the wireless section of the business that shone, while the expansion of the broadband section, based at the County Durham site, is being delayed by the rollout of new technologies.

“We are in a transition in the broadband business,” said chief executive Alan Needle.

“We have just reported a £2.4m loss for the year and, while we are introducing new products, they are going to grow gradually.

“We hope to take on some additional staff towards the end of the financial year.”

The wireless part of the business develops and markets products that enable operators to use their existing network infrastructure to overlay 3G and 4G (LTE) services, and filters for 4G base station units.

During the last financial year, it grew 143%, with revenue going from £13.1m in 2012 to £31.9m, and operating profit going from £0.7m last year to £6.4m.

Broadband sales, however, were down 38% as the transition to new products was delayed to next year, meaning this section of the business suffered a £2.4m loss.

Final profit for both sections combined went from £0.04m in 2012 to £0.3m this year.

For the coming financial year, the company noted some encouraging signs, such as growing markets due to the increasing use of “data hungry devices” like smartphones and tablets, and the likelihood of progress in Europe’s LTE rollout.

New European markets for LTE interference mitigation filters are also being explored and e-band radio modules, which enable the delivery of high data-rate mobile services in dense urban areas, are now in pilot production for some customers.

Company chairman Howard Ford said: “The increasing demand for mobile data supports our strategy of becoming a key equipment provider for the wireless telecommunications market.

“The board is confident that our underlying technology and innovation will deliver long-term growth.

“As our customer base and product offering broaden, we believe we are well-positioned to take advantage of the huge opportunities that exist for the provision of LTE/4G services.”

We believe we are well-positioned to take advantage of the huge opportunities that exist

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