Profits soar as IDS looks forward to more growth

Profits have more than quadrupled to £1.17m at biotech business IDS in South Tyneside.

Profits have more than quadrupled to £1.17m at biotech business IDS in South Tyneside.

The expanding hi-tech company has broken through the million pound pre-tax profit barrier for the first time, and it is now in the market for acquisitions.

Its turnover hit £8.1m for the year to March 31, up almost 50% from £5.4m in 2004/05 and stockbroker Teather & Greenwood is predicting this figure to hit £9.3m in the current financial year, and £12m in 2007/08.

Its share price rose 2% on the news yesterday, ending the day at 128.5p.

IDS (Immunodiagnostic Systems) makes diagnostic testing kits for the clinical and research markets which are used to help diagnose conditions including diabetes and osteoporosis.

IDS has seen strong sales in the UK, the US and Germany in the past year and managing director Dr Roger Duggan said yesterday IDS was still on the acquisition trail, following its capture of Finnish company SBA Sciences in March last year.He said: "One plank of our strategy is in acquisitions - product lines, technologies, or companies - in whole or in part. We are in discussions with four different groups about potential product range acquisitions."

In the UK, sales rose 46% year on year, while in the US, the rise was an impressive 259%, while in the more recently established German subsidiary, a staggering 963% increase was achieved.

The company has sales offices in the US, Germany, France and Finland. And it is just starting to move into the Austrian market, after its success in Germany.

Dr Duggan said: "We have been using a distributor in Austria who takes some of our products, but not all. Now we will put our own IDS person alongside, which will increase the margins we achieve there as we will be selling direct.

"Where it's appropriate, we will move into direct sales in other territories. Our geographic expansion will continue and the product pipeline is fuller than it ever has been."

The company now employs 55 at its Boldon headquarters, and is increasing its manufacturing operation there. It has transferred all manufacturing work from Finland and now only has a research and development office in that country.

Dr Duggan concluded: "This has been an excellent year for all IDS stakeholders, with more ambitious expectations still to be met.

"Our progress is such that we believe that we will add further to the achievements of the company, with the plethora of opportunities I spoke of last year seemingly undiminished."

Journalists

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