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Business & Economy

Kromek to bolster North East workforce at Sedgefield base after “milestone year”

A technology firm behind apparatus used to foil terror attacks is creating jobs in a multi-million-pound investment at its North-East headquarters.

Kromek told North East Times it expects to recruit at least 20 staff over the next 12 to 18 months at its NETPark base, taking its workforce to around the 80 mark, as it lays foundations for further market growth.

The move comes after the business, a Durham University spin-out, carried out a £21 million fundraising to enhance manufacturing work across its UK and US sites.

It also follows what bosses hailed as a “milestone year” for the business, which saw Kromek secure contract wins worth around $80 million across the security, nuclear detection and medical imaging sectors.

Dr Arnab Basu, chief executive, said the company’s technology, which includes its D3S radiation detectors that identify threats such as ‘dirty bombs,’ is delivering ever-increasing market exposure.

He also saluted its medical presence, where Kromek’s products are used to diagnose and treat conditions including osteoporosis, and its trusted airport security scanners.

“We have always talked about getting here and now we are,” he told North East Times.

“The pipeline of work remains as strong as ever and the Sedgefield expansion will mean good, high-quality jobs.

“This is an exciting time; we are really getting traction around the world for D3S and aviation operators want better quality systems.

“The medical imaging sector remains strong too. Underinvestment in healthcare has left a black hole and demand from the middle-classes in China and India for better care is increasing.”

Arnab added the jobs will cover technical and engineering roles, as well as a dedicated team to look after the commercialisation of its D3S.

He also praised its NETPark base, which is a hub for technology advanced companies, saying it is a real attraction for the region.

“Our home is still the North East,” he said.

“NETPark started with a vision and an empty field but you only have to look at the development that has gone on. It is very impressive and so fantastic to see the growth of the park.”

Kromek’s bullish outlook was revealed today (Thursday, June 27) upon the publication of its financial results for the year to April 30, which showed a 23 per cent increase in revenue to £14.5 million.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was also up fourfold to £2 million, with pre-tax losses down from £2.5 million to £1.3 million.

Arnab added: “This was a milestone year as we delivered on all of our objectives, including our key target of growing adjusted EBITDA.

“We made progress across our business segments as we continued to execute on previously-signed agreements as well as win new, multi-year contracts from commercial and large government customers worldwide.

“Looking ahead, we entered the 2019/20 fiscal year in a stronger position than ever before.

“The momentum of new contract wins has continued, providing us with greater visibility over revenue.”