December 11, 2019 @ 9:18 by Steven Hugill
A technology firm helping to thwart global terror plots will create more jobs after building “world-leading” manufacturing capability in the region, its boss has told North East Times.
Dr Arnab Basu said Sedgefield-based Kromek will add to its 75-strong team as it ramps up work in a new manufacturing hub and extends its digital stature to bolster international momentum.
The business is expanding its North East presence with a facility capable of delivering a near seven-fold increase in production of cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) – a semiconductor key to Kromek’s apparatus.
Chief executive Dr Basu (pictured left) said the investment will help the firm deliver larger, higher-volume orders and build on an existing £100 million portfolio.
The company is known for its flagship D3S family of products, which is sold in 22 countries and can help identify terror threats such as ‘dirty bombs’.
It also supplies medical sector equipment, which is used to diagnose and treat conditions such as osteoporosis, and airport security scanners, and has customers in more than 40 territories worldwide.
Speaking upon the announcement of Kromek’s half-year results to October 31, which showed record first-half revenues of £5.3 million, Dr Basu said: “There is some serious uplift in terms of our business and where we are going.
“Our CZT facility will be world-leading and represents a phenomenal achievement by the team.
“We have already created 15 jobs this year and are still recruiting; we have 75 people at Sedgefield but that is going to increase,” he told North East Times.
“By the time all of the physical assets are in full swing early next year, we will be firing on all cylinders.
“We are now selling D3S in 22 countries, compared to 18 six months back, and we are seeing serious expansion in that market and big opportunities coming out. We are also seeing our bottle scanners being deployed in more airports.
“We are winning new customers and our products are getting incorporated into new products.
“We are getting orders from the US’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to Newcastle Hospital and it is a very fulfilling feeling; it is also particularly satisfying to be doing it all as a North East-based company.
“The products are going up and the results are coming through.”
Dr Basu was speaking today (Wednesday, December 11) after latest financial results for the period to October 31 showed Kromek – a Durham University spin-out – is on track to report its highest-ever full-year revenues after a record half-year performance.
The business expects annual income to reach new levels as it delivers contracts worth around £100 million.
The results showed the business enjoyed a 43 per cent revenue increase on a year ago, with the figure standing at £5.3 million.
Bosses said product sales accounted for 82 per cent of total revenue, which was up from last year’s 78 per cent.
Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were steady at a £600,000 loss, with pre-tax losses standing slightly higher at £2.7 million.
“This year has seen a focus on executing on the previously-signed agreements and commencing delivery on the multi-year contracts won in recent years,” said Dr Basu.
“This has resulted in record first-half revenues (and) we have seen an increase in adoption of our next-generation products in the medical imaging market and an expansion of applications for our D3S platform.
“We enter the second-half well-positioned to report our highest-ever full-year revenues as delivery of high-value, multi-year contracts continues to ramp up.
“We are delivering on contracts worth nearly £100 million…and continue to experience growing demand for our flagship products, which is expected to convert to further orders.”