Andor Technology, based in the Springvale Business Park in west Belfast, is a remarkably successful local company with expertise in the global markets for advanced scientific imaging and photographic equipment.
The company was originally a spin out led by scientists from Queen’s University. The business has now proved itself commercially and is further developing its products and expertise.
In the last trading year, results have out-performed earlier years. The annual report contains no suggestion that the wider international recession has adversely affected the demand for Andor products.
Remarkably in the last year, the shareholders rejected a suggested takeover and the directors must consider that their expectation of improved performance has been justified.
Andor reports that more than 90% of its output is exported. Consequently, in 2009 the weakening of the value of sterling helped to make its market position stronger.
Turnover in 2009 at £33m was 34% higher than in 2008. Confirming the steady expansion of production, turnover in 2009 was nearly three times the £11.6m in 2004. Operating profits and pre-tax profits increased last year.
Interestingly, the company has not paid any dividend to shareholders in the last three years so post-tax profits have been retained in accumulated reserves. In parallel, the company has built up a share option scheme for key personnel. Employment in the company has continued to increase at a modest rate, averaging 203 people in 2009. In contrast, in 2004 there were only 128 employees.
Chief executive, Conor Walsh, describes 2009 as an extraordinary year. He adds: “We are optimistic, buoyed by the strength of our brand and our business.”