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Company Snapshot: Almac Group Ltd

By John Simpson

Almac Group brings together a number of subsidiary companies each with specialist interests in different aspects of pharmaceutical and biotechnology developments.

The Group is headquartered in Craigavon. Currently the group is also investing large sums in North America where a $112m (£70m) expansion started in July 2008 and will consolidate activities in the USA at Lansdale, Pennsylvania.

Almac Group reflects the inspiration of Sir Allen McClay who, formerly, was a large shareholder in Galen (which became Warner Chilcott).

After the sale of Galen, Sir Allen McClay, with his expertise in the pharmaceutical sector, built up the new business that is now Almac.

The Group registers consolidated trading results for its activities ranging from drug discovery, a range of clinical trials, and the commercialisation of the products.

The width of activities has taken the company into advanced research and development as well as forging commercial links with businesses that are market leaders in the related sectors.

Turnover in 2007-8 increased further to reach £167m: up 26% on the previous year and a continuing expansion compared to earlier years. Continuing research and development spending meant Group operating losses of £1.6m in 2007-8. Despite a large capital spending programme the Group has reported relatively modest recourse to borrowed funds. Outstanding bank borrowing was under £22m in September 2008, less than £3m higher than a year earlier.

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