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Company Snapshot: Norbrook Laboratories Ltd

Norbrook Laboratories in Newry, controlled and managed by Lord Ballyedmond, is Northern Ireland’s largest manufacturer of human and veterinary pharmaceutical products which sell to international markets.

The Northern Ireland company is a manufacturing supplier to a large number of other subsidiary companies in the Norbrook connection. In addition, the local company conducts a significant amount of linked pharmaceutical research.

Norbrook Laboratories consolidates the business activities of a number of subsidiaries trading as part of the group. However, another company, Norbrook Holdings, registered in England, is not consolidated with the local company and has significant related activities with the local company.

Annual turnover increased to £122m in the year to July 2009, 10% up on the previous year and 50% higher than five years earlier. The growth in sales is due to a broader product range and improved product quality. Increased operating profits are linked to an increase of in-house manufacture of key raw material ingredients and better control of expenses.

Pre-tax profits at £4.4m, after adjustments, recovered from lows in 2008. Average employment rose to 1,139 people, 3% more than 2008, double the number in 2000.

Capital expenditure, highest in 2007 at £18.4m, fell to nearly £3m in 2009. Unusually, capital expenditure was less than the depreciation allowance claimed.

The company retains post-tax funds for reinvestment in the business, contributing to a further increase in the value of shareholders’ funds as stated in the balance sheet. These funds rose to £43.7m.

The return earned on invested capital, measured as operating profit calculated as a percentage of net assets, or shareholders funds, rose to 26% from 13% in the previous year.