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Andor in picture after 'extraordinary' results

A BELFAST technology company has recorded an "extraordinary" set of results including a 42% rise in revenue to £28.3m over the past year.

Announcing interim results for the six months ended March 31, Andor Technology plc, which develops and manufactures scientific digital cameras for academic, industrial and government applications, also revealed that operating profit was up 40% to £4.5m.

The firm generated £4.7m cash and is sitting on £10.4m net cash profit. A record of £0.7m was paid out in bonuses to staff.

Part of Andor's success has been attributed to sales of the new low-price 'Neo' camera. The firm took the largest ever single order, worth $2.1m (£1.23m), for the cameras from an American firm for use in gene sequencing, while the overall order book has grown 48% to £15.5m.

Set up in 1989 out of Queens University, Belfast, Andor employs more than 305 people in 16 offices worldwide and distributes its products to over 10,000 customers in 55 countries.

Conor Walsh, chief executive at Andor, said that historically, the company has grown at least 30% per annum.

"This is an extraordinary set of results, particularly in the current climate," he said.

"We can put this down to a lot of things, the skill of the management team, the capabilities of our staff, the quality of our product and the fact that we are always focusing on new areas for growth, new energies, new technologies.

"I think to grow, first of all you have to understand your market and I think that is something that Andor does very well. We are always looking for new acquisition, but not in an aggressive way, only in a way which will generate cash, we believe in organic growth."

Mr Walsh said that the firm had never been tempted to up sticks in search of lower running costs, despite the economic downturn.

Mr Walsh said Andor is currently in the middle of a site development at the Springfield Road complex, which will generate an extra 80 jobs in a £1.5m investment in the next 18 to 24 months.

A second phase, bringing another 80 jobs, is also in the pipeline. The total investment will represent £6m, said Mr Walsh.