Belfast Telegraph

Andor owner commits to Belfast, saying it won't cut jobs

By John Mulgrew

Technology firm Oxford Instruments says it is "committed" to digital camera maker Andor's Belfast site and has no plans to cut further jobs after its takeover last year.

And chief executive Jonathan Flint told the Belfast Telegraph that Andor has outperformed his expectations and he now expects "organic growth".

English technology firm Oxford Instruments took over west Belfast-based Andor in 2014.

But 18 jobs have already been cut in Northern Ireland, according to Mr Flint.

"We are fully committed to the Belfast site, there is a great workforce there and strong capability, and I would not envisage moving," he said.

It comes as Oxford Instruments' profits slumped from £41.1m to £35.6m in the year ending March 31 - blamed on "headwinds in Japan and Russia, and weaker trading than expected in industrial analysis".

Mr Flint said Andor's products "fit very well" into the new parent company's portfolio.

"It's doing very well indeed - we are delighted with the contribution it has made," he said. "It's done better under Oxford than as a standalone - there is better distribution around the world, and it's benefited from that."

Andor is a home-grown success story, and now employs around 230 staff at Springvale Business Park, making hi-tech cameras for government and academia.

And it's also recently been involved in the fight against Ebola, with its software used to help model the deadly virus in 3D for analysis.

Oxford Instruments saw its orders across Europe grow by almost 10%.

It said that was "supported by a strong contribution from Andor Technology".

A total of 13 of the jobs lost in Belfast were compulsory, and five voluntary.

Oxford Instruments did close down a small Andor office in Tokyo, but said no jobs were lost.

And Mr Flint said there were "no planned" job cuts at Andor.

Meanwhile, revenue at Oxford Instruments increased in the year ending March 31, rising to £385.5m from £360.1m.

"It was quite a challenging year with a few headwinds including sales to Russia and a slower than expected recovery in Japan," Mr Flint said. "Russia and Japan was why they (profits) went backwards but steps will put that right."

And after a difficult year financially, Mr Flint said he "would expect profits to grow again" at Oxford Instruments.

English firm Oxford Instruments plc - which produces high-end technology for academia and research - took over Belfast-based Andor Technology in January 2014. Oxford Instruments saw its pre-tax profits fall by around £5m in the period ending March 31 this year, due to trading difficulties with Russia and a slower recovery in Japan. But its sales in Europe grew by 9.6% - something the company attributed in part to a "strong contribution" from Andor. Oxford Instruments' boss Jonathan Flint said no further jobs will go at Andor.

Belfast Telegraph