Belfast Telegraph

Flotation ruled out as Almac profits up by 30%

By Clare Weir

Craigavon pharma firm Almac has said it has no plans to float on the stock market as it announced a 30% rise in pre-tax profits.

The company recorded pre-tax profits of £19.2m in 2013 and also saw turnover increase, up by 8% from £300m to £325m.

Almac, which specialises in medical products and cancer diagnostics, was formed in 2002 by Sir Allen McClay, from Galen Holdings, which he founded in 1968.

Sir Allen died in 2010 and the firm is now owned by the McClay Foundation – and a spokeswoman for Almac said there were no plans to change the ownership structure.

With speculation that other top companies in Northern Ireland, such as Moy Park, may float on the stock market, she said Almac would not follow suit.

And unlike UK pharma firm AstraZeneca, which has rebuffed takeover advances by US giant Pfizer, she said Almac had not received any offers.

Almac employs around 3,400 globally, with over 2,000 based at its Craigavon headquarters.

The company has a major US operation in Pennsylvania and recently opened regional hubs in Singapore and Japan to help service increasing demand in the Asian market.

Alan Armstrong, chief executive of Almac, said that 2013 was an exciting year for the company.

"We had a major jobs boost in Craigavon as we completed a non-GMP drug development facility and expanded our manufacturing capabilities," he said.

"We announced a £13m investment in cancer research projects with Queen's University and signed a $9m (£5.36m) deal with Genomic Health, securing the rights to further develop and commericalise our breast cancer test.

"We have continued to invest in research and development and capital programmes and this year is set to be another interesting one both at our headquarters in Craigavon and globally, following the opening of our new offices in Asia, and looking ahead to the launch of our new facility in Singapore early next year."

Meanwhile, UK firm AstraZeneca saw up to £1.5bn wiped off its share price after rival US firm Pfizer formally ended its proposed £69bn takeover bid.

It meant the market value of the firm was £16bn less than what Pfizer had been prepared to pay.

Pfizer pulled out just before a 28-day takeover time frame expired at 5pm yesterday.

Belfast Telegraph