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Low costs put Sepha ahead in pharma exports

An east Belfast manufacturing company has claimed a 33% sales increase last year.

Sepha, based in Dundonald, manufactures leak testing, deblistering and blister packing machines for the pharmaceutical industry.

New figures revealed by the company yesterday showed sales increased from £1.9m to £2.5m over the last financial year. Much of the growth has come from export markets in regions such as India, Asia and South America.

Sepha chief executive Aubrey Sayers said he attributed the success to the company's ability to deliver quality machinery at a lower cost.

Mr Sayers said: “Markets such as India and China offer a lower manufacturing cost base for western pharma companies, but when it comes to pharmaceuticals, the emphasis must still be on production quality. Sepha's machines offer an automated way of checking the quality of drug packaging which further saves on production costs.”

Sepha has been designing and building machines in Northern Ireland since 1980 and currently employs 20 people.

In 2005 it was subject to an equity-backed buy-out led by the local fund management firm, Enterprise Equity.

Sepha opened new premises at Carrowreagh Business Park in Dundonald last year.

Products include ‘press outs' which allow drugs to be easily removed from blister packs in a process known as 'de-blistering'. The drugs can then be re-blistered into convenient 'patient packs'.

Sepha also specialises in non-destructive inspection equipment for inspecting the seals of pharmaceutical and medical device blister packs.

Belfast Telegraph