Norbrook poised to restructure after death of Lord Ballyedmond
The family of the late Norbrook founder Lord Ballyedmond has vowed the pharmaceuticals firm will remain independent and stick to its Newry roots.
Lord Ballyedmond, commonly known as Eddie Haughey, died with his foreman Declan Small and pilots Carl Dickerson and Captain Lee Hoyle in a helicopter crash on March 14.
His widow, a solicitor by training, said in a statement yesterday: "It is our intention that Norbrook will remain under the control of the family as an independent company within the veterinary pharmaceutical industry.
"It is also our intention that the company's headquarters and its main research and development and manufacturing operations will continue to be in Newry."
The worldwide group of Norbrook pharmaceutical companies reported pre-tax profits of £20.7m in its latest accounts.
The company, which was founded in 1969, said Lady Ballyedmond had been appointed deputy chair of the board, joined by her sons James and Edward and long-serving board members Martin Murdock and Sir Roy McNulty.
Sir Roy, a former chairman of Shorts, has also been appointed the new chairman of the company.
The industrialist said: "I am honoured to have been appointed as chairman of Norbrook.
"The company has every prospect of a very bright future through building on the strong foundations laid by Lord Ballyedmond over the past 45 years.
"There are many exciting opportunities ahead of Norbrook, and it will be our aim to continue on the path of profitable, innovation-led growth, which the company has followed since its inception."
The firm also said it would be recruiting a chief executive, director of global sales and marketing and new non-executive directors over the next few years.
The Newry-based business, which was led by Lord Ballyedmond until his death, recorded group turnover of £202m, up £10m on the previous year, in the year to August 2013.
Pre-tax profits were up slightly from 2012's figure of £20.47m.
Norbrook Holdings includes Newry manufacturing company Norbrook Laboratories and 20 other subsidiaries around the world in countries including Australia, New Zealand and Brazil.
Separate results for Newry-based Norbrook Laboratories, also for the year to August 2013, revealed pre-tax profits of just under £14m, down from £16m.
However, turnover was up from £181m to £188m.
The company employs 2,300 people worldwide, including 1,800 staff at its three manufacturing sites in Newry.
The company said that until a chief executive was found, it will be managed by a committee chaired by Dr Lilian Cromie.
The other management committee members are Martin Murdock, Derek Rodgers, Lady Ballyedmond and her two sons James Haughey and Edward Haughey.