Belfast Telegraph

Packaging profits hit by Europe's spending policies

By Margaret Canning

Londonderry company Bemis Healthcare Packaging, which makes packaging for medical and pharmaceutical products, has announced a 25% fall in profits from £8.3m to £5.9m for 2014.

However, sales rose from £41.4m to £44.3m in the year to the end of December 2014.

The company - owned by US firm Bemis - employs 267 people in Derry, and was formerly known as Perfecseal.

According to a strategic report, the directors felt the results for the year, as well as the company's present position, were "satisfactory".

The report said: "The directors have plans in place to ensure that the company is strongly placed to retain its market position and continued profitability.

"Since the year end, the performance to date has been encouraging."

The company focuses on the manufacture of sterile barrier systems for medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

The report said that its performance was affected "mainly by healthcare spend policies adopted by national governments across Europe".

And the company's operations were exposed to risk from foreign exchange fluctuations, mainly due to sales in euro.

It also faced commodity price risks, but said the cost of managing such risks was greater than any benefits it would get.

Its 267 staff received a total of £7m, including pension costs, with wages and salaries of £6.38m. That left an average salary of £23,895.

Bemis opened a new £18m facility in Campsie in September 2006.

Parent company Bemis is based in Minneapolis and is a major supplier of packaging and materials for food, consumer products and other sectors. It is also a S&P 500 company.

Belfast Telegraph