Belfast Telegraph

Pre-tax losses of £16k recorded by Co Antrim blood product firm

By Margaret Canning

A blood products company in Co Antrim has announced a pre-tax loss of £16,000 - down from profits of £1.7m a year before.

Terumo BCT in Larne, which employs 274 people, had turnover of £24.5m - down from £27.2m a year before.

Gross profit was £2.7m and operating profit £348,716 at the firm, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Terumo Corporation in Japan.

However, one "innovative" group product that was to have been made in Larne - and for which specific plant and machinery had been purchased - had been withdrawn from the market.

That had resulted in a one-off impairment in relevant tangible fixed assets of £922,654.

The company's main work is in manufacture and distribution of sterile solutions with a corporate motto of "unlocking the potential of blood".

A strategic report filed with the company's accounts for the year ending March 31, 2015 said Terumo BCT had invested in integrating with its group company and was working on disposable blood collection sets.

It said it had completed the research and development necessary in order to make components itself which had previously been manufactured by third parties. There had been a spend of £421,595 on R&D.

The company added: "This major investment, which includes ongoing support from Invest NI, will ultimately facilitate the manufacturing demand growth in the disposable market."

The company sells to the USA, the UK and the remainder of Europe, with the bulk of sales to the US at nearly £16.8m. There were £4m in sales to the UK and £3.6m to the rest of Europe.

Staff numbers had fallen slightly from 279 to 274, with a fall in production staff of 11, though administrative staff had grown.

The workforce was paid a total of £6.9m, while directors were paid £161,862.

The company announced plans to create 416 jobs in Larne two years ago, with the support of £2m from Invest NI's Jobs Fund.

At the time, the company's Troy Deppey also announced a £2m R&D project, with £500,000 of support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Speaking at the time, then-Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: "Terumo BCT is a pioneer in the development of blood processing technologies so the new jobs and R&D commitment will reinforce the strength and capability of our life sciences and healthcare sector globally."

Terumo employs more than 5,300 people around the world, including 2,000 in the US. Terumo BCT is headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado.

Belfast Telegraph