Belfast Telegraph

Brexit unease cited as Andor hit by slump in revenues and profits

A camera from Andor Technology
A camera from Andor Technology
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

A Belfast specialist camera maker has sounded concerns over Brexit and the fall in the value of sterling after recording a year of declining revenues and profits.

Andor Technology, which is based at Springvale Business Park, reported an 8% (£5.6m) drop in revenue to £63.6m for the 12 months to March 31, 2018.

New accounts for the firm also show pre-tax profits dropped 24% (£3m) to £9.6m for the same period.

The company, which employed 282 people during 2017/18, manufactures high performance scientific imaging cameras, spectroscopy solutions and microscopy systems for research and other manufacturers.

Now part of Oxford Instruments plc, the latest annual report from Andor Technology Ltd said its continuing success depends on the ability to innovate with new products.

Over the year the firm invested £5.5m in research and development, slightly down on the £5.8m of the previous year.

But it has cited major risks ahead posed by the UK's withdrawal from the European Union and the exposure to the value of currency.

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Just over 90% of Andor's revenue came from customers outside the UK.

Revenue from customers in the Americas dropped from £27.9m to £22.1m, with revenue from the Asia and Pacific region dropping from £23.4m to £21.3m.

The only revenue growths in the reported period were recorded inside the UK, which rose to £5.8m, and in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which increased from £13m to £14.4m.

The tech firm has also said that a reduction in Government funding could impact the business.

Andor received £787,000 in the last financial year, compared with £854,000 the previous year.

Its strategic report revealed such funding could be vulnerable post-Brexit.

The firm said lower participation in EU-funded research and a potential short-term hiatus in UK research funding were at risk by leaving the bloc.

It also listed concerns over barriers emerging to the free movement of goods, tariffs on exports to EU countries and vice-versa. The report also said the UK could become less attractive to EU nationals.

Andor's workforce was slightly reduced from 287 in 2016/17 to 282 in 2017/18. Staff numbers were cut in its production and sale and marketing divisions.

However, it increased research and development staff from 87 to 90. The reduced numbers were reflected in annual staff costs, which dropped from £15.4m to £14.9m over the year.

A total of £899,000 was paid out to the firm's directors, with one director paid £321,064. Some of the directors were paid from another company within the group.

Andor emerged out of the work by Dr Hugh Cormican, Dr Donal Denvir and Mike Pringle during their time at Queen's University during the mid-1980s.

They established the company in 1989, specialising in products that enabled its customers to perform light measurements previously considered impossible.

The firm, which became a plc in 2004, was acquired by Oxford Instruments for £176m in 2013, and remains a subsidiary of the UK group.

Belfast Telegraph