A Tayside life sciences firm has seen profits soar by more than 50% as it responded to increased volume demands.
Dundee-based Axis-Shield Diagnostics specialise in products which diagnose and manage treatment for critical illnesses including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, sepsis, vitamin deficiencies and diabetes.
The company, which has a facility at The Technology Park, has been working on a number of Covid-19 related products since the beginning of the pandemic.
Turnover at the firm rose by 26% from £24 million in 2018, to £30.2m for the year ending December 31, 2019.
Pre-tax profits leapt from £8.2m in 2018, to £12.8m last year, an increase of 55%.
The firm said it had introduced lean manufacturing processes to assist with waste and cost reductions.
With 96% of the company’s revenues designated in US dollars, the weakening of the pound has favourably impacted the profit and loss account at the company.
Commenting in the newly filed company accounts, director Duncan Robbie, said the firm’s parent company, Abbott Laboratories’ diversified healthcare products divisions had been impacted in various ways by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “Some businesses faced challenges, others have been relatively stable and still others are performing at the levels required to successfully meet new customer demands.
“The Abbott Group is continually implementing business continuity plans in the face of the global crisis.
“The group has mobilised its teams across multiple fronts to develop and launch new diagnostic tests for Covid-19.”
He said the group had launched a molecular teste on its m2000 RealTime lab-based platform to detect Covid-19 after received a CE Mark, while in April the group launched a serology blood test on its ARCHITECT i1000SR and i2000SR laboratory instruments for the detection of an antibody to determine if an individual had previously been infected.
The serology test was granted a CE Mark in April.
Mr Robbie added that due to the critical nature of the group’s products and services it is generally exempt from government directives to restrict or cease operations, while the majority of office based work is being conducted remotely to protect staff.
Europe provided the largest share of the firm’s turnover at £23.7m, followed by North America which generated £3.7m and the rest of the world delivered £2.5m, while income from the UK amounted to £185,000.
The average number of employees at the firm was 155, a fall of 15 against the previous year.
One person was employed in sales and marketing, 21 in research and development, 78 in production roles and 15 employed in administrative positions.
The reduction in staff numbers brought redundancy costs of £268,000, while staffing and associated costs came to £4.6m.
Investment into research and development at the firm fell slightly from £1.2m in 2018, to £1.19 last year.
The firm’s immediate controlling party is UK incorporated Axis-Shield Limited.
The ultimate parent company is US-based Abbott Laboratories.