MEDICAL test firm Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings is on the look-out for suitable acquisitions as it bids to boost the number of tests available on its inautomated system.
IDS launched the IDS-iSYS machine to offer effective and speedy testing for clinical and research customers, and has expanded its range of tests from one to nine.
However, the Boldon-based firm aims to boost the number of assays it can provide in the next few years, and is interested in making company acquisitions to expand its portfolio of tests.
The company hopes to add another 12 assays in the next two years.
CEO Ian Cookson said: “I can’t say where they will be, but that’s our strategy going forward.”
IDS currently provides testing kits for hypertension, bone testing and growth disorders, and is one of the major testers for Vitamin D in the world. It also has tests for diabetes on the horizon, but these will not emerge for several years.
It expects sales of £58.6m in 2012, increasing to £68.3m in 2013 and £75.8m in 2014, and plans to increase its North East workforce by around 50 in this time.
While it offers manual kits for the medical sector, its move into the automated market has allowed it to expand the number of clients it can deal with, and increase its profits accordingly.
However, its manual Vitamin D test still represents 55.5% of turnover compared to 59.2% last year.
Cookson said: “In the past five to ten years, low levels of Vitamin D have been linked to conditions such as breast cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
“The market has been growing by 78% per year for the last four years, although it’s slowed a little to around 50% this year. There are more competitors now, but we still expect to grow our market share due to our expansion into the automated market.”
According to figures for the year to the end of March, annual sales were up 35% to £50.2m, while pre-tax profit jumped 51% to £16.6m. Its revenues from the automated IDS-iSYS system nearly quadrupled year-on-year to £10.4m, and 241 machines had been installed by the end of the year.
The British marketplace provides around 5% of the company’s revenues, whereas the USA accounts for about 45%. IDS has received clearance to sell two more kits on the US market, bringing the number of products on sale in the country to five. The two tests are for bone issues and growth hormone problems. Revenues in the US were up 56% in the financial year.
IDS’ performance has seen the company increase its dividend for the year from 2p to 2.5p, and brought its staff up to 294 with 50 hirings in its Belgian manufacturing centre and in its sales workforce in the USA.