Medical test kits company eyes new markets

PUSHING AHEAD ...   IDS at Boldon Business Park.
PUSHING AHEAD ... IDS at Boldon Business Park.

THE future looks brighter for a South Tyneside medical testing kit company, which is set to push ahead into new markets.

Moves by Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDS) to secure new customers in different parts of the world have helped stabilise the company, which has experienced difficulties during the past 18 months.

IDS, based in Didcot Way, Boldon Business Park, a life sciences company that develops vitamin D test kits for clinical research, recently saw revenues fall from £53.7m in 2012 to £49.8m.

But company chief executive Patrik Dahlen said diversification will help steady the business and safeguard jobs in the future.

The changes could include newer automated tests and securing new markets in Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Final end of year results for 2012/13 revealed IDS’s automated testing revenues increased by 23.7 per cent to £18.5m, with manual testing decreasing by 25.1 per cent to £25.3m.

But although pre-tax profits fell by 21 per cent to £9.8m from £12.4m, the decrease was at predicted levels, while cash generation from operations stood at £21.4m.

IDS plans to pay shareholders a dividend of 3p, up from 2.75p in 2012.

Mr Dahlen said: “While we are looking to strengthen in western European and US markets, our main focus is on developing in the new markets.

“A month and a half ago we announced the deal with Leadman, who are going to distribute our technology in China and develop 50 assays on our automated platform.

“If they meet our standards then we can exclusively distribute them.

“Also in about a year, we hope to have approval from the Chinese equivalent of the FDA to use our tests, and Leadman then have a contract for 300 of our systems over three years.”

Mr Dahlen added that hopes are high for growth in the new markets and IDS aims to increase sales staff and its marketing team as part of company diversification.

Twitter @terrykelly16