The UK’s superconducting magnet company, Oxford Instruments Plc, has reported pre-tax profits for the year to March 31 down 18% to UKP12.8m, while turnover has increased by 5% to UKP108.5m. The company says that the past year has been a difficult one, and along with everyone else, Oxford’s tale of woes includes the recession, the […]
The UK’s superconducting magnet company, Oxford Instruments Plc, has reported pre-tax profits for the year to March 31 down 18% to UKP12.8m, while turnover has increased by 5% to UKP108.5m. The company says that the past year has been a difficult one, and along with everyone else, Oxford’s tale of woes includes the recession, the strength of sterling, turmoil in East Europe and the Soviet Union and the Gulf War. The second half showed profit before before exceptional items of UKP6.7m, resulting in pre-tax profits for the full year of UKP12.1m after restructuring costs of UKP0.7m. The Scientific Research business is said to have had an excellent year, although profits were only maintained at last year’s level. Demand for high-resolution magnets has remained high, and Oxford Superconducting Technology in New Jersey made a significant contribution to group profits, selected as one of seven international suppliers of superconducting wire to the US government’s supercollider programme. The Analytical Systems businesses, formed by the merger of the Link Scientific Group and Oxford Analytical Instruments, had a mixed year with demand growing by 10% while profits are said to have been disappointing. Consequently, Oxford has introduced a new manufacturing control system, reduced overheads and rationalised manufacturing facilities at Oakbridge, Tennessee. The Link Scientific Group contributed to profits, but Oxford says it was inadequate and it is looking for substantial improvements in the coming year. As regards synchrotron technology, delivery and installation at IBM’s Fishkill facility is complete and an electron beam stored. The company says that several semiconductor manufacturers continue to express interest, and while not commenting on orders, a second synchrotron is being manufactured. The operations of Plasma Technology and Ion Beam Systems have been merged, and although this has resulted in a lower cost base, the disruption caused by the merger affected UK manufacturing and overseas distribution. Costs have been cut and Oxford anticipates a return to profit this year. Manufacturing of patient monitoring products have been concentrated at Abingdon, and that division made a good contribution to profit. Also, the recently-acquired Microtronics Inc in Gainesville, Florida has strengthened the company’s neurophysiology activities, and the division met its targets. The Magnetic Resonance Imaging joint venture with Siemens, Oxford Magnet Technology, enjoyed an exceptionally successful year, contributing over UKP3.5m to pre-tax profits. Oxford Instruments continues to spend a significant amount on research and development, up to UKP8m from last year’s UKP6.8m.