Superconducting magnet company Oxford Instruments Plc has reported pre-tax profits down 29% at UKP9m on revenues down 5% at UKP103m for the year to March 29. Results last time include UKP717,000 costs associated with the relocation of businesses. The performance in the second half of 1992 reflected that of the first six months, pre-tax profits […]
Superconducting magnet company Oxford Instruments Plc has reported pre-tax profits down 29% at UKP9m on revenues down 5% at UKP103m for the year to March 29. Results last time include UKP717,000 costs associated with the relocation of businesses. The performance in the second half of 1992 reflected that of the first six months, pre-tax profits pretty much flat at UKP4.4m. The reduced sales are attributed to falling demand as a result of that old toad the recession. New orders received dropped 17% to UKP95m, though chairman and chief executive Peter Williams notes that demand now seems to be stabilising. Oxford’s traditional Research Instruments activity, the Nuclear Measurement Group in Tennessee, and Semiconductor Processing businesses all contributed losses for the year, while the magnetic resonance imaging joint venture with Siemens AG, Oxford Magnet Technology Ltd, continued an outstanding performance. The venture won a Queen’s Award for export achievement during the year, having picked up the same award for technological achivement the previous year. Demand for superconducting wire for magnetic resonance imaging also contributed to a strong performance at Oxford’s Superconducting Technology activity in New Jersey. Micro Analysis Group, Industrial Analysis Group, Medical Systems and NMR Instruments also made good contribution to profits, against a backdrop of reduced margins and scanty order books. As reported at the interim stage, the synchrotron chip-etching machine is now in place at IBM Corp’s new facility in East Fishkill, New York. Since then, commissioning has been completed with IBM formally accepting the installation. Oxford employees continue to operate the machine under contract. Although the UK firm is preparing a second synchotron, the recession has kept customer interest at a superficial level. Group research and development spend was maintained at UKP8m, with new products released in all businesses and significant progress made towards the development of a 750MHz NMR magnet. Oxford Instruments is collaborating with ICI Plc and Oxford University on a UK government Link scheme to apply the new NMR systems, when ready, to problems in biomedical and pharmaceutical research. The company is currently working to set up a worldwide distribution network and, to that end, has recently established Oxford Instruments KK in Japan. Elsewhere, Oxford Instruments is developing new applications for its core activity in superconductivity and has secured further orders worth UKP3.1m for the new accelerator facility at Newport News, Virginia.