EKF results show profitability

South Wales, 17 September 2013

EKF Diagnostics, the medical test producer, has been tipped to make its first full-year pre-tax profit after a 52 per cent jump in earnings in the first half of 2013.

The Penarth-based company, which operates globally, hopes to win more work in Wales if a proof of concept trial with the Wales Cancer Bank proves successful.

EKF made EBITDA (adjusted earnings) of £2.1m in the six months to June, up from £1.4m a year earlier. Pre-tax profits rose by 26 per cent to £191,000 on revenue which grew by 17.7 per cent to £14.9m.

The company will make a full-year pre-tax profit of £1.1m in 2013, compared to a £200,000 loss in 2012, according to a forecast by Canaccord Genuity, the broker. It predicts full year revenues will be close to £34m.

Chief executive Julian Baines told Insider that EKF was growing "as fast as any diagnostics business in Europe". He said: “This is a really good diagnostics business. It’s generating cash, growing and getting stronger.”

The company expects a bigger contribution from its Quo-Lab haemoglobin analysers in the second half of 2013, and is looking for acquisition targets.

After acquiring 360 Genomics, a company that develops technologies for cancer tests, EKF set up a molecular diagnostics business.

It is working with the Wales Cancer Bank, the research organisation which collects blood and tissue samples, on a trial of a biopsy test using blood. The results of the trial are expected this year, and could result in a medical and scientific centre being set up in South Wales.