Norbrook still going strong despite owner's tragic copter death

Norbrook in Newry

In its first trading year since the tragic death of its founder and leader, Newry animal health pharma firm Norbrook is still making money.

The billion-pound company, which has undergone a complete re-organisation of its boardroom and senior management team, said it has enjoyed a solid performance across all core business activities and geographies in the year to last August.

Turnover has increased cumulatively in the last two years by 4 per cent, underlying volumes increased on 2013 and profit before tax in line with expectations.

Norbrook, founded in 1969 by the late Edward Haughey (later Lord Ballyedmond) has made a number of senior appointments in recent months, including Liam Nagle as chief executive, Richard Palmer as global head of sales and marketing, and Denise Collins as HR director.

The reinforced senior team is working closely with the board of directors to continue to build on the strong foundations laid by the late Lord Ballyedmond, who perished alongside three others in a helicopter crash in Norfolk in March last year.

Apart from continuing to capitalise in 2015 on strong growth of existing products across key markets in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, Norbrook says it anticipates further growth in its key markets, particularly in the US. This will be driven by a number of new product launches in the second half of the year.

Turnover decreased by just under 2 per cent on the previous year, following an increase of 5.7 per cent in the 2013 financial year. Exchange rate movements impacted turnover in the 2014 financial year, which contributed to revenue declining from £202.5m reported in 2013 to £198.8m in 2014.

Underlying volumes increased on the 2013 performance, and the average number of people employed by Norbrook increased to 2,045.

New chief executive Liam Nagle said: “The board and senior management team are pleased with these results which were in line with our expectations.

"Norbrook is well positioned to capitalise on a number of exciting commercial opportunities in local, national and international markets, and we have a number of further product launches planned later in the year.

“We are confident that the strategy being implemented will support the continued growth in revenue and earnings that has been demonstrated over the past five years."

He added: "Norbrook has a strong pipeline of new products under development and the directors are confident that this, along with additional planned investment, will continue the positive momentum of the business.”

Norbrook, which has a presence in 115 countries, is one of only a few companies in the world who are licensed by the United States Food & Drugs Administration (USFDA) to manufacture sterile injections for veterinary use and import them for sale within the USA.

Last week Lady Mary Ballyedmond and family topped the Northern Ireland rich list with an eye-popping fortune of £1.4 billion, according to The Sunday Times.

She is currently deputy chairman while sons James and Edward are also directors - and the Ballyedmond family own all of the company, which alone is worth £1 billion.

The family's extensive property, art and land holdings add a further £400m to their fortune, making them easily the wealthiest people in the north.


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