Unified healthcare specialists boost their sales and profits

Pictured in December announcing that Eakin Healthcare Group is expanding into a new therapeutic area with the acquisition of Coleraine based Armstrong Medical is its managing director Jeremy Eakin (left) with Armstrong Medical chairman John Armstrong
Gary McDonald Business Editor

CO Down medical devices company TG Eakin and the north coast rival it bought late last year have both filed accounts showing healthy increases in sales and profitability.

Comber-based Eakin, which supplies ostomy and wound care products around the world, acquired Coleraine device manufacturer Armstrong Medical.

Documents filed at Companies House show that in the year to the end of March 2020, Eakin's sales rose by around £1 million to £34.6m, and its retained profit came in at just shy of £13m.

In its last full trading year Armstrong, which manufactures a range of respiratory product, saw its revenues rise by 33 per cent to £18.8m while pre-tax profits soared by 89 per cent from £2.6m to £4.3m.

The unification of the two companies creates a powerful global player in healthcare, with both having a significant focus on export.

Indeed of Eakin's turnover, just over 7 per cent (about £2.6m) is sold within the UK, with £15.3m of sales in Europe and £16.7m in the rest of the world.

For Armstrong, more than half its output (nearly 11m) goes to territories outside the UK.

At the time of the acquisition in December Eakin - which had 85 staff on its books in 2020 and a wages bill of £3.5m (an average salary of £41,000) - said the move represented a major diversification, marking its entry into a new therapeutic area.

Armstrong has a staff of 173, to whom it paid £6,317,064 last year, or an average salary of £36,500.

Tom Eakin founded the the Eakin Healthcare Group in 1974 after encountering patients experiencing problems with disposable ostomy pouches. He went on to design a manufacture his own seal and along with his sons Paul and Jeremy, went on to market their products worldwide.

The company, which exports to more than 30 countries through a network of 40 distributors, is today run by his two sons Jeremy (53) and Paul (58), who have previously featured in the Sunday Times Rich List with a wealth of £300 million.

John Armstrong originally set up his firm in 1984 after recognising a need to develop critical care products, particularly for patients suffering from lung injuries due to the impact of bomb blasts.

It went on to develop a range of acute respiratory care products for critical, perioperative and neonatal care, exporting to more than 60 markets.

Last year it completed a 26,000 sq ft extension to its warehouse and manufacturing facilities at its main site at Wattstown business park in Coleraine.

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