Expansion at Swords Laboratories


The Irish subsidiary of the US pharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers Squibb is expanding its Dublin-based operation in a move which will create more than 100 new jobs.

Swords Laboratories, which currently employs 285 people, is developing a new project on its 17-acre site in Swords. By July 35 new employees will be recruited, with up to 100 additional jobs expected to be created within 12 months.

By this time next year, more than 400 people are expected to be employed at the plant which manufactures bulk chemicals. Swords Laboratories is the biochemical arm of the US group. In addition to a sophisticated manufacturing plant the operation includes a research and development facility aimed at developing efficient manufacturing processes.

Well over £100 million has been invested in developing the operations. The Swords plant was started in 1964 and is one of the longest established bulk pharmaceutical manufacturers in Ireland. The company has expanded rapidly in the last two years and further gradual development is planned.

Bristol Myers Squibb is a publicly quoted US group which produces and distributes pharmaceuticals, consumer medicines, nutritional, medical devices and beauty care products.

The group, which has 53,600 employees, reported net sales of $16.7 billion for 1997, up 11 per cent and a 12 per cent increase in net profits to $3.2 billion.

Results released last week for the three months to end March show net sales of $4.4 billion and a 14 per cent rise in net earnings to $927 million.

Swords Laboratories is part of the buoyant Irish pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing sector. A number of expansions and reinvestment plans have been announced in recent months.

These include the £35 million 100-job new Warner Lambert tableting plant in Ringaskiddy, a £135 million expansion at Merck Sharp and Dohme which is expected to create over more than 50 new jobs and Wyeth Medica's £45 million investment at its Newbridge plant which is expected to lead to 300 new jobs.

In Swords, Organon Ireland is investing £20 million in its pharmaceutical plant and adding 170 new jobs.