NI pharma group Almac reports record turnover of £530m

Group reported pretax profits were up 22% to £33m from £27m in 2016

Arlene Foster and Almac group chief executive Alan Armstrong in 2014. Photograph: William Cherry/Presseye

Pharma group Almac, which has its headquarters in Craigavon, Co Armagh, has reported annual turnover of more than £500 million for the first time in its 16-year history.

Almac’s latest annual report for the 12 months ending September 2017 shows the group achieved a record turnover of £531 million, up 19 per cent year on year.

The group, which has operations in Ireland, Britain, Asia and America, reported that pretax profits were up 22 per cent to £33 million from £27 million in 2016.

Almac said profits had been boosted by “upfront and other payments relating to the outlicensing of oncology products, which had been developed in house by the group”.


Almac was established in 2002 by Allen McClay when he invested about £240 million to acquire four businesses from Galen Holdings, which he had originally founded in 1968.

Mr McClay died in 2010 but the McClay Foundation remains the controlling shareholder in the Almac Group.

‘Strong year’

According to the group's chief executive Alan Armstrong, 2017 was a "strong year" for the global organisation.

“During the year we made significant investment for the long-term benefit of the group including global expansion into key strategic territories. The financial benefit of these investments may not be realised immediately. However, they will ensure steady and continued growth of the group into the future.

“All our profits are reinvested into the business, enabling us to offer best-in-class services and products to our clients and continue to be a leader in the life-sciences sector,” Mr Armstrong said.

The latest annual report shows a jump in Almac’s total employee figures, which increased to 4,407 – of which 2,920 are based at Craigavon, where employment increased by 10 per cent in 2017.

The group invested last year in expansion at its campus in Craigavon and its European campus in Dundalk, established in 2017 to address any potential Brexit-related challenges.

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business