Randox Laboratories posts pre-tax losses of £10.8m

Diagnostics healthcare group has grown turnover to £85.4m despite ‘exceptional losses’

The Randox group is one of the North’s top exporters and much of its success has been built around the company’s proprietary biochip array technology which enables multiple diagnostic tests to be carried out simultaneously.

The Randox group is one of the North’s top exporters and much of its success has been built around the company’s proprietary biochip array technology which enables multiple diagnostic tests to be carried out simultaneously.

 

Randox Laboratories, which is part of the Antrim-headquartered diagnostics healthcare group, has disclosed significant pre-tax losses of more than £10.8 million (€12 million) in its latest annual report.

The company said it had “incurred exceptional losses” during the 12 months to December 2017, but that it remained “cash-generative and was forecast to remain cash-positive”.

The latest accounts show Randox Laboratories grew its turnover last year by nearly £4 million to a record £85.4 million.

But it also reversed a previously unbroken profits run by declaring losses of £10.8 million for the 12 months to December, which was in contrast to its pre-tax profit for 2016 of £8.1 million.

According to the accounts, the privately owned company had net assets at the year end of £47.7 million.

Biochip array

The Randox group is one of the North’s top exporters and much of its success has been built around the company’s proprietary biochip array technology, which enables multiple diagnostic tests to be carried out simultaneously.

Randox estimates in the 2017 report that around 100,000 laboratories or 20 per cent of the “world’s total” use its products.

The Antrim company also provides workplace drug and alcohol testing to a wide range of industries, while its Randox Testing Services (RTS) division also provides forensic toxicology services to police forces.

Last year RTS got caught up in an investigation by the UK’s National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) which discovered that “data manipulation” by people who had previously worked at RTS could have impacted more than 10,000 cases across 42 police force areas.

Original whistleblower

RTS, which said it was the original whistleblower who reported the “forensic manipulation” to the police in the first instance, is supporting the ongoing police investigation and both co-ordinating and incurring the costs of retesting all affected samples.

In the 2017 accounts, Randox Laboratories details that a provision of more than £2.5 million has been made to cover future costs related to retesting as part of an exceptional provisions of £19.8 million to “group undertakings and related party debtors”.

But it has also warned that if the number of tests or cost of the tests increase, the bill could potentially increase by a further £525,000.

Because of the losses incurred during 2017 Randox Laboratories states in the latest set of accounts that it is in “default” of its current loan facilities with Danske Bank, but it has received a “covenant waiver” from Danske that its facilities will be maintained on “acceptable terms”.