Food intolerance gives Omega a healthy boost

OMEGA Diagnostics, the Alva-based medical testing equipment maker, yesterday revealed it is on course to post profits at the "upper end of market expectations" and said there could be further acquisitions in the year ahead.

The Aim-listed outfit said revenues in the year to 31 March were expected to have risen by 14 per cent to 6.2 million, boosted by sales of its food intolerance testing kits.

City analysts had pencilled in pre-tax profits of 800,000, compared with 500,000 last year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Omega, which is due to report its full-year results in July, said: "The outlook for the new financial year is encouraging and we continue to review promising opportunities, both organic and acquisitive."

In September, Omega raised 1m to fund the takeover of Devon-based Co-Tek, which makes diagnostic tests for bacterial diseases, including typhoid.

The Scots firm has grown through a mixture of both organic and acquisitive activity.

Sales of the company's Food Detective kits rocketed from 13,392 units to 34,241, with revenue from the kits more than doubling from 310,000 to 790,000.

Food intolerance tests in general – including laboratory-based assay systems – jumped by 31 per cent to 2.96m, buoyed by the success of the Genarrayt product.

In the other divisions, revenue from auto-immune disease testing kits rose by 10 per cent to 660,000, while sales of infectious disease diagnostic equipment slipped by 2 per cent to 1.79m.

But the company said problems with a non-contact printing system for slides to go into its Genarrayt product could "marginally" increase costs.

In December, Omega admitted it was having "technical issues" with the non-contact printing method and yesterday revealed that its supplier had been unable to resolve these issues to the firm's "satisfaction" and so the company would stick with contact printing "for the immediate future".

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It added: "We have taken steps to increase manufacturing capacity with this proven method and are confident that future anticipated growth of Genarrayt products will be unaffected, though there may be a marginal increase in certain direct costs due to the lower yields experienced with this method."