Tech firm’s NETPark site remains key to big contracts

A TECHNOLOGY firm’s County Durham site remains key to helping the business move forward.

As Filtronic, which designs and makes electronic products, prepares to start work on two major new contracts chief executive Rob Smith said its site at NETPark, in Sedgefield, is hugely important.

Mr Smith said: “Some of our biggest contracts can only be done from that site.”

He said the site was important for low volume, high value products so had recently increased its workforce from 65 to 70 with a few senior engineer positions still open.

“We are still recruiting and investing in the site going forward, it remains absolutely key to us,” he said.

According to the company’s latest financial results for the 12 months ending May 31, 2018, which were released yesterday, sales revenue dropped from £35.4m in 2017 to £24m in 2018 and the basic earnings per share fell from £1.51 to 59p.

But Mr Smith said profitability was maintained and the numbers reflect the company coming to the end of some significant contracts, which had been well known with shareholders, and in the last two weeks share prices have gone up 40 per cent.

Having just secured a major contract to design and supply antennas for 5G systems and a three year deal, worth £4.8m, with a defence customer Filtronic is set to grow.

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The North East Technology Park provides a dynamic and supportive environment to accelerate the growth of ambitious, innovative, high tech companies into global markets. NETPark encourages collaborative multidisciplinary links, driving innovation, enterprise and economic prosperity.
We provide companies with access to a focused and international community where talent flourishes, ideas are generated and businesses have the support and resources to compete with the best in the world.

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Sedgefield, County Durham TS21 3FD

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The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.

Dr Arnab Basu, - CEO, Kromek

It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.

Stuart Wilson, - CEO, Ascarii

Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.

Steve Clements, - Managing Director, aXenic

CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.

Dr Jon Helliwell, - Director of Printable Electronics, CPI

The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.

Dr Neil Loxley, - Chief executive, IBEX

We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.

Ken Williamson, - COO, PragmatIC Printing
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