HI-TECH engineering firm Oxford Instru-ments has failed to meet a key growth target in its four-year plan, following a protracted takeover deal.
In 2011, the business based in Tubney Woods, near Abingdon, unveiled its 14 Cubed plan, which set a target of an annual sales growth rate of 14 per cent by 2014 with a 14 per cent return on sales.
But while the return on sales has reached the target, the compound growth figure came in at 11 per cent, and pre-tax profits for the year to March 31 remained virtually unchanged at £47.1m Bosses are blaming the prolonged acquisition of optical instrument company Andor Technology which took five months to complete, with the Belfast company’s board finally agreeing to £176m last December.
But they are staying upbeat, pointing to major jobs growth and gradual improvement throughout the year following weak demand in the first two months.
Chief executive Jonathan Flint said: “Our growth averaged 11 per cent (from 2011) which is very good.
“The acquisition of Andor took longer than expected. If we had closed that earlier, then we would have been nearer to it. As a result, we were about six months behind the target.”
Mr Flint added more growth was planned, particularly in the area of “nanobio” – the use of nano-technology tools used at a micro level in biological sciences.
Staff numbers at the Tubney Woods head office have grown to 570, up from about 300 a year ago, although Mr Flint said some workers have been transferred from other areas of the company.
Recruitment is ongoing, although not easy, he admitted.
But he added: “Getting the very best people is always a challenge but this is the best place to find them with Oxford University and the research labs here.”
Mr Flint said he welcomed the Government’s support of science and research with major investment in areas such as the Science Vale enterprise zone in South Oxfordshire, which he said the company benefited from “indirectly”.
He added: “We are at the beginning of something big.
“This is a very exciting place to be.”
12:40pm Monday 5th October 2015
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1:21pm Monday 5th October 2015
The brother of Oxford United striker James Roberts has died after being involved in a car accident on Saturday night.
12:03pm Monday 5th October 2015
THE A34 in South Hinksey is currently partially blocked due to a broken down tipper-truck.
11:50am Monday 5th October 2015
PARTS of Oxfordshire are due to be hit by heavy rain later today, according to the Met Office. A severe weather warning has been issued by the agency for the South East, which will be in place from 12pm until 10pm today. It has been forecast that some areas will see more than 15 mm of rain in an hour, with overall totals more than 40 mm in several hours. Small patches of localised flooding and disruptions to transport are also possible. A Met Office spokesman said: "A very complex area of low pressure will bring warm, moist air northwards into Britain. There is a developing signal for heavy rain to affect some southeastern parts of England later on Monday. "Some minor disruption due to flooding is likely, with an additional risk of some very isolated more substantial impacts."
8:30am Monday 5th October 2015
A FAMILY stole thousands of pounds of benefits from a man with severe learning disabilities while forcing him to do menial and manual labour for £5 a day, a court heard.
7:00am Monday 5th October 2015
GREY pavements will be transformed with striking street art as one woman hopes to chalk up yet another successful art event this weekend.