AN infection control company is set to exit the endoscopy disinfectant market after a decline in sales in recent months.

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Tristel plc, which is based at Snailwell near Newmarket, makes infection control and hygiene productions for the human and animal healthcare industry.

In a trading update for the six months to December, it said its endoscopy disinfectant products are used in NHS hospital washing machines, but a long-term trend towards machine manufacturers insisting hospitals use their own disinfectants, and the publication of new Department of Health guidelines for endoscope decontamination, had had a “significant effect” on sales. It now plans to pull out of the market over time.

“While the endoscopy business performed well prior to our year end there has been a sharper than expected decline in recent months and it has now become apparent that it will not recover to the levels anticipated,” it said.

“Accordingly management now expects a much lower level of endoscopy revenues in this financial year. This will result in an adjusted pre-tax loss for the six months to December 31, 2012, of approximately £0.6m although management are confident of a profitable (pre-exceptional) full year to June 30, 2013.”

Other parts of the business have performed in line with management expectations, with the exception of China and the UK veterinary business. In China the lift in sales has been slower than expected, and the operation has now been restructured and streamlined. Meanwhile, the veterinary market in the United Kingdom has seen “solid progress” but is behind internal forecasts, the company admitted.

However, the company has seen significant growth in its wipes systems sales for use in ultrasound departments.

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