Newmarket: Hygiene firm Tristel ‘back with a bang’ as turnover soars

The entrance toTristel's new facility at Snailwell, Newmarket.

The entrance toTristel's new facility at Snailwell, Newmarket. - Credit: Archant

A hygiene firm specialising in products to stop the spread of infection in hospitals said it was “delighted” after turning a corner with the business.

Tristel chief executive Paul Swinney

Tristel chief executive Paul Swinney - Credit: Archant

Tristel plc, which is based at Snailwell, near Newmarket, saw sales soar by 28% to nearly £13.5million in the year to the end of June this year compared to the same period last year, it said yesterday.

The firm, which employs about 96 people, including 45 at its Newmarket headquarters and further sales staff worldwide, recently doubled the size of its East Anglian base to add 20,000sq ft of warehousing and brought its warehouse and despatch functions back in-house.

Since 2012, when sales in its endoscopy products started to decline, the firm has strived to create new diversifications to fill the gap and move the business on.

The firm, which enjoyed pre-tax profits of £1.82m compared to £0.48m in 2013, has successfully made the transition and achieved “significant progress” since the restructuring, said chief executive Paul Swinney, who has been in post since 1993.

“The replacement products, which focus principally upon the disinfection of medical instruments used in hospital out-patient departments, and the high-level disinfection of surfaces in critical areas, provide the company with a largely uncontested global opportunity,” he said. He was “very, very pleased” with the firm’s performance to the end of June, after a period when it encountered some “very choppy waters”, he said as the firm announced its preliminary results.

“It has been a period of some turmoil. Profits have suffered, but we are back with a bang,” he said.

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He added that the firm had plans to expand within Newmarket, with two or three staff expected to join the production team over the next few months.

Although a small amount of manufacturing at the firm is outsourced, the bulk of it takes place at the headquarters site, he said, and there was growth potential for the business both at home and abroad. The firm, which went public in 2005, has a presence in 41 countries and makes human healthcare, animal healthcare and contamination control products.

The firm has ambitious expansion plans, and is “set to get a lot bigger”, said Mr Swinney.

“In about four years’ time we’ll have doubled our size,” he predicted.

“We have got a very successful formula and great products.”

Non-executive chairman Christopher Samler announced that he is stepping down after three years. His predecessor, Francisco Soler, will take over the role on an interim basis while a new chair is sought.

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