Pharmaceutical firm Almac creates 348 jobs

Almac headquarters in Craigavon, County Armagh Almac's global headquarters in Craigavon, County Armagh

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Almac, the Craigavon-based pharmaceutical group, is creating 348 jobs in a £54m investment.

The development is being supported with Invest NI grants of £5.5m.

The company provides services to other pharmaceutical firms, as well as developing its own products, mainly in cancer diagnostics.

It already employs more than 3,300 people in Northern Ireland and at facilities throughout the rest of the UK, US and Asia.

The investment is in two areas:

  • 141 jobs in Pharma, a division that provides contract development and manufacturing
  • 181 jobs in Clinical which provides packaging, labelling and logistics services to the pharmaceutical industry.

A further 26 jobs have also been created within the group.

Expansion

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said Stormont departments are helping the industry with investments

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: "This significant investment will enable Almac to expand the range of services it can offer, allowing it to respond to key trends within the pharmaceutical industry and enhance its market-leading position."

Almac chairman Alan Armstrong said: "We are fortunate to employ an excellent highly skilled workforce at our Craigavon headquarters which has played a major role in our global growth.

"It's fantastic that demand for our services has resulted in the creation of so many new jobs as we embark on further expansion over the next five years."

Last year, Almac increased its pre-tax profit by 33% to £19.2m, up from £14.4m in 2012.

Turnover also increased, up by 8% from £300m to £325m.

The firm is one of Northern Ireland's most successful exporters, and about 95% of its business comes from customers outside the UK.

Almac was formed in 2002, borne out of Galen Holdings which was founded in 1968 by Sir Allen McClay.

Sir Allen died in 2010 and the firm is now owned by the McClay Foundation.

The pharmaceutical sector in Northern Ireland has been one of the strongest economic performers in recent years.

The most recent official figures show the sector growing at an annual rate of almost 10%.

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