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Medical device supplier impresses with turnover rise

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 16, 2012

  • Summit Medical Group chairman Frank Collins, left, and managing director Darren Gates. Right, from top, Teresa Jones, Katrina Card and Jasmine Burns and Maxine Hutton at work in the clean room

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SOME of the key work at Summit Medical may be confined to the concentrated world of a laboratory, but their horizons are growing well beyond those closed walls.

The medical device supplier has taking 60th spot in the Citizen and Echo Top 100 Business for Gloucestershire for the last two years.

But the Bourton-on-the-Water-based group, who list implants, soft tissue and wound healing systems among their products are eyeing a position further up the table.

Turnover has increased from £18.2 million to £27 million in three year with its number of European employees growing from 95 to 274.

This is, in part, due to the acquisition of Orthodynamics GmbH in Germany, a leading manufacturer for joint replacements, and Orthomed, a French developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices for orthopaedic surgery in 2010.

Orthomed focuses on implants and ligament fixation devices.

These takeovers were backed by Summit Medical Group's majority shareholder, The Riverside Company, and their partner Trey Vincent said the business' growth had been very much export-led.

"This is a small company in Gloucestershire, going out and growing," he said. "Management have taken the lead from Gloucestershire and transformed the company.

"It's difficult, particularly with medical companies. Management is working very hard at the moment.

"We think the company will grow well. It is really poised now to see the benefits (of these acquisitions)."

Executive chairman Frank Collins was invited to become co-owner and CEO of the company as part of its 2001 acquisition by Graphite Capital. After the change of ownership to The Riverside Company in 2008, Frank led the team of managers who re-invested in the business.

Darren Gates was appointed group managing directed in 2011 and has been a key contributor to the organic and acquisitive growth of the group.

The group has increased exports to emerging markets such as Brazil, India and Turkey that are spending more on healthcare products. It has also launched Orthodynamics Pty Ltd in Australia.

Frank said: "We are delighted to be in a position to be able to extend this product offering to clinical professionals in the Australian market."

The company's Bourton-on-the-Water site consists of manufacturing facility, a clean room, as well as administration and sales facilities.

The group also includes Marlux Medical, which introduced the first disposable privacy curtain in the UK, and Orthodynamics Ltd (UK), which is also based on the Bourton site.

Orthodynamic's product portfolio includes a nail to support the knee joint and hip implants, including replacements for infected implants.

Trey added the group was looking to expand further and that there were opportunities for other small and medium-sized businesses in Gloucestershire, looking to grow.

He said: "Every company is clearly unique. "We open the paper every morning and see a tough economy. Hopefully, if you've got a good base product (you can then think) how can you use that to penetrate markets, or how can you use start-up money to look for creative solutions."

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