Filtronic, in Sedgefield, buoyed by financial results

The Northern Echo: Filtronic's former factory in Newton Aycliffe, pictured in 2007 before RFMD took over the site Filtronic's former factory in Newton Aycliffe, pictured in 2007 before RFMD took over the site

A MOBILE phone transmitter maker could expand its North-East business after buoyant financial results.

Filtronic, based at Netpark Sedgefield, County Durham, says it hasn't ruled out increasing its operations in the region.

The company employs about 85 North-East workers developing transmitters and chips that help link mobile smartphones to networks.

Bosses revealed their ambitions after upbeat half-year results showed increased group revenues of £20.1m.

The firm's wireless division also grew by 39 per cent, though its broadband arm saw sales fall from £4.5m to £3.6m.

However, bosses, who are currently moving the broadband business from the former RFMD factory, in Newton Aycliffe, say they expect the division to be bolstered when new products take hold.

The company is also expected to benefit further by the UK's fervour for smartphones, which according to a new study, now make up 69 per cent of all devices in the country.

Alan Needle, Filtronic chief executive, said: “When the new products come in, we expect them to improve the broadband business.

“People are using more and more data on their smartphones and need higher capabilities to access that data.

“All of the broadband manufacturing is done in the UK and we are always going to be in this country.

“We are very happy with the Sedgefield site and the staff are equally pleased with it too.

“There is the opportunity to expand at Sedgefield and we have spoken to Business Durham about what is available if we need to do that.

“The morale in the broadband department is high, and we now have an opportunity to consolidate our position and look to expand the business output.”

Last year, Mr Needle reiterated the company's desire to stay in the North-East despite RFMD's decision to move out of its factory and take work back to its US roots.

He added: “The North-East is an important part of our plans and we have spent a lot of money in the region to develop real market-leading technology, which has got industry big players showing great interest."

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