A TECHNOLOGY firm aims to create North-East jobs to continue its expansion.

Kromek says it wants 90 workers to supplement its rapid growth.

The firm, based at NetPark, in Sedgefield, County Durham, unveiled the plans after revealing year-on-year revenues lifted 122 per cent to £5.9m for the year to April 30.

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The company is best known for pioneering an airport scanner that can identify liquids in bottles, including explosives, alcohol and narcotics, without opening them, in less than 20 seconds.

It also develops and makes specialist technology for the medical and nuclear markets.

The firm, which also has operations in Germany and the US, company employs about 110 people around the world.

However, Dr Arnab Basu, chief executive, says it is committed to strengthening its North-East base, including a £1.5m investment to install 24 furnaces to make cadmium zinc telluride crystals for use in its products, and more sales and marketing work to lead its growth.

He told The Northern Echo: “We are in a strong cash position and have no debt on the balance sheet.

“We have made some strong improvements and remain very committed to our research and development with 28 new patents.

“We are expanding in Sedgefield, and over the next five years will look to create another 90 jobs.

“We have reported a number of new contracts and are continuing to convert a strong pipeline with the order book at an all-time high.

“We are in a positive position and moving in the right direction”, added Dr Basu, who was recognised in the New Year Honours list with an MBE for services to regional development and international trade.

The company, which started as a two-man spin-out from Durham University’s physics department in 2003, also saw UK sales grow 18 per cent in the period, with US sales lifting nearly 228 per cent in the year.

Dr Basu added: “The group is well placed, not only to continue to win new contracts, but also to service the growing demand for our technologies and achieve our ambition of becoming the radiation detection specialists of choice in our chosen markets.”

Earlier this year, Kromek, which last October raised £15m from a flotation on the AIM stock exchange, was forced to issue a profits warning after being hit by delayed orders from the UK and US governments, the Japanese nuclear detection products market and for large orders in the medical and security markets.

However, just days after the announcement, it signed a contract worth up to £95m with a manufacturer of x-ray diagnostics and analysis equipment in China.

The contract grants the manufacturer preferential rights for the supply of Kromek innovative cadmium zinc telluride detector.

It has also since won a deal worth almost £1m to support US homeland security on high sensitivity radiation detectors and a £360,000 contract to send bottle scanners to airports in Asia.