AMERICAN efforts to foil terror plots could spawn several hundred million dollars’ worth of work for a County Durham technology firm, its boss has claimed.
Kromek chief Dr Arnab Basu says his business is ready to take an increasingly commanding role in the fight against radicalism.
The company has already supplied an initial 10,000 personal radiation detectors, which help identify extremist acts, such as a ‘dirty bomb’, to DARPA, an agency of the US Department of Defense, and is developing similar apparatus for military use.
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Counter-terrorism agents in DARPA are already using the detectors, and Dr Basu said the work reflects his business’ potential.
The firm, founded as a two-man business in Durham University’s physics department, has recorded losses since its inception, as officials worked to build its equipment and repute.
However, Dr Basu told The Northern Echo its growth could accelerate sharply as and when US agencies and cities further adopt its technology, which, coupled with projects across airport security and bone examination to diagnose osteoporosis, will push it ever closer to its first profit.
He said the Sedgefield firm expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to break even in the coming months as a stream of contracts, both established and in the pipeline, drive its progress.
He told the Echo: “The scale of opportunities is increasing and the opportunities are getting more real.
“The business is going in the right direction, the foundations are strong and we have got some really exciting projects with the US government and medical imaging.
“If US cities adopt the technologies, the opportunities could be several hundred million dollars.
“Our revenues are a reflection of the orders we have signed over the last 18 months and our visibility on revenues is the best we have ever had. All the hard work is starting to bring results.”
According to Kromek’s latest results, for the six months to October 31, revenues were up 19 per cent at £3.8m, while pre-tax losses narrowed 41 per cent to £1.8m.
EBITDA showed a loss of £700,000, compared to a £2.3m deficit a year ago.
Last month, the Echo revealed Kromek, which operates from a base on NetPark, had returned with cancer detection work from an Indian trade mission alongside Prime Minister Theresa May.
At the time, Dr Basu said the interest was further verification of his company’s expertise, adding Donald Trump’s US presidential election could also be good for trade, highlighting his “business-friendly” potential over tax reforms and the labour market.
Kromek is known across the security sector, with its bottle scanners used by airports to detect explosives.
Bosses say they can identify bombs, narcotics and alcohol, without them being opened, in seconds.