A TECHNOLOGY company’s £21m expansion plan will provide the “rocket fuel” to power fresh growth, its boss last night claimed.

Kromek has launched a shares drive aimed at strengthening its presence across medical, security and nuclear sectors.

The business, based on NetPark, in Sedgefield, County Durham, is already known for its airport bottle scanners and radiation detectors, with the latter in use by US defence teams to foil terrorism.

However, bosses say the stock exchange move will add further ballast to operations and fortify its balance sheet, the condition of which has caused some customers previous concern.

The firm was founded as a two-man business in Durham University’s physics department and has incurred losses since its inception, as officials worked to build its equipment and repute.

However, the shares placing and offer provides hope the company can record its first profit, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) expected to break even in the coming months as a stream of contracts, both established and in the pipeline, drive its progress.

Dr Basu said ongoing demand from US agencies and cities for its anti-terrorism technology, which can detect dirty bombs, as well as clamour for its airport security and bone examination equipment, which can diagnose osteoporosis, will also propel it forward.

He told the Echo: “We are very well positioned in the markets we serve and have a rich pipeline.

“But what this fundraising was all about was putting some cash on the balance sheet.

“To have a strong balance sheet gives a signal of strength and shows we are here to stay.

“We work with large companies and this shows we can be a strong partner going forward.

“It is rocket fuel for the growth phase; we are busy boys and intend to stay extremely busy.

“We have seen very strong support from existing shareholders but we have also brought in some really good blue-chip shareholders and investors.”

He added the shares move will see £17m go towards the balance sheet, with a further £3m earmarked for working capital and investment in patents.

Dr Basu also highlighted why a good financial base would give Kromek future leverage, admitting some clients had displayed apprehension at its previous state.

He said: “When the group has historically engaged in commercial discussions with organisations, concerns have been expressed about the financial strength of the group and its ability to supply significant quantities of detectors over an extended period of time.

“We believe these concerns have delayed or prevented the group from entering into significant supply contracts with potential new and existing customers.”

The confident outlook builds on Dr Basu’s positivity at the end of 2016, when he told the Echo that Kromek was well placed to take advantage of market opportunities stretching into several hundred million dollars.

He added: “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 visibility on revenues is the best we have ever had; all the hard work is starting to bring results.”

Kromek’s latest results, for the six months to October 31, showed revenues were up 19 per cent at £3.8m, with pretax losses narrowing 41 per cent to £1.8m.

EBITDA showed a loss of £700,000, compared to a £2.3m deficit in the same period a year ago.

The Echo last year revealed Kromek had returned with cancer detection work from an Indian trade mission alongside Theresa May.