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  • Gooch & Housego Notches Gains during Year of Reorganization

Photonics.com
Dec 2015
ILMINSTER, England, Dec. 16, 2015 — Mark WebsterRevenues and profits both increased by 12 percent at Gooch & Housego PLC during a year in which the photonic components developer made significant changes.

Adjusted profit before tax was £12.9 million (about $19.4 million) for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, compared with £11.5 million in fiscal 2014. Revenue was £78.7 million (about $118.2 million), compared with 70.1 million in fiscal 2014.

G&H in January chose former pharmaceuticals industry executive Mark Webster as its CEO, succeeding Gareth Jones, who is now chairman of the company's board of directors.

In recent months, the company added several key personnel, including Nick Green as operations director at its Ilminster headquarters and Andrzej Sosna as general manager at Glenrothes.

In the U.S., Jim Zolinski was named general managers of the company's Cleveland facility, where a two-year, $5 million upgrade is planned to enhance crystal growth capabilities.

Geoff Henderson was named vice president of R&D at the company's facility in Torquay, England. Webster and Jones said G&H was placing new emphasis on R&D, investing £6.4 million, or 14 percent more than in the previous year.

"R&D has been refocused on fewer key projects, and experienced managers hired to deliver them," Jones said.

Part of the R&D investment was underwritten by government grants. More recently, the company received a $98,300 state grant to implement Lean Manufacturing processes at its fiber production operation in Bedford, Mass.

Meanwhile, the company has set its sights on the space market, hiring new personnel with aerospace and defense expertise and introducing new products. G&H said it aims to generate revenue from satellite communications projects in 2016. It next plans to make similar push in the life sciences, with growth seen ahead in the laser surgery market.

Industrial applications represented the largest portion — 59 percent — of G&H sales in fiscal 2015, with strong sales in fiber optic components for lasers, modulators and undersea cabling.

G&H closed its facility in Melborne, Fla., in December 2014, and has since relocated its acousto-optics operations to Ilminster and Palo Alto, Calif. The closure is projected to save the company about $1 million annually. Despite the closing, G&H said it had a net increase of 36 employees in fiscal 2015, bringing its workforce to 700.

The Palo Alto facility, meanwhile, is preparing to relocate to Fremont, Calif.


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