Medium Business of the YearBack to Winners
Sponsored by RIFT Group & Kent and Medway Growth Hub
KEY PRODUCT/SERVICE: Medical manufacturing
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 39
Bedfont Scientific is a second-generation family business which has increased turnover by £2 million in the last five years. However, it faced problems with the growth of its NOxBOX device, which can be used to save the lives of premature babies.
Focusing sales and marketing efforts on the product had begun to damage its core business of making breath analysis tools, causing a fall in turnover of 12% between 2014 and 2015. PR and communications co-ordinator Kristina Sedge said: “The NOxBOX range was almost detrimental to Bedfont’s core business but also required more time and care than a small family business could give.”
Bosses put the business into a subsidiary company and sold it to Fortune 250 company Praxair in March last year. The decision was vindicated as Bedfont experienced a 17% increase in turnover the following year. Revenue from its core breath analysis business grew 48%.
The medical device maker gets 80% of its revenue from exports to more than 70 countries. Asia accounts for 30% of turnover and bosses believe a large part of this growth comes from employing a sales representative who speaks the same language as its distributor. It also has Spanish and Arabic speaking representatives. Over the next three years it will be venturing into the US, South America, China and the Middle East.
Research and development will also play a large part in its expansion, working with companies like ITL Group in Ashford, another KEiBA 2017 winner.
It aims to develop a cost-effective device to detect H.Pylori bacteria in South America, which it believes can increase turnover by £5 million in its first three years.
It also signed a three-year deal to supply an international company with an own-branded version of its Gastrolyzer product, which helps detect gastrointestinal disorders by measuring hydrogen levels on the breath.
Ms Sedge added: “Their large and successful sales network in Europe and the USA has opened new markets for our products that would take us years to access due to the resources required.”