The UK's Fibercore Ltd is celebrating its 21st year by moving into a purpose-built fibre research and manufacturing plant — which has been three years in planning and construction and cost about EUR7m — not far from its former base on Chilworth Science Park, Southampton.
Fibercore's sales have fallen 30% since the height of the market in 2000 rather than the 75–90% norm, it claims. It has funded the new HQ from retained earnings.
Fibercore says its strong position is due to growth in demand for its speciality optical fibres in alternative markets, such as research, sensing and fibre gyros, countering the fall off in telecoms. The new plant can boost capacity ten-fold in coming years to meet a "resurgence in telecoms demand".
In last-quarter 2002 uptake of fibre in the Asian market grew by about 1000%, says managing director Chris Emslie, with significant growth in the Japanese fibre gyro market and Chinese sectors. Growth has been boosted by existing clients in Europe and the US, including Intraluminal Therapeutics and Scientific Atlanta.