AMRI shutters another plant with an eye on its bottom line

Contract drug developer AMRI ($AMRI) is closing down a U.K. manufacturing operation as part of its across-the-board change in strategy, an effort to get back to growth after a rough string of quarters.

AMRI CEO William Marth

The site, in Holywell, Wales, focuses on the manufacture of chemical APIs and employs about 62 people, the company said. AMRI acquired it in 2010 to bolster its European presence, but things haven't worked out according to plan, CEO William Marth has said. AMRI now expects to shut the plant down by year's end, transitioning its work to other sites within its network of facilities.

"This was a difficult decision as it impacts team members who have made valuable contributions to AMRI," Marth said in a statement. "We will work diligently to ensure the closing of the Holywell facility goes as smoothly as possible for our customers and employees."

Meanwhile, the Albany-headquartered company is in the midst of a realignment. Last quarter, AMRI took a $1.8 million loss after reporting a $4.3 million profit in the same period last year. The company blamed its misfortune on declining demand for discovery services, gradually evaporating royalty revenues and some inclement weather that forced Oso Biopharmaceuticals, a contractor AMRI purchased for $110 million last year, to briefly shut down.

But AMRI also pulled off some record sales in the fourth quarter, and management believes it can keep that momentum rolling into 2015. AMRI is now dialing up its projections for the year, expecting contract revenue growth of about 40%.

- read the statement