Innovation and commercial nouse have carved the Cambridge-based manufacturer a niche in a tough marketplace, and a Queen’s Award in April recognised the company’s development in world class technology. Rowell, with new finance director and company secretary Tony Rouse, picked up the innovation award for its Advance system of instruments designed to rapidly detect microbe-level contamination of cosmetics, toiletries and household detergents. The award has come within a year of the group, which floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1993, reporting its first profits. This development sparked Rowell last November to reveal plans for a 20% growth over the next three years. Healthy annual results from Celsis are again expected this week. Last year single-shot disposable hygiene testing kit called SpotCheck broke on to the market as the company reported a pre-tax profits boost from #300,000 to #1.1m. Strong growth was also recognised in 1999 when the company was named the UK’s fastest growing industrial biotechnology company in a Deloitte & Touche national technology fast 50 survey. Chartered accountant Rouse joined Celsis this January from Pilgrim Food Group and replaced Mark Harris, who is now working for a shipping business in Hong Kong. Rowell, who is also a qualified chartered accountant, took up his chief executive position at Celsis in 1998 after taking a four-year back seat stint as group chairman while he wrestled with the needs of English rugby union.
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