COVID testing firm reports record £17m revenues

Annual revenues at Liverpool COVID testing firm BioGrad have soared 80% to a record £17m with margin also up 17%. Tony McDonough reports

Faisal Arif and Dr Natalie Kenny of BioGrad in Liverpool


Liverpool COVID-19 testing business BioGrad is reporting record revenues of £17m for its fiscal year to September 30, 2021 – 80% up on the previous year.

And BioGrad, which was founded by Dr Natalie Kenny in 2014, says EBITDA (an alternate measure of profitability, was also up 70% during the 12-month period to £6m. The firm increased capacity during the year with a £2m investment in new laboratories at Wavertree Technology Park.

In September last year Dr Kenny said she was considering a multi-million pound sale of the firm, which is based at Liverpool Science Park and employs 100 people. LBN understands this remains an option.

She said the growth of the business had been largely driven by the demand for COVID-19 testing, which has enabled the firm to diversify into other areas and build on its medical diagnostics expertise and reputation.

Dr Kenny originally established BioGrad to offer laboratory and clinical training to science students, graduate researchers and teachers from across the world. BioGrad Education is a leading UK laboratory-based learning provider for scientists, attracting elite scientists from 526 institutes in 21 countries per year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When COVID hit, we had a duty to use our laboratory spaces to enable as many schools and  businesses to stay open through the pandemic, by affording them best value, quality testing regimes,” said Dr Kenny.

“We responded with a low-cost, gold standard testing facility for our clients; then extended that to the wider public to keep the economy moving. I am therefore so very proud of these results, as it means we have been able to make a real difference during this crisis.

“We continue to stay true to our mission that everyone should have access to gold standard testing, healthcare and scientific education, and that focus has been instrumental in our success. 

“That striving for quality meant that BioGrad was one of the founders of the Laboratory and Testing Industry Organisation , an organisation created to monitor and ensure accurate, timely and competitively priced services are being provided by Covid-19 testing companies.”


Dr Natalie Kenny
Dr Natalie Kenny, founder of BioGrad in Liverpool, is considering a sale of the business


There has also been further reinvestment into the company to fund development and growth, specifically into stem-cell research and a bursary scheme which supports students from disadvantaged backgrounds with course fees.

The last year has also seen a strengthening of the BioGrad leadership team, including new group finance director, Faisal Arif, head of legal, Sue Wright, and commercial director, Lynsey Dalglish.

Mr Arif added: “The BioGrad businesses are growing rapidly and we are now looking to increase it both in turnover and bottom line throughout the next 24 months. This will be done through diversifying into different areas, as we lead the way in medical diagnostics and life sciences.

“New revenue streams other than PCR testing will be introduced and will widen our customer base and offering. We also plan to work alongside the NHS for ECGs and ultrasounds, as well as other medical testing.”

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