Australasian Dental Practice

Tuesday, 23 July, 2024

01 Aug 2003 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 32

SDI hits a new high

Shares in Australia's largest dental consumables manufacturer, publicly listed SDI Limited, hit a high of $5.88 in May before trading settled around the $5.50 mark. The share price of the company has increased considerably over the past two years, from a trading average of around $0.65 in October 2001.

SDI has tried its hand at manufacturing the gamut of dental products and equipment throughout its history and at one stage produced dental units and had retail outlets in all capital cities. Today, the company's focus is restorative products; its range including amalgam, composites and a new GIC.

"We released 10 new products at IDS in March," said managing director Jeffery Cheetham. "And these included brand new products as well as updates to our existing lines. The one product we are very excited about is Riva, our new glass ionomer restorative, which we intend to launch onto the Australian market at FDI in September.

"We principally have a restorative focus but a notable success outside this area has been our Pola whitening products. Our customers basically indicated that this was an area of the market we needed to be in and we haven't looked back since. It is now a multi-million dollar business for us and growing fast."

Building work at SDI's two acre headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Melbourne suburb of Bayswater is now complete and includes new research and development laboratories which were responsible for delivering the latest 10 products. State-of-the-art analytical equipment is constantly being added to the already impressive facility; yet another indication of the continual reinvestment the company is making to further its growing intellectual property portfolio.

In response to the growing demand for its Pola range of products, the company has acquired a further half acre site across the road from the existing facility to accommodate the filling, assembly and packaging of the Pola products.

"To keep up with the demand for Pola, we recently installed a new high speed syringe line which fills, caps, labels and codes automatically. The machine is capable of producing sufficient Pola syringes well into the future."

The plastic injection moulding of the company's syringes, capsules and other plastic products are also all completed on site. The majority of the company's products and delivery systems are manufactured at the Bayswater site or sourced from local Melbourne businesses, adding a true Australian flavour.

SDI has office and warehouse facilities in Brazil, Cologne and Chicago. An advanced IT infrastructure links all the offices with the Melbourne headquarters to ensure real time information is always available at all sites.

The company employs 160 people in Australia and 100 internationally. Profits from the $33 million in annual sales (2002) are returned to Australia. Majority ownership of SDI remains with the Cheetham family.

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