Redmond concern eyes expansion potential here
Medical-products maker says it likes Spokanes, work force, property costs
Marlene MehlhaffJune 4th, 1998
SeaMed Corp., a large Redmond, Wash.-based company that designs and manufactures medical devices for a number of major medical companies, is eyeing the Spokane area as a place for possible future expansion, says Ed Rampy, the companys chief financial officer.
Were very interested in the Spokane area, Rampy says. The publicly traded company finds Spokane appealing because of its work force, its lower property costs than the Seattle area, and its friendly, acceptable environment, he says.
However, he says, the company has no specific plans in the works to expand here. We try to plan out several years in advance for expansion, Rampy says, adding that it likely would be at least a year and possibly two or three before the company would consider opening any operation in the Spokane area.
The company currently has 80,000 square feet of vacant space at its 188,000-square-foot facility in Redmond and would use that space first before expanding outside of the Redmond area, he says. However, the company already has plans to fill half that space by July 1 and is growing rapidly.
SeaMed recently posted what it said was its sixth consecutive quarter of record revenue and earnings growth. For its third quarter ended March 31, the company reported net income of $1.1 million, up 38 percent from $778,000 in the year-earlier period. Revenues totaled $18.3 million, up 28 percent from $14.3 million in the 1997 quarter.
Rampy says the company doesnt have details on the size of any facility it might choose to open here, but that a Spokane operation would be involved in making medical devices. We do full design and manufacturing of medical productsall for other companies, he says.
The products that SeaMed makes are concentrated in the area of advanced electronic instruments and range from a console for breast-cancer detection to a blood-gas monitor and a cell-production system. Its clients include such major medical players as Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific Corp., and United States Surgical Corp. At the end of its most recent quarter, the company said it had 34 projects in its engineering pipeline, up from 26 a year earlier.
Besides medical products, the company also produces coin-counting machines for Coinstar Inc., of Bellevue, Wash. Those machines account for about 25 percent of its revenues, its most recent quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says.
SeaMed currently employs 470 people, up from 435 at the end of 1997. The company originally was incorporated in the late 1970s to make a proprietary product that failed. In 1988, the company was re-chartered to design and make products for other companies, Rampy says. It held an initial public offering in November 1996.