SCRI's commercial arm MRS sees 25% turnover increase

Mylnefield Research Services (MRS) - the commercial subsidiary of Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) - has seen its turnover increase by 25% in the year to March this year.

Mylnefield Research Services (MRS), based at SCRI’s Invergowrie centre, had a 2009/10 operating profit of £353,000 - compared with £256,000 the year before – and its reserves after tax were strengthened by £174,000 to a total of £669,000.

It claims its income growth was largely because of its 47% increase in contract research and its 30% increase in food and pharmaceutical services.

MRS’ profits were further boosted by its royalty income from soft fruit, potatoes and brassicas.

MRS managing director Dr Nigel Kerby said: "Our financial performance was exceptional and reflects the excellence of SCRI's science and the quality of our enduring commercial partnerships. We look forward to future growth from the commercial opportunities in sustainable crop production research that will emanate from the merger of SCRI and the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute."

MRS manages 473 plant licences in 23 countries – including those for the SCRI-bred raspberries Glen Ample and Glen Lyon. 

An estimated 50% of the world’s blackcurrants were also bred at SCRI and licensed by MRS.

MRS partners include some of the biggest companies in the food and drink sector including GlaxoSmithKline, Greenvale AP, McCain, Pepsico, Marks & Spencer and Limagrain.

The firm, set up in 1989, has made a profit in every year of trading and - in the last 10 years - channeled £2 million in charitable donations to SCRI and the Mylnefield Trust to boost plant breeding, research and education.

MRS is continuing to lodge applications for new, EU plant variety rights including two types of blackcurrant, one new potato variety and two other plant types. They are all the result of conventional breeding programmes.

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