Oxford Instruments, one of the UK's leading physics-based companies, demonstrated its economic confidence by opening two new buildings last month. It unveiled an £8 m factory at Tubney Woods in Oxfordshire to meet the expansion needs of its research instruments division, while the microanalysis group opened a new £6 m building in High Wycombe to meet an expected rise in demand for its X-ray and electron-beam analysis equipment.

The Tubney Woods factory is the latest in a long line of triumphs for Oxford Instruments. Founded in 1959, the company has in many ways become the archetypal high-tech success story. A specialist in superconducting magnets and advanced instrumentation, it now employs about 1400 staff worldwide and exports 85% of its output. Turnover in the 12 months to the end of March rose slightly to £147.1 m, and the firm made pre-tax profits of £23 m over the same period, a rise of 7%.