By Patrick Raleigh ERJ/UT On-line News editorShawbury, UK- Rapra Technology has reported a year-on-year sales growth of 9 percent for 2003-the company's first full calendar year of trading since its management buy out in July 2002.The Shawbury-based polymer research and testing house will not issue sales and earnings details until later this Spring. In 2001, Rapra reported operating profits of £107 000 ($196 000) on sales of £6.75 million.Gains in 2003 reflected increased repeat business and single-clients projects, as well as growth in product testing activities, said a Rapra statement. Rapra's pharmaceutical and medical device testing activities generated sales of over £300 000 last year. This figure is set to reach £500 000 by 2006, according to the company. Involvement in Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) programmes for the local region and new European Union research grants accounted for £1 million of company sales last year, continued Rapra. Rapra's large projects team achieved 2003 sales of £650 000, including work for the UK's Food Standards Agency. The company added that it has already gained another £300 000 of EU-funded projects for 2004. During 2003 Rapra's management approved £400 000 in capital expenditure at its Shawbury headquarters-the biggest ever investment in Rapra's 80-year history-the company claimed."