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29 January, 2019 - 12:32 By Tony Quested

Horizon unveils new CFO alongside 61 per cent revenue boom

Cambridge UK gene editing pioneer Horizon Discovery has announced a revenue spike of more than 60 per cent and a new CFO in another headline grabbing day.

Horizon expects to report revenues of around £58.7m for the year to December 31, circa £60.5 million on a constant currency basis. 

The figures represent growth of approximately 61 per cent against the prior year, about 66 per cent up on a constant currency basis.  

The group also expects to report a significant expansion in gross margins to more than 67 per cent (FY 2017: 62 per cent) driven by portfolio optimisation of both products and services. 

EBITDA before exceptional items is expected to be positive and ahead of market expectations. The group cash balance of not less than £25 million is also well ahead of expectations, as a result of higher gross margins, cost discipline and a focus on debtor collection.

Horizon announced in parallel that CFO Richard Vellacott, who filled the breach as interim CEO when Darrin Disley surprisingly left the business last year, had himself stepped down after seven years with the business. He is replaced by Jayesh who joined Horizon Discovery's finance department in April 2018 in an interim CFO capacity as Vellacott covered Dr Disley’s absence.

Pankhania was previously group CFO of Xtera while previous leadership roles include deputy CFO of Asia Resource Minerals Plc, CFO of Planned Maintenance at Carillion Plc and CFO of Rail and Metro at Serco Plc. 

CEO Terry Pizzie said the second half of 2018 had seen the continued growth of Horizon into a more focused global, commercial and scalable business.

He said: "As gene editing continues to industrialise, and with an already strong order book for the first half of 2019, we are seeing increasing interest and demand for our products and unique scientific expertise. 

“With positive sales momentum and a strong balance sheet, we are well positioned to execute our invest for growth strategy to build a commanding share in all our chosen markets. We are confident in our growth prospects and look forward to reporting on our exciting progress.”

The group expects to announce its results on April 29.

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