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ARM Innovation Hub
26 April, 2018 - 14:26 By Tony Quested

Record-breaking Novacyt eyes potential acquisitions

novacyt, infectious diseases, cancer, cambridge

Novacyt, the clinical diagnostics specialist which owns Lab21 in Cambridge, is evaluating potential acquisitions as part of an aggressive global growth strategy.

The company – dual listed in London and Paris – made the revelation after posting record revenue growth of 35 per cent for the year to December 31. It also slashed losses and posted a positive outlook for the rest of 2018.

Group CEO Graham Mullis said Novacyt delivered material financial and operational progress as it focused on integrating the transformational acquisition of Primerdesign made in May 2016. 

As a result, Novacyt delivered record sales growth of 35 per cent to just under @15 million – representing an improvement in gross margin from 55 per cent to 60 per cent and a narrowing of the EBITDA loss to €0.8m (2016 €2.3m) for the full year.

Novacyt ended the year with €4.3m (£3.8m) in cash following the payment of a deferred Primerdesign milestone, removal of the convertible debt facility with Yorkville and further deleveraging of the balance sheet following its AIM listing.

A divisional breakdown showed that Lab21 revenues were €6.7m (£5.8m), up 16 pr cent on 2016 at CER, reflecting the division’s continued expansion into new territories and the addition of new products.

During the year, Novacyt recruited 35 new employees, in particular adding commercial and manufacturing capacity to help facilitate accelerated revenue growth. It also completed the build and relocation to a new 15,000 sq ft manufacturing site in Camberley UK on target in September 2017 to support the planned growth of the group.

Mullis said: “We are delighted to report record organic sales growth across the group in 2017 in a year where we also successfully completed a pioneering dual-listing on AIM. 

“The group made significant progress, with a strong focus on commercial infrastructure expansion, manufacturing efficiency and development pipeline. 

“We have seen the full benefit of the acquisition of Primerdesign, which is now fully integrated, as well as delivering strong organic sales growth from NOVAprep® and Lab21. 

“We also launched our first CE-Mark approved molecular assay for the detection of the Zika virus and we plan to update shareholders on further product launches during 2018.

“The group is therefore well positioned in each of its core markets and the management team is focused on delivering the three strategic pillars of organic, acquisition and R & D-led growth.

“During 2018, the group will continue to build on the organic sales progress made in 2017 and is evaluating the potential for further acquisitions.

“Ultimately, we are aiming to move into EBITDA profitable trading during the year in order to become cashflow positive at the operating level.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Graham Mullis

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