Consort alert to acquisition opportunities
A slight fall in revenue to £305.1 million and flat pre-tax profit at £38.2m for the year to April 30 failed to dent the UK market’s faith in Cambridge-based Consort Medical whose shares opened 10p higher to 888p.
The Cambridge-based medical technology company is sufficiently buoyed by future prospects to have decided on a final dividend of 13.8p – resulting in a 1.9 per cent rise in the full-year dividend to 21.4p.
CEO Jon Glenn said a solid financial performance was engineered despite the impact of the previous delay in approval of Mylan’s Wixela programme; the downsides were offset by a lower pension charge and favourable foreign exchange movements.
Medical device subsidiary Bespak continued to deliver a sector-leading EBIT margin at 20.3 per cent after investing in R & D on a number of new development opportunities, despite revenue being marginally lower than the prior year.
Aesica, Consort’s pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organisation, maintained its EBIT margin despite lower revenue and the initial impact of streamlining API activities.
Consort’s net debt at £97.4m was in line with expectations and the balance sheet remains strong.
Glenn said Consort was still in the market for good acquisitions. He said: “Consort has delivered a solid financial performance and has been awarded new contracts that will support the group’s medium-term growth prospects.
“There is a new Syrina/ Vapoursoft injectable opportunity which further validates this technology. We have also entered into a new development agreement with an existing key customer which is expected to translate into a significant commercial opportunity.
“We have a clear growth strategy focusing on organic opportunities that will benefit from these recent contract awards and the joint commercial agreement with Opiant on the Unidose Xtra nasal device announced earlier in the year.
“We continue to invest cin our research and development capabilities expanding our intellectual property and building on our exciting pipeline at both Bespak and Aesica to support our strong long-term growth prospects.
“The board is confident of Consort’s future prospects which are further supported by the addition of two new significant contracts. The near-term outlook will reflect the commercial success of Mylan’s Wixela (generic Advair) and the progression of the development pipeline.
“We also continue to assess acquisition opportunities that have the potential to deliver additional growth and a broader offering through access to new geographic markets and complementary technologies and capabilities.”