Fusion Antibodies warns of weaker revenues for 2019

Contract research firm says uncertain timing of substantial orders affecting revenues

Paul Kerr, chief executive of Fusion Antibodies.

Paul Kerr, chief executive of Fusion Antibodies.

 

Northern Ireland contract research company Fusion Antibodies warned that revenues for the year ended March 31st would be “materially below current market expectations”.

While it doesn’t expect revenues to fall below £2.1 million (€2.4 million), the company said the uncertain timing of closure of a number of potential substantial orders pushed revenue forecasts lower.

Following a challenging first half of 2018, the company said in a trading update that the situation has “significantly improved” with orders received in the second half of the year in line to exceed all previous six-month periods.

Total orders received in the second half exceeded £1.9 million (€2.1 million), up 58 per cent on the first half of the year. More than £1.1 million (€1.2 million) of those orders won’t be recognised until the next financial year, however.

Encouraged

Meanwhile, its net cash position, currently in excess of £2 million (€2.3 million), is not expected to materially change before the end of the year.

“Despite the lower than anticipated revenues to date, I am encouraged that since October 2018 we have seen significantly stronger order intake which is likely to lead to record six-month orders and revenues,” said Fusion chief executive Paul Kerr.

“The expansion of our facilities is complete and, together with the expansion of our team, we are now able to meet the increasing demand.”

Fusion began trading on the junior market of the London Stock Exchange in December 2017, raising £5.5 million (€6.3 million).

Established in 2001 as a spin-out from Queen’s University, Fusion is a Belfast-based contract research organisation providing a range of antibody engineering services for the development of antibodies for both therapeutic drug and diagnostic applications.

Since 2012, the company has successfully sequenced more than 250 antibodies and successfully completed over 100 humanisation projects for its international, blue-chip client base, which includes eight of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies by revenue.

Fusion Antibodies is in the process of recruiting a series of executive staff, particularly in its marketing and business development teams.