Shares dive in NI-based clinical trials group

Fusion Antibodies warns trading has been ‘slower than anticipated’

 

Fusion Antibodies, the Belfast-based contract research organisation, has issued a profit warning after it disclosed that trading for the current financial year had been “slower than anticipated”.

Shares plummeted almost 55 per cent on the news before trimming some of those losses. It was trading at 83 pence late in the morning, down 31 per cent on Friday’s close.

The company, which is listed on the AIM secondary market in London, blamed “increasing competition and consequential pricing pressures” for its downbeat performance.

Fusion Antibodies also warned that it had been impacted because of a “delay in securing some large contracts”.

In a trading update on Monday, the directors of the Belfast company said that, as a result, they anticipate results for full year 2019 will be “significantly behind current market expectations”.

Its shares fell despite reassurances from Fusion Antibodies that, based on the company’s current pipeline, it will “still achieve a modest year on year revenue growth” in 2019.

The company, which was set up in 2001, joined AIM last December and successfully raised £5.5 million. It said at that time that the funds would be used to finance the expansion of its laboratory space.

In its trading statement, Fusion Antibodies said its laboratory capacity expansion “had been completed, delivered on time and within budget, and the affinity maturation project is on schedule for completion in December 2018”.

The company, which is scheduled to announce results for the year to March 31st, 2018 on Thursday, says they will be “in line with current market expectations”.