Clinical trials group Venn Life Sciences has reported a 32 per cent rise in revenue in the first half of the year to over €1.5 million and delivered an upbeat projection for the rest of 2014.
The company, which raised £1 million in a placing in March, said today that it has secured €5.4 million in two new contracts since May of this year, bringing its recently expanded capacity up to full utilisation.
However, rising administrative costs, saw the company’s interim loss widen to €957,000, according to its unaudited figures, from €704,000 at the end of the first half last year.
"In the final quarter of this year, we can expect to see the profit and cash flow benefit of our recent international contract wins," said chairman David Evans.
But he said that, despite “the achievement of the first stage of our longer term plans”, the business remained “in many respects, subscale”.
He said it would continue to consider merger candidates as it looks to become a “pan-European, mid-sized clinical research organisation [CRO]”.
Venn also announced today that the group’s technology development division InnoVenn has received a strategic direct investment of €800,000 from the Helium Rising Stars Fund, established last January by Swiss hedge fund manager ISPartners.
Helium targets quoted small UK-based companies as a long-term investor. Post the investment, Venn will continue to hold a 50.5 per cent stake in the business.
David Newton, who manages the Helium fund with Christian Benz of IS Partners, is a shareholder in Venn, with a 9.15 stake in the business , according to the company.
Commenting on this development Venn CEO Tony Richardson stated: "Having achieved recent success in our CRO business with the awarding of international contracts, it is important that we capitalise on this momentum through continued investment in business development to deliver greater critical mass.
“This direct investment into InnoVenn allows us to concentrate on achieving this objective and leaves InnoVenn appropriately funded to deliver on its potential.”
Company broker Zeus says that following its recent contract wins and acquisitions, AIM-listed Venn is now “effectively competing for higher value, multi-country projects”.