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Trading statement

05 March 2018

Prior to publication, the information contained within this announcement was deemed by the Company to constitute inside information for the purposes of Article 7 under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014 ("MAR"). With the publication of this announcement, this information is now considered to be in the public domain.

Fusion Antibodies plc (AIM: FAB), a contract research organisation providing a range of antibody engineering services for the development of antibodies for both therapeutic drug and diagnostic applications, provides an update on the Company's trading for the year ending 31 March 2018.

Key highlights

  • At least 40% revenue growth expected; adj EBITDA broadly in-line with expectations
  • H2 revenues subject to short-term impact of IPO process
  • Building work on expanded facility started - completion up to 6 months earlier and materially lower cost
  • New services development continues to plan

Trading

Overall revenues for the full year are expected to show strong growth of at least 40% on the previous year (2016/17: £1.914m). Adjusted EBITDA (adjusted for non-recurrent costs associated with the IPO) will be broadly in line with market expectations, around breakeven.

Trading in the first half of the current financial year was particularly strong, with revenues up 70% on the first six months of 2016/17. Trading during the second half of the financial year will be ahead of the same period last year but the Directors believe that revenue growth rate in H2 has been subject to the short-term impact of the IPO process which required significant management time and focus to complete shortly before the end of the calendar year. As a result revenue for the full year 2017/18 is behind market expectations, although this will have minimal impact on adjusted EBITDA due to the contribution of higher margin services during the period.

Following the Company's admission to trading on AIM, the Company has been able to reinvigorate its sales and marketing efforts and the Directors continue to have a positive outlook for 2018/19 in line with expectations.

Update on laboratory and office expansion

The Directors are pleased to report that the building work has commenced on the expansion of the Company's laboratory and office space. The Company currently occupies one facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which comprises approximately 10,000 sq ft of combined laboratory and office space. The new laboratory and office space is in the same building as the existing facilities and was to provide an additional 16,000 sq ft of space once it has been fitted out.

The Company had initially anticipated that the expansion of the laboratory and office space would cost approximately £2.6 million, as set out in the Company's admission document dated 12 December 2017, and would be operational by the end of 2018.

The Company has improved the expansion designs to achieve all the previously planned increase in laboratory space and capacity, while reducing the required office space by approximately 6,000 sq ft. Building has now commenced on the revised expansion. The revisions to the plan are expected to allow the Company to achieve the increased level of laboratory capacity by the end of summer 2018, up to six months earlier than planned and is expected to cost materially less than initially anticipated. The expected saving from the building work will be allocated primarily to further increase capacity and efficiency through the purchase of equipment to operate in the new laboratories.

Development of new services

The two new services under development, as identified in the Admission Document, namely antibody affinity maturation and the creation of a mammalian antibody library, remain on schedule.

 

Enquiries:

Fusion Antibodies plc www.fusionantibodies.com
Dr Paul Kerr, Chief Executive Officer Via Walbrook PR
James Fair, Chief Financial Officer  
   
Allenby Capital Limited Tel: +44 (0)20 3328 5656
Virginia Bull / James Reeve / Asha Chotai  
   
Walbrook PR Tel: +44 (0)20 7933 8780 or fusion@walbrookpr.com
Paul McManus Mob: +44 (0)7980 541 893
Anna Dunphy Mob: +44 (0)7876 741 001

 

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