'Outlook improving' despite annual loss of £1.3m at Fusion Antibodies
Pharma firm Fusion Antibodies made a loss of £1.3m in the year to the end of March - almost double the year before.
The company, which specialises in antibody services for pharmaceutical research, said sales were down 19% to £2.2m over the 12 months, due to a weak first half of the year.
Its loss of £1.3m came after losses of £700,000 the year before. However, improved sales of £1.5m in the second half gave the firm its strongest ever six months.
The company is one of just four Northern Ireland firms to be listed on the stock exchange, joining First Derivatives and Diaceutics on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), while Kainos is listed on the main stock exchange.
Fusion Antibodies chief executive Paul Kerr said: "We have had a strong improvement during the second half of the year which has been due to a significant increase in orders and revenues.
"This has been achieved by a mix of factors, including addressing the external competitive pressures seen during the second half of 2018 and the first half of 2019 and expanding and improving the quality of the company's business development and marketing function.
"We are encouraged to see some good initial interest from potential customers in our new technology, which will enable customers to improve the performance of many of their antibody based drugs.
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"We are excited about the next 12 months and are grateful to our shareholders for their continued support."
The business started out as a spin-out from Queen's University. It carries out antibody engineering services for therapeutic and diagnostic applications.
The final results also reported that in the past 12 months Fusion Antibodies has invested in its facilities "and delivered a significant expansion of our laboratory and office space on time and well under budget".
It said the expansion gives "capacity headroom required for future growth".
The company added: "Our scientific skills and creativity can also be seen in the progress of the Antibody Library currently under development for human antibody discovery and which remains on track for 2020."
Last year the company announced it was adding almost 30 jobs and doubling its workforce at Springbank Industrial Estate amid a fresh cash boost.
It received more than £200,000 from Invest NI.