Tough trading environment hits H1 sales at life sciences company

Stephen O'Hara

Life sciences business, OptiBiotix, expects current sales in its new group structure to be materially lower than expected, at around £120,000.

Publishing an unaudited trading update ahead of its half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2022, the business – which restructured following the listing of ProBiotix Health on the AQSE Growth Market in March 2022 – forecasts its sales normalising in H2.

It notes this will be insufficient to make up the H1 deficit but predicts a return to healthy growth in 2023.

The York-headquartered firm’s update states: “We believe the difference in sales is partly a timing issue with a couple of larger partners delaying restocking due to uncertainty in the economic environment, and Apollo Hospitals and Nahdi Medical postponing launches until H2 as a result of regulatory approvals taking longer than expected.”

Stephen O’Hara, CEO, said: “The company has invested in expanding its commercial and business development team in key strategic markets like the USA and Asia and as part of its drive to build its direct-to-consumer sales.

“We hope to see the return on this investment later this year and more significantly in FY 2023.

“The aim for the second half of the year is to focus on growing sales with existing partners, building the online direct to consumer business, and launch GoFigure products in India with Apollo Hospitals and in the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia with Nahdi Medical.

“We are fortunate in having a healthy balance sheet and £1.5m cash in the bank to continue to invest in building the business.”

OptiBiotix develops compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and skin care.

It says despite the difficult trading environment, the company is in a strong position with a healthy balance sheet, a stronger cash position compared to H1 2021 and growing sales in its online direct to consumer business,

The business has also recently signed a deal with Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, which will support its efforts to bring SweetBiotix® to large markets.

OptiBiotix’s update explains: “This is undoubtedly a very difficult trading environment for all companies, and this has impacted on H1 revenues.

“Despite this we remain focused on our aims of increasing the number of large partners in key strategic markets, growing direct to consumer sales, and extending our products into new channels and bringing our second-generation products to market.

“This will broaden the product and partner base and reduce the risks associated with partners delaying launches or timing differences in restocking from impacting future revenues.” 

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