Transition year for medical tests producer as it switches focus from Covid-19

Lateral flow test maker Abingdon Health says it is well positioned to exploit a growth in the market for non Covid-19 related technology, as it publishes its preliminary results for the year ended 30 June 2022.

The York-based business has reported revenues of £2.8m (2021: £11.6m) with the prior year impacted by one-off COVID-19 revenues.

Abingdon made an adjusted EBITDA loss of £10m (2021: £3.3m loss) due to a significant increase in and subsequent unwinding of operational headcount to meet anticipated COVID-19 demand which did not come to fruition.

Loss for the period was £21.3m (2021: £7m loss), including a £7.2m impairment charge. 

Chris Yates, chief executive officer, said: “The last two years within the lateral flow market have been dominated by COVID-19 with little other contract development activity being undertaken by customers or prospective customers.

“In addition, a great deal of our own focus has been spent on successfully resolving unwarranted legal challenges which were an unwelcome distraction and a significant use of our time and resources.

“It is pleasing to see the industry refocus on a much broader range of applications of lateral flow technology in other health and non-health areas.

“As a knowledge leader in lateral flow, and with our comprehensive contract service offering, we believe we are well-placed to support customers in bringing their products to market and grow our business.”

During the financial year, Abingdon Health says it cut its average staff numbers from 151 to 130, which meant a number of staff were made redundant.

The company says these redundancies were due to the shift away from COVID-19 activity and the impact of the previously reported delay in payment for its Covid-19 antibody tests, which saw it take legal action against the Government’s Department of Health and Social Care.

However, Abingdon Health says it now has a strong pipeline of contract development, regulatory and technical transfer opportunities.

The business notes that as a result of the pandemic, there is increasing acceptance that lateral flow testing is a viable, cost-effective alternative or complement to laboratory testing.

Its update adds: “We strongly believe this will drive the increased adoption of lateral flow testing across a broad range of applications and sectors.

“We believe COVID-19 is a catalyst for the expansion of self-testing across a range of other clinical areas. However, in the current economic environment our focus is on driving our revenues, managing our costs and reaching a cashflow positive position as quickly as possible.”

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