Anglo-German company Evotec OAI today reported narrowing operating losses for the first half of 2003 and said it was on track to post a positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the full year.
The company's operating loss was reduced by 33 per cent to €10.3 million, as revenues rose 5 per cent to €34.8 million. EBITDA was €600,000 in the half, reversing a loss of €3.1 million a year earlier.
"All parts of Evotec OAI enjoyed a strong performance in the first half of 2003, despite continued challenging market conditions and exchange rate pressures from the strong Euro against the dollar and sterling," said Joern Aldag, the company's president and CEO.
Hamburg-based Evotec, which provides drug discovery, research and screening facilities for large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, said that it was confident of 10 to 15 per cent growth in full-year revenues.
Sales at the firm's Discovery and Development Services division were €28.0 million down slightly compared to the same period of 2002. However, in the second quarter revenues in the division grew by 5 per cent supported in part by a significant new hit-finding and profiling contract with Novartis.
The sales performance of Evotec's Development Chemistry services was slightly below expectations due to deferred revenues from a delay in despatch of pilot plantmaterial to a customer until 1 July.
Evotec Technologies was the star performer, posting a 58 per cent hike in revenues to €6.9 million mainly attributable to the successful installation of the first EVOscreen Mark III system at Pfizer and the extension of the system for cellular screening in the first half.
Spending on R&D fell 34 per cent while administration expenses were also trimmed 13 per cent, with the net loss improving by 40 per cent to €8.2 million.
Looking ahead, Evotec said that its sales and order book as of July amounted to €67 million for the current year, covering 86 per cent of analysts' revenue expectations for the year. Significant instrument deliveries to Pfizer are scheduled for September.
The company's figures going forward will also be bolstered by its recently announced, €20 million drug discovery collaboration in the field of Alzheimer's disease with Takeda Chemical Industries, Japan's biggest pharmaceuticals firm.