For the second time this year, Germany's LION bioscience has dropped its full-year sales targets after reporting interim sales of €7.5 million this fiscal year, down from €12.3 million a year ago.
Blaming longer than expected sales cycles for its new products and continued softness in demand for its products, the company, which makes software for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, said that it has trimmed its full-year sales forecasts of €20 million, down from €27.5 million in its last guidance in August.
In an attempt to counteract the problem, LION has unveiled even more job cuts and other restructuring exercises. The plan is now to reduce its 271 full-time equivalent employees to roughly 190 by the end of the fiscal year (31 March, 2004), so that it can reach its target of achieving break-even in earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the year.
In the first half, LION reduced its EBITDA loss to €12.5 million from €27.8 million, and says it was debt-free as of 30 September.
In addition, the company intimated in a press statement that its ADME development activities - developed under the iDEA pkEXPRESS banner - may be spun out of the company.
The latest round of job cuts follows the closure in the second quarter this year of its Columbus, Ohio, site with the loss of 40 jobs, as well as a cull of around 200 staff last year.
Aside from these restructuring measures, LION says it is concentrating on the development of its newly-launched core products, DiscoveryCenter and Target Engine work environment for molecular biology in drug discovery. The company has also just announced a collaboration with DeltaSoft, including licensing and distribution of DeltaSoft's cheminformatics products. LION said this collaboration will allow it to launch its own cheminformatics offering.
"The current fiscal year is more difficult than we expected," said LION chief executive Dr Friedrich von Bohlen. "We are reacting to this situation by adapting our costs, capacities and structures to these circumstances accordingly," he added.