EKF ends year ahead of already-upgraded expectations
Point-of-care, central laboratory device and chemistry reagent company EKF Diagnostics said on Tuesday that continued strong trading would result in its performance for 2021, including adjusted EBITDA, ahead of already-upgraded market expectations.
The AIM-traded firm said trading in its core business in the final quarter was “robust”, with ongoing demand for sample collection kits and testing strong through to year-end on 31 December.
It announced that core business revenues grew over 13% year-on-year, while group cash, net of borrowings, at 31 December was £19.6m, compared to £21.4m a year earlier.
The board said that reflected further strong operational cash generation offset by substantial investment in the business, some working capital expansion to support anticipated growth, and the payment of the 1.1p per ordinary share cash dividend in December in line with the company's progressive dividend policy.
“During the year, and as part of the group's strategy, significant investment was made to expand fermentation capabilities and contract manufacturing to drive further organic growth,” the directors said in their statement.
“Further investment in enzyme fermentation is scheduled for 2022 in this key strategic growth area.
“Growth and investment in the core business is complemented by a strategy to exploit expanded capabilities to meet the demand for contract manufacturing services.”
EKF said Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory, the CLIA-certified lab testing business acquired in October, was integrating well and had started diversifying into non-Covid-19 testing, as evidenced by its recent partnership for the provision of a non-invasive prenatal testing service.
EKF said it would give further guidance on current trading and its outlook for 2022 and beyond when it reports its audited full year results.
At 1011 GMT, shares in EKF Diagnostics Holdings were up 2.39% at 68.6p.