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Abcam considers NASDAQ listing as it matches previous year’s revenues despite pandemic

Abcam expects its revenues for the year to the end of June to match the previous 12 months, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and is considering a listing in the United States on NASDAQ

The life science research tools company, headquartered on Cambridge Biomedical Campus, was hit by a reduction in demand as research laboratories globally shut down temporarily or reduced their activity in recent months.

Abcam CEO Alan Hirzel
Abcam CEO Alan Hirzel

Monthly revenue for the previous year was -40 per cent in April and -28 per cent in May but only -1 per cent in June on a constant currency basis, according to unaudited results.

But the group expects to report revenues of £260million for the full year to June 30, compared to £259.9million for the preceding 12 months - which equates to a decline of about 1 per cent on a constant currency basis.

CEO Alan Hirzel said: “We are proud of the role Abcam has had in supporting researchers throughout this pandemic and we are proud of the dedication of our global team to help scientists perform their vital work.

“Abcam’s strong brand, distinctive customer focused culture and durable financial health has meant we have been able to lead with a longer term horizon and fulfil our ambition to be the most influential company for life scientists globally.

“We remain confident in our long-term prospects and focused on delivering our strategy.”

Abcam’s HQ on Discovery Drive on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Picture: Keith Heppell
Abcam’s HQ on Discovery Drive on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Picture: Keith Heppell

The company, which will report audited results on September 14, said it continued to serve those laboratories that remained open throughout the pandemic.

It noted on April 20, when UK cases were at their height, that conditions had begun to recover in China and some European labs were reopening.

Since then it has seen a “steady increase in activity across all regions”, as lockdown restrictions have eased and academic and biopharmaceutical research labs have reopened.

The company noted “significant macro uncertainties and regional differences”, however, and singled out the “acute” uncertainty in North America, where Covid-19 cases have been spiking in a number of US states with normally high research activity.

Abcam has maintained full employment during the pandemic and has been implementing initiatives for a growth strategy that it set out in September 2019, when it announced plans to increase the investment in areas including research and development, digital marketing and e-commerce, technology and global operations to achieve “more and faster growth over the medium and long term”.

Abcam’s HQ on Discovery Drive on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Picture: Keith Heppell
Abcam’s HQ on Discovery Drive on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Picture: Keith Heppell

The company concluded its acquisition of Expedeon’s proteomics and immunology business for 120million euros on January 2.

In Feburary it acquired the gene-editing platform and oncology product portfolio of US biotech Applied StemCell (ASC).

It predicts a gross margin of 69 per cent and an adjusted operating margin for the full year of 16-17 per cent.

The company, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, revealed that its long-term growth strategy has prompted it to explore “a potential secondary listing in the United States on NASDAQ” but stressed it had not made a final decision, or determined what the timing or times might be if it was to proceed.

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