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Abcam reports £3m revenue impact of coronavirus - but says activity in China is returning

Abcam says the coronavirus outbreak has had a £3million impact on its revenues to date, but has reported that activity levels in China are returning.

Abcam Alan Hirzil. (31173866)
Abcam Alan Hirzil. (31173866)

The Cambridge-based life science research tools company announced interim results for the second half of 2019 on Monday, which showed revenue up by 10.8 per cent, or 8.3 per cent on a constant exchange rate (CER) basis, to £138.2m. Operating profit was £26.6m.

Its board is considering “significant investment opportunities”, and will consult with shareholders, after setting out a five-year growth plan in September.

Despite the coronavirus outbreak, the company said it was “confident” in its long-term outlook and its five-year financial goals and investment plans remain unchanged.

The early spread of Covid-19 in China was largely responsible for the £3m revenue reduction reported, but Abcam said operations began to reopen on February 14 and its supply chain has remained “largely unaffected to date”.

It added that “broader China activity” was returning “albeit still below full levels” seen prior to the outbreak.

New Abcam buiding Discovery Drive on the CUH Biomedical campus. Picture: Keith Heppell. (31173845)
New Abcam buiding Discovery Drive on the CUH Biomedical campus. Picture: Keith Heppell. (31173845)

The company acknowledged that the “full financial impact on the business remains uncertain given the evolving global situation”.

Alan Hirzel, Abcam’s CEO, said: “Abcam is investing in and advancing across all strategic areas we described earlier this year. Our early progress sets the business on a course to sustain long-term revenue growth from market share gain and portfolio expansion. In the short term, we are doing our best to look after our global team and our customers as we face into Covid-19’s impact on family lives, research activity, and operations.

“In China, we are starting to see a return to normal operations, and we will work through this situation as we confidently invest in our long term growth and being the most influential company for life science researchers worldwide.”

Abcam’s in-house catalogue provided revenue growth of 16.3 per cent on a reported basis, or 13.8 per cent on a CER basis to £59.1m, up from £50.8m in the first half of 2019.

Abcam's new headquarters on Cambridge Biomedical Campus (31173832)
Abcam's new headquarters on Cambridge Biomedical Campus (31173832)

The company, which moved to its new Cambridge Biomedical Campus HQ last year, completed the acquisition of Expedeon on January 1 and, following the period covered by the results, has acquired Edigene’s cell line portfolio and the gene editing platform and oncology product portfolio of Applied StemCell. It has also made strategic investments in BrickBio, covering antibody-conjugation, and SomaServe, covering live cell imaging.

The period has has also seen Abcam name Michael Baldock as CFO and Juan Carlos Sacristan as SVP of data and technology.

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