Abcam, the Cambridge UK world leader in the supply of protein research tools, has reported revenue growth of around 17 per cent in the last year despite global pressure on technology-related budgets.Uncertainty in US research spend allied to the general slump in the Eurozone could have holed Abcam’s international sales effort.
Instead the company has marched on with the aid of strategic acquisitions, boosted its product catalogue and still ended the year with over £17 million cash and no bank debt.
In a pre-close update, Abcam said it didn’t expect uncertainty over American state-funded research spend to be resolved ahead of the Presidential election.
Abcam, led from the front by CEO Jonathan Milner, anticipates that profit before tax for the year to June 30 will be slightly ahead of expectations. That’s before one-off costs relating to the acquisitions of Ascent Scientific Limited and Epitomics International Inc of around £3.4m, and amortisation of associated intangible assets.
A company statement said: “During the year we have made significant steps in our strategy to drive growth by extending our product ranges, both through the two acquisitions closed in the period as well as by broadening the number and range of products in the catalogue.
“Through our recent acquisitions we have also opened up new opportunities in the in vitro diagnostic immunohistochemistry, immunoassays, custom service and bio-active small molecules markets.
“Our online catalogue has continued to grow strongly, comprising 92,456 products at the year end, representing growth of 25.5 per cent over the previous year, as we took advantage of a number of one-off opportunities to add product ranges. This number includes 656 products from Ascent and 1,452 new products added in the year from Epitomics.”
The company said that centrally funded academic research budgets remained under pressure “as Governments address fiscal deficits, which in turn creates funding uncertainties for researchers in the US and Europe.
“The US position is unlikely to be clearer until after the Presidential election later this year, whilst in Europe the likely timing and outcome of the issues faced by the single currency add further uncertainty to the situation,” Abcam added.
The revenue growth includes returns of more than £3m from Epitomics in the two and a half months since acquisition, and around £1.4m from Ascent, which was acquired in September 2011.
Excluding revenues from these two acquisitions, constant currency growth for the year was approximately 11.5 per cent, compared to an equivalent figure of 12.3 per cent at the interim stage.
Abcam said tight cost control had enabled the company to broadly maintain gross margins in line with those reported at the interim stage.
The company will report the full-year results in mid-September.