ANIMALCARE GROUP PLC
("Animalcare" or the "Group" or the "Company")
Half Year Trading Update and Notice of Results
22 July 2021. Animalcare Group plc (AIM: ANCR), the international animal health business, provides the following unaudited trading update for the six months ended 30 June 2021 ahead of publishing its interim results on 28 September 2021.
Animalcare is pleased to report a double-digit increase in revenues and further strengthening of its financial position in the first half. Thanks to the outstanding commitment of our team the Group continues to perform strongly and implement its long-term growth strategy.
Total sales for the period were £39.1m, an increase of £4.6m or 13% (14% at CER) on the prior year helped by increased veterinary demand. We saw growth across our markets with the Companion Animals portfolio the driving factor. The Group's position in this growing segment of the market is due to receive a further boost as ongoing investment in the pipeline and business development delivers. Notably, Daxocox launch activities commenced at the end of the first half while the STEM dental range of products remains on track to complete manufacturing transfer and launch in late Q4.
The rate of growth in underlying EBITDA for the first six months is expected to be ahead of revenue, reflecting a higher margin product mix and positive leverage over the period. Recognising the beneficial effect of phasing during the first half, and consistent with Board expectations, we maintain our outlook of increased revenues for the full year.
Continuing strong cash generation drove further reduction in net debt in the period. Accounting for payment of the final dividend post-year end, net debt is approximately £10.1m, down by around £3.5m (26%) from 31 December 2020 (£13.6m). As a result, the net debt to underlying EBITDA leverage ratio is well below our target range of 1.0 to 2.0 times, further strengthening our financial position to enable investment in future growth which remains a key strategic objective.
Commenting on first half trading, Jenny Winter, Chief Executive Officer said: "We're delighted to have made such a positive start to the year after a challenging 2020 for the Animalcare team and our customers. Focused execution of our growth strategy has enabled us to take advantage of increased demand across our markets and further strengthen our financial platform as we pursue opportunities that will create long-term value. Our outlook for the full year remains unchanged at this time and we remain upbeat on the prospects for the Group.
"We are now in full launch mode for Daxocox and though it's still early in the journey for this differentiated new pain treatment we are excited about the response we are getting from our customers."
As announced on 8 July 2021, following the sale of Ecuphar Invest NV's shareholding in the Group through a secondary placing, Christiaan Cardon has resigned from the Animalcare Board and a non-executive recruitment process has been initiated. The Board would like to take this opportunity to welcome new shareholders to the Group and thank existing investors for their ongoing support. The Board also wishes to record its appreciation for Christiaan's service and contribution to the business since joining the Group in 2017, originally as an Executive and subsequently a Non-Executive Director.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014.
Animalcare Group plc
Jenny Winter, Chief Executive Officer
Chris Brewster, Chief Financial Officer
+44 (0)1904 487 687
Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited
+44 (0)20 7710 7600
Freddy Crossley/Emma Earl
+44 (0)20 7886 2500
About Animalcare www.animalcaregroup.com
Animalcare Group plc is a UK AIM-listed international veterinary sales and marketing organisation. Animalcare operates in seven countries and exports to approximately 40 countries in Europe and worldwide. The Group is focused on bringing new and innovative products to market through its own development pipeline, partnerships and via acquisition.