Vita 34 continues to grow in 2020 in core markets after good year-end business
- Revenues slightly up on previous year at EUR 20.1 million after good fourth quarter
- Core markets in DACH show disproportionately strong gains and develop increasingly positively
- EBITDA reduces to EUR 5.3 million due to costs of takeover bid
Leipzig, 30 March 2021 – Vita 34 AG (ISIN: DE000A0BL849; WKN: A0BL84), one of the largest cell banks in Europe, closed the 2020 financial year slightly above previous year’s level after a good fourth quarter. In the year-end business, the company succeeded in overcoming the pandemic-related weaker market environment in the core markets of the DACH region and generated sales increases again.
With revenues of EUR 20.1 million (2019: EUR 19.9 million), the company succeeded in the intended trend reversal in the third and fourth quarters after a weaker start to the year. This development still shows a clear development gap between the markets in the DACH region, which are developing positively again, and the markets in Southern Europe, which are still noticeably affected by the pandemic. However, the situation in these countries has also been improving since the turn of the year.
In the course of 2020, it became clearer from quarter to quarter that the investments made in recent years in digitizing the company’s marketing and sales processes are increasingly paying off. Despite pandemic-related lock downs, it was thus possible to interest an increasing number of health-conscious customers in stem cell storage, although proven multipliers such as gynecologists and midwives were only able to maintain contact with their patients to a significantly lesser extent during COVID-19. “In the current environment, our high level of digitalization is an absolute asset for our company,” explains Dr. Wolfgang Knirsch, CEO of Vita 34 AG. “This gives us better opportunities to establish intensive contact with customers and multipliers via intelligent targeting processes. This measurably increases the success of our marketing efforts and maximizes our sales opportunities.”
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were down 1.6 percent overall year-on-year at EUR 5.3 million (2019: EUR 5.4 million). Adjusted for the consulting costs resulting from the takeover offer of AOC Health GmbH as well as the examination of a possible merger with PBKM in the amount of EUR 0.5 million, however, it even increased slightly on the basis of the purely operational development. “A takeover offer, the review of a merger and all costs directly related to this represent a special financial effect for our company,” explains Falk Neukirch, CFO of Vita 34. “As we still expect significant costs in this context in 2021, we have decided to introduce an adjusted EBITDA from the current financial year. This should make it easier for our investors to better evaluate our actual operating performance.” With further reduced administrative costs and even slightly increased marketing and selling expenses, the EBITDA margin amounted to 26.6 percent. Adjusted for the costs of the takeover bid, it was 29.1 percent.
Compared to the full-year guidance, which assumed a range of EUR 19 to 21 million for revenues and a range of EUR 4.8 to 5.8 million for EBITDA, 2020 revenues and EBITDA were correspondingly in the middle of the range. Measured in terms of adjusted EBITDA, i.e. the purely operational development of the company, the EBITDA forecast was even exceeded.
The key figures for business development are as follows:
|in EUR ‘000 ||Q4 2020 ||Q4 2019* ||12M 2020 ||12M 2019* ||12M ∆ |
|Revenues ||5,163 ||5,050 ||20,069 ||19,934 ||0.7% |
|Gross profit ||3,028 ||2,918 ||11,663 ||11,783 ||-1.0% |
|EBITDA ||1,093 ||1,126 ||5,344 ||5,433 ||-1.6% |
|EBITDA margin [%] ||21.2 ||22.3 ||26.6 ||27.3 || |
|EBIT ||356 ||378 ||2,380 ||2,453 ||-3.0% |
|Net earnings ||28 ||-34 ||1,501 ||718 ||109.1% |
|Earnings per share ||0.01 ||-0.01 ||0.37 ||0.18 ||105.6% |
|Operating Cashflow ||— ||— ||3,980 ||6,318 ||-37.0% |
|Cash & cash equivalents |
|— ||— ||10,396 ||9,102 ||14.2% |
* Prior-year figures adjusted. The adjustments are explained in the notes to the consolidated financial statements under 2.3.
At EUR 4.0 million, operating cash flow was around a third lower than in the previous year (2019: EUR 6.3 million). The main reasons for this are the increased demand since the second quarter of 2020 for annual payment contracts under the PUR pricing model, which involve lower upfront payments than under the conventional pricing model and thus increase working capital, as well as scheduled tax payments for prior periods. The increase in inventories to safeguard process stability during the pandemic had a minor impact on working capital. Cash and cash equivalents nevertheless increased further and, at EUR 10.4 million at the end of 2020, underline the Group’s solid financial structure (31.12.2019: EUR 9.1 million).
The future and development projects, in particular the storage of immune cells from adult peripheral blood and the storage of fat cells for use in aesthetic medicine (“AdipoVita”), continue to develop according to plan. With the Institute for Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research of the Helmholz Center in Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), a renowned project partner could be won for a research cooperation. Within the framework of the collaboration, the principal suitability of cryopreserved immune cell isolates for the production of immune cell therapeutics will initially be examined in preclinical scientific work. The influence of long-term storage of immune cell preparations on cell therapy quality will also be analyzed.
Against the backdrop of the positive business development, particularly in the second half of 2020, and the improving market environment, the Management Board considers the company’s prospects for success to be very good. For the full year, the Management Board accordingly expects revenues of between EUR 20.3 and 22.3 million and adjusted EBITDA (reported EBITDA adjusted for negative special effects due to consulting costs as a result of a potential merger with PBKM) of between EUR 5.5 and 6.1 million.
The Management Board of Vita 34 AG will be available to interested investors, analysts and members of the press today at 1 p.m. for additional explanations on the business development within the framework of an open telephone conference. Registration for this takes place by e-mail via the Investor Relations departments (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Vita 34 AG
Telefon: +49 (0341) 48792 – 0
Mobil: +49 (0174) 9091190
Vita 34 was founded in 1997 in Leipzig and is today one of the leading cell banks in Europe. As Europe’s first private cord blood bank and a pioneer in cell banking, the company has since offered collection logistics, processing and storage of stem cells from umbilical cord blood and tissue as a full-service provider for cryopreservation. Based on the expansion of the business model in 2019, Vita 34 also intends to offer the storage of immune cells from peripheral blood and stem cells from autologous fat in the future. Endogenous cells are a valuable starting material for medical cell therapy and are kept alive at temperatures around minus 200 degrees Celsius so that they can be used as part of a treatment if required. More than 247,000 customers from more than 20 countries have already provided for their family’s health with a cell depot at Vita 34.
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