Vita 34 successfully implements price increases in first quarter of 2023 in generally weak market environment

EQS-News: Vita 34 AG / Key word(s): Quarter Results
Vita 34 successfully implements price increases in first quarter of 2023 in generally weak market environment
31.05.2023 / 08:00 CET/CEST
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Vita 34 successfully implements price increases in first quarter of 2023 in generally weak market environment
  • First quarter sales up 15.7 percent to EUR 17.9 million
  • Gross profit benefits from price adjustments and cost discipline and increases by 58.2 percent to EUR 5.7 million
  • EBITDA in positive territory at EUR 0.3 million after significantly negative figures in previous year
  • Guidance for full year 2023 confirmed despite difficult environment

Leipzig, 31 May 2023 – Vita 34 AG, the leading cell bank in Europe and the third largest in the world, was able to hold its ground overall in the first quarter in a market environment that can still be described as weak. Despite a significant decline in the number of births in its core markets, the company succeeded in expanding its sales revenues and turning earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) back into positive territory.

At EUR 17.9 million, sales in the reporting period were up 15.7 percent on the previous year (Q1 2022: EUR 15.5 million). This significant growth was mainly driven by successfully established price increases in several markets, which accounted for +11.8 percent of the increase, as well as by positive effects from contract adjustments related to the harmonization of accounting in accordance with IFRS-15, which accounted for +7.1 percent of the increase. This development was countered by a persistently weak market environment characterized by a continuing decline in birth rates in the core markets of Europe. Against the backdrop of strict cost discipline and the implementation of efficiency enhancement measures, large parts of the cost of sales in the first quarter were virtually unchanged or only slightly higher than in the same period of the previous year. Accordingly, EBITDA was positive at EUR 0.3 million (Q1 2022: EUR -1.1 m).

“Overall, it can be considered quite positive that the price increases we have established in several markets have had a revenue-increasing effect and that the customer response reflects that even at the new price level, cryopreservation of stem cells is an attractive option for expectant parents to provide for their family’s health,” emphasizes Jakub Baran, CEO of Vita 34 AG. “At the same time, we continue to experience a historic decline in birth rates. Based on data from the German Federal Statistical Office, it shows that in Germany, for example – after a brief recovery phase – we were even below the lows of 2023 in the first quarter. We are clearly feeling the impact of this trend on our business model. While there is no question that this negative development will be overcome. However, it is impossible to predict when this will be the case, and strict cost discipline accordingly remains the top priority in our day-to-day business.”

The key figures for business development are as follows:

  IFRS, in TEUR Q1 Q1 Q1  
    2023 2022*  
  Sales 17,904 15,480 15.7%  
  Gross profit 5,681 3,592 58.2%  
  EBITDA 272 -1,064    
  EBITDA margin [%] 1.5 -6.9    
  EBIT -1,813 -3,195    
  Net profit for the period -3,040 -2,937    
  Earnings per share [EUR] -0.18 -0.18 0.0%  
  Operating cash flow 1,974 423 366.9%  
  Cash and cash equivalents (vs. 31 Dec. 2022) 14,697 16,290 -9.8%  

In addition to adjusting cost structures in the areas of administration, marketing and sales, the company is also focusing its investments in the new business areas of cell & gene therapies and CDMO. Accordingly, the investments in the current fiscal year 2023 are to be used to pursue the sub-projects in a targeted manner and to run fewer projects in parallel. As previously announced, recruitment of patients (“First Patient In”) for Phase I of the clinical trial of Tarcidomgen Kimleucel is currently underway. The drug candidate is an anti-CD19 CAR-T, a chimeric antigen receptor, and the first candidate of Vita 34’s Cell & Gene Therapy portfolio.

The development of operating cash flow benefited from the measures introduced. After EUR 0.4 million in the previous year, it developed significantly positively to EUR 2.0 million in the first quarter. Despite investments in the new business areas and the increased financing costs against the backdrop of the changed interest rate environment, the outflow of liquidity slowed down in the first quarter of 2023. At EUR 14.7 million, cash and cash equivalents were 9.8 percent below the level as of the end of 2022 (31 Dec 2022: EUR 16.3 million).

The Management Board of Vita 34 AG assesses the general market environment as still difficult and, against the backdrop of declining birth rates, also difficult to assess for the further course of the year. However, due to the positive impulses of the established price adjustments and an optimized cost basis, the Management Board considers the company to be well equipped to cope with this difficult market phase in the coming quarters. The Management Board therefore confirms its guidance for the full year. This assumes sales in the range of EUR 75 to 82 million and EBITDA in the range of EUR 5.5 to 7.0 million. The forecast is based on a constant exchange rate of the euro against the Polish zloty and other currencies (HUF, RON, TRY, GBP) compared to 31 March 2023. Effects from potential acquisitions, including resulting transaction costs, are not included in the outlook.

Ingo Middelmenne
Investor Relations
Vita 34 AG
Phone: +49 (0341) 48792 – 0
Mobile: +49 (0174) 9091190

Company Profile
Vita 34 was founded in Leipzig in 1997 and is today by far the leading cell bank in Europe and the third largest worldwide. 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, umbilical cord tissue and other postnatal tissues as a full-service cryopreservation provider. Based on the expansion of the business model that took place after the merger with PBKM, the company intends to invest in the areas of Cell and Gene therapies and CDMO. The body’s own cells are a valuable starting material for medical cell therapy and are kept alive in the vapors of liquid nitrogen. Customers from around 50 countries have already ensured the health of their families with more than 930,000 units of stored biological material at Vita 34.

31.05.2023 CET/CEST Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by EQS News – a service of EQS Group AG.
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