Thursday 30th May 2019
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Cervical cancer test maker TruScreen reported a $3.5 million net loss for the year ended March, failing to meet its June 2018 forecast that it would turn profitable.
Now the company is saying it is making “positive commercial progress in its key markets and significant sales growth is expected.”
The latest result compares with a $4.2 million net loss the previous year, with revenue up 43 percent at $3.1 million. After stripping out interest and R&D tax credits, revenue from sale of goods rose to $2.1 million from $800,000.
Net cash outflow from operations eased to $2.7 million from $3.7 million and the company had $1.7 million in hand at March 31.
“As it has previously done, TruScreen will seek shareholder support for its growth strategy as it works towards profitability,” the company says.
The company raised almost $3 million net in fresh equity last year.
It says highlights for the year include an expanded presence in existing markets, with China remaining the primary focus while it now has distribution agreements in Russia and Zimbabwe.
It also established a pilot manufacturing facility in Australia with capacity to produce 200 units per month.
“TruScreen gained increased recognition and validation for the benefits of its device, particularly in low- and middle-income countries with limited laboratory infrastructure and high rates of cervical cancer,” it says in a statement.
About 90 percent of global deaths from cervical cancer occur in low- to middle-income nations.
“China, which has 400 million of screening age, remains TruScreen’s primary market opportunity,” it says.
It has started large-scale evaluations in China with the women’s and children’s division of the Centre for Disease Control and with the China Obstetrics and Gynaecology Association.
“These programmes are key platforms for adoption on the screening guidelines of both organisations and for eventual inclusion in the screening guidelines for all 12,000 government hospitals in China,” the company says.
TruScreen received an initial order for multiple devices and single use sensors of $364,000 from Russia, which has more than 44 million women of cervical cancer screening age.
It also announced its African HIV initiative, which includes discussions with senior African health officials regarding the general screening and the specific need for screening HIV-affected women, it says.
“Additionally, TruScreen received an initial order of $450,000 from the National Aids Council of Zimbabwe to supply cervical cancer screen systems.”
The company’s systems will be used in stage 1 of a pilot programme in Zimbabwe to supply screening to more than 800,000 HIV-affected women in that country.
“TruScreen also gained product registration in Saudi Arabia and Israel, thereby increasing its capability to see the TruScreen device across the Middle East.”
The company says it cut costs during the past year. Its biggest cost, R&D, eased to $1.8 million from $1.9 million, inventory purchases rose to $1.4 million from about $700,000 while employee benefit expenses and directors’ fees fell to $1.2 million from $1.4 million.
The company says its Australian factory has increased production while lowering the cost per device and is looking at further cost-reduction strategies.
The bottom line loss included a $316,027 foreign exchange loss compared with a loss of $342,388 the previous year.
Administration, travel costs and shareholder relations and services fell while marketing, rent and insurance rose.
TruScreen shares last traded at 13.8 cents, valuing the company at $29.9 million. The shares are down about 8 percent from a year ago.
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