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Hues of Blis less brightly glow

Friday 14th November 2003

Text too small?
A puzzling aspect to Blis Technologies' proposed rights issue is its small size. The one-for-two rights issue, subject to shareholder approval next week, will raise $3.17 million ­ signalling a change in focus for the biotech company.

Basically, Blis is moving away from investing in research and development and needs cash to focus on rolling out its products internationally.

The trouble is local sales were unimpressive over the past six months and getting a start in the US and Asia typically is expensive.

Blis chief executive Kelvin Moffatt said the issue size came down to a trade off between R&D and getting existing products to market.

"The amount of cash we are raising reflects that point."

In other words the directors realise it is time to start making money.

Moffatt expressed disappointment at the company's domestic performance during the winter, with operating revenue dipping 10% to $269,000 in the six months to September.

"We probably rested on our laurels a bit ... but the New Zealand market was never going to be the answer to our income ­ we need to look internationally."

Blis has three products on the go, including its flagship K12 bacterial throat protector, a tooth decay preventative and a halitosis preventative.

The company was targeting Asia for sore throat treatment and the US for its oral hygiene products.

Blis shares received a boost in September following a deal to register and sell K12 in China but have since dropped back to below 30c.

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