Business development of Vita 34 stable and unaffected by COVID-19 development so far
- First-quarter revenues of EUR 4.7 million almost at previous year's level
- EBITDA of EUR 1.2 million affected by higher marketing and sales activities
- visible business development in the second quarter stable despite COVID-19
Leipzig, 14 May 2020 - Vita 34 AG (ISIN: DE000A0BL849; WKN: A0BL84), one of the largest cell banks in Europe, has made a stable start to the new 2020 financial year. Revenues in the first quarter remained almost at the previous year's level. In the second quarter, the current order intake also shows a linear sales development so far. To secure the supply of production-relevant preliminary products, sufficient precautions have been taken to prevent negative effects on process stability in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
At EUR 4.7 million, revenues in the first quarter were 2.3 percent below the previous year (Q1 2019: EUR 4.8 million). As a result of the targeted increase in marketing and sales expenses by approximately nine percent to EUR 1.4 million compared to the prior-year period (Q1 2019: EUR 1.3 million), earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were down 9.9 percent to EUR 1.2 million (Q1 2019: EUR 1.3 million). "In the past financial year we analyzed how to deploy our budgets in an even more targeted manner in order to achieve organic growth in our core market," explains Dr. Wolfgang Knirsch, CEO of Vita 34 AG. "Accordingly, we have increased our marketing and sales expenses in certain areas in order to accelerate our organic growth and further consolidate our leading market position."
The company's liquidity situation remains very positive. At EUR 9.1 million, cash and cash equivalents were at the same level as at the end of 2019 (31.12.2019: EUR 9.1 million). "The changed environment, which came as a surprise to us with the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020, required extraordinary efforts at all levels. Due to the still difficult assessable range of the effects of the pandemic, the focus of the measures was on maintaining core processes. From today's perspective, we have achieved this. It is therefore all the more pleasing that despite the expansion of working capital that was necessary in certain areas, liquidity was maintained at a high level," explains Falk Neukirch, CFO of Vita 34 AG.
The key figures for business development in the first quarter of 2020 are as follows:
|in EUR '000
|EBITDA margin [%]
|Earnings per share [EUR]
|Operating cash flow
|Cash & cash equivalents (vs. year-end 2019)
Since the beginning of May, the company has also been able to return to addressing the relevant target groups personally in the market. "It goes without saying that we are exercising the utmost caution in dealing with this special situation," explains CFO Falk Neukirch. "As things stand at present, however, we are making good progress through these challenging times."
According to Chinese scientists, it should be possible to successfully treat critical COVID-19 pneumonia with the help of connective tissue stem cells, so-called mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cord tissue. Since these cells are chemotactic, they migrate specifically to sites of inflammation, trigger regeneration processes and weaken the inflammatory reaction. This approach has now been taken up and positively evaluated in a specialist publication of the Harvard Medical School. This supportive therapy is currently being investigated in 19 clinical studies in Asia and Europe. "The results of most of these studies will not be available until later this year", explains CEO Dr. Wolfgang Knirsch, "If the results are positive, we expect that the regenerative potential of stem cells from umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord tissue will again receive increased attention".
Against the background of the stable business development in the first quarter and the previous indication for the second quarter, the Management Board of Vita 34 continues to adhere to its forecasts for the financial year 2020.
Vita 34 AG
Phone: +49 (0341) 48792 - 0
Mobile: +49 (0174) 9091190
Vita 34 was founded in Leipzig in 1997 and is today one of the leading cell banks in Europe. As the first private umbilical cord blood bank in Europe and a pioneer in cell banking, the company has since then been a complete provider of cryopreservation services for the collection, processing and storage of stem cells from umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord tissue. Based on the expansion of the business model in 2019, Vita 34 intends to also offer the storage of immune cells from peripheral blood as well as of stem cells from endogenous fat in the future. Nursing cells are a valuable source of medical cell therapy and are kept alive at temperatures as low as minus 200 degrees Celsius to be used as part of a treatment when needed. More than 237,000 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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