27 February 2013
Ellex Announces Half-Year Results for 2013 Financial Year
Adelaide, Australia, 27 February 2013 – Ellex Medical Lasers Limited (ASX:ELX), a pioneer in medical technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease, today announced its financial results for the half-year ended 31 December 2012.
Consistent with the earnings guidance issued on 30 January 2013, revenue for the half-year was $22.0 million, 16% down on prior comparable period. As a result half-year profit was $59,000. Notwithstanding this reduced profit, improved inventory and purchasing management resulted in a significant improvement in cash generated from operations to $1.79 million for the six months to 31 December 2012, compared with $71,000 for the prior comparable period.
Sales during the comparable six month period ended 31 December 2011 were high due to significant sales of third-party product into the Australian optometry market and high last quarter sales in the USA associated with insurance reimbursement changes. During this most recent six months the Company recorded improved sales in Asia, particularly in China, and preliminary sales from the limited commercial roll-out of Retinal Rejuvenation Therapy (2RT) following regulatory approval in July for treatment of diabetic eye disease in Europe and Australia. These initiatives were not able to match the strong sales in the December 2012 half-year.
“While it was disappointing to not achieve the same sales levels as last year, we were pleased to note that sales in the six months to 31 December 2012 were 4% higher than sales in the six months to 30 June 2012. The improved cash from operations was also a pleasing result,” commented Ellex CEO, Tom Spurling.
The significant improvement in cash from operations provided funding for debt repayments and for further investment in the Company’s growing product development pipeline.
“At the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) held in November 2012, we previewed several new products, which we believe provide us with an opportunity to improve sales in the second-half of the financial year and beyond. Along with early sales of 2RT, this represents the largest, and most important, portfolio of new product releases we have had for several years,” said Mr. Spurling.
New products previewed at the AAO, scheduled for market release over the coming months included: an upgrade to the successful Eye Cubed™ ultrasound; a new multi-wavelength photocoagulator for specialised treatment of retinal disease; a new pattern scanning photocoagulator that reduces treatment time for retinal disease; and, a new premium laser for treatment of vitreous “floaters”, a common ailment which has previously been difficult for ophthalmologists to treat.
According to Mr. Spurling, the opportunity for improved sales in the USA later in the calendar year is also strong. “We aim to commence distribution in July 2013 of our glaucoma treatment lasers to customers in the USA following the expiration of a patent that has prevented our entry into the US market. That patent did not preclude Ellex from selling the glaucoma treatment laser outside of the USA and Ellex has been able to achieve market share of approximately 40. Ellex is confident that, with the support of our in-place direct sales subsidiary, we will progressively build market share in the USA.”
Mr. Spurling concluded: “Strong sales order backlog, combined with the efficiencies achieved in inventory and purchasing which has provided cash to support our product development activities and to reduce debt, positions our business for a better result in the second half of the 2013 financial year.”.
Ellex Medical Lasers Limited (ASX:ELX) is a pioneer in the development of medical technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease. Since 1985, Ellex has evolved from a manufacturing company of primarily OEM products to direct marketing of its own branded products through subsidiaries in the United States, Japan, Germany and Australia, and a network of distribution partners in more than 100 countries. Today, more than 17,000 Ellex laser and imaging systems are used worldwide in the fight against blindness. In more recent times, Ellex has diversified its product range to include distribution of a number of complementary third-party ophthalmic products.