Tristel is starting to see signs of market recovery

Manufacturer of infection prevention products Tristel Said in a business update Wednesday that as the fourth quarter progressed, demand for its device-based products accelerated as hospital outpatient services gradually returned to activity levels before the pandemic.

The AIM-listed company said sales of surface disinfectant products also continued to grow.

He said he expected the resumption of business activity, combined with a gross margin maintained at 80% and “tight control” of operating costs, translate into higher revenue. of £ 31million, up from £ 31.7million a year earlier, and pre-tax profit. £ 5.5million for the year, compared to £ 7.1million.

Tristel noted that in 2017 he took a stake in a medical device company focused on women’s health.

He said the investment led to close collaboration between the two companies, which had been a “key influence” in the development of its “3T” application, and new ongoing product development initiatives involving the artificial intelligence (AI) and for which several patent applications had been filed.

The company’s shareholders had initiated a process to sell the company to allow the technology to find its place within a larger medical device company that had the resources to succeed in the US market.

Tristel said the process has not been successful to date, adding that even if it continues to operate as a business, it will take a conservative approach to the book value of the investment, totaling 0. £ 8million, and would alter it completely over the course of the year. just ended.

This expense was not in cash and would be recorded as an exceptional item.

Additionally, as announced on June 24, Tristel was successful in securing its first regulatory approval in Canada for “Duo OPH” disinfectant for ophthalmic devices, and enhanced approval for additional efficacy claims from from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for ‘Jet’ Surface Sanitizer.

A more detailed update on the progress of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) submission for Duo ULT for ultrasound probe disinfection, and the business development plan for North America, would be provided with the final results in October.

The company’s cash on June 30 was £ 8million, up from £ 6.2million a year earlier.

Tristel’s board has said it has committed to declaring a final dividend of 3.93 pence, or a total of 6.55 pence for the year.

This level of distribution represented a one-off divergence from its declared dividend policy of 2x hedging.

Looking ahead, Tristel said that towards the end of the fiscal year, he saw an increase in hospital admissions and patient examinations.

He said he was confident that sales and profit growth would pick up again this year, adding that the investments he had made in people, systems and new market registrations would “lay the groundwork” for future growth. .

“The second half of the year has been a frustrating time for the company,” said Managing Director Paul Swinney.

“Since spring 2020, our normally stable and predictable business has been disrupted by both Brexit and the pandemic.

“We have been waiting for signs that healthcare supply in our top 25 markets is returning to normal, and we are finally seeing signs that this is happening.”

At 1407 BST, shares of Tristel were down 4.85% to 628p.

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