Eco Animal Health plc (LON:EAH) Chief Executive Officer Mark Loomes caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss highlights from their final results, how the business performed during the pandemic, what drove the 44% increase in demand for Aivlosin and the outlook for the company.
Q1: First off, congratulations on your results for the year. Could you just talk us through the highlights?
A1: Eco Animal Health’s key financial performance indicators were all strongly positive, but the two that really stand out for me were the 5% improvement in gross margins, reflecting this year’s geographical mix and underpinned by pricing discipline and cost stabilisation across the business, and the improvement in cash balances whilst the business continued to invest heavily in R&D, which has resulted in the proposed assumption of the dividend payment.
Q2: So, what are your key markets and how have these performed?
A2: Our key markets are the principal food producing markets, and of these China, the USA and Brazil have all performed remarkably strongly.
This growth was driven by African swine fever making structural changes, followed by the very rapidly stocking of pig herd and very high core practices in China and the strong domestic and export demand for pork in the USA and exports from Brazil.
However, these outstanding performances were tempered somewhat by disappointing results in South and South-East Asia, related to both African swine fever and COVID-19 in these markets.
Q3: Now, the company appears to have performed resiliently during the pandemic. Can you just provide some colour on how it’s impacted the business?
A3: We have performed resiliently during the pandemic. We transitioned very quickly and very smoothly to remote working, we’ve retained all of our staff and we’ve not had to require any assistance from any government financial support scheme.
As the company has an outsourced manufacturing model, our supply chain market assets have functioned robustly in most locations during this challenging period.
Q4: You mentioned Aivlosin demand increased by 44%, what do you think that’s down to?
A4: Aivlosin is increasingly recognized as a highly effective treatment for respiratory disease control. This position has been reinforced by Aivlosin approvals granted by the USA, Canada, and the European regulatory authorities for the treatment of enzootic pneumonia in pigs in the year just ended.
Q5: Now, just looking forward, how would you describe the outlook for Eco Animal Health?
A5: The business is well positioned to face the challenges of the future, despite the current lower pork prices and softer demand in China. Our staff really have demonstrated remarkable fortitude through very difficult times.
Aivlosin is a proven treatment which continues to grow and the company is invested in a very exciting product development pipeline, focusing on vaccines for our future growth.