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TruScreen says $166m opportunity awaits

TruScreen says $166m opportunity awaits

By Victoria Young

Aug. 27 (BusinessDesk) - TruScreen says it has a $166 million sales opportunity and China will continue to drive sales at the cervical cancer test maker.

Whether that growth will need more funding, following a $1.1 million capital raising in July, is unclear. It may have been discussed with shareholders today but media were turned away from the annual meeting in Auckland.

TruScreen’s presentation notes describe this year's capital raising as a success despite it not reaching its $2 million goal.

The firm's accounts were tagged earlier this year, with auditors noting uncertainty around the company's ability to continue as a going concern if things don’t go to plan.

As at March 31, the company had about $1.7 million of cash, having spent $2.7 million on operations that year. All things being equal, the funds raised would be enough to meet Truscreen's operating needs for the current financial year.

Shareholders injected $3.1 million of new equity into the company in the March year and $1.4 million the year before that.

Comment was sought from chief executive Martin Dillon.

In a July notice to the NZX, he said the latest share issue would provide working capital to “meet growing demand from countries where we have established distributorships.

“The funds also enable TruScreen to develop new markets for its product, with a focus on partnering with global non-government organisations.”

Sales were up by 132 percent in the March year from about $800,000 to $1.86 million. Its net loss shrank to $3.3 million from $4.2 million.

In presentation slides for today's meeting, the company identifies its addressable market as being worth $166 million. That's if it manages to achieve 8 percent market share in China, 6 percent share in Mexico and Russia, and smaller figures in Africa, India, the Middle East and Latin America.

TruScreen obtained product registrations in Saudi Arabia and Israel this year.

China is the world’s biggest cervical cancer market, with a screening age population of 400 million, and provides 52 percent of TruScreen's sales.

The presentation slides indicate it could improve gross profit per device by bringing high-tech processes in-house.

TruScreen also said it would list on the Australian stock exchange, invest in skilful people and investigate more cost-reduction strategies.

The firm's shares recently traded at 11 cents, having fallen 48 this year. The company will report first-half results in September.


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