Pacific Edge shareholders told to be patient

Pacific Edge chief executive David Darling at the company's annual shareholder meeting in Dunedin...
Pacific Edge chief executive David Darling at the company's annual shareholder meeting in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Pacific Edge shareholders heard the company is targeting two million annual tests in the United States, but that they also must exercise patience while revenues gather pace.

About 70 Pacific Edge shareholders attended the annual meeting in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery yesterday.

Following a roller-coaster year on the sharemarket, at one point sharing the limelight with Xero, Pacific Edge shares had since come off the boil and shed more than 60% in value over six months. But they were now up, trading around 72c yesterday.

Pacific Edge has made big inroads into international health provider contracts, in particular four major providers covering millions of people, in accessing the crucial US market.

Chief executive David Darling said while the company's US lab could handle 260,000 tests at present, it could be expanded to meet the opportunity of two million tests.

''It's the scale and accessibility which is paramount to success,'' he said.

Pacific Edge's non-invasive Cx-bladder test costs less than $400 in New Zealand, while the cost in New Zealand and the US for repeated invasive tests can run into thousands of dollars per patient.

Dr Darling said a new product would be launched by December, the Cx-triage, the second in the suite of bladder cancer products.

The company is targeting 19 regions across the US, which represents 60% of the market.

Included in key targets this year were revenue growth from the US, in which Dr Darling expected cashflow to offset annual losses.

For its full year to March, Pacific Edge's revenue was up 187% to $523,000. After-tax losses grew 44% from $6.9 million to $9.3 million, as expected, but the company retained $20.4 million cash in hand to fund expansion.

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