Probiotics firm’s full-year results bring disappointment

Blis Technologies has broken a three-year run of profitability, posting a loss of $2.7 million for the 12 months to March 31.

A Dunedin sharebroker has described it as a "messy result after a messy year".

Yesterday, the NZX-listed Dunedin probiotics company released its full-year results to March 31, in which it posted a loss for the first time since 2018.

In 2019, Blis posted its maiden profit of $400,000, which rose to $1.6 million in 2020. Last year, it posted a profit of $600,000.

In a statement, chairman Geoff Plunket said the 2022 financial year had been challenging and the results were disappointing.

Blis’ total revenue dropped by 16% to $8.9 million.

Revenue from its ingredients products was down 67% to $5.8 million. However, revenue from its finished products was up 33% to $2.9 million.

Despite the difficult conditions, Blis continued to have attractive future prospects, Mr Plunket said.

It was "particularly enthusiastic" about its partnership with Swedish company Probi which would be a growth driver.

Chief executive Brian Watson said Blis had continued investment in new revenue streams in its finished product portfolio.

That had delivered growth, but it did not offset the "disappointing" result for Blis’ ingredient business that had declined due to uncertain market conditions and a change in customers’ ordering patterns, he said.

Blis’ priorities in the year ahead would be the Canadian and e-commerce markets as well as resetting its skincare strategy.

Despite the ongoing market challenges globally, which included Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine, the firm believed the ingredients business would return to growth, he said.

Craigs Investment Partners broker Peter McIntyre said the result seemed like Blis was taking "one step back to go two steps forward" longer term.

Lack of revenue growth and inventory build up was the biggest concern for the market.

Some of the disruption caused by Covid-19 was out of Blis’ control, he said.

The company’s relationship with Probi, particularly through research and development and distribution, would be key.

"Probi’s scale and its linkages into new markets will be really important," Mr McIntyre said.

If the stars aligned for Blis, its growth could be far more significant in the year ahead, he said.

The market did not react well to the results, Blis’ share price collapsing almost 18% to 3.2c a share in the first hour of trading yesterday morning. The stock closed the day at 3.4c, down 12.8% on Monday’s close.

Blis Technologies

Full-year results to March 31

Total net loss after tax  $2.7m

Ebitda loss  $2.1m

Total revenue  $8.9m

Net debt  $35,000

Total assets  $14.1m

Working capital $9.9m