Shares in BTG (BTG) fell 4.8% to 339.2p as investors expressed disappointment regarding the lack of a dividend in light of a burgeoning cash pile, even as the FTSE 250 firm produced good operating results for the year to April.
The decision by BTG’s chief executive officer (CEO) Louise Makin to turn the company into a specialist healthcare company making and selling its own products has continued to reap rewards. Almost nine years after she changed the direction of the business from an intellectual property development and technology commercialisation play, she has announced another year of strong growth.
For the year to April, pre-tax profits increased by £1.1 million to £24.1 million on revenues up 19% to £233.7 million. Basic earnings per share (EPS) rose from 4.5p to 5p. More impressively, the fully listed firm generated £46.8 million cash during the period to bring its liquid resources to £158.7 million, compared to £111.9 million a year earlier.
The £1.2 billion cap will use this cash to develop its pipeline of treatments, make acquisitions and help launch its varicose vain treatment Varisolve, which is currently under review by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
America, where there are an estimated 40 million untreated sufferers of the condition, is a key market for the drug. BTG is recruiting a specialist sales force for the product ahead of an expected launch in 2014.
Investec Securities expects BTG to deliver further growth during the next few years. In a note today, the broker writes: 'Whilst there may not be enough new information within the statement to help the shares break out of their current range, we think investors should be building holdings in a high quality growth asset that we think has the potential to deliver significant returns from the launch of Varisolve, a product we think will exceed management’s $500 million per annum sales target.'
BTG has almost 600 employees in Europe, North America and Australia engaged in commercial, R&D and manufacturing activities.
Other products include Zytiga, which treats men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, snake bite anti-venom CroFab and digoxin toxicity treatment DigiFab.