Company news: Pacific Edge, Gentrack, Stride, Metlifecare and a new corporate advisory

Cancer diagnostics firm Pacific Edge’s loss widened to $9m in the six months to September but the company said momentum seen in the second half had continued with growth in test volumes, sales and cash receipts.

The loss compared with a $7.09m loss in the same year-ago period.

Pacific Edge said its key performance metrics were significantly ahead of the same time last year, driven by reimbursement milestones, increasing insurance coverage and adoption by urologists and healthcare organisations.

Chief executive David Darling said sales momentum had continued in the first half.

“This is particularly pleasing given the resurgence in Covid-19 restrictions due to the spread of the Delta variant, which further restricted access to clinics and urologists for both patients and for our salespeople in both the US and New Zealand,” he said.

“As Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and access improves, we expect to see a positive impact on our business.”

The company had continued to make progress with its “Cxbladder” suite of tests as the diagnostic product of choice for urologists and patients.

Total revenue increased 66 per cent to $6.7m. Operating revenue from “Cxbladder” sales increased 62 per cent on the prior comparative period to $5.4m.

Stride to raise capital

Diversified property manager Stride plans to raise $120 million, after reporting a strong lift in its half-year profit.

Net rental income rose nearly $10m over the half, to $61.5m, due to the acquisition of further properties to its office portfolio. Bottom line growth was fueled by its share of the profit in its investments entities rising to $37.5m, from $22.3m a year ago.

The company outlined plans to raise $120m from institutional and retail investors to pay down debt and provide balance sheet flexibility should it proceed with plans to establish a listed office fund called Fabric.

Shares are to be offered at $2 each to instos, an 8.5 per cent discount on the last traded price. The retail offer, worth $20m, would be offered at the lower placement price or a 2.5 per cent discount on the market price over the previous five trading days.

Gentrack delivers on guidance

Gentrack delivered its full-year result slightly ahead of guidance, turning in underlying ebitda of $12.7m, up 5 per cent on the same period last year.

The company reconfirmed guidance for 2022 revenue ahead of the $105.7m delivered in 2021 but did not provide earnings guidance, possibly on the basis of some uncertainty around the timing and quantum of further R&D spend.

Gentrack did confirm that Bulb Energy, which went into special administration earlier this week, is a top 5 customer accounting for approximately $5-6m in revenue last year – lower than some analysts had estimated.

Stiassny, Cullinane and O'Rourke combine

A trio of well-known business people have teamed up to establish a new advisory, designed specifically to help company founders, from early-stage startups to those going through major market disruption.

Founders Advisory has been set up by Peter Cullinane, who had a long career with advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi before founding Lewis Road Creamery, accounting, finance and insolvency specialist Michael Stiassny and Nicola O’Rourke, an FMCG specialist and chief digital officer at Comvita.

Their pitch is to solve what they describe as a conundrum faced by founders – how to obtain informed, balanced, and objective advice.

Stiassny says the proposition is simple: “If it was our money, what would we do?”

Retirement village buy-up

Metlifecare, taken over by Swedish investment firm EQT Partners last year, announced it is acquiring six of the Selwyn Foundation’s retirement villages.

The transaction is contingent on approval from the Overseas Investment Office, Ministry of Health and Statutory Supervisor.

Metlifecare will purchase Selwyn Park, Selwyn Heights, Selwyn Oaks, Selwyn Wilson Carlile, Selwyn St Andrew’s and Selwyn Sprott villages in Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Cambridge and Wellington. Metlifecare will also acquire The Selwyn Foundation’s commercial laundry.

CEO Earl Gasparich said: “The acquisition of these six Selwyn sites is an excellent opportunity for Metlifecare to take a big step forward towards the strategic objectives of our Full Potential Plan.

With the six new villages, Metlifecare will have 32 villages in the North Island, offering almost 6,000 units and care beds.

The Selwyn Foundation is chaired by former Labour Party leader David Cunliffe and is a Christian charity providing services to older people and their families.

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