Burcon NutraScience Corp.
- WKN: 157793
- ISIN: CA1208311029
- Land: Kanada
Nachricht vom 04.07.2019 | 10:20
Burcon NutraScience Corp.: Burcon Announces Fiscal 2019 Results and Reviews Operations
DGAP-News: Burcon NutraScience Corp. / Key word(s): Annual Results
Vancouver, British Columbia, July 2, 2019 - Burcon NutraScience Corporation (TSX: BU), a global leader in developing functionally and nutritionally valuable plant-proteins, reported results for the year ended March 31, 2019.
"Fiscal 2019 proved to be a turning point in consumer appetites for plant-based foods and a watershed moment in Burcon's history," said Johann F. Tergesen, Burcon's president and chief executive officer. He added: "Looking back on the year, our team did a great job of focusing on and achieving our number one priority, and as a result we are now driving forward and building a first of its kind commercial-scale plant-protein production facility, where we will produce our unique pea and canola proteins directly through our just-announced partnership. As the world awakens to the opportunity of a better way to feed the planet, Burcon, with twenty years of expertise in plant-protein research, is ideally positioned to capitalize from the moment. We look forward to offering our pea and canola protein products to customers and consumers who choose to defy convention, embrace innovation, and who simply want to feel great about their health and sustainability."
Fiscal 2019 Operational Highlights
Subsequent to the year-end, the Company announced / completed the following significant developments:
Over the past year we saw a substantial increase in the interest in and awareness of plant-based foods, both here in North America and globally. This was perhaps demonstrated most notably by the media coverage of the initial public offering of Beyond Meat, a U.S.-based meat analogue company. In an equally dramatic scale, Burcon also experienced a surge in interest over the past year in our plant-based protein ingredients. In Burcon's case, that came in the form of inbound interest from food and beverage companies wanting our plant-based protein ingredients for use in their products and it also came in the form of spirited discussions and negotiations with potential partners, which negotiations eventually culminated - subsequent to our fiscal year end - with Burcon entering into a joint venture to build a $65 million pea-protein and canola-protein production facility in Western Canada.
During fiscal 2019, Burcon made important advancements toward commercializing its unique plant proteins and its plant protein extraction technologies. Most importantly, Burcon worked closely with a few qualified potential partners to explore opportunities to establish a first commercial production facility for Burcon's pea and canola protein extraction technologies. The partnering activities during the year included market analyses, product applications work, and a detailed investigation of the logistics and economics associated with building, commissioning and operating a commercial protein production facility. Burcon's team at the Winnipeg Technical Centre supported these ongoing discussions with: due diligence visits; applications work on potential consumer products; and sample production, both for the potential partners as well as for food and beverage companies who have expressed an interest in Peazazz(R) and Peazac(R) and in Burcon's canola proteins.
Subsequent to the year-end, Burcon announced the establishment of a joint venture partnership with three veterans of the agri-foods industry to form Merit Foods, which will build and operate a $65 million plant protein production facility. As part of establishing Merit Foods, Burcon also announced a 20-year exclusive, royalty-bearing license agreement with Merit Foods for Burcon's pea and canola protein technologies. Lastly, Burcon completed a $15.4 million rights offering that was 37% over-subscribed. With the funds from the rights offering, Burcon can complete its $8 million investment in the Merit Functional Foods joint venture, repay its outstanding indebtedness and fund its ongoing research and development.
In the coming year, Burcon's team will maintain a laser beam focus on assisting Merit Foods with all aspects of the process to construct and then commission the commercial production facility. Burcon will also continue to conduct research on other plant-based proteins opportunities and to undertake patenting activities.
Financial Results (in Canadian dollars)
Revenues totaled $40,000 for the year, as compared to $49,000 in the same year-ago period. The nominal revenues reflect the company's development phase status as it transitions to the commercial stage.
Net loss totaled $4.8 million or $0.11 per basic and diluted share for fiscal 2019, as compared to a net loss of $5.6 million or $0.15 per basic and diluted share in fiscal 2018.
Research and development expenses totaled $1.7 million for the year, as compared to $1.9 million in fiscal 2018. About one-half of the decrease of $0.2 million is attributed to lower stock-based compensation expense recorded for this year, with the balance of the decrease due to lower laboratory operation expenses.
Intellectual property expenses went down by $0.5 million, from $1.7 million in fiscal 2018 to $1.2 million in fiscal 2019. The Company has been deferring maintenance fees and limiting prosecution activities, where possible, in an effort to conserve cash resources. This has resulted in lower maintenance fees during fiscal 2019. In addition, we incurred higher European registration fees last year from three patent applications that were granted in Europe.
General and administrative expenses decreased to $1.7 million in fiscal 2019 from $2.0 million in fiscal 2018. About one-half of the decrease is attributed to lower investor relations expenses, due mostly to the Nasdaq annual fees and U.S. consulting fees incurred in fiscal 2018.
At March 31, 2019, cash balances totaled $0.5 million compared to $3.4 million at March 31, 2018. On June 25, 2019, Burcon completed a rights offering that provided gross proceeds of $15.4 million, with net proceeds of $15.3 million. The Company has repaid its convertible loan and short-term loan obligations totaling $4.2 million and made its first capital contribution of $4.0 million to Merit Foods from the net proceeds of the rights offering. As previously announced, Burcon expects to make its second capital contribution of $4.0 million to Merit Foods on or before September 3, 2019. After the second capital contribution to Merit Foods, management believes it has sufficient resources to fund its expected level of operations and working capital requirements to June 2020. This estimate does not take into account potential proceeds from outstanding convertible securities or royalty revenues from the sale of CLARISOY(R).
The company's complete financial statements, along with management's more detailed discussion and analysis, are available from the company's Investors section at www.burcon.ca or from www.sedar.com.
BURCON NUTRASCIENCE CORPORATION
(Prepared in Canadian dollars)
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