Celsis International PLC : Pre Close Trading Update Strengthened Trading During Fourth Quarter

Published: Mar 30, 2009

30 March 2009: Celsis International plc, the life sciences products and laboratory services company, today announces an update on trading prior to the commencement of its close period for the year ended 31 March 2009.

The Company has experienced strengthened trading during the fourth quarter, following its Interim Management Statement update released on 12 February 2009. As a result, the Group overall remains broadly in line with the Board’s expectations for the financial year and has continued to be substantially cash generative, strengthening its positive net cash position during the year.

The Celsis Rapid Detection division, which provides rapid microbial testing systems used to reduce the time and cost to manufacture products, has built on the strong performance achieved earlier in the year and will deliver solid overall growth for the full year. This division saw strong reagent sales and also added a healthy mix of new instrument placements in the fourth quarter, as its customer base, which consists of some of the world’s leading consumer product and pharmaceutical companies, remains focused on attaining significant cost savings.

In addition, the Celsis Rapid Detection division recently announced the launch of Celsis ReACT™, the first easy-to-use, RNA-based assay for detecting potentially objectionable organisms quickly and definitively (see press release 27 March 2009). In cases where the current Celsis rapid detection system (using Celsis’ AKuScreen™ or RapiScreen™ reagents) indicates positive contamination in a product sample, Celsis customers will now be able to use Celsis ReACT reagents to provide them with two-hour actionable intelligence and specific organism detection. As these RNA-based tests have been designed to run on Celsis’ existing rapid detection systems, the adoption rate of this new technology is expected to benefit from the already large installed Celsis customer base.

The Celsis Analytical and Development Services division, which provides outsourced laboratory services to the pharmaceutical industry, has experienced strengthened trading for its primary analytical laboratory services in the fourth quarter following a slower first half. The Board has also completed an extensive strategic review of options for this business unit and has decided to discontinue non-performing and less profitable laboratory services offerings. These discontinued operations will result in a relatively small one-time charge to this year’s P&L, but will positively impact the profitability of this division and the overall Group in future years.

The Celsis In Vitro Technologies (Celsis IVT) division, which provides liver cell-based testing products to the pharmaceutical industry to reduce the time and cost of drug discovery and development, gained some momentum in the fourth quarter, although the division has been impacted by both tightened R&D budgets and the recent consolidations throughout the pharmaceutical industry. The overall industry demand for Celsis IVT’s cost saving products remains high and this slowdown is seen as temporary.

The Celsis IVT division also recently announced an alliance with leading life sciences company Promega Corporation to co-market their bioluminescent ADME-TOX testing with Celsis IVT’s extensive line of cryopreserved cells. This collaboration is of significant benefit to scientists as it enables them to quickly and easily identify products that have been validated to work together, saving valuable time and resources, increasing efficiency and leading to faster development of safer drugs. This joint venture also illustrates a clear expansion of Celsis’ expertise in luciferase and bioluminescence technologies (see press release 9 February 2009).

Celsis will announce its preliminary results for the year ended 31 March 2009, on Wednesday 24 June 2009. There will be a presentation to analysts on the day at 9.30am, held at Financial Dynamics, Holborn Gate, 26 Southampton Buildings, London, WC2A 1PB.

Jay LeCoque, Chief Executive Officer of Celsis, commented:

“I am encouraged by the strengthened performance of the Group in the fourth quarter, which helps to underscore the strength of our business despite the current global economic environment. Our strategic focus and expanded capabilities to provide value to our customers by saving them time while also reducing their costs remains the basis of our business model and it is resonating now more than ever.

“Looking forward, I am optimistic about our Celsis Rapid Detection division’s recently launched Celsis ReACT assay, as it represents a step-change in our technology platform and brings the company into a leadership position in molecular testing. Celsis IVT’s recently announced joint alliance with Promega also illustrates our continued strength in offering market-leading drug discovery products to the pharmaceutical industry.”

Celsis International plc

Celsis International plc is a leading international provider of innovative life science products and laboratory services to the pharmaceutical and consumer products industries. Each Celsis business has the capacity to deliver substantial time and cost savings to its customers, in addition to ensuring product quality and safety for consumers. Celsis’ extensive client base includes many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical and consumer products companies. The Company is listed on the London Stock Exchange (CEL.L).

Celsis Rapid Detection utilises proprietary enzyme technology to develop and supply diagnostic testing instruments and consumables for the rapid detection of microbial contamination in pharmaceutical and consumer products. These rapid testing systems provide significant economic value by reducing the time it takes to test and release raw materials, in process and finished goods to market.

Celsis In Vitro Technologies (Celsis IVT) employs proprietary expertise in hepatocyte (liver cell) technology to supply in vitro testing products to the pharmaceutical industry. Celsis IVT's consumable testing products screen drug compounds for liver toxicity early in the drug discovery process, thereby reducing the time and cost of further development or research on those compounds that will not be properly metabolised by the human liver.

Celsis Analytical and Development Services provides cost effective outsourced laboratory testing services to pharmaceutical companies. Its comprehensive service offerings include a full spectrum of laboratory services from discovery and drug development to analytical chemistry and from biological sciences to stability storage and testing.

Further information can be found on its website at www.celsis.com.

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