The besieged Huntingdon Life Sciences recently released its second quarter financial data which were decidedly mixed. On the one hand, second-quarter revenues from the firm were up to 16.9 million pounds — the highest level in four years. On the other hand, the animal testing company also reported widening losses, with losses per share up to 2.2p compared to only 1.3p in the first quarter. At the same time, however, the firm’s cash reserves rose from 1.22 million pounds to 2.19 million pounds.
Brian Cass, the managing director of HLS and the recent recipient of the pharmaceutical industry’s Achievement Award for 2001, sounded an optimistic note about the future of the company.
“The protests are not affecting our customers because the orders are growing dramatically,” Cass said.
HLS executive chairman Andrew Baker added,
The animal rights campaign is now recognized as being much broader and of concern to all those involved in the vital endeavor of animal research. The backing we have seen from clients and from the government, including changes to the law they have introduced, reflects that new understanding, and provides benefits for our whole society.
HLS is not sitting still. Groups like Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty have adopted a policy of targeting those individuals and companies who invest in HLS. To minimize that tactic, HLS is close to deploying a system which would essentially render its investors anonymous.
An HLS spokesman told The Times of London that they expected to launch the system before the end of the year. If it proves successful, the company hopes to return to normal trading on SEATS, an electronic component of the London Stock Exchange designed specifically for the trading of stocks of small companies like HLS.
HLS says UK labs lift order growth. Gautam Malkani, The Financial Times (London), September 29, 2001.
HLS says revenues hit four-year high. The Financial Times (London), September 29, 2001.
HLS scheme nears launch. Mark Court, The Times (London), September 29, 2001.
Losses widen as protests dog HLS. Iain Dey, The Scotsman, September 29, 2001.
Huntingdon claims turnaround in sales. Saaed Shah, The Independent (London), September 29, 2001.
Huntingdon chief’s bravery award. The Independent (London), September 28, 2001.