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Venture Life flags solid rise in full-year revenue

(Sharecast News) - Venture Life said in an update on Thursday that it achieved full-year revenue of £51m in 2023, making for 16% year-on-year growth. The AIM-traded consumer products maker said that on a proforma basis, accounting for acquisitions, revenue increased 5% year-on-year, in line with management expectations.

It said its Venture Life Brands division contributed significantly to the growth, with revenue of around £30m, showing a 30% year-on-year increase.

On a proforma basis, the growth was 8% year-on-year.

The board said the figures from Venture Life Brands represented 59% of its total revenue for the year, up from 53% in 2022.

It also noted a positive EBITDA margin progression of two percentage points, driven by increased volume, while EBITDA was expected to align with management expectations, pending the audit.

Additionally, improved cash conversion and inventory normalisation led to a more-than-70% increase in net cash from operations, reaching around £9.5m, compared to £5.6m in 2022.

Additionally, Venture Life reduced its group net leverage to 1.25x, compared to 1.65x in December 2022, and expected further reduction to 1.1x after the reporting period.

During the fourth quarter, targeted customer price increases were implemented, contributing to expected margin improvements in 2024.

On the operational front, Venture Life reported a 20% year-on-year increase in revenue from the 'Lift' product line.

The oncology support portfolio also showed a strong performance, with Gelclair experiencing 52% year-on-year growth.

Its ongoing focus on digital transformation also paid off, with 40% year-on-year growth in full-year revenue from online sales, totalling £3.8m.

Venture Life said it secured 28 new listings across UK retailers throughout the year, primarily driven by the success of newly-developed products (NDP).

Notable launches included Balance Activ Thrush Cream, which exceeded high street sales targets eight weeks after its October release.

Since the end of the period, the company said it had secured further listings of Balance Activ with a major UK retailer.

Looking ahead, Venture Life said it was committed to diversifying its sales channels and expanding its presence among customers and retailers.

The company was planning to increase its investment in sales and marketing, capitalising on the momentum in online channels, discounters, health and beauty, pharmacy, and grocery sectors.

"2023 marks the first year since 2019 that the company grew its revenue completely organically," said chief executive officer Jerry Randall.

"The increase in revenue is primarily due to heightened sales volume, with some price increases passed on to the customers in the second half, reflecting the company's ability to navigate economic challenges.

"This organic revenue growth, combined with ongoing efforts to improve efficiency and strengthen partnerships, positions the company well for sustained future growth and profitability."

Randall said the integration of online sales channels, expansion into new market segments and the strengthening of the firm's brand power collectively reinforced its position within the marketplace, and ensured that it remained adaptable and resilient in a dynamic business environment.

"Our customer brands team, based out of our Italian manufacturing site at Biokosmes, delivered another year of excellence, spearheading new product research and development initiatives and delivering best-in-class contract development and manufacturing organisation experiences for our clients.

"Benefiting from our robust growth, clear strategic priorities aimed at refining our operation, substantial generation of free cash flow and a strong balance sheet, we are now in a prime position to deliver strong shareholder returns and I look forward to presenting the 2023 results to shareholders in April."

At 1538 GMT, shares in Venture Life Group were up 16.22% at 39.51p.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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