The real test for AromaScan Plc, the olfactory sensing equipment company, is yet to come, as it reported figures that included its first eight months on London’s Unlisted Securities Market. Losses of ú1.5m were some ú420,000 less than expected at the time of flotation (CI No 2,478), but the turnover was also down. The numbers […]
The real test for AromaScan Plc, the olfactory sensing equipment company, is yet to come, as it reported figures that included its first eight months on London’s Unlisted Securities Market. Losses of ú1.5m were some ú420,000 less than expected at the time of flotation (CI No 2,478), but the turnover was also down. The numbers are not too relevant, but the ú1.5m losses compared to a ú4,000 profit last time and turnover rose 1,583% to ú1.2m, when compared with the eight months to April 30 1994, with ú1.1m of that coming in the second half. The Crewe-based company is going into orbit, having developed, along with Deutsche Aerospace AG, Daimler-Benz AG Aerospace and the European Space Agency, technology that has been chosen for inclusion in the Mir space station programme. It will be used to sniff out any escaping toxic chemicals as well as for analysis purposes in a launch scheduled for September. The company has recently launched the AromaScanner A32S 32-sensor array, which with more sensors than the A20S can discriminate between a broader range of odours. It adds to the A8S multiple workstation and a range of plastic consumable bags used for storing samples for analysis. AromaScan’s customers are in the sectors of foods, beverages, chemicals, cosmetics, healthcare and industrial materials. At the year-end, the company had shipped 50 systems in total, and had orders that would bring that up to 80. The company put the lower than expected turnover down to delays in finalising its European distribution channels, which are now in place. However, AromaScan Inc in Boston, Massachussetts performed up to expectations, with revenues of ú410,000 – the largest contributor of the divisions. Of the ú11.2m raised last August, ú8.3m remained at the year-end, which the company said will help it to develop internationally as well as investing in new technology. Research and development costs of ú224,000 represents 19% of turnover in the year. The company continues to take advantage of expertise at its old home, the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology. Its total sponsorship now amounts to ú820,000 around the world. The move to Crewe a year ahead of schedule has gone well, and saved money, the company said. Growth since the year-end is at the same level as the fourth quarter, and chairman Harold Morley declared himself confident that significant progress can be made this year. AromaScan continues to pay no dividend.