Group performance January-March 2021
Net sales for the period amounted to SEK 100.6 (118.4) million, a decline of 15.0 percent. After adjustment for USD and EUR currency effects, the decline was 6.2 percent. During the quarter, we have seen a positive trend and increased orders for instruments. However, consumables are lagging behind as a large proportion of our installed base is in Asia, which continues to be seriously affected by restrictions and lockdowns. This has resulted in a reduced number of doctor visits and therefore lower test volumes. The number of instruments sold increased by 2 percent compared with the same period the previous year, but sales of instruments fell by 5 percent due to the product mix and currency effects.
|Net sales by region, SEK million||Jan-Mar 2021||Jan-Mar 2020||change||Apr 20-
Mar 21 (R12)
Mar 20 (R12)
|Net sales by product, SEK million|
|Consumables, own instruments||41.7||54.5||-23.5%||166.9||216.3||-22.8%|
|Consumables, OEM and CDS brand||13.9||16.6||-16.5%||59.7||67.3||-11.3%|
Gross profit for the period was SEK 44.7 (55.2) million, with a gross margin of 44.4 (46.6) percent. The gross margin was adversely affected by a lower proportion of consumables in the product mix, negative production variance due to continuing low capacity utilization and increased supply chain costs.
Operating expenses for the period amounted to SEK 38.3 (41.4) million. Distribution costs include cost savings related to Covid-19.
Research and development expenses, including costs related to the quality assurance organization, had an adverse effect of SEK 10.4 (9.9) million on earnings, corresponding to 10.3 (8.4) percent of net sales. Capitalized research and development expenses amounted to SEK 13.0 (9.8) million and development work on our new product platform is progressing according to plan. Total research and development expenses correspond to 23.3 (16.7) percent of net sales.
Capitalized expenditure during the period is mainly related to the next generation hematology platform.
Net other operating income and other operating expenses for the period amounted to SEK 0.4 (1.4) million and consists of positive and negative exchange differences.
Operating profit amounted to SEK 6.8 (15.2) million, corresponding to an operating margin of 6.8 (12.9) percent. The operating margin excluding capitalized research and development expenses was -6.2 (4.6) percent.
¹ Estimated number of active instruments installed is based on an expected lifespan of eight years for the instruments.
² Accumulated number of instruments sold since 2006 was 41,341 at March 31, 2021.
³ Number of instruments sold in 2021 refers to sales on a rolling 12-month basis.
Net financial items
Net financial items amounted to SEK -3.0 (-5.0) million. Net financial items for the previous year include profit/loss of SEK -3.7 million from associates and amount to SEK -1.3 million excluding profit/loss from associates.
Profit before tax was SEK 3.9 (10.2) million. Profit for the period was SEK 0.3 (7.4) million.
Financing and cash flow
Cash flow from operating activities for the period was SEK 12.6 (14.5) million and was positively affected by a reduction in inventories and an increase in current liabilities.
The Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN) guarantees some of Boules trade receivables at up to 75-95 percent of the receivables’ total amount. Receivables may be pledged, in which case the liabilities are reported as interest-bearing liabilities. The change in trade receivables guaranteed by EKN is included in cash flow from operating activities, while the change in other interest-bearing liabilities is reported under cash flow from financing activities.
Cash flow for the period was SEK -3.0 (3.5) million and cash and cash equivalents at March 31 amounted to SEK 31.5 (26.6) million.
Credit facility utilization decreased during the quarter and the Group’s available cash and cash equivalents, including unutilized credit facilities, was SEK 83.5 (83.8) million at March 31, which is in line with the same period the previous year.
Total investments amounted to SEK 14.5 (12.0) million, with investments in future product platforms accounting for SEK 13.7 (10.8) million of the figure.
Equity and liabilities
The Group’s equity at March 31, 2021 was SEK 277.5 (353.1) million and the equity/assets ratio was 54 (56) percent.
Interest-bearing liabilities excluding leases are primarily related to pledged trade receivables guaranteed by EKN and amounted to SEK 91.3 (109.6) million at March 31, 2021. SEK 19.5 (31.1) million of these liabilities were non-current and SEK 71.8 (78.5) million were current. At March 31, 2021, SEK 5.4 (1.8) million of the credit facility had been used and other current non-interest-bearing liabilities and trade payables amounted to SEK 91.2 (93.4) million.
Lease liabilities at March 31 amounted to SEK 36.0 (45.4) million. SEK 23.5 (32.7) million of these liabilities were non-current and SEK 12.6 (12.7) million were current.
Net debt at March 31, 2021 amounted to SEK -3.2 (2.8) million.
Deferred tax assets amounted to SEK 0.0 (0.0) million and deferred liabilities were SEK 15.1 (22.4) million at March 31.
Non-current provisions consist of direct pension provisions of SEK 3.3 (3.8) million.
Significant risks and uncertainties
The Group's operations are subject to risks and uncertainties that may, to a varying extent, affect the Company’s ability to achieve defined goals. Boule works continuously on management of existing risks and uncertainties and on the risk inventory that forms the basis for detecting new risks and uncertainties. The systematic and internally coordinated work is aimed at identifying risks, limiting risk exposure and minimizing any impact should a risk materialize. Currently, primary risks and uncertainties have been identified in the following areas; regulatory risks, product portfolio risks, distributor risks, production and quality risks, counterfeit reagents, price pressure, supplier risks, market risks and competition, bribery, and corruption, currency risks, IT security and systems, financing risks and future cash flows, health and safety in the workplace, dependence on key personnel and the effects of Covid-19.
Boule is currently exposed to currency exchange risks. +/- 10 percent of the exchange rate USD/SEK affects the net sales by +/- SEK 20 million and net profit by +/- SEK 4 million. Boule is continuously working on operationally reducing the company’s exchange rate exposure.
A more detailed description of risks, risk management and related opportunities can be found in the 2020 Annual Report. The risks are considered unchanged from those described in the Annual Report, other than the update on the effects of Covid-19 presented below.
Like other companies, Boule faces new challenges related to the spread of Covid-19. There has been a slowdown in sales as a result of the closure of many markets, with a significant decline in routine healthcare visits and therefore fewer blood samples taken. The length of time in which key markets are closed will determine the impact on sales of consumables in the period ahead. New sales of instruments have also stopped at times, with healthcare providers concentrating on managing Covid-19 patients. Problems of logistics and distribution to customers have arisen and may continue to arise due to a lack of transport capacity and obstacles related to border closures. The Company has worked through component supply disruptions and sees this as a challenge that has escalated in early 2021. Boule is taking active measures to mitigate the impact by working closely with the Group’s subcontractors, planning and booking deliveries well in advance and reducing the spread of infection in factories by arranging for non-production staff to work from home.
Boule has focused on ensuring good liquidity. Some investments have been postponed but long-term strategic investments have continued according to plan.
Future effects on sales are difficult to estimate as there is continuing uncertainty about how quickly the markets will recover in 2021. In the longer term, we see a continuation of stable growth for the decentralized near-patient market that Boule addresses.
Other than remuneration of the Board and senior executives, no related-party transactions have taken place during the period.
Boule Diagnostics AB (publ), corporate ID 556535-0252, is a Swedish limited liability company with its registered office in Stockholm. The address of the head office is Domnarvsgatan 4, SE-163 53 Spånga, Sweden.
The Parent Company's revenue is derived from Group-wide services.
Risks and uncertainties for the Parent Company indirectly correspond with those for the Group.
The average number of employees in the Group during the period was 213 (210), including 7 (7) employees at the Parent Company. The average number of employees by country was as follows: Sweden 121 (120), United States 81 (82), Mexico 2 (2) and Russia 9 (6). The average number of women in the Group was 94 (91) and the average number of men was 119 (119).
Number of shares
The total number of shares and votes in Boule Diagnostics AB is 19,416,552 and has remained unchanged in 2021.
|Shareholders, March 31, 2021 (and known changes thereafter)||Number of shares, March 31||Share of capital/votes|
|Thomas Eklund incl. companies||1,956,055||10.07%|
|Swedbank Robur Fonder AB||1,940,000||9.99%|
|Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken UK||608,790||3.14%|
|Sijoitusrahasto Aktia Nordic||371,270||1.91%|
|Other shareholders (2,914)||3,841,210||19.78%|
|Total number of shares||19,416,552||100.00%|
|No. of options outstanding ex. hedging||548,128|
|Total number of shares incl. Options||19,964,680|
The Board of Directors believes that it is important and in the interest of all shareholders that the CEO and key employees, who are considered important to the Company’s further development, have a long-term interest in good value growth for the Company's shares. A personal, long-term shareholder commitment would be expected to contribute to increased interest in the Company’s operations and financial performance, and to increase the CEO’s and key employees’ motivation and affinity with the Company and its shareholders.
The warrants have been allotted and purchased by employees at market conditions. The market value has been determined using the Black & Scholes option valuation model.
If a warrant holder’s employment ceases, Boule has the right of first refusal and may choose to exercise that right. The Board has decided to exercise the right of first refusal regarding former employees who purchased warrants in the 2019 program, and 95,307 warrants have accordingly been repurchased. There are no restrictions on transferring warrants in the programs.
|Outstanding programs||CEO||Key employees||Total||Corresponding shares||Proportion of total no. of shares||Exercise price||Exercise period|
|2019/2022||0||368,128||368,128||368,128||1.9%||67.50||1 Juni 2022- 30 Dec 2022|
|2020/2023||130,000||50,000||180,000||180,000||0.9%||86.70||1 juni 2023- 30 dec 2023|
The Board of Directors and the CEO certify that this interim report provides a true and fair view of the operations, financial position and earnings of the Parent Company and the Group and describes the material risks and uncertainties faced by the Parent Company and the other Group companies.
Stockholm, May 6, 2021
Boule Diagnostics AB
This interim report has not been reviewed by the Company’s auditor.