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Light Science Technology loss widens amid cost inflation and shortages

5th Aug 2022 11:47

(Alliance News) - Light Science Technologies Holdings PLC on Friday said component shortages and increased investment resulted in a bigger loss in the first half of its financial year, despite more revenue.

Shares in Light Science Technologies were down 6.7% at 7.70 pence per share in London on Monday. The stock debuted on AIM back in October at 10p.

The Derbyshire, England-based company is an agricultural lighting and monitoring systems provider.

For the six months ending May 31, its pretax loss widened to GBP1.3 million from GBP881,000 a year before, even as revenue rose 4.2% to GBP3.6 million from GBP3.4 million.

Despite shortages of components in the contract electronics manufacturing division, Light Science continued to support client orders, it said. However, due to price inflation and forced use of alternative supply sources, the company's margin has reduced to 21% from 22% a year prior.

This was primarily due to the controlled environment agriculture division's investment in product research, development as well as marketing costs.

No dividend was declared, unchanged from a year before.

With UK inflation running high, Light Science will manage cash flows and limit discretionary spending. What's more, 20% of directors fees have been deferred since the beginning of August.

More positively, Chief Executive Officer Simon Deacon said: "We have seen an increase in our pipeline of quoted business due to a demand for re-shoring manufacturing to the UK, as customers look to increase product security and reduce risk."

Light Science Technology plans to increase recurring revenue and return on investment through the recent launch of new products SensorGrow and nurturGrow. The company said demand for plant-growing intelligence tools has increased, and it expects a high take-up as it continues to roll out its SensorGrow products. Due to the initial low cost to the customer, subscriptions of three years or more are expected.

"As much as the macro trends are challenging in the short term, we are confident that the medium and long-term outlook for the group is promising, as the market continues to grow. With our experienced team, our technologies and energy saving products feeding into the growing pipeline, we are in a strong position to take advantage of the opportunities and achieve our objectives. We remain confident in our ability to achieve our revised forecasts as announced on 10 June 2022," Deacon said.

By Dominique Pretorius; [email protected]

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