Plant Health Care is a leading provider of proprietary agricultural biological products and technology solutions focused on improving crop performance. We work in research and development as well as commercial sales.
- Significant progress in moving the PREtec™ (Plant Response Elicitor) technology towards the Company’s first Technology Licence.
- All five of the top global agricultural/seed companies and a number of other companies are testing lead peptides from our PREtec platforms Innatus™ 3G, T-Rex 3G and Y-Max 3G.
- Four global agricultural/seed majors are running field trials in Brazil of Innatus 3G added to chemical sprays for the control of Asian Soybean Rust (ASR), a devastating fungal disease of soybeans. Farmers spent US$1.7 billion on soybean fungicides in 2016 in Brazil; there are increasing concerns about disease resistance and the resulting impact on yield.
- Exclusive rights to Innatus 3G for use in South American soybeans are expected to be licensed through a competitive licensing process in the second half of 2018.
- In the Company’s trials, our lead peptides have shown promise for the control of ASR, especially for the control of resistant disease when used in mixture with conventional agrochemicals. Data from these ASR trials are due in Q2 2018.
- PHC expanded its programme of trials in other crops. Results continued to show good performance for Innatus 3G under disease and drought stress, and for T-Rex 3G against nematodes. Y-Max 3G peptides increased yields even under optimal growing conditions.
- Discussions continue with partners about future licensing of Innatus 3G in other crops and regions and of both T-Rex 3G and Y-Max 3G.
- On 27 February 2018, the Group successfully raised $6.7 million (net of costs) which was well supported by existing shareholders and brought in a number of new institutional investors.
- Revenue from commercial products in 2017 increased by 21% to $7.7 million (2016: $6.3 million); in constant currency*, sales increased by 23%. Strong external sales growth in Rest of World (up 100%; 107% in constant currency) was offset by weaker sales in Mexico due to low produce prices in the first half of the year; sales in external North America grew 8%.
- Sales of core Harpin™ αß products increased by 42% (44% in constant currency), driven by broadly based growth in all geographies. Harpin αß and Myconate® products represented 69% of sales in 2017 (2016: 59%).
- Harpin αß was launched into sugarcane in Brazil in early 2018. Initial response has been very encouraging in this large market.
- Gross margin was steady at 62%.
- Cash, cash equivalents and investments at 31 December 2017 were $3.9 million.
* We calculate constant currency percentages by converting our prior-period local currency financial results using the current period exchange rates and comparing these adjusted amounts to our current period reported results.
"2017 was a year of substantial progress. Our Commercial sales are now on a firm growth track. In New Technology, we are poised for our first technology licence of PREtec in 2018.”
Dr Christopher Richards
Executive Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer
Biological Products - A Growing Opportunity
Farmers confront many challenges in providing food for a rapidly growing and more prosperous world. These challenges include reducing the use of toxic agrochemical products. Biological products are becoming an increasingly important part of the solution because of the benefits they offer.
COMPARED TO CONVENTIONAL AGROCHEMICALS, BIOLOGICALS ARE:
- less toxic products which do not contaminate soilsor the environment;
- safer for farmers to handle; and
- promote sustainable agriculture.
In addition to these advantages, biologicals such as Plant Health Care’s products can promote more efficient agriculture through:
- protecting plants from stress such as drought;
- helping plants to resist disease; and
- increasing resistance to soil pests.
As a result of these advantages, regulatory authorities around the world are adopting accelerated regulations, which allow biological products to come to market more quickly than conventional agrochemicals. In addition, biological products tend to cost far less to develop than conventional agrochemicals.
The demand for biological products is increasing rapidly as a result.