LISTED health sciences firm Philab Holdings Corp. reported a consolidated net loss of P40.58 million for the first quarter of 2017, citing lower revenues and higher operating expenses.
The company told the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) recently that it recorded a net loss from operations of P56.78 million in the first quarter, wider by nearly 28 percent than the net loss in the previous year, which amounted to P44.4 million.
It said revenues in the first quarter fell to P6.8 million from P8.9 million in the same period last year, while operating expenses rose 27.5 percent to P47.6 million from P37.4 million in the previous year.
However, the company clarified that figures in the previous comparative quarter “are not comparable and the business activities and ownership of the previous quarter are significantly different from the current quarter.”
“This came about from the change in business model and ownership of the Parent Company. Philab Industries, Inc. was also folded into Philab Holdings Corp. (formerly Alterra Capital Partners, Inc.) this January 2017,” the company clarified.
For the years 2014 to 2016, and the first three months of 2017, the company said substantial amount of Philab’s and the parent company’s net sales were derived from procurement contracts with the government, particulary with the Department of Health (DoH) and DepEd.
As of this date, Philab is involved in an ongoing dispute with the Department of Education (DepEd) in relation to a suspension order, suspending Philab from participating in bids for any of DepEd’s supply contracts for a year starting November 2016.
“While Philab is challenging the suspension, the parent company cannot predict whether such challenge will be affirmed and the extent of any impact that the ongoing suspension may have on the group’s results of operations or financial condition,” it said.
Recently, Philab developed new product lines and diversified its new customer base “to be less reliant on government contracts,” one of which is developing a new LabIt Dengue Fever Self-test Kit, with plans to expand to self-testing of other diseases and market and sell such product to a broad base of retail consumers.
Established by Hector Navasero in the 1950s, Philab is engaged in the life sciences tools and services industry, providing for both public and private institutions before it ventured into supplying In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) test kits.
The company funded Genomics Institute of Asia (GINA) in 2012 and successfully tested the full genome of the country’s black heirloom rice. It is slated to introduce a series of self-testing kits in the country starting with the ‘Dengue self-testing kit’ this year.
Formerly Alterra Capital Partners Inc., Philab recently debuted on the PSE via a backdoor listing, changing its ticker symbol from ALT to DNA.