Fermentalg announces healthy finance update, New CFO

[France] French company Fermentalg has announced operating income of €0.7m for the first half of 2015, on the same day as introducing its new Chief Financial Officer Andrew Echatti. The company, an industrial biotechnology company that specializes in producing sustainable oils and proteins derived from the exceptional properties of microalgae, boasts a healthy cash position of €32m.

Fermentalg’s operating income (research tax credits and subsidies) of €0.7 million for the first half of 2015 partly offset the company’s R&D expenses (stable at €1.7 million) and sales and administrative costs (up 82% to €1.8 million following the construction of the IDU and creation of a team dedicated to human nutrition and animal feed).

Current operating income stood at -€2.8 million on 30 June 2015 (as against -€1.5 million one year earlier), Excluding net financial income and expenses (€0.3 million), net income for the first half of 2015 amounted to -€2.6 million compared with a figure of -€1.8 million for the same period in 2014.

The first six months of 2015 saw Fermentalg pursue the development of a unique active ingredient for its rapid deployment on target markets.

Industrial property: With a portfolio of 26 families of patents and 92 patent titles to its name, Fermentalg has reinforced its technological barriers-to-entry following the issue of 2 major patents for the industrial exploitation of high-yield microalgae strains (Botryococcus for green chemistry and Odontella for human nutrition).

The company was also awarded a new active ingredient patent to protect its technology which consists in breeding microalgae in a predominantly-heterotrophic mixotrophic environment in July.

Despite the acceleration in operational investments in line with its development plan, Fermentalg retains a robust and healthy financial footing. At 30 June 2015, the company’s gross cash position stood at €32.5 million for a financial debt of just €2.1 million.

In August, it was awarded €2.4 million in funding from Bpifrance as part of the Trans’Alg collaborative programme and it achieved a new milestone in its strategy to conquer new markets with the laying of the 1st stone for its Industrial Development Unit (Professor Daniel Thomas Unit), the world’s first facility to exploit the company’s cutting-edge technology for the production of microalgae.

Moreover, despite the fact that the launch of the unit is only scheduled for 2016, production of DHA-enriched oil (Omega 3) using Fermentalg’s proprietary technology has already passed the one-ton mark.

Alongside the implementation of its industrial tool, Fermentalg’s capacity to tap into the human nutrition market has been reinforced by the European Novel Food authorization for its DHA-enriched oil. It has also ramped up its business development strategy for Japan and North America which will see the rapid deployment of its European model on these two major markets.

As well as targeting market openings in human nutrition, Fermentalg’s large-scale collaborative programme, Trans’Alg, will enable the company to penetrate the green chemistry market. Bringing together several major industrial groups including Arkema and Soprema, the Trans’Alg programme has a budget of €31.2 million over 5 years.

Pierre Calleja, Founder and Chairman and CEO of Fermentalg, said: “I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding work by the teams at Fermentalg who are the catalysts for the company’s unrivalled growth rate in our industry. Fermentalg’s place in microalgae and biotechnologies in general grows stronger by the day, and I am confident that we have a unique active ingredient that will serve as a flagship for excellence in French innovation around the world.”


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