Profits for Hamilton Thorne (CVE:HTL) jumped 20% last year as the laser maker’s focus on its core markets paid off.
The Beverly, Mass., and Toronto-based company, which makes precision laser devices and image analysis systems for the assisted reproductive technologies, regenerative medicine and developmental biology research markets, posted profits of $1.0 million, or 2¢ per share, on sales of $9.0 million for 2015. That’s a 20.0% bottom-line gain on sales growth of 3.7% compared with 2014.
“We are pleased to have achieved year-over-year sales growth in this difficult foreign exchange environment,” president & CEO David Wolf said in prepared remarks. “Moreover, while we continued to invest in aggressive promotions in the second half of the year, resulting in over 10% unit growth, we feel very good about our ability to maintain our gross profit margin for the year at 63.8% with increased sales of high-margin software, consumables and services with recurring revenues. To accelerate our sales growth, we have committed to substantial investments in research and development projects, expanding our sales and marketing reach, and putting more energy into our acquisition program.”
The picture wasn’t as rosy during the fourth quarter for Hamilton Thorne, with profits down -15.0% to $380,740, or 1¢ per share, on sales of $2.6 million for the 3 months ended Dec. 31, 2015 – representing a top-line gain of 3.7%. The company attributed the slide to increased operating expenses and foreign exchange headwinds, partially offset by increased sales and gross profits.
“Due to continued currency issues, as well as concerns about the overall economy in certain of our markets, we are forecasting that the first half of the year will be flat, with sales growth increasing in the second half as our investments in R&D and sales and marketing bear fruit; however, accelerated net income and EBITDA growth will be a challenge until the effects of our investments are realized,” Wolf said. “With over $1 million of positive cash flow from operations, further enhanced by our June equity financing and the proceeds from options and warrants exercised during the year, we improved our year-end cash position from $1.6 million to $4.3 million and we are well positioned to continue investing for growth through the acceleration of our acquisition program.”