Horizon Discovery Group plc Results for the Six Months Ended 30 June 2020

Cambridge, UK, 17 August 2020: Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) ("Horizon", "the Group" or “the Company”), a cell engineering company focused on commercialising the application of gene editing and gene modulation to accelerate scientific innovation and biopharmaceutical drug development, today announces its unaudited results for the six months ended 30 June 2020.

Group Financial Highlights

  • Reported revenue of £22.4m (HY19: £26.1m)1 down 13.9% (15.5% on a constant currency basis) largely due to impact of COVID-19 pandemic and a rapid reduction of academic research work in Q2 2020
  • Revenue decline largely due to rapid reduction of academic research work caused by COVID-19 pandemic in Q2 2020 and was broadly within the range of our expectations
  • Order backlog as at 30 June 2020 was £6.5m (HY19: £4.1m)
  • Gross margin from continuing operations1 66.0% (HY19: 71.2%)
  • Loss for the period on continuing operations of £9.4m for the half year (HY19: £4.8m) 1
  • Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations2 loss of £4.5m (HY19: £0.0m) 2
  • Cash and cash equivalents at 30 June 2020 of £23.6m (HY19: £24.8m; FY 2019: £18.8m), bolstered by Placing in April 2020, which raised gross proceeds of £6.9m, together with strong cash control measures implemented in April

Business Unit Performance

  • Research Reagents (now including Diagnostics) 3: Reported revenue of £16.0m a decrease of 15.3% on the prior half year period (HY19: £18.9m) or a decrease of 16.7% on a constant currency basis
  • Screening: Reported revenue of £4.4m up 2.8% on the prior half year period (HY19: £4.3m) or an increase of 0.6% on a constant currency basis
  • Bioproduction: Reported revenue of £2.0m a decrease of 29.8% on the prior half year period (HY19: £2.8m) or a decrease of 31.7% on a constant currency basis
  • Delivery of the planned fivefold increase in capacity in Cell Line Engineering (CLE) together with new value proposition, pricing and go-to-market strategy


Financial Outlook

  • Business remains robust with sustained recovery towards 2019 levels
  • Fundamental drivers and demands for Horizon’s products and services remain strong and the Group is confident of a return to growth in the second half of 2020
  • In the long term, the fundamentals of our business are strong and our ambition is to grow revenue in the low double digit percentage levels


  1. In December 2019, the Company completed its divestment of its non-core In Vivo business unit to Envigo RMS LLC.  Revenues generated in the period in the financial year that the Company owned In Vivo are excluded from the Company’s continuing operations
  2. Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations is a non-IFRS financial measure. Our definition of this non-IFRS measure and a reconciliation to loss for the period on continuing operations, the most nearly comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with IFRS, is presented in the “Financial Review” section
  3. During the period the diagnostics business unit was restructured into the research reagents business unit, refer to “CEO review” section.


Terry Pizzie, Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Discovery, commented: 

“Despite the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic during the first half of 2020, we concentrated our efforts to ensure the business remained focused and executing on its strategy, whilst continuing to invest in long-term growth drivers such as our collaborations with Mammoth BioSciences and Rutgers in Base Editing.

“The fantastic efforts of our staff have ensured that we have been able to continue to operate effectively through the crisis, enhancing relationships with our biopharma customers despite the challenging operational environment. We are already seeing the benefit of this work through increased partnering activity with our customers, especially in Screening and Cell Line Engineering, as biopharma customers continue to adopt outsourcing.

“We are encouraged by the July 2020 trading levels, and looking ahead we expect  a return to growth in the second half. With a good cash position and large parts of the business already regaining momentum, we look forward to the remainder of the year with confidence.”

Analyst webcast and conference call:

Horizon Discovery will present its Results via live webcast today at 12:00pm BST. There will be a simultaneous live conference call

Conference call details:

  • Participant UK dial‐in: 0800 279 6619
  • Participant US dial‐in: 1 877 870 9135
  • International dial‐in: +44 (0) 2071 928338
  • Participant code: 8772709

The live webcast and presentation slides will be available on the Group’s website:


Media Contact Information: 

Lorna Cuddon
T Tel: +44 (0) 7811 996 942
Email: Lorna.cuddon@zymecommunications.com