This week: A rise in ad revenues for i-design, Education Development gets into training and TyraTech partners for growth

Avacta Group Plc (AVCT 1.8p/£22.49m)

Avacta provides technology products and services to the drug development and healthcare markets, which reduce risk and costs. Its Optim technology is a laboratory instrument for the biotech industry. It analyses proteins to obtain information on stability and formulation of compounds in the early stages of development, when using conventional instruments is not practical. And it can potentially save millions in drug development costs as it uses an ultra low volume sample chip and reduces the need for expert personnel. Avacta has received its first two orders from biopharmaceutical companies for Optim (selling at £75,000 each) and has strong pipeline for 2010 sales. It also has software and service support packages that can be sold into existing customers once they have purchased the main kit. The other main product Avacta has is Midas, for use in vet?s surgeries. It identifies proteins as markers of disease, is expected to launch in early 2010 and the range of tests it can perform is to be expanded rapidly. This could become very profitable when used on herd animals in agriculture. Additionally, through partnering, it could be used for human diagnostics. Avacta has lots of interesting IP and seem to be just at the point where it is about to start sales of its technologies coming through.

Digital Marketing Group (DIGI 51.5p/£34.70m)

Digital Marketing Group saw gross profits fall by 6.8 per cent, to £17.4m, in the six months to 30 September, and the fall would have been considerably greater had it not been for the acquisitions of Cybercom and Gasbox in October 2008. But then, we are in a recession and the group has faced a steep decline in Jaywing, which provides data services for the financial services sector. Even so, management has been swift to cut costs, with a reduction of £4.2m on a like-for- like basis, with the result that adjusted PBT and adjusted EPS have held up pretty well, at £2.9m (H108: £3.2m) and 3.2p (H108: 3.8p), respectively. Thankfully, the group is seeing some green shoots of recovery. In particular, chief executive Ben Langdon said at the analysts? briefing that momentum in the new business pipeline was now at its best for the past 12 months and that DMG…

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