Imperial Innovations reports profits

Imperial Innovations, the technology commercialisation and investment group, has posted pre-tax profits of £5.3m for the year ending 31 July 2009.

The London-based group also reported an increase in its net proceeds from the sale of investments, from £3.3m to £3.9m a year earlier.

Total revenues were £4.3m compared to £5.3m a year earlier as a result of reduced up-front fees on licensing and technology transfer that were partially offset by increased royalty income and corporate finance fees.

However, royalty revenue was up 33 per cent to £1.2m while net asset value increased from £80.3m in 2008 to £85.6m. The improved results reflects a refocusing of the company’s investments on fewer, higher quality opportunities, following a £6.7m loss a year earlier.

Throughout the financial year, the group invested £14.4m in over 20 companies, while its portfolio of businesses was raised in total to over £41m.

In addition, the group sold four businesses, funded six new technology businesses, filed 50 patents and declared 328 inventions in the year leading to the end of July.

The company’s largest single transaction was the disposal of its 23.7 per cent holding in Thiakis to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in December 2008 for a potential price of £99.4m, subject to achieving certain performance milestones.

Martin Knight, chairman of Imperial Innovations, said: ‘We are uniquely positioned to be able to create, build and invest in groundbreaking technology opportunities addressing large international markets. Our focus is on companies and IP that address the great global challenges: energy usage, healthcare, communications. Breakthrough technologies in these fields are of great potential value.

‘Having built a portfolio of pioneering technologies and companies through our collaboration with, and proprietary access to the IP emanating from Imperial College London, 2009 was a year in which we began to realise substantial value from our investments. We achieved a creditable financial performance with the first major disposal and a notable increase in net asset value, all at a time of great economic uncertainty.’

He added: ‘Our approach is now proven and we are building a long-term sustainable position supported by a strong balance sheet. We are well positioned to deliver further exits from an array of impressive and well-managed companies in the portfolio, and the pipeline of attractive investment and licence opportunities remains strong.

‘The board remains confident that the momentum and good progress achieved last year will be maintained in the current financial year.’