AromaScan claims good beginning despite loss

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AromaScan, the manufacturer of electronic "noses" used in detecting odours, has reported maiden interim pre-tax losses of £819,000, well within expectations.

Shares in the company, which went public last summer, rose 1p to 88p against a flotation price last August of 100p.

Harold Morley, chairman, said AromaScan had made a solid start as a public company, with manufacture and shipment of instruments in line with forecasts.

Mr Morley said the group had achieved a high profile across a wide range of industries, and he forecast a satisfactory performance in the second half.

The half-year losses reflected the costs incurred in the establishment of a strong base from which the company could progress, he said.

Investment income of £119,000 in the period was earned on the net proceeds of £11.1m raised by AromaScan's flotation on the unlisted securities market. The purpose of the flotation was to raise funds to commercialise AromaScan's technology.

The loss per share was 4.04p.

Mr Morley said the company's relationship with the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, which specialises in gas and odour-sensing technology, continued to provide important research benefits.

Investment in R&D projects totalling £790,000 had been commissioned.

The sales and technical centre in the US was now fully operational, and AromaScan had identified a number of international organisations as potential joint-venture partners.

Orders for electronic noses were in line with forecasts in the key markets of Europe, the US and the Far East, he said.