NMT plans rescue rights issue after production problems

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The Independent Online

NMT, the aim-listed maker of safety syringes, is to ask shareholders to support a rescue rights issue after warning that sales have been disappointing.

The group yesterday said that it had suffered problems with the manufacture of syringes with retractable needles and needs to boost capacity. Delays to full production of a small-dose syringe are still not overcome, and mean that NMT does not have a full product range to offer to US hospitals.

NMT had cash of £10m at the end of June, but analysts believe it could require up to £10m more if it can ramp up production of small-dose syringes.

Unveiling a 50 per cent reduction in interim losses to £6.5m, NMT's chief executive, Roy Smith, said that the group would be able to announce one of its biggest ever sales deals within the next two weeks. Turnover for the six months to June was £393,000, below analysts' forecasts but up from £82,000 last year.

The manufacturing problems would delay the point at which NMT becomes cashflow positive until the end of next year, Mr Smith said. "We are not panicking, but certainly we need to be in a better position with regards our cash in the first half of next year," he said.

NMT shares, which were worth 135p two years ago, fell 3.25p to 8p yesterday.

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