ORA (Guernsey) Ltd has built up a 17.1% stake in Plant Health Care.
In the past six months, ORA has increased its stake from less than 5%.
PHC is increasing sales of its natural plant growth products and the pace of product sales should accelerate over the coming years. The latest deal is with Arysta LifeScience, which has signed a research agreement to evaluate a combination of its own products and Harpin, which helps to improve crop yields, as a foliar spray.
Revenues improved from $7.09 million to $7.85 million in 2011 and the loss was reduced from $7.55 million to $5.1 million, although this was helped by a $1.9 million disposal profit.
PHC has reduced its admin expenses over the past five years but almost trebled its R&D spending. Part of the overhead reduction is due to disposals of landscaping operations but there is an underlying reduction.
The R&D spending is focused on the next generation of products and formulations of the Harpin technology. Six products are going into field trials.
There was $13.8 million in the bank at the end of 2011. This figure is slightly higher than at the end of 2010 because a small cash outflow was offset by disposal proceeds.
12-month high/low: 64p/33p
Market cap: £34.1 million