Evogene Ltd. (Evogene), an Israel based developer of improved plant traits, has reported revenues of $3.42 million for the year-end 2008, compared with the revenues of $251,000 in the previous year-end. It has also reported a net loss of $4.8 million for the year-end 2008, compared with the net loss of $4.87 million in the previous year-end.
Ofer Haviv, Evogene’s president and chief executive officer, stated: “We are very pleased with our continuing and accelerated progress during 2008, further strengthening our position as a leader in improved traits for a wide diversity of key commercial crops and improved feedstock for biofuels. We are proud of the company’s commercial, technical and financial progress during the past year, all of which were achieved during a period of rapid corporate expansion and a challenging financial environment.”
Evogene’s key achievements for the year included:
-Initiation of a multi-year collaboration with Monsanto Company to improve yield in corn, soybeans, canola and cotton. Pursuant to this collaboration, Evogene received a $5 million initial payment and expects to receive annual research payments totaling around $30 million during the next five years plus milestone payments and royalties based on seed sales incorporating Evogene discovered genes.
-Investment agreement with Monsanto, pursuant to which Monsanto purchased an $18 million equity stake in Evogene, and shall be obligated, subject to certain Evogene diligence requirements under the collaboration and at Evogene’s request, to purchase in the future an additional $12 million of Evogene equity.
-The field trial results for Evogene discovered genes in corn. The field trials, conducted as part of Evogene’s collaboration with Biogemma SAS, demonstrated that corn containing Evogene discovered genes displayed significant yield increases under both normal and drought conditions.
-Continued progress under collaborations with other leading international ag-biotech companies, including new agreements signed during 2008 with Vilmorin and Viterra.
Expansion, as planned, of our activities in the field of biofuels.
-Substantial increase in the company’s R&D capabilities and capacities, including strengthening of its professional staff and additions to its facilities and infrastructure to support the R&D programs and collaboration activities. This includes construction of greenhouses, additional laboratory space and offices, and computational equipment.
Haviv continued: “With respect to our financial status, during 2008 we substantially strengthened our balance sheet through the signing of the collaboration and investment agreements with Monsanto. We ended the year with $29 million in cash, plus more than an additional $30 million in expected future payments under existing agreements.”
Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2008 were $2.4 million, compared to $67 thousand for the same period in 2007. Net profit for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $4.6 million, including financial income of $3.9 million (including $3.6 million financial income due to revaluation of index linked publicly traded Options according to the IFRS) and a profit of $800 thousand from ordinary operations. This is compared to a net loss of $1.3 million, including financial expenses of $76 thousand (including $295 thousand financial expenses due to revaluation of Options) and a loss of $1.2 million from ordinary operations, for the corresponding quarter of 2007.
Revenues for the year ended December 31, 2008 and the fourth quarter of 2008 include revenues generated under the collaboration with Monsanto.
As of December 31, 2008, Evogene had $29 million in cash, cash equivalents, cash deposits and short-term marketable securities.