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Northland Capital Partners View on the City - Starcom (LON:STAR); N4 PHARMA (N4P:LON)

Northland Capital Partners View on the City - Starcom (LON:STAR); N4 PHARMA (N4P:LON)



FY17 results – revenue +6%YoY, gross margin improved, EBITDA loss reduced



  • Starcom reported FY17 revenue of US$5.440m, +6%YoY, with hardware sales +9.8%YoY, and gross profit of US$ $2.080m, +46%YoY, with gross margin improvement from 27.7% in FY16 to 38.2%.
  • The adjusted EBITDA loss, excluding share options provision, was reduced from US$(781,000) in FY16 to US$(193,000). The reported net loss was also reduced from US$(1.945)m in FY16 to US$(1.350)m, inclusive of US$(204,000) arising from foreign exchange differences (2016: US(59,000)).
  • The company added that Q118 revenue is expected to be cUS$1.0m compared to US$0.765m a year earlier.  CEO Avi Hartmann noted: "2017 proved to be a turning point in the history of Starcom, with significant progress being made both in the development of our technology and the acceptance of that technology by some major companies and organisations”, adding "2018 has begun strongly, with more visibility than normal at this time of year on future orders, and with a number of new projects under active discussion. Although the current year is at an early stage, the indications we have point to good growth in revenues and a continuing improvement in gross margins.”

The Trading Update of 18th January listed a number of promising leads. Whilst FY17 EBITDA fell short of the positive outlook, the trend towards improved gross profitability was as expected.  FY18 has started well. 




Starcom Group develops and manufactures technology using cellular and GPS systems designed for tracking vehicle fleets, equipment, people, containers and merchandise.



Nuvec® Update



  • The Company provided investors with an update on its Nuvec® program. N4 Pharma CEO, Nigel Theobold, confirmed his Board’s intention is to undertake relevant research and pre-clinical work that will prospectively allow Nuvec® to enter human clinical studies with a partner by the end of 2020.
  • A two-fold development strategy has been outlined.  Firstly, the Company is proactively looking to work with partners to evaluate its Nuvec® drug delivery system with their products. Recently, for example, N4 Pharma announced a partnership with MedImmuneUK, a leading global biologics R&D company, to explore the manufacture of a prototype nanomedicine using the Nuvec® system. The Company is looking for additional partnerships in due course. A recent trip to Japan was also successful in providing useful introductions to further potential partners which will be progressed over the coming months. Secondly, the Company has embarked on an internal research programme to expand the dataset required to advance Nuvec® towards commercialisation.  The Board's strategy is designed to determine precisely how Nuvec® will be used by its partners, either as a vaccine, a delivery system for therapeutics, or both.
  • N4 Pharma recently commissioned a market research report from Agility Health Tech to assess the potential market position for Nuvec®.  While there are currently no approved products which use nanosilica as a drug delivery vehicle, the total market size for nanotechnology drug delivery was valued at US$79b in 2012, which is expected to expand to as much as US$178b in 2019.
  • In its new release, N4 Pharma also confirmed the appointment of a highly experienced scientist, Andrew Leishman, as the Head of Nuvec® Development.




Specialist pharmaceutical company which reformulates existing drugs and vaccines to improve their performance


1. Northland Capital Partners Limited (“Northland”) acts as Nominated Advisor and/or Broker to the company.

2. Northland) and/or its affiliates companies do beneficially own 1% or more of any class of the issuer’s equity securities, as of the end of the month immediately preceding the date of issuance of the research report or the end of the second most recent month if the issue date is less than 10 calendar days after the end of the most recent month. 

3. The authoring analyst or any associate of the authoring analyst does maintain a long or short position in any of the issuer’s securities directly or through derivatives, including options or futures positions.

4. Northland, its affiliated companies, partners, officers, directors or any authoring analyst of Northland has provided services to the issuer for remuneration during the preceding 12 months other than investment advisory or trading services.

5. Northland or any of its affiliated companies has performed investment banking services for the issuer during the 12 months preceding the date of issuance of the report.  

6. A partner, director, officer, employee or agent of Northland or any of its affiliated companies is an officer, director, employee or advisor of the issuer.  Disclosures are applicable for all companies

7. The authoring analyst, or any associate of the authoring analyst, has viewed the material operations of the issuer. 

8. The authoring analyst, or any associate of the authoring analyst, received reimbursement for travel expenses.

9. Northland makes a market in the securities of this company.




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