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Syncona pleased with 'strong' returns at year-end

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 14 Jun 2018

Syncona pleased with 'strong' returns at year-end

(Sharecast News) - Syncona issued its final results for the year ended 31 March on Thursday, reporting "strong" returns and a net asset value increase, with positive performance across the company.
The London-listed firm said net assets at year end were £1.06bn, or 158.9p per share, making for a total return of 18.7%.

It reported a 57.2% return from its life science portfolio, driven by financing events in Nightstar and Autolus and positive progress in Blue Earth.

Fund investments were valued at £465.1m, generating a return of 7.5% and providing a deep pool of capital which supported the deployment of £125.2m into new and follow-on life science investments.

The board declared a dividend of 2.3p, in line with that paid in 2017, alongside a charitable donation of £4.75m.

"This year we have seen our differentiated strategy continuing to deliver positive performance across the business, with strong NAV progression," said Syncona chief executive officer Martin Murphy.

"Our ability to create, invest in, and build global leaders in life science is underpinned by our evergreen funding base which enables us to take a flexible approach with control over how we manage our portfolio."

Murphy said Syncona's partnership approach had driven "strong" financial and operational progress in the year, delivering decent value progression across the portfolio.

He explained that Nightstar, Autolus and Freeline all commenced clinical trials, with Nightstar completing an initial public offering on Nasdaq four years after Syncona founded the company.

"Our established business, Blue Earth, continued to deliver strong sales and became the first Syncona founded company to reach profitability during the period," he said.

"This year Syncona also greatly strengthened its leadership position in gene therapy, including the establishment of two new companies, and we now have one of the broadest, high-quality, coordinated gene therapy platforms globally.

"We look forward to helping these businesses fulfil their potential in delivering truly transformational treatment to patients, and value to our shareholders."

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