New BioAmber CEO outlines near-term priorities to enable growth

By Erin Voegele | November 08, 2017

BioAmber Inc. has released third quarter financial results, reporting sales of succinic acid reached $3.3 million, down from $3.7 million during the same quarter of last year. The drop is attributed to a decrease in succinic acid volume, slightly offset by an increase in average selling price.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, succinic acid sales were $9.5 million, up 25 percent when compared to the $7.6 million reported for the same period of last year.

The company reported a net loss of $7 million, or 16 cents per share, for the third quarter, compared to a net loss of $6.2 million, or 21 cents per share, reported for the same quarter of last year. Adjusted net loss was $9.4 million, or 21 cents per share, compared to $7.4 million, or 26 cents per share.

During the third quarter, BioAmber entered into a definitive agreement to buy back Mitsui & Co. Ltd.’s minority equity stake in the Sarnia manufacturing joint venture. BioAmber said it now owns 100 percent of the Sarnia, Ontario, production facility.

BioAmber appointed Richard Eno as its new CEO in September. During an earnings call, Eno described his near-term priorities for the company. First, he said the company will be focused on selling out the capacity of its Sarnia facility.

Second, he said the company continue to work to achieve lower costs in order to increase margins and expand its market opportunity. In support of that goal, Eno said the company has restructured its technical team and identified a series of initiatives to drive costs materially lower. This includes improvements to yeast strength, downstream recovery efficiencies and coproduct sales. Eno said the company believes these initiatives can reduce its variable costs by 25 to 35 percent. 

Third, he said the company needs to strengthen its balance sheet to allow it the flexibility to expand its commercial efforts and invest in driving efficiencies at the plant level. Eno said the company is actively engaged with various parties, including potential strategic partners, government and financial institutions and bio-succinic acid customers.

Eno indicated that achieving the three priorities he outlined will enable growth opportunities. These include, he said, the potential to incrementally expand the Sarnia plant beyond 30,000 tons per year, enter the BDO and THF businesses, and have the option to license the company’s technology to other partners around the world.

During the call, Eno also said BioAmber has agreed to extend the pre-commercial period with CJCJ through the end of the year so that the companies can optimize the next steps for their collaboration. He said the potential scope of the arrangement with CJ continues to evolve in conjunction with the company’s success in expanding the applications for succinic acid.