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Itaconix makes headway in cost-cutting drive

Order volumes from existing customers have increased in response to higher demand for dishwashing detergents related to stay-at-home orders issued by governments

Itaconix PLC -
Itaconix initiated a cost-cutting drive in March when the coronavirus pandemic started to hit business activity

Itaconix PLC (LON:ITX) said it has made significant progress in its operational efforts to extend the company's cash runway.

The speciality chemicals group announced in mid-March, when the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic were starting to be felt, that it had enough funds to operate until the end of May and would look to conserve cash and negotiate terms on payments due.

In today's statement, Itaconix said it has now reduced expenses and negotiated new payments terms with key customers and suppliers.

The company said it's chief executive officer, John Shaw, has volunteered to a 65% deferral in cash compensation until at least the end of August 2020 while other executives have voluntarily agreed to a 50% deferral in cash compensation until the end of August.

The non-executive directors have agreed to a 75% deferral in cash compensation until at least the end of September.

The company said it has applied for COVID-19 US government relief programmes available for its US operations and has thus far received a US$10,000 grant from the US government. It said cash at the end of April was around US$300,000.

While the company is pulling out the stops to prevent cash leaving the company, it said it has also made significant progress on increasing revenue in the first four months of 2020, with revenue up 42% year-on-year at US$600,000.

Itaconix noted that the strong growth is primarily from the continued commercial progress and success of the company's detergent polymers as order volumes from existing customers have increased in response to higher demand for dishwashing detergents related to stay-at-home orders issued by governments.

The group said its board expects continued revenue growth for the company's detergent polymers.

The update prompted a 10% rise in the share price, which has more than doubled in the past month.

Ed Stacey, of Proactive Research, said: "Given Itaconix strong revenue growth, and exposure to the consumer staples segment, we argue that the company has a strong investment case to secure further financing."

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Quick facts: Itaconix PLC

Price: 1.25 GBX

LSE:ITX
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £3.51 m
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