Successfully Raises $20m as Investors Back Ambitious Regional Expansion
Bendigo, June 22, 2022 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Despite market volatility plaguing the market, investors have continued to be supportive of regional vet clinic operator Apiam Animal Health Limited (ASX:AHX) which successfully raised $20.25 million from shareholders keen on the Company's defensive performance where its animal healthcare services have proven resilient during COVID-19 and with current market forces.
While the global market has undergone a correction due to rising interest rates and inflation, Apiam's animal health services are likely to see consistent demand from the production animal industry, pigs, beef feedlot and dairy. Additionally, the companion and mixed animal business is expected to continue growing with animal healthcare classified as a consumer staple where Apiam's vet clinics ensure animal owners maintain adequate healthcare for their pets.
Having witnessed major growth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in a 15% increase in pet ownership, Apiam shareholders are backing their plans to double their revenue to $300m by 2024 with the Company successfully raising $20.25 million. Making the raise most impressive is the major market decline over the past month since Apiam first announced the Entitlement Offer where funds would be applied towards their recent and future acquisitions.
"Our recent capital raise was well supported by our shareholders, who understand that we are accelerating our growth strategy through organic initiatives across the current clinic network and high quality future acquisitions," said Apiam Managing Director, Dr Chris Richards.
As part of the raise, Dr Richards emphasised to investors the organic growth initiatives that Apiam rolls out in the 12 months once an acquired clinic enters their network. In most instances, these new services were not previously available in a market where many independent operators are also experiencing staff shortages to meet customer demand.
"We have continued to deliver on our strategy and remain on track with recent acquisitions and a strong pipeline in place," he said.
In the past six months alone, Apiam has secured 14 registered vets from England and South Africa to handle the influx in business it has seen across all existing, acquired and newly developed (greenfield) clinics.
One of the more popular services include Apiam's Best Mates program where pet owners can pay an annual membership fee for unlimited free consultations. Since launching in 2019, there are now more than 6,800 members in the program paying $595 a year.
Other centralised services rolled out by Apiam in its newly acquired clinics include an after hours tele-triage to improve the work-life balance of its vets, and supply chain integration where Apiam manufactures vaccines and procures general animal health products.
While labour shortages across the veterinary industry were further impacted during the pandemic due to international travel restrictions, Apiam's clinic network has been able to mitigate industry challenges by deploying its vet and support teams throughout a region. In some cases, these specialists have years of technical expertise that also attract referrals from clinics outside the Apiam network.
Having secured the $20.25m to go with a $20m increase in the finance facility and profitable cash flow, Dr Richards is confident that Apiam now has the firepower to reach their $300m revenue target by FY24.
Included in that was $4.5m that Dr Richards invested himself in a strong show of confidence amongst Apiam's leadership.
To put their lofty goals into perspective, Apiam reported $126.2m revenue in FY21 with net profit of $5.1m.
Expanding Apiam's vet clinic with such aggression follows a similar path undertaken by previously ASX-listed vet operators Greencross and National Veterinary Care which were both acquired by Private Equity at substantial premiums in recent years.
About Apiam Animal Health Limited
Apiam Animal Health Limited (ASX:AHX) is comprised of Australia's leading Production Animal and Mixed Animal veterinary practices. Apiam Animal Health incorporates over 150 highly experienced, industry leading veterinarians with expertise across the pig, dairy, feedlot, sheep, poultry, equine, and companion animal sectors, supported by an experienced administration, nursing, technical services and ancillary team. Apiam Animal Health is fully vertically integrated, including having veterinary wholesale, diagnostics laboratories, custom vaccines, logistics, and other ancillary services.
Apiam Animal Health Limited