- Animal genetics company Genus swung to first-half loss Thursday as asset write downs and challenging environment caused by African Swine Fever in China weighed down performance.

For the six months ended 31 December 2018, the company reported a pre-tax loss of £6.8m from a profit of £14.3 a year ago.

The loss before tax was blamed on a charge of £15.7m relating to legacy pension schemes due to 'the recent High Court decision on the Lloyd's Bank case related to GMP equalisation and a reduction of £9.3m (2017: £3.6m) in the net IAS 41 biological asset fair value.'

Revenues were weighed down by a 2% decline in PIC due 'to reduced breeding stock sales in China, however strategically important royalty revenue was up 11% with growth in all regions,' the company said.

But the declines in China were partially offset by impressive performances in the Philippines and other Asian markets, the company added.

The company said despite it expects to perform in line with the board's expectations for the full year.

'The short-term outlook remains volatile but over the medium term the ASF outbreak is expected to accelerate the modernisation of the China pork industry which we anticipate will benefit PIC,' the company said.

'While the situation in China remains volatile and challenging, Genus expects to make continued financial and strategic progress in the second half and to perform in line with the Board's expectations in constant currency.'

At 9:31am: [LON:GNS] Genus PLC share price was -34p at 2166p

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