- Gene editing specialist Horizon Discovery revealed a drop in first half revenue and an increased operating loss as the Covid-19 pandemic led to a big drop in academic research work.

Revenue was down 13.9% to £22.4m, with a loss for the period on continuing operations £9.4m compared with £4.8m a year ago.

At an adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation level the company posted a loss of £4.5m compared with a flat performance for the same period 12 months ago.

The company had cash and cash equivalents of £23.6m, up from £18.8m at the start of 2020, thanks to cash control measures and a £6.9m placing in April.

The company's order backlog was £6.5m, up from £4.1m, although its gross margin fell from 71.2% to 66%.

Chief executive Terry Pizzie commented: 'We are encouraged by the July 2020 trading levels, and looking ahead we expect a return to growth in the second half.

'With a good cash position and large parts of the business already regaining momentum, we look forward to the remainder of the year with confidence.'

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