Maria Forss faces a test in leading BICO towards profitability.

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Introducing a New Era: BICO Welcomes Maria Forss as President and CEO

In an exciting turn of events, bioscience and bioprinting company BICO (STO: BICO) has made two major announcements that are set to shape the future of the company. Firstly, Maria Forss has been appointed as the new President and CEO, signaling a fresh direction for BICO. As a testament to her dedication, Forss recently purchased 28,000 shares of BICO on August 22, 2023.

Forss is no stranger to the world of medtech and pharma, having held prominent leadership roles at renowned companies such as Vitrolife and AstraZeneca. With a wealth of experience and a proven track record of growing businesses across various sectors, Forss showcases her ability to navigate the complexities of the industry.

The decision for Forss to assume her new position on November 27, 2023, or possibly earlier, comes after the current President and CEO, Erik Gatenholm, opted to step down. Following a discussion with the Board of Directors, Forss was appointed as the ideal candidate to lead BICO into its next chapter.

Born in 1972, Forss’s leadership skills and life science expertise are highly valued by Rolf Classon, Chairman of the Board at BICO. Classon expressed his confidence in Forss, stating, “She will secure steadfast focus during BICO’s further development and create shareholder value.”

To ensure a seamless transition, Gatenholm will continue to serve in his current role until Forss takes on her new responsibilities. He will also remain involved as a major shareholder and board member, demonstrating his ongoing commitment to the company’s success.

Coinciding with this significant leadership change, BICO has also released its financial performance data for the second quarter of 2023. While the company reported a slight increase in net sales, amounting to SEK 541.1 million ($49.6 million), BICO’s profit margin appeared to decrease. This reduction can mainly be attributed to adjustments made to the value of certain assets on paper, including asset write-downs and goodwill impairment.

However, when disregarding these accounting changes, BICO’s profit margin stands at an impressive 71.4%. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter presented more challenges, with a negative total of SEK 11.5 million ($1.1 million) and a margin of -2.1%. In the same period last year, the company’s EBITDA was positive, totaling SEK 11.1 million ($1 million) with a margin of 2.1%.

Despite these seemingly unfavorable figures, BICO has worked tirelessly to minimize the impacts of the pandemic. By excluding COVID-19-related sales in Ginolis’ units, the company achieved a positive EBITDA margin of 2.2%. Furthermore, BICO has exhibited promising growth in the areas of bioprinting and biosciences, thanks in large part to its subsidiary Cellink. These sectors have seen stable sales growth, even in the face of a sluggish market.

A notable highlight for BICO was the divestment of a property in Berlin, resulting in a significant cash flow contribution of €21 million ($22.8 million) in the last quarter of the year. This strategic move is expected to strengthen BICO’s financial position and further enhance its growth prospects.

While profitability has been a topic of interest, it is important to note that BICO reported a net loss of SEK 898.4 million ($82.3 million) for the quarter. This loss was largely due to a goodwill impairment in group companies and other non-cash flow one-off items. Gatenholm clarified that these one-off items were a result of increased weighted average cost of capital (WACC), asset write-downs, and revised earn-out estimates as the company continues its transformation to achieve profitability.

In addition to these corporate developments, BICO’s stock performance has undergone significant volatility, with a 26% decrease in its stock price over the past month. This decline compounds the challenges faced by the company throughout the year.

Amidst these changes and fluctuations, BICO remains dedicated to its mission of advancing bioscience and bioprinting. With Maria Forss at the helm, the company is poised to navigate the industry’s intricacies and achieve remarkable growth. By leveraging its expertise in bioprinting and biosciences, BICO will continue to provide innovative solutions that shape the future of healthcare and research.

Image Courtesy of BICO

A New CEO Brings Hope for Shareholders as BICO Prepares for a Turnaround

Investors of BICO, a leading bioprinting firm, have experienced a significant loss of 65% over the past year. The decline started in September 2021 and hit a low point in July 2022. Surprisingly, the stock took yet another plunge to a yearly low on August 22, 2023, the same day that a new CEO was announced and quarterly earnings were released. However, there was a glimmer of hope as the stock rebounded later in the day, pointing towards a potential turnaround.

Originally launched as Cellink in 2016, BICO has rapidly expanded its reach and is now present in over 65 countries. Its products are used in more than 2,000 labs worldwide. In recent times, the company has pursued an aggressive growth strategy, focusing on acquiring companies in three primary sectors: bioprinting, biosciences, and bioautomation. Operating as the umbrella organization for 11 subsidiaries, including Cellink, BICO boasts a workforce of over 1,000 employees scattered across various global locations.

The appointment of a new President and CEO, Caroline Forss, is viewed as a strategic move that is likely to propel BICO into a new phase. This move comes at a crucial time, following reports of internal turmoil within the company over the past year. In April 2022, Gusten Danielsson, co-founder of BICO, unexpectedly resigned from his role as CFO and publicly criticized the leadership of then-CEO Gatenholm. Despite the board expressing their “full confidence” in the existing leadership and dismissing Danielsson’s comments, there have been ongoing concerns about the management of Cellink, one of BICO’s smaller subsidiaries. It is clear that the new CEO will play a vital role in addressing these issues.

Caroline Forss brings an impressive track record, particularly in scaling global organizations, making her well-equipped for the challenges ahead. Her immediate investment in the company is a testament to her commitment and belief in BICO’s potential. As she prepares to take the helm, the industry will closely observe her leadership abilities as she navigates the landscape delineated by BICO’s latest financial report and past internal struggles.

With the appointment of a new CEO and a renewed focus on scaling its global operations, the latter half of 2023 is anticipated to be a pivotal period for BICO. Shareholders are cautiously optimistic, hopeful for a turnaround in fortunes. Attention will be drawn to any news or developments in the 3D printing industry, as well as information and offers from third-party vendors.

As BICO gears up for this transformative phase, the company’s shareholders and stakeholders anxiously await the outcomes that the new leadership will bring. The stage is set for a potential revival, and all eyes are on BICO as it strives to regain its lost ground and secure a brighter future in the bioprinting industry.

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