With an increase in net assets of 18 percent, HBM Healthcare Investments looks back upon another successful financial year. With a profit of CHF 209 million, the 2018/2019 year-end result seamlessly carries forward the achievements of previous years. Cumulated profits over the past six years exceed CHF 1 billion. During the same period, net asset value (NAV), including distributions, per share more than trebled, while the share price almost quadrupled. This steady growth in value has resulted in a significantly stronger shareholder base. The proposed cash distribution of CHF 7.50 represents an increase of 50 cents compared to the previous year.
Innovations in the healthcare market are the main driving force behind investment success. The potential is far from exhausted. The need for new therapies remains considerable, despite the current record level of new drug approvals. HBM Healthcare Investments is grasping the opportunities presented by these developments, having invested CHF 141 million in private companies during the year under review, including 15 new holdings. The Asian allocation has been increased to 22 percent. The portfolio remains balanced, well diversified, and partially hedged.
Many private portfolio companies are performing very well. Both private and public portfolio companies are expected to publish significant study results and approval decisions during the new financial year, with the corresponding effect on their value.
Review of the 2018/2019 financial year
Net asset value (NAV) per share rose by 18 percent, while the share price advanced by 22 percent. Profit for the year as at the end of March 2019 stood at CHF 209 million. Investment activities achieved a net CHF 266 million contribution to profits, with CHF 153 million generated by private companies and funds, CHF 101 million by public companies, and CHF 12 million by other assets.
In the portfolio of private companies, the IPOs of Y-mAbs Therapeutics (profit contribution of CHF 50 million) and Principia Biopharma (CHF 20 million) released added value. In addition, the following investments were revalued due to higher valuations in financing rounds with third-party investors: Cathay Industrial Biotech (CHF 38 million), Neurelis (CHF 20 million), SAI Life Sciences (CHF 11 million) and 1mg (CHF 8 million). These revaluations demonstrate the successful operating performance of the companies concerned.
In the portfolio of fund investments, the value of our largest holding – in WuXi Healthcare Ventures II (profit contribution of CHF 11 million) – increased significantly as Chinese oncology firm CStone Pharmaceuticals went public in Hong Kong.
HBM Healthcare Investments also benefited from three takeovers in the portfolio of public companies. Former private company ARMO BioSciences (profit contribution of CHF 22 million) was acquired by Eli Lilly, Tesaro Pharmaceuticals (CHF 8 million) by GlaxoSmithKline, and AveXis (CHF 8 million) by Novartis. HBM Healthcare Investments acquired its holding in the latter two of these companies via the stock market.
The reporting year also brought significant increases in the value of our holdings in Ultragenyx (profit contribution of CHF 20 million), Argenx (CHF 19 million), BioArctic (CHF 17 million) and Ra Pharma (CHF 16 million).
The partial market hedge of the public portfolio had no effect on net income during the financial year. Two-thirds of the hedge was closed out following the sharp drop in share prices towards the end of the fourth calendar quarter of 2018, and increased slightly once again after the sharp counter-movement in the first quarter of 2019. Around 13 percent of the public portfolio was hedged as at the end of March 2019.
Management fees of about CHF 17 million are in line with the rise in net assets, while the Company‘s other administration costs remain unchanged at around CHF 3 million. In addition, in view of the increase in value achieved during the reporting year, which significantly exceeds the previous highwater mark, a performance fee of CHF 31.9 million is due to the investment advisor. The Board of Directors will receive variable compensation of CHF 2.0 million.
Higher cash dividend
The Board of Directors will propose to the Ordinary Shareholders‘ Meeting that the cash dividend be increased by CHF 0.50 to CHF 7.50, in the form of a withholding tax-exempt par value repayment. This corresponds to a distribution yield of 4.4 percent, which thus remains at the upper end of the target bandwidth of 3 to 5 percent.
CHF 141 million for private companies
HBM Healthcare Investments invested a total of CHF 114 million in 15 private companies during the year under review. Of this, CHF 87 million has already been paid in. Investment tranches of CHF 27 million remain outstanding. Further, CHF 27 million was dedicated to follow-on investments in existing private companies.
In the final quarter of the financial year HBM Healthcare Investments made a new investment of USD 12 million in the US company SpringWorks Therapeutics. SpringWorks has a pipeline of compounds for the treatment of rare forms of cancer in late-stage clinical development.
Other major new investments during the reporting year included Jianke Pharmaceutical (USD 15 million, an online healthcare service platform), Principia Therapeutics (USD 12 million, immunology and oncology), Turning Point Therapeutics (USD 10 million, oncology), Sublimity Therapeutics (EUR 8 million, compound to treat chronic inflammation of the colon), Sphingotec (EUR 9 million, diagnosis and treatment monitoring in the case of acute renal injury, heart failure and septic shock), Adrenomed (EUR 6 million, antibodies to treat patients with septic shock), Galecto Biotech (EUR 7 million, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis), and iTeos Therapeutics (EUR 5 million, immuno-oncology).
Smaller investments of USD 3 to 5 million were also made in six further companies.
Broadly diversified portfolio
HBM Healthcare Investments continues to provide a portfolio that is well balanced in terms of diversification, liquidity, and geographical reach. The largest holding at the end of March 2019 accounts for around 9 percent of net assets, and the ten largest investments together make up one third of the portfolio overall. The relative proportion of individual investments may nonetheless rise sharply at times, in connection with the revaluation at a financing round or an IPO, for example.
The Company‘s assets of CHF 1.5 billion are also well balanced. They were composed as follows as at the end of March 2019: 26 percent private companies, 9 percent funds and 45 percent public companies (39 percent when the hedge is taken into account). Cash and cash equivalents account for 17 percent (11 percent if all market hedge positions are closed out). At around 7 percent, non-current financial liabilities remain at a very moderate level.
The portfolio is also broadly diversified geographically, with 58 percent of investments in the world‘s largest healthcare market, the US, 20 percent in Europe and 22 percent in Asia, HBM Healthcare Investments is positioned to engage in opportunities around the globe.
Positive portfolio outlook
Many private portfolio companies are performing very well. In accordance with HBM Healthcare Investments policies, these investments are conservatively valued, and should generate considerable added value in the event of an IPO or trade sale.
Both private and public portfolio companies (such as Neurelis and Harmony Biosciences) are expected to publish significant study results and approval decisions during the new financial year, with the corresponding effect on their value. Here, too, HBM Healthcare Investments anticipates a range of positive publications, most of which will release value potential or open up strategic opportunities.
In view of the relatively low level of visibility on the financial markets, the Company will continue to keep a critical eye on general market trends, and will reduce its exposure to listed stocks, or increase the hedge, as necessary.
HBM Healthcare Investments has a high conviction that its balanced, high-quality portfolio continues to offer more value-creation potential.
In the appendix to this media release you will find the balance sheet and income statement in accordance with IFRS, the portfolio details and an overview of the consolidated financials including a translation to the IFRS Financial Statements. The detailed Annual Report will be published on 31 May 2019 and will be available on the Company's website from that date onwards.
For further information, please contact Dr Andreas Wicki on +41 41 710 75 77, or at email@example.com