Mera Pharmaceuticals' losses narrowed
The CEO says he sees the possibility of a profit by the end of this year
Mera Pharmaceuticals Inc., continuing to trim expenses as it seeks out new markets, tripled fiscal 2006 fourth-quarter revenue from the same period a year ago and narrowed its quarterly loss to $111,000 from $593,000.
The Kona-based maker of nutritional supplements from microalgae said revenue increased to about $90,000 from $30,000 and rose 24 percent from about $73,000 in the fiscal 2006 third quarter, according to a filing yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Mera Chief Executive Gregory Kowal, who assumed the top position in January 2006, said it's taken 12 months to right the ship. But he said the company had its export license approved by the U.S. government yesterday and that Mera is in discussions with a European customer for its AstaFactor line of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory products.
"(The company) continues to be constrained by a lack of working capital," said Kowal, who accepted no salary and no options in fiscal 2006.
However, Kowal confirmed "the bills are being paid" and that the company is current right now. He said it's "highly unlikely" that Mera would have to go into bankruptcy again. The company, which emerged from reorganization in September 2002, previously was known as Aquasearch Inc.
Kowal said Mera currently is in touch with other parties regarding fundraising and that the company hopes to raise $500,000 to $1 million. Mera has accumulated a deficit of $5.7 million since emerging from bankruptcy in 2002.
"If we raise that, I think the company will become profitable by the end of this calendar year," said Kowal, who is a co-founder and the chairman of Honolulu-based investment brokerage firm First Honolulu Securities.
For the year ended Oct. 31, Mera narrowed its loss to $508,407 from $1.3 million. Revenue -- principally generated through direct sales -- slipped 0.3 percent to $386,757 from $387,972. At the same time, operating expenses shrunk 40.1 percent to $841,678 from $1.4 million.
Mera raised approximately a net $250,000 from the sale of shares of common stock and/or the issuance of debt in private placement transactions in fiscal 2006, the filing said.