Markets: Zicom infirmity

The surgical robot developer has seen shares plunge after slashing its net profit forecast for the 2013 financial year.

Zicom, the Brisbane-based engineering company that is developing robots to perform surgery, said its net profit in the 12 months to June 30 will fall by as much as one-fifth from the same period a year ago to $S6.2 million. The stock slumped by as much as 17 per cent.

In an ASX statement today Zicom said its revenue will probably be $S122 million compared with $S130 million in 2012. At 1414 AEST the company’s shares had fallen 4 cents to 20 cents, an intra-day low.

Zicom said it had incurred a $S2.1 million foreign exchange loss after a bet against the US dollar went wrong. A delayed shipment worth $S15 million had resulted in the company planning to recognise a $S2 million profit in the 2014 financial year.

Losses from a delay in microelectronic production, drug discovery production and surgical robot development reached $S2 million in 2013, Zicom said.

Still, the company says its drug discovery technology has been accepted by six pharmaceutical companies headquartered in the US and the UK. Moreover its latest commercial version of the surgical robot has been tested. It has received US Food and Drug Administration approval, Zicom says, adding it expects to receive similar regulatory approval from European, Taiwan, Singapore and Australian authorities by the end of September.

Zicom says a German hospital, with more than 1,000 beds, has made the first order for its surgical robot. The company is negotiating with a New York City teaching hospital for a similar sale.

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