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Voyager Life PLC - Operations Update


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Voyager Life plc · VOY

31/10/2023 07:00

Voyager Life PLC - Operations Update
RNS Number : 7762R
Voyager Life PLC
31 October 2023
 

 

31 October 2023

 

Voyager Life plc

 

("Voyager" or the "Company") 

 

Operations Update

 

 

Voyager, the health and wellness group formulating, manufacturing and supplying high-quality Cannabidiol (CBD), hemp seed oil and hemp-related products, is pleased to provide the following update on its operations.

 

Highlights:

 

·    Revenue for H1 2023 expected to be over £165,000 (£135,000 in the corresponding period last year)

·    Gross margin expected to be approximately 43 per cent. for the half year (44 per cent. in the year ended 31 March 2023)

·    Application underway for ISO 22716:2007 accreditation, the international standard for the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for cosmetics

·    Approval to manufacture food supplements

·    Two orders from key customer Jollyes since commencing supply to their stores in June 2023

·    One of the UK's best known retailers has confirmed that it will soon stock Voyager products

·    Manufacturing products for one of the UK's best known CBD brands with two follow up orders already received

·    Approval to list Voyager's products at Debenhams (online)

·    Awarded Best CBD Products Retailer 2023 - UK by Global Health & Pharma

·    £3,000 grant from local authority to attend trade fairs

 

Nick Tulloch, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Voyager, said: "October has seen two notable interventions in the CBD market, first from the FSA and then from the UK Government.   As we would expect to see in any fast growing market, regulators are becoming more involved in the formulation of CBD and cannabinoid products. At first glance, the new guidance from the FSA would appear to limit the scope of the industry but, in fact, the effect on our business in the two weeks since publication appears to be positive.  Our manufacturing division looks to be benefiting from an increase in enquiries for topical products and our retail division, if anything, has seen more demand.  We cannot make a judgement in such a short space of time but it is important to note that the FSA's statement is guidance only and there is no requirement at this time to re-label or remove products from shelves.

 

"Perhaps more interesting in the long term is the acceptance of the ACMD recommendations by the UK Government.  Voyager has long supported a standardised cannabinoid testing protocol and what appears to be a relaxation of the maximum cannabinoid content of products will give manufacturers and retailers, both of which are core to our operations, greater scope for product development.

 

"Our own business continues to develop at pace with significant client wins in our manufacturing and wholesale divisions.  Our revenues in the first half of this year are showing a modest growth on the corresponding period in 2022 and, as the predicted re-orders from these new larger clients come through, we should be confident of accelerating that growth through the remainder of our financial year."

 

Manufacturing and Operational improvements

 

Voyager continues to draw attention from retailers and wholesalers through the quality of its products and competitive pricing model.  In-house manufacturing has also been a key factor in the Company's appeal with customers increasingly seeking a range that is UK-made and formulated with natural ingredients.

 

The Group has recently moved premises to a new facility with both an expanded manufacturing floor space and greater storage capacity. This move has been the catalyst for the ISO 22716:2007 application, the international standard for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for cosmetics with guidelines for the production, control, storage and shipment of cosmetic products.  Since commencing its manufacturing operations, Voyager has always sought to be fully ISO 22716:2007 compliant as confirmation of this status is an important factor for many customers and work is now underway to achieve the full accreditation.

 

Alongside this, the Company sought and received approval from its local Scottish council to commence manufacturing of edible products (specifically CBD oils) to provide an extension of its existing skincare plant-based health & wellness range both for its own brand and also trade customers. The office move requires a re-application to be made but, with a superior facility, this is not considered by the Directors to be problematic.

 

The new facility is also more cost effective with a rent saving of approximately £1,000 per month and further expected savings on utilities due to the new building being more energy efficient.

 

With manufacturing now such an important part of Voyager's growth plans, the Company has renamed its previously dormant 100% owned subsidiary VoyagerCann Limited and, since 1 October 2023, white label and private label customer business have been conducted through this subsidiary.

 

Customers

 

To date, Voyager's most significant customer measured by number of stores has been Jollyes, the out of town pet store with over 90 locations across the UK. Since June 2023, four of Voyager's pet products have been available at Jollyes, both in store and online, and in the two orders fulfilled so far Voyager has supplied Jollyes with 6,000 products.  Jollyes' distributor has commented on how well Voyager's products are selling and has indicated that a third order will made shortly.

 

In addition to this success, the Group has received confirmation that it will soon be stocked in one of the UK's best known retailers, marking a significant change in the scale of Voyager's reach.  Alongside that, recent pitches to other retailers have been successful with the Company's application to be included on Debenhams' website being one of the highlights.  Voyager already has a similar arrangement in place with The Range through which its products, and particularly its pet products, have sold consistently well so the Directors are optimistic that Debenhams will provide a similar return.

 

Within its private label operations, Voyager recently started manufacturing skincare products for one of the UK's best known CBD brands.  Early feedback from its customers has been encouraging and the brand has since placed two follow on orders with Voyager within a month of receiving delivery of the first.

 

Comment on the FSA's statement

 

On 12 October 2023, the FSA surprised much of the CBD industry by updating its guidance on the recommended daily consumption of CBD, reducing its previous recommendation from 70mg to 10mg.  Several CBD companies as well as the trade bodies for the industry, the Cannabis Trades Association and the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry, have already published responses and the almost universal theme is concern over how this change will impact the CBD industry and queries as to how this new guidance level was determined.

 

Voyager's position is in line with other industry commentators but the Directors in particular note that the FSA's statement is guidance only and is aimed primarily at long term high-dose CBD users.  There is no requirement at this time to alter labels or remove products from shelves. The core part of the FSA's recommendation is that people who regularly take high quantities of CBD should, periodically, take a break - a recommendation that Voyager agrees with.

 

When compared to other commentators' stance on ingestible CBD products, the FSA's guidance on daily intake is low.  A recent scientific study in the US, for example, suggested 100 - 160mg per day was an acceptable amount of CBD for a person to consume each day.  Concerns regarding potential liver damage from CBD, as alluded to by the FSA, also appear to be unsupported for users taking moderate amounts of the cannabinoid.  A previous study reported that, of over 800 people who took 40 - 50mg of CBD per day, none developed any symptoms.  The fact remains that the incidence of side effects or any adverse reaction from CBD is very unusual.

 

It is still early days but, so far, Voyager has seen no deterioration in its business since the FSA published its statement and, in fact, has been a beneficiary in a small number of cases.  Some larger retailers have removed certain stronger CBD products from sale following the FSA's announcement and Voyager's shops have subsequently served customers who had previously shopped elsewhere.

 

Longer term, it is the Directors' belief that regulation of ingestible CBD products will remain restrictive but that this will encourage CBD companies, as well as other businesses seeking to incorporate CBD into their range, to focus on topical and skincare products -Voyager is already observing initial indications of this trend.  Thankfully, with Voyager being a specialist in topical and skincare products there is reason to believe that demand for third party manufacturing could rise in the coming months.

 

Comment on the UK government's recent statement on the cannabinoid industry

 

Less than two weeks after the FSA's statement, the UK Government issued its response to recommendations put to it by the ACMD (Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs).  The tone is different to the tightening of restrictions implied by the FSA and some of the key points are:

 

·    The Government is recognising consumer CBD products as a food and so are distinguished from the provisions of the Misuse of Drugs Act. 

·    The Government will permit 50 micrograms of each phytocannabinoid per serving (as compared to current legislation that limits THC content to 1 milligram per container).  What constitutes a serving has not yet been defined but it is understood that it may differ between products.

·    The Government supports the development of more accurate testing for controlled phytocannabinoids to allow testing capabilities to develop and be fully regulated.  Standardised protocols should be developed.

 

Voyager welcomes this response and the board believes that as these recommendations become legislation it will allow a wider spectrum of CBD consumer products than currently available on the market. In particular, setting THC and other phytocannabinoid levels in finished products should address existing uncertainty and restrictions in both retail sales and the provision of financial services to the CBD industry.

 

 

 

ENDS

 

Enquiries:

Voyager Life plc

 

Nick Tulloch, CEO

 

 

 

Tel: +44 (0) 1738 317 693

 

http://voyagerlife.uk

nick@voyagerlife.uk

 

Cairn Financial Advisers LLP (AQSE Corporate Adviser)

 

Ludovico Lazzaretti/Liam Murray

 

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7213 0880

Stanford Capital Partners LLP (Broker)

 

Patrick Claridge  

 

Bob Pountney

 

 

+44 (0) 203 3650 3650

 

+44 (0) 203 3650 3651

 

 

 

 

Notes to Editors:

 

About Voyager

Voyager was founded in 2020 and is based in Perth, Scotland.  The Company's primary objective is the formulation, manufacture and supply of high quality CBD and hemp seed oil products although it also produces several other complementary products, the majority of which are manufactured from the hemp plant.  Its product categories include a pet range which has rapidly developed into one of the Company's best sellers.   The Company sells online, through third party stores and in its own stores which are located in St Andrews, Edinburgh and Dundee.  The Company has two principal retail brands: Voyager, focused on health & wellness and petcare, and Ascend Skincare, its beauty range.  Voyager products are currently available from Cornwall to Shetland in online and brick-and-mortar outlets.

 

The Company's philosophy of plant-based health and wellness is embodied in its mission statement and hashtag of "Choose you". With an experienced team and a product line created in line with the UK's regulatory regime, Voyager aims to become the trusted brand in this increasingly popular health and wellness space.

 

Through Voyager's bespoke skincare product creation and development division, voyagerCann, the Company also offers a full turnkey service to other CBD, skincare and cosmetics brands assisting them in developing and launching new products with a manufacturing and distribution facility in Scotland.

 

Website and social media links:

Voyager:

https://voyagercbd.com/

https://www.instagram.com/voyagercbd/

https://twitter.com/voyagercbd

https://www.linkedin.com/company/voyager-cbd/

https://www.facebook.com/voyagercbd/

 

voyagerCann:

https://voyagercann.com/

https://www.instagram.com/voyagercann/

https://twitter.com/voyagercann/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/voyagercann/

https://www.facebook.com/voyagercann/

 

Forward Looking Statements

 

These forward-looking statements are not historical facts but rather are based on the Company's current expectations, estimates, and projections about its industry; its beliefs; and assumptions. Words such as 'anticipates,' 'expects,' 'intends,' 'plans,' 'believes,' 'seeks,' 'estimates,' and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not a guarantee of future performance and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, some of which are beyond the Company's control, are difficult to predict, and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements. The Company cautions security holders and prospective security holders not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect the view of the Company only as of the date of this announcement. The forward-looking statements made in this announcement relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. The Company will not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions or updates to these forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances, or unanticipated events occurring after the date of this announcement except as required by law or by any appropriate regulatory authority.

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