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Interview with José Maria Roset, CEO at Biosearch Life, on investment strategies

Probiotics, Lipids and Extracts, three lines of business that have catapulted Biosearch Life this 2020 into its profit and loss account: in the first 9 months they have increased their profits by 311%. It is clear that the pandemic has “helped” the demand for its products with healthier and preventive consumption habits. But, has there been a change in these habits or are we talking about a reinforcement?

It is true that this year we are having very positive results, we are very satisfied. But the truth is that it is not a surprise either, because although during the second quarter we have seen some momentum related to the pandemic and a greater demand for products aimed at strengthening the immune system, this effect is normalizing in the third and fourth quarters of the year, and what is going to be clean is the objective growth that, on the other hand, was the usual trend of the company. In other words, what we are going to do is recover growth rates to which we were accustomed. It is true that there is a certain momentum that is going to be temporary, but it is also true that Biosearch is a company that has grown consistently over the last 7 years, so we are returning to a situation in line with our expectations and what we expect for the future.

Biosearch Life dedicates a large part of its business focus to the area of R+D+i. In fact, during this year they have applied for four patents, two of them in the area of probiotics. What do these patents consist of and what other lines of research are they working on today?

Innovation is our reason for being, and we are making this our main focus in all our R&D activities aimed at generating new products. In fact, around 20% of the company’s staff is dedicated to research and development activities and, although this changes from year to year, we consistently dedicate around 10% of our turnover to investment in R&D activities. This year there are two major projects in certain lines of research: the GERAS project, which is based on the extract business and is aimed at preventing pathologies associated with aging; and the Gesta Health project, which is aimed at modulating the microbiota in women in order to have a healthier lactation and gestation. In the area of the first one we have presented two patent applications, one is based on the association of several vegetable extracts with omega 3 and is focused on the prevention of age-related cognitive impairment, and the second patent application is oriented to the cardiovascular area and is also two extracts (one of olive tree that combines almond polyphenols that enhance the activity). It is true that we have several research projects but the area of women and senior population are those that catalyze almost all research activity.

How do you see Biosearch 2021? Are you planning to continue growing organically through new products resulting from your R&D? Are you open to any inorganic operations?

We are optimistic about 2021, and we are focusing on what has been the focus of our growth so far, organic growth. Our priorities are to expand our customer base in the segments in which we work and to capitalize on our growth-generating product pipeline. Geographically, we are focusing on markets such as the United States, where we can significantly improve our penetration, and the Chinese market, where we have several projects that have been under development for some time related to child nutrition and which we will advance during the coming year but which will have a greater impact in 2022 and 2023. Nevertheless, although we are going to focus on organic growth, the company’s financial situation is very solid and allows us to explore some opportunities for inorganic growth, something that we do not rule out but that we will do in a very selective manner.