Principal Risks and Uncertainties
As the Group is involved in the development of new products and services, it is subject to the development risk inherent in such activity, including in particular the failure of products and services in development to proceed to completion and to the market. This includes the risk of failing key research and development hurdles such as clinical trials and regulatory authorisation.
The Group has made several acquisitions. Such growth in the Group carries increased demand for cash and resources in the Group’s business, not all of which may be capable of being adequately serviced. Furthermore, certain acquisitions have not reached one hundred per cent ownership of the relevant target companies, in some cases due to local regulatory requirements as to share ownership and structuring. As a result, certain companies in the Group have non-controlling interests, typically held by the local management of the subsidiaries. Relationships with these non-controlling interests are frequently key to the continued success of the relevant business and projects. They carry certain risks, including those inherent in diversified control in a trading business, for example that key business decisions favoured by the Group may not proceed to implementation, and the consequences of a breakdown of the cooperation between the Group as the majority holder and the local partner as the minority.
The Group’s diversified business activities include some, particularly within the Eco-Med and Distribution units, that are aimed at emerging markets, which have significant upward potential, yet at the same time are subject to greater risks than more developed markets, including economic, currency, political, social, legal and legislative risks. The Group’s business and, consequently, its financial results and returns to investors may be adversely affected by a decrease in demand in such emerging markets, which can typically be less easy to predict or manage than in more stable and developed economies. The political and socioeconomic stability of emerging markets is frequently lower than that seen in more established markets, and this carries the risk that the Group’s business and, consequently, its financial results and returns to investors may be adversely affected by negative changes in conditions for business and investment, which may occur more frequently or with more severity than in more developed markets. BATM has exposure to material fluctuations in currencies since BATM sells in various different currency zones including US Dollar, Euro, Romanian Lei and Moldavian Lei.
The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global emergency on 30 January 2020 with a significant number of countries declaring lock-down measures. The length and extent of the economic disruption caused by the outbreak is highly uncertain and cannot be predicted. The Group’s Bio-Medical division was awarded a significant contract as a result of the crisis, but there can be no assurances that this will be repeated. Accordingly, the financial impact on the Group cannot be estimated at this time.