TPI Enterprises (ASX:TPE), legal narcotic raw material producer

Transcript with TPI Enterprises, Managing Director Jarrod Ritchie

TPI Enterprises is a company that was founded in 2004, it’s based in Melbourne and it obtains its raw material globally which is opium poppies. It extracts the narcotic raw material from the opium poppies and exports globally.

The market is peculiar in a sense that 90 percent of the global production only services about 14 or 15 percent of the world’s population. So we see a lot of growth in that market and its a fact that most people don’t know, is 50 percent of the licit narcotics comes out of Australia.

Raw material supply has been a critical issue for TPI over the years. Originally you could only source poppies from Tasmania. We have spent the last three years ensuring we can get poppies from South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and now from the Northern Hemisphere. So that has been a key part of our business. In terms of our expansion plans we’ve worked very hard on getting an API capability in Europe, which is part of our Sterling announcement but also our Portugal side.

We are well capitalised, we have addressed some of the issues with our balance sheet, so we’ll be zero debt and we will have paid for all of our inventory and it gives us enough runway to ensure that we deliver on our targets.

We raised $44 million so it has reduced our debt down from about $25 million down to zero. It enables us to fund our growth plans, which is moving not just from a narcotic raw material producer but into value addition into Europe as an active pharmaceutical ingredient producer.
They key achievements for 2016 really service both sides of the business, on the supply side it was really about diversifying that risk and opening up new areas and on the sales side it was really looking to move into the value addition side of the business, so again the Sterling announcement in the UK gives us access to a whole new market and obviously Portugal licensing gives us access to do that ourselves in house so those are really the key achievements for 2016.

The key investment case for TPI is really our novel technology which means we can produce narcotic raw material cheaper than anyone globally. So we look to roll that out and expand and service what we see as a very strong and growing market.
We see ourselves moving from not just NRM but also into active pharmaceutical ingredients. We’ve initially got a presence now in Europe and ultimately we’ll look to service also the US market. We’ve given some targets to the market of producing 200 tonnes by 2021, 100 tonnes by 2019 and we’re on track to deliver that.