Origin Agritech Limited Reports Unaudited First Quarter Financial Results For Three Months Ended December 31, 2010

Origin Agritech Limited (NASDAQ: SEED) (“Origin” or the “Company”), a technology-focused supplier of hybrid and genetically modified crop seeds in China, today announced unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended December 31, 2010. Origin prepares its financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) of the United States.

FINANCIAL RESULTS OVERVIEW

During the first quarter of fiscal 2011, the Company generated revenues of RMB 17.19 million (US$2.60 million), a decrease of 55.47% from RMB 38.60 million (US$5.65 million) generated in the three months ended December 31, 2009. RMB 16.83 million of the revenues this quarter were a result of the sales of canola seed products, 241,309 kg, for the three months ended December 31, 2010. The small remainder was a result of scrap sales. Across the industry, canola seeds, amongst other seed groups, sold lower volumes as a result of the changing planting schedules of farmers. The majority of Origin’s revenues are recorded in the fiscal third quarter as a result of our revenue recognition policy. The goods already sold and shipped to customers can be seen as Deferred Revenue line on the balance sheet and the Advances from Customers records the advance cash receipts from customers this selling season.

Gross profit for the three-months ended December 31, 2010 was RMB 8.61 million (US$1.3 million) compared to RMB 20.58 million (US$3.01 million) in the same period of the prior year. Gross margins for canola seeds for this quarter (exclusive of scrap sales) were 58.67% versus 53.3% for the canola seed sales for the same quarter in last year. This is a result of the higher pricing structure of our canola seed products this year.

Total operating expenses for the three-months ended December 31, 2010 were RMB 39.02 million (US$5.89 million) compared with RMB 38.96 million (US$5.71 million) reported for the same period in 2009. Selling and marketing expenses were RMB 10.64 million (US$1.61 million) for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 year, representing a increase of 1.59% from RMB 10.48 million (US$1.53 million) for the same period of the last year. General and administrative expenses of RMB 20.76 million (US$3.14 million) for the first quarter ended December 31, 2010, increased 1.76% from RMB 20.41 million (US$2.99 million) for the three months ended December 31, 2009. The research and development expenses increased to RMB 12.26 million (US$1.85 million) for the three-months ended December 31, 2010 from RMB 8.08 million (US$1.18 million) for the same quarter last year, with an increase of 51.73%. On a year over year comparison, our operating expenses are relatively flat annually in the general and administrative and selling and marketing categories, with an increasing spend toward our R&D. This is in line with our corporate goals of maintenance our existing infrastructure inclusive of our distribution network, and expanding our biotechnology portfolio.

Operating loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 year amounted to RMB 30.41 million (US$4.59 million) compared with an operating loss of RMB 18.38 million (US$2.69 million) for the same period in fiscal 2010 year.

Net loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 year was RMB 25.15 million (US$3.80 million), or RMB 0.94 (US$0.14) per basic and diluted share, as compared to a net loss of RMB 16.39 million (US$2.40 million), or RMB 0.59 (US$0.09) per basic and diluted share in the same period one year ago.

BALANCE SHEET

Origin's balance sheet at December 31, 2010 included cash and cash equivalents of RMB 184.03 million (US$27.79 million) and shareholders' equity of RMB 252.20 million (US$38.08 million). Short term borrowings decreased from RMB 208.90 million (US$ 30.59 million) at December 31, 2009 to RMB 20.00 million (US$ 3.02 million) at December 31, 2010.

Deferred revenue was RMB 211.07 million (US$ 31.87 million) as of December 31, 2010 as compared to RMB 220.38 million (US$ 32.28 million) for the same period-end date as of last year. This represents our orders received and shipped already for products this upcoming selling season.

The Company received Advances from Customers of RMB 385.66 million (US$58.23 million) as of December 31, 2010 as compared to RMB 295.30 million (US$43.25 million) as of December 31, 2009. This represents our cash receipts for products to be ordered this upcoming selling season.

FISCAL 2011 GUIDANCE

Based on its current outlook, and existing and anticipated business conditions, Origin reiterates the revenue guidance for FY 2011 in the range of RMB 600 million to RMB 650 million.

About Origin

Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Beijing, Origin Agritech Limited (NASDAQ GS: SEED) is China’s leading, vertically-integrated agricultural biotechnology company specializing in research, development and production to supply the growing populations of China. Origin develops, grows, processes, and markets high quality, hybrid crop seeds to farmers throughout China and parts of Southeast Asia via a network of approximately 3,800 first-level distributors and 65,000 second-level distributors and retailers, and possesses a pipeline of genetically modified seed products including glyphosate resistant corn and Bt Corn. The first genetically modified corn seed product for China, Phytase corn, was approved in November 2009 of which Origin possesses exclusive rights. For further information, please log on www.originagritech.com.

Forward Looking Statement

This release contains forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements included in this release are based on information available to us on the date hereof. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause our actual results to differ materially from those implied by the forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "could," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," "targets," "goals," "projects," "continue," or variations of such words, similar expressions, or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Therefore, actual results may differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Neither we nor any other person can assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of forward-looking statements. Important factors that may cause actual results to differ from expectations include, but are not limited to, those risk factors discussed in Origin's filings with the SEC including its annual report on Form 20-F to be filed. We undertake no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason.
 
UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

(In thousands, except share data)
 
Three Months ended December 31,
2009   2010
RMB   US$ RMB   US$
 
Revenues 38,604 5,654 17,193 2,596
Cost of revenues (18,025 )   (2,640 ) (8,581 )   (1,296 )
 
Gross profit 20,579     3,014   8,612     1,300  
 
Operating expenses
Selling and marketing (10,476 ) (1,534 ) (10,643 ) (1,607 )
General and administrative (20,405 ) (2,988 ) (20,763 ) (3,135 )
Research and development (8,075 ) (1,183 ) (12,264 ) (1,852 )
Other operating income, net -     -   4,648     702  
Total operating expenses (38,956 )   (5,705 ) (39,022 )   (5,892 )
 
Loss from operations (18,377 ) (2,691 ) (30,410 ) (4,592 )
 
Interest expense (1,983 ) (290 ) (536 ) (81 )
Share of net income of equity investment 418 61 2,022 305
Interest income 371 54 495 75
Other income, net 1,000     146   -     -  
 
Loss before income taxes (18,571 ) (2,720 ) (28,429 ) (4,293 )
 
Income tax credit (expense):
Current 67 10 (28 ) (4 )
Deferred 2,112     309   3,311     500  
Income tax credit (expense) 2,179     319   3,283     496  
 
Net loss (16,392 ) (2,401 ) (25,146 ) (3,797 )

Less: Net loss attributable to the non-controlling interest
(2,898 )   (424 ) (3,359 )   (507 )

Net loss attributable to Origin Agritech Limited
(13,494 )   (1,977 ) (21,787 )   (3,290 )
 
Other comprehensive loss
Net loss (16,392 ) (2,401 ) (25,146 ) (3,797 )
Foreign currency translation difference 7     1   678     86  
Comprehensive loss (16,385 ) (2,400 ) (24,468 ) (3,711 )

Less: Comprehensive loss attributable to non-controlling interests
(2,898 )   (424 ) (3,359 )   (507 )
Comprehensive loss attributable to Origin Agritech Limited (13,487 )   (1,976 ) (21,109 )   (3,204 )
 
Net loss attributable to Origin Agritech Limited per share – basic (0.59 )   (0.09 ) (0.94 )   (0.14 )
 
Net loss attributable to Origin Agritech Limited per share – diluted (0.59 )   (0.09 ) (0.94 )   (0.14 )
 
Shares used in calculating basic net loss per share 23,013,692     23,013,692   23,292,412     23,292,412  
 
Shares used in calculating diluted net loss per share 23,013,692     23,013,692   23,292,412     23,292,412  
 

 
UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(In thousands, except share data)
     
December 31, September 30, December 31,
2009 2010 2010   2010
RMB RMB RMB US$
 
Assets
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents 213,687 299,672 184,032 27,788

Accounts receivable, less allowance for doubtful amounts of RMB 842 as of December 31, 2009, September 30, 2010 and December 31, 2010 respectively
5,186

 

10,048
12,659 1,911
Due from related parties 6,287 5,107 7 1
Advances to suppliers 8,762 3,986 19,005 2,870
Advances to growers 1,127 40,691 16,780 2,534
Inventories 497,229 283,174 528,515 79,804
Income tax recoverable 1,725 2,745 2,745 414
Other current assets 8,105   18,838   14,230   2,151  
Total current assets 742,108 664,261 777,973 117,473
 
Land use rights, net 20,375 20,907 20,784 3,138
Plant and equipment, net 152,201 161,681 166,516 25,143
Equity investments 65,871 22,505 24,527 3,703
Goodwill 16,665 16,665 16,665 2,516
Acquired intangible assets, net 39,064 35,344 33,600 5,073
Deferred income tax assets 17,152 9,766 13,078 1,975
Other assets 2,091   3,882   3,510   530  
Total assets 1,055,527   935,011   1,056,653   159,551  
 
Liabilities and equity
Current liabilities:
Short-term borrowings 208,900 85,900 20,000 3,020
Accounts payable 19,056 8,960 26,307 3,972
Due to growers 817 42,186 12,270 1,853
Due to related parties 9,093 7,926 8,840 1,335
Advances from customers 295,301 348,797 385,654 58,232
Deferred revenues 220,377 23,111 211,072 31,871
Income tax payable 39,059 44,075 42,275 6,383
Other payables and accrued expenses 24,985   35,656   37,895   5,722  
Total current liabilities 817,588 596,611 744,313 112,388
 
Other long-term liabilities 400   9,426   6,409   968  
Total liabilities 817,988 606,037 750,722 113,356
 
Commitments and contingencies - - - -
 
Shareholders’ equity:
Preferred stock (no par value; 1,000,000 shares authorized, none issued)
- - - -

Common stock (no par value; 60,000,000 shares authorized, 23,013,692, 23,292,412 and 23,292,412 shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2009, September 30, 2010 and December 31, 2010 respectively)
- - - -
Additional paid-in capital 376,242 387,052 388,478 58,659
Retained deficit (139,001 ) (76,454 ) (98,241 ) (14,834 )

Treasury stock at cost (498,851 shares)
(29,377 ) (29,377 ) (29,377 ) (4,436 )
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (10,396 ) (9,336 ) (8,658 ) (1,307 )
Total Origin Agritech Limited shareholders’ equity 197,468

271,885
252,202 38,082
 
Non-controlling interest 40,071   57,089   53,729   8,113  
Total equity 237,539   328,974   305,931   46,195  
 
Total liabilities and equity 1,055,527   935,011   1,056,653   159,551  
 

Questions and Answers

1. Why do your first quarter revenues change from year to year? As a reminder, the majority of Origin’s revenues are recorded in the fiscal third quarter as a result of our revenue recognition policy. The goods already sold and shipped to existing customers can be seen in the “Deferred Revenue” line on the balance sheet and the “Advances from Customers” records the advance cash receipts from customers this selling season.

2. What is your financial guidance on the bottom line for this year? Presently, we are not giving bottom line guidance for fiscal year 2011, and we historically have not provided financial guidance for net income.

3. What new GMO products are in production currently? With the approval of Phytase Corn in November 2009, we still have herbicide resistance, pest resistance (Bt), nitrogen assimilation, and drought tolerance in the pipeline and worldwide license rights to the herbicide resistance and pest resistance (Bt) traits. See chart below.

ORIGIN’S GM PIPELINE
     

CURRENT STATUS

2011 Potential

Commercialization
 
 

PHYTASE
Market and Product Minor Market
Development Penetration*
 

GLYPHOSATE TOLERANCE
Phase 3 Approval Phase 4 2013-2015

LICENSE RIGHTS
Worldwide Rights 2011+
 

BT
Phase 2 Approval Phase 3 2015-2016

LICENSE RIGHTS
Worldwide Rights 2011+
 

NITROGEN EFFICIENCY
Phase 1 Phase 2 2016+

DROUGHT TOLERANCE
Phase 1 Phase 2 2016+
 

*through limited potential end product sales

4. Where do you expect the company to be in 5 years and what steps are you taking to reach those goals? We expect to continue to be growing and expanding our current market to be the rising leader in China by diversifying revenue streams and additional products to accent our key corn seed products. We currently are layering in agricultural chemicals into our existing seed portfolio. Additionally, while Origin was the first company for corn GM in China, we expect to continue to advance our leading position in GM products in China through continued, long term investment in R&D initiatives in and in potential licensing agreements for our traits.

5. Can you provide us with an update to your acquisition strategy? Currently, we are focused on accenting our own seed product portfolio with complementary products, such as agricultural chemicals, and driving our successful suite of products into the marketplace. We are looking at smaller acquisitions in China or globally given the changing dynamic landscape which can add distinct competencies to our company, such as strong seed germplasm, regional distribution, or production capacity as in the case of agricultural chemicals. However we do evaluate each opportunity on a case-by-case basis on specific fit and potential future value to the company.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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