Applied UV eyes an untapped global market
The company already has a prestigious clientele in the hospitality industry. With the new UV-based disinfectant devices, the company aims to expand its market further. Excerpts from the interview with Applied UV President Max Munn.
Healthcare-associated infection (HAI) is among the worst under-reported health hazards across the globe. According to recent studies, about one in 25 patients gets infected from hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Even worse, a fifth of all COVID-19 patients is estimated to have contracted the virus as an HAI during a hospital visit.
New York-based Applied UV (NASDAQ: AUVI) focuses on neutralizing this threat by developing UV-based disinfection devices that kill pathogens in drains, on sinks, and other surfaces. The company, through its two subsidiaries – MunnWorks and SteriLumen – sells products to hospitals, hospitality firms and the public sector. In an interview with AlphaStreet, Applied UV President Max Munn said the holding company was launched to acquire complementary firms and grow as a major player in the industry.
“We are negotiating to acquire a company that uses ultraviolet light to sterilize air. It’s a private company with significant revenues, no debt and positive cash flow.”
Despite being a member of the micro-cap space, Applied UV has reported strong growth figures historically. Between fiscal years 2018 and 2019, earnings have more than tripled on a 24% revenue growth. Interestingly, the topline was entirely contributed by MunnWorks, its subsidiary which makes mirrors for fine hotels including Marriott, Hilton, Four Seasons and Hyatt. The UV technology unit – SteriLumen – is still in its budding stage, and the management expects significant revenue growth from this unit starting the second quarter of 2021.
SteriLumen is expected to benefit from MunnWorks’ existing client portfolio, as hospitality firms are currently scrambling for ways to make their customers feel safe during their stay. The company offers a patented portfolio including infection prevention drain and mirror, as well as a retrofit kit.
Applied UV has a healthy balance sheet, with over $6 million in cash. Munn stated that the company does not plan to raise further capital unless it’s looking to fund a huge acquisition.
“If we do (raise capital) it won’t be through the sale of common stock. If we do it, it’ll be long term, non-convertible, in order to not affect dilution or earnings per share.”
Market and competition
Munn pointed out that the market for its products is spread across hotels, hospitals, clinics, schools as well as commercial establishments across the globe. Separately, SteriLumen’s patents are replicated in the EU, Canada, Japan, Middle East, South Korea, and a few others, given the opportunity spread across all these markets.
The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to have augmented the need to sanitize open surfaces and bathrooms, opening up a wider market for Applied UV.
According to the management, Applied UV’s products do not have any direct competition. The UV room devices and robots that are currently available in the market either require repeated use, or leave the threat of recontamination.
“We don’t have competition for especially the bathroom, which is the worst spot. We are dealing with the reality of the condition (pathogen proliferation) as opposed to the optics so that the consumer feels better.”
Regarding the legal dispute with the APF Management Co., the executive said the matter was settled and disposed of, and there is no hostility between the two parties.
Applied UV went public on August 31, 2020, floating 1 million shares priced at $5 apiece. As on October 5, the stock was trading at $7.10. The company has a market cap of $46.5 million.
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