Plant Health Care plc – Digital Summary Report 2020


  • Plant Health Care is a leading provider of biological products, helping farmers to feed the world sustainably.
  • The market for biological products is growing at more than 16% pa, driven by the need to make farming more sustainable.
  • Plant Health Care’s core patented products act as “vaccines for plants”, improving crop yield and quality by making plants healthier.
  • The Company’s Commercial business is now EBITDA positive and cash generative; demand in major markets in accelerating.
  • The Company has invested more than $20 million in PREtec, a powerful new platform technology, since 2012.
  • PREtec products are targeting markets worth more than $5 billion around the world.

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The Commercial business saw Harpin αβ on ground sales grow two times in 2020 driven by strong performance in sugar cane, corn and specialty crops and delivering a cash positive business in 2020. Alignment with large distributors combined with strong performance in 2020 gives us confidence in strong Harpin αβ growth for 2021.




New technology

After an investment of more than $20 million since 2012, Plant Health Care’s PREtec (Plant Response Elicitor Technology) platform has now generated a strong pipeline of blockbuster products; the first product from this pipeline, Saori, was registered in Brazil in January 2021. The Group is currently focusing on three products targeting very large market opportunities with a value of more than $5 billion. Further products are under evaluation.






Global reach

Sustainability is a major trend in agriculture. Plant Health Care aims to help mainstream farmers by providing cost-effective products which help them to feed the world, without damaging the planet. Our products are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency of the USA as “low toxicity and zero residue”; as such, they receive “fast track” approval.

  • Harpin αβ is sold as H2Copla into sugar cane in Brazil, through Coplacana, the largest distributor of inputs for this crop. Launched in 2018, sales reached 43,000Ha in 2020, three times the level of sales in 2019.
  • Saori™, the world’s first launch of a PREtec peptide product, will be in Brazil in late 2021.
  • Saori™ helps soy farmers to combat diseases, which can devastate the crop.


  • Harpin αβ is sold into corn through the second largest distributor in the USA. Farmers apply Harpin αβ to the seed prior to planting; the crop comes up stronger and taller and better able to resist stress such as drought. Higher yields result. Launched in 2018, sales reached 650,000 acres in 2020.


  • Harpin αβ is sold as “Employ®” through Wilbur-Ellis, a $3.4 billion distributor into the specialty crop market in the USA. Employ helps farmers to grow better quality crops, with lower pesticide inputs. Sales to Wilbur-Ellis doubled in 2020. Plant Health Care is also working with Wilbur-Ellis to develop four PREtec peptides for this market.
  • In the UK, Harpin αβ is sold through Headland, a major distributor supplying to the professional turf market. Many leading golf courses and soccer fields are greener and more resilient to abiotic stress as a result.
  • In Spain, Harpin αβ is sold as ProAct AA, where sales into fruit and vegetable crops have now reached $1.0 million.

Plant Health Care Mexico sells a range of sustainable products to farmers in Mexico. Harpin αβ represented 25% of sales in 2020, with third-party products making up the remainder. Plant Health Care Mexico employs a staff of 15, including sales and technical specialists in the field, selling to retailers throughout the country.

How we performed






  • Revenue was $6.6 million (2019: $6.4 million), a 3% increase on the prior year, 10% in constant currency*.
  • The Commercial business was EBITDA and cash positive for the first time.
  • In-market sales in the USA and Brazil doubled in 2020; product adoption points to strong revenue growth ex PHC.
  • In-market distributor inventory reduced by more than $1 million.
  • Market access: 30 million hectares.
  • Harpin αβ in-market sales doubled in core markets.

* Constant currency is defined on page 10.

  • Saori™ (PHC279), the first product from the PREtec platform, was registered as a seed treatment for soybeans in Brazil.
  • PHC279 was submitted for registration in the USA.
  • $20 million invested in PREtec platform.
  • A Joint Development Agreement was signed with Wilbur-Ellis for the development of four PREtec products in specialty crops in the USA.
  • Low-cost manufacture of PREtec peptides was demonstrated at the pilot scale.
  • The first patents on PREtec were granted by the US Patent Office.
  • The Group has a rich pipeline from the PREtec platform.
  • Cash used in operations reduced to $2.5 million (2019: $4.4 million).
  • Adjusted LBITDA improved to $3.3 million (2019: $3.8 million)
  • Cash and cash equivalents including investments at 31 December 2020 were $4.1 million (2019: $2.4 million).
  • The Company successfully raised £3.6 million ($4.4 million) through the issuance of new ordinary shares in March 2020 and a further £6.6 million ($9.1 million) in March 2021.

2020 in review


The Group decided early on to look after its employees and customers to minimise disruption to the business and ensure that the long‑term goals of the Group are unaffected. "


Non-executive Chairman



Plant Health Care had a year of substantial progress, in both the Commercial business and in the development of the very exciting PREtec new technology."


Chief Executive Officer



Despite all the disruption caused by Covid-19, we delivered year-on-year revenue growth in 2020. Operating cost savings were also delivered and a further improvement in working capital over 2019.”


Chief Financial Officer

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