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Unilife ups investment in capital improvements by $16 million

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Ahead of announcing its fourth-quarter earnings in August, York County-based Unilife Corp. said it has spent more than expected in capital expenditures in the last few months, but for good reason.

The company announced it spent $16 million more than it planned on capital expenditures and research and development in its fourth quarter because of increasing customer demand for its products, according to a company news release.

Unilife CEO and Chairman Alan Shortall said the increased demand has led the company to go back to its previous revenue guidance for its fiscal year of $15 million. It had cut its yearly expectations to $12 million earlier in the year.

The company develops and commercially supplies drugs that can be injected.

“We anticipate full year fiscal 2015 revenue to show strong growth over fiscal year 2014,” Shortall said. “We expect to moderate our investment in (research and development) during fiscal year 2015 while keeping (selling, general and administrative expense) largely flat. The increasing revenue and decrease in (research and development) investment is expected to allow us to continue narrowing our operating income loss and operating cash flow loss during fiscal year 2015.”

He added the company doesn’t expect to spend any more on capital expenditure than it already has budgeted in fiscal 2015, which began for the company July 1.

Unilife has had a rough six months with shareholder allegations of excessive compensation for non-executive directors, the departure of its chief financial officer, a $3.5 million net loss in its third quarter and bad financial industry press. The bad press prompted the company to issue a news release denying a multitude of allegations leveled against both Unilife and Shortall.

The company has not turned a profit in any quarter since listing on the NASDAQ in 2010. With the increase in capital expenditures, it will be hard pressed to make its fourth quarter the first with a profit when it announces earnings in August. The company's stock was trading at $2.62 early Thursday. It had been at $5.74 in mid-March.

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