Integrated drug development company Venn Life Sciences issued a trading and strategy update on Thursday, with the board describing 2017 as "another solid year".
The AIM-traded firm delivered revenues of 17.8m - down from 18.2m and broadly in line with market expectations, along with improved EBITDA performance and a closing cash position of 1.2m, down from 3.4m.
Given the headwind from project deferrals as it announced at the half year, the board said it believed the outcome reflected solid progress in the business.
Additionally, it said 2017 represented a transition year for Venn, during which significant investment was made in infrastructure, systems, governance and management, in order to have the ability to access higher value customer markets.
On the subject of strategy, Venn's board noted that up until 2016 the business delivered strong growth, largely through an acquisition-driven model.
However, highly-regulated customers typically demanded the highest standards of governance and integrated operational systems.
"Therefore, since 2016, the board has prioritised organic growth while concentrating on business integration, optimising the cost base and implementing the systems and structures demanded by those customers it seeks to engage with," Venn's board explained.
It said that, with the operational foundations for a larger business already laid, it had conducted a strategic review of the business and the sources of future growth.
"The board has concluded that, in order to maximise operational leverage in the business, it makes sense to focus on both organic and inorganic revenue growth in the near term.
"To drive organic growth the board is increasing the business development team and in assessing the suitability of inorganic opportunities, intends to prioritise both geographic and service line extension in the late phase part of Venn's business," it explained.
"Improved future profitability will therefore be delivered primarily through more aggressive revenue growth and efficient project execution, which we believe Venn now has the systems and infrastructure to deliver."
The board made a "firm commitment" to the adjustment in strategy, and said it would commit the necessary talent and resources to achieve it.
"We see the recent appointment of Cenkos Securities, which has specific CRO industry expertise, as a strong indication of our intent and we look forward to working with the team there to identify and execute shareholder value-enhancing opportunities."