Business & Real Estate

Marrone plans to focus on core commercial products, growth in international markets

Dr. Pam Marrone
Dr. Pam Marrone Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc.

Pam Marrone, founder, president and CEO of Davis biotech firm Marrone Bio Innovations Inc., on Tuesday outlined “a concise strategy” for the company’s future as it attempts to move on from a probe of internal financial irregularities.

“We have important work left to do,” Marrone said during a conference call with investors.

Marrone said the company will focus on marketing its current core commercial products, focus on products with strong near-term market demand and endeavor to accelerate international market growth. She also said the company has been fine-tuning its sales staff and plans to announce a new head of marketing in December.

MBI has been dealing with problems dating back to September 2014, when it disclosed that it had launched an in-house probe over $870,000 worth of reported sales transactions. During the upheaval, MBI announced multiple postponements of quarterly financial results.

In its first financial release in more than a year, Marrone said last week that an internal audit showed that the company had overstated its revenue by $6.7 million in 2013 and the first six months of last year.

In its new earnings disclosure, Marrone said it lost $51.6 million in 2014 on sales of $9.1 million. That compared with a loss of $31.2 million on sales of $8.4 million the year before. The company also released results for the first six months of 2015, showing additional losses. On Monday, MBI said it lost $9.8 million in this year’s third quarter, compared with a loss of $14.4 million a year earlier.

Marrone completed its own probe in February, saying that several former employees had quietly given some customers “inventory protection” deals that allowed distributors to return certain unsold products to the company.

During the conference call, Pam Marrone said the company had undergone “a great deal of self-examination” She also said the company is now “current in our SEC (reporting) obligations.”

On Tuesday, MBI shares closed at $2.19, down 6 cents, on the Nasdaq market.

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover