The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for March 1, 2024
Copyright © Brakke Consulting
Editor: Lynn Fondon DVM MBA

Brakke Consulting News

Earnings News
Apiam Animal Health
J.M. Smucker
Orion Corporation

Other News
Amlan International
Ancora Holdings
Blue Rabbit
Elanco (restructuring)
Elanco (Ancora)
Fear Free
Grupo Profil
Innovative Pet Lab
Leap Venture Studio & Academy

Animal Health Jobs
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  • Elanco Animal Health Incorporated reported its financial results for the full year 2023. Revenue was $4,417 million, unchanged from the prior year (+1% at constant currency). Reported Net Loss was $(1,231) million including a Goodwill Impairment of $1,042 million, compared to a net loss of $(78) million in 2022. (company press release)
  • Patterson Companies, Inc. reported operating results for its fiscal 2024 third quarter ended January 27, 2024. Reported net sales in the Animal Health segment were $967 million, flat year-over-year; internal sales declined 1.5%. Segment operating income was $32.1 million, an increase of 6%. (company press release)
  • PetIQ, reported financial results for the full year 2023. Net sales were $1,102 million, a year-over-year increase of 20%. Product segment net sales were $968 million, an increase of 21%; services segment net revenue was $134 million, an increase of 10%. Net income was $2.1 million compared to a net loss of $(48.6) million in 2022. (company press release)
  • The M. Smucker Co. announced results for the third quarter ended January 31, 2024, of its 2024 fiscal year. Net sales for the US Retail Pet Foods segment were $465 million, a decline of 39%; excluding $372.5 million of non-comparable net sales in the prior year related to the divested pet food brands, net sales increased 20%. Segment profit was $109.5 million, unchanged from the prior year period. (seekingalpha)
  • Swedencare AB reported results for the full year 2023. Net revenue was SEK 2,325 million ($225 million), an increase of 27%; organic currency-adjusted growth was 15%. Profit after tax was SEK 58.6 million ($5.7 million) compared to PAT of SEK 94.5 million in 2022. (company website)
  • Orion Corporation reported results for the full year 2023. Animal Health revenue was EUR 104 million ($113 million), a year-over-year increase of 5%. (Yahoo finance)
  • Freshpet, Inc. reported financial results for its full year 2023. Net sales were $767 million, an increase of 29% compared to the prior year. Net loss was $(33.6) million compared to net loss of $(59.5) million in 2022. (Seekingalpha)
  • Apiam Animal Health Limited released its financial results for the six-months ended December 31, 2023 (H1 FY24). Revenue grew 11% to A$104 million (US$68 million) compared to the prior year period and was resilient across each of Apiam’s veterinary segments as well as being supported by acquisitions. Underlying NPATA grew 20% to A$4.6 million (US$3.0 million). (net)
  • ImmuCell Corporation announced its unaudited financial results for the full year 2023. Product sales were $17.5 million, a year-over-year decline of 6%. Net loss was ($5.76) million compared to a loss of ($2.49) million in the prior year. (company press release) 


  • Elanco Animal Health announced plans to restructure operations, including the loss of 420 jobs. The restructuring is designed to shift resources from its farm animal operations to its pet health operations and concentrate roles into strategic locations. (
  • Ancora Holdings is pushing for four board seats at Elanco Animal Health and reportedly wants to replace the chief executive at the company over what the activist investor calls poor performance. At the end of December Ancora owned 10.5 million shares, or 2.13% of Elanco, making it one of Elanco’s biggest investors. (com)
  • Wedgewood, parent company of Blue Rabbit veterinary online pharmacy platform, celebrated the groundbreaking ceremony for its new state-of-the-art facility in Chandler, Arizona. Scheduled to eventually replace Wedgewood’s existing 25,000-square-foot Arizona facility, the 90,000-square-foot veterinary pharmacy, opening in early 2025, will serve as a hub for rapid delivery throughout the western US and offer local pick-up options for pet owners. (company website)
  • VetEvaluated announced the launch of its certification program for pet products. Designed exclusively by veterinarians, this certification ensures that pet products meet the highest standards in digestibility, purity and caloric content for consumable products. Although the current certification is available only to consumable pet treats and chews, additional certification categories will be available later in 2024. (Pet Product News)
  • ButcherBox announced its move into the pet space through their ButcherBox For Pets line of dry food, treats, and hip & joint supplements for dogs. (Pet Business)
  • Fear Free LLC announced it is working with Dr. Temple Grandin in an initiative to apply the principles of physical and emotional well-being to farm animals such as cattle, chickens and swine. As part of the initiative, Fear Free is re-branding, including a new logo and the tagline “Leaders in animal wellbeing.” (Todays Veterinary Business)
  • Leap Venture Studio & Academy, a pet care startup accelerator, announced the launch of its eighth accelerator program. The six startups joining the portfolio include: GekkoVet, an online diagnostic and treatment tool for veterinary professionals; Innovative Pet Lab, developing at-home tests and personalized solutions for pets; Omni, a sustainable pet food company founded by veterinarians; Scooch, an AI powered holistic pet health subscription; VetVerifi, an online pet vaccination records platform; and WIMBA, offering AI & 4D printing technology custom pet orthotics and prosthetics. (Pet Product News)
  • LATIN AMERICA Amlan International, the animal health division of Oil-Dri Corporation of America, announced its partnership with Grupo Profil as the newest distributor for the Latin American region. Grupo Profil will now offer Amlan’s natural feed additives to animal health retailers across Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. (com)
  • AUSTRALIA VetChip announced a partnership with AgriPark, Charles Sturt University to advance equine research trials and testing for its animal health microchip. The company has used AI software to develop a bio-sensing microchip that can monitor the temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen levels and activity levels of pets and livestock. (



  • CHINA – AVIAN INFLUENZA A number of provinces in China including Sichuan, Hunan and Zhejiang have shut down live poultry markets to prevent the spread of avian flu after a surge in the number of infections from the H7N9 strain in recent months. According to Chinese state media, at least six provinces have reported human cases of H7N9 influenza this year, including 79 deaths in January 2024. (AVMA SmartBrief – CNN)
  • US – ANIMAL SAFETY The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a collaboration with the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) to bolster national animal health preparedness. This vital $1 million in funding supports rapid investigations of unexplained morbidity or mortality events, or UMEs, in animals – unexpected deaths or illnesses that could signal emerging threats. (USDA)
  • US – FOOD SAFETY  USDA scientists have developed a means to reduce pathogens in intact eggs using Radio Frequency technology. Researchers at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) used a novel thermal technology that pasteurizes eggs and inactivates Salmonella cells with a short processing time. The egg quality, such as the color and other parameters, were also preserved through the processing. ARS researchers will continue to develop this technology’s capabilities and expect it to be commercially available in the near future. (Feedstuffs)
  • US – VETERINARY MEDICINE The 9th edition of Ettinger’s Textbook on Veterinary Internal Medicine has been published and released to the veterinary public. The entire book with all illustrations is available both in print (as a 2-volume set) and online. (company announcement)
  • VIRTUAL CARE The Veterinary Virtual Care Association (VVCA) announced the release of the inaugural 2024 State of the Veterinary Virtual Care Industry Report. Based on over 2 million data points derived from more than half a million virtual care interactions globally, the report outlines advancements in veterinary virtual care, focusing on its impact and utilization in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom. (association press release)

Aquaculture industry: A rising star in animal health

The recent acquisition of Elanco’s aquaculture business unit by Merck (MSD) has sent shockwaves through the industry. The transaction’s value alone is noteworthy, but the underlying financial analysis reveals even more intriguing insights.

Aquaculture is still a relatively unknown sector within the veterinary industry, but my recent professional experience in this field has ignited a passion for its potential. With a focus on salmon production in countries like Norway, Chile, Canada, and the United Kingdom, the aquaculture industry is pioneering cutting-edge technologies and attracting investments in novel solutions based on big data and artificial intelligence.

Merck’s strategic vision for animal health emphasizes precision aquaculture farming and innovative product development platforms. The company’s leadership in DNA-based vaccines, acquired as part of the Elanco deal, further cements its commitment to this growing sector.

Driven by passionate individuals, the future of aquaculture is poised to become a leader in technology and innovation for other animal health species.

Brakke: Your partner in unlocking opportunities in the aquaculture animal health market

Our team of experts can help you navigate the complex landscape of the aquaculture industry and identify lucrative growth opportunities. With our deep understanding of the market and extensive network of contacts, we are uniquely positioned to provide you with the insights and support you need to succeed.

Mauri Ronan Moreira

Last week, we asked what you whether you think that more veterinary schools in the US are needed – a lot of you weighed in on this one.  33% of you said even 37 schools will unlikely meet demand within a few years and 25% said there’s room for 4 or 5 more schools; 17% thought that the current 33 schools is enough.  24% said that the current 33 schools will likely be producing more vets than we need.  Looks like there’s just as little consensus on this topic among our readers as there is in the wider profession..

This week
We note above that the third activist investor has bought a significant number of shares of Elanco and is pushing for leadership changes and cost savings.  So, this week, let’s hear your thoughts about activist investors, a complex and nuanced topic.  On one hand, activist investors seek improved performance, advocate better corporate governance, and can act as a shareholder advocate.  On the other, they are often short-term focused, can have a disruptive influence on the company, sometimes act with self-interest, and can be costly for the company they have invested in.  The question this week:

Do you think activist investors are in general

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