Huntingdon Life Sciences Once Again Profitable

At the end of July, Huntingdon Life Sciences (now Life Sciences Research) announced its first profitable quarter in years. The company reported net income of $2.9 million for the quarter ending June 30, 2002, compared to a net loss of $1.7 million during the same period in 2001.

For the first six months of 2002, HLS sustained a loss of $400,000 compared to a loss of $6 million in the first six months of 2001.

Total revenues at the drug testing company were up 19% in the second quarter over a year ago and the company reported it currently has a backlog of testing.

This after Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty has spent the last 12 months claiming the company was on the verge of imploding.

Cass believes that SHAC’s campaign is beginning to lose steam as it fails to achieve its goal and is widely perceived as endorsing terrorism in its campaign against HLS. Citing a rally in Cambridge where SHAC talked of as many as 1,000 protesters but where only 200 or so people showed up,

The demonstration at the weekend shows that support is waning, and the rank and file [animal rights activists] are beginning to stand up and say that this is not what peaceful protest is about. The campaign leadership is losing credibility.

Cass also had some unkind — but accurate — words for the numerous banks, market makers and brokers who abandoned the firm due to pressure from SHAC,

We were very disappointed that there are people in the City who should give in to terrorism, on a relatively minor scale, so easily. They seemed to think: ‘Here’s a small company, let’s just dump them and have the problem go away.’

In fact, the problem has not gone away and the movement has got more aggressive as they realized the effective, intimidatory power they had. Perhaps if the financial community had stood more firm all the other individual investors and shareholders and members of staff would not have suffered as much harassment as they have done.

Assuming that HLS is able to maintain its profitability over the rest of the year, Cass is right that interest in the campaign is likely to wane, but it is also likely to become more militant as the hardcore activists see illegal actions as their only effective avenue. Expect more actions like the smoke grenade bombings at those Seattle office towers.


Huntingdon about to step back from brink. Alex Jackson-Proes. The Daily Telegraph (London), July 29, 2002.

How Cass brought Huntingdon back to life. Lauren Mills, Sunday Telegraph (London), July 28, 2002.

LSR Announces Second Quarter Results. Life Sciences Research, Press Release, July 31, 2002.

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