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Birmingham Alabama, Feb. 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Looking for a simple lunch, a deaf woman recently went into an Alabama restaurant and jotted down her order on a piece of paper. The waiter hustled the request to the kitchen, where preparers tried to decipher the woman's handwriting. But when the sandwich she wanted was delivered, it contained tomatoes, which she had said in writing she did not want. Frustrated, the woman went back-and-forth with the waiter for a few minutes to explain exactly what she wanted. The sandwich ended up having to be remade. "That experience might keep her from going back to that restaurant,” said Grace Vasa, CEO of technology firm Juke Slot. “Unfortunately, such communication mix-ups are not isolated incidents in the larger restaurant field." The inability of restaurants to communicate effectively with all customers both threatens to hurt their businesses and serves as an opportunity to generate additional revenue. But what might seem like an operational hurdle actually can be an easy fix with long-term financial benefits. Self-ordering kiosks featuring capabilities such as sign language and foreign language translations allow people with conversational difficulties to communicate more easily represent solutions that minimize order errors and strengthen the customer experience. Such technology would enable restaurants to cater to a different segment of the population – scores of people who struggle with basic communication, not only those who are deaf. Just as important: It’s good business, industry experts say. Implementing kiosk solutions provide an easy avenue for ordering for those with physical impairments, brain injuries and mental disabilities. That can be of particular importance for those with communications problems who also suffer food allergies, to ensure their messages or notes aren’t misunderstood. “The kiosk is a game-changer for restaurants when it comes to appealing to ALL customers,” Vasa said. “Every community has people who have some kind of trouble placing an order at a restaurant.” About 54 million Americans have some sort of disability, reports the ADA National Network. Of those some 15 percent of Americans – roughly 49 million people, based on U.S. Census Bureau statistics – are deaf or hard of hearing, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, requires restaurants to accommodate those with disabilities of all types. So when it comes to accommodating diners with mental and physical challenges, the ADA National Network recommends that restaurants not only make their facilities accessible to all, but also the ability to order, purchase and enjoy a meal as freely as any able person. Those within the industry who already implemented technology make themselves less susceptible to criticism, scrutiny and potential legal action. “The argument is that there’s no excuse these days for a restaurant not to have this technology,” Vasa said. One of the tools expected to be key in better connecting restaurants with diners is a unique kiosk by the name of “Oublié ” recently released from Juke Slot. Oublié, French word deriving from the English word “Forgotten” gives this unique kiosk an identity in which separate itself from the rest. With the ability to display on a counter or in an upright stand, Oublié have the ability to function as a normal self-ordering kiosk as well as cater to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and foreign languages. A sleek design built for an above over view providing the customer with a sense of privacy. Its Android-based software is customizable, meaning restaurateurs can tailor the interface to their – and their customers’ – needs. For example, a restaurant not only can display its full menu on the screen, but also can allow customers to modify meals to their liking. The device’s versatility positions it as a key solution in how business is conducted effectively and efficiently in a host of applications. At high-traffic times, kiosks can be used to allow customers to order and pay on demand, creating shorter line waits. Tailoring the units to overcome communications barriers only increases the machines’ impact and value. The deaf woman at the Alabama restaurant indicated after her incorrect order that a kiosk would’ve prevented problems. Realizing the need to deploy a machine that enables users of all types and capabilities to use it easily, Juke Slot is developing an patent interface that specifically provides the deaf and hard of hearing a more inviting experience. Juke Slot’s ADA compliant software enables users to change the interface language to sign language, including a virtual avatar translating all customer selections in ASL. Unfortunately, communicating through writing isn’t always a viable option. Many who are deaf read at a third-grade level, said Emily Ann Friedberg, an agriculture teacher with the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf. And many only write at a fourth-grade level. Juke Slot has partnered with the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf to survey and work with individuals in that organization to provide feedback to Juke Slot as it deploys its software ordering system. The goal is to ensure the interface continually meets those users’ needs. “This will be great because it allows us to assure our technology is best-suited,” Vasa said. The operating system eventually will go far beyond just helping the disabled, Vasa said. It will be tailored to assist those with language barriers, such as those with hard-to-understand accents, general annunciation issues and local dialects. Users could select the language they need. When ready to place their order, it would be relayed in English to the kitchen. The technology could bridge a long-standing communications gap within the restaurant industry, said Jimmy Peterson, executive director of the Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Peterson, who is deaf, has quickly become a fan of kiosks that, he said, provides convenience in ordering and confidence that his experience will be satisfactory. He recalled going to an Atlanta McDonald’s last week, which didn’t have kiosks. So he wrote down his order, and handed it to the person at the counter. When he received his food, the order was wrong and he was overcharged. Complaining to the manager, the manager, Peterson said, became upset that Peterson hadn’t been quick enough in placing his order and that caused issues in the fulfillment process. Kiosks with the sort of interface Juke Slot plans to implement not only can prevent mistakes, but also increase business by building relationships with new clientele, Peterson said. “It’s so easy; very easy and very efficient,” Peterson said of restaurant kiosks. “If I order something, I normally write it down or text it. With the kiosk, there’s a screen where I can view sign language from a avatar when ordering. … I can catch what they’re doing, and it means less mistakes being made when I order.” Juke Slot has currently been in discussion with Chick-fil-A, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts and scheduled to roll out Oublié in locations around the U.S in 2017!


Birmingham Alabama, Feb. 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Looking for a simple lunch, a deaf woman recently went into an Alabama restaurant and jotted down her order on a piece of paper. The waiter hustled the request to the kitchen, where preparers tried to decipher the woman's handwriting. But when the sandwich she wanted was delivered, it contained tomatoes, which she had said in writing she did not want. Frustrated, the woman went back-and-forth with the waiter for a few minutes to explain exactly what she wanted. The sandwich ended up having to be remade. "That experience might keep her from going back to that restaurant,” said Grace Vasa, CEO of technology firm Juke Slot. “Unfortunately, such communication mix-ups are not isolated incidents in the larger restaurant field." The inability of restaurants to communicate effectively with all customers both threatens to hurt their businesses and serves as an opportunity to generate additional revenue. But what might seem like an operational hurdle actually can be an easy fix with long-term financial benefits. Self-ordering kiosks featuring capabilities such as sign language and foreign language translations allow people with conversational difficulties to communicate more easily represent solutions that minimize order errors and strengthen the customer experience. Such technology would enable restaurants to cater to a different segment of the population – scores of people who struggle with basic communication, not only those who are deaf. Just as important: It’s good business, industry experts say. Implementing kiosk solutions provide an easy avenue for ordering for those with physical impairments, brain injuries and mental disabilities. That can be of particular importance for those with communications problems who also suffer food allergies, to ensure their messages or notes aren’t misunderstood. “The kiosk is a game-changer for restaurants when it comes to appealing to ALL customers,” Vasa said. “Every community has people who have some kind of trouble placing an order at a restaurant.” About 54 million Americans have some sort of disability, reports the ADA National Network. Of those some 15 percent of Americans – roughly 49 million people, based on U.S. Census Bureau statistics – are deaf or hard of hearing, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, requires restaurants to accommodate those with disabilities of all types. So when it comes to accommodating diners with mental and physical challenges, the ADA National Network recommends that restaurants not only make their facilities accessible to all, but also the ability to order, purchase and enjoy a meal as freely as any able person. Those within the industry who already implemented technology make themselves less susceptible to criticism, scrutiny and potential legal action. “The argument is that there’s no excuse these days for a restaurant not to have this technology,” Vasa said. One of the tools expected to be key in better connecting restaurants with diners is a unique kiosk by the name of “Oublié ” recently released from Juke Slot. Oublié, French word deriving from the English word “Forgotten” gives this unique kiosk an identity in which separate itself from the rest. With the ability to display on a counter or in an upright stand, Oublié have the ability to function as a normal self-ordering kiosk as well as cater to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and foreign languages. A sleek design built for an above over view providing the customer with a sense of privacy. Its Android-based software is customizable, meaning restaurateurs can tailor the interface to their – and their customers’ – needs. For example, a restaurant not only can display its full menu on the screen, but also can allow customers to modify meals to their liking. The device’s versatility positions it as a key solution in how business is conducted effectively and efficiently in a host of applications. At high-traffic times, kiosks can be used to allow customers to order and pay on demand, creating shorter line waits. Tailoring the units to overcome communications barriers only increases the machines’ impact and value. The deaf woman at the Alabama restaurant indicated after her incorrect order that a kiosk would’ve prevented problems. Realizing the need to deploy a machine that enables users of all types and capabilities to use it easily, Juke Slot is developing an patent interface that specifically provides the deaf and hard of hearing a more inviting experience. Juke Slot’s ADA compliant software enables users to change the interface language to sign language, including a virtual avatar translating all customer selections in ASL. Unfortunately, communicating through writing isn’t always a viable option. Many who are deaf read at a third-grade level, said Emily Ann Friedberg, an agriculture teacher with the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf. And many only write at a fourth-grade level. Juke Slot has partnered with the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf to survey and work with individuals in that organization to provide feedback to Juke Slot as it deploys its software ordering system. The goal is to ensure the interface continually meets those users’ needs. “This will be great because it allows us to assure our technology is best-suited,” Vasa said. The operating system eventually will go far beyond just helping the disabled, Vasa said. It will be tailored to assist those with language barriers, such as those with hard-to-understand accents, general annunciation issues and local dialects. Users could select the language they need. When ready to place their order, it would be relayed in English to the kitchen. The technology could bridge a long-standing communications gap within the restaurant industry, said Jimmy Peterson, executive director of the Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Peterson, who is deaf, has quickly become a fan of kiosks that, he said, provides convenience in ordering and confidence that his experience will be satisfactory. He recalled going to an Atlanta McDonald’s last week, which didn’t have kiosks. So he wrote down his order, and handed it to the person at the counter. When he received his food, the order was wrong and he was overcharged. Complaining to the manager, the manager, Peterson said, became upset that Peterson hadn’t been quick enough in placing his order and that caused issues in the fulfillment process. Kiosks with the sort of interface Juke Slot plans to implement not only can prevent mistakes, but also increase business by building relationships with new clientele, Peterson said. “It’s so easy; very easy and very efficient,” Peterson said of restaurant kiosks. “If I order something, I normally write it down or text it. With the kiosk, there’s a screen where I can view sign language from a avatar when ordering. … I can catch what they’re doing, and it means less mistakes being made when I order.” Juke Slot has currently been in discussion with Chick-fil-A, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts and scheduled to roll out Oublié in locations around the U.S in 2017!


Birmingham Alabama, Feb. 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Looking for a simple lunch, a deaf woman recently went into an Alabama restaurant and jotted down her order on a piece of paper. The waiter hustled the request to the kitchen, where preparers tried to decipher the woman's handwriting. But when the sandwich she wanted was delivered, it contained tomatoes, which she had said in writing she did not want. Frustrated, the woman went back-and-forth with the waiter for a few minutes to explain exactly what she wanted. The sandwich ended up having to be remade. "That experience might keep her from going back to that restaurant,” said Grace Vasa, CEO of technology firm Juke Slot. “Unfortunately, such communication mix-ups are not isolated incidents in the larger restaurant field." The inability of restaurants to communicate effectively with all customers both threatens to hurt their businesses and serves as an opportunity to generate additional revenue. But what might seem like an operational hurdle actually can be an easy fix with long-term financial benefits. Self-ordering kiosks featuring capabilities such as sign language and foreign language translations allow people with conversational difficulties to communicate more easily represent solutions that minimize order errors and strengthen the customer experience. Such technology would enable restaurants to cater to a different segment of the population – scores of people who struggle with basic communication, not only those who are deaf. Just as important: It’s good business, industry experts say. Implementing kiosk solutions provide an easy avenue for ordering for those with physical impairments, brain injuries and mental disabilities. That can be of particular importance for those with communications problems who also suffer food allergies, to ensure their messages or notes aren’t misunderstood. “The kiosk is a game-changer for restaurants when it comes to appealing to ALL customers,” Vasa said. “Every community has people who have some kind of trouble placing an order at a restaurant.” About 54 million Americans have some sort of disability, reports the ADA National Network. Of those some 15 percent of Americans – roughly 49 million people, based on U.S. Census Bureau statistics – are deaf or hard of hearing, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, requires restaurants to accommodate those with disabilities of all types. So when it comes to accommodating diners with mental and physical challenges, the ADA National Network recommends that restaurants not only make their facilities accessible to all, but also the ability to order, purchase and enjoy a meal as freely as any able person. Those within the industry who already implemented technology make themselves less susceptible to criticism, scrutiny and potential legal action. “The argument is that there’s no excuse these days for a restaurant not to have this technology,” Vasa said. One of the tools expected to be key in better connecting restaurants with diners is a unique kiosk by the name of “Oublié ” recently released from Juke Slot. Oublié, French word deriving from the English word “Forgotten” gives this unique kiosk an identity in which separate itself from the rest. With the ability to display on a counter or in an upright stand, Oublié have the ability to function as a normal self-ordering kiosk as well as cater to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and foreign languages. A sleek design built for an above over view providing the customer with a sense of privacy. Its Android-based software is customizable, meaning restaurateurs can tailor the interface to their – and their customers’ – needs. For example, a restaurant not only can display its full menu on the screen, but also can allow customers to modify meals to their liking. The device’s versatility positions it as a key solution in how business is conducted effectively and efficiently in a host of applications. At high-traffic times, kiosks can be used to allow customers to order and pay on demand, creating shorter line waits. Tailoring the units to overcome communications barriers only increases the machines’ impact and value. The deaf woman at the Alabama restaurant indicated after her incorrect order that a kiosk would’ve prevented problems. Realizing the need to deploy a machine that enables users of all types and capabilities to use it easily, Juke Slot is developing an patent interface that specifically provides the deaf and hard of hearing a more inviting experience. Juke Slot’s ADA compliant software enables users to change the interface language to sign language, including a virtual avatar translating all customer selections in ASL. Unfortunately, communicating through writing isn’t always a viable option. Many who are deaf read at a third-grade level, said Emily Ann Friedberg, an agriculture teacher with the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf. And many only write at a fourth-grade level. Juke Slot has partnered with the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf to survey and work with individuals in that organization to provide feedback to Juke Slot as it deploys its software ordering system. The goal is to ensure the interface continually meets those users’ needs. “This will be great because it allows us to assure our technology is best-suited,” Vasa said. The operating system eventually will go far beyond just helping the disabled, Vasa said. It will be tailored to assist those with language barriers, such as those with hard-to-understand accents, general annunciation issues and local dialects. Users could select the language they need. When ready to place their order, it would be relayed in English to the kitchen. The technology could bridge a long-standing communications gap within the restaurant industry, said Jimmy Peterson, executive director of the Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Peterson, who is deaf, has quickly become a fan of kiosks that, he said, provides convenience in ordering and confidence that his experience will be satisfactory. He recalled going to an Atlanta McDonald’s last week, which didn’t have kiosks. So he wrote down his order, and handed it to the person at the counter. When he received his food, the order was wrong and he was overcharged. Complaining to the manager, the manager, Peterson said, became upset that Peterson hadn’t been quick enough in placing his order and that caused issues in the fulfillment process. Kiosks with the sort of interface Juke Slot plans to implement not only can prevent mistakes, but also increase business by building relationships with new clientele, Peterson said. “It’s so easy; very easy and very efficient,” Peterson said of restaurant kiosks. “If I order something, I normally write it down or text it. With the kiosk, there’s a screen where I can view sign language from a avatar when ordering. … I can catch what they’re doing, and it means less mistakes being made when I order.” Juke Slot has currently been in discussion with Chick-fil-A, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts and scheduled to roll out Oublié in locations around the U.S in 2017!


“I am pleased to report another excellent set of results in 2016 from Eurofins, with organic growth nearly double our annual objective. In 2016, we made significant progress towards both our financial and operational objectives. With 89% of Group revenues now generating 21.3% EBITDA margin, Eurofins is able to continue investing for future growth such as the roll-out of multiple start-up laboratories in high-growth markets, as well as deliver profit improvements (+50bp expansion in reported EBITDA margin), and earnings expansion (+91% uplift in reported EPS). Operationally, we continue to make steady progress on key initiatives including the addition of 46,000m2 of state-of-the-art laboratory surface in 2016 alone, development and commercialization of many innovative tests to better serve our clients, internal development of tailor-made IT solutions that should further elevate the Eurofins laboratory network ahead of its peers, and the roll-out of over 20 new start-up laboratories in 2016. I would like to thank and compliment our teams in the 39 countries where we operate laboratories around the world for their outstanding dedication and performance in what was once again the best year ever for Eurofins as well as thank our clients and shareholders for their continued support.” In view of the positive developments in our start-up investment program as detailed on page 7 of this press release, the Group has significantly accelerated the current program which commenced in 2014, to open 76 start-up laboratories by the end of 2017. Start-ups complement the Group’s acquisition strategy, and provide a compelling alternative in markets or segments where acquisition prices are too high. Start-up investments therefore allow the Group to enter or reinforce its leadership in high-growth markets without putting value creation at risk by overpaying for acquisitions. In addition, despite investments to strengthen barriers to entry and secure future growth drivers, the Group continues to optimize its capital structure, successfully de-levering the balance sheet to 1.16x net debt to adjusted EBITDA, and deliver strong cash generation, with a 40% increase in free cash flow to the firm8 in 2016. Therefore, whilst the strong growth outlook of the existing businesses allows the Group to be selective to ensure that we maintain financial discipline with regards to acquisitions, our strong balance sheet means that Eurofins is better-positioned than ever to respond to large, compelling opportunities as and when they arise. Overall, the Group’s performance in the first of its 5-year plan bodes well for the achievement of our mid-term objectives. In light of these results and the continued positive outlook for the Group, the management will be proposing a 38% increase in dividends to EUR 2 per share. N.B. H2 2016 results can be found in Table 3 on page 8 of this press release Revenues grew 16.0% to EUR 699.3m in the fourth quarter, bringing revenues for the full year 2016 to EUR 2,536.6m, representing year-on-year increase of 30.1%, of which over 9% was organic. Acceleration in market share gains in most geographies, increased customer penetration, as well as continued growth in the testing market underpin the robust growth across the Group. Currency translation had a limited impact of -0.3% during the year. Taking the annualized revenues of all the acquisitions completed during the year, 2016 pro-forma revenues were EUR 2,658.6m. In Q3 and Q4 2016, Eurofins once again exceeded its 5% organic growth objective despite very strong comparable level of almost 9% in H2 2015, and clinical testing bearing most of the annual impact of cost containment measures by payors in Q4. The stronger organic growth generated by the Group compared to its 5% annual growth objective continues to be driven by a ramp-up in volumes, and supported by continued strength in the underlying trends across many of its businesses. During the year, Eurofins’ food testing business once again outperformed the Group’s organic growth objective, driven by rising awareness among consumers and across the food industry of the need for more systematic testingi, and the Group’s capability to often respond to the industry’s needs better than any other laboratory testing service provider. Strong performance from some of the Group’s environment testing businesses, notably air and water testing in France and Germany, partially offset some of the impact of slower economic activity in the rest of Europe, as well as the continued weakness in the US environment testing market. Although organic growth in environment testing for 2016 was lower than the Group average, the business is well-positioned for growth due to the scale of its network. Organic growth generated by the Group’s pharmaceutical testing business remained well above the Group’s 5% objective in 2016, on the back of further growth acceleration in pharmaceutical products testing, and as the Group unwinds and starts to see the benefits of the reorganization of its discovery services business, as well as the steady build-up of the order book in the central laboratory business. In the broader industry, the steady number of applications for FDA approvalsii, and strong growth in drug salesiii, are supportive of the underlying fundamentals for the pharma testing business in the medium term. The Group’s clinical testing business continues to gain traction, following several acquisitions in the US and in Europe. Innovation continues to be a solid growth driver in US clinical testing, while in Europe, the Group continues to roll-out its strategic footprint. In both markets, Eurofins continues to leverage its expertise in genomics, and more broadly in pharmaceutical testing. Positive trends continue to drive the growth in Eurofins’ businesses in North America, where revenues increased 24.9% to EUR 803.6m, comprising nearly 32% of total Group revenues. Regulatory catch-up remains a key growth driver for the food testing market, and Eurofins continues to gain market share, as reflected in the high single-digit organic growth generated by the Group’s US food testing business. Eurofins’ pharma testing businesses in the US delivered another solid performance in 2016, with strong organic growth in biopharma products testing driven by continued growth in drug sales and new drug applications, as well as strengthening central lab order book. The completion of the site reorganization programme in its discovery services business has also started to bear fruit, as reflected in the organic growth generated by the business in 2016 which was above Group objective. In addition, Eurofins has further expanded its footprint with the launch of medical device testing to add to its comprehensive pharma testing competencies, reinforce its market leadership, and secure additional growth driver. Organic growth in environment testing was somewhat below Group objective as market consolidation continues to be the main driver, which should purge oversupply in the market in due course. The Group’s specialty clinical diagnostics businesses contributed good organic growth in spite of strengthening reimbursement headwinds in H2 as the laboratories expand their sales forces to accelerate the commercialization of their tests and invest in further development of new innovative tests and services. Overall, trends are expected to continue to be supportive of Eurofins’ businesses in North America and the Group continues to invest in expanding its footprint in the region. In France, Eurofins’ second largest market with nearly 25% of total Group sales, revenues increased 69.3% to EUR 625.9m. Organic growth was in-line with Group objective as the clinical testing businesses, which account for over half of revenues in France, generated better than expected growth despite the annual adjustments in reimbursements being fully applied in Q4, according to the French health authority budget. The food testing business performed strongly during the year on continued market share gains supported by capacity expansion driven by innovation, such as the launch of the Maldi-TOFiv technology which significantly reduces turn-around time and increases capacity for microbiology testing. In addition, Eurofins continues to leverage its international network to become the preferred laboratory partner for clients with equally wide footprint. For example, the Group’s flagship food laboratory in Nantes gained the German QS accreditation to test for pesticides in fruits and vegetables, allowing Eurofins to partner with customers whose products are shipped in markets requiring such certification. Likewise, the selection of Eurofins by the ANEEFELv as one of a handful of reference laboratories in France to serve the fruit and vegetable industry gives access to an important market, and is another demonstration of the Group’s capabilities. The Group’s environment testing business in France also generated organic growth above Group objective driven by market share gains and positive trends especially in indoor air testing. The water testing business also delivered solid performance on the back of recently-won public tenders (“Agence de l’Eau Seine Normandie” and “Agence de l’Eau Loire Bretagne”) as well as increased volumes from existing customers. The clinical diagnostics testing business also generated better than expected growth, validating the Group’s strategy of building a differentiated platform focused on building regional leadership and leading the market for specialized, highly-innovative diagnostic tests. Revenue contribution from Germany, which makes up 11% of Group revenues, was EUR 279.4m in 2016, representing growth of 11.6%, most of which was organic. The food testing business continues to strengthen, generating the highest revenue growth in five years, with growing scale effect reflected in higher activities from cross-selling initiatives, as well as higher share of incremental market volumes driven by new regulations such as those addressing potential contaminants from packaging materialsvi. Increasingly harmonised service offering from different Eurofins laboratories was reflected in greater penetration and higher volumes from key global food customers. The Group’s environment testing business in Germany also delivered strong performance reflecting continued growth even in a mature market. The Group’s businesses in the Benelux achieved revenues of EUR 191.2m, representing 7.5% of total Group revenues, and an increase of 20.9% compared to 2015, driven by new businesses won such as the new contract for groundwater analysis in Belgium. Eurofins’ Nordic businesses generated EUR 172.4m of revenues in 2016, making up nearly 7% of total sales. The Group continues to generate robust growth despite high market share across the region as it benefits from past investments which strengthened its ability to continually expand the services it can provide to clients, resulting in increased share of clients’ testing spend. Revenues from the UK & Ireland grew 26.8% to EUR 122.0m, as the strong performance from the pharmaceutical testing business offset the exit from some water testing segments. Eurofins continues to expand its footprint in emerging markets and Asia Pacific, which contributed revenues of EUR 342.1m, an increase of 27.1% versus 2015, as the Group continued to expand its Asian footprint both organically and through acquisitions. Overall, the Group delivered strong performance across its businesses in 2016, supported both by positive underlying trends, and the benefits of past investments to build the best laboratory network infrastructure in its markets to serve the needs of its clients. The strong results achieved by Eurofins in most of its markets reflect the progress that the Group is making in securing leadership and strengthening its footprint in each of its areas of competence. Group adjusted EBITDA increased 32.9% to EUR 479.6m in 2016 as margin expanded by 40bp to 18.9% driven by the strong revenue growth and profitability improvements in both the mature businesses and those that had been recently transferred out of the start-up/businesses in reorganization perimeter. The mature businesses of the Group, i.e. excluding start-ups and acquisitions in significant restructuring, generated EUR 2,254.3m of revenues during the period, implying that the margin for these businesses further expanded to 21.3%. Start-ups and businesses in restructuring or reorganization generated the remaining EUR 282.3m of revenues, which means that these businesses now account for 11.1% of total Group revenues, compared to 12.5% in 2015. Start-up losses and restructuring costs as disclosed in the separately disclosed items2 (SDI) were EUR 18.5m in 2016, representing 3.9% of the total EBITDA generated by the mature businesses of the Group, a further reduction compared to the 4.4% level in 2015 despite the acceleration in the Group’s start-up investments and the finalization of some of the reorganization of its discovery services business in the US, the site consolidation programs in the UK and Benelux, and the relocation of its US genomics business to Louisville, KY. Even with multiple investments for future growth that are temporarily dilutive, reported EBITDA margin still expanded by 50bp to 18.2% as reported EBITDA increased by 33.6% to EUR 461.1m due to strong top line growth and economies of scale, allowing continued profit expansion in the Group’s mature businesses. Adjusted EBITAS increased 35.3% to EUR 357.6m despite the 27.6% year-on-year increase in depreciation and amortization, due largely to the elevated capital expenditures in recent years. The strong growth in profitability resulted in a 36.5% growth in reported EBITAS to EUR 319.4m as EBITAS margin expanded by 60bp to 12.6% during the year. Non-cash stock option charge and net acquisition-related expenses grew only modestly by 4.3% resulting in a growth of 42.3% in reported EBIT for the Group to EUR 281.9m. Finance costs in 2016 were EUR 70.8m, remaining stable at 2.8% of total revenuesvii, despite the cost of carrying more than EUR 820m of unused cash on the balance sheet at year-end and a similar amount throughout 2016. Adjusted Financial Result remained stable at -1.9% of Revenues. The income tax expense has decreased by more than 500bps to 26.8% of the profit before income taxesviii. This is the result of some exceptional finance income and the measures put in place by management to achieve an optimum tax structure, including the recognition of deferred tax assets where applicable. Adjusted net profit stood at EUR 221.6m for 2016. Due to the strong revenue growth and profit improvement, and with finance costs stable relative to revenues, reported net profit nearly doubled to EUR 174.0m during the year, translating to a 90.6% uplift in the Group’s basic earnings per share (EPS), which exceeded EUR 10 for the first time, at EUR 10.88. The 83.3% increase in pre-tax profit to EUR 242.6m, in addition to the successful management of net working capital to 3.7% of sales at the end of December 2016 (versus 5.1% in June, and against 5% NWC/Sales annual objective), resulted in a 27.7% increase in operating cash flow for the Group, to EUR 371.8m in 2016. Capital expenditures for 2016 were EUR 194.1m. Although the absolute amount represents an 18.5% increase from the previous year, capex/sales declined by 70bp to 7.7%, compared to 8.4% in 2015, demonstrating progress towards management’s commitment to its objective of managing capital expenditures program progressively closer to 6% of sales by 2020. Capital expenditures during the year were, among others, related to 46,000m2 of additional state-of-the-art lab surface, the launch of 22 new start-up laboratories during the year, as well as continued development and deployment of the Group’s new generation of IT solutions. The Group’s capital spending is consistent with its commitment to strengthening its long-term competitive advantage by building a state-of-the-art laboratory network and bespoke IT solutions. Eurofins generated robust cash flows in 2016, with free cash flow to the firm growing 39.5% to EUR 177.7m as strong revenue and profit growth offset the increase in capex. Likewise, free cash flow to equity increased 26.1% to EUR 125.9m despite the increase in interest payments due to higher gross debt, and penalties for early repayment of the EUR 170m Schuldschein loan (of which the amount due in July 2018 was paid two years early in July 2016) and the remaining EUR 116m OBSAAR bonds (of which the amount due in June 2017 was paid 6 months early in December 2016). At the end of December 2016, the Group’s leverage ratio stood at 1.16x net debt/adjusted EBITDA, well below the 3.5x limit, as net debt was reduced to EUR 557.8m, compared to EUR 916.3m in December 2015. The significant reduction was due to the higher cash generation, as well as the successful issuance of new shares in June and in September 2016, which raised total proceeds of EUR 496m. In 2016, Eurofins completed 27 acquisitions that either strengthen Eurofins’ leadership in existing markets, or further develop the Group’s expanding footprint in its newer markets, such as in clinical diagnostics testing, or in Asia Pacific. Some of Eurofins’ acquisitions during the year are discussed below. In January, Eurofins acquired Sinensis Life Sciences, a leading provider of pharmaceutical product testing and cGMP Quality Control (QC) services in the Netherlands, further reinforcing the Group’s global leadership in this area of pharmaceutical products testing. In the same month, Eurofins also acquired Biotech-Germande SAS, one of the leading players in the environmental clinical testing and hospital hygiene market, as well as in medical device evaluation in France. Biotech-Germande complements Eurofins' growing footprint in the testing market for the healthcare sector in France. In March, Eurofins further strengthened its pharmaceutical products testing footprint with the acquisition of ams Laboratories and Advantar, two leading independent analytical and cGMP Quality Control (QC) service providers in Australia, and the US West Coast respectively. In April, Eurofins acquired PerkinElmer, Inc.’s U.S. prenatal screening laboratory services business PerkinElmer Labs/NTD, a reference laboratory in the US for first and second trimester prenatal screening. The acquisition strengthens Eurofins’ growing footprint in the genetics segment of the specialty clinical diagnostic testing market. Eurofins completed the acquisition of EAC Corporation from Asahi Industries in Japan in May. EAC should reinforce the Group’s local footprint as well as its platform to further deploy the Group’s analytical expertise especially in water and dioxin testing. As part of the acquisition, Asahi and Eurofins entered into an exclusive service contract for a period of 3 years. At the end of May, Eurofins strengthened its leadership in the French food testing market with the acquisition of Agro-Analyses SAS, one of the leading analytical service providers supporting the food retail and catering sectors in France. In June, Eurofins acquired Bureau de Wit BV, one of the main laboratory service providers focused on food and water safety testing for the food production, hotel and catering sectors in The Netherlands. In July, the Group successfully closed the acquisition of Exova’s food, water and pharmaceutical testing business in the UK & Ireland, reinforcing Eurofins’ existing footprint as well as expanding client reach in the UK and Ireland. In September, Eurofins strengthened its footprint in the specialty clinical diagnostics market with the acquisition of VRL Laboratories, one of the leading laboratories in pre-transplant testing for the eligibility determination for Donors of Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (HCT/Ps) in the US. In the same month, Eurofins further reinforced its clinical diagnostics footprint in Europe with the acquisition of Megalab, one of the top five clinical diagnostic laboratory groups in Spain. Towards the end of the year, the Group further expanded its presence in North America with the acquisition of Exova’s environment testing business in Eastern Canada, and in Latin America with the acquisition of ASL Análises Ambientais, one of the leading environment testing service providers in Brazil. Total acquisition spend in 2016 was EUR 201mix for total annualized revenues in excess of EUR 220m. Including earn-outs for these newly acquired companies, this translates into an EV/sales multiple of ca 1x for the year 2016, which remains very reasonable and in line with our historical metrics. Eurofins delivered 46,000m2 of the 106,000m2 of laboratory surface planned to come on stream by the end of 2017 as part of its ongoing investment program to build the largest and most efficient state-of-the-art laboratory network in its industry. Between 2005 and 2016, Eurofins has added or brought to the most modern standards over 380,000m2 of laboratory space. In-line with the positive outlook in the US domestic testing market, the Group is further expanding its laboratory campus in Lancaster, already the largest independent single-site laboratory in the world, with a planned 17,200m2 extension to be completed by the end of 2018, of which 1,600m2 is expected to come on stream by the end of this year. Boston Heart Diagnostics (BHD) has also completed the extension of its testing facilities in Framingham, MA, which has increased its laboratory surface by over 40% to 9,300m2. In Asia Pacific, the Group is on track to complete the expansion of its main Chinese food testing laboratory in Suzhou, as well as the construction of new food testing laboratories in Australia and Singapore by the end of 2017. These projects follow the completion of the Group’s new laboratories in Hong Kong and India, as well as the multiple site upgrade and expansion projects in Australia and New Zealand in 2015. In addition to infrastructure expansion, the Group is also undertaking several site rationalization projects with part or full site upgrades, consolidating several small sites into fewer but larger industrialized sites, or simply moving some businesses into our large campuses to maximize synergies and optimize efficiencies across our businesses. The move to consolidate several small sites to a large campus in Hamburg is expected to be completed by 2019, as are the site consolidation programs in Benelux and Sweden. Encouraged by the strong performance from its start-up laboratories, with the newly-opened laboratories from the latest start-up program (launched in 2014) generating 101% revenue growth in 2016, and the 18 laboratories from the previous program (launched in 2010) generating 22% revenue growth and 19% EBITDA margin in 2016, the Group has accelerated its current start-ups program. Between 2014 and the end of 2017, Eurofins plans to open 76 green-field laboratories (from the original 35 announced in 2015), which would mean an average of 20 start-ups launched per year during that period. This would take total start-ups launched by the Group to 110 laboratories between 2007 and 2017. 1 Adjusted – reflects the ongoing performance of the mature and recurring activities excluding “separately disclosed items”. 2 Separately disclosed items - includes one-off costs from integration, reorganisation, discontinued operations and other non-recurring income and costs, temporary losses and other costs related to network expansion, start-ups and new acquisitions undergoing significant restructuring, non-cash accounting charges for stock options and free shares, impairment of goodwill, amortisation of acquired intangible assets, negative goodwill, discontinued activities and transaction costs related to acquisitions as well as income from reversal of such costs and from unused amounts due for business acquisitions, net finance costs related to borrowing and investing excess cash and one-off financial effects and the related tax effects. (Details in Note 2.3 of the 2016 Consolidated Financial Statements). 3 EBITDA – Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, non-cash accounting charges for stock options and free shares, impairment of goodwill, amortisation of acquired intangible assets, negative goodwill, discontinued activities and transaction costs related to acquisitions as well as income from unused amounts due for business acquisitions. 4 EBITAS – Earnings before interest, taxes, non-cash accounting charges for stock options and free shares, impairment of goodwill, amortisation of acquired intangible assets, negative goodwill, discontinued activities and transaction costs related to acquisitions as well as income from unused amounts due for business acquisitions. 5 Net Profit – Net profit for equity holders after non-controlling interests but before payment to Hybrid capital holders 6 Basic EPS – earnings per share (basic) total (to equity holders before payment of dividends to Hybrid capital holders) 7 Operating Cash Flow – Net cash provided by operating activities (after tax) 8 Free Cash Flow to the Firm –Operating Cash Flow, less Net capex 9 Organic growth for a given period (Q1, Q2, Q3, Half Year, Nine Months or Full Year) - non-IFRS measure calculating the growth in revenues during that period between 2 successive years for the same scope of businesses using the same exchange rates but excluding discontinued activities. For the purpose of organic growth calculation for year Y, the relevant scope used is the scope of businesses that have been consolidated in the Group's income statement of the previous financial year (Y-1). Revenue contribution from companies acquired in the course of Y-1 but not consolidated for the full year are adjusted as if they had been consolidated as from 1st January Y-1. All revenues from businesses acquired since 1st January Y are excluded from the calculation. For details of the FY 2016 results, including consolidated financial statements and related notes, please visit: http://www.eurofins.com/investor-relations/reports-presentations/ Eurofins Scientific through its subsidiaries (hereinafter sometimes “Eurofins” or “the Group”) believes it is the world leader in food, environment and pharmaceutical products testing and that it is also one of the global independent market leaders in certain testing and laboratory services for agroscience, genomics, discovery pharmacology and for supporting clinical studies. In addition, Eurofins is one of the key emerging players in specialty clinical diagnostic testing in Europe and the USA. With over 27,000 staff in 310 laboratories across 39 countries, Eurofins offers a portfolio of over 130,000 analytical methods for evaluating the safety, identity, composition, authenticity, origin and purity of biological substances and products, as well as for innovative clinical diagnostic. The Group objective is to provide its customers with high-quality services, accurate results on time and expert advice by its highly qualified staff. Eurofins is committed to pursuing its dynamic growth strategy by expanding both its technology portfolio and its geographic reach. Through R&D and acquisitions, the Group draws on the latest developments in the field of biotechnology and analytical chemistry to offer its clients unique analytical solutions and the most comprehensive range of testing methods. As one of the most innovative and quality oriented international players in its industry, Eurofins is ideally positioned to support its clients’ increasingly stringent quality and safety standards and the expanding demands of regulatory authorities around the world. The shares of Eurofins Scientific are listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange (ISIN FR0000038259, Reuters EUFI.PA, Bloomberg ERF FP). This press release contains forward-looking statements and estimates that involve risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements and estimates contained herein represent the judgement of Eurofins Scientific’ management as of the date of this release. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees for future performance, and the forward-looking events discussed in this release may not occur. Eurofins Scientific disclaims any intent or obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements and estimates. All statements and estimates are made based on the information available to the Company’s management as of the date of publication, but no guarantee can be made as to their validity. Eurofins provides in the Income Statement certain alternative performance measures (non-IFRS information such as “Adjusted Results and Separately Disclosed Items”) that exclude certain items because of the nature of these items and the impact they have on the analysis of underlying business performance and trends. (Refer to description of Separately Disclosed Items). In addition, Eurofins shows the following two earnings measures in the Income Statement with the objective to be close and consistent with the information used in internal Group reporting to measure the performance of Group companies and information published by other companies in the sector: EBITDA: Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, non-cash accounting charges for stock options and free shares, impairment of goodwill, amortisation of acquired intangible assets, negative goodwill, discontinued activities and transaction costs related to acquisitions as well as income from unused amounts due for business acquisitions” EBITAS: Earnings before interest, taxes, non-cash accounting charges for stock options and free shares, impairment of goodwill, amortisation of acquired intangible assets, negative goodwill, discontinued activities and transaction costs related to acquisitions as well as income from unused amounts due for business acquisitions” Organic growth for a given period (Q1, Q2, Q3, Half Year, Nine Months or Full Year) - non-IFRS measure calculating the growth in revenues during that period between 2 successive years for the same scope of businesses using the same exchange rates but excluding discontinued operations. For the purpose of organic growth calculation for year Y, the relevant scope used is the scope of businesses that have been consolidated in the Group's income statement of the previous financial year (Y-1). Revenue contribution from companies acquired in the course of Y-1 but not consolidated for the full year are adjusted as if they had been consolidated as from 1st January Y-1. All revenues from businesses acquired since 1st January Y are excluded from the calculation. Management believes that providing these alternative performance measures enhances investors' understanding of the company’s core operating results and future prospects, consistent with how management measures and forecasts the company’s performance, especially when comparing such results to previous periods or forecasts and to the performance of our competitors. This information should be considered in addition to, but not in lieu of, information prepared in accordance with IFRS. i https://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/safety/docs/rasff_annual_report_2015.pdf ii http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/DrugInnovation/UCM536693.pdf iii http://www.fiercepharma.com/sales-and-marketing/drug-sales-expected-to-top-1-3t-2018?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal iv Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight v Association Nationale des Expéditeurs et Exportateurs de Fruits et Légumes vi Regulation of mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) and mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+MOTION+B8-2016-0411+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN ; Legislation on Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/eurl/pahs/legislation vii Compared to 2015 level adjusted for the impact of derivative financial instruments ix including earn-out payments on acquisitions completed in previous years


News Article | March 3, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. (APT) announced today its latest version of the Asset Strategy Library (ASL) is now available to the industrial market. The ASL is the most comprehensive asset library that enables processing and manufacturing organizations to avoid unplanned asset failures. With its expert maintenance recommendations supported by in-depth failure modes and effect analysis (FMEA) tables (across all known operating contexts), this extensive library contains over 720 equipment types commonly found in asset-intensive industries and includes: Under continuous development and refinement over the past 20 years, the ASL is a unique database that provides access to detailed equipment knowledge from experienced leaders within the Asset Performance Management (APM) industry. Incorporating over 29,000 man-years of experience from equipment experts, ASL can improve profitability and shorten the time to value of your Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) and other APM software implementations. "Expediting Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) analysis is a great way to improve your company's performance, says Mark Benak, CEO of APT. Your ability to increase revenue for your business by doing the right maintenance at the right times starts with the right knowledge, and we provide that to our customers." ASL is the foundation for APT's maintenance optimization tools called Preventance™. Meridium (now part of GE Digital) and Bentley Systems also provide the ASL within their respective APM software suites. About Asset Performance Technologies Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. (APT) produces the revolutionary preventive maintenance solution that combines unique optimization software with the Asset Strategy Library (ASL), the world's most comprehensive library of asset strategies for industrial equipment, to rapidly optimize any Preventive Maintenance (PM) program. Preventance™ and the ASL set the standard for PM Optimization (PMO) by dynamically adjusting to changing operating conditions, plant requirements, and market economics. http://www.assetperformanceinc.com


US Government Customer to Receive Mobile, Tactical, Multi-Mission Capable WASP System Featuring Dual Payload Support and Over 30km Communications Range Extension Capabilities JACKSONVILLE, FL--(Marketwired - March 01, 2017) - Drone Aviation Holding Corp. ( : DRNE) ("Drone Aviation" or the "Company"), a manufacturer of tethered drones and lighter-than-air aerostats, today announced that it has successfully completed the integration of Government-furnished ISR equipment supporting the simultaneous use of communications and optical payload packages onto the Winch Aerostat Small Platform ("WASP") tactical aerostat under its most recent contract award from the U.S. Department of Defense ("DoD"). Under terms of the integration contracts valued in excess of $346,000 awarded to the Company in second half 2016, Drone Aviation has integrated both advanced communications and optical sensors onto the WASP adding new mission capabilities that were previously only available on much larger, multi-million-dollar stationary aerostat systems such as the Persistent Ground Surveillance System (PGSS) aerostats. With these new capabilities, the WASP aerostat can now support multiple advanced communications and optical payloads simultaneously, greatly expanding its mission flexibility to include a wider array of ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) support requirements. The upgraded payload system now also includes secure voice and data network range extension highlighted by the ability to extend communications to over 30km. This secure communications range extension is made possible by a unique and proprietary architecture providing encryption technology enabling the radio asset to be safely located at the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) or other facility on the ground, rather than on the airborne aerostat. "Today's military and security forces are increasingly demanding persistent, mobile, small footprint tactical solutions that can do more without high acquisition costs and significant contractor logistical support, requirements that the WASP is uniquely able to meet," said Bruce Hardy, Vice President of Sales of Drone Aviation. "With completion of this latest integration contract, the WASP continues to demonstrate the platform's unmatched tactical ISR and communications capabilities and its unique ability to provide flexible mobile operations to meet the most demanding military mission requirements." The WASP is a highly tactical and mobile aerostat system which can be operated by as few as two soldiers and can provide day/night video and wireless communication range extension from either a fixed, stationary position or while being towed. Over the past four years, U.S. Army-owned WASP systems have successfully completed thousands of hours of soldier training operations, various DoD exercises, and customer operations. WASP is currently being utilized by the DoD as a mobile, tactical aerial solution that can support various ISR mission profiles involving ground-based assets as well as aerial assets through communication retransmission. Operating at altitudes of up to 1,500 feet AGL with launch sites at 6,000 feet ASL, the WASP system can significantly extend ISR capabilities and communications in remote and austere locations. The soldier-operated systems can be rapidly configured to support a variety of mission requirements for days, weeks or months with customized payloads. Drone Aviation Holding Corp. ( : DRNE) develops and manufactures cost-effective, compact and rapidly deployable aerial platforms, including lighter-than-air aerostats and electric-powered drones designed to provide government and commercial customers with enhanced surveillance and communication capabilities. Utilizing a patented tether system, Drone Aviation's products are designed to provide prolonged operational duration capabilities combined with improved reliability, uniquely fulfilling critical requirements in military, law enforcement, commercial, and industrial applications. For more information about Drone Aviation, please visit www.DroneAviationCorp.com or view our reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission at http://www.sec.gov, including the Risk Factors included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, as well as information in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. Statements in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that reflect management's current expectations, assumptions, and estimates of future performance and economic conditions, and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the statements made herein. Such statements are made in reliance upon the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are generally identifiable by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "believe," "expects," "may," "will," "should," "plan," "intend," "on condition," "target," "see," "potential," "estimates," "preliminary," or "anticipates" or the negative thereof or comparable terminology, or by discussion of strategy or goals or other future events, circumstances, or effects. Moreover, forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to, those relating to: the ability to support future military needs for advanced voice and data communications applications, the continuation of growing demand for drones for military and state and local law enforcement authorities. The Company's financial results and the forward-looking statements could be affected by many factors, including, but not limited to, demand for the Company's products and services, economic conditions in the U.S. and worldwide, changes in appropriations by Congress and reduced funding for defense procurement and research and development programs, and our ability to recruit and retain management, technical, and sales personnel. Further information relating to factors that may impact the Company's results and forward-looking statements are disclosed in the Company's filings with the SEC. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, and the Company disclaims any intention or obligation, other than imposed by law, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.


NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE US OR THROUGH US NEWSWIRE SERVICES Neo Lithium Corp. ("Neo Lithium" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE: NLC) is pleased to report results from its ongoing drilling program at the Tres Quebradas lithium brine project ("3Q Project") in Catamarca Province, Argentina. The main target of the 3Q Project is known as the Northern Target, an area originally identified by surface sampling with an average lithium concentration of 895 mg/L and potassium concentration of 7,694 mg/L that extended for approximately an area covering 4 km by 14 km (please refer to Neo Lithium's press release on July 20th, 2016 and the Company's current technical report). The drilling plan for the season was to complete five drill platforms (with two holes in each platform) in the Northern Target to test the target at depth and three drill platforms (with two holes in each platform) outside the Northern Target to test at depth the areas with surface low lithium grade. This press release present chemical results of 4 drill holes in 3 platforms from the Northern Target and 2 drill holes from 2 platforms outside the Northern Target. No further drill hole results have been received as of this press release and the Company will continue to inform the market as additional information is available. The Company currently has three rigs drilling simultaneously, including two diamond drill rigs and one rotary drill rig. The two diamond drills collect core samples to understand the geology of the salar and send core samples to Daniel B. Stephens & Associates, Inc. laboratory in the US to measure drainable porosity, a parameter needed to estimate resources at a salar. The diamond drill rigs are also used to collect brine samples at different intervals using the "packer" technique. Packers are rubber donuts that isolate aquifers at depth, allowing the sampling of brine at specific depths and therefore monitoring changes in chemistry. Finally, the diamond drill holes are piped and screened and used as monitoring wells (piezometers). At the same platform where a diamond drill hole is completed, a rotary drill is used to drill a twin hole located 10 metres to 20 metres away from the diamond drill hole to make a production well. The well, which is 12 inches wide, is installed with 8 inch screen pipe following the geology found in the diamond drill hole to ensure that the screen matches the aquifer. Downhole geophysics is done in each well to pin point the brine aquifers. Platform 5: located in the center of the Northern Target, immediately south of the 3Q Project brine lake. PP1-D-5: This diamond drill hole (DDHH) identified porous sodium chloride interlayered with sand and conglomerates from surface down to 63 metres. Chemical results (based on 3 samples collected from surface down to 63 metres) yielded an average of 1024 mg/L lithium (including 20 metres with 1,400 mg/L Lithium); 8,080 mg/L potassium with a ratio of Mg/Li=1.66 and Sulfate/Li=0.5. PP1-D-4: This DDHH identified porous sodium chloride interlayered with sand and conglomerates from surface down to 69 metres. Chemical results (based on one sample from surface down to 69 metres) yielded 864 mg/l lithium and 7,482 mg/L potassium with a ratio of Mg/Li=1.85 and Sulfate/Li=0.77. PP1-D-2: This DDHH identified fine sands and thin layers of salt from surface down to 66 metres. Chemical results (based on 6 samples from surface down to 66 metres) yielded an average grade of 766 mg/L of lithium (as reported on the January 10th 2017 press release) and 6,805 mg/L potassium with a ratio of Mg/Li=1.79 and Sulfate/Li=0.32. PB1-R-2: This rotary well is located 20 metres from PP1-D-2. The well went down 80 metres. Chemical results (based on 6 samples collected from surface down to 80 metres) yielded an average grade of 733 mg/L of lithium; 6,738 mg/L potassium and with a ratio of Mg/Li=2.14 and Sulfate/Li=0.5. The small differences in chemistry with PP1-D-2 are within analytical and sampling error. The well is hosted in fine sands over the entire 80 meters, and is considered a single unconfined aquifer. Platform 3: located 2 km south of the southern end of the Northern Target. Results on this platform are very relevant because surface samples from this area showed only 190 mg/L lithium. Finding high grade lithium brine at depth could significantly extend the lithium bearing target to the south of the Northern Target. PP1-D-3: This DDHH identified porous sodium chloride interlayered with sand and fine sands down 60 metres, followed by a massive and porous sodium chloride layer from 60 to 192 metres. Chemical results (based on 7 samples collected from surface down to 192 metres) yielded an average of 528 mg/L lithium and 4,797 mg/L potassium with a ratio of Mg/Li=2.6 and Sulfate/Li=0.63. Platform 1: located outside the Northern Target in the alluvial fan 500 metres east of the 3Q Project brine lake. PB1-R-1: This rotary well identified fresh water from 28 metres down to 38 metres depth and a brine aquifer between 38 and 50.5 metres depth. Five samples were collected in the brine aquifer with an average of 264 mg/L lithium. This low grade brine is interpreted to be a mixture of fresh water and brine and shows the lithium grade of the brine approximately 500 metres away of the 3Q Project brine lake. With the results of PP1-D-3 outside the Northern Target the Company has decided to extend the drill program south of the Northern Target with 4 more platforms and 8 holes that will be drilled down approximately 300 meters. "The results continue to show that the 3Q Project is a unique lithium discovery in terms of high grade, low impurities, size and productivity of the aquifers," said Constantine Karayannopoulos, Chairman of Neo Lithium Corp. "The high lithium grades found at surface are being confirmed at depth across the Northern Target and now we found high grade lithium two kilometers south of the Northern Target, extending the exploration potential of the 3Q Project significantly." Pump tests were completed using a rotary drill hole as a pump well and a diamond drill hole as a monitoring well. The pump used was a 15 horsepower, 6 inch submersible electric pump. Two pump test were completed, a 24 hour long step test and after a minimum 24 hours recovery, a second 72 hour long pump test. These tests are fundamental to evaluate the capacity of the salar to yield brine and measure lithium resources. So far, two pump tests have been completed, one on Platform 2 in the Northern Target and another on Platform 3 south of the Northern Target. These tests are preliminary and further test will be completed to verify these results. Platform 2 Pump Test Results: the pump tests demonstrate that the aquifer (which extends from surface down 80 metres) can produce 60 m3/h of brine, has a specific flow of 7.5 m3/h/m at a flow of 47.4 m3/h and has a storage coefficient (equivalent to drainable porosity) of 0.34. Platform 3 Pump Test Results: the pump test demonstrates that the aquifer (which extends down 60 metres from surface) can produce 200 m3/h of brine, has a specific flow of 116 m3/h/m at a flow of 72 m3/h and has a storage coefficient (equivalent to drainable porosity) of 0.16. "These initial pump test results are extraordinary in terms of production capacity and drainable porosity, and we will do longer pump tests to verify these extremely positive results," said Dr. Perez, President and CEO of Neo Lithium. "In order to illustrate why the results are so impressive, one must take into account that one single hole that is able to produce 200 m3/h of brine at 800 mg/L lithium is the equivalent to 3,500 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year." The brine samples collected in the field were delivered by the Company to Andesmar Transport Company ("Andesmar") in Catamarca city, in the province of Catamarca. Andesmar has delivered the samples by truck to Alex Steward Laboratories ("ASL"), an ISO 9001-2008-certified laboratory in Mendoza, Argentina. ASL used the following analytical methodologies: ICP-OES (inductively-coupled plasma-optical (atomic) emission spectrometry) to quantify boron, barium, calcium, lithium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium; an argentometric method to assay for chloride; a gravimetric method to analyze for sulfate; a volumetric analysis (acid/base titration) for the evaluation of alkalinity (as CaCO3); a gravimetric method to determine density and total dissolved solids; and, a laboratory pH meter to determine pH. All analytical work is subject to systematic and rigorous Quality Assurance-Quality Control. A reference ("standard") sample was inserted into the sample stream at a frequency of approximately 1 in 15 samples; a field blank was inserted at a frequency of approximately 1 in 15 samples; and a field duplicate sample was inserted at a frequency of approximately 1 in 15 samples. Neo Lithium Corp. is quickly becoming a prominent new name in lithium brine exploration by virtue of its quality 3Q Project and experienced team. Already well capitalized, Neo Lithium is rapidly advancing its newly discovered 3Q Project -- a unique high-grade lithium brine lake and salar complex in the Latin America's Lithium Triangle. The 3Q Project is located in the Province of Catamarca, the largest lithium producer in Argentina. The project covers approximately 35,000 ha and the salar complex within this area is approximately 160 km2. Surface exploration results indicate a high-grade lithium target in the northern portion of the salar complex extending for approximately 20 by 5 km with low magnesium and sulphate impurities. Low impurities are a key factor in traditional low cost evaporation techniques for final lithium carbonate production. Hot springs on the property with elevated lithium content are part of the recharge system of the salar complex. The technical team that discovered this unique salar complex is one of the most experienced in lithium salars, having discovered and led the technical work, including resource definition and full feasibility study that established the Cauchari lithium salar as the third largest lithium brine resource in the world. Additional information regarding Neo Lithium Corp. is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com under the Company's profile and at its website at www.neolithium.ca, including various pictures of ongoing work at the project. Waldo Perez, Ph.D, P.Geo., the CEO and President of Neo Lithium Corp. is the Qualified Person who approved the scientific and technical disclosure in the news release. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. The TSX Venture Exchange Inc. has in no way approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release. Forward Looking Statements -- Certain information set forth in this news release may contain forward-looking statements. Such statements include but are not limited to, statements as to lithium brine grades at depth being consistent with surface results, the potential of the northern salar sediments for hosting brine, continued positive drilling results and the timing for planned resource estimation work, and that test results are indicative of future results . Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "is expected", "scheduled", "estimates" "intends", "anticipates", "believes", or variations of such words and phrases, or statements that certain actions, events or results "can", "may", "could", "would", "should", "might" or "will", occur or be achieved, or the negative connotations thereof. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the control of the Company, which could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from the future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. These risks include, without limitation, risks related to failure to obtain adequate financing on a timely basis and on acceptable terms, political and regulatory risks associated with mining and exploration activities, including environmental regulation, risks and uncertainties relating to the interpretation of drill and sample results, risks related to the uncertainty of cost and time estimation and the potential for unexpected delays, costs and expenses, risks related to metal price fluctuations, the market for lithium products, and other risks and uncertainties related to the Company's prospects, properties and business detailed elsewhere in the Company's disclosure record. Although the Company believes its expectations are based upon reasonable assumptions and has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended and undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

- Historical hole located 500 meters east of the deposit returned 31.94 g/t gold over 3.5 meters VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 13, 2017) - Columbus Gold Corp. (TSX:CGT)(OTCQX:CBGDF) ("Columbus") is pleased to announce that a drilling program commenced on February 10th, at Columbus Gold's 100% owned Montagne d'Or Gold deposit in French Guiana. Montagne d'Or hosts Indicated mineral resources of 3.9 million ounces (contained within 83.2 million tonnes grading 1.45 g/t gold) and Inferred mineral resources of 1.1 million ounces (contained within 22.4 million tonnes grading 1.55 g/t gold) using a cut-off grade of 0.4 g/t gold (refer to News Release dated April 21, 2015).* In anticipation of the forthcoming completion of a Bankable Feasibility Study on the Montagne d'Or gold deposit, an exploration focused drilling program is being carried-out to assess expansion potential. The program will consist of 36 core holes, for a total 5,520 meters, designed as a first pass investigation of exploration targets on strike of, and in very close proximity of the currently defined mineral resources that form the deposit. Three separate targets will be tested outside of the deposit envelope: In addition, within the Montagne d'Or deposit envelope one hole (hole 01) will test the depth extension of the gold mineralization. To date the vertical depth of drilling has averaged only about 250 meters. Please refer to the following map for the locations of the target areas and planned drill holes: One deep drill hole (hole 01), 750 meters in length will test the down-dip extent of the principal UFZ and secondary LFZ mineralized zones on drill section 2890mE, within the west-central segment of the deposit. This segment displays the best continuity and average grade of the gold mineralized envelopes within the drilled-out area. The UFZ is projected to be intersected at -350 meters of vertical depth from surface (-100m ASL elevation), 100 meters below the intersection of 2.88 g/t gold over 67.0 meters obtained in hole MO-12-72, on drill section 3010mE at 250 meters of vertical depth (0m ASL elevation). A cross section is available at the following link: Magnetic, electromagnetic and radiometric airborne geophysical survey data has traced the prospective volcano-sedimentary sequence hosting the Montagne d'Or gold deposit for up to 5 km to the west. Twenty-three (23) holes on four drill fences, located on sections 2200mE, 2000mE, 1600mE and 1150mE, are planned to test the soil-gold anomaly and rock chip gold values obtained along the western projection of the drill-defined mineral resources. The planned drill fences represent 200, 400, 800 and 1,250 meter step-outs from the western limit of the Montagne d'Or mineral resources at 2400mE. Drill hole fences 1600mE and 1150mE are located on an exclusive exploration permit ("PER") granted to Columbus recently in July 2016 (refer to news release dated July 27th, 2016). Drill hole fences 2200mE and 2000mE (holes 02 to 13) will test the principal UFZ and secondary LFZ zones at 200-meter spacing along strike from drill section 2400mE. The holes will also test the WSW extent of an ENE-trending gold mineralized structure intersected in historical hole MO-97-29 and MO-97-30, which returned intercepts of 10.96 g/t gold over 3.0 meters and 11.58 g/t gold over 4.5 meters, respectively. Drill hole fence 1600mE (holes 14 to 19) was designed to traverse the entire thickness of the prospective volcano-sedimentary sequence, 800 meters on strike from the Montagne d'Or mineral resources. The area geology is masked by a layer of displaced material (landslide) originating from the upper elevations of a massif to the south. Note that the truncation of the soil-gold anomaly over this area is a result of the landslide cover. Drill hole fence 1150mE (holes 20 to 24) will the test the soil-gold anomaly and rock chip gold values obtained from sulphide mineralized volcanics exposed in drainages. The mineralized material type is comparable to the mineralized type at the Montagne d'Or deposit. Drill hole fence 25 to 30 will traverse a broad northwesterly-aligned soil-gold anomaly. The geochemical anomaly, located 500 meters to the east of the eastern limit of the Montagne d'Or mineral resources, straddles the boundary between mining concession C02/46 and an exclusive exploration permits ("PER") granted to Columbus in July 2016. Holes 31 to 33, on the same fence as holes 25 to 30, will investigate a cross-cutting WNW-ESE aligned soil-gold anomaly. The highest values within the Gustave soil-gold anomaly are centered on a quartz vein uncovered at the southwest limit of the trend, referred to as the "Gustave" vein. The Gustave vein, oriented N40°W and dipping 60° to the NE, was tested with two core holes in historical drilling in 1997 (MO-97-47 and -48). An intersection of 31.94 g/t gold over 3.5 meters was returned in hole MO-97-48 within the immediate wall of the vein. Drill holes 34, 35 and 36 will investigate soil-gold anomalies obtained on prominent linear N-S, NNE and NNW-aligned topographic highs, where quartz vein debris is exposed along the flanks. The ridges are interpreted to be cored by resistant quartz veins. Within Columbus' claim block, these structural orientations are known to host quartz-gold veins and stockworks, such as at the Élysée prospect, located 10 km to the west-northwest of the Montagne d'Or deposit. A mining work declaration ("DOTM") and a mining work authorization ("AOTM") to conduct the drilling program on concession C02/46 (Montagne d'Or) and the adjoining Bernard and Cigaline exclusive exploration permits ("PER") were submitted to the Regional Directorate for the Environment, Development and Housing ("DEAL"), which regulates mining and exploration activities in French Guiana. Columbus has been authorized to commence drilling operations. A Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA")** for the Montagne d'Or deposit was completed by SRK Consulting (U.S.) Inc. in July 2015 (refer to News Releases dated July 8, 2015 and August 4, 2015). The PEA estimates approximately 273,000 ounces of gold produced per year in the first 10 years of production at an All-In Sustaining Capital Cost per ounce of US$711, and a mined head-grade of 2.0 g/t gold. A Bankable Feasibility Study is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2017. The study is being funded by Nord Gold S.E. pursuant to which they can earn a 55.01% interest in the Montagne d'Or deposit. Rock Lefrançois, Chief Operating Officer for Columbus and Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed this news release and is responsible for the technical information reported herein. * Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. ** The PEA is preliminary in nature; it includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. The PEA estimates economic results using a US$1,200/oz gold price, and an NPV 8%. Initial Capital Costs are estimated at US$366 million for a 13-year mine life. For the first 11 years, the annual recovered gold production is approximately 265,000 oz/year. The NPV 8% changes by approximately US$1.1 million per dollar change in gold price; and makes taxation assumptions on the French tax code. ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD, This release contains forward-looking information and statements, as defined by law including without limitation Canadian securities laws and the "safe harbor" provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("forward-looking statements"), respecting Columbus: the expected completion of a feasibility study; the expected exploration potential provided by the new exploration permits; the extent of and anticipated timeline to complete an exploration program under the new permits; expected drill targets, depths and testing to be conducted; the estimation of mineral resources; the realization of mineral resource estimates; the realization of the expected economics of the Montagne d'Or deposit; and general exploration plans. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including: the actual results of current and future exploration activities; changes in project parameters and/or economic assessments as plans continue to be refined; future prices of metals; possible variations of mineral grade or rates of recovery; ability to acquire necessary permits and other authorizations; environmental compliance; cost increases; availability of qualified workers and drill equipment; competition for mining properties; risks associated with exploration projects including, without limitation, the accuracy of interpretations; mineral reserve and resource estimates (including the risk of assumption and methodology errors and ability to complete a new resource estimate by the proposed target date or at all); the ability to meet proposed schedules for the completion of metallurgical tests; the ability to complete the feasibility study by the stated deadline or at all; dependence on third parties for services; non-performance by contractual counterparties; title risks; risks associated with Nord Gold S.E. electing not to exercise its option; and general business and economic conditions. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions that may prove to be incorrect, including without limitation assumptions about the following: that the proposed drilling program will be completed in full and to plan; the assumptions contained in Columbus' Preliminary Economic Assessment are accurate and complete; that the mineral resource update is positive; that the results of the Feasibility Study will be positive; general business and economic conditions; the timing and receipt of required approvals and permits; the availability of financing; power prices; the ability to procure equipment and supplies including, without limitation, drill rigs; and ongoing relations with employees, partners, optionees and joint venturers. The foregoing list is not exhaustive and Columbus undertakes no obligation to update any of the foregoing except as required by law.


News Article | February 15, 2017
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InDemand Interpreting Inc, a technology-enabled language services performance improvement company and a leading video remote interpreting (VRI) provider within Healthcare, celebrates its tenth anniversary. The Company takes immense pride playing an important role in enhancing communications between healthcare providers and their limited English proficient (LEP) and Deaf patients. InDemand remains committed to the vision that every patient in any medical setting receive the highest quality healthcare, regardless of language, cultural background or disability. This commitment has taken InDemand from a start-up in Wenatchee, Washington in 2007, to one of the leading VRI organizations in the country. InDemand serves over 800 healthcare organizations nationwide and has assisted in over two million healthcare encounters via VRI to date. “I have seen InDemand grow from just two employees to hundreds, and I continue to believe our success is a direct result of our commitment to our healthcare clients and our dedication to improving the patient experience,” said Andrew Drake, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer. Countless individuals have contributed to the success of InDemand. It all started with Daniel Pirestani, a Seattle-area technologist, and his wife Elena Pirestani, a medically trained Spanish interpreter. Together they envisioned a way to leverage technology to meet the increasing need for medically trained interpreters in healthcare. With Elena’s experience and Daniel’s technical savvy, their vision 10 years ago became a reality. InDemand provides clinicians and patients with immediate access to medical interpreters 24 hours a day, seven days a week in more than 200 spoken languages in addition to American Sign Language (ASL) through a live, high definition web-based video conference. “It is an honor to lead InDemand in bringing positive change to an industry, and improve access to and delivery of language services in a transformational way,” said Cecil Kost, InDemand Chairman and CEO. “I am inspired by how technology, combined with human interaction, can improve the care of the LEP and Deaf community through medically-focused and culturally sensitive video communications.” InDemand Interpreting was founded in 2007 with the vision to ensure every patient receive the highest quality healthcare, regardless of language, cultural background or disability. By delivering the most experienced medical interpreters and highest quality video technology InDemand Interpreting provides doctors, nurses and clinicians the language access they need to provide the best possible care. Visit InDemand at http://www.indemandinterpreting.com


MILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 22, 2017) - Counsellors and support staff from the Bob Rumball Associations for the Deaf (BRAD) in Milton could be off the job at 12:01 am on Tuesday, February 28. Local 4763 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 4763), which represents the 100 staff, including residential and day program counsellors and support staff, have been in negotiations with BRAD for over a year. The two parties have been at an impasse in negotiations over the inequities in pay and working conditions between BRAD employees and other comparable workers in the sector. BRAD counsellors and support staff, the majority of whom are Deaf, Deafened or Hard of Hearing, are paid well below other workforces who do similar work in the province. "We're not asking for much here," said Dean Rousseau, President of CUPE 4763, "we don't expect to make up our wage gap in one contract, but we can see that there is a large disparity between us and other people who are doing the same work, and we have to ask: why?". CUPE 4763 is hosting a town hall to inform the people and families who rely on BRAD services of what is happening. "We must ensure that the people who rely on our services are well informed and prepared in the event of a work stoppage." Rousseau continued, "We want everyone to know that this is not something we want to happen, or a decision we take lightly, but it's a position we've been forced into by an employer who thinks they can get away with further marginalizing our workforce." The town hall meeting will address more than just the labour situation at BRAD, it will also be a discussion about chronic underfunding of organizations in the Deaf Community such as BRAD. "We can't talk about the issues facing this group of workers without discussing the underlying cause, and that is the chronic provincial underfunding we see in the sector," says Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario, who will be speaking at the event. "The people who rely on these services are marginalized by chronic underfunding and the workforce, who is made up primarily of people from the Deaf Community, are the ones being asked to shoulder the burden of this underfunding through inequitable wages and further pressures on their working conditions. The entire community is coming together to let the provincial government know enough is enough." The town hall will be held at the Best Western Milton at 7:00 pm on Friday, February 24. It is open to the public. Community allies, concerned residents and families are encouraged to attend. ASL interpretation will be provided. CUPE 4763 and representatives for the Bob Rumball Associations for the Deaf are scheduled to meet with a provincially appointed mediator on Thursday, February 23. "Our aim is to get a fair deal that respects the work that our members do," Rousseau concluded. "If we can get that deal before Friday, the town hall will still be an important discussion on the future of services for the Deaf Community."

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