“We’re sorry.”

Two words rarely heard from company boards, and even more rarely in annual reports.

But Lev Mizikozsky, chairman of sunscreen seller Advance Nanotek (ASX:ANO), is a man who doesn’t trend the conventional path.

Mizikovsky’s apology was for the company’s shares being suspended twice by the ASX. But it was less regret for Advance Nanotek’s behaviour, than a dig at the market operator.

He also issued an open threat that “legal fees incurred in dealing with the ASX suspensions and ASIC S33 Notices, not to mention the time impost” meant the $225m company was investigating a move to the Nasdaq.

“I would like to apologise to our shareholders for the two ASX suspensions of our shares. Whilst not required to do so, the board decided to release the patent application to the market to ensure shareholders were fully informed. Particularly given I was purchasing ANO shares,” he wrote in the Advance Nanotek annual report, released today.

“The board was surprised that the ASX suspended ANO shares on the basis that our release did not comply with an ASX Guidance Note on “COVID-19 market releases” which was not published until some two weeks after the release of our announcement.

“Recent correspondence from ASIC in relation to our patent application announcement pertains to questioning the timing of this announcement, an announcement we were not obligated to make at all under the ASX Continuous Disclosure Rules.”

Mizikovsky joins fellow ASX irritant John Karantzis of Isignthis (ASX:ISX) in his annoyance with the ASX.

But while Karantzis is suing the ASX for unfairly keeping its stock suspended from the market, Mizikovsky joined the ASX last year in part of a wider defamation suit against Collection House (ASX:CLH).

The taxman cometh

Advance Nanotek saw profit almost halve in fiscal 2020, as deferred taxes meant the company went from a $6.3m windfall last year to a $2.1m bill this year.

Full year profit was $5.3m, down from $9.6m the prior year.

Taxes masked an otherwise solid year, where revenue rose 46 per cent to $18m despite the COVID19 pandemic putting a halt to the sunscreen market and customers deferring purchases until fiscal 2021.

The company says currently, sales are being hurt by demand for hand sanitiser limiting the production capacity of manufacturers for products such as sunscreens.

It is also expected a gap in sales in the first half of 2021 as sunscreen distributors sell down existing stock before placing new orders.

Cash holdings stood at $259,793 at the end of June.

In other news:

Imugene (ASX:IMU), a clinical stage immuno-oncology company, received guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) around the development pathway for VAXinia, the company’s lead oncolytic virotherapy for the treatment of solid tumors. The FDA provided feedback on the proposed patient population, safety monitoring plan, and strategy for evaluating drug exposure during the study.