Versarien confident of progress despite loss
By Rob Freeman | 21st January 2021
Versarien chief executive Neill Ricketts said he was pleased with the way the company has progressed, despite reporting a £4.34million loss before tax for the first six months of the financial year.
And he remains confident of "significant commercial progress" in the coming year as it looks to continue its commercialisation strategy for graphene products.
The Staverton-based advanced engineering scheme saw group revenues drop to £3.12million for the six months to September 30 (down from £4.38million the previous year) as it felt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Adjusted LBITDA (Loss Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) doubled to £1.13 million.
Sales of graphene and related products grew from £70,000 in the same period the year before to £350,000 while funding from Innovate UK (£1.96million) and a sharing agreement with Lanstead helped cash reserves rise to £2.5million.
Mr Ricketts said: "Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, I am pleased with the level at which Versarien has continued to operate, particularly with the progress within the graphene businesses where we have commenced the sale of our graphene enhanced face masks, as well as making further progress with a number of our collaborative projects.
"Following the launch of our face masks, we are excited testing carried out by Ankara University demonstrated our hybrid graphene nanomaterials have the potential to provide protection from Covid-19 in real-world applications, including clothing and surface treatments.
"Prototypes for the second generation face masks have also been tested against SARS-CoV-2 and demonstrated a 99.92 per cent resistance to the virus."
Since the reporting period, Versarien has acquired assets from Hanwha Aerospace in South Korea and been awarded a £1.95million development agreement by the Ministry of Defence.
Other developments as part of the company's GSCALE projects have seen tests show almost 40 per cent in compressive strength in concrete and a 30 per cent increase in tyre rubber stiffness without degrading wear resistance.
"We now have a broad portfolio of graphene products and technologies that can service the addressable market available to us, particularly in Asia, and we intend to fully capitalise on these and other opportunities in the year ahead," said Mr Ricketts.
"We remain determined and confident in meeting our objective of being the leading global graphene technology business and we look forward to making significant further commercial progress in 2021."
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