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Versarien Plc

Versarien plc Year of great progress

Versarien plc (LON:VRS), the advanced engineering materials group, has today announced its unaudited results for the year ended 31 March 2019.

Commenting on the results, Neill Ricketts, Chief Executive Officer of Versarien, said: “The year to 31 March 2019 has, again, been one of great progress for Versarien particularly in our emerging technologies businesses, globally and in the UK. The graphene businesses have delivered on our strategy of expansion into global markets and progress is being seen in our existing collaborations, as well as new collaborations being entered into. We look forward to showcasing our new technologies at future investor events.

“Having spent some time examining opportunities for expansion into China, the Board concluded that the best one lies with BIGT and consequently signed a term sheet with them in April 2019.  A wholly owned foreign enterprise is being established and will be managed by BIGT on behalf of Versarien, with planned investment from a BIGT managed fund. BIGT will focus on both the manufacture and sale of our graphene in China using our patented technology. 

“Opportunities in South Korea, Japan and India are emerging as a result of the support given to us by the UK Government seconded staff and we have established operations in North America, albeit they are at an early stage.

“New graphene production equipment has been installed in the UK and is now up and running at our Cheltenham manufacturing site which will enable us to meet the initial expected demands of our graphene based products. Testing of new equipment is underway which, if successful, would expand our production capacity to up to 30 tonnes per annum of high quality graphene. Manufacture and sale of graphene at these levels requires certain permissions under EU regulations and I am pleased to report that we have been successful in our registration and are now accredited to produce significant volumes of graphene under the EU rules for chemical production.

“Our mature businesses have focussed on efficiency gains and overall have returned acceptable results whilst also looking at opportunities for inclusion of graphene in their future products. This includes using graphene in headphones and mobile phone cases, through to producing Hexotene enhanced ceramics for use in satellite engines.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our continually supportive investor base and our employees for their hard work as we look forward to the future with optimism and confidence.”

Operational highlights

· Thirteen new graphene application collaborations and MOU agreements secured during the year, with one entered into post period, with partners based in the UK and overseas

· Versarien joined the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (“GEIC”) as a tier one member gaining access to development and scale-up facilities worth c.£60 million

· Continued investment in capital equipment as collaboration agreements progress

· Acquisition of Gnanomat S.L. (“GNA”), a company based in Spain developing energy storage technology

· Establishment of a US subsidiary, Versarien Graphene Inc., to exploit opportunities in North America

· UK Government continues to support the Company’s international expansion plans by seconding staff to Versarien, an ‘Export Champion’

· PolygreneTM launched, a new graphene enhanced polymer to improve thermal and electricity conductivity

· Mature businesses showing steady financial performance providing stability for the emerging businesses

Financial highlights

· Group revenues remained steady at £9.14 million (2018: £9.02 million)

· Adjusted LBITDA* of £1.1 million (2018: £0.8 million)

· Loss before tax of £2.8 million (2018: £1.6 million) after share based payments charge in the year of £0.7 million (2018: £0.1 million)

· Cash at 31 March 2019 of £4.3 million (2018: £2.3 million)

· Successful fundraising of £5.2 million gross in September 2018

· Net assets increased by 66% to £13.3 million (2018: £8.0 million)

Adjusted LBITDA (Loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) excludes exceptional items and share based payment charges.

Post Period Highlights

· Versarien became the first company in the world to complete the US Graphene Council’s ‘Verified Graphene Producer’ programme validating our technology to customers and collaborators

· First graphene orders received from the USA and Japan

· Term Sheet signed with the Beijing Institute of Graphene Technology (“BIGT”) for China expansion

· EU ‘REACH’ approval to produce up to 10 tonnes of graphene per annum received

· Appointment of Susan Bowen as a Non-executive Director

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Disclaimer: Statements in this article should not be considered investment advice, which is best sought directly from a qualified professional.