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Versarien Plc

Versarien very well positioned to execute strategy

Versarien plc (LON:VRS), the advanced engineering materials group, has announced its unaudited results for the year ended 31 March 2020.

Operational highlights

·    Commercial Partnership Agreement with the Company’s textile sector collaboration partner, MAS Innovation (Private) Limited, to develop new garments utilising Versarien’s graphene ink materials

·    Awarded €350,000 grant to participate in the Graphene Flagship project, led by Airbus  to develop graphene based thermo-electric ice protection systems to prevent icing on aircraft surfaces

·    Partnership with Rolls Royce and the University of Manchester’s Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (“GEIC”) using chemical vapour deposition (“CVD”) in wiring for next generation aerospace engine systems

·    Grant of £104,000 from the Advanced Propulsion Centre for the development of  low-carbon technologies to significantly reduce vehicle emissions

Financial highlights

·    Group revenues of £8.3million (2019: £9.1 million)

·    Adjusted LBITDA* of £0.6 million (2019: £1.1 million)**

·    Loss before tax of £4.7 million (2019: £2.8 million) after share based payments charge in the year of £1.2 million (2019: £0.7 million)

·    Cash at 31 March 2020 of £1.7 million (2019: £4.3 million)

·    Successful fundraising of £6 million gross in March 2020 re-invested into the 24-month sharing agreement with Lanstead Capital Investors LP (“Lanstead”),a US headquartered institutional investor, with a currently assessed fair value of £7 million

·    Net assets of £15.7 million (2019: £13.3 million)

* Adjusted LBITDA (Loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) excludes exceptional items and share based payment charges ** IFRS 16,leases, was adopted on 1 April 2019 using the modified retrospective approach and comparatives are therefore not restated under this method.  The impact of this adoption has resulted in  a reduction in LBITDA of £0.7 million in 2020

Post Period highlights

·    Product development agreement signed with J&P Coats Limited, part of Coats Group plc, to incorporate graphene nano-platelets and graphene inks into consumer textiles

·    £5 million Innovate UK loan awarded in June 2020, with security arrangements completed, for scale up and product development related to the GSCALE collaborations

·    Graphene Enhanced Protective Face Masks launched with first orders received for 120,000 masks.

Commenting, Neill Ricketts, Chief Executive Officer of Versarien, said: 

“Recent times have been dominated by the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic have presented on a global basis.  However, I am pleased to report Versarien has continued to operate throughout and achieved much during lockdown.

“I am particularly grateful for the support of the UK Government both in its provision of a £5 million loan via Innovate UK to allow us the opportunity to scale up and to expand the reach of our graphene operations.

“Our global expansion plans have changed direction slightly as we have decided that progressing into the Chinese market, whilst significant commercially, must be done on the basis that we are confident that our IP is protected. We have exciting opportunities elsewhere, and the change of emphasis in China is not precluding commercial deals being done; the supply of graphene in masks manufactured in China being the first example utilising our graphene technology.

“Monetisation of our technologies is now the focus of the Company’s attention, although we will continue our stated strategy of acquiring additional IP should suitable opportunities arise.  With a strengthened balance sheet following the Lanstead placing and the Innovate UK loan, coupled with a particular focus on those collaborative projects that are expected to deliver commercially in the near term we are very well positioned to execute this strategy.

“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 continued optimism and confidence.”

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