Versarien PLC (LSE:VRS) released its interim results on Thursday, reporting a 19% increase in group revenues in the six months to September compared with H1 in 2017. Although revenues were up to £5.22m (from £4.38m in H1 2017), losses remained stable at £780k, a slight increase on the same period last year.
The advanced engineering materials group states a cash balance of £6.07m at 30 September 2018, up from £0.35m a year earlier largely as a consequence of a fundraise in September 2018 which secured £5.15m gross. Net assets have increased to £12.32m from £5.72m at the end of September 2017.
Versarien spent £20k on new plant and machinery at its hard wear and metallic products division. The company says it has almost reached breakeven with regard to cashflow for the business with revenues up 12% to £2.4m.
Meanwhile, the company’s plastic products operations generated £2.8m revenues during the period up 26% compared with H1 2017.
In October Versarien completed its acquisition of 62% of the Spanish company Gnanomat S.L. which specialises in incorporating graphene into supercapacitors. The deal cost £2,647,000 and was settled by £673,000 in cash, and the issue of 1,316,275 new ordinary shares at an agreed price of 150p.
Versarien also highlights it has received its first order for 1kg of its graphene nano-platelets for use in fire retardant aircraft interior parts for a major global airline and anticipates further orders are in the pipeline.
Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, commented:
“The last few months have seen significant progress across the Group, in both our emerging technologies and more mature businesses. Expansion of the graphene business into China has attracted a large number of suitors and we are repeating the process in other Asian territories. Our collaboration agreements are progressing well, in particular with AECOM where we have recently announced the first supply of graphene enhanced compound.
“In line with our strategy of acquiring IP led businesses we completed the purchase of a controlling stake in Gnanomat SL and I am pleased that it has now obtained confirmation of patent approval for its production process.
“Our hard wear and metallic products business has shown an increase both in sales and profitability and our plastics business has increased its sales and its operating profits.
“With the global progress we have made over the last few months, and with funds from our placing in September we are extremely well positioned for the future and look forward to reporting further success over the coming months.”
Versarien also announced it has inked a supply agreement to provide Versarien’s new graphene-enhanced polymer range to AECOM for a current infrastructure project. The agreement follows a collaboration, announced on 24 August 2018, that the company entered into with AECOM involving the incorporation of Versarien’s graphene nano-platelets into large-scale polymer structures used in civil infrastructure projects, with a view to increasing their structural strength.
AECOM, a Fortune 500 company based in the US, has confirmed the first Statement of Work which includes the supply of 50 kg of graphene-enhanced polymer material to be delivered in early December. It’s expected a further delivery of 200kg in early January 2019 will be required.
Neill Ricketts commented on the deal: “This application has significant potential for Versarien, as the volumes of graphene that are required in these types of structure are significantly larger than for many other applications given the scale of the structures being produced.
“We look forward to continuing to work with AECOM on the final phases of testing and look forward to making further announcements on this project in the New Year.”