INTERVIEW: Versarien plc Revenues up 167% and Significant Interest

Versarien plc (LON:VRS) CEO Neill Ricketts talks to DirectorsTalk about it’s great set of interim results. Neill talks us through the highlights, explains what has driven growth, significant interest from OEMs worldwide, the main focus areas for the coming months and the outlook for the next financial year. Neill also shares his thoughts on recent tweets calling for the attention of Virgin Galactic llc boss Richard Branson to look at the company, how VRS could benefit the big players in this sector and how he react to the possibility of being bought.


Operational Highlights

· Significant interest from OEMs worldwide in the Company’s Nanene, few layer graphene nano-platelets

· Awarded competitive framework tender, based primarily on quality, to supply graphene in a variety of forms to the Centre for Process Innovation

· Awarded competitive framework tender to supply few hexagonal layer boron nitride, a new product for Versarien, to the Centre for Process Innovation

· Total Carbide received the Company’s largest ever-single order in the aerospace sector for parts to be used by the UK’s largest aero engine manufacturer

· Mature businesses showing improved financial performance

Financial Highlights

· Group revenues increased by 167% to £4.38 million (H1 2016: £1.64 million)

· LBITDA* reduced to £0.43 million (H1 2016: £0.80 million)

· Loss before tax almost halved to £0.77 million (H1 2016: £1.47 million)

· Cash of £0.35 million at 30 September 2017 (30 September 2016: £1.51 million), prior to £2.8 million fund raising, net of expenses, announced post period end on 6 November 2017

· Net assets of £5.72 million (H1 2016: £5.14 million)

· No exceptional costs (H1 2016: £0.47 million)

*LBITDA (Loss Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) excludes exceptional items and share-based payment charges

Post Period Highlights

· Collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries to supply and test the company’s proprietary Nanene few layer graphene nano-platelets in aerospace composite structures

· Collaboration with global consumer goods company to incorporate Nanene into packaging polymer structures

· Establishing US sales office in Palo Alto to exploit significant opportunities in the region

· Internal reviews indicate that Nanene quality complies with relevant provisions of new ISO standard

· Fund raising of £2.8 million, net of expenses, to increase Nanene production capacity by a factor of approximately ten and provide working capital to enable graphene related collaborations to be progressed

Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien Plc, commented: “The last few months have seen significant progress across the Group, in both our emerging technologies and more mature businesses. The graphene business has entered into significant collaboration agreements with global OEM’s, won framework tenders with the Centre for Process Innovation, (predominately based on an assessment of graphene quality), and internal reviews indicate that Nanene meets the relevant requirements of the new ISO standard.

“Our hard wear parts business has shown an increase in sales and has returned to profitability and our plastics business has continued to focus on efficiency improvements to increase its operating margins.

“The successful placing in November has provided funds for scale up and collaborative development and we look forward to reporting further progress over the coming months.”

Virgin Galactic LLC is a spaceflight company within the Virgin Group. It is currently developing commercial spacecraft with aims to provide suborbital spaceflights to space tourists and provide suborbital launches for space science missions.

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