Engineering company issues warning over future after posting £8.3m loss


A Gloucestershire business has raised doubts it will be able to continue as a growing concern after registering an £8.3m loss.

Engineering and research company Versarien was set up to explore potential uses of graphene across a range of industries and sectors.

The company has published its results for the last 18 months. It had revenues of £11.1m and made losses before tax of £8.3m.

The company said it has launched a cost cutting programme to reduce annual costs by £1.4 m.

As part of the savings it currently in the process of winding-up Versarien Graphene  including settling certain liabilities at an agreed cost of £157,000.

The directors have prepared detailed projections of expected future cash flows for the next 12 months.

The funding strategy is to apply for grants, debt and finally equity but there is no guarantee of a successful outcome.

As a result the company said there is a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt on the group and company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

The board believes it will be able to secure the required funding through strategic investment, equity issue or other financial instruments.

However, the timing and availability of funding sources is currently outside of the control of the board and none of this funding is currently committed.

Chief executive Neill Ricketts said: “The extended 18-month period has seen both successes and challenges, with the first 12-months seeing the financial benefits from the DSTL contract which focussed on understanding the advantages that graphene-loaded materials may bring to defence applications.

“In the period we also successfully completed the GSCALE development stage of the project despite the macro‑economic challenges faced and the company is now focussing on the most advanced Technology Readiness Level stage projects of construction and textiles.

“We remain confident of the environmental and commercial benefits our graphene technology can bring, but the current macro-economic conditions combined with the disruptive nature of our products has delayed the commercialisation we were anticipating.

“Consequently, we are streamlining the business and focusing on our primary opportunities in construction and textiles.

“We will continue to seek grant funding to support our operations, but will also need the continuing support of investors, either strategic or from the capital markets, to fund the business until such time as the graphene market gains traction and material commercial revenues flow.

“We look forward to updating the market on progress in due course.”