Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD) sees significant growth opportunities from its reorganisation of the business to create two core divisions under one global team.
The company’s US, UK and Europe, and Far East regions have been brought together as one team under the newly created position of chief operating officer with Keith Broadbent in the role.
The move is designed to facilitate improved cross-selling and accountability across the group.
Haydale Graphene has already started to see the benefits of this change with commercial activities on its SiC products – used to toughen coatings and increase their wear resistance – now in progress in the UK and graphene initiatives being targeted with major players in the US.
As part of the restructuring announced last year, the group has decided to focus on two business units – one for resins, polymers and composites, and the other for advanced materials, including SiC and inks.
The creation of two divisions led to growth in all areas of the global business in the 2018 financial year with total turnover rising to £4.2mln from £3.9mln last year and commercial sales up 13%.
Losses for the year were £6.1mln (£5.3mln).
Haydale Graphene looks to 2019 with 'cautious optimism'
Interim executive chairman David Banks said the group’s overall progress was “solid” but sales were expected to be higher due to delays to product shipments and longer than anticipated lead times on some contracts.
Banks believes the company has made the necessary changes to address the issues that dragged on sales in 2018 and has entered the new fiscal year with “cautious optimism”.
"There are significant growth opportunities with our new and adapted approach of using our global footprint as one team, with cross-selling and cross research and development focus combined with a re-orientation to organic growth and cost monitoring," he said.
"Business development surrounding the major advances we have seen in our core skills on inks, functionalisation and dispersion of graphene, in conjunction with the new market segment for SiC, sets Haydale up for the next phase of evolution and scale up."
Recent deals put firm in good stead for the year
Haydale Graphene will be kept busy in 2019 after securing a raft of new deals.
It was recently chosen to help develop a high performance kit for British athletes training for the 2020 Olympic Games. The English Institute of Sport will use Haydale and its long-term partner the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating at Swansea University to incorporate graphene coatings into a range of clothing for elite performers.
The company has also secured a SiC contract extension with an existing cutting tool customer, which it said provides more sales visibility for the US business.
In the UK, Haydale Graphene is a core tier one partner to the new £60mln Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) at the University of Manchester, where the group will install and showcase one of its HT60 plasma reactors. The facility is due to open in December.
Elsewhere, the firm is eyeing big opportunities in the drone market after supplying enhanced prepreg material for the world’s first graphene skinned aircraft.
£1mln cash injection and new CEO
In December, Haydale raised £1mln in additional finance through a £750,000 loan and £250,000 share subscription.
The loan is a 16-month facility from the Development Bank of Wales and carries a coupon of 11% while an unnamed investor put in £250,000 through a share issue at 20p.
Haydale has also appointed Laura Redman-Thomas as its new chief financial officer.
Redman-Thomas previously worked at Stadium Group and De la Rue.
The material was applied to Juno, a three-metre wide graphene-enhanced composite skinned aircraft, that was revealed as part of the Futures Day at the Farnborough Air Show 2018.