AIM-lsted Biome Technologies group is divided into two divisions. Biome Bioplastics formulates and supplies a range of innovative bioplastics technology that replace existing oil based materials, particularly those relating to disposable coffee cup lids and single serve coffee capsules.
The RF division incorporates Stanelco RF Technologies (which Biome was formerly called) and as its name suggests is engaged in the design and manufacture of electronic/electrical systems based on advanced radio frequency technology.
Commenting in March this year on Biome’s preliminary final results for 2016 from his chairman’s statement, John Standen said: “The results show some improvement in profitability over the previous year, albeit they do not demonstrate the step change in underlying performance we expected earlier in the year”.
Whilst revenues and earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) remained robust throughout the year for Stanelco RF Technologies, the performance by Biome Bioplastics was constrained by both softness in its already commercialised technologies and delays to new product launches with its customers. In the period under review Stanelco RF Technologies was earning more revenue that the supposedly core, flagship bioplastics division
Then in July, the company gave a trading update ahead of the interim results for the first six months of 2017, which are due out next week, on September 4; and the message was more or less the same. There was growth from both divisions and this should continue for the final quarter. But everything could become even better when the bioplastics division completes its range of products for the US single-serve coffee pod market
These products include materials for the outer packaging and lid, the ring of the pod and non-woven mesh for the filter. The outer packaging and lidding materials have been fully commercial for over two years with substantial and repeat sales. The ring and mesh are still in the development stage.
Using all these materials creates a fully compostable pod. The unspoken inference seems to be, once the full product range is converted from oil based to bioplastic materials over the coming months Biome will have a real winner of a product on its hands and the company will see the step-change in its fortunes it seems to feel it has missed out on. We shall see.
As things stand the management and shareholders can hardly complain because progress has been steady rather than spectacular. Final results for 2016 showed that while revenue was down–£4.6million against £4.9m in 2015, there was a pre-EBITDA profit of £200,000 compared to a £300,000 loss in the comparable period in 2015.The July trading update said that for the first half of 2016 that the total group revenues were £3m, representing a 38 per cent increase to the same period in 2016. (£2.2m). So the management is making headway, if not waves at the moment.
As for shareholders in the £5.22m market cap Biome. The 52-week low for the share price was 97.50 pence. Last Friday evening it closed at 222p. This is not the highest it has been in the past year (237p), but it is more than a doubling for those punters who have been in for the long haul. Can’t be bad!