At the Annual General Meeting of the Company, held today, Nirj Deva DL, FRSA, MEP, Chairman of the Company, made the following statement:
"Following a successful year in 2010, this year has started as envisaged with first half trading currently in line with market expectations. Compared to the first half of 2010, the first half of 2011 has been a period of consolidation with continued growth in d2w additive volumes. However with the relative strength of Sterling compared to the US Dollar and high raw material costs, we will see a slight drop in margins for this period as well as a planned reduction in finished product sales.
Increased investment in marketing activities, particularly in the United States and the European Union, are resulting in cost increases as planned, because the Board believes that there are substantial opportunities in these markets. We have also continued to invest in research and development activities, with new laboratory equipment installed in Borehamwood, and a facility in Telford with new extrusion and compounding machinery to further develop our product range and applications. These will keep us at the forefront of plastic technologies in our field.
Our global business opportunities are developing at a rapid pace as a result of favourable legislation, increased marketing activity, positive research for oxo-biodegradable plastics, and increasing interest in low-cost ways to improve corporate environmental performance and corporate social responsibility. New opportunities and enquiries are regularly presented to our growing network of distributors, as well as to our Head Office team.
As announced yesterday, there have been four important developments so far this year which will give a major boost to oxo-biodegradable plastics ("OBP"). These being:
· In February, the UK Environment Agency published a Life Cycle Analysis ("LCA") which concluded that OBP bags have a better LCA than paper or compostable plastic bags;
· In April, the British Plastics Federation submitted to DEFRA a scientific dossier which endorses the biodegradability, eco-toxicity and recyclability of OBP;
· In May, the European Commission recognised (in its consultation document on plastic bags) the problem of plastic litter in the environment, - which d2w is designed to address. It also recognised the essential difference between biodegradability and compostability, and highlighted the need for standards and legislation to make a clear distinction between the two.
· On 20th June the British Standards Institute approved BS8472, which is the first and only Standard in Europe for biodegradability of plastics in the environment (as distinct from EN13432 which is for compostability in an industrial composting facility).
With increasing concerns over health issues, caused by outbreaks of E-coli, MRSA and other strains of harmful bacteria, we believe that interest in our d2p anti-microbial technology will further develop in the months to come. At this point in time however, we have not assumed any material contribution to this year's revenues as the d2p business is still in its infancy. The Waste-to-Value business is developing, albeit slower than expected. Our intention is to commercialise this business as soon as possible. The RuPERT project has been granted an extension by the Government from September 2011 to June 2012.
Today, Symphony's main business is d2w controlled-life plastic technology, which currently accounts for the majority of the Group's revenue. As a leading provider of this technology, together with an established brand and support service, we believe that we are well placed to take a substantial share of the global plastics market.
Corporately, net £1.7 million was raised in May this year as part of a strategic share placement. This has strengthened the Group's balance sheet, and enabled full repayment of balance sheet debt."
Symphony Environmental Technologies plc
Michael Laurier, CEO
Ian Bristow, FD
Tel: +44 20 8207 5900
Seymour Pierce Limited
Stewart Dickson / Freddy Crossley (Corporate Finance)
Katie Ratner / Jacqui Briscoe (Corporate Broking)
Tel: +44 20 7107 8000
Tel: +44 20 7562 3350
NOTES TO EDITORS:
About Symphony Environmental Technologies plc
SYMPHONY ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES PLC is a specialist in controlled-life plastic technology and products - a system that works by a process called oxo-biodegradation. The technology is branded d2w® and appears as a droplet logo on many thousands of tonnes of plastic packaging and other plastic products.
Symphony's d2w® technology turns plastic at the end of its service-life into a material with a completely different molecular structure. At that stage it is no longer a plastic and can be bioassimilated in the open environment in the same way as a leaf.
Symphony has a diverse and growing customer-base and has established itself successfully as an international business with 67 distributors around the world. Products made with d2w® plastic technology can now be found in more than 90 countries and in many different product applications.
Symphony is a member of The British Plastics Federation (BPF), the Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association (www.biodeg.org), and the Society for the Chemical Industry (UK). Symphony is also a member of the European Organisation for Packaging & the Environment (Europen), the Pacific Basin Environmental Council, and the British Brands Group. Symphony actively participates in the Committee work of the British Standards Institute (BSI), the American Standards Organisation (ASTM), the European Standards Organisation (CEN), and the International Standards Organisation (ISO).
Symphony also supplies d2p anti-microbial technology that can be used in most types of plastic products to help protect against infection, and has developed d2Detector, a handheld device which analyses plastics and detects counterfeit products. Symphony is also developing innovative and cost-effective waste-to-value technology to convert scrap tyres and other waste-streams into valuable products.
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