Stockmarket tough on on-target ITM
Hitting its milestones to date failed to save ITM Power from a market mauling as 19.25p (9.95 per cent) was wiped off its stock on announcement of its full year results to April 30.
Losses increased from £1.2m to £1.9m, although this was in line with forecasts.
Capital expenditure increased due to the additional test equipment and expansion of its laboratories in Sheffield. It also strengthened the scientific and technical team at its laboratories as well as strengthening the management and corporate team at the head office in Cambridge.
At the year end, the company held cash at the bank and on deposit of £5.4m.
It has subsequently raised £29.4m through placing of ordinary shares with institutional investors.
Chairman Stephen Massey said the strengthened balance sheet would enable ITM to take the next steps on the road to commercialisation through developing larger prototypes, conducting field trials, establishing agreements with complementary third parties, while protecting its intellectual property.
Massey said ITM had achieved all the milestones set out at the time of the IPO ahead of schedule.
It had successfully tested its low cost membrane technology in excess of 3,500 hours of operation without evidence of degradation. ITM's membrane technology has now reached 5,000 hours of operation without evidence of degradation.
Costs had further reduced with the elimination of high cost platinum catalysts and a new development programme had been initiated to develop an electrolyser refuelling system for use in bi-fuel hydrogen-petrol internal combustion engine powered cars.
Massey said: "Over the past two years, we have built a solid foundation as a platform to underpin the route to commercialisation. We remain on track to achieve the first of our new technical milestones by October 2006 and will continue to progress with development plans within our target markets.
"We also hope to announce further results on our hydrogen technologies and remain focused with increasing emphasis on the commercialisation of ITM's technology. I am confident that ITM is in a strong position to achieve its business objectives through strong science, people and finances."
ITM has also initiated a development programme in one of its target markets.
It has commissioned The University of Hertfordshire to develop a refuelling system for bi-fuel hydrogen-petrol internal combustion engine powered cars.
A low cost ITM electrolyser will be applied to provide the hydrogen
refuelling system. The vehicle will be able to operate using hydrogen before automatically switching to petrol. Half of all cars in the US travel only 25 miles a day (Source: Scientific American, April 2006); for that reason, ITM has decided to set a range of 25 miles running on hydrogen as an initial objective for the vehicle.
ITM is currently recruiting and strengthening the technical team in
Sheffield and building a new commercial team in Cambridge.