- Advanced materials manufacturer Versarien posted a deeper annual loss after its sales fell and staff costs rose.

Pre-tax losses for the year through March amounted to £4.7m, compared to losses of £2.8m on-year and included a share-based payments charge of £1.2m.

Revenue fell 9.4% to £8.3m.

'Recent times have been dominated by the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic have presented on a global basis,' chief executive Neill Ricketts said.

'However, I am pleased to report Versarien has continued to operate throughout and achieved much during lockdown.'

'Our global expansion plans have changed direction slightly as we have decided that progressing into the Chinese market, whilst significant commercially, must be done on the basis that we are confident that our IP is protected.'

'We have exciting opportunities elsewhere, and the change of emphasis in China is not precluding commercial deals being done; the supply of graphene in masks manufactured in China being the first example utilising our graphene technology.'

'Monetisation of our technologies is now the focus of the company's attention, although we will continue our stated strategy of acquiring additional IP should suitable opportunities arise.'

'With a strengthened balance sheet following the Lanstead placing and the Innovate UK loan, coupled with a particular focus on those collaborative projects that are expected to deliver commercially in the near term we are very well positioned to execute this strategy.'

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