- Advanced engineering materials group, Versarien, has reported a fall in revenue to £3.12 million in the six months to the end of September 2020 as COVID-19 took its toll.

Group revenues fell from £4.38 million in the first half of 2019 to £3.12 million in the six-month period to 30 September 2020, as the impact of the pandemic hit the group's more mature businesses.

During the period, the reported loss before tax stands at £4.34 million, more than double that recorded in the first half of 2019 (£2.14 million).

The company reported a successful launch of graphene enhanced protective face masks utilising Polygrene, Versarien's graphene enhanced polymer. During the six-month period, graphene and graphene product sales totalled £0.35 million.

Versarien was also awarded a £5 million Innovate UK loan with the first tranche of £1.96 million received for the company's GSCALE project.

Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, said: 'Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am pleased with the level at which Versarien has continued to operate and particularly with the progress achieved within the graphene businesses where we have commenced the sale of our graphene enhanced face masks, as well as making further progress with a number of our collaborative projects.

'Following the launch of our face masks, we are excited that testing carried out by Ankara University has demonstrated that our hybrid graphene nanomaterials have the potential to provide protection from COVID-19 in real-world applications, including clothing and surface treatments. Prototypes for the second-generation face masks have also been tested against SARS-CoV-2 and demonstrated a 99.92% resistance to the virus.'

At 9:33am: [LON:VRS] Versarien PLC share price was 0p at 31.18p

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