Only 25% of plastic waste is currently recycled in Europe, with the rest going into landfill, burnt or just thrown away.
Its technology is based on oxo-biodegradeable additives that encourage oil–based plastic to decompose more easily in environments such as the sea.
Symphony has three main product areas - oxo-biodegradeables (d2w) which are controlled life plastics; protective plastics (d2p) such as flame retardants, anti-microbial products and insecticides; and anti-counterfeiting (d2t) - and there are signs that traction for them is growing.
The ‘smart plastics’ firm recently launched a range of water pipes incorporating its d2p antimicrobial technology in Pakistan.
The pipes, which are designed to be free from harmful bacteria and fungi, were launched in partnership with Pakistan-listed firm Dadex Eternit, with a joint sales team formed to market the product.
Meanwhile, the group also picked up its first order for its d2p anti-microbial plastics range with Wilko stores to stock its new anti-microbial household gloves.
Sold under the Protector Health & Hygiene brand, the line has been made using the d2p anti-microbial technology developed by Symphony over the past two years. The material has been scientifically tested to kill bacteria, fungi, moulds, algae and yeasts.
Symphony chief executive Michael Laurier said: “We are very excited to be working with Wilko in launching our new d2p product.”
Broker bullish ...
Broker Cantor Fitzgerald believes that: “Recent announcements of product launches incorporating Symphony’s d2p additives are likely to be far more significant in the long term since they mark the beginning of the commercialisation process for a wide range of products in which the company has invested heavily.”
Cantor made the comment in a note upgrading its rating for Symphony to ‘buy’ after the group’s recent full-year results, having previously had it under review.
The broker’s analysts also hiked their target price for the AIM-listed group to 11.5p from 6.75p - prompting a rise in the share price to 8.75p.
The analysts pointed out that Symphony’s full-year 2016 results “were ahead of our expectations due to better than expected revenue growth and the impact of material cost savings.”
They added: “This is good news but with profitability still at a very low level it is not the main argument for investing.”
“We have revised our forecasts upwards for this year and next but the outturn will depend on the progress of d2p commercialisation.”
Symphony, which had signalled back in January that it had moved into the black, confirmed at the start of March that it made a profit of £123,000 for 2016, versus a loss the year before of £2.3mln, with sales growing by 6.8% to £6.8mln, up from £6.37mln the year before.
The gross profit margin improved to 50.1% from 46.0% in 2015, driven mainly by a more profitable sales mix and the favourable currency movements.
At the end of 2016 the group had net cash of £260,000, up from £120,000 the previous year.
Sales of products using Symphony’s controlled life plastic technology – dw2 - continued to account for the greater part of turnover, with the majority exported outside Europe in US dollars and Euros.
Future fortunes ..
Wilko - one of the leaders housewares market with 397 stores currently nationwide - is the first major UK retailer to list Symphony's d2p innovative products, although as with most retail listings of new products, initial volumes are expected to be small with future revenues dependent on consumer take-up.
The group has more than 100 customer-led development projects on the go using its d2p “designed to protect” technology, providing a good foundation for further increases in revenue and profitability.
Laurier has said: “We expect to build on the positive momentum and are optimistic for a successful year ahead, in an environment that is becoming more receptive to our growing range of technologies and products."