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Nanoco's shares tank after cutting full year guidance as sales fail to materialise

Nanoco Group plans to overhaul its business and cut costs if it fails to generate sales in the second half
Nanoco expects first commercial sales of its products later in the second half

Quantum dots specialist Nanoco Group plc (LON:NANO) has lowered its full year expectations as sales have failed to materialise in the second half.

Shares fell 18.06% to 29.50p in morning trading.

The company said it expects first commercial sales of its products in the remainder of the second half but has contingency plans in the event that sales are further delayed.

Nanoco will undertake a reorganisation of its operations and slash costs if it doesn’t generate any sales.

"Nanoco is engaged with more near term commercial opportunities than at any time in its history, so it is frustrating not to be able to report significant revenues to date and it is essential that sales commence as expected,” said chief executive Michael Edelman.

The company said it was in extensive discussions with nine original equipment manufacturers regarding 14 projects and expects a number of these to convert to sales. 

Nanoco also believes it has enough cash to give it sufficient headroom under the expected timeframe for commercial sales to commence. At 31 January, the group had cash and cash equivalents of £8.3mln, compared o £18.3mln a year earlier, and is due to receive research and development tax credit of £1.9mln.

In the first half to 31 January 2017, revenue rose to £0.68mln from £0.14mln the same period a year earlier and the loss before tax widened to £6.4mln from £6.26mln. Loss after exceptional items and taxation was £5.43mln, compared to £5.24mln the previous year.

Nanoco develops cadmium-free quantum dots and other nanomaterials for use in multiple applications including LCD displays, lighting, solar cells and bio-imaging.

It has non-exclusive manufacturing and marketing licensing agreements with The Dow Chemical Company, Merck KGaA and Taiwan's Wah Hong Industrial Corporation.

In March 2016 Nanoco changed its contract with Dow from exclusive licensing to multiple non-exclusive licenses.

“This strategic change means the company has created multiple channels to commercialise its technology in the display market, thus de-risking the business by broadening the range of opportunities available,” it said.

Nanoco's cadmium-free quantum dots are now being manufactured at Runcorn in the UK and at Dow's manufacturing plant in Cheonan, South Korea. The Merck facility also plans to manufacturer the quantum dots.

The company partnered with Taiwan-based Wah Hong last July for the supply and licencing of its Fine Color Film.  Nanoco will supply resins containing cadmium-free quantum dots from its manufacturing facility in Runcorn and Wah Hong will incorporate the resin into a film, under Nanoco's Fine Color Film brand, and sell to the display industry.

At the Consumer Technology Association event in Las Vegas in January, three televisions were demonstrated using the Fine Color Film from manufacturers Hisense, TCL and TPV Philips. The TVS all displayed 55 inch, ultra-high definition, wide-colour gamut LCD televisions at Nanoco’s presentation.

The televisions were well received by the industry, TV manufacturers, suppliers and media, the company said. 

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