Directa Plus raises guidance as face mask sales exceed expectations

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Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA), the graphene nanoplatelets-based products supplier, has raised full-year revenue guidance for 2020.

The company continued to trade strongly in the final weeks of 2020, with better-than-expected sales of G+ enhanced face masks and growth at Setcar SA, the company’s 51%-owned environmental remediation business.

“To have finished 2020 with better revenues than expected even at the start of December is enormously satisfying. We saw a year of hard work, in difficult circumstances, by all of our employees culminate in this success,” said Giulio Cesareo, the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Directa Plus.

In its stock market statement, Directa Plus highlighted two notable projects at Setcar. The first is its collaboration with OMV Petrom, the largest energy company in Southern and Eastern Europe, and the second is a partnership with Petrotel Lukoil, which is part of the LUKOIL group.

On OMV Petrom’s behalf, Setcar treated some 2,500 cubic metres of emulsion generated by the upstream extraction process. This led to the recovery of about 550 tonnes of crude oil, with impurities below 1%, which were returned to the refinery for processing.

Setcar has been tasked with raising the production capacity to 2,000 metres per month.

Working with Petrotel Lukoil, Setcar has been draining, cleaning and washing an oil storage tank since November 2020. Using the Grafysorber technology, Setcar is recovering hydrocarbons by treating the sludge settled on the tank’s bottom. This process will also restore the tank to factory nameplate capacity, optimising ongoing operational use by the customer.

Directa Plus said the project should be complete by mid-February 2021 and Setcar expects to treat around 3,200 cubic metres of sludge recovering more than 2,000 metric tonnes of hydrocarbons including oil and kinds of paraffin that can be sent back to the refinery.

“Our acquisition of Setcar, in partnership with GSP group, continues to prove its value and the business has moved from strength to strength. Through Setcar, we can deploy genuinely world-leading technology and are increasingly able to demonstrate outstanding results with a range of clients in a variety of geographies and projects,” Cesareo said.

Directa Plus also revealed it has now received notices of allowance in respect of four patents, ahead of the formal grant, which is expected in the coming months.

The notices are for a US patent for the company’s Graysorber environmental remediation technology; an EU patent for the company’s sustainable, chemical-free G+ production process.; a US patent for the use of G+ graphene super-modifier to improve the performance of elastomers, specifically tyres; and an EU patent covering the same use of G+ super-modifier in tyres.

“Developing our intellectual property portfolio is at the heart of the Company’s mission. We believe we have assembled an extensive and highly valuable IP portfolio protecting our chemical-free production process and G+ applications in verticals that have outstanding potential growth,” Cesareo said.

“The new partnership started in 2020 with NexTech to develop a new Li-S battery is based on our ability to accurately control the morphology of G+ at scale and is opening a material new vertical for Directa Plus.

“We look forward to this year with increasing confidence notwithstanding the headwinds from Covid-19,” the Directa Plus CEO added.

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