Virotec International Ld
28 November 2003
Address to Virotec's 2003 Annual General Meeting
28 November 2003
Virotec remains committed to internationalising its business.
We anticipate that the majority of the growth in revenue from our technologies
in 2004 will be generated in the Northern Hemisphere.
Virotec remains very active in Portugal.
In October 2003, the company conducted a two day seminar, where Professor
McConchie addressed in excess of 60 government and environmental officials to
explain the ViroMineTM technology for potential applications as part of their
long-term remediation program. This is a country that we expect will spend large
amounts of EU funds on remediation.
Elsewhere in Europe, Virotec is also tendering for ViroMineTM remediation
contracts utilizing the ViroMineTM Technology in Albania and Italy.
In Sardinia, production is being stepped up and facilities expanded to
facilitate Virotec's new range of pelletised reagents.
In the UK, as recently announced, we completed the acquisition of EPT -
Environmental Performance Technologies - who are based in Oxford. This is a
strategic acquisition. Through EPT we have targeted the UK water industry as we
believe it is a substantial commercial market, with privatised water companies
in England, a mutual in Wales, a nationalised industry in Scotland and a
government department in Northern Ireland. To date this market has shown
interest in the odour control and phosphorous removal capability of ViroSewageTM
Technology and the flocculating properties of our reagents.
We have concluded testing for one of the major UK water utilities in the
laboratory, and the next stage planned for early 2004 is the pilot trial at one
of their problem sites. We also expect a second major UK water utility to
progress to a pilot trial.
I can also report that since its acquisition, EPT (now Virotec EPT) has received
orders for in excess of £100,000 worth of revenue.
North American Operations
In North America we are establishing customer and supplier relationships of
adequate magnitude and reliability to underpin our future operations in the
We have secured a supply of raw materials to serve our initial anticipated needs
in the U.S.A. from an ongoing red mud waste stream approximating to 1.25 million
metric tons per year and access to a stockpile of approximating 20 million
We recently received three year results from the trial conducted independently
by the USEPA at the Gilt Edge Mine site that have exceeded all Virotec's
expectations and, in our opinion, these results attest to the durability of the
technology. We expect EPA to publish a report in due course reporting on the
efficacy of BauxsolTM for remediation work at that site.
In November 2003, Virotec visited the Elizabeth Mine Superfund Site in
Strafford, Vermont and Professor McConchie conducted a seminar to
representatives and interested parties which included the U.S. Geological
Survey. We have been asked to provide formal proposals to US EPA for remediation
of two portions of the site.
Australian and Asian Operations
Finally in Australia, we continue our ongoing development of new products and
applications that we plan to roll out on the global stage.
We are continually upgrading our water treatment reagents for a wide range of
industries. We are adapting our new pellets to filtration systems and permeable,
reactive barriers that will treat flowing waters at mine sites and prevent acid
rock drainage. We are working at highway construction sites, preventing water
leachates. We are providing new solutions for tanneries, timber treatment
plants, sewage treatment works and aquaculture, and we have new products in the
pipeline related to the fertiliser and construction industries.
The demand for the technologies is growing, with growth in revenue reported from
the 2002 to 2003 finacial year. Whilst the amount of revenue generated is not
yet significant, the trend remains positive, illustrating the momentum that is
Australia will continue to also provide the technical support for the
We are very pleased with the commitment from Australian Chief Operating Officer,
Dr. Lee Ferguson who is ably overseeing all activities in the region. We also
wish to thank him, and his team for their dedication. It has allowed us to shift
significant executive time to the Northern Hemisphere
This year Virotec has continued its product development.
We are now finalising the patent applications for a new range of pellets that
will expand the number of applications of the BauxsolTM Technology and the ease
with in which it is able to be applied. The pellets are currently undergoing
final testing; however the primary indicators in the laboratory show that this
new generation product range is far more efficient than the previous BauxsolTM
Scanning Electron Microscope images show the distribution of macro-pores
developed during the pelletisation process. The new pellets are particularly
efficient because their mineral assemblage retains the high acid neutralising
and metal binding capacity associated with BauxsolTM technology, and ensures a
very high reactive surface area for contact with water requiring treatment.
We believe that is a remarkable advancement and, on behalf of the Company, we
congratulate Professor David McConchie and his research team including Dr
Malcolm Clark and Fiona Davies- McConchie.
Stock Market Performance
In the past 12 months Virotec's executive team has focused on the European and
North American markets. We believe our commitment to the Northern Hemisphere and
to our AIM listing has been rewarded. Over the past 12 months there has been a
positive movement in the UK share price from approx 10.2 pence in November 2002
to 23 pence today. It also shows the performance of our share price relative to
the AIM market generally.
This success also led to Virotec being selected as one of the four finalists for
the AIM International Company of Year Award held earlier this year.
Growth in ASX Share Price
The increase in demand for our shares in the UK has also had a positive impact
on our Australian share price with a change over the last 12 months from
approximately 28 cents to 51 cents now. Over the 12 months to November 2003,
Virotec's share price has outperformed the Australian All Ordinaries index.
This increase in demand has also led to an increase in the number of shares held
on the UK register from 28 million shares when we listed on AIM in 2001 to
approximately 84 million shares at present. In addition there are a number of
shares held by UK investors and other non-Australia based investors on the
Australian register and we estimate that currently in excess of 50% of the
shares in the Company are now held by non-Australia based shareholders.
We believe that Virotec is in a strong financial position, with good cash
reserves, no significant debt, efficient financial management, strong
institutional support and an expanding capital base.
At Virotec the functions of research, product development, manufacturing, and
sales/marketing are intertwined, with the aim of continuing to be responsive to
customer needs throughout the world.
Our corporate strategy continues to be based on invention that creates
sustainable value to the Shareholders of Virotec.
Chief Financial Officer
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