OptiFreeze AB: Year End Report 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2017
Summary of quarters Q1 - Q4 2017
The following summary refers to the period 1/1/2017 - 31/12/2017,
compared to 1/1/2016 - 31/12/2016
· Net sales for this period totaled to SEK 191,345 (SEK 0)
· Operating result for the period of SEK -8,958,852 (SEK -6,761,707)
· Cash and bank balance SEK 15,660,371 (SEK 10,710,683) whereof SEK 0 (440,514) in short term funds
· Capitalized development costs of SEK 1,428,220 (SEK 944,888)
· Average number of registered shares 8 788 203 (8 403 115 shares)
· Result per share* SEK -1.02 (SEK -0.80)
· Equity Ratio 93.8% (92.1%)
Summary of quarter Q4 2017
The following summary refers to the period 01/10/2017 - 31/12/2017,
compared to 01/10/2016 - 31/12/2016
· Net sales for this period totaled SEK 191,345 (SEK 0)
· Operating result for the period of SEK -1,864,393 (SEK -1,851,848)
· Average number of registered shares 9,406,025 (8,580,000 shares)
· Number of registered shares the 31/12 2017 where 9,877,264 (8,580,000)
· Result per share* SEK -0.20 (SEK -0.22)
*Result per share is calculated on the average number of registered shares during the period.
CEO and acting chairman comments
A year of change and increased sales focus
During the year OptiFreeze re-focused the company towards sales and marketing. The process reached a level of stability, so that we on a broader scale could approach our potential customers and markets.
The company was injected with new capital during the autumn, which means we now have a stable ground to take us into the commercial phase. From working with few customers, we now have activities in every customer segment with a business plan and business model that guide our way forward.
We also had some changes in the management of the company during the year. The new manager put in place in May unfortunately had to leave the company for personal reasons. With a new CEO in place a while after, we were able to maintain our focus on changing the company in line with our new business plan.
The OptiFreeze technology provides solutions to customer problems from logistic issues to energy consumption, which provides new business opportunities with great financial savings to our customers. Our technology also helps to reduce waste in the supply chain of food and/or plant industry. By that, our technology offers a positive impact in saving the planet. Food waste is not only a business problem, it is also a moral problem today.
The flower industry has moved the sourcing of plants to Africa and South America, and by that created a logistic problem. The transportation of plants now takes longer time and it is difficult to receive the plants for plantation in Europe before they die. OptiCept offers a solution that has the potential to re-draw the whole supply chain. We estimate that every customer needs one line at every production site to grow flowers. This means a need of 10-30 lines per large international customer.
In OptiDry we use the OptiCept process before vegetables, fruits and herbs are dried. By doing that, the drying time is reduced by 20-50% and the aroma is preserved better. This provides a high-quality product while saving energy and increasing capacity in the production line at the same time.
We see the potential of our solutions in all parts of the world, but the focus during 2017 and 2018 is Europe, which will be the market where we first want to get our technology established and accepted.
The market is segmented into four areas. Each of our four segments are large enough to have its own sales focus.
We now have four customers segments that each has its own focus. They are also at different stages in terms of customer acceptance.
(see picture in enclosed pdf)
OptiFlower and OptiDry are the two segments where we are close to signing our first sales contracts. In these two segments our solution easier fits into already existing supply structures. There is also no concern in terms of adding the natural sugars we need to keep the cells alive. (In OptiDry there is no impregnation at all).
In the segment OptiFresh, we are providing treated products with substantial longer shelf life time. The cost is to feed the cells with energy, even if the impact of impregnated natural sugars is almost negligible, it is a concern to our customers. We are convinced that the customers will understand and accept this after we have met them, and together done the appropriate tests. The OptiCept line also needs to be integrated in an already existing production line and supply structure.
More strategic marketing must be done in the freezing segment, as we are not meeting the market need for a 12-month survival length in frozen condition. Instead we will promote a prolonged freshness of a product by introducing freezing as a step in working with fresh fruits and vegetables. We will do this together with one of our partners.
During 2017 we increased our customer base dramatically. We have activities at different stages with customers in every segment. With increased focus on the sales work, we are now systematically approaching a broad range of customers. An important step in the sales work is to perform tests together with the customer. The sales process has gone very fast with OptiFlower and OptiDry customers, and we ended the year by signing test agreements with one customer in each segment.
We are also promoting the company technology through updated sales material and web page.
Product and processes
During Q3 the upscaled production pilot plant was delivered and installed at our facilities in Lund. During the autumn the exact business model and the technical solution on how the additives would be handled in the OptiCept line is defined. The new design also considers a smooth logistic structure of selling and distributing OptiCap (additives, natural sugars).
The concept was tested at the end of the year with two customers in two different segments, and we are confident that this will work on a full-scale industrial production. Customer tests are vital for us at this stage to verify the design we have.
During the year OptiFreeze changed focus towards more sales and marketing activities. This also reflected in the organization where the sales side was strengthened.
Starting 1 of January 2018 Eda Demir takes over as CEO, and at the same time Katarzyna Dymek will take the full responsibility on research and development activities as R&D Manager.
During 2017, OptiFreeze has taken important and successful steps in product/technical development, focus areas, financial situation, management and organization. With the start of 2018, OptiFreeze enters an exciting stage for the company. In line with our goals, I will prioritize "focus" and commercialization of our products in 2018.
During the first customer's tests, we have confirmed that our OptiCept line is working with minor challenges. When it comes to OptiFreeze, we had a great learning and industrial adaptation process. With respect to these tests, OptiFreeze will focus on producing and placing the sales of final product on the market in 2018. To achieve this goal, the team will be strengthening with the employment of a mechanical engineer. Our previous cooperation with suppliers (ÅF, Kisab, ArcAroma Pure) will be continuing with deeper relations. We are also cooperating with our potential customers who have a lot of experience in food processing industrial equipment to reach our goals.
OptiFreeze is continuously meeting with new customers from the defined market segments to introduce our technology, increase the visibility of company, and support sales activities. This will continue with full speed in 2018. We have defined three steps when a new customer is interested in our technology. First step is to verify the method with customer's products and establish the proof of concept. Second step is to perform an industrial scale test on customer facility to verify technology in larger scale. This phase is co-founded by the customer. The third step will be to produce final OptiCept line, pass the customer acceptance test, and place the sales.
During 2018, OptiDry and OptiFlower will be the two application areas we will prioritize. OptiFresh and OptiFreeze still need some marketing towards its key players. Our target is to have at least three customers testing our concept during the year.
OptiDry and OptiFlower applications requires OptiCept lines with slightly different specifications, therefore these two projects will be held parallel with the same focus. Our R&D team for method development will support the main focus areas. This means that our R&D manager will make sure the team is working with the products on customers list.
Lund, February 15, 2018
Eda Demir, CEO
Göran Hedbys, former CEO /Chairman of the board