Wednesday, October 22, 2014

News: Positive year for Xeros

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Rotherham-based, Xeros has published its first full year accounts since raising £30m by floating on the stock exchange and is already looking ahead to accelerated growth in 2015.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), Xeros is a Leeds University spin-out that has developed a patented system using a unique method of special polymer beads rather than the usual large amounts of fresh water to clean clothes.

The system comprises a special washing machine designed to release the beads into the drum for cleaning, and which then removes them from clothes once the cleaning is complete. In commercial laundries, the technology has been proven to reduce water by up to 80%, energy by 50% and detergent by 50%.

Posting its financial results for the year to July 31, Xeros' income increased to £315,000, up from £65,000 for the previous year, largely driven by progress in the US. Pre-tax losses were up from £3.4m to £6.6m as the firm accelerates costs on R&D programmes alongside the working capital and start-up costs.

Admitted to the AIM stock exchange in March, Xeros is targeting commercial laundries and hotel industry for their in-house laundry operations. Unsurprising given that the global laundry industry is worth $100 billion per annum. In the US, where the scarcity of water is a key issue in many states, early adopters of the ground-breaking system include hotels representing four of the five largest hotel groups in the world.

The number of installed and committed machines in the US stood at 37 at the end of July with seven in Europe. Xeros believes that the combined total will exceed 80 by the end of the calendar year. The report added that the roll-out had been slower than anticipated due to the time it takes larger operators to approve new practices but believes the "flagship" installations will lead to validations and endorsement that will act as a foundation for a wider rollout in the commercial industry.

Other highlights in the year include US utilities companies recognising the potential of the Xeros system and offering financial incentives and rebates to install the technology and reduce consumption. €700,000 was also secured in the form of a CIP Eco-innovation grant to support early take up by European commercial laundries of the Xeros system.

The company continues to innovate with the Rotherham-based R&D department continuing to explore "further multi-dimensional benefits through bead innovation and wash methods that go beyond this basic superior cleaning/savings promise." Learning lessons from the US, prototypes have been developed for 15kg and 8kg machines that will be added to the commercial laundry portfolio.

The company is also developing a prototype for the domestic laundry market, working on more machine prototypes for accelerated testing. The aim is to partner with a major machine manufacturer who will produce and distribute Xeros bead-consuming washing machines.

Research in the US saw the bead cleaning concept compared to a leading brand conventional washing machine, with the results declared "outstanding". Xeros intends to select its launch partners and move to in-home machine testing in 2015.

The company is also looking at applications beyond laundry and is targeting the processing of leather in the $65 billion global leather industry. Tannery trials could begin in 2015. Most recently, Xeros sold its first machine to the US military who will evaluate Xeros technology for a number of classified applications.

John Samuel, Chairman of Xeros Technology Group, said: "I am delighted with the progress we have made as we announce our first full year results as a listed company, following our successful admission to AIM in March 2014.

"The company continues to make great progress, with particular traction in the US, a priority market for Xeros, where our technology provides a solution to a very real crisis in energy and water consumption, delivering superior results and efficiencies to conventional washing.

"In 2015, we will be focused on extending our installed base in the US with existing and new customers, geographic expansion in Commercial Laundry, product development and continued innovation in bead cleaning."

Xeros website

Images: Xeros

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