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Biome Technologies’ revenue booms thanks to biodegradable coffee cups

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LONDON, UK – Shares in Biome Technologies plc surged higher on Monday morning after the AIM-quoted firm published a bullish first quarter trading update.

Total group revenues for the three months ended 31 March were 34% ahead of last year’s numbers at £1.5mln (Q1 2015: £1.1mln), driven largely but a strong contribution from its bioplastics division.

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Revenues from that arm of the company quadrupled year-on-year to £0.8mln (Q1 2016: £0.2mln) as demand for its biodegradable, non-woven coffee filters and coffee cups heated up.

“There has been an encouraging response from the market to recent publicity surrounding the use and disposal of coffee cups/lids and the role that Biome’s materials can play in this supply chain,” said Biome in today’s announcement.

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‘Plant starch’ coffee cup is the latest hot thing

The filters are moving towards full commercialisation and are slowly beginning to reach the consumer market after one of the firm’s customers incorporated the technology into its range of coffee pods.

The real intrigue is in the coffee cups and lids though which, as Biome point out, have been making headlines in recent weeks.

The products are made from plant matter which, “in appropriate composting conditions”, can disappear into carbon dioxide and water within a few months.

According to Biome, the more environmentally-friendly products perform just as well as their petroleum-based plastic counterparts in heat and stress tests.

The problem with current coffee cups is that it’s difficult for recycling facilities to separate the inner plastic lining from the cardboard. In fact, only around 1% of cups can be recycled.

The company’s own market research found that around two-thirds of Londoners wanted more eco-friendly cups to drink from.

Radio frequency business not as perky

Biome’s Radio Frequency Technologies division didn’t fare quite so well however, with revenues for the first three months of 2017 slipping to £0.7mln (Q1 2016: £0.9mln).

The company said that was due to the “timing of equipment deliveries” and said a solid order book and good enquiry pipeline “underpin a strong outlook for this division”.

Overall, Biome said it remained “confident” in its outlook for the rest of the year as it posted a “small” underlying profit for the first quarter. It ended the period with £1.8mln cash in the bank (31 Dec 2016: £1.5mln).

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