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  • First Graphene (FGR) has rounded out the December quarter with a review of its leadership changes, financial position and latest activities
  • The company spent the Christmas season commercialising its graphene powder range — an additive which can enhance a product's fire retardancy, strength, flexibility and endurance
  • It also looked into ways to improve energy storage devices like solar panels
  • The December quarter also bought leadership changes — founding director Craig McGuckin tendered his resignation, while Michael Bell was appointed as First Graphene's CEO
  • In terms of financials, FGR burnt through over $1.1 million during FY21's second quarter and ended 2020 with roughly $4 million in the bank
  • Based on current spending levels, it's enough cash to sustain operations for three full quarters
  • Following the quarterly report, First Graphene shares jumped 1.72 per cent to trade at 29.5 cents

First Graphene (FGR) has rounded out the December quarter with a review of its leadership changes, financial position and latest activities.

The graphene manufacturer focussed on two key objectives towards the end of 2020: commercialising its PureGRAPH product range and looking into ways to improve energy storage devices.

What is graphene?

As the lightest — and strongest — material on earth, graphene poses a number of advantages as an additive. It can increase an object's fire retardancy, make it more lightweight, bolster its strength and improve its flexibility.

Because of this, First Graphene has developed PureGRAPH — a range of graphene powders which can be added to products in development to enhance their strength and endurance.

During FY21's second quarter, FGR sold its graphene powder to a bevy of clients. It says it's also in discussions with roughly 70 other potential customers from accross the world, all of which are either designing or trialling graphene-enhanced products.

Leadership shuffle

The December quarter also proved to be a busy season for executive changes, with FGR flagging two key changes over the Christmas season.

Craig McGuckin, the company's Managing Director, tendered his resignation in October. The founding director gave three months' notice, citing his intention to retire after 35 years as a mining engineer and executive. He worked at the company helm for eight years.

Craig's resignation sparked the search for a new CEO who would lead the company into 2021. And in mid-December, First Graphene appointed Michael Bell to the role.

With over two decades of experience in engineering and business management, Michael joined FGR at what he believes is "a pivotal stage in its development".

"There is significant global potential for graphene as manufacturers start to understand its applications and the PureGRAPH product is extremely well placed to leverage those opportunities," he said in December.

The new CEO will officially join the team during the current quarter.

Financials

Over the December quarter, First Graphene brought in $32,000 in customer receipts. Government grants and tax incentives also provided a $631,000 boost to the company's bottom line.

Overall, the materials stock burnt through just over $1.1 million in FY21's second quarter.

The biggest expenses were research and development and product manufacturing — combined, these outgoings set the company back by $1.1 million. Staff, admin and corporate expenses cost First Graphene roughly $370,000 during the December quarter.

FGR also shed just over half a million on investing activities, with property, plant and equipment costs coming in as the biggest investing expense.

At the end of 2020, the company had just over $4 million in the bank — slightly lower than the $5.7 million it entered the quarter with.

Combined with its expenditure, the new cash balance means First Graphene can sustain operations at this rate of spend for just over three more quarters.

Following the quarterly report, First Graphene shares jumped 1.72 per cent to trade at 29.5 cents at 11:12 am AEDT.

FGR by the numbers
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