Impairment and Write Offs
In 2019 the Company commenced construction on a new and improved Plasma Powder Production equipment with advanced technological improvements with regards to production output and operating costs. As a result, the existing powder production, Plasma atomization system, was no longer deemed to have any future benefit and was written down by $1,981,410, to the net recoverable amount of nil. The powders and raw materials inventory related to the old Plasma atomization system were no longer deemed to have any future value and were written down by $386,121 to their net recoverable amounts of nil.
Net Comprehensive Loss
The net comprehensive loss for 2019 of $9,171,116 compared to a loss of $7,845,800, in 2018, represents an increase of 17% year-over-year. The increase of $1,325,316 in the comprehensive loss in 2019 is primarily attributable to the factors described above, which have been summarized as follows:
- a decrease in product and service-related revenue of $216,138 arising in 2019,
- a decrease in cost of sales and services totaling $18,811, primarily due to lower subcontract costs, and lower manufacturing overhead as a result of lower revenues in 2019,
- a decrease in SG&A expenses of $348,879 arising in 2019 primarily due a decrease in share-based payments over the same period in 2018 as a result of the vesting structure of the stock option plan including the stock options granted in 2019,
- a decrease in R&D expenses of $40,533 primarily related to an increase in investment tax credits and government grants recognized,
- a decrease in net finance costs of $464,008 in 2019 primarily attributable to the adjustment in fair value of investments,
- an increase of $1,981,410 in 2019 due to impairment of a Plasma Atomization 2019. The Company commenced construction on a new and improved Plasma Powder Production equipment,
- an increase of $386,121 in 2019 due to the write off, of powders and raw materials inventory.
The adoption of IFRS 16 had a favorable impact of $618,071 on the calculation of EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Modified in EBITDA in 2019 compared 2018. The reconciliation above includes add-backs for depreciation of the right-of-use asset of $359,783 and finance charges of interest on lease liabilities of $258,288 in 2019, compared to nil for 2018 as a result of the use of the modified retrospective method used at date of transition.
The EBITDA loss in 2019 was $7,384,862 compared to an EBITDA loss of $6,864,461 for 2018, representing an increase of 8% year-over-year. The increase in the EBITDA loss in 2019 compared to 2018 is due to the increase in comprehensive loss of $1,325,316, offset by a decrease in depreciation on property and equipment of $43,787, an increase in depreciation on right-of-use assets of $359,783, a decrease in amortization of intangible assets of $40,193, and an increase in finance charges of $529,112.
Adjusted EBITDA loss in 2019 was $4,567,724 compared to an Adjusted EBITDA loss of $6,191,212 for 2018. The decrease of $1,623,488 in the Adjusted EBITDA loss in 2019 is attributable to an increase in EBITDA loss of $520,401, a decrease of $501,442 in share-based payments, an increase in tax assessment of $277,800, an increase in inventory write-off of $386,121, and an increase in equipment write-off of $1,981,410.
The Modified EBITDA loss in 2019 was $4,743,961 compared to a Modified EBITDA loss of $5,271,749 for 2018, representing a decrease of 10%. The decrease in the Modified EBITDA loss in 2019 is attributable to the decrease as mentioned above in the Adjusted EBITDA of $1,623,490 and a decrease in change of fair value of investments of $1,095,700.
The Company has incurred, in the last several years, operating losses and negative cash flows from operations, resulting in an accumulated deficit of $60,237,656 and a negative working capital of $10,492,102 as at December 31, 2019 (December 31, 2018 - $51,066,540 and $4,101,428 respectively). Furthermore, as at December 31, 2019, the Company’s current liabilities and expected level of expenses for the next twelve months exceed cash on hand of $34,431 (December 31, 2018 - $644,981). The Company has relied upon external financings to fund its operations in the past, primarily through the issuance of equity, debt, and convertible debentures, as well as from investment tax credits.
Any discussion regarding the OUTLOOK of the company would be remiss if it did not address the recent increase in the Company’s market capitalization and the implications that has for the future.
Without a doubt the Company’s market capitalization suffered, as did many other companies, in the general Covid-19 market meltdown at the end of March 2020. However, PyroGenesis soon broke from the pack with the issuance of a material press release on March 24th, 2020.
Management believes that its breaking from the ranks caught the attention of investors, fund managers, and money managers who all now had the time during the Covid-19 lockdown to fully analyze the complicated story that is PyroGenesis. Management does not see any reason why this interest would abate anytime soon. To the contrary, Management has reason to believe that interest in the Company will only increase over the foreseeable future. As such, Management has decided that several strategies that have been articulated in the past (up listings, spinoffs) can now be accelerated as some of the impediments to moving quickly have been removed or may be very shortly.
Having a larger market capitalization has also helped in discussions with potential customers who take comfort from the possibility that a higher market capitalization may translate into easier access to capital. For the record, there is no intention at this time to raise capital for working capital purposes.
If 2018 was the year in which PyroGenesis successfully positioned each of its commercial business lines by strategically partnering with multi-billion-dollar entities, and 2019 was the year that saw the appropriate personnel and infrastructure being put in place while building upon the success of 2018, then 2020 is without a doubt the year that the long awaited breakout, which began in the second half of 2019, takes place; it is in fact already upon us:
To date during 2020 PyroGenesis has:
- received significant payments under the multi-million dollar contract with DROSRITE™ International thereby validating announcements made during 2019,
- established a relationship with a US based tunneling company (contracts and payments ongoing),
- Established itself in the iron ore pelletization industry as a potential supplier of torches geared to replacing existing burners and thereby reducing GHGs. Interest is also spilling over into other industries with GHG reduction targets,
- Established a relationship with an OEM in North America with the intent to eventually supply powders for their 3D printing needs. This augments our relationship with Aubert & Duval, while at the same time de-risking our dependence on them,
- retired the $3MM convertible debenture in full,
- bought back approximately 1.2 Million shares under the existing Normal Course Issuer Bid,
- increased Company’s investment in HPQ, who has subsequently also experienced a significant increase in market capitalization,
- further benefited from early conversions of warrants maturing in 2021 of over $2MM.
The Company has booked a significant backlog of signed contracts (in excess of $30MM; 2019 Revenues approx. $5MM) which, when taking the eagerly awaited US Navy contract into account, will increase to over $40MM. This provides a solid cornerstone upon which PyroGenesis can:
- continue to build on the recent successes with the Company’s DROSRITE™ offering
- leverage off of the recent successes with the Company’s torch offerings to (i) the iron ore pelletization industry, and (ii) a tunneling client.
- accelerate activities with Aubert & Duval in the Additive Manufacturing sector as well as HPQ in the Mining and Metallurgical sector, both of which did not progress as fast as management would have liked in 2019. Significant attention will be placed on both these activities in 2020.
Specifically, with Aubert & Duval the goal will be to complete the integration of the cutting-edge advances PyroGenesis has made to the powder production process.