Carbios reports first-half 2018 financial results

The company reports it is heading toward the industrialization of its technologies for biorecycling PET plastics and fibers.

October 1, 2018
Edited by Megan Smalley

Carbios, St. Beauzire, France, reported its financial results for the first half of 2018 in a company news release. The financial statements as of June 30, 2018, were approved by the company’s board of directors at its meeting on Sept. 20.

“We now have extremely efficient enzymes which can be industrialized for our [polyethylene terephthalate] PET plastics and fibers biorecycling process,” says Jean-Claude Lumaret, CEO of Carbios, in a company news release.

Along with these developments and the pilot stage launch of PET hydrolysis in a 1,000-liter reactor, Lumaret says Carbios has engaged with TechnipFMC the scaling up of this technology to fulfill—as soon as 2021—the expectations of large global brands operating in the fields of beverage, packaging and textile to name a few fields.

“This should soon enable to strengthen the consortium we have created with L'ORÉAL,” Lumaret says. “CARBIOLICE’s developments also confirm the prospect of a market launch of our enzymatic biodegradation technology for single-use plastics by 2020.” 

Research and development

Carbios has made several advances regarding research and development during the first half of 2018, according to a company news release. 

In January 2018, the company announced it had received a payment of €1,021,871 (or about $1,183,118) from Bpifrance following the completion of the fifth and final stage of Carbios’ THANPLAST project. The final key stage ended in June 2017. In the field of biorecycling, Carbios demonstrated its ability to synthesize PET oligomers and to produce virgin PET from postconsumer PET plastic bottles treated by enzymatic hydrolysis, the company says in a news release. Additionally, Carbios pursued the industrialization of its biodegradation process through the joint-venture CARBIOLICE, created with Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients and the SPI funds run by Bpifrance.

In March 2018, Carbios announced that it took a step forward in the development of its enzymatic depolymerization process, making it applicable to PET polyester fibers from textile waste, according to Carbios. The company opened a major market by depolymerizing 100 percent PET textile waste fibers into its original monomers.

In April 2018, the company announced a milestone in the optimization of its biorecycling process of postconsumer PET plastic bottles, allowing it to accelerate its scaling up toward the industrial demonstration stage, Carbios says in a news release. The company has worked to optimize the enzyme used in its biorecycling process, with the support of teams from Toulouse White Biotechnology. The company initiated a molecular modeling study to analyze the relations between the 3-D structure of the enzyme and its efficiency, Carbios adds. 

Additionally, just after the first half of 2018 ended, Carbios announced results in the optimization of its biorecycling process of postconsumer PET plastics by reducing the duration of PET enzymatic hydrolysis, reaching a conversion speed of 97 percent in 16 hours, Carbios reports in its news release. 

Financial statements

As of June 30, year-to-date operating income stood at €425,000 (more than $492,000) versus €632,000 (almost $732,000) for the first half of 2017. Most of this income comes from research service revenues with its subsidiary CARBIOLICE, according to a company news release.

During the first half of 2018, Carbios’ operating expenses cost €2.733 million (more than $3.16 million). The company says most of the research and development expenses this first half of the year were used for the pre-industrial stage of its PET plastics biorecycling process. External research and development expenses stood at €881,000 (almost $1.02 million), (compared to €337,000—or about $390,000—in 2017 and €1.235 million—or more than $1.42 million—in 2016), mainly due to the externalization of services enabling the Company to benefit from the expertise and know-how of its academic and industrial partners. 

As a result, the net loss for the first half of 2018 settles at €1.674 million (about $1.94 million) versus €1.353 million (about $1.57 million) for the first half of 2017, after taking into account the research tax credit of €635,000 (about $735,000).