Fuel cell innovator AFC Energy today unveiled full year financials which it claims set it on route to strike it rich in the world’s emerging hydrogen economy.

Operating losses at CEO Adam Bond’s firm more than doubled to £10.4 million in the year to October, on the back of a dozen new hires, new applications explored, and a £10.7 million expansion of manufacturing and R&D at the firm’s Dunsfold Park, Surrey HQ, home of the ‘Top Gear’ test track.

But that investment didn’t stop order pipelines swelling for AFC’s Hydrox Power fuel cells, thanks to greater demand across sectors ranging from EV charging, data centres, construction firms to genset hirers and providers of temporary power.   Investors kept their faith, over-subscribing a £36 million rights issue during the rear.

The effect was to see AFC’s year end cash rise by over £24 million, to £55.4 million as of October 31.

On future gearing, today’s reports only say “the company’s commercial activities are at an early stage and management considers that no useful target debt to equity gearing ratio can be identified at this time”.

Opportunities in ship propulsion are opening up too, CEO Alan Bond notes, thanks to the firm’s partnership with engineering giant ABB, and approval in principle last year for its designs from  seaworthiness regulators DNV and Norway’s authorities.

Vessels serving inshore and coastal routes could be powered by AFC’s diesel-supplanting power plants, the firm expects.

Next month AFC is due to begin operating its zero-emissions fuel cell system under lease to Urban-Air Port – pictured – in Coventry, the UK’s first site for e-VToL ( electric Virtual TakeOff and Landing) air taxis.

The venture is a partnership between UK infrastructure provider Urban-Air Port, eVTOL operator Supernal, Hyundai’s newly formed urban air transport division, the British government and Coventry City Council.

AFC reports receiving its first commercial revenue from the first season of the hydrogen-powered Extreme E Series of off-road racing.  Twelve mixed-gender teams raced electric off-road vehicles last year in five wild locations from Greenland and Saudi Arabia, Sardinia to Dorset. Australian Molly Taylor and Swede Johann Kristoffersson emerged as champions.   AFC’s contract has been renewed for 2022.

In heavy duty construction, the firm announces strategic partnerships with builders Mace and energy firm Acciona to assess and deploy hydrogen power generators on sites.

By mid afternoon, investors on AIM had marked AFC’s share price 0.8% lower, valuing the firm at £ 272 million. More financial details here.


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