BioteQ Environmental Technologies Inc.
TSX : BQE

BioteQ Environmental Technologies Inc.

March 31, 2014 17:00 ET

BioteQ Reports Year-End 2013 Financial Results

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 31, 2014) - BioteQ Environmental Technologies Inc. (TSX:BQE), a leader in industrial wastewater treatment, releases its financial and operating results for the year ended December 31, 2013. Further information on the year end results can be obtained from the Company's 2013 Annual Report which includes the Consolidated Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A").

BioteQ will hold a conference call on April 1 at 11:00 AM EDT to discuss results for 2013. Participants can dial in as follows:

North America: 1-416-644-3414 or toll free at 1-800-814-4859
United Kingdom: 44-20-7190-1595 or toll free at 0800-358-5256
Switzerland: 41-22-592-7311 or toll free at 0800-560-749
Participant pass code: 4675375

As noted at the beginning of 2013, due to recent changes in Generally Accepted Accounting Standards ("GAAP") effective 2013, the results of the Company's joint ventures will be accounted for as equity investments in BioteQ's current and future financial statements. In prior years, the results of the Company's joint ventures were accounted for through proportionate consolidation.

To ensure clarity and comparability with historic results, certain statements in this news release and in the MD&A are characterized as BioteQ's "proportional" share, which means the effective portion of results that BioteQ would have reported if each of its joint ventures had been reported in accordance with past accounting standards. For further details, please see "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" in the Company's 2013 MD&A.

2013 Financial Results

  • Proportional revenues for the year were $7.6 million compared to $9.4 million in 2012, a decline of 19% year over year;
  • Revenues as reported under GAAP were $4.1 million compared $5.3 million in 2012, a decline of 23 % year over year;
  • Adjusted EBITDA for the year was a loss of $5 million compared to $1.9 million in 2012. Excluding the impact of one-time, non-cash impairment charges, the adjusted EBITDA loss was $2.3 million in 2013;
  • Net loss as reported under GAAP was $6.2 million compared to $3.3 million in 2012; and
  • Cash and short term investments, including BioteQ's share held in joint ventures, was $3.2 million compared to $7.5 million at the end of 2012.

Water Treatment Operations

  • BioteQ successfully completed its 10th operating season at the Raglan mine site in Quebec. During the year, BioteQ treated and discharged a total of 838,000 cubic meters of water. BioteQ also announced the extension of its service contract with mine site owner, Glencore Canada Corporation ("Glencore") (formally Xstrata PLC), for an additional three years to the end of the 2016;
  • Water treatment operation at the Dexing mine site, a joint venture with mine site owner Jiangxi Copper Company ("JCC"), treated 8,847,000 cubic meters of water and recovered a total of 1,831,000 pounds of copper compared to 2012 when BioteQ treated 8,661,000 cubic meters of water and recovered 1,985,000 pounds of copper; and
  • In November 2013, BioteQ indefinitely furloughed water treatment operations at the Bisbee mine site in Arizona. The plant and operations are a joint venture with mine site owner Freeport-McMoRan ("FMI"). BioteQ assessed the future profitability of the operation given expected performance and copper prices and determined that it would be in the best interest of both partners to furlough operations.

New Plant Construction Update

BioteQ is completing construction of three new plants in China with joint venture partner JCC.

  • Two new copper recovery plants are in the final stages of construction and commissioning will commence within the next month. The plant at JCC's Yinshan mine site is expected to begin operations in April 2014. A second copper recovery plant at JCC's Dexing mine site is expected to begin operations in June 2014. Combined, these new plants are expected to recover approximately 1.8 million pounds of copper on an annual basis; and
  • In 2010, BioteQ began construction an ion-exchange plant to recover cobalt and nickel at the Dexing site. Over the course of the project, the plant has experienced problems with construction quality, performance issues with key components, and changes in operating conditions at the site which has delayed completion. Currently, the plant is in a condition that could operate as designed. However, most recently, BioteQ has identified a new operational issue that would lead to longer term performance disruptions if the problem is not addressed. As a result, commissioning has been delayed until this matter can be investigated and resolved.

New Technology Development

Selenium Removal - Selen-IX™

In 2013, BioteQ secured a contract with Teck Resources Limited ("Teck") to conduct pilot scale testing of its innovative new Selen-IX™ technology for selenium removal. Work under the contract was completed in late 2013. BioteQ is currently reviewing the results of the pilot campaign with Teck to determine the path forward for continuing development of the technology. Under the terms of the Teck agreement, BioteQ also invested approximately $550,000 to construct a Selen-IX™ pilot plant. BioteQ retains ownership of the pilot plant and all associated intellectual property for future test campaigns. BioteQ is actively exploring new customer sites to deploy the plant to further demonstrate the technology.

Sulphate Removal - Sulf-IX™

In 2013, BioteQ successfully completed commissioning of a mobile Sulf-IX™ pilot plant that was jointly funded by Newalta Corporation ("Newalta") and BioteQ. This unit provides on-site field testing for sulphate removal from waste water. Data collected from the pilot plant testing will be used to validate the applicability of the technology to new water streams and to generate the design criteria for full-scale Sulf-IX™ water treatment plants.

Upon completion of commissioning, BioteQ conducted two separate pilot campaigns with a US based industrial company. The pilot campaigns were aimed at testing sulphate removal from waste water generated from flue gas treatment. The campaigns were successful in demonstrating the technology's application to the customer's treatment needs and further enhancing the development of the technology. BioteQ is currently discussing the results of these pilot campaigns with the customer to determine next steps towards a possible commercial agreement.

Other Items:

  • In December 2013, BioteQ began a financing under a Share Rights Offering to raise gross proceeds of approximately $1.2 million. The proceeds from the offering will be used to fund operating expenses and other general working capital needs. The financing closed in January 2014.
  • In February 2014, BioteQ announced changes to its executive management team and roles on its Board of Directors as follows:
  1. Jonathan Wilkinson stepped down from his positions as Chief Executive Officer and Board member;
  2. David Kratochvil, previously BioteQ's President and Chief Technology Officer, rejoined the Company in the capacity of Interim Chief Executive Officer;
  3. George Poling stepped down from his capacity as Board Chair for personal reasons, although he will remain on the BioteQ Board.
  4. Peter Gleeson, previously a non-executive member of the Board, assumed an executive management role as Executive Chairman.

2013 Commentary and 2014 Outlook

While the Company has been pleased with the development of new technologies, specifically Sulf-IX™ and Selen-IX™, and continued growth in China with joint venture partner JCC, BioteQ's commercial progress and financial performance fell well short of expectations set at the beginning of the year. General business conditions in the mining sector were challenging during the year which led to a decrease in commodity prices and project delays and cancellations. Despite these challenges, BioteQ believes that attractive opportunities exist for its technologies in the mining sector particularly due to the adoption and enforcement of new stringent effluent discharge regulations in many jurisdictions around the world.

The management and board changes announced in February 2014 are part of a plan that will include a renewed emphasis on the development and provision of innovative technical solutions for the mining sector. The emphasis for BioteQ going forward will be to pursue opportunities that will lead to the generation of recurring revenues to the Company and that will allow BioteQ to play a role of a technical expert and a technology partner to customers seeking to manage technical risks associated with achieving compliance with new challenging environmental regulations. These partnerships will better align the interests of BioteQ and its customers in the success of projects over the long term while utilizing the Company's core strengths and expertise. BioteQ's strategy and short term goals will include the following:

  • Build on past successes and lessons learned;
  • Continued focus on the completion of the new plants in China to begin generating cashflow as soon as possible;
  • Accelerate the development of the Selen-IX™ process and improve the Sulf-IX™ process in order to present technically robust and financially attractive alternatives to conventional technologies; and
  • Rebuild a pipeline of sales projects that will focus on opportunities that utilize BioteQ's proven commercial technologies and new strategic areas of the market (selenium and sulphate) that can generate long term recurring revenue based on the volume of water treated and/or the mass load of contaminants removed or recovered.

BioteQ is in the early stages of this transition and progress on this renewed strategy will take time to develop.

In terms of BioteQ's current financial outlook for the year, although its recurring revenue is expected to increase, it may prove to be challenging to break even on an operating cash flow basis due to:

  • the volume of one time sales that can be recognized in the short term;
  • uncertainty on the cost, outcome and settlement of litigations related to prior projects; and
  • the recent decline in copper prices which will impact the results of our operations in China.

BioteQ will provide more specific updates on its financial projections for the year in subsequent quarters as near term opportunities are fully evaluated.

2013 Financial Highlights Summary

For a complete set of Financial Statements and Management Discussion and Analysis, please go to www.bioteq.ca.

(in $'000 except for per share amounts) 2013 2012 2011*
$ $ $
Revenues 4,066 5,263 7,414
less: Plant and other operating costs (excluding depreciation) 2,371 3,464 4,654
1,695 1,799 2,760
General and administration 3,473 4,333 4,990
Sales and development 1,856 1,555 955
Share of results of equity accounted joint ventures 1,057 (242) -
Impairment of investment in joint venture 1,463 - -
(6,154) (3,847) (3,185)
Depreciation and amortization 746 511 695
Stock-based compensation 199 130 102
Loss before other income (expenses) (7,099) (4,488) (3,982)
Other income (expenses) - net 111 84 (81)
Reversal of capital asset impairment 400 1,227 -
Gain (loss) on disposal of capital assets 239 - (555)
Income tax (78) (189) (472)
Net loss for the year (6,427) (3,366) (5,090)
Translation gain (loss) on foreign operations 640 (22) 408
Comprehensive (loss) for the year (5,787) (3,388) (4,682)
Net loss per share (basic and diluted) 0.09 0.05 0.07
Proportional Revenues (see non-GAAP Measures) 7,610 9,424 7,414
Adjusted EBITDA (see non-GAAP Measures) (2,304) (1,890) (3,742)
* Results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2011 have been presented under the proportional consolidation method of accounting.

BioteQ Corporate Profile

BioteQ is an innovative clean technology leader in global industrial water treatment, serving the mining and energy markets. The company has technology expertise and proven operational capabilities in sulphide precipitation, ion exchange, alkali/lime precipitation, leaching, sulphate removal and SART technology. Over the past decade, BioteQ has designed and commissioned wastewater treatment plants at mine sites for leading organizations including Glencore Xstrata, Freeport-McMoRan, Jiangxi Copper and the US EPA. These plants recover dissolved metals and/or remove substances such as sulphate and selenium, producing clean water and minimizing or eliminating residual waste. BioteQ is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada and trades on the TSX under the symbol BQE. Please visit our website at www.bioteq.ca for additional information.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or the accuracy of this release.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

Certain information contained herein may not be based on historical fact and therefore constitutes "forward-looking information" under applicable Canadian securities legislation. This includes without limitation statements containing the words "plan", "expect", "project", "estimate", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "may", "will" and other similar words or expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, the Company's dependence on key personnel and contracts, uncertainty with respect to the profitability of the Company's technologies, competition, technology risk, the Company's ability to protect its intellectual property and proprietary information, fluctuations in commodity prices, currency risk, environmental regulation and the Company's ability to manage growth and other factors described in the Company's filings with the Canadian securities regulators at www.sedar.com (including without limitation the factors described in the section entitled "Risks and Uncertainties" in the Company's Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2013 and the section entitled "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2013). Given these risks and uncertainties, the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. All forward-looking information contained herein is based on management's current expectations and the Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update such forward-looking information to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by law.

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