Symphony Environmental Technologies, the specialist plastics technology group, has reported first half turnover down 45%, following moves to limit its debtor exposure and cut stocks at a distributor level.
Symphony, which specialises in controlled-life, oxo-biodegradable plastic technologies, posted turnover of £2.12m in the six months to 30 June, 2012, down from £3.89m in the same period last year.
The stock market reacted to the revenue slump by marking the group's shares down by more than 17%.
But Symphony's chief executive Michael Laurier said the decline was “as expected, as we modified our operating policy to reduce debtor exposure and stock held by our distribution network”.
"Underlying business within several markets was reported to be materially higher than the group's invoiced sales.
“In addition, substantial growth expectations going forward have been reported within our global sales network, some having seen good commercial success and others important changes to legislation, forcing a wider use of d2w type oxo-biodegradable technology.”
Symphony said its gross profits were down 46% at £1.17m, although the group said that at 55% it gross profit margin “had held up well, notwithstanding price pressure in some of our markets”, versus 56% in the first half of 2011.
The group posted an operating loss of £677,000 compared with a £279,000 profit last year, and a pre-tax loss of £689,000, compared with a pre-tax profit in 2011 of £205,000.
Looking ahead Laurier said he believed the markets for d2w oxo-biodegradable technologies were growing “and we believe Symphony's d2w technology is the market leader”.
“As an operationally geared business with strong market and product visibility, we look forward with growing confidence,” he added.