Robotic technology company FBR Limited (ASX: FBR) has provided its preliminary final report for the year ended 30 June 2020.
During the period FBR commenced building its first structures under commercial arm’s length contract using the Hadrian X® construction robot. Through the Fastbrick Australia joint venture with Brickworks Building Products, FBR entered into Pilot Programme Agreements with Western Australian builders Archistruct Builders & Designers and Summit Homes. FBR completed 11 full house structures in the Demonstration Stage of its Pilot Program with Archistruct, as well as two full house structures for Summit Homes.
Completion of these Pilot Programme structures met a technical milestone that was set for the Company in 2015. It was also announced that FBR’s Fastbrick Wall System™ had been certified as meeting the National Construction Code and the relevant Local Government had issued a building permit for FBR’s first display home to be built with the Hadrian X® in a residential development.
In March 2020, FBR undertook a cost rationalisation program to preserve Shareholder value in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty around the proposed cuts to the Australian R&D Tax Incentive Refund Program. This resulted in a reduction of approximately $10 million per annum in payroll costs, and significantly reduced FBR’s funding requirements going forward, positioning the Company well for success as the world recovers from the pandemic.
In June 2020, FBR and Brickworks mutually agreed to discontinue the Fastbrick Australia joint venture, citing economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 situation and the escalating commitments to the joint venture required by each party going forward.
Shortly thereafter, FBR replaced its Pilot Program Agreement with Archistruct and, subsequent to the end of the period, completed the structural walls of FBR’s first display home in a Western Australian residential development using the Hadrian X®, marking a significant achievement in the Company’s commercialisation and a world first.
Following completion of the Display Home, FBR commenced planning with Archistruct to deliver on the third stage of the Pilot Program Agreement, wherein Archistruct will engage FBR to construct the walls of a structure for a client.
FBR also entered into a multi-stage Building Pilot Program Agreement with GP Vivienda, the housing division of one of Mexico’s largest construction companies, Grupo GP. The first house builds under the Building Pilot Program Agreement with GP Vivienda were completed subsequent to the end of the period, and the two parties agreed to move to the next stage of the Agreement, wherein FBR would build test structures with the Hadrian X® using concrete blocks produced in Mexico.
Two Board changes were made during the period. Mr Andrew Bloore retired from his position of Non-Executive Director on FBR’s Board, and was replaced by Mr Grant Anderson. Subsequently, Ms Nancy Milne also retired from her position as Non Executive Director during the period and was replaced by Mr Greg Smith following the end of the period.
In December 2019, FBR completed a $5.5 million placement to institutional and sophisticated investors, and in conjunction completed a $3.0 million Share Purchase Plan open to eligible shareholders.
In June 2020, FBR received an advanced payment of $2.8 million from Radium Capital secured against FBR’s research and development tax incentive refund for the year ended 30 June 2020. Subsequent to the end of the period, FBR completed a placement to institutional and sophisticated investors to raise a further $16 million to deliver on FBR’s 12-month objectives.
The unaudited loss before tax expense for the 12 months to 30 June 2020 has increased to $9,857,410 from the prior period loss of $8,581,273. This was primarily due to an increase in staff costs in part due to redundancy payments, non-cash share based payments and depreciation.