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Angel delivers record oyster sales

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Eyre Peninsula oyster producer Angel Seafood has reported record sales of 2.7 million in the September quarter as its retail strategy grows at pace and restaurants around Australia increase capacity.

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The first quarter result generated $2 million in revenue and was 78 per cent up on last year and more than double the number of oysters sold by the company in the September quarter two years ago.

Angel Seafood is the largest producer of certified organic and sustainable pacific oysters in the Southern Hemisphere.

The publicly-listed company this year fast-tracked its plans to build a retail sales program for its Coffin Bay oysters following the closure of restaurants in March due to COVID-19 restrictions.

In a statement to the ASX last week, the company said although export channels remained unviable at this stage due to reduced air freight capacity and associated high costs, there were signs of restaurant demand starting to pick up as coronavirus restrictions ease in a number of states.

Angel’s founder and CEO Zac Halman said the company was bolstering relationships with large retailers and looking at marketing initiatives based on the company’s ability to provide a continuous supply of high-quality oysters.

“The Angel team has worked extremely hard throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, quickly pivoting our strategy to set up a retail sales program following the restrictions on our traditional avenues,” he said.

“The past quarter was a very successful period for Angel despite some states continuing to face tough restrictions on gatherings and restaurant trade.”

Angel Seafood’s head office is in Port Lincoln and had 22 million graded oysters in stock across its leases in Coffin Bay, Cowell and Haslam at September 30, up 31 per cent on the previous year.

The company said the retail channel would continue to be a focus in the December quarter, which included the peak season in the lead up to Christmas.

“We have made huge progress with our retail offering and we continue to focus on that as we enter the second quarter,” Halman said.

“Pleasingly we have seen the strong momentum in retail continue over the past few weeks.

“Our game-changing and industry leading multi-bay strategy enables us to produce high-quality oysters at scale from spat to maturity, mitigating production risk and creating a sustainable operating environment that allows us to be an agile operation that can quickly pivot to adjust to consumer needs and demands.”

Shares in the company with a market cap of about $25 million were trading at $0.19 at noon on Friday, up from $0.14 a month ago.

In other ASX news, South Australian hi-tech manufacturer Micro-X recently announced the first sales of its lightweight x-ray machine designed for use by the military in rugged conditions.

The Tonsley-based company has landed a $1.4 million contract facilitated by the World Health Organisation to deliver its Rover units to a number of Pacific island nations.

The Micro-X Rover

The contract marks the company’s first success of its direct marketing strategy with the Rover.

Micro-X’s first lightweight mobile x-ray product, the DRX Revolution Nano, carries the name of its US distributor, Carestream Health, and has experienced a surge of orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Managing director Peter Rowland said the company aimed to sustain the revenue momentum gained from the Rover contract throughout the financial year.

“Achieving this first deal for the Rover product less than two months after receiving FDA clearance is a significant step for Micro-X as we further grow revenue and become a commercially focused technology,” he said.

“This contract also marks an important milestone in the growth of our internal sales capability as we embark on an aggressive sales strategy for the Rover product.”

Micro-X shares were trading at $0.23 at noon Friday, up from $0.19 four weeks ago.

The 1414 Degrees gas thermal energy storage plant at Glenelg. Photo: Steve McCawley

Adelaide-based clean energy storage company 1414 Degrees last week closed its latest share purchase plan, raising about $3,1 million and exceeding its target by $100,000.

The company also announced on Friday it had successfully recommissioned its gas thermal energy storage system at the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The GAS-TESS has been heated to operating temperature and the turbine run ready for verification testing and witnessing by SA Power Networks.

This is expected to occur in late November when the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant is scheduled to begin generating electricity from its gas engines, solar PV and the GAS-TESS to enable export to the National Electricity Market.

1414 Degrees’ technology stores energy generated from electricity or gas as thermal energy by heating and melting containers full of silicon. Energy can then be supplied as heat and electricity in the proportions required by consumers.

The company’s share price fell from $0.14 to just $0.06 in a little over 24 hours in June following a review, which showed its technology was less efficient and reliable than previously forecast.

Its shares have since recovered and were trading at $0.15 at noon on Friday.

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