Hydrogen boom beckons for ITM

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Green energy company ITM Power says it is on the brink of reaping the benefits from the creation of a multi-billion dollar global market for hydrogen power.

The news comes as another Sheffield technology business, ZOO Digital, revealed it had cut jobs and arranged a standby loan of £200,000 from the wife of its chief executive.

ZOO says the standby loan is to provide “headroom, if required,” to cover seasonal fluctuations in the company’s working capital requirements.

Brightside-based ITM Power develops advanced technology that allows electricity produced from renewable sources to be stored by using it to produce hydrogen from water.

Unveiling its half year results, the company predicted 2013 would be “an exciting period” for its products and technology.

Chief executive Dr Graham Cooley told shareholders: “The use of our products for energy storage and grid balancing is a key growth area and we are seeing an upward trend in enquiries in this sector.

“It is clear that the second half of the group’s financial year is the period during which large corporations and government bodies conclude their significant procurement.

“The group is in advanced talks and tender processes with several significant potential customers.”

Chairman Prof Roger Putnam added: “We plan to be a world leading player in green hydrogen solutions for these developing global markets.”

ITM Power made a pre-tax loss of £3.7 million for the six months to the end of October, up from £3.5 million for the same period last year. The company secured new grants for development project totalling more than £3.1 million over the same period – up from £942,000.

ITM completed the period with cash and short-term deposits of £8 million, after raising £5.4 million from investors in July.

ZOO Digital specialises in developing software and services for creative media production, including the production of DVDs and Blu-ray titles by leading Holywood studios.

The company says it saw strong growth in Blu-ray production during the six months to the end of September.

Demand had fallen since then, with a large client postponing a number of projects including ones that would have resulted in ZOO’s software and services being used to produce a significant number of DVD and Blu-ray titles.

ZOO expects to make a pre-tax loss of between $1.1 million and $1.3 million for the year to the end of March.