Punter goes bananas for Papyrus Australia

Punter goes bananas for Papyrus Australia

Agribusiness
Papyrus Australia's factory in Egypt processes three banana trees a day, but Azer said that it had the capacity to increase that tenfold.

Papyrus Australia's factory in Egypt processes three banana trees a day, but Azer said that it had the capacity to increase that tenfold.

Aa

Following Papyrus Australia's AGM in Adelaide, the Punter bought 50,000 PPY at 2c each.

Aa

This company has been so broke it hasn't paid its directors since 2010.

The sole employee, the managing director, Ramy Azer, stopped taking a salary in January 2012.

In fact, he and his wife, through their private company Talisker, have lent the company up to half a million to keep it solvent.

It did have a 50 per cent ownership of a factory being set up to pulp banana trees in Egypt, but it didn't even have the capital to pay its share of the costs involved, so it dropped back to simply licensing the factory to use its know-how.

At the end of September, it had $8000 in the bank, no income, and outgoings of more than $6000 a month.

Not surprisingly, the Australian Stock Exchange queried whether it could keep going.

But the shares have already doubled in a month and after the AGM of Papyrus Australia (ASX code PPY) in Adelaide last week, the Punter went bananas and bought 50,000 PPY at 2c each.

Papyrus processes residual agricultural fibre, mainly from banana and sugar cane plantations. It makes veneers, panel boards, liquid fertiliser, potting mix and other products.

Margins are between 30 and 50pc for the various products because demand is outstripping supply.

The factory in Egypt is making money and Papyrus has now received its first licensing/royalty payment.

Only $5000, but months ahead of schedule.

It expects to have a positive cash flow next year.

On November 11, the company announced it had found a private investor, Union Pacific Equities, which is buying 19.9pc of Papyrus at 1c a share.

UPE's interest is in using the PPY technology, originally developed at the University of Adelaide, to process hemp fibre on a large scale.

Azer told the AGM that as a result, the company had stopped sinking and they could now think about building a factory in Australia to process hemp fibre.

  • The Punter has no financial qualifications and no links to the financial services industry. He owns shares in a number of companies featured in this column.
Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by