PbC Battery Maker Reports Sales Increase and Product Development Progress

May 15, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

Axion Power International, Inc. announced results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2013 included net product sales that increased to $2.2 million in 2013 from $1.8 million in 2012. Net product sales increased in 2013 compared to 2012 primarily due to the sale of specialty lead-acid batteries to a single customer who will sell these batteries under their brand, as well as carry the cost of inventory and provide the raw materials for production of these batteries. Net loss for 2013 was $2.1 million or $0.02 per basic and diluted share compared to $2.3 million or $0.02 per basic and diluted share in 2012.

Net cash flow for 2013 was negative $1.2 million. Excluding the cash inflow of $8.6 million in net proceeds from the sale of common stock in the first quarter of 2012, cash flow for the first quarter of 2012 was negative $2.1 million. Thus comparable negative net cash flow decreased $0.9 million or 43% in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of 2012.

On May 8, in an event subsequent to the end of the first quarter the company announced that it had completed a private placement of $9 million principal amount of senior convertible notes and warrants with institutional investors and an additional $1 million principal amount of subordinated unsecured convertible notes and warrants in an ancillary transaction with directors, officers and one of the original Axion founders.

Chairman and CEO Thomas Granville commented, "Closing this funding was a focal point for us over the past six months. There were various alternatives and offers that were available to us, but we felt it was important to obtain a funding package that fit with investors that shared in our vision and had faith in our story. We feel we have found that audience and we look forward, to moving forward, together with them."

Granville continued, "It has only been six weeks since we reported on our 2012 results, but it has been six weeks of progress on several fronts. First, we have already made improvements to our new continuous roll carbon sheeting process, resulting in a modest increase in 'carbon sheet energy density'. Our robotic negative electrode production line has been a major factor in providing us with better overall quality control and has factored in our recent significant improvement in decreasing internal resistance in our PbC® battery (a more than 25% reduction in internal resistance). This was fully evident when ePower installed the improved PbC battery in their truck, subsequent to the end of the first quarter, and saw an immediate jump up in available battery amperage (a greater than 25% improvement). Going forward in 2013, we look forward to the mileage improvement results as more trucks are converted to the ePower hybrid system utilizing the PbC batteries.

"And our class 8 truck initiative doesn't end with ePower, we have partnered with an historically large, and well respected, industry OEM in order to better commercialize our two-battery solution to the stop/start technology in the large truck market. We will be providing more information on this program in the coming months."

Granville concluded, "Of course we remain committed to our other defined markets as well – hybrid locomotives, hybrid passenger vehicles for the stop/start market and PowerCube applications of all sizes, from 10-kilowatt applications all the way up to several megawatt applications. Partially because of the success we have had with our onsite PowerCube, and our Washington Naval Yard installation, we have seen a dramatic increase in RFPs, RFQs and just general requests for help from those seeking to employ energy storage. These opportunities include renewable, utility, industrial and residential customers. As a result, in order to keep pace, we will be adding to our sales and engineering resources in the coming months. Quite honestly, we have needed to move in this sales growth direction for at least the last two quarters and now that we have the capital to implement that roadmap - it's full speed ahead."