Smart heat is firing up firm’s future, Daily Express

Investor news

Published: 03 February

Type: Investor news

Year: 2015

BRITISH manufacturer, whose smart heating controls cut businesses’ energy bills, is set to double its overseas supply network as sales improve across the board.

Sabien Technology, listed on London’s smaller companies market AIM, has seen a 25 per increase in orders for its M2G digital box in the last six months. The clutch bag-size units fit on to both old and new industrial gas boilers, cutting consumption by between 10 and 20 per cent, with payback typically within two years. By constantly monitoring and controlling the energy flows of individual heaters in real time, the M2G makes best use of their load. Whole systems, with all or part in standby, are prevented from firing up automatically, something they normally do to compensate as they lose heat.

“That process, known as ‘dry cycling’, is recognised increasingly as an overlooked area of waste, and one not addressed by conventional time-delay controls.

“Our technology integrates fully and there is no close substitute for what we deliver,” says Sabien founder, chief executive and main shareholder Alan O’Brien.

Large, multi-site customers are Sabien’s target market for its core M2G product while its new M1G unit, designed to do the same job for directly-fired water heaters, is proving a hit with firms in India.

Production is sub-contracted to Northern Ireland and installations to a group of UK companies.

Overseas, Sabien has set up a network of tech centres within organisations supplying heating systems in their own territories.

Here it supplies installation training in return for an agreed number of sales.

A partnership with US flame guard company Fireye has also opened up international channels.

With agreements in Beijing, Shanghai, and 12 other centres from the US to Singapore, Sabien plans more in China as well as Eastern Europe, the Far East and South America this year.

“The UK is our major market, but we expect this to be balanced and probably exceeded by overseas trade in future,” says O’Brien.

Our technology integrates fully and there is no close substitute for what we deliver“Even when fuel costs come down, companies everywhere want ways to reduce costs further and avoid emissions penalties.

“Our tech centres are a very cost-effective way of establishing a foothold and without having to reveal crucial intellectual property details.

“Of course there is always a risk of copying, but this way we consider it very small as we are in a niche sector where reliability is prized.”

Orders range from a few thousand pounds up to £5 million for installations that can span several years. Clients include the Tate Gallery as well as banks, councils, the military, schools, the NHS, BT and Vodafone.

After a career with big power providers, O’Brien wanted to be his own boss and backed a technology resolving the dry cycling issue.

He bought its design, manufacturing and distribution rights worldwide for £300,000, listing on AIM to raise a further £3.2 million to scale the business in 2006 and a further £1.4 million three years later for working capital, leaving Sabien debt free and paying a dividend to shareholders.

Source: Daily Express