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Freeplay Energy Offers Trading Update for 2007

Freeplay Energy plc Press Release

FlashlightNews.org - 1/11/2007

Company updates sales and product development initiatives in review of 2006 operations

Freeplay Indigo LED Lantern

Freeplay Indigo LED Lantern

LONDON, U.K. - Freeplay Energy plc, the dependable energy company that captures, stores and delivers electric power to self-powered devices such as radios, torches, lanterns and mobile phone chargers, gives an update on trading for the year ended 31 December 2006.

The Board is encouraged with the progress Freeplay has made during the year. Freeplay continues to invest for growth and the Group has considerably improved its position and revenue momentum during 2006. Following the acquisition of Barrett Marketing Group Inc. and its subsidiary, Dixie Sales Company ("Dixie"), in July 2006, we have been able to benefit from its marketing and distribution strengths and continue to position Freeplay as a broader based dependable energy manufacturing and marketing Group. Product selection and validation by UNICEF, strong December sell through at Target and REI in the US, new green e-tailers supporting Freeplay in the UK and product now on the shelves at major retailers in Kenya are all very encouraging global building blocks for the business.

During the year ended 31 December 2006 the Group has experienced significantly improved sales momentum from the core Freeplay business, with growth of over 130% with strong momentum in each of our existing market channels. FreeCharge mobile phone chargers matched to 3 WP Phone' models are currently in test in Nigeria. Market feedback is reported to be encouraging, but the in market test is ongoing resulting in the first commercial order anticipated to be shipped in Q4 2006 into 2007. As a result, the Board now expects that turnover for the year ended 31 December 2006, including five months of revenue from Dixie Sales Company, will be approximately US$26 million and that the loss before tax and goodwill for the Group will be significantly greater than market expectations.

During the year Freeplay has made good progress in signing new agreements:

  • a five year distribution agreement with WP Phones to supply the FreeCharge mobile phone charger into Africa and the Caribbean;
  • a long-term agreement with UNICEF to supply Lifeline radios, which has contributed to a strong year in our humanitarian and aid division;
  • a joint venture agreement with the Narang Group, one of India's leading industrial houses, creating an exceptional platform for the development, manufacture and distribution of Freeplay's existing and future products and technologies into one of the world's largest markets for its products and services; and
  • a three year licensing deal with Nicco Industries in China, which allows Nicco to use Freeplay's self-powered technology in its products

These deals, along with Freeplay's continued involvement with MIT's "One Laptop Per Child" programme, and continued growth momentum in our core North America, UK and AID channels are expected to underpin Freeplay's sales in 2007.

Trading within Dixie for the five months since acquisition was in line with the Board's expectations and the integration of Dixie is progressing as anticipated, particularly in the areas of IT, Human Resources and Operations and Finance. Freeplay is beginning to enjoy the benefits of the enlarged Group and in the United States we are already seeing improved sales, especially of our flashlight products.

Freeplay has also strengthened the Board with the appointment of Harold Reiter, previously a non-executive director, as an Executive Director of Freeplay. Mr Reiter has broad experience in finance and operations across a range of different industries and will be valuable addition to the team in supporting the continued integration and realizing our growth potential.

About Freeplay Energy plc

Established in 1994, Freeplay has developed patented technology that enables exerted human energy to be captured, stored and delivered in an electrical form to power a range of electronic devices. First applications include radios, torches and mobile phone charger, with over 3.5 million units sold.

Freeplay seeks to create, develop and supply the market for self-powered energy products internationally. This is being accomplished through both the establishment of its own products in the market, and the formation of strategic alliances with partners, aiming to combine compatible technology with market leadership. At the same time however, its Intellectual Property Rights and know-how mean that it may be able to licence or 'white-label' its technology to other brands as the market develops.

Freeplay believes it was first to market and commercialise self-powered technology and that it is recognised as a leading brand in this market for such products. Freeplay believes there are limited competitive offerings utilising technology which are less efficient.

For more information, visit www.freeplayenergy.com.