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Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 14 October 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its pre-tax profit by one-fifth to £2.4m in the year to June 2018. Revenues improved from £21.4m to £22.8m. The farm-based milk recording business grew, but the main growth came from the much smaller traceability and reproductive businesses. These figures are for the period before the recent virus attack. The dividend has been halved from 2.5p a share to 1.25p a share because management wants to invest in laboratories and IT. Net debt was £1.7m.

Good Energy (GOOD) has clarified its interim figures. The renewable energy supplier says that there was a misclassification of £4.9m relating to cash and current assets and current liabilities. The problem was the timing of payments. This does not change NAV and profit. There was a £20m in the bank at the end of September 2019. Good Energy has signed a technology platform agreement with Octopus Group, which could involve investment of £4m in order to improve efficiency. The existing technology will be written down over the 12 months to June 2019. Operating cost savings should cover the investment in 18 months of full implementation.

Vox has ended merger discussions with PCG Entertainment (PCGE) and Align Research saying that it is difficult to raise money for any business involving Align Research. Vox is concerned that this will hamper fundraisings for future deals, and it believes it could have a negative effect on its main business.

VI Mining (VIM) has acquired rights to near-surface oxide gold at the Aripuana project in Brazil. The company’s other assets are in Peru.

Reyker Securities has been suspended as a broker on NEX Exchange.

AIM  

PCI-compliant payment services provider PCI PAL (PCIP) is making progress in winning new contracts in North America. Recurring annual contract value is £1.9m, compared with forecast revenues of £4.8m in the year to June 2020, up from £2.8m. PCI Pal will continue to lose money as it builds up revenues. Net cash was £1.5m at the end of June 2019. A new £2.75m facility will provide the working capital required to cover losses until the company starts to generate cash. Net debt of £1.5m is forecast at the end of June 2021, so this is well within the funding available.

Uhuru Corporation is a Japanese Internet of Things technology company planning to join AIM this month. Tokyo-based Uhuru (www.uhuru.co.jp/en) is involved in consultancy and engineering, as well as providing creative content and data analysis. Customers include NEC, Dentsu, Honda, Komatsu, Yamaha and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) raised £461,500 at 44p a share via PrimaryBid.com, which takes the total raised to £16.55m. A two-for-51 open offer has been launched to raise a further £3.45m.

AIM shell Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) had discussions about the participation in the purchase of US-based speciality chemicals company Arclin Inc, but these have ended. The costs of the work done on this potential transaction have reduced the cash pile to £900,000. Wilmcote is holding talks with investors about how to fund expenses while it seeks another speciality chemicals acquisition. Trading in the shares has recommenced and the share price slumped from 97p to 65p.

Oil and gas producer Amerisur Resources (AMER) has issued revised bidding instructions to the potential acquirers that were provided data as part of the strategic review and formal sale process. The process will hopefully conclude before the end of the year.

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) is focusing on the customers that are utilising its dispersion know-how and provide the best near-term revenue potential. That will enable the graphene producer to cut its operating costs and make the cash in the bank last at least another two years. Net cash was £6.1m at the end of July 2019 and a tax credit of £600,000 has since been received. Manufacturing will be streamlined, and the annual cost base could fall from £4.3m to £3.2m. Revenues remain modest.

Pawnbroker Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) will make a one-off gross profit of £600,000 from scrapping slow moving jewellery in order to take advantage of the rise in the gold price. Trading is in line with expectations. The interims will be published on 3 December.

United Oil and Gas (UOG) is on course to acquire Rockhopper Egypt for $16m before the end of 2019. A share issue is required in order to fund the initial cash payment of at least $11m. The rest of the payment will be in shares issued at the placing price. The main asset being acquired is a 22% interest in the Abu Sennan concession.

Time Out Group (TMO) has raised £17.1m at 127p a share. The June 2016 flotation price was 150p. The cash will be used to cut debt and roll-out more Time Out Market sites, with Chicago and Montreal due to open later this year and more contracted sites for the future. Net debt was £34.4m at the end of June 2019.

Investors give no quarter when it comes to profit warnings these days. Public housing software provider Castleton Technology (CTP) says recurring revenues are still going well, but there is a shortage of one-off revenues. This has led to a 15% cut in forecast revenues for the year to March 2020. That leads to a cut in pre-tax profit forecast from £6.4m to £5.3m. A similar reduction has been made in the forecast for 2020-21, which is £5.8m. The share price fell by more than one-third to 57p, which is less than ten times prospective earnings.

Trading in the shares of Solo Energy (SOLO) has been suspended ahead of a proposed acquisition of assets from ONE-Dyas for an initial €30.1m. That will be funded by debt and a share issue raising £20m, which will involve an open offer. The 14 gas fields are in the Dutch sector of the North Sea. Tom Reynolds is moving from non-executive to chief executive. The admission document should be published in November and the name will be changed to Scirocco Energy.

Dekeloil (DKL) is still being hampered by a low crude palm oil price but it is optimistic that the price will improve. There was a 11% decrease in third quarter crude palm oil production to 4,803 tonnes. However, there was a 30% increase in sales to 7,138 tonnes. The average price achieved was 16% lower at €456/tonne. The cashew processing project is on course for first production in 2020. The company is changing its name to Dekel Agri-Vision Ltd.

Managed services provider Redcentric (RCN) says that first half trading was on track. It is on course to improve pre-tax profit from £7.2m to £9.8m.

MAIN MARKET

Nottinghamshire-based nmcn (NMCN) is acquiring Lintott Control Systems (LCS), which designs and manufactures water and wastewater treatment systems and process software. The total cost of LCS could be as high as £3.76m. The initial payment is £1, plus up to £676,000 dependent on the receipt of payment for certain invoices. The rest is dependent on profit levels over the three years to the end of 2021.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has increased third quarter revenues by 75%, compared with the second quarter. Revenues were £3.63m and the cryptocurrency mining margin is 73%, even though the bitcoin price has dropped. The number o machines in production should double to 12,000 by the end of the year.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) used cash of £2.31m in operations in the year to June 2019. Rainbow generated revenues of £1.54m from trial rare earths mining at Gakara in Burundi, but production costs were double that level. Write downs mean that net assets were £3.37m at the end of June 2019. More exploration activity is required before production levels are increased.

Stranger Holdings (STHP) has agreed terms to acquire two mineral companies. One has assets in Cameroon and the other is in Idaho. Minerals include cobalt and nickel. Previous potential transactions have been terminated.

Standard list shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) is still seeking an acquisition. There is still £912,000 in the bank.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 7 October 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Wines and beer maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased interim sales by one-fifth to £6.74m with growth coming from all parts of the business. Gross margins improved, but the first half loss increased due to investment in developing brands. Cash has been spent on developing additional vineyards, a gin works and a new brewery, although there is still £5.19m in cash on the balance sheet. Bank debt is £6.45m and this is associated with the Ashford brewery, where there have been teething problems with commissioning the new equipment. The associated restaurant and retail store opened in May.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased revenues by 44% to £5.07m in the year to April 2019. There was a disposal gain of £284,000 and that contributed to the rise in pre-tax profit from £361,000 to £759,000. Total dividends doubled to 2.5p a share. Property assets have increased by 52% to £88.3m. NAV is £21.2m.

Net assets of Western Selection (WESP) have fallen by one-third to 64p a share. The investment in loss-making Tudor Rose International has been written off. The value of the stakes in Bilby (BILB) and Brand Architekts (BAR), formerly Swallowfield, has fallen sharply. There is no final dividend.

IFA AFH Financial (AFHP) has confirmed that trading has been strong in the year to October 2019 and there will be a renewed focus on organic growth following a period of acquisition activity. There could be some small purchases, but there will be no requirement for cash from share issues.

KR1 (KR1) generated a gross profit of £5m in the six months to June 2019, although £4.29m of that is unrealised gains. The reported pre-tax profit is £4.62m. The NAV is £10.7m.

Dozens Savings (DSO1/DSO2) has had its 5% secured bonds October 2020 admitted to the NEX Exchange Growth Market. The bonds are offered to customers of parent company Project Imagine.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that investee company YBOO has been placed in administration and Quantuma appointed to handle the process. Angelfish invested £650,000 for a 35% stake and lent just over £1m for working capital, where a repayment demand led to the administration. Writing down this investment was predominantly behind the £1.72m loss reported for the year to June 2019. It has also meant that there are net liabilities of £2.27m. A capital raising was hit by the closure of SVS Securities.

Shareholders in SG Recruitment (SGRL) did not approve the AGM reappointment of Steven Howson as a director. David Sumner, who owns the majority of the shares in the company, has been appointed chief executive.

Healthcare company MiLOC Group (MLP) increased its interim revenues from HK$5.27m to HK$6.1m. The loss was still substantial, although it did decline from HK$25m to HK$19.4m. The launch of a traditional Chinese medicine-based body care product should happen in the coming months. MiLOC raised HK$652,000 at 30p a share.

Cannabis company Freyherr International Group (FRYR) generated revenues of £1.17min the first half of 2019 and it should reach more than £2m for the full year. There was a small profit in the first half, which was before Freyherr joined NEX.

MESH Holdings (MESH) has left NEX. Veni, Vidi, Vici (VVV), Global Capital (GCAP) and Secured Property Developments (SPD) have all had trading in shares suspended because of a failure to publish accounts. Trading in Queros Capital Partners 8% bonds 2025 (QCP) has been suspended because of a breach of rules. This involves the failure to appoint new independent non-execs.

DXS International (DXSP) has appointed Hybridan as broker.

AIM  

Directa Plus (DCTA) is paying €2.1m to acquire a 51% stake in Romanian waste management and remediation services company Setcar. A placing and one-for-38 open offer at 75p a share will raise up to £8.24m before expenses for the graphene business. GVC Investment Company, which has a business in offshore oil and gas services, will acquire 47% of Setcar with an existing shareholder retaining 1.97%. Directa Plus and Setcar have worked together on the development of Grafysorber mobile decontamination units. This is one of the two main focuses for Directa Plus. The other is textiles.

Linde is taking a 20% in energy storage and clean fuel products developer ITM Power (ITM) in return for £38m. The two firms are entering into a joint venture that will supply hydrogen to large scale industrial projects with an installed electrolyser capacity of 10MW and above. A further £14m is being raised at 40p a share, which is the same price that Linde is paying. An open offer could raise up to £6.8m.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) is raising up to £20m at 44p a share, including an offer via PrimaryBid.com. The cash will enable Duke to sign up another royalty partner and undertake five follow-on investments. The total cost will be approximately £25m. There will also be spare cash and facilities to sign up other royalty partners.

Trading in antimicrobial technology developer Byotrol (BYOT) shares has been suspended because it has not published its accounts for the year to March 2019. It blames the effects of revenue recognition policy IFRS 15 and the Medimark acquisition for the delay. The preliminary figures have been published and they were better than expected due to changes in revenue recognition related to IFRS15. Some revenues originally recognised in the year before has been moved to last year. Revenues increased from £1.8m to £5.7m, with £1.8m coming from Medimark, and Byotrol moved from loss to a pre-tax profit of £600,000. There was £2.8m in the bank at the end of March 2019. Even if there are no further licence deals this year, Byotrol should trade at around breakeven.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) says that the trial investigating the potential of SFX-01 to reverse acquired resistance to endocrine therapies. The data suggest that there are no safety concerns in patients suffering from ER+ metastatic breast cancer. In combination with endocrine therapy, SFX-01 helped to stabilise the disease and showed some anti-tumour activity.

STM Group (STM) says that the Pension Regulator has confirmed that Carey Workplace Pension Trust is an approved Master Trust for auto-enrolment. This means that STM is well-placed to become a consolidator in the market.

MAIN MARKET

Avation (AVAP) has repossessed two Airbus A321 aircraft from Thomas Cook and they are undergoing maintenance. They will subsequently be leased to other clients.

Flavourings supplier Treatt (TET) says it will achieve expectations in the year to September 2019 even though there has been a sharp fall in citrus raw material prices. Orange oil prices have halved, and this accounts for one-third of revenues. Non-citrus revenues are growing. Net cash is £15.8m. The full year results will be published on 26 November.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 30 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Peel Hunt has edged up its pre-tax profit forecast for brewer and pubs operator Shepherd Neame (SHEP) following the publication of its figures for the year to June 2019. They showed revenues of £145.8m and pre-tax profit of £11.4m, which was slightly better than expected. Brewing profit more than halved to £900,000 after the Asahi contract ended, but this was more than made up for by the contribution from managed and tenanted pubs. Own-brewed volumes have risen by 5.8% in the first few weeks of the year and managed ad tenanted pubs are showing like-for-like income increases. Debt costs will be lower than previously expected so the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast has moved from £11.5m to £11.7m, which will allow a slightly higher anticipated dividend of 31p a share – twice covered by earnings. There is potential to acquire more pubs.

In the 17 months to May 2019, pubs operator and automotive dealer Barkby Group (BARK) made a pre-tax profit of £75,000 on revenues of £6.29m. Stripping out the amount acquisitions were made under net asset value and acquisition cost, the profit is £135,000. The addition of pub sites, taking the total to six gastropubs and inns, and the purchase of Centurian Automotive, will significantly increase revenues in the latest 12-month period. The plan is to have up to 12 pub sites within five years.

Karoo Energy (KEP) is changing its name to IamFire and raising £143,000 at 2.4p a share. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi has been appointed as an executive director and Jeremy Ross joins as a non-executive. They are both directors of cannabis company Eurocann International (BUD). The existing business is being sold to Noel Lyons and other opportunities in the oil and gas and base and precious metals sectors will be assessed.

National Milk Records (NMRP) has been hit by a cyber attack and this will reduce profit this year. It has interrupted IT operations and EBITDA is set to be 10% lower than expected in the year to June 2020.

WH Ireland has published a broker note on Cadence Minerals (KDNC) and this suggests that the 27% stake in the Amapa iron ore mine in Brazil is a potential company maker, even before any benefits from the lithium project investments. The mine produced between 2007 and 2014 before being closed because of an incident at the port on the Amazon and a falling iron ore price. The total resource is estimated at 245Mt grading 41% Fe, but this figure dates back to 2012. The mine life could be 15 years. Capex of $168m will be required to restart mining and processing. The 27% stake will effectively cost Cadence less than £6m. The other shareholder is Singapore-based commodity trader IndoSino. If other investors are sought, then Cadence has the right to increase its stake to 49%.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) plans to consolidate every 20 existing shares into one new share. A general meeting will be held on 16 October. Primorus expects its A$500,000 loan note with Zuuse to be repaid, plus interest, in the next couple of weeks.

St Mark Homes (SMAP) reported an improvement in interim pre-tax profit from £18,000 to £84,000. The housebuilder achieved this improvement because of a much larger share of the operating profit in a joint venture and increased interest receivable. Admin expenses rose even though revenues were lower. NAV is 126p a share.

Recently floated cash shell World High Life (LIFE) plans to acquire Love Hemp in return for £4m in cash and the issue of 30 million shares. A further £2m could become payable in the next three years depending on the achievement of turnover targets. If more than target turnover is achieved in any year then the vendors will receive 5% of the excess. Love Hemp is a supplier of CBD and hemp products and it made a pre-tax profit of £532,000 on turnover of £2.5m in the year to June 2018. World High Life plans to raise up to £5m in order to finance the acquisition.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says joint venture DJT has applied for a licence to grow >0.2% THC cannabis and has been registered with the Drugs Licensing and Compliance Unit of the Home Office. DJT has acquired Aristaeus Elements, which is setting up as a cannabis extraction and processing facility, for £1 and assumption of debt of £51,000 – the deposit paid for the equipment for the plant. The plan is to finance the investment in the facility through debt secured against offtake contracts.

Blockchain-related investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) reported a dip in revenues from £1.33m to £109,000, but a reversal of an impairment charge and gains on financial assets meant that it still made a pre-tax profit of £242,000, down from £554,000 the previous year. The non-cash gains meant that cash fell from £592,000 to £475,000 over the six months to June 2019. NAV increased from £2.36m to £2.59m.

First Sentinel (FSEN) reported a fall in interim revenues from £963,000 to £710,000, while the loss increased from £46,000 and £114,000.

Panther Metals (PALM) says that early identification of an area of the Big Bear project in Ontario shows high gold grades. The 100% owned area has been extended via the acquisition of four additional mining claims.  

NQ Minerals (NQMI) generated revenues of £14.2m in the first half of 2019. The Hellyer polymetallic mine was not in production in the corresponding period last year. There was still a £17.9m loss because of high admin expenses. There was £65.6m of debt at the end of June 2019 and management believes that it can get more favourable terms now the mine is up and running.

AIM

Domain name registry Minds + Machines (MMX) is improving the quality of its earnings and it is nearer to sorting out legacy problems. Renewal revenues almost cover costs. Interim net revenues increased from $5.3m to $7.4m, while pre-tax profit trebled to $1.8m, helped by a full six month contribution from ICM. A full year pre-tax profit of $4.1m is forecast. Operating expenses should rise much slower than revenues and cash generation should be strong. A $5.1m cash payment will be made in the second half in order to cover those legacy costs. Even after that, the company should have net cash of more than $5m at the end of 2019. Longer-term, Minds + Machines could become a dividend payer.

Pelatro (PTRO) is dependent on fourth quarter licence sales to achieve forecasts following the 14% increase in interim revenues to $2.7m. That means that second half revenues of the telecoms marketing services and technology provider need to be $7.8m to achieve the 2019 target. There are some large potential sales in the pipeline, but delays of a few weeks could mean that they drop into 2020. Repeat revenues more than doubled in the first half because more of the business won has been in the form of revenue gain share contracts that take time to build up and produce revenues over a longer period than a one-off licence, which is recognised as revenue straight away.

Maestrano (MNO) has conditionally agreed to acquire Airsight Holdings, which offers engineering surveying services using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. Airsight had revenues of A$1.04m in the year to June 2019 and it is loss making because of development spending. Maestrano will issue 73.4 million shares to pay for the acquisition. There could be further payments depending on revenues. The Maestrano chairman is a shareholder in Airsight.

Escape Hunt (ESC) increased revenues from £800,000 to £2.2m in the first half of 2019 but it remains loss-making. Franchise revenues were flat, and all the growth came from the operated sites. Escape Hunt has signed an agreement with Proprietors Capital Holdings for the roll-out of franchise sites in North America.

Mattress supplier eve Sleep (EVE) reduced its loss but cash is still flowing out of the business. Net cash was £12.5m at the end of June 2019 and it is expected to be £8m by the end of the year.

MAIN MARKET

S and U (SUS) is adding new motor finance business even though loan standards have been tightened. Motor finance business Advantage Finance is on course to achieve its 20th year of profit growth. Bridging loans provider Aspen made a profit of £502,000 in the first half. Interim pre-tax profit rose by 3% to £17.1m and the dividend was increased by 6% to 34p a share.

Suit hire and retail business Moss Bros (MOSB) broke even, before the IFRS16 accounting changes for leases, in the six months to July 2019, which was slightly better than expected. A full year loss is still expected because despite like-for-like retail sales growth, hire revenues are declining and the IFRS16 changes will knock £2.5m off pre-tax profit. There was cash of £18.2m at the end of July 2019.

finnCap has reduced its 2019-20 forecasts for InnovaDerma (IDP) following its figures for the year June 2019. The beauty and health products supplier increased revenues by one-fifth to £12.9m and pre-tax profit more than doubled to £1.4m. This year’s pre-tax profit is expected to be £2m, down from £2.3m previously, because higher costs relating to marketing more than offset improved sales expectations. To put this in perspective, the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast back in August 2018 was £2.6m. InnovaDerma needs to start meeting forecasts rather than having them downgraded on a regular basis.

Tex Holdings (TXH) has appointed Price Bailey LLP. Trading appears to be picking up in the plastics and engineering businesses. There is a record order book of £12m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 23 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) continues to progress its development plans and some of the benefits are shown by the near-doubling of conference and events revenues in the first half. The remodelling of the main parade ring has been completed and a contractor appointed for work on the Royal Box, which will cost £2.5m. In the six months to June 2019, revenues were 3% higher at £7.57m, even though one race day was lost, and there was a slightly lower pre-exceptional loss of £317,000. There is a danger that legislation relating to fixed odds betting terminals could have a knock-on effect on Newbury’s revenues from bookies in the second half.

Shepherd Neame (SHEP) will be releasing its annual results on Wednesday. Peel Hunt expects pre-tax profit to be 5% lower at £11.2m, because there was no contribution from the Asahi brewing contract that ended in 2018. Excluding that contract, profit could have risen. Pubs have grown their like-for-like income and brewing volumes have recovered, but second half profit could be minimal. NAV of 1664p a share is forecast.

Healthcare IT provider DXS International (DXSP) has been hit by a short-term lack of sales activity in the NHS. In the year to April 2019, DXS reported an increased loss of £200,000, up from £46,000. Revenues dipped from £3.41m to £3.35m. More than £1m was spent on developing products during the year.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that dry herb medical inhalation system Hapac has been refined and sales of the device and Hapac sachets are growing. However, legal uncertainty in Italy means that Hapac has been removed from sale while a court case over labelling and cannabis content is heard in Parma. There are plans to launch Hapac in other markets. Ananda has a 15% stake in Hapac’s owner. Edward Nealon has increased his stake in Ananda from 5.31% to 6.91%.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) says that Apollon Formularies, a Jamaican cannabis company where it owns 2.325% and it intends to acquire the rest of the shares, has completed a six week pilot opening of a medicinal cannabis therapy centre to treat patients.

Karoo Energy (KEP) is in discussions with investors so that the company can be recapitalised and settle outstanding creditors. NEX has agreed to defer the withdrawal of Karoo shares from trading ahead of the publication of a circular.

AFH Financial (AFHP) has bought another IFA. It is paying up to £3.2m for Wirral-based Broadleaf Financial Services.

LF Woodford Equity Income Fund and Woodford Patient Capital Trust own 50.6% of Rutherford Health (RUTH) following the latest cash injection of £12.5m at 176p a share.

AIM 

StatPro (SOG) is recommending a 230p a share cash bid from Confluence Technologies. That is a 55% premium to the market price and the share price has never been anywhere near that level. It is equivalent to more than 32 times last year’s earnings. Nearly two-thirds of the shares have agreed to accept the offer, which values the asset management software supplier at £161m.

Fulcrum Utility Services (LSE: FCRM) has managed to avoid publicity of its full year figures. On the plus side, they were released before the end of September so there is no danger of trading in the shares being suspended. They were in line with previous indications after multi-utility construction services provider Fulcrum and its auditors finally agreed on the way to interpret IFRS16, which relates to recognising revenues. Fulcrum is no longer allowed to take the revenues and profit from constructing its own utility assets through the income statement. Revenues were one-fifth higher at £48.9m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from £7.9m to £8.6m. NAV is 20.5p a share.

Background and medical screening checks provider ClearStar (CLSU) grew its interim revenues by 17% to $11.6m and it is getting nearer to profitability. The underlying pre-tax loss was $500,000. This has prompted a small upgrade in the revenues forecast to $23.5m, but additional marketing costs mean that pre-tax loss is still likely to be $600,000. Net debt could be $700,000 at the end of 2019. Demand from the US labour market remains strong and ClearStar is building its presence in newer sectors.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) is in talks to buy Alchemist Codes, a Malaysian IT consultancy and e-commerce app developer, for £2.3m in shares. Trading in the shares has been suspended. Due diligence is ongoing, and the shares will remain suspended until a readmission document relating to the reverse takeover is published. 

Advanced materials supplier Low and Bonar (LWB) is recommending a 15.5p a share cash bid from Germany-based FVB that values the company at £107m. The bidder says that its geographic reach will widen, and it will be able to enter the coated technical textiles market. Recent trading at Low and Bonar has been poor.

National Word (NWOR) is a standard list shell that has been launched by former Mirror boss David Montgomery so that he can acquire UK local newspapers.

Toiletries manufacturer Creightons (CRL) has agreed to acquire its premises in Peterborough for £3.8m. This needs to be agreed to be shareholders at a general meeting.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has installed a further 1,000 cryptomining machines, taking the total to 6,000. That figure could double by next spring. In the six months to June 2019, Argo generated revenues of £2.93m and made a pre-tax profit of £947,000.

 

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 16 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) continues to refocus on the small business market and services, such as electric vehicle charging. The renewable energy supplier increased revenues from continuing operations by 3% to £63.5m. Higher cost of sales were offset by lower overheads. Pre-tax profit edged up from £2.4m to £2.5m. Disposals helped to reduce net debt to £35.5m. The dividend was increased by 10% to 1.1p a share. There was a surge in feed in tariff (FiT) customers prior to the closure of the scheme earlier this year, but domestic supply customers declined.

IFA consolidator AFH Financial (AFHP) has made two more acquisitions. Twickenham-based Mulberry Independent Financial Advisers will cost up to £5.3m, while AE Garment Independent Financial Services will cost up to £1.9m. There is an initial total cash outflow of £3.3m. Following the deals, AFH has assets under management of £5.6bn.  

World High Life (LIFE) joined NEX on 12 September. The investment company intends to acquire businesses involved in medicinal cannabis and related products, including nutraceuticals and cosmetics. There is enough cash in the company to assess acquisitions and undertake due diligence. Chairman and chief executive David Stadnyk has been involved in the cannabis sector in Canada since 2012 and he helped to develop the regulations for the sector.

Bracken Trading 1.5% preference shares (BRAC) have started trading on NEX. Bracken is involved in lending in the residential property sector and also operates two solar farms. The quotation is expected to provide finance through the placing of additional preference shares. So far £10,000 worth have been issued. Bracken has repurchased ordinary shares valued at £9m. A pre-tax profit of £1.46m was generated in 2018.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) is raising a further £12.5m at 176p a share from LF Woodford Equity Income Fund and Woodford Patient Capital Trust.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) increased its NAV by one-fifth to 245.5p a share, helped by a strong recovery in the share price of fully listed-Luceco (LUCE) and that business is continuing to improve its trading.

LED lighting and electrical accessories supplier Luceco increased interim revenues by 10% to £82.7m and gross margin improved from 26% to 35%. That enabled Luceco to return to profit in the period. Underlying pre-tax profit was £6.1m. An interim dividend of 0.6p a share was announced and the dividend payout percentage will be raised from 20% to 25%. There have been manufacturing efficiency improvements in China and UK retail demand has rebounded. The main profit improvement was in the wiring accessories division, but both LED lighting and portable power divisions returned to profit. There has been director share buying following the results.

Kyler Hardy has been appointed as chief executive of Imperial X (IMPP) and Emma Priestley and Kyle Hookey have also joined the board. Hardy has a 12.5% stake and Priestley owns 5.4%. Palace Trading Investments has sold 4,615,000 shares at 2p each, leaving it with 685,000 shares.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has raised £500,000 at 0.01p a share, which includes £95,000 of shares to pay creditors. Director Michael Staten has converted £82,500 of convertible debt into shares. He subsequently sold 550 million shares at the 0.1p conversion price.

Vi Mining (VIM) says Jilde Zeitlin has stepped down as chairman and he will be replaced as non-executive chairman by David Summer. Allan Rowley will take over as chief executive from Summer and he will remain finance director.

AIM  

Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) says that DBAY adviser has made a bid approach. The chief executive left last month after a review of accounting policies. Trading in the shares was suspended at 71p.

Pensions and financial services provider STM Group (STM) reported a decline in interim profit, but there should be a full year improvement from £4m to £4.4m. The Carey acquisition is being integrated and a new brand name will be announced soon. The balance sheet is strong and STM is seeking further UK-based acquisitions.

Cybersecurity consultancy and software company ECSC (ECSC) reported flat interim revenues of £2.6m because growth in managed services was offset by lower consultancy income. The loss was lower and ECSC could move into profit in the second half even though revenue forecasts have been trimmed. Consultancy revenues are growing again.  

Filta (FLTA) is continuing to integrate the Watbio grease management services acquisition. The benefits are beginning to show through, but not as fast as hoped. The core fryer management services franchise business continues to prosper. There was a dip in interim profit and full year profit could be flat this year. Even so, the interim dividend was raised 39% to 1p a share.  A jump to £3.1m is forecast for 2020 as the full benefits of the Watbio acquisition come through.

Property finance provider Urban Exposure (UEX) had a solid first half but the second half is always stronger. Deals in legal due diligence should mean that more than £700m of loans will be provided this year. The main uncertainty is timing. Loan to value is around 45%. There is 29p a share of cash in the balance sheet and loans worth 53p a share. Even excluding intangibles, NAV is 85p a share.

Credit hire and legal services both grew strongly in the first half for Anexo (ANX) although the start-up costs of the new Bolton office reduced the profit contribution from legal services. It will take time for the new fee earners to get up to speed. Anexo is still on course to improve full year pre-tax profit from £16.1m to £23m.

MAIN MARKET

Haynes Publishing (HYNS) increased revenues by 7% to £36.2m in the year to May 2019. Pre-tax profit improved from £2.9m to £3.5m. Net cash almost doubled to £4.9m and the dividend is maintained at 7.5p a share. Digital and technical data generates the majority of revenues. First quarter revenues are 9% ahead.  

Icon Labs (ICON) has acquired the IP of Gay Star News, which runs a website focused on LBGTI news and events and it is number three in the market. The media business paid £1 to a company owned by Iconic Labs director David Sefton, who bought the asset after the previous owner went into liquidation. There is a further £33,000 payable to the liquidator, though. A management services agreement has been agreed with Medium Channel Marketing along with a £150,000 loan and in return Iconic has been issued a 24% stake in the company. The agreement will generate fees of at least £25,000 a month. MCM is acquiring student-focused publisher Tab Media. European High Growth Opportunities took advantage of the good news to reduce its stake from 5.79% to 4.29%.

Tex Holdings (TXH) wants shareholder approval to move from the premium list to the standard list. This means that it will no longer be eligible for the FTSE Fledgling index. A company associated with director ARR Burrows will provide Tex with up to £7m of loan facilities after the company failed to find an alternative funder to replace its overdraft facility.

OTHER MARKETS 

Fashion On Screen has agreed a $55m loan facility with The Ambient Partnership Group that will help to finance its films and on acquisitions. The facility can be drawn down over The Vienna Stock Exchange-listed film company raised £100,000 when it floated and has also received an investment from Twickenham Studios. Some of the finance will be used to film REVolution, a film based on the kidnapping of racing driver Juan Fangio in Cuba before the 1958 Cuban Grand Prix. Pre-production is set to begin, and the film could be completed in time for a cinema release in 2020.

Andrew Hore 

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 9 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

BWA Group (BWAP) is acquiring Kings of the North Corp, which owns five groups of exploration licences in Canada. BWA will pay £4.66m for the business, which is owned by a Canadian Stock Exchange listed company. Management believes that there is significant upside in the licences. Nearly $C1m needs to be spent for the licences to be renewed.

World High Life plans to join NEX on 12 September. This is an investment company that intends to acquire businesses involved in medicinal cannabis. The company (www.worldhighlife.uk) has already raised £2.4m from subscribers and no additional cash will be raised on flotation.

Adnams (ADB) director Guy Heald has purchased 3,000 B shares at £95.21 each. That takes his shareholding to 15.1%. The shares were sold by Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, whose interest has been reduced to 6.32%.

Better news from Ashley House (LSE: ASH) because a scheme in Romsey has reached financial close. There are still two other delayed schemes that have not completed. Funding sources are being explored.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) is selling its 2.5% royalty interest in the Graphmada graphite mine in Madagascar for up to A$550,000 in cash and convertible notes in royalty business SilverStream.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) reported a decline in net assets from £5.16m to £4.74m in the six months to June 2019. Management believes there are plenty of opportunities in the pre-IPO market.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has agreed the terms for a realisation of its investment in Cotswold Valves, because it no longer wants to focus on employee ownership. The equity interest is being sold for its £220,000 cost and loans totalling £450,000 have been rescheduled. The cash will be received over a three year period.

KR1 (KR1) has made investments in the Nym Protocol project, Alice Si, a blockchain-based social funding platform developer, and Nexus Mutual, which is a follow-on investment.

Resources-focused investment company Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) increased its cash position from £17,000 to £47,000 in the year to March 2019, but net assets fell from £722,000 to £687,000.

AIM  

Good news from car dealers Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) and Vertu Motors (VTU). Cambria says that trading in the eleven months to July 2019 has been well ahead of the same period last year and the full year profit will be higher than market estimates. New car sales are lower but Cambria is making more profit on each sale because of the mix of franchises and greater exposure to the luxury end of the market. More profit was made on each used car sold as well. Vertu says that its trading is in line with expectations, helped by price stability in the used vehicle market since July.

Mirada (MIRA) has won a new contract for the deployment of its Iris multiscreen digital TV product with a new Spanish interactive TV services provider Plataforma Multimedia de Operadores. Mirada’s technology will be used to deliver content to Android set-top boxes, smartphones, laptops and other devices. The commercial launch will be early next year and the plan is to build up a subscriber base of 600,000.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) says that its consolidated NAV increased by 3.5% to $96.3m (£78.4m) in the six months to June 2019. That includes cash of $5.4m. There was interest income of $677,000 in the period. Production at Future Metal Holdings’ dolomite magnesium limestone mine in China should restart before the end of the year.

A secured creditor has appointed voluntary administrators to five subsidiaries of Management Resource Solutions (MRS) but the businesses continue to trade. A creditors meeting is set for 16 September. The businesses will need to be recapitalised.

Filtronic (FTC) has decided to sell its antenna division.

Colin Harrington has switched from executive chairman to chief executive of Rose Petroleum (ROSE) following the departure of its previous chief executive Matthew Idiens. Rick Grant will become chairman. Gordon Stein is a new independent non-executive.

MAIN MARKET 

Avation (AVAP) reported full year results that were ahead of expectations. The commercial aircraft leasing company’s pre-tax profit was 15% ahead of forecasts and there was also a tax credit which further boosted earnings per share. The dividend was raised by 45% to 10.5 cents a share.

Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane (MACF) has acquired the Leyland Packaging Company for up to £3.25m, with up to £1m in the form of an earn-out based on performance of the distributor in the year to August 2020, in cash and shares. In 2018, Leyland made a pre-tax profit of £550,000 on revenues of £4.06m.

Fully listed shell Highway Capital (HWC) has published its accounts for the year to February 2019. They showed net liabilities rising to £781,000. There was cash of £245,000 in the balance sheet following the repayment of loans. Trading in the shares has been suspended for three years.

Standard list shell Boston International Holdings (BIH) is considering potential acquisitions outside of the foreign exchange sector.       

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has ended discussions about a partnership with Hive Blockchain Technologies. Argo believes that its investment in additional crypto mining capacity has provided it with the scale it needs.

Sure Ventures (SURE) is investing a further €2.5m in Sure Valley Ventures Fund.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 2 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) generated revenues of £777,000 in the 15 months to March 2019. The nursing staff provider lost £2.63m. Since the year end, more contracts have been signed with NHS hospitals, as well as with a hospital in the UAE. The staff offered to hospitals have all obtained qualifications in English and 76% end up being employed. Most of the previous debt has been converted into shares, so net debt was £91,000 at the end of March 2019.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) reported an increase in net liabilities from £234,000 to £537,000 at the end of March 2019. There were £750,000 worth of bonds issued during the period.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) hopes that the acquisition of Vox Markets and Align Research should be closed in early October. Previous operations have been provided for in full and have been sold. There was £14,000 in the bank at the end of March 2019.

A new investor to Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has subscribed £100,000 for shares at 70p each, which is a one-third premium to the market price at the time. Westerby Trustee Services Ltd owns 3.8% of the company on behalf of Westerby Private Pension (R Prest).

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that the judicial restructuring plan for the Amapa iron ore project has been approved by the Sao Paulo commercial court. This will enable Cadence to acquire a 20% stake in Amapa. A further $3.5m investment will take the stake to 27%. Cadence plans to consolidate 100 existing shares into one new share. Shareholders will be asked to approve the proposal at the AGM on 20 September.

Paul Tuson is stepping down as finance director of Rutherford Health (RUTH) and the reappointment resolution was withdrawn from the AGM agenda.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has opened its third Goodbody CBD Wellness store in Bristol, following store openings in Bath and Cirencester. It is seeking franchisees to roll-out further stores around the country.

Panther Metals (PALM) chief executive Darren Hazelwood has acquired 18.87 million shares at 0.3p each. That takes his stake to 10.3%.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £59,000 at 14p a share via a placing with D Beta One EQ Ltd.

AIM  

President Energy (PPC) insists that it will continue to be profitable even though the Argentinian authorities are attempting to fix the price that producers can sell oil and the dollar exchange rate used for the price for a 90-day period. President has decided to delay its well drilling programme until the first quarter of 2020 and the focus will be gas wells. Gas sales from four wells in Estancia Vieja and Las Bases will commence production by the end of September. A new gas pipeline should be completed by the end of the year. finnCap has withdrawn its forecasts.  

Order books and production volumes are ahead of last year at gift wrap and greetings products supplier IG Design (IGR) thanks to a combination of organic growth and last year’s US acquisition. IG is on course to increase pre-tax profit from £30.3m to £36m.

Online musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) says that it has taken actions that are already helping to improve gross margin.

Cambridge Cognition (COG) says sales are lower than expected. The digital neuroscience services provider says that full year revenues will fall from £6.13m to around £5.5m. The loss will be around £2.8m. First half revenues were £2.1m and the loss was £1.74m. There is a strong order book, so this augurs well for next year.

Adamas Finance Asia Ltd (ADAM) has funded the second tranche of the investment in Infinity Capital Group. The $2m is being funded equally by Adamas and a Hong Kong family office.  

MAIN MARKET 

Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) intends to move to AIM if its acquisition of media-focused artificial intelligence and machine learning company Entertainment AI goes ahead.

At a general meeting, shareholders in Tex Holdings (TXH) approved the 2018 report and accounts and directors’ remuneration report, but they did not approve the reappointment of Scrutton Bland as auditors.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) is reaping the benefits of its investment in crypto mining equipment. The cost of 1,000 machines has already been recouped and Argo is on course to recoup the cost of a further 2,267 machines.

Ross Group (RGP) did not generate any revenues in the six months to June 2019 and the loss was £3.15m. Ross acquired start-up operations during the period. They will supply Chitin.

Asian consumer businesses investor Symphony International Holdings (SIHL) increased its NAV by 14% to $560.4m in the six months to June 2019.

George Bennett has become chief executive of Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) and Martin Eales has left the board. In the year to June 2019, Rainbow sold 850 tonnes of concentrate from the Gakara project, although bad weather hampered production in the fourth quarter. Sales prices have declined.

China-focused healthcare investment company Cathay International (CTI) reported a decrease in revenues from $49.2m to $38.3m. There was a $7.9m gain on the sale of shares in Zhejiang Starry Pharmaceutical, but that was not enough to cover the operating loss and interest costs.

OTHER MARKETS

Britdaq-quoted Staminier Ltd has secured a three-year option over 13 acres of land near to the south terminal of Gatwick Airport and it wants to build a car park with 2,200 spaces. In July, Staminier acquired a majority stake in eco-friendly housebuilder Eco-Space 41 Ltd. There is a four-year option to acquire the other 49% for £750,000. The strategy is to acquire businesses at a discount to their intrinsic value. There are plans to move to a more liquid stockmarket.

Asset Match will provide a trading facility for shares of former AIM company Albert Technologies Ltd. The first auction will be during September.

US Oil and Gas (USOP) has raised $382,000 at 31p a share. This follows a fundraising in July of $577,000 at 30p a share. The cash will be spent on exploration.

Andrew Hore 

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 26 August 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) grew revenues by one-third to £136,000 but the ethical housing provider moved from profit to loss. In the year to March 2019, revenues improved from £103,000 to £136,000. The main reason behind the reported loss was a reduction in the gain on revaluation of assets from £198,000 to £145,000. The NAV still increased from £3.25m to £3.31m. These figures were prior to the acquisition of a property in Didcot. There is a pipeline of other potential transactions.

Barkby Group (BARK) has appointed finnCap as its corporate adviser.

Peterhouse has resigned as corporate adviser to Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) and that follows the resignation of its auditor Crowe and the continued delays to the publication of the accounts for 2018. Peterhouse took over as corporate adviser from Daniel Stewart in March. Gamfook floated in December 2018.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has opened its latest centre in Reading. The company was previously known as Proton Partners International Ltd.

Henry Lees-Buckley is taking on the chief executive role at Sativa Group (SATI) and Geremy Thomas has moved to deputy chairman.

AIM  

Injection moulded plastic products Coral Products (CRU) returned to profit in the year to April 2019, although the underlying pre-tax profit only edged up from £568,000 to £580,000 because of a decline in exceptional costs. The second half was not as good as the first half, but cost cutting enabled a recovery at the end of the year. Net debt was £8.2m at the end of April 2019. There is no final dividend following the interim of 0.25p a share. Continuing problems at a major customer could continue to hamper progress. Equipment enabling recycling of plastic products is up and running. New products will be launched later this year, including roof tiles and road highway sound barriers.

International staffing provider Empresaria (EMR) had a tough first half, but despite this the company still expects to maintain its full year profit at £11.4m. Interim net fee income was 7% ahead but underlying pre-tax profit was one-fifth lower at £3.7m. That suggests a much stronger second half even though the German and Japanese businesses remain subdued, although they could start to recover. The diversification of the business in terms of sectors and geographies helps to offset the weakness in parts of the group. New chief executive Rhona Driggs is putting in place a new strategy, which should help next year’s figures.

Adamas Finance Asia Ltd (ADAM) has maintained its NAV at $1.10 a share (88p a share). Investee company Hong Kong Mining Holdings is still on course to restart mining operations and it is acquiring additional land for mining activities. Fook Lam Moon is assessing opportunities to expand its catering operations. The internal fit out for Infinity Capital’s Tellus Niseko project should be completed before the end of September.

MySale Group (MYSL) has raised £11.2m at 2p a share, which is a 58% discount to the market price. There will be £5.5m used to pay down bank facilities. The number of shares in issue is trebled. This follows a strategic review by the retailer, which is refocusing on Australasian operations and the selling down of stock. The cost base will be reduced.

Transport optimisation software and equipment supplier Tracsis (TRCS) grew its cash pile to £24m at the end of July 2019, even after paying around £9m on acquisitions. Pre-tax profit is in line with expectations at £9.4m, up from £8.5m.

Breedon Group (BREE) intends to change its tax domicile from Jersey to the UK. The company will still be incorporated in Jersey. The general meeting to gain approval to change the article of association will be held on 9 September.

Packaging supplier Robinson (RBN) improved gross margins by 12 percentage points to 19.7% in the first half, but that was partly offset by higher overheads. Pre-tax profit improved from £478,000 to £684,000. Net debt was £9.1m. The interim dividend is unchanged at 2.5p a share.

IT services provider Adept4 (AD4) is in talks to acquire CloudCoCo, which was set up by former sales directors of Redcentric. The deal would involve the issue of new shares that would nearly double the number in issue. The Business Growth Fund has agreed to sell £5m of unsecured loan notes to MXC Capital for £3.5m.

Data software and services provider D4T4 (D4T4) says that the figures will be second half weighted this year but not as much as last year.

Science Group (SAG) has increased its stake in Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) by subscribing £1m at 25p a share. This takes the stake to 52.3% (costing £6.9m) and this means that Frontier’s results will be consolidated. A standby facility is also being provided. Frontier’s cost base is being reduced.

Commodity trading and risk management software provider Brady (BRY) expects 2019 revenues to be around one-fifth lower than previous forecasts. That means that revenues are expected to decline from £23.2m in 2018 to £19m and this will lead to a loss of more than £4m.

Three directors have been removed from the board of Management Resource Solutions (MRS) and they have been replaced by John Copley and Robert Wall following a requisitioned general meeting.

Cancer therapies developer Scancell (SCLP) has initiated the UK SCIB1 phase 2 clinical trial for advanced melanoma, where SCIB1 is used in conjunction with the checkpoint inhibitor Pembrolizumab.  

The financial director of Maestrano (MNO) has resigned to take up a role in Australia. The software company continues to undertake due diligence on a potential acquisition. An Australian bank client has decided not to go ahead with a new banking platform. There should be enough cash to last into next year.

Cyber security company Osirium Technologies (OSI) has signed up the first customer for its Opus privileged process automation software, plus two customers for the PxM platform. The Opus client is an asset manager that is already a user of PxM.

Cellcast (CLTV) has called a general meeting on 6 September in order to approve the sale of its operations. The company will change its name to Vintana.

MAIN MARKET 

BATM (BVC) reported an improved interim profit, but that was due to a one-off unrealised gain after an investment in the Ador diagnostics joint venture. Revenues dipped from $58.2m to $56.2m. The second half performance will be more important. Revenues are expected to grow from $119.6m to $128.5m, with pre-tax profit jumping form $2m to $6.7m. There is further longer-term growth to come from both the biomedical and networking divisions. The recent fundraising means that there is plenty of cash to finance growth.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) is further increasing its capacity and this could make it the largest quoted cryptocurrency miner by next year.

Injection moulding and engineering company Tex Holdings (TXH) says net assets per share have fallen from 168p to 140p after it swung into loss last year. There is no final dividend. The plastics division is trading profitably and orders have improved at the engineering division.

Path Investments (PATH) plans to acquire FineGems Extraction Corporation, which has a 75% stake in a company that holds the Jagoda licence in Zambia. The assets are near to production. They are manganese ore and tourmaline deposits. The acquisition would leave existing shareholders with 50% of the enlarged share capital.

Gold explorer IMC Exploration (IMC) has raised £150,000 at 1p a share and has paid £27,000 of professional fees in shares. The cash will be spent on exploration and geological work on a tailings project in Avoca, County Wicklow.

Dev Clever (DEV) has appointed Novum Securities as joint broker and raised £436,000 at 3.4p a share. The consumer engagement systems company has secured a three-year agreement with Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, which will offer Dev Clever’s Engage gamification platform and its learning and development platform to retail customers.

 Andrew Hore 

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 19 August 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Adnams (ADB) reported a decline in first half revenues from £35.5m to £34.7m, while the loss increased from £840,000 to £1.15m. Beer volumes were 2% ahead, compared with a 1% decline in the market. Low alcohol beer sales grew. Gin sales fell because of greater competition. A fire at the Ship at Levington hampered the performance of the pubs business. Adnams made an underlying profit in 2018, thanks to a better second half performance. The new IT system went live in March and the implementation has been a distraction to management. The dividends are unchanged at 78p a share for each B share and 19.5p per A share.  

Bruce Pubs (PUB) has decided to cancel trading in its 7.2% secured bonds, 31 March 2022. There are £20,000 worth of bonds admitted to the market and there have been no trades. Bruce Pubs had wanted to raise up to £20m from the bond issue. It is therefore not a surprise that Bruce Pubs believes it is not worth having a trading facility. The bonds can be redeemed early by the company.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has produced 10,164 tonnes of lead concentrate, 7,431 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 46,863 tonnes of pyrite concentrate in the first half of 2019. An operating profit of A$3.6m was made on sales of A$23m.

TechFinancials (TECH) had $1.23m in the bank at the end of June 2019. A reduction in trade receivables meant that there was a small cash inflow from operating activities, but there was $402,000 capitalised developed on the blockchain ticketing system.

China-focused healthcare company MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £755,000 at 30p a share.

Queros Capital Partners (QCP) has gained a quotation for its bonds on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange

AIM  

ICAMAP has acquired 7.94 million shares in easyHotel (EZH) at its offer price of 95p a share, taking its stake to 44.1%. This means that it is a mandatory cash offer.

Iofina (IOF) has launched IofinaEX Global to deal in hemp derived products in Central America and the Caribbean. Iofina will potentially link up with a government in the region that wants to develop its country as a hub for hemp derived products. There are no details of this potential partnership. The company believes that its regulatory expertise in the iodine market will be helpful in the CBD market. The US is likely to be a major market.

LightwaveRF (LWRF) has raised £1.3m at 7p a share. The smart homes equipment supplier wants the cash to finance further growth. There are also plans to secure a facility for stock.

Altitude (ALT) is considering the disposal of its Manchester-based promotion products supplier AdProducts.com. This would enable Altitude to concentrate on its AIM platform for promotional products suppliers.

Greatland Gold (GGP) has raised £4.2m at 1.85p a share and that will be used to finance exploration in the Paterson region of Australia. There has been positive exploration news from the Scallywag prospect in the Paterson region. A ground gravity survey starts this month and an induced polarisation survey next month. Then 3D modelling using the data will come up with drill targets.

Cyber security software and services provider Corero Network Security (CNS) says interim revenues are lower, but operating costs are unchanged. That means that the interim loss has increased. However, full year revenues are expected to be one-fifth higher, but higher investment in sales means that the loss will still be higher. Net cash was $3.6m at the end of June 2019.

Equals Group (EQLS) is raising up to £16m via a placing and open offer. The international payments company has raised £14m at 110p a share and up to £2m will come from the one-for-90 open offer. The cash will be used for acquisitions and working capital.

Tanfield (TAN) says that 49%-owned Snorkel International has moved back into profit in the second quarter of 2019, although the first half was still loss-making. Last year, the value of this investment in the access equipment supplier was cut from £36.3m to £19.1m.

Oil and gas producer President Energy (PPC) says that there should not be a material effect on its operations from a change in Argentinian president. Revenues are US dollar based and cash is held in the same currency, so the decline of the Argentinian peso should not be too much of a problem.

Anthony Laiker has subscribed £25,000 in Vela Technologies (VELA) at 0.1p a share. A general meeting has to approve the share issue to the executive director, as well as an issue of 6.25 million warrants exercisable at 0.15p. Approval of the conversion of £200,000 of loan notes plus interest into nearly 241 million shares will also require the company to be given the ability to issue more shares. Laiker would than own more than 301 million shares.

Gfinity (GFIN) is pulling out of its Australian joint venture because the esports company wants to focus its cash on the US and other important markets.  

Workspace software provider Essensys (ESYS) says that its revenues were one-quarter higher at £20.5m in the year to July 2019. That was better than expected. Annual recurring revenues run rate is £17.3m.

MAIN MARKET  

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) made an increased loss of £1.81m, up from £582,000 the previous year. The company’s main pension fund remains a worry and there are ongoing discussions with the Pensions Regulator. There are net liabilities of £3.71m after the pension deficit of £4.98m.

Nanoco (NANO) generated revenues of £7.3m in the year to July 2019, more than double the previous year. The cadmium-free quantum dots developer had £7m in cash at the end of July and expects to have £6m at the end of 2019.

Highway Capital (HWC) has issued €30,000 of new convertible loan notes. These are convertible to a value in excess of 50% of the net asset value of the company at the time of conversion. The terms of an existing convertible loan note of £100,000 have been changed and the conversion price is 5p a share.

Shareholders in Avocet Mining (AVM) have voted against the resolution to wind up the company. This means that it is likely to go into administration unless there is a viable transaction that the board can assess.

Global Resources Investment Trust (GRIT) wanted shareholders to approve the voluntary liquidation of the company, but there is not enough support for the proposal. GRIT has sold 430 million shares in Kalia for £225,000 in order to provide working capital. A new board is being appointed to undertake a strategic review. James Normand will become chairman and Martin Lampshire as an executive director. Stephen Roberts will become a non-executive director.  

IMC Exploration (IMC) has been awarded two additional licences in County Wexford. They adjoin an existing licence where there are indications of gold.

Book publisher Quarto (QRT) reduced its interim loss from $6.6m to $4m on flat revenues of $56.4m. There was a change in the mix of revenues with children’s books increasing revenues by14% and in geographic terms more of the revenues were in the US, which moved into profit. Net debt has fallen by 11% to $65m.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) says that drilling has commenced at well C-37 in the Jafarli oilfield.

Pendragon (PDG) is selling its Chevrolet dealership in California for £17.2m. GM can alternatively nominate another purchaser if it wants. The rest of the US business will be sold.

Andrew Hore 

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 12 August 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Imperial X (IMPP) non-executive director Melissa Sturgess has sold 4.615 million shares at 2p each and she retains an equal number of shares. The total stake was acquired at 1p a share, so she has effectively made her money back. Imperial X is moving into the cannabis sector. Charles Morgan, a relation of Melissa Sturgess, converted £46,150 of loan notes into 4.615 million shares.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has invested a further £150,000 Tasmania Energy Metals through a convertible loan, taking the total investment to £450,000. The exclusivity period relating to the acquisition of an option over the company’s assets has been extended to the end of October 2019. NQ would have nine months to exercise the option in return for shares worth £5.5m. The latest investment will be used to develop a facility that would produce nickel and cobalt salts for electric vehicle batteries.

Founder Stephen Minion has resigned from the board of Ashley House (ASH) so that there are no conflicts of interest between his role as a director and his other interests. He is chairman and major shareholder of Invescare, which has provided a loan to Ashley House.

iGaming software developer Ganapati (GANP) says that its Malta-based subsidiary has signed a resale agreement with BetConstruct, which will provide the company’s slot games to its integrated operators via its platform. Another deal is with PG Entertainment and this will make Ganapati’s games available in Latin America via a smartphone platform.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings Ltd (AWLP) improved pre-tax profit from $150,000 to $268,000 in the year to February 2019, partly due to a reduction in impairment losses. The company is looking at fintech acquisitions.

The conversion of loan notes in Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has led to the issue of just over nine billion shares. There are 24.2bn shares in issue.

Valiant Investments has changed its name to Eurocann International (BUD).

AIM  

Oil and gas company Amerisur Resources (AMER) has effectively put itself up for sale and multiple companies are interested in bidding. They are being provided confidential information. The formal sale process continues.

Execution only broker Share (SHRE) made a first half profit even though stockmarket trading conditions and volumes have been poor and the dividend from Euroclear was moved to the second half. Revenues increased 9% to £11.1m as interest income grew. Account fees have been increased. Share is benefiting from its digital investment. The 20,000 accounts being taken on from JP Morgan will contribute from September. A full year profit of £400,000 is forecast.

Credit hire and legal services provider Anexo (ANX) is trading more strongly than expected, even after previous upgrades. Management has managed to reduce insurance costs. The full year pre-tax profit forecast has been increased by 15% to £23m and next years by 14% to £25m.

Artificial intelligence-based physician platform DocDoc, where Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) is an investor, has raised $13m. Adamas led the convertible loan note financing for the Singapore-based company. DocDoc operates in eight countries. Hong Kong-based CASIL Clearing has reduced its stake in Adamas from 6.9% to 2.9%. Pello Capital has been appointed joint broker.

Presidential Energy (PPC) is not making the progress it hoped to, but profit is improving. The share price of the Argentina-focused oil and gas company has been declining. finnCap describes its estimates for average production and EBITDA as “challenging” due to delays and disruptions. It has been forecasting EBITDA of $27.9m due to an oil price estimate that is above current levels, whereas the company believes it could be around $20m. There are no plans to change the forecast until the interims are released in September.

StatPro (SOG) increased organic annualised recurring revenues by 3.2% to £56.5m in the first half. The asset management performance software provider increased interim revenues £27.2m to £28.3m, while pre-tax profit improved from £2.37m to £2.66m due to flat operating costs. Net debt is £24.2m.

Richard Bernstein has increased his stake in Ultimate Sports Group (USG) from 27% to 29.8%. Bernstein has an agreement with Ultimate where he would receive 1% of the value of the first acquisition he introduces to the company as long as it is completed by 30 September. Matthew Farnum-Schneider has been appointed chief executive of Ultimate. He has been granted a range of options. Some are exercisable at 20p a share, which is just below the current share price, some at 40p a share and others at 60p a share. Geoffrey Simmonds has left the board.

Urban Exposure (UEX) is not going ahead with a proposed issue of 6.5% secure sterling bonds 2026 because of market conditions.  

MAIN MARKET

S and U (SUS) says demand for motor finance has been strong in the first half, even though the quality of business has been increased. The Aspen property bridging finance business has net receivables of £24m and is growing gradually in a weak housing market. Borrowings are just over £125m and there are additional facilities of £35m. The interims will be published on 24 September.

Construction company nmcn (NMCN) increased interim revenues from £161.2m to £184m, while pre-tax profit improved from £2.5m to £3.5m. The former North Midland Construction had net cash of £15.6m at the end of June 2019. The order book is worth £456m with the main increase coming from the built environment division, which accounts for one-fourth of the order value. A full year profit of £7.4m is forecast.

Iconic Labs (ICON) is making its first acquisition since transforming itself from stem cell services provider WideCells into a social media marketing business. Iconic has agreed to acquire social media agency Social Alchemist. Iconic Labs is still in a poor financial state. There are £600,000 of legacy debts that have to be paid, plus £400,000 that is disputed. The European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund will provide up to £1.375m in six tranches in return for loan notes. This is dependent on a prospectus being issued within six months. This prospectus will enable warrants to be attached to the loan notes. There are also more shares to be issued under the previous financing agreement.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated 163 bitcoins in July and these are valued at £1.36m. They were mined at a margin of 80%. More mining machines have been ordered and will be up and running by the fourth quarter. This investment will quadruple capacity. Argo could be highly profitable in the second half with a full year pre-tax profit of £6m.

Andrew Hore

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