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Ian Pollard – Democracy Died Last Night

A referendum is one of the highest and truest forms of decmocracy. That is why they are absolute anathema to the unelected dictators of Brussels who would not recognise an election if they saw one staring them in the face. That is why the EU demagogues, those of them who remain sober and capable of standing up, have forced one European country after another to reverse the result of every referendum they have held. And now we have joined them in disgrace, as the destroyers of democracy. The British who have one of the longest  histories of parliamentary democracies in the world, have seen their MPs refuse to accept the will of the people and overturn the common decision reached two years ago that there was a majority in favour of Brexit.

It matters not whether that majority was right or wrong. It is the principal which matters. The people were not only allowed to decide, they were asked by Parliament to decide. The government then descended into chaos as MPs began to jockey for position. Ministers abandoned their posts almost every week, looking for aggrandisement and opportunites for self advancement. Led by the weakest leader the country has ever seen since King Harold failed to turn the tide at Hastings in 1066, we became a laughing stock throughout Europe as country after country sought to avenge  slights, real or imagined, such as freeing them at great cost from the horrors of fascist domination, with which so many of them happily collaborated.

The jostling for position amongst ministers over the past two years has been a disgrace. They resigned from government one day as a matter of principal, only to rejoin it the next day as they saw better opportunities to get higher up the ladder before they finally brought about the collapse of the government of which they were supposed to be such loyal members.

Ministers have never been so happy as they day on which they realised that Brexit meant the end of Human Rights legislation in the UK. Ministers could not hide their joy as they saw a possible end to the European court, little realising that before we joined Europe, we were the only country in Europe which had no statutory human rights. Did these empty headed numpties want to see Maggie Thatchers mounted police literally riding down unarmed miners fleeing from them across the fields of Orgreave, Did they really want to see Arthur Scargills hordes closing down pits, and power stations and much of British Industry as he plunged Britain into the darkness of the three day week and saw Downing Street as his weekend holiday home..Their faces lit with glee as they saw the emasculation of the European court. The very same Europan court which has just  ordered thousands and thousand of judges to be restored to the positions from which newly elected governments in Poland and Hungary had illegally removed them.

There was far more to Brexit than trade and economics. The deliberate trampling down of the democratic rights of the British people in last nights embarassing farce puts those responsible on the same level as the unelected bureaucracies of Brussels and the toothless gravy trainers of Strasbourg, Brexit is now dead.

Ian Pollard – Persimmon #PSN new house price inflation falls to 1%

Persimmon plc PSN claims to have delivered another strong trading performance in 2018 with total Group revenues of £3.74bn., 4% higher than the previous year. A little cloud in the sky appeared in the shape of the average selling price  increased by only 1%, which from memory is the lowest for many a year and not something which housebuilders welcome because they think it indicates the market is weak and they can not sell their houses. Housebuyers however can see it as a very good thing which eases the burden of above inflation price increases which the builders used to impose with such glee. Forward sales at 31 December were 3% ahead of 2017 which shows the benefit for the builders of more stable prices. Pre-tax profits for 2018 are expected to follow a similar pattern and be modestly ahead of current market consensus.

Savills plc SVS experienced a robust closing quarter and produced growth in both revenue and underlying profits for the full year. The residential business continued to perform well in challenging market conditions. These achievements came against a backdrop of heightened uncertainty through the last quarter as Brexit, US trade policy produced concerns.

Games Workshop GAW continues to be in great shape says the CEO as the interim dividend is increased from 61p to 65p for the six months to the 2nd December after Revenue rose from £109m. to £125m. Basic earnings per share for the half year have grown from 96p per share to  100.8p

Spirent Comm PLC SPT updates for the final quarter  to the 31 December and for the year in full. Revenue for the full year grew by 6% and good momentum continued into the final quarter.On an adjusted basis operating profit is expected to show a 30% increase on the previous year, exceeding market expectations and demonstrating a year of strong profitable growth.

Telit Communications TCM expects revenue for the year to the end of December to show strong profitable growth Aadjusted operating profit is expected to exceed  market expectations with a rise of some 30% on the previous year. Shareholder approval for the proposed sale of the automotive division is expected to be obtained on the 29th January and completed on the 31st January.The Executive Chairman claims that over the last few months, the Group has delivered double-digit revenue growth, and improved profitability over the year. The financial performance is expected to be improved further in 2019.

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Ian Pollard – JD Sports Grows Internationally With Significant US Progress

JD Sports Fashion JD  reports total sales growth of 15% for the cumulative 48-week period to 5 January as it makes further significant progress in its international development. Gross profit margins have been maintained at last year levels. In the second half the first two stores in Thailand were opened plus  the first five JD stores in the United States. Group profit before tax for the year ended 2 February  will be at the upper end of published market expectations.

Page Group plc PAGE The fourth quarter Group gross profit growth of 15.4%  was a record. All four regions delivered growth,with 20 countries growing by over 20% each. Gross profit before tax of 15.9% for the full year was also a record.and expected to be at the upper end of published market expectations. the UK proved a laggard but still managed to deliver a second consecutive quarter of marginal growth, up 2.1% whilst Michael Page declined by 1%, compared to Brazil and Latin America with rises of 25% and 28%.  In Europe, Germany managed growth of 28%.

Dechra Pharmaceuticles DPH traded strongly during the six months to the end of December, with reported net revenue up by 18% and both Europe and North America showing identical increases. The CEO confirms that the company is contining to deliver above market revenue growth in both its  existing business and in its acquisitions, in line with the Board’s expectations.

Surgical Innovations SUN enjoyed significantly stronger trading in the second half of the year to 31st December and Group revenue for the full year should represents growth of approximately 25% or £11.0m.

Avingtrans AVG has continued to perform well in the first half of the financial year and is trading in line with market expectations. The prospect pipeline for the HT businesses is robust. Recent acquisitions are also integrating well. and Brexit is Brexit is not expected to have a material impact on the company’s operations operations

 

Find beachfront villas & houses for sale in Greece;   http://www.hiddengreece.net

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 14 January 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Bruce Pubs (PUB) has raised £100,000 from an issue of 7.2% bonds and trading has commenced on NEX. The pubs operator wants to raise up to £20m. The cash will be used to acquire pubs in Scotland. Bruce owns 18 licenced premises with another licence pending. Bruce Pubs is a subsidiary of the holding company Bruce Group, which had net assets of £3.8m at the end of June 2018.

Sativa Investments (SATI) is investigating ways of raising cash to finance the company’s glasshouse and working capital for the first cannabis crop. There are also talks with vets about using medicinal cannabis in animal health. Sativa is pleased with the platform that NEX has given the business. Imperial X (IMPP) is the latest NEX company to change its investing strategy to cannabis investments.

Trading in the shares of Clean Invest Africa (CIA) following news that it has negotiated an agreement to acquire the 97.5% of CoalTech LLC it does not own. The company has technology that can convert waste coal into coal pellets for industrial and commercial use. A circular will be sent to shareholders in the first quarter of 2019.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has increased its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) to 35 million shares, which is equivalent to 1.09%. The average cost is 1.71p a share. The investment has been made ahead of further drilling results at the Havieron gold/copper project in Australia.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) reported a NAV of 189.95p a share for the end of 2018.

AIM

President Energy (PPC) beat its production target for the end of 2018. The Argentina-focused oil and gas company was producing 3,300 boepd by the year end, which is 10% above the target. The latest drilling programme of three wells has been a 100% success. President intends to build on this base during 2019. The next reserves audit should be published in March. There should be a significant jump in profit in 2019. Panmure Gordon forecasts a 2019 pre-tax profit of $18.6m. The cash generated will help to finance forecast capital investment of around $40m during the year. The target price is 15p a share.

Gateley (GTLY) continues to trade strongly with organic growth supplemented by contributions from acquisitions. The legal services provider increased interim revenues by one-fifth to £46.4m, while pre-tax profit rose from £4.2m to £5m. Net debt increased from £7.1m to £8.2m after acquisitions spending and dividend payments. The second half tends to be more cash generative. More business is coming from litigation work but management is confident that its revenue recognition policies mean that the strong cash generation will not be hit.

Castleton Technology (CTP) is paying £1.8m for Deeplake Digital, which provides digital communications services between landlords and tenants. Thirty of its 90 customers are new to Castleton.

ATTRAQT (ATQT) is expecting to make a small EBITDA figure for 2018. The online shopping performance enhancement services provider will report its 2018 results on 14 February.

More woe for Footasylum (FOOT) as gross margins come under pressure. Revenues were in line with expectations over Christmas but less money was made from them as old stock was discounted. The 2018-19 loss forecast has been edged up to more than £5m.

Higher input costs mean that Accrol Group (ACRL) will not do as well as expected and it will make a significant 2018-19 loss after exceptional charges.

Packaging machinery supplier Mpac Group (MPAC) says 2018 trading was in line with expectations and the year has started with a strong order book. The company is assessing the potential additional cost of pension equalisation for its defined benefit scheme.

Bowleven (BLVN) is paying a 15p a share special dividend on 8 February. This will leave the oil and gas explorer with the cash it requires for its exploration programme.

Wealth manager Mattioli Woods (MTW) says that its interim EBITDA margin was substantially ahead of the 20% target. Gross discretionary assets under management were £2.4bn at the end of November 2018.

Churchill China (CHH) had a strong finish to the financial year with a better second half performance in the UK. The 2018 profit will be higher than expected. The figures will be published on 27 March.

Shoe Zone (SHOE) stands out amongst its peers because it has had strong 2017-18 figures and a good Christmas. Last year’s pre-tax profit improved from £9.5m to £11.3m. Forecasts have been upgraded with 2018-19 earnings per share increased from 16.4p a share to 17.6p a share based on flat profit and a higher tax charge.

Quiz (QUIZ) sales continue to decline, albeit at a slightly lower rate of 5% like-for-like. The fashion retailer had to discount and gross margins were two percentage points lower. Overheads are also too high because of the lack of growth. The full year profit forecast has been cut from £6m to £4.4m.

A North African order for the Helios product supplied by Starcom (STAR) has been delayed until 2019 so 2018 revenues will be lower than expected. The total order value is $1.1m and the majority was expected to be recognised in 2018. Even so, revenues were better than expected, but the loss will be higher.

A general meeting has been requisitioned at Angus Energy (ANGS) by shareholders owning 6.2% of the company. It is believed that former chairman Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius is behind this requisition, which involves the proposed removal of Paul Vonk from the board and the appointment of the Earl of Lucan and George Bingham. Non-exec Rob Shepherd has resigned. Angus has entered into a 24 month, £3m loan facility with YA II PN Ltd and Riverfort Global Capital in order to finance the development of the Balcombe field in the Weald basin. A £1.5m drawdown is planned immediately.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has acquired additional acreage in the Paradox Basin in Utah at a cost of $35,000. Rose believes that the new acreage could have an NPV10 of around $12m. The deal follows the results of the Schlumberger study which suggests that the site of a proposed well in the area should be in an optimal position.

Diurnal Group (DNL) has been granted a second patent for hydrocortisone treatment Chronocourt, which already has orphan drug designation. The patent lasts until 2033.

A £2m subscription and $5m investment into an internal finance note by 1795 Volantis Fund will provide Obtala Ltd (OBT) with additional funds. 1795 Volantis Fund will own 12.9% of Obtala, as well as 40 million warrants exercisable at 10p each. The disposal of a Tanzanian agricultural business will bring in a further $2.5m. Obtala intends to acquire the 25% it does not own in Montara Continental for $5m, which will be reinvested in the internal finance note.

Fuel cell developer Proton Power Systems (PPS) will own 33.33% of Hamburg-based Clean Logistics, which is being set up to build heavy trucks powered by fuel cell hybrid systems in the range of 75kw-150kw. The other two equal shareholders are Hopen, which has interests in battery and electric vehicle developers, and modular transport service provider Hary.

Sopheon (SPE) had a strong end to 2018. The software provider will provide more details in its trading statement later this month, when finnCap says it will reassess its forecasts.

Dekeloil (DKL) says that fourth quarter volumes were in line with expectations with a 2% increase in crude palm oil production on the third quarter. The annual production was 15% lower because of the weak first half. Selling prices have been at a premium to the market price. The purchase of a 43.8% stake in the Tiebissou cashew processing project has been completed.

Imaginatik (IMTK) has decided to sell its software business and assets to Planbox. The initial cash payment is $1.7m and up to $800,000 more could become payable. If it is all paid then the selling price would be higher than the book value of the assets. Imaginatik will become a shell with around £1m in cash left from the initial payment. If the disposal is approved by sharehodlers the company will change its name to Abal Group.

Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) continues to grow fleet sales but lower insurance sales are partly offsetting that growth. A supplementary dividend will be announced with the final dividend when the 2018 figures are published on 25 February.

Brighton Pier Group (PIER) says problems with the railways are hampering the income generation of Brighton Pier and earning shave been lower. The trading of the bars division was flat last year. Pre-tax profit will be around £3.2m, which is 18% lower than previous expectations.

Frontier IP (FIPP) says that its investee company Exscientia has raised $26m and is collaborating with Roche in a deal worth up to CHF67m. Frontier IP owns 3.32% of artificial intelligence-driven drug developer Exscientia.

MAIN MARKET

InnovaDerma (IDP) has revealed a 6% dip in first half revenues to £3.9m, even though retail sales grew strongly. Direct sales fell, although there are indications that they are recovering. The cosmetic products supplier will have to do well in the second half to achieve full year forecast revenues of £14.4m.

Trident Resources (TRR) has £1.85m in the bank at the end of October. The shell raised £4m when it floated in October. The balance sheet includes trade receivables of £2.1m, although management says that it started the year with just under £4m in cash. Potential acquisitions are being assessed.

Andrew Hore

Ken Baksh – Enquest #ENQ1 Bond – Oily idea with very good short and longer term income attractions!

ENQUEST 7% 15/04/22 Bond-ENQ1-ISIN-XS0880578728

Company Overview

Enquest PLC is an independent United Kingdom-based petroleum and production company which operates mainly in the United Kingdom Continental Shelf. The shares are included on the main list of the London Stock Exchange as are the bonds, the subject of this article.

The Company is one of the largest UK independent oil producers in the North Sea, and as at 31st December 2017, operated assets including Thistle/Deveron, Heather/Broom, the Dons area, Magnus, the Greater Kittiwake Area, Scolty/Crathes, Alma/Galia and Kraken.Enquest also had an interest in the non-operated Alba producing oil field.

On the 5th December 2018 the company issued a confident operating update,stating 2018 production was on target and 2019 production was expected to be in the range of 63000 Boepd to 70000 Boepd,an increase of about 20% on the mid-point. Acquisition of additional interest in Magnus, the Sullom Voe Terminal and associated infrastructure was completed with effect from 1st December 2018, and the successful rights issue had enabled the early repayment of some bank debt.

See http://www.enquest.com/media-centre/press-releases/2018/12-05-2018.aspx for more detail

Bonds

The company has,in issue some corporate bonds ,ENQ1,for which details are explained in http://www.enquest.com/investors/retail-bond.aspx

These bonds trade freely on the LSE with live pricing, transparancy etc

Essentially, these bonds maturing in 15/04/22, have a 7% coupon on face value, payable in either cash or a further bond allocation, depending on the average level of the oil price over the previous period (see link above). Payments are made to bond holders in February and August. The last payment was made in cash ,and the imminent payment is also likely to be cash based on the average oil price over the qualifying period, with just two or three days to go.

At the current price of £80%, the annual yield is 7/80=approx 8.75%,and the yield to redemption, taking into account the capital uplift of the bond and the remaining coupon payments is approximately 20% p.a.

If held within a SIPP, the capital gain (25%), plus seven coupons (approx 31.5%) will be sheltered from tax.

Shorter Term

The next  “Cash payment conditional determination date” as explained in the bond notes  will be around 15th January 2019  i.e. a few days time.This will officially confirm that the next coupon will be paid in cash

The next “record date” will be end January with the appropriate payment being made to bond holders on 15th February according to the company bond prospectus

At the current bond price of £80% ,this one coupon will be worth 3.5/80=4.4%, not a bad income return for one month. However the real value lies in the longer term maths!

As ever, normal health warnings apply !

Independent Investment Research

Ken Baksh

Ken has over 35 years of investment management experience, working for two major City institutions between 1976 and 2002.

Since then he has been engaged as a self-employed investment consultant. He has worked with investment trusts, unit trusts, pension funds, charities, Life Fund,hedge fund and private clients. Individual asset managed have included direct equities and bonds pooled vehicles currencies, derivatives and commodities.

Projects undertaken in a number of areas including asset allocation, risk control, performance measurement, marketing, individual company research, legacy portfolios and portfolio construction. He has a BSc(Mathematics/Statistics) and is a Fellow Member of the UK Society of Investment Professionals.

Disclaimer

All stock recommendations and comments are the opinion of writer.

Investors should be cautious about all stock recommendations and should consider the source of any advice on stock selection. Various factors, including personal ownership, may influence or factor into a stock analysis or opinion.

All investors are advised to conduct their own independent research into individual stocks before making a purchase decision. In addition, investors are advised that past stock performance is not indicative of future price action.

You should be aware of the risks involved in stock investing, and you use the material contained herein at your own risk

The author may have historic or prospective positions in securities mentioned in the report.

The material on this website are provided for information purpose only.

Please contact Ken, (kenbaksh@btopenworld.com) for further information

 

 

 

Ian Pollard – Can Marks #MKS remain independent?

Marks & Spencer MKS looks like it has definately claimed top position as 2018’s big time Christmas loser. In the 13 weeks to the 29th December International sales collapsed by a frightening 15% which is not surprising when you look firstly at the poor service offered by some of its overseas stores and more importantly the fact that it started a major sales effort weeks before the advent of Christmas, having been forced into an offer of 20% off everything you see. Overall, group sales were down by what must have been a very disappointing 3.9%. Steve Rowe blames well publicised market conditions and then a full menu of management failures plus the combination of reducing consumer confidence, mild weather, Black Friday, and widespread discounting by competitors, all of which he claims made November a very challenging trading period. A list of major failures like that makes Marks future as an independent company, look decidedly dodgy.

Tesco TSCO Enjoyed a strong Xmas in the UK & and Republic of Ireland with Christmas like for like sales sales up by 2.6% and outperforming the UK market  in both volume and value terms. This applied in all key categories: food, clothing and general merchandise. In the third quarter the rise was 1.9%. Booker was particularly strong with third quarter sales rising by 11% and Christmas up by 6.7%. In Central Europe claims that the quality of the business is continuing to improve are hardly born out by by the figures which show increasing falls in each quarter as the year  progressed. The first quarter showed a fall of 1%, the second 2% and the third 3%.

Asia looked a bit like a disaster area with third quarter sales down by 8% nearly equalling the first quarters 9% but Christmas fighting back strongly with a a decline of only 2.8%. Strangely enough, online like-for-like sales did not enjoy the surge in sales of  some of its competitors, with the  increase over the Christmas period being a comparatively modest 2.6% over the Christmas period. It looks like Tesco still still knows how to get its shoppers out of their armchairs and into its stores.

Halfords Group HFD The 14-week period to 4 January 2019 was one of overall decline. Every part of the business saw sales fall on a like for like basis except for Autocentres and Travel Solutions. Car maintenance led the way with a drop of 4.6%. Again management sees no fault in itself and drags out the usual suspects, as being  responsible for the disappointing performance – mild weather and weak consumer confidence. In fact these two factors have become so important as face savers for Halfords management that the Chief Executive, thinks one mention is not enough and  it is worth bringing them in for a second just in case the board and the shareholders did not get the message the first time round.

Find beachfront villas & houses for sale in Greece;   http://www.hiddengreece.net

Ian Pollard – Sainsbury #SBRY board reduced to Meaningless Twaddle.

Sainsbury J plc SBRY You know that Sainsbury has a serious problem when the best which it can find to say about Chistmas is that Convenience stores hit a new record on Christmas Eve. Management gives the impression that it is lost for words and so it should be. It has been absolutely trounced during the Christmas quarter by that Bradford upstart and arch enemy, Morrisons.The only explanation it can manage to offer is the stunning “Retail markets are highly competitive and very promotional and the consumer outlook continues to be uncertain.” I think most people apart, apparantly from Sainsbury’s management, already knew that.

For the 15  weeks to the 5th January total retail sales fell by 0.4% and like for like retail by 1.1%. Grocery did do better with a rise of 0.4%, whilst as a continuing sign of the times, Grocery online and Convenience positively surged by 6% and 3% respectively. The company has had to admit that it could not compete on General Merchandise because the market is highly competitive and promotional and sales declined by 2.3% with margins under pressure.

Sainsburys does however have a solution. It has a new priority. It is going to “further enhance its differentiated food proposition” – in other words management will, as usual in these circumstances, seek refuge in jargon in the hope that nobody will notice it has been reduced to meaningless twaddle as a first line of defence.

Taylor Wimpey TW produced another strong performance in the year to the 31st December. Home completions increased by 3%  and 3,416 affordable homes were delivered as against 2809 in 2017. What happened to the unaffordable homes, nobody bothers to say. Presumably they were dumped in Barnsley. The overall average selling price remained flat at £264k which is never a sign of a boyant market.The order book did however rise strongly during the year from 7,136 homes in 2017 to 8,304 homes in 2018.

Ted Baker TED increased sales by 12.2%  in the five week period from 2 December 2018 to 5 January 2019. E-commerce sales did even better with an increase of 18.7%  and now account for 25.7% of total retail sales. The company regards this as a good performance attained despite the “continuing challenging external trading conditions across its markets.”

Greggs plc GRG With fourth quarter total sales up 7.2%  Greggs claims a very strong finish to a year of significant strategic progress.. Many managements are beginning to learn that they can make themselves look really good by  stressing how serious market problems, which they have to overcome, are. So Gregg’s achievements  were achieved despite the well-publicised challenges in the consumer sector but In 2019 things will get even better. In 2019 it will execute the “supply chain change programme” despite  ( chorus please,altogether now )”the many economic and other uncertainties hanging over the consumer environment.”

 

Find beachfront villas & houses for sale in Greece;   http://www.hiddengreece.net

Ian Pollard: Morrisons – The Legacy Lives On With Bumper Christmas

Morrisons W. Sprmkts MRW If you do not know how to sell a pack of frozen peas, then you should not be on the board of a chain of supermarkets. Britains high streets are riddled with major retail outlets which are in a state of collapse and its Boards are littered with bankers, accountants and management experts with not a grocer amongst them. At Morrisons however the legacy of “our Ken” lives on and the company is leading the big guns of British retailing a pretty dance. Whilst they cry over their shelves of unsold peach and ratatouille consomme, Morrisons just get on with the job of selling goods which its customers want to buy in stores which they want to visit.

The result,  Morrisons has just enjoyed its fourth consecutive Christmas of like for like sales growth. Total sales for for the nine weeks to 6 January rose by 4%. Customer satisfaction increased significantly and the price of its basket of key Christmas items remained  the same as last year.

Greene King plc GNK is another company which got its festive hat perched at the right angle, as like for like sales over the last two weeks of Xmas and the New Year leapt by 10.9% compared to a rise of only 3.2% over the first 36 weeks of the financial year. It is accepted that the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit may still have an impact on consumer confidence and spending during the year, but the company is confident of the outlook for the full year.

Safestore Holdings plc SAFE has announced its fifth consecutive year of double-digit earnings per share and dividend growth. Revenue for the year to the 31st October rose by 10.4% or 5.2% on a like for like basis and underlying EBITDA by 6.5%.The dividend has been increased from 14p to 16.2p per share, a rise of 16.1%. The company says that the start to its current financial year has been encouraging.

SIG plc SHI faced challenging market conditions and lower trading revenues in the second half of the year, particularly in December. Group like-for-like revenues were down 2.3% over the full year, with the UK and Ireland being particularly badly hit  with a like for like fall of 5.7%.

Beachfront  houses for sale in Greece;   http://www.hiddengreece.net

Ian Pollard – Dunelm #DNLM facing unprecedented levels of uncertainty & delays new website

Dunelm Group DNLM  Unprecedented levels of uncertainty have forced Dunelm to delve deep into the jargon drawer in an attempt to mask its half year and fourth quarter problems.The one strong area has been online sales which rose by 37.9% during the 13 weeks to the 29th December, as against like for like store revenue which only managed growth of 5.75 in the same period. The retail industry can not even begin to comprehend that the shopping public has staged and is continuing to stage a massive rebellion against the big stores. And who can blame them ? Massive increases in the cost of public transport with journeys of 15 minutes costing a fiver each way per adult. That immediately adds 20 pounds to the supermarket bill. Unless you are a councillor, parking costs are exorbitant and the queues to get into a car park or shopping mall make the whole experience unpleasant.Far better to stay at home, put your feet up and do it online in warm pleasant surroundings.

The really bad news can not be hidden. Total growth at group level came in at 2% after store closures and over six months the figure was even worse at 1.2%. By Dunelm standards these are fairly poor figures but a sign of the times. Management boasts that gross margins have been improved but only by the sleight of hand of closing down low margin stores and businesses. Despite the importance of online sales management has had to delay the launch of its new  website  to quarter 4 because it needed to “evolve and optimise its plans” which raises the question as to why it did not opyimise them in the first place. The company no longer counts the number of stores it has (169) but shows how mod it has become by claiming it now has a store footprint, which really is nonsense English.

Full year profit before tax is expected to be modestly ahead of the top of the range current analysts forecasts. The Chief Executive regards the first half performance as a strong one but is cautious about the outlook for the second half. Perhaps he had better pull his finger out and hurry up with that new website.

Churchill China plc CHH has enjoyed a strong finish to the year and the operating performance for the year to the 29th December will be ahead of current market estimates. Growth in export markets has remained strong and the UK performance  improved in the second half.

Beachfront  houses for sale in Greece;   http://www.hiddengreece.net

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 7 January 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

VI Mining (VIM) has not made the required $2.19m loan repayment to Tassili by the end of 2018. Tassili also has right of refusal over the first 24,000 ounces of gold production. The loan is secured by a charge over the VI subsidiary that owns the interest in the Ora Pesa concession. VI had to secure additional funding because it could not draw down from a facility provided by chief executive David Sumner the $7m required in August 2018. The lack of cash has held up bringing Ora Pesa in to production and recommencing mining at Minaspampa.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has converted its £150,000 loan to Wallet Ads into a 20% stake in the company, which can deliver more than ten million personalised updates per hour for a campaign. The terms of the £150,000 convertible loan to Rapid Nutrition have been amended. Rapid Nutrition is still set to float in London, but it has been further delayed. The loan will be repaid in nine equal monthly instalments of £16,667 starting at the end of January. Interest will be charged at an annual rate of 15%. Interest owed up until the end of February 2018 has been settled by the issue of 50,000 Rapid Nutrition shares at 13.4413p a share and a further 200,000 shares have been issued as a fee for the amended terms. Rapid Nutrition is quoted on the Zurich-based SIX Swiss Exchange and the last share trade was at €0.17. The share price was more than €1 in 2017.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has secured an agreement with China Post Advertising, which will help it to promote Aaron Kwok’s AKFS+ hair care products and future celebrity branded products. China Post has more than 50,000 outlets.

Natural resources investor Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) used £49,000 in cash in operating activities in the six months to September 2018. The NAV is £804,000 and that includes nearly £48,000 of cash.

AIM

Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) continues to be hampered by pressure on margins although sales are increasing. Management had expected this pressure to have ended prior to Christmas but it has continued and on top of this were problems at the warehouse with the increased demand. In the four months to the end of December 2018, sales increased by 41%. Peel Hun has cut its 2018-19 pre-tax profit forecast from £2.6m to £800,000 and this took the shine off the premium rating of the shares.

Trading in the first quarter at Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) is ahead of the same period last year. The new car market was hit by changes in emissions regulations and new vehicle sales were one-quarter lower, but gross profit per unit was much higher because of new franchises with the likes of Bentley and McLaren. There will be more upmarket vehicle franchise openings in February. This offset the effect of lower new vehicle sales and there was a similar experience with used cars, although overall like-for-like profit improved. Aftersales profit also improved.

Digital music distribution technology developer 7digital (7DIG) could lose its contract with Juke GmbH for the Juke music service, which was expected to generate revenues of £4m this year. The service could be closed or reorganised so 7digital takes on more responsibility. 7digital also owes HMRC £417,000 and one of its subsidiaries has been served with a winding-up petition. This tax should be paid before the hearing of the petition on 16 January. 7digital has reduced its annualised cost base by £6.2m and it is winning new contracts.

Faroe Petroleum (FPM) continues to reject the bid from DNO. An independent report provides an estimated valuation of between 186p a share and 225p a share. This does not include the previously announced Equinor asset swap or utilisation of Norwegian tax losses. Cash flow of £90m is expected over the next two years. DNO has been buying shares in the market at between 147p a share and 152p a share and it has taken its stake to 30.6% so the 152p a share cash bid is mandatory. This stake plus acceptances takes total acceptances to 43.8%. DNO can improve its offer up until 27 January.

ReNeuron (RENE) has announced the first collaboration for its exosome nanomedicine platform. There is an initial feasibility stage, where no revenues will be generated. If it moves on to the preclinical safety and efficacy stage, then there will be evaluation payments.

Leaf Clean Energy (LEAF) is reducing directors’ fees by 70% and there have also been reductions for the administrator and employees. This is ahead of the hearing of Leaf’s appeal of damages awarded to it in its lawsuit with Invenergy Wind, where a decision is expected later this year. Invenergy is has already paid Leaf $36.4m and a further $14.2m is included in the Leaf balance sheet, but that will depend on the court decision.

Home automation technology developer LightwaveRF (LWRF) increased its first quarter revenues by 156% to £1.15m. That is nearly as much as in the first half of the previous financial year.

Shareholders have authorised the $25m subscription at $1.60 per ADS by Summit Therapeutics (SUMM). Robert W Duggan is subscribing for the shares. The cash will fund the initiation and commencement of patient enrolment for the phase 3 clinical trial of the potential treatment for C.diff.

Tracsis (TRCS) has won a major, multi million contract with a train operating company, covering all its individual franchises. The flow of revenues is difficult to predict.

Alpha FX (AFX) says that its 2018 figures will be ahead of expectations. The growth came in the UK and internationally.

WANdisco (WAND) has secured its first multi-cloud contract, valued at $565,000. The contract with the telecoms company was won with Amazon Web Services.

Richland Resources (RLD) is seeking to obtain investment to recommence mining at Capricorn Sapphire and it is in talks with one party about the sale of the project. The £400,000 convertible loan facility has been extended to the end of February.

Central Asia Metals (CAML) has consolidated borrowings into one facility of $151m, which is provided by offtake partner Traxys. The debt will be repaid monthly within a four year period.

ECR Minerals (ECR) has submitted nine exploration licence applications in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia.

Ethiopian authorities have reconfirmed their support for the development of the Tulu Kapi gold project and KEFI Minerals (KEFI) has taken the first steps for the community resettlement programme.

MAIN MARKET

Circassia Pharma (CIR) has gained shareholder approval for the move to AIM, which will happen on 4 February. Circassia has completed the acquisition of full US commercial rights to Tudorza and the FDA is expected to approve the transfer of the licence by the end of March. There was £41m in the bank at the end of 2018.

Nanoco (NANO) is partnering with Plessey Semiconductors to use quantum dots to shrink microLED pixels by 87%. This will lead to smaller, higher resolution displays.

Gresham Technologies (GHT) has won orders for Clareti software from two major, world banks. Revenues should start to be recognised this year. Over five years the contracts should be worth more than £7m, with £1.8m likely to be recognised in 2019. However, 2018 revenues will be lower than expected at £20m and profit will be below expectations.

Andrew Hore

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