National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its interim revenues from £9.4m to £10.5m and pre-tax profit more than doubled from £442,000 to £957,000. The recovery in the milk price has helped the improved performance although there has been a subsequent dip in the milk price in the past couple of months. The longer-term outlook is positive. Increased testing for Johne’s disease has also helped. Net debt was reduced to £3.3m.
Ashley House (ASH) has sold its 25% stake in a pharmacy in London to Invescare Property Ltd, where Ashley House deputy chairman Stephen Minion owns 24.4% of its holding company. This generated £46,000 in income over the past 12 months and the consideration is a £325,000 reduction in the loan by Invescare.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has launched a one-for-four open offer to raise up to £1.05m at 94p a share. The cash will provide further scope for investment in supported housing projects.
London Nusantara Plantations (PALM) has raised £300,000 at 0.1p a share and wants to change the investment strategy to natural resources. The company intends to appoint Mitchell Smith as chief executive and Nicholas O’Reilly and Darren Hazelwood as non-executives. These three will be awarded 20 million options at 0.2p each.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £130,000 at 8.5p a share and 10p a share. An additional four million shares were issued at equivalent to 7.875p a share in payment for the extension of a lending facility. Convertible loan notes worth £109,000 have been converted at 8p a share. NQ says that it raised £741,000, and not £782,000, at 8.5p a share in a placing last September.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has made its maiden investment in CoalTech LLC and related company Coal Agglomeration South Africa (CASA). A $500,000 investment will acquire 2.5% of CASA and an equivalent shareholding in CoalTech. The two companies are involved in cleaning up the waste from coal mining. The technology that has been developed enables coal fines that have little or no worth to be converted into pellets, using a binding technique, to make them a commercial product. A small palletising plant is in operation in South Africa. Phase two of the palletising plants are in the pre-production phase which could be completed by the end of the year.
Renewable energy supplier and generator Good Energy (GOOD) is redeeming its Good Energy Bonds 1, although bondholders are being offered the chance to continue to hold the bonds at an interest rate of 4.25%, or 4.5% for customers.
John Rozenbroek has stepped down as finance director of Via Developments (VIA1) less than four months after his appointment. Chris Fry returns to the role.
African Potash Ltd changed its name to Block Commodities Ltd (BLOC) on 12 February.
Former AIM company Gate Ventures has sold its 236.3 million shares in Reach4Entertainment (R4E) at 1.5p a share. Chief executive Marc Bryan’s interests have increased their stake to 12.3%. Herald raised its stake to 15% and Nigel Wray raised his shareholding to 21.9%.
Fintech and banking business TruFin wants to raise £70m at 190p a share. TruFin owns short-term lender DFC, early payments provider Oxygen Finance and invoice finance provider Satago, plus a 15% stake in P2P lender Zopa. Admission is expected on 21 February.
At its AGM, Sanderson Group (SND) says trading is in line with expectations in the first four months of this financial year. Full year revenues will exceed £30m and pre-tax profit of £4.73m is forecast.
GRC International intends to float on the back of the growth for its services due to the European GDPR regulations coming into force this May. GRC provides advice and services for cyber security and data protection. Cash raised will be used to expand organically and via acquisition. The expected admission date is 5 March.
Sustainable performance polymers developer Itaconix (ITX) is finding it difficult to build up its revenues.
Gas-to-power projects developer Tlou Energy (TLOU) has been hit by the Botswana authorities deciding to cancel the request for proposal for the development of up to 100MW of projects. There is a re-tender process because the proposals did not comply with requirements. Tlou says it is not possible to comply unless a business is already operating commercially. Some of the requirements may be amended.
Venture Life Group (VLG) says that the current order book is ahead of the same time in 2017. UltraDEX mouthwash is being listed in two pharmacy groups and a mouth spray will be available in Roadchef outlets. The Lubatti skincare range is likely to significantly increase sales this year. Underlying growth in EBITDA was around 60% last year, suggesting a figure of around £1.28m.
Feedback (FDBK) has appointed David Crabb as chief executive. He has experience in IT businesses and this will be used to grow the TexRAD, quantitative image texture analysis technology for diagnostic radiological scans.
Digital audio visual services provider Mediazest (MDZ) has raised £70,000 at 0.15p a share. MediaZest needs cash to place deposits with suppliers so that it can fulfil large contracts that have been won and that could be won.
Mobile location data business Proxama (PROX) is concentrating on its core business and monthly operating expenses have been halved. There was net cash of £1.1m at the end of 2017. Former Durlacher corporate financier David Rae has been appointed finance director.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) says additional customers and repeat purchases helped net revenues to exceed expectations in December and January.
Savannah Resources (SAV) will mobilise a second diamond drill rig will be mobilised at the Mina do Barroso lithium project in February. There is already a defined mineral resource estimate of 3.2mt at a grade of 1% Li2O.
Self-storage company Lok’nStore (LOK) opened its new store in Gillingham last month. There was 6.9% like-for-like growth in revenues in the first six months of the financial year, mainly due to higher occupancy. That strips out the closure in Staines and the opening in Gillingham. There should be an additional six stores open by the end of July. Interim figures will be published on 23 April.
Biopharmaceutical company Realm Therapeutics (RLM) had cash of $33.9m at the end of 2017. Investigation New Drug (IND) applications have been submitted for atopic dermatitis treatment PR022 and allergic conjunctivitis treatment PR013 and phase 2 trials started late in 2017. There should be results for the PR013 trial in the first quarter and for PR022 in the third quarter. Before the end of this year, an IND will be submitted for an acne treatment.
Haike Chemical (HAIK) is cancelling its AIM quotation because of limited liquidity and lack of ability to raise cash. Hai Yuan Trading is offering shareholders the chance to sell shares at 30p each. That has helped the share price to recover, although it is still below the 79.8p a share initial placing price eleven years ago.
Angling Direct (ANG) increased its revenues by 44% to £30.2m last year and they could increase by one-third this year. The fishing tackle retailer did indulge in discounting late last year and this reduced gross margin so the pre-tax profit estimate has been maintained at £1m. Like-for-like store revenues improved and direct web sales were 54% ahead.
Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has raised £500,000 at 1p a share to finance exploration. The estimated diamond value range for the Thorny River project of between $120/ct and $220/ct. The volume range is still between 1.2mt and 2.1mt.
Terra Capital (TCA) has launched a tender offer for up to 10% of each individual shareholding for 97% of NAV per share. That would be $1.11 a share based on the NAV at the end of 2017.
The People’s Operator (TPOP) says that average revenues per user fell in the UK and the US last year, while UK acquisition costs increased. Churn rates have been halved. Overall revenues edged up from £3.4m to £3.55m in 2017. The UK and US website are improving their conversion rates. Unprofitable discounting has been stopped in the UK and unprofitable plans have been removed.
RM2 International SA (RM2) says that it should have enough cash to continue into early March. Improved cash collection and management has increased the time that the sustainable pallet supplier’s cash will last.
Sunrise Resources (SRES) has completed 25 holes in the phase 2 drilling at CS Pozzolan-Perlite project. This has highlighted the open-pit potential of the project.
Pennant International (PEN) has confirmed that 2017 figures are in line with expectations and the strong order book underpins the 2018 forecast. Pennant is adopting the IFRS 15 standard for recognising revenues for its 2018 accounts and this will increase the pre-tax profit expectation from £2.5m to £3.5m.
Smaller company-focused investment trust Athelney Trust (ATY) had an NAV of 279.4p a share. The annual return over the 23-year life of the company is 17.8%, net of basic rate tax. The annual dividend has been increased from 8.6p a share to 8.9p a share. Management is aiming for a 5-7% rise in NAV this year, plus a further 3% increase in dividend. Last year, Athelney bought initial holdings in Biffa, Countrywide, Crest Nicholson, Debenhams, Greene King, Hostelworld, Marstons, Murgitroyd, NWF, The PRS REIT and Safecharge, as well as adding to the stakes in Air Partner, Saatchi and Record. Disposals were in the insurance sector or due to the takeovers of Cape and Lavendon.
Pembridge Resources (PERE) has secured its first acquisition since moving from AIM to the standard list and trading in the shares has been suspended. Pembridge is paying $37.5m in cash and shares to Capstone Mining Corp for Minto Explorations Ltd. Capstone will end up with 9.9% of Pembridge. Minto is a copper producer in Yukon. Annual production averages 50,000 tonnes of copper concentrate. All sustaining costs are up to $2.65/lb and there is scope to reduce this figure. The current mine should last until 2021 and there are potential exploration targets. Pembridge intends to raise $50m.
Chua Tien San has not been keeping to the lock-in promises he made to Sealand Capital Galaxy (SCGL) and he transferred at least 10.8 million shares, and possibly a further 17.2 million shares, in December. The lock-in was due to last until February 2019 and it is being extended for 62 million shares until August 2019.
Vertu Capital Ltd (VCBC) has terminated its letter of intention with VCB Malaysia Berhad. This potential acquisition was announced in April 2016 and Vertu previously said that it was in continued discussions with the UKLA concerning the reverse takeover.
Personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) increased its interim revenues from £3.19m to £4.17m but cash is flowing out of the business at a faster rate. The operating cash outflow jumped from £302,000 to £2.03m. Net cash was £1.7m at the end of December 2017. Strong second half revenues growth is anticipated.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has signed an agreement with Southern Gold Ltd to reopen the Kochang gold and silver mine in South Korea. The mine was operational between 1928 and 1975 and closed when the gold price was $140/ounce. Bluebird is required to spend $500,000 on a feasibility study to secure its 50% stake in the joint venture. Sigma Broking has increased its stake to 4.19%.
OTHER TRADING FACILITIES
Viscount Mining joined the JP Jenkins matched bargain trading facility in February. TSX-V quoted Viscount is building a US-based portfolio of exploration properties. Silver Cliff is in the Hardscrabble silver district in Colorado. A fourth set of results have been announced from the 2017 drilling programme on the Kate silver resource at Silver Creek. Management believes it is getting nearer to targeting potential higher grade feeder zones.