Kent-based brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has acquired Village Green Restaurants, the operator of five freehold pub restaurants in the Maidstone and Ashford area, for £11.85m. The business made an operating profit of £900,000 on revenues of £6.6m in the year to October 2016. The cash for the acquisition has come from an extended credit facility.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) says that it is evaluating approaches from mining companies concerning IMC’s ten base metal licences in Ireland. IMC has already secured Koza as partner for its gold licences. IMC’s full year loss was slightly lower at £418,000. There was less than £4,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016.
Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) floated on 29 November at 100p a share and ended the week at 100.5p (98p/103p). The residential property investor raised just over £1m in an offer for subscription and is capitalised at £3.3m. The REIT has acquired the assets of the Walls & Futures London Growth Fund and the additional cash will be used to invest in development and redevelopment assets in cities and towns around the UK. The focus is the private renting and social housing sectors.
Hearing and mobility products retailer DHAIS (DHAP) has been hit by a further decline in its mobility business. Three mobility stores have been sold and two others closed, leaving ten stores. The hearing aid division is the main focus. In the year to June 2016, revenues fell from £10.6m to £9.86m, while the loss increased from £186,000 to £295,000. There is £216,000 in the bank and cash was generated in the period but it went towards the regular repayment of an interest free loan from a hearing aid manufacturer. A notional interest charge is recognised on this loan, which is why there is positive cash flow despite the loss.
Welney (WENP) is still seeking a new direction and talking to potential funders and recipients of investment. There was £52 in the bank at the end of June 2016. Management admits it will need more cash this year and that is why the accounts are prepared on a going concern basis. The directors are not taking fees for the time being and loan note holders have agreed not to ask for them to be redeemed for at least the next 12 months. The investment in Nasdaq-listed Green Automotive Co has performed poorly and is illiquid.
Exploration company NQ Minerals (NQMI) has appointed Daniel Stewart as its broker as part of a proposed move to the standard list.
A strong second half meant that enterprise software provider Sanderson (SND) grew its full year revenues by 11% to £21.3m and ended the year with a strong order book. New customer orders were 18% of revenues – a higher level than normal. There was additional investment in development and support but underlying pre-tax profit still improved from £2.91m to £3.44m. There is £4.34m in the bank. The retail, manufacturing and logistics operations all have stronger order books than normal. A 2016-17 profit of £3.7m is forecast.
Park Group (PKG) made a relatively small interim loss. The consumer and corporate gift voucher and prepaid card business is still highly seasonal with the Christmas savings business maintaining its importance. New product launches will continue to reduce the importance, though, as will the acquisition of Fisher Moy International, which brings with it some large corporate clients. An increase in full year profit from £11.9m to £12.7m is forecast.
A strong performance in the industrials division of Gooch & Housego (GHH) offset flatter performances elsewhere. Acquisitions masked an underlying decline in defence and electronics and revenues also fell in the he much smaller life sciences division, which requires acquisitions itself in order to build its scale. Pre-tax profit was slightly better than expected at £14.2m. Despite spending on acquisitions, there is still net cash of £11.7m and the total dividend has been raised by 10% to 9p a share. The order book is worth £52.8m but it covers more than one year. A full year profit of £15.5m is forecast.
Active Energy (AEG) has received a $6m, five year unsecured loan facility to finance the construction of a reference plant for its CoalSwitch technology. The North American plant will have an annual capacity o 35,000 tonnes. This plant could generate revenues of $6.3m a year. CoalSwitch technology can use low value wood, pulp and saw-mill by-products to produce a biomass fuel that can be mixed with coal, or replace coal, in coal-fired power stations. The interest rate on the loan is 8%.
Billing and customer relationship software provider Cerillion (CER) reported annualised revenues 6% ahead at £14.8m but the mix of revenues changed with software revenues one-fifth higher. Underlying pre-tax profit edged ahead to £2.3m. The total dividend is 3.9p a share. A $2.8m (£2.4m) contract has been won in the Americas, which is the second phase of an existing contract. Cerillion should be able to achieve a pre-tax profit of £2.7m this year with scope to expand the customer base outside of the mobile sector in the next few years.
TechFinancials (TECH) will receive a $1.02m dividend from its 51%-owned joint venture DragonFinancials. The dividend relates to the nine months to September 2016. This cash inflow should make it more likely that TechFinancials will restart paying its won dividends. TechFinancials had already said that its 2016 profit will be ahead of market expectations. House broker Northland forecasts a 0.42 cents a share dividend for the 2016 financial year and a decision will be made in early 2017. That level of dividend would be more than two times covered by forecast earnings.
Premier African Minerals (PREM) has increased the open pit mineral resource estimate at the RHA tungsten mine in Zimbabwe to 20.9 million tonnes at a grade of 2.34kg/t. The maiden mineral resource estimate for the underground mine is 1.3 million tonnes at a grade of 4.25kg/t. The mine could last 40 years. Premier owns 49% of RHA.
There was an organic sales decline of 7% in the first half at electronic components manufacturer distributor Acal (ACL) but better margins and acquisitions helped earnings per share grow by 10%. Order levels were stronger in the second quarter and this augurs well for the second half.
Bluebird Merchant (BMV) is acquiring 100% of the Batangas gold project, where it previously held a 25% stake. Bluebird is issuing 1.25 million shares and it will pay a 1% royalty in return for taking full control of the project in the Philippines, which has a JORC resource of 445,000 ounces of gold and gold equivalent. The deal also means that Bluebird will have access to $20m of tax losses.
Opera Investments (OPRA)has reassured investors that the plan to acquire the Omweru and Lubando gold projects from Kibo Mining (KIBO) continues to make progress and a fundraising should happen in the New Year. The deal was first announced in September.