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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.
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.
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.
Continuing revenues from renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) increased from £89.7m to £104.5m but underlying pre-tax profit was nearly two-thirds lower at £734,000 due to higher admin and interest costs. There was also a decline in gross margin. An increase in working capital meant that there was a £4.92m cash outflow from operating activities. There was a decline in NAV due to the loss on discontinued generation development activities. Net debt was £53.1m at the end of 2017.
Brewer Adnams (ADB) reported a 9% increase in beer volumes in 2017, even though cash sales fell by 5%. Overall sales were 6% ahead at £74.8m despite losing £1m in revenues from the closure of the Swan Hotel for refurbishment. Even if the exceptional expenses of £721,000 for removing asbestos from the Swan Hotel, are added back, the pre-tax profit, excluding disposal gains, fell from £3.59m to £1.6m. Capital investment continues with the IT system being upgraded. The full year dividend was edged up from 226p a share to 228p a share. There plans to produce an alcohol-free version of Ghost Ship.
MetalNRG (MNRG) is selling its 15.4% stake in US Cobalt to ASX-listed Tyranna Resources, which is acquiring the whole of the company. MetalNRG will receive 21.7 million shares in Tyranna at a valuation of A$0.017 a share. The shares are trading at A$0.025, which would value the deal at £300,000. First Sentinel has raised £45,000 at 13p a share and issued a further £25,000 worth of shares at the same price to market maker Winterflood.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has exercised its option to take its stake in Indorse to 10%. The additional 3.5% of the company is being bought for £97,000, taking the total investment to £246,000. Singapore-based Indorse has tested its blockchain-based social network for professionals and moved to the Mainnet. A new feature will enable token issuers to verify their advisory board. Coinsilium is advising Bundle Network on its token generating event. Bundle enables people to trade across unconnected cryptocurrency without needing to open individual accounts.
Imperial Minerals (IMPP) has raised £20,000 at 2p a share. There was just over £37,000 in the bank at the end of 2017, following a £35,000 cash outflow in the previous six months. Imperial is still seeking an opportunity in metals, such as gold, lithium, cobalt and zinc.
First Sentinel (FSBN) has appointed Colin Maltby to the board and invested £43,500 in the Union Jack Oil (UJO) placing raising £1.25m at 0.085p a share.
Baron Bloom has stepped down from the board of Etaireia Investments (ETIP) after the publishing of criticism by a judge, who said that he had been dishonest during divorce proceedings with his ex-wife.
Block Commodities (BLOC) has entered into a strategic partnership with blockchain-based financial services platform Wala and token issuer Dala. The businesses will be working together to establish the blockchain-based agricultural commodity trading initiative that Block has been developing. Dala would be used as the token for the food commodities trading ecosystem. Block’s existing joint venture will supply $10m of Dala token loans to 50,000 small farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dana Group International Investments Ltd (DANA) increased its net assets from $0.31 a share to $0.36 a share in 2017. There was a $4.15m increase in the valuation of the investment in Bonyan International Investment.
New management at social video content developer and owner Brave Bison (BBSN) will be judged on this year’s figures rather than the 2017 results. In 2017, revenues fell 48% to £9.1m and cost cutting helped to reduce the underlying operating loss before the restructuring costs and write-offs of acquired intangibles. The cash outflow from operations fell by two-thirds to £1.53m. There is £4.82m in the bank so that provides time for further improvement in performance. Collecting ad revenues for third party content on social platforms remains a significant revenue generator but commissioned sponsored content is becoming an increasingly important fee earner.
Cambridge Cognition (COG) reported a small decline in revenues because of lumpy contract wins in the previous year and the delays to two clinical trials. A small loss was reported but the neuroscience health company is expected to bounce back this year to a profit of £500,000.
Utilitywise (UTW) has finally published its figures for the year to July 2017. More conservative accounting policies mean that an under consumption of energy increased the loss to £8.5m. The utility cost management adviser had a £6.18m cash outflow from operating activities. Net debt rose from £5.5m to £19m and banking covenant breaches have been waived by the bank. The debt increase was partly down to dividend payments but there is no final dividend. The interim results will be published on 23 April.
Energy procurement business Inspired Energy (INSE) increased its underlying pre-tax profit from £7m to £9.7m, while earnings per share were one-quarter higher at 1.57p. Inspired has bought SystemsLink 2000, whose software Inspired uses, for £3.875m and Energy Cost Management, which specialises in water management services, for up to £2m.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) is confident that the 3D seismic data that has been acquired over the Gunnison Valley Unit on the Paradox oil and gas acreage in Utah provides the information required to decide a drill site for the fourth quarter and attract a farm-in partner to help finance the drilling. There are ongoing discussions with prospective partners and this should ensure that the current cash in the bank will last longer. Last September, £3m was raised at 4p a share.
Immupharma (IMM) says that it expects results from its phase III trial for Lupuzor by mid-April. The Lupus treatment has generated the required data and this will be analysed.
Wynnstay Group (WYN) continues to benefit from improved sentiment in the farming sector. Feed demand is above last year’s levels and grain volumes are improving, although margins are squeezed. Like-for-like retail sales are higher and an outlet has been acquired in mid-Wales.
Trading in Green and Smart Holdings (GSH) shares has been suspended because it will not publish its 2016-17 accounts by the end of March. The audit should be completed by the end of April.
CloudCall Group (CALL) grew revenues by two-fifths last year. The underlying loss was £2.6m and further investment in sales and marketing means that even though revenue growth could be near to last year’s level the loss will be similar. The recurring cloud-based software and telecoms services revenues that will be generated from the investment will reduce the loss and move the business into profit in the following two or three years.
James Latham (LTHM) says that its figures for the year to March 2018 will be in line with expectations. This reflects an improvement in the second half. The Wigston timber depot has been moved to a new site.
Parity Group (PTY) has signed a managed services deal with Primark Stores and, along with other extensions, this takes annual revenues from this area to £5m plus. Primark is important because most of the clients on this side of the business are in the public sector. Parity can generate £2m of cash a year.
Gama Aviation (GMAA) reported a 28% rise in underlying operating profit to $18.7m. The main growth has come from the aircraft management business, which was boosted by acquisition in the US. There were also improvements in Europe and Middle East. Gama is investing in two new ground maintenance sites in the US and this continued investment is holding back short-term profit for this division.
KCR Residential REIT (KCR) has raised £1.56m at 70p a share and capitalised loans of £1.59m. The cash will be invested in the private rental portfolio. Debt has been reduced to 45% of investment property value. Energiser Investments (ENGI) has taken a 24.7% in KCR by subscribing for shares and capitalising its £494,000 loan.
There was a cash outflow of £738,000 at Botswana Diamonds (BOD) in the six months to December 2017. That was before the £865,000 raised in a share issue. There is £230,000 left in the bank. A scoping study is being undertaken at the Thorny River project in South Africa. Drilling continues at the Ontevreden project.
Golden Saint Resources (GSR) is asking for shareholder backing for leaving AIM on 24 April. It still plans to acquire EMS Wiring Systems but it wants to join the standard list after the deal goes through.
OKYO Pharma Corporation left AIM on 23 March and the company has migrated to Guernsey. A special dividend payment is planned.
NWF has received bid acceptances for the equivalent of 42.6% of the share capital of Stellar Diamonds (STEL).
Directa Plus (DCTA) has entered into an agreement with Sartec to develop a system to treat contaminated water in the oil and gas sector by using the Grafysorber technology. Directa Plus provides the technology and support while the partner will finance the development of the first plant, starting in the second quarter of 2018.
Noel Collett is stepping down as chief executive of retail butcher Crawshaw Group (CRAW) but he will remain while a replacement is found. Finance director Alan Richardson plans to move to a new job in May. Crawshaw is estimated to have lost £2m in the year to January 2018, Trading has been poor in the first six weeks of the new financial year. There was £5m in the bank at the end of January 2018, which is similar to the company’s market capitalisation.
Grafenia (GRA) says trading has been mixed. Volumes and margins in the printing business have been below budget in recent months. Grafenia is trying to replace these revenues with licence fees, signage and website sales. Full year revenues will be two-fifths higher at nearly £15m and the loss will be similar. Net debt will be around £2.85m.
Gaming Realms (GMR) has sold two affiliate businesses for up to £2.4m. Their revenues have been declining. In 2017, group revenues were flat at £31.6m but continuing operations made a positive underlying EBITDA. Real money gaming revenues were 5% higher but social revenues were lower. New licensing deals have been signed with the likes of 888 and Golden Nugget Casino this year.
Vipera (VIP) says that 12.5% shareholder Sella Open Fintech Platform is contemplating making a bid for the mobile financial software developer.
Gatemore has taken its stake in TLA Worldwide (TLA) to 7%. Gatemore took its initial stake just after trading in TLA, which is most famous for publishing a profit warning after trading had finished prior to Christmas 2016, recommenced after it published its 2016 figures last November.
Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) is paying £4.6m, plus £1.54m for cash balances, for Southampton-based AE Financial Services. The business generated a profit of £500,000 last year.
Altona Energy (ANR) has reviewed the data for the Westfield tenement and put together a three phase drilling programme. This will cost A$1.5m in total, with the first phase costing A$230,000. The second phase will help to define a JORC resource. The final phase will be part of the preparation of a bankable feasibility study. The drilling is targeting shallow coal seams.
More bad news from toilet tissue manufacturer Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL) and the share price has fallen by three-quarters. The loss is going to be higher than expected. Net debt will be £34m by the end of April.
London and Associated Properties (LAS) says that the tenant of Brixton Markets has exercised its pre-emption rights to acquire the markets. Market Village will pay £37.25m for assets that have a book value of £24.5m.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) says it has made swift progress at the Kochang mine and sampling of the underground workings is ongoing. This has cost $65,000 so far. Feasibility studies at Kochang and Gubong should be completed in the third quarter of 2018. Bluebird has to spend $500,000 on each project to earn 50% in a joint venture for each project with Southern Gold.
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has invested $986,000 in DOT tokens, which are related to the Polkadot Project. A total of $150m was raised to finance the development of a decentralised protocol that allows trust-free movement of tokens and data between blockchains., that will also be able to create new parachains instead of starting a new community. The project is expected to go live by the end of 2019. Kryptonite 1 has sold Melon, Omisego and FunFair tokens in order to raise just over £290,000. That is a gain of around £270,000.
Via Developments (VIA1) has agreed to sell Plymouth Grove, Manchester for £2.5m. A non-refundable deposit of £250,000 has been paid and the deal should go through by the end of November. The property was originally acquired in June 2016 for £1.625m, although there will have been additional investment in development since then. In March, Via Developments announced a previous exclusivity agreement to sell which was dependent on planning permission. There was a refundable deposit of £100,000 for that potential deal. It is unclear whether the deals are related.
Health and care properties developer Ashley House (ASH) has welcomed the increased funding for health and housing schemes announced in the Budget. News that the government will not cap rents in the supported living sector has improved sentiment. Financial closure is anticipated on two projects in the next few weeks. Management continues to seek additional finance.
Block Energy (BLOK) has published its Schedule 1 notice for its proposed move to AIM. This is expected by 7 December.
Sandal (SAND) says that trading is in line with expectations with Energie MiHome sales trebling. By the end of 2018 the energy efficiency products should be generate as much in revenues as the power connections division.
There were 300,000 shares taken up in the Hellenic Capital (HECP) open offer but £250,000 was raised because the rest of the shares were placed.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has raised £1m at 0.2p a share, which was a small premium to the previous closing price. The cash will finance further pre-IPO investments. Turner Pope has been appointed broker.
Trading in the shares of Churchill Mining (CHL) should recommence when the figures for the year to June 2017 are published. That should be before the end of November. Pala Investments has subscribed for £500,000 of 10% convertible loan notes, which have a conversion price of 2.976p a share. Pala holds 21.3% of Churchill and full conversion of the loan notes would take the stake to 29.3%. Pala is also entitled to receive 25% of any proceeds from the claim for unlawful expropriation of the East Kutai coal project. Churchill is hopeful of overturning an unfavourable ruling on the case.
Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has issued shares valued at £21,750 at 0.09p a share in settlement of an outstanding loan from Blue Oak Assets. The deferred payment of £20,000 for the purchase of Pacha Cleator from Oliver Fattal has been satisfied by a share issue at the same price. That takes his stake to 9.96%.
Ken Riley is no longer finance director and company secretary of WMC Retail Partners (WELL) and Nigel Higgs has taken over as interim finance director.
Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL) is raising £18m at 50p a share, which should be enough to keep the toilet roll business going. A restructuring of the business is underway and health and safety procedures are being reviewed. The bank facility has been extended until 2021. The share price fell by more than two-thirds when the suspension was lifted and ended the week at 37.5p.
Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) published its interims at 4.30pm on Friday. That means that the share price reaction will be on Monday. There were no shares traded in the diagnostic services provider on Friday. Revenues were 4% lower at £18.7m. Growth in automated business revenues partly offset lower licensing revenues. Pre-tax profit excluding restructuring costs fell from £1.77m to £1.11m. Net cash is £28.3m. The average number of assays per instrument has increased from 3.8 to 4.3. Reg Duval stepped down as chief executive at the end of October after seven months in the job. Jaap Stuut took over the role. He talks about improving the sales team.
Sutton Harbour (SUH) has agreed a 29.5p a share bid for 70% of the shares of the harbour operator and property developer from FB Investors. That will cost £19.9m. A shareholder can accept for more than 70% of their shareholding but they could be scaled back. FB Investors is subscribing £2.75m for new shares at the same price.
Boku Inc (BOKU) had a successful first week on AIM with the share price rising from the 59p placing price to 81p. That values the developer of technology enabling payments via mobile at around £170m.
Contact centre services software provider Netcall (NET) says the integration of the MatsSoft acquisition is progressing well and trading is strong in the first four months of the financial year. The dividend will return to a normal level this year having been enhanced in the past few years. This year’s dividend is expected to be 1.2p a share.
Angle (AGL) is included in a €6.3m study to develop liquid biopsy services that is being headed by Philips. This is a four year research project.
Jon Fenton has stepped down as chief executive of Van Elle Holdings (VANL) ahead of a requisitioned general meeting on 15 December.
Amiad Water Systems (AFS) has been granted a licence by Dow Technologies to use its TEQUATIC PLUS filter. Amiad will take over the manufacturing of the product and pay Dow 3.75% of revenues generated.
First Property Group (FPO) has already invested £51m for the new Fprop Office LLP but there is more than £200m more to invest. Annualised management fees are £2.64m and full investment of the new vehicle will significantly increase that figure.
Audio equipment supplier Focusrite (TUNE) increased its full year pre-tax profit by one-third to £9.5m. There was particularly strong growth in the US.
Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) managed to edge up its pre-tax profit last year even though trading becoming tougher in the second half. The motor dealer is expected to report a lower profit of £9.5m this year but it has a strong balance sheet and it is investing heavily in new sites for upmarket brands that will not fully contribute until next year.
Premier African Minerals (PREM) raised £1m via PrimaryBid at 0.4p a share, which was double the amount it was originally asking for. The cash will be used to develop mining projects in Zimbabwe and Benin.
Professional services provider Progility (PGY) put out its full year figures late on Friday. There was still time for the share price to fall by 0.2p to 1.25p. Progility did move back into profit in the period but it was a modest one. There was a warning that progress may be held back this year by operational efficiency improvements.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) is selling non-core businesses for $400,000 and reinvesting the cash in the development of technology to integrate blockchain-based currencies into its systems.
African Alliance is planning to invest £2.4m at 11p a share coal bed methane projects developer Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) conditional on a listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange before the end of the year.
Thor Mining (THR) is making a $125,000 (£95,000) payment to Pacific Gold and Royalty Corporation in settlement for the $1.5m (£1.13m) payment that would have had to have been made when the Pilot Mountain tungsten project in Nevada comes into production. Thor is still fully funded well into 2019. Metal Tiger has taken its stake in Thor to 9.77% after exercising 16 million warrants.
Cash shell Landscape Acquisition Holdings (LAHL) raised $500m at $10 a share but the share price fell below the placing price when dealings commenced. The focus is hospitality, land-based gaming and real estate businesses in North America and Europe.
Rockpool Acquisitions (ROC) has secured a potential reverse takeover target. It is lending an initial £543,000 to Northern Ireland-based renewable energy firm Greenview Gas and this will be used to buy two companies. The deal includes an option for Rockpool to acquire Greenview paid for by a share issue.
Creightons (CRL) increased its pre-tax profit by one-fifth to £956,000, helped by an improvement in gross margin. An interim dividend of 0.15p a share is proposed.
IT services provider Triad Group (TRD) made further progress in the first half. In the six months to September 2017, revenues dipped from £14.8m to £14.2m, while pre-tax profit moved from £668,000 to £737,000. There is £2m in the bank. An interim dividend of 0.5p a share has been declared.
This month marks the 22nd anniversary of the launch of NEX Exchange, although it was then originally called Ofex. A number of companies have gone on to bigger things, including Genus, which is in the FTSE250 index and accesso Technology, which is one of the top 50 companies on AIM. Further information can be found at http://www.hubinvest.com/AIMPDFOctober2017_97.pdf
MetalNRG (MNRG) has applied for two cobalt licences at Palomino and north Palomino in Western Australia but a rival has applied for the latter licence. There has also been interest from potential acquirers of this interest. A report has been received about the company’s US cobalt interests and this is being reviewed. A potential uranium project has been brought to the company and it is considering the opportunity.
Indigo Holdings (INGO) has invested £10,000 in 3sootjobs, a job search platform in Iran, giving it a 1.53% stake. Turquoise, which owns 32.1% of Indigo, and related parties, including Indigo directors, own around two-thirds of 3sootjobs.
Ecovista (EVTP) has bought a 80% stake in a company that owns a four bedroom property near Stanstead and it has paid £10,000 for an option on the next door property. The properties cover 1.72 acres.
Parcel delivery company DX (Group (DX.) is raising £24m from an issue of convertible loan notes. The conversion price will be 10p a share and the interest rate 8%. There is potential to issue a further £2m of loan notes. Lloyd Dunn has been appointed as chief executive but he is not on the board. Along with three directors, he is subscribing for £5.25m of loan notes.
Angle (AGL) has further positive indications of the effectiveness of its Parsortix liquid biopsy technology and it has also raised a further £2.8m, taking the total raised at 37.5p a share to £15m. Heinrich Heine University researchers has been able to able to continue to grow circulating tumour cells harvested using a Parsortix device.
Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ) performed strongly in the first half and online sales have increased to one-quarter of the total. This was before the launch of a website focused on Spain and there are plans for other international websites. The UK stores grew sales by 15%. Overall revenues were 35% ahead at £56.1m.
Orogen (ORE) is acquiring Thread 35 Ltd and changing its name to Sosandar (SOS), which is the acquisition’s online womenswear brand. The brand was launched on 19 September 2016 by the founders of fashion magazine Look and is aimed at the affluent professional woman. Orogen is paying £6.3m in cash and shares for the acquisition. Ten Orogen shares are being consolidated into one new share. A placing at 15.1p a share will raise £4.8m net to cover the cash portion of the acquisition cost.
Toilet tissue supplier Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL) expects to pay between£550,000 and £2.9m and because of its guilty plea the amount will be discounted by one-third. The figure will be announced early next year. Talks continue with major shareholders and the bank.
Wynnstay Group (WYN) has appointed administrators to Just for pets and 18 of the stores have been sold to PSR Ltd. The other seven have been closed. The loss-making pet products retailer had net assets of £2.2m.
Crop enhancement products supplier Plant Impact (PIM) increased its full year revenues by 17% to £8.5m even though sales in Brazil were disappointing. Higher research and development spending meant that there was a £3m loss. There was £7.2m in the bank at the end of July 2017. Plant Impact is moving into new geographic markets as well as building share in its existing markets.
Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) intends to use some of its cash to buy back up to £3m worth of shares. There was net cash of £20.8m at the end of August 2017. Interim revenues were flat at £1.45bn buy underlying pre-tax profit was 7% higher at £20.9m.
Patrick O’Sullivan, who failed to gain a board seat at Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR), has reduced his stake in the Irish gold explorer to three million shares (24.6%). Conroy was awarded costs of the court proceedings made by Patrick O’Sullivan and the level is still to be assessed. Conroy has decided to cancel its quotation on the Dublin-based Enterprise Securities Market on 6 November. Conroy will still be quoted on AIM so shareholder approval is not required. Andrea Gonella currently owns less than 3% of Conroy, having owned more than 6% in July. Conroy has raised €240,000 via a €0.30 a share placing and a further €167,000 was raised from warrants taken up by directors Professor Richard Conroy and Maureen Jones.
Digital Barriers (DGB) has decided to sell its video business for up to £27.5m. It will concentrate on its Thruvision people screening business.
InterQuest Group (ITQ) has appointed Allenby as its nominated adviser and Peterhouse as its broker so trading in the shares has recommenced. Chisbridge Ltd ended up with 58.3% of InterQuest after its bid. It still wants to ditch the AIM quotation and it can buy shares in the market in order to increase the stake.
Patient monitoring device developer LiDCO (LID) has gained its first long-term high use programme contract with a US customer but that did not contribute in the first half. In the six months to July 2017, revenues were 4% higher at £3.9m and the loss was £1m. That was due to higher sales and marketing costs without the benefits of higher sales yet showing through.
1Spatial (SPA) has sold its non-core assets so that it can focus on geospatial data. There is particular potential in the US market. Although interim revenues were flat at £12.1m but a greater proportion were from the geospatial business. The operating loss was reduced from £1.9m to £1.2m and the cash outflow in the period was minimal. Claire Milverton has been confirmed as chief executive.
Two graphene-related companies are raising cash. Applied Graphene (AGM) has raised £9m at 36p a share and existing shareholders are being given the chance to subscribe for up to £1m via a one-for-eight open offer. There was £4.7m in the bank at the end of July 2017. The cash is being used to finance joint development activity for the strategic ink programme, which uses 2D inkjet printing to deliver graphene-based inks. Other potential uses are also being explored. Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) is raising £10m via a placing and offer at 120p a share, which was a 32% discount to the market price. Haydale recently changed broker to Arden. The cash will be used to provide working capital for existing orders and to develop new uses for graphene, including cookware.
SaaS-based accounting software supplier FreeAgent Holdings (FREE) says that it generated interim revenues of £4.6m, compared with £3.6m. There was a smaller first half loss and had net cash of £3.4m at the end of September 2017.
Top level domain names owner and distributor Minds + Machines (MMX) has received approval from the authorities in China to sell .law, .work, .beer and the Chinese equivalent of .shopping. Four more extensions are going through the approvals progress. So far, revenues from China for .vip have been a significant contributor to group revenues.
A consortium led by former chief executive Peter Earl is in early discussions with Rurelec (RUR) about a bid that could be backed by Rurelec’s joint venture Patagonia Energy Ltd.
An application to enable Redx Pharma (REDX) to get back control of its main subsidiary will be heard on 26 October. If approved, the subsidiary will come out of administration and the suspension of trading in Redx shares could be lifted.
Realm Therapeutics (RLM) has completed the £19.3m placing at 29p a unit (one unit is one share and a warrant for 0.4 of a share). The warrants provide an opportunity to subscribe for a share at 58p each. The initial focus of the cash will be the treatments PR022 for atopic dermatitis and PR013 for allergic conjunctivitis. There are also plans for a phase II trial for the PR023 treatment for acne vulgaris.
PipeHawk (PIP) has sold its 28.4% stake in south east England-based survey practice SUMO Ltd to its own executive chairman Gordon Watt for £197,499. That is the equivalent of the investment in loss-making SUMO and is more than its value in the books.
Dr Cliff Holloway has been appointed as chief executive of Scancell Holdings (SCLP) and he will push forward the immunotherapy platforms being developed by the company. His predecessor Dr Richard Goodfellow is remaining on the board. Scancell had £2.67m in the bank at the end of April 2017, which was less than the cash outflow in the previous 12 months.
Ashanti Gold Corp says that the Anumso gold project, where Goldplat (GDP) is earning up to 75% through a $3m investment in exploration, has broader and new mineralised zones. Soil sampling has produced good results and suggests high gold recovery rates.
Former AIM company Zenith Hygiene has agreed a cash bid from BCPE Diamond UK. The deal values Zenith at £100m, based on its enterprise value, although the final amount depends on performance.
Cash shell J2 Acquisition Ltd (JTWO) commenced trading on the standard list on 10 October, having raised $1.25bn. The shell is seeking a company with a strong market share and proven track record. If an acquisition is not made within two years, shareholder approval will be required for a further 12 months of operation.
Levrett (LVRT) has completed the acquisition of Nuformix Ltd for £12m in shares at 4p each and it has changed its name to Nuformix. A further £2.3m has been raised at 4p a share. Trading will recommence on 16 September.
Sealand Capital Galaxy (SCGL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with AIM-quoted MySQUAR (MYSQ) that will enable the two companies to distribute each other’s mobile games.
Monchhichi (MCC) still intends to follow Pembridge Resources (PERE) from AIM to the standard list but the move has been delayed until mid-November. This will follow shareholder approval for the €10m investment in artificial intelligence, machine learning and behavioural data science company Sentiance and the approval of the prospectus by the UKLA. Sentiance lost more than €2m on revenues of €1.4m in 2016.
WideCells Group (WDC) plans to launch its CellPlan insurance for stem cell treatment in Spain before the end of the year. A partner has been secured for the expansion of stem cell services in the Middle East, north Africa and Asia Pacific. White Apex General Trading will be exclusive strategic partner for three years.
National Milk Records (NMRP) has changed its year end to June and its latest figures are for the 15 months to June 2017. This is a period when the dairy information and data services provider sorted out its pension deficit problem and this removed significant, and volatile, liabilities from the balance sheet. The market has been tough for at least two years because of the weak milk price but it is starting to recover. In the 15 month period, revenues were £25.3m and operating profit before pension and one-off charges was £1.1m. The total loss before tax is £11.9m, which is after a pension related charge of £12.5m. Trading is improving.
WH Ireland believes that Ashley House (ASH) could report a pre-tax profit of £1.8m for the year to April 2018, although it is likely to be second half weighted. This follows a decline in underlying pre-tax profit to £53,000 last year because of uncertainty about government policy. The community care properties provider has a strong pipeline of potential developments. The acquisition of an off-site manufacturing business will help the group to win modular buildings business.
Energy efficiency products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported a 14% rise in full year revenues to £3.75m. The Energie MiHome range grew by 154%, albeit from a low base. The loss was halved to £135,000 but refunded tax reduced the cash outflow from operations. Development expenditure will broaden the product range in the smart home sector.
Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) reported a jump in pre-tax profit from £612,000 to £1.12m in the year to April 2017 and this is prior to the disposal of all the residential properties. The property investor made a £1.02m gain on disposals but this was offset by a £391,000 unrealised reduction in property values, compared with a £283,000 unrealised gain in the corresponding period. NAV was £18.1m at the end of April 2017.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had a net asset value of 42.58p a share at the end of August 2017. Recent investment include £400,000 in timber frame buildings company Employee Owners Group and £150,000 follow-on investment in Computer Application Services.
London Nusantara Plantations (PALM) has £129,000 in the bank following the disposal of its initial land investment. There was a small gain on disposal but it was not enough to wipe out the interim loss. Management is assessing acquisition opportunities of plantations and mill capacity in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia. This will require additional funding.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has completed the €5.4m fundraising, at €0.01 a share, which it requires to progress the acquisition of the office building in Ivan Vazov Street in Sofia from UniCredit Bulbank. Debt funding of €7m still has to be secured from UniCredit Bulbank. Black Sea Property has paid a deposit of €1.04m out of the purchase price of €10.5m.
Bushveld Minerals Ltd (BMN) has published the circular for the demerger of its tin interests. Shareholders will receive one share in Afritin Mining Ltd, which will own the company’s Greenhills business, for each Bushveld share. Afritin will own the Mokopane tin project and Zaaiplaat tin tailings project in South Africa plus an interest in the Uis tin project in Namibia. Bushveld will still have coal assets but the main focus will be the vanadium assets and the potential value adding battery-related products.
Toilet tissue supplier Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL) has asked for trading in its shares to be suspended because of uncertainty about its financial position. It has been difficult to pass on extra raw materials costs and operational problems have also increased costs. There is also going to be a large fine relating to a health and safety incident.
Earthport (EPO) has raised £25m at 20p a share. This cash will be used to expand the corss-border payment services company’s market and global presence, develop further products and invest in the operating platform.
The requisitioner of the general meeting at Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR) failed to get any of its resolutions passed so there are no more changes to the board. Conroy raised €240,000 at €0.30 a share. The exercising of warrants raised €167,000. The cash will be used to develop the Clontibret deposit and pay for additional exploration at the Slieve Glah gold prospect.
Reabold Resources (RBD) is raising £1.76m at 0.5p a share. This follows a £3.96m subscription at the same share price. Reabold intends to change its focus to European oil and gas projects. Two former M&G analysts have joined the board.
City of London Group (CIN) has completed the reverse takeover of Milton Homes, which provides equity release products for residential property owners.
Stanley Gibbons (SGI) has found a new buyer for its interiors division. Gurr Johns is paying £1.25m with up to £400,000 deferred consideration. Stanley Gibbons is retaining £300,000 of inventory and the Mallett premises in New York. It has also retained the Mallett and Made by Meta brands. Millicent had agreed to pay £2.4m for the assets and brands and it has to pay a termination fee. Stanley Gibbons reported a £30.2m loss for the year to March 2017. Even taking out exceptionals the underlying loss was £11.1m. The NAV is £18m.
Kin Group (KIN) has raised £1m at 0.001p a share and every four shares come with a warrant to subscribe for a new share at 0.004p each. A CVA is proposed where unsecured creditors will swap their money owed of £2.27m for shares at 0.01p each. A capital reorganisation is required to reduce the nominal value of a share to below the placing price. John Taylor, who has been involved in the aerospace and military sectors, and Lindsay Mair, a corporate financier at SP Angel, are joining the board.
Redcentric (RCN) has appointed Chris Jagusz as chief executive. Net debt is falling but it is still £33.3m. Working capital management has improved. Profit should start to recover this year.
Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) has announced a drilling programme for the Anza gold project in Colombia. There will be 15,000 metres of diamond core drilling and the first results should be available by next February. The plan is to define a maiden resource and the potential for further mineralisation.
Avacta (AVCT) has announced a research collaboration with FIT Biotech in order to assess the effectiveness of is Affimer technology with FIT’s vector technology for delivering a gene.
The Environmental Protection Agency in the US has asked Tristel (TSTL) to resubmit its application for its Duo surface cleaner. This means that approval could be five months later than planned.
Northland has initiated coverage of Venture Life (VLG) and it expects the consumer healthcare firm to move into profit in 2018. Northland believes that Venture Life will benefit from growth in demand for self-care products because of the ageing global population. Venture Life already sells its products in more than 40 countries.
Angling Direct (ANG) is acquiring Fosters Fishing for £3m in cash. Fosters have a 17,000 square feet store in Birmingham and made an operating profit of £460,000 last year. When a new store in Slough opens Angling Direct will have 18 outlets.
SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) says that its technology has passed third party cytotoxicity tests. Phototoxicity and in vitro ocular toxicity tests are underway.
AdEPT Telecom (ADT) has declared a 13% increase in interim dividend to 4.25p a share. Recent acquisitions are performing well and are helping to focus the group on managed services.
Redhall Group (RHL) says delays on nuclear and infrastructure will hit its figures for the year to September 2017. The Hinckley Point C contract is expected to start in October 2017. The Chieftain facility is being closed. The 2016-17 profit forecast has been halved to £500,000. The 2017-18 profit forecast has been trimmed by £200,000 to £3.4m.
Adams (ADA) has taken its cash pile to £660,000 following the sale of £584,000 worth of shares in GVC.
Former AIM company Clinical Computing has sold its trading subsidiaries to TSX-listed Constellation Software.
InnovaDerma (IDP) is raising £4.4m at 276p a share. The Skinny Tan brand owner needs the cash for working capital. Despite declaring a profit of more than £1m in the year to June 2017 there was a £607,000 cash outflow from operations as inventory levels soared.
Curzon Energy (CZN) raised £2.33m at 10p a share but the share price has declined to 9.25p. Curzon has acquired coalbed methane licences in Oregon. Curzon believes that gas could be produced before the end of the year.
Haynes Publishing (HYNS) has completed the acquisition of E3 Technical from Solera UK for £4.72m. This will expand the data-related operations of Haynes, as well as providing cross-selling opportunities. E3 provides repair and maintenance information and vehicle registration look-up services.
easyJet EZJ continues to fly high with statistics for September showing an 11% rise in passenger numbers and load factor up by a further 2.5pp to 93.6%. Mind you easyJet must regard as a blessing, Ryanair’s much publicised confession that it has messed up big time and will continue to do so for months to come, much to the annoyance of its passengers
Intercede Group IGP Revenue rose by about 30% in the 6 months to 30th September, due mainly to new customer wins. A strong second half is expected as diversification into Europe and the strengthening of the European pipeline is expected to offset budget difficulties in the company’s US government customer base.
Redcentric RCN has been trading in line during the last six months which has seen strong operating cash flow leading to a reduction of £33m in net debt, ahead of management expectations. A new CEO has been appointed who has a 25 years track record of delivering growth and business transformations.
BTG plc. BTG updates that it has delivered a good first half performance in the 6 months to the 30th September, producing double digit sales growth at constant exchange rates. Interventional Medicine’s growth is expected to have been in the mid to high teens at constant exchange rates and this is expected to increase in the second half.
Accrol Group Holdings ACRL has experienced more challenging trading conditions which are having a significant effect on the company’s trading performance. It is believed that fine which is due to be imposed by the Health and Safety Executive will be more significant than previously thought, to the extent that it will have a material impact on the company’s cash position. Consequently the dividend payment for the current year is to be reviewed and application has been made for the temporary suspension of trading in the company”s shares on AIM.
Caledonia Mining Corporation CMCL announces yet another quarterly production record at its Blanket Mine in Zimbabwe.Gold production in quarter 3 rose to 14,389 oz. which was 15% up on the second quarter and 7% up on 2016’s third quarter. The improvement in gold production is expected to continue into the fourth quarter.
Carillion CLLN has been forced to suspend 2017 dividends and issue warnings that first half profits and revenue will be lower than expected and overall performance will be below management expectations. Borrowings will also increase to such an extent that immediate action is required to accelerate the reduction in average net borrowings.
Public Private Partnership equity disposals have been postponed into the second half. An enhanced review supported by KPMG has revealed a contract provision of some £845m, due in part to exiting from markets and also reflecting difficult markets, as well as the failure by the company to replace completed contracts with new contract starts.
The excuses read like a litany of management inspired disasters and the Group Chief executive has fallen on his sword and departed immediately from the Board, although he will stay on for a year to help with the transition.
Flowtech Fluidpower FLO has produced a strong performance for the half year to 30th June with group revenue rising by 24.7% and continued momentum across all dicisions as well as from new subsidiaries. Net debt in the half year as fallen from £14m to £8.3m
Pennant Int. Group PEN Has not noticed any loss of confidence amongst its global customer base arising from the formal start of Brexit negotiations and is on track to deliver in line results for the half year to the 30th June. Major global customers include Kawasaki and Lockheed Martin which became a new customer in 2016, with a major contract, has recently awarded a £2m contract extension.
Accrol Group Holdings ACRL is to pay a final dividend of 4p per share for the year to 30th April making a total payment of 6p for its maidenl year on Aim in which profit after tax rose by 29.3% on revenue up by 14.2% and net debt was reduced by £41.7m to £19m. success in new contract wins have seen its market share rise to over 50%
Good Energy (GOOD) received applications for £16.7m of the corporate bonds on offer. The maximum application level was £20m. The energy supplier will issue the bonds on 30 June. At the company’s AGM, Martin Edwards was not re-elected as a non-executive director and four special resolutions, three relating to pre-emption rights and one about calling a general meeting at 14 days notice, were not passed. Edwards has been a director of Good Energy since its formation and has expertise in renewable energy generation. It is unclear whether the length of his time on the board was held against him by institutions or whether there was another reason for him being removed from the board. He was chairman of the remuneration committee.
South Africa-based social impact investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) says that occupancy rates of its core investment Kazuko Lodge are improving and it moved into profit last year. The weakness of the Rand has helped to boost tourist demand and room rates. In the year to February 2017, Inqo revenues increased from R10.7m to R17m and a loss of R4.72m was turned into a pre-tax profit of R10.3m, thanks to a rise in other income from R867,000 to R14m. Net cash was R2.3m at the end of February 2017. This year, the first revenues from Bee Sweet Honey and retirement savings scheme provider Four One Financial Services are anticipated.
Housebuilder St Mark Homes (SMAP) is paying an interim dividend of 5.5p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 6 July.
Phoenix UK has bought out a rival shareholder in Hornby (HRN) and this has triggered a mandatory bid at the purchase price of 32.375p a share. This purchase took Phoenix’s stake in Hornby to 55.2%. The bid values Hornby at £27.4m. Neither Hornby’s management nor Phoenix wants to lose the AIM quotation. The bid closes on 14 July.
Wynnstay (WYN) reported flat interim pre-tax profit of £4.07m prior to the goodwill write-down on the Just for Pets retail business. Pet retailing is a competitive market and it is consolidation. Just for Pets is relatively small and it loss has masked an improvement in the core agricultural division and the Wynnstay Sores retail business. A recovery in the milk price means that farmers are back in profit and are spending more money on feed. Net debt was £8.28m at the end of April 2017, which is higher than last time because of the rise in commodity prices. The interim dividend was increased by 5% to 4.2p a share. The full year profit is forecast to decline from £7.4m to £7.1m.
NWF (NWF) also benefited from a recovery in feed demand in the second half of the year to May 2017, although there was a decline in the year as a whole. The food and fuel distribution businesses both made improved contribution. The full year figures will be published on 1 August.
South America-focused gold miner Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) says that operating costs were between $800 and $900/ounce last year. In the year to May 2017, Orosur produced 35,371 ounces of gold, which is at the lower end of the expected range. There was net cash of $2.9m at the end of May 2017 even though a new underground mine has been developed. Orosur plans to commence a drilling programme in Colombia, while the deadline for a decision by Asset Chile on whether to back phase II of the Anillo project has been extended to the end of 2017, although Orosur can talk to other potential backers.
Timber importer James Latham (LTHM) reported better than expected full year figures. In the year to March 2017, revenues were 7% ahead at £199m and gross margins improved. Earnings per share were 4% higher at 55.8p and the total dividend is 15.35p a share, up from 14.3p a share. Net cash was more than £16m. Revenues were 3% higher in the first two months of the current financial year.
InterQuest Group (ITQ) continues to advise against acceptance of the bid from Chisbridge, which is a management backed takeover vehicle. Acceptances of the 42p a share cash bid have been received from shareholders owning 2.85% of InterQuest, which is added to the 40.5% of the share capital that already backed the bid. The offer has been extended to 13 July.
European Wealth Group (EWG) is raising £6.14m at 12.8p a share and could raise up to £3.07m more via an open offer to existing shareholders. The cash will be used to pay off debt and deferred consideration.
Tracking and security equipment developer Starcom (STAR) has raised £650,000 at 1.5p a share, with each share coming with one-fifth of a warrant exercisable at 2.5p a share for up to 12 months. Some of the cash will be used to pay $246,000 to YA II, which will reduce the drawn down convertible loan facility from $330,000 to $110,000. YA II has agreed to a conversion price for the rest of the facility of 2.5p a share up until the end of 2017.
Redx Pharma (REDX) has a chance of securing the funds it requires in order to come out of administration. Discussions are still at an early stage. It is unclear whether this will involve changes to management, given that the current management believed that it could string along Liverpool City Council and put off repayment of its loan. Redx has gained UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency approval for oral cancer treatment RXC004. This provides permission for a phase Ib/IIa study for gastric, biliary and pancreatic cancer patients.
Clontarf Energy (CLON) is in talks to secure further projects and additional finance. Clontarf was recently awarded block 18, offshore Equatorial Guinea.
Myanmar International Ltd (MIL) raised a total of $7.3m via PrimaryBid.com and institutions, having initially wanted to raise between $3m and $5m. The Myanmar-focused investment company offered shares at $1.18 each – a 9.2% discount to the market price. Myanmar has achieved a broadening of its shareholder base. The enhanced proceeds are still expected to be invested within six months.
Digital media content business Brave Bison Group (BBSN) has appointed Claire Hungate, a former chief operating officer of ex-AIM TV production company Shed Media, as chief executive but she does not join the company until September. Brave Bison says that it does not believe a merger with fellow AIM company Zinc Media is in its interests.
Water treatment company HaloSource (HAL) has finally completed a £1.8m fundraising at 1.5p a share. The cash will provide working capital to help expand the drinking water business and develop the lead removal technology. The cash will fund the group into 2018. The new shares are more than one-third of the enlarged share capital. The completion of the conditional fundraising was announced on 21 April. There is no mention in the latest announcement of the investor that had tried to gain Chinese government approval to invest.
Gold producer and explorer Shanta Gold (SHG) raised £11m at 6p a share as part of a refinancing that also includes a new $50m debt facility to replace the existing $40m facility. Shanta is acquiring TSX Venture Exchange-quoted Helio Gold, which has gold exploration assets near to Shanta’s own licences, for $5.6m in shares. Shanta will be able to finance the commercial underground production phase at its New Luika gold mine.
Thor Mining (THR) has raised£460,000 at 0.9p a share and there is one warrant with each new share which is exercisable at 1.8p a share. Thor has agreed to acquire 25% of US Lithium, which has interests in Arizona and New Mexico, from Pembridge Resources for £59,000 and £30,000 will be provided to cover operating costs. There is an option to acquire the other 75% for 52.8 million shares at a deemed price of 0.9p each. Thor has completed a 50 hole drilling programme on the Dundas gold project in Western Australia. The results should come through in a few weeks.
First, the good news from TLA Worldwide (TLA). Management is obviously trying to suggest that it does not have contempt for investors by releasing a profit warning at 7am – its advisers must be doing something right. This is certainly a big improvement on publishing a profit warning at 6.26pm on 23 December 2016. TLA still thinks that it will be able to report its 2016 figures and post its accounts on 30 June. However, the trade receivables write-off is going to be higher than the previous guesstimate of $1.5m-$2.5m. The write-off is expected to be $3.2m and on top of that the negative effect of the accounting corrections on EBITDA is likely to be $3.6m, up from $2m previously. That will leave 2016 EBITDA at $4.8m. The interest charge will take up the majority of that figure. It is not just that, though. The original 2015 profit will be reduced by $1.9m. Net debt was $21.8m at the end of 2016 but a large chunk of the receivables that should have helped to reduce that figure are not going to come in. There is no dividend – unsurprisingly. The finance director has left, although he will be providing assistance for three months.
Superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) is raising £6.9m at 100p a share prior to joining AIM on 5 July. GYG is valued at £46.6m at the placing price and the plan is to pay an annual dividend equivalent to 6.4% of the placing price, although it will be 3.2% for 2017. Last year, GYG generated revenues of €54.6m and made EBITDA of €6.7m.
China-focused healthcare investor Cathay International Holdings (CTI) says that it will receive just over $4m in dividends from 50.56%-owned subsidiary Lansens Pharmaceutical. The dividend will be paid on 4 August. Lansens’ subsidiaries have received insurance payments totalling $2.58m. Two directors were not re-elected at Cathay’s AGM because, although they received the majority of votes, they did not receive the majority of independent votes. Further re-election resolutions will be proposed in the next four months and they will only need a majority to be passed.
Falcon Media House (FAL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Tata Communications to collaborate on an over the top service for brands and content rights holders, using Falcon’s Q-Flow technology.
SMALL CAP AWARDS 2017 WINNERS
Company of the Year
Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music has gone from strength to strength since joining AIM in June 2015. The share price has risen by 600% in the past year. In May, £4.2m was raised at 690p a share.
The musical instruments market remains fragmented but Gear4Music is becoming one of the main players in Europe and it is opening distribution facilities in Europe as well as expanding its UK base. The investment required is holding back short-term profit growth and, in fact, pre-tax profit is expected to dip this year from £2.7m to £2.4m before rising to £3.3m in 2018-19.
IPO of the Year
Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL)
Tissue manufacturer Accrol had just celebrated its first anniversary on AIM when it was given this award. Accrol floated at 100p a share on 10 June 2016 and the share price has risen to 159.5p. Full year figures will be announced on 10 July.
Accrol is a leading supplier of tissue products to the discount sector and it has opened a new factory in Leyland, Lancashire. This investment takes annual production capacity to 143,000 tonnes. A ten-year lease has been secured on a 368,000 square foot warehouse in west Lancashire and this will become the central distribution facility. The warehouse management and logistics have been outsourced.
NEX Exchange Company of the Year
Chapel Down Group (CDGP)
English wines producer Chapel Down has been quoted on NEX and it forerunners for more than 14 years. Revenues have grown from £1.47m in the year to September 2002 to £10.2m in 2016. The Tenterden-based business made a small loss when it floated. Continuing operations moved from an underlying pre-tax profit of £156,000 in 2015 to £340,000 in 2016. Frosts have hit production this year but the outcome for wine production is still uncertain.
The company has developed brewing business Curious Drinks, which has separately raised money to build a new brewery but Chapel Down still effectively controls the business. The new Ashford brewery will be open in mid-2018 and this will free up space for further wine making at Tenterden.
Impact Company of the Year
African agricultural and forestry business Obtala is set to start to commercialise its operations this year. Up until now revenues have been modest but they are set to jump to £11.9m in 2017, trebling to £36.9m in 2018, which should be high enough to allow Obtala to make a profit in 2018. Hardman estimates that the Mozambique forestry assets could generate EBITDA of more than £25m in 2021. There are also plans to build up the orchard and horticultural business in Tanzania.
In May, Obtala acquired profitable sawn timber trader WoodBois International for $14.8m (£11.4m). The Copenhagen-based business sources timber from across Africa and sells it around the world. WoodBois has been short of capital to finance growth and it fits well with Obtala’s existing timber and forestry operations.
Executive Director of the Year
Nick Jarmany, Quixant (QTX)
Telematics technology provider Quartix is highly cash generative enabling it to finance growth in the UK, France and the US and pay increasing dividends. Chief executive Nick Jarmany founded Quixant in 2005 having spent more than two decades at Densitron Technologies. He guided the business to an AIM quotation in 2013.
The UK remains the dominant region for revenues but France and the US are growing strongly from low bases. Last year, US revenues more than doubled, from £256,000 to £677,000, but the loss was even higher than that because of the investment in sales and marketing and support services to enable growth over the next five years.
Transaction of the Year
Keywords Studios (KWS)
Outsourced video games services provider Keywords Studios has made numerous earnings enhancing acquisitions since it joined AIM but this award is for the purchase of Synthesis for up to €18m, which is one of eight purchases in 2016. This deal meant that Keywords became the global leader in localisation and voice-over recording for video games and added additional studios in Germany, France and Taiwan.
Keywords is expected to maintain a net cash position at the end of 2017 but this will depend on the level of acquisitions activity. There is a €35m bank facility that is not fully utilised and that could be used for further acquisitions.
Analyst of the Year
Andrew Blain, Cenkos Securities
Journalist of the Year
Jamie Nimmo, Evening Standard
Adviser of the Year
Fund Manager of the Year
Paul Mumford, Cavendish Asset Management
Malcolm Diamond (Trifast/Flowtech Fluidpower)