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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 14 September 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Investment company S-Ventures is set to join the market on 16 September. The strategy is to make investments in consumer health and organic food businesses in the UK and Europe. The S-Ventures management will use their expertise to help smaller brands grow faster and achieve greater scale. Up to three acquisitions are planned each year and they are likely to have values of between £150,000 and £2m.

Evrima (EVA) has secured an option to acquire a 17.2% stake in Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration (KKME), which would increase its investment in the Botswana-focused nickel, copper and platinum explorer to 19.6%. The former Sport Capital Group has 60 days to acquire the stake for $183,000 in the form of 2.3 million shares at 6p each. The same number of warrants will be issued, and they are exercisable at 12p each. AIM-quoted Power Metals has a

Block Commodities (BLCC) has been fined £7,000 by the Aquis Stock Exchange. Block failed to make sure that it provided accurate and fully up to date information to investors about fundraisings. It also failed to consult with its corporate adviser. Trading in the shares remains suspended.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) is assessing potential gemstones opportunities in Africa.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) has sold a 29.5% stake in LCP Financial for £275,000 in order to provide funds to develop the waste and recycling operations.

Early Equity (EEQP) has appointed Novum Securities as its corporate adviser and trading has recommenced in the shares.

Gold explorer Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has raised £403,000 at 0.275p a share. Each new share has a warrant attached that is exercisable at 0.7p each after the results of the exploration drilling are released. The cash will finance drilling.

AIM

Michelmersh Brick (MBH) has restarted production following lockdown despatches have recovered more quickly than the sector. Interim revenues fell by 17% and underlying pre-tax profit was halved, but full year expectations have been upgraded. The bricks manufacturer is operating at normal levels and June 2020 revenues were better than those in June 2019. Canaccord Genuity has upgraded its full year profit forecast from £5.3m to £6.5m, down from £9.7m in 2019. Limited UK brick production capacity means that Michelmersh is in a strong position and it has demonstrated its resilience this year. 

Internet domain name registry and services provider CentralNic (CNIC) is paying $36m for the Codewise businesses, which provide monetisation services and online marketing tools. This fits with Team Internet and will be significantly earnings enhancing from day one. A placing raised £30m at 75p a share.

Synairgen (SNG) has published interim data for its SNG001 treatment that suggests that it could be effective for COVID-19 patients, particularly those suffering with more severe symptoms.

Belvoir Group (BLV) weathered the COVID-19 lockdown well. Financial services increased their contribution in the first half and lettings income held up. Underlying pre-tax profit improved by 7% to £3.16m, helped by the Lovelle acquisition. Earnings per share were 16% higher at 7.3p. The interim dividend is 3.4p and a further 2p is payable in lieu of the final dividend that was not paid. The former boss sold shares at 150p each.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) reported an unchanged interim pre-tax profit of £2m and an interim dividend of 2.1p a share is being paid. Cash has risen to £6.1m. Lettings income held up and trading was strong in June. The core business and online operation EweMove both performed strongly in July.

Arden has initiated research on Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) and it believes that the palm oil and cashew nut processer is worth 7.6p a share. The broker believes that Dekel could make an operating profit next year. Profit should build up over the next few years as cashew nuts processing activities grow.

Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises (SOM) is resuming dividends and paying a deferred final dividend of 20.7 cents a share as well as an interim of 4 cents a share. That will cost $14m. North American interim sales held up best with European sales falling by one-quarter. Pre-tax profit is still expected to fall from $28m to $17.6m, but net cash should be $20m at the end of 2020.

Digital invoicing services provider Tungsten Corporation (TUNG) is on course to move into profit in the current financial year. The loss per share was reduced from 3.5p to 1.4p in the year to April 2020 and there was cash generated from operations.

Irrigation products supplier Amiad Water Systems (AFS) reported a decline in revenues but profit increased as margins improved. Amiad was already reducing its cost base when COVID-19 started to hamper the business. This led Stifel to increase its full year pre-tax profit forecast to $4.5m. Further growth could come from new products and potential acquisitions.

Building and construction products supplier Alumasc (ALU) has realigned its cost base but pre-tax profit was still one-third down at £3.7m as full year revenues declined by 16% to £76m. A 2p a share dividend was declared. Trading has been recovering since the June year end. Further cost saving benefits will help profit to recover this year. finnCap forecasts £6.4m pre-tax profit for 2020-21.

New SIPP business has been slow for STM (STM) but the recurring revenue base means that interim revenues were maintained at £11.8m. Additional personnel costs reduced pre-tax profit by nearly one-third to £1.1m. There is £17.6m in the bank and that enables STM to pay an interim dividend of 0.55p a share, which should be one-third of the total for the year. A full year pre-tax profit of £2.5m is forecast, with a rebound to £4.5m in 2021.

Recruitment firm Hydrogen (HYDG) plans to cancel the AIM quotation. A tender offer of 40p a share provides investors with a way to sell their shares prior to the cancelation.

MAIN MARKET

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) has realigned costs so that they are more in line with revenues. In the first half of 2020, revenues fell by 13% to £71.6m, but operating profit was one-quarter higher at £9m. Gross margins continue to increase, and overheads have been kept down. Operating profit margin of 12.3% was higher than ever before.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 September 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Ananda Developments (ANA) is acquiring 15% of UK-based Liberty Herbal Technologies Ltd, which is the owner and developer of hapac, a technology for vaping cannabis. The investment cost £460,000 and Ananda has the right of first refusal for any further fundraisings in the next two years. The technology can be used to provide a measured medicinal dose. A commercial launch is planned in Italy before the end of the year and in Canada next year. Ananda is holding a general meeting to extend its geographical focus to the UK and Italy.

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) is leasing 388 acres of land adjoining its existing vineyards on the North Downs. This site will be vined between 2019 and 2021 and with the rest of the land that has already been planted it will be the largest vineyard in England.

DagangHalal (DGHL) intends to leave NEX after less than three years on the market. Trading in the shares has been limited but this is not surprising given the problems the company has had. Shareholders owning 84.7% of the company are in favour of the withdrawal from NEX and this will happen on 1 October.

Trading in Etaireia (ETIP) shares was suspended because the annual report for the year to March 2018 was not published by the end of August. The results were released on 5 September and trading was restored. The loss was increased from £622,000 to £857,000, following a £434,000 write down on the value of land at Dalry. The NAV was £1.81m at the end of March 2018.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) remains suspended with full year results due to be published by the middle of September. The audit of Essential Learning still needs to be completed.

Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) had nearly £17,000 in the bank at the end of March 2018. The NAV was £722,000. The majority of the loss of £219,000 in the year was due to share-based payments. Hot Rocks has a stake in Minergy Ltd, which has floated on the Botswana Stock Exchange and has been granted a mining licence for the Masama coal project. Production could start by next February. Another investee company, Block Energy (BLOK) has floated on AIM and more than two million shares have been acquired in standard list flotation Predator Oil and Gas.

Ecovista (EVTP) has raised £550,000 from a convertible loan note issue, which has to be repaid or converted (at 0.0005p a share) by the end of August 2019.

AIM  

Bilby (BILB) founder Phil Copolo and his son Leigh have left the board of the building and gas maintenance services provider and sold more than 31% of the company to institutional investors at a discount of around 6% to the then market price. Janet Copolo still owns 7.2% of Bilby and cannot sell until 3 September 2019, according to an agreement with Stanford Capital Partners, which was sole book runner of the placing. Miton has increased its stake from 15.1% to 19.8%, while MI Discretionary Fund has bought 8.19% and Ruffer has acquired 8%.

TLA Worldwide (TLA) published its latest profit warning at 10.35am on 4 September. At least it was while the markets were still trading rather than after they had closed for Christmas. Numis has had enough and resigned as nominated adviser. Trading is weak and TLA is set to breach banking covenants. TLA needs to raise cash.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) is still building he base from which it can grow over the next few years. The interim figures do not reflect the progress that is being made. Revenues doubled from a low base, but higher costs meant that there was a flat loss of £1.5m. There is £6.96m in the bank at the end of June 2018 so the mass spectrometry technology developer has plenty of time to build up its revenues. The venture with a global bioprocessing partner is progressing and is in an integration phase. Commercialisation should be completed by early 2020. New agreements with two manufacturers and four distributors augur well for growth over the next 18 months. The target is revenues of more than £17m in 2022.

A full first half contribution from the Carlton acquisition helped Michelmersh Brick (MBH) to increase interim revenues by 43% to £23.1m and underlying pre-tax profit by 57% to £3.8m. The interim dividend has been raised by 51% to 1.06p a share. Demand for bricks remains strong and there is limited production capacity.

Tax Systems (TAX) continues to reduce its net debt, putting it in a good position to make further acquisitions. Net debt was reduced by 15% to £17.5m over a six month period. Interim revenues grew by 14% to £8m and order intake is 22% higher. The corporation tax software provider is broadening its range of software in order to make the most of the move to a digital tax system in the UK.

Filtration systems supplier Amiad Water Systems (AFS) grew its interim profit even though growth in revenues was modest. Stifel Nicolaus expects a stronger second half with full year revenues improving from $112.3m to $116.8m and then a further acceleration in growth to $123.4m. Although underlying pre-tax profit is expected to be flat at $5.1m, it is forecast to jump to $6.8m in 2019. A jump in 2018 dividend to 6.5p a share is forecast, despite relatively flat earnings per share. The dividend would still be more than twice covered.

Performance-based mobile marketing services provider Taptica International Ltd (TAP) continues to grow internationally and, via a combination of acquisitions and organic growth, interim revenues were 119% higher at $144m. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from $12.3m to $18m. An interim dividend of 3.98 cents a share is being paid.  Net cash was $42.1m at the end of June 2018.

Mobile location data services provider Location Sciences (LSAI) increased revenues from £49,000 to £234,000 in the first half of 2018 but there is a lot more to come. New products have been launched and it will take time for them to make a significant contribution. Even so, 2018 revenues of £702,000 are forecast, rising to £2.2m in 2019. The loss will reduce but a profit is not forecast until 2020. There was £720,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018 and more funding will be required to achieve the expected growth in sales.

Finsbury Food (FIF) is acquiring Free From bakery manufacturer Ultrapharm for an initial £17m with more dependent on performance. The business made a pre-tax profit of £800,000 in 2017. The acquisition is earnings enhancing.

Safestyle UK (SFE) has settled litigation with former employees who set up in competition. They will change their brand name from SafeGlaze and promise not to use confidential information.

IFA Lighthouse (LGT) continues to prosper. Interim revenues were 5% ahead at £26.9m and pre-tax profit 12% higher at £1.26m. Net cash was £9.6m.  and the interim dividend is two-thirds higher at 0.2p a share. Growth has been coming from the affinity business.

MAIN MARKET  

Commercial aircraft lessor Avation (AVAP) reported a 16% increase in revenues to $109.1m in the year to June 2018.  However, pre-tax profit dipped by 6% due to a gain on aircraft sales in the corresponding period. The dividend was increased by one-fifth to 7.25 cents a share. The NAV was equivalent to 283p a share. Cannacord Genuity forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from $18.9m to $23.8m this year.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Rascasse Developments in order to expand into the Midlands.

Kavango Resources (KAV) has received a permit for an airborne electromagnetic geophysical survey of the Kalahari Suture Zone area, which covers 12 prospecting licences.

Haynes Publishing (HYNS) increased full year revenues by 13% to £33.8m and underlying pre-tax profit by a similar percentage to £2.9m. The total dividend is unchanged at 7.5p a share. Net cash was £2.5m at the end of May 2018. Growth in the sales of digital products is faster than the decline in other revenues.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 November 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

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.

AIM

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.

MAIN MARKET

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.

Andrew Hore

 

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