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The costs of a cyber-attack meant that National Milk Records (NMRP) interim pre-tax profit fell by two-thirds to £375,000. Revenues also declined from £11.7m to £10.7m, although that was mainly due to one-off revenues in the corresponding period. Disease testing services was the only part of the group where revenues improved. Underlying trading is within expectations. Net debt increased from £2.1m to £2.4m. Lower milk prices may reduce milk volumes from their high levels last year.
GP software supplier DXS International (DXSP) has raised just over £1m at 8p a share. The shares equate to more than one-quarter of the enlarged share capital. The cash will provide working capital required to market the company’s new products. The latest framework agreement has included a modest price rise. NHS accreditation of the company’s new software should be complete in April.
Cancer treatments developer Incanthera is planning to join NEX this week. Manchester-based Incanthera is developing Sol, a topical product for the treatment of solar keratosis and prevention of skin cancer, which could be licenced to a partner within 18 months. There is a pipeline of cancer therapeutics which have come through the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics at Bradford University, which owns 12.3% of the company. AIM-quoted Immupharma (IMM) will hold a 11.9% stake and has 7.27 million warrants, where the exercise price is being rebased to the issue price. Cairn is the corporate adviser and Stanford Capital Partners is the broker. The expected admission date is 28 February.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) is paying A$2m for 100% of the Beaconsfield gold mine and processing plant in Tasmania. This was a major gold mine up until 2012 and it could go back into production. The gold price has risen by 50% since production stopped. The initial payment is A$100,000.
NAV fell from 64p a share to 59p a share at Western Selection (WESP) in the six months to December 2019. The lack of a dividend from AIM-quoted Bilby (BILB) meant that dividend income nearly halved, although it was the one core investment that increased in value. There will be no interim dividend. Share disposals mean that net cash was £2.45m at the end of 2019.
Gunsynd (GUN) has decided not to take up its option to acquire a further 22.33% stake in the Kolosori nickel prospect in the Solomon Islands. Previously £45,000 was paid for a 7.76% stake. Gunsynd has received £20,000 of the £260,000 it is due to be paid for its stake in Oyster Oil and Gas.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company SOA Energy UK hopes to join AIM by the fourth quarter of 2020. Drilling is due to commence at the Ofek well in Israel during May and it could last 40 days with a further 40 days of testing. The results will be known before the flotation. Primorus owns 14,977 SOA shares.
Belvedere Leisure Resorts (BELV) is still waiting for cash to cover the full subscription promised just after flotation and it does not appear likely that the investor can come up with the cash. Other investors may come up with the funds in the next six weeks.
Investment company First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £196,000 from an issue of Green Finance preference shares at 100p each. There is a fixed interest rate of 5.05% a year and then a variable rate of up to 10.15% depending on whether certain conditions are met. The preference are convertible into ordinary shares. The focus is investments in the ethical, sustainable and renewable energy sectors.
Sativa Group (SATI) says subsidiary Goodbody Botanicals will have its products stocked in 100 of WH Smith Travel’s UK stores.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has appointed Novum Securities as its corporate adviser.
Rail optimisation software and equipment supplier Tracsis (TRCS) had a strong first half. Interim revenues increased from £18.8m to £26m. There were two acquisitions in January 2019, so they contributed for a full period this time. There is cash of £26m and it should reach £31.6m by the end of July.
Medical technology supplier Inspiration Healthcare (IHC) says it did better than expected in the year to January 2020. Revenues should be 15% ahead at £17.8m, which is equivalent to like-for-like growth of 12%. EBITDA should be one-fifth higher at above £2m.
4D Pharma (DDDD) is raising £22m at 50p a share, which is half the level that 4D floated at in June 2014. This cash will provide the additional funds required to support ongoing studies for IBS and oncology. The clinical study data is important when it comes the next step for the group.
Urban Logistics REIT (SHED) plans to raise up to £106.7m at 137.5p a share and this will be used to acquire logistics properties. The cash will be raised via a placing, offer for subscription and open offer. The share price equates to adjusted NAV and is a discount to the market price. A special dividend of 3.85p a share will be paid.
Stanley Gibbons (SGI) is acquiring trading inventory from 58.1% shareholder Phoenix SG Ltd for £1.07m. This will be paid as the inventory is sold, net of sales commission.
AdEPT Technology (ADT) raised £4.25m at 320p a share, which was more than it was initially seeking. This will reduce debt and provide funding for acquisitions.
Chris Pullen has resigned as chief executive of Staffware (STAF) and a search for a replacement is about to commence. The recruitment and training company continues to talk with its lenders. Net debt is estimated at £60m at the end of 2019.
Toys supplier Hornby (HRN) is raising up to £15m via a placing and one-for-3.006268641288 open offer at 36p a share. The cash will be invested in the company’s brands, digital marketing and corporate systems.
Nanoco (NANO) has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung relating to Nanoco’s synthesis and resin technology for quantum dots. There was a collaboration with Samsung, but it ended without a licence agreement.
Stevia supplier PureCircle (PURE) has secured a waiver and amendment to its bank facility. This covers all previous defaults and provides an additional $8.6m of funds.
Career development platforms developer Dev Clever (DEV) has delayed the roll-out of its platform and that hit interim revenues. Management hopes to secure a partnership with a worldwide technology manufacturer that will enable an international roll-out. Chris Akers has increased his stake from 6% to 7.15%.
World Trade Systems (WTS) intends to cancel its listing on 27 March in order to save costs.
NEX Exchange company of the year
National Milk Records (NMRP)
Dairy and livestock services provider National Milk Records has been on NEX for more than a decade. The share price has increased by more than 500% over the past decade. In the latest quarter to March 2019, revenues improved from £5.32m to £5.56m, even though the number of cows on the database had declined from 743,054 to 713,379 over a 12-month period which hit milk recording revenues. Income from specialist testing has increased. Overall, growth was not as strong as in the first six months, which benefitted from one-off income. An oversupply of milk in recent weeks has hit the milk price and this has held back spending by farmers.
Wealth management group AFH Financial Group (AFHP) is raising up to £20m via a convertible unsecured loan stock issue. The conversion price is 420p a share, up from 360p before the issue was announced, and the interest rate is 4%. This cash will fund further acquisitions. There are five that are already in due diligence.
Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) is not likely to achieve financial close on three projects, so it will lose money in the 14 months to June 2019. The second half will be profitable. The company should return to profit in 2019-20.
Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has increased the valuation of its portfolio by 22% to £86.9m at the end of April 2019. Annualised rental income is £6.5m.
Investment company Angelfish Investments (ANGP) had cash of £1.48m, but debt was £3.35m and net liabilities of £543,000 at the end of 2018. This means that the preference dividend cannot be paid because there are no distributable reserves. The decline into net liabilities was mainly due to a £942,000 write-down on loans made to OME. Pre-revenue investments are included at cost.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has appointed First Sentinel as its corporate adviser. PCG has not replaced its nominated adviser so it will lose its AIM quotation. Acquisition talks continue.
First Sentinel (FSEN) has invested £75,000 in fintech company Capable Finance in return for a 50.01% stake and a £25,000 loan with an annual coupon of 15%. First Sentinel directors have participated in a £110,000 placing and they own most of the rest of the shares. First Sentinel has gained a Euronext Dublin listing for its 7.5% bonds, May 2024. Some of this cash will be invested in the activities of Capable Finance.
Shareholders in Valiant Investments have approved the change of name to Eurocann International (BUD) and the focus on medicinal cannabis. It has disposed of its investment in Flamethrower one of its own directors and raised £263,000 at 1.5p a share. Valiant had £1,289 in the bank at the end of 2018. There is still a £200,000 convertible investment in All Star Minerals (ASMO). The company has a stake in North Bud Farms Inc, which has a cannabis production facility in Quebec.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £250,000 at 0.1p a share. This ash will contribute to the £700,000 investment in Apollon Formularies. Executive chairman David Lenigas has bought 17 million shares at 0.11941p each.
Ananda Developments (ANA) has formalised the joint venture with Anglia Salads and JE Piccaver to create DJT Group. Ananda and Anglia which each own 50% of DJT, which will apply for a licence to cultivate and supply cannabis. Ananda had £141,000 in the bank at the end of January 2019.
Sativa Investments (SATI) subsidiary PhytoVista Laboratories has completed an independent blind test consumer cannabidiol products for The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis. Many proved to have too low or too high a content of relevant ingredients.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has terminated its heads of terms with Mkango Resources relating to earning up to 75% of the Thumbani licence because it could not come up with the finance required.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) increased its revenues from $8.2m to $10.9m, although the loss doubled to $1.89m. That is mainly down to a $797,000 loss on an equity sharing agreement. The cash outflow from operations fell from $904,000 to $813,000.
Via Developments (VIA1) reported an increase in interim loss from £10,000 to £259,000, because of higher finance costs.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is raising £1.6m at 0.11p a share and this will fund the investment in the Amapa iron ore project.
Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) is leaving NEX on 26 July. The minerals explorer has been on NEX for less than nine months. It does not believe it is large enough to benefit from a quotation on NEX as well as the Canadian Securities Exchange.
Small Cap Awards 2019 winners
Company of the year
Beeks Financial Cloud (BKS)
Beeks Financial Cloud provides cloud-based connectivity and infrastructure services provider for automated trading of financial assets. It also provides cyber security services to prevent distributed denial of service attacks. Beeks was formed in 2010 and has consistently grown its revenues. Beeks joined AIM in November 2017 and in May it acquired the trading assets of US-based Commercial Network Services and this adds 1,000 customers. Progressive Research forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £1.2m to £1.4m in the year to June 2019.
IPO of the year
Cake Box Holdings (CBOX)
Egg-free cakes supplier Cake Box won this award the day before its first anniversary on AIM. Cake Box raised £16.5m at 108p a share and at one point the share price was nearly double this level. There is still a premium of more than 60% to the flotation price. In the year to March 2019, revenues increased from £12.8m to £16.9m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £3.3m to £4m. Two new distribution centre sites have been acquired. There is scope to more than double the business, which currently has 113 stores.
Impact company of the year
Kromek has developed a range of radiation detection and imaging products based on cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) technology. The company focuses on three sectors – medical imaging, nuclear detection and security. Kromek has been winning multi-million pound international contracts and it has a strong balance sheet following a recent fundraising. Revenues increased by 23% to £14.5m in the year to April 2019. Kromek is losing money, but it is on course to reach breakeven in a couple of years. The orders that are already won underpin the revenue forecasts for the coming years.
Executive director of the year
Mike Creedon, chief executive of Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI)
Mike Creedon has been on the SDI board since 2010, having previously been a finance director of two former AIM companies, Ideal Shopping Direct and Ninth Floor. SDI is an acquisitive digital imaging and sensor control technology company. The acquisition record is good. A trading update has led to a small pre-tax profit upgrade to £2.9m. The 2019-20 pre-tax profit is maintained at £4.1m.
Analyst of the year
George O’Connor, Stifel Nicolaus
Journalist of the year
Simon Thompson, Investors Chronicle
Fund manager of the year
Marlborough Nano Cap Growth
Zoo Digital (ZOO) slipped back into loss in the year to March 2019, but it should return to profit this year. Demand for film and TV localisation services continues to grow but momentum has not been as expected.
Wynnstay (WYN) had already warned about tough second quarter trading, but underlying pre-tax profit held up reasonably well, falling 15% to £4.3m, even though revenues were 19% higher at £218.5m. The increase in revenues was mainly down to commodity inflation. The warmer winter weather hit demand for animal feed, although fertiliser demand has been strong. The agricultural merchanting depots acquired in the past year are moving towards profit. There has been some rationalisation of the depot network. The interim dividend has been raised 4% to 4.6p a share.
China New Energy Ltd (CNEL) has applied for a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and it will ask shareholders for permission to cancel the AIM quotation, subject to a successful Hong Kong listing.
Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) has increased its assets under influence to £5.3bn, helped by recent acquisitions. There is a strong pipeline of additional acquisitions. Interim pre-tax profit improved from £930,000 to £1.63m.
BATM (BVC) is raising $18m, 20% more than initially sought, at 42.5p a share. Most of the cash is earmarked for the cyber and networking activities. The rest will go towards medical activities. The cash will help in securing partnerships with larger technology companies.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) has varied and extended its contract with Canadian data centre provider GPU.one. This will provide access to 14MW of power at lower prices. This increases capacity by 47%, utilising the equipment that has already been ordered, and cuts power cost by 39%. The deal starts on 25 June and lasts three years. Argo can give four months’ notice. A previous deposit of £1.44m has been turned into an investment in GPU.one.
Tex Holdings (TXH) says the engineering operations have started the year slowly, but trading should return to previous levels. The plastics division is trading in line with expectations and there is investment in new machinery. The shares remain suspended.
Canadian Overseas Petroleum Ltd (COPL) has joined the standard list. The oil and gas company is focused on Nigeria and sub-Saharan African.
Avocet Mining (AVM) is holding a general meeting on 18 July to gain shareholder approval for a voluntary liquidation. Avocet has sold its interest in the Tri-K gold project in Guinea for $21m. This leaves a small residual cash sum. There is unlikely to be anything substantial left to distribute to shareholders.
Oil and gas company Aminex (AEX) shareholders have approved the switch from a premium listing to a standard listing. It is also cancelling its Dublin listing. It may have been difficult to get the full benefits of the lighter regulation of a standard listing if the company were still listed in Dublin.
Ananda Developments (ANA) is amending its investing strategy and acquiring Tiamat Agriculture, which is applying for a UK controlled drug cannabis cultivation and supply licence. Anglia Salads and JEPCO will provide cannabis growing expertise. The new investing strategy will include the cultivation of medicinal cannabis. URA Holdings will subscribe £400,000 for shares at 0.45p each.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £1m at 0.1p a share and the cash will be used to acquire a 2.34% stake in Apollon Formularies Ltd. AfriAg hopes to gain first refusal to acquire the rest of Apollon in a transaction that would value the company at £40m.
Good Energy (GOOD) will redeem the first Good Energy Bond, which was launched in 2013, before the end of June. The outstanding principal is £3.6m and the cash for repayment will come from the disposals of Newton Downs and Brynwhilach solar farms to the local communities. The cash helped to develop nearly 150MW of renewable generation projects.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that gold recoveries in Honduras have been low and it is considering whether to sell to the joint venture partner or take full control of the operations. Gold trading volumes are increasing but the contribution to overheads is modest.
Panther Minerals (PALM) has applied for an exploration licence for the Marrakai gold project in Northern Territory, Australia. Panther has also acquired additional ground surrounding the former Little Bear mine in Ontario, Canada.
Formation Group (FORM) reported a reduced loss in the six months to February 2019. There is £3.05m in cash in the balance sheet.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is investing up to £150,000 in convertible loan notes in ASSIF, which is developing a digital product to improve mental health. The first tranche has been drawn down and the rest will be invested when design work is completed. The loan notes are convertible into up to 35% of ASSIF, depending on the milestones achieved prior to conversion.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has shipped 34,500 tonnes of precious metal pyrite concentrate from the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania.
Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) has started offering high energy proton beam therapy in Bomarsund in Northumberland.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) non-executive director Dominic Burke has nearly doubled his shareholding to 2.8%. Tim Syder increased his stake to 3.1%.
V22 (V22O) will leave NEX at the close of business on 31 May.
SafeCharge International (SCH) is recommending a $5.55 (436p) a share cash offer from a subsidiary of fellow payment services provider Nuvei Corporation, valuing the company at £699m. The final dividend of 7.22p a share will be paid. The international payments processor joined AIM five years ago at 162p a share. Nuvei has a strong market position in North America and SafeCharge provides scale in Europe.
Trading in the shares of LXB Retail Properties (LXB) has been suspended following court approval of the dissolution of the company and a return of capital of 1.2p a share. The cancellation of the quotation will happen on 31 May.
Volvere (VLE) has sold its oldest subsidiary Sira Defence and Security for £3m, although management bonuses of £320,000 will be paid out of the proceeds. Sira cost a nominal amount and has contributed cash to the group. This leaves 80%-owned frozen pies maker Shire Foods, which increased its full year pre-tax profit from £635,000 to £854,000. Even stripping out incentive payments relating to the sale of the Impetus business, Shire hardly makes enough profit to cover central overheads.
Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) has confirmed that its full year revenues will be at least £102m and EBITDA at least £19m, an increase of 15%. The growth is a combination of acquisitive and organic. Knights Group (KGH) says that its full year revenues will be not less than £52.4m and underlying pre-tax profit will be ahead of expectations at £9.7m.
Argentina-focused oil and gas producer President Energy (PPC) increased revenues by 160% to $47.2m in 2018 and this enabled it to move into profit. This year pre-tax profit is set to improve from $3.5m to $17.3m as last year’s acquisition makes a more significant contribution and capital investment starts to pay back. Average production is expected to be 3,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2019.
Science Group (SAG) has taken a 9% stake in digital radio technology developer Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) at 12.5p a share. Science offered to acquire the whole company via a cash bid of 30p a share but the proposal met with a negative response from the target’s board and the offer has been withdrawn.
Caledonian Trust (CNN) has renegotiated the conditions of the proposed sale of St Margaret’s House in Edinburgh, which was announced in February 2018. The buyer is still in the process of applying for planning consent and it has three months in which to submit the application, plus 12 months to secure consent. A further three months will be allowed to find a pre-let and Caledonia will vacate the property six months after that. This means that it could be two years before the transaction is completed. The consideration is still £15m, compared with a book value of £8m.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has received a £300,000 investment at 1.2p a share and appointed Colin Harrington to the board as executive chairman. Origin Creek Energy has a 14.8% shareholding following the share issue. This replaces the previously announced subscription at a lower share price and Robert Bensh has left the board because of that.
Kibo Energy (KIBO) says that 60%-owned flexible power generation development subsidiary MAST Energy Developments is acquiring Bordersley Power Ltd, which is developing a 5MW gas-fuelled power generation plant and relevant grid connections. The deal is dependent on certain conditions.
Cellcast (CLTV) is owed £453,000 by a Kenyan client of its gaming and lottery consultancy activities, which generated revenues of £395,000 in 2018. The government in Kenya is cracking down on advertising of gambling and it had previously raised taxation rates. Cellcast had £698,000 in the bank at the end of 2018.
Trading in the shares of Dublin-based Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has been suspended ahead of the proposed all share acquisition of the larger Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, which is a subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed Novelion Therapeutics Inc. Amryt plans to raise $60m from a share issue.
Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) has made a non-binding offer for Entertainment AI Inc although it is still subject to due diligence on the artificial intelligence and machine learning company. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) says trading continues to improve even though sales to UK professional customers are subdued. The overseas market is stronger. Margins are improving.
Motor finance provider S and U (SUS) says that profit from its core business has improved so far this year. The property bridging lending business has increased its loan book to £22m.
High Growth Capital (HASH) is increasing its stake in Sentiance to 15% and is negotiating an option to acquire a majority stake in the artificial intelligence and machine learning business. The additional 5% stake will cost £7m in shares issued at 0.8p each. The option would enable an increase in the total stake to between 51% and 84.8%. The company would offer 100,000 of its own shares for each Sentiance share and the option is subject to High Growth Capital raising at least £25m. High Growth Capital has also acquired the intellectual property of Malta-based BDD, a company founded by Chris Akers, for £4m in shares at 1p each. The project involves an annual blockchain raffle that would raise money for social impact and environmental initiatives.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a net asset value of 205.2p a share at the end of January 2019, which was 12.5% lower than the year before. The stake in fully listed LED lighting products manufacturer Luceco (LUCE) is a significant part of the portfolio and its valuation fell by 27.7%. There has been a recovery in the Luceco share price since the end of January, even though there was a decline of three-quarters in 2018 pre-tax profit to £3m. The EPE NAV had risen to 232.8p a share on 9 April on the back of Luceco share price rise. The EPE share price is 180p.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is subscribing £150,000 for a 9.14% stake in Just Bee Drinks and is also providing a loan facility of up to £100,000 at a annual interest charge of 10%. Just Bee has developed a natural juicy water drink sweetened with honey. This means that there is no added sugar. More than one million bottles were sold last year, and revenues doubled. The drink is already sold in Waitrose and Boots. Just Bee had net assets of £83,000 at the end of March 2018. Angelfish has also provided a £100,000 debt facility at the same interest rate to Wallet Ads. The previous loan of £150,000 was converted into a 20% stake.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) nearly doubled zinc concentrate production at the Hellyer mine in Tasmania to 3,015 DMT in the first quarter of 2019, while lead concentrate production increased by 18% to 4,712 DMT. Pyrite concentrate production jumped by 331% to 18,488 DMT.
Video games developer and services provider Sumo (SUMO) reported better than expected 2018 revenues of £38.7m and pre-tax profit of £9m. Sumo has been acquiring businesses to give it extra capacity as well as opening new studios. There is plenty of demand for Sumo’s services so utilisation rates are high and there is further upside from performance-based royalties and its own IP.
Destiny Pharma (DEST) had £12.1m in the bank at the end of 2018 and this will last into 2020. That should be long enough for the phase IIb study of XF-73 for the prevention of post-surgery infections.
Maiden full year results from legal services and credit hire business Anexo (ANX) have led to an upgrade by its broker Arden. The 2019 pre-tax profit forecast has been edged up from £17.8m to £18.1m, up from £16.1m in 2018, and the 2020 figure is 4% higher at £20.1m. Net debt is expected to increase from £17.3m to £26.3m in order to finance the growth of its legal business.
RA International (RAI) continues to win contracts, but larger contracts are taking longer to secure. RA provides services to remote locations in nine countries in Africa and the Middle East. Having joined AIM last summer, RA has $27.8m in the bank and this is helping it to tender for and win larger contracts. The average contract term is 4.4 years. This makes revenues relatively predictable and they are expected to rise by 10% this year to more than £60m.
Property investor Safeland (SAF) intends to leave AIM and secure a matched bargain facility on Asset Match. It is tendering for shares at 42.5p each, which compares with an NAV of 140.2p a share at the end of September 2018.
Having sold the RTLS SmartSpace business, the continuing revenues of geospatial software and services provider IQGeo (IQG) fell from £16.5m to £9.98m, although recurring revenues were 22% higher, and gross margin improved. There were lower software revenues, but the main decline was in the sale of third party products. There is a significant market for the company’s products and new modules are being launched. However, the full benefits of changes being made by management will probably not show through until next year. There is £30.9m in the bank and some of this will be returned to shareholders after a capital reorganisation is completed.
Interim revenues generated by LightwaveRF (LWRF) have more than doubled to £2.5m which is nearly as much as the £2.8m generated in the previous 12 months. Direct sales, e-commerce and telesales have contributed to the growth, as has the development of retail clients.
Legal firm Gordon Dadds (GOR) has acquired Gibraltar-based Rampart Corporate Advisers for up to £1.34m depending on performance. Rampart specialises in e-gaming, fintech and distributed ledger technology, and made a profit of £400,000 in the year to June 2018. Five former Ince network firms are joining Ince Gordon Dadds, although they remain independent. This would add £23m to existing group annual revenues of £77m. The firms are based in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Greece and Germany. This will boost profitability.
Strategic Minerals (SML) says the Cobre magnetite operations generated cash of $206,000 in the first quarter and the group cash balance was $1.24m at the end of March 2019. Volumes were lower because customers were undertaking plant maintenance and the continued suspension of a major client’s contract. There should be seven years of magnetite stockpile. The company expects to acquire the other 50% of the Redmoor tin/tungsten project by the end of May. This will cost £2.66m.
PhotonStar LED (PSL) says that it has enough cash for its immediate needs, but the blocking of the issuing of more shares by shareholders means that there is not enough cash to follow the strategy to find a reverse takeover target. The company may launch an open offer or ask shareholders for a second time for the authority to issue shares without offering them to existing shareholders a second time. Having become a cash shell, the company has been dropped from the FTSE AIM All Share index. It has six months to find an acquisition. A number of potential acquisition targets have been met by the board. Additional directors will be appointed.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has raised £275,000 at 1.1p a share in order to finance the appraisal of projects. The shares are being acquired by new executive chairman Robert Bensh, who has experience of the US oil and gas sector. Chief executive Matthew Idiens has more than doubled his stake to 2.52% by acquiring two million shares at 1.75p each. The finance director Chris Eadie has also more than doubled his stake to 1.2% at 1.67p a share. New non-executive director Tom Reynolds also bought shares.
Concepta (CPT) is raising £2.3m at 3p a share to finance marketing and further development of its myLotus fertility test.
Cadmium-free quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) had £6.2m in cash at the end of January 2019. There was a total cash outflow of £4.57m in the latest six month period. The main capital investment at the Runcorn site is almost complete. Non-executive director Chris Batterham has bought 125,000 shares at 47.354p each. Miton has reduced its stake to 4.96%.
Bonmarche (BON) says the mandatory cash bid of 11.445p a share by Spectre undervalues the retailer. Bonmarche is reducing costs. Cavendish Asset Management has edged its stake up to 10%.
Standard list shell Contango Holdings (CGO) has entered into an agreement to acquire the Lubu coalfield project in Zimbabwe for £6.45m in shares at 5p each. Once regulatory approvals have been gained the acquisition should go ahead and trading in the shares can recommence. That should happen by the end of June. There will be a placing to raise cash to fund initial trial mining.
Telecom services provider Toople (TOOP) says that it had more than £1.1m in the bank at the end of March 2019. That is a £1m reduction on the level at the end of September 2018, when there was also a shareholder loan, which was assigned a value of £572,000 in the balance sheet but has a cash value of £607,000. There is no indication if this loan has gone down. Last year, admin expenses were £1.55m, net of other income, and that was more than revenues. Revenues have grown but even if gross margin were to improve there will still be a significant first half loss.
Nuformix (NFX) has signed an agreement for cannabinoid therapeutics development, licensing and commercialisation for an initial upfront payment and other research and development and milestone payments that could total up to £51m. Canada-based Ebers Tech Inc will use Nuformix technology to develop a range of consumer and pharma products.
Zegona Communications (ZEG) has increased its stake in Euskaltel to 21%.
European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund has transferred 35.4 million shares in WideCells (WDC) to David Sefton and Linton Capital, which has promised to hold them for 12 months. European High Growth Opportunities still owns 18.2% of WideCells.
VI Mining (VIM) has not made the required $2.19m loan repayment to Tassili by the end of 2018. Tassili also has right of refusal over the first 24,000 ounces of gold production. The loan is secured by a charge over the VI subsidiary that owns the interest in the Ora Pesa concession. VI had to secure additional funding because it could not draw down from a facility provided by chief executive David Sumner the $7m required in August 2018. The lack of cash has held up bringing Ora Pesa in to production and recommencing mining at Minaspampa.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has converted its £150,000 loan to Wallet Ads into a 20% stake in the company, which can deliver more than ten million personalised updates per hour for a campaign. The terms of the £150,000 convertible loan to Rapid Nutrition have been amended. Rapid Nutrition is still set to float in London, but it has been further delayed. The loan will be repaid in nine equal monthly instalments of £16,667 starting at the end of January. Interest will be charged at an annual rate of 15%. Interest owed up until the end of February 2018 has been settled by the issue of 50,000 Rapid Nutrition shares at 13.4413p a share and a further 200,000 shares have been issued as a fee for the amended terms. Rapid Nutrition is quoted on the Zurich-based SIX Swiss Exchange and the last share trade was at €0.17. The share price was more than €1 in 2017.
MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has secured an agreement with China Post Advertising, which will help it to promote Aaron Kwok’s AKFS+ hair care products and future celebrity branded products. China Post has more than 50,000 outlets.
Natural resources investor Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) used £49,000 in cash in operating activities in the six months to September 2018. The NAV is £804,000 and that includes nearly £48,000 of cash.
Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) continues to be hampered by pressure on margins although sales are increasing. Management had expected this pressure to have ended prior to Christmas but it has continued and on top of this were problems at the warehouse with the increased demand. In the four months to the end of December 2018, sales increased by 41%. Peel Hun has cut its 2018-19 pre-tax profit forecast from £2.6m to £800,000 and this took the shine off the premium rating of the shares.
Trading in the first quarter at Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) is ahead of the same period last year. The new car market was hit by changes in emissions regulations and new vehicle sales were one-quarter lower, but gross profit per unit was much higher because of new franchises with the likes of Bentley and McLaren. There will be more upmarket vehicle franchise openings in February. This offset the effect of lower new vehicle sales and there was a similar experience with used cars, although overall like-for-like profit improved. Aftersales profit also improved.
Digital music distribution technology developer 7digital (7DIG) could lose its contract with Juke GmbH for the Juke music service, which was expected to generate revenues of £4m this year. The service could be closed or reorganised so 7digital takes on more responsibility. 7digital also owes HMRC £417,000 and one of its subsidiaries has been served with a winding-up petition. This tax should be paid before the hearing of the petition on 16 January. 7digital has reduced its annualised cost base by £6.2m and it is winning new contracts.
Faroe Petroleum (FPM) continues to reject the bid from DNO. An independent report provides an estimated valuation of between 186p a share and 225p a share. This does not include the previously announced Equinor asset swap or utilisation of Norwegian tax losses. Cash flow of £90m is expected over the next two years. DNO has been buying shares in the market at between 147p a share and 152p a share and it has taken its stake to 30.6% so the 152p a share cash bid is mandatory. This stake plus acceptances takes total acceptances to 43.8%. DNO can improve its offer up until 27 January.
ReNeuron (RENE) has announced the first collaboration for its exosome nanomedicine platform. There is an initial feasibility stage, where no revenues will be generated. If it moves on to the preclinical safety and efficacy stage, then there will be evaluation payments.
Leaf Clean Energy (LEAF) is reducing directors’ fees by 70% and there have also been reductions for the administrator and employees. This is ahead of the hearing of Leaf’s appeal of damages awarded to it in its lawsuit with Invenergy Wind, where a decision is expected later this year. Invenergy is has already paid Leaf $36.4m and a further $14.2m is included in the Leaf balance sheet, but that will depend on the court decision.
Home automation technology developer LightwaveRF (LWRF) increased its first quarter revenues by 156% to £1.15m. That is nearly as much as in the first half of the previous financial year.
Shareholders have authorised the $25m subscription at $1.60 per ADS by Summit Therapeutics (SUMM). Robert W Duggan is subscribing for the shares. The cash will fund the initiation and commencement of patient enrolment for the phase 3 clinical trial of the potential treatment for C.diff.
Tracsis (TRCS) has won a major, multi million contract with a train operating company, covering all its individual franchises. The flow of revenues is difficult to predict.
Alpha FX (AFX) says that its 2018 figures will be ahead of expectations. The growth came in the UK and internationally.
WANdisco (WAND) has secured its first multi-cloud contract, valued at $565,000. The contract with the telecoms company was won with Amazon Web Services.
Richland Resources (RLD) is seeking to obtain investment to recommence mining at Capricorn Sapphire and it is in talks with one party about the sale of the project. The £400,000 convertible loan facility has been extended to the end of February.
Central Asia Metals (CAML) has consolidated borrowings into one facility of $151m, which is provided by offtake partner Traxys. The debt will be repaid monthly within a four year period.
ECR Minerals (ECR) has submitted nine exploration licence applications in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia.
Ethiopian authorities have reconfirmed their support for the development of the Tulu Kapi gold project and KEFI Minerals (KEFI) has taken the first steps for the community resettlement programme.
Circassia Pharma (CIR) has gained shareholder approval for the move to AIM, which will happen on 4 February. Circassia has completed the acquisition of full US commercial rights to Tudorza and the FDA is expected to approve the transfer of the licence by the end of March. There was £41m in the bank at the end of 2018.
Nanoco (NANO) is partnering with Plessey Semiconductors to use quantum dots to shrink microLED pixels by 87%. This will lead to smaller, higher resolution displays.
Gresham Technologies (GHT) has won orders for Clareti software from two major, world banks. Revenues should start to be recognised this year. Over five years the contracts should be worth more than £7m, with £1.8m likely to be recognised in 2019. However, 2018 revenues will be lower than expected at £20m and profit will be below expectations.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) plans to raise up to £2.25m prior to a move to AIM at the end of this year. The cash will be invested in sales and marketing, product development and working capital.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company Stream TV Networks has secured a deal with Beijing Optical and Electrical, which will use Stream’s 3D display technology in large flat TV and monitor screens. Primorus has invested £1.4m in Engage Technology, which has 75 corporate clients for its construction software and a further 17 that are contracted but not yet live. Revenues are growing more slowly than hoped. Engage is talking with partners and potential corporate investors.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is increasing its shareholding in YBOO from 20% to 35% for an investment of £400,000. A working capital loan of up to £1.5m with an annual interest charge of 10%.
Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) reported an increase in interim revenues from R7.65m to R8.37m and the loss declined from R4.52m and R4.12m. At the end of August 2018, net cash was around R11.5m. The South Africa-based social impact investor generated the majority of its revenues from Kuzuko Lodge with a contribution from Bee Sweet Honey.
KR1 (KR1) says that its investee company Volt Ltd has raised $2m. KR1 has converted loan notes and has a 7.94% in institutional digital asset custodian Volt valued at $1.4m. The initial investment of £200,000 acquired a 5% stake in September 2017.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has completed the acquisition of the Gold Ridge project in Arizona from Winston Gold for £530,000. The final payment is funded by shares at 1.75p each. The project area includes three former producing mines. There is potential for the discovery of further gold mineralisation.
Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has raised $315,000 at 20 cents a share. This cash will fund geological work and the evaluation of opportunities in Colombia.
Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) is changing its name to SG Recruitment Ltd.
Gresham House (GHE) is acquiring investment manager Livingbridge for an initial £30m. Up to £10m more could be payable depending on performance. This deal will help to widen the customer base and provide product development opportunities. The combined group will have assets under management of more than £2bn. A placing raised £11.7m at 448p a share. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing even before cost savings. Gresham House Energy Storage Fund has raised £100m and will invest £57.2m in a portfolio of energy storage assets in development.
Castleton Technology (CTP) increased interim revenues by one-fifth to £12.9m and there was a 5% improvement in earnings per share. finnCap forecasts an improvement in full year earnings per share from 5.2p to 5.9p. The provider of software and managed services plans to pay a maiden dividend for this financial year.
Transportation software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) has reported figures in line with recently upgraded forecasts. In the year to July 2018, revenues improved from £34.5m to £39.8m, mainly organic growth, while pre-tax profit rose from £7.6m to £8.5m, helped by a one-fifth increase in software sales. There is £22m in the bank to finance further acquisitions.
AdEPT Technology (ADT) has acquired unified communication services provider ETS Communications for £2.5m less net debt at the end of October 2018. This deal will be immediately earnings enhancing. Thebank facility has been increased to £35m in order to fund further acquisitions.
International benefits insurance provider GBGI Ltd (GBGI) is recommending a $1.515 a share cash offer from Elm Bidco. This values GBGI at $131.8m (£101.6m). There has been modest growth in earnings per share since GBGI floated at 150p a share in February 2018. Adividend of 1.4 cents a share was paid in June.
Myanmar-focused social media platform operator MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) is investigating into the use of proceeds of two recent fundraisings. Approximately £900,000 was paid out of company funds to former directors and third parties. Staff are being made redundant and additional cash is required. Trading in the shares is suspended. The nominated adviser SP Angel and joint broker Daniel Stewart have resigned. Piers Pottinger has stepped down as a director.
Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) has reassured investors about trading and the share price has started to recover. Victoria is not issuing a bond to refinance its debt because the potential pricing was unfavourable. Invesco has increased its stake to 22.1% and The Spruce House Partnership has built up a 13.6% stake.
Estate agency Purplebricks (PURP) has grown interim revenues in the UK by one-fifth. Trading in Australia is tough, and it is still early days in the US. Net cash was more than £100m at the end of October 2018.
First Derivatives (FDP) increased its underlying interim pre-tax profit by 15% to £10.6m. The interim dividend was 10% higher at 7.7p a share. The software and consultancy company with the fastest growth coming from licences for Kx software.
URA Holdings (URA) has gained EIS approval for the funding for its proposed reverse takeover of personalised digital entertainment content provider Entertainment AI. Complexities of the deal have been solved and documentation is progressing. URA has until 20 December to complete a reverse takeover.
Interim revenues and pre-tax profit at Best of the Best (BOTB) will be better than expected and this has led to a full year pre-tax profit upgrade from £1.4m to £1.6m, which is the same as the year before. The online competitions operator will be hit by the increase in remote gaming duty from 15% to 21% from October 2019. This will mean that 2019-20 forecasts will have to be reassessed.
Polarean Imaging (POLX) says that its phase III non-inferiority clinical trial of its Xenon polariser is up and running. Enrolment should be completed in the second quarter of 2019. A new order has been received to upgrade the polariser at SickKids Hospital in Toronto.
Remote tracking technology developer Starcom (STAR) has signed a deal with a distributor in North Africa covering Helios Advanced and BIO CAN fuel sensors. This year’s group revenues are expected to improve from $5.4m to $5.9m. Starcom has raised £400,000 at 2p a share.
Broadcast software provider Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) has won two new contracts that will underpin forecasts for 2018 and 2019. The two orders have a total value of £2m.
Zoo Digital (ZOO) reported interims in line with expectations. Revenues were 17% ahead at $14.9m and the main growth has come from dubbing services. The loss was slightly higher at $159,000. A major subtitling customer will increase its demand in the second half. The full year, underlying pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from $500,000 to $1.8m.
Recruitment company Kellan Group (KLN) plans to cancel its AIM quotation and the general meeting vote already has backing from the owners of 70% of the shares. The shares are tightly held and liquidity is limited.
Fastjet (FJET) says that it can continue operating in November, but it will require more cash.
Crawshaw (CRAW) has called in administrators to itself and four subsidiaries. Thirty five stores have closed and 19 are still trading. Administrators have also been appointed to Flowgroup (FLOW) because it could not find a suitable acquisition.
Path Investments (PATH) says it is not proceeding with the farm-in for the Alfeld-Elze II licence having failed to raise the cash it required and reach agreement on the transaction structure. The deal would have led to a move to AIM. Trading in the shares remains suspended.
Beauty and personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) expects interim revenues to be similar to last year, while full year revenues are expected to increase from £10.7m to £14.4m. finnCap forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £700,000 to £1.7m.
Consumer goods supplier UP Global Sourcing (UPGS) reported revenues for the year to July 2018 fell by one-fifth to £87.6m and underlying pre-tax profit decreased from £10.7m to £5.6m. The main decline was due to discount retailers seeking tougher terms and delayed sales to a European retailer. Online sales increased and this helped to maintain margins. Brands include Salter kitchenware and Constellation luggage. The Kleeneze brand is being relaunched. Non-executive chairman Jim McCarthy has acquired 135,000 shares at 39.3p each. Equity Development forecasts a rise in earnings per share from 5.4p to 5.6p, while dividend per share should rise from 2.7p to 2.8p.
Trading in Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) shares has been suspended ahead of a proposed acquisition of Chorum Group.
Shareholders have agreed to Titon Holdings (TON) moving to AIM on 10 December.
Brewer Adnams (ADB) grew its turnover by 7% to £35.5m in the first half of 2018 but there was an underlying operating loss and lower gains from asset disposals. The reported pre-tax loss increased from £284,000 to £840,000. The second half is always more profitable. Depreciation is higher due to investment in the brewery and the refurbishment of the Swan Hotel. Adnams own beer volumes increased by 4.8%, compared with the market growth of 1.3%. Carbon dioxide shortages have affected the second half. The interim dividend is unchanged at 78p/B share and 19.5p/A share.
KSE is offering £29,419.64 a share in cash for Arsenal Holdings (AFC) and that values the football club at £1.8bn. KSE already owns or has acceptances totalling more than 97% of the shares in the company.
Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) increased revenues by 184% to £293,000 in the first half of 2018 and 144 healthcare staff candidates were deployed in the period, which was nearly three times as many as in the first half of 2017. More students are being trained in the English language. Healthcare recruitment contracts have been signed in the UK and they cover nine hospitals. Contracts have also been signed outside the UK.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is subscribing for 0% secured convertible loan notes in Wallet Ads Ltd. The first drawdown is £50,000 and this will be followed by five monthly instalments of £20,000. On payment of the final instalment, or under certain other circumstances, the loan notes can be converted into 20% of the enlarged share capital of Wallet Ads, which has developed a mobile engagement platform combining mobile wallet passes, web and social media and this enables digital vouchers to be sent to smartphones. Angelfish non-exec Richard Walker will join the Wallet Ads board.
Pelican House Mining (PHM) is investing in battery minerals explorer Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration (KKME), which is exploring for nickel and platinum group metals in Botswana, near the South Africa border. AIM-quoted Two Shields Investments (TSI) is a co-investor in KKME and it increased its stake to 22.2%. Two Shields Investments also increased its stake in cobalt explorer Cobalt Blue Holdings to 49% before swapping it for a 11.26% stake in African Battery Materials (ABM), thereby gaining a wider exposure to technology metals licences.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) raised an additional £50,000 at 1p a share when it floated last year. Geremy Thomas holds a 3.1% stake.
Shareholders in Welney (WENP) have voted against the appointment of Mark Jackson and Mark Chapman as directors.
AIM-quoted TechFinancials Inc (TECH) joined NEX on 8 August. Monreal has changed its name to Eight Capital Partners (ECP).
Fryer management and commercial kitchen services provider Filta (FLTA) says that interim figures are in line with expectations. There will be a full contribution from GMG, which was acquired last year, while the sale of the refrigeration division has helped to improve margins. Revenues are growing from newer franchisees and the UK-based seals business also grew its revenues. The interims will be published on 4 September.
Former boss Philip Swinstead has sold his 9.82% stake in Parity Group (PTY) and Helium Rising Stars has taken a 10.9% shareholding. Parity is on track to achieve double digit profit growth this year. The IT recruitment and consultancy services provider is modestly rated on a prospective multiple of less than nine, even though the share price has risen following the share dealing.
Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) expects revenues to fall from £4.6m to £3.9m but the broadcast software supplier believes that the second half should be better. A backlog of £4.7m should help full year revenues to be nearer to last year’s level.
Frontier IP (FIPP) has announced its first Portugal-based spin-out. It is taking a 31.8% stake in NTPE, which is developing Paper-E technology that can be used to print electronic circuits, sensors and semiconductors. This opportunity came through the relationship with Universidade Nova de Lisboa Faculty of Science and Technology. Another investee company, 27.5%-owned Fieldwork Robotics, has secured a deal with soft fruit grower Hall Hunter to prototype and test a raspberry harvesting robot system.
Phoenix Global Mining (PGM) has reported that the first drilling results from the Empire mine in Idaho have been encouraging. There was 68 metres at 0.57% copper from the surface. The current JORC resource is 0.52% copper so it would be good news if the current drilling provides higher levels of copper.
Mereo BioPharma (MPH) had net cash of £36.9m at the end of June 2018, but a R and D tax credit of £8.2m was received in August. An adult Phase 2b study for Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) is due to complete enrolment by the end of September. There will be initial six month data from the open-label high dose part of the study by the middle of next year. A flotation on Nasdaq is still a possibility.
Engineering and construction company North Midland Construction (NMD) increased its interim revenues from £135.1m to £160.9m and more than doubled pre-tax profit from £1.23m to £2.51m. The interim dividend has been doubled to 6p a share. Cash in the bank was 138% higher than 12 months before are £18.9m, although there are also finance leases of £4.5m. The order book is worth £320m. The telecoms-related part of the business is still losing money. There were much better profit contributions from the water and construction divisions.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) is developing a global datacentre management business facilitating cryptocurrency Mining-as-a-Service and has signed a deal that will provide 9.5MW of clean energy for two datacentres in Quebec (Argo already has one datacentre in Quebec). That provides the capacity for more than 150,000 subscribers and the centres will be operational in September and October. Argo joined the standard list on 3 August after raising £25m at 16p a share, which valued the company at £47m. However, the share price has fallen back to 11.13p.
Beauty and personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) has appointed Kieran Callan, who was a non-executive director, as chief executive with Haris Chaudhry moving to executive chairman. Callan used to work at PZ Cussons. This appointment follows poor trading and disappointing pre-tax profit in the year to Last October, InnovaDerma raised £4.4m at 276p a share and, having fallen by two-thirds at one point since then, the share price has recovered to 148.5p. Haircare brand Roots will be sold in Tesco.
Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) is holding a general meeting on 30 August in order to get shareholder approval to enable it to issue more shares to raise cash to keep the business going.
Forbes Ventures (FOR) has sold its stake in KCR Residential REIT (KCR) for £145,000. The remaining investment is in challenger bank Civilised Investments Ltd. Nigel Quinton, who has run two building societies, has been appointed as finance director of Forbes. Igor Zjali has become a non-executive director. The investment strategy covers disruptive technology in the property and fintech sectors.
KR1 (KR1) has been raising cash from partially disposing of token holdings. Cash has been generated from sales of tokens issued by six projects and this will be available for re-investment. KR1 has already acquired 30,587 tokens in the Waves project at $6.41 each.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that there has been a further delay in its investee company Rapid Nutrition’s plans to gain a quotation in London. Rapid, which is already quoted on the SIX Swiss Exchange, has developed a nutraceutical product range. One of the terms of a £150,000 loan to Rapid was that it should be admitted to the London market by the end of February, but this date was extended to the end of April and has been extended again to the end of July. The principal and interest, up until the end of February, will convert into Rapid shares. Interest has been payable in cash since the end of February.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) reported a 35.6% decrease in NAV to 234.4p a share at the end of January 2018. That was mainly down to the poor performance of fully listed LED lighting company Luceco (LUCE) after sales growth did not turn into higher profit. EPE is considering exercising the option to redeem up to 50% of the outstanding unsecured loan notes. Redeeming £4m of loan notes would save £300,000 in interest. There is £28m in the bank.
Middle East-focused investment company Indigo Holdings (INGO) has lost €165,300 on an Iran-based car ride-sharing app. This will be mainly offset by a book gain of around €160,000 on its investment in Sheypoor following another fundraising round.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has started to refurbish the Hellyer flotation plant in Tasmania. The mill should be commissioned in the third quarter of 2018.
First Sentinel (FSBN) has invested in AIM-quoted Amur Minerals and unquoted Titan FM Ltd in April. An investment of $250,000 has been made in the form of a contribution to a $10m loan facility made available to Amur. Titan FM is an acquisition vehicle in the facilities management sector with a focus on areas covered by strict regulation. The £50,000 pre-IPO investment helped to finance the first acquisition of a provider of air conditioning and refrigeration services. Two more acquisitions are planned this year as is a quotation on NEX. The latest tranche of First Sentinel bonds has raised a further £1m.
Valiant Investments (VALP) reported a flat full year loss of £216,000 and this would have been higher if there had not been a swing from a £3,000 loss on listed investment movements to a £25,000 gain. Valiant has invested some of its cash in five AIM-quoted, dividend paying companies. Valiant had a NAV of £197,000.
Sandal (SAND) has appointed David Munting as finance director and Richard Green as a non-executive.
Minds + Machines (MMX) swung from loss to profit in 2017 and it is acquiring four top level domains. Minds + Machines is paying $10m in cash and $31m in shares in two tranches for the membership interests of Florida-based ICM Registry, which owns .xxx, .sex, .adult and .porn. In 2017, revenues were $7.27m (78% recurring) and net income was $3.5m. The recurring nature of the revenues and the reduced dependence on China should help the group to start paying dividends in the next couple of years. Multinational brands buy related domain names with these suffixes so that nobody else can. This helps to boost recurring revenues. Not all of the other purchasers are sex-related, either. The main uncertainty concerns whether the group will get a lower rating because of the association with sex-related businesses.
Sanderson Group (SND) says that its interim results are slightly ahead of expectations and the positive momentum is continuing. The enterprise software supplier’s operating profit has increased from £1.55m to £2m. Two-thirds of the improvement has come from recent acquisition Anisa and the rest is organic.
DX (Group) (DX.) has raised £4.76m at 8.5p a share, which is much higher than the indicated minimum price of 7.41p that is being used to capitalise the company’s loan notes. These additional shares will heavily dilute existing shareholders. The cash will be used to restructure the parcel delivery networks, open new depots and finance IT investment.
Wynnstay Group (WYN) is acquiring eight country stores previously operated by Countrywide Farmers, which has gone into administration. Five of the stores take Wynnstay into Devon and Cornwall. The stores have annual sales of £16.4m.
Berkeley Energia (BKY) has announced plans to move to the standard list and the Spanish Stock Exchanges in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao. The admissions should happen by the end of May. No money will be raised because the cash injected by the Oman sovereign wealth fund covers the upfront capital costs of developing the Salamanca project in Spain.
A combination of lower costs and higher iodine prices meant that Iofina (IOF) reduced its underlying loss from $5.4m to $3.4m in 2017. There was also a $5.3m impairment charge. There was a cash inflow before working capital movements. The new IO#7 plant started up in February and there could be another plant in the next year. Iofina is on course to be profitable in 2019.
Sinclair Pharma (SPH) has secured a €23m loan facility. This will replace bank debt and help to finance the aesthetics company’s new strategy in the US following the decision to terminate the Silhouette InstaLift distribution agreement with Thermi when reorder rates were disappointing. Negotiations are ongoing with potential distribution partners in the US. There was growth in other markets, including Brazil, and the 2017 loss was lower.
Pelatro (PTRO) provides precision marketing services to telecoms companies that helps them to retain subscribers and generate more income from each of them. Maiden results for Pelatro show a jump in underlying profit to $1.8m but the trade receivables are the most significant number in the accounts. Despite the profit there was a small cash outflow after tax payments. That is because trade receivables were $1.78m and $756,000 of that figure is for more than 121 days. That is because the company used extended payment terms to help to attract a customer. There is $3.1m in the bank so Pelatro has the cash to finance additional working capital for that and future deals. It is best to keep an eye on the trade receivables.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has raised £1m at 3.25p a share. The cash will be used to finance progress with the Paradox project towards being drill-ready. There are also other partnership and investment opportunities in the region.
Gloo Networks (GLOO) cannot find a suitable acquisition and it is winding itself up. Shareholders should receive at least 47p a share. The original placing price was 120p, so three-fifths of the cash has gone in less than three years without doing a deal.
Braime (TF and JH) (BMTO) reported a jump in pre-tax profit from £1.3m to £2.2m in 2017. The total dividend has been increased from 9.3p a share to 10.2p a share. Pressings profit was flat and the improvement came from the materials handling division.
Safestyle UK (SFE) says Steve Bermingham will retire as chief executive at the end of this year and he is being replaced by Mike Gallacher, who until recently ran First Milk, the farmer-owned milk business, which he restructured.
Trading in Green and Smart Holdings (GSH) shares was suspended because it did not publish its 2016-17 accounts by the end of March. The audit was expected to be completed by the end of April, but it is still going on and the accounts are not expected before June. Discussions continue with a potential investor.
Stem cell services provider WideCells Group (WDC) is running out of cash and has not been able to publish its 2017 accounts so trading in the shares has been suspended. Directors have loaned the company a further £115,000, on top of a previous £100,000. At the end of June 2017, there was cash of £869,000 and debt of £634,000. That was before any of the director loans. It appears that management has taken too long to sort out the funding it requires and the potential share issue, if it is arranged, could be significantly dilutive.
Nanoco (NANO) has launched Nanoco 2D Materials Ltd in order to develop nanomaterials. The University of Manchester has invested £400,000 via a convertible.
Symphony International Holdings (SIHL) is paying an ordinary and special dividend of 12 cents in total. That will cost $71.5m. The Asian healthcare and hospitality businesses investor has sold investments and realised gains have helped to fund the payment.
St Ives (SIV) has completely exited book printing with the sale of Clays for £20m. The pension liabilities will stay with St Ives and it will contribute £2.5m to the pension fund. Net debt was £42.2m on 2 February 2018.
Trading in Sealand Capital (SCGL) shares has been suspended because it could not publish its 2017 accounts by the end of April.
Small Cap Awards (14 June, Montcalm Hotel, Marble Arch, London) Nominees
IPO of the Year
Alpha FX Group
Keystone Law Group PLC
K3 Capital Group
Rainbow Rare Earths Ltd
Company of the Year
Nostra Terra Oil and Gas Company
ZOO Digital Group
NEX Exchange Company of the Year
Field Systems Designs
National Milk Records
Walls & Futures
Executive Director of the Year
Zillah Byng-Thorne (CEO) and Penny Ladkin-Brand (CFO) – Future plc
Dr. Stuart Green, CEO – Zoo Digital Group PLC
Chris Gurry, Group Managing Director – CML MicroSystems PLC
Tom Ilube, CEO – Crossword Cybersecurity PLC
Dr Markku Jalkanen, CEO – Faron Pharmaceuticals
Bobby Kalar, CEO – Yu Group PLC
Dr. James Millen, CEO – Physiomics PLC
Ian Simm, CEO – Impax Asset Management Group PLC
Frazer Thompson, CEO – Chapel Down Group PLC
Andrew Wass, CEO – Gear4Music Holdings PLC
Impact Company of the Year Sponsored by Impact Investment Network
Walls & Future
Fintech Company of the Year
Transaction of the Year
Proactis Holdings PLC – Acquisition of Perfect Commerce
Work Group PLC / Gordon Dadds Group PLC – Reverse takeover
Atlantis Resources Limited – Uksmouth power stations deal (SUSPENDED)
Frontier IP Group PLC – Transactions FairFX Group PLC – Acquisition of CardOne
7digital Group PLC – Acquisition of 24-7
Impax Asset Management Group PLC – Acquisition of Pax World Management LLC
Analyst of the Year
Vadim Alexandre, Head of Research – Northland Capital Partners
Kevin Ashton, TMT Analyst – Cantor Fitzgerald
Eric Burns, Deputy Head of Institutional Research – WH Ireland Limited
David Johnson, Research Director – Allenby Capital Limited
Rob Sanders, Head of Growth Companies Research – Stockdale Securities Limited
Simon Strong, Head of Research Growth Companies – Cenkos Securities PLC
Journalist of the Year
Smit Berry – Small Company Sharewatch
Joanne Hart – Midas
Jamie Nimmo – Mail on Sunday
Paul Scott – Stockopedia
Mark Shapland – Evening Standard
Merryn Somerset Webb – Financial Times
Simon Thompson – Investors Chronicle
Fund Manager of the Year
Daniel Nickols – Old Mutual UK Smaller Companies
James Thorne – Threadneedle UK Smaller Companies
Nick Williamson – Old Mutual UK Smaller Companies
James Zimmerman – Jupiter UK Smaller Companies
Microcap Fund Manager of the Year
Guy Feld – Cannaccord (Hargreave Hale Limited)
David Horner – Chelverton Small Companies Dividend Trust PLC
Judith MacKenzie – Downing LLP
Katie Potts – Herald Investment Management
Gervais Williams – Miton Group PLC
Lifetime Achievement Award To be announced on the evening
Special Services to Small Caps To be announced on the evening.
Good Energy (GOOD) has renewed its offshore wind power deal with Orsted for a further two years. This secures 12% of the output of a North Sea wind farm and this can power more than 26,000 homes. Generation has been ahead of expectations.
KR1 (KR1) has announced its latest investments. An investment of £184,000 has been made in Nexus Mutual Project (NXM) tokens. The number of tokens will be confirmed after the public token sale. KR1 will receive the tokens at a 17.5% discount to the lowest price offered in the public sale. Nexus Mutual will use blockchain technology to recreate insurance mutual. The company has also invested £150,000 in Argent Labs Ltd, which is creating a decentralised banking protocol on the Ethereum blockchain. KR1 has invested €201,000 in the private pre-sale for the Herdius project.
Gibraltar-based TDH Ltd has taken on Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) as its adviser for a token generation event. The TrustedHealth platform will create a decentralised global network of doctors and healthcare specialists offering virtual consultations. They will pay with TDH tokens and the token sale started on 27 March and lasts until 27 April. Faruk Saylam has sold 1.5 million shares, which leaves him with a 4.4% stake.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has been granted a mining lease for the Sunbeam silver mine in northern Queensland. This will enable the processing of 48,000 tonnes of mineral stockpiles, which include gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc and antimony.
MetalNRG (MNRG) says the prospective buyer of the company’s stake in US Cobalt has completed due diligence. MetalNRG will receive 21.7 million shares in ASX-listed Tyranna Resources Ltd for its 15.38% stake in US Cobalt.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that One Media Enterprises has been acquired by OTC-quoted OneLife Technologies Corp but the payment it is due will have to wait until the buyer is allowed to raise cash. That should be later in April. Angelfish will have its original investment repaid along with management fees plus an uplift in the amounts due. The timing of the first instalment is still uncertain.
First Sentinel (FSBN) has raised a further £62,000 from a bond issue. The company plans to issue up to £4m of bonds.
Gowin New Energy Group Ltd (GWIN) says that Mr Chen Chih Lung has converted his loan note into 40 million shares at 1p each. This takes his stake in Gowin to 21.6%.
SimplyBiz Group (SBIZ) joined AIM on 4 April. It was valued at £130m at the placing price of 170p but the share price ended the week at 160.5p. The company provides compliance and business services to financial advisers.
Higher managed services revenues helped AdEPT Telecom (ADT) to make further progress last year. Pre-tax profit is expected to be £7.4m and the dividend will be raised 13% to 8.75p a share. Debt is lower than expected.
Broadcast industry software provider Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) is hopeful that it can secure terms to extend its bank facility until November 2019. Pebble is adding industry experience with the appointment of Graham Pitman as a non-executive director.
Gooch and Housego (GHH) says trading is in line with expectations and the order book is at a record level of £84.7m. Demand for high reliability fibre couplers has been weak but is expected to recover in the second half. The manufacturing sites have been organised into three technical groupings and performance is improving. The interims will be published on 5 June.
Floorcoverings supplier James Halstead (JHD) says it is considering a bid for Airea (AIEA) but it has yet to approach for the Burmatex-branded floorcoverings business. Airea is closing its Ryalux residential carpet business. There is £3.7m in the bank and the pension deficit has been reduced. Eight shareholders own around 48% of Airea.
appScatter (APPS) is adding to its service that enables organisations to publish their apps on multiple stores and platforms by paying £13.5m in cash and shares for data analysis business Priori Data. This should provide a full service for clients. There are plans to raise £15m at 70p a share.
Denial of service online attacks prevention technology developer Corero Network Security (CNS) is still loss-making and it is raising £4m at 5.75p a share, as well as trying to secure a £3m debt facility. One year ago, Corero raised £5.6m at 5p a share.
FairFX (FFX) can issue Mastercard branded cards and is launching a commercial finance offer to business customers.
Mytrah Energy (MYT) has recommended a bid from majority shareholder Raksha Energy Holdings Ltd. Raksha is offering 45p a share in cash to mop up the 42.1% of the wind power producer it does not own. That is higher than the share price has been for 16 months but not much more than 50% of the level it was nearly three years ago. This bid values Mytrah at £78.9m.
Hornby (HRN) says sales improved towards the end of the financial year as European product was delivered. There was net cash of £4m at the end of March 2018 but management says that a larger debt facility is required for seasonal working capital requirements. Barclays will waive a covenant on the existing facility.
1Spatial (1SPA) has won a £1.6m deal with Land and Property Services in Northern Ireland. Most of this will be generated over the next five years. The geospatial data provider is expected to get near to breakeven in the year to January 2019.
Watkin Jones (WJG) says that first half trading is in line with expectations. Student accommodation developments continue to make the largest contribution with a pipeline of 9,800 beds. The build to rent development business has secured planning consents on three sites, covering 700 units. The management business has contracts to manage more than 14,000 beds, even though the sale by a client of student properties covering more than 5,000 beds meant that the new owner took on their management.
Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) says that interim revenues are 11% higher this year, helped by new business wins. Current full year forecasts predict an increase in revenues from £109.6m to £117.3m so Treatt is well on its way to achieving that. A full year profit of £14.4m is forecast. There will be a small negative foreign exchange charge in the first half but the US tax charge will be lower than previously expected.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has completed the $500,000 farm-in spending on the Gubong mine and following the publication of a feasibility study the expenses will be shared 50/50 with Southern Gold.
Sativa Investments (SAPI) joined NEX on 29 March after raising £1.1m at 1p a share. The share price has already reached 3.125p. Sativa has £1.5m in cash that it can invest in businesses involved in medicinal cannabis. The initial focus is Canada.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) reported a slight reduction in NAV to 41.5p a share at the end of February 2018. The portfolio includes 17 unquoted employee owned businesses with a value of £5.24m.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has entered into a three-year, $10m loan facility with a US private equity firm and this will be used to develop the Hellyer mine. The facility has a 12% annual interest charge and it is secured on the company’s assets. NQ has entered into a silver purchase deed with the finance provider and has to sell them 30% of the first 8 million ounces recovered from the Hellyer mine and 10% of the payable silver for the lifetime of mine. The price will be the lower of $6/ounce or 80% of market price.
Gunsynd (GUN) says that investee company Human Brands is acquiring a 10% stake in wine and spirits distributor Milestone Beverages HK Ltd, which can help to increase the distribution coverage of the investee company’s drinks brands. Gunsynd owns 6.18% of Brazil Tungsten Holdings, which has been forced to suspend operations after a fatal accident. The investment is currently valued at £500,000.
Welney (WENP) made a broadly similar interim loss of £37,000 and it has net liabilities of £234,000.
Block Commodities (BLOC) has reduced its interim loss from $1.19m to $782,000.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has reached agreement with 4Navitas, which will make a payment to cover the majority of costs incurred when Angelfish was trying to negotiate a joint venture agreement.
Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has raised £50,000 at 0.06p a share.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has sold 50% of its stake in Pharmacy 2U, for double its cost, at the same time as the digital pharmacy services provider raised £40m of new cash.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has extended the closing date of the one-for-four open offer to raise up to £1.05m at 94p a share from 26 March to 30 April.
MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) slipped out its interim figures at 5.32pm after the market had closed for Easter. They show near-doubled cash outflow from operating activities of $2.22m. There was $68,000 in the bank at the end of 2017. Management is hopeful that the $218,000 of trade receivables at the end of December 2017 can be collected by June. Since then, MySQUAR has issued £2.11m of convertible bonds at 90% of their face value to Atlas Capital Markets Ltd. There are also more than 20 million warrants exercisable at 3.15p a share. There is talk of an acquisition of a mobile payment services business.
Conviviality (CVR) is calling in administrators after a rescue fundraising failed to win the backing of investors.
Publisher Axel Springer is investing £125m in Purplebricks (PURP) and this will give it 11.9% of the estate agency. The shares are being acquired at 360p each and £25m worth of existing shares are being acquired from management. Full year revenues will double but a weak UK market, exacerbated by the weather and potentially by negative publicity. There was £51.7m in the bank at the end of February 2018. The additional cash will enable a faster roll-out in the US and entry into other markets.
Royal Bank of Scotland has bid 120p a share for FreeAgent (FREE) and that values the accounting software provider at £53m. The founders will take shares and have a 23.5% stake in the bid vehicle. FreeAgent floated 18 months ago at 84p a share. At the beginning of 2017, FreeAgent signed a deal with RBS, which offers the company’s SaaS-based software to small business customers. More than 10,000 customers have taken up the software.
Polarean Imaging (POLX) joined AIM on 29 March and raised £3m at 15p a share. Polarean has developed xenon gas-based technology that enables MRI scans to produce better images. Amphion Innovations (AMP) retains a 23.2% stake.
Polemos (PLMO) has withdrawn its general meeting resolutions. The placing and 100-for-one share consolidation will not go ahead for the time being. There could be an open offer and placing at the previously proposed price of 0.01p a share.
Thor Mining (THR) is acquiring 40% of an exploration licence, which has 13 outcropping tungsten deposits and one copper deposit and 100% of a prospective copper exploration licence. Thor is issuing A$550,000 of shares to Rox Resources in payment for these purchases. The 60%-owner of the first licence has the right to match the price offered.
Tracsis (TRCS) increased its interim profit by one-third to £2.4m as revenues grew by 18% to £18.1m. The software division increased its profit and there was a recovery in the traffic and data services division. There is more improvement to come from the latter division. The interim dividend is 17% higher at 0.7p a share. There is £18.5m in the bank. There will be a second half contribution from the rail sector delay repay businesses acquired in February. Progress is being made in selling remote condition monitoring technology in North America.
Internet gaming software supplier GAN (GAN) reported a reduced loss of £4.2m for 2017. There was £2.7m in the bank at the end of 2017 and since then has raised £2m via an unsecured 9% convertible loan note. There could be further fundraisings in order to make the most of the prospects for real money internet gaming in the US.
Inland Homes (INL) increased its adjusted EPRA NAV by 6% to 97.63p a share. Interim pre-tax profit improved from £4.95m to £5.37m. The interim dividend was raised 30% to 0.65p a share. The landbank has been expanded to 7,372 plots.
Altona Energy (ANR) slightly increased its first half loss to £260,000 and there was £690,000 in the bank at the end of 2017. The current focus is conventional coal mining at the Arckaringa coal project in Australia. Altona is assessing less wet coal seams.
RM2 International (RM2) is raising £25.3m at 1p a share, just over 50% after a general meeting and the rest dependent on the reduction of operating costs and commercial launch of new technology, and converting preferred shares into 3.16 billion shares. There are also plans for an open offer to raise around £4.5m. The new cash will be used to retrofit existing pallets with ELIoT track and trace devices and produce new RM2 ELIoT pallets. Former chief executive John Walsh has stepped down from the board, as has Frederic de Mevius. Woodford appears likely to end up owning around two-thirds of RM2. The second tranche is dependent on Woodford agreeing that key performance indicators have been met. Three members of RM2’s management will acquire shares in the placing via a reduction in their salaries over an 18 month period.
STM Group (STM) reported better than expected 2017 and this led to an upgrade for 2018. Last year’s pre-tax profit improved from £2.6m to £4m, helped by an increased provision release from the acquired life book. The underlying pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £3.2m to £4.2m in 2018.
Caledonian Trust (CNN) reported a NAV of 185.7p a share at the end of 2017. This was helped an increase in the valuation of St Margaret’s House, which is in the process of being sold.
The SimplyBiz Group provides regulatory and support services to financial advisers and is set to join AIM on 4 April.
Sosandar (SOS) has gained momentum since floating last year. The online women’s fashion retailer continues to lose money but the customer database has increased nearly ten-fold to 36,328.
NetScientific (NSCI) is running out of money and it needs more by the end of June. A placing and subscription will raise up to £6m at 52.5p a share. The cash will be used to provide additional financial backing for investee companies.
Manx Financial Services (MFX) has acquired Blue Star Business Solutions, which is a broker for IT equipment funding, for an initial £1.5m in cash. This could increase to up to £4m depending on performance.
Connemara Mining (CON) is focusing on three main areas: the Inishowen gold project in Donegal, the Mine River gold project in Wicklow and Wexford and multiple zinc exploration projects. The next exploration is at the 100%-owned Mine River gold project where high grade intersections will be targeted.
Wynnstay Properties (WSP) has increased the value of its investment properties by £1.63m to £30.1m in the year to March 2018. The NAV has increased by 100p a share to more than 770p a share.
Real Good Food (RGD) has agreed a loan note facility of up to £4m with three major shareholders. Longer-term, a share issue will be required.
Vernalis (VER) lost £37.6m in 2017, mainly down to exceptional write-downs and unrealised foreign exchange movements. There was £46m in the bank. US commercial activity should finish by the end of September and that will slow the ongoing cash outflow.
Kestrel has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems Group (PEB) from 15.2% to 16.6%. The share price has been on a downward trajectory and borrowings are significant but Kestrel must believe that the software company will survive.
Life science software provider Instem (INS) coupled its 2017 figures with a contract announcement for its SEND software. Revenues were 18% ahead at £21.7m, and that included organic growth of 5%, while pre-tax profit recovered from £500,000 to £1.9m. A further improvement to £2.7m is expected this year.
Feedback (FDBK) has raised £440,000 at 1.25p a share and it will invest in sales and marketing for the TexRAD and Cadran technology, as well as developing a clinical evidence base for TexRAD.
Oracle Power (ORCP) has raised £550,000 at 1.4p a share to provide cash for the company as it moves to financial close for the development of the Thar Block VI lignite coal mine and power plant in the Sindh province in Pakistan.
GoTech Group (GOT) plans to sell its Sportsdata business to Starnevesse for £1. The company was a shell prior to the acquisition of the business in May 2016 and it effectively became a shell again when it stopped supporting the business at the end of 2017. There is £566,000 in the bank and there will be a £100,000 cash payment as part of the settlement of indebtedness to Starnevesse.
Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has signed an agreement with Unimicro Technologies Inc, which will integrate Microsaic’s 4500 MiD mass spectrometry detector into its Capillary Electrophoresis instruments.
Collagen Solutions (COS) is restructuring its New Zealand operations. The plan is to focus on tissue collection and processing and then consolidate collagen production in Glasgow. Annual cost savings should be £200,000 and one-off costs will be £150,000.
Chris Akers has increased its stake in YOLO Leisure (YOLO) from 6.8% to 7.93%.
S&U Group (SUS) reported a one-fifth increase in pre-tax profit to £30.2m. The car finance provider achieved this despite a start-up loss from the bridging finance business Aspen. The total dividend for the year was increased from 91p a share to 105p a share. A rise in pre-tax profit to £35.8m is forecast for this year.
Book publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) slumped into loss in 2017, although the underlying pre-tax profit fell from $13.9m to $3.9m. Net debt was $64m. The year end is being changed to March.
Shefa Yamim (SEFA) had NIS6.49m in the bank at the end of 2017 following its flotation. Bulk sampling results for the Kishon Mid-Reach gemstones project have been positive and the processing plant has been upgraded.
Path Investments (PATH) has postponed its exit from the standard list until further notice. The plan is to move to AIM when the proposed oil and gas asset acquisition is made but the timing remains uncertain.
North Midland Construction (NMD) reported a fall in profit in 2017 even though revenues increased from £250.5m to £291.8m. Pre-tax profit more than halved from £2.06m to £1m. That is because the loss on legacy contracts increased from £3.85m to £7.29m. The final dividend is unchanged at 3p a share even though the total dividend is one-third higher at 6p a share.
NCC (NCC) has sold its web performance business for £7.5m. The sale process for the software testing business is continuing.