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National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its interim revenues from £10.5m to £11.7m, although some of this was due to seasonal factors and one-off testing business. Pre-tax profit improved from £0.96m to £1.13m. Net debt was £2.06m at the end of December 2018. Every part of the business grew its revenues. Milk volumes are set to be strong in the second half, although milk margins are been squeezed by a decline in the milk price and higher feed costs.
Barkby (BARK) has completed the acquisition of Centurian Automotive for an initial payment of £201,000 in shares at 4.775p each, with up to £251,000 more based on performance over three years. Operating profit in each of the years is required to be at least £200,000 in order to achieve the full payment. The consideration represents a discount to net assets and will be equivalent to up to 20% of Barkby. In the year to March 2018, the automotive dealer made a pre-tax profit of £123,000 on revenues of £5.6m.
Sandal (SAND) says there was a significant increase in Energie MiHome sales in December, particularly later in the month, but trading is still below expectations because of a lack of cash to spend on marketing. The stock overhang has been unwound. A Wi-Fi adapter plug has been added to the range, which is being rolled out in Denman’s Electrical Wholesale branches.
Sport Capital Group (SCG) owned Palermo Football Club for less than one month before selling it back to the previous management team. It was bought for a nominal sum and is being sold for a nominal value, following further due diligence. The company’s representatives joined the board in December and resigned last week. Debt will be settled at the same time. Sports Capital had been trying to raise up to £20m over the next few months.
Trading has recommenced in the shares of EcoVista (EVTP) after it published its results for the year to August 2018. There was a £142,000 property revaluation gain and net assets were £1.39m. There are plans to launch a €10m Eurobond issue to fund further property site acquisitions in London, Hertfordshire and Essex.
Gold explorer Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has completed stage one drilling on the Specimen Hill project in Queensland and each hole drilled intersected gold. Geological modelling results will be available in March. A further 7,500 metres of drilling is being planned.
Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has raised $400,000 at 20 cents a unit (one share and one-half warrant). The expenses of the placing were $28,000. The cash will be used for assessing coltan opportunities in Colombia and Brazil. NQ Mining (NQMI) has raised £54,000 at 11p a share.
Panoply Holdings (TPX) has made its third acquisition since floating in December. UK-based GreenShoot Labs provides digital services using artificial intelligence technology. There is no initial consideration and any payment will depend on performance.
Marketing and media services provider Ebiquity (EBQ) traded in line with expectations last year. The disposal of the advertising intelligence was completed on 2 January. This cut net debt to around £8m. The continuing business is expected to continue to grow at 8% a year.
Online merchandising software and services provider ATTRAQT Group (ATQT) increased its 2018 revenues by 26% to £17.1m and the loss declined from £4.1m to £2.7m. The largest customer has renewed for two years. Annual recurring revenues are £16m.
GRC International (GRC) has acquired data consulting business DQM Group for an initial £5.9m with up to £5m in deferred consideration, although it is not expected to be more than £3.5m. This is a significantly earnings enhancing deal.
Cabot Energy (CAB) is consolidating 100 shares into one new share and raising up to £2.85m at 10p per consolidated share. The cash will pay off trade creditors. The main focus is Canada but Cabot believes its Italian oil and gas exploration assets could still be valuable even though the Italian government has suspended exploration work and is reviewing the situation.
The administrator has sold most of the businesses of Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) but there will be no money for shareholders. Dublin-based Causeway Capital has acquired Patisserie Valerie and AF Blakemore acquired Philpotts for a total of £13m, of which £3m is deferred. Baker and Spice was sold to the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs for £2.5m. The AIM quotation will be cancelled on 25 February. Paul Mumford of Cavendish Asset Management believes that the company’s banks should have supported a rescue and been more attentive to what was happening at the company. He thinks that shareholders should seek compensation from the banks.
Malvern International (MLVN) has confirmed that it moved into profit in 2018. The education business has doubled its London-based revenues and this made up for difficult trading in Malaysia.
Realm Therapeutics (RLM) is selling is hypochlorous acid assets for $10m and intends to leave AIM. Realm already had $18.8m in the bank at the end of 2018. The plan is to use the cash to complete a strategic transaction in the life sciences sector. The ADSs will continue to be listed on Nasdaq.
Stride Gaming (STR) has started a strategic review. The choices are acquisitive or organic expansion or the sale of the online gaming company.
Renalytix AI (RENX) has secured a joint venture with laboratory and clinical trials operator AKESOgen and this will enable Renalytix AI to provide additional services in the US. The artificial intelligence-based kidney diagnostics already has a presence in New York and the new joint venture is based in Georgia.
Administrators have been appointed to Utilitywise (UTW) but none of the subsidiaries is in administration. Shareholders are not likely to get anything from the administration process. Unitlitywise was unable to raise the cash it required to keep going and meet liabilities.
Heavitree Brewery (HVT) improved full year revenues from £7.3m to £7.61m and pre-tax profit grew from £1.55m to £2.25m, although that included profit on the sale of pubs and other property of £824,000, up from £6,000. The previous year had benefited from the write-back of a bad debt provision. The final dividend is being increased from 4p a share to 4.25p a share. Heavitree no longer has to cover a pension scheme deficit because three people transferred out of the scheme.
Bowmark Capital has launched a 110p a share recommended cash bid for Tax Systems (TAX) and MXC Capital Ltd (MXC) has accepted with its 25.6% stake. The bid values the tax software provider at £100.6m.
Kodal Minerals (KOD) has published the results of the drilling programme at the Bougouni lithium project. These will be used to update the JORC resource, which should happen by the end of February. Kodal has met with the Mali authorities to update them.
Insignals Neurotech is the third Portuguese spin out for Frontier IP (FIPP) and it will hold a 33% stake. Insignals is developing technology for brain stimulation surgery.
Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI) has made another scientific instruments acquisition and it has raised £2.5m at 34p a share to help finance it. A further £100,000 was raised via PrimaryBid. Graticules manufactures reticules and graticules and fits with the digital imaging division. It cost £3.4m and has added 6% to next year’s earnings per share.
Strategic Minerals (SML) has announced a trebled resource at Redmoor, in which it has a 50% stake. There is an inferred tin equivalent contained metal of 137,000 tonnes.
James Latham (LTHM) has acquired the timber merchant that has the rights to sell Accoya wood in Ireland. Abbey Woods will cost an initial €1.825m with a further €300,000-€400,000 depending on completion accounts. Further deferred consideration of up to €400,000 depending on performance over two years. Last year, Abbey Woods generated EBITDA of €379,000 on revenues of €7.5m and it has operations in Dublin and Cork.
Vast Resources (VAST) says that the tranche B offtake finance from Mercuria Energy Trading did not happen. This means that the planned December and January repayments of the loan from Sub Sahara Goldia Investments have not been made Talks continue with potential finance providers to replace the cash to invest in 80%-owned copper, silver, gold, zinc, lead, tungsten, molybdenum Baita Plai project. Bergen Global Opportunities Fund is pausing the second tranche of the $3m bridge facility because the share price has been below 0.2p for two days. A placing has raised £896,000 at 0.135p a share and this will repay the £525,000 owed to Bergen. There are discussions with a potential cornerstone investor for a diamond project in Zimbabwe.
RiverFort Global Opportunities (RGO) has subscribed for shares in Pires Investments (PIRI), that will give it a 24.3% stake. RiverFort is taking nearly 50% of the shares issued in a placing that raised £782,000 at 2.4p a share for Pires. The cash will be used for new investments.
Trading in the shares of African Battery Materials (ABM) will resume on Monday 18 February following the issue of 200 million shares at 0.5p each. The cash will be used to pay creditors and leave enough to finance the business for 12 months. Andrew Bell has been appointed executive chairman and Paul Johnson as executive director.
Windar Photonics (WPHO) will undershoot the 2018 forecast, but there should be higher orders from Vestas and another manufacturer next year. Even so, 2019 forecasts are likely to be reduced. Total 2018 revenues were 59% ahead at €3.5m and higher gross margins meant that the loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell from €1.22m to €360,000. The end of year order book was worth €1m.
Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) has more than trebled its proved and probable reserves to 2.43 million barrels of oil. Net proved reserves are 764,030 barrels of oil.
President Energy (PPC) has updated the reserves position. The Argentina and Louisiana reserves are valued at almost $300m, which is equivalent to 21p a share. That is more than twice the market capitalisation. Production is predominantly oil but gas production will increase this year.
Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) has acquired IFA Castleton Financial Planning for up to £1.6m.
Trading in the shares of Urals Energy (UEN) has been suspended following the resignation of Allenby as nominated adviser. A general meeting, which will be held on 22 February, has been called by Adler Impex SA in order to remove three directors and appoint four other directors. Oil production was 1,690 barrels/day in January. Loans made without board approval have meant that the company is short of cash.
Waste-to-energy technology developer PowerHouse Energy (PHE) is confident that it could sign up a customer in the next quarter. There is increasing interest and six potential sites are being assessed. Potential engineering, procurement and construction contractors have approached PowerHouse. Development partner Waste2Tricity is in negotiations with Toyota Tsusho, which would be a way of entering the Japanese market.
Braveheart Investment Group (BRH) has reduced its stake in Remote Monitored Systems (RMS) from 5.9% to 1.32%. Stephen Jones increased his stake from below 3% to 14.5% in just over one month.
Dewscope Ltd, where Mark Horrocks is a director, has cut its stake in Sabien Technology (SNT) from 12.7% to less than 3%. Chris Akers has also reduced his stake from 16.9% to less than 3% and Brendan Adams has cut his shareholding from 4.2% to under 3%. These stakes were acquired on 14 December, when the mid-price was 0.11p. On 11 February, when the shares were sold, the share price increased from 0.145p to 0.175p. Sabien reported a decline in interim revenues from £462,000 to £342,000, but the loss was reduced from £233,000 to £207,000 due to cost reductions.
TV programme producer DCD Media (DCD) expects to report revenues of £7.3m and a small EBITDA in 2018. Trading has started well in 2019 helped by business that was delayed from last year.
HaloSource (HAL) is seeking shareholder approval for the disposal of assets to Strix (KETL) for $1.3m. The cash will pay creditors and fund the winding down of the business. The AIM quotation will be cancelled on 12 March.
WANdisco (WAND) has raised $17.5m at 546p a share to provide cash to support relationships with partners. WANdisco has become an advanced technology partner with Amazon Web Services.
Adamas Finance Asia Ltd (ADAM) is issuing 6.1 million shares to China Aerospace for a 6.8% stake in Hong Kong Mining Holdings, where Adamas already has a 84.8% stake. This is a complicated deal, but Adamas can tell China Aerospace where to transfer these shares. It means that Adamas will not necessarily increase its shareholding in the mining company. Sorting out what was effectively a stock overhang should make it easier to do a deal that will unlock cash for Adamas.
NetScientific (NSCI) has concluded its strategic review and it has decided to cancel its AIM quotation. The remaining cash will be spent on the investee companies with the best prospects of providing a return before the company runs out of money.
Angus Energy (ANGS) is repaying the £1.5m initial advance from YA II and RiverFort Global Opportunities. Angus has raised £2.2m at 4p a share.
The University of British Columbia has ordered a polariser system from Polarean Imaging (POLX).
Begbies Traynor (BEG) has made the earnings enhancing acquisition of profitable Newcastle insolvency practice KRE. The initial payment is £450,000 with up to £150,000 more based on revenue targets over 12 months.
Full year figures will be lower than expected at IFA Tavistock Investments (TAVI) but a maiden dividend is still on the cards.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) will report a 45% increase in 2018 revenues, with most of the growth coming from software.
Cryptocurrency mining services provider Argo Blockchain (ARB) is refocusing its business. All existing contracts will be terminated by the beginning of April. The focus will be Argo’s own currency mining. Ongoing costs will be cut by one-third. Net cash is £15m and that is much more than the market capitalisation of Argo. The cash outflow should be stemmed in the second half of 2019. Hadron Capital recently increased its stake to 7.6%.
Trading is in line at fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) even though the UK automotive market is weak. More than two-thirds of sales are overseas. Additional UK stocks for Brexit are worth around £2m.
Commercial aircraft leasing company Avation (AVAP) expects to report a doubled interim profit on revenues that have risen from $52.4m to $58m.
Outdoor digital media company Grand Vision Media Holdings (GVMH) has signed a partnership agreement with Rakuten Bank in Japan to add to the one it signed with CY Group in South Korea. GVMH’s marketing services will help its partners promote themselves to Chinese tourists. GVMH has glasses-free 3D technology.
Helen Sachdev has been appointed as a non-executive director of Athelney Trust (ATY) and Frank Ashton has taken on the role of executive chairman. Discussions continue with Gresham House Asset Management about taking over the management of the company’s investments.
Future (FUTR) has secured a new £90m revolving credit facility and it is acquiring CyclingNews.com and Procycling Magazine, which generate annual revenues of £2m. This deal widens the sports publishing activities.
REA Holdings (RE.) significantly increased palm oil production in 2018, even though extraction rates were lower than expected. The Kota Bangun coal concession is heading towards reopening the mine, although there are local disputes.
Bruce Pubs (PUB) has raised £100,000 from an issue of 7.2% bonds and trading has commenced on NEX. The pubs operator wants to raise up to £20m. The cash will be used to acquire pubs in Scotland. Bruce owns 18 licenced premises with another licence pending. Bruce Pubs is a subsidiary of the holding company Bruce Group, which had net assets of £3.8m at the end of June 2018.
Sativa Investments (SATI) is investigating ways of raising cash to finance the company’s glasshouse and working capital for the first cannabis crop. There are also talks with vets about using medicinal cannabis in animal health. Sativa is pleased with the platform that NEX has given the business. Imperial X (IMPP) is the latest NEX company to change its investing strategy to cannabis investments.
Trading in the shares of Clean Invest Africa (CIA) following news that it has negotiated an agreement to acquire the 97.5% of CoalTech LLC it does not own. The company has technology that can convert waste coal into coal pellets for industrial and commercial use. A circular will be sent to shareholders in the first quarter of 2019.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has increased its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) to 35 million shares, which is equivalent to 1.09%. The average cost is 1.71p a share. The investment has been made ahead of further drilling results at the Havieron gold/copper project in Australia.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) reported a NAV of 189.95p a share for the end of 2018.
President Energy (PPC) beat its production target for the end of 2018. The Argentina-focused oil and gas company was producing 3,300 boepd by the year end, which is 10% above the target. The latest drilling programme of three wells has been a 100% success. President intends to build on this base during 2019. The next reserves audit should be published in March. There should be a significant jump in profit in 2019. Panmure Gordon forecasts a 2019 pre-tax profit of $18.6m. The cash generated will help to finance forecast capital investment of around $40m during the year. The target price is 15p a share.
Gateley (GTLY) continues to trade strongly with organic growth supplemented by contributions from acquisitions. The legal services provider increased interim revenues by one-fifth to £46.4m, while pre-tax profit rose from £4.2m to £5m. Net debt increased from £7.1m to £8.2m after acquisitions spending and dividend payments. The second half tends to be more cash generative. More business is coming from litigation work but management is confident that its revenue recognition policies mean that the strong cash generation will not be hit.
Castleton Technology (CTP) is paying £1.8m for Deeplake Digital, which provides digital communications services between landlords and tenants. Thirty of its 90 customers are new to Castleton.
ATTRAQT (ATQT) is expecting to make a small EBITDA figure for 2018. The online shopping performance enhancement services provider will report its 2018 results on 14 February.
More woe for Footasylum (FOOT) as gross margins come under pressure. Revenues were in line with expectations over Christmas but less money was made from them as old stock was discounted. The 2018-19 loss forecast has been edged up to more than £5m.
Higher input costs mean that Accrol Group (ACRL) will not do as well as expected and it will make a significant 2018-19 loss after exceptional charges.
Packaging machinery supplier Mpac Group (MPAC) says 2018 trading was in line with expectations and the year has started with a strong order book. The company is assessing the potential additional cost of pension equalisation for its defined benefit scheme.
Bowleven (BLVN) is paying a 15p a share special dividend on 8 February. This will leave the oil and gas explorer with the cash it requires for its exploration programme.
Wealth manager Mattioli Woods (MTW) says that its interim EBITDA margin was substantially ahead of the 20% target. Gross discretionary assets under management were £2.4bn at the end of November 2018.
Churchill China (CHH) had a strong finish to the financial year with a better second half performance in the UK. The 2018 profit will be higher than expected. The figures will be published on 27 March.
Shoe Zone (SHOE) stands out amongst its peers because it has had strong 2017-18 figures and a good Christmas. Last year’s pre-tax profit improved from £9.5m to £11.3m. Forecasts have been upgraded with 2018-19 earnings per share increased from 16.4p a share to 17.6p a share based on flat profit and a higher tax charge.
Quiz (QUIZ) sales continue to decline, albeit at a slightly lower rate of 5% like-for-like. The fashion retailer had to discount and gross margins were two percentage points lower. Overheads are also too high because of the lack of growth. The full year profit forecast has been cut from £6m to £4.4m.
A North African order for the Helios product supplied by Starcom (STAR) has been delayed until 2019 so 2018 revenues will be lower than expected. The total order value is $1.1m and the majority was expected to be recognised in 2018. Even so, revenues were better than expected, but the loss will be higher.
A general meeting has been requisitioned at Angus Energy (ANGS) by shareholders owning 6.2% of the company. It is believed that former chairman Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius is behind this requisition, which involves the proposed removal of Paul Vonk from the board and the appointment of the Earl of Lucan and George Bingham. Non-exec Rob Shepherd has resigned. Angus has entered into a 24 month, £3m loan facility with YA II PN Ltd and Riverfort Global Capital in order to finance the development of the Balcombe field in the Weald basin. A £1.5m drawdown is planned immediately.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has acquired additional acreage in the Paradox Basin in Utah at a cost of $35,000. Rose believes that the new acreage could have an NPV10 of around $12m. The deal follows the results of the Schlumberger study which suggests that the site of a proposed well in the area should be in an optimal position.
Diurnal Group (DNL) has been granted a second patent for hydrocortisone treatment Chronocourt, which already has orphan drug designation. The patent lasts until 2033.
A £2m subscription and $5m investment into an internal finance note by 1795 Volantis Fund will provide Obtala Ltd (OBT) with additional funds. 1795 Volantis Fund will own 12.9% of Obtala, as well as 40 million warrants exercisable at 10p each. The disposal of a Tanzanian agricultural business will bring in a further $2.5m. Obtala intends to acquire the 25% it does not own in Montara Continental for $5m, which will be reinvested in the internal finance note.
Fuel cell developer Proton Power Systems (PPS) will own 33.33% of Hamburg-based Clean Logistics, which is being set up to build heavy trucks powered by fuel cell hybrid systems in the range of 75kw-150kw. The other two equal shareholders are Hopen, which has interests in battery and electric vehicle developers, and modular transport service provider Hary.
Sopheon (SPE) had a strong end to 2018. The software provider will provide more details in its trading statement later this month, when finnCap says it will reassess its forecasts.
Dekeloil (DKL) says that fourth quarter volumes were in line with expectations with a 2% increase in crude palm oil production on the third quarter. The annual production was 15% lower because of the weak first half. Selling prices have been at a premium to the market price. The purchase of a 43.8% stake in the Tiebissou cashew processing project has been completed.
Imaginatik (IMTK) has decided to sell its software business and assets to Planbox. The initial cash payment is $1.7m and up to $800,000 more could become payable. If it is all paid then the selling price would be higher than the book value of the assets. Imaginatik will become a shell with around £1m in cash left from the initial payment. If the disposal is approved by sharehodlers the company will change its name to Abal Group.
Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) continues to grow fleet sales but lower insurance sales are partly offsetting that growth. A supplementary dividend will be announced with the final dividend when the 2018 figures are published on 25 February.
Brighton Pier Group (PIER) says problems with the railways are hampering the income generation of Brighton Pier and earning shave been lower. The trading of the bars division was flat last year. Pre-tax profit will be around £3.2m, which is 18% lower than previous expectations.
Frontier IP (FIPP) says that its investee company Exscientia has raised $26m and is collaborating with Roche in a deal worth up to CHF67m. Frontier IP owns 3.32% of artificial intelligence-driven drug developer Exscientia.
InnovaDerma (IDP) has revealed a 6% dip in first half revenues to £3.9m, even though retail sales grew strongly. Direct sales fell, although there are indications that they are recovering. The cosmetic products supplier will have to do well in the second half to achieve full year forecast revenues of £14.4m.
Trident Resources (TRR) has £1.85m in the bank at the end of October. The shell raised £4m when it floated in October. The balance sheet includes trade receivables of £2.1m, although management says that it started the year with just under £4m in cash. Potential acquisitions are being assessed.
Paul Vonk, Managing Director at Angus Energy PLC #ANGS discusses the latest developments at Horse Hill with Zak Mir.
Angus Energy ANGS says it has successfully completed the drilling of the Lidsey-X2 production well. Angus will produce from a “net oil pay” section of 443 metres from the Great Oolite limestone reservoir. MD Paul Vonk said he was “encouraged the site offers further scope for development.”
Ashmore Group ASHM updates on trading for Q1 and says AuM increased by $6.3bn while gross redemptions continued to fall quarter-on-quarter, delivering the highest net inflows for four years. Performance of the Group’s funds against benchmarks continues to be very strong over one, three and five years.
GKN GKN updates on trading and says it has been made aware of two commercially sensitive claims for GKN Aerospace and GKN Driveline which are expected to result in a charge of around £40m in Q4 2017. Overall in Q3, GKN achieved good organic sales growth, with GKN Driveline continuing to outperform the market and GKN Aerospace delivering sales slightly up on the prior year.
Man Group EMG updates on Q3 trading and says FuM grew 28% year to date to $103.5bn at 30 Sept 2017. Net inflows in the quarter of $2.8bn were driven by strong inflows into alternative risk premia and emerging market debt strategies.
Provident Financial PFG updates on trading, and says a home credit business recovery plan has been developed under new leadership to re-establish relationships with customers, stabilise the operation of the business and improve collections performance. Progress to date is in line with the recovery plan and is consistent with the guidance provided on 22 Aug 2017 of a pre-exceptional loss for the Consumer Credit Division (CCD) in a range of between £80m-£120m for 2017 as a whole. The search for a new CEO is underway.
Fastjet FJET says it has made steady progress in implementing stabilisation efforts, including inter alia, a re-fleeting process, relocation of its headquarters from London to Johannesburg and a right-sizing of its operations in Zimbabwe and Tanzania. Accordingly fastjet aims to achieve a cashflow break-even position for the final quarter of 2017. The Company also announces that it has, on 29 June 2017, entered into an agreement with easyGroup Holdings Ltd to acquire all intellectual property rights associated with the fastjet brand for a total consideration of $2.5m, to be satisfied in cash, resulting in saving to the Company over the next 5 years. This agreement represents a major step forward as the Company continues with its stabilisation efforts under new management. Bye bye Stelios!
Angus Energy ANGS increases interim LBT of £(985,000) (2016: LBT £344,000). Says production guidance for the Lidsey Oil Field remains unchanged while production from the Brockham Oil Field could improve materially after bringing X4Z on stream from the Kimmeridge.
John Laing Group JLG says its investment portfolio as a whole is performing in line with expectations in a pre-close update for the half-year ending 30 June 2017.
Trinity Mirror TNI updates on trading and says group revenue is expected to fall by 9% on a like for like basis over the period. CEO Simon Fox said: “The trading environment for print in the first half remained volatile but we remain on course to meet our expectations for the year. I anticipate that the second half will show improving revenue momentum as we benefit from initiatives implemented during the first half of the year.”
Brewer Adnams (ADB), which sponsored last year’s Tour of Britain cycling event, continues to invest in its brewery with beer sales moving above 100,000 barrels in 2016. More of that beer is being sold in kegs. The decline in sterling increased the price of hops and wine, which hit the retail operations. In 2016, revenues improved from £65.7m to £70.3m, while pre-tax profit increased from £4.07m to £5.02m, predominantly down to a rise in asset disposal gains from £625,000 to £1.43m. Adnams sold the UK distribution rights to Lagunitas beer. The NAV has fallen to £27.5m because of an increase in the pension liability. There is a dividend of 150p per B share and 37.5p per A share. This year there will be the first beer duty tax increase in four years.
Investment company First Sentinel (FSEN) joined the NEX Exchange growth market on 24 March and pre-IPO £633,000 was raised at 10p a share. That is before costs of £130,000. The founding shareholders own 99.2% of the company with 50,000 shares issued to the market maker. The company’s strategy is to provide investments to small companies with an opportunity covering more than 1,000 quoted companies identified in the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia. First Sentinel is run by former Rangers International Football Club director Brian Stockbridge and the main shareholders are two other former directors of Rangers or its subsidiaries, James Easdale and Sandy Easdale. The company is employing Stockbridge’s corporate finance business First Sentinel Corporate Finance, which will receive an annual fee of 1% of First Sentinel’s assets under management (payable at 0.25% each quarter) plus performance fees based on 20% of pre-tax profit each year when the gross return on capital is less than 20% or 40% of pre-tax profit if the gross return is more than 20%. First Sentinel will be paid 50% of deal fees generated by First Sentinel Corporate Finance from any investment transactions involving the NEX-quoted company. Stockbridge and his partner Aimee Freeding each receive £2,000 a month from First Sentinal. The whole board will be paid £72,000 a year in fees. There are currently 6.36 million shares in issue, with nearly as many shareholder warrants, but the company intends to issue up to 100 million more shares. Stockridge and Freeding have director warrants that enables each of them to receive 10% of the enlarged share capital at the time they are exercised – they each currently own 8.1%. Fellow director Tom Dignall has directors warrants over 5% of the enlarged capital at the time of exercise. The warrants are exercisable over five years. Matthew Rice is the independent director and he has no interest in the present or future share capital. First Sentinel is an investment for fans of Stockbridge.
Angus Energy (ANGS) expects to issue a first tranche of bonds on or around 27 April. Angus plans to issue up to £3.5m secured bonds maturing on 30 June 2022 and these will be quoted on NEX.
A rise in the zinc price has provided further impetus for IMC Exploration (IMCP). A comprehensive zinc works programme on its licences that are between the existing Tynagh and Silvermines deposits in Ireland.
Imperial Minerals (IMPP) is more optimistic about the prospects of the resources sector than one year ago. There was £66,000 in the bank at the end of 2016 and since then Imperial has sold its remaining shares in North River Resources for £30,000.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has raised £295,000 at 0.5p a share – every two shares have a warrant to subscribe for one share at 1p – and directors have exercised options at the same price that provide a further £47,500 – every option exercised sparks the issue of a bonus option exercisable at 0.75p a share. This takes the cash in the bank to £480,000, which will be used as working capital as the company seeks suitable investments. Gervaise Heddle has become a non-executive director. Heddle already owns 9.51 million shares in MetalNRG and he will not receive any pay until the company’s NAV is more than £1.5m but he has been issued 3 million options at 0.5p each.
Ecommerce technology provider Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) has signed an agreement with Sage. Netalogue’s ecommerce platform complements Sage’s X3 ERP technology and the deal could help Netalogue to access new customers.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £32,000 at 8p a share.
Gatemore Capital Management has requisitioned a general meeting at DX (Group) in order to remove Bob Holt and Paul Murray from the board. The plan is to replace them with Ron Series (as chairman), Paul Goodson, Russell Black and Lloyd Dunn. Gatemore is an activist investor that has been involved with French Connection and Gym Group in recent months. Gatemore’s stake in the parcel deiivery company rose above 3% six months ago and the stake has been built up to 11.3%.Furious 7 live streaming film
Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) formerly Vislink, has taken a reduced payment for its broadcast technology division. Former AIM company xG Technology Inc, which has spent more than a decade failing to develop its own business into a profitable operation, is paying $2m of the $4.9m it still owed in the agreement. Net debt has been reduced from £17m to £12m via the disposal and there is potential to obtain $2m from a creditor. The problem is that the remaining software business is too small to prosper with that level of debt.
SalvaRx Group (SALV) is investing in Rift Biotherapeutics Inc, which is developing antibodies for use in oncology. An initial investment of $1m will give SalvaRx a 30% stake in Rift. If the company achieves milestones then SalvaRx could invest a further $1.5m at the same valuation and swap its shares for the shares in Rift held by the other shareholders.
Tracsis (TRCS) had already warned that its interims would be weak. In the end, revenues were one-fifth higher at £15.6m and underlying profit was 11% higher at £3.1m.The cash balance improved to £12.7m. The interim dividend was raised by one-fifth to 0.6p a share. Management is still confident that the second half will be significantly stronger.
Caledonia Mining (CMCL) increased its production, cut costs and received a higher gold price in 2016. The Blanket mine increased gold production from 42,804 ounces to 50,351 ounces and all in sustaining costs fell from $1,037/ounce to $912/ounce. The gold price achieved rose from $1,139/ounce to $1,232/ounce. Production and costs are set to continue to improve. There was $23m generated from operations last year, more than enough to cover capital expenditure and dividends. The annualised dividend is running at 5.5 cents.
Starcom (STAR) continues to be accident prone. Last year, it could not satisfy demand for Watchlock Pro because parts were not delivered. This meant that full year revenues were flat at $5.13m although the post-tax loss fell from $1.76m to $1.36m. There was $35,000 in the bank at the end of 2016.
Falcon Acquisitions Ltd (FAL) is acquiring two businesses involved in technology, distribution and content operations in the Over The Top television sector. Falcon has raised £4m at 25p a share to provide finance for the enlarged business. The plan is to offer a platform to customers as well as its own content via its own channels. The shares should be readmitted on 27 March. The company will be renamed Falcon Media House Ltd.
Telecoms company Toople (TOOP) is finding it difficult to win business. Apparently, Toople’s main offering to small businesses is not as competitive as it thought so it is focusing on its cloud-based telephony service, which is building up its revenues. The share price has slumped from 8p to 3.25p in less than one year. According to last year’s prospectus, chief executive Andrew Hollingworth gets £120,000 per year (as well as 35 days holiday plus bank holidays) while he acquired his 26 million shares in Toople at 0.0667p each. Finance director Neil Taylor gets £60,000 a year for a two day week. In 2015-16, gross profit was £78,000 while the cash outflow from operations was £1.42m. It appears that the outflow should slow in the first half of this financial year but it will still be significant. There was £744,000 in the bank at the end of September 2016 but there was also debt of £469,000. Given the vast overheads for a company of this size it is no surprise that Toople needs to raise working capital. The trading statement also says that the board “continues to focus on tight cost control” and hopefully they will be able to think of some excess costs that could be reduced.
Books publisher Quarto Group (QRT) has sold its 75% stake in Hong Kong-based Regent Publishing Services for $7m – a gain of $3.3m on book value.
Brand CEO Alan Green talks Angus Energy (ANGS), Feedback (FDBK), Advanced Onco (AVO) & Swallowfield (SWL) on the VOX Markets podcast
Brand CEO Alan Green talks Angus Energy (ANGS), Feedback (FDBK), Advanced Onco (AVO) & Swallowfield (SWL) with Justin Waite on the VOX Markets podcast. Interview starts at 46 minutes 20 seconds.
Brand CEO Alan Green discusses IG Group (IGG), Premier Oil (PMO) & Angus Energy (ANGS) on Vox Markets podcast
Brand CEO Alan Green discusses IG Group (IGG), Premier Oil (PMO) & Angus Energy (ANGS) with Justin Waite on the Vox Markets podcast. The interview is 13 minutes 55 seconds in.