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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 17 February 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

NEX and AIM-quoted Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) says that there has been an increase in the level of confidence in its markets since the General Election. That was too late to have much effect on the 2019 results, but full year pre-tax profit will be at the upper end of expectations. Last year, customer loan balances rose by 31% and deposits by 22%.

Sativa Group (SATI) says that it welcomes the guidance from the Food Standards Agency on the safe use of CBD products and the timetable for novel food authorisation. Management points out that Sativa’s products do not include THC. Sativa expects to report 2019 gross profit slightly higher than expectations on lower than marginally lower than expected. Goodbody Wellness has piloted three retail stores, but they did not perform as well as expected. PhytoVista Laboratories has completed more than 3,000 tests on cannabis-based products. That includes Sativa’s own products and a new sports range is near launch. Medicinal cannabis-based development is focused on veterinary treatments.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has increased its NAV by 55% to 317.2p a share following a strong performance by Whittard of Chelsea and a recovery in the share price of fully listed Luceco. Pharmacy2U continues to grow strongly. Last year, 2.3% of the shares in issue were bought back by the company. New investments are being sought for available funds.

Ethical housing investor Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) increased its NAV by 15% to 106p a share in the year to January 2020. Chief executive Joseph McTaggart bought 1,991 shares at 61.75p each.

Hellyer gold mine operator NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £210,000 at 7p a share.

Investment company Primorus Investments (PRIM) has benefitted from the sharp share price rise in Greatland Gold (GGP) and the stake is worth two-fifths of the company’s market value. The current profit is £1.25m. Investee company TruSpine is on course to float in London this year. The spine stabilisation devices developer has gained a new cornerstone investor. Primorus is debt free.

Trading in the shares of Altona Energy (ANR) has been suspended because it has not published its annual report for the year to June 2019. Cash needs to be raised to keep the company going and management says that shareholders will be invited to participate in a fundraising. The company says it expects to publish the report in the next two weeks and blames the delay on a change of auditor and a new accounting treatment for its exploration licences. Final terms for the acquisition of the previously announced new petroleum exploration licence application are being negotiated.

SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) majority shareholder and chief executive David Sumner has also taken on the role as chairman after the resignation of Alan Kitchin and Katie Hiess from the board.

AIM

Brickability (BRCK) has acquired McCann Roofing Products for £2.75m. Essex-based McCann imports roofing and building products from Europe and generated a 2019 pre-tax profit of £700,000 on revenues of £8.2m. This deal adds additional suppliers to the group and should be immediately earnings enhancing.

Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) has convened the requisitioned general meeting on 3 March. Eridge Capital wants to remove Matt Lofgran and Ewen Ainsworth from the board and replace them with Andrew Morrison. Eridge was previously known as former AIM company New World Oil and Gas. Nostra Terra’s subsidiary has loans that have a key man clause which stipulate that Lofgran has to be president of the subsidiary unless it give consent or there will be a default.

Drug discovery platform developer e-Therapeutics (ETX) has overhauled its board and raised £1.6m at 3p a share. Former Silence Therapeutics boss Ali Mortazavi becomes executive chairman. Ian Ross is stepping down to concentrate his role at Silence Therapeutics. Chief executive Ray Barlow and finance director Steve Medlicott are also leaving. An additional independent non-executive director will be appointed.

Gemfields Group Ltd (GEM) joined AIM last Friday. The share price ended the day at 11.7p.

Bidstack (BIDS) expects to have generated £150,000 from programmatic advertising for video games. That is much lower than previously hoped because it is taking much longer to get advertising agencies to take in-game advertising seriously. There was cash of £3.14m at the end of 2019 following a loss of £5.3m. There was £6m in the bank at the end of June 2019. First half revenues will still be small.

Knights Group Holdings (KGH) has acquired Nottingham law firm Fraser Brown Solicitors for up to £8.28m in cash and shares. This follows the purchase of Croftons Solicitors, which is based in Manchester, for up to £2.8m. A new revolving credit facility of £40m has been agreed and it lasts until June 2023.

Octopus Investments has cut its stake in Staffware (STAF) from 13.2% to 0.53%. Gresham House Asset Management increased its stake from 6.7% to 10.6%.

Filta Holdings (FLTA) says it should make an EBITDA of £3.2m in 2019. Cost savings and investment software will help the fryer management services provider to produce a much better performance in 2020.

Keystone Law (KEYS) has traded in line with expectations. Pre-tax profit is forecast to increase from £5.1m to £5.7m.

Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) says that the FDA has accepted the new drug application for Akindi Sprinkle as a treatment for infants and children. Approval could be gained by the autumn and it will be the only licenced treatment specifically for children. There was cash of £4.6m at the end of 2019.

MAIN MARKET

Automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) is recommending a 700p a share bid from Infopro Digital, valuing the company at £114.5m. The two companies fit well together and will have greater scale.

Finance provider S and U (SUS) says that its figures for the year to January 2020 will be in line with expectations and trading has been getting better in the past few weeks. The used car market has held up well even though the new car market is week. This is why second hand car finance provider Advance should produce another record performance in 2020-21. Property bridging finance provider Aspen has made the progress hoped because of delays in repayments and the loan book is lower than expected, but it is still a young business. A 2019-20 pre-tax profit of £35.5m is expected to increase to £39m this year. The latest total dividend will be raised by around 5% to 124p a share.

JLEN Environmental Assets (JLEN) is raising cash from the placing of up to 49.7 million shares. This will fund a pipeline of investments. The bookbuild will close on 26 February.

Ultimate Products (UPGS) says that sales growth is easing this year with first half revenues 3% ahead at £67.7m. There is also uncertainty about the supply of products from China. Even so, Shore is maintaining its full year pre-tax forecast of £8.77m, a small increase on last year. That could change.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) is widening the geographic scope of its activities by negotiating to acquire an oil production licence in West Africa. Zenith has raised £135,000 through a share issue at 1.5p a share. It has also entered into an equity sharing agreement with a consortium of institutional investors. The nominal amount raised is £810,000, but the ultimate amount will depend on the share price when each tranche is paid over the next 12 months. The benchmark price is NOK0.2231/share, equivalent to around 1.85p. The share price is 1.43p, so the first instalment is likely to be below the notional level if there is no share price recovery.

BATM Communications (BVC) has gained a $1.3m order from a Middle East-based poultry firm for its agri-waste treatment system.

Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) says market conditions are more challenging and there has been a slow start to the fourth quarter, which is normally the strongest. Margins have fallen and profit will be at the lower end of the range of forecasts. The Coronavirus has led to the extended closure of Chinese sites, but this is a small percentage of production.

Cathay International Holdings (CTI) says that production at its plants is on hold or preparing to gradual resume production because of the effects of the Coronavirus. The hotel business has been hit by a sharp reduction in occupancy rates.

Avation (AVAP) has made firm orders for two ATR 72-600 aircraft that will be leased to US-Bangla, the largest private airline in Bangladesh.

Predator Oil and Gas (PRD) is raising £3.56m at 4p a share. This will finance the drilling of the Moulouya well in Morocco and provide cash for further investment in Trinidad.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 13 January 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that in 2019 the Hellyer mine in Tasmania produced 24,980 tonnes of lead concentrate, 15,646 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 77,853 tonnes of pyrite concentrate. Metal recovery has improved with average lead recoveries of more than 50%. The focus will be on generating lead revenues. Additional high-grade underground resources have been acquired from Bass Metals, which was subleasing the area. The purchase includes 1.175 million tonnes of underground JORC resources.

Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) is investing natural insecticide developer Kentegra Biotechnology. The Kenya-based company produces pyrethrum, a natural ingredient from the chrysanthemum flower for use in the home, agricultural and pharma markets. There is a shortage of supply of pyrethrum, which can only be produced in a limited number of places around the globe. There is a move away from synthetic versions of the ingredient.

Panther Metals (PALM) has completed its move to the standard list.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has raised €4.79m via a placing at 1.1 cents a share. The cash will be used for property investments. Mamferay Holdings, which is owned by majority shareholder Phoenix Capital Holdings, is swapping €1.4m of debt for shares at the same price.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration has changed its name to Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM .P).

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that the 100p-for-one share consolidation will take effect on 21 January.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) reported a NAV of 273.9p a share for the end of 2019.

AIM

Packaging equipment supplier Mpac (MPAC) says that the 2019 profit is going to be much better than expected. The pension deficit should be eliminated by 2024.

Ultrasound simulation equipment developer Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) expects its 2019 revenues to grow to between £5.7m and £5.9m. There will be a slightly higher loss due to higher development spending. There was £7.3m in the bank at the end of 2019. The agreement signed with FUJIFILM SonoSite Inc will help sales this year in the training market.

Shield Therapeutics (STX) has licenced its Ferracru/ Accrufer iron deficiency treatment to Beijing Aosaikang Pharmaceutical for an upfront payment of $11.4m. This means that there should be net cash of £7.5m at the end of 2020. A further $11.4m payment is due when the treatment gains approval in China, following a clinical trial funded by the licensee, possibly in 2023. There could be further milestone payments of up to $40m depending on sales. Ongoing royalties on sales will be 10% or 15%,

Biopesticide products developer Eden Research (EDEN) says that its three EU-registered active ingredients have been approved for use in organic farming. A one-year exclusive agreement with Corteva Agriscience, will give the company time to evaluate Eden’s Sustaine encapsulation technology for use with seeds. Coreva could be granted exclusive distribution rights in the EU, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine.

Accrol Group (ACRL) management believes it has turned the fortunes of the toilet paper manufacturer around. Even so, it still lost £3m in the six months to October 2019. Net debt was £24.8m and this could fall to £20m by the end of April.

Telecoms services provider Maintel (MAI) has warned that public sector contracts continue to be delayed. finnCap has cut its 2019 pre-tax profit forecast from £10.4m to £8.1m, while the 2020 estimate has been reduced by one-quarter to £8.8m.

Software company CloudBuy (CBUY) wants to leave AIM and it expects to save £100,000 a year in overheads. Lyn and Ronald Duncan subsequently sold 11.1 million shares at 0.414p each. The share price has fallen but it is still 0.6p.

Promotional products software supplier Altitude Group (ALT) has signed a strategic alliance with the Advertising Speciality Institute, which will use its software platform.

Surface Transforms (SCE) expects more contract announcements with OEMs this year. In the seven months to December 2019, revenues were £1.45m, nearly treble the same period in the previous year, but lower than expected due to delays. The new financial year end is March. There was £768,000 in the bank at the end of 2019 and a further £425,000 has already been received.

Asimilar Group (ASLR) has raised £6.8m at 40p each. This will be received in two tranches. Formerly known as YOLO, the company will invest the cash big data, machine learning, telematics and internet of things businesses.

MAIN MARKET

Avation (AVAP) has started a strategic review, which could include the sale of the aircraft leasing business. Avation has 49 aircraft with an average fleet age of 3.7 years. It has also purchased a spare engine that can be leased.

InnovaDerma (IDP) grew interim revenues by 28% to £5m. This represents a slowdown in growth in the later part of the period and is slightly lower than expected. Skinny Tan was responsible for most of the growth. The second half will benefit from the launch of new skincare products in Superdrug.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) says its Minto Explorations business has received a $5.4m payment for copper concentrate produced during December. The Minto mine produced 2,247dmt of copper concentrate in the fourth quarter 2019.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) says that its molecular diagnostics business Ador Diagnostics has received its first commercial order from an Italian customer for meningitis testing.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 7 October 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Wines and beer maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased interim sales by one-fifth to £6.74m with growth coming from all parts of the business. Gross margins improved, but the first half loss increased due to investment in developing brands. Cash has been spent on developing additional vineyards, a gin works and a new brewery, although there is still £5.19m in cash on the balance sheet. Bank debt is £6.45m and this is associated with the Ashford brewery, where there have been teething problems with commissioning the new equipment. The associated restaurant and retail store opened in May.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased revenues by 44% to £5.07m in the year to April 2019. There was a disposal gain of £284,000 and that contributed to the rise in pre-tax profit from £361,000 to £759,000. Total dividends doubled to 2.5p a share. Property assets have increased by 52% to £88.3m. NAV is £21.2m.

Net assets of Western Selection (WESP) have fallen by one-third to 64p a share. The investment in loss-making Tudor Rose International has been written off. The value of the stakes in Bilby (BILB) and Brand Architekts (BAR), formerly Swallowfield, has fallen sharply. There is no final dividend.

IFA AFH Financial (AFHP) has confirmed that trading has been strong in the year to October 2019 and there will be a renewed focus on organic growth following a period of acquisition activity. There could be some small purchases, but there will be no requirement for cash from share issues.

KR1 (KR1) generated a gross profit of £5m in the six months to June 2019, although £4.29m of that is unrealised gains. The reported pre-tax profit is £4.62m. The NAV is £10.7m.

Dozens Savings (DSO1/DSO2) has had its 5% secured bonds October 2020 admitted to the NEX Exchange Growth Market. The bonds are offered to customers of parent company Project Imagine.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that investee company YBOO has been placed in administration and Quantuma appointed to handle the process. Angelfish invested £650,000 for a 35% stake and lent just over £1m for working capital, where a repayment demand led to the administration. Writing down this investment was predominantly behind the £1.72m loss reported for the year to June 2019. It has also meant that there are net liabilities of £2.27m. A capital raising was hit by the closure of SVS Securities.

Shareholders in SG Recruitment (SGRL) did not approve the AGM reappointment of Steven Howson as a director. David Sumner, who owns the majority of the shares in the company, has been appointed chief executive.

Healthcare company MiLOC Group (MLP) increased its interim revenues from HK$5.27m to HK$6.1m. The loss was still substantial, although it did decline from HK$25m to HK$19.4m. The launch of a traditional Chinese medicine-based body care product should happen in the coming months. MiLOC raised HK$652,000 at 30p a share.

Cannabis company Freyherr International Group (FRYR) generated revenues of £1.17min the first half of 2019 and it should reach more than £2m for the full year. There was a small profit in the first half, which was before Freyherr joined NEX.

MESH Holdings (MESH) has left NEX. Veni, Vidi, Vici (VVV), Global Capital (GCAP) and Secured Property Developments (SPD) have all had trading in shares suspended because of a failure to publish accounts. Trading in Queros Capital Partners 8% bonds 2025 (QCP) has been suspended because of a breach of rules. This involves the failure to appoint new independent non-execs.

DXS International (DXSP) has appointed Hybridan as broker.

AIM  

Directa Plus (DCTA) is paying €2.1m to acquire a 51% stake in Romanian waste management and remediation services company Setcar. A placing and one-for-38 open offer at 75p a share will raise up to £8.24m before expenses for the graphene business. GVC Investment Company, which has a business in offshore oil and gas services, will acquire 47% of Setcar with an existing shareholder retaining 1.97%. Directa Plus and Setcar have worked together on the development of Grafysorber mobile decontamination units. This is one of the two main focuses for Directa Plus. The other is textiles.

Linde is taking a 20% in energy storage and clean fuel products developer ITM Power (ITM) in return for £38m. The two firms are entering into a joint venture that will supply hydrogen to large scale industrial projects with an installed electrolyser capacity of 10MW and above. A further £14m is being raised at 40p a share, which is the same price that Linde is paying. An open offer could raise up to £6.8m.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) is raising up to £20m at 44p a share, including an offer via PrimaryBid.com. The cash will enable Duke to sign up another royalty partner and undertake five follow-on investments. The total cost will be approximately £25m. There will also be spare cash and facilities to sign up other royalty partners.

Trading in antimicrobial technology developer Byotrol (BYOT) shares has been suspended because it has not published its accounts for the year to March 2019. It blames the effects of revenue recognition policy IFRS 15 and the Medimark acquisition for the delay. The preliminary figures have been published and they were better than expected due to changes in revenue recognition related to IFRS15. Some revenues originally recognised in the year before has been moved to last year. Revenues increased from £1.8m to £5.7m, with £1.8m coming from Medimark, and Byotrol moved from loss to a pre-tax profit of £600,000. There was £2.8m in the bank at the end of March 2019. Even if there are no further licence deals this year, Byotrol should trade at around breakeven.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) says that the trial investigating the potential of SFX-01 to reverse acquired resistance to endocrine therapies. The data suggest that there are no safety concerns in patients suffering from ER+ metastatic breast cancer. In combination with endocrine therapy, SFX-01 helped to stabilise the disease and showed some anti-tumour activity.

STM Group (STM) says that the Pension Regulator has confirmed that Carey Workplace Pension Trust is an approved Master Trust for auto-enrolment. This means that STM is well-placed to become a consolidator in the market.

MAIN MARKET

Avation (AVAP) has repossessed two Airbus A321 aircraft from Thomas Cook and they are undergoing maintenance. They will subsequently be leased to other clients.

Flavourings supplier Treatt (TET) says it will achieve expectations in the year to September 2019 even though there has been a sharp fall in citrus raw material prices. Orange oil prices have halved, and this accounts for one-third of revenues. Non-citrus revenues are growing. Net cash is £15.8m. The full year results will be published on 26 November.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 9 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

BWA Group (BWAP) is acquiring Kings of the North Corp, which owns five groups of exploration licences in Canada. BWA will pay £4.66m for the business, which is owned by a Canadian Stock Exchange listed company. Management believes that there is significant upside in the licences. Nearly $C1m needs to be spent for the licences to be renewed.

World High Life plans to join NEX on 12 September. This is an investment company that intends to acquire businesses involved in medicinal cannabis. The company (www.worldhighlife.uk) has already raised £2.4m from subscribers and no additional cash will be raised on flotation.

Adnams (ADB) director Guy Heald has purchased 3,000 B shares at £95.21 each. That takes his shareholding to 15.1%. The shares were sold by Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, whose interest has been reduced to 6.32%.

Better news from Ashley House (LSE: ASH) because a scheme in Romsey has reached financial close. There are still two other delayed schemes that have not completed. Funding sources are being explored.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) is selling its 2.5% royalty interest in the Graphmada graphite mine in Madagascar for up to A$550,000 in cash and convertible notes in royalty business SilverStream.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) reported a decline in net assets from £5.16m to £4.74m in the six months to June 2019. Management believes there are plenty of opportunities in the pre-IPO market.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has agreed the terms for a realisation of its investment in Cotswold Valves, because it no longer wants to focus on employee ownership. The equity interest is being sold for its £220,000 cost and loans totalling £450,000 have been rescheduled. The cash will be received over a three year period.

KR1 (KR1) has made investments in the Nym Protocol project, Alice Si, a blockchain-based social funding platform developer, and Nexus Mutual, which is a follow-on investment.

Resources-focused investment company Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) increased its cash position from £17,000 to £47,000 in the year to March 2019, but net assets fell from £722,000 to £687,000.

AIM  

Good news from car dealers Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) and Vertu Motors (VTU). Cambria says that trading in the eleven months to July 2019 has been well ahead of the same period last year and the full year profit will be higher than market estimates. New car sales are lower but Cambria is making more profit on each sale because of the mix of franchises and greater exposure to the luxury end of the market. More profit was made on each used car sold as well. Vertu says that its trading is in line with expectations, helped by price stability in the used vehicle market since July.

Mirada (MIRA) has won a new contract for the deployment of its Iris multiscreen digital TV product with a new Spanish interactive TV services provider Plataforma Multimedia de Operadores. Mirada’s technology will be used to deliver content to Android set-top boxes, smartphones, laptops and other devices. The commercial launch will be early next year and the plan is to build up a subscriber base of 600,000.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) says that its consolidated NAV increased by 3.5% to $96.3m (£78.4m) in the six months to June 2019. That includes cash of $5.4m. There was interest income of $677,000 in the period. Production at Future Metal Holdings’ dolomite magnesium limestone mine in China should restart before the end of the year.

A secured creditor has appointed voluntary administrators to five subsidiaries of Management Resource Solutions (MRS) but the businesses continue to trade. A creditors meeting is set for 16 September. The businesses will need to be recapitalised.

Filtronic (FTC) has decided to sell its antenna division.

Colin Harrington has switched from executive chairman to chief executive of Rose Petroleum (ROSE) following the departure of its previous chief executive Matthew Idiens. Rick Grant will become chairman. Gordon Stein is a new independent non-executive.

MAIN MARKET 

Avation (AVAP) reported full year results that were ahead of expectations. The commercial aircraft leasing company’s pre-tax profit was 15% ahead of forecasts and there was also a tax credit which further boosted earnings per share. The dividend was raised by 45% to 10.5 cents a share.

Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane (MACF) has acquired the Leyland Packaging Company for up to £3.25m, with up to £1m in the form of an earn-out based on performance of the distributor in the year to August 2020, in cash and shares. In 2018, Leyland made a pre-tax profit of £550,000 on revenues of £4.06m.

Fully listed shell Highway Capital (HWC) has published its accounts for the year to February 2019. They showed net liabilities rising to £781,000. There was cash of £245,000 in the balance sheet following the repayment of loans. Trading in the shares has been suspended for three years.

Standard list shell Boston International Holdings (BIH) is considering potential acquisitions outside of the foreign exchange sector.       

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has ended discussions about a partnership with Hive Blockchain Technologies. Argo believes that its investment in additional crypto mining capacity has provided it with the scale it needs.

Sure Ventures (SURE) is investing a further €2.5m in Sure Valley Ventures Fund.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 25 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Western Selection (WESP) has reported a 22% decrease in NAV to 75p a share, due to the decline in smaller quoted company share prices. The NAV has recovered to 79p a share. The investment in Swallowfield (SWL) declined by nearly one-third and the value of the Bilby (BILB) stake fell by two-fifths in the six months to December 2018. Net debt was £1.25m at the end of 2018. The interim dividend is maintained at 1.1p a share.

Early Equity (EEQP) has acquired a 60% stake in MEI Home, a ecommerce platform for household, health and food products, for £282,000. The Malaysia-based business was profitable in the first financial year. The founder will retain a 40% stake and he also owns 6.12% of Early Equity. He also promises that annual pre-tax profit will be at least £95,000 in each of the next two financial years.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has taken a 50% stake in a joint venture with Vast Mineral Sands covering diamond mining concessions at the government-owned Alexkor diamond mine in South Africa. This should generate cash, through planned production of 900 carat per month, to invest in other projects. Tectonic is paying $650,000 in shares at 2.2p each. A year long research study has confirmed that there is an interaction of two styles of mineralisation at Mount Cassidy prospect in Queensland, Australia. There is stratabound copper and zinc, gold and silver mineralisation and epizonal to epithermal gold and silver mineralisation.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has extended the life of its convertible bond by one year to 19 January 2020. The annual coupon increases from 6% to 7.2%. The conversion into shares can take place if an alternative quotation on a recognised stock exchange is secured.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has completed a £4m bond issue. These 7% bonds 2023 are due to start trading on NEX.

AIM  

Michelmersh Brick (MBH) has made its first acquisition outside of the UK. Michelmersh is paying up to €9.9m (£8.7m) for Antwerp-based Floren and Co in a deal that should be immediately earnings enhancing. A placing raised £5m at 90p a share. In 2018, Floren generated EBITDA of €1.75m on revenues of €5.7m. Michelmersh is planning to increase production levels from 19.5 million bricks a year. The acquisition includes 120 acres of land, of which 60 acres is used in production.

IP legal services provider Murgitroyd Group (MUR) is acquiring Southampton-based Chapman IP for £6.6m and Helga Chapman has been appointed a non-executive director. Net cash was £2.03m at the end of November 2018. Interim pre-tax profit edged up from £1.67m to £1.7m. The interim dividend was increased by 8% to 7p a share. Edward Murgitroyd is retaining his role as chief executive and handing over the role of finance director Keith Young.

Carpets and hard flooring manufacturer Victoria (VCP) continued to sacrifice margins in order to add market share in a declining flooring market in the UK in the second half of the financial year to March 2019. Full year EBITDA should be between £95m-£97m, with underlying pre-tax profit of at least £55m. This is not as much as previously forecast. There are additional inventories ahead of Brexit. Restructuring measures and capital investment should add more than £14m to pre-tax profit for the year to March 2020.

JD Sports Fashion (JD.) has acquired 21.3% of Footasylum (FOOT) and it says it may acquire up to 29.9%. FIL Ltd’s stake has fallen below 5%. Artemis has sold its 5.74% stake.

Angling Direct (ANG) expects to report full year revenues of £42m, up from £30.2m. Three new stores have been added to the group, taking the total to 24. International sales doubled. The full year results will be published on 13 May. Angling Direct is considering the acquisition of Glasgow-based Chapmans Angling Ltd, which is a subsidiary of The Glasgow Angling Centre Ltd.

Egdon Resources (EDR) has competed drilling at Biscathorpe-2 in Lincolnshire. There are signs of an effective petroleum system even though the sands were poorly developed. The reservoir may be better developed to the north of the well. Egdon owns 35.8% of the exploration licence and Union Jack Oil (UJO) owns 22%.

Trinidad-focused oil and gas producer and explorer Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) has raised £3.8m at 12p a share in order to finance the 9,000 feet of exploration drilling at Ortoire.

Pelatro (PTRO) has gained a contract to supply its mViva contextual marketing service to Vietnam-based Vinaphone. The deal with the telecoms company should be worth $1.5m over three years. Pelatro gets a fixed monthly fee plus a share of incremental revenues generated. This provides additional confidence that the 2019 revenue forecast of $10.5m can be met. That is expected to generate pre-tax profit of $6m because of the high operational gearing of the business.

SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) has raised £1.5m at 16p a share from Seneca Partners. There was £2.52m in the bank at the end of 2018. The cash will be invested in further development of products and commercialise them.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) has provided £10m of royalty finance to recreational vehicle parts wholesaler Miriad Products. The monthly payments are expected to provide a yield the equivalent of 13% a year.

Biopesticide products developer Eden Research (EDEN) has a second approved product thanks to its commercial partner Eastman Chemical Company. Nematicide formulation Cedroz has received authorisation in Malta and Eastman will apply to gain approvals in individual EU member states. The full benefit of these approvals is likely to show through next year.

EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has received US FDA clearance for the use of the Quo-Test glycated haemoglobin analyser in clinical laboratories.

It has been a mixed start to the financial year for Gooch and Housego (GHH) with softer demand in microelectronics, due to trade tariffs, but the second half improvement in subsea cable business has continue. The AGM statement has led to a reduction in the underlying profit forecast for this year from £21.5m to £19m, which is slightly higher than last year’s outcome.

Social housing software provider Castleton Technology (CTP) has acquired its software development partner in India for £350,000 in cash and shares.

eServGlobal (ESG) says that its 35.7%-owned mobile transfer payments joint venture HomeSend increased its average transaction value by 35% in the second half following a change in strategy to focus on account-to-account transactions rather than remittances.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) is acquiring eight abbreviated new drug applications in the US from Sandoz Inc. This takes the number of US approved drugs to 14, with four currently being exported to the US.

Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) has raised £4m at 2p a share and wants to raise up to £4m more through a seven-for-one open offer closing on 11 March. If these shares are all issued they will account for 93% of the total shares in issue. Haydale needs cash to invest in its inks business as well as to cover continuing losses. Keith Broadbent will become chief executive.

Reach4Entertainment (R4E) has acquired the arts and entertainment advertising agency trading as Sold Out for an initial £3.94m in cash and £250,000 in shares. The total purchase price is dependent on performance in the period from 1 June 2017 to the end of 2021 and is capped at £10m. In the year to May 2018, Sold Out made a pre-tax profit of £1.3m.

Paragon Entertainment (PEL) has sold its current administration offices in York for £550,000. The relocation to other group premises should save £100,000 a year. The cash will pay off the mortgage of £134,000 and reduce the overdraft from £1.04m. The overdraft limit will be cut from £1.2m to £882,000. A creditor owing £168,000 has filed for protection from creditors. Management want to raise additional capital.

Medical devices supplier Inspiration Health (IHC) says revenues for the year to January 2019, will be £15.5m, which is £1m below forecast, and pre-tax profit will be slightly lower than forecast at £1.2m.

Holders Technology (HDT) has more than trebled its full year pre-tax profit of £177,000 thanks to a reduced LED loss and improved profitability at the printed circuit board materials business. There was still a cash outflow from operations. The dividend has been increased by 50% to 0.75p a share.

Arc Minerals Ltd (ARCM) has raised £2.2m at 3p a unit. The unit includes a share and one warrant exercisable at 4.5p each and lasting for 36 months. The cash will finance exploration and development at the Zamsort copper project in Zambia. Arc has also sold its 18.5% stake in Andiamo Exploration for $250,000.

Malvern International (MLVN) has raised £606,000 at 4p a share. This is more than the education services provider originally asked for in order to cover working capital requirements and investment in a new college in Brighton and online course material.

AIM-quoted blockchain and technology investment company Vela Technologies (VELA) is taking advantage of the discount to cash by buying 500,000 shares in cryptocurrency mining services provider Argo Blockchain (ARB) at 3.072p a share. This compares with cash of 5p a share. Vela has 3 million shares in Argo, equivalent to 1.02%. The rest of the shares were bought prior to Argo’s standard listing and cost 8p each, compared with the flotation price of 16p a share. The average cost is 7.17p a share, so the average cost exceeds the value of cash in the business. Argo is refocusing on its own currency mining. Ongoing costs will be cut by one-third, although there will be some one-off cash costs. Net cash is £15m and that is much more than the market capitalisation of Argo.

ReNeuron (RENE) has released early data on three patients in phase I/IIa clinical trial the human retinal progenitor cell product. There have been significant improvements in vision for the patients, but this is a small sample size over a short time. Cash should last until the end of 2019.

Pires Investments (PIRI) has received a requisition notice for a general meeting in order to make changes to the company’s board.

Best of the Best (BOTB) has received tenders for just over 4 million shares, which is 5.6 times the number that it was tendering for. Best of the Best will pay £3.5m for 721,327 shares (485p a share).

FAIRFX Group (FFX) has become a direct participant in the UK faster payments scheme. It is the fourth non-bank to be a direct settling member.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) says Kinnerton Confectionery will be using its Rizikon Assurance secure third party assurance platform.

Former AIM company Lionsgold Ltd (LION) is changing its name to Tally Ltd. Mobile banking app Tally is in beta testing and could be released by the end of February. Once this has been released the company will seek to gain a new quotation. The exercise of warrants, mostly by directors, at 1.2p a share has generated £288,000.

MAIN MARKET 

Packaging group Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its pre-exceptional profit by one-fifth to £11.2m in 2018. Both distribution, helped by acquisitions, and manufacturing divisions increased their profit contributions. Manufacturing sales grew fastest but margins fell. The dividend was increased by nearly 10% to 2.3p a share. Net debt was £13.2m and there are plenty of unused bank facilities to fund any further acquisitions. The pension deficit was reduced by £2m to £9.8m.

In the six months to December 2018, Avation (AVAP) reported doubled earnings per share thanks to the gain on the sale of a A321-200 aircraft. The NAV is 288p. The aircraft fleet continues to increase, particularly turboprop aircraft. Although full year pre-tax profit is set to rise even more than originally forecast, earnings per share are likely to be flat at 31.7 cents. Next year’s profit will be lower, assuming no aircraft disposals.

InnovaDerma (IDP) reported interims in line with expectations and there are plans for a mid-March launch for Skinny Tan in Boots. This will help the second half performance, which is normally stronger. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to more than double to £1.5m, a downgrade of 10%. Net cash was £700,000 at the end of 2018. A cash inflow is expected in the second half, but fluctuations in cash in terms of working capital requirements, such as Boots order levels, during the period could lead to InnovaDerma deciding to raise more money.

Anglo African Agriculture (AAAP) reported a reduction in turnover from £2.13m to £1.74m in the year to October 2018. Even so, gross margins improved and the pre-tax loss edged up from £550,000 to £573,000. Net cash was £856,000. The company is assessing acquisitions outside of the agriculture sector.

Trading in the shares of daVictus (DVT) has been suspended ahead of finalisation of a deal where the standard list shell will buy the rights to a restaurant concept from Typical Dutch NV for £100,000. This is deemed to require a prospectus before the company can be readmitted to the standard list. The Havana Rolled Cigar Music Café concept has been developed at a site in Aruba. daVictus had £431,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Offshore support vessels operator Gulf Marine Services (GMS) has sent out the document for its requisitioned general meeting on 18 March. Rival Seafox International wants to remove the chairman and appoint three new directors. Ithmar Capital Partners wants to appoint another director.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 18 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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.

AIM  

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.

MAIN MARKET 

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.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 19 November 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) has traded slightly ahead of expectations and been cash generative in the first ten months of 2018. Customer numbers have remained flat. The financial year should be in line with expectations. This reassurance led to a 17% increase in the share price, although it is still more than two-fifths lower than one year ago.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has made a further investment in TG Engineering Ltd, which makes steel and aluminium components for the aerospace and medical sectors. A loan of £150,000 takes the total loan to £625,000, alongside a 35% stake.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has raised £159,500 from a placing at 1p a share and the exercise of warrants. This will fund the investment in the uranium mine in the Kyrgyz Republic, over which MetalNRG has an option, and progress work at the Gold Ridge project in Arizona. There was £77,000 in the bank at the end of August 2018.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has produced its first lead, gold and silver concentrate from the Hellyer polymetallic project in Tasmania. This has been delivered to Traxys Europe and payment has been received.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has mapped a large intrusive intersection of two major crustal faults at Mount Cassidy. This could a significant intrusive related gold system.

Clinical support systems provider DXS International (DXSP) has set a target of achieving a six-fold increase in turnover over the next five years and it believes that post-tax profit could reach £7m a year. This would come on the back of past investment in developing new products, two of which have been launched recently.

Ganapati (GANP) says that its Malta-based subsidiary has signed a games licence agreement with NYX Interactive for the supply of gaming software. After the initial software is supplied, Ganapati will supply one game each month for three years.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) will receive a $867,000 dividend from 51%-owned Asia Pacific-focused subsidiary DragonFinancials.

AIM    

Frontier IP (FIPP) has raised £2.49m at 65p a share from existing and new investors and this will finance an expansion of the management team and provide working capital for the business. The value of the company’s investment portfolio has increased by one-third to £9m and there was £1.1m in the bank at the end of June 2018. The NAV increased from £11.8m to £12.7m. The cash should last into 2020 even if there are no proceeds from investment realisations.

SVS has pulled the £532,000 placing at 8.5p a share for TomCo Energy (TOM) and resigned as broker. SVS says that there has been a material change because of the suspension of the field test on the Holliday block in Utah. Trading in the shares has been suspended. TomCo has cash of £250,000.

There were disappointing phase III trial results for the Hutchison China Meditech (HCM) drug Fruquintinib, which did not achieve the primary endpoint in treating non-small cell lung cancer patients. That knocked nearly one-fifth off the share price.

AB Dynamics (ABDP) continues to grow strongly and is already planning to add to its capacity at its new site. Forecasts were raised for the automotive testing and simulator systems supplier earlier in the year and the full year outcome was a 51% increase in revenues to £37.1m and a jump in underlying pre-tax profit from £5.9m to £8.6m. A profit of £10.4m is expected this year.

Eve Sleep (EVE) is changing its focus following the appointment of a new chief executive. The mattress supplier will focus less on heavy marketing for one-off purchases and instead expand its range and generate repeat purchases. Lower marketing spending will reduce the growth rate of revenues. There was £7m in the bank at the end of October 2018 and the company wants to raise a further £15m.

Genedrive (GDR) has raised £5.6m after expenses from a placing at 23p a share, jointly run by Stanford Capital Partners and Peel Hunt, and an issue of loan notes to the British Growth Fund. There was £3.53m in the bank at the end of June 2018. The funds will finance the launch of the Genedrive HCV-ID kit for hepatitis C diagnosis and further assay development for antibiotic induced hearing loss and tuberculosis.

Trakm8 (LSE: TRAK) slipped out its interims on a Friday, albeit at 7am and not at Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) o’clock (around 4.30pm). In the six months to September 2018, revenues fell 38% to £8.84m and even excluding contract manufacturing, which is not done any more, the decline is 26%. Recurring revenues fell by 7%. Even taking the most flattering figures, a pre-tax profit of £363,000 last time was turned into a £2.46m loss. Net debt more than doubled to £5.73m.

Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) is going to make a better full year profit than expected despite the disruption of new testing rules. That has helped used car sales. The 2018 pre-tax profit is still expected to decline from £29.1m to £25.7m, but that is an improvement for the continuing operations.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) has increased its first quarter revenues by 26%, although some of the improvement came from Nuvista, which did not contribute in the corresponding period. Pre-tax profit was 17% higher at BDT973 million. Beximco reported a 37% increase in export sales for its last financial year and they accounted for 12% of total sales. There are five treatments with US approval and it will take time to build up sales. The plan is to eventually generate two-fifths of revenues from exports.

Trinidad-focused oil and gas producer Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) generated $9.12m from operations in the nine months to September 2018, up from $2.22m in the corresponding period last year, thanks to higher production and selling prices and slightly lower operating expenses. This cash has been used to increase development spending.

Wynnstay Properties (WSP) is increasing its interim dividend by 8% to 7p a share. The NAV was760p a share at the end of September 2018 and 99% of the property portfolio is let. There was a decline in income due to disposals.

AIM shell Stirling Investments (STRL) had £7.7m of cash at the end of September 2018. Management includes ex-Melrose management. The share price has fallen from 100p to 74.5p, which is less than the cash per share.

IFA Lighthouse Group (LGT) has signed an agreement with Tavistock Investments (TAVI) for the use of the latter’s investment products, which will be offered by Lighthouse as well as its own Luceo Asset Management products. Tavistock raised £1.2m at 3.28p a share and Lighthouse subscribed for £1m of the total.

Event driven marketing technology services provider Mporium Group (MPM) has raised £2.3m at 5p a share.

Mercantile Ports and Logistics (MPL) is raising £27.75m at 2p a share and could raise a further £2.07m via an open offer.

Fastjet (FJET) has raised £9m at 1p a share in order to keep itself going. There has also been a £3.16m subscription from Solenta Aviation and £19.1m worth of shares have been issued to acquire four Embraer 145s from Solenta and settle various fees, charges and loans. A further £4.1m could be raised via and open offer at 1p a share. This should finance the airline business for 2019.

Empyrean Energy (EME) has raised £1m at 10p a share and this will provide working capital.

Allenby Capital has resigned as nominated adviser to CSF Group (CSFG) and will step down at the end of 2018. CSF has been turned down by potential replacements and trading is likely to be suspended at the end of 2018 and the quotation cancelled at the end of January 2019.

Rasmala (RMA) plans to cancel its AIM quotation and tender for up to 20% of tis share capital at 150p a share.

MAIN MARKET  

Resources-focused standard list shell Cobra Resources (COBR) floated on 15 November when it raised £523,500 at 1.5p a share. The share price ended the week at 1.75p. The board believes this is a good time to identify and acquire undervalued base and precious metals projects, which are already have a good management team and are well on the way to becoming a producing asset. There could be direct investments or farm-ins. There are 59.9 million warrants exercisable at 2p each.

The former Golden Saint Resources, now known as Golden Saint Technologies (GST), is planning to join the standard list. A placing at 0.75p a share will raise £911,000, of which £270,000 will go to pay directors fees that are owed. The rest will pay other costs. The company has switched from diamond exploration to an installer of network and connectivity products.

Trifast (TRI) reported interims in line with expectations and the fastenings supplier is on track to improve full year pre-tax profit from £22.2m to £23.1m. Management is cautious about the UK, but two-thirds of revenues are overseas.

Andrew Gaughan is stepping down as chief executive of Sportech (SPO) in February. The chairman will take up an executive position for an interim period and he purchased 250,000 shares at 40.6p each. The potential acquisition of ilottery provider Lot.to Systems was also announced with a strategic alliance initially put in place.

Avation (AVAP) has announced a 2 cents a share interim dividend. The aviation leasing business estimates that in the six months to December 2018 leasing revenues will increase from $41.7m to $57.8m and, along with a disposal gain, this means that interim profit will be better than expected and much higher than the $7.3m achieved in the first half of the previous year.

IQ-AI (IQAI) has made its first commercial sale of StoneChecker Software to a South Korean hospital.

BigDish (DISH) is building up resources to grow its business in the UK next year. The restaurants platform is considering selling its Asian business.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has completed a $380,000 placing at 2.5p a share. Each of the new shares has a warrant exercisable at 2.5p, which has to be done if the share price trades at 3p a share or above for ten consecutive days.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 September 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET  

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 23 July 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) moved back into profit in the year to March 2018 and it is paying a dividend of 0.4p a share. The e-commerce technology company edged up revenues from £1.04m to £1.07m, while a loss of £46,000 was turned into a profit of £82,000, even after amortisation of £70,000, up from £20,000 in the previous year.  Net assets of £770,000 include £502,000 of cash.  There are a growing number of opportunities for this financial year.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has signed an IP sharing agreement with Canada-based Veritas Pharma. This could help with Sativa’s plans to grow medicinal cannabis and also help to choose a particular strain.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has completed its investment agreement with ARQ Minerals and this formalises the commitment to work together in Nigeria. The St Leonard’s mine is supplying trial amounts of coal. ARQ helps to manage the mine and it is subscribing £50,000 each for two tranches of shares in the operating company, which will take is stake to 50%. ARQ will also own 1,000 million warrants exercisable at 0.02p a share. ARQ has committed to producing a minimum of 40,000 tonnes of coal and every 1,000 tonnes produced above this level will earn an additional 0.625% stake in the operating company, which can take the stake up to a maximum level of 75%. ARQ and Equatorial will be paid 10% of gross profit each month with the rest of the profit shared in line with their equity interests.

Welney (WENP) has announced a general meeting to vote on the appointment of Mark Jackson and Mark Chapman as directors.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) still had £627,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018 because it has not been able to find an investment at a realistic price.

Blockchain investment company Coinsilium Group (COIN) says that Malcolm Burne has been appointed as project adviser to the company’s blockchain platform development company TerraStream.

New director Melissa Sturgess has bought 9.23 million shares in Imperial Minerals (IMPP) at 1p each. That is a 29% stake.

Medicinal cannabis sector investment company High Growth Capital Ltd (HASH) had £522,000 in the bank at the end of March 2018 and it has raised £250,000 at 0.4p a share.

AIM  

Parity (PTY) is still on track to achieve double digit profit growth this year. The IT recruitment and consultancy services provider remains modestly rated even though the share price has risen substantially this year.

Yu Group (YU.) says interim revenues increased by 69% to £35m. The energy supplier expects full year revenues to be at least £82m, which means that operating profit should rise by three-quarters. There is £18.2m in the bank.

Frontier IP Group (FIPP) says that portfolio company Tarsis Technology has entered into a collaboration with a major crop protection products company. The company will provide the funds to further develop the Tarsis technology to deliver chemical pesticides and fungicides in a more controlled way. In return the company gets exclusive rights to particular agrochemicals usage and Tarsis would get royalties from commercial products. Frontier IP is lending Tarsis £150,000 in return for share options.

Consumer healthcare business Venture Life Group (VLG) is raising £18.75m at 40p a share to help finance the acquisition of Dentyl Dual action mouthwash and BB Mints for £4.2m and repay £3.7m of convertible loan notes. The remaining cash will be used for further acquisitions. The share issue more than doubles the number of shares in issue.

Odey has withdrawn its general meeting requisition at Tungsten Corporation (TUNG) following the appointment of Anthony Bromovsky and Duncan Goldie-Morrison to the board.

600 Group (SIXH) has offloaded its pension scheme to specialist insurer Pension Insurance Corporation. The scheme will be wound up and surplus funds after tax will be returned to the machine tools supplier. That could be up to £4m. Full year revenues grew from $58.8m to $66m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from $2.65m to $3.05m. That excludes the gain on the sale of ProPhotonix (PPTX) shares.

Integumen (SKIN) is raising £700,000 at 0.65p a share and renegotiated the deal with food supplements supplier Cellulac so that it will acquire a 9.35% stake. Cellulac’s chief executive and chief operations officer will join Integumen in those roles. Cellulac will grant Integumen a licence to sell its products in certain territories.

A positive trading statement from audio visual equipment distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) has led to a forecast upgrade. Earnings per share forecasts have been raised by 3% for each of the next three years. The 2018 profit is expected to be £28.3m and earnings per share 27.6p. The interims will be published on 11 September.

EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has signed a manufacturing agreement with Oragenics Inc. EKF will supply drug substances for the customer and this will boost next year’s profit by 5%.

LiDCO (LID) has signed a distribution deal with a Chinese supplier of blood monitoring cuffs and this will help to replace the lost income from the Argon distribution contract. It may take time to build up sales, though.

Woodford Investment has increased its stake in superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) to 21.5%. This comes at a time that Old Mutual has been selling down its stake after the recent profit warning.

Corporation tax software supplier Tax Systems (TAX) has grown its recurring and non-recurring revenues in the first half of 2018 and total revenues were 14% higher, which includes 9% organic growth. Net debt is down to £17.5m.

Synectics (SNX) had net cash of £9.1m at the end of May 2018. The surveillance technology company increased interim revenues by 3% to £34.7m thanks to strong demand from the gaming sector. Underlying profit improved from £1.3m to £1.5m. Stockdale has maintained its full year profit forecast at £3.1m.

EMIS (EMIS) says that its primary care business is sorting out its problems and the net cash grew to £32.3m at the end of June 2018. The health IT technology supplier says that the business has grown in the first half and still expects an improvement in full year profit. The share price has recovered since the disappointing trading statement earlier this year.

Ken Kroeger has become permanent chief executive of driver monitoring systems technology developer Seeing Machines (SEE) and he will had over the chairmanship to Jack Boyer at the beginning of 2019.

MAIN MARKET    

Investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) says that its NAV dipped to 264.2p a share at the end of June 2018, although this was partly due to the payment of the final dividend of 8.9p a share. Excluding that, there was a 4% decline. There was an improvement on the net return on ordinary activities from £110,000 to £125,000, but the loss in the capital part of the income statement was slightly higher than that revenue gain. The total value of investments was £5.61m and NAV was £5.7m. During the first half, shareholdings in Countrywide, Debenhams, DX, Juridica Investments, HC Slingsby and Sprue Aegis were sold.

Avation (AVAP) has acquired a second new Airbus A220-300 aircraft and leased it to airBaltic.

Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) is raising £500,000 at 2.5p a share in order to help finance obtaining FDA clearance for StoneChecker software and design a cloud-based interface, as well as boost commercial operations. Subsidiary Imaging Biometrics is involved with a phase II trial that will use its IB Rad Tech technology to process data from 20 sites to determine how well dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging in measuring the effectiveness of brain tumour treatment.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 5 March 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

VI Mining (VIM) finally made it to NEX on 2 March. The South America-focused miner announced its plans late last year. VI raised £5.36m at 500p a share. That valued the company at £535m. VI is acquiring two gold and silver projects in Peru and owns two toll processing plants.

Mechanical and electrical installation and maintenance services provider Field Systems Design Holdings (FSD) nearly doubled its interim profit. In the six months to November 2017, revenues jumped from £8.47m to £12m, while pre-tax profit improved from £114,000 to £211,000. There was £3.34m of cash in the bank. AMP6 capital spending by water companies has been strong in the period and there are significant waste to energy contracts, although the medium-term outlook for that sector is not as good. Margins remain under pressure.

Energy saving electrical products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported flat interim revenues of £1.88m but this masks the growth in the sales of MiHome products. This growth will continue in the second half. The interim pre-tax profit edged up from £35,000 to £44,000.

Block Energy (BLOK) has completed the sale of its assets in Ghana for $600,000. Block still plans to join AIM.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has acquired educational consultancy Vocamedia for up to £165,000, with £60,000 dependent on performance in 2018-19.

Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has announced plans to raise a further £2.5m via placings at 90p a share. The first tranche of $1.25m has been raised and this will be used to invest in opportunities in the healthcare, education and eco tourism sectors in Africa. The focus is businesses that are two-to-three years from profit and have a positive social impact. The second tranche of £1.25m should be raised in one year.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested a further £130,000 in Human Brands by way of a convertible loan note. If Human Brands gets its expected quotation, the loan can be converted at a 55% discount to a three day average volume weighted price. This doubles the investment in the spirits distributor which will also pay (in shares) a fee of 1% of market capitalisation on flotation.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has sold a 5% stake in Horse Hill Developments to Solo Oil (SOLO) in return for £650,000 in cash and £350,000 in shares. Solo has raised £2m at 3.5p a share.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) is working with Haydale Graphene (HAYD) and the University of Swansea to develop intelligent transport systems using Haydale’s graphene ink sensor technology.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) says that it needs to raise a minimum of £50,000. A trial amount of coal has been sold by the St Leonard Mine in Nigeria. The buyer is negotiating a long-term supply agreement with a minimum tonnage per month. A second mine would need to be opened to satisfy this demand. Equatorial believes it can make a pre-tax profit of £380,000 in 2018 if the supply agreement is secured.

Supported housing provider Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has joined the MSCI IPD UK Residential Property Index.

AIM   

Content owner One Media IP (OMIP) has weathered the changes to the market due to the rise of music and video streaming and profit should continue to recover this year. In the year to October 2017, revenues were 14% ahead at £2.34m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £30,000 to £298,000. That is still well below the profit made three years ago. Profit could double this year. Michael Grade and Ivan Dunleavy have invested in the company and they should help One Media IP to secure acquisitions and exploit the existing catalogue.

India-focused online retailer Koovs (KOOV) needs more money to continue its expansion. Management wants up to £50m and much of this will go on marketing and promoting the brand. Talks continue but the current cash pile will not last much more than four months. Second half sales are expected to be lower because of the lack of investment in marketing and the full year EBITDA loss will be £14.4m.

Gresham Hose (GHE) increased its assets under management from £363m to £69m. The British Strategic Investment Fund raised £165m in the period and the plan is to try to raise £250m by the end of 2018. The acquisition of Hazel Capital added a further £86m to assets under management. The value of the strategic assets portfolio value was flat due to distributions to investors. Gresham House has a diluted NAV of 211.2p a share. There is cash of £9.8m with more to come from the sale of the last surplus property and deferred consideration from a previous property sale.

Condor Gold (CNR) is confident that it is on the way to gaining a permit to construct a mine at Mina La India in Nicaragua. An amendment has been submitted for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and it appears that Condor will not have to move the village. This will make it easier to gain the permit. Once the permit is gained then Condor can push ahead with the construction of the mine, which is in an area where there has been mining in the past.

Management Resource Services (MRS) reported a return to profit in its interim figures. Continuing operations increased revenues from A$20.6m to A$33.6m and a loss of A$745,000 was turned into a profit of A$2.52m. Management says that full year earnings per share should be at least 2p.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) is closing its loss-making non-core operations having failed to complete their sale because the buyer had not obtained regulatory approval.

Scotgold Resources Ltd (SGZ) has gained planning permission for the development of the Cononish gold mine in Scotland. This is subject to concluding legal agreements.

Lighting supplier Photonstar LED (PSL) is raising £430,000 at 0.15p a share. The cash will help to complete the development of the company’s new building control system.

Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) continues to grow particularly rapidly outside of the UK. Overall sales grew 43% to £80.1m in the year to February 2018 with international sales well over two-fifths of the total. Both branded and own-brand sales grew. Investment in growth means that EBITDA will be similar to last year. The results will be published on 15 May.

Saffron Energy (SRON) has withdrawn from the acquisition of Po Valley Operations due to regulatory and tax issues but it is still buying Sound Energy’s Italian assets. A new document should be published in the next few days.

Replacement windows supplier Safestyle UK (SFE) says that orders have been weak so far this year. This means that 2018 revenues and profit will be well below the 2017 figures. Cost savings will help to offset some of the downturn in the second half and the business is still cash generative. A final dividend of 7.5p a share is still planned when the 2017 results are announced.

MAIN MARKET    

Founder Laurence Orbach has increased his stake in Quarto (QRT) to 20.1%. Back in October 2017, he owned 15.1%. Orbach was removed from the board in November 2012.

Town Centre Securities (TOWN) reported better than expected interim figures. The property investor’s NAV was 4% higher at 375p a share and the interim dividend was maintained at 3.25p a share.

WH Ireland has raised its full year forecast for Avation (AVAP) following the publication of interim figures. The 2018 earnings forecast was raised 10.5% to 26.2 cents a share. Interim profit declined by 13% to $7.3m, while earnings per share fell 15%. The transition of an A320 aircraft from Air Berlin to easyJet led to a release of a maintenance reserve but some transactions will not come through until the second half.

Andrew Hore

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