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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 14 September 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 3 February 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

Zapp Electric Vehicles plans to join NEX in February. Zapp has developed an electric bike and it is being produced in Thailand. The first production series model was made in September. The flotation will raise cash for manufacturing and marketing the i300 in the European market where cities are promoting electric vehicles. Zapp Scooters Ltd (the previous name) had net assets of £487,000 at the end of September 2018 and most of that was accounted for by an investment in the Thailand-based subsidiary. VSA Capital is corporate adviser.

Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) increased its full year pre-tax profit from £193,000 to £282,000. Revenues were 2% ahead at £3.73m, while the cost base was flat. There were lower repair costs and the capital investment of recent years is beginning to pay off. NAV was £3.49m, including cash of £1.11m.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that investee company DJT Plants has been asked follow-up questions by the government as part of the application to grow more than 0.2% THC cannabis. Sales of hap devices and hapac sachets has recommenced in Italy. The executive chairman has loaned £30,000 to Ananda at an interest rate of 10% a year.

Sativa Group (SATI) has signed a deal with Alliance Healthcare for the distribution of Goodbody Botanicals cannabis-based products through its 10,000 UK high street clients.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has extended its option to acquire Greenbelt Company, which has access to 4,000 acres of farmland in Sierra Leone. Greenbelt also has a licence for medicinal cannabis production and processing. A premium of £10,000 is being paid for a 90-day exclusive option to acquire the company for £4m in shares at 0.1p each, a premium to the suspension price. The proposed acquisition was announced 10 months ago.

Healthcare properties developer Ashley House (ASH) continues to build a pipeline of affordable housing schemes and it has completed six homes for Corby Borough Council. A loss will be reported for the 18 months to October 2019. More cash is still required.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has given notice to Woodford Investment Management that it expects it to subscribe £7.5m at 176p a share. This will take the LF Equity Income Fund stake to 26.8%. More cash will be required so that a fourth proton therapy centre can be opened in Liverpool. This cash will be spent later this year.

Formation Group (FRM) reported a return to profit in the year to August 2019, although it was down to one-off gains. A loss of £284,000 was turned into a pre-tax profit of £1.27m. There was still an underlying loss. The NAV is £20.9m, including cash of £16.2m. The focus was completing existing property development projects. At the end of 2019, the cash was invested in Irish development projects. Sean O’Brien and Andrew Bennett, who is a director of Rutherford Health, have become directors of Formation.

Gunsynd (GUN) has rolled over its loan notes to Human Brands Inc into one loan note with a repayment date of 20 January 2021. Human Brands’ Japanese whisky called Shinju is being sold by a major US liquor retailer. The plan is to raise more cash and Gunsynd would receive a fee in shares.

Coinsilium Group (COIN) says that IOV Labs Ltd, which owns smart contract platform developer RSK, has subscribed £250,000 at 2.65p a share and the two firms have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a joint venture in Singapore. This will commercialise RSK’s products in Asia and to promote RIF tokens which power RSK’s platforms. Gibraltar-based IOV owns 6.94% of Coinsilium, while Coinsilium owns 1.95 million RIF tokens. Almon I Holding has increased its stake in Coinsilium to 3.68%.

Black Sea Property (BSP) is acquiring two subsidiaries of European Convergence Development Company (ECDC) plus outstanding debt of €119.2m. Black Sea Property is paying €3.3m. There will also be the purchase of between 28.6% to 29.9%. This adds two development plots.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) made a loss of £131,000 in the last quarter of 2019. It is still attempting to raise cash via a bond issue.

Ganapati (GANP) says that additional regulations in Malta have required additional time for the registration as a Virtual Financial Asset licence. The application will be filed in the first quarter and a systems audit is being carried out. There are plans to apply for software gaming licence in the UK Gambling Commission and for certificates in Sweden, Denmark, Spain and Columbia.

Slater Investments has increased its stake in IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) from 10.65% to 12.2%.

Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £113,000 at 0.65p a share. There was £174,000 in the bank at the end of August 2019. Management has informed NEX that the company should be classed as an operating company, rather than an investment company with the remaining investments classed as non-core assets. There are still plans to move to the standard list.

AIM

Computer vision technology developer Seeing Machines (SEE) increased first half sales from A$13.5m to A$15.8m. The automotive division has nine ongoing programmes with six automotive manufacturers. Demand for driver monitoring systems will be driven by regulation. The cost of the Guardian fleet equipment has been cut by 21%. Seeing Machines has launched a crew training system for the aviation sector.

Best of the Best (BOTB) has sparked another profit upgrade, following the one in November. The online competitions organiser reported better than expected interim figures and this led to a 18% increase in the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast to £2.6m, compared with £2.1m last year, and a 25% jump to £3m in 2020-21. There is currently £4.3m of cash in the bank and a 14p a share special dividend is proposed. That is the eighth since 2014.

Minds + Machines (MMX) is on course to announce a maiden dividend with its 2019 figures. The onerous contract has been sorted out Net cash was $6.6m at the end of 2019.

Cloverleaf 374 has increased its stake in Urban Exposure (UEX) from 9.1% to 12.2%. Invesco trimmed its stake from 15.5% to 14.1%. The ultimate owner is Wellesley Group Investors. The board is still reviewing proposals for the future of the property finance provider.

Open Orphan (ORPH) is raising at least £5m via a placing and subscription at 6.1p a share.

MAIN MARKET

Trading in the shares of Baskerville Capital (BASK) on the standard list has been suspended following the announcement of the proposed acquisition of Oberon Investments, which owns smaller company investor MD Barnard. The plan is to move to NEX. An initial 7.83% stake has been acquired for £851,000 with a commitment to subscribe a further £351,000 by the end of April. The acquisition of the rest of Oberon will be paid in Baskerville shares. The deal could be completed by the summer.

Smaller company-focused telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) has increased its full year loss from £1.4m to £1.67m. In order to build scale, Toople plans to acquire DMS Holding for £1.56m, including £460,000 in cash and 1.05 billion shares. This is a cash generative business and there are potential cost savings. That should offset some of the enormous cash outflow from the existing Toople business. A placing at 0.1p a share will raise £1.2m gross.

Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) is raising £650,000 at 1.8p each. This cash will finance further development of the company’s therapies and treatments for blood diseases.

Haynes Publishing (HYNS) increased interim revenues by 4% to £19m with the growth coming from digital. The publisher’s pre-tax profit was 500% ahead at £1.2m. The formal sale process continues.

Standard list shell Bermele (BERM) is raising £200,000 at 1p a share in order to provide further cash to assess potential acquisitions in the pharma sector.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 9 December 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

GP clinical software supplier DXS International (DXSP) broadly maintained its interim revenues at £1.66m. Admin costs were lower so DXS returned to profit. There was also a higher tax credit. It made a pre-tax profit of £90,000 in the six months to October 2019, while the post-tax figure was £202,000. The final accreditation for the NHS Digital Care Services (GP IT Futures) contract is due this month. This will provide a positive outlook for the rest of this year and next year.

Formation Group (FRM) is investing £10m in Irish property development sites in Dublin, Limerick and Kildare. These sites were owned by major Formation shareholder Zandra Holdings, which also shares directors with Formation. Market Equities is buying the sites and it will be 45%-owned by Formation and 55% by Zandra.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has bought a 59.9% stake in Financial Innovations Team, which provides corporate finance services. Eight Capital also owns 40% of Finance Partners Group, which owns the rest of Financial Innovations Team. The strategy is to eventually become the single direct owner of the business.

Hellyer generated record profit for NQ Minerals (NQMI) in November. The gold mine has provisionally reported net profit before tax of A$2.44m on revenues of A$5.64m.

Belvedere Leisure Resorts has obtained a NEX quotation for its 6.25% secured bonds. Up to £25m of bonds can be issued. The company is a subsidiary of Belvedere Leisure Park, which owns a site in Dumfries & Galloway with planning permission for a lodge park resort of 444 holiday lodges.

SAPO (SAPO) has joined the NEX Growth Market and set its sights on gaining some of the £200m that the government has set aside to make sure that rural people can have fast broadband.

Gunsynd (GUN) has bought a 7.67% stake in Kolosori Nickel, which owns 80% of the Kolorosi prospect in the Solomon Islands. Gunsynd has a 90-day option to purchase a further 22.33%. Gunsynd’s stake in Sunshine Minerals will be diluted to 15.5%, if Malachite Resources earns a 15% stake by financing geological data and technical work.

TechFinancials (TECH) is dropping its AIM quotation and concentrating on the NEX-quotation. The company is reviewing the future of its original financial trading software operations and closing its loss-making business-to-consumer operations. There will be a $2.6m write-off. Blockchain-based ticketing business Footies has still not signed up a client. The first version of the platform is being tested with clubs and the feedback is helping to focus development. The focus is mid-sized clubs. Diamond platform developer Cedex is still commercialising its technology and TechFinancials may consider selling its stake.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has sent a circular to shareholders to convene a general meeting to expand the investment strategy in terms of cultivation of medicinal cannabis, as well as to gain approval for issuing more shares.

Trading in Welney (WENP) shares has been suspended because it has not published its accounts for the year to June 2019.

AIM

A large contract has been won by telecoms marketing technology provider Pelatro (PTRO) has been won in the form of a recurring revenue deal rather than a one-off licence. This has led to short-term downgrades, but the longer-term prospects are better. The contract is worth up to $12m over five years, with $10m fixed and the other $2m coming from gain share with the global telecoms client. Pelatro has 50% of next year’s forecast revenues of $8m in the form of recurring revenues. That would generate pre-tax profit of $2.2m.

Shareholders have voted in favour of the DBAY rescue proposal for Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) and will acquire a 51% stake in the main operating subsidiary of the transport business.

Summit Therapeutics (SUMM) is raising £38.7m at 22.1p a share with most of the shares being acquired by Robert W Duggan who will own 72.8% of the antibiotics developer. He will also become a non-executive director. Summit will leave AIM and retain its Nasdaq listing.

ReNeuron (RENE) is expanding the scope of the phase IIa study of its hRPC stem cell therapy treatment in order to speed up the process towards a phase III study. Further data will be published next year. Patient recruitment for a treatment for stroke disability is being accelerated. The main data will be published in the middle of 2021. There was £21.3m in the bank at the end of September 2019.

Subsea cable protection services provider Tekmar (TGP) continues to benefit from increasing investment in offshore wind. Interim revenues were 140% higher at £17.1m and the business moved from loss to profit. Acquisitions boosted organic growth. The order book was at a record level of £15.9m at the end of September 2019.

Renalytix AI (RENX) will receive $950 per KidneyIntelX test used in the US from 1 January. This price lasts for three years and is set by the US authorities. Insurance companies are likely to pay a similar amount. Initial revenues have been generated by a pharma testing programme.

Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ) is still finding trading conditions tough with like-for-like store sales 10% lower so far this year. Costs have been reduced, but a pre-tax loss of £3.3m is forecast for this year.

Medical grade collagen components supplier Collagen Solutions (COS) is building up sales of tissue and starting to benefit from the collaboration with its major US shareholder. Investment in the Glasgow facility will increase collagen supply.

Antibody discovery company Fusion Antibodies (FAB) improved interim revenues from £660,000 to £1.75m. There was still £1.31m left in the bank at the end of September 2019. Belfast-based Fusion has launched its RAMP service, which helps clients to optimise the performance of an antibody. The Mammalian Antibody library should be launched by next September.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell National World (NWOR) has asked for trading in the shares to be suspended as it negotiates the potential acquisition of regional titles from JPI. There are also other acquisitions being assessed.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) has acquired the Italian gas production and exploration assets of Coro Energy (CORO) for an initial £402,000 in shares at 6p each. Up to £3.5m in also payable in shares if gas production averages 100,000 scm/day over a period of four successive months. Production is expected to reach 113,000 scm/day following developments planned over the next 6-9 months. The Italian authorities have to agree to the deal, which adds to Zenith’s existing assets in Italy.

Haynes Publishing (HYNS) says that interim pre-tax profit will be 37% higher than in the corresponding period last year. This is all organic growth. The interims will be announced on 30 January.

Digital inkjet technology developer Xaar (XAR) says that Stratasys has completed its increased investment in Xaar 3D and it has an option to acquire the rest of Xaar 3D within three years. Xaar sold 20% of the 3D printing business for $10m and Stratasys can buy the 55% it does not won for at least $33m.

Nanoco (NANO) says that interested parties have been asked to submit acquisition proposals by mid-December. The majority of contracted revenues of £3.5m will be delivered in the first half. Progress with new customers has been hampered by the formal sale process.

IMC Exploration (IMC) says that the exploration programme in the Goldmines River licence in Wicklow has confirmed gold values ranging up to 0.4g/t. Drilling results are still being analysed.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) says that its Minto mine in Canada has received £3.7m in payment for copper concentrate. Sumitomo makes a 90% advanced payment for the concentrate. The rest is paid on delivery. Pembridge is on a roadshow to raise between £3m-£5m.

BATM (BVC) has gained a $4m contract in Asia for its agri-waste business. Three units will be supplied to two poultry processing facilities.

MATCHED BARGAINS

MESH Holdings, which recently left NEX will have its shares dealt on the JP Jenkins dealing platform. The acquisition option for AI company Sentiance has lapsed but management is in talks to agree a new option, which would require MESH to invest more cash in Sentiance, where it has a 16.8% stake.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 25 November 2019

NEX EXCHANGE
National Milk Records (NMRP) says that revenues in the quarter to September 2019 fell to £5.25m. They were £5.54m in the previous quarter and £6.08m last year, although that was boosted by one-off projects. A cyber-attack hit business, but systems have been restored. Canaccord Genuity has been appointed as corporate adviser.
Western Selection (WESP) has acquired nearly 3.64 million shares in the Bilby (BILB) placing. That has more than doubled the number of shares owned by Western Selection and it owns 10.8% of Bilby, up from 6.66%.
Belvedere Leisure Resorts (www.belvedereleisureresortsplc.com) is expected to gain a quotation for £10m of its 6.25% secured bonds on 29 November. The company is a subsidiary of Belvedere Leisure Park, which owns a site in Dumfries & Galloway with planning permission for a lodge park resort of 444 holiday lodges. The park will be built by Landal GreenParks.
Formerly AIM-quoted SAPO (www.sapoinvest.com), which was known as South African Property Opportunities, plans to join the NEX Growth Market on 2 December. The plan is to use the Isle of Man-based company as a shell to invest in the UK rural broadband market, although Labour plans for the broadband market could affect this strategy. Executive chairman Michael Meyer will own 40.55% of SAPO and three shareholders will own 84.8%.
Bracken Trading (BRAC) has decided to withdrawal is preference shares from NEX trading on 18 December. Trading had started on 9 September. There have not been any trades.
Altona Energy (ANR) is acquiring a petroleum exploration licence application within the Arckaringa Basin in South Australia. This is close to the company’s existing exploration licences. There could be potential for a gasification project. Management has decided not to invest in the potential vanadium investment.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that its subsidiary has received a tax refund of $279,275. Drilling at Specimen Hill shows gold bearing mineralisation in all holes. There are targets for follow-up drilling.
BWA Group (BWAP) has not received £80,000 of the £100,000 subscription funds for convertible loan notes issued when Kings of the North Corp was acquired. Alternative funding is being secured. Vilhjamur Thor Vilhjalmsson, chief executive of 23.75% shareholder SX, has resigned as a director of BWA and been replaced by Mark Billings.
Block Commodities (BLCC) has appointed Ian Tordoff as chief executive. He has experience in the healthcare sector and has been involved in assessing the potential cannabis-based compounds.
DXS International (DXSP) chief executive David Immelman’s wife acquired one million shares at 10p each from Ron Rhodes during September. That takes David Immelman’s interests to 13.3%.
The ten-for-one share consolidation has been approved by World High Life (LIFE) shareholders. Dealings in the new share started on 20 November.
AIM
A competing bid approach led Hanover Acquisition to increase its bid for Brady (BRY) from 10p a share to 18p a share, which values the risk management and commodity software company at £15m. Hanover has bought shares owned by Kestrel and Coltrane Master Fund and these stakes have taken its shareholding to 46.1%, so the bid is mandatory.
Feedback (FDBK) has secured its first pilot study for its Bleepa communications platform that can be used to securely access medical grade images via mobiles and PCs. The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust will use Bleepa for respiratory requests. Bleepa will be the main focus for Feedback and it offers the potential for significant recurring revenues. Less money will be spent on TexRAD.
Keeping up with tradition Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) released its interims at 4.35pm on Friday. This was the same time as the previous trading statement and earlier than the previous interims which were released at 5.04pm on a Friday. Revenues remain flat and there was a pre-tax loss. Cash was £28.1m at the end of September 2019.
Nick Develin is stepping up from chief operating officer of Naked Wine (WINE) to takeover from Rowan Gormley as chief executive. The company has sold its other operations and is purely an online wine retailer. UK trading ahs been weak, but the US is going well.
Kape (KAPE) is almost doubling its earnings per share by acquiring Private Internet Access, which expands the range of security software the group can offer. The acquisition will cost up to $95.5m in cash and shares, plus debt. Kape will have net debt following the acquisition, but this should be paid down over the next two years.
Litigation finance provider Manolete Partners (MANO) is building up its business having raised cash when it floated at the end of last year. Interim revenues rose by 15% to £7.5m, but most of those revenues were unrealised gains. That meant that there was a cash outflow in the period. This is due to the higher number (and higher value) of cases being taken on and many of these will be completed and generate cash in the second half. Manolete focuses on insolvency cases and this means that they tend to be settled much quicker than ones handled by Burford Capital.
Having failed to secure the financing for its proposed acquisition, Stirling Industries (STRL) is cancelling its AIM quotation and management plans to place the company in liquidation.
First Property (FPO) increased like-for-like interim revenues by 10% to £8.1m. The spare space at CH8 in Warsaw is being filled. The interim dividend has been edged up to 0.46p a share. The underlying NAV is 50.7p a share.
Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) has sorted out its interest in Egypt at no cash cost. The stake is being transferred to the operator. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, although it can be terminated if it is not.
Social video company Brave Bison (BBSN) expects to make a full year loss on reduced revenues of £16m. That is worse than expected. Changing Facebook policies have made trading difficult. Management is trying to reduce the dependence on Facebook. There was £3.8m in the bank at the end of October 2019. Costs are being reduced. Robin Miller will step down as chairman at the end of 2019. CIP Merchant Capital (CIP) recently increased its stake in Brave Bison to 11.7%.
Digital TV software developer Mirada (MIRA) increased underlying revenues by 11% to $5.74m, but it is still losing money. However, contracts are being won with potential for more over the next few months. Net debt has fallen to $3.53m following the sale of Mirada Connect for £2.12m ($2.72m).
City of London Group (CIN) says that its subsidiary Recognise Financial Services has applied to become a bank. The plan is to offer financial services to smaller companies and savings products. The company hopes to be authorised later in 2020, but that may prove optimistic. City of London Group will have to raise cash to finance the development of the bank.
Shareholders took up 10.9% of the open offer shares in Xeros Technology Group (XSG) and this raised £217,000.
A general meeting requisition has been lodged with Plutus PowerGen (PPG) and the intention is to remove all the current directors. They would be replaced with Nicholas Lee, David Horner and Dr Nigel Burton.
Mporium (MPM) has appointed an administrator and the business has been sold to management. There is unlikely to be anything for shareholders.

MAIN MARKET
Semiconductors supplier CML Microsystems (CML) reported a decline in revenues and profit in the six months to September 2019. The storage products revenues fell by nearly one-quarter, while there was a 4% decline in communications revenues. However, an overall improvement on the first half is expected in the second half. Interim pre-tax profit fell from £2.4m to £900,000. A full year pre-tax profit of £2.6m, down from £3m is forecast.
Macfarlane Group (MACF) has increased revenues by 4% in the four months to October 2019. The packaging supplier has reduced overheads to offset price deflation. Full year performance is expected to be better than last year.
Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) has increased market share, but that has only partly offset the tough underlying markets. Interim revenues were 2% lower at £103.1m, while underlying pre-tax profit was 8.5% down at £10.6m.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has acquired ten mining claims in northern Zimbabwe and they cover carbonatite type bodies. The properties were previously explored for phosphates.
Kin + Carta (KCT) has made its first digital transformation acquisition in the form of Colorado-based Spire. The initial payment is $14.8m with a further performance-based payment next February and another after that. The company has raised £13.6m at 89p a share.
Specialist Fund Market-quoted Marwyn Value Investors Ltd (MVI) is returning £5.31m to realisation shareholders. That includes £5.28m from the takeover of BCA Marketplace and a small amount of liquidation proceeds from Gloo Networks. There will be a pro rata redemption of realisation shares. The shares will go ex-redemption on 6 December.
Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 18 November 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Trading in the shares of Barkby Group (BARK) has been suspended ahead of further information about a proposed reverse takeover. The acquisition of a group of companies referred to as the Dickson controlled entities is expected to cost £30m, predominantly paid in shares. There will also be a share placing to provide working capital for the enlarged group. Charles Dickson would become executive chairman if the deal goes ahead. The businesses include Workshop Coffee, which operates four coffee shops and is a wholesaler of speciality coffee, a commercial property developer. Barkby will also acquire the right to invest in two private companies: Transcend Packaging, which won a contract to supply McDonalds with paper straws, and VivoPlex, which has developed a medical device for fertility monitoring.

Brewer and pubs operator Daniel Thwaites (THW) says fears that interest rates will fall has required a £4m increase in the provision for its interest rate swaps. That is a non-cash item and underlying pre-tax profit increased from £5.6m to £6.2m in the six months to September 2019. That figure also excludes a quadrupling of property disposal profit to £800,000. Interim revenues improved 7% to £53.4m. The new brewery is operating at full capacity, while there was a small increase in like-for-like pub revenues. The contribution from hotels improved. Net debt was reduced by £8.6m to £61.6m compared with 12 months before, although £22.5m has been reclassified as due within one year. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.1p a share.

NEX and AIM-quoted AFH Financial (AFHP) says it is trading in line with forecasts. The wealth manager will report underlying EBITDA of more than £17m, up from £10.4m, in the year to October 2019. Funds under management were £6bn. The contribution from acquisitions has been earnings enhancing. The total dividend is expected to be 8p a share and this is expected to rise by one-quarter to 10p a share in 2019-20. There was still £11.9m in the bank at the end of October 2019, although there is estimated to be £32.2m of contingent consideration and a £15m convertible loan in the balance sheet. The current focus is on organic growth and there should be enough cash generated, along with the current balance, to pay the deferred consideration over the next two years.

Ashley House (LSE: ASH) has published a trading statement and it is changing its year end from April to October following the disposal of the Morgan Ashley joint venture. In the 12 months to April 2019, revenues fell from £18.5m to £11.9m and a pre-tax profit of £805,000 was turned into a £2.95m loss. There was a loss contributed by joint ventures. Net debt was £1.8m.

Clinical support systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) is considering a move to AIM. This would be part of a potential fundraising to enable further investment in the business. DXS has already announced that it has been awarded a place on the NHS GPIT Futures framework from the beginning of 2020. This replaces the GPSoC2 framework and means that systems and services will be able to be bought centrally rather than with GP funds. The focus will be on the existing core product DXS Point of Care, analytics and reporting service CompleteCare, digital medicines service ExpertCare and condition management platform MyVytalCare. The first is already on sale and the rest will be launched in early 2020. DXS is gaining final approvals for its four solutions to be listed in the NHS catalogue.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £160,000 at 0.1p a share. This cash will be invested in additional shares in Apollon Formularies, which will take the company’s stake to 2.68%.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) believes that the lack of flotations is providing it with more opportunities. Primorus has received the £275,000 it was owed by Zuuse and still owns 57,205 shares and holds options over one million shares at A$0.50 (26p) each. The latest fundraising by Zuuse is at A$1 a share. There is a potential market to sell the shares even before a flotation.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) shareholder Formation Group has appointed Andrew Bennett as a non-executive director of the proton beam therapy firm.

David Lenigas has been appointed chairman of NQ Minerals (NQMI) and the board is in talks to replace existing debt with lower-cost debt. First Sentinel, which is run by former NQ Minerals director, has been appointed as corporate adviser.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has raised £388,000 from an issue of convertible loan notes and shares. This is less than the company wanted to raise more than six months ago. The share issue raised £133,000 at 0.02p a share, with a warrant exercisable at the same price, and the conversion of the loan notes will also be at the same price. The cash will be used to move into the medicinal cannabis sector. Additional shares are being issued to pay creditors.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 246.47p a share at the end of October 2019.

One hundred shares in Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) will be consolidated into one new share on 18 November.

Karoo Energy has changed its name to IamFire (FIRE).

Queros Capital Partners (QCP) will leave NEX on 28 November.

AIM

DBAY Advisors does not intend to bid for Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) and instead will acquire 51% of the underlying subsidiary that owns the transport operations. The poor financial situation of the business led to the change of strategy and Eddie Stobart Logistics has recommended the deal, which involves the injection of £55m of additional finance through a PIK Facility. This will pay off a £35m loan and provide working capital. The deal requires the extension of other existing debt facilities. The interim results to May 2019 are still being compiled. An operating loss of at least £12m is expected, but the underlying business could make a full year operating profit of up to £2m. There could be a goodwill write-down of £50m. Net debt will be around £200m. Wincanton (WIN) is still considering a rival deal.

ECO Animal Health (EAH) is still suffering the after effects of the African Swine Flu outbreak in China and the US/China trade war hitting imports from the US. First half revenues from China fell by three-fifths. Restocking will take time to flow through in terms of FCO’s results. There will be a sharp fall in full year profit. The interims could also be affected by accounting policy changes.

Advanced surface coatings provider Hardide (HDD) has been selected to coat parts for the new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. This is an important step in building up business in the aerospace sector. The Hardide-A coating will replace HVOF thermal spray coatings. HVOF is one of the most widely used coatings in aerospace and Hardide-A is said to be technically superior. Hardide has also been awarded a patent for a water droplet erosion resistant coating for blades and vanes, including those used on steam and gas turbines for power generation. A field test is planned.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) says that a test production run is planned later this month by 85%-owned Future Metal at its quarry in China. The plan is to restart production by the end of the year. This will help to underpin the Adamas NAV and provide potential upside. At the end of September 2019, NAV was 84p a share, which is more than three times the share price. Future Metal is 45.2% of that NAV and when the quarry is up and running then Adamas could raise cash by selling some of its stake. Cash is required to invest in new opportunities that are being presented to the company. Adamas issued 16.18 million shares at 34.8p each for its equity investment in Infinity TNP.

Safestay (SSTY) has bought the Hotel Auberge in Berlin, which is near to Berlin zoo, and intends to turn it into a 150-bed hostel. The site has an eleven year lease. This is the latest acquisition this year and it takes the total number of hostel sites to 18. The plan is to have 20 hostels by 2020.

MAIN MARKET

PureCircle Ltd (PURE) chief executive Magomet Malsagov has stood aside temporarily pending further investigation of the classification of the stevia sweeteners supplier’s inventory and other transactions. The investigations have identified that inventory was $23m too high. Other transactions could lead to additional valuation changes. There could be write downs of intangibles and inventories. There should not be any increase in net debt, although the figures are still not fully audited. Bank covenants may need to be waived. Finance director Rakesh Sinha had previously resigned, although he remains with the company until the end of January.

Automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) is seeking a buyer. Management believes the company needs to be part of a larger group with greater financial resources.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 22 April 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has published the prospectus for its move to a standard listing. No fundraising is planned to accompany the flotation. Management believes that IMC has enough working capital for 12 months. There was €152,878 in cash available at the end of January 2019. This takes account of the statutory spending on its licences.

Block Commodities (BLCC) is calling a general meeting to enable shareholders to decide whether the company should become involved in the medicinal cannabis sector.

Ananda Developments (ANA) owns 15% of LHT, the owner of hapac medicinal cannabis inhaling technology. The hapac products are being sold in Italy and the product range is being widened. Other investments are being assessed.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has declared a second interim dividend of 0.83p a share.

Anne Yerburgh has been replaced as chairman of Daniel Thwaites (THW) by chief executive Richard Bailey, although she remains as a non-executive director in order to represent family shareholders. A replacement is being sought for former non-executive director Nick Mackenzie.

Queros Capital Partners (BFD) has raised £305,000 from the issue of 8% unsecured bonds 2025. This will be used to provide bridging finance to UK businesses.

Chris Akers has a 3.97% stake in High Growth Capital (HASH) following the purchase of the intellectual property of Malta-based BDD, a company he founded. RRNB Capital Ltd has increased its shareholding from 1.92% to 9.95%, while Fujairah has raised its stake from 2.31% to 8.59%. High Growth Capital has completed the acquisition of additional shares in AI company Sentiance to take its stake to 15%. Whitman Howard has been appointed as corporate adviser and broker.

AIM  

Modern Water (MWG) reported its 2018 results at 6.19pm o the Thursday before Good Friday. Revenues increased by 18% to £4.2m and the reported loss was more than halved from £5.23m, although this included a £1.53m goodwill write off, to £2.47m. This appears to be the first time that Modern Water has slipped out results after the market has closed for the week. Let us hope that this does not become a habit. Serial offender Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) managed to put out its statement a bit earlier but after the close of the market. More can be found at https://ukinvestormagazine.co.uk/why-you-should-avoid-immunodiagnostic-systems-holdings/.

Enterprise software provider Sanderson (SND) says interim trading was ahead of expectations and further progress is expected in the second half. Interim revenues improved from £14.6m to £17m and underlying operating profit is one-third higher at £2.8m, which is partly due to accounting changes. Like-for-like operating profit would be one-fifth higher. Net cash was £3.29m at the end of March 2019. The order book is worth £8m. The interims will be published on 15 May.

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmook Al Maktoum is investing £534,000 in MX Oil (MXO) for a 29.86% stake. He will appoint a non-executive chairman. This is part of a placing raising £680,000 at 0.04p a share. There are also 800 million warrants being issued that are exercisable at 0.04p over a five year period. Options over 10% of the enlarged share capital will be issued to management. The Aje field, where MX has a 5% investment is producing at around 3,150 barrels of oil per day and cash generated is being used to reduce project debt. The Aje field should start generating free cash in 2020 and that could move MX into profit in the first half of 2020. MX plans to consolidate 100 existing shares into one new share and change its name to ADM Energy.

Chief executive Sean Smith has bought 126,624 shares in biopesticide products developer Eden Research (EDEN) for 10.25p each. Finance director Alex Abrey has acquired 50,000 shares at 10.1p each. House broker Shore forecasts an increase in revenues from £2.8m to £3.7m in 2019, although the loss is expected to rise to £900,000. Shore expects Eden to move into profit in 2021.

PowerHouse Energy (PHE) has gained its first revenue generating contract for its DMG technology in conjunction with partner Waste2Tricity. Revenues will come from IP, design rights and licensing, followed by operational engineering.

Parity (PTY) is increasing its focus on the data analytics market and has appointed a new boss of consultancy services. Pre-tax profit halved to £850,000 in 2018 and a further decline is expected in 2019. Net debt is expected to remain at around £1m. Revenues are expected to continue to decline but there should be a greater proportion of the business coming from higher margin activities and profit is expected to bounce back to £1.5m in 2020.

Fryer and grease management services provider Filta (FLTA) increased revenues by 23% to £14.2m in 2018, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from £1.81m to £2.2m. This is before any significant contribution from the Watbio acquisition, which cost savings appear to be on course. A 2019 pre-tax profit of £3.8m is forecast.

Nektan (NKTN) is selling a 57.5% stake in Respin for £300,000 to a new purchaser because the previous deal could not be completed at a higher price due to the fact that buyer could not raise the finance. The online gaming firm says that it owes £3.6m in tax to the HMRC and it is likely to need additional cash to pay the bill.

TruFin (TRU) plans to sell its stake in unsecured consumer finance provider Zopa for £44.5m, an increase of 22% on the 2017 valuation, and investing £25m in manufacturing finance provider Distribution Finance Capital, which will be floated on AIM in early May. There should also be £10m returned to investors later this year. That will leave early payment services provider Oxygen Finance and Satago Financial Solutions, which provides working capital to small businesses.

Delayed results from consumer care products supplier Venture Life Group (VLG) show revenues 17% ahead at £18.8m and nearly all the growth came from the company’s brands. Pre-tax profit improved from £63,000 to £710,000. Net cash was £5.8m so the company has funds to make additional acquisitions.

Yourgene Health (YGEN) has raised £11.8m at 10.25p a share and that will be used to fund the £6.3m cash payment for molecular diagnostics developer Elucigene, which will cost £9.2m in cash and shares.

Managed services provider Redcentric (RCN) says net debt was £17.6m at the end of March 2019, compared with estimates of £20.2m. Pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £8m to £8.7m.

D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) has announced that its 2018-19 results will be ahead of expectations. This led to a pre-tax profit upgrade from £5.7m to £5.8m, but earnings per share were upgraded from 12.1p to 13.3p due to a low tax rate.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) has raised £5m through a placing at 13p a share. The cash will boost the balance sheet while management undertakes partnership discussions and additional work on SFX-01. The phase IIb data for SFX-01 in subarachnoid haemorrhage is expected in the third quarter of 2019.

Directa Plus (DCTA) doubled its total income to €2.5m in 2018. The graphene-based products developer has net cash of €5.2m, following a €3m outflow from operations.

Ariana Resources (AAU) says that the Kiziltepe gold mine produced 7,296 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2019. That was lower than the fourth quarter of 2018, but it is ahead of the average annualised quarterly guidance.

IG Design (IGR) is set for 10% organic sales growth in the year to March 2019 and total revenues rising from £327.5m to £447m. Pre-tax profit is expected to grow from £21.4m to £29.5m. There could be further merger benefits to come from the Impact Innovations acquisition.

Europa Oil and Gas (EOG) is selling its 20% stake in PEDL143 in the Weald Basin to UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) for £300,000.

MAIN MARKET 

Plastics and panels supplier Tex Holdings (TXH) made a small loss in 2018 following accounting changes to the recognition of revenues and there is no final dividend. Trading levels were lower in the second half. Tex is in breach of some of its bank loan covenants. The major shareholder continues to support the group. The share price fell by more than one-quarter.

Electronic products distributor DiscoverIE (DSCV) is on course to improve its full year pre-tax profit from £21.8m to £27.7m. The group has raised £29m at 400p a share in order to finance the acquisitions of US-based transformers and magnetic components manufacturer Hobart Electronics and UK-based rugged and submersible sensors manufacturer Positek. The total initial consideration is £15.9m.

Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) says full year profit is slightly better than expected even though demand from China has been reduced due to tariff wars with the US. Net debt was £15m at the end of March 2019 and it has agreed a new four-year bank facility of £80m. This could be used for acquisitions.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has set the date for its requisitioned general meeting, which will be held on 16 May. The requisition came from an entity owning 13.8% that is controlled by Frank Timis, who does not believe that the company will provide a satisfactory return to shareholders with its current cryptomining strategy. The plan is to remove Jonathan Bixby and Mike Edwards as directors and appoint another director. Argo has more cash than its market capitalisation. Cash operating costs have been reduced to £280,000, compared with £500,000 of potential revenues expected in May.

Kazakhstan-focused vanadium miner Ferro-Alloy Resources (FAR) is already spending the money it raised when it gained a standard listing last month. Equipment, a mobile crane and vehicles have been acquired. The design of the extension to the existing facilities and for the connection to the high voltage power line has been completed. The share price has almost halved from the placing price of 70p to 37.37p. More background information can be found at https://ukinvestormagazine.co.uk/ferro-alloy-resources-goes-to-discount-on-first-day/.

BATM (BVC) has won an initial $2m armed forces contract for cyber security and this lasts 18 months.

Emmerson (EML) has signed heads of agreement for an offtake agreement for 100% of the production from the Khemisset potash project.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 1 April 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Adnams (ADB) increased its revenues last year, but it reported a loss. Beer volumes grew by 2.2% and revenues were 6% ahead at £78.9m. The loss of £877,000 was after £1.77m of pension and property impairment costs. The final dividend is unchanged at 150p per B share. Adnams is optimistic about the proposed government review into small breweries relief – if Adnams paid the same duty rates as small brewers it would save £7m a year.

European Lithium (EUR) is making progress with its definitive feasibility study for the Wolfsberg lithium project in Austria. The plan is to produce lithium chemical for batteries. A test programme has been completed and this is designed to improve grades and the amount of lithium-bearing mineral. Laser sorting was found to be the best method.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has increased its NAV by 9% to 48.05p a share in the six months to February 2019.

Trading in the shares of Block Commodities (BLCC) has restarted following the publication of its interim results. There was $1,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and a further $400,000 has been raised via a convertible loan. This will fund the entry in the cannabis market. Block is collaborating with Hexis Lab to develop cannabis-based therapeutic and cosmeceutical products

Altona Energy (ANR) has net assets of £11m, but these are predominantly intangible assets. There are also £19.8m of potential tax losses. Altona is re-evaluating its underground coal gasification project in South Australia and assessing an investment in a Chinese vanadium mine.

MetalNRG (MNRG) plans to move to the standard list. An option agreement has been replaced with a farm-in agreement for the Kamushanovskoye uranium deposit. This will reduce the immediate cash outflow. A $161,000 payment was made under the option agreement and $400,000 more has to be paid by 10 April to earn a 51% economic interest. This payment is conditional on a capital raising at the time of moving to the standard list. A further $1.99m investment is required in three equal tranches in order to maintain the stake. The payments are due in November 2019, April 2020 and October 2020.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) outperformed the MSCI UK Residential Property index last year, because it achieved 8.75% growth, compared with 5.2% for the index.

The net liabilities of Welney (WENP) increased from £234,000 to £301,000 in 2018. This is being funded by loans from directors. Costs have been kept low as management seeks a suitable acquisition.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) has issued 800,000 shares at 0.625p each to pay for adviser fees on the unwound acquisition of Palermo FC.

AIM  

Churchill China (CHH) improved margins last year. Revenues were 7% higher at £57.5m, but underlying pre-tax profit was 26% higher at £9.4m. Growth in exports is a major factor and they account for three-fifths of revenues. Retail sales fell and hospitality sales increased by £5m. The total dividend was raised from 24.6p a share to 29p a share. There was £14.4m in cash at the end of 2018.

Cloud-based communications software provider Cloudcall (CALL) increased recurring revenues by one-third last year and total revenues were 28% ahead at £8.8m. The fastest growth was in the US. The cash outflow from operations increased from £1.57m to £2.38m. This is due to higher operating costs in terms of product development and marketing.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has increased the value of its portfolio of investments by 27% to £11.5m in the six months to £11.5m. NAV is 38.8p a share. The deal by investee company Exscientia, which is involved in AI-based drug discovery, with Celgene Corporation should result in a substantial uplift in its valuation in the current six month period.

Parity (PTY) says it has lost a major contract with the Scottish government, but it should not have a significant effect on profit because it is low margin. This year’s revenues will be 10% below expectations. The 2018 results will be announced on 16 April.

Rambler Metals and Mining (RMM) has launched a one-for-one open offer to raise up to £1.7m at 1.4p a share and it closes on 12 April. This follows the £8.4m placing at 1,4p a share, which raised cash to pay off debt and provide working capital.

Alliance Pharma (APH) improved its pre-tax profit from £23.9m to £28.1m. This excludes a £1.9m write down of an acquired intangible relating to a manufacturing supply contract. A pre-tax profit of £32.8m is forecast for 2019.

Quixant (QXT) reported a strong second half to 2018 even though the gaming machines market was tough. Full year revenues were 5% higher at $115.2m and pre-tax profit improved from $17.7m to $18.2m. This year will also be second half weighted with revenues expected to hit $119m and pre-tax profit of $20m forecast.

MAIN MARKET 

Funds managed by Epiris LLP have launched a recommended cash offer of 193p a share for Ireland-based financial services group IFG (IFP), valuing it at £206m.

Ovoca Bio (OVB) is increasing its stake in IVIX to 59.9%. The additional 9.9% costs $2.04m. IVIX’s drug Libicore has met the pre-specified primary efficacy endpoint and significant outcomes in secondary endpoints as part of its phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

Standard list shell Baskerville Capital (BASK) still had £1.54m in the bank at the end of 2018. Potential technology acquisitions are being assessed.

Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) is still seeking an acquisition after the deal to buy Chorum fell through due to weak stockmarkets. There was £1.21m in the bank at the end of 2018.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 December 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) is developing a blockchain-based sports ticketing business with Footies Tech Ltd. The new company will licence blockchain technology from TechFinancials, which will have a 75% stake in the company. TechFinancials will provide up to $500,000 to the company and this commitment is dependent on a client signing up within three months. The idea is to make the sports club take control of the initial sale and any secondary ticket transactions. Former Liverpool FC chairman Ian Ayre will be chairman of the new company.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has invested £60,000 in Pelican House (PHM) at 0.45p a share. Eight Capital will be issued 13.33 million warrants exercisable at 0.45p a share. Eight Capital is appointing John Treacy to the board of Pelican, which is changing its investment strategy from natural resources to sports and leisure.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has raised £2m at 290p a share and it will move to AIM on 14 December. The share price peaked at 430p in March. Crossword is valued at £13.6m at the placing price. Hargreave Hale AIM VCT has taken a 7.37% stake.

Early Equity (EEQP) is assessing additional investments that fit its strategy. There was £437,000 of cash in the balance sheet at the end of August 2018. The main investment is a 47.1% stake in healthcare products distributor Yicom Global.

Miton has increased its stake in Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) from 15.5% to 17.8%. DXS International (DXSP) chief executive David Immelman has bought 20,002 shares at 9.9p each, taking his stake to 10.45%.

Welney (WENP) is considering a couple of proposals that can enable the company to move ahead. The loan note holders have agreed not to call in the loans for at least another 12 months. Net liabilities were £268,000 at the end of June 2018.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has launched the Farmer 3.0 (described as an integrated agri-business ecosystem) pilot project, which covers up to 1,000 Ugandan farmers. The plan is to expand the service to up 50,000 farmers.

AIM  

Plastics Capital (PLA) has still to see the benefits of its investment in capacity and winning new business. In the six months to September 2018, revenues improved 11% to £40.6m and underlying pre-tax profit recovered from £1.2m to £2.1m. Net debt was £15.7m at the end of September 2018 to £14.5m by March 2019. Cenkos forecasts a 2018-19 profit of £5m, rising to £5.4m next year.

Broker finnCap (FCAP) joined AIM and completed the acquisition of Cavendish Corporate Finance last week. finnCap raised £3.75m at 28p a share.

The People’s Operator (TPOP) has the chance to receive an investment from the owner of LycaMobile. A share capital reorganisation is required before any shares can be issued. Every 2,000 shares will be consolidated into one share. An investment of £1.3m will be in shares (29.9%) and convertible loan notes – convertible at 10p a share.

Evgen Pharam (EVG) says that the final patient in the STEM:SFX-01 trial for metastatic breast cancer will take her last dose by the end of 2018. The final readout for the trial should be in March.

Ceres Power (CWR) has finalised its collaboration with Weichai Power. They will create a fuel cell manufacturing joint venture in China and technology will be licenced to the new venture, which could generate up to £30m in payments. There is also a £9m joint development agreement for range extenders for electric buses. Weichai will invest £28m at 164.5p a share.

Hagai Tal has resigned as chief executive of Taptica International Ltd (TAP) after he was criticised about his actions at a previous company. Rivi Bloch takes over as interim chief executive. The business appears to be changing with revenues not up to expectations but margins improving.

Panther Securities (PNS) is paying a special dividend of 15p a share after what it calls the best year it has experienced. Next year at least 12p a share will be paid.

Woodford has says that it will subscribe £8m in a fundraising for eve Sleep (EVE) and Channel 4 says that it will invest £900,000. Chairman Paul Pindar will invest £1m. Discussions continue with other investors in order to raise the £15m required.

Vianet (VNET) is growing its smart machines operations and it was responsible for the growth in revenues in the first half. The pubs market remains tough and smart zones revenues dipped, but there is the prospect of a large order in the US. Full year profit is expected to improve from £2.7m to £3m. The interim dividend is maintained and the total dividend for the year should be unchanged at 5.7p a share.

Versarien (VRS) has signed a supply agreement to supply a new graphene enhanced polymer range to AECOM. Interim revenues were 19% higher at £5.22m. There was cash of £6.07m at the end of September 2018. There was a £1.1m cash outflow in the six month period.

Omega Diagnostics (ODX) continues to lose money and net debt was £700,000 at the end of September 2018. The £2m overdraft facility should provide enough finance for the company’s needs. The commercialisation of Visitect CD4 is important to long-term progress for the company. CE marking for advance disease should be awarded soon. The timing of approvals and therefore revenues is difficult to predict.

Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) has resolved its dispute with xG Technology Inc over the disposal of its hardware business. No further liabilities are due by either party and the forecast cash balances for Pebble Beach will not be materially different.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has agreed an operational plan with the Utah authorities for its acreage in the Paradox Basin and this includes recently acquired acreage. A suitable drilling rig should be available in the first quarter of 2019. The plan is to secure funding for the drilling programme.

Zinc Media Group (ZIN) has appointed Mark Browning, who is currently boss of ITN Productions, as chief executive and he will start in the first half of 2019. He replaces former finance director David Galan, who became full-time chief executive in February.

Adam Formela has stepped down as chief executive of packaging manufacturer Robinson (RBN). Martin McGee has become interim chief executive.

Trading in the shares of MySQUAR (MYSQ) will end on 10 December. Additional cash is required and a sale of assets to a NEX-quoted company in return for shares could happen. The investigation of past financial transactions continues.

Fishing tackle retailer Fishing Republic (FISH) has appointed administrators.

MAIN MARKET   

Cryptocurrency mining services provider Argo Blockchain (ARB) estimates that its current annualised revenues are $6.2m (£4.8m). Trading is ahead of expectations. Net cash was £15m at the end of November 2018.

Sand U (SUS) says trading is in line with expectations. There has been a reduction in demand for finance for used cars. This means that the loan portfolio is growing more slowly than expected.

Standard list shell Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) is evaluating opportunities in the cannabis market.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 24 September 2018

NEX EXCHANGE       

In the first half of 2018, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased media revenues by one-fifth and, along with growth in nursery and lodge revenues, this helped the racecourse operator to raise revenues by 5% to £7.33m even though two race days were lost to bad weather. Enough cash was generated to more than cover capital spending.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has signed a non-binding letter of intent with the Eelleet Network Corp, which intends to buy Block. There would be an all share recommended offer and the enlarged business would list on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Trading in Block shares has been suspended.

Ananda Developments (ANA) has obtained a £300,000 convertible loan facility with two directors, Charles Morgan and Melissa Sturgess. The annual interest rate is 10% and the conversion price is 0.75p a share. The manufacture of 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies’ vaporisers and consumable packs containing four hapac sachets of 0.25g medicinal cannabis has commenced in China. AfriAg Global (AFRI) has applied for a medicinal cannabis licence in the UK. Fellow cannabis investment company Sativa Investments (SATI) has set up a German wholesaling subsidiary and it will invest €80,000 for a 60% stake.

In the six months to June 2018, St Mark Homes (SMAP) increased revenues from £71,000 to £139,000 and it made a small loss excluding negative goodwill release. The interim dividend was unchanged at 5.5p a share. The NAV is £5.9m, including £754,000 in cash, which is equivalent to 134p a share. St Mark is trying to gain planning permission for the commercial development in Sutton High Street. Two other properties in London are being redeveloped and sales have commenced. A development in Wembley should start in 2019.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) reported a profit in the first half of 2018, but that was due to a change in the fair value of the option to acquire 90% of Cedex. Revenues fell 48% to $3.78m and the underlying loss of the fintech software provider increased from $282,000 to $971,000. The blockchain operations made an initial contribution of $1.23m to revenues. The B2C operations have ceased in Europe and the company wants to sell its subsidiary with a FSA licence. Higher regulations have hampered the B2B technology customers.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) reported an increased interim loss of $9.43m due to higher finance costs. Admin costs were flat. The development of the Hellyer gold project in Tasmania is progressing well and the first sales of concentrate should happen before the end of this year. Work continues towards a move to a standard listing.

Less than one month after asking for trading in the company’s 7% bonds 2021 to be suspended Positive Healthcare (DOC) has appointed Eric Walls and Wayne Harrison of KSA to advise on a liquidation process. Irregularities were identified at the principal operating subsidiary and Positive is unable to pay the next instalment of interest on the bonds.

Eight Capital Partners (MORE) had cash of £773,000 at the end of June 2018. That was before the former Cogenpower acquired €111,100 worth of 8% corporate bonds 2020 in Italian financial services company Finance Partners Group. Other financial services and technology investments are being considered.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has been readmitted to NEX and AIM on 21 September, after it completed its migration from the Isle of Man to Bermuda.

AIM  

IT recruitment and consultancy Parity (PTY) remains on track for an improvement in pre-tax profit from £1.7m to £1.9m but cash generation is not as good as expected. Net debt is still expected to reduce from £1.6m to £900,000. The previously announced Primark managed services contract has started well, although another contract has been delayed. The consultancy business continues to contribute a growing proportion of profit.

Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) has agreed locations for pilot production at the Lesedi coal bed methane project in Botswana and the first well should be spudded in October.

N+1 Singer has upgraded its forecast for EKF Diagnostics (EKF) following the interim figures. There was a 5% decline in revenues to £20.4m, while underlying profit improved from £2.3m to £2.7m. Around £250,000 has been added to the profit, taking pre-tax profit to £7.7m. The launch of haemoglobin analyser DiaSpect following FDA approval will boost next year’s figures. The spin out of RenalytixAI continues and it will require a general meeting.

Audio products supplier Focusrite (TUNE) says full year revenues were in line with expectations of £75.4m, while cash of £22.8m is better than forecast. A pre-tax profit of £10.8m is forecast. There are concerns about US tariffs.

Tanfield (TAN) has warned that it may not get anything for its stake in Snorkel if the call option is exercised. Management has already said that it will write down the value of the investment to £19.1m ($25.3m), which already knocks 12p a share off NAV, but there is a disagreement about the interpretation of the original agreement.

Disappointing results from the Atopic Dermatitis study has led Realm Therapeutics (RLM) to appoint MTS Health Partners to advise on strategy alternatives. Realm is considered to be in an offer period. There was $21.3m in the bank at the end of August.

Short-term weakness in the oil palm price has held back the progress of plantations operator MP Evans (MPE) in the first half, but crude palm oil production is increasing in line with expectations (91,900 tons in the first half). That means that full year revenues are likely to be flat and pre-tax profit will be lower. Longer-term growth will come from increased production from more recently planted areas.

Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) is coming up to its first year on AIM and the growth momentum continues.

Huadong Medicine Aesthetics has launched its recommended 32p a share cash bid for Sinclair Pharma (SPH) and that values the company at £166.6m.

There has been a lot of activity at Frontier IP (FIPP) in the past week. The AB Sugar head of innovation Matthew White is joining the company as head of commercialisation. Recycled building materials developer Alusid has raised £1.34m, including the conversion of a £348,000 loan from Frontier IP, which has a 35.6% stake. The Alusid investment had been valued at £700,000 and the latest fundraising values it at £1.73m. The cash will be used by Alusid to invest in its manufacturing facility, which should start production in 2020. The total cost will be £10m. A new company has been set up to develop new antibiotics. Frontier IP has a 10% stake in Amprologix, which has been spun out of the University of Plymouth. The first product is likely to be a cream that contains epidermicin, which can kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA.

There was a switch in the mix of revenues at job screening services provider ClearStar Inc (CLSU) in the first half as revenues increased by 11% to $9.9m. The growth has come from Medical Information Systems, which has lower margins and this means that the overall loss is reducing more slowly than expected. The cash outflow is small. Net cash is $1.2m.

Diurnal Group (DNL) is going along as expected with the launch of its Alkindi paediatric adrenal insufficiency treatment in Germany but the market has been unnerved by a negative comment from a German government research organisation. It pointed out that the performance of Alkindi was not compared with another treatment which has not been given regulatory approval. This does not appear likely to affect the relationship with the German regulatory authorities. There will be news from the European phase III trial for Chronocort before the end of the year.

Stockdale has initiated research on professional services group Christie Group (CTG) and expects a full year profit of £3.5m. It has already achieved an interim profit of £1.75m.

VR Education (VRE) still had £4.9m in the bank at the end of June 2018. Since then there have been improvements to the ENGAGE platform ahead of the full commercial launch before the end of the year. The full version of Titanic VR was launched in August and it is set to be launched on Playstation.

Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) continues to grow rapidly and it is moving into the water sector. Interim revenues jumped from £20.8m to £35.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit moved ahead from £1.15m to £1.8m. Growth is coming from the larger corporate sector which has held back margins because they are via brokers. The interim dividend is one-fifth higher at 1.2p a share. There was £18.2m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

N4 Pharma (N4P) has undertaken a strategic review following the failure of the reformulation of sildenafil to achieve its key targets in its clinical trial. It would cost a lot and increase risk if the company undertook further reformulation of this generic. The generics division has been closed and the focus will be the Nuvec delivery system. Initial results from research should be available before the end of the year. There was £1.6m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

MAIN MARKET  

Books publisher Quarto Group (QRT) increased interim revenues from $50.2m to $56.2m and the underlying loss fell from $8.7m to $6.6m. Net debt was $73.2m at the end of June 2018. Management is talking to banks to extend the bank facility until August 2020. Costs are being reduced.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) intends to broaden its investment remit to include cannabis processing, as well as the energy and industrial sectors. Finance professional Alan Hume has joined the board of the standard list shell. He was previously an adviser to the company and until last year finance director of Zenith Energy (ZEN). Between 2010 and 2012 he was finance director of Xtract Energy (XTR).

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has completed its feasibility report into the reopening of the Gubong gold mine and the joint venture with Southern Gold has started. Production of 10,000 ounces of gold is initially targeted.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 21 May 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) grew 2017 revenues from the nursery, hotel and media operations. There was a 11% increase in raceday attendances, which totalled 196,000 last year, leading to a 1% like-for-like rise in revenues. Overall revenues were 5% higher at £17.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit edged up from £178,000 to £188,000. There was a small cash outflow from operations. Capital investment meant that cash was reduced from £12.9m to £5.2m with more payments to come from the David Wilson Homes deal. A further £5.17m will be spent on upgrading the Pall Mall stand. There are concerns that the cutting of maximum stakes for gaming machines following the recent government announcement could hit bookmaker sponsorship and media rights revenues.

Block Commodities Ltd (BLCC) has a secured a strategic investment from Swarm Fund, which is a decentralised marketplace platform using blockchain. Investors will be able to participate in the FarmCoin asset-backed investment coin via the Swarm platform. FarmCoin is a joint venture between FinComEco and Block Commodities focused on the agriculture sector. There will be up to $45m of FarmCoin tokens issued.

National Milk Records (NMR) is holding a general meeting on 4 June in order to propose a reduction in capital that should put it in a position to have distributable reserves if it wants to pay a dividend.

Pre-IPO investor Primorus Investments (PRIM) had cash of £561,000 at the end of 2017. The NAV was £4.95m. This was after a £3.26m inflow from share issues.

AIM   

Watkin Jones (WJG) has found a new chief executive but he will not be able to start until the beginning of 2018. Richard Simpson is joining from student accommodation developer Unite Group. The build to rent operations of Watkin Jones has secured a development arrangement for a site in Reading, which will have 315 apartments.

GAN (GAN) and Webis (WEB) are two companies that could benefit from the legalisation of online sports betting in the US. The Supreme Court of the United States has decided to overturn the Federal prohibition of sports betting. US sports betting could be worth $6bn by 2023. That covers online and onsite gambling. GAN can launch a sports betting service in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the second half of this year – in time for the NFL season. GAN already has a deal with Betfair in New Jersey and adding sports betting will increase revenues. Webis has a US subsidiary called WatchandWager, which is based in California, a strong potential market for sports betting.

Genedrive (GDR) has agreed to sell its research and pharmacogenomics divisions to a director for up to £1.9m so that it can concentrate on its core Genedrive diagnostics platform. The initial payment is £1.15m with the rest deferred and subject to claims for R and D tax credits.

Lakehouse (LAKE) is acquiring heating and renewables services provider Just Energy Solutions, which fits with the company’s gas compliance businesses in the public sector and expands coverage in the industrial and commercial sectors. There is no upfront cost and payments will be dependent on profitability over two years. Lakehouse has also won a £55m, three year, Warm Homes contract with the Wales government.

Oil and gas demand is recovering at advanced coatings provider Hardide (HDD) but it is still well below previous levels. Other customers are enhancing growth and aerospace business is on the horizon. Interim revenues were 43% higher at £2.16m but the company is still loss-making. That will continue for a couple of years.

Angling Direct (ANG) increased revenues by 44% to £30.2m in the year to January 2018 and this led to an upgrade in forecast revenues for the current year. The fishing tackle retailer grew online sales by 54% but these tend to be lower margin. Pre-tax profit was £900,000 and it is expected to rise to £1.1m this year.

Online women’s fashion retailer Sosander (SOS) says that its full year revenues will be at least £1.34m. Like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter nearly quadrupled and gross margins are improving.

Portmeirion (PMP) has increased revenues by one-fifth in the first four months to 2018, although the second half of the year is always the more significant. Full year profit is still forecast to rise from £8.8m to £9.4m.

Churchill China (CHH) says that trading is ahead of the same period last year. The ceramic products manufacturer continues to have success in Europe and other export markets.

A new patent application has been filed for SkinBiotix by SkinBiotherapeutics (SBTX) and this covers the increasing of filaggrin levels in skin. Filaggrin is required for the formation of the outer layer of skin. Eczema sufferers have a low level of filaggrin.

The People’s Operator (TPOP) is increasing its UK subscribers but US numbers have declined so the performance was down in the first quarter of 2018. Churn is declining. Margins are better than expected. Even so, progress is too slow and an alternative strategy is required by the virtual mobile network business and it is considering divesting the US subscribers. That should cut cash burn by one-third.

A bathing water test by Molendotech, which is one of the investee companies of Frontier IP Group (FIPP), is being launched by Halma. This follows the agreement earlier this year.

Altona Energy (ANR) will begin a drilling programme on the Westfield tenement of the Arckaringa coal project during August. There could be 100mt of coal in the tenement. It will take three weeks to drill 15 holes to a depth of 120 metres.

Active Energy Group (AEG) intends to acquire a controlling interest in PowerWood Canada. Which owns forestry assets in Canada. This will secure feedstock for the roll-out of CoalSwitch, the biomass replacement for coal. There are plans to construct a 25 tonne per hour CoalSwitch plant in Alberta.

Servoca (SVCA) wants shareholders to agree to the cancellation of the AIM quotation. Management says that this will save £150,000 a year.

Volex (VLX) is buying Silcotec Europe for €18.1m and raising £36m at 75p a share. Silcotec supplies harnesses and electronic sub-assemblies to the medical, telecoms and computer industries and generated an operating profit of €3.1m.

Audioboom (BOOM) is not going ahead with the reverse takeover of Triton Digital Canada Inc because it could not raise the cash from a placing. A £700,000 break fee in cash (£90,000) and shares is payable. The audio business still requires more cash and that is why trading in the shares is still suspended.

MAIN MARKET    

Sportech (SPO) has a strong presence in the US so it is in a good position to benefit from the legalisation of sports betting. It already has 90 licenced operator clients and its own network of off-track betting facilities in Connecticut.

The reasons behind founder Laurence Orbach increasing his stake in books publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) to 20.1% have become clear. Orbach was removed from the board in November 2012 but he has joined with 27% shareholder Lion Rock to unseat four non-executive directors at the AGM. Orbach and former finance director Mick Mousley have returned to the board, along with two nominees from Lion Rock. Orbach becomes executive chairman.

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has completed bulk sampling in zone 1 and this should enable a resource estimate to be calculated.

Standard list shell Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has signed heads of terms for a 50% stake in CarCloud, a car sales-based fintech company. The deal to acquire energy storage systems developer Phestor is off. That follows the abortive takeover of Myclubbetting.

S&U (SUS) says non-prime car finance applications are 10% higher this year, although approval rates have fallen. Net receivables have increased by £48m to £258m.

North Midland Construction (NMD) has made a strong start to the year. There is a secured workload of £310m for this year and this should enable an improved financial performance this year.

World Trade Systems (WTS) wants to diversify its business outside of China. A new Taiwan-based health and fitness subsidiary is being incorporated. Kun Xin International will provide a loan facility of up to £3m to finance the new business. European opportunities are being sought.

Blood diseases treatments developer Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) has signed a development agreement with a global pharma company, which will provide Hemogenyx with free technical support and some intellectual property. The pharma company will be granted a research licence for anything jointly developed.

Andrew Hore

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