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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company Sport:80 has delayed its flotation because it has been tidying up its shareholder register. Fintech company Engage Technology is also seeking to float later in 2019 following new product launches. Engage raised £2.6m at £22 a share at the end of 2018, whereas the average buying price by Primorus was £20.03 a share. Investee company, AIM-quoted Greatland Gold (GGP) has published results from the second drilling campaign at Havieron in Western Australia. Every drill hole intersected mineralisation and they extend the overall mineralisation. Drilling will recommence in March. Primorus has raised cash by selling most of the stake in UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) and Primorus was debt free at the end of 2018.

NEX has decided not to suspend trading in the shares of VI Mining (VIM) even though its corporate adviser Daniel Stewart is no longer a member of NEX. VI Mining had little or no notice of its adviser’s withdrawal. A new corporate adviser is being sought.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has acquired apprenticeship training provider Astara Training for £16,666 in shares at 9p each. Milamber lost £179,000 in the third quarter and there was £30,000 in the bank at the end of 2018.

Panther Metals (PALM) has announced the initial results of exploration activity at the Bear Lake project in Ontario. There was gold in soil anomalies at four of the five areas tested. Four areas have quartz vein sample assays above 5g/t gold. Two samples had large grade samples. The next phase of exploration is being planned and could start in the second quarter of 2019.

Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has signed a deal that could enable it to earn a 70% interest in a joint venture that owns the Palha tantalum property in northern Brazil.

AIM  (February 2019 AIM Journal available here)

DP Poland (DPP) is running short of cash and is more than doubling its share capital through a heavily discounted placing raising £5.3m at 6p a share, with the possibility of an additional £500,000. The Domino’s Pizza franchisee for Poland has found competition is getting tougher and growth has slowed. The cash is required to cover losses and open more outlets. Peter Shaw is stepping down as chief executive at the end of June, nearly a decade after founding the business.

Ticketing and queueing technology provider Accesso Technology (ACSO) is reviewing its investment priorities although it says that 2018 figures should be broadly in line with expectations. These will be published on 27 March. A deal fell through and this cost $1.7m. Tom Burnet is moving from executive chairman to a non-exec role. The share price is less than one-third of last year’s high. BlackRock has cut its stake below 5%.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH) has launched a placing and 0.318-for-one open offer to raise up to £4.75m at 3.85p a share on top of the £8m subscription by former AIM company China Medical System Holdings, which will licence products for the Chinese market. The clinical trial for cancer treatment MTD201 will cost up to £7m.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) is acquiring its UK rival Capital Step and this will double the size of the portfolio to eleven investments and diversify it in terms of sectors. There is an initial £10m cash payment and the assumption of debt of £11.65m. There is performance related consideration of up to £1.5m. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing.

Visa has increased its bid for Earthport (EPO) from 30p a share to 37p a share, which beats the Mastercard offer of 33p a share. The latest bid values Earthport at £247m.

Taptica (TAP) has launched a recommended bid for RhythmOne (RTHM) and this will create one of the largest video advertising companies in the US. The offer is 28 Taptica shares for every 33 RhythmOne shares. Taptica shareholders will own 50.1% of the enlarged group. A $15m share buyback programme is planned after the merger. Ofer Druker will become chief executive.

Polemos (PLMO) has finalised the details of its reverse takeover of Digitalbox Publishing for £10m in shares and it is also acquiring the owner of the Daily Mash satirical news website for up to £1.2m in cash and shares. The model for the Entertainment Daily website will be used to improve the performance of the Daily Mash. A placing will raise £1.02m at 14p a share. The company will change its name to Digitalbox.

Hardide (HDD) is raising £3.6m at 1.5p a share so that it can move to new premises in the UK and invest in additional equipment. The surface coatings company is experiencing increasing demand from the oil and gas sector and there is potential for orders from aerospace companies. It will take two years to fully equip and move into the new facility. Hardide also intends to consolidate 40 shares into one new share.

finnCap has raised its forecasts for Tracsis (TRCS) following recent acquisitions. There is a 3% increase in earnings per share for this year and an 11% rise to 30.5p next year.

Stride Gaming (STR) has traded in line with previously downgraded expectations. Cost cutting continues to cover higher regulatory and tax costs. The online gaming operator will report a lower profit in 2018 and it is set to fall again in 2019. Net cash was £22.1m at the end of 2018.

Bowmark Capital has offered 110p a share for Tax Systems (TAX) and discussions continue. Tax Systems reduced net debt from £20.5m to £13.9m by the end of 2018. Pre-tax profit of £5.8m is forecast for 2018.

Victoria (VCP) has sold surplus land in Kidderminster for £2m. The land was in the books for £100,000 but it has obtained planning consent for housing.

Starcom (STAR) has renegotiated its agreement with Xplosive in South Africa, having originally announced it in October 2017. Xplosive has signed a 36-month agreement to pay a monthly fee for each of the Kylos units supplied for the monitoring of cattle. The fees are higher in the first six months and then reduce. The agreement should be worth $500,000.

Strix Group (KETL) has offered to acquire most of the assets of HaloSource (HAL) for $1.3m. Strix has provided working capital of $100,000. Due diligence is being carried out on the water filtration technology and if the deal goes through the cash will pay creditors, but there will be nothing for shareholders.

Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) has announced that the Selva gas field in northern Italy has net 2P reserves of 13.3bcf and there are 2.26bcf attributable to Prospex, which has a 17% stake. Selva could start production in 2020 at a rate of up to 150,000 cubic metres/day.

Tau Capital (TAU) plans to raise cash via a placing through Peterhouse and then a capital distribution will be made to all shareholders. This will enable Tau to seek an acquisition. It has until 18 April to secure a deal or trading in the shares will be suspended. Armstrong Investments has increased its stake from 11.7% to 15.7%.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) says that the SFX-01 clinical trial for subarachnoid haemorrhage is on course having completed recruitment and the primary endpoints should be available in the second quarter. Partners Investment Company has acquired at 3.15% stake.

Sports Direct International (SPD) made a £15m offer to buy Patisserie Valerie from the administrator, but this was not deemed enough. Even a higher selling price won’t provide anything for Patisserie Holdings shareholders.

MAIN MARKET  

Solicitor DWF plans to raise £75m via a March flotation an some of the cash will repay members’ capital contributions as well as invest in the business. Existing shareholders will also sell shares and partners’ remaining stakes will be locked up until April 2024.

Two former AIM-quoted companies are coming together to join the standard list. Daniel Stewart Securities, which is closing its broking business, is making an offer for Atlantic Carbon, which was previously known as Atlantic Coal, where Adam Wilson, who has had connections with Daniel Stewart, is executive chairman. Singapore-based backer Epsilon Investments refused to put more money into the broker and that is why it is closing. Epsilon holds a majority stake in Hyde Park Holdings, which owns broker Novum Securities. Last October, SeeThruEquity research suggested that Atlantic had an equity value of $86.8m and $68m of debt. In 2017, Atlantic was the largest producer of anthracite in the US with a market share of one-third based on 1.18 million tonnes produced. Atlantic is expected to have moved into profit in 2018, although it did generate cash from operations in 2017. The owners of more than 50% of Atlantic shares have agreed to accept the bid of 1.5587 shares for each Atlantic share.

Thalassa Holdings (THAL) is offering 14.64p a share in cash and 0.26 of a share for each share in The Local Shopping REIT. Thalassa already owns 25.5% of the bid target, which is valued at 32.8p a share. The bid is an alternative to the winding up of The Local Shopping REIT.

Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) is no longer acquiring blockchain technology developer Chorum Group because of political uncertainty affecting the UK equity markets. Former Avanti Communications boss David Williams is the director of Chorum. Blockchain Worldwide has more than £1m in the bank and is also looking at other technology sectors for acquisitions.

Drilling of the Colter appraisal well in Dorset has commenced and United Oil and Gas (UOG) has a 10% interest. The drilling should take three weeks. The Selva gas field in Italy has net 2P reserves of 2.7bcf attributable to United, which has a 20% stake. Selva could start production in 2020. United intends to move to AIM.

Oil and gas producer Zenith Energy (ZEN) has raised £607,000 in Canada and the UK at C$0.05 a share and 3p a share respectively.

Motor finance provider S and U (SUS) has confirmed that its figures for the year to January 2019 will be in line with expectations. The Aspen property bridging loan business had a loan book of £18m at the end of January 2019. Cautious lending criteria means that new business has slowed in recent months and this has led to a 5% 2019-20 earnings downgrade to 230.1p a share.

BATM (BVC) has won a $3.2m cyber security contract and this takes contracted revenues from this government customer to more than $10m. The latest contract will be delivered this year.

Chesterfield Resources (CHF) is expanding its exploration programme in Cyprus. Initial drilling in an area near historic mining has shown gold, copper and zinc mineralisation. Chesterfield is also applying for licences to extend its licence area.

Dev Clever (DEV) has launched pay per play multi-player, virtual reality game Vanguard: Fight for Rudiarius in Harlow shopping centre. The game will be rolled out to other UK sites.

Bluebird Merchant (BMV) has applied for a grant to help finance drilling at the Kochang project in South Korea and there should be news by the end of the month. There has also been a permit application to develop Kochang.

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 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

Quoted Micro 18 June 2018

Small cap award winners 2018

Company of the year

ZOO Digital (ZOO)

The ZOO Digital share price is ten times the level it was one year ago. ZOO localises film and television content and it has been investing in upgrading its technology and services over the past few years. This investment is paying off and the ability to offer cloud-based services is helping the business to grow and move into profit. Hollywood studios have been customers for many years and ZOO is winning market share. Newer entrants to the market such as Netflix have grown the demand for localisation of content. ZOO is expected to report an underlying pre-tax profit of £500,000 for the year to March 2018.

NEX company of the year

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS)

Cyber security technology developer Crossword Cybersecurity originally floated on GXG and then switched to NEX. It was one of the youngest companies that was on the shortlist for this award. Crossword is generating modest revenues and it is developing cyber security products with partners. The real potential for the business will not be realised for a few years.

Impact company of the year

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR)

Walls & Futures REIT is an ethical housing REIT that develops new housing for people with learning and physical disabilities or requiring extra care. In 2017, Walls and Futures achieved a total return on its portfolio of 11.5%, ahead of its benchmark total return of 7%.

IPO of the year

K3 Capital (K3C)

Business sales and corporate finance company K3 Capital Group joined AIM at 95p a share in April 2017 and the share price has more than trebled. Bolton-based K3 helps owners to sell their businesses and it gains clients through a direct marketing strategy. The AIM quotation and the related higher profile appears to have helped to accelerate growth. A move up the Thomson Reuters deal rankings is also helping. Last year, revenues rose by 26% to £10.8m, while pre-tax profit improved 18% to £3.6m.  In the six months to November 2017, revenues were 34% ahead at £7.5m and pre-tax profit moved from £2.48m to £3.21m.

 

Fintech company of the year

FAIRFX Group (FFX)

Foreign exchange and e-banking services provider FAIRFX has a low cost model while offering an improved experience to the more established rivals. Turnover was £1.1bn last year, while revenues were £15.5m and this enable the company to move into profit. Corporate turnover was 52.3% of the total, up from 45.5%. The company recently moved its international payments book onto the City Forex platform following its acquisition. The focus is increasing scale to improve efficiency combined with the rolling out of new products.

Transaction of the year

Proactis (PHD) – merger with Perfect Commerce

Spend control software provider Proactis merged with Perfect Commerce in August 2017. The deal significantly increased the scope of the business and added to the management team. The integration of the businesses appears to be going well but the loss of a couple of large customers has held back progress in the year to July 2018. Even so, annualised contracted revenues are still £45.5m. Progressive Equity Research still expects a near-doubling of this year’s pre-tax profit to £10.2m, rising to £13.2m next year. That means that earnings per share growth is modest this year because of the additional shares in issue.

Executive director of the year

Bobby Kalar – Yu Group (YU.)

Electricity and gas supplier Yu Group floated on AIM in March 2016 at 185p a share. The current share price is more than four times that level. The focus is on commercial customers. Yu increased its revenues from £16.3m to £47m last year and annualised bookings continue to grow. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £195,000 to £3.08m. The dividend was increased from 2.25p to 3p a share. Trading continues to be strong and average annualised bookings per month were £6.6m. The cash pile has increased to £18.6m at the end of April 2018. Yu has obtained a licence to supply water.

Journalist of the year

Paul Scott – Stockopedia

Fund manager of the year

Nick Williamson – Old Mutual

Microcap fund manager of the year

Guy Feld – Canaccord Genuity

Analyst of the year

Kevin Ashton – Cantor Fitzgerald

Lifetime achievement award

Katie Potts – Herald Investment Management

Special services to small caps

John Jenkins (Founder of Ofex/NEX)

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NEX EXCHANGE   

Daniel Thwaites (THW) increased its 2017-18 by 9% to £92.2m, while operating profit improved by 7% to £12.9m. There was a 79% increase in earnings per share to 13.8p, mainly due to a swing from a loss on interest swaps to a profit.  The total dividend is unchanged at 4.46p a share. Investment in the pubs and hotels operations and in the new craft brewery at Mellor Brook has led to a rise in net debt from £47.6m to £63.7m. The old brewery will be demolished and the land will eventually be sold or developed. Poor weather means that the new financial year has started more slowly than last year.

Hellenic Capital has changed its name to Pelican House Mining (PHM) and is focusing on investing in early-stage resources projects in Africa. The focus is making capital gains on the investments. Pelican is trying to supplement its cash resources by selling a commercial property in Leeds, but the buyer withdrew. Pelican has retained the deposit. The investment property in Leeds is in the books at £204,000. Two directors, Simon Grant-Rennick and Mark Jackson, have been granted options over a total of seven million shares exercisable at 0.55p each.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that its conference and events division is 22% ahead of the same time last year and the revenues of the hotel have risen by the same percentage. There has been a 17% rise in revenues for the nursery business on the back of occupancy rates rising by six percentage points. There are longer-term worries about the financial ability of bookies to provide sponsorship and other revenues. Management says it will not be paying any dividends until 2022 at the earliest after the current development projects are completed.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has raised £303,000 at 0.15p a share and around £119,000 will go towards paying the £119,000 settlement with D-Beta, which provided an equity sharing facility. D-Beta has sold its existing stake. PCG is talking to Cavitation Solutions Ltd about distributing cavitation technology, which deals with oil and other water pollutants, in China. It is also talking to ChainZy about distributing its blockchain-based technology in Asia. There is interest from third parties concerning the use of PCG’s media and gambling licences in China.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) has raised £250,000 at 0.7p a share and the cash will be used to develop the company’s three main gold and zinc projects.

South Africa-focused investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has made a second investment in Uganda-based Four-One Financial Services, which manages the Mazima micro-pension scheme. This is the second tranche of the original investment and is in the form of a $100,000 convertible loan.

AIM   

NWF (NWF) says that last year’s trading was much better than expected and net debt is lower than forecast. The feeds business improved its performance and trading of the fuels division was strong. The food distribution operations wee hit by reorganisation requirements and did not perform as well as expected.

Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) has got another large deal on the blocks and trading in the shares has been suspended. The Appalachian Basin oil and gas producing assets will be acquired for $575m and it will more than double the group’s daily production. This should be an earnings enhancing deal. A $225m share placing is required to help finance the deal.

RedstoneConnect (REDS) chief executive Mark Braund intends to leave the smart buildings technology company. Frank Beechinor will move from chairman to chief executive. The disposal of the systems integration and managed services divisions has been completed and the group can focus on its software business.

Ilika (IKA) has gained government funding of £4.1m for two battery technology projects in the automotive sector. The PowerDriveLine project is developing a solid state battery for hybrid and electric vehicles. The other project is headed by McLaren Automotive and is developing a battery for performance cars.

Secure payment products provider Eckoh (ECK) increased its full year revenues by 3% to £30m but pre-tax profit was 61% higher at £2.4m thanks to an improvement in operating margin. Growth in the US made up for a weaker contribution in the UK.

Redhall Group (RHL) slumped back into loss in the first half due to a delayed contract. However, it is still on course to make an improved profit in the full year. Interim revenues were 22% lower at £14.7m. There is strong demand for the company’s specialist doors from the nuclear and transport sectors.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) has enough cash to get to the end of 2018. There should be further positive news about the two ongoing clinical trials prior to the end of the year. Interim analysis of phase II trial of SFX-01 as a treatment for breast cancer show that six out of 20 patients, who had tumours that had initially responded to treatment but had become resistant, saw some benefit from the treatment of their tumours. The treatment has also been shown to be safe. The final results of the trial should be published before the end of the year.

Life sciences company Abzena (ABZA) has decided to focus on monetising its technology rather than raising money via a share issue. A non-binding heads of agreement with a third party would involve the sale of an interest in future royalties. If this deal is completed there would be enough working capital for the short-term.

Active Energy Group (AEG) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Young Living Farms for the sale of a PeatSwitch plant, which makes environmentally friendly peat replacements. The first plant is in Mona, Utah and the client is paying $3.4m in cash. There could subsequently be other plants at the client’s other sites.

Trading has resumed in the shares of Audioboom (BOOM) following publication of its accounts. The share price fell from 3.6p to 2.18p. The podcasts publisher has raised £4.5m from a placing at 3p a share.

MAIN MARKET    

WideCells Group (WDC) managed to raise £513,000 at 3p a share via a bookbuild on the Teathers app. That includes £183,000 from directors. The total amount raised by the stem cell services provider is £2.04m, including conversion of debt of £165,000. Shareholder approval is required for the share issue.Trading in the shares has resumed and the share price has fallen below the placing price. WideCells is using £615,000 of its £624,500 overdraft, which will be reviewed at the end of June. Shareholders have loaned £120,000.

China-based Gamfook Jewellery is planning to join the standard list. The online retailer customised jewellery wants to raise £5m in order to invest in retail sites. Gamfook has managed to generate cash from operating activities in the past few years, although next year there will be a significant working capital outflow according to forecasts. Gamfook is offering an 8.5% yield on its potential placing price of 15p a share and that would rise to 12.5% in 2019.

Air Partner (AIR) has completed its accounting review and the net assets overstatement of £4m net of tax is in line with indications. There were accounting errors and subsequent attempts to cover up the problems going back to 2010. The review has cost £1.3m. Air Partner still intends to pay a final dividend of 3.8p a share.

BATM (BVC) has won a $3m follow-on cyber security for a government department. The total contract value will be $7m.

Falcon Media House (FAL) has raised £500,000 via a convertible loan note issue. The conversion price is 1.5p a share.

Cash shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) has raised £250,000 from an oversubscribed open offer at 20p a share but there was a delay of one day before the shares were admitted to trading on 14 June. The share price has slumped from a high of 160p to 24.5p over the past month.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has agreed a 30-year lease on a second property in north west England. Housing association Inclusion Housing is paying £168,740 a year for the lease subject to planning permission for extra rooms. The property needs to be refurbished.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has executed the 50/50 joint venture agreement with Southern Gold for the Kochang mine and the feasibility report is expected before the end of September. The required $500,000 investment has nearly been completed by Bluebird and it is on course to invest the required $250,000 in Southern Gold. First gold is expected before the end of 2019.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 9 April 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Good Energy (GOOD) has renewed its offshore wind power deal with Orsted for a further two years. This secures 12% of the output of a North Sea wind farm and this can power more than 26,000 homes. Generation has been ahead of expectations.

KR1 (KR1) has announced its latest investments. An investment of £184,000 has been made in Nexus Mutual Project (NXM) tokens. The number of tokens will be confirmed after the public token sale. KR1 will receive the tokens at a 17.5% discount to the lowest price offered in the public sale. Nexus Mutual will use blockchain technology to recreate insurance mutual. The company has also invested £150,000 in Argent Labs Ltd, which is creating a decentralised banking protocol on the Ethereum blockchain. KR1 has invested €201,000 in the private pre-sale for the Herdius project.

Gibraltar-based TDH Ltd has taken on Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) as its adviser for a token generation event. The TrustedHealth platform will create a decentralised global network of doctors and healthcare specialists offering virtual consultations. They will pay with TDH tokens and the token sale started on 27 March and lasts until 27 April. Faruk Saylam has sold 1.5 million shares, which leaves him with a 4.4% stake.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has been granted a mining lease for the Sunbeam silver mine in northern Queensland. This will enable the processing of 48,000 tonnes of mineral stockpiles, which include gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc and antimony.

MetalNRG (MNRG) says the prospective buyer of the company’s stake in US Cobalt has completed due diligence. MetalNRG will receive 21.7 million shares in ASX-listed Tyranna Resources Ltd for its 15.38% stake in US Cobalt.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that One Media Enterprises has been acquired by OTC-quoted OneLife Technologies Corp but the payment it is due will have to wait until the buyer is allowed to raise cash. That should be later in April. Angelfish will have its original investment repaid along with management fees plus an uplift in the amounts due. The timing of the first instalment is still uncertain.

First Sentinel (FSBN) has raised a further £62,000 from a bond issue. The company plans to issue up to £4m of bonds.

Gowin New Energy Group Ltd (GWIN) says that Mr Chen Chih Lung has converted his loan note into 40 million shares at 1p each. This takes his stake in Gowin to 21.6%.

AIM   

SimplyBiz Group (SBIZ) joined AIM on 4 April. It was valued at £130m at the placing price of 170p but the share price ended the week at 160.5p. The company provides compliance and business services to financial advisers.

Higher managed services revenues helped AdEPT Telecom (ADT) to make further progress last year. Pre-tax profit is expected to be £7.4m and the dividend will be raised 13% to 8.75p a share. Debt is lower than expected.

Broadcast industry software provider Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) is hopeful that it can secure terms to extend its bank facility until November 2019. Pebble is adding industry experience with the appointment of Graham Pitman as a non-executive director.

Gooch and Housego (GHH) says trading is in line with expectations and the order book is at a record level of £84.7m. Demand for high reliability fibre couplers has been weak but is expected to recover in the second half. The manufacturing sites have been organised into three technical groupings and performance is improving. The interims will be published on 5 June.

Floorcoverings supplier James Halstead (JHD) says it is considering a bid for Airea (AIEA) but it has yet to approach for the Burmatex-branded floorcoverings business. Airea is closing its Ryalux residential carpet business. There is £3.7m in the bank and the pension deficit has been reduced. Eight shareholders own around 48% of Airea.

appScatter (APPS) is adding to its service that enables organisations to publish their apps on multiple stores and platforms by paying £13.5m in cash and shares for data analysis business Priori Data. This should provide a full service for clients. There are plans to raise £15m at 70p a share.

Denial of service online attacks prevention technology developer Corero Network Security (CNS) is still loss-making and it is raising £4m at 5.75p a share, as well as trying to secure a £3m debt facility. One year ago, Corero raised £5.6m at 5p a share.

FairFX (FFX) can issue Mastercard branded cards and is launching a commercial finance offer to business customers.

Mytrah Energy (MYT) has recommended a bid from majority shareholder Raksha Energy Holdings Ltd. Raksha is offering 45p a share in cash to mop up the 42.1% of the wind power producer it does not own. That is higher than the share price has been for 16 months but not much more than 50% of the level it was nearly three years ago. This bid values Mytrah at £78.9m.

Hornby (HRN) says sales improved towards the end of the financial year as European product was delivered. There was net cash of £4m at the end of March 2018 but management says that a larger debt facility is required for seasonal working capital requirements. Barclays will waive a covenant on the existing facility.

1Spatial (1SPA) has won a £1.6m deal with Land and Property Services in Northern Ireland. Most of this will be generated over the next five years. The geospatial data provider is expected to get near to breakeven in the year to January 2019.

Watkin Jones (WJG) says that first half trading is in line with expectations. Student accommodation developments continue to make the largest contribution with a pipeline of 9,800 beds. The build to rent development business has secured planning consents on three sites, covering 700 units. The management business has contracts to manage more than 14,000 beds, even though the sale by a client of student properties covering more than 5,000 beds meant that the new owner took on their management.

MAIN MARKET    

Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) says that interim revenues are 11% higher this year, helped by new business wins. Current full year forecasts predict an increase in revenues from £109.6m to £117.3m so Treatt is well on its way to achieving that. A full year profit of £14.4m is forecast. There will be a small negative foreign exchange charge in the first half but the US tax charge will be lower than previously expected.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has completed the $500,000 farm-in spending on the Gubong mine and following the publication of a feasibility study the expenses will be shared 50/50 with Southern Gold.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 26 March 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Continuing revenues from renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) increased from £89.7m to £104.5m but underlying pre-tax profit was nearly two-thirds lower at £734,000 due to higher admin and interest costs. There was also a decline in gross margin. An increase in working capital meant that there was a £4.92m cash outflow from operating activities. There was a decline in NAV due to the loss on discontinued generation development activities. Net debt was £53.1m at the end of 2017.

Brewer Adnams (ADB) reported a 9% increase in beer volumes in 2017, even though cash sales fell by 5%. Overall sales were 6% ahead at £74.8m despite losing £1m in revenues from the closure of the Swan Hotel for refurbishment. Even if the exceptional expenses of £721,000 for removing asbestos from the Swan Hotel, are added back, the pre-tax profit, excluding disposal gains, fell from £3.59m to £1.6m. Capital investment continues with the IT system being upgraded. The full year dividend was edged up from 226p a share to 228p a share. There plans to produce an alcohol-free version of Ghost Ship.

MetalNRG (MNRG) is selling its 15.4% stake in US Cobalt to ASX-listed Tyranna Resources, which is acquiring the whole of the company. MetalNRG will receive 21.7 million shares in Tyranna at a valuation of A$0.017 a share. The shares are trading at A$0.025, which would value the deal at £300,000. First Sentinel has raised £45,000 at 13p a share and issued a further £25,000 worth of shares at the same price to market maker Winterflood.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has exercised its option to take its stake in Indorse to 10%. The additional 3.5% of the company is being bought for £97,000, taking the total investment to £246,000. Singapore-based Indorse has tested its blockchain-based social network for professionals and moved to the Mainnet. A new feature will enable token issuers to verify their advisory board. Coinsilium is advising Bundle Network on its token generating event. Bundle enables people to trade across unconnected cryptocurrency without needing to open individual accounts.

Imperial Minerals (IMPP) has raised £20,000 at 2p a share. There was just over £37,000 in the bank at the end of 2017, following a £35,000 cash outflow in the previous six months. Imperial is still seeking an opportunity in metals, such as gold, lithium, cobalt and zinc.

First Sentinel (FSBN) has appointed Colin Maltby to the board and invested £43,500 in the Union Jack Oil (UJO) placing raising £1.25m at 0.085p a share.

Baron Bloom has stepped down from the board of Etaireia Investments (ETIP) after the publishing of criticism by a judge, who said that he had been dishonest during divorce proceedings with his ex-wife.

Block Commodities (BLOC) has entered into a strategic partnership with blockchain-based financial services platform Wala and token issuer Dala. The businesses will be working together to establish the blockchain-based agricultural commodity trading initiative that Block has been developing. Dala would be used as the token for the food commodities trading ecosystem. Block’s existing joint venture will supply $10m of Dala token loans to 50,000 small farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dana Group International Investments Ltd (DANA) increased its net assets from $0.31 a share to $0.36 a share in 2017. There was a $4.15m increase in the valuation of the investment in Bonyan International Investment.

AIM   

New management at social video content developer and owner Brave Bison (BBSN) will be judged on this year’s figures rather than the 2017 results. In 2017, revenues fell 48% to £9.1m and cost cutting helped to reduce the underlying operating loss before the restructuring costs and write-offs of acquired intangibles. The cash outflow from operations fell by two-thirds to £1.53m. There is £4.82m in the bank so that provides time for further improvement in performance. Collecting ad revenues for third party content on social platforms remains a significant revenue generator but commissioned sponsored content is becoming an increasingly important fee earner.

Cambridge Cognition (COG) reported a small decline in revenues because of lumpy contract wins in the previous year and the delays to two clinical trials. A small loss was reported but the neuroscience health company is expected to bounce back this year to a profit of £500,000.

Utilitywise (UTW) has finally published its figures for the year to July 2017. More conservative accounting policies mean that an under consumption of energy increased the loss to £8.5m. The utility cost management adviser had a £6.18m cash outflow from operating activities. Net debt rose from £5.5m to £19m and banking covenant breaches have been waived by the bank. The debt increase was partly down to dividend payments but there is no final dividend. The interim results will be published on 23 April.

Energy procurement business Inspired Energy (INSE) increased its underlying pre-tax profit from £7m to £9.7m, while earnings per share were one-quarter higher at 1.57p. Inspired has bought SystemsLink 2000, whose software Inspired uses, for £3.875m and Energy Cost Management, which specialises in water management services, for up to £2m.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) is confident that the 3D seismic data that has been acquired over the Gunnison Valley Unit on the Paradox oil and gas acreage in Utah provides the information required to decide a drill site for the fourth quarter and attract a farm-in partner to help finance the drilling. There are ongoing discussions with prospective partners and this should ensure that the current cash in the bank will last longer. Last September, £3m was raised at 4p a share.

Immupharma (IMM) says that it expects results from its phase III trial for Lupuzor by mid-April. The Lupus treatment has generated the required data and this will be analysed.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) continues to benefit from improved sentiment in the farming sector. Feed demand is above last year’s levels and grain volumes are improving, although margins are squeezed. Like-for-like retail sales are higher and an outlet has been acquired in mid-Wales.

Trading in Green and Smart Holdings (GSH) shares has been suspended because it will not publish its 2016-17 accounts by the end of March. The audit should be completed by the end of April.

CloudCall Group (CALL) grew revenues by two-fifths last year. The underlying loss was £2.6m and further investment in sales and marketing means that even though revenue growth could be near to last year’s level the loss will be similar. The recurring cloud-based software and telecoms services revenues that will be generated from the investment will reduce the loss and move the business into profit in the following two or three years.

James Latham (LTHM) says that its figures for the year to March 2018 will be in line with expectations. This reflects an improvement in the second half. The Wigston timber depot has been moved to a new site.

Parity Group (PTY) has signed a managed services deal with Primark Stores and, along with other extensions, this takes annual revenues from this area to £5m plus. Primark is important because most of the clients on this side of the business are in the public sector. Parity can generate £2m of cash a year.

Gama Aviation (GMAA) reported a 28% rise in underlying operating profit to $18.7m. The main growth has come from the aircraft management business, which was boosted by acquisition in the US. There were also improvements in Europe and Middle East. Gama is investing in two new ground maintenance sites in the US and this continued investment is holding back short-term profit for this division.

KCR Residential REIT (KCR) has raised £1.56m at 70p a share and capitalised loans of £1.59m. The cash will be invested in the private rental portfolio. Debt has been reduced to 45% of investment property value. Energiser Investments (ENGI) has taken a 24.7% in KCR by subscribing for shares and capitalising its £494,000 loan.

There was a cash outflow of £738,000 at Botswana Diamonds (BOD) in the six months to December 2017. That was before the £865,000 raised in a share issue. There is £230,000 left in the bank. A scoping study is being undertaken at the Thorny River project in South Africa. Drilling continues at the Ontevreden project.

Golden Saint Resources (GSR) is asking for shareholder backing for leaving AIM on 24 April. It still plans to acquire EMS Wiring Systems but it wants to join the standard list after the deal goes through.

OKYO Pharma Corporation left AIM on 23 March and the company has migrated to Guernsey. A special dividend payment is planned.

NWF has received bid acceptances for the equivalent of 42.6% of the share capital of Stellar Diamonds (STEL).

Directa Plus (DCTA) has entered into an agreement with Sartec to develop a system to treat contaminated water in the oil and gas sector by using the Grafysorber technology. Directa Plus provides the technology and support while the partner will finance the development of the first plant, starting in the second quarter of 2018.

Noel Collett is stepping down as chief executive of retail butcher Crawshaw Group (CRAW) but he will remain while a replacement is found. Finance director Alan Richardson plans to move to a new job in May. Crawshaw is estimated to have lost £2m in the year to January 2018, Trading has been poor in the first six weeks of the new financial year. There was £5m in the bank at the end of January 2018, which is similar to the company’s market capitalisation.

Grafenia (GRA) says trading has been mixed. Volumes and margins in the printing business have been below budget in recent months. Grafenia is trying to replace these revenues with licence fees, signage and website sales. Full year revenues will be two-fifths higher at nearly £15m and the loss will be similar. Net debt will be around £2.85m.

Gaming Realms (GMR) has sold two affiliate businesses for up to £2.4m. Their revenues have been declining. In 2017, group revenues were flat at £31.6m but continuing operations made a positive underlying EBITDA. Real money gaming revenues were 5% higher but social revenues were lower. New licensing deals have been signed with the likes of 888 and Golden Nugget Casino this year.

Vipera (VIP) says that 12.5% shareholder Sella Open Fintech Platform is contemplating making a bid for the mobile financial software developer.

Gatemore has taken its stake in TLA Worldwide (TLA) to 7%. Gatemore took its initial stake just after trading in TLA, which is most famous for publishing a profit warning after trading had finished prior to Christmas 2016, recommenced after it published its 2016 figures last November.

Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) is paying £4.6m, plus £1.54m for cash balances, for Southampton-based AE Financial Services. The business generated a profit of £500,000 last year.

Altona Energy (ANR) has reviewed the data for the Westfield tenement and put together a three phase drilling programme. This will cost A$1.5m in total, with the first phase costing A$230,000. The second phase will help to define a JORC resource. The final phase will be part of the preparation of a bankable feasibility study. The drilling is targeting shallow coal seams.

More bad news from toilet tissue manufacturer Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL) and the share price has fallen by three-quarters. The loss is going to be higher than expected. Net debt will be £34m by the end of April.

MAIN MARKET    

London and Associated Properties (LAS) says that the tenant of Brixton Markets has exercised its pre-emption rights to acquire the markets. Market Village will pay £37.25m for assets that have a book value of £24.5m.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) says it has made swift progress at the Kochang mine and sampling of the underground workings is ongoing. This has cost $65,000 so far. Feasibility studies at Kochang and Gubong should be completed in the third quarter of 2018. Bluebird has to spend $500,000 on each project to earn 50% in a joint venture for each project with Southern Gold.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 15 January 2018

NEX EXCHANGE  

Wines maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) says that its open offer at 50p a share was oversubscribed. Excess applications will be scaled back. The additional £1.47m raised takes the total to £20m. BlackRock holds a 5.79% stake and Nigel Wray owns 16.2%.

Startup Giants (SUG) has made its first investment since floating. An undisclosed investment has been made in Go Show Ltd, which operates a brand marketplace designed to enable product placement deals (www.goshow.net), and it will be released when milestones have been achieved. Go Show initially applied for funding in 2015 and it has been mentored by Startup Giants. There is a target for revenue generation of up to £1m within 12 months. An accelerator round has also been launched by Startup Giants. It is aimed at early stage, UK-registered companies.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has increased its shareholding in Indorse from 3% to 6.5% at cost of S$175,000. There is an option to acquire a further 3.5%, at the same cost, to take the stake to 10%. Indorse completed a token sales last September and those tokens are currently valued at $34m. The Indorse platform is designed to enable users to generate income from sharing their skills and validating the claims of others.

African Potash Ltd (AFPO) has entered into an agreement with Gibraltar-based TokenCommunities Ltd. This deal will help the blockchain joint venture that has also already been announced with FinComEco Ltd, which is developing platforms for agricultural markets in sub-Saharan Africa. TokenCommunities will advise on the deployment of tokens. The chain will link smallholder farmers, traders, brokers, storage, transportation and commodity buyers. There are plans for microloans to farmers at an annual interest rate of 12%, which is lower than existing rates. African Potash has completed the raising of £400,000 at 0.025p a share.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has completed the €2.76m purchase of four plots of land with permission to develop a camping complex. It has also invested €3.37 to help finance the development of the site, which could be completed by the middle of the year. Black Sea Property raised €3.53m at €0.01 a share late last year.

Lake Acquisitions (U.P) says that the contingent value rights holders will not get a distribution for 2017. The cumulative relevant revenues from the eligible nuclear power output was £41.1m. The cumulative base revenues were £41.9m.

UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOG) has decided to drop its NEX Exchange quotation on 31 January. That is just over 27 months after it joined. The company says that there have been low levels of trading on NEX and it still has its primary quotation on AIM. Interestingly, oil and gas company UK Oil and Gas was formed many years ago out of the shell of a former technology equipment business, yet it is still classed under the technology hardware and equipment sub-sector of the technology sector in the AIM statistics.

AIM      

Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) reported maiden full year results as a quoted company that were slightly better than expected. The housebuilding infrastructure provider reported a dip in pre-tax profit from £10.8m to £9.1m on flat revenues of £135m. The total dividend is 6.3p a share. A 2017-18 pre-tax profit of £10.8m is forecast.

Ilika (IKA) reported a significant cash outflow in the first half but the outflow should be reduced in the second half. Interim revenues trebled to £1m and full year revenues of £2.9m are forecast. The loss is reducing. There are licensing proposals with a handful of potential customers and any one of these could transform the fortunes of Ilika.

EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has confirmed that trading was strong in 2017 and EBITDA will be much better than the £8.8m forecast. EKF plans to spin-off its sTNFR biomarker technology into a separate company. This technology has no value in the balance sheet.

Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal Group (DNL) says that its Akindi treatment has performed well in a food matrix study in the US and it will be able to move onto the next stage in the process of gaining US approval. European approval for Akindi is expected in a matter of weeks. There was £14m in the bank at the end of 2017. The interims will be published on 12 March.

Lombard Risk Management (LRM) is recommending a 13p a share cash bid, which was nearly double the market price. The bid from rival financial services technology supplier is valued at £52.1m.

Somero Enterprises (SOM) has sparked another forecast upgrade with the 2017 pre-tax profit forecast rising 8% to $25.9m. Net cash should be at least $18.5m and that could rise by around $10m by the end of 2018. That leaves room for another special dividend as well as growth in the ongoing dividend. The tax changes in the US had already led to a one-fifth increase in the 2018 earnings per share forecast to 34.4 cents, which has been raised again to 36.8 cents.

Engineer Avingtrans (AVG) says that trading is on track and the integration of Hayward Tyler continues. A pre-tax profit of £2.2m is forecast for the year to May 2018 and this should generate nearly enough earnings to cover the forecast dividend of 3.6p a share.

Tough market conditions and adverse currency movements have not stopped motor dealer Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) trading ahead of expectations. Forecasts had already been upgraded and the 2017 pre-tax profit estimate has been raised a further 2% to £28.8m. However, a decline in pre-tax profit to £23.5m is forecast for 2018.

Smart meter communications technology provider CyanConnode (CYAN) continues to progress but the timing of orders has been delayed. The order book is worth $100m but 2017 revenues were £1.2m and the loss more than £10m. This year’s revenues are forecast to be £10m and the loss £7m. There should be enough cash to last the whole of 2018.

Strategic Minerals (SML) generated fourth quarter revenues of $2.14m from magnetite ore sales at Cobre. The 2017 total revenues of $5.64m were quadruple the previous year. Strategic had $3.8m in the bank at the end of 2017.

Online Blockchain (OBC) has taken advantage of its rising share price to raise £1m at 100p a share.

Fashion retailer Footasylum (FOOT) increased revenues by one-third to £89.8m in the 18 weeks to 30 December 2017. The fastest growth came from e-commerce. The revenues for the 44 weeks to 30 December 2017 also improved by one-third to £173m. These are not like-for-like increases and six stores were opened in the past 18 weeks.

There was a small decline in the full year revenues of Shoe Zone (SHOE) from £159.8m to £157.8m. The shoes retailer did improve its gross margin from 62% to 63.2% but higher admin and distribution costs offset this and pre-tax profit fell from £10.3m to £9.5m. The total dividend was edged up from 10.1p a share to 10.2p a share. Net cash was £11.8m at the end of September 2017. The pension fund liability has fallen from £13.1m to £7.1m. Consumer demand and currency movements remain the main challenges.

BNN Technology (BNN) directors Harry Keiley and Lord Mancroft are following the nominated adviser out of the door. Mark Hanson becomes non-executive chairman.

Film completion contracts provider FFI Holdings (FFI) has acquired the motorsports entertainment insurance book of business from All Risks for $1.825m. The acquisition has been made by Reel Media, which itself was acquired before Christmas for $7.25m in total.

Background checking services provider ClearStar (CLSU) traded in line with expectations in 2017. Revenues were 11% higher at $17.8m and the loss was reduced. There was net cash of $1m. The loss should be further reduced in 2018.

Masawara (MASA) and Kimberly Enterprises (KBE) both plan to leave AIM. Two shareholders own 90% of Masawara. Minority shareholders are being offered 25p a share or the chance to convert the shares into preference shares. Eastern European property investor Kimberly has net liabilities of €24.1m and sold most of its property assets. The lease agreement for the Marina Dorcol project has been terminated.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) has completed the enrolment of its 560 plus patient phase III trial for a treatment for patients with allergic rhino conjunctivitis due to birch pollen. The results of the trial should be available before the end of this year. The potential market is worth around £3bn.

Two large clinical trial contracts have been delayed and this means that Cambridge Cognition (COG) 2017 revenues will be 18% lower than expected. This means that there will be a loss for the year.

Telematics equipment and services provider Quartix (QTX) pleased the market by growing its 2017 revenues by 5% to £24.4m. This means that earnings per share forecasts have been raised from 11.8p to 12.3p.

Geospatial software company 1Spatial (SPA) has won a five-year contract from the state of Michigan in the US worth $766,000. Liontrust has sold all its 9.35% stake.

Xeros Technology Group (XSG) has launched its domestic washing machine that can cut the use of water, detergent and energy by up to 50%. A second development agreement has been signed with a commercial washing machines manufacturer.

Oracle Power (ORCP) is acquiring the minority stake in coal mining lease owner Sindh Carbon Energy for up to £3.6m in shares.

APC Technology Group (APC) has acquired electronic components distributor First Byte Micro for £1.2m. In 2016, First Byte made a pre-tax profit of £194,000 on revenues of £1.3m.

Reconstruction Capital II (RC2) has acquired stakes in two funds that own 60% of Romanian paints and coatings supplier Policolor. This will mean that Reconstruction Capital II has an effective stake of 55.36% in Policolor and make it easier to liquidate the investment.

BOS Global (BOS) wants to raise £1.2m at 1.25p a share to settle debts and provide working capital. The software company says the directors will not be paid until April and one of them, William Giles, will subscribe up to £300,000 in the placing and open offer.

Connemara Mining (CON) has announced drilling results from the Mine River gold project in Wicklow and Wexford. Most of the intersections contained gold at grades of less than 1g/t but two were more positive with 4.53g/t over eight metres and 16.1g/t over two metres.

Versarien (VRS) is collaborating with an Asia-based global textiles manufacturer on incorporating graphene into fabrics via yarns and finishes.

MAIN MARKET    

E-commerce-focused cash shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) soared as trading commenced on the standard list and trading in the shares had to be suspended after three days. There appear to have been nearly 1.4 million shares traded over three days, which is 2.8% of the shares in issue. Cayman Islands-based AIQ, raised £3.6m after expenses, at 8p a share. The suspension price is 125p. That means that the quotation and £3.6m in cash are valued at £62.5m. The plan is to seek an e-commerce acquisition, which has a strong management and is near to cash generation.

Bio-decontamination products supplier Bioquell (BQE) has completed the £122,000 disposal of the UK AirFlow parts and manufacturing business and received the final £70,000 for the sale of the service business. There was already net cash of £14.5m at the end of 2017. Full year revenues were better than expected at £29.3m, up from £26.8m and pre-exceptional profit will be much better, even before the £250,000 gain on the Airflow disposals. The 2017 figures will be published on 7 March.

Software supplier Gresham Technologies (GHT) says 2017 revenues were 24% ahead to £21.3m and more of these revenues are coming from Clareti enterprise data integrity software. There is £8.5m in the bank. Kestrel has trimmed its stake from 14.9% to 12.5%.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has won a cyber communication technology contract with a government worth $4m over 12 months. Delivery will start in the second quarter of 2018.

Thomas Charlton has further increased his stake in North Midland Construction (NMD) from 7.24% to 8.2%. This appears to have sparked a recovery in the share price.

Avocet Mining (AVM) has deferred the completion the sale of its Burkina Faso assets for $5m. The buyer, the Balaji group of companies, wants more time to settle a claim from International Royalty Corporation, a creditor of the holding company of the assets. Avocet has received a deposit of $500,000.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has announced the results of preliminary grab samples from the Gubong gold mine. The majority of samples had gold grades of more than 1g/t and silver grades of 10g/t or more.

Zenith Energy Ltd (ZEN) has entered an exclusivity agreement for the acquisition of production and exploration licences in a Central Asian country. Azerbaijan-focused Zenith would be acquiring assets in a proven petroleum system and they produce 250 barrels of oil per day.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has started drilling at the Gakara project in Burundi. Gakara has an estimated in situ-grade of 47%-67% total rare earth oxide. The drilling is focused on the production area at Gasagwe and anomalies that have been identified. The first results will be in April. A second phase of drilling is planned later in the year and this could produce a JORC-compliant resource before the end of 2018. Production is building up and the run rate target for the end of 2018 is 5,000tpa. In December, Rainbow raised £2.8m at 14p a share in an oversubscribed placing. The cash will be used to acquire capital equipment.

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 December 2017

NEX EXCHANGE  

Good Energy (GOOD) has sold two operational 5MW solar farms in Devon and south Wales, plus further development rights, for £5.83m and £5.6m respectively. This should yield a profit of £750,000 on each solar farm. The south Wales site has additional land and development or sale of this land could yield an additional payment. Good will still acquire the energy from both sites.

OneLife Technologies Corp is acquiring One Media Enterprises Ltd, which has agreed to pay back the investment and loan made by Angelfish Investments (ANGP). There will also be management fees payable. This is dependent on the acquisition going ahead. In total, Angelfish will receive $1m in cash and 200,000 shares. Most of the investment has been written off, bar nearly $42,000, so the payment is nearly all profit.

BWA Group (BWAP) expects to be granted mining licences for the extraction of rutile sands in Cameroon. It would then enter an agreement with investee company Mineralfields Group, which would operate the mining concessions. BWA would increase its stake from 12% to 25%. BWA and its directors would own the majority of the shares. BWA has issued 8.37 million shares at 0.5p each in order to pay creditors of Mineralfields. BWA is also issuing £300,000 of 14% convertible unsecured loan stock 2020. The cash interest payment is 4% and the rest will be rolled up and the total loan converted into 36 million shares at 0.5p each.

Malcolm Burne has taken advantage of the sharp rise in the Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) share price to reduce his stake to below 3%. He owned 5.7 million shares in April. The share price reached 20p and has fallen back to 15p. Earlier this month, Coinsilium raised £720,000 at 9p a share.

AIM-quoted, spread betting business London Capital Group (LCG) has announced its intention to leave AIM having joined the NEX Exchange Growth Market on 15 December. Glio Holdings Ltd owns 78.1% of London Capital and it will vote in favour of the cancellation of the quotation.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had an NAV of 42.12p a share at the end of November 2017. The provider of capital to employee-owned businesses is switching its investments from debt to equity.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reported an increased loss in the year to August 2017. Revenues declined from £290,000 to £226,000 and the loss rose from £262,000 to £330,000. An order from Italy was delayed and there were lower orders from London Underground. There was nearly £304,000 in cash at the end of August 2017. Wheelsure raised £630,000 last year. There have been initial orders for high speed rail infrastructure.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has invested in David Phillips Holdings, which supplies furniture and furnishing services to the UK property sector. The business is benefiting from the growth of the private rental sector.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £130,000 in a 9% convertible loan note in Human Brands, which supplies Copa Imperial Tequila and Shinju Whiskey. US-based Human Brands made a pre-tax profit of $90,000 on revenues of $1.04m.

Trading in the shares of China CDM Exchange Centre Ltd (CCEP) has been suspended because of issues with the annual returns for the Jersey Registry.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has raised €3.53m at €0.01 a share. This will help to finance the acquisition of a property on the Black Sea coast. Via Developments (VIA1) has issued a further £70,000 of debenture stock.

AIM    

The TLA Worldwide Award for contempt for investors goes this year to Real Good Food (RGD) after it announced it requires substantially more cash at 1.04pm on 22 December. That is the last half day of trading before Christmas. The three main shareholders will subscribe for £3m of loan notes with an annual interest of 10%. This should be refinanced via a share or convertible issue. Net debt was £35.8m at the end of September 2017. Hugh Cawley will become an executive director. The interim loss was £6.66m. Food ingredients returned to profit, helped by the acquisition of Brighter Foods, but the performance of the other parts of the business slumped.

Golden Saint Resources (GSR) intends to change its business by acquiring EMS Wiring Systems for shares and selling the mining assets. Trading in the shares is suspended ahead of due diligence and a share consolidation. EMS is a profitable supplier and installer of cabling, WiFi, CCTV, displays and building management systems in Asia and it intends to expand in Africa and South America. The new name would be Golden Saint Technologies Ltd.

Cradle Arc has a 60% stake in a producing copper mine in Botswana and a gold development project in Zambia. The expected admission date to AIM is 10 January.

Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) was valued at £63.2m at its placing price of 62p. The in-video advertising technology company raised £24.2m net of expenses. Potential customers are expressing interest in the technology and the cash will finance an increasing rate of growth. In 2016, revenues were £700,000.

Antibody development services provider Fusion Antibodies (FAB) raised £5.5m at 82p a share and by the end of the week the share price had doubled. Belfast-based Fusion will invest in the expansion of laboratory space and additional sales and marketing.

Close-ended investment company CIP Merchant Capital Ltd (CIP) raised £55m at 100p a share prior to Christmas. CIP will focus on quoted companies with a market value of less than £500m that have good fundamentals, which need help to improve operational effectiveness or management support to enhance growth. There should also be potential for a future exit. No more than 20% of funds will be invested in an individual company.

Software supplier Pelatro (PTRO) raised £3.8m at 62.5p a share when it joined AIM on 19 December. That valued the company at £15.2m. The company’s mViva software is developed in India and used for marketing by telecommunications companies.

An introduction at 20p a share valued Panthera Resources (PAT) at £12.4m. The main asset is a 70% stake in the Bhukia gold project in India. The company’s share of the JORC inferred resource is 1.22 million ounces. There are also gold exploration assets in Burkina Faso and Mali.

Video games development services provider Sumo Group (SUMO) floated on 21 December at 100p a share and ended the week at 113.5p a share. Sumo raised £38.5m and it was valued at £145m at the placing price.

Fletcher King (FLK) reported a dip in revenues from £1.68m to £1.49m, while pre-tax profit declined from £163,000 to £148,000. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1p a share. There were lower revenues from rating appeals and valuations but one or two SHIPS properties should be fully-let and sold by the end of the financial year.

NWF Group (NWF) says that its feeds division is benefiting from the recovery in the milk price and past capital investment. The fuels division continues to make progress but food distribution performance has been below the first half of last year. The interims will be published on 30 January.

Online gaming firm Nektan (NKTN) is raising £1.76m at 21p a share. That was a one-fifth discount to the market price. There are £10m convertible loan notes 2020, where the conversion price is a 25% premium to the previous placing, so it is currently 26.25p a share. The cash will be invested in technology and geographic expansion. In the year to June 2017, Nektan more than doubled its net gaming revenues to £13.3m.

Telecoms infrastructure equipment supplier Filtronic (FTC) expects a sharp fall in interim revenues from £21.6m to £12.8m and operating profit halved to £900,000. There have been delays in defence orders. Net cash was £2.9m at the end of November 2017. The interims will be published on 30 January.

Kodal Minerals (KOD) says that initial results from its drill programme at the Bougouni lithium project are expected very shortly. There was £4.09m of cash at the end of September 2017.

Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) has completed core-hole drilling at two locations at the Lesedi project and a third hole will be completed early next year. Coal samples are being assessed. The results will help to plan the first phase of development drilling. The Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund has taken a 5.84% stake.

Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is raising up to £4.42m via a 2.250106-for-one open offer at 0.01p a share. That is a 92% discount to the market price and excess applications can be made. The cash is required for part pre-payment of $6m of loan notes issued to Odey Asset Management that carry an annual interest rate of 25%. That cash was used to finance a $6m mezzanine loan to the Oman antimony roaster project. First production should be in the second quarter of 2018. The cost of the project has increased from $96m to $110m. There should be £250,000 left for working capital for Tri-Star and $740,000 of loan notes still in issue. The first dividend from the Oman antimony roaster is expected for the year to December 2020.

Legendary Investments (LEG) has acquired a 9.7% stake in Crowd for Angels in return for 248.3 million Legendary shares at 0.145p each. Crowd for Angels intends to launch a £50m Liquid Crypto Bond. Legendary is swapping its interest in Manas Resources for a 2% stake in Circle Oil Tunisia, formerly a subsidiary of AIM-quoted Circle Oil, which has been liquidated. The stake in Manas was valued at £100,000.

Ambrian (AMBR) has failed to secure short-term financing or defer payment of interest on its convertible loan notes. Grant Thornton will be appointed as administrator. In October, a general meeting removed former chief executive Jean-Pierre Conrad as a director, having been given three months notice in August by subsidiary Ambrian Metals because he had lost the confidence of the board. Conrad was a large holder of convertibles. Ambrian has cement interests in Mozambique and there have been problems in moving cash.

Kromek (KRK) is on course to achieve full year revenues of £12.5m. This is without any contribution from the framework contract from the US authorities for radiation detector systems, which could be important in the future. There should be £14m of cash left by the end of the financial year.

Uranium Resources (URA) has sold its mining assets and is changing its name to URA Holdings. Melissa Sturgess and Peter Redmond have joined the board and £900,000 raised at 0.45p a share.

Redhall Group (RHL) says that its subsidiary Jordan Manufacturing has won business for specialist handling and containment systems for nuclear material at Sellafield. This could be worth £18m over three years.

Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) is acquiring up to 49.9% of the Tesorillo gas project in southern Spain. The purchase is in three stages and will cost €2.05m in total.

Problems with labelling in China have held up the fulfilment of demand by Concepta (CPT) for its fertility products. This means that 2017 revenues will be around £100,000 and sales delayed until the first quarter of 2018.

Integumen (SKIN) has raised £500,000 at 1.5p a share. This will help to fund the recently acquired Stoer range of male cosmetics and the commercialisation of the Visible Youth cosmeceutical range. Management is assessing all the group product lines because some are taking longer to generate significant revenues. Integumen intends to set up a joint venture to distribute Champion Shave products in the UK and Ireland.

The One Media iP (OMIP) share price more than doubled to 10p following the news that Lord Michael Grade and former Pinewood boss Ivan Dunleavy are joining the board as non-executives. They are also investing £375,000 at 2.5p a share.

Cross-border payments technology provider Earthport (EPO) says that 2017-18 revenues could be up to 15% lower than expected due to contract delays and a change in strategy by a client. Cash flow breakeven is still achievable during 2018-19. Hank Uberoi is moving from chief executive to executive chairman and a permanent replacement as chief executive has yet to be found.

Escape the Room experiences provider Escape Hunt (ESC) is adapting its strategy to focus on city centre sites. Five leases have been signed and three are being negotiated.

The People’s Operator (TPOP) has successfully raised £2.82m at 0.1p a share. Aidan O’Hara acquired an 8.78% stake prior to the placing. Trading in the shares has been suspended because of concerns over trading prior to the completion of the placing.

A €51 a share cash bid has been recommended by Taliesin Property Fund Ltd (TPF) and this values the company at €260m. The bid enables investors to liquidate their holding in the Berlin property investor at a premium to NAV. Taliesin floated in 2006 at €10 a share.

West African Mineral (WAFM) is disposing of its iron assets through a share distribution of the company holding the assets to its shareholders. They will receive one share in Ferrum Resources Ltd for each West African Mineral share they own. A general meeting will be held on 18 January to agree to the plan. Loans to Ferrum have already been written off but a sale of the assets could spark all or part of the repayment of the $4m loan. West African Minerals will have £2.1m in the bank and it wants to move to the standard list and seek life sciences acquisitions. The company will change its name to OKYO Pharma Corporation.

Property investor Caledonian Trust (CNN) increased its NAV from 152.9p a share to 161.7p a share in the year to June 2017.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) will receive a total of $1.46m in dividends from two subsidiaries. One of these subsidiaries is part of the previously announced disposals that should generate $400,000.

All bar one of the directors of BOS Global Holdings (BOS) has left the board. Trading in BOS shares has been suspended because of the uncertainty of its financial position and because the annual report has not been published.

MAIN MARKET  

Contango Holdings (CGO) is moving ahead with the possible acquisition of Consolidated Growth Holdings’ interest in a near-term producing mining asset in Zimbabwe. The purchase would be funded at 5p a share, which is a 33% premium to the suspension price. Contango hopes to complete the reverse takeover by the first quarter of 2018. Contango floated on the standard list on 1 December.

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has joined the standard list. The Israel-based gemstones explorer raised £4.15m at 110p a share and was valued at £15.3m on flotation. The cash will be used to fund further exploration of the Kishon Mid Reach project and production could commence within 24 months.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) reported an interim loss of £113,000 due to the costs of being a listed company. There was £230,000 in the bank at the end of October 2017. Supported living property developer Dukemount has completed a 50-year agreement to lease on the first property it acquired with a supported living housing association. This should generate £234,000 a year and is linked to CPI. It will take 18 months to complete the development but institutions may acquire the lease before then. A second project has also been secured with more under negotiation.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has raised a further £170,000 at 5p a unit. The unit is one ordinary share and 0.5 of a warrant exercisable at 7.5p a share. The current NAV is 4.2p a share. SI Capital has been appointed as joint broker.

Standard list shell Fandango Holdings (FHP) still had £468,000 in the bank at the end of August 2017. There is currently no industrial or services acquisition under consideration.

Avocet Mining (AVM) has agreed the sale of its Burkina Faso assets for $5m. There will be $2.5m paid on completion and the rest will be deferred over seven years. Avocet will have no trading business. Given Avocet’s debt, if it is wound up there will be little or nothing for shareholders.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has returned from suspension following publication of its annual report. Chief executive Colin Patterson says he will fund the Gubong gold project through to the completion of the report on feasibility. He and fellow director Aidan Bishop are taking their remuneration in shares.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 21 August 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) has set the date for general meeting requisitioned by rival renewable electricity supplier Ecotricity, which wants Dale Vince and Simon Crowfoot to join the board. The general meeting will be held on 6 September. Good Energy still believes it would be unwise to have the representatives of its rival on the board.

Via Developments (VIA1) has paid a £412,500 non-refundable deposit on a residential development site in Latimer Road, Luton. Funding still has to be secured for the £8.25m purchase price.

Early Equity (EEQP) has taken a 4% stake in Malaysian multi-level marketing business Early Infinity, which has a distribution agreement with healthcare products supplier Yicom, where Early Equity owns 32.1%. The purchase was funded by the issue of 10 million Early Equity shares. The plan is for Early Equity to buy up to 30% of Early Infinity. Five million Early Equity shares have been issued at 0.6p each to raise £30,000.

Karoo Energy (KEP) has published the competent persons report on the Kalahari Karoo basin shale gas play. There is insufficient data to estimate shale gas or quantify the associated risk. The Lower Ecca shales are broadly correlatable with the source rocks in the broader basin. The low, unrisked estimate of gas initially in place (GIIP) is 310 bscf and Karoo has a 93.475% working interest. The advice is that further exploration is required to improve the understanding of maturity trends and confirm the depths of the Lower Ecca shale.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) has issued a further £55,000 of 7.5% convertible unsecured loan notes 2018, taking the total to £100,000. The conversion price is 10p a share and there are ten warrants for each £1 loan note exercisable at the same share price. There is planning permission for 200 apartments.

AIM

Clinigen (CLIN) has approached Quantum Pharma (QP.) about a proposed cash and shares offer. Due diligence has to be undertaken before there is a firm bid. Clinigen is taking advantage of the work that Quantum management has done in selling non-core operations and improving the performance of the rest of the business. Quantum says the interim figures will be brought forward to 22 August.

DX (Group) (DX.) has ended discussions with John Menzies over the merger with its distribution division because suitable terms could not be agreed. There had already been a change in the proposals but this was not enough to make the deal go through. This will mean that DX requires to raise additional funds. The four people that Gatemore Capital wanted to be appointed to the board when it requisitioned a general meeting, later withdrawn, are being proposed as directors and Bob Holt will be leaving the board. Trading in the shares remains suspended.

Oozi Cats has been kicked off the board of Telit Communications (TCM) after it turned out that he withheld information about an indictment against him in the US when the company floated 12 years ago. There have been fears about the cash position of the business but the directors’ have tried to reassure investors. Telit plans to appoint three UK-based non-executive directors.

Tracsis (TRCS) has reassured investors that it should hit market expectations for 2016-17. This means that pre-tax profit will be better than the £6.9m reported in the previous year. Tracsis had warned that the second half would have to be strong in order to make the forecast and this has happened. There was £15m in the bank at the end of July 2017. A reorganisation of the traffic and data services division should improve margins this year. The full year results will be reported in November.

IDOX (IDOX) is acquiring electoral back office software provider Halarose for £3.5m in cash and £1.5m in shares. This will boost the market share of IDOX in the UK elections market and there should also be cost savings.

Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) is the latest shell backed by Marwyn to join AIM. The £15m raised will be used to seek significant acquisitions in the chemicals sector. The share price rose from 120p to 132.5p. Former Synthomer boss Adrian Whitfield is chief executive.

Market research firm System1 Group (SYS1) stunned the market with a profit warning that sent its shares down nearly one-third. The former BrainJuicer announced at its AGM that the lack of a repeat of a large contract last year means that gross profit could be up to 11% lower in the first half of this year. On top of this costs are rising. The interim figures are likely to show breakeven compared with a £2.8m profit in the first half of the previous year. Full year pre-tax profit could fall by up to 15% from last year’s level of £6.3m.

Bushveld Minerals Ltd (BMN) says that a study carried out in conjunction with the Industrial Development Corporation shows strong vanadium redox flow battery technology in Africa with the market peaking by 2025-2030. Global electrolyte demand is likely to peak at the same time at 1200-1800 MWh. There is potential for Bushveld to supply 200MWh of storage per annum and a study is being undertaken for a potential vanadium electrolyte production plant in South Africa. Vanadium mining and related battery technology is the focus for Bushveld. There was a small net cash position at the end of February 2017.

Malvern International (MLVN) reported a reduction in interim loss from £460,000 to £395,000 as revenues slumped from £2.07m to £1.65m. Malaysian revenues fell but operating costs were reduced. There is £360,000 in the bank. The loss in Singapore has been reduced and that was before EduTrust certification, which is required to enrol international students, was reinstated. There has been year-on-year growth of 17% in London revenues and the loss was sharply reduced. House broker WH Ireland is not publishing forecasts at the moment.

Pawnbroker H&T Group (HAT) reported a 62% increase in first half pre-tax profit to £6.2m and the interim dividend was raised by 10%. H&T has been compared with Ramsden (RFX) but the mix of operations and revenues is very different.

Connemara Mining (CON) has raised £200,000 via a placing at 1.75p a share and each new share has a warrant to subscribe for an additional share at 3.42p each. Patrick Cullen has been appointed as chief executive of the gold and zinc explorer.

Red Leopard Holdings (RLH) is in talks to acquire a coal project in Colombia. Red Leopard will have to issue shares with a minimum valued of $180m in order to acquire the La Luna project. Trading in the shares is suspended.

MAIN MARKETS

Stem cell services and insurance provider WideCells Group (WDC) has raised £750,000 at 14p a share and the cash will be used to finance growth in the three operating divisions. Positive news has helped to boost the share price over the past two months. This includes the granting of a research licence by the UK Human Tissue Authority. The CellPlan insurance product is on sale and a digital platform is being developed for the educational division, WideAcademy.

Myanmar Strategic Holdings Ltd (SHWE) has raised $423,000 at $10 a share, while $3.9m of loan notes have been converted into shares. The focus is on hospitality and education sectors. The company already operates three hostels in Myanmar and it has acquired the rights from Pearson to open English language centres. Last year, revenues were $330,000 and the loss was $2.38m. Dealings are due to commence on 22 August.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) is set to move from AIM to the standard list on 21 August. It has raised £2.27m at 1.6p a share. The move will provide more time for Pembridge to build up a portfolio of mining investments without worrying about doing this within the timescale required on AIM.

Quarto (QRT) has ended bid negotiations with an unnamed bidder less than a fortnight after revealing the talks. One of the stumbling blocks was the regulatory approval required by the bidder and the book publisher’s management did not want to be distracted from trading by a bid that could take a long time to come to fruition. This is despite the fact that the bid proposal was at an attractive premium.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has located the three historic entry points to the Gubong gold mine in South Korea. This will enable access to five of the veins that were previously mined when the gold price was much lower.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 24 July 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) has raised £10m via a 6% convertible loan note. The conversion price is 71.25p a share and full conversion would be the equivalent of 26% of the share capital. The loan note is redeemable on 23 May 2019. The holder of the loan note has also been granted an option to purchase some of Ace’s properties.

Block Energy (BLOK) has increased its ownership of the Norio onshore oil field production sharing contract in Georgia from 38% to 69% at a cost of $310,000 in cash. The plan is to move to a 100% working interest. Schlumberger estimates that Norio contains 118.7 million stock tank oil initially in place and it has produced 1.9 million barrels. The production is running at 25 barrels per day and the plan is to increase this to more than 250 barrels per day. That could happen within six weeks of the start of a work programme.

African Potash (AFPO) has raised £50,000 at 0.045p a share and appointed Alexander David as its new corporate adviser. This will help to get the trading suspension lifted. Warrants to raise a further £50,000 will last for 90 days from the lifting of suspension. An agreement has been entered with African Agronomix, which is being given the right to acquire 100% of the company’s 70% interest in the Lac Dinga project in the Republic of Congo.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has appointed Beaumont Cornish as its provisional nominated adviser for a proposed move to AIM. NQ Minerals has secured a $7m loan facility from the RIVI Opportunity Fund and this funds the final payment for the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania. A gold purchase agreement means that 14% of the first 22,000 ounces of payable gold and 7% of the amount in excess of that figure has to be sold to RIVI.

The joint venture between a 40%-owned subsidiary of food and logistics company AfriAg Global (AFRI) and LGC Capital, which is quoted on TSX, is acquiring a 60% stake in South Africa-based House of Hemp, which has a long-term lease on the only certified indoor cannabis growing facility. The joint venture is paying nearly C$20,000 and C$37,000 a month for six months. The joint venture will also secure C$4.9m to scale up production. David Lenigas is chairman of both joint venture companies.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £166,000 at 28.5p a share.

AIM

Audio visual products distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) says that the weakness of sterling has helped it to grow and the recently acquired Spanish business has done better than expected. This has led to upgrades for the next three years. Investec has raised the 2017 earnings forecast to 21.3p a share. Cash generation remains strong and the net debt forecast has been reduced to £20.2m. The interim figures will be reported on 12 September.

Regenerative medical devices developer Tissue Regenix Group (TRX) is acquiring CellRight Technologies, a US-based developer of bone processing and soft tissue products, for an initial $25.9m (£19.9m) with an earn-out of up to $4.1m (£3.1m) depending on revenues. The bone technology widens the group product range from a pure focus on soft tissue products. The deal also includes a US manufacturing facility. CellRight has launched 13 products since 2012 and more are due in the second half of 2017. The products are sold through distributors. In 2016, revenues were $5.42m and the gross margin was 62%. Two-fifths of revenues were from spine products. In the eleven months to December 2016, Tissue Regenix revenues were £1.44m. Tissue Regenix raised £40m at 10p a share and the additional funds will finance the growth of the enlarged business. All but one of the directors has subscribed for new shares. Management believes it is possible for the group to move into profit by 2020. Tissue Regenix plans to launch seven products over the next two years.

Qannas Investments Ltd (QIL) is using $8m to tender for 12.9% of the share capital at $0.90 each. There are not enough distributable reserves to pay a dividend of this size.

Transport optimisation software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) has won a multi-million pound contract with a UK rail operator. The contract will last four years and includes the renewal of some existing licences. There should be recurring revenues after the four year period. There will be no contribution in the year to July 2017.

Tristel (TSTL) says that sales in the year to June 2017 were 17% higher at more than £20m and pre-tax profit is going to be more than 10% higher than forecast. The pre-tax profit is expected to be £4m. The growth is predominantly from international sales.

Crop enhancement technology developer Plant Impact (PIM) says that full year revenues will be between £8.5m and £9m, up from £7.2m the previous year. This is despite the cancelation of shipments of Veritas to Brazil. Contract discussions about Veritas with Bayer in Brazil are continuing and they may take some time. However, new buying arrangements are expected to help 2017-18 revenues reach £13m. There is £3.2m left in the bank but a further £2m is being raised at 31p a share with the possibility of a further £2m. This cash is required to finance R&D.

IP Group has raised its all share offer for Touchstone Innovations (IVO) but technology business developer says that the offer of 304p a share, based on an IP Group share price of 137p, is still below its NAV of 312p a share.

EQTEC Group (EQT) is in talks to acquire the waste-to-energy technology subsidiary of its majority shareholder, EBIOSS. EQTEC will pay for the business in shares and it will also need to raise more cash for working capital. Due diligence is being undertaken.

TV programmes producer Zinc Media Group (ZIN) expects to make EBITDA of £300,000 in the year to June 2017. The business has been restructured and starts the new financial year with a strong base. There is a commissioned TV slate of £6.5m for this year.

Security technology supplier Synectics (SNX) reported a 5% increase in revenues and a rise in gross margins, which enabled the interim pre-tax profit to increase by £1m to £1.3m. The oil and gas sector is showing signs of recovery and the order book is worth £33.7m. There is net cash of £1.8m. A full year profit of £3m is forecast.

Inland Homes (INL) increased its completions by 28% to 188, helped by the development of the company’s in-house construction team. In the year to June 2017, revenues will fall from £102m to £90m, although this excludes the revenues from two land sales.

First Property Group (FPO) has launched a new fund which could double third party assets under management. Fprop Offices LP has eight institutional investors and will invest in office blocks and business parks over a seven year term. So far, £182m has been invested in the fund, including £3m by First Property. A loan to value of up to 30% is allowed. This new fund will not pay recurring management fees and instead First Property will take a share of any profit.

Parity Group (PTY) continues to increase its exposure to consultancy activities. WH Ireland has trimmed its revenues expectation for this year but has maintained its pre-tax profit forecast at £1.6m.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) is raising £2.5m at 1.6p a share as part of the planned move to a standard listing.

MAIN MARKET

World Trade Systems (WTS) has dispatched a circular to shareholders in order to gain retrospective approval for loans from Kudrow, which is deemed to be a related party. This is part of the process of the re-application for a standard listing. Kudrow has waived its right to interest and there is an intention to convert the remaining loan of £860,000 into shares.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) says that work has started on reopening the Gubong mine in South Korea.

Andrew Hore

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