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Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) increased its revenues by 26% to £1.35m in the year to March 2019. Pre-tax profit jumped from £82,000 to £300,000 thanks to the ecommerce technology provider keeping overheads flat. There is £770,000 in the bank. Netalogue will consider paying a dividend when it reports its interim results. Netalogue focuses on the B2B market and it continues to win new customers.
European Lithium Ltd (EUR) has secured a A$10m finance facility in the form of convertibles from Winance Investment, which replaces the existing facility. The company is still seeking a strategic investor to help finance the development of the Wolfsburg lithium project.
None of the three Morgan Ashley extra care schemes that Ashley House (ASH) was expecting have closed. They could close over the next couple of months, but Ashley House was hoping to get the cash and it is investigating additional funding.
Trading in the shares of Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) was restored after the annual report was published. There was a £221,000 loss in 2018 but the business is very different now. A placing has raised £400,000 at 0.01p a share. The date for completing the acquisition of tantalum business Eastinco has been extended until the end of September. This is a part of the strategy to consolidate mining operations in Rwanda. Align Research believes that Equatorial could generate revenues of £1.19m this year, rising to £9.19m in 2020, which would enable it to make a pre-tax profit of £1.77m.
Social impact company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) increased its revenues from R23m to R23.8m in the year to February 2019, while additional finance income and fair value adjustments meant that the loss was cut from R5.99m to R2.5m. There was also an increased share of revenue from Bee Sweet Honey in Zambia. Trading is improving at Kuzuko Lodge with room rates and occupancy rising thanks to the weak Rand.
Coinsilium Group (COIN) says that its Gibraltar-based blockchain consultancy has signed a new advisory agreement with IOV Labs Ltd. This involves supporting the RSK Smart Contract Network and RSK Infrastructure Framework blockchain services. These are focused on Asia.
Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has launched a bond to raise up to €5m and it will be traded on the Vienna Stock Exchange. The interest rate is 7% and the redemption date is 26 July 2022.
Transport services provider Xpediator (XPT) has not performed as well as hoped this year and earnings estimates have been cut by one-quarter. There has also been some additional investment in the business, which will double central costs.
Information management software provider IDOX (IDOX) has raised £7m via a placing at 28.5p a share, which will be used to finance the acquisition of Northern Ireland-based Tascomi for up to £7.15m. Tascomi is a cloud-based software supplier to local authorities.
Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) has launched a fifth product in the US. Blood pressure drug Nadolol is the generic equivalent of Corgard tablets. The market is worth $63m.
Elektron Technology (EKT) is selling its original Bulgin electricals business for £105m, £94m after costs, and intends to return a substantial amount of the cash to shareholders. Net cash will be £95m after the transaction. The company will change its name to Checkit and become a Software-as-a-Service business.
The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) says that its lettings brands grew revenues by 3% in the first half. Online estate agency EweMove increased revenues by 11%. Group revenues were £5.5m in the first half. Net cash was £2.8m at the end of June 2019. Ian Wilson will step down as chief executive at the end of 2020.
Property adviser Fletcher King (FLK) reported an improvement in full year pre-tax profit from £274,000 to £282,000 on slightly lower revenues. Management says that market conditions will make it difficult to maintain profitability, although there are substantial funds available for investment when the uncertainty ends. The total dividend is maintained at 1.75p a share. There is £2m in the bank.
Digitalbox (DBOX) subsidiary Daily Mash will publish video content from NextUp on its site. This will enable the company to generate advertising on the back of the videos.
A US customer has released Nanoco (NANO) from the obligation to pay back £4.25m of capital funding. This relates to the investment in the Runcorn facility where demand for nanomaterials has not come through from the customer. The book value of the facility, after depreciation, is £3.7m and may be written down further, along with the value of some materials. The facility is available if Nanoco can secure demand from customers.
BATM (BVC) has completed the sale of its stake in a new fibre optic network being developed in Israel. This should generate cash of $3.4m and add $3m to profit. Net cash could be $38m bythe end of 2019.
Oil and gas company Zenith Energy (ZEN) has secured the financing it requires for its drilling programme. A placing in Canada has raised the equivalent of £1.2m at C0.04 a share.
Trading in the shares of Associated British Engineering (ASBE) has been suspended because it has not published its accounts. This should happen this week.
Standard list shell Landscape Acquisition Holdings (LAHL) still has more than $496m in cash and it has done well to preserve the cash it raised when it floated at the end of 2017. There is a broad remit, but the main focus is a property-related/backed business in Europe or North America.
Stranger Holdings (STHP) is still seeking to close a reverse takeover after its first deal fell through. The shell is in talks to acquire local government supplier HCS. There is no cash in the bank and Stranger has net liabilities.
AFH Financial Group (AFHP) has raised £15m from a placing of convertible unsecured loan stock in order to finance the acquisition of more IFAs. The loan stock offers a 4% annual interest rate and it matures in July 2024. The initial conversion price is 420p a share, which is a 17% premium to the market price. The annual interest cost is £600,000. Shore expects a pre-tax profit of £17m in the year to October 2019 and then a rise to £20m next year. That is before any acquisitions are made with the additional funds. There are already five potential acquisitions progressing towards completion.
Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) increased interim turnover by 3% to £1.55m. A decline in overheads in the six months to April 2019, due to a lack of repair work compared to the first half of the previous year. This meant that the interim loss fell from £200,000 to £101,000. There is £602,000 in the bank and NAV is £3.17m. Non-executive director CP Freeman has bought 600 shares at 750p each. He has a 1.2% stake.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested in South Cerney Outdoor, a recently formed company that has acquired the outdoor experiences business from the Shaw Trust charity. Capital for Colleagues is lending up to £250,000 to the investee company, where the employee owned trust will become a major shareholder.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its Gibraltar subsidiary has signed an agreement to support and promote RSK Smart Contract Network and RSK Infrastructure Framework blockchains in south east Asia. The 27.8%-owned start-up accelerator StartupToken is also involved in the deal.
EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a NAV of 260.29p a share at the end of June 2019. Since then 280,000 shares have been bought back by the company at an average share price of 205p.
KR1 (KR1) wants to buy back six million deferred shares at 0.2p each.
In the year to March 2019, Begbies Traynor (BEG) increased revenues by 15% to £60.1m, while pre-tax profit was £7.1m. Net debt was reduced from £7.5m to £6m. Increasing numbers of insolvencies is good news for the business recovery services provider. Pre-tax profit of £8.6m is forecast for this year.
Ultrasound simulation equipment supplier Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) says first half turnover was 25% ahead at £3.1m. This is before the recent AI contract win. There was £3.5m in the bank at the end of June 2019.
Tekcapital (TEK) is raising £750,000 at 8p a share in order to provide further financial backing for its IP companies. Medical devices developer Belluscura could receive FDA clearance for its advanced portable oxygen concentrator before the end of the year. It could be launched in the first half of next year. Nano-particle sized salt developer Salarius has been winning orders.
Ariana Resources (AAU) has reported positive drilling results at the Salinbas gold project in Turkey and there are indications that there is further mineralisation in the vicinity.
Ilika (IKA) had £4m in the bank at the end of April 2019 and that should be enough for the next 12 months as the solid state battery technology developer makes progress with its Stereax battery technology. Projects that could yield deals in the coming months include, condition monitoring devices for wind turbines, track monitoring devices for Network Rail and batteries for miniature medical implants.
Mirada (MIRA) is on course to move into profit in the year to March 2021. The digital TV software provider reported a rise in revenues from $8.82m to $12.3m last year. Even so, the loss was $3.2m. There will be a loss this year, excluding the $1.75m gain on the disposal of the parking payment business. That will help net debt to reduce to $4.1m, despite the loss.
Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) has reassured investors that it remains on target to achieve previously downgraded forecasts for 2019. Revenues should be $87m and net cash should be $18m at the end of 2019. Interims will be published on 4 September.
Polarean Imaging (POLX) has received an order for the 9820 Xenon Polariser system from the University of Kansas Medical Center. This will be used as part of an imaging research programme. This is the 25th polariser installed or ordered.
Collagen Solutions (COS) has submitted its CE Mark application for the ChondroMimetic regenerative medical device and has received initial questions it has to address. The response is being prepared. Collagen generated revenues of £4.15m in the year to March 2019. The benefits of consolidating collagen manufacturing are coming through.
Woodford Investment Management has cut its stake in eve Sleep (EVE) from 46.8% to 31.2%. Jupiter Asset Management has taken a 15.6% stake.
Oil and gas company Wentworth Resources (WEN) intends to pay dividends based on free cash flow generation. An interim will be announced in September.
FIH Group (FIH) has taken out a £13.9m mortgage on its Leyton warehouse and the interest charge is fixed at 3% for ten years. A new commercial air link has been agreed between the Falkland Islands and Brazil.
Challenger Acquisitions (CHAL) has received a further £18,000 from the owner of Star Sanctum, which takes the total paid to £93,000. Challenger has agreed payments with the developer of the wheel project in Dallas of $26,375 at the end of July and $25,000 at the end of August.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has obtained a listing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Trading started on 11 July and it expects to become a constituent of the TA-90 index.
NEX Exchange company of the year
National Milk Records (NMRP)
Dairy and livestock services provider National Milk Records has been on NEX for more than a decade. The share price has increased by more than 500% over the past decade. In the latest quarter to March 2019, revenues improved from £5.32m to £5.56m, even though the number of cows on the database had declined from 743,054 to 713,379 over a 12-month period which hit milk recording revenues. Income from specialist testing has increased. Overall, growth was not as strong as in the first six months, which benefitted from one-off income. An oversupply of milk in recent weeks has hit the milk price and this has held back spending by farmers.
Wealth management group AFH Financial Group (AFHP) is raising up to £20m via a convertible unsecured loan stock issue. The conversion price is 420p a share, up from 360p before the issue was announced, and the interest rate is 4%. This cash will fund further acquisitions. There are five that are already in due diligence.
Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) is not likely to achieve financial close on three projects, so it will lose money in the 14 months to June 2019. The second half will be profitable. The company should return to profit in 2019-20.
Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has increased the valuation of its portfolio by 22% to £86.9m at the end of April 2019. Annualised rental income is £6.5m.
Investment company Angelfish Investments (ANGP) had cash of £1.48m, but debt was £3.35m and net liabilities of £543,000 at the end of 2018. This means that the preference dividend cannot be paid because there are no distributable reserves. The decline into net liabilities was mainly due to a £942,000 write-down on loans made to OME. Pre-revenue investments are included at cost.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has appointed First Sentinel as its corporate adviser. PCG has not replaced its nominated adviser so it will lose its AIM quotation. Acquisition talks continue.
First Sentinel (FSEN) has invested £75,000 in fintech company Capable Finance in return for a 50.01% stake and a £25,000 loan with an annual coupon of 15%. First Sentinel directors have participated in a £110,000 placing and they own most of the rest of the shares. First Sentinel has gained a Euronext Dublin listing for its 7.5% bonds, May 2024. Some of this cash will be invested in the activities of Capable Finance.
Shareholders in Valiant Investments have approved the change of name to Eurocann International (BUD) and the focus on medicinal cannabis. It has disposed of its investment in Flamethrower one of its own directors and raised £263,000 at 1.5p a share. Valiant had £1,289 in the bank at the end of 2018. There is still a £200,000 convertible investment in All Star Minerals (ASMO). The company has a stake in North Bud Farms Inc, which has a cannabis production facility in Quebec.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £250,000 at 0.1p a share. This ash will contribute to the £700,000 investment in Apollon Formularies. Executive chairman David Lenigas has bought 17 million shares at 0.11941p each.
Ananda Developments (ANA) has formalised the joint venture with Anglia Salads and JE Piccaver to create DJT Group. Ananda and Anglia which each own 50% of DJT, which will apply for a licence to cultivate and supply cannabis. Ananda had £141,000 in the bank at the end of January 2019.
Sativa Investments (SATI) subsidiary PhytoVista Laboratories has completed an independent blind test consumer cannabidiol products for The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis. Many proved to have too low or too high a content of relevant ingredients.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has terminated its heads of terms with Mkango Resources relating to earning up to 75% of the Thumbani licence because it could not come up with the finance required.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) increased its revenues from $8.2m to $10.9m, although the loss doubled to $1.89m. That is mainly down to a $797,000 loss on an equity sharing agreement. The cash outflow from operations fell from $904,000 to $813,000.
Via Developments (VIA1) reported an increase in interim loss from £10,000 to £259,000, because of higher finance costs.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is raising £1.6m at 0.11p a share and this will fund the investment in the Amapa iron ore project.
Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) is leaving NEX on 26 July. The minerals explorer has been on NEX for less than nine months. It does not believe it is large enough to benefit from a quotation on NEX as well as the Canadian Securities Exchange.
Small Cap Awards 2019 winners
Company of the year
Beeks Financial Cloud (BKS)
Beeks Financial Cloud provides cloud-based connectivity and infrastructure services provider for automated trading of financial assets. It also provides cyber security services to prevent distributed denial of service attacks. Beeks was formed in 2010 and has consistently grown its revenues. Beeks joined AIM in November 2017 and in May it acquired the trading assets of US-based Commercial Network Services and this adds 1,000 customers. Progressive Research forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £1.2m to £1.4m in the year to June 2019.
IPO of the year
Cake Box Holdings (CBOX)
Egg-free cakes supplier Cake Box won this award the day before its first anniversary on AIM. Cake Box raised £16.5m at 108p a share and at one point the share price was nearly double this level. There is still a premium of more than 60% to the flotation price. In the year to March 2019, revenues increased from £12.8m to £16.9m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £3.3m to £4m. Two new distribution centre sites have been acquired. There is scope to more than double the business, which currently has 113 stores.
Impact company of the year
Kromek has developed a range of radiation detection and imaging products based on cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) technology. The company focuses on three sectors – medical imaging, nuclear detection and security. Kromek has been winning multi-million pound international contracts and it has a strong balance sheet following a recent fundraising. Revenues increased by 23% to £14.5m in the year to April 2019. Kromek is losing money, but it is on course to reach breakeven in a couple of years. The orders that are already won underpin the revenue forecasts for the coming years.
Executive director of the year
Mike Creedon, chief executive of Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI)
Mike Creedon has been on the SDI board since 2010, having previously been a finance director of two former AIM companies, Ideal Shopping Direct and Ninth Floor. SDI is an acquisitive digital imaging and sensor control technology company. The acquisition record is good. A trading update has led to a small pre-tax profit upgrade to £2.9m. The 2019-20 pre-tax profit is maintained at £4.1m.
Analyst of the year
George O’Connor, Stifel Nicolaus
Journalist of the year
Simon Thompson, Investors Chronicle
Fund manager of the year
Marlborough Nano Cap Growth
Zoo Digital (ZOO) slipped back into loss in the year to March 2019, but it should return to profit this year. Demand for film and TV localisation services continues to grow but momentum has not been as expected.
Wynnstay (WYN) had already warned about tough second quarter trading, but underlying pre-tax profit held up reasonably well, falling 15% to £4.3m, even though revenues were 19% higher at £218.5m. The increase in revenues was mainly down to commodity inflation. The warmer winter weather hit demand for animal feed, although fertiliser demand has been strong. The agricultural merchanting depots acquired in the past year are moving towards profit. There has been some rationalisation of the depot network. The interim dividend has been raised 4% to 4.6p a share.
China New Energy Ltd (CNEL) has applied for a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and it will ask shareholders for permission to cancel the AIM quotation, subject to a successful Hong Kong listing.
Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) has increased its assets under influence to £5.3bn, helped by recent acquisitions. There is a strong pipeline of additional acquisitions. Interim pre-tax profit improved from £930,000 to £1.63m.
BATM (BVC) is raising $18m, 20% more than initially sought, at 42.5p a share. Most of the cash is earmarked for the cyber and networking activities. The rest will go towards medical activities. The cash will help in securing partnerships with larger technology companies.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) has varied and extended its contract with Canadian data centre provider GPU.one. This will provide access to 14MW of power at lower prices. This increases capacity by 47%, utilising the equipment that has already been ordered, and cuts power cost by 39%. The deal starts on 25 June and lasts three years. Argo can give four months’ notice. A previous deposit of £1.44m has been turned into an investment in GPU.one.
Tex Holdings (TXH) says the engineering operations have started the year slowly, but trading should return to previous levels. The plastics division is trading in line with expectations and there is investment in new machinery. The shares remain suspended.
Canadian Overseas Petroleum Ltd (COPL) has joined the standard list. The oil and gas company is focused on Nigeria and sub-Saharan African.
Avocet Mining (AVM) is holding a general meeting on 18 July to gain shareholder approval for a voluntary liquidation. Avocet has sold its interest in the Tri-K gold project in Guinea for $21m. This leaves a small residual cash sum. There is unlikely to be anything substantial left to distribute to shareholders.
Oil and gas company Aminex (AEX) shareholders have approved the switch from a premium listing to a standard listing. It is also cancelling its Dublin listing. It may have been difficult to get the full benefits of the lighter regulation of a standard listing if the company were still listed in Dublin.
IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has published the prospectus for its move to a standard listing. No fundraising is planned to accompany the flotation. Management believes that IMC has enough working capital for 12 months. There was €152,878 in cash available at the end of January 2019. This takes account of the statutory spending on its licences.
Block Commodities (BLCC) is calling a general meeting to enable shareholders to decide whether the company should become involved in the medicinal cannabis sector.
Ananda Developments (ANA) owns 15% of LHT, the owner of hapac medicinal cannabis inhaling technology. The hapac products are being sold in Italy and the product range is being widened. Other investments are being assessed.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has declared a second interim dividend of 0.83p a share.
Anne Yerburgh has been replaced as chairman of Daniel Thwaites (THW) by chief executive Richard Bailey, although she remains as a non-executive director in order to represent family shareholders. A replacement is being sought for former non-executive director Nick Mackenzie.
Queros Capital Partners (BFD) has raised £305,000 from the issue of 8% unsecured bonds 2025. This will be used to provide bridging finance to UK businesses.
Chris Akers has a 3.97% stake in High Growth Capital (HASH) following the purchase of the intellectual property of Malta-based BDD, a company he founded. RRNB Capital Ltd has increased its shareholding from 1.92% to 9.95%, while Fujairah has raised its stake from 2.31% to 8.59%. High Growth Capital has completed the acquisition of additional shares in AI company Sentiance to take its stake to 15%. Whitman Howard has been appointed as corporate adviser and broker.
Modern Water (MWG) reported its 2018 results at 6.19pm o the Thursday before Good Friday. Revenues increased by 18% to £4.2m and the reported loss was more than halved from £5.23m, although this included a £1.53m goodwill write off, to £2.47m. This appears to be the first time that Modern Water has slipped out results after the market has closed for the week. Let us hope that this does not become a habit. Serial offender Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) managed to put out its statement a bit earlier but after the close of the market. More can be found at https://ukinvestormagazine.co.uk/why-you-should-avoid-immunodiagnostic-systems-holdings/.
Enterprise software provider Sanderson (SND) says interim trading was ahead of expectations and further progress is expected in the second half. Interim revenues improved from £14.6m to £17m and underlying operating profit is one-third higher at £2.8m, which is partly due to accounting changes. Like-for-like operating profit would be one-fifth higher. Net cash was £3.29m at the end of March 2019. The order book is worth £8m. The interims will be published on 15 May.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmook Al Maktoum is investing £534,000 in MX Oil (MXO) for a 29.86% stake. He will appoint a non-executive chairman. This is part of a placing raising £680,000 at 0.04p a share. There are also 800 million warrants being issued that are exercisable at 0.04p over a five year period. Options over 10% of the enlarged share capital will be issued to management. The Aje field, where MX has a 5% investment is producing at around 3,150 barrels of oil per day and cash generated is being used to reduce project debt. The Aje field should start generating free cash in 2020 and that could move MX into profit in the first half of 2020. MX plans to consolidate 100 existing shares into one new share and change its name to ADM Energy.
Chief executive Sean Smith has bought 126,624 shares in biopesticide products developer Eden Research (EDEN) for 10.25p each. Finance director Alex Abrey has acquired 50,000 shares at 10.1p each. House broker Shore forecasts an increase in revenues from £2.8m to £3.7m in 2019, although the loss is expected to rise to £900,000. Shore expects Eden to move into profit in 2021.
PowerHouse Energy (PHE) has gained its first revenue generating contract for its DMG technology in conjunction with partner Waste2Tricity. Revenues will come from IP, design rights and licensing, followed by operational engineering.
Parity (PTY) is increasing its focus on the data analytics market and has appointed a new boss of consultancy services. Pre-tax profit halved to £850,000 in 2018 and a further decline is expected in 2019. Net debt is expected to remain at around £1m. Revenues are expected to continue to decline but there should be a greater proportion of the business coming from higher margin activities and profit is expected to bounce back to £1.5m in 2020.
Fryer and grease management services provider Filta (FLTA) increased revenues by 23% to £14.2m in 2018, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from £1.81m to £2.2m. This is before any significant contribution from the Watbio acquisition, which cost savings appear to be on course. A 2019 pre-tax profit of £3.8m is forecast.
Nektan (NKTN) is selling a 57.5% stake in Respin for £300,000 to a new purchaser because the previous deal could not be completed at a higher price due to the fact that buyer could not raise the finance. The online gaming firm says that it owes £3.6m in tax to the HMRC and it is likely to need additional cash to pay the bill.
TruFin (TRU) plans to sell its stake in unsecured consumer finance provider Zopa for £44.5m, an increase of 22% on the 2017 valuation, and investing £25m in manufacturing finance provider Distribution Finance Capital, which will be floated on AIM in early May. There should also be £10m returned to investors later this year. That will leave early payment services provider Oxygen Finance and Satago Financial Solutions, which provides working capital to small businesses.
Delayed results from consumer care products supplier Venture Life Group (VLG) show revenues 17% ahead at £18.8m and nearly all the growth came from the company’s brands. Pre-tax profit improved from £63,000 to £710,000. Net cash was £5.8m so the company has funds to make additional acquisitions.
Yourgene Health (YGEN) has raised £11.8m at 10.25p a share and that will be used to fund the £6.3m cash payment for molecular diagnostics developer Elucigene, which will cost £9.2m in cash and shares.
Managed services provider Redcentric (RCN) says net debt was £17.6m at the end of March 2019, compared with estimates of £20.2m. Pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £8m to £8.7m.
D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) has announced that its 2018-19 results will be ahead of expectations. This led to a pre-tax profit upgrade from £5.7m to £5.8m, but earnings per share were upgraded from 12.1p to 13.3p due to a low tax rate.
Evgen Pharma (EVG) has raised £5m through a placing at 13p a share. The cash will boost the balance sheet while management undertakes partnership discussions and additional work on SFX-01. The phase IIb data for SFX-01 in subarachnoid haemorrhage is expected in the third quarter of 2019.
Directa Plus (DCTA) doubled its total income to €2.5m in 2018. The graphene-based products developer has net cash of €5.2m, following a €3m outflow from operations.
Ariana Resources (AAU) says that the Kiziltepe gold mine produced 7,296 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2019. That was lower than the fourth quarter of 2018, but it is ahead of the average annualised quarterly guidance.
IG Design (IGR) is set for 10% organic sales growth in the year to March 2019 and total revenues rising from £327.5m to £447m. Pre-tax profit is expected to grow from £21.4m to £29.5m. There could be further merger benefits to come from the Impact Innovations acquisition.
Europa Oil and Gas (EOG) is selling its 20% stake in PEDL143 in the Weald Basin to UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) for £300,000.
Plastics and panels supplier Tex Holdings (TXH) made a small loss in 2018 following accounting changes to the recognition of revenues and there is no final dividend. Trading levels were lower in the second half. Tex is in breach of some of its bank loan covenants. The major shareholder continues to support the group. The share price fell by more than one-quarter.
Electronic products distributor DiscoverIE (DSCV) is on course to improve its full year pre-tax profit from £21.8m to £27.7m. The group has raised £29m at 400p a share in order to finance the acquisitions of US-based transformers and magnetic components manufacturer Hobart Electronics and UK-based rugged and submersible sensors manufacturer Positek. The total initial consideration is £15.9m.
Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) says full year profit is slightly better than expected even though demand from China has been reduced due to tariff wars with the US. Net debt was £15m at the end of March 2019 and it has agreed a new four-year bank facility of £80m. This could be used for acquisitions.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) has set the date for its requisitioned general meeting, which will be held on 16 May. The requisition came from an entity owning 13.8% that is controlled by Frank Timis, who does not believe that the company will provide a satisfactory return to shareholders with its current cryptomining strategy. The plan is to remove Jonathan Bixby and Mike Edwards as directors and appoint another director. Argo has more cash than its market capitalisation. Cash operating costs have been reduced to £280,000, compared with £500,000 of potential revenues expected in May.
Kazakhstan-focused vanadium miner Ferro-Alloy Resources (FAR) is already spending the money it raised when it gained a standard listing last month. Equipment, a mobile crane and vehicles have been acquired. The design of the extension to the existing facilities and for the connection to the high voltage power line has been completed. The share price has almost halved from the placing price of 70p to 37.37p. More background information can be found at https://ukinvestormagazine.co.uk/ferro-alloy-resources-goes-to-discount-on-first-day/.
BATM (BVC) has won an initial $2m armed forces contract for cyber security and this lasts 18 months.
Emmerson (EML) has signed heads of agreement for an offtake agreement for 100% of the production from the Khemisset potash project.
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.
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.
Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased its rental income by one-third to £1.95m in the six months to October 2018. Profit from continuing operations improved from £218,000 to £271,000 and a dividend of 0.83p a share has been announced. Four properties have been purchased since April 2018 and Hume House was sold.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) increased its NAV from 42.69p a share to 43.35p a share in the year to August 2018. The strategic focus is to make larger investments in bigger employee-owned businesses. There was £175,000 in the bank at the end of August 2018, so there appear to be limited funds available for further investments, although there are £1.3m of loans to investee companies.
Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) was hit by delays in projects planned by its Morgan Ashley joint venture in the six months to October 2018. Only one scheme reached financial close during the period and a loss was reported for the period. Modular buildings demand is strong with a good pipeline of potential projects. A profit is still expected for the 14 months to June 2019, but this still depends on the timing of projects.
Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) increased its full year profit from £127,000 to £153,000 on turnover 4% higher at £3.66m. There is £1.09m in the bank at the end of October 2018. The dividend was maintained at 21p a share, which is covered 1.2 times by earnings. The strategy is to encourage more direct bookings with the hotel and an online booking system was launched last September. The completion of refurbishment activities has enabled an increase in bookings for weddings. Bedroom refurbishments continue.
Formation Group (FRM) reported an improvement in revenues from £37m to £38.6m in the year to August 2018, but the operating loss nearly quadrupled to £416,000. There was a gain on financial asset of £450,000 and an exceptional cost of £318,000 relating to an accident in 2015. Management is cautious about taking on new property developments under the current economic conditions.
Karoo Energy (KEP) is still trying to raise cash to enable it to move to AIM. Management is confident that it will be able to raise the funds in the near future.
Formerly AIM-quoted Altona Energy (ANR) did not managed to obtain a replacement nominated adviser for Northland and it has moved to NEX on 1 February. Sino-Aus Energy Group is subscribing for £500,000 of 7% convertible loan notes July 2020. The conversion price depends on the market price in the 2o days prior to conversion although the minimum is 10p a share.
Sport Capital Group (SCG) has appointed Epsion Capital to help it raise up to £20m from a share issue at a price of at least 0.5p a share. There will be a warrant issued with every four shares. A circular is being prepared to gain shareholder approval. Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £187,500 at 0.75p a share.
Ananda Developments (ANA) says that 15%-owned LHT has launched its hapac medicinal cannabis inhaling technology in Milan, Italy. The initial reaction has been positive.
VI Mining (VIM) has completed the acquisition of the Cushuro gold project for $27.5m in shares.
Nuclear notes linked to guaranteed contingent value rights relating to the takeover of British Energy will mature and stop being traded on 7 February.
Dealings in the shares of Wheelsure (WHLP) and Ecovista (EVTP) have been suspended because they have not published their results for the year to August 2018.
Recruitment and training company Staffline (STAF) has delayed the publishing of its accounts because of concerns about invoicing. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
Electronic and battery products supplier Solid State (SOLI) says trading is significantly better than previously expected. Gross margins are continuing to improve. finnCap upgraded its 2018-19 earnings per share forecast by 26% and the 2019-20 figure by 21%.
Filtronic (FTC) fell into loss in the first half even before the write-off of £500,000 of capitalised development costs. Massive MIMO antennas sales will not build up as quickly as initially expected. There is £2.2m in the bank so the antennas and telecoms hardware supplier has a strong cash position while it waits for orders to come through. There is expected to be a full year loss but cash should still be £1.8m. A focus on defence and public safety markets will help to diversify the customer base and provide new opportunities.
A court has ordered Grant Thornton to pay £21m relating to its failures in the auditing of AssetCo (ASTO) accounts in the financial years to March 2009 and March 2010. AssetCo had been seeking £40m from Grant Thornton and there is still interest to be calculated on the award.
Location Sciences (LSAI) says that 2018 trading was in line with expectations and 2019 has started well. There has been a soft launch of the Verify product that ensures that responses to advertising from mobiles are genuine. Paid for trials in the US will provide further evidence of effectiveness.
Begbies Traynor (BEG) has acquired Manchester-based Croft Transport Planning and Design, which provides highways and traffic advice to property developers, for an initial £1.5m in cash and shares. This widens the range of services offered by the property services division.
Utilitywise (UTW) has not published its accounts and trading in the shares has been suspended. The utility cost management consultancy has also effectively put itself up for sale as part of its strategic review. This was sparked by the failure to raise cash required from a share issue. The £25m bank facility expires in April.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has secured an investment of up to $30m to fund the commercialisation of molecular biology products being developed by Ador Diagnostics, a joint venture with Gamida for Life, that is valued at $30m prior to the investment. The first $14.5m should be invested by the end of March and the rest will be invested at a 33.3% premium to the enterprise valuation after the initial investment by the end of 2020. Most of the cash will come from medical sector investors and Puma Brandenburg. BATM and Gamida will each invest $2m and after the initial investment BATM will own 38.2% of the company. Shore Capital will reinvest its total fees of $1m into Ador.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) is obtaining a $750,000 convertible security investment and a 24 month equity facility of up to $7m from an entity managed by The Lind Partners, which will get an initial commitment fee of $75,000. Between $100,000 and $300,000 can be drawn down each month. The shares will be issued at prices that are linked to market prices at the time. Rare earths production at the Gakara project in Burundi is expected to build up over 2019 as two further areas are opened up. Production costs were higher than sales revenues in the three months to December 2018.
Sportech (SPO) has acquired digital gaming technology business LOT.TO Systems, which has developed the iLottery platform.
Path Investments (PATH) has sold its Turkish oil and gas interests for £400,000. The focus is the acquisition of ARC Marlborough. The plan is to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland, via a share issue.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has agreed a forward funding and assignment of the contract of the Wavertree property in Liverpool. This is the second project that has reached this stage. Dukemount will continue to manage the redevelopment of the property and a development profit will be received on completion. Executive chairman Geoffrey Dart has been awarded a bonus of £80,000 for the completion of the first two transactions and it will be received in shares at 0.3p each.
Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) has won a contract from Medway NHS Foundation Trust to supply up to 400 nurses. New research from Edison Investment Research forecasts a 2018 loss of £2.3m for the healthcare staffing company, falling to £600,000 in 2019. Initial revenues were generated last year and they could reach £2.8m in 2019. As revenues grow margins should improve. Net debt could be more than £5m by the end of 2018. The company’s loan notes, which are being subscribed for in monthly tranches by the majority shareholder, are repayable at the end of 2019.
Barkby Group (BARK) joined NEX in June after reversing into former AIM company Sovereign Mines of Africa. The gastropubs operator generated revenues of £950,000 and an underlying pre-tax profit, before flotation costs, of £133,000 in the three months to July 2018. The Turf to Table branded outlets continue to outperform expectations. The company is debt free and ready to acquire additional properties.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has appointed an unnamed nominated adviser ahead of a prospective flotation on AIM in the next few months. Hybridan is already the company broker. SaaS-based cyber software provider Rizikon Assurance is making progress and other products are in development.
Halal food-based certification services provider DagangHalal (DGHL) increased its revenues from MYR4.64m to MYR6.46m in 2017. There was a cash outflow from operating activities of MYR9.44m and net cash was MYR11.6m at the end of 2018. The company has subsequently settled the dispute with its former chief executive with a payment of MYR500,000.
Blockchain ventures investor and adviser Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has entered into a strategic partnership with Universal Reward Protocol, which is developing a protocol so that retailers and shoppers can interact, for a €20m token sale. Coinsilium has also agreed an advisory partnership with Y Ventures subsidiary, Luminore 8.
Positive Healthcare (DOC) has asked for trading in the company’s 7% bonds 2021 to be suspended. Irregularities have been identified at the principal operating subsidiary and Positive is unable to publish its accounts or pay the next instalment of interest on the bonds.
Etaireia (ETIP) has completed the sale of a property in Girvan for a loss of £12,000. The company acquired the property for 25 million shares and £35.000 in cash and has received £47,000 in cash plus £1,000 contribution to legal costs. The £35,000 cash consideration is yet to be paid.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) had $1.4m in the bank at the end of March 2018. Since then, the settlement of an equity share agreement cost $156,000. Litigation with a former chief executive, which scuppered acquisition plans, has been completed with a settlement of $286,000. PCG is in talks with a potential gaming company acquisition.
Panther Metals (PALM) has completed its review of technical information on three exploration tenements in north west Ontario, where it holds an option to acquire. Several high grade gold veins and base metal occurrences have been identified. A detailed exploration programme is being designed.
Sinclair Pharma (SPH) has agreed a 32p a share cash offer from Huadong Medicine Co, but it is still subject to pre-conditions relating to the Chinese authorities.
Watkin Jones (WJG) has exchanged contracts for a 599 bed student accommodation site from Kelaty Propco. This project should be completed by September 2021. It has also secured another deal with Kelaty for a 300 residential apartment scheme in the same area, which will boost the build-to-rent pipeline.
One Media IP Group (OMIP) is planning to raise £2.9m via a share placing at 6p a share and up to £6m from a loan note issue to the Business Growth Fund. Lord Grade and Ivan Dunleavy have each invested £37,500 in new shares. The intellectual property owner intends to use the cash to acquire music publishing rights, artists recordings and songwriters’ rights.
Westmount Energy Ltd (WTE) has made a £810,000 investment in JHI Associates Inc, which is focused on exploration in the Guyana-Suriname basin, where it has a 40% carried interest in the Canje offshore block. This investment represents 56% of Westmount’s gross assets.
Otus Capital Management and Andrew Gibbs have nearly doubled their stake in Van Elle (VANL) to 10.2%. Mark Cutler joined the piling company as chief executive last month.
Polarean Imaging (POLX) has commenced the recruitment of patients for the phase III clinical trial in the US to demonstrate the non-inferiority of the company’s drug / device combination. The medical resonance imaging technology using hyperpolarised 129-xenon gas only has to show that it is as good as the current treatment. Eighty patients will be recruited. Some will be candidates for lung resection and others for lung removal. A pilot programme has helped to design the study, which could be finished before the end of 2019. Polarean has enough cash to make progress with the trial but will need more finance to reach completion.
Positive initial results from an oncology drug study have given the Midatech Pharma (MTPH) share price a boost. This is the first in-human study for MTD201 Q-Octreotide, a sustained-release treatment for carcinoid cancer and acromegaly. The study shows a safe, well-tolerated and effective sustained release of the drug.
Filtronic (FTC) has won a second order, worth $1.1m, for its MassiveMIMO technology, which helps mobile networks use their spectrum efficiently. It is still early days for the technology, but this is a positive sign and will offset the decline in older product ranges.
CCTV and security technology supplier Synectics (SNX) has secured a large contract with Serco, covering six custodial sites. This will help to underpin the current forecasts.
Altona Energy (AHR) has signed an exclusive licence for pyrolysis technology in Australia and China with GCAT. This will enable Altona to construct plants in the two countries and Altona will receive 95% of the net revenues generated by the technology when used in the treatment of waste.
Thor Mining (THR) says that metallurgical test work shows 78% copper recovery at the Kapunda copper project when using glycine as a leaching agent. Thor is earning up to 60% of Kapunda.
FIH Group (FIH) has traded well in the first five months of its financial year, thanks to a strong performance by arts logistics business Momart, which has opened a new facility. The Gosport ferry and Falkland Islands activities are trading in line with expectations. A small reduction on last year’s pre-tax profit of £3.2m is still anticipated.
Starcom (STAR) reported a 61% increase in interim revenues to $3.1m. There has also been a change in mix from lower margin to higher margin products. The security and tracking products developer is still losing money and is on course for a small, but much reduced, full year loss. The business is second half weighted so the outcome is heavily dependent on trading in the last few months of the year.
BATM (BVC) is set for a good second half. The biomedical and networking divisions have both been winning contracts and a significant amount of the benefits of these wins will come through in the second half. The most high profile contract win is the joint development deal with ARM. The first deal under this agreement is with FatPipe Networks, which develops technology for the optimisation and security of wide area networks. Longer-term, BATM’s SDN/NFV technology could be important in the development of driverless vehicles and other new technologies. BATM has net cash of nearly $17m.
Interim revenues at Ross Group (RGP) declined by 28% to £68,000 but it still managed to make a pre-tax profit of £10,000. The search continues for a suitable acquisition. Large shareholders have lent £6.07m to Ross.
Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) has won a contract with a reseller worth at least £3.5m over a three year period. Group gross margins are running at around 15%. That suggests a gross profit of £525,000 over the period of the contract, although the gross margin on this business could be higher. To put that in perspective, chief executive Andrew Hollingworth is entitled to a salary of £120,000, so this contract could cover his salary and some of the other directors’ salaries. Toople needs further wins to reach breakeven. The share price has more than trebled since the contract news, just in time for another share issue to raise cash to keep the business going.
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)
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.
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.
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.
Formation Group (FRM) has been repaid its £5m loan for a development in Wembley and it retains a 40% share of the profit of the development. This cash has been used to invest in acquired a 3.44% stake in Proton Partners International, which has an operational proton beam therapy centre in South Wales with two more sites planned. A treatment unit in Abu Dhabi is expected to be launched in 2019.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has loaned £600,000 to TG Engineering, which supplies steel and aluminium components to the aerospace and scientific sectors. The Dorset-based company will be 35%-owned by Capital for Colleagues and 20%-owned by the employee share ownership trust. The rest of the shares will be owned by the original founders and management.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) intends to focus on its main projects in Ireland. The interim loss was reduced from £99,000 to £75,000. There was net debt of £35,000 at the end of 2017.
Block Commodities (BLOC) has agreed to acquire a 21% stake South African fertiliser and plant products wholesaler VIPA Holdings. Block is paying £150,000 for new shares and acquiring £610,000 worth of existing shares in return for 748.5 million Block shares. VIPA is loss-making following the withdrawal of a major international trading partner. The ongoing focus will be fertiliser and the investment in Advanced Agricultural Holdings will be unwound with the 221.6 million shares issued as initial consideration returned to the company.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has invested £500,000, at £22 a share, in Engage Technology Partners. This follows an initial subscription of £400,000 at £15 a share. Primorus owns 3.6% of Engage, which builds SaaS-based employee workflow software.
Hellenic Capital (HECP) had £272 in the bank at the end of 2017, but since then £179,000 has been raised at 0.5p a share. There was £120,000 generated from operations in 2017 but that was due to a £143,000 increase in creditors. An investment property in Leeds is in the books at £204,000, while the NAV was £58,000 at the end of 2017. The property is being sold for £235,000 and a £5,000 non-refundable deposit has been paid.
Globe Capital Ltd (GCAP) has raised £500,000 via subscription at 0.75p a share. The cash will finance a new office in Dubai. Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised £51,000 at 0.15p a share. The 84.7%-owned Flamethrower has acquired National-Preservation.com, which focuses on British railway heritage, and has nearly 10,000 registered users. Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has raised £40,000 from an issue of 5% unsecured irredeemable convertible loan notes and a further £10,000 could come from the exercise of warrants. Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £590,000 from a debenture issue, taking the total raised to nearly £6m. The accounting reference date is being changed from March to September.
In 2017, Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) achieved a total return on its portfolio of 11.5%, ahead of its benchmark total return of 7%.
DHAIS (DHAP) is leaving NEX on 18 April, nearly ten years after joining the market. The business is being streamlined and the focus is organic growth of the hearing aid operations. Shareholders owning 78.9% of DHAIS agree to the withdrawal so the company does not have to hold a general meeting.
Diurnal Group (DNL) is raising up to £11m at 190p a share in order to finance the launch of the Alkindi hormonal disease treatment for children in Europe and complete the development of Chronocourt in Europe and start a phase III study in the US. IP Group is converting its loan into shares.
Shares in VR Education (VRE) immediately went to a premium when trading commenced. It raised £6m at 10p a share and the share price ended the week at 12.25p. More than two million shares were traded during the week.
1Spatial (SPA) has sold Enables IT back to the founder for £1, while retaining a 19.9% stake. 1Spatial has also injected £150,000 into the business and loaned a further £85,000. The group will be able to focus on its geospatial data operations, which are performing better than expected. 1Spatial is on course to approach breakeven in the year to January 2019.
Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) is outperforming new and used car markets, although like-for-like sales are still lower. Profit is expected to decline this year but Marshall should be able to continue its progressive dividend policy. There is a significant capex programme but the sale of the leasing business means that net debt is £2.2m.
Pennant International Group (PEN) already has nearly all of the £20.5m revenues forecast for 2018 covered by orders. Pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from £2.1m to £3.5m.
Amryt (AMYT) says that sales of Lojuxta were higher than expected last year. The figure was €11.9m, against the forecast €10.5m. There is still €20.5m in the bank.
Futura Medical (FUM) announced positive pharmacokinetic results for higher doses of the MED2002 erectile dysfunction treatment. This will enable US phase III trials to start later this year. There is £8.36m in cash plus tax credits due.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) says that Cedex Holdings, where it could acquire a majority interest, has launched its token pre-sale event. One Ethereum (equivalent to £437) will equal 900 CEDEX coins. The blockchain-based online diamonds exchange says that there is strong pre-sale demand.
Genedrive (GDR) has started to sell its Genedrive HCV ID kit in the EMEA region. Sales in Asia Pacific should start in the next few weeks.
Consumer security software provider Kape Technologies (KAPE) improved its pre-tax profit from $4.8m to $6.7m. There is net cash of $69.5m. A 2018 profit of $8.3m is forecast.
Trevor Brown gas cut his stake in Feedback (FDBK) from 11.5% to 9.75%. Lindsay Melvin has taken on the role of finance director.
Advanced foams supplier Zotefoams (ZTF) continues to benefit from investment in capacity and there is more to come. There was growth from all divisions and a good spread of revenues from different sectors. In 2017, revenues were 22% higher at £70.2m, while underlying earnings per share were 14% ahead at 16.6p. The dividend is 3% higher at 5.93p a share. The partnership with Nike to develop footwear technology and supply materials is yet to make a significant contribution.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) returned to profit last year and both its telecoms and biomedical divisions have good growth prospects. There is $24m in cash in the bank.
Sportech (SPO) has ended its formal sales process because no suitable offers were received. Trading has been poor and there will be asset write-offs in the 2017 figures. Andrew Gaughan has been appointed as chief executive.
Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) has acquired Imaging Biometrics for $68,134 in cash and 11 million shares at 4p each, plus $75,000 to cover debt obligations. The final 6.2 million of these shares will be paid by the end of September 2018. The Wisconsin-based company has been managing the CE marking and FDA clearance process for Flying Brands’ StoneChecker visualisation software, as well as commercialising perfusion software IB Neuro, which provides additional information about tumours.
World Trade Systems (WTS) has submitted its application to the International Stock Exchange.
Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) announced a collaboration that will generate $250,000 for the blood stem cell-based treatments developer. The partner is a US-based leader in the field of blood cancer treatment and the deal involves the development of a type of humanised mice.
Ultra Electronics ULE found 2017 to be a challenging year and only modest progress can be expected for 2018. 2017 ended with a strong order intake and a sound balance sheet but basic earnings per share fell by 20%. revenue by 1.3% and both underlying operating profit and underlying profit before tax both fell by 8.4%. So it will despite the poor year,raise its final dividend by 4.8% as any self respecting company will do when things are not good and and it needs to keep the shareholders in line. Mind you it did the same at half time when it had become apparent that things had started to go seriously wrong with its UK military business. Then it increased the interim dividend by 2.8p. per share even though storm clouds were gathering on the horizon.
Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ February passenger numbers rose by 23.5%, slightly less than the increase in capacity and the load factor also fell slightly to 91.2%. The network expanded with 4 new routes.
BATM Advanced Communications plc BVC 2017 became a milestone year as the company capitalised on previous investment and achieved its first year on year growth since since 2011. Revenue for the year rose by 18.5% and earnings per share moved from a loss of 0.27c oer share in 2016, to a positive 0.06c. Adjusted operating profit jumped from $0.9m to $5.6m. The bio medical division continued to show particular strength and growth momentum across both divisions, is expected to be maintained for 2018.
Zoo Digital ZOO updates that growth has continued into the second half and full year EBITDA is now expected to be above market expectations whilst full year revenue to the end of March should have risen from $16.5m to $28m.
Fusion Antibodies FAB updates that revenue for the year to the end of March is expected to show a rise of 40%, a substantial drop on the first half’s 70% growth but only because of the significant amount of management time and focus which had to be spend on the pre Xmas IPO. Growth rates are expected to resume their earlier trend now that management is free to concentrate on running the business.
My Sale Group plc MYSL produced a record first half performance for the half year to 31st December with underlying profit before tax rising by 266% on revenue up by 11%. Underlying basic earnings per share showed a rise of 82% and the active customer base rose by 12% to 1 million