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Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 25 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 18 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its interim revenues from £10.5m to £11.7m, although some of this was due to seasonal factors and one-off testing business. Pre-tax profit improved from £0.96m to £1.13m. Net debt was £2.06m at the end of December 2018. Every part of the business grew its revenues. Milk volumes are set to be strong in the second half, although milk margins are been squeezed by a decline in the milk price and higher feed costs.

Barkby (BARK) has completed the acquisition of Centurian Automotive for an initial payment of £201,000 in shares at 4.775p each, with up to £251,000 more based on performance over three years. Operating profit in each of the years is required to be at least £200,000 in order to achieve the full payment. The consideration represents a discount to net assets and will be equivalent to up to 20% of Barkby. In the year to March 2018, the automotive dealer made a pre-tax profit of £123,000 on revenues of £5.6m.

Sandal (SAND) says there was a significant increase in Energie MiHome sales in December, particularly later in the month, but trading is still below expectations because of a lack of cash to spend on marketing. The stock overhang has been unwound. A Wi-Fi adapter plug has been added to the range, which is being rolled out in Denman’s Electrical Wholesale branches.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) owned Palermo Football Club for less than one month before selling it back to the previous management team. It was bought for a nominal sum and is being sold for a nominal value, following further due diligence. The company’s representatives joined the board in December and resigned last week. Debt will be settled at the same time. Sports Capital had been trying to raise up to £20m over the next few months.

Trading has recommenced in the shares of EcoVista (EVTP) after it published its results for the year to August 2018. There was a £142,000 property revaluation gain and net assets were £1.39m. There are plans to launch a €10m Eurobond issue to fund further property site acquisitions in London, Hertfordshire and Essex.

Gold explorer Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has completed stage one drilling on the Specimen Hill project in Queensland and each hole drilled intersected gold. Geological modelling results will be available in March. A further 7,500 metres of drilling is being planned.

Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has raised $400,000 at 20 cents a unit (one share and one-half warrant). The expenses of the placing were $28,000. The cash will be used for assessing coltan opportunities in Colombia and Brazil. NQ Mining (NQMI) has raised £54,000 at 11p a share.

AIM  

Panoply Holdings (TPX) has made its third acquisition since floating in December. UK-based GreenShoot Labs provides digital services using artificial intelligence technology. There is no initial consideration and any payment will depend on performance.

Marketing and media services provider Ebiquity (EBQ) traded in line with expectations last year. The disposal of the advertising intelligence was completed on 2 January. This cut net debt to around £8m. The continuing business is expected to continue to grow at 8% a year.

Online merchandising software and services provider ATTRAQT Group (ATQT) increased its 2018 revenues by 26% to £17.1m and the loss declined from £4.1m to £2.7m. The largest customer has renewed for two years. Annual recurring revenues are £16m.

GRC International (GRC) has acquired data consulting business DQM Group for an initial £5.9m with up to £5m in deferred consideration, although it is not expected to be more than £3.5m. This is a significantly earnings enhancing deal.

Cabot Energy (CAB) is consolidating 100 shares into one new share and raising up to £2.85m at 10p per consolidated share. The cash will pay off trade creditors. The main focus is Canada but Cabot believes its Italian oil and gas exploration assets could still be valuable even though the Italian government has suspended exploration work and is reviewing the situation.

The administrator has sold most of the businesses of Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) but there will be no money for shareholders. Dublin-based Causeway Capital has acquired Patisserie Valerie and AF Blakemore acquired Philpotts for a total of £13m, of which £3m is deferred. Baker and Spice was sold to the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs for £2.5m. The AIM quotation will be cancelled on 25 February. Paul Mumford of Cavendish Asset Management believes that the company’s banks should have supported a rescue and been more attentive to what was happening at the company. He thinks that shareholders should seek compensation from the banks.

Malvern International (MLVN) has confirmed that it moved into profit in 2018. The education business has doubled its London-based revenues and this made up for difficult trading in Malaysia.

Realm Therapeutics (RLM) is selling is hypochlorous acid assets for $10m and intends to leave AIM. Realm already had $18.8m in the bank at the end of 2018. The plan is to use the cash to complete a strategic transaction in the life sciences sector. The ADSs will continue to be listed on Nasdaq.

Stride Gaming (STR) has started a strategic review. The choices are acquisitive or organic expansion or the sale of the online gaming company.

Renalytix AI (RENX) has secured a joint venture with laboratory and clinical trials operator AKESOgen and this will enable Renalytix AI to provide additional services in the US. The artificial intelligence-based kidney diagnostics already has a presence in New York and the new joint venture is based in Georgia.

Administrators have been appointed to Utilitywise (UTW) but none of the subsidiaries is in administration. Shareholders are not likely to get anything from the administration process. Unitlitywise was unable to raise the cash it required to keep going and meet liabilities.

Heavitree Brewery (HVT) improved full year revenues from £7.3m to £7.61m and pre-tax profit grew from £1.55m to £2.25m, although that included profit on the sale of pubs and other property of £824,000, up from £6,000. The previous year had benefited from the write-back of a bad debt provision. The final dividend is being increased from 4p a share to 4.25p a share. Heavitree no longer has to cover a pension scheme deficit because three people transferred out of the scheme.

Bowmark Capital has launched a 110p a share recommended cash bid for Tax Systems (TAX) and MXC Capital Ltd (MXC) has accepted with its 25.6% stake. The bid values the tax software provider at £100.6m.

Kodal Minerals (KOD) has published the results of the drilling programme at the Bougouni lithium project. These will be used to update the JORC resource, which should happen by the end of February. Kodal has met with the Mali authorities to update them.

Insignals Neurotech is the third Portuguese spin out for Frontier IP (FIPP) and it will hold a 33% stake. Insignals is developing technology for brain stimulation surgery.

Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI) has made another scientific instruments acquisition and it has raised £2.5m at 34p a share to help finance it. A further £100,000 was raised via PrimaryBid. Graticules manufactures reticules and graticules and fits with the digital imaging division. It cost £3.4m and has added 6% to next year’s earnings per share.

Strategic Minerals (SML) has announced a trebled resource at Redmoor, in which it has a 50% stake. There is an inferred tin equivalent contained metal of 137,000 tonnes.

James Latham (LTHM) has acquired the timber merchant that has the rights to sell Accoya wood in Ireland. Abbey Woods will cost an initial €1.825m with a further €300,000-€400,000 depending on completion accounts. Further deferred consideration of up to €400,000 depending on performance over two years. Last year, Abbey Woods generated EBITDA of €379,000 on revenues of €7.5m and it has operations in Dublin and Cork.

Vast Resources (VAST) says that the tranche B offtake finance from Mercuria Energy Trading did not happen. This means that the planned December and January repayments of the loan from Sub Sahara Goldia Investments have not been made Talks continue with potential finance providers to replace the cash to invest in 80%-owned copper, silver, gold, zinc, lead, tungsten, molybdenum Baita Plai project. Bergen Global Opportunities Fund is pausing the second tranche of the $3m bridge facility because the share price has been below 0.2p for two days. A placing has raised £896,000 at 0.135p a share and this will repay the £525,000 owed to Bergen. There are discussions with a potential cornerstone investor for a diamond project in Zimbabwe.

RiverFort Global Opportunities (RGO) has subscribed for shares in Pires Investments (PIRI), that will give it a 24.3% stake. RiverFort is taking nearly 50% of the shares issued in a placing that raised £782,000 at 2.4p a share for Pires. The cash will be used for new investments.

Trading in the shares of African Battery Materials (ABM) will resume on Monday 18 February following the issue of 200 million shares at 0.5p each. The cash will be used to pay creditors and leave enough to finance the business for 12 months. Andrew Bell has been appointed executive chairman and Paul Johnson as executive director.

Windar Photonics (WPHO) will undershoot the 2018 forecast, but there should be higher orders from Vestas and another manufacturer next year. Even so, 2019 forecasts are likely to be reduced. Total 2018 revenues were 59% ahead at €3.5m and higher gross margins meant that the loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell from €1.22m to €360,000. The end of year order book was worth €1m.

Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) has more than trebled its proved and probable reserves to 2.43 million barrels of oil. Net proved reserves are 764,030 barrels of oil.

President Energy (PPC) has updated the reserves position. The Argentina and Louisiana reserves are valued at almost $300m, which is equivalent to 21p a share. That is more than twice the market capitalisation. Production is predominantly oil but gas production will increase this year.

Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) has acquired IFA Castleton Financial Planning for up to £1.6m.

Trading in the shares of Urals Energy (UEN) has been suspended following the resignation of Allenby as nominated adviser. A general meeting, which will be held on 22 February, has been called by Adler Impex SA in order to remove three directors and appoint four other directors. Oil production was 1,690 barrels/day in January. Loans made without board approval have meant that the company is short of cash.

Waste-to-energy technology developer PowerHouse Energy (PHE) is confident that it could sign up a customer in the next quarter. There is increasing interest and six potential sites are being assessed. Potential engineering, procurement and construction contractors have approached PowerHouse. Development partner Waste2Tricity is in negotiations with Toyota Tsusho, which would be a way of entering the Japanese market.

Braveheart Investment Group (BRH) has reduced its stake in Remote Monitored Systems (RMS) from 5.9% to 1.32%. Stephen Jones increased his stake from below 3% to 14.5% in just over one month.

Dewscope Ltd, where Mark Horrocks is a director, has cut its stake in Sabien Technology (SNT) from 12.7% to less than 3%. Chris Akers has also reduced his stake from 16.9% to less than 3% and Brendan Adams has cut his shareholding from 4.2% to under 3%. These stakes were acquired on 14 December, when the mid-price was 0.11p. On 11 February, when the shares were sold, the share price increased from 0.145p to 0.175p. Sabien reported a decline in interim revenues from £462,000 to £342,000, but the loss was reduced from £233,000 to £207,000 due to cost reductions.

TV programme producer DCD Media (DCD) expects to report revenues of £7.3m and a small EBITDA in 2018. Trading has started well in 2019 helped by business that was delayed from last year.

HaloSource (HAL) is seeking shareholder approval for the disposal of assets to Strix (KETL) for $1.3m. The cash will pay creditors and fund the winding down of the business. The AIM quotation will be cancelled on 12 March.

WANdisco (WAND) has raised $17.5m at 546p a share to provide cash to support relationships with partners. WANdisco has become an advanced technology partner with Amazon Web Services.

Adamas Finance Asia Ltd (ADAM) is issuing 6.1 million shares to China Aerospace for a 6.8% stake in Hong Kong Mining Holdings, where Adamas already has a 84.8% stake. This is a complicated deal, but Adamas can tell China Aerospace where to transfer these shares. It means that Adamas will not necessarily increase its shareholding in the mining company. Sorting out what was effectively a stock overhang should make it easier to do a deal that will unlock cash for Adamas.

NetScientific (NSCI) has concluded its strategic review and it has decided to cancel its AIM quotation. The remaining cash will be spent on the investee companies with the best prospects of providing a return before the company runs out of money.

Angus Energy (ANGS) is repaying the £1.5m initial advance from YA II and RiverFort Global Opportunities. Angus has raised £2.2m at 4p a share.

The University of British Columbia has ordered a polariser system from Polarean Imaging (POLX).

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has made the earnings enhancing acquisition of profitable Newcastle insolvency practice KRE. The initial payment is £450,000 with up to £150,000 more based on revenue targets over 12 months.

Full year figures will be lower than expected at IFA Tavistock Investments (TAVI) but a maiden dividend is still on the cards.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) will report a 45% increase in 2018 revenues, with most of the growth coming from software.

MAIN MARKET 

Cryptocurrency mining services provider Argo Blockchain (ARB) is refocusing its business. All existing contracts will be terminated by the beginning of April. The focus will be Argo’s own currency mining. Ongoing costs will be cut by one-third. Net cash is £15m and that is much more than the market capitalisation of Argo. The cash outflow should be stemmed in the second half of 2019. Hadron Capital recently increased its stake to 7.6%.

Trading is in line at fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) even though the UK automotive market is weak. More than two-thirds of sales are overseas. Additional UK stocks for Brexit are worth around £2m.

Commercial aircraft leasing company Avation (AVAP) expects to report a doubled interim profit on revenues that have risen from $52.4m to $58m.

Outdoor digital media company Grand Vision Media Holdings (GVMH) has signed a partnership agreement with Rakuten Bank in Japan to add to the one it signed with CY Group in South Korea. GVMH’s marketing services will help its partners promote themselves to Chinese tourists. GVMH has glasses-free 3D technology.

Helen Sachdev has been appointed as a non-executive director of Athelney Trust (ATY) and Frank Ashton has taken on the role of executive chairman. Discussions continue with Gresham House Asset Management about taking over the management of the company’s investments.

Future (FUTR) has secured a new £90m revolving credit facility and it is acquiring CyclingNews.com and Procycling Magazine, which generate annual revenues of £2m. This deal widens the sports publishing activities.

REA Holdings (RE.) significantly increased palm oil production in 2018, even though extraction rates were lower than expected. The Kota Bangun coal concession is heading towards reopening the mine, although there are local disputes.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 17 December 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Ecommerce software provider Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) moved into profit in the first half and had £648,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. Revenues increased by £168,000 to £647,000, even though subscription-based pricing is reducing the initial revenues from B2B clients. A loss of £60,000 became a pre-tax profit of £142,000, helped by lower operating expenses.

Veni Vidi Vici Ltd (VVV) is acquiring a 51% stake in a licence in the Shangri La gold, silver and copper project in Western Australia for A$220,000, which is payable to Goldfields Consolidated in the form of 190,000 shares and A$20,000 in cash. The shares cannot be sold for three months. VVV will spend an initial A$300,000 over three years and Goldfields will receive a 10% management fee.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has raised £367,000 at 4p a share and each new share comes with a two-year warrant exercisable at 7.5p a share. If the share price averages more than 15p for five consecutive days, then the company can require the warrants to be exercised.

Gastropubs operator Barkby Group (BARK) has signed heads of terms to acquire Northamptonshire-based upmarket car dealer Centurian Automotive Ltd. The most recent accounts were for a dormant company and shows £200 in the bank.

Quetzal Securities Ltd sold 6.75 million shares in Pelican House Mining (PHM) for 0.5p each and Eight Capital Partners (ECP) acquired 8.25 million shares at 0.491p each. Quetzal subsequently sold a further 6.75 million shares in Pelican shares, leaving a 13.2% stake, to Eight Capital at 0.5p a share, taking its stake to 15.3%.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) has declared an unchanged total dividend of 21p a share for the year to October 2018. An interim of 7p a share will be paid in January (ex-dividend 20 December) and a final dividend of 14p a share paid in May (ex-dividend 18 April).

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has appointed Northland as broker.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (EL.P) had a NAV of 200.95p a share at the end of November 2018. The shares are trading at 160p.

AIM  

Construction consultancy Driver Group (DRV) reported a 2017-18 pre-tax profit of £3.8m, up from £2.5m, and it is returning to paying dividends with a 0.5p a share payment. Net cash is £6.9m, helped by a property disposal, and this could reach more than £10m by September 2019 even after dividend payments. The Diales expert witness business is becoming an increasingly important revenue generator and overall utilisation levels have improved. There has also been a focus on better margin work in the Middle East.

SigmaRoc (SRC) is in the process of acquiring precast concrete products supplier CPP Building Products for £15.2m, although the deal requires shareholder approval for share issues, so it will not happen until early January. CPP is based in north west England and fits well with the existing precast concrete business. In the year to August 2018, revenues were £20.9m and EBITDA was £2.6m. This year’s trading is in line with expectations. There are plans to refinance the convertible loan notes.

Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) had already warned about delays to its utility connection contracts with housebuilders and the 2017-18 figures were slightly better than expected with flat pre-tax profit of £9.2m. Nexus has a strong order book and could increase its 2018-19 pre-tax profit to £10.4m. The new electric vehicle charging points division will take time to build up.

Advanced coatings provider Hardide (HDD) has benefited from an upturn in demand from the oil and gas sector. It is also getting nearer to obtaining its first aerospace orders. Hardide remains loss-making and this will still be the case next year as it continues to invest in increasing capacity in the UK and US as demand grows.

Curtis Banks (CBP) has purchased around 600 SIPPS with assets of £180m from Hargreaves Hale, which will continue to manage the assets. Curtis Banks will launch a new SIPP product in January.

Clinical trials manager Venn Life Sciences (VENN) is collaborating with Open Orphan DAC. The two firms will share resources in the orphan drugs market. Venn is raising £1m from a two-year loan note issue.

WH Ireland has upgraded its forecast for banknote authentication and brand protection technology business Spectra Systems (SPSY) for the second time. The underlying pre-tax profit forecast has been raised by 10% to $4.5m. The 2019 forecast, which had previously been upgrade by 16%, is maintained for the time being.

Kibo Energy (KIBO) says that its 60%-owned subsidiary MAST Energy Developments has an exclusive option to undertake due diligence and acquire three peaking power sites totalling 31.3MW. This would provide initial revenues for Kibo later next year. Kibo has renewed its memorandum of understanding with Mozambique-based electric utility Electricidade de Mocambique for the financing and operation of the Benga independent power project.

eServGlobal Ltd (ESG) says that 2018 revenues will be lower than expected due to weak trading at the PayMobile business and the failure to close orders. The PayMobile business may be sold and the focus will be the HomeSend remittances business.

NWF (NWF) says feeds demand was strong in the summer because of a lack of natural grazing. In contrast, the hot weather held back demand for fuels. A Solihull-based fuel distributor has been acquired. The food distribution business continues to trade at around capacity because of contract wins. The interims will be published on 29 January.

ReNeuron (RENE) has important clinical trial results coming up in the next 18 months. A retinitis pigmentosa treatment is in phase I/II trials and there should be data in mid-2019. A phase IIb trial for a CTX cell therapy-based treatment for chronic stroke is due to report by early 2020. There was £30.7m in the bank at the end of September 2018. Management is seeking partners to help it to make the most of its technology.

PhotonStar LED Group (PSL) has raised £100,000 at 0.02p a share and this will enable the board to assess new business opportunities.

Property adviser Fletcher King (FLK) is maintaining its interim dividend at 1p a share even though pre-tax profit has dipped from £148,000 to £132,000. Ratings appeals revenues were lower. There is £2.28m of cash in the balance sheet.

Kromek (KMK) has secured an initial contract with the US Department of Defense worth $2m over 12 months. The plan is to develop a proof-of-concept device for a vehicle-mounted biological threat identifier.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) started trading on AIM on Friday and the share price ended the day at 272.5p. Crossword raised £2m at 290p a share.

Volex (VLX) is buying cable assemblies and connectors manufacturer GTK for £14.3m in cash and shares. in the year to July 2018, GTK generated a pre-exceptional operating profit of £1.7m. There was £1.3m in the bank. The deal is earnings enhancing.

African Battery Metals (ABM) has found it difficult to raise the cash it requires and trading in the shares has been suspended.  The company wants to come to a settlement with creditors so that it could continue to trade.

Smaller company mergers and acquisitions business K3 Capital Group (K3C) is cautiously optimistic but the full year outcome will depend on the timing of deals. There could be a small dip in pre-tax profit to £7m this year and there could be a corresponding dip in dividend from 11.2p a share to 10.8p a share.

Telit Communications (TCM) says that it will not complete the sale of its automotive business until next year. Telit is expected to make a 2018 loss. Further cost savings are being made in the Internet of Things operations.

More bad news from Filtronic (FTC) with sales of Massive MIMO antennas lower than expected. The main customer has reduced its forecast demand. The capitalised development costs of £500,000 will be written off and options are being reviewed. The rest of the business is trading in line with expectations. Filtronic will be loss-making this year. Net cash was £2.3m at the end of November 2018.

Science Group (SAG) has ended its formal sale process because of stockmarket and exchange rate uncertainty. The strategic review continues. Trading is in line with expectations and the company will recommence the share buy back programme. Net cash was £6.4m at the end of November 2018.

Like-for-like sales growth has been slowing at DP Poland (DPP) and this means that progress in 2019 is unlikely to be as good as expected. This means that it will take longer to reach profitability. Rivals have been spending money on marketing and warm weather has also held DP Poland back. A full year trading update will be published on 29 January.

Taptica International Ltd (TAP) plans to spend up to $10m on buying back shares and it has already spent nearly £110,000. There was net cash of $42.1m at the end of June 2018.

Tristel (TSTL) says that the US regulatory process for its disinfection products is on track and interim pre-tax profit should be £2.2m.

TomCo Energy (TOM) has managed to secure £550,000 at 2p a share. The previous £532,000 placing at 8.5p a share was pulled. Laurence Read has become a non-executive director.

RA International (RAI) has won a five year contract worth up to $5.6m from a US corporate client in Central Africa.

MAIN MARKET   

Circassia Pharmaceuticals (CIR) is moving to AIM and it has decided to exercise its option to acquire US rights to COPD treatment Tudorza from AstraZeneca. This deal should complete by the end of the year and it will trigger a payment of $5m. A further $20m is payable upon approval of Duaklir and then there is further deferred consideration of $100m.

Tex Holdings (TXH) has warned that second half earnings will be lower than anticipated due to delayed deliveries and reorganisation costs.

Cadmium-free quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) is on course to complete the expansion of its Runcorn facility by the end of 2018 with commercial volume manufacturing by the middle of 2019.

Lb-shell (LBP) is being wound-up because of potential litigation relating to before it became a shell. There is unlikely to be anything left for shareholders.

Giant Saint Technologies Ltd (GST) is installing a $1m data centre in Singapore.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 December 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET   

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 3 December 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

European Lithium (EUR) joined NEX on 26 November. European Lithium is the 100% owner of the Woflsberg lithium project in Austria and it is already quoted on the ASX. The plan is to produce battery grade lithium hydroxide for the European market. Capex of $390m is required for the project. WH Ireland estimates the NPV at $223m.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has confirmed its move to AIM in the middle of December. The cyber security systems developer plans to raise up to £2.25m.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) raised £125,000 at 1p a share. This will finance product development. Wheelsure has established a project with Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) and the University of Manchester. This will develop a product combining graphene with Wheelsure’s failsafe locking system.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has completed the acquisition of the Mecca bingo hall in Chesterfield for £4m. The property has a ten year lease and generates annual rent of £388,000. Ace has issued 147,070 shares at 100p each covering the conversion of convertible loan notes and payment of related interest.

Sandal (SAND) says that it needs more to cash in order to fully exploit the potential for Energenie MiHome products. Revenues in the first five months of the new financial year are higher than in the same period last year, even though there was a stock overhang at one Energenie MiHome customer.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) is relinquishing two licences in order to focus on its three main projects. They are the tailings project in Avoca, Wicklow, the north Wexford gold project and the zinc project in County Clare. There was €212,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) has launched the Beta version of its CEDEX blockchain diamond exchange.

Barkby Group (BARK) has taken on a ten-year lease for The George at Burpham in Sussex.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has purchased 27 million shares in Greatland Gold (GGP) at an average price of 1.67p a share. The investment totalled £450,000. This is on the back of positive drilling results. At the Havieron gold/copper project in Western Australia.

Dana Group International Investments (DANA) reduced its underlying loss in the year to June 2018 and it ended the period with a NAV of 21 cents a share. There was a sharp decrease in NAV due to the write-down in the value of investments.

Imperial Minerals (IMPP) is still seeking a resources acquisition. There was £20,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018 and subsequently a further £50,000 was raised by a convertible issue.

AIM   

Active Energy Group (AEG) has raised nearly £1.5m at 1p a share and there is one warrant with every four new shares. The warrant is exercisable at 1.75p a share over a 12 month period. Creditors have been issued 15.5 million shares for the money they are owed. The cash will be used to finance the plans for a CoalSwitch plant with its joint venture partner and the working capital for the newly awarded cutting permits in Newfoundland.

Financial services provider STM Group (STM) expects a significant release from the London and Colonial Assurance of at least £500,000 before the year end. Last year, the release was £1.3m. There have also been one-off costs, but overall pre-tax profit should be in line with expectations.

Kropz (KRPZ) began trading on AIM on Friday. The share price ended the day at a 3.5p premium to the 40p placing price. The plant nutrient producer raised £27.3m to finance the Elandsfontein phosphate project.

Inland Homes (INL) has a land bank of 7,000 plots and 1,700 of them have planning consent with a further 2,000 in the planning pipeline. The sale of 386 plots in Buckinghamshire has generated a management fee of more than £7m. There should be 80 houses completed in the first half. The Rosewood Housing business has obtained approval to become a provider of affordable housing.

Argentina-focused oil and gas producer and explorer President Energy (PPC) has completed the acquisition of additional assets. Incremental production will start in December. Drilling of the third well at the Puesto Flores field has started.

Gift wrap supplier IG Design Group (IGR) has grown in the first half via a combination of acquisition and organic growth. The interim figures have led Progressive Equity Research to raise its 2018-19 earnings forecast from 25.9p a share to 27p a share.

Babestation broadcaster Cellcast (CLTV) says that revenues are declining and this is likely to continue. There is £700,000 in the bank and management is trying to collect money owed in Kenya.

IDOX (IDOX) says that full year revenues, excluding the former digital division, fell from £73.5m to £67.2m. The information management software provider generated adjusted EBITDA of £14.4m, down from £16.7m. Annualised recurring revenues are running at £32.4m. The annual results will be published in February.

Safestay (SSTY) is raising up to £11m via a placing and one-for-12 open offer at 34p a share. This cash will finance the conversion and refinancing of two hostels as well as investment in other existing sites and acquiring new ones.

Faroe Petroleum (FPM) has rebuffed a bid approach by DNO. Faroe says that the 152p a share cash offer, which values the oil and gas company at £607.9m, undervalues the business and its prospects. DNO already owns a 28.2% stake in Faroe.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has been paid around $300,000 in shares for providing its uranium database to enCore Energy Corp. The shares have to be retained for four months.

Timber merchant James Latham (LTHM) reported a 10% increase in interim revenues, while underlying pre-tax profit was £7.6m, prior to a £1.1m gain on the sale of the Yate site. The order book is strong, but it is more difficult to pass on price rises. There is £12.9m in the bank.

Maistro (MAIS) has launched a one-for-7.28423264 open offer at 1p a share. That could raise up to £250,000, which could take the total raised to £2.2m.

TLA Worldwide (TLA) is planning to sell its US operations to major shareholder Gatemore and may also sell its Australian activities. This may raise enough to pay off debt and leave a small amount of cash in TLA.

Gaming demand continues to be strong for security technology provider Synectics (SNX) but UK bus demand means that the full year profit forecast has been cut from £3m to £2.8m. The £4m profit forecast for the following year has been maintained.

The optimism about the Wressle oil project proved false and the planning permission was not approved as had been recommended. The original application was refused two years ago and an appeal is planned. Operator Egdon Resources (EDR) owns a 30% interest in Wressle, Europa Oil and Gas (EOG) has a 30% interest and Union Jack Oil (UJO) has a 27.5% interest. Humber Oil and Gas owns the other 12.5%.

Altona Energy (ANR) has temporarily suspended its activities at the Westfield Tenement in Australia. Management believes that other coal deposits may be more suitable for its pyrolysis technology.

Realm Therapeutics (RLM) has selected a shortlist of potential transactions, including a potential sale of the company. Further news will be published in the first quarter of 2019.

Fishing Republic (FISH) is still trying to raise additional funds for the business and it is also assessing options for selling the business.

Webis (WEB) improved its pre-tax profit from $5,000 to $103,000 in the 12 months to May 2018 and this is before any benefit from legalised online sports betting in the US.

MAIN MARKET  

Bioquell (BQE) is recommending a 590p a share cash bid from US-based Ecolab. That values the bio-decontamination business at £140.5m. The bid is nearly four times the level of the share price three years ago.

Standard list shell Hertsford Capital (HERT) has raised £3mat 10p a share. The technology-focused investment company has £2.8m in cash after costs. The share price ended the week at 11.75p.

Interim revenues declined from £666,000 to £498,000 at Associated British Engineering (ASBE) although the loss fell from £377,000 to £342,000 due to an improved performance at British Polar Engines as annual cost savings of £150,000 start to show through. There is around £1m of cash and available for sale financial assets, which is similar to the NAV.

PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) has received the final payment of €14.3m in settlement of claims against a customer.

Flavour and fragrance ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) increased its revenues by 11% to £112.2m in the year to September 2018. Pre-tax profit improved from £11.7m to £12.6m. US capital investment should be completed next year.

Vertically integrated gemstone explorer Shefa Yamim (SEFA) is set to begin trial mining early next year. The latest exploration results have increased the volumes of mineralised placer gravels at three target sites from 1.1 million tonnes to five million tonnes.

Cardiff Property (CDFF) increased its net assets from 2126p a share to 2178p a share at the end of September 2018. The property investor has no debt and there is cash and financial assets of £5.8m. The dividend has been increased from 15.5p a share to 16.6p a share.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 November 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) plans to raise up to £2.25m prior to a move to AIM at the end of this year. The cash will be invested in sales and marketing, product development and working capital.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company Stream TV Networks has secured a deal with Beijing Optical and Electrical, which will use Stream’s 3D display technology in large flat TV and monitor screens. Primorus has invested £1.4m in Engage Technology, which has 75 corporate clients for its construction software and a further 17 that are contracted but not yet live. Revenues are growing more slowly than hoped. Engage is talking with partners and potential corporate investors.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is increasing its shareholding in YBOO from 20% to 35% for an investment of £400,000. A working capital loan of up to £1.5m with an annual interest charge of 10%.

Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) reported an increase in interim revenues from R7.65m to R8.37m and the loss declined from R4.52m and R4.12m. At the end of August 2018, net cash was around R11.5m. The South Africa-based social impact investor generated the majority of its revenues from Kuzuko Lodge with a contribution from Bee Sweet Honey.

KR1 (KR1) says that its investee company Volt Ltd has raised $2m. KR1 has converted loan notes and has a 7.94% in institutional digital asset custodian Volt valued at $1.4m. The initial investment of £200,000 acquired a 5% stake in September 2017.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has completed the acquisition of the Gold Ridge project in Arizona from Winston Gold for £530,000. The final payment is funded by shares at 1.75p each. The project area includes three former producing mines. There is potential for the discovery of further gold mineralisation.

Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has raised $315,000 at 20 cents a share. This cash will fund geological work and the evaluation of opportunities in Colombia.

Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) is changing its name to SG Recruitment Ltd.

AIM    

Gresham House (GHE) is acquiring investment manager Livingbridge for an initial £30m. Up to £10m more could be payable depending on performance. This deal will help to widen the customer base and provide product development opportunities. The combined group will have assets under management of more than £2bn. A placing raised £11.7m at 448p a share. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing even before cost savings. Gresham House Energy Storage Fund has raised £100m and will invest £57.2m in a portfolio of energy storage assets in development.

Castleton Technology (CTP) increased interim revenues by one-fifth to £12.9m and there was a 5% improvement in earnings per share. finnCap forecasts an improvement in full year earnings per share from 5.2p to 5.9p. The provider of software and managed services plans to pay a maiden dividend for this financial year.

Transportation software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) has reported figures in line with recently upgraded forecasts. In the year to July 2018, revenues improved from £34.5m to £39.8m, mainly organic growth, while pre-tax profit rose from £7.6m to £8.5m, helped by a one-fifth increase in software sales. There is £22m in the bank to finance further acquisitions.

AdEPT Technology (ADT) has acquired unified communication services provider ETS Communications for £2.5m less net debt at the end of October 2018. This deal will be immediately earnings enhancing. Thebank facility has been increased to £35m in order to fund further acquisitions.

International benefits insurance provider GBGI Ltd (GBGI) is recommending a $1.515 a share cash offer from Elm Bidco. This values GBGI at $131.8m (£101.6m). There has been modest growth in earnings per share since GBGI floated at 150p a share in February 2018. Adividend of 1.4 cents a share was paid in June.

Myanmar-focused social media platform operator MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) is investigating into the use of proceeds of two recent fundraisings. Approximately £900,000 was paid out of company funds to former directors and third parties. Staff are being made redundant and additional cash is required. Trading in the shares is suspended. The nominated adviser SP Angel and joint broker Daniel Stewart have resigned. Piers Pottinger has stepped down as a director.

Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) has reassured investors about trading and the share price has started to recover. Victoria is not issuing a bond to refinance its debt because the potential pricing was unfavourable. Invesco has increased its stake to 22.1% and The Spruce House Partnership has built up a 13.6% stake.

Estate agency Purplebricks (PURP) has grown interim revenues in the UK by one-fifth. Trading in Australia is tough, and it is still early days in the US. Net cash was more than £100m at the end of October 2018.

First Derivatives (FDP) increased its underlying interim pre-tax profit by 15% to £10.6m. The interim dividend was 10% higher at 7.7p a share. The software and consultancy company with the fastest growth coming from licences for Kx software.

URA Holdings (URA) has gained EIS approval for the funding for its proposed reverse takeover of personalised digital entertainment content provider Entertainment AI. Complexities of the deal have been solved and documentation is progressing. URA has until 20 December to complete a reverse takeover.

Interim revenues and pre-tax profit at Best of the Best (BOTB) will be better than expected and this has led to a full year pre-tax profit upgrade from £1.4m to £1.6m, which is the same as the year before. The online competitions operator will be hit by the increase in remote gaming duty from 15% to 21% from October 2019. This will mean that 2019-20 forecasts will have to be reassessed.

Polarean Imaging (POLX) says that its phase III non-inferiority clinical trial of its Xenon polariser is up and running. Enrolment should be completed in the second quarter of 2019. A new order has been received to upgrade the polariser at SickKids Hospital in Toronto.

Remote tracking technology developer Starcom (STAR) has signed a deal with a distributor in North Africa covering Helios Advanced and BIO CAN fuel sensors. This year’s group revenues are expected to improve from $5.4m to $5.9m. Starcom has raised £400,000 at 2p a share.

Broadcast software provider Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) has won two new contracts that will underpin forecasts for 2018 and 2019. The two orders have a total value of £2m.

Zoo Digital (ZOO) reported interims in line with expectations. Revenues were 17% ahead at $14.9m and the main growth has come from dubbing services. The loss was slightly higher at $159,000. A major subtitling customer will increase its demand in the second half. The full year, underlying pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from $500,000 to $1.8m.

Recruitment company Kellan Group (KLN) plans to cancel its AIM quotation and the general meeting vote already has backing from the owners of 70% of the shares. The shares are tightly held and liquidity is limited.

Fastjet (FJET) says that it can continue operating in November, but it will require more cash.

Crawshaw (CRAW) has called in administrators to itself and four subsidiaries. Thirty five stores have closed and 19 are still trading. Administrators have also been appointed to Flowgroup (FLOW) because it could not find a suitable acquisition.

MAIN MARKET  

Path Investments (PATH) says it is not proceeding with the farm-in for the Alfeld-Elze II licence having failed to raise the cash it required and reach agreement on the transaction structure. The deal would have led to a move to AIM. Trading in the shares remains suspended.

Beauty and personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) expects interim revenues to be similar to last year, while full year revenues are expected to increase from £10.7m to £14.4m. finnCap forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £700,000 to £1.7m.

Consumer goods supplier UP Global Sourcing (UPGS) reported revenues for the year to July 2018 fell by one-fifth to £87.6m and underlying pre-tax profit decreased from £10.7m to £5.6m. The main decline was due to discount retailers seeking tougher terms and delayed sales to a European retailer. Online sales increased and this helped to maintain margins. Brands include Salter kitchenware and Constellation luggage. The Kleeneze brand is being relaunched. Non-executive chairman Jim McCarthy has acquired 135,000 shares at 39.3p each. Equity Development forecasts a rise in earnings per share from 5.4p to 5.6p, while dividend per share should rise from 2.7p to 2.8p.

Trading in Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) shares has been suspended ahead of a proposed acquisition of Chorum Group.

Shareholders have agreed to Titon Holdings (TON) moving to AIM on 10 December.

Andrew Hore

  

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 1 October 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) managed to edge up its profit despite flat turnover of £156.6m in the year to June 2018. Underlying pre-tax profit was 5% ahead at £11.8m. The total dividend is 3% higher at 29.2p a share. Growth came from the managed pubs but there was a decline in the brewing operations because of the loss of the Asahi contract. Own brand volumes were 0.9% lower, but the division improved its profit contribution. Volumes will continue to fall as third party business is further reduced. The current year has started well.

Chapel Down (CDGP) is opening a bar, restaurant and ginnery called the Chapel Down Gin Works in the Kings Cross area. The wines and beers maker reported a 15% rise in interim revenues to £5.72m. The majority of the growth in revenues came from the wine business and demand continues to exceed supply. The overall loss rose because of the much higher loss from the brewing business. Group profit is second half weighted.

V22 (V22) slipped into loss in the first half of 2018 as the NAV declined from 3.94p a share to 3.88p a share. If the art portfolio is revalued the NAV has increased from 7.47p a share to 8.29p a share.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) generated revenues of £1.33m in the six months to June 2018. There was a reported pre-tax profit of £554,000, after an impairment charge of £216,000. There was £65,000 of cash generated in the period. The blockchain consultancy and investment company obtained most of its revenues from token sales advisory business.

KR1 (KR1) made a loss of £7.36m in the six months to June 2018. That loss was due to unrealised losses on the carrying value of digital currencies and other investments because of the decline in prices during the period.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased its annul revenues by one-third to £3.52m, but pre-tax profit declined from £1.12m to £214,000. That was due to a lack of disposal gains and higher interest costs. Ace has acquired the Mecca Bingo Hall in Chesterfield for £3.999m and this generates an annual rent of £301,000.

A €5.34m gain on the acquisition of an investment property helped Black Sea Property (BSP) swing from a loss to a pre-tax profit of €5.11m. The NAV increased from 0.76 cents a share to 1.16 cents a share.

Health staff provider Healthperm Resources Ltd (HPR) nearly trebled its interim revenues to £297,000 as the number of candidates deployed jumped from 50 to 144. There are 158 people enrolled in the Middle East language training centre.

BWA (BWAP) continues to seek a reverse takeover candidate and its two investments are making progress. Prepaid cards provider Prepaid Global Services is making slower than expected progress but continues to plan to gain a quotation. BWA has applied for licences in Cameroon on behalf of investee company Mineralfields. BWA had £76,000 in the bank at the end of April 2018, while shareholder funds increased from £570,000 to £764,000.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) has appointed Igor Zjali as chief investment officer and Kirk Kashefi as a non-executive director. Nigel Quinton becomes permanent finance director. The £100,000 loan from Quanta Capital has been converted into 100 million shares. There was £56,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. Investee company Civilised Bank has resubmitted its application for authorisation to the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) engaged Bishop and Sewell to investigate transactions undertaken by former boss Baron Bloom. He failed to report that he received £6,230 of rent due to Etaireia from a tenant of the Ivy Leaf Club property. Bloom is owed outstanding salary and expenses, so no action is being taken by the company. Greg Collier has stepped down as a non-executive director.

Healthcare IT supplier DXS International (DXSP) swung from profit to loss in the year to April 2018, partly due to the interest charge. Revenues dipped from £3.43m to £3.41m. Investment in new products should help to build revenues.

Western Selection (WESP) increased its NAV from 95p to 96p. Improvements in the value of the stakes in Northbridge Industrial Services and Bilby, offset the reduction in the Swallowfield investment valuation.  The total dividend has been increased from 2.2p a share to 2.25p a share. The shares are trading at a discount to NAV of around one-third.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) increased its interim revenues by 37% to £544,000 and the loss was reduced from £1.24m to £824,000. There was £1.75m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

The NAV of EPE Special Opportunities (EL.P) fell by 19% to 190.2p a share over the six months to July 2018, due to a halving of the value of the investment in Luceco, where, in August, EPE invested a further £2m.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) reported flat interim revenues of $3.91m, but the loss increased from $331,000 to $527,000. The revenues were generated from Thailand and Africa. The Honduras operation has been delayed but should be up and running by the end of the year.

Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £140,000 from a debenture stock issue.

Interim revenues declined from HK$7.22m to HK$5.27m at MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) and there was a significantly higher loss of HK$24.8m. The cash position was HK$7.65m at the end of June 2018. The traditional Chinese medicines supplier was hit by lower wholesale orders. Discussions continue with additional distributors.

AIM    

Parasite control products developer TyraTech Inc (TYRU) has signed a conditional merger agreement with American Vanguard Corporation, which involves an offer to the other TyraTech shareholders of 3.15p a share. TyraTech needs cash to grow and 34.4% shareholder American Vanguard is in a stronger position to obtain the finance. TyraTech had cash of $3.7m at the end of June 2018.

Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) is still losing money but the electrical and oil and gas tools markets are showing signs of improvement. A full year loss of £2m is still expected but the group could reach breakeven next year. Northbridge has the cash to invest in additional rental equipment.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) reported a lower interim loss and it had net cash of $2m at the end of June 2018. Drilling of the first well on the company’s Paradox Basin acreage in Utah should start before the end of the year. A recent report suggested that there could be 13mmboe of 2C resource. There has been successful exploration in the area and it already has the appropriate infrastructure. If the appraisal well is a success that should provide a strong background for a further fundraising.

Keystone Law (KEYS) grew interim revenues by 30% to £19.9m thanks to strong recruitment of new lawyers. This progress means that Keystone is on target to improve full year pre-tax profit from £2.9m to £4.4m and a total dividend of 7.5p a share is expected.

NWF (NWF) says the warm summer has hit demand for heating oil and there has been increased competition in fuels. There has been increased demand for feed and the food distribution business is trading in line with expectations.

Health monitoring equipment supplier Deltex Medical (DEMG) is adapting its strategy in order to grow revenues and generate cash from existing customers. Costs are also being reduced. Probe revenues fell in the first half of 2018 due to delayed orders in the US and France. Overall, interim revenues fell from £2.88m to £2.33m, but the operating loss was only slightly higher at £1.14m. There is just over £1m in the bank.

Fishing Republic (FISH) has appointed Daniel Quinn as chief executive. He has previously worked at Go Outdoors and Tesco. That could point to a broadening of the range of products that will be sold by the fishing tackle retailer. Interim revenues fell from £4.1m to £3.4m, while the loss was £2.5m, which includes stock write downs and other one-off costs. Five outlets have been closed.

Trinity Exploration (TRIN) increased its oil and gas production in the first half and also achieved higher prices. The Trinidad-focused oil and gas producer increased interim revenues by 49% to $30.1m and generated $5m of cash from operating activities. There was net cash of $19m at the end of June 2018.

Gama Aviation (GMAA) increased interim revenues by 3% to $104.6m, with a lower contribution from the ground maintenance activities offset by higher revenues from the air services operations. A better second half should enable Gama to increase its full year pre-tax profit from $17.1m to $19.9m.

Oil and gas producer and explorer Cabot Energy (CAB) increased its interim revenues from $1.8m to $7.5m thanks to higher production in Canada, where Cabot took full control earlier this year. Even so, there was still a $4.2m first half loss, mainly due to exceptional costs, following the installing of a new management team. Management is in talks with potential farm-in partners for some of its Italian assets. That would enable Cabot to focus its investment in Canada. There was $6.2m in the bank at the end of June 2018, although some of that cash could be needed to complete the purchase of an Italian producing asset.

Immupharma (IMM) had £9m in the bank at the end of June 2018. The group is collaborating with Icanthera, which will in-licence the Nucant cancer programme, which has completed two phase 1 trials. Immupharma is also seeking to divest its subsidiary Ureka, while retaining an interest in the potential of the operations. Even though the results of the Lupuzor phase III trial were disappointing, a deal has been signed for Lupuzor to be provided via a Managed Access Programme. An open label extension study for Lupuzor will report by next summer.

Park Group (PKG) says that it has grown its cash balances and both the consumer and corporate businesses are trading well. Park is on course for a full year profit of £13.6m.

Active Energy (AEG) reported a higher interim loss. This was a period when $1.32m was spent on the development of the CoalSwitch plant. Along with its partner, Active has submitted an EU grant application for the SuperFuel coal slurry recovery technology and a decision should be made before the end of the year. There is also optimism about gaining a Crown Timber Licence for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Destiny Pharma (DEST) still has cash of £15.1m even though costs were increased in the first half. Investment in trials means that cash could fall to £10m by the end of the year. The phase I safety study for the use of XF-73 to prevent surgical infections should be completed by the end of this year and a phase IIb trial could commence early next year. A second formulation of XF-73 is being developed for dermal infections and diabetic foot ulcers in particular.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH) plans to sell its US subsidiary, which it acquired in 2015 when it gained its Nasdaq listing. Midatech will receive an initial $13m for the cancer care products supplier. The cash will be used for the research and development operations and paying off the loan from MidCap.

Bosch has invested £9m in fuel cell technology developer Ceres Power Holdings (CWR) in return for a 4.4% stake. Weichai Power will invest a further £1m to maintain its 10% stake.

There was a 17% fall in gold processed by Goldplat (GDP) in the year to June 2018, but sales only dipped from 40,285 ounces to 39,400 ounces. Revenues increased by 7% to £33.8m. The Kilimapesa gold mine continues to disappoint and lose money. A lower contribution from the Ghana processing operations and a bad debt were the main reasons behind the fall in pre-tax profit from £2.84m to £1.79m. Goldplat is seeking other mine investments, not necessarily in Africa. There was £1.54m in the bank.

Veltyco (VLTY) has managed to reduce its receivables but the were still €12.6m at the end of June 2018. Revenues for the previous six months were €8.9m. Net cash was €1m. Veltyco will launch its own financial trading brand in the fourth quarter.

Stride Gaming (STR) continues to be hit by the stagnation of the online bingo market but the decline in pre-tax profit is set to be in line with expectations. In the year to August 2019, pre-tax profit is expected to fall further from £14.2m to £13.8m. There will be a £4m provision for the recent fine from the UK gambling authorities.

Strategic Minerals (SML) reported a jump in interim pre-tax profit from $158,000 to $2.69m, but this did not come through in cash during the period. That is because £2.46m of the profit came from a gain based on the payment for the Leigh Creek copper mine below its asset value.

MAIN MARKET

Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) is moving towards the point where it can submit an IND application to the FDA for CDX antibodies. There is initial data that CDX antibodies can attack and eliminate Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in vitro. Hemogenyx already has an agreement with a global pharma company for this technology. Northland has been appointed as broker.

World Trade Systems (WTS) reported a drop in interim revenues from £10.1m to £6.3m and it has fallen into loss. Trading has been tough for the health food subsidiary. This is set to continue. Trading in the shares has been suspended for more than a decade and the board says that is working towards a resumption of trading on the premium segment of the Main Market.

WideCells Group (WDC) has gained financing of up to £2.7m from the European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund. The facility is convertible into shares and has warrants attached. The cash will be invested in the stem cell storage and insurance operations. The BabyCells stem cell storage service has been launched. Group revenues remain modest and WideCells made an interim loss of more than £2m. There was £1.73m in the bank at the end of June, offset by debt of £1.17m.

Investment company London Financial and Investment Group (LFI) has maintained its NAV at 65.4p a share, despite a decline in value of its stake in Finsbury Food (FIF), and the total dividend has been edged up to 1.15p a share. The share price is 42.5p.

Standard list shell Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) still had £1.4m in the bank at the end of June 2018 following its decision to change its strategy from telecoms to blockchain acquisitions. Management is analysing potential acquisitions.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 3 September 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

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.

AIM    

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.

MAIN MARKET   

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.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 August 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has signed a memorandum of understanding with IP Group, covering the commercialising of cybersecurity intellectual property from universities.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that investee company iCAN Israel-Cannabis Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding with Yom Chai. The deal involves the development and validation of a cannabis-based treatment for Crohn’s Disease, Autism and other neurological and gastrointestinal diseases. The agreement will generate revenues for iCAN, as well as obtaining a stake and potential future royalties.

Supported housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) ended March 2018 with a NAV of 92p a share. Full year revenues were 127% higher at £103,000 and the company moved into profit. The first supported housing property was completed during the period. The board wants shareholders to approve a new management incentive plan at the company’s AGM.

There was a £88,000 cash outflow for Lombard Capital (LCAP) in the year to March 2018, but the investment company has moved from net assets to net liabilities. There is £2,154 in the bank plus £112,500 in investments. Since the year end, £320,000 has been raised from subscriptions for 7.5% 2020 unsecured loan notes.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) and Gunsynd (GUN) are selling their direct interests in the Horse Hill prospect to UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) for cash and shares.  Primorus will receive £375,000 in cash and £1m in UK Oil and Gas shares at 1.75p each for its 5% stake in Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL), while Gunsynd will receive £50,000 in cash and £500,000 in shares for its 2% stake.

AIM     

Tracsis (TRCS) says that full year revenues were ahead of expectations at around £40m and profit will be better than expected. There was £22m in the bank at the end of July 2018. The margins of the traffic and data division are improving.

Audio visual equipment distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) is acquiring Nuremberg-based Bauer und Trummer, which has annual revenues of €21m.

A potential partner has ended its interest in the Bahamas-based oil and gas prospects of Bahamas Petroleum (BPC) and that knocked two-thirds off the share price. BPC received $1m in exclusivity payments from the international oil and company and it has started talks with other third parties.

KEFI Minerals (KEFI) has signed heads of agreement with Ethiopian investors which are setting up a vehicle to make a $35m investment to finance the Tulu Kapi gold project. The first investment of $9m should be made in the current quarter.

Caledonia Mining Corp (CMCL) has agreed to acquire a further 15% of the Blanket gold mine in return for the cancellation of a $11.5m loan and 730,000 shares. That takes the Caledonia stake in Blanket to 64%. The dividend will be kept at 27.5 cents/share.

Waste gasification to energy technology provider EQTEC (EQT) has finished a strategic review following the appointment of a new chief executive. The focus will change to the delivery of customer requirements. Additional technological expertise will come from an alliance with CT3 Ingenieria.

AdEPT Telecom (ADT) is a paying an initial £5m for Shift F7 and this should be earnings enhancing. The two companies have worked together for more than a decade. AdEPT chief executive Ian Fishwick has bought 10,196 shares at 373p each.

Thor Mining (THR) has completed the definitive feasibility study for the Molyhil open pit tungsten project. The post-tax NPV is A$101 and project payback would be less than 18 months. Molyhil has opex costs of tungsten of $90/mtu, compared to an average of $157/mtu for other tungsten projects.

Data and analytics services provider D4T4 (D4T4) says that it has received the £19.5m of trade debtors in the balance sheet at the end of March 2018.

Restaurants operator Fulham Shore (FUL) says revenues generated by The Real Greek and Franco Manca have increased. New openings will be financed out of cash flow. Chief executive Nabil Mankarious has acquired 127,000 shares at 12p each, taking his stake to 19.9%.

Versarien (VRS) has signed two collaborations. A deal with AXIA Materials will lead to the development of graphene enhanced composite materials and smart graphene devices. The first two projects will be for smart buildings and electric vehicles. An agreement with AECOM will be focused on developing large-scale polymer structures for civil engineering infrastructure projects.

Broadcast software provider Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) has moved back into profit at the adjusted level in the first half of 2018, but that is after adjusting for £400,000 of amortisation of capitalised development costs. If that amortisation charge is not excluded the company would have been around breakeven. Net cash generated from operating activities was £126,000, but there is an outflow of £254,000 after capitalised investment. Most importantly, net debt is £10.5m. Debt repayments have started with £850,000 due to be repaid in the second half.

Facilities management services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) reported a 29% decline in pre-tax profit to $3.9m. Net debt was $18.4m at the end of March 2018. The minority interest in Singapore-based Frontline Security has been acquired for $3.5m.

Wey Education (WEY) says it is planning for significant growth next year, having exceeded market expectations of revenues of £4.1m in the year to August 2018. The first sales from the Chinese joint venture should be in September. A general meeting is being held to enable the issue of more shares and to create distributable reserves to allow a dividend to be paid.

Tekmar Group (TGP) intends to acquire Subsea Innovations for up to £4m. Subsea is focused on the oil and gas sector and it is involved in back deck equipment and subsea pipeline repair clamps. The deal includes £3m of fixed assets.

Veltyco (VLTY) has trade receivables of €8.9m, higher than in July, with €5.4m owed by Celestial, €1.5m of which relates to 2017. The current cash balance is €1.3m. Veltyco will launch its own regulated online trading brand. Betsson Services has renewed its contract until May 2021.

MAIN MARKET    

Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its interim pre-tax profit by 39% to £3.53m. The growth in profit came from the distribution division on the back of higher sales to internet retailers. Net debt was £11.1m at the end of June 2018. The interim dividend is increased by 8% to 0.65p a share.

London and Associated Properties (LAS) is broadening its investment remit to areas other than retail property. Diluted NAV was 54.5p a share at the end of June 2018.

Bisichi Mining (BISI) increased its pre-tax profit from £243,000 to £3.97m on the back of strong demand for coal.

Standard list shell daVictus (DVT) still has £431,000 in the bank. The board continues to look at food and beverage businesses.

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

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