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Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has secured long-term facilities of £50m, which expires in 2023, and a £35m private placement of loan notes with BAE Systems Pensions Fund which lasts for 20 years. These replace existing loans. A revaluation of pub assets has delivered a £24m gain on book value.
Mechanical and electrical services provider Field Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) has benefitted from strong spending in the water sector as Asset Management Plan 6 reaches its mid-point, as well as demand from the energy from waste sector. However, the energy from waste customer’s tough stance has held back group gross margin. In the year to May 2018, revenues improved from £17.2m to £25.9m, but pre-tax profit fell from £839,000 to £625,000. If the defined benefit scheme settlement gain is stripped out, then there is an improvement in profit from £463,000 to £558,000. There is £3.97m in the bank. The current order book is worth £12m.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is pushing ahead with Flowstone Capital Ltd, which is a private crypto fund and it has set up Flowstone Management Ltd to manage the fund. Coinsilium has also secured a strategic advisory partnership with LC LITE, which is planning a token generation event to finance the development of a digital letter of credit system for importers and exporters.
Startup Giants (SUG) still had £665,000 in the ban at the end of July 2018. Thee are plans to raise more cash via the event management services provider Exponential Events’ platform.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) is in talks with blockchain-based sports ticketing platform Footies Tech to establish a new subsidiary to develop a blockchain-based venue management system. The idea is that TechFinancials will own 75% of the company and it would provide finance of up to $500,000 to develop a proof of concept. TechFinancials will licence its technology to the new company for free.
Formerly AIM-quoted Metminco (MNC) has withdrawn from the proposed acquisition of Gunsynd (GUN) investee company Sunshine Minerals after it failed to complete due diligence. Gunsynd says that there are other interested buyers even though the nickel price has fallen since the original announcement about the proposed acquisition.
The chairman and chief executive of DXS International (DXSP) have bought further shares last week. Chairman Bob Sutcliffe bought 18,857 shares at 10.5p each, while chief executive Bob Immelman acquired 19,802 shares at 10p a share which took his stake to 10.4%.
Ananda Investments (ANA) executive director Melissa Sturgess has bought another 500,000 shares at 0.4501p each.
Gordon Dadds (GOR) is acquiring Ince and Co International LLP and its associates, which will make it the largest quoted law firm. Annual revenues will be more than £110m. The estimated consideration will be £34m, depending on revenues generated in the three years after acquisition. The merged company will be called Ince Gordon Dadds. Share trading remains suspended until the full details of the deal are published.
Watkin Jones (WJG) says that its full year figures will be slightly better than expected. Good progress is being made with the build to rent operations, but the benefits will come in the future. The sale of a client portfolio of the student accommodation management division has led to a termination fee and a share in the profit of the disposal, which totals £4m.
Concepta (CPT) has obtained a CE Mark for its myLotus fertility testing technology. This enables women to test for their optimal level of fertility. The self-test platform has been launched at the Fertility Show in London. Initial sales will be via the company’s own website. It will take time to build up sales and it is likely to be next year when they become more significant. Concepta raised £2m in August so it is well-funded for its current requirements.
Goldplat (GDP) says that first quarter production fell to 6,100 ounces of gold because of problems sourcing raw materials in Ghana and South Africa, but there has been a recovery in the second quarter and it should be able to achieve full year production estimates of 39,5000 ounces of gold. The Kilpesa mine is being put on care and maintenance if a partner cannot be found and that could knock 3,700 ounces off the production figure.
Next Fifteen Communications (NFC) has raised £20m at 475p a share. The PR firm will use some of the cash to finance the acquisition of Activate Marketing Services for an initial $9m in cash. This technology-focused business is data-led and will continue to be operated separately. This is the latest example of Next Fifteen’s strategy of growing its digital marketing operations.
Gama Aviation (GMAA) says that growth has been slower than anticipated in the second half. The main culprits are the US air associate and slower than expected growth at the new Bournemouth ground services facility. This equates to a $3m cut in forecast operating profit for 2018 and the earnings per share forecast has been reduced by 19% to 21.3 cents.
The share price of floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) slumped on the back of a warning that margins were coming under pressure. Like-for-like revenue growth was more than 3% in the six months to September 2019, but less profit is being made. Victoria is attempting to refinance its two-year bank facility through the issue of a five-year €450m bond, which has been given a BB minus credit rating by Standard & Poors.
Safestay (SSTY) has acquired a 20-year lease on a site in Vienna. This is currently a hotel and it will be converted into a 234 bed hostel at a cost of less than €300,000. Safestay will have 13 hostels.
Pires Investments (PIRI) had a NAV of £950,000 at its year end. The £200,000 increase was mainly due to investments in SalvaRx and Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas.
Imaginatik (IMTK) has launched its six-for-nine open offer to shareholders. This could raise up to £253,000 at 1.1p a share. The closing date is 26 November.
Market research firm System1 Group (SYS1) has declared a maintained interim dividend of 1.1p a share, but the final dividend may be reduced. Interim revenues declined by 5% and pre-tax profit was lower without the £250,000 exceptional credit. That is due to investment in the Ad Ratings business. There was £3.55m in the bank at the end of September 2018.
Mporium (MPM) has signed a deal with BPC Land and Sales Marketing, a services provider to property developers. BPC will use Mporium’s IMPACT technology for digital advertising campaigns. This is a new sector for Mporium.
Biome Technologies (BIOM) has increased nine months revenues by 59% to £7m, which is more than for the whole of 2017. Biome is profitable and it had £2.5m in the bank at the end of September 2018. The main growth has come in the RF Technologies division. The bioplastics business increased its third quarter revenues, but nine months revenues are still lower.
Parity (PTY) has warned that there will be a significant shortfall in profit in 2018 because of the continuing delay of a major contract. WH Ireland has slashed its pre-tax profit forecast from £1.9m to £850,000, suggesting limited profit in the second half.
Meat and delicatessen products retailer Crawshaw (CRAW) is appointing an administrator because it was unable to raise the cash it required.
Elektron Technology (EKT) has increased its nine months revenues from £22.1m to £25.8m and the full year outcome is set to be ahead of expectations. Sight screening technology developer Elektron Eye Technology is expected to move into profit. Net cash was £8.5m at the end of October 2018.
Transportation software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) has received a renewal and extension of data hosting services and software with a rail client. The contract is worth more than £2m over two years.
More bad news from superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) as 2018 figures are set to be well below expectations that have already been revised downwards. There will be a full year loss on revenues of €44m. There will be no dividend. Refit projects have been delayed and one shipyard undergoing maintenance. New build contracts have been won for 2019. The order book is worth €31.3m, of which €18.2m relates to 2019.
BlueRock Diamonds (BRD) has raised £626,000 at 0.3p a share with every two new shares coming with a warrant to subscribe for a share at 0.4p. The directors have invested £170,000. The cash will be used to open two of the five kimberlite pipes at the Kareevlei diamond mine in South Africa.
Tern (TERN) has invested a further £1.1m in in virtual reality training and data analysis technology platform developer FRVS.
PhotonStar LED Group (PSL) has appointed Menzies as administrator of its subsidiary PhotonStar LED Ltd. That business generated £1.15m of first half revenues of £1.33m. It also made most of the loss. More cash will be required for the remaining subsidiary.
TomCo Energy (TOM) has raised £100,000 at 8.5p and disposed of its stake in Red Leaf Resources for $133,333, which had no value in the balance sheet. This will take cash resources to £335,000. The field test on the Holliday block has been delayed due to a failure of couplings.
Ascent Resources (AST) is still finding it difficult to obtain the permits it is waiting for from the Slovenian authorities so that it can generate revenues from gas. Ascent is considering taking action in the European Court.
N4 Pharma (N4P) says clinical data suggests that its Nuvec technology is suitable for use with multiple antigens. It has delivered mRNA and pDNA in sufficient levels to generate the required immune response. The results of the next study should be available in the first half of 2019.
Wey Education (WEY) reported good results but WH Ireland has downgraded its forecasts for this year and next year. The broker is being more cautious about international growth prospects and cut the 2018-19 pre-tax profit forecast from £1.95m to £1.31m and the following year’s from £5.2m to £3.3m.
Frontier IP (FIPP) has made its second Portuguese investment. Des Solutio is developing greener versions of chemicals used to make beauty, pharma and personal care products. Frontier IP has taken a 25% stake.
Myanmar-focused social media platform operator MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) is raising £600,000 at 0.35p a share. Management is focusing on active users and in the first quarter of this financial year there were 412,338 active users of the mobile games offer and 426,750 media and mobile apps users. Last year’s revenues were $1.84m but they need to be much higher than that.
Property investor Safeland (SAF) has acquired North Downs golf club in Surrey for £1.07m and it will invest in the facilities.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) says that the US Bureau of Land Management has approved the application for a permit to drill the GV 22-1 well on the Paradox acreage in Utah.
Zotefoams (ZTF) has improved revenues by 16% in the nine months to September 2018. Full year profit is expected to be slightly better than anticipated. HPP sales have nearly doubled due to demand from the footwear and aviation sectors. Capacity is being increased.
Books publisher Quarto Group (QRT) has extended its facilities to the end of August 2020. The bank facility has been reduced. Large shareholders have agreed to provide unsecured and subordinated loans of $13m, repayable on 31 August 2020.
Stem cell services provider WideCells Group (WDC) is restructuring its Wideacademy educational subsidiary and closed its London office. Annualised savings are worth £400,000. Alan Greenberg has stepped down from the board.
Social media investment company Sealand Capital (SCGL) has published its full year figures and subsequent interim results. Trading in the shares has recommenced. The SecureCom business has been sold. Sealand has subscribed for a 55% interest in Guangzhou Ruiyou Information Technologies Co, which is a mobile game distributor. It is also party to a licenced operator agreement of the WeChat advertisement product in the UK and UAE. There was £758,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.
Gems explorer Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has raised £250,000 at 80p a share. The shares each come with one warrant exercisable at 100p a share.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has gained planning permission for a minor extension on its second property in north west England.
Ananda Developments (ANA) is acquiring 15% of UK-based Liberty Herbal Technologies Ltd, which is the owner and developer of hapac, a technology for vaping cannabis. The investment cost £460,000 and Ananda has the right of first refusal for any further fundraisings in the next two years. The technology can be used to provide a measured medicinal dose. A commercial launch is planned in Italy before the end of the year and in Canada next year. Ananda is holding a general meeting to extend its geographical focus to the UK and Italy.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) is leasing 388 acres of land adjoining its existing vineyards on the North Downs. This site will be vined between 2019 and 2021 and with the rest of the land that has already been planted it will be the largest vineyard in England.
DagangHalal (DGHL) intends to leave NEX after less than three years on the market. Trading in the shares has been limited but this is not surprising given the problems the company has had. Shareholders owning 84.7% of the company are in favour of the withdrawal from NEX and this will happen on 1 October.
Trading in Etaireia (ETIP) shares was suspended because the annual report for the year to March 2018 was not published by the end of August. The results were released on 5 September and trading was restored. The loss was increased from £622,000 to £857,000, following a £434,000 write down on the value of land at Dalry. The NAV was £1.81m at the end of March 2018.
Milamber Ventures (MLVP) remains suspended with full year results due to be published by the middle of September. The audit of Essential Learning still needs to be completed.
Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) had nearly £17,000 in the bank at the end of March 2018. The NAV was £722,000. The majority of the loss of £219,000 in the year was due to share-based payments. Hot Rocks has a stake in Minergy Ltd, which has floated on the Botswana Stock Exchange and has been granted a mining licence for the Masama coal project. Production could start by next February. Another investee company, Block Energy (BLOK) has floated on AIM and more than two million shares have been acquired in standard list flotation Predator Oil and Gas.
Ecovista (EVTP) has raised £550,000 from a convertible loan note issue, which has to be repaid or converted (at 0.0005p a share) by the end of August 2019.
Bilby (BILB) founder Phil Copolo and his son Leigh have left the board of the building and gas maintenance services provider and sold more than 31% of the company to institutional investors at a discount of around 6% to the then market price. Janet Copolo still owns 7.2% of Bilby and cannot sell until 3 September 2019, according to an agreement with Stanford Capital Partners, which was sole book runner of the placing. Miton has increased its stake from 15.1% to 19.8%, while MI Discretionary Fund has bought 8.19% and Ruffer has acquired 8%.
TLA Worldwide (TLA) published its latest profit warning at 10.35am on 4 September. At least it was while the markets were still trading rather than after they had closed for Christmas. Numis has had enough and resigned as nominated adviser. Trading is weak and TLA is set to breach banking covenants. TLA needs to raise cash.
Microsaic Systems (MSYS) is still building he base from which it can grow over the next few years. The interim figures do not reflect the progress that is being made. Revenues doubled from a low base, but higher costs meant that there was a flat loss of £1.5m. There is £6.96m in the bank at the end of June 2018 so the mass spectrometry technology developer has plenty of time to build up its revenues. The venture with a global bioprocessing partner is progressing and is in an integration phase. Commercialisation should be completed by early 2020. New agreements with two manufacturers and four distributors augur well for growth over the next 18 months. The target is revenues of more than £17m in 2022.
A full first half contribution from the Carlton acquisition helped Michelmersh Brick (MBH) to increase interim revenues by 43% to £23.1m and underlying pre-tax profit by 57% to £3.8m. The interim dividend has been raised by 51% to 1.06p a share. Demand for bricks remains strong and there is limited production capacity.
Tax Systems (TAX) continues to reduce its net debt, putting it in a good position to make further acquisitions. Net debt was reduced by 15% to £17.5m over a six month period. Interim revenues grew by 14% to £8m and order intake is 22% higher. The corporation tax software provider is broadening its range of software in order to make the most of the move to a digital tax system in the UK.
Filtration systems supplier Amiad Water Systems (AFS) grew its interim profit even though growth in revenues was modest. Stifel Nicolaus expects a stronger second half with full year revenues improving from $112.3m to $116.8m and then a further acceleration in growth to $123.4m. Although underlying pre-tax profit is expected to be flat at $5.1m, it is forecast to jump to $6.8m in 2019. A jump in 2018 dividend to 6.5p a share is forecast, despite relatively flat earnings per share. The dividend would still be more than twice covered.
Performance-based mobile marketing services provider Taptica International Ltd (TAP) continues to grow internationally and, via a combination of acquisitions and organic growth, interim revenues were 119% higher at $144m. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from $12.3m to $18m. An interim dividend of 3.98 cents a share is being paid. Net cash was $42.1m at the end of June 2018.
Mobile location data services provider Location Sciences (LSAI) increased revenues from £49,000 to £234,000 in the first half of 2018 but there is a lot more to come. New products have been launched and it will take time for them to make a significant contribution. Even so, 2018 revenues of £702,000 are forecast, rising to £2.2m in 2019. The loss will reduce but a profit is not forecast until 2020. There was £720,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018 and more funding will be required to achieve the expected growth in sales.
Finsbury Food (FIF) is acquiring Free From bakery manufacturer Ultrapharm for an initial £17m with more dependent on performance. The business made a pre-tax profit of £800,000 in 2017. The acquisition is earnings enhancing.
Safestyle UK (SFE) has settled litigation with former employees who set up in competition. They will change their brand name from SafeGlaze and promise not to use confidential information.
IFA Lighthouse (LGT) continues to prosper. Interim revenues were 5% ahead at £26.9m and pre-tax profit 12% higher at £1.26m. Net cash was £9.6m. and the interim dividend is two-thirds higher at 0.2p a share. Growth has been coming from the affinity business.
Commercial aircraft lessor Avation (AVAP) reported a 16% increase in revenues to $109.1m in the year to June 2018. However, pre-tax profit dipped by 6% due to a gain on aircraft sales in the corresponding period. The dividend was increased by one-fifth to 7.25 cents a share. The NAV was equivalent to 283p a share. Cannacord Genuity forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from $18.9m to $23.8m this year.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Rascasse Developments in order to expand into the Midlands.
Kavango Resources (KAV) has received a permit for an airborne electromagnetic geophysical survey of the Kalahari Suture Zone area, which covers 12 prospecting licences.
Haynes Publishing (HYNS) increased full year revenues by 13% to £33.8m and underlying pre-tax profit by a similar percentage to £2.9m. The total dividend is unchanged at 7.5p a share. Net cash was £2.5m at the end of May 2018. Growth in the sales of digital products is faster than the decline in other revenues.
Health and community care properties developer Ashley House (ASH) reported a much-improved profit for the year to April 2018. There was a strong second half performance because of the completion of four schemes. Full year revenues were flat at £18.5m, while pre-tax profit jumped from less than £100,000 to £1.8m, although that includes a £500,000 write back of a previous impairment charge. Net debt was reduced from £2.5m to £1.5m. The housing and health property pipeline is valued at £206m, covering 22 schemes. The F1 Modular business lost money last year but trading appears likely to improve.
Ananda Developments (ANA) has acquired $200,000 of convertible loan notes in iCAN Israel-Cannabis Ltd, which focuses on medicinal cannabis. This is the first investment for Ananda and the convertibles have an annual interest rate of 6%. The interests of Ananda director Charles Morgan have assigned $100,000 of the convertibles to the company. iCan has subsidiaries involved in organising cannabis symposiums and cannabis-based research services, plus a 5% stake in CannRx Technology Inc, which has developed liquid soluble cannabinoids for use in treatments, and a 20% stake in CMTREX, which is developing a trading platform for cannabis.
Nigel Wray has reduced his stake in High Growth Capital (HASH) from 5.99% to 4.72%. Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) non-executive chairman David Sumner has bought 29,230 shares at 190p each, taking his stake to 84.7%.
Early Equity (EEQP) says trading in the company shares will resume on 28 August. Trading had been suspended on 16 May. The resumption follows an agreement with NEX Exchange that will change how shares are distributed to related parties. Early Infinity Holdings (EI) is the exclusive distributor for Yicom Global, where Early Equity is a 47. 1% shareholder. EI’s agents sell the products in Malaysia and elsewhere in south east Asia. EI incentivises its agents by gifting them shares in Early Equity. These were deemed to be a gift rather than a trade, so they were not reported. A new nominee company with two trustees that are not shareholders in Early Equity has been set up. This will hold shares for the benefit of agents of EI. Agents will receive a warrant certificate. These agents own 46.7% of Early Equity and shares equivalent to 6.29% of the company will be transferred to the nominee company. Early Equity previously announced that it wants to move to a standard listing. The company’s NAV was £1.54m, including £429,000, at the end of 2017.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is investing $125,000 in Bundle Network Ltd, which is developing an online platform that enables the trading of cryptocurrencies. Coinsilium will also receive Bundle Network crypto tokens.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has paid a $50,000 option fee, which could lead to the company gaining a 51% stake in a new company that holds the rights to the Kamyshanovskoye uranium project in the Kyrgyz Republic. The project has an inferred uranium resource that could be worth $144m at $26/lb, plus exploration upside. International Mining Company owns 100% of the project and it would be put into a new vehicle, where MetalNRG would inject cash to gain its majority stake. MetalNRG has 90 days to undertake due diligence and review data. If the option is not taken up the option fee would be converted into a 2.5% stake in the new vehicle.
VI Mining (VIM) is starting its drilling campaigns at minas Pampa and Rosario de Belen, while the vendors are in discussions about changes in the terms of the deals. The timing of the due payment has been extended while the talks continue.
Panther Metals (PALM) has appointed Ariana Resources (AAU) boss Dr Kerim Sener as a non-executive director.
Ecovista (EVTP) is asking for shareholder approval for a resolution that will enable it to issue up to 3.486 billion shares so that management can continue with its strategy.
Gatemore Investments has increased its stake in TLA Worldwide (TLA), the company famous for issuing a profit warning after the market closed prior to Christmas 2016, from 7.4% to 12.2%. Bart Campbell has stepped down as executive chairman of TLA, but he will continue to receive his monthly salary until the end of the year.
Last year, revenues fell by nearly one-third to £24m at microwave electronic products supplier Filtronic (FTC) but it had already been flagged. The ending of a low margin contract meant that pre-tax profit fell from £2.16m to £1.23m, although that includes exceptional finance charges of £486,000 due to exchange rate movements. The broadband and wireless divisions are being merged because they have similar customer bases. There is net cash of £3.6m plus available bank facilities. Investment in new products continues and there is long-term demand from investment in 5G networks and security-related areas.
Marshall Motor (MMH) reported a decent set of figures given the tough new car market, which is exacerbated by the decline in diesel car sales. There was a small dip in continuing revenues but underlying pre-tax profit edged up to £16.4m. Used vehicle profit improved. The dividend is maintained at 2.15p a share. Trading will be even tougher in the second half, partly due to testing regulation changes, and full year profit is expected to decline from £29.1m to £24.2m. There is a strong balance sheet with a NAV of £201m.
Zamano (ZMNO) has ended discussions with its potential reverse takeover target. This means that cash is likely to be returned to shareholders.
Condor Gold (CNR) has been granted an environmental permit for developing a processing plant for the La India project by the Nicaragua authorities. Gold production could be 80,000 ounces a year from a single open pit. Accounts for the six months to June 2018, show cash of £1.57m.
Abzena (ABZA) is recommending a 16p a share cash bid from Astro Bidco, which values it at £34.4m. The life sciences company joined AIM four years ago when it raised £20m at 80p a share. It needs additional finance pumped into the business.
Oil and gas producer Empyrean Energy (EME) has received a $906,000 tax refund from the IRS from the 2016-17 tax year.
SalvaRx Group (SALV) is selling its business to a Toronto-quoted company in return for shares, most of which will be distributed to shareholders. The 94.2% stake in cancer drugs developer SalvaRx Ltd is being swapped for 757.9million shares in Portage Biotech Inc, which are deemed to have a value of $67.5m. SalvaRx shareholders will receive 18 Portage shares for each SalvaRx share they own if they approve the disposal. SalvaRx will retain around 100 million Portage shares and become a shell.
ClearStar (CLSU) has been named as preferred contract labour screening provider for Gulfstream Aerospace. This should contribute to a reduction in loss this year.
Premier African Minerals (PREM) has raised £750,000 at 0.18p a share. Premier plans a drilling programme of up to 2,750 metres to expand the resource base at the RHA Tungsten mine. The cash should last until the end of 2018.
Tex Holdings (TXH) reported a slump in interim pre-tax profit from £423,000 to £96,000 even though there was a small reduction in admin expenses. There was a much better contribution from the plastics division but that was more than offset by the slump in profit by the engineering division due to delays in orders. Metal fabrication and powder coating business Argento UK has recently been bought. The interim dividend is unchanged at 2.5p a share.
Nanoco (NANO) expects the first displays using its cadmium-free quantum dots to be launched before Christmas. Volume production is expected at the new Runcorn plant before the end of 2019. The 2017-18 revenues were lower than expected because it could not recognise a payment from a large customer. Net cash is estimated at £7.9m at the end of July 2018.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) reported an increase in full year loss from £177,000 to £286,000. The NAV was £379,000 at the end of April 2018. There is £148,000 in the bank. Dukemount is on the brink of moving forward with its first two supported living developments.
PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) has settled its claim with a customer. The customer will pay a total of €28.8m, of which the outstanding payment of €14.3m will be paid at the end of November. The customer has also waived the delivery of the solar wafers that were supposed to be supplied.
Small cap award winners 2018
Company of the year
ZOO Digital (ZOO)
The ZOO Digital share price is ten times the level it was one year ago. ZOO localises film and television content and it has been investing in upgrading its technology and services over the past few years. This investment is paying off and the ability to offer cloud-based services is helping the business to grow and move into profit. Hollywood studios have been customers for many years and ZOO is winning market share. Newer entrants to the market such as Netflix have grown the demand for localisation of content. ZOO is expected to report an underlying pre-tax profit of £500,000 for the year to March 2018.
NEX company of the year
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS)
Cyber security technology developer Crossword Cybersecurity originally floated on GXG and then switched to NEX. It was one of the youngest companies that was on the shortlist for this award. Crossword is generating modest revenues and it is developing cyber security products with partners. The real potential for the business will not be realised for a few years.
Impact company of the year
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR)
Walls & Futures REIT is an ethical housing REIT that develops new housing for people with learning and physical disabilities or requiring extra care. In 2017, Walls and Futures achieved a total return on its portfolio of 11.5%, ahead of its benchmark total return of 7%.
IPO of the year
K3 Capital (K3C)
Business sales and corporate finance company K3 Capital Group joined AIM at 95p a share in April 2017 and the share price has more than trebled. Bolton-based K3 helps owners to sell their businesses and it gains clients through a direct marketing strategy. The AIM quotation and the related higher profile appears to have helped to accelerate growth. A move up the Thomson Reuters deal rankings is also helping. Last year, revenues rose by 26% to £10.8m, while pre-tax profit improved 18% to £3.6m. In the six months to November 2017, revenues were 34% ahead at £7.5m and pre-tax profit moved from £2.48m to £3.21m.
Fintech company of the year
FAIRFX Group (FFX)
Foreign exchange and e-banking services provider FAIRFX has a low cost model while offering an improved experience to the more established rivals. Turnover was £1.1bn last year, while revenues were £15.5m and this enable the company to move into profit. Corporate turnover was 52.3% of the total, up from 45.5%. The company recently moved its international payments book onto the City Forex platform following its acquisition. The focus is increasing scale to improve efficiency combined with the rolling out of new products.
Transaction of the year
Proactis (PHD) – merger with Perfect Commerce
Spend control software provider Proactis merged with Perfect Commerce in August 2017. The deal significantly increased the scope of the business and added to the management team. The integration of the businesses appears to be going well but the loss of a couple of large customers has held back progress in the year to July 2018. Even so, annualised contracted revenues are still £45.5m. Progressive Equity Research still expects a near-doubling of this year’s pre-tax profit to £10.2m, rising to £13.2m next year. That means that earnings per share growth is modest this year because of the additional shares in issue.
Executive director of the year
Bobby Kalar – Yu Group (YU.)
Electricity and gas supplier Yu Group floated on AIM in March 2016 at 185p a share. The current share price is more than four times that level. The focus is on commercial customers. Yu increased its revenues from £16.3m to £47m last year and annualised bookings continue to grow. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £195,000 to £3.08m. The dividend was increased from 2.25p to 3p a share. Trading continues to be strong and average annualised bookings per month were £6.6m. The cash pile has increased to £18.6m at the end of April 2018. Yu has obtained a licence to supply water.
Journalist of the year
Paul Scott – Stockopedia
Fund manager of the year
Nick Williamson – Old Mutual
Microcap fund manager of the year
Guy Feld – Canaccord Genuity
Analyst of the year
Kevin Ashton – Cantor Fitzgerald
Lifetime achievement award
Katie Potts – Herald Investment Management
Special services to small caps
John Jenkins (Founder of Ofex/NEX)
Daniel Thwaites (THW) increased its 2017-18 by 9% to £92.2m, while operating profit improved by 7% to £12.9m. There was a 79% increase in earnings per share to 13.8p, mainly due to a swing from a loss on interest swaps to a profit. The total dividend is unchanged at 4.46p a share. Investment in the pubs and hotels operations and in the new craft brewery at Mellor Brook has led to a rise in net debt from £47.6m to £63.7m. The old brewery will be demolished and the land will eventually be sold or developed. Poor weather means that the new financial year has started more slowly than last year.
Hellenic Capital has changed its name to Pelican House Mining (PHM) and is focusing on investing in early-stage resources projects in Africa. The focus is making capital gains on the investments. Pelican is trying to supplement its cash resources by selling a commercial property in Leeds, but the buyer withdrew. Pelican has retained the deposit. The investment property in Leeds is in the books at £204,000. Two directors, Simon Grant-Rennick and Mark Jackson, have been granted options over a total of seven million shares exercisable at 0.55p each.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that its conference and events division is 22% ahead of the same time last year and the revenues of the hotel have risen by the same percentage. There has been a 17% rise in revenues for the nursery business on the back of occupancy rates rising by six percentage points. There are longer-term worries about the financial ability of bookies to provide sponsorship and other revenues. Management says it will not be paying any dividends until 2022 at the earliest after the current development projects are completed.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has raised £303,000 at 0.15p a share and around £119,000 will go towards paying the £119,000 settlement with D-Beta, which provided an equity sharing facility. D-Beta has sold its existing stake. PCG is talking to Cavitation Solutions Ltd about distributing cavitation technology, which deals with oil and other water pollutants, in China. It is also talking to ChainZy about distributing its blockchain-based technology in Asia. There is interest from third parties concerning the use of PCG’s media and gambling licences in China.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) has raised £250,000 at 0.7p a share and the cash will be used to develop the company’s three main gold and zinc projects.
South Africa-focused investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has made a second investment in Uganda-based Four-One Financial Services, which manages the Mazima micro-pension scheme. This is the second tranche of the original investment and is in the form of a $100,000 convertible loan.
NWF (NWF) says that last year’s trading was much better than expected and net debt is lower than forecast. The feeds business improved its performance and trading of the fuels division was strong. The food distribution operations wee hit by reorganisation requirements and did not perform as well as expected.
Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) has got another large deal on the blocks and trading in the shares has been suspended. The Appalachian Basin oil and gas producing assets will be acquired for $575m and it will more than double the group’s daily production. This should be an earnings enhancing deal. A $225m share placing is required to help finance the deal.
RedstoneConnect (REDS) chief executive Mark Braund intends to leave the smart buildings technology company. Frank Beechinor will move from chairman to chief executive. The disposal of the systems integration and managed services divisions has been completed and the group can focus on its software business.
Ilika (IKA) has gained government funding of £4.1m for two battery technology projects in the automotive sector. The PowerDriveLine project is developing a solid state battery for hybrid and electric vehicles. The other project is headed by McLaren Automotive and is developing a battery for performance cars.
Secure payment products provider Eckoh (ECK) increased its full year revenues by 3% to £30m but pre-tax profit was 61% higher at £2.4m thanks to an improvement in operating margin. Growth in the US made up for a weaker contribution in the UK.
Redhall Group (RHL) slumped back into loss in the first half due to a delayed contract. However, it is still on course to make an improved profit in the full year. Interim revenues were 22% lower at £14.7m. There is strong demand for the company’s specialist doors from the nuclear and transport sectors.
Evgen Pharma (EVG) has enough cash to get to the end of 2018. There should be further positive news about the two ongoing clinical trials prior to the end of the year. Interim analysis of phase II trial of SFX-01 as a treatment for breast cancer show that six out of 20 patients, who had tumours that had initially responded to treatment but had become resistant, saw some benefit from the treatment of their tumours. The treatment has also been shown to be safe. The final results of the trial should be published before the end of the year.
Life sciences company Abzena (ABZA) has decided to focus on monetising its technology rather than raising money via a share issue. A non-binding heads of agreement with a third party would involve the sale of an interest in future royalties. If this deal is completed there would be enough working capital for the short-term.
Active Energy Group (AEG) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Young Living Farms for the sale of a PeatSwitch plant, which makes environmentally friendly peat replacements. The first plant is in Mona, Utah and the client is paying $3.4m in cash. There could subsequently be other plants at the client’s other sites.
Trading has resumed in the shares of Audioboom (BOOM) following publication of its accounts. The share price fell from 3.6p to 2.18p. The podcasts publisher has raised £4.5m from a placing at 3p a share.
WideCells Group (WDC) managed to raise £513,000 at 3p a share via a bookbuild on the Teathers app. That includes £183,000 from directors. The total amount raised by the stem cell services provider is £2.04m, including conversion of debt of £165,000. Shareholder approval is required for the share issue.Trading in the shares has resumed and the share price has fallen below the placing price. WideCells is using £615,000 of its £624,500 overdraft, which will be reviewed at the end of June. Shareholders have loaned £120,000.
China-based Gamfook Jewellery is planning to join the standard list. The online retailer customised jewellery wants to raise £5m in order to invest in retail sites. Gamfook has managed to generate cash from operating activities in the past few years, although next year there will be a significant working capital outflow according to forecasts. Gamfook is offering an 8.5% yield on its potential placing price of 15p a share and that would rise to 12.5% in 2019.
Air Partner (AIR) has completed its accounting review and the net assets overstatement of £4m net of tax is in line with indications. There were accounting errors and subsequent attempts to cover up the problems going back to 2010. The review has cost £1.3m. Air Partner still intends to pay a final dividend of 3.8p a share.
BATM (BVC) has won a $3m follow-on cyber security for a government department. The total contract value will be $7m.
Falcon Media House (FAL) has raised £500,000 via a convertible loan note issue. The conversion price is 1.5p a share.
Cash shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) has raised £250,000 from an oversubscribed open offer at 20p a share but there was a delay of one day before the shares were admitted to trading on 14 June. The share price has slumped from a high of 160p to 24.5p over the past month.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has agreed a 30-year lease on a second property in north west England. Housing association Inclusion Housing is paying £168,740 a year for the lease subject to planning permission for extra rooms. The property needs to be refurbished.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has executed the 50/50 joint venture agreement with Southern Gold for the Kochang mine and the feasibility report is expected before the end of September. The required $500,000 investment has nearly been completed by Bluebird and it is on course to invest the required $250,000 in Southern Gold. First gold is expected before the end of 2019.
London Nusantara Plantations has become Panther Metals (PALM) and it has sent out notice of a general meeting on 1 May to enable directors to issue up to one billion shares. This power will expire after 15 months. The company is issuing 17 million shares at 0.1p a share to pay a £17,000 bill from an adviser.
Early Equity (EEQP) had £429,000 in the bank at the end of February 2018. The company raised £705,000 during the year and this has helped to increase the value of the investment portfolio from £594,000 to £1.01m. The NAV has increased from £639,000 to £1.54m. There are plans to raise more cash if its is required for additional investments.
Forbes Ventures (FOR) says that investee company Civilised Bank Ltd has released the banking licence it was granted by the Bank of England because it will not meet the mobilisation deadline. There have been delays in developing the IT needed by the bank so the intention is to reapply when the IT development is further advanced.
Oil palm plantations operator MP Evans (MPE) is starting to enjoy the benefits of its investment in planting oil palm but there is plenty more to come. The 2017 profit was boosted by a gain on discontinued operations of $68m. The underlying dividend improved from 15p a share to 17.75p a share and there should be continued growth as the plantations mature. The value of the business is estimated at £11 a share.
The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) increased revenues by 23% to £10.2m and this led to a one-third improvement in pre-tax profit to £4.3m. This was despite the loss by online estate agency EweMove, where new management has been put in place. The total dividend is 7.5p a share and there was a modest year-end net cash position. The tenant fee ban could hit the business in 2019 but there is time to mitigate the impact.
Parity (PTY) has completed its turnaround and from now on profit growth will come from growing the revenues. The IT recruitment side was hit by changes in tax treatment for freelancers working for government departments but underlying pre-tax profit was still improved from £1.4m to £1.7m. The recently announced Primark contract will help this year. The higher margin consultancy business continues to grow. Cash generation was better than expected with net debt falling from £4.4m to £1.6m. There should be net cash at the end of 2018. There is also the prospect of a dividend in the medium-term.
D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) had a strong fourth quarter and this strength is set to continue into the first few months of this financial year.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) boss Matthew Idiens has nearly doubled his stake in the oil and gas company through the acquisition of 800,000 shares at an average price of 2.5p each. Finance director Christopher Eadie has bought 424,715 shares at an average of 2.35p each. Rose recently added to its land position in the Paradox Basin in Utah. Rose acquired a 75% working interest in 3,320 gross acres for $120,000. There has already been a 3D seismic survey of the acreage.
Frontier IP (FIPP) has increased its stake in Fieldwork Robotics by offering additional engineering and development support. That will help to develop a prototype for harvesting vegetables. The stake will rise from 21% to 27.5%.
Boku Inc (BOKU) is growing its revenues and the relatively stable cost base means that it could be on course for a profit in 2018. The direct mobile carrier billing company is expected to grow revenues from $24.4m to $32.7m in 2018 and that would be enough to make a profit. Additional services could further boost long-term revenues.
Starcom (STAR) published a positive AGM statement. First quarter revenues were much higher than expected at $1.5m, which is nearly double the first quarter of 2017. This should help to reduce the loss this year.
RedT Energy (RED) is raising £3.85m at 5.9p a share and this will be invested in growing its energy storage technology business.
Cadmium-free quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) had £8.7m in the bank at the end of January 2018, thanks to the £8m raised in November. The reported interim loss declined from £6.4m to £4.8m. There could be additional revenues in the second half from initial payments by the US partner funding the development of nano-particles for electronic devices. There should also be product revenues from the launch of gaming-focused computer displays in the second half. There should be £5.7m in the bank at the end of July 2018.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) says that it intends to increase the number of rooms and add office space in its second development. This will increase the rental income. These changes have been sparked by the potential housing association buyer of the assisted housing development. The architect will have to make changes to the plans and a two-month extension to the option period for the purchase from the current owner of the building.
China-focused health food products supplier World Trade Systems (WTS) increased its revenues from £8.7m to £19.6m in 2017. There reported profit more than doubled from £906,000 to £1.98m. There is £2.17m in the bank offset by £1.26m of borrowings.
Standard list shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) has raised £115,000 at 20p a share. This should help to improve the limited liquidity of the shares. A one-for-40 open offer at the same share price could raise up to £253,000 more. The suspension of trading in the shares should be lifted on 19 April. The suspension price was 125p a share. In January, £4m was raised at 8p a share and the limited liquidity led to a ridiculous rise in the share price.
Western Selection (WESP) maintained its NAV at 95p a share at the end of the six month period of December 2017. Net debt was £1.13m. A sharp upturn in the value of the stake in Bilby (BILB) and offset declines in other investments. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.1p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 8 March.
Gledhow Investments (GDH) has granted six million options to its directors and company secretary. Guy Miller and Brett Miller will receive 2.5 million options each and Geoffrey Melamet receives 1 million. The exercise price is 1p a share. They last for five years and would equate to 10.9% of the enlarged share capital if taken up. The current share price is 1p (0.75p/1.25p). Gledhow had a NAV of £714,452 at the end of September 2017, which is equivalent to 1.45p a share. Since the year end, a gain of £115,000 was achieved on the sale of Coinsilium shares and Gledhow retains a significant stake which in Coinsilium, where the share price is more than three times the level at the end of September 2017. That could add more than £100,000 to the Gledhow NAV but the Coinsilium share price is volatile. Directors and company secretary remuneration was £21,514 last year. There are 4.9 million warrants exercisable at 1.5p each but these expire on 6 March 2017. Bruce Rowan and related parties own 83.37% of the current share capital.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) is continuing with its plans to move to the standard list. IMC has signed heads of agreement with Trove Metals Ltd and this should lead to a joint venture for the project at Avoca, County Wicklow. The current Koza/IMC joint venture has been set aside. IMC has decided to focus on the 12 most prospective of its 15 licences.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) says that its revenues more than doubled to more than £700,000 in 2017. There is customer interest in the Rizikon cyber security product and the General Data Protection Regulations will provide momentum when they come into force in May. Full year figures should be published by the end of April.
Sandal (SAND) says that radiators supplier Pitacs will be a distributor of the Energie MiHome range. Pitacs is launching a new boiler in April and the Energie MiHome thermostats and radiator valves can be sold with this. Pitacs supplies more than 2,000 independent plumbers’ merchants as well as Plumb Nation.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that its investee company Rapid Nutrition plans to gain a quotation in London. Rapid, which is already quoted on the SIX Swiss Exchange, has developed a nutraceutical product range. One of the terms of the £150,000 loan to Rapid was that it should be admitted to the London market by the end of February but this date has been extended to the end of April because of delays in the flotation process. If admission to the market happens by 1 March, then the principal and interest will convert into Rapid shares. If it takes longer than the interest after the end of February is payable in cash.
BWA Group (BWAP) has issued £220,000 of 4% convertible loan notes, with £120,000 taken up by Bath Group, which is owned by BWA chairman Richard Battersby. Bath has taken £70,000 of the loan notes in lieu of cash owed by BWA investee company Mineralfields Group.
Trevor Lloyd has succeeded Philip Kirkham as chairman of National Milk Records (NMR).
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has changed its name to KR1.
Shield Therapeutics (STX) disappointed the market with phase III patient trial results for the use of Feraccru in the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia in patients with chronic kidney disease that did not meet statistical significance requirements. The results are being analysed in order to identify the reason the trial failed. The share price fell by two-thirds.
Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) expects to complete the acquisition of Appalachian producing gas and oil assets from CNX Gas by the end of March. This will cost $85m (£59.9m), while the acquisition of Alliance Petroleum will cost a further $95m (£66.9m). A placing at 80p a share has raised £133.1m. The group’s net working interest production will increase by 173% to 28,133 boed. Management expects annualised EBITDA to be $70m-$75m.
OnTheMarket (OTMP) joined AIM on 9 February having raised £30m at 165p a share. The share price ended the day at 148p. The online property portal operator will make significant investment in its business over the next two years and this will lead it to fall into loss for a couple of years.
Draper Esprit (GROW) has made three new investments. Evonetix is developing the ability for parallel synthesis of DNA on silicon arrays. Droplet Computing has developed technology to decouple applications from the operating system for online and offline use. Kaptivo is developing products to provide whiteboard live streaming and image capture.
Seeing Machines (SEE) has published a trading statement to try to reassure investors following the unexpected departure of its chief executive. Interim revenues will be greater than the A$13.6m reported for last year. The fleet business is gaining revenues internationally. There is growing interest in the driver fatigue technology from Transport for London.
Recruitment software provider Dillistone (DSG) says that its 2017 figures will be much better than expected. This led to a pre-tax profit upgrade from £200,000 to £300,000. This is still a depressed figure due to the investment in GatedTalent and the future of the business depends on the take-up of this new product.
Engineering and technology recruiter Gattaca (GATC) says that weakness in the technology sector will hold back its progress and its chief executive has resigned. Underlying pre-tax profit is set to decline for a second year while the dividend could be halved to 11.5p a share in order for its to be twice covered.
Trading in the shares of BOS Global Holdings (BOS) remains suspended because of the resignation of RFC Ambrian as nominated adviser. BOS still does not have enough working capital so it cannot publish its 2016-17 annual report because the uncertainty over the AIM quotation scuppered a £1.2m placing.
Trading in Kennedy Ventures (KENV) shares will recommence on 12 February following the publication of its annual report. There was a cash outflow of £2.76m in the year to June 2017. The Namibia Tantalite Investment Mine run by African Tantalum has made its fourth shipment of tantalum to its North American customer and there are two more potential customers.
Croma Security Solutions (CSSG) says its first half figures will be much better than those reported for the first half of last year. The EBITDA will improve from £440,000 to more than £1.1m. The company’s largest ever contract was won at the end of the period. There has been an increase in demand for personnel from Croma Vigilant and it has won a five year contract. There is also improved demand for technology supplied by Croma Systems. The interims will be published in February.
BNN Technology (BNN) will lose its AIM quotation on 12 February. A matched bargain facility will be set up. The remaining board hopes to do at least one deal with the two US-listed companies it is in discussions with concerning the acquisition of all or most of BNN’s business.
Strategic Minerals (SML) has extended its access to the Cobre magnetite stockpile in New Mexico until the end of March 2019. This will provide cash to finance other projects.
Origo Partners (OPP) has sold 4.7% of Jinan Heng Yu Environmental Protection Co Ltd for the equivalent of $3m. This is in line with book value but it may take many months for the cash to be received. Origo retains a 7.2% indirect stake. The Origo NAV was $0.09 a share at the end of June 2017.
Alba Mineral Resources (ALBA) has secured additional exploration licences in Greenland. The 466 square km of land is in north west Greenland. Exploration work can be combined with existing licence areas.
Mercantile Ports and Logistics (MPL) says its port in Mumbai will receive its first revenues in a few weeks, following delays in the first customer sorting out its logistics. A further 200 metres is being added to the quay on the east flank of the facility.
Physiomics (PYC) has won a £70,000 contract from a major pharma company. The company’s Virtual Tumour computer model will be used for helping to predict outcomes in pre-clinical testing.
Warpaint London (W7L) says its 2017 results will be in line with expectations suggesting a pre-tax profit of £9.8m and a total dividend of 4p a share.
Polarean Imaging has relaunched plans to come to AIM. It had planned to float at the end of 2017 and the new proposed date is 22 February.
Fryer management services provider Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) says its 2017 revenues were 30% higher at £13.25m. The sale of the refrigeration business should increase the group margin.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) has pulled out of the sale of non-core operations because the buyer had still not obtained regulatory approval.
Cadmium-free quantum dots producer Nanoco (NANO) has secured a material development and supply agreement with a major US firm that will provide funding to expand Nanoco’s manufacturing site in Runcorn. The deal covers the production of nano-particles for electronic devices. Commercial supply should commence in 2019.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has secured a two month extension to its option on a property in north west England while talks with a housing association continue. Plans for the refurbishment of the building will be presented to the housing association. Gary Carp has increased his stake from below 3% to 5% in the past fortnight.
Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) is negotiating to buy a North American medical imaging software developer, which owns FDA-approved medical imaging software that fits well with Flying Brands; own software. The cost of £500,000 would mainly be financed through a share issue.
Avocet Mining (AVM) has completed the sale of Resolute (West Africa) for $5m.
Path Investments (PATH) is still intending to raise cash and move to AIM in the first quarter of 2018. The farm-in deal to acquire 50% of Alfeld-Elze II licence and gas field in Germany is expected to go ahead in the near future.
Chuk Kin Lau has increased his stake in book publisher Quarto Group (QRT) from 20% to 25.6%. Cavendish Asset Management nearly halved its stake to 3.69%.
Good Energy (GOOD) has sold two operational 5MW solar farms in Devon and south Wales, plus further development rights, for £5.83m and £5.6m respectively. This should yield a profit of £750,000 on each solar farm. The south Wales site has additional land and development or sale of this land could yield an additional payment. Good will still acquire the energy from both sites.
OneLife Technologies Corp is acquiring One Media Enterprises Ltd, which has agreed to pay back the investment and loan made by Angelfish Investments (ANGP). There will also be management fees payable. This is dependent on the acquisition going ahead. In total, Angelfish will receive $1m in cash and 200,000 shares. Most of the investment has been written off, bar nearly $42,000, so the payment is nearly all profit.
BWA Group (BWAP) expects to be granted mining licences for the extraction of rutile sands in Cameroon. It would then enter an agreement with investee company Mineralfields Group, which would operate the mining concessions. BWA would increase its stake from 12% to 25%. BWA and its directors would own the majority of the shares. BWA has issued 8.37 million shares at 0.5p each in order to pay creditors of Mineralfields. BWA is also issuing £300,000 of 14% convertible unsecured loan stock 2020. The cash interest payment is 4% and the rest will be rolled up and the total loan converted into 36 million shares at 0.5p each.
Malcolm Burne has taken advantage of the sharp rise in the Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) share price to reduce his stake to below 3%. He owned 5.7 million shares in April. The share price reached 20p and has fallen back to 15p. Earlier this month, Coinsilium raised £720,000 at 9p a share.
AIM-quoted, spread betting business London Capital Group (LCG) has announced its intention to leave AIM having joined the NEX Exchange Growth Market on 15 December. Glio Holdings Ltd owns 78.1% of London Capital and it will vote in favour of the cancellation of the quotation.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had an NAV of 42.12p a share at the end of November 2017. The provider of capital to employee-owned businesses is switching its investments from debt to equity.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reported an increased loss in the year to August 2017. Revenues declined from £290,000 to £226,000 and the loss rose from £262,000 to £330,000. An order from Italy was delayed and there were lower orders from London Underground. There was nearly £304,000 in cash at the end of August 2017. Wheelsure raised £630,000 last year. There have been initial orders for high speed rail infrastructure.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has invested in David Phillips Holdings, which supplies furniture and furnishing services to the UK property sector. The business is benefiting from the growth of the private rental sector.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £130,000 in a 9% convertible loan note in Human Brands, which supplies Copa Imperial Tequila and Shinju Whiskey. US-based Human Brands made a pre-tax profit of $90,000 on revenues of $1.04m.
Trading in the shares of China CDM Exchange Centre Ltd (CCEP) has been suspended because of issues with the annual returns for the Jersey Registry.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has raised €3.53m at €0.01 a share. This will help to finance the acquisition of a property on the Black Sea coast. Via Developments (VIA1) has issued a further £70,000 of debenture stock.
The TLA Worldwide Award for contempt for investors goes this year to Real Good Food (RGD) after it announced it requires substantially more cash at 1.04pm on 22 December. That is the last half day of trading before Christmas. The three main shareholders will subscribe for £3m of loan notes with an annual interest of 10%. This should be refinanced via a share or convertible issue. Net debt was £35.8m at the end of September 2017. Hugh Cawley will become an executive director. The interim loss was £6.66m. Food ingredients returned to profit, helped by the acquisition of Brighter Foods, but the performance of the other parts of the business slumped.
Golden Saint Resources (GSR) intends to change its business by acquiring EMS Wiring Systems for shares and selling the mining assets. Trading in the shares is suspended ahead of due diligence and a share consolidation. EMS is a profitable supplier and installer of cabling, WiFi, CCTV, displays and building management systems in Asia and it intends to expand in Africa and South America. The new name would be Golden Saint Technologies Ltd.
Cradle Arc has a 60% stake in a producing copper mine in Botswana and a gold development project in Zambia. The expected admission date to AIM is 10 January.
Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) was valued at £63.2m at its placing price of 62p. The in-video advertising technology company raised £24.2m net of expenses. Potential customers are expressing interest in the technology and the cash will finance an increasing rate of growth. In 2016, revenues were £700,000.
Antibody development services provider Fusion Antibodies (FAB) raised £5.5m at 82p a share and by the end of the week the share price had doubled. Belfast-based Fusion will invest in the expansion of laboratory space and additional sales and marketing.
Close-ended investment company CIP Merchant Capital Ltd (CIP) raised £55m at 100p a share prior to Christmas. CIP will focus on quoted companies with a market value of less than £500m that have good fundamentals, which need help to improve operational effectiveness or management support to enhance growth. There should also be potential for a future exit. No more than 20% of funds will be invested in an individual company.
Software supplier Pelatro (PTRO) raised £3.8m at 62.5p a share when it joined AIM on 19 December. That valued the company at £15.2m. The company’s mViva software is developed in India and used for marketing by telecommunications companies.
An introduction at 20p a share valued Panthera Resources (PAT) at £12.4m. The main asset is a 70% stake in the Bhukia gold project in India. The company’s share of the JORC inferred resource is 1.22 million ounces. There are also gold exploration assets in Burkina Faso and Mali.
Video games development services provider Sumo Group (SUMO) floated on 21 December at 100p a share and ended the week at 113.5p a share. Sumo raised £38.5m and it was valued at £145m at the placing price.
Fletcher King (FLK) reported a dip in revenues from £1.68m to £1.49m, while pre-tax profit declined from £163,000 to £148,000. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1p a share. There were lower revenues from rating appeals and valuations but one or two SHIPS properties should be fully-let and sold by the end of the financial year.
NWF Group (NWF) says that its feeds division is benefiting from the recovery in the milk price and past capital investment. The fuels division continues to make progress but food distribution performance has been below the first half of last year. The interims will be published on 30 January.
Online gaming firm Nektan (NKTN) is raising £1.76m at 21p a share. That was a one-fifth discount to the market price. There are £10m convertible loan notes 2020, where the conversion price is a 25% premium to the previous placing, so it is currently 26.25p a share. The cash will be invested in technology and geographic expansion. In the year to June 2017, Nektan more than doubled its net gaming revenues to £13.3m.
Telecoms infrastructure equipment supplier Filtronic (FTC) expects a sharp fall in interim revenues from £21.6m to £12.8m and operating profit halved to £900,000. There have been delays in defence orders. Net cash was £2.9m at the end of November 2017. The interims will be published on 30 January.
Kodal Minerals (KOD) says that initial results from its drill programme at the Bougouni lithium project are expected very shortly. There was £4.09m of cash at the end of September 2017.
Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) has completed core-hole drilling at two locations at the Lesedi project and a third hole will be completed early next year. Coal samples are being assessed. The results will help to plan the first phase of development drilling. The Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund has taken a 5.84% stake.
Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is raising up to £4.42m via a 2.250106-for-one open offer at 0.01p a share. That is a 92% discount to the market price and excess applications can be made. The cash is required for part pre-payment of $6m of loan notes issued to Odey Asset Management that carry an annual interest rate of 25%. That cash was used to finance a $6m mezzanine loan to the Oman antimony roaster project. First production should be in the second quarter of 2018. The cost of the project has increased from $96m to $110m. There should be £250,000 left for working capital for Tri-Star and $740,000 of loan notes still in issue. The first dividend from the Oman antimony roaster is expected for the year to December 2020.
Legendary Investments (LEG) has acquired a 9.7% stake in Crowd for Angels in return for 248.3 million Legendary shares at 0.145p each. Crowd for Angels intends to launch a £50m Liquid Crypto Bond. Legendary is swapping its interest in Manas Resources for a 2% stake in Circle Oil Tunisia, formerly a subsidiary of AIM-quoted Circle Oil, which has been liquidated. The stake in Manas was valued at £100,000.
Ambrian (AMBR) has failed to secure short-term financing or defer payment of interest on its convertible loan notes. Grant Thornton will be appointed as administrator. In October, a general meeting removed former chief executive Jean-Pierre Conrad as a director, having been given three months notice in August by subsidiary Ambrian Metals because he had lost the confidence of the board. Conrad was a large holder of convertibles. Ambrian has cement interests in Mozambique and there have been problems in moving cash.
Kromek (KRK) is on course to achieve full year revenues of £12.5m. This is without any contribution from the framework contract from the US authorities for radiation detector systems, which could be important in the future. There should be £14m of cash left by the end of the financial year.
Uranium Resources (URA) has sold its mining assets and is changing its name to URA Holdings. Melissa Sturgess and Peter Redmond have joined the board and £900,000 raised at 0.45p a share.
Redhall Group (RHL) says that its subsidiary Jordan Manufacturing has won business for specialist handling and containment systems for nuclear material at Sellafield. This could be worth £18m over three years.
Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) is acquiring up to 49.9% of the Tesorillo gas project in southern Spain. The purchase is in three stages and will cost €2.05m in total.
Problems with labelling in China have held up the fulfilment of demand by Concepta (CPT) for its fertility products. This means that 2017 revenues will be around £100,000 and sales delayed until the first quarter of 2018.
Integumen (SKIN) has raised £500,000 at 1.5p a share. This will help to fund the recently acquired Stoer range of male cosmetics and the commercialisation of the Visible Youth cosmeceutical range. Management is assessing all the group product lines because some are taking longer to generate significant revenues. Integumen intends to set up a joint venture to distribute Champion Shave products in the UK and Ireland.
The One Media iP (OMIP) share price more than doubled to 10p following the news that Lord Michael Grade and former Pinewood boss Ivan Dunleavy are joining the board as non-executives. They are also investing £375,000 at 2.5p a share.
Cross-border payments technology provider Earthport (EPO) says that 2017-18 revenues could be up to 15% lower than expected due to contract delays and a change in strategy by a client. Cash flow breakeven is still achievable during 2018-19. Hank Uberoi is moving from chief executive to executive chairman and a permanent replacement as chief executive has yet to be found.
Escape the Room experiences provider Escape Hunt (ESC) is adapting its strategy to focus on city centre sites. Five leases have been signed and three are being negotiated.
The People’s Operator (TPOP) has successfully raised £2.82m at 0.1p a share. Aidan O’Hara acquired an 8.78% stake prior to the placing. Trading in the shares has been suspended because of concerns over trading prior to the completion of the placing.
A €51 a share cash bid has been recommended by Taliesin Property Fund Ltd (TPF) and this values the company at €260m. The bid enables investors to liquidate their holding in the Berlin property investor at a premium to NAV. Taliesin floated in 2006 at €10 a share.
West African Mineral (WAFM) is disposing of its iron assets through a share distribution of the company holding the assets to its shareholders. They will receive one share in Ferrum Resources Ltd for each West African Mineral share they own. A general meeting will be held on 18 January to agree to the plan. Loans to Ferrum have already been written off but a sale of the assets could spark all or part of the repayment of the $4m loan. West African Minerals will have £2.1m in the bank and it wants to move to the standard list and seek life sciences acquisitions. The company will change its name to OKYO Pharma Corporation.
Property investor Caledonian Trust (CNN) increased its NAV from 152.9p a share to 161.7p a share in the year to June 2017.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) will receive a total of $1.46m in dividends from two subsidiaries. One of these subsidiaries is part of the previously announced disposals that should generate $400,000.
All bar one of the directors of BOS Global Holdings (BOS) has left the board. Trading in BOS shares has been suspended because of the uncertainty of its financial position and because the annual report has not been published.
Contango Holdings (CGO) is moving ahead with the possible acquisition of Consolidated Growth Holdings’ interest in a near-term producing mining asset in Zimbabwe. The purchase would be funded at 5p a share, which is a 33% premium to the suspension price. Contango hopes to complete the reverse takeover by the first quarter of 2018. Contango floated on the standard list on 1 December.
Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has joined the standard list. The Israel-based gemstones explorer raised £4.15m at 110p a share and was valued at £15.3m on flotation. The cash will be used to fund further exploration of the Kishon Mid Reach project and production could commence within 24 months.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) reported an interim loss of £113,000 due to the costs of being a listed company. There was £230,000 in the bank at the end of October 2017. Supported living property developer Dukemount has completed a 50-year agreement to lease on the first property it acquired with a supported living housing association. This should generate £234,000 a year and is linked to CPI. It will take 18 months to complete the development but institutions may acquire the lease before then. A second project has also been secured with more under negotiation.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has raised a further £170,000 at 5p a unit. The unit is one ordinary share and 0.5 of a warrant exercisable at 7.5p a share. The current NAV is 4.2p a share. SI Capital has been appointed as joint broker.
Standard list shell Fandango Holdings (FHP) still had £468,000 in the bank at the end of August 2017. There is currently no industrial or services acquisition under consideration.
Avocet Mining (AVM) has agreed the sale of its Burkina Faso assets for $5m. There will be $2.5m paid on completion and the rest will be deferred over seven years. Avocet will have no trading business. Given Avocet’s debt, if it is wound up there will be little or nothing for shareholders.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has returned from suspension following publication of its annual report. Chief executive Colin Patterson says he will fund the Gubong gold project through to the completion of the report on feasibility. He and fellow director Aidan Bishop are taking their remuneration in shares.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has taken advantage of the high profile of cyber security to raise cash at a premium to the market price. Crossword raised £145,000 at 230p a share. The current mid-price is 195p a share and the most recent trade was at 197p a share last September. Brenlen Jinkens took up 50% of the new shares and he has 5.13% of the company.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reported a dip in interim revenues due to the lack of funding so the planned £500,000 fundraising should enhance progress. In the six months to February 2017, the loss increased from £126,000 to £159,000 as revenues fell from £133,000 to £94,000.
Mechan Controls (MECP) improved its underlying 2016 operating profit from £518,000 to £594,000 on revenues that were 5% ahead at £4m but there have been significant changes since last year. Nirvana is the only subsidiary left. At the end of 2016, there was £829,000 in the bank and the NAV was £2.41m. Mechan is paying a final dividend of 2.27p a share and the shares go ex-dividend on 1 June. Once all the operations are sold money will be returned to shareholders.
Secured Property Developments (SPD) had cash in the bank of £341,000 and an NAV of £689,000 at the end of 2016. The company is valued at a 47% discount to NAV.
Social housing finance provider Queros Capital Partners (QCP) has raised an additional £875,000 by issuing 8% unsecured bonds 2025. That takes the bonds in issue to £3.5m – from 19 separate placings. So far, short-term bridging loans have generated income to fund the interest payments on the bonds. Longer-term, there are plans to acquire social housing properties.
Blockchain technology company investor Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that investee company RSK Labs has raised $3.5m. Coinsilium retains the right to 1% of RSK via a convertible. RSK has developed a sidechain to the Bitcoin that enables smart contracts. There could eventually be scope to handle more than 20,000 transactions per second but that requires the additional investment.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £751,000 at 0.3p a share. Colin Sutherland has been appointed as finance director.
Enterprise software provider Sanderson (SND) is growing strongly but the cost of investment in the business will hold back short-term profit. The digital retail division is growing fastest but its operating profit was flat as management investors in order to maintain the strong growth rate. In the six months to March 2017, revenues were 10% higher at £10.9m and operating profit was 5% ahead at £1.55m. There was net cash of £4.51m and the dividend was increased by 10% to 1.1p a share.
Software supplier Cerillion (CER) continues to grow its revenues as it starts to build its customer base outside the mobile sector. In the six months to January 2017, revenues were 10% ahead at £7.5m and underlying profit was nearly one-third higher at £900,000. Orders worth £9.4m were won during the period. The interim dividend was 8% higher at 1.4p a share. Directors’ sold 4.2 million shares at 120p each, which could help to improve the liquidity in the shares.
Redx Pharma (REDX) has failed in its attempt to juggle its cash requirements and its debt and administrators have been appointed. Liverpool City Council has previously extended the maturity date of its £2m loan but Redx did not repay the debt when it became due at the end of March. There is also interest due and that could total more than £1m. Redx nominally raised £12m in February – an equity swap agreement meant that not all of this was raised immediately – but does not appear to have raised enough to pay the loan. That is blatant bad management which has ended up destroying the investments of shareholders. Iain Ross recently took up the role of chairman so it would be unfair to blame him but the other directors, including those that have recently departed, were responsible for running the business properly and they knew when this money had to be repaid. The directors are Dr Neil Murray, Norman Molyneux, Dr Bernhard Kirschbaum and David Lawrence, while Dr Frank Armstrong, Peter McPartland, Dr Peter Jackson, Philip Tottey and Dr Derek Lindsay have resigned since Redx joined AIM. Investors’ should be aware of these people if they are or become involved in any other companies.
Lombard Risk Management (LRM) increased its revenues from £23.7m to £34.3m in the year to March 2017. The pre-tax loss was reduced from £2.2m to £1.6m. The year-end order book was worth £10.1m. Management expects the company to be cash profitable this year. Legislation continues to drive demand for reporting and risk software.
Flowgroup (FLOW) could not find a buyer for its energy supply business at an appropriate valuation so it is raising up to £29m in shares (at 1p each) and bonds, including more than £600,000 raised at 1p a share via PrimaryBid, to finance its development. This is highly dilutive even before any conversion of the bonds at the conversion price of 0.95p a share. Flowgroup also requires £1m to market its Flow boiler in Europe and £4m to end the manufacturing contract with Jabil. In 2016, there was a loss of £23.7m on revenues of £99m. Net cash was £3.7m at the end of 2016. An increasing number of smaller competitors are entering the energy supply market and this led to a reduction in customers. The funding will help Flowgroup to compete and build up its customer numbers.
Big data software supplier Fusionex International (FXI) plans to leave AIM and it already has the backing of shareholders owning 41.9% of the company for the general meeting vote on 15 June. Management blames the lack of liquidity in the shares and paucity of independent research. The also blame political uncertainty in Europe. Fusionex had a gravity defying rating in the first year or so of trading on AIM but the share price is currently less than one-fifth of the peak at the beginning of 2014. The company’s growth strategy will remain unchanged. There are plans to arrange a trading facility in the shares.
Safestay (SSTY) has paid €3m in cash for U Hostels, which operates a 226 bed hostel in Madrid. U Hostels also owns an apartment block near the hostel, where managed apartments are expected to be completed during 2018, and a building in Paris that is being converted into a 260 bed hostel, which has a 12 year lease that can be extended by a further 12 years. Safestay will have to invest up to €2.3m in the Paris development, which should be completed in early 2019. In total, including development spending, the acquisition cost will be up to €6.5m. The original Madrid hostel made a small loss on revenues of €1.3m. Earlier this year, Safestay raised £12.6m from the sale and leaseback of the Edinburgh and Elephant & Castle hostels – the leases are for 150 years.
Strategic Minerals (SML) made a maiden pre-tax profit in 2016. The $351,000 profit was after $691,000 of other income – predominantly the settlement of a rail dispute. The Cobre tailings business continues to generate profit and cash.
Thor Mining (THR) says that the Pilot Mountain tungsten resource inventory has risen to 11.73 million tonnes at 0.28% WO3. This does not include the GunMetal and Good Hope deposits.
Greatland Gold (GGP) has granted access to Newmont to the Ernest Giles tenements for a period of six months and it will have first right of refusal for a disposal or joint venture. An airborne survey has identified new structural targets suitable for gold mineralisation. Metal Tiger (MTR) has exercised 15 million warrants at 0.2p a share.
LED lighting systems developer PhotonStar LED (PSL) cut its full year loss from £3.03m to £1.43m on lower revenues. The first quarter of 2017 was tough but there have been orders for its Halcyon devices. R&D has been reduced.
Fairpoint (FRP) has delayed its full year figures yet again. They are promised at some point in June. If they do not come out then then trading in the shares will be suspended.
Arian Silver Corporation (AGQ) has raised £600,000 has raised at 0.5p a share. The cash will be used for exploration of silver and lithium projects.
Mortice (MORT) has won UK contracts worth £2.25m via its Elite subsidiary that take it into new sectors. Elite has won a three year cleaning and waste contract with Surrey and Sussex police and after securing a place on BMW’s approved supplier list a two year contract with the car maker.
Orogen (ORE) intends to acquire Thread 35, which owns e-commerce womenswear brand Sosandar. Orogen is lending up to £250,000 to Thread 35. Sosandar is targeted at 35-55 year old women. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
Active Energy Group (AEG) has entered into an agreement in principle with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador which will provide a timber licence and a forest management agreement covering 1.2 million hectares. The licence would enable the harvesting of up to 140,000 cubic metres of wood annually.
Thomas Charlton has further increased his stake in North Midland Construction (NMD) taking it to 7.24%. Finance director Daniel Taylor recently acquired 23,321 shares at 305p each. North Midland says that its first quarter profit has increased from £237,000 to £580,000 on a 5% rise in revenues to £62.2m. The main reason behind the improvement was a swing from loss to profit by the telecoms infrastructure division but the construction and water divisions generated a lower profit. Management still believes that margins can be improved. The order book is worth £254m helped by the AMP6 water investment cycle getting going. There is the promise of growing dividends.
Shareholders have agreed to the proposed bonus issue by Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL). On 1 June, existing shareholders will receive nine bonus shares for each one they own, leaving them with ten times the number of shares and the share price would be adjusted from 28.5p to 2.85p. The November 2015 flotation price was 10p (1p adjusted) and earlier this year a further £1.4m was raised at 20p (2p adjusted) a share.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has signed a binding letter of intent for its first deal with a housing association to develop supported living accommodation. The plan is identify properties worth up to £5m which will be leased to Larch Housing Association on a 50 year lease at 6.5% a year plus inflation. Dukemount floated on 29 March.
Health food products supplier World Trade Systems (WTS) has entered into memoranda of understanding with Germany-based Naturemed and Germany-based Biestmilch, which will help it to widen its product range. Naturemed is a new company but Biestmilch was formed in 1999. Trading in the shares has been suspended for years and it is approaching ten years since there was a trade in WTS shares.
CIC Gold Group Ltd (CICG) left the standard list on 25 May. Management believes it will get a better valuation on another designated exchange.
Hearing equipment supplier DHAIS (DHAP) has reduced the number of stores it operates and that is why its interim revenues fell by 18% to £4.16m but it did move back into profit before notional interest charges. The company continues to reduce its exposure to the mobility sector and concentrate on the supply of hearing aids.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) says that its NAV fell to £4.19m (43.5p a share) at the end of February 2016. The company plans to raise £2m at 42p a share.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has pulled out of the deal to acquire development land in Varna because it would not offer a suitable return even though the seller offered amended terms.
Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has completed the acquisition of the company that owns 89 Dalrymple Street, Girvan. The property was valued at £60,000 and the purchase price has been satisfied by £35,000 in cash and 25 million shares at 0.1p each. The cash payment is deferred for 12 months. A new tenant has signed a ten year lease at an initial rent of £12,000 a year.
Trading in the consolidated shares of Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) commences on 3 April. Twenty five shares have been consolidated into one new share.
Barney Battles has withdrawn his request for a general meeting at Milamber Ventures (MLVP).
Staunton Holdings says that it has no intention of increasing its 300p a share offer for FIH (FIH). Rival suitor Dolphin Fund says that it may be willing to offer 333.3p a share in cash but it still wants to discuss its plans with the independent directors.
Fairpoint (FRP) managed to make a small profit in the second half and full year profit was £4.9m, down from £10.5m in 2015. That is before £11.8m of restructuring charges and write-downs. Net debt was £19.9m at the end of 2016 and since then a medico-legal business has been sold for £1.2m. Bank facilities last until May 2019. There will be no dividend. Legal services revenues are expected to fall by 15% in 2017 and then start to recover in 2018. There will be £5m of annual cost savings showing through in the second half of 2017.
Premier African Minerals (PREM) successfully raised £2m at 0.5p a share via PrimaryBid.com. Premier directors Michael Foster and John Stalker have converted £30,000 of fees into six million shares at 0.5p each.
Connemara Mining Company (CON) has acquired five new prospecting licences in Ireland and two of the licences are in areas known for zinc-lead mineralisation – Tonduff and Derrykean. The licences are all north east of the Galmoy and Lisheen mines.
CloudCall (CALL) had 16,200 users by the end of 2016 and they are generating £31/month each. Revenues grew 48% to £3.3m but the operating loss increased from £3.7m to £4.5m. Recurring revenues continue to grow and February was the best ever month. There was £3.2m in the bank at the end of 2016.
Patient monitoring equipment supplier LiDCo (LID) reported full year figures in line with expectations but the next two financial years will provide indications of how well the company’s new strategy is working. The plan is to add high usage accounts in North America following the launch of a new monitor. There will be a significant increase in sales and marketing costs this year and the benefits will not show through until later in the year. This is why LiDCo is expected to slip back into loss before moving into profit in 2018-19.
Evgen Pharma (EVG) has been granted another patent relating to SFX-01. The patent “covers a method of isolation and stabilisation of sulforaphane from a natural source” and lasts until May 2033.
Savannah Resources (SAV) expects to start mining at its Oman copper projects before the end of this year. Ministerial approvals are still required to get a mining licence. Savannah has also established a resource of 4.4bt at a grade of 3.9% total heavy minerals at the Mutamba project in Mozambique.
Path Investments (PATH) is the new name for former AIM company Niche Group. Path joined the standard list on 30 March and it raised £1.4m at 1p a share. The strategy is to acquire production and near-production assets in the oil and gas sector.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has turned its attention to South Korea. Southern Gold Australia has a number of tenements which have abandoned mines on them and there is scope to reopen them. Bluebird intends to earn 50% stakes in individual mines in return for the investment of $500,000. Two former mines have already been chosen – Taechang and Gubong. The plan is to prove resources and then move the mines towards production. Bluebird’s existing assets in the Philippines have been put on hold until the market is more favourable.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) joined the standard list on 29 March. The share price ended the week at 0.45p (0.4p/0.5p), which values the company at £1.5m. A dividend should be paid within two years and the target yield is 10%. Dukemount plans to do this by acquiring, developing and managing property assets. Dukemount will then create long-dated inflation-linked assets which will be attractive to institutional investors.
Stewart & Wight (STE) has bought a retail property in Middlesbrough for £620,000. A ten year lease was signed by HK Foods last September providing annual rent of £45,000. An upward only rent review is due after five years.