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AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Investment company S-Ventures is set to join the market on 16 September. The strategy is to make investments in consumer health and organic food businesses in the UK and Europe. The S-Ventures management will use their expertise to help smaller brands grow faster and achieve greater scale. Up to three acquisitions are planned each year and they are likely to have values of between £150,000 and £2m.
Evrima (EVA) has secured an option to acquire a 17.2% stake in Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration (KKME), which would increase its investment in the Botswana-focused nickel, copper and platinum explorer to 19.6%. The former Sport Capital Group has 60 days to acquire the stake for $183,000 in the form of 2.3 million shares at 6p each. The same number of warrants will be issued, and they are exercisable at 12p each. AIM-quoted Power Metals has a
Block Commodities (BLCC) has been fined £7,000 by the Aquis Stock Exchange. Block failed to make sure that it provided accurate and fully up to date information to investors about fundraisings. It also failed to consult with its corporate adviser. Trading in the shares remains suspended.
All Star Minerals (ASMO) is assessing potential gemstones opportunities in Africa.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) has sold a 29.5% stake in LCP Financial for £275,000 in order to provide funds to develop the waste and recycling operations.
Early Equity (EEQP) has appointed Novum Securities as its corporate adviser and trading has recommenced in the shares.
Gold explorer Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has raised £403,000 at 0.275p a share. Each new share has a warrant attached that is exercisable at 0.7p each after the results of the exploration drilling are released. The cash will finance drilling.
Michelmersh Brick (MBH) has restarted production following lockdown despatches have recovered more quickly than the sector. Interim revenues fell by 17% and underlying pre-tax profit was halved, but full year expectations have been upgraded. The bricks manufacturer is operating at normal levels and June 2020 revenues were better than those in June 2019. Canaccord Genuity has upgraded its full year profit forecast from £5.3m to £6.5m, down from £9.7m in 2019. Limited UK brick production capacity means that Michelmersh is in a strong position and it has demonstrated its resilience this year.
Internet domain name registry and services provider CentralNic (CNIC) is paying $36m for the Codewise businesses, which provide monetisation services and online marketing tools. This fits with Team Internet and will be significantly earnings enhancing from day one. A placing raised £30m at 75p a share.
Synairgen (SNG) has published interim data for its SNG001 treatment that suggests that it could be effective for COVID-19 patients, particularly those suffering with more severe symptoms.
Belvoir Group (BLV) weathered the COVID-19 lockdown well. Financial services increased their contribution in the first half and lettings income held up. Underlying pre-tax profit improved by 7% to £3.16m, helped by the Lovelle acquisition. Earnings per share were 16% higher at 7.3p. The interim dividend is 3.4p and a further 2p is payable in lieu of the final dividend that was not paid. The former boss sold shares at 150p each.
The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) reported an unchanged interim pre-tax profit of £2m and an interim dividend of 2.1p a share is being paid. Cash has risen to £6.1m. Lettings income held up and trading was strong in June. The core business and online operation EweMove both performed strongly in July.
Arden has initiated research on Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) and it believes that the palm oil and cashew nut processer is worth 7.6p a share. The broker believes that Dekel could make an operating profit next year. Profit should build up over the next few years as cashew nuts processing activities grow.
Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises (SOM) is resuming dividends and paying a deferred final dividend of 20.7 cents a share as well as an interim of 4 cents a share. That will cost $14m. North American interim sales held up best with European sales falling by one-quarter. Pre-tax profit is still expected to fall from $28m to $17.6m, but net cash should be $20m at the end of 2020.
Digital invoicing services provider Tungsten Corporation (TUNG) is on course to move into profit in the current financial year. The loss per share was reduced from 3.5p to 1.4p in the year to April 2020 and there was cash generated from operations.
Irrigation products supplier Amiad Water Systems (AFS) reported a decline in revenues but profit increased as margins improved. Amiad was already reducing its cost base when COVID-19 started to hamper the business. This led Stifel to increase its full year pre-tax profit forecast to $4.5m. Further growth could come from new products and potential acquisitions.
Building and construction products supplier Alumasc (ALU) has realigned its cost base but pre-tax profit was still one-third down at £3.7m as full year revenues declined by 16% to £76m. A 2p a share dividend was declared. Trading has been recovering since the June year end. Further cost saving benefits will help profit to recover this year. finnCap forecasts £6.4m pre-tax profit for 2020-21.
New SIPP business has been slow for STM (STM) but the recurring revenue base means that interim revenues were maintained at £11.8m. Additional personnel costs reduced pre-tax profit by nearly one-third to £1.1m. There is £17.6m in the bank and that enables STM to pay an interim dividend of 0.55p a share, which should be one-third of the total for the year. A full year pre-tax profit of £2.5m is forecast, with a rebound to £4.5m in 2021.
Recruitment firm Hydrogen (HYDG) plans to cancel the AIM quotation. A tender offer of 40p a share provides investors with a way to sell their shares prior to the cancelation.
LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) has realigned costs so that they are more in line with revenues. In the first half of 2020, revenues fell by 13% to £71.6m, but operating profit was one-quarter higher at £9m. Gross margins continue to increase, and overheads have been kept down. Operating profit margin of 12.3% was higher than ever before.
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
KR1 (KR1) has made two more investments. There is a further investment of $100,000 in the cross-chain finance hub Acala Network in return for 153,846.15 ACA tokens at 65 cents each. KR1 now holds 1.02 million ACA tokens. That stake is valued at $663,000. There is also a new investment in MetaCartel Ventures Decentralised Autonomous Organisation. KR1 received 4,938 MCV shares for its $199,000 investment.
Imperial X (IMPP) plans to buy mineral assets and investments and a placing is raising £750,000 at 2.5p a share. The purchases involve the issue of more than 245 million shares plus 8.71 million warrants exercisable at 5p a share. Trading in the shares has been suspended until the acquisitions are completed. Imperial X is buying Howson Ventures Inc, plus assets from Anglo African Minerals, Cloudbreak Discovery and Cabox Gold. Howson owns the Rupert Minerals property in British Columbia and an investment in Anglo African Minerals, which holds licences in bauxite projects in Guinea.
Gunsynd (GUN) says that its investment in ASX-listed Eagle Mountain is “well in the money” and it has the cash it requires for its immediate needs even though the disposal of the stake in Oyster Oil and Gas has still not been completed. Gunsynd invested £110,000 in copper/gold explorer Eagle Mountain at A$0.13 a share and the price has risen to A$0.24. Rincon Resources has appointed stockbrokers for its proposed listing on ASX. Gunsynd has invested £138,000 in Rincon and has a 28% stake. Spirits company Human Brands also still hopes to float. Nickel project developer Sunshine Minerals is being acquired by Malachite Resources. Gunsynd will receive 1.26 million shares in Malachite with further deferred consideration of 1.64 million shares.
IamFire (FIRE) is raising £5.5m gross through a discounted capital bond and it is participating in a fundraising for social commerce platform WeShop ahead of a future listing. The bond is being issued at a discount of 78.73% and net proceeds of £4.4m have been received. IamFire is providing £4.5m of a £9m convertible loan to WeShop. This has an interest rate of 8% and lasts for 36 months. A flotation is one of the conversion events and the conversion would be at a 20% discount to the flotation share price. There is also an exclusive option to subscribe for a 10% stake in WeShop at a pre-money valuation of £25m. This would involve an investment of £2.78m.
Primorus investments (PRIM) has invested £875,000 in WeShop. Primorus has made realised and unrealised gains £3.55m in the six months to June 2020. Greatland Gold (GGP) is the main reason for this. The NAV increased to £8.1m compared with a £4.3m market capitalisation.
BWA Group (BWAP) has agreed to sell its investment in Kings of the North Corp to St George’s Eco-Mining Corp, which sold it for £4.66m. The convertibles issued to St George’s will be cancelled and they amount to £4.3m. St George’s will issue 1.5 million shares and transfer 2.5 million warrants to BWA. St George’s is keeping its 21% stake in BWA.
There was a £673,000 cash outflow at Cadence Minerals (KDNC) in the six months to June 2020. A cash raising means that there was £2.38m in cash at the end of the period.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) plans to undertake exploration work at the Hellyer mine, possibly as early as October/November this year.
Inqo Investments (INQO) increased annual revenues from R23.8m to R24.4m, but the loss increased from R2.5m to R6.1m. That was partly down to an inventory write-down of R1.44m and higher depreciation. Last year’s Bee Sweet honey harvest was one of the largest ever. The lodge at the Kuzuko Private Game Reserve had high occupancy rates before COVID-19. All the other activities have also been hit since the end of February.
Eurocann International (BUD) intends to amend its investing strategy and change its name just over one year since it changed it from Valiant Investments.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) has appointed Allenby as corporate adviser.
Vianet (VNET) says that customer pub sites that have resumed operations have increased from 56% to 80% over the past six years. Vianet continues to offer reduced recurring charges to both closed and reopened customers. Customer demand for data analytics is recovering. The smart machines division says two-thirds of customer vending machines are in operation and generating normal levels of revenue. There have been orders for more than 1,9000 new orders for telemetry and contactless units during lockdown.
Hostels operator Safestay (SSTY) is taking additional cost saving measures due to the continued uncertainty. Occupancy rates are running at around one-quarter and it is higher in those hostels opened earlier. Safestay has available overdraft facilities but these could run out by early next year if all hostels are not reopened by October and occupancy levels fall below 20% later this year. An occupancy rate of 57% is required for a hostel to breakeven. Sales of freeholds or terminating loss-making leases are being considered. Interim results will be published on 24 September.
Integumen (SKIN) is making an all-share offer for Modern Water (MWG) that values the latter at £21.25m. Integumen plans a ten-for-one share consolidation and it is offering one of these new shares for every ten Modern Water shares. Integumen produces test kits for Modern Water.
Drug discovery company C4X Discovery (C4XD) says that Indivior has started a phase I clinical trial for C4X_3256 for the treatment of opioid dependence. The trial will last until the end of the year, but there will be no data until 2021. C4X is making progress in identifying a candidate for the treatment of IBD and it has reached the lead optimisation stage for the treatment of Psoriasis. A collaboration with the GEN-COVID consortium, which will use C4X’s Taxonomy3 mathematical analysis technology to assess the role of genetics in disease susceptibility.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) says that milling equipment has been delivered to the raw cashew nut processing project in Cote d’Ivoire. The mill should be commissioned in the second quarter of next year.
Grant Thornton has managed to persuade the courts to reduce the damages owed to AssetCo (AST) from £29.8m to £20.8m. Including interest and costs the payment should be £25m.
President Energy (PPC) has formed a renewables division. There are opportunities in wind, solar, hydro and biomass in Argentina. President has commenced a workover programme on oil wells and there are plans to drill two new wells.
Packaging supplier Macfarlane (MACF) reported a 2% decline in interim revenues to £105.6m. The second quarter decline was much lower than for the UK economy, helped by increasing exposure to ecommerce. Increased bad debts led to a 5.5% fall in pre-tax profit to £3.62m. An interim dividend of 0.7p a share is proposed. There could be a greater decline in full year profit, although the business will still be cash generative. Arden forecasts a fall in pre-tax profit from £14.4m to £11.1m.
BATM (BVC) has signed up its first tier 1 NFVTime virtual networking customer. The Asia-based telecoms company has signed up for an initial three years will provide a reference site for the technology. This contract could be a significant revenue generator in the years to come and follows the recent proof of concept trial with ARM and Vodafone.
Anglesey Mining (AYM) has raised £200,000 at 1.6p a share. The cash will be invested in studies for the development of the Parys Mountain zinc, copper, lead, silver and gold mine. Management is also assessing other projects.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased sales last year, but the loss was also higher. Sales of wine and beer grew and revenues from continuing activities improved from £12.86m to £14.8m, while the loss more than doubled from £850,000 to £2.09m. the Chapel Down Gin Works in Kings Cross has been closed. There was still £2.47m in the bank at the end of 2019, even after the loss and £12m of investment in fixed assets and land. There are 428 acres of planted vineyard. Wine stocks have also increased following a good harvest. The Ashford brewery has been completed and full brewing capacity will be available before the end of the year. Martin Glenn is succeeding John Dunsmore as chairman.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has entered into a £55m development framework agreement with Equitix, an investor in infrastructure assets. This will finance up to five diagnostic facilities in the UK. Each will be owned by a special purpose vehicle funded by Equitix and operated by Rutherford. An initial agreement has been made with a NHS Trust. Rutherford also announced a collaboration with Panthera Biopartners, which will be able to use Rutherford’s clinics for trials of potential cancer treatments.
Racing recommenced at Newbury Racecourse (NYR) on 11 June. Three race meetings have been held and five more are planned by the end of August. No public are being admitted. Revenues are coming from media rights. The Rocking Horse nursery reopened earlier this month.
Good Energy (GOOD) is increasing its investment in Next Green Car, which owns Zap-Map, to 50.1% through the exercise of a convertible loan.
BWA (BWAP) has spent £120,000 of the initial commitment of £250,000 for two rutile licence areas in Cameroon. Drilling programmes are being designed. COVID-19 has hampered progress with the company’s Canadian interests.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that investee company Factom Inc has filed for Cahpter 11 bankruptcy protection because of its failure to raise more cash. It could exit Chapter 11 protection within three months if things go to plan.The investment was valued at £237,000.
IamFire (FIRE) is reviewing strategies having raised £500,000 at 2.5p a share. Each share comes with two warrants with an exercise price of 10p a share. The investment focus is natural resources, mining and disruptive technology.
SAPO (SAPO) is still seeking a broadband investment and net assets were £1.1m at the end of 2019. At 3.2p a share, SAPO is valued at £6m.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £137,750 in Rincon Resources, which gives it a stake of 28.4%. Rincon has the rights to three prospective gold and base metals projects in Western Australia. Gunsynd has sold its stake in United Oil and Gas (UOG).
All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised a further £200,000 at 0.02p a share, taking the total raised in share issues to £280,000. Convertible loan notes worth £55,000 have been converted into 275 million shares with 34 million shares at 0.01p each to pay liabilities. This means that more than 1.3 billion shares have been issued, which has nearly doubled the shares in issue.
Recent trading at floorcoverings supplier Victoria (VCP) has exceeded expectations. Manufacturing has restarted in all the company’s plants. All the main countries are doing relatively well considering the disruption due to COVID-19 and in the most recent three weeks revenues were 85% of pre-COVID-19 budget. The UK carpets business is only just getting going again. Net debt is £370m, which is predominantly bonds that last until July 2024. Cash generation can reduce debt, although management is likely to look for potential acquisitions.
Wynnstay Group (WYN) reported a decline in interim revenues but that was due to lower commodity prices. The interim dividend has been maintained at 4.6p a share. The agriculture division maintained its operating profit, but there was an improved profit from the merchanting division. Pre-tax profit edged up from £4.3m to £4.5m. Shore Capital has reinstated forecasts. It expects a pre-tax profit of £6.7m, down from £7.9m. This id a deliberately cautious figure.
MSQ Partners has launched a 0.5p a share bid for Be Heard Group (HRD) and that values the digital media company at £6.2m. The acquirer was the subject of a buyout last year. The combined business will have the backing of Lloyds Development Capital and the greater scale will help to win larger clients.
United Oil and Gas (UOG) says that average production from the Abu Sennan concession in the first two weeks of June was 13,900 boepd, of which its working interest is 3,060 boepd. That is 69% higher than the average daily figure in April. The 2P reserves at Abu Sennan have been increased by 12.55 to 13.5MMboe
Transense Technologies (TRT) has transferred its iTrack tyre monitoring business to a Bridgestone subsidiary for $1m and it will receive quarterly royalty revenues for the next ten years. That royalty would be £150,000/ quarter currently, but growth should be faster under Bridgestone. Two Transense directors are moving with iTrack. This leaves Transense with its SAWsense (wireless tyre sensor technology) and Translogik (tyre test equipment) businesses. Transense could move into profit in 2021-22.
A positive trading statement from allergy vaccines developer Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) led finnCap to increase its 2020 pre-tax profit forecast even though revenue growth is slower than expected. A 2019-20 profit of £2.9m is expected, partly due to the timing of research spending. Allergy is expected to move back into loss in 2020-21.
Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) increased its revenues and pre-tax profit in the nine months to March 2020, with particularly strong growth in the third quarter. There is some disruption to international distribution and supply and full year revenue growth will be lower than originally expected.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) reported flat full year revenues of €20.9m for 2019. The loss was barely changed at €3.29m. There has been a decline in the palm oil price in recent months, which will hamper performance this year. The cashew project is making good progress.
Strong first half trading at BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) has led to broker upgrades for 2020. The biomedical division has done particularly well, but the networks and cyber division has also done better than expected. Stifel is raising its revenues forecast from $138m to $155m, while the EBITDA estimate has been increased by one-third to $13m. Shore Capital expects to increase forecast revenues by 17% to around $154m with a significant improvement in EBITDA expected.
Construction services provider nmcn (NMCN) made a positive start in the first quarter of this year. Revenues were 4% ahead at £97.9m and pre-tax profit 6% higher at £1.8m. This period was hardly affected by the lockdown. Since the end of March, work has been at three-quarters of normal levels. There was £11.8m in cash at the end of March 2020. The interims will be reported on 6 August and there should be guidance for the full year outcome.
Tex Holdings (TXH) expects to make further cost savings and consolidate more of its activities. The plastics division is operating at 70% of expected levels, while the engineering division has suffered delays but not lost business.
Standard list shell Boston International (BIH) had £302,000 in cash at the end of 2019. It is still assessing the proposed acquisition of invoice factoring company Alexanders Discount Ltd
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has raised £1.25m at 3p a share. The cash will accelerate trial mining at the Gakara rare earth project in Burundi.
The 2019 figures of Ross Group (RGP) include pharmaceutical grade Chitin producer Archipelago Aquaculture Group (AAG) for the first time. There were restructuring and impairment costs relating to the acquisition. Pilot production is being implemented and there are joint venture discussions with the company that has developed the Ionic Liquid extraction process licenced by AAG. There was a £3.6m loss in 2019.
SMALL CAP AWARDS 2020
Company of the year: Volex
Technology company of the year: Avacta
Impact company of the year: ITM Power
IPO of the year: Diaceutics
Transaction of the year: Kape acquisition of Private Internet Access
Executive director of the year: David Cicurel (Judges Scientific)
Innovative financing of the year: Yu Group
Journalist of the year: Joanne Hart (Mail on Sunday)
Analyst of the year: Lorne Daniel (finnCap)
VCT manager of the year: Amati
UK smaller companies fund manager of the year: JPM UK Smaller Companies
Lifetime achievement award: Giles Hargreave
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has published results for the year to August 2019 and the subsequent interims. Following these announcements, trading in the shares has resumed. There was strong growth in the interim figures with revenues of £116,000 but there was still a loss of £75,000. The working capital facility has been increased to £500,000.
Cannabis products supplier World High Life (LIFE) says it intends to list on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Revenues were £1.05m in the nine months to March 2020. Write-offs meant that the loss was £11.3m. Subsidiary Love Hemp’s online sales in May were double the level in January. Sales have switched from high street to online. There will be a rebrand in September
Engineering businesses consolidator Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised a further £179,000, including £65,000 raised by share issues to employees at 2p a share. There were also shares issued at 4.25p each. The placing price was 3p a share and creditors are taking shares at that price valued at £175,000 in lieu of flotation costs. The current share price is 4.5p (4p/5p).
Gunsynd (GUN) is raising £600,000 at 0.65p a share and this will be used for further investments.
KR1 (KR1) has participated in the Plasm token distribution. KR1 has 1,232 Ether (ETH) valued at $253,000 which it has agreed to be locked up. Access will be obtained in three intervals over 1,000 days. In return for the lockup KR1 receives 66.3 million Plasm tokens. Plasm is launching a platform on the Polkadot blockchain.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has raised £650,000 at 9p a share. The cash will be used to help develop the Amapa iron ore project and pay off loan notes. The stockpile of iron ore should be shipped during the summer. Cadence and the joint venture partners are in discussions with creditors. A scoping study will be commissioned.
The Australian government has approved the acquisition of the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania by NQ Minerals (NQMI). This will enable the mine to be reopened. NQ Minerals has raised £119,000 at 7.5p a share.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has sold a residential property in Wimbledon Park for £656,000, so that it can reinvest the cash in the core supported housing business. The sale was at a 3% discount to book value.
British Honey Company (BHC) has launched a Special Charity Edition Premium Vodka to raise money for COVID-19 research. One-quarter of sales revenues will go towards funding this research.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) has completed the purchase of a property in Preston. Barry Fromson has been appointed as chief executive and Barry Fitzpatrick as non-executive chairman. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
Sport Capital Group (SCG) had an investment property and nearly £12,000 in the bank at the end of 2019. NAV is £206,000.
Bahamas Petroleum (BPC) and Columbus Energy (CERP) are merging. Columbus shareholders will receive 0.803 of a BPC share for each share they own. Columbus was valued at £25m when the deal was announced. Columbus will generate cash to help finance exploration by BPC.
Escape Hunt (ESC) is raising up to £4m via a placing and one-for-four open offer at 7.5p a share and a convertible loan note issue of £340,000. The escape rooms operator says all the directors are buying shares. The intention is to spend £2.5m on rolling out more sites and the rest will go on operational improvements and working capital. Five or six new sites are planned in the next 12 months. UK sites were growing revenues prior to lockdown.
Hummingbird Resources (HUM) intends to acquire the Kouroussa gold project from Cassidy Gold Corp. First gold production could be within two years. There is a gold resource of 1.18Moz at >3g/t.
Hawkwing (HNG) plans to move to a standard listing. Formerly TLA Worldwide, trading in the shares is suspended because the shell has not found a suitable acquisition. Hawkwing would lose its AIM quotation in September without an acquisition. There is no time limit on acquisitions for shells on the standard list.
Ilika (IKA) had cash of £14.9m at the end of April 2020. The battery technology developer is choosing a fabrication facility for the manufacture of its batteries. Four potential partners are in the running. A tool that will increase productivity has been ordered and should be delivered by the end of 2020.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) produced less crude palm oil during May because of a decline in fruit delivered to the mill. There were 3,316 tonnes of crude palm oil produced in May, down from 5,316 tonnes in May 2019. However, more was sold during the month because of the much higher production in April. The average price received per tonne increased.
Be Heard (BHRD) has received a bid approach of 0.5p a share from MSQ Partners.
Lower energy prices have led to a fall in the net asset value of JLEN Environmental Assets (JLEN) but it continues to generate cash and pay dividends. NAV has fallen from 104.7p a share to 97.5p a share. Total dividends were 6.66p a share last year and the target for this year is 6.76p a share. JLEN is joining the FTSE 250 index on 22 June.
Air Partner (AIR) is raising £7.5m at 75p a share. Profit was ahead of budget in the four months to May 2020 with strong freight demand. There is also recovery in the private jets market. The cash will fund organic growth including the opening of offices in new locations.
Seafox International has attempted to requisition a general meeting at Gulf Marine Services (GMS) in order to appoint its representatives to the board. GMS says that the requisition is not valid in its current form. Hassan Heikal and Hesham Helbouny are the proposed directors.
Boston International Holdings (BIH) has secured a new £200,000 loan facility from a major shareholder. The plan is to acquire invoice factor Alexanders Discount.
Associated British Engineering (ASBE) is selling its interest in British Polar Engines and this will mean that it will no longer have any commitments to the pension fund. There will be no debt if the deal goes ahead.
Small Cap Awards 2020
The shortlist for the 2020 Small Cap Awards has been published. The awards are for quoted companies with a market capitalisation of less than £200m. This year the awards dinner has been cancelled. Instead, there will be a live virtual awards ceremony held via Zoom on 25 June. There are eleven awards for companies and individuals.
Company Of The Year
IPO Of The Year
Argentex Group PLC
Executive Director Of The Year
Matt Jones – CEO of Blancco Technology Group
Giulio Cerroni – CEO of Ixico
Lyn Rees – CEO of Yourgene Health
Jennifer Winter – CEO of Animalcare
Peter Harrison – CEO of Bioventix
David Cicurel – CEO of Judges Scientific
Transaction Of The Year
Centralnic Group – Team Internet
Rockrose Energy – Marathon Oil and Marathon West of Shetland Limited
Kape Technologies – Private Internet Access
Amryt Pharma – Aegerion
Totally – Greenbrook Healthcare
Inspiration Healthcare acquisition of Vio Holdings
Technology Company Of The Year
SRT Marine Systems
Blancco Technology Group
Innovative Financing Of The Year
Yu Group PLC
Simec Atlantis Energy
Impact Company Of The Year
Analyst Of The Year
Kartik Swaminathan, Arden Partners
Peter McNally, Panmure Gordon
Jens Lindqvist, Investec
Lorne Daniel, Finn Cap
Kai Korschelt, Canaccord Genuity
George O’Connor, Stifel London
Journalist Of The Year
Simon Thompson – Investors Chronicle
Michael Taylor – Investors Chronicle
Mark Shapland – Evening Standard
Joanne Hart – Mail on Sunday
Emma Agyemang – Financial Times
Hannah Godfrey – Professional Adviser
UK Smaller Companies Fund Manager Of The Year
ASI UK Smaller Companies – Harry Nimmo
JPM UK Smaller Companies – Georgina Brittain and Katen Patel
M&G Smaller Companies – Garfield Kiff and Rory Alexander
Invesco UK Smaller Companies Equity (UK) – Jonathan Brown
TM Cavendish AIM B – Paul Mumford
Kames UK Smaller Companies – Elaine Morgan
VCT Manager Of The Year
Amati AIM VCT PLC – Dr. Paul Jourdan, David Stevenson, Anna MacDonald
Unicorn AIM VCT PLC – Chris Hutchinson
Octopus AIM VCT 2 PLC – Kate Tidbury
Maven Income and Growth VCT 1 PLC – Bill Nixon
Seneca Growth Capital VCT PLC – John Davies
Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 – Oliver Bedford
NQ Minerals (NQMI) generated gross revenues of A$15.5m and gross profit of A$7.4m from Hellyer gold mine in the fourth quarter. Full year revenues were A$53.9m and operating profit was A$12.2m. The profit grew steadily quarter by quarter. NQ has raised £311,000 at 7p a share. In December, £300,000 was raised at 6.5p a share.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that is subsidiary Coaltech has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Uzbekistan ministry of innovation and development and Uzbekistan Railway. The coal fines project could have an initial value of $16m. A plant would be built to process coal fines into coal pellets. Coal mining is an important industry in Uzbekistan. There will be feasibility studies and the development of a business plan. This deal comes via the joint venture with Creon Investments, which is focused on Russia and former Soviet Union countries.
Ganapati (GANP) says that its Malta-based subsidiary has signed a two-year endorsement agreement with Welljam, which owns the rights to Usain Bolt’s services and image rights. Ganapati has is launching the first official Usain Bolt online slot game when the Tokyo Olympics are held during the summer. Usain Bolt will be attending the ICE London iGaming event in February. There are initial licence payments for image rights during the development of the slot game and a share of future revenues.
Ananda Developments (ANA) says that its investee company iCAN Israel-Cannabis has raised money via a convertible that places a pre-money valuation of $20m on the company. Ananda invested $200,000 in a convertible loan in August 2018 and $100,000 of the loan has been converted into 120 shares worth $200,000 at the latest valuation. DJT Plants, which is 50%-owned by Ananda, has received planning permission for the construction of a facility for cannabis plant breeding and propagation.
Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) reported a dip in pre-tax profit from £334,000 to £306,000 in the six months to October 2019. The NAV improved from £21.2m to £21.9m over the six month period, even though £349,000 was paid in dividends.
Imperial X (IMPP) has switched its investing strategy back from medicinal cannabis to energy-related businesses. The focus is building a royalty stream from oil and gas interests.
Mark Leigh is taking over from Claire Spencer as finance director of Newbury Racecourse (NYR).
Broadband-focused shell SAPO (SAPO) has raised £27,500 at 2.75p a share.
Diverse Income Trust has reduced its stake in TechFinancials (TECH) to below 3%.
Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) generated organic growth of 10.5% in the first half and it is on course to meet analyst expectations for the full year. The main first half growth was in the corporate and pensions businesses. The most recent acquisition will take annualised non-legal revenues to 12% of the group total. A full year pre-tax profit of £21.3m is forecast.
Regional legal business Knights Group (KGH) increased interim revenues by one-third to £32m through a combination of acquired and organic growth. Underlying earnings were 9% ahead at 5.95p a share. Net debt was £17.1m at the end of October 2019. The interim dividend was raised by 83% to 1.1p a share, although Knights was not quoted for all the comparative period. Two Birmingham-based firms have been acquired since the period end.
Legal firm Ince Group (INCE) raised £12m at 45p a share. The share price has more than halved since the beginning of the year. The January 2019 placing was at 140p a share. There are plans to raise £2m by a one-for-8.398 open offer and £2m via an offer to staff. The cash will enable the working capital facility to be reduced and finance investment in building up staff numbers. Net debt was £10.4m at the end of September 2019.
Pharmaceutical services provider Ergomed (ERGO) has acquired Ashfield Pharmacovigilance Inc for $10m and this will be earnings enhancing in 2020. The deal boosts Ergomed’s position in pharmacovigilance services and gives it a stronger position in the US. Ashfield has annual revenues of $11.6m and contracted future revenues of $9.8m.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) has established a 50/50 renewable energy joint venture with Green Enesys that will operate a 36MW hybrid power (solar and biomass) project in Ivory Coast. This should reduce costs at the palm oil project in Ayenouan. There could be other potential power projects in the region. Dekel is benefiting from the recovery in the crude palm oil price. It produced 37,649 tonnes of crude palm oil in 2019, even though poor weather led to disappointing fourth quarter production. Later this year processing of cashew nuts should commence.
Biopesticides developer Eden Research (EDEN) generated revenues of £2m in 2019, down from £2.8m, and an operating loss of £1.4m. Product revenues grew even though the summer weather restricted usage of Botrytis.
Lettings agency The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) is setting up a financial services division. Acquisitions are planned and the first is a 72.25% stake in Auxilium Partnership, which is the business of newly appointed financial services director Mark Graves. This has been a source of growth for rival Belvoir (BLV).
D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) has confirmed that its second half trading is much stronger than the first half thanks to the contracts won by the Celebrus data analysis software business. The financials sector has been a productive customer base for Celebrus. D4T4 is increasingly winning SaaS business and this could hold back short-term growth, which could lead to the trimming of 2019-20 forecasts.
Instem (INS) continues to increase its recurring revenues. The pharma software company generated organic revenues growth of 12% in 2019. Pre-tax profit is expected to be £3.3m. Net cash was £5.9m. A jump in profit to £4.7m is forecast for 2020.
Estate agency Winkworth (WINK) says 2019 profit was modestly ahead of expectations and a total dividend of 7.8p a share is proposed, which is higher than forecast.
Telit Communications (TCM) did better than expected in 2019 and excluding the former automotive activities revenues grew by 8%. The internet of things technology developer is forecast to make a 2020 pre-tax profit of £20.1m.
Pharma data analytics firm Diaceutics (DXRX) generated more cash tan expected last year and made a small profit. Thee was cash of £11.7m at the end of 2019. The 2020 pre-tax profit could be £800,000.
Barkby Group (BARK) has exchanged contracts on a development site in Huntingdon, which has a gross development value of £10.7m.
Risk management software developer KRM22 (KRM) says 2019 revenues were slightly lower than expected at £4m. Delayed contracts are expected to be signed soon.
Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) managed to maintain revenues at £25.6m in 2019 and a small increase is expected in 2020. The mix of revenues has changed with fleet generating 80%, up from 73%, thanks to growth in the US and France. Insurance revenues fell as expected as low margin business was shed. Pre-tax profit is still expected to decline from £8.2m to £6.6m in 2019, with a further fall to £6.3m forecast for 2020. The dividend is expected to be reduced from 12.4p a share to 12.1p a share, although it will not be fully covered by earnings.
Base Resources (BSE) has increased production guidance for the Kwale mine with midpoints of 78,000t for rutile, 345,000t for ilmenite and 30,500t for zircon. There is a lack of supply of rutile and ilmenite, so this is good news. This should provide a strong boost to profit.
Pressure Technologies (PRES) has been fined £700,000 and will have to pay prosecution costs of £169,000 following the guilty verdict relating to a fatal accident at one of its sites in 2015. The first instalment of £215,000 is due in April with a further six equal instalments payable every six months between July 2020 and January 2023.
Oil and gas explorer and producer Empyrean Energy (EME) is raising £420,000 at 9p a share and chief executive Tom Kelly has contributed £200,000 of that cash. The placing was at a 9% premium to the market price. The cash will be spent on drilling offshore of Indonesia. There is a potential resource upgrade for the Mako gas discovery in Indonesia.
Mereo BioPharma (MPH) says that there have been positive results from the phase 2b study of Setrusumab in adults with osteogenesis imperfecta. They show that it is helping to build bone. A study with children is planned. A meeting with the FDA is due in the coming weeks. Earlier this year, Mereo signed a licence agreement for the use of Navicixizumab in ovarian cancer with Oncologie Inc. An upfront payment of $4m is due.
Nutrition provider Science in Sport (SIS) expects to report 2019 sales of £50.5m with underlying growth of nearly one-quarter. The fastest growth is outside of the UK. River and Mercantile has taken a 5.5% stake.
Shareholders in AIM-quoted Anglo African Oil and Gas (AAOG) have agreed to the sale of 80% of its Congo subsidiary to Zenith Energy (ZEN) and it is waiting for government approval. There is a put and call option over the other 20%. If the call option is exercised Zenith will pay £1m in shares. If the production at the Tilapia oilfield averages at least 4,000 barrels of oil per day for 30 consecutive days, the put option can be exercised and Zenith would pay £2.5m in shares.
Endeavour Mining Corporation has ended its merger discussions with gold miner Centamin (CEY) blaming a lack of information. Endeavour still believes that a combination would be positive. Centamin is raising its final dividend to 6 cents a share, taking the 2019 total to 10 cents a share, up from 5.5 cents a share. Net cash was $348m at the end of 2019. The higher gold price will further boost cash generation. A new chief executive still has to be appointed.
Standard list cash shell Trident Resources (TRR) has £3.29m in cash at the end of October 2019, which is similar to NAV. Management is assessing a few mining project acquisition opportunities.
Stevia sweeteners producer PureCircle Ltd (PURE) says that shareholders owning more than 10% of the share capital have put forward three proposed directors to be voted on at the AGM on 10 February. The company is happy for Sridhar Krishnan, Lai Hock Meng, a former PureCircle director, and Oliver Maes, who was previously a PureCircle director, to be appointed to the board.
Books publisher Quarto (QRT) is raising £13.9m at 68p each. The open offer is underwritten and it will help to reduce the debt burden.
Menswear retailer and hirer Moss Bros (MOSB) Total sales were 3% lower in the 24 weeks to 11 January, but gross margin improved. Hire revenues fell by 17.7%. Cash is £12m.
Pallets manufacturer RM2 International (RM2) intends to move from AIM to matched bargains market Asset Match (www.assetmatch.com).
National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its pre-tax profit by one-fifth to £2.4m in the year to June 2018. Revenues improved from £21.4m to £22.8m. The farm-based milk recording business grew, but the main growth came from the much smaller traceability and reproductive businesses. These figures are for the period before the recent virus attack. The dividend has been halved from 2.5p a share to 1.25p a share because management wants to invest in laboratories and IT. Net debt was £1.7m.
Good Energy (GOOD) has clarified its interim figures. The renewable energy supplier says that there was a misclassification of £4.9m relating to cash and current assets and current liabilities. The problem was the timing of payments. This does not change NAV and profit. There was a £20m in the bank at the end of September 2019. Good Energy has signed a technology platform agreement with Octopus Group, which could involve investment of £4m in order to improve efficiency. The existing technology will be written down over the 12 months to June 2019. Operating cost savings should cover the investment in 18 months of full implementation.
Vox has ended merger discussions with PCG Entertainment (PCGE) and Align Research saying that it is difficult to raise money for any business involving Align Research. Vox is concerned that this will hamper fundraisings for future deals, and it believes it could have a negative effect on its main business.
VI Mining (VIM) has acquired rights to near-surface oxide gold at the Aripuana project in Brazil. The company’s other assets are in Peru.
Reyker Securities has been suspended as a broker on NEX Exchange.
PCI-compliant payment services provider PCI PAL (PCIP) is making progress in winning new contracts in North America. Recurring annual contract value is £1.9m, compared with forecast revenues of £4.8m in the year to June 2020, up from £2.8m. PCI Pal will continue to lose money as it builds up revenues. Net cash was £1.5m at the end of June 2019. A new £2.75m facility will provide the working capital required to cover losses until the company starts to generate cash. Net debt of £1.5m is forecast at the end of June 2021, so this is well within the funding available.
Uhuru Corporation is a Japanese Internet of Things technology company planning to join AIM this month. Tokyo-based Uhuru (www.uhuru.co.jp/en) is involved in consultancy and engineering, as well as providing creative content and data analysis. Customers include NEC, Dentsu, Honda, Komatsu, Yamaha and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Duke Royalty (DUKE) raised £461,500 at 44p a share via PrimaryBid.com, which takes the total raised to £16.55m. A two-for-51 open offer has been launched to raise a further £3.45m.
AIM shell Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) had discussions about the participation in the purchase of US-based speciality chemicals company Arclin Inc, but these have ended. The costs of the work done on this potential transaction have reduced the cash pile to £900,000. Wilmcote is holding talks with investors about how to fund expenses while it seeks another speciality chemicals acquisition. Trading in the shares has recommenced and the share price slumped from 97p to 65p.
Oil and gas producer Amerisur Resources (AMER) has issued revised bidding instructions to the potential acquirers that were provided data as part of the strategic review and formal sale process. The process will hopefully conclude before the end of the year.
Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) is focusing on the customers that are utilising its dispersion know-how and provide the best near-term revenue potential. That will enable the graphene producer to cut its operating costs and make the cash in the bank last at least another two years. Net cash was £6.1m at the end of July 2019 and a tax credit of £600,000 has since been received. Manufacturing will be streamlined, and the annual cost base could fall from £4.3m to £3.2m. Revenues remain modest.
Pawnbroker Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) will make a one-off gross profit of £600,000 from scrapping slow moving jewellery in order to take advantage of the rise in the gold price. Trading is in line with expectations. The interims will be published on 3 December.
United Oil and Gas (UOG) is on course to acquire Rockhopper Egypt for $16m before the end of 2019. A share issue is required in order to fund the initial cash payment of at least $11m. The rest of the payment will be in shares issued at the placing price. The main asset being acquired is a 22% interest in the Abu Sennan concession.
Time Out Group (TMO) has raised £17.1m at 127p a share. The June 2016 flotation price was 150p. The cash will be used to cut debt and roll-out more Time Out Market sites, with Chicago and Montreal due to open later this year and more contracted sites for the future. Net debt was £34.4m at the end of June 2019.
Investors give no quarter when it comes to profit warnings these days. Public housing software provider Castleton Technology (CTP) says recurring revenues are still going well, but there is a shortage of one-off revenues. This has led to a 15% cut in forecast revenues for the year to March 2020. That leads to a cut in pre-tax profit forecast from £6.4m to £5.3m. A similar reduction has been made in the forecast for 2020-21, which is £5.8m. The share price fell by more than one-third to 57p, which is less than ten times prospective earnings.
Trading in the shares of Solo Energy (SOLO) has been suspended ahead of a proposed acquisition of assets from ONE-Dyas for an initial €30.1m. That will be funded by debt and a share issue raising £20m, which will involve an open offer. The 14 gas fields are in the Dutch sector of the North Sea. Tom Reynolds is moving from non-executive to chief executive. The admission document should be published in November and the name will be changed to Scirocco Energy.
Dekeloil (DKL) is still being hampered by a low crude palm oil price but it is optimistic that the price will improve. There was a 11% decrease in third quarter crude palm oil production to 4,803 tonnes. However, there was a 30% increase in sales to 7,138 tonnes. The average price achieved was 16% lower at €456/tonne. The cashew processing project is on course for first production in 2020. The company is changing its name to Dekel Agri-Vision Ltd.
Managed services provider Redcentric (RCN) says that first half trading was on track. It is on course to improve pre-tax profit from £7.2m to £9.8m.
Nottinghamshire-based nmcn (NMCN) is acquiring Lintott Control Systems (LCS), which designs and manufactures water and wastewater treatment systems and process software. The total cost of LCS could be as high as £3.76m. The initial payment is £1, plus up to £676,000 dependent on the receipt of payment for certain invoices. The rest is dependent on profit levels over the three years to the end of 2021.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) has increased third quarter revenues by 75%, compared with the second quarter. Revenues were £3.63m and the cryptocurrency mining margin is 73%, even though the bitcoin price has dropped. The number o machines in production should double to 12,000 by the end of the year.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) used cash of £2.31m in operations in the year to June 2019. Rainbow generated revenues of £1.54m from trial rare earths mining at Gakara in Burundi, but production costs were double that level. Write downs mean that net assets were £3.37m at the end of June 2019. More exploration activity is required before production levels are increased.
Stranger Holdings (STHP) has agreed terms to acquire two mineral companies. One has assets in Cameroon and the other is in Idaho. Minerals include cobalt and nickel. Previous potential transactions have been terminated.
Standard list shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) is still seeking an acquisition. There is still £912,000 in the bank.
Bruce Pubs (PUB) has raised £100,000 from an issue of 7.2% bonds and trading has commenced on NEX. The pubs operator wants to raise up to £20m. The cash will be used to acquire pubs in Scotland. Bruce owns 18 licenced premises with another licence pending. Bruce Pubs is a subsidiary of the holding company Bruce Group, which had net assets of £3.8m at the end of June 2018.
Sativa Investments (SATI) is investigating ways of raising cash to finance the company’s glasshouse and working capital for the first cannabis crop. There are also talks with vets about using medicinal cannabis in animal health. Sativa is pleased with the platform that NEX has given the business. Imperial X (IMPP) is the latest NEX company to change its investing strategy to cannabis investments.
Trading in the shares of Clean Invest Africa (CIA) following news that it has negotiated an agreement to acquire the 97.5% of CoalTech LLC it does not own. The company has technology that can convert waste coal into coal pellets for industrial and commercial use. A circular will be sent to shareholders in the first quarter of 2019.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has increased its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) to 35 million shares, which is equivalent to 1.09%. The average cost is 1.71p a share. The investment has been made ahead of further drilling results at the Havieron gold/copper project in Australia.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) reported a NAV of 189.95p a share for the end of 2018.
President Energy (PPC) beat its production target for the end of 2018. The Argentina-focused oil and gas company was producing 3,300 boepd by the year end, which is 10% above the target. The latest drilling programme of three wells has been a 100% success. President intends to build on this base during 2019. The next reserves audit should be published in March. There should be a significant jump in profit in 2019. Panmure Gordon forecasts a 2019 pre-tax profit of $18.6m. The cash generated will help to finance forecast capital investment of around $40m during the year. The target price is 15p a share.
Gateley (GTLY) continues to trade strongly with organic growth supplemented by contributions from acquisitions. The legal services provider increased interim revenues by one-fifth to £46.4m, while pre-tax profit rose from £4.2m to £5m. Net debt increased from £7.1m to £8.2m after acquisitions spending and dividend payments. The second half tends to be more cash generative. More business is coming from litigation work but management is confident that its revenue recognition policies mean that the strong cash generation will not be hit.
Castleton Technology (CTP) is paying £1.8m for Deeplake Digital, which provides digital communications services between landlords and tenants. Thirty of its 90 customers are new to Castleton.
ATTRAQT (ATQT) is expecting to make a small EBITDA figure for 2018. The online shopping performance enhancement services provider will report its 2018 results on 14 February.
More woe for Footasylum (FOOT) as gross margins come under pressure. Revenues were in line with expectations over Christmas but less money was made from them as old stock was discounted. The 2018-19 loss forecast has been edged up to more than £5m.
Higher input costs mean that Accrol Group (ACRL) will not do as well as expected and it will make a significant 2018-19 loss after exceptional charges.
Packaging machinery supplier Mpac Group (MPAC) says 2018 trading was in line with expectations and the year has started with a strong order book. The company is assessing the potential additional cost of pension equalisation for its defined benefit scheme.
Bowleven (BLVN) is paying a 15p a share special dividend on 8 February. This will leave the oil and gas explorer with the cash it requires for its exploration programme.
Wealth manager Mattioli Woods (MTW) says that its interim EBITDA margin was substantially ahead of the 20% target. Gross discretionary assets under management were £2.4bn at the end of November 2018.
Churchill China (CHH) had a strong finish to the financial year with a better second half performance in the UK. The 2018 profit will be higher than expected. The figures will be published on 27 March.
Shoe Zone (SHOE) stands out amongst its peers because it has had strong 2017-18 figures and a good Christmas. Last year’s pre-tax profit improved from £9.5m to £11.3m. Forecasts have been upgraded with 2018-19 earnings per share increased from 16.4p a share to 17.6p a share based on flat profit and a higher tax charge.
Quiz (QUIZ) sales continue to decline, albeit at a slightly lower rate of 5% like-for-like. The fashion retailer had to discount and gross margins were two percentage points lower. Overheads are also too high because of the lack of growth. The full year profit forecast has been cut from £6m to £4.4m.
A North African order for the Helios product supplied by Starcom (STAR) has been delayed until 2019 so 2018 revenues will be lower than expected. The total order value is $1.1m and the majority was expected to be recognised in 2018. Even so, revenues were better than expected, but the loss will be higher.
A general meeting has been requisitioned at Angus Energy (ANGS) by shareholders owning 6.2% of the company. It is believed that former chairman Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius is behind this requisition, which involves the proposed removal of Paul Vonk from the board and the appointment of the Earl of Lucan and George Bingham. Non-exec Rob Shepherd has resigned. Angus has entered into a 24 month, £3m loan facility with YA II PN Ltd and Riverfort Global Capital in order to finance the development of the Balcombe field in the Weald basin. A £1.5m drawdown is planned immediately.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has acquired additional acreage in the Paradox Basin in Utah at a cost of $35,000. Rose believes that the new acreage could have an NPV10 of around $12m. The deal follows the results of the Schlumberger study which suggests that the site of a proposed well in the area should be in an optimal position.
Diurnal Group (DNL) has been granted a second patent for hydrocortisone treatment Chronocourt, which already has orphan drug designation. The patent lasts until 2033.
A £2m subscription and $5m investment into an internal finance note by 1795 Volantis Fund will provide Obtala Ltd (OBT) with additional funds. 1795 Volantis Fund will own 12.9% of Obtala, as well as 40 million warrants exercisable at 10p each. The disposal of a Tanzanian agricultural business will bring in a further $2.5m. Obtala intends to acquire the 25% it does not own in Montara Continental for $5m, which will be reinvested in the internal finance note.
Fuel cell developer Proton Power Systems (PPS) will own 33.33% of Hamburg-based Clean Logistics, which is being set up to build heavy trucks powered by fuel cell hybrid systems in the range of 75kw-150kw. The other two equal shareholders are Hopen, which has interests in battery and electric vehicle developers, and modular transport service provider Hary.
Sopheon (SPE) had a strong end to 2018. The software provider will provide more details in its trading statement later this month, when finnCap says it will reassess its forecasts.
Dekeloil (DKL) says that fourth quarter volumes were in line with expectations with a 2% increase in crude palm oil production on the third quarter. The annual production was 15% lower because of the weak first half. Selling prices have been at a premium to the market price. The purchase of a 43.8% stake in the Tiebissou cashew processing project has been completed.
Imaginatik (IMTK) has decided to sell its software business and assets to Planbox. The initial cash payment is $1.7m and up to $800,000 more could become payable. If it is all paid then the selling price would be higher than the book value of the assets. Imaginatik will become a shell with around £1m in cash left from the initial payment. If the disposal is approved by sharehodlers the company will change its name to Abal Group.
Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) continues to grow fleet sales but lower insurance sales are partly offsetting that growth. A supplementary dividend will be announced with the final dividend when the 2018 figures are published on 25 February.
Brighton Pier Group (PIER) says problems with the railways are hampering the income generation of Brighton Pier and earning shave been lower. The trading of the bars division was flat last year. Pre-tax profit will be around £3.2m, which is 18% lower than previous expectations.
Frontier IP (FIPP) says that its investee company Exscientia has raised $26m and is collaborating with Roche in a deal worth up to CHF67m. Frontier IP owns 3.32% of artificial intelligence-driven drug developer Exscientia.
InnovaDerma (IDP) has revealed a 6% dip in first half revenues to £3.9m, even though retail sales grew strongly. Direct sales fell, although there are indications that they are recovering. The cosmetic products supplier will have to do well in the second half to achieve full year forecast revenues of £14.4m.
Trident Resources (TRR) has £1.85m in the bank at the end of October. The shell raised £4m when it floated in October. The balance sheet includes trade receivables of £2.1m, although management says that it started the year with just under £4m in cash. Potential acquisitions are being assessed.
Residential property developer St Mark Homes (SMAP) is bidding for related company St Marks Contracts Ltd. The recommended offer is a one-for-one share swap. That looks fair as the adjusted NAV of each of the companies is around 128.5p a share. That is after St Mark Homes pays its interim dividend of 5p a share. The directors that the two companies have in common were not involved in the negotiations. The idea behind the deal is that the enlarged group should be able to participate in larger projects.
Equatorial Mining & Exploration (EM.P) says that it has engaged a contract mining company to open up an access road into a planned mining lease in Nigeria in anticipation of its imminent grant, which is subject to a final fee of £15,000. Equatorial needs additional funding for exploration and working capital and it is talking to investors. The company’s activity has been limited in order for it to be able to keep going until finance can be obtained. A half year trading update will be published at the end of this month
Hellenic Capital (HECP) director Gavin Burnell has more than doubled his stake in the investment company, taking it to 29.9%. The recent purchase of 9.5 million shares was at 0.137p each. That is below the current bid price of 0.2p.
African Pioneer (APPP) is asking its shareholders to approve its withdrawal from ISDX. The vote will be held at the AGM on 30 June. If the resolution is passed then trading will end on 1 July.
Wireless control technology developer Cyan Holdings (CYAN) is acquiring Connode, which supplies wireless-based technology for smart meters and the internet of things, for £6.8m – £4.3m in cash and £2.5m in shares. This deal provides a European customer base and an opportunity to generate revenues from the smart meter roll out in the UK. Cyan is raising £10.1m at 0.18p a share and this includes a £2m subscription by JS Technical Services, a Thailand-based distributor of Cyan products. The share capital will be doubled following these share issues. Directors and some of the senior management will take their income and bonuses in shares at the same price – expected to be equivalent to £730,000.
Seeing Machines (SEE) has supplied an initial 1,000 Guardian on-road driver fatigue units to a distributor set up by VSI Berhad, the Malaysian business that recently took a 12% stake in the company at 5.2p a share – a significant premium to the current market price. The units will be sold in Malaysia and Singapore. According to finnCap, Seeing Machines should have net cash of A$5m by the end of June 2017 and there are $10m worth of further payments to come from the Caterpillar deal.
Risk management and compliance software developer Lombard Risk Management (LRM) is raising up to £8.76m through a placing and one-for-35 open offer at 8.75p a share. The cash will be invested in developing existing and future software products. A trebled loss of £6.6m is forecast for this year but Lombard is expected to move into profit next year – after capitalised development spending.
Hydro International (HYD) has recommended a £28m bid from Ely Acquisitions. The Hanover Active Equity Fund-backed acquisition vehicle is offering 194p a share in cash for the stormwater and wastewater equipment supplier.
Dekeloil (DKL) is buying out most of the minority interests in the Ayenouan palm oil mill in the Ivory Coast. This will take the Dekeloil stake to 86% and it will be financed by a £12.75m placing at 1.325p a share. The purchase price effectively values the mill at €42.9m and the deal should be earnings enhancing. The rest of the minority interest will eventually be acquired. Cantor Fitzgerald forecasts a 2016 profit of €4.9m, rising to €7.5m next year.
CML Microsystems (CML) is showing signs of benefiting from a recovery in demand thanks to new contracts. In the year to March 2016, revenues improved from £21.8m to £22.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit moved ahead from £3.17m to £3.44m. The dividend was increased from 6.9p a share to 7p a share. The recently announced Chinese acquisition will not be completed for around three months.
A pre-feasibility study for the Batangas gold project, where Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has an option to increase its 25% stake to 50.1%, shows that it could generate $34m of free cash during its first seven years of production (assuming a gold price of $1,250/ounce). The upfront capital costs are $16m. Estimated operating costs are $735/ounce of recovered gold. Recovered gold production is forecast at 116,000 ounces and there are an additional 320,000 ounces of inferred gold resources. A definitive feasibility study should be completed by the end of the year.
Highlands Natural Resources (HNR) is reversing its recently acquired helium prospects in Montana into fellow standard list shell Opera Investments (OPRA), which previously had a reversal deal that fell through. The purchase price is £4m in Opera shares valued at 15p each. Opera plans to raise at least $750,000 to finance investment in the assets. Highlands will be the majority shareholder in the company.