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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 14 September 2020

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.

AIM

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.

MAIN MARKET

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.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 1 June 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that it plans to host racing during June and July, although there will be no crowd. There will be income from media rights and betting shops are set to reopen on 15 June. The Rocking Horse nursery reopens on 1 June, although the hotel at the racecourse will remain closed. The £2.75m loan from Compton Beauchamp Estates has been extended to April 2022. David Wilson Homes is expected to make the next land payment of £10.98m by then. The 2019 audited accounts should be published by the end of July.

First Sentinel (FSEN) is making an investment in proposed Aquis Stock Exchange company Vulcan Industries. It will pay £234,000 for shares at 3p each and is also providing a convertible loan facility of up to £500,000 with an interest rate of 12%. There is an arrangement fee of £50,000 in shares. The initial stake is 4.56% of Vulcan, which plans to be a consolidator in the engineering sector. First Sentinel has raised £117,000 at 21p a share.

SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) is supplying hand sanitiser to the NHS and that should generate £650,000 in gross profit in this financial year. The contract lasts for an initial 11 weeks. In the six months to September 2019, gross profit is £288,000.

Cannabis-focused shell Greencare Capital (GRE) says that it remains in discussions with its principle potential acquisition and other opportunities. As lockdown conditions ease the discussions should gain momentum.

Employee-owned businesses investor and adviser Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) doubled unrealised gains from £630,000 to £1.33m at the interim stage and this helped pre-tax profit improve from £585,000 to £1.28m. NAV was 50.17p a share at the end of February 2020, although this figure has subsequently declined. TG Engineering went into administration in April, but this investment had already been written-off.

European Lithium Ltd (EUR) has secured an agreement with Talaxis for help with completing the definitive feasibility study on the Wolfsberg lithium project. Talaxis has expertise in developing electric vehicle technology metals. An introduction fee of 5% is payable for a debt or equity raising, plus a total of up to 36 million shares depending on the achievement of milestones. There is a minimum one-year non-exclusive period. Creditors and short-term loans of $743,000 have been converted into shares.

KR1 (KR1) investee company Argent Labs has raised a further $12m and this puts a value of $260,000 on the stake in the mobile crypto wallet developer.

Formation Group (FRM) has swung from an operating loss of £137,000 to a profit of £175,000 at the interim stage. This was supplemented by a £766,000 gain on financial assets to generate a £941,000 pre-tax profit. There is £5.18m in the bank and net assets were £21.7m at the end of February 2020.

Investment company Forbes Ventures (FOR) says that it expects its litigation funding project to male progress over the next few months. This should generate cash for the business and other projects are being assessed.

Early Equity (EEQP) increased its interim loss from £68,000 to £344,000. Early Equity has suspended its application to the standard list.

AIM

Safestay (SSTY) ended 2019 with 20 hostels across 12 European countries. In 2019, revenues increased by one-quarter to £18.4m and 49% of this comes from outside of the UK. There was a small pre-tax loss, which will increase this year due to closures because of COVID-19. Liberum believes that net bank debt will be £26.3m by the end of 2020. The share price is less than one-third of the NAV of around 56p a share.

In-game advertising technology develop Bidstack (BIDS) has received its first advertising bookings in the US. The company expects significant second half revenues.

Mattress retailer eve Sleep (EVE) says demand improved in April and May putting it in a position to meet full year expectations. A loss of £3.6m is forecast. The online focus has helped because high street retailers have closed. There have also been opportunities to buy TV advertising at attractive rates. The Woodford stock overhang has been cleared.

First quarter trading at fryer management services provider Filta (FLTA) started well and margins were improving. The catering customer base has been hit by the COVID-19 lockdown and Filta is offering additional services. Last year, organic revenue growth was 16%. Net debt was £2.1m at the end of 2019.

MAIN MARKET

Motor dealer Caffyns (CFYN) says it still expects to make a profit in the year to March 2020. Aftersales have restarted and showrooms are set to reopen. There is an annual salary ceiling of £37,500 for all active employees in April. This is being unwound.

Moss Bros (MOSB) bidder Brigadier has decided to withdraw its appeal to the Takeover Panel and the bid needs to be approved by the courts to be finalised.

Path Investments (PATH) has found a new acquisition target to replace the purchase of FineGems. Path is buying a 75% stake in the DT Ultraviolet technology owned by AIM-quoted Zoetic International (ZOE). Path will also acquire the nitrogen reserves and assets owned by Zoetic. The DTU refracking well stimulation technology is cheaper than existing technologies. Path will issue 15 million shares, and 15 million warrants exercisable at 1.5p each, to pay for the assets. Path will also pay a royalty of 5% on DTU revenues.

Cash shell Fandango Holdings (FHP) says the prospectus for the acquisition of an oil well services company is currently being prepared. There will also be a placing.

Avation (AVAP) has ended its formal sales process. Disruption to the aviation sector means that a realistic bid is unlikely.

Cathay International Holdings (CTI) is planning to transfer from a premium to a standard listing even though shareholders did not pass the resolution when it was previously tabled.

Nanoco (NANO) has signed a quantum dot material supply agreement with STMicroelectronics. Initial purchases will generate cash during the rest of 2020.

Seafox international says that is has no longer intends to bid for Gulf Marine Services (GMS).

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 3 February 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

Zapp Electric Vehicles plans to join NEX in February. Zapp has developed an electric bike and it is being produced in Thailand. The first production series model was made in September. The flotation will raise cash for manufacturing and marketing the i300 in the European market where cities are promoting electric vehicles. Zapp Scooters Ltd (the previous name) had net assets of £487,000 at the end of September 2018 and most of that was accounted for by an investment in the Thailand-based subsidiary. VSA Capital is corporate adviser.

Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) increased its full year pre-tax profit from £193,000 to £282,000. Revenues were 2% ahead at £3.73m, while the cost base was flat. There were lower repair costs and the capital investment of recent years is beginning to pay off. NAV was £3.49m, including cash of £1.11m.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that investee company DJT Plants has been asked follow-up questions by the government as part of the application to grow more than 0.2% THC cannabis. Sales of hap devices and hapac sachets has recommenced in Italy. The executive chairman has loaned £30,000 to Ananda at an interest rate of 10% a year.

Sativa Group (SATI) has signed a deal with Alliance Healthcare for the distribution of Goodbody Botanicals cannabis-based products through its 10,000 UK high street clients.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has extended its option to acquire Greenbelt Company, which has access to 4,000 acres of farmland in Sierra Leone. Greenbelt also has a licence for medicinal cannabis production and processing. A premium of £10,000 is being paid for a 90-day exclusive option to acquire the company for £4m in shares at 0.1p each, a premium to the suspension price. The proposed acquisition was announced 10 months ago.

Healthcare properties developer Ashley House (ASH) continues to build a pipeline of affordable housing schemes and it has completed six homes for Corby Borough Council. A loss will be reported for the 18 months to October 2019. More cash is still required.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has given notice to Woodford Investment Management that it expects it to subscribe £7.5m at 176p a share. This will take the LF Equity Income Fund stake to 26.8%. More cash will be required so that a fourth proton therapy centre can be opened in Liverpool. This cash will be spent later this year.

Formation Group (FRM) reported a return to profit in the year to August 2019, although it was down to one-off gains. A loss of £284,000 was turned into a pre-tax profit of £1.27m. There was still an underlying loss. The NAV is £20.9m, including cash of £16.2m. The focus was completing existing property development projects. At the end of 2019, the cash was invested in Irish development projects. Sean O’Brien and Andrew Bennett, who is a director of Rutherford Health, have become directors of Formation.

Gunsynd (GUN) has rolled over its loan notes to Human Brands Inc into one loan note with a repayment date of 20 January 2021. Human Brands’ Japanese whisky called Shinju is being sold by a major US liquor retailer. The plan is to raise more cash and Gunsynd would receive a fee in shares.

Coinsilium Group (COIN) says that IOV Labs Ltd, which owns smart contract platform developer RSK, has subscribed £250,000 at 2.65p a share and the two firms have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a joint venture in Singapore. This will commercialise RSK’s products in Asia and to promote RIF tokens which power RSK’s platforms. Gibraltar-based IOV owns 6.94% of Coinsilium, while Coinsilium owns 1.95 million RIF tokens. Almon I Holding has increased its stake in Coinsilium to 3.68%.

Black Sea Property (BSP) is acquiring two subsidiaries of European Convergence Development Company (ECDC) plus outstanding debt of €119.2m. Black Sea Property is paying €3.3m. There will also be the purchase of between 28.6% to 29.9%. This adds two development plots.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) made a loss of £131,000 in the last quarter of 2019. It is still attempting to raise cash via a bond issue.

Ganapati (GANP) says that additional regulations in Malta have required additional time for the registration as a Virtual Financial Asset licence. The application will be filed in the first quarter and a systems audit is being carried out. There are plans to apply for software gaming licence in the UK Gambling Commission and for certificates in Sweden, Denmark, Spain and Columbia.

Slater Investments has increased its stake in IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) from 10.65% to 12.2%.

Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £113,000 at 0.65p a share. There was £174,000 in the bank at the end of August 2019. Management has informed NEX that the company should be classed as an operating company, rather than an investment company with the remaining investments classed as non-core assets. There are still plans to move to the standard list.

AIM

Computer vision technology developer Seeing Machines (SEE) increased first half sales from A$13.5m to A$15.8m. The automotive division has nine ongoing programmes with six automotive manufacturers. Demand for driver monitoring systems will be driven by regulation. The cost of the Guardian fleet equipment has been cut by 21%. Seeing Machines has launched a crew training system for the aviation sector.

Best of the Best (BOTB) has sparked another profit upgrade, following the one in November. The online competitions organiser reported better than expected interim figures and this led to a 18% increase in the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast to £2.6m, compared with £2.1m last year, and a 25% jump to £3m in 2020-21. There is currently £4.3m of cash in the bank and a 14p a share special dividend is proposed. That is the eighth since 2014.

Minds + Machines (MMX) is on course to announce a maiden dividend with its 2019 figures. The onerous contract has been sorted out Net cash was $6.6m at the end of 2019.

Cloverleaf 374 has increased its stake in Urban Exposure (UEX) from 9.1% to 12.2%. Invesco trimmed its stake from 15.5% to 14.1%. The ultimate owner is Wellesley Group Investors. The board is still reviewing proposals for the future of the property finance provider.

Open Orphan (ORPH) is raising at least £5m via a placing and subscription at 6.1p a share.

MAIN MARKET

Trading in the shares of Baskerville Capital (BASK) on the standard list has been suspended following the announcement of the proposed acquisition of Oberon Investments, which owns smaller company investor MD Barnard. The plan is to move to NEX. An initial 7.83% stake has been acquired for £851,000 with a commitment to subscribe a further £351,000 by the end of April. The acquisition of the rest of Oberon will be paid in Baskerville shares. The deal could be completed by the summer.

Smaller company-focused telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) has increased its full year loss from £1.4m to £1.67m. In order to build scale, Toople plans to acquire DMS Holding for £1.56m, including £460,000 in cash and 1.05 billion shares. This is a cash generative business and there are potential cost savings. That should offset some of the enormous cash outflow from the existing Toople business. A placing at 0.1p a share will raise £1.2m gross.

Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) is raising £650,000 at 1.8p each. This cash will finance further development of the company’s therapies and treatments for blood diseases.

Haynes Publishing (HYNS) increased interim revenues by 4% to £19m with the growth coming from digital. The publisher’s pre-tax profit was 500% ahead at £1.2m. The formal sale process continues.

Standard list shell Bermele (BERM) is raising £200,000 at 1p a share in order to provide further cash to assess potential acquisitions in the pharma sector.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 25 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 4 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased its rental income by one-third to £1.95m in the six months to October 2018. Profit from continuing operations improved from £218,000 to £271,000 and a dividend of 0.83p a share has been announced. Four properties have been purchased since April 2018 and Hume House was sold.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) increased its NAV from 42.69p a share to 43.35p a share in the year to August 2018. The strategic focus is to make larger investments in bigger employee-owned businesses. There was £175,000 in the bank at the end of August 2018, so there appear to be limited funds available for further investments, although there are £1.3m of loans to investee companies.

Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) was hit by delays in projects planned by its Morgan Ashley joint venture in the six months to October 2018. Only one scheme reached financial close during the period and a loss was reported for the period. Modular buildings demand is strong with a good pipeline of potential projects. A profit is still expected for the 14 months to June 2019, but this still depends on the timing of projects.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) increased its full year profit from £127,000 to £153,000 on turnover 4% higher at £3.66m. There is £1.09m in the bank at the end of October 2018. The dividend was maintained at 21p a share, which is covered 1.2 times by earnings. The strategy is to encourage more direct bookings with the hotel and an online booking system was launched last September. The completion of refurbishment activities has enabled an increase in bookings for weddings. Bedroom refurbishments continue.

Formation Group (FRM) reported an improvement in revenues from £37m to £38.6m in the year to August 2018, but the operating loss nearly quadrupled to £416,000. There was a gain on financial asset of £450,000 and an exceptional cost of £318,000 relating to an accident in 2015. Management is cautious about taking on new property developments under the current economic conditions.

Karoo Energy (KEP) is still trying to raise cash to enable it to move to AIM. Management is confident that it will be able to raise the funds in the near future.

Formerly AIM-quoted Altona Energy (ANR) did not managed to obtain a replacement nominated adviser for Northland and it has moved to NEX on 1 February. Sino-Aus Energy Group is subscribing for £500,000 of 7% convertible loan notes July 2020. The conversion price depends on the market price in the 2o days prior to conversion although the minimum is 10p a share.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) has appointed Epsion Capital to help it raise up to £20m from a share issue at a price of at least 0.5p a share. There will be a warrant issued with every four shares. A circular is being prepared to gain shareholder approval. Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £187,500 at 0.75p a share.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that 15%-owned LHT has launched its hapac medicinal cannabis inhaling technology in Milan, Italy. The initial reaction has been positive.

VI Mining (VIM) has completed the acquisition of the Cushuro gold project for $27.5m in shares.

Nuclear notes linked to guaranteed contingent value rights relating to the takeover of British Energy will mature and stop being traded on 7 February.

Dealings in the shares of Wheelsure (WHLP) and Ecovista (EVTP) have been suspended because they have not published their results for the year to August 2018.

AIM  

Recruitment and training company Staffline (STAF) has delayed the publishing of its accounts because of concerns about invoicing. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Electronic and battery products supplier Solid State (SOLI) says trading is significantly better than previously expected. Gross margins are continuing to improve. finnCap upgraded its 2018-19 earnings per share forecast by 26% and the 2019-20 figure by 21%.

Filtronic (FTC) fell into loss in the first half even before the write-off of £500,000 of capitalised development costs. Massive MIMO antennas sales will not build up as quickly as initially expected. There is £2.2m in the bank so the antennas and telecoms hardware supplier has a strong cash position while it waits for orders to come through. There is expected to be a full year loss but cash should still be £1.8m. A focus on defence and public safety markets will help to diversify the customer base and provide new opportunities.

A court has ordered Grant Thornton to pay £21m relating to its failures in the auditing of AssetCo (ASTO) accounts in the financial years to March 2009 and March 2010. AssetCo had been seeking £40m from Grant Thornton and there is still interest to be calculated on the award.

Location Sciences (LSAI) says that 2018 trading was in line with expectations and 2019 has started well. There has been a soft launch of the Verify product that ensures that responses to advertising from mobiles are genuine. Paid for trials in the US will provide further evidence of effectiveness.

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has acquired Manchester-based Croft Transport Planning and Design, which provides highways and traffic advice to property developers, for an initial £1.5m in cash and shares. This widens the range of services offered by the property services division.

Utilitywise (UTW) has not published its accounts and trading in the shares has been suspended. The utility cost management consultancy has also effectively put itself up for sale as part of its strategic review. This was sparked by the failure to raise cash required from a share issue. The £25m bank facility expires in April.

MAIN MARKET  

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has secured an investment of up to $30m to fund the commercialisation of molecular biology products being developed by Ador Diagnostics, a joint venture with Gamida for Life, that is valued at $30m prior to the investment. The first $14.5m should be invested by the end of March and the rest will be invested at a 33.3% premium to the enterprise valuation after the initial investment by the end of 2020. Most of the cash will come from medical sector investors and Puma Brandenburg. BATM and Gamida will each invest $2m and after the initial investment BATM will own 38.2% of the company. Shore Capital will reinvest its total fees of $1m into Ador.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) is obtaining a $750,000 convertible security investment and a 24 month equity facility of up to $7m from an entity managed by The Lind Partners, which will get an initial commitment fee of $75,000. Between $100,000 and $300,000 can be drawn down each month. The shares will be issued at prices that are linked to market prices at the time. Rare earths production at the Gakara project in Burundi is expected to build up over 2019 as two further areas are opened up. Production costs were higher than sales revenues in the three months to December 2018.

Sportech (SPO) has acquired digital gaming technology business LOT.TO Systems, which has developed the iLottery platform.

Path Investments (PATH) has sold its Turkish oil and gas interests for £400,000. The focus is the acquisition of ARC Marlborough. The plan is to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland, via a share issue.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has agreed a forward funding and assignment of the contract of the Wavertree property in Liverpool. This is the second project that has reached this stage. Dukemount will continue to manage the redevelopment of the property and a development profit will be received on completion. Executive chairman Geoffrey Dart has been awarded a bonus of £80,000 for the completion of the first two transactions and it will be received in shares at 0.3p each.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 December 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET   

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 20 August 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

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.

AIM   

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.

MAIN MARKET  

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.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 16 April 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

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.

AIM

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.

MAIN MARKET    

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.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 18 December 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Wine and beer maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has raised £18.53m at 50p a share and could raise up to £1.47m more via a one-for-35 open offer at the same share price. The latest acceptance date is 5 January. Chapel Down will invest in an additional 500 acres of vineyard land and more money will be put into marketing. The family interests of Michael Spencer have invested in the fundraising. Nigel Wray has invested a further £500,000 but his stake has fallen to 16.5%, prior to the open offer. This year’s turnover is expected to be at least £11.6m and management expects growth to accelerate after the additional investment. New gin and vodka brands have been launched and the Ashford brewery should be up and running by the end of 2018.

Ashley House (ASH) has signed a joint venture with Morgan Sindall to develop extra care and supported living housing. This deal sparked a 55% increase in the share price to 14.75p. Morgan Sindall is paying £4m in total for the 50% stake in the joint venture, with £1.5m of this dependent on certain completion factors. It should all be paid by the end of 2018. The Ashley House housing division will complete two existing schemes and then own 50% of the joint venture, which will develop any further schemes. This additional cash will help to accelerate the growth of this part of the business. There is already a pipeline of potential developments. Ashley House will make an interim loss but expects to profitable for the full year.

e-commerce technology provider Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) reduced its interim loss as revenues grew from £317,000 to £479,000. There has been a lower number of larger projects, particularly in the food and drink sector, and Netalogue would have been profitable without the investment in the company’s technical team. A move towards a SaaS-based model could hold back short-term revenues.

AIM-quoted, spread betting business London Capital Group (LCG) has joined the NEX Exchange Growth Market on 15 December. Glio Holdings Ltd owns 78.1% of London Capital.

Early Equity (EEQP) has made two more investments. It has invested £60,000 in TruSpine Technologies Ltd, which plans to join AIM next year. TruSpine has developed the Faci-LOK and Cervi-FAS minimally invasive spine stabilisation devices and the VOSC catheter atherosclerosis treatment product. The plan is to gain FDA authorisation for Faci-LOK next year and then float. TruSpine is valued at £15m. A £35,000 investment in the profitable corporate finance and asset management business Farina Investments (UK) Ltd has been made ahead of a flotation. Early Equity raised £115,000 at 0.6p a share.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) has declared an unchanged total dividend of 21p a share for the year to October 2017.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) says that it is progressing towards the issue of an investment bond that will be quoted on a recognised bond market. There was nearly £60,000 in the bank at the end of September 2017.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) raised £720,000 at 9p a share and this will be used to invest in blockchain companies and expand the company’s own advisory business. Last June, £250,000 was raised at 2.2p a share. Coinsilium has been appointed as an adviser to token generation event of Hdac Technology AG, which is developing payment platforms for connected devices.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has raised £5,000 at 0.01p a share and issued further shares for convertible loan notes and warrants at the same price. Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised £34,000 at 0.1p a share. Via Developments (VIA1) has issued a further £50,000 of debenture stock.

AIM

Satellites owner Avanti Communications Group (AVN) has revealed a financial restructuring that could put it on a firm footing. Certainly, without this restructuring the outlook would be bleak. The $557m of 2023 loan notes will be converted into two billion shares, while investors in the 2021 loan notes are being asked to accept and extension of the term and lower income. Annual interest charges would still be $36.6m

Best of the Best (BOTB) says that it expects to pay remote gaming duty and this will knock £300,000 from profit this year and £600,000 next year. This year’s pre-tax profit is forecast to decline from £1.5m to £1.4m, with a further fall to £1.2m in 2018-19. Net cash is expected to be £2.6m at the end of April 2018. The company is still claiming £4.5m of VAT so this could provide a cash boost in the future.

Plant Impact (PIM) is suffering continued delays in demand for its Veritas product in Brazil. A new partnership with Albaugh Brazil will commercialise other Plant Impact products in Brazil. This has sparked the decision to consider putting the company up for sale. Cash is running out and a further £7m would need to be raised to keep the company going well into 2019.

Van Elle Holdings (VANL) has defeated the five resolutions proposed by former chairman Michael Ellis at last week’s general meeting.

Recruitment and outsourcing services provider Servoca (SVCA) reported better than expected full year figures. Pre-tax profit improved from £3.5m to £3.9m. Education and healthcare will be the main growth areas.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) is collaborating with King’s College London to examine the use of SFX-01 as a therapy against ischaemic stroke. Multiple doses will be assessed and this will take nine months. This could lead to a clinical trial that might be funded by a charity organisation associated with King’s College.

Range Resources Ltd (RRL) returned to AIM following the reverse takeover of producing oil and gas assets in Trinidad from Trinity Exploration and Production (TRIN).

Defence equipment and services supplier Cohort (CHRT) had a weak first half but it expects to more than make up for that in the second half. There was a mixed performance with some parts of the business finding trading conditions difficult. The order book is worth £132m. Full year pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from £14.5m to £15.4m.

Savannah Resources (SAV) says that it has discovered high-grades and large intercepts in the latest drilling at the Mina do Barroso lithium project. A maiden mineral resource estimated could be announced before the year end with potential for upgrades from further drilling.

Daniel Stewart expects China New Energy (CNEL) to report a jump in pre-tax profit from £400,000 to £2.6m in 2017. The shares are trading on less than four times fully-taxed 2017 prospective earnings. The company constructs bioenergy plants that convert feedstock into ethanol. The most recently reported order book was worth £28.7m with the orders due to be fulfilled in 2017 and 2018. Demand from China is strong and there is also international business.

Coal bed methane projects developer Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) has secured a listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange and trading commenced on 13 December. Tlou raised £2.4m at 11p a share.

Synairgen (SNG) has secured a £5m cash injection from a deal with Pharmaxis, which will take over the development of LOXL2 in fibrotic diseases. Synairgen will also receive 17% of any partnering revenues. This compares with £3m invested by Synairgen in LOXL2. The cash will enable Synairgen to fund the phase IIa study for SNG001 for COPD. The trial should be complete by the end of 2018.

New management has turned around the performance of contract disputes and expert witness services provider Driver (DRV) and it moved back into profit last year. Cost savings have been made and the focus is on profitable business rather than just growing revenues. Cash collection is improving with net debt down to £200,000 and there is likely to be net cash of £2m in one year’s time. This year’s revenues are likely to be flat at around £60m but pre-tax profit should improve from £2.5m to £2.7m.

One month after its previous trading statement IDOX (IDOX) says that an internal audit has found that it should not recognise all the revenues that it originally intended to. This will knock £3m off profit for 2016-17. The software company reported its full year figures in December but the attest full year figures have been delayed until February. Chief executive Andrew Riley is away ill and former boss Richard Kellett-Clarke has taken over on a temporary basis.

Abzena (ABZ) reported interims in line with expectations. Growth came from the chemistry and manufacturing businesses. This is a period of capital investment as various parts of the company move to new facilities. The ADC master services agreement with a US biotech will yield at least $5m in services revenues over the next 12 months. This deal is shared between chemistry and manufacturing divisions.

Surface coatings provider Hardide (HDD) is starting to improve its gross margin as demand improves. There is even some signs of improved demand from the oil and gas sector. Even so, Hardide remains loss-making but it still has not gained any orders from Airbus. It raised £2.5m for capital investment earlier this year. A new reactor will be installed in the US in this financial year and another next year.

MAIN MARKET

Titon Holdings (TON) continues to benefit from strong demand for its window ventilation components in South Korea. The majority of profit comes from South Korea and that is where all the growth came from last year as the contributions from the UK and North America fell. In the year to September 2017, revenues were one-fifth ahead at £28m, while pre-tax profit improved from £2.14m to £2.49m. The dividend growth of 20% to 4.2p a share is ahead of earnings per share growth. A pre-tax profit of £2.81m is forecast for this year.

Avation (AVAP) has secured an initial $100m revolving facility to finance the acquisition of aircraft.

Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL) has secured an agreement with AIM-quoted MySQUAR (MYSQ) for the distribution of its games on MySQUAR’s platform and MySQUAR’s games on the Huawei InTouch platform. This is initially a two year deal.

Standard list shell Stranger Holdings (STHP) says that it expects to complete the acquisition of biogas and renewable energy business Alchemy Utilities. A five-year £20m bond is being raised.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 December 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

First Sentinel (FSEN) has bought a 80% stake in Perennial Enterprises in Australia in an all share deal. Perennial is a profitable debtor finance business and it is purchasing A$5m of invoices each month. Shane Perry of Perennial will join the First Sentinel board.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has sold its investment in Gold Mines of Wales to Alba Mineral Resources (ALBA) in return for 83.3 million shares in Alba (3.6% of the company). That was worth £317,000 at an Alba share price of 0.38p.

NHS-focused software systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) has been hit by budget cuts but management is hopeful that NHS restructuring will have a positive effect. A tender has been won for a pilot of a new product range. The NHS will launch the GPSOC3 tendering in 2018 and this could provide opportunities for DXS.

Block Energy (BLOK) has delayed its move to AIM until mid-January. It was originally expected to make the move on 7 December.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) had net assets of £1.88m at the end of September 2017. Since then, two buildings in Peterlee have been acquired and more acquisitions are promised in the near future.

Early Equity (EEQP) impaired two investments in the year to August 2017. The full year loss was £139,000. Further cash has been raised since the year end.

Commercial property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has completed the purchase of the New Majestic Bingo Hall, Middlesbrough for £4.15m and it generates rent of £313,000 a year.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised £30,000 at 0.075p a share.

AIM

Sula Iron and Gold (SULA) is acquiring a controlling interest in a cobalt licence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for $100,000. This is near to existing cobalt and copper mines. A holding company will be 70% owned by Sula and 30% owned by the vendor. A placing is raising £1.75m at 0.05p a share. This will provide cash for the exploration of the new licence and finance the development of the assets in Sierra Leone. Sula will assess other opportunities in the DRC. The Riverfort facility will be terminated and shares bought back from D-Beta. The company is changing its name to African Battery Materials.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) has raised the cash to finance the completion of the phase II studies for SFX-01, which uses its synthetic sulforaphane called Sulforadex. There is a phase II trial assessing the treatment of metastatic breast cancer and there should be an interim reading in the first half of 2018 and it will report fully before the end of the year. There is also a phase II trial for subarachnoid haemorrhage stroke, which should also report by the end of 2018. Evgen has raised £2.3m at 12p a share. Hardman says that cash burn is £300,000 a month.

Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) has reset its flotation date to 19 December and it is raising £25.4m, before costs of £1.2m, at 62p a share. Numis is nominated adviser and broker, while Baden Hill is joint bookrunner. Mirriad, which has developed technology to enable product placement in existing TV and film content, will be valued at £63.2m. Management is raising £800,000 from the sale of existing shares. IP Group is a major shareholder and is investing a further £3.7m, leaving it with a 27.2% stake. Amati VCT, Amati VCT 2, Edge Performance VCT and Oxford Technology 4 VCT, which acquired its shareholding around a decade ago, also have stakes, although it does not appear that the VCTs will generate much of an increase in the value of their holdings at the placing price.

Brighton Pier Group (PIER) has agreed to buy mini golf site operator Paradise Island Adventure Golf for an initial £10.5m. The business made an EBITDA of £1.21m on revenues of £3.49m in the most recent financial year. Six sites are being operated with two to be added. This is less seasonal than Brighton Pier. A placing raised £3m at 95p a share, with executive chairman Luke Johnson investing £850,000.

Delays with a project at Hinckley C hampered last year’s figures from Redhall (RHL) but the underlying business has been put on a much firmer footing. The order book is higher and so are the gross margins on the work.

Collagen Solutions (COS) has been hit by a delayed order from a major tissue customer which is launching a new product incorporating the tissue. This will hamper full year revenues. Interim revenues were flat at £1.86m and the full year revenues are expected to still rise from £3.95m to £4.31m but this is around £800,000 lower than previous forecasts. There should still be £6m in the bank at the end of March 2018. The long-term prospects for the ChondroMimetic cartilage repair product are positive.

Vianet Group (VNET) is switching its revenue model for its smart machines division to focus increasingly on regular recurring revenues from contactless payment technology sales. This held back interim revenues. Since the end of the first half, Vianet has completed the acquisition of Vendman and this should make a small profit contribution in the second half. Full year group revenues are expected to rise from £14.3m to £15.4m, while pre-tax profit should move from £2.5m to £2.8m. Vianet is changing its sector to telecommunication equipment.

Accounting software supplier FreeAgent Holdings (FREE) grew its interim revenues by 28% to £4.6m without any significant contribution from its partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland. Growth was slowed by regulation changes relating to public sector contractors. The policy of moving towards digital tax returns will provide a future boost to demand for the company’s software from small businesses. House broker N+1 Singer has trimmed its forecast revenues for the next two years and does not expect FreeAgent to make a full year pre-tax profit over that time scale.

Sovereign Mines of Africa (SMA) ran into regulatory and tax issues relating to its proposed reverse takeover of an Indian eyewear manufacturer. Trading in the shares was suspended on 21 July so it has until 27 January to find a potential acquisition.

Pennant International (PEN) is partnering with Capewell Aerial Systems, a producer of military and law enforcement equipment. The two companies will develop opportunities and an initial product is already under development. The news that BAE is selling Typhoon aircraft to Qatar is also good for Pennant.

Wind measurement technology developer Windar Photonics (WPHO) has received an order for 300 WindEYE LiDAR systems from a Chinese distributor. There will be 50 delivered this year and the rest in the first half of 2018.

Software supplier Pelatro plans to join AIM on 19 December. The mViva software is developed in India and used for marketing by telecommunications companies.

Video games developer Sumo Group plans to float by the end of December. Video games industry veteran Ian Livingstone is a non-executive director.

MAIN MARKET

Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals (HEMO) has made good progress since it reversed into a standard list shell. Hemogenyx continues to work with contract research organisation LakePharma Inc, whose holding company invested £350,000 in Hemogenyx, to develop its therapies for bone marrow or blood stem cell transplants. This collaboration should help to progress the CDX technology towards clinical studies in 16 months time and preparatory work has started on a submission to the US FDA. The company has recently announced a collaboration with Oxford University that could generate work that will significantly improve the efficiency and safety of bone marrow transplants. A reliable supply of human tissue has been secured from a US research university.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has shipped the first load of rare earth mineral concentrate and it is currently on the road Mombasa. Production has commenced on time and within budget. Gasagwe is the only producing rare earths mine in Africa. Arden believes that Rainbow could make a profit of $3.4m in the year to June 2018, rising to $4.2m in 2018-19.

Deloitte has been appointed as administrator to Torotrak (TRK) because of a shortage of cash. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Andrew Hore

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