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Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 15 April 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

High Growth Capital (HASH) is increasing its stake in Sentiance to 15% and is negotiating an option to acquire a majority stake in the artificial intelligence and machine learning business. The additional 5% stake will cost £7m in shares issued at 0.8p each. The option would enable an increase in the total stake to between 51% and 84.8%. The company would offer 100,000 of its own shares for each Sentiance share and the option is subject to High Growth Capital raising at least £25m. High Growth Capital has also acquired the intellectual property of Malta-based BDD, a company founded by Chris Akers, for £4m in shares at 1p each. The project involves an annual blockchain raffle that would raise money for social impact and environmental initiatives.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a net asset value of 205.2p a share at the end of January 2019, which was 12.5% lower than the year before. The stake in fully listed LED lighting products manufacturer Luceco (LUCE) is a significant part of the portfolio and its valuation fell by 27.7%. There has been a recovery in the Luceco share price since the end of January, even though there was a decline of three-quarters in 2018 pre-tax profit to £3m. The EPE NAV had risen to 232.8p a share on 9 April on the back of Luceco share price rise. The EPE share price is 180p.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is subscribing £150,000 for a 9.14% stake in Just Bee Drinks and is also providing a loan facility of up to £100,000 at a annual interest charge of 10%. Just Bee has developed a natural juicy water drink sweetened with honey. This means that there is no added sugar. More than one million bottles were sold last year, and revenues doubled. The drink is already sold in Waitrose and Boots. Just Bee had net assets of £83,000 at the end of March 2018. Angelfish has also provided a £100,000 debt facility at the same interest rate to Wallet Ads. The previous loan of £150,000 was converted into a 20% stake.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) nearly doubled zinc concentrate production at the Hellyer mine in Tasmania to 3,015 DMT in the first quarter of 2019, while lead concentrate production increased by 18% to 4,712 DMT. Pyrite concentrate production jumped by 331% to 18,488 DMT.

AIM  

Video games developer and services provider Sumo (SUMO) reported better than expected 2018 revenues of £38.7m and pre-tax profit of £9m. Sumo has been acquiring businesses to give it extra capacity as well as opening new studios. There is plenty of demand for Sumo’s services so utilisation rates are high and there is further upside from performance-based royalties and its own IP.

Destiny Pharma (DEST) had £12.1m in the bank at the end of 2018 and this will last into 2020. That should be long enough for the phase IIb study of XF-73 for the prevention of post-surgery infections.

Maiden full year results from legal services and credit hire business Anexo (ANX) have led to an upgrade by its broker Arden. The 2019 pre-tax profit forecast has been edged up from £17.8m to £18.1m, up from £16.1m in 2018, and the 2020 figure is 4% higher at £20.1m. Net debt is expected to increase from £17.3m to £26.3m in order to finance the growth of its legal business.

RA International (RAI) continues to win contracts, but larger contracts are taking longer to secure. RA provides services to remote locations in nine countries in Africa and the Middle East. Having joined AIM last summer, RA has $27.8m in the bank and this is helping it to tender for and win larger contracts. The average contract term is 4.4 years. This makes revenues relatively predictable and they are expected to rise by 10% this year to more than £60m.

Property investor Safeland (SAF) intends to leave AIM and secure a matched bargain facility on Asset Match. It is tendering for shares at 42.5p each, which compares with an NAV of 140.2p a share at the end of September 2018.

Having sold the RTLS SmartSpace business, the continuing revenues of geospatial software and services provider IQGeo (IQG) fell from £16.5m to £9.98m, although recurring revenues were 22% higher, and gross margin improved. There were lower software revenues, but the main decline was in the sale of third party products. There is a significant market for the company’s products and new modules are being launched. However, the full benefits of changes being made by management will probably not show through until next year. There is £30.9m in the bank and some of this will be returned to shareholders after a capital reorganisation is completed.

Interim revenues generated by LightwaveRF (LWRF) have more than doubled to £2.5m which is nearly as much as the £2.8m generated in the previous 12 months. Direct sales, e-commerce and telesales have contributed to the growth, as has the development of retail clients.

Legal firm Gordon Dadds (GOR) has acquired Gibraltar-based Rampart Corporate Advisers for up to £1.34m depending on performance. Rampart specialises in e-gaming, fintech and distributed ledger technology, and made a profit of £400,000 in the year to June 2018. Five former Ince network firms are joining Ince Gordon Dadds, although they remain independent. This would add £23m to existing group annual revenues of £77m. The firms are based in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Greece and Germany. This will boost profitability.

Strategic Minerals (SML) says the Cobre magnetite operations generated cash of $206,000 in the first quarter and the group cash balance was $1.24m at the end of March 2019. Volumes were lower because customers were undertaking plant maintenance and the continued suspension of a major client’s contract. There should be seven years of magnetite stockpile. The company expects to acquire the other 50% of the Redmoor tin/tungsten project by the end of May. This will cost £2.66m.

PhotonStar LED (PSL) says that it has enough cash for its immediate needs, but the blocking of the issuing of more shares by shareholders means that there is not enough cash to follow the strategy to find a reverse takeover target. The company may launch an open offer or ask shareholders for a second time for the authority to issue shares without offering them to existing shareholders a second time. Having become a cash shell, the company has been dropped from the FTSE AIM All Share index. It has six months to find an acquisition. A number of potential acquisition targets have been met by the board. Additional directors will be appointed.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has raised £275,000 at 1.1p a share in order to finance the appraisal of projects. The shares are being acquired by new executive chairman Robert Bensh, who has experience of the US oil and gas sector. Chief executive Matthew Idiens has more than doubled his stake to 2.52% by acquiring two million shares at 1.75p each. The finance director Chris Eadie has also more than doubled his stake to 1.2% at 1.67p a share. New non-executive director Tom Reynolds also bought shares.

Concepta (CPT) is raising £2.3m at 3p a share to finance marketing and further development of its myLotus fertility test.

MAIN MARKET 

Cadmium-free quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) had £6.2m in cash at the end of January 2019. There was a total cash outflow of £4.57m in the latest six month period. The main capital investment at the Runcorn site is almost complete. Non-executive director Chris Batterham has bought 125,000 shares at 47.354p each. Miton has reduced its stake to 4.96%.

Bonmarche (BON) says the mandatory cash bid of 11.445p a share by Spectre undervalues the retailer. Bonmarche is reducing costs. Cavendish Asset Management has edged its stake up to 10%.

Standard list shell Contango Holdings (CGO) has entered into an agreement to acquire the Lubu coalfield project in Zimbabwe for £6.45m in shares at 5p each. Once regulatory approvals have been gained the acquisition should go ahead and trading in the shares can recommence. That should happen by the end of June. There will be a placing to raise cash to fund initial trial mining.

Telecom services provider Toople (TOOP) says that it had more than £1.1m in the bank at the end of March 2019. That is a £1m reduction on the level at the end of September 2018, when there was also a shareholder loan, which was assigned a value of £572,000 in the balance sheet but has a cash value of £607,000. There is no indication if this loan has gone down. Last year, admin expenses were £1.55m, net of other income, and that was more than revenues. Revenues have grown but even if gross margin were to improve there will still be a significant first half loss.

Nuformix (NFX) has signed an agreement for cannabinoid therapeutics development, licensing and commercialisation for an initial upfront payment and other research and development and milestone payments that could total up to £51m. Canada-based Ebers Tech Inc will use Nuformix technology to develop a range of consumer and pharma products.

Zegona Communications (ZEG) has increased its stake in Euskaltel to 21%.

European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund has transferred 35.4 million shares in WideCells (WDC) to David Sefton and Linton Capital, which has promised to hold them for 12 months. European High Growth Opportunities still owns 18.2% of WideCells.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 14 January 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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.

AIM

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.

MAIN MARKET

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.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 8 October 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

National Milk Records (NMR) is recommending a dividend of 2.5p a share after it moved from an operating loss of £11.9m to an operating profit of £1.9m in the 12 months to June 2018. If one-offs are stripped out, then the operating profit has improved from £1.1m to £1.9m. Net debt is £1.8m. There has been an improvement in the dairy market over the past year. Demand is increasing for services related to animal welfare and health, as well as for reproduction services.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has signed a strategic partnership with Lition Technology, which is developing a new blockchain infrastructure. This will be the first blockchain with deletable data features. A Lition token sale has commenced and the funding target is $25m.

EQE Special Opportunities (ESO) has sold its investment in Process Components for £13.6m and this has added 11.16p a share to EPE’s NAV, which is 216.31p a share.

KR1 (KR1) has sold its remaining Golem tokens for nearly $134,000. They were bought for 1.3 cents each and sold for 22 cents each in less than two years. The remaining Qtum tokens have been sold for $125,000, which is equivalent to more than twenty times the price per token they were acquired for.

Botswana-focused oil and gas company Karoo Energy (KEP) is confident that it will be able to raise the cash it requires before the end of the year. Contax Partners is keen to be involved in a fundraising. There are also plans to move to AIM and gain a listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange.

Via Developments (VIA1) has completed the construction of the Napier House development in Luton and 23 of the 30 apartments have been sold. Cash of £702,000 has been received with a further £3.64m to be paid on completion. The other seven apartments are valued at £1.5m.

Anthony Carr, a new investor, has acquired 1.785 million shares in healthcare IT supplier DXS International (DXSP) at 7p each. That is a 5.07% stake. Director Bob Sutcliffe has acquired 12,960 shares at 7.88p each, which takes his shareholding to 0.96%.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) has raised £120,000 at 1.2p a share and the cash will be used to finance the companies three main projects in Ireland.  New IMC chairman Eamonn O’Brien subscribed for 4.34 million shares taking his stake to 2.5%. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £250,000 at 12.5p a share, while convertible loan notes worth £81,000 were converted into shares at 8p each. Imperial Minerals (IMPP) is raising up to £300,000 from an issue of unsecured convertible notes with an annual interest rate of 10%.

AIM   

Gooch and Housego (GHH) says trading for the year to September 2018 was in line with guidance. The optical equipment supplier improved its undersea cable equipment revenues in the second half and the industrial sector demand was strong. Acquisitions in aerospace and life sciences will help to offset any cyclicality in the industrial sector. The order book is worth £96.1m.

Avingtrans (AVG) reported slightly better than expected figures. The engineering company has started to reap the benefits of the Hayward Tyler acquisition but there is more to come. Revenues were 247% higher at £78.9m with the acquisition helping gross margin to improve to 25.5%. The underlying pre-tax profit was £2.4m and the total dividend 3.6p a share. A £4.3m profit is forecast for this year, rising to £5.3m in 2019-20.

Telecoms sector marketing services provider Pelatro (PTRO) will offer its loyalty management solution to Telenor’s global operations. The Danateq acquisition has helped Pelatro have the chance to win this work.

Event driven marketing services provider mporium (MPM) has deployed its IMPACT sports syncing technology with two large global advertising networks. This provides access to even more brands and will help to build revenues in order to reduce the loss.

DX (Group) (DX.) reported a reduced loss in the second half but the parcel delivery firm still made a large full year loss. A £4.5m profit is forecast for next year.

Myanmar-focused social media platform operator MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) generated revenues of $1.84m in the year to June 2018, with gaming revenues more than offsetting a decline in advisory income. However, second half revenues were barely higher than the first half revenues. Current monthly games revenues are flat. There is $2m in the bank.

MAIN MARKET   

Standard list cash shell Trident Resources (TRR) started trading on 1 October after £4m had been raised at 20p a share. Trident is seeking to acquire in the mining sector.  Ongoing costs are expected to be £130,000 a year with additional costs for due diligence on potential acquisitions.

Avocet Mining (AVM) says that it has enough cash for the next 12 months, as long as Elliott, which is the company’s largest shareholder, does not ask for its loans of $29.9m to be repaid. Avocet’s only asset is in the Tri-K development.

Flavour and fragrance ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) has done well enough in the second half to offset negative currency movements, so pre-tax profit for the year to September 2018 is in line with expectations. Like-for-like revenues grew by 9%. US manufacturing capacity expansion is on time and the relocation of the UK site is progressing well. The full year figures will be published on 27 November.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 24 September 2018

NEX EXCHANGE       

In the first half of 2018, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased media revenues by one-fifth and, along with growth in nursery and lodge revenues, this helped the racecourse operator to raise revenues by 5% to £7.33m even though two race days were lost to bad weather. Enough cash was generated to more than cover capital spending.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has signed a non-binding letter of intent with the Eelleet Network Corp, which intends to buy Block. There would be an all share recommended offer and the enlarged business would list on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Trading in Block shares has been suspended.

Ananda Developments (ANA) has obtained a £300,000 convertible loan facility with two directors, Charles Morgan and Melissa Sturgess. The annual interest rate is 10% and the conversion price is 0.75p a share. The manufacture of 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies’ vaporisers and consumable packs containing four hapac sachets of 0.25g medicinal cannabis has commenced in China. AfriAg Global (AFRI) has applied for a medicinal cannabis licence in the UK. Fellow cannabis investment company Sativa Investments (SATI) has set up a German wholesaling subsidiary and it will invest €80,000 for a 60% stake.

In the six months to June 2018, St Mark Homes (SMAP) increased revenues from £71,000 to £139,000 and it made a small loss excluding negative goodwill release. The interim dividend was unchanged at 5.5p a share. The NAV is £5.9m, including £754,000 in cash, which is equivalent to 134p a share. St Mark is trying to gain planning permission for the commercial development in Sutton High Street. Two other properties in London are being redeveloped and sales have commenced. A development in Wembley should start in 2019.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) reported a profit in the first half of 2018, but that was due to a change in the fair value of the option to acquire 90% of Cedex. Revenues fell 48% to $3.78m and the underlying loss of the fintech software provider increased from $282,000 to $971,000. The blockchain operations made an initial contribution of $1.23m to revenues. The B2C operations have ceased in Europe and the company wants to sell its subsidiary with a FSA licence. Higher regulations have hampered the B2B technology customers.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) reported an increased interim loss of $9.43m due to higher finance costs. Admin costs were flat. The development of the Hellyer gold project in Tasmania is progressing well and the first sales of concentrate should happen before the end of this year. Work continues towards a move to a standard listing.

Less than one month after asking for trading in the company’s 7% bonds 2021 to be suspended Positive Healthcare (DOC) has appointed Eric Walls and Wayne Harrison of KSA to advise on a liquidation process. Irregularities were identified at the principal operating subsidiary and Positive is unable to pay the next instalment of interest on the bonds.

Eight Capital Partners (MORE) had cash of £773,000 at the end of June 2018. That was before the former Cogenpower acquired €111,100 worth of 8% corporate bonds 2020 in Italian financial services company Finance Partners Group. Other financial services and technology investments are being considered.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has been readmitted to NEX and AIM on 21 September, after it completed its migration from the Isle of Man to Bermuda.

AIM  

IT recruitment and consultancy Parity (PTY) remains on track for an improvement in pre-tax profit from £1.7m to £1.9m but cash generation is not as good as expected. Net debt is still expected to reduce from £1.6m to £900,000. The previously announced Primark managed services contract has started well, although another contract has been delayed. The consultancy business continues to contribute a growing proportion of profit.

Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) has agreed locations for pilot production at the Lesedi coal bed methane project in Botswana and the first well should be spudded in October.

N+1 Singer has upgraded its forecast for EKF Diagnostics (EKF) following the interim figures. There was a 5% decline in revenues to £20.4m, while underlying profit improved from £2.3m to £2.7m. Around £250,000 has been added to the profit, taking pre-tax profit to £7.7m. The launch of haemoglobin analyser DiaSpect following FDA approval will boost next year’s figures. The spin out of RenalytixAI continues and it will require a general meeting.

Audio products supplier Focusrite (TUNE) says full year revenues were in line with expectations of £75.4m, while cash of £22.8m is better than forecast. A pre-tax profit of £10.8m is forecast. There are concerns about US tariffs.

Tanfield (TAN) has warned that it may not get anything for its stake in Snorkel if the call option is exercised. Management has already said that it will write down the value of the investment to £19.1m ($25.3m), which already knocks 12p a share off NAV, but there is a disagreement about the interpretation of the original agreement.

Disappointing results from the Atopic Dermatitis study has led Realm Therapeutics (RLM) to appoint MTS Health Partners to advise on strategy alternatives. Realm is considered to be in an offer period. There was $21.3m in the bank at the end of August.

Short-term weakness in the oil palm price has held back the progress of plantations operator MP Evans (MPE) in the first half, but crude palm oil production is increasing in line with expectations (91,900 tons in the first half). That means that full year revenues are likely to be flat and pre-tax profit will be lower. Longer-term growth will come from increased production from more recently planted areas.

Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) is coming up to its first year on AIM and the growth momentum continues.

Huadong Medicine Aesthetics has launched its recommended 32p a share cash bid for Sinclair Pharma (SPH) and that values the company at £166.6m.

There has been a lot of activity at Frontier IP (FIPP) in the past week. The AB Sugar head of innovation Matthew White is joining the company as head of commercialisation. Recycled building materials developer Alusid has raised £1.34m, including the conversion of a £348,000 loan from Frontier IP, which has a 35.6% stake. The Alusid investment had been valued at £700,000 and the latest fundraising values it at £1.73m. The cash will be used by Alusid to invest in its manufacturing facility, which should start production in 2020. The total cost will be £10m. A new company has been set up to develop new antibiotics. Frontier IP has a 10% stake in Amprologix, which has been spun out of the University of Plymouth. The first product is likely to be a cream that contains epidermicin, which can kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA.

There was a switch in the mix of revenues at job screening services provider ClearStar Inc (CLSU) in the first half as revenues increased by 11% to $9.9m. The growth has come from Medical Information Systems, which has lower margins and this means that the overall loss is reducing more slowly than expected. The cash outflow is small. Net cash is $1.2m.

Diurnal Group (DNL) is going along as expected with the launch of its Alkindi paediatric adrenal insufficiency treatment in Germany but the market has been unnerved by a negative comment from a German government research organisation. It pointed out that the performance of Alkindi was not compared with another treatment which has not been given regulatory approval. This does not appear likely to affect the relationship with the German regulatory authorities. There will be news from the European phase III trial for Chronocort before the end of the year.

Stockdale has initiated research on professional services group Christie Group (CTG) and expects a full year profit of £3.5m. It has already achieved an interim profit of £1.75m.

VR Education (VRE) still had £4.9m in the bank at the end of June 2018. Since then there have been improvements to the ENGAGE platform ahead of the full commercial launch before the end of the year. The full version of Titanic VR was launched in August and it is set to be launched on Playstation.

Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) continues to grow rapidly and it is moving into the water sector. Interim revenues jumped from £20.8m to £35.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit moved ahead from £1.15m to £1.8m. Growth is coming from the larger corporate sector which has held back margins because they are via brokers. The interim dividend is one-fifth higher at 1.2p a share. There was £18.2m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

N4 Pharma (N4P) has undertaken a strategic review following the failure of the reformulation of sildenafil to achieve its key targets in its clinical trial. It would cost a lot and increase risk if the company undertook further reformulation of this generic. The generics division has been closed and the focus will be the Nuvec delivery system. Initial results from research should be available before the end of the year. There was £1.6m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

MAIN MARKET  

Books publisher Quarto Group (QRT) increased interim revenues from $50.2m to $56.2m and the underlying loss fell from $8.7m to $6.6m. Net debt was $73.2m at the end of June 2018. Management is talking to banks to extend the bank facility until August 2020. Costs are being reduced.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) intends to broaden its investment remit to include cannabis processing, as well as the energy and industrial sectors. Finance professional Alan Hume has joined the board of the standard list shell. He was previously an adviser to the company and until last year finance director of Zenith Energy (ZEN). Between 2010 and 2012 he was finance director of Xtract Energy (XTR).

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has completed its feasibility report into the reopening of the Gubong gold mine and the joint venture with Southern Gold has started. Production of 10,000 ounces of gold is initially targeted.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore: Quoted Micro 17 September 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) reported a 19% increase in interim revenues to £61.8m. Pre-tax profit has more than trebled to £2.4m, if discontinued activities, including the investment in the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, are excluded. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1p a share. A brand relaunch is planned for the second half.

Eight Capital Partners (MORE) has made its first investment in the financial services sector. It is acquiring €111,100 worth of 8% corporate bonds 2020 in Italian financial services company Finance Partners Group. Management believes the link up with the Italian company will fit well with other potential investments.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has completed its migration from the Isle of Man to Bermuda. Trading in the shares has been suspended. Trading should be restored by 21 September.

KR1 (KR1) continues to invest in new token issues. A $200,000 investment has been made in Foamspace Corp for 3.63 million FOAM tokens. This business intends to develop a protocol for a network of beacons providing location services. A further $100,000 has been invested in the Althea Mesh project tokens. This enables decentralised internet service providers to be set up. There has been $100,000 invested in Etherisc tokens. Etherisc is developing a blockchain service for the insurance sector.

Sandal (SAND) has launched an installer service for its MiHome smart home range. The service will be provided by Icon Heating Solutions.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has initiated a ten hole drilling campaign at the Specimen Hill discovery in Queensland. Four holes have been completed. The drilling should be complete in four weeks.

Panther Metals (PALM) has acquired the Bear Lake project, which is a package of gold and base metal prospects in north wester Ontario. The consideration is C$133,000 (£77,000) in cash and shares.

AIM  

Manx Telecom (MANX) reported relatively flat interim figures but a deal by one of its developing investments could mean that the business could become significant in a couple of years time. The interim dividend was raised by 5% to 4.1p a share. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to edge up to £15.2m with a similar increase in the final dividend. Investee company Goshawk has developed a hearing loss product and signed up BT’s mobile subsidiary EE, which could provide a potential market of 3 million people.

Property Franchise Group (TPFG) grew all its letting brands in the first half of 2018 and its online estate agency eweMove went from loss to profit in the period. Full year profit is expected to increase from £4.3m to £4.6m.

Anexo Group (ANX) has reported growth in interim revenues and profit although the cash raised in the recent flotation has yet to be put to use. The legal services and credit hire provider is expected to increase full year pre-tax profit from £13.8m to £14.7m in 2018, and then to £16.4m in 2019.

STM Group (STM) increased interim revenues by 6% to £10.8m and pre-tax profit by 11% to £2.1m. The interim dividend was increased by 17% to 0.7p a share. The main growth has come from the pensions business.

K3 Capital Group (K3C) continues to go from strength to strength. The mergers and acquisition adviser increased revenues by 53% to £16.5m and net cash more than doubled to £7.5m by the end of May 2018. Pre-tax profit could dip from £7.3m to £7m, which would lead to a small reduction in dividend from 11.2p a share, but there is scope for upgrades in expectations.

Gatemore continues to build up its stake in TLA Worldwide (TLA) by taking advantage of the share price decline following TLA’s latest profit warning, which was released in the morning for a change, but there is no news about a replacement nominated adviser. The shareholding has been increased from 12.2% to 13.7%. No news about a new nominated adviser.

Audio visual equipment distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) increased its interim, constant currency, revenues by 24% to £264.1m. Organic growth was around 9%. Underlying pre-tax profit was 22% higher at £9.78m. A full year pre-tax profit of £28.4m is forecast.

Potatoes producer Produce Investments (PIL) is recommending a 193p a share cash bid by Promethean Investments. This values the company at £53m.

Orosur Mining (OMI) has secured a $2m investment from Newmont Mining at more than treble the pre-deal market share price. This will provide investment for the Anza project in Colombia. Orosur had been profitable and cash generative but it fell into loss in the year to May 2018 as gold production costs were in excess of the selling price.

Education services provider Malvern International (MLVN) made a small first half loss but it is on course to move into profit in the full year. The number of students signing up for courses means that enough revenues should have been secured for a full year pre-tax profit of £300,000. There will also be a second half contribution from the recent Manchester acquisition.

MAIN MARKET  

Photovoltaic silicon wafers supplier PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) had net cash of €39.6m at the end of June 2018. This could be returned to shareholders or used to finance an acquisition. The decision will be made before the end of this year. Multicrystalline silicon wafer production ceased in April 2018 and the focus is cutting of quartz and glass. Interim revenues more than halved to €6.2m.

Toople (TOOP) is raising £2.2m at 0.3p a share, following its recent contract news. This is no surprise, but the share price has fallen back from just over 0.9p near the end of August.

Contango Holdings (CGO) continues to undertake due diligence on a near-term producing asset in Zimbabwe. This potential deal was announced last December. There was nearly £638,000 in the bank at the end of May 2018.

Standard list cash shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) had £962,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. The NAV is 35.5p a share.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 6 August 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Veni Vidi Vici Ltd (VVV) joined NEX on 2 August. The minerals investment company has net cash of £513,000, following a £490,000 subscription at 50p a share. The focus will be precious metals and base metals opportunities in Australia, Western Europe and North America. Management will concentrate on capital appreciation.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) is changing its domicile from the Isle of Man to Bermuda. The private equity investment company will have to be readmitted to NEX and AIM. EPE has invested £2m in Main Market-listed LED lighting company Luceco at 39.74p a share. That takes EPE’s stake in Luceco to 27.4%. Poor trading has meant that the Luceco share price has slumped to well below its 2016 flotation level. EPE has redeemed 50% of its unsecured loan notes.

Etaireia (ETIP) has appointed Dennis Rogers as chief executive. He has more than three decades of experience in property development.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has issued 2.685 billion shares, around one-quarter of the enlarged share capital, to wipe out the convertible loan note debt and other creditors. Twenty three year old Devon Marais, who works with ARQ Minerals, which is helping Equatorial to extract coal from the St Leonard’s mine in Nigeria, has been appointed as a non-executive director of Equatorial.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings (AWLP) reported a profit last year. In the year to February 2018, revenues increased from $1.52m to $2.16m, while a pre-tax loss of $110,000 was turned into a pre-tax profit of $150,000. That figure was helped by a $114,000 currency gain, compared with a $19,000 loss. There was still a small net loss from operations before other income.

AIM   

Petrol stations operator Applegreen (APGN) intends to take a majority stake in UK Motorway services operator Welcome Break. The purchase of a 55% stake for €361.8m would be a reverse takeover. The deal would make Applegreen market leader in the UK as well as Ireland.

A subsidiary of Stride Gaming (STR) has been issued a notice by the Gambling Commission, which intends to levy a significant financial penalty because of the manner in which it carried on its trading. This is not final and there might be room to appeal but it has hit the share price of the online bingo operator.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) increased interim revenues by 11% to £5.3m. Most of the growth came from management service fees from the property lettings franchisees. The EweMove estate agency business was profitable.

Goldplat (GDP) says that gold production fell by 17% to 35,400 ounces, which is lower than anticipated, but pre-tax profit will be in line with expectations because of a higher margin per ounce. There was 39,400 ounces of gold sold during the year.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) has received abbreviated new drug application approval from the FDA to sell Nadolol tablets, which are a generic form of Corgard and used for managing high blood pressure. This is the fifth approval in the US. A pre-tax profit of £33.3m is forecast for the year to June 2018.

Tough UK trading and higher costs held back the results of security and facilities management services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) in the year to March 2018. Revenues were 21% higher at $219m, but underlying pre-tax profit was down by 16% to $3.9m. Net debt was $18.4m.

Precision marketing software supplier Pelatro (PTRO) is acquiring assets from the Danateq Group for an initial $7m. The deal will take the group into central Europe and adds to the recurring revenues base. A placing has raised £6m at 73p a share.

GetBusy (GETB) grew its interim revenues from £4.5m to £5.2m, with £4.5m of that figure recurring revenues. Annualised recurring revenues are running at £9.4m. Profit generated from document management software sales is being ploughed back into developing the existing product and the new GetBusy software. There is £2.37m in the back.

Starcom (STAR) says that interim revenues have improved from $1.92m to $3m and the loss will be lower. Most of the revenue increase came from two large clients. Growth is starting to come from higher margin security products. The 2018 loss is expected to be much lower than last year’s.

Kosovo-based quarry operator Fox Marble Holdings (FOX) increased interim sales from €329,000 to €614,000 and the second half has started strongly. The benefits of investment in capital equipment are beginning to show through.

MAIN MARKET    

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has joined the standard list after raising £25m at 16p a share, which values the company at £47m. However, the share price fell to 12.5p by the end of the first day of trading on 3 August. Argo is developing a global datacentre management business facilitating cryptocurrency Mining-as-a-Service. It currently covers four cryptocurrencies. AIM-quoted Vela Technologies (VELA) owns 2.5 million shares, which were acquired for 8p a share.

Motor finance provider S&U (SUS) achieved record first half profit as the second hand car market continues to grow. Quality standards have been tightened with 25% of applications accepted, but net receivables have reached £263m. The property bridging loan book has risen from £11m to £16m over six months. The interims will be announced on 25 September.

BigDish (DISH) was originally going to reverse into AIM shell Nyota Minerals Ltd but instead it has joined the standard list. The company operates an online and mobile restaurant reservation platform, which is in operation in the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong. The purchase of Pouncer, takes the company into the UK. Revenues come from booking fees per diner. BigDish raised £2.22m at 4.5p a share.

Path Investments (PATH) is raising £10m to complete the farm-in agreement with 5P Energy for the proposed acquisition of a 50% participating interest in the Alfeld-Elze II licence and gas field. This will make Path cash generative. The new shares will be eligible for EIS and VCT relief because Path is moving to AIM.

Dave Brieth has sold his stake in telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP).

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) reported a sharp increase in full year revenues from £1.04m to £1.6m in the year to March 2018. The loss fell from £962,000 to £582,000. This includes investment in developing new diesel engines. The NAV is £976,000, as the loss was partly offset by a £600,000 property revaluation gain. The oil and gas-related operations are still depressed.

Mila Resources (MILA) plans to acquire Capital Metals, which owns 100% of a high-grade mineral sands project in southern Asia. The reverse takeover will be subject to due diligence and shareholder approval.

Fandango Holdings (FHP) has ended bid discussions with Corporate Commercial Collections and Vatbridge following initial due diligence.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 7 May 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Forbes Ventures (FOR) has sold its stake in KCR Residential REIT (KCR) for £145,000. The remaining investment is in challenger bank Civilised Investments Ltd. Nigel Quinton, who has run two building societies, has been appointed as finance director of Forbes. Igor Zjali has become a non-executive director. The investment strategy covers disruptive technology in the property and fintech sectors.

KR1 (KR1) has been raising cash from partially disposing of token holdings. Cash has been generated from sales of tokens issued by six projects and this will be available for re-investment. KR1 has already acquired 30,587 tokens in the Waves project at $6.41 each.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that there has been a further delay in its investee company Rapid Nutrition’s plans to gain a quotation in London. Rapid, which is already quoted on the SIX Swiss Exchange, has developed a nutraceutical product range. One of the terms of a £150,000 loan to Rapid was that it should be admitted to the London market by the end of February, but this date was extended to the end of April and has been extended again to the end of July. The principal and interest, up until the end of February, will convert into Rapid shares. Interest has been payable in cash since the end of February.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) reported a 35.6% decrease in NAV to 234.4p a share at the end of January 2018. That was mainly down to the poor performance of fully listed LED lighting company Luceco (LUCE) after sales growth did not turn into higher profit. EPE is considering exercising the option to redeem up to 50% of the outstanding unsecured loan notes. Redeeming £4m of loan notes would save £300,000 in interest. There is £28m in the bank.

Middle East-focused investment company Indigo Holdings (INGO) has lost €165,300 on an Iran-based car ride-sharing app. This will be mainly offset by a book gain of around €160,000 on its investment in Sheypoor following another fundraising round.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has started to refurbish the Hellyer flotation plant in Tasmania. The mill should be commissioned in the third quarter of 2018.

First Sentinel (FSBN) has invested in AIM-quoted Amur Minerals and unquoted Titan FM Ltd in April. An investment of $250,000 has been made in the form of a contribution to a $10m loan facility made available to Amur. Titan FM is an acquisition vehicle in the facilities management sector with a focus on areas covered by strict regulation. The £50,000 pre-IPO investment helped to finance the first acquisition of a provider of air conditioning and refrigeration services. Two more acquisitions are planned this year as is a quotation on NEX. The latest tranche of First Sentinel bonds has raised a further £1m.

Valiant Investments (VALP) reported a flat full year loss of £216,000 and this would have been higher if there had not been a swing from a £3,000 loss on listed investment movements to a £25,000 gain. Valiant has invested some of its cash in five AIM-quoted, dividend paying companies. Valiant had a NAV of £197,000.

Sandal (SAND) has appointed David Munting as finance director and Richard Green as a non-executive.

AIM   

Minds + Machines (MMX) swung from loss to profit in 2017 and it is acquiring four top level domains. Minds + Machines is paying $10m in cash and $31m in shares in two tranches for the membership interests of Florida-based ICM Registry, which owns .xxx, .sex, .adult and .porn. In 2017, revenues were $7.27m (78% recurring) and net income was $3.5m. The recurring nature of the revenues and the reduced dependence on China should help the group to start paying dividends in the next couple of years. Multinational brands buy related domain names with these suffixes so that nobody else can. This helps to boost recurring revenues. Not all of the other purchasers are sex-related, either. The main uncertainty concerns whether the group will get a lower rating because of the association with sex-related businesses.

Sanderson Group (SND) says that its interim results are slightly ahead of expectations and the positive momentum is continuing. The enterprise software supplier’s operating profit has increased from £1.55m to £2m.  Two-thirds of the improvement has come from recent acquisition Anisa and the rest is organic.

DX (Group) (DX.) has raised £4.76m at 8.5p a share, which is much higher than the indicated minimum price of 7.41p that is being used to capitalise the company’s loan notes. These additional shares will heavily dilute existing shareholders. The cash will be used to restructure the parcel delivery networks, open new depots and finance IT investment.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) is acquiring eight country stores previously operated by Countrywide Farmers, which has gone into administration. Five of the stores take Wynnstay into Devon and Cornwall. The stores have annual sales of £16.4m.

Berkeley Energia (BKY) has announced plans to move to the standard list and the Spanish Stock Exchanges in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao. The admissions should happen by the end of May. No money will be raised because the cash injected by the Oman sovereign wealth fund covers the upfront capital costs of developing the Salamanca project in Spain.

A combination of lower costs and higher iodine prices meant that Iofina (IOF) reduced its underlying loss from $5.4m to $3.4m in 2017. There was also a $5.3m impairment charge. There was a cash inflow before working capital movements. The new IO#7 plant started up in February and there could be another plant in the next year. Iofina is on course to be profitable in 2019.

Sinclair Pharma (SPH) has secured a €23m loan facility. This will replace bank debt and help to finance the aesthetics company’s new strategy in the US following the decision to terminate the Silhouette InstaLift distribution agreement with Thermi when reorder rates were disappointing. Negotiations are ongoing with potential distribution partners in the US. There was growth in other markets, including Brazil, and the 2017 loss was lower.

Pelatro (PTRO) provides precision marketing services to telecoms companies that helps them to retain subscribers and generate more income from each of them. Maiden results for Pelatro show a jump in underlying profit to $1.8m but the trade receivables are the most significant number in the accounts. Despite the profit there was a small cash outflow after tax payments. That is because trade receivables were $1.78m and $756,000 of that figure is for more than 121 days. That is because the company used extended payment terms to help to attract a customer. There is $3.1m in the bank so Pelatro has the cash to finance additional working capital for that and future deals. It is best to keep an eye on the trade receivables.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has raised £1m at 3.25p a share. The cash will be used to finance progress with the Paradox project towards being drill-ready. There are also other partnership and investment opportunities in the region.

Gloo Networks (GLOO) cannot find a suitable acquisition and it is winding itself up. Shareholders should receive at least 47p a share. The original placing price was 120p, so three-fifths of the cash has gone in less than three years without doing a deal.

Braime (TF and JH) (BMTO) reported a jump in pre-tax profit from £1.3m to £2.2m in 2017. The total dividend has been increased from 9.3p a share to 10.2p a share. Pressings profit was flat and the improvement came from the materials handling division.

Safestyle UK (SFE) says Steve Bermingham will retire as chief executive at the end of this year and he is being replaced by Mike Gallacher, who until recently ran First Milk, the farmer-owned milk business, which he restructured.

Trading in Green and Smart Holdings (GSH) shares was suspended because it did not publish its 2016-17 accounts by the end of March. The audit was expected to be completed by the end of April, but it is still going on and the accounts are not expected before June. Discussions continue with a potential investor.

MAIN MARKET    

Stem cell services provider WideCells Group (WDC) is running out of cash and has not been able to publish its 2017 accounts so trading in the shares has been suspended. Directors have loaned the company a further £115,000, on top of a previous £100,000. At the end of June 2017, there was cash of £869,000 and debt of £634,000. That was before any of the director loans. It appears that management has taken too long to sort out the funding it requires and the potential share issue, if it is arranged, could be significantly dilutive.

Nanoco (NANO) has launched Nanoco 2D Materials Ltd in order to develop nanomaterials. The University of Manchester has invested £400,000 via a convertible.

Symphony International Holdings (SIHL) is paying an ordinary and special dividend of 12 cents in total. That will cost $71.5m. The Asian healthcare and hospitality businesses investor has sold investments and realised gains have helped to fund the payment.

St Ives (SIV) has completely exited book printing with the sale of Clays for £20m. The pension liabilities will stay with St Ives and it will contribute £2.5m to the pension fund. Net debt was £42.2m on 2 February 2018.

Trading in Sealand Capital (SCGL) shares has been suspended because it could not publish its 2017 accounts by the end of April.

Small Cap Awards (14 June, Montcalm Hotel, Marble Arch, London) Nominees

IPO of the Year

Alpha FX Group

Appscatter Group

Boku

Keystone Law Group PLC

K3 Capital Group

Rainbow Rare Earths Ltd

Ramsdens Holdings

Xpediator

Company of the Year

Bilby

Bioventix

Faron Pharmaceuticals

Frontier Developments

LoopUp Group

Nostra Terra Oil and Gas Company

TMT Investments

Water Intelligence

Wey Education

ZOO Digital Group

NEX Exchange Company of the Year

Chapel Down

Crossword CyberSecurity

Field Systems Designs

KR1

National Milk Records

Sandal

Daniel Thwaites

Walls & Futures

Executive Director of the Year

Zillah Byng-Thorne (CEO) and Penny Ladkin-Brand (CFO) – Future plc

Dr. Stuart Green, CEO – Zoo Digital Group PLC

Chris Gurry, Group Managing Director – CML MicroSystems PLC

Tom Ilube, CEO – Crossword Cybersecurity PLC

Dr Markku Jalkanen, CEO – Faron Pharmaceuticals

Bobby Kalar, CEO – Yu Group PLC

Dr. James Millen, CEO – Physiomics PLC

Ian Simm, CEO – Impax Asset Management Group PLC

Frazer Thompson, CEO – Chapel Down Group PLC

Andrew Wass, CEO – Gear4Music Holdings PLC

Impact Company of the Year Sponsored by Impact Investment Network

Ashley House

HaloSource

Walls & Future

Fintech Company of the Year

FairFX Group

FreeAgent Holdings

Proactis Holdings

ULS Technology

Transaction of the Year 

Proactis Holdings PLC – Acquisition of Perfect Commerce

Work Group PLC / Gordon Dadds Group PLC – Reverse takeover

Atlantis Resources Limited – Uksmouth power stations deal (SUSPENDED)

Frontier IP Group PLC – Transactions FairFX Group PLC – Acquisition of CardOne

7digital Group PLC – Acquisition of 24-7

Impax Asset Management Group PLC – Acquisition of Pax World Management LLC

Analyst of the Year

Vadim Alexandre, Head of Research – Northland Capital Partners

Kevin Ashton, TMT Analyst – Cantor Fitzgerald

Eric Burns, Deputy Head of Institutional Research – WH Ireland Limited

David Johnson, Research Director – Allenby Capital Limited

Rob Sanders, Head of Growth Companies Research – Stockdale Securities Limited

Simon Strong, Head of Research Growth Companies – Cenkos Securities PLC

Journalist of the Year

Smit Berry – Small Company Sharewatch

Joanne Hart – Midas

Jamie Nimmo – Mail on Sunday

Paul Scott – Stockopedia

Mark Shapland – Evening Standard

Merryn Somerset Webb – Financial Times

Simon Thompson – Investors Chronicle

Fund Manager of the Year

Daniel Nickols – Old Mutual UK Smaller Companies

James Thorne – Threadneedle UK Smaller Companies

Nick Williamson – Old Mutual UK Smaller Companies

James Zimmerman – Jupiter UK Smaller Companies

Microcap Fund Manager of the Year

Guy Feld – Cannaccord (Hargreave Hale Limited)

David Horner – Chelverton Small Companies Dividend Trust PLC

Judith MacKenzie – Downing LLP

Katie Potts – Herald Investment Management

Gervais Williams – Miton Group PLC

Lifetime Achievement Award To be announced on the evening

Special Services to Small Caps To be announced on the evening.
Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 2 April 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Sativa Investments (SAPI) joined NEX on 29 March after raising £1.1m at 1p a share. The share price has already reached 3.125p. Sativa has £1.5m in cash that it can invest in businesses involved in medicinal cannabis. The initial focus is Canada.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) reported a slight reduction in NAV to 41.5p a share at the end of February 2018. The portfolio includes 17 unquoted employee owned businesses with a value of £5.24m.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has entered into a three-year, $10m loan facility with a US private equity firm and this will be used to develop the Hellyer mine. The facility has a 12% annual interest charge and it is secured on the company’s assets. NQ has entered into a silver purchase deed with the finance provider and has to sell them 30% of the first 8 million ounces recovered from the Hellyer mine and 10% of the payable silver for the lifetime of mine. The price will be the lower of $6/ounce or 80% of market price.

Gunsynd (GUN) says that investee company Human Brands is acquiring a 10% stake in wine and spirits distributor Milestone Beverages HK Ltd, which can help to increase the distribution coverage of the investee company’s drinks brands. Gunsynd owns 6.18% of Brazil Tungsten Holdings, which has been forced to suspend operations after a fatal accident. The investment is currently valued at £500,000.

Welney (WENP) made a broadly similar interim loss of £37,000 and it has net liabilities of £234,000.

Block Commodities (BLOC) has reduced its interim loss from $1.19m to $782,000.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has reached agreement with 4Navitas, which will make a payment to cover the majority of costs incurred when Angelfish was trying to negotiate a joint venture agreement.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has raised £50,000 at 0.06p a share.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has sold 50% of its stake in Pharmacy 2U, for double its cost, at the same time as the digital pharmacy services provider raised £40m of new cash.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has extended the closing date of the one-for-four open offer to raise up to £1.05m at 94p a share from 26 March to 30 April.

AIM   

MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) slipped out its interim figures at 5.32pm after the market had closed for Easter. They show near-doubled cash outflow from operating activities of $2.22m. There was $68,000 in the bank at the end of 2017. Management is hopeful that the $218,000 of trade receivables at the end of December 2017 can be collected by June. Since then, MySQUAR has issued £2.11m of convertible bonds at 90% of their face value to Atlas Capital Markets Ltd. There are also more than 20 million warrants exercisable at 3.15p a share. There is talk of an acquisition of a mobile payment services business.

Conviviality (CVR) is calling in administrators after a rescue fundraising failed to win the backing of investors.

Publisher Axel Springer is investing £125m in Purplebricks (PURP) and this will give it 11.9% of the estate agency. The shares are being acquired at 360p each and £25m worth of existing shares are being acquired from management. Full year revenues will double but a weak UK market, exacerbated by the weather and potentially by negative publicity. There was £51.7m in the bank at the end of February 2018. The additional cash will enable a faster roll-out in the US and entry into other markets.

Royal Bank of Scotland has bid 120p a share for FreeAgent (FREE) and that values the accounting software provider at £53m. The founders will take shares and have a 23.5% stake in the bid vehicle. FreeAgent floated 18 months ago at 84p a share. At the beginning of 2017, FreeAgent signed a deal with RBS, which offers the company’s SaaS-based software to small business customers. More than 10,000 customers have taken up the software.

Polarean Imaging (POLX) joined AIM on 29 March and raised £3m at 15p a share. Polarean has developed xenon gas-based technology that enables MRI scans to produce better images. Amphion Innovations (AMP) retains a 23.2% stake.

Polemos (PLMO) has withdrawn its general meeting resolutions. The placing and 100-for-one share consolidation will not go ahead for the time being. There could be an open offer and placing at the previously proposed price of 0.01p a share.

Thor Mining (THR) is acquiring 40% of an exploration licence, which has 13 outcropping tungsten deposits and one copper deposit and 100% of a prospective copper exploration licence. Thor is issuing A$550,000 of shares to Rox Resources in payment for these purchases. The 60%-owner of the first licence has the right to match the price offered.

Tracsis (TRCS) increased its interim profit by one-third to £2.4m as revenues grew by 18% to £18.1m. The software division increased its profit and there was a recovery in the traffic and data services division. There is more improvement to come from the latter division. The interim dividend is 17% higher at 0.7p a share. There is £18.5m in the bank. There will be a second half contribution from the rail sector delay repay businesses acquired in February. Progress is being made in selling remote condition monitoring technology in North America.

Internet gaming software supplier GAN (GAN) reported a reduced loss of £4.2m for 2017. There was £2.7m in the bank at the end of 2017 and since then has raised £2m via an unsecured 9% convertible loan note. There could be further fundraisings in order to make the most of the prospects for real money internet gaming in the US.

Inland Homes (INL) increased its adjusted EPRA NAV by 6% to 97.63p a share. Interim pre-tax profit improved from £4.95m to £5.37m. The interim dividend was raised 30% to 0.65p a share.  The landbank has been expanded to 7,372 plots.

Altona Energy (ANR) slightly increased its first half loss to £260,000 and there was £690,000 in the bank at the end of 2017. The current focus is conventional coal mining at the Arckaringa coal project in Australia. Altona is assessing less wet coal seams.

RM2 International (RM2) is raising £25.3m at 1p a share, just over 50% after a general meeting and the rest dependent on the reduction of operating costs and commercial launch of new technology, and converting preferred shares into 3.16 billion shares. There are also plans for an open offer to raise around £4.5m. The new cash will be used to retrofit existing pallets with ELIoT track and trace devices and produce new RM2 ELIoT pallets.  Former chief executive John Walsh has stepped down from the board, as has Frederic de Mevius. Woodford appears likely to end up owning around two-thirds of RM2. The second tranche is dependent on Woodford agreeing that key performance indicators have been met. Three members of RM2’s management will acquire shares in the placing via a reduction in their salaries over an 18 month period.

STM Group (STM) reported better than expected 2017 and this led to an upgrade for 2018. Last year’s pre-tax profit improved from £2.6m to £4m, helped by an increased provision release from the acquired life book. The underlying pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £3.2m to £4.2m in 2018.

Caledonian Trust (CNN) reported a NAV of 185.7p a share at the end of 2017. This was helped an increase in the valuation of St Margaret’s House, which is in the process of being sold.

The SimplyBiz Group provides regulatory and support services to financial advisers and is set to join AIM on 4 April.

Sosandar (SOS) has gained momentum since floating last year. The online women’s fashion retailer continues to lose money but the customer database has increased nearly ten-fold to 36,328.

NetScientific (NSCI) is running out of money and it needs more by the end of June. A placing and subscription will raise up to £6m at 52.5p a share. The cash will be used to provide additional financial backing for investee companies.

Manx Financial Services (MFX) has acquired Blue Star Business Solutions, which is a broker for IT equipment funding, for an initial £1.5m in cash. This could increase to up to £4m depending on performance.

Connemara Mining (CON) is focusing on three main areas: the Inishowen gold project in Donegal, the Mine River gold project in Wicklow and Wexford and multiple zinc exploration projects. The next exploration is at the 100%-owned Mine River gold project where high grade intersections will be targeted.

Wynnstay Properties (WSP) has increased the value of its investment properties by £1.63m to £30.1m in the year to March 2018. The NAV has increased by 100p a share to more than 770p a share.

Real Good Food (RGD) has agreed a loan note facility of up to £4m with three major shareholders. Longer-term, a share issue will be required.

Vernalis (VER) lost £37.6m in 2017, mainly down to exceptional write-downs and unrealised foreign exchange movements. There was £46m in the bank. US commercial activity should finish by the end of September and that will slow the ongoing cash outflow.

Kestrel has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems Group (PEB) from 15.2% to 16.6%. The share price has been on a downward trajectory and borrowings are significant but Kestrel must believe that the software company will survive.

Life science software provider Instem (INS) coupled its 2017 figures with a contract announcement for its SEND software. Revenues were 18% ahead at £21.7m, and that included organic growth of 5%, while pre-tax profit recovered from £500,000 to £1.9m. A further improvement to £2.7m is expected this year.

Feedback (FDBK) has raised £440,000 at 1.25p a share and it will invest in sales and marketing for the TexRAD and Cadran technology, as well as developing a clinical evidence base for TexRAD.

Oracle Power (ORCP) has raised £550,000 at 1.4p a share to provide cash for the company as it moves to financial close for the development of the Thar Block VI lignite coal mine and power plant in the Sindh province in Pakistan.

GoTech Group (GOT) plans to sell its Sportsdata business to Starnevesse for £1. The company was a shell prior to the acquisition of the business in May 2016 and it effectively became a shell again when it stopped supporting the business at the end of 2017. There is £566,000 in the bank and there will be a £100,000 cash payment as part of the settlement of indebtedness to Starnevesse.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has signed an agreement with Unimicro Technologies Inc, which will integrate Microsaic’s 4500 MiD mass spectrometry detector into its Capillary Electrophoresis instruments.

Collagen Solutions (COS) is restructuring its New Zealand operations. The plan is to focus on tissue collection and processing and then consolidate collagen production in Glasgow. Annual cost savings should be £200,000 and one-off costs will be £150,000.

Chris Akers has increased its stake in YOLO Leisure (YOLO) from 6.8% to 7.93%.

MAIN MARKET    

S&U Group (SUS) reported a one-fifth increase in pre-tax profit to £30.2m. The car finance provider achieved this despite a start-up loss from the bridging finance business Aspen. The total dividend for the year was increased from 91p a share to 105p a share. A rise in pre-tax profit to £35.8m is forecast for this year.

Book publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) slumped into loss in 2017, although the underlying pre-tax profit fell from $13.9m to $3.9m. Net debt was $64m. The year end is being changed to March.

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) had NIS6.49m in the bank at the end of 2017 following its flotation. Bulk sampling results for the Kishon Mid-Reach gemstones project have been positive and the processing plant has been upgraded.

Path Investments (PATH) has postponed its exit from the standard list until further notice. The plan is to move to AIM when the proposed oil and gas asset acquisition is made but the timing remains uncertain.

North Midland Construction (NMD) reported a fall in profit in 2017 even though revenues increased from £250.5m to £291.8m. Pre-tax profit more than halved from £2.06m to £1m. That is because the loss on legacy contracts increased from £3.85m to £7.29m. The final dividend is unchanged at 3p a share even though the total dividend is one-third higher at 6p a share.

NCC (NCC) has sold its web performance business for £7.5m. The sale process for the software testing business is continuing.

Andrew Hore

 

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 March 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Shepherd Neame (SHEP) improved its interim revenues and underlying pre-tax profit. Revenues were 6% ahead at £84.1m and underlying profit edged up from £5.7m to £5.8m. The interim dividend has been raised from 5.62p a share to 5.75p a share. Net debt was £79.5m. The main growth in revenues was in the managed pubs and hotels division. There was an underlying improvement in the profitability of the brewing business, where own beer volumes were 4.2% higher.

Ashley House (ASH) has reached financial close on the Scarborough extra care housing development. There are 63 apartments plus communal areas and the gross development value is £10m. completion is expected in spring 2019. A housing development and health scheme are likely to follow. This development is not part of the Morgan Sindall joint venture. Non-executive director Christopher Lyons has bought 31,000 shares at 10.09p a share.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a fully diluted NAV of 239p a share on 5 March 2018 but that was prior to the Luceco profit warning. The NAV included Luceco (LUCE) shares at 77.8p each but the price has subsequently fallen to 57.2p a share. EPE is the largest shareholder in LED lighting products supplier and this was the second profit warning in three months. The original 2017 profit expectation was £16.7m and this has been cut to £11m.

Western Selection (WESP) has raised £668,000 from the disposal of shares in Swallowfield (SWL) and it has a remaining stake of 7.71%. Western sold 120,000 Swallowfield shares at 330p each and 80,000 at 340p each. Last month, personal care products supplier Swallowfield bought men’s grooming brand, Fish for an initial £2.7m.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has issued £4.76m of convertible loan notes as part of the £4.85m open offer. A holder of an existing £500,000 loan note is converting into the latest convertible loan notes and like the other subscribers is receiving one warrant for each £1 of loan notes.

MetalNRG (MNRG) says a licence has been granted relating to the Palomino cobalt project, where the company has the right to acquire a 100% stake in return for two million shares at 1.5p each. MetalNRG is also issuing 500,000 shares for work that has already been carried out.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has raised £2.16m at 270p a share. The cash will be invested in sales and marketing and developing new cyber security products.

Good Energy (GOOD) says that holders of £3.6m of its first energy bonds have agreed to retain them, while the other £4.3m worth will be repaid on 29 March.

Co-chairman David Sumner has increased the amount of Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) loan notes he will subscribe for to £5m. The outstanding balance is currently £2.7m and additional tranches of up to £200,000 can be subscribed for each month.

London Capital Group Holdings (LCG) is selling a 91.5% stake in its Tradex and 100% of other subsidiary companies to its main shareholder in return for £4.64m of loan notes with a coupon of 8%. The costs of the NEX quotation will also be covered by the buyer. The remaining 8.5% of Tradex can be acquired for £431,000 in loan notes. The disposal requires FCA approval. London Capital will seek a fintech business to acquire within the required six month period.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) and Wishbone Gold (WSBN) have joined NEX. They are both retaining their AIM quotations and are chaired by Richard Poulden.

AIM   

VR Education has raised more cash than it originally asked for. It has raised £6m at 10p a share and this values the company at £19.3m. The company has developed the ENGAGE education platform and is also developing corporate training and educational content to go on the platform. The business is generating revenues but it still has to take full advantage of the technology it has developed.

Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) increased its revenues from £16.3m to £47m last year and annualised bookings continue to grow. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £195,000 to £3.08m. Yu has gained a licence to supply water. The dividend has been increased from 2.25p to 3p a share.

Share (SHRE) has continued to add to its market share. In 2017, the broker revenues grew from £14.6m to £18.7m and it moved back to underlying pre-tax profit. Digital investment continues and the benefits of this will increasingly show through over the next couple of years. This year the recent partnerships will make a 12 month contribution. Higher interest rates will also help to increase interest income on the cash held.

Smart audio sales started to take off last year and Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) continues to invest in this area. The original digital radio technology business is profitable but the development costs for smart audio more than wipe that profit out. Net cash was £3m at the end of 2017 and this should be enough for Frontier’s requirements. There is scope to grow the digital radio business but smart audio will provide the main growth. From a tiny percentage in 2016, smart audio could contribute nearly two-fifths of revenues in 2019.

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has bought Springboard Corporate Finance for an initial £2.75m in cash and shares. Springboard generated a pre-tax profit of £750,000 on revenues of £2.3m in 2016-17. Up to £500,000 more will be payable depending on performance over the next five years. Begbies says that third quarter trading is in line with expectations. Corporate insolvencies are increasing, albeit from low levels.

Polemos (PLMO) has terminated the proposal to acquire SecurLinx Corporation, which still hopes to come to the London market. Trading in the shares has been restored. Polemos is raising £270,000 at 0.01p a share, plus a further £140,000 conditional on shareholder approval. These placings are before the planned share consolidation of one new share to every 100 existing shares. When additional approvals are given by shareholders a share offering will be made via PrimaryBid.

Netcall (NET) more than doubled its interim SaaS revenues thanks to the purchase of MatsSoft. Interim revenues grew by one-third to £10.7m, which includes organic growth of 5%. Underlying pre-tax profit was 8% ahead at £1.8m. Net debt is £2.5m.

Audio products supplier Focusrite (TUNE) reported sales growth of more than 25% in the first half. Edison upgraded its full year profit forecast by 4% to £10.4m.

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) has secured the use of its graphene-enhanced epoxy prepreg in the tailgate of the W Motors Fenyr sports car. This is a limited market but it is a good showcase for the technology.

Second half trading was stronger than expected at FIH Group (FIH) as both trading in the Falkland Islands and Momart improved their performance. This has led to an upgrade in the 2017-18 profit forecast from £2.5m to £2.8m.

GRC International (GRC) raised £5.04m at 70p a share when it joined AIM on 5 March. The share price ended the week at 115p. GRC provides services relating to IT governance and compliance.

Zamano (ZMNO) had €5.05m in the bank at the end of January 2018. It remains in talks for potential acquisitions that would enable the company to remain quoted. Part of any deal would be the offer of a cash return to existing shareholders. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) had £3.2m in the bank at the end of 2017. Microsaic is focusing on the biopharma market but it could take until 2019 for its partners to start to generate revenues from its technology. There should be enough cash for more than one year but more will be required. Costs have been reduced.

SysGroup (SYS) has signed a three-year managed hosting deal with TJ Morris Ltd, trading as discount retailer Home Bargains, worth more than £950,000.

Contract research organisation Fusion Antibodies (FAB) says that its 2017-18 revenues are expected to grow by at least two-fifths to £1.9m. Last year’s flotation took up management time so revenues are lower than hoped.

Attraqt (ATQT) reported a full year loss of £4.05m, including exceptional costs of £2.38m. The e-commerce software provider intends to focus on operational efficiency this year. There was £2m in the bank at the end of February.

BOS Global Holdings (BOS) has been placed in administration.

Instem (INS) has switched a long-standing client to the SaaS model and this will increase recurring revenues by two-fifths. There are potentially £10m of fees that could be converted to the recurring revenues model.

WANdisco (WAND) has announced more deals including a partnership with Alibaba, which will embed WANdisco Fusion in some of the cloud services that it offers. Total bookings increased by 45% to $22.5m in 2017 and this has sparked a 2018 revenues upgrade by WH Ireland from $25.5m to $30.8m, although a slightly higher loss of $6.5m is expected. WANdisco could move near to breakeven in 2019.

Mirada (MIRA) has secured a £3m loan facility, which adds to the existing facilities. An initial £1.5m will be drawn down within two months. This provides working capital to finance additional contract wins. The annual interest rate is 15%. The provider of the facility is a 27% shareholder.

Strategic Minerals (SML) has paid A$1.5m in cash and A$1.45m in shares for the Leigh Creek copper mine. Strategic has acquired 24,900 tonnes of JORC compliant resource copper. Production should build up to 200 tonnes of copper each month and there is an offtake agreement for 100% of copper production. Strategic has extended its rolling agreement with the owner of the Cobre magnetite stockpile until March 2019. This deal generated revenues of $5.64m in 2017.

Zoo Digital (ZOO) says full year revenues will be at least $28m, up from $16.5m last year, while EBITDA will be ahead of expectations and be at least $2.3m. Localisation services remain the main growth area. Herald has reduced its stake from 15.7% to 14.6%.

Volvere (VLE) says that its 2017 pre-tax profit improved from £1.94m to £3.22m. Impetus Automotive contributed the growth in profit with CCTV software company Sira and Shire Foods reporting lower profits. NAV is 656p a share, with £18.4m in cash and marketable securities.

AFC Energy (AFC) reduced its loss to £5.5m in 2017. The fuel cell technology developer should have enough cash for this year, but it is likely to run out in 2019. AFC could move into profit in 2020.

Pallet developer RM2 International (RM2) has received $2m from the disposal of a building in Switzerland. That means it will have enough cash until mid-April.

Drilling is set to recommence at the Stonepark zinc project in Limerick and Connemara Mining (CON) has set aside £250,000 to cover its share of the spending over the next 12 months. Connemara has a 23.4% stake in the joint venture that owns the project.

Drilling results from the Kodal Minerals (KOD) lithium project at Bougouni in Southern Mali continue to be positive. The latest 19 drill holes have shown high grade intersections of consistent pegmatite mineralisation of up to 1.68% Li2O.

Clear Leisure (CLP) is ready to set up its Bitcoin mining joint venture in Serbia. Management says that the joint venture could produce more Bitcoins at a lower cost than expected. That would increase the return on the €200,000 investment. Assuming a Bitcoin price of $10,000 and an 8% discount rate, the investment could eventually be worth €389,000.

MAIN MARKET    

Bioquell (BQE) reported a rise in pre-exceptional profit from £1.6m to £2.9m in 2017. This was despite a decline in defence revenues. There is £14.6m in the bank. The focus is the biodecontamination business and management believes that this will show through in improved performance this year.

InnovaDerma (IDP) has warned that its full year figures will be below expectations. The personal care products supplier always expected the year to be second half-weighted and full year revenues will be higher. However pre-tax profit will be similar to the £1.03m reported for last year. Last October, £4.4m was raised at 276p a share. The share price has fallen to 121.5p.

Toople (TOOP) has raised £250,000 at 1.022p a share. This will keep the telecoms business going as it tries to increase its revenues in order to reduce its loss. Last June, Toople raised £1.41m at 3.25p a share. Toople joined the standard list in May 2016 when it raised £2m at 8p a share.

Path Investments (PATH) is delaying its exit from the standard list until 29 March. The plan is to move to AIM when an oil and gas asset acquisition is made.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 December 2017

NEX EXCHANGE  

Good Energy (GOOD) has sold two operational 5MW solar farms in Devon and south Wales, plus further development rights, for £5.83m and £5.6m respectively. This should yield a profit of £750,000 on each solar farm. The south Wales site has additional land and development or sale of this land could yield an additional payment. Good will still acquire the energy from both sites.

OneLife Technologies Corp is acquiring One Media Enterprises Ltd, which has agreed to pay back the investment and loan made by Angelfish Investments (ANGP). There will also be management fees payable. This is dependent on the acquisition going ahead. In total, Angelfish will receive $1m in cash and 200,000 shares. Most of the investment has been written off, bar nearly $42,000, so the payment is nearly all profit.

BWA Group (BWAP) expects to be granted mining licences for the extraction of rutile sands in Cameroon. It would then enter an agreement with investee company Mineralfields Group, which would operate the mining concessions. BWA would increase its stake from 12% to 25%. BWA and its directors would own the majority of the shares. BWA has issued 8.37 million shares at 0.5p each in order to pay creditors of Mineralfields. BWA is also issuing £300,000 of 14% convertible unsecured loan stock 2020. The cash interest payment is 4% and the rest will be rolled up and the total loan converted into 36 million shares at 0.5p each.

Malcolm Burne has taken advantage of the sharp rise in the Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) share price to reduce his stake to below 3%. He owned 5.7 million shares in April. The share price reached 20p and has fallen back to 15p. Earlier this month, Coinsilium raised £720,000 at 9p a share.

AIM-quoted, spread betting business London Capital Group (LCG) has announced its intention to leave AIM having joined the NEX Exchange Growth Market on 15 December. Glio Holdings Ltd owns 78.1% of London Capital and it will vote in favour of the cancellation of the quotation.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had an NAV of 42.12p a share at the end of November 2017. The provider of capital to employee-owned businesses is switching its investments from debt to equity.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reported an increased loss in the year to August 2017. Revenues declined from £290,000 to £226,000 and the loss rose from £262,000 to £330,000. An order from Italy was delayed and there were lower orders from London Underground. There was nearly £304,000 in cash at the end of August 2017. Wheelsure raised £630,000 last year. There have been initial orders for high speed rail infrastructure.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has invested in David Phillips Holdings, which supplies furniture and furnishing services to the UK property sector. The business is benefiting from the growth of the private rental sector.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £130,000 in a 9% convertible loan note in Human Brands, which supplies Copa Imperial Tequila and Shinju Whiskey. US-based Human Brands made a pre-tax profit of $90,000 on revenues of $1.04m.

Trading in the shares of China CDM Exchange Centre Ltd (CCEP) has been suspended because of issues with the annual returns for the Jersey Registry.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has raised €3.53m at €0.01 a share. This will help to finance the acquisition of a property on the Black Sea coast. Via Developments (VIA1) has issued a further £70,000 of debenture stock.

AIM    

The TLA Worldwide Award for contempt for investors goes this year to Real Good Food (RGD) after it announced it requires substantially more cash at 1.04pm on 22 December. That is the last half day of trading before Christmas. The three main shareholders will subscribe for £3m of loan notes with an annual interest of 10%. This should be refinanced via a share or convertible issue. Net debt was £35.8m at the end of September 2017. Hugh Cawley will become an executive director. The interim loss was £6.66m. Food ingredients returned to profit, helped by the acquisition of Brighter Foods, but the performance of the other parts of the business slumped.

Golden Saint Resources (GSR) intends to change its business by acquiring EMS Wiring Systems for shares and selling the mining assets. Trading in the shares is suspended ahead of due diligence and a share consolidation. EMS is a profitable supplier and installer of cabling, WiFi, CCTV, displays and building management systems in Asia and it intends to expand in Africa and South America. The new name would be Golden Saint Technologies Ltd.

Cradle Arc has a 60% stake in a producing copper mine in Botswana and a gold development project in Zambia. The expected admission date to AIM is 10 January.

Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) was valued at £63.2m at its placing price of 62p. The in-video advertising technology company raised £24.2m net of expenses. Potential customers are expressing interest in the technology and the cash will finance an increasing rate of growth. In 2016, revenues were £700,000.

Antibody development services provider Fusion Antibodies (FAB) raised £5.5m at 82p a share and by the end of the week the share price had doubled. Belfast-based Fusion will invest in the expansion of laboratory space and additional sales and marketing.

Close-ended investment company CIP Merchant Capital Ltd (CIP) raised £55m at 100p a share prior to Christmas. CIP will focus on quoted companies with a market value of less than £500m that have good fundamentals, which need help to improve operational effectiveness or management support to enhance growth. There should also be potential for a future exit. No more than 20% of funds will be invested in an individual company.

Software supplier Pelatro (PTRO) raised £3.8m at 62.5p a share when it joined AIM on 19 December. That valued the company at £15.2m. The company’s mViva software is developed in India and used for marketing by telecommunications companies.

An introduction at 20p a share valued Panthera Resources (PAT) at £12.4m. The main asset is a 70% stake in the Bhukia gold project in India. The company’s share of the JORC inferred resource is 1.22 million ounces. There are also gold exploration assets in Burkina Faso and Mali.

Video games development services provider Sumo Group (SUMO) floated on 21 December at 100p a share and ended the week at 113.5p a share. Sumo raised £38.5m and it was valued at £145m at the placing price.

Fletcher King (FLK) reported a dip in revenues from £1.68m to £1.49m, while pre-tax profit declined from £163,000 to £148,000. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1p a share. There were lower revenues from rating appeals and valuations but one or two SHIPS properties should be fully-let and sold by the end of the financial year.

NWF Group (NWF) says that its feeds division is benefiting from the recovery in the milk price and past capital investment. The fuels division continues to make progress but food distribution performance has been below the first half of last year. The interims will be published on 30 January.

Online gaming firm Nektan (NKTN) is raising £1.76m at 21p a share. That was a one-fifth discount to the market price. There are £10m convertible loan notes 2020, where the conversion price is a 25% premium to the previous placing, so it is currently 26.25p a share. The cash will be invested in technology and geographic expansion. In the year to June 2017, Nektan more than doubled its net gaming revenues to £13.3m.

Telecoms infrastructure equipment supplier Filtronic (FTC) expects a sharp fall in interim revenues from £21.6m to £12.8m and operating profit halved to £900,000. There have been delays in defence orders. Net cash was £2.9m at the end of November 2017. The interims will be published on 30 January.

Kodal Minerals (KOD) says that initial results from its drill programme at the Bougouni lithium project are expected very shortly. There was £4.09m of cash at the end of September 2017.

Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) has completed core-hole drilling at two locations at the Lesedi project and a third hole will be completed early next year. Coal samples are being assessed. The results will help to plan the first phase of development drilling. The Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund has taken a 5.84% stake.

Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is raising up to £4.42m via a 2.250106-for-one open offer at 0.01p a share. That is a 92% discount to the market price and excess applications can be made. The cash is required for part pre-payment of $6m of loan notes issued to Odey Asset Management that carry an annual interest rate of 25%. That cash was used to finance a $6m mezzanine loan to the Oman antimony roaster project. First production should be in the second quarter of 2018. The cost of the project has increased from $96m to $110m. There should be £250,000 left for working capital for Tri-Star and $740,000 of loan notes still in issue. The first dividend from the Oman antimony roaster is expected for the year to December 2020.

Legendary Investments (LEG) has acquired a 9.7% stake in Crowd for Angels in return for 248.3 million Legendary shares at 0.145p each. Crowd for Angels intends to launch a £50m Liquid Crypto Bond. Legendary is swapping its interest in Manas Resources for a 2% stake in Circle Oil Tunisia, formerly a subsidiary of AIM-quoted Circle Oil, which has been liquidated. The stake in Manas was valued at £100,000.

Ambrian (AMBR) has failed to secure short-term financing or defer payment of interest on its convertible loan notes. Grant Thornton will be appointed as administrator. In October, a general meeting removed former chief executive Jean-Pierre Conrad as a director, having been given three months notice in August by subsidiary Ambrian Metals because he had lost the confidence of the board. Conrad was a large holder of convertibles. Ambrian has cement interests in Mozambique and there have been problems in moving cash.

Kromek (KRK) is on course to achieve full year revenues of £12.5m. This is without any contribution from the framework contract from the US authorities for radiation detector systems, which could be important in the future. There should be £14m of cash left by the end of the financial year.

Uranium Resources (URA) has sold its mining assets and is changing its name to URA Holdings. Melissa Sturgess and Peter Redmond have joined the board and £900,000 raised at 0.45p a share.

Redhall Group (RHL) says that its subsidiary Jordan Manufacturing has won business for specialist handling and containment systems for nuclear material at Sellafield. This could be worth £18m over three years.

Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) is acquiring up to 49.9% of the Tesorillo gas project in southern Spain. The purchase is in three stages and will cost €2.05m in total.

Problems with labelling in China have held up the fulfilment of demand by Concepta (CPT) for its fertility products. This means that 2017 revenues will be around £100,000 and sales delayed until the first quarter of 2018.

Integumen (SKIN) has raised £500,000 at 1.5p a share. This will help to fund the recently acquired Stoer range of male cosmetics and the commercialisation of the Visible Youth cosmeceutical range. Management is assessing all the group product lines because some are taking longer to generate significant revenues. Integumen intends to set up a joint venture to distribute Champion Shave products in the UK and Ireland.

The One Media iP (OMIP) share price more than doubled to 10p following the news that Lord Michael Grade and former Pinewood boss Ivan Dunleavy are joining the board as non-executives. They are also investing £375,000 at 2.5p a share.

Cross-border payments technology provider Earthport (EPO) says that 2017-18 revenues could be up to 15% lower than expected due to contract delays and a change in strategy by a client. Cash flow breakeven is still achievable during 2018-19. Hank Uberoi is moving from chief executive to executive chairman and a permanent replacement as chief executive has yet to be found.

Escape the Room experiences provider Escape Hunt (ESC) is adapting its strategy to focus on city centre sites. Five leases have been signed and three are being negotiated.

The People’s Operator (TPOP) has successfully raised £2.82m at 0.1p a share. Aidan O’Hara acquired an 8.78% stake prior to the placing. Trading in the shares has been suspended because of concerns over trading prior to the completion of the placing.

A €51 a share cash bid has been recommended by Taliesin Property Fund Ltd (TPF) and this values the company at €260m. The bid enables investors to liquidate their holding in the Berlin property investor at a premium to NAV. Taliesin floated in 2006 at €10 a share.

West African Mineral (WAFM) is disposing of its iron assets through a share distribution of the company holding the assets to its shareholders. They will receive one share in Ferrum Resources Ltd for each West African Mineral share they own. A general meeting will be held on 18 January to agree to the plan. Loans to Ferrum have already been written off but a sale of the assets could spark all or part of the repayment of the $4m loan. West African Minerals will have £2.1m in the bank and it wants to move to the standard list and seek life sciences acquisitions. The company will change its name to OKYO Pharma Corporation.

Property investor Caledonian Trust (CNN) increased its NAV from 152.9p a share to 161.7p a share in the year to June 2017.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) will receive a total of $1.46m in dividends from two subsidiaries. One of these subsidiaries is part of the previously announced disposals that should generate $400,000.

All bar one of the directors of BOS Global Holdings (BOS) has left the board. Trading in BOS shares has been suspended because of the uncertainty of its financial position and because the annual report has not been published.

MAIN MARKET  

Contango Holdings (CGO) is moving ahead with the possible acquisition of Consolidated Growth Holdings’ interest in a near-term producing mining asset in Zimbabwe. The purchase would be funded at 5p a share, which is a 33% premium to the suspension price. Contango hopes to complete the reverse takeover by the first quarter of 2018. Contango floated on the standard list on 1 December.

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has joined the standard list. The Israel-based gemstones explorer raised £4.15m at 110p a share and was valued at £15.3m on flotation. The cash will be used to fund further exploration of the Kishon Mid Reach project and production could commence within 24 months.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) reported an interim loss of £113,000 due to the costs of being a listed company. There was £230,000 in the bank at the end of October 2017. Supported living property developer Dukemount has completed a 50-year agreement to lease on the first property it acquired with a supported living housing association. This should generate £234,000 a year and is linked to CPI. It will take 18 months to complete the development but institutions may acquire the lease before then. A second project has also been secured with more under negotiation.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has raised a further £170,000 at 5p a unit. The unit is one ordinary share and 0.5 of a warrant exercisable at 7.5p a share. The current NAV is 4.2p a share. SI Capital has been appointed as joint broker.

Standard list shell Fandango Holdings (FHP) still had £468,000 in the bank at the end of August 2017. There is currently no industrial or services acquisition under consideration.

Avocet Mining (AVM) has agreed the sale of its Burkina Faso assets for $5m. There will be $2.5m paid on completion and the rest will be deferred over seven years. Avocet will have no trading business. Given Avocet’s debt, if it is wound up there will be little or nothing for shareholders.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has returned from suspension following publication of its annual report. Chief executive Colin Patterson says he will fund the Gubong gold project through to the completion of the report on feasibility. He and fellow director Aidan Bishop are taking their remuneration in shares.

Andrew Hore

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