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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 18 May 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) says customer loan balances had increased by 4% in the quarter to March 2020. Customer deposits increased by 2%. There were net inflows to the investment management business despite the uncertainty in the markets.

Gunsynd (GUN) has extended the deadline for the Oyster Oil and Gas deal from 30 April to 30 October. If the conditions are not satisfied by October, then the sale of the Oyster shares can be terminated.

Inqo Investments (INQO) says that its February 2020 accounts may not be published until September because of delays to audits. The company’s investments have been affected by COVID-19. Kuzuko Lodge in South Africa was closed in early April and Inqo believes that it could take another two years to fully recover. Kentegra Biotechnology and South Lake Medical Centre in Kenya are both continuing to trade. Four One Financial Services could find trading difficult.

Eastinco Mining (EM.P) is completing the wash plant and starting operations at its tantalum mine in Rwanda. Cash is running out and management wants to raise cash through the exercise of warrants at 1.5p each. If 30% of warrants are exercised it will raise £700,000. If a shareholder exercises warrants, they will receive another warrant exercisable at 3p a share. The cash raised will finance capital investment and exploration.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £151,000 at 5.75p a share. SulNOx Group (SNOX) has raised £230,000 at 40p a share. Each share comes with a warrant exercisable at 40p.

Belvedere Leisure (BELV) says that the COVID-19 lockdown has stopped it obtaining additional subscriptions. Phase one of the company’s development will be split into two parts. The first 50 self-catering lodges are due to open next February.

Veni Vidi Vici (VVV) had cash of £354,000 at the end of 2019. The company is committed to paying A$300,000 towards initial spending of the joint venture that holds the Shangri La gold, copper and silver project in Western Australia.

Two directors and a managing partner of EPE have bought shares in EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) at 160p each. The total amount invested is £44,259. Boston Trust Company has increased its stake from 2.9% to 4.3%.

AIM

Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has moved into a positive EBITDA position in the first quarter, which is earlier than expected. The orphan drugs provider is on course to generate revenues of $172m this year. An underlying EBITDA of $19.5m is forecast for 2020 and that move above $50m next year. Amryt has cash on the balance sheet that is more than enough for its current requirements, but there is also debt, including convertibles. Net debt is expected to increase to $160m by the end of 2020 before reducing the following year.

Acquisitions helped Focusrite (TUNE) to grow in the first half. There was a decline in the revenues of continuing operations, although trading was strong in the corresponding period. Overall revenues were 24% ahead at £49.9m. there were first time contributions from ADAM Audio and Martin Audio (two months). Lower margins and higher interest charges meant that pre-tax profit fell from £7.15m to £6.38m. Focusrite has moved into a net debt position due to the money spent on acquisitions. Martin is likely to be hardest hit by lockdowns around the world due to its event-based customers, whereas demand for other products is holding up as people make music at home.

Payments platform provider Bango (BGO) has signed a new deal that should be worth £1.5m over three years and there is potential for it to be worth even more. Bango could move into profit this year.

Appreciate (APPS) says that the first 11 months trading was in line with expectations, but March trading was hit by COVID-19. Corporate activity has declined by around two-thirds, while Christmas savings have fallen 10%. There was still free cash of £30m at the end of March 2020. This year’s figures will be much harder hit by COVID-19 and profit is likely to plummet. Achieving a profit will be dependent on an upturn in the second half. Cash is also likely to decline.

MAIN MARKET

Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) moves from AIM to a premium listing on 18 May. Diversified has raised £69.4m at 108p a share. This cash will go towards financing two potential oil and gas asset acquisitions. Trident Resources (TRR) will be going in the opposite direction on 2 June.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 May 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

British Honey Company (BHC) says its hand sanitiser has generated revenues of more than £500,000 since late March. This helps to offset the reduction in sales of alcohol products. There is sufficient alcohol available for the company’s requirements for the rest of the year. British Honey has appointed finnCap as corporate adviser and joint broker with Stanford Capital.

National Milk Records (NMRP) increased first quarter revenues by 1% to £5.61m. The growth comes from testing revenues with other revenues declining slightly. The company remains positive about the prospects for the dairy sector. The supply chain is rebalancing following a drop in demand for milk from coffee shops.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that the total gold resources at the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania have increased to 1.454 million tonnes at 10.3g/t for 483,000 ounces of gold. This excludes any estimate for the upper section of the mine.

World High Life (LIFE) says the Love Hemp brand has increased online sales by 39% each month since January. The brand’s CBD products are being stocked by more retailers.

TechFinancials (TECH) has signed a separation agreement with the cofounders of Footies Ltd and it will own 100% of the business. The cofounders get the original source code from May 2019. TechFinancials is ending its B2B brokerage activities by 1 November.

Investment company Gunsynd (GUN) has consolidated 85 shares into one new share.

Adnams (ADB) has appointed Jenny Hanlon to replace Stephen Pugh as finance director, which is a role he has held for 16 years.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) reported a NAV of 266.48p a share at the end of April. That represents a decline from 317.18p a share in the latest quarter.

AIM

Best of the Best (BOTB) has sparked another profit upgrade following its trading statement. finnCap has raised its 2019-20 by 27% to £3.8m.

IP investment company Tekcapital (TEK) increased net assets by two-fifths to $22.3m, which is equivalent to 35 cents a share. The biggest gain in value was for Guident, where nearly $7m was added to the valuation. Alternative salt developer Salarius and medical devices company Bellascura also generated good increases. Hi-tech eyewear developer Lucyd’s value fell by nearly $2m. Tekcapital recently raised £925,000 at 10p a share. This will be invested in portfolio companies.

Lower costs meant that ClearStar (CLSU) made a lower loss than expected in 2019. The background checks provider had net debt of $300,000 at the end of the year and this has increased to $1m. The year commenced with a record order book but there have been delays and reductions in volumes.

Genedrive (GDR) has raised £7m at 80p a share to finance the development of two COVID-19 tests.

Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) has launched FiltaShield, a COVID-19 sanitising services. It has also combined with a technology company to provide temperature screening devices.

VR equipment supplier Immotion (IMMO) has raised money for the second time this year. It has raised £1.35m at 2.5p a share, which is much lower than the 7.25p placing price in February.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) says that Bangladesh’s economic slowdown and disruption to supplies due to COVID-19 could hamper the fourth quarter of the year to June 2020. Even so, Beximco still expects to report annual sales growth.

ZOO Digital (ZOO) says that strong cash collections mean that it had cash of $700,000 at the end of March 2020.  Demand for localisation services weakened at the end of March but demand is recovering.

Hargreaves Services (HSP) has conditionally exchanged contracts for a 79 acre plot on the Hatfield site in South Yorkshire, which will be used to develop a national distribution centre for a retailer. The company is trading in line with expectations other than in the property business, where planned land sales will not complete before the end of May as originally anticipated.

MAIN MARKET

JD Sports Fashion (JD.) has been told by the CMA that it has to sell Footasylum. The formerly AIM-quoted footwear retailer was acquired last year. An appeal is being considered.

BATM (BVC) has launched an antibody test for COVID-19 and sales have begun to European countries.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) mined 319.2 bitcoin during April, down from 333.8 the previous month. The revenues were £1.8m in each month.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 20 April 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) increased its NAV by 54.6% to 317.18p a share in the year to January 2020. The main gains are from fully listed Luceco (LUCE), although the share price has fallen back since then, and Whittard of Chelsea. Whittard closed its 49 stores during March. The focus is conserving cash to find existing investments rather than new investments.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that DEV Mineraco, the owner of the Amapa iron ore project, has been given permission to ship iron ore from the company’s port in Brazil. The stockpile has 1.39Mt of iron ore and the cash generated will help to bring the mine back into production. Cadence owns 30% of Yangibana rare earth deposit, which has received environmental approval for mining.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) says it is taking longer than expected to conclude a deal to sell its diesel conditioner through a major UK fuel distributor. The plan is to undertake engine trials with major engine manufacturers. COVID-19 has led to delays in getting trials underway.

First Sentinel (FSEN) is raising £151,000 at 20p a share. This will provide additional working capital.

Gunsynd (GUN) is consolidating 85 existing shares into one new share.

Ganapati (GANP) has gained shareholder approval to leave AQSE by 15 May.

AIM

In changing times there is one thing that can be relied on and that is Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) putting out its trading statement after 4.30pm on a Friday. Never one to disappoint, Immunodiagnostic Holdings has done it again. Full year revenues were 2% ahead at £39.3m. Cash was maintained at £27.6m.

Nu-Oil and Gas (NUOG) is planning to acquire a Europe-based plastic recycling and processing business. The group would then become a consolidator under the current management. The deal has not been finalised and trading in the shares will be suspended until an acquisition document is published or the deal is called off.

Aquis Exchange (AQX) increased revenues by 73% to £6.9m and the loss was reduced to £800,000. There was £11m in the bank at the end of 2019. The market share of pan European trading increased from 3.8% to 4.62%. Market volumes have increased following the COVID-19 stockmarket concerns.

Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) is raising £500,000 at 55p a share. This will make sure there is enough cash to keep the business going even if there is an extended disruption to trading.

Parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) says activity has been reduced by one-third. Net debt was £8.9m at the end of March. Profitability has been delayed until 2020-21.

A circular has been posted by Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) for a general meeting on 13 May. The first resolution is for the removal of Matt Lofgran from the board and the other two resolutions provide the company with the ability to issue shares.

Bluejay Mining (BJAY) has signed a memo of understanding with a company that will take 50% of the production of the Dundas Ilmenite project.

Construction consultancy services provider Driver (DRV) was not impacted by COVID-19 in the first half and the recovery in pre-tax profit should be as expected. Business in April and May remains encouraging. Net cash is £3.3m. There will be no interim dividend.

Oil and gas producer Empyrean Energy (EME) has raised £411,000 at 3.5p a share and plans to launch an open offer to existing shareholders. It is not going ahead with a previously announced placing. The additional cash is required to pay Empyrean’s share of the costs of two wells drilled at the end of 2019. The 1C contingent resource estimate for the Mako gas field, where Empyrean has a 8.5% stake, has been increased by 76% to 323bcf. A production rate of 150 MMscf/day could be achieved.

Beeks Financial Cloud (BKS) has acquired network monitoring and trade analytics software provider Velocimetrics for an initial £1.3m. The maximum earnout payment is £4.55m. This adds real-time transaction tracking technology to Beeks’ software.

Cake Box (CBOX) was growing strongly before COVID-19 hit the cake retail chain. Store closures in the second half of March reduced annual like-for-like sales growth to 2%. Pre-tax profit will be in the range of £4.1m to £4.3m. There will not be a final dividend.

Circle Property (CRC) says its NAV has increased by 4.7% to 290p a share at the end of March 2020. The focus on office properties has helped. Loan to value is 40%. A maintained dividend has been indicated by the board.

Kodal Minerals (KOD) has been granted a further three-year term for two of the gold concessions in the Ivory Coast.

Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) has raised £5.2m at 10.5p a share to bolster its balance sheet ahead of the commencement of royalties from its AI software. The cash will finance further development. There was already net cash of £7.3m at the end of 2019, although some of this cash will already have been used.

Jubilee Metals (JML) has recommenced mining at the Inyoni Surface PGM and chrome project and the Windsor JV PGM project.

MAIN MARKET

Sure Ventures (SURE) says that 25.9%-owned investee fund Sure Valley Ventures has made a follow-on investment in Admix, which provides advertising services in video games. Sure has a 7.02% stake in Admix.

Engineering and construction services provider NMCN (NMCN) says that it continues to work on around two-thirds of its current projects. There will be no final dividend for 2019. Net cash was £25.8m at the end of 2019. A further trading update is planned for 23 April.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) says that production at the Gakara mine is increasing and 100 tonnes of concentrate has been exported since February.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 30 March 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

AQSE and AIM-quoted Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) improved its underlying pre-tax profit from £4.4m to £5.8m in 2019, while the second interim dividend is 5% higher at 21p a share. This does not have to be agreed at an AGM. NAV rose from 1283p a share to 1364p a share. The total capital ratio has edged up from 17.2% to 17.3%.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that its insurers stipulated that COVID-19 was excluded from the insurance for the abandonment of race meetings. There will be a significant loss of revenues even if horse racing remains suspended until the end of April. Events, the hotel and the nursery will also be hit. There are bank facilities that should be enough to cover needs for the foreseeable future and the company is talking with its lenders. Management still expects David Wilson Homes to make a further payment of £10.9m for the development sites it has acquired.

Employee-owned businesses investor Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) believes that the value of its investments has declined by up to 15% since the end of February. NAV will have fallen from 50.17p a share to a range of 42.6p a share to 45.1p a share. That offsets the increase in the previous six months.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) is cancelling its interim dividend of 14p a share. The hotel has been temporarily closed.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $65,000 in the Acala Network project and will receive 866,666.67 tokens at 7.5 cents each. Acala will offer a stablecoin that can be transferred across different blockchains and collateralised with digital assets.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that its 4.1%-owned investee company Macarthur Minerals is seeking a partner for its Lake Giles iron ore project in Western Australia. Another investee company, 16.7%-owned AIM-quoted European Metals Holdings (EMH), has secured a strategic investment by CEZ in the Cinovec project. CEZ will subscribe for a 51% stake in the company that owns the project, subject to EMH shareholder approval. The price payable has been reduced from €34.1m to €29.1m.

AFH Financial (AFHP) non-executive director has invested nearly £25,000 in the IFA at 198p a share.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that subsidiary Coal Agglomeration South Africa has stopped activities until 16 April, which is in line with the government lockdown.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) has cash of £26.4m and it could defer the July repayment of £2m of its £3.9m convertible loans, so it is in a strong position to cope with the effects of COVID-19.

Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has suspended mining in Rwanda because of COVID-19. This will be for an initial two weeks. Planning for continues exploration will continue.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has employed consultants to prepare a mine reopening due diligence study on the Beaconsfield gold mine.

TechFinancials (TECH) is exercising its option to acquire shares in Cedex Holdings and the resulting stake will be 97.3% or 90.8% fully diluted. The company will consider disposing of the stake.

World High Life (LIFE) is holding a general meeting on 14 April in order to gain shareholder approval for each existing share to be sub-divided into ten new shares.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has issued a further £245,000 of bonds. This takes the total value of bonds in issue to £1.23m. Trading in First Sentinel 7% bonds, February 2023, First Sentinel preference shares and EPE Special Opportunities 7.5% unsecured loan stock, 2022 has started again after the market maker resumed activities.

AIM

Novacyt (NCYT) has signed a contract manufacturing deal with Yourgene Health (YGEN) for its COVID-19 test. The initial plan is for Yourgene to manufacture critical components. A global distribution agreement for the COVID-19 test has been secured with Bruker-Hain Diagnostics for use on its instruments. The Philippines has approved the test for commercial use.

Graphene materials supplier Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) has successfully reduced its cost base and it had £4.3m in the bank at the end of January 2020. This should last until the second half of 2021. Revenues remain small but a number of coatings products using the company’s graphene have been launched in the past year. There is a pipeline of additional products.

Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) is still losing money, but it is generating cash. In 2019, ECSC revenues grew by 10% to £5.91m. Managed services revenues increased by 48% to £2.61m. Managed services has additional capacity and as more work is won margins could continue to improve. Consulting revenues dipped slightly to £2.9m, although they did grow in the second half. The other revenues come from third party products and other services.

Secure payments systems provider PCI-Pal (PCIP) is raising £5m at 30p a share. The cash will finance sales and marketing in North America and further product development. There will also be additional flexibility for any medium-term effects of COVID-19.

Georgia-focused oil and gas company Block Energy (BLOE) is acquiring two blocks adjacent to its own from Schlumberger. They include Block XIB, which is Georgia’s most productive block, although the peak production was in the 1980s. This will boost Block’s production by 245 barrels of oil per day. There is also another exploration block and a central production facility being acquired. There are 14 years remaining on the permits for the two blocks. Block is paying for the assets with 120 million options exercisable at nil cost. They are deemed to have a value of 5 cents each. The options can be exercised between 12 and 24 months from completion.

Replacement windows and doors supplier Safestyle UK (SFE) has temporarily ceased installations. Safestyle believes with cost reductions and government assistance it will be able to cope with the closure of activities until after the end of June.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) is still paying its 9.4p a share final dividend. Trading in the four months to February 2020 was subdued but in line with expectations. The company’s agricultural stores have been allowed to stay open. There may be some additional costs relating to COVID-19.

Geospatial software provider IQGeo (IQG) has secured an expansion to its contract with Tokyo Electric Power Company, which is worth £1.8m over three years.

MAIN MARKET

Trident Resources (TRR) is becoming a mining royalty company and moving to AIM. The first acquisition is a 1.5% free on board revenue royalty over part of the Koolyanobbing iron ore operation in Western Australia for a staged cash consideration of A$7m. There are plans to increase production from an annualised rate of 11Mtpa to 15Mtpa by the end of 2020. The initial payment is A$4m and the other A$3m is payable one year after completion. The most recent quarterly royalty was A$731,000. Further royalty interests are set to be acquired. A fundraising is planned and the company will change its name to Trident Royalties.

Dev Clever (DEV) says that COVID-19 restrictions have increased demand for its SaaS-based career guidance platforms. The US launch was in April.

Nanoco (NANO) says Merck has issued three-month notice of termination of its cadmium-free quantum dots licence agreement so that the licence can be renegotiated. The existing licence had minimum annual royalties. Merck continues to buy materials.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) says that an investor commitment to provide £1.4m for the company when it acquires Kanabo Research has been terminated. This arrangement was made in July 2019 and the acquisition of the medicinal cannabis company has still not been completed.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) is amending the terms of the purchase of 80% of the Anglo American Oil and Gas (AAOG) subsidiary that owns 56% stake in the Tilapia oilfield in the Republic of Congo. The purchase price has been reduced by one-fifth to £800,000 and it will be paid in ten monthly instalments. Zenith will no longer issue any shares and it will not be providing a £250,000 secured loan facility.

Books publisher Quarto (QRT) says revenues fell from $149.3m to $135.8m in 2019 but it did return to profit. Banking facilities have been extended to July 2021.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) says the Wavertree project is at the final fit out stage, but work has been suspended due to COVID-19. There are 16 apartments and offices on the site in north west England.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 17 February 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

NEX and AIM-quoted Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) says that there has been an increase in the level of confidence in its markets since the General Election. That was too late to have much effect on the 2019 results, but full year pre-tax profit will be at the upper end of expectations. Last year, customer loan balances rose by 31% and deposits by 22%.

Sativa Group (SATI) says that it welcomes the guidance from the Food Standards Agency on the safe use of CBD products and the timetable for novel food authorisation. Management points out that Sativa’s products do not include THC. Sativa expects to report 2019 gross profit slightly higher than expectations on lower than marginally lower than expected. Goodbody Wellness has piloted three retail stores, but they did not perform as well as expected. PhytoVista Laboratories has completed more than 3,000 tests on cannabis-based products. That includes Sativa’s own products and a new sports range is near launch. Medicinal cannabis-based development is focused on veterinary treatments.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has increased its NAV by 55% to 317.2p a share following a strong performance by Whittard of Chelsea and a recovery in the share price of fully listed Luceco. Pharmacy2U continues to grow strongly. Last year, 2.3% of the shares in issue were bought back by the company. New investments are being sought for available funds.

Ethical housing investor Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) increased its NAV by 15% to 106p a share in the year to January 2020. Chief executive Joseph McTaggart bought 1,991 shares at 61.75p each.

Hellyer gold mine operator NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £210,000 at 7p a share.

Investment company Primorus Investments (PRIM) has benefitted from the sharp share price rise in Greatland Gold (GGP) and the stake is worth two-fifths of the company’s market value. The current profit is £1.25m. Investee company TruSpine is on course to float in London this year. The spine stabilisation devices developer has gained a new cornerstone investor. Primorus is debt free.

Trading in the shares of Altona Energy (ANR) has been suspended because it has not published its annual report for the year to June 2019. Cash needs to be raised to keep the company going and management says that shareholders will be invited to participate in a fundraising. The company says it expects to publish the report in the next two weeks and blames the delay on a change of auditor and a new accounting treatment for its exploration licences. Final terms for the acquisition of the previously announced new petroleum exploration licence application are being negotiated.

SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) majority shareholder and chief executive David Sumner has also taken on the role as chairman after the resignation of Alan Kitchin and Katie Hiess from the board.

AIM

Brickability (BRCK) has acquired McCann Roofing Products for £2.75m. Essex-based McCann imports roofing and building products from Europe and generated a 2019 pre-tax profit of £700,000 on revenues of £8.2m. This deal adds additional suppliers to the group and should be immediately earnings enhancing.

Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) has convened the requisitioned general meeting on 3 March. Eridge Capital wants to remove Matt Lofgran and Ewen Ainsworth from the board and replace them with Andrew Morrison. Eridge was previously known as former AIM company New World Oil and Gas. Nostra Terra’s subsidiary has loans that have a key man clause which stipulate that Lofgran has to be president of the subsidiary unless it give consent or there will be a default.

Drug discovery platform developer e-Therapeutics (ETX) has overhauled its board and raised £1.6m at 3p a share. Former Silence Therapeutics boss Ali Mortazavi becomes executive chairman. Ian Ross is stepping down to concentrate his role at Silence Therapeutics. Chief executive Ray Barlow and finance director Steve Medlicott are also leaving. An additional independent non-executive director will be appointed.

Gemfields Group Ltd (GEM) joined AIM last Friday. The share price ended the day at 11.7p.

Bidstack (BIDS) expects to have generated £150,000 from programmatic advertising for video games. That is much lower than previously hoped because it is taking much longer to get advertising agencies to take in-game advertising seriously. There was cash of £3.14m at the end of 2019 following a loss of £5.3m. There was £6m in the bank at the end of June 2019. First half revenues will still be small.

Knights Group Holdings (KGH) has acquired Nottingham law firm Fraser Brown Solicitors for up to £8.28m in cash and shares. This follows the purchase of Croftons Solicitors, which is based in Manchester, for up to £2.8m. A new revolving credit facility of £40m has been agreed and it lasts until June 2023.

Octopus Investments has cut its stake in Staffware (STAF) from 13.2% to 0.53%. Gresham House Asset Management increased its stake from 6.7% to 10.6%.

Filta Holdings (FLTA) says it should make an EBITDA of £3.2m in 2019. Cost savings and investment software will help the fryer management services provider to produce a much better performance in 2020.

Keystone Law (KEYS) has traded in line with expectations. Pre-tax profit is forecast to increase from £5.1m to £5.7m.

Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) says that the FDA has accepted the new drug application for Akindi Sprinkle as a treatment for infants and children. Approval could be gained by the autumn and it will be the only licenced treatment specifically for children. There was cash of £4.6m at the end of 2019.

MAIN MARKET

Automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) is recommending a 700p a share bid from Infopro Digital, valuing the company at £114.5m. The two companies fit well together and will have greater scale.

Finance provider S and U (SUS) says that its figures for the year to January 2020 will be in line with expectations and trading has been getting better in the past few weeks. The used car market has held up well even though the new car market is week. This is why second hand car finance provider Advance should produce another record performance in 2020-21. Property bridging finance provider Aspen has made the progress hoped because of delays in repayments and the loan book is lower than expected, but it is still a young business. A 2019-20 pre-tax profit of £35.5m is expected to increase to £39m this year. The latest total dividend will be raised by around 5% to 124p a share.

JLEN Environmental Assets (JLEN) is raising cash from the placing of up to 49.7 million shares. This will fund a pipeline of investments. The bookbuild will close on 26 February.

Ultimate Products (UPGS) says that sales growth is easing this year with first half revenues 3% ahead at £67.7m. There is also uncertainty about the supply of products from China. Even so, Shore is maintaining its full year pre-tax forecast of £8.77m, a small increase on last year. That could change.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) is widening the geographic scope of its activities by negotiating to acquire an oil production licence in West Africa. Zenith has raised £135,000 through a share issue at 1.5p a share. It has also entered into an equity sharing agreement with a consortium of institutional investors. The nominal amount raised is £810,000, but the ultimate amount will depend on the share price when each tranche is paid over the next 12 months. The benchmark price is NOK0.2231/share, equivalent to around 1.85p. The share price is 1.43p, so the first instalment is likely to be below the notional level if there is no share price recovery.

BATM Communications (BVC) has gained a $1.3m order from a Middle East-based poultry firm for its agri-waste treatment system.

Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) says market conditions are more challenging and there has been a slow start to the fourth quarter, which is normally the strongest. Margins have fallen and profit will be at the lower end of the range of forecasts. The Coronavirus has led to the extended closure of Chinese sites, but this is a small percentage of production.

Cathay International Holdings (CTI) says that production at its plants is on hold or preparing to gradual resume production because of the effects of the Coronavirus. The hotel business has been hit by a sharp reduction in occupancy rates.

Avation (AVAP) has made firm orders for two ATR 72-600 aircraft that will be leased to US-Bangla, the largest private airline in Bangladesh.

Predator Oil and Gas (PRD) is raising £3.56m at 4p a share. This will finance the drilling of the Moulouya well in Morocco and provide cash for further investment in Trinidad.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 13 January 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that in 2019 the Hellyer mine in Tasmania produced 24,980 tonnes of lead concentrate, 15,646 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 77,853 tonnes of pyrite concentrate. Metal recovery has improved with average lead recoveries of more than 50%. The focus will be on generating lead revenues. Additional high-grade underground resources have been acquired from Bass Metals, which was subleasing the area. The purchase includes 1.175 million tonnes of underground JORC resources.

Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) is investing natural insecticide developer Kentegra Biotechnology. The Kenya-based company produces pyrethrum, a natural ingredient from the chrysanthemum flower for use in the home, agricultural and pharma markets. There is a shortage of supply of pyrethrum, which can only be produced in a limited number of places around the globe. There is a move away from synthetic versions of the ingredient.

Panther Metals (PALM) has completed its move to the standard list.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has raised €4.79m via a placing at 1.1 cents a share. The cash will be used for property investments. Mamferay Holdings, which is owned by majority shareholder Phoenix Capital Holdings, is swapping €1.4m of debt for shares at the same price.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration has changed its name to Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM .P).

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that the 100p-for-one share consolidation will take effect on 21 January.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) reported a NAV of 273.9p a share for the end of 2019.

AIM

Packaging equipment supplier Mpac (MPAC) says that the 2019 profit is going to be much better than expected. The pension deficit should be eliminated by 2024.

Ultrasound simulation equipment developer Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) expects its 2019 revenues to grow to between £5.7m and £5.9m. There will be a slightly higher loss due to higher development spending. There was £7.3m in the bank at the end of 2019. The agreement signed with FUJIFILM SonoSite Inc will help sales this year in the training market.

Shield Therapeutics (STX) has licenced its Ferracru/ Accrufer iron deficiency treatment to Beijing Aosaikang Pharmaceutical for an upfront payment of $11.4m. This means that there should be net cash of £7.5m at the end of 2020. A further $11.4m payment is due when the treatment gains approval in China, following a clinical trial funded by the licensee, possibly in 2023. There could be further milestone payments of up to $40m depending on sales. Ongoing royalties on sales will be 10% or 15%,

Biopesticide products developer Eden Research (EDEN) says that its three EU-registered active ingredients have been approved for use in organic farming. A one-year exclusive agreement with Corteva Agriscience, will give the company time to evaluate Eden’s Sustaine encapsulation technology for use with seeds. Coreva could be granted exclusive distribution rights in the EU, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine.

Accrol Group (ACRL) management believes it has turned the fortunes of the toilet paper manufacturer around. Even so, it still lost £3m in the six months to October 2019. Net debt was £24.8m and this could fall to £20m by the end of April.

Telecoms services provider Maintel (MAI) has warned that public sector contracts continue to be delayed. finnCap has cut its 2019 pre-tax profit forecast from £10.4m to £8.1m, while the 2020 estimate has been reduced by one-quarter to £8.8m.

Software company CloudBuy (CBUY) wants to leave AIM and it expects to save £100,000 a year in overheads. Lyn and Ronald Duncan subsequently sold 11.1 million shares at 0.414p each. The share price has fallen but it is still 0.6p.

Promotional products software supplier Altitude Group (ALT) has signed a strategic alliance with the Advertising Speciality Institute, which will use its software platform.

Surface Transforms (SCE) expects more contract announcements with OEMs this year. In the seven months to December 2019, revenues were £1.45m, nearly treble the same period in the previous year, but lower than expected due to delays. The new financial year end is March. There was £768,000 in the bank at the end of 2019 and a further £425,000 has already been received.

Asimilar Group (ASLR) has raised £6.8m at 40p each. This will be received in two tranches. Formerly known as YOLO, the company will invest the cash big data, machine learning, telematics and internet of things businesses.

MAIN MARKET

Avation (AVAP) has started a strategic review, which could include the sale of the aircraft leasing business. Avation has 49 aircraft with an average fleet age of 3.7 years. It has also purchased a spare engine that can be leased.

InnovaDerma (IDP) grew interim revenues by 28% to £5m. This represents a slowdown in growth in the later part of the period and is slightly lower than expected. Skinny Tan was responsible for most of the growth. The second half will benefit from the launch of new skincare products in Superdrug.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) says its Minto Explorations business has received a $5.4m payment for copper concentrate produced during December. The Minto mine produced 2,247dmt of copper concentrate in the fourth quarter 2019.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) says that its molecular diagnostics business Ador Diagnostics has received its first commercial order from an Italian customer for meningitis testing.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 16 December 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) is investing in new portfolio company The Security Awareness Group Ltd (TSAG), which was established to acquire an existing business that has been trading for more than two decades. It provides training to ensure than employees are aware of cyber security and potential for human error. The £405,000 investment in loans, preference and ordinary shares, will enable the acquisition to be completed and leave Capital for Colleagues with a 34% stake. Management will own 51% and an employee ownership trust the rest.

Fuel emulsifier technology developer SulNOx is joining NEX on 17 December and it will be valued at £42.3m at 50p a share. SulNOx originally said it planned to join NEX during the spring when it raised £550,000 in pre-IPO funds. It has developed a process that can emulsify hydrocarbon fuels, such as diesel and heavy oils. The products can reduce Nitrous Oxide, Carbon Dioxide and Sulphur Oxide gases and particulates, as well as making combustion more efficient. The emulsifier can be used in existing engines.

Health property developer Ashley House (ASH) is exploring opportunities for modular affordable housing. Overheads have been reduced but the company says that it retains its core team and has appointed Paul Williamson as head of the modular activities. Adrian Wright, who is the largest shareholder with a 13.4% stake, has been appointed to the board.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has met with the management of AIM-quoted investee company Greatland Gold (GGP) and it says that it believes that the Havieron gold/copper deposit may host more than 20 million ounces. Further share acquisitions are possible. Primorus currently owns 37 million shares at an average cost of 1.71p each, which is slightly higher than the market price. Newcrest Mining is farming-in to Havieron. Six rigs will be working on the project over the coming months.

Gunsynd (GUN) had cash of £568,000 out of total net assets of £2.36m at the end of July 2019. Gunsynd did raise £498,000 from a share issue during the period. There was an unrealised loss on investments of £224,000 partly offset by a realised profit of £35,000. There was a £400,000 cash outflow from operations. The stake in Oyster Oil and Gas was valued at £350,000 and Gunsynd has subsequently agreed to sell the shares for a total of £260,000. Production sharing contracts for four blocks in Djibouti are not included in the transaction.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) is expanding the capacity of the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania. A 100 tonne per hour mining dredge should be operational by the end of the year.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) is increasing its interim dividend from 7p a share to 9p a share and this goes ex-dividend on 19 December. The final dividend will be maintained at 14p a share.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has sold its stake in Tirupati Graphite for £86,844. The initial investment in 2016 was £40,000.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a net asset value of 261.97p a share at the end of November 2019.

The acquisition of Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) has been completed and trading on NEX will end on 10 January.

Jersey-based Zandra Holdings has increased its stake in Formation Group (FRM) from 74.62% to 89.99%.

AIM

Lawyer Gately (GTLY) is acquiring T-three Group, which offers human resources services for £3.4m. Pro forma sales from continuing operations were £4.2m and EBITDA was £700,000 and the deal should be immediately earnings enhancing. This business fits with Kiddy which was acquired last year.

Feed, fuel and food distributor NWF (NWF) has leased another warehouse on the back of a five-year contract with a food customer. This will add 37,000 pallet spaces in Crewe, which will be predominantly used up by this contract. There is a five-year break clause on the lease. There will be £500,000 of start-up costs this year. Two fuel distributors have been acquired for £5m in recent weeks. The contributions from these will offset the additional cost in the year to May 2020. The feed business has grown its volumes and market share. Interim profit should be better than the weak comparisons.

Pelatro (PTRO) has won another contract. This is for providing additional campaign management services to an existing telecoms client. The deal involves monthly revenues with a share of gains. It is worth $1m over three years.

Investment in connected devices technology is starting to pay off for Vianet (VNET) with the revenues and profit of the smart machines division growing strongly. Additional contracts have been won that provide additional business over the next five years. These contracts alone cover 20,000 units. Technology upgrades are helping the smart zones division to retain and generate more revenues from pub clients. The US smart zones business made its maiden profit in the period. The interim dividend is maintained at 1.7p a share.

Versarien (VRS) has enough cash for its current requirements. The graphene products developer had £2.64m in cash at the end of September 2019. There is an invoice discounting facility available to provide additional liquidity. There is £898,000 of borrowings which are being paid back at around £30,000/month. At the current rate of cash outflow, the cash should last around one year, although a company is not going to wait until it runs out to raise more cash. The hard wear components business is generating cash, but the plastics business has been a drain. There are still plenty of opportunities for Versarien, including in China.

Open Orphan (ORPH) is merging with hVIVO (HVO) via an offer for 2.47 shares for each hVIVO share. Both companies are clinical research organisations. There is limited overlap in the services offered.

Integumen (SKIN) has raised £1.37m at 1.5p a share. The company needs additional funds because a potential client is doing due diligence. Revenues are expected to quadruple to £4m in 2020. Capacity at the Labskin laboratory is being increased.

Audio equipment supplier Focusrite (TUNE) is holding a general meeting to increase the amount it is allowed to borrow from up to £15m to up to £60m. Net cash was £14.9m at the end of August 2019, but the company is keen to make acquisitions.

Digital chemistry analysis company Deepmatter (DMTR) says that AstraZeneca has agreed to use its DigitalGlassware technology in Sweden alongside its own automated compound synthesis platform. This is an initial trial to assess how the technologies can work together. Data capture by DigitalGlassware could reduce cost and time, as well as providing improved analysis.

Spitfire Oil Ltd (SRO) had cash of $2.1m at the end of June 2019. Spitfire has relinquished the Salmon Gums lignite licences. It is a shell and has to make an acquisition by 29 February or trading in the shares will be suspended. This seems likely. The there is six months to make an acquisition or lose the AIM quotation.

Coral Products (CRU) has gained approval to offset production from its plastics recycling plant against the plastic packaging waste levy. Production hours have been doubled and the equipment should be run 24 hours a day by the end of April.

FireAngel Safety Technology (FA.) expects to report a loss nearly double its previous expectations at between £2.6m and £2.9m. that is partly down to lower sales from higher margin products. The fire and smoke alarms company could still be profitable in 2020.

Packaging supplier Robinson (RBN) says that 2019 revenues are slightly lower than forecast but pre-tax profit will be better than expected at £2.2m.

Digital services provider The Panoply Holdings (TPX) reported a one-third increase in interim revenues to £13.4m and the public sector is becoming a greater percentage of revenues. The company is on course to move into profit this year. A pre-tax profit of £3m is forecast.

Wind sensor technology developer Windar Photonics (WPHO) is raising £1.41m at 27.5p a share. This follows the trading statement admitting that sales are disappointing.

India-focused online retailer Koov (KOOV) has been placed in administration because a funder failed to come up with the cash it promised.

MAIN MARKET

ASX-listed Adriatic Metals (ADT1) has joined the standard list. Adriatic has projects in Bosnia Herzegovina. The main focus is the Vares project, north of Sarajevo. There is lead, zinc, copper, silver, gold and barite.

Shefa Gems Ltd (SEFA) has announced a maiden resource for the Kishon Mid-Reach project. The contained revenues are $41/tonne, predominantly due to the Carmel Sapphire. The mining cost is estimated at $26/tonne and it could be reduced.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) has decided not to acquire Nordic Petroleum because of high costs. Work on the C-37 well in Azerbaijan should enable production of more than 250 barrels of oil a day.

Hadrian’s Wall Secured Investments Ltd (HWSL) says it should not continue in its current form due to the large discount to NAV. A review could end up with a decision to run down the company. Brett Miller has been appointed to the board. A new NAV figure has been delayed.

Ferro-Alloy Resources (FAR) says that a sharp fall in the vanadium price has hit short-term profitability and cash generation. It remains confident that the operations in southern Kazakhstan are still viable.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 18 November 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Trading in the shares of Barkby Group (BARK) has been suspended ahead of further information about a proposed reverse takeover. The acquisition of a group of companies referred to as the Dickson controlled entities is expected to cost £30m, predominantly paid in shares. There will also be a share placing to provide working capital for the enlarged group. Charles Dickson would become executive chairman if the deal goes ahead. The businesses include Workshop Coffee, which operates four coffee shops and is a wholesaler of speciality coffee, a commercial property developer. Barkby will also acquire the right to invest in two private companies: Transcend Packaging, which won a contract to supply McDonalds with paper straws, and VivoPlex, which has developed a medical device for fertility monitoring.

Brewer and pubs operator Daniel Thwaites (THW) says fears that interest rates will fall has required a £4m increase in the provision for its interest rate swaps. That is a non-cash item and underlying pre-tax profit increased from £5.6m to £6.2m in the six months to September 2019. That figure also excludes a quadrupling of property disposal profit to £800,000. Interim revenues improved 7% to £53.4m. The new brewery is operating at full capacity, while there was a small increase in like-for-like pub revenues. The contribution from hotels improved. Net debt was reduced by £8.6m to £61.6m compared with 12 months before, although £22.5m has been reclassified as due within one year. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.1p a share.

NEX and AIM-quoted AFH Financial (AFHP) says it is trading in line with forecasts. The wealth manager will report underlying EBITDA of more than £17m, up from £10.4m, in the year to October 2019. Funds under management were £6bn. The contribution from acquisitions has been earnings enhancing. The total dividend is expected to be 8p a share and this is expected to rise by one-quarter to 10p a share in 2019-20. There was still £11.9m in the bank at the end of October 2019, although there is estimated to be £32.2m of contingent consideration and a £15m convertible loan in the balance sheet. The current focus is on organic growth and there should be enough cash generated, along with the current balance, to pay the deferred consideration over the next two years.

Ashley House (LSE: ASH) has published a trading statement and it is changing its year end from April to October following the disposal of the Morgan Ashley joint venture. In the 12 months to April 2019, revenues fell from £18.5m to £11.9m and a pre-tax profit of £805,000 was turned into a £2.95m loss. There was a loss contributed by joint ventures. Net debt was £1.8m.

Clinical support systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) is considering a move to AIM. This would be part of a potential fundraising to enable further investment in the business. DXS has already announced that it has been awarded a place on the NHS GPIT Futures framework from the beginning of 2020. This replaces the GPSoC2 framework and means that systems and services will be able to be bought centrally rather than with GP funds. The focus will be on the existing core product DXS Point of Care, analytics and reporting service CompleteCare, digital medicines service ExpertCare and condition management platform MyVytalCare. The first is already on sale and the rest will be launched in early 2020. DXS is gaining final approvals for its four solutions to be listed in the NHS catalogue.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £160,000 at 0.1p a share. This cash will be invested in additional shares in Apollon Formularies, which will take the company’s stake to 2.68%.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) believes that the lack of flotations is providing it with more opportunities. Primorus has received the £275,000 it was owed by Zuuse and still owns 57,205 shares and holds options over one million shares at A$0.50 (26p) each. The latest fundraising by Zuuse is at A$1 a share. There is a potential market to sell the shares even before a flotation.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) shareholder Formation Group has appointed Andrew Bennett as a non-executive director of the proton beam therapy firm.

David Lenigas has been appointed chairman of NQ Minerals (NQMI) and the board is in talks to replace existing debt with lower-cost debt. First Sentinel, which is run by former NQ Minerals director, has been appointed as corporate adviser.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has raised £388,000 from an issue of convertible loan notes and shares. This is less than the company wanted to raise more than six months ago. The share issue raised £133,000 at 0.02p a share, with a warrant exercisable at the same price, and the conversion of the loan notes will also be at the same price. The cash will be used to move into the medicinal cannabis sector. Additional shares are being issued to pay creditors.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 246.47p a share at the end of October 2019.

One hundred shares in Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) will be consolidated into one new share on 18 November.

Karoo Energy has changed its name to IamFire (FIRE).

Queros Capital Partners (QCP) will leave NEX on 28 November.

AIM

DBAY Advisors does not intend to bid for Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) and instead will acquire 51% of the underlying subsidiary that owns the transport operations. The poor financial situation of the business led to the change of strategy and Eddie Stobart Logistics has recommended the deal, which involves the injection of £55m of additional finance through a PIK Facility. This will pay off a £35m loan and provide working capital. The deal requires the extension of other existing debt facilities. The interim results to May 2019 are still being compiled. An operating loss of at least £12m is expected, but the underlying business could make a full year operating profit of up to £2m. There could be a goodwill write-down of £50m. Net debt will be around £200m. Wincanton (WIN) is still considering a rival deal.

ECO Animal Health (EAH) is still suffering the after effects of the African Swine Flu outbreak in China and the US/China trade war hitting imports from the US. First half revenues from China fell by three-fifths. Restocking will take time to flow through in terms of FCO’s results. There will be a sharp fall in full year profit. The interims could also be affected by accounting policy changes.

Advanced surface coatings provider Hardide (HDD) has been selected to coat parts for the new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. This is an important step in building up business in the aerospace sector. The Hardide-A coating will replace HVOF thermal spray coatings. HVOF is one of the most widely used coatings in aerospace and Hardide-A is said to be technically superior. Hardide has also been awarded a patent for a water droplet erosion resistant coating for blades and vanes, including those used on steam and gas turbines for power generation. A field test is planned.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) says that a test production run is planned later this month by 85%-owned Future Metal at its quarry in China. The plan is to restart production by the end of the year. This will help to underpin the Adamas NAV and provide potential upside. At the end of September 2019, NAV was 84p a share, which is more than three times the share price. Future Metal is 45.2% of that NAV and when the quarry is up and running then Adamas could raise cash by selling some of its stake. Cash is required to invest in new opportunities that are being presented to the company. Adamas issued 16.18 million shares at 34.8p each for its equity investment in Infinity TNP.

Safestay (SSTY) has bought the Hotel Auberge in Berlin, which is near to Berlin zoo, and intends to turn it into a 150-bed hostel. The site has an eleven year lease. This is the latest acquisition this year and it takes the total number of hostel sites to 18. The plan is to have 20 hostels by 2020.

MAIN MARKET

PureCircle Ltd (PURE) chief executive Magomet Malsagov has stood aside temporarily pending further investigation of the classification of the stevia sweeteners supplier’s inventory and other transactions. The investigations have identified that inventory was $23m too high. Other transactions could lead to additional valuation changes. There could be write downs of intangibles and inventories. There should not be any increase in net debt, although the figures are still not fully audited. Bank covenants may need to be waived. Finance director Rakesh Sinha had previously resigned, although he remains with the company until the end of January.

Automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) is seeking a buyer. Management believes the company needs to be part of a larger group with greater financial resources.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 15 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

AFH Financial Group (AFHP) has raised £15m from a placing of convertible unsecured loan stock in order to finance the acquisition of more IFAs. The loan stock offers a 4% annual interest rate and it matures in July 2024. The initial conversion price is 420p a share, which is a 17% premium to the market price. The annual interest cost is £600,000. Shore expects a pre-tax profit of £17m in the year to October 2019 and then a rise to £20m next year. That is before any acquisitions are made with the additional funds. There are already five potential acquisitions progressing towards completion.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) increased interim turnover by 3% to £1.55m. A decline in overheads in the six months to April 2019, due to a lack of repair work compared to the first half of the previous year. This meant that the interim loss fell from £200,000 to £101,000. There is £602,000 in the bank and NAV is £3.17m. Non-executive director CP Freeman has bought 600 shares at 750p each. He has a 1.2% stake.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested in South Cerney Outdoor, a recently formed company that has acquired the outdoor experiences business from the Shaw Trust charity. Capital for Colleagues is lending up to £250,000 to the investee company, where the employee owned trust will become a major shareholder.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its Gibraltar subsidiary has signed an agreement to support and promote RSK Smart Contract Network and RSK Infrastructure Framework blockchains in south east Asia. The 27.8%-owned start-up accelerator StartupToken is also involved in the deal.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a NAV of 260.29p a share at the end of June 2019. Since then 280,000 shares have been bought back by the company at an average share price of 205p.

KR1 (KR1) wants to buy back six million deferred shares at 0.2p each.

AIM

In the year to March 2019, Begbies Traynor (BEG) increased revenues by 15% to £60.1m, while pre-tax profit was £7.1m. Net debt was reduced from £7.5m to £6m. Increasing numbers of insolvencies is good news for the business recovery services provider. Pre-tax profit of £8.6m is forecast for this year.

Ultrasound simulation equipment supplier Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) says first half turnover was 25% ahead at £3.1m. This is before the recent AI contract win. There was £3.5m in the bank at the end of June 2019.

Tekcapital (TEK) is raising £750,000 at 8p a share in order to provide further financial backing for its IP companies. Medical devices developer Belluscura could receive FDA clearance for its advanced portable oxygen concentrator before the end of the year. It could be launched in the first half of next year. Nano-particle sized salt developer Salarius has been winning orders.

Ariana Resources (AAU) has reported positive drilling results at the Salinbas gold project in Turkey and there are indications that there is further mineralisation in the vicinity.  

Ilika (IKA) had £4m in the bank at the end of April 2019 and that should be enough for the next 12 months as the solid state battery technology developer makes progress with its Stereax battery technology. Projects that could yield deals in the coming months include, condition monitoring devices for wind turbines, track monitoring devices for Network Rail and batteries for miniature medical implants.

Mirada (MIRA) is on course to move into profit in the year to March 2021. The digital TV software provider reported a rise in revenues from $8.82m to $12.3m last year. Even so, the loss was $3.2m. There will be a loss this year, excluding the $1.75m gain on the disposal of the parking payment business. That will help net debt to reduce to $4.1m, despite the loss.  

Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) has reassured investors that it remains on target to achieve previously downgraded forecasts for 2019. Revenues should be $87m and net cash should be $18m at the end of 2019. Interims will be published on 4 September.

Polarean Imaging (POLX) has received an order for the 9820 Xenon Polariser system from the University of Kansas Medical Center. This will be used as part of an imaging research programme. This is the 25th polariser installed or ordered.

Collagen Solutions (COS) has submitted its CE Mark application for the ChondroMimetic regenerative medical device and has received initial questions it has to address. The response is being prepared. Collagen generated revenues of £4.15m in the year to March 2019. The benefits of consolidating collagen manufacturing are coming through.

Woodford Investment Management has cut its stake in eve Sleep (EVE) from 46.8% to 31.2%. Jupiter Asset Management has taken a 15.6% stake.

Oil and gas company Wentworth Resources (WEN) intends to pay dividends based on free cash flow generation. An interim will be announced in September.

FIH Group (FIH) has taken out a £13.9m mortgage on its Leyton warehouse and the interest charge is fixed at 3% for ten years. A new commercial air link has been agreed between the Falkland Islands and Brazil.

MAIN MARKET

Challenger Acquisitions (CHAL) has received a further £18,000 from the owner of Star Sanctum, which takes the total paid to £93,000. Challenger has agreed payments with the developer of the wheel project in Dallas of $26,375 at the end of July and $25,000 at the end of August.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has obtained a listing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Trading started on 11 July and it expects to become a constituent of the TA-90 index.  

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 17 June 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) says that holding back on operating expenditure has offset the downturn in demand due to warmer weather. Profit will be weighted to the first half. Good is investing in electric vehicle platform Zap-Map.

Brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) reported a more than halved pre-tax profit from £9.8m to £4.5m. Turnover improved from £92.2m to £96.9m and the profit decline was mainly due to a non-cash swing from gain to loss on swaps and a pension adjustment. Operating profit was flat at £12.9m. The Inns business improved its profit and individual pubs are making a higher profit contribution, but hotels profit declined. The total dividend was maintained at 3.36p a share. Net debt was £69.7m at the end of March 2019, while NAV was £180.7m. The pension liability has fallen from £34.9m to £24.8m.

KR1 (KR1) has sold 70,079 tokens in the Cosmos Network for $361,000. The average cost of the tokens was $0.10 each and they were sold for $5.14 each. KR1 has also generate a further 7,008 tokens from staking activities and these were sold for $6.93 each.

There was a sharp rise in the share price of TechFinancials Inc (TECH) but much of this gain was lost by the end of the week. There does not appear to be a reason for the rise. Full year results should be published this week. There will be an operating loss. There was $1.1m in the bank at the end of May 2019. The company is still waiting for approval from the Seychelles authorities for the €100,000 disposal of MarketFinancials. There will be write-downs of the value of diamond trading blockchain developer CEDEX and MarketFinancials.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a NAV of 272.02p a share at the end of May 2019. The company intends to start buying back shares and these purchases could exceed 25% of the average daily volume of ordinary shares.

Shareholders have approved the plan of Oyster Oil and Gas to distribute the shares of its main subsidiary to settle indebtedness and certain creditors. These include Gunsynd (GUN) although the exact shareholding has yet to be announced. Production sharing contracts in Madagascar and Djibouti are owned by the subsidiary. Gunsynd has raised £500,000 at 0.037p a share.

Trading in Via Developments (VIA1) debentures has recommenced following the publication of figures for 18 months to September 2018. The company has net liabilities of £329,000 with long-term debt of £5.68m offset by cash of £91,000. A subsidiary is securing debt and equity for a project that will generate management fees fir Via, but that won’t happen until September.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) is holding a general meeting on 3 July in order to gain shareholder approval for the acquisition of the 97.5% of Coal Tech and its related business that it does not own for £27.2m in shares at 2.75p each. CoalTech transforms discarded coal into coal pellets.

Lombard Odier sold 1.65 million shares in Chapel Down Group (CDGP) at 75p a share, reducing its stake to 11.5%. Chief executive Frazer Thompson exercised 2.39 million options at 12.5p a share and finance director Richard Woodhouse exercised 200,000 options at 10p a share and all these shares were sold at 75p each.

AIM 

Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) has received another bid approach. Previous potential bidder Science Group (SAG) has built up a 28.3% stake in Frontier so it is in a strong position. It says that it does not intend to sell the shares to another bidder and could block any move to cancel the AIM quotation.

Park Group (PARK) increased investment in the business last year and this knocked underlying pre-tax profit progress which was flat at £12.5m, before asset write-downs. The dividend was increased by 5% to 3.2p a share. There was a smaller contribution from Christmas savings, but growth from corporate promotions and incentives offset that. Increasingly, business is card-based. There was £36.9m of the company’s own cash at the end of March 2019. There will be a dip in profit this year due to higher overheads and profit growth should resume in 2020-21. Chief executive Ian O’Doherty has bought 30,000 shares at 69.5p each.

Stanley Gibbons (SGB) has resolved claims against former management at antique dealer Mallett and this will result in a cash inflow of £850,000 over 12 months.

Safestyle (SSTY) has acquired the freehold of a 161 bed hostel in Pisa for €3.25m. This takes the company’s portfolio to 14 hostels, including the Paris site that is under construction.

Last year was about OnTheMarket (OTMP) building up the number of agencies on its property portal and increasing the number of homebuyers looking at the properties advertised. The rival to Rightmove and Zoopla needs to convert these agencies into fee payers and that process has just started. OnTheMarket will continue to be loss-making this year with higher marketing spending likely to offset higher revenues. Cash is expected to fall from £15.7m to £6.6m at the end of January 2019.

NWF (NWF) did better than expected in the year to May 2019. The feeds business was slightly behind the previous year, but new business helped the food warehouse business to significantly improve its performance and fuels did better than expected despite the milder winter, although behind the previous year. The results will be published on 30 July.

Industrial equipment distributor HC Slingsby (SLNG) says that pressure on margin means that operating profit in the four months to April 2019 is lower, even though revenues are slightly higher. Uncertainty over Brexit is affecting levels of demand in the first half of 2019. Net debt was £1.3m at the end of May 2019.

The actuarial deficit on the Molins UK Pension Fund has been cut from £69.9m to £35.2m over a three-year period. Mpac (MPAC) believes the deficit should be eliminated by July 2024. That is based on maintained payments into the scheme.

Filta (FLTA) says that its figures will be more skewed towards the second half. This is partly down to the integration of the Watbio grease management business. There has been growth in the FiltaSeal business and the North American FiltaFry fryer management franchise business.

Avingtrans (AVG) has acquired the Booth Industries specialist door manufacturing business from the administrator of Redhall (RHL) for £1.8m in cash. Booth made a pre-tax profit of £300,000 last year.

MAIN MARKET 

Full year results from fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) were slightly better than expected. Revenues were 6% ahead at £209m, while re-tax profit was a similar percentage higher at £23.5m. The dividend was increased by 10% to 4.25p a share. Trading remains tough.

Aquila Services (AQSG) has acquired education and sports consultancy Oaks Consultancy for up to £1.7m in cash and shares. In the year to March 2019, Oaks made a pre-tax profit of £254,000 on revenues of £909,000.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) is converting $2.89m of loans into 121.5 million shares. Management made most of the loans and chief executive Colin Patterson will end up with 19.1% of Bluebird. Bluebird is debt-free.

Standard list shell Safe Harbour Holdings (SHH) lost £2.3m in 2018 due to overheads and due diligence costs. There is still £26.9m in the bank.

Andrew Hore

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