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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 June 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) has asked Woodford Investment Management to subscribe for £25m worth of shares at 176p a share. This is part of an agreement with Woodford that was outlined in the prospectus and it comes at a time when the fund manager is coming under pressure for poor performance and it has closed redemptions from one of its funds. The cash will pay off a loan and provide working capital.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) is making a £155,000 investment in Tasmania Energy Metals and the two companies will evaluate whether they should develop an integrated facility for the treatment of metal concentrate. NQ also has an exclusivity period until the end of July during which to decide whether to acquire Tasmania’s assets.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has signed an offtake agreement with a Swiss supplier of cannabis oil. This will be used to manufacture cannabidiol products.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has invested £300,000 in Apollon Formularies for a 0.71% stake. Apollon plans to open a licenced retail medicinal cannabis dispensary and processing facility in Jamaica by the end of the month.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that it is unlikely to return to paying dividends or return capital to shareholders before 2022 at the earliest. There is uncertainty about future revenue streams from fixed-odds betting terminals and how this could impact UK betting. It could reduce prize money levels. The onsite hotel has increased revenues by 15% so far this year.

Trading in shares of Equatorial Mining (EM.P) has been suspended ahead of publishing accounts. They should be published at the time of the general meeting to gain approval of the acquisition of Rwanda-based miner and explorer Eastinco. A £1.2m fundraising is also planned.

Altona Energy (ANR) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Shaanxi Qianyan Vanadium and Magnesium Mining, which owns a vanadium mine in China. The plan is to forma joint venture where Altona will be the controlling shareholder. Due diligence will take up to six months and there will be a JORC-compliant mineral resource classification report. The estimated reserve is 190,000 tonnes of vanadium.

Formation Group (FRM) has secured a £10m subscription at 7.71p a share through the acquisition of Zandra Holdings, whose asset is £10m in cash. This takes the Kennedy Private Trust stake in Formation to 89.99%. A £10m loan facility ahs also been secured.

The Little Bear mine area has been transferred to Panther Metals (PALM) and the Little Bear vein is a high priority drill target in order to see if the bonanza grade gold mineralisation still exists at depth. Panther has also applied for a licence over the Annaburroo gold project in Northern Territory, Australia.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has secured a £600,000 secured revolving credit facility and spent £465,000 on a bungalow in Didcot to be redeveloped into a home providing specialist support for four adults.

Valiant Investments (VALP) is raising £263,000 at 1.5p a share and it is changing its name to Eurocann International as an indication of the change in strategy to investment in the medicinal cannabis sector. Jeremy Rose will become chief executive and he has a number of directorships including of Speakeasy Cannabis.  Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi will become a non-executive.

EcoVista (EVTP) had £419,000 in cash at the end of February 2019 and it is seeking further investment. The interim loss declined from £238,000 to £202,000. Net assets were £1.19m at the end of February 2019.

Share trading in Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has been suspended because it has not published its 2018 accounts.

AIM  

The smart machines division of Vianet (VNET) is going to be the source of profit growth for the coming years. Profit can be improved by converting the vending machines that came with the Vendman acquisition to Vianet’s contactless technology, as well as winning new business. The smart zones pub dispensing technology division should be able to maintain its contribution with lower UK profit due to pub closures being offset by an improved performance in the US. Pre-tax profit is expected to improve from £2.7m to £2.9m, although earnings per share will be hit by a higher tax charge.

Interim revenues at smart home devices supplier LightwaveRF (LWRF) increased 120% to £2.5m, although there was still a pre-tax loss of £1.35m.  New distribution channels are helping to accelerate growth in revenues. The company could move into profit next year

Bad weather in the US has hampered the progress of Somero Enterprises (SOM) and led to forecast downgrades. Demand for concrete levelling equipment is normally stronger in the spring. This year’s earnings have been cut by 12% and next year by 11%. This will also reduce the potential dividend. The forecast 2019 normal dividend plus payout of surplus cash has been cut from 27.8 cents a share to 19.8 cents a share.

Waste-to-energy technology developer EQTEC (EQT) is acquiring a 19.99% stake in North Fork Community Power, a biomass gasification power project in California. EQTEC will supply $2.5m worth of equipment from its Newry site in return for the stake. It also expects to generate €2.2m from selling additional equipment.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has signed a distribution agreement for the Microsaic 4500 MID MS detector with CM Corporation for the South Korean market.

A shareholder owning a 17.2% stake in Rurelec (RUR) intends to propose an AGM resolution for the appointment of Gordon Fisher as a director. He is a former boss of a freight forwarding and customs brokerage. The electricity generator reduced its pre-tax loss from £5.8m to £600,000 in 2018, mainly due to lower overheads, exchange gains and a disposal gain. NAV is 4.4p a share, which is more than four times the share price.

Driver (DRV) had already said that its interims would be disappointing and pre-tax profit slumped from £2.11m to £762,000. The Middle East and Asia Pacific were tough markets with lower contributions. The expert witness operations made a reduced contribution. A 0.5p a share interim dividend was announced, and the ex-dividend date is 19 September. The company is also buying back shares in order to put a floor under the share price.

Chemicals-focused shell Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) is in exclusive discussions with Arclin Inc for a potential acquisition. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Acquisitions consultancy K3 Capital (K3C) has confirmed that trading is in line with previous guidance and EBITDA is at the upper end of the range of £4.5m to £5m. An 80% payout would mean a reduction in dividend from 11.2p a share to 7.2p a share.

Osirium Technologies (OSI) has won a contract with a European telecoms services provider. The three year contract covers cyber security software and services.

MAIN MARKET 

A strong first half has continued into the second half trading for automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) and pre-tax profit for the year to May 2019 is expected to exceed expectations by 10%. This suggests pre-tax profit of around £2m. The results will be announced on 12 September.

Caffyns (CFYN) reported a small improvement in underlying pre-tax profit to £1.45m in the year to March 2019. New car sales were 10% lower, which is more than three times the market decline. However, there was growth in used car sales and aftersales revenues.

Positive news from Argo Blockchain (ARB) where results for May were well ahead of the company’s budgets. New cryptomining hardware has started contributing faster than expected and rising cryptocurrency prices have improved mining yields. A further £2.85m is being invested in equipment. There was £685,000 generated in May, based on a bitcoin price of $8,575, while cash operating costs were £280,000. Second quarter figures will be better than expected. If the bitcoin price is maintained, then there will be £2.85m of crypto assets at the end of the second quarter.

BigDish (DISH) has raised £2.1m at 7.2p a share and this should be enough cash for the restaurant platform until 2021. The UK rollout will be accelerated.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) is acquiring the Minto mine from Capstone Mining. Pembridge will pay up to $20m out of future cash flows. Commercial production could recommence before the end of the year. A $10m loan has been secured.

Symphony International Holdings (SIHL) has made an investment in Soothe Healthcare, which manufactures feminine hygiene products under the Paree and Pariz brands.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 4 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Proton Partners International (PPI) joined NEX on 28 February and from day one it became one of the largest companies on the market. The introduction price was 225p, valuing the proton beam therapy provider at £334m, and the share price ended the week at 2275p (210p/245p). Woodford-related interests own 41.9% of Proton (www.proton-int.com) and they invested £20m at 200p a share on admission and promised to invest up to £80m at a maximum price of 176p each. Woodford received a further £1m worth of shares at 200p each in consideration for these arrangements. Proton is four years old and it has completed three centres offering proton beam therapy for cancer patients with another planned in Liverpool. Each cancer centre has cost between £35m and £42m. There is also a cancer diagnostics subsidiary. In the eleven months to January 2019, revenues were £1.11m and the loss was £18.6m.

Formation Group (FRM) owns 4.35 million shares in Proton Partners International, which it acquired in March 2018 at 115p each. The 225p a share flotation price means that the value of the 2.85% stake has nearly doubled to £9.78m. At Formation’s AGM, the resolutions to reappoint Grunberg and Co as auditor and for the board to authorise its remuneration were not passed. Michael Kennedy has resigned from the board.

Trading in Dozen Savings (DS01) 5% secured bonds March 2020 commenced on 1 March. So far £91,000 worth have been issued. The plan is to raise up to £7m. The company has been created to offer the bonds to customers of its financial services-focused parent company, Project Imagine (www.projectimagine.com). The bonds cost £100 each and the price at the end of the first day of trading was £107.50 (£90/£125). The FCA has granted Project Imagine an e-money licence and an investment licence.

IFA consolidator AFH Financial (AFHP) says that trading is in line with expectations in the first four months of the year. Past acquisitions are achieving more than 90% of their deferred consideration targets.

Field Systems Designs (FSD) reported a lower profit in the six months to November 2018 because of delays in energy form waste business. Two of these projects have still not been completed. Sales to the water sector have been strong, but they are likely to decline as the latest water regulation AMP6 period. In the six months to November 2018, revenues were flat at £11.8m, but pre-tax profit fell from £168,000 to £46,000.

Sandal (SAND) reported a dip in interim revenues from £1.88m to £1.73m and that led to a swing from profit to loss. EnergieMiHome home automation product sales were lower than expected but the products are being sold in more outlets.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has spent £6.17m on two properties that are both let to the Communities and Local Government department, as Jobcentre Plus centres, on leases with an unexpired term of 8.4 years. The property in Bolton cost £2.54m and has a net initial yield of 7%. The Northampton site cost £3.63m and has a net initial yield of 6.75%.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) says that investee company Essential Learning has been placed in liquidation after problems with historic data led to the company losing its government-funded training contracts. Milamber invested £228,000 in Essential in a two year period and provided services worth £270,000. It also issued £100,000 worth of shares to Essential minority shareholder Goldvista Properties. Goldvista has loaned Milamber £310,000 and this is likely to be converted into shares. Goldvista’s £6,000 loan to Essential has been written off. The shares issued to Gravity Investment Group for a 15% stake in Essential have been cancelled. Milamber is conducting due diligence on apprenticeship training businesses.

Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has raised £1m at 90p a share and the cash will be used to invest in healthcare, education and eco-tourism businesses in Africa that are two-to-three years from profitability and have a positive social impact.

Trading in Via Developments (VIA1) debentures has been suspended because the accounts for the year to September 2018 have not been published.

Karoo Energy (KEP) says it intends to move to AIM “as soon as practically possible”. A general meeting has been called for 18 March in order to gain shareholder approval to issue shares at the time of the move.

Altona Energy (ANR) has left AIM and the board intends to visit a vanadium mine in China that could become part of a joint venture. Altona still intends to invest in the Arckaringa coal project in South Australia.

John Eckersley is stepping down as chief executive of Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) in order to focus on his role as managing partner of Castlefield Partners and Alistair Currie will become chief executive.

AIM  

Internet of Things products supplier LightwaveRF (LWRF) is raising up to £3m through a placing, subscription and open offer at 8.5p a share. Year-on-year growth in sales in the first quarter was 156% taking the figure to £1.15m.

Churchill China (CHH) and Portmeirion (PMP) have bought the stake in ceramic materials supplier Furlong Mills that was previously owned by Dudson. Churchill has paid £454,000 for 9.5%, which takes its stake to 55.6%. This means that Furlong will be consolidated in Churchill’s figures. In 2017, revenues were £8.6m and pre-tax profit was £500,000. Portmeirion spent £363,000 to take its stake to 44.4%.

President Energy (PPC) is raising up to £6.5m at 8p a share, including a £2.8m debt for equity swap by the chief executive, to invest in its gas infrastructure and accelerate its drilling programme.

Itaconix (ITX) has secured an exclusive global supply agreement with Nouryon for bio-based polymers used in hair care, skin care and cosmetics. This contract comes after a joint development agreement with Nouryon and follows the previous supply agreement for polymers used in detergents. Nouryon will sell the polymers to its own customers in the personal care sector for use in their consumer products.

Audioboom (BOOM) is raising £1.5m at 1.3p a share and this cash will enable the podcast company to make upfront payments for content. Audioboom says that it is on course to achieve higher revenues in 2019 than in the 13 months to December 2018. The success in generating revenues and orders is helping to attract content providers.

Parity (PTY) has won a two-year contract with the Department for Education for the digital transformation of the Funding and Contracting Service, which makes £6bn of payments each year. The deal could be worth up to £4.5m. Matthew Bayfield has taken over as chief executive of Parity from Alan Rommel, who is chief operating officer. Bayfield plans to focus more on the data consultancy activities.

Westmount Energy Ltd (WTE) is nearly doubling its shareholding in JHI Associates Inc to 3% and the investment is 81.8% of Westmount’s gross assets. JHI’s main asset is a 17.5% carried interest in the Canje block, offshore Guyana, which is operated by ExxonMobil. The first well could be drilled by early next year.

Verona Pharma (VRP) used up £18.1m of cash in its operating activities in 2018. There is still £64.5 in the bank. Verona generated positive data for ensifentrine (RPL554) used as a treatment for COPD in a phase IIb clinical trial. The focus is COPD and further trials for cystic fibrosis are unlikely in the short-term. Financial resources will be focused on progressing the nebulised ensifentrine to a phase III study. Verona is likely to seek partners for its dry powder and pressured meter dose inhaler formulations. The results of the part one of the dry powder inhaler clinical trial for COPD could be available before the end of the first quarter. The second phase should then commence with results expected in the second half of the year.

Trading in Herencia Resources (HER) shares has been suspended because it appears that pre-conditions for the financing that has been negotiated are not likely to be met. More cash is required to enable the company to continue trading.

Telematics supplier Quartix (QTX) increased its fleet sales, but insurance business fell and overall revenues profit are set to decline in 2019. In 2018, revenues were £25.7m and pre-tax profit was £8.1m, but that figure is forecast to fall to £6.5m this year.

VietNam Holding Ltd (VNH) has published a prospectus for its move to a premium listing, which should happen on 8 March.

Adamas Finance Asia Ltd (ADAM) has commenced a share buy back scheme for up to $500,000 of shares at a maximum price of 79 cents a share, which is a 25% discount to pro forma NAV. Adamas has separately agreed to buy back 730,529 shares at 10 cents each. The first tranche of 159,847 shares has been issued to China Aerospace for its stake in Hong Kong Mining.

NetScientific (NSCI) says that it will not get the required backing for the resolution to cancel the AIM quotation, so it has adjourned its general meeting. Shareholders owning more than 30% are against the plan.

MyCelx Tech (MYX) has raised $1.83m at 230p a share in order to finance the potential increase in demand for water treatment services.

Telit (TCM) has sold its automotive division for $105m and has received $67.5m in cash, but it has granted the buyer a loan of $38.5m for a six week period because other debt finance was not obtained in time.

MAIN MARKET 

Air Partner (AIR) says that its pre-tax profit will be at least £5.8m in the year to January 2019. The charter division was boosted by strong demand for freight and commercial jets. The consulting and training division has won new contracts.

G3 Exploration Ltd (G3E) plans its third demerger in its time as a quoted company. This time shares in Green Dragon Gas, which owns its producing assets, will be distributed to shareholders. Green Dragon Gas will then either be sold or float on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Wealth manager Walker Crips Group (WCW) says that political uncertainty has hit broking commissions and the launch of new products, which means that the 2018-19 results will be lower than for 2017-18. Chief executive Sean Kin Wai Lam has bought 15,000 shares at 28p each.

Laura Ashley (ALY) has rejected the bid approach by Flacks and says that the indicative offer of 2.748p a share fails to provide a fair value for shareholders.

London Finance and Investment Group (LFI) has a 43.8% stake in NEX-quoted Western Selection. In the six months to December 2018, NAV fell from 65.4p a share to 62p a share. The interim dividend is unchanged at 0.55p a share.

BigDish (DISH) has launched a new restaurant bookings website and upgraded its technology. It is also widening its coverage to include Southampton.

Path Investments (PATH) says that the period of exclusivity included in its heads of agreement with ARC Marlborough has been extended to 29 March. The plan is to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland, via a share issue.

Oil and gas firm Curzon Energy (CZN) has raised £95,000 at 1.58p a share, which is a 21% premium to the market price. The cash will be invested in a gas project in Texas.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 4 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET  

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore: Quoted Micro 4th June 2018

 NEX EXCHANGE

Stratmin Global Resources which was quoted AIM until August 2017, is expected to join NEX on 6 June.  Stratmin lost the AIM quotation because it failed to complete a reverse takeover, partly due to the fact that it was waiting for a promised investment. Stratmin is still in the process of completing the acquisition of Australian gold explorer Signature Gold, which would be paid for by the issue of 450 million shares at 2p each. After the deal, the company will change its name to Tectonic Gold.

Ananda Investments is the latest cannabis-focused investment vehicle to be joining NEX. The pre-money valuation is £500,000 and the minimum fundraising is £750,000. Ananda is willing to raise up to £4m. There are already potential investments being assessed. A reverse takeover valued at up to £10m appears most likely.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) says that 40%-owned AfriAg (Pty) Ltd increased its net profit from £104,000 to £179,000. This was equity accounted by AfriAg Global and the £72,000, up from £42,000, contribution helped offset the operating loss from the agricultural logistics group’s operations. The overall loss increased from £9,000 to £38,000. AfriAg (Pty) Ltd had the right to take a 60% stake in House of Hemp but this deal was terminated when the South African government delayed setting up the legal framework for medicinal cannabis. Focus has turned to other countries.

KR1 (KR1) generated gains of £4.3m on its trading in digital coins and tokens during 2017. There was also a total unrealised gain of £10.8m on these investments and a £1.18m foreign exchange gain. The total pre-tax profit was £14.5m, with a tax charge of £2.87m. That tax charge is included in trade creditors due within one year of £4.21m. There is cash in the bank, but total current assets were £3.5m. A creditor has subsequently been paid with £79,000 of shares, issued at 10p each. The KR1 share price has more than quadrupled over the past year and there is regular daily trading in the shares.

Workspace provider and art collector V22 (V22) reported a 2017 pre-tax profit of £175,000, down from £1.01m the previous year. The profit included a gain on the sale of an option to acquire one of the company’s buildings. The NAV is £1.34m, equivalent to 4.26p a share. That increases to 8.68p a share if the company’s art collection is revalued. The shares are trading at 2.95p (2.7p/3.2p).

Housebuilder St Mark Homes (SMAP) reported a reduction in pre-tax profit from £652,000 to £384,000 in 2017. There was a reduction in revenues from £1.34m to £120,000 and the share of operating profit from a joint venture was more than halved. There was cash in the bank of £514,000 at the end of 2017. St Mark has raised £3.47m from a 6% bond. This cash will be invested in new projects. The NAV is 134p a share, compared with a share price of 95p (90p/100p).

Peru-based gold and silver producer VI Mining (VIM) reported a tripled loss of $6.33m for 2017. No revenues were generated and the NAV was $2.56m. That was before VIM acquired two projects for $51.3m and raised £5.35m at 500p a share.

Georgia-focused oil and gas company Block Energy withdrew from NEX on 23 March and it is set to join AIM on 11 June. It will be valued at £10.3m at 4p a share.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has identified an acquisition that could provide the opportunity to move to the standard list.

Iran-focused investment company Indigo Holdings (INGO) is reviewing its strategic options. Hamish Harris and Nicholas Harwood are stepping down from the board.

First Sentinel (FSBN) generated initial revenues of £156,000 but, even excluding admission expenses of £65,000, it lost £117,000 in the 15 months to December 2017. The NAV of the small company adviser and investor was £1.26m at the end of the year. Since then, a further £1.5m has been raised via a convertible bond.

Formation Group (FRM) fell back into loss in the six months to February 2018. Revenues fell by 15% to £17.2m and there was s wing from a pre-tax profit of £15,000 to a loss of £277,000. The loss was greater than the second half loss last year. The NAV is £9.95m, including £3.2m in cash.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) has received repayment of the loan it made to a developer of a retail scheme in York. This cash will be used to finance any property deals that management feel are good value, thanks to more realistic pricing.

Trading in the shares of DagangHalal (DGHL) and Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) have been suspended. DagangHal has failed to publish its 2017 accounts. Equatorial is in negotiations with South African mining company ARQ Minerals, which intends to invest £50,000 for 500 million shares. This has led to a delay in the publication of accounts.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has appointed Allenby to replace City and Merchant as its corporate adviser.

AIM   

Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) had already warned that its TriConnex utility connections business was suffering from delays and even so interim figures showed a 4% rise in revenues to £62.9m and a 15% increase in pre-tax profit to £3.4m. The interim dividend was raised by 5% to 2.2p a share. Delays to the commencement of projects continue but the group order book has increased to more than £234m.

RedstoneConnect (REDS) is selling its systems integration and managed services businesses for £21.6m, so that it can concentrate on its software for smart buildings. The cash raised will pay off existing debt. Last year, the software division had revenues of £5.3m and made an operating profit of £1.4m.

Maritime monitoring equipment supplier SRT Marine Systems (SRT) has raised £3m at 25p a share and it is swapping £1.15m of short term loan notes for new three year loan notes. The cash will finance systems projects and product development. SRT is working on projects worth £30.5m.

A positive AGM statement from Parity (PTY) confirms that the trading of the consultancy and staffing divisions is going well. Parity should be cash positive by the end of the year and there is a strong pipeline of potential business.

Fishing tackle retailer Fishing Republic (FISH) increased revenues by 58% to £9.15m, but it slumped into loss. Trading was weaker than expected, particularly in the fourth quarter, and gross margin fell sharply even before stock write-offs. Fishing Republic has relaunched its website and the review of operations is ongoing. Five stores have been closed, reducing the total number to 14.

Share (SHRE) increased its revenues by one-fifth in the first quarter as the services provided for Computershare make a contribution in the full quarter. Broker commissions increased by 27% on the back of a 5% increase in trading volumes. First quarter market share dipped from 3.66% to 3.54%. An upgrade to the website has been completed.

Itaconix (ITX) is restructuring its UK operations in order to focus on core products. The main focus will be the US polymer operations. The annual fixed cost base will fall to less than £3.5m in 2019.

IDOX (IDOX) has appointed David Meaden as chief executive. He has experience of the public sector and software development. The information management software and services provider has closed its loss-making digital division. Underlying EBITDA is likely to be in the range of £13m-£15m for the full year, compared with previous expectations of £22.8m. Excluding digital, the EBITDA will be between £18m and £20m.

Immupharma (IMM) has further analysed the results of the phase III lupus treatment trial for Lupuzor. There were different results in the European and US parts of the trial with antibody positive patients in Europe showed a statistically significant improvement.

MAIN MARKET    

Haynes Publishing (HYNS) expects to report a better than expected full year profit. Underlying pre-tax profit will be 10% ahead at around £2.9m. Earnings per share will be hit by US tax changes.

Falcon Media House (FAL) has decided to leave the standard list. The digital media group says that the share price fall has hampered its ability to raise more cash to develop its Q-Flow technology. Revenues have not come through as quickly as expected. If cash were raised, it could reduce the free float so the shares would be suspended.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 19 March 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Formation Group (FRM) has been repaid its £5m loan for a development in Wembley and it retains a 40% share of the profit of the development. This cash has been used to invest in acquired a 3.44% stake in Proton Partners International, which has an operational proton beam therapy centre in South Wales with two more sites planned. A treatment unit in Abu Dhabi is expected to be launched in 2019.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has loaned £600,000 to TG Engineering, which supplies steel and aluminium components to the aerospace and scientific sectors. The Dorset-based company will be 35%-owned by Capital for Colleagues and 20%-owned by the employee share ownership trust. The rest of the shares will be owned by the original founders and management.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) intends to focus on its main projects in Ireland. The interim loss was reduced from £99,000 to £75,000. There was net debt of £35,000 at the end of 2017.

Block Commodities (BLOC) has agreed to acquire a 21% stake South African fertiliser and plant products wholesaler VIPA Holdings. Block is paying £150,000 for new shares and acquiring £610,000 worth of existing shares in return for 748.5 million Block shares. VIPA is loss-making following the withdrawal of a major international trading partner. The ongoing focus will be fertiliser and the investment in Advanced Agricultural Holdings will be unwound with the 221.6 million shares issued as initial consideration returned to the company.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has invested £500,000, at £22 a share, in Engage Technology Partners. This follows an initial subscription of £400,000 at £15 a share. Primorus owns 3.6% of Engage, which builds SaaS-based employee workflow software.

Hellenic Capital (HECP) had £272 in the bank at the end of 2017, but since then £179,000 has been raised at 0.5p a share. There was £120,000 generated from operations in 2017 but that was due to a £143,000 increase in creditors. An investment property in Leeds is in the books at £204,000, while the NAV was £58,000 at the end of 2017. The property is being sold for £235,000 and a £5,000 non-refundable deposit has been paid.

Globe Capital Ltd (GCAP) has raised £500,000 via subscription at 0.75p a share. The cash will finance a new office in Dubai. Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised £51,000 at 0.15p a share. The 84.7%-owned Flamethrower has acquired National-Preservation.com, which focuses on British railway heritage, and has nearly 10,000 registered users. Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has raised £40,000 from an issue of 5% unsecured irredeemable convertible loan notes and a further £10,000 could come from the exercise of warrants. Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £590,000 from a debenture issue, taking the total raised to nearly £6m. The accounting reference date is being changed from March to September.

In 2017, Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) achieved a total return on its portfolio of 11.5%, ahead of its benchmark total return of 7%.

DHAIS (DHAP) is leaving NEX on 18 April, nearly ten years after joining the market. The business is being streamlined and the focus is organic growth of the hearing aid operations. Shareholders owning 78.9% of DHAIS agree to the withdrawal so the company does not have to hold a general meeting.

AIM   

Diurnal Group (DNL) is raising up to £11m at 190p a share in order to finance the launch of the Alkindi hormonal disease treatment for children in Europe and complete the development of Chronocourt in Europe and start a phase III study in the US. IP Group is converting its loan into shares.

Shares in VR Education (VRE) immediately went to a premium when trading commenced. It raised £6m at 10p a share and the share price ended the week at 12.25p. More than two million shares were traded during the week.

1Spatial (SPA) has sold Enables IT back to the founder for £1, while retaining a 19.9% stake. 1Spatial has also injected £150,000 into the business and loaned a further £85,000. The group will be able to focus on its geospatial data operations, which are performing better than expected. 1Spatial is on course to approach breakeven in the year to January 2019.

Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) is outperforming new and used car markets, although like-for-like sales are still lower. Profit is expected to decline this year but Marshall should be able to continue its progressive dividend policy. There is a significant capex programme but the sale of the leasing business means that net debt is £2.2m.

Pennant International Group (PEN) already has nearly all of the £20.5m revenues forecast for 2018 covered by orders. Pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from £2.1m to £3.5m.

Amryt (AMYT) says that sales of Lojuxta were higher than expected last year. The figure was €11.9m, against the forecast €10.5m. There is still €20.5m in the bank.

Futura Medical (FUM) announced positive pharmacokinetic results for higher doses of the MED2002 erectile dysfunction treatment. This will enable US phase III trials to start later this year. There is £8.36m in cash plus tax credits due.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) says that Cedex Holdings, where it could acquire a majority interest, has launched its token pre-sale event. One Ethereum (equivalent to £437) will equal 900 CEDEX coins. The blockchain-based online diamonds exchange says that there is strong pre-sale demand.

Genedrive (GDR) has started to sell its Genedrive HCV ID kit in the EMEA region. Sales in Asia Pacific should start in the next few weeks.

Consumer security software provider Kape Technologies (KAPE) improved its pre-tax profit from $4.8m to $6.7m. There is net cash of $69.5m. A 2018 profit of $8.3m is forecast.

Trevor Brown gas cut his stake in Feedback (FDBK) from 11.5% to 9.75%. Lindsay Melvin has taken on the role of finance director.

MAIN MARKET    

Advanced foams supplier Zotefoams (ZTF) continues to benefit from investment in capacity and there is more to come. There was growth from all divisions and a good spread of revenues from different sectors. In 2017, revenues were 22% higher at £70.2m, while underlying earnings per share were 14% ahead at 16.6p. The dividend is 3% higher at 5.93p a share. The partnership with Nike to develop footwear technology and supply materials is yet to make a significant contribution.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) returned to profit last year and both its telecoms and biomedical divisions have good growth prospects. There is $24m in cash in the bank.

Sportech (SPO) has ended its formal sales process because no suitable offers were received. Trading has been poor and there will be asset write-offs in the 2017 figures. Andrew Gaughan has been appointed as chief executive.

Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) has acquired Imaging Biometrics for $68,134 in cash and 11 million shares at 4p each, plus $75,000 to cover debt obligations. The final 6.2 million of these shares will be paid by the end of September 2018. The Wisconsin-based company has been managing the CE marking and FDA clearance process for Flying Brands’ StoneChecker visualisation software, as well as commercialising perfusion software IB Neuro, which provides additional information about tumours.

World Trade Systems (WTS) has submitted its application to the International Stock Exchange.

Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) announced a collaboration that will generate $250,000 for the blood stem cell-based treatments developer. The partner is a US-based leader in the field of blood cancer treatment and the deal involves the development of a type of humanised mice.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 5 February 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Health and community care property developer Ashley House (ASH) reported a decline in interim revenues from £10.7m to £7m and the company fell into loss. A second half recovery should mean that full year revenues will be flat at £18.7m but there will be a full year profit of £1.8m. The new joint venture with Morgan Sindall has a pipeline valued at £203m but the revenues of the joint venture will no longer be consolidated in the Ashley House revenues.

Property construction and development company Formation Group (FRM) increased revenues from £29.4m to £37m in the year to August 2017, but there was a swing from a pre-tax profit of £2.16m, thanks to the benefit of the Norwich House profit share agreement, to a loss of £152,000. The cash position has improved significantly. There was net debt of £3m but this became net cash of £4.23m at the end of August 2017. The NAV of £10.2m is four times the market capitalisation.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) increased its NAV from £486,000 to £714,000 in he year to September 2017. There was £103,000 in the bank. Since the balance sheet date, Gledhow has sold 6,500 shares in Coinsilium Ltd (COIN) and this generated a profit on the original investment of £115,000. Gledhow still owns 1.8 million Coinsilium shares. The share price has fallen back from its high but the value of the stake is still around £180,000.

Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has invested $443,000 in 4.72 million tokens in the Bluzelle project. Bluzelle is a scalable database service for decentralised applications. A further €167,000 has been invested in 2.2 million Rock tokens for the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX) platform. Kryptonite 1 will become a sponsor for token-based projects listing on the GBX. Kryptonite 1 has also invested $174,000 in 12,800 tokens in the Elastos project, which is developing a virtual, digital smart economic zone.

Botswana-based coal mine developer Minergy, where Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) invested $260,000 in March 2011, plans to join AIM later this year.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has committed to property purchases totalling £20.1m. In the six months to October 2017, revenues were 24% higher at £1.47m but the pre-tax profit dipped from £598,000 to £352,000. That was because there was a £500,000 disposal project in the comparative period. After this period, Ace raised the £4.85m it was seeking from the issue of convertibles.

Healthcare information and clinical support systems provider DXS International (DXSP) continues to be hampered by the lack of NHS spending. In the six months to October 2017, revenues fell from £1.78m to £1.61m and there was a swing from profit to loss. Tax credits more than covered the loss.

Gunsynd (GUN) is assisting analytics software developer FastBase with its proposed AIM flotation in the second quarter and in return it will receive a consultancy fee of 0.75% of the market capitalisation of FastBase after admission. This fee will be paid in FastBase ordinary shares.

IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has raised £75,000 at 1p a share. Each share comes with a warrant exercised at 2p a share. The cash will be used to finance the feasibility study for PL3850 in Avoca, County Wicklow.

First Sentinel (FSEN) is planning to raise up to £4m from a bond issue. The secured bonds have a 7% coupon and are repayable at a 5% premium on 28 February 2023. These bonds will be traded on NEX. The investment is partly protected by a credit insurance policy provided by Equinox Global. The cash will be invested in Perennial Enterprise, which will use it to fund its invoice discounting business.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is loaning £150,000 to YBOO Ltd, which operates a mobile app that enables customers to find the best mobile network deal. The loan is repayable in three years or convertible into 15% of YBOO. The conversion could be triggered by a flotation, fundraising or disposal.

EcoVista (EVTP) has written down its holding in Italian property business Cignella by £482,000, leaving it valued at £152,000.

Karoo Energy (KEP) has reported positive exploration news for its oil and gas assets in Botswana. In the six months to October 2017, the loss increased from £127,000 to £425,000, but most of the increase is due to the costs of trying to gain an AIM quotation. There is £187,000 in cash.

BWA Group (BWAP) says that its investee company Prego International is migrating from Guernsey to Norway and restructuring its shareholder base. Once this is completed there is a plan to apply for a Norwegian matched bargain dealing facility.

Doriemus (DOR) is leaving NEX Exchange and concentrating on the ASX listing it gained on 29 December 2017.

Via Developments (VIA1) has raised £175,000 from a further issue of 7% debenture stock 2020.

AIM   

Frontier IP (FIPP) investee company MolEndoTech has secured a subsidiary of fully listed Halma as its partner for a test for faecal matter in marine bathing water. Frontier IP has a 19.6% stake in MolEndoTech with a book value of £10,000.

Trading in the shares of Utilitywise (UTW) has been suspended because it has been unable to complete its annual report and accounts by the end of January. The main problem is the change in the revenue recognition policy.

Mike McAuliffe surprised the market by resigning as chief executive of Seeing Machines (SEE) a matter of weeks after £35m was raised. Executive chairman Ken Kroeger will take control.

PCI-PAL (PCIP) has raised £4.95m at 45p a share. The cash will be used to grow the North American operations of the secure contact centre payments provider. There will also be higher marketing spending and investment in other markets.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has raised £675,000 from a share issue at 0.2p each. A company related to PCGE chairman Richard Poulden invested £125,000 of this money. This follows a settlement with the former chief executive that cost £286,350.

Veltyco Group (VLTY) will potentially acquire Ruleo Alpenland, which operates the BTTY sportsbook brand, for €6.5m. An exclusivity period lasts until 15 March. This would provide an opportunity to grow in Germany and Austria.

Tracsis (TRCS) has acquired Travel Compensation Services, which provides software for delay repay solutions on the railways, and Delay Repay Sniper, which runs a web portal for rail delay compensation. The combined businesses are profitable.

Fishing Republic (FISH) has raised £1.3m at 10p a share, the original placing price when the fishing tackle retailer floated. The cash will be invested in the e-commerce operations.

ASX-listed Newfield Resources is planning a potential all-share bid for Stellar Diamonds (STEL) which values the diamonds company at 12.7p a share. The offer is likely to be 0.76 of a Newfield share for each Stellar share. Newfield has diamond licences in Sierra Leone. This deal would provide access to the finance to develop the Tongo-Tonguma diamonds project. Newfield is undertaking a placing and non-renounceable rights issue and has loaned Stellar $3m.

Altus Strategies (ALS) has completed the acquisition of gold assets from TSX-V-listed Legend Gold in return for shares. These Altus shares will be distributed to Legend shareholders and this will provide a shareholder base when Altus achieves its TSX-V listing. The deal gives Altus six gold projects in western and southern Mali.

MAIN MARKET  

Book publisher Quarto Group (QRT) says that full year profit will be in line with expectations. Net debt has risen by $2.1m to $64m but this is still a £11.8m reduction on the June 2017 figure. The full year figures will be published on 29 March.

Sportech (SPO) has extended the timetable for seeking valid offers for the company.

SQN Asset Finance Income Fund (SQN) was involved in the purchase and onward sale of the business of the former AIM-quoted Snoozebox. The new owner is involved in modular accommodation for the oil and gas sector.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 22 May 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

London and south east England residential property developer St Mark Homes (SMAP) says it will in the immediate future focus on homes for sale for less than £600,000, because this is the London help to buy limit. In 2016, revenues fell from £3.1m to £1.34m but the unchanged contribution from joint ventures and a release of negative goodwill of £150,000 – a non-cash item – meant that pre-tax profit improved from £549,000 to £652,000. There is still negative goodwill of £137,000 on the balance sheet which is likely to boost a future financial year. A lower tax charge helped earnings per share to rise from 14.8p to 16.6p. Total dividends were 11% higher at 5p a share. There was a cash outflow from operations in the period. The NAV is £5.8m, following a share issue that raised £690,000 net of costs via an open offer to existing shareholders. That is 131p a share. Finance director Sean Ryan acquired 4,912 shares at an average price of 94p each.

Markets operator WMC Retail Partners (WELL) benefitted from an increased valuation of its Luton market but trading was down on the previous year. In 2016, revenues dipped from £4.31m to £4.23m, including £100,000 of consultancy revenues, and a pre-tax profit of £13,000 was turned into a £58,000 loss. WMC is on course to reopen its Cornish site under the name Cornucopia in July.

Property developer Formation Group (FRM) moved back into profit at the interim stage based on continuing operations. Revenues doubled from £10.2m to £20.2m, while an operating loss of £84,000 was turned into a profit of £48,000. The corresponding period also included a £1.08m write-back of loans secured on past properties. There was £1.58m in the bank at the end of February 2017. The NAV was £10.4m.

Block Energy (BLOK) says that Schlumberger has completed the acquisition of three production sharIng contracts in the Republic of Georgia that are near to Bock’s own interests. This indicates the interest in the region. Roger McMechan has been appointed as technical manager for Block’s interests.

Investment company Early Equity (EEQP) increased its interim loss from £46,000 to £67,000. The NAV fell from £770,000 to £639,000 at the end of February 2017. The value of investments in BWA Group and Alpha Prospects declined and the investment in Devilfish Poker was written off, although it is hoped that there could eventually some value to the shareholding. Yicom Global, a healthcare products supplier primarily focused on China, has been increasing its number of sales agents and sales.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that nano-payments company SatoshiPay has linked up with PayPal so that 200 million users could potentially use its service. Coinsilium has a 12.1% stake in SatoshiPay.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has paid £75,000 for a 15% in Essential Learning, which provides apprenticeship training. The UK Apprenticeship Levy is expected to generate £2.8bn to be invested in training. In the nine months to April 2016, revenues were £616,000 and lost nearly £30,000. Share placings at 16p a share and 20p a share raised a total of £75,000.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has raised £500,000 at 1p a share and it hopes to raise a further £50,000. Management says that the economic climate has delayed sales of its Tracksure rail safety components and Wheelsure is short of cash to develop the business. The cash is needed for marketing, product development and patent protection. There are trials of products in process. Wheelsure is focusing on generating more sales from existing customers while targeting longer-term sales from new customers.

Karoo Energy (KEP) has raised £465,000 at 3p a share. These investors will receive a warrant exercisable at 6p a share for each share they subscribed for. The warrants last for 36 months. The cash will be used for shale gas exploration in Botswana.

AIM

A strong end to the financial year means that Bilby (BILB) expects to report EBITDA of at least £3.6m, compared with a forecast of £3m. The building services provider says that demand was strong at the end of the financial year with some work starting earlier than expected. There is a cash balance of £2.5m. The figures for the year to March 2017 will be reported before the end of June.

Mortice (MORT) has sparked another profit forecast upgrade following a trading statement. House broker finnCap has increased its 2016-17 pre-tax profit forecast from $4.3m to $5m and next year’s forecast has been raised from $6.2m to $7m. Revenues are better than expected and costs have been kept under control. Net debt was $13.6m at the end of March 2017. The facilities management and security divisions both generated much higher revenues.

Gemfields (GEM) has received an unsolicited bid from 47.1% shareholder Pallinghurst Resources. The offer is not generous. Pallinghurst is offering 1.91 of its shares for each Gemfields share. That is equivalent to 38.5p a share or a total value of £211.5m.

Veltyco Group (VLTY) did even better than expected in 2016. Revenues were 7% ahead of forecast at €6.1m. Underlying pre-tax profit was €1.74m and Northland forecasts a 2017 profit of €4.27m, helped by recent acquisitions. The online gaming marketing business has started 2017 strongly.

RNA therapeutics developer Silence Therapeutics (SLN) has gained a European Patent Office grant for its chemical modification technology and expects to use this patent to generate revenues from specific medicines that are already undergoing clinical trials.

A recovery in oil and gas demand has helped Hardide (HDD) in the first half. Revenues increased by 59% to £1.51m. The underlying operating loss fell from £1.02m to £720,000. Production is building up at the new US facility. Sales are yet to come through from the approvals already given by Airbus Group. A $100,000 order has been received from General Electric.

LightwaveRF (LWRF) reported a slightly reduced interim loss on revenues that grew from £804,000 to £1.17m. The loss fell from £384,000 to £333,000. The home automation business has developed technology and it needs to generate higher sales in order to move into profit. A partnership with Google in the voice control area has propelled the share price upwards.

ImmuPharma (IMM) says that the latest clinical trial results show that Lupuzor, a potential treatment for Lupus, has a robust safety profile. The phase III trial of 200 patients has been going on for 52 weeks and the full results should be available in the first quarter of 2018.

Tiso Blackstar Group SE (TBGR) is selling its 22.9% stake in industrial holding company KTH back to the company. The payment of around £86m will be paid over 19 months with £7m due before the end of 2017 and the rest by the end of 2018. Tiso Blackstar will repay its debt of £23m and a special dividend of £2.3m. The rest of the cash will be reinvested in media investments. There are plans to move the listing in South Africa from AltX to the Main Market. The company is also moving its registered office from Malta to the UK.

Management has announced a potential bid for recruitment company InterQuest Group (ITQ) but the independent directors are not impressed. Chisbridge Ltd is offering 42- a share. The two independent directors say the offer undervalues the company.

Brave Bison (BBSN) has approached Zinc Media (ZIN) and merger discussions are underway. Herald Investments has stakes in both companies.

Edenville Energy (EDL), which operates the Rukwa coal project in Tanzania, has signed a letter of intent to supply 1,000t of coal/month and this could increase to 7,000t/month. This should hopefully be followed by a formal coal supply agreement so that deliveries can start in July.

Tissue Regenix (TRX) is in talks to acquire US-based regenerative medicine company CellRight Technologies.

MAIN MARKET

Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) says that the prospectus relating to the acquisition of kidney stone analysis company Stone Checker Software has been approved by the authorities. A placing has raised £550,000 at 3p a share.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 6 February 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Bondholders in US-focused oil and gas company Diversified Gas & Oil (DOIL) have overwhelmingly opted to take the cash alternative ahead of the flotation of the ordinary shares on AIM on 3 February. A total of £10.35m worth of bonds (97.1% of bonds in issue) are taking cash, while £198,000 of bonds will be swapped for 380,769 ordinary shares. There will be £106,640 worth of bonds remaining in issue but there will be no trading facility. The ordinary shares of Diversified Oil & Gas (DGOC) raised £39.7m at 65p a share, valuing the company at £68.6m. The share price slipped to 56.25p at the end of the first day’s trading.

Property investor Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) had a property portfolio worth £28.5m at the end of October 2016 and this generates annual rental income of £2.31m. The NAV was £18.25m at the end of October 2016 with a £500,000 revaluation gain partly offset by the final dividend payment.Net debt was £6.7m, down from £7.7m at the year end and there are assets held for sale worth £6.3m. Since October, a property was acquired at Hanley for £9m. The deal was financed by a £13.75m loan facility from Lloyds Bank with the rest of the cash used to refinance debt relating to five other properties.

DagangHalal (DGHL), which operates an e-marketplace for Halal verification, has parted company with its chief executive and trading in the shares has recommenced. Mohamed Hussain was paid the compensation that he was entitled to in his contract but he is claiming for twice his annual salary – equivalent to £195,000. Ali Sabri Sani Abdullah has stepped up from finance director to chief executive, while Jeff Teo and Derek Marsh have been appointed to the board. Cairn has replaced Arden as corporate adviser. The share price has not changed since trading recommenced.

AIM-quoted Metal Tiger (MTR) has sold its 28.2% in MetalNRG (MNRG) to Value Generation Ltd, a business associated with MetalNRG director Paul Johnson, and Gervaise Heddle, which each own 14.1% of the resources shell. The sales price was 0.26271p a share, whereas Metal Tiger had paid 0.2628p a share nearly one year ago.

BWA Group (BWAP) says it has been in talks with three potential acquisitions but none of the potential deals progressed. There was a £16,276 cash outflow from operations in the six months to October 2016, which was partially offset by the sale of an investment. BWA had a NAV of £562,000, with £41,593 in the bank, at the end of October 2016.

Botswana-focused oil and gas explorer Karoo Energy (KEP) says that exploration work on its two licences has confirmed the company’s geological model which predicts a deep sedimentary basin that could contain shale gas. In the six months to October 2016, there was a £326,000 cash outflow including capitalised exploration spending. Karoo had £168,000 in the bank at the end of October 2016, and £11,000 has subsequently been raised.

Property development and management services provider Formation Group (FRM) plans to consolidate its shares and shareholders will get to vote on the proposal at the AGM on 27 February. If the five-for-one consolidation is approved it will take place on 28 February.

Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised a further £34,000 at 0.1p a share. Valiant’s 84.7%-owned subsidiary Flamethrower has set up a new company called Slot Right In, which will be the social casino division and Flamethrower plans to acquire and trade domain names. Flamethrower continues to add to its portfolio of apps.

Property investor Ecovista (EVTP) says it is looking at investments in London, Essex and Hertfordshire. An offer of £275,000 has been accepted for a cottage owned by the company, while a house in Bishop Stortford, acquired for £665,000 last year, has been demolished and construction of a new building with a gross value of £1.35m will start in the spring. A planning appeal has been lodged for the development of car park site near Stansted Airport.

Grant Thornton will step down as corporate adviser to Chinese medical products and services provider MiLOC Group (ML.P) on 6 March.

AIM

AdEPT Telecom (ADT) is acquiring Our IT Department, an IT services provider in London and the South East, for an initial £4.75m with up to £3.75m more payable depending on performance. This is a profitable business that brings additional IT skills to the telecoms business. AdEPT has secured a £30m, five-year bank facility from Barclays and RBS, which will help to finance further acquisitions.

Everpower International is acquiring a 9.9% stake in Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) in return for a £3.26m cash payment – equivalent to 170p a share. This is part of an agreement that will enable Haydale products to be manufactured for the Chinese market. Commercial revenues from the Huntsman agreement are not likely to come through until 2017-18 and with other strategy changes this means that the revenues for the year to June 2017 will be lower than expected.

Automotive acoustics and thermal insulation designer Autins (AUTG) has shocked the market with a profit warning less than six months after joining AIM and the chief executive has resigned. First quarter sales have been in line with expectations but a major customer has reduced orders. The share price has fallen from the August placing price of 168p to 145p – but it had been as high as 240p. Miton had added to its stake in January.

Ascent Resources (AST) says the flow test at the Pg-10 well was better than expected. The maximum stabilised flow rate was 8.8 million cubic feet of gas per day.

LED lighting technology developer PhotonStar LED (PSL) says that its 2016 revenues will be slightly lower than expected and the loss will be higher because of a challenging second half. Revenues were around £5.4m and the pre-tax loss was £1.3m. There was £230,000 in the bank at the end of 2016 with £830,000 of invoice financing. Cost savings have been made and this helps to improve the outlook for 2017, although the poor second half trading has continued into January.

Eagle Eye Solutions (EYE) says that interim revenues have grown 72% to £5.1m, which is better than expected. The nationwide roll-out of the Asda contract has increased coupon redemption numbers. Cavendish Asset Management has increased its stake to 8.26%.

ECR Minerals (ECR) says that the Australian government has given consent to for drilling at the Byron target in the Bailieston project area. ECR has applied for two more licences and is awaiting news of the renewal of the Avoca licence.

Tissue Regenix Group (TRX) says that dermal allograft product DermaPure, which includes the company’s dCELL technology, has been included in the US Department of Veteran Affairs Federal Supply Schedule. This covers 152 hospitals and 800 outpatient units. This will boost the commercial prospects of the wound care product.

Prospex Oil & Gas (PXOG) is raising £850,000 at 0.5p a share and this will help to finance the evaluation of potential projects. The share price has slumped since the beginning of the year because of a disappointing result from a well on its Kolo licence area in Poland. The placing price is about one-fifth of the share price prior to the drilling news.

New management at Quantum Pharma (QP.) says trading is in line. This suggests that the pre-tax profit for the year to January 2017 will be £6.7m, down from £10m in the previous year, although there will be exceptional reorganisation charges. The loss-making NuPharm business has been closed. Net debt was £13.5m – after most of the reorganisation costs have been paid. The share price is less than one-third of its peak less than two years ago but it is higher than the 34p a share placing price in October.

Vela Technologies (VELA) is raising up to £550,000 from a bond issue via the UK Bond Network. There is already interest for £250,000 of bonds and the other £300,000 have been underwritten. The interest rate is 10% and the bonds can be repaid after one year, including interest. If they are repaid earlier than one year’s interest has to be paid. Vela will use £150,000 to increase its investment in Portr, the airline passenger facilitation and baggage transport service.

BP Marsh (BPM) has subscribed for a 30% cumulative preferred ordinary shareholding in Stewart Speciality Risk Underwriting Ltd, a Toronto-based start-up headed by a boss with 25 years of experience. Stewart specialises in insurance for the construction, manufacturing, onshore energy, transport and public sectors. A £480,000 loan facility is also being provided.

Reconstruction Capital (RC2) is returning €17m of cash to shareholders. This equates to €0.115 a share.

MAIN MARKET

Engineering and environmental consultancy Waterman Group (WTM) says that its interim revenues and profit will be in line with last year. Net cash was £6.7m at the end of 2016. This will enable Waterman to continue to increase its dividend.

Publisher Quarto (QRT) is on course to increase its pre-tax profit from $14.1m to $15.5m. Net debt was $62.2m at the end of 2016. A buyer has been identified for the Australian distributor Books and Gifts Direct. This will raise $1m in cash with the other $4.75m of the disposal price in loan notes. Even after a 46% increase in the share price, the 2016 multiple is less than eight. There are plans to change the way that the backlist of titles is valued.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) commenced trading on the standard list and the share price ended the week at 12p, compared with the placing price of 10p. Rainbow has issued £260,000 worth of shares at the placing price to cover a majority of the costs of its flotation.

Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has sold Starneth less than two years after buying the designer and engineer of giant observation wheels. Challenger completed the acquisition of Starneth in July 2015 when an initial €1.25m was paid in cash and €825,000 in shares at 75p each. The second cash payment of €1.25m was delayed. Challenger will receive $6m in fees when the Jakarta wheel’s funding arrangements are finalised and the €1.25m payment will be taken out of that. There had been a third payment due but that does not appear likely to happen. This is a complicated deal but it is difficult to see this as a positive deal for Challenger but it will continue to work with Starneth and it will have a stake in the New York wheel. Acquisitions of businesses in the leisure and entertainment sectors that are close to revenues are likely.

Andrew Hore

 

Quoted Micro 30 January 2017

NEX / ISDX

There was a sharp improvement in operating profit from £120,006 to £213,657 at Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) in the year to October 2016. Revenues improved from £3.13m to £3.21m, while gross margin jumped from 9.9% to 13.6%. Pre-tax profit rose from £133,576 to £224,352. Improved marketing has helped to boost trade but the hotel will be hit by increases in the national living wage. Further refurbishment is panned at the hotel. Strong cash generation has increased the cash position from £651,000 to £1.39m. The second interim dividend is being raised from 12p a share to 14p a share, taking the total to 21p a share, up from 18p a share.

Rail track technology supplier Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reported an increased loss in the year to August 2016 because of higher admin expenses. Pre-tax loss moved from £228,000 to £262,000. Revenues increased by 21% to £290,000 even though London Underground orders have been delayed by budget restrictions. Orders have been received since the year end. Wheelsure has issued shares at 1p in lieu of £14,000 of commission owed to the company’s Italian agent, which has generated the first order for track equipment incorporating Tracksure.

Ashley House (ASH) remained profitable in the six months to October 2016 even though trading conditions were tough and there remains uncertainty about government funding for supported housing. It does appear likely though that there will be increasing demand for extra care housing schemes. Interim revenues were flat at £10.7m and the gross margin was much lower. The underlying pre-tax profit was halved to £200,000. Full year profit is still forecast to rise from £1.2m to £1.5m but this depends on three schemes reaching financial close by April.

Building projects manager and developer Formation Group (FRM) maintained its pre-tax profit at £2.2m in the year to August 2016, even though the recognised profit share from the development at Norwich House in Streatham fell from £2.42m to £1.42m. Group revenues were one-quarter higher at £29.4m helped by sales of apartments at Iverson Road, London N6. There was also a £1.02m post-tax write back relating to past properties. NAV increased from £7.6m to £10.4m. Since the year end, cash has been received from disposal proceeds, which will reduce net debt from £3m.

Mechan Controls (MECP) has appointed administrators from Leonard Curtis to its subsidiary PJO Industrial, following a deterioration in its prospects. PJO supplies mining and pipe laying equipment. Mining demand has been weak. PJO was hit by a bad debt in 2015 and lost £206,000, while net liabilities were £514,000.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) has raised £530,000 from Gravity Investment Group at 0.3p a share. Gravity has a 60.8% shareholding in Forbes. The bulk of the cash will be invested in £500,000 worth of 12%, two-year convertible loan notes in residential care provider Primus Care, where Gravity director Chris Bateman is on the board. The conversion price will be 80% of the fair market value of an ordinary share.

There was further fundraising activity last week. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £125,000 at 7p a share in order to finance working capital. Energy efficiency products supplier Sandal (SAND) has raised £52,000 at 28p a share. Milamber Ventures (MLVP) executive chairman Andy Hasoon has invested a further £16,300 in the technology investment company at 13.55p a share. Property investor Etaireia (ETIP) has generated £10,000 from the issue of shares at 0.09p each.

United Cacao (UCL) has raised further concerns about former chairman Dennis Melka. This involves a number of loans which were not previously disclosed. It also turns out that the small farmer programme has planted 70 hectares and not 194 hectares as said in the interim figures. The Peru-based cacao plantation operator has extended the exclusivity agreement with existing investors, in order to try to secure the long-term financial viability of the business, to 31 March. Cash is being raised from bond issues at large discounts. Just over $515,000 has been raised from the issue of $3.45m of nominal value bonds with a 7% coupon. One of the company’s directors will invest a further $40,000 at 18 cents per $1 bond.

AIM

Scientific instruments manufacturer Judges Scientific (JDG) had a strong end to 2016 and order intake grew organically by 3% during the year. This was too late to benefit the 2016 figures where slow orders and manufacturing problems had led to disappointment and pre-tax profit is expected to fall to £7.1m. Earnings per share will fall by nearly one-quarter to 82.8p a share. That is line with previously downgraded expectations. The year has started with an order book lasting 13.9 weeks and there are positive foreign exchange movements that will help in the recovery. A 2017 pre-tax profit of £8.6m and earnings per share of 102p are forecast, which is still below the level in 2015.

Imaging and radiation detection products developer Kromek Group (KMK) is raising up to £21m via a placing and one-for-30 open offer at 20p a share. Net cash was £2.3m at the end of October 2016 and the additional cash will provide a significant cushion for the company. Kromek is still a couple of years away from making a pre-tax profit but the cash outflow should decline.

Taptica Ltd (TAP) has issued a positive trading statement and this has led to a forecast upgrade for 2016. Earnings per share have been upgraded by 12% to 29.3 cents, which is 150% higher than the forecast was one year ago. Increasing mobile marketing spend by customers means that there should continue to be significant growth.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) has formed a joint venture with BioCare Manufacturing in Malaysia. Beximco will own 30% of the joint venture and will provide technical support. The initial product is a metered dose inhaler. Beximco reported a 14% local currency increase in interim revenues but in sterling they rose from £58m to £79.7m, while the growth rate in pre-tax profit was slightly higher with the sterling equivalent rising from £8.2m to £11.6m. The first product is being sold in the US and approvals have been gained for two other products.

Walker Greenbank (WGB) has received a further £1m insurance payment relating to flooding at Standfast & Barracks at the end of 2015. This takes the total insurance payments for the Lancaster fabric printing factory to £14.3m and there could be more to come. The Milton Keynes warehouse has been restocked. Octopus has increased its stake to 13.1%.

Ultrasound training simulators developer MedaPhor (MED) says it still had cash of £1.4m, net of the litigation settlement, which has been formalised with SonoSim Inc. In 2016, revenues grew by 50% to £3.3m, partly thanks to an initial contribution of £850,000 from the acquisition of Inventive Medical. The loss has increased from £1.5m to £2.5m, after settlement costs.

ImmuPharma (IMM) has recruited the 200 patients it requires for its phase III trial for the Lupuzor potential treatment for Lupus. By the end of January, more than 80% of the patients will have been treated for three months. Patients have to be monitored for 12 months so the full trial will not be completed until the first quarter of 2018. So far, there have been no indications that the drug is not safe.

Headway Investment Partners has increased its offer for Ludgate Environmental (LEF) from 16p a share to 16.3p a share, which compares with the latest NAV of 21.7p a share. The bid, though, provides cash up front rather than having to wait for the portfolio to be sold off.

Ascent Resources (AST) has started a well test at Pg-10 at the Petisovci project in Slovenia and an announcement about the results of the test should be published later this week. Henderson took advantage of a share price rise to sell one-fifth of their stake taking it to just below 10% but then almost doubled the number of shares it owns by converting £1m of convertible loan notes into 100 million shares. There are still £8.14m of convertibles in issue.

Ramblers Metals & Mining (RMM) expects to achieve the milling of 1,250 metric tonnes a day by the middle of 2017. Saleable copper of between 5,100 and 5,800 tonnes is forecast to be produced in 2017, along with 4,400 to 5,100 ounces of gold. In 2016, there was 4,174 tonnes of copper and 6,132 ounces of gold produced.

Keras Resources (KRS) has raised £600,000 at 0.35p a share in order to finance exploration at the Klondyke gold project in Australia. Some of the cash will be used to repay a £265,000 loan.

A concept study for the development of the CS natural pozzolan project in Nevada should be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2017. Sunrise Resources (SRES) should have information about the potential timeline for commercial production for the pozzolan, which is more environmentally friendly alternative to Portland cement.

MAIN MARKET

East Africa-focused Rainbow Rare Earths has raised $8m at 10p a share ahead of its standard listing. Demand for the shares was strong. This cash will be invested in the Gakara rare earths project in Burundi. Rainbow requires $2.23m to enable it to commence production in nine months. The main rare earths will be neodymium and praseodymium, which are used in generators, electric vehicles and wind turbines. Rainbow has secured a ten year offtake agreement with thyssenkrupp Raw Materials, which covers the sale of 5,000 tpa of concentrate. Petra Diamonds founder Adonis Pouroulis is chairman of Rainbow, which could move into profit in the year to June 2018.

Andrew Hore

 

Quoted Micro 12 December 2016

ISDX

IMC Exploration (IMCP) and its partner Koza Ltd have started work on a mapping and rock sampling programme at the Goldmines River licence in County Wicklow and a licence in County Wexford. This work will help to prepare for the next phase of drilling.

African Potash (AFPO), which has lost its AIM quotation because of the resignation of its nominated adviser, has moved to ISDX, where Peterhouse is its corporate adviser. Dealings on ISDX commenced on 7 December. African Potash is attempting to build up a vertically integrated fertiliser mining, production and distribution business in the Republic of Congo.

Ashley House (ASH), which develops health and community care properties, is refinancing its loan from Rockpool through a £1.5m facility provided by Invescare Ltd, where Ashley non-executive deputy chairman Stephen Minion is one of the shareholders. The facility lasts until June 2018 and is secured against individual assets of the company.

Geologist Gareth Northam has been appointed to the board of Goldcrest Resources (GCRP). Goldcrest has raised £70,000 by issuing convertible loan notes to natural resources investor Pelamis Investments. The loan note is convertible into 28 million shares at 0.25p each – a price relating to after a planned 50:1 capital reorganisation.

Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised £40,000 at 0.1p a share in order to provide finance for 84.7%-owned apps developer Flamethrower. Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has raised £155,000 at 0.05p a share, while Imperial Minerals (IMPP) raised £35,000 at 2p a share.

AIM  (Latest AIM Journal available)

Fairpoint (FRP) made a profit warning just prior to the close on Friday but there was still time for the share price to halve. Dividend payments have been suspended. The legal services business has not been trading as well as hoped in November and December. The closure of the debt services business is on course to be completed in early 2017 but overheads are still higher than the management planned that they would be.

MP Evans (MPE) has sold its Malaysian joint venture and intends to pay a special dividend of 10p a share. The disposal will raise $100m and the deal valued the plantations at $13,000/hectare. That is more than the remaining assets are being valued at by the current bid. Kuala Lumpur Kepong has received 12.9% acceptances for its 740p a share bid. The disposal means that one-third of the cost of this bid will be covered by cash.

Expect more shares to come on to the market following the announcement that a further £1.15m of loan notes in CloudTag Inc (CTAG) have been converted into shares by L1 Capital. The conversion price is 6p but the market price has risen to more than twice that level. There are £50,000 of loan notes left.

AB Dynamics (ABDP) is raising additional cash to give it a larger buffer as it invests in its new facility. The automotive testing equipment manufacturer already had cash in the bank but it has raised £5.4m at 475p a share and it is offering shareholders the chance to subscribe up to £1m at the same share price.

Northacre (NTA) has been on AIM for 19 years but it has decided to end its association with the junior market. This is not a surprise because the main shareholder owns 94.3% of the company. That shareholder is offering to buy any shares at 100p each – a 35% premium to the previous market price.

Formation Group (FRM) has also decided to leave AIM but it is switching to ISDX. A general meeting will be held on 4 January and the property developer could join ISDX as early as 12 January of shareholders agree to the AIM cancellation.

Clean room equipment manufacturer MayAir (MAYA) says that it generated revenues of $52.4m in the ten months to October 2016 and there is an order book worth $20.4m most which should be recognised this year. This provides some comfort that MayAir can achieve full year expectations. Management still hopes to be moving into a new factory before the end of 2017.

Vianet (VNET) reported lower interim revenues but stripping out discontinued fuel-related activities revenues grew slightly thanks to the vending division. The core operations grew their profit contribution but higher losses from the technology business held back overall profit growth. In the six months to September 2016, pre-tax profit improved by 9% to £1.13m. The US loss in the leisure division was halved and the number of sites continues to grow, unlike the UK where the number of sites continue to decline. The vending division offers good potential for profit growth now that it is covering its costs and more of the additional revenues drop through to profit. The uses of the technology for the Internet of Things should help to boost growth. Net cash is £1.98m and the interim dividend is unchanged at 1.7p a share. A full year profit of £2.4m is forecast.

Gas and electrical services provider Bilby (BILB) is restating last year’s results. This will reduce reported pre-tax profit from £1.37m to £718,000. This is due to additional costs and disputed revenues. The share price is less than one-third of the level it peaked at less than 12 months ago. The interim figures will be published later this month.

Share (SHRE) has sold 20,000 shares in London Stock Exchange for £540,000. Share retains 100,000 shares in London Stock Exchange.

TV technology developer Mirada (MIRA) says the roll-out of its technology by izzi Telecom will be slower than expected and demand in Mexico is uncertain. This means revenues, particularly higher margin licence sales, will be delayed. This year the expected underlying loss is likely to be around £1.4m higher at £1.8m. Capitalised development spending is rising so there will be a significant cash outflow even when amortisation is taken into account. A pre-tax profit is not expected until 2018-19.

Armadale Capital (ACP) has announced a JORC compliant resource of 40.9 million tonnes @9.41% graphite content for the Mahenge Liandu project in Tanzania. This is a particularly high grade and it should be easy to extract – and that could be confirmed early next year. There will be additional drilling and a further upgrade could happen in the first half of 2017.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) reported interim figures in line with expectations and there is £5.5m left in the bank. This is enough to push ahead with two phase II clinical trials for SFX-01 and to investigate other potential uses. The results of the trials should be available in the first half of 2018. The US Food and Drug Administration has given orphan drug status to the treatment for subarachnoid haemorrhage.

Premier African Minerals (PREM) has decided not to increase its stake in Casa Mining from 4.5% to 30%.

MAIN MARKET

Project engineering consultancy Waterman Group (WTM) says that its performance has been in line with expectations in the first four months of this financial year. Exchange rates have helped to ensure a small increase in revenues in the period. This suggests that dividend growth will continue. Waterman has won work for the MoD, Brent Cross shopping centre and UK roads. The interim figures will be published in February. Michael Strong has been appointed as a non-executive director.

Andrew Hore

 

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