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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company Sport:80 has delayed its flotation because it has been tidying up its shareholder register. Fintech company Engage Technology is also seeking to float later in 2019 following new product launches. Engage raised £2.6m at £22 a share at the end of 2018, whereas the average buying price by Primorus was £20.03 a share. Investee company, AIM-quoted Greatland Gold (GGP) has published results from the second drilling campaign at Havieron in Western Australia. Every drill hole intersected mineralisation and they extend the overall mineralisation. Drilling will recommence in March. Primorus has raised cash by selling most of the stake in UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) and Primorus was debt free at the end of 2018.

NEX has decided not to suspend trading in the shares of VI Mining (VIM) even though its corporate adviser Daniel Stewart is no longer a member of NEX. VI Mining had little or no notice of its adviser’s withdrawal. A new corporate adviser is being sought.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has acquired apprenticeship training provider Astara Training for £16,666 in shares at 9p each. Milamber lost £179,000 in the third quarter and there was £30,000 in the bank at the end of 2018.

Panther Metals (PALM) has announced the initial results of exploration activity at the Bear Lake project in Ontario. There was gold in soil anomalies at four of the five areas tested. Four areas have quartz vein sample assays above 5g/t gold. Two samples had large grade samples. The next phase of exploration is being planned and could start in the second quarter of 2019.

Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has signed a deal that could enable it to earn a 70% interest in a joint venture that owns the Palha tantalum property in northern Brazil.

AIM  (February 2019 AIM Journal available here)

DP Poland (DPP) is running short of cash and is more than doubling its share capital through a heavily discounted placing raising £5.3m at 6p a share, with the possibility of an additional £500,000. The Domino’s Pizza franchisee for Poland has found competition is getting tougher and growth has slowed. The cash is required to cover losses and open more outlets. Peter Shaw is stepping down as chief executive at the end of June, nearly a decade after founding the business.

Ticketing and queueing technology provider Accesso Technology (ACSO) is reviewing its investment priorities although it says that 2018 figures should be broadly in line with expectations. These will be published on 27 March. A deal fell through and this cost $1.7m. Tom Burnet is moving from executive chairman to a non-exec role. The share price is less than one-third of last year’s high. BlackRock has cut its stake below 5%.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH) has launched a placing and 0.318-for-one open offer to raise up to £4.75m at 3.85p a share on top of the £8m subscription by former AIM company China Medical System Holdings, which will licence products for the Chinese market. The clinical trial for cancer treatment MTD201 will cost up to £7m.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) is acquiring its UK rival Capital Step and this will double the size of the portfolio to eleven investments and diversify it in terms of sectors. There is an initial £10m cash payment and the assumption of debt of £11.65m. There is performance related consideration of up to £1.5m. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing.

Visa has increased its bid for Earthport (EPO) from 30p a share to 37p a share, which beats the Mastercard offer of 33p a share. The latest bid values Earthport at £247m.

Taptica (TAP) has launched a recommended bid for RhythmOne (RTHM) and this will create one of the largest video advertising companies in the US. The offer is 28 Taptica shares for every 33 RhythmOne shares. Taptica shareholders will own 50.1% of the enlarged group. A $15m share buyback programme is planned after the merger. Ofer Druker will become chief executive.

Polemos (PLMO) has finalised the details of its reverse takeover of Digitalbox Publishing for £10m in shares and it is also acquiring the owner of the Daily Mash satirical news website for up to £1.2m in cash and shares. The model for the Entertainment Daily website will be used to improve the performance of the Daily Mash. A placing will raise £1.02m at 14p a share. The company will change its name to Digitalbox.

Hardide (HDD) is raising £3.6m at 1.5p a share so that it can move to new premises in the UK and invest in additional equipment. The surface coatings company is experiencing increasing demand from the oil and gas sector and there is potential for orders from aerospace companies. It will take two years to fully equip and move into the new facility. Hardide also intends to consolidate 40 shares into one new share.

finnCap has raised its forecasts for Tracsis (TRCS) following recent acquisitions. There is a 3% increase in earnings per share for this year and an 11% rise to 30.5p next year.

Stride Gaming (STR) has traded in line with previously downgraded expectations. Cost cutting continues to cover higher regulatory and tax costs. The online gaming operator will report a lower profit in 2018 and it is set to fall again in 2019. Net cash was £22.1m at the end of 2018.

Bowmark Capital has offered 110p a share for Tax Systems (TAX) and discussions continue. Tax Systems reduced net debt from £20.5m to £13.9m by the end of 2018. Pre-tax profit of £5.8m is forecast for 2018.

Victoria (VCP) has sold surplus land in Kidderminster for £2m. The land was in the books for £100,000 but it has obtained planning consent for housing.

Starcom (STAR) has renegotiated its agreement with Xplosive in South Africa, having originally announced it in October 2017. Xplosive has signed a 36-month agreement to pay a monthly fee for each of the Kylos units supplied for the monitoring of cattle. The fees are higher in the first six months and then reduce. The agreement should be worth $500,000.

Strix Group (KETL) has offered to acquire most of the assets of HaloSource (HAL) for $1.3m. Strix has provided working capital of $100,000. Due diligence is being carried out on the water filtration technology and if the deal goes through the cash will pay creditors, but there will be nothing for shareholders.

Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) has announced that the Selva gas field in northern Italy has net 2P reserves of 13.3bcf and there are 2.26bcf attributable to Prospex, which has a 17% stake. Selva could start production in 2020 at a rate of up to 150,000 cubic metres/day.

Tau Capital (TAU) plans to raise cash via a placing through Peterhouse and then a capital distribution will be made to all shareholders. This will enable Tau to seek an acquisition. It has until 18 April to secure a deal or trading in the shares will be suspended. Armstrong Investments has increased its stake from 11.7% to 15.7%.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) says that the SFX-01 clinical trial for subarachnoid haemorrhage is on course having completed recruitment and the primary endpoints should be available in the second quarter. Partners Investment Company has acquired at 3.15% stake.

Sports Direct International (SPD) made a £15m offer to buy Patisserie Valerie from the administrator, but this was not deemed enough. Even a higher selling price won’t provide anything for Patisserie Holdings shareholders.

MAIN MARKET  

Solicitor DWF plans to raise £75m via a March flotation an some of the cash will repay members’ capital contributions as well as invest in the business. Existing shareholders will also sell shares and partners’ remaining stakes will be locked up until April 2024.

Two former AIM-quoted companies are coming together to join the standard list. Daniel Stewart Securities, which is closing its broking business, is making an offer for Atlantic Carbon, which was previously known as Atlantic Coal, where Adam Wilson, who has had connections with Daniel Stewart, is executive chairman. Singapore-based backer Epsilon Investments refused to put more money into the broker and that is why it is closing. Epsilon holds a majority stake in Hyde Park Holdings, which owns broker Novum Securities. Last October, SeeThruEquity research suggested that Atlantic had an equity value of $86.8m and $68m of debt. In 2017, Atlantic was the largest producer of anthracite in the US with a market share of one-third based on 1.18 million tonnes produced. Atlantic is expected to have moved into profit in 2018, although it did generate cash from operations in 2017. The owners of more than 50% of Atlantic shares have agreed to accept the bid of 1.5587 shares for each Atlantic share.

Thalassa Holdings (THAL) is offering 14.64p a share in cash and 0.26 of a share for each share in The Local Shopping REIT. Thalassa already owns 25.5% of the bid target, which is valued at 32.8p a share. The bid is an alternative to the winding up of The Local Shopping REIT.

Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) is no longer acquiring blockchain technology developer Chorum Group because of political uncertainty affecting the UK equity markets. Former Avanti Communications boss David Williams is the director of Chorum. Blockchain Worldwide has more than £1m in the bank and is also looking at other technology sectors for acquisitions.

Drilling of the Colter appraisal well in Dorset has commenced and United Oil and Gas (UOG) has a 10% interest. The drilling should take three weeks. The Selva gas field in Italy has net 2P reserves of 2.7bcf attributable to United, which has a 20% stake. Selva could start production in 2020. United intends to move to AIM.

Oil and gas producer Zenith Energy (ZEN) has raised £607,000 in Canada and the UK at C$0.05 a share and 3p a share respectively.

Motor finance provider S and U (SUS) has confirmed that its figures for the year to January 2019 will be in line with expectations. The Aspen property bridging loan business had a loan book of £18m at the end of January 2019. Cautious lending criteria means that new business has slowed in recent months and this has led to a 5% 2019-20 earnings downgrade to 230.1p a share.

BATM (BVC) has won a $3.2m cyber security contract and this takes contracted revenues from this government customer to more than $10m. The latest contract will be delivered this year.

Chesterfield Resources (CHF) is expanding its exploration programme in Cyprus. Initial drilling in an area near historic mining has shown gold, copper and zinc mineralisation. Chesterfield is also applying for licences to extend its licence area.

Dev Clever (DEV) has launched pay per play multi-player, virtual reality game Vanguard: Fight for Rudiarius in Harlow shopping centre. The game will be rolled out to other UK sites.

Bluebird Merchant (BMV) has applied for a grant to help finance drilling at the Kochang project in South Korea and there should be news by the end of the month. There has also been a permit application to develop Kochang.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 17 December 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Ecommerce software provider Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) moved into profit in the first half and had £648,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. Revenues increased by £168,000 to £647,000, even though subscription-based pricing is reducing the initial revenues from B2B clients. A loss of £60,000 became a pre-tax profit of £142,000, helped by lower operating expenses.

Veni Vidi Vici Ltd (VVV) is acquiring a 51% stake in a licence in the Shangri La gold, silver and copper project in Western Australia for A$220,000, which is payable to Goldfields Consolidated in the form of 190,000 shares and A$20,000 in cash. The shares cannot be sold for three months. VVV will spend an initial A$300,000 over three years and Goldfields will receive a 10% management fee.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has raised £367,000 at 4p a share and each new share comes with a two-year warrant exercisable at 7.5p a share. If the share price averages more than 15p for five consecutive days, then the company can require the warrants to be exercised.

Gastropubs operator Barkby Group (BARK) has signed heads of terms to acquire Northamptonshire-based upmarket car dealer Centurian Automotive Ltd. The most recent accounts were for a dormant company and shows £200 in the bank.

Quetzal Securities Ltd sold 6.75 million shares in Pelican House Mining (PHM) for 0.5p each and Eight Capital Partners (ECP) acquired 8.25 million shares at 0.491p each. Quetzal subsequently sold a further 6.75 million shares in Pelican shares, leaving a 13.2% stake, to Eight Capital at 0.5p a share, taking its stake to 15.3%.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) has declared an unchanged total dividend of 21p a share for the year to October 2018. An interim of 7p a share will be paid in January (ex-dividend 20 December) and a final dividend of 14p a share paid in May (ex-dividend 18 April).

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has appointed Northland as broker.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (EL.P) had a NAV of 200.95p a share at the end of November 2018. The shares are trading at 160p.

AIM  

Construction consultancy Driver Group (DRV) reported a 2017-18 pre-tax profit of £3.8m, up from £2.5m, and it is returning to paying dividends with a 0.5p a share payment. Net cash is £6.9m, helped by a property disposal, and this could reach more than £10m by September 2019 even after dividend payments. The Diales expert witness business is becoming an increasingly important revenue generator and overall utilisation levels have improved. There has also been a focus on better margin work in the Middle East.

SigmaRoc (SRC) is in the process of acquiring precast concrete products supplier CPP Building Products for £15.2m, although the deal requires shareholder approval for share issues, so it will not happen until early January. CPP is based in north west England and fits well with the existing precast concrete business. In the year to August 2018, revenues were £20.9m and EBITDA was £2.6m. This year’s trading is in line with expectations. There are plans to refinance the convertible loan notes.

Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) had already warned about delays to its utility connection contracts with housebuilders and the 2017-18 figures were slightly better than expected with flat pre-tax profit of £9.2m. Nexus has a strong order book and could increase its 2018-19 pre-tax profit to £10.4m. The new electric vehicle charging points division will take time to build up.

Advanced coatings provider Hardide (HDD) has benefited from an upturn in demand from the oil and gas sector. It is also getting nearer to obtaining its first aerospace orders. Hardide remains loss-making and this will still be the case next year as it continues to invest in increasing capacity in the UK and US as demand grows.

Curtis Banks (CBP) has purchased around 600 SIPPS with assets of £180m from Hargreaves Hale, which will continue to manage the assets. Curtis Banks will launch a new SIPP product in January.

Clinical trials manager Venn Life Sciences (VENN) is collaborating with Open Orphan DAC. The two firms will share resources in the orphan drugs market. Venn is raising £1m from a two-year loan note issue.

WH Ireland has upgraded its forecast for banknote authentication and brand protection technology business Spectra Systems (SPSY) for the second time. The underlying pre-tax profit forecast has been raised by 10% to $4.5m. The 2019 forecast, which had previously been upgrade by 16%, is maintained for the time being.

Kibo Energy (KIBO) says that its 60%-owned subsidiary MAST Energy Developments has an exclusive option to undertake due diligence and acquire three peaking power sites totalling 31.3MW. This would provide initial revenues for Kibo later next year. Kibo has renewed its memorandum of understanding with Mozambique-based electric utility Electricidade de Mocambique for the financing and operation of the Benga independent power project.

eServGlobal Ltd (ESG) says that 2018 revenues will be lower than expected due to weak trading at the PayMobile business and the failure to close orders. The PayMobile business may be sold and the focus will be the HomeSend remittances business.

NWF (NWF) says feeds demand was strong in the summer because of a lack of natural grazing. In contrast, the hot weather held back demand for fuels. A Solihull-based fuel distributor has been acquired. The food distribution business continues to trade at around capacity because of contract wins. The interims will be published on 29 January.

ReNeuron (RENE) has important clinical trial results coming up in the next 18 months. A retinitis pigmentosa treatment is in phase I/II trials and there should be data in mid-2019. A phase IIb trial for a CTX cell therapy-based treatment for chronic stroke is due to report by early 2020. There was £30.7m in the bank at the end of September 2018. Management is seeking partners to help it to make the most of its technology.

PhotonStar LED Group (PSL) has raised £100,000 at 0.02p a share and this will enable the board to assess new business opportunities.

Property adviser Fletcher King (FLK) is maintaining its interim dividend at 1p a share even though pre-tax profit has dipped from £148,000 to £132,000. Ratings appeals revenues were lower. There is £2.28m of cash in the balance sheet.

Kromek (KMK) has secured an initial contract with the US Department of Defense worth $2m over 12 months. The plan is to develop a proof-of-concept device for a vehicle-mounted biological threat identifier.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) started trading on AIM on Friday and the share price ended the day at 272.5p. Crossword raised £2m at 290p a share.

Volex (VLX) is buying cable assemblies and connectors manufacturer GTK for £14.3m in cash and shares. in the year to July 2018, GTK generated a pre-exceptional operating profit of £1.7m. There was £1.3m in the bank. The deal is earnings enhancing.

African Battery Metals (ABM) has found it difficult to raise the cash it requires and trading in the shares has been suspended.  The company wants to come to a settlement with creditors so that it could continue to trade.

Smaller company mergers and acquisitions business K3 Capital Group (K3C) is cautiously optimistic but the full year outcome will depend on the timing of deals. There could be a small dip in pre-tax profit to £7m this year and there could be a corresponding dip in dividend from 11.2p a share to 10.8p a share.

Telit Communications (TCM) says that it will not complete the sale of its automotive business until next year. Telit is expected to make a 2018 loss. Further cost savings are being made in the Internet of Things operations.

More bad news from Filtronic (FTC) with sales of Massive MIMO antennas lower than expected. The main customer has reduced its forecast demand. The capitalised development costs of £500,000 will be written off and options are being reviewed. The rest of the business is trading in line with expectations. Filtronic will be loss-making this year. Net cash was £2.3m at the end of November 2018.

Science Group (SAG) has ended its formal sale process because of stockmarket and exchange rate uncertainty. The strategic review continues. Trading is in line with expectations and the company will recommence the share buy back programme. Net cash was £6.4m at the end of November 2018.

Like-for-like sales growth has been slowing at DP Poland (DPP) and this means that progress in 2019 is unlikely to be as good as expected. This means that it will take longer to reach profitability. Rivals have been spending money on marketing and warm weather has also held DP Poland back. A full year trading update will be published on 29 January.

Taptica International Ltd (TAP) plans to spend up to $10m on buying back shares and it has already spent nearly £110,000. There was net cash of $42.1m at the end of June 2018.

Tristel (TSTL) says that the US regulatory process for its disinfection products is on track and interim pre-tax profit should be £2.2m.

TomCo Energy (TOM) has managed to secure £550,000 at 2p a share. The previous £532,000 placing at 8.5p a share was pulled. Laurence Read has become a non-executive director.

RA International (RAI) has won a five year contract worth up to $5.6m from a US corporate client in Central Africa.

MAIN MARKET   

Circassia Pharmaceuticals (CIR) is moving to AIM and it has decided to exercise its option to acquire US rights to COPD treatment Tudorza from AstraZeneca. This deal should complete by the end of the year and it will trigger a payment of $5m. A further $20m is payable upon approval of Duaklir and then there is further deferred consideration of $100m.

Tex Holdings (TXH) has warned that second half earnings will be lower than anticipated due to delayed deliveries and reorganisation costs.

Cadmium-free quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) is on course to complete the expansion of its Runcorn facility by the end of 2018 with commercial volume manufacturing by the middle of 2019.

Lb-shell (LBP) is being wound-up because of potential litigation relating to before it became a shell. There is unlikely to be anything left for shareholders.

Giant Saint Technologies Ltd (GST) is installing a $1m data centre in Singapore.

Andrew Hore

Ian Pollard: NMC Health Comfortable Contradictions – And Jargon A Plenty

NMC Health plc updates that management remains comfortable with and reiterates guidance for 2018 and 2019 whilst at the same time contradicting itself with statements that it is delivering further positive operational progress, enjoying strong growth and improving second half cash flow. The update then repeats the updated figures for full years 2018 and 2019 given at the last update. There is one change however in that O&M vertical continues to expand and KPIs for management LTIP have been revised. At this late stage of the year NMC must now be well in the running for first prize in the jargon stakes.

Big Sofa Technologies Group BST revenues for the year ending 31 December 2018 are expected to show growth growth of approximately 31 per cent over 2017. The Board believes that the programme of material cost savings for 2018 and 2019 places the Company on an accelerated path to breakeven.

Access Intelligence ACC announces that strong growth for the year to the end of November has led to the company enjoying the busiest year in its history with a growing market position. The Group’s total annual contract value at 30 November 2018 was approximately £12.4 million, compared to £8.6 million as at the end of November 2017. Recent contract wins including Porsche, Fiat Chrysler ,Mercedes, Médecins Sans Frontières, Investec, Philips, Air France KLM, Emirates Group, and DFDS Seaways, to name but a few.

Van Elle Holdings plc VANL experienced a quiet start to the current year after a challenging period for  UK construction markets in early 2018. Market conditions have improved in the second quarter. Expected underlying PBT of £2.8m (H1 2017: £5.4m) for the first half to the 31st October reflects the impact of those earlier subdued activity levels. At the end of October the Group’s order book was 16% ahead of last year. Momentum is now  building into the third quarter.

Hardide plc HDD reports record revenues for the year to the 30th September with a rise of 42%.  Sales to customers in North America rose by 84% year on year and now account for 61% of total group sales. Oil and gas revenue grew significantly, with strong sales to new and existing customer. Further progress towards profitability will be made in the coming year

 Luxury Villas For Sale in Greece  http://www.hiddengreece.net

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 21 May 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) grew 2017 revenues from the nursery, hotel and media operations. There was a 11% increase in raceday attendances, which totalled 196,000 last year, leading to a 1% like-for-like rise in revenues. Overall revenues were 5% higher at £17.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit edged up from £178,000 to £188,000. There was a small cash outflow from operations. Capital investment meant that cash was reduced from £12.9m to £5.2m with more payments to come from the David Wilson Homes deal. A further £5.17m will be spent on upgrading the Pall Mall stand. There are concerns that the cutting of maximum stakes for gaming machines following the recent government announcement could hit bookmaker sponsorship and media rights revenues.

Block Commodities Ltd (BLCC) has a secured a strategic investment from Swarm Fund, which is a decentralised marketplace platform using blockchain. Investors will be able to participate in the FarmCoin asset-backed investment coin via the Swarm platform. FarmCoin is a joint venture between FinComEco and Block Commodities focused on the agriculture sector. There will be up to $45m of FarmCoin tokens issued.

National Milk Records (NMR) is holding a general meeting on 4 June in order to propose a reduction in capital that should put it in a position to have distributable reserves if it wants to pay a dividend.

Pre-IPO investor Primorus Investments (PRIM) had cash of £561,000 at the end of 2017. The NAV was £4.95m. This was after a £3.26m inflow from share issues.

AIM   

Watkin Jones (WJG) has found a new chief executive but he will not be able to start until the beginning of 2018. Richard Simpson is joining from student accommodation developer Unite Group. The build to rent operations of Watkin Jones has secured a development arrangement for a site in Reading, which will have 315 apartments.

GAN (GAN) and Webis (WEB) are two companies that could benefit from the legalisation of online sports betting in the US. The Supreme Court of the United States has decided to overturn the Federal prohibition of sports betting. US sports betting could be worth $6bn by 2023. That covers online and onsite gambling. GAN can launch a sports betting service in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the second half of this year – in time for the NFL season. GAN already has a deal with Betfair in New Jersey and adding sports betting will increase revenues. Webis has a US subsidiary called WatchandWager, which is based in California, a strong potential market for sports betting.

Genedrive (GDR) has agreed to sell its research and pharmacogenomics divisions to a director for up to £1.9m so that it can concentrate on its core Genedrive diagnostics platform. The initial payment is £1.15m with the rest deferred and subject to claims for R and D tax credits.

Lakehouse (LAKE) is acquiring heating and renewables services provider Just Energy Solutions, which fits with the company’s gas compliance businesses in the public sector and expands coverage in the industrial and commercial sectors. There is no upfront cost and payments will be dependent on profitability over two years. Lakehouse has also won a £55m, three year, Warm Homes contract with the Wales government.

Oil and gas demand is recovering at advanced coatings provider Hardide (HDD) but it is still well below previous levels. Other customers are enhancing growth and aerospace business is on the horizon. Interim revenues were 43% higher at £2.16m but the company is still loss-making. That will continue for a couple of years.

Angling Direct (ANG) increased revenues by 44% to £30.2m in the year to January 2018 and this led to an upgrade in forecast revenues for the current year. The fishing tackle retailer grew online sales by 54% but these tend to be lower margin. Pre-tax profit was £900,000 and it is expected to rise to £1.1m this year.

Online women’s fashion retailer Sosander (SOS) says that its full year revenues will be at least £1.34m. Like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter nearly quadrupled and gross margins are improving.

Portmeirion (PMP) has increased revenues by one-fifth in the first four months to 2018, although the second half of the year is always the more significant. Full year profit is still forecast to rise from £8.8m to £9.4m.

Churchill China (CHH) says that trading is ahead of the same period last year. The ceramic products manufacturer continues to have success in Europe and other export markets.

A new patent application has been filed for SkinBiotix by SkinBiotherapeutics (SBTX) and this covers the increasing of filaggrin levels in skin. Filaggrin is required for the formation of the outer layer of skin. Eczema sufferers have a low level of filaggrin.

The People’s Operator (TPOP) is increasing its UK subscribers but US numbers have declined so the performance was down in the first quarter of 2018. Churn is declining. Margins are better than expected. Even so, progress is too slow and an alternative strategy is required by the virtual mobile network business and it is considering divesting the US subscribers. That should cut cash burn by one-third.

A bathing water test by Molendotech, which is one of the investee companies of Frontier IP Group (FIPP), is being launched by Halma. This follows the agreement earlier this year.

Altona Energy (ANR) will begin a drilling programme on the Westfield tenement of the Arckaringa coal project during August. There could be 100mt of coal in the tenement. It will take three weeks to drill 15 holes to a depth of 120 metres.

Active Energy Group (AEG) intends to acquire a controlling interest in PowerWood Canada. Which owns forestry assets in Canada. This will secure feedstock for the roll-out of CoalSwitch, the biomass replacement for coal. There are plans to construct a 25 tonne per hour CoalSwitch plant in Alberta.

Servoca (SVCA) wants shareholders to agree to the cancellation of the AIM quotation. Management says that this will save £150,000 a year.

Volex (VLX) is buying Silcotec Europe for €18.1m and raising £36m at 75p a share. Silcotec supplies harnesses and electronic sub-assemblies to the medical, telecoms and computer industries and generated an operating profit of €3.1m.

Audioboom (BOOM) is not going ahead with the reverse takeover of Triton Digital Canada Inc because it could not raise the cash from a placing. A £700,000 break fee in cash (£90,000) and shares is payable. The audio business still requires more cash and that is why trading in the shares is still suspended.

MAIN MARKET    

Sportech (SPO) has a strong presence in the US so it is in a good position to benefit from the legalisation of sports betting. It already has 90 licenced operator clients and its own network of off-track betting facilities in Connecticut.

The reasons behind founder Laurence Orbach increasing his stake in books publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) to 20.1% have become clear. Orbach was removed from the board in November 2012 but he has joined with 27% shareholder Lion Rock to unseat four non-executive directors at the AGM. Orbach and former finance director Mick Mousley have returned to the board, along with two nominees from Lion Rock. Orbach becomes executive chairman.

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has completed bulk sampling in zone 1 and this should enable a resource estimate to be calculated.

Standard list shell Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has signed heads of terms for a 50% stake in CarCloud, a car sales-based fintech company. The deal to acquire energy storage systems developer Phestor is off. That follows the abortive takeover of Myclubbetting.

S&U (SUS) says non-prime car finance applications are 10% higher this year, although approval rates have fallen. Net receivables have increased by £48m to £258m.

North Midland Construction (NMD) has made a strong start to the year. There is a secured workload of £310m for this year and this should enable an improved financial performance this year.

World Trade Systems (WTS) wants to diversify its business outside of China. A new Taiwan-based health and fitness subsidiary is being incorporated. Kun Xin International will provide a loan facility of up to £3m to finance the new business. European opportunities are being sought.

Blood diseases treatments developer Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) has signed a development agreement with a global pharma company, which will provide Hemogenyx with free technical support and some intellectual property. The pharma company will be granted a research licence for anything jointly developed.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 18 December 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Ian Pollard – Copper And Oil & Gas Recoveries Help Weatherly & Hardide

Weatherly International WTN saw a noticeable improvement in the copper price during the year to 30th June, since when they have improved even further and reached three year highs. Operating and environmental challenges during the year meant that production fell below target but the board is cautiously optimistic about prospects for the current year.

Hardide HDD. Sales for the year to 30th September soared by 51% and reached record levels as demand from the oil & gas market recovered. The recovery continued throughout the year with second half sales up by 14%. The annual loss fell to £0.74m. from the previous years £1.3m before exceptional items. There are further signs of  growth potential in the civil aerospace market and the company has gained full Aerobus Approved Supplier status for its UK site.

BAE Systems plc  BA has entered into a £5bn contract with the government of Quatar for the supply of 24 Typhoon aircraft, with delivery expected to start late in 2022. In service support and a training package are also included.

Marlowe  MRL Adjusted continuing  revenue rose by 104% in the half year to the 30th September and adjusted profit before tax was up by 90%. The company has a well developed pipeline of acquisition opportunities and is well positioned to continue to gain further market share.

Sosander plc SOS Trading from the 31st August to the end of November has exceeded management expectations. Following new funds raised in November the business now has significant momentum with the ability to acquire a wider and larger range of products and accelerate media and marketing activities.

Premaitha Health NIPT has further expanded its European customer base with the addition of four new laboratories which will be full installed early in 2018 with the expectations that they will perform over 9,000 NIPT tests per year across the whole of Europe, generating annual income for the company of over £1m.

Waterfront villas & houses for sale in Greece    http://www.hiddengreece.net

Quoted Micro 30 October 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

The government proposal to drop plans to cap housing benefit in the supported living sector to Local Housing Allowance rates is good news for Ashley House (ASH) because the rates would not have been viable. Ashley House has development schemes that could go-ahead following the change of government plans. There could still be other proposals that hamper development in the government paper on funding supported housing that is due to be published on Tuesday but if there are not then Ashley House is in a good position.

Belvedere Capital has subscribed for £31,500 of convertible loan notes in Forbes Ventures (FOR) and the investment is expected to increase to up to £100,000. The initial cash will pay creditors and enable Forbes to issue its interim figures. That is required for trading in the shares to recommence. The interest rate is 1% per month and the conversion price is 0.1p a share. A representative of Belvedere, which is focused on technology investments in northern England, will join the Forbes board as an executive director.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has made a £625,000 investment in standard-listed Curzon Energy (CZN). The shares in the oil and gas company were acquired at the flotation price of 10p each but the share price has fallen back to 8.38p. Curzon has a coal bed methane asset in Oregon.

Middle East-focused investment company Indigo Holdings (INGO) has made four investments, although one of these was earlier this month so it is not included in the balance sheet to the end of June 2017. There was still nearly £241,000 in the bank, prior to investing £10,000 in 3sootjobs, a job search platform in Iran.

Supported housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has been granted membership of the Social Stock Exchange. Management hopes that this will help the company attract investors seeking investments with a positive social impact.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has completed the €10.5m purchase of the UniCredit Bulbank office building in Sofia.

AIM

A management review at Real Good Food (RGD) has uncovered further disappointment and there will be a loss this year. All three divisions are growing their sales with overall like-for-like sales 13% ahead but this is not translating into higher profit. A combination of higher commodity prices and disruption from capital investment. Overheads are being reviewed and Real Good Food is also racking up costs relating to its corporate governance problems. The head office is being moved from London to Liverpool. New banking covenants have been agreed but the further downgrades could mean they come under pressure but the food company has the backing of its three main shareholders.

Investment in European distribution centres and a new UK head office held back the first half progress of musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) but the benefits will start to show through in the second half. There was a small loss in the first half but a full year pre-tax profit of £2.4m is forecast as European sales build up and margins start to recover.

Stratex International (STI) is holding a general meeting requisitioned by shareholders, including AnglGold Ashanti and Teck Resources, on 1 November. The requistioners, which own 24% of Stratex, want to remove the current chairman and chief executive and block the proposed reverse takeover of Brazil-focused Crusader Resources, which was announced in May. They want former Stratex directors David Hall and Paul Foord to return to the board. The two men run Thani Stratex Resources Ltd, which is 30%-owned by Stratex. Institutional Shareholder Services Inc advises voting against the resolutions. Stratex has the backing of shareholders owning 12.1% of the share capital. Earlier this month, Stratex sold its 13.7% stake in Goldstone Resources for £550,000 (1.6p a share).This was valued in the latest accounts at £950,000.

Datatec (DTC) is dropping its AIM quotation and concentrating on the JSE listing. There has been a lack of interest in the shares in London with non-South African investors trading through the JSE. The cancellation becomes effective on 8 December.

It appears easier to push a piano up a steep flight of stairs than for TLA Worldwide (TLA) to bring out its 2016 accounts. The latest management estimate for publication is before the end of November. Former CFO Don Malter is said to have misappropriated $800,000 of funds over three years. It is unclear if any of this is included in the $6.8m EBITDA adjustment for 2016 that was revealed in June. TLA remains best known for publishing a profit warning at 6.26pm on 23 December 2016. It will be interesting to see whether the accounts are published before this date and time in 2017.

Lombard Risk Management (LRM) had a tough first half but it expects to do much better in the second half and move back into profit. Interim revenues fell by 16% as risk management software sales fell. Regulatory reporting software sales improved. A full year profit of £1.8m is forecast.

Zinc Media (ZIN) has acquired Tern Television Productions for up to £5.45m, with up to £2.35m deferred. Tern made a pre-tax profit of £300,000 on revenues of £5.3m in the year to March 2017. Tern specialises in factual programming. A placing at 0.9p a share raised £3.5m.

Systems1 Group (SYS1) had a poor first half with revenues falling and costs increasing. The market research firm reported a 10% decline in interim revenues to £13.8m and a 70% slump in pre-tax profit to £540,000. There was still £3.5m in the bank at the end of September 2017. Rebranding and reorganisation hampered the business at a time when clients were also holding back spending.

Fox Marble (FOX) has sold the first polished marble slabs from its factory in Kosovo. This sale was part of the agreement to supply Marble Dino. Fox recently signed a three year agreement to supply OM Enterprises in India. An advance payment of $500,000 has been received.

Third quarter trading at broking business Share (SHRE) continued to be strong and revenues were 29% higher compared with the third quarter of 2016. Market share jumped to 13.9%.

A new finance director has reviewed the forecasts for Attraqt Group (ATQT) and problems in timing of contracts have been identified. This means that revenues will be 10% lower than expected in 2017, although there will be organic growth. There was £2.3m in the bank at the end of September.

Hardide (HDD) has raised £2.54m at 1.7p a share in order to fund an increase in reactor capacity. Two additional reactors will be installed in the US and other equipment will be installed in the UK and US. The surface coatings business has signed a framework agreement with a North American oil and gas business. Full year figures will be published on 11 December.

Botswana Diamonds (BOD) expects major developments over the coming months. There is enough cash to last into 2018. An inferred resource is expected to be reported for the Thorny River project before the end of the year. Eight kimberlites have been discovered at the Free State project.

Ascent Resources (AST) is raising a further £1.5m via PrimaryBid.com. Ascent is a regular user of the crowdfunding site. The shares will be issued at 1.66p each. Ascent is awaiting a signature on a government document that will enable it to export gas from Croatia.

Internet gaming software-as-a-service provider GAN (GAN) will benefit from the final approval of a bill in Pennsylvania that legalises real money online gaming. The regulated gaming is expected to start early in 2018.

Cenkos has lowered its revenue expectations for Collagen Solutions (COS) following a trading statement. It has knocked £400,000 off its 2017-18 revenues forecast and trimmed forecasts for later years. A profit is not anticipated until 2019-20. First half revenues of the collagen products supplier were flat.

K&C REIT (KCR) is raising £150m at 100p a share, following a ten-for-one share consolidation. The name is being changed to KCR Residential REIT and a move to a premium listing is planned.

The Ottoman Fund Ltd (OTM) has repatriated cash from Turkey and shut three Turkish subsidiaries. This is an important step in winding up the company returning cash to shareholders. The final distribution will be in the range of 1.36p a share to 1.53p a share.

Stellar Diamonds (STEL) has been granted an environmental licence for the Tongo project in Sierra Leone.

MAIN MARKET

Fuel cell technology developer Intelligent Energy Holdings (IEH) is selling its business and being wound up. Convertible loan note holders are likely to get 65% of the principal of the loan notes prior to their cancellation but ordinary shareholders will get nothing. Cash is likely to run out in November. Meditor Energy is paying £19.5m for the remaining business and this will be used to pay the 65% of principal of the loan notes. A Meditor fund owns 85.5% of these loan notes.

Orient Telecoms (ORNT) is a new standard list company that wants to start a telecoms business in Singapore from scratch. The share price ended the first day at 11p (10p/12p) and it remains unchanged since then. The shares are tightly held so any trading activity could push up the share price, so beware of this lack of liquidity. There does not appear to have been any trading activity, as yet.

Aquila Services Group (AQSG) is acquiring development consultancy and financial modelling services business pod. The business made an operating profit of £162,000 on annual revenues of £1.09m. This fits with the group’s affordable housing services operations.

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

Vodafone Increases Dividend As Losses Rise

Vodafone VOD. My own personal experience is that Vodafone can not even operate its own internal phone systems properly so it is not much of a surprise to see that it has problems globally. Group revenue fell by 4.4% for the year to the end of March, the loss for the year rose by 18.7% and the basic loss per share rose by 11.2% all of which were celebrated with a 2% increase in the interim dividend despite a rise in the company’s debt.

The groups explanation is that foreign exchange movements were primarily responsible for the loss, it faces increased regulatory headwinds but as signs of hope for the future, adjusted like for like earnings per share grew by 17% and organic EBITDA by 5.8%.

Crest Nicholson CRST reports that the housing market continues to be robust with mortgages easily available and government support in the shape of the Help to Buy scheme showing no sign of ending. Unit sales growth of about 10% is expected for the year to the 31st October, although sales per outlet in the first half are expected to show a fall from 0.87 to 0.81. As a result of investment in higher quality land, average selling prices have increased (what a surprise). It was expected that unit completions in the first half would fall and they did – from 1206 units to 1,064. As at the end of April forward sales were 5% ahead of last year.

Hardide HDD  First half revenue rose by 57% over last years first half and by 27% on the second half, as demand began to return from the oil and gas sector, which is still challenging and volatile. Sales to the sector rose by 115%. The company is still loss making but the EBITDA loss is down from £0.72m. to £0.43m. and the like for like group operating loss for the first half has fallen from £1.02m to £0.72m.

DCC PLC (DCC) after a strong year DCC is raising its final dividend for the year to 31st March by 16.3%, making a total increase for the year of 15%. Continuing revenue rose by 9%, leading to  a rise of 21% in total operating profit and 18% in earnings per share. The current year is expected to show further profit growth and development.

Zytronic ZYT After what appears to be strong all round growth, Zytronic is increasing its interim dividend by 10% for the half year to the 31st October.Basic earnings per share rose by 44%, group revenue was up from £9.9m to £11.3m. and profit before tax enjoyed a healthy jump from £1.8m to £2.5m. The second half of the year has started well, says the company.

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MP Evans Dividends Surge As Palm Oil Back In Favour

M.P. Evans Group MPE enjoyed an excellent 2016 and like for like profit for the year to 31st December more than doubled, rising from  from $7.8m to $16m. Total dividends for 2016 will follow suit with a rise from 8.75p in 2015  to 20p  (including a special dividend of of 5p per share) and even more is promised for current  year when total payments of 25p per share are expected. The board is said to be excited about the addition of significant new plantations.

The share price after steadily declining for a number of years, has recognised the transformation in palm oil prospects, rising from  415p in mid October, to todays 750p.

Homeserve HSV updates that it has had a very good year and expects that results will be at the upper end of market expectations. Customer growth in the UK was at a fairly modest 1% but in the US, there was significant expansion. The CEO is delighted with the company’s performance and promises that there will be further strong growth in the current year.

Electrocomponents ECM Expects that after a strong fourth quarter, results for the year to the 31st March will be ahead of previous expectations and headline profit before tax will be ahead of current market consensus. Revenue growth in quarter 4 accelerated to 8%. strong recovery was seen in North American and Pacific growth and a continuation of robust growth in Europe.But, both revenue and profits have benefitted from significant foreign exchange movements and additional trading days in 2017.

Hardide HDD First half sales to the Oil & Gas sectors have more than doubled compared to 2016 and overall trading is comfortably ahead of both first and second half performances in 2016..

easyJet EZJ March passenger statistics showed a rise of 10.6% over March last year and load factor grew further to 92.7% up 1.4% on a year ago.

Murgitroyd Group MUR enjoyed a strong third quarter with a 6% rise in revenue over the previous year, leading to a much improved trading perfrmance, ahead of revised internal forecasts.

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