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J Sainsbury plc and Asda. The proposed merger between Sainsbury”s and Asda has been prohibited by The Competition and Markets Authority in its final report published today. As a result, Sainsbury’s, Walmart and Asda have mutually agreed to terminate the transaction.The reasoning behind the prohibition is that the proposed merger would result in increased prices for the consumer. Sainsbury is still unconvincngly trying to argue that it would mean lower prices. I know who I believe. Well done the CMA
Meggitt plc MGGT Revenue during the first quarter was strong with organic growth of 9% excluding the effects of foreign exchange and disposals. Strong revenue growth is expected to continue for the remainder of the year which is expected to be more challenging as air traffic growth is expected to moderate. The demand for defence products is also uneven despite organic revenue growth of 18%
Image Scan Holdings IGE produced a performance which was slightly behind expectations during the six months to the 31st March but expects to meet market expectations for the year to 30 September 2019. Revenue declined by some 30% and the half year profit of £39,000 was turned into a loss before tax of £178,000.The Chairman says that the recent decline in the share price is disappointing for shareholders but what else can he expect with results like that.
Ixico plc IXI updates that it is on track to deliver robust revenue growth for the first half of the year to the 31st March. Reported revenues are expected to show growth of 22% and the company is confident that full year revenue growth will match that. The momentum in building the order book during the first half of the year has continued from 2018. The order book is now robust and is expected to enable the company deliver on the +20% revenue growth targets which the business has set for itself.
Synnovia plc SYN expects results for the year to the 31st March will show strong growth in both sales and profits.Although profits will show a significant rise they are still expected to be marginally below current market expectations. The Industrial Division has performed extremely well as new business came on stream after the unexpected delays encountered in the previous year. Profitability in the Films Division was adversely affected by project delays in the current year.The Group also has to report that it has recently discovered an overstatement of revenue amounting to £1.619 million for the financial year ended 31 March 2018. This it claims, is non material but with repeated delays in its its two main divisions over this year and last, the picture painted by management could have been a happier one.
Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has added a NEX quotation to its year-old Canadian Stock Exchange listing. Auxico has mineral properties in Colombia and Mexico. There is already a UK investor base.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) had a bumper 2018 harvest that was 125% ahead of the previous best, thanks to the hot summer. Some vineyards produced their first crops.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) is paying this year’s dividend in three instalments: October, April and July. The first interim will be 0.83p a share and the ex-dividend date is 25 October. The sale of Hume House in Leeds has been completed for £3.9m, compared to a cost of £1.67m in March 2014. A 37-storey building will be constructed on the site.
Eight Capital Partners (MORE) is investing £250,000 in AIM-quoted Imaginatik (IMTK) with £160,000 subscription for shares at 1.1p a share for a 29.7% stake, and £90,000 in convertible loan notes with an annual interest rate of 7.5%. Eight Capital is issuing up to £2.5m of convertible bonds at 95% of their nominal value. The annual coupon is 5%. One warrant will be granted for every two shares issued.
Trading in the shares of Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has been suspended ahead of a potential acquisition of property assets from the Oyston family.
Gunsynd (GUN) will get a 4% stake in Human Brands when, or if, it floats on the standard list. Previously it would have been a 1% stake. Gunsynd has £289,000 invested in drinks distributor Human Brands loan notes.
Founder Sebastian Snow has resigned as creative director of pubs and inns operator Barkby Group (BARK) and Lana Snow has also left the group. Occupancy rates were good in September and there is significant demand for the Christmas period.
Ganapati (GANP) reported a reduction in interim loss from £4.54m to £3.56m, although total income was flat at £2.19m. There was cash in the bank of £2m at the end of July 2018. This could be added to by an initial coin offering by Malta-based blockchain subsidiary GanaEightCoin Ltd next spring.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £81,250 at 15p a share to provide further working capital.
The chairman and chief executive of DXS International (DXSP) have both bought shares in the healthcare technology company. Bob Sutcliffe bought 100,000 shares at 8.515p each, while David Immelman bought 20,538 shares at 8.66p each, which takes the chief executive’s stake to 10.3%.
Sativa Investments (SATI) has signed an option on a 298,806 square foot glasshouse for growing medicinal cannabis. Mark Blower is becoming a non-executive director.
Melissa Sturgess has acquired 590,000 shares in Ananda Developments (ANA) at 0.4496p each. The executive director of the cannabis-focused investment company owns 47.8 million shares. Ananda joined NEX on 4 July having raised £930,000 at 0.45p a share. The share price ended the first day at 0.975p and it has more than halved since then.
Chris Marsh has resigned as finance director of Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) having been suspended on 9 October. Previously undisclosed LTIP share awards have been revealed.
GB Group (GBG) has acquired Australia-based ID verification services provider Vix Verify Global for £21m. This has led to a 2.7% upgrade in the 2019-20 forecast earnings per share. Third quarter trading of the existing business was in line with expectations with organic growth in revenues of 11%.
Avingtrans (AVG) is acquiring Texas-based Tecmag Inc for $243,000. Tecmag manufactures instrumentation for magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear magnetic resonance systems. This fits well with Avingtrans’ magnets business in the sector.
Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) has shocked investors with accounting changes relating to accrued income and increases in impairment charges for trade debtors. This will slash £10m for this year’s profit turning it into a loss. There is £11.5m in the bank at the end of September 2018.
1Spatial (SPA) reduced its loss n the first half and is on course to cut its full year loss from £1.5m to £1m. The geospatial data services provider should move into profit next year.
HaloSource Corporation (HALO) says it has sufficient working capital until the end of the year, but up to $5m is required to add a further 12 months. The company expects to generate revenues of $2m-$2.5m in 2018 and the target is to treble that figure in 2019, which would reduce the loss.
EKF Diagnostics (EKF) says the record date for the distribution of shares in Renalytix AI is 23 October and the shares will start trading on 2 November.
Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) expects 2017-18 profit to be in line with expectations and order books are strong. Infrastructure services provider Tamdown’s revenues will be slightly lower due to planning delays with the growth coming from utility connections business TriConnex. Net cash is £20m.
RA International (RAI) has won a $9.1m contract with URS Group Inc. This is a new client. The contract covers construction services for an asphalt runway in Somalia and lasts for 11 months.
Data analysis software and services provider D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) trebled its interim revenues to £14m, although the comparatives were weak. Net cash is £12.2m.
Gfinity (GFIN) is raising £6m at 8p a share and this cash will further develop the esports activities and the UK Elite series. The 2017-18 revenues were 82% ahead at £4.3m and losses continue.
Angling Direct (ANG) is taking advantage of its strong position in the fishing tackle retail market by raising £20m at 92.5p a share, which compares to the July 2017 flotation price of 64p a share. The cash will finance the opening of 20 stores and the launch of European websites. This accelerated investment means that Angling Direct will fall into loss this year.
Velocity Composites (VEL) has managed to trade in line with downgraded forecasts for the year to October 2018. Revenues will be slightly above £24m and there is net cash of £3.6m. The company is seeking a new chief executive and the former incumbent has left the board.
The cancellation of a contract and the failure to gain backing for an acquisition have hampered the progress of Image Scan Holdings (IGE) in the year to September 2018. Revenues fell from £5m to £3.5m, although the gross margin improved from 39% to 48%. Pre-exceptional profit will slump from £480,000 to £45,000. That was before the £245,000 cost of the failed acquisition. There was £780,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. Sarah Atwell-King has been appointed finance director.
VR Education (VRE) has been hit by the delayed launch of its Titanic VR product on PlayStation. This should still happen this year, but 2018 revenues will be well below expectations. The timing of the launch will determine the outcome for the year. The ENGAGE platform will be launched before the end of the year as anticipated. Non-executive director Mike Boyce is helping out with sales.
SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) increased its research and development spending from £157,000 to £416,000 in the year to June 2018. The cosmetic application has started a human study and data should be available between November and April 2019. A clinical trial for an eczema treatment could start before the end of 2019. There was £3.2m in cash at the end of June 2018.
Rare books trader Scholium (SCHO) says it will move into loss in the first half, but it expects to make a higher full year profit than the £38,000 reported last year. Start-up Mayfair Philatelics is losing money but three auctions are taking place in the second half.
AfriTin Mining Ltd (ATM) is making progress towards production at its Uis tin project in Namibia. The first phase plant being constructed will be able to process 500,000 tonnes of pegmatite in order to produce 720 tonnes of tin concentrate a year. AfriTin has the cash required to reach production.
A strong performance from manned guarding meant that Croma Security Solutions (CSSG) increased its full year revenues by 59% to £35.1m and pre-tax profit was 400% higher at £2m. There were some one-off boosts during the year. Net cash was £2.1m. The dividend has been increased from 0.5p a share to 1.6p a share.
Property investment adviser First Property Group (FPO) has reduced its stake in Fprop Opportunities to 44.3% so it will no longer be consolidated in the group’s results. The plan is to lower the stake to below 30%. Fund management will be a greater contributor to profit.
More cash is required at meat and delicatessen products retailer Crawshaw (CRAW) for restructuring purposes and it also still needs a new nominated adviser.
Kemin Resources (KEM) will leave AIM on 29 October because it has not been able to find a replacement for Strand Hanson as nominated adviser. JP Jenkins Ltd will provide a trading facility.
OnTheMarket (OTMP) has signed up Belvoir Lettings (BLV) to its online platform. All Belvoir’s sales and lettings properties will be on the platform.
StatPro Group (SOG) says annualised recurring income has increased by 3% to £54.8m.
Communisis (CMS) is recommending a 71p a share cash offer by consumer communications services provider OSG, which values the target at £153.8m. The combined business would be able to develop internationally because of OSG’s global strength.
WideCells Group (WDC) has signed a partnership deal with stem cell extraction and storage company Smart Cells. The deal is with the healthcare insurance subsidiary CellPlan, whose insurance plans will be offered to Smart Cells’ 60,000 clients.
Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) has signed a second agreement with US biopharma company Orgenesis Inc. The deal involves the development and commercialisation of the company’s Human Postnatal Hemogenic Endothelial Cell (Hu-PHEC) technology, which could develop cancer-free, patient-matched blood stem cells after transplantation into a patient. Like the previous agreement, Orgenesis will provide a convertible loan of $1m and this can be converted into shares in the Hemogenyx subsidiary that owns the technology. Orgenesis will pay a 12% royalty on net revenues generated by the technology.
North Midland Construction (NMD) says that full year revenues will be better than anticipated at between £340m and £345m, with net margins between 1.7% to 1.8%. The order book for delivery in 2019 is £222m. A new single identity for the group will be launched in November. HR director Karen Morris has bought 8,172 shares at 550p each.
Today brings more evidence of the strength of small, even tiny, British companies which are prospering and growing strongly. No complaints from them about Brexit, challenging market conditions, the weakness of the pound and all the other moans which issue forth on a daily basis from so many of our major companies who have become sclerotic lost both the will and the ability to succeed.
easyJet EZJ has reached agreement with Air Berlin to acquire part of Air Berlin’s operation at Berlin Tegel airport for a consideration of 40 million Euro. easyJet will take leases on up to 25 A320 aircraft and offer employment to up to 1,000 of Air Berlins pilots and cabin crew, thereby stealing a march on Ryanair which has suffered such severe consequences as a result of suddenly finding it had a pilot shortage.
Image Scan plc IGE is exceptionally proud of its achievements in the year to 30th September which saw sales rise by over 50% from £3.3m to £5m and profit before tax rise nearly five fold from £105,000 to £480,000. 65% of the increase in sales came from portable x ray machines, strong progress was made in new markets in India and the order intake for the year was a record at £5.4m. The CEO states that the strong momentum is set to continue.
Cerillion plc CER updates for the year to 30th September, that it has continued to perform well in the second half and full year revenue and EBITDA are expected to show rises of 8.2% and 16.3% respectively. Growth in software revenue form existing customers has been strong and opportunities for the future are seen as encouraging.
Artilium plc ARTA The year to the 30th June was one of significant operational and technical progress, which enabled the company to become a leading figure in innovative telecom software solutions. Adjusted EBITDA for the year grew by 21.7% and revenue by 8.6%. New markets were penetrated, especially in Germany where a new office has been opened and strong demand is seen for the company’s software solutions. The leading position which it now holds is expected to be reflected in both revenue and EBITDA growth in the current year.
Walker Greenbank WGB benefited from three factors which helped sales to increase by 29% in the half year to the 31st July, enabling the interim dividend to be increased by 25.5%. The first was a strong contribution from Clarke & Clarke, acquired in October 2016 and which produced sales of £10.3m out of a total of £54 million. The second was a 17.9% increase in licensing income and the third was a strong export performance which helped to offset a weaker UK. Despite this, statutory operating profit fell by some 10% due to acquisition costs but underlying operating profit rose by 52.8% and adjusted earnings per share by 39.4%.
Gooch & Housego GHH ended its financial year on the 30th September with a record order book, up by 29% in constant currency terms and on a like for like basis. Strong demand was seen throughout the year in the industrial and telecommunications sectors. About a third of the company’s business now relates to Aerospace and Defence.
Image Scan Holdings IGE has had such a busy September that the update given at the end of August is already out of date. Completion of orders which were due for delivery later in the year has been accelerated as has factory acceptance of other orders. The result is that sales for the year to 30th September are now expected to be £5 million compared to August’s estimate of £4.5million whilst profit before tax is expected to be well up at £450,000 as against August’s estimate of £250,000. The year end order book is also said to be strong.
Lightwave RF plc. LWRF anticipates that revenue for the year to 30th September will have more than doubled from 2016’s £1.44m Gross margins are also expected to have materially increased from last years 32.5%. Even so losses before tax are expected to be broadly in line with the £0.84m. loss for 2016
Redhall Group RHL expects results for the year to 30th September will now be materially below expectations due to client delays, especially relating to work on Hinckley Point C. The delays are not anticipated to continue and a strong performance is expected for 2018.
Pearson PSON has brought out a new literacy programme which management has obviously not read. Had it done so they could have written their 9 month interim management statement in something like English instead of nonsense such as “some 3,600 Full Time Equivalent employees have been notified of exit.” – and this from a purveyor of higher education products, who seems to be surprised that its nine month sales have declined by7% although this is glossed over as due to retailer inventory corrections. Come off it. A slump in sales is still a slump in sales however you dress it up in fancy language. Pearson even claims that this is a good competitive performance even though sales are continuing to suffer from a further 3% fall and sales are trending lower than expected in North American higher education..
Fortunately the declining pound is there to rescue management to the extent that if current exchange rates persist, earnings per share are expected to increase by about 4.5p or some 8%. Saving weak management is not supposed to be the reason for allowing the pound to collapse.
Lok’n Store Group LOK claims that the year to 31st July was an exciting one which produced an impressive performance with more to come. Document storage more than doubled its profits and self storage performed strongly. The annual dividend is to be increased by 12.5%
Mortice Limited MORT has enjoyed another strong period of growth with year on year revenue for the first half, up by 57%, including contributions from its two acquisitions which have been performing well.
Image Scan Holdings IGE Sales for the year to the end of September have almost doubled with a rise from £1.7m to £3.3m and margins rising from 38% to 42%. Pretax trading profit for the year is expected to have risen over sixfold to £0.64m. As a sign of continuing success the outstanding year end order book has almost tripled from a year ago and now stands at £1.7m.
Tristel TSTL results for the year to the end of June are ahead of market expectations and the full year dividend is to be increased by 11%. Overseas sales rose by 22% and total turnover by 12%. Pretax profit and EBITDA before share based payments rose by 27% and 26% respectively. Tristel has no debt and there is £5.7m in the bank.