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Wizz Air Holdings plc WIZZ which was named The Best Low-Cost Airline of the Year in the CEE region in 2018 and also received the Best Cabin Crew award, continued growing in March.15 New routes were opened and a number of new aircraft were brought into service.Seat capacity rose by 6.9%, passengers by 9.9% and load factor rose by 2.6ppts to 94.1%. At least it is good to see the former budget favourites being given not only a run for their money but lessons in customer service as well as the real meaning of “budget” .
Wizz Air also provides a trading update for the year to the 31st March 2019. Demand across the Company’s markets remains robust. It experienced an excellent operational performance in March with only one cancelled flight compared to 68 in March 2018. On time-performance also improved by 10ppts to 85%. The new financial year has started well with Revenue per Available Seat per Kilometre forecast to grow 4% year-on-year in the first quarter. Net profit for the year is expected to be in the upper half of its guidance range of between €270m and €300m.
Gear4music plc G4M updates that for the 13 months from 1 March 2018 to 31 March 2019 sales increased by 36% with continuing strong growth in the UK and Europe. Active Customer numbers increased by 53% to 727,400. Decisive management action has been taken during the period to solve the problems of lower gross margins and with a strong emphasis on margin growth, the Group is expected to return to a more profitable growth trajectory during the new financial year. The momentum in sales growth has continued both in the UK and Europe. In only six years revenues have grown from £12m to £110m.
Hydrogen Group plc HYDG is delighted to report a strong performance in 2018, with underlying profit before tax up by 264,% and basic earnings per share moving from a loss of 4.4p per share to a positive 7p. Shareholders get their rewards with a final dividend of 1p per share taking the total for the year to 1.5p, a rise of 88%. Continued growth is confidently expected for this current year.
Intercede Group plc IGP announces that it received a large US Federal Government order totaling $4.3m on the 29 March 2019. Revenues for the year ended 31 March 2019 are expected to be in excess of £10.0m, which is ahead of market expectations and approximately 10% higher than the previous financial year. A return to profitability is now expected at both operating profit level after 2018″s: £4.5m operating loss) and after interest and tax.
Ted Baker plc TED group revenue rose by 3.5% in the 28 weeks to the to the 11th August but profit before tax fell by 3.2% and basic earnings per share by 1.8%, so the management did two things. Firstly it increased the interim dividend by 7.8% and secondly it sought refuge in the time honoured excuse of “challenging external trading conditions”, thereby completely ignoring the successful companies which not only face challenging conditions but beat them. Wholesale sales did rise by 10% and e commerce by 24.1%. North America, the UK and Europe did see small sales rises in retail sales but the rest of the world showed a small rise or a small decline depending on how you calculated your currency. As for the future it looks like the board has already succumbed to those challenging conditions which it believes will continue through the second half.
Electrocomponents ECM benefitted from strong momentum in the six months to the 30th September. Group like for like revenue grew by 10% after a strong second quarter and adjusted profit before tax for the half year is expected to grow from last year’s £79m to £100m.
Audioboom Group BOOM produced record revenue for the quarter ended 31 August 2018 with a rise of 14% on Q2 2018 and 26% up on Q3 2017. Despite that revenue for the 13 months ending 31 December 2018 is now expected to be below current market expectations. That will still show a hefty rise on the 12 months to November 2017 which produced $6mUS$ compared to between $11.5m and US$13m which is expected for the end of the current year.
Gooch & Housego GHH has entered its new financial year with a record year end order book, which, as at 30 September 2018, stood at £96.1 million, an increase of 33% compared with last year. On a like for like basis and excluding the impact of foreign exchange this still comes in as a healthy 17% rise. The company is in a strong position and has been able to take advantage of positive market conditions.
Intercede Group IGP updates that operating losses for the six months to the end of September have been substantially reduced to less than £1.0m compared to last years £3.1m. Revenue for the half year has risen by more than 10% compared to last year.
AB Dynamics plc ABDP has performed well throughout the year and the Board expects both revenue and profit before tax will significantly exceed market expectations.
Autotrader AUTO The year to the 31st March was one of strong revenue and profit growth, although the second half felt the effects of broader economic uncertainty. Revenue for the year rose by 7% and profit before tax by10%. A final divided of 4p per share is proposed up from last years 3.5p and making a total for the year of 5.9p per share as against last years 5.2p per share. The new year has started well.
Sopheon SPE is full of praise for its recent past performances and it looks like the air will be full of self congratulation at today’s AGM. As for the immediate outlook, positive momentum has continued and full year revenue so far has risen by 34%, an all time high for its mid year AGM report. The Board says it continues to be enthusiastic.
Intercede Group plc IGP Preliminary results for the year to 31st March show a rise of 11% in revenue, after a strong year end. However this made little impression on last years losses of £3.9m. which fell to £3.8m., despite staff numbers being slashed from 120 to 98. A new Chief Executive has been appointed and the management team has been reorganised in an attempt to bring the company back to profitability.
Joules Group plc JOUL updates that for the 52 weeks to the 27th May group revenue rose by 18.5% with retail up by 15.9% and wholesale by 24%. Underlying profit before tax will be marginally ahead of analysts expectations.The strength and appeal of the brand is credited with the success.
Veltyco Group plc VLTY proposes paying a maiden dividend of 0.25p per share for the year to 31st December 2017 after revenue grew by 165% following the completion of acquisitions and operating EBITDA rose by 260%. The momentum has continued into the current year with revenue so far growing by a further 60% compared to 2017.
easyJet EZJ continues to fly high with statistics for September showing an 11% rise in passenger numbers and load factor up by a further 2.5pp to 93.6%. Mind you easyJet must regard as a blessing, Ryanair’s much publicised confession that it has messed up big time and will continue to do so for months to come, much to the annoyance of its passengers
Intercede Group IGP Revenue rose by about 30% in the 6 months to 30th September, due mainly to new customer wins. A strong second half is expected as diversification into Europe and the strengthening of the European pipeline is expected to offset budget difficulties in the company’s US government customer base.
Redcentric RCN has been trading in line during the last six months which has seen strong operating cash flow leading to a reduction of £33m in net debt, ahead of management expectations. A new CEO has been appointed who has a 25 years track record of delivering growth and business transformations.
BTG plc. BTG updates that it has delivered a good first half performance in the 6 months to the 30th September, producing double digit sales growth at constant exchange rates. Interventional Medicine’s growth is expected to have been in the mid to high teens at constant exchange rates and this is expected to increase in the second half.
Accrol Group Holdings ACRL has experienced more challenging trading conditions which are having a significant effect on the company’s trading performance. It is believed that fine which is due to be imposed by the Health and Safety Executive will be more significant than previously thought, to the extent that it will have a material impact on the company’s cash position. Consequently the dividend payment for the current year is to be reviewed and application has been made for the temporary suspension of trading in the company”s shares on AIM.
Caledonia Mining Corporation CMCL announces yet another quarterly production record at its Blanket Mine in Zimbabwe.Gold production in quarter 3 rose to 14,389 oz. which was 15% up on the second quarter and 7% up on 2016’s third quarter. The improvement in gold production is expected to continue into the fourth quarter.
Business incubator Milamber Ventures (MLVP) is acquiring The League of Angels, an angel network set up by Barney Battles, a Milamber director. There is a subsidiary called The China 68 Club that offers access to Chinese family offices. The business made a small profit last year and since April it has referred work to Milamber worth £200,000. Milamber is paying £150,000 in shares at 15p each. Battles will own 21.6% of Milamber. In the six months to September 2016, Milamber increased its revenues from £34,000 to £224,000, while the loss rose from £54,000 to £196,000.
Residential property developer Via Developments (VIA1) has found buyers for all eight apartments in its Canal Street development in Manchester and non-refundable deposits of £375,000 have been received. The apartments should be completed in the second quarter of 2017. The gross development value of the project is £2.2m. Revised plans have been submitted for the Plymouth Grove development in Manchester and planning applications for the Napier Street site in Luton, the place in the UK where house prices have been strongest over the past year, should be determined in the next few months.
African Potash (AFPO) has revised its bridge loan agreement with Katrina Clayton, the wife of the company‘s finance director. This agreement provided finance of £150,000 and this will be increased to £900,000, in return for a fee of £7,500, because it failed to raise additional cash through share issues. If the shares cease to be traded on ISDX/NEX or a regulated market then African Potash will be in default. The lender can also appoint a director to the company. There was a $2m cash outflow from operating activities in the year to June 2016, plus $873,000 of capital investment. There were limited revenues from fertiliser trading. Net debt was $706,000 at the end of June 2016.
Globe Capital Ltd (GCAP) had £5,000 left in the bank at the end of September 2016. There was a cash outflow of £91,000 over the previous nine months, while £100,000 was raised from issuing shares. The only investment is a 25% stake in online menswear retailer Sterling Craig.
It is not just TLA Worldwide (TLA) that has used the Christmas and New Year period to put out bad news, although none was quite as blatant and late in the day as TLA. Legal and debt management services provider Fairpoint (FRP) used the period between Christmas and New Year to report the departure of chief executive Chris Moat, although he will continue to assist in the closure of the debt management business. The share price has fallen by two-thirds since its profit warning on 9 December. Hargreave Hale has been trimming its stake from above 14% to 12.2%. 1Spatial (SPA) has parted company with its chief executive Marcus Hanke. This follows the disposal of the Avisen and Storage Fusion businesses. 1Spatial had warned that contracts were going to fall into 2017 and therefore it will make a 2016 loss.
Intercede (IGP) is raising around £5m from the issue of £4.5m of convertible loan notes and a £500,000 subscription at 57p a share – although this requires shareholder approval – compared with a market price of 57.5p. The identity and digital security services provider is not generating enough cash to make the required investment in its products and a move into the consumer market. Full year revenues will be less than the £11m reported for 2015-16. Interim revenues halved to £2.8m and the pre-tax loss soared from £432,000 to £3.67m. The cash pile fell from £5.29m to £1.38m in the six months to September 2016 so most of this cash has probably already gone. The convertibles last for five years and have an annual interest charge of 8%. The conversion price is just over 68.8p a share.
B2B gaming services provider Nektan (NKTN) has raised £2.275m at 27.5p a share and is offering shareholders the chance to subscribe for £500,000 at the same share price. That was a 15% discount to the market price but it has since fallen to 27p – compared with the November 2014 flotation price of 236p. In the year to June 2016, revenues jumped from £528,000 to £5.78m but the loss still increased from £8.12m to £10.5m. The cash outflow, before a rise in trade payables, was £6.18m. Conversion of loans means that Nektan’s stake in US business ReSpin has been raised from 50% to 85%.
It has not just been bad news between Christmas and New Year. Windar Photonics (WPHO) has revealed a number of new orders for its LiDAR wind sensors for use on wind turbines. An Indian power producer and the Indian National Institute of Wind Energy have ordered sensors, with the power producer ordering an initial five units with an option for a further 35 units. On top of this there are orders for seven units from Canada – a repeat order – and South Korea – the first order in that country. Windar has already said that its 2016 revenues will be between €1.5m and €2m – slightly below expectations. Before Christmas, Windar raised £491,000 at 94p a share. The share price has since fallen back to 77p.
Commercial property investor Summit Germany Ltd (SMTG) is paying a third interim dividend of 1.02 cents a share – the same as the previous quarterly dividend. The ex-dividend date is 5 January and forms to receive the dividend in pence need to be completed by 4 January. The exchange rate for the previous quarterly dividend was 0.8815p to one Euro, so the current exchange rate suggests that the sterling equivalent will be lower in this quarter. Summit has sold an empty office building in Hamburg for €14m.
Facilities management and security services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) is generating more than three-quarters of its revenues from repeat business. In the six months to September 2016, revenues were 79% ahead at $91.1m. Much of that growth comes from a full contribution from the UK operations but the Indian business grew 22% and still accounts for 63% of revenues. Underlying pre-tax profit has jumped from $300,000 to $2/6m. Net debt was $14.6m but since then £2.3m has been raised at 75p a share. Trading continues to be strong.
Kodal Minerals (KOD) says that the latest samples at the Bougouni lithium project show high grade lithium mineralization of up to 2.03% lithium oxide. A total of 18 holes have been drilled and the results of analysis are expected by the end of January.
Stanley Gibbons (SGB) lost £6.18m in the first half, compared with a £1.11m profit in the comparative period after revenues slumped from £29.4m to £20.2m. Net debt was £16.5m at the end of September 2016. The US-based ecommerce business has been closed after an investment of £10m. A new coin joint venture has been set up by Baldwin with coin auctioneer St James’s, following a number of management departures.
Redcentric (RCN) has issued options to finance director Peter Brotherton and chief operating officer Mo Siddiqi. Brotherton has 161,905 options at nil cost and Siddiqi has 257,143 options at no cost, while Siddiqi has 250,000 at 84p each. These options are dependent on diluted earnings per share growth between March 2016 and March 2019. The compound annual growth rate required is not specified but the figures for the year to March 2016 have already been restated downwards. Siddiqi also has 250,000 options at 84p each that have no performance criteria. The current share price is 91p.
Grapheme NanoChem (GRPH) has gained its first commercial order for PlatDrill synthetic-based drilling mud in China. The initial order of 4,000 barrels of PlatDrill will be used for two shale gas wells in south west China and will generate revenues of $360,000. There could be more than 300 wells drilled in China each year over a five year period.
Mobile financial services provider Vipera (VIP) is increasing its stake in Codd & Date, which deploys Vipera’s technology services with customers, from 51% to 80.7%. In fact, the part of the business that focuses on Vipera’s Motif software will be split out and become a wholly-owned business. The enlarged group will move into larger premises in Milan More Info. Vipera is issuing 21.4 million shares and six million warrants exercisable at 5p each to pay for the additional stake.
CPP Group (CPP) is paying SSP £2.5m for terminating the contract to build an IT platform.
Fire and emergency services resource manager AssetCo (ASTO) is still attempting to renew its main contract in Abu Dhabi, which was due for renewal on 17 November. The contract will continue on existing terms until the new one is agreed. There should be further news concerning a one year extension at the end of January. Trading is in line with expectations.
Positive news from Providence Resources (PANR) concerning its VOBM4 well. Drilling of the Wilcox sandstone suggests that there is a potentially highly productive hydrocarbon zone at shallower depths.
Igas Energy (IGAS) is still trying to negotiate a capital restructuring and a strategic investor is interested in injecting funds into the business. There is around $32m left in the bank but net debt is significant enough for IGas to be on the verge of breaking its leverage covenant.
Circle Oil (COP) has lost its AIM quotation because trading in the shares had been suspended for six months and management says that the shares are unlikely to have any value. The International Finance Corporation and associates have waived debt repayments and deferred interest payments until 26 January.
Derriston Capital (DERR) joined the standard list on 29 September. Medical products and devices are the proposed areas where an acquisition is likely to come from. Derriston (www.derristoncapital.co.uk), whose investors include Nigel Wray, former Domino’s Pizza boss Stephen Hemsley and Primary Health Properties boss Harry Hyman, raised £2.275m at 10p a share to go with the £56,000 previously raised. Derriston was valued at £2.5m when it floated. The standard list shell more than doubled in value in the first couple of days of trading but ended the week at 17.5p.