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Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 4 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 4 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET  

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 8 October 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

National Milk Records (NMR) is recommending a dividend of 2.5p a share after it moved from an operating loss of £11.9m to an operating profit of £1.9m in the 12 months to June 2018. If one-offs are stripped out, then the operating profit has improved from £1.1m to £1.9m. Net debt is £1.8m. There has been an improvement in the dairy market over the past year. Demand is increasing for services related to animal welfare and health, as well as for reproduction services.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has signed a strategic partnership with Lition Technology, which is developing a new blockchain infrastructure. This will be the first blockchain with deletable data features. A Lition token sale has commenced and the funding target is $25m.

EQE Special Opportunities (ESO) has sold its investment in Process Components for £13.6m and this has added 11.16p a share to EPE’s NAV, which is 216.31p a share.

KR1 (KR1) has sold its remaining Golem tokens for nearly $134,000. They were bought for 1.3 cents each and sold for 22 cents each in less than two years. The remaining Qtum tokens have been sold for $125,000, which is equivalent to more than twenty times the price per token they were acquired for.

Botswana-focused oil and gas company Karoo Energy (KEP) is confident that it will be able to raise the cash it requires before the end of the year. Contax Partners is keen to be involved in a fundraising. There are also plans to move to AIM and gain a listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange.

Via Developments (VIA1) has completed the construction of the Napier House development in Luton and 23 of the 30 apartments have been sold. Cash of £702,000 has been received with a further £3.64m to be paid on completion. The other seven apartments are valued at £1.5m.

Anthony Carr, a new investor, has acquired 1.785 million shares in healthcare IT supplier DXS International (DXSP) at 7p each. That is a 5.07% stake. Director Bob Sutcliffe has acquired 12,960 shares at 7.88p each, which takes his shareholding to 0.96%.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) has raised £120,000 at 1.2p a share and the cash will be used to finance the companies three main projects in Ireland.  New IMC chairman Eamonn O’Brien subscribed for 4.34 million shares taking his stake to 2.5%. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £250,000 at 12.5p a share, while convertible loan notes worth £81,000 were converted into shares at 8p each. Imperial Minerals (IMPP) is raising up to £300,000 from an issue of unsecured convertible notes with an annual interest rate of 10%.

AIM   

Gooch and Housego (GHH) says trading for the year to September 2018 was in line with guidance. The optical equipment supplier improved its undersea cable equipment revenues in the second half and the industrial sector demand was strong. Acquisitions in aerospace and life sciences will help to offset any cyclicality in the industrial sector. The order book is worth £96.1m.

Avingtrans (AVG) reported slightly better than expected figures. The engineering company has started to reap the benefits of the Hayward Tyler acquisition but there is more to come. Revenues were 247% higher at £78.9m with the acquisition helping gross margin to improve to 25.5%. The underlying pre-tax profit was £2.4m and the total dividend 3.6p a share. A £4.3m profit is forecast for this year, rising to £5.3m in 2019-20.

Telecoms sector marketing services provider Pelatro (PTRO) will offer its loyalty management solution to Telenor’s global operations. The Danateq acquisition has helped Pelatro have the chance to win this work.

Event driven marketing services provider mporium (MPM) has deployed its IMPACT sports syncing technology with two large global advertising networks. This provides access to even more brands and will help to build revenues in order to reduce the loss.

DX (Group) (DX.) reported a reduced loss in the second half but the parcel delivery firm still made a large full year loss. A £4.5m profit is forecast for next year.

Myanmar-focused social media platform operator MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) generated revenues of $1.84m in the year to June 2018, with gaming revenues more than offsetting a decline in advisory income. However, second half revenues were barely higher than the first half revenues. Current monthly games revenues are flat. There is $2m in the bank.

MAIN MARKET   

Standard list cash shell Trident Resources (TRR) started trading on 1 October after £4m had been raised at 20p a share. Trident is seeking to acquire in the mining sector.  Ongoing costs are expected to be £130,000 a year with additional costs for due diligence on potential acquisitions.

Avocet Mining (AVM) says that it has enough cash for the next 12 months, as long as Elliott, which is the company’s largest shareholder, does not ask for its loans of $29.9m to be repaid. Avocet’s only asset is in the Tri-K development.

Flavour and fragrance ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) has done well enough in the second half to offset negative currency movements, so pre-tax profit for the year to September 2018 is in line with expectations. Like-for-like revenues grew by 9%. US manufacturing capacity expansion is on time and the relocation of the UK site is progressing well. The full year figures will be published on 27 November.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 9 July 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Ananda Developments (ANA) joined NEX on 4 July having raised £930,000 at 0.45p a share. Ananda is the latest medicinal cannabis-focused investment vehicle. The pre-money valuation was £500,000 There are already potential investments being assessed and management has built up relationships with businesses in Israel and Canada. A reverse takeover valued at up to £10m appears most likely.

Medicinal cannabis business investor Sativa Investments (SATI) has acquired PhytoVista Laboratories from a company owned by Sativa boss Geremy Thomas. Sativa is paying £235,000 in cash and £200,000 in shares at 4p a share. PhytoVista operates a laboratory that tests cannabis oils and hemp products. Because of the demand for the shares, the shareholders originally subject to the orderly market arrangements will be allowed to trade in the shares with the consent of Peterhouse.

KR1 (KR1) has made four more investments. The company invested £593,000 in Dfinity network tokens. Dfinity is developing a supercomputer to host the next generation of software and it is expected to offer unlimited capacity. A further £100,000 has been invested in the Flying Carpet Project, which is involved with a communication protocol for devices, such as drones and automated cars. The number of tokens that the cash will represent has not been decided. A 1.25% stake has been acquired in Connext Inc, which is developing a payment hub, for $50,000 and the same amount of money has acquired a 10% stake in Blocksmith. There is a 12-month option to acquire a further 5% of blockchain system development agency Blocksmith for $100,000

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has increased its dividend by 25% to 1.25p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 12 July. This will cost £500,000. Property acquisitions have been completed in Oldham and Wigan. The total cost is £6.4m and the rental income is just over £597,000.

Monreal (MORE) has left AIM and joined NEX. Monreal has net cash of £730,000 and the plan is to invest in private technology, media and telecoms businesses.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has received a refund of €289,000 (£256,000) from the French tax authorities. This relates to the 2009 tax year and Tectonic hopes to get a €416,000 (£368,500) refund for the 2010 tax year.  VSA Capital has been appointed as financial adviser and joint broker.

Ganapati (GANP) is launching blockchain-enabled casino games and plans to issue a utility token, which will be called G eight C, through an initial coin offer. Pre-sales of the tokens should start in the fourth quarter of 2018.

EcoVista (EVTP) has raised £300,000 at 0.035p a share.

There have been previously unreported trades by a broker in Karoo Energy (KEP), All Star Minerals (ASMO), Valiant Investments (VALP) and Clean Invest Africa (CIA).

AIM     

Film and video localisation services provider Zoo Digital (ZOO) continues to gain momentum. Content owners can sell programmes in additional territories because using Zoo’s services means that it is economic when it was not in the past. That means that the addressable market is even bigger because it includes back catalogue that would not have been localised previously. In the year to March 2018, revenues rose from $16.5m to $26.8m and Zoo moved into profit. That pre-tax profit is expected to more than treble to $1.8m this year.

eve Sleep (EVE) is growing but not at the rate that was hoped for and the chief executive and founder has stepped down. That was inevitable considering the ridiculously high valuation put on the company when it floated and how it has not justified that level of optimism. The mattress supplier grew sales by 61% in the first half when the market had expected more than doubled sales. A new distribution agreement with beds retailer Dreams should help supplement growth in the second half. Even so, eve Sleep is not expected to make a profit until 2020.

Sinclair Pharma (SPH) has received a bid approach from Huadong Medicine and discussions are at an early stage. Both companies supply aesthetic products. Sinclair says first half revenues outside of the US grew by 18% and overall sales improved from £20.1m to £21.3m. US sales fell from £2.5m to £800,000 following the split from the company’s former partner. The direct sales operation in the US is beginning to generate revenues. Net debt was £14.8m at the end of June 2018.

Integumen (SKIN) is not proceeding with the reverse takeover of biomaterials company Cellulac but it hopes to acquire a minority stake. The 2017 accounts have still not been published.

Digital imaging technology developer Kromek (KMK) increased its revenues by nearly one-third to £11.8m in the year to March 2018 and the loss was down from £3.79m to £2.34m. There is £7.7m in the bank and that should be enough to enable Kromek to reach a cash generative situation. The medical business is growing particularly well, while nuclear detection has good prospects for medium-term growth.

Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) reported first half revenues grew by nearly 10% and flat profit. Insurance business is declining because of competitive pricing so all the growth is coming from overseas fleet business. Full year earnings per share are likely to be flat. The forecast dividend of 13.5p a share would not be covered by earnings of 12.8p a share.

Defence equipment and services supplier Cohort (CHRT) managed to improve its pre-tax profit from £14.5m to £15.5m even though the defence market was tough. Management believes that the order book has fallen due to delays to projects. The dividend was raised from 7.1p a share to 8.2p a share.

Technology business investor Mercia Technologies (MERC) reported flat NAV of 40.7p a share but it has a number of investments that could mature over the next couple of years and their valuations could be upgraded. Mercia nearly covered its expenses with its revenues. There is still £52.9m of cash that can be invested.

Waste to energy plants developer Powerhouse Energy (PHE) has raised £694,000 at 0.5p a share. Powerhouse had £750,000 in the bank at the end of 2017 but there are still significant cash outflows.

Direct carrier billing company Boku Inc (BOKU) appears on course to make a £2.7m pre-tax profit this year. Boku processed $1.5bn worth of transactions in the first half and revenues should be nearly $17m. There was $30m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Churchill China (CHH) says that first half trading is stronger than expected on the back of growing sales in Europe. The interims will be published on 30 August.

EQTEC (EQT) has secured $3.2m (£2.4m) in new loan facilities from Cuart Investments Fund and associates. This will be drawn down in two instalments. Origen Capital put together the lenders and it is subscribing £1.15m at 0.6p a share. Existing lenders have agreed to capitalise £693,000 of interest. This means that the previous loan facility has ended.

MAIN MARKET    

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has made a high grade spinel discovery. The northern Israel-focused gemstone explorer has found nine different gemstone minerals.

Software company Gresham Technologies (GHT) is paying up to €8.5m for B2 Group, which will add €1.4m in revenues and should be earnings enhancing in its first full financial year. The customer base includes banks, insurers and asset managers. Gresham expects its own first half revenues to be 5% lower due to a weak performance in Australia. Net cash was £6.8m at the end of June 2018.

Electronic Data Processing (EDP) has recommended a bid from a company owned by Kerridge Commercial Systems. The cash offer is 91p a share and values the enterprise resource planning software provider at £11.9m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 June 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

There are eight companies in the running for the NEX Exchange company of the year at the Small Cap Awards. The awards will be held at The Montcalm Hotel, Marble Arch.

Kent-based wines maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has built up a significant presence in the English wines market. The company has a winery in Tenterden and it is building a new brewery for its beer operations. Chapel Down reported a 15% increase in annual sales to £11.8m. Wine sales were one-fifth higher at £8.12m with cider and beer sales, via associate Curious Drinks, were 7% ahead at £3.68m. Operating profit improved from £346,000 to £470,000 but there was a much larger loss from the Curious Drinks associate so pre-tax profit was lower. The new brewery should be open in the first quarter of 2019.

Cyber security technology developer Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) is still at a very early stage of its development but it more than doubled its revenues in 2017. The loss still increased from £950,000 to £1.24m despite the improvement in revenues from £345,000 to £737,000. The cash outflow was £1.06m, which left £490,000 in the bank. Since then, £2.16m was raised via a placing at 270p a share. Crossword has interests in a number of early stage businesses, including CyberOwl, a joint venture between Coventry University and Crossword, which has backing from Mercia Fund Management. CyberOwl is developing network security software for target-centric monitoring.

Field Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) has one of the longest track records on NEX and it has its highest share price in more than one decade of trading. Field Systems designs, installs and supplies electrical, instrumentation and control systems, for the water, power and transport sectors. In the six months to November 2017, revenues jumped from £8.47m to £12m, while pre-tax profit improved from £114,000 to £211,000. There was £3.34m of cash in the bank and NAV was £3.31m, which is more than the market capitalisation.

KR1 (KR1) has had a successful year buying and trading various coins and tokens. The KR1 share price has more than quadrupled over the past year. KR1 generated gains of £4.3m on its trading in digital coins and tokens during 2017. There was also a total unrealised gain of £10.8m on these investments and a £1.18m foreign exchange gain. The total pre-tax profit was £14.5m, with a tax charge of £2.87m.

Dairy and livestock services provider National Milk Records (NMR) was originally part of the Milk Marketing Board and after it was spun off it joined the forerunner of NEX. National Milk Records generated revenues of £5.32m in the three months to March 2018. This means that revenues are £1.51m ahead so far this year, although the comparatives are weak. Herdwise, the screening service for Johne’s disease and other testing services are providing growth with a small improvement from milk recording services. Rising milk supply has started to hold back milk prices.

Energy saving electrical products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported flat interim revenues of £1.88m but it masks the growth in the sales of MiHome products. This growth will continue in the second half. The interim pre-tax profit edged up from £35,000 to £44,000. Sandal secured a term loan of up to £500,000 from major shareholder Greenbrook Industries Ltd and £250,000 was used to buy back 862,068 shares from Greenbrook. The shares were cancelled and this will enhance earnings per share.

Daniel Thwaites (THW) is a brewer, hotels and pubs operator that has been trading for more than two centuries. It has also been on NEX for more than two decades, since the London Stock Exchange closed rule 4.2, which was a matched bargains facility for unquoted companies. Some of these former rule 4.2 companies moved to AIM, while others, including a number of regional brewers, moved to Ofex/NEX. In the six months to September 2017, revenues improved from £44m to £48m and underlying pre-tax profit were flat at £5.9m. The shares are trading at a near-50% discount to NAV.

Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) is an ethical housing REIT and it is also on the shortlist for the impact company of the year. The company develops new housing for people with learning and physical disabilities or needing extra care. Earlier this year, Walls and Futures raised £80,000 from an open offer at 94p a share. In 2017, Walls and Futures achieved a total return on its portfolio of 11.5%, ahead of its benchmark total return of 7%. Walls and Futures has joined the MSCI IPD UK Residential Property Index.

The winner will be announced on Thursday 14 June.

Cannabis investment company Sativa Investments (SATI) is widening its remit. It is asking shareholders to agree to investments outside of Canada.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has completed the acquisition of offices in Leicester for £4.385m. The Leicester Crown Prosecution Service pays an annual rent of £290,000.

St Mark Homes (SMAP) is paying a maintained interim dividend of 5.5p a share and the ex-dividend date is 5 July. The dividend will cost £247,000. The carbon emissions trading business has also started electronic currency mining.

China CDM Exchange Centre Ltd (CCEP) reported a small dip in revenues from £898,000 to £888,000 but it managed to increase its profit from £2,000 to £35,000.

Karoo Energy (KEP) has secured Contax Partners as technical partner and project manager for the shale gas project in Botswana. Contax will accept £800,000 worth of shares in Karoo as payment for services. Karoo hopes to apply for admission to AIM by 1 July.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says full production at its Honduras processing plant has been delayed because permits have not been received for the processing of larger amounts of gold ore.

EPE Special Opportunities (EL.P) had an NAV of 228.16p a share at the end of May 2018.

AIM   

Property investment adviser First Property Group (FPO) reported flat pre-tax profit of £9.23m in the year to March 2018. The final dividend is 3% higher at 1.18p a share. The underlying NAV rose from 47.6p a share to 53.1p a share. Third party assets under management were 45% higher at £454m, which is mainly down to the new office fund. Progress this year will be held back by the departure of the tenant in a building in Poland. Some of the space has already been re-let and the rest should be during the year.

Pawnbroker Ramsdens (RFX) continues to grow on the back of strong foreign exchange revenues. Last year, they were 26% higher at £11.3m. Group revenues were 16% ahead at £39.9m, while underlying pre-tax profit rose 60% to £6.5m. Net cash was £12.7m, although that does include foreign currency stocks. The total dividend was 6.6p a share.

Gooch and Housego (GHH) increased interim revenues by 7% to £55.6m and underlying pre-tax profit was13% ahead at £7m. Aerospace was the main growth area as subsea telecoms demand was weak. The photonics and optical equipment company is on course for a full year profit of £18.5m.

Artilium (ARTA) is recommending a cash and shares bid from Pareteum. The offer is 0.1016 of a Pareteum share and 1.9p in cash for each Artilium share, which values the telecoms software supplier at £78m. The offer follows a strategic alliance between the two companies that was announced last year.

IT managed services provider Redcentric (RCN) says that some public sector contracts have been cancelled and there will be upfront costs for a new contract with the NHS in Yorkshire. That means that 2018-19 EBITDA will be 10% lower than previously forecast.

Imaginatik (IMTK) has completed its strategic review and the chairman and chief executive are both leaving and they are waiving compensation. This will help to reduce annual costs by £750,000. The business is no longer up for sale because no suitable bid was received. Annualised revenues are £2.8m and the innovation software business could move into profit after a full year’s benefit of the cost savings. Former chairman Matt Cooper has sold £225,000 worth of shares at 0.5p each and reinvested the cash in a new £225,000 convertible, interest free loan note. Octopus has reduced its stake from 27.2% to 7.1%.

Mass spectrometry instruments supplier Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has raised £5.5m at 2p a share and an additional £102,000 via a PrimaryBid.com offer.

Trading in cash shell Monreal (MORE) has been suspended because the former Cogenpower has not completed a deal. The board is asking for shareholder approval to move to NEX after the AIM quotation is cancelled on 3 July. The investment strategy will focus on technology, media and telecoms.

Education-focused virtual reality content supplier VR Education (VRE) has delayed the full launch of the latest version of its Titanic VR product until August but it is not expected to affect full year expectations. Work has started with the BBC on 1943: Berlin Blitz.

Driver Group (DRV) continues to improve its margins and profit helped by the growth of the Diales expert witness business. Middle East revenues were lower but profit was higher, while high utilisation rates in Asia Pacific meant that was a sharp swing back to profit in the region. Underlying pre-tax interim profit doubled to £2.1m om the six months to March 2018 and Driver ended the period with net cash of £800,000. The sale and leaseback of the company’s head office was completed in April and net cash is forecast at £5.5m for the end of September 2018. A full year profit of £3.5m, up from £2.5m, is forecast. A return to dividend payments is a possibility in the next year or so.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has enough cash to push forward with the exploration of its Paradox basin acreage in the US. Rose is still earning its 75% working interest in the acreage and it has already received interest from potential farm-in partners that could help finance the first well, which could cost $7m-$8m. A competent person’s report will provide an updated resource in the next few weeks.

The smart machines division was behind the small improvement in profit at Vianet (VNET) in the year to March 2018. That was helped by a contribution from the Vendman acquisition. The smart zones drinks dispensing technology made a slightly lower contribution to profit as it lost more pub customers but the US side is making progress. Research and development spending on technology peaked at £1.5m last year and should fall this year. Net cash fell to £1.27m because of the extra spending but the dividend was maintained at 5.7p a share. The investment should start to pay off this year and pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £2.7m to £3m.

MAIN MARKET    

LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) is closing its loss-making US business at a cost of £2m. The US business lost £1.9m last year. Luceco announced an operating profit of £14.2m in 2017.

Quarto Group Inc (QRT) has appointed former finance director Mick Mousley as interim finance director following the departure of Carolyn Bresh. This follows the change of control at the AGM.

Lb-shell (LBP) is asking for shareholder approval for the creation of £435,000 of unsecured convertible loan notes with a conversion price of 0.025p a share. That requires the par value to be reduced to 0.025p a share. Full conversion could mean the issue of shares equivalent to 89.4%. Three directors will own a total of £290,000 of the loan notes. The former Intelligent Energy will offer shareholders the chance to sell their shares for 0.025p each.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 5 February 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET  

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 18 September 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) is hoping that efficiency improvements will help it to grow its profit. So far annualised savings of £1m have been made with more to come in 2018. Customer churn meant that electricity and gas customers were 1% lower in the first half. In the six months to June 2017, revenues were 16% higher at £52m but pre-tax profit was 37% lower at £700,000 due to restructuring and investment costs. Net debt was £60.4m.

Blockchain-focused investment company Kryptonite1 (KR1) has sold tokens relating to Golem, Melonport and Omisego for significant multiples of their buying prices. The gain on the disposals was nearly £400,000 with the majority coming from the Omisego disposal. The holding in Bancor has been sold for the original acquisition price. Kryptonite1 has invested £100,000 in the FOAM project seed funding round and it will receive discounted tokens in the public token offer in the fourth quarter. A further £100,000 has been invested in 208,333 tokens in the pre-sale of the Enigma Catalyst project. There has been £202,000 invested in the private sale of tokens in the RChain project and £120,000 in Rocketpool tokens. Keld Hans van Schreven has been appointed an executive director of Kryptonite1.

Block Energy (BLOK) is raising $600,000 from the sale of its Ghanaian mining assets. An initial $50,000 has been received and $550,000 will be paid by the end of 2017. The cash will be reinvested in the company’s oil and gas assets in Georgia.

Karoo Energy (KEP) is making progress towards an AIM quotation. Andrew Smith, who has worked in the finance functions of a number of AIM companies, has been appointed as a non-executive director.

WMC Retail Partners (WELL) has asked for trading in its shares to be suspended while it clarifies its financial position.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £200,000 at 0.25p a share. Via Developments (VIA1) has issued a further £300,000 of 7% debenture stock 2020. That takes the debenture stock in issue to £4.9m.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a NAV of 412.26p a share at the end of July 2017. The flotation of Luceco has helped to boost NAV.

AIM

Pennant International (PEN), which provides training and simulation equipment and services for aircraft and defence equipment. The interim profit was £1.1m, compared with around breakeven in the first half of 2016. An electro-mechanical trainer and courseware contract with a MoD contractor has been changed so second half revenues will be lower than expected but Pennant still has the contract and the changes mean it will probably earn more over the medium-term. This year’s profit will be flat at around £2.1m because of the lack of contribution from the contract. The order book of £42m includes £15m to be delivered in 2018, compared with forecast revenues of £18.5m.

Audio visual products distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) reported a one-third increase in interim revenues to £212m. Organic growth was 15%. Margins have fallen but they remain relatively strong. The van Domburg acquisition takes the group into the Benelux countries. Midwich is on course to increase full year pre-tax profit from £17.9m to £22.1m. Midwich will join the FTSE AIM 50 index later in September.

Group Eleven, which is on course for a flotation in Toronto, has acquired Teck’s 76.56% stake in the Stonepark zinc licences in Limerick, Ireland, where Connemara Mining (CON) owns the remaining 23.44%. Connemara took the decision to hang on to its stake even though it could have received C$2.8m and a 1% net smelter royalty. Stonepark is west of the Pallas Green zinc deposit.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) says it is placing its pet retail business Just for Pets into administration. In the six months to April 2017, the business lost £250,000 on revenues of £7m. Wynnstay made an operating profit of £4.24m in the same period. The Just for Pets business has net assets of £2.2m and there is likely to be a significant write-off.

MX Oil (MXO) is seeking to broaden its investing policy so that it is not purely focused on natural resources and also covers oil services and energy activities, where opportunities are lower risk. MX has warned that the carrying value of its investment in Nigerian oil assets may have to be revised.

Central Rand Gold Ltd (CRND) is seeking additional finance and this is likely to be highly dilutive for existing shareholders. The disposal of some or all of the company’s interests is also a possibility.

CSF Group (CSFG) has accepted a conditional indicative offer for one of its subsidiaries for a nominal amount. That would significantly improve the financial position of the group due to a reduction in liabilities. Net liabilities were RM27.5m at the end of September 2016. Last October, shareholders voted against cancelling the AIM quotation.

Kin Group (KIN) hopes to resurface after a company voluntary arrangement and a share placing. The administrator has sold the main assets of the core business have been sold to Australia-based SMG Investment Holdings for £50,000. The shares remain suspended.

Investment company Adams (ADA) has bought shares in fully listed-Petrofac (PFC), which is the subject of a Serious Fraud Office investigation. Adams has invested £941,000 at an average share price of 447.66p a share in the oil services provider. Adams has £100,000 left in the bank.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell Silver Falcon (SILF) is buying a US biotech focused on blood diseases such as bone marrow failure and leukaemia. The main product of Hemogenyx is still at preclinical stage but preparing to move into clinical trials over the next 18 months. This product redirects existing immune cells to eliminate unwanted cells in a patient waiting for a bone marrow transplant. This could replace chemotherapy. There is also a second product in preclinical development. Silver Falcon is issuing 228.6m shares at 3.5p each to acquire the company. It is also raising £2m at the same price. Readmission to standard list under the new name of Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals (HEMO) will be on 5 October.

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has agreed heads of terms to acquire Phestor and Greenway Activated Carbon, which are involved in ultra-supercapacitor development for energy storage and supply of active carbon produced from biomass. Greenway plans to set up bio-refineries to extract cellulose and other materials from sugar beet pulp, straw and brewery biomass. The active carbon produced can be used in the ultra-supercapacitors. Phestor was set up in October 2016, while Greenway was set up in March 2016, although its name was changed last month. James Etherington Thorpe, who is resident in Denmark, is the sole director of each of the companies. Papillon had previously ended talks with MyClubbetting.com (see below).

Ocelot Partners Ltd (OLOT) still had $413.9m in the bank at the end of June 2017 and it is still on the look out for companies involved with the European technology, media or telecoms sectors. Shares in Ocelot commenced trading on the standard list on 13 March, when the cash shell raised $418m at $10 a share (currently trading at $9.91 each). A further $7.35m was raised from founder preferred shares with one warrant attached to each share. There was a $34.1m non-cash charge relating to founder preferred share dividend rights in the figures to June 2017.

Standard list shell Rockpool Acquisitions (ROC) says that it has been approached by additional reverse takeover targets in a range of sectors. Rockpool wants to buy a Northern Ireland-based business.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 21 August 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) has set the date for general meeting requisitioned by rival renewable electricity supplier Ecotricity, which wants Dale Vince and Simon Crowfoot to join the board. The general meeting will be held on 6 September. Good Energy still believes it would be unwise to have the representatives of its rival on the board.

Via Developments (VIA1) has paid a £412,500 non-refundable deposit on a residential development site in Latimer Road, Luton. Funding still has to be secured for the £8.25m purchase price.

Early Equity (EEQP) has taken a 4% stake in Malaysian multi-level marketing business Early Infinity, which has a distribution agreement with healthcare products supplier Yicom, where Early Equity owns 32.1%. The purchase was funded by the issue of 10 million Early Equity shares. The plan is for Early Equity to buy up to 30% of Early Infinity. Five million Early Equity shares have been issued at 0.6p each to raise £30,000.

Karoo Energy (KEP) has published the competent persons report on the Kalahari Karoo basin shale gas play. There is insufficient data to estimate shale gas or quantify the associated risk. The Lower Ecca shales are broadly correlatable with the source rocks in the broader basin. The low, unrisked estimate of gas initially in place (GIIP) is 310 bscf and Karoo has a 93.475% working interest. The advice is that further exploration is required to improve the understanding of maturity trends and confirm the depths of the Lower Ecca shale.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) has issued a further £55,000 of 7.5% convertible unsecured loan notes 2018, taking the total to £100,000. The conversion price is 10p a share and there are ten warrants for each £1 loan note exercisable at the same share price. There is planning permission for 200 apartments.

AIM

Clinigen (CLIN) has approached Quantum Pharma (QP.) about a proposed cash and shares offer. Due diligence has to be undertaken before there is a firm bid. Clinigen is taking advantage of the work that Quantum management has done in selling non-core operations and improving the performance of the rest of the business. Quantum says the interim figures will be brought forward to 22 August.

DX (Group) (DX.) has ended discussions with John Menzies over the merger with its distribution division because suitable terms could not be agreed. There had already been a change in the proposals but this was not enough to make the deal go through. This will mean that DX requires to raise additional funds. The four people that Gatemore Capital wanted to be appointed to the board when it requisitioned a general meeting, later withdrawn, are being proposed as directors and Bob Holt will be leaving the board. Trading in the shares remains suspended.

Oozi Cats has been kicked off the board of Telit Communications (TCM) after it turned out that he withheld information about an indictment against him in the US when the company floated 12 years ago. There have been fears about the cash position of the business but the directors’ have tried to reassure investors. Telit plans to appoint three UK-based non-executive directors.

Tracsis (TRCS) has reassured investors that it should hit market expectations for 2016-17. This means that pre-tax profit will be better than the £6.9m reported in the previous year. Tracsis had warned that the second half would have to be strong in order to make the forecast and this has happened. There was £15m in the bank at the end of July 2017. A reorganisation of the traffic and data services division should improve margins this year. The full year results will be reported in November.

IDOX (IDOX) is acquiring electoral back office software provider Halarose for £3.5m in cash and £1.5m in shares. This will boost the market share of IDOX in the UK elections market and there should also be cost savings.

Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) is the latest shell backed by Marwyn to join AIM. The £15m raised will be used to seek significant acquisitions in the chemicals sector. The share price rose from 120p to 132.5p. Former Synthomer boss Adrian Whitfield is chief executive.

Market research firm System1 Group (SYS1) stunned the market with a profit warning that sent its shares down nearly one-third. The former BrainJuicer announced at its AGM that the lack of a repeat of a large contract last year means that gross profit could be up to 11% lower in the first half of this year. On top of this costs are rising. The interim figures are likely to show breakeven compared with a £2.8m profit in the first half of the previous year. Full year pre-tax profit could fall by up to 15% from last year’s level of £6.3m.

Bushveld Minerals Ltd (BMN) says that a study carried out in conjunction with the Industrial Development Corporation shows strong vanadium redox flow battery technology in Africa with the market peaking by 2025-2030. Global electrolyte demand is likely to peak at the same time at 1200-1800 MWh. There is potential for Bushveld to supply 200MWh of storage per annum and a study is being undertaken for a potential vanadium electrolyte production plant in South Africa. Vanadium mining and related battery technology is the focus for Bushveld. There was a small net cash position at the end of February 2017.

Malvern International (MLVN) reported a reduction in interim loss from £460,000 to £395,000 as revenues slumped from £2.07m to £1.65m. Malaysian revenues fell but operating costs were reduced. There is £360,000 in the bank. The loss in Singapore has been reduced and that was before EduTrust certification, which is required to enrol international students, was reinstated. There has been year-on-year growth of 17% in London revenues and the loss was sharply reduced. House broker WH Ireland is not publishing forecasts at the moment.

Pawnbroker H&T Group (HAT) reported a 62% increase in first half pre-tax profit to £6.2m and the interim dividend was raised by 10%. H&T has been compared with Ramsden (RFX) but the mix of operations and revenues is very different.

Connemara Mining (CON) has raised £200,000 via a placing at 1.75p a share and each new share has a warrant to subscribe for an additional share at 3.42p each. Patrick Cullen has been appointed as chief executive of the gold and zinc explorer.

Red Leopard Holdings (RLH) is in talks to acquire a coal project in Colombia. Red Leopard will have to issue shares with a minimum valued of $180m in order to acquire the La Luna project. Trading in the shares is suspended.

MAIN MARKETS

Stem cell services and insurance provider WideCells Group (WDC) has raised £750,000 at 14p a share and the cash will be used to finance growth in the three operating divisions. Positive news has helped to boost the share price over the past two months. This includes the granting of a research licence by the UK Human Tissue Authority. The CellPlan insurance product is on sale and a digital platform is being developed for the educational division, WideAcademy.

Myanmar Strategic Holdings Ltd (SHWE) has raised $423,000 at $10 a share, while $3.9m of loan notes have been converted into shares. The focus is on hospitality and education sectors. The company already operates three hostels in Myanmar and it has acquired the rights from Pearson to open English language centres. Last year, revenues were $330,000 and the loss was $2.38m. Dealings are due to commence on 22 August.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) is set to move from AIM to the standard list on 21 August. It has raised £2.27m at 1.6p a share. The move will provide more time for Pembridge to build up a portfolio of mining investments without worrying about doing this within the timescale required on AIM.

Quarto (QRT) has ended bid negotiations with an unnamed bidder less than a fortnight after revealing the talks. One of the stumbling blocks was the regulatory approval required by the bidder and the book publisher’s management did not want to be distracted from trading by a bid that could take a long time to come to fruition. This is despite the fact that the bid proposal was at an attractive premium.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has located the three historic entry points to the Gubong gold mine in South Korea. This will enable access to five of the veins that were previously mined when the gold price was much lower.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 22 May 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 6 February 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

 

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