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Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 22 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) improved its underlying pre-tax profit from £2.7m to £3.4m in the first half of 2019. The interim dividend has been raised from 15p a share to 16p a share. The recent residential mortgage portfolio acquisition was after the end of June. The strategy is to diversify the business and asset-based lending and specialist finance are being built up. Savings platform Arbuthnot Direct has recently been launched. The core private banking operations of Arbuthnot Latham are still growing, though. The shareholding in Secure Trust Bank has been sold down to below 10%, which means it is no longer consolidated. The change from associate led to a write down and NAV declined to £13.21 a share.

VI Mining (VIM) has so far paid $9.1m in cash to the vendors of the Minaspampa and Rosario projects in Peru. There is still $42.2m outstanding 18 months after the acquisition agreement was signed. Majority shareholder Sumner Group Holdings is raising money from a security token offering, which could be completed in the autumn. Some of the proceeds will be used to replace existing facilities and help to pay outstanding acquisition considering, pending renegotiation of the deal. Chief executive David Sumner has provided a $10m term loan, plus a £39m facility of which $3m has been drawn down. There is $1.2m outstanding on the Tassili Jewellery LLC loan facility.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has completed its acquisition of a 2.325% stake in cannabis company Apollon Formularies. The Jamaican subsidiary has produced its first licensed medical cannabis oils for commercial sale on the island.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has published a prospectus for its move to a standard listing on 23 July. It has raised £193,000 at 0.3p a share.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that its CoalTech subsidiary has signed a joint venture agreement with Creon Capital covering Russia and nearby countries. CoalTech is negotiating with other potential partners to set up operations in Europe, Indonesia and the US.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says its mining subsidiary has received approval for the R and D tax incentive scheme in Australia for 2018-19. A claim is being prepared.

Share trading has recommenced in Ganapati (GANP) after it published results for the year to January 2019. There was a cash outflow from operations of £23.8m. Since January, two new games have been generated each month.

AIM

Focusrite (TUNE) has acquired Germany-based studio monitor loudspeakers supplier Pro Audio for £16.2m in cash and it will still have £12m left in the bank. Pro Audio supplies ADAM branded products and made a pre-tax profit of €1m. This is an earnings enhancing acquisition. The businesses will operate separately but work together to develop cross-selling benefits.

Swallowfield (SWL) is selling its manufacturing business to the much larger US manufacturer Knowlton Development Corporation for £35m in order to concentrate on its portfolio of personal care and beauty brands. This should leave net cash of £23m in Swallowfield and this will be used to acquire more brands. The company is changing its name to Brand Architekts Group.

Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) grew all its main operations. Acquisitions helped revenues to increase by one-fifth to £103.5m in the year to April 2019, but there was still organic growth of 9.5%. Pre-tax profit improved from £15.4m to £18.1m. The dividend was raised from 7p a share to 8p a share. Corporate business grew more modestly than other parts of the business, but this was impressive given market conditions for corporate deals. A profit of £21m is forecast for this year.

Victoria (VCP) has raised €330m via an issue of 5.25% senior secured notes 2024. This offer was three times subscribed. The floorcoverings manufacturer is using the money to refinance existing debt and will have £80m of cash after the issue.

Packaging machinery supplier Mpac Group (MPAC) is trading significantly ahead of expectations. Equity Development has increased its 2019 operating profit forecast from £4.6m to £5.5m.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) has completed a co-investment agreement with a Hong Kong-based family office for the investment in Japanese resort business Infinity Capital Group. The family office will pay Adamas $1m of the $2m already drawn by Infinity and the other $2m will be provided 50/50 by the two parties. The facility has a coupon of 17.5% per annum. This deal provides cash to invest in other opportunities. Adamas took advantage of a dip in the share price to buy back £30,400worth of shares at 38p each.

Velocys (VLS) has raised £7m at 3p a share on the back of news that Shell and British Airways will co-fund the development of the Immingham biorefinery project. The cash will be used for further technology development and to progress the Mississippi biorefinery project.

Block Energy (BLOE) has completed the increase from a 71.5% to 100% of its working interest in the West Rustavi field in Georgia. The cash and shares payment means tha Georgia Oil and Gas has increased its stake in Block to 7.7%. Miton has cut its stake from 9.17% to 4.73%.

Mortice (MORT) has decided to cancel its AIM quotation and is offering shareholders the chance to sell their shares for 12p each. A lack of liquidity and a weak share price making it difficult to finance acquisitions are the main reasons for leaving AIM.

Albert Technologies Ltd (ALB) also wants to leave AIM, but it is not offering an exit for shareholders. It believes it can attract investors, but they would prefer to invest in an unquoted company.  

Science Group (SAG) has been buying more shares in Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) at the bid price of 35p each and it has built up a 39.9% stake. It also has 3.1% acceptances for its bid.

Mirada (MIRA) has integrated Netflix into its set-top box platform and this will make its technology even more attractive to broadcasters.

Bangladesh has brought in a law that all listed companies have to pay at least 30% of post-tax profit, or an extra 10% tax charge will be levied. Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) is assessing the legislation and will consider how best to manage cash.

Novacyt (NCYT) has sold its loss-making clinical labs business for £400,000 and it will concentrate on diagnostics businesses Primerdesign and Lab21. The first instalment of £100,000 has been paid and £100,000 more is due in September, but the rest will be paid in three equal instalments on the first, second and third anniversaries of the deal.

MAIN MARKET 

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has received a commitment to invest up to £1.4m from a single investor conditional on the deal to acquire medicinal cannabis company Kanabo Research. The investment will be for a maximum of 4.99% of the enlarged share capital, although if there is any of the £1.4m left it could be invested in a convertible loan note. The investment underpins the expected acquisition-related fundraising and a fee of 10% of the investment is payable.

General meeting resolutions to wind-up Avocet Mining (AVM) were withdrawn at its general meeting. This comes after discussions with shareholders. There is a few weeks cash left in the business and any potential transaction would have to come with finance to cover the costs of an acquisition process.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has commenced construction of 17 specially developed apartments and retail space on its West Derby property.

OTHER MARKETS 

Fashion On Screen has listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange, which has European Growth Market status by the HMRC. This means that there is no stamp duty. The company had previously considered a listing on the Nasdaq First North market in Copenhagen. Fashion On Screen has raised more than £3m prior to its listing. A film based on the kidnapping of racing driver Juan Fangio in Cuba in 1958 could start before the end of the year (for more about the background to the story listen to https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p055fjfx).

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 1 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

NEX Exchange company of the year

National Milk Records (NMRP)  

Dairy and livestock services provider National Milk Records has been on NEX for more than a decade. The share price has increased by more than 500% over the past decade. In the latest quarter to March 2019, revenues improved from £5.32m to £5.56m, even though the number of cows on the database had declined from 743,054 to 713,379 over a 12-month period which hit milk recording revenues. Income from specialist testing has increased. Overall, growth was not as strong as in the first six months, which benefitted from one-off income. An oversupply of milk in recent weeks has hit the milk price and this has held back spending by farmers.

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Wealth management group AFH Financial Group (AFHP) is raising up to £20m via a convertible unsecured loan stock issue. The conversion price is 420p a share, up from 360p before the issue was announced, and the interest rate is 4%. This cash will fund further acquisitions. There are five that are already in due diligence.

Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) is not likely to achieve financial close on three projects, so it will lose money in the 14 months to June 2019. The second half will be profitable. The company should return to profit in 2019-20.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has increased the valuation of its portfolio by 22% to £86.9m at the end of April 2019. Annualised rental income is £6.5m.

Investment company Angelfish Investments (ANGP) had cash of £1.48m, but debt was £3.35m and net liabilities of £543,000 at the end of 2018. This means that the preference dividend cannot be paid because there are no distributable reserves. The decline into net liabilities was mainly due to a £942,000 write-down on loans made to OME. Pre-revenue investments are included at cost.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has appointed First Sentinel as its corporate adviser. PCG has not replaced its nominated adviser so it will lose its AIM quotation. Acquisition talks continue.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has invested £75,000 in fintech company Capable Finance in return for a 50.01% stake and a £25,000 loan with an annual coupon of 15%. First Sentinel directors have participated in a £110,000 placing and they own most of the rest of the shares. First Sentinel has gained a Euronext Dublin listing for its 7.5% bonds, May 2024. Some of this cash will be invested in the activities of Capable Finance.

Shareholders in Valiant Investments have approved the change of name to Eurocann International (BUD) and the focus on medicinal cannabis. It has disposed of its investment in Flamethrower one of its own directors and raised £263,000 at 1.5p a share. Valiant had £1,289 in the bank at the end of 2018. There is still a £200,000 convertible investment in All Star Minerals (ASMO). The company has a stake in North Bud Farms Inc, which has a cannabis production facility in Quebec.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £250,000 at 0.1p a share. This ash will contribute to the £700,000 investment in Apollon Formularies. Executive chairman David Lenigas has bought 17 million shares at 0.11941p each.

Ananda Developments (ANA) has formalised the joint venture with Anglia Salads and JE Piccaver to create DJT Group. Ananda and Anglia which each own 50% of DJT, which will apply for a licence to cultivate and supply cannabis. Ananda had £141,000 in the bank at the end of January 2019.

Sativa Investments (SATI) subsidiary PhytoVista Laboratories has completed an independent blind test consumer cannabidiol products for The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis. Many proved to have too low or too high a content of relevant ingredients.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has terminated its heads of terms with Mkango Resources relating to earning up to 75% of the Thumbani licence because it could not come up with the finance required.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) increased its revenues from $8.2m to $10.9m, although the loss doubled to $1.89m. That is mainly down to a $797,000 loss on an equity sharing agreement. The cash outflow from operations fell from $904,000 to $813,000.

Via Developments (VIA1) reported an increase in interim loss from £10,000 to £259,000, because of higher finance costs.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is raising £1.6m at 0.11p a share and this will fund the investment in the Amapa iron ore project.

Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) is leaving NEX on 26 July. The minerals explorer has been on NEX for less than nine months. It does not believe it is large enough to benefit from a quotation on NEX as well as the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Small Cap Awards 2019 winners

Company of the year

Beeks Financial Cloud (BKS)

Beeks Financial Cloud provides cloud-based connectivity and infrastructure services provider for automated trading of financial assets. It also provides cyber security services to prevent distributed denial of service attacks. Beeks was formed in 2010 and has consistently grown its revenues. Beeks joined AIM in November 2017 and in May it acquired the trading assets of US-based Commercial Network Services and this adds 1,000 customers. Progressive Research forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £1.2m to £1.4m in the year to June 2019.

IPO of the year

Cake Box Holdings (CBOX)

Egg-free cakes supplier Cake Box won this award the day before its first anniversary on AIM. Cake Box raised £16.5m at 108p a share and at one point the share price was nearly double this level. There is still a premium of more than 60% to the flotation price. In the year to March 2019, revenues increased from £12.8m to £16.9m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £3.3m to £4m. Two new distribution centre sites have been acquired. There is scope to more than double the business, which currently has 113 stores.

Impact company of the year

Kromek (KMK)

Kromek has developed a range of radiation detection and imaging products based on cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) technology. The company focuses on three sectors – medical imaging, nuclear detection and security. Kromek has been winning multi-million pound international contracts and it has a strong balance sheet following a recent fundraising. Revenues increased by 23% to £14.5m in the year to April 2019. Kromek is losing money, but it is on course to reach breakeven in a couple of years. The orders that are already won underpin the revenue forecasts for the coming years.

Executive director of the year

Mike Creedon, chief executive of Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI)

Mike Creedon has been on the SDI board since 2010, having previously been a finance director of two former AIM companies, Ideal Shopping Direct and Ninth Floor. SDI is an acquisitive digital imaging and sensor control technology company. The acquisition record is good. A trading update has led to a small pre-tax profit upgrade to £2.9m. The 2019-20 pre-tax profit is maintained at £4.1m.

Analyst of the year

George O’Connor, Stifel Nicolaus

Journalist of the year

Simon Thompson, Investors Chronicle

Fund manager of the year

Marlborough Nano Cap Growth

Lifetime achievement

Andrew Buchanan

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AIM 

Zoo Digital (ZOO) slipped back into loss in the year to March 2019, but it should return to profit this year. Demand for film and TV localisation services continues to grow but momentum has not been as expected.

Wynnstay (WYN) had already warned about tough second quarter trading, but underlying pre-tax profit held up reasonably well, falling 15% to £4.3m, even though revenues were 19% higher at £218.5m. The increase in revenues was mainly down to commodity inflation. The warmer winter weather hit demand for animal feed, although fertiliser demand has been strong. The agricultural merchanting depots acquired in the past year are moving towards profit. There has been some rationalisation of the depot network. The interim dividend has been raised 4% to 4.6p a share.

China New Energy Ltd (CNEL) has applied for a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and it will ask shareholders for permission to cancel the AIM quotation, subject to a successful Hong Kong listing.

Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) has increased its assets under influence to £5.3bn, helped by recent acquisitions. There is a strong pipeline of additional acquisitions. Interim pre-tax profit improved from £930,000 to £1.63m.

MAIN MARKET 

BATM (BVC) is raising $18m, 20% more than initially sought, at 42.5p a share. Most of the cash is earmarked for the cyber and networking activities. The rest will go towards medical activities. The cash will help in securing partnerships with larger technology companies.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has varied and extended its contract with Canadian data centre provider GPU.one. This will provide access to 14MW of power at lower prices. This increases capacity by 47%, utilising the equipment that has already been ordered, and cuts power cost by 39%. The deal starts on 25 June and lasts three years. Argo can give four months’ notice. A previous deposit of £1.44m has been turned into an investment in GPU.one.

Tex Holdings (TXH) says the engineering operations have started the year slowly, but trading should return to previous levels. The plastics division is trading in line with expectations and there is investment in new machinery. The shares remain suspended.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Ltd (COPL) has joined the standard list. The oil and gas company is focused on Nigeria and sub-Saharan African.

Avocet Mining (AVM) is holding a general meeting on 18 July to gain shareholder approval for a voluntary liquidation. Avocet has sold its interest in the Tri-K gold project in Guinea for $21m. This leaves a small residual cash sum. There is unlikely to be anything substantial left to distribute to shareholders.

Oil and gas company Aminex (AEX) shareholders have approved the switch from a premium listing to a standard listing. It is also cancelling its Dublin listing. It may have been difficult to get the full benefits of the lighter regulation of a standard listing if the company were still listed in Dublin.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 13 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

National Milk Records (NMR) improved revenues from £5.32m to £5.56m in the three months to March 2019. Disease testing revenues grew at the fastest rate. This quarter did not benefit from one-off revenues like the first two quarters of the financial year.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) reported a reduction in net assets to £735,000 at the end of March 2019. Gledhow has trebled its money in Block Energy and sold the stake, but most of the proceeds came after the end of March.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) believes that Sport:80 has missed the chance to float, but TruSpine still has a chance to become quoted. International payments and lifecycle software provider Zuuse could be ready for a flotation within 18 months.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has finally published its results for the year to August 2018. They show revenues falling from £226,000 to £96,000, although the loss was similar at £336,000. UK and Netherlands demand were weaker than expected.

Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) says its joint venture Morgan Ashley has achieved financial close on two more projects. A further three could be closed in the current quarter. Even so, group pre-tax profit will be lower. There will be an update in July.

Sativa Investments (SATI) is changing its name to Sativa Group to reflect that it is a trading company with a greater focus on UK operations. The application for a Home Office research and development licence to grow medicinal cannabis is proceeding well. This is for its own requirements as well as growing some varieties for order.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has acquired properties in Warrington and Middlesbrough for more than £10m. The Communities and Local Government department is the long-term tenant of both properties. The Warrington property cost £2.9m and the Middlesbrough property £7.125m.

In the first four months of 2019, NQ Minerals (NQMI) has produced 6,857 DMT of lead concentrate, 4,763 DMT of zinc concentrate and 29,389 DMT of pyrite concentrate.

Giles Brand has increased his stake in EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) from 23.1% to 30.5%. EPE has a NAV of 241.3p a share. Almon I Holding SA has a 3.16% stake in Coinsilium Ltd (COIN).

MetalNRG (MNRG) is delaying a move to the Main Market because of the uranium exploration ban in The Kyrgyz Republic, which means that the proposed farm-in agreement for the Kamushanovskoye uranium deposit has been suspended. Due diligence is progressing on the Thambani licence and the transaction agreement with Mkango Resources by the end of June. Once it has funding, MetalNRG will make progress with the Gold Ridge project.

Panther Metals (PALM) reported a doubled cash outflow from operating activities of £309,000 last year. There was £1,247 in the bank at the end of 2018.

AIM   

Begbies Traynor (BEG) says that trading was ahead of expectations. The business recovery and property services provider says both divisions performed well. Shore has upped its pre-tax profit forecast for the year to April 2019 by 6% to £7.1m, compared with £5.6m the year before. The full year figures will be published on 9 July.

Interactive Investor has decided not to make a bid for Share (SHRE).

RA International (RAI) has won two new contracts. A five year contract worth $9.8m has been awarded by the United Nations Support Office for vehicle and equipment fleet services in Somalia. This is for ten locations compared to one previously. There is also a contract for construction services relating to the US Embassy in Denmark.

Immupharma (IMM) intends to merge its two French subsidiaries and either get private equity backing or float the combined business on a European stockmarket. The business is developing the Nucant cancer programme (Elro) and the peptide platform (Ureka). Immupharma will concentrate on Lupus treatment Lupuzor and it is talking to potential corporate partners.

India-focused online fashion retail investment company Koovs (KOOV) has agreed a £10.5m cash injection at 15p a share by a subsidiary of Indian retailer Future Group.

Bidstack (BIDS) is raising £5m at 12.5p a share. This will finance the growth of the in-game advertising business. Bidstack reversed into Kin Group nine months ago and that that time raised cash at 6p a share.

Trading in contract research organisation Venn Life Sciences (VENN) shares is suspended ahead of the reverse takeover of Open Orphan DAC for £5.7m in shares. The strategy is to gain approval for and provide orphan drugs for the European market. Cash will be raised to fund the new strategy.

Keystone Law (KEYS) increased full year revenues from £31.6m to £42.7m and pre-flotation costs profit jumped from £2.54m to £4.75m. This year’s profit forecast had already been upgraded at the time of the trading statement and the figure is maintained at £5.6m. This year’s dividend is set to rise from 9p a share to 10.3p a share. The cash pile is expected to rise from £6.3m to £7m.

N+1 Singer has upgraded its profit forecasts for Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) following its interims. The pre-tax profit forecast for the year to August 2019 has been increased by 13% to £11m, up from £9.8m last year and not far off the figure for 2016-17. Capital investment is peaking and net debt is expected to rise to £9.1m by the end of August 2019. NAV is set to rise to 68p a share.

Vertu Motors (VTU) reported strong full year figures with growth in used cars and aftersales offsetting the downturn in new car sales. Pre-tax profit of £23.7m was higher than forecast but lower than the £28.6m reported for the previous year. Cash generation is also better than expected. This year’s forecast has been trimmed to £25.7m. The share price remains below its NAV of 44.9p a share.

Osirium Technologies (OSI) is considering raising additional funds in order to fully exploit its new product. Opus is a cyber security product for IT process automation. Additional business development managers and distribution partners have been taken on and additional cash would enable further geographic expansion. Osirium is good at retaining clients and Opus provides an additional product to sell to them.

Packaging manufacturer Robinson (RBN) has increased its revenues by 15% in the first four months of the year and most of that is due to higher volumes. This means that it is well on its way to growing full year revenues from £32.8m to £36.1m even though second quarter revenues may be lower due to destocking. Further capital spending has been funded by cash from operations.

MAIN MARKET 

Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) increased interim revenues by 6% to £56.6m and pre-tax profit was 7% higher at £6.2m. Additional shares in issue mean that earnings per share were slightly lower. The core citrus business revenues fell slightly but other areas grew. Net cash was £9.4m at the end of March 2019. This will be spent on the relocation of UK operations and there will be net debt by the end of September 2019.

Air Partner (AIR) slipped out its figures for the year to January 2019 well after the market closed on Thursday. Even so, there was a positive share price reaction and there were no real disappointments. Underlying pre-tax profit was flat at £5.8m. The total dividend was edged up to 5.6p a share.

Macfarlane (MACF) has acquired protective packaging distributor Ecopac for £3.9m. A pre-tax profit of £500,000 was generated in 2017-18. Macfarlane will provide additional products for Ecopac to distribute.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) will hold the requisitioned general meeting on 16 May. Frank Timis is hoping to change the strategy of the company and conserve the cash pile for other uses. He wants Jonathan Bixby and Mike Edwards removed from the board. Argo expected to generate £220,000 in cryptoassets in April, which is similar to cash operating costs. These costs are expected to rise to £300,000 in May but the month should still be cash neutral.

Cardiff Property (CDFF) increased its NAV from 21.78p a share to 21.84p a share in the six months to March 2019. The interim dividend has been raised by 5% to 4.6p a share. Activity in the Thames Valley area has slowed in the first half.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 6 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

In 2018, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased revenues by 8% to £19.3m. This was despite lower race course attendances because of two abandoned days of racing. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £188,000 to £568,000. The NAV was £50.7m at the end of 2018. There was a further £3.25m payment from David Wilson Homes, which helped to finance capital investment.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has entered into heads of terms with AIM-quoted Mkango Resources so that it can earn up to 75% of the Thambi licence in Southern Malawi. The licence allows exploration for uranium, tantalum and niobium. MetalNRG has to spend $500,000 in the first 12 months and then a further $700,000 in the next 12 months. A further $800,000 has to be spent in the third year to earn the full 75%. The Kyrgyz Republic has banned uranium exploration and mining and the farm-in agreement for the Kamushanovskoye uranium deposit has been suspended.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) had a NAV of £554,000 at the end of 2018. There is £584,000 in cash on the balance sheet.

High Growth Capital (HASH) has raised £4.99m after expenses via a placing at 1.75p a share with Mirador FZE, which also has warrants to subscribe for 300 million shares at 2.5p each until the end of 2019. If the High Growth Capital share price closes above 4p for five consecutive days, the warrants have to exercised or they will lapse. Mirador has a 14.2% stake. Mike Power has been appointed as a non-executive director.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has opened the first Goodbody and Blunt centre in Bath. The centre will sell cannabidiol products and have a café area.

V22 (V22O) is asking shareholders to approve the cancellation of the NEX quotation 31 May, after nearly 13 years on the market. The art investor and studio space provider plans to sell assets and distribute the cash to shareholders. A matched bargains quotation via JP Jenkins is planned for six months after leaving NEX.

Trading in Valiant Investments (VALP) shares has been suspended because it has not produced its annual report.

Queros Capital Partners (BFD) has raised £205,000 in the past two weeks from the issue of 8% unsecured bonds 2025.

The shortlist for the NEX share of the year at the Small Cap Awards 2019 has been announced. The companies are National Milk Records (NMR), Sativa Investments (SATI), NQ Minerals (NQMI), Chapel Down (CDGP), DXS International (DXSP) and Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) ,which is also on the shortlist for impact company of the year.

AIM     

Capital equipment manufacturer Mpac Group (MPAC) is acquiring Lambert Automation for an initial £15m. UK-based Lambert provides automation equipment to the medical and healthcare markets. Revenues and profit have been declining, but there was an order intake of £24.5m in 2018 and that should help revenues to recover. Revenues were £17.9m in 2018. There is potential earn out consideration of up to £2.5m. Mpac’s own trading is in line with expectations.

Park Group (PARK) says that trading was better than expected in the second half of its financial year, but there were additional costs and the effects of accounting changes. Edison has reduced its 2018-19 pre-tax profit by 3% to £12.5m. Additional costs next year mean that the profit forecast has been cut from £14.3m to £11.7m.

Tracsis (TRCS) has acquired timetable optimisation software developer Bellvedi for an initial £4m with up to £7.9m more payable over four years depending on performance. Bellvedi made a pre-tax profit of £700,000 on revenues of £1.6m last year. Acquiring the ATTUne software means that less needs to spend on the development of existing Tracsis software. The deal adds 2% to this year’s earnings per share, moving it to 27.3p. Next year’s is enhanced by 7% to 32.3p.

Competitions organiser Best of the Best (BOTB) has published a fourth positive trading update in a year. This prompted finnCap to increase its earnings forecast from 15.4p a share to 18.6p a share. The previous upgrade was in January. The switch to a predominantly online model is paying off. Any upgrades to the forecasts for the year to April 2020 will happen after the 2018-19 figures are published on 20 June.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) says that the PQ Grass allergy phase III study will start a year later than expected. It should commence by June 2020. This follows an end of phase II study meeting with the FDA. This means that this year and next year the reported loss will be lower because of deferred spending on the study.

Eight Peaks Group (8PG) plans to cancel its AIM quotation because of limited liquidity. This will save £80,000 a year.

Trading in the shares of property investor Safeland (SAF) will end on 10 May.

MAIN MARKET 

Motor dealer Pendragon (PDG) is selling two Jaguar Land Rover dealerships in California. This is expected to generate around £60m of cash, although £6.9m of profit contribution before central costs will be lost. However, Jaguar Land Rover has right of first refusal.

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has appointed Novum as broker and it has committed to invest £300,000 in convertible loan notes. The planned purchase of a 50% stake in used car market focused fintech company Pace Cloud.

Ross Group (RGP) has reported its 2018 results, but these are before the completion of the Archipelago Aquaculture which happened early in 2019. Revenues fell from £335,000 to £60,000 and a profit of £57,000 was turned into a loss of £250,000. That is partly down to costs relating to the acquisition of Archipelago Aquaculture.

Thalassa (THAL) received acceptances of 18.5% of the share capital in its bid for Local Shopping REIT (LSR) and this offer has lapsed. Thalassa owned or had acceptances of 39.3%.

Standard list shell Bermerle (BERM) went to a 50% premium on the first day of trading. However, the bid/offer spread of 1p/2p means that investors could only sell at the 1p a share placing price. The company is seeking a pharma acquisition. The areas that Bermele is assessing include diabetes, cancer and mental health. It is also looking at personalised medicine.

Standard list shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) had £920,000 in the bank at the end of 2018. Fellow shell daVictus (DVT) had £355,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and it has agreed to buy the rights to a restaurant concept from Typical Dutch NV for £100,000. The Havana Rolled Cigar Music Café concept has been developed at a site in Aruba. Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has also secured a possible acquisition in the form of Kanabo Research, which is a medicinal cannabis oil company. Kanabo is developing over the counter products and has distribution rights to a vaporiser. Spinnaker had £1.04m in the bank at the end of 2018.

Trading in the shares of Tex Holdings (TXH) and Avocet Mining (AVM) has been suspended because they have not published 2018 accounts.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 29 April 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Adnams (ADB) says that beer volumes grew year-on-year in the first quarter, helped by low alcohol Ghost Ship and pubs are also doing well. Margins are coming under pressure and gin sales have been hit by increasing competition. A new IT system has gone live.

KR1 (KR1) has cashed inn some of its tokens. It has sold the remaining OmiseGo tokens for $206,000. They were bought for 27.38 cents each and sold for 205.4 cents each. KR1 has sold 50% of its tokens in the Nash Exchange product for nearly $51,000, at a more than doubled price per token, which means that the cost of the remaining 25,000 tokens have been covered.

High Growth Capital (HASH) has appointed Mark De Smedt as chief executive. He is a Belgian who previously worked for recruitment firm Adecco and already owns a 0.6% stake in High Growth Capital. He has been awarded options over 125 million shares at 1.75p each and further options over 150 million shares, which are exercisable at 3p a share, but only if the share price reaches at least 7.5p and stays there for a consecutive period of six months. Girod Equities has taken a 3.81% stake in the company, which is proposing a name change to MESH Holdings.

SG Recruitment (SGRL) has been appointed to recruit international nurses for more than 20 hospitals in England. This is under the Health Education England Global Learners Programme, which offers three year packages. Also, the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust has appointed SG to recruit 140 nurses. A contract has been gained with Thumbay Hospital in UAE to recruit at least 150 healthcare professionals each year.

Metal Tiger (MNRG) is holding a general meeting on 15 May in order to gain shareholder approval for the directors to issue new ordinary shares without the requirement to offer them to existing shareholders.

AIM  

Franchise Brands (FRAN) says that Micro Rod had a record quarter in the first three months of 2019. System sales were 12.9% higher. The business to consumer franchises have also had a good start to the year.

International payments services provider FAIRFX (FFX) increased revenues by 69% to £26.1m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £900,000 to £6.79m. City Forex was acquired in February 2018 but there was like-for-like growth. In the first quarter of 2019, revenues are 43% ahead at £7m.

Tekcapital (TEK) says that investee company Salarius has secured the first commercial order for its low sodium MicroSalt from a snack food manufacturer. Investee company Belluscura has raised just over £500,000 from a crowdfunding offer, including further investment from Tekcapital. The cash will be used to market and further develop a portable oxygen concentrator called X-PLOR.

More good news from Eden Research (EDEN) as partner Eastman has received a 120 day emergency use authorisation for Cedroz, which is used to combat plant-parasitic nematodes, in Italy. This will enable sales while the Italian authorities process the application for authorisation.

Aviation services provider Gama Aviation (GMAA) has reported 2018 figures with the comparatives for 2017 restated. Pre-tax profit slumped from $16.6m to $11m. That is before more than $40m of exceptional charges, including a $27.7m impairment charge. A final dividend of 2p a share is being paid. Hutchison Capital Holdings has bought more shares to take its stake to 25.45% after a shareholding limitation was ended.

Software company WANdisco (WAND) reported a fall in revenues from $19.6m to $17m in 2018, but this was down to a change in the revenue model to subscription-based business. The loss increased from $14m to $19.4m, but this will fall sharply over the next two years as revenues grow rapidly.

ReNeuron (RENE) has positive news from the first three retinitis pigmentosa patients given its human retinal progenitor cell product. Vision has improved after 60 days and 120 days. Longer-term evidence is required, but this is a good start and three more patients are being provided with the treatment.

Kestrel has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) from 23.1% to 24.2%.

Satellite communications equipment provider Global Invacom (GINV) has terminated the proposed acquisition of Tactilis and related fund raisings. The two companies will provide equal funding of the costs of the terminated deal. Group revenues were $122.3m in 2018. Electronic component shortages have eased, and pricing is normalising. Trading in Global Invacom shares resumed and the share price jumped from 4.5p to 7p.

Angling Direct (ANG) has opened its 27th store on a former Majestic Wine site in Nottingham. The fishing equipment retailer has started the new financial year strongly. Overall sales were 50.7% higher in February and March. Full year figures for the year to January 2019 will be reported on 13 May.

Piling company Van Elle (VANL) reported that its full year profit will be slightly worse than expected but the share price still bounced back from recent lows. Volumes have recovered in the fourth quarter, but full year sales are 3% below expectations. A new director of the piling division will join in June.

The microCHP boilers developer Inspirit Energy (INSP) is still developing its product and it still has to commercialise its boilers.

MAIN MARKET 

Standard list shell Fandango Holdings (FHP) has ended discussions with Konnect Mobile Communications Inc because it could not raise the finance for the acquisition. Fandango has been making loans to another standard list shell, Stranger Holdings, where Charles Tatnall is also a director. There was £141,000 outstanding at the end of August 2018, plus accrued interest of £38,721, and this has been reduced to £108,000, excluding interest. There was cash of £53,000 in the balance sheet at the end of August 2018.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) chief executive Andrea Cattaneo has acquired 593,289 shares at 3.3p each, taking his stake in the Azerbaijan-focused oil and gas company to 8.46%.

Former finance director Michael Mousley has been appointed as a non-executive director of Quarto (QRT). A new finance director will join the company in July.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 1 April 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Adnams (ADB) increased its revenues last year, but it reported a loss. Beer volumes grew by 2.2% and revenues were 6% ahead at £78.9m. The loss of £877,000 was after £1.77m of pension and property impairment costs. The final dividend is unchanged at 150p per B share. Adnams is optimistic about the proposed government review into small breweries relief – if Adnams paid the same duty rates as small brewers it would save £7m a year.

European Lithium (EUR) is making progress with its definitive feasibility study for the Wolfsberg lithium project in Austria. The plan is to produce lithium chemical for batteries. A test programme has been completed and this is designed to improve grades and the amount of lithium-bearing mineral. Laser sorting was found to be the best method.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has increased its NAV by 9% to 48.05p a share in the six months to February 2019.

Trading in the shares of Block Commodities (BLCC) has restarted following the publication of its interim results. There was $1,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and a further $400,000 has been raised via a convertible loan. This will fund the entry in the cannabis market. Block is collaborating with Hexis Lab to develop cannabis-based therapeutic and cosmeceutical products

Altona Energy (ANR) has net assets of £11m, but these are predominantly intangible assets. There are also £19.8m of potential tax losses. Altona is re-evaluating its underground coal gasification project in South Australia and assessing an investment in a Chinese vanadium mine.

MetalNRG (MNRG) plans to move to the standard list. An option agreement has been replaced with a farm-in agreement for the Kamushanovskoye uranium deposit. This will reduce the immediate cash outflow. A $161,000 payment was made under the option agreement and $400,000 more has to be paid by 10 April to earn a 51% economic interest. This payment is conditional on a capital raising at the time of moving to the standard list. A further $1.99m investment is required in three equal tranches in order to maintain the stake. The payments are due in November 2019, April 2020 and October 2020.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) outperformed the MSCI UK Residential Property index last year, because it achieved 8.75% growth, compared with 5.2% for the index.

The net liabilities of Welney (WENP) increased from £234,000 to £301,000 in 2018. This is being funded by loans from directors. Costs have been kept low as management seeks a suitable acquisition.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) has issued 800,000 shares at 0.625p each to pay for adviser fees on the unwound acquisition of Palermo FC.

AIM  

Churchill China (CHH) improved margins last year. Revenues were 7% higher at £57.5m, but underlying pre-tax profit was 26% higher at £9.4m. Growth in exports is a major factor and they account for three-fifths of revenues. Retail sales fell and hospitality sales increased by £5m. The total dividend was raised from 24.6p a share to 29p a share. There was £14.4m in cash at the end of 2018.

Cloud-based communications software provider Cloudcall (CALL) increased recurring revenues by one-third last year and total revenues were 28% ahead at £8.8m. The fastest growth was in the US. The cash outflow from operations increased from £1.57m to £2.38m. This is due to higher operating costs in terms of product development and marketing.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has increased the value of its portfolio of investments by 27% to £11.5m in the six months to £11.5m. NAV is 38.8p a share. The deal by investee company Exscientia, which is involved in AI-based drug discovery, with Celgene Corporation should result in a substantial uplift in its valuation in the current six month period.

Parity (PTY) says it has lost a major contract with the Scottish government, but it should not have a significant effect on profit because it is low margin. This year’s revenues will be 10% below expectations. The 2018 results will be announced on 16 April.

Rambler Metals and Mining (RMM) has launched a one-for-one open offer to raise up to £1.7m at 1.4p a share and it closes on 12 April. This follows the £8.4m placing at 1,4p a share, which raised cash to pay off debt and provide working capital.

Alliance Pharma (APH) improved its pre-tax profit from £23.9m to £28.1m. This excludes a £1.9m write down of an acquired intangible relating to a manufacturing supply contract. A pre-tax profit of £32.8m is forecast for 2019.

Quixant (QXT) reported a strong second half to 2018 even though the gaming machines market was tough. Full year revenues were 5% higher at $115.2m and pre-tax profit improved from $17.7m to $18.2m. This year will also be second half weighted with revenues expected to hit $119m and pre-tax profit of $20m forecast.

MAIN MARKET 

Funds managed by Epiris LLP have launched a recommended cash offer of 193p a share for Ireland-based financial services group IFG (IFP), valuing it at £206m.

Ovoca Bio (OVB) is increasing its stake in IVIX to 59.9%. The additional 9.9% costs $2.04m. IVIX’s drug Libicore has met the pre-specified primary efficacy endpoint and significant outcomes in secondary endpoints as part of its phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

Standard list shell Baskerville Capital (BASK) still had £1.54m in the bank at the end of 2018. Potential technology acquisitions are being assessed.

Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) is still seeking an acquisition after the deal to buy Chorum fell through due to weak stockmarkets. There was £1.21m in the bank at the end of 2018.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 28 January 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Full year figures from AFH Financial Group (AFHP) show how successful its acquisition strategy is with revenues 51% higher at £50.7m and pre-tax profit that nearly doubled to £6m. Despite the additional shares issued to part-finance these acquisitions, underlying earnings per share were one-third higher. The dividend is 50% higher at 6p a share. Acquisitions have continued since the year end. Management believes that it can double funds under management to £10bn in three to five years.

Startup Giants (SUG) has commenced a programme to raise up to £3m. There will be an initial share placing to raise £200,000. The company has launched its 2019 accelerator round for pre-seed capital tech entrepreneurs. Funding of up to £100,000 can be received by successful applications.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $200,000 in Rlay, a data collaboration framework for crowdsourcing. KR1 will receive an undetermined number of discounted tokens. This will be a discount to the lowest price paid by any investor in the tokens. KR1 has spent £50,000 in 50,000 Nash tokens.  These are the first tokens issued out of Liechtenstein.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has signed a deal with Master Kingdom Ltd in order to create a range of body care and body wash products, which will be sold under the Artist’s brand name.

MetalNRG (MNRG) says that the Kyrgyzstan authorities have granted the application for a mining licence for the company’s uranium project in the country. The in-situ value of the uranium reserves is $253m and there is potential exploration upside.

Johnny Martin Smith is joining the board of VI Mining (VIM) and trading in the shares has resumed. Smith is a former mining analyst.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £142,000 at 11p a share. Bryan Smart has resigned from the board.

BWA Group (BWAP) had nearly £45,000 left in the bank at the end of October 2018. Elections have delayed progress with the potential licence acquisitions for rutile sands deposits in Cameroon. Investee company Prego International is moving from Guernsey to Norway and it may merge with another business.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) is seeking a replacement for First Sentinel Corporate Finance as its corporate adviser.

AIM   

Mporium (MPM) has signed a partnership deal with claims management firm Allay, which will use the company’s technology to generate leads for its business. Allay will be issued a 25% stake in Mporium in return for the revenuesthat will be generated, which could be worth millions of pounds. The stake could be increased to 29.9% if Mporium is successful in winning leads for Allay.

Mastercard has launched a rival bid for Earthport (EPO) and Visa is considering its position. The new bid is 33p a share and this values the company at £233m. That is a 10% premium to the Visa bid.

Aquaculture business Benchmark (BMK) has expanded its production capacity and is launching new products. Revenues were 8% higher at £151.5m and it would have been higher at constant exchange rates. It made an underlying pre-tax profit of £5.6m last year, up from £4.7m, and that could nearly double this year. Net debt was £55.7m.

Sureserve (SUR) has been restructured and non-core businesses sold. This enables it to concentrate on compliance and energy support services. Full year revenues from the continuing operations were 5% higher at £191m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £5.4m to £6.6m. This was better than expected and net debt was £11.4m. The dividend has been halved to 0.25p a share.

K3 Capital (K3C) was expected to report lower figures in the first half due to the timing of larger corporate finance deals and the mergers and acquisitions achieved interim revenues 4% lower at £7.2m and an even larger decline in profit. The second half should be better and revenues could be slightly higher than last year at £16.6m, but full year pre-tax profit is forecast to fall from £7.3m to £7m.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) reported record full year results. The higher milk price has led to increased demand for dairy feed. Revenues grew from £390.7m to £462.7m and pre-tax profit moved from £7.9m to £9.5m. The agriculture and retail divisions both improved their profit and the latter added additional sites in the second half that were not profitable in the period. There was the normal second half cash inflow but it was not as great as in the past, so net debt was nearly £1m. The dividend has been raised 6% to 13.4p a share.

InfraStrata (INFA) has raised £1.5m at 1.2p a share. This will boost its balance sheet while it negotiates with investors in the Islandmagee gas storage project. One equity investor has appointed advisers to do due diligence work. The project will continue to progress as these negotiations continue and the cash will make sure that progress is made while the final funding package is secured.

Lighthouse Group (LGT) has secured a deal to transfer the members and assets of its pension trust to Smart Pensions Ltd. The IFA will protect itself from the rising cost of the administration and capital requirements of pension trusts.

Audioboom (BOOM) grew last year’s revenues by 92% to $11.7m, although this was a 13 month period, and it says that there was no cash outflow from operations in the final three months. That meant that there was $1.6m in the bank at the end of 2018.

Robinson (RBN) traded in line with expectations last year. The packaging manufacturer expects revenues of £32.8m, which is a 10% improvement. The fastest growth was in Poland. Even so, pre-tax profit will be lower, but it should bounce back in 2019.

A large localisation project has been cancelled and this will hamper the progress of Zoo Digital (ZOO) in the second half of its financial year. The legacy DVD business is also declining faster than anticipated. This means that ZOO will not be profitable in the year to March 2019.

Velocity Composites (VEL) increased its full year revenues by 15% to £24.5m, and there was a small loss, but business wins are slower than previously hoped. Revenues could be flat this year.

Another upgrade for audio visual products distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) following its latest trading statement. Pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £24.3m to £29.1m and then a further increase to £31.7m in 2019.

MAIN MARKET 

Robin Boyle has failed to get back on the board of Athelney Trust (ATY) but he was successful in removing the existing directors. David Lawman and Paul Coffin were appointed although the latter resigned at the end of the week and he was replaced by Frank Ashton. The proposed tender offer and placing was also passed.

Dev Clever Holdings (DEV) is the latest company to float on the standard list. A share issue has raised £898,000 at 1p a share, including £220,000 due to the conversion of debt. The software development company was valued at £3.73m. The share price ended the week a 7.75p.

Nanoco (NANO) has signed a contract extension with a US company and this lasts until the end of 2019. This underpins the current year forecast.

Ross Group (RGP) has issued the final 21.3 million shares for the acquisition of Archipelago Aquaculture, which plans to start producing Chitin to help to produce quality shrimp. The deal was announced last September, and 17.9 million shares were issued at 1p a share. Global Blue Technologies Inc owns 19.9% of Ross.

Interim figures from Haynes Publishing (HYNS) show a 23% increase in underlying pre-tax profit to £1.6m on a 7% rise in revenues to £18.3m. Digital revenues were 23% higher at £9.7m. The growth in revenues and profit was in the UK and Europe. The interim dividend is unchanged at 3.5p a share. Net cash was £2.6m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 19 November 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) has traded slightly ahead of expectations and been cash generative in the first ten months of 2018. Customer numbers have remained flat. The financial year should be in line with expectations. This reassurance led to a 17% increase in the share price, although it is still more than two-fifths lower than one year ago.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has made a further investment in TG Engineering Ltd, which makes steel and aluminium components for the aerospace and medical sectors. A loan of £150,000 takes the total loan to £625,000, alongside a 35% stake.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has raised £159,500 from a placing at 1p a share and the exercise of warrants. This will fund the investment in the uranium mine in the Kyrgyz Republic, over which MetalNRG has an option, and progress work at the Gold Ridge project in Arizona. There was £77,000 in the bank at the end of August 2018.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has produced its first lead, gold and silver concentrate from the Hellyer polymetallic project in Tasmania. This has been delivered to Traxys Europe and payment has been received.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has mapped a large intrusive intersection of two major crustal faults at Mount Cassidy. This could a significant intrusive related gold system.

Clinical support systems provider DXS International (DXSP) has set a target of achieving a six-fold increase in turnover over the next five years and it believes that post-tax profit could reach £7m a year. This would come on the back of past investment in developing new products, two of which have been launched recently.

Ganapati (GANP) says that its Malta-based subsidiary has signed a games licence agreement with NYX Interactive for the supply of gaming software. After the initial software is supplied, Ganapati will supply one game each month for three years.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) will receive a $867,000 dividend from 51%-owned Asia Pacific-focused subsidiary DragonFinancials.

AIM    

Frontier IP (FIPP) has raised £2.49m at 65p a share from existing and new investors and this will finance an expansion of the management team and provide working capital for the business. The value of the company’s investment portfolio has increased by one-third to £9m and there was £1.1m in the bank at the end of June 2018. The NAV increased from £11.8m to £12.7m. The cash should last into 2020 even if there are no proceeds from investment realisations.

SVS has pulled the £532,000 placing at 8.5p a share for TomCo Energy (TOM) and resigned as broker. SVS says that there has been a material change because of the suspension of the field test on the Holliday block in Utah. Trading in the shares has been suspended. TomCo has cash of £250,000.

There were disappointing phase III trial results for the Hutchison China Meditech (HCM) drug Fruquintinib, which did not achieve the primary endpoint in treating non-small cell lung cancer patients. That knocked nearly one-fifth off the share price.

AB Dynamics (ABDP) continues to grow strongly and is already planning to add to its capacity at its new site. Forecasts were raised for the automotive testing and simulator systems supplier earlier in the year and the full year outcome was a 51% increase in revenues to £37.1m and a jump in underlying pre-tax profit from £5.9m to £8.6m. A profit of £10.4m is expected this year.

Eve Sleep (EVE) is changing its focus following the appointment of a new chief executive. The mattress supplier will focus less on heavy marketing for one-off purchases and instead expand its range and generate repeat purchases. Lower marketing spending will reduce the growth rate of revenues. There was £7m in the bank at the end of October 2018 and the company wants to raise a further £15m.

Genedrive (GDR) has raised £5.6m after expenses from a placing at 23p a share, jointly run by Stanford Capital Partners and Peel Hunt, and an issue of loan notes to the British Growth Fund. There was £3.53m in the bank at the end of June 2018. The funds will finance the launch of the Genedrive HCV-ID kit for hepatitis C diagnosis and further assay development for antibiotic induced hearing loss and tuberculosis.

Trakm8 (LSE: TRAK) slipped out its interims on a Friday, albeit at 7am and not at Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) o’clock (around 4.30pm). In the six months to September 2018, revenues fell 38% to £8.84m and even excluding contract manufacturing, which is not done any more, the decline is 26%. Recurring revenues fell by 7%. Even taking the most flattering figures, a pre-tax profit of £363,000 last time was turned into a £2.46m loss. Net debt more than doubled to £5.73m.

Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) is going to make a better full year profit than expected despite the disruption of new testing rules. That has helped used car sales. The 2018 pre-tax profit is still expected to decline from £29.1m to £25.7m, but that is an improvement for the continuing operations.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) has increased its first quarter revenues by 26%, although some of the improvement came from Nuvista, which did not contribute in the corresponding period. Pre-tax profit was 17% higher at BDT973 million. Beximco reported a 37% increase in export sales for its last financial year and they accounted for 12% of total sales. There are five treatments with US approval and it will take time to build up sales. The plan is to eventually generate two-fifths of revenues from exports.

Trinidad-focused oil and gas producer Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) generated $9.12m from operations in the nine months to September 2018, up from $2.22m in the corresponding period last year, thanks to higher production and selling prices and slightly lower operating expenses. This cash has been used to increase development spending.

Wynnstay Properties (WSP) is increasing its interim dividend by 8% to 7p a share. The NAV was760p a share at the end of September 2018 and 99% of the property portfolio is let. There was a decline in income due to disposals.

AIM shell Stirling Investments (STRL) had £7.7m of cash at the end of September 2018. Management includes ex-Melrose management. The share price has fallen from 100p to 74.5p, which is less than the cash per share.

IFA Lighthouse Group (LGT) has signed an agreement with Tavistock Investments (TAVI) for the use of the latter’s investment products, which will be offered by Lighthouse as well as its own Luceo Asset Management products. Tavistock raised £1.2m at 3.28p a share and Lighthouse subscribed for £1m of the total.

Event driven marketing technology services provider Mporium Group (MPM) has raised £2.3m at 5p a share.

Mercantile Ports and Logistics (MPL) is raising £27.75m at 2p a share and could raise a further £2.07m via an open offer.

Fastjet (FJET) has raised £9m at 1p a share in order to keep itself going. There has also been a £3.16m subscription from Solenta Aviation and £19.1m worth of shares have been issued to acquire four Embraer 145s from Solenta and settle various fees, charges and loans. A further £4.1m could be raised via and open offer at 1p a share. This should finance the airline business for 2019.

Empyrean Energy (EME) has raised £1m at 10p a share and this will provide working capital.

Allenby Capital has resigned as nominated adviser to CSF Group (CSFG) and will step down at the end of 2018. CSF has been turned down by potential replacements and trading is likely to be suspended at the end of 2018 and the quotation cancelled at the end of January 2019.

Rasmala (RMA) plans to cancel its AIM quotation and tender for up to 20% of tis share capital at 150p a share.

MAIN MARKET  

Resources-focused standard list shell Cobra Resources (COBR) floated on 15 November when it raised £523,500 at 1.5p a share. The share price ended the week at 1.75p. The board believes this is a good time to identify and acquire undervalued base and precious metals projects, which are already have a good management team and are well on the way to becoming a producing asset. There could be direct investments or farm-ins. There are 59.9 million warrants exercisable at 2p each.

The former Golden Saint Resources, now known as Golden Saint Technologies (GST), is planning to join the standard list. A placing at 0.75p a share will raise £911,000, of which £270,000 will go to pay directors fees that are owed. The rest will pay other costs. The company has switched from diamond exploration to an installer of network and connectivity products.

Trifast (TRI) reported interims in line with expectations and the fastenings supplier is on track to improve full year pre-tax profit from £22.2m to £23.1m. Management is cautious about the UK, but two-thirds of revenues are overseas.

Andrew Gaughan is stepping down as chief executive of Sportech (SPO) in February. The chairman will take up an executive position for an interim period and he purchased 250,000 shares at 40.6p each. The potential acquisition of ilottery provider Lot.to Systems was also announced with a strategic alliance initially put in place.

Avation (AVAP) has announced a 2 cents a share interim dividend. The aviation leasing business estimates that in the six months to December 2018 leasing revenues will increase from $41.7m to $57.8m and, along with a disposal gain, this means that interim profit will be better than expected and much higher than the $7.3m achieved in the first half of the previous year.

IQ-AI (IQAI) has made its first commercial sale of StoneChecker Software to a South Korean hospital.

BigDish (DISH) is building up resources to grow its business in the UK next year. The restaurants platform is considering selling its Asian business.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has completed a $380,000 placing at 2.5p a share. Each of the new shares has a warrant exercisable at 2.5p, which has to be done if the share price trades at 3p a share or above for ten consecutive days.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 November 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) plans to raise up to £2.25m prior to a move to AIM at the end of this year. The cash will be invested in sales and marketing, product development and working capital.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company Stream TV Networks has secured a deal with Beijing Optical and Electrical, which will use Stream’s 3D display technology in large flat TV and monitor screens. Primorus has invested £1.4m in Engage Technology, which has 75 corporate clients for its construction software and a further 17 that are contracted but not yet live. Revenues are growing more slowly than hoped. Engage is talking with partners and potential corporate investors.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is increasing its shareholding in YBOO from 20% to 35% for an investment of £400,000. A working capital loan of up to £1.5m with an annual interest charge of 10%.

Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) reported an increase in interim revenues from R7.65m to R8.37m and the loss declined from R4.52m and R4.12m. At the end of August 2018, net cash was around R11.5m. The South Africa-based social impact investor generated the majority of its revenues from Kuzuko Lodge with a contribution from Bee Sweet Honey.

KR1 (KR1) says that its investee company Volt Ltd has raised $2m. KR1 has converted loan notes and has a 7.94% in institutional digital asset custodian Volt valued at $1.4m. The initial investment of £200,000 acquired a 5% stake in September 2017.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has completed the acquisition of the Gold Ridge project in Arizona from Winston Gold for £530,000. The final payment is funded by shares at 1.75p each. The project area includes three former producing mines. There is potential for the discovery of further gold mineralisation.

Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has raised $315,000 at 20 cents a share. This cash will fund geological work and the evaluation of opportunities in Colombia.

Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) is changing its name to SG Recruitment Ltd.

AIM    

Gresham House (GHE) is acquiring investment manager Livingbridge for an initial £30m. Up to £10m more could be payable depending on performance. This deal will help to widen the customer base and provide product development opportunities. The combined group will have assets under management of more than £2bn. A placing raised £11.7m at 448p a share. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing even before cost savings. Gresham House Energy Storage Fund has raised £100m and will invest £57.2m in a portfolio of energy storage assets in development.

Castleton Technology (CTP) increased interim revenues by one-fifth to £12.9m and there was a 5% improvement in earnings per share. finnCap forecasts an improvement in full year earnings per share from 5.2p to 5.9p. The provider of software and managed services plans to pay a maiden dividend for this financial year.

Transportation software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) has reported figures in line with recently upgraded forecasts. In the year to July 2018, revenues improved from £34.5m to £39.8m, mainly organic growth, while pre-tax profit rose from £7.6m to £8.5m, helped by a one-fifth increase in software sales. There is £22m in the bank to finance further acquisitions.

AdEPT Technology (ADT) has acquired unified communication services provider ETS Communications for £2.5m less net debt at the end of October 2018. This deal will be immediately earnings enhancing. Thebank facility has been increased to £35m in order to fund further acquisitions.

International benefits insurance provider GBGI Ltd (GBGI) is recommending a $1.515 a share cash offer from Elm Bidco. This values GBGI at $131.8m (£101.6m). There has been modest growth in earnings per share since GBGI floated at 150p a share in February 2018. Adividend of 1.4 cents a share was paid in June.

Myanmar-focused social media platform operator MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) is investigating into the use of proceeds of two recent fundraisings. Approximately £900,000 was paid out of company funds to former directors and third parties. Staff are being made redundant and additional cash is required. Trading in the shares is suspended. The nominated adviser SP Angel and joint broker Daniel Stewart have resigned. Piers Pottinger has stepped down as a director.

Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) has reassured investors about trading and the share price has started to recover. Victoria is not issuing a bond to refinance its debt because the potential pricing was unfavourable. Invesco has increased its stake to 22.1% and The Spruce House Partnership has built up a 13.6% stake.

Estate agency Purplebricks (PURP) has grown interim revenues in the UK by one-fifth. Trading in Australia is tough, and it is still early days in the US. Net cash was more than £100m at the end of October 2018.

First Derivatives (FDP) increased its underlying interim pre-tax profit by 15% to £10.6m. The interim dividend was 10% higher at 7.7p a share. The software and consultancy company with the fastest growth coming from licences for Kx software.

URA Holdings (URA) has gained EIS approval for the funding for its proposed reverse takeover of personalised digital entertainment content provider Entertainment AI. Complexities of the deal have been solved and documentation is progressing. URA has until 20 December to complete a reverse takeover.

Interim revenues and pre-tax profit at Best of the Best (BOTB) will be better than expected and this has led to a full year pre-tax profit upgrade from £1.4m to £1.6m, which is the same as the year before. The online competitions operator will be hit by the increase in remote gaming duty from 15% to 21% from October 2019. This will mean that 2019-20 forecasts will have to be reassessed.

Polarean Imaging (POLX) says that its phase III non-inferiority clinical trial of its Xenon polariser is up and running. Enrolment should be completed in the second quarter of 2019. A new order has been received to upgrade the polariser at SickKids Hospital in Toronto.

Remote tracking technology developer Starcom (STAR) has signed a deal with a distributor in North Africa covering Helios Advanced and BIO CAN fuel sensors. This year’s group revenues are expected to improve from $5.4m to $5.9m. Starcom has raised £400,000 at 2p a share.

Broadcast software provider Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) has won two new contracts that will underpin forecasts for 2018 and 2019. The two orders have a total value of £2m.

Zoo Digital (ZOO) reported interims in line with expectations. Revenues were 17% ahead at $14.9m and the main growth has come from dubbing services. The loss was slightly higher at $159,000. A major subtitling customer will increase its demand in the second half. The full year, underlying pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from $500,000 to $1.8m.

Recruitment company Kellan Group (KLN) plans to cancel its AIM quotation and the general meeting vote already has backing from the owners of 70% of the shares. The shares are tightly held and liquidity is limited.

Fastjet (FJET) says that it can continue operating in November, but it will require more cash.

Crawshaw (CRAW) has called in administrators to itself and four subsidiaries. Thirty five stores have closed and 19 are still trading. Administrators have also been appointed to Flowgroup (FLOW) because it could not find a suitable acquisition.

MAIN MARKET  

Path Investments (PATH) says it is not proceeding with the farm-in for the Alfeld-Elze II licence having failed to raise the cash it required and reach agreement on the transaction structure. The deal would have led to a move to AIM. Trading in the shares remains suspended.

Beauty and personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) expects interim revenues to be similar to last year, while full year revenues are expected to increase from £10.7m to £14.4m. finnCap forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £700,000 to £1.7m.

Consumer goods supplier UP Global Sourcing (UPGS) reported revenues for the year to July 2018 fell by one-fifth to £87.6m and underlying pre-tax profit decreased from £10.7m to £5.6m. The main decline was due to discount retailers seeking tougher terms and delayed sales to a European retailer. Online sales increased and this helped to maintain margins. Brands include Salter kitchenware and Constellation luggage. The Kleeneze brand is being relaunched. Non-executive chairman Jim McCarthy has acquired 135,000 shares at 39.3p each. Equity Development forecasts a rise in earnings per share from 5.4p to 5.6p, while dividend per share should rise from 2.7p to 2.8p.

Trading in Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) shares has been suspended ahead of a proposed acquisition of Chorum Group.

Shareholders have agreed to Titon Holdings (TON) moving to AIM on 10 December.

Andrew Hore

  

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 20 August 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Health and community care properties developer Ashley House (ASH) reported a much-improved profit for the year to April 2018. There was a strong second half performance because of the completion of four schemes. Full year revenues were flat at £18.5m, while pre-tax profit jumped from less than £100,000 to £1.8m, although that includes a £500,000 write back of a previous impairment charge. Net debt was reduced from £2.5m to £1.5m. The housing and health property pipeline is valued at £206m, covering 22 schemes. The F1 Modular business lost money last year but trading appears likely to improve.

Ananda Developments (ANA) has acquired $200,000 of convertible loan notes in iCAN Israel-Cannabis Ltd, which focuses on medicinal cannabis. This is the first investment for Ananda and the convertibles have an annual interest rate of 6%. The interests of Ananda director Charles Morgan have assigned $100,000 of the convertibles to the company. iCan has subsidiaries involved in organising cannabis symposiums and cannabis-based research services, plus a 5% stake in CannRx Technology Inc, which has developed liquid soluble cannabinoids for use in treatments, and a 20% stake in CMTREX, which is developing a trading platform for cannabis.

Nigel Wray has reduced his stake in High Growth Capital (HASH) from 5.99% to 4.72%. Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) non-executive chairman David Sumner has bought 29,230 shares at 190p each, taking his stake to 84.7%.

Early Equity (EEQP) says trading in the company shares will resume on 28 August. Trading had been suspended on 16 May. The resumption follows an agreement with NEX Exchange that will change how shares are distributed to related parties. Early Infinity Holdings (EI) is the exclusive distributor for Yicom Global, where Early Equity is a 47. 1% shareholder. EI’s agents sell the products in Malaysia and elsewhere in south east Asia. EI incentivises its agents by gifting them shares in Early Equity. These were deemed to be a gift rather than a trade, so they were not reported. A new nominee company with two trustees that are not shareholders in Early Equity has been set up. This will hold shares for the benefit of agents of EI. Agents will receive a warrant certificate. These agents own 46.7% of Early Equity and shares equivalent to 6.29% of the company will be transferred to the nominee company. Early Equity previously announced that it wants to move to a standard listing. The company’s NAV was £1.54m, including £429,000, at the end of 2017.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is investing $125,000 in Bundle Network Ltd, which is developing an online platform that enables the trading of cryptocurrencies. Coinsilium will also receive Bundle Network crypto tokens.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has paid a $50,000 option fee, which could lead to the company gaining a 51% stake in a new company that holds the rights to the Kamyshanovskoye uranium project in the Kyrgyz Republic. The project has an inferred uranium resource that could be worth $144m at $26/lb, plus exploration upside. International Mining Company owns 100% of the project and it would be put into a new vehicle, where MetalNRG would inject cash to gain its majority stake. MetalNRG has 90 days to undertake due diligence and review data. If the option is not taken up the option fee would be converted into a 2.5% stake in the new vehicle.

VI Mining (VIM) is starting its drilling campaigns at minas Pampa and Rosario de Belen, while the vendors are in discussions about changes in the terms of the deals. The timing of the due payment has been extended while the talks continue.

Panther Metals (PALM) has appointed Ariana Resources (AAU) boss Dr Kerim Sener as a non-executive director.

Ecovista (EVTP) is asking for shareholder approval for a resolution that will enable it to issue up to 3.486 billion shares so that management can continue with its strategy.

AIM   

Gatemore Investments has increased its stake in TLA Worldwide (TLA), the company famous for issuing a profit warning after the market closed prior to Christmas 2016, from 7.4% to 12.2%. Bart Campbell has stepped down as executive chairman of TLA, but he will continue to receive his monthly salary until the end of the year.

Last year, revenues fell by nearly one-third to £24m at microwave electronic products supplier Filtronic (FTC) but it had already been flagged. The ending of a low margin contract meant that pre-tax profit fell from £2.16m to £1.23m, although that includes exceptional finance charges of £486,000 due to exchange rate movements. The broadband and wireless divisions are being merged because they have similar customer bases. There is net cash of £3.6m plus available bank facilities. Investment in new products continues and there is long-term demand from investment in 5G networks and security-related areas.

Marshall Motor (MMH) reported a decent set of figures given the tough new car market, which is exacerbated by the decline in diesel car sales. There was a small dip in continuing revenues but underlying pre-tax profit edged up to £16.4m. Used vehicle profit improved. The dividend is maintained at 2.15p a share. Trading will be even tougher in the second half, partly due to testing regulation changes, and full year profit is expected to decline from £29.1m to £24.2m. There is a strong balance sheet with a NAV of £201m.

Zamano (ZMNO) has ended discussions with its potential reverse takeover target. This means that cash is likely to be returned to shareholders.

Condor Gold (CNR) has been granted an environmental permit for developing a processing plant for the La India project by the Nicaragua authorities. Gold production could be 80,000 ounces a year from a single open pit. Accounts for the six months to June 2018, show cash of £1.57m.

Abzena (ABZA) is recommending a 16p a share cash bid from Astro Bidco, which values it at £34.4m. The life sciences company joined AIM four years ago when it raised £20m at 80p a share. It needs additional finance pumped into the business.

Oil and gas producer Empyrean Energy (EME) has received a $906,000 tax refund from the IRS from the 2016-17 tax year.

SalvaRx Group (SALV) is selling its business to a Toronto-quoted company in return for shares, most of which will be distributed to shareholders. The 94.2% stake in cancer drugs developer SalvaRx Ltd is being swapped for 757.9million shares in Portage Biotech Inc, which are deemed to have a value of $67.5m. SalvaRx shareholders will receive 18 Portage shares for each SalvaRx share they own if they approve the disposal. SalvaRx will retain around 100 million Portage shares and become a shell.

ClearStar (CLSU) has been named as preferred contract labour screening provider for Gulfstream Aerospace. This should contribute to a reduction in loss this year.

Premier African Minerals (PREM) has raised £750,000 at 0.18p a share. Premier plans a drilling programme of up to 2,750 metres to expand the resource base at the RHA Tungsten mine. The cash should last until the end of 2018.

MAIN MARKET  

Tex Holdings (TXH) reported a slump in interim pre-tax profit from £423,000 to £96,000 even though there was a small reduction in admin expenses. There was a much better contribution from the plastics division but that was more than offset by the slump in profit by the engineering division due to delays in orders. Metal fabrication and powder coating business Argento UK has recently been bought. The interim dividend is unchanged at 2.5p a share.

Nanoco (NANO) expects the first displays using its cadmium-free quantum dots to be launched before Christmas. Volume production is expected at the new Runcorn plant before the end of 2019. The 2017-18 revenues were lower than expected because it could not recognise a payment from a large customer. Net cash is estimated at £7.9m at the end of July 2018.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) reported an increase in full year loss from £177,000 to £286,000. The NAV was £379,000 at the end of April 2018. There is £148,000 in the bank. Dukemount is on the brink of moving forward with its first two supported living developments.

PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) has settled its claim with a customer. The customer will pay a total of €28.8m, of which the outstanding payment of €14.3m will be paid at the end of November. The customer has also waived the delivery of the solar wafers that were supposed to be supplied.

Andrew Hore

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