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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 4 November 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has managed to generate 92% of 2018’s record harvest in volume terms for the company’s wines. This was achieved even though the weather was not as good this summer. Some vineyards produced their first crop and are still maturing.

Belvedere Leisure Resorts plans to gain a quotation on the NEX Growth Market for its bonds on 22 November. The company is a subsidiary of Belvedere Leisure Park, which owns a site in Dumfries & Galloway with planning permission for a lodge park resort of 444 holiday lodges. The park will be built by Landal GreenParks. The bonds will offer a coupon 6.25%. An initial £10m of bonds will be admitted with a maximum of £25m expected to be raised.

First Sentinel (FSEN) is seeking shareholder approval to issue Green Finance preference shares, which would be quoted on NEX. The cash raised will be invested in the renewable energy sector. A general meeting will be held on 18 November. Warrants have been exercised at 10p a share and this has raised £400,000 for First Sentinel.

Mechanical and electrical design and installation company Field Systems Design Holding (FSD) reported a decline in revenues from £25.9m to £21.8m in the year to May 2019. Higher gross margins meant that the decline in the pre-tax profit was limited and it fell from £625,000 to £553,000. Water generated four-fifths of revenues, up from 48% the previous year. There are no solid spending forecasts, as yet, for the latest water capital investment period for between 2020 and 2025. This causes some medium-term uncertainty. The order book is worth £8.2m, compared with £12m one year earlier. There is a pension surplus.

KR1 (KR1) has made three more investments in blockchain-related tokens. A $100,000 cash investment and payment for advisory expertise will earn 1.017% of Vega tokens issued. Vega is developing a decentralised and censorship-resistant blockchain trading platform. A further $266,220 has been invested in Edgeware smart-contract platform tokens and they will be locked up for 12 months. KR1 will receive 1,000 Ether and this will translate into 3.8 million Edgeware tokens. KR1 has spent $50,000 on a minimum stake of 0.625% in Commonwealth Labs, which is helping to market the Edgeware platform.

Allenby Capital has published a research note on cannabis products supplier Sativa Investments (SATI) and it forecasts revenues of £1.64m in 2019 and £5.15m next year. This will not be enough to make Sativa profitable. Allenby believes that it may have to raise £6m next year to cover its cash outflows and maintain net cash. Sativa has changed the brand name from George Botanicals to Goodbody Botanicals.

Imperial X (IMPP) has raised £347,000 at 2.5p a share. This represents 27.3% of the enlarged share capital.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) increased lead concentrate production at the Hellyer mine from 5,452 tonnes in the second quarter to 6,656 tonnes in the third quarter, but zinc and pyrite concentrate production declined. However, recovery levels have improved for both lead and zinc.

BWA Group (BWAP) intends to sell its investments in Prepaid Card Services and a mining project in Cameroon. They are in the balance sheet at a value of £608,000. The focus will be gold explorer Kings of the North. St-Georges Eco-Mining is converting £300,000 of the £2.45m of convertible loan notes at 0.5p a share. This is equivalent to 23.75% of the enlarged share capital. The loan notes were issued to acquired Kings of the North Corp. BWA is still waiting for £88,000 of the £100,000 of convertibles issued for cash.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has published its 2018 accounts, but it will have to publish its interims before trading in the shares recommences. Management says that it is addressing the accounting concerns of its auditor BDO. The NAV was 0.95 cents a share at the end of 2018.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings (AWLP) reported a drop in revenues from $1.24m to $797,000. This meant that the company fell into loss. There is $726,000 in the bank at the end of August 2019.

Ganapati (GANP) improved its interim revenues from £2.19m to £2.33m, but higher admin expenses meant that the reported loss more than trebled to £8.5m. The company continues to develop its online gaming platform.

TechFinancials (TECH) has completed the sale of a loss-making asset for €100,000.

Queros Capital Partners (QCP) is asking shareholders to approve the ending of the NEX quotation. The general meeting will be held on 14 November.

AIM

Duke Royalty (DUKE) has made a follow-on investment in Lynx Equity, to help the company to finance the purchase of Denmark-based steel staircases supplier Sundby Trapper. This means that Duke has exposure of £12m in Lynx and it will receive annual distributions of £1.6m.

Space management software supplier Smartspace Software (SMRT) is paying £3.2m in cash and shares for Australia-based Space Connect, a provider of cloud-based workplace management software for room booking, desk management, catering and workspace analytics. This will save up to £1.2m a year on product development over two years. The software can be rolled-out in the UK. Smartspace made an interim loss of £4m.

An investor group intends to increase its stake in Petrel Resources (PET) from 29.99% to 51% via a share issue at 1.25p each. They will offer potential oil and gas-related investments to Petrel.

Cabot Energy (CAB) has decided to ditch its AIM quotation on 3 December, but it intends to have its shares matched on Asset Match. This will have to be approved by shareholders. The Canada-focused oil and gas company wants to reduce its overheads.

RedT Energy (RED) plans to merge with Avalon Battery Corporation and combine the best features of each company’s technology. Bushveld Minerals (BMN) is providing an interim loan facility prior to the raising of £23m of new funds.

Avingtrans (AVG) is already reaping the benefits of the acquisition of Booth Industries, thanks to a £7.2m safety doors contract from the government. That means that £12m of orders have been won since the purchase in June.

Safestay (SSTY) is buying a hostel in Athens for €1.5m. The hostel has been operating since 2008 and has an 18-year lease. Safestay has also completed the purchase of the Best Western Glasgow City hotel for £3.15m and this will be transformed into a 200-bed hostel.

MAIN MARKET

Stevia producer PureCircle (PURE) has won a legal decision in its patent litigation with SweeGen, which challenged the patent. It will pursue Federal District court litigation against SweeGen. The patent is for the process of producing Reb M stevia sweetener via bioconversion. The shares remain suspended because it has not published the results for the year to June 2019.

Meditor is considering a 5p a share offer for carpets retailer Carpetright (CPR) and without this offer thee would need to be a refinancing of £80m of debt and additional working capital.

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) has warned that its 2019 figures will be even worse than previously thought and chief executive Andy Bruce and chief operating officer Nigel McMinn have left the board. The pre-tax forecast has been cut from £38.7m to £15.5m, compared with £53.9m in 2018. Third quarter new car unit sales fell by 3.2% (on a like-for-like basis), compared with the market decline of 0.6%.

InnovaDerma (IDP) is launching a new topical product in Superdrug before the end of June. The full details will be announced nearer the launch.

The chairman and chief executive of Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) have acquired 5.46 million shares at 3p each and they have a combined shareholding of 27.5%. Further cost reductions have been identified for the Gakara project in Burundi. A further 100 tonnes of rare earth oxides concentrate were shipped in October. Production levels will fall in the short-term as the production focus moves to a mechanised operation.

Cryptominer Argo Blockchain (ARB) has doubled its mining equipment order and changed the machines it is buying. The cost has been reduced from $13.1m to $9.51m. The machines are more efficient. The current machine orders will increase capacity by 240%.

Resources cash shell Mila Resources (MILA) is still seeking a deal. There was £429,000 in cash at the end of June 2019. Another shell, Bermele (BERM), is also still seeking a deal. It had £682,000 in cash at the end of July 2019.

Blencowe Resources (BRES) is acquiring the Orom graphite project in Uganda for £2m in shares at 6p each. This is subject to a fundraising.

Iconic Labs (ICON) slipped out its results for the 18 months to June 2019 at 6.28pm on 31 October. They show a £6.12m loss, of which, £308,000 was from continuing operations. Net liabilities were £1.67m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 30 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Peel Hunt has edged up its pre-tax profit forecast for brewer and pubs operator Shepherd Neame (SHEP) following the publication of its figures for the year to June 2019. They showed revenues of £145.8m and pre-tax profit of £11.4m, which was slightly better than expected. Brewing profit more than halved to £900,000 after the Asahi contract ended, but this was more than made up for by the contribution from managed and tenanted pubs. Own-brewed volumes have risen by 5.8% in the first few weeks of the year and managed ad tenanted pubs are showing like-for-like income increases. Debt costs will be lower than previously expected so the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast has moved from £11.5m to £11.7m, which will allow a slightly higher anticipated dividend of 31p a share – twice covered by earnings. There is potential to acquire more pubs.

In the 17 months to May 2019, pubs operator and automotive dealer Barkby Group (BARK) made a pre-tax profit of £75,000 on revenues of £6.29m. Stripping out the amount acquisitions were made under net asset value and acquisition cost, the profit is £135,000. The addition of pub sites, taking the total to six gastropubs and inns, and the purchase of Centurian Automotive, will significantly increase revenues in the latest 12-month period. The plan is to have up to 12 pub sites within five years.

Karoo Energy (KEP) is changing its name to IamFire and raising £143,000 at 2.4p a share. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi has been appointed as an executive director and Jeremy Ross joins as a non-executive. They are both directors of cannabis company Eurocann International (BUD). The existing business is being sold to Noel Lyons and other opportunities in the oil and gas and base and precious metals sectors will be assessed.

National Milk Records (NMRP) has been hit by a cyber attack and this will reduce profit this year. It has interrupted IT operations and EBITDA is set to be 10% lower than expected in the year to June 2020.

WH Ireland has published a broker note on Cadence Minerals (KDNC) and this suggests that the 27% stake in the Amapa iron ore mine in Brazil is a potential company maker, even before any benefits from the lithium project investments. The mine produced between 2007 and 2014 before being closed because of an incident at the port on the Amazon and a falling iron ore price. The total resource is estimated at 245Mt grading 41% Fe, but this figure dates back to 2012. The mine life could be 15 years. Capex of $168m will be required to restart mining and processing. The 27% stake will effectively cost Cadence less than £6m. The other shareholder is Singapore-based commodity trader IndoSino. If other investors are sought, then Cadence has the right to increase its stake to 49%.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) plans to consolidate every 20 existing shares into one new share. A general meeting will be held on 16 October. Primorus expects its A$500,000 loan note with Zuuse to be repaid, plus interest, in the next couple of weeks.

St Mark Homes (SMAP) reported an improvement in interim pre-tax profit from £18,000 to £84,000. The housebuilder achieved this improvement because of a much larger share of the operating profit in a joint venture and increased interest receivable. Admin expenses rose even though revenues were lower. NAV is 126p a share.

Recently floated cash shell World High Life (LIFE) plans to acquire Love Hemp in return for £4m in cash and the issue of 30 million shares. A further £2m could become payable in the next three years depending on the achievement of turnover targets. If more than target turnover is achieved in any year then the vendors will receive 5% of the excess. Love Hemp is a supplier of CBD and hemp products and it made a pre-tax profit of £532,000 on turnover of £2.5m in the year to June 2018. World High Life plans to raise up to £5m in order to finance the acquisition.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says joint venture DJT has applied for a licence to grow >0.2% THC cannabis and has been registered with the Drugs Licensing and Compliance Unit of the Home Office. DJT has acquired Aristaeus Elements, which is setting up as a cannabis extraction and processing facility, for £1 and assumption of debt of £51,000 – the deposit paid for the equipment for the plant. The plan is to finance the investment in the facility through debt secured against offtake contracts.

Blockchain-related investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) reported a dip in revenues from £1.33m to £109,000, but a reversal of an impairment charge and gains on financial assets meant that it still made a pre-tax profit of £242,000, down from £554,000 the previous year. The non-cash gains meant that cash fell from £592,000 to £475,000 over the six months to June 2019. NAV increased from £2.36m to £2.59m.

First Sentinel (FSEN) reported a fall in interim revenues from £963,000 to £710,000, while the loss increased from £46,000 and £114,000.

Panther Metals (PALM) says that early identification of an area of the Big Bear project in Ontario shows high gold grades. The 100% owned area has been extended via the acquisition of four additional mining claims.  

NQ Minerals (NQMI) generated revenues of £14.2m in the first half of 2019. The Hellyer polymetallic mine was not in production in the corresponding period last year. There was still a £17.9m loss because of high admin expenses. There was £65.6m of debt at the end of June 2019 and management believes that it can get more favourable terms now the mine is up and running.

AIM

Domain name registry Minds + Machines (MMX) is improving the quality of its earnings and it is nearer to sorting out legacy problems. Renewal revenues almost cover costs. Interim net revenues increased from $5.3m to $7.4m, while pre-tax profit trebled to $1.8m, helped by a full six month contribution from ICM. A full year pre-tax profit of $4.1m is forecast. Operating expenses should rise much slower than revenues and cash generation should be strong. A $5.1m cash payment will be made in the second half in order to cover those legacy costs. Even after that, the company should have net cash of more than $5m at the end of 2019. Longer-term, Minds + Machines could become a dividend payer.

Pelatro (PTRO) is dependent on fourth quarter licence sales to achieve forecasts following the 14% increase in interim revenues to $2.7m. That means that second half revenues of the telecoms marketing services and technology provider need to be $7.8m to achieve the 2019 target. There are some large potential sales in the pipeline, but delays of a few weeks could mean that they drop into 2020. Repeat revenues more than doubled in the first half because more of the business won has been in the form of revenue gain share contracts that take time to build up and produce revenues over a longer period than a one-off licence, which is recognised as revenue straight away.

Maestrano (MNO) has conditionally agreed to acquire Airsight Holdings, which offers engineering surveying services using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. Airsight had revenues of A$1.04m in the year to June 2019 and it is loss making because of development spending. Maestrano will issue 73.4 million shares to pay for the acquisition. There could be further payments depending on revenues. The Maestrano chairman is a shareholder in Airsight.

Escape Hunt (ESC) increased revenues from £800,000 to £2.2m in the first half of 2019 but it remains loss-making. Franchise revenues were flat, and all the growth came from the operated sites. Escape Hunt has signed an agreement with Proprietors Capital Holdings for the roll-out of franchise sites in North America.

Mattress supplier eve Sleep (EVE) reduced its loss but cash is still flowing out of the business. Net cash was £12.5m at the end of June 2019 and it is expected to be £8m by the end of the year.

MAIN MARKET

S and U (SUS) is adding new motor finance business even though loan standards have been tightened. Motor finance business Advantage Finance is on course to achieve its 20th year of profit growth. Bridging loans provider Aspen made a profit of £502,000 in the first half. Interim pre-tax profit rose by 3% to £17.1m and the dividend was increased by 6% to 34p a share.

Suit hire and retail business Moss Bros (MOSB) broke even, before the IFRS16 accounting changes for leases, in the six months to July 2019, which was slightly better than expected. A full year loss is still expected because despite like-for-like retail sales growth, hire revenues are declining and the IFRS16 changes will knock £2.5m off pre-tax profit. There was cash of £18.2m at the end of July 2019.

finnCap has reduced its 2019-20 forecasts for InnovaDerma (IDP) following its figures for the year June 2019. The beauty and health products supplier increased revenues by one-fifth to £12.9m and pre-tax profit more than doubled to £1.4m. This year’s pre-tax profit is expected to be £2m, down from £2.3m previously, because higher costs relating to marketing more than offset improved sales expectations. To put this in perspective, the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast back in August 2018 was £2.6m. InnovaDerma needs to start meeting forecasts rather than having them downgraded on a regular basis.

Tex Holdings (TXH) has appointed Price Bailey LLP. Trading appears to be picking up in the plastics and engineering businesses. There is a record order book of £12m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 19 August 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Adnams (ADB) reported a decline in first half revenues from £35.5m to £34.7m, while the loss increased from £840,000 to £1.15m. Beer volumes were 2% ahead, compared with a 1% decline in the market. Low alcohol beer sales grew. Gin sales fell because of greater competition. A fire at the Ship at Levington hampered the performance of the pubs business. Adnams made an underlying profit in 2018, thanks to a better second half performance. The new IT system went live in March and the implementation has been a distraction to management. The dividends are unchanged at 78p a share for each B share and 19.5p per A share.  

Bruce Pubs (PUB) has decided to cancel trading in its 7.2% secured bonds, 31 March 2022. There are £20,000 worth of bonds admitted to the market and there have been no trades. Bruce Pubs had wanted to raise up to £20m from the bond issue. It is therefore not a surprise that Bruce Pubs believes it is not worth having a trading facility. The bonds can be redeemed early by the company.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has produced 10,164 tonnes of lead concentrate, 7,431 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 46,863 tonnes of pyrite concentrate in the first half of 2019. An operating profit of A$3.6m was made on sales of A$23m.

TechFinancials (TECH) had $1.23m in the bank at the end of June 2019. A reduction in trade receivables meant that there was a small cash inflow from operating activities, but there was $402,000 capitalised developed on the blockchain ticketing system.

China-focused healthcare company MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £755,000 at 30p a share.

Queros Capital Partners (QCP) has gained a quotation for its bonds on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange

AIM  

ICAMAP has acquired 7.94 million shares in easyHotel (EZH) at its offer price of 95p a share, taking its stake to 44.1%. This means that it is a mandatory cash offer.

Iofina (IOF) has launched IofinaEX Global to deal in hemp derived products in Central America and the Caribbean. Iofina will potentially link up with a government in the region that wants to develop its country as a hub for hemp derived products. There are no details of this potential partnership. The company believes that its regulatory expertise in the iodine market will be helpful in the CBD market. The US is likely to be a major market.

LightwaveRF (LWRF) has raised £1.3m at 7p a share. The smart homes equipment supplier wants the cash to finance further growth. There are also plans to secure a facility for stock.

Altitude (ALT) is considering the disposal of its Manchester-based promotion products supplier AdProducts.com. This would enable Altitude to concentrate on its AIM platform for promotional products suppliers.

Greatland Gold (GGP) has raised £4.2m at 1.85p a share and that will be used to finance exploration in the Paterson region of Australia. There has been positive exploration news from the Scallywag prospect in the Paterson region. A ground gravity survey starts this month and an induced polarisation survey next month. Then 3D modelling using the data will come up with drill targets.

Cyber security software and services provider Corero Network Security (CNS) says interim revenues are lower, but operating costs are unchanged. That means that the interim loss has increased. However, full year revenues are expected to be one-fifth higher, but higher investment in sales means that the loss will still be higher. Net cash was $3.6m at the end of June 2019.

Equals Group (EQLS) is raising up to £16m via a placing and open offer. The international payments company has raised £14m at 110p a share and up to £2m will come from the one-for-90 open offer. The cash will be used for acquisitions and working capital.

Tanfield (TAN) says that 49%-owned Snorkel International has moved back into profit in the second quarter of 2019, although the first half was still loss-making. Last year, the value of this investment in the access equipment supplier was cut from £36.3m to £19.1m.

Oil and gas producer President Energy (PPC) says that there should not be a material effect on its operations from a change in Argentinian president. Revenues are US dollar based and cash is held in the same currency, so the decline of the Argentinian peso should not be too much of a problem.

Anthony Laiker has subscribed £25,000 in Vela Technologies (VELA) at 0.1p a share. A general meeting has to approve the share issue to the executive director, as well as an issue of 6.25 million warrants exercisable at 0.15p. Approval of the conversion of £200,000 of loan notes plus interest into nearly 241 million shares will also require the company to be given the ability to issue more shares. Laiker would than own more than 301 million shares.

Gfinity (GFIN) is pulling out of its Australian joint venture because the esports company wants to focus its cash on the US and other important markets.  

Workspace software provider Essensys (ESYS) says that its revenues were one-quarter higher at £20.5m in the year to July 2019. That was better than expected. Annual recurring revenues run rate is £17.3m.

MAIN MARKET  

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) made an increased loss of £1.81m, up from £582,000 the previous year. The company’s main pension fund remains a worry and there are ongoing discussions with the Pensions Regulator. There are net liabilities of £3.71m after the pension deficit of £4.98m.

Nanoco (NANO) generated revenues of £7.3m in the year to July 2019, more than double the previous year. The cadmium-free quantum dots developer had £7m in cash at the end of July and expects to have £6m at the end of 2019.

Highway Capital (HWC) has issued €30,000 of new convertible loan notes. These are convertible to a value in excess of 50% of the net asset value of the company at the time of conversion. The terms of an existing convertible loan note of £100,000 have been changed and the conversion price is 5p a share.

Shareholders in Avocet Mining (AVM) have voted against the resolution to wind up the company. This means that it is likely to go into administration unless there is a viable transaction that the board can assess.

Global Resources Investment Trust (GRIT) wanted shareholders to approve the voluntary liquidation of the company, but there is not enough support for the proposal. GRIT has sold 430 million shares in Kalia for £225,000 in order to provide working capital. A new board is being appointed to undertake a strategic review. James Normand will become chairman and Martin Lampshire as an executive director. Stephen Roberts will become a non-executive director.  

IMC Exploration (IMC) has been awarded two additional licences in County Wexford. They adjoin an existing licence where there are indications of gold.

Book publisher Quarto (QRT) reduced its interim loss from $6.6m to $4m on flat revenues of $56.4m. There was a change in the mix of revenues with children’s books increasing revenues by14% and in geographic terms more of the revenues were in the US, which moved into profit. Net debt has fallen by 11% to $65m.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) says that drilling has commenced at well C-37 in the Jafarli oilfield.

Pendragon (PDG) is selling its Chevrolet dealership in California for £17.2m. GM can alternatively nominate another purchaser if it wants. The rest of the US business will be sold.

Andrew Hore 

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 12 August 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Imperial X (IMPP) non-executive director Melissa Sturgess has sold 4.615 million shares at 2p each and she retains an equal number of shares. The total stake was acquired at 1p a share, so she has effectively made her money back. Imperial X is moving into the cannabis sector. Charles Morgan, a relation of Melissa Sturgess, converted £46,150 of loan notes into 4.615 million shares.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has invested a further £150,000 Tasmania Energy Metals through a convertible loan, taking the total investment to £450,000. The exclusivity period relating to the acquisition of an option over the company’s assets has been extended to the end of October 2019. NQ would have nine months to exercise the option in return for shares worth £5.5m. The latest investment will be used to develop a facility that would produce nickel and cobalt salts for electric vehicle batteries.

Founder Stephen Minion has resigned from the board of Ashley House (ASH) so that there are no conflicts of interest between his role as a director and his other interests. He is chairman and major shareholder of Invescare, which has provided a loan to Ashley House.

iGaming software developer Ganapati (GANP) says that its Malta-based subsidiary has signed a resale agreement with BetConstruct, which will provide the company’s slot games to its integrated operators via its platform. Another deal is with PG Entertainment and this will make Ganapati’s games available in Latin America via a smartphone platform.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings Ltd (AWLP) improved pre-tax profit from $150,000 to $268,000 in the year to February 2019, partly due to a reduction in impairment losses. The company is looking at fintech acquisitions.

The conversion of loan notes in Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has led to the issue of just over nine billion shares. There are 24.2bn shares in issue.

Valiant Investments has changed its name to Eurocann International (BUD).

AIM  

Oil and gas company Amerisur Resources (AMER) has effectively put itself up for sale and multiple companies are interested in bidding. They are being provided confidential information. The formal sale process continues.

Execution only broker Share (SHRE) made a first half profit even though stockmarket trading conditions and volumes have been poor and the dividend from Euroclear was moved to the second half. Revenues increased 9% to £11.1m as interest income grew. Account fees have been increased. Share is benefiting from its digital investment. The 20,000 accounts being taken on from JP Morgan will contribute from September. A full year profit of £400,000 is forecast.

Credit hire and legal services provider Anexo (ANX) is trading more strongly than expected, even after previous upgrades. Management has managed to reduce insurance costs. The full year pre-tax profit forecast has been increased by 15% to £23m and next years by 14% to £25m.

Artificial intelligence-based physician platform DocDoc, where Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) is an investor, has raised $13m. Adamas led the convertible loan note financing for the Singapore-based company. DocDoc operates in eight countries. Hong Kong-based CASIL Clearing has reduced its stake in Adamas from 6.9% to 2.9%. Pello Capital has been appointed joint broker.

Presidential Energy (PPC) is not making the progress it hoped to, but profit is improving. The share price of the Argentina-focused oil and gas company has been declining. finnCap describes its estimates for average production and EBITDA as “challenging” due to delays and disruptions. It has been forecasting EBITDA of $27.9m due to an oil price estimate that is above current levels, whereas the company believes it could be around $20m. There are no plans to change the forecast until the interims are released in September.

StatPro (SOG) increased organic annualised recurring revenues by 3.2% to £56.5m in the first half. The asset management performance software provider increased interim revenues £27.2m to £28.3m, while pre-tax profit improved from £2.37m to £2.66m due to flat operating costs. Net debt is £24.2m.

Richard Bernstein has increased his stake in Ultimate Sports Group (USG) from 27% to 29.8%. Bernstein has an agreement with Ultimate where he would receive 1% of the value of the first acquisition he introduces to the company as long as it is completed by 30 September. Matthew Farnum-Schneider has been appointed chief executive of Ultimate. He has been granted a range of options. Some are exercisable at 20p a share, which is just below the current share price, some at 40p a share and others at 60p a share. Geoffrey Simmonds has left the board.

Urban Exposure (UEX) is not going ahead with a proposed issue of 6.5% secure sterling bonds 2026 because of market conditions.  

MAIN MARKET

S and U (SUS) says demand for motor finance has been strong in the first half, even though the quality of business has been increased. The Aspen property bridging finance business has net receivables of £24m and is growing gradually in a weak housing market. Borrowings are just over £125m and there are additional facilities of £35m. The interims will be published on 24 September.

Construction company nmcn (NMCN) increased interim revenues from £161.2m to £184m, while pre-tax profit improved from £2.5m to £3.5m. The former North Midland Construction had net cash of £15.6m at the end of June 2019. The order book is worth £456m with the main increase coming from the built environment division, which accounts for one-fourth of the order value. A full year profit of £7.4m is forecast.

Iconic Labs (ICON) is making its first acquisition since transforming itself from stem cell services provider WideCells into a social media marketing business. Iconic has agreed to acquire social media agency Social Alchemist. Iconic Labs is still in a poor financial state. There are £600,000 of legacy debts that have to be paid, plus £400,000 that is disputed. The European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund will provide up to £1.375m in six tranches in return for loan notes. This is dependent on a prospectus being issued within six months. This prospectus will enable warrants to be attached to the loan notes. There are also more shares to be issued under the previous financing agreement.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated 163 bitcoins in July and these are valued at £1.36m. They were mined at a margin of 80%. More mining machines have been ordered and will be up and running by the fourth quarter. This investment will quadruple capacity. Argo could be highly profitable in the second half with a full year pre-tax profit of £6m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 8 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

AIM-quoted Aquis Exchange (AQX) is acquiring NEX Exchange from CME Group Inc, which bought it as part of its £3.9bn takeover of NEX Group. Aquis will pay £1, plus £2.7m for working capital requirements. The deal requires FCA approval so it is unlikely to complete before the autumn.

Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) is purchasing a residential mortgage portfolio for £258m. The loan portfolio has £266m outstanding and the yield is 3.6%.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) is raising £1.3m via a share issue at 0.1p a share and loan notes worth £904,000, which are convertible at the same share price. The cash will be used to acquire Rwanda-based Eastinco.

MESH Holdings (MESH) has reached an early agreement to exercise the option to acquire Sentiance. MESH will issue 4,000 shares for each Sentiance share. Sentiance will have €19m in cash when the deal completes. More than 404 million MESH shares will be issued, which is nearly two-thirds of the enlarged share capital. Trading in the shares is suspended until a circular is published in order to gain shareholder approval.

The forecast 2018-19 loss for health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) has been increased from £1m to £1.6m following clarity about what deals were signed prior to the year end. A return to profit is expected this year.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has announced a third interim dividend of 0.84p a share. The ex-dividend date is 11 July.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has extended its A$4m loan facility to 5 September. The two month extension cost A$160,000.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested a further $130,000 in Oyster Oil and Gas, taking its stake to 30%.

Trading in Ganapati (GANP) shares has been suspended because accounts for the year to January 2019 have not been published.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has appointed Cairn as its corporate adviser.

AIM

Science Group (SAG) has launched a 35p a share cash bid for Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) and that is higher than the indicative offer of 30p a share. Frontier advises that shareholders take no action and says that it has received approaches from other parties and there are discussions with one of them about the structure and pricing of any deal.

Independent directors of FFI Holdings (FFI) are recommending a bid of 25p a share, which values the film completion insurance provider at £39.5m. The mandatory offer comes two years after FFI floated at 150p a share.

IMImobile (IMO) continues to grow strongly in the Americas and Europe with 42% growth in revenues last year. The cloud and mobile services provider increased total revenues by 28% to £142.7m, with organic growth of 14% on a constant currency basis. Net debt was £7.5m at the end of March 2019 and cash generation is strong. Thee was £14.6m generated from operating activities last year.

Plastic components and packaging producer Synnovia (SYN) has refinanced its debt. The maximum amount available is £25.3m. The maturity has been extended from June 2021 to June 2023. The full year results will be published on 9 July.

Bango (BGO) has partnered with appScatter (APPS) in order to help the latter’s app development clients to grow in-app revenues.

Gfinity (GFIN) has generated better than expected revenues in the year to June 2019. The esports company expects to breakeven by 2021.

Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) is raising £14.18m via a placing at 15p a share, while an open offer could raise up to £3.94m. Revenues remain modest and the cash is required to cover continuing losses. Cash consumption is running at £1m a month and 2019 revenues of £1.1m are anticipated.

Churchill China (CHH) has generated higher than expected revenues in the hospitality sector, particularly in Europe. Full year trading will be ahead of expectations. The interims will be announced on 29 August.

Mirada (MIRA) is raising £2.1m from the sale of its Mirada Connect car park payment services business to part of VW. The business generated revenues of £633,000 and pre-tax profit of £122,000 in the year to March 2019. This will enable Mirada to concentrate on its digital TV business, where annual revenues are approaching $12m. Mirada had net debt of $4.9m at the end of March.

LightwaveRF (LWRF) has signed an agreement with Google to jointly market Lightwave compatible smart speakers that provide voice-controlled lighting.

Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) has secured its first OEM agreement for its AI-based imaging software and the share price nearly doubled on the back of the deal. The technology will be integrated into ultrasound systems. Initial royalties are expected in 2021.

Cellcast (CLTV) plans to sell its operating subsidiary to its management team, but it is unlikely to generate a good price because of its poor performance. The company will become a shell. Fraser Cropper of e-cigarette company Totally Wicked has taken a 3.7% stake.

MAIN MARKET

InnovaDerma (IDP) has reassured investors that it is on course to more than double pre-tax profit to £1.5m in the year to June 2019. The pharma and beauty products supplier had £1.7m in the bank at the end of June 2019, which is better than expected. It is still down from £1.9m one year earlier.

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) has appointed FRP Advisory to find a buyer for loss-making British Polar Engines Ltd. There is a deficit of £1.35m on the pension scheme.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has announced further outperformance by its crypto mining activities as the bitcoin price continues to recover. The company had £3.07m of crypto assets in the balance sheet at the end of June 2019, which is more than £200,000 more than expected. Additional equipment is being acquired.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) is raising £4.3m at 3p a share. The money will finance production growth at the Gakara rare earth project. There should be some cash left to pay for additional drilling.

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has revised its 2018 accounts. The original version did not reflect two transactions with director James Longley.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has paid an initial dividend of 5.68p a share with a further dividend double that level (depending on exchange rates) due to be paid after the interim figures are published.

Boston International Holdings (BIH) has returned from suspension following the termination of the reverse takeover of Cornhill FX, which was first announced in August 2017. Boston could not raise the cash required. Management is assessing future strategy. The costs of the proposed transaction mean that cash is below £150,000, which is less than 50% of share capital.  

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 June 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) has asked Woodford Investment Management to subscribe for £25m worth of shares at 176p a share. This is part of an agreement with Woodford that was outlined in the prospectus and it comes at a time when the fund manager is coming under pressure for poor performance and it has closed redemptions from one of its funds. The cash will pay off a loan and provide working capital.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) is making a £155,000 investment in Tasmania Energy Metals and the two companies will evaluate whether they should develop an integrated facility for the treatment of metal concentrate. NQ also has an exclusivity period until the end of July during which to decide whether to acquire Tasmania’s assets.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has signed an offtake agreement with a Swiss supplier of cannabis oil. This will be used to manufacture cannabidiol products.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has invested £300,000 in Apollon Formularies for a 0.71% stake. Apollon plans to open a licenced retail medicinal cannabis dispensary and processing facility in Jamaica by the end of the month.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that it is unlikely to return to paying dividends or return capital to shareholders before 2022 at the earliest. There is uncertainty about future revenue streams from fixed-odds betting terminals and how this could impact UK betting. It could reduce prize money levels. The onsite hotel has increased revenues by 15% so far this year.

Trading in shares of Equatorial Mining (EM.P) has been suspended ahead of publishing accounts. They should be published at the time of the general meeting to gain approval of the acquisition of Rwanda-based miner and explorer Eastinco. A £1.2m fundraising is also planned.

Altona Energy (ANR) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Shaanxi Qianyan Vanadium and Magnesium Mining, which owns a vanadium mine in China. The plan is to forma joint venture where Altona will be the controlling shareholder. Due diligence will take up to six months and there will be a JORC-compliant mineral resource classification report. The estimated reserve is 190,000 tonnes of vanadium.

Formation Group (FRM) has secured a £10m subscription at 7.71p a share through the acquisition of Zandra Holdings, whose asset is £10m in cash. This takes the Kennedy Private Trust stake in Formation to 89.99%. A £10m loan facility ahs also been secured.

The Little Bear mine area has been transferred to Panther Metals (PALM) and the Little Bear vein is a high priority drill target in order to see if the bonanza grade gold mineralisation still exists at depth. Panther has also applied for a licence over the Annaburroo gold project in Northern Territory, Australia.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has secured a £600,000 secured revolving credit facility and spent £465,000 on a bungalow in Didcot to be redeveloped into a home providing specialist support for four adults.

Valiant Investments (VALP) is raising £263,000 at 1.5p a share and it is changing its name to Eurocann International as an indication of the change in strategy to investment in the medicinal cannabis sector. Jeremy Rose will become chief executive and he has a number of directorships including of Speakeasy Cannabis.  Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi will become a non-executive.

EcoVista (EVTP) had £419,000 in cash at the end of February 2019 and it is seeking further investment. The interim loss declined from £238,000 to £202,000. Net assets were £1.19m at the end of February 2019.

Share trading in Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has been suspended because it has not published its 2018 accounts.

AIM  

The smart machines division of Vianet (VNET) is going to be the source of profit growth for the coming years. Profit can be improved by converting the vending machines that came with the Vendman acquisition to Vianet’s contactless technology, as well as winning new business. The smart zones pub dispensing technology division should be able to maintain its contribution with lower UK profit due to pub closures being offset by an improved performance in the US. Pre-tax profit is expected to improve from £2.7m to £2.9m, although earnings per share will be hit by a higher tax charge.

Interim revenues at smart home devices supplier LightwaveRF (LWRF) increased 120% to £2.5m, although there was still a pre-tax loss of £1.35m.  New distribution channels are helping to accelerate growth in revenues. The company could move into profit next year

Bad weather in the US has hampered the progress of Somero Enterprises (SOM) and led to forecast downgrades. Demand for concrete levelling equipment is normally stronger in the spring. This year’s earnings have been cut by 12% and next year by 11%. This will also reduce the potential dividend. The forecast 2019 normal dividend plus payout of surplus cash has been cut from 27.8 cents a share to 19.8 cents a share.

Waste-to-energy technology developer EQTEC (EQT) is acquiring a 19.99% stake in North Fork Community Power, a biomass gasification power project in California. EQTEC will supply $2.5m worth of equipment from its Newry site in return for the stake. It also expects to generate €2.2m from selling additional equipment.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has signed a distribution agreement for the Microsaic 4500 MID MS detector with CM Corporation for the South Korean market.

A shareholder owning a 17.2% stake in Rurelec (RUR) intends to propose an AGM resolution for the appointment of Gordon Fisher as a director. He is a former boss of a freight forwarding and customs brokerage. The electricity generator reduced its pre-tax loss from £5.8m to £600,000 in 2018, mainly due to lower overheads, exchange gains and a disposal gain. NAV is 4.4p a share, which is more than four times the share price.

Driver (DRV) had already said that its interims would be disappointing and pre-tax profit slumped from £2.11m to £762,000. The Middle East and Asia Pacific were tough markets with lower contributions. The expert witness operations made a reduced contribution. A 0.5p a share interim dividend was announced, and the ex-dividend date is 19 September. The company is also buying back shares in order to put a floor under the share price.

Chemicals-focused shell Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) is in exclusive discussions with Arclin Inc for a potential acquisition. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Acquisitions consultancy K3 Capital (K3C) has confirmed that trading is in line with previous guidance and EBITDA is at the upper end of the range of £4.5m to £5m. An 80% payout would mean a reduction in dividend from 11.2p a share to 7.2p a share.

Osirium Technologies (OSI) has won a contract with a European telecoms services provider. The three year contract covers cyber security software and services.

MAIN MARKET 

A strong first half has continued into the second half trading for automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) and pre-tax profit for the year to May 2019 is expected to exceed expectations by 10%. This suggests pre-tax profit of around £2m. The results will be announced on 12 September.

Caffyns (CFYN) reported a small improvement in underlying pre-tax profit to £1.45m in the year to March 2019. New car sales were 10% lower, which is more than three times the market decline. However, there was growth in used car sales and aftersales revenues.

Positive news from Argo Blockchain (ARB) where results for May were well ahead of the company’s budgets. New cryptomining hardware has started contributing faster than expected and rising cryptocurrency prices have improved mining yields. A further £2.85m is being invested in equipment. There was £685,000 generated in May, based on a bitcoin price of $8,575, while cash operating costs were £280,000. Second quarter figures will be better than expected. If the bitcoin price is maintained, then there will be £2.85m of crypto assets at the end of the second quarter.

BigDish (DISH) has raised £2.1m at 7.2p a share and this should be enough cash for the restaurant platform until 2021. The UK rollout will be accelerated.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) is acquiring the Minto mine from Capstone Mining. Pembridge will pay up to $20m out of future cash flows. Commercial production could recommence before the end of the year. A $10m loan has been secured.

Symphony International Holdings (SIHL) has made an investment in Soothe Healthcare, which manufactures feminine hygiene products under the Paree and Pariz brands.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Ananda Developments (ANA) is amending its investing strategy and acquiring Tiamat Agriculture, which is applying for a UK controlled drug cannabis cultivation and supply licence.  Anglia Salads and JEPCO will provide cannabis growing expertise. The new investing strategy will include the cultivation of medicinal cannabis. URA Holdings will subscribe £400,000 for shares at 0.45p each.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £1m at 0.1p a share and the cash will be used to acquire a 2.34% stake in Apollon Formularies Ltd. AfriAg hopes to gain first refusal to acquire the rest of Apollon in a transaction that would value the company at £40m.

Good Energy (GOOD) will redeem the first Good Energy Bond, which was launched in 2013, before the end of June. The outstanding principal is £3.6m and the cash for repayment will come from the disposals of Newton Downs and Brynwhilach solar farms to the local communities. The cash helped to develop nearly 150MW of renewable generation projects.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that gold recoveries in Honduras have been low and it is considering whether to sell to the joint venture partner or take full control of the operations. Gold trading volumes are increasing but the contribution to overheads is modest.

Panther Minerals (PALM) has applied for an exploration licence for the Marrakai gold project in Northern Territory, Australia. Panther has also acquired additional ground surrounding the former Little Bear mine in Ontario, Canada.

Formation Group (FORM) reported a reduced loss in the six months to February 2019. There is £3.05m in cash in the balance sheet.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is investing up to £150,000 in convertible loan notes in ASSIF, which is developing a digital product to improve mental health. The first tranche has been drawn down and the rest will be invested when design work is completed. The loan notes are convertible into up to 35% of ASSIF, depending on the milestones achieved prior to conversion.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has shipped 34,500 tonnes of precious metal pyrite concentrate from the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania.

Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) has started offering high energy proton beam therapy in Bomarsund in Northumberland.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) non-executive director Dominic Burke has nearly doubled his shareholding to 2.8%. Tim Syder increased his stake to 3.1%.

V22 (V22O) will leave NEX at the close of business on 31 May.

AIM  

SafeCharge International (SCH) is recommending a $5.55 (436p) a share cash offer from a subsidiary of fellow payment services provider Nuvei Corporation, valuing the company at £699m. The final dividend of 7.22p a share will be paid. The international payments processor joined AIM five years ago at 162p a share. Nuvei has a strong market position in North America and SafeCharge provides scale in Europe.

Trading in the shares of LXB Retail Properties (LXB) has been suspended following court approval of the dissolution of the company and a return of capital of 1.2p a share. The cancellation of the quotation will happen on 31 May.

Volvere (VLE) has sold its oldest subsidiary Sira Defence and Security for £3m, although management bonuses of £320,000 will be paid out of the proceeds. Sira cost a nominal amount and has contributed cash to the group. This leaves 80%-owned frozen pies maker Shire Foods, which increased its full year pre-tax profit from £635,000 to £854,000. Even stripping out incentive payments relating to the sale of the Impetus business, Shire hardly makes enough profit to cover central overheads.

Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) has confirmed that its full year revenues will be at least £102m and EBITDA at least £19m, an increase of 15%. The growth is a combination of acquisitive and organic. Knights Group (KGH) says that its full year revenues will be not less than £52.4m and underlying pre-tax profit will be ahead of expectations at £9.7m.

Argentina-focused oil and gas producer President Energy (PPC) increased revenues by 160% to $47.2m in 2018 and this enabled it to move into profit. This year pre-tax profit is set to improve from $3.5m to $17.3m as last year’s acquisition makes a more significant contribution and capital investment starts to pay back. Average production is expected to be 3,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2019.

Science Group (SAG) has taken a 9% stake in digital radio technology developer Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) at 12.5p a share. Science offered to acquire the whole company via a cash bid of 30p a share but the proposal met with a negative response from the target’s board and the offer has been withdrawn.

Caledonian Trust (CNN) has renegotiated the conditions of the proposed sale of St Margaret’s House in Edinburgh, which was announced in February 2018. The buyer is still in the process of applying for planning consent and it has three months in which to submit the application, plus 12 months to secure consent. A further three months will be allowed to find a pre-let and Caledonia will vacate the property six months after that. This means that it could be two years before the transaction is completed. The consideration is still £15m, compared with a book value of £8m.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has received a £300,000 investment at 1.2p a share and appointed Colin Harrington to the board as executive chairman. Origin Creek Energy has a 14.8% shareholding following the share issue. This replaces the previously announced subscription at a lower share price and Robert Bensh has left the board because of that.

Kibo Energy (KIBO) says that 60%-owned flexible power generation development subsidiary MAST Energy Developments is acquiring Bordersley Power Ltd, which is developing a 5MW gas-fuelled power generation plant and relevant grid connections. The deal is dependent on certain conditions.

Cellcast (CLTV) is owed £453,000 by a Kenyan client of its gaming and lottery consultancy activities, which generated revenues of £395,000 in 2018. The government in Kenya is cracking down on advertising of gambling and it had previously raised taxation rates. Cellcast had £698,000 in the bank at the end of 2018.

Trading in the shares of Dublin-based Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has been suspended ahead of the proposed all share acquisition of the larger Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, which is a subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed Novelion Therapeutics Inc. Amryt plans to raise $60m from a share issue.

MAIN MARKET 

Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) has made a non-binding offer for Entertainment AI Inc although it is still subject to due diligence on the artificial intelligence and machine learning company. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) says trading continues to improve even though sales to UK professional customers are subdued. The overseas market is stronger. Margins are improving.

Motor finance provider S and U (SUS) says that profit from its core business has improved so far this year. The property bridging lending business has increased its loan book to £22m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 20 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Fuel emulsification technology developer SulNOx Group (www.sulnoxgroup.com) plans to join NEX. SulNOx has developed an emulsification and condition process for hydrocarbon fuels. This process makes the fuel more efficient and thereby reduces fuel usage and emissions. Nouryon AB will manufacture and distribute the company’s products under the Berol brand. SulNOx will do the sales and marketing. The directors are applying for approval of eligibility of the company for EIS relief.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) has obtained a NEX Growth Market quotation. The shares continue to be traded on AIM.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has agreed to subscribe for four million shares in Apollon at 25p each, although part of the investment requires shareholder approval. This is equivalent to a 2.34% stake. However, AfriAg needs to raise this £1m in order to make the investment. It had £101,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and NAV was £1.9m. The plan is to obtain an option to acquire the rest of the company. Apollon is a medicinal cannabis company and it has an affiliate in Jamaica that has a licence to cultivate, process and sell hemp and medicinal cannabis. Specific strains of medicinal cannabis have been developed.

KR1 (KR1) is generating staking yield revenues on the Cosmos Network, which launched on 14 March. The yields will be a minimum 5.6% yield and it could be much higher. This type of revenues could be generated by other networks where KR1 has an investment.

Sativa Investments (SATI) had £3.74m of cash at the end of 2018. This will be used to develop operations in the UK and Germany. Last year’s revenues were £260,000.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has taken operational control of the Vast Mineral Sands diamond mining contract. Cash generated will finance gold exploration.

High Growth Capital (HASH) has consolidated 20 shares into one new share. Dealings commenced on 16 May.

Primorus Investors (PRIM) increased its NAV from £4.95m to £5.16m at the end of 2018. This has been achieved even though pre-IPO investments have had their flotations delayed by poor market conditions. There was £408,000 in cash in the balance sheet.

Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) has raised £10m at 176p a share by issuing shares to Woodford as part of the agreement in the flotation prospectus. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has issued 1.37 million shares at 6.5p each to satisfy a payment for the three month extension of maturing debt.

Gowin New Energy (GWIN) has extended the loan agreements with four shareholders so that the repayment dates are all around the beginning of November. The loans total £500,000.

AIM 

Software provider Sanderson (SND) prospered in the first half. Revenues improved by 18% to £17.2m and operating profit was one-third higher at £2.8m. Recurring revenues grew by 18% and they are 55% of total revenues. Sanderson has already secured most of the revenues it requires to make the full year revenues forecast of £35.3m, which is expected to generate pre-tax profit of £5.4m.

Block Energy (BLOE) has raised £12m at 11p a share. This comes less than one year after Block joined AIM when the oil and gas company was valued at £10.3m at the placing price of 4p. The cash will be invested in the West Rustavi PSA in the Republic of Georgia. Up to four horizontal sidetracks will be drilled in order to scale up existing production, as ell as drilling one new well. There will also be funds for 3D seismic, appraisal of two existing gas discoveries and increase the capacity of production facilities to up to 5,000 barrels per day. This will all be done over the next 12 months.

Investment and new store opening costs have pushed fishing equipment retailer Angling Direct (ANG) into loss. In the year to January 2019, revenues grew from £30.2m to £42m. International sales more than doubled to £4.7m. IT investment is improving efficiency. Angling Direct will continue to lose money this year as the number of stores is set to be increased from 24 to 34. It takes more than a couple of years for a store to start to mature so the benefits of the current investment will take time to show through in profit terms.

Live events agency Aeorema Communications (AEO) says its revenues reached a new high in the second half and full year revenues will be better than expected. New business has been won but it is lower margin than previous contracts so profit will be in line with expectations. There should be a full year dividend. Last year’s dividend was 0.75p a share, which was an increase of 50%.

TruFin (TRU) is launching a tender offer for up to £5m of shares at 92p each. The tender offer closes on 4 June. TruFin recently £44.5m raised from the sale of its stake in Zopa and demerged Distribution Finance Capital (DFCH). There are plans to return a further £5m by the end of 2019.

Churchill China (CHH) is continuing to trade strongly so far this year. The opening of the Rotterdam distribution facility is supporting European growth. Sales of added value products are growing. The integration of the Dudson brand and products is progressing well.

Online retailer MySale (MYSL) has sold the cocosa.co.uk website. This is part of the plan to exit the UK and concentrate on Australia and New Zealand.

Film completion contracts provider FFI Holdings (FFI) says operating profit will be at the lower end of the range of $7.5m to $11.5m previously reported.

Maistro (MAIS) has decided to leave AIM. The company has gone from a hyped-up online business called blur to cash strapped operation that needs to save as much money as possible. Maistro has raised plenty of cash in its time as a quoted company.

Veltyco Group (VLTY) has generated flat revenues from sportsbook and casino marketing business in the year to April 2019. The revenue mix has changed, and lower margin activities have grown in importance. The company is loss-making and more investment will be required.

The recovery at Safestay UK (SFE) appears to be stalling, even though it is growing revenues faster than the market is growing. The problem is that margins are not improving as quickly as expected.

Ten Lifestyle (TENG) increased revenues by 24% to £21.5m but the loss has risen due to greater investment in the business. The lifestyle and travel platform still has £13.2m in the bank. New contracts are being won and existing ones increased in size.

MAIN MARKET 

Blencowe Resources (BRES) has wasted little time in securing a takeover target. It plans to acquire a company which is the owner of the Oram graphite project in Uganda for £2m in shares at 6p each.

nmcn (NMCN), which formerly North Midlands Construction, says first quarter revenues increased by 27% to £94.4m and improved margin meant that profitability increased by 170% to £1.75m. The built environment division moved back into profit and the water division doubled its profit. There is £22m in the bank. The secured workload for the year is £342m.

Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane Group (MACF) says profit is ahead of last year and in line with expectations. Sales have grown by 7% so far this year and organic growth is 3%. The manufacturing operations have grown fastest.

Highway Capital (HWC) is catching up with its figures having published more than one set this week. The interims to August 2018 show a cash outflow from operations of £9,000. Net liabilities were £614,000.

There was a £949,000 cash outflow from operations at Toople (TOOP) in the six months to March 2019. There is net cash of £546,000.

Flavours supplier Creightons (CRL) says second half sales will be similar to those in the first half. There will be a £350,000 benefit from research and development tax credits.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has adjourned its general meeting following the resignation of Jonathan Bixby. Mike Edwards become chairman. Another director will be appointed in consultation with First Investments, which requisitioned the general meeting. First Investments is backing the existing business by investing up to $1m as a cryptomining-as-a-service customer.

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 15 April 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

High Growth Capital (HASH) is increasing its stake in Sentiance to 15% and is negotiating an option to acquire a majority stake in the artificial intelligence and machine learning business. The additional 5% stake will cost £7m in shares issued at 0.8p each. The option would enable an increase in the total stake to between 51% and 84.8%. The company would offer 100,000 of its own shares for each Sentiance share and the option is subject to High Growth Capital raising at least £25m. High Growth Capital has also acquired the intellectual property of Malta-based BDD, a company founded by Chris Akers, for £4m in shares at 1p each. The project involves an annual blockchain raffle that would raise money for social impact and environmental initiatives.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a net asset value of 205.2p a share at the end of January 2019, which was 12.5% lower than the year before. The stake in fully listed LED lighting products manufacturer Luceco (LUCE) is a significant part of the portfolio and its valuation fell by 27.7%. There has been a recovery in the Luceco share price since the end of January, even though there was a decline of three-quarters in 2018 pre-tax profit to £3m. The EPE NAV had risen to 232.8p a share on 9 April on the back of Luceco share price rise. The EPE share price is 180p.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is subscribing £150,000 for a 9.14% stake in Just Bee Drinks and is also providing a loan facility of up to £100,000 at a annual interest charge of 10%. Just Bee has developed a natural juicy water drink sweetened with honey. This means that there is no added sugar. More than one million bottles were sold last year, and revenues doubled. The drink is already sold in Waitrose and Boots. Just Bee had net assets of £83,000 at the end of March 2018. Angelfish has also provided a £100,000 debt facility at the same interest rate to Wallet Ads. The previous loan of £150,000 was converted into a 20% stake.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) nearly doubled zinc concentrate production at the Hellyer mine in Tasmania to 3,015 DMT in the first quarter of 2019, while lead concentrate production increased by 18% to 4,712 DMT. Pyrite concentrate production jumped by 331% to 18,488 DMT.

AIM  

Video games developer and services provider Sumo (SUMO) reported better than expected 2018 revenues of £38.7m and pre-tax profit of £9m. Sumo has been acquiring businesses to give it extra capacity as well as opening new studios. There is plenty of demand for Sumo’s services so utilisation rates are high and there is further upside from performance-based royalties and its own IP.

Destiny Pharma (DEST) had £12.1m in the bank at the end of 2018 and this will last into 2020. That should be long enough for the phase IIb study of XF-73 for the prevention of post-surgery infections.

Maiden full year results from legal services and credit hire business Anexo (ANX) have led to an upgrade by its broker Arden. The 2019 pre-tax profit forecast has been edged up from £17.8m to £18.1m, up from £16.1m in 2018, and the 2020 figure is 4% higher at £20.1m. Net debt is expected to increase from £17.3m to £26.3m in order to finance the growth of its legal business.

RA International (RAI) continues to win contracts, but larger contracts are taking longer to secure. RA provides services to remote locations in nine countries in Africa and the Middle East. Having joined AIM last summer, RA has $27.8m in the bank and this is helping it to tender for and win larger contracts. The average contract term is 4.4 years. This makes revenues relatively predictable and they are expected to rise by 10% this year to more than £60m.

Property investor Safeland (SAF) intends to leave AIM and secure a matched bargain facility on Asset Match. It is tendering for shares at 42.5p each, which compares with an NAV of 140.2p a share at the end of September 2018.

Having sold the RTLS SmartSpace business, the continuing revenues of geospatial software and services provider IQGeo (IQG) fell from £16.5m to £9.98m, although recurring revenues were 22% higher, and gross margin improved. There were lower software revenues, but the main decline was in the sale of third party products. There is a significant market for the company’s products and new modules are being launched. However, the full benefits of changes being made by management will probably not show through until next year. There is £30.9m in the bank and some of this will be returned to shareholders after a capital reorganisation is completed.

Interim revenues generated by LightwaveRF (LWRF) have more than doubled to £2.5m which is nearly as much as the £2.8m generated in the previous 12 months. Direct sales, e-commerce and telesales have contributed to the growth, as has the development of retail clients.

Legal firm Gordon Dadds (GOR) has acquired Gibraltar-based Rampart Corporate Advisers for up to £1.34m depending on performance. Rampart specialises in e-gaming, fintech and distributed ledger technology, and made a profit of £400,000 in the year to June 2018. Five former Ince network firms are joining Ince Gordon Dadds, although they remain independent. This would add £23m to existing group annual revenues of £77m. The firms are based in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Greece and Germany. This will boost profitability.

Strategic Minerals (SML) says the Cobre magnetite operations generated cash of $206,000 in the first quarter and the group cash balance was $1.24m at the end of March 2019. Volumes were lower because customers were undertaking plant maintenance and the continued suspension of a major client’s contract. There should be seven years of magnetite stockpile. The company expects to acquire the other 50% of the Redmoor tin/tungsten project by the end of May. This will cost £2.66m.

PhotonStar LED (PSL) says that it has enough cash for its immediate needs, but the blocking of the issuing of more shares by shareholders means that there is not enough cash to follow the strategy to find a reverse takeover target. The company may launch an open offer or ask shareholders for a second time for the authority to issue shares without offering them to existing shareholders a second time. Having become a cash shell, the company has been dropped from the FTSE AIM All Share index. It has six months to find an acquisition. A number of potential acquisition targets have been met by the board. Additional directors will be appointed.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has raised £275,000 at 1.1p a share in order to finance the appraisal of projects. The shares are being acquired by new executive chairman Robert Bensh, who has experience of the US oil and gas sector. Chief executive Matthew Idiens has more than doubled his stake to 2.52% by acquiring two million shares at 1.75p each. The finance director Chris Eadie has also more than doubled his stake to 1.2% at 1.67p a share. New non-executive director Tom Reynolds also bought shares.

Concepta (CPT) is raising £2.3m at 3p a share to finance marketing and further development of its myLotus fertility test.

MAIN MARKET 

Cadmium-free quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) had £6.2m in cash at the end of January 2019. There was a total cash outflow of £4.57m in the latest six month period. The main capital investment at the Runcorn site is almost complete. Non-executive director Chris Batterham has bought 125,000 shares at 47.354p each. Miton has reduced its stake to 4.96%.

Bonmarche (BON) says the mandatory cash bid of 11.445p a share by Spectre undervalues the retailer. Bonmarche is reducing costs. Cavendish Asset Management has edged its stake up to 10%.

Standard list shell Contango Holdings (CGO) has entered into an agreement to acquire the Lubu coalfield project in Zimbabwe for £6.45m in shares at 5p each. Once regulatory approvals have been gained the acquisition should go ahead and trading in the shares can recommence. That should happen by the end of June. There will be a placing to raise cash to fund initial trial mining.

Telecom services provider Toople (TOOP) says that it had more than £1.1m in the bank at the end of March 2019. That is a £1m reduction on the level at the end of September 2018, when there was also a shareholder loan, which was assigned a value of £572,000 in the balance sheet but has a cash value of £607,000. There is no indication if this loan has gone down. Last year, admin expenses were £1.55m, net of other income, and that was more than revenues. Revenues have grown but even if gross margin were to improve there will still be a significant first half loss.

Nuformix (NFX) has signed an agreement for cannabinoid therapeutics development, licensing and commercialisation for an initial upfront payment and other research and development and milestone payments that could total up to £51m. Canada-based Ebers Tech Inc will use Nuformix technology to develop a range of consumer and pharma products.

Zegona Communications (ZEG) has increased its stake in Euskaltel to 21%.

European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund has transferred 35.4 million shares in WideCells (WDC) to David Sefton and Linton Capital, which has promised to hold them for 12 months. European High Growth Opportunities still owns 18.2% of WideCells.

Andrew Hore

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