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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 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 24 September 2018

NEX EXCHANGE       

In the first half of 2018, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased media revenues by one-fifth and, along with growth in nursery and lodge revenues, this helped the racecourse operator to raise revenues by 5% to £7.33m even though two race days were lost to bad weather. Enough cash was generated to more than cover capital spending.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has signed a non-binding letter of intent with the Eelleet Network Corp, which intends to buy Block. There would be an all share recommended offer and the enlarged business would list on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Trading in Block shares has been suspended.

Ananda Developments (ANA) has obtained a £300,000 convertible loan facility with two directors, Charles Morgan and Melissa Sturgess. The annual interest rate is 10% and the conversion price is 0.75p a share. The manufacture of 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies’ vaporisers and consumable packs containing four hapac sachets of 0.25g medicinal cannabis has commenced in China. AfriAg Global (AFRI) has applied for a medicinal cannabis licence in the UK. Fellow cannabis investment company Sativa Investments (SATI) has set up a German wholesaling subsidiary and it will invest €80,000 for a 60% stake.

In the six months to June 2018, St Mark Homes (SMAP) increased revenues from £71,000 to £139,000 and it made a small loss excluding negative goodwill release. The interim dividend was unchanged at 5.5p a share. The NAV is £5.9m, including £754,000 in cash, which is equivalent to 134p a share. St Mark is trying to gain planning permission for the commercial development in Sutton High Street. Two other properties in London are being redeveloped and sales have commenced. A development in Wembley should start in 2019.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) reported a profit in the first half of 2018, but that was due to a change in the fair value of the option to acquire 90% of Cedex. Revenues fell 48% to $3.78m and the underlying loss of the fintech software provider increased from $282,000 to $971,000. The blockchain operations made an initial contribution of $1.23m to revenues. The B2C operations have ceased in Europe and the company wants to sell its subsidiary with a FSA licence. Higher regulations have hampered the B2B technology customers.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) reported an increased interim loss of $9.43m due to higher finance costs. Admin costs were flat. The development of the Hellyer gold project in Tasmania is progressing well and the first sales of concentrate should happen before the end of this year. Work continues towards a move to a standard listing.

Less than one month after asking for trading in the company’s 7% bonds 2021 to be suspended Positive Healthcare (DOC) has appointed Eric Walls and Wayne Harrison of KSA to advise on a liquidation process. Irregularities were identified at the principal operating subsidiary and Positive is unable to pay the next instalment of interest on the bonds.

Eight Capital Partners (MORE) had cash of £773,000 at the end of June 2018. That was before the former Cogenpower acquired €111,100 worth of 8% corporate bonds 2020 in Italian financial services company Finance Partners Group. Other financial services and technology investments are being considered.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has been readmitted to NEX and AIM on 21 September, after it completed its migration from the Isle of Man to Bermuda.

AIM  

IT recruitment and consultancy Parity (PTY) remains on track for an improvement in pre-tax profit from £1.7m to £1.9m but cash generation is not as good as expected. Net debt is still expected to reduce from £1.6m to £900,000. The previously announced Primark managed services contract has started well, although another contract has been delayed. The consultancy business continues to contribute a growing proportion of profit.

Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) has agreed locations for pilot production at the Lesedi coal bed methane project in Botswana and the first well should be spudded in October.

N+1 Singer has upgraded its forecast for EKF Diagnostics (EKF) following the interim figures. There was a 5% decline in revenues to £20.4m, while underlying profit improved from £2.3m to £2.7m. Around £250,000 has been added to the profit, taking pre-tax profit to £7.7m. The launch of haemoglobin analyser DiaSpect following FDA approval will boost next year’s figures. The spin out of RenalytixAI continues and it will require a general meeting.

Audio products supplier Focusrite (TUNE) says full year revenues were in line with expectations of £75.4m, while cash of £22.8m is better than forecast. A pre-tax profit of £10.8m is forecast. There are concerns about US tariffs.

Tanfield (TAN) has warned that it may not get anything for its stake in Snorkel if the call option is exercised. Management has already said that it will write down the value of the investment to £19.1m ($25.3m), which already knocks 12p a share off NAV, but there is a disagreement about the interpretation of the original agreement.

Disappointing results from the Atopic Dermatitis study has led Realm Therapeutics (RLM) to appoint MTS Health Partners to advise on strategy alternatives. Realm is considered to be in an offer period. There was $21.3m in the bank at the end of August.

Short-term weakness in the oil palm price has held back the progress of plantations operator MP Evans (MPE) in the first half, but crude palm oil production is increasing in line with expectations (91,900 tons in the first half). That means that full year revenues are likely to be flat and pre-tax profit will be lower. Longer-term growth will come from increased production from more recently planted areas.

Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) is coming up to its first year on AIM and the growth momentum continues.

Huadong Medicine Aesthetics has launched its recommended 32p a share cash bid for Sinclair Pharma (SPH) and that values the company at £166.6m.

There has been a lot of activity at Frontier IP (FIPP) in the past week. The AB Sugar head of innovation Matthew White is joining the company as head of commercialisation. Recycled building materials developer Alusid has raised £1.34m, including the conversion of a £348,000 loan from Frontier IP, which has a 35.6% stake. The Alusid investment had been valued at £700,000 and the latest fundraising values it at £1.73m. The cash will be used by Alusid to invest in its manufacturing facility, which should start production in 2020. The total cost will be £10m. A new company has been set up to develop new antibiotics. Frontier IP has a 10% stake in Amprologix, which has been spun out of the University of Plymouth. The first product is likely to be a cream that contains epidermicin, which can kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA.

There was a switch in the mix of revenues at job screening services provider ClearStar Inc (CLSU) in the first half as revenues increased by 11% to $9.9m. The growth has come from Medical Information Systems, which has lower margins and this means that the overall loss is reducing more slowly than expected. The cash outflow is small. Net cash is $1.2m.

Diurnal Group (DNL) is going along as expected with the launch of its Alkindi paediatric adrenal insufficiency treatment in Germany but the market has been unnerved by a negative comment from a German government research organisation. It pointed out that the performance of Alkindi was not compared with another treatment which has not been given regulatory approval. This does not appear likely to affect the relationship with the German regulatory authorities. There will be news from the European phase III trial for Chronocort before the end of the year.

Stockdale has initiated research on professional services group Christie Group (CTG) and expects a full year profit of £3.5m. It has already achieved an interim profit of £1.75m.

VR Education (VRE) still had £4.9m in the bank at the end of June 2018. Since then there have been improvements to the ENGAGE platform ahead of the full commercial launch before the end of the year. The full version of Titanic VR was launched in August and it is set to be launched on Playstation.

Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) continues to grow rapidly and it is moving into the water sector. Interim revenues jumped from £20.8m to £35.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit moved ahead from £1.15m to £1.8m. Growth is coming from the larger corporate sector which has held back margins because they are via brokers. The interim dividend is one-fifth higher at 1.2p a share. There was £18.2m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

N4 Pharma (N4P) has undertaken a strategic review following the failure of the reformulation of sildenafil to achieve its key targets in its clinical trial. It would cost a lot and increase risk if the company undertook further reformulation of this generic. The generics division has been closed and the focus will be the Nuvec delivery system. Initial results from research should be available before the end of the year. There was £1.6m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

MAIN MARKET  

Books publisher Quarto Group (QRT) increased interim revenues from $50.2m to $56.2m and the underlying loss fell from $8.7m to $6.6m. Net debt was $73.2m at the end of June 2018. Management is talking to banks to extend the bank facility until August 2020. Costs are being reduced.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) intends to broaden its investment remit to include cannabis processing, as well as the energy and industrial sectors. Finance professional Alan Hume has joined the board of the standard list shell. He was previously an adviser to the company and until last year finance director of Zenith Energy (ZEN). Between 2010 and 2012 he was finance director of Xtract Energy (XTR).

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has completed its feasibility report into the reopening of the Gubong gold mine and the joint venture with Southern Gold has started. Production of 10,000 ounces of gold is initially targeted.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 18 June 2018

Small cap award winners 2018

Company of the year

ZOO Digital (ZOO)

The ZOO Digital share price is ten times the level it was one year ago. ZOO localises film and television content and it has been investing in upgrading its technology and services over the past few years. This investment is paying off and the ability to offer cloud-based services is helping the business to grow and move into profit. Hollywood studios have been customers for many years and ZOO is winning market share. Newer entrants to the market such as Netflix have grown the demand for localisation of content. ZOO is expected to report an underlying pre-tax profit of £500,000 for the year to March 2018.

NEX company of the year

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS)

Cyber security technology developer Crossword Cybersecurity originally floated on GXG and then switched to NEX. It was one of the youngest companies that was on the shortlist for this award. Crossword is generating modest revenues and it is developing cyber security products with partners. The real potential for the business will not be realised for a few years.

Impact company of the year

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR)

Walls & Futures REIT is an ethical housing REIT that develops new housing for people with learning and physical disabilities or requiring extra care. In 2017, Walls and Futures achieved a total return on its portfolio of 11.5%, ahead of its benchmark total return of 7%.

IPO of the year

K3 Capital (K3C)

Business sales and corporate finance company K3 Capital Group joined AIM at 95p a share in April 2017 and the share price has more than trebled. Bolton-based K3 helps owners to sell their businesses and it gains clients through a direct marketing strategy. The AIM quotation and the related higher profile appears to have helped to accelerate growth. A move up the Thomson Reuters deal rankings is also helping. Last year, revenues rose by 26% to £10.8m, while pre-tax profit improved 18% to £3.6m.  In the six months to November 2017, revenues were 34% ahead at £7.5m and pre-tax profit moved from £2.48m to £3.21m.

 

Fintech company of the year

FAIRFX Group (FFX)

Foreign exchange and e-banking services provider FAIRFX has a low cost model while offering an improved experience to the more established rivals. Turnover was £1.1bn last year, while revenues were £15.5m and this enable the company to move into profit. Corporate turnover was 52.3% of the total, up from 45.5%. The company recently moved its international payments book onto the City Forex platform following its acquisition. The focus is increasing scale to improve efficiency combined with the rolling out of new products.

Transaction of the year

Proactis (PHD) – merger with Perfect Commerce

Spend control software provider Proactis merged with Perfect Commerce in August 2017. The deal significantly increased the scope of the business and added to the management team. The integration of the businesses appears to be going well but the loss of a couple of large customers has held back progress in the year to July 2018. Even so, annualised contracted revenues are still £45.5m. Progressive Equity Research still expects a near-doubling of this year’s pre-tax profit to £10.2m, rising to £13.2m next year. That means that earnings per share growth is modest this year because of the additional shares in issue.

Executive director of the year

Bobby Kalar – Yu Group (YU.)

Electricity and gas supplier Yu Group floated on AIM in March 2016 at 185p a share. The current share price is more than four times that level. The focus is on commercial customers. Yu increased its revenues from £16.3m to £47m last year and annualised bookings continue to grow. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £195,000 to £3.08m. The dividend was increased from 2.25p to 3p a share. Trading continues to be strong and average annualised bookings per month were £6.6m. The cash pile has increased to £18.6m at the end of April 2018. Yu has obtained a licence to supply water.

Journalist of the year

Paul Scott – Stockopedia

Fund manager of the year

Nick Williamson – Old Mutual

Microcap fund manager of the year

Guy Feld – Canaccord Genuity

Analyst of the year

Kevin Ashton – Cantor Fitzgerald

Lifetime achievement award

Katie Potts – Herald Investment Management

Special services to small caps

John Jenkins (Founder of Ofex/NEX)

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NEX EXCHANGE   

Daniel Thwaites (THW) increased its 2017-18 by 9% to £92.2m, while operating profit improved by 7% to £12.9m. There was a 79% increase in earnings per share to 13.8p, mainly due to a swing from a loss on interest swaps to a profit.  The total dividend is unchanged at 4.46p a share. Investment in the pubs and hotels operations and in the new craft brewery at Mellor Brook has led to a rise in net debt from £47.6m to £63.7m. The old brewery will be demolished and the land will eventually be sold or developed. Poor weather means that the new financial year has started more slowly than last year.

Hellenic Capital has changed its name to Pelican House Mining (PHM) and is focusing on investing in early-stage resources projects in Africa. The focus is making capital gains on the investments. Pelican is trying to supplement its cash resources by selling a commercial property in Leeds, but the buyer withdrew. Pelican has retained the deposit. The investment property in Leeds is in the books at £204,000. Two directors, Simon Grant-Rennick and Mark Jackson, have been granted options over a total of seven million shares exercisable at 0.55p each.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that its conference and events division is 22% ahead of the same time last year and the revenues of the hotel have risen by the same percentage. There has been a 17% rise in revenues for the nursery business on the back of occupancy rates rising by six percentage points. There are longer-term worries about the financial ability of bookies to provide sponsorship and other revenues. Management says it will not be paying any dividends until 2022 at the earliest after the current development projects are completed.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has raised £303,000 at 0.15p a share and around £119,000 will go towards paying the £119,000 settlement with D-Beta, which provided an equity sharing facility. D-Beta has sold its existing stake. PCG is talking to Cavitation Solutions Ltd about distributing cavitation technology, which deals with oil and other water pollutants, in China. It is also talking to ChainZy about distributing its blockchain-based technology in Asia. There is interest from third parties concerning the use of PCG’s media and gambling licences in China.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) has raised £250,000 at 0.7p a share and the cash will be used to develop the company’s three main gold and zinc projects.

South Africa-focused investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has made a second investment in Uganda-based Four-One Financial Services, which manages the Mazima micro-pension scheme. This is the second tranche of the original investment and is in the form of a $100,000 convertible loan.

AIM   

NWF (NWF) says that last year’s trading was much better than expected and net debt is lower than forecast. The feeds business improved its performance and trading of the fuels division was strong. The food distribution operations wee hit by reorganisation requirements and did not perform as well as expected.

Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) has got another large deal on the blocks and trading in the shares has been suspended. The Appalachian Basin oil and gas producing assets will be acquired for $575m and it will more than double the group’s daily production. This should be an earnings enhancing deal. A $225m share placing is required to help finance the deal.

RedstoneConnect (REDS) chief executive Mark Braund intends to leave the smart buildings technology company. Frank Beechinor will move from chairman to chief executive. The disposal of the systems integration and managed services divisions has been completed and the group can focus on its software business.

Ilika (IKA) has gained government funding of £4.1m for two battery technology projects in the automotive sector. The PowerDriveLine project is developing a solid state battery for hybrid and electric vehicles. The other project is headed by McLaren Automotive and is developing a battery for performance cars.

Secure payment products provider Eckoh (ECK) increased its full year revenues by 3% to £30m but pre-tax profit was 61% higher at £2.4m thanks to an improvement in operating margin. Growth in the US made up for a weaker contribution in the UK.

Redhall Group (RHL) slumped back into loss in the first half due to a delayed contract. However, it is still on course to make an improved profit in the full year. Interim revenues were 22% lower at £14.7m. There is strong demand for the company’s specialist doors from the nuclear and transport sectors.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) has enough cash to get to the end of 2018. There should be further positive news about the two ongoing clinical trials prior to the end of the year. Interim analysis of phase II trial of SFX-01 as a treatment for breast cancer show that six out of 20 patients, who had tumours that had initially responded to treatment but had become resistant, saw some benefit from the treatment of their tumours. The treatment has also been shown to be safe. The final results of the trial should be published before the end of the year.

Life sciences company Abzena (ABZA) has decided to focus on monetising its technology rather than raising money via a share issue. A non-binding heads of agreement with a third party would involve the sale of an interest in future royalties. If this deal is completed there would be enough working capital for the short-term.

Active Energy Group (AEG) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Young Living Farms for the sale of a PeatSwitch plant, which makes environmentally friendly peat replacements. The first plant is in Mona, Utah and the client is paying $3.4m in cash. There could subsequently be other plants at the client’s other sites.

Trading has resumed in the shares of Audioboom (BOOM) following publication of its accounts. The share price fell from 3.6p to 2.18p. The podcasts publisher has raised £4.5m from a placing at 3p a share.

MAIN MARKET    

WideCells Group (WDC) managed to raise £513,000 at 3p a share via a bookbuild on the Teathers app. That includes £183,000 from directors. The total amount raised by the stem cell services provider is £2.04m, including conversion of debt of £165,000. Shareholder approval is required for the share issue.Trading in the shares has resumed and the share price has fallen below the placing price. WideCells is using £615,000 of its £624,500 overdraft, which will be reviewed at the end of June. Shareholders have loaned £120,000.

China-based Gamfook Jewellery is planning to join the standard list. The online retailer customised jewellery wants to raise £5m in order to invest in retail sites. Gamfook has managed to generate cash from operating activities in the past few years, although next year there will be a significant working capital outflow according to forecasts. Gamfook is offering an 8.5% yield on its potential placing price of 15p a share and that would rise to 12.5% in 2019.

Air Partner (AIR) has completed its accounting review and the net assets overstatement of £4m net of tax is in line with indications. There were accounting errors and subsequent attempts to cover up the problems going back to 2010. The review has cost £1.3m. Air Partner still intends to pay a final dividend of 3.8p a share.

BATM (BVC) has won a $3m follow-on cyber security for a government department. The total contract value will be $7m.

Falcon Media House (FAL) has raised £500,000 via a convertible loan note issue. The conversion price is 1.5p a share.

Cash shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) has raised £250,000 from an oversubscribed open offer at 20p a share but there was a delay of one day before the shares were admitted to trading on 14 June. The share price has slumped from a high of 160p to 24.5p over the past month.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has agreed a 30-year lease on a second property in north west England. Housing association Inclusion Housing is paying £168,740 a year for the lease subject to planning permission for extra rooms. The property needs to be refurbished.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has executed the 50/50 joint venture agreement with Southern Gold for the Kochang mine and the feasibility report is expected before the end of September. The required $500,000 investment has nearly been completed by Bluebird and it is on course to invest the required $250,000 in Southern Gold. First gold is expected before the end of 2019.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 21 May 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) grew 2017 revenues from the nursery, hotel and media operations. There was a 11% increase in raceday attendances, which totalled 196,000 last year, leading to a 1% like-for-like rise in revenues. Overall revenues were 5% higher at £17.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit edged up from £178,000 to £188,000. There was a small cash outflow from operations. Capital investment meant that cash was reduced from £12.9m to £5.2m with more payments to come from the David Wilson Homes deal. A further £5.17m will be spent on upgrading the Pall Mall stand. There are concerns that the cutting of maximum stakes for gaming machines following the recent government announcement could hit bookmaker sponsorship and media rights revenues.

Block Commodities Ltd (BLCC) has a secured a strategic investment from Swarm Fund, which is a decentralised marketplace platform using blockchain. Investors will be able to participate in the FarmCoin asset-backed investment coin via the Swarm platform. FarmCoin is a joint venture between FinComEco and Block Commodities focused on the agriculture sector. There will be up to $45m of FarmCoin tokens issued.

National Milk Records (NMR) is holding a general meeting on 4 June in order to propose a reduction in capital that should put it in a position to have distributable reserves if it wants to pay a dividend.

Pre-IPO investor Primorus Investments (PRIM) had cash of £561,000 at the end of 2017. The NAV was £4.95m. This was after a £3.26m inflow from share issues.

AIM   

Watkin Jones (WJG) has found a new chief executive but he will not be able to start until the beginning of 2018. Richard Simpson is joining from student accommodation developer Unite Group. The build to rent operations of Watkin Jones has secured a development arrangement for a site in Reading, which will have 315 apartments.

GAN (GAN) and Webis (WEB) are two companies that could benefit from the legalisation of online sports betting in the US. The Supreme Court of the United States has decided to overturn the Federal prohibition of sports betting. US sports betting could be worth $6bn by 2023. That covers online and onsite gambling. GAN can launch a sports betting service in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the second half of this year – in time for the NFL season. GAN already has a deal with Betfair in New Jersey and adding sports betting will increase revenues. Webis has a US subsidiary called WatchandWager, which is based in California, a strong potential market for sports betting.

Genedrive (GDR) has agreed to sell its research and pharmacogenomics divisions to a director for up to £1.9m so that it can concentrate on its core Genedrive diagnostics platform. The initial payment is £1.15m with the rest deferred and subject to claims for R and D tax credits.

Lakehouse (LAKE) is acquiring heating and renewables services provider Just Energy Solutions, which fits with the company’s gas compliance businesses in the public sector and expands coverage in the industrial and commercial sectors. There is no upfront cost and payments will be dependent on profitability over two years. Lakehouse has also won a £55m, three year, Warm Homes contract with the Wales government.

Oil and gas demand is recovering at advanced coatings provider Hardide (HDD) but it is still well below previous levels. Other customers are enhancing growth and aerospace business is on the horizon. Interim revenues were 43% higher at £2.16m but the company is still loss-making. That will continue for a couple of years.

Angling Direct (ANG) increased revenues by 44% to £30.2m in the year to January 2018 and this led to an upgrade in forecast revenues for the current year. The fishing tackle retailer grew online sales by 54% but these tend to be lower margin. Pre-tax profit was £900,000 and it is expected to rise to £1.1m this year.

Online women’s fashion retailer Sosander (SOS) says that its full year revenues will be at least £1.34m. Like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter nearly quadrupled and gross margins are improving.

Portmeirion (PMP) has increased revenues by one-fifth in the first four months to 2018, although the second half of the year is always the more significant. Full year profit is still forecast to rise from £8.8m to £9.4m.

Churchill China (CHH) says that trading is ahead of the same period last year. The ceramic products manufacturer continues to have success in Europe and other export markets.

A new patent application has been filed for SkinBiotix by SkinBiotherapeutics (SBTX) and this covers the increasing of filaggrin levels in skin. Filaggrin is required for the formation of the outer layer of skin. Eczema sufferers have a low level of filaggrin.

The People’s Operator (TPOP) is increasing its UK subscribers but US numbers have declined so the performance was down in the first quarter of 2018. Churn is declining. Margins are better than expected. Even so, progress is too slow and an alternative strategy is required by the virtual mobile network business and it is considering divesting the US subscribers. That should cut cash burn by one-third.

A bathing water test by Molendotech, which is one of the investee companies of Frontier IP Group (FIPP), is being launched by Halma. This follows the agreement earlier this year.

Altona Energy (ANR) will begin a drilling programme on the Westfield tenement of the Arckaringa coal project during August. There could be 100mt of coal in the tenement. It will take three weeks to drill 15 holes to a depth of 120 metres.

Active Energy Group (AEG) intends to acquire a controlling interest in PowerWood Canada. Which owns forestry assets in Canada. This will secure feedstock for the roll-out of CoalSwitch, the biomass replacement for coal. There are plans to construct a 25 tonne per hour CoalSwitch plant in Alberta.

Servoca (SVCA) wants shareholders to agree to the cancellation of the AIM quotation. Management says that this will save £150,000 a year.

Volex (VLX) is buying Silcotec Europe for €18.1m and raising £36m at 75p a share. Silcotec supplies harnesses and electronic sub-assemblies to the medical, telecoms and computer industries and generated an operating profit of €3.1m.

Audioboom (BOOM) is not going ahead with the reverse takeover of Triton Digital Canada Inc because it could not raise the cash from a placing. A £700,000 break fee in cash (£90,000) and shares is payable. The audio business still requires more cash and that is why trading in the shares is still suspended.

MAIN MARKET    

Sportech (SPO) has a strong presence in the US so it is in a good position to benefit from the legalisation of sports betting. It already has 90 licenced operator clients and its own network of off-track betting facilities in Connecticut.

The reasons behind founder Laurence Orbach increasing his stake in books publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) to 20.1% have become clear. Orbach was removed from the board in November 2012 but he has joined with 27% shareholder Lion Rock to unseat four non-executive directors at the AGM. Orbach and former finance director Mick Mousley have returned to the board, along with two nominees from Lion Rock. Orbach becomes executive chairman.

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has completed bulk sampling in zone 1 and this should enable a resource estimate to be calculated.

Standard list shell Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has signed heads of terms for a 50% stake in CarCloud, a car sales-based fintech company. The deal to acquire energy storage systems developer Phestor is off. That follows the abortive takeover of Myclubbetting.

S&U (SUS) says non-prime car finance applications are 10% higher this year, although approval rates have fallen. Net receivables have increased by £48m to £258m.

North Midland Construction (NMD) has made a strong start to the year. There is a secured workload of £310m for this year and this should enable an improved financial performance this year.

World Trade Systems (WTS) wants to diversify its business outside of China. A new Taiwan-based health and fitness subsidiary is being incorporated. Kun Xin International will provide a loan facility of up to £3m to finance the new business. European opportunities are being sought.

Blood diseases treatments developer Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) has signed a development agreement with a global pharma company, which will provide Hemogenyx with free technical support and some intellectual property. The pharma company will be granted a research licence for anything jointly developed.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 2 October 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) reported a slightly lower interim operating loss of £268,000 on revenues 10% higher at £7.04m. More racedays helped the racing operations but there were fewer other events which offset that. The nursery business made a much better contribution. Investment in the racecourse continues and income from residential property development of £1.95m helped to fund this. NAV is £44.1m.

Interim revenues were 22% ahead at £4.98m at Chapel Down (CDGP) helped by a 29% increase in wine sales. Management has reassured investors that there was a good harvest in 2017, which will help to improve wine revenues. The Curious Beer brewery is about to commence construction at Ashford.

St Mark Homes (SMAP) has launched a crowdfunding offer via Crowdstacker to raise up to £2m from a bond offering interest at 6% a year. The bonds can be held in ISAs. The cash will finance residential developments, which will predominantly focus on the government’s Help-to-Buy scheme. The company’s NAV per share was 136p at the end of the interim stage.

Block Energy (BLOK) is acquiring the 31% interest in the Norio field in the Republic of Georgia that it does not own and becoming operator of the field. The deal also includes 90% of the Satskhenisi field. The cost is $310,000 in cash. This is classed as a reverse takeover and trading in Block shares is suspended. An assessment of the reserve potential of the oil and gas assets in Georgia ahead of a return to NEX and a dual quotation on AIM.

V22 (V22O) increased its NAV from 1.55p a share to 3.94p a share in the 12 months to June 2017. That includes £235,000 of cash. If the art portfolio is included at its revalued level then the NAV goes up to 7.47p a share. An uplift in the value of the property portfolio offset an operating loss.

Investment company Western Selection (WESP) made a 2016-17 profit of £850,000 and nearly all of this came from the gain on the sale of shares in Swallowfield. Dividend income fell because Northbridge Industrial did not pay a dividend last year. NAV was one-fifth higher at 95p a share. The stake in Bilby was increased during the period. The total dividend has been raised from 2.1p a share to 2.2p a share.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) lost money in the first half of 2017 but it expects token investments to generate near-term revenues. There was £344,000 left in the bank at the end of June 2017 and this has subsequently been boosted by the sale of the shareholding in SatoshiPay. Coinsilium’s NAV is £2.34m.

Chris Bateman has resigned as chief executive of Forbes Ventures (FOR) after the sale of £500,000 of loan notes in Primus Care to his company Gravity Investment Group. Gravity has handed back 1166.7 million shares in Forbes, which have been cancelled. Gravity still owns 49.7% of Forbes, which still owns stakes in K&C REIT and challenger bank Civilised Investments. Trading in Forbes shares remains suspended ahead of the raising of further cash.

Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) has purchased Princes House, Barnstaple, which generates annual rent of £190,000, for £2.325m and College Square Margate, generating annual rent of £630,000, for £8.3m. Disposals of residential properties have raised £3.25m. Ace has raised £500,000 at 71.25p a share.

BWA Group (BWAP) had two investments and £17,000 in the bank at the end of April 2017. Pre-paid cards provider Prego Investments has taken longer to build up its business than expected. Mineralfields Group is in the process of obtaining mining licences in Cameroon.

Trading has commenced in Doriemus (DOR) shares on the ASX. A$3.5m was raised at A$0.26 per share equivalent. The cash will be used to complete drilling on the Lidsey and Brockham oil fields in the UK

Healthcare IT provider DXS International (DXSP) says that growth has been held back by changes in the NHS and the benefits of recent development spending are not likely to show through until 2018-19. In the year to April 2017, revenues were 5% higher at £3.43m but pre-tax profit fell from £46,000 to £39,000. There was £166,000 in the bank at the end of April 2017.

IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has commenced its drilling programme on the zinc licence in south west Ireland. The licence in County Clare is near to other licences where mining companies have achieved encouraging results.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is providing a £150,000 loan facility to healthcare company Rapid Nutrition. The interest rate is 10% a year until the end of February 2018 when it rises to 15% a year. If Rapid Nutrition floats before the end of February 2018 the loan is convertible at 13.32p a share. The loan remains convertible after that but it also becomes repayable in instalments over 18 months. Angelfish is still seeking to recover transaction costs related the repaid investment in 4Navitas.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has licenced blockchain intellectual property to defence-focused ByzGen, which has just raised £500,000 from Regulatory Financial Services Ltd.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £782,000 at 8.5p a share and paid £400,000 of expenses via a share issue at 10p a share.

Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £215,000 from a debenture issue that takes the total value of debentures in issue to £5.11m.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £160,000 in a 3.01% stake in standard listed United Oil & Gas. The average cost was 2.7p a share. United has an onshore UK licence and an Italian onshore licence.

AIM

Premier African Minerals (PREM) is raising up to £3.5m at 0.3p a share with the help of PrimaryBid.com. The cash will go towards funding the underground development of the RHA tungsten mine and repaying and cancellation of the YA II loan agreement and D-Beta equity swap.

AP Systems Holdings says that it is considering a bid for RedstoneConnect (REDS). The underlying business of AP has been going since 1985 but AP Systems Holdings is a couple of years old and has only published accounts as a dormant company. The share capital was recently increased followed by a sub division of the shares. It appears that David Anderson still owns 100% of the group.

ITM Power (ITM) is raising £25m via a placing at 40p a share plus up to £4.4m from an open offer at the same price. ITM has £20m of projects under contract and £17m under negotiation. The cash will help to service these projects and finance the winning of additional contracts. The open offer closes on 17 October.

Recruitment software provider Dillistone (DSG) is launching its new software product and this has held back performance in the first half of 2017. The full benefits of the GatedTalent, which enables executives to share their personal information with recruitment consultants on a confidential basis, will not be seen for more than a year. House broker WH Ireland believes that full year profit could fall to £200,000 and it expects the 2018 profit to be flat. Profit is then expected to more than double I 2019 but the exact pace of take u of GatedTalent will be a significant factor in how quickly profit recovers.

Photonstar LED (PSL) significantly reduced its first half costs so even though revenues fell from £2.53m to £2.26m the interim loss decreased from £914,000 to £604,000. Research and development of the new LED systems range is almost complete and the second half sales should be better.

Full year figures from Real Good Food (RGD) show a slump into loss while net debt increased to £16.2m at the end of March 2017. There has been a subsequent refinancing and corporate governance is being improved.

MAIN MARKET

Curzon Energy (CZN) is joining the standard list following the acquisition of coalbed methane licences in Oregon. Curzon believes that gas could be produced before the end of the year. Curzon is raising £2.3m and this will be used to connect five existing wells to a pipeline and drill two more wells. The average cost is $350,000 per well.

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) had £9,000 left in the bank at the end of June 2017 following the costs of the abortive acquisition of Myclubbetting. Papillon has agreed heads of terms to acquire Phestor and Greenway Activated Carbon, which are involved in ultra-supercapacitor development for energy storage and supply of active carbon produced from biomass.

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) says that the level of enquiries for its products are increasing.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 19 June 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that raceday attendances are 29% so far this year and no meetings were lost to the weather. Conference and events revenues have been maintained despite the refurbishment of the racecourse. Occupancy levels are building up at on-site hotel The Lodge. The Rocking Horse nursery has increased revenues by 29%. The pre-parade ring and saddling boxes are completed and the Owners’ Club conference and wedding venue will be finished in the late summer. Further improvements will begin later this year. The first home owners have moved into the residential development, which will take until 2021 to complete. Newbury is involved in the new racecourse controlled betting pool from July 2018.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has signed a memorandum of understanding with hedge fund HyperChain Capital. This will lead to co-investment opportunities in blockchain companies. Singapore-based HyperChain predominantly invests in tokens, which has proved more profitable than direct investment in companies in recent times – see Kryptonite 1. The two investors are each invested in social trading crypto platform CoinDash, which is about to launch a token offering.

Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has made a profitable turn on tokens in blockchain-related investments, some of which were acquired four months ago. The company sold 6,407 Melonport tokens for £33.17 each, raising £212,520, compared with the buying price of £3.87 each providing a profit of just over £187,000. The 2,105,254 tokens acquired in the Golem project were sold for an average price of 27p each – 27 times the original investment – raising £569,418 and representing a gain of just over £548,000. Kryptonite 1 has tax losses, which it should be able to use to offset against the total gains of £735,000. A small amount of the cash raised has been reinvested in 126,796.5 tokens in the initial coin offering of the Mysterium project – a peer-to-peer, server-less virtual private network.

Property investment company Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) is paying an interim dividend of 1p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 22 June.

Peterhouse has resigned as corporate adviser to African Potash Ltd (AFPO), which has also completed the acquisition of a 21% stake in Advanced Agricultural Holdings in return for 221.6 million African Potash shares (11.8% of the enlarged share capital).

 

 

NEX Exchange Company of the Year

 

Here are the companies on the shortlist for NEX Exchange Company of the Year which will be awarded at the 2017 Small Cap Awards on 22 June.

Adnams (ADB)

£33.6m @11750p (11500p/12000p)

Brewer and distributor Adnams has been around the longest of the five nominees for this award and it is also much larger than any of the others. Adnams, which sponsored last year’s Tour of Britain cycling event, continues to invest in its brewery with beer sales moving above 100,000 barrels in 2016. More of that beer is being sold in kegs. The £7m investment in the brewery is almost complete.

In 2016, revenues improved from £65.7m to £70.3m, while pre-tax profit increased from £4.07m to £5.02m, predominantly down to a rise in asset disposal gains from £625,000 to £1.43m. The NAV has fallen to £27.5m because of an increase in the pension liability. There is a dividend of 150p per B share and 37.5p per A share.

So far this year, sales of beers and spirits continue to grow and Adnam’s pubs are trading well, although the sale of smaller pubs will reduce the profitability of this part of the group. Currency movements, the sale of the UK distribution rights for Lagunitas beers and the renovation of the Swan Hotel will hamper overall progress in the first half. This year there will be the first beer duty tax increase in four years.

 

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP)

£6.9m @45p (40p/50p)

Employee ownership-focused investment company Capital for Colleagues has not had a smooth ride in the past year with a major investee company going bust but it is still able to attract more cash from investors. Capital for Colleagues raised £1.44m at 42p a share from its recent open offer and a further £980,000 in a placing at the same price.

One of the group’s employee-owned investee companies FJ Holdings sold its businesses and was placed in administration. Capital for Colleagues was not kept up to date with these moves. The figures for the six months to February 2017 show the aftermath of this loss. The profit from ongoing activities improved from £40,000 to £159,000 but the write-off for FJ of £1.32m, more than one-fifth of the previous asset value, meant that there was a loss of £1.16m. The NAV fell to 43.5p a share at the end of February and this will be slightly diluted by the subsequent fundraising.

There remains strong demand from companies wanting to encourage employee ownership and the Capital for Colleagues management has, excluding FJ, a good record.

 

Chapel Down Group (CDGP)

£94.9m @94p (90p/98p)

English wines producer Chapel Down has been one of the most high-profile companies on NEX. Revenues grew by one-quarter to £10.2m in 2016. The Tenterden-based wine business grew revenues by 22% and the brewing operations increased revenues by one-third.

Brewer Curious Drinks separately raised money to build a new brewery but Chapel Down still effectively controls the business – although it is now classified as an associate in accounting terms. The Ashford brewery will be open in mid-2018 and this will free up space for wine making at Tenterden.

Continuing operations moved from an underlying pre-tax profit of £156,000 in 2015 to £340,000 in 2016. Gross margins on the wine business improved from 40% to 43%. More premium wines are being launched this year.

Some of the Chapel Down vineyards were hit by frosts in late April but there will be firmer evidence of any effect this month. However, management says they were the worst April frosts in two decades.

 

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS)

£6.2m@195p (190p/200p)

Crossword Cybersecurity is developing cyber security products with six UK universities. A blockchain-related Ministry of Defence smart documents contract was won with the University of Warwick and cyber risk product, Rizikon, which uses expertise from City University, has started to generate revenues.

Crossword is also involved with CyberOwl, a spin-out from Coventry University that is commercialising research into the early warning of cyber attacks. CyberOwl has been selected to join GCHQ’s Cyber Accelerator.

In May, Crossword Cybersecurity took advantage of the high profile of cyber security problems to raise cash at a large premium to the market price. Crossword raised £145,000 at 230p a share. Brenlen Jinkens took up 50% of the new shares and he has 5.13% of the company.

In 2016, revenues jumped from £21,000 to £345,000 but the loss increased from £755,000 to £950,000 – even after £78,000 of R&D tax credits. There was £1.55m in the bank at the end of 2016. AIM-quoted Iomart is cooperating with Crossword on launching the Nixer machine learning Denial of Service (DDoS) platform on the market.

 

Sandal (SAND)

£4.9m @ 29.5p (28p/31p)

Sandal is a developer and manufacturer of energy efficiency and other electronic products. It has signed a number of agreements with retailers and distributors for its Energenie MiHome range, which is also being integrated with a number of home automation systems, including those of Google and Amazon. Retailers selling the company’s products include Argos, Sainsbury, Robert Dyas, Shop Direct Group and Ocado.

Recently, Sandal signed an agreement with Spanish smart home technology business Momit, which will redesign its smart thermostat so that it is compatible with the Energenie MiHome platform. This is part of Momit’s strategy to enter the UK market. The redesigned product should be launched in September and, along with related radiator valve sales, could add £500,000 to Sandal’s annual revenues.

In the six months to November 2016, revenues were 13% ahead at £1.88m, with Energenie MiHome products growing revenues by 74%, and the pre-tax profit has improved from £7,000 to £35,000. Further growth is expected in the second half as home automation becomes a more mainstream product area.

 

AIM

PrimaryBid.com is helping Myanmar International Ltd (MIL) to raise between $3m and $5m. The Myanmar-focused investment company is offering shares at $1.18 each – a 9.2% discount to the market price. Myanmar wants to widen its shareholder base. The proceeds are expected to be invested within six months. This is the 23rd offer by PrimaryBid and it closed at 5pm on 18 June.

Disruptive Capital says that it is not going to make on offer for Stanley Gibbons (SGI) because it was not given the information it required, although the stamps and coins dealer has effectively put itself up for sale. A strategic review has commenced and the formal sale process is part of this.

Wynnstay Properties (WSP) has kept up its record of increasing its dividend. The 19% rise took the total dividend to 15.75p a share. The NAV was 15% ahead to 674p a share at the end of March 2017.

Home improvements company entu (UK) is taking longer to turn around than was hoped. There were problems with installation capacity, which is not enough to meet demand but there are also problems with the supply chain. The underlying interim loss is likely to be similar to the restated loss in the first half of 2016. There will also be a full year loss. Net debt was £6.5m at the end of April 2017. The boilers and energy switching businesses have been closed and the LED business scaled back.

FIH Group (FIH) reported a 4% increase in 2016-17 revenues to £40.5m, while underlying pre-tax profit fell from £3.1m to £2.4m. The profit decline was not as great as originally expected.

Egdon Resources (EDR) is acquiring a 50% interest in PEDL278 in the East Midlands, with the other 50% being acquired by the proposed operator IGas (IGAS). The licence area includes a tight gas discovery from 1985.

Keras Resources (KRS) says drilling at the Warrawoona gold project in Australia, which is now part of Calidus Resources, has commenced. Calidus Resources is about to join ASX.

Savannah Resources (SAV) has received approval in principle for a tailings storage facility at the abandoned Lasail West pit in Oman. There is still potential for further copper mineralisation at the Lasail copper mine. It is taking longer than expected to gain licensing approval for the copper mine development at Mahab 4 and Maqail South. Mining should still start in the first half of 2018.

Italian PR firm SEC (SECG) reported a decline in revenues in 2016 as markets are growing slowly and competition is fierce. There was also a lack of large one-off events. Revenues fell from €21.2m to €18.5m, while pre-tax profit has slumped from €3.25m to €734,000.

Starcom (STAR) has secured a three-year, $1.5m equipment and tracking order. Shiptek Solutions is paying $1.2m for Tetis R container tracking units and there should be at least $250,000 of income from online tracking services over three years.

MAIN MARKET

IT consultancy and resourcing firm Triad Group (TRD) believes that the appointment of Arden as broker in February “is a significant step in returning the group to its former glory”. In the year to March 2017, revenues improved from £28.3m to £30.9m and pre-tax profit increased from £863,000 to £1.52m. Net cash was £2.24m. Triad intends to build up business outside of the public sector and increase exposure to new technologies, such as blockchain. Triad is returning to paying a dividend with the latest pay out of 0.5p a share. The ex-dividend date is 10 August. The trustee in the bankruptcy of former boss Mira Makar has been selling down her shareholding, which was over 21% but it has been reduced to 17.4%. The share price has held up over the past couple of months despite this.

Storage and communications semiconductors developer CML Microsystems (CML) increased full year revenues by one-fifth to £27.7m and organic growth was 14%. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from £3.5m to £4.3m. The dividend was increased to 7.4p a share. R&D investment continues to increase but there is plenty of cash to fund this. Net cash was £12.5m at the end of March 2017.

Industrial fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) increased its pre-tax profit by more than one-quarter to £20.5m, which was better than expected. Growth is coming from the top 25 key accounts and new product launches.

Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) has completed the acquisition of kidney stone analysis company Stone Checker Software in return for the issue of eight million shares at 3p each and been readmitted to the standard list on 16 June. A placing raised £550,000 at 3p a share. Stone Checker was previously 50%-owned by AIM-quoted Feedback (FDBK), which licenced its TexRAD software to the company for use with kidney stones.

North Midland Construction (NMD) has been awarded a joint venture infrastructure contract for Severn Trent Water on the Birmingham Resilience project worth more than £100m. This contract will be split between North Midland and its joint venture partner. The scheme starts in the third quarter of 2017 and this means that the 2017 figures will be ahead of expectations.

Jacek Slotala has stepped down as a director of fully listed shell Highway Capital (HWC). He joined the board in December 2015. Trading in the shares has been suspended since 22 September 2016. Highway has been seeking a significant acquisition for approaching two decades.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 15 May 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased its revenues by 4% to £16.9m in 2016. Underlying trading profit was 8% ahead at £740,000 but there was also a £19.4m gain on the sale of land for housebuilding partly offset by £3.45m impairment charge. The NAV was £44.4m, which is around double the company’s market value. Net cash is £5.4m. The redevelopment of the racecourse continues with the latest phase due to be completed next year.

Good Energy Group (GOOD) has launched a corporate bond. It wants to raise £10m but could raise the subscription level to £20m. Existing bond holders can roll over some or all of their investment into the new bonds. The bonds have a coupon of 4.75% or 5% for customers.

Via Developments (VIA1) has sold all 26 apartments in Napier House in Luton. Deposits of £394,000 and £52,000 of non-refundable reservations have been received. The project should be completed in the first quarter of 2018.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) continues to seek acquisitions in the agricultural logistics sector. In 2016, revenues grew from £1.98m to £3.04m and the loss fell from £96,000 to £9,000. Directors’ fees were reduced from £108,000 to £19,000. The 40%-owned AfriAg (Pty) increased its revenues by 91% to £11.7m but its reported profit dipped from £359,000 to £104,000.

Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) has completed its first supported housing sector investment. It has bought a grade two listed building in Stroud for £475,000. There will be further investment in improving the property over the next four months. The property will then be let on a 25 year lease to a UK care provider with rents adjusted each year by inflation.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested a further £100,000 in space software and hardware developer Bright Ascension. The initial investment was £150,000 and Capital for Colleagues holds 250,000 A shares. The cash will be used for product development and building up the company’s sales infrastructure.

Anna Halpern-Lande, a cleantech sector expert, has joined the board of Milamber Ventures (MLVP). Two new partners have been appointed. Executive chairman Andy Hasoon has converted £50,000 of his director loan into 312,500 shares at 16p each. Two other individuals have taken shares for fees.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has invested $75,000 (£60,000) in Coin-Dash, which is developing a social trading platform for cryptocurrency investors. Coinsilium also has an entitlement to an undisclosed number of Coindash crypto tokens.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £276,000 at 28.5p a share from four investors. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £230,000 for working capital. Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised £22,000 at 0.1p a share, while 84.7%-owned apps developer Flamethrower has paid $25,000 for advertising revenues generating Minecraft Command website.

AIM

TyraTech Inc (TYR/TYRU) is splitting itself into two businesses so that they can each raise finance to accelerate growth. The separation should be complete by the end of the year. TyraTech used up $2.2m of cash in 2016 leaving it with $1.8m, thanks to cash management in the second half. Allenby expects cash to fall to $700,000 by the end of 2017 but in reality management would hope to have raised money for the two businesses before that time. Marketing spending is required to grow the human health business while further product development investment is required by the animal health business.

Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) is increasing its market share in Europe. In the year to February 2017, revenues grew from £35.5m to £56.1m and pre-tax profit jumped from £600,000 to £2.7m. A new head office has been acquired for £5.3m and a German distribution centre is being opened.

Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) has done particularly well since it joined AIM and its figures were better than expected leading to an upgrade for this year. In 2016, Warpaint made a pre-tax profit of £6.7m on revenues of £27m. A 2017 profit of £7.6m is forecast. Growth is coming from the UK and internationally with US revenues starting to build up.

RedstoneConnect (REDS) has raised £6.5m at 1.5p a share and £1.4m of this will be spent on systems integrator acquiring Anders + Kern. This will help the group to sell its OneSpace smart buildings software. A one-for-100 share consolidation is planned.

Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) improved its full year pre-tax profit from £26m to £29.8m and its NAV is 62.3p a share. The share price is trading at a discount to NAV of one-fifth. Aftersales revenues continue to grow and used vehicle sales were strong. The new car market has declined but trading in March and April is in line with expectations.

Cambria Automotive (CAMB) has also performed well even though new and used vehicle volumes declined. Acquisitions helped its revenues to grow by 11% while its pre-tax profit was more than one-fifth higher at £5.6m. The full year profit forecast has been edged up to £11.2m.

The proposed energy price cap has hampered Flowgroup (FLOW) in its attempt to sell its energy business. It is still in talks but appears more likely to require to raise an additional £20m. This would be highly dilutive because it would be at 1.5p a share plus convertible securities. Losses will continue for the next couple of years and Flow is reducing its exposure to the microCHP business.

Arian Silver Corporation (AGQ) has completed initial sampling at its Mexican Salar project and this confirms the presence of lithium. Further tests are required to fully assess the mineralisation.

Savannah Resources (SAV) has lodged the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Mahab 4 copper mine development, having already done this for the Maqail South deposit. Savannah owns 65% of the company that has the licence for the block that includes Mahab 4. The approval process is expected to take three months. An economic study should be completed by July.

Active Energy (AEG) is reducing its exposure to Ukraine and dividing its operations into Advanced Biomass Solutions, which will own the CoalSwitch technology, and Timberlands International for the timber asset management operations. Supplying woodchip from Ukraine to Turkish fibreboard manufacturers is the main revenue generator but exposure to Ukraine has held back the share price. The company’s former chief operating officer may make an offer for the Ukrainian operations.

Draganfly Investments (DRG) has raised £500,000 at 0.5p a share. Pelamis Investments Ltd owns 11.26%.

MAIN MARKET

Waterman Group (WTM) has recommended a 140p a share bid from CTI Technology, which has already acquired 30%. This means that the £43m bid is mandatory. CTI is one of the largest consulting engineers in Japan.

A strong performance in South Korea has fuelled a strong performance from window components manufacturer Titon (TON). In the six months to March 2017, revenues were 29% higher at £14m, while pre-tax profit was 61% higher at £1.18m. The dividend was increased by 20% to 1.5p a share. Net cash is £2.71m.

Storage and wireless semiconductors developer CML Microsystems (CML) says full year trading was ahead of expectations. Revenues grew by one-fifth to £27.6m – organic growth is estimated to be 16%. Pre-tax profit was £4.2m – 5% higher than forecast. There was £12.4m in the bank t the end of the financial year.

World Trade Systems (WTS) has appointed John Hoskinson as a non-executive director. He has experience of mining, energy, property and services sectors. Clio Lee has stepped down from the board. Trading in WTS shares continues to be suspended.

UNQUOTED

Richard Griffiths and Blake Holdings have acquired 11.2% of former AIM-quoted investment company Sarossa for £519,500 (1p a share). This takes the concert party’s stake to 51.9% so it has to make a mandatory bid at 1p a share but that is well below the most recent asset value. At the end of 2016, the NAV was £11.3m or 2.4p a share. That included £3.73m of cash.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 3 October 2016

ISDX

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) reported flat interim revenues of £5.56m and a higher underlying loss because of the loss of three race days to bad weather. There was a cash outflow from operations of £1.51m. The sale of a final tranche of land to David Wilson Homes has generated a disposal profit of £20.1m but the cash has not been received yet. There is £7.56m of cash in the balance sheet but the disposal proceeds will be received as homes are sold. The current market capitalisation is £17.6m, whereas shareholders funds are £44.9m.

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) says that interim revenues were 26% higher at £4.09m with the fastest growth coming in the Curious Drinks business, although the wine operations increased revenues by 14% and still remain the core activities. Curious Drinks raised £1.74m during the period and that led to a notional gain on disposal of £467,000. The cash outflow from group operations reduced from £713,000 to £441,000.

Halal verification business DagangHalal (DGHL) reported higher revenues in the six months to June 2016 but the costs of raising £3.6m and joining ISDX helped push the company into loss. Revenues grew from MYR2.96m to MYR3.34m but MYR3.54m of flotation costs and nearly trebled overheads meant that a pre-tax profit of MYR1.18m was turned into a loss of MYR4.49m. DagangHalal has not had time to invest the funds it raised, there was MYR14.9m in the bank at the end of June 2016, so this should help revenues to grow to offset he higher overheads. Management was also distracted by the flotation in the first half. The company has developed a global e-marketplace and two more certification bodies have signed up for the Halal verification engine, taking the total to 40, and two say that they will sign up for the Halal certificate management system, which has eight users. The number of merchants using the system has also increased.

In the six months to June 2016, WMC Retail Partners (WELL) reduced its loss helped by the release of £42,000 of past provisions. Revenues dipped from £2.15m to £2.05m but the loss fell from £226,000 to £78,000. No interim dividend has been declared. Management expects to make an announcement about loss-making Cornish Market World in the near future.

Diversified Oil & Gas (DOIL) has almost trebled its first half revenues from $2.9m to $7.6m. One-off books gains meant that the reported pre-tax profit was $36.5m but in reality there was an underlying loss. There was a $381,000 cash outflow from operations. The company continues to make acquisitions.

Mechan Controls (MECP) is holding a general meeting to gain shareholder approval to buy back up to 200,000 shares – equivalent to 10% of the shares in issue. This is part of the board’s plan to enable shareholders to realise part of their investment following the termination of bid talk earlier in the year.

Ecovista (EVTP) says that planning permission has been granted by East Herts Council for 100 Rye Street.The building will be demolished and a six bedroom home will be built on the site. In the six months to June 2016, the loss increased from £92,000 to £168,000. Ecovista is seeking additional finance in order to acquire the 85% of Cingella Srl it does not already own. The company has until the end of 2017 to pay €4m for this stake. Ecovista’s interim loss increased from £36,000 to £168,000.

AIM

Conference call technology and services provider LoopUp (LOOP) has reported its interims one month after joining AIM. In the six months to June 2016, revenues grew from £4.81m to £6.38m. That includes revenues from a BT contract which is almost at an end and underlying growth was 38%. There was a pre-tax profit of £72,000, compared with a £619,000 loss. The cash raised in the flotation and the conversion of debt into shares means that pro forma net cash is £3.16m.The US is the biggest generator of revenues with the UK not far behind. The cash will be invested in further development spending and marketing. Non-executive chairman Lady Judge bought 15,754 shares at 126p each, compared with the flotation price of 100p. This is her total shareholding.

Gold recovery firm Goldplat (GDP) moved back into profit in the year to June 2016 as the performance of the gold recovery activities in South Africa and Ghana improved with more to come from capital investment in these operations. Revenues grew from £16.6m to £20.2m with a loss of £796,000 turning into a profit of £1.94m. Strong cash generation meant that there was net cash of £2.06m. There was a 23% increase in gold production, which included a toll processing contract with Rand Refinery. In contrast to the growth in output from the recovery operations, there was less produced by the Kilimapesa mine in Kenya . A new processing plant should come into action by the end of this year which will increase capacity; at Kilimepesa. There is scope to expand recovered gold production by sourcing material from South America.

Training systems supplier Pennant International (PEN) returned to profit in the first half of 2016 even though a number of major orders have not yet made a significant contribution. Revenues grew from £5.78m to £6.65m, while a loss of £755,000 was turned into a profit of £11,000. Four new contracts have been secured, including one with new client Lockheed Martin. Net cash was £2.6m at the end of the period, with £3.56m raised at 55p a share since June, but there is no dividend. The order book is worth £46m. There are tax losses of £4.7m so there should be no significant tax charge for up to three years depending on how fast profitability improves. A full year profit of £2.2m is forecast. Management wants to supplement organic growth with acquisitions, which are most likely to be in the core defence sector.

Shares in Sareum (SAR) doubled on the back of a licence agreement for its Chk1 inhibitor CCT245737 with ProNAi Therapeutics. Sareum and co-investment partner CRT Pioneer Fund will receive an initial payment of $7m with up to $2m payable on the successful transfer of two ongoing phase I clinical trials for the cancer drug. Sareum will receive 27.5% of these payments and it will have £300,000 of funding commitment returned. There could be additional payments totalling up to $319.5m depending on the achievement of milestones. There could be low single digit or high double digit royalties on a commercial product.

Savannah Resources (SAV) has raised £1.42m at 3.5p a share and directors and related investors have agreed to provide a further £830,000 at the same share price. The rest of the cash will come in after the closed period has ended. The funds will be used to develop copper projects in Oman and finance other projects in Mozambique and Finland. Joint venture partner Rio Tinto has extended the long stop date for the agreement over the combined Mutamba/Jangamo project in Mozambique until 10 October or a later agreed date. The interim loss was reduced from £1m to £800,000.

Premier African Minerals (PREM) made an increased interim loss because of operational issues at the RHA tungsten mine. The plant has been upgraded so these problems should be at an end and processing rates should improve. A further expansion to 16,000t a year is planned for next year and that investment could have an impact on production levels. Net debt was $3.8m at the end of June 2016.

Thor Mining (THR) is awaiting confirmation of assay results for its Molyhill tungsten project in Australia. The initial indications are that there is anomalous tungsten. Thor may start more closely spaced drilling after the results are received. A £1m impairment on the disposal of the Spring Hill project in February meant that the interim loss before tax increased from £880,000 to £1.75m. The initial proceeds of the disposal helped to reduce net debt to £445,000.

ValiRx (VAL) is on course to start dosing patients with lung cancer with its VAL401 treatment in the phase IIb trial. Higher R&D spending meant that the interim loss increased from £1.37m to £2.12m. There was £569,000 left in the bank at the end of June 2016 and since then £1.2m has been raised and a convertible loan facility of up to $3.75m has been agreed with Yorkville.

Cloud services provider Nasstar (NASA) increased its monthy recurring revenues to £1.23m even before the recent acquisition of Modrus which took the figure to £1.7m. In the first half of 2016, revenues were 14% higher at £8.1m. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from £860,000 to £981,000. Pro forma net debt is £3.5m and cash flow should be strong enough to wipe this out by the end of 2017. Full year profit is expected to rise from £1.6m to £2m. The benefits of the Modrus acquisition should help the profit to rise to £3.5m in 2017.

Digital audio visual agency MediaZest (MDZ) has won £250,000 of contracts in the past six weeks. The company has also said that the previously announced project with Rockar is for Jaguar Land Rover at Westfield Stratford.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) is still seeking an acquisition and it has just over £1m left in the bank. The directors’ are not taking any salaries yet and costs are running at £35,000 a year.

Andrew Hore

 

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