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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 26 August 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) grew revenues by one-third to £136,000 but the ethical housing provider moved from profit to loss. In the year to March 2019, revenues improved from £103,000 to £136,000. The main reason behind the reported loss was a reduction in the gain on revaluation of assets from £198,000 to £145,000. The NAV still increased from £3.25m to £3.31m. These figures were prior to the acquisition of a property in Didcot. There is a pipeline of other potential transactions.

Barkby Group (BARK) has appointed finnCap as its corporate adviser.

Peterhouse has resigned as corporate adviser to Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) and that follows the resignation of its auditor Crowe and the continued delays to the publication of the accounts for 2018. Peterhouse took over as corporate adviser from Daniel Stewart in March. Gamfook floated in December 2018.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has opened its latest centre in Reading. The company was previously known as Proton Partners International Ltd.

Henry Lees-Buckley is taking on the chief executive role at Sativa Group (SATI) and Geremy Thomas has moved to deputy chairman.

AIM  

Injection moulded plastic products Coral Products (CRU) returned to profit in the year to April 2019, although the underlying pre-tax profit only edged up from £568,000 to £580,000 because of a decline in exceptional costs. The second half was not as good as the first half, but cost cutting enabled a recovery at the end of the year. Net debt was £8.2m at the end of April 2019. There is no final dividend following the interim of 0.25p a share. Continuing problems at a major customer could continue to hamper progress. Equipment enabling recycling of plastic products is up and running. New products will be launched later this year, including roof tiles and road highway sound barriers.

International staffing provider Empresaria (EMR) had a tough first half, but despite this the company still expects to maintain its full year profit at £11.4m. Interim net fee income was 7% ahead but underlying pre-tax profit was one-fifth lower at £3.7m. That suggests a much stronger second half even though the German and Japanese businesses remain subdued, although they could start to recover. The diversification of the business in terms of sectors and geographies helps to offset the weakness in parts of the group. New chief executive Rhona Driggs is putting in place a new strategy, which should help next year’s figures.

Adamas Finance Asia Ltd (ADAM) has maintained its NAV at $1.10 a share (88p a share). Investee company Hong Kong Mining Holdings is still on course to restart mining operations and it is acquiring additional land for mining activities. Fook Lam Moon is assessing opportunities to expand its catering operations. The internal fit out for Infinity Capital’s Tellus Niseko project should be completed before the end of September.

MySale Group (MYSL) has raised £11.2m at 2p a share, which is a 58% discount to the market price. There will be £5.5m used to pay down bank facilities. The number of shares in issue is trebled. This follows a strategic review by the retailer, which is refocusing on Australasian operations and the selling down of stock. The cost base will be reduced.

Transport optimisation software and equipment supplier Tracsis (TRCS) grew its cash pile to £24m at the end of July 2019, even after paying around £9m on acquisitions. Pre-tax profit is in line with expectations at £9.4m, up from £8.5m.

Breedon Group (BREE) intends to change its tax domicile from Jersey to the UK. The company will still be incorporated in Jersey. The general meeting to gain approval to change the article of association will be held on 9 September.

Packaging supplier Robinson (RBN) improved gross margins by 12 percentage points to 19.7% in the first half, but that was partly offset by higher overheads. Pre-tax profit improved from £478,000 to £684,000. Net debt was £9.1m. The interim dividend is unchanged at 2.5p a share.

IT services provider Adept4 (AD4) is in talks to acquire CloudCoCo, which was set up by former sales directors of Redcentric. The deal would involve the issue of new shares that would nearly double the number in issue. The Business Growth Fund has agreed to sell £5m of unsecured loan notes to MXC Capital for £3.5m.

Data software and services provider D4T4 (D4T4) says that the figures will be second half weighted this year but not as much as last year.

Science Group (SAG) has increased its stake in Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) by subscribing £1m at 25p a share. This takes the stake to 52.3% (costing £6.9m) and this means that Frontier’s results will be consolidated. A standby facility is also being provided. Frontier’s cost base is being reduced.

Commodity trading and risk management software provider Brady (BRY) expects 2019 revenues to be around one-fifth lower than previous forecasts. That means that revenues are expected to decline from £23.2m in 2018 to £19m and this will lead to a loss of more than £4m.

Three directors have been removed from the board of Management Resource Solutions (MRS) and they have been replaced by John Copley and Robert Wall following a requisitioned general meeting.

Cancer therapies developer Scancell (SCLP) has initiated the UK SCIB1 phase 2 clinical trial for advanced melanoma, where SCIB1 is used in conjunction with the checkpoint inhibitor Pembrolizumab.  

The financial director of Maestrano (MNO) has resigned to take up a role in Australia. The software company continues to undertake due diligence on a potential acquisition. An Australian bank client has decided not to go ahead with a new banking platform. There should be enough cash to last into next year.

Cyber security company Osirium Technologies (OSI) has signed up the first customer for its Opus privileged process automation software, plus two customers for the PxM platform. The Opus client is an asset manager that is already a user of PxM.

Cellcast (CLTV) has called a general meeting on 6 September in order to approve the sale of its operations. The company will change its name to Vintana.

MAIN MARKET 

BATM (BVC) reported an improved interim profit, but that was due to a one-off unrealised gain after an investment in the Ador diagnostics joint venture. Revenues dipped from $58.2m to $56.2m. The second half performance will be more important. Revenues are expected to grow from $119.6m to $128.5m, with pre-tax profit jumping form $2m to $6.7m. There is further longer-term growth to come from both the biomedical and networking divisions. The recent fundraising means that there is plenty of cash to finance growth.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) is further increasing its capacity and this could make it the largest quoted cryptocurrency miner by next year.

Injection moulding and engineering company Tex Holdings (TXH) says net assets per share have fallen from 168p to 140p after it swung into loss last year. There is no final dividend. The plastics division is trading profitably and orders have improved at the engineering division.

Path Investments (PATH) plans to acquire FineGems Extraction Corporation, which has a 75% stake in a company that holds the Jagoda licence in Zambia. The assets are near to production. They are manganese ore and tourmaline deposits. The acquisition would leave existing shareholders with 50% of the enlarged share capital.

Gold explorer IMC Exploration (IMC) has raised £150,000 at 1p a share and has paid £27,000 of professional fees in shares. The cash will be spent on exploration and geological work on a tailings project in Avoca, County Wicklow.

Dev Clever (DEV) has appointed Novum Securities as joint broker and raised £436,000 at 3.4p a share. The consumer engagement systems company has secured a three-year agreement with Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, which will offer Dev Clever’s Engage gamification platform and its learning and development platform to retail customers.

 Andrew Hore 

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 18 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Peel Hunt forecasts a dip in Shepherd Neame (SHEP) pre-tax profit from £11.8m to £11.2m in the year to June 2019. The broker still expects the total dividend to be increased from 29.2p a share to 30p a share.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has suspended Ian Fellman as a non-executive director pending investigation into certain matters. The mortgagee of two units at Whitehouse Business park in Peterlee has enforced security and sold the properties and these have been written off the Etaireia balance sheet. David Barnett, who owns 37.8% of the company, has requisitioned a general meeting in order to have himself appointed to the board.

European Lithium (EUR) expects to commence drilling in the second quarter in order to convert the resource in zone one of the Wolfsburg lithium project into measured and indicated categories. The company is part of a syndicate applying for grant funding for building up battery production in Germany. Lithium hydroxide is expected to continue to rise in price until 2022 and then fall back. European Lithium is in talks with lithium battery plant operators in Europe about an offtake agreement. The company had £3.3m of cash and financial assets at the end of 2018, as well as a convertible note of £2.56m, with more available to draw down. There was a cash outflow of £2.6m in the six month period. European Lithium is also ASX-listed and is considering a listing in Vienna.

Sandal (SAND) has decided to leave the NEX Exchange growth market after four years. Management says that share trading is limited, and the company has not been able to raise the cash it wanted to. They believe it would be easier to raise funds as an unquoted company. The company already has the backing of enough shareholders to make a general meeting pointless. The last day of trading is 10 April.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has already made a significant gain on its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) after the miner announced a $65m farm-in agreement with Newcrest for the Havieron gold copper project in Western Australia. Newcrest, which will ear up to 70% of the project, also has first right of refusal over the rest of the Paterson project area. The Greatland stake cost 1.71p a share. Even after some profit-taking, the Greatland share price is 2p, which represents a gain of more than £100,000 on the Primorus investment. Primorus has invested £875,000 in WeShop Ltd and has a 3.5% stake worth more than £1m. WeShop has developed new branding for its platform, added to its product range and enhanced the management team. The number of WeShop retailers has trebled to more than 9,000. The technology provides access to more than 20,000 merchants around the world. Vela Technologies (VELA) has a 1.42% stake in WeShop, which cost £100,000 and is valued at £427,000. Two Shields Investments (TSI) invested at a later date and has a 1.2% stake valued at £350,000.

Barkby Group (BARK) made a small interim loss on revenues of £1.82m. The three gastropubs operated by the company were profitable before central overheads and exceptionals. There was £37,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and a VAT refund is expected. This period is before the acquisition of Centurian Automotive, which was acquired for shares.

Gunsynd (GUN) has sold its stake in UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) at 1.405p a share. The 31.17 million shares raised £438,000. Gunsynd had net assets of £2.18m at the end of January 2019, including £543,000 in cash. The flotation of FastBase Inc has been delayed and Gunsynd is no longer advising the company. Human Brands International Inc, where Gunsynd has a £300,000 convertibles investment, is on course for a standard listing.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has incorporated a subsidiary in Gibraltar and it is applying for a business licence.

Ganapati (GANP) says that its subsidiary GanaEight Coin Ltd, which is developing and operating a blockchain-based online casino platform, has launched a virtual token private pre-sale of its initial virtual financial asset offering.

Gavin Burnell has bought 5.83 million shares in Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) and that takes his stake to 22.3%. His fellow director Charles Vaughan bought 750,000 shares, taking his shareholding to 1.67%. Non-executive chairman Brian Rowbotham bought the same number of shares, taking his stake to 3.09%. The shares were all acquired at 0.136p each.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has commenced gold mining under the joint venture agreement with VAST Mineral Sands in Australia, where it has a 50% economic interest. Tectonic has provided the initial funding. Tectonic is considering moving to the standard list.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has taken a 3.48% stake in standard listed coal bed methane company Curzon Energy (CZN). Brian Kinane has resigned as a director of Curzon.

AIM  

Driver Group (DRV) disappointed the market with a warning because of delayed expert witness contracts in the first half. The construction consultancy services provider has not made the expected progress in the Middle East and south east Asia and full year underlying pre-tax profit will be slightly lower than the £3.5m originally forecast. There is a strong pipeline of potential business, but this has to be secured in order to reassure investors about the full year outcome. There is still £5.1m in the bank. Driver will spend up to £500,000 buying back shares and it has already spent £124,000 at 55p a share. The directors have also been buying shares.

Bowmark Capital has increased its bid for Tax Systems (TAX) from 110p a share to 115p a share, valuing the company at £102.3m. The subsequent general meeting voted in favour of the scheme of arrangement.

Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) increased its revenues from £4.12m to £5.38m, while the loss was cut by two-thirds to £1m. The loss should be much lower in 2019 and cash should be generated so that net cash exceeds £1m. Demand for cyber security continues to grow and the consulting division is getting business from existing and new clients. This is also feeding through to additional managed services business.

Marshall Motor (MMH) managed to edge up its underlying pre-tax profit to £25.7m even though trading conditions remain tough for car dealers. There was a strong last quarter for the used cars division. A small dip in profit to £24.1m is expected for 2019.

Franchise Brands (FRAN) had a full 12-month contribution from the Metro Rod business acquired in 2017, although the full benefits of the restructuring of the business and IT investment are still to come through. These changes should help to generate organic growth this year. Allenby forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £2.9m to £3.5m in 2019. The group is in a position to seek more acquisitions, particularly ones that add to the services provided by Metro Rod.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) grew its full year revenues by 69% to £578,000 and gross margin improved. The protein identification product ProteinID will be launched later this month. There was still £5.4m in the bank at the end of 2018. This is enough to cover the expected cash requirements.

Standard list shell Safe Harbour Holdings (SHH) has appointed James Brotherton as finance director. He was previously finance director at Tyman, where he was involved in acquisitions, and he earned £568,000 in 2017. Fully listed Tyman, which was previously on AIM, made an underlying pre-tax profit of £72.7m in 2018. The acquisition Safe Harbour is seeking will be in distribution and business services. WSP founder Chris Cole was recently appointed as independent non-executive director. There was £28.1m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Immupharma (IMM) is seeking partners for its lupus treatment Lupuzor and is also seeking to commence a managed access programme in Europe for the treatment. An extension study from the original phase III trial has commenced.

RedT Energy (RED) is raising up to £3.2m via a placing and open offer at 2p a share, ahead of a strategic review to decide how to finance the business. Last October, the energy storage equipment developer raised £5.03m at 7p a share. The company could generate $1m from the sale of its US business and costs are being cut. The plan is to cut the monthly cash costs to less than £500,000. Discussions continue with strategic partners.

SimplyBiz Group (SBIZ) has signed a five-year contract with insurer Aviva, which will use the company’s Zest employee benefits technology platform to deliver a new benefits product for smaller clients. This follows a three-year contract with Taylor Wimpey, which will use Zest to deliver employee benefits to its 5,000 plus employees.

Concepta (CPT) is supplying its myLotus fertility test to Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Proton Power Systems (PPS) has signed a letter of intent with Skoda for the development of fuel cell electric buses using Proton’s HyRange systems. The plan is to build 10 buses by the first quarter of 2020.

i3 Energy (I3E) has raised £16m via a placing at 16p a share, although it is partly dependent on shareholder approval for the issue of additional shares. Existing shareholders are being given the opportunity to subscribe up to £2m through an open offer. Along with a £24m loan, the cash will fund the drilling of three wells. Two will be on the Liberator oil field and the other will be on the Serenity prospect.

Paragon Entertainment Ltd (PEL) has raised £150,000 at 0.8p a share, which was a 23% discount to the market price. Management and an existing shareholder bought the shares.

Urals Energy (UEN) failed to replace Allenby as nominated adviser and the quotation has been cancelled.

Mereo BioPharma (MPH) expects its merger with OncoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc to close in the second quarter of 2019.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) achieved crude oil sales of 1,994 barrels per day in January and 2,179 barrels per day in February. The realised prices were $52/barrel and $56.84/barrel for each month respectively. Current estimated production is 2,358 barrels per day.

MAIN MARKET 

Quarto Group (QRT) reported a 51% recovery in underlying 2018 pre-tax profit to $5.9m, although the publisher’s revenues were slightly lower. The best performance was in children’s publishing. Net debt fell by 6% to $60.4m.

Local Shopping REIT (LSR) has responded to the bid by Thalassa (THAL) and it continues to find it opportunistic. The company is committed to returning cash to shareholders and it argues that they will get more cash than the £9m on offer as part of the cash and shares bid. The offer is 14.64p in cash and 0.26 of a Thalassa share for each Local Shopping REIT share.

Path Investments (PATH) has withdrawn from the proposed transaction with ARC Marlborough after due diligence. The plan was to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland.

European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund has converted more of its bonds into shares in WideCells Group (WDC) having sold most of the recently converted shares. A further 115 million shares have been issued in return for £115,000 of bonds and a penalty payment of £172,500.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has submitted an application for a permit to develop the Kochang Mine in South Korea. The application for the Gubong mine should get a response by 23 March.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 4 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 4 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET  

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 21 January 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Sport Capital Group (SCG) is acquiring Italian football club Palermo for a nominal sum. The deal also includes the project for a new stadium for the Serie B team, which is currently five points clear at the top of the table. Promotion back to Serie A would boost revenue generation and it would also trigger an earn-out payment. There is also potential for more sponsorship and match revenues. There is a plan to raise up to £10m from a bond issue that would be traded on NEX.

Clinical decision support technology provider DXS International (DXSP) reported a lower interim loss in the six months to October 2018. Revenues edged up from £1.61m to £1.69m and the loss declined from £92,000 to £35,000. Tax credits meant that there was a post-tax profit of £70,000, up from £28,000. The GPSoC tender has been delayed but it is expected to be completed this year.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its priorities for 2019 are to demonstrate the potential of the blockchain investments that it has and to take advantage of the growing sector. There were record levels of investment in the blockchain sector last year. Management wants movements in the share price to reflect progress rather than the movement of the price of bitcoin, as has been the case in the past year.

KR1 (KR1) has set up a subsidiary in Gibraltar. KRX Ltd will sponsor token-based projects that will list on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, which operates the first regulated blockchain exchange. The subsidiary will generate fees from clients and there are a limited number of sponsors.

AFH Financial Group (AFHP) has acquired fellow wealth management firm Hayburn Rock for up to £3.5m. The initial payment is £900,000. In 2017, the firm made a profit of £400,000.

TechFinancials (TECH) is selling its stake in MarketFinancials, which no longer trades, for €100,000. The investment had no value on the balance sheet.

Smaller company investor Gledhow Investments (GDH) had £167,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018, having made a small profit in the period. The NAV is £793,000.

Ashley House (ASH) is changing its year from April to June. This is the end of the first six months period for joint venture Morgan Ashley Care Developments LLP. There will be interim results for the six months to October 2018 reported at the end of January.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has commissioned the Hellyer processing plant and in the fourth quarter generated £3.2m of revenues from lead, zinc and pyrite.

AIM   

Ascent Resources (AST) is attempting to raise cash at 0.3p a share, which is a 20% discount to the market price, via PrimaryBid.com. Ascent has successfully raised cash via the platform in the past. The broker handling the deal is Stanford Capital Partners. Ascent, which has €400,000 in the bank plus a deposit for a bank guarantee of €200,000, is refocusing its expansion outside of Slovenia because of regulatory hold ups in the country. Revenues from the export of gas from Slovenia totalled €2.1m in 2018 but gaining permission to process the gas and sell it to the national grid has proved difficult.

Knights Group Holdings (KGH) has acquired Leicester-based legal services business Cummins for £1.57m in cash and shares. This fits well with the existing east Midlands operations. In the six months to October 2018, group revenues were 37% ahead at £23.9m and organic growth was 10%. Underlying pre-tax profit doubled to £4.4m. The maiden interim dividend is 0.6p a share. Net debt was £9.5m at the end of October 2018. Average fees per fee earner was one-quarter higher at £66,000.

Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) did better than expected last year. The 2018 pre-tax profit forecast has been raised by 5% to $29m. Net cash is $25m and 50% of the excess over $15m will be paid in a special dividend on top of the ordinary dividend. Somero has also paid $2m for concrete pouring and line dragging company Line Dragon and this broadens the product range.

Student accommodation activities fuelled the growth of Watkin Jones (WJG) last year but private rental will become increasingly important from this year onwards. Richard Simpson has taken over as chief executive.

Kromek (KMK) is making progress towards breakeven and it has plenty of cash in the bank to take it there. The imaging and radiation detection technology developer has a strong order book. There was a dip in first half revenues because of the transfer of production to a new site in Pittsburgh. Even so, full year revenues are forecast to increase from £11.8m to £15m and the loss should reduce from £2.5m to £1.9m.

Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is selling its antinomy exploration interests in Turkey. The company’s main asset is the 40% shareholding in the Sohar antinomy and gold production facility in northern Oman. Some engineering problems have to be sorted out before the plant is fully up and running. More cash will be required. The venture has requested $10.5m from its shareholders.

The market was disappointed by news from Verona Pharma (VRP) about the clinical trial results for COPD treatment Ensifentrine (RPL554). Two different does were used in combination with Stiolto Respimat. The treatment did work better than the placebo, but the improvement in breathing was not statistically significant. The share price slumped by more than one-third, although there was a small subsequent recovery.

CH Bailey (BLEY) has decided to cancel its AIM quotation and it is asking for shareholder approval. The company is offering to buy back shares at 100p each via a tender offer.

Ariana Resources (AAU) says that its 50%-owned Kiziltepe mine produced 27,110ounces of gold in 2018. Ariana expects its $33m development loan to be fully repaid during 2019.

Tax Systems (TAX) had reduced net debt from £20.5m to £13.9m by the end of 2018. Pre-tax profit of £5.8m is forecast for 2018.

Ideagen (IDEA) is acquiring Cork-based Scannell Solutions, which provides environmental health and safety software, for £3.5m. Annualised revenues are around €1m, of which, two-thirds is recurring.

Consumer engagement technology provider Pelatro (PTRO) has confirmed that 2018 figures are in line with expectations and there was improved cash generation in the second half. Net cash was $1.8m at the end of 2018. finnCap expects 2019 pre-tax profit to double from $2.9m to $6m.

Plexus Holdings (POS) plans to buy back 4.95 million shares owned by LLC Gusar. The price will be 50.5p a share. Gusar will use the cash to buy two POS-GRIP wellhead systems, which it announced it was going to buy one year ago.

Midwich Group (MIDW) has acquired MobilePro AG, which expands the audio visual products distributor into Switzerland. The business has annual revenues of CHF25m.

Pharmaxis has completed a toxicity study for two LOXL2 inhibitors in which Synairgen (SNG) has a 17%carried financial interest. Pharmaxis can brief potential licensing partners with the information gained.

Tracsis (TRCS) is acquiring Compass Informatics, which is a data analytics and systems development business. Tracsis is paying up to €5.15m for the Dublin-based company, which made a pre-tax profit of £600,000 last year.

Portmeirion Group (PMP) has achieved record sales in 2018 and beat the profit forecast of £9.5m. The fastest growth came in the home fragrance division.

Iofina (IOF) achieved record iodine production levels in the second half of 2018. Full year production was 17% higher at 588.8 million tonnes. There should be a further rise in production this year and that could move Iofina into profit.

Brandon Hill has initiated coverage of Karelian Diamond Resources (KDR) and it has valued the company’s Lahtojoki diamond project in Finland at $32.9m, based on an average diamond price of $100/carat.

The People’s Operator (TPOP) has postponed the appointment of an administrator as negotiations with interested parties continue.

Kestrel Opportunities has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) from 22.2% to 23.1%. Little more than one year ago the stake was below 15%.

Caledonia Mining Corporation (CMCL) has cut 2019 gold production guidance for its Blanket Mine and WH Ireland has downgraded its forecast from 61,200 ounces to 55,500 ounces, which is at the higher end of the guidance. There was 54,5000 ounces of gold produced in 2018.

MAIN MARKET 

Athelney Trust (ATY) is holding the requisitioned general meeting on Tuesday 22 January. Robin Boyle has requisitioned a general meeting in order to get himself reappointed. He left the board last year after a disagreement over the future of the investment company. He wanted to stay on as a non-executive director to shepherd the change in investment management for the trust. The plan is to get Gresham House involved in the investment management. Boyle also wants David Lawman and Paul Coffin to be appointed and the three existing directors, Dr Emmanuel Pohl, Simon Moore and Jemma Jackson, to be removed.

Path Investments (PATH) has signed heads of agreement with ARC Marlborough. The plan is to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland, via a share issue. Path had £31,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has agreed to sell its $300,000 investment in the Dallas Wheel project back to the developers. Challenger has received $27,000 in interest and will receive $50,000 a month, plus interest, for six months.

Gresham Technologies (GHT) has sold its VME mainframe software business for £2m.

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has sufficient cash to finance continued exploration in the first quarter of 2019. By the middle of the year the gems explorer will be able to estimate how much cash it requires to start trial mining.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 November 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM    

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET  

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

  

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 6 August 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Veni Vidi Vici Ltd (VVV) joined NEX on 2 August. The minerals investment company has net cash of £513,000, following a £490,000 subscription at 50p a share. The focus will be precious metals and base metals opportunities in Australia, Western Europe and North America. Management will concentrate on capital appreciation.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) is changing its domicile from the Isle of Man to Bermuda. The private equity investment company will have to be readmitted to NEX and AIM. EPE has invested £2m in Main Market-listed LED lighting company Luceco at 39.74p a share. That takes EPE’s stake in Luceco to 27.4%. Poor trading has meant that the Luceco share price has slumped to well below its 2016 flotation level. EPE has redeemed 50% of its unsecured loan notes.

Etaireia (ETIP) has appointed Dennis Rogers as chief executive. He has more than three decades of experience in property development.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has issued 2.685 billion shares, around one-quarter of the enlarged share capital, to wipe out the convertible loan note debt and other creditors. Twenty three year old Devon Marais, who works with ARQ Minerals, which is helping Equatorial to extract coal from the St Leonard’s mine in Nigeria, has been appointed as a non-executive director of Equatorial.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings (AWLP) reported a profit last year. In the year to February 2018, revenues increased from $1.52m to $2.16m, while a pre-tax loss of $110,000 was turned into a pre-tax profit of $150,000. That figure was helped by a $114,000 currency gain, compared with a $19,000 loss. There was still a small net loss from operations before other income.

AIM   

Petrol stations operator Applegreen (APGN) intends to take a majority stake in UK Motorway services operator Welcome Break. The purchase of a 55% stake for €361.8m would be a reverse takeover. The deal would make Applegreen market leader in the UK as well as Ireland.

A subsidiary of Stride Gaming (STR) has been issued a notice by the Gambling Commission, which intends to levy a significant financial penalty because of the manner in which it carried on its trading. This is not final and there might be room to appeal but it has hit the share price of the online bingo operator.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) increased interim revenues by 11% to £5.3m. Most of the growth came from management service fees from the property lettings franchisees. The EweMove estate agency business was profitable.

Goldplat (GDP) says that gold production fell by 17% to 35,400 ounces, which is lower than anticipated, but pre-tax profit will be in line with expectations because of a higher margin per ounce. There was 39,400 ounces of gold sold during the year.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) has received abbreviated new drug application approval from the FDA to sell Nadolol tablets, which are a generic form of Corgard and used for managing high blood pressure. This is the fifth approval in the US. A pre-tax profit of £33.3m is forecast for the year to June 2018.

Tough UK trading and higher costs held back the results of security and facilities management services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) in the year to March 2018. Revenues were 21% higher at $219m, but underlying pre-tax profit was down by 16% to $3.9m. Net debt was $18.4m.

Precision marketing software supplier Pelatro (PTRO) is acquiring assets from the Danateq Group for an initial $7m. The deal will take the group into central Europe and adds to the recurring revenues base. A placing has raised £6m at 73p a share.

GetBusy (GETB) grew its interim revenues from £4.5m to £5.2m, with £4.5m of that figure recurring revenues. Annualised recurring revenues are running at £9.4m. Profit generated from document management software sales is being ploughed back into developing the existing product and the new GetBusy software. There is £2.37m in the back.

Starcom (STAR) says that interim revenues have improved from $1.92m to $3m and the loss will be lower. Most of the revenue increase came from two large clients. Growth is starting to come from higher margin security products. The 2018 loss is expected to be much lower than last year’s.

Kosovo-based quarry operator Fox Marble Holdings (FOX) increased interim sales from €329,000 to €614,000 and the second half has started strongly. The benefits of investment in capital equipment are beginning to show through.

MAIN MARKET    

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has joined the standard list after raising £25m at 16p a share, which values the company at £47m. However, the share price fell to 12.5p by the end of the first day of trading on 3 August. Argo is developing a global datacentre management business facilitating cryptocurrency Mining-as-a-Service. It currently covers four cryptocurrencies. AIM-quoted Vela Technologies (VELA) owns 2.5 million shares, which were acquired for 8p a share.

Motor finance provider S&U (SUS) achieved record first half profit as the second hand car market continues to grow. Quality standards have been tightened with 25% of applications accepted, but net receivables have reached £263m. The property bridging loan book has risen from £11m to £16m over six months. The interims will be announced on 25 September.

BigDish (DISH) was originally going to reverse into AIM shell Nyota Minerals Ltd but instead it has joined the standard list. The company operates an online and mobile restaurant reservation platform, which is in operation in the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong. The purchase of Pouncer, takes the company into the UK. Revenues come from booking fees per diner. BigDish raised £2.22m at 4.5p a share.

Path Investments (PATH) is raising £10m to complete the farm-in agreement with 5P Energy for the proposed acquisition of a 50% participating interest in the Alfeld-Elze II licence and gas field. This will make Path cash generative. The new shares will be eligible for EIS and VCT relief because Path is moving to AIM.

Dave Brieth has sold his stake in telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP).

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) reported a sharp increase in full year revenues from £1.04m to £1.6m in the year to March 2018. The loss fell from £962,000 to £582,000. This includes investment in developing new diesel engines. The NAV is £976,000, as the loss was partly offset by a £600,000 property revaluation gain. The oil and gas-related operations are still depressed.

Mila Resources (MILA) plans to acquire Capital Metals, which owns 100% of a high-grade mineral sands project in southern Asia. The reverse takeover will be subject to due diligence and shareholder approval.

Fandango Holdings (FHP) has ended bid discussions with Corporate Commercial Collections and Vatbridge following initial due diligence.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 28 May 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Sativa Investments (SATI) has made two investments in the past week. A C$200,000 investment in Rapid Dose Therapeutics Inc has been made prior to a flotation. The company’s QuickStrip fast-dissolving strip technology can be used to deliver medicinal cannabis. The other investment is in Veritas Pharma. A further C$200,000 is being invested in Veritas, which develops and commercialises medicinal cannabis treatments for chronic pain and palliative care.

Gunsynd (GUN) says that Danish software business FastBase Inc is delaying its flotation. An AIM quotation was originally planned but it may come to the standard list. There may also be a corporate transaction. Gunsynd has a 10% stake in Sunshine Minerals, which has announced that the authorities in the Solomon Islands intends to issue a prospecting licence for its nickel project as long as it gains right of access with land owners.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reported halved revenues in the six months to February 2018. Orders for the company’s rail systems and technology have been disappointing due to tight budgets and admin delays. The interim revenues fell from £104,000 to £46,000.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) raised £80,000 from an open offer at 94p a share.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had a NAV of 41.5p a share at the end of February 2018, down from 43.5p a share one year earlier. The employee-owned business investor invested £324,000 in the latest six month period. There is £789,000 in the bank.

AIM   

Stride Gaming (STR) intends to get rid of its poorly performing social gaming business and concentrate on growing its online gaming operations internationally. Licences are being applied for and Italy should be up and running in the near future. As expected increased regulation and tax are holding back profit. Revenues should grow this year but pre-tax profit is expected to decline from £18.9m to £14.2m and be flat next year.

Watkin Jones (WJG) increased its revenues by 18% to £158.3m in the first half. Pre-tax profit was 12% ahead at £23.6m. Student accommodation developments remain the core but build to let developments will become more important over the coming years. There is even potential for a separate operation focused on build to let. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to be £48.1m.

Sanderson (SND) put in a strong first half performance. The enterprise software provider had an initial contribution from Anisa but even so the like-for-like profit was higher even though like-for-like revenues only edged up. The retail business was the main driver of profit growth and the improved order book, which increased from £2.78m to £8.61m. The like-for-like order book was 16% higher. The interim dividend was increased by 14% to 1.25p a share. Earnings per share rose by 44% to 2.3p a share, helped by a lower tax charge.

Oxford Metrics (OMG) has completed the disposal of its Yotta Surveying business to Ginger Group. The sale of the highways surveying business will generate £1.3m in cash. Oxford Metrics still owns the Yotta software.

GetBusy (GETB) has made a strong start to 2018 with revenues 17% ahead in the first four months of the year.  Stockdale expects the software company to increase its profit from £1m to £1.6m this year.

River and Mercantile has sold its shares in InterQuest (ITQ) and Chisbridge has increased its stake to 51.4%. This comes at a time when InterQuest is seeking to cancel the AIM quotation and investors are being offered 24p a share.

Best of the Best (BOTB) has received the full £4.5m VAT claim from the HMRC. There will be fees and costs to offset against this. On the negative side, HMRC says that the company owes retrospective remote gaming duty for a period of four years.

Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) says tough trading in the second quarter will hit the full year outcome. Expectations have been downgraded to revenues of £34.9m and EBITDA of £800,000. There will be an EBITDA loss of £1.5m in the first half. Excess stock levels hit orders for the digital radio division. Smart audio revenues are expected to grow slower than envisaged originally because of competition in the market. Development spending is being reduced.

Magnolia Petroleum (MAGP) wants to cancel its AIM quotation. The oil and gas producer estimates that it will save £100,000 a year by leaving AIM. The strategy is to sell assets in order to reduce debt.

Clear Leisure (CLP) is raising £600,000 at 0.95p a share. The cash will be invested in the bitcoin data mining business and fund continued litigation.

MAIN MARKET    

Trading in the shares of Path Investments (PATH) remains suspended and the AIM flotation continues to be delayed. The acquisition of a 50% stake in an onshore gas field in Germany is progressing. The 2017 annual report should be published in June.

Fandango Holdings (FHP) has secured two potential factoring and financial services acquisitions. The standard list shell would issue 908.4 million shares for the acquisition. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Predator Oil and Gas (PRD) joined the standard list on 24 May. The share price edged up from 2.8p to 2.88p. The flotation raised £1.3m to finance the plan to acquire oil and gas assets in Trinidad and Tobago and Ireland.

Bisichi Mining (BISI) has acquired five shops in west Ealing (via a joint venture) for £5.6m. Bisichi and its main shareholder London and Associated Property will each own 45% with the other 10% owned by Metroprop Real Estate. The annual rental income is £140,000 and there is planning consent for 20 flats.

Life sciences company Bioquell (BQE) has sold its defence business for an initial £400,000. Up to £600,000 more could become due depending on winning a particular contract in the next 12 months. This business is lumpy and it made a small loss last year.

WideCells (WDC) is still finalising its 2017 accounts. The stem cell services provider is offering the chance for small investors to invest up to £450,000, via a bookbuild using the Teathers app and that was due to close on 21 May but it will be extended until the results are published. Trading in the shares remains suspended.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 2 April 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Sativa Investments (SAPI) joined NEX on 29 March after raising £1.1m at 1p a share. The share price has already reached 3.125p. Sativa has £1.5m in cash that it can invest in businesses involved in medicinal cannabis. The initial focus is Canada.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) reported a slight reduction in NAV to 41.5p a share at the end of February 2018. The portfolio includes 17 unquoted employee owned businesses with a value of £5.24m.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has entered into a three-year, $10m loan facility with a US private equity firm and this will be used to develop the Hellyer mine. The facility has a 12% annual interest charge and it is secured on the company’s assets. NQ has entered into a silver purchase deed with the finance provider and has to sell them 30% of the first 8 million ounces recovered from the Hellyer mine and 10% of the payable silver for the lifetime of mine. The price will be the lower of $6/ounce or 80% of market price.

Gunsynd (GUN) says that investee company Human Brands is acquiring a 10% stake in wine and spirits distributor Milestone Beverages HK Ltd, which can help to increase the distribution coverage of the investee company’s drinks brands. Gunsynd owns 6.18% of Brazil Tungsten Holdings, which has been forced to suspend operations after a fatal accident. The investment is currently valued at £500,000.

Welney (WENP) made a broadly similar interim loss of £37,000 and it has net liabilities of £234,000.

Block Commodities (BLOC) has reduced its interim loss from $1.19m to $782,000.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has reached agreement with 4Navitas, which will make a payment to cover the majority of costs incurred when Angelfish was trying to negotiate a joint venture agreement.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has raised £50,000 at 0.06p a share.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has sold 50% of its stake in Pharmacy 2U, for double its cost, at the same time as the digital pharmacy services provider raised £40m of new cash.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has extended the closing date of the one-for-four open offer to raise up to £1.05m at 94p a share from 26 March to 30 April.

AIM   

MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) slipped out its interim figures at 5.32pm after the market had closed for Easter. They show near-doubled cash outflow from operating activities of $2.22m. There was $68,000 in the bank at the end of 2017. Management is hopeful that the $218,000 of trade receivables at the end of December 2017 can be collected by June. Since then, MySQUAR has issued £2.11m of convertible bonds at 90% of their face value to Atlas Capital Markets Ltd. There are also more than 20 million warrants exercisable at 3.15p a share. There is talk of an acquisition of a mobile payment services business.

Conviviality (CVR) is calling in administrators after a rescue fundraising failed to win the backing of investors.

Publisher Axel Springer is investing £125m in Purplebricks (PURP) and this will give it 11.9% of the estate agency. The shares are being acquired at 360p each and £25m worth of existing shares are being acquired from management. Full year revenues will double but a weak UK market, exacerbated by the weather and potentially by negative publicity. There was £51.7m in the bank at the end of February 2018. The additional cash will enable a faster roll-out in the US and entry into other markets.

Royal Bank of Scotland has bid 120p a share for FreeAgent (FREE) and that values the accounting software provider at £53m. The founders will take shares and have a 23.5% stake in the bid vehicle. FreeAgent floated 18 months ago at 84p a share. At the beginning of 2017, FreeAgent signed a deal with RBS, which offers the company’s SaaS-based software to small business customers. More than 10,000 customers have taken up the software.

Polarean Imaging (POLX) joined AIM on 29 March and raised £3m at 15p a share. Polarean has developed xenon gas-based technology that enables MRI scans to produce better images. Amphion Innovations (AMP) retains a 23.2% stake.

Polemos (PLMO) has withdrawn its general meeting resolutions. The placing and 100-for-one share consolidation will not go ahead for the time being. There could be an open offer and placing at the previously proposed price of 0.01p a share.

Thor Mining (THR) is acquiring 40% of an exploration licence, which has 13 outcropping tungsten deposits and one copper deposit and 100% of a prospective copper exploration licence. Thor is issuing A$550,000 of shares to Rox Resources in payment for these purchases. The 60%-owner of the first licence has the right to match the price offered.

Tracsis (TRCS) increased its interim profit by one-third to £2.4m as revenues grew by 18% to £18.1m. The software division increased its profit and there was a recovery in the traffic and data services division. There is more improvement to come from the latter division. The interim dividend is 17% higher at 0.7p a share. There is £18.5m in the bank. There will be a second half contribution from the rail sector delay repay businesses acquired in February. Progress is being made in selling remote condition monitoring technology in North America.

Internet gaming software supplier GAN (GAN) reported a reduced loss of £4.2m for 2017. There was £2.7m in the bank at the end of 2017 and since then has raised £2m via an unsecured 9% convertible loan note. There could be further fundraisings in order to make the most of the prospects for real money internet gaming in the US.

Inland Homes (INL) increased its adjusted EPRA NAV by 6% to 97.63p a share. Interim pre-tax profit improved from £4.95m to £5.37m. The interim dividend was raised 30% to 0.65p a share.  The landbank has been expanded to 7,372 plots.

Altona Energy (ANR) slightly increased its first half loss to £260,000 and there was £690,000 in the bank at the end of 2017. The current focus is conventional coal mining at the Arckaringa coal project in Australia. Altona is assessing less wet coal seams.

RM2 International (RM2) is raising £25.3m at 1p a share, just over 50% after a general meeting and the rest dependent on the reduction of operating costs and commercial launch of new technology, and converting preferred shares into 3.16 billion shares. There are also plans for an open offer to raise around £4.5m. The new cash will be used to retrofit existing pallets with ELIoT track and trace devices and produce new RM2 ELIoT pallets.  Former chief executive John Walsh has stepped down from the board, as has Frederic de Mevius. Woodford appears likely to end up owning around two-thirds of RM2. The second tranche is dependent on Woodford agreeing that key performance indicators have been met. Three members of RM2’s management will acquire shares in the placing via a reduction in their salaries over an 18 month period.

STM Group (STM) reported better than expected 2017 and this led to an upgrade for 2018. Last year’s pre-tax profit improved from £2.6m to £4m, helped by an increased provision release from the acquired life book. The underlying pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £3.2m to £4.2m in 2018.

Caledonian Trust (CNN) reported a NAV of 185.7p a share at the end of 2017. This was helped an increase in the valuation of St Margaret’s House, which is in the process of being sold.

The SimplyBiz Group provides regulatory and support services to financial advisers and is set to join AIM on 4 April.

Sosandar (SOS) has gained momentum since floating last year. The online women’s fashion retailer continues to lose money but the customer database has increased nearly ten-fold to 36,328.

NetScientific (NSCI) is running out of money and it needs more by the end of June. A placing and subscription will raise up to £6m at 52.5p a share. The cash will be used to provide additional financial backing for investee companies.

Manx Financial Services (MFX) has acquired Blue Star Business Solutions, which is a broker for IT equipment funding, for an initial £1.5m in cash. This could increase to up to £4m depending on performance.

Connemara Mining (CON) is focusing on three main areas: the Inishowen gold project in Donegal, the Mine River gold project in Wicklow and Wexford and multiple zinc exploration projects. The next exploration is at the 100%-owned Mine River gold project where high grade intersections will be targeted.

Wynnstay Properties (WSP) has increased the value of its investment properties by £1.63m to £30.1m in the year to March 2018. The NAV has increased by 100p a share to more than 770p a share.

Real Good Food (RGD) has agreed a loan note facility of up to £4m with three major shareholders. Longer-term, a share issue will be required.

Vernalis (VER) lost £37.6m in 2017, mainly down to exceptional write-downs and unrealised foreign exchange movements. There was £46m in the bank. US commercial activity should finish by the end of September and that will slow the ongoing cash outflow.

Kestrel has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems Group (PEB) from 15.2% to 16.6%. The share price has been on a downward trajectory and borrowings are significant but Kestrel must believe that the software company will survive.

Life science software provider Instem (INS) coupled its 2017 figures with a contract announcement for its SEND software. Revenues were 18% ahead at £21.7m, and that included organic growth of 5%, while pre-tax profit recovered from £500,000 to £1.9m. A further improvement to £2.7m is expected this year.

Feedback (FDBK) has raised £440,000 at 1.25p a share and it will invest in sales and marketing for the TexRAD and Cadran technology, as well as developing a clinical evidence base for TexRAD.

Oracle Power (ORCP) has raised £550,000 at 1.4p a share to provide cash for the company as it moves to financial close for the development of the Thar Block VI lignite coal mine and power plant in the Sindh province in Pakistan.

GoTech Group (GOT) plans to sell its Sportsdata business to Starnevesse for £1. The company was a shell prior to the acquisition of the business in May 2016 and it effectively became a shell again when it stopped supporting the business at the end of 2017. There is £566,000 in the bank and there will be a £100,000 cash payment as part of the settlement of indebtedness to Starnevesse.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has signed an agreement with Unimicro Technologies Inc, which will integrate Microsaic’s 4500 MiD mass spectrometry detector into its Capillary Electrophoresis instruments.

Collagen Solutions (COS) is restructuring its New Zealand operations. The plan is to focus on tissue collection and processing and then consolidate collagen production in Glasgow. Annual cost savings should be £200,000 and one-off costs will be £150,000.

Chris Akers has increased its stake in YOLO Leisure (YOLO) from 6.8% to 7.93%.

MAIN MARKET    

S&U Group (SUS) reported a one-fifth increase in pre-tax profit to £30.2m. The car finance provider achieved this despite a start-up loss from the bridging finance business Aspen. The total dividend for the year was increased from 91p a share to 105p a share. A rise in pre-tax profit to £35.8m is forecast for this year.

Book publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) slumped into loss in 2017, although the underlying pre-tax profit fell from $13.9m to $3.9m. Net debt was $64m. The year end is being changed to March.

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) had NIS6.49m in the bank at the end of 2017 following its flotation. Bulk sampling results for the Kishon Mid-Reach gemstones project have been positive and the processing plant has been upgraded.

Path Investments (PATH) has postponed its exit from the standard list until further notice. The plan is to move to AIM when the proposed oil and gas asset acquisition is made but the timing remains uncertain.

North Midland Construction (NMD) reported a fall in profit in 2017 even though revenues increased from £250.5m to £291.8m. Pre-tax profit more than halved from £2.06m to £1m. That is because the loss on legacy contracts increased from £3.85m to £7.29m. The final dividend is unchanged at 3p a share even though the total dividend is one-third higher at 6p a share.

NCC (NCC) has sold its web performance business for £7.5m. The sale process for the software testing business is continuing.

Andrew Hore

 

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 March 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Shepherd Neame (SHEP) improved its interim revenues and underlying pre-tax profit. Revenues were 6% ahead at £84.1m and underlying profit edged up from £5.7m to £5.8m. The interim dividend has been raised from 5.62p a share to 5.75p a share. Net debt was £79.5m. The main growth in revenues was in the managed pubs and hotels division. There was an underlying improvement in the profitability of the brewing business, where own beer volumes were 4.2% higher.

Ashley House (ASH) has reached financial close on the Scarborough extra care housing development. There are 63 apartments plus communal areas and the gross development value is £10m. completion is expected in spring 2019. A housing development and health scheme are likely to follow. This development is not part of the Morgan Sindall joint venture. Non-executive director Christopher Lyons has bought 31,000 shares at 10.09p a share.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a fully diluted NAV of 239p a share on 5 March 2018 but that was prior to the Luceco profit warning. The NAV included Luceco (LUCE) shares at 77.8p each but the price has subsequently fallen to 57.2p a share. EPE is the largest shareholder in LED lighting products supplier and this was the second profit warning in three months. The original 2017 profit expectation was £16.7m and this has been cut to £11m.

Western Selection (WESP) has raised £668,000 from the disposal of shares in Swallowfield (SWL) and it has a remaining stake of 7.71%. Western sold 120,000 Swallowfield shares at 330p each and 80,000 at 340p each. Last month, personal care products supplier Swallowfield bought men’s grooming brand, Fish for an initial £2.7m.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has issued £4.76m of convertible loan notes as part of the £4.85m open offer. A holder of an existing £500,000 loan note is converting into the latest convertible loan notes and like the other subscribers is receiving one warrant for each £1 of loan notes.

MetalNRG (MNRG) says a licence has been granted relating to the Palomino cobalt project, where the company has the right to acquire a 100% stake in return for two million shares at 1.5p each. MetalNRG is also issuing 500,000 shares for work that has already been carried out.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has raised £2.16m at 270p a share. The cash will be invested in sales and marketing and developing new cyber security products.

Good Energy (GOOD) says that holders of £3.6m of its first energy bonds have agreed to retain them, while the other £4.3m worth will be repaid on 29 March.

Co-chairman David Sumner has increased the amount of Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) loan notes he will subscribe for to £5m. The outstanding balance is currently £2.7m and additional tranches of up to £200,000 can be subscribed for each month.

London Capital Group Holdings (LCG) is selling a 91.5% stake in its Tradex and 100% of other subsidiary companies to its main shareholder in return for £4.64m of loan notes with a coupon of 8%. The costs of the NEX quotation will also be covered by the buyer. The remaining 8.5% of Tradex can be acquired for £431,000 in loan notes. The disposal requires FCA approval. London Capital will seek a fintech business to acquire within the required six month period.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) and Wishbone Gold (WSBN) have joined NEX. They are both retaining their AIM quotations and are chaired by Richard Poulden.

AIM   

VR Education has raised more cash than it originally asked for. It has raised £6m at 10p a share and this values the company at £19.3m. The company has developed the ENGAGE education platform and is also developing corporate training and educational content to go on the platform. The business is generating revenues but it still has to take full advantage of the technology it has developed.

Energy supplier Yu Group (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. Yu has gained a licence to supply water. The dividend has been increased from 2.25p to 3p a share.

Share (SHRE) has continued to add to its market share. In 2017, the broker revenues grew from £14.6m to £18.7m and it moved back to underlying pre-tax profit. Digital investment continues and the benefits of this will increasingly show through over the next couple of years. This year the recent partnerships will make a 12 month contribution. Higher interest rates will also help to increase interest income on the cash held.

Smart audio sales started to take off last year and Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) continues to invest in this area. The original digital radio technology business is profitable but the development costs for smart audio more than wipe that profit out. Net cash was £3m at the end of 2017 and this should be enough for Frontier’s requirements. There is scope to grow the digital radio business but smart audio will provide the main growth. From a tiny percentage in 2016, smart audio could contribute nearly two-fifths of revenues in 2019.

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has bought Springboard Corporate Finance for an initial £2.75m in cash and shares. Springboard generated a pre-tax profit of £750,000 on revenues of £2.3m in 2016-17. Up to £500,000 more will be payable depending on performance over the next five years. Begbies says that third quarter trading is in line with expectations. Corporate insolvencies are increasing, albeit from low levels.

Polemos (PLMO) has terminated the proposal to acquire SecurLinx Corporation, which still hopes to come to the London market. Trading in the shares has been restored. Polemos is raising £270,000 at 0.01p a share, plus a further £140,000 conditional on shareholder approval. These placings are before the planned share consolidation of one new share to every 100 existing shares. When additional approvals are given by shareholders a share offering will be made via PrimaryBid.

Netcall (NET) more than doubled its interim SaaS revenues thanks to the purchase of MatsSoft. Interim revenues grew by one-third to £10.7m, which includes organic growth of 5%. Underlying pre-tax profit was 8% ahead at £1.8m. Net debt is £2.5m.

Audio products supplier Focusrite (TUNE) reported sales growth of more than 25% in the first half. Edison upgraded its full year profit forecast by 4% to £10.4m.

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) has secured the use of its graphene-enhanced epoxy prepreg in the tailgate of the W Motors Fenyr sports car. This is a limited market but it is a good showcase for the technology.

Second half trading was stronger than expected at FIH Group (FIH) as both trading in the Falkland Islands and Momart improved their performance. This has led to an upgrade in the 2017-18 profit forecast from £2.5m to £2.8m.

GRC International (GRC) raised £5.04m at 70p a share when it joined AIM on 5 March. The share price ended the week at 115p. GRC provides services relating to IT governance and compliance.

Zamano (ZMNO) had €5.05m in the bank at the end of January 2018. It remains in talks for potential acquisitions that would enable the company to remain quoted. Part of any deal would be the offer of a cash return to existing shareholders. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) had £3.2m in the bank at the end of 2017. Microsaic is focusing on the biopharma market but it could take until 2019 for its partners to start to generate revenues from its technology. There should be enough cash for more than one year but more will be required. Costs have been reduced.

SysGroup (SYS) has signed a three-year managed hosting deal with TJ Morris Ltd, trading as discount retailer Home Bargains, worth more than £950,000.

Contract research organisation Fusion Antibodies (FAB) says that its 2017-18 revenues are expected to grow by at least two-fifths to £1.9m. Last year’s flotation took up management time so revenues are lower than hoped.

Attraqt (ATQT) reported a full year loss of £4.05m, including exceptional costs of £2.38m. The e-commerce software provider intends to focus on operational efficiency this year. There was £2m in the bank at the end of February.

BOS Global Holdings (BOS) has been placed in administration.

Instem (INS) has switched a long-standing client to the SaaS model and this will increase recurring revenues by two-fifths. There are potentially £10m of fees that could be converted to the recurring revenues model.

WANdisco (WAND) has announced more deals including a partnership with Alibaba, which will embed WANdisco Fusion in some of the cloud services that it offers. Total bookings increased by 45% to $22.5m in 2017 and this has sparked a 2018 revenues upgrade by WH Ireland from $25.5m to $30.8m, although a slightly higher loss of $6.5m is expected. WANdisco could move near to breakeven in 2019.

Mirada (MIRA) has secured a £3m loan facility, which adds to the existing facilities. An initial £1.5m will be drawn down within two months. This provides working capital to finance additional contract wins. The annual interest rate is 15%. The provider of the facility is a 27% shareholder.

Strategic Minerals (SML) has paid A$1.5m in cash and A$1.45m in shares for the Leigh Creek copper mine. Strategic has acquired 24,900 tonnes of JORC compliant resource copper. Production should build up to 200 tonnes of copper each month and there is an offtake agreement for 100% of copper production. Strategic has extended its rolling agreement with the owner of the Cobre magnetite stockpile until March 2019. This deal generated revenues of $5.64m in 2017.

Zoo Digital (ZOO) says full year revenues will be at least $28m, up from $16.5m last year, while EBITDA will be ahead of expectations and be at least $2.3m. Localisation services remain the main growth area. Herald has reduced its stake from 15.7% to 14.6%.

Volvere (VLE) says that its 2017 pre-tax profit improved from £1.94m to £3.22m. Impetus Automotive contributed the growth in profit with CCTV software company Sira and Shire Foods reporting lower profits. NAV is 656p a share, with £18.4m in cash and marketable securities.

AFC Energy (AFC) reduced its loss to £5.5m in 2017. The fuel cell technology developer should have enough cash for this year, but it is likely to run out in 2019. AFC could move into profit in 2020.

Pallet developer RM2 International (RM2) has received $2m from the disposal of a building in Switzerland. That means it will have enough cash until mid-April.

Drilling is set to recommence at the Stonepark zinc project in Limerick and Connemara Mining (CON) has set aside £250,000 to cover its share of the spending over the next 12 months. Connemara has a 23.4% stake in the joint venture that owns the project.

Drilling results from the Kodal Minerals (KOD) lithium project at Bougouni in Southern Mali continue to be positive. The latest 19 drill holes have shown high grade intersections of consistent pegmatite mineralisation of up to 1.68% Li2O.

Clear Leisure (CLP) is ready to set up its Bitcoin mining joint venture in Serbia. Management says that the joint venture could produce more Bitcoins at a lower cost than expected. That would increase the return on the €200,000 investment. Assuming a Bitcoin price of $10,000 and an 8% discount rate, the investment could eventually be worth €389,000.

MAIN MARKET    

Bioquell (BQE) reported a rise in pre-exceptional profit from £1.6m to £2.9m in 2017. This was despite a decline in defence revenues. There is £14.6m in the bank. The focus is the biodecontamination business and management believes that this will show through in improved performance this year.

InnovaDerma (IDP) has warned that its full year figures will be below expectations. The personal care products supplier always expected the year to be second half-weighted and full year revenues will be higher. However pre-tax profit will be similar to the £1.03m reported for last year. Last October, £4.4m was raised at 276p a share. The share price has fallen to 121.5p.

Toople (TOOP) has raised £250,000 at 1.022p a share. This will keep the telecoms business going as it tries to increase its revenues in order to reduce its loss. Last June, Toople raised £1.41m at 3.25p a share. Toople joined the standard list in May 2016 when it raised £2m at 8p a share.

Path Investments (PATH) is delaying its exit from the standard list until 29 March. The plan is to move to AIM when an oil and gas asset acquisition is made.

Andrew Hore

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