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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 June 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 3 June 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

BWA Group (BWAP) has conditionally agreed to acquire share capital of a company with rights to five mining projects, predominantly in Quebec. The company is majority owned by Canadian Stock Exchange listed St-Georges Eco-Mining Corp and the total cost of the deal is C$7.5m (£4.3m). This will be paid in unlisted, convertible, interest-free loan notes. The repayment date will be three years after issue. The notes are convertible at 0.5p a share, or the market price of a share if it is higher. BWA will subscribe for C$300,000 (£170,000) of shares in St-Georges. BWA needs to raise at least £500,000 to go ahead with the deal.

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased 2018 sales by 10% to £13m. Turnover from wine and spirits and from Curious Drinks grew by similar percentages. However, a pre-tax profit of £253,000 to a loss of £850,000 as overheads were doubled to £5.57m. There is still £12.8m in the bank even though there was a cash outflow from operations and £8.37m of capital investment. There are 635 acres of vineyards that have been planted and a further 388 acres will be planted on the North Downs.

Wealth management firm AFH Financial (AFHP) increased interim revenues by 61% to £36.6m and underlying earnings per share were 49% higher to 14.9p a share. AFH continue to acquire IFA firms. Funds under management totalled £5.4bn and that is expected to nearly double within five years.

St Mark Homes (SMAP) has net assets of 130p a share, which is a discount of around one-third to the share price bid/offer of 85p/90p. The dividend was maintained at 5.5p a share, providing a yield of more than 6%. In 2018, revenues increased from £120,000 to £294,000, but underlying pre-tax profit declined to £80,000, because of higher overheads and a lower contribution from joint ventures. The regional housebuilder intends to release capital from existing developments to fund other opportunities in the outer London Boroughs.

Coinsilium (COIN) reported near-trebled revenues of £1.68m in 2018, but a pre-tax profit of £121,000 was turned into a loss of £982,000. That is due to much higher overheads and a £973,000 impairment of current assets. There was £592,000 in the bank at the end of 2018. Most of the revenues came from advisory services to blockchain companies. That business has moved to Gibraltar.

KR1 (KR1) made reduced realised gains in 2018 and there was an unrealised loss on investments, compared with an unrealised gain in 2017. The total pre-tax loss was nearly £11m. The NAV fell from £13.6m to £6.11m.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) increased the value of its investments by around £630,000, which reflects performance and prospects. Even without that unrealised gain, the loss declined. The NAV of the employee-owned businesses investor rose from 41.5p a share to 48.1p a share at the end of February 2019.

European Lithium (EUR) is commencing a drilling programme to confirm part of the inferred resource at the Wolfsburg lithium project in Austria. This data will be used in the definitive feasibility study.

In the six months to February 2019, Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reduced its loss from £181,000 to £126,000. Revenues remain small but they grew from £44,000 to £61,000. There were orders from Germany in the period, but Netherlands and Austria were delayed. Lower overheads helped to reduce the loss.

Cancer therapy provider Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) generated revenues of £1.47m in the year to February 2019. There was cash generated from operations but that was dwarfed by £42.3m of capital investment. Additional cash has been raised since the year end.

In 2018, the revenues of Chinese treatments supplier MiLOC (ML.P) dipped from HK$11.6m to $10.7m, while the reported loss more than doubled to HK$37.9m. That was mainly due to a royalty fee related to AKFS Plus haircare brand. There was HK$2.75m in the bank at the end of 2018. Since then, HK$3.45m (£334,000) has been raised in a placing at 28.5p a share.

Cannabis investor Sativa Investments (SATI) has secured a commercial offtake agreement with a Portuguese supplier of cannabis oil. This will be included in products produced in Somerset.

Barkby Group (BARK) has secured a new six-year lease for the Rose and Crown Inn, near Swindon. This is the second lease from Arkell’s Brewery.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) says 75%-owned Footies Ltd has completed its sports ticketing system demonstration product. This will enable it to approach potential football club clients. It is still hopeful that it can sign one up this year. Ian Ayre has stepped down from the Footies board.

Investment company Eight Capital Group (ECP) had net assets of £668,000 at the end of 2018. The investments include shell companies Abal Investments (ABAL) (formerly Imaginatik) and Sport Capital Group (SCG) which has net assets of £206,000 at the end of 2018.

Investment fund manager Startup Giants (SUG) still had £646,000 in the bank at the end of 2018.

Trading in the shares of Angelfish Investments (ANGP), London Capital Group (LCG), Black Sea Property (BSP) and Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) is suspended because they have not published their 2018 accounts. Gamfook has replaced its auditor and will not publish accounts before the middle of July. Allenby has ceased to be nominated adviser and broker, as well as NEX corporate adviser, to PCG Entertainment. Trading in PCG shares is already suspended because of a potential reverse takeover.

AIM  

Ramsdens (RFX) has acquired another four stores trading as The Money Shop and 12 loan books from Instant Cash Loans. This takes the number of stores acquired to 22 and the loan books to 17. Ramsdens says that there will be a small contribution to profit in the first year. The additional stores will be rebranded as Ramsdens and it has 163 stores. The 2018-19 figures will be published on 12 June.

Ideagen (IDEA) has gained a new £1.2m, three-year SaaS contract with an airline. The software will be used for safety incident reporting. Ideagen is expected to report a 2018-19 pre-tax profit of £12.2m.

Volvere (VLE) is returning up to £16.6m via a tender offer at 1290p a share, a premium of 12% to the market price when it was announced. Recent disposals have generated £25.6m, which took the cash pile to £36.2m. Management says it requires around £20m of cash for ongoing requirements.

Stride Gaming (STR) has received a bid proposal from Rank Group. A 151p a share offer is being considered. Stride floated four years ago at 132p a share.

TSX Venture Exchange company Hunt Mining Corp is offering 10.76 shares for each share in Patagonia Gold (PGD) and this values the target at £17.2m. The bid is recommended, and Patagonia shareholders will own 80% of the enlarged company. Hunt is producing silver and gold in Argentina and Patagonia has assets in the same region.

Nautilus Mineral Services (NAUT) wants to cancel its AIM quotation. A general meeting has been set for 24 June and shareholders owning 73.4% agree with the proposal. A matched bargain facility is planned.

Suits manufacturer Bagir (BAGR) still has not received the remaining cash investment of $13.2m from Shangdong Ruyi, which has requested an extension and wants to change the terms of the deal.

AfriTin (ATM) says that it expects to ramp up production at the Uis tin mine in the fourth quarter. The initial phase of the plant will be able to produce 60t/month of tin concentrate.

AssetCo (ASTO) says that Grant Thornton has been granted permission to appeal the judgment against it relating to the auditing of past AssetCo accounts.

Tavistock Investments (TAVI) has ended its strategic alliance with Lighthouse Group (LGT) because of the Quilter takeover of the IFA.

MAIN MARKET 

Aptitude Software (APTD) plans to sell Microgen Financial Systems for £51m. Previously, this business was going to be demerged on AIM. There should be £48.4m after expenses and a majority of this will be returned to shareholders.

Standard list shell Fandango Holdings (FHP) has ended acquisition discussions with Konnect Mobile Communications because it could not raise the funds it required. There was £8,000 in the bank at the end of February 2019.

Novo Holdings has exercised its option to subscribe for 6.57 million Oxford Biomedica (OXB) shares at 690p each. Novo will own 10.1%.

Summerway Capital (SWC) had £5.69m in cash at the end of February 2019. Potential acquisitions have been identified.

Toople (TOOP) has raised £662,000 at 0.35p a share and it will use £150,000 as final settlement of £601,000 of loans from David Brieth. There was £1.15m in the bank at the end of March 2019. There was a cash outflow of nearly £1m in the previous six months. Last September’s placing was at 0.3p a share.

Cathay International Holdings (CTI) has been fined £411,000 by the FCA due to a breach of listing principles. These relate to the preparation of forecasts and monitoring of financial performance, as well as a failure to provide information in a timely manner. Chief executive Jinyi Lee and finance director Eric Siu were both deemed to be involved in the breaches but they are considering an appeal.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET 

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 20 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 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

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