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Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 18 November 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Trading in the shares of Barkby Group (BARK) has been suspended ahead of further information about a proposed reverse takeover. The acquisition of a group of companies referred to as the Dickson controlled entities is expected to cost £30m, predominantly paid in shares. There will also be a share placing to provide working capital for the enlarged group. Charles Dickson would become executive chairman if the deal goes ahead. The businesses include Workshop Coffee, which operates four coffee shops and is a wholesaler of speciality coffee, a commercial property developer. Barkby will also acquire the right to invest in two private companies: Transcend Packaging, which won a contract to supply McDonalds with paper straws, and VivoPlex, which has developed a medical device for fertility monitoring.

Brewer and pubs operator Daniel Thwaites (THW) says fears that interest rates will fall has required a £4m increase in the provision for its interest rate swaps. That is a non-cash item and underlying pre-tax profit increased from £5.6m to £6.2m in the six months to September 2019. That figure also excludes a quadrupling of property disposal profit to £800,000. Interim revenues improved 7% to £53.4m. The new brewery is operating at full capacity, while there was a small increase in like-for-like pub revenues. The contribution from hotels improved. Net debt was reduced by £8.6m to £61.6m compared with 12 months before, although £22.5m has been reclassified as due within one year. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.1p a share.

NEX and AIM-quoted AFH Financial (AFHP) says it is trading in line with forecasts. The wealth manager will report underlying EBITDA of more than £17m, up from £10.4m, in the year to October 2019. Funds under management were £6bn. The contribution from acquisitions has been earnings enhancing. The total dividend is expected to be 8p a share and this is expected to rise by one-quarter to 10p a share in 2019-20. There was still £11.9m in the bank at the end of October 2019, although there is estimated to be £32.2m of contingent consideration and a £15m convertible loan in the balance sheet. The current focus is on organic growth and there should be enough cash generated, along with the current balance, to pay the deferred consideration over the next two years.

Ashley House (LSE: ASH) has published a trading statement and it is changing its year end from April to October following the disposal of the Morgan Ashley joint venture. In the 12 months to April 2019, revenues fell from £18.5m to £11.9m and a pre-tax profit of £805,000 was turned into a £2.95m loss. There was a loss contributed by joint ventures. Net debt was £1.8m.

Clinical support systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) is considering a move to AIM. This would be part of a potential fundraising to enable further investment in the business. DXS has already announced that it has been awarded a place on the NHS GPIT Futures framework from the beginning of 2020. This replaces the GPSoC2 framework and means that systems and services will be able to be bought centrally rather than with GP funds. The focus will be on the existing core product DXS Point of Care, analytics and reporting service CompleteCare, digital medicines service ExpertCare and condition management platform MyVytalCare. The first is already on sale and the rest will be launched in early 2020. DXS is gaining final approvals for its four solutions to be listed in the NHS catalogue.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £160,000 at 0.1p a share. This cash will be invested in additional shares in Apollon Formularies, which will take the company’s stake to 2.68%.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) believes that the lack of flotations is providing it with more opportunities. Primorus has received the £275,000 it was owed by Zuuse and still owns 57,205 shares and holds options over one million shares at A$0.50 (26p) each. The latest fundraising by Zuuse is at A$1 a share. There is a potential market to sell the shares even before a flotation.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) shareholder Formation Group has appointed Andrew Bennett as a non-executive director of the proton beam therapy firm.

David Lenigas has been appointed chairman of NQ Minerals (NQMI) and the board is in talks to replace existing debt with lower-cost debt. First Sentinel, which is run by former NQ Minerals director, has been appointed as corporate adviser.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has raised £388,000 from an issue of convertible loan notes and shares. This is less than the company wanted to raise more than six months ago. The share issue raised £133,000 at 0.02p a share, with a warrant exercisable at the same price, and the conversion of the loan notes will also be at the same price. The cash will be used to move into the medicinal cannabis sector. Additional shares are being issued to pay creditors.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 246.47p a share at the end of October 2019.

One hundred shares in Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) will be consolidated into one new share on 18 November.

Karoo Energy has changed its name to IamFire (FIRE).

Queros Capital Partners (QCP) will leave NEX on 28 November.

AIM

DBAY Advisors does not intend to bid for Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) and instead will acquire 51% of the underlying subsidiary that owns the transport operations. The poor financial situation of the business led to the change of strategy and Eddie Stobart Logistics has recommended the deal, which involves the injection of £55m of additional finance through a PIK Facility. This will pay off a £35m loan and provide working capital. The deal requires the extension of other existing debt facilities. The interim results to May 2019 are still being compiled. An operating loss of at least £12m is expected, but the underlying business could make a full year operating profit of up to £2m. There could be a goodwill write-down of £50m. Net debt will be around £200m. Wincanton (WIN) is still considering a rival deal.

ECO Animal Health (EAH) is still suffering the after effects of the African Swine Flu outbreak in China and the US/China trade war hitting imports from the US. First half revenues from China fell by three-fifths. Restocking will take time to flow through in terms of FCO’s results. There will be a sharp fall in full year profit. The interims could also be affected by accounting policy changes.

Advanced surface coatings provider Hardide (HDD) has been selected to coat parts for the new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. This is an important step in building up business in the aerospace sector. The Hardide-A coating will replace HVOF thermal spray coatings. HVOF is one of the most widely used coatings in aerospace and Hardide-A is said to be technically superior. Hardide has also been awarded a patent for a water droplet erosion resistant coating for blades and vanes, including those used on steam and gas turbines for power generation. A field test is planned.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) says that a test production run is planned later this month by 85%-owned Future Metal at its quarry in China. The plan is to restart production by the end of the year. This will help to underpin the Adamas NAV and provide potential upside. At the end of September 2019, NAV was 84p a share, which is more than three times the share price. Future Metal is 45.2% of that NAV and when the quarry is up and running then Adamas could raise cash by selling some of its stake. Cash is required to invest in new opportunities that are being presented to the company. Adamas issued 16.18 million shares at 34.8p each for its equity investment in Infinity TNP.

Safestay (SSTY) has bought the Hotel Auberge in Berlin, which is near to Berlin zoo, and intends to turn it into a 150-bed hostel. The site has an eleven year lease. This is the latest acquisition this year and it takes the total number of hostel sites to 18. The plan is to have 20 hostels by 2020.

MAIN MARKET

PureCircle Ltd (PURE) chief executive Magomet Malsagov has stood aside temporarily pending further investigation of the classification of the stevia sweeteners supplier’s inventory and other transactions. The investigations have identified that inventory was $23m too high. Other transactions could lead to additional valuation changes. There could be write downs of intangibles and inventories. There should not be any increase in net debt, although the figures are still not fully audited. Bank covenants may need to be waived. Finance director Rakesh Sinha had previously resigned, although he remains with the company until the end of January.

Automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) is seeking a buyer. Management believes the company needs to be part of a larger group with greater financial resources.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 21 October 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Third quarter trading at Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) shows a one-third increase in loans to £1.6bn, while deposits are 17% ahead at £2bn. Impairments are rising, though. The private bank is adding 40 new clients each month.

Although Vox Markets has called off merger discussions with PCG Entertainment (PCGE) the latter’s shareholders will have preferential rights to participate in the flotation of Vox. Shareholders have to be on the register on 11 October to benefit. PCG has released any claims it may have against Vox, although Vox has the right to sue Align Research, the third party in the merger plans. PCG says nothing negative was found about Align in due diligence. First Sentinel has resigned as corporate adviser to PCG and trading in the shares has been suspended.

Good Energy (GOOD) has launched One Point to offer electric vehicle charging. The company has also been awarded he green classification and mark.

The Home Office has awarded Sativa Group (SATI) a controlled drug licence to grow medicinal cannabis. This covers cannabis with a THC content of greater than 0.2%. Sativa already has a low-THC industrial hemp licence.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) says that its investee company Apollon Formularies has received its third medical cannabis licence in Jamaica. This is for experimental research and development.

World Health Life (LIFE) has completed the acquisition of Love Hemp and a £2m convertible debenture fundraising. A second tranche of debentures should be issued in the next few weeks. Love Hemp has product distribution agreements with supermarkets and health food stores.

Triple Point Investment Management is providing a £20m loan facility for Rutherford Health (RUTH) and this will be drawn down in phases. The loan terms improve as patient numbers increase at the three proton beam therapy centres.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has received the first quarterly interest payment from Silverstream. The 12-month note matures in August 2020.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) will consolidate 20 shares into one new share and trading will commence on 22 October.

Secured Property Development (SPD) had £537,000 in the bank at the end of June 2019, but it is finding it difficult to find a suitable acquisition.

AIM

Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) is as consistent as ever. It has published a trading statement related to its interims at 4.35pm on Friday. The 2018-19 trading update was published at 4.35pm on Thursday 18 April – the last day before a long weekend. There was no particular reason to hide the latest statement. First half revenues were flat compared with a first quarter decline of 2%. Cash fell £300,000 to £28.1m over a three-month period.

Murgitroyd (MUR) is recommending a 675p a share bid from a company set up by Sovereign Capital Partners LLP. This values the patent and trademark attorney at £62.8m. Murgitroyd joined AIM 18 years ago at 121p a share and has been a consistent dividend payer.

Fully listed logistic services provider Wincanton (WIN) is considering a bid for Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) and DBAY Advisers is also still assessing whether to bid.

Disinfection products supplier Tristel (TSTL) plans to grow its revenues by up to 15% a year in each of the next three years. This follows an 18% increase to £26m in the year to June 2019, while pre-tax profit grew by one-fifth to £5.6m. The dividend was 21% higher at 5.54p a share. International markets account for 55% of revenues. Tristel is waiting for a response from the FDA, which should be forthcoming by the end of 2019.

Power projects developer Kibo Mining (KIBO) has raised £1.99m at 0.45p a share. This will be used to fund the development of power generation projects in Africa. The portfolio includes 1,055MW of power generation capacity with 355MW having heads of terms power purchase agreements. Each new share comes with a warrant exercisable at 0.8p a share.

Filtronic (FTC) has agreed to pay a warranty claim of $2m (£1.6m) and change a faulty component in antennas supplied in 2016-17. The fault relates to certain bandwidths in hot countries. The cash is payable in four instalments up until December 2020. On 23 October, Filtronic is set to report sales from continuing activities of £15.9m, down from £21.6m, and a small positive EBITDA. Filtronic has already received more than £10m of orders for its 5G backhaul transceivers due for delivery in 2019-20.

Woodford Investment Management has cut its stake in GYG (GYG) from 19.98% to less than 5%. That appears to have been a relief to the market because the share price of yacht painting services provider has recovered since the disposal. UBS has taken a 11.2% stake.

Kestrel Partners continues to build its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB), taking its stake from 25% to 26.1%. Kestrel owns 23 million shares in Brady (BRY) and, even if it makes a loss, it will be having a cash inflow. Hanover Acquisitions is offering 10p a share for the risk management software company, which values it at £8.3m.

Construction consultancy services provider Driver (DRV) says it will report underlying pre-tax profit of £3m for the full year, after £400,000 of rationalisation costs. That represents a strong performance in the second half. Net cash was £5m at the year-end, after share buy backs.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has taken a 43% stake in Elute Intelligence Holdings, which is developing software to search complex documents and detect plagiarism. Frontier IP is providing some of its own IP to an existing business to form Elute with the rest of the stake coming from providing services to the company.

Blue Star Capital (BLU) is raising £900,000 at 0.1p a share and the cash will be equally split between six investments in esports companies.

Power transmission products manufacturer Renold (RNO) says that cost savings are offsetting a downturn in trading. It is still on track to report an underlying full year pre-tax profit improving from £10.1m to £10.4m. Order intake remains weak.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has announced a restructuring of the Paradox project. This will enable the oil and gas company to focus on the most prospective acreage.

MAIN MARKET

Quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) still has a cash buffer so that it can find a new manufacturing partner to replace the US one that has withdrawn from an agreement. There could still be net cash of £1.5m at the end of July 2020.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) is planning to raise cash at NOK0.35/share in Norway. That is equivalent to 2.95p/share, compared with a market price of 3.5p. The Azerbaijan-focused oil and gas company has a drilling rig that will be mobilised before the end of the month and well M-247 has been identified as a target. It was previously in production. Zenith has identified wells in the Muradkhani oilfield in which perforations of untapped intervals can generate additional production. This will happen in the next fortnight.

OTHER MARKETS

Former AIM company Getmapping has launched a strategic review and a formal sales process. Management of the believes that the geospatial services provider could grow faster with additional investment. A company taking a minority stake is another alternative. The process should be completed by the end of 2019. The shares are traded on the Britdaq matched bargains market.

Vienna-listed Fashion On Screen is moving into theatre by acquiring musicals producer Shaftesbury Avenue. The all-share purchase is valued at £2.5m. Fashion On Screen believes that some of the musicals could become film productions.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 30 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 9 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

BWA Group (BWAP) is acquiring Kings of the North Corp, which owns five groups of exploration licences in Canada. BWA will pay £4.66m for the business, which is owned by a Canadian Stock Exchange listed company. Management believes that there is significant upside in the licences. Nearly $C1m needs to be spent for the licences to be renewed.

World High Life plans to join NEX on 12 September. This is an investment company that intends to acquire businesses involved in medicinal cannabis. The company (www.worldhighlife.uk) has already raised £2.4m from subscribers and no additional cash will be raised on flotation.

Adnams (ADB) director Guy Heald has purchased 3,000 B shares at £95.21 each. That takes his shareholding to 15.1%. The shares were sold by Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, whose interest has been reduced to 6.32%.

Better news from Ashley House (LSE: ASH) because a scheme in Romsey has reached financial close. There are still two other delayed schemes that have not completed. Funding sources are being explored.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) is selling its 2.5% royalty interest in the Graphmada graphite mine in Madagascar for up to A$550,000 in cash and convertible notes in royalty business SilverStream.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) reported a decline in net assets from £5.16m to £4.74m in the six months to June 2019. Management believes there are plenty of opportunities in the pre-IPO market.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has agreed the terms for a realisation of its investment in Cotswold Valves, because it no longer wants to focus on employee ownership. The equity interest is being sold for its £220,000 cost and loans totalling £450,000 have been rescheduled. The cash will be received over a three year period.

KR1 (KR1) has made investments in the Nym Protocol project, Alice Si, a blockchain-based social funding platform developer, and Nexus Mutual, which is a follow-on investment.

Resources-focused investment company Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) increased its cash position from £17,000 to £47,000 in the year to March 2019, but net assets fell from £722,000 to £687,000.

AIM  

Good news from car dealers Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) and Vertu Motors (VTU). Cambria says that trading in the eleven months to July 2019 has been well ahead of the same period last year and the full year profit will be higher than market estimates. New car sales are lower but Cambria is making more profit on each sale because of the mix of franchises and greater exposure to the luxury end of the market. More profit was made on each used car sold as well. Vertu says that its trading is in line with expectations, helped by price stability in the used vehicle market since July.

Mirada (MIRA) has won a new contract for the deployment of its Iris multiscreen digital TV product with a new Spanish interactive TV services provider Plataforma Multimedia de Operadores. Mirada’s technology will be used to deliver content to Android set-top boxes, smartphones, laptops and other devices. The commercial launch will be early next year and the plan is to build up a subscriber base of 600,000.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) says that its consolidated NAV increased by 3.5% to $96.3m (£78.4m) in the six months to June 2019. That includes cash of $5.4m. There was interest income of $677,000 in the period. Production at Future Metal Holdings’ dolomite magnesium limestone mine in China should restart before the end of the year.

A secured creditor has appointed voluntary administrators to five subsidiaries of Management Resource Solutions (MRS) but the businesses continue to trade. A creditors meeting is set for 16 September. The businesses will need to be recapitalised.

Filtronic (FTC) has decided to sell its antenna division.

Colin Harrington has switched from executive chairman to chief executive of Rose Petroleum (ROSE) following the departure of its previous chief executive Matthew Idiens. Rick Grant will become chairman. Gordon Stein is a new independent non-executive.

MAIN MARKET 

Avation (AVAP) reported full year results that were ahead of expectations. The commercial aircraft leasing company’s pre-tax profit was 15% ahead of forecasts and there was also a tax credit which further boosted earnings per share. The dividend was raised by 45% to 10.5 cents a share.

Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane (MACF) has acquired the Leyland Packaging Company for up to £3.25m, with up to £1m in the form of an earn-out based on performance of the distributor in the year to August 2020, in cash and shares. In 2018, Leyland made a pre-tax profit of £550,000 on revenues of £4.06m.

Fully listed shell Highway Capital (HWC) has published its accounts for the year to February 2019. They showed net liabilities rising to £781,000. There was cash of £245,000 in the balance sheet following the repayment of loans. Trading in the shares has been suspended for three years.

Standard list shell Boston International Holdings (BIH) is considering potential acquisitions outside of the foreign exchange sector.       

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has ended discussions about a partnership with Hive Blockchain Technologies. Argo believes that its investment in additional crypto mining capacity has provided it with the scale it needs.

Sure Ventures (SURE) is investing a further €2.5m in Sure Valley Ventures Fund.

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 25 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) increased full year revenues from continuing operations from £104.5m to £116.9m, helped by last winter’s cold weather and a price increase, and pre-tax profit recovered from £700,000 to £1.7m. The renewable electricity supplier and generator has increased its dividend from 3.3p a share to 3.5p a share. Net debt was £40.1m at the end of 2018. Energy supply volumes increased by 3%, but domestic volumes were 1.2% lower in an increasingly competitive market. The growth came in the business side, which increased volumes by 23%. Good Energy generates energy from six solar sites and two wind farms. The company expects to continue to grow business volumes and invest in digital technology. Non-executive director Nemone Wynn-Evans has bought 9,500 shares at 105p each.

Trading in PCG Entertainment (PCGE) shares has been suspended because it is in talks to acquire VOX Markets and Align Research.

Karoo Energy (KEP) has been told by its potential nominated adviser does not believe its is suitable for an AIM quotation. This also means that the planned fundraising cannot go ahead. A refinancing is required. There are trade creditors of around £300,000. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has maintained its 3.4% stake in Fresho by participating in its latest fundraising, which was at a 76% premium to the price paid for the initial investment. The investment is worth A$673,000.

Dana Group International Investments Ltd (DANA) reported swing from loss of $129,000 to a profit of $95,000 in the six months to December 2018, due to other income of $276,000.

Tectonic Gold (TAU) says that roc chip samples from the Clermont project in Queensland show up to 8.01g/t gold, 140g/t silver and 6.32% copper.

Panther Metals (PALM) has completed the acquisition of Parthian Resources and its former shareholders own 16.1% of Panther.

Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has raised a further £225,000 at 90p a share.

Imperial X (IMPP) has changed its focus to medicinal cannabis. There was a small cash outflow in the six months to the end of December 2018. There was nearly £70,000 in the bank with net cash of £19,000. There are net liabilities and more cash will be required later this year.

Steve Howson is stepping down as chief executive of SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) and he will become a non-executive director. Majority shareholder David Sumner will be interim chief executive.

AIM  

Footasylum (FOOT) has recommended a 82.5p a share bid from JD Sports Fashion (SPD) which values the footwear retailer at £90.1m. JD Sports was buying shares between 50p and 75p and built up a 18.7% stake. The bidder promises to maintain the separate commercial identity. Footasylum floated in November 2017 at 164p a share.

Diaceutics (DXRX) ended the week at 97.5p, having floated at 72p. The company provides data analysis and advisory services to pharma companies seeking to develop and commercialise diagnostic tests. There were £15.2m of placing proceeds net of expenses and £5.5m will be spent on the acquisition of data, while the rest will be used to pay off debt and develop AI analysis technology. There is limited liquidity in the shares because they are tightly held.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) warns that trading in the second quarter is weak because of the warmer winter weather. There has also been a weakening in farmgate prices. Interim figures will be well below the first half of last year and the full year will be below forecast. Peel Hunt argues that it has already factored these elements into its forecast for rival feed supplier NWF (NWF) and it is not changing its forecasts.

Pelatro (PTRO) has launched a data monetisation platform with a revenue share contract with an existing client, which is worth $500,000 in the first year. This is a product that can be sold to other customers.

Financial trading platform Aquis Exchange (AQX) reported 2018 revenues ahead of expectations and it doubled its market share during the year. The subscription-based model means that higher trading levels by a trader lead to subscription income levels going up. Aquis will continue to be loss-making this year, but the relatively fixed cost base means that once this is covered the profit should grow significantly as revenues grow.

Scientific instruments supplier Judges Scientific (JDG) increased is cash generation from operations from £10.9m to £15.7m in 2018. There was 5.5% organic growth in revenues and underlying operating profit rose by just over one-third to £14.7m. The cash balance has increased to £15.7m, which provides firepower for acquisitions. Shore Capital has edged up its earnings per share forecast from 188.8p to 190p.

Volvere (VLE) says full year revenues from continuing operations will rise from £16.2m to £18.6m. There was a £23.1m gain on the sale of Impetus Automotive. There was an underlying loss on continuing activities, but the frozen pie maker Shire Foods improved its profit contribution. There is £34.1m of cash in the Volvere balance sheet.

Frontier IP (FIPP) says that the outcome for the year to June 2019 is likely to be ahead of management expectations. A deal by investee company Exscientia, which is involved in AI-based drug discovery, with Celgene Corporation should result in a substantial uplift in its valuation.

Science in Sport (SIS) had a 25-day contribution from the profitable PhD Nutrition business in 2018. The group’s underlying loss increased last year, but PhD will help to reduce the loss and the cash outflow from operations, which was £6.42m last year. There is £8m in the bank and even with capital investment requirements that should be enough to cover requirements this year.

Ceramic products supplier Portmeirion Group (PMP) increased its 2018 pre-tax profit by 10% to £9.7m and a further rise to £10.3m is forecast for this year. Online sales are growing rapidly from a relatively low base. The home fragrance business is doing well, and capacity is being added. The total dividend is 8% higher at 35.7p a share.

Share (SHRE) improved its significantly improved its profitability in the second half of 2018, although trading levels weakened towards the end of the year. That weakness has continued into the early months of this year. Evan so, Cenkos forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £700,000 to £1.3m, upgraded from £1.1m, in 2019.

Clear Leisure (CLP) has placed its 50%-owned data mining operation in Serbia on a care and maintenance basis. This is due to the fall in the price of cryptocurrency. Legal actions and negotiations continue concerning a number of past investments. Clear has paid £76,000 for a 10% stake in PBV, which provides data services for the Italian legal sector. At the end of 2018, there were €2.1m of bonds converted into shares.

Andrew Perloff has increased his stake in 600 Group (SIXH) from 6.19% to 8.85%.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH) has changed the ratio of its ADRs from two shares for each ADR to 20 shares for each ADR. This is a way of getting the trading price of the ADRs on NASDAQ back above $1.

EQTEC (EQT) could be a beneficiary of the deal done by its largest shareholder EBIOSS with Urbaser for the collection, treatment and possible conversion of waste to energy. Urbaser is conducting due diligence on EQTEC’s gasification technology and this could be used for any waste to energy plant if all three parties come to an agreement on a specific opportunity. Projects could be in Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia and Romania.

A local authority report has placed a five year reserve status on the Plymouth Airport site where Sutton Harbour (SUH) has a 135 year lease. The local authorities are keen that the site should be used for general aviation, but a viable business plan needs to be put together. Sutton Harbour would like to develop the site.

Tau Capital (TAU) has sent a circular to shareholders concerning a capital return of $1.19m or 2.42 cents a share, raise $150,000 via a placing at 0.1 cents a share and change its name to UK Onshore. Reverse takeover candidates are being assessed. Gerwyn Williams and Nigel Burton will join the board.

Synectics (SNX) has won a £1m order from the oil and gas sector. This is the largest order for its surveillance systems from this sector for a number of years. Synectics reported a rise in full year revenues from £70.1m to £71.2m and pre-tax profit slipped from £3.02m to £2.86m. The full year dividend is increased from 4p a share to 4.7p a share.

MAIN MARKET 

Athelney Trust (ATY) has responded to the letter from former director Dr Pohl, who wants to regain his place on the board along with Simon Moore and remove David Lawman. Dr Pohl has acquired more than 100,000 shares in the past month, and this means that five shareholders own more than 50% of the investment company putting its investment trust status at risk. As long as there is more than 35% of the company held by the public this is not a problem, but it would be if Dr Pohl joined the board. There have been £90,000 of extra costs because of disputes between the two major shareholders. The plan remains to bring Gresham House on board as fund manager

WideCells Group (WDC) is changing its name to Iconic Labs and moving into digital marketing and technology. The management of this business previously built up social publisher Unilad. In the first 12 months, an agency consulting division will be launched to assists clients to develop brands. There are plans to build up a distribution and publishing division through acquisitions and launch content licensing and e-commerce divisions. There is little indication of what will happen to the stem cell operations, although management appears to believe that the insurance business could be worth pursuing. Historic liabilities are being resolved. The convertible loan note holder continues to convert a proportion of the loan note that is below 30% and then sell the shares. There are 785.6 million shares in issue with more to come.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has raised £436,500 at 2.25p a share. The cash will be used for the pre-construction phase of the South Korean gold projects. An agreement has been made with a local landowner for the use of land outside the main entrance of the Kochang mine.

Highlands Natural Resources (HNR) has raised £1.56m at 8.5p a share via an offer through PrimaryBid.com. This cash will fund a move by the natural resources company into the organic cannabidiol market. It has established Zoetic Organics in the US and it believes that hydrogen produced by Highland in Kansas can be used as a fertiliser with potential to increase the size of the plant. First revenues could be achieved in the summer.

Standard list shell Stranger Holdings (STHP) claims that Alchemy Utilities Ltd has sabotaged the proposed reverse takeover by refusing to provide audited accounts. Stranger is trying to get back the £300,000 it lent to Alchemy as well as its reverse takeover costs of £450,000. Stranger believes that the Alchemy management team may have misrepresented its financial status. An alternative acquisition is being lined up, but Stranger had negative net assets at the end of September 2018 and there are additional costs since then.

Standard list shell Hertsford Capital (HERT) still had £2.88m in cash at the end of 2018.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) is growing its gross profit but EBITDA is similar to the same period last year, which was around £650,000.

PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) has ended its wafer production activities in Germany and it intends to apply its wire sawing expertise to cutting non-silicon materials. There are plans to return £38.5m to shareholders, which is equivalent to 24p a share and that is not far short of the current market price. That could still leave more than €10m of cash. Management is considering whether to maintain a listing.

Sure Ventures (SURE) says 23%-owned Suir Valley Ventures has maintained its 10% stake in WarDucks, which is developing an AR game, by participating in a €3.3m fundraising.

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 11 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) reported a 1% increase in underlying 2018 pre-tax profit of £5.9m. Pubs provided higher revenues and profit, while the brewery reported a reduction in profit contribution due to the ending of third party contracts and a small decline in volumes of its own beers and ciders. The brewing volumes have recovered in the early part of 2019.

Good Energy (GOOD) is making a strategic investment in Zap-Map owner Next Green Car Ltd. This is a business that provides electric vehicle market data and will help Good Energy move into the electric vehicle charging market. The initial investment is £1.08m for a 12.9% stake and £800,000 of convertible loan notes. If the loan notes are converted and payment of deferred consideration of £720,000 dependent on achieving financial targets, then the stake will increase to 50.1%.

Gunsynd (GUN) and Northbay Capital Partners have agreed with TSX-V-quoted Oyster Oil and Gas Ltd to settle debts of C$1.43m with the company in return for the outstanding share capital of Oyster’s subsidiary that owns production sharing contracts in Madagascar and Djibouti. Oyster shareholders have to agree to the deal for it to go ahead.

IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has commenced drilling on PL2551 in County Wexford. The drilling should help to prove the presence of a major gold mineralisation trend.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has increased its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) by two million shares, taking the stake to 1.15%. The average cost is 1.71p a share. Over the next 18 months Greatland will pursue targeted exploration campaigns in Australia and accelerate the development in the Paterson region.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies reports that the first 11 weeks of sales of the hapac medicinal cannabis products in Italy have grown strongly from a low base.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is acquiring three prospective lithium assets in Australia. They are Picasso in Western Australia, Litchfield in Northern Territories and Alcoota in Northern Territories.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) lost £204,000 in the near-13 months since incorporation. There was £69,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. The reverse takeover of the 97.5% of CoalTech not owned by the company has still to be completed.

Barkby Group (BARK) has secured an eight-year operating agreement for the Queens Arms in East Garston, Berkshire. The pub and restaurant also operates a 120-capacity function room and 12 bedrooms.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has paid £3,500 for a 70% stake in financial adviser and investment firm Epsion Capital, which could provide advice to Eight Capital investee companies. Former ZAI corporate finance director and current Eight Capital non-executive director John Treacy is the sole director and other shareholder of Epsion, which is working on two corporate finance transactions.

Following the demise of Daniel Stewart, NQ Minerals (NQMI) has changed its corporate adviser to Arden, Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) has switched to Peterhouse and VI Mining (VIM) has moved to VSA.

AIM  

Telephony services and technology provider Netcall (NET) is increasing its cloud revenues and bookings. Interim revenues improved from £11.4m to £10.7m but pre-tax profit dipped from £1.9m to £1.2m because of increased investment. Annual contract value has risen by 11% to £15.1m.

Tracsis (TRCS) improved its interim revenues from £18.1m to £19m and pre-tax profit will be higher than the £3.9m reported last year. There was £18.7m in cash at the end of January 2019. Chris Barnes has joined the transport optimisation software and services provider ahead of becoming chief executive.

Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) is buying 18 Money Shop sites for £1.5m. They are in north west England and Scotland and will be rebranded as Ramsdens. The pawn books of the sites and five others that will be closed are being acquired by Ramsdens. City Financial Investment has sold its remaining 9.73% stake.

WH Ireland (WHI) has raised £4.95m at 45p a share, which was a 30% discount to the market price. The cash will make sure that the broker has enough regulatory capital. Trading is tough and the operating loss in the second half will be higher than previously expected.

SimplyBiz (SBIZ) grew 2018 revenues by 15% to £50.7m and earnings per share were 28% higher at 11.9p. The supplier of compliance and business services to financial advisers continues to add to member numbers and sell more services to them. Net cash was £6.4m at the end of 2018.

DX (Group) (DX.) is making progress with its turnaround but there is still a long way to go. The parcel delivery business has restructured its business and raised prices to clients. The cash outflow was significantly reduced in the first half. DX could move back into profit next year.

Swallowfield (SWL) was hit by weak trading in its cosmetics manufacturing operations. The brands business maintained its revenues and profit. The second half outlook for manufacturing is better and costs have been reduced. The interim dividend was raised by 7.5% to 2.15p a share. Fidelity has increased its stake to 5.73%.

Ilika (IKA) has secured an 18 month project with Network Rail for the use of its Stereax battery technology in a ultra-low power wireless sensor for the network’s condition monitoring platform.

Pelatro (PTRO) has won a contract with Ooredoo Maldives worth $1.6m over three years. There is a fixed monthly fee and a share of the incremental revenue generated. There are also opportunities to cross-sell to other Ooredoo telecoms operations.

Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) has traded ahead of the first five months of the previous financial year. Although new car sales were lower, Cambria made more profit because of the higher value franchises. It was a similar trend in used cars. The aftersales operations increased sales and profit.

FFI Holdings (FFI) says that the film competition contracts business has been slow because of a lack of films and smaller productions. There are also possible claims. Delayed productions have hit the insurance agency business. That has reduced operating profit by $6m. The expected range for this year is $7.5m-$11m.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) reported a 11% increase in interim revenues to £46.7m and underlying pre-tax profit was 70% higher at £11.4m. That was partly down to lower development and marketing spending. Cash more than doubled to £31.6m, helped by a £10.2m placing. Net cash was £28.5m. The data from the phase III PQ Birch allergy study is expected in the next few weeks.

Finance provider ThinkSmart (TSL) reported a lower interim loss and there is cash in the bank of £11.3m. A special dividend of around 2p a share will return £44m to shareholders.

Accounting regulation changes mean that Paragon Entertainment Ltd (PEL) will not be able to recognise as much revenue in 2018 as it thought it would. That could reduce the figure by £700,000. The new range is £8.8m to £9.2m. The loss will be more than £2.5m. Revenues are expected to be higher this year.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) increased its proved reserves to 11,222 Mbbl at the end of 2018. Proved plus probable reserves are 19,275 Mbbl. NPV of future net revenues of proved reserves has increased by 18% to $79.8m.

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has completed a number of contingency engagements in the third quarter and there should be more in the fourth quarter. Corporate insolvencies are rising.

GetBusy (GETB) has increased its revenues from its core software products by 17% to £10.9m and it is making progress with its GetBusy productivity software which is in use with beta users. Cash generated from operations is being ploughed back into development spending.

Gfinity (GFIN) more than doubled its interim revenues from £1.8m to £4.4m with the growth coming from the managed services division, which includes the F1 Esports series. The Esports business is targeting breakeven in 2021.

Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has rejected a proposed 20p a share bid from RockRose Energy (RRE) which would value the company at £26.6m. Trading in the standard list company’s shares is suspended due to the proposed $140m acquisition of Marathan Oil West of Shetland.

Housebuilder Springfield Properties (SPR) is on track to increase full year pre-tax profit from £9.8m to £16.1m, following a strong first half. The housing market is stronger in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. The business has a mix of private housing and affordable housing developments. The Walker Group acquisition takes the company further upmarket in price terms and will make an initial contribution in the second half.

PhotonStar LED Group (PSL) has raised a further £170,000 at 0.01p a share, while directors John Treacy and Jonathan Freeman intend to subscribe a £24,000 when the company has authority to issue more shares. A general meeting will be held where the company will become a shell and change its name to Bould Opportunities. The operating business is being wound down. Antos Glogowski has a 20.9% stake.

In the past ten months, the valuation of the property assets of Sutton Harbour (SUH) has increased by 7% to £45.7m.

MAIN MARKET 

Small company-focused investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) reported a 21% decline in NAV to 225.9p a share at the end of 2018, although that is not a surprise given the weak stockmarket at the end of the year. The final dividend was increased by 2% to 9.1p a share. The board is in the process of appointing a fund management team. The plan is to increase the size of the fund to between £50m and £150m.

Standard list shell Cobra Resources (COBR) has agreed to acquire the owner of a 100% right title and interest in the Prince Alfred licence in South Australia. Prince Alfred was a producing copper mine. There is also an entitlement to earn 75% of five tenements in South Australia. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund has converted £140,000 of convertible bonds and penalty payments of £210,000 into 140 million shares in WideCells (WDC) and that has nearly doubled the number of shares in issue. The first 60 million shares have been sold.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company Sport:80 has delayed its flotation because it has been tidying up its shareholder register. Fintech company Engage Technology is also seeking to float later in 2019 following new product launches. Engage raised £2.6m at £22 a share at the end of 2018, whereas the average buying price by Primorus was £20.03 a share. Investee company, AIM-quoted Greatland Gold (GGP) has published results from the second drilling campaign at Havieron in Western Australia. Every drill hole intersected mineralisation and they extend the overall mineralisation. Drilling will recommence in March. Primorus has raised cash by selling most of the stake in UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) and Primorus was debt free at the end of 2018.

NEX has decided not to suspend trading in the shares of VI Mining (VIM) even though its corporate adviser Daniel Stewart is no longer a member of NEX. VI Mining had little or no notice of its adviser’s withdrawal. A new corporate adviser is being sought.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has acquired apprenticeship training provider Astara Training for £16,666 in shares at 9p each. Milamber lost £179,000 in the third quarter and there was £30,000 in the bank at the end of 2018.

Panther Metals (PALM) has announced the initial results of exploration activity at the Bear Lake project in Ontario. There was gold in soil anomalies at four of the five areas tested. Four areas have quartz vein sample assays above 5g/t gold. Two samples had large grade samples. The next phase of exploration is being planned and could start in the second quarter of 2019.

Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has signed a deal that could enable it to earn a 70% interest in a joint venture that owns the Palha tantalum property in northern Brazil.

AIM  (February 2019 AIM Journal available here)

DP Poland (DPP) is running short of cash and is more than doubling its share capital through a heavily discounted placing raising £5.3m at 6p a share, with the possibility of an additional £500,000. The Domino’s Pizza franchisee for Poland has found competition is getting tougher and growth has slowed. The cash is required to cover losses and open more outlets. Peter Shaw is stepping down as chief executive at the end of June, nearly a decade after founding the business.

Ticketing and queueing technology provider Accesso Technology (ACSO) is reviewing its investment priorities although it says that 2018 figures should be broadly in line with expectations. These will be published on 27 March. A deal fell through and this cost $1.7m. Tom Burnet is moving from executive chairman to a non-exec role. The share price is less than one-third of last year’s high. BlackRock has cut its stake below 5%.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH) has launched a placing and 0.318-for-one open offer to raise up to £4.75m at 3.85p a share on top of the £8m subscription by former AIM company China Medical System Holdings, which will licence products for the Chinese market. The clinical trial for cancer treatment MTD201 will cost up to £7m.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) is acquiring its UK rival Capital Step and this will double the size of the portfolio to eleven investments and diversify it in terms of sectors. There is an initial £10m cash payment and the assumption of debt of £11.65m. There is performance related consideration of up to £1.5m. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing.

Visa has increased its bid for Earthport (EPO) from 30p a share to 37p a share, which beats the Mastercard offer of 33p a share. The latest bid values Earthport at £247m.

Taptica (TAP) has launched a recommended bid for RhythmOne (RTHM) and this will create one of the largest video advertising companies in the US. The offer is 28 Taptica shares for every 33 RhythmOne shares. Taptica shareholders will own 50.1% of the enlarged group. A $15m share buyback programme is planned after the merger. Ofer Druker will become chief executive.

Polemos (PLMO) has finalised the details of its reverse takeover of Digitalbox Publishing for £10m in shares and it is also acquiring the owner of the Daily Mash satirical news website for up to £1.2m in cash and shares. The model for the Entertainment Daily website will be used to improve the performance of the Daily Mash. A placing will raise £1.02m at 14p a share. The company will change its name to Digitalbox.

Hardide (HDD) is raising £3.6m at 1.5p a share so that it can move to new premises in the UK and invest in additional equipment. The surface coatings company is experiencing increasing demand from the oil and gas sector and there is potential for orders from aerospace companies. It will take two years to fully equip and move into the new facility. Hardide also intends to consolidate 40 shares into one new share.

finnCap has raised its forecasts for Tracsis (TRCS) following recent acquisitions. There is a 3% increase in earnings per share for this year and an 11% rise to 30.5p next year.

Stride Gaming (STR) has traded in line with previously downgraded expectations. Cost cutting continues to cover higher regulatory and tax costs. The online gaming operator will report a lower profit in 2018 and it is set to fall again in 2019. Net cash was £22.1m at the end of 2018.

Bowmark Capital has offered 110p a share for Tax Systems (TAX) and discussions continue. Tax Systems reduced net debt from £20.5m to £13.9m by the end of 2018. Pre-tax profit of £5.8m is forecast for 2018.

Victoria (VCP) has sold surplus land in Kidderminster for £2m. The land was in the books for £100,000 but it has obtained planning consent for housing.

Starcom (STAR) has renegotiated its agreement with Xplosive in South Africa, having originally announced it in October 2017. Xplosive has signed a 36-month agreement to pay a monthly fee for each of the Kylos units supplied for the monitoring of cattle. The fees are higher in the first six months and then reduce. The agreement should be worth $500,000.

Strix Group (KETL) has offered to acquire most of the assets of HaloSource (HAL) for $1.3m. Strix has provided working capital of $100,000. Due diligence is being carried out on the water filtration technology and if the deal goes through the cash will pay creditors, but there will be nothing for shareholders.

Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) has announced that the Selva gas field in northern Italy has net 2P reserves of 13.3bcf and there are 2.26bcf attributable to Prospex, which has a 17% stake. Selva could start production in 2020 at a rate of up to 150,000 cubic metres/day.

Tau Capital (TAU) plans to raise cash via a placing through Peterhouse and then a capital distribution will be made to all shareholders. This will enable Tau to seek an acquisition. It has until 18 April to secure a deal or trading in the shares will be suspended. Armstrong Investments has increased its stake from 11.7% to 15.7%.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) says that the SFX-01 clinical trial for subarachnoid haemorrhage is on course having completed recruitment and the primary endpoints should be available in the second quarter. Partners Investment Company has acquired at 3.15% stake.

Sports Direct International (SPD) made a £15m offer to buy Patisserie Valerie from the administrator, but this was not deemed enough. Even a higher selling price won’t provide anything for Patisserie Holdings shareholders.

MAIN MARKET  

Solicitor DWF plans to raise £75m via a March flotation an some of the cash will repay members’ capital contributions as well as invest in the business. Existing shareholders will also sell shares and partners’ remaining stakes will be locked up until April 2024.

Two former AIM-quoted companies are coming together to join the standard list. Daniel Stewart Securities, which is closing its broking business, is making an offer for Atlantic Carbon, which was previously known as Atlantic Coal, where Adam Wilson, who has had connections with Daniel Stewart, is executive chairman. Singapore-based backer Epsilon Investments refused to put more money into the broker and that is why it is closing. Epsilon holds a majority stake in Hyde Park Holdings, which owns broker Novum Securities. Last October, SeeThruEquity research suggested that Atlantic had an equity value of $86.8m and $68m of debt. In 2017, Atlantic was the largest producer of anthracite in the US with a market share of one-third based on 1.18 million tonnes produced. Atlantic is expected to have moved into profit in 2018, although it did generate cash from operations in 2017. The owners of more than 50% of Atlantic shares have agreed to accept the bid of 1.5587 shares for each Atlantic share.

Thalassa Holdings (THAL) is offering 14.64p a share in cash and 0.26 of a share for each share in The Local Shopping REIT. Thalassa already owns 25.5% of the bid target, which is valued at 32.8p a share. The bid is an alternative to the winding up of The Local Shopping REIT.

Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) is no longer acquiring blockchain technology developer Chorum Group because of political uncertainty affecting the UK equity markets. Former Avanti Communications boss David Williams is the director of Chorum. Blockchain Worldwide has more than £1m in the bank and is also looking at other technology sectors for acquisitions.

Drilling of the Colter appraisal well in Dorset has commenced and United Oil and Gas (UOG) has a 10% interest. The drilling should take three weeks. The Selva gas field in Italy has net 2P reserves of 2.7bcf attributable to United, which has a 20% stake. Selva could start production in 2020. United intends to move to AIM.

Oil and gas producer Zenith Energy (ZEN) has raised £607,000 in Canada and the UK at C$0.05 a share and 3p a share respectively.

Motor finance provider S and U (SUS) has confirmed that its figures for the year to January 2019 will be in line with expectations. The Aspen property bridging loan business had a loan book of £18m at the end of January 2019. Cautious lending criteria means that new business has slowed in recent months and this has led to a 5% 2019-20 earnings downgrade to 230.1p a share.

BATM (BVC) has won a $3.2m cyber security contract and this takes contracted revenues from this government customer to more than $10m. The latest contract will be delivered this year.

Chesterfield Resources (CHF) is expanding its exploration programme in Cyprus. Initial drilling in an area near historic mining has shown gold, copper and zinc mineralisation. Chesterfield is also applying for licences to extend its licence area.

Dev Clever (DEV) has launched pay per play multi-player, virtual reality game Vanguard: Fight for Rudiarius in Harlow shopping centre. The game will be rolled out to other UK sites.

Bluebird Merchant (BMV) has applied for a grant to help finance drilling at the Kochang project in South Korea and there should be news by the end of the month. There has also been a permit application to develop Kochang.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 14 January 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Bruce Pubs (PUB) has raised £100,000 from an issue of 7.2% bonds and trading has commenced on NEX. The pubs operator wants to raise up to £20m. The cash will be used to acquire pubs in Scotland. Bruce owns 18 licenced premises with another licence pending. Bruce Pubs is a subsidiary of the holding company Bruce Group, which had net assets of £3.8m at the end of June 2018.

Sativa Investments (SATI) is investigating ways of raising cash to finance the company’s glasshouse and working capital for the first cannabis crop. There are also talks with vets about using medicinal cannabis in animal health. Sativa is pleased with the platform that NEX has given the business. Imperial X (IMPP) is the latest NEX company to change its investing strategy to cannabis investments.

Trading in the shares of Clean Invest Africa (CIA) following news that it has negotiated an agreement to acquire the 97.5% of CoalTech LLC it does not own. The company has technology that can convert waste coal into coal pellets for industrial and commercial use. A circular will be sent to shareholders in the first quarter of 2019.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has increased its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) to 35 million shares, which is equivalent to 1.09%. The average cost is 1.71p a share. The investment has been made ahead of further drilling results at the Havieron gold/copper project in Australia.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) reported a NAV of 189.95p a share for the end of 2018.

AIM

President Energy (PPC) beat its production target for the end of 2018. The Argentina-focused oil and gas company was producing 3,300 boepd by the year end, which is 10% above the target. The latest drilling programme of three wells has been a 100% success. President intends to build on this base during 2019. The next reserves audit should be published in March. There should be a significant jump in profit in 2019. Panmure Gordon forecasts a 2019 pre-tax profit of $18.6m. The cash generated will help to finance forecast capital investment of around $40m during the year. The target price is 15p a share.

Gateley (GTLY) continues to trade strongly with organic growth supplemented by contributions from acquisitions. The legal services provider increased interim revenues by one-fifth to £46.4m, while pre-tax profit rose from £4.2m to £5m. Net debt increased from £7.1m to £8.2m after acquisitions spending and dividend payments. The second half tends to be more cash generative. More business is coming from litigation work but management is confident that its revenue recognition policies mean that the strong cash generation will not be hit.

Castleton Technology (CTP) is paying £1.8m for Deeplake Digital, which provides digital communications services between landlords and tenants. Thirty of its 90 customers are new to Castleton.

ATTRAQT (ATQT) is expecting to make a small EBITDA figure for 2018. The online shopping performance enhancement services provider will report its 2018 results on 14 February.

More woe for Footasylum (FOOT) as gross margins come under pressure. Revenues were in line with expectations over Christmas but less money was made from them as old stock was discounted. The 2018-19 loss forecast has been edged up to more than £5m.

Higher input costs mean that Accrol Group (ACRL) will not do as well as expected and it will make a significant 2018-19 loss after exceptional charges.

Packaging machinery supplier Mpac Group (MPAC) says 2018 trading was in line with expectations and the year has started with a strong order book. The company is assessing the potential additional cost of pension equalisation for its defined benefit scheme.

Bowleven (BLVN) is paying a 15p a share special dividend on 8 February. This will leave the oil and gas explorer with the cash it requires for its exploration programme.

Wealth manager Mattioli Woods (MTW) says that its interim EBITDA margin was substantially ahead of the 20% target. Gross discretionary assets under management were £2.4bn at the end of November 2018.

Churchill China (CHH) had a strong finish to the financial year with a better second half performance in the UK. The 2018 profit will be higher than expected. The figures will be published on 27 March.

Shoe Zone (SHOE) stands out amongst its peers because it has had strong 2017-18 figures and a good Christmas. Last year’s pre-tax profit improved from £9.5m to £11.3m. Forecasts have been upgraded with 2018-19 earnings per share increased from 16.4p a share to 17.6p a share based on flat profit and a higher tax charge.

Quiz (QUIZ) sales continue to decline, albeit at a slightly lower rate of 5% like-for-like. The fashion retailer had to discount and gross margins were two percentage points lower. Overheads are also too high because of the lack of growth. The full year profit forecast has been cut from £6m to £4.4m.

A North African order for the Helios product supplied by Starcom (STAR) has been delayed until 2019 so 2018 revenues will be lower than expected. The total order value is $1.1m and the majority was expected to be recognised in 2018. Even so, revenues were better than expected, but the loss will be higher.

A general meeting has been requisitioned at Angus Energy (ANGS) by shareholders owning 6.2% of the company. It is believed that former chairman Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius is behind this requisition, which involves the proposed removal of Paul Vonk from the board and the appointment of the Earl of Lucan and George Bingham. Non-exec Rob Shepherd has resigned. Angus has entered into a 24 month, £3m loan facility with YA II PN Ltd and Riverfort Global Capital in order to finance the development of the Balcombe field in the Weald basin. A £1.5m drawdown is planned immediately.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has acquired additional acreage in the Paradox Basin in Utah at a cost of $35,000. Rose believes that the new acreage could have an NPV10 of around $12m. The deal follows the results of the Schlumberger study which suggests that the site of a proposed well in the area should be in an optimal position.

Diurnal Group (DNL) has been granted a second patent for hydrocortisone treatment Chronocourt, which already has orphan drug designation. The patent lasts until 2033.

A £2m subscription and $5m investment into an internal finance note by 1795 Volantis Fund will provide Obtala Ltd (OBT) with additional funds. 1795 Volantis Fund will own 12.9% of Obtala, as well as 40 million warrants exercisable at 10p each. The disposal of a Tanzanian agricultural business will bring in a further $2.5m. Obtala intends to acquire the 25% it does not own in Montara Continental for $5m, which will be reinvested in the internal finance note.

Fuel cell developer Proton Power Systems (PPS) will own 33.33% of Hamburg-based Clean Logistics, which is being set up to build heavy trucks powered by fuel cell hybrid systems in the range of 75kw-150kw. The other two equal shareholders are Hopen, which has interests in battery and electric vehicle developers, and modular transport service provider Hary.

Sopheon (SPE) had a strong end to 2018. The software provider will provide more details in its trading statement later this month, when finnCap says it will reassess its forecasts.

Dekeloil (DKL) says that fourth quarter volumes were in line with expectations with a 2% increase in crude palm oil production on the third quarter. The annual production was 15% lower because of the weak first half. Selling prices have been at a premium to the market price. The purchase of a 43.8% stake in the Tiebissou cashew processing project has been completed.

Imaginatik (IMTK) has decided to sell its software business and assets to Planbox. The initial cash payment is $1.7m and up to $800,000 more could become payable. If it is all paid then the selling price would be higher than the book value of the assets. Imaginatik will become a shell with around £1m in cash left from the initial payment. If the disposal is approved by sharehodlers the company will change its name to Abal Group.

Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) continues to grow fleet sales but lower insurance sales are partly offsetting that growth. A supplementary dividend will be announced with the final dividend when the 2018 figures are published on 25 February.

Brighton Pier Group (PIER) says problems with the railways are hampering the income generation of Brighton Pier and earning shave been lower. The trading of the bars division was flat last year. Pre-tax profit will be around £3.2m, which is 18% lower than previous expectations.

Frontier IP (FIPP) says that its investee company Exscientia has raised $26m and is collaborating with Roche in a deal worth up to CHF67m. Frontier IP owns 3.32% of artificial intelligence-driven drug developer Exscientia.

MAIN MARKET

InnovaDerma (IDP) has revealed a 6% dip in first half revenues to £3.9m, even though retail sales grew strongly. Direct sales fell, although there are indications that they are recovering. The cosmetic products supplier will have to do well in the second half to achieve full year forecast revenues of £14.4m.

Trident Resources (TRR) has £1.85m in the bank at the end of October. The shell raised £4m when it floated in October. The balance sheet includes trade receivables of £2.1m, although management says that it started the year with just under £4m in cash. Potential acquisitions are being assessed.

Andrew Hore

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