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In the first half of 2018, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased media revenues by one-fifth and, along with growth in nursery and lodge revenues, this helped the racecourse operator to raise revenues by 5% to £7.33m even though two race days were lost to bad weather. Enough cash was generated to more than cover capital spending.
Block Commodities (BLCC) has signed a non-binding letter of intent with the Eelleet Network Corp, which intends to buy Block. There would be an all share recommended offer and the enlarged business would list on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Trading in Block shares has been suspended.
Ananda Developments (ANA) has obtained a £300,000 convertible loan facility with two directors, Charles Morgan and Melissa Sturgess. The annual interest rate is 10% and the conversion price is 0.75p a share. The manufacture of 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies’ vaporisers and consumable packs containing four hapac sachets of 0.25g medicinal cannabis has commenced in China. AfriAg Global (AFRI) has applied for a medicinal cannabis licence in the UK. Fellow cannabis investment company Sativa Investments (SATI) has set up a German wholesaling subsidiary and it will invest €80,000 for a 60% stake.
In the six months to June 2018, St Mark Homes (SMAP) increased revenues from £71,000 to £139,000 and it made a small loss excluding negative goodwill release. The interim dividend was unchanged at 5.5p a share. The NAV is £5.9m, including £754,000 in cash, which is equivalent to 134p a share. St Mark is trying to gain planning permission for the commercial development in Sutton High Street. Two other properties in London are being redeveloped and sales have commenced. A development in Wembley should start in 2019.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) reported a profit in the first half of 2018, but that was due to a change in the fair value of the option to acquire 90% of Cedex. Revenues fell 48% to $3.78m and the underlying loss of the fintech software provider increased from $282,000 to $971,000. The blockchain operations made an initial contribution of $1.23m to revenues. The B2C operations have ceased in Europe and the company wants to sell its subsidiary with a FSA licence. Higher regulations have hampered the B2B technology customers.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) reported an increased interim loss of $9.43m due to higher finance costs. Admin costs were flat. The development of the Hellyer gold project in Tasmania is progressing well and the first sales of concentrate should happen before the end of this year. Work continues towards a move to a standard listing.
Less than one month after asking for trading in the company’s 7% bonds 2021 to be suspended Positive Healthcare (DOC) has appointed Eric Walls and Wayne Harrison of KSA to advise on a liquidation process. Irregularities were identified at the principal operating subsidiary and Positive is unable to pay the next instalment of interest on the bonds.
Eight Capital Partners (MORE) had cash of £773,000 at the end of June 2018. That was before the former Cogenpower acquired €111,100 worth of 8% corporate bonds 2020 in Italian financial services company Finance Partners Group. Other financial services and technology investments are being considered.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has been readmitted to NEX and AIM on 21 September, after it completed its migration from the Isle of Man to Bermuda.
IT recruitment and consultancy Parity (PTY) remains on track for an improvement in pre-tax profit from £1.7m to £1.9m but cash generation is not as good as expected. Net debt is still expected to reduce from £1.6m to £900,000. The previously announced Primark managed services contract has started well, although another contract has been delayed. The consultancy business continues to contribute a growing proportion of profit.
Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) has agreed locations for pilot production at the Lesedi coal bed methane project in Botswana and the first well should be spudded in October.
N+1 Singer has upgraded its forecast for EKF Diagnostics (EKF) following the interim figures. There was a 5% decline in revenues to £20.4m, while underlying profit improved from £2.3m to £2.7m. Around £250,000 has been added to the profit, taking pre-tax profit to £7.7m. The launch of haemoglobin analyser DiaSpect following FDA approval will boost next year’s figures. The spin out of RenalytixAI continues and it will require a general meeting.
Audio products supplier Focusrite (TUNE) says full year revenues were in line with expectations of £75.4m, while cash of £22.8m is better than forecast. A pre-tax profit of £10.8m is forecast. There are concerns about US tariffs.
Tanfield (TAN) has warned that it may not get anything for its stake in Snorkel if the call option is exercised. Management has already said that it will write down the value of the investment to £19.1m ($25.3m), which already knocks 12p a share off NAV, but there is a disagreement about the interpretation of the original agreement.
Disappointing results from the Atopic Dermatitis study has led Realm Therapeutics (RLM) to appoint MTS Health Partners to advise on strategy alternatives. Realm is considered to be in an offer period. There was $21.3m in the bank at the end of August.
Short-term weakness in the oil palm price has held back the progress of plantations operator MP Evans (MPE) in the first half, but crude palm oil production is increasing in line with expectations (91,900 tons in the first half). That means that full year revenues are likely to be flat and pre-tax profit will be lower. Longer-term growth will come from increased production from more recently planted areas.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) is coming up to its first year on AIM and the growth momentum continues.
Huadong Medicine Aesthetics has launched its recommended 32p a share cash bid for Sinclair Pharma (SPH) and that values the company at £166.6m.
There has been a lot of activity at Frontier IP (FIPP) in the past week. The AB Sugar head of innovation Matthew White is joining the company as head of commercialisation. Recycled building materials developer Alusid has raised £1.34m, including the conversion of a £348,000 loan from Frontier IP, which has a 35.6% stake. The Alusid investment had been valued at £700,000 and the latest fundraising values it at £1.73m. The cash will be used by Alusid to invest in its manufacturing facility, which should start production in 2020. The total cost will be £10m. A new company has been set up to develop new antibiotics. Frontier IP has a 10% stake in Amprologix, which has been spun out of the University of Plymouth. The first product is likely to be a cream that contains epidermicin, which can kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA.
There was a switch in the mix of revenues at job screening services provider ClearStar Inc (CLSU) in the first half as revenues increased by 11% to $9.9m. The growth has come from Medical Information Systems, which has lower margins and this means that the overall loss is reducing more slowly than expected. The cash outflow is small. Net cash is $1.2m.
Diurnal Group (DNL) is going along as expected with the launch of its Alkindi paediatric adrenal insufficiency treatment in Germany but the market has been unnerved by a negative comment from a German government research organisation. It pointed out that the performance of Alkindi was not compared with another treatment which has not been given regulatory approval. This does not appear likely to affect the relationship with the German regulatory authorities. There will be news from the European phase III trial for Chronocort before the end of the year.
Stockdale has initiated research on professional services group Christie Group (CTG) and expects a full year profit of £3.5m. It has already achieved an interim profit of £1.75m.
VR Education (VRE) still had £4.9m in the bank at the end of June 2018. Since then there have been improvements to the ENGAGE platform ahead of the full commercial launch before the end of the year. The full version of Titanic VR was launched in August and it is set to be launched on Playstation.
Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) continues to grow rapidly and it is moving into the water sector. Interim revenues jumped from £20.8m to £35.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit moved ahead from £1.15m to £1.8m. Growth is coming from the larger corporate sector which has held back margins because they are via brokers. The interim dividend is one-fifth higher at 1.2p a share. There was £18.2m in the bank at the end of June 2018.
N4 Pharma (N4P) has undertaken a strategic review following the failure of the reformulation of sildenafil to achieve its key targets in its clinical trial. It would cost a lot and increase risk if the company undertook further reformulation of this generic. The generics division has been closed and the focus will be the Nuvec delivery system. Initial results from research should be available before the end of the year. There was £1.6m in the bank at the end of June 2018.
Books publisher Quarto Group (QRT) increased interim revenues from $50.2m to $56.2m and the underlying loss fell from $8.7m to $6.6m. Net debt was $73.2m at the end of June 2018. Management is talking to banks to extend the bank facility until August 2020. Costs are being reduced.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) intends to broaden its investment remit to include cannabis processing, as well as the energy and industrial sectors. Finance professional Alan Hume has joined the board of the standard list shell. He was previously an adviser to the company and until last year finance director of Zenith Energy (ZEN). Between 2010 and 2012 he was finance director of Xtract Energy (XTR).
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has completed its feasibility report into the reopening of the Gubong gold mine and the joint venture with Southern Gold has started. Production of 10,000 ounces of gold is initially targeted.
Hotel operator Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) reported flat interim revenues of £1.51m in the six months to April 2018, during a period where building repairs were undertaken. Higher overheads and maintenance costs meant that the loss increased from £153,000 to £200,000. There is £635,000 in the bank.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £300,000 at 0.1p a share in order to finance its new investing strategy of investing in medicinal cannabis businesses.
Panther Metals (PALM) has signed an option agreement to acquire gold exploration properties in Ontario. The total potential consideration is C$133,000 (£77,000) in cash and the issue of 19.15 million shares at 0.3p each, locked-in for six weeks. A non-refundable payment of C$30,000, one-half cash and one-half shares, has been paid. Due diligence needs to be completed within eight weeks.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has entered into two marketing and off-take agreements, combined with a $10m secured prepayment facility with Traxys Europe. The off-take agreements relate to all lead and zinc concentrates from the Hellyer project in Tasmania in the first five years of production.
Pelican House Mining (PHM) had nearly £49,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. The former Hellenic Capital acquired a 15% stake in Might Oak Explorations last month.
Melissa Sturgess and Michael Langoulant have been appointed as directors of Imperial Minerals (IMPP) and James Hamilton and Russell Hardwick have resigned.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has received approval for the Tracksure locking device from the Italian State Railway.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) plans to buy out the other shareholders in CoalTech LLC. Due diligence has commenced prior to making an offer for the 97.5% of CoalTech not owned by the clean technology investment company. The initial investment was $500,000.
Frontier IP (FIPP) investee company Pulsiv Solar has won a UK government grant worth £130,00, which will be put towards a £289,000 project to compete the development of its solar micro-inverter by next April. Frontier IP owns 18.9% of the University of Plymouth spin-out.
Kestrel Partners continues to build up its stake in broadcast software provider Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) and it has taken it from 16.6% to 17.4%. Continuing operations moved back into operating profit in 2017, even though revenues fell from £10.9m to £10.3, but the £500,000 was not enough to cover interest charges and rationalisation costs. Net debt was still £10.3m after getting some proceeds from the sale of the Vislink hardware business. The revolving credit facility is £15m.
Medical imaging technology developer Polarean Imaging (POLX) has raised £800,000 at 16p a share, following last month’s investor symposium. This provides additional cash to support phase III clinical trials in the US and invest in further development.
Veltyco (VLTY) has decided not to go ahead with the potential acquisition of sportsbook operator Ruleo Alpenland.
Telit Communications (TCM) has agreed to sell its automotive division to TUS International for $105m and the deal should be completed by the end of 2018. In 2017, this business made a $10.1m contribution to EBITDA before group overheads. This deal will more than wipe out the current net debt of $25m. The focus will be the Internet of Things operations.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) continues to build up its sales. The reported interim revenues were £1.35m. Like-for-like interim revenues grew by 268%. The company remains loss-making but the gross margin improved from 37.8% to 49.4%. There was £4.6m in the bank at the end of March 2018 and this will help to finance further increase in the product range as well as continued losses. There is a database of more than 54,000 customers and 11,407 of those were repeat customers in the period.
Duke Royalty Ltd (DUKE) is raising £44m at 44p a share to fund the pipeline of royalty financing opportunities. There are already four new potential royalty partners requiring £27.5m. These include healthcare, foods and media businesses. Within 12 months, Duke expects to increase its dividend yield. Last December Duke raised £20m at 40p a share.
Itaconix (ITX) is raising £3.4m at 2p a share, which was a 70% discount to the suspension price. Trading in the shares will start again on Monday 16 July. The speciality polymers designer will have enough cash for 12 months, assuming shareholders vote in favour of the share issue. Revenues have been building up slowly and last year they nearly doubled to £553,000. The loss was £11.9m.
One year after it joined AIM, superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) says that first half trading was weaker than expected. There were delays in refits and fewer new build projects were won. First half revenues of around €25.1m are lower than the two previous first half outcomes. It appears that the interim loss will be more than €1m. There are €12.1m of orders expected to be completed in the second half with a further €25m of “high probability prospects”. The 2017 revenues were €62.6m.
Marlowe (MRL) is raising £20m at 475p a share in order to finance further acquisitions in the critical asset management services sector.
Tristel (TSTL) says that its full year pre-tax profit should be at least in line with the £4.4m forecast, up 8%. Higher investment in gaining US approvals for disinfection products has held back profit growth, but it is expected to accelerate in 2018-19 when a pre-tax profit of £5.2m is forecast.
ReNeuron (RENE) has signed a three-month exclusivity agreement with a major pharma company to potentially out-licence the global rights, excluding China, of its hRPC retinal stem cell technology platform. A non-refundable payment of $2.5m will be received with a further $2.5m due if the deal goes ahead. There was £34.7m in the bank at the end of March 2018 and this should last well into 2020 even though there will be significant spending on trials, including the phase III trial of the CTX cell treatment for stroke disability.
Xpediator (XPD) has acquired Import Services Ltd, which operates a logistics and warehousing business at the Port of Southampton, for up to £12m. The business, which made a 2017 profit of £1.7m, fits well with Xpediator’s existing business in the port and has a good management team that can help the enlarged operations to grow. It should be earnings enhancing in the first full year. A placing raised £7m at 70p a share.
Fifteen-month figures from healthcare services provider Totally (TLY) include five months from the Vocare acquisition but that was still enough to generate revenues of £42.5m. A full 12 months of Vocare should increase revenues to £85m but Totally would still be loss-making. There is further restructuring and integration required. Cost savings should help Totally move into profit in 2019-20. Net cash was £10.2m at the end of March 2018.
Collagen Solutions (COS) improved its revenues in the second half, compared with the first half, but full year revenues were still 6% lower at £3.83m. There is still £5.02m in the bank. There was growth in EMEA. The eight year clinical study for cartilage repair product ChondroMimetic was successful.
Full year figures from managed communications services provider AdEPT Telecom (ADT) were better than expected. Managed services were more than two-thirds of revenues, which were 35% ahead at £46.4m. Underlying pre-tax profit was one-third higher at £7.7m. Net debt was £17.6m at the end of March 2018.
Strategic Minerals (SML) generated sales of $696,000 from the Cobre magnetite operations in the three months to June 2018, but the suspension of a major contract will hit the current quarter. There was $2.09m in the bank at the end of June 2018 and a payment of $375,000 has subsequently been received.
ECR Minerals (ECR) has raised £650,000 at 0.7p a share and that provides enough cash until the third quarter of 2019. The development programme at the Blue Moon target in Victoria, Australia will be accelerated.
An international mining company has agreed to subscribe $250,000 for shares in Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) and that will help to finance further exploration at the Anza project in Colombia. The subscription is at 5.2p a share, double the market price at the time of the agreement.
Fishing tackle retailer Fishing Republic (FISH) expects interim revenues to decline from £4.1m to £3.4m following the closure of five underperforming stores. Like-for-like store sales were 22% lower and online sales also fell. Inventory levels have fallen.
Clear Leisure (CLP) has started operations at its crypto currencies mining data centre in Serbia.
Battery technology and advanced materials developer Ilika (ILK) has raised £4m at 20p a share and an open offer could raise up to £1m more. The cash will finance the costs of developing battery technology for the automotive market. There was £2.8m in the bank at the end of April 2018.
N4 Pharma (N4P) reported disappointing results from the pharmacokinetic data for the clinical trial for reformulated sildenafil, which is better known as Viagra. The plan is to improve the speed at which the drug takes effect but the formulation has not meet the targets set.
Ariana Resources (AAU) says that the Kiziltepe mine produced 7,171 ounces of gold in the second quarter of 2019 and it is still on course to produce 20,000 ounces of gold for the whole year.
Trading remains tough at replacement windows supplier Safestyle UK (SFE) although order intake has firmed in recent weeks. This follows the loss of staff to a competitor that is being sued by Safestyle. It will take until next year to rebuild the team. Thee will be a loss this year even before £6m of restructuring costs. This will use up the cash in the bank.
Next Fifteen Communications (NFC) is paying an initial £2.2m for Technical Associates Group, which is a technical content and digital marketing business. This deal increases the group’s exposure to the industrial engineering sector.
More director changes at Quarto Group Inc (QRT) with Andy Cumming appointed as senior independent non-executive chairman. Major shareholder Laurence Orbach has stepped down as executive chairman and will become a non-executive director. Chief operating officer Ken Fund has joined the board.
Nicholas Lyth has resigned from the board of Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL) having been a director for 17 months.
China-focused healthcare investor Cathay International Holdings (CTI) says that the first half sales and profit will be lower than expected but it hopes to make up the shortfall in the second half. Healthcare subsidiary Lansen has appointed a new chief executive and there have been operational changes, while regulation changes also continue to hit sales in the first quarter. The company’s hotel operations are trading ahead of expectations. The interim will be published in late August.
There are eight companies in the running for the NEX Exchange company of the year at the Small Cap Awards. The awards will be held at The Montcalm Hotel, Marble Arch.
Kent-based wines maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has built up a significant presence in the English wines market. The company has a winery in Tenterden and it is building a new brewery for its beer operations. Chapel Down reported a 15% increase in annual sales to £11.8m. Wine sales were one-fifth higher at £8.12m with cider and beer sales, via associate Curious Drinks, were 7% ahead at £3.68m. Operating profit improved from £346,000 to £470,000 but there was a much larger loss from the Curious Drinks associate so pre-tax profit was lower. The new brewery should be open in the first quarter of 2019.
Cyber security technology developer Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) is still at a very early stage of its development but it more than doubled its revenues in 2017. The loss still increased from £950,000 to £1.24m despite the improvement in revenues from £345,000 to £737,000. The cash outflow was £1.06m, which left £490,000 in the bank. Since then, £2.16m was raised via a placing at 270p a share. Crossword has interests in a number of early stage businesses, including CyberOwl, a joint venture between Coventry University and Crossword, which has backing from Mercia Fund Management. CyberOwl is developing network security software for target-centric monitoring.
Field Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) has one of the longest track records on NEX and it has its highest share price in more than one decade of trading. Field Systems designs, installs and supplies electrical, instrumentation and control systems, for the water, power and transport sectors. In the six months to November 2017, revenues jumped from £8.47m to £12m, while pre-tax profit improved from £114,000 to £211,000. There was £3.34m of cash in the bank and NAV was £3.31m, which is more than the market capitalisation.
KR1 (KR1) has had a successful year buying and trading various coins and tokens. The KR1 share price has more than quadrupled over the past year. KR1 generated gains of £4.3m on its trading in digital coins and tokens during 2017. There was also a total unrealised gain of £10.8m on these investments and a £1.18m foreign exchange gain. The total pre-tax profit was £14.5m, with a tax charge of £2.87m.
Dairy and livestock services provider National Milk Records (NMR) was originally part of the Milk Marketing Board and after it was spun off it joined the forerunner of NEX. National Milk Records generated revenues of £5.32m in the three months to March 2018. This means that revenues are £1.51m ahead so far this year, although the comparatives are weak. Herdwise, the screening service for Johne’s disease and other testing services are providing growth with a small improvement from milk recording services. Rising milk supply has started to hold back milk prices.
Energy saving electrical products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported flat interim revenues of £1.88m but it masks the growth in the sales of MiHome products. This growth will continue in the second half. The interim pre-tax profit edged up from £35,000 to £44,000. Sandal secured a term loan of up to £500,000 from major shareholder Greenbrook Industries Ltd and £250,000 was used to buy back 862,068 shares from Greenbrook. The shares were cancelled and this will enhance earnings per share.
Daniel Thwaites (THW) is a brewer, hotels and pubs operator that has been trading for more than two centuries. It has also been on NEX for more than two decades, since the London Stock Exchange closed rule 4.2, which was a matched bargains facility for unquoted companies. Some of these former rule 4.2 companies moved to AIM, while others, including a number of regional brewers, moved to Ofex/NEX. In the six months to September 2017, revenues improved from £44m to £48m and underlying pre-tax profit were flat at £5.9m. The shares are trading at a near-50% discount to NAV.
Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) is an ethical housing REIT and it is also on the shortlist for the impact company of the year. The company develops new housing for people with learning and physical disabilities or needing extra care. Earlier this year, Walls and Futures raised £80,000 from an open offer at 94p a share. In 2017, Walls and Futures achieved a total return on its portfolio of 11.5%, ahead of its benchmark total return of 7%. Walls and Futures has joined the MSCI IPD UK Residential Property Index.
The winner will be announced on Thursday 14 June.
Cannabis investment company Sativa Investments (SATI) is widening its remit. It is asking shareholders to agree to investments outside of Canada.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has completed the acquisition of offices in Leicester for £4.385m. The Leicester Crown Prosecution Service pays an annual rent of £290,000.
St Mark Homes (SMAP) is paying a maintained interim dividend of 5.5p a share and the ex-dividend date is 5 July. The dividend will cost £247,000. The carbon emissions trading business has also started electronic currency mining.
China CDM Exchange Centre Ltd (CCEP) reported a small dip in revenues from £898,000 to £888,000 but it managed to increase its profit from £2,000 to £35,000.
Karoo Energy (KEP) has secured Contax Partners as technical partner and project manager for the shale gas project in Botswana. Contax will accept £800,000 worth of shares in Karoo as payment for services. Karoo hopes to apply for admission to AIM by 1 July.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says full production at its Honduras processing plant has been delayed because permits have not been received for the processing of larger amounts of gold ore.
EPE Special Opportunities (EL.P) had an NAV of 228.16p a share at the end of May 2018.
Property investment adviser First Property Group (FPO) reported flat pre-tax profit of £9.23m in the year to March 2018. The final dividend is 3% higher at 1.18p a share. The underlying NAV rose from 47.6p a share to 53.1p a share. Third party assets under management were 45% higher at £454m, which is mainly down to the new office fund. Progress this year will be held back by the departure of the tenant in a building in Poland. Some of the space has already been re-let and the rest should be during the year.
Pawnbroker Ramsdens (RFX) continues to grow on the back of strong foreign exchange revenues. Last year, they were 26% higher at £11.3m. Group revenues were 16% ahead at £39.9m, while underlying pre-tax profit rose 60% to £6.5m. Net cash was £12.7m, although that does include foreign currency stocks. The total dividend was 6.6p a share.
Gooch and Housego (GHH) increased interim revenues by 7% to £55.6m and underlying pre-tax profit was13% ahead at £7m. Aerospace was the main growth area as subsea telecoms demand was weak. The photonics and optical equipment company is on course for a full year profit of £18.5m.
Artilium (ARTA) is recommending a cash and shares bid from Pareteum. The offer is 0.1016 of a Pareteum share and 1.9p in cash for each Artilium share, which values the telecoms software supplier at £78m. The offer follows a strategic alliance between the two companies that was announced last year.
IT managed services provider Redcentric (RCN) says that some public sector contracts have been cancelled and there will be upfront costs for a new contract with the NHS in Yorkshire. That means that 2018-19 EBITDA will be 10% lower than previously forecast.
Imaginatik (IMTK) has completed its strategic review and the chairman and chief executive are both leaving and they are waiving compensation. This will help to reduce annual costs by £750,000. The business is no longer up for sale because no suitable bid was received. Annualised revenues are £2.8m and the innovation software business could move into profit after a full year’s benefit of the cost savings. Former chairman Matt Cooper has sold £225,000 worth of shares at 0.5p each and reinvested the cash in a new £225,000 convertible, interest free loan note. Octopus has reduced its stake from 27.2% to 7.1%.
Mass spectrometry instruments supplier Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has raised £5.5m at 2p a share and an additional £102,000 via a PrimaryBid.com offer.
Trading in cash shell Monreal (MORE) has been suspended because the former Cogenpower has not completed a deal. The board is asking for shareholder approval to move to NEX after the AIM quotation is cancelled on 3 July. The investment strategy will focus on technology, media and telecoms.
Education-focused virtual reality content supplier VR Education (VRE) has delayed the full launch of the latest version of its Titanic VR product until August but it is not expected to affect full year expectations. Work has started with the BBC on 1943: Berlin Blitz.
Driver Group (DRV) continues to improve its margins and profit helped by the growth of the Diales expert witness business. Middle East revenues were lower but profit was higher, while high utilisation rates in Asia Pacific meant that was a sharp swing back to profit in the region. Underlying pre-tax interim profit doubled to £2.1m om the six months to March 2018 and Driver ended the period with net cash of £800,000. The sale and leaseback of the company’s head office was completed in April and net cash is forecast at £5.5m for the end of September 2018. A full year profit of £3.5m, up from £2.5m, is forecast. A return to dividend payments is a possibility in the next year or so.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has enough cash to push forward with the exploration of its Paradox basin acreage in the US. Rose is still earning its 75% working interest in the acreage and it has already received interest from potential farm-in partners that could help finance the first well, which could cost $7m-$8m. A competent person’s report will provide an updated resource in the next few weeks.
The smart machines division was behind the small improvement in profit at Vianet (VNET) in the year to March 2018. That was helped by a contribution from the Vendman acquisition. The smart zones drinks dispensing technology made a slightly lower contribution to profit as it lost more pub customers but the US side is making progress. Research and development spending on technology peaked at £1.5m last year and should fall this year. Net cash fell to £1.27m because of the extra spending but the dividend was maintained at 5.7p a share. The investment should start to pay off this year and pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £2.7m to £3m.
LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) is closing its loss-making US business at a cost of £2m. The US business lost £1.9m last year. Luceco announced an operating profit of £14.2m in 2017.
Quarto Group Inc (QRT) has appointed former finance director Mick Mousley as interim finance director following the departure of Carolyn Bresh. This follows the change of control at the AGM.
Lb-shell (LBP) is asking for shareholder approval for the creation of £435,000 of unsecured convertible loan notes with a conversion price of 0.025p a share. That requires the par value to be reduced to 0.025p a share. Full conversion could mean the issue of shares equivalent to 89.4%. Three directors will own a total of £290,000 of the loan notes. The former Intelligent Energy will offer shareholders the chance to sell their shares for 0.025p each.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) grew 2017 revenues from the nursery, hotel and media operations. There was a 11% increase in raceday attendances, which totalled 196,000 last year, leading to a 1% like-for-like rise in revenues. Overall revenues were 5% higher at £17.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit edged up from £178,000 to £188,000. There was a small cash outflow from operations. Capital investment meant that cash was reduced from £12.9m to £5.2m with more payments to come from the David Wilson Homes deal. A further £5.17m will be spent on upgrading the Pall Mall stand. There are concerns that the cutting of maximum stakes for gaming machines following the recent government announcement could hit bookmaker sponsorship and media rights revenues.
Block Commodities Ltd (BLCC) has a secured a strategic investment from Swarm Fund, which is a decentralised marketplace platform using blockchain. Investors will be able to participate in the FarmCoin asset-backed investment coin via the Swarm platform. FarmCoin is a joint venture between FinComEco and Block Commodities focused on the agriculture sector. There will be up to $45m of FarmCoin tokens issued.
National Milk Records (NMR) is holding a general meeting on 4 June in order to propose a reduction in capital that should put it in a position to have distributable reserves if it wants to pay a dividend.
Pre-IPO investor Primorus Investments (PRIM) had cash of £561,000 at the end of 2017. The NAV was £4.95m. This was after a £3.26m inflow from share issues.
Watkin Jones (WJG) has found a new chief executive but he will not be able to start until the beginning of 2018. Richard Simpson is joining from student accommodation developer Unite Group. The build to rent operations of Watkin Jones has secured a development arrangement for a site in Reading, which will have 315 apartments.
GAN (GAN) and Webis (WEB) are two companies that could benefit from the legalisation of online sports betting in the US. The Supreme Court of the United States has decided to overturn the Federal prohibition of sports betting. US sports betting could be worth $6bn by 2023. That covers online and onsite gambling. GAN can launch a sports betting service in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the second half of this year – in time for the NFL season. GAN already has a deal with Betfair in New Jersey and adding sports betting will increase revenues. Webis has a US subsidiary called WatchandWager, which is based in California, a strong potential market for sports betting.
Genedrive (GDR) has agreed to sell its research and pharmacogenomics divisions to a director for up to £1.9m so that it can concentrate on its core Genedrive diagnostics platform. The initial payment is £1.15m with the rest deferred and subject to claims for R and D tax credits.
Lakehouse (LAKE) is acquiring heating and renewables services provider Just Energy Solutions, which fits with the company’s gas compliance businesses in the public sector and expands coverage in the industrial and commercial sectors. There is no upfront cost and payments will be dependent on profitability over two years. Lakehouse has also won a £55m, three year, Warm Homes contract with the Wales government.
Oil and gas demand is recovering at advanced coatings provider Hardide (HDD) but it is still well below previous levels. Other customers are enhancing growth and aerospace business is on the horizon. Interim revenues were 43% higher at £2.16m but the company is still loss-making. That will continue for a couple of years.
Angling Direct (ANG) increased revenues by 44% to £30.2m in the year to January 2018 and this led to an upgrade in forecast revenues for the current year. The fishing tackle retailer grew online sales by 54% but these tend to be lower margin. Pre-tax profit was £900,000 and it is expected to rise to £1.1m this year.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosander (SOS) says that its full year revenues will be at least £1.34m. Like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter nearly quadrupled and gross margins are improving.
Portmeirion (PMP) has increased revenues by one-fifth in the first four months to 2018, although the second half of the year is always the more significant. Full year profit is still forecast to rise from £8.8m to £9.4m.
Churchill China (CHH) says that trading is ahead of the same period last year. The ceramic products manufacturer continues to have success in Europe and other export markets.
A new patent application has been filed for SkinBiotix by SkinBiotherapeutics (SBTX) and this covers the increasing of filaggrin levels in skin. Filaggrin is required for the formation of the outer layer of skin. Eczema sufferers have a low level of filaggrin.
The People’s Operator (TPOP) is increasing its UK subscribers but US numbers have declined so the performance was down in the first quarter of 2018. Churn is declining. Margins are better than expected. Even so, progress is too slow and an alternative strategy is required by the virtual mobile network business and it is considering divesting the US subscribers. That should cut cash burn by one-third.
A bathing water test by Molendotech, which is one of the investee companies of Frontier IP Group (FIPP), is being launched by Halma. This follows the agreement earlier this year.
Altona Energy (ANR) will begin a drilling programme on the Westfield tenement of the Arckaringa coal project during August. There could be 100mt of coal in the tenement. It will take three weeks to drill 15 holes to a depth of 120 metres.
Active Energy Group (AEG) intends to acquire a controlling interest in PowerWood Canada. Which owns forestry assets in Canada. This will secure feedstock for the roll-out of CoalSwitch, the biomass replacement for coal. There are plans to construct a 25 tonne per hour CoalSwitch plant in Alberta.
Servoca (SVCA) wants shareholders to agree to the cancellation of the AIM quotation. Management says that this will save £150,000 a year.
Volex (VLX) is buying Silcotec Europe for €18.1m and raising £36m at 75p a share. Silcotec supplies harnesses and electronic sub-assemblies to the medical, telecoms and computer industries and generated an operating profit of €3.1m.
Audioboom (BOOM) is not going ahead with the reverse takeover of Triton Digital Canada Inc because it could not raise the cash from a placing. A £700,000 break fee in cash (£90,000) and shares is payable. The audio business still requires more cash and that is why trading in the shares is still suspended.
Sportech (SPO) has a strong presence in the US so it is in a good position to benefit from the legalisation of sports betting. It already has 90 licenced operator clients and its own network of off-track betting facilities in Connecticut.
The reasons behind founder Laurence Orbach increasing his stake in books publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) to 20.1% have become clear. Orbach was removed from the board in November 2012 but he has joined with 27% shareholder Lion Rock to unseat four non-executive directors at the AGM. Orbach and former finance director Mick Mousley have returned to the board, along with two nominees from Lion Rock. Orbach becomes executive chairman.
Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has completed bulk sampling in zone 1 and this should enable a resource estimate to be calculated.
Standard list shell Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has signed heads of terms for a 50% stake in CarCloud, a car sales-based fintech company. The deal to acquire energy storage systems developer Phestor is off. That follows the abortive takeover of Myclubbetting.
S&U (SUS) says non-prime car finance applications are 10% higher this year, although approval rates have fallen. Net receivables have increased by £48m to £258m.
North Midland Construction (NMD) has made a strong start to the year. There is a secured workload of £310m for this year and this should enable an improved financial performance this year.
World Trade Systems (WTS) wants to diversify its business outside of China. A new Taiwan-based health and fitness subsidiary is being incorporated. Kun Xin International will provide a loan facility of up to £3m to finance the new business. European opportunities are being sought.
Blood diseases treatments developer Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) has signed a development agreement with a global pharma company, which will provide Hemogenyx with free technical support and some intellectual property. The pharma company will be granted a research licence for anything jointly developed.
Sativa Investments (SAPI) joined NEX on 29 March after raising £1.1m at 1p a share. The share price has already reached 3.125p. Sativa has £1.5m in cash that it can invest in businesses involved in medicinal cannabis. The initial focus is Canada.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) reported a slight reduction in NAV to 41.5p a share at the end of February 2018. The portfolio includes 17 unquoted employee owned businesses with a value of £5.24m.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has entered into a three-year, $10m loan facility with a US private equity firm and this will be used to develop the Hellyer mine. The facility has a 12% annual interest charge and it is secured on the company’s assets. NQ has entered into a silver purchase deed with the finance provider and has to sell them 30% of the first 8 million ounces recovered from the Hellyer mine and 10% of the payable silver for the lifetime of mine. The price will be the lower of $6/ounce or 80% of market price.
Gunsynd (GUN) says that investee company Human Brands is acquiring a 10% stake in wine and spirits distributor Milestone Beverages HK Ltd, which can help to increase the distribution coverage of the investee company’s drinks brands. Gunsynd owns 6.18% of Brazil Tungsten Holdings, which has been forced to suspend operations after a fatal accident. The investment is currently valued at £500,000.
Welney (WENP) made a broadly similar interim loss of £37,000 and it has net liabilities of £234,000.
Block Commodities (BLOC) has reduced its interim loss from $1.19m to $782,000.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has reached agreement with 4Navitas, which will make a payment to cover the majority of costs incurred when Angelfish was trying to negotiate a joint venture agreement.
Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has raised £50,000 at 0.06p a share.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has sold 50% of its stake in Pharmacy 2U, for double its cost, at the same time as the digital pharmacy services provider raised £40m of new cash.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has extended the closing date of the one-for-four open offer to raise up to £1.05m at 94p a share from 26 March to 30 April.
MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) slipped out its interim figures at 5.32pm after the market had closed for Easter. They show near-doubled cash outflow from operating activities of $2.22m. There was $68,000 in the bank at the end of 2017. Management is hopeful that the $218,000 of trade receivables at the end of December 2017 can be collected by June. Since then, MySQUAR has issued £2.11m of convertible bonds at 90% of their face value to Atlas Capital Markets Ltd. There are also more than 20 million warrants exercisable at 3.15p a share. There is talk of an acquisition of a mobile payment services business.
Conviviality (CVR) is calling in administrators after a rescue fundraising failed to win the backing of investors.
Publisher Axel Springer is investing £125m in Purplebricks (PURP) and this will give it 11.9% of the estate agency. The shares are being acquired at 360p each and £25m worth of existing shares are being acquired from management. Full year revenues will double but a weak UK market, exacerbated by the weather and potentially by negative publicity. There was £51.7m in the bank at the end of February 2018. The additional cash will enable a faster roll-out in the US and entry into other markets.
Royal Bank of Scotland has bid 120p a share for FreeAgent (FREE) and that values the accounting software provider at £53m. The founders will take shares and have a 23.5% stake in the bid vehicle. FreeAgent floated 18 months ago at 84p a share. At the beginning of 2017, FreeAgent signed a deal with RBS, which offers the company’s SaaS-based software to small business customers. More than 10,000 customers have taken up the software.
Polarean Imaging (POLX) joined AIM on 29 March and raised £3m at 15p a share. Polarean has developed xenon gas-based technology that enables MRI scans to produce better images. Amphion Innovations (AMP) retains a 23.2% stake.
Polemos (PLMO) has withdrawn its general meeting resolutions. The placing and 100-for-one share consolidation will not go ahead for the time being. There could be an open offer and placing at the previously proposed price of 0.01p a share.
Thor Mining (THR) is acquiring 40% of an exploration licence, which has 13 outcropping tungsten deposits and one copper deposit and 100% of a prospective copper exploration licence. Thor is issuing A$550,000 of shares to Rox Resources in payment for these purchases. The 60%-owner of the first licence has the right to match the price offered.
Tracsis (TRCS) increased its interim profit by one-third to £2.4m as revenues grew by 18% to £18.1m. The software division increased its profit and there was a recovery in the traffic and data services division. There is more improvement to come from the latter division. The interim dividend is 17% higher at 0.7p a share. There is £18.5m in the bank. There will be a second half contribution from the rail sector delay repay businesses acquired in February. Progress is being made in selling remote condition monitoring technology in North America.
Internet gaming software supplier GAN (GAN) reported a reduced loss of £4.2m for 2017. There was £2.7m in the bank at the end of 2017 and since then has raised £2m via an unsecured 9% convertible loan note. There could be further fundraisings in order to make the most of the prospects for real money internet gaming in the US.
Inland Homes (INL) increased its adjusted EPRA NAV by 6% to 97.63p a share. Interim pre-tax profit improved from £4.95m to £5.37m. The interim dividend was raised 30% to 0.65p a share. The landbank has been expanded to 7,372 plots.
Altona Energy (ANR) slightly increased its first half loss to £260,000 and there was £690,000 in the bank at the end of 2017. The current focus is conventional coal mining at the Arckaringa coal project in Australia. Altona is assessing less wet coal seams.
RM2 International (RM2) is raising £25.3m at 1p a share, just over 50% after a general meeting and the rest dependent on the reduction of operating costs and commercial launch of new technology, and converting preferred shares into 3.16 billion shares. There are also plans for an open offer to raise around £4.5m. The new cash will be used to retrofit existing pallets with ELIoT track and trace devices and produce new RM2 ELIoT pallets. Former chief executive John Walsh has stepped down from the board, as has Frederic de Mevius. Woodford appears likely to end up owning around two-thirds of RM2. The second tranche is dependent on Woodford agreeing that key performance indicators have been met. Three members of RM2’s management will acquire shares in the placing via a reduction in their salaries over an 18 month period.
STM Group (STM) reported better than expected 2017 and this led to an upgrade for 2018. Last year’s pre-tax profit improved from £2.6m to £4m, helped by an increased provision release from the acquired life book. The underlying pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £3.2m to £4.2m in 2018.
Caledonian Trust (CNN) reported a NAV of 185.7p a share at the end of 2017. This was helped an increase in the valuation of St Margaret’s House, which is in the process of being sold.
The SimplyBiz Group provides regulatory and support services to financial advisers and is set to join AIM on 4 April.
Sosandar (SOS) has gained momentum since floating last year. The online women’s fashion retailer continues to lose money but the customer database has increased nearly ten-fold to 36,328.
NetScientific (NSCI) is running out of money and it needs more by the end of June. A placing and subscription will raise up to £6m at 52.5p a share. The cash will be used to provide additional financial backing for investee companies.
Manx Financial Services (MFX) has acquired Blue Star Business Solutions, which is a broker for IT equipment funding, for an initial £1.5m in cash. This could increase to up to £4m depending on performance.
Connemara Mining (CON) is focusing on three main areas: the Inishowen gold project in Donegal, the Mine River gold project in Wicklow and Wexford and multiple zinc exploration projects. The next exploration is at the 100%-owned Mine River gold project where high grade intersections will be targeted.
Wynnstay Properties (WSP) has increased the value of its investment properties by £1.63m to £30.1m in the year to March 2018. The NAV has increased by 100p a share to more than 770p a share.
Real Good Food (RGD) has agreed a loan note facility of up to £4m with three major shareholders. Longer-term, a share issue will be required.
Vernalis (VER) lost £37.6m in 2017, mainly down to exceptional write-downs and unrealised foreign exchange movements. There was £46m in the bank. US commercial activity should finish by the end of September and that will slow the ongoing cash outflow.
Kestrel has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems Group (PEB) from 15.2% to 16.6%. The share price has been on a downward trajectory and borrowings are significant but Kestrel must believe that the software company will survive.
Life science software provider Instem (INS) coupled its 2017 figures with a contract announcement for its SEND software. Revenues were 18% ahead at £21.7m, and that included organic growth of 5%, while pre-tax profit recovered from £500,000 to £1.9m. A further improvement to £2.7m is expected this year.
Feedback (FDBK) has raised £440,000 at 1.25p a share and it will invest in sales and marketing for the TexRAD and Cadran technology, as well as developing a clinical evidence base for TexRAD.
Oracle Power (ORCP) has raised £550,000 at 1.4p a share to provide cash for the company as it moves to financial close for the development of the Thar Block VI lignite coal mine and power plant in the Sindh province in Pakistan.
GoTech Group (GOT) plans to sell its Sportsdata business to Starnevesse for £1. The company was a shell prior to the acquisition of the business in May 2016 and it effectively became a shell again when it stopped supporting the business at the end of 2017. There is £566,000 in the bank and there will be a £100,000 cash payment as part of the settlement of indebtedness to Starnevesse.
Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has signed an agreement with Unimicro Technologies Inc, which will integrate Microsaic’s 4500 MiD mass spectrometry detector into its Capillary Electrophoresis instruments.
Collagen Solutions (COS) is restructuring its New Zealand operations. The plan is to focus on tissue collection and processing and then consolidate collagen production in Glasgow. Annual cost savings should be £200,000 and one-off costs will be £150,000.
Chris Akers has increased its stake in YOLO Leisure (YOLO) from 6.8% to 7.93%.
S&U Group (SUS) reported a one-fifth increase in pre-tax profit to £30.2m. The car finance provider achieved this despite a start-up loss from the bridging finance business Aspen. The total dividend for the year was increased from 91p a share to 105p a share. A rise in pre-tax profit to £35.8m is forecast for this year.
Book publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) slumped into loss in 2017, although the underlying pre-tax profit fell from $13.9m to $3.9m. Net debt was $64m. The year end is being changed to March.
Shefa Yamim (SEFA) had NIS6.49m in the bank at the end of 2017 following its flotation. Bulk sampling results for the Kishon Mid-Reach gemstones project have been positive and the processing plant has been upgraded.
Path Investments (PATH) has postponed its exit from the standard list until further notice. The plan is to move to AIM when the proposed oil and gas asset acquisition is made but the timing remains uncertain.
North Midland Construction (NMD) reported a fall in profit in 2017 even though revenues increased from £250.5m to £291.8m. Pre-tax profit more than halved from £2.06m to £1m. That is because the loss on legacy contracts increased from £3.85m to £7.29m. The final dividend is unchanged at 3p a share even though the total dividend is one-third higher at 6p a share.
NCC (NCC) has sold its web performance business for £7.5m. The sale process for the software testing business is continuing.
VI Mining (VIM) finally made it to NEX on 2 March. The South America-focused miner announced its plans late last year. VI raised £5.36m at 500p a share. That valued the company at £535m. VI is acquiring two gold and silver projects in Peru and owns two toll processing plants.
Mechanical and electrical installation and maintenance services provider Field Systems Design Holdings (FSD) nearly doubled its interim profit. In the six months to November 2017, revenues jumped from £8.47m to £12m, while pre-tax profit improved from £114,000 to £211,000. There was £3.34m of cash in the bank. AMP6 capital spending by water companies has been strong in the period and there are significant waste to energy contracts, although the medium-term outlook for that sector is not as good. Margins remain under pressure.
Energy saving electrical products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported flat interim revenues of £1.88m but this masks the growth in the sales of MiHome products. This growth will continue in the second half. The interim pre-tax profit edged up from £35,000 to £44,000.
Block Energy (BLOK) has completed the sale of its assets in Ghana for $600,000. Block still plans to join AIM.
Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has acquired educational consultancy Vocamedia for up to £165,000, with £60,000 dependent on performance in 2018-19.
Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has announced plans to raise a further £2.5m via placings at 90p a share. The first tranche of $1.25m has been raised and this will be used to invest in opportunities in the healthcare, education and eco tourism sectors in Africa. The focus is businesses that are two-to-three years from profit and have a positive social impact. The second tranche of £1.25m should be raised in one year.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested a further £130,000 in Human Brands by way of a convertible loan note. If Human Brands gets its expected quotation, the loan can be converted at a 55% discount to a three day average volume weighted price. This doubles the investment in the spirits distributor which will also pay (in shares) a fee of 1% of market capitalisation on flotation.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has sold a 5% stake in Horse Hill Developments to Solo Oil (SOLO) in return for £650,000 in cash and £350,000 in shares. Solo has raised £2m at 3.5p a share.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) is working with Haydale Graphene (HAYD) and the University of Swansea to develop intelligent transport systems using Haydale’s graphene ink sensor technology.
Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) says that it needs to raise a minimum of £50,000. A trial amount of coal has been sold by the St Leonard Mine in Nigeria. The buyer is negotiating a long-term supply agreement with a minimum tonnage per month. A second mine would need to be opened to satisfy this demand. Equatorial believes it can make a pre-tax profit of £380,000 in 2018 if the supply agreement is secured.
Supported housing provider Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has joined the MSCI IPD UK Residential Property Index.
Content owner One Media IP (OMIP) has weathered the changes to the market due to the rise of music and video streaming and profit should continue to recover this year. In the year to October 2017, revenues were 14% ahead at £2.34m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £30,000 to £298,000. That is still well below the profit made three years ago. Profit could double this year. Michael Grade and Ivan Dunleavy have invested in the company and they should help One Media IP to secure acquisitions and exploit the existing catalogue.
India-focused online retailer Koovs (KOOV) needs more money to continue its expansion. Management wants up to £50m and much of this will go on marketing and promoting the brand. Talks continue but the current cash pile will not last much more than four months. Second half sales are expected to be lower because of the lack of investment in marketing and the full year EBITDA loss will be £14.4m.
Gresham Hose (GHE) increased its assets under management from £363m to £69m. The British Strategic Investment Fund raised £165m in the period and the plan is to try to raise £250m by the end of 2018. The acquisition of Hazel Capital added a further £86m to assets under management. The value of the strategic assets portfolio value was flat due to distributions to investors. Gresham House has a diluted NAV of 211.2p a share. There is cash of £9.8m with more to come from the sale of the last surplus property and deferred consideration from a previous property sale.
Condor Gold (CNR) is confident that it is on the way to gaining a permit to construct a mine at Mina La India in Nicaragua. An amendment has been submitted for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and it appears that Condor will not have to move the village. This will make it easier to gain the permit. Once the permit is gained then Condor can push ahead with the construction of the mine, which is in an area where there has been mining in the past.
Management Resource Services (MRS) reported a return to profit in its interim figures. Continuing operations increased revenues from A$20.6m to A$33.6m and a loss of A$745,000 was turned into a profit of A$2.52m. Management says that full year earnings per share should be at least 2p.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) is closing its loss-making non-core operations having failed to complete their sale because the buyer had not obtained regulatory approval.
Scotgold Resources Ltd (SGZ) has gained planning permission for the development of the Cononish gold mine in Scotland. This is subject to concluding legal agreements.
Lighting supplier Photonstar LED (PSL) is raising £430,000 at 0.15p a share. The cash will help to complete the development of the company’s new building control system.
Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) continues to grow particularly rapidly outside of the UK. Overall sales grew 43% to £80.1m in the year to February 2018 with international sales well over two-fifths of the total. Both branded and own-brand sales grew. Investment in growth means that EBITDA will be similar to last year. The results will be published on 15 May.
Saffron Energy (SRON) has withdrawn from the acquisition of Po Valley Operations due to regulatory and tax issues but it is still buying Sound Energy’s Italian assets. A new document should be published in the next few days.
Replacement windows supplier Safestyle UK (SFE) says that orders have been weak so far this year. This means that 2018 revenues and profit will be well below the 2017 figures. Cost savings will help to offset some of the downturn in the second half and the business is still cash generative. A final dividend of 7.5p a share is still planned when the 2017 results are announced.
Founder Laurence Orbach has increased his stake in Quarto (QRT) to 20.1%. Back in October 2017, he owned 15.1%. Orbach was removed from the board in November 2012.
Town Centre Securities (TOWN) reported better than expected interim figures. The property investor’s NAV was 4% higher at 375p a share and the interim dividend was maintained at 3.25p a share.
WH Ireland has raised its full year forecast for Avation (AVAP) following the publication of interim figures. The 2018 earnings forecast was raised 10.5% to 26.2 cents a share. Interim profit declined by 13% to $7.3m, while earnings per share fell 15%. The transition of an A320 aircraft from Air Berlin to easyJet led to a release of a maintenance reserve but some transactions will not come through until the second half.
Western Selection (WESP) maintained its NAV at 95p a share at the end of the six month period of December 2017. Net debt was £1.13m. A sharp upturn in the value of the stake in Bilby (BILB) and offset declines in other investments. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.1p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 8 March.
Gledhow Investments (GDH) has granted six million options to its directors and company secretary. Guy Miller and Brett Miller will receive 2.5 million options each and Geoffrey Melamet receives 1 million. The exercise price is 1p a share. They last for five years and would equate to 10.9% of the enlarged share capital if taken up. The current share price is 1p (0.75p/1.25p). Gledhow had a NAV of £714,452 at the end of September 2017, which is equivalent to 1.45p a share. Since the year end, a gain of £115,000 was achieved on the sale of Coinsilium shares and Gledhow retains a significant stake which in Coinsilium, where the share price is more than three times the level at the end of September 2017. That could add more than £100,000 to the Gledhow NAV but the Coinsilium share price is volatile. Directors and company secretary remuneration was £21,514 last year. There are 4.9 million warrants exercisable at 1.5p each but these expire on 6 March 2017. Bruce Rowan and related parties own 83.37% of the current share capital.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) is continuing with its plans to move to the standard list. IMC has signed heads of agreement with Trove Metals Ltd and this should lead to a joint venture for the project at Avoca, County Wicklow. The current Koza/IMC joint venture has been set aside. IMC has decided to focus on the 12 most prospective of its 15 licences.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) says that its revenues more than doubled to more than £700,000 in 2017. There is customer interest in the Rizikon cyber security product and the General Data Protection Regulations will provide momentum when they come into force in May. Full year figures should be published by the end of April.
Sandal (SAND) says that radiators supplier Pitacs will be a distributor of the Energie MiHome range. Pitacs is launching a new boiler in April and the Energie MiHome thermostats and radiator valves can be sold with this. Pitacs supplies more than 2,000 independent plumbers’ merchants as well as Plumb Nation.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that its investee company Rapid Nutrition plans to gain a quotation in London. Rapid, which is already quoted on the SIX Swiss Exchange, has developed a nutraceutical product range. One of the terms of the £150,000 loan to Rapid was that it should be admitted to the London market by the end of February but this date has been extended to the end of April because of delays in the flotation process. If admission to the market happens by 1 March, then the principal and interest will convert into Rapid shares. If it takes longer than the interest after the end of February is payable in cash.
BWA Group (BWAP) has issued £220,000 of 4% convertible loan notes, with £120,000 taken up by Bath Group, which is owned by BWA chairman Richard Battersby. Bath has taken £70,000 of the loan notes in lieu of cash owed by BWA investee company Mineralfields Group.
Trevor Lloyd has succeeded Philip Kirkham as chairman of National Milk Records (NMR).
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has changed its name to KR1.
Shield Therapeutics (STX) disappointed the market with phase III patient trial results for the use of Feraccru in the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia in patients with chronic kidney disease that did not meet statistical significance requirements. The results are being analysed in order to identify the reason the trial failed. The share price fell by two-thirds.
Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) expects to complete the acquisition of Appalachian producing gas and oil assets from CNX Gas by the end of March. This will cost $85m (£59.9m), while the acquisition of Alliance Petroleum will cost a further $95m (£66.9m). A placing at 80p a share has raised £133.1m. The group’s net working interest production will increase by 173% to 28,133 boed. Management expects annualised EBITDA to be $70m-$75m.
OnTheMarket (OTMP) joined AIM on 9 February having raised £30m at 165p a share. The share price ended the day at 148p. The online property portal operator will make significant investment in its business over the next two years and this will lead it to fall into loss for a couple of years.
Draper Esprit (GROW) has made three new investments. Evonetix is developing the ability for parallel synthesis of DNA on silicon arrays. Droplet Computing has developed technology to decouple applications from the operating system for online and offline use. Kaptivo is developing products to provide whiteboard live streaming and image capture.
Seeing Machines (SEE) has published a trading statement to try to reassure investors following the unexpected departure of its chief executive. Interim revenues will be greater than the A$13.6m reported for last year. The fleet business is gaining revenues internationally. There is growing interest in the driver fatigue technology from Transport for London.
Recruitment software provider Dillistone (DSG) says that its 2017 figures will be much better than expected. This led to a pre-tax profit upgrade from £200,000 to £300,000. This is still a depressed figure due to the investment in GatedTalent and the future of the business depends on the take-up of this new product.
Engineering and technology recruiter Gattaca (GATC) says that weakness in the technology sector will hold back its progress and its chief executive has resigned. Underlying pre-tax profit is set to decline for a second year while the dividend could be halved to 11.5p a share in order for its to be twice covered.
Trading in the shares of BOS Global Holdings (BOS) remains suspended because of the resignation of RFC Ambrian as nominated adviser. BOS still does not have enough working capital so it cannot publish its 2016-17 annual report because the uncertainty over the AIM quotation scuppered a £1.2m placing.
Trading in Kennedy Ventures (KENV) shares will recommence on 12 February following the publication of its annual report. There was a cash outflow of £2.76m in the year to June 2017. The Namibia Tantalite Investment Mine run by African Tantalum has made its fourth shipment of tantalum to its North American customer and there are two more potential customers.
Croma Security Solutions (CSSG) says its first half figures will be much better than those reported for the first half of last year. The EBITDA will improve from £440,000 to more than £1.1m. The company’s largest ever contract was won at the end of the period. There has been an increase in demand for personnel from Croma Vigilant and it has won a five year contract. There is also improved demand for technology supplied by Croma Systems. The interims will be published in February.
BNN Technology (BNN) will lose its AIM quotation on 12 February. A matched bargain facility will be set up. The remaining board hopes to do at least one deal with the two US-listed companies it is in discussions with concerning the acquisition of all or most of BNN’s business.
Strategic Minerals (SML) has extended its access to the Cobre magnetite stockpile in New Mexico until the end of March 2019. This will provide cash to finance other projects.
Origo Partners (OPP) has sold 4.7% of Jinan Heng Yu Environmental Protection Co Ltd for the equivalent of $3m. This is in line with book value but it may take many months for the cash to be received. Origo retains a 7.2% indirect stake. The Origo NAV was $0.09 a share at the end of June 2017.
Alba Mineral Resources (ALBA) has secured additional exploration licences in Greenland. The 466 square km of land is in north west Greenland. Exploration work can be combined with existing licence areas.
Mercantile Ports and Logistics (MPL) says its port in Mumbai will receive its first revenues in a few weeks, following delays in the first customer sorting out its logistics. A further 200 metres is being added to the quay on the east flank of the facility.
Physiomics (PYC) has won a £70,000 contract from a major pharma company. The company’s Virtual Tumour computer model will be used for helping to predict outcomes in pre-clinical testing.
Warpaint London (W7L) says its 2017 results will be in line with expectations suggesting a pre-tax profit of £9.8m and a total dividend of 4p a share.
Polarean Imaging has relaunched plans to come to AIM. It had planned to float at the end of 2017 and the new proposed date is 22 February.
Fryer management services provider Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) says its 2017 revenues were 30% higher at £13.25m. The sale of the refrigeration business should increase the group margin.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) has pulled out of the sale of non-core operations because the buyer had still not obtained regulatory approval.
Cadmium-free quantum dots producer Nanoco (NANO) has secured a material development and supply agreement with a major US firm that will provide funding to expand Nanoco’s manufacturing site in Runcorn. The deal covers the production of nano-particles for electronic devices. Commercial supply should commence in 2019.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has secured a two month extension to its option on a property in north west England while talks with a housing association continue. Plans for the refurbishment of the building will be presented to the housing association. Gary Carp has increased his stake from below 3% to 5% in the past fortnight.
Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) is negotiating to buy a North American medical imaging software developer, which owns FDA-approved medical imaging software that fits well with Flying Brands; own software. The cost of £500,000 would mainly be financed through a share issue.
Avocet Mining (AVM) has completed the sale of Resolute (West Africa) for $5m.
Path Investments (PATH) is still intending to raise cash and move to AIM in the first quarter of 2018. The farm-in deal to acquire 50% of Alfeld-Elze II licence and gas field in Germany is expected to go ahead in the near future.
Chuk Kin Lau has increased his stake in book publisher Quarto Group (QRT) from 20% to 25.6%. Cavendish Asset Management nearly halved its stake to 3.69%.
Health and community care property developer Ashley House (ASH) reported a decline in interim revenues from £10.7m to £7m and the company fell into loss. A second half recovery should mean that full year revenues will be flat at £18.7m but there will be a full year profit of £1.8m. The new joint venture with Morgan Sindall has a pipeline valued at £203m but the revenues of the joint venture will no longer be consolidated in the Ashley House revenues.
Property construction and development company Formation Group (FRM) increased revenues from £29.4m to £37m in the year to August 2017, but there was a swing from a pre-tax profit of £2.16m, thanks to the benefit of the Norwich House profit share agreement, to a loss of £152,000. The cash position has improved significantly. There was net debt of £3m but this became net cash of £4.23m at the end of August 2017. The NAV of £10.2m is four times the market capitalisation.
Gledhow Investments (GDH) increased its NAV from £486,000 to £714,000 in he year to September 2017. There was £103,000 in the bank. Since the balance sheet date, Gledhow has sold 6,500 shares in Coinsilium Ltd (COIN) and this generated a profit on the original investment of £115,000. Gledhow still owns 1.8 million Coinsilium shares. The share price has fallen back from its high but the value of the stake is still around £180,000.
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has invested $443,000 in 4.72 million tokens in the Bluzelle project. Bluzelle is a scalable database service for decentralised applications. A further €167,000 has been invested in 2.2 million Rock tokens for the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX) platform. Kryptonite 1 will become a sponsor for token-based projects listing on the GBX. Kryptonite 1 has also invested $174,000 in 12,800 tokens in the Elastos project, which is developing a virtual, digital smart economic zone.
Botswana-based coal mine developer Minergy, where Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) invested $260,000 in March 2011, plans to join AIM later this year.
Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has committed to property purchases totalling £20.1m. In the six months to October 2017, revenues were 24% higher at £1.47m but the pre-tax profit dipped from £598,000 to £352,000. That was because there was a £500,000 disposal project in the comparative period. After this period, Ace raised the £4.85m it was seeking from the issue of convertibles.
Healthcare information and clinical support systems provider DXS International (DXSP) continues to be hampered by the lack of NHS spending. In the six months to October 2017, revenues fell from £1.78m to £1.61m and there was a swing from profit to loss. Tax credits more than covered the loss.
Gunsynd (GUN) is assisting analytics software developer FastBase with its proposed AIM flotation in the second quarter and in return it will receive a consultancy fee of 0.75% of the market capitalisation of FastBase after admission. This fee will be paid in FastBase ordinary shares.
IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has raised £75,000 at 1p a share. Each share comes with a warrant exercised at 2p a share. The cash will be used to finance the feasibility study for PL3850 in Avoca, County Wicklow.
First Sentinel (FSEN) is planning to raise up to £4m from a bond issue. The secured bonds have a 7% coupon and are repayable at a 5% premium on 28 February 2023. These bonds will be traded on NEX. The investment is partly protected by a credit insurance policy provided by Equinox Global. The cash will be invested in Perennial Enterprise, which will use it to fund its invoice discounting business.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is loaning £150,000 to YBOO Ltd, which operates a mobile app that enables customers to find the best mobile network deal. The loan is repayable in three years or convertible into 15% of YBOO. The conversion could be triggered by a flotation, fundraising or disposal.
EcoVista (EVTP) has written down its holding in Italian property business Cignella by £482,000, leaving it valued at £152,000.
Karoo Energy (KEP) has reported positive exploration news for its oil and gas assets in Botswana. In the six months to October 2017, the loss increased from £127,000 to £425,000, but most of the increase is due to the costs of trying to gain an AIM quotation. There is £187,000 in cash.
BWA Group (BWAP) says that its investee company Prego International is migrating from Guernsey to Norway and restructuring its shareholder base. Once this is completed there is a plan to apply for a Norwegian matched bargain dealing facility.
Doriemus (DOR) is leaving NEX Exchange and concentrating on the ASX listing it gained on 29 December 2017.
Via Developments (VIA1) has raised £175,000 from a further issue of 7% debenture stock 2020.
Frontier IP (FIPP) investee company MolEndoTech has secured a subsidiary of fully listed Halma as its partner for a test for faecal matter in marine bathing water. Frontier IP has a 19.6% stake in MolEndoTech with a book value of £10,000.
Trading in the shares of Utilitywise (UTW) has been suspended because it has been unable to complete its annual report and accounts by the end of January. The main problem is the change in the revenue recognition policy.
Mike McAuliffe surprised the market by resigning as chief executive of Seeing Machines (SEE) a matter of weeks after £35m was raised. Executive chairman Ken Kroeger will take control.
PCI-PAL (PCIP) has raised £4.95m at 45p a share. The cash will be used to grow the North American operations of the secure contact centre payments provider. There will also be higher marketing spending and investment in other markets.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has raised £675,000 from a share issue at 0.2p each. A company related to PCGE chairman Richard Poulden invested £125,000 of this money. This follows a settlement with the former chief executive that cost £286,350.
Veltyco Group (VLTY) will potentially acquire Ruleo Alpenland, which operates the BTTY sportsbook brand, for €6.5m. An exclusivity period lasts until 15 March. This would provide an opportunity to grow in Germany and Austria.
Tracsis (TRCS) has acquired Travel Compensation Services, which provides software for delay repay solutions on the railways, and Delay Repay Sniper, which runs a web portal for rail delay compensation. The combined businesses are profitable.
Fishing Republic (FISH) has raised £1.3m at 10p a share, the original placing price when the fishing tackle retailer floated. The cash will be invested in the e-commerce operations.
ASX-listed Newfield Resources is planning a potential all-share bid for Stellar Diamonds (STEL) which values the diamonds company at 12.7p a share. The offer is likely to be 0.76 of a Newfield share for each Stellar share. Newfield has diamond licences in Sierra Leone. This deal would provide access to the finance to develop the Tongo-Tonguma diamonds project. Newfield is undertaking a placing and non-renounceable rights issue and has loaned Stellar $3m.
Altus Strategies (ALS) has completed the acquisition of gold assets from TSX-V-listed Legend Gold in return for shares. These Altus shares will be distributed to Legend shareholders and this will provide a shareholder base when Altus achieves its TSX-V listing. The deal gives Altus six gold projects in western and southern Mali.
Book publisher Quarto Group (QRT) says that full year profit will be in line with expectations. Net debt has risen by $2.1m to $64m but this is still a £11.8m reduction on the June 2017 figure. The full year figures will be published on 29 March.
Sportech (SPO) has extended the timetable for seeking valid offers for the company.
SQN Asset Finance Income Fund (SQN) was involved in the purchase and onward sale of the business of the former AIM-quoted Snoozebox. The new owner is involved in modular accommodation for the oil and gas sector.
Blockchain investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has signed a memorandum of understanding with UMT United Mobility Technology, which has shares traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and owns 3% of Coinsilium, to collaborate on the development of blockchain-related mobile payments services for the business to consumer market. Coinsilium will advise UMT on the potential uses of digital tokens. The initial agreement is for three months.
Hellenic Capital (HECP) has launched a one-for-three open offer at 0.5p a share that will raise £250,000. The minimum subscription is 100,000 shares and the closing date is 22 November. Each share comes with a warrant for an additional share.
Early stage investor Primorus Investments (PRIM) has invested a further A$75,000 in Melbourne-based Fresho at A$0.38 a share. Online food ordering business Fresho was seeking A$1.5m but eventually raised A$2m. Primorus initially invested at A$0.27 a share and it owns 3.1% of Fresho, which is valued at nearly A$500,000 at the placing price. Fresho is moving towards cash flow breakeven in Australia earlier than expected and the $4m in the bank will help the company to launch operations in New Zealand and Singapore.
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has generated £750,000 at 6p a share in order to invest in more blockchain token issues. Smaller Company Capital has increased its stake to 4.59% and one of its owners and Kryptonite 1 non-executive director Jeremy Woodgate owns 1.27%.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £150,000 at 8.5p a share and a holder of convertible loan notes has converted into 350,000 at a price of 8p a share.
Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £590,000 at 0.6p a share and issued 30 million shares to pay for 60,000 units in Yicom Global. Early Equity owns 47.1% healthcare products importer Yicom.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) has issued a further £45,000 of 7.5% convertible loan notes 2020, with 450,000 warrants, exercisable at 10p a share, attached. That takes the convertible loan notes in issue to £195,000.
Peter Hain, Simon Dorling and Declan O’Brien have all stepped down from the board of African Potash (AFPO).
Tracsis (TRCS) had a much better second half as predicted at the interim stage. In the year to July 2017, revenues improved by 6% to £34.5m, while pre-tax profit was 14% ahead at £4.6m. The total dividend was increased from 1.2p a share to 1.4p a share. There is £15.4m in the bank. The main growth in the rail technology division was from Ontrac software business, while revenues from traffic and data were flat, although there was growth if the former Australian operations are excluded. Profit should edge up this year but it will do even better if further large contracts are secured.
Castleton Technology (CTP) reported a rise in interim EBITDA from £2m to £2.3m and strong cash flow is reducing borrowings. Net debt was £8m at the end of September 2017. Castleton provides software to social housing operators and they are signing up for multi-year contracts.
Oxford Pharmascience (OXP) is demerging its assets into an unquoted vehicle and retaining a quotation as a shell. Management believes that it will be better for the business to be private in order to commercialise the OXPzero technology and existing investors will still have an interest. The shell will have few limitations in terms of the sectors that could provide an acquisition but there is board experience in pharma and technology. There was still £20.6m in the bank at the end of October and the shell will retain more than £19m. The company will change its name to Abaco Capital.
AfriTin (ATM) has completed its spin-off from Bushveld Minerals (BMN) and a placing raised £3.5m with a further £1m coming from convertible loan notes. The main asset is the Uis tin project in Namibia.
City Pub Group has confirmed plans to join AIM by the end of November. The company has 34 pubs in southern England and it wants to raise £30m. The business was founded in 2011 by experienced pub group operators, including David Bruce, who previously sold Capital Pub Company to Greene King for £93m.
Peter Gyllenhammar has built up a 8.35% stake in Stratex International (STI) and Bob Foster has returned as interim chief executive. He will review the strategy of the company. The takeover of Crusader Resources is not going ahead. The sale of the Goldstone Resources stake raised £550,000 and there was £6.08m in the bank at the end of June 2017. Gyllenhammar is more likely to be interested in the cash rather than the mining operations. The current capitalisation of Stratex is similar to the pro forma cash and around one-third of NAV.
Versarien (VRS) raised £2.9m instead of the £1.2m it was seeking one week ago. The cash was raised at 18p a share and the share price has risen to 24p. The cash will be used to purchase capital equipment.
Pre-IPO investment company St Peter Port Capital (SPPC) has concluded a strategic review just over 13 months after it commenced. The formal sale process has been terminated. The plan is to realise investments in an orderly manner. The NAV was 25.3p a share at the end of September 2017.
Redx Pharma (REDX) has returned from suspension having come out of administration. The share price almost halved to 17.5p. Chief executive Neil Murray has been given the push, or stepped down as it is described in the announcement, and Iain Ross has taken over as executive chairman. Dominic Jackson has been appointed as finance director. Hopefully, this will mean that Redx is better run than it was before. A phase I trial for the lead cancer asset is due to start in the first quarter of 2018 and initial phase 1a results should be available by the end of 2018. There is £13.6m in the bank and no debt.
BOS Global Holdings (BOS) is facing a battle with its former boss. The workflow efficiency software provider has received a general meeting requisition from interests related to former managing director Michael Travia, who recently stepped down from the board. He wants to be reappointed to the board and have Adam Webb removed from office. These are two of the eleven proposals put forward.
Trading in the shares of Red Emperor Resources (RMP) on ASX has been suspended because it does not have sufficient operations to warrant a listing. There are plans to increase the company’s stake in an exploration block in the Philippines and there are also potential oil lease acquisitions in California.
Shari’a-compliant investment company Tejoori Ltd (TJI) is cancelling its AIM quotation ahead of returning cash to shareholders. The company’s investments have been sold and there is $17.6m in cash.
Beximco Pharma (BXP) is commencing the export of Sotalol Hydrochloride, which is a generic version of heart drug Betaplace. This is the second product to be exported to the US. Interim pre-tax profit improved by 13% to £27.5m on the back of double digit sales growth.
Amphion Innovations (AMP) has a 26% stake in Polarean Imaging Ltd, which is planning to float on AIM. Polarean is a clinical stage medical imaging business and it is expected to be valued at $29m before new money. This compares with a valuation of $22m at the time of the previous fundraising during May. That would mean that the Polarean stake is worth more than Amphion’s current market capitalisation.
SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) says that its SkinBiotix technology has passed all three necessary toxicity tests. This will enable human studies to begin next year.
Connemara Mining Corp (CON) has completed five holes at the Meeneragy gold project and they demonstrate the presence of a significant gold bearing system in the area. Survey data should be processed by next February.
Coal bed methane projects developer Tlou Energy (TLOU) has commenced core hole drilling at the Lesedi project in Botswana. A seismic survey is almost complete. The focus is increasing gas reserves and contingent resources. The data will be used to provide information for when development starts.
WynnStay Properties (WSP) increased its NAV to 685p a share at the end of September 2017 and the interim dividend has been raised by 18% to 6.5p a share. There was a gain on sale of properties in Colchester and Gosport as well as a 16% increase in property income to £1.12m.
TLA Worldwide (TLA) has agreed a renewed senior debt facility of $28.75m from SunTrust Bank. This was announced at 8.48am on 9 November. This contrasts with the profit warning released at 6.26pm on the last day of trading prior to Christmas 2016.
Snoozebox (ZZZ) has appointed Moore Stephems as administrator and trading in the shares has been suspended. Snoozebox is moving towards cash breakeven but the main lender, SQN Asset Finance Income Fund, has not agreed to a suitable debt refinancing plan so the company cannot continue to trade as a going concern. Panmure Gordon has resigned as nominated adviser and broker.
Thor Mining (THR) has raised nearly £494,000 from the conversion of warrants, at 0.9p each and 1.25p each, so far in November 2017. A placing recently raised £565,000 so there is plenty of cash to move ahead with exploration activities.
InterEnergy Holdings has decided not to become involved with a bid for Rurelec (RUR) as part of the consortium headed by Peter Earl. He had approached InterEnegy about the provision of loan finance. The bidding consortium subsequently pulled out of the potential bid until the full effect of the problems at Rurelec’s Patagonian power station are known.
PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) has won an award of €34m plus interest from the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce. This relates to a supply agreement with a PV company, which failed to purchase wafers in line with its contract. The customer has to pay up but it can also ask for the delivery of 22.9 million wafers that are due under the contract.
Sportech (SPO) is seeking potential offers by January 2018. A distribution of cash to shareholders is still planned for this year. Annualised cost savings of at least £2m have been identified. Trading remains in line with expectations.
Illustrated book publisher Quarto Group (QRT) has ditched its dividend after a second half upturn was not strong enough to achieve profit expectations. Full year revenues will be lower. Year end net debt will be higher than at the end of 2017. Bid talks appear to have hampered the business. The children’s and foreign rights businesses are strong. The focus is to achieve 60% annual recurring revenues.
Gemstones project developer Shefa Yamin plans to join the standard list and the Israel-based company will use the money raise to finance further exploration and to complete the pre-feasibility study at the Kishon Mid-Reach project. There are plans to set up an internet platform to sell the gemstones, some of which are unique to the area. The Carmel Sapphire brand has been registered for dark blue sapphires. Several potential primary and secondary deposits have been identified. Bulk samples are being taken, so far 11,000 tonnes have been sampled, and there are plans to delineate a mineral resource. Production is targeted within the next 24 months.
Symphony International Holdings (SIHL) had a diluted NAV of $1.146 a share at the end of September 2017. This was after a $0.10 a share dividend. The shares are trading at a one-quarter discount to NAV.
Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) is diversifying into film conventions. Challenger is loaning £100,000 to a private company that is putting on a film convention in London in 2018. The loan is repayable, with a premium of 40%, by 15 May 2018. The cash will help to finance the venue, staff and guests. Challenger has the right to participate in future events held by the company.
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) is collaborating with a major US biopharma company for research into patients that have abnormal wound-healing responses leading to fibrosis. The collaboration will use the EpiSwitch platform.