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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.
Good Energy (GOOD) and Ecotricity have come to an agreement that means the latter has withdrawn its requisition of a general meeting. No details were released about the reasons behind the withdrawal.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is in talks to sell part of its 16.1% stake in AIM-quoted Bacanora Minerals (BCN) to a strategic investor group. Bacanora’s main interest is in the Sonora lithium project in Mexico.
Blockchain investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has formed a Gibraltar-based subsidiary called Terrastream Ltd, which plans to develop blockchain platform for a token-based alternative funding system. Gibraltar is expected to be the first jurisdiction to develop a regulatory framework for distributed ledger technology and the blockchain. A token sale will help to finance the development work. The initial focus is likely to be the resources sector.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has added additional ground to its licence in Australia. The new area will be called Palomino North.
All Star Minerals (ASMO) has extended the terms of the convertible loan note issued to Valiant Investments have been extended so it matures in May 2018. The annual interest charge is 20% and the conversion price is 0.1p a share. The maturity dates of other loan notes totalling £110,000 have been extended to January 2018. The interest rate and conversion price are the same. Shares have been issued to satisfy past liabilities on these loan notes.
Warehouse REIT has issued the AIM prospectus for its placing, offer for subscription and intermediaries offer to raise up to £150m. An existing portfolio of warehouse assets will be acquired for £108.9m, based on a 7% net initial yield, and there are other potential assets being assessed. A dividend of 5.5p a share is being targeted for the year to March 2019.
Utilitywise (UTW) has confirmed that trading last year was in line with expectations so pre-tax profit is likely to decline from £8.2m to £4.7m.
Palace Capital (PCA) has sold a Bristol property for £2.25m, which is its net asset value, following the loss of one of its tenants, Blafour Beatty. The property was acquired as part of a portfolio from Quintain in 2013.
Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI) is acquiring Applied Thermal Control, a manufacturer of chillers, coolers and heat exchangers, for up to £1.2m.
Management Resource Solutions (MRS) says that its chief executive Joe Clayton has left the company. He was appointed chief executive at the end of 2016. In the year to June 2017, MRS generated revenues of A$52.2m and the loss for the year will be higher than expected. Exceptional costs will also be higher than thought initially. MRS had cash of A$2m.
Gatemore Capital has increased its stake in DX (DX.) from 21.3% to 23.8% following the resumption of trading in the shares.
Redx Pharma (REDX) will be paying unsecured creditors in full. The process has begun but it will take some time. This brings the reintroduction of trading in the shares nearer.
Home improvements products provider entu (UK) (ENTU) is appointing an administrator because it has not agreed a refinancing with a potential financial backer. The trading businesses will be sold. Trading in the shares was suspended on 24 August. entu raised £32.8m when it joined AIM in October 2014.
Kin Group (KIN) has been unable to secure the funding it requires and an administrator has been appointed to the main subsidiary. Kin Group will not get anything from a sale of the subsidiary and it will become a shell. There will still be a requirement for a fundraising for the shell to be viable.
365 Agile (365) has left AIM because it has been unable to secure a reverse takeover. Potential acquisitions are still being assessed.
Mercantile Ports and Logistics Ltd (MPL) has signed up the first customer for its Mumbai port facility. This should generate £4.7m for each one million tonnes handled, with the payment raised by 7% a year. Two million tonnes of cargo have been contracted for the first year, with a guaranteed minimum of 750,000 tonnes, and the figure will rise for each of the next two years reaching three million tonnes in the third year, with a minimum of two million tonnes. Operations should commence in December. The share price rose by two-thirds to 8.13p.
Sula Iron & Gold (SULA) has raised £900,000 at 0.146p a share but £500,000 of this figure will be part of an equity sharing agreement. Sula is gambling that it will receive £500,000 or more as part of the equity sharing agreement and this will paid on a monthly basis until September 2018. The benchmark price is 0.161p a share so each month the share price has to be at least that level for Sula to at least receive that amount owed. The board members have agreed to halve their salaries.
Verditek (VDTK) has secured a deal that will mean that 51%-owned Greenflex Energy will provide its solar technology to power digital advertising boards in bus shelters in Italy. This is a trial contract won via competitive tender and starting with one bus shelter and then rolling out to a further 20. The customer is Media One, which operates more than 5,000 digital advertising boards.
Finsbury Food (FIF) is closing the loss-making pastry products maker Grain D’Or,which has failed to improve despite cost controls. Grain D’Or was acquired as part of the £56m Fletchers acquisition in 2014 and last year generated revenues of £28.5m.
Church & Dwight has terminated its CSD500 condom licensing deal with Futura Medical (FUM) after just over four years. The licence covered North America and part of Europe. The rights will be returned to Futura by November. New partners will be sought.
Green & Smart Holdings (GSH) says that biogas project development is on track and the company could pay a maiden dividend for the 2017-18 financial year.
Investment in the business has held back first half progress at packaging manufacturer Robinson (RBN) and underlying pre-tax profit fell from £580,000 to £364,000. It was also difficult to pass on plastic resin cost increases. Full year profit is forecast to fall from £2.2m to £1.2m.
Bushveld Minerals Ltd (BMN) has retired its $3m prepayment facility, which was used to buy part of its 78.8% stake in Strategic Minerals Corporation, with Wogen Resources. Vametco Alloys has increased its facility from $6m to $11m. Vametco’s Nitrovan vanadium will be marketed by Wogen around the world outside of Japan and Taiwan.
Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) is acquire drain services provider Grease Management for up to £1.11m. Annual revenues are £1.28m and three-quarters are recurring. Post-acquisition cost savings of around £100,000 could nearly double the profit contribution.
Cancer drug developer Sareum (SAR) says that its full year profit will be better than expected. The cash pile will also be higher than forecast.
Sphere Medical Holdings (SPHR) is ditching its AIM quotation as part of a funding deal with Woodford Investment Management and the Wales Life Sciences Investment Fund, which will invest £5m in convertible preferred shares. Other investors will invest up to £3m. The convertibles will be issued at 2.82p each and can be swapped for one ordinary share. Sphere will be re-registered as a private limited company, which makes it possible for Woodford to invest more.
Nanoco Group (NANO) is attracting interest in its cadmium-free quantum dots following the EU’s plans to ban cadmium in displays from October 2019. However, revenues are slower in coming through than hoped.
Photovoltaic silicon wafers supplier PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) still had net cash of €27.9m at the end of June 2017. Running down inventories has offset the loss of €5.4m. A decision should be made by the arbitration tribunal concerning a customer that did not purchase the wafers it was contracted to buy by the end of September.
Packaging company Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its revenues from £81.5m to £89.8m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £2m to £2.54m with the improvement coming from the distribution business. Net debt was £14.6m at the end of June 2017, while the pension fund deficit was cut from £14.5m to £13.4m. The interim dividend was increased from 0.55p a share to 0.6p a share.
Following the ending of bid talks for Quarto (QRT), Liontrust has cut its stake from 12.65% to 7.54%. Cavendish Asset Management has taken its stake to 5.18%, while two directors have also made small purchases.
Shares in standard list hostels operator Myanmar Strategic (SHWE) started trading on 22 August. The placing price was $10 and the shares are trading at $9.5m – a bid/offer price of $7/$12.
Standard list shell Boston International (BIH) is in talks to acquire Cornhill FX Holdings. This is part of the strategy to acquire operations in the foreign exchange sector. Legal and financial due diligence is being undertaken. Cornhill Capital is Boston’s broker.
Good Energy (GOOD) has set the date for general meeting requisitioned by rival renewable electricity supplier Ecotricity, which wants Dale Vince and Simon Crowfoot to join the board. The general meeting will be held on 6 September. Good Energy still believes it would be unwise to have the representatives of its rival on the board.
Via Developments (VIA1) has paid a £412,500 non-refundable deposit on a residential development site in Latimer Road, Luton. Funding still has to be secured for the £8.25m purchase price.
Early Equity (EEQP) has taken a 4% stake in Malaysian multi-level marketing business Early Infinity, which has a distribution agreement with healthcare products supplier Yicom, where Early Equity owns 32.1%. The purchase was funded by the issue of 10 million Early Equity shares. The plan is for Early Equity to buy up to 30% of Early Infinity. Five million Early Equity shares have been issued at 0.6p each to raise £30,000.
Karoo Energy (KEP) has published the competent persons report on the Kalahari Karoo basin shale gas play. There is insufficient data to estimate shale gas or quantify the associated risk. The Lower Ecca shales are broadly correlatable with the source rocks in the broader basin. The low, unrisked estimate of gas initially in place (GIIP) is 310 bscf and Karoo has a 93.475% working interest. The advice is that further exploration is required to improve the understanding of maturity trends and confirm the depths of the Lower Ecca shale.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) has issued a further £55,000 of 7.5% convertible unsecured loan notes 2018, taking the total to £100,000. The conversion price is 10p a share and there are ten warrants for each £1 loan note exercisable at the same share price. There is planning permission for 200 apartments.
Clinigen (CLIN) has approached Quantum Pharma (QP.) about a proposed cash and shares offer. Due diligence has to be undertaken before there is a firm bid. Clinigen is taking advantage of the work that Quantum management has done in selling non-core operations and improving the performance of the rest of the business. Quantum says the interim figures will be brought forward to 22 August.
DX (Group) (DX.) has ended discussions with John Menzies over the merger with its distribution division because suitable terms could not be agreed. There had already been a change in the proposals but this was not enough to make the deal go through. This will mean that DX requires to raise additional funds. The four people that Gatemore Capital wanted to be appointed to the board when it requisitioned a general meeting, later withdrawn, are being proposed as directors and Bob Holt will be leaving the board. Trading in the shares remains suspended.
Oozi Cats has been kicked off the board of Telit Communications (TCM) after it turned out that he withheld information about an indictment against him in the US when the company floated 12 years ago. There have been fears about the cash position of the business but the directors’ have tried to reassure investors. Telit plans to appoint three UK-based non-executive directors.
Tracsis (TRCS) has reassured investors that it should hit market expectations for 2016-17. This means that pre-tax profit will be better than the £6.9m reported in the previous year. Tracsis had warned that the second half would have to be strong in order to make the forecast and this has happened. There was £15m in the bank at the end of July 2017. A reorganisation of the traffic and data services division should improve margins this year. The full year results will be reported in November.
IDOX (IDOX) is acquiring electoral back office software provider Halarose for £3.5m in cash and £1.5m in shares. This will boost the market share of IDOX in the UK elections market and there should also be cost savings.
Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) is the latest shell backed by Marwyn to join AIM. The £15m raised will be used to seek significant acquisitions in the chemicals sector. The share price rose from 120p to 132.5p. Former Synthomer boss Adrian Whitfield is chief executive.
Market research firm System1 Group (SYS1) stunned the market with a profit warning that sent its shares down nearly one-third. The former BrainJuicer announced at its AGM that the lack of a repeat of a large contract last year means that gross profit could be up to 11% lower in the first half of this year. On top of this costs are rising. The interim figures are likely to show breakeven compared with a £2.8m profit in the first half of the previous year. Full year pre-tax profit could fall by up to 15% from last year’s level of £6.3m.
Bushveld Minerals Ltd (BMN) says that a study carried out in conjunction with the Industrial Development Corporation shows strong vanadium redox flow battery technology in Africa with the market peaking by 2025-2030. Global electrolyte demand is likely to peak at the same time at 1200-1800 MWh. There is potential for Bushveld to supply 200MWh of storage per annum and a study is being undertaken for a potential vanadium electrolyte production plant in South Africa. Vanadium mining and related battery technology is the focus for Bushveld. There was a small net cash position at the end of February 2017.
Malvern International (MLVN) reported a reduction in interim loss from £460,000 to £395,000 as revenues slumped from £2.07m to £1.65m. Malaysian revenues fell but operating costs were reduced. There is £360,000 in the bank. The loss in Singapore has been reduced and that was before EduTrust certification, which is required to enrol international students, was reinstated. There has been year-on-year growth of 17% in London revenues and the loss was sharply reduced. House broker WH Ireland is not publishing forecasts at the moment.
Pawnbroker H&T Group (HAT) reported a 62% increase in first half pre-tax profit to £6.2m and the interim dividend was raised by 10%. H&T has been compared with Ramsden (RFX) but the mix of operations and revenues is very different.
Connemara Mining (CON) has raised £200,000 via a placing at 1.75p a share and each new share has a warrant to subscribe for an additional share at 3.42p each. Patrick Cullen has been appointed as chief executive of the gold and zinc explorer.
Red Leopard Holdings (RLH) is in talks to acquire a coal project in Colombia. Red Leopard will have to issue shares with a minimum valued of $180m in order to acquire the La Luna project. Trading in the shares is suspended.
Stem cell services and insurance provider WideCells Group (WDC) has raised £750,000 at 14p a share and the cash will be used to finance growth in the three operating divisions. Positive news has helped to boost the share price over the past two months. This includes the granting of a research licence by the UK Human Tissue Authority. The CellPlan insurance product is on sale and a digital platform is being developed for the educational division, WideAcademy.
Myanmar Strategic Holdings Ltd (SHWE) has raised $423,000 at $10 a share, while $3.9m of loan notes have been converted into shares. The focus is on hospitality and education sectors. The company already operates three hostels in Myanmar and it has acquired the rights from Pearson to open English language centres. Last year, revenues were $330,000 and the loss was $2.38m. Dealings are due to commence on 22 August.
Pembridge Resources (PERE) is set to move from AIM to the standard list on 21 August. It has raised £2.27m at 1.6p a share. The move will provide more time for Pembridge to build up a portfolio of mining investments without worrying about doing this within the timescale required on AIM.
Quarto (QRT) has ended bid negotiations with an unnamed bidder less than a fortnight after revealing the talks. One of the stumbling blocks was the regulatory approval required by the bidder and the book publisher’s management did not want to be distracted from trading by a bid that could take a long time to come to fruition. This is despite the fact that the bid proposal was at an attractive premium.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has located the three historic entry points to the Gubong gold mine in South Korea. This will enable access to five of the veins that were previously mined when the gold price was much lower.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has sold its remaining stake in nanopayments software and blockchain company SatoshiPay to AIM-quoted Blue Star Capital (BLU) for €725,000 (£650,000), which has been raised through a placing at 0.2p a share. Blue Star Capital owns 31.1% of SatoshiPay. Blue Star Capital has granted Coinsilium 85 million warrants, of which 42.5 million are exercisable at 0.6p and 42.5 million at 0.8p. Coinsilium has made a gain of 362.6% on its initial SatoshiPay investment in less than two years, even before any longer-term upside from the warrants.
Via Developments (VIA1) has secured an exclusivity agreement to acquire land in Luton, Bedfordshire for £8.25m. The residential development site has planning permission for 200 apartments. A non-refundable deposit of £50,000 has been paid.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested £400,000 in Employee Owners Group Ltd, whose main business is timber frame buildings supplier Carpenter Oak, in return for a 30% stake. The cash will be used to grow the business which currently supplies around 90 frames a year.
First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £700,000 at 11p a share and made three investments, including £35,000 at 7p a share in fellow NEX-quoted company Milamber Ventures (MLVP). The two firms are already working on an investor event at the Century Club, Shaftesbury Avenue in London on 11 July. First Sentinel plans to sell the Milamber shares in the market. First Sentinel has also invested $300,000 in a 13%, one year loan note for Red Rock Resources (RRR) with two year warrants exercisable at 2.2p a share, compared with a market price of 0.75p. The third investment is in newly floated AIM copper mining company Phoenix Global Mining (PGM), where First Sentinel invested £81,000 at the placing price of 4p a share.
Premier Technical Services Group (PTSG) is acquiring Brooke Edge Industrial Chimneys Ltd for an initial £14m, plus £1m in acquisition costs, and the building services provider has raised £15m in a placing at 120p a share. There is deferred consideration of £6m payable in three yearly instalments, which fits with the owners staying on with the business for at least three years. The acquisition made a profit of £2.1m on revenues of £10.6m last year. This consolidates Premier’s position in lightning protection services, while specialist earthing and surge protection will be added to the group’s range of services. Although the acquired business has similar margins to Premier, it has lower margins than the same businesses already owned by Premier. This means that continued growth in revenues could be complemented by improvements in margins providing even faster profit growth. According to Numis, he acquisition will enhance earnings per share by 5% to 8.7p in 2017 and 12% to 9.2p in 2018.
Blur Group (BLUR) has managed to raise £1.7m at 1.75p a share in an oversubscribed placing that more than trebles the number of shares in issue. There is one warrant for every four shares with an exercise price of 3.5p. Robert Keith has increased his stake to 25% following the placing. The need for the cash is reflected in the low issue price, which is more than 40% below the all time low market price.
Superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) joined AIM on 5 July and the share price has already risen from 100p to 120p. GYG raised £6.9m before expenses.
Thor Mining (THR) will start a drill programme for the Pilot Mountain tungsten project in August. Thor expects the results in the near future from a 50 hole drilling programme on the Dundas gold project in Western Australia. Further opportunities are being assessed.
Portmeirion Group (PMP) says that its sales were 16% higher in the first half of 2017 but excluding home fragrance products manufacturer Wax Lyrical, which was acquired in May 2016, the sales are 3% higher due to a boost from sterling weakness. Churchill China (CHH) continues to grow it exports and this has been helped by weaker sterling comparatives in the first half of 2017.
Walker Greenbank (WGB) has received its final insurance payment of £2.4m relating to the flood of its fabric printing factory at the end of 2015. This takes the total payment to £19.3m.
Home improvement products supplier entu (UK) (ENTU) is undertaking a strategic review. There are already plans to cut costs and improve efficiency but entu needs to secure long-term financing to improve the balance sheet. There could also be disposals of businesses.
Sula Iron & Gold (SULA) has completed six holes of the phase 3 drilling at Sanama Hill at the Ferensola gold project in Sierra Leone. So far, 2,000 metres out of a total of 5,000 metres of drilling has been completed. Part of the drilling will include further exploration of the new southern target. The assay results will be available at the end of July.
Veltyco Group (VLTY) says that first half trading is significantly ahead of market expectations. This is not the first time that Veltyco has beaten expectations and even before this the full year pre-tax profit was expected to jump from €1.74m to €4.62m.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) expects to make a first half loss. Senior management has taken a 20% pay cut. There is still $5.8m in the bank.
Safestay (SSTY) has acquired second hostel in Barcelona for €2m. Safestay has eleven hostels and acquisitions have gathered pace following a £12.6m sale and leaseback deal.
Share trading will commence on 12 July in standard list shell Rockpool Acquisitions, which is seeking to acquire a Northern Ireland-based company. Rockpool is raising £1.085m at 10p a share, having previously issued 1.875 million shares at 8p each.
RockRose Energy (RRE) has raised £8m at 150p a share and it continues to progress the acquisition of oil and gas assets.
Gresham Technologies (GHT) says that revenues will be 26% higher in the first half of 2017. Eight new Clareti Transaction Control software clients have been signed up in the first half. Net cash is £7.7m.
Quarto Group Inc (QRT) has sold its New Zealand business, which was the last non-publishing business owned by the group. Quarto will receive $600,000 over two years plus 50% of debtor receipts for the next year. Quarto is also entitled to 15% of pre-interest profit for three years.