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Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 2 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) generated revenues of £777,000 in the 15 months to March 2019. The nursing staff provider lost £2.63m. Since the year end, more contracts have been signed with NHS hospitals, as well as with a hospital in the UAE. The staff offered to hospitals have all obtained qualifications in English and 76% end up being employed. Most of the previous debt has been converted into shares, so net debt was £91,000 at the end of March 2019.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) reported an increase in net liabilities from £234,000 to £537,000 at the end of March 2019. There were £750,000 worth of bonds issued during the period.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) hopes that the acquisition of Vox Markets and Align Research should be closed in early October. Previous operations have been provided for in full and have been sold. There was £14,000 in the bank at the end of March 2019.

A new investor to Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has subscribed £100,000 for shares at 70p each, which is a one-third premium to the market price at the time. Westerby Trustee Services Ltd owns 3.8% of the company on behalf of Westerby Private Pension (R Prest).

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that the judicial restructuring plan for the Amapa iron ore project has been approved by the Sao Paulo commercial court. This will enable Cadence to acquire a 20% stake in Amapa. A further $3.5m investment will take the stake to 27%. Cadence plans to consolidate 100 existing shares into one new share. Shareholders will be asked to approve the proposal at the AGM on 20 September.

Paul Tuson is stepping down as finance director of Rutherford Health (RUTH) and the reappointment resolution was withdrawn from the AGM agenda.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has opened its third Goodbody CBD Wellness store in Bristol, following store openings in Bath and Cirencester. It is seeking franchisees to roll-out further stores around the country.

Panther Metals (PALM) chief executive Darren Hazelwood has acquired 18.87 million shares at 0.3p each. That takes his stake to 10.3%.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £59,000 at 14p a share via a placing with D Beta One EQ Ltd.

AIM  

President Energy (PPC) insists that it will continue to be profitable even though the Argentinian authorities are attempting to fix the price that producers can sell oil and the dollar exchange rate used for the price for a 90-day period. President has decided to delay its well drilling programme until the first quarter of 2020 and the focus will be gas wells. Gas sales from four wells in Estancia Vieja and Las Bases will commence production by the end of September. A new gas pipeline should be completed by the end of the year. finnCap has withdrawn its forecasts.  

Order books and production volumes are ahead of last year at gift wrap and greetings products supplier IG Design (IGR) thanks to a combination of organic growth and last year’s US acquisition. IG is on course to increase pre-tax profit from £30.3m to £36m.

Online musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) says that it has taken actions that are already helping to improve gross margin.

Cambridge Cognition (COG) says sales are lower than expected. The digital neuroscience services provider says that full year revenues will fall from £6.13m to around £5.5m. The loss will be around £2.8m. First half revenues were £2.1m and the loss was £1.74m. There is a strong order book, so this augurs well for next year.

Adamas Finance Asia Ltd (ADAM) has funded the second tranche of the investment in Infinity Capital Group. The $2m is being funded equally by Adamas and a Hong Kong family office.  

MAIN MARKET 

Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) intends to move to AIM if its acquisition of media-focused artificial intelligence and machine learning company Entertainment AI goes ahead.

At a general meeting, shareholders in Tex Holdings (TXH) approved the 2018 report and accounts and directors’ remuneration report, but they did not approve the reappointment of Scrutton Bland as auditors.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) is reaping the benefits of its investment in crypto mining equipment. The cost of 1,000 machines has already been recouped and Argo is on course to recoup the cost of a further 2,267 machines.

Ross Group (RGP) did not generate any revenues in the six months to June 2019 and the loss was £3.15m. Ross acquired start-up operations during the period. They will supply Chitin.

Asian consumer businesses investor Symphony International Holdings (SIHL) increased its NAV by 14% to $560.4m in the six months to June 2019.

George Bennett has become chief executive of Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) and Martin Eales has left the board. In the year to June 2019, Rainbow sold 850 tonnes of concentrate from the Gakara project, although bad weather hampered production in the fourth quarter. Sales prices have declined.

China-focused healthcare investment company Cathay International (CTI) reported a decrease in revenues from $49.2m to $38.3m. There was a $7.9m gain on the sale of shares in Zhejiang Starry Pharmaceutical, but that was not enough to cover the operating loss and interest costs.

OTHER MARKETS

Britdaq-quoted Staminier Ltd has secured a three-year option over 13 acres of land near to the south terminal of Gatwick Airport and it wants to build a car park with 2,200 spaces. In July, Staminier acquired a majority stake in eco-friendly housebuilder Eco-Space 41 Ltd. There is a four-year option to acquire the other 49% for £750,000. The strategy is to acquire businesses at a discount to their intrinsic value. There are plans to move to a more liquid stockmarket.

Asset Match will provide a trading facility for shares of former AIM company Albert Technologies Ltd. The first auction will be during September.

US Oil and Gas (USOP) has raised $382,000 at 31p a share. This follows a fundraising in July of $577,000 at 30p a share. The cash will be spent on exploration.

Andrew Hore 

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 29 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) is investing in the South Lake Medical centre in Kenya. Other investors include Johnson and Johnson’s social impact fund. The total investment is $950,000, but Inqo’s contribution is not quantified. The medical centre was previously owned by a flower growing business and it caters for its workers.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has issued £130,000 worth of 8% convertible loan notes. They expire on 24 July 2020. The conversion price is 2.75p a share. Creditors have also agreed to accept payments of £54,000 in shares.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) had nearly £22,000 in the bank at the end of June 2019. There is also a 15% stake in Mighty Oak Exploration, which has exploration licences for cobalt and lithium in Uganda, and 2.4% in KKME, which has nickel and platinum prospecting licences in Botswana. A freehold property is in the books for £204,000.

Panther Metals (PALM) has raised £130,000 at 0.3p a share and the cash will help to finance the development of the company.

AIM  

Parcel delivery business DX (DX.) says that figures for the year to June 2019 will be in line with expectations. That means that there will still be a small, but much reduced, loss. Revenues were 8% ahead at £322.5m. The loss of the passport delivery contract will hit this year but that will be offset by growth in the courier market. Net debt was £1.3m at the end of June 2019.

Cyber security services provider GRC International (GRC) has postponed its full year results because it is calculating deferred consideration payable for DQM Holdings. The expected deferred payment is £3.7m, which is higher than the original range. The deferred consideration should be 60% cash and 40% shares at 116.5p each. The share price has fallen to 49p. GRC wants to change the terms. GRC is loss-making and it wants to spread the cash payments. It may need to raise more cash.

Good news from Shield Therapeutics (STX) which has gained FDA approval for Feraccru in the US. The approval covers the treatment of iron deficiency, with or without anaemia, thanks to its high tolerability. This doubles the potential market for the treatment. Shield is in discussions with potential commercial partners. finnCap increased its target share price from 200p to 350p.

Safe credit card payments technology provider PCI Pal (PCIP) says that its full year loss will be in line with expectations of £4.6m. Total contract value in the US is £1.4m, which indicates that progress is being made in that important market. Net cash was £1.5m at the end of June 2019, although PCI Pal is awaiting a tax credit and some additional contract payments in the first quarter of this year. There could be scope to raise funds on the back of recurring revenues.

Document management software provider GetBusy (GETB) is growing its revenues internationally and its eponymous new software product GetBusy is reaching the point of a commercial launch. Net cash is £1.95m, which is plenty for the immediate requirements of the group.

Polarean Imaging (POLX) is raising £2.1m at 18p a share. Last December’s placing was at 14p a share. The medical imaging technology developer will use the cash to finance the phase III clinical trial for its technology, where patient enrolment should be complete in the third quarter of 2019, and preparations for a product launch. There will also be working capital to build polarisers for future orders.

Judges Scientific (JDG) says that order intake was 4% higher in the first half of 2019. Delivery times have also been reduced so the order book has fallen from 14 weeks to 132 weeks.  

Tristel (TSTL) has acquired 80% of its Italian distributor for an initial £600,000. This should be earnings neutral this year. The disinfection products supplier generated revenues of £26m in the year to June 2019, which were 17% higher than last year. Underlying pre-tax profit will be £5.5m. Management is waiting for a response from the FDA in the US for the usability and human factors pilot.

Tri-Star Resources’ (TSTR) 40%-owned SPMP has produced the first antimony metal from its plant in Oman. There is expected to be a slow ramp up of production until full production is reached in 2020. The gold recovery circuit has yet to produce commercial levels of gold. SPMP needs to raise additional debt in order to cover the upcoming months prior to antimony production reaching breakeven levels. There are negotiations concerning the conversion of mezzanine debt into interest-free shareholder loans or shares. Tri-Star is expected to lose £500,000 this year. Although SPMP is not being consolidated, there will be a share of profit. That could eventually be as much as £10m a year.

CCTV technology provider Synectics (SNX) says that results will be second half weighted this year. Interim profit fell from £1.5m to £1.2m, but Shore still forecasts a rise in full year pre-tax profit from £2.9m to £4m. Net cash was £5.3m at the end of May 2019. The interim dividend was increased by 8% to 1.3p a share.

Trading in United Oil and Gas (UOG) shares has been suspended ahead of the conditional acquisition of the Egyptian oil and gas business of Rockhopper Exploration (RKH) for $16m, with an initial cash payment of $11m. The main asset is a 22% working interest Abu Sennan and share of production was 813 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2018. Net book value was $13.8m at the end of 2018. United needs to raise cash for the deal and it is not expected to complete until the end of this year.   

MAIN MARKET 

At the AGM of Trifast (TRI) the chairman said that the industrial fasteners supplier was growing strongly in the US, particularly in the electronics and automotive sectors. Debt facilities have been increased and management is seeking acquisitions. The uncertain economic environment in Europe has led to some delays in the production schedules of clients.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) says that its subsidiary Minto Explorations is getting a working capital facility from Sumitomo Corporation as part of an offtake agreement for 55,000 tonnes of copper concentrate. That lasts until the 55,000 tonnes is delivered or the end of 2020. There will be an advanced payment for 90% of the value of concentrate each month. There is an interest charge.

Zen Global has decided not to make a bid for World Trade Systems (WTS) because it could not come to an agreement with major shareholder Suzhou Weibao about buying its shares and convertibles in return for coins issued by ultimate holding company Zen Ltd. Zen wanted to use WTS to use as a shell in which to reverse its blockchain operations.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) had cash of £880,000 at the end of June 2019. The company subsequently received a commitment to invest up to £1.4m from a single investor conditional on the deal to acquire medicinal cannabis company Kanabo Research. The deal documentation is being prepared.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 22 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) improved its underlying pre-tax profit from £2.7m to £3.4m in the first half of 2019. The interim dividend has been raised from 15p a share to 16p a share. The recent residential mortgage portfolio acquisition was after the end of June. The strategy is to diversify the business and asset-based lending and specialist finance are being built up. Savings platform Arbuthnot Direct has recently been launched. The core private banking operations of Arbuthnot Latham are still growing, though. The shareholding in Secure Trust Bank has been sold down to below 10%, which means it is no longer consolidated. The change from associate led to a write down and NAV declined to £13.21 a share.

VI Mining (VIM) has so far paid $9.1m in cash to the vendors of the Minaspampa and Rosario projects in Peru. There is still $42.2m outstanding 18 months after the acquisition agreement was signed. Majority shareholder Sumner Group Holdings is raising money from a security token offering, which could be completed in the autumn. Some of the proceeds will be used to replace existing facilities and help to pay outstanding acquisition considering, pending renegotiation of the deal. Chief executive David Sumner has provided a $10m term loan, plus a £39m facility of which $3m has been drawn down. There is $1.2m outstanding on the Tassili Jewellery LLC loan facility.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has completed its acquisition of a 2.325% stake in cannabis company Apollon Formularies. The Jamaican subsidiary has produced its first licensed medical cannabis oils for commercial sale on the island.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has published a prospectus for its move to a standard listing on 23 July. It has raised £193,000 at 0.3p a share.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that its CoalTech subsidiary has signed a joint venture agreement with Creon Capital covering Russia and nearby countries. CoalTech is negotiating with other potential partners to set up operations in Europe, Indonesia and the US.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says its mining subsidiary has received approval for the R and D tax incentive scheme in Australia for 2018-19. A claim is being prepared.

Share trading has recommenced in Ganapati (GANP) after it published results for the year to January 2019. There was a cash outflow from operations of £23.8m. Since January, two new games have been generated each month.

AIM

Focusrite (TUNE) has acquired Germany-based studio monitor loudspeakers supplier Pro Audio for £16.2m in cash and it will still have £12m left in the bank. Pro Audio supplies ADAM branded products and made a pre-tax profit of €1m. This is an earnings enhancing acquisition. The businesses will operate separately but work together to develop cross-selling benefits.

Swallowfield (SWL) is selling its manufacturing business to the much larger US manufacturer Knowlton Development Corporation for £35m in order to concentrate on its portfolio of personal care and beauty brands. This should leave net cash of £23m in Swallowfield and this will be used to acquire more brands. The company is changing its name to Brand Architekts Group.

Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) grew all its main operations. Acquisitions helped revenues to increase by one-fifth to £103.5m in the year to April 2019, but there was still organic growth of 9.5%. Pre-tax profit improved from £15.4m to £18.1m. The dividend was raised from 7p a share to 8p a share. Corporate business grew more modestly than other parts of the business, but this was impressive given market conditions for corporate deals. A profit of £21m is forecast for this year.

Victoria (VCP) has raised €330m via an issue of 5.25% senior secured notes 2024. This offer was three times subscribed. The floorcoverings manufacturer is using the money to refinance existing debt and will have £80m of cash after the issue.

Packaging machinery supplier Mpac Group (MPAC) is trading significantly ahead of expectations. Equity Development has increased its 2019 operating profit forecast from £4.6m to £5.5m.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) has completed a co-investment agreement with a Hong Kong-based family office for the investment in Japanese resort business Infinity Capital Group. The family office will pay Adamas $1m of the $2m already drawn by Infinity and the other $2m will be provided 50/50 by the two parties. The facility has a coupon of 17.5% per annum. This deal provides cash to invest in other opportunities. Adamas took advantage of a dip in the share price to buy back £30,400worth of shares at 38p each.

Velocys (VLS) has raised £7m at 3p a share on the back of news that Shell and British Airways will co-fund the development of the Immingham biorefinery project. The cash will be used for further technology development and to progress the Mississippi biorefinery project.

Block Energy (BLOE) has completed the increase from a 71.5% to 100% of its working interest in the West Rustavi field in Georgia. The cash and shares payment means tha Georgia Oil and Gas has increased its stake in Block to 7.7%. Miton has cut its stake from 9.17% to 4.73%.

Mortice (MORT) has decided to cancel its AIM quotation and is offering shareholders the chance to sell their shares for 12p each. A lack of liquidity and a weak share price making it difficult to finance acquisitions are the main reasons for leaving AIM.

Albert Technologies Ltd (ALB) also wants to leave AIM, but it is not offering an exit for shareholders. It believes it can attract investors, but they would prefer to invest in an unquoted company.  

Science Group (SAG) has been buying more shares in Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) at the bid price of 35p each and it has built up a 39.9% stake. It also has 3.1% acceptances for its bid.

Mirada (MIRA) has integrated Netflix into its set-top box platform and this will make its technology even more attractive to broadcasters.

Bangladesh has brought in a law that all listed companies have to pay at least 30% of post-tax profit, or an extra 10% tax charge will be levied. Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) is assessing the legislation and will consider how best to manage cash.

Novacyt (NCYT) has sold its loss-making clinical labs business for £400,000 and it will concentrate on diagnostics businesses Primerdesign and Lab21. The first instalment of £100,000 has been paid and £100,000 more is due in September, but the rest will be paid in three equal instalments on the first, second and third anniversaries of the deal.

MAIN MARKET 

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has received a commitment to invest up to £1.4m from a single investor conditional on the deal to acquire medicinal cannabis company Kanabo Research. The investment will be for a maximum of 4.99% of the enlarged share capital, although if there is any of the £1.4m left it could be invested in a convertible loan note. The investment underpins the expected acquisition-related fundraising and a fee of 10% of the investment is payable.

General meeting resolutions to wind-up Avocet Mining (AVM) were withdrawn at its general meeting. This comes after discussions with shareholders. There is a few weeks cash left in the business and any potential transaction would have to come with finance to cover the costs of an acquisition process.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has commenced construction of 17 specially developed apartments and retail space on its West Derby property.

OTHER MARKETS 

Fashion On Screen has listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange, which has European Growth Market status by the HMRC. This means that there is no stamp duty. The company had previously considered a listing on the Nasdaq First North market in Copenhagen. Fashion On Screen has raised more than £3m prior to its listing. A film based on the kidnapping of racing driver Juan Fangio in Cuba in 1958 could start before the end of the year (for more about the background to the story listen to https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p055fjfx).

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 17 June 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) says that holding back on operating expenditure has offset the downturn in demand due to warmer weather. Profit will be weighted to the first half. Good is investing in electric vehicle platform Zap-Map.

Brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) reported a more than halved pre-tax profit from £9.8m to £4.5m. Turnover improved from £92.2m to £96.9m and the profit decline was mainly due to a non-cash swing from gain to loss on swaps and a pension adjustment. Operating profit was flat at £12.9m. The Inns business improved its profit and individual pubs are making a higher profit contribution, but hotels profit declined. The total dividend was maintained at 3.36p a share. Net debt was £69.7m at the end of March 2019, while NAV was £180.7m. The pension liability has fallen from £34.9m to £24.8m.

KR1 (KR1) has sold 70,079 tokens in the Cosmos Network for $361,000. The average cost of the tokens was $0.10 each and they were sold for $5.14 each. KR1 has also generate a further 7,008 tokens from staking activities and these were sold for $6.93 each.

There was a sharp rise in the share price of TechFinancials Inc (TECH) but much of this gain was lost by the end of the week. There does not appear to be a reason for the rise. Full year results should be published this week. There will be an operating loss. There was $1.1m in the bank at the end of May 2019. The company is still waiting for approval from the Seychelles authorities for the €100,000 disposal of MarketFinancials. There will be write-downs of the value of diamond trading blockchain developer CEDEX and MarketFinancials.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a NAV of 272.02p a share at the end of May 2019. The company intends to start buying back shares and these purchases could exceed 25% of the average daily volume of ordinary shares.

Shareholders have approved the plan of Oyster Oil and Gas to distribute the shares of its main subsidiary to settle indebtedness and certain creditors. These include Gunsynd (GUN) although the exact shareholding has yet to be announced. Production sharing contracts in Madagascar and Djibouti are owned by the subsidiary. Gunsynd has raised £500,000 at 0.037p a share.

Trading in Via Developments (VIA1) debentures has recommenced following the publication of figures for 18 months to September 2018. The company has net liabilities of £329,000 with long-term debt of £5.68m offset by cash of £91,000. A subsidiary is securing debt and equity for a project that will generate management fees fir Via, but that won’t happen until September.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) is holding a general meeting on 3 July in order to gain shareholder approval for the acquisition of the 97.5% of Coal Tech and its related business that it does not own for £27.2m in shares at 2.75p each. CoalTech transforms discarded coal into coal pellets.

Lombard Odier sold 1.65 million shares in Chapel Down Group (CDGP) at 75p a share, reducing its stake to 11.5%. Chief executive Frazer Thompson exercised 2.39 million options at 12.5p a share and finance director Richard Woodhouse exercised 200,000 options at 10p a share and all these shares were sold at 75p each.

AIM 

Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) has received another bid approach. Previous potential bidder Science Group (SAG) has built up a 28.3% stake in Frontier so it is in a strong position. It says that it does not intend to sell the shares to another bidder and could block any move to cancel the AIM quotation.

Park Group (PARK) increased investment in the business last year and this knocked underlying pre-tax profit progress which was flat at £12.5m, before asset write-downs. The dividend was increased by 5% to 3.2p a share. There was a smaller contribution from Christmas savings, but growth from corporate promotions and incentives offset that. Increasingly, business is card-based. There was £36.9m of the company’s own cash at the end of March 2019. There will be a dip in profit this year due to higher overheads and profit growth should resume in 2020-21. Chief executive Ian O’Doherty has bought 30,000 shares at 69.5p each.

Stanley Gibbons (SGB) has resolved claims against former management at antique dealer Mallett and this will result in a cash inflow of £850,000 over 12 months.

Safestyle (SSTY) has acquired the freehold of a 161 bed hostel in Pisa for €3.25m. This takes the company’s portfolio to 14 hostels, including the Paris site that is under construction.

Last year was about OnTheMarket (OTMP) building up the number of agencies on its property portal and increasing the number of homebuyers looking at the properties advertised. The rival to Rightmove and Zoopla needs to convert these agencies into fee payers and that process has just started. OnTheMarket will continue to be loss-making this year with higher marketing spending likely to offset higher revenues. Cash is expected to fall from £15.7m to £6.6m at the end of January 2019.

NWF (NWF) did better than expected in the year to May 2019. The feeds business was slightly behind the previous year, but new business helped the food warehouse business to significantly improve its performance and fuels did better than expected despite the milder winter, although behind the previous year. The results will be published on 30 July.

Industrial equipment distributor HC Slingsby (SLNG) says that pressure on margin means that operating profit in the four months to April 2019 is lower, even though revenues are slightly higher. Uncertainty over Brexit is affecting levels of demand in the first half of 2019. Net debt was £1.3m at the end of May 2019.

The actuarial deficit on the Molins UK Pension Fund has been cut from £69.9m to £35.2m over a three-year period. Mpac (MPAC) believes the deficit should be eliminated by July 2024. That is based on maintained payments into the scheme.

Filta (FLTA) says that its figures will be more skewed towards the second half. This is partly down to the integration of the Watbio grease management business. There has been growth in the FiltaSeal business and the North American FiltaFry fryer management franchise business.

Avingtrans (AVG) has acquired the Booth Industries specialist door manufacturing business from the administrator of Redhall (RHL) for £1.8m in cash. Booth made a pre-tax profit of £300,000 last year.

MAIN MARKET 

Full year results from fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) were slightly better than expected. Revenues were 6% ahead at £209m, while re-tax profit was a similar percentage higher at £23.5m. The dividend was increased by 10% to 4.25p a share. Trading remains tough.

Aquila Services (AQSG) has acquired education and sports consultancy Oaks Consultancy for up to £1.7m in cash and shares. In the year to March 2019, Oaks made a pre-tax profit of £254,000 on revenues of £909,000.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) is converting $2.89m of loans into 121.5 million shares. Management made most of the loans and chief executive Colin Patterson will end up with 19.1% of Bluebird. Bluebird is debt-free.

Standard list shell Safe Harbour Holdings (SHH) lost £2.3m in 2018 due to overheads and due diligence costs. There is still £26.9m in the bank.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 June 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 13 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

National Milk Records (NMR) improved revenues from £5.32m to £5.56m in the three months to March 2019. Disease testing revenues grew at the fastest rate. This quarter did not benefit from one-off revenues like the first two quarters of the financial year.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) reported a reduction in net assets to £735,000 at the end of March 2019. Gledhow has trebled its money in Block Energy and sold the stake, but most of the proceeds came after the end of March.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) believes that Sport:80 has missed the chance to float, but TruSpine still has a chance to become quoted. International payments and lifecycle software provider Zuuse could be ready for a flotation within 18 months.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has finally published its results for the year to August 2018. They show revenues falling from £226,000 to £96,000, although the loss was similar at £336,000. UK and Netherlands demand were weaker than expected.

Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) says its joint venture Morgan Ashley has achieved financial close on two more projects. A further three could be closed in the current quarter. Even so, group pre-tax profit will be lower. There will be an update in July.

Sativa Investments (SATI) is changing its name to Sativa Group to reflect that it is a trading company with a greater focus on UK operations. The application for a Home Office research and development licence to grow medicinal cannabis is proceeding well. This is for its own requirements as well as growing some varieties for order.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has acquired properties in Warrington and Middlesbrough for more than £10m. The Communities and Local Government department is the long-term tenant of both properties. The Warrington property cost £2.9m and the Middlesbrough property £7.125m.

In the first four months of 2019, NQ Minerals (NQMI) has produced 6,857 DMT of lead concentrate, 4,763 DMT of zinc concentrate and 29,389 DMT of pyrite concentrate.

Giles Brand has increased his stake in EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) from 23.1% to 30.5%. EPE has a NAV of 241.3p a share. Almon I Holding SA has a 3.16% stake in Coinsilium Ltd (COIN).

MetalNRG (MNRG) is delaying a move to the Main Market because of the uranium exploration ban in The Kyrgyz Republic, which means that the proposed farm-in agreement for the Kamushanovskoye uranium deposit has been suspended. Due diligence is progressing on the Thambani licence and the transaction agreement with Mkango Resources by the end of June. Once it has funding, MetalNRG will make progress with the Gold Ridge project.

Panther Metals (PALM) reported a doubled cash outflow from operating activities of £309,000 last year. There was £1,247 in the bank at the end of 2018.

AIM   

Begbies Traynor (BEG) says that trading was ahead of expectations. The business recovery and property services provider says both divisions performed well. Shore has upped its pre-tax profit forecast for the year to April 2019 by 6% to £7.1m, compared with £5.6m the year before. The full year figures will be published on 9 July.

Interactive Investor has decided not to make a bid for Share (SHRE).

RA International (RAI) has won two new contracts. A five year contract worth $9.8m has been awarded by the United Nations Support Office for vehicle and equipment fleet services in Somalia. This is for ten locations compared to one previously. There is also a contract for construction services relating to the US Embassy in Denmark.

Immupharma (IMM) intends to merge its two French subsidiaries and either get private equity backing or float the combined business on a European stockmarket. The business is developing the Nucant cancer programme (Elro) and the peptide platform (Ureka). Immupharma will concentrate on Lupus treatment Lupuzor and it is talking to potential corporate partners.

India-focused online fashion retail investment company Koovs (KOOV) has agreed a £10.5m cash injection at 15p a share by a subsidiary of Indian retailer Future Group.

Bidstack (BIDS) is raising £5m at 12.5p a share. This will finance the growth of the in-game advertising business. Bidstack reversed into Kin Group nine months ago and that that time raised cash at 6p a share.

Trading in contract research organisation Venn Life Sciences (VENN) shares is suspended ahead of the reverse takeover of Open Orphan DAC for £5.7m in shares. The strategy is to gain approval for and provide orphan drugs for the European market. Cash will be raised to fund the new strategy.

Keystone Law (KEYS) increased full year revenues from £31.6m to £42.7m and pre-flotation costs profit jumped from £2.54m to £4.75m. This year’s profit forecast had already been upgraded at the time of the trading statement and the figure is maintained at £5.6m. This year’s dividend is set to rise from 9p a share to 10.3p a share. The cash pile is expected to rise from £6.3m to £7m.

N+1 Singer has upgraded its profit forecasts for Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) following its interims. The pre-tax profit forecast for the year to August 2019 has been increased by 13% to £11m, up from £9.8m last year and not far off the figure for 2016-17. Capital investment is peaking and net debt is expected to rise to £9.1m by the end of August 2019. NAV is set to rise to 68p a share.

Vertu Motors (VTU) reported strong full year figures with growth in used cars and aftersales offsetting the downturn in new car sales. Pre-tax profit of £23.7m was higher than forecast but lower than the £28.6m reported for the previous year. Cash generation is also better than expected. This year’s forecast has been trimmed to £25.7m. The share price remains below its NAV of 44.9p a share.

Osirium Technologies (OSI) is considering raising additional funds in order to fully exploit its new product. Opus is a cyber security product for IT process automation. Additional business development managers and distribution partners have been taken on and additional cash would enable further geographic expansion. Osirium is good at retaining clients and Opus provides an additional product to sell to them.

Packaging manufacturer Robinson (RBN) has increased its revenues by 15% in the first four months of the year and most of that is due to higher volumes. This means that it is well on its way to growing full year revenues from £32.8m to £36.1m even though second quarter revenues may be lower due to destocking. Further capital spending has been funded by cash from operations.

MAIN MARKET 

Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) increased interim revenues by 6% to £56.6m and pre-tax profit was 7% higher at £6.2m. Additional shares in issue mean that earnings per share were slightly lower. The core citrus business revenues fell slightly but other areas grew. Net cash was £9.4m at the end of March 2019. This will be spent on the relocation of UK operations and there will be net debt by the end of September 2019.

Air Partner (AIR) slipped out its figures for the year to January 2019 well after the market closed on Thursday. Even so, there was a positive share price reaction and there were no real disappointments. Underlying pre-tax profit was flat at £5.8m. The total dividend was edged up to 5.6p a share.

Macfarlane (MACF) has acquired protective packaging distributor Ecopac for £3.9m. A pre-tax profit of £500,000 was generated in 2017-18. Macfarlane will provide additional products for Ecopac to distribute.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) will hold the requisitioned general meeting on 16 May. Frank Timis is hoping to change the strategy of the company and conserve the cash pile for other uses. He wants Jonathan Bixby and Mike Edwards removed from the board. Argo expected to generate £220,000 in cryptoassets in April, which is similar to cash operating costs. These costs are expected to rise to £300,000 in May but the month should still be cash neutral.

Cardiff Property (CDFF) increased its NAV from 21.78p a share to 21.84p a share in the six months to March 2019. The interim dividend has been raised by 5% to 4.6p a share. Activity in the Thames Valley area has slowed in the first half.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 29 April 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Adnams (ADB) says that beer volumes grew year-on-year in the first quarter, helped by low alcohol Ghost Ship and pubs are also doing well. Margins are coming under pressure and gin sales have been hit by increasing competition. A new IT system has gone live.

KR1 (KR1) has cashed inn some of its tokens. It has sold the remaining OmiseGo tokens for $206,000. They were bought for 27.38 cents each and sold for 205.4 cents each. KR1 has sold 50% of its tokens in the Nash Exchange product for nearly $51,000, at a more than doubled price per token, which means that the cost of the remaining 25,000 tokens have been covered.

High Growth Capital (HASH) has appointed Mark De Smedt as chief executive. He is a Belgian who previously worked for recruitment firm Adecco and already owns a 0.6% stake in High Growth Capital. He has been awarded options over 125 million shares at 1.75p each and further options over 150 million shares, which are exercisable at 3p a share, but only if the share price reaches at least 7.5p and stays there for a consecutive period of six months. Girod Equities has taken a 3.81% stake in the company, which is proposing a name change to MESH Holdings.

SG Recruitment (SGRL) has been appointed to recruit international nurses for more than 20 hospitals in England. This is under the Health Education England Global Learners Programme, which offers three year packages. Also, the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust has appointed SG to recruit 140 nurses. A contract has been gained with Thumbay Hospital in UAE to recruit at least 150 healthcare professionals each year.

Metal Tiger (MNRG) is holding a general meeting on 15 May in order to gain shareholder approval for the directors to issue new ordinary shares without the requirement to offer them to existing shareholders.

AIM  

Franchise Brands (FRAN) says that Micro Rod had a record quarter in the first three months of 2019. System sales were 12.9% higher. The business to consumer franchises have also had a good start to the year.

International payments services provider FAIRFX (FFX) increased revenues by 69% to £26.1m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £900,000 to £6.79m. City Forex was acquired in February 2018 but there was like-for-like growth. In the first quarter of 2019, revenues are 43% ahead at £7m.

Tekcapital (TEK) says that investee company Salarius has secured the first commercial order for its low sodium MicroSalt from a snack food manufacturer. Investee company Belluscura has raised just over £500,000 from a crowdfunding offer, including further investment from Tekcapital. The cash will be used to market and further develop a portable oxygen concentrator called X-PLOR.

More good news from Eden Research (EDEN) as partner Eastman has received a 120 day emergency use authorisation for Cedroz, which is used to combat plant-parasitic nematodes, in Italy. This will enable sales while the Italian authorities process the application for authorisation.

Aviation services provider Gama Aviation (GMAA) has reported 2018 figures with the comparatives for 2017 restated. Pre-tax profit slumped from $16.6m to $11m. That is before more than $40m of exceptional charges, including a $27.7m impairment charge. A final dividend of 2p a share is being paid. Hutchison Capital Holdings has bought more shares to take its stake to 25.45% after a shareholding limitation was ended.

Software company WANdisco (WAND) reported a fall in revenues from $19.6m to $17m in 2018, but this was down to a change in the revenue model to subscription-based business. The loss increased from $14m to $19.4m, but this will fall sharply over the next two years as revenues grow rapidly.

ReNeuron (RENE) has positive news from the first three retinitis pigmentosa patients given its human retinal progenitor cell product. Vision has improved after 60 days and 120 days. Longer-term evidence is required, but this is a good start and three more patients are being provided with the treatment.

Kestrel has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) from 23.1% to 24.2%.

Satellite communications equipment provider Global Invacom (GINV) has terminated the proposed acquisition of Tactilis and related fund raisings. The two companies will provide equal funding of the costs of the terminated deal. Group revenues were $122.3m in 2018. Electronic component shortages have eased, and pricing is normalising. Trading in Global Invacom shares resumed and the share price jumped from 4.5p to 7p.

Angling Direct (ANG) has opened its 27th store on a former Majestic Wine site in Nottingham. The fishing equipment retailer has started the new financial year strongly. Overall sales were 50.7% higher in February and March. Full year figures for the year to January 2019 will be reported on 13 May.

Piling company Van Elle (VANL) reported that its full year profit will be slightly worse than expected but the share price still bounced back from recent lows. Volumes have recovered in the fourth quarter, but full year sales are 3% below expectations. A new director of the piling division will join in June.

The microCHP boilers developer Inspirit Energy (INSP) is still developing its product and it still has to commercialise its boilers.

MAIN MARKET 

Standard list shell Fandango Holdings (FHP) has ended discussions with Konnect Mobile Communications Inc because it could not raise the finance for the acquisition. Fandango has been making loans to another standard list shell, Stranger Holdings, where Charles Tatnall is also a director. There was £141,000 outstanding at the end of August 2018, plus accrued interest of £38,721, and this has been reduced to £108,000, excluding interest. There was cash of £53,000 in the balance sheet at the end of August 2018.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) chief executive Andrea Cattaneo has acquired 593,289 shares at 3.3p each, taking his stake in the Azerbaijan-focused oil and gas company to 8.46%.

Former finance director Michael Mousley has been appointed as a non-executive director of Quarto (QRT). A new finance director will join the company in July.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 22 April 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has published the prospectus for its move to a standard listing. No fundraising is planned to accompany the flotation. Management believes that IMC has enough working capital for 12 months. There was €152,878 in cash available at the end of January 2019. This takes account of the statutory spending on its licences.

Block Commodities (BLCC) is calling a general meeting to enable shareholders to decide whether the company should become involved in the medicinal cannabis sector.

Ananda Developments (ANA) owns 15% of LHT, the owner of hapac medicinal cannabis inhaling technology. The hapac products are being sold in Italy and the product range is being widened. Other investments are being assessed.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has declared a second interim dividend of 0.83p a share.

Anne Yerburgh has been replaced as chairman of Daniel Thwaites (THW) by chief executive Richard Bailey, although she remains as a non-executive director in order to represent family shareholders. A replacement is being sought for former non-executive director Nick Mackenzie.

Queros Capital Partners (BFD) has raised £305,000 from the issue of 8% unsecured bonds 2025. This will be used to provide bridging finance to UK businesses.

Chris Akers has a 3.97% stake in High Growth Capital (HASH) following the purchase of the intellectual property of Malta-based BDD, a company he founded. RRNB Capital Ltd has increased its shareholding from 1.92% to 9.95%, while Fujairah has raised its stake from 2.31% to 8.59%. High Growth Capital has completed the acquisition of additional shares in AI company Sentiance to take its stake to 15%. Whitman Howard has been appointed as corporate adviser and broker.

AIM  

Modern Water (MWG) reported its 2018 results at 6.19pm o the Thursday before Good Friday. Revenues increased by 18% to £4.2m and the reported loss was more than halved from £5.23m, although this included a £1.53m goodwill write off, to £2.47m. This appears to be the first time that Modern Water has slipped out results after the market has closed for the week. Let us hope that this does not become a habit. Serial offender Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) managed to put out its statement a bit earlier but after the close of the market. More can be found at https://ukinvestormagazine.co.uk/why-you-should-avoid-immunodiagnostic-systems-holdings/.

Enterprise software provider Sanderson (SND) says interim trading was ahead of expectations and further progress is expected in the second half. Interim revenues improved from £14.6m to £17m and underlying operating profit is one-third higher at £2.8m, which is partly due to accounting changes. Like-for-like operating profit would be one-fifth higher. Net cash was £3.29m at the end of March 2019. The order book is worth £8m. The interims will be published on 15 May.

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmook Al Maktoum is investing £534,000 in MX Oil (MXO) for a 29.86% stake. He will appoint a non-executive chairman. This is part of a placing raising £680,000 at 0.04p a share. There are also 800 million warrants being issued that are exercisable at 0.04p over a five year period. Options over 10% of the enlarged share capital will be issued to management. The Aje field, where MX has a 5% investment is producing at around 3,150 barrels of oil per day and cash generated is being used to reduce project debt. The Aje field should start generating free cash in 2020 and that could move MX into profit in the first half of 2020. MX plans to consolidate 100 existing shares into one new share and change its name to ADM Energy.

Chief executive Sean Smith has bought 126,624 shares in biopesticide products developer Eden Research (EDEN) for 10.25p each. Finance director Alex Abrey has acquired 50,000 shares at 10.1p each. House broker Shore forecasts an increase in revenues from £2.8m to £3.7m in 2019, although the loss is expected to rise to £900,000. Shore expects Eden to move into profit in 2021.

PowerHouse Energy (PHE) has gained its first revenue generating contract for its DMG technology in conjunction with partner Waste2Tricity. Revenues will come from IP, design rights and licensing, followed by operational engineering.

Parity (PTY) is increasing its focus on the data analytics market and has appointed a new boss of consultancy services. Pre-tax profit halved to £850,000 in 2018 and a further decline is expected in 2019. Net debt is expected to remain at around £1m. Revenues are expected to continue to decline but there should be a greater proportion of the business coming from higher margin activities and profit is expected to bounce back to £1.5m in 2020.

Fryer and grease management services provider Filta (FLTA) increased revenues by 23% to £14.2m in 2018, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from £1.81m to £2.2m. This is before any significant contribution from the Watbio acquisition, which cost savings appear to be on course. A 2019 pre-tax profit of £3.8m is forecast.

Nektan (NKTN) is selling a 57.5% stake in Respin for £300,000 to a new purchaser because the previous deal could not be completed at a higher price due to the fact that buyer could not raise the finance. The online gaming firm says that it owes £3.6m in tax to the HMRC and it is likely to need additional cash to pay the bill.

TruFin (TRU) plans to sell its stake in unsecured consumer finance provider Zopa for £44.5m, an increase of 22% on the 2017 valuation, and investing £25m in manufacturing finance provider Distribution Finance Capital, which will be floated on AIM in early May. There should also be £10m returned to investors later this year. That will leave early payment services provider Oxygen Finance and Satago Financial Solutions, which provides working capital to small businesses.

Delayed results from consumer care products supplier Venture Life Group (VLG) show revenues 17% ahead at £18.8m and nearly all the growth came from the company’s brands. Pre-tax profit improved from £63,000 to £710,000. Net cash was £5.8m so the company has funds to make additional acquisitions.

Yourgene Health (YGEN) has raised £11.8m at 10.25p a share and that will be used to fund the £6.3m cash payment for molecular diagnostics developer Elucigene, which will cost £9.2m in cash and shares.

Managed services provider Redcentric (RCN) says net debt was £17.6m at the end of March 2019, compared with estimates of £20.2m. Pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £8m to £8.7m.

D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) has announced that its 2018-19 results will be ahead of expectations. This led to a pre-tax profit upgrade from £5.7m to £5.8m, but earnings per share were upgraded from 12.1p to 13.3p due to a low tax rate.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) has raised £5m through a placing at 13p a share. The cash will boost the balance sheet while management undertakes partnership discussions and additional work on SFX-01. The phase IIb data for SFX-01 in subarachnoid haemorrhage is expected in the third quarter of 2019.

Directa Plus (DCTA) doubled its total income to €2.5m in 2018. The graphene-based products developer has net cash of €5.2m, following a €3m outflow from operations.

Ariana Resources (AAU) says that the Kiziltepe gold mine produced 7,296 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2019. That was lower than the fourth quarter of 2018, but it is ahead of the average annualised quarterly guidance.

IG Design (IGR) is set for 10% organic sales growth in the year to March 2019 and total revenues rising from £327.5m to £447m. Pre-tax profit is expected to grow from £21.4m to £29.5m. There could be further merger benefits to come from the Impact Innovations acquisition.

Europa Oil and Gas (EOG) is selling its 20% stake in PEDL143 in the Weald Basin to UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) for £300,000.

MAIN MARKET 

Plastics and panels supplier Tex Holdings (TXH) made a small loss in 2018 following accounting changes to the recognition of revenues and there is no final dividend. Trading levels were lower in the second half. Tex is in breach of some of its bank loan covenants. The major shareholder continues to support the group. The share price fell by more than one-quarter.

Electronic products distributor DiscoverIE (DSCV) is on course to improve its full year pre-tax profit from £21.8m to £27.7m. The group has raised £29m at 400p a share in order to finance the acquisitions of US-based transformers and magnetic components manufacturer Hobart Electronics and UK-based rugged and submersible sensors manufacturer Positek. The total initial consideration is £15.9m.

Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) says full year profit is slightly better than expected even though demand from China has been reduced due to tariff wars with the US. Net debt was £15m at the end of March 2019 and it has agreed a new four-year bank facility of £80m. This could be used for acquisitions.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has set the date for its requisitioned general meeting, which will be held on 16 May. The requisition came from an entity owning 13.8% that is controlled by Frank Timis, who does not believe that the company will provide a satisfactory return to shareholders with its current cryptomining strategy. The plan is to remove Jonathan Bixby and Mike Edwards as directors and appoint another director. Argo has more cash than its market capitalisation. Cash operating costs have been reduced to £280,000, compared with £500,000 of potential revenues expected in May.

Kazakhstan-focused vanadium miner Ferro-Alloy Resources (FAR) is already spending the money it raised when it gained a standard listing last month. Equipment, a mobile crane and vehicles have been acquired. The design of the extension to the existing facilities and for the connection to the high voltage power line has been completed. The share price has almost halved from the placing price of 70p to 37.37p. More background information can be found at https://ukinvestormagazine.co.uk/ferro-alloy-resources-goes-to-discount-on-first-day/.

BATM (BVC) has won an initial $2m armed forces contract for cyber security and this lasts 18 months.

Emmerson (EML) has signed heads of agreement for an offtake agreement for 100% of the production from the Khemisset potash project.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 1 April 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Adnams (ADB) increased its revenues last year, but it reported a loss. Beer volumes grew by 2.2% and revenues were 6% ahead at £78.9m. The loss of £877,000 was after £1.77m of pension and property impairment costs. The final dividend is unchanged at 150p per B share. Adnams is optimistic about the proposed government review into small breweries relief – if Adnams paid the same duty rates as small brewers it would save £7m a year.

European Lithium (EUR) is making progress with its definitive feasibility study for the Wolfsberg lithium project in Austria. The plan is to produce lithium chemical for batteries. A test programme has been completed and this is designed to improve grades and the amount of lithium-bearing mineral. Laser sorting was found to be the best method.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has increased its NAV by 9% to 48.05p a share in the six months to February 2019.

Trading in the shares of Block Commodities (BLCC) has restarted following the publication of its interim results. There was $1,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and a further $400,000 has been raised via a convertible loan. This will fund the entry in the cannabis market. Block is collaborating with Hexis Lab to develop cannabis-based therapeutic and cosmeceutical products

Altona Energy (ANR) has net assets of £11m, but these are predominantly intangible assets. There are also £19.8m of potential tax losses. Altona is re-evaluating its underground coal gasification project in South Australia and assessing an investment in a Chinese vanadium mine.

MetalNRG (MNRG) plans to move to the standard list. An option agreement has been replaced with a farm-in agreement for the Kamushanovskoye uranium deposit. This will reduce the immediate cash outflow. A $161,000 payment was made under the option agreement and $400,000 more has to be paid by 10 April to earn a 51% economic interest. This payment is conditional on a capital raising at the time of moving to the standard list. A further $1.99m investment is required in three equal tranches in order to maintain the stake. The payments are due in November 2019, April 2020 and October 2020.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) outperformed the MSCI UK Residential Property index last year, because it achieved 8.75% growth, compared with 5.2% for the index.

The net liabilities of Welney (WENP) increased from £234,000 to £301,000 in 2018. This is being funded by loans from directors. Costs have been kept low as management seeks a suitable acquisition.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) has issued 800,000 shares at 0.625p each to pay for adviser fees on the unwound acquisition of Palermo FC.

AIM  

Churchill China (CHH) improved margins last year. Revenues were 7% higher at £57.5m, but underlying pre-tax profit was 26% higher at £9.4m. Growth in exports is a major factor and they account for three-fifths of revenues. Retail sales fell and hospitality sales increased by £5m. The total dividend was raised from 24.6p a share to 29p a share. There was £14.4m in cash at the end of 2018.

Cloud-based communications software provider Cloudcall (CALL) increased recurring revenues by one-third last year and total revenues were 28% ahead at £8.8m. The fastest growth was in the US. The cash outflow from operations increased from £1.57m to £2.38m. This is due to higher operating costs in terms of product development and marketing.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has increased the value of its portfolio of investments by 27% to £11.5m in the six months to £11.5m. NAV is 38.8p a share. The deal by investee company Exscientia, which is involved in AI-based drug discovery, with Celgene Corporation should result in a substantial uplift in its valuation in the current six month period.

Parity (PTY) says it has lost a major contract with the Scottish government, but it should not have a significant effect on profit because it is low margin. This year’s revenues will be 10% below expectations. The 2018 results will be announced on 16 April.

Rambler Metals and Mining (RMM) has launched a one-for-one open offer to raise up to £1.7m at 1.4p a share and it closes on 12 April. This follows the £8.4m placing at 1,4p a share, which raised cash to pay off debt and provide working capital.

Alliance Pharma (APH) improved its pre-tax profit from £23.9m to £28.1m. This excludes a £1.9m write down of an acquired intangible relating to a manufacturing supply contract. A pre-tax profit of £32.8m is forecast for 2019.

Quixant (QXT) reported a strong second half to 2018 even though the gaming machines market was tough. Full year revenues were 5% higher at $115.2m and pre-tax profit improved from $17.7m to $18.2m. This year will also be second half weighted with revenues expected to hit $119m and pre-tax profit of $20m forecast.

MAIN MARKET 

Funds managed by Epiris LLP have launched a recommended cash offer of 193p a share for Ireland-based financial services group IFG (IFP), valuing it at £206m.

Ovoca Bio (OVB) is increasing its stake in IVIX to 59.9%. The additional 9.9% costs $2.04m. IVIX’s drug Libicore has met the pre-specified primary efficacy endpoint and significant outcomes in secondary endpoints as part of its phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

Standard list shell Baskerville Capital (BASK) still had £1.54m in the bank at the end of 2018. Potential technology acquisitions are being assessed.

Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) is still seeking an acquisition after the deal to buy Chorum fell through due to weak stockmarkets. There was £1.21m in the bank at the end of 2018.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  (February 2019 AIM Journal available here)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

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