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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.
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%.
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has invested $986,000 in DOT tokens, which are related to the Polkadot Project. A total of $150m was raised to finance the development of a decentralised protocol that allows trust-free movement of tokens and data between blockchains., that will also be able to create new parachains instead of starting a new community. The project is expected to go live by the end of 2019. Kryptonite 1 has sold Melon, Omisego and FunFair tokens in order to raise just over £290,000. That is a gain of around £270,000.
Via Developments (VIA1) has agreed to sell Plymouth Grove, Manchester for £2.5m. A non-refundable deposit of £250,000 has been paid and the deal should go through by the end of November. The property was originally acquired in June 2016 for £1.625m, although there will have been additional investment in development since then. In March, Via Developments announced a previous exclusivity agreement to sell which was dependent on planning permission. There was a refundable deposit of £100,000 for that potential deal. It is unclear whether the deals are related.
Health and care properties developer Ashley House (ASH) has welcomed the increased funding for health and housing schemes announced in the Budget. News that the government will not cap rents in the supported living sector has improved sentiment. Financial closure is anticipated on two projects in the next few weeks. Management continues to seek additional finance.
Block Energy (BLOK) has published its Schedule 1 notice for its proposed move to AIM. This is expected by 7 December.
Sandal (SAND) says that trading is in line with expectations with Energie MiHome sales trebling. By the end of 2018 the energy efficiency products should be generate as much in revenues as the power connections division.
There were 300,000 shares taken up in the Hellenic Capital (HECP) open offer but £250,000 was raised because the rest of the shares were placed.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has raised £1m at 0.2p a share, which was a small premium to the previous closing price. The cash will finance further pre-IPO investments. Turner Pope has been appointed broker.
Trading in the shares of Churchill Mining (CHL) should recommence when the figures for the year to June 2017 are published. That should be before the end of November. Pala Investments has subscribed for £500,000 of 10% convertible loan notes, which have a conversion price of 2.976p a share. Pala holds 21.3% of Churchill and full conversion of the loan notes would take the stake to 29.3%. Pala is also entitled to receive 25% of any proceeds from the claim for unlawful expropriation of the East Kutai coal project. Churchill is hopeful of overturning an unfavourable ruling on the case.
Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has issued shares valued at £21,750 at 0.09p a share in settlement of an outstanding loan from Blue Oak Assets. The deferred payment of £20,000 for the purchase of Pacha Cleator from Oliver Fattal has been satisfied by a share issue at the same price. That takes his stake to 9.96%.
Ken Riley is no longer finance director and company secretary of WMC Retail Partners (WELL) and Nigel Higgs has taken over as interim finance director.
Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL) is raising £18m at 50p a share, which should be enough to keep the toilet roll business going. A restructuring of the business is underway and health and safety procedures are being reviewed. The bank facility has been extended until 2021. The share price fell by more than two-thirds when the suspension was lifted and ended the week at 37.5p.
Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) published its interims at 4.30pm on Friday. That means that the share price reaction will be on Monday. There were no shares traded in the diagnostic services provider on Friday. Revenues were 4% lower at £18.7m. Growth in automated business revenues partly offset lower licensing revenues. Pre-tax profit excluding restructuring costs fell from £1.77m to £1.11m. Net cash is £28.3m. The average number of assays per instrument has increased from 3.8 to 4.3. Reg Duval stepped down as chief executive at the end of October after seven months in the job. Jaap Stuut took over the role. He talks about improving the sales team.
Sutton Harbour (SUH) has agreed a 29.5p a share bid for 70% of the shares of the harbour operator and property developer from FB Investors. That will cost £19.9m. A shareholder can accept for more than 70% of their shareholding but they could be scaled back. FB Investors is subscribing £2.75m for new shares at the same price.
Boku Inc (BOKU) had a successful first week on AIM with the share price rising from the 59p placing price to 81p. That values the developer of technology enabling payments via mobile at around £170m.
Contact centre services software provider Netcall (NET) says the integration of the MatsSoft acquisition is progressing well and trading is strong in the first four months of the financial year. The dividend will return to a normal level this year having been enhanced in the past few years. This year’s dividend is expected to be 1.2p a share.
Angle (AGL) is included in a €6.3m study to develop liquid biopsy services that is being headed by Philips. This is a four year research project.
Jon Fenton has stepped down as chief executive of Van Elle Holdings (VANL) ahead of a requisitioned general meeting on 15 December.
Amiad Water Systems (AFS) has been granted a licence by Dow Technologies to use its TEQUATIC PLUS filter. Amiad will take over the manufacturing of the product and pay Dow 3.75% of revenues generated.
First Property Group (FPO) has already invested £51m for the new Fprop Office LLP but there is more than £200m more to invest. Annualised management fees are £2.64m and full investment of the new vehicle will significantly increase that figure.
Audio equipment supplier Focusrite (TUNE) increased its full year pre-tax profit by one-third to £9.5m. There was particularly strong growth in the US.
Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) managed to edge up its pre-tax profit last year even though trading becoming tougher in the second half. The motor dealer is expected to report a lower profit of £9.5m this year but it has a strong balance sheet and it is investing heavily in new sites for upmarket brands that will not fully contribute until next year.
Premier African Minerals (PREM) raised £1m via PrimaryBid at 0.4p a share, which was double the amount it was originally asking for. The cash will be used to develop mining projects in Zimbabwe and Benin.
Professional services provider Progility (PGY) put out its full year figures late on Friday. There was still time for the share price to fall by 0.2p to 1.25p. Progility did move back into profit in the period but it was a modest one. There was a warning that progress may be held back this year by operational efficiency improvements.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) is selling non-core businesses for $400,000 and reinvesting the cash in the development of technology to integrate blockchain-based currencies into its systems.
African Alliance is planning to invest £2.4m at 11p a share coal bed methane projects developer Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) conditional on a listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange before the end of the year.
Thor Mining (THR) is making a $125,000 (£95,000) payment to Pacific Gold and Royalty Corporation in settlement for the $1.5m (£1.13m) payment that would have had to have been made when the Pilot Mountain tungsten project in Nevada comes into production. Thor is still fully funded well into 2019. Metal Tiger has taken its stake in Thor to 9.77% after exercising 16 million warrants.
Cash shell Landscape Acquisition Holdings (LAHL) raised $500m at $10 a share but the share price fell below the placing price when dealings commenced. The focus is hospitality, land-based gaming and real estate businesses in North America and Europe.
Rockpool Acquisitions (ROC) has secured a potential reverse takeover target. It is lending an initial £543,000 to Northern Ireland-based renewable energy firm Greenview Gas and this will be used to buy two companies. The deal includes an option for Rockpool to acquire Greenview paid for by a share issue.
Creightons (CRL) increased its pre-tax profit by one-fifth to £956,000, helped by an improvement in gross margin. An interim dividend of 0.15p a share is proposed.
IT services provider Triad Group (TRD) made further progress in the first half. In the six months to September 2017, revenues dipped from £14.8m to £14.2m, while pre-tax profit moved from £668,000 to £737,000. There is £2m in the bank. An interim dividend of 0.5p a share has been declared.
National Milk Records (NMRP) has changed its year end to June and its latest figures are for the 15 months to June 2017. This is a period when the dairy information and data services provider sorted out its pension deficit problem and this removed significant, and volatile, liabilities from the balance sheet. The market has been tough for at least two years because of the weak milk price but it is starting to recover. In the 15 month period, revenues were £25.3m and operating profit before pension and one-off charges was £1.1m. The total loss before tax is £11.9m, which is after a pension related charge of £12.5m. Trading is improving.
WH Ireland believes that Ashley House (ASH) could report a pre-tax profit of £1.8m for the year to April 2018, although it is likely to be second half weighted. This follows a decline in underlying pre-tax profit to £53,000 last year because of uncertainty about government policy. The community care properties provider has a strong pipeline of potential developments. The acquisition of an off-site manufacturing business will help the group to win modular buildings business.
Energy efficiency products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported a 14% rise in full year revenues to £3.75m. The Energie MiHome range grew by 154%, albeit from a low base. The loss was halved to £135,000 but refunded tax reduced the cash outflow from operations. Development expenditure will broaden the product range in the smart home sector.
Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) reported a jump in pre-tax profit from £612,000 to £1.12m in the year to April 2017 and this is prior to the disposal of all the residential properties. The property investor made a £1.02m gain on disposals but this was offset by a £391,000 unrealised reduction in property values, compared with a £283,000 unrealised gain in the corresponding period. NAV was £18.1m at the end of April 2017.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had a net asset value of 42.58p a share at the end of August 2017. Recent investment include £400,000 in timber frame buildings company Employee Owners Group and £150,000 follow-on investment in Computer Application Services.
London Nusantara Plantations (PALM) has £129,000 in the bank following the disposal of its initial land investment. There was a small gain on disposal but it was not enough to wipe out the interim loss. Management is assessing acquisition opportunities of plantations and mill capacity in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia. This will require additional funding.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has completed the €5.4m fundraising, at €0.01 a share, which it requires to progress the acquisition of the office building in Ivan Vazov Street in Sofia from UniCredit Bulbank. Debt funding of €7m still has to be secured from UniCredit Bulbank. Black Sea Property has paid a deposit of €1.04m out of the purchase price of €10.5m.
Bushveld Minerals Ltd (BMN) has published the circular for the demerger of its tin interests. Shareholders will receive one share in Afritin Mining Ltd, which will own the company’s Greenhills business, for each Bushveld share. Afritin will own the Mokopane tin project and Zaaiplaat tin tailings project in South Africa plus an interest in the Uis tin project in Namibia. Bushveld will still have coal assets but the main focus will be the vanadium assets and the potential value adding battery-related products.
Toilet tissue supplier Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL) has asked for trading in its shares to be suspended because of uncertainty about its financial position. It has been difficult to pass on extra raw materials costs and operational problems have also increased costs. There is also going to be a large fine relating to a health and safety incident.
Earthport (EPO) has raised £25m at 20p a share. This cash will be used to expand the corss-border payment services company’s market and global presence, develop further products and invest in the operating platform.
The requisitioner of the general meeting at Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR) failed to get any of its resolutions passed so there are no more changes to the board. Conroy raised €240,000 at €0.30 a share. The exercising of warrants raised €167,000. The cash will be used to develop the Clontibret deposit and pay for additional exploration at the Slieve Glah gold prospect.
Reabold Resources (RBD) is raising £1.76m at 0.5p a share. This follows a £3.96m subscription at the same share price. Reabold intends to change its focus to European oil and gas projects. Two former M&G analysts have joined the board.
City of London Group (CIN) has completed the reverse takeover of Milton Homes, which provides equity release products for residential property owners.
Stanley Gibbons (SGI) has found a new buyer for its interiors division. Gurr Johns is paying £1.25m with up to £400,000 deferred consideration. Stanley Gibbons is retaining £300,000 of inventory and the Mallett premises in New York. It has also retained the Mallett and Made by Meta brands. Millicent had agreed to pay £2.4m for the assets and brands and it has to pay a termination fee. Stanley Gibbons reported a £30.2m loss for the year to March 2017. Even taking out exceptionals the underlying loss was £11.1m. The NAV is £18m.
Kin Group (KIN) has raised £1m at 0.001p a share and every four shares come with a warrant to subscribe for a new share at 0.004p each. A CVA is proposed where unsecured creditors will swap their money owed of £2.27m for shares at 0.01p each. A capital reorganisation is required to reduce the nominal value of a share to below the placing price. John Taylor, who has been involved in the aerospace and military sectors, and Lindsay Mair, a corporate financier at SP Angel, are joining the board.
Redcentric (RCN) has appointed Chris Jagusz as chief executive. Net debt is falling but it is still £33.3m. Working capital management has improved. Profit should start to recover this year.
Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) has announced a drilling programme for the Anza gold project in Colombia. There will be 15,000 metres of diamond core drilling and the first results should be available by next February. The plan is to define a maiden resource and the potential for further mineralisation.
Avacta (AVCT) has announced a research collaboration with FIT Biotech in order to assess the effectiveness of is Affimer technology with FIT’s vector technology for delivering a gene.
The Environmental Protection Agency in the US has asked Tristel (TSTL) to resubmit its application for its Duo surface cleaner. This means that approval could be five months later than planned.
Northland has initiated coverage of Venture Life (VLG) and it expects the consumer healthcare firm to move into profit in 2018. Northland believes that Venture Life will benefit from growth in demand for self-care products because of the ageing global population. Venture Life already sells its products in more than 40 countries.
Angling Direct (ANG) is acquiring Fosters Fishing for £3m in cash. Fosters have a 17,000 square feet store in Birmingham and made an operating profit of £460,000 last year. When a new store in Slough opens Angling Direct will have 18 outlets.
SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) says that its technology has passed third party cytotoxicity tests. Phototoxicity and in vitro ocular toxicity tests are underway.
AdEPT Telecom (ADT) has declared a 13% increase in interim dividend to 4.25p a share. Recent acquisitions are performing well and are helping to focus the group on managed services.
Redhall Group (RHL) says delays on nuclear and infrastructure will hit its figures for the year to September 2017. The Hinckley Point C contract is expected to start in October 2017. The Chieftain facility is being closed. The 2016-17 profit forecast has been halved to £500,000. The 2017-18 profit forecast has been trimmed by £200,000 to £3.4m.
Adams (ADA) has taken its cash pile to £660,000 following the sale of £584,000 worth of shares in GVC.
Former AIM company Clinical Computing has sold its trading subsidiaries to TSX-listed Constellation Software.
InnovaDerma (IDP) is raising £4.4m at 276p a share. The Skinny Tan brand owner needs the cash for working capital. Despite declaring a profit of more than £1m in the year to June 2017 there was a £607,000 cash outflow from operations as inventory levels soared.
Curzon Energy (CZN) raised £2.33m at 10p a share but the share price has declined to 9.25p. Curzon has acquired coalbed methane licences in Oregon. Curzon believes that gas could be produced before the end of the year.
Haynes Publishing (HYNS) has completed the acquisition of E3 Technical from Solera UK for £4.72m. This will expand the data-related operations of Haynes, as well as providing cross-selling opportunities. E3 provides repair and maintenance information and vehicle registration look-up services.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that raceday attendances are 29% so far this year and no meetings were lost to the weather. Conference and events revenues have been maintained despite the refurbishment of the racecourse. Occupancy levels are building up at on-site hotel The Lodge. The Rocking Horse nursery has increased revenues by 29%. The pre-parade ring and saddling boxes are completed and the Owners’ Club conference and wedding venue will be finished in the late summer. Further improvements will begin later this year. The first home owners have moved into the residential development, which will take until 2021 to complete. Newbury is involved in the new racecourse controlled betting pool from July 2018.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has signed a memorandum of understanding with hedge fund HyperChain Capital. This will lead to co-investment opportunities in blockchain companies. Singapore-based HyperChain predominantly invests in tokens, which has proved more profitable than direct investment in companies in recent times – see Kryptonite 1. The two investors are each invested in social trading crypto platform CoinDash, which is about to launch a token offering.
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has made a profitable turn on tokens in blockchain-related investments, some of which were acquired four months ago. The company sold 6,407 Melonport tokens for £33.17 each, raising £212,520, compared with the buying price of £3.87 each providing a profit of just over £187,000. The 2,105,254 tokens acquired in the Golem project were sold for an average price of 27p each – 27 times the original investment – raising £569,418 and representing a gain of just over £548,000. Kryptonite 1 has tax losses, which it should be able to use to offset against the total gains of £735,000. A small amount of the cash raised has been reinvested in 126,796.5 tokens in the initial coin offering of the Mysterium project – a peer-to-peer, server-less virtual private network.
Property investment company Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) is paying an interim dividend of 1p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 22 June.
Peterhouse has resigned as corporate adviser to African Potash Ltd (AFPO), which has also completed the acquisition of a 21% stake in Advanced Agricultural Holdings in return for 221.6 million African Potash shares (11.8% of the enlarged share capital).
NEX Exchange Company of the Year
Here are the companies on the shortlist for NEX Exchange Company of the Year which will be awarded at the 2017 Small Cap Awards on 22 June.
£33.6m @11750p (11500p/12000p)
Brewer and distributor Adnams has been around the longest of the five nominees for this award and it is also much larger than any of the others. Adnams, which sponsored last year’s Tour of Britain cycling event, continues to invest in its brewery with beer sales moving above 100,000 barrels in 2016. More of that beer is being sold in kegs. The £7m investment in the brewery is almost complete.
In 2016, revenues improved from £65.7m to £70.3m, while pre-tax profit increased from £4.07m to £5.02m, predominantly down to a rise in asset disposal gains from £625,000 to £1.43m. The NAV has fallen to £27.5m because of an increase in the pension liability. There is a dividend of 150p per B share and 37.5p per A share.
So far this year, sales of beers and spirits continue to grow and Adnam’s pubs are trading well, although the sale of smaller pubs will reduce the profitability of this part of the group. Currency movements, the sale of the UK distribution rights for Lagunitas beers and the renovation of the Swan Hotel will hamper overall progress in the first half. This year there will be the first beer duty tax increase in four years.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP)
£6.9m @45p (40p/50p)
Employee ownership-focused investment company Capital for Colleagues has not had a smooth ride in the past year with a major investee company going bust but it is still able to attract more cash from investors. Capital for Colleagues raised £1.44m at 42p a share from its recent open offer and a further £980,000 in a placing at the same price.
One of the group’s employee-owned investee companies FJ Holdings sold its businesses and was placed in administration. Capital for Colleagues was not kept up to date with these moves. The figures for the six months to February 2017 show the aftermath of this loss. The profit from ongoing activities improved from £40,000 to £159,000 but the write-off for FJ of £1.32m, more than one-fifth of the previous asset value, meant that there was a loss of £1.16m. The NAV fell to 43.5p a share at the end of February and this will be slightly diluted by the subsequent fundraising.
There remains strong demand from companies wanting to encourage employee ownership and the Capital for Colleagues management has, excluding FJ, a good record.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP)
£94.9m @94p (90p/98p)
English wines producer Chapel Down has been one of the most high-profile companies on NEX. Revenues grew by one-quarter to £10.2m in 2016. The Tenterden-based wine business grew revenues by 22% and the brewing operations increased revenues by one-third.
Brewer Curious Drinks separately raised money to build a new brewery but Chapel Down still effectively controls the business – although it is now classified as an associate in accounting terms. The Ashford brewery will be open in mid-2018 and this will free up space for wine making at Tenterden.
Continuing operations moved from an underlying pre-tax profit of £156,000 in 2015 to £340,000 in 2016. Gross margins on the wine business improved from 40% to 43%. More premium wines are being launched this year.
Some of the Chapel Down vineyards were hit by frosts in late April but there will be firmer evidence of any effect this month. However, management says they were the worst April frosts in two decades.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS)
Crossword Cybersecurity is developing cyber security products with six UK universities. A blockchain-related Ministry of Defence smart documents contract was won with the University of Warwick and cyber risk product, Rizikon, which uses expertise from City University, has started to generate revenues.
Crossword is also involved with CyberOwl, a spin-out from Coventry University that is commercialising research into the early warning of cyber attacks. CyberOwl has been selected to join GCHQ’s Cyber Accelerator.
In May, Crossword Cybersecurity took advantage of the high profile of cyber security problems to raise cash at a large premium to the market price. Crossword raised £145,000 at 230p a share. Brenlen Jinkens took up 50% of the new shares and he has 5.13% of the company.
In 2016, revenues jumped from £21,000 to £345,000 but the loss increased from £755,000 to £950,000 – even after £78,000 of R&D tax credits. There was £1.55m in the bank at the end of 2016. AIM-quoted Iomart is cooperating with Crossword on launching the Nixer machine learning Denial of Service (DDoS) platform on the market.
£4.9m @ 29.5p (28p/31p)
Sandal is a developer and manufacturer of energy efficiency and other electronic products. It has signed a number of agreements with retailers and distributors for its Energenie MiHome range, which is also being integrated with a number of home automation systems, including those of Google and Amazon. Retailers selling the company’s products include Argos, Sainsbury, Robert Dyas, Shop Direct Group and Ocado.
Recently, Sandal signed an agreement with Spanish smart home technology business Momit, which will redesign its smart thermostat so that it is compatible with the Energenie MiHome platform. This is part of Momit’s strategy to enter the UK market. The redesigned product should be launched in September and, along with related radiator valve sales, could add £500,000 to Sandal’s annual revenues.
In the six months to November 2016, revenues were 13% ahead at £1.88m, with Energenie MiHome products growing revenues by 74%, and the pre-tax profit has improved from £7,000 to £35,000. Further growth is expected in the second half as home automation becomes a more mainstream product area.
PrimaryBid.com is helping Myanmar International Ltd (MIL) to raise between $3m and $5m. The Myanmar-focused investment company is offering shares at $1.18 each – a 9.2% discount to the market price. Myanmar wants to widen its shareholder base. The proceeds are expected to be invested within six months. This is the 23rd offer by PrimaryBid and it closed at 5pm on 18 June.
Disruptive Capital says that it is not going to make on offer for Stanley Gibbons (SGI) because it was not given the information it required, although the stamps and coins dealer has effectively put itself up for sale. A strategic review has commenced and the formal sale process is part of this.
Wynnstay Properties (WSP) has kept up its record of increasing its dividend. The 19% rise took the total dividend to 15.75p a share. The NAV was 15% ahead to 674p a share at the end of March 2017.
Home improvements company entu (UK) is taking longer to turn around than was hoped. There were problems with installation capacity, which is not enough to meet demand but there are also problems with the supply chain. The underlying interim loss is likely to be similar to the restated loss in the first half of 2016. There will also be a full year loss. Net debt was £6.5m at the end of April 2017. The boilers and energy switching businesses have been closed and the LED business scaled back.
FIH Group (FIH) reported a 4% increase in 2016-17 revenues to £40.5m, while underlying pre-tax profit fell from £3.1m to £2.4m. The profit decline was not as great as originally expected.
Egdon Resources (EDR) is acquiring a 50% interest in PEDL278 in the East Midlands, with the other 50% being acquired by the proposed operator IGas (IGAS). The licence area includes a tight gas discovery from 1985.
Keras Resources (KRS) says drilling at the Warrawoona gold project in Australia, which is now part of Calidus Resources, has commenced. Calidus Resources is about to join ASX.
Savannah Resources (SAV) has received approval in principle for a tailings storage facility at the abandoned Lasail West pit in Oman. There is still potential for further copper mineralisation at the Lasail copper mine. It is taking longer than expected to gain licensing approval for the copper mine development at Mahab 4 and Maqail South. Mining should still start in the first half of 2018.
Italian PR firm SEC (SECG) reported a decline in revenues in 2016 as markets are growing slowly and competition is fierce. There was also a lack of large one-off events. Revenues fell from €21.2m to €18.5m, while pre-tax profit has slumped from €3.25m to €734,000.
Starcom (STAR) has secured a three-year, $1.5m equipment and tracking order. Shiptek Solutions is paying $1.2m for Tetis R container tracking units and there should be at least $250,000 of income from online tracking services over three years.
IT consultancy and resourcing firm Triad Group (TRD) believes that the appointment of Arden as broker in February “is a significant step in returning the group to its former glory”. In the year to March 2017, revenues improved from £28.3m to £30.9m and pre-tax profit increased from £863,000 to £1.52m. Net cash was £2.24m. Triad intends to build up business outside of the public sector and increase exposure to new technologies, such as blockchain. Triad is returning to paying a dividend with the latest pay out of 0.5p a share. The ex-dividend date is 10 August. The trustee in the bankruptcy of former boss Mira Makar has been selling down her shareholding, which was over 21% but it has been reduced to 17.4%. The share price has held up over the past couple of months despite this.
Storage and communications semiconductors developer CML Microsystems (CML) increased full year revenues by one-fifth to £27.7m and organic growth was 14%. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from £3.5m to £4.3m. The dividend was increased to 7.4p a share. R&D investment continues to increase but there is plenty of cash to fund this. Net cash was £12.5m at the end of March 2017.
Industrial fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) increased its pre-tax profit by more than one-quarter to £20.5m, which was better than expected. Growth is coming from the top 25 key accounts and new product launches.
Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) has completed the acquisition of kidney stone analysis company Stone Checker Software in return for the issue of eight million shares at 3p each and been readmitted to the standard list on 16 June. A placing raised £550,000 at 3p a share. Stone Checker was previously 50%-owned by AIM-quoted Feedback (FDBK), which licenced its TexRAD software to the company for use with kidney stones.
North Midland Construction (NMD) has been awarded a joint venture infrastructure contract for Severn Trent Water on the Birmingham Resilience project worth more than £100m. This contract will be split between North Midland and its joint venture partner. The scheme starts in the third quarter of 2017 and this means that the 2017 figures will be ahead of expectations.
Jacek Slotala has stepped down as a director of fully listed shell Highway Capital (HWC). He joined the board in December 2015. Trading in the shares has been suspended since 22 September 2016. Highway has been seeking a significant acquisition for approaching two decades.
Cyber security technology developer and consultancy Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) continues to scale up its business and there is a product launch planned for this summer. In 2016, revenues jumped from £21,000 to £345,000 but the loss increased from £755,000 to £950,000 – even after £78,000 of R&D tax credits. There was £1.55m in the bank at the end of 2016. AIM-quoted Iomart is cooperating with Crossword on launching the Nixer machine learning DDoS platform on the market.
Brewer Adnams (ADB) says sales of beers and spirits continue to grow and its pubs are trading well, although the sale of smaller pubs will reduce the profitability of this part of the group. Currency movements, the sale of the UK distribution rights for Lagunitas beers and the renovation of the Swan Hotel will hamper overall progress in the first half. The £7m investment in the brewery is almost complete.
Sandal (SAND) has signed an agreement with Spanish smart home technology business Momit, which will redesign its smart thermostat so that it is compatible with the Energenie MiHome platform. This is part of Momit’s strategy to enter the UK market. The redesigned product should be launched in September and, along with related radiator valve sales, could add £500,000 to the annual revenues of Sandal.
Healthcare staff provider Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) has revised its strategy and candidates need to have passed the International English Language Testing System, which is required for a visa anyway. Healthperm has opened its own IELTS training facility in the UAE and this is focused on nurses. Healthperm has won two new mandates and there are three other potential mandates on the cards. Chief executive David Sumner has agreed to increase the maximum amount of loan notes he will subscribe for from £1m to £1.8m. The loan notes have a 10% interest charge.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has raised £1.44m at 42p a share from its open offer and a further £980,000 in a placing at the same price. Coinsilium Group (COIN) has raised £118,000 at 2p a share and it will use £60,000 to finance the development of a blockchain-based management system. Goldcrest Resources (GCRP) is raising £380,000 at 0.5p a share. The cash will help to finance the competent persons report on the Norio block, which the company is in the process of acquiring.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has entered into a A$6.5m loan facility to help finance the acquisition of the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania. This means that NQ has A$15m of the A$20m in cash it requires to make the purchase.
Indigo Holdings (INGO) is investing £200,000 in Iranian Fast Moving Consumer Goods Ltd, an online retail delivery business associated with a convenience store chain.
Ashley House (ASH) has secured a £500,000 loan facility from its non-executive deputy chairman Stephen Minion. The secured facility lasts for 12 months.
Housebuilder St Mark Homes (SMAP) has appointed Alfred Henry Corporate Finance as its corporate broker. Merchant Place had performed this role for 18 years.
Mortice (MORT) has made a second UK acquisition. The facilities management services provider is paying up to £4.5m for Elite Cleaning and Environmental Services – £3.5m in cash and shares plus a 12-month earn-out of up to £1m in cash and shares. Elite provides cleaning services and clients include ITV and BMW. Elite made EBITDA of £1m on revenues of £12.3m. finnCap has increased its earnings forecast by 5% to 7.8 cents a share.
Internet domain registry company Minds + Machines (MMX) moved into profit in 2016. Revenues grew from $5.5m to $13.5m, while a loss was turned into an underlying pre-tax profit of $3.5m. This follows a restructuring of the business and the sale of non-core operations. Sales of the .vip domain in China were the major factor in the growth in revenues and .boston should be launched later this year. Cash conversion was poor due to restructuring costs and increased working capital.
Directa Plus (DCTA) had technological problems which held back the progress of the graphene producer last year. In 2016, revenues fell from €1.7m to €0.8m and the loss more than doubled to €4.1m. The reason behind the fall in revenues was the lack of sales of mobile decontamination units with sales of G+ graphene nearly doubling. The focus is textiles and environmental uses of the company’s graphene. Directa Plus has net cash of €6.8m and this will be enough to absorb the expected cash outflows for the next couple of years.
Diagnostic tests supplier Omega Diagnostics (ODX) says that its underlying pre-tax profit will fall from £1.3m to £1.1m in 2016-17. All divisions increased their revenues, helped by currency movements. Field trials are planned for the VISITECT CD4 test and the CE mark could be obtained by the end of the year.
TLA Worldwide (TLA) continues to embarrass itself with disastrous trading statements. Having issued a trading statement at 6.26pm on 23 December 2016, it has released its latest profit warning at 4pm – management probably thinks that is a big improvement because it was before the market closed. It turns out that four months after the end of the financial year TLA’s 2016 figures will be even worse than expected. Changes to revenue recognition and provisions for money that TLA thought it was owed but has not been paid are the reason. There is also money that TLA believed it was owed in financial periods prior to 2016 but has not been paid. That will lead to write-downs and the current estimate is between $1.5m and $2.5m. The 2016 figures may eventually be released in late May, according to the company.
Imaginatik (IMTK) says its revenues for the year to March 2017 will be flat at £3.9m but the loss should still be reduced. Bookings for the innovation software were lower at £3.5m but new clients were won in the second half. Imaginatik could be on course to breakeven in the current financial year.
AstraZeneca has returned the rights to AZD9412 to Synairgen (SNG) following a phase IIa study. The inhaled interferon beta did have a beneficial impact on lung function but the positives were not enough to continue with trials. The data will be returned to Synairgen for it to analyse. Synairgen has £4m in the bank.
Avacta (AVCT) has signed its first non-therapeutics licence for its affimers. The licensee is a major global diagnostics companies. The upfront payment is probably small but this is a significant deal.
Radiation detection technology company Kromek (KMK) is trading in line with expectations and it expects to continue to win new contracts.
Property management services provider HML Holdings (HML) has confirmed that its 2016-17 profit will be in line with expectations of £1.8m. There were six acquisitions during the year. A 2017-18 profit of £2.2m is forecast.
Instant communication mobile services provider Mobile Tornado (MBT) has raised £1.1m at 5p a share and the cash will be used for further development of its technology and support the launch of the Dispatch Console service. Last year, revenues fell 10% to £2.02m but recurring revenues increased to more than 90% of the total. The loss increased from £2.03m to £3.73m. Net debt was £9.06m at the end of 2016.
Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL) has completed the acquisition of social media business SecureCom and Sealand hopes that a share split/bonus issue will improve liquidity. Existing shareholders will receive nine bonus shares for each one they own, leaving them with ten times the number of shares and the share price would be adjusted from 25p to 2.5p. The November 2015 flotation price was 10p and earlier this year a further £1.4m was raised at 20p a share. Pro forma cash was £3.26m at the time of the acquisition.
A number of standard list shells have reported their annual figures so that they beat the deadline of the end of April. Financial services-focused shell Vertu Capital Ltd (VCBC) is still discussing the potential acquisition of VCB Malaysia but there is still some way to go before a deal is secured. There was £553,000 in the bank at the end of 2016. Auctus Growth (AUCT) still had £1m in the bank at the end of 2016 and it continues to assess potential acquisitions.
Papillon Holdings (PPHP) is still proceeding with the long drawn out acquisition of Myclubbetting.com and it is near to lodging a readmission document with the UKLA. The publishing of the accounts of Papillon has been delayed because of difficulties concerning quantifying the costs of the acquisition.
Property investment company Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) says that one of its shareholders, Daniel Waylett, agreed to acquire a subsidiary that owns Colebrook Court in 2016. There was no specific date given, although the property was bought for £1.5m in shares during April. The payment for the disposal was £1.553m. Ace has drawn down a secured loan of £13.75m from Lloyds Bank and this has been used to purchase the property acquired last month in Hanley, as well as other existing property investments.
FT8 (GFT) is acquiring 49% of Australian fintech company Billyst Holdings. FT8 is issuing 142.4 million shares at 1p each to Billyst for the 49% stake. This will give Billyst, which is developing debt collection systems, 16.2% of FT8. So far, Billyst, which has not been around long enough to produce figures, has invested £267,000 in its technology. Billyst has agreed to loan FT8 A$500,000 (£297,000), interest free, for 18 months, but it will need to raise more cash to do this. FT8 had less than £3,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016 so it needs more cash.
Wine maker Chapel Down (CDGP) says that it has had its highest quality harvest ever, although yields were slightly lower than expected. The 2016 harvest was the third largest in the company’s history. A good summer made up for some of the shortfall earlier in the year.
Energy efficiency and electronics products supplier Sandal (SAND) says that trading is in line with forecast. Sainsbury’s will be selling MiHome products in 100 stores prior to Christmas, while Argos will be including them in its catalogue from February. House broker Daniel Stewart expects Sandal to move into profit this year.
Imperial Minerals (IMPP) had £96,000 of cash and financial assets – including a stake in AIM-quoted North River Resources (NRR) – at the end of June 2016, following a £53,000 cash outflow in the previous year. Imperial tried to acquire a Welsh hydro-electric project but there was a problem with the complex ownership of the project. However, management believes that recovering commodity prices could provide potential resources investment opportunities.
South Africa-based social impact investor Inqo Investments (INQO) has been improving room rates and occupancy at the South Africa-based leisure resort Kuzuko Lodge and the second half should be much stronger as tourists benefit from the weak Rand. In the six months to August 2016, group revenues grew from R3.23m to R5.32m, which made an increased loss before an increase in other income from R2.06m to R14m is taken into account. The other income in the recent period was due to the negotiation of loan settlements leading to interest write-backs. Kuzuko Lodge made a reduced loss, while the first revenues from the Bee Sweet Honey investment will not show through until 2017-18.
The closure of GB Energy Supply could provide opportunities for AIM-quoted energy suppliers Flow (FLOW) and Good Energy (GOOD), which is also quoted on ISDX. GB Energy had revenues of £22.2m in 2015 and it is estimated to have around 160,000 customers. Regulator OFGEM is overseeing a transfer of customers to new suppliers but customers could then choose to change from the suppliers they have been allocated. In 2015, Good had energy supply revenues of £56.6m, while Flow’s were £40.1m.
Belvoir Lettings (BLV) says it is difficult to predict what impact the announcement that letting agents in England will not be allowed to charge fees to tenants. There will be consultation before this change is brought in. Belvoir says that less than 10% of the income of its franchisees is from fees paid by tenants but in terms of Belvoir it is less than 8%. There may be more pressure on smaller, independent letting agents and this may provide acquisition opportunities for franchisees or a chance to grow organically in their existing markets if independents leave the market.
Cough treatments developer Verona Pharma (VRP) plans to gain a US listing in the first half of 2017. The flotation is subject to regulatory approval and market conditions.
Music hardware and software developer Focusrite (TUNE) beat expectations in the year to August 2016. Revenues improved from £48m to £54.3m thanks to a strong fourth quarter with growth being enhanced by the launch of the second generation Scarlett product range (focused on the sub-$500 market). Underlying pre-tax profit rose from £7.2m to £7.7m. The US remains a major market but the company had to improve credit terms to its distributor which hampered cash generation. Even so, there was still £5.6m in the bank. Focusrite wants to grow in Asia where its market share lags the levels in North America and Europe. There are potential acquisitions that Focusrite is keeping its eye on but there is no certainty that there will be any deals in the short-term. A new chief executive has been identified but his appointment is still being finalised. A full year profit of £8m is forecast.
Alternative Networks (AN.) is recommending a bid from former AIM company and rival telecoms and managed services provider Daisy, which is a consolidator in the sector. The bid of 335p a share values Alternative Networks at £165.3m. The company’s directors mention the uncertainty in the telecoms market as part of their reason for recommending the bid.
BP Marsh (BPM) has invested £75,000 in The Fiducia MGA Company, in the form of a 25% stake in the company’s cumulative preferred ordinary shares. On top of this, BP Marsh is lending up to £1.725m to the UK marine cargo underwriting agency. An initial £350,000 will be drawn down and further draw downs are dependent on Fiducia meeting conditions outlined in an agreed business plan. Fiducia founder Gerry Sheehy has more than three decades of experience in the insurance industry. BP Marsh is also keen to expand in the managing general agency business in North America
Jonas Computing (UK) has decided not to make an offer for ServicePower Technologies (SVR) but Diversis Capital may be willing to offer 6p a share.
Standard list cash shell Senterra Energy (SEN) is no longer acquiring sim-card technology business Oasis Smart Sim PTE. The deal was first announced six months ago. The seller has withdrawn from negotiations. The Singapore-based company had 2015 revenues of $13m. Senterra was going to provide a £500,000 loan to the acquisition target but it never lent any money. Senterra continues to seek a technology acquisition rather than the oil and gas acquisition it originally focused on. The share price slumped to 2.5p when it returned from suspension. The flotation price was 5p. There was £1m in the bank at the end of June 2016 – equivalent to 3.7p a share – but that is likely to be lower now.
A winding up order has been issued against Worthington (WRN) following the Pension Protection Fund’s (PPF) rejection of a proposed company voluntary arrangement (CVA). Worthington is seeking a Judicial Review of the PPF decision.
Upland Resources Ltd (UPL) is buying a 10% stake in UK onshore licences, in which the Wressle field is sited, from AIM-quoted Europa Oil & Gas (EOG) for £1.6m in cash and shares plus a further £250,000 in contingent consideration based on the level of production from the Wressle field. Initial commercial oil flows of 500 barrels a day are expected from the North Lincolnshire field early next year. Europa retains a 20% stake. A £2.2m placing at 1.3p a share by Upland will finance the cash consideration and fund some exploration spending. When Upland joined the standard list one year ago it raised £1.3m at 1p a share. There was just over £1m in the balance sheet at the end of June 2016.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has raised £1.4m via a placing and subscription at 190p a share – the same as the current bid price – and the cash will be invested in sales and marketing and further cyber security product development. There was £668,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016. Chief executive Thomas Ilube subscribed for 132,103 shares but his holding has been diluted from 52.6% to 44.4%.
Brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) made a small loss in the six months to September 2016 due to the impact of a loss on interest rate swaps of £5.7m due to the fall in sterling but the underlying business is still highly profitable. A 5% increase in revenues to £44m led to an improvement in operating profit from continuing operations from £7m to £7.4m. Investment in hotels and bars has offset the effect of the national living wage. However, the loss on interest rate swaps meant that a previous interim profit of £5.7m was turned into a loss of £300,000. An unchanged interim dividend of 1.1p a share was announced. Net debt was £34.9m at the end of September 2016 and more capital investment is planned. There are ongoing plans to relocate the brewery and offices and this should be completed in 2018. Thwaites has been named as preferred partner to redevelop Dee House, a grade II listed Georgian building, in Chester.
AIM cash shell Tengri Resources (TEN) has joined the ISDX Growth Market. The AIM quotation will be retained and it is seeking a technology acquisition. Tengri has paid Robust Resources $200,000 in cash, 4.3 million shares and sold Robust its shareholding in gold explorer Prospech in return for the relinquishment of a loan of $1.02m. Tengri has raised £650,000 from an issue of convertible loan stock – which would be equivalent to 65.5% of Tengri if converted – having previously raised £100,000 from a share issue at 5p a share. A general meeting is planned to reorganise the company’s capital and change the name of the company to Forbes Ventures – the ticker will be changed to FOR. The share price was 1p prior to joining ISDX and it ended the week at 2p (1.5p/2.5p).
Ganapati (GANP), the developer of apps for social media and games, has clarified the bonds it has issued to Japanese investors. They are three-year bonds, not two-year bonds as previously stated, with an option to renew for a further year. EveryMatrix Ltd is in talks with Ganapati’s Malta business to obtain an online casino licence but this will be dependent on Ganapati being granted a licence from the British Gambling Commission and a class 4 licence from the Malta Gaming Authority.
The Italian agent of Tracksure has subscribed for up to 4.55 million shares in Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) in lieu of its commission on sales up until the end of August 2017. There will be an initial issue of 562,400 shares in lieu of commission of £5,624. Daniel Stewart has taken its fee for the previous fundraising by the company in the form of 500,000 shares at 1p each and 3.52 million warrants to subscribe for shares at 1p each.
FT8 (GFT) continues to assess potential fintech investments and decisions will be made on specific investments before the end of the year. A lack of financial resources remains a constraint. There was less than £3,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016. Opportunities have also been sought in the US that are in a similar sector to Homeland Health Care, where an FT8 investment provides technology for the employee benefits operations.
Hellenic Capital (HECP) has adopted a new pronged investment policy – UK property and African natural resources investments – but it is not changing its name to City and Commercial Investments. Hellenic will wait until it has made investments before deciding on a new name.
Investors have subscribed for just over 50% of the shares in the one-for-three open offer by St Mark Homes (SMAP). This has raised £694,000 at 105p a share.
Greenbrook Industries has increases its stake in Sandal (SAND) to 29.6%. The shares were transferred to Greenbrook as part of loan agreements with Robin Fuller and Kingswood Asset Management.
Kuala Lumpur Kepong has increased its bid for MP Evans (MPE) from 640p a share to 740p a share, which values the oil palm plantations operator at £415.4m. The bid will be declared unconditional if acceptances reach 50%. The bid has been rejected by MP Evans. This offer cannot be increased unless there is a rival bidder or the target recommends an increased offer. There is scope for a rival bidder.
Transport-related software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) promised that the second half of its financial year would produce the vast majority of profit and it has delivered. In the year to July 2016, the underlying pre-tax profit improved from £5.6m to £6.7m. There is net cash of £10.7m with potential deferred consideration of £6.15m. The rail technology and services division grew organically and thanks to a contribution from software company Ontrac. The remote control monitoring equipment business generated lower revenues but this year it will benefit from a US contract. Traffic & data services benefited from a contribution from traffic planning services provider SEP in a stronger part of its financial year – the first half included a partial contribution during the off-season. Earnings per share were slightly flattered by a lower tax rate. This holds back potential earnings growth this year to around 9% even though pre-tax profit is forecast to improve to £8m helped by a full contribution from SEP.
Student accommodation developer and manager Watkin Jones (WJG) says that 2015-16 trading was in line with expectations. At the end of September 2016, there was a development pipeline of 21 developments with 6,814 beds. These should be delivered in 2017 and 2018. Management business Fresh Student Living has 12,337 beds under management. The full year figures will be published on 18 January.
Totally (TLY) has acquired sports physiotherapy provider Optimum Sports Performance Centre for an initial £400,000. This is an earnings enhancing deal. There are additional deferred payments of 100% of 2016 EBITDA and 75% of 2017 EBITDA. The total maximum payment is £650,000.
Immobile (IMO) reported a 22% increase in pre-tax profit to £3.3m in the six months to 2016 and the cash pile has reached £17.9m. Immobile provides services to enable mobile and digital commerce. Organic growth was 14% with particularly strong growth in India. Recurring revenues were 94% of the total revenues. The launch of IMIchat provides a further service that can be sold to the customer base. Immobile has won its first US mobile operator client and has yet to see the benefits of this. Kestrel Partners has taken its stake above 5%.
RedstoneConnect (REDS) has paid £2.4m for Commensus, which provides managed IT support services, and this should be earnings enhancing. The deal enables RedstoneConnect to offer cloud-hosting services and provides opportunities for cross-selling.
Sula Iron & Gold (SULA) has launched a placing and open offer to raise up to £1.47m at 0.21p a share. This will help to finance the development of the Ferensola gold project in Sierra Leone. Early next year there will be additional drilling in order to demonstrate the scale of the project.
FIH Group (FIH), formerly Falkland Island Holdings, has achieved 60% of this year’s forecast profit in the first half of the financial year. Normally there is a fairly even split. WH Ireland has maintained its full year profit forecast at £1.85m because the outcome will be dependent on how quickly art logistics services provider Momart fills its additional capacity. Net cash was £4.3m at the end of September 2016. The current share price of 218.5p is similar to NAV, excluding intangibles.
Fire and emergency services resource manager AssetCo (ASTO) has still to renew its main contract in Abu Dhabi. The renewal for the contract was due on 17 November and it is still being renegotiated so the contract will continue on existing terms until the new one is finalised. That should be before the end of the year. Trading is in line with expectations and it appears that the contract will be renewed. The £42m claim against former auditor Grant Thornton is still being pursued.
Tanzania-focused Edenville Energy (EDL) says that results of bulk sampling at the Mkomolo and Namwele deposits indicate that the coal is suitable to feed a power plant and requires little or no washing.
Avation (AVAP) says that its dividends will be based in US dollars from now on. Management believes that it will receive proposals for the disposal of 22 ATR turboprop aircraft before the end of 2016. Avation is seeking a price that is well in excess of NAV and the deal will require shareholder approval. That could lead to a special dividend with part of the proceeds invested in further aircraft.
Marketing services firm Creston (CRE) has recommended a 125p a share bid from value investor DBAY Advisors Ltd, which values the target at £75.8m. Shareholders will also keep the 1.42p a share interim dividend. DBAY has been a Creston shareholder for more than two years.
House broker Daniel Stewart expects energy efficiency and home automation products supplier Sandal (SAND) to move into profit this year. In the year to May 2016, Sandal made a loss of £268,000 on revenues of £3.3m and this year the profit is forecast to be £105,000. The Energenie energy efficiency and home control products are expected to nearly double their sales to £1.4m this year and then double them again next year. The revenues of connectors business PowerConnections are expected to be flat.
Rail safety products developer Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) plans to raise £106,000 at 1p a share and chief executive Gerhard Dodl says he will acquire some of the shares. The cash will be used for working capital.
Mechan Controls (MECP) says that it is still investigating the possible disposal of some of its business and it has received further approaches from potential buyers, including approaches from management teams of some of the subsidiaries. The offers do not appear to be high enough to provide the exit price wanted by the Mechan board. Mechan has gained shareholder approval to buy back up to 10% of its share capital.
Wealth management adviser Asia Wealth Group Holdings (AWLP) is talking to a number of potential acquisitions. In the six months to August 2016, revenues improved from $578,000 to $601,000 and the loss was halved to $11,000, helped by lower expenses. There was a $91,000 cash inflow in the six month period. There is nearly $1.4m in the bank.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO/EO.P) will be left with a 24.3% stake in LED lighting products and wiring accessories supplier Luceco following its flotation on the Main Market. EPE sold shares worth £38m and had £10m of loans repaid. The cash will be The share price has risen from 130p to 148p. The stake is valued at £57.8m and this is still more than two-fifths of EPE‘s gross asset value.
Vislink (VLK) is selling its original core business to a former AIM-quoted company with an even worse track record. Vislink hopes to complete the $16m sale of the loss-making broadcast and surveillance hardware business to xG Technology Inc by the end of the year. It appears that xG Technology will have to raise cash in order to fund the acquisition. xG Technology left AIM at the end of 2013 after seven years on the junior market when it failed to build up significant revenues from the technology it had developed. The buyer has recently bought another business, which is much smaller than the Vislink business but the acquisition will undoubtedly form the core of the enlarged business. The Vislink hardware business was in the books at £22.7m, before central net liabilities, at the end of June 2016 – nearly £30m lower than six months before thanks to losses and write-downs. That is still well below the stated disposal price. Vislink had net assets of £22.9m at the end of June 2016. Executive chairman John Hawkins was appointed to the board on 1 April 2011 and net assets were £47m at the end of June 2011. There have been further share issues since then. If the disposal does go ahead then Vislink will be left with its profitable broadcast software business and have minimal debt.
Lok’nStore (LOK) has grown its underlying NAV by 28% to 386p a share thanks to the continued investment in the portfolio of self storage sites and strong trading. This year the valuer was changed to Jones Lang LaSalle. Supply is limited compared with the demand for self storage. Occupancy rates increased by 2% last year and prices also increased. There are plans for a further four sites – two managed stores and two owned in Gillingham and Wellingborough – over the next year or so, at a cost of £10m, while the recently opened Chichester, Bristol and Southampton sites are still building up their occupancy. There was also a much better contribution from document storage after a few years of flat performances.
Trading continues to improve at security and facilities management services provider Mortice (MORT). Interim revenues are expected to be 57% ahead at around $80m through a combination of acquisitive and organic growth. The fastest growth has been in facilities management where revenues have more than doubled thanks to the UK business with more to come due to recent contract wins. The Indian operations also continue to grow. This means that Mortice is on course to grow full year revenues from $133.5m to $170m, which should enable pre-tax profit to rise from $2.4m to $4.2m.
Core infection control products have grown fast enough to more than offset a continued decline in older product sales by Tristel (TSTL). In the year to June 2016, revenues grew 12% to £17.1m. Overseas revenues grew by more than one-fifth and they account for nearly two-fifths of group revenues. North America remains a major potential market and the first FDA approvals for products should be next year. There will be additional regulatory costs this year. House broker finnCap forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £3.3m to £3.6m.
BP Marsh & Partners (BPM) increased its NAV from 243p a share to 253p a share in the six months to July 2016. There is £7.9m of cash available for new investments after taking account of commitments to existing investee companies. The investment company has plenty of opportunities in the insurance broking and related markets but it is very careful when making a new investment.
Gold producer Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) has reduced its cash operating costs to $693/ounce in the three months to August 2016, which is well below expectations and the figure of $954/ounce in the corresponding period in the previous financial year. This cost reduction was helped by the mining of higher grades and costs will rise in the second quarter. The price received for gold sold was also higher but year-on-year production fell from 12,471 ounces to 9,950 ounces so revenues fell from $14.5m to $12.7m. Even so, Orosur moved from a loss to a profit of $2.76m and there was a $4.8m cash inflow from operations. Net cash was $4.7m at the end of August 2016. Orosur expects to produce between 35,000 and 40,000 ounces of gold and cash operating costs are expected to be between $800/ounce and $900/ounce. Orosur is capitalised at less than £19m.
Kyrgyz Republic-focused Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd (CGH) has rejected a bid approach, which was at a 30% premium to the then market price. That suggests a bid of 11p a share or more. The bankable feasibility study for the Tulkubash heap leach project.
Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) has received government approval to drill the Boleslaw-1 well in the Kolo licence area in Poland and this should happen before the end of the year. The final application for the drilling permit has to be submitted. Well pad construction should begin early in November. The intial target has been identified as having potential for near-term production. Prospex owns 49% of the company that owns the Kolo licence.
Premier African Minerals (PREM) has bought a 4.5% stake in Casa Mining, which in turn owns 71.25% of the Misisi gold project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For $250,000. This was funded by a £300,000 placing at 0.32p a share. Premier could add a further 30% stake. Premier also owns 2% of Circum Minerals, which expects to be awarded a mining licence for its Danakil potash project in Ethiopia by the end of this year. Morgan Stanley is assessing ways of moving the project forward, including a strategic partner or flotation.
More good news for Thor Mining (THOR) about the Molyhil project. The assay results have confirmed elevated levels of tungsten. More drilling is planned on the three targets that have been identified.
Starcom (STAR) has raised £300,000 for working capital after a $100,000 loan facility failed to be secured. The share placing was at 2.5p a share. The previous placing in March raised £450,000 at 1.5p a share. The cash is needed because some payments will not be received until early next year. There was recently a judgement against a subsidiary and two of the Starcom directors in the ongoing litigation brought by Top-Alpha Capital, although Starcom believes this could be overturned by a higher court. Starcom should at least meet the expectation of improved revenues in 2016.
Investment company Mercom Capital (MCC) is pending £600,000 on a 16% stake in Mexican fintech company Mobile Wireless and Satellite SAPI (MOWISAT). The strategy is to offer lending, payments and e-commerce services to unbanked people as a mobile virtual network operator. There are 109 million mobile users in Mexico and the vast majority are on prepay packages. Meanwhile, Mercom’s 10.2% shareholder Calvet International plans to requisition a general meeting at Mercom to propose board changes and a change in strategy.
Standard list shell Mila Resources (MILA) is seeking to acquire an interest in a resources project, most likely in emerging markets. The ideal target would involve a project that is already well down the line and would benefit from a cash injection to move it towards production. Mila has around £1m in the bank after the costs of the flotation. The share price has risen from 5p to 8.25p in the fortnight since it floated.