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Blockchain venture builder Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that RIF Labs is acquiring RSK Labs, where Coinsilium owns 65,000 series Seed-1 preferred shares. The cost of the investment was $83,750. The acquisition is a share for token swap and Coinsilium will end up with 1.95 million RIF tokens, which is the equivalent of 139.4 bitcoins, currently valued at $773,000. However, an initial 12.5% of the consideration will be released six months after the deal is completed and then 2.5% each month for 42 months.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has entered into an additional marketing and off-take agreement with Traxys Europe. The deal covers the production from the Hellyer project in Tasmania for the first five years. This includes a facility for prepayment.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that its Australian subsidiary has received a A$590,000 tax rebate from the Australian government. A 43.5% rebate is due on qualifying technical expenditure and so far more than A$2m has been received. Spending continues.
Gowin New Energy Group Ltd (GWIN) chief executive Chen Chih-Lung is lending £40,000 to the company for 12 months at an annual interest rate of 2%.
Music and audio equipment supplier Focusrite (TUNE) is continuing to grow internationally although Asia is growing at the fastest rate. Full year revenues grew by 14% to £75.1m, while pre-tax profit improved from £9.51m to £11.3m. The dividend is 22% higher at 3.3p a share. There is £22.8m of cash in the bank and this could be used for add-on acquisitions. Tariffs on Chinese exports are being used as a way of testing out price rises for the US market. Forecast profit growth is modest but there is potential for outperformance.
Tristel (TSTL) is buying its distributor in Benelux and France and this will enhance earnings. The maximum payment for Ecomed will be €6.8m (£6m) with €5m paid up front. The deal also provides an additional warehouse in Europe. A full year contribution in 2019-20 will increase pre-tax profit by £700,000 to £6.5m.
Sustainable timber supplier Accsys Technologies (AXS) has increased its capacity for Accoya production by 50% and this will help production in the second half. Demand for Accoya is strong and sales increased from €28.3m to €31.1m in the six months to September 2018. The development of the Tricoya plant in Hull is progressing. Construction could be completed in the middle of 2019 and it will breakeven at 40% of capacity. Tricoya, which is used in MDF-type panels, is currently produced from Accoya and this plant will free up Accoya production for other customers. Numis forecasts a rise in full year revenues from €60.9m to €73.1m and a decline in loss to €5.1m. Net debt is expected to be €46m at the end of March 2019 and it will continue to rise because of the capital investment programmes. If partners can be secured in the USA and Asia then this could provide a significant boost to the company.
Initial drilling results at the Havieron licence area in Western Australia provided good news for Greatland Gold (GGP) with two wide zones of gold and copper mineralisation intersected. This significantly extends the known mineralisation.
Immunodiagnostic System Holdings (IDH) is up to its old tricks. The interim figures were published at 5.04pm on Friday 23 November. To be fair this is 14 minutes earlier than the half year trading statement so maybe the company is improving. Here’s hoping. Interim revenues were flat at £18.5m but the company fell into loss. There was £27.8m of cash in the bank (net cash of £26.5m) at the end of September 2018. Maybe some of this should be spent on an alarm clock so management can get up in the morning to release its results.
Chris Jagusz has stood down as chief executive of Redcentric (RCN) as revenue growth has been hard to come by. The latest interims have sparked downgrades for 2018-19 with revenues cut by 5% to £94.2m.
SIMEC AtlantisEnergy (SAE) has singed a joint venture with AD Normandie Developpement and this will enable the commencement of tidal energy projects between France and Alderney. A capacity of 3,000MW is being targeted and there is potential for EU grants.
Innovation software provider Imaginatik (IMTK) has achieved annualised cost savings of £1.2m, but the strategic review held back revenues and new orders in the first half. The cash outflow declined. Trading levels are picking up.
There are no competition concerns about the Ebiquity (EBQ) disposal of its advertising intelligence business to Neilsen Media Research. The business has been underperforming because of the uncertainty and this will enable the deal to go ahead. Ebiquity says that 2018 operating profit will be lower than expected.
Positive news about the Wressle oil project, where the planning officer for North Lincolnshire has recommended approval. The original application was refused two years ago. Operator Egdon Resources (EDR) owns a 30% interest in Wressle, Europa Oil and Gas (EOG) has a 30% interest and Union Jack Oil (UJO) has a 27.5% interest. Humber Oil and Gas owns the other 12.5%.
Integumen (SKIN) has raised £355,000 from a placing at 0.44p a share. This cash will support the development and commercialisation of Labskin. Integumen is paying €40,000 and six million shares to former chief executive Declan Service.
Sutton Harbour (SUH) returned to profit in the six months to September 2018, although the corresponding period had a hefty asset write-down, and it is raising cash for pre-construction funding. An open offer of 77-for-786 at 29p a share will raise up to £3m and close on 6 December. Planning approvals have been received for the Sugar Quay and Harbour Arch Quay schemes in Plymouth.
Electronic and battery products supplier Solid State (SOLI) is starting to improve its performance, although there may still be a decline in full year profit. In the six months to September 2018, revenues were 5% ahead at £23.6m and pre-tax profit improved from £1.55m to £1.66m. The interim dividend was 5% higher at 4.2p a share. The order book was worth £29.6m at the end of September 2018.
TomCo Energy (TOM) has appointed Turner Pope to replace SVS as broker and trading in the shares has recommenced.
SEC (SECG) is acquiring France-based public and corporate affairs business CLAI. An initial 10% stake, but with 50.1% of voting rights, will cost €490,000 in cash. A further stake of 40.01% will be acquired in the second half of 2020 and another 10% in the second half of 2023. The shareholders can ask SEC to buy the remaining shares between 30 July 2025 and 30 November 2025. The final payments are based on an earnout although the maximum will be €8.8m. In 2017, CLAI made a pre-tax profit of €551,000 on revenues of €4.49m. The acquisition could be earnings enhancing. CLAI will continue to be run by existing management.
Majestic Wine (WINE) is finding the UK market tough and margins are coming under pressure. Peel Hunt has reduced its 2018-19 pre-tax profit forecast by £2m to £12.8m, partly due to increased investment in Naked.
Kestrel has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) to 22.2%.
Another disappointing trading statement from Fire Angel Safety (FA.) has led to a 2018 profit downgrade. Stock problems and delays to orders have hit the smoke alarms supplier. Scottish legislation due to be passed next year should provide a boost to demand. Fire Angel will be loss-making in 2018 but should make a small second half profit.
Legal services firm Knights Group (KGH) says that interim figures will be in line with expectations with double digit organic revenue growth. The interims will be announced on 15 January.
Maritime identification systems developer SRT Marine (SRT) had already flagged its 9% increase in interim revenues to £3.2m and increased underlying loss of £1.3m. There was little contribution from the GeoVS analytics system. There are expected to be significant deliveries in the second half, but timing cannot be guaranteed. A full year profit of around £3m is expected if the deliveries do take place. SRT is no longer considering investing in its own satellite constellation for this business.
FIH Group (FIH) reported flat interim profit, although there was a sharp improvement in contribution by the Momart art and museum logistics business. There was a decline in the performance of the Gosport ferry and Falkland Islands activities.
Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) says interim revenues will be one-fifth higher at £46.4m with around 50% of this organic growth. Full year revenues should be at least £102m. EBITDA margins should be maintained suggesting full year EBITDA of more than £19m. That is slightly higher than previous consensus.
Argentina-focused oil and gas producer and explorer President Energy (PPC) says the first Puesto Flores development well is producing at 600 bopd, having peaked at 1,000 bopd. This is as much as was anticipated from all three development wells. The results from the second development well appear positive and testing is about to commence. finnCap believes that the first well could have a post-tax NPV of $20m.
Pallett developer and manufacturer RM2 International (RM2) is raising £13m at 105p a share, following a 200-for-one share consolidation. This replaces the second tranche of a previously announced placing which would have happened at 1p a share (200p a share equivalent) but RM2 did not meet the performance requirements to spark the other placing. All but one of the investors set to buy shares previously will subscribe to the new placing. The cash will be used to fit track and trace devices to existing pallets, produce new pallets and cover admin costs. The cash will last until next April.
finnCap has sharply downgraded its pre-tax profit forecasts for telecoms services provider Maintel Holdings (MAI) due to project delays. The 2018 figure has been cut from £12.9m to £9.8m and the 2019 figure from £16.1m to £12.7m. The 2018 dividend is still expected to be 34.5p a share, although the cover will fall to 1.6 times. There is a move towards recurring revenues which will have a longer-term benefit for Maintel.
Restaurants operator Tasty (TAST) has revised its £7m term loan facility, which will be extended until March 2022. Quarterly repayments will be reduced from July 2019, by which time the amount draw down will be reduced by £1.1m. Net debt is currently £4.3m.
The NAV of value-focused investment vehicle Gresham House Strategic (GHS) has held up well considering the stockmarket decline. It grew to 1264p a share at the end of September 2018 and it was still 1243.2p a share on 16 November. The stake in IMImobile (IMO) has been reduced but it remains a strong performer. Cloud communications software supplier IMImobile improved its interim revenues by one-quarter and organic growth was 15%. The growth came from the European and American operations. Established customers are buying more services from the company and acquisitions are supplementing growth. Liontrust has increased its IMImobile stake to 21.4% but Kestrel has cut its to below 3%.
Payment protection software provider PCI-PAL (PCIP) is paying former boss William Catchpole his contracted entitlements plus £100,100 in settlement of his claims. The board unanimously asked Catchpole to leave in October. The final loan note repayment of £250,000 has been received from the buyer of the contact centre business.
Digital and media recruiter Nakama Group (NAK) reported flat interim net fees of £2.7m, but it managed to return to profit thanks to reduced costs. Further cost cutting is underway. There was a £558,00 cash inflow from operations and net debt was £488,000.
Antennas developer MTI Wireless Edge (LSE: MWE) has completed its merger with Israel-quoted majority shareholder MTI Computers and the initial benefits will show through in the second half. The interim figures show organic growth in revenues of 2%, but that growth should accelerate in the second half. Water management technology provider Mottech is winning new business and there are good prospects for the other divisions. The NAV is 17.8p a share and the full year dividend could be 1.25p a share.
Two directors have invested nearly £230,000 in shares in Condor Gold (CNR) at 22pa share. Non-executive Jim Mellon took his stake to 7%, while executive chairman Mark Child has reached 6%. Condor has been granted an important environmental permit for the development of a processing plant at its La India project in Nicaragua. SRK Consultants is preparing an updated mineral resource.
Juridica Investments Ltd (JIL) plans to leave AIM as part of the process of winding-up the company. The quotation will be cancelled on 21 December after liquidators from KPMG Channel Islands are appointed. Management fees will be reduced.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) continues to build up its sales, having been trading for two years, and they reached £1.84m in the six months to September 2018. The loss was nearly £2m. Returns were 52% but that was put down to a high level of dress sales in the period and it can be more difficult to get the right fit. The benefits of the move to the Magento 2 ecommerce platform and the investment in the website are showing through in the second half. October was a record month. A placing raised £3m after the balance sheet date so pro forma cash is £5.56m.
600 Group (SIXH) has rationalised its UK business and sorted out its pension problems. Interim revenues were slightly ahead but underlying margins improved from 5.1% to 6%. The machine tools and laser marking equipment supplier is expected to improve its full year pre-tax profit from $3.05m to $3.9m.
Motor dealer Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) has performed well considering the dip in the new car market. Used vehicles and aftersales offset some of the decline. There was a 2% decline in revenues to £630m and underlying pre-tax profit fell by 13% to £9.8m. The capital investment programme for new sites has peaked and the benefits of that investment are still to come.
Veltyco Group (VLTY) is still finding it difficult to collect the money it is owed. This means that its cash is running low and this will impact its ability to promote its own brands.
Graphene materials supplier Directa Plus (DCTA) is confident that it will achieve 2018 revenues of €2.3m and this figure could double in 2019. Growth is coming from textiles, environmental and elastomers customers.
Ubisense Group (UBI) is selling RTLS SmartSpace for up to £35m, which is around two-thirds of the software company’s current market value. The group had cash of £6.8m in the middle of November 2018. Funds managed by Investcorp Technology Partners will pay an initial £30m. Liabilities of £3.1m and a loan of £1.75m will have to be paid out of the proceeds. The company’s name will be changed to IQGeo and it will focus on the myWorld product, which helps telecom companies to integrate their technology ecosystem. The myWorld business generated interim revenues of £5.7m but £3.2m was geospatial services from third party products. Some of the cash will be distributed to shareholders.
The decline in annual pre-tax profit at Stride Gaming (STR) from £18.9m to £14.8m was no surprise given the impact of regulation and tax. The online bingo and gaming company is likely to report a further fall in profit this year. A special dividend of 8p a share has been announced and in future 50% of net earnings will be paid in dividends.
Packaging and labels supplier Macfarlane Group (MACF) continues to grow revenues organically, supplemented by recent acquisitions. Organic growth has been 5% and overall growth is 13%. The fourth quarter is important, though. Full year pre-tax profit is forecast to improve by 47% to £13.6m and earnings per share by one-third to 7p. Acquisition payments should be offset by cash generated in the second half.
S and U (SUS) has increased its investment in Aspen Bridging from £20m to £30m. Aspen has been trading for less than two years and is already in profit.
Creightons (CRL) increased its interim profit by 44% to £1.38m on revenues one-third ahead at £22.3m. The main growth in sales has come from retailer own brands, while Creightons own brands raised their sales by 11%.
David Brown has sold his 4.55% stake in Associated British Engineering (ASBE).
Sealand Capital (SCGL) has formed a new subsidiary called ePurse (HK) Ltd, which is generating commissions from WeChat Pay activities in Hong Kong. Licences have been obtained in the UK and Dubai.
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has invested $249,000 in a presale of 4,775,686 Simple tokens in a project administered by OpenST Ltd. The plan is for the tokens to be used to enable digital currencies to be launched by businesses. There has also been a $100,000 investment in the presale of tokens in the Props project. That bought 859,569 Props tokens. These tokens are used as a cryptocurrency as part of a decentralised ecosystem of video applications.
DagangHalal (DGHL) has launched its mobile app MEEMBAR (meaning raised platform in Arabic), which is targeted at Muslim travellers, on the Android platform. The app provides details of mosques, hotels and restaurants in an area. The app will become available on the IoS platform later this year. Longer-term, the company wants to introduce the ability to undertake transactions.
Housing developer Inland Homes (INL) ended the year strongly, selling two sites for a total of £12.7m. Inland Partnerships, which develops social housing, has entered into a £29.5m contract to develop 136 homes.
Kestrel Partners has taken a 4.32% stake in telematics equipment and services provider Trakm8 (TRAK).
Gear4Music (G4M) says that Christmas sales grew by 42%. The online musical instruments retailer is still on course for a full year profit of £2.4m.
Peter Scott is taking on the role of chief executive at digital marketing services provider Be Heard Group (BHRD) and David Morrison will replace him as chairman.
Smart metering technology supplier CyanConnode (CYAN) says that its order book is in excess of $100m even though a large order has been delayed. There was £5.5m in the bank at the end of 2017.
Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) has announced a new Lamborghini dealership in Chelmsford on the same site as the Bentley dealership. The showroom should be open by the end of the first quarter. A new site in Hatfield to house the new McLaren dealership and the company’s other dealerships in the area should be completed by the end of the year. Cambria is still cautious about the UK car market. Trading in the first quarter is in line with expectations. Chairman Philip Swatman and his wife sold 100,000 shares at 57p a share, leaving them with 200,000 shares.
Marble quarry operator Fox Marble Holdings (FOX) is raising £2.76m through a placing at 10.5p a share and Indian firm Kesari Tours PVT is investing £2m of the cash. Kesari boss Shailesh Patil has committed to buying a minimum of 3,000 tonnes a year of marble in return for exclusivity in the Arabian Gulf. Fox is also raising £235,000 via a convertible loan note issue and capitalising £783,000 of debt. Directors are also taking part of their pay in the form of shares. Fox will use £1.5m of the cash to repay debt and the rest will go towards expanding production. Total marble production was 8,800 tonnes in 2017. The new processing facility has capacity of up to 440,000 square metres a year so it will be able to cope with much higher quarry production.
Network data processing technology supplier Ethernet Networks Ltd (ENET) has disappointed the market six months after flotation. A customer has chosen to sign up to a different proposal than expected and two other projects have been delayed until 2018. This means that 2017 revenues and profit will be lower than anticipated, although profit will be higher than 2016. In 2016, revenues were $2.16m and operating profit was $339,000, which was exceeded in the first half of 2017 even though revenues were much lower.
Victoria Oil and Gas (VOG) says that its gas supply contract with ENEO in Cameroon has not been extended. This had covered 53% of Logbaba gas sales revenues in 2017. ENEO owes $8.7m.
Churchill China (CHH) says that its 2017 results will be slightly better than expected thanks to strong export sales. Full year figures will be published on 27 March.
Strand Hanson has resigned as nominated adviser to BNN Technology (BNN) following news that the company failed to account for a bonus claimed by Darren Mercer. The £270,000 bonus has been offset against the £450,000 he owes the company. Mercer also claims that the remaining amount of the loan should be reduced.
Corero Network Services (CNS) has gained $400,000 of contracts for its SmartWall cyber security system.
Ultrasound simulation technology provider Medaphor Group (MED) says that 2017 revenues were 27% ahead at £4.2m. The loss will be £2.9m. There was £4.2m in the bank at the end of 2017.
Cantor Fitzgerald has downgraded its 2017 profit forecast for waste treatment and energy generation plants developer Green and Smart Holdings (GSH) from RM7m to RM6.7m and the 2018 figure from RM16.9m to RM10.8m because of delays to electricity generation projects. Local project finance is taking longer than expected to secure.
Attractions designer Paragon Entertainment Ltd (PEL) chief executive John Dobson has acquired 1.43 million shares at 2.5p each. That increases his stake to 6.55%. This has helped the share price to recover after almost a year of decline following disappointing trading statement.
Babestation producer Cellcast (CLTV) says that it intends to provide for the £495,000 it had invested in the Lexinta fund, which is being investigated by the Swiss authorities. The investment vale had been raised to £754,000 in the last accounts. This appears to be in the trade receivables in the balance sheet last June. There was £862,000 in cash in the bank.
European PR firm SEC (SECG) has acquired 51% of Colombia-based Newlink for up to €2.2m and this could rise to €4.3m if the option to acquire the rest of the shares is taken up in the next five years.
TyraTech Inc (TYR) will buy back $8.4m worth of shares at the tender price of 3p a share.
Oil and gas firm San Leon Energy (SLE) has ended bid discussions with two potential bidders. A potential reverse takeover is still on the cards.
Even though Crawshaw Group (CRAW) says that the performance of its factory shops has been good, like-for-like sales for the delicatessen products retailer have declined. This has led Peel Hunt to increase its loss forecasts for this year and next year as like-for-like revenues are expected to continue to decline.
Egdon Resources (EDR) has had its appeal for planning permission for the Wressle oil development in Lincolnshire. Egdon owns 25% and Union Jack Oil (UJO) has a 15% stake. Egdon has been allow to retain the original planning permission until the end of April.
ReNeuron (RENE) is consolidating 100 shares into one new share. Management hopes that this will help to attract institutional investors. The cell-based therapeutics developer had £45.3m in the bank at the end of September 2017.
Christopher Brown is stepping down as chief executive of TomCo Energy (TOM) but he will remain for the short-term. He has agreed to loan £100,000 to the company.
Packaging machinery manufacturer Molins (MLIN) is changing its name to Mpac following the sale of the Molins tobacco machinery business.
The People’s Operator (TPOP) has returned from suspension having completed its £2.82m fundraising at 0.1p a share. The London Stock Exchange says that the settlement of outstanding trades is occurring and it allowed the restoration in dealings, but it says that it will continue to closely monitor the situation.
BOS Global Holdings (BOS) has appointed Marcus Yeoman, Will Giles and Michael Wilczynski to the board andMark Uren has resigned, which means that it does have the minimum required number of three directors. The finances of the software developer remain uncertain and trading in the shares is still suspended. A general meeting requisition has been withdrawn.
Average oil production from the Trinidad operations of Range Resources Ltd (RRL) in the fourth quarter of 2017 was 629 barrels a day and the current daily production is 703 barrels a day.
Premier African Minerals (PREM) did not meet its guidance on production at the RHA tungsten mine in the last quarter of 2017 and this means that it did not achieve profitable production in December. Premier has said that it would not provide any more cash unless profitability were achieved. Premier is spinning off the Zulu lithium project, which could have a value greater than Premier, and drilling programmes could be funded by offering a stake in the new company.
Cayman Islands-based cash shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) (ww.aiqhub.com) is joining the standard list on 9 January. AIQ has raised £3.6m after expenses, mainly at 8p a share. The plan is to seek an e-commerce acquisition, which has a strong management and is near to cash generation.
North American oil and gas explorer and producer PennPetro Energy (PPP) acquired Nobel Petroleum UK last May, which gives it a 75% working interest in City of Gonzales petroleum leases in Texas. Nobel has secured £2m in additional funding for the leases. PennPetro joined the standard list and was valued at £17.7m at 25p a share. Former Arsenal managing director Keith Edelman is chairman.
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.
ISDX / NEX
Diversified Gas & Oil (DOIL) has offered to repurchase its bonds for 105p each or, if the bondholders are outside of the US, they can receive ordinary shares at a discount of 20% to the AIM placing price. The AIM flotation has been delayed until late January and Diversified Gas & Oil plans to raise $40m – it had previously been $40m. The closing date for the offers is 13 January. This means that bondholders will receive interest until the end of 2016. So far, holders of 74% of the bonds have opted for the cash alternative and 1% the share alternative.
Western Selection (WESP) has increased its stake in AIM-quoted Bilby, following a profit warning and accounting adjustment announcement by the gas and electrical installation services provider. Western Selection bought 62,192 shares at 51.18p each, taking the stake to 6.04%. There is still £451,000 in the bank
Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) slipped into loss in the six months to September 2016. Revenues slumped from £552,000 to £317,000 and the ecommerce technology developer swung from a profit of £38,000 to a loss of £232,000. There is still £451,000 in the bank despite a cash outflow. Andrew Robathan has been appointed as chief executive. Deal activity has picked up but markets’ are still uncertain and business may take longer to come through than in the past.
Chinese medicines supplier MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has extended its agreement with its skincare products distributor in Taiwan. The agreement will continue until the end of March 2017. The launch of a range of hair care products. Has been delayed until April. MiLOC has paid the first instalment of £320,513 as part of the endorsement agreement with BrandKing, while the same amount is payable by April.
Forbes Ventures (FOR) has taken an option over a potential investment in Primus Care (www.primuscareplc.com), which manages residential care services for children and the elderly. Forbes has the right to acquire £500,000 of convertible loan notes with a conversion price of 0.3p a share, lasting 18 months. The option expires on 30 December 2016.
CyberOwl, a spin-off from Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS), has raised an additional £510,000. The cash will fund further development of an early warning system for network security for uses such as the internet of things.
The award for the latest pre-Christmas warning announcement goes to TLA Worldwide (TLA). The sports agent and marketing business sneakily put out its announcement at 6.26pm on 23 December, having sadly been denied the chance to put it out on Christmas Eve because that is a Saturday. Poor ticket sales for the Australian 2016 International Champions Cup football tournament in July means that the agreement to promote the tournament has been ended. There is talk of another football event to replace this. Second half trading in the US sports management business was not as good as expected. This means that EBITDA will be 15% below previous expectations. That appears to mean that it will be lower than last year. The fact that, in September, the bid from AAPC fell through because it found it difficult to raise money, is less surprising given the trading. That bid cost the company $1m.
Kuala Lumpur Kepong has allowed its bid for MP Evans (MPE) to lapse after it receives acceptances equivalent to 13.2% of the oil palm plantations operator.
Price volatility in the energy trading market has made the autumn a tough trading period for Good Energy (GOOD) and it means that 2016 figures will be at the bottom end of market expectations. Trading has been more favourable in the past couple of weeks. Good Energy is recycling the investment in its 5MW solar site in Dorset, which is being sold to Eneco UK for £5.78m, while retaining an option over the power generated. There will be a disposal gain of more than £340,000, which will be recognised in 2017. The cash will fund further solar sites prior to the end of March, after which the current renewable obligation certificate subsidy will no longer be available.
Facilities management and security services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) is raising £2.3m at 75p a share to help it to reduce dependence on working capital facilities. Some of these facilities have an annual interest rate of more than 9%. Mortice intends to spend more on the marketing of its Soteria remote surveillance services. First half revenues of $80m have been generated, with more than doubled facilities management revenues thanks to the UK business.
Italy-based PR firm SEC Group (SECG) is acquiring 60% of Martis Consulting for around €1m. Poland-based Martis provides public and corporate affairs services and the latest annual revenues were €1.69m and a pre-tax profit of €286,000. SEC is only acquiring the relevant assets and management will own the other 40%, while having the option to exchange these shares for shares in SEC.
Biopharmaceutical products and services developer and provider Abzena (ABZA) has signed a licence agreement with start-up immunomodulatory oncolytic viruses treatments developer Trieza Therapeutics Inc. The exclusive worldwide licence is for an undisclosed antibody sequence that Trieza wants to use with its own viral vector technology to develop oncology treatments. If the development is successful then up to $35m of milestone payments could be generated on top of any royalties from commercial sales. Abzena made an interim loss of £4.27m. Net debt was £9.38m at the end of September 2016.
Share (SHRE) has sold a further 40,000 shares in the London Stock Exchange and raised £1.12m. This takes the money raised from disposals in recent weeks to £1.66m. Share retains 60,000 shares in London Stock Exchange. Share has taken on up to 8,700 customer with more than £200m under management from Invesco Perpetual – which had not previously been named when the deal was announced. These are mainly ISA accounts.
Simon Fry, Jean-Pascal Tranie and Felipe Simonsen have joined the board of investment company Mercom Capital (MCC) and John Zorbas, Patrick Cross and Kyle Appleby have sold their shares and stepped down from the board. The exiting directors sold their shares at 20p each and returned 2p a share to the company. There are plans for Mercom to raise £3m at 30p a share and issue a warrant with each share that is exercisable at 80p a share for 180 days after issue. Existing shareholders will be issued one warrant, on the same terms, for every four shares they own. The placing price is much higher than that suggested in the initial proposals. This depends on resolutions being passed at the AGM in early January. The new investing strategy is to invest in established technology and media businesses. The name will be changed to Monchhichi.
Learning management systems provider NetDimensions (Holdings) Ltd (NETD) says that 2016 revenues will be at least $26m, up from $25.4m, and EBITDA will be $2m, compared with a loss of $500,000 in 2015. Bid discussions are continuing.
Redcentric (RCN) has reported interim figures which should show a real picture of the company‘s position. Internal systems are being improved and this will continue well into 2017. In the six months to September 2016, revenues edged up 2% to £53m, while there was a turnaround from a loss of £2.5m to a profit of £300,000. There was £7.29m generated from operations during the period and £5m came from the disposal of network assets. Net debt was £34.4m at the end of September 2016. Richard Griffiths and Kestrel have been picking up shares in the market.
NWF (NWF) has warned that a weak first quarter means that the interim figures will be lower than the same time last year but the full year outcome is still expected to be in line with expectations. Demand for feed has weakened at a time when ingredient costs have increased, while the fuel division has been hit by warm weather. The food distribution activities The interim figures will be published on 31 January.
Vislink (VLK) will seek shareholder approval for the disposal of its hardware division on 9 January. The acquirer xG Technology Inc will then seek to finalise the funding of the $16m (£13m) acquisition. If the disposal is completed early in 2017, then the forecast earnings per share will reduce from 1.3p a share to 1.2p a share. Trading in the fourth quarter of 2016 has benefited from the normal seasonal uplift but a £1.2m full year underlying loss is still expected. An additional £5.3m write-down will be required to bring down the book valuation of the hardware division. This appears to indicate a group NAV of around £16m., while net debt will be more than £10m
Diversis has posted the offer document for ServicePower Technologies (SVR). Diversis is offering 6p a share, which values ServicePower at £13.7m.
Collagen Solutions (COS) grew its interim revenues by 30% to £1.89m, but the loss quintupled to £418,000. Additional staff have been taken on and more spent on marketing and R&D. There was still £1.66m in the bank at the end of September 2016. House broker Cenkos expects net cash of £230,000 at the end of March 2017, while net debt is forecast at £3m one year later.
Standard list shell Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has come to an agreement with main shareholders and directors to acquire Myclubbetting.com Ltd, where golfer Lee Westwood is a shareholder and ex-England manager Sam Allardyce was a shareholder – he said in August that he was giving up his shares (https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/1611113/sam-allardyce-drops-footie-betting-job-and-ditches-shares-after-sun-probe-finds-boss-lost-investors-4m/). The target is run by Neil Riches who used to run Worldlink, which was introduced to the standard list on 24 November 2011 at a notional valuation of £55m (at 250p a share), although it never got near that valuation when trading commenced. Worldlink was a mobile applications developer that had a similar business to Myclubbetting.com but fewer than two years later it was in liquidation. In August, The Sun said that Neil Riches claimed Myclubbetting.com would float on the Scandinavian First North market at a valuation of £75m. There is still due diligence and other matters to complete before the deal goes ahead. Papillon floated on 24 June and raised £824,000 at 1p a share.
World Trade Systems (WTS) is aiming to relist on the standard list in the first quarter of 2017 and additional funds will be raised at that time. This follows the establishment of Shimao (Suzhou) Biotechnology, which plans to sell healthcare products to consumers. Net liabilities were £1.12m at the end of June 2016. The loans from Kudrow totalling £800,000 are repayable by the end of July 2017 or when trading in the shares recommences and have a 5% interest charge. Trading in the shares has been suspended for more than eight years.
Aircraft leasing company Avation (AVAP) has acquired and delivered a new Airbus A321-200 to Vietjet, taking the number delivered to six. Avation has also sold its remaining five Fokker aircraft. WH Ireland forecasts a full year profit of $21.5m.