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Suffolk-based brewer Adnams (ADB) returned to profit in 2019. Revenues fell from £78.9m to £74.7m, while a loss of £877,000 was turned into a pre-tax profit of £39,000. Stripping out one-off costs, there was an underlying decline in profit. Investment in the brewery and a new IT system have led to some disruption of the business. There will be no final dividend due to COVID-19 and the subsequent pub closures. There are tangible assets valued at £43.8m, much of which is freehold property and Adnams is in discussions about new lending facilities.
Directors’ pay has been halved and other costs reduced to a minimum.
Ananda Developments (ANA) is formulating responses to the latest questions from the Home Office. The MHRA has also requested a meeting to discuss the application to grow >0.2% THC cannabis. Ananda has a 50% interest in DJT Plants which plans to grow the cannabis in Lincolnshire.
World High Life (LIFE) has gained a quotation on the US OTC market. They started trading on 8 April.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) produced 8,127 tonnes of lead concentrate and 4,609 tonnes of zinc concentrate at the Hellyer mine in the first quarter of 2020. Further production increases are planned. Mining continues in Tasmania and the concentrate can still be shipped.
Replacement windows supplier Safestyle (SFE) has raised £8.5m at 17p a share and this will provide a strong cash buffer during the COVID-19 outbreak. Banking covenants will be waived for up to six months.
ReNeuron (RENE) has secured a collaboration with a major pharma company for the potential use of the company’s exosomes, derived from the CTX neural stem cell line.
D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) won additional SaaS-based business in the fourth quarter. That has delayed the recognition of revenues and led to a 14% fall in reported revenues to £21.7m. The forecast was for revenues of £26.7m. Pre-tax profit fell from £6m to £5m. There is £12.7m of cash in the bank.
Churchill China (CHH) has decided not to pay a final dividend even though net cash was £15.6m at the end of 2019. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from £9.4m to £11.2m in 2019. Manufacturing operations have been suspended and costs are being reduced. Capital investment in manufacturing and kiln capacity should be completed in the first half of 2020.
Real Estate Investors (REI) says that trading remains strong and it still intends to pay its dividend. Rental collection was good in the first quarter of 2020. Forecasts have been trimmed with nav expected to fall from 67.4p a share to 66.1p a share. That is still well above the share price.
Circassia Pharma (CIR) is transferring the US commercial rights to Tudorza and Duaklir to AstraZeneca. The $149.9m loan from AstraZeneca (and accrued interest) will be offset against the consideration for the transfer. AstraZeneca still owns 18.9% of Circassia. The focus of Circassia will be the Niox respiratory diagnostic platform.
Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO) has raised a further £14.9m at 25p a share. This will be spent on development and gaining approval for its LIGHT proton therapy system.
Cinema operator Everyman Media (EMAN) has raised £17.5m at 100p a share. This will help finance the business while the cinemas are closed.
Upheavals continue at Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) with a further general meeting requisitioned and the resignation of chairman Andrew Morrison. A share issue raised £318,000 at 0.25p a share. Chief executive Matt Lofgran has agreed to a 60% reduction in salary until the next significant fundraising.
Trading in the shares of Bould Opportunities (BOU) has been cancelled but it continues to push ahead with a potential biotechnology acquisition.
Aquila Services Group (AQSG) is aiming to at least break even in 2020-21 and maintain a positive cash balance. The figures for the year to March 2020 will not be as good as forecast, although it was profitable. Cost savings by the consultancy services provider include the chief executive standing down and there will be no final dividend.
Avation (AVAP) says that it has received bid interest, but progress has been hampered by COVID-19. The commercial aircraft lessor has $129m in cash and it is offering short-term financial relief to airlines. Management believes that ongoing income should be enough to cover costs for another 12 months.
Car and property bridging finance provider S and U (SUS) is paying a final dividend of 50p a share. That is lower than the previous year’s final of 51p a share, but it means the total dividend for 2019-20 is 2% higher. There are signs of reduction in lending in the early weeks of the new financial year.
Flavourings and fragrances supplier Treatt (TET) says interim revenues were 5% lower due to a fall in the price of citrus raw materials. There was growth in other areas with tea revenues 48% higher. There has been strong growth in recent orders because of the use of ingredients in soaps and sanitisers. The factory relocation in the UK will not happen until 2021. Net cash was £6.5m at the end of March 2020. The interims will be published on 12 May.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated revenues of £6m in the first quarter of 2020. There was £1.8m generated in March, down from £2.5m in February. The decline was due to lower bitcoin prices and more difficult cryptocurrency mining conditions.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has raised £40,000 from a loan note issue to two investors. The conversion price is 5p a share. There will be a warrant for every two shares that is exercisable at 5p a share.
AQSE and AIM-quoted Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) improved its underlying pre-tax profit from £4.4m to £5.8m in 2019, while the second interim dividend is 5% higher at 21p a share. This does not have to be agreed at an AGM. NAV rose from 1283p a share to 1364p a share. The total capital ratio has edged up from 17.2% to 17.3%.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that its insurers stipulated that COVID-19 was excluded from the insurance for the abandonment of race meetings. There will be a significant loss of revenues even if horse racing remains suspended until the end of April. Events, the hotel and the nursery will also be hit. There are bank facilities that should be enough to cover needs for the foreseeable future and the company is talking with its lenders. Management still expects David Wilson Homes to make a further payment of £10.9m for the development sites it has acquired.
Employee-owned businesses investor Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) believes that the value of its investments has declined by up to 15% since the end of February. NAV will have fallen from 50.17p a share to a range of 42.6p a share to 45.1p a share. That offsets the increase in the previous six months.
Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) is cancelling its interim dividend of 14p a share. The hotel has been temporarily closed.
KR1 (KR1) has invested $65,000 in the Acala Network project and will receive 866,666.67 tokens at 7.5 cents each. Acala will offer a stablecoin that can be transferred across different blockchains and collateralised with digital assets.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that its 4.1%-owned investee company Macarthur Minerals is seeking a partner for its Lake Giles iron ore project in Western Australia. Another investee company, 16.7%-owned AIM-quoted European Metals Holdings (EMH), has secured a strategic investment by CEZ in the Cinovec project. CEZ will subscribe for a 51% stake in the company that owns the project, subject to EMH shareholder approval. The price payable has been reduced from €34.1m to €29.1m.
AFH Financial (AFHP) non-executive director has invested nearly £25,000 in the IFA at 198p a share.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that subsidiary Coal Agglomeration South Africa has stopped activities until 16 April, which is in line with the government lockdown.
EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) has cash of £26.4m and it could defer the July repayment of £2m of its £3.9m convertible loans, so it is in a strong position to cope with the effects of COVID-19.
Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has suspended mining in Rwanda because of COVID-19. This will be for an initial two weeks. Planning for continues exploration will continue.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has employed consultants to prepare a mine reopening due diligence study on the Beaconsfield gold mine.
TechFinancials (TECH) is exercising its option to acquire shares in Cedex Holdings and the resulting stake will be 97.3% or 90.8% fully diluted. The company will consider disposing of the stake.
World High Life (LIFE) is holding a general meeting on 14 April in order to gain shareholder approval for each existing share to be sub-divided into ten new shares.
First Sentinel (FSEN) has issued a further £245,000 of bonds. This takes the total value of bonds in issue to £1.23m. Trading in First Sentinel 7% bonds, February 2023, First Sentinel preference shares and EPE Special Opportunities 7.5% unsecured loan stock, 2022 has started again after the market maker resumed activities.
Novacyt (NCYT) has signed a contract manufacturing deal with Yourgene Health (YGEN) for its COVID-19 test. The initial plan is for Yourgene to manufacture critical components. A global distribution agreement for the COVID-19 test has been secured with Bruker-Hain Diagnostics for use on its instruments. The Philippines has approved the test for commercial use.
Graphene materials supplier Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) has successfully reduced its cost base and it had £4.3m in the bank at the end of January 2020. This should last until the second half of 2021. Revenues remain small but a number of coatings products using the company’s graphene have been launched in the past year. There is a pipeline of additional products.
Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) is still losing money, but it is generating cash. In 2019, ECSC revenues grew by 10% to £5.91m. Managed services revenues increased by 48% to £2.61m. Managed services has additional capacity and as more work is won margins could continue to improve. Consulting revenues dipped slightly to £2.9m, although they did grow in the second half. The other revenues come from third party products and other services.
Secure payments systems provider PCI-Pal (PCIP) is raising £5m at 30p a share. The cash will finance sales and marketing in North America and further product development. There will also be additional flexibility for any medium-term effects of COVID-19.
Georgia-focused oil and gas company Block Energy (BLOE) is acquiring two blocks adjacent to its own from Schlumberger. They include Block XIB, which is Georgia’s most productive block, although the peak production was in the 1980s. This will boost Block’s production by 245 barrels of oil per day. There is also another exploration block and a central production facility being acquired. There are 14 years remaining on the permits for the two blocks. Block is paying for the assets with 120 million options exercisable at nil cost. They are deemed to have a value of 5 cents each. The options can be exercised between 12 and 24 months from completion.
Replacement windows and doors supplier Safestyle UK (SFE) has temporarily ceased installations. Safestyle believes with cost reductions and government assistance it will be able to cope with the closure of activities until after the end of June.
Wynnstay Group (WYN) is still paying its 9.4p a share final dividend. Trading in the four months to February 2020 was subdued but in line with expectations. The company’s agricultural stores have been allowed to stay open. There may be some additional costs relating to COVID-19.
Geospatial software provider IQGeo (IQG) has secured an expansion to its contract with Tokyo Electric Power Company, which is worth £1.8m over three years.
Trident Resources (TRR) is becoming a mining royalty company and moving to AIM. The first acquisition is a 1.5% free on board revenue royalty over part of the Koolyanobbing iron ore operation in Western Australia for a staged cash consideration of A$7m. There are plans to increase production from an annualised rate of 11Mtpa to 15Mtpa by the end of 2020. The initial payment is A$4m and the other A$3m is payable one year after completion. The most recent quarterly royalty was A$731,000. Further royalty interests are set to be acquired. A fundraising is planned and the company will change its name to Trident Royalties.
Dev Clever (DEV) says that COVID-19 restrictions have increased demand for its SaaS-based career guidance platforms. The US launch was in April.
Nanoco (NANO) says Merck has issued three-month notice of termination of its cadmium-free quantum dots licence agreement so that the licence can be renegotiated. The existing licence had minimum annual royalties. Merck continues to buy materials.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) says that an investor commitment to provide £1.4m for the company when it acquires Kanabo Research has been terminated. This arrangement was made in July 2019 and the acquisition of the medicinal cannabis company has still not been completed.
Zenith Energy (ZEN) is amending the terms of the purchase of 80% of the Anglo American Oil and Gas (AAOG) subsidiary that owns 56% stake in the Tilapia oilfield in the Republic of Congo. The purchase price has been reduced by one-fifth to £800,000 and it will be paid in ten monthly instalments. Zenith will no longer issue any shares and it will not be providing a £250,000 secured loan facility.
Books publisher Quarto (QRT) says revenues fell from $149.3m to $135.8m in 2019 but it did return to profit. Banking facilities have been extended to July 2021.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) says the Wavertree project is at the final fit out stage, but work has been suspended due to COVID-19. There are 16 apartments and offices on the site in north west England.
Fuel emulsification technology developer SulNOx Group (www.sulnoxgroup.com) plans to join NEX. SulNOx has developed an emulsification and condition process for hydrocarbon fuels. This process makes the fuel more efficient and thereby reduces fuel usage and emissions. Nouryon AB will manufacture and distribute the company’s products under the Berol brand. SulNOx will do the sales and marketing. The directors are applying for approval of eligibility of the company for EIS relief.
Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) has obtained a NEX Growth Market quotation. The shares continue to be traded on AIM.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) has agreed to subscribe for four million shares in Apollon at 25p each, although part of the investment requires shareholder approval. This is equivalent to a 2.34% stake. However, AfriAg needs to raise this £1m in order to make the investment. It had £101,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and NAV was £1.9m. The plan is to obtain an option to acquire the rest of the company. Apollon is a medicinal cannabis company and it has an affiliate in Jamaica that has a licence to cultivate, process and sell hemp and medicinal cannabis. Specific strains of medicinal cannabis have been developed.
KR1 (KR1) is generating staking yield revenues on the Cosmos Network, which launched on 14 March. The yields will be a minimum 5.6% yield and it could be much higher. This type of revenues could be generated by other networks where KR1 has an investment.
Sativa Investments (SATI) had £3.74m of cash at the end of 2018. This will be used to develop operations in the UK and Germany. Last year’s revenues were £260,000.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has taken operational control of the Vast Mineral Sands diamond mining contract. Cash generated will finance gold exploration.
High Growth Capital (HASH) has consolidated 20 shares into one new share. Dealings commenced on 16 May.
Primorus Investors (PRIM) increased its NAV from £4.95m to £5.16m at the end of 2018. This has been achieved even though pre-IPO investments have had their flotations delayed by poor market conditions. There was £408,000 in cash in the balance sheet.
Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) has raised £10m at 176p a share by issuing shares to Woodford as part of the agreement in the flotation prospectus. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has issued 1.37 million shares at 6.5p each to satisfy a payment for the three month extension of maturing debt.
Gowin New Energy (GWIN) has extended the loan agreements with four shareholders so that the repayment dates are all around the beginning of November. The loans total £500,000.
Software provider Sanderson (SND) prospered in the first half. Revenues improved by 18% to £17.2m and operating profit was one-third higher at £2.8m. Recurring revenues grew by 18% and they are 55% of total revenues. Sanderson has already secured most of the revenues it requires to make the full year revenues forecast of £35.3m, which is expected to generate pre-tax profit of £5.4m.
Block Energy (BLOE) has raised £12m at 11p a share. This comes less than one year after Block joined AIM when the oil and gas company was valued at £10.3m at the placing price of 4p. The cash will be invested in the West Rustavi PSA in the Republic of Georgia. Up to four horizontal sidetracks will be drilled in order to scale up existing production, as ell as drilling one new well. There will also be funds for 3D seismic, appraisal of two existing gas discoveries and increase the capacity of production facilities to up to 5,000 barrels per day. This will all be done over the next 12 months.
Investment and new store opening costs have pushed fishing equipment retailer Angling Direct (ANG) into loss. In the year to January 2019, revenues grew from £30.2m to £42m. International sales more than doubled to £4.7m. IT investment is improving efficiency. Angling Direct will continue to lose money this year as the number of stores is set to be increased from 24 to 34. It takes more than a couple of years for a store to start to mature so the benefits of the current investment will take time to show through in profit terms.
Live events agency Aeorema Communications (AEO) says its revenues reached a new high in the second half and full year revenues will be better than expected. New business has been won but it is lower margin than previous contracts so profit will be in line with expectations. There should be a full year dividend. Last year’s dividend was 0.75p a share, which was an increase of 50%.
TruFin (TRU) is launching a tender offer for up to £5m of shares at 92p each. The tender offer closes on 4 June. TruFin recently £44.5m raised from the sale of its stake in Zopa and demerged Distribution Finance Capital (DFCH). There are plans to return a further £5m by the end of 2019.
Churchill China (CHH) is continuing to trade strongly so far this year. The opening of the Rotterdam distribution facility is supporting European growth. Sales of added value products are growing. The integration of the Dudson brand and products is progressing well.
Online retailer MySale (MYSL) has sold the cocosa.co.uk website. This is part of the plan to exit the UK and concentrate on Australia and New Zealand.
Film completion contracts provider FFI Holdings (FFI) says operating profit will be at the lower end of the range of $7.5m to $11.5m previously reported.
Maistro (MAIS) has decided to leave AIM. The company has gone from a hyped-up online business called blur to cash strapped operation that needs to save as much money as possible. Maistro has raised plenty of cash in its time as a quoted company.
Veltyco Group (VLTY) has generated flat revenues from sportsbook and casino marketing business in the year to April 2019. The revenue mix has changed, and lower margin activities have grown in importance. The company is loss-making and more investment will be required.
The recovery at Safestay UK (SFE) appears to be stalling, even though it is growing revenues faster than the market is growing. The problem is that margins are not improving as quickly as expected.
Ten Lifestyle (TENG) increased revenues by 24% to £21.5m but the loss has risen due to greater investment in the business. The lifestyle and travel platform still has £13.2m in the bank. New contracts are being won and existing ones increased in size.
Blencowe Resources (BRES) has wasted little time in securing a takeover target. It plans to acquire a company which is the owner of the Oram graphite project in Uganda for £2m in shares at 6p each.
nmcn (NMCN), which formerly North Midlands Construction, says first quarter revenues increased by 27% to £94.4m and improved margin meant that profitability increased by 170% to £1.75m. The built environment division moved back into profit and the water division doubled its profit. There is £22m in the bank. The secured workload for the year is £342m.
Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane Group (MACF) says profit is ahead of last year and in line with expectations. Sales have grown by 7% so far this year and organic growth is 3%. The manufacturing operations have grown fastest.
Highway Capital (HWC) is catching up with its figures having published more than one set this week. The interims to August 2018 show a cash outflow from operations of £9,000. Net liabilities were £614,000.
There was a £949,000 cash outflow from operations at Toople (TOOP) in the six months to March 2019. There is net cash of £546,000.
Flavours supplier Creightons (CRL) says second half sales will be similar to those in the first half. There will be a £350,000 benefit from research and development tax credits.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) has adjourned its general meeting following the resignation of Jonathan Bixby. Mike Edwards become chairman. Another director will be appointed in consultation with First Investments, which requisitioned the general meeting. First Investments is backing the existing business by investing up to $1m as a cryptomining-as-a-service customer.
China-based Gamfook Jewellery had planned to join the standard list, but it has decided to float on NEX. The online retailer of customised jewellery had intended to raise cash at 15p a share, but the flotation on NEX on Christmas Eve will be an introduction at 15p a share. Management hopes the flotation will help to increase its profile and customer base. A dividend based on 28% of profit attributable to shareholders is promised.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has maintained its NAV at 92p a share at the end of September 2018. In the six months to September 2018, rents increased from £33,000 to £67,000. Additional supported housing opportunities have been assessed.
KR1 (KR1) has raised £785,000 at 5p a share and paid £40,000 in fees to advisers in shares at the same price. KR1 director Keld van Schreven subscribed for 50,000 shares. The cash will fund further blockchain token investments.
Panther Metals (PALM) has signed heads of terms for the acquisition of Parthian Resources, which owns exploration assets in Australian. Parthian shareholders will own 15% of Panther if the deal goes ahead. One of these shareholders is Kerim Sener, who is non-executive chairman, who will end up with 4% of Panther. The deal should be completed in January 2019.
Blockchain investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that Gibraltar-based StartupToken has attracted a £193,000 investment from South Korea-based Blockwater Capital in return for a 7.4%. Coinsilium had invested £360,000 in StartupToken during November and the value of the investment has doubled to £722,000. Executive chairman Malcolm Palle has bought 200,000 shares in Coinsilium at 3.6p a share, taking his stake to 6.35%.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) is acquiring the remaining 97.5% of CoalTech LLC for £24.6m. This will be funded by a share issue. A circular will be published in the first quarter of 2019. A new incentive plan for management, in the form of options exercisable at 2.5p a share, is planned.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) has issued five million shares at 1p ia share and every five shares has a warrant exercisable at 1p a share. The £50,000 will be used to continue exploration in Avoca, County Wicklow. Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has raised £300,000 at 0.1p a share. The cash raised will be used to accelerate production at the Honduras gold facility. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £38,000 at 12p a share.
Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has issued shares valued at nearly £302,000 to creditors at a range of share prices. Management has acquired the majority stake in Milamber USA and Milamber retains a 20% stake. Milamber has also reduced its stake in Vocademia to 5% with the rest of the share capital acquired through the return of 900,000 Milamber shares. A further 166,667 shares were returned for Milamber’s stake in White Cobalt. Milamber has created a new training compliance company called Checkbox and taken a 51% stake in an education joint venture with Black Arrow Space Technologies, which is developing commercial orbital launch services.
Imperial Mining (IMPP) is changing its name to Imperial X to reflect the change in investment focus from resources to the cannabis sector.
Medicinal cannabis investment company Sativa Investments (SATI) says that investee company Rapid Dose Therapeutics Inc has listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange. This has provided a 70% uplift in the initial investment value for a gain of C$140,000.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) had £4,130 in cash and £112,000 in assets available for sale. at the end of September 2018. Lombard still plans to issue an asset-backed investment bond.
Tectonic Gold (TAU) says that initial analysis of drilling at the Specimen Hill project in Queensland has confirmed mineralisation with grades up to 6.06g/t. Full results should be available in January.
Trafalgar Property Group (TRAF) is raising up to £1m through an issue of 8.5% convertible bonds 2025. The issue could eventually be increased to £5m. The bonds will be traded on NEX. The cash will be used to fund residential development and planning applications. Trafalgar has limited cash and it lost money last year.
Filta Group (FLTA) has multipled the size of its grease management operations in the UK through the acquisition of Watbio for £6.9m in cash and shares, plus working capital adjustment. Cenkos has provisionally upgraded its 2019 earnings forecast by 26% to 11.8p, assuming completion of the deal in early January. Filta is raising £3m at 200p a share, which is a premium to the market price, and has obtained a £4m, five-year loan facility. Filta started building a grease management division through acquisition just over one year ago. Watbio generates annual revenues of £10.3m and pre-tax profit of £800,000 so it is much larger than the existing operations. It also offers other drain management services.
A strong performance from property servies more than made up for a weak first half performance of the business recovery division of Begbies Traynor (BEG) and pre-tax profit was 9% higher at £3.2m on revenues 8% ahead at £28m. The number of insolvencies increased in the first half but there was no repeat of the large one-off fee in the first half of the previous year. The interim dividend was raised by 14% to 0.8p a share. Net debt fell 10% to £6.3m. The performances of the divisions will reverse in the second half and 2018-19 pre-tax profit should improve from £5.6m to £6.4m.
President Energy (PPC) has drilled the third Puesto Flores well on budget and there have been good oil shows, but they are lower than the previous two wells. All three wells could be in production by the end of the year.
AssetCo (ASTO) has transferred the loal employees in Abu Dhabi to the new supplier of fire services. There is a possibility of winning work in the region. The litigation against former auditor Grant Thornton continues and a judgement could happen in the first couple of months of 2019.
URA Holdings (URA) was not able to complete the acquisition of Entertainment AI early enough to prevent the cancelation of the AIM quotation on 24 December. The acquisition could still happen.
Real Good Food (RGD) has sold jams maker R and W Scott for £1.5m, of which £500,000 is deferred until September 2019, and the assumption of £2.45m of debt. That takes disposal proceeds to £17.8m and completes the main corporate activity. The cake decoration and food ingredients businesses make up the majority of the remaining group.
Small business financial services provider City of London Group (CIN) continues to lose money as it builds up its activities. Recognise continues to try to obtain a UK banking licence.
HaloSource Corporation (HALO) has not been able to secure additional finance and trading in the shares has been suspended. There is limited cash left.
Thalassa Holdings (THAL) intends to move to a standard listing. No new shares will be issued and the move should take place on 25 January.
Revenue and EBITDA growth in the range of 15% to 20% is expected by Craneware (CRW) in the six months to December 2018. The healthcare accounting software provider has a 100% renewal rate in dollar terms in the first half.
Replacement windows and doors manufacturer Safestyle (SFE) has improved its order intake in the past six months after its agreement with a former employee who was competing with the company. However, costs have increased and the 2018 loss will be between £8.2m and £8.6m. The 2019 performance could be ahead of expectations. Otus Capital Mananagement has taken a 5.42% stake.
Audio equipment supplier Focusrite (TUNE) had a strong November but it is still cautious about the full year. The trade dispute between the US and China remains a concern.
N4 Pharma (N4P) has extended the licence agreement with UniQuest for Nuvec. It has become an exclusive global licence with certain fields licensed back to UniQuest.
finnCap has resigned as nominated adviser and broker to The People’s Operator (TPOP) and that could scupper the placing with the owner of LycaMobile. An investment of £1.3m in shares (29.9%) and convertible loan notes was planned.
Yu Group (YU.) says that the Financial Conduct Authority is investigating the accuracy of its announcements between March and October. Poor internal controls caused a shortfall in profitability. The energy supplier has revealed that its 2018 loss could be as high as £7.85m, which is higher than previously estimated. This is due to a decline in gross margins and balance sheet corrections. There was £11m in the bank at the end of November 2018.
LiDCO Group (LID) will report float full year revenues and this has led to a £800,000 increase in forecast pre-tax loss to £1.9m. The take-up of the high usage programme has been slower than expected and an Asian order was delayed. The patient monitoring equipment supplier is expected to have cash of £1.5m by the end of January 2019.
TLA Worldwide (TLA) has agreed in principle to sell its Australian business to QMS Media and this would make TLA a cash shell.
Rasmala (RMA) left AIM on 19 December. A new holding company is based in the British Virgin Islands.
It gets worse at Paragon Entertainment (PEL) with another loss in the second half on lower than expected revenues. A 2018 loss of £2.4m is forecast. Overheads have been reduced so the loss could be smaller next year.
Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI) increased interim revenues by 23% to £8.05m through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth, while pre-tax profit was one-third higher at £1.5m. finnCap is cautious about the full year for the scientific instruments supplier and has maintained its full year pre-tax profit forecast at £2.6m, which suggests a lower second half profit.
Management has launched a 12p a share bid for former AIM-quoted PR firm Freshwater as a way of enabling existing shareholders to exit the business.
Trading in standard list shell Fandango Holdings (FHP) shares has been suspended ahead of the proposed reverse acquisition of Konnect Mobile Communications Inc, which owns PaySocial Inc, a mobile banking and payments eWallet.
Standard list shell Papilon Holdings (PPHP) has acquired 50% of Pace Cloud Ltd, which owns CarCloud, a fintech company involved in the used car sector. This represents a fundamental change in the business. Papilon is raising up to £500,000 via a convertible loan note issue. The conversion price is 1.25p a share.
Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) lost £1.4m in the year to September 2018, which was slightly more than the previous year. The gross profit of £203,624 was enough to cover the directors pay of £196,713. There was a cash outflow of nearly £1m in the period. There was £2.14m in the bank at the end of September 2018, but there is a loan from former shareholder David Breith with a cash value of nearly £607,000, which could become repayable from 3 May 2019.
Zegona Communications (ZEG) has decided not to tender €7.75 a share for up to 14.9% of Euskaltel, where it is trying to improve performance, because it has not been abe to secure funding. Zegona has secured a relationship with Talomon Capital, which will own up to 2.4% of Euskaltel on top of Zegona’s existing 15% stake, which will be increased via market purchases. That requires a share issue by Zegona.
Investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) is consulting with existing and potential shareholders, concerning a tender offer to existing shareholders at the same time as an issue of new shares.
ASOS ASC experienced a significant deterioration in “the important trading month of November” and conditions remain challenging. As a result, it has had to reduce expectations for the current financial year. Total retail sales for the 3 months to the end of November rose by 12%, the UK leading the way with a 19% rise and Rest of the World bottom with a fall of 2%. November was seriously behind expectations and there is almost an air of desperation in some of the company’s comments.
Consumer confidence is seen as weakening and growth in online clothing sales is the weakest of recent years. Heavy discounting and promotions will see the weighting between first and second half profitability transformed from the 30/70% seen in recent years to an even more substantial weighting towards the second half. Trading conditions across its two largest European markets of Germany and France, which account for c.60% of EU sales, have become significantly more challenging, with growth at 15% for the year to date.In Rest of the World performance has been significantly behind expectations with an actual fall. Not many companies are so badly hit that they are forced to recalibrate expectations for the full year, at the end of the first quarter
Hunting plc HTG updates before the December year end that current volatile market conditions will impact short term budgetary decision making by its customers with possible deferrals of work in 2019. Group results to the end of November 2018 remained in line with management’s expectations, but some market softness has been observed despite progress in the US during 2018. 2019 is expected to start with a cautious outlook, but Hunting believes it is in a robust position to manage the challenges it faces.
Safestyle UK plc SFE is confident thatits recovery and performance in 2019 will be ahead of current market expectations after delivering an underlying loss before tax for 2018 of between £8.2m and £8.6m)
Safestyle UK plc SFE The Board has rushed out a clarification of yesterdays rather surprising announcement about its trading prospects and admits that it is considering arrangements with key stakeholders in NIAMAC Developments Ltd which could benefit Safestyle’s business and accelerate its recovery.
Interco. Hotels Group plc IHG delivered a good third quarter with the best performance for signings and openings in a decade. Nineteen thousand rooms were opened in the quarter, a year on year rise of 70%. Net system size rose 5.1% year on year to 826k rooms.$500m will be returned to shareholders via a special dividend with share consolidation to be paid in Q1 2019, subject to shareholder approval. This will bring the total returns to shareholders to $13.5bn since 2003.
Dechra Pharmaceuticals plc DPH updates prior to its AGM today that the first quarter produced continued year on year above market growth. The Board is confident that for the current financial year, it will continue to out-perform the markets in which it operates.
Intu Properties plc INTU confirms that on 11 October 2018 it received an indicative proposal of 205 pence per share in cash, subject to an adjustment for dividends. The proposal came from a consortium comprising the Peel Group, the Olayan Group and Brookfield Property Group. On the 17th October the proposal was revised upwards to to 215 p. per share.
Ananda Developments (ANA) is acquiring 15% of UK-based Liberty Herbal Technologies Ltd, which is the owner and developer of hapac, a technology for vaping cannabis. The investment cost £460,000 and Ananda has the right of first refusal for any further fundraisings in the next two years. The technology can be used to provide a measured medicinal dose. A commercial launch is planned in Italy before the end of the year and in Canada next year. Ananda is holding a general meeting to extend its geographical focus to the UK and Italy.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) is leasing 388 acres of land adjoining its existing vineyards on the North Downs. This site will be vined between 2019 and 2021 and with the rest of the land that has already been planted it will be the largest vineyard in England.
DagangHalal (DGHL) intends to leave NEX after less than three years on the market. Trading in the shares has been limited but this is not surprising given the problems the company has had. Shareholders owning 84.7% of the company are in favour of the withdrawal from NEX and this will happen on 1 October.
Trading in Etaireia (ETIP) shares was suspended because the annual report for the year to March 2018 was not published by the end of August. The results were released on 5 September and trading was restored. The loss was increased from £622,000 to £857,000, following a £434,000 write down on the value of land at Dalry. The NAV was £1.81m at the end of March 2018.
Milamber Ventures (MLVP) remains suspended with full year results due to be published by the middle of September. The audit of Essential Learning still needs to be completed.
Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) had nearly £17,000 in the bank at the end of March 2018. The NAV was £722,000. The majority of the loss of £219,000 in the year was due to share-based payments. Hot Rocks has a stake in Minergy Ltd, which has floated on the Botswana Stock Exchange and has been granted a mining licence for the Masama coal project. Production could start by next February. Another investee company, Block Energy (BLOK) has floated on AIM and more than two million shares have been acquired in standard list flotation Predator Oil and Gas.
Ecovista (EVTP) has raised £550,000 from a convertible loan note issue, which has to be repaid or converted (at 0.0005p a share) by the end of August 2019.
Bilby (BILB) founder Phil Copolo and his son Leigh have left the board of the building and gas maintenance services provider and sold more than 31% of the company to institutional investors at a discount of around 6% to the then market price. Janet Copolo still owns 7.2% of Bilby and cannot sell until 3 September 2019, according to an agreement with Stanford Capital Partners, which was sole book runner of the placing. Miton has increased its stake from 15.1% to 19.8%, while MI Discretionary Fund has bought 8.19% and Ruffer has acquired 8%.
TLA Worldwide (TLA) published its latest profit warning at 10.35am on 4 September. At least it was while the markets were still trading rather than after they had closed for Christmas. Numis has had enough and resigned as nominated adviser. Trading is weak and TLA is set to breach banking covenants. TLA needs to raise cash.
Microsaic Systems (MSYS) is still building he base from which it can grow over the next few years. The interim figures do not reflect the progress that is being made. Revenues doubled from a low base, but higher costs meant that there was a flat loss of £1.5m. There is £6.96m in the bank at the end of June 2018 so the mass spectrometry technology developer has plenty of time to build up its revenues. The venture with a global bioprocessing partner is progressing and is in an integration phase. Commercialisation should be completed by early 2020. New agreements with two manufacturers and four distributors augur well for growth over the next 18 months. The target is revenues of more than £17m in 2022.
A full first half contribution from the Carlton acquisition helped Michelmersh Brick (MBH) to increase interim revenues by 43% to £23.1m and underlying pre-tax profit by 57% to £3.8m. The interim dividend has been raised by 51% to 1.06p a share. Demand for bricks remains strong and there is limited production capacity.
Tax Systems (TAX) continues to reduce its net debt, putting it in a good position to make further acquisitions. Net debt was reduced by 15% to £17.5m over a six month period. Interim revenues grew by 14% to £8m and order intake is 22% higher. The corporation tax software provider is broadening its range of software in order to make the most of the move to a digital tax system in the UK.
Filtration systems supplier Amiad Water Systems (AFS) grew its interim profit even though growth in revenues was modest. Stifel Nicolaus expects a stronger second half with full year revenues improving from $112.3m to $116.8m and then a further acceleration in growth to $123.4m. Although underlying pre-tax profit is expected to be flat at $5.1m, it is forecast to jump to $6.8m in 2019. A jump in 2018 dividend to 6.5p a share is forecast, despite relatively flat earnings per share. The dividend would still be more than twice covered.
Performance-based mobile marketing services provider Taptica International Ltd (TAP) continues to grow internationally and, via a combination of acquisitions and organic growth, interim revenues were 119% higher at $144m. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from $12.3m to $18m. An interim dividend of 3.98 cents a share is being paid. Net cash was $42.1m at the end of June 2018.
Mobile location data services provider Location Sciences (LSAI) increased revenues from £49,000 to £234,000 in the first half of 2018 but there is a lot more to come. New products have been launched and it will take time for them to make a significant contribution. Even so, 2018 revenues of £702,000 are forecast, rising to £2.2m in 2019. The loss will reduce but a profit is not forecast until 2020. There was £720,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018 and more funding will be required to achieve the expected growth in sales.
Finsbury Food (FIF) is acquiring Free From bakery manufacturer Ultrapharm for an initial £17m with more dependent on performance. The business made a pre-tax profit of £800,000 in 2017. The acquisition is earnings enhancing.
Safestyle UK (SFE) has settled litigation with former employees who set up in competition. They will change their brand name from SafeGlaze and promise not to use confidential information.
IFA Lighthouse (LGT) continues to prosper. Interim revenues were 5% ahead at £26.9m and pre-tax profit 12% higher at £1.26m. Net cash was £9.6m. and the interim dividend is two-thirds higher at 0.2p a share. Growth has been coming from the affinity business.
Commercial aircraft lessor Avation (AVAP) reported a 16% increase in revenues to $109.1m in the year to June 2018. However, pre-tax profit dipped by 6% due to a gain on aircraft sales in the corresponding period. The dividend was increased by one-fifth to 7.25 cents a share. The NAV was equivalent to 283p a share. Cannacord Genuity forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from $18.9m to $23.8m this year.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Rascasse Developments in order to expand into the Midlands.
Kavango Resources (KAV) has received a permit for an airborne electromagnetic geophysical survey of the Kalahari Suture Zone area, which covers 12 prospecting licences.
Haynes Publishing (HYNS) increased full year revenues by 13% to £33.8m and underlying pre-tax profit by a similar percentage to £2.9m. The total dividend is unchanged at 7.5p a share. Net cash was £2.5m at the end of May 2018. Growth in the sales of digital products is faster than the decline in other revenues.
Finsbury Food Group FIF has acquired 100% of the share capital of Ultrapharm Limited a specialist Free From bakery manufacturer with site in the UK & Poland. Finsbury claims that the acquisition supports the Group’s ongoing strategy to further diversify its product capability into high growth areas.
Tax Systems plc TAX enjoyed a strong first half with revenue growth of 14% for the six months to the 30th June.EBITDA for the half year grew by 9% and order intake by 22%.
Footasylum FOOT expects growth for the full year to be significantly lower than previous guidance with adjusted EBITDA down to less than half that for full year 2018. Revenue for the six months to the 25th August is expected to show a rise of 18.5% with online revenue in particular up by 28.5%. Trading has however, been impacted by weak consumer sentiment and more challenging conditions in July and August. Delays in store openings and upgrades.have also exacerbated the situation.
Biome Technologies BIOM delivered an exceptional start to the year and an outstanding first half enabled it to deliver a small operating profit of £0.2m. in the six months to the 30th June compared to last years loss of £0.2m. Group revenue for the half increased by 47% to £4.4m.
Safestyle UK plc SFE announces a comprehensive settlement of its claims against NIAMAC Developments Ltd (trading as SafeGlaze UK) for alleged trade mark infringement, passing off, misuse of confidential information, malicious falsehood and various other matters. NIAMAC has agreed that the existing court injunctions against it will be replaced by formal undertakings to the court. Steps have also been agreed to prevent the possibility of any acts of intimidation or harassment of Safestyle UK representatives and in addition, SafeGlaze UK will also change its trading name. A fairly comprehensive victory, if ever there was one.
Hotel operator Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) reported flat interim revenues of £1.51m in the six months to April 2018, during a period where building repairs were undertaken. Higher overheads and maintenance costs meant that the loss increased from £153,000 to £200,000. There is £635,000 in the bank.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £300,000 at 0.1p a share in order to finance its new investing strategy of investing in medicinal cannabis businesses.
Panther Metals (PALM) has signed an option agreement to acquire gold exploration properties in Ontario. The total potential consideration is C$133,000 (£77,000) in cash and the issue of 19.15 million shares at 0.3p each, locked-in for six weeks. A non-refundable payment of C$30,000, one-half cash and one-half shares, has been paid. Due diligence needs to be completed within eight weeks.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has entered into two marketing and off-take agreements, combined with a $10m secured prepayment facility with Traxys Europe. The off-take agreements relate to all lead and zinc concentrates from the Hellyer project in Tasmania in the first five years of production.
Pelican House Mining (PHM) had nearly £49,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. The former Hellenic Capital acquired a 15% stake in Might Oak Explorations last month.
Melissa Sturgess and Michael Langoulant have been appointed as directors of Imperial Minerals (IMPP) and James Hamilton and Russell Hardwick have resigned.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has received approval for the Tracksure locking device from the Italian State Railway.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) plans to buy out the other shareholders in CoalTech LLC. Due diligence has commenced prior to making an offer for the 97.5% of CoalTech not owned by the clean technology investment company. The initial investment was $500,000.
Frontier IP (FIPP) investee company Pulsiv Solar has won a UK government grant worth £130,00, which will be put towards a £289,000 project to compete the development of its solar micro-inverter by next April. Frontier IP owns 18.9% of the University of Plymouth spin-out.
Kestrel Partners continues to build up its stake in broadcast software provider Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) and it has taken it from 16.6% to 17.4%. Continuing operations moved back into operating profit in 2017, even though revenues fell from £10.9m to £10.3, but the £500,000 was not enough to cover interest charges and rationalisation costs. Net debt was still £10.3m after getting some proceeds from the sale of the Vislink hardware business. The revolving credit facility is £15m.
Medical imaging technology developer Polarean Imaging (POLX) has raised £800,000 at 16p a share, following last month’s investor symposium. This provides additional cash to support phase III clinical trials in the US and invest in further development.
Veltyco (VLTY) has decided not to go ahead with the potential acquisition of sportsbook operator Ruleo Alpenland.
Telit Communications (TCM) has agreed to sell its automotive division to TUS International for $105m and the deal should be completed by the end of 2018. In 2017, this business made a $10.1m contribution to EBITDA before group overheads. This deal will more than wipe out the current net debt of $25m. The focus will be the Internet of Things operations.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) continues to build up its sales. The reported interim revenues were £1.35m. Like-for-like interim revenues grew by 268%. The company remains loss-making but the gross margin improved from 37.8% to 49.4%. There was £4.6m in the bank at the end of March 2018 and this will help to finance further increase in the product range as well as continued losses. There is a database of more than 54,000 customers and 11,407 of those were repeat customers in the period.
Duke Royalty Ltd (DUKE) is raising £44m at 44p a share to fund the pipeline of royalty financing opportunities. There are already four new potential royalty partners requiring £27.5m. These include healthcare, foods and media businesses. Within 12 months, Duke expects to increase its dividend yield. Last December Duke raised £20m at 40p a share.
Itaconix (ITX) is raising £3.4m at 2p a share, which was a 70% discount to the suspension price. Trading in the shares will start again on Monday 16 July. The speciality polymers designer will have enough cash for 12 months, assuming shareholders vote in favour of the share issue. Revenues have been building up slowly and last year they nearly doubled to £553,000. The loss was £11.9m.
One year after it joined AIM, superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) says that first half trading was weaker than expected. There were delays in refits and fewer new build projects were won. First half revenues of around €25.1m are lower than the two previous first half outcomes. It appears that the interim loss will be more than €1m. There are €12.1m of orders expected to be completed in the second half with a further €25m of “high probability prospects”. The 2017 revenues were €62.6m.
Marlowe (MRL) is raising £20m at 475p a share in order to finance further acquisitions in the critical asset management services sector.
Tristel (TSTL) says that its full year pre-tax profit should be at least in line with the £4.4m forecast, up 8%. Higher investment in gaining US approvals for disinfection products has held back profit growth, but it is expected to accelerate in 2018-19 when a pre-tax profit of £5.2m is forecast.
ReNeuron (RENE) has signed a three-month exclusivity agreement with a major pharma company to potentially out-licence the global rights, excluding China, of its hRPC retinal stem cell technology platform. A non-refundable payment of $2.5m will be received with a further $2.5m due if the deal goes ahead. There was £34.7m in the bank at the end of March 2018 and this should last well into 2020 even though there will be significant spending on trials, including the phase III trial of the CTX cell treatment for stroke disability.
Xpediator (XPD) has acquired Import Services Ltd, which operates a logistics and warehousing business at the Port of Southampton, for up to £12m. The business, which made a 2017 profit of £1.7m, fits well with Xpediator’s existing business in the port and has a good management team that can help the enlarged operations to grow. It should be earnings enhancing in the first full year. A placing raised £7m at 70p a share.
Fifteen-month figures from healthcare services provider Totally (TLY) include five months from the Vocare acquisition but that was still enough to generate revenues of £42.5m. A full 12 months of Vocare should increase revenues to £85m but Totally would still be loss-making. There is further restructuring and integration required. Cost savings should help Totally move into profit in 2019-20. Net cash was £10.2m at the end of March 2018.
Collagen Solutions (COS) improved its revenues in the second half, compared with the first half, but full year revenues were still 6% lower at £3.83m. There is still £5.02m in the bank. There was growth in EMEA. The eight year clinical study for cartilage repair product ChondroMimetic was successful.
Full year figures from managed communications services provider AdEPT Telecom (ADT) were better than expected. Managed services were more than two-thirds of revenues, which were 35% ahead at £46.4m. Underlying pre-tax profit was one-third higher at £7.7m. Net debt was £17.6m at the end of March 2018.
Strategic Minerals (SML) generated sales of $696,000 from the Cobre magnetite operations in the three months to June 2018, but the suspension of a major contract will hit the current quarter. There was $2.09m in the bank at the end of June 2018 and a payment of $375,000 has subsequently been received.
ECR Minerals (ECR) has raised £650,000 at 0.7p a share and that provides enough cash until the third quarter of 2019. The development programme at the Blue Moon target in Victoria, Australia will be accelerated.
An international mining company has agreed to subscribe $250,000 for shares in Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) and that will help to finance further exploration at the Anza project in Colombia. The subscription is at 5.2p a share, double the market price at the time of the agreement.
Fishing tackle retailer Fishing Republic (FISH) expects interim revenues to decline from £4.1m to £3.4m following the closure of five underperforming stores. Like-for-like store sales were 22% lower and online sales also fell. Inventory levels have fallen.
Clear Leisure (CLP) has started operations at its crypto currencies mining data centre in Serbia.
Battery technology and advanced materials developer Ilika (ILK) has raised £4m at 20p a share and an open offer could raise up to £1m more. The cash will finance the costs of developing battery technology for the automotive market. There was £2.8m in the bank at the end of April 2018.
N4 Pharma (N4P) reported disappointing results from the pharmacokinetic data for the clinical trial for reformulated sildenafil, which is better known as Viagra. The plan is to improve the speed at which the drug takes effect but the formulation has not meet the targets set.
Ariana Resources (AAU) says that the Kiziltepe mine produced 7,171 ounces of gold in the second quarter of 2019 and it is still on course to produce 20,000 ounces of gold for the whole year.
Trading remains tough at replacement windows supplier Safestyle UK (SFE) although order intake has firmed in recent weeks. This follows the loss of staff to a competitor that is being sued by Safestyle. It will take until next year to rebuild the team. Thee will be a loss this year even before £6m of restructuring costs. This will use up the cash in the bank.
Next Fifteen Communications (NFC) is paying an initial £2.2m for Technical Associates Group, which is a technical content and digital marketing business. This deal increases the group’s exposure to the industrial engineering sector.
More director changes at Quarto Group Inc (QRT) with Andy Cumming appointed as senior independent non-executive chairman. Major shareholder Laurence Orbach has stepped down as executive chairman and will become a non-executive director. Chief operating officer Ken Fund has joined the board.
Nicholas Lyth has resigned from the board of Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL) having been a director for 17 months.
China-focused healthcare investor Cathay International Holdings (CTI) says that the first half sales and profit will be lower than expected but it hopes to make up the shortfall in the second half. Healthcare subsidiary Lansen has appointed a new chief executive and there have been operational changes, while regulation changes also continue to hit sales in the first quarter. The company’s hotel operations are trading ahead of expectations. The interim will be published in late August.
Reckitt Benckiser RB is left wiping egg off its face as it abandons its proposal to acquire part of Pfizers Consumer Health Care business. The CEO finds himself squirming with some embarrassment as he tries to wriggle his way out of a situation which he seems to admit they should not have got into in the first place. He says that RB only believes in organic growth but fails to explain as to why on earth they then went and got themselves involved in a proposed acquisition, Then he goes on to admit that in the end the proposal to acquire part only of the business, became impossible and again offers no explanation as to why they went for the impossible without realising that it would be impossible.
Crest Nicholson CRST updates that the trading environment continues to be generally robust with demand for new houses continuing to be strong. Deference is paid to the government for its role in supporting the housing market to such an extent that in great swathes of the country, homes have become so expensive as to be unaffordable except for the wealthy despite price inflation having moderated.
Ted Baker plc TED reports another year of continued progress and success as profit before tax for the year to the 27th January produced a rise of 12.3% in profit before tax. Revenue grew by 11.4% and basic earnings per share by 12.6%. It is proposed to increase the final dividend to 43.5p. per share bringing the total for the year to 60.1p., a rise of 12%
Sanne Group plc SNN Group revenue for the year to 31st December rose by 77% and profit before tax by 49%. The final dividend is recommended for an increase to 8.4p per share, bringing the total for the year to 12.6p compared to 9.6p for 2016
Safestyle UK plc SFE found its market becoming increasingly challenging as 2017 progressed. Its financial performance was impacted as raw material prices increased at the same time as finance subsidy costs and lead generation costs. Profit before tax for the year to the 31st December fell by 28.5% and basic earnings per share by 31.1%. The final dividend remains unchanged at 11.25p per share. Market share grew by over 10% during the year but perhaps this is a classic case of increasing market share irrespective of profitability. 2018 has not brought any improvement and the year has got off to a difficult start. Order intake is below management expectations as the company’s market continues to deteriorate, whilst competition increases and consumer confidence continues to fall.