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Newbury Racecourse (NYR) continues to progress its development plans and some of the benefits are shown by the near-doubling of conference and events revenues in the first half. The remodelling of the main parade ring has been completed and a contractor appointed for work on the Royal Box, which will cost £2.5m. In the six months to June 2019, revenues were 3% higher at £7.57m, even though one race day was lost, and there was a slightly lower pre-exceptional loss of £317,000. There is a danger that legislation relating to fixed odds betting terminals could have a knock-on effect on Newbury’s revenues from bookies in the second half.
Shepherd Neame (SHEP) will be releasing its annual results on Wednesday. Peel Hunt expects pre-tax profit to be 5% lower at £11.2m, because there was no contribution from the Asahi brewing contract that ended in 2018. Excluding that contract, profit could have risen. Pubs have grown their like-for-like income and brewing volumes have recovered, but second half profit could be minimal. NAV of 1664p a share is forecast.
Healthcare IT provider DXS International (DXSP) has been hit by a short-term lack of sales activity in the NHS. In the year to April 2019, DXS reported an increased loss of £200,000, up from £46,000. Revenues dipped from £3.41m to £3.35m. More than £1m was spent on developing products during the year.
Ananda Developments (ANA) says that dry herb medical inhalation system Hapac has been refined and sales of the device and Hapac sachets are growing. However, legal uncertainty in Italy means that Hapac has been removed from sale while a court case over labelling and cannabis content is heard in Parma. There are plans to launch Hapac in other markets. Ananda has a 15% stake in Hapac’s owner. Edward Nealon has increased his stake in Ananda from 5.31% to 6.91%.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) says that Apollon Formularies, a Jamaican cannabis company where it owns 2.325% and it intends to acquire the rest of the shares, has completed a six week pilot opening of a medicinal cannabis therapy centre to treat patients.
Karoo Energy (KEP) is in discussions with investors so that the company can be recapitalised and settle outstanding creditors. NEX has agreed to defer the withdrawal of Karoo shares from trading ahead of the publication of a circular.
AFH Financial (AFHP) has bought another IFA. It is paying up to £3.2m for Wirral-based Broadleaf Financial Services.
LF Woodford Equity Income Fund and Woodford Patient Capital Trust own 50.6% of Rutherford Health (RUTH) following the latest cash injection of £12.5m at 176p a share.
StatPro (SOG) is recommending a 230p a share cash bid from Confluence Technologies. That is a 55% premium to the market price and the share price has never been anywhere near that level. It is equivalent to more than 32 times last year’s earnings. Nearly two-thirds of the shares have agreed to accept the offer, which values the asset management software supplier at £161m.
Fulcrum Utility Services (LSE: FCRM) has managed to avoid publicity of its full year figures. On the plus side, they were released before the end of September so there is no danger of trading in the shares being suspended. They were in line with previous indications after multi-utility construction services provider Fulcrum and its auditors finally agreed on the way to interpret IFRS16, which relates to recognising revenues. Fulcrum is no longer allowed to take the revenues and profit from constructing its own utility assets through the income statement. Revenues were one-fifth higher at £48.9m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from £7.9m to £8.6m. NAV is 20.5p a share.
Background and medical screening checks provider ClearStar (CLSU) grew its interim revenues by 17% to $11.6m and it is getting nearer to profitability. The underlying pre-tax loss was $500,000. This has prompted a small upgrade in the revenues forecast to $23.5m, but additional marketing costs mean that pre-tax loss is still likely to be $600,000. Net debt could be $700,000 at the end of 2019. Demand from the US labour market remains strong and ClearStar is building its presence in newer sectors.
Standard list shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) is in talks to buy Alchemist Codes, a Malaysian IT consultancy and e-commerce app developer, for £2.3m in shares. Trading in the shares has been suspended. Due diligence is ongoing, and the shares will remain suspended until a readmission document relating to the reverse takeover is published.
Advanced materials supplier Low and Bonar (LWB) is recommending a 15.5p a share cash bid from Germany-based FVB that values the company at £107m. The bidder says that its geographic reach will widen, and it will be able to enter the coated technical textiles market. Recent trading at Low and Bonar has been poor.
National Word (NWOR) is a standard list shell that has been launched by former Mirror boss David Montgomery so that he can acquire UK local newspapers.
Toiletries manufacturer Creightons (CRL) has agreed to acquire its premises in Peterborough for £3.8m. This needs to be agreed to be shareholders at a general meeting.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) has installed a further 1,000 cryptomining machines, taking the total to 6,000. That figure could double by next spring. In the six months to June 2019, Argo generated revenues of £2.93m and made a pre-tax profit of £947,000.
Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has added a NEX quotation to its year-old Canadian Stock Exchange listing. Auxico has mineral properties in Colombia and Mexico. There is already a UK investor base.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) had a bumper 2018 harvest that was 125% ahead of the previous best, thanks to the hot summer. Some vineyards produced their first crops.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) is paying this year’s dividend in three instalments: October, April and July. The first interim will be 0.83p a share and the ex-dividend date is 25 October. The sale of Hume House in Leeds has been completed for £3.9m, compared to a cost of £1.67m in March 2014. A 37-storey building will be constructed on the site.
Eight Capital Partners (MORE) is investing £250,000 in AIM-quoted Imaginatik (IMTK) with £160,000 subscription for shares at 1.1p a share for a 29.7% stake, and £90,000 in convertible loan notes with an annual interest rate of 7.5%. Eight Capital is issuing up to £2.5m of convertible bonds at 95% of their nominal value. The annual coupon is 5%. One warrant will be granted for every two shares issued.
Trading in the shares of Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has been suspended ahead of a potential acquisition of property assets from the Oyston family.
Gunsynd (GUN) will get a 4% stake in Human Brands when, or if, it floats on the standard list. Previously it would have been a 1% stake. Gunsynd has £289,000 invested in drinks distributor Human Brands loan notes.
Founder Sebastian Snow has resigned as creative director of pubs and inns operator Barkby Group (BARK) and Lana Snow has also left the group. Occupancy rates were good in September and there is significant demand for the Christmas period.
Ganapati (GANP) reported a reduction in interim loss from £4.54m to £3.56m, although total income was flat at £2.19m. There was cash in the bank of £2m at the end of July 2018. This could be added to by an initial coin offering by Malta-based blockchain subsidiary GanaEightCoin Ltd next spring.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £81,250 at 15p a share to provide further working capital.
The chairman and chief executive of DXS International (DXSP) have both bought shares in the healthcare technology company. Bob Sutcliffe bought 100,000 shares at 8.515p each, while David Immelman bought 20,538 shares at 8.66p each, which takes the chief executive’s stake to 10.3%.
Sativa Investments (SATI) has signed an option on a 298,806 square foot glasshouse for growing medicinal cannabis. Mark Blower is becoming a non-executive director.
Melissa Sturgess has acquired 590,000 shares in Ananda Developments (ANA) at 0.4496p each. The executive director of the cannabis-focused investment company owns 47.8 million shares. Ananda joined NEX on 4 July having raised £930,000 at 0.45p a share. The share price ended the first day at 0.975p and it has more than halved since then.
Chris Marsh has resigned as finance director of Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) having been suspended on 9 October. Previously undisclosed LTIP share awards have been revealed.
GB Group (GBG) has acquired Australia-based ID verification services provider Vix Verify Global for £21m. This has led to a 2.7% upgrade in the 2019-20 forecast earnings per share. Third quarter trading of the existing business was in line with expectations with organic growth in revenues of 11%.
Avingtrans (AVG) is acquiring Texas-based Tecmag Inc for $243,000. Tecmag manufactures instrumentation for magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear magnetic resonance systems. This fits well with Avingtrans’ magnets business in the sector.
Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) has shocked investors with accounting changes relating to accrued income and increases in impairment charges for trade debtors. This will slash £10m for this year’s profit turning it into a loss. There is £11.5m in the bank at the end of September 2018.
1Spatial (SPA) reduced its loss n the first half and is on course to cut its full year loss from £1.5m to £1m. The geospatial data services provider should move into profit next year.
HaloSource Corporation (HALO) says it has sufficient working capital until the end of the year, but up to $5m is required to add a further 12 months. The company expects to generate revenues of $2m-$2.5m in 2018 and the target is to treble that figure in 2019, which would reduce the loss.
EKF Diagnostics (EKF) says the record date for the distribution of shares in Renalytix AI is 23 October and the shares will start trading on 2 November.
Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) expects 2017-18 profit to be in line with expectations and order books are strong. Infrastructure services provider Tamdown’s revenues will be slightly lower due to planning delays with the growth coming from utility connections business TriConnex. Net cash is £20m.
RA International (RAI) has won a $9.1m contract with URS Group Inc. This is a new client. The contract covers construction services for an asphalt runway in Somalia and lasts for 11 months.
Data analysis software and services provider D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) trebled its interim revenues to £14m, although the comparatives were weak. Net cash is £12.2m.
Gfinity (GFIN) is raising £6m at 8p a share and this cash will further develop the esports activities and the UK Elite series. The 2017-18 revenues were 82% ahead at £4.3m and losses continue.
Angling Direct (ANG) is taking advantage of its strong position in the fishing tackle retail market by raising £20m at 92.5p a share, which compares to the July 2017 flotation price of 64p a share. The cash will finance the opening of 20 stores and the launch of European websites. This accelerated investment means that Angling Direct will fall into loss this year.
Velocity Composites (VEL) has managed to trade in line with downgraded forecasts for the year to October 2018. Revenues will be slightly above £24m and there is net cash of £3.6m. The company is seeking a new chief executive and the former incumbent has left the board.
The cancellation of a contract and the failure to gain backing for an acquisition have hampered the progress of Image Scan Holdings (IGE) in the year to September 2018. Revenues fell from £5m to £3.5m, although the gross margin improved from 39% to 48%. Pre-exceptional profit will slump from £480,000 to £45,000. That was before the £245,000 cost of the failed acquisition. There was £780,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. Sarah Atwell-King has been appointed finance director.
VR Education (VRE) has been hit by the delayed launch of its Titanic VR product on PlayStation. This should still happen this year, but 2018 revenues will be well below expectations. The timing of the launch will determine the outcome for the year. The ENGAGE platform will be launched before the end of the year as anticipated. Non-executive director Mike Boyce is helping out with sales.
SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) increased its research and development spending from £157,000 to £416,000 in the year to June 2018. The cosmetic application has started a human study and data should be available between November and April 2019. A clinical trial for an eczema treatment could start before the end of 2019. There was £3.2m in cash at the end of June 2018.
Rare books trader Scholium (SCHO) says it will move into loss in the first half, but it expects to make a higher full year profit than the £38,000 reported last year. Start-up Mayfair Philatelics is losing money but three auctions are taking place in the second half.
AfriTin Mining Ltd (ATM) is making progress towards production at its Uis tin project in Namibia. The first phase plant being constructed will be able to process 500,000 tonnes of pegmatite in order to produce 720 tonnes of tin concentrate a year. AfriTin has the cash required to reach production.
A strong performance from manned guarding meant that Croma Security Solutions (CSSG) increased its full year revenues by 59% to £35.1m and pre-tax profit was 400% higher at £2m. There were some one-off boosts during the year. Net cash was £2.1m. The dividend has been increased from 0.5p a share to 1.6p a share.
Property investment adviser First Property Group (FPO) has reduced its stake in Fprop Opportunities to 44.3% so it will no longer be consolidated in the group’s results. The plan is to lower the stake to below 30%. Fund management will be a greater contributor to profit.
More cash is required at meat and delicatessen products retailer Crawshaw (CRAW) for restructuring purposes and it also still needs a new nominated adviser.
Kemin Resources (KEM) will leave AIM on 29 October because it has not been able to find a replacement for Strand Hanson as nominated adviser. JP Jenkins Ltd will provide a trading facility.
OnTheMarket (OTMP) has signed up Belvoir Lettings (BLV) to its online platform. All Belvoir’s sales and lettings properties will be on the platform.
StatPro Group (SOG) says annualised recurring income has increased by 3% to £54.8m.
Communisis (CMS) is recommending a 71p a share cash offer by consumer communications services provider OSG, which values the target at £153.8m. The combined business would be able to develop internationally because of OSG’s global strength.
WideCells Group (WDC) has signed a partnership deal with stem cell extraction and storage company Smart Cells. The deal is with the healthcare insurance subsidiary CellPlan, whose insurance plans will be offered to Smart Cells’ 60,000 clients.
Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) has signed a second agreement with US biopharma company Orgenesis Inc. The deal involves the development and commercialisation of the company’s Human Postnatal Hemogenic Endothelial Cell (Hu-PHEC) technology, which could develop cancer-free, patient-matched blood stem cells after transplantation into a patient. Like the previous agreement, Orgenesis will provide a convertible loan of $1m and this can be converted into shares in the Hemogenyx subsidiary that owns the technology. Orgenesis will pay a 12% royalty on net revenues generated by the technology.
North Midland Construction (NMD) says that full year revenues will be better than anticipated at between £340m and £345m, with net margins between 1.7% to 1.8%. The order book for delivery in 2019 is £222m. A new single identity for the group will be launched in November. HR director Karen Morris has bought 8,172 shares at 550p each.
Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised a further £52,500 at 0.1p a share and its 84.7%-owned subsidiary Flamethrower has acquired FootballTipsFC.com for £40,000. Subscriptions generate £50,000 a year in revenues for the website which provides football betting tips.
Asia Wealth Group Holdings (AWLP) reported a lower loss in the year to February 2017. Revenues improved from $1.2m to $1.53m, while the loss reduced from $150,000 to $110,000. The main business, Meyer Asset Management, made an improved contribution. The auditor has highlighted that no impairment assessment has been made on the investment in Ray Alliance. There is still $869,000 in the bank, following the acquisition of an investment property for $388,000. Management is assessing acquisitions in the fintech sector.
Block Energy (BLOK) has acquired a producing oil field in Georgia. The 90% working interest in the Satskhenisi production sharing agreement will be acquired for 70 million shares (14.35% of Block), which will be owned by Iksander . The field is near the Norio field where Block already has an interest. The permit runs until 2025 with a potential five year extension. Operating costs are up to $25/barrel and the current production from three wells is 10 barrels a day. The sale price is Brent minus $9/barrel. Block will retain 75% of revenues until more than $10m of capital costs are recovered. The purchase includes $500,000 worth of equipment, which can be used in other fields where Block has an interest.
Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £100,000 from a placing of 7% debenture stock 2020. Via has completed the Canal Street development in Manchester and the realised gross development value is £2.28m.
Hellenic Capital (HECP) has acquired an office premises in Leeds for £200,000. This was after the latest interims to June 2017. This is part of the new investing strategy. Net assets fell from £81,000 to £59,000 at the end of June 2017, including cash of £28,000.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested an additional £150,000 in portfolio company Computer Application Services. Capital for Colleagues initially invested £150,000 in the Edinburgh-based software company at the beginning of 2016 and the latest investment will double the number of A shares it owns to 300,000.
Ecovista (EVTP) has raised £350,000 at 0.035p a share. This takes the stake owned by Hubwise to 12.45% and Elite CAM Balanced Discretionary Fund to 9.34%
Asset management performance software provider StatPro (SOG) reported a 23% rise in interim revenues to £21.6m, while underlying earnings per share improved from 1.1p to 1.8p. The interim dividend is unchanged at 0.85p a share. There was an initial two month contribution from the UBS Delta business and the annualised recurring revenues are running at £53.2m, which is before the latest three year contract in Australia. The acquired technology will be integrated with StatPro Revolution.
Telecoms infrastructure equipment supplier Filtronic (FTC) reported a jump in full year revenues from £13.6m to £35.4m thanks to a large order for antennas. There was a swing from a £7m loss to a £2.2m profit. The balance sheet is strong with net cash of £2.6m. Future investment in 5G telecoms infrastructure augurs well for Filtronic. Hargreave Hale has increased its stake from £6.16% to 11.3%.
Real Good Food (RGD) says that its forecast for the year to March 2017 was wrong because two anticipated claims have not materialised and it had incorrectly capitalised certain costs. This will knock £2m off expected profit. This revelation comes a few weeks after Downing invested £2.75m at 35p a share and the share price has subsequently slumped to 20.75p. Payments to Pieter Totte and Peter Salter over a three year period were not separately disclosed. Salter has left the Real Good Food board but Totte continues to survive as executive chairman.
Fairpoint Group (FRP) says it intends to appoint an administrator because of the cost of the lease on its head office costing £1m a year for four years. The IVA and related businesses are still being sold.
AdEPT Telecom (ADT) has acquired IT services provider Atomwide, which provides services to schools and local authorities, for an initial £12m. This adds 4% to this year’s earnings and 9% to next year’s. It was partly funded by £7.3m convertible loan from Business Growth Fund, which is convertible at 393p a share.
GetBusy (GETB) joined AIM last week and the share price rose to 34.5p. Cloud-based document management software provider GetBusy was spun out of ASX-listed software company Reckon and raised £3m from a rights issue. The two existing software products, SmartVault and Virtual Cabinet, generated revenues of £8m in 2016 – 82% of which is recurring – up from £6.8m the previous year. Accounting firms generate the majority of revenues and GetBusy is trying to expand in other sectors. Next generation software SCIM is being developed in order to make it easier for businesses to interact with customers and become more organised and productive.
Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has raised £543,000 at 1.25p a share and warrants have been exercised at 0.85p a share raising a further £265,000. The cash will finance exploration in Botswana and to assess an inferred resource for Frischgewaagt.
Ascent Resources (AST) has installed the infrastructure at the Petisovci project in Slovenia to enable the gas to be exported.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) says that 51%-owned DragonFinancials is paying a dividend of $2m and TechFinancials will receive £1.02m. The payment date is 20 August.
Kestrel Partners has slashed its stake in home improvement products supplier entu (UK) (ENTU) from 21.1% to 7.33%. This investment appears a rare mistake for Kestrel which has a good record of building up stakes in technology businesses. Kestrel was still building up its entu stake in the first quarter of this year. The entu share price is around its all-time low so Kestrel will have made a significant loss on this investment. Meanwhile, entu is trying to secure a refinancing but this is likely to mean that the existing shareholders will be left with little in terms of value. The group continues to lose money.
Thor Mining (THR) is acquiring an interest in Kapunda copper deposit in South Australia. Thor is investing up to A$1.8m in convertible loan notes in a company earning a 75% stake in Kapunda. The initial investment is A$200,000. Conversion of the loan notes could give Thor up to 60% of this company. Due diligence on the US lithium assets has gone well and additional mineralisation has been identified. Director Paul Johnson acquired 500,000 Thor shares at 085p each.
A disposal deal for the interiors division of Stanley Gibbons (SGI) has fallen through because the buyer could not come up with the money. There is a termination fee payable and Stanley Gibbons believes that there are other buyers.
MayAir Group (MAYA) has won a $13.6m order to supply filtration and clean room equipment to a Chinese LCD panel manufacturer and most of the revenue will be recognised in 2017.
Empyrean Energy (EME) has raised £1m at 8.5p a share. Drilling has commenced on the Dempsey 1-15 onshore well in California.
Billington Holdings (BILN) says that its structural steel business has won two contracts worth £14m. One is for a London university and the other is for a distribution warehouse in south west England and some of the work will carry over into 2018.
Diesel engines and parts supplier Associated British Engineering (ABSE) reported a higher loss in 2016-17 and there was also a sharp drop in NAV. The weak oil and gas market continues to hold back the group and revenues fell from £1.77m to £1.04m. The loss increased from £621,000 to £962,000, after a large increase in pension costs. The total cash outflow was just over £1mm similar to the previous year. Cash and financial assets total £968,000. There is a 2.3% stake in AIM-quoted SalvaRx. The initial stake was taken when the company was 3legs Resources. The NAV fell from 73p a share to 50p a share. This is despite a decrease in the pension deficit from £1.93m to £1.38m. There are £3.1m of trading losses and £8.5m of capital losses available but there is no deferred tax asset in the balance sheet.
RSA Insurance Group RSA is delighted with its strong first half results which are littered with repeated references to outperformances as if they had just invented the word. Shareholders get to share in the jollity with a 32% rise in the interim dividend to 6.6p per share, up from last years 5p. Restructuring has now been completed and underwriting results were not only a record, they were “noisy” as well, which is a good thing apparantly.
Smurfit Kappa Group SKG claims a good set of results with strong demand in most marketsfor the six months to the 30th June but set against a background of unprecedented and continued price inflation which cost the company £75m. Revenue rose by 5% but profit before tax for the laf year fell by 21%, rising to 26% in the second quarter. Basic earnings per share fell by 18% and EBITDA was down 4%. It is expected that the second half should start to see the recovery of price inflation costs, through higher prices.
BAE Systems BA is further evidence that British industry is still alive and kicking although BA is far more modest in its claims, stating only that its performance in the six months to the 3th June was as expected and consistent with guidelines. On a constant currency basis sales rose by 3%, underlying earnings per share by 36% and underlying operating profit by by 11%. The interim dividend gets a small lift from 8.6p. to 8.8p per share. Order intake during the half year increased substantially by £3.6bn to £10.7bn
William Hill WMH Headlines saw profit before tax for the half year to the 27th June, fall by 7% and basic earnings per share down by 2%, despite wagering growth across each of its four divisions and a rise in net revenue of 3%. It headlines the results as showing continuous momentum without bothering to stress that the momentum seems to be in the wrong direction, save for the fact the interim dividend does get an upward lift of 4%
StatPro Group SOG Despite a 23% rise in revenue for the half year to the 30th June and a 64% rise in adjusted earnings per share,, the loss before tax virtually tripled from £0.96m to £2.29m. The interim dividend is being maintained at 0.85p per share.
Be Heard Group BHRD which is still in the early stages of its development, saw net revenue for the half year to the 30th June, surge by 155%, helped by contributions from acqisitions, as well as from recent new business wins.
Social impact investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has taken a stake in Uganda-based Four-One Financial Services Ltd, which manages the Mazima Voluntary Individual Retirement Benefits Scheme. The pension scheme is aimed a low income earners and Four-One provides marketing and administration services.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has been regularly raising funds in the past few weeks. The latest placing raised nearly £126,000 at 7.3p a share. So far this year, NQ has raised nearly £900,000.
Malcolm Burne has increased his stake in Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) by 500,000 shares, taking his shareholding to 6.19%.
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) consolidated every 19 shares into one new share on 4 April.
StatPro (SOG) is acquiring UBS Delta, which provides risk and performance analysis services, for €13m (£11.1m) over three years. UBS Delta has 115 clients with 100 of these being new to StatPro. This provides a ready made customer base for the StatPro Revolution product. UBS Delta has annualised recurring revenues of £14.5m and the combined group will have £53m. This is a highly earnings enhancing deal. A full contribution in 2018 leads to an improvement in forecast earnings per share from 4.5p to 7.4p. Net debt will double to £20.2m by the end of 2017 and then start to come down through cash generated from operations.
Bushveld Minerals Ltd (BMN) has completed the purchase of a 78.8% stake in Strategic Minerals Corporation, which owns 75% of the company that owns Vametco Alloys in South Africa. Bushveld says that the $16.5m it has paid is less than the cost of setting up a greenfield mining operation. The deal is part of the strategy to develop a vertically integrated vanadium operation. Bushveld is acquiring a low cost, open pit mine and plant with an existing customer base. There are enough ore reserves to last for 24 years at current production levels, plus scope to increase these reserves. Vametco is also near to Bushveld’s Brits vanadium project. Bushveld has also agreed to work with Sinohydro Corporation on developing a 60MW coal powered plant and related transmission infrastructure in southern Madagascar. Sinohydro will pay for the bankable feasibility study and project implementation proposal in the next 12 months. Bushveld is also moving ahead with the acquisition of an interest in the Uis tin project in Namibia.
AdEPT Telecom (ADT) says that its figures for the year to March 2017 will be ahead of expectations. Revenues are expected to be 16% higher and EBITDA 26% ahead. Net debt of £15.8m is £1.3m lower than forecast. The total dividend will be increased by 19% to 7.75p a share.
Belvoir Lettings (BLV) grew its 2016 revenues by 43% to £9.94m, while pre-tax profit improved from £2.2m to £2.5m. Contributions from acquired letting networks helped the growth. Demand remains strong for rented property. The estate agency business continues to grow from a low base and there are plans to increase revenues from other services. The final dividend is unchanged at 3.4p a share.
Gatemore Capital Management has withdrawn its requisition for a general meeting to change the board at DX (Group) (DX.) following the announcement of the discussions for the merger with Menzies Distribution.
Staunton failed to secure 50% acceptances for its 300p a share bid for FIH Group (FIH). The level of acceptances was 34.74% but nearly two-thirds of those were related parties to Staunton, which itself already owned 2.34%. The bid has lapsed. Dolphin Fund Ltd is still waiting in the wings but has not made a firm offer.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) returned to profit in 2016 but there remains uncertainty due to the loss of the company’s major customer. There are plans to widen the range of products offered in order to offset the loss and the impact of regulatory changes. There was $7.7m in the bank at the end of 2016 and since then a $3m dividend has been received from the DragonFinancials joint venture.
Gresham House Strategic (GHS) has revealed plans to pay a maiden dividend. The 15p a share final dividend will be combined with a share buy back programme. At the end of March 2017, there were £1.7m of realised gains and 50% of that is available for dividends and buy backs. The company has already bought 500 shares at 831p each.
BP Marsh (BPM) is selling its 29.9% stake in Trireme for £2.96m, compared with a book value of £2.53m. Trireme will also repay a loan of £2.16m.
Revenue recognition changes mean that Styles & Wood (STY) will report lower revenues for 2016 but pre-tax profit will be in line with expectations.
Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has discovered two kimberlite blows at the Frischgewaagt project in South Africa. This could mean that the kimberlite dyke system could widen, thereby providing higher volumes of kimberlite.
Tracsis (TRCS) is investing up to £1.3m in Vivacity Labs Ltd, which has developed machine learning software to help solve traffic and transport problems. Tracsis could use the technology to reduce the costs of processing video for its traffic and data services division. Tracsis will invest £1m to take a 23.3% stake and it has an option to acquire a further 4.8% for £300,000.
IT firm Triad Group (TRD) says that its full year pre-tax profit will increase from £863,000 to around £1.5m. The majority of that improvement came in the first half but there was also profit growth in the second half.
World Trade Systems (WTS) says that its health foods subsidiary is planning to enter cooperation agreements with two companies that will help it to diversify its product range and extend its market in China. CHelac and WTS plan to collaborate on R&D to develop cosmetic products using the former’s collagen stimulating technology. Fine Japan is linking up with WTS as a way of increasing its business in China. WTS is heading towards the first decade of the suspension of trading in its shares.
SMALLCAP AWARDS 2017 NOMINATIONS
IPO of the Year
Accrol Holdings; Blue Prism Group; Franchise Brands; InnovaDerma
Company of the Year
DP Poland; Fulcrum Utility Services; Gear4Music; Harvest Minerals
Nex Exchange Company of the Year
Adnams plc; Capital for Colleagues plc; Chapeldown; Crossword Cybersecurity plc; Sandal plc
Social Stock Exchange Impact Company of the Year
Capital for Colleagues; Caretech; Impax Asset Management; Obtala
Executive Director of the Year
Stephen Moon, CEO, Science in Sports; Andrew Jacobs, CEO, Lok’nStore; Nick Jarmany, CEO, Quixant; Tim Mitchell, CEO, Sareum
Transaction of the Year
Amino Technologies; Keyword Studios (Synthesis Group); Marlowe ; SCISYS (Annova)
Analyst of the Year
Mike Allen – Zeus; Andrew Blain – Cenkos Securities; Eric Burns – WH Ireland; Simon Strong – Cenkos Securities
Journalist of the Year
Paul Scott – Stockopedia; Jamie Nimmo – Evening Standard; Simon Thompson – Investors Chronicle
Advisor of the Year
Cenkos Securities; FinnCap; Panmure Gordon; Shore Capital; Stockdale Securities; Zeus Capital
Fund Manager of the Year
Paul Jourdan – Amati Global; Simon Knott – MI Discretionary Trust; Paul Mumford – Cavendish; Giles Hargreave and Guy Feld – Marlborough Fund
Health and care properties developer Ashley House (ASH) is widening its area of operations through the acquisition of a modular off-site construction business by its subsidiary F1 Modular, which already works with the company. The acquired business was in administration and assets have been acquired for £113,500 and a lease taken out on its premises – there is an option to acquire the premises. Ashley’s stake in F1 Modular has been raised from 52% to 76% for up to £250,000 depending on performance and the repayment of a previous loan. If F1 Modular makes more than £4m in profit over the next three years then the additional stake will be transferred to the minority shareholders. F1 Modular could win housing business and there are already potential housing deals with two local authorities, as well as a prospective customer for retail pods. Other potential markets are schools and student accommodation. There are also opportunities in Ashley’s core business. Ashley has reiterated it warning that the figures for the year to April 2017 because of contract delays due to a consultation on supported housing. This means a small full year profit is likely. Non-executive director John Moy acquired 2.4 million shares at 7.5p each from his son and then transferred his entire holding of 6.9millionshares to his wife, although he is still deemed to have an interest in this 11.6% stake.
Bulgaria property investment company Black Sea Property (BSP) has successfully tendered for a Sofia office building called the UniCredit Building. UniCredit is the current occupier and owner. Black Sea Property bid €10.52m and €7.6m of this will come from a loan, while the rest will have to be raised from shareholders. A deposit of €1.04m has been paid. That deposit will be forfeited if the deal does not go ahead. UniCredit can remain in the building for six months after the transaction is completed, expected to be May assuming the fundraising is successful, and will not have to pay rent. The property is more than 100 years old, has five floors and covers 98,000 square feet.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has been taken on by cosmetics firm LUSH to help it introduce employee ownership. An initial stake of 10% will be held by the employee benefits trust.
There could be a bid battle for FIH (FIH), formerly known as Falkland Islands Holdings. Staunton, which is backed by the Rowland family, has bid 300p a share and has acceptances of just over one-third of the shares in issue – it owned 25% prior to the bid. Eduardo Elsztain has entered the fray via Dolphin Fund, which says it is willing to offer even more. Elsztain is an Argentinian who has built up significant property and agricultural interests having initially been backed by George Soros in 1990. FIH has refused requests for further information because it was not provided with answers to its request about ownership and control of Dolphin. There has been a change to the current bid which no longer require 90% acceptances to go unconditional. The figure has been reduced to 50%.
Audio visual products distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) grew its 2016 revenues by 18% to £370.1m via a combination of acquisitions, currency movements and organic growth. Gross margins are strong for a distribution business but they still edged up from 14.9% to 15.3%. Underlying pre-tax profit was 23% higher at £17.9m. Net debt was £15m at the end of 2016, while the dividend for the eight months that Midwich was quoted on AIM was 8.62p share. Displays and technical products are becoming more important and there was also growth in projection products sales although not as fast as the main parts of the business. Sales of scanners and other document-related products fell. France, Germany and Australasia made significantly better contributions. Further acquisitions are likely to supplement continued organic growth.
Crossrider (CROS) has refocused its business on apps and a mobile security acquisition further boosts this side of the business. CyberGhost will cost an initial €6.2m in cash and shares with up to €3m more payable dependent on performance. The acquisition should be earnings enhancing in 2017. Last year, Crossrider group revenues fell from $84.6m to $56.5m but the core apps business grew both its revenues and its profit contribution. Net cash was $72.1m at the end of 2016. Next year, revenues and profit should start to grow again and Crossrider may even pay a dividend.
University technology commercialisation business Frontier IP (FIPP) has raised £3m at 40p a share in order to finance existing investments and make new ones.
Igas Energy (IGAS) wants to raise £45.2m via a placing and up to €5m through an open offer as part of its financial restructuring. There is also a proposed debt for equity swap and the majority of these bondholders have indicated that they will accept this proposal.
Software provider Cerillion (CER) has won a €2.4m (£2.1m) with a European wholesale telecoms company. So far this financial year, £13.2m of work has been won. That will not necessarily all be delivered this year but, along with the year-end order book, this provides backing for the £16m revenues forecast for 2016-17.
Trading and risk management systems provider Brady (BRY) is restructuring its business but the 2016 figures do not show the benefits. The company has grown by acquisition and the strategy is to fully integrate them all into one platform. Revenues increased 11% to £30.3m, mainly due to currency changes, and Brady returned to profit before exceptional charges.
Recurring revenues continue to grow at performance measurement software provider Statpro (SOG) and they were running at a rate of £39.7m at the end of 2016. House broker Panmure Gordon expects an increase in underlying pre-tax profit from £2.7m to £3.3m in 2017. The dividend is being maintained at 2.9p a share in order to build up earnings cover and invest in software development.
Training technology and services provider Pennant International (PEN) has already secured orders that underpin the 2017 revenues forecast by house broker WH Ireland, although the timing of orders can be delayed. Revenues are expected to grow from £17.2m to £18m and pre-tax profit should edge up from £2.2m to £2.4m. There was £3.5m in the bank at the end of 2016. Two additional facilities have been secured to help cope with demand for the group’s services. Defence clients dominate the business but there are plans to increase exposure to other markets. Phil Walker has taken over permanently as chief executive.film Sandy Wexler 2017
Wealth adviser Brooks Macdonald (BRK) has increased its discretionary funds under management by 19% to £9.33bn. Underlying interim pre-tax profit were one-quarter higher at £8.87m. New chief executive Caroline Connellan will start work in April.
Investment manager Miton (MGR) has grown its funds under management despite a large decline in its value fund due to the departure of its manager. The funds under management increased from £2.78bn to £2.91bn with a recovery in multi-asset funds and growth in other funds covering the loss of value investment funds and growth coming from market improvements. Miton is seeking a new chairman and it will then find a permanent chief executive. On 23 March, Miton is launching its new global infrastructure fund, which is aiming for a 4% yield.
C4X Discovery (C4XD) has raised £7m from a placing at 85p a share. The cash will be used to strengthen the balance sheet while c4X is negotiating with potential partners and strategic collaborators.
EMIS (EMIS) has managed to grow its business even though there is continued uncertainty in the NHS. The GP, pharmacy and health-related administrative software provider reported a 2% increase in 2016 revenues to £158.7m, while operating profit was 6% higher at £38.8m. Net debt fell to £400,000. The total dividend was increased by 10% to 11.7p a share, which is covered more than four times by earnings.
Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) continues to benefit from the global upturn in construction activity, particularly in North America and Europe, although the revenues from the latter are still not back to their peak levels. The dividend payout level has been raised from 30% of earnings to 40% of earnings but there is still more than $20m in the bank so a special dividend is possible later in the year.
Ilika (ILK) admits that it is unlikely to generate any licence income until the next financial year. The advanced materials developer still has plenty of cash in the bank. Development deal revenues should still double revenues to £1.2m in the year to April 2017. A £1m bioelectronics deal and an additional agreement with Toyota mean that there is a good revenue base going into the new financial year, which should reduce the annual loss even without licence deals.
Active Energy (AEG) has raised £11.6m via a convertible loan note issue. The five-year convertibles will be quoted on the Channel Islands Securities Exchange. The yield is 8% and the conversion price is 3.3p a share. The cash is required to build a commercial scale plant to produce CoalSwitch biomass fuel for use in coal-fired power stations.
Sunrise Resources (SRES) has identified additional potential for the CS project in Nevada. New zones of pozzolan and perlite have been discovered in the Tuff zone and another zone. A project development concept study is due in the next few months.
Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) has secured a four year deal to supply silicon carbide micro-fibre to a manufacturer of tooling and wear-resistant parts. The deal has been won by the US subsidiary acquired last September. The minimum annual order quantity should generate revenues of $600,000 a year.
Sportech (SPO) is investing £100,000 in 123gaming Ltd as part of a £1m fundraising via crowdfunding platform Seedrs (www.seedrs.com/123bet). The offer is eligible for EIS relief. The cash will be used to update the US betting platform and to launch an online site in the UK. Sportech already provides technology for the US online wagering site and the pari-mutuel-type offering, which combines traditional wagers and fantasy elements as part of the game. Several US racecourses licence 123gaming’s free-to-play contests as a marketing tool. Sportech is selling its football pools business for £83m – that is lower than the £97.25m offer that fell through last year. Sportech plans to return £20m to shareholders via a tender offer. The result of the tender will be announced on 21 March. There could be a further tender offer after the disposal proceeds are received.
Avation (AVAP) has decided to sell six of its turboprop aircraft at a price above book value. This could generate $31m after related debt repayments. A deposit of $3m has been received and the deal should be completed by the end of June. A further 16 turboprop aircraft are being retained and the additional cash can be used to widen the portfolio of aircraft. House broker WH Ireland estimates an underlying value for Avation of 270p a share.
PRE-IPO / OTHER TRADING FACILITIES
Former ISDX and GXG company US OIL & Gas (USOP) has raised £1.18m at 27p a share via a ten-for-63 open offer to existing shareholders. That is 54% of the amount that the oil and gas company was seeking. A placing had already raised £470,000.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has exchanged contracts on the 1.6 acre site in Ashford that will be used for the proposed new Curious brewery. The deal will be completed when planning permission is obtained.
Valiant Investors (VALP) has raised £71,000 at 0.1p a share in order for it to finance the development of 83.3%-owned apps developer and marketer Flamethrower.
Milamber Ventures (MLVP) says that its grant application partner Private Shares has invested £25,000 at 16p a share and it will invest a further £25,000 at the same share price once Milamber holds a concept development workshop. Any grant writing services provided before 18 February next year will be paid for in shares at 18p each. Milamber non-executive director Barney Battles has invested £12,500 in shares at 16p each and also converted £12,500 of fees into shares at 18p each.
A positive trading statement from software robots company Blue Prism (PRSM) lead to a share price rise of more than two-fifths. The share price was already nearly double the flotation price of 78p and it reached 211p at the end of the week. A new contract has been won with a major bank and another large bank has renewed its contract for three years. This means that the full year figures will be better than expected.
Branded interior furnishings supplier Walker Greenbank (WGB) has received a second interim insurance payment of £3.2m relating to the flooding at the Standfast & Barracks printing factory in Lancaster at the end of 2015. A payment of £8m had already been paid. An £800,000 payment is expected soon and there could be more to follow. The factory is almost back to full production following the installation of new digital printers and the backlog of orders is being fulfilled. Overall group trading is in line with expectations. UK sales have fallen but overseas sales have grown. There could be a modest boost from the weakness of sterling.
Domain names wholesaler and services provider CentralNic (CNIC) has been awarded the contract to distribute the .FM domain by its owner BRS Media. CentralNIc plans to promote the top level domain to online streaming businesses. The deal also includes the launch of other domains including .AM.
Asset management software provider StatPro (SOG) continues to transfer customers to its StatPro Revolution SaaS-based service. In the six months to June 2016, revenues improved from £15.4m to £17.6m, while underlying pre-tax profit was slightly lower at £827,000. The real benefits of the transfer to monthly revenues for Revolution will show through next year. Edison forecasts a small increase in profit from £2.6m to £2.8m this year and then a 2017 profit of £3.7m.
Ultrasound simulation equipment developer and supplier Medaphor Group (MED) is acquiring Inventive Medical Ltd, which sells cardio ultrasound simulation products under the HeartWorks brand. Medaphor already has a relationship with Inventive Medical and the companies’ products are complementary. Medaphor is paying £3m in shares – at 43p each – for the company. Loss-making Medaphor has £3.5m in the bank and this should last until the end of 2017.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) enjoyed a strong first half, which has reassured investors following the disappointment of its failed joint venture in Asia. Revenues grew by 30% to $9.6m, while EBITDA nearly doubled to $1m.Full year forecasts have not been changed but there could be scope for upgrades later in the year.
Cloud-based communications software and services provider CloudCall Group (CALL) is raising up to £3.77m at 57.5p a share – a 3.6% premium to the previous closing price. The cash will be used to expand sales activities, particularly in the US. This investment will be coordinated with its partner Bullhorn, which is starting to sell outside of its core recruitment customer base. CloudCall’s product is used by 12% of Bullhorn’s UK customers and 2% of its US customers.
MayAir Group (MAYA) has announced the commencement of a share buyback of up to 10% of its share capital. A maximum of £5.76m can be used for this buyback. This follows $17.7m of industrial and commercial clean air equipment contract wins in recent weeks.
Engineering and environmental consultancy Waterman Group (WTM) expects to report a full year pre-tax profit in excess of its target of £3.3m. Waterman had set itself the target of tripling its profit in the three years to June 2016. Net cash has increased from £3.8m to £5.4m. Trading continues to be strong. The results will be published on 10 October.
ZimNRG (ZIMO) is changing its investment policy and its name to MetalNRG. The new policy is to invest in natural resources businesses with no particular focus on any area. AIM-quoted Metal Tiger (MTR) has taken a 28.3% stake via a £50,000 investment at 0.2682p a share. That is a large discount to the market price of 1.25p (1p/1.5p), although it is similar to NAV at the end of August 2015. The par value of the shares has to be reduced before the new shares can be issued. Loeb Aron has become corporate adviser. Christopher Latilla-Campbell will be appointed as chairman and Paul Johnson of Metal Tiger as a non-executive.
Care housing and health properties developer Ashley House (ASH) joined the Social Impact segment of ISDX on 10 February but it is retaining its AIM quotation. Ashley House (ASH) moved from ISDX (Plus-quoted) in January 2007. At that time £4m was raised at 150p a share, which valued the company at £40.6m. In the six months to October 2015, revenues jumped from £5.6m to £10.6m and went from a loss to a small profit. Net debt was £2.6m at the end of October 2015. The company has £10.7m of tax losses. At 9.5p (9p/10p) a share, Ashley House is valued at £5.5m.
New Haven Trust has sold 3.2 million shares in Coinsilium (COIN) at 3.5p a share. Coinsilium floated at 10p a share and the shares are trading at 5p (5p/6p). New Haven had 3.53 million shares prior to the recent fundraising. There had previously been share issues at 8p a share and prior to that at 0.01p a share. So, New Haven could still have made a large profit on its shareholding. Just over 3.2 million shares were subsequently traded at 3.9p a share. There is no news about who bought these shares.
Healthcare recruitment business Positive Healthcare (DOC) has secured a further £1.08m of funding through an issue of 7% bonds 2021. This takes the value in issue to £1.33m. The company had previously stated that £2m of bonds had been issued but it turned out that it did not receive the subscriptions for all these bonds.
Management has tabled a cut price bid for printing services provider Tangent Communications (TNG) but marketing communications services provider Writtle Holdings has suggested that it may top the offer. The 2.25p a share bid values Tangent at £6.69m and it is 64% higher than the previous closing price. The bid is well below the net asset value of £31.6m at the end of August 2015. Even if you take the view that management has overpaid for its businesses then the NAV excluding goodwill is £6.79m. Tangent is profitable but the profit has been declining. However, Writtle’s indicative offer of no less than 2.75p a share, which is still a large discount to NAV. Writtle is run by the ex-management of former AIM company CA Coutts. Between 2005 and 2010 Graeme Harris was a director of Tangent Communications. Before that he was finance director of CA Coutts and since 2011 he has been a director of Writtle.
DP Poland (DPP), the Domino’s Pizza master franchise holder for Poland, has achieved 13 consecutive quarters of double digit like-for-like growth in system sales. There are 24 stores in five Polish cities – 16 managed and eight sub-franchised. The stores are making a positive EBITDA but the group is still loss-making. Pro forma cash was £8.8m at the end of June 2015, so even with large cash outflows over the coming year there should be plenty of cash left at the end of 2016. However, the group will still be loss-making so the cash will decline as more is invested in new stores.
Real Good Food (RGD) has acquired Chantilly Patisserie for £1.75m and it will become a division of the Haydens business. Devon-based Chantilly makes frozen desserts for caterers and pubs and this could provide an opportunity for Haydens to expand its own customer base, which is focused on retailers.
Asset management performance software provider StatPro (SOG) is injecting its StatPro Portfolio Control (SPC) compliance software contracts into South Africa-based InfoVest Consulting in return for a 51% stake. This is a part of the software suite that has not migrated to the cloud. StatPro will consolidate the full revenues of this investment from 2016 so pre-tax profit will look better but there will be a minority adjustment after tax. The 2015 results are due to be published on 9 March.
Lok’nStore (LOK) says that like-for-like self-storage revenues were 5.4% ahead in the first half. Higher prices and improving occupancy rates are behind this growth. Newer sites at Reading, Maidenhead and Aldershot are performing strongly. The document storage business is improving its performance.
Herencia Resources (HER) has sent out the circular for the disposal of its Picachos project to a Chilean company. Herencia will receive $2m for 70% of the project, after six months $600,000 is payable for 7.5% and after a further nine months a final $2.5m is payable to take the stake to 100%. The company that holds the project has a book value of £1.36m. Due diligence is being undertaken. Herencia will concentrate on the Paguanta and Guamanga projects in Chile and the cash will finance their development. The general meeting will be held on 26 February.
Specialist electronics distributor and manufacturer Acal (ACL) is trading in line with expectations so revenues growth should be nearly 10% to £297m in the year to March 2016 – organic growth will be around 2%. Profit is expected to rise from £11.8m to £14.4m. A small bolt-on acquisition, custom transformers manufacturer Plitron, will not make much contribution in this financial year. Plitron increases Acal’s exposure to North America and the medical sector.
Oil and gas company Aminex (AEX) is selling a 3.825% interest in the Kiliwani North development licence to AIM-quoted Solo Oil (SOLO) for $2.16m. Solo will then hold a 10% stake and Aminex will own 51.75% and be the operator.
Latest AIM Journal available here.
Goldcrest Resources (GCRP) has secured the acquisition of Taoudeni Resources, which owns the Asheba gold project that is situated at the southern end of the Ashanti gold belt in Ghana. Goldcrest’s non-executive chairman Gavin Burnell is also a shareholder in Taoudeni, which has a non-JORC compliant resource of 176,000 ounces at 1.8g/t. Goldcrest has already conditionally acquired the nearby Akoko gold project, which has a JORC resource of 92,800 ounces at 1.9g/t. The company will seek to generate a JORC-based resource for the combined project. Goldcrest will issue 599.2 million shares for the initial consideration with deferred consideration of 617.7 million and 102.3 million warrants exercisable at 0.05p a share and lasting ten years. ISDX-quoted Hot Rocks Investments will receive 193.5 million of the initial consideration shares, taking its stake to 14.6%, plus 43.2 million of the warrants and is due to receive 320.8 million of the deferred consideration shares. AIM-quoted Sunrise Resources receives 116.6 million shares and 9.8 million warrants. Niall Tomlinson and Dr Ryan Long will join the Goldcrest board. At 0.06p (0.05p/0.07p) a share, Goldcrest is currently valued at £900,000.
A newly formed subsidiary of FT8 (GFT) has taken a 40% stake in BIPS Technologies in exchange for rights to use technology developed by FT8 to make payments and disbursements of employee benefits for healthcare providers and insurers and in this case specifically for the voluntary benefits market in the US. FT8 has also agreed to cover banking fees associated with the administration of a Supplemental Insurance Funds Transfer Program. BIPS will hold the contractual rights to this fund which will service the clients of Homeland HealthCare Inc. A minimum employee enrolment of 75,000 is projected by the end of 2016 and it is projected that it could reach a minimum of 350,000 by the end of 2018. Gross revenue per employee signed up should be just over $1/month. FT8 will not have to provide any additional finance for BIPS. At 0.65p (0.6p/0.7p) a share, FT8 is valued at £4.8m.
Blockchain technology companies investor Coinsilium Group (COIN) has invested an additional $50,000 in data management blockchain company Factom Inc. This takes the total invested to $200,000, which equates to 2% of the diluted share capital of Factom. The Coinsilium share price has recovered to 8p (6.5p/9.5p).
Ecovista (EVTP) is raising a further £252,000 at 0.06p a share. The current share price is 0.075p (0.07p/0.08p). Ecovista is also seeking shareholder approval at its AGM so that any breach of the directors duties caused by previously issuing more shares than they were allowed to will be waived.
Trading in the bonds of recruitment company Positive Healthcare (DOC) has been suspended because £1.75m of the £2m that the company claimed it had raised has not been received. The bond register needs to be rectified and then Positive Healthcare can try to issue more bonds.
Via Developments (VIA1) has raised an additional £206,000 (£204,000 after expenses) from a further issue of 7% debenture stock 2020. This takes the debentures in issue to £1.76m. Via joined ISDX on 5 November having issued £530,000 7% debenture stock 2020. The Manchester-based residential property development funder wants to raise up to £3.5m.
Empyrean Energy (EME) is selling its 3% interest in the Sugarloaf AMI development in Texas to Carrier Energy Partners II for $61.5m and this should enable a cash distribution to shareholders. If oil prices average more than $55/barrel this year then more could be payable – up to a maximum of $10m. Empyrean expects to pay $3.6m in tax plus $5.2m for outstanding bills owed to the Sugarloaf operator Marathon Oil and it will repay its debt facility of $21.6m. This will leave Empyrean with a 58.1% working interest in the Eagle Pool development project in California, a 7.5% working interest in two producing wells in Sugarloaf block A and a 10% working interest in Riverbend project in Texas. New opportunities will be sought.
Colin Porter is stepping down as chief executive of STM Group (STM) in order to take up a position in the US. He has a 12 month notice period so there is plenty of time to find a replacement. This led to a sharp drop in the share price even though it was confirmed that trading is in line with expectations for a 2015 profit of £2.7m. Alan Kentish will become interim chief executive.
Energy storage technology developer RedT Energy (RED) is raising £3.5m at 6.75p a share – a huge discount to the market price. The share price was just over 10.5p a share a few days before the placing was announced but it fell to 8.38p a share after the announcement – although that is still relatively high compared to the share price in the past three years. House broker finnCap has edged down its target price from 14.5p to 14p. RedT has received an initial $2m from the sale of its US biogas interests so it will have a cash pile to finance the commercialisation of its battery technology.
Big data services provider Fusionex International (FXI) reported revenue growth of 33% to RM70m last year. In the year to September 2015, pre-tax profit rose from RM19.5 to RM24.9m, while earnings per share were 28% higher at RM0.58 (9.4p). There has been criticism of cash generation levels and this led to a slump in the share price. Fusionex says that since September RM23.4m (£3.8m) of the year-end receivables of RM28.5m (£4.6m) has been collected.
Nasstar (NASA) says trading is in line with expectations following a strong second half, helped by the acquisition of VESK. The cloud-based services supplier has renewed the contract with its largest client – there had been some client losses earlier in the year. Net debt of £5.3m at the end of 2015 is slightly lower than expected.
Worldview Capital Management says that it is considering a cash offer for Petroceltic International (PCI). Worldview already owns 29.6% of the Irish oil and gas company, which launched a strategic review before Christmas. Advances have been received for some of Petroceltic’s remaining assets. Petroceltic has received a further waiver of repayments under its senior debt facility until 29 January so that it can continue with its strategic review. The debt facility amounted to $217.8m before Christmas.
Portfolio analytics software supplier StatPro (SOG) has paid an initial $10m for Investor Analytics, a US business that provides cloud-based risk analytics for hedge funds and asset managers. Up to $6m more could be payable depending on winning new contracts. The business has annualised recurring revenues of $4.85m (£3.3m) – out of total revenues of $5m – and should be earnings enhancing in 2016 following integration and annual cost savings of £700,000 – at a cost of up to £1m.
Tissue Regenix (TRX) says that DermaPure, which is used to treat wounds due to diabetes, has generated more than $1m in sales and it is available for reimbursement in 31 states of the US. Tissue Regenix has recruited 20 people for the OrthoPure XM clinical trial designed to gain a CE mark in Europe. OrthoPure XM is designed to repair damaged menisci, which is a condition that could lead to the onset of osteo-arthritis. The patients will be monitored for six months as part of the final information required for the CE mark submission later this year. Consort Medical boss Jonathan Glenn has been appointed a non-executive and Tissue Regenix will benefit from his medical devices expertise.
Condor Gold (CNR) has ended the strategic review it announced last September and it is no longer deemed to be in an offer period. The share price slumped by two-thirds over the period which meant that Condor was valued at $5/resource ounce so a realistic bid is unlikely at the moment. The average NPV of the La India project in Nicaragua is $196m. There are 1,544,000 ounces of inferred and indicated contained gold resources in total. Average annual gold production of 165,000 ounces is anticipated for the first five years and cash costs of production should be less than $700/ounce.
Investment company Highway Capital (HWC) has appointed the chief executive of the Bucharest Stock Exchange as its new chairman. Ludwik Sobolewski was previously the boss of the Warsaw Stock Exchange. This follows the appointment of Dariusz Zych and Jacek Ślotała as directors in November. This suggests an eastern European focus to investments. Dominic Wheatley has stepped down as chairman but remains on the board. The other director, Maciej Szytko, has loaned £120,000 to Highway on top of a previous £30,000 loan. The loan lasts five years, from July 2015, and is convertible at 10p a share. Szytko already has a 29.99% shareholding. At the time of the loan the share price was 16p, while the current share price is 14.5p. Highway moved from a premium listing to the more lightly regulated standard listing in 2013.
Cash shell Falcon Acquisitions Ltd (FAL) has gone to a 70% premium following its flotation on the standard list on 18 January. An initial placing raised £1.6m at 10p, which capitalised the company at £2.04m, and the shares ended the week at 17p. This is based on just over one million shares traded during the week. There is a secondary fundraising that may raise up to £2m at a share price to be set between 10p and 30p. There was already £265,000 in the bank before the flotation so there is cash of £1.65m after costs of £220,000, compared with a market value of £3.47m. The focus is acquiring businesses involved in online, mobile and video broadcasting. Any target is likely to be worth up to £30m.