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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 4 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased its rental income by one-third to £1.95m in the six months to October 2018. Profit from continuing operations improved from £218,000 to £271,000 and a dividend of 0.83p a share has been announced. Four properties have been purchased since April 2018 and Hume House was sold.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) increased its NAV from 42.69p a share to 43.35p a share in the year to August 2018. The strategic focus is to make larger investments in bigger employee-owned businesses. There was £175,000 in the bank at the end of August 2018, so there appear to be limited funds available for further investments, although there are £1.3m of loans to investee companies.

Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) was hit by delays in projects planned by its Morgan Ashley joint venture in the six months to October 2018. Only one scheme reached financial close during the period and a loss was reported for the period. Modular buildings demand is strong with a good pipeline of potential projects. A profit is still expected for the 14 months to June 2019, but this still depends on the timing of projects.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) increased its full year profit from £127,000 to £153,000 on turnover 4% higher at £3.66m. There is £1.09m in the bank at the end of October 2018. The dividend was maintained at 21p a share, which is covered 1.2 times by earnings. The strategy is to encourage more direct bookings with the hotel and an online booking system was launched last September. The completion of refurbishment activities has enabled an increase in bookings for weddings. Bedroom refurbishments continue.

Formation Group (FRM) reported an improvement in revenues from £37m to £38.6m in the year to August 2018, but the operating loss nearly quadrupled to £416,000. There was a gain on financial asset of £450,000 and an exceptional cost of £318,000 relating to an accident in 2015. Management is cautious about taking on new property developments under the current economic conditions.

Karoo Energy (KEP) is still trying to raise cash to enable it to move to AIM. Management is confident that it will be able to raise the funds in the near future.

Formerly AIM-quoted Altona Energy (ANR) did not managed to obtain a replacement nominated adviser for Northland and it has moved to NEX on 1 February. Sino-Aus Energy Group is subscribing for £500,000 of 7% convertible loan notes July 2020. The conversion price depends on the market price in the 2o days prior to conversion although the minimum is 10p a share.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) has appointed Epsion Capital to help it raise up to £20m from a share issue at a price of at least 0.5p a share. There will be a warrant issued with every four shares. A circular is being prepared to gain shareholder approval. Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £187,500 at 0.75p a share.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that 15%-owned LHT has launched its hapac medicinal cannabis inhaling technology in Milan, Italy. The initial reaction has been positive.

VI Mining (VIM) has completed the acquisition of the Cushuro gold project for $27.5m in shares.

Nuclear notes linked to guaranteed contingent value rights relating to the takeover of British Energy will mature and stop being traded on 7 February.

Dealings in the shares of Wheelsure (WHLP) and Ecovista (EVTP) have been suspended because they have not published their results for the year to August 2018.

AIM  

Recruitment and training company Staffline (STAF) has delayed the publishing of its accounts because of concerns about invoicing. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Electronic and battery products supplier Solid State (SOLI) says trading is significantly better than previously expected. Gross margins are continuing to improve. finnCap upgraded its 2018-19 earnings per share forecast by 26% and the 2019-20 figure by 21%.

Filtronic (FTC) fell into loss in the first half even before the write-off of £500,000 of capitalised development costs. Massive MIMO antennas sales will not build up as quickly as initially expected. There is £2.2m in the bank so the antennas and telecoms hardware supplier has a strong cash position while it waits for orders to come through. There is expected to be a full year loss but cash should still be £1.8m. A focus on defence and public safety markets will help to diversify the customer base and provide new opportunities.

A court has ordered Grant Thornton to pay £21m relating to its failures in the auditing of AssetCo (ASTO) accounts in the financial years to March 2009 and March 2010. AssetCo had been seeking £40m from Grant Thornton and there is still interest to be calculated on the award.

Location Sciences (LSAI) says that 2018 trading was in line with expectations and 2019 has started well. There has been a soft launch of the Verify product that ensures that responses to advertising from mobiles are genuine. Paid for trials in the US will provide further evidence of effectiveness.

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has acquired Manchester-based Croft Transport Planning and Design, which provides highways and traffic advice to property developers, for an initial £1.5m in cash and shares. This widens the range of services offered by the property services division.

Utilitywise (UTW) has not published its accounts and trading in the shares has been suspended. The utility cost management consultancy has also effectively put itself up for sale as part of its strategic review. This was sparked by the failure to raise cash required from a share issue. The £25m bank facility expires in April.

MAIN MARKET  

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has secured an investment of up to $30m to fund the commercialisation of molecular biology products being developed by Ador Diagnostics, a joint venture with Gamida for Life, that is valued at $30m prior to the investment. The first $14.5m should be invested by the end of March and the rest will be invested at a 33.3% premium to the enterprise valuation after the initial investment by the end of 2020. Most of the cash will come from medical sector investors and Puma Brandenburg. BATM and Gamida will each invest $2m and after the initial investment BATM will own 38.2% of the company. Shore Capital will reinvest its total fees of $1m into Ador.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) is obtaining a $750,000 convertible security investment and a 24 month equity facility of up to $7m from an entity managed by The Lind Partners, which will get an initial commitment fee of $75,000. Between $100,000 and $300,000 can be drawn down each month. The shares will be issued at prices that are linked to market prices at the time. Rare earths production at the Gakara project in Burundi is expected to build up over 2019 as two further areas are opened up. Production costs were higher than sales revenues in the three months to December 2018.

Sportech (SPO) has acquired digital gaming technology business LOT.TO Systems, which has developed the iLottery platform.

Path Investments (PATH) has sold its Turkish oil and gas interests for £400,000. The focus is the acquisition of ARC Marlborough. The plan is to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland, via a share issue.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has agreed a forward funding and assignment of the contract of the Wavertree property in Liverpool. This is the second project that has reached this stage. Dukemount will continue to manage the redevelopment of the property and a development profit will be received on completion. Executive chairman Geoffrey Dart has been awarded a bonus of £80,000 for the completion of the first two transactions and it will be received in shares at 0.3p each.

Andrew Hore

Ian Pollard – Winter Of Discontent Impacts Begbies’ Business.

Begbies Traynor BEG claims that a winter of discontent has impacted business with 481,000 now in significant financial distress.  Those  in ‘critical’ financial distress increased by 25% year on year as the year came to a slow end and stand at  2,183. Real estate was the hardest hit sector in quarter 4 with a 9% increase. The retail industry should, it forecasts, be braced for a tough start to 2019 after poor Christmas trading from M&S and Debenhams. Link here to a detailed article by Begbies Traynor Regional Partner Julie Palmer 

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ describes its third quarter performance to the 31st December as solid, with profits for the quarter collapsing by 87.6%. Fear not however as full year profit guidance is maintained. Passenger growth during the quarter was 15% and revenue 21%. A new carry on bag policy saw revenue per passenger rise by 7% and means that passengers now get the injured backs instead of the baggage handlers. Like all low cost airlines it is having to face the challenging industry-wide operating environment

Solid State plc SOLI updates that trading results for the year ending 31 March 2019 will now comfortably exceed current market consensus guidance. Revenues are expected to be above current guidance and adjusted profits significantly ahead. The strong demand seen in the first half has continued into the second half and the Value Added Distribution division has is now expected to deliver results well ahead of management’s previous expectations.

Ingenta ING  is now leaner and focussed on delivering first class services to all its customers claims the CEO, meaning it is significantly better placed to propel the business through the next stage of its growth. The Board confirms its intention to pay a dividend of 1.5 pence per ordinary share for the 2018 financial year.

Staffline Group STAF announces that publication of the results for the year ended 31 December 2018 has been delayed and a further update will be provided as soon as possible.

Rhythm One plc RTHM confirms that it is in advanced discussions with Taptica International Limited (“Taptica”) regarding a potential all-share offer for RhythmOne by Taptica.

Inspired Energy INSE expects to announce another strong set of results, delivering good growth in revenue, profits and cash for the year to the end of December. Group revenues are expected to be approximately 21 per cent ahead of 2017 with revenue growth expected to be approximately 29% ahead

Beachfront villas & houses for sale in Greece;   http://www.hiddengreece.net

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 26 November 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Blockchain venture builder Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that RIF Labs is acquiring RSK Labs, where Coinsilium owns 65,000 series Seed-1 preferred shares. The cost of the investment was $83,750. The acquisition is a share for token swap and Coinsilium will end up with 1.95 million RIF tokens, which is the equivalent of 139.4 bitcoins, currently valued at $773,000. However, an initial 12.5% of the consideration will be released six months after the deal is completed and then 2.5% each month for 42 months.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has entered into an additional marketing and off-take agreement with Traxys Europe. The deal covers the production from the Hellyer project in Tasmania for the first five years. This includes a facility for prepayment.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that its Australian subsidiary has received a A$590,000 tax rebate from the Australian government. A 43.5% rebate is due on qualifying technical expenditure and so far more than A$2m has been received. Spending continues.

Gowin New Energy Group Ltd (GWIN) chief executive Chen Chih-Lung is lending £40,000 to the company for 12 months at an annual interest rate of 2%.

AIM    

Music and audio equipment supplier Focusrite (TUNE) is continuing to grow internationally although Asia is growing at the fastest rate. Full year revenues grew by 14% to £75.1m, while pre-tax profit improved from £9.51m to £11.3m. The dividend is 22% higher at 3.3p a share. There is £22.8m of cash in the bank and this could be used for add-on acquisitions. Tariffs on Chinese exports are being used as a way of testing out price rises for the US market. Forecast profit growth is modest but there is potential for outperformance.

Tristel (TSTL) is buying its distributor in Benelux and France and this will enhance earnings. The maximum payment for Ecomed will be €6.8m (£6m) with €5m paid up front. The deal also provides an additional warehouse in Europe. A full year contribution in 2019-20 will increase pre-tax profit by £700,000 to £6.5m.

Sustainable timber supplier Accsys Technologies (AXS) has increased its capacity for Accoya production by 50% and this will help production in the second half. Demand for Accoya is strong and sales increased from €28.3m to €31.1m in the six months to September 2018. The development of the Tricoya plant in Hull is progressing. Construction could be completed in the middle of 2019 and it will breakeven at 40% of capacity. Tricoya, which is used in MDF-type panels, is currently produced from Accoya and this plant will free up Accoya production for other customers. Numis forecasts a rise in full year revenues from €60.9m to €73.1m and a decline in loss to €5.1m. Net debt is expected to be €46m at the end of March 2019 and it will continue to rise because of the capital investment programmes. If partners can be secured in the USA and Asia then this could provide a significant boost to the company.

Initial drilling results at the Havieron licence area in Western Australia provided good news for Greatland Gold (GGP) with two wide zones of gold and copper mineralisation intersected. This significantly extends the known mineralisation.

Immunodiagnostic System Holdings (IDH) is up to its old tricks. The interim figures were published at 5.04pm on Friday 23 November. To be fair this is 14 minutes earlier than the half year trading statement so maybe the company is improving. Here’s hoping. Interim revenues were flat at £18.5m but the company fell into loss. There was £27.8m of cash in the bank (net cash of £26.5m) at the end of September 2018. Maybe some of this should be spent on an alarm clock so management can get up in the morning to release its results.

Chris Jagusz has stood down as chief executive of Redcentric (RCN) as revenue growth has been hard to come by. The latest interims have sparked downgrades for 2018-19 with revenues cut by 5% to £94.2m.

SIMEC AtlantisEnergy (SAE) has singed a joint venture with AD Normandie Developpement and this will enable the commencement of tidal energy projects between France and Alderney. A capacity of 3,000MW is being targeted and there is potential for EU grants.

Innovation software provider Imaginatik (IMTK) has achieved annualised cost savings of £1.2m, but the strategic review held back revenues and new orders in the first half. The cash outflow declined. Trading levels are picking up.

There are no competition concerns about the Ebiquity (EBQ) disposal of its advertising intelligence business to Neilsen Media Research. The business has been underperforming because of the uncertainty and this will enable the deal to go ahead. Ebiquity says that 2018 operating profit will be lower than expected.

Positive news about the Wressle oil project, where the planning officer for North Lincolnshire has recommended approval. The original application was refused two years ago. Operator Egdon Resources (EDR) owns a 30% interest in Wressle, Europa Oil and Gas (EOG) has a 30% interest and Union Jack Oil (UJO) has a 27.5% interest. Humber Oil and Gas owns the other 12.5%.

Integumen (SKIN) has raised £355,000 from a placing at 0.44p a share. This cash will support the development and commercialisation of Labskin. Integumen is paying €40,000 and six million shares to former chief executive Declan Service.

Sutton Harbour (SUH) returned to profit in the six months to September 2018, although the corresponding period had a hefty asset write-down, and it is raising cash for pre-construction funding. An open offer of 77-for-786 at 29p a share will raise up to £3m and close on 6 December. Planning approvals have been received for the Sugar Quay and Harbour Arch Quay schemes in Plymouth.

Electronic and battery products supplier Solid State (SOLI) is starting to improve its performance, although there may still be a decline in full year profit. In the six months to September 2018, revenues were 5% ahead at £23.6m and pre-tax profit improved from £1.55m to £1.66m. The interim dividend was 5% higher at 4.2p a share. The order book was worth £29.6m at the end of September 2018.

TomCo Energy (TOM) has appointed Turner Pope to replace SVS as broker and trading in the shares has recommenced.

SEC (SECG) is acquiring France-based public and corporate affairs business CLAI. An initial 10% stake, but with 50.1% of voting rights, will cost €490,000 in cash. A further stake of 40.01% will be acquired in the second half of 2020 and another 10% in the second half of 2023. The shareholders can ask SEC to buy the remaining shares between 30 July 2025 and 30 November 2025. The final payments are based on an earnout although the maximum will be €8.8m. In 2017, CLAI made a pre-tax profit of €551,000 on revenues of €4.49m. The acquisition could be earnings enhancing. CLAI will continue to be run by existing management.

Majestic Wine (WINE) is finding the UK market tough and margins are coming under pressure. Peel Hunt has reduced its 2018-19 pre-tax profit forecast by £2m to £12.8m, partly due to increased investment in Naked.

Kestrel has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) to 22.2%.

Another disappointing trading statement from Fire Angel Safety (FA.) has led to a 2018 profit downgrade. Stock problems and delays to orders have hit the smoke alarms supplier. Scottish legislation due to be passed next year should provide a boost to demand. Fire Angel will be loss-making in 2018 but should make a small second half profit.

Legal services firm Knights Group (KGH) says that interim figures will be in line with expectations with double digit organic revenue growth. The interims will be announced on 15 January.

Maritime identification systems developer SRT Marine (SRT) had already flagged its 9% increase in interim revenues to £3.2m and increased underlying loss of £1.3m. There was little contribution from the GeoVS analytics system. There are expected to be significant deliveries in the second half, but timing cannot be guaranteed. A full year profit of around £3m is expected if the deliveries do take place. SRT is no longer considering investing in its own satellite constellation for this business.

FIH Group (FIH) reported flat interim profit, although there was a sharp improvement in contribution by the Momart art and museum logistics business. There was a decline in the performance of the Gosport ferry and Falkland Islands activities.

Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) says interim revenues will be one-fifth higher at £46.4m with around 50% of this organic growth. Full year revenues should be at least £102m. EBITDA margins should be maintained suggesting full year EBITDA of more than £19m. That is slightly higher than previous consensus.

Argentina-focused oil and gas producer and explorer President Energy (PPC) says the first Puesto Flores development well is producing at 600 bopd, having peaked at 1,000 bopd. This is as much as was anticipated from all three development wells. The results from the second development well appear positive and testing is about to commence. finnCap believes that the first well could have a post-tax NPV of $20m.

Pallett developer and manufacturer RM2 International (RM2) is raising £13m at 105p a share, following a 200-for-one share consolidation. This replaces the second tranche of a previously announced placing which would have happened at 1p a share (200p a share equivalent) but RM2 did not meet the performance requirements to spark the other placing. All but one of the investors set to buy shares previously will subscribe to the new placing. The cash will be used to fit track and trace devices to existing pallets, produce new pallets and cover admin costs. The cash will last until next April.

finnCap has sharply downgraded its pre-tax profit forecasts for telecoms services provider Maintel Holdings (MAI) due to project delays. The 2018 figure has been cut from £12.9m to £9.8m and the 2019 figure from £16.1m to £12.7m. The 2018 dividend is still expected to be 34.5p a share, although the cover will fall to 1.6 times. There is a move towards recurring revenues which will have a longer-term benefit for Maintel.

Restaurants operator Tasty (TAST) has revised its £7m term loan facility, which will be extended until March 2022. Quarterly repayments will be reduced from July 2019, by which time the amount draw down will be reduced by £1.1m. Net debt is currently £4.3m.

The NAV of value-focused investment vehicle Gresham House Strategic (GHS) has held up well considering the stockmarket decline. It grew to 1264p a share at the end of September 2018 and it was still 1243.2p a share on 16 November. The stake in IMImobile (IMO) has been reduced but it remains a strong performer. Cloud communications software supplier IMImobile improved its interim revenues by one-quarter and organic growth was 15%. The growth came from the European and American operations. Established customers are buying more services from the company and acquisitions are supplementing growth. Liontrust has increased its IMImobile stake to 21.4% but Kestrel has cut its to below 3%.

Payment protection software provider PCI-PAL (PCIP) is paying former boss William Catchpole his contracted entitlements plus £100,100 in settlement of his claims. The board unanimously asked Catchpole to leave in October. The final loan note repayment of £250,000 has been received from the buyer of the contact centre business.

Digital and media recruiter Nakama Group (NAK) reported flat interim net fees of £2.7m, but it managed to return to profit thanks to reduced costs. Further cost cutting is underway. There was a £558,00 cash inflow from operations and net debt was £488,000.

Antennas developer MTI Wireless Edge (LSE: MWE) has completed its merger with Israel-quoted majority shareholder MTI Computers and the initial benefits will show through in the second half. The interim figures show organic growth in revenues of 2%, but that growth should accelerate in the second half. Water management technology provider Mottech is winning new business and there are good prospects for the other divisions. The NAV is 17.8p a share and the full year dividend could be 1.25p a share.

Two directors have invested nearly £230,000 in shares in Condor Gold (CNR) at 22pa share. Non-executive Jim Mellon took his stake to 7%, while executive chairman Mark Child has reached 6%. Condor has been granted an important environmental permit for the development of a processing plant at its La India project in Nicaragua. SRK Consultants is preparing an updated mineral resource.

Juridica Investments Ltd (JIL) plans to leave AIM as part of the process of winding-up the company. The quotation will be cancelled on 21 December after liquidators from KPMG Channel Islands are appointed. Management fees will be reduced.

Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) continues to build up its sales, having been trading for two years, and they reached £1.84m in the six months to September 2018. The loss was nearly £2m. Returns were 52% but that was put down to a high level of dress sales in the period and it can be more difficult to get the right fit. The benefits of the move to the Magento 2 ecommerce platform and the investment in the website are showing through in the second half. October was a record month. A placing raised £3m after the balance sheet date so pro forma cash is £5.56m.

600 Group (SIXH) has rationalised its UK business and sorted out its pension problems. Interim revenues were slightly ahead but underlying margins improved from 5.1% to 6%. The machine tools and laser marking equipment supplier is expected to improve its full year pre-tax profit from $3.05m to $3.9m.

Motor dealer Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) has performed well considering the dip in the new car market. Used vehicles and aftersales offset some of the decline. There was a 2% decline in revenues to £630m and underlying pre-tax profit fell by 13%  to £9.8m. The capital investment programme for new sites has peaked and the benefits of that investment are still to come.

Veltyco Group (VLTY) is still finding it difficult to collect the money it is owed. This means that its cash is running low and this will impact its ability to promote its own brands.

Graphene materials supplier Directa Plus (DCTA) is confident that it will achieve 2018 revenues of €2.3m and this figure could double in 2019. Growth is coming from textiles, environmental and elastomers customers.

Ubisense Group (UBI) is selling RTLS SmartSpace for up to £35m, which is around two-thirds of the software company’s current market value. The group had cash of £6.8m in the middle of November 2018. Funds managed by Investcorp Technology Partners will pay an initial £30m. Liabilities of £3.1m and a loan of £1.75m will have to be paid out of the proceeds. The company’s name will be changed to IQGeo and it will focus on the myWorld product, which helps telecom companies to integrate their technology ecosystem. The myWorld business generated interim revenues of £5.7m but £3.2m was geospatial services from third party products. Some of the cash will be distributed to shareholders.

The decline in annual pre-tax profit at Stride Gaming (STR) from £18.9m to £14.8m was no surprise given the impact of regulation and tax. The online bingo and gaming company is likely to report a further fall in profit this year. A special dividend of 8p a share has been announced and in future 50% of net earnings will be paid in dividends.

MAIN MARKET  

Packaging and labels supplier Macfarlane Group (MACF) continues to grow revenues organically, supplemented by recent acquisitions. Organic growth has been 5% and overall growth is 13%. The fourth quarter is important, though. Full year pre-tax profit is forecast to improve by 47% to £13.6m and earnings per share by one-third to 7p. Acquisition payments should be offset by cash generated in the second half.

S and U (SUS) has increased its investment in Aspen Bridging from £20m to £30m. Aspen has been trading for less than two years and is already in profit.

Creightons (CRL) increased its interim profit by 44% to £1.38m on revenues one-third ahead at £22.3m. The main growth in sales has come from retailer own brands, while Creightons own brands raised their sales by 11%.

David Brown has sold his 4.55% stake in Associated British Engineering (ASBE).

Sealand Capital (SCGL) has formed a new subsidiary called ePurse (HK) Ltd, which is generating commissions from WeChat Pay activities in Hong Kong. Licences have been obtained in the UK and Dubai.

Andrew Hore

Ian Pollard – Wizz Air #WIZZ increases capacity by 20% and fills it!

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ opened six new routes in June and took delivery of 4 brand new A320 family aircraft, taking the flee to 102. Seat capacity increased by 20.5% over June. 2017 whilst  passenger numbers rose by 21.8% and load factor was up by 1pp to 93.3%

RM plc RM The first six months to the 31st May has seen good progress in each of the three divisions with revenue rising by 33.1% and statutory operating profit up by 78.4%. The interim dividend is to be increased by15% and the Board is confident of at least meeting full year expectations.

Andalas Energy ADL The appointment of a New CEO and a new Chairman resulted in the imposition of greater financial discipline during the year to the 30th April The operating loss was reduced by 73% to $1,161,000 from 2017’s $4,317,000. The company has reviewed its operations and restructured its business.and claims it is now in a good position to reap the benefits of its new strategy.

Solid State plc SOLI delivered a combination of strong organic revenue growth and strategic re-organisation in the year to the 30th April. Revenue rose by 16% but adjusted operating profit fell by 4%. During the first two months of the financial year the order book was strong and  as at the 31 May  stood at a record level of £23.0m, up 11% on the previous year. The dividend remains unchanged at 12p. per share.

Big Sofa Tech Group BST  has continued to build on the positive momentum achieved in 2017 and In the first half of 2018, the order book reached nearly £1 million, a 91% increase over the first half of 2017

 

Cohort plc CHRT improved its performance during the year to the 30th April and adjusted operating profit rose by 8% to record levels, despite a large fall in the order book from £108.6m. to £76.6m. which the company says was due to delays . Adjusted earnings per share rose by 7% and the dividend is to be increased by 15%

Beachfront real estate for sale in Greece;   http://www.hiddengreece.net

Quoted Micro 29 February 2016

ISDX

Investment company Western Selection (WESP) reinvested part of the proceeds of its disposal of shares in marketing services firm Creston in gas maintenance services provider Bilby last July and it is already showing a significant gain. This helped offset a further decline in the value of the stake in Northbridge Investment Services. Net cash was £1.09m at the end of 2015. An unchanged interim dividend of 1.05p a share was declared. The NAV was 80p a share at the end of 2015, up from 75p a share six months earlier. The current share price is 47.5p (45p/50p) a share.

National Milk Records (NMRP) says that the move from the retail price index to the consumer price index for the calculation of inflation-related adjustments for the Milk Pension Fund should significantly reduce the overall deficit of the fund. More details will be announced with the results for the year to March 2016. The share price rose 5p to 78.5p (77p/80p). The pension liability was £8.4m at the end of September 2015.

Sutherland Health Group (SHGP) has decided to withdraw from ISDX, pending shareholder approval. Sutherland has been quoted on ISDX for eleven years and in recent years it has been hit by declining turnover. Leaving ISDX will help to reduce costs. Sutherland may seek to obtain a matched bargains quotation. The share price has already fallen significantly but it was unmoved following the withdrawal announcement. The market capitalisation is £700,000.

LED lighting supplier Gowin New Energy Group Ltd (GWIN) claims to have raised £400,000 at 0.2p a share but this is below the nominal value of 1p a share so it appears strange. The new shares equate to more than one-quarter of the enlarged share capital. The market price is 0.45p (0.35p/0.55p).

Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) raised the full amount of £3.5m from its open offer at 1p a share. This offer was at a significant discount to the market price. Shareholders applied for 439.6 million shares when there were 350 million offered. The share price rose to 4p (3p/5p) a share after the announcement. The cash will help to build up the property portfolio.

AIM

Solid State (SOLI) has lost its high profile Ministry of Justice tagging contract and the share price has fallen by one-third. Technical problems delayed the launch of the new tags and little was expected from the contract in the short-term but this is an embarrassment for the company. Solid State is in discussions on the terms of the termination of the contract. The underlying business and attractive yield should underpin the current share price level.

Disinfection and infection control products supplier Tristel (TSTL) reported slightly better than expected interim figures. The £4.3m cash pile and cash generative nature of the business provides scope for further special dividends in the future. The interim dividend was raised by 95% to 1.14p a share. In the six months to December 2015, underlying pre-tax profit rose from £1.1m to £1.5m as revenues edged up even though sales of lower margin products declined. International growth offset weakness in the UK. Four directors including the chief executive and finance director bought shares after the results announcement. Higher R&D spending will hold back profit growth with flat earnings per share of 5.2p expected this year rising to 5.6p next year.

Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (NTOG) has acquired a 60% working interest in producing assets in the Permian Basin, which straddles Texas and New Mexico, for $3m plus $300,000 in 12 months. Average production was 122 bopd gross – 92 bopd net – during last November and there are plenty of opportunities to increase this. Net proven reserves are 2.7 million boe. In the year to July 2015, the assets made a pre-tax profit of $250,000 on revenues of $1.8m.

CCTV and security systems supplier Synectics (SNX) returned to profit last year. In the year to November 2015, revenues were 6% higher at £68.5m and an underlying loss of £2.38m was turned into a profit of £1.55m. That was before further restructuring costs. The main reason behind the improvement was a swing from loss to profit of the integration and managed services division. The systems division increased its profit contribution despite exposure to the oil and gas sector. Costs have been reduced and the company has moved into a net cash position. The outlook is positive with new orders won in recent months, particularly in gaming. An operating margin of 8%-10% is an achievable longer-term target according to management.

Sunny Hill Ltd has launched a 3p a share cash bid for oil and gas explorer Petroceltic International (PCI). This values the Irish company at £6.42m. The bidder is owned by the Worldview Economic Recovery Fund and it is offering a significant discount to the previous market price because it believes that Petroceltic is in a precarious financial position. Net debt was $184m at the end of June 2015 and payments on the senior bank facility have been waived up until 4 March. This waiver may be extended. Worldview already owns 29.6% of Petroceltic and it has been in dispute with the board for some time.

MAIN MARKET

Immunotherapy technology developer Oxford BioMedica (OXB) has raised £8.1m at 6.3p a share. There was £9.4m in the bank at the end of 2015 although net debt was £17.9m. The cash is required for working capital for the development of treatments and the lentiviral vector manufacturing-related technology, where there are already out-licensing talks. The OXB-102 Parkinson’s disease treatment and corneal graft rejection treatment OXB-202 are set to start phase I/II clinical studies in the next 12 months.

Packaging and labels supplier Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its pre-tax profit by one-fifth to £6.8m in 2015, helped by recent acquisitions. Revenues were 10% ahead at £169.1m and the dividend was also increased by 10% to 1.82p a share. Glasgow-based Macfarlane generated all of its revenue growth from its core packaging distribution division but profit growth came from both parts of the business. The manufacturing division improved its gross margin because there were higher sales of products with better margins. The market remains stable.

ANDREW HORE

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