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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 14 September 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Investment company S-Ventures is set to join the market on 16 September. The strategy is to make investments in consumer health and organic food businesses in the UK and Europe. The S-Ventures management will use their expertise to help smaller brands grow faster and achieve greater scale. Up to three acquisitions are planned each year and they are likely to have values of between £150,000 and £2m.

Evrima (EVA) has secured an option to acquire a 17.2% stake in Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration (KKME), which would increase its investment in the Botswana-focused nickel, copper and platinum explorer to 19.6%. The former Sport Capital Group has 60 days to acquire the stake for $183,000 in the form of 2.3 million shares at 6p each. The same number of warrants will be issued, and they are exercisable at 12p each. AIM-quoted Power Metals has a

Block Commodities (BLCC) has been fined £7,000 by the Aquis Stock Exchange. Block failed to make sure that it provided accurate and fully up to date information to investors about fundraisings. It also failed to consult with its corporate adviser. Trading in the shares remains suspended.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) is assessing potential gemstones opportunities in Africa.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) has sold a 29.5% stake in LCP Financial for £275,000 in order to provide funds to develop the waste and recycling operations.

Early Equity (EEQP) has appointed Novum Securities as its corporate adviser and trading has recommenced in the shares.

Gold explorer Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has raised £403,000 at 0.275p a share. Each new share has a warrant attached that is exercisable at 0.7p each after the results of the exploration drilling are released. The cash will finance drilling.

AIM

Michelmersh Brick (MBH) has restarted production following lockdown despatches have recovered more quickly than the sector. Interim revenues fell by 17% and underlying pre-tax profit was halved, but full year expectations have been upgraded. The bricks manufacturer is operating at normal levels and June 2020 revenues were better than those in June 2019. Canaccord Genuity has upgraded its full year profit forecast from £5.3m to £6.5m, down from £9.7m in 2019. Limited UK brick production capacity means that Michelmersh is in a strong position and it has demonstrated its resilience this year. 

Internet domain name registry and services provider CentralNic (CNIC) is paying $36m for the Codewise businesses, which provide monetisation services and online marketing tools. This fits with Team Internet and will be significantly earnings enhancing from day one. A placing raised £30m at 75p a share.

Synairgen (SNG) has published interim data for its SNG001 treatment that suggests that it could be effective for COVID-19 patients, particularly those suffering with more severe symptoms.

Belvoir Group (BLV) weathered the COVID-19 lockdown well. Financial services increased their contribution in the first half and lettings income held up. Underlying pre-tax profit improved by 7% to £3.16m, helped by the Lovelle acquisition. Earnings per share were 16% higher at 7.3p. The interim dividend is 3.4p and a further 2p is payable in lieu of the final dividend that was not paid. The former boss sold shares at 150p each.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) reported an unchanged interim pre-tax profit of £2m and an interim dividend of 2.1p a share is being paid. Cash has risen to £6.1m. Lettings income held up and trading was strong in June. The core business and online operation EweMove both performed strongly in July.

Arden has initiated research on Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) and it believes that the palm oil and cashew nut processer is worth 7.6p a share. The broker believes that Dekel could make an operating profit next year. Profit should build up over the next few years as cashew nuts processing activities grow.

Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises (SOM) is resuming dividends and paying a deferred final dividend of 20.7 cents a share as well as an interim of 4 cents a share. That will cost $14m. North American interim sales held up best with European sales falling by one-quarter. Pre-tax profit is still expected to fall from $28m to $17.6m, but net cash should be $20m at the end of 2020.

Digital invoicing services provider Tungsten Corporation (TUNG) is on course to move into profit in the current financial year. The loss per share was reduced from 3.5p to 1.4p in the year to April 2020 and there was cash generated from operations.

Irrigation products supplier Amiad Water Systems (AFS) reported a decline in revenues but profit increased as margins improved. Amiad was already reducing its cost base when COVID-19 started to hamper the business. This led Stifel to increase its full year pre-tax profit forecast to $4.5m. Further growth could come from new products and potential acquisitions.

Building and construction products supplier Alumasc (ALU) has realigned its cost base but pre-tax profit was still one-third down at £3.7m as full year revenues declined by 16% to £76m. A 2p a share dividend was declared. Trading has been recovering since the June year end. Further cost saving benefits will help profit to recover this year. finnCap forecasts £6.4m pre-tax profit for 2020-21.

New SIPP business has been slow for STM (STM) but the recurring revenue base means that interim revenues were maintained at £11.8m. Additional personnel costs reduced pre-tax profit by nearly one-third to £1.1m. There is £17.6m in the bank and that enables STM to pay an interim dividend of 0.55p a share, which should be one-third of the total for the year. A full year pre-tax profit of £2.5m is forecast, with a rebound to £4.5m in 2021.

Recruitment firm Hydrogen (HYDG) plans to cancel the AIM quotation. A tender offer of 40p a share provides investors with a way to sell their shares prior to the cancelation.

MAIN MARKET

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) has realigned costs so that they are more in line with revenues. In the first half of 2020, revenues fell by 13% to £71.6m, but operating profit was one-quarter higher at £9m. Gross margins continue to increase, and overheads have been kept down. Operating profit margin of 12.3% was higher than ever before.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 16 March 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) edged up its interim profit helped by a strong performance from tenanted pubs and lower interest charges. In the six months to end December 2019, revenues were 3% higher at £79m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved 5% to £6.2m. Cost pressures held back the performance of the managed pubs. There was a fall in profit contribution from brewing. Net debt was £84m at the end of 2019. The interim dividend was increased by 2% to 6p a share. Brewing volumes have increased since the period end and like-for-like pub revenues continue to grow, although the rate is slower for managed pubs. Coronavirus has not had an impact yet but it is likely to.

Altona Energy (ANR) is raising up to £400,000 through an open offer to existing shareholders at 6.5p a share. That is a one-third discount to the previous mid-price. The cash is required to acquire a new petroleum exploration licence application in South Australia and the maximum will provide 12 months working capital. This will enable assessment of an in-situ gasification project. There is also potential for wind and solar projects in the area. There was an overdraft of £96,000 at the end of June 2019. The latest time for acceptance is 31 March.

European Lithium (EUR) reported a dip in interim income in 2019 from $23,817 to $3,365, while the loss was flat at $2.3m. There was $32,000 in cash at the end of 2019. There are convertible notes valued at $1.1m, some of which have been subsequently converted, but more have been issued.

KR1 (KR1) has been hit by weak Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices, but it had already banked some of its profit. The value of the remaining portfolio has dropped sharply. There will be an update shortly.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has requested a subscription of £9.64m at 176p a share under the Woodford Commitment at the time of the company’s flotation. LF Equity Income Fund, formerly LF Woodford Equity Income Fund, will own 28.8% of the proton beam therapy company. This is the final subscription under the agreement.

Former investment banker Dr Keith Harris has been appointed as executive chairman of SAPO (SAPO) and Selwyn Lewis is joining the board as an executive director.

Fuel emulsification company SulNOx Group (SNOX) has filed an international patent application for its technology. It has already filed for the patent in the UK. The technology can be used for many fuels but the focus is diesel and heavy fuel oil.

Cannabis investment company World High Life (LIFE) has raised £2.36m from two issued of convertible loan notes with a 10% coupon. The conversion price is 100p a share.

Trading in First Sentinel 7% bonds, February 2023, First Sentinel preference shares and EPE Special Opportunities 7.5% unsecured loan stock, 2022 has been suspended because of the market maker temporarily withdrawing from market making activities.

AIM

OnTheMarket (OTMP) has ended its litigation with Connells and its subsidiary Gascoigne Halman. The property portal had already won a judgement in a Competition Appeal Tribunal and it was seeking the recovery of further damages. Earlier in the week, Ian Springett was dismissed as chief executive of OnTheMarket. He has a 12 month contract and earns £250,000 a year.

Geospatial software provider IQGeo (IQG) reported an increased loss last year, but that masks the progress made. Third party revenues declined. In 2019, total revenues fell from £9.98m to £7.81m, however, own product revenues increased from £4.74m to £5.55m, while recurring revenues contributed £1.63m, up from £918,000. More people were employed in sales and product development and operating expenses jumped from £6m to £9.5m. That is why the loss increased from £1.6m to £6.17m. There was still £13m left in the bank at the end of 2019, following £11m spent on buying back shares.

Mass spectrometry instruments developer Microsaic Systems (MSYS) continues to add to its partners. Last year, revenues rose 51% to £870,000 with the benefit of the newer agreements still to come. Higher development spending meant that the loss edged up to £3.1m. There was £2.62m in the bank at the end of 2019 and management admits it is assessing its options in terms of raising more cash.

Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) had a stronger second half, following the profit warning in the first half due to bad weather. The outcome in 2019 was slightly better than the previously downgraded expectations. Even so, revenues fell 5% to $89.3m and pre-tax profit was down by a similar percentage. The dividend was reduced by 1% to 18.75 cents a share. The additional dividend relating to excess cash (net cash was $23.8m) is 7.7 cents a share. Increased costs mean that there could be a further decline in profit this year.

Mark Greenwood has further increased his stake in Richland Resources (RLD) by buying the market and acquiring shares in a placing at 0.12p a share, which raised £100,000 for the company. Greenwood’s stake is 18.5%. The share price is one of the few AIM risers this month.

The Panoply Holdings (TPX) has acquired consultancy Ameo Professional Services, which generates 9-% of its revenues from the public sector. Ameo made a pre-tax profit of £1m last year and is being acquired for £7m in cash and shares, plus the distribution of £1.3m in excess cash.

Molecular diagnostics developer Yourgene Health (YGEN) is acquiring its French distributor and this will be immediately earnings enhancing. Yourgene will still make a loss in 2020, but the following year earnings per share will improve from 0.18p to 0.23p.

Open Orphan (ORPH) has reported positive results for the phase IIb field study of FLU-v vaccine, which has been developed by a 49%-owned joint venture. The results have been published in a journal. IP Group has cut its stake to below 3%.

Redx Pharma (REDX) says it has received a bid approach from Yesod Bio-Sciences, which is considering offering 15p a share. Redmile Group is making a mandatory offer of 15.5p a share, following its purchase of the 39.5% stake owned by Moulton Goodies, which obtained most of its shares at 5.25p each when it capitalised its £2.5m loan. Redmile owns 45.5% of Redx, which is valued at £29.5m. The board recommends the bid.

Brickability (BRCK) has made its second acquisition in one month. It is paying £6m for plastic fascia and guttering merchant U Plastics, which made a pre-tax profit of £1.3m in 2019.

MAIN MARKET

Moss Bros (MOSB) has agreed a 22p a share bid that values the suit hire and retail company at £22.6m. The bid vehicle is owned by people involved in the apparel sector, including Michael Shina of Crew Clothing. The main executives will be retained.

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) has discovered accounting irregularities. The fraudulent transactions in one of the operating divisions mean that the 2019 figures will be delayed until late April. These transactions should not be significant for the group. Chief operating officer Cameron Wade has resigned.

Standard list shell Hertsford Capital (HERT) has agreed the acquisition of oil services provider OTAQ Group for £12.4m through an issue of shares at 57.5p each (post-consolidation). A placing will raise £1.5m at the same price. OTAQ designs and supports products for the aquaculture and offshore oil and gas sectors. The focus is on growing the aquaculture operations. The company will change its name to OTAQ and be readmitted on 31 March.

Sure Ventures (SURE) is raising £250,000 at 100p a share, which is a premium to NA of 95.74p a share. This followed news of an investment by 25.9%-owned Sure Valley Ventures in AI security company Getvisibility. The fund has invested €750,000. The cash will be used to expand the business internationally.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has spent more than one year trying to finalise the acquisition of cannabis processor Kanabo Research and a commitment to invest £1.4m has been secured. At the end of 2019, there was £597,000 left in the bank.

Dev Clever (DEV) is acquiring Phenix Digital, a digital agency focused on the educational sector. It is paying £100,000 in cash and 3.57 million shares. There is an existing relationship between the two companies.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 January 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

Results from IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) indicate the success of the acquisition policy. In the year to October 2019, underlying pre-tax profit improved from £10.3m to £17m and earnings per share rose by more than two-fifths. The dividend was one-third higher at 8p a share. Assets under management were £6.2bn. AFH plans to grow to annual revenues of £140m and assets under management of £10bn in five years. Cash generated from operations was held back by the protection division predominantly generating non-indemnity business, where the payment is spread over the term of the package. Non-indemnity business will reduce in order to have a higher proportion of revenues that gets paid upfront. Cash generation will improve, and this will mainly go on deferred consideration.

Corporate adviser First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £220,000 at 27p a share in order to provide working capital for the business. That was a small discount to the market price the day before the placing was announced, but the price fell to 19p/22p on the day. On the day, there were 25,000 shares traded at 20p each and 186,370 shares traded at 20.09p each.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has appointed New York-based Ortoli Rosenstadt as the law firm to help it with a potential ADR listing in the US.

Broadband-focused shell SAPO (SAPO) has announced the death of its executive chairman Michael Meyer, who was the founder of Emess Lighting. He and his wife own 43.4% of SAPO. Michael Langoulant is the only remaining director of SAPO.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has placed an additional €90,000 of 7% July 2022 bonds, which are traded on the Vienna Stock Exchange. A total of €3.64m of bonds have been issued, which is 73% of the total that can be issued.

BWA Group (BWAP) has issued 3.26 million shares at 0.5p each to settle directors’ fees for the fourth quarter of 2019. The current share price is 0.2p/0.4p. Richard Battersby’s stake is 16%, Alex Borelli holds 9.48% and James Butterfield owns 15.8%.

Juliet Adelstein will become chief executive of Ganapati (GANP) on 1 February. She previously worked at Japanese advertising agency Dentsu. Hiroki Hasegawa and Toshitaka Nakajima are stepping down as chief executive and finance director respectively.

Via Developments (VIA1) 7% debenture stock 2020 has been withdrawn from MEX. Trading was suspended on 21 October 2019 because of a delay in appointing an independent non-executive director.

Former NEX-quoted company MESH Holdings still plans to acquire AI business Sentiance and Mike Power has taken over as chairman. MESH has also appointed two new directors. Corporate finance professional Lindsay Mair and Ireland-based former broker Rory O’Sullivan.

AIM

Last year was a tough one for agriculture and feed products supplier Wynnstay (WYN) and pre-tax profit fell from £9.5m to £7.9m, but the dividend was still raised. Profit is expected to be flat this year. There was net cash of £3.8m at the end of the year, as lower commodity prices reduced working capital requirements, but there will be £7m of lease liabilities included as debt in the next balance sheet. Seasonality means that there will be a net debt figure at the interim stage and the leases mean it will be much higher than it would have been. Net cash could still be £6m by the end of next October.

Concrete levelling equipment Somero Enterprises (SOM) had a better than expected fourth quarter and this led to an upgraded 2019 earnings forecast from 33.7 cents a share to 36.5 cents a share. That is still lower than 2018 and a further dip is expected in 2020 due to higher marketing spend. The expected total dividend for 2019 is 24.6 cents a share.

United Oil and Gas (UOG) says that the ASH-2 well that is part of the interests being acquired in Egypt has been producing more than 3,000 barrels of oil per day since the beginning of the year. United’s share is 660 barrels of oil per day. The acquisition of the Egypt interest from Rockhopper Exploration (RKH) will not be completed until February.

Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) says a general meeting requisition is valid and it will announce a date for the meeting by next week. Eridge Capital wants to remove Matt Lofgran from the board and replace him with Andrew Morrison.

Regenerative medical products developer Tissue Regenix (TRX) says that revenues grew 12% last year, but the cash will not last much longer. There was £2.4m at the end of 2019 and this will last until the end of April. More funding will be required before then.

Peel Hunt has halved its dividend forecast for construction services provider Van Elle (VANL) to 1p a share, although it has maintained its 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast at £4m. The interim dividend was cut by four-fifths to 0.2p a share. A sharp drop in interim profit means that two-thirds of the forecast needs to be made in the second half. Net debt was £10.4m at the end of October 2019.

IPTV technology company Mirada (MIRA) has completed the cancelation of the share premium account.

Gear4Music (G4M) had strong Christmas trading and gross margins improved. Revenues grew by 7% to the end of 2019 and gross profit was 18% ahead. Earnings of 3.9p a share are forecast for the 2019-20 financial year.

Agronomics (ANIC) has raised a further £5.5m at 7p a share. That is a one-third discount to the market price. At the end of last year £7.7m was raised at 5.5p a share. Agronomics has invested some of the cash it previously raised in cultivated meat businesses developing meat and fish that is produced without animals, but It will have £9.9m in the bank after the cash raising.

Cyber security software provider Kape Technologies (KAPE) generated slightly better 2019 margins than anticipated. EBITDA grew by 40% to $14.5m in 2019 and it will more than double this year.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) believes that the best possible outcome was achieved from the initial production tests of the Cascadura well in Trinidad, which appears to have oil and associated gas. The Coho-1 well should be in production by June.

Trinidad-based oil and gas producer Trinity Exploration and Production (TRIN) increased production by 5% in 2019 and exited the year with daily production of 3,400 barrels. The current forecast for 2020 is 3,260 barrels per day. There was cash of $13.8m at the end of 2019.

Fuel cells developer Proton Motor Power Systems (PPS) has received a €400,00 order from E-Trucks Europe for fuel cells for refuse collection trucks. They will be delivered by the end of 2020.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) still intends to acquire medicinal cannabis company Kanabo Research but there are still conditions to be satisfied. The deal was announced 11 months ago.

Contango Holdings (CGO) is another cash shell and it has been in the process of acquiring the Lubu coal project since April. A £1.4m placing at 5p a share puts Contango in a position to publish a circular for the acquisition.

Tex Holdings (TXH) says it has a record order book. It is responding to matters raised by the FCA and trading in the shares remains suspended. Trading was suspended nine months ago and it has reported its late annual figures, although there still appear to be doubts about the financial state of the company. The overdraft has been repaid.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 15 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

AFH Financial Group (AFHP) has raised £15m from a placing of convertible unsecured loan stock in order to finance the acquisition of more IFAs. The loan stock offers a 4% annual interest rate and it matures in July 2024. The initial conversion price is 420p a share, which is a 17% premium to the market price. The annual interest cost is £600,000. Shore expects a pre-tax profit of £17m in the year to October 2019 and then a rise to £20m next year. That is before any acquisitions are made with the additional funds. There are already five potential acquisitions progressing towards completion.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) increased interim turnover by 3% to £1.55m. A decline in overheads in the six months to April 2019, due to a lack of repair work compared to the first half of the previous year. This meant that the interim loss fell from £200,000 to £101,000. There is £602,000 in the bank and NAV is £3.17m. Non-executive director CP Freeman has bought 600 shares at 750p each. He has a 1.2% stake.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested in South Cerney Outdoor, a recently formed company that has acquired the outdoor experiences business from the Shaw Trust charity. Capital for Colleagues is lending up to £250,000 to the investee company, where the employee owned trust will become a major shareholder.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its Gibraltar subsidiary has signed an agreement to support and promote RSK Smart Contract Network and RSK Infrastructure Framework blockchains in south east Asia. The 27.8%-owned start-up accelerator StartupToken is also involved in the deal.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a NAV of 260.29p a share at the end of June 2019. Since then 280,000 shares have been bought back by the company at an average share price of 205p.

KR1 (KR1) wants to buy back six million deferred shares at 0.2p each.

AIM

In the year to March 2019, Begbies Traynor (BEG) increased revenues by 15% to £60.1m, while pre-tax profit was £7.1m. Net debt was reduced from £7.5m to £6m. Increasing numbers of insolvencies is good news for the business recovery services provider. Pre-tax profit of £8.6m is forecast for this year.

Ultrasound simulation equipment supplier Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) says first half turnover was 25% ahead at £3.1m. This is before the recent AI contract win. There was £3.5m in the bank at the end of June 2019.

Tekcapital (TEK) is raising £750,000 at 8p a share in order to provide further financial backing for its IP companies. Medical devices developer Belluscura could receive FDA clearance for its advanced portable oxygen concentrator before the end of the year. It could be launched in the first half of next year. Nano-particle sized salt developer Salarius has been winning orders.

Ariana Resources (AAU) has reported positive drilling results at the Salinbas gold project in Turkey and there are indications that there is further mineralisation in the vicinity.  

Ilika (IKA) had £4m in the bank at the end of April 2019 and that should be enough for the next 12 months as the solid state battery technology developer makes progress with its Stereax battery technology. Projects that could yield deals in the coming months include, condition monitoring devices for wind turbines, track monitoring devices for Network Rail and batteries for miniature medical implants.

Mirada (MIRA) is on course to move into profit in the year to March 2021. The digital TV software provider reported a rise in revenues from $8.82m to $12.3m last year. Even so, the loss was $3.2m. There will be a loss this year, excluding the $1.75m gain on the disposal of the parking payment business. That will help net debt to reduce to $4.1m, despite the loss.  

Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) has reassured investors that it remains on target to achieve previously downgraded forecasts for 2019. Revenues should be $87m and net cash should be $18m at the end of 2019. Interims will be published on 4 September.

Polarean Imaging (POLX) has received an order for the 9820 Xenon Polariser system from the University of Kansas Medical Center. This will be used as part of an imaging research programme. This is the 25th polariser installed or ordered.

Collagen Solutions (COS) has submitted its CE Mark application for the ChondroMimetic regenerative medical device and has received initial questions it has to address. The response is being prepared. Collagen generated revenues of £4.15m in the year to March 2019. The benefits of consolidating collagen manufacturing are coming through.

Woodford Investment Management has cut its stake in eve Sleep (EVE) from 46.8% to 31.2%. Jupiter Asset Management has taken a 15.6% stake.

Oil and gas company Wentworth Resources (WEN) intends to pay dividends based on free cash flow generation. An interim will be announced in September.

FIH Group (FIH) has taken out a £13.9m mortgage on its Leyton warehouse and the interest charge is fixed at 3% for ten years. A new commercial air link has been agreed between the Falkland Islands and Brazil.

MAIN MARKET

Challenger Acquisitions (CHAL) has received a further £18,000 from the owner of Star Sanctum, which takes the total paid to £93,000. Challenger has agreed payments with the developer of the wheel project in Dallas of $26,375 at the end of July and $25,000 at the end of August.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has obtained a listing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Trading started on 11 July and it expects to become a constituent of the TA-90 index.  

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 21 January 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Sport Capital Group (SCG) is acquiring Italian football club Palermo for a nominal sum. The deal also includes the project for a new stadium for the Serie B team, which is currently five points clear at the top of the table. Promotion back to Serie A would boost revenue generation and it would also trigger an earn-out payment. There is also potential for more sponsorship and match revenues. There is a plan to raise up to £10m from a bond issue that would be traded on NEX.

Clinical decision support technology provider DXS International (DXSP) reported a lower interim loss in the six months to October 2018. Revenues edged up from £1.61m to £1.69m and the loss declined from £92,000 to £35,000. Tax credits meant that there was a post-tax profit of £70,000, up from £28,000. The GPSoC tender has been delayed but it is expected to be completed this year.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its priorities for 2019 are to demonstrate the potential of the blockchain investments that it has and to take advantage of the growing sector. There were record levels of investment in the blockchain sector last year. Management wants movements in the share price to reflect progress rather than the movement of the price of bitcoin, as has been the case in the past year.

KR1 (KR1) has set up a subsidiary in Gibraltar. KRX Ltd will sponsor token-based projects that will list on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, which operates the first regulated blockchain exchange. The subsidiary will generate fees from clients and there are a limited number of sponsors.

AFH Financial Group (AFHP) has acquired fellow wealth management firm Hayburn Rock for up to £3.5m. The initial payment is £900,000. In 2017, the firm made a profit of £400,000.

TechFinancials (TECH) is selling its stake in MarketFinancials, which no longer trades, for €100,000. The investment had no value on the balance sheet.

Smaller company investor Gledhow Investments (GDH) had £167,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018, having made a small profit in the period. The NAV is £793,000.

Ashley House (ASH) is changing its year from April to June. This is the end of the first six months period for joint venture Morgan Ashley Care Developments LLP. There will be interim results for the six months to October 2018 reported at the end of January.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has commissioned the Hellyer processing plant and in the fourth quarter generated £3.2m of revenues from lead, zinc and pyrite.

AIM   

Ascent Resources (AST) is attempting to raise cash at 0.3p a share, which is a 20% discount to the market price, via PrimaryBid.com. Ascent has successfully raised cash via the platform in the past. The broker handling the deal is Stanford Capital Partners. Ascent, which has €400,000 in the bank plus a deposit for a bank guarantee of €200,000, is refocusing its expansion outside of Slovenia because of regulatory hold ups in the country. Revenues from the export of gas from Slovenia totalled €2.1m in 2018 but gaining permission to process the gas and sell it to the national grid has proved difficult.

Knights Group Holdings (KGH) has acquired Leicester-based legal services business Cummins for £1.57m in cash and shares. This fits well with the existing east Midlands operations. In the six months to October 2018, group revenues were 37% ahead at £23.9m and organic growth was 10%. Underlying pre-tax profit doubled to £4.4m. The maiden interim dividend is 0.6p a share. Net debt was £9.5m at the end of October 2018. Average fees per fee earner was one-quarter higher at £66,000.

Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) did better than expected last year. The 2018 pre-tax profit forecast has been raised by 5% to $29m. Net cash is $25m and 50% of the excess over $15m will be paid in a special dividend on top of the ordinary dividend. Somero has also paid $2m for concrete pouring and line dragging company Line Dragon and this broadens the product range.

Student accommodation activities fuelled the growth of Watkin Jones (WJG) last year but private rental will become increasingly important from this year onwards. Richard Simpson has taken over as chief executive.

Kromek (KMK) is making progress towards breakeven and it has plenty of cash in the bank to take it there. The imaging and radiation detection technology developer has a strong order book. There was a dip in first half revenues because of the transfer of production to a new site in Pittsburgh. Even so, full year revenues are forecast to increase from £11.8m to £15m and the loss should reduce from £2.5m to £1.9m.

Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is selling its antinomy exploration interests in Turkey. The company’s main asset is the 40% shareholding in the Sohar antinomy and gold production facility in northern Oman. Some engineering problems have to be sorted out before the plant is fully up and running. More cash will be required. The venture has requested $10.5m from its shareholders.

The market was disappointed by news from Verona Pharma (VRP) about the clinical trial results for COPD treatment Ensifentrine (RPL554). Two different does were used in combination with Stiolto Respimat. The treatment did work better than the placebo, but the improvement in breathing was not statistically significant. The share price slumped by more than one-third, although there was a small subsequent recovery.

CH Bailey (BLEY) has decided to cancel its AIM quotation and it is asking for shareholder approval. The company is offering to buy back shares at 100p each via a tender offer.

Ariana Resources (AAU) says that its 50%-owned Kiziltepe mine produced 27,110ounces of gold in 2018. Ariana expects its $33m development loan to be fully repaid during 2019.

Tax Systems (TAX) had reduced net debt from £20.5m to £13.9m by the end of 2018. Pre-tax profit of £5.8m is forecast for 2018.

Ideagen (IDEA) is acquiring Cork-based Scannell Solutions, which provides environmental health and safety software, for £3.5m. Annualised revenues are around €1m, of which, two-thirds is recurring.

Consumer engagement technology provider Pelatro (PTRO) has confirmed that 2018 figures are in line with expectations and there was improved cash generation in the second half. Net cash was $1.8m at the end of 2018. finnCap expects 2019 pre-tax profit to double from $2.9m to $6m.

Plexus Holdings (POS) plans to buy back 4.95 million shares owned by LLC Gusar. The price will be 50.5p a share. Gusar will use the cash to buy two POS-GRIP wellhead systems, which it announced it was going to buy one year ago.

Midwich Group (MIDW) has acquired MobilePro AG, which expands the audio visual products distributor into Switzerland. The business has annual revenues of CHF25m.

Pharmaxis has completed a toxicity study for two LOXL2 inhibitors in which Synairgen (SNG) has a 17%carried financial interest. Pharmaxis can brief potential licensing partners with the information gained.

Tracsis (TRCS) is acquiring Compass Informatics, which is a data analytics and systems development business. Tracsis is paying up to €5.15m for the Dublin-based company, which made a pre-tax profit of £600,000 last year.

Portmeirion Group (PMP) has achieved record sales in 2018 and beat the profit forecast of £9.5m. The fastest growth came in the home fragrance division.

Iofina (IOF) achieved record iodine production levels in the second half of 2018. Full year production was 17% higher at 588.8 million tonnes. There should be a further rise in production this year and that could move Iofina into profit.

Brandon Hill has initiated coverage of Karelian Diamond Resources (KDR) and it has valued the company’s Lahtojoki diamond project in Finland at $32.9m, based on an average diamond price of $100/carat.

The People’s Operator (TPOP) has postponed the appointment of an administrator as negotiations with interested parties continue.

Kestrel Opportunities has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) from 22.2% to 23.1%. Little more than one year ago the stake was below 15%.

Caledonia Mining Corporation (CMCL) has cut 2019 gold production guidance for its Blanket Mine and WH Ireland has downgraded its forecast from 61,200 ounces to 55,500 ounces, which is at the higher end of the guidance. There was 54,5000 ounces of gold produced in 2018.

MAIN MARKET 

Athelney Trust (ATY) is holding the requisitioned general meeting on Tuesday 22 January. Robin Boyle has requisitioned a general meeting in order to get himself reappointed. He left the board last year after a disagreement over the future of the investment company. He wanted to stay on as a non-executive director to shepherd the change in investment management for the trust. The plan is to get Gresham House involved in the investment management. Boyle also wants David Lawman and Paul Coffin to be appointed and the three existing directors, Dr Emmanuel Pohl, Simon Moore and Jemma Jackson, to be removed.

Path Investments (PATH) has signed heads of agreement with ARC Marlborough. The plan is to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland, via a share issue. Path had £31,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has agreed to sell its $300,000 investment in the Dallas Wheel project back to the developers. Challenger has received $27,000 in interest and will receive $50,000 a month, plus interest, for six months.

Gresham Technologies (GHT) has sold its VME mainframe software business for £2m.

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has sufficient cash to finance continued exploration in the first quarter of 2019. By the middle of the year the gems explorer will be able to estimate how much cash it requires to start trial mining.

Andrew Hore

Ian Pollard – Barratts #BDEV outstanding pedestrian year

Barratt Developments BDEV’s performance for the year to the 30th June was positively pedestrian compared to yesterdays results from Redrow but that does not stop Barratt claiming it has had another outstanding year with a strong operational and financial performance and its highest volumes in a decade. The increase of 4.7% in the final dividend, however, pales into insignificance compared to Redrows 65%. Profit before tax for the year rose by 9.2% and basic earnings per share by 8.5%. As at the 2nd September forward sales were ahead by 11.1%

Breedon Group BREE claims a resilient performance in a challenging market for the six months to the 30th June. Revenue rose by 16% but profit before tax fell by 3% although on an underlying basis it looked better with a rise of 15%. Ireland’s outlook was positive  but the GB market continued to suffer from short-term challenges. The company say it is is comfortable with current market expectations.

Somero Enterprises plc SOM enjoyed robust trading in the US and Europe in the half year to the 30th June and is doubling its interim dividend with a payment of 0.055 cents per share. Revenue for the half year grew by 6% and profit before tax by 13%. Sales in Europe were particularly strong with a surge of 24%.

Xaar plc XAR’s woes continued in the half year to the 30th June with underlying revenue falling by  39% year on year, due largely to a 69% decline in its ceramics business which was exacerbated by a slower than anticipated uptake of new products, in particular the Xaar 1201 printhead . The interim dividend has been slashed from last years 3.4 pence per share to 1p per share  to reflect expected cash requirement.

Quiz plc QUIZ will report today that it is pleased with the Group’s performance during the year to date and with the response to its summer product range. Despite an uncertain trading environment the group expects to continue with further strong growth.

Forget Brexit; Get A Residence Permit Valid For The EU   http://www.hiddengreece.net

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 15 January 2018

NEX EXCHANGE  

Wines maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) says that its open offer at 50p a share was oversubscribed. Excess applications will be scaled back. The additional £1.47m raised takes the total to £20m. BlackRock holds a 5.79% stake and Nigel Wray owns 16.2%.

Startup Giants (SUG) has made its first investment since floating. An undisclosed investment has been made in Go Show Ltd, which operates a brand marketplace designed to enable product placement deals (www.goshow.net), and it will be released when milestones have been achieved. Go Show initially applied for funding in 2015 and it has been mentored by Startup Giants. There is a target for revenue generation of up to £1m within 12 months. An accelerator round has also been launched by Startup Giants. It is aimed at early stage, UK-registered companies.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has increased its shareholding in Indorse from 3% to 6.5% at cost of S$175,000. There is an option to acquire a further 3.5%, at the same cost, to take the stake to 10%. Indorse completed a token sales last September and those tokens are currently valued at $34m. The Indorse platform is designed to enable users to generate income from sharing their skills and validating the claims of others.

African Potash Ltd (AFPO) has entered into an agreement with Gibraltar-based TokenCommunities Ltd. This deal will help the blockchain joint venture that has also already been announced with FinComEco Ltd, which is developing platforms for agricultural markets in sub-Saharan Africa. TokenCommunities will advise on the deployment of tokens. The chain will link smallholder farmers, traders, brokers, storage, transportation and commodity buyers. There are plans for microloans to farmers at an annual interest rate of 12%, which is lower than existing rates. African Potash has completed the raising of £400,000 at 0.025p a share.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has completed the €2.76m purchase of four plots of land with permission to develop a camping complex. It has also invested €3.37 to help finance the development of the site, which could be completed by the middle of the year. Black Sea Property raised €3.53m at €0.01 a share late last year.

Lake Acquisitions (U.P) says that the contingent value rights holders will not get a distribution for 2017. The cumulative relevant revenues from the eligible nuclear power output was £41.1m. The cumulative base revenues were £41.9m.

UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOG) has decided to drop its NEX Exchange quotation on 31 January. That is just over 27 months after it joined. The company says that there have been low levels of trading on NEX and it still has its primary quotation on AIM. Interestingly, oil and gas company UK Oil and Gas was formed many years ago out of the shell of a former technology equipment business, yet it is still classed under the technology hardware and equipment sub-sector of the technology sector in the AIM statistics.

AIM      

Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) reported maiden full year results as a quoted company that were slightly better than expected. The housebuilding infrastructure provider reported a dip in pre-tax profit from £10.8m to £9.1m on flat revenues of £135m. The total dividend is 6.3p a share. A 2017-18 pre-tax profit of £10.8m is forecast.

Ilika (IKA) reported a significant cash outflow in the first half but the outflow should be reduced in the second half. Interim revenues trebled to £1m and full year revenues of £2.9m are forecast. The loss is reducing. There are licensing proposals with a handful of potential customers and any one of these could transform the fortunes of Ilika.

EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has confirmed that trading was strong in 2017 and EBITDA will be much better than the £8.8m forecast. EKF plans to spin-off its sTNFR biomarker technology into a separate company. This technology has no value in the balance sheet.

Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal Group (DNL) says that its Akindi treatment has performed well in a food matrix study in the US and it will be able to move onto the next stage in the process of gaining US approval. European approval for Akindi is expected in a matter of weeks. There was £14m in the bank at the end of 2017. The interims will be published on 12 March.

Lombard Risk Management (LRM) is recommending a 13p a share cash bid, which was nearly double the market price. The bid from rival financial services technology supplier is valued at £52.1m.

Somero Enterprises (SOM) has sparked another forecast upgrade with the 2017 pre-tax profit forecast rising 8% to $25.9m. Net cash should be at least $18.5m and that could rise by around $10m by the end of 2018. That leaves room for another special dividend as well as growth in the ongoing dividend. The tax changes in the US had already led to a one-fifth increase in the 2018 earnings per share forecast to 34.4 cents, which has been raised again to 36.8 cents.

Engineer Avingtrans (AVG) says that trading is on track and the integration of Hayward Tyler continues. A pre-tax profit of £2.2m is forecast for the year to May 2018 and this should generate nearly enough earnings to cover the forecast dividend of 3.6p a share.

Tough market conditions and adverse currency movements have not stopped motor dealer Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) trading ahead of expectations. Forecasts had already been upgraded and the 2017 pre-tax profit estimate has been raised a further 2% to £28.8m. However, a decline in pre-tax profit to £23.5m is forecast for 2018.

Smart meter communications technology provider CyanConnode (CYAN) continues to progress but the timing of orders has been delayed. The order book is worth $100m but 2017 revenues were £1.2m and the loss more than £10m. This year’s revenues are forecast to be £10m and the loss £7m. There should be enough cash to last the whole of 2018.

Strategic Minerals (SML) generated fourth quarter revenues of $2.14m from magnetite ore sales at Cobre. The 2017 total revenues of $5.64m were quadruple the previous year. Strategic had $3.8m in the bank at the end of 2017.

Online Blockchain (OBC) has taken advantage of its rising share price to raise £1m at 100p a share.

Fashion retailer Footasylum (FOOT) increased revenues by one-third to £89.8m in the 18 weeks to 30 December 2017. The fastest growth came from e-commerce. The revenues for the 44 weeks to 30 December 2017 also improved by one-third to £173m. These are not like-for-like increases and six stores were opened in the past 18 weeks.

There was a small decline in the full year revenues of Shoe Zone (SHOE) from £159.8m to £157.8m. The shoes retailer did improve its gross margin from 62% to 63.2% but higher admin and distribution costs offset this and pre-tax profit fell from £10.3m to £9.5m. The total dividend was edged up from 10.1p a share to 10.2p a share. Net cash was £11.8m at the end of September 2017. The pension fund liability has fallen from £13.1m to £7.1m. Consumer demand and currency movements remain the main challenges.

BNN Technology (BNN) directors Harry Keiley and Lord Mancroft are following the nominated adviser out of the door. Mark Hanson becomes non-executive chairman.

Film completion contracts provider FFI Holdings (FFI) has acquired the motorsports entertainment insurance book of business from All Risks for $1.825m. The acquisition has been made by Reel Media, which itself was acquired before Christmas for $7.25m in total.

Background checking services provider ClearStar (CLSU) traded in line with expectations in 2017. Revenues were 11% higher at $17.8m and the loss was reduced. There was net cash of $1m. The loss should be further reduced in 2018.

Masawara (MASA) and Kimberly Enterprises (KBE) both plan to leave AIM. Two shareholders own 90% of Masawara. Minority shareholders are being offered 25p a share or the chance to convert the shares into preference shares. Eastern European property investor Kimberly has net liabilities of €24.1m and sold most of its property assets. The lease agreement for the Marina Dorcol project has been terminated.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) has completed the enrolment of its 560 plus patient phase III trial for a treatment for patients with allergic rhino conjunctivitis due to birch pollen. The results of the trial should be available before the end of this year. The potential market is worth around £3bn.

Two large clinical trial contracts have been delayed and this means that Cambridge Cognition (COG) 2017 revenues will be 18% lower than expected. This means that there will be a loss for the year.

Telematics equipment and services provider Quartix (QTX) pleased the market by growing its 2017 revenues by 5% to £24.4m. This means that earnings per share forecasts have been raised from 11.8p to 12.3p.

Geospatial software company 1Spatial (SPA) has won a five-year contract from the state of Michigan in the US worth $766,000. Liontrust has sold all its 9.35% stake.

Xeros Technology Group (XSG) has launched its domestic washing machine that can cut the use of water, detergent and energy by up to 50%. A second development agreement has been signed with a commercial washing machines manufacturer.

Oracle Power (ORCP) is acquiring the minority stake in coal mining lease owner Sindh Carbon Energy for up to £3.6m in shares.

APC Technology Group (APC) has acquired electronic components distributor First Byte Micro for £1.2m. In 2016, First Byte made a pre-tax profit of £194,000 on revenues of £1.3m.

Reconstruction Capital II (RC2) has acquired stakes in two funds that own 60% of Romanian paints and coatings supplier Policolor. This will mean that Reconstruction Capital II has an effective stake of 55.36% in Policolor and make it easier to liquidate the investment.

BOS Global (BOS) wants to raise £1.2m at 1.25p a share to settle debts and provide working capital. The software company says the directors will not be paid until April and one of them, William Giles, will subscribe up to £300,000 in the placing and open offer.

Connemara Mining (CON) has announced drilling results from the Mine River gold project in Wicklow and Wexford. Most of the intersections contained gold at grades of less than 1g/t but two were more positive with 4.53g/t over eight metres and 16.1g/t over two metres.

Versarien (VRS) is collaborating with an Asia-based global textiles manufacturer on incorporating graphene into fabrics via yarns and finishes.

MAIN MARKET    

E-commerce-focused cash shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) soared as trading commenced on the standard list and trading in the shares had to be suspended after three days. There appear to have been nearly 1.4 million shares traded over three days, which is 2.8% of the shares in issue. Cayman Islands-based AIQ, raised £3.6m after expenses, at 8p a share. The suspension price is 125p. That means that the quotation and £3.6m in cash are valued at £62.5m. The plan is to seek an e-commerce acquisition, which has a strong management and is near to cash generation.

Bio-decontamination products supplier Bioquell (BQE) has completed the £122,000 disposal of the UK AirFlow parts and manufacturing business and received the final £70,000 for the sale of the service business. There was already net cash of £14.5m at the end of 2017. Full year revenues were better than expected at £29.3m, up from £26.8m and pre-exceptional profit will be much better, even before the £250,000 gain on the Airflow disposals. The 2017 figures will be published on 7 March.

Software supplier Gresham Technologies (GHT) says 2017 revenues were 24% ahead to £21.3m and more of these revenues are coming from Clareti enterprise data integrity software. There is £8.5m in the bank. Kestrel has trimmed its stake from 14.9% to 12.5%.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has won a cyber communication technology contract with a government worth $4m over 12 months. Delivery will start in the second quarter of 2018.

Thomas Charlton has further increased his stake in North Midland Construction (NMD) from 7.24% to 8.2%. This appears to have sparked a recovery in the share price.

Avocet Mining (AVM) has deferred the completion the sale of its Burkina Faso assets for $5m. The buyer, the Balaji group of companies, wants more time to settle a claim from International Royalty Corporation, a creditor of the holding company of the assets. Avocet has received a deposit of $500,000.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has announced the results of preliminary grab samples from the Gubong gold mine. The majority of samples had gold grades of more than 1g/t and silver grades of 10g/t or more.

Zenith Energy Ltd (ZEN) has entered an exclusivity agreement for the acquisition of production and exploration licences in a Central Asian country. Azerbaijan-focused Zenith would be acquiring assets in a proven petroleum system and they produce 250 barrels of oil per day.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has started drilling at the Gakara project in Burundi. Gakara has an estimated in situ-grade of 47%-67% total rare earth oxide. The drilling is focused on the production area at Gasagwe and anomalies that have been identified. The first results will be in April. A second phase of drilling is planned later in the year and this could produce a JORC-compliant resource before the end of 2018. Production is building up and the run rate target for the end of 2018 is 5,000tpa. In December, Rainbow raised £2.8m at 14p a share in an oversubscribed placing. The cash will be used to acquire capital equipment.

Quoted Micro 12 June 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer and pubs operator Daniel Thwaites (THW) says that net debt has increased from £34.1m to £47.6m at the end of March 2017 because of investment in the brewery and pubs plus acquisitions. The benefits of this investment is starting to show through. Full year revenues from continuing operations were slightly lower at £84.4m, while operating profit improved from £11.5m to £12.1m. The total dividend is unchanged at 4.46p a share.

Churchill Mining (GHL) has switched from AIM to NEX although trading in the shares remains suspended. Churchill’s main focus is the international arbitration claim against the Indonesian government.

Good Energy (GOOD) received applications for more than £10m of the corporate bonds on offer. The energy supplier has closed the online offer but postal applications close on 12 June – assuming the maximum application level of £20m has not been reached before this.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has invested £56,000 in Singapore-based Indorse Pte Ltd, which is developing Indorse, a blockchain-powered professional social network. Coinsilium will also receive a number of Indorse digital tokens in the next few months.

China CDM Exchange Centre Ltd (CCEP) reported a decline in full year revenues from £1m to £898,000. Pre-tax profit fell by two-thirds to just over £2,000. There is £2.3m in the bank and the NAV was £52.1m at the end of 2016. The company is investing in blockchain technology as part of its growth strategy.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings Ltd (AWLP) says that the 45,000 shares it owns in Ray Alliance Financial Advisers have been transferred to the other two Ray Alliance shareholders without any authorisation. Asia Wealth paid $318,000 for the shares back in 2012. Asia Wealth has demanded that the shares are transferred back.

Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised £45,000 at 0.1p a share. The cash will provide working capital and provide the ability to invest more in apps business Flamethrower.

AIM

DX Group (DX.) has renegotiated the terms of the merger with Menzies Distribution which involves the payment of £40m in cash and shares equivalent to 65% of the enlarged share capital – this includes a 5% stake that will be held by the John Menzies pension fund. DX will still have to take on 17% of the pension fund. Cost savings of £10m a year are expected and a dividend is promised. Rebel shareholder Gatemore is backing the revised transaction. Things are still not running smoothly, though. The City of London police is investigating an allegation concerning DX.

MP Evans (MPE) harvested 180,000 tonnes of oil palm fruit bunches in the first five months of 2017, which is one-quarter higher than in the same period of 2016. This is due to a mixture of improving weather conditions and maturing plants. In the same period, palm oil production increased from 37,900 tonnes to 60.100 tonnes. The average selling price has increased by $51/tonne to $606/tonne, while palm kernel prices moved from $414/tonne to $503/tonne. There could be some downward pressure on prices in the second half.

Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) has announced a special dividend of 13.3 cents a share on top of the normal dividend. This will cost $7.5m and leave the construction equipment company with much more than $10m in the bank even before allowing for cash generated so far this year. Shareholders on the register on 28 July will receive the dividend. Trading in Europe has been strong and the only disappointment has been North America where business has been delayed.

Best of the Best (BOTB) is also paying a special dividend out of its cash pile. Full year revenues grew 7% to £10.8m, while pre-tax profit improved from £1.1m to £1.5m. A normal dividend of 1.4p a share will be paid plus an additional 6.5p a share as a special dividend. There are also plans for the competitions organiser to increase marketing spending.

Waste to energy systems developer PowerHouse Energy Group (PHE) has secured a collaboration agreement with a UK partner that will provide two tranches of funding for the demonstration unit and five systems. The total funding will be up to £500,000.

DP Poland (DPP) has raised £5.25m at 43p a share. The cash will help finance 15 new Domino Pizza stores in Poland this year and finance loans for sub-franchise store openings in 2019.

Trading in Savannah Petroleum (SAVP) shares has been suspended following an exclusive agreement to buy the oil and gas assets of a west Africa-focused company. The structure of the transaction has been agreed in outline and it will involve debt, shares and cash. Due diligence has been going on since January. The shares will remain suspended until a document is published for the reverse takeover.

Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (NTOG) says that the general meeting requisition at US-focused oil and gas company Magnolia Petroleum (MAGP) is by former chief executive and founder Steven Snead using the shares that Nostra Terra has agreed to purchase. The proposals include the removal of chief executive Rita Whittington and the appointment the Magnolia board of Ewen Ainsworth, chairman of Nostra Terra, and Donald Phillips.

Vianet Group (VNET) has restructured its business into two divisions: smart zones and smart machines. Smart zones is based on the fluid measurement and telemetry business with pubs. The US business is moving towards breakeven. The smart machines division is focused on vending machines and there is a significant addressable market. There was a dip in underlying pre-tax profit form £2.8m to £2.6m last year, with a small improvement forecast for this year. The dividend is set to continue to be unchanged at 5.7p a share.

LiDCO (LID) has received 510k clearance from the FDA for the LiDCO Unity version 2. This will enable LiDCO to offer a high usage programme for a fixed annual licence fee. The head of US operations is already in place and ready to push ahead with the strategy. LiDCO is expected to move into profit in the year to January 2019.

Shareholders are trying to requisition a general meeting at Irish gold explorer Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR) in order to remove six directors. Seamus FitzPatrick, James Jones, Dr Sorca Conroy, Louis Maguire, Michael Power and David Wathen are the directors that the requistioners wants removed and replace them with Patrick O’Sullivan, Paul Johnson and Gervaise Heddle. The three directors not affected by the requisition are Professor Richard Conroy, Maureen Jones and Professor Garth Earls.

Disruptive Capital has made a bid approach to Stanley Gibbons (SGI).

MAIN MARKET

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) raised £1.41m, before expenses of £150,000, and five million shares were issued to directors’ in lieu of a portion of the fees that they are owned. The subscription and offer are still open. On the day of the announcement, the share price fell 1.13p to 2.13p. There was a cash outflow of £552,000 in the six months to March 2017.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has discovered several unrecorded veins at Gasagwe, which suggests that there is plenty of upside in the mineralisation resources at the Gakara rare earth project in Burundi. Mine construction is on course to deliver rare earth concentrate before the end of 2017.

WideCells Group (WDC) says that it is authorised to sell its CellPlan financial product that helps people to afford stem cells treatment. There are plans to start selling CellPlan to Biovault stem cell storage customers.

Cathay International Holdings (CTI) says that its 50.56%-owned subsidiary Lansen Pharmaceutical plans to pay a special dividend.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 20 March 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

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.

AIM

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.

MAIN MARKET

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.

Andrew Hore

 

Pharmas, Builders Supplies and Construction Boom

Today’s mix of results clearly indicate continuing boom conditions in well managed pharma companies with new successful products – (viz AMS yesterday) and in companies which can prosper on the tailcoats of the house builders whose boom seems never ending. ( except for the warning signs in Central London)

Marshall’s MSHL showed a strong rise of 31% in profit before tax for the year to the end of December. Basic earnings per share followed suite with a rise of 32% The final dividend was increased by 22% and the recommended supplementary dividend will be up by 50%, making a total rise for the year of 30%. This was all achieved on a rise in revenue of only 3%. Since the start of the new year both sales and order intake have been strong.

Clinigen CLIN achieved over 30 growth across all its key financial measure in the half year to 31st December and is increasing its interim dividend by 23%. Adjusted gross profit and earnings per share rose by 34% and 31% respectively and more strong growth is promised for 2017.

Forterra FORT A strong second half performance resulted in both revenue and profit increases for the year to the end of December, its first year as a misted company. Profit before tax surged by some 75% from £22.2m to £37.1m. The outlook for the first half of 2017 is good, buoyed by strong activity from the major house builders.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals HIK claims that its business became stronger than ever in 2016, with group revenue rising by 39% and operating profit up by 14%, both in constant currency terms. A final dividend of 22 cents per share is to be paid making a total of 33 cents for the full year, a rise of 1cent. A significant increase in intangibles and exceptional items, led to reported operating profit falling by 9% in constant currency terms.

Somero Emterprises SOM enjoyed an excellent year in 2016 and is increasing its final dividend by 61%. Revenue for the year to the end of December rose by 13%, profit before tax by 22% and adjusted EBITDA by 23%. The company is excited about the prospects for 2017 with more strong growth expected.

Villas & Houses For Sale in Greece; http://www.hiddengreece
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