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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 25 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) increased full year revenues from continuing operations from £104.5m to £116.9m, helped by last winter’s cold weather and a price increase, and pre-tax profit recovered from £700,000 to £1.7m. The renewable electricity supplier and generator has increased its dividend from 3.3p a share to 3.5p a share. Net debt was £40.1m at the end of 2018. Energy supply volumes increased by 3%, but domestic volumes were 1.2% lower in an increasingly competitive market. The growth came in the business side, which increased volumes by 23%. Good Energy generates energy from six solar sites and two wind farms. The company expects to continue to grow business volumes and invest in digital technology. Non-executive director Nemone Wynn-Evans has bought 9,500 shares at 105p each.

Trading in PCG Entertainment (PCGE) shares has been suspended because it is in talks to acquire VOX Markets and Align Research.

Karoo Energy (KEP) has been told by its potential nominated adviser does not believe its is suitable for an AIM quotation. This also means that the planned fundraising cannot go ahead. A refinancing is required. There are trade creditors of around £300,000. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has maintained its 3.4% stake in Fresho by participating in its latest fundraising, which was at a 76% premium to the price paid for the initial investment. The investment is worth A$673,000.

Dana Group International Investments Ltd (DANA) reported swing from loss of $129,000 to a profit of $95,000 in the six months to December 2018, due to other income of $276,000.

Tectonic Gold (TAU) says that roc chip samples from the Clermont project in Queensland show up to 8.01g/t gold, 140g/t silver and 6.32% copper.

Panther Metals (PALM) has completed the acquisition of Parthian Resources and its former shareholders own 16.1% of Panther.

Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has raised a further £225,000 at 90p a share.

Imperial X (IMPP) has changed its focus to medicinal cannabis. There was a small cash outflow in the six months to the end of December 2018. There was nearly £70,000 in the bank with net cash of £19,000. There are net liabilities and more cash will be required later this year.

Steve Howson is stepping down as chief executive of SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) and he will become a non-executive director. Majority shareholder David Sumner will be interim chief executive.

AIM  

Footasylum (FOOT) has recommended a 82.5p a share bid from JD Sports Fashion (SPD) which values the footwear retailer at £90.1m. JD Sports was buying shares between 50p and 75p and built up a 18.7% stake. The bidder promises to maintain the separate commercial identity. Footasylum floated in November 2017 at 164p a share.

Diaceutics (DXRX) ended the week at 97.5p, having floated at 72p. The company provides data analysis and advisory services to pharma companies seeking to develop and commercialise diagnostic tests. There were £15.2m of placing proceeds net of expenses and £5.5m will be spent on the acquisition of data, while the rest will be used to pay off debt and develop AI analysis technology. There is limited liquidity in the shares because they are tightly held.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) warns that trading in the second quarter is weak because of the warmer winter weather. There has also been a weakening in farmgate prices. Interim figures will be well below the first half of last year and the full year will be below forecast. Peel Hunt argues that it has already factored these elements into its forecast for rival feed supplier NWF (NWF) and it is not changing its forecasts.

Pelatro (PTRO) has launched a data monetisation platform with a revenue share contract with an existing client, which is worth $500,000 in the first year. This is a product that can be sold to other customers.

Financial trading platform Aquis Exchange (AQX) reported 2018 revenues ahead of expectations and it doubled its market share during the year. The subscription-based model means that higher trading levels by a trader lead to subscription income levels going up. Aquis will continue to be loss-making this year, but the relatively fixed cost base means that once this is covered the profit should grow significantly as revenues grow.

Scientific instruments supplier Judges Scientific (JDG) increased is cash generation from operations from £10.9m to £15.7m in 2018. There was 5.5% organic growth in revenues and underlying operating profit rose by just over one-third to £14.7m. The cash balance has increased to £15.7m, which provides firepower for acquisitions. Shore Capital has edged up its earnings per share forecast from 188.8p to 190p.

Volvere (VLE) says full year revenues from continuing operations will rise from £16.2m to £18.6m. There was a £23.1m gain on the sale of Impetus Automotive. There was an underlying loss on continuing activities, but the frozen pie maker Shire Foods improved its profit contribution. There is £34.1m of cash in the Volvere balance sheet.

Frontier IP (FIPP) says that the outcome for the year to June 2019 is likely to be ahead of management expectations. A deal by investee company Exscientia, which is involved in AI-based drug discovery, with Celgene Corporation should result in a substantial uplift in its valuation.

Science in Sport (SIS) had a 25-day contribution from the profitable PhD Nutrition business in 2018. The group’s underlying loss increased last year, but PhD will help to reduce the loss and the cash outflow from operations, which was £6.42m last year. There is £8m in the bank and even with capital investment requirements that should be enough to cover requirements this year.

Ceramic products supplier Portmeirion Group (PMP) increased its 2018 pre-tax profit by 10% to £9.7m and a further rise to £10.3m is forecast for this year. Online sales are growing rapidly from a relatively low base. The home fragrance business is doing well, and capacity is being added. The total dividend is 8% higher at 35.7p a share.

Share (SHRE) improved its significantly improved its profitability in the second half of 2018, although trading levels weakened towards the end of the year. That weakness has continued into the early months of this year. Evan so, Cenkos forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £700,000 to £1.3m, upgraded from £1.1m, in 2019.

Clear Leisure (CLP) has placed its 50%-owned data mining operation in Serbia on a care and maintenance basis. This is due to the fall in the price of cryptocurrency. Legal actions and negotiations continue concerning a number of past investments. Clear has paid £76,000 for a 10% stake in PBV, which provides data services for the Italian legal sector. At the end of 2018, there were €2.1m of bonds converted into shares.

Andrew Perloff has increased his stake in 600 Group (SIXH) from 6.19% to 8.85%.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH) has changed the ratio of its ADRs from two shares for each ADR to 20 shares for each ADR. This is a way of getting the trading price of the ADRs on NASDAQ back above $1.

EQTEC (EQT) could be a beneficiary of the deal done by its largest shareholder EBIOSS with Urbaser for the collection, treatment and possible conversion of waste to energy. Urbaser is conducting due diligence on EQTEC’s gasification technology and this could be used for any waste to energy plant if all three parties come to an agreement on a specific opportunity. Projects could be in Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia and Romania.

A local authority report has placed a five year reserve status on the Plymouth Airport site where Sutton Harbour (SUH) has a 135 year lease. The local authorities are keen that the site should be used for general aviation, but a viable business plan needs to be put together. Sutton Harbour would like to develop the site.

Tau Capital (TAU) has sent a circular to shareholders concerning a capital return of $1.19m or 2.42 cents a share, raise $150,000 via a placing at 0.1 cents a share and change its name to UK Onshore. Reverse takeover candidates are being assessed. Gerwyn Williams and Nigel Burton will join the board.

Synectics (SNX) has won a £1m order from the oil and gas sector. This is the largest order for its surveillance systems from this sector for a number of years. Synectics reported a rise in full year revenues from £70.1m to £71.2m and pre-tax profit slipped from £3.02m to £2.86m. The full year dividend is increased from 4p a share to 4.7p a share.

MAIN MARKET 

Athelney Trust (ATY) has responded to the letter from former director Dr Pohl, who wants to regain his place on the board along with Simon Moore and remove David Lawman. Dr Pohl has acquired more than 100,000 shares in the past month, and this means that five shareholders own more than 50% of the investment company putting its investment trust status at risk. As long as there is more than 35% of the company held by the public this is not a problem, but it would be if Dr Pohl joined the board. There have been £90,000 of extra costs because of disputes between the two major shareholders. The plan remains to bring Gresham House on board as fund manager

WideCells Group (WDC) is changing its name to Iconic Labs and moving into digital marketing and technology. The management of this business previously built up social publisher Unilad. In the first 12 months, an agency consulting division will be launched to assists clients to develop brands. There are plans to build up a distribution and publishing division through acquisitions and launch content licensing and e-commerce divisions. There is little indication of what will happen to the stem cell operations, although management appears to believe that the insurance business could be worth pursuing. Historic liabilities are being resolved. The convertible loan note holder continues to convert a proportion of the loan note that is below 30% and then sell the shares. There are 785.6 million shares in issue with more to come.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has raised £436,500 at 2.25p a share. The cash will be used for the pre-construction phase of the South Korean gold projects. An agreement has been made with a local landowner for the use of land outside the main entrance of the Kochang mine.

Highlands Natural Resources (HNR) has raised £1.56m at 8.5p a share via an offer through PrimaryBid.com. This cash will fund a move by the natural resources company into the organic cannabidiol market. It has established Zoetic Organics in the US and it believes that hydrogen produced by Highland in Kansas can be used as a fertiliser with potential to increase the size of the plant. First revenues could be achieved in the summer.

Standard list shell Stranger Holdings (STHP) claims that Alchemy Utilities Ltd has sabotaged the proposed reverse takeover by refusing to provide audited accounts. Stranger is trying to get back the £300,000 it lent to Alchemy as well as its reverse takeover costs of £450,000. Stranger believes that the Alchemy management team may have misrepresented its financial status. An alternative acquisition is being lined up, but Stranger had negative net assets at the end of September 2018 and there are additional costs since then.

Standard list shell Hertsford Capital (HERT) still had £2.88m in cash at the end of 2018.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) is growing its gross profit but EBITDA is similar to the same period last year, which was around £650,000.

PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) has ended its wafer production activities in Germany and it intends to apply its wire sawing expertise to cutting non-silicon materials. There are plans to return £38.5m to shareholders, which is equivalent to 24p a share and that is not far short of the current market price. That could still leave more than €10m of cash. Management is considering whether to maintain a listing.

Sure Ventures (SURE) says 23%-owned Suir Valley Ventures has maintained its 10% stake in WarDucks, which is developing an AR game, by participating in a €3.3m fundraising.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) reported a 1% increase in underlying 2018 pre-tax profit of £5.9m. Pubs provided higher revenues and profit, while the brewery reported a reduction in profit contribution due to the ending of third party contracts and a small decline in volumes of its own beers and ciders. The brewing volumes have recovered in the early part of 2019.

Good Energy (GOOD) is making a strategic investment in Zap-Map owner Next Green Car Ltd. This is a business that provides electric vehicle market data and will help Good Energy move into the electric vehicle charging market. The initial investment is £1.08m for a 12.9% stake and £800,000 of convertible loan notes. If the loan notes are converted and payment of deferred consideration of £720,000 dependent on achieving financial targets, then the stake will increase to 50.1%.

Gunsynd (GUN) and Northbay Capital Partners have agreed with TSX-V-quoted Oyster Oil and Gas Ltd to settle debts of C$1.43m with the company in return for the outstanding share capital of Oyster’s subsidiary that owns production sharing contracts in Madagascar and Djibouti. Oyster shareholders have to agree to the deal for it to go ahead.

IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has commenced drilling on PL2551 in County Wexford. The drilling should help to prove the presence of a major gold mineralisation trend.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has increased its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) by two million shares, taking the stake to 1.15%. The average cost is 1.71p a share. Over the next 18 months Greatland will pursue targeted exploration campaigns in Australia and accelerate the development in the Paterson region.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies reports that the first 11 weeks of sales of the hapac medicinal cannabis products in Italy have grown strongly from a low base.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is acquiring three prospective lithium assets in Australia. They are Picasso in Western Australia, Litchfield in Northern Territories and Alcoota in Northern Territories.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) lost £204,000 in the near-13 months since incorporation. There was £69,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. The reverse takeover of the 97.5% of CoalTech not owned by the company has still to be completed.

Barkby Group (BARK) has secured an eight-year operating agreement for the Queens Arms in East Garston, Berkshire. The pub and restaurant also operates a 120-capacity function room and 12 bedrooms.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has paid £3,500 for a 70% stake in financial adviser and investment firm Epsion Capital, which could provide advice to Eight Capital investee companies. Former ZAI corporate finance director and current Eight Capital non-executive director John Treacy is the sole director and other shareholder of Epsion, which is working on two corporate finance transactions.

Following the demise of Daniel Stewart, NQ Minerals (NQMI) has changed its corporate adviser to Arden, Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) has switched to Peterhouse and VI Mining (VIM) has moved to VSA.

AIM  

Telephony services and technology provider Netcall (NET) is increasing its cloud revenues and bookings. Interim revenues improved from £11.4m to £10.7m but pre-tax profit dipped from £1.9m to £1.2m because of increased investment. Annual contract value has risen by 11% to £15.1m.

Tracsis (TRCS) improved its interim revenues from £18.1m to £19m and pre-tax profit will be higher than the £3.9m reported last year. There was £18.7m in cash at the end of January 2019. Chris Barnes has joined the transport optimisation software and services provider ahead of becoming chief executive.

Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) is buying 18 Money Shop sites for £1.5m. They are in north west England and Scotland and will be rebranded as Ramsdens. The pawn books of the sites and five others that will be closed are being acquired by Ramsdens. City Financial Investment has sold its remaining 9.73% stake.

WH Ireland (WHI) has raised £4.95m at 45p a share, which was a 30% discount to the market price. The cash will make sure that the broker has enough regulatory capital. Trading is tough and the operating loss in the second half will be higher than previously expected.

SimplyBiz (SBIZ) grew 2018 revenues by 15% to £50.7m and earnings per share were 28% higher at 11.9p. The supplier of compliance and business services to financial advisers continues to add to member numbers and sell more services to them. Net cash was £6.4m at the end of 2018.

DX (Group) (DX.) is making progress with its turnaround but there is still a long way to go. The parcel delivery business has restructured its business and raised prices to clients. The cash outflow was significantly reduced in the first half. DX could move back into profit next year.

Swallowfield (SWL) was hit by weak trading in its cosmetics manufacturing operations. The brands business maintained its revenues and profit. The second half outlook for manufacturing is better and costs have been reduced. The interim dividend was raised by 7.5% to 2.15p a share. Fidelity has increased its stake to 5.73%.

Ilika (IKA) has secured an 18 month project with Network Rail for the use of its Stereax battery technology in a ultra-low power wireless sensor for the network’s condition monitoring platform.

Pelatro (PTRO) has won a contract with Ooredoo Maldives worth $1.6m over three years. There is a fixed monthly fee and a share of the incremental revenue generated. There are also opportunities to cross-sell to other Ooredoo telecoms operations.

Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) has traded ahead of the first five months of the previous financial year. Although new car sales were lower, Cambria made more profit because of the higher value franchises. It was a similar trend in used cars. The aftersales operations increased sales and profit.

FFI Holdings (FFI) says that the film competition contracts business has been slow because of a lack of films and smaller productions. There are also possible claims. Delayed productions have hit the insurance agency business. That has reduced operating profit by $6m. The expected range for this year is $7.5m-$11m.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) reported a 11% increase in interim revenues to £46.7m and underlying pre-tax profit was 70% higher at £11.4m. That was partly down to lower development and marketing spending. Cash more than doubled to £31.6m, helped by a £10.2m placing. Net cash was £28.5m. The data from the phase III PQ Birch allergy study is expected in the next few weeks.

Finance provider ThinkSmart (TSL) reported a lower interim loss and there is cash in the bank of £11.3m. A special dividend of around 2p a share will return £44m to shareholders.

Accounting regulation changes mean that Paragon Entertainment Ltd (PEL) will not be able to recognise as much revenue in 2018 as it thought it would. That could reduce the figure by £700,000. The new range is £8.8m to £9.2m. The loss will be more than £2.5m. Revenues are expected to be higher this year.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) increased its proved reserves to 11,222 Mbbl at the end of 2018. Proved plus probable reserves are 19,275 Mbbl. NPV of future net revenues of proved reserves has increased by 18% to $79.8m.

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has completed a number of contingency engagements in the third quarter and there should be more in the fourth quarter. Corporate insolvencies are rising.

GetBusy (GETB) has increased its revenues from its core software products by 17% to £10.9m and it is making progress with its GetBusy productivity software which is in use with beta users. Cash generated from operations is being ploughed back into development spending.

Gfinity (GFIN) more than doubled its interim revenues from £1.8m to £4.4m with the growth coming from the managed services division, which includes the F1 Esports series. The Esports business is targeting breakeven in 2021.

Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has rejected a proposed 20p a share bid from RockRose Energy (RRE) which would value the company at £26.6m. Trading in the standard list company’s shares is suspended due to the proposed $140m acquisition of Marathan Oil West of Shetland.

Housebuilder Springfield Properties (SPR) is on track to increase full year pre-tax profit from £9.8m to £16.1m, following a strong first half. The housing market is stronger in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. The business has a mix of private housing and affordable housing developments. The Walker Group acquisition takes the company further upmarket in price terms and will make an initial contribution in the second half.

PhotonStar LED Group (PSL) has raised a further £170,000 at 0.01p a share, while directors John Treacy and Jonathan Freeman intend to subscribe a £24,000 when the company has authority to issue more shares. A general meeting will be held where the company will become a shell and change its name to Bould Opportunities. The operating business is being wound down. Antos Glogowski has a 20.9% stake.

In the past ten months, the valuation of the property assets of Sutton Harbour (SUH) has increased by 7% to £45.7m.

MAIN MARKET 

Small company-focused investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) reported a 21% decline in NAV to 225.9p a share at the end of 2018, although that is not a surprise given the weak stockmarket at the end of the year. The final dividend was increased by 2% to 9.1p a share. The board is in the process of appointing a fund management team. The plan is to increase the size of the fund to between £50m and £150m.

Standard list shell Cobra Resources (COBR) has agreed to acquire the owner of a 100% right title and interest in the Prince Alfred licence in South Australia. Prince Alfred was a producing copper mine. There is also an entitlement to earn 75% of five tenements in South Australia. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund has converted £140,000 of convertible bonds and penalty payments of £210,000 into 140 million shares in WideCells (WDC) and that has nearly doubled the number of shares in issue. The first 60 million shares have been sold.

Andrew Hore

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

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 November 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has invested $986,000 in DOT tokens, which are related to the Polkadot Project. A total of $150m was raised to finance the development of a decentralised protocol that allows trust-free movement of tokens and data between blockchains., that will also be able to create new parachains instead of starting a new community. The project is expected to go live by the end of 2019. Kryptonite 1 has sold Melon, Omisego and FunFair tokens in order to raise just over £290,000. That is a gain of around £270,000.

Via Developments (VIA1) has agreed to sell Plymouth Grove, Manchester for £2.5m. A non-refundable deposit of £250,000 has been paid and the deal should go through by the end of November. The property was originally acquired in June 2016 for £1.625m, although there will have been additional investment in development since then. In March, Via Developments announced a previous exclusivity agreement to sell which was dependent on planning permission. There was a refundable deposit of £100,000 for that potential deal. It is unclear whether the deals are related.

Health and care properties developer Ashley House (ASH) has welcomed the increased funding for health and housing schemes announced in the Budget. News that the government will not cap rents in the supported living sector has improved sentiment. Financial closure is anticipated on two projects in the next few weeks. Management continues to seek additional finance.

Block Energy (BLOK) has published its Schedule 1 notice for its proposed move to AIM. This is expected by 7 December.

Sandal (SAND) says that trading is in line with expectations with Energie MiHome sales trebling. By the end of 2018 the energy efficiency products should be generate as much in revenues as the power connections division.

There were 300,000 shares taken up in the Hellenic Capital (HECP) open offer but £250,000 was raised because the rest of the shares were placed.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has raised £1m at 0.2p a share, which was a small premium to the previous closing price. The cash will finance further pre-IPO investments. Turner Pope has been appointed broker.

Trading in the shares of Churchill Mining (CHL) should recommence when the figures for the year to June 2017 are published. That should be before the end of November. Pala Investments has subscribed for £500,000 of 10% convertible loan notes, which have a conversion price of 2.976p a share. Pala holds 21.3% of Churchill and full conversion of the loan notes would take the stake to 29.3%. Pala is also entitled to receive 25% of any proceeds from the claim for unlawful expropriation of the East Kutai coal project. Churchill is hopeful of overturning an unfavourable ruling on the case.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has issued shares valued at £21,750 at 0.09p a share in settlement of an outstanding loan from Blue Oak Assets. The deferred payment of £20,000 for the purchase of Pacha Cleator from Oliver Fattal has been satisfied by a share issue at the same price. That takes his stake to 9.96%.

Ken Riley is no longer finance director and company secretary of WMC Retail Partners (WELL) and Nigel Higgs has taken over as interim finance director.

AIM

Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL) is raising £18m at 50p a share, which should be enough to keep the toilet roll business going. A restructuring of the business is underway and health and safety procedures are being reviewed. The bank facility has been extended until 2021. The share price fell by more than two-thirds when the suspension was lifted and ended the week at 37.5p.

Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) published its interims at 4.30pm on Friday. That means that the share price reaction will be on Monday. There were no shares traded in the diagnostic services provider on Friday. Revenues were 4% lower at £18.7m. Growth in automated business revenues partly offset lower licensing revenues. Pre-tax profit excluding restructuring costs fell from £1.77m to £1.11m. Net cash is £28.3m. The average number of assays per instrument has increased from 3.8 to 4.3. Reg Duval stepped down as chief executive at the end of October after seven months in the job. Jaap Stuut took over the role. He talks about improving the sales team.

Sutton Harbour (SUH) has agreed a 29.5p a share bid for 70% of the shares of the harbour operator and property developer from FB Investors. That will cost £19.9m. A shareholder can accept for more than 70% of their shareholding but they could be scaled back. FB Investors is subscribing £2.75m for new shares at the same price.

Boku Inc (BOKU) had a successful first week on AIM with the share price rising from the 59p placing price to 81p. That values the developer of technology enabling payments via mobile at around £170m.

Contact centre services software provider Netcall (NET) says the integration of the MatsSoft acquisition is progressing well and trading is strong in the first four months of the financial year. The dividend will return to a normal level this year having been enhanced in the past few years. This year’s dividend is expected to be 1.2p a share.

Angle (AGL) is included in a €6.3m study to develop liquid biopsy services that is being headed by Philips. This is a four year research project.

Jon Fenton has stepped down as chief executive of Van Elle Holdings (VANL) ahead of a requisitioned general meeting on 15 December.

Amiad Water Systems (AFS) has been granted a licence by Dow Technologies to use its TEQUATIC PLUS filter. Amiad will take over the manufacturing of the product and pay Dow 3.75% of revenues generated.

First Property Group (FPO) has already invested £51m for the new Fprop Office LLP but there is more than £200m more to invest. Annualised management fees are £2.64m and full investment of the new vehicle will significantly increase that figure.

Audio equipment supplier Focusrite (TUNE) increased its full year pre-tax profit by one-third to £9.5m. There was particularly strong growth in the US.

Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) managed to edge up its pre-tax profit last year even though trading becoming tougher in the second half. The motor dealer is expected to report a lower profit of £9.5m this year but it has a strong balance sheet and it is investing heavily in new sites for upmarket brands that will not fully contribute until next year.

Premier African Minerals (PREM) raised £1m via PrimaryBid at 0.4p a share, which was double the amount it was originally asking for. The cash will be used to develop mining projects in Zimbabwe and Benin.

Professional services provider Progility (PGY) put out its full year figures late on Friday. There was still time for the share price to fall by 0.2p to 1.25p. Progility did move back into profit in the period but it was a modest one. There was a warning that progress may be held back this year by operational efficiency improvements.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) is selling non-core businesses for $400,000 and reinvesting the cash in the development of technology to integrate blockchain-based currencies into its systems.

African Alliance is planning to invest £2.4m at 11p a share coal bed methane projects developer Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) conditional on a listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange before the end of the year.

Thor Mining (THR) is making a $125,000 (£95,000) payment to Pacific Gold and Royalty Corporation in settlement for the $1.5m (£1.13m) payment that would have had to have been made when the Pilot Mountain tungsten project in Nevada comes into production. Thor is still fully funded well into 2019. Metal Tiger has taken its stake in Thor to 9.77% after exercising 16 million warrants.

MAIN MARKET

Cash shell Landscape Acquisition Holdings (LAHL) raised $500m at $10 a share but the share price fell below the placing price when dealings commenced. The focus is hospitality, land-based gaming and real estate businesses in North America and Europe.

Rockpool Acquisitions (ROC) has secured a potential reverse takeover target. It is lending an initial £543,000 to Northern Ireland-based renewable energy firm Greenview Gas and this will be used to buy two companies. The deal includes an option for Rockpool to acquire Greenview paid for by a share issue.

Creightons (CRL) increased its pre-tax profit by one-fifth to £956,000, helped by an improvement in gross margin. An interim dividend of 0.15p a share is proposed.

IT services provider Triad Group (TRD) made further progress in the first half. In the six months to September 2017, revenues dipped from £14.8m to £14.2m, while pre-tax profit moved from £668,000 to £737,000. There is £2m in the bank. An interim dividend of 0.5p a share has been declared.

Andrew Hore

 

Quoted Micro 12 September 2016

ISDX

Mechan Controls (MECP) reported a rise in pre-tax profit from £180,000 to £271,000 on flat revenues of £1.9m in the six months to June 2016. There was £1.08m in the bank. Mechan has declared an interim dividend of 1.1725pa share and the ex-dividend date is 15 September. Trading conditions are better than one year ago and the improvement in the first half is expected to continue in the second half.

 

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested £50,000 in return for A shares in IT services provider 2C Services. The A shares have preferential rights to capital in the event of certain exits. Capital for Colleagues has also subscribed for ordinary shares equivalent to 20% of the share capital in return for a nominal sum. The existing investment in The Homebuilding Centre has been converted from £250,000 in loan notes into 250,000 A shares, while further loans of £97,000 have been combined into a three year loan.

 

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has linked up with AIM-quoted Iomart to work on a machine learning-based way of stopping Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.  The hosting and managed services business wants to offer the service to its clients so it could be lucrative for Crossword.

 

Oil and gas explorer Doriemus (DOR), which is also quoted on AIM, has launched a three-for-15 open offer at 0.035p a share to raise up to £865,000. The open offer price is at a 22% discount to the previous closing mid price. The open offer closes on 18 October. The cash will pay for cost overruns of the Brockham drilling and testing programme – Doriemus has a 10% interest – and for further funding of other interests. The directors will be taking up their entitlement.

 

ISDX is hosting an event called Cyber Security Risks: Threats to Publicly-Traded Companies and the Capital Markets on 21 September. The networking and panel session will be led by a team of experts and cover the current cyber security landscape and how public companies can prepare themselves for potential cyber attacks. The event starts at 8.30am and will be held at 2 Broadgate in London.

 

AIM

SQS Software Quality Systems AG (SQS) is reaping the benefits of its strategy to increase higher margin managed services business. In the six months to June 2016, revenues were 11% higher at €166.6m but underlying pre-tax profit was one-third higher at €11.9m. Net debt was €32.9m, following the acquisition of the remaining 25% of the company’s Indian business, but the second half is always highly cash generative. New sectors are starting to increase their use of software testing services, particularly in the digital area, including mobile payments and smart grids businesses. The US is becoming an increasingly important market and it is expected to overtake Germany as the biggest market.

 

Belvoir Lettings (BLV) reported a three-fifths increase in revenues to £4.3m in the first half of 2016 tanks to contributions from acquisitions made in the past year. The Northwood acquisition was made at the end of the period so it will not make a significant contribution until the second half. Like-for-like revenues were 10% higher. Pre-tax profit was 69% higher at £1.3m. The unchanged interim dividend of 3.4p a share is nearly covered by underlying earnings per share.

 

Motif Bio (MTFB) says that patient enrolment for the phase III clinical trial for the use of antibiotic iclaprim for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections is ahead of schedule. This means that data should be available in the second quarter of 2017. The results of the second iclaprim trial should be available in the second half of 2017. The convertible promissory notes held by Amphion Innovations have been renegotiated. Instead of converting the accrued interest of $441,000 on the $3.55m of loan notes (maturing at the end of 2016) into shares at 24.47 cents a share, Motif will issue 409,000 shares and pay cash of $314,000. Amphion will also provide $15,500 a month of corporate services if Motif floats on Nasdaq.

 

Sutton Harbour (SUH) says that it expects the government report on the viability of the reopening of the Plymouth City Airport site to be published in the next few months. This will be followed by an independent government inspector making a decision on whether “safeguarding of the former airport site from redevelopment is sound planning policy following the Examination in Public, currently timetabled for March 2017“. The company’s strategic review is continuing.

 

Minoan (MIN) is one of the first companies to admit that the vote to leave the EU has hit its business. Along with the political problems in Turkey, the EU vote has knocked £100,000 a month from gross profit. Management does believe that this could be a temporary phenomenon. The latest court action over Minoan’s proposed Greek development is due to happen on 16 September. The judges will determine the arguments against the development after the hearing.

 

MedaPhor (MED) says that the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology has given notice that it will terminate its ultrasound skills training contract because of ongoing litigation over some of MedaPhor’s patents. If the litigation is sorted out then the relationship can be resurrected.

 

Fishing Republic (FISH) has acquired the Fantackletastic store in Lincolnshire for £150,000 in cash. The 4,000 square feet store is the group’s first in the east Midlands and takes the number of stores owned to 11. In the year to March 2016, the store made an operating profit of £40,000 on revenues of £425,000.

 

Starcom (STAR) has launched the new version of its Watchlock product but this was too late to benefit the first half figures. Interim revenues slipped from £2.64m to £2.51m, while cost savings meant that the loss was reduced. Starcom has recruited an installation and services company for its Tetis cargo security product.

 

IPPlus (IPP) is selling its original contact centre business for £6.7m in order to concentrate on its secure payments business. The company’s name will change to PCI-PAL. The sale and leaseback of a property will raise a further £800,000 leaving net cash of £4.8m. A £1m special dividend will be proposed.

 

MAIN MARKET

New standard-listed shell Vale International Group Ltd (VIG) commenced trading on 5 September. The strategy is to acquire a financial services-focused technology business in Europe or Asia. A placing raised £550,000 at 3.5p a share and the shares have traded at 5p (4.5p/5.5p).

 

Standard-listed Anglo African Agricultural (AAAP) is raising £475,000 at 0.67p a share in order to pay creditors and finance the growth of food manufacturer Dynamic Intertrade. Cape Town-based Dynamic supplies herbs, spices and seasonings to food manufacturers and the cash will be used to build stock levels and increase production. David Lenigas has been appointed as non-executive chairman and he has subscribed for 22.39 million shares giving him a 12.4% stake. No bids were made during the recent offer period and the strategic review has come to an end.

Andrew Hore

 

Quoted Micro 6 March 2016

ISDX

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) reported a lower brewing profit but this was made up for by a higher contribution from managed pubs in the six months to December 2015. However, the National Living Wage and other costs will increase by £1.1m in the next financial year and management is cautious about the prospects for consumer spending. Revenues were flat at £73.7m but underlying pre-tax profit improved from £4.73m to £5.07m, helped by lower interest costs. There was also a property disposal profit of £3.6m. Net debt was reduced to £61.4m thanks to disposal proceeds.

Electrical and control systems supplier Field Systems Design Holdings (FSD) had a much stronger six months to November 2015 thanks to additional work from the energy from waste incineration sector. Longer-term, demand from the water sector should build up. There was a jump in revenues from £5.51m to £8.31m, while pre-tax profit improved from £11,000 to £91,000. There was £1.1m in the bank at the end of November 2015. At 15.5p (14p/17p) a share, Field is valued at £900,000.

Energy efficiency products supplier Sandal (SAND) moved back into profit in the six months to November 2015. Overall revenues were flat at £1.66m, although there were much higher sales of Energenie products, while a loss of £129,000 was turned into a profit of £7,000 thanks to lower overheads. Sandal has completed its investment in the Energie MiHome range with ongoing investment focused on linking up with Hive and other smart devices for the home. There was £398,000 in the bank at the end of November 2015.

Leni Gas Cuba Ltd (CUBA) has made two new investments in Cuban businesses. The first is a 49% stake in entertainment consultancy Cuba Professionals Inc for an investment of €180,000 over nine months. A short-term working capital facility of €200,000 will also be prfinance ovided. This cash will go towards a larger office in Havana and recruiting additional staff. The other investment is a 15.8% stake in Australian company MEO Australia Ltd, which is focused on Cuban oil exploration. The £730,000 investment will be used to finance exploration in onshore block 9 in Cuba, where another one of the company’s investments, Petro Australis has and interest. Non-executive director Darren Smith has bought 250,000 shares at 0.8p each. That takes his stake to 4 million shares. Smith did not buy any shares in the subscription at 5p a share when the company joined ISDX. The share price has fallen back to 0.9p (0.8p/1p).

Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a total of £2.5m from ten placings of 7% debenture stock since joining ISDX. Two residential property acquisitions have been made in Manchester and Luton.

Ganapati (GANP) is still attempting to obtain a licence from the Gaming Commission and there have been further delays so the company will require additional cash. Ganapati also needs to further develop its BUZZPOP app and this means that there will be no revenues from the app until 2017. There will be a write-down of intangible assets as a consequence. The share price was unchanged at 60p (50p/70p).

Doriemus (DOR) plans to leave AIM and move to ISDX. This follows the decision to buy a further 60.56% of Greenland Oil & Gas. This means that a reverse takeover will not be completed by 14 March and the AIM quotation will be cancelled. The oil and gas-focused investment company should start trading on ISDX on 15 March.

Cyber security technology commercialisation company Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) is linking up with the University of Surrey in order to explore opportunities for commercially exploiting technology for advanced information hiding. The university has developed a way of encoding information into the normal ebb and flow of computer systems. A patent has been filed for this research and the plan is to develop a platform that can use the technology.

AIM

Shell company 3Legs Resources (3LEG) has announced details of the reverse takeover of SalvaRx and plans to raise £1.95m at 35.5p a share – post a 100:1 share consolidation. SalvaRx is an immunotherapy business and it owns 60.5% of iOx, which is developing under lice compounds for cancer immunotherapy. The cash raised will help to finance the first human clinical trials, which are being sponsored by Oxford University, for iOx’s lead compound based on invariant natural killer T cells. SalvaRx has invested £510,000 in iOx and is committed to put in a further £1.33m. 3Legs had already acquired 11.1% of SalvaRx, at a cost of £215,000, last September. The rest of the shares will be swapped for 3Legs shares valuing them at £8.8m. New chairman Jim Mellon and his associates will end up with 73% of 3Legs, whose name will be changed to SalvaRx Group.

Property investor Palace Capital (PLA) has bought an office block in Milton Keynes, near to the railway station, for £7.2m. The near-fully let building generates net income of £550,000 a year. This deal will immediately enhance earnings per share and there is potential to increase rents in the short-term.

Sutton Harbour (SUH) has renewed and extended its bank facilities. A new £25m, three year facility with RNS will replace the £22.5m facility due to expire in October. Finance costs are not expected to change significantly. The enlarged facility plus the rolling £550,000 asset lease financing facility will provide more headroom for Sutton Harbour to push ahead with property developments and invest in the harbour infrastructure.

NWF (NWF) has boosted its agricultural business through the acquisition of ruminant feed manufacturer Jim Peet, which supplies 500,000 tonnes a year to cattle and sheep farmers in northern England and south west Scotland, where NWF wants to grow its exposure. There are two factories near Carlisle and Wigton and they fit well geographically with NWF’s existing facilities.

Advanced ultrasound training simulators developer Medaphor (MED) says that its US subsidiary has signed a long-term agreement with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) for the use of its ScanTrainer as the simulator for its obstetrics and gynecology certification exams. ABOG undertakes 2,000 examinations each year. This provides additional confirmation of the usefulness of the technology.

MAIN MARKET

Investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) increased its net asset value by 7.5% to 245p a share last year. The final dividend is being increased by 18% to 7.9p a share on the back of this growth. During the year, Athelney acquired new stakes in two REITs, Safestyle UK, Samuel Heath and Low & Bonar amongst others, while also adding to existing holdings including Begbies Traynor, Juridica Investments and Quarto Group. The disposal of stakes in GLI Finance and Plus500 appears to have been well timed, while Catlin and Nationwide Accident Repair were taken over. There was a dip in the NAV to 235.8p a share by the end of January but that is not surprising given the weak stockmarket. Athelney says that it would not be surprised to see small caps outperforming larger companies again. The original investors in Athelney back in 1994 have enjoyed an annual return of 15.8% net of basic rate tax on their original investment.

Global Resources Investment Trust (GRIT) is changing its strategy to become a more direct investor in resources businesses. This is because it is in default for its 9% convertible loan notes. Prime Star Energy FZE is subscribing £3.9m at 2p a share and RDP Fund Management £1.5m at the same price. There is also an open offer raising up to £300,000 at 2p a share. However, the final proposals are still not agreed and the board is in discussions with the main parties. The company name will be changed to Global Resources International.

Education software and services provider Tribal Group (TRB) is selling its Synergy children;s services management information systems business to Servelec for £20.25m in cash. The business generated EBITDA of £2.3m in 2015. The disposal cash will be used to reduce the requirement for funds in the previously announced rights issue. The plan is to raise up to £21m and the terms will be announced later this month when the 2015 figures are announced. Ian Bowles took over as chief executive on 1 March. There had been plans to move back to AIM but no mention was made of this.

ANDREW HORE

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