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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 27 July 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Healthcare IT provider DXS International (DXSP) moved from loss to profit in the year to April 2020. Revenues were slightly lower at £3.28m, while a loss of £200,000 was turned into a pre-tax profit of £239,000. There was £1m in the bank at the end of April 2020, following the recent fundraising. There has only been a marginal drop in revenues due to COVID-19 and growth should return later in the year. Chairman Bob Sutcliffe has bought 46,153 shares at 6.5p each.

KR1 (KR1) has raised $493,000 from the sale of Nexus Mutual tokens. They cost $79,000. KR1 still owns three-quarters of the tokens it originally acquired in the blockchain-based mutual insurance company.

Gunsynd (GUN) has bought a stake in Eagle Mountain Mining at A$0.13 a share. The £110,000 investment in the ASX-listed company provides exposure to copper exploration. The cash will finance exploration at the Oracle Ridge copper mine project.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has raised £150,000 at 1p a share. The new shares come with warrants exercisable at 2.75p each.

The Tasmanian government has transferred the mining lease to the Beaconsfield gold mine to NQ Minerals (NQMI).

AfriAg Global (AFRI) had £76,000 in cash at the end of June 2020. There are also £1.16m of investments available for sale.

Eurocann International (BUD) has yet to identify a medicinal cannabis business that fits its acquisition criteria and price expectations, although it has made some short-term investments.

Trading in the shares of Lombard Capital (LCAP) has been suspended following a sharp rise in the share price.

AIM                                                                      

Tungsten Corporation (TUNG) is benefiting from its focus on building up recurring revenues from its e-invoicing platform. Additional products and services are being added to help accelerate growth. As revenues grow they will cover overheads and profit could increase rapidly after this point has been reached.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has raised £2.33m at 55p a share. This will enable the IP investment company to provide bridge finance and invest directly in funding rounds. Frontier also wants to take on more people to help advise and develop investee companies.

In the year to March 2020, Mercia Asset Management (MERC) generated enough income to cover its overheads for the first time. That was with a part-year contribution from Northern Ventures. However, there were fair value write downs of assets of £15.8m. The NAV is 32.1p a share. Funds under management are £658m. Since the year end there was a gain on the disposal of the stake in Native Antigen.

Oil and gas producer Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) has confirmed the major potential of the Cascadura discovery in Trinidad. The estimate for 2P reserves is 45 mmboe of gas/condensate. Touchstone’s production could be multiplied by ten. finnCap has set a risked-NAV of 91p a share.

Scientific instruments manufacturer Judges Scientific (JDG) says that first half order intake was 17% lower. North American orders were one-third lower. Like-for-like interim sales were 12% lower. Cash was generated from operations.

Disinfection products supplier Tristel (TSTL) says that full year revenues were one-fifth ahead helped by an additional £1.5m due to COVID-19. Net cash was £6.2m at the end of June 2020.

Synairgen (SNG) says that its phase II trial of SNG001 in hospitalised COVID-19 patient shows a 79% reduction in the development of severe disease and death. Discussions have started with regulators.

Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR) has secured a joint venture with Anglo Asian Mining (AAZ) to develop a gold mine in Ireland. Anglo Asian is committing to spend €2m for an initial 17.5% stake with an option to spend the same amount to take the stake to 25%. The maximum stake that can be earned is 55%, which would take the Clontibret gold deposit to the point where the mine is ready for construction. Anglo Asian has been issued with 325,000 Conroy warrants exercisable at 16p a share. Sanderson Capital Partners has cut its stake to below 3%.

Bidstack (BIDS) generated revenues of £275,000 in the first half, but the second half is more important. The in-game advertising company is winning business around the world.

Mattress retailer eve Sleep (EVE) generated slightly lower revenues of £12.2m in the first half of 2020, but the loss will be much lower due to cost savings. Cash was generated in the first half and there is net cash of £9.1m. Some competitors are withdrawing from the European market.

MAIN MARKET

Retailer French Connection (FCCN) has reduced costs during a tough trading period. Websites sales were 24% higher in the past 15 weeks. Stores started to reopen on 15 June, but the recovery is gradual.

Standard list shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) had £780,000 in the bank at the end of June 2020.

Bermele (BERM) intends to acquire Singapore-based East Imperial, which sells premium mixers and New Zealand spring water. There is a nine month exclusivity agreement. Trading in Bermele shares is suspended.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 23 July 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) moved back into profit in the year to March 2018 and it is paying a dividend of 0.4p a share. The e-commerce technology company edged up revenues from £1.04m to £1.07m, while a loss of £46,000 was turned into a profit of £82,000, even after amortisation of £70,000, up from £20,000 in the previous year.  Net assets of £770,000 include £502,000 of cash.  There are a growing number of opportunities for this financial year.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has signed an IP sharing agreement with Canada-based Veritas Pharma. This could help with Sativa’s plans to grow medicinal cannabis and also help to choose a particular strain.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has completed its investment agreement with ARQ Minerals and this formalises the commitment to work together in Nigeria. The St Leonard’s mine is supplying trial amounts of coal. ARQ helps to manage the mine and it is subscribing £50,000 each for two tranches of shares in the operating company, which will take is stake to 50%. ARQ will also own 1,000 million warrants exercisable at 0.02p a share. ARQ has committed to producing a minimum of 40,000 tonnes of coal and every 1,000 tonnes produced above this level will earn an additional 0.625% stake in the operating company, which can take the stake up to a maximum level of 75%. ARQ and Equatorial will be paid 10% of gross profit each month with the rest of the profit shared in line with their equity interests.

Welney (WENP) has announced a general meeting to vote on the appointment of Mark Jackson and Mark Chapman as directors.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) still had £627,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018 because it has not been able to find an investment at a realistic price.

Blockchain investment company Coinsilium Group (COIN) says that Malcolm Burne has been appointed as project adviser to the company’s blockchain platform development company TerraStream.

New director Melissa Sturgess has bought 9.23 million shares in Imperial Minerals (IMPP) at 1p each. That is a 29% stake.

Medicinal cannabis sector investment company High Growth Capital Ltd (HASH) had £522,000 in the bank at the end of March 2018 and it has raised £250,000 at 0.4p a share.

AIM  

Parity (PTY) is still on track to achieve double digit profit growth this year. The IT recruitment and consultancy services provider remains modestly rated even though the share price has risen substantially this year.

Yu Group (YU.) says interim revenues increased by 69% to £35m. The energy supplier expects full year revenues to be at least £82m, which means that operating profit should rise by three-quarters. There is £18.2m in the bank.

Frontier IP Group (FIPP) says that portfolio company Tarsis Technology has entered into a collaboration with a major crop protection products company. The company will provide the funds to further develop the Tarsis technology to deliver chemical pesticides and fungicides in a more controlled way. In return the company gets exclusive rights to particular agrochemicals usage and Tarsis would get royalties from commercial products. Frontier IP is lending Tarsis £150,000 in return for share options.

Consumer healthcare business Venture Life Group (VLG) is raising £18.75m at 40p a share to help finance the acquisition of Dentyl Dual action mouthwash and BB Mints for £4.2m and repay £3.7m of convertible loan notes. The remaining cash will be used for further acquisitions. The share issue more than doubles the number of shares in issue.

Odey has withdrawn its general meeting requisition at Tungsten Corporation (TUNG) following the appointment of Anthony Bromovsky and Duncan Goldie-Morrison to the board.

600 Group (SIXH) has offloaded its pension scheme to specialist insurer Pension Insurance Corporation. The scheme will be wound up and surplus funds after tax will be returned to the machine tools supplier. That could be up to £4m. Full year revenues grew from $58.8m to $66m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from $2.65m to $3.05m. That excludes the gain on the sale of ProPhotonix (PPTX) shares.

Integumen (SKIN) is raising £700,000 at 0.65p a share and renegotiated the deal with food supplements supplier Cellulac so that it will acquire a 9.35% stake. Cellulac’s chief executive and chief operations officer will join Integumen in those roles. Cellulac will grant Integumen a licence to sell its products in certain territories.

A positive trading statement from audio visual equipment distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) has led to a forecast upgrade. Earnings per share forecasts have been raised by 3% for each of the next three years. The 2018 profit is expected to be £28.3m and earnings per share 27.6p. The interims will be published on 11 September.

EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has signed a manufacturing agreement with Oragenics Inc. EKF will supply drug substances for the customer and this will boost next year’s profit by 5%.

LiDCO (LID) has signed a distribution deal with a Chinese supplier of blood monitoring cuffs and this will help to replace the lost income from the Argon distribution contract. It may take time to build up sales, though.

Woodford Investment has increased its stake in superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) to 21.5%. This comes at a time that Old Mutual has been selling down its stake after the recent profit warning.

Corporation tax software supplier Tax Systems (TAX) has grown its recurring and non-recurring revenues in the first half of 2018 and total revenues were 14% higher, which includes 9% organic growth. Net debt is down to £17.5m.

Synectics (SNX) had net cash of £9.1m at the end of May 2018. The surveillance technology company increased interim revenues by 3% to £34.7m thanks to strong demand from the gaming sector. Underlying profit improved from £1.3m to £1.5m. Stockdale has maintained its full year profit forecast at £3.1m.

EMIS (EMIS) says that its primary care business is sorting out its problems and the net cash grew to £32.3m at the end of June 2018. The health IT technology supplier says that the business has grown in the first half and still expects an improvement in full year profit. The share price has recovered since the disappointing trading statement earlier this year.

Ken Kroeger has become permanent chief executive of driver monitoring systems technology developer Seeing Machines (SEE) and he will had over the chairmanship to Jack Boyer at the beginning of 2019.

MAIN MARKET    

Investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) says that its NAV dipped to 264.2p a share at the end of June 2018, although this was partly due to the payment of the final dividend of 8.9p a share. Excluding that, there was a 4% decline. There was an improvement on the net return on ordinary activities from £110,000 to £125,000, but the loss in the capital part of the income statement was slightly higher than that revenue gain. The total value of investments was £5.61m and NAV was £5.7m. During the first half, shareholdings in Countrywide, Debenhams, DX, Juridica Investments, HC Slingsby and Sprue Aegis were sold.

Avation (AVAP) has acquired a second new Airbus A220-300 aircraft and leased it to airBaltic.

Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) is raising £500,000 at 2.5p a share in order to help finance obtaining FDA clearance for StoneChecker software and design a cloud-based interface, as well as boost commercial operations. Subsidiary Imaging Biometrics is involved with a phase II trial that will use its IB Rad Tech technology to process data from 20 sites to determine how well dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging in measuring the effectiveness of brain tumour treatment.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 21 December 2015

ISDX

Asia-focused investment company DKG Capital (DKGP) is acquiring a 30% stake in Hong Kong-based Ronix Resource Co, which provides concierge VIP services for the travel and leisure sector, for £600,000 in cash and shares. Ronix is completing the acquisition of online betting and gaming business Global Media Ltd, which has an agreement with a Malaysian firm for the referral of VIP customers as well as jointly developing an online gaming services. DKG plans to raise £200,000 from a placing early in 2016. At 1.75p (1.5p/2p) a share, DKG is valued at £900,000.

Carduus Housing (CHP2) is acquiring 15 properties for £1.19m and £2.5m of 6.25% bonds 2020 have been admitted to ISDX. The freehold properties being acquired are two/three bedroom homes in southern Glasgow. The first seven properties have been bought and the others will be acquired in January. The homes will be rented out and managed by a housing association.

Investment company Gledhow Investments (GDH) has been hit by the decline in the value of its investments in resources companies. No new investments were made last year. The NAV fell from £626,000 to £497,000, including cash of £247,000, at the end of September 2015. At 0.75p (0.5p/1p) a share, Gledhow is valued at £370,000.

Investment company Lombard Capital (LCAP) has a new major shareholder. Mark Jackson has sold his 28.8% stake in Lombard at 10p a share to David Grierson. That is a large premium to the market price of 6p (5p/7p) a share.

AIM

Molecular diagnostics company Premaitha Health (NIPT) has secured a £5m loans and warrants investment from Thermo Fisher. Premaitha’s man product is the IONA test, which is used to screen the foetus to assess if there are any genetic disorders. Thermo Fisher supplies the DNA sequencing instruments used to assess the IONA pre-natal test. European countries are starting to offer reimbursement for the use of the test. The first country is Switzerland. The additional cash will be used to further develop the test. Premaitha had £6.6m in the bank at the end of September 2015. The Thermo Fisher deal provides backing for Premaitha’s IP litigation with Illumina, which could drag on for some time.

Tungsten Corp (TUNG) is selling its bank to concentrate on its trade finance operations. Tungsten will receive £30m for the bank, which is in the books for £25.4m. It could take up to 12 months to complete the disposal. Tungsten remains heavily loss-making and there was £15.9m in the bank at the end of October 2015 – excluding the bank. Even with cost savings, cash could be running low by the time the money comes in for the bank.

Fit-out and projects contractor Styles & Wood (STY) has been retained by TSB as contractor for branch refurbishment after the bank reduced the number of contractors in the framework agreement from five to two. This should generate at least £10m a year for Styles & Wood over the next five years. Group revenues were £97m in 2014. Even though the first half profit was small, house broker Shore forecasts 2015 earnings per share of 29.5p, rising to 37.2p a share in 2016. The balance sheet has been strengthened following a refinancing of Styles’ preference shares earlier this year. Net debt, including preference shares, was £6.42m at the end of June 2015 and cash flow should be strong from now on.

Business information provider Progressive Digital Media Group (PRO) intends to acquire healthcare business information provider GlobalData Holding and sell its non-core print assets to the owners of the GlobalData. An all-share deal is likely to leave the sellers with just over one-third of the enlarged group. Progressive will have three legs: healthcare, consumer and technology. In July, Progressive bought information assets from Informa for £25m.

NWF Group (NWF) says that trading is in line with expectations and net debt continues to be reduced. Lower milk prices continue to hamper the feeds division, while the food distribution division used overflow capacity and the fuels distribution division did better than expected in the summer months – although the warm winter could hold back second half progress. The interims will be published on 2 February.

Online video content revenues generator Rightster (RSTR) is raising £10m at 5p a share – a premium to the market price. The cash will help to finance the restructuring of the business and cover continuing losses. Rightster wants to focus on enterprise customers and create targeted channels to attract certain consumer groupings. Investment in production teams and other specialists will be required. The placing is being backed by Woodford and Invesco. The number of shares in issue will be increased by nearly 60%. Ashley Mackenzie, a founder of one of the companies acquired by the group, took on the role of chief executive in November.

Thor Mining (THR) has agreed to sell its gold assets in Australia to PC Gold for A$3.5m. The deal includes the Spring Hill and Dundas gold projects. There is an initial deposit of A$150,000 with the rest of the first tranche of A$2m to acquire a 60% stake in the projects due early next year, followed by a further A$1.5m within 12 months to acquire the rest. There are also royalty payments of A$6/ounce unless the gold selling price goes above A$1,500/ounce when the payment goes up to A$14/ounce. The initial cash will pay off A$1.2m loan taken out to acquire the rest of Spring Hill. The rest of the cash will be invested in the company’s tungsten projects in Australia and the US.

Sunrise Resources (SRES) has signed a 25 year lease agreement with EP Minerals for its County Line diatomite project in Nevada. Sunrise will not have to spend any more of its own money developing the project. This project could be up and running and generating a royalty stream for Sunrise within 18 months. There is an initial payment of $450,000 in 18 months and then minimum royalty payments each year. Sunrise has acquired a second industrial minerals project in Nevada. The Pozz Ash project could be a source of natural pozzolan, which is an alternative additive to cement.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list company General Industries (GNI) is paying £1.2m for Murja from founders Richard Murphy and Christopher Jack. Murja is a treasury management consultancy and the deal has been passed by the FCA. When the acquisition is completed Richard Murphy will become an executive director. General Industries has already acquired affordable housing adviser Altair Consultancy & Advisory Services and this should provide additional client for Murja. An interim dividend of 0.22p a share is being paid on 21 December.

Standard list shell Opera Investments (OPRA) continues to try and raise cash to enable it to complete the acquisition of SoloPower Systems but it is taking longer than expected. The original announcement of heads of terms was on 20 July and trading in the shares was suspended. US-based SoloPower manufactures solar photovoltaic cells and modules from thin-film copper, indium, gallium and selenium materials and its current owner is Hudson Clean Energy Partners. SoloPower believes that its thin film solar products are cheaper to produce and install than those of its competitors. The deal is valued at $220m based on an all share acquisition at 28p a share. The plan is to raise at least $40m. An initial £1.06m net was raised at 10p a share last April. Because Opera is not on AIM there is no limit on the time that the shares can be suspended.

Andrew Hore

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