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Ian Pollard: LPA – A Blockbuster Of A Gallop; Record Output; Record Orders & A Bonanza

LPA Group plc LPA reports that he last financial year was exceptionally strong and something of a blockbuster  which it finished at a gallop with record output.  The new financial year then started with a record order book and a major contract win the award of the contract for the upgrade of the lighting on London’s Central and Waterloo & City lines rolling stock. The contract is worth 4m. to 2023 and also has an ongoing through-life support contract to 2043. The rail market remains very buoyant, with huge commitments by Government attracting massive inward investment which potentially promises a bonanza. Despite 2018’s strong performance the current financial year is expected to see a return to more regular levels of activity.

Hiscox plc HSX has enjoyed strong growth during the 9 months to the 30th September with gross written premiums rising by 14.3%. As markets remain challenging however, this is expected to moderate over the remainder of the year.  The results were impacted by catastrophes in the US and the Far East as well as by a number of larger individual claims. Plans for Brexit are well advanced and have always assumed a worst-case scenario ‘hard Brexit’ and for that the company is prepared, irrespective of the outcome of the government’s negotiations. So much for the relevance of politicians.

Totally plc TLY The first half of the current year has been a transformational period for the group with interim results showing turnover rising to over 40,000,000 from 3,530,000 last year. In excess of £10m new business and renewed contracts have been announced since the previous results announcement on the10 July.  The Chancellor’s announcement of an increase in NHS funding of £20.5 billion over a 5 year period will no doubt help the transformation continue.

WANdisco WAND has secured a contract with the leading information and communications technology provider in China. The contract is valued at $1 million part of which will be recurring. The company says that the Chinese market represents a significant untapped opportunity.

 

Versarien VRS Yesterday signed a Framework Agreement with the Qingdao Municipal Bureau of Commerce  in Shandong Province, China, covering cooperation between the parties in the fields of graphene research, development and industrialisation. Qingdao, is a major city in Shandong Province, China, with a population of over nine million people and is one of the major areas of graphite production in China.

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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 4 December 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

VI Mining is planning to join NEX this month. The Peru-focused miner is acquiring two gold mining assets in tandem with the flotation. VI will raise up to £10m in cash at 500p a share and issue a further £10m worth of shares as part of the initial payment, along with some of the cash, for the two mining assets at Rosario and Minaspampa. VI has debt facilities in place. There is a capital expenditure and working capital commitment of £30m for Minaspampa and the mine could be in operation by next August. Rosario requires £15m of capital spending and working capital and already has licences and infrastructure. Annual gold production of 83,720 ounces from the two mines could yield a $43.5m annual profit based on a $1,300/ounce gold price. That is expected to be the initial production and it could end up quadruple that level. Two tolling projects could also generate cash for the group and the first could be up and running in a few months time. VI would be valued at £535m at the flotation price. This is backed up by a Daniel Stewart estimated valuation of £557.8m. The board will retain 73% of the company. The plan is to move to the Main Market in 12 months or so. The free float will need to be increased in order for it to be at least 25% when the move is made.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has published the competent person report on the Hellyer gold project in Tasmania. This indicates that the project has a NPV of $113.2m. The processing facilities are being refurbished and operations are expected to commence in 2018 following the approval of the environmental management plan.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has acquired a 30% stake in Startup Token, which provides advice to start-ups undertaking token offerings. Coinsilium is paying £361,000 in cash and shares at 8.5p each. Coinsilium is also providing a six month loan of $100,000 that can be converted into a further 6.4% of Gibraltar-registered Startup Token.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) has started drilling on PL 3729 in County Clare, which adjoins the Kilbricken zinc deposit. A feasibility study has commenced on PL 3850 in County Wicklow. IMC’s partner Koza has completed an exploration targeting report on other licences and prioritised further exploration.

Ganapati (GANP) has agreed to supply online games to Bethard Group. Ganapati will initially supply eight games and then one each month.

Hearing and mobility products retailer DHAIS (DHAP) has delayed its figures for the year to June 2017 because it wants to ensure it has support from its main funder.

Welney (WENP) had a cash outflow of £19,000 in the year to June 2917 and most of that was covered by loans from related parties and a further £11,000 has been loaned since the year end. These loans will not be called in for at least 12 months. Net liabilities are £197,000. The board is assessing potential deals.

African Potash (AFPO) has entered into a joint venture with SG Inc to develop fertiliser opportunities in the Republic of Congo. A blockchain joint venture has also been announced with FinComEco Ltd and this will develop platforms for agricultural markets in Africa. There is a plan to offer microloans to farmers. The company intends to change its name to Block Commodities Ltd.

Forbes Ventures (FOR)

AIM

Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) continues to underperform and it is not likely to get the $1.75m it is still owed by xG Technology for the sale of Vislink. The broadcast software supplier requires its banks support and needs to appoint a new management team. Talks with potential bidders did not yield an offer. This year’s revenues will be slightly lower than last year

Versarien (VRS) has a strong balance sheet after the recent fundraising and it is generating interest for its Nanene graphene product. The carbide business has won a significant aerospace order. The 167% growth in revenues to £4.38m in the first half was mainly down to the acquisition of a plastics business. A US sales office has been established.

Mortice (MORT) reported strong revenue growth but cost pressures on a particular contract held back profit. The security and facilities management business reported a 17% rise in first half revenues to $106.3m. The contract is being sorted out and house broker finnCap still expects full year profit to improve from $5.4m to $7m.

Anti-microbial drugs developer Destiny Pharma (DEST) has secured a deal with former AIM company China Medical Systems Holdings Ltd (CMS), which is now listed in Hong Kong, for a £3m cash injection into the company and a strategic partnership that gives CMS rights to Destiny’s drug candidates pipeline in China and some other Asian countries. CMS will carry out research and development and the commercialisation of any drugs in its territories. Destiny will make a margin on manufacturing products and receive payments based on sales milestones.

Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is investing a further $6m in its Oman joint venture. This is in the form of a mezzanine loan to the company where Tri-Star has a 40% stake. The interest rate is 15% and payable on redemption – the loan term is five years. The cash will help to finance the development of the antinomy roaster in Oman. The capital budget was recently increased to $96m.

Recruitment has started for a pharmacokinetic study into the Futura Medical (FUM) erectile dysfunction treatment, MED2002. This will help to determine dosages for a phase III study. The UK and Netherlands regulatory agencies have been supportive concerning a possible switch from prescription to over the counter.

Veltyco (VLTY) has yet again announced that its figures will be better than forecast. The online gaming marketing business says that profit is likely to be much higher than expected.

ECSC Group (ECSC) is the perfect example of how a share price can get carried away on the back of general news. The share price is one-quarter its peak after publicity about cyber security and hacking. Trading is in line with previously reduced expectations following cost cutting and the securing of two managed services contracts.

Belluscura has pulled its flotation after failing to gain the EIS/VCT approvals in time and because it could not get the valuation it wanted.

The founder of Focusrite (TUNE) and a relation have sold eight million shares at 315p a share. They still retain a 38.3% stake in the audio equipment supplier.

Active Energy Group (AEG) expects its Utah-based Coal Switch plant to be completed this month. The production capacity is five tonnes of the coal replacement fuel per hour. Once the plant is up and running and proves the viability of the process there should be other plants built in 2018. The plant is modular so it is easy to increase capacity.

Trading in the shares of Graphene NanoChem (GRPH) has been suspended ahead of the proposed acquisition of CG TekBuild, which is involved in modular buildings. The deal is dependent on £18.2m of debt being converted into shares. The proceeds of the sale of non-core activities will be used to pay other creditors. The company believes the acquisition will help it to apply it graphene technology in building materials.

ITM Power (ITM) has £20.2m of projects under contract and a further £22.4m in negotiation. The figure under contract is similar to two months ago but the under negotiations figure is one-third higher.

Defence and petrol stations structures supplier MS International (MSI) reported sharply increased interim profit from £610,000 to £1.64m as revenues increased by two-fifths to £34.6m. Net cash is £14.5m. Most of the growth came from the petrol station branding business and this more than offset the decline in profit from defence. The interim dividend was increased from 1.5p a share to 1.75p a share.

Precision optical components supplier Gooch and Housego (GHH) reported slightly better than expected full year figures. Revenues were 30% ahead at £112m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £14.2m to £16.1m. Acquisitions helped to fuel significant growth in aerospace and defence. There was also increased demand from the subsea telecoms market and other industrial applications. The life sciences division still needs bulking up.

Timber supplier James Latham (LTHM) reported a 7% increase in interim revenues to £107.3m but a decline in margins meant that pre-tax profit was 12% lower at £6.7m. The interim dividend was unchanged at 4.5p a share and net cash declined to £11.6m due to capital spending. The pension deficit has fallen from £16.6m to £8.5m. A slight fall in full year profit to £13.4m is expected.

MAIN MARKET

Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) is raising £21.6m at 410p a share to speed up its growth in the US and finance the relocation of facilities in the UK. The new facility will help to improve efficiency. In the year to September 2017, revenues were one-quarter higher at £109.6m and pre-tax profit improved by 46% to £12.9m.

Torotrak (TRK) has been unable to secure the finance it requires. The vehicle technology developer is considering selling its technology and IP or it may have to appoint an administrator.

Andrew Hore

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