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Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 7 October 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Wines and beer maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased interim sales by one-fifth to £6.74m with growth coming from all parts of the business. Gross margins improved, but the first half loss increased due to investment in developing brands. Cash has been spent on developing additional vineyards, a gin works and a new brewery, although there is still £5.19m in cash on the balance sheet. Bank debt is £6.45m and this is associated with the Ashford brewery, where there have been teething problems with commissioning the new equipment. The associated restaurant and retail store opened in May.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased revenues by 44% to £5.07m in the year to April 2019. There was a disposal gain of £284,000 and that contributed to the rise in pre-tax profit from £361,000 to £759,000. Total dividends doubled to 2.5p a share. Property assets have increased by 52% to £88.3m. NAV is £21.2m.

Net assets of Western Selection (WESP) have fallen by one-third to 64p a share. The investment in loss-making Tudor Rose International has been written off. The value of the stakes in Bilby (BILB) and Brand Architekts (BAR), formerly Swallowfield, has fallen sharply. There is no final dividend.

IFA AFH Financial (AFHP) has confirmed that trading has been strong in the year to October 2019 and there will be a renewed focus on organic growth following a period of acquisition activity. There could be some small purchases, but there will be no requirement for cash from share issues.

KR1 (KR1) generated a gross profit of £5m in the six months to June 2019, although £4.29m of that is unrealised gains. The reported pre-tax profit is £4.62m. The NAV is £10.7m.

Dozens Savings (DSO1/DSO2) has had its 5% secured bonds October 2020 admitted to the NEX Exchange Growth Market. The bonds are offered to customers of parent company Project Imagine.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that investee company YBOO has been placed in administration and Quantuma appointed to handle the process. Angelfish invested £650,000 for a 35% stake and lent just over £1m for working capital, where a repayment demand led to the administration. Writing down this investment was predominantly behind the £1.72m loss reported for the year to June 2019. It has also meant that there are net liabilities of £2.27m. A capital raising was hit by the closure of SVS Securities.

Shareholders in SG Recruitment (SGRL) did not approve the AGM reappointment of Steven Howson as a director. David Sumner, who owns the majority of the shares in the company, has been appointed chief executive.

Healthcare company MiLOC Group (MLP) increased its interim revenues from HK$5.27m to HK$6.1m. The loss was still substantial, although it did decline from HK$25m to HK$19.4m. The launch of a traditional Chinese medicine-based body care product should happen in the coming months. MiLOC raised HK$652,000 at 30p a share.

Cannabis company Freyherr International Group (FRYR) generated revenues of £1.17min the first half of 2019 and it should reach more than £2m for the full year. There was a small profit in the first half, which was before Freyherr joined NEX.

MESH Holdings (MESH) has left NEX. Veni, Vidi, Vici (VVV), Global Capital (GCAP) and Secured Property Developments (SPD) have all had trading in shares suspended because of a failure to publish accounts. Trading in Queros Capital Partners 8% bonds 2025 (QCP) has been suspended because of a breach of rules. This involves the failure to appoint new independent non-execs.

DXS International (DXSP) has appointed Hybridan as broker.

AIM  

Directa Plus (DCTA) is paying €2.1m to acquire a 51% stake in Romanian waste management and remediation services company Setcar. A placing and one-for-38 open offer at 75p a share will raise up to £8.24m before expenses for the graphene business. GVC Investment Company, which has a business in offshore oil and gas services, will acquire 47% of Setcar with an existing shareholder retaining 1.97%. Directa Plus and Setcar have worked together on the development of Grafysorber mobile decontamination units. This is one of the two main focuses for Directa Plus. The other is textiles.

Linde is taking a 20% in energy storage and clean fuel products developer ITM Power (ITM) in return for £38m. The two firms are entering into a joint venture that will supply hydrogen to large scale industrial projects with an installed electrolyser capacity of 10MW and above. A further £14m is being raised at 40p a share, which is the same price that Linde is paying. An open offer could raise up to £6.8m.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) is raising up to £20m at 44p a share, including an offer via PrimaryBid.com. The cash will enable Duke to sign up another royalty partner and undertake five follow-on investments. The total cost will be approximately £25m. There will also be spare cash and facilities to sign up other royalty partners.

Trading in antimicrobial technology developer Byotrol (BYOT) shares has been suspended because it has not published its accounts for the year to March 2019. It blames the effects of revenue recognition policy IFRS 15 and the Medimark acquisition for the delay. The preliminary figures have been published and they were better than expected due to changes in revenue recognition related to IFRS15. Some revenues originally recognised in the year before has been moved to last year. Revenues increased from £1.8m to £5.7m, with £1.8m coming from Medimark, and Byotrol moved from loss to a pre-tax profit of £600,000. There was £2.8m in the bank at the end of March 2019. Even if there are no further licence deals this year, Byotrol should trade at around breakeven.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) says that the trial investigating the potential of SFX-01 to reverse acquired resistance to endocrine therapies. The data suggest that there are no safety concerns in patients suffering from ER+ metastatic breast cancer. In combination with endocrine therapy, SFX-01 helped to stabilise the disease and showed some anti-tumour activity.

STM Group (STM) says that the Pension Regulator has confirmed that Carey Workplace Pension Trust is an approved Master Trust for auto-enrolment. This means that STM is well-placed to become a consolidator in the market.

MAIN MARKET

Avation (AVAP) has repossessed two Airbus A321 aircraft from Thomas Cook and they are undergoing maintenance. They will subsequently be leased to other clients.

Flavourings supplier Treatt (TET) says it will achieve expectations in the year to September 2019 even though there has been a sharp fall in citrus raw material prices. Orange oil prices have halved, and this accounts for one-third of revenues. Non-citrus revenues are growing. Net cash is £15.8m. The full year results will be published on 26 November.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 25 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Western Selection (WESP) has reported a 22% decrease in NAV to 75p a share, due to the decline in smaller quoted company share prices. The NAV has recovered to 79p a share. The investment in Swallowfield (SWL) declined by nearly one-third and the value of the Bilby (BILB) stake fell by two-fifths in the six months to December 2018. Net debt was £1.25m at the end of 2018. The interim dividend is maintained at 1.1p a share.

Early Equity (EEQP) has acquired a 60% stake in MEI Home, a ecommerce platform for household, health and food products, for £282,000. The Malaysia-based business was profitable in the first financial year. The founder will retain a 40% stake and he also owns 6.12% of Early Equity. He also promises that annual pre-tax profit will be at least £95,000 in each of the next two financial years.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has taken a 50% stake in a joint venture with Vast Mineral Sands covering diamond mining concessions at the government-owned Alexkor diamond mine in South Africa. This should generate cash, through planned production of 900 carat per month, to invest in other projects. Tectonic is paying $650,000 in shares at 2.2p each. A year long research study has confirmed that there is an interaction of two styles of mineralisation at Mount Cassidy prospect in Queensland, Australia. There is stratabound copper and zinc, gold and silver mineralisation and epizonal to epithermal gold and silver mineralisation.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has extended the life of its convertible bond by one year to 19 January 2020. The annual coupon increases from 6% to 7.2%. The conversion into shares can take place if an alternative quotation on a recognised stock exchange is secured.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has completed a £4m bond issue. These 7% bonds 2023 are due to start trading on NEX.

AIM  

Michelmersh Brick (MBH) has made its first acquisition outside of the UK. Michelmersh is paying up to €9.9m (£8.7m) for Antwerp-based Floren and Co in a deal that should be immediately earnings enhancing. A placing raised £5m at 90p a share. In 2018, Floren generated EBITDA of €1.75m on revenues of €5.7m. Michelmersh is planning to increase production levels from 19.5 million bricks a year. The acquisition includes 120 acres of land, of which 60 acres is used in production.

IP legal services provider Murgitroyd Group (MUR) is acquiring Southampton-based Chapman IP for £6.6m and Helga Chapman has been appointed a non-executive director. Net cash was £2.03m at the end of November 2018. Interim pre-tax profit edged up from £1.67m to £1.7m. The interim dividend was increased by 8% to 7p a share. Edward Murgitroyd is retaining his role as chief executive and handing over the role of finance director Keith Young.

Carpets and hard flooring manufacturer Victoria (VCP) continued to sacrifice margins in order to add market share in a declining flooring market in the UK in the second half of the financial year to March 2019. Full year EBITDA should be between £95m-£97m, with underlying pre-tax profit of at least £55m. This is not as much as previously forecast. There are additional inventories ahead of Brexit. Restructuring measures and capital investment should add more than £14m to pre-tax profit for the year to March 2020.

JD Sports Fashion (JD.) has acquired 21.3% of Footasylum (FOOT) and it says it may acquire up to 29.9%. FIL Ltd’s stake has fallen below 5%. Artemis has sold its 5.74% stake.

Angling Direct (ANG) expects to report full year revenues of £42m, up from £30.2m. Three new stores have been added to the group, taking the total to 24. International sales doubled. The full year results will be published on 13 May. Angling Direct is considering the acquisition of Glasgow-based Chapmans Angling Ltd, which is a subsidiary of The Glasgow Angling Centre Ltd.

Egdon Resources (EDR) has competed drilling at Biscathorpe-2 in Lincolnshire. There are signs of an effective petroleum system even though the sands were poorly developed. The reservoir may be better developed to the north of the well. Egdon owns 35.8% of the exploration licence and Union Jack Oil (UJO) owns 22%.

Trinidad-focused oil and gas producer and explorer Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) has raised £3.8m at 12p a share in order to finance the 9,000 feet of exploration drilling at Ortoire.

Pelatro (PTRO) has gained a contract to supply its mViva contextual marketing service to Vietnam-based Vinaphone. The deal with the telecoms company should be worth $1.5m over three years. Pelatro gets a fixed monthly fee plus a share of incremental revenues generated. This provides additional confidence that the 2019 revenue forecast of $10.5m can be met. That is expected to generate pre-tax profit of $6m because of the high operational gearing of the business.

SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) has raised £1.5m at 16p a share from Seneca Partners. There was £2.52m in the bank at the end of 2018. The cash will be invested in further development of products and commercialise them.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) has provided £10m of royalty finance to recreational vehicle parts wholesaler Miriad Products. The monthly payments are expected to provide a yield the equivalent of 13% a year.

Biopesticide products developer Eden Research (EDEN) has a second approved product thanks to its commercial partner Eastman Chemical Company. Nematicide formulation Cedroz has received authorisation in Malta and Eastman will apply to gain approvals in individual EU member states. The full benefit of these approvals is likely to show through next year.

EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has received US FDA clearance for the use of the Quo-Test glycated haemoglobin analyser in clinical laboratories.

It has been a mixed start to the financial year for Gooch and Housego (GHH) with softer demand in microelectronics, due to trade tariffs, but the second half improvement in subsea cable business has continue. The AGM statement has led to a reduction in the underlying profit forecast for this year from £21.5m to £19m, which is slightly higher than last year’s outcome.

Social housing software provider Castleton Technology (CTP) has acquired its software development partner in India for £350,000 in cash and shares.

eServGlobal (ESG) says that its 35.7%-owned mobile transfer payments joint venture HomeSend increased its average transaction value by 35% in the second half following a change in strategy to focus on account-to-account transactions rather than remittances.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) is acquiring eight abbreviated new drug applications in the US from Sandoz Inc. This takes the number of US approved drugs to 14, with four currently being exported to the US.

Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) has raised £4m at 2p a share and wants to raise up to £4m more through a seven-for-one open offer closing on 11 March. If these shares are all issued they will account for 93% of the total shares in issue. Haydale needs cash to invest in its inks business as well as to cover continuing losses. Keith Broadbent will become chief executive.

Reach4Entertainment (R4E) has acquired the arts and entertainment advertising agency trading as Sold Out for an initial £3.94m in cash and £250,000 in shares. The total purchase price is dependent on performance in the period from 1 June 2017 to the end of 2021 and is capped at £10m. In the year to May 2018, Sold Out made a pre-tax profit of £1.3m.

Paragon Entertainment (PEL) has sold its current administration offices in York for £550,000. The relocation to other group premises should save £100,000 a year. The cash will pay off the mortgage of £134,000 and reduce the overdraft from £1.04m. The overdraft limit will be cut from £1.2m to £882,000. A creditor owing £168,000 has filed for protection from creditors. Management want to raise additional capital.

Medical devices supplier Inspiration Health (IHC) says revenues for the year to January 2019, will be £15.5m, which is £1m below forecast, and pre-tax profit will be slightly lower than forecast at £1.2m.

Holders Technology (HDT) has more than trebled its full year pre-tax profit of £177,000 thanks to a reduced LED loss and improved profitability at the printed circuit board materials business. There was still a cash outflow from operations. The dividend has been increased by 50% to 0.75p a share.

Arc Minerals Ltd (ARCM) has raised £2.2m at 3p a unit. The unit includes a share and one warrant exercisable at 4.5p each and lasting for 36 months. The cash will finance exploration and development at the Zamsort copper project in Zambia. Arc has also sold its 18.5% stake in Andiamo Exploration for $250,000.

Malvern International (MLVN) has raised £606,000 at 4p a share. This is more than the education services provider originally asked for in order to cover working capital requirements and investment in a new college in Brighton and online course material.

AIM-quoted blockchain and technology investment company Vela Technologies (VELA) is taking advantage of the discount to cash by buying 500,000 shares in cryptocurrency mining services provider Argo Blockchain (ARB) at 3.072p a share. This compares with cash of 5p a share. Vela has 3 million shares in Argo, equivalent to 1.02%. The rest of the shares were bought prior to Argo’s standard listing and cost 8p each, compared with the flotation price of 16p a share. The average cost is 7.17p a share, so the average cost exceeds the value of cash in the business. Argo is refocusing on its own currency mining. Ongoing costs will be cut by one-third, although there will be some one-off cash costs. Net cash is £15m and that is much more than the market capitalisation of Argo.

ReNeuron (RENE) has released early data on three patients in phase I/IIa clinical trial the human retinal progenitor cell product. There have been significant improvements in vision for the patients, but this is a small sample size over a short time. Cash should last until the end of 2019.

Pires Investments (PIRI) has received a requisition notice for a general meeting in order to make changes to the company’s board.

Best of the Best (BOTB) has received tenders for just over 4 million shares, which is 5.6 times the number that it was tendering for. Best of the Best will pay £3.5m for 721,327 shares (485p a share).

FAIRFX Group (FFX) has become a direct participant in the UK faster payments scheme. It is the fourth non-bank to be a direct settling member.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) says Kinnerton Confectionery will be using its Rizikon Assurance secure third party assurance platform.

Former AIM company Lionsgold Ltd (LION) is changing its name to Tally Ltd. Mobile banking app Tally is in beta testing and could be released by the end of February. Once this has been released the company will seek to gain a new quotation. The exercise of warrants, mostly by directors, at 1.2p a share has generated £288,000.

MAIN MARKET 

Packaging group Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its pre-exceptional profit by one-fifth to £11.2m in 2018. Both distribution, helped by acquisitions, and manufacturing divisions increased their profit contributions. Manufacturing sales grew fastest but margins fell. The dividend was increased by nearly 10% to 2.3p a share. Net debt was £13.2m and there are plenty of unused bank facilities to fund any further acquisitions. The pension deficit was reduced by £2m to £9.8m.

In the six months to December 2018, Avation (AVAP) reported doubled earnings per share thanks to the gain on the sale of a A321-200 aircraft. The NAV is 288p. The aircraft fleet continues to increase, particularly turboprop aircraft. Although full year pre-tax profit is set to rise even more than originally forecast, earnings per share are likely to be flat at 31.7 cents. Next year’s profit will be lower, assuming no aircraft disposals.

InnovaDerma (IDP) reported interims in line with expectations and there are plans for a mid-March launch for Skinny Tan in Boots. This will help the second half performance, which is normally stronger. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to more than double to £1.5m, a downgrade of 10%. Net cash was £700,000 at the end of 2018. A cash inflow is expected in the second half, but fluctuations in cash in terms of working capital requirements, such as Boots order levels, during the period could lead to InnovaDerma deciding to raise more money.

Anglo African Agriculture (AAAP) reported a reduction in turnover from £2.13m to £1.74m in the year to October 2018. Even so, gross margins improved and the pre-tax loss edged up from £550,000 to £573,000. Net cash was £856,000. The company is assessing acquisitions outside of the agriculture sector.

Trading in the shares of daVictus (DVT) has been suspended ahead of finalisation of a deal where the standard list shell will buy the rights to a restaurant concept from Typical Dutch NV for £100,000. This is deemed to require a prospectus before the company can be readmitted to the standard list. The Havana Rolled Cigar Music Café concept has been developed at a site in Aruba. daVictus had £431,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Offshore support vessels operator Gulf Marine Services (GMS) has sent out the document for its requisitioned general meeting on 18 March. Rival Seafox International wants to remove the chairman and appoint three new directors. Ithmar Capital Partners wants to appoint another director.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 1 October 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) managed to edge up its profit despite flat turnover of £156.6m in the year to June 2018. Underlying pre-tax profit was 5% ahead at £11.8m. The total dividend is 3% higher at 29.2p a share. Growth came from the managed pubs but there was a decline in the brewing operations because of the loss of the Asahi contract. Own brand volumes were 0.9% lower, but the division improved its profit contribution. Volumes will continue to fall as third party business is further reduced. The current year has started well.

Chapel Down (CDGP) is opening a bar, restaurant and ginnery called the Chapel Down Gin Works in the Kings Cross area. The wines and beers maker reported a 15% rise in interim revenues to £5.72m. The majority of the growth in revenues came from the wine business and demand continues to exceed supply. The overall loss rose because of the much higher loss from the brewing business. Group profit is second half weighted.

V22 (V22) slipped into loss in the first half of 2018 as the NAV declined from 3.94p a share to 3.88p a share. If the art portfolio is revalued the NAV has increased from 7.47p a share to 8.29p a share.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) generated revenues of £1.33m in the six months to June 2018. There was a reported pre-tax profit of £554,000, after an impairment charge of £216,000. There was £65,000 of cash generated in the period. The blockchain consultancy and investment company obtained most of its revenues from token sales advisory business.

KR1 (KR1) made a loss of £7.36m in the six months to June 2018. That loss was due to unrealised losses on the carrying value of digital currencies and other investments because of the decline in prices during the period.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased its annul revenues by one-third to £3.52m, but pre-tax profit declined from £1.12m to £214,000. That was due to a lack of disposal gains and higher interest costs. Ace has acquired the Mecca Bingo Hall in Chesterfield for £3.999m and this generates an annual rent of £301,000.

A €5.34m gain on the acquisition of an investment property helped Black Sea Property (BSP) swing from a loss to a pre-tax profit of €5.11m. The NAV increased from 0.76 cents a share to 1.16 cents a share.

Health staff provider Healthperm Resources Ltd (HPR) nearly trebled its interim revenues to £297,000 as the number of candidates deployed jumped from 50 to 144. There are 158 people enrolled in the Middle East language training centre.

BWA (BWAP) continues to seek a reverse takeover candidate and its two investments are making progress. Prepaid cards provider Prepaid Global Services is making slower than expected progress but continues to plan to gain a quotation. BWA has applied for licences in Cameroon on behalf of investee company Mineralfields. BWA had £76,000 in the bank at the end of April 2018, while shareholder funds increased from £570,000 to £764,000.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) has appointed Igor Zjali as chief investment officer and Kirk Kashefi as a non-executive director. Nigel Quinton becomes permanent finance director. The £100,000 loan from Quanta Capital has been converted into 100 million shares. There was £56,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. Investee company Civilised Bank has resubmitted its application for authorisation to the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) engaged Bishop and Sewell to investigate transactions undertaken by former boss Baron Bloom. He failed to report that he received £6,230 of rent due to Etaireia from a tenant of the Ivy Leaf Club property. Bloom is owed outstanding salary and expenses, so no action is being taken by the company. Greg Collier has stepped down as a non-executive director.

Healthcare IT supplier DXS International (DXSP) swung from profit to loss in the year to April 2018, partly due to the interest charge. Revenues dipped from £3.43m to £3.41m. Investment in new products should help to build revenues.

Western Selection (WESP) increased its NAV from 95p to 96p. Improvements in the value of the stakes in Northbridge Industrial Services and Bilby, offset the reduction in the Swallowfield investment valuation.  The total dividend has been increased from 2.2p a share to 2.25p a share. The shares are trading at a discount to NAV of around one-third.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) increased its interim revenues by 37% to £544,000 and the loss was reduced from £1.24m to £824,000. There was £1.75m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

The NAV of EPE Special Opportunities (EL.P) fell by 19% to 190.2p a share over the six months to July 2018, due to a halving of the value of the investment in Luceco, where, in August, EPE invested a further £2m.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) reported flat interim revenues of $3.91m, but the loss increased from $331,000 to $527,000. The revenues were generated from Thailand and Africa. The Honduras operation has been delayed but should be up and running by the end of the year.

Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £140,000 from a debenture stock issue.

Interim revenues declined from HK$7.22m to HK$5.27m at MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) and there was a significantly higher loss of HK$24.8m. The cash position was HK$7.65m at the end of June 2018. The traditional Chinese medicines supplier was hit by lower wholesale orders. Discussions continue with additional distributors.

AIM    

Parasite control products developer TyraTech Inc (TYRU) has signed a conditional merger agreement with American Vanguard Corporation, which involves an offer to the other TyraTech shareholders of 3.15p a share. TyraTech needs cash to grow and 34.4% shareholder American Vanguard is in a stronger position to obtain the finance. TyraTech had cash of $3.7m at the end of June 2018.

Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) is still losing money but the electrical and oil and gas tools markets are showing signs of improvement. A full year loss of £2m is still expected but the group could reach breakeven next year. Northbridge has the cash to invest in additional rental equipment.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) reported a lower interim loss and it had net cash of $2m at the end of June 2018. Drilling of the first well on the company’s Paradox Basin acreage in Utah should start before the end of the year. A recent report suggested that there could be 13mmboe of 2C resource. There has been successful exploration in the area and it already has the appropriate infrastructure. If the appraisal well is a success that should provide a strong background for a further fundraising.

Keystone Law (KEYS) grew interim revenues by 30% to £19.9m thanks to strong recruitment of new lawyers. This progress means that Keystone is on target to improve full year pre-tax profit from £2.9m to £4.4m and a total dividend of 7.5p a share is expected.

NWF (NWF) says the warm summer has hit demand for heating oil and there has been increased competition in fuels. There has been increased demand for feed and the food distribution business is trading in line with expectations.

Health monitoring equipment supplier Deltex Medical (DEMG) is adapting its strategy in order to grow revenues and generate cash from existing customers. Costs are also being reduced. Probe revenues fell in the first half of 2018 due to delayed orders in the US and France. Overall, interim revenues fell from £2.88m to £2.33m, but the operating loss was only slightly higher at £1.14m. There is just over £1m in the bank.

Fishing Republic (FISH) has appointed Daniel Quinn as chief executive. He has previously worked at Go Outdoors and Tesco. That could point to a broadening of the range of products that will be sold by the fishing tackle retailer. Interim revenues fell from £4.1m to £3.4m, while the loss was £2.5m, which includes stock write downs and other one-off costs. Five outlets have been closed.

Trinity Exploration (TRIN) increased its oil and gas production in the first half and also achieved higher prices. The Trinidad-focused oil and gas producer increased interim revenues by 49% to $30.1m and generated $5m of cash from operating activities. There was net cash of $19m at the end of June 2018.

Gama Aviation (GMAA) increased interim revenues by 3% to $104.6m, with a lower contribution from the ground maintenance activities offset by higher revenues from the air services operations. A better second half should enable Gama to increase its full year pre-tax profit from $17.1m to $19.9m.

Oil and gas producer and explorer Cabot Energy (CAB) increased its interim revenues from $1.8m to $7.5m thanks to higher production in Canada, where Cabot took full control earlier this year. Even so, there was still a $4.2m first half loss, mainly due to exceptional costs, following the installing of a new management team. Management is in talks with potential farm-in partners for some of its Italian assets. That would enable Cabot to focus its investment in Canada. There was $6.2m in the bank at the end of June 2018, although some of that cash could be needed to complete the purchase of an Italian producing asset.

Immupharma (IMM) had £9m in the bank at the end of June 2018. The group is collaborating with Icanthera, which will in-licence the Nucant cancer programme, which has completed two phase 1 trials. Immupharma is also seeking to divest its subsidiary Ureka, while retaining an interest in the potential of the operations. Even though the results of the Lupuzor phase III trial were disappointing, a deal has been signed for Lupuzor to be provided via a Managed Access Programme. An open label extension study for Lupuzor will report by next summer.

Park Group (PKG) says that it has grown its cash balances and both the consumer and corporate businesses are trading well. Park is on course for a full year profit of £13.6m.

Active Energy (AEG) reported a higher interim loss. This was a period when $1.32m was spent on the development of the CoalSwitch plant. Along with its partner, Active has submitted an EU grant application for the SuperFuel coal slurry recovery technology and a decision should be made before the end of the year. There is also optimism about gaining a Crown Timber Licence for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Destiny Pharma (DEST) still has cash of £15.1m even though costs were increased in the first half. Investment in trials means that cash could fall to £10m by the end of the year. The phase I safety study for the use of XF-73 to prevent surgical infections should be completed by the end of this year and a phase IIb trial could commence early next year. A second formulation of XF-73 is being developed for dermal infections and diabetic foot ulcers in particular.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH) plans to sell its US subsidiary, which it acquired in 2015 when it gained its Nasdaq listing. Midatech will receive an initial $13m for the cancer care products supplier. The cash will be used for the research and development operations and paying off the loan from MidCap.

Bosch has invested £9m in fuel cell technology developer Ceres Power Holdings (CWR) in return for a 4.4% stake. Weichai Power will invest a further £1m to maintain its 10% stake.

There was a 17% fall in gold processed by Goldplat (GDP) in the year to June 2018, but sales only dipped from 40,285 ounces to 39,400 ounces. Revenues increased by 7% to £33.8m. The Kilimapesa gold mine continues to disappoint and lose money. A lower contribution from the Ghana processing operations and a bad debt were the main reasons behind the fall in pre-tax profit from £2.84m to £1.79m. Goldplat is seeking other mine investments, not necessarily in Africa. There was £1.54m in the bank.

Veltyco (VLTY) has managed to reduce its receivables but the were still €12.6m at the end of June 2018. Revenues for the previous six months were €8.9m. Net cash was €1m. Veltyco will launch its own financial trading brand in the fourth quarter.

Stride Gaming (STR) continues to be hit by the stagnation of the online bingo market but the decline in pre-tax profit is set to be in line with expectations. In the year to August 2019, pre-tax profit is expected to fall further from £14.2m to £13.8m. There will be a £4m provision for the recent fine from the UK gambling authorities.

Strategic Minerals (SML) reported a jump in interim pre-tax profit from $158,000 to $2.69m, but this did not come through in cash during the period. That is because £2.46m of the profit came from a gain based on the payment for the Leigh Creek copper mine below its asset value.

MAIN MARKET

Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) is moving towards the point where it can submit an IND application to the FDA for CDX antibodies. There is initial data that CDX antibodies can attack and eliminate Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in vitro. Hemogenyx already has an agreement with a global pharma company for this technology. Northland has been appointed as broker.

World Trade Systems (WTS) reported a drop in interim revenues from £10.1m to £6.3m and it has fallen into loss. Trading has been tough for the health food subsidiary. This is set to continue. Trading in the shares has been suspended for more than a decade and the board says that is working towards a resumption of trading on the premium segment of the Main Market.

WideCells Group (WDC) has gained financing of up to £2.7m from the European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund. The facility is convertible into shares and has warrants attached. The cash will be invested in the stem cell storage and insurance operations. The BabyCells stem cell storage service has been launched. Group revenues remain modest and WideCells made an interim loss of more than £2m. There was £1.73m in the bank at the end of June, offset by debt of £1.17m.

Investment company London Financial and Investment Group (LFI) has maintained its NAV at 65.4p a share, despite a decline in value of its stake in Finsbury Food (FIF), and the total dividend has been edged up to 1.15p a share. The share price is 42.5p.

Standard list shell Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) still had £1.4m in the bank at the end of June 2018 following its decision to change its strategy from telecoms to blockchain acquisitions. Management is analysing potential acquisitions.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 March 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Shepherd Neame (SHEP) improved its interim revenues and underlying pre-tax profit. Revenues were 6% ahead at £84.1m and underlying profit edged up from £5.7m to £5.8m. The interim dividend has been raised from 5.62p a share to 5.75p a share. Net debt was £79.5m. The main growth in revenues was in the managed pubs and hotels division. There was an underlying improvement in the profitability of the brewing business, where own beer volumes were 4.2% higher.

Ashley House (ASH) has reached financial close on the Scarborough extra care housing development. There are 63 apartments plus communal areas and the gross development value is £10m. completion is expected in spring 2019. A housing development and health scheme are likely to follow. This development is not part of the Morgan Sindall joint venture. Non-executive director Christopher Lyons has bought 31,000 shares at 10.09p a share.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a fully diluted NAV of 239p a share on 5 March 2018 but that was prior to the Luceco profit warning. The NAV included Luceco (LUCE) shares at 77.8p each but the price has subsequently fallen to 57.2p a share. EPE is the largest shareholder in LED lighting products supplier and this was the second profit warning in three months. The original 2017 profit expectation was £16.7m and this has been cut to £11m.

Western Selection (WESP) has raised £668,000 from the disposal of shares in Swallowfield (SWL) and it has a remaining stake of 7.71%. Western sold 120,000 Swallowfield shares at 330p each and 80,000 at 340p each. Last month, personal care products supplier Swallowfield bought men’s grooming brand, Fish for an initial £2.7m.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has issued £4.76m of convertible loan notes as part of the £4.85m open offer. A holder of an existing £500,000 loan note is converting into the latest convertible loan notes and like the other subscribers is receiving one warrant for each £1 of loan notes.

MetalNRG (MNRG) says a licence has been granted relating to the Palomino cobalt project, where the company has the right to acquire a 100% stake in return for two million shares at 1.5p each. MetalNRG is also issuing 500,000 shares for work that has already been carried out.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has raised £2.16m at 270p a share. The cash will be invested in sales and marketing and developing new cyber security products.

Good Energy (GOOD) says that holders of £3.6m of its first energy bonds have agreed to retain them, while the other £4.3m worth will be repaid on 29 March.

Co-chairman David Sumner has increased the amount of Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) loan notes he will subscribe for to £5m. The outstanding balance is currently £2.7m and additional tranches of up to £200,000 can be subscribed for each month.

London Capital Group Holdings (LCG) is selling a 91.5% stake in its Tradex and 100% of other subsidiary companies to its main shareholder in return for £4.64m of loan notes with a coupon of 8%. The costs of the NEX quotation will also be covered by the buyer. The remaining 8.5% of Tradex can be acquired for £431,000 in loan notes. The disposal requires FCA approval. London Capital will seek a fintech business to acquire within the required six month period.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) and Wishbone Gold (WSBN) have joined NEX. They are both retaining their AIM quotations and are chaired by Richard Poulden.

AIM   

VR Education has raised more cash than it originally asked for. It has raised £6m at 10p a share and this values the company at £19.3m. The company has developed the ENGAGE education platform and is also developing corporate training and educational content to go on the platform. The business is generating revenues but it still has to take full advantage of the technology it has developed.

Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) increased its revenues from £16.3m to £47m last year and annualised bookings continue to grow. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £195,000 to £3.08m. Yu has gained a licence to supply water. The dividend has been increased from 2.25p to 3p a share.

Share (SHRE) has continued to add to its market share. In 2017, the broker revenues grew from £14.6m to £18.7m and it moved back to underlying pre-tax profit. Digital investment continues and the benefits of this will increasingly show through over the next couple of years. This year the recent partnerships will make a 12 month contribution. Higher interest rates will also help to increase interest income on the cash held.

Smart audio sales started to take off last year and Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) continues to invest in this area. The original digital radio technology business is profitable but the development costs for smart audio more than wipe that profit out. Net cash was £3m at the end of 2017 and this should be enough for Frontier’s requirements. There is scope to grow the digital radio business but smart audio will provide the main growth. From a tiny percentage in 2016, smart audio could contribute nearly two-fifths of revenues in 2019.

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has bought Springboard Corporate Finance for an initial £2.75m in cash and shares. Springboard generated a pre-tax profit of £750,000 on revenues of £2.3m in 2016-17. Up to £500,000 more will be payable depending on performance over the next five years. Begbies says that third quarter trading is in line with expectations. Corporate insolvencies are increasing, albeit from low levels.

Polemos (PLMO) has terminated the proposal to acquire SecurLinx Corporation, which still hopes to come to the London market. Trading in the shares has been restored. Polemos is raising £270,000 at 0.01p a share, plus a further £140,000 conditional on shareholder approval. These placings are before the planned share consolidation of one new share to every 100 existing shares. When additional approvals are given by shareholders a share offering will be made via PrimaryBid.

Netcall (NET) more than doubled its interim SaaS revenues thanks to the purchase of MatsSoft. Interim revenues grew by one-third to £10.7m, which includes organic growth of 5%. Underlying pre-tax profit was 8% ahead at £1.8m. Net debt is £2.5m.

Audio products supplier Focusrite (TUNE) reported sales growth of more than 25% in the first half. Edison upgraded its full year profit forecast by 4% to £10.4m.

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) has secured the use of its graphene-enhanced epoxy prepreg in the tailgate of the W Motors Fenyr sports car. This is a limited market but it is a good showcase for the technology.

Second half trading was stronger than expected at FIH Group (FIH) as both trading in the Falkland Islands and Momart improved their performance. This has led to an upgrade in the 2017-18 profit forecast from £2.5m to £2.8m.

GRC International (GRC) raised £5.04m at 70p a share when it joined AIM on 5 March. The share price ended the week at 115p. GRC provides services relating to IT governance and compliance.

Zamano (ZMNO) had €5.05m in the bank at the end of January 2018. It remains in talks for potential acquisitions that would enable the company to remain quoted. Part of any deal would be the offer of a cash return to existing shareholders. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) had £3.2m in the bank at the end of 2017. Microsaic is focusing on the biopharma market but it could take until 2019 for its partners to start to generate revenues from its technology. There should be enough cash for more than one year but more will be required. Costs have been reduced.

SysGroup (SYS) has signed a three-year managed hosting deal with TJ Morris Ltd, trading as discount retailer Home Bargains, worth more than £950,000.

Contract research organisation Fusion Antibodies (FAB) says that its 2017-18 revenues are expected to grow by at least two-fifths to £1.9m. Last year’s flotation took up management time so revenues are lower than hoped.

Attraqt (ATQT) reported a full year loss of £4.05m, including exceptional costs of £2.38m. The e-commerce software provider intends to focus on operational efficiency this year. There was £2m in the bank at the end of February.

BOS Global Holdings (BOS) has been placed in administration.

Instem (INS) has switched a long-standing client to the SaaS model and this will increase recurring revenues by two-fifths. There are potentially £10m of fees that could be converted to the recurring revenues model.

WANdisco (WAND) has announced more deals including a partnership with Alibaba, which will embed WANdisco Fusion in some of the cloud services that it offers. Total bookings increased by 45% to $22.5m in 2017 and this has sparked a 2018 revenues upgrade by WH Ireland from $25.5m to $30.8m, although a slightly higher loss of $6.5m is expected. WANdisco could move near to breakeven in 2019.

Mirada (MIRA) has secured a £3m loan facility, which adds to the existing facilities. An initial £1.5m will be drawn down within two months. This provides working capital to finance additional contract wins. The annual interest rate is 15%. The provider of the facility is a 27% shareholder.

Strategic Minerals (SML) has paid A$1.5m in cash and A$1.45m in shares for the Leigh Creek copper mine. Strategic has acquired 24,900 tonnes of JORC compliant resource copper. Production should build up to 200 tonnes of copper each month and there is an offtake agreement for 100% of copper production. Strategic has extended its rolling agreement with the owner of the Cobre magnetite stockpile until March 2019. This deal generated revenues of $5.64m in 2017.

Zoo Digital (ZOO) says full year revenues will be at least $28m, up from $16.5m last year, while EBITDA will be ahead of expectations and be at least $2.3m. Localisation services remain the main growth area. Herald has reduced its stake from 15.7% to 14.6%.

Volvere (VLE) says that its 2017 pre-tax profit improved from £1.94m to £3.22m. Impetus Automotive contributed the growth in profit with CCTV software company Sira and Shire Foods reporting lower profits. NAV is 656p a share, with £18.4m in cash and marketable securities.

AFC Energy (AFC) reduced its loss to £5.5m in 2017. The fuel cell technology developer should have enough cash for this year, but it is likely to run out in 2019. AFC could move into profit in 2020.

Pallet developer RM2 International (RM2) has received $2m from the disposal of a building in Switzerland. That means it will have enough cash until mid-April.

Drilling is set to recommence at the Stonepark zinc project in Limerick and Connemara Mining (CON) has set aside £250,000 to cover its share of the spending over the next 12 months. Connemara has a 23.4% stake in the joint venture that owns the project.

Drilling results from the Kodal Minerals (KOD) lithium project at Bougouni in Southern Mali continue to be positive. The latest 19 drill holes have shown high grade intersections of consistent pegmatite mineralisation of up to 1.68% Li2O.

Clear Leisure (CLP) is ready to set up its Bitcoin mining joint venture in Serbia. Management says that the joint venture could produce more Bitcoins at a lower cost than expected. That would increase the return on the €200,000 investment. Assuming a Bitcoin price of $10,000 and an 8% discount rate, the investment could eventually be worth €389,000.

MAIN MARKET    

Bioquell (BQE) reported a rise in pre-exceptional profit from £1.6m to £2.9m in 2017. This was despite a decline in defence revenues. There is £14.6m in the bank. The focus is the biodecontamination business and management believes that this will show through in improved performance this year.

InnovaDerma (IDP) has warned that its full year figures will be below expectations. The personal care products supplier always expected the year to be second half-weighted and full year revenues will be higher. However pre-tax profit will be similar to the £1.03m reported for last year. Last October, £4.4m was raised at 276p a share. The share price has fallen to 121.5p.

Toople (TOOP) has raised £250,000 at 1.022p a share. This will keep the telecoms business going as it tries to increase its revenues in order to reduce its loss. Last June, Toople raised £1.41m at 3.25p a share. Toople joined the standard list in May 2016 when it raised £2m at 8p a share.

Path Investments (PATH) is delaying its exit from the standard list until 29 March. The plan is to move to AIM when an oil and gas asset acquisition is made.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 February 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Western Selection (WESP) maintained its NAV at 95p a share at the end of the six month period of December 2017. Net debt was £1.13m. A sharp upturn in the value of the stake in Bilby (BILB) and offset declines in other investments. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.1p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 8 March.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) has granted six million options to its directors and company secretary. Guy Miller and Brett Miller will receive 2.5 million options each and Geoffrey Melamet receives 1 million. The exercise price is 1p a share. They last for five years and would equate to 10.9% of the enlarged share capital if taken up. The current share price is 1p (0.75p/1.25p). Gledhow had a NAV of £714,452 at the end of September 2017, which is equivalent to 1.45p a share. Since the year end, a gain of £115,000 was achieved on the sale of Coinsilium shares and Gledhow retains a significant stake which in Coinsilium, where the share price is more than three times the level at the end of September 2017. That could add more than £100,000 to the Gledhow NAV but the Coinsilium share price is volatile. Directors and company secretary remuneration was £21,514 last year. There are 4.9 million warrants exercisable at 1.5p each but these expire on 6 March 2017. Bruce Rowan and related parties own 83.37% of the current share capital.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) is continuing with its plans to move to the standard list. IMC has signed heads of agreement with Trove Metals Ltd and this should lead to a joint venture for the project at Avoca, County Wicklow. The current Koza/IMC joint venture has been set aside. IMC has decided to focus on the 12 most prospective of its 15 licences.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) says that its revenues more than doubled to more than £700,000 in 2017. There is customer interest in the Rizikon cyber security product and the General Data Protection Regulations will provide momentum when they come into force in May. Full year figures should be published by the end of April.

Sandal (SAND) says that radiators supplier Pitacs will be a distributor of the Energie MiHome range. Pitacs is launching a new boiler in April and the Energie MiHome thermostats and radiator valves can be sold with this. Pitacs supplies more than 2,000 independent plumbers’ merchants as well as Plumb Nation.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that its investee company Rapid Nutrition plans to gain a quotation in London. Rapid, which is already quoted on the SIX Swiss Exchange, has developed a nutraceutical product range. One of the terms of the £150,000 loan to Rapid was that it should be admitted to the London market by the end of February but this date has been extended to the end of April because of delays in the flotation process. If admission to the market happens by 1 March, then the principal and interest will convert into Rapid shares. If it takes longer than the interest after the end of February is payable in cash.

BWA Group (BWAP) has issued £220,000 of 4% convertible loan notes, with £120,000 taken up by Bath Group, which is owned by BWA chairman Richard Battersby. Bath has taken £70,000 of the loan notes in lieu of cash owed by BWA investee company Mineralfields Group.

Trevor Lloyd has succeeded Philip Kirkham as chairman of National Milk Records (NMR).

Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has changed its name to KR1.

AIM    

Shield Therapeutics (STX) disappointed the market with phase III patient trial results for the use of Feraccru in the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia in patients with chronic kidney disease that did not meet statistical significance requirements. The results are being analysed in order to identify the reason the trial failed. The share price fell by two-thirds.

Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) expects to complete the acquisition of Appalachian producing gas and oil assets from CNX Gas by the end of March. This will cost $85m (£59.9m), while the acquisition of Alliance Petroleum will cost a further $95m (£66.9m). A placing at 80p a share has raised £133.1m. The group’s net working interest production will increase by 173% to 28,133 boed. Management expects annualised EBITDA to be $70m-$75m.

OnTheMarket (OTMP) joined AIM on 9 February having raised £30m at 165p a share. The share price ended the day at 148p. The online property portal operator will make significant investment in its business over the next two years and this will lead it to fall into loss for a couple of years.

Draper Esprit (GROW) has made three new investments. Evonetix is developing the ability for parallel synthesis of DNA on silicon arrays. Droplet Computing has developed technology to decouple applications from the operating system for online and offline use. Kaptivo is developing products to provide whiteboard live streaming and image capture.

Seeing Machines (SEE) has published a trading statement to try to reassure investors following the unexpected departure of its chief executive. Interim revenues will be greater than the A$13.6m reported for last year. The fleet business is gaining revenues internationally. There is growing interest in the driver fatigue technology from Transport for London.

Recruitment software provider Dillistone (DSG) says that its 2017 figures will be much better than expected. This led to a pre-tax profit upgrade from £200,000 to £300,000. This is still a depressed figure due to the investment in GatedTalent and the future of the business depends on the take-up of this new product.

Engineering and technology recruiter Gattaca (GATC) says that weakness in the technology sector will hold back its progress and its chief executive has resigned. Underlying pre-tax profit is set to decline for a second year while the dividend could be halved to 11.5p a share in order for its to be twice covered.

Trading in the shares of BOS Global Holdings (BOS) remains suspended because of the resignation of RFC Ambrian as nominated adviser. BOS still does not have enough working capital so it cannot publish its 2016-17 annual report because the uncertainty over the AIM quotation scuppered a £1.2m placing.

Trading in Kennedy Ventures (KENV) shares will recommence on 12 February following the publication of its annual report. There was a cash outflow of £2.76m in the year to June 2017. The Namibia Tantalite Investment Mine run by African Tantalum has made its fourth shipment of tantalum to its North American customer and there are two more potential customers.

Croma Security Solutions (CSSG) says its first half figures will be much better than those reported for the first half of last year. The EBITDA will improve from £440,000 to more than £1.1m. The company’s largest ever contract was won at the end of the period. There has been an increase in demand for personnel from Croma Vigilant and it has won a five year contract. There is also improved demand for technology supplied by Croma Systems. The interims will be published in February.

BNN Technology (BNN) will lose its AIM quotation on 12 February. A matched bargain facility will be set up. The remaining board hopes to do at least one deal with the two US-listed companies it is in discussions with concerning the acquisition of all or most of BNN’s business.

Strategic Minerals (SML) has extended its access to the Cobre magnetite stockpile in New Mexico until the end of March 2019. This will provide cash to finance other projects.

Origo Partners (OPP) has sold 4.7% of Jinan Heng Yu Environmental Protection Co Ltd for the equivalent of $3m. This is in line with book value but it may take many months for the cash to be received. Origo retains a 7.2% indirect stake. The Origo NAV was $0.09 a share at the end of June 2017.

Alba Mineral Resources (ALBA) has secured additional exploration licences in Greenland. The 466 square km of land is in north west Greenland. Exploration work can be combined with existing licence areas.

Mercantile Ports and Logistics (MPL) says its port in Mumbai will receive its first revenues in a few weeks, following delays in the first customer sorting out its logistics. A further 200 metres is being added to the quay on the east flank of the facility.

Physiomics (PYC) has won a £70,000 contract from a major pharma company. The company’s Virtual Tumour computer model will be used for helping to predict outcomes in pre-clinical testing.

Warpaint London (W7L) says its 2017 results will be in line with expectations suggesting a pre-tax profit of £9.8m and a total dividend of 4p a share.

Polarean Imaging has relaunched plans to come to AIM. It had planned to float at the end of 2017 and the new proposed date is 22 February.

Fryer management services provider Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) says its 2017 revenues were 30% higher at £13.25m. The sale of the refrigeration business should increase the group margin.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) has pulled out of the sale of non-core operations because the buyer had still not obtained regulatory approval.

MAIN MARKET    

Cadmium-free quantum dots producer Nanoco (NANO) has secured a material development and supply agreement with a major US firm that will provide funding to expand Nanoco’s manufacturing site in Runcorn. The deal covers the production of nano-particles for electronic devices. Commercial supply should commence in 2019.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has secured a two month extension to its option on a property in north west England while talks with a housing association continue. Plans for the refurbishment of the building will be presented to the housing association. Gary Carp has increased his stake from below 3% to 5% in the past fortnight.

Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) is negotiating to buy a North American medical imaging software developer, which owns FDA-approved medical imaging software that fits well with Flying Brands; own software. The cost of £500,000 would mainly be financed through a share issue.

Avocet Mining (AVM) has completed the sale of Resolute (West Africa) for $5m.

Path Investments (PATH) is still intending to raise cash and move to AIM in the first quarter of 2018. The farm-in deal to acquire 50% of Alfeld-Elze II licence and gas field in Germany is expected to go ahead in the near future.

Chuk Kin Lau has increased his stake in book publisher Quarto Group (QRT) from 20% to 25.6%. Cavendish Asset Management nearly halved its stake to 3.69%.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 2 October 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) reported a slightly lower interim operating loss of £268,000 on revenues 10% higher at £7.04m. More racedays helped the racing operations but there were fewer other events which offset that. The nursery business made a much better contribution. Investment in the racecourse continues and income from residential property development of £1.95m helped to fund this. NAV is £44.1m.

Interim revenues were 22% ahead at £4.98m at Chapel Down (CDGP) helped by a 29% increase in wine sales. Management has reassured investors that there was a good harvest in 2017, which will help to improve wine revenues. The Curious Beer brewery is about to commence construction at Ashford.

St Mark Homes (SMAP) has launched a crowdfunding offer via Crowdstacker to raise up to £2m from a bond offering interest at 6% a year. The bonds can be held in ISAs. The cash will finance residential developments, which will predominantly focus on the government’s Help-to-Buy scheme. The company’s NAV per share was 136p at the end of the interim stage.

Block Energy (BLOK) is acquiring the 31% interest in the Norio field in the Republic of Georgia that it does not own and becoming operator of the field. The deal also includes 90% of the Satskhenisi field. The cost is $310,000 in cash. This is classed as a reverse takeover and trading in Block shares is suspended. An assessment of the reserve potential of the oil and gas assets in Georgia ahead of a return to NEX and a dual quotation on AIM.

V22 (V22O) increased its NAV from 1.55p a share to 3.94p a share in the 12 months to June 2017. That includes £235,000 of cash. If the art portfolio is included at its revalued level then the NAV goes up to 7.47p a share. An uplift in the value of the property portfolio offset an operating loss.

Investment company Western Selection (WESP) made a 2016-17 profit of £850,000 and nearly all of this came from the gain on the sale of shares in Swallowfield. Dividend income fell because Northbridge Industrial did not pay a dividend last year. NAV was one-fifth higher at 95p a share. The stake in Bilby was increased during the period. The total dividend has been raised from 2.1p a share to 2.2p a share.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) lost money in the first half of 2017 but it expects token investments to generate near-term revenues. There was £344,000 left in the bank at the end of June 2017 and this has subsequently been boosted by the sale of the shareholding in SatoshiPay. Coinsilium’s NAV is £2.34m.

Chris Bateman has resigned as chief executive of Forbes Ventures (FOR) after the sale of £500,000 of loan notes in Primus Care to his company Gravity Investment Group. Gravity has handed back 1166.7 million shares in Forbes, which have been cancelled. Gravity still owns 49.7% of Forbes, which still owns stakes in K&C REIT and challenger bank Civilised Investments. Trading in Forbes shares remains suspended ahead of the raising of further cash.

Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) has purchased Princes House, Barnstaple, which generates annual rent of £190,000, for £2.325m and College Square Margate, generating annual rent of £630,000, for £8.3m. Disposals of residential properties have raised £3.25m. Ace has raised £500,000 at 71.25p a share.

BWA Group (BWAP) had two investments and £17,000 in the bank at the end of April 2017. Pre-paid cards provider Prego Investments has taken longer to build up its business than expected. Mineralfields Group is in the process of obtaining mining licences in Cameroon.

Trading has commenced in Doriemus (DOR) shares on the ASX. A$3.5m was raised at A$0.26 per share equivalent. The cash will be used to complete drilling on the Lidsey and Brockham oil fields in the UK

Healthcare IT provider DXS International (DXSP) says that growth has been held back by changes in the NHS and the benefits of recent development spending are not likely to show through until 2018-19. In the year to April 2017, revenues were 5% higher at £3.43m but pre-tax profit fell from £46,000 to £39,000. There was £166,000 in the bank at the end of April 2017.

IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has commenced its drilling programme on the zinc licence in south west Ireland. The licence in County Clare is near to other licences where mining companies have achieved encouraging results.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is providing a £150,000 loan facility to healthcare company Rapid Nutrition. The interest rate is 10% a year until the end of February 2018 when it rises to 15% a year. If Rapid Nutrition floats before the end of February 2018 the loan is convertible at 13.32p a share. The loan remains convertible after that but it also becomes repayable in instalments over 18 months. Angelfish is still seeking to recover transaction costs related the repaid investment in 4Navitas.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has licenced blockchain intellectual property to defence-focused ByzGen, which has just raised £500,000 from Regulatory Financial Services Ltd.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £782,000 at 8.5p a share and paid £400,000 of expenses via a share issue at 10p a share.

Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £215,000 from a debenture issue that takes the total value of debentures in issue to £5.11m.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £160,000 in a 3.01% stake in standard listed United Oil & Gas. The average cost was 2.7p a share. United has an onshore UK licence and an Italian onshore licence.

AIM

Premier African Minerals (PREM) is raising up to £3.5m at 0.3p a share with the help of PrimaryBid.com. The cash will go towards funding the underground development of the RHA tungsten mine and repaying and cancellation of the YA II loan agreement and D-Beta equity swap.

AP Systems Holdings says that it is considering a bid for RedstoneConnect (REDS). The underlying business of AP has been going since 1985 but AP Systems Holdings is a couple of years old and has only published accounts as a dormant company. The share capital was recently increased followed by a sub division of the shares. It appears that David Anderson still owns 100% of the group.

ITM Power (ITM) is raising £25m via a placing at 40p a share plus up to £4.4m from an open offer at the same price. ITM has £20m of projects under contract and £17m under negotiation. The cash will help to service these projects and finance the winning of additional contracts. The open offer closes on 17 October.

Recruitment software provider Dillistone (DSG) is launching its new software product and this has held back performance in the first half of 2017. The full benefits of the GatedTalent, which enables executives to share their personal information with recruitment consultants on a confidential basis, will not be seen for more than a year. House broker WH Ireland believes that full year profit could fall to £200,000 and it expects the 2018 profit to be flat. Profit is then expected to more than double I 2019 but the exact pace of take u of GatedTalent will be a significant factor in how quickly profit recovers.

Photonstar LED (PSL) significantly reduced its first half costs so even though revenues fell from £2.53m to £2.26m the interim loss decreased from £914,000 to £604,000. Research and development of the new LED systems range is almost complete and the second half sales should be better.

Full year figures from Real Good Food (RGD) show a slump into loss while net debt increased to £16.2m at the end of March 2017. There has been a subsequent refinancing and corporate governance is being improved.

MAIN MARKET

Curzon Energy (CZN) is joining the standard list following the acquisition of coalbed methane licences in Oregon. Curzon believes that gas could be produced before the end of the year. Curzon is raising £2.3m and this will be used to connect five existing wells to a pipeline and drill two more wells. The average cost is $350,000 per well.

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) had £9,000 left in the bank at the end of June 2017 following the costs of the abortive acquisition of Myclubbetting. Papillon has agreed heads of terms to acquire Phestor and Greenway Activated Carbon, which are involved in ultra-supercapacitor development for energy storage and supply of active carbon produced from biomass.

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) says that the level of enquiries for its products are increasing.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 13 March 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Blockchain technology investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has raised £188,000 at 1p a share with the cash coming from directors and existing shareholders. The valuations of Factom and SatoshiPay have increased since the beginning of the year. Potential new commercial opportunities are being reviewed. Coinsilium is also raising its own profile so that investors’ are aware of the potential investment.

Middle East-focused investment vehicle Indigo Holdings (INGO) has announced its second investment, which is in Net Tejarat Ahoura, which operates an Iranian online classifieds marketplace. A stake of 1.09% was assigned to Indigo by Turquoise Group, which owns 32.1% of Indigo, in return for assuming the commitment to provide an interest free loan of €376,000 (£320,000). Related parties own 14.1% of Net Tejarat. There was net cash of £818,000 at the time of flotation and Indigo previously spent €176,800 (£150,000) on a 5% stake in Iranian car ride sharing app Carvanro.

Technology incubator Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has entered discussions with Barney Battles and he has suspended his general meeting requisition. The one million shares issued to acquire League of Angels has been cancelled because the transaction was not completed. Milamber has added six portfolio companies taking the total companies that it works with to 25. Milamber is providing funding support to all six as well as strategic advice and/or business planning to some. Milamber has raised just over £9,000 from an issue of shares to its executive chairman Andrew Hasoon at 12.5p a share.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has appointed Paul Johnson as chief executive. He was already on the board as a non-executive director and he is also a non-executive of Thor Mining (THR). The management is keen to attract more trading in the shares by taking advantage of the potential opportunities in the resources sector.

Property investment company Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) plans to consolidate 25 existing shares into one new share so it is no longer perceived as a penny share. The shareholder meeting will be held on 31 March. Kryptonite1 (KR1) is also consolidating its shares. Nineteen shares will be consolidated into one new shares with the shareholder meeting being held on 3 April.

Western Selection (WESP) has sold 130,000 shares in AIM-quoted toiletries and cosmetics supplier Swallowfield (SWL) for 320p each. Western Selection still owns 1.5 million shares in Swallowfield, where the share price has doubled over the past nine months. The recent interims showed a quadrupling of underlying operating profit of £2.54m and a more than doubled interim dividend from 0.8p a share to 1.7p a share – the shares go ex-dividend on 4 May.

AIM

Plant Impact (PIM) continues to increase its Veritas sales to soybean farmers in Brazil and Paraguay and Bolivia are the next markets it is trying to break into. Another treatment, Fortalis, is being launched in Argentina and the US. In the six months to January 2017, revenues increased from £4.22m to £4.91m, helped by currency movements, with Brazil still dominating sales. Higher sales and marketing and R&D costs meant that there was a loss of £333,000, compared with a pre-tax profit of £541,000. There is £6.03m in the bank which is enough to cover cash outflows for the next year or so.

Strategic Minerals (SML) says that drilling will start by the end of March at the 50%-owned Redmoor tin/tungsten project in Cornwall. The first phase of drilling is 13 holes and the second is 10 holes with potential for six more. This drilling programme is fully funded. On top of this, significant cobalt mineralisation has been identified at Hanns Camp in Western Australia. The company has raised £50,000 via the exercise of warrants at 0.6p a share by Cornhill Capital. There was $1.2m in the bank at the end of 2016 but this was before the £844,000 payment to take the 50% stake in Redmoor.

Remote meetings technology provider LoopUp (LOOP) sharply reduced its loss in 2016 and the cash raised in last year’s flotation should reduce interest costs which were the reason there was a loss in 2016. There was a swing from an operating loss of £353,000 to a £398,000 operating profit in 2016. There is net cash of £2.24m, against net debt of £7.3m at the end of 2015. There was cash generated from operations of £3.29m but that was not enough to cover capital expenditure, which was predominantly capitalised product development investment. There are £12.6m of accumulated tax losses.

Advanced materials developer Versarien (VRS) raised £1.5m at 15p a share via PrimaryBid, having initially tried to raise £1m. All the applications were satisfied. Henderson and Miton each subscribed for 1.33 million shares. The cash will be used to scale up graphene manufacturing facilities and finance the marketing of the Nanene brand.

The People’s Operator (TPOP) is raising a further £1.58m at 8p a share and every two shares will have a warrant attached that is exercisable at 15p a share. The recent fundraisings were at 5p a share. The mobile virtual network operator has confirmed that 2016 revenues were £3.6m and there has been strong growth in US revenues in the first two months of this year. Management has negotiated much better terms with its network providers in the UK and US.

Immupharma (IMM) has raised £4.1m at 52p a share having initially asked for £3m. The drug discovery company has brought new institutions to its shareholder list. Immupharma is negotiating with potential partners for lupus treatment Lupuzor, which is in a phase III trial and the cash will strengthen the balance sheet as well as providing investment in other treatments.

Palm oil waste products-based biogas power generation plants operator Green & Smart Holdings (GSH) says that its figures for the year to September 2016 were in line with expectations but there have been delays in new plants. House broker SP Angel had expected half of forecast 2016-17 gross profit to come from electricity generated by these four projects.

The sale of the broadcast equipment division of Pebble Beach Systems (PEB), formerly Vislink, to xG Technology Inc is not going smoothly. Instead of paying the next part of the deferred consideration xG has taken on responsibility to pay $1.6m of trade creditors. This leaves $4.9m owed but xG says that this payment will be dependent on Pebble’s performance of its contractual obligations. Until outstanding liabilities are clarified xG says that it will not pay any more deferred consideration. The buyer claims that “numerous breaches of contract” have occurred. It is difficult to say whether this is just a negotiating ploy.

Ascent Resources (AST) expects to start untreated hydrated gas production from Pg-10 in the Petisovci gas project in Slovenia in early April. This will provide initial revenues prior to the sale of gas to Croatia later in the summer. Ascent has decided not to lease a dehydration plant and instead it will refurbish the existing plant on the site.

Thor Mining (THR) has reported positive drilling news at the Pilot Mountain tungsten project in Nevada and plans a third drill hole. The second drill hole has intersected 51 metres of mineralisation. The drill hole sample assays should be analysed by the end of April. The third hole is 25 metres to the east of the second hole. Paul Johnson (see MetalNRG) has acquired 500,000 shares at 1.13p each, taking his stake above 2%.

Sunrise Resources (SRES) has raised £250,000 at 0.1p a share. The cash will be used to finance projects in Nevada.

MAIN MARKET

Shares in Ocelot Partners Ltd (OLOT) commence trading on the standard list on 13 March. The cash shell has raised $417.7m at $10 a share. The proposed acquisition is expected to be involved with the European technology, media or telecoms sectors. Management has been involved with other standard list shells, including Nomad Holdings, which acquired frozen foods businesses including Findus.

BATM (BVC) has weathered a difficult 2016 and is in good shape to improve its performance in 2017. A delayed contract hit the network and cyber division but this should be delivered this year. Strong diagnostics activity offset the weaker waste treatment business, enabling the bio-medical division to report flat revenues. finnCap expects the 2016 loss of $3.3m to be turned into a pre-tax profit of $1.5m this year. There was net cash of $23m at the end of 2016, although around £580,000 has been spent on acquiring Israel-based Zer Laboratories.

Bio-decontamination services provider Bioquell (BQE) reported flat revenues of £26.5m and the underlying pre-tax profit improved from £900,000 to £1.6m. There was a £1.5m charge for board restructuring and write-down of intangible assets. The full benefits of last year’s restructuring will come through in 2017. Having returned £40.8m to shareholders, net cash was £8.8m at the end of 2016.

Oil and gas explorer Aminex (AEX) says that the Ntorya-2 well has been successfully tested and it has confirmed that the area should contain a significant amount of gas but there are production difficulties to overcome. Aminex owns 75% of the Mtwara licence in southern Tanzania. Once a full analysis of technical data is complete Aminex will apply for a 25-year development licence over the area. Joint broker Shore Capital says that it is likely to increase its NAV estimate of 3.9p a share on the back of the news.

Electronic Data Processing (EDP) says the original potential bidder has withdrawn but a different bidder has started talks with the board. There was £6.56m in the bank at the end of February 2017 and EDP will consider returning some cash to shareholders if there is no bid. This could depend on the level of distributable reserves, which could be hit by the next pension scheme revaluation.

Andrew Hore

 

Quoted Micro 13 February 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Investment vehicle Indigo Holdings (INGO) is seeking acquisitions in the consumer, financial and technology sectors in the Middle East and it joined NEX on 10 February. An initial 15 million shares were issued at 1p each and in January a further 26.5 million shares were placed at 3p each. The market capitalisation is £1.24m at 3p a share. There was net cash of £818,000 at the time of flotation. Indigo can issue a further 218.5 million shares. There has been one trade of 4,000 shares at 5p each but the bid/offer spread is 3p/5p.

Equatorial Mining & Exploration (EM.P) has signed a conditional option agreement to acquire a Mexican mining and exploration project. The option lasts 90 days and the acquisition will be funded by the issue of £10.4m worth of shares. Equatorial will need to raise at least £2m to finance the Tango project which includes copper, gold and molybdenum interests. This is an area with historic workings. An initial fundraising of £250,000 at 0.00125p a share will finance the current interests in Nigeria. There are plans to consolidate the Equatorial shares on the basis of 0ne new share for 650 shares and then switch to a standard listing.

A new investment in blockchain technology company Factom Inc means that the stake owned by investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has increased by 236.5% since the initial investment. The 1.5678% stake in the developer of audit and accountability tools using blockchain technology is valued at $473,000.

Western Selection (WESP) says that its NAV has increased by 6% to 84p a share in the six months to December 2016 but this had increased to 91p a share by the end of January. Gains have been made on the disposal of shares in Swallowfield (SWL) with some of the cash used to buy shares in Bilby (BILB), which has been hit by a profit warning. The interim dividend has been increased from 1.05p a share to 1.1p a share.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has removed Barney Battles from the board but he wants to convene a general meeting to get himself reappointed to the board. Milamber says that there are concerns about the League of Angels business that he sold to the company.

African Potash Ltd (AFPO) has raised £126,000 at 0.045p a share and issued 55.2 million shares to pay liabilities. The new shares account for 22.7% of the enlarged share capital.

FT8 (GFT) is still trying to secure payments from Billyst Holdings, which has defaulted on its agreement to provide monthly payments. This means that FT8 is short of cash.

AIM

Staunton Holdings Ltd has launched a recommended offer of 300p a share for FIH Group (FIH). The deal values the Falkland Islands trader and transportation company at £37.1m. The bidder is controlled by The Rowland Purpose Trust 2001he bid is at a significant premium to the market price prior to the announcement but it is below the level of the share price two years ago. FIH has net cash of nearly £10m. The bid values FIH at 15 times 2015-16 earnings but profit is likely to fall this year making the prospective rating 26 times. When the interim figures were published in November, house broker WH Ireland estimated a sum of the parts valuation of 320p a share but this was subsequently reduced to 300p a share.

Ascent Resources (AST) launched a £3m fundraising via PrimaryBid.com, which closed at 5pm on Sunday 12 January. The offer at 1.85p a share is underwritten. The cash will be spent on the Petisovci project in Slovenia, where there has been positive news on flow rates at Pg-10. Ascent has risen money via PrimaryBid.com a number of times in the past.

Strategic Minerals (SML) has exercised the option to take a 50% stake in the Redmoor tin/tungsten project in Cornwall. The £844,000 payment to take the stake to 50% will provide the joint venture with funds for the 2017 drilling programme. The rights to sell the stockpile of magnetite from the Cobre mine in New Mexico have been renewed for a further 12 months to the end of February 2018 and there is still a possibility to come to agreement over a contract lasting a number of years, which would provide more certainty about future revenues. Strategic Minerals moved into profit in 2016 thanks to strong sales of magnetite and it has enough cash to push ahead with the development of its other interests. Strategic Minerals is also interested in the CARE nickel project in Australia.

Billington (BILN) has confirmed that its 2016 figures will be in line with expectations, which ended had been increased by 26% over the past year. A pre-tax profit of £3.5m is forecast. The structural steel supplier will publish the figures on 21 March.

Thor Mining (THR) says that it should receive the final payment for the disposal of its Spring Hill gold project before the end of February. Heavy snow has delayed the commencement of drilling at Pilot Mountain. The cash received will help to finance the drilling.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) says that its 2016 figures will be better than expected but the loss of a client (24Option.com) will hit the 2017 figures. The client will end the agreement on 1 April. The 2016 EBITDA of $2.8m is well above the forecast of $1.6m. However, any dividend will be put off until there is more clarity about future trading.

Spend management platform developer blur Group (BLUR) has signed up the first large customer for its 12 month group buyer plan. The subscription is paid upfront which is good for blur’s cash flow. The attraction is the potential cost savings by the customer, which is a law firm, and it could be followed by other large customers signing up for the package which provides access to 65,000 suppliers and covers up to $2m of purchases in a year. There is a higher subscription rate for annual purchases of more than $2m. By focusing on larger customers blur has been able to reduce costs and it has been jettisoning unprofitable small customers. Cash burn has been reduced in each of the past five quarters and 2017 will see the full benefits of the cost cutting. The costs in the fourth quarter of 2016 were 43% down on the fourth quarter of 2016. There was £2m in the bank at the end of 2016. This will not last long if the cash burn is not reduced further.

Monchhichi (MCC), formerly Mercom Capital, is raising £2.1m at 35p a share in order to finance the company’s new investing policy focused on technology, media and internet sectors. Each of the new shares comes with a warrant that is exercisable at 80p a share. Shares have been issued at 40p each to cover £200,000 of professional fees.

Crystal Amber Fund Ltd (CRS) has increased its stake in medical devices developer GI Dyamics Inc from 22.65% to 38.73%. Other shareholders in the developer of the EndoBarrier minimally invasive device for treating type 2 diabetes and obesity, include Johnson & Johnson. EndoBarrier is in use in Europe and other countries outside of the EU but an FDA trial was terminated. More than 3,500 patients have been treated through the placing of a temporary bypass sleeve in the intestine – equivalent to a gastric bypass–type treatment. Although GI is based in Boston, Massachusetts but it is quoted on the ASX. The share price has slumped since GI joined the ASX in 2011 and Crystal Amber believes that this is an opportunity to invest in a treatment for significant clinical need at a depressed valuation.

Pebble Beach Systems (PEB), or Vislink as it was known up until the beginning of February, has warned that its 2016 figures will be even worse than expected. The poor performance of the former Vislink hardware activities is not great surprise and the additional write-offs were obviously required given the price it was sold for. However, the remaining software business has also disappointed, although order levels have been good. That suggests a better 2017. Debt remains high and the £8m deferred payment due in mid-March is important if Pebble Beach is to have anything like a stable financial position. Kestrel still believes in the business and it has taken its stake to 14.4%.

React Energy has changed its name to EQTEC (EQT) following the issue of shares to EBIOSS Energy taking its stake to 51%. The share issue covers the €5.15m debt that was due from 50.02%-owned subsidiary Newry Biomass. The 5.53p issue price was a premium to the market price at the time the deal was announced but it subsequently rose above the issue price. Newry should be on course to produce electricity by March 2018. The main revenue generating asset is a wind turbine in County Cork.

Mattioli Woods (MTW) has acquired a 49% stake in profitable small company-focused fund manager Amati Global Investors for £3.33m in cash and shares and has an option, lasting two years from February 2019, to buy the other 51% for cash and shares. The wealth management and employee benefits business reported interim earnings per share nearly one-quarter higher at 11.7p and an interim dividend per share 22% higher at 4.7p. Net cash was £22.6m at the end of November 2016.

PowerHouse Energy Group (PHE) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Peel Environmental to develop and operate an energy from waste plant at Peel subsidiary Protos’ Chester facility. This would be PowerHouse’s first commercial project and Peel has a number of other potential sites if this is successful. The deal is a positive result of the previously announced joint development agreement with Waste2Tricity.

Former Hydro International boss Michael Jennings has taken over as interim chief executive of Autins Group (AUTG). Jennings has been appointed for six months following the departure of the previous chief executive of the acoustic and thermal insulation supplier. The strategy is to take Autins products into new sectors so that it is not so dependent on a limited number of automotive customers. Earlier in the month, a major customer reduced orders leading to a profit warning.

A slow build-up of occupancy levels at the new Holland Park site meant that hostels operator Safestay (SSTY) performed disappointingly last year. Even so, EBITDA increased from £600,000 to £2.2m.

Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has entered into an option to acquire kimberlite projects in South Africa. Botswana Diamonds has the option to acquire a 72% interest in the projects in return for £942,000 in cash and 100 million shares. This is payable in stages. An exclusivity and option fee of £122,000 is payable equally in cash and shares at 1.9p each. Then £215,000 has to be spent on exploration in 12 months to earn a 15% stake and then a further £215,000 in the next 12 months to take the stake to 40%. There is then nine days in which to issue 96.8 million shares and pay £300,000 of shareholder loans in order to reach 72%. The main asset is the Frishgewaagt project in Limpopo province and there are nine other prospecting rights.

Connemara Mining Company (CON) has confirmed the presence of lead, zinc and silver within a 2 metre wide bed at the former silver mine at Glentogher in Donegal but there are no signs of gold. Connemara Mining had previously found gold 8km away and the structural model will have to be revised. Teck has spent enough on exploration to take its stake in the Oldcastle block on the Cavan/Meath border to 65%. The latest drill hole has found trace mineralisation (zinc and lead).

Savannah Resources (SAV) says that initial metallurgical results suggest that there should by 90% plus recoveries at the Oman copper gold project.

MAIN MARKET

BATM Advanced Communications Ltd (BVC) is paying £580,000 to buy Zer Laboratories, the largest private diagnostics laboratory in Israel. Zer’s expertise fits well with BATM’s move into non-invasive pre-natal tests. In 2015, Zer made a profit of $27,000 on revenues of $2.4m. There are potential deferred payments dependent on sales increases.

PRE-IPO / OTHER TRADING FACILITIES

Integumen, which bought the Innovenn healthcare product development business of Venn Life Sciences (VENN), is raising £2.16m ahead of a flotation. EIS relief is available for this investment. The offer equates to 23.6% of the enlarged share capital. Integumen has made three other acquisitions and its interests include skincare, wound care and oral care. It also includes the Labskin product developed by AIM-quoted Evocutis before it was sold to Venn. The offer is available via the Crowd for Angels crowdfunding site (www.crowdforangels.com/integumen)

Former GXG-quoted company US Oil & Gas is trying to raise up to £2.18m via a ten-for-63 open offer at 27p a share. A placing has already raised £470,000 at the same price. Revised resource estimates in the area of the Eblana#1 well in Nevada show a 20% recovery factor suggesting a low case of 57 million recoverable barrels of oil and a best case of 207 million recoverable barrels of oil.

Andrew Hore

 

Quoted Micro 26 December 2016

ISDX / NEX

Diversified Gas & Oil (DOIL) has offered to repurchase its bonds for 105p each or, if the bondholders are outside of the US, they can receive ordinary shares at a discount of 20% to the AIM placing price. The AIM flotation has been delayed until late January and Diversified Gas & Oil plans to raise $40m – it had previously been $40m. The closing date for the offers is 13 January. This means that bondholders will receive interest until the end of 2016. So far, holders of 74% of the bonds have opted for the cash alternative and 1% the share alternative.

Western Selection (WESP) has increased its stake in AIM-quoted Bilby, following a profit warning and accounting adjustment announcement by the gas and electrical installation services provider. Western Selection bought 62,192 shares at 51.18p each, taking the stake to 6.04%. There is still £451,000 in the bank

Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) slipped into loss in the six months to September 2016. Revenues slumped from £552,000 to £317,000 and the ecommerce technology developer swung from a profit of £38,000 to a loss of £232,000. There is still £451,000 in the bank despite a cash outflow. Andrew Robathan has been appointed as chief executive. Deal activity has picked up but markets’ are still uncertain and business may take longer to come through than in the past.

Chinese medicines supplier MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has extended its agreement with its skincare products distributor in Taiwan. The agreement will continue until the end of March 2017. The launch of a range of hair care products. Has been delayed until April. MiLOC has paid the first instalment of £320,513 as part of the endorsement agreement with BrandKing, while the same amount is payable by April.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) has taken an option over a potential investment in Primus Care (www.primuscareplc.com), which manages residential care services for children and the elderly. Forbes has the right to acquire £500,000 of convertible loan notes with a conversion price of 0.3p a share, lasting 18 months. The option expires on 30 December 2016.

CyberOwl, a spin-off from Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS), has raised an additional £510,000. The cash will fund further development of an early warning system for network security for uses such as the internet of things.

AIM

The award for the latest pre-Christmas warning announcement goes to TLA Worldwide (TLA). The sports agent and marketing business sneakily put out its announcement at 6.26pm on 23 December, having sadly been denied the chance to put it out on Christmas Eve because that is a Saturday. Poor ticket sales for the Australian 2016 International Champions Cup football tournament in July means that the agreement to promote the tournament has been ended. There is talk of another football event to replace this. Second half trading in the US sports management business was not as good as expected. This means that EBITDA will be 15% below previous expectations. That appears to mean that it will be lower than last year. The fact that, in September, the bid from AAPC fell through because it found it difficult to raise money, is less surprising given the trading. That bid cost the company $1m.

Kuala Lumpur Kepong has allowed its bid for MP Evans (MPE) to lapse after it receives acceptances equivalent to 13.2% of the oil palm plantations operator.

Price volatility in the energy trading market has made the autumn a tough trading period for Good Energy (GOOD) and it means that 2016 figures will be at the bottom end of market expectations. Trading has been more favourable in the past couple of weeks. Good Energy is recycling the investment in its 5MW solar site in Dorset, which is being sold to Eneco UK for £5.78m, while retaining an option over the power generated. There will be a disposal gain of more than £340,000, which will be recognised in 2017. The cash will fund further solar sites prior to the end of March, after which the current renewable obligation certificate subsidy will no longer be available.

Facilities management and security services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) is raising £2.3m at 75p a share to help it to reduce dependence on working capital facilities. Some of these facilities have an annual interest rate of more than 9%. Mortice intends to spend more on the marketing of its Soteria remote surveillance services. First half revenues of $80m have been generated, with more than doubled facilities management revenues thanks to the UK business.

Italy-based PR firm SEC Group (SECG) is acquiring 60% of Martis Consulting for around €1m. Poland-based Martis provides public and corporate affairs services and the latest annual revenues were €1.69m and a pre-tax profit of €286,000. SEC is only acquiring the relevant assets and management will own the other 40%, while having the option to exchange these shares for shares in SEC.

Biopharmaceutical products and services developer and provider Abzena (ABZA) has signed a licence agreement with start-up immunomodulatory oncolytic viruses treatments developer Trieza Therapeutics Inc. The exclusive worldwide licence is for an undisclosed antibody sequence that Trieza wants to use with its own viral vector technology to develop oncology treatments. If the development is successful then up to $35m of milestone payments could be generated on top of any royalties from commercial sales. Abzena made an interim loss of £4.27m. Net debt was £9.38m at the end of September 2016.

Share (SHRE) has sold a further 40,000 shares in the London Stock Exchange and raised £1.12m. This takes the money raised from disposals in recent weeks to £1.66m. Share retains 60,000 shares in London Stock Exchange. Share has taken on up to 8,700 customer with more than £200m under management from Invesco Perpetual – which had not previously been named when the deal was announced. These are mainly ISA accounts.

Simon Fry, Jean-Pascal Tranie and Felipe Simonsen have joined the board of investment company Mercom Capital (MCC) and John Zorbas, Patrick Cross and Kyle Appleby have sold their shares and stepped down from the board. The exiting directors sold their shares at 20p each and returned 2p a share to the company. There are plans for Mercom to raise £3m at 30p a share and issue a warrant with each share that is exercisable at 80p a share for 180 days after issue. Existing shareholders will be issued one warrant, on the same terms, for every four shares they own. The placing price is much higher than that suggested in the initial proposals. This depends on resolutions being passed at the AGM in early January. The new investing strategy is to invest in established technology and media businesses. The name will be changed to Monchhichi.

Learning management systems provider NetDimensions (Holdings) Ltd (NETD) says that 2016 revenues will be at least $26m, up from $25.4m, and EBITDA will be $2m, compared with a loss of $500,000 in 2015. Bid discussions are continuing.

Redcentric (RCN) has reported interim figures which should show a real picture of the company‘s position. Internal systems are being improved and this will continue well into 2017. In the six months to September 2016, revenues edged up 2% to £53m, while there was a turnaround from a loss of £2.5m to a profit of £300,000. There was £7.29m generated from operations during the period and £5m came from the disposal of network assets. Net debt was £34.4m at the end of September 2016. Richard Griffiths and Kestrel have been picking up shares in the market.

NWF (NWF) has warned that a weak first quarter means that the interim figures will be lower than the same time last year but the full year outcome is still expected to be in line with expectations. Demand for feed has weakened at a time when ingredient costs have increased, while the fuel division has been hit by warm weather. The food distribution activities The interim figures will be published on 31 January.

Vislink (VLK) will seek shareholder approval for the disposal of its hardware division on 9 January. The acquirer xG Technology Inc will then seek to finalise the funding of the $16m (£13m) acquisition. If the disposal is completed early in 2017, then the forecast earnings per share will reduce from 1.3p a share to 1.2p a share. Trading in the fourth quarter of 2016 has benefited from the normal seasonal uplift but a £1.2m full year underlying loss is still expected. An additional £5.3m write-down will be required to bring down the book valuation of the hardware division. This appears to indicate a group NAV of around £16m., while net debt will be more than £10m

Diversis has posted the offer document for ServicePower Technologies (SVR). Diversis is offering 6p a share, which values ServicePower at £13.7m.

Collagen Solutions (COS) grew its interim revenues by 30% to £1.89m, but the loss quintupled to £418,000. Additional staff have been taken on and more spent on marketing and R&D. There was still £1.66m in the bank at the end of September 2016. House broker Cenkos expects net cash of £230,000 at the end of March 2017, while net debt is forecast at £3m one year later.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has come to an agreement with main shareholders and directors to acquire Myclubbetting.com Ltd, where golfer Lee Westwood is a shareholder and ex-England manager Sam Allardyce was a shareholder – he said in August that he was giving up his shares (https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/1611113/sam-allardyce-drops-footie-betting-job-and-ditches-shares-after-sun-probe-finds-boss-lost-investors-4m/). The target is run by Neil Riches who used to run Worldlink, which was introduced to the standard list on 24 November 2011 at a notional valuation of £55m (at 250p a share), although it never got near that valuation when trading commenced. Worldlink was a mobile applications developer that had a similar business to Myclubbetting.com but fewer than two years later it was in liquidation. In August, The Sun said that Neil Riches claimed Myclubbetting.com would float on the Scandinavian First North market at a valuation of £75m. There is still due diligence and other matters to complete before the deal goes ahead. Papillon floated on 24 June and raised £824,000 at 1p a share.

World Trade Systems (WTS) is aiming to relist on the standard list in the first quarter of 2017 and additional funds will be raised at that time. This follows the establishment of Shimao (Suzhou) Biotechnology, which plans to sell healthcare products to consumers. Net liabilities were £1.12m at the end of June 2016. The loans from Kudrow totalling £800,000 are repayable by the end of July 2017 or when trading in the shares recommences and have a 5% interest charge. Trading in the shares has been suspended for more than eight years.

Aircraft leasing company Avation (AVAP) has acquired and delivered a new Airbus A321-200 to Vietjet, taking the number delivered to six. Avation has also sold its remaining five Fokker aircraft. WH Ireland forecasts a full year profit of $21.5m.

Andrew Hore

 

Quoted Micro 29 February 2016

ISDX

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

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

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

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

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

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

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

ANDREW HORE

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