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Sport Capital Group (SCG) is acquiring Italian football club Palermo for a nominal sum. The deal also includes the project for a new stadium for the Serie B team, which is currently five points clear at the top of the table. Promotion back to Serie A would boost revenue generation and it would also trigger an earn-out payment. There is also potential for more sponsorship and match revenues. There is a plan to raise up to £10m from a bond issue that would be traded on NEX.
Clinical decision support technology provider DXS International (DXSP) reported a lower interim loss in the six months to October 2018. Revenues edged up from £1.61m to £1.69m and the loss declined from £92,000 to £35,000. Tax credits meant that there was a post-tax profit of £70,000, up from £28,000. The GPSoC tender has been delayed but it is expected to be completed this year.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its priorities for 2019 are to demonstrate the potential of the blockchain investments that it has and to take advantage of the growing sector. There were record levels of investment in the blockchain sector last year. Management wants movements in the share price to reflect progress rather than the movement of the price of bitcoin, as has been the case in the past year.
KR1 (KR1) has set up a subsidiary in Gibraltar. KRX Ltd will sponsor token-based projects that will list on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, which operates the first regulated blockchain exchange. The subsidiary will generate fees from clients and there are a limited number of sponsors.
AFH Financial Group (AFHP) has acquired fellow wealth management firm Hayburn Rock for up to £3.5m. The initial payment is £900,000. In 2017, the firm made a profit of £400,000.
TechFinancials (TECH) is selling its stake in MarketFinancials, which no longer trades, for €100,000. The investment had no value on the balance sheet.
Smaller company investor Gledhow Investments (GDH) had £167,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018, having made a small profit in the period. The NAV is £793,000.
Ashley House (ASH) is changing its year from April to June. This is the end of the first six months period for joint venture Morgan Ashley Care Developments LLP. There will be interim results for the six months to October 2018 reported at the end of January.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has commissioned the Hellyer processing plant and in the fourth quarter generated £3.2m of revenues from lead, zinc and pyrite.
Ascent Resources (AST) is attempting to raise cash at 0.3p a share, which is a 20% discount to the market price, via PrimaryBid.com. Ascent has successfully raised cash via the platform in the past. The broker handling the deal is Stanford Capital Partners. Ascent, which has €400,000 in the bank plus a deposit for a bank guarantee of €200,000, is refocusing its expansion outside of Slovenia because of regulatory hold ups in the country. Revenues from the export of gas from Slovenia totalled €2.1m in 2018 but gaining permission to process the gas and sell it to the national grid has proved difficult.
Knights Group Holdings (KGH) has acquired Leicester-based legal services business Cummins for £1.57m in cash and shares. This fits well with the existing east Midlands operations. In the six months to October 2018, group revenues were 37% ahead at £23.9m and organic growth was 10%. Underlying pre-tax profit doubled to £4.4m. The maiden interim dividend is 0.6p a share. Net debt was £9.5m at the end of October 2018. Average fees per fee earner was one-quarter higher at £66,000.
Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) did better than expected last year. The 2018 pre-tax profit forecast has been raised by 5% to $29m. Net cash is $25m and 50% of the excess over $15m will be paid in a special dividend on top of the ordinary dividend. Somero has also paid $2m for concrete pouring and line dragging company Line Dragon and this broadens the product range.
Student accommodation activities fuelled the growth of Watkin Jones (WJG) last year but private rental will become increasingly important from this year onwards. Richard Simpson has taken over as chief executive.
Kromek (KMK) is making progress towards breakeven and it has plenty of cash in the bank to take it there. The imaging and radiation detection technology developer has a strong order book. There was a dip in first half revenues because of the transfer of production to a new site in Pittsburgh. Even so, full year revenues are forecast to increase from £11.8m to £15m and the loss should reduce from £2.5m to £1.9m.
Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is selling its antinomy exploration interests in Turkey. The company’s main asset is the 40% shareholding in the Sohar antinomy and gold production facility in northern Oman. Some engineering problems have to be sorted out before the plant is fully up and running. More cash will be required. The venture has requested $10.5m from its shareholders.
The market was disappointed by news from Verona Pharma (VRP) about the clinical trial results for COPD treatment Ensifentrine (RPL554). Two different does were used in combination with Stiolto Respimat. The treatment did work better than the placebo, but the improvement in breathing was not statistically significant. The share price slumped by more than one-third, although there was a small subsequent recovery.
CH Bailey (BLEY) has decided to cancel its AIM quotation and it is asking for shareholder approval. The company is offering to buy back shares at 100p each via a tender offer.
Ariana Resources (AAU) says that its 50%-owned Kiziltepe mine produced 27,110ounces of gold in 2018. Ariana expects its $33m development loan to be fully repaid during 2019.
Tax Systems (TAX) had reduced net debt from £20.5m to £13.9m by the end of 2018. Pre-tax profit of £5.8m is forecast for 2018.
Ideagen (IDEA) is acquiring Cork-based Scannell Solutions, which provides environmental health and safety software, for £3.5m. Annualised revenues are around €1m, of which, two-thirds is recurring.
Consumer engagement technology provider Pelatro (PTRO) has confirmed that 2018 figures are in line with expectations and there was improved cash generation in the second half. Net cash was $1.8m at the end of 2018. finnCap expects 2019 pre-tax profit to double from $2.9m to $6m.
Plexus Holdings (POS) plans to buy back 4.95 million shares owned by LLC Gusar. The price will be 50.5p a share. Gusar will use the cash to buy two POS-GRIP wellhead systems, which it announced it was going to buy one year ago.
Midwich Group (MIDW) has acquired MobilePro AG, which expands the audio visual products distributor into Switzerland. The business has annual revenues of CHF25m.
Pharmaxis has completed a toxicity study for two LOXL2 inhibitors in which Synairgen (SNG) has a 17%carried financial interest. Pharmaxis can brief potential licensing partners with the information gained.
Tracsis (TRCS) is acquiring Compass Informatics, which is a data analytics and systems development business. Tracsis is paying up to €5.15m for the Dublin-based company, which made a pre-tax profit of £600,000 last year.
Portmeirion Group (PMP) has achieved record sales in 2018 and beat the profit forecast of £9.5m. The fastest growth came in the home fragrance division.
Iofina (IOF) achieved record iodine production levels in the second half of 2018. Full year production was 17% higher at 588.8 million tonnes. There should be a further rise in production this year and that could move Iofina into profit.
Brandon Hill has initiated coverage of Karelian Diamond Resources (KDR) and it has valued the company’s Lahtojoki diamond project in Finland at $32.9m, based on an average diamond price of $100/carat.
The People’s Operator (TPOP) has postponed the appointment of an administrator as negotiations with interested parties continue.
Kestrel Opportunities has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) from 22.2% to 23.1%. Little more than one year ago the stake was below 15%.
Caledonia Mining Corporation (CMCL) has cut 2019 gold production guidance for its Blanket Mine and WH Ireland has downgraded its forecast from 61,200 ounces to 55,500 ounces, which is at the higher end of the guidance. There was 54,5000 ounces of gold produced in 2018.
Athelney Trust (ATY) is holding the requisitioned general meeting on Tuesday 22 January. Robin Boyle has requisitioned a general meeting in order to get himself reappointed. He left the board last year after a disagreement over the future of the investment company. He wanted to stay on as a non-executive director to shepherd the change in investment management for the trust. The plan is to get Gresham House involved in the investment management. Boyle also wants David Lawman and Paul Coffin to be appointed and the three existing directors, Dr Emmanuel Pohl, Simon Moore and Jemma Jackson, to be removed.
Path Investments (PATH) has signed heads of agreement with ARC Marlborough. The plan is to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland, via a share issue. Path had £31,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.
Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has agreed to sell its $300,000 investment in the Dallas Wheel project back to the developers. Challenger has received $27,000 in interest and will receive $50,000 a month, plus interest, for six months.
Gresham Technologies (GHT) has sold its VME mainframe software business for £2m.
Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has sufficient cash to finance continued exploration in the first quarter of 2019. By the middle of the year the gems explorer will be able to estimate how much cash it requires to start trial mining.
Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has secured long-term facilities of £50m, which expires in 2023, and a £35m private placement of loan notes with BAE Systems Pensions Fund which lasts for 20 years. These replace existing loans. A revaluation of pub assets has delivered a £24m gain on book value.
Mechanical and electrical services provider Field Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) has benefitted from strong spending in the water sector as Asset Management Plan 6 reaches its mid-point, as well as demand from the energy from waste sector. However, the energy from waste customer’s tough stance has held back group gross margin. In the year to May 2018, revenues improved from £17.2m to £25.9m, but pre-tax profit fell from £839,000 to £625,000. If the defined benefit scheme settlement gain is stripped out, then there is an improvement in profit from £463,000 to £558,000. There is £3.97m in the bank. The current order book is worth £12m.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is pushing ahead with Flowstone Capital Ltd, which is a private crypto fund and it has set up Flowstone Management Ltd to manage the fund. Coinsilium has also secured a strategic advisory partnership with LC LITE, which is planning a token generation event to finance the development of a digital letter of credit system for importers and exporters.
Startup Giants (SUG) still had £665,000 in the ban at the end of July 2018. Thee are plans to raise more cash via the event management services provider Exponential Events’ platform.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) is in talks with blockchain-based sports ticketing platform Footies Tech to establish a new subsidiary to develop a blockchain-based venue management system. The idea is that TechFinancials will own 75% of the company and it would provide finance of up to $500,000 to develop a proof of concept. TechFinancials will licence its technology to the new company for free.
Formerly AIM-quoted Metminco (MNC) has withdrawn from the proposed acquisition of Gunsynd (GUN) investee company Sunshine Minerals after it failed to complete due diligence. Gunsynd says that there are other interested buyers even though the nickel price has fallen since the original announcement about the proposed acquisition.
The chairman and chief executive of DXS International (DXSP) have bought further shares last week. Chairman Bob Sutcliffe bought 18,857 shares at 10.5p each, while chief executive Bob Immelman acquired 19,802 shares at 10p a share which took his stake to 10.4%.
Ananda Investments (ANA) executive director Melissa Sturgess has bought another 500,000 shares at 0.4501p each.
Gordon Dadds (GOR) is acquiring Ince and Co International LLP and its associates, which will make it the largest quoted law firm. Annual revenues will be more than £110m. The estimated consideration will be £34m, depending on revenues generated in the three years after acquisition. The merged company will be called Ince Gordon Dadds. Share trading remains suspended until the full details of the deal are published.
Watkin Jones (WJG) says that its full year figures will be slightly better than expected. Good progress is being made with the build to rent operations, but the benefits will come in the future. The sale of a client portfolio of the student accommodation management division has led to a termination fee and a share in the profit of the disposal, which totals £4m.
Concepta (CPT) has obtained a CE Mark for its myLotus fertility testing technology. This enables women to test for their optimal level of fertility. The self-test platform has been launched at the Fertility Show in London. Initial sales will be via the company’s own website. It will take time to build up sales and it is likely to be next year when they become more significant. Concepta raised £2m in August so it is well-funded for its current requirements.
Goldplat (GDP) says that first quarter production fell to 6,100 ounces of gold because of problems sourcing raw materials in Ghana and South Africa, but there has been a recovery in the second quarter and it should be able to achieve full year production estimates of 39,5000 ounces of gold. The Kilpesa mine is being put on care and maintenance if a partner cannot be found and that could knock 3,700 ounces off the production figure.
Next Fifteen Communications (NFC) has raised £20m at 475p a share. The PR firm will use some of the cash to finance the acquisition of Activate Marketing Services for an initial $9m in cash. This technology-focused business is data-led and will continue to be operated separately. This is the latest example of Next Fifteen’s strategy of growing its digital marketing operations.
Gama Aviation (GMAA) says that growth has been slower than anticipated in the second half. The main culprits are the US air associate and slower than expected growth at the new Bournemouth ground services facility. This equates to a $3m cut in forecast operating profit for 2018 and the earnings per share forecast has been reduced by 19% to 21.3 cents.
The share price of floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) slumped on the back of a warning that margins were coming under pressure. Like-for-like revenue growth was more than 3% in the six months to September 2019, but less profit is being made. Victoria is attempting to refinance its two-year bank facility through the issue of a five-year €450m bond, which has been given a BB minus credit rating by Standard & Poors.
Safestay (SSTY) has acquired a 20-year lease on a site in Vienna. This is currently a hotel and it will be converted into a 234 bed hostel at a cost of less than €300,000. Safestay will have 13 hostels.
Pires Investments (PIRI) had a NAV of £950,000 at its year end. The £200,000 increase was mainly due to investments in SalvaRx and Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas.
Imaginatik (IMTK) has launched its six-for-nine open offer to shareholders. This could raise up to £253,000 at 1.1p a share. The closing date is 26 November.
Market research firm System1 Group (SYS1) has declared a maintained interim dividend of 1.1p a share, but the final dividend may be reduced. Interim revenues declined by 5% and pre-tax profit was lower without the £250,000 exceptional credit. That is due to investment in the Ad Ratings business. There was £3.55m in the bank at the end of September 2018.
Mporium (MPM) has signed a deal with BPC Land and Sales Marketing, a services provider to property developers. BPC will use Mporium’s IMPACT technology for digital advertising campaigns. This is a new sector for Mporium.
Biome Technologies (BIOM) has increased nine months revenues by 59% to £7m, which is more than for the whole of 2017. Biome is profitable and it had £2.5m in the bank at the end of September 2018. The main growth has come in the RF Technologies division. The bioplastics business increased its third quarter revenues, but nine months revenues are still lower.
Parity (PTY) has warned that there will be a significant shortfall in profit in 2018 because of the continuing delay of a major contract. WH Ireland has slashed its pre-tax profit forecast from £1.9m to £850,000, suggesting limited profit in the second half.
Meat and delicatessen products retailer Crawshaw (CRAW) is appointing an administrator because it was unable to raise the cash it required.
Elektron Technology (EKT) has increased its nine months revenues from £22.1m to £25.8m and the full year outcome is set to be ahead of expectations. Sight screening technology developer Elektron Eye Technology is expected to move into profit. Net cash was £8.5m at the end of October 2018.
Transportation software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) has received a renewal and extension of data hosting services and software with a rail client. The contract is worth more than £2m over two years.
More bad news from superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) as 2018 figures are set to be well below expectations that have already been revised downwards. There will be a full year loss on revenues of €44m. There will be no dividend. Refit projects have been delayed and one shipyard undergoing maintenance. New build contracts have been won for 2019. The order book is worth €31.3m, of which €18.2m relates to 2019.
BlueRock Diamonds (BRD) has raised £626,000 at 0.3p a share with every two new shares coming with a warrant to subscribe for a share at 0.4p. The directors have invested £170,000. The cash will be used to open two of the five kimberlite pipes at the Kareevlei diamond mine in South Africa.
Tern (TERN) has invested a further £1.1m in in virtual reality training and data analysis technology platform developer FRVS.
PhotonStar LED Group (PSL) has appointed Menzies as administrator of its subsidiary PhotonStar LED Ltd. That business generated £1.15m of first half revenues of £1.33m. It also made most of the loss. More cash will be required for the remaining subsidiary.
TomCo Energy (TOM) has raised £100,000 at 8.5p and disposed of its stake in Red Leaf Resources for $133,333, which had no value in the balance sheet. This will take cash resources to £335,000. The field test on the Holliday block has been delayed due to a failure of couplings.
Ascent Resources (AST) is still finding it difficult to obtain the permits it is waiting for from the Slovenian authorities so that it can generate revenues from gas. Ascent is considering taking action in the European Court.
N4 Pharma (N4P) says clinical data suggests that its Nuvec technology is suitable for use with multiple antigens. It has delivered mRNA and pDNA in sufficient levels to generate the required immune response. The results of the next study should be available in the first half of 2019.
Wey Education (WEY) reported good results but WH Ireland has downgraded its forecasts for this year and next year. The broker is being more cautious about international growth prospects and cut the 2018-19 pre-tax profit forecast from £1.95m to £1.31m and the following year’s from £5.2m to £3.3m.
Frontier IP (FIPP) has made its second Portuguese investment. Des Solutio is developing greener versions of chemicals used to make beauty, pharma and personal care products. Frontier IP has taken a 25% stake.
Myanmar-focused social media platform operator MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) is raising £600,000 at 0.35p a share. Management is focusing on active users and in the first quarter of this financial year there were 412,338 active users of the mobile games offer and 426,750 media and mobile apps users. Last year’s revenues were $1.84m but they need to be much higher than that.
Property investor Safeland (SAF) has acquired North Downs golf club in Surrey for £1.07m and it will invest in the facilities.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) says that the US Bureau of Land Management has approved the application for a permit to drill the GV 22-1 well on the Paradox acreage in Utah.
Zotefoams (ZTF) has improved revenues by 16% in the nine months to September 2018. Full year profit is expected to be slightly better than anticipated. HPP sales have nearly doubled due to demand from the footwear and aviation sectors. Capacity is being increased.
Books publisher Quarto Group (QRT) has extended its facilities to the end of August 2020. The bank facility has been reduced. Large shareholders have agreed to provide unsecured and subordinated loans of $13m, repayable on 31 August 2020.
Stem cell services provider WideCells Group (WDC) is restructuring its Wideacademy educational subsidiary and closed its London office. Annualised savings are worth £400,000. Alan Greenberg has stepped down from the board.
Social media investment company Sealand Capital (SCGL) has published its full year figures and subsequent interim results. Trading in the shares has recommenced. The SecureCom business has been sold. Sealand has subscribed for a 55% interest in Guangzhou Ruiyou Information Technologies Co, which is a mobile game distributor. It is also party to a licenced operator agreement of the WeChat advertisement product in the UK and UAE. There was £758,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.
Gems explorer Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has raised £250,000 at 80p a share. The shares each come with one warrant exercisable at 100p a share.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has gained planning permission for a minor extension on its second property in north west England.
Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) has won a contract from Medway NHS Foundation Trust to supply up to 400 nurses. New research from Edison Investment Research forecasts a 2018 loss of £2.3m for the healthcare staffing company, falling to £600,000 in 2019. Initial revenues were generated last year and they could reach £2.8m in 2019. As revenues grow margins should improve. Net debt could be more than £5m by the end of 2018. The company’s loan notes, which are being subscribed for in monthly tranches by the majority shareholder, are repayable at the end of 2019.
Barkby Group (BARK) joined NEX in June after reversing into former AIM company Sovereign Mines of Africa. The gastropubs operator generated revenues of £950,000 and an underlying pre-tax profit, before flotation costs, of £133,000 in the three months to July 2018. The Turf to Table branded outlets continue to outperform expectations. The company is debt free and ready to acquire additional properties.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has appointed an unnamed nominated adviser ahead of a prospective flotation on AIM in the next few months. Hybridan is already the company broker. SaaS-based cyber software provider Rizikon Assurance is making progress and other products are in development.
Halal food-based certification services provider DagangHalal (DGHL) increased its revenues from MYR4.64m to MYR6.46m in 2017. There was a cash outflow from operating activities of MYR9.44m and net cash was MYR11.6m at the end of 2018. The company has subsequently settled the dispute with its former chief executive with a payment of MYR500,000.
Blockchain ventures investor and adviser Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has entered into a strategic partnership with Universal Reward Protocol, which is developing a protocol so that retailers and shoppers can interact, for a €20m token sale. Coinsilium has also agreed an advisory partnership with Y Ventures subsidiary, Luminore 8.
Positive Healthcare (DOC) has asked for trading in the company’s 7% bonds 2021 to be suspended. Irregularities have been identified at the principal operating subsidiary and Positive is unable to publish its accounts or pay the next instalment of interest on the bonds.
Etaireia (ETIP) has completed the sale of a property in Girvan for a loss of £12,000. The company acquired the property for 25 million shares and £35.000 in cash and has received £47,000 in cash plus £1,000 contribution to legal costs. The £35,000 cash consideration is yet to be paid.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) had $1.4m in the bank at the end of March 2018. Since then, the settlement of an equity share agreement cost $156,000. Litigation with a former chief executive, which scuppered acquisition plans, has been completed with a settlement of $286,000. PCG is in talks with a potential gaming company acquisition.
Panther Metals (PALM) has completed its review of technical information on three exploration tenements in north west Ontario, where it holds an option to acquire. Several high grade gold veins and base metal occurrences have been identified. A detailed exploration programme is being designed.
Sinclair Pharma (SPH) has agreed a 32p a share cash offer from Huadong Medicine Co, but it is still subject to pre-conditions relating to the Chinese authorities.
Watkin Jones (WJG) has exchanged contracts for a 599 bed student accommodation site from Kelaty Propco. This project should be completed by September 2021. It has also secured another deal with Kelaty for a 300 residential apartment scheme in the same area, which will boost the build-to-rent pipeline.
One Media IP Group (OMIP) is planning to raise £2.9m via a share placing at 6p a share and up to £6m from a loan note issue to the Business Growth Fund. Lord Grade and Ivan Dunleavy have each invested £37,500 in new shares. The intellectual property owner intends to use the cash to acquire music publishing rights, artists recordings and songwriters’ rights.
Westmount Energy Ltd (WTE) has made a £810,000 investment in JHI Associates Inc, which is focused on exploration in the Guyana-Suriname basin, where it has a 40% carried interest in the Canje offshore block. This investment represents 56% of Westmount’s gross assets.
Otus Capital Management and Andrew Gibbs have nearly doubled their stake in Van Elle (VANL) to 10.2%. Mark Cutler joined the piling company as chief executive last month.
Polarean Imaging (POLX) has commenced the recruitment of patients for the phase III clinical trial in the US to demonstrate the non-inferiority of the company’s drug / device combination. The medical resonance imaging technology using hyperpolarised 129-xenon gas only has to show that it is as good as the current treatment. Eighty patients will be recruited. Some will be candidates for lung resection and others for lung removal. A pilot programme has helped to design the study, which could be finished before the end of 2019. Polarean has enough cash to make progress with the trial but will need more finance to reach completion.
Positive initial results from an oncology drug study have given the Midatech Pharma (MTPH) share price a boost. This is the first in-human study for MTD201 Q-Octreotide, a sustained-release treatment for carcinoid cancer and acromegaly. The study shows a safe, well-tolerated and effective sustained release of the drug.
Filtronic (FTC) has won a second order, worth $1.1m, for its MassiveMIMO technology, which helps mobile networks use their spectrum efficiently. It is still early days for the technology, but this is a positive sign and will offset the decline in older product ranges.
CCTV and security technology supplier Synectics (SNX) has secured a large contract with Serco, covering six custodial sites. This will help to underpin the current forecasts.
Altona Energy (AHR) has signed an exclusive licence for pyrolysis technology in Australia and China with GCAT. This will enable Altona to construct plants in the two countries and Altona will receive 95% of the net revenues generated by the technology when used in the treatment of waste.
Thor Mining (THR) says that metallurgical test work shows 78% copper recovery at the Kapunda copper project when using glycine as a leaching agent. Thor is earning up to 60% of Kapunda.
FIH Group (FIH) has traded well in the first five months of its financial year, thanks to a strong performance by arts logistics business Momart, which has opened a new facility. The Gosport ferry and Falkland Islands activities are trading in line with expectations. A small reduction on last year’s pre-tax profit of £3.2m is still anticipated.
Starcom (STAR) reported a 61% increase in interim revenues to $3.1m. There has also been a change in mix from lower margin to higher margin products. The security and tracking products developer is still losing money and is on course for a small, but much reduced, full year loss. The business is second half weighted so the outcome is heavily dependent on trading in the last few months of the year.
BATM (BVC) is set for a good second half. The biomedical and networking divisions have both been winning contracts and a significant amount of the benefits of these wins will come through in the second half. The most high profile contract win is the joint development deal with ARM. The first deal under this agreement is with FatPipe Networks, which develops technology for the optimisation and security of wide area networks. Longer-term, BATM’s SDN/NFV technology could be important in the development of driverless vehicles and other new technologies. BATM has net cash of nearly $17m.
Interim revenues at Ross Group (RGP) declined by 28% to £68,000 but it still managed to make a pre-tax profit of £10,000. The search continues for a suitable acquisition. Large shareholders have lent £6.07m to Ross.
Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) has won a contract with a reseller worth at least £3.5m over a three year period. Group gross margins are running at around 15%. That suggests a gross profit of £525,000 over the period of the contract, although the gross margin on this business could be higher. To put that in perspective, chief executive Andrew Hollingworth is entitled to a salary of £120,000, so this contract could cover his salary and some of the other directors’ salaries. Toople needs further wins to reach breakeven. The share price has more than trebled since the contract news, just in time for another share issue to raise cash to keep the business going.
Sativa Investments (SATI) has made two investments in the past week. A C$200,000 investment in Rapid Dose Therapeutics Inc has been made prior to a flotation. The company’s QuickStrip fast-dissolving strip technology can be used to deliver medicinal cannabis. The other investment is in Veritas Pharma. A further C$200,000 is being invested in Veritas, which develops and commercialises medicinal cannabis treatments for chronic pain and palliative care.
Gunsynd (GUN) says that Danish software business FastBase Inc is delaying its flotation. An AIM quotation was originally planned but it may come to the standard list. There may also be a corporate transaction. Gunsynd has a 10% stake in Sunshine Minerals, which has announced that the authorities in the Solomon Islands intends to issue a prospecting licence for its nickel project as long as it gains right of access with land owners.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reported halved revenues in the six months to February 2018. Orders for the company’s rail systems and technology have been disappointing due to tight budgets and admin delays. The interim revenues fell from £104,000 to £46,000.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) raised £80,000 from an open offer at 94p a share.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had a NAV of 41.5p a share at the end of February 2018, down from 43.5p a share one year earlier. The employee-owned business investor invested £324,000 in the latest six month period. There is £789,000 in the bank.
Stride Gaming (STR) intends to get rid of its poorly performing social gaming business and concentrate on growing its online gaming operations internationally. Licences are being applied for and Italy should be up and running in the near future. As expected increased regulation and tax are holding back profit. Revenues should grow this year but pre-tax profit is expected to decline from £18.9m to £14.2m and be flat next year.
Watkin Jones (WJG) increased its revenues by 18% to £158.3m in the first half. Pre-tax profit was 12% ahead at £23.6m. Student accommodation developments remain the core but build to let developments will become more important over the coming years. There is even potential for a separate operation focused on build to let. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to be £48.1m.
Sanderson (SND) put in a strong first half performance. The enterprise software provider had an initial contribution from Anisa but even so the like-for-like profit was higher even though like-for-like revenues only edged up. The retail business was the main driver of profit growth and the improved order book, which increased from £2.78m to £8.61m. The like-for-like order book was 16% higher. The interim dividend was increased by 14% to 1.25p a share. Earnings per share rose by 44% to 2.3p a share, helped by a lower tax charge.
Oxford Metrics (OMG) has completed the disposal of its Yotta Surveying business to Ginger Group. The sale of the highways surveying business will generate £1.3m in cash. Oxford Metrics still owns the Yotta software.
GetBusy (GETB) has made a strong start to 2018 with revenues 17% ahead in the first four months of the year. Stockdale expects the software company to increase its profit from £1m to £1.6m this year.
River and Mercantile has sold its shares in InterQuest (ITQ) and Chisbridge has increased its stake to 51.4%. This comes at a time when InterQuest is seeking to cancel the AIM quotation and investors are being offered 24p a share.
Best of the Best (BOTB) has received the full £4.5m VAT claim from the HMRC. There will be fees and costs to offset against this. On the negative side, HMRC says that the company owes retrospective remote gaming duty for a period of four years.
Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) says tough trading in the second quarter will hit the full year outcome. Expectations have been downgraded to revenues of £34.9m and EBITDA of £800,000. There will be an EBITDA loss of £1.5m in the first half. Excess stock levels hit orders for the digital radio division. Smart audio revenues are expected to grow slower than envisaged originally because of competition in the market. Development spending is being reduced.
Magnolia Petroleum (MAGP) wants to cancel its AIM quotation. The oil and gas producer estimates that it will save £100,000 a year by leaving AIM. The strategy is to sell assets in order to reduce debt.
Clear Leisure (CLP) is raising £600,000 at 0.95p a share. The cash will be invested in the bitcoin data mining business and fund continued litigation.
Trading in the shares of Path Investments (PATH) remains suspended and the AIM flotation continues to be delayed. The acquisition of a 50% stake in an onshore gas field in Germany is progressing. The 2017 annual report should be published in June.
Fandango Holdings (FHP) has secured two potential factoring and financial services acquisitions. The standard list shell would issue 908.4 million shares for the acquisition. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
Predator Oil and Gas (PRD) joined the standard list on 24 May. The share price edged up from 2.8p to 2.88p. The flotation raised £1.3m to finance the plan to acquire oil and gas assets in Trinidad and Tobago and Ireland.
Bisichi Mining (BISI) has acquired five shops in west Ealing (via a joint venture) for £5.6m. Bisichi and its main shareholder London and Associated Property will each own 45% with the other 10% owned by Metroprop Real Estate. The annual rental income is £140,000 and there is planning consent for 20 flats.
Life sciences company Bioquell (BQE) has sold its defence business for an initial £400,000. Up to £600,000 more could become due depending on winning a particular contract in the next 12 months. This business is lumpy and it made a small loss last year.
WideCells (WDC) is still finalising its 2017 accounts. The stem cell services provider is offering the chance for small investors to invest up to £450,000, via a bookbuild using the Teathers app and that was due to close on 21 May but it will be extended until the results are published. Trading in the shares remains suspended.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) grew 2017 revenues from the nursery, hotel and media operations. There was a 11% increase in raceday attendances, which totalled 196,000 last year, leading to a 1% like-for-like rise in revenues. Overall revenues were 5% higher at £17.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit edged up from £178,000 to £188,000. There was a small cash outflow from operations. Capital investment meant that cash was reduced from £12.9m to £5.2m with more payments to come from the David Wilson Homes deal. A further £5.17m will be spent on upgrading the Pall Mall stand. There are concerns that the cutting of maximum stakes for gaming machines following the recent government announcement could hit bookmaker sponsorship and media rights revenues.
Block Commodities Ltd (BLCC) has a secured a strategic investment from Swarm Fund, which is a decentralised marketplace platform using blockchain. Investors will be able to participate in the FarmCoin asset-backed investment coin via the Swarm platform. FarmCoin is a joint venture between FinComEco and Block Commodities focused on the agriculture sector. There will be up to $45m of FarmCoin tokens issued.
National Milk Records (NMR) is holding a general meeting on 4 June in order to propose a reduction in capital that should put it in a position to have distributable reserves if it wants to pay a dividend.
Pre-IPO investor Primorus Investments (PRIM) had cash of £561,000 at the end of 2017. The NAV was £4.95m. This was after a £3.26m inflow from share issues.
Watkin Jones (WJG) has found a new chief executive but he will not be able to start until the beginning of 2018. Richard Simpson is joining from student accommodation developer Unite Group. The build to rent operations of Watkin Jones has secured a development arrangement for a site in Reading, which will have 315 apartments.
GAN (GAN) and Webis (WEB) are two companies that could benefit from the legalisation of online sports betting in the US. The Supreme Court of the United States has decided to overturn the Federal prohibition of sports betting. US sports betting could be worth $6bn by 2023. That covers online and onsite gambling. GAN can launch a sports betting service in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the second half of this year – in time for the NFL season. GAN already has a deal with Betfair in New Jersey and adding sports betting will increase revenues. Webis has a US subsidiary called WatchandWager, which is based in California, a strong potential market for sports betting.
Genedrive (GDR) has agreed to sell its research and pharmacogenomics divisions to a director for up to £1.9m so that it can concentrate on its core Genedrive diagnostics platform. The initial payment is £1.15m with the rest deferred and subject to claims for R and D tax credits.
Lakehouse (LAKE) is acquiring heating and renewables services provider Just Energy Solutions, which fits with the company’s gas compliance businesses in the public sector and expands coverage in the industrial and commercial sectors. There is no upfront cost and payments will be dependent on profitability over two years. Lakehouse has also won a £55m, three year, Warm Homes contract with the Wales government.
Oil and gas demand is recovering at advanced coatings provider Hardide (HDD) but it is still well below previous levels. Other customers are enhancing growth and aerospace business is on the horizon. Interim revenues were 43% higher at £2.16m but the company is still loss-making. That will continue for a couple of years.
Angling Direct (ANG) increased revenues by 44% to £30.2m in the year to January 2018 and this led to an upgrade in forecast revenues for the current year. The fishing tackle retailer grew online sales by 54% but these tend to be lower margin. Pre-tax profit was £900,000 and it is expected to rise to £1.1m this year.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosander (SOS) says that its full year revenues will be at least £1.34m. Like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter nearly quadrupled and gross margins are improving.
Portmeirion (PMP) has increased revenues by one-fifth in the first four months to 2018, although the second half of the year is always the more significant. Full year profit is still forecast to rise from £8.8m to £9.4m.
Churchill China (CHH) says that trading is ahead of the same period last year. The ceramic products manufacturer continues to have success in Europe and other export markets.
A new patent application has been filed for SkinBiotix by SkinBiotherapeutics (SBTX) and this covers the increasing of filaggrin levels in skin. Filaggrin is required for the formation of the outer layer of skin. Eczema sufferers have a low level of filaggrin.
The People’s Operator (TPOP) is increasing its UK subscribers but US numbers have declined so the performance was down in the first quarter of 2018. Churn is declining. Margins are better than expected. Even so, progress is too slow and an alternative strategy is required by the virtual mobile network business and it is considering divesting the US subscribers. That should cut cash burn by one-third.
A bathing water test by Molendotech, which is one of the investee companies of Frontier IP Group (FIPP), is being launched by Halma. This follows the agreement earlier this year.
Altona Energy (ANR) will begin a drilling programme on the Westfield tenement of the Arckaringa coal project during August. There could be 100mt of coal in the tenement. It will take three weeks to drill 15 holes to a depth of 120 metres.
Active Energy Group (AEG) intends to acquire a controlling interest in PowerWood Canada. Which owns forestry assets in Canada. This will secure feedstock for the roll-out of CoalSwitch, the biomass replacement for coal. There are plans to construct a 25 tonne per hour CoalSwitch plant in Alberta.
Servoca (SVCA) wants shareholders to agree to the cancellation of the AIM quotation. Management says that this will save £150,000 a year.
Volex (VLX) is buying Silcotec Europe for €18.1m and raising £36m at 75p a share. Silcotec supplies harnesses and electronic sub-assemblies to the medical, telecoms and computer industries and generated an operating profit of €3.1m.
Audioboom (BOOM) is not going ahead with the reverse takeover of Triton Digital Canada Inc because it could not raise the cash from a placing. A £700,000 break fee in cash (£90,000) and shares is payable. The audio business still requires more cash and that is why trading in the shares is still suspended.
Sportech (SPO) has a strong presence in the US so it is in a good position to benefit from the legalisation of sports betting. It already has 90 licenced operator clients and its own network of off-track betting facilities in Connecticut.
The reasons behind founder Laurence Orbach increasing his stake in books publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) to 20.1% have become clear. Orbach was removed from the board in November 2012 but he has joined with 27% shareholder Lion Rock to unseat four non-executive directors at the AGM. Orbach and former finance director Mick Mousley have returned to the board, along with two nominees from Lion Rock. Orbach becomes executive chairman.
Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has completed bulk sampling in zone 1 and this should enable a resource estimate to be calculated.
Standard list shell Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has signed heads of terms for a 50% stake in CarCloud, a car sales-based fintech company. The deal to acquire energy storage systems developer Phestor is off. That follows the abortive takeover of Myclubbetting.
S&U (SUS) says non-prime car finance applications are 10% higher this year, although approval rates have fallen. Net receivables have increased by £48m to £258m.
North Midland Construction (NMD) has made a strong start to the year. There is a secured workload of £310m for this year and this should enable an improved financial performance this year.
World Trade Systems (WTS) wants to diversify its business outside of China. A new Taiwan-based health and fitness subsidiary is being incorporated. Kun Xin International will provide a loan facility of up to £3m to finance the new business. European opportunities are being sought.
Blood diseases treatments developer Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) has signed a development agreement with a global pharma company, which will provide Hemogenyx with free technical support and some intellectual property. The pharma company will be granted a research licence for anything jointly developed.
Good Energy (GOOD) has renewed its offshore wind power deal with Orsted for a further two years. This secures 12% of the output of a North Sea wind farm and this can power more than 26,000 homes. Generation has been ahead of expectations.
KR1 (KR1) has announced its latest investments. An investment of £184,000 has been made in Nexus Mutual Project (NXM) tokens. The number of tokens will be confirmed after the public token sale. KR1 will receive the tokens at a 17.5% discount to the lowest price offered in the public sale. Nexus Mutual will use blockchain technology to recreate insurance mutual. The company has also invested £150,000 in Argent Labs Ltd, which is creating a decentralised banking protocol on the Ethereum blockchain. KR1 has invested €201,000 in the private pre-sale for the Herdius project.
Gibraltar-based TDH Ltd has taken on Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) as its adviser for a token generation event. The TrustedHealth platform will create a decentralised global network of doctors and healthcare specialists offering virtual consultations. They will pay with TDH tokens and the token sale started on 27 March and lasts until 27 April. Faruk Saylam has sold 1.5 million shares, which leaves him with a 4.4% stake.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has been granted a mining lease for the Sunbeam silver mine in northern Queensland. This will enable the processing of 48,000 tonnes of mineral stockpiles, which include gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc and antimony.
MetalNRG (MNRG) says the prospective buyer of the company’s stake in US Cobalt has completed due diligence. MetalNRG will receive 21.7 million shares in ASX-listed Tyranna Resources Ltd for its 15.38% stake in US Cobalt.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that One Media Enterprises has been acquired by OTC-quoted OneLife Technologies Corp but the payment it is due will have to wait until the buyer is allowed to raise cash. That should be later in April. Angelfish will have its original investment repaid along with management fees plus an uplift in the amounts due. The timing of the first instalment is still uncertain.
First Sentinel (FSBN) has raised a further £62,000 from a bond issue. The company plans to issue up to £4m of bonds.
Gowin New Energy Group Ltd (GWIN) says that Mr Chen Chih Lung has converted his loan note into 40 million shares at 1p each. This takes his stake in Gowin to 21.6%.
SimplyBiz Group (SBIZ) joined AIM on 4 April. It was valued at £130m at the placing price of 170p but the share price ended the week at 160.5p. The company provides compliance and business services to financial advisers.
Higher managed services revenues helped AdEPT Telecom (ADT) to make further progress last year. Pre-tax profit is expected to be £7.4m and the dividend will be raised 13% to 8.75p a share. Debt is lower than expected.
Broadcast industry software provider Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) is hopeful that it can secure terms to extend its bank facility until November 2019. Pebble is adding industry experience with the appointment of Graham Pitman as a non-executive director.
Gooch and Housego (GHH) says trading is in line with expectations and the order book is at a record level of £84.7m. Demand for high reliability fibre couplers has been weak but is expected to recover in the second half. The manufacturing sites have been organised into three technical groupings and performance is improving. The interims will be published on 5 June.
Floorcoverings supplier James Halstead (JHD) says it is considering a bid for Airea (AIEA) but it has yet to approach for the Burmatex-branded floorcoverings business. Airea is closing its Ryalux residential carpet business. There is £3.7m in the bank and the pension deficit has been reduced. Eight shareholders own around 48% of Airea.
appScatter (APPS) is adding to its service that enables organisations to publish their apps on multiple stores and platforms by paying £13.5m in cash and shares for data analysis business Priori Data. This should provide a full service for clients. There are plans to raise £15m at 70p a share.
Denial of service online attacks prevention technology developer Corero Network Security (CNS) is still loss-making and it is raising £4m at 5.75p a share, as well as trying to secure a £3m debt facility. One year ago, Corero raised £5.6m at 5p a share.
FairFX (FFX) can issue Mastercard branded cards and is launching a commercial finance offer to business customers.
Mytrah Energy (MYT) has recommended a bid from majority shareholder Raksha Energy Holdings Ltd. Raksha is offering 45p a share in cash to mop up the 42.1% of the wind power producer it does not own. That is higher than the share price has been for 16 months but not much more than 50% of the level it was nearly three years ago. This bid values Mytrah at £78.9m.
Hornby (HRN) says sales improved towards the end of the financial year as European product was delivered. There was net cash of £4m at the end of March 2018 but management says that a larger debt facility is required for seasonal working capital requirements. Barclays will waive a covenant on the existing facility.
1Spatial (1SPA) has won a £1.6m deal with Land and Property Services in Northern Ireland. Most of this will be generated over the next five years. The geospatial data provider is expected to get near to breakeven in the year to January 2019.
Watkin Jones (WJG) says that first half trading is in line with expectations. Student accommodation developments continue to make the largest contribution with a pipeline of 9,800 beds. The build to rent development business has secured planning consents on three sites, covering 700 units. The management business has contracts to manage more than 14,000 beds, even though the sale by a client of student properties covering more than 5,000 beds meant that the new owner took on their management.
Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) says that interim revenues are 11% higher this year, helped by new business wins. Current full year forecasts predict an increase in revenues from £109.6m to £117.3m so Treatt is well on its way to achieving that. A full year profit of £14.4m is forecast. There will be a small negative foreign exchange charge in the first half but the US tax charge will be lower than previously expected.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has completed the $500,000 farm-in spending on the Gubong mine and following the publication of a feasibility study the expenses will be shared 50/50 with Southern Gold.
William Hill plc WMH Adjusted operating profit for the year to 26th December is expected to show a rise of 11%, ahead of expectations. In the nine weeks since the last trading statement on the 11th November the UK and the US have shown good momentum, gross win margins have been ahead of expectations and significantly ahead of the previous year.Net revenue has been very strong.
Judges Scientific plc JDG The positive demand for the company’s products which started in the second half of 2016 has continued throughout 2017Organic order intake for the year to 31st December increased by 16% and it is anticipated that earnings per share will be above current market expectations.
Watkin Jones WJG delivered what it describes as another set of impressive results with profit before tax for the year the year to 30th September soaring from £13.3m to £43m., a rise of 326.3%, on revenue up by 13.1%. Both revenue and gross profit showed strong growth, driven by student accommodation developments. EBITDA was up by 8.6% and the final dividend is to be increased by 10% to 6p per share.
SpaceandPeople SAL enjoyed strong trading during the final quarter of 2017 and became debt free by the end of the year on the 31st December, all bank debt having been repaid during the course of the year. Profit before tax will be £100,000 higher than anticipated at about £1.2m. Dividend payments are to be re-commenced and a final dividend of 1.5p per share will be proposed.
Sinclair Pharma plc SPH Revenue over the past two years has grown by in excess of 80%, returning the company to EBITDA profitability in 2017, a year which saw a strong performance across all key brands and revenue growth of 20% or 14% on a constant currency basis. The fourth quarter was particularly strong in Germany and Brazil and 2018 is expected to produce further strong growth overall.
Steppe Cement STCM Revenue for the year to 31st December rose by 20% over the previous year, after a 4% volume increase and a 15% price rise. Exports doubled to 146,000 tonnes
First Group FGP claims a significant improvement in operating results for the year to 31st March despite a mixed trading environment and with the benefit of a large helping hand from favourable currency movements. Profit before tax increased by 34.4%, earnings per share by 24% and statutory operating profit by 15.1%. Revenue was up by 8.3% but without the collapse of sterling it would not have been up at all, in fact on a constant currency basis it was down by 0.5% which puts that “significant improvement” into perspective. First Bus and First Rail both faced challenging market conditions, with like for like First Bus revenue falling by 0.6%.
The company claims it is concentrating on the service improvements which its customers tells it they want, which appears to be virtually an admission that management hadn’t a clue what level of service it should be providing until its customers started trying to get the message through.
Johnson Matthey JMAT A stronger second half provided evidence of an improving performance which in turn has enabled the final dividend to be increased by 5%. Profit before tax for the year to the end of March rose by 19%, earnings per share by 21% and revenue by 12%. Revenue at constant exchange rates and on a like for like basis grew by 3% over the year but in the second half that figure doubled to 6%, helped by the company’s world leading science and technology. Growth in Europe was particularly strong. In the current year sales growth is expected to match the 6% of 2017’s second half and beyond 2018 expectations are for deliver of sustained sales growth and margin expansion.
Watkin Jones WJG is increasing its interim dividend by 10% after a strong half year which produced strong profit growth. Adjusted profit before tax and EBITDA each rose by 26.6% for the six months to the 31st March, despite an expected 8.4% fall in revenue.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has raised £1.4m via a placing and subscription at 190p a share – the same as the current bid price – and the cash will be invested in sales and marketing and further cyber security product development. There was £668,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016. Chief executive Thomas Ilube subscribed for 132,103 shares but his holding has been diluted from 52.6% to 44.4%.
Brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) made a small loss in the six months to September 2016 due to the impact of a loss on interest rate swaps of £5.7m due to the fall in sterling but the underlying business is still highly profitable. A 5% increase in revenues to £44m led to an improvement in operating profit from continuing operations from £7m to £7.4m. Investment in hotels and bars has offset the effect of the national living wage. However, the loss on interest rate swaps meant that a previous interim profit of £5.7m was turned into a loss of £300,000. An unchanged interim dividend of 1.1p a share was announced. Net debt was £34.9m at the end of September 2016 and more capital investment is planned. There are ongoing plans to relocate the brewery and offices and this should be completed in 2018. Thwaites has been named as preferred partner to redevelop Dee House, a grade II listed Georgian building, in Chester.
AIM cash shell Tengri Resources (TEN) has joined the ISDX Growth Market. The AIM quotation will be retained and it is seeking a technology acquisition. Tengri has paid Robust Resources $200,000 in cash, 4.3 million shares and sold Robust its shareholding in gold explorer Prospech in return for the relinquishment of a loan of $1.02m. Tengri has raised £650,000 from an issue of convertible loan stock – which would be equivalent to 65.5% of Tengri if converted – having previously raised £100,000 from a share issue at 5p a share. A general meeting is planned to reorganise the company’s capital and change the name of the company to Forbes Ventures – the ticker will be changed to FOR. The share price was 1p prior to joining ISDX and it ended the week at 2p (1.5p/2.5p).
Ganapati (GANP), the developer of apps for social media and games, has clarified the bonds it has issued to Japanese investors. They are three-year bonds, not two-year bonds as previously stated, with an option to renew for a further year. EveryMatrix Ltd is in talks with Ganapati’s Malta business to obtain an online casino licence but this will be dependent on Ganapati being granted a licence from the British Gambling Commission and a class 4 licence from the Malta Gaming Authority.
The Italian agent of Tracksure has subscribed for up to 4.55 million shares in Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) in lieu of its commission on sales up until the end of August 2017. There will be an initial issue of 562,400 shares in lieu of commission of £5,624. Daniel Stewart has taken its fee for the previous fundraising by the company in the form of 500,000 shares at 1p each and 3.52 million warrants to subscribe for shares at 1p each.
FT8 (GFT) continues to assess potential fintech investments and decisions will be made on specific investments before the end of the year. A lack of financial resources remains a constraint. There was less than £3,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016. Opportunities have also been sought in the US that are in a similar sector to Homeland Health Care, where an FT8 investment provides technology for the employee benefits operations.
Hellenic Capital (HECP) has adopted a new pronged investment policy – UK property and African natural resources investments – but it is not changing its name to City and Commercial Investments. Hellenic will wait until it has made investments before deciding on a new name.
Investors have subscribed for just over 50% of the shares in the one-for-three open offer by St Mark Homes (SMAP). This has raised £694,000 at 105p a share.
Greenbrook Industries has increases its stake in Sandal (SAND) to 29.6%. The shares were transferred to Greenbrook as part of loan agreements with Robin Fuller and Kingswood Asset Management.
Kuala Lumpur Kepong has increased its bid for MP Evans (MPE) from 640p a share to 740p a share, which values the oil palm plantations operator at £415.4m. The bid will be declared unconditional if acceptances reach 50%. The bid has been rejected by MP Evans. This offer cannot be increased unless there is a rival bidder or the target recommends an increased offer. There is scope for a rival bidder.
Transport-related software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) promised that the second half of its financial year would produce the vast majority of profit and it has delivered. In the year to July 2016, the underlying pre-tax profit improved from £5.6m to £6.7m. There is net cash of £10.7m with potential deferred consideration of £6.15m. The rail technology and services division grew organically and thanks to a contribution from software company Ontrac. The remote control monitoring equipment business generated lower revenues but this year it will benefit from a US contract. Traffic & data services benefited from a contribution from traffic planning services provider SEP in a stronger part of its financial year – the first half included a partial contribution during the off-season. Earnings per share were slightly flattered by a lower tax rate. This holds back potential earnings growth this year to around 9% even though pre-tax profit is forecast to improve to £8m helped by a full contribution from SEP.
Student accommodation developer and manager Watkin Jones (WJG) says that 2015-16 trading was in line with expectations. At the end of September 2016, there was a development pipeline of 21 developments with 6,814 beds. These should be delivered in 2017 and 2018. Management business Fresh Student Living has 12,337 beds under management. The full year figures will be published on 18 January.
Totally (TLY) has acquired sports physiotherapy provider Optimum Sports Performance Centre for an initial £400,000. This is an earnings enhancing deal. There are additional deferred payments of 100% of 2016 EBITDA and 75% of 2017 EBITDA. The total maximum payment is £650,000.
Immobile (IMO) reported a 22% increase in pre-tax profit to £3.3m in the six months to 2016 and the cash pile has reached £17.9m. Immobile provides services to enable mobile and digital commerce. Organic growth was 14% with particularly strong growth in India. Recurring revenues were 94% of the total revenues. The launch of IMIchat provides a further service that can be sold to the customer base. Immobile has won its first US mobile operator client and has yet to see the benefits of this. Kestrel Partners has taken its stake above 5%.
RedstoneConnect (REDS) has paid £2.4m for Commensus, which provides managed IT support services, and this should be earnings enhancing. The deal enables RedstoneConnect to offer cloud-hosting services and provides opportunities for cross-selling.
Sula Iron & Gold (SULA) has launched a placing and open offer to raise up to £1.47m at 0.21p a share. This will help to finance the development of the Ferensola gold project in Sierra Leone. Early next year there will be additional drilling in order to demonstrate the scale of the project.
FIH Group (FIH), formerly Falkland Island Holdings, has achieved 60% of this year’s forecast profit in the first half of the financial year. Normally there is a fairly even split. WH Ireland has maintained its full year profit forecast at £1.85m because the outcome will be dependent on how quickly art logistics services provider Momart fills its additional capacity. Net cash was £4.3m at the end of September 2016. The current share price of 218.5p is similar to NAV, excluding intangibles.
Fire and emergency services resource manager AssetCo (ASTO) has still to renew its main contract in Abu Dhabi. The renewal for the contract was due on 17 November and it is still being renegotiated so the contract will continue on existing terms until the new one is finalised. That should be before the end of the year. Trading is in line with expectations and it appears that the contract will be renewed. The £42m claim against former auditor Grant Thornton is still being pursued.
Tanzania-focused Edenville Energy (EDL) says that results of bulk sampling at the Mkomolo and Namwele deposits indicate that the coal is suitable to feed a power plant and requires little or no washing.
Avation (AVAP) says that its dividends will be based in US dollars from now on. Management believes that it will receive proposals for the disposal of 22 ATR turboprop aircraft before the end of 2016. Avation is seeking a price that is well in excess of NAV and the deal will require shareholder approval. That could lead to a special dividend with part of the proceeds invested in further aircraft.
Marketing services firm Creston (CRE) has recommended a 125p a share bid from value investor DBAY Advisors Ltd, which values the target at £75.8m. Shareholders will also keep the 1.42p a share interim dividend. DBAY has been a Creston shareholder for more than two years.