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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 6 July 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has secured a diagnostics agreement with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust that is worth £19.1m over ten years, although it is initially for five years. Rutherford will supply imaging services from a facility in Taunton, which will be developed in partnership with Equitix. The service should start in the second half of 2021.

Good Energy (GOOD) says that it remains profitable, although smaller business energy demand was lower in the second quarter. Gross margins have been hit because excess energy had to be resold. Operational efficiencies have offset some of this effect. Cash collection has been strong. Four-fifths of customers have been transferred to the Kraken customer services system. This will help to reduce costs.

Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has negotiated additional bank facilities. Total debt facilities are £132.5m. The brewery has been generating income from increased sales to supermarkets and for export. The majority of the company’s pubs should reopen by the end of July.

Cannabis-focused investment company Greencare Capital (GRE) has raised £1.37m at 50p a share. That is double the original flotation price. Management is hopeful that it will make an initial investment in its favoured acquisition target in the near future.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that plant production levels at the Hellyer gold mine increased by 44% to more than 1.3 mtpa. NQ has completed the acquisition of the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania.

British Honey Company (BHC) says sanitiser sales have enabled the company to achieve sales of 240% of budget in the past three months. BHC has swapped 4.5% of its shares for a 10% stake in List Distillery LLC. BHC has an option to buy the rest of the company for £4.5m plus up to £500,000 in contingent consideration.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had an NAV of £7.55m (48.9p a share) at the end of February 2020.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has changed its corporate adviser from Peterhouse to VSA. Tectonic has published full year figures to June 2019 and interims to December 2019. NAV was £2.49m at the end of 2019.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) generated sales of $3.64m of sales in the first quarter of 2020, compared with $3.85m in the same period last year. In 2019, revenues were $10.7m.

Human Brands is selling some of its brands, including Shinju Whisky, to Rogue Baron in return for shares and Gunsynd (GUN) will have its £379,000 convertible loan note novated to Rogue Baron, which has been granted EIS advanced reassurance. Rogue Baron plans to float on a UK market and this could trigger the issue of further shares to Gunsynd.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has supplied a £300,000 loan facility to Vox Markets. This is convertible into shares. So far, £250,000 has been advanced. Loan facilities totalling £500,000 have been provided to Ridercam Systems. A £130,000 investment has been made for a 7.4% stake in investment company Malaika. The company’s Australian subsidiary has provided a loan facility to energy producer Direct Energy Holdings.

Ecovista (EVTP) was withdrawn from the AQSE on 1 July. The day after it published interim figures to February 2020. There was £42,000 in cash and this should cover general running expenses. Management says that being quoted cost £60,000 a year. NAV is £735,000.

Formerly known as Welney, Quetzal Capital (WENP) has been readmitted to the market following a share consolidation of 100 existing shares into one new share and placing raising £22,000.

AIM

Cambridge Cognition (COG) continues to win new contracts and the first half order intake was £4.9m. The digital health business has increased its contracted order book to £7.5m. The company is on course to make a much lower loss in 2020.

Construction disputes and expert witness services provider Driver (DRV) improved its profit in the first half thanks to a good performance from its Asia Pacific businesses. However, the Middle East is still a problem and a strategic review is underway. Net cash was £3.3m at the end of March 2020 and it has increased since then. There is no dividend. The second half will be tougher, though.

Forex provider Equals (EQLS) continues its strong growth record in 2019. Trading levels were hit by the COVID-19 lockdown in April and May, but June’s revenues per day recovered to a similar level to June 2019. The administration of Wirecard has had limited effect on business.

AFC Energy (AFC) is raising £31.6m at 16p a share. This will be used to invest in manufacturing for the H-Power fuel cell systems and employing additional staff for the deployment of the technology in the electric vehicle and construction markets. There will also be cash put into the development of the AlkaMem anion exchange membrane and the HydroX-Cell solid-state membrane fuel cell system.

Telecoms equipment supplier Filtronic (FTC) says it grew revenues from continuing operations in the year to May 2020 and it made a small underlying profit. Delays to deliveries mean that it is difficult to assess the outcome for the current financial year.

Redx Pharma (REDX) is raising $29m through a convertible loan note issue to Redmile and Sofinnova Partners and £812,000 via a share issue to Sofinnova.

Robinson (RBN) is paying an interim dividend of 3.5p a share. The packaging supplier did not pay a final dividend and the interim will be payable on 30 July to make up for that. First half trading was in line with expectations. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to be flat at £2.3m.

MAIN MARKET

Trading in Lookers (LOOK) shares has been suspended because it has not published 2019 results. They should be published in August. An investigation by Grant Thornton suggests that there will be a £4m non-cash write-off relating to fraud with a further £15m non-cash write-off for incorrect or inconsistent accounting, mainly relating to stock.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 8 June 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Sativa Group (SATI) has agreed a merger with Stillcana Inc. The share swap is 0.33507 of a Stillcanna share for every Sativa share. That values the cannabis products company at £10.7m and its shareholders will own 65% of the enlarged group. Trading in Sativa shares restarted on 4 June.

Engineering businesses consolidator Vulcan Industries (VULC) floated on 1 June. It was valued at £6.98m at the 3p a share placing price. Vulcan raised £746,500 via a subscription and placing and £239,000 will be spent on costs. . Vulcan has already completed four acquisitions. They supply automotive components, fire doors and frames, nails and architectural metal work. Trading was weaker than expected last year. Zanete Fergusone sold three businesses to Vulcan and her family interests own 47.7% of the company. A manufacturer of pressed steel bearing housings is set to be the next acquisition.

Adnams (ADB) has put its refinancing negotiations on hold since the COVID-19 lockdown. The long-term facilities have been extended by six months. Adnams is considering the government loan scheme. There will be a substantial interim loss.

IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) believes that £3m of temporary annualised cost savings will help to offset a decline in gross revenues this year. Interim revenues were 5% ahead at £38.2m but pre-tax profit was flat due to higher interest costs. The interim dividend is 5p a share, instead of the anticipated 7p a share. A further 2p a share may be paid later in the year depending on the prospects at the time. Underlying full year pre-tax profit should improve from £16.9m to £18m, which is a small downgrade on previous forecasts.

Good Energy (GOOD) has seen no significant financial impact from COVID-19. Cash collection has been in line with previous years. The generation assets have produced above average output. The final dividend has been deferred.

Altona Energy (ANR) is assessing the potential acquisition of a majority stake in a rare earths project. The Chambe project is in Southern Malawi. Due diligence will take up to three months.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has sold a majority interest in Tectonic South Africa to AIM-quoted Kazera Global. Tectonic will retain a 10% interest in the diamonds project. Tectonic has received £100,000.

Investment company Gledhow Investments (GDH) increased net assets from £735,000 to £907,000 by March 2020. Gledhow had £147,000 in cash at the end of March.

Welney (WENP) has published full year and interim figures. At the end of December 2019, net liabilities were £361,000. A consolidation of 100 shares into one new share will be followed by a £15,000 placing at 0.3p a share. A loan stock issue will raise £35,000. Trading in the shares restarted on 3 June. Keith, Bayley, Rogers has been appointed as corporate adviser. The company’s name will be changed to Quetzal Capital

Black Sea Property (BSP) is renegotiating its credit facilities. Management is uncertain how trading will fair this year.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) is changing its accounting reference date from 31 March to 30 June. Barry Fromson has been appointed as an executive director.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has raised £300,000 at 1.35p a share and issued £70,000 worth of share for fees and to convert loans. Peterhouse has replaced Turner Pope as broker.

AIM

Mereo Biopharma (MPH) has raised $70m (£56m) including $19.4m (£15.5m) via a share placing at 17.4p each and $50.6m (£40.5m) through a convertible loan note issue. The cash will be used to reduce debt and fund the company into 2022. Mereo plans a phase 1b study for cancer treatment etigilimab during the fourth quarter.

Life sciences IT services provider Instem (INS) continues to trade strongly and net cash was £8.3m at the end of April 2020. The 2019 figures show a rise in pre-tax profit from £2.8m to £3.2m and a jump to £4.2m is expected in 2020. Existing business continues but new business may take longer to secure, and this led to a small downgrade.

Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has signed a distribution agreement with Swixx BioPharma for leptin deficiency treatment Myalepta in 17 eastern European countries.

Armadale Capital (ACP) says that the definitive feasibility study update has increased the NPV of the Mahenge Liandu graphite project in Tanzania by 20% to $430m. That is based on a 30% rise in average annual production.

Bidstack (BIDS) has raised £5.5m at 4p a share. The in-game advertising technology developer will use the cash to expand internationally and fund marketing and further technology development.

Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) says that subscriptions have held up and installations are recovering after an initial slump in April. Trading in the first four months of 2020 was ahead of the same time last year. Some clients have been allowed payment deferrals. There is £9.5m in the bank.

President Energy (PPC) has raised £2.24m at 1.85p a share via PrimaryBid. A placing raised a further £2.5m. Trafigura is subscribing a further $6m at the same share price. Along with a $4.1m debt for equity swap this will reduce debt to around $15m. There will be a $98.5m write down of assets, particularly the Paraguay exploration activities. Even excluding this, there will be a loss this year. The crude oil reference price in Argentina has been set at $45/barrel until the end of the year, which is higher than the current global price.

MAIN MARKET

Tex Holdings (TXH) improved sales and gross margins last year, but there was still a slightly increased pre-tax loss due to redundancies and professional fees. Revenues increased from £40.1m to £43.1m, and if exceptional costs are stripped out there was a decrease in pre-tax loss to £661,000. The plastics division is profitable, but the engineering division is losing money. The overdraft has been repaid with the proceeds of a shareholder loan. The pension surplus has increased NAV from 127p a share to 134p a share. There are plans to reduce costs by an annualised £1.5m.

LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) says trading has improved in recent weeks and it expects the first half profit and cash generation to be at least as good as the same period last year. That is despite lower revenues.

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) is closing 12 more dealership sites. Annual savings of £50m are anticipated. Trading has recommenced at Lookers sites, but activity is still weak. Net debt was £57m at the end of May.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 13 January 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that in 2019 the Hellyer mine in Tasmania produced 24,980 tonnes of lead concentrate, 15,646 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 77,853 tonnes of pyrite concentrate. Metal recovery has improved with average lead recoveries of more than 50%. The focus will be on generating lead revenues. Additional high-grade underground resources have been acquired from Bass Metals, which was subleasing the area. The purchase includes 1.175 million tonnes of underground JORC resources.

Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) is investing natural insecticide developer Kentegra Biotechnology. The Kenya-based company produces pyrethrum, a natural ingredient from the chrysanthemum flower for use in the home, agricultural and pharma markets. There is a shortage of supply of pyrethrum, which can only be produced in a limited number of places around the globe. There is a move away from synthetic versions of the ingredient.

Panther Metals (PALM) has completed its move to the standard list.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has raised €4.79m via a placing at 1.1 cents a share. The cash will be used for property investments. Mamferay Holdings, which is owned by majority shareholder Phoenix Capital Holdings, is swapping €1.4m of debt for shares at the same price.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration has changed its name to Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM .P).

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that the 100p-for-one share consolidation will take effect on 21 January.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) reported a NAV of 273.9p a share for the end of 2019.

AIM

Packaging equipment supplier Mpac (MPAC) says that the 2019 profit is going to be much better than expected. The pension deficit should be eliminated by 2024.

Ultrasound simulation equipment developer Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) expects its 2019 revenues to grow to between £5.7m and £5.9m. There will be a slightly higher loss due to higher development spending. There was £7.3m in the bank at the end of 2019. The agreement signed with FUJIFILM SonoSite Inc will help sales this year in the training market.

Shield Therapeutics (STX) has licenced its Ferracru/ Accrufer iron deficiency treatment to Beijing Aosaikang Pharmaceutical for an upfront payment of $11.4m. This means that there should be net cash of £7.5m at the end of 2020. A further $11.4m payment is due when the treatment gains approval in China, following a clinical trial funded by the licensee, possibly in 2023. There could be further milestone payments of up to $40m depending on sales. Ongoing royalties on sales will be 10% or 15%,

Biopesticide products developer Eden Research (EDEN) says that its three EU-registered active ingredients have been approved for use in organic farming. A one-year exclusive agreement with Corteva Agriscience, will give the company time to evaluate Eden’s Sustaine encapsulation technology for use with seeds. Coreva could be granted exclusive distribution rights in the EU, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine.

Accrol Group (ACRL) management believes it has turned the fortunes of the toilet paper manufacturer around. Even so, it still lost £3m in the six months to October 2019. Net debt was £24.8m and this could fall to £20m by the end of April.

Telecoms services provider Maintel (MAI) has warned that public sector contracts continue to be delayed. finnCap has cut its 2019 pre-tax profit forecast from £10.4m to £8.1m, while the 2020 estimate has been reduced by one-quarter to £8.8m.

Software company CloudBuy (CBUY) wants to leave AIM and it expects to save £100,000 a year in overheads. Lyn and Ronald Duncan subsequently sold 11.1 million shares at 0.414p each. The share price has fallen but it is still 0.6p.

Promotional products software supplier Altitude Group (ALT) has signed a strategic alliance with the Advertising Speciality Institute, which will use its software platform.

Surface Transforms (SCE) expects more contract announcements with OEMs this year. In the seven months to December 2019, revenues were £1.45m, nearly treble the same period in the previous year, but lower than expected due to delays. The new financial year end is March. There was £768,000 in the bank at the end of 2019 and a further £425,000 has already been received.

Asimilar Group (ASLR) has raised £6.8m at 40p each. This will be received in two tranches. Formerly known as YOLO, the company will invest the cash big data, machine learning, telematics and internet of things businesses.

MAIN MARKET

Avation (AVAP) has started a strategic review, which could include the sale of the aircraft leasing business. Avation has 49 aircraft with an average fleet age of 3.7 years. It has also purchased a spare engine that can be leased.

InnovaDerma (IDP) grew interim revenues by 28% to £5m. This represents a slowdown in growth in the later part of the period and is slightly lower than expected. Skinny Tan was responsible for most of the growth. The second half will benefit from the launch of new skincare products in Superdrug.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) says its Minto Explorations business has received a $5.4m payment for copper concentrate produced during December. The Minto mine produced 2,247dmt of copper concentrate in the fourth quarter 2019.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) says that its molecular diagnostics business Ador Diagnostics has received its first commercial order from an Italian customer for meningitis testing.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 23 December 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Trading in the shares of Barkby Group (BARK) following the publication of the prospectus for the reverse takeover of the Dickson group companies and move to AIM. There will also be a share consolidation of 193 shares into 74 new shares. Barkby is paying £30.6m, predominantly in shares with £750,000 in cash, and raising £5m at 30p a share. The businesses include Workshop Coffee, which operates four coffee shops and is a wholesaler of speciality coffee, and a south east England-focused commercial property developer. Barkby will also acquire the right to invest in two private companies: Transcend Packaging, which won a contract to supply McDonalds with paper straws, and VivoPlex, which has developed a medical device for fertility monitoring. A dividend is planned for this financial year.

Schroders has bought the whole of the 29.8% stake in Rutherford Health (RUTH) that was previously held by Woodford Investment Management.

Trading in the shares of Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has been suspended. Tectonic South Africa has been awarded an interim land mining contract at a diamond mining project in Alexander Bay in South Africa. It is replacing a previous subcontract that the company had. Mining can resume until the full contract is agreed. That could be by next March. A private investor signed an option agreement for the purchase of a 64% stake in Tectonic South Africa. In return they will fund future project development. There is a £100,000 cash payment to Tectonic on completion. There are 120 days for the investor to raise the cash required. The figures for the year to June 2019 will not be published by the end of 2019.

SulNOx (SNOX) started trading last week and the share price rose from 50p to 55.5p (53p/58p). There have been 35,875 shares traded on NEX.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) is raising £300,000 at 6.5p a share. This will fund an exploration programme to extend the life of the Hellyer mine.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company WeShop hopes to float on AIM in the second quarter of 2020. Pre-IPO funding of £2m has been secured. Vela Technologies (VELA) and Two Shields Investment (TSI) are also investors in WeShop.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that its CoalTech subsidiary has had successful tests with two listed South African coal consumers. Pelletised coal fines have been produced and they were deemed suitable. The first potential customer could sign up for a long-term supply agreement and the second could justify a plant at their location.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that it generated 2019 revenues of $10.6m up to 17 December and the full year figure should be higher than the $10.9m reported in 2018. The starting of operations in Europe will help to grow revenues. Wishbone will receive $600,000 in relation to its operations in Honduras. There could be a further $400,000 depending on production. There will be a consolidation of 100 existing shares into one new share.

The CAMRA Members’ Investment Club has increased its stake in brewer Adnams (ADB) from 2.81% to 3.69%.

AIM

Focusrite (TUNE) is paying £39.2m for professional sound systems manufacturer Martin Audio. This will diversify the product range of the group and enhance earnings in the first year. The two companies are based near to each other in High Wycombe. In the 12 months to October 2019, Martin made an operating profit of £2.9m on revenues of £24.4m. ADAM Audio’s contribution has helped revenues to increase in the first quarter. Like-for-like revenues are lower due to adverse exchange rate movements and a on-off boost in the first quarter of the previous year.

Bidstack (BIDS) has entered into a two-year agreement with a global marketing services group, which will spend up to £10m on advertising via the Bidstack in-game platform over that period. None of the revenue will be in 2019, which is why the forecast will not be met and revenues will not be signficant.

Naked Wines (WINE) is paying a special dividend of 5.2p a share. The ex-dividend date is 24 December.

Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) is acquiring six VW car, one VW commercial vehicles and one SKODA franchise from Jardine Motors for up to £22.3m. Trading remains in line with expectations, but Edison has cut its 2020 profit forecast by £4.1m to £23.2m, partly due to the loss-making acquisition.

Filtronic (FTC) is selling its telecoms antenna business to Microdata for $5.5m (£4.2m). The company can concentrate on the 5G and defence markets.

ValiRx (VAL) says that the VAL201 phase I/II clinical trial is coming to an end and the initial results appear to show that there is an impact on patients with prostate cancer. The compound is also safe and well tolerated.

A trading statement from Van Elle (VANL) has led to Peel Hunt cutting its 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast from £4.8m to £4m. The ground engineering contractor says that the second quarter was stronger than the first and first half revenues have risen from £42.9m to £48m. However, pre-tax profit slumped from £2.8m to £1m. There should be some improvement in the second half. The share price has halved this year. The interims will be published on 22 January.

Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) says the Russian authorities have confirmed the company’s residency in the Kamchatka advanced special economic zone and this could save $6m over seven years. Trans-Siberian will develop an extension of the Asacha gold mine and expects to invest up to $21.2m in the next five years.

Sabien Technology (SNT) has raised £300,000 at 0.15p a share. This will provide working capital as a review of the business continues. Sabien is seeking to broaden its range of products from energy efficiency to other technologies, particularly health and medical rehabilitation sectors. Alan O’Brien stepped down as chief executive and Richard Parris became executive chairman.

Shareholders have agreed to put Stirling Industries (STRL) into voluntary liquidation. Trading will be cancelled on 24 December.

MAIN MARKET

Sure Ventures (SURE) maintained its net asset value at 83.1p a share at the end of September 2019. That includes cash of £1.45m. Management believes that some of the earlier investments are maturing and they could have valuation uplifts.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) has raised £638,000 at 2p a share via a placing in Norway. The cash will be used to buy drilling equipment.

Career development and consumer engagement platforms provider Dev Clever (DEV) plans to raise more cash four months after raising £436,000 at 3.4p a share. The share price fell by around one-third just before and just after the company admitted it was raising money. The share price fell to 1.05p.

OTHERS

Getmapping has ended its strategic review and is no longer up for sale. The geospatial services provider believes it is not the optimal time to consider offers.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 1 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

NEX Exchange company of the year

National Milk Records (NMRP)  

Dairy and livestock services provider National Milk Records has been on NEX for more than a decade. The share price has increased by more than 500% over the past decade. In the latest quarter to March 2019, revenues improved from £5.32m to £5.56m, even though the number of cows on the database had declined from 743,054 to 713,379 over a 12-month period which hit milk recording revenues. Income from specialist testing has increased. Overall, growth was not as strong as in the first six months, which benefitted from one-off income. An oversupply of milk in recent weeks has hit the milk price and this has held back spending by farmers.

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Wealth management group AFH Financial Group (AFHP) is raising up to £20m via a convertible unsecured loan stock issue. The conversion price is 420p a share, up from 360p before the issue was announced, and the interest rate is 4%. This cash will fund further acquisitions. There are five that are already in due diligence.

Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) is not likely to achieve financial close on three projects, so it will lose money in the 14 months to June 2019. The second half will be profitable. The company should return to profit in 2019-20.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has increased the valuation of its portfolio by 22% to £86.9m at the end of April 2019. Annualised rental income is £6.5m.

Investment company Angelfish Investments (ANGP) had cash of £1.48m, but debt was £3.35m and net liabilities of £543,000 at the end of 2018. This means that the preference dividend cannot be paid because there are no distributable reserves. The decline into net liabilities was mainly due to a £942,000 write-down on loans made to OME. Pre-revenue investments are included at cost.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has appointed First Sentinel as its corporate adviser. PCG has not replaced its nominated adviser so it will lose its AIM quotation. Acquisition talks continue.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has invested £75,000 in fintech company Capable Finance in return for a 50.01% stake and a £25,000 loan with an annual coupon of 15%. First Sentinel directors have participated in a £110,000 placing and they own most of the rest of the shares. First Sentinel has gained a Euronext Dublin listing for its 7.5% bonds, May 2024. Some of this cash will be invested in the activities of Capable Finance.

Shareholders in Valiant Investments have approved the change of name to Eurocann International (BUD) and the focus on medicinal cannabis. It has disposed of its investment in Flamethrower one of its own directors and raised £263,000 at 1.5p a share. Valiant had £1,289 in the bank at the end of 2018. There is still a £200,000 convertible investment in All Star Minerals (ASMO). The company has a stake in North Bud Farms Inc, which has a cannabis production facility in Quebec.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £250,000 at 0.1p a share. This ash will contribute to the £700,000 investment in Apollon Formularies. Executive chairman David Lenigas has bought 17 million shares at 0.11941p each.

Ananda Developments (ANA) has formalised the joint venture with Anglia Salads and JE Piccaver to create DJT Group. Ananda and Anglia which each own 50% of DJT, which will apply for a licence to cultivate and supply cannabis. Ananda had £141,000 in the bank at the end of January 2019.

Sativa Investments (SATI) subsidiary PhytoVista Laboratories has completed an independent blind test consumer cannabidiol products for The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis. Many proved to have too low or too high a content of relevant ingredients.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has terminated its heads of terms with Mkango Resources relating to earning up to 75% of the Thumbani licence because it could not come up with the finance required.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) increased its revenues from $8.2m to $10.9m, although the loss doubled to $1.89m. That is mainly down to a $797,000 loss on an equity sharing agreement. The cash outflow from operations fell from $904,000 to $813,000.

Via Developments (VIA1) reported an increase in interim loss from £10,000 to £259,000, because of higher finance costs.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is raising £1.6m at 0.11p a share and this will fund the investment in the Amapa iron ore project.

Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) is leaving NEX on 26 July. The minerals explorer has been on NEX for less than nine months. It does not believe it is large enough to benefit from a quotation on NEX as well as the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Small Cap Awards 2019 winners

Company of the year

Beeks Financial Cloud (BKS)

Beeks Financial Cloud provides cloud-based connectivity and infrastructure services provider for automated trading of financial assets. It also provides cyber security services to prevent distributed denial of service attacks. Beeks was formed in 2010 and has consistently grown its revenues. Beeks joined AIM in November 2017 and in May it acquired the trading assets of US-based Commercial Network Services and this adds 1,000 customers. Progressive Research forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £1.2m to £1.4m in the year to June 2019.

IPO of the year

Cake Box Holdings (CBOX)

Egg-free cakes supplier Cake Box won this award the day before its first anniversary on AIM. Cake Box raised £16.5m at 108p a share and at one point the share price was nearly double this level. There is still a premium of more than 60% to the flotation price. In the year to March 2019, revenues increased from £12.8m to £16.9m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £3.3m to £4m. Two new distribution centre sites have been acquired. There is scope to more than double the business, which currently has 113 stores.

Impact company of the year

Kromek (KMK)

Kromek has developed a range of radiation detection and imaging products based on cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) technology. The company focuses on three sectors – medical imaging, nuclear detection and security. Kromek has been winning multi-million pound international contracts and it has a strong balance sheet following a recent fundraising. Revenues increased by 23% to £14.5m in the year to April 2019. Kromek is losing money, but it is on course to reach breakeven in a couple of years. The orders that are already won underpin the revenue forecasts for the coming years.

Executive director of the year

Mike Creedon, chief executive of Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI)

Mike Creedon has been on the SDI board since 2010, having previously been a finance director of two former AIM companies, Ideal Shopping Direct and Ninth Floor. SDI is an acquisitive digital imaging and sensor control technology company. The acquisition record is good. A trading update has led to a small pre-tax profit upgrade to £2.9m. The 2019-20 pre-tax profit is maintained at £4.1m.

Analyst of the year

George O’Connor, Stifel Nicolaus

Journalist of the year

Simon Thompson, Investors Chronicle

Fund manager of the year

Marlborough Nano Cap Growth

Lifetime achievement

Andrew Buchanan

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AIM 

Zoo Digital (ZOO) slipped back into loss in the year to March 2019, but it should return to profit this year. Demand for film and TV localisation services continues to grow but momentum has not been as expected.

Wynnstay (WYN) had already warned about tough second quarter trading, but underlying pre-tax profit held up reasonably well, falling 15% to £4.3m, even though revenues were 19% higher at £218.5m. The increase in revenues was mainly down to commodity inflation. The warmer winter weather hit demand for animal feed, although fertiliser demand has been strong. The agricultural merchanting depots acquired in the past year are moving towards profit. There has been some rationalisation of the depot network. The interim dividend has been raised 4% to 4.6p a share.

China New Energy Ltd (CNEL) has applied for a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and it will ask shareholders for permission to cancel the AIM quotation, subject to a successful Hong Kong listing.

Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) has increased its assets under influence to £5.3bn, helped by recent acquisitions. There is a strong pipeline of additional acquisitions. Interim pre-tax profit improved from £930,000 to £1.63m.

MAIN MARKET 

BATM (BVC) is raising $18m, 20% more than initially sought, at 42.5p a share. Most of the cash is earmarked for the cyber and networking activities. The rest will go towards medical activities. The cash will help in securing partnerships with larger technology companies.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has varied and extended its contract with Canadian data centre provider GPU.one. This will provide access to 14MW of power at lower prices. This increases capacity by 47%, utilising the equipment that has already been ordered, and cuts power cost by 39%. The deal starts on 25 June and lasts three years. Argo can give four months’ notice. A previous deposit of £1.44m has been turned into an investment in GPU.one.

Tex Holdings (TXH) says the engineering operations have started the year slowly, but trading should return to previous levels. The plastics division is trading in line with expectations and there is investment in new machinery. The shares remain suspended.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Ltd (COPL) has joined the standard list. The oil and gas company is focused on Nigeria and sub-Saharan African.

Avocet Mining (AVM) is holding a general meeting on 18 July to gain shareholder approval for a voluntary liquidation. Avocet has sold its interest in the Tri-K gold project in Guinea for $21m. This leaves a small residual cash sum. There is unlikely to be anything substantial left to distribute to shareholders.

Oil and gas company Aminex (AEX) shareholders have approved the switch from a premium listing to a standard listing. It is also cancelling its Dublin listing. It may have been difficult to get the full benefits of the lighter regulation of a standard listing if the company were still listed in Dublin.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Ananda Developments (ANA) is amending its investing strategy and acquiring Tiamat Agriculture, which is applying for a UK controlled drug cannabis cultivation and supply licence.  Anglia Salads and JEPCO will provide cannabis growing expertise. The new investing strategy will include the cultivation of medicinal cannabis. URA Holdings will subscribe £400,000 for shares at 0.45p each.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £1m at 0.1p a share and the cash will be used to acquire a 2.34% stake in Apollon Formularies Ltd. AfriAg hopes to gain first refusal to acquire the rest of Apollon in a transaction that would value the company at £40m.

Good Energy (GOOD) will redeem the first Good Energy Bond, which was launched in 2013, before the end of June. The outstanding principal is £3.6m and the cash for repayment will come from the disposals of Newton Downs and Brynwhilach solar farms to the local communities. The cash helped to develop nearly 150MW of renewable generation projects.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that gold recoveries in Honduras have been low and it is considering whether to sell to the joint venture partner or take full control of the operations. Gold trading volumes are increasing but the contribution to overheads is modest.

Panther Minerals (PALM) has applied for an exploration licence for the Marrakai gold project in Northern Territory, Australia. Panther has also acquired additional ground surrounding the former Little Bear mine in Ontario, Canada.

Formation Group (FORM) reported a reduced loss in the six months to February 2019. There is £3.05m in cash in the balance sheet.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is investing up to £150,000 in convertible loan notes in ASSIF, which is developing a digital product to improve mental health. The first tranche has been drawn down and the rest will be invested when design work is completed. The loan notes are convertible into up to 35% of ASSIF, depending on the milestones achieved prior to conversion.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has shipped 34,500 tonnes of precious metal pyrite concentrate from the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania.

Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) has started offering high energy proton beam therapy in Bomarsund in Northumberland.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) non-executive director Dominic Burke has nearly doubled his shareholding to 2.8%. Tim Syder increased his stake to 3.1%.

V22 (V22O) will leave NEX at the close of business on 31 May.

AIM  

SafeCharge International (SCH) is recommending a $5.55 (436p) a share cash offer from a subsidiary of fellow payment services provider Nuvei Corporation, valuing the company at £699m. The final dividend of 7.22p a share will be paid. The international payments processor joined AIM five years ago at 162p a share. Nuvei has a strong market position in North America and SafeCharge provides scale in Europe.

Trading in the shares of LXB Retail Properties (LXB) has been suspended following court approval of the dissolution of the company and a return of capital of 1.2p a share. The cancellation of the quotation will happen on 31 May.

Volvere (VLE) has sold its oldest subsidiary Sira Defence and Security for £3m, although management bonuses of £320,000 will be paid out of the proceeds. Sira cost a nominal amount and has contributed cash to the group. This leaves 80%-owned frozen pies maker Shire Foods, which increased its full year pre-tax profit from £635,000 to £854,000. Even stripping out incentive payments relating to the sale of the Impetus business, Shire hardly makes enough profit to cover central overheads.

Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) has confirmed that its full year revenues will be at least £102m and EBITDA at least £19m, an increase of 15%. The growth is a combination of acquisitive and organic. Knights Group (KGH) says that its full year revenues will be not less than £52.4m and underlying pre-tax profit will be ahead of expectations at £9.7m.

Argentina-focused oil and gas producer President Energy (PPC) increased revenues by 160% to $47.2m in 2018 and this enabled it to move into profit. This year pre-tax profit is set to improve from $3.5m to $17.3m as last year’s acquisition makes a more significant contribution and capital investment starts to pay back. Average production is expected to be 3,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2019.

Science Group (SAG) has taken a 9% stake in digital radio technology developer Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) at 12.5p a share. Science offered to acquire the whole company via a cash bid of 30p a share but the proposal met with a negative response from the target’s board and the offer has been withdrawn.

Caledonian Trust (CNN) has renegotiated the conditions of the proposed sale of St Margaret’s House in Edinburgh, which was announced in February 2018. The buyer is still in the process of applying for planning consent and it has three months in which to submit the application, plus 12 months to secure consent. A further three months will be allowed to find a pre-let and Caledonia will vacate the property six months after that. This means that it could be two years before the transaction is completed. The consideration is still £15m, compared with a book value of £8m.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has received a £300,000 investment at 1.2p a share and appointed Colin Harrington to the board as executive chairman. Origin Creek Energy has a 14.8% shareholding following the share issue. This replaces the previously announced subscription at a lower share price and Robert Bensh has left the board because of that.

Kibo Energy (KIBO) says that 60%-owned flexible power generation development subsidiary MAST Energy Developments is acquiring Bordersley Power Ltd, which is developing a 5MW gas-fuelled power generation plant and relevant grid connections. The deal is dependent on certain conditions.

Cellcast (CLTV) is owed £453,000 by a Kenyan client of its gaming and lottery consultancy activities, which generated revenues of £395,000 in 2018. The government in Kenya is cracking down on advertising of gambling and it had previously raised taxation rates. Cellcast had £698,000 in the bank at the end of 2018.

Trading in the shares of Dublin-based Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has been suspended ahead of the proposed all share acquisition of the larger Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, which is a subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed Novelion Therapeutics Inc. Amryt plans to raise $60m from a share issue.

MAIN MARKET 

Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) has made a non-binding offer for Entertainment AI Inc although it is still subject to due diligence on the artificial intelligence and machine learning company. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) says trading continues to improve even though sales to UK professional customers are subdued. The overseas market is stronger. Margins are improving.

Motor finance provider S and U (SUS) says that profit from its core business has improved so far this year. The property bridging lending business has increased its loan book to £22m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 31 December 2018

NEX EXCHANGE 

China-based Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) joined NEX on 24 December. The online retailer of customised jewellery was introduced at 15p a share, and the shares ended the first week at 15.5p (14p/17p).  That values Gamfook at £15.5m. Executive chairman Jindian Lin and his wife own 72.8% of Gamfook. A dividend based on 28% of profit attributable to shareholders is promised.

Part of the £407,000 Sanderson Capital Partners loan to Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has been converted into shares. The conversion of £258,500 was done at 0.1247p a share.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) reported an increased interim loss of £343,000, up from £263,000. There were net liabilities at the end of September 2018, but the balance sheet has been improved by the issue of shares for cash and to pay off creditors. Problems at apprenticeship training company Eseential Learning are being sorted out.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) had $913,000 in the bank and shareholders’ funds of £1.02m at the end of September 2018. There was a cash outflow from operations of £817,000 in the six month period to September 2018.

A subsidiary of Lombard Capital (LCAP) is issuing two bonds. The first is a 4% bond, raising up to £50m and expiring at the end of January 2022, and the other is a 4.5% bond, raising up to £90m and expiring at the end of January 2024. It is intended that both bonds should be lised on a recognised exchange.

AIM  

For a change the last major announcement of the year is a positive one. Gordon Dadds (GOR) has completed the acquisition of international law firm Ince UK and it will trade as Ince Gordon Dadds. Trading in the shares recommences on 2 January. The deal will cost £27.3m over four years, plus options over three million shares, and the combined group generated fees of £30.5m in the year to April 2018. The deal should be earnings enhancing in the current financial year.

Earthport (EPO) is recommending a 30p a share bid from Visa Inc. This values the payments technology company at £198m. The bid is 50% higher than the 20p a share placing price in October 2017, but lower than the 40.85p a share placing price in September 2014.

Chamberlin (CMH) improved its trading in the first half and the cash from the sale of the Exidor business has improved its balance sheet. The foundries business moved back into profit in the first half as demand continues to increase for turbo charger housings, which are used for hybrid cars as wells as conventinal ones. The company’s debt has been reduced from £10.5m at the end of September 2018 to £3.7m. The pension deficit has been cut from £4m in the last balance sheet to £1.5m.

Facilities management and security services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) increased its interim revenues by 10% to $116.7m. Underlying pre-tax profit was 5% ahead at $2.3m. Net debt was $20.1m at the end of September 2018.

TUS International has published a circular for a general meeting in January in order to gain shareholder approval for the acquisition of the Telit Communications (TCM) automotive business, whose reorganisation is near completion.

In the six months to September 2018, Stanley Gibbons (SGI) continues to lose money although costs have been reduced. Revenues fell from £7.14m to £5.03m. Coins and medals are the part of the business still making a profit. The overall loss has been reduced from £2.93m to £2.37m.

The People’s Operator (TPOP) does not expect to appoint a new nominated adviser and the share placing with the owner of LycaMobile has been pulled. The investment of £1.3m in shares (29.9%) and convertible loan notes will not go ahead but the potential investor is considering its options. The AIM quotation will be cancelled on 3 January.

TSX-V quoted PetroTal Corp (PTAL) has gained an AIM quotation. The Peru-focused oil producer is developing its interests at Bretana and growing near-term production.

IT compliance and security services provider GRC International (GRC) increased its interim revenues by 54% to £8.91m, thanks to a boost from GDPR, but it moved from a pre-tax profit of £614,000 to a loss of £2.18m. There was additional investment following the flotation of the company in March. Cash is running out and an overdraft and a loan facility have been secured.

Gaming technology developer Nektan (NKTN) is raising £1.5m at 15p a share, although not all the shares will be issued until the company gets shareholder approval at the AGM on 7 February, and it will generate £2m from the sale of 57.5 of US subsidiary Respin. There are also plans to restructure the conversion terms of loan notes and a shareholder loan. These proposals are dependent on each other going ahead and on the successful negotiation with the HMRC over the payment terms for £2.9m of UK point of consumption tax. There was £1.4m in cash at the end of June 2018, which is similar to the cash outflow from operations in the preceeding 12 months.

Functional food ingredients developer Provexis (PXS) improved interim revenues from £124,000 to £194,000. The company’s Fruitiflow products are being more widely sold and the prospects for the deal with BY-HEALTH in China are positive. Pro forma cash was £556,000.

Veltyco Group (VLTY) is going to launch its own regulated financial trading brand in the first quarter of 2019, although this depnds on regulatory approval.

Oil and gas explorer and producer Cabot Energy (CAB) says that it is still trying to raise cash via a share issue and it would be at a large discount to the current share price. The cash needs to bre raised by the end of January in order to pay overdue creditors and provide working capital.

Building materials sector consolidator SigmaRoc (SRC) has announced its plans to redeem its £10m of 6% convertible loan notes. SigmaRoc is offering 105p for each 100p loan note, plus 0.378p a note in interest payments. The last acceptance date for the tender is 16 January.

Mobile commerce services provider Bango (BGO) will be loss-making in 2018, although there was an EBITDA in the fourth quarter. End user spend more than doubled to £550m. There should be £3.5m in the bank at the end of 2018.

WANdisco (WAND) has secured a three-year agreement with an American healthcare company worth £700,000. The deal involves WANdisco Fusion and comes via the sales partnership with IBM.

Paracale Gold is providing a loan of up to $1.224m to Goldstone Resources (GRL) to finance the development of the Akrokeri-Homase project in Ghana. This mine could be in production in 2020. Paracale will receive 40.35 million warrants exercisable at 1.2p a share, which replace existing warrants.

Mobile payments technology provider MobilityOne Ltd (MBO) has secured an agency and reseller agreement with MBP Solutions for the company’s products in Malaysia.

In the six months to September 2018, Vast Resources (VAST) reported a 8% increase in gold production to 13,352 ounes at the Pickstone-Peerless gold mine in Zimbabwe. There was a 61% increase in copper concentrate produced to 1,526 tonnes at the Manaila polymetallic mine and zinc concentrate produced has nearly doubled to 199 tonnes. Revenues increased from $14.9m to $21.9m. There was still a cash outflow from operations of $1.79m.

Michael Principe and Greg Genske have resigned from the board of TLA Worldwide (TLA) following the sale of its core US business. The agreement with SunTrust Bank to defer capital and interest payments has been extended to 31 January.

Phoenix Global Mining (PGM) has raised £358,000 at 28p a share. There is a warrant exercisable at 28p, lasting until the end of 2021, with every four new shares. The cash will be invested in the Empire copper, gold, silver, zinc and tungsten mine in Idaho, where news of the most recent drilling is expected. A new resource statement will be prepared and additional acreage acquired.

Urban Exposure (UEX) had committed new lending of £522m during 2018. It has secured a £165m loan facility for its joint venture with KKR, as well as a £32.8m loan from Aviva for a single transaction by the joint venture.

MAIN MARKET    

Nanoco (NANO) has achieved the third milestone in its cadmium-free quantum dots technology development and supply agreement with a US customer and triggered a £1.6m. This is the final milestone of three and they have generated £4.2m.

Robin Boyle has requisitioned a general meeting at Athelney Trust (ATY) in order to get himself reappointed. He 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. The other two resolutions are to terminate Jason Pohl as alternate director and any other director appointed by the time of the general meeting on 22 January.

Standard list shell Stranger Holdings (STHP) is still awaiting UKLA approval for its proposed reverse takeover of waste energy technology developer Alchemy, which was announced in August 2017. Management is hopeful that the deal could go ahead by the end of the first quarter of 2019. Stranger had net liabilities of £435,000 at the end of September 2018.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has forward-funded and pre-sold its first development at West Derby to a fund managed by Alpha Real Capital. Dukemunt will receive £570,000 for the site and the total funding package for the development will be £3m. The development involves demolishing the existing building and constructing 17 supported living appartments and retail space. Dukemount continues to manage and develop the project on behalf of the supported living housing association that has taken a 50-year lease.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 24 December 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

China-based Gamfook Jewellery had planned to join the standard list, but it has decided to float on NEX. The online retailer of customised jewellery had intended to raise cash at 15p a share, but the flotation on NEX on Christmas Eve will be an introduction at 15p a share. Management hopes the flotation will help to increase its profile and customer base. A dividend based on 28% of profit attributable to shareholders is promised.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has maintained its NAV at 92p a share at the end of September 2018. In the six months to September 2018, rents increased from £33,000 to £67,000. Additional supported housing opportunities have been assessed.

KR1 (KR1) has raised £785,000 at 5p a share and paid £40,000 in fees to advisers in shares at the same price. KR1 director Keld van Schreven subscribed for 50,000 shares. The cash will fund further blockchain token investments.

Panther Metals (PALM) has signed heads of terms for the acquisition of Parthian Resources, which owns exploration assets in Australian. Parthian shareholders will own 15% of Panther if the deal goes ahead. One of these shareholders is Kerim Sener, who is non-executive chairman, who will end up with 4% of Panther. The deal should be completed in January 2019.

Blockchain investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that Gibraltar-based StartupToken has attracted a £193,000 investment from South Korea-based Blockwater Capital in return for a 7.4%. Coinsilium had invested £360,000 in StartupToken during November and the value of the investment has doubled to £722,000. Executive chairman Malcolm Palle has bought 200,000 shares in Coinsilium at 3.6p a share, taking his stake to 6.35%.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) is acquiring the remaining 97.5% of CoalTech LLC for £24.6m. This will be funded by a share issue. A circular will be published in the first quarter of 2019. A new incentive plan for management, in the form of options exercisable at 2.5p a share, is planned.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) has issued five million shares at 1p ia share and every five shares has a warrant exercisable at 1p a share. The £50,000 will be used to continue exploration in Avoca, County Wicklow. Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has raised £300,000 at 0.1p a share. The cash raised will be used to accelerate production at the Honduras gold facility. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £38,000 at 12p a share.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has issued shares valued at nearly £302,000 to creditors at a range of share prices. Management has acquired the majority stake in Milamber USA and Milamber retains a 20% stake. Milamber has also reduced its stake in Vocademia to 5% with the rest of the share capital acquired through the return of 900,000 Milamber shares. A further 166,667 shares were returned for Milamber’s stake in White Cobalt. Milamber has created a new training compliance company called Checkbox and taken a 51% stake in an education joint venture with Black Arrow Space Technologies, which is developing commercial orbital launch services.

Imperial Mining (IMPP) is changing its name to Imperial X to reflect the change in investment focus from resources to the cannabis sector.

Medicinal cannabis investment company Sativa Investments (SATI) says that investee company Rapid Dose Therapeutics Inc has listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange. This has provided a 70% uplift in the initial investment value for a gain of C$140,000.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) had £4,130 in cash and £112,000 in assets available for sale. at the end of September 2018. Lombard still plans to issue an asset-backed investment bond.

Tectonic Gold (TAU) says that initial analysis of drilling at the Specimen Hill project in Queensland has confirmed mineralisation with grades up to 6.06g/t. Full results should be available in January.

Trafalgar Property Group (TRAF) is raising up to £1m through an issue of 8.5% convertible bonds 2025. The issue could eventually be increased to £5m. The bonds will be traded on NEX. The cash will be used to fund residential development and planning applications. Trafalgar has limited cash and it lost money last year.

AIM   

Filta Group (FLTA) has multipled the size of its grease management operations in the UK through the acquisition of Watbio for £6.9m in cash and shares, plus working capital adjustment. Cenkos has provisionally upgraded its 2019 earnings forecast by 26% to 11.8p, assuming completion of the deal in early January. Filta is raising £3m at 200p a share, which is a premium to the market price, and has obtained a £4m, five-year loan facility. Filta started building a grease management division through acquisition just over one year ago. Watbio generates annual revenues of £10.3m and pre-tax profit of £800,000 so it is much larger than the existing operations. It also offers other drain management services.

A strong performance from property servies more than made up for a weak first half performance of the business recovery division of Begbies Traynor (BEG) and pre-tax profit was 9% higher at £3.2m on revenues 8% ahead at £28m. The number of insolvencies increased in the first half but there was no repeat of the large one-off fee in the first half of the previous year. The interim dividend was raised by 14% to 0.8p a share. Net debt fell 10% to £6.3m. The performances of the divisions will reverse in the second half and 2018-19 pre-tax profit should improve from £5.6m to £6.4m.

President Energy (PPC) has drilled the third Puesto Flores well on budget and there have been good oil shows, but they are lower than the previous two wells. All three wells could be in production by the end of the year.

AssetCo (ASTO) has transferred the loal employees in Abu Dhabi to the new supplier of fire services. There is a possibility of winning work in the region. The litigation against former auditor Grant Thornton continues and a judgement could happen in the first couple of months of 2019.

URA Holdings (URA) was not able to complete the acquisition of Entertainment AI early enough to prevent the cancelation of the AIM quotation on 24 December. The acquisition could still happen.

Real Good Food (RGD) has sold jams maker R and W Scott for £1.5m, of which £500,000 is deferred until September 2019, and the assumption of £2.45m of debt. That takes disposal proceeds to £17.8m and completes the main corporate activity. The cake decoration and food ingredients businesses make up the majority of the remaining group.

Small business financial services provider City of London Group (CIN) continues to lose money as it builds up its activities. Recognise continues to try to obtain a UK banking licence.

HaloSource Corporation (HALO) has not been able to secure additional finance and trading in the shares has been suspended. There is limited cash left.

Thalassa Holdings (THAL) intends to move to a standard listing. No new shares will be issued and the move should take place on 25 January.

Revenue and EBITDA growth in the range of 15% to 20% is expected by Craneware (CRW) in the six months to December 2018. The healthcare accounting software provider has a 100% renewal rate in dollar terms in the first half.

Replacement windows and doors manufacturer Safestyle (SFE) has improved its order intake in the past six months after its agreement with a former employee who was competing with the company. However, costs have increased and the 2018 loss will be between £8.2m and £8.6m. The 2019 performance could be ahead of expectations. Otus Capital Mananagement has taken a 5.42% stake.

Audio equipment supplier Focusrite (TUNE) had a strong November but it is still cautious about the full year. The trade dispute between the US and China remains a concern.

N4 Pharma (N4P) has extended the licence agreement with UniQuest for Nuvec. It has become an exclusive global licence with certain fields licensed back to UniQuest.

finnCap has resigned as nominated adviser and broker to The People’s Operator (TPOP) and that could scupper the placing with the owner of LycaMobile. An investment of £1.3m in shares (29.9%) and convertible loan notes was planned.

Yu Group (YU.) says that the Financial Conduct Authority is investigating the accuracy of its announcements between March and October. Poor internal controls caused a shortfall in profitability. The energy supplier has revealed that its 2018 loss could be as high as £7.85m, which is higher than previously estimated. This is due to a decline in gross margins and balance sheet corrections. There was £11m in the bank at the end of November 2018.

LiDCO Group (LID) will report float full year revenues and this has led to a £800,000 increase in forecast pre-tax loss to £1.9m. The take-up of the high usage programme has been slower than expected and an Asian order was delayed. The patient monitoring equipment supplier is expected to have cash of £1.5m by the end of January 2019.

TLA Worldwide (TLA) has agreed in principle to sell its Australian business to QMS Media and this would make TLA a cash shell.

Rasmala (RMA) left AIM on 19 December. A new holding company is based in the British Virgin Islands.

It gets worse at Paragon Entertainment (PEL) with another loss in the second half on lower than expected revenues. A 2018 loss of £2.4m is forecast. Overheads have been reduced so the loss could be smaller next year.

Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI) increased interim revenues by 23% to £8.05m through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth, while pre-tax profit was one-third higher at £1.5m. finnCap is cautious about the full year for the scientific instruments supplier and has maintained its full year pre-tax profit forecast at £2.6m, which suggests a lower second half profit.

Management has launched a 12p a share bid for former AIM-quoted PR firm Freshwater as a way of enabling existing shareholders to exit the business.

MAIN MARKET  

Trading in standard list shell Fandango Holdings (FHP) shares has been suspended ahead of the proposed reverse acquisition of Konnect Mobile Communications Inc, which owns PaySocial Inc, a mobile banking and payments eWallet.

Standard list shell Papilon Holdings (PPHP) has acquired 50% of Pace Cloud Ltd, which owns CarCloud, a fintech company involved in the used car sector. This represents a fundamental change in the business. Papilon is raising up to £500,000 via a convertible loan note issue. The conversion price is 1.25p a share.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) lost £1.4m in the year to September 2018, which was slightly more than the previous year. The gross profit of £203,624 was enough to cover the directors pay of £196,713. There was a cash outflow of nearly £1m in the period. There was £2.14m in the bank at the end of September 2018, but there is a loan from former shareholder David Breith with a cash value of nearly £607,000, which could become repayable from 3 May 2019.

Zegona Communications (ZEG) has decided not to tender €7.75 a share for up to 14.9% of Euskaltel, where it is trying to improve performance, because it has not been abe to secure funding. Zegona has secured a relationship with Talomon Capital, which will own up to 2.4% of Euskaltel on top of Zegona’s existing 15% stake, which will be increased via market purchases. That requires a share issue by Zegona.

Investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) is consulting with existing and potential shareholders, concerning a tender offer to existing shareholders at the same time as an issue of new shares.

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 25 June 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Shareholders have agreed to the proposed broadening of investing policy for Sativa Investments (SATI) and the first acquisition under the new policy is George Botanicals. Sativa paid £415,000 in cash and shares for the UK-based wholesaler and distributor of cannaboid medicinal products, including CBD oil. The company is being acquired from the interests of Sativa chief executive Geremy Thomas.

Gas and electricity supplier Good Energy (GOOD) says that this year’s results will be weighted towards the first half because of the cold weather earlier in 2018. There will also be increased investment in the sales team and a digital app in the second half. Good supplies more than 70,000 homes and less than 1% of the business market.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) nearly doubled its revenues to $8.2m in 2017. There is $257,000 in the bank.

Pelican House Mining (PHM) has bought a 15% stake Mighty Oak Explorations, which has three licences to explore for cobalt and two to explore for lithium in Uganda.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says the commissioning of plant for the Hellyer project is on course for August. The mine is a few months away from production.

Block Commodities (BLOC) has raised £165,000 at 0.035p a share. The cash will help to finance the launch of a pilot blockchain project in Uganda.

AIM   

Alliance Pharma (APH) is acquiring the marketing rights to Nizoral, an anti-dandruff shampoo brand in Asia Pacific, for £60m. Alliance raised £34m at 91p a share. The rights being acquired, which cover 15 countries, generated net sales of £18.5m in 2017. They would have generated pro forma EBITDA of £7.1m.

Shoe retailer Footasylum (FOOT) has followed up the announcement of its exit from the FTSE AIM 100 index with a set of results that mean it is likely to be a long time before it gets back in the AIM 100. Peel Hunt has reduced its 2018-19 pre-tax profit forecast by one-quarter to £5.3m. Footasylum has been hit by discounting and the weak consumer market. Rental costs are higher than expected.

Social housing software and services provider Castleton Technology (CTP) continues to grow sales to new and existing customers. Two-fifths of customers take more than one product. Full year revenues were 15% ahead at £23.3m with organic growth of 13%. Net debt was 30% lower at £6.3m. There is a contracted backlog of £26.8m.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has taken a 24% stake in Cambridge Material Testing, which is developing software and hardware to measure material characteristics of metal components. The non-destructive tests are quick and require small samples.

Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) has raised £2.5m at 125p a share. Northbridge will use £1.05m to pay the deferred consideration for the Tasman acquisition. This was originally due in January 2016 and has been incurring an annual interest charge of 8%. The rest of the cash will be invested in rental equipment as demand recovers. Gearing will fall below 20%

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has published a maiden contingent resource for its interests in the Paradox Basin, Utah. The competent persons report shows a net 2C contingent resources of 12.3mmboe with gas accounting for nearly one-quarter of that resource. A post-tax NPV of $86.9m has been estimated. This assumes a 75% success rate for wells drilled and a recovery of up to 550,000 barrels per well. Each horizontal well is expected to cost $7m. These estimates are based on less than one-quarter of Rose’s acreage.

Myanmar-focused social media platform operator MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) is acquiring MyPay Myanmar for £1m in cash and 72.5 million shares issued at 1.38p each. An issue of unsecured convertible bonds has raised £2.22m. Bid talks have been terminated.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) has extended its credit facility for a further year. The $15m facility lasts until November 2022. The existing oil and gas assets in Trinidad are generating cash and this is also helping to fund the drilling of 12 wells this year. Next year, an exploration well will be drilled on the Ortoire block.

Michael Rowan is switching from chairman to chief executive at Active Energy Group (AEG) and the previous chief executive will focus on developing the forest management operations in North America and CoalSwitch in Poland.

Trading in the shares of URA Holdings (URA) has been suspended because it has not completed a reverse takeover. URA has signed heads of agreement to acquire Entertainment AI Ltd, which has developed tagging technology that enables viewers of video clips to purchase items in the video. It also owns the GTChannel, which runs automotive-related channels across YouTube generating revenues from advertising.

Project management services provider Progility (PGY) plans to cancel its AIM quotation. Praxis, which owns 64.75% of the company is backing the move. There is total support from shareholders owning more than 81% of the company so the cancellation is a foregone conclusion. Praxis is offering 55p a share for shares it does not own.

N4 Pharma (N4P) is making good progress with its therapeutic nanoparticle platform Nuvec. There should be results from studies in he fourth quarter. N4 is conducting studies to identify human cell types that are most responsive to Nuvec. The Sildenafil MR Viagra reformulation commenced a proof-of-concept trial in April and the results are expected in August.

Uvenco UK (UVEN) continues to hold discussions with its main creditor following the placing of its vending machine subsidiaries in administration. Those assets were sold for £1.8m and Uvenco is left with net debt of £1.6m.

Industrial equipment distributor Slingsby (HC) (SLNG) says that a stronger April and May means that sales are 1%lower in the first five months of the year. Compared to a 6% shortfall in the first quarter. Pre-tax profit is also slightly lower. Net debt was £1.4m at the end of May 2018.

Duke Royalty Ltd (DUKE) has increased its interim dividend by 17% to 0.7p a share. The dividend will be paid on 12 July.

RA International Group Ltd provides services to remote locations and it wants to raise £18.8m when it joins AIM. In 2017, RA generated revenues of $53.3m and profit of $13.7m, up from $5m the previous year.

MAIN MARKET    

Oil and gas explorer Upland Resources Ltd (UPL) has completed a placing raising £3m at 2.5p a share. The cash will help to fund the drilling of a well at Wick in the UK and finance potential ventures in Sarawak and North Africa.

Beauty and personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) continues to find trading tough and it will report a full year pre-tax profit that is £650,000 lower than expected. Revenues will increase from £8.9m to £11m. finnCap had forecast a 2017-18 pre-tax profit of £2.4m on revenues of £13.8m following the 2016-17 full year figures. Last October, InnovaDerma raised £4.4m at 276p a share and that has helped to shore up the balance sheet.

Stewart and Wright (STE) is offering to buy 21.5% of its share capital at 590p a share as part of the cancellation of its listing. That is a 7% discount to NAV. There has been one trade in the shares so far this year. The property investor has been hit by the downturn in the high street.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) is trying to raise $40m and prior to that there will be a ten-for-one share consolidation. The cash will finance the acquisition of Minto Explorations from Capstone Mining, which will cost $37.5m in cash plus shares that would give Capstone 9.9% of Pembridge. Minto is a copper producer in the Yukon. The deal could be completed by the end of July.

Tom Charlton has increased his stake in North Midland Construction (NMD) from 8.4% to 9.4%.

Andrew Hore

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