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Quoted Micro 15 April 2024

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Voyager Life (VOY) has terminated its merger with Northern Leaf following a decline in its share price making it difficult to fund the transaction. The cannabis products supplier says that there are other potential partners. Additional finance is required to automate production.

Supernova Digital (SOL) says NAV was 0.36p/share on 3 April 2024. A tender offer is planned when there are additional liquid funds. Director Nicholas Lyth bought two million shares at 0.19p each.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has sold shares in Computer Application Services for £257,000 and it retains a 28.9% stake.

Marula Mining (MARU) issued 2.8 million shares to pay for its stakes in the Nyoriinyori and NyoriGreen graphite projects The total consideration is £350,000. This follows assay results that confirm high-grade and broad graphite mineralisation on each of the projects. Marula Mining is also about to start supplying columbite-tantalite and feldspar from the Blesberg mine in South Africa to Fujax UK.

Substrate AI (SAI) is forecasting 2024 revenues of $20.6m and pre-tax profit of $1m. This is due to organic growth.

Business assurance provider Adsure Services (ADS) has announced a maiden dividend of 0.49p/share and the shares go ex-dividend on 18 April. Trading has been strong in the second half.

KR1 (KR1) has announced a general meeting on 29 April to seek authority to acquire up to 14.9% of its share capital.

Hydrogen Future Industries (HFI) has raised £60,000 at 5p/share. This is on top of the £552,000 raised earlier in the year.  Inqo Investments (INQO) raised £1.3m at 70p/share. Dermatological technology developer Incanthera (INC) raised £174,000 from the exercise of warrants at 10p. Crushmetric (CUSH) placed shares raising £54,000 at 12.5p each.

Valereum (VLRM) has appointed Stanford Capital Partners as broker. Spirits company Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has appointed New York-based MD Global Partners as joint broker.

Rikki Devlin has increased his stake in Oscillate (MUSH) from 3.04% to 4.21%. Michael Prior sold 645 shares in brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) at 695p each.

AIM

Self-storage operator Lok’nStore (LOK) has agreed a 1,100p/share cash bid from Belgium-based Shurgard Self Storage. That values the company at £370m. The share price has risen above the level of the bid.

Churchill China (CHH) still managed to increase its profit in 2023 even though the third quarter trading was weak, and revenues fell. Europe was the bright spot, with growth in ceramics sales to hospitality customers in the main markets. The UK was flat, and the rest of the world sales were lower. The dividend has been raised from 31.5p/share to 36p/share. Capital investment will improve efficiency and margins. Investec forecasts flat 2024 pre-tax profit of £10.8m and that assumes an upturn in the UK.

There were no additional negatives in the Bango (BGO) 2023 figures following its disappointing trading statement earlier in the year. In fact, the previously announced foreign exchange loss was not taken through the income statement. Revenues grew from $28.5m to $46.1m with a full contribution from DOCOMO. The reported loss jumped from $4.8m to $10.2m. The NewDeep joint venture is being wound down so that stop the losses from it, while the technology can be used in the core business. Net debt is $3.9m. Capex continues at a high level and there is an unused overdraft facility of £3m that can be used. First quarter revenues are up by one-fifth and cost savings will help Bango achieve the anticipated move into profit this year. Annualised recurring revenues are $11m.

CleanTech Lithium (CTL) chief executive Aldo Boitano has resigned, although he will be a consultant, and Steve Kesler has taken over on an interim basis. This follows the revelation he entered into a loan agreement with his shareholding in the company as security in August 2023, but this was not revealed at the time. He transferred his 9.4 million shares to a custodian account nominated by the lender. It is unclear if any of the shares have been sold.

Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) says trading continues to outperform expectations. First quarter sales are 28% higher at £23.5m. This has been achieved by adding stores and broadening the range and there has been no price rise since early 2022. Margins have also improved. Shore believes that its current pre-tax profit forecast of £19.1m for 2024 is likely to be 10% too low. The broker will not upgrade its forecast until the 2023 results are published on 24 April.

Coal miner Bens Creek (BEN) is laying off workers at its mine in West Verginia, which will be operated on a care and maintenance basis. There are 44 employees being laid off and that is described as “a substantial number” of the employees at the mine. Management is in discussions with largest shareholder and offtake partner Avani Resources to provide further finance. Earlier in the week, the company said it had secured a one-off sale of 20,000 tons of coal to Avani Resources for $1.2m, of which $1m has been received in advance of delivery. This is lower quality coal, and the deal is separate to the offtake agreement. This did not prove enough to alleviate the poor financial position of the US-based metallurgical coal miner.

European Green Transition (EGT) is seeking to build up a portfolio of mining and processing projects that can help to progress the move to cleaner energy in Europe. There is potential for grant income from the EU for European critical minerals assets, as well as looking at non-dilutive ways of raising money for individual projects. A placing and offer raised £6.46m at 10p/share. Trading commenced on 8 April. The share price ended the week at 12p. Pro forma net assets are £7.29m, which includes cash of £5.95m. The Olserum rare earth element project in Sweden is the core asset.

Fulcrum Metals (FMET) has acquired the Sylvanite gold tailings project in Ontario. This is a former producing mine, and it is near to the previous tailings investment the Teck-Hughes gold tailings project. There are plans to create a tailings hub. The historic tailings resource estimate at Sylvanite is 67,051 ounces.

First quarter revenues at carbon brake technology developer Surface Transforms (SCE) were £3m, which was lower than target. However, production yields improved in March when revenues were £1.5m. Revised delivery schedules have been agreed. Cavendish has raised its 2024 forecast loss to £3m because of higher scrappage costs and there are likely to be higher working capital requirements. There should still be net cash at the end of 2024.

Drug developer e-therapeutics (ETX) is raising £28.9m at 15p/share from M and G and Richard Griffiths. It is also the latest company to decide to leave AIM. In the future, a Nasdaq listing may be possible.

Active Energy Group (AEG) has been reviewing its operations and how to secure funding. It believes it cannot raise the cash it requires to construct a CoalSwitch biomass fuel plant and commence production. A buyer is being sought for the CoalSwitch assets. If that happens, then the company would become a shell.

Oracle Power (ORCP) has secured an option to acquire 100% of the Blue Rock Valley copper and silver project in Western Australia. The option cost £30,000 in shares. If the option is exercised there will be 913.2 million shares issued – valued at £200,000.

Weak third quarter demand at castings company Chamberlin (CMH) hit profitability. Some new programmes were delayed, and other demand was lower than forecast. The renewable offshore energy sector remained strong. There has been some recovery in the fourth quarter and costs are being reduced. Prices increases have been made.

Harvest Minerals (HMI) has made a rare earth elements discovery at its Arapua fertiliser project in Brazil. Rock samples analysis shows rare earth elements and further work will be done to firm up the opportunity by assessing previous drilling. There has been a better start to the year for sales of fertiliser.

Contract research and infectious disease study services provider hVIVO (HVO) reported 2023 results broadly in line with the trading statement. The order book covers 90% of the forecast revenues of £62m, with a strong first half expected.

MAIN MARKET

Kitchenware retailer ProCook Group (PROC) reported fourth quarter trading showing 4.8% year-on-year growth in revenues to £13.2m with the decline in ecommerce revenues slowing. Like-for-like growth was 1.5% ahead. Full year revenues were flat at £62.6m, although retail revenues were 9% higher. Net debt is £700,000.

Critical Metals (CRTM) has issued £1.6m of convertible loan notes. This will help to finance the road to the Molulu copper cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo and fund initial drilling to establish a JORC resource. Management is also near to securing an $11m loan guaranteed by the US government. This will fund construction of the mine and leave additional cash for investment in other projects. Production at Molulu could start before the end of this year. The plan is to produce 10,000 tonnes of copper each month.

Standard list shell Aura Renewable Acquisitions (ARA) had £661,000 in the bank at the end of 2023. It raised £1m in April 2022. The company is still seeking an acquisition in the renewable energy sector.

Narf Industries (NARF) has won a $500,000 cybersecurity contract with the US Department of Energy. This is part of a project to strengthen the resilience of energy infrastructure.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 8 April 2024

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Phoenix Digital (PNIX) is benefiting from the rise in cryptocurrency values. At the end of March 2024, NAV was £74.5m, equivalent to 7.38p/share. The NAV was 4.67p/share at the end of 2023. The NAV could be reduced by up to 1.1p/share due to a tax charge.

Gunsynd (GUN) has raised A$453,000 from selling shares in Charger Metals, Pacific Nickel Mines and Rincon Resources. It retains small stakes in each of the companies.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) investee company Bright Ascension has received £2.25m in the latest funding round. The company’s original £750,000 loan investment in the space software developer will generate interest of 10%/year.

In the six months to December 2023, video technology company Visum Technologies (VIS) lost £342,000 on revenues of £85,000. There are plans to secure further funding. Several new installations are planned, including in the US.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has raised £500,000 at 3p/share. The new shares come with a warrant exercisable at 5p. The cash will be invested in the Amapa iron ore project in Brazil.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) generated an initial £84,000 in revenues in the six months to December 2023. The cash outflow from operations was reduced from £95,000 to £75,000. Net debt was £43,000. An acquisition target has been identified in Ghana.

Coinsilium Group (COIN) has launched a new series of Web3 industry reports. These will provide a greater understanding of the Web3 space and the blockchain technology underpinning it.

Brewer Adnams (ADB) says it continues to explore ways of raising funds, including a share issue or sale of freehold assets.

First York has put 12 new buses into services that feature the Equipmake (EQIP) electric powertrain. This follows a trial with a convertible prototype vehicle.

William Potts has resigned as chief investment officer of drug-based mental health treatments developer Psych Capital (PSY) but will remain as an adviser.

Tap Global Group (TAP) chairman David Hunter bought an initial 148,347 shares at 1.35p each.

AIM

Video games publisher Frontier Developments (FDEV) is trading in line with expectations before the benefit of the profit from the sale of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 publishing rights. Those rights returned to Frontier Developments in 2018 under the original publishing agreement. The game has been generating $1.5m profit/year. Atari has acquired the rights for $7m with an initial payment of $3m. There was no value in the books for the game. This has boosted the cash position to £23.4m.

Xeros Technology (XSG) announced a fundraising late on Thursday. There has been £4.5m raised at 1.5p/share and up to £1m more could be raised via a retail offer that closes on 19 April. This will strengthen the balance sheet and provide cash to finance current contracts and commercialise the laundry technologies developer. The first royalty income could be received in the second half of 2024. EBITDA breakeven could be achieved before the end of the year.

Online gaming firm Gaming Realms (LSE: GMR) is growing revenues in Europe and North America. In 2023, revenues were 26% ahead at £23.4m with content licencing growth of 30%. Brand licencing revenues more than doubled to £1.3m, while social gaming revenues were lower despite additional spending on this part of the business. Pre-tax profit improved from £3.5m to £5.2m. There was £9.28m generated from operating activities and that more than covered the £4.63m of capitalised spending on new games and the technology platform. Net cash is £7.46m.

Strong second half trading at Cavendish Financial (CAV) meant that full year pro forma revenues grew from £50.5m to £54m. Private and public M&A activity was buoyant. There was cash of £20.8m at the end of March 2024. Annualised savings of £7m have been made with more to come.

Diagnostic tests developer genedrive (GDR) benefited from NICE’s recommendation of the CYP2C19-ID test for genotype-guided clopidogrel treatment in the NHS. It is the preferred platform for UK point-of-care testing for the management of ischemic stroke and transient ischaemic attack patients. It is advised that these patients should have a genetic test before antiplatelet treatment.

Gelion (GELN) syas the energy density testing of its lithium-sulphur battery technology shows that it far exceeds lithium-ion batteries. The 9.5 Ah pouch cell achieved an energy density of 395 Wh/kg, which 60% higher than lithium-ion batteries. This means that the batteries could be lighter and cheaper than rival technologies, as well as being made from more abundant materials, but there is some way to go to get to commercialisation. Gelion has cash of £7.5m. The share price is back above last November’s £4.4m fundraising price of 24p/share.

Redx Pharma (REDX) is the latest AIM company that has decided to leave the junior market. A plan to reverse into a Nasdaq shell fell through last year and there is limited liquidity because two shareholders own more than 84% of the company. There are already enough votes to guarantee that the proposal is passed at the general meeting on 19 April. Last October, £14.1m was raised at 26p/share. Management believes that it will be easier to raise money as a private company.

Portable oxygen technology developer Belluscura (BELL) has suffered from the distraction and delays in the acquisition of standard list shell TMT Acquisition. This delayed the launch of the DISCOV-R product until June and the acquisition of components. Manufacturing is being moved to InnoMax in China. Cash flow breakeven has been delayed until the first quarter of 2025. A line of credit is being sought to cover non-recurring expenses. There is $3m in cash at the end of March 2024. The 2024 revenues will be lower than the previous range of $16m-$19m. There will be impairment charges in the 2023 accounts.

Steppe Cement (STCM) plans to return 1.5p/share after a capital reduction is agreed by shareholders. That did not offset the disappointing trading statement from the Kazakhstan cement supplier. First quarter revenues fell from $10.8m to $8.4m due to a combination of lower sales and reduced selling price. The market decreased by 12%, but Steppe Cements market share fell from 12.7% to 11.5%.

MAIN MARKET

Pinewood Technologies (PINE) has confirmed details of the £358m cash return to shareholders. A general meeting will be held on 22 April to gain shareholder agreement to the 24.5p/share dividend and a 20-for-one share consolidation. The company retains a motor dealer software business.

Picton Property Income (PCTN) is selling Angel Gate, London for £29.6m. That is 5% higher than the valuation. This is the second largest asset in the portfolio. The cash will be used pay off a credit facility that has a higher interest rate than others. The occupancy of the remaining portfolio is 91%.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 1 April 2024

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Incanthera (INC) has published an update on its distribution deal with Marionnaud. The first order for Skin + CELL products will generate revenues of £2m with 50,000 bottles of skin cream to be supplied for sale in Austria and Switzerland. A second order will be even bigger. The management projects revenues of £10m for the year to March 2025 and this would make it profitable. The range is being increased to five products and they are all part of the initial launch.  Revenues could grow to £33m the following year. There is potential for licence deals in other countries.

Watchstone Group (WTG) says a subsidiary’s VAT appeal was dismissed even though it satisfied four out of five elements. A decision will be made on whether to appeal the judgement.

TruSpine Technologies (TSP) intends to issue a conversion notice to loan note holders. The conversion price is a 130% premium to the share price prior to the convertible loan note approval by the directors. A £200,000 debenture has been used to subscribe for convertible loan notes. Geoffrey Miller has increased his stake from 6.88% to 7.24%.

Quantum Exponential Group (QBIT) has announced a further adjournment of its a general meeting to gain shareholder approval for leaving Aquis. Investors have approached the quantum technology investment company and offered to make a substantial investment. Stuart Woods has stepped down from the board.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) investee company European Metals Holdings (EMH) says that the Cinovec project in the Czech Republic is in the process of completing a definitive feasibility study, but it will not be completed in the first quarter. There is potential to improve the lithium processing. Cadence Minerals has increased its stake in the Amapa iron ore project in Brazil to 34%. A study should reduce costs and improve productivity of the proposed mine.

S-Ventures (SVEN) increased interim revenues from £8.4m to £9.6m but reported a higher loss from continuing operations. The bakery business was profitable, but this did not offset losses and impairment costs for other businesses. There is no further news on the proposed sale of operations to AIM-quoted Riverfort Global Opportunities.

KR1 (KR1) had net assets of 134.6p/share at the end of February 2024. There was income generated of £1.63m.

Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) increased its pre-tax profit from £20m to £47.1m and the total dividend was raised from 42p/share to 46p/share. Bad debts were lower than forecast. NAV is 1547p/share. The profit is likely to fall this year.

Global Connectivity (GCON) is amending the terms of warrants issued when it floated and extending them by two years to 20 April 2026. The exercise price is being reduced to 1.5p. Management is exploring potential investments.

Marula Mining (MARU) has commenced exploration at the Larisoro manganese mine in Kenya.

Valereum (LON: VLRM) has raised £300,000 at 6p/share from its chairman and is planning a larger fundraising in the third quarter of 2024.

Jenny Hanlon has been appointed as chief executive of brewer Adnams (ADB). She is currently finance director.

Tap Global Group (TAP) generated trading payment volumes of £181.6m in 2023. That generated revenues of £2.02m, but the loss was still £1.07m.

EPE Special Opportunities (EO.P) had net assets of 324p/share at the end of January 2024. There was £15.3m in cash offset by £4m in loan notes repayable on 23 July.

Gunsynd (GUN) investee company Aberdeen Minerals is raising £3m at 8.5p/share from Central Asia Metals with a further £2m that could be raised from the exercise of warrants at 11p/share. This deal requires regulatory approval.

Lift Global Ventures (LFT) investee company Trans-Africa Energy has received funding of £12m from an African investor. The first energy infrastructure investment is in Ghana. Lift Global Ventures’ core investor relations business generated cash in the first half, although there was a cash outflow for the group as a whole.

Aiden Keegan has been appointed chief executive of Cooks Coffee Company (COOK).

Philip Blows reduced his stake in Supernova Digital Assets (SOL) from 10.6% to 7.98%. There was £68,000 in the bank and £1.95m in investments at the end of October 2023. NAV was £2.93m.

Daniel Thwaites (THW) director RAJ Bailey bought 15,000 shares at 71p each.

AIM

Marine technology developer Windward (WNWD) has cut its loss and is heading towards profitability. The 2023 revenues were $28.3m, up from $21.6m. Windward started 2023 with an annual contract value of $25.5m and that has risen to $34.5m, while the 2024 forecast revenues have been edged up from $34.5m to $35.1m. Requirements for tracking cargo and ensuring that sanctions are complied with are helping to increase demand, particularly from commercial clients. Commercial revenues increased to 30% of the total for 2023, but government revenues are also growing.

Grocery distributor Kitwave Group (KITW) has made its latest acquisition, and this will be earnings enhancing. Total Foodservice Solutions is a food wholesaler with two depots based in the north of England. The customer base includes pubs, restaurants, universities and care homes. The gross cost is £21m and that is reduced to £17m when cash in the business is taken into account.

Strong growth at the Billi filtration systems helped Strix (KETL) have a better second half, but the limited recovery in kettle controls and lower consumer goods sales meant that pre-tax profit was slightly lower at £21.9m. There is no dividend. There should be an improvement in profit this year, but it will still be well down on the 2021 figure. Net debt was £83.7m and could fall below £79m by the end of 2024.

Good Energy (GOOD) had a strong performance in 2023 due to high energy prices, but 2024 will not get that benefit and energy supply profit will fall sharply. In 2023, pre-tax profit doubled to £5.7m, but the 2024 forecast has been downgraded from £8.4m to £6.7m. The energy services business, including solar and heat pump installation, is being built up and it will become a more significant profit contributor over the next couple of years making the group performance less volatile.

Floorcoverings manufacturer Airea (AEIA) increased sales of its Burmatex-branded product by 14% to £21.1m. Pre-tax profit was flat at £1.4m, although it included a small valuation gain in the latest year. Higher finance costs relate to the pension scheme and operating profit increased. The net asset value is £14.9m, including net cash of £3.4m. Strong cash generation can cover the £5m investment in new capacity and a 10% increase in the dividend to 0.55p/share. The new capacity should be ready in early 2025 and will enable Airea to take advantage of own brand opportunities for clients.

Revolution Bars Group (RBG) is assessing its options that include restructuring the business or selling all or part of the operations. There are currently no bidders. Luke Johnson is involved in talks concerning a fundraising.

Semiconductor designer CML Microsystems (CML) is being hampered by lower than expected shipments as clients reduce stocks and this is continuing into the new financial year. In the year to March 2024, revenues will be slightly lower than expectations at £23m and underlying EBITDA will be £6.4m, compared with a forecast £6.8m, due to more sales of lower margin products. Full year pre-tax profit will be just under £3m. The balance sheet remains strong with net cash of nearly £18m. The full benefits of the Microwave Technology acquisition, which has performed well, will show through over the next couple of years.

Horizonte Minerals (HZM) published the latest financing estimate for the Araguaia nickel project. The cost to complete is $454m, but the full funding required is $567m-$592m, including pre-production and transaction costs. Existing liabilities are $418, and they require restructuring. More cash will be required by mid-April. Interest payments are being deferred. Existing shareholders are not in a strong position.

A more positive trading statement from film and video translation services provider ZOO Digital (ZOO) as management believes that demand should recover following the disruption of recent strikes in Hollywood. Revenues of $40m are now expected for the year to March 2024.  A new film and TV distribution client has been won and there is greater visibility of work. The company still might not move back into profit in 2024-25, though. There is potential disruption from a craft workers strike in Hollywood.

Boilers developer Inspirit Energy (INSP) is near to completing the four electronic updates for its waste heat recovery system. The team is relocating back to the UK. The cash outflow was stemmed in the six months to December 2023.

Infrastructure India (IIP) shares returned from suspension when the interims to September 2023 were published. The board is proposing a winding-up of the company as it disposes of its assets and the share quotation will be cancelled if the proposals are passed at the AGM. Net liabilities are £217.4m.

Drug discovery company C4X Discovery (C4XD) also plans to cancel its AIM quotation and re-register as a private limited company if it gains shareholder approval at a general meeting on 15 April. Shareholders owning 57% of the shares are in favour. Management believes that it will be easier to raise funds as a private company and it will save money. C4X Discovery has raised £63m on AIM. In August 2022, £5.7m was raised at 25p/share. There is still £20.8m in the bank. In the six months to January 2024, revenues were £24.6m, due to milestone payments, compared with £1.7m in the first half of the previous year. The company is generally loss-making without substantial milestone payments.

Oil and gas producer Molecular Energies (MEN) is cancelling its AIM quotation because it does not believe it is worth the cost. The company should save £500,000/year. Chairman Peter Levine, who owns 29.2%, suggests that he may offer to buy shares of some other investors in the future, but there are no immediate plans to offer an exit prior to the cancellation. Green House Capital will no longer be spun off on AIM.

Infection protection technology developer Byotrol (BYOT) has been quoted for nearly 19 years and it has decided to leave AIM. Revenues from continuing products could improve from £3.7m to £3.9m this year. No further IP revenues are expected this year. Some IP was sold to Tristel (TSTL) and along with an early termination of another licence generated cash of £800,000, but minimum guaranteed royalties will be written down by £550,000 in the balance sheet. Even before that, there will be a higher loss in 2023-24. The business needs to be restructured and reduce costs and believes there will be more flexibility as a private company.

MAIN MARKET

Quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) generated interim revenues of £4m, including the recognition of £3m of Samsung licence income, up from £1.6m. Net cash was £54.5m at the end of January 2024. Second half non-Samsung revenues should be higher.

First Tin (1SN) had a cash outflow from operations of more than £2m in 2023. There was also £6.4m spent on exploration activities. There is £4.66m left in the bank.

Cizzle Biotechnology (CIZ) has raised £620,000 via a placing at 2p/share. This will fund the first proposed commercial test for its lung cancer test. The £500,000 loan facility with E3 Fund will be terminated.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 25 March 2024

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

S-Ventures (SVEN) has agreed to sell its food and snacks business in return for shares in AIM-quoted RiverFort Global Opportunities worth £3.5m. That would leave S-Ventures as an investment company with shares in the acquirer. Sales for the 12 months to September 2023 were £17.4m, rising to the £21.6m in the 15 months to the end of 2023. Net debt was £7.1m at the end of September 2023. An additional £3m of loans have been agreed, including £1m from RiverFort Global Opportunities.

Marula Mining (MARU) has signed a long-term offtake agreement with Fujax UK for the Blesberg lithium and tantalum mine in South Africa. This an agreement for 100% of production until the end of 2026, with a minimum of 50,000 tonnes at a grade of 6% lithium. There is an option for a further three years. A mining right has been received from the authorities for the plans to expand the stockpile reprocessing operations.

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) improved like-for-like retail sales by 6.2%, although beer volumes fell 10.5% with own beer volumes down 16.7%. Overall, interim revenues grew 4% to £89m and underlying pre-tax profit was 10% ahead at £3.8m. The brewing division returned to profit. The interim dividend was 5% ahead at 4.2p/share. Beer volumes continue to decline, while the retail sales growth rate has slowed.

Gunsynd (GUN) shares rose 17.9% to 0.165p on the back of an institutional investor investing $1m ($750,000 in cash and $250,000 in support services) in the US spirits subsidiary of Rogue Baron (SHNJ), where it currently has a 17.45% stake. Rogue Baron has also raised £20,000 at 0.5p/share.

Aquis Stock Exchange owner Aquis Exchange (AQX) increased revenues from £19.9m to £23.7m, while pre-tax profit rose from £4.5m to £5.2m. The Aquis Stock Exchange revenues improved from £1.6m to £1.8m. The main growth came from technologies and data. Panmure Gordon forecasts 2024 pre-tax profit of £6.2m.

Macaulay Capital (MCAP) reported a fall in net assets from £1.44m to £1.36m at the end of 2023. There was an exit from the investment in Qualification Check which reduced the reported loss. There are seven portfolio companies. There is a pipeline of potential transactions.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that the capital spending optimisation programme has been completed at the Amapa iron ore project. Savings of $63.2m have been identified and production could be 5% higher at 5.5 Mtpa of iron ore concentrate.

Supernova Digital Assets (SOL) has completed the acquisition of Hyperslot PTE for £225,000 in shares at 0.15p each. Andrew Offit increased his shareholding from 14.1% to 15.2%.

Arsen Torosian has replaced David Carr as chief executive of Tap Global Group (TAP). He is the largest shareholder and was previously chief strategy director. Steven Borg will become finance director.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $600,000 in Moondance Labs, which is building Tanssi, which helps appchain deployment.

Substrate Artificial Intelligence (SAI) has signed up FINRA-registered California-based bank GT Securities to identify potential partners for its Subgen AI subsidiary, which has launched Serenity Star, an ecosystem for scaling generative AI. The company has raised Euro500,000 from a convertible bond issue.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) is changing its name to Mollyroe and it is adopting s new investment strategy focused on the technology sector. There will also be a 20-for-one share consolidation.

Steve Hutchinson has taken his Oscillate (MUSH) stake above 3%. TruSpine Technologies (TSP) chairman Geoffrey Miller has increased his shareholding to 7.24%, while Oberon Investments raised its stake to 12.6%.

Good Life Plus (GDLF) has appointed Tennyson Securities as corporate broker.

AIM

Capital equipment manufacturer Mpac (MPAC) had a stronger second half and revenues improved from £98m to £114m, while pre-tax profit recovered from £3.5m to £7.1m. There was growth in parts and services revenues. The order book was worth £72.5m at the end of the year. The customer base is being broadened. There should be further recovery this year.

Educational software and services provider Tribal Group (TRB) is still hampered by its dispute with NTU, which is currently in mediation. The failed bid for the company also held back sales to potential clients. Even so, annualised recurring revenues grew 13% to £15.1m. Full year revenues moved from £83.6m to £85.8m, while pre-tax profit recovered from £3.7m to £10.7m.

Roadside Real Estate (ROAD) shares soared 129% to 8p after it sold part of its stake in Cambridge Sleep Sciences to CGV Ventures 1 for £6m. The total stake cost £2.7m and Roadside Real Estate still owns 65%, having sold a 10% stake, so it still has to be consolidated. Management is considering selling the rest or demerging the company so that it can concentrate on its core property interests.

Digital media company XLMedia (XLM) is selling European and Canadian gaming assets to Gambling.com for an initial $37.5m with potential deferred consideration of $5m. Some of this cash may be paid out to shareholders. These assets generated 2023 revenues $21.4m and underlying EBITDA of $6.6m out of estimated group 2023 revenues of $50m and EBITDA of $12m. Pro forma net cash is likely to be around $35m, after taking account of deferred consideration of $4m payable for past acquisitions. Cavendish estimates that XL Media is worth £48m, including the cash.

Biodegradable and antimicrobial plastic additives developer Symphony Environmental Technologies (SYM) has raised £1.4m at 3.5p/share and will raise up to £500,000 more through a PrimaryBid retail offer. The issue price was well above the market price. Chief executive Michael Laurier is subscribing £105,000. Net debt was £740,000 at the end of February. The additional cash will fund the scale-up of the business and provide working capital during trials by potential customers.

Blue Star Capital (BLU) reported a slump in NAV from £11.4m to £5.33m at the end of 2023. That includes cash of £63,000. Writing down the valuations of Dynasty Media & Gaming and Sthaler were a large part of the decline in NAV. Another investee company, SatoshiPay, is undertaking a formal sales process. This stake is valued at £4.65m.

Live Company Group (LVCG) returned from suspension following the announcement of a planned refinancing and sale of majority interest in StartArt. Creditors are being settled in shares and a £1.77m convertible loan provided by the chairman, as well as converting some of his loan notes. A placing raised £352,000 at 1p/share. There could be more cash to come from strategic investors.

Digital payments business Boku (BOKU) increased 2023 revenues by 30% to $82.7m and they are expected to increase to $95m this year. The wallets business grew 153%, albeit from a lower base. The local payments network is being built up and will be a major factor in growth, especially as margins are better. The direct carrier billings business continues to grow and remains the main generator revenues for the time being. The company has more than $70m in cash.

Employee benefits and insurance provider Personal Group Holdings (PGH) reported slightly better 2023 figures than expected with revenues of £49.7m and pre-tax profit recovering to £5.9m. The dividend was raised from 10.6p/share to 11.7p/share. That is well covered by cash generation. Cash was £20.1m at the end of 2023. The insurance business did particularly well.

Three rail clients delaying orders has hit prospects for LPA Group (LPA) and it is unlikely to do any better than breakeven this year – a pre-tax profit of £800,000 was previously forecast on a 6% reduction in forecast revenues.

Light Science Technologies (LST) has received a grant worth £188,000 for a project involving the company’s SensorGROW technology.

Saturn Resources has increased its bid for Shanta Gold (SHG) to 14.85p/share, up from 13.5p/share, valuing the miner at £156.1m. Eligible shareholders will receive a dividend of 0.15p/share on 26 April.

Stem cell-based treatments developer ReNeuron (RENE) has failed to come to an agreement with creditors and the financial uncertain means that it has appointed administrators from Cork Gully. Negotiations continue with creditors and potential providers of finance.

MAIN MARKET

Higher losses from the ReZorce recyclable packaging business masked progress at foams manufacturer Zotefoams (ZTF), where pre-tax profit moved up from £12.5m to £13.1m on flat revenues. That included an operating loss of £4.36m, up from £1.89m, from the MuCell Extrusion division that includes ReZorce. The total dividend is 7.18p/share.

Property investor Town Centre Securities (LSE: TOWN) managed to edge up its net tangible asset value to 286p/share at the end of 2023, due to the 150p/share tender offer last year. There was a 4% decline in property values. Loan to value has risen to 50.3%. The interim dividend is maintained at 2.5p/share.

TheWorks.co.uk (WRKS) is moving from the Main Market to AIM. The plan is to gain shareholder approval to move on 3 May. This should help to reduce costs.

Esken Ltd (ESKN) has appointed administrators from AlixPartners because its restructuring plan was no longer commercially viable. The restructuring of London Southend Airport will continue.

First Tin (1SN) says regional exploration confirmed upside potential at Pound Flat and Battery Hill prospects in the Taronga tin project.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 18 March 2024

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Aquis-quoted cannabidiol products supplier Voyager Life (VOY) has revealed plans to merge with Northern Leaf, which wanted to float on AIM but is running out of money. The deal should value the combined group at £5m – the Voyager Life share price is unchanged at 11p – if deferred consideration is paid in full. That requires Northern Leaf to generate revenues of more than £5m by March 2025. Jersey-based medical cannabis supplier Northern Leaf was the second company to be awarded a UK commercial high THC licence – the other was former AIM company GW Pharmaceuticals. Prior to 2023, the company had raised £16m over three years. Northern Leaf raised £3m in pre-IPO cash via a preference share issue in April 2023, followed by at least £1m raised via a convertible loan note.

Aquis Exchange (AQX) is working with Richard Croft of Martley Capital to establish a new segment of the Aquis Growth Market that focused on real asset backed investments. This could launch in the second half. The Aram segment will be open to commercial property, infrastructure and forestry asset owners. Richard Croft ran a company that was quoted on the International Property Securities Exchange (IPSX), which closed last year. Aquis Exchange has also secured a contract with the Central Bank of Colombia with technology for the operation of the government bond market. This should go live in 2026.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says drilling at the 100%-owned Cottesloe project in Western Australia indicates a large sediment hosted base metal mineralised system. These base metals can be used in lithium-ion batteries. There are highly anomalous lead-zinc and silver levels. The drilling has been in the south of the prospect area and drilling will switch to the northern area.

Quantum Exponential Group (QBIT) has adjourned a general meeting to gain shareholder approval for leaving Aquis. Investors have approached the company and offered to make a substantial investment.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) investee company Evergreen Lithium has identified large lithium targets from soil sampling at the Bynoe project in the Northern Territory, Australia. Cadence Minerals has a 8.7% stake in Evergreen Lithium.

Greece-based dry bulk shipping company Seaenergy is piloting the SulNOxEco fuel conditioner made by SulNOx Group (SNOX).

Marula Mining (MARU) says its partner NyoriGreen has applied for eight graphite mining licences and one prospecting licence in Tanzania. This could be granted in the second quarter.

Substrate AI (SAI) has completed the acquisition of 21% of software developers BINIT and DELTANOVA for a total outlay of €2.1m.

Vinanz (BTC) has acquired ten Bitmain Antminer S21 200TH/s miners for North America. They should be operational within four weeks.

SuperSeed Capital (WWW) says the NAV was maintained at 113p/share at the end of 2023. Management expects to make two new investments in the first quarter. Cash was more than £99,000 at the end of 2023.

TruSpine Technologies (TSP) has raised £427,000 through a share placing at 1.5p each and convertible loan note issue. More cash can be raised through further convertible issues. The board is reviewing the business plan.

Cooks Coffee Company (COOK) intends to raise cash to invest in its Esquire chain, digital technology, acquire independent cafes and repay debt. It wants to raise up to NZ$1.76m at the equivalent of 9.55p/share.

Chris Akers continues to build his stake in Asimilar (ASLR) ahead of the exit from the Aquis Stock Exchange. The shareholding rose from 13.4% to 14.1%. Gunsynd (GUN) has sold its 4.75% stake in Oscillate (MUSH). Inteliqo finance director Raymond Smart has acquired 104,126 shares at 15p each.

Martin Walton has stepped down from the board of MaxRets Ventures (MAX) and Luciano Maranzana has been appointed as a director.

AIM

Cloud telephony provider LoopUp Group (LOOP) did reasonably well during Covid lockdowns, but it has found trading difficult since then. Management says it wants to leave AIM because it is difficult to raise cash. LoopUp needs to rise £9m, which management feels it cannot raise on AIM, but it four investors are willing to subscribe £6.2m if LoopUp goes private. In August 2016, the original placing price was 100p when £8.5m. Including that cash, LoopUp has raised more than £70m since joining AIM.

A 90p/share bid for SmartSpace Software (SMRT) has been announced. The bid approach for smart building technology company from Sign In Solutions Inc was revealed earlier this year and the rival bidder pulled out. This recommended offer values SmartSpace Software at £28.4m.

Gaming machines hardware and displays supplier Nexteq (NXQ) reported a 5% drop in 2023 revenues to $114.3m, but improving margins enabled pre-tax profit to rise 45% to $14.7m. The final dividend is 3p/share. The cash pile has increased to $27.9m. Mid-range gaming platform sales grew the most last year, while Densitron has benefited from sales of its newer broadcast equipment. The underlying gaming computer market is growing.

Pawnbroker H&T (HAT) reported strong growth in profit and the trading statement was reassuring for the current year. The pawnbroking book grew 28% to £128.9m. Group 2023 revenues were 27% ahead at £220.8m. Retail and other services were the only parts of the business making a lower profit contribution. Pre-tax profit was up from £19m to £26.4m. This enabled a rise in the dividend from 15p/share to 17p/share.

MTI Wireless Edge (LSE: MWE) was hit by a decline in the Israeli shekel against the US dollar and that meant that 2023 revenues were slightly lower at $45.6m. Pre-tax profit increased from $4.59m to $4.65m. There was a reduction in potential contingent consideration for the remaining shares in PSK, partly offset by a goodwill write down. There is a positive outlook for government demand for PSK services. The balance sheet remains strong with cash of $8.1m. The final dividend has been raised by 3% to 3.1 cents/share.

Ondine Biomedical (OBI) is making faster progress than expected. The Steriwave sterilisation technology is deploying in a further eight healthcare facilities. Ottawa hospital is expanding the use of Steriwave to combat hospital acquired infections in spine surgery patients. A study estimated a net saving of C$2,600 per surgery and infection rate dropped by two-thirds. Discussions continue with potential distributors.

Horizonte Minerals (HZM) revealed that the subsidiary that holds the Araguaia project has been granted an injunction which provides 60 days to work on restructuring and negotiate indebtedness. This provides additional time to deal with creditors. Horizonte Minerals continues to try to negotiate a financing.

Symphony Environmental Technologies (SYM) has been boosted by a positive report from the US Environmental Protection Agency that pro-oxidant masterbatches “could significantly reduce the persistence of plastic pollution without creating undesired by-products”. This is based on a scientific evaluation and is a positive thing for the company’s d2w technology.

Renalytix (RENX) has raised £7.8m at 20p/share and this should be enough to fund the company until the fourth quarter of 2024. This will give time for the formal sale process to make progress. A large diagnostics company has made a bid approach to kidney disease diagnostics developer Renalytix. This sparked the formal sale process, so that the company can assess whether there are other potential bidders. It is also possible that there could be a decision to stay independent.

MAIN MARKET

Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane Group (MACF) has acquired Allpack Packaging Supplies for up to £3.25m. It manufactures protective packaging, and it will extend the range of the group.

Cybersecurity company Narf Industries (NARF) has won a contract the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency. The $1.3m contract is for the ReSCIND programme to better understand cyber attackers’ decisions. This should eventually lead to additional revenues from related SaaS business with government departments.

R8 Capital Investments (MODE) says that the proposed acquisition of Redwood Financial Partners could take until the end of August.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 11 March 2024

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Luxury prize draw operator Good Life Plus (GDLF) raised £2.03m via a subscription at 2.25p/share, which is a premium to the market price of 1.875p. The subscriber is Winforton Investments, which is associated with Sportingbet founder Mark Blandford, which will have a 17.9% stake. The cash will be spent on marketing to accelerate growth and subscription numbers. Options have been granted to management at the subscription price. The reverse takeover of Semper Fortis Esports was done at 2p/share.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says the capital expenditure requirements for Amapa iron project have been reduced. Project financing talks continue with parties interested in taking a stake in the project. Cadence Minerals has invested $12.1m in Amapa and owns 32.6% of the project. The stake in Hastings Technology Metals has been sold. Cadence Minerals expects to leave the Aquis Stock Exchange on 5 April.

Food company Essentially Group (ESSN) is acquiring Best of Latin Foodstuff Trading for £1.95m. The company sources food from growers in Latin America and supplies hotels and restaurants in the UAE, where Essentially Group already supplies juices and other drinks. The deal will triple the revenues of Essentially Group. The former owner Catalina Onate will become an executive director of Essentially Group.

RentGuarantor Holdings (RGG) has raised £430,000 at 274p/share. The cash will finance the hiring of additional staff. Chief executive Paul Foy is converting £250,000 of convertible loan notes at 210p/share. He still has £250,000 of convertible loan notes.

Investment Evolution (IEC) is expanding into Spain, and it will grant subsidiary MRAL Spain non-exclusive recurring rights to the Mr Amazing Loans brand. Spanish company Investment Evolution Credit, not part of the group, will provide lending technology for a 49% stake in MRAL Spain.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has raised £472,500 at 2.5p/share with executive directors subscribing £40,000. There have also been creditor payments of £83,900 in shares. Each new share comes with a warrant exercisable at 3.75p/share. The cash will be invested in Web3 and AI technology and provide working capital.

Marula Mining (MARU) has added to its team in Kenya. Gilbert Kibet is project geologist and Joy Chebet will be graduate geologist. Exploration work will commence on the Larisoro manganese mine in northern Kenya.

Flex Labs (FLEX) says Supernova Digital Assets (SOL), which is associated with its executive chairman, has sold 1.24 million shares and raised £81,425. These sales were between December and February. Supernova Digital Assets plans to return cash to shareholders via a tender offer after Phoenix Digital Assets (PNIX), in which it owns 30 million shares, completes its tender offer. There will have to be a capital reorganisation to enable the tender offer to happen and £242,000 has been raised at 0.1p/share for working capital while the capital changes are arranged.

Kasei Holdings has changed its name to Kasei Digital Assets (KASH). Non-executive director Bryan Coyne bought 75,000 shares at 9.75p each. Gunsynd (GUN) executive director Donald Strang bought three million shares at 0.148p/share.

AIM

Wealth management company Mattioli Woods (MTW) is recommending an 804p/share bid from a company owned by Pollen Street Capital. That values Mattioli Woods at £432m and shareholders will still receive the interim dividend of 9p/share. The 2203-24 prospective multiple at the bid price is less than 17, falling below 15 the following year. When it joined AIM in November 2015 at 132p/share Mattioli Woods was valued at £22.5m.

Challenger Energy (CEG) has secured a farm out deal for the OFF-1 exploration asset, offshore Uruguay with Chevron. Challenger Energy will retain a 40% interest. The oil and gas explorer will receive a cash payment of $12.5m on completion, plus a carry of up to $15m on 3D seismic and 50% of the cost of an exploration well up to a $20m share. However, a well could cost between $50m and $100m according to Zeus, so Challenger Energy could still have to make a cash contribution. Regulatory approvals will take months.

A large diagnostics company has made a bid approach to kidney disease diagnostics developer, Renalytix (RENX). This has sparked a formal sale process, so that the company can assess whether there are other potential bidders. It is also possible that there could be a decision to stay independent. Funding options are being reviewed. Costs have been reduced, but there is currently cash and securities of $3.7m and the cash outflows remain significant so this will only last until the end of April. A share issue and/or debt financing will be required.

Empire Metals (EEE) says study results for the Pitfield project in Western Australia show favourable mineralogy and metallurgy in the high-grade titanium samples. This should simplify processing. Around two-thirds of the contained titanium is titanite, which can be processed at low temperatures. The overall end product would be ideal for a titanium dioxide pigment producer.

Kinovo (KINO) estimates that the costs of the guarantees to complete work on projects taken on by ex-subsidiary DCB will be £2.9m higher than previously expected. Cash flow from the continuing operations will help to fund this but Kinovo will move into net debt by the end of March. This will not affect the pre-exceptional pre-tax profit forecast of £5.8m, up from £4.9m.

LungLife AI (LLAI) raised £1.8m at 35p/share. The lung cancer diagnostics developer is starting the commercialisation process for its diagnostic technology. The cash will fund the evidence generating activities, including an early access programme and clinical utility studies. There should be enough cash until April 2025.

Controlled environment agriculture technology developer Light Science Technologies (LST) has appointed former ITM Power (ITM) boss Dr Graham Cooley as non-executive chairman. He bought a 7.5% stake last year and has been awarded 6.66 million options exercisable at 5p each. Richard Mills, who is boss of the growing systems division of Haygrove and has helped to develop global partnerships, has also joined the board. Myles Halley and Robert Naylor have stepped down. The company has been broadening its activities into fire protection.

Performance nutrition products provider Science in Sport (SIS) is focusing on improving margins rather than growing revenues. This strategy change was in the fourth quarter of 2023, so there was not much time to affect trading. In 2023, revenue dipped from £63.8m to £62.8m due to lower online sales. The Science in Sport brand grew sales by 17%. Liberum trimmed its 2023 revenues estimate, but it also reduced the forecast loss to £4.8m. The 2024 forecast revenues have been cut, but the loss is still forecast to be £3.1m with a move to breakeven in 2025.

Duke Capital (DUKE) has exited another investment with a total return on invested capital of 2.1 times. Street lighting columns manufacturer Fabrikat has been acquired by Metalogalva. Duke Capital has already received £2.7m from Fabrikat and will receive a further £10m after the takeover. There is potential performance-related deferred consideration.

Netcall (NET) continues to build its annual contract values and they have reached £30m. Recurring revenues were three-quarters of the interim revenues. There is rapid growth in cloud business and the cash in the balance sheet enables consistent investment in research and development. Full year pre-tax profit will edge up to £6.7m.

Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) has focused on its Tamdown civil engineering business and the remaining cash from disposals has come in handy in a tough time for the housebuilding sector. Revenues fell from £98.4m to £88.7m. There is still £14.6m in cash. The final dividend is 2p/share. The order book is recovering and was £57.2m at the end of January 2024. There should be a recovery in the housebuilding sector over the next year, but the timing is uncertain.

Strategic Minerals (SML) sold 4,898 tons from the Cobre magnetite stockpile during February. That is the highest monthly figure since March 2021. Quarterly sales should be around 13,000 tons and annual revenues from Cobre should be around $3.5m.

Floor levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises (SOM) reported a 10% dip in revenues to $120.7m because of the weak North American market. Europe and Australia performed better. Pre-tax profit fell from $42.3m to $34.5m and the dividend was reduced from 35.5p/share to 30.6p/share. This year’s revenues are likely to be flat, but additional investment in a new facility in Belgium means that there will be a further decline in pre-tax profit.

Saietta Group (SED) has appointed administrators and following the resignation of Canaccord Genuity as nominated adviser the AIM quotation will be cancelled at the beginning of April. The electric drivetrain technology developer company has failed to secure additional cash and although there is interest in the business no firm buyer has been found.

MAIN MARKET

Ground engineering and piling business Keller (KLR) reported flat revenues of £2.97bn, but operating profit was two-thirds higher at £180.9m – £150m was expected before the recent trading statement. Pre-tax profit jumped from £93.5m to £153.4m. Net debt was one-third lower at £146.2m. The dividend is one-fifth ahead at 45.2p/share. Non-core businesses are being exited. The year-end order book was worth £1.5bn.

Standard list shell Spiritus Mundi (SPMU) has entered into heads of terms for the purchase of InReste, which has developed clinical diagnostic tests and operates a laboratory in Singapore. Spiritus Mundi chairman Zaccheus Peh is the controlling shareholder of InReste and will be the controlling shareholder of the holding company after the acquisition.

IT services provider Triad Group (TRD) is winning new business and it returned to profit in November. There will be initial costs of contracts in the fourth quarter. That means that there will be a greater benefit in the first quarter of the next financial year.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 4 March 2024

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Marula Mining (MARU) is investing in the established Larisoro manganese mining operation in Kenya by securing a 60% commercial interest with an option to increase it to 70%. There are three shallow open pits and there has been mining for 12 years. The purchase price is £300,000 satisfied by the issue of 2.4 million shares. Marula Mining will provide investment of $1.5m for equipment to enable increased production. Once there is a final agreement another £200,000 will be paid with £300,000 payable after the completion of an exploration programme. The final payment will be £750,000 when 50,000 tonnes of manganese ore is sold. A further £1.25m will be paid if the stake is raised to 70%.

Flow battery storage technology developer Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has secured a new deal with Taiwan-based Everdura, where it will supply the cell stacks and Everdura will handle manufacturing and sales. Performance testing of the first Mistral prototype has been successful and the agreement sets a target of 255MWh of Mistral sales over three years. Additional strategic partners could be announced within six weeks.

Aquis Exchange (AQX), the owner of the Aquis Stock Exchange, has launched conditional order functionality on the Aquis UK and Aquis EU platforms. This enables members to post the same liquidity on multiple venues without the risk of over-trading. This extends the Aquis dark pool, which was launched in 2022. The 2023 results will be published on 21 March. Pre-tax profit is expected to be 16% higher at £5.2m.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that its subsidiary MRX Medical has signed a drug supply agreement with the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian for the provision of MRX1 cannabidiol oil. This will be used in an endometriosis clinical trial, ENDOCAN-1. MRX will have a licence over all IP generated from the trial for development purposes. It could also licence the IP for commercial purposes.

Digital diagnostic products developer EDX Medical Group (EDX) has raised £1.56m at 12p/share, taking the total raised in February to £5.7m. This will be spent on product development. A WRAP retail offer could raise up to £500,000. This closes on 5 March.

Field Systems Design Holdings (FSD) improved interim revenues from £6.7m to £8.8m, while pre-tax profit rose from £57,000 to £84,000. There has been additional work from the water sector and investment is accelerating. There are secured orders of more than £14m, but there is still pressure on margins. There is £2.18m in the bank.

Quantum technology investment company Quantum Exponential Group (QBIT) is seeking shareholder approval to leave the Aquis Stock Exchange. Apparently potential investors in a fund are not happy that the company is publicly traded. There will also be cost savings from leaving the market. Management is considering potential trading platforms for the shares.

KR1 (KR1) had a NAV of 122.97p/share at the end of January. There was £1.8m of income generated from digital assets during the month.

Gunsynd (GUN) investee company Low 6 has traded profitably in the past seven months and 2023-24 revenues are expected to be £4.5m, up from £855,000 the previous year. Debt is being paid off.

Substrate Artificial (SAI) has increased revenues but the loss has more than doubled due to AI development spending.

Silverwood Brands (SLWD) is acquiring Japanese beauty products manufacturer Cosme Science Corporation. It owns skincare brand Dr Baeltz. No purchase price is mentioned.

Mortgage Chat (MCAI) has entered into a software development agreement with Accru Finance. This is for the design of a web-based application for mortgage queries. The payment for development is £15,000 and 200,000 warrants with an exercise price of 5p. California Two Pizza Ventures Inc has cut its stake from 8.05% to 7.54%.

ProBiotix Health (PBX) has entered a partnership with SymbioPharm. The Germany-based microbiome research company and has an established distribution network. It will use ProBiotix Health’s CholBiome CH formulation in branded consumer products.

BWA Group (BWAP) says reconnaissance drilling at the Dehane 2 heavy mineral sands project in Cameroon has been encouraging. Heavy mineral sands have been observed and analysis is awaited. A further £50,000 has been raised.

Edison has initiated research on prize draw operator Good Life Plus (GDLF). Former Tote boss David Craven is chairman.

Investment company Asimilar Group (ASLR) is holding a general meeting on 27 March to gain shareholder approval to leave the Aquis Stock Exchange. Cost savings will help to prevent the need to sell investments.

Chris Akers has reduced his stake in Tap Global Group (TAP) from 3.7% to below 3%. Andrew Offit increased his shareholding in Supernova Digital (SOL) from 11.9% to 14.1%. Nigel Pope has raised his stake in Phoenix Digital Assets (PNIX) from 3.2% to 4.04%. Steven Bennett increased his stake in Oscillate (MUSH) from 4.75% to 7.12%.

AIM

Grocery distributor Kitwave Group (KITW) continues to grow organically, as well as via acquisition. In the year to October 2023, revenues grew from £503.1m to £602.2m, while underlying pre-tax profit moved up from £18.9m to £27.5m. The acquisition of Wilds of Oldham, where integration will be completed in April, came too late to make a contribution last year. Food service is becoming increasingly important with 30% of revenues last year, up from 25% the year before. It also contributed 43% of EBITDA before central overheads. The total dividend was increased by 21% to 11.2p/share.

eEnergy Group (EAAS) has secured a funding facility from National Westminster of up to £40m. This can be used to fund public sector energy transition projects and lasts 12 years. This will lower the cost of capital. Group continuing revenues were £46m in the 18 months to December 2023. EBITDA was between £5.1m to £5.3m.

Avacta (AVCT) initially wanted to raise £20m via a placing at 50p/share and raise a further £6.8m via a retail offer. The total fundraise has been increased from up to £26.8m to up to £32.5m. Even so, the share price slumped 36.6% to 54.5p. There is already £16.6m in the bank and the rate of cash outflow appears to be declining. The cash will fund further progress with dose expansion and the phase 2 efficacy studies for its main clinical programme AVA6000 and additional working capital up until late 2025 / early 2026. Anything raised in excess of £20m will be spent on AVA3996 and further potential Affimer drug development platforms. There are plans to sell the diagnostics division and for a possible Nasdaq listing.

Horizonte Minerals (HZM) says lenders have extended the deferral of interest payments to 29 March. Management is working with lenders and shareholders on full funding for its Araguaia project. The talks could be finalised by June, but additional funding will be required before that. The $24.8m in the bank should last until the middle of April, depending on any cost savings achieved. The Brazilian subsidiary may need to resort to protective measures to protect its cash position. Horizonte Minerals is a guarantor of the subsidiary’s debt, and it may also need to apply for protective measures if the refinancing is not agreed.

Retail software supplier itim Group (ITIM) has released a trading statement following its contract announcement earlier in the week. Revenues of £16.1m were in line with expectations and annualised recurring revenues were steady at £13.2m. Services revenues were higher. The 2023 loss forecast has been trimmed from £1.3m to £1.1m. itim has won a five-year, multi-million pound contract with fashion retailer QUIZ Clothing. This deal provides an opportunity to attract other fashion retailers. The Retail Suite product will be rebranded as UNIFY.

Semiconductors designer EnSilica (ENSI) reported interim revenues 11.5% ahead at £9.6m, but there was a higher pre-tax loss of £309,000. There has been a strong start to the second half and the latest contract with a US electronics manufacturer is worth $20m, which is fully funding engineering fees. Last December’s placing raised £1.56m at 40p/share. The latest placing raised £1.1m at 50p/share and it has received the R&D tax credit for 2023.

Renalytix (RENX) has broadened the US government coverage for kidneyintelX.dkd testing. This is a FDA de Novo marketing authorised test and the status has enabled it to be added to the 10-year Governmentwide acquisition contract for early stage kidney disease bioprognostic testing services. The fee is $950 per reportable result.

Sustainable polymers developer Itaconix (ITX) is continuing its positive momentum in the cleaning sector and developing more products that will fuel growth. Overall revenues were 41% higher at $7.9m, with strong growth in Europe. Cleaning sector revenues were $7.2m. There is $10m in the bank and that should last long enough to reach cash breakeven.

Video editing technology developer Blackbird (BIRD) is raising £1.05m at 6p/share. The cash will help fund the full launch of content creation tool elevate.io. There was £5.9m in cash prior to the fundraising and the company says that there was interest from investors wanting to buy shares.

Verditek (VDTK) has entered into a conditional sale agreement for its solar business for £528,340, which will be satisfied by the surrender of loan notes plus interest. Shareholder approval is required. Bob Holt and John Charlton are joining the board and the existing directors resigning. Both of them were involved in turning around Sureserve. There is £300,000 being raised at 0.075p/share and Bob Holt will loan the company up to £300,000, which is convertible at 0.075p/share. There are plans to raise a further £1.5m and change the name to Net Zero.

MAIN MARKET

Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) has secured a reverse takeover candidate. British Virgin Islands based Helmond Holding Group, which is changing its name to Essential Energy Holding Group, is a bio-energy company. This expertise could be usefully combined with Hydrogen Utopia International’s waste plastic to hydrogen technology. The deal could be worth £500m.

Aircraft leasing company Avation (AVAP) increased underlying leasing revenues in the six months to December 2023, but operating profit halved from $35.4m to $17.5m, although the difference is mainly down to one-off gains and losses.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 26 February 2024

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Music manager and promoter All Things Considered (ATC) has raised £2.3m at 105p/share. The company raised £4.15m at 153p/share when it joined Aquis in December 2021. The latest proceeds will be used to develop the artist representation and direct to consumer divisions, plus fund acquisitions. A potential artist management company acquisition has been identified. A new festival is being developed.

Trading was in line with expectations at Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB). Shore Capital believes the recovery in profitability due to higher interest charges has broadly already happened. Even so, the broker believes that the current valuation is undemanding.

Visum Technologies (VIS) is planning to acquire Socrates Imaging for Euro2m in cash and shares. Visum has exclusivity until the end of March 2024. Socrates Imaging has developed photo and video capture souvenirs. A final agreement needs to be made and shareholders have to agree to the purchase.

US focused lender Investment Evolution Credit (IEC) generated revenues of £441,000 and pre-tax profit of £268,000 in the six months to November 2023. Cash was £659,000. Consumer lending operations could start in the UK in 2025.

Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) reported flat annual revenues of £4.4m, while pre-tax profit fell from £445,000 to £310,000 due to higher cost of sales. Cash is £1.63m. a lower dividend of 12p/share has been announced. Management is trying to secure more direct bookings.

Inteliqo (IQO) has launched the full Langaroo app on Google Play and the App store. Langaroo enables users to understand, speak, message and share information in 130 languages.

Coinsilium (COIN) will be providing global trade exchange platform LC Lite, which has been acquired by Incomlend. Coinsilium will advise on project token economics ahead of a launch later this year. Fees are paid in cryptocurrencies.

Valereum (VLRM) is getting near to completing a blockchain-based digital financial markets infrastructure and this should happen this year. After phase 1 is launched there will be further phases developing on-chain Centralised Securities Depositary. Investment company VLRM Capital will invest in principal trading of equities and cryptocurrencies, as well as staking digital assets. The first fund should be launched by the summer. Valereum chairman James Formoli will provide seed capital of £500,000 to the investment vehicle. Valereum itself wants to raise up to £4m and firm commitments have been received for £2.5m at 6p/share.

Phoenix Digital (PNIX) director Nicholas Lyth bought 1.26 million shares at 3.1p each.

TruSpine Technologies (TSP) has submitted additional documentation to the FDA for the 510(k) application for its Cervi-LOK medical device product. A shareholder requisition notice has been deemed to be invalid.

Hydrogen Future Industries (HFI) has raised £552,000 at 5p/share. The cash will further develop technology and fund a feasibility study for use in the mining sector. Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has issued 7.2 million shares to a service provider for services over a 12-month period.

PanGenomic Health (NARA) intends to withdraw from the Aquis Stock Exchange.

AIM

Safety and compliance services provider Marlowe (MRL) is selling part of its governance, risk and compliance software and service business to Inflexion for an enterprise value of £430m. That will pay off debt and enable £150m plus to be paid to shareholders. That could leave £60m of cash in the business. This could fund acquisitions in the remaining business areas of testing, inspection and certification, and occupational health. Marlowe chief executive Alex Dacre is leaving with the disposal.

Horizonte Minerals (HZM) estimates that it will cost $454m to complete construction and deliver first metal at the Araguaia nickel project. This means that the estimate of overall cost is currently 87% higher than before at $1bn. The company is in talks with shareholders and lenders to secure full funding in the second quarter of 2024. The increased investment requirement means that existing debt facilities will have to be restructured. Short-term funding will be required will the discussions continue. Heikon Investments slashed its shareholding from 7.99% to 0.33%.

Shield Therapeutics (STX) is making progress with Accrufer iron deficiency treatment sales, but a third party overstated the number of prescriptions in 2023. There would have been 90,500 on the previous methodology, which was lower than expected, but the revised figure is 77,000. Year-end cash was $13.9m. Costs are being controlled, but there is no guarantee that there is enough cash to reach breakeven. Shield Therapeutics expects to be cash flow positive in the second half of 2025 instead of later this year.

Electric drivetrain developer Saietta Group (SED) it needs more cash by the end of March, or it will have to find a bidder and that made it the top faller on AIM for the second week in a row. Cash payments have been delayed.

Retail and promotional business Spaceandpeople (SAL) did slightly better than expected in 2023 with revenue of £5.8m, up from £4.7m. The company has changed its revenue recognition policy in the UK and revenues will be recognised on a net rather than gross basis. Without the change the 2023 revenues would have been more than £6.5m. The German business is recovering, and its revenues will still be recognised on a gross basis. There is no change to pre-tax profit – £90,000 is forecast.

Fertiliser producer Harvest Minerals (LON: HMI) says 2023 orders totalled 34,880 tonnes and 28,707 tonnes were invoiced and cash received for 27,024 tonnes. The 2024 orders have reached 7,067 tonnes. Management believe that orders could reach 70,000 tonnes this year, even though the market remains difficult. There was $630,000 in the bank at the end of 2023.

Frasers Group has acquired a 8.9% stake in models and collectibles supplier Hornby (HRN).

Empire Metals (EEE) is focusing on the Pitfield titanium project and is not extending the Gindalbie tribute agreement.

Chamberlin (CMH) has sold its profitable Petrel business for £3m and an exceptional gain of £2m. The cash will be invested in its foundry and machining business. There is £250,00 deferred until repairs are undertaken for the facility that is being sub-let to the purchaser by Chamberlin.

RBG Holdings (RBGP) has raised £2.8m at 9p/share, compared with a market price of 9.25p. This will provide a more solid base from which to grow the remaining legal services and M&A business. New legal partners have been recruited to grow the core operations. There is a £24m HSBC facility, but there will be increased headroom after the cash call. There is enough cash for at least 12 months. It is possible that M&A adviser Convex Capital will be sold to its management.

MAIN MARKET

Aquila Services Group (AQSG) intends to leave the standard list. The housing consultancy business reversed into shell company General Industries in August 2015. The share price is well below the level it was at the time of that deal. Management says that it has missed out on chances to acquire businesses because of a lack of liquidity in the shares. Leaving will save £100,000/year.

Newtyn Management has reduced its stake in Pinewood Technologies (PINE) from 10% to 8.56%. Chief executive William Berman sold 1.46 million shares at 34.85p each.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 19 February 2024

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Vehicle electrification technology developer Equipmake (EQIP) has raised £4m at 6p/share and a further £110,000 from a retail offer. This will fund research and development for the international market and finding opportunities in the US. There is also grant funding of up to £4.57m. The order book is valued at £13.1m and mainly relates to the bus market. The cash will last at least 12 months.

Coinsilium (COIN) says that the SalitaFinance AI-driven platform, where it has a 6.7% stake, has received investment from a top ten global infrastructure bank. Another investee company, crypto friendly payments company Greengage Global has secured an agreement with a new regulated partner and this will enable the earlier launch of Greengage’s US dollar currency accounts along with forex and SWIFT payments services for clients.

Investment Evolution Credit (IEC) has appointed Axis Capital Markets as corporate broker to help to raise up to £100m via the previously announced bond offering. The share price rose by 50% on the week to 60p. The December 2023 admission price was 4.5p.

RentGuarantor (RGG) has entered a three-year marketing deal with student letting company University Living. The rent guarantee service will be promoted to residential tenants. This will broaden access to the market.

Mortgage Chat (MCAI) has raised £105,000 at 0.05p each. The strategy is moving towards the development of an artificial intelligence platform called Mortgage Chat connecting borrowers and lenders.

Brewer Adnams (ADB) has asked advisers to explore options for funding growth plans.

Marula Mining (MARU) has published a shareholder circular to gain approval for a subscription by AUO Commercial Brokerage. The first subscription will raise £3.75m at 3.75p/share with further subscriptions potentially raising £4.78m at 10p/share. The general meeting is on 8 March.

BWA Group (BWAP) has come to a settlement with St-Georges Eco-Mining Corp, which will convert some loan notes into 146.2 million shares and cancel £1.42m of convertible notes.  Connected parties will also be encouraged to rerun up to £1.8m of convertible notes.

TruSpine Technologies (TSP) has entered into a £50,000 loan note agreement with Martin Armstrong, a former chairman. This can be converted into shares at 2.5p each.

Lord Nicholas Monson has increased his stake in Lift Global Ventures (LFT) from 4.96% to 5.33%.

AIM

Katoro Gold (KAT) has raised £750,000 at 0.1p/share, along with warrants exercisable at 0.2p/share that could raise up to £1.5m, and it is planning board changes. Executive chairman Louis Coetzee is stepping down. Outstanding board fees of £91,000 have been reduced to £63,600. A new strategy will involve maximising value from existing interests and seeking new opportunities in critical metals, including uranium. Paul Johnson, who has previously run Power Metal Resources and Metal Tiger has been appointed strategic consultant. The company plans to change its name to Katoro Global Resources.

Good Energy (GOOD) is building on its energy efficiency services business through the acquisition of Maidstone-based JPS Renewable Energy, which is a solar and storage installation business. The initial consideration is £7m in cash and shares with deferred consideration of up to £6.75m over two years. The vendors placed 842,000 of the 1.32 million shares issued at 250p each. JPS generated revenues of £12.4m and pre-tax profit of £600,000 in the year to April 2023 and pre-tax profit could increase to £1.3m this year.

Neometals (NMT) says a review of the Spargos project in Western Australia indicates low potential for lithium-bearing pegmatites. Sampling did not produce any significant results. There will be field mapping to investigate two potassium anomalies and a strategic review of the project.

Gattaca (GATC) is still finding the permanent staffing market difficult, and first half net fee income is expected to decline 16% to £18.9m. This has led to downgrades for full year net fee income, but cost cutting has meant that the full year pre-tax profit forecast is maintained at £3m. The figures will be second half weighted.

Harvest Minerals (HMI) received fertiliser orders for 34,880 tonnes, of which 28,707 tonnes were invoiced in 2023. There have been 1,250 tonnes invoiced so far in 2024. Sales guidance is 70,000 tonnes for 2024. Cash was $630,000 at the end of 2023. Cost are being reduced.

Trading in Artemis Resources (ARV) shares has resumed on ASX. Trading was halted on 8 February although it continued on AIM. Artemis Resources published an update on the West Pilbara project exploration. This shows potential sub vertical orientation of pegmatites at Kobe and Osborne. The first drill hole potentially stopped short of the Osborne target. A drilling programme to test Osborne is planned for March to test near surface lithium rich zones.

M&A activity remains weak at professional services network operator DSW Capital (DSW) and that will hit this year’s profit. There appeared to be an improving trend, but January was poor and that hit network revenues. February is also set to be disappointing. The other activities are trading well. The 2023-24 pre-tax profit will be between £600,000 and £700,000. There was cash of £2.7m at the end of January 2024.

Baron Oil (BOIL) has raised £3m at 0.05p/share, while the retail offer generated £260,000. This will fund drilling preparations for the Chuditch-2 appraisal well south of Timor-Leste, which is planned for the fourth quarter. Shell discovered the Chuditch-1 gas field in the Chuditch production sharing contract in 1998. Timor-Leste authorities recently approved the farm-up agreement with TIMOR GAP Chuditch Unipessoal relating to the production sharing contract. Baron Oil’s subsidiary will retain 60% of the production sharing contract and the partner, which has increased its interest from 25% to 40%, will be responsible for 20% of all costs, including the Chuditch-2 appraisal well.

Beowulf Mining (BEM) is raising cash to invest in Kallak iron ore project in northern Sweden and the graphite anode materials plant in Finland. There will be a rights issue and a PrimaryBid retail offer in the UK raising up to £7.5m in total. A formal decision on the fundraising and pricing will be made on 7 March. A capital reorganisation will reduce the par value of the shares from 1p to 0.1p. The cash will be spent on the Kallak pre-feasibility study and environmental studies, which will enable the application for an environmental permit.

Bushveld Minerals (BMN) has received a $4m payment from Southern Point Resources, which will be repaid when the $12.5m subscription is finally received. This takes the interest free loans to $6m, which have been paid to a South African subsidiary. Southern Point Resources says that the subscription will be paid by 28 February. The financial position of the company is being managed so that vanadium production, which has restarted, can continue until the rest of the cash is received.

Coal miner MC Mining (MCM) advises shareholders not to accept the A$0.16/ share bid from a company controlled by the majority shareholders. One condition is the acceptance by 50.1% of the shares not owned by the bidder.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has entered a partnership agreement with IT distributor TD SYNNEX, which will sell Crossword’s Trillion threat intelligence platform.

MAIN MARKET

Pendragon has completed the sale of its motor distributor business and will focus on its motor dealer software. The name has changed to Pinewood Technologies (PINE).

Better contract news from data integrity and banking integration software provider Gresham Technologies (GHT), which has secured a $1.5m contract for its Claretti software. The customer is described as a cash management and retail digital services provider. The deal covers the US and is for five years.

HeiQ (HEIQ) is acquiring a manufacturing facility in Portugal to commercialise the AeoniQ synthetic filament yarns technology. Commercial production could start by 2026. Capacity will be 3,000 tons.

HeiQ wants to raise £2.44m. A placing raised £685,000 at 8.7p/share and there is a retail offer of up to £75,000 closing on 22 February. The rest of the cash will come from an issue of non-interest bearing convertible loan notes with a conversion price of 8.7p/share. Revenues were $41m in 2023, but EBITDA will be lower than expected. Net debt is $2m. The year end is being changed from December to June 2024.

XP Power (XPP) says that weak demand meant that 2023 figures will be well below expectations. The 2024 results will be second half weighted. Net debt was £112.7m at the end of 2023.

Carclo (CAR) is closing its Tucson facility and manufacturing will be moved to Pennsylvania.

BSF Enterprise (BSFA) is setting up a separate subsidiary to develop a cultivated leather business.

Dispensa (DISP), originally known as Zamaz, is calling a general meeting on 14 March to gain shareholder approval for the delisting from the standard list.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 12 February 2024

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

RentGuarantor (RCG) 2023 revenues were 3% ahead of Zeus forecasts and expects to upgrade its 2024 forecast in April after the accounts are released. The 2023 revenues were 73% higher at £742,000. There was a 57% increase in tenant contracts to 1,124. A new insurance partner has increased insurance cover for rent arrears at a lower cost. Zeus has an estimated discounted cash flow valuation of 303p/share. The current 2024 forecast is revenues of £3.6m and breakeven.

All Things Considered (ATC) has acquired a 50% stake in Mckeown Asset, which has concert and festival management interests, as well as 40% of Something Records and 10% of Brighton venue Concorde 2 (it has an option to increase the stake to up to 70%). The initial payment is £475,000 in cash and James Mckeown intends to spend £25,000 in All Things Considered shares. There is potential deferred consideration of £200,000. Mckeown Assets NAV was £243,000 at the end of April 2023, including investments valued at £125,000.

EPE Special Opportunities (EO.P) had an NAV of 324p/share. Holdings in Atlantic Credit Opportunities Fund and Prelude Structured Alternatives Master Fund have been sold and EPIC Acquisition Corp is being wound up because it failed to find a suitable acquisition. There was cash of £15.3m at the end of January 2024. The £4m of unsecured loan notes has been extended to 23 July 2024. There are 12.5 million ZDP shares in issue that mature at the end of 2026.

VSA Capital (VSA) and Andrew Gerrie and Alison Hawksley have settled their legal dispute with Silverwood Brands (SLWD) that relates to 2.28 million shares that were transferred from the two individuals to VSA Capital. The agreement should enable the transaction to sell Lush shares to Silverwood Brands to be unwound.

Investment Evolution Credit (IEC) says that it should take between ten and twelve months to gain FCA authorisation to provide consumer loans. It previously thought that it would take up to 18 months. The loans will be offered at annual percentage rates of between 19.9% and 59.9%. This is expected to improve revenues and profit. Investment Evolution Credit has launched an offering of up to £100m of 15% fixed rate unsecured bonds that last five years. This will fund the US loan portfolio and then UK loans when approvals are granted.

The NAV of Gledhow Investments (GDH) fell from £1.7m to £1.41m at the end of September 2023, including £174,000 in cash. The cash figure has increased to £280,000. There is 51% of the investment portfolio invested in AIM, one-third in Aquis and the rest in pre-IPO investments.

Diagnostic products developer EDX Medical Group (EDX) is raising £4.01m via a subscription at 12p/share, which is a premium to the market price. Founder Professor Chris Evans subscribed for 6.25 million shares. The other investors were high net worth individuals.

Oscillate (MUSH) has a 12.75% stake in Psych Capital (PSY). The investment company is pleased about the news that Psych Capital has been awarded a grant for a phase 1 POC study in Israel of psilocybin-assisted therapy for anorexia nervosa patients.

Marula Mining (MARU) has amended the terms of the Q Global Commodities subscription of up to £3.75m at 3.75p/share so that the money can be subscribed by another affiliate. This cash will be invested in battery metals mining projects in Africa. There is an option to subscribe up to a further £4.78m at 10p/share.

Substrate Artificial Intelligence (SAI) has an investment agreement with Indico Investments and Management, which can provide up to Euro2m with shares issued at a discount of 10% to the relevant share price. There is 2% commission on the total amount, plus 15% commission for each capital increase.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) non-executive director Dominic J Burke bought 3,000 shares at 700p each, taking his stake to 6.51%. Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) chairman and chief executive Sir Henry Angest acquired 100,000 shares at 990p each, taking his stake to 57.3% of the voting shares.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has raised £200,000 at 0.35p each.

Alex Albertini has been appointed as a non-executive director of SulNOx Group (SNOX). He has experience in the shipping industry.

AIM

Adam Wilson is stepping down as chief executive of coal supplier Bens Creek (BEN) once a replacement has been found. Lower metallurgical coal prices led to a shortage of cash last year and $13 of convertible loan notes were issued to 29.9% shareholder Avani Resources. That cash should have lasted until the end of 2024. The company blames poor weather in West Virginia for interrupting production and delaying trains transporting coal. Avani Resources has offered another $5m as a working capital facility. While details are worked out Avani has advanced $1.25m. A 12-month offtake agreement for 40,000 short tons of coal is being negotiated with Avani Resources.

Futura Medical (FUM) says 2023 product revenues were around £3.1m following the launch of erectile dysfunction treatment Eroxon in the UK and Belgium. It has already built up a 20% market share. A $4m upfront payment from Haleon for US rights will be recognised in 2024. There was cash of £7.7m at the end of 2023.

Redx Pharma (REDX) is selling global rights to the preclinical-stage KRAS (Kirsten rat sarcoma virus) inhibitor programme to Jazz Pharmaceuticals for an upfront payment of $10m and potential milestone payments of up to $870m. Redx Pharmaceuticals should have enough cash to get into 2025.

In-game advertising technology provider Bidstack (BIDS) has issued additional convertible loan notes to Irdeto because it has not been able to provide information to Bidstack to publish a shareholder circular. Shareholder approval is required for the convertible issue. Bidstack had drawn down £600,000 from the convertible loan note facility but does not expect to make any more draw downs. The €3m payment from commercial partner Azerion is running out with cash of £1.4m at the end of January and this will run out by the end of March. A strategic review has been initiated.

Building products supplier Alumasc (ALU) has traded strongly, even though the underlying markets, particularly housebuilding, have been weak. Interim revenues increased 6% to £47.8m and pre-tax profit was 14% higher at £6.3m. Water Management increased its profit contribution with recent acquisition ARP only becoming part of the group late in the period. New products helped the housebuilding division. Additional costs on sales meant that the building envelope division profit was lower. A major export order has been delayed, but full year pre-tax profit could still improve from £11.2m to £12.1m.

Cleaning services provider React (REAT) increased its pre-tax profit from £700,000 to £1.8m in the year to September 2023. Revenues grew by 43% and there was a full contribution from the LaddersFree acquisition. Net cash is £1.3m. Current trading is at record levels. Pre-tax profit is expected to grow to £2.1m this year. This has been trimmed because of additional investment in systems to cope with further growth. Tax losses are running out, so the reported earnings will be lower despite the underlying progress.

Semiconductors developer Sondrel (SND) revealed that it had received £1.5m form the customer where payments had been delayed. This has enabled deferred payments to be made by Sondrel. New business opportunities are being negotiated. Even so, Sondrel needs to raise more cash before the end of March to put it on a sound financial footing.

Bushveld Minerals (BMN) has suspended full year guidance until it receives funds from Southern Point Resources relating to last year’s fundraising. Full year production fell 3% to 3,714mt, but sales rose 13% to 4,051mt. However, production has been affected by the lack of cash and it fell to 267mt in January. Southern Point Resources owes more than $10m and claims processing delays and the default of a funding partner have delayed the payment. The payment should be made by the end of February.

Cloud computing services provider Beeks Financial Cloud (BKS) has secured a significant multi-year contract with one of the world’s largest global exchange groups. The contract requires regulatory approval so it may not make a contribution in the year to June 2024. The value of the deal was not disclosed but it could be worth £3m or more each year. Another contract has been increased in size. Canaccord Genuity is maintaining its 2023-24 pre-tax profit forecast at £4.1m and increasing the 2024-25 figure from £5.3m to £6m.

Verditek (VDTK) has agreed terms to sell its solar business and become a shell. The buyers are the holders of secured convertible loan notes in return for the surrender of £528,340 loan notes and £50,000 in cash. The company will transfer the shareholder loan to the new company for nominal consideration. The bondholders are providing Verditek with a loan facility of up to €100,000 to fund the operating costs of the solar business. If the deal does not go ahead by the end of February Verditek will be running out of cash. A new management team is interested in joining Verditek and there are plans to raise £300,000.

RF components and systems developer Filtronic (FTC) has won a £7.8m contract for ground station antenna amplifiers for a leading global supplier of LEO satellite communications equipment. It also released interims with revenues 1% ahead at £8.5m. The cost base has been increased to cope with future growth, so there was a swing from profit to loss. Cavendish has raised its full year revenues expectations from £20.5m to £23.5m and pre-tax profit estimate has more than trebled from £800,000 to £2.5m.

Helium One Global (HE1) says Itumbula West-1 has flowed a high concentration of helium to surface. A measured helium concentration of up to 4.7% equates to nearly 9,000 times normal background levels. The well results will be evaluated. The company raised £4.7m at 1.5p, which is still a 650% premium to the share price prior to positive drilling news.

Artemis Resources (ARV) has discovered spodumene bearing pegmatites with Li2O grades of up to 1.82% at the Mount Marie prospect in the Greater Carlow project. This is the first tangible proof of spodumene bearing pegmatites and it could be part of a lithium corridor according to WH Ireland. Assay information is being assessed and should be published on 13 February.

MAIN MARKET

S and U (SUS) says tough trading conditions are hampering trading. Advances by motor finance provider Advantage were 7% lower than last year. In the second half of 2023-24 90% of due payments were made, down from 94% in the previous period. This means that pre-tax profit will be 10%-15% below expectations of £38m. Net receivables for Aspen Bridging have increased from £114m to £130m. The second interim dividend will be raised from 35p/share to 38p/share.

A new African investor has invested $500,000 in Blencowe Resources (BRES) at 5p/share and a further $2.5m has been conditionally raised at the same price.

First Tin (1SN) says sampling at the Taronga tin project confirms extensions to known mineralisation to the northeast and southwest and identified other potential targets.

Andrew Hore

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