Home » News and Views
Category Archives: News and Views
Brand Comms CEO Alan Green talks to ECR Minerals #ECR CEO Craig Brown about the company’s flagship gold exploration projects in the heart of Australia’s Victoria Goldfields. Taking slides from the latest company presentation, Craig talks about ECR’s wholly owned drill rig, HQ at Bendigo and the £4m funding and extra cash resources owned by the company. We look at the Creswick Gold project located close to the Ballarat Gold Mine before discussing this year’s production numbers at the Fosterville goldmine and how they might compare to assay results and ore grades currently being drilled at the Bailieston HR3 target. Craig looks at Black Cat, Cherry Tree and other targets at Bailieston, before we move onto the blue sky potential at the Tambo Project, and the connection with ECR’s Head Geologist Dr Rodney Boucher. We end with some takeaway points for investors.
Incanthera (INC) says that it is prioritising discussions with two global cosmetic companies as potential partners for Sol, a sun cream that prevents skin cancer. Incanthera is also assessing the potential for using the technology to develop other products.
Sativa Wellness (SWEL) plans to raise C$4m through a placing of units at C$0.07875 each. Each unit consists of one share one-half of a warrant exercisable at C$0.105 each. The cash will provide working capital and investment for a new health screening service. Sativa has opened ten Covid-19 testing facilities. A dispute with Dragonfly Biosciences has been settled.
World High Life (LIFE) is submitting a novel food dossier to the Food Standards Agency. This is part of the move to regulation of the CBD market in the UK. The dossier includes pre-clinical results.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) intends to acquire the shares in medicinal cannabis pharma company Apollon Formularies that it does not own, and this will be classed as a reverse takeover. Shares will be issued to the Apollon shareholders. AfriAg is also raising £2.5m at 5p a share.
Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) is selling its Tay mortgage portfolio to a subsidiary of OneSavings Bank for £53.8m, which is equivalent to 97.9% of the outstanding loans. Arbuthnot has already announced that it intends to pay a 21p a share special dividend, which replaces the 2019 dividend declared in March 2020. Arbuthnot will make a loss in 2020 so there will be no dividend.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £65,000 in a convertible loan issue by B2B pool betting platform Low6. Gunsynd had already invested £200,000 last December. AIM-quoted Pires Investments (PIRI) has also increased its investment in Low6. It invested a further £35,000, having also invested £200,000 at the same time as Gunsynd. Low6 is expected to float during the second quarter of 2021 and Canaccord Genuity is its broker.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that the latest exploration at Specimen Hill reaffirms the drill targets and informs plans for higher density drilling, so that a resource can be calculated. Tectonic says that the Deep Blue Minerals diamonds joint venture with AIM-quoted Kazera Global Investments produced 220 carats in January. Higher grade materials will be mined during the rest of the year.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) says that Bureau Veritas has certified that SulnoxEco Fuel Conditioner complies with European standards. This means that SulNox’s products can be used for 70% of the hydrocarbon market. Management is confident that production can be scaled up.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has signed an agreement with ASX-listed Evolution Mining for the evaluation and potential processing of lead and silver rich stockpiles at the Sunbeam project in North Queensland. Evolution has a processing plant 80km away from Sunbeam, which has stockpiles from past mining. The processing would be done on a cost and revenue share basis with NQ. This could finance further exploration. NQ says that it should qualify for the Green Economy Mark when it moves to the standard list.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) has received shareholder approval for refocusing its strategy on property investment and development.
Almon I Holding has cut its stake in Coinsilium (COIN) to below 3%. It increased its stake to 3.68% in January 2020.
Altona Energy has changed its name to Altona Rare Earths (ANR).
Trading platform operator Aquis Exchange (AQX) moved into profit last year thanks to high levels of trading on its platform. Aquis had been expected to lose money in 2020 but it is now expected to make a £200,000 profit on revenues of £11m. EU trades have been moved to the Paris operation and London has restarted trading in Swiss shares.
VR Education (VRE) continues to grow the revenues of its ENGAGE VR platform. Group revenues increased by 38%, while ENGAGE revenues rose by 550% thanks to strong demand for virtual events. The US provides significant potential. VR is still hiring additional people, although the focus is more on marketing. VR is still losing money, but the cash burn has been reduced this year. Management is targeting 100,000 monthly users by 2025.
Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) says Alkindi sales in the UK and Germany grew by 29% in the first half but the timing of purchases in other markets meant that overall revenues barely increased. Chronocourt could gain European approval in March and the US regulatory pathway for DITEST, an oral testosterone formulation, has been set out. Net cash was £20.3m at the end of December 2020.
K3 Business Technology (KBT) has sold its managed services business for £14.7m. The business made a pre-tax profit of £1.2m last year, but the disposal proceeds will wipe out net debt and enable the repayment of the £3m shareholder loan due in June. There should still be more than £35m of recurring revenues.
Interim trading at transport software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) was active and it was not far below the levels in the six months to January 2020 prior to Covid-19 becoming a factor. Revenues declined from £26.4m to £22m and management believes Covid-19 reduced the figure by £6m. New rail contracts are being won, but the lack of events hit the data and events division. Cash has improved from £17.9m to £21m.
Revenues fell by one-third at President Energy (PPC) in 2020 due to lower oil prices. President did generate $10m of free cash flow and that helped to reduce net debt. President plans to drill seven wells this year and that could increase production by one-third. Anew subsidiary, Atome, will develop hydrogen and ammonia production.
Shield Therapeutics (STX) has raised £25m at 30p a share and could raise a further £4.2m via an open offer. The cash will finance the new strategy of directly launching iron deficiency treatment Accrufer in the US.
Yew Grove REIT (YEW) has agreed a new lease for Gateway Three building, East Wall Road, Dublin with the Electricity Supply Board. The new lease lasts five years. Along with three rent reviews, this takes the increase in annual rents to €470,000 this year.
Best of the Best (BOTB) has concluded its strategic review and it has reemphasised its online strategy. finnCap has upgraded its pre-tax profit forecast to £14m.
Benchmark Holdings (BMK) increased first quarter revenues by 18% to £29m and it is on course to reduce its loss this year, prior to moving into profit in 2021-22. The advanced nutrition business contributed significant growth in the first quarter.
Online auctions provider Auction Technology Group (ATG) raised £247.4m at 600p a share, while existing shareholders pocketed £51.5m after the over-allotment option was exercised. The company was valued at £600m. There was a 30% gain to 780p a share at the end of the first week of trading. The company is involved with three main auction markets: arts and antiques, industrial and commercial and consumer surplus and returns. It has six main auction marketplace brands and trade magazine Antiques Trade Gazette. Low double-digit organic revenue growth is anticipated for the next few years.
Town Centre Securities (TOWN) announced a 1.75p a share interim dividend, even though this is not covered by earnings. Lower car park income meant that there was a sharp decline in interim profit. The NAV was 286p a share at the end of December 2020 and it is not expected to decline by more than 2% by the year-end in June. This is more than double the current share price.
CML Microsystems (CML) is paying 50p a share to investors following the sale of its storage division. This will cost £8.28m. the cash should be received before the end of March.
Strong demand for diagnostic products more than offset weakness in the networking division of BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) and enabled 2020 revenues to grow by 49% to $184m. Pre-tax profit jumped from $5.2m to $13.6m. Revenues are expected to decline this year, but pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from $13.6m to $17.3m. This may depend on the timing of the sale of the NGSoft business and it also assumes no additional sales of ventilators this year. Longer-term, revenues will build up from virtual networking technology NFVTime. There is also potential for dividends.
Construction services provider NMCN (NMCN) says that two contracts in the water division could lead to an additional loss of £5m in 2020. These costs relate to delays. The total loss for 2020 could be up to £22m. The additional cash costs will be spread over 28 months. Shareholders are being asked to agree to an extension of the company’s borrowing limit.
Aircraft lessor Avation (AVAP) took a $46.7m impairment charge on its aircraft and a $12.9m credit loss in the six months to December 2020. The NAV was 174p a share at the end of 2020. A full year loss of $30m is expected before the exceptional write-offs.
Cannabis-based products developer Cellular Goods (CBX) raised £13m in its offer at 5p a share. The share price jumped to 19p on the first day of dealings.
Potash project developer Emmerson (EML) raised £5.5m at 5.75p a share. Emmerson has a mining licence for the Khemisset potash project in Morocco. The cash will be used for the detailed design of the mine and the phased development of the project.
Shell company Stranger Holdings (STHP) is pushing ahead with the proposed reverse takeover of the Recyclus Group. A prospectus is being drafted.
Packaging supplier Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its 2020 profit by 10% to £13m on a 2% increase in revenues to £230m. The full year dividend has been increased from 0.69p a share to 2.55p a share.
British Honey Company (BHC) is acquiring Union Distillers for an initial £8m in cash and shares. Leicestershire-based Union Distillers has been trading for more than eight years and has its own still and bonded warehouse. There is a range of gins, vodkas, a spiced rum, an absinthe and an espresso vodka liqueur under the Two Birds brand. There could be up to £2m of earn-out consideration payable in cash and shares depending on the target revenues from the Union products. A share issue raised £4.59m at 110p a share, while a convertible loan note issue added a further £1.63m. Union has £250,000 in cash. The deal should be earnings enhancing and cash generative. In the year to September 2020, Union generated revenues of £4.94m and pre-tax profit £1.13m. NAV was £1.52m.
National Milk Records (NMRP) reported flat interim revenues of £10.8m, but pre-tax profit increased by one-quarter to £500,000. Net debt was reduced to £1.1m despite investment in a genomics lab. An unchanged dividend of 1.25p a share will be paid. The outlook is positive for the dairy sector with UK milk prices expected to be maintained at current levels. Finance director Mark Frankcom has bought 9,974 shares at 101.75p each.
Imperial X (IMPP) is making four acquisitions and continues to move towards a standard listing. The purchases involve the issue of 245.6 million shares. Cloudbreak Discovery Corp, Howson Ventures Inc and Cabox Gold Corp are all being acquired, and certain assets of Anglo African Minerals are being bought. Imperial X has a £10m drawdown agreement with Crescita Capital. This lasts for three years.
Upper Thames Holdings (UPPT) is not going ahead with the proposed acquisition of Sweden-based mobile camera systems technology company Ridercam. Instead, the focus will be on blockchain and the linking of conventional currencies with cryptocurrencies. A placing has raised £516,000 at 1p a share. Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser.
Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) fell into loss last year as revenues slumped by two-fifths. The hotel has been closed or under restrictions for the period since the year end in October 2020. There is £1.03m in the bank and the NAV is £3.3m.
S-Ventures (SVEN) has bought a 75.1% stake in Ohso Chocolate for £295,000 in shares at 9p each. The remaining 24.9% stake in Ohso could be sold for nearly 1.1 million shares. Ohso is a probiotic chocolate supplier and it generated revenues of £311,000 during 2020. The S-Ventures chief executive and finance director owned 50.6% in Ohso.
World High Life (LIFE) is changing its name to Love Hemp. A general meeting will be held on 11 March. In the first half, revenues were £2.36m and second quarter revenues were nearly double those in the first quarter, although the gross margin fell. A debt of £2.15m has been settled by the issue of 86.1 million shares.
Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) has submitted a novel food application for validation by the Food Standards Agency. This covers a range of CBD products.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has identified new gold targets at the Red Setter project in Western Australia. The magnetic survey has discovered targets that are shallower than previously.
Ananda Investments (ANA) has raised £300,000 from two investors. This will finance the first phase of the medicinal cannabis growing facility in Lincolnshire. Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised a further £330,000 at 4p a share.
Avacta (AVCT) is starting its first clinical study. This is a phase I study for AVA6000, developed from the pre|CISION platform. This is a treatment for solid tumours, including those for bladder, pancreatic, colorectal and breast cancer. The trial will assess safety and dosage levels. Early data could be published before the end of the year.
Transense Technologies (TRT) should move into profit next year as it receives a full year of royalties following the sale of the iTrack business to Bridgestone. In the year to June 2020, there was a £1.3m loss and this year there could be a much-reduced loss this year. Once Bridgestone has built up iTrack sales the royalties will cover group overheads. This will enable Transense to invest in its surface acoustic wave technology and Translogik tyre probes. A 2021-22 pre-tax profit of £357,000 is forecast.
Strong underlying growth in the mobile division helped Blannco Technology (BLTG) to maintain interim revenues at £17.4m. The previous year included £1.4m of one-off contract income. The fastest growth is in Asia Pacific. The prospects for data erasure operations are good and new partners have been signed up. Data erasure is particularly important while remote working is a major factor in companies.
Chamberlin (CMH) is getting a cash injection from Trevor Brown. The £200,000 loan will, subject to shareholder approval, be converted into shares at 6p each and Brown will have a 29.5% stake. The Scunthorpe foundry is busy and profitable, but management is still trying to win work for the Walsall foundry.
Duke Royalty (DUKE) has secured a new client involved in steel fabrication. There is a £6.2m royalty financing agreement with Meteor HoldCo, which makes steel street lighting and guardrail products.
Telecoms testing systems supplier Calnex Solutions (CLX) says some revenues appear to have been brought forward into 2020-21 and therefore the full year revenues and profit will be ahead of expectations.
Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) has published details of the Rodnikova project scoping study, which suggests a potential 14-year life for the project. The JORC resource is 6.3Mt at an average grade of 5g/t gold. Post tax NPV10 is $177.6m – based on $1,600/ounce gold price.
Israel-based cannabis-based products supplier Kanabo Research has completed its reversal into standard list shell Spinnaker Opportunities to form Kanabo Group (KNB) two years after the deal was announced. The value of the deal was £15m in shares and the company also raised £6m at a share price of 6.5p. Kanabo was valued at £23.4m when it was admitted to trading. The share price has risen to 31p – having at one point reached 50.75p – and that values Kanabo at £111.7m. One of the investors in Kanabo is AIM-quoted Vela Technologies (VELA) and it invested £150,000 at 6.5p a share.
MGC Pharmaceuticals (MXC) has expanded its research programme into the use of cannabinoids to treat aggressive glioblastoma brain cancer. The expanded study includes the use of a nanoparticle delivery system. MGC has also secured a three-year distribution agreement with Swiss PharmaCan for its product ArtemiC Rescue as a food supplement. The minimum order quantity is 40,000 units per quarter, which has a retail value of $3.4m.
Path Investments (PATH) is not going ahead with the purchase of DT Ultravert from two vendors including Zoetic International (ZOE) following concerns during the preparation of the potential prospectus. Path has raised £3.5m at 0.25p a share.
Rare earths explorer Pensana (PRE) is dropping its listing on the ASX.
Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has submitted a prospectus to the FCA for the proposed reverse takeover of the Kilimapesa gold project.