AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) has agreed an exclusive, non-transferrable licence for the distributed modular gasification technology developed by Powerhouse Energy, and this covers Poland, Greece and Hungary. There is also an initial agreement in Bulgaria. The technology turns waste plastic into syngas. Hydrogen Utopia has raised £3m at 7.5p a share, which values the company at £28.8m. The share price has risen to 13.75p. There has already been work done on developing a facility in Poland. The initial cost could be €10m and the facility in Poland could be on stream in 2023. Hydrogen Utopia is targeting places where EU funding or private sector cash is available to finance investment. Even so, the company will need to raise more cash, but not for 18 months.
Vulcan Industries (VULC) increased interim revenues from £2.19m to £2.72m and the loss was reduced from £1.56m to £951,000. Third quarter activity is improving and the acquisition of Aftech should be completed during January, although the effective date is 1 December, and this will help the second half, as well as enhancing earnings. Vulcan has raised £224,000 at 1.6p a share.
British Honey Company (BHC) says that 2021 sales will be at least £8.4m and there is a strong order book for the first quarter of 2022. Production and dispatch will be consolidated at the Market Harborough distillery and the Buckinghamshire office and distillery will be closed.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has exchanged contracts on the acquisition of a property in Stafford that is let to Iceland Foods. The purchase price is £1.26m and the annual rent is £95,000. Ace Liberty has raised £11.85m from disposals. There were £200,000 of convertible loans converted into shares and there is £375,000 of convertible loans outstanding.
Apollon Formularies (APOL) has renewed three medical cannabis licences approved by the Jamaican government.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) is stopping buying back its shares. It has bought 628,844 shares in the past month.
Trading in the bonds of Belvedere Leisure has been suspended because the annual report has not been published. The audit should be completed by the end of the month. Trading in Lombard Capital (LCAP) shares has also been suspended. Although the results for the year to June 2021 have been published Aquis has queried the audit report relating to the recoverability of loans. Lombard Capital has net liabilities of £1.57m.
Facilities by ADF (ADF) is the first AIM new admission of 2022. The company provides vehicles and services to the film and TV industry, predominantly in the UK but also in Europe. The £13m net raised at 50p a share that Facilities by ADF has raised will be invested in much needed additional capacity. The company is already nearly fully booked for this year. The company has a fleet of more than 500 vehicles and trailers. This includes artiste trailers, make-up units, generator units and transport vehicles. This could increase to 700 by the end of 2023. Unsurprisingly, revenues fell from £15.9m to £8m in 2020 because lockdowns affected TV and film production. There has been a sharp recovery in the first half of 2021 with revenues reaching £11.5m, which is nearly as much as in 2018.
Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR) has signed the joint venture agreement with Turkey-based Demir Export. This covers licences held along the 65km district scale gold trend in the Longford-Down Massif in Ireland. The plan is to develop an initial gold project and start mining. Phase 1 will involve Demir Export investing €5.5m to earn 25%, then another €4.5m to earn a further 15%. The final phase will involve the investment of additional funds by Demir Export so that the project will reach construction ready status. That will take the stake to 57.5%. Regulatory consent is still required.
Restaurants operator Tasty (TAST) says that second half trading was extremely encouraging, but December, normally the best month of the year, was disappointing because of Covid uncertainty. There are 50 restaurants trading with the other four due to reopen later this year. There are two or three restaurants that might be sold.
Nicholas Slater has increased his stake in upmarket kitchens supplier John Lewis of Hungerford (JLH) from 4.78% to 6.07%. John Llewellyn Lewis has reduced his stake from 22.15% to 19.57%, while non-exec Alan Charlton has bought 2.5 million shares at 1.2p a share, taking his stake to 8.73%.
Slovenia-based Graft Polymer (GPL) is a developer of polymer modification and drug delivery systems. More than 50 products have been launched. In 2020, GraftBio was started to develop IP for biopharma applications. Revenues remain small but there are opportunities for them to grow significantly. The business should have strong operational gearing. A placing raised £5m at 21.5p a share. Graft Polymer intends to invest in capital equipment and further product development. A new production line will cost £2m and some of the other cash will go on lab upgrades and other investment. Management also wants to expand the distribution network and secure deals with more partners.
AdvancedAdvT (ADVT) has acquired 12 million shares in advertising agency M&C Saatchi (SAA) at 200p a share and the standard list shell approached the advertising agency with a bid proposition based on a share swap. AdvancedAdvT had £129.2m in the bank at the end of June 2021, so this investment is less than one-fifth of that cash. Vin Murria is a director of both companies, and she has a 13.2% stake in M&C Saatchi. The independent directors of M&C Saatchi say that they do not believe in the logic of a merger and also do not think the valuation put on the business is high enough.
Online retailer Made.com (MADE) says that the UK and Europe each achieved 38% growth over 2021. Average order values were 8% higher and active customers increased by 26%. The supply chain is a worry, but management says that lead times are three to four weeks. This follows the deferral of around £40m of sales to the first quarter of £40m. Made.com is still expected to lose money in 2021 before moving into profit in 2022.
Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) has sparked another upgrade with its trading statement. Peel Hunt has increased its 2021 pre-tax profit forecast from £82.6m to £86.7m. Strong margins continued in the fourth quarter. However, those margins may not continue.
Macfarlane (MACF) has sold its labels business for £6.4m. This business generated a profit of £300,000 in 2020.