AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Brewer and pubs operator Shepherd Neame (SHEP) is starting to recover from lockdowns. Pubs started to reopen outdoors on 12 April, while indoor trading recommenced on 17 May. From that point pubs achieved 97% of 2019 trading levels. Since June, drinks sales have been down on the 2019 level, but food and room revenues were higher. In the year to 26 June 2021, revenues fell from £118.2m to £86.9m with both periods hampered by Covid-19 lockdowns. There was a swing from a pre-tax profit of £1.5m to a loss of £4.2m. A revaluation of licenced pubs shows a surplus over book value of £35.9m, which is a 13% uplift not reflected in the NAV of 1140p a share.
Silverwood Brands (SLWD) is a shell focused on food and lifestyle acquisitions. It raised £1.03m at 40p a share. The share price ended the week at 43.75p. NAV is 35p a share. The strategy is to build up a portfolio of consumer brands. The cash raised in the flotation and prior to the admission will help to identify targets and carry out due diligence. Directors Andrew Gerrie and Andrew Tone were both involved in building up the Lush handmade cosmetics business.
In the first quarter National Milk Records (NMRP) revenues increased by 8% to £5.72m. There was a small decline in revenues for testing for Johne’s disease, while the core milk testing business increased revenues, although the comparatives were for a weak period when lockdown was ending. The launch of genomic services under the GeneEze brand is planned for this winter. UK milk prices are exceeding 40p a litre, although the costs for farmers are increasing.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) has 600 potential customers and 130 trials proposed or underway. This includes vehicle and marine clients for the fuel emulsification additive.
Pharma C Investments (PCIL) has made its first cannabis-related investment in Product Earth Expo UK, which runs an annual CBD trade show in Coventry. A £275,000 investment gives Pharma C a 7.5% stake. Product Earth also offers a digital marketing service. Tom Toumazis, the former boss of European newspapers publisher Mecom, is chairman of Product Earth and Pharma C investment strategy director Gavin Sathianathan is also a director. At the end of October, Pharma C had cash of £608,000.
Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) increased revenues in the nine months to September 2021 by 724% to £9.88m. This enabled Sativa to move into profit, although it is a modest one. Trading has been boosted by demand for Covid tests and the range of tests is being broadened.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) is partnering with BUPA, which will open clinics within the company’s sites and refer patients if they have symptoms of cancer. The first clinic will be opened at Rutherford’s Liverpool cancer centre and the second in Northumberland.
Spirits company Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has raised £200,000 at 7p a share, which is just above the market price. Each of the placing shares comes with a warrant exercisable at 7p. The cash will be used to acquire additional stocks of Shinju whisky.
Valereum Blockchain (VLRM) has raised £197,500 from the exercise of warrants.
David Evans has increased its stake in Oberon Investments Group (OBE) from 7.61% to 8.15% and Rodger Sargent has a 3.14% shareholding.
EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 536.19p a share at the end of October 2021.
Firering Strategic Minerals (FRG) has a 51% stake in the Atex lithium and coltan project and has the option to increase it. Firering raised £4m at 13p a share and expenses were £516,000. The money raised will finance the £1.55m cost of the exploration spending for Atex for the next two years. There is also potential to generate revenues from tantalum production within 18 months, which will help to finance further development.
The Life Science REIT PrimaryBid offer closes on 15 November, and investors can apply for shares in the intermediaries offer via Interactive Investor and other firms by 16 November. A 4% yield is being targeted, based on the issue price of 100p a share, with annual growth of 5%. Life Science REIT will be the first London-quoted REIT focusing on life science properties. The types of properties will include laboratories, offices and manufacturing facilities and they will be situated in Oxford, Cambridge and London. There is strong demand for these properties from companies and organisations and a lack of supply. It is estimated that up to 20 million square feet of additional office and laboratory space will be required over the next two decades. The target for the offer and placing is up to £300 million.
Parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) continues to make a rapid recovery despite the uncertainties of the past year. Group pre-tax profit improved from £200,000 to £12m with freight’s improvement offsetting the decline in profit in the rest of the group. Net cash was £16.8m at the end of June 2021 and there could be a dividend this year. finnCap maintained its 2021-22 pre-tax profit forecast at £16.5m.
Tracsis (TRCS) has shown the solidity of its rail technology and services revenues and the more volatile data and events business has started to recover. Revenues edged up from £48m to £50.2m, with most of the growth coming from acquisitions. Rail technology revenues grew, but the data and events division reported a small decline. According to finnCap, adjusted pre-tax profit improved from £8.3m to £10.9m. Since the end of July, Tracsis has acquired Dublin-based Icon Group, which made a pre-tax profit of £800,000 in 2020, and this will be integrated with the similar UK data analysis operations.
Chain and transmission equipment manufacturer Renold (RNO) is managing to pass on higher materials prices and the chain division revenues have recovered. Group interim revenues were 17% ahead at £95.3m, while pre-tax profit was 52% higher at £5m. Order intake was 55% higher at £113m. Net debt is £13.9m. Forecast full year earnings are 3.2p a share.
Media localisation and post-production services provider Zoo Digital (ZOO) is growing revenues on the back of the international expansion of streaming platforms and broadening the range of services that it offers. New production projects are starting to ramp up and that provides further growth opportunities. Interim revenues jumped from $16.4m to $26.9m and there was a small operating profit.
Insolvency litigation financer Manolete Partners (MANO) continued to generate cash before investment in new cases during the six months to September 2021. Revenues were lower than the first half of 2019-20 when there was a large case settlement, but they were higher than the second half. Interim profit fell and that is why the interim dividend has been reduced from 1.17p a share to 0.39p a share. New case enquiries are rising.
Maestrano (MNO) has won a new contract for surveying an electricity transmission line in Australia. The 700km line goes from Wagga Wagga to the South Australian and the contract runs between 2022 and 2025. This shows there is demand for the surveying technology outside of the rail sector.
Property investor Town Centre Securities (TOWN) says that the latest valuation shows a 0.3% increase over the June 2020 valuation. Since then, a London property has been sold for £3.85m, which is 6% above the 2020 valuation. Rent collections are back to pre-pandemic levels. The full year results will be published on 24 November.
Cookware supplier Procook (PROC) joined the premium list at a valuation of £158m at the placing price of 145p a share. Procook ended the week at 159.75p.