Brewer Adnams (ADB) improved its 2015 profit on flat turnover of £65.7m. Costs were reduced and pre-tax profit improved from £3.89m to £4.07m, after a steady contribution of £625,000 from property disposals. A £7m investment will help to improve the brewery. The Suffolk-based company has reduced its pension liability from £11.5m to £3.2m and that has helped NAV jump from £21.2m to £30.1m. The B share dividend has been increased from 136p a share to 144p a share. There were a number of trades last week at prices ranging from 9,800p to 10,200p a share. In total, 189 shares were traded.
Employee-owned business finance provider Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has raised £1.15m from a share subscription at59p each. This will provide cash for further investments. The directors’ bought 338,983 shares. Offshoots of Alliance Trust have taken stakes that total 10.5% of the company. The most recent share transaction was done at 63p a share. At 60.5p a share, Capital for Colleagues is valued at £5.8m.
Imperial Minerals (IMPP) is still looking for a suitable acquisition in the resources sector. There are plans to widen the investment policy. The main investment is nearly 69 million shares in AIM-quoted North River Resources and there is also an option to invest in a South American gold project and a loan of $150,000 was made to Symerton Holdings which currently owns the rights. A lack of progress means that this investment has been written down. Cash and financial assets have fallen from £327,000 to £58,000 over six months but Imperial has raised £50,000 at 0.5p a share since then.
Transport optimisation services and software provider Tracsis (TRCS) made good progress in the first half of its financial year but it will do much better in the second half. Higher contributions from acquisitions Ontrac and SEP, which is second half weighted, underpin the full year expectations. In the six months to January 2016, revenues increased 19% to £14.3m, organic growth was 7%, with adjusted pre-tax profit flat at £3.2m, excluding the Australian business sold in the period. Sales of remote condition monitoring equipment remain flat because of a lack of demand from framework agreements. There is potential in the US but this will not contribute significantly in the short-term. The interim dividend was raised by one-quarter to 0.5p a share but that will not put much of a dent in the cash pile of £8m. That cash figure was reduced due to acquisition spending. Full year profit is expected to rise from £5.6m to £6.8m.
Medical technology and treatments developer Hutchison China Meditech Ltd (HCM) as raised $101m from an offering of ADSs ahead of its listing on Nasdaq. An ADS is the equivalent of one-half of one ordinary share and they were issued at $13.50 each. Trading commenced on 17 March. The Hutchison Healthcare Holdings stake has been diluted to 60.8%.
Bilby (BILB) has made two add-on acquisitions for its gas and building services business for social housing and local authorities. DCB, which will cost up to £4m, provides refurbishment, maintenance and disabled adaptation services in south east England. Spokemead Maintenance provides electrical and repair services and will cost up to £8.7m. A placing raised £5m at 118p a share.
Despite the problems of its foreign exchange activities, Earthport (EPO) managed to make progress with its core payments business, where transaction volumes were more than 70% higher. Higher admin expenses meant that the underlying interim operating loss rose from £2.26m to £6.68m as revenues rose from £9m to £10.6m. Non-core operations have been curtailed and the core growth is faster. However, since then a loss of up to £5m has been identified at forex firm Baydonhill. Earthport intends to focus on lower risk business in this area. There was £24.2m in the bank at the end of 2015.
Keywords Studios (KWS) has acquired the support division of French games producer Ankama SAS. This is effectively a four year outsourcing deal with Keywords taking over the Philippines operations, which will be expanded by adding additional clients. The 2015 figures will be published on 5 April.
Human biome related treatments developer OptioBiotix (OPTI) has signed a second contract for its SweetBiotix healthy sugars with the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid. The first programme started last September is designed to create low calorie sugars using bacterial strains and the second will incorporate natural sweeteners to create functional food products. Obesity is a major problem and the proposed sugar tax will help to boost demand for healthier sweeteners. Figures for the year to November 2015 will be published on 14 April.
Avation (AVAP) has announced the delivery of the fourth FLYBE ATR72 aircraft. The passenger aircraft leasing company has leased the plane for six years with an option to extend. Last month, a new Airbus A321-200 was delivered to Thomas Cook on a 12 year lease. Earlier in March, Avation bought 1.1 million units of Avation Capital 7.5% guaranteed notes 2020 at 91p each, while executive director Roderick Mahoney acquired 200,000 units at 91p each.