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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 3 December 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

European Lithium (EUR) joined NEX on 26 November. European Lithium is the 100% owner of the Woflsberg lithium project in Austria and it is already quoted on the ASX. The plan is to produce battery grade lithium hydroxide for the European market. Capex of $390m is required for the project. WH Ireland estimates the NPV at $223m.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has confirmed its move to AIM in the middle of December. The cyber security systems developer plans to raise up to £2.25m.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) raised £125,000 at 1p a share. This will finance product development. Wheelsure has established a project with Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) and the University of Manchester. This will develop a product combining graphene with Wheelsure’s failsafe locking system.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has completed the acquisition of the Mecca bingo hall in Chesterfield for £4m. The property has a ten year lease and generates annual rent of £388,000. Ace has issued 147,070 shares at 100p each covering the conversion of convertible loan notes and payment of related interest.

Sandal (SAND) says that it needs more to cash in order to fully exploit the potential for Energenie MiHome products. Revenues in the first five months of the new financial year are higher than in the same period last year, even though there was a stock overhang at one Energenie MiHome customer.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) is relinquishing two licences in order to focus on its three main projects. They are the tailings project in Avoca, Wicklow, the north Wexford gold project and the zinc project in County Clare. There was €212,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) has launched the Beta version of its CEDEX blockchain diamond exchange.

Barkby Group (BARK) has taken on a ten-year lease for The George at Burpham in Sussex.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has purchased 27 million shares in Greatland Gold (GGP) at an average price of 1.67p a share. The investment totalled £450,000. This is on the back of positive drilling results. At the Havieron gold/copper project in Western Australia.

Dana Group International Investments (DANA) reduced its underlying loss in the year to June 2018 and it ended the period with a NAV of 21 cents a share. There was a sharp decrease in NAV due to the write-down in the value of investments.

Imperial Minerals (IMPP) is still seeking a resources acquisition. There was £20,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018 and subsequently a further £50,000 was raised by a convertible issue.

AIM   

Active Energy Group (AEG) has raised nearly £1.5m at 1p a share and there is one warrant with every four new shares. The warrant is exercisable at 1.75p a share over a 12 month period. Creditors have been issued 15.5 million shares for the money they are owed. The cash will be used to finance the plans for a CoalSwitch plant with its joint venture partner and the working capital for the newly awarded cutting permits in Newfoundland.

Financial services provider STM Group (STM) expects a significant release from the London and Colonial Assurance of at least £500,000 before the year end. Last year, the release was £1.3m. There have also been one-off costs, but overall pre-tax profit should be in line with expectations.

Kropz (KRPZ) began trading on AIM on Friday. The share price ended the day at a 3.5p premium to the 40p placing price. The plant nutrient producer raised £27.3m to finance the Elandsfontein phosphate project.

Inland Homes (INL) has a land bank of 7,000 plots and 1,700 of them have planning consent with a further 2,000 in the planning pipeline. The sale of 386 plots in Buckinghamshire has generated a management fee of more than £7m. There should be 80 houses completed in the first half. The Rosewood Housing business has obtained approval to become a provider of affordable housing.

Argentina-focused oil and gas producer and explorer President Energy (PPC) has completed the acquisition of additional assets. Incremental production will start in December. Drilling of the third well at the Puesto Flores field has started.

Gift wrap supplier IG Design Group (IGR) has grown in the first half via a combination of acquisition and organic growth. The interim figures have led Progressive Equity Research to raise its 2018-19 earnings forecast from 25.9p a share to 27p a share.

Babestation broadcaster Cellcast (CLTV) says that revenues are declining and this is likely to continue. There is £700,000 in the bank and management is trying to collect money owed in Kenya.

IDOX (IDOX) says that full year revenues, excluding the former digital division, fell from £73.5m to £67.2m. The information management software provider generated adjusted EBITDA of £14.4m, down from £16.7m. Annualised recurring revenues are running at £32.4m. The annual results will be published in February.

Safestay (SSTY) is raising up to £11m via a placing and one-for-12 open offer at 34p a share. This cash will finance the conversion and refinancing of two hostels as well as investment in other existing sites and acquiring new ones.

Faroe Petroleum (FPM) has rebuffed a bid approach by DNO. Faroe says that the 152p a share cash offer, which values the oil and gas company at £607.9m, undervalues the business and its prospects. DNO already owns a 28.2% stake in Faroe.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has been paid around $300,000 in shares for providing its uranium database to enCore Energy Corp. The shares have to be retained for four months.

Timber merchant James Latham (LTHM) reported a 10% increase in interim revenues, while underlying pre-tax profit was £7.6m, prior to a £1.1m gain on the sale of the Yate site. The order book is strong, but it is more difficult to pass on price rises. There is £12.9m in the bank.

Maistro (MAIS) has launched a one-for-7.28423264 open offer at 1p a share. That could raise up to £250,000, which could take the total raised to £2.2m.

TLA Worldwide (TLA) is planning to sell its US operations to major shareholder Gatemore and may also sell its Australian activities. This may raise enough to pay off debt and leave a small amount of cash in TLA.

Gaming demand continues to be strong for security technology provider Synectics (SNX) but UK bus demand means that the full year profit forecast has been cut from £3m to £2.8m. The £4m profit forecast for the following year has been maintained.

The optimism about the Wressle oil project proved false and the planning permission was not approved as had been recommended. The original application was refused two years ago and an appeal is planned. Operator Egdon Resources (EDR) owns a 30% interest in Wressle, Europa Oil and Gas (EOG) has a 30% interest and Union Jack Oil (UJO) has a 27.5% interest. Humber Oil and Gas owns the other 12.5%.

Altona Energy (ANR) has temporarily suspended its activities at the Westfield Tenement in Australia. Management believes that other coal deposits may be more suitable for its pyrolysis technology.

Realm Therapeutics (RLM) has selected a shortlist of potential transactions, including a potential sale of the company. Further news will be published in the first quarter of 2019.

Fishing Republic (FISH) is still trying to raise additional funds for the business and it is also assessing options for selling the business.

Webis (WEB) improved its pre-tax profit from $5,000 to $103,000 in the 12 months to May 2018 and this is before any benefit from legalised online sports betting in the US.

MAIN MARKET  

Bioquell (BQE) is recommending a 590p a share cash bid from US-based Ecolab. That values the bio-decontamination business at £140.5m. The bid is nearly four times the level of the share price three years ago.

Standard list shell Hertsford Capital (HERT) has raised £3mat 10p a share. The technology-focused investment company has £2.8m in cash after costs. The share price ended the week at 11.75p.

Interim revenues declined from £666,000 to £498,000 at Associated British Engineering (ASBE) although the loss fell from £377,000 to £342,000 due to an improved performance at British Polar Engines as annual cost savings of £150,000 start to show through. There is around £1m of cash and available for sale financial assets, which is similar to the NAV.

PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) has received the final payment of €14.3m in settlement of claims against a customer.

Flavour and fragrance ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) increased its revenues by 11% to £112.2m in the year to September 2018. Pre-tax profit improved from £11.7m to £12.6m. US capital investment should be completed next year.

Vertically integrated gemstone explorer Shefa Yamim (SEFA) is set to begin trial mining early next year. The latest exploration results have increased the volumes of mineralised placer gravels at three target sites from 1.1 million tonnes to five million tonnes.

Cardiff Property (CDFF) increased its net assets from 2126p a share to 2178p a share at the end of September 2018. The property investor has no debt and there is cash and financial assets of £5.8m. The dividend has been increased from 15.5p a share to 16.6p a share.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 1 October 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) managed to edge up its profit despite flat turnover of £156.6m in the year to June 2018. Underlying pre-tax profit was 5% ahead at £11.8m. The total dividend is 3% higher at 29.2p a share. Growth came from the managed pubs but there was a decline in the brewing operations because of the loss of the Asahi contract. Own brand volumes were 0.9% lower, but the division improved its profit contribution. Volumes will continue to fall as third party business is further reduced. The current year has started well.

Chapel Down (CDGP) is opening a bar, restaurant and ginnery called the Chapel Down Gin Works in the Kings Cross area. The wines and beers maker reported a 15% rise in interim revenues to £5.72m. The majority of the growth in revenues came from the wine business and demand continues to exceed supply. The overall loss rose because of the much higher loss from the brewing business. Group profit is second half weighted.

V22 (V22) slipped into loss in the first half of 2018 as the NAV declined from 3.94p a share to 3.88p a share. If the art portfolio is revalued the NAV has increased from 7.47p a share to 8.29p a share.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) generated revenues of £1.33m in the six months to June 2018. There was a reported pre-tax profit of £554,000, after an impairment charge of £216,000. There was £65,000 of cash generated in the period. The blockchain consultancy and investment company obtained most of its revenues from token sales advisory business.

KR1 (KR1) made a loss of £7.36m in the six months to June 2018. That loss was due to unrealised losses on the carrying value of digital currencies and other investments because of the decline in prices during the period.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased its annul revenues by one-third to £3.52m, but pre-tax profit declined from £1.12m to £214,000. That was due to a lack of disposal gains and higher interest costs. Ace has acquired the Mecca Bingo Hall in Chesterfield for £3.999m and this generates an annual rent of £301,000.

A €5.34m gain on the acquisition of an investment property helped Black Sea Property (BSP) swing from a loss to a pre-tax profit of €5.11m. The NAV increased from 0.76 cents a share to 1.16 cents a share.

Health staff provider Healthperm Resources Ltd (HPR) nearly trebled its interim revenues to £297,000 as the number of candidates deployed jumped from 50 to 144. There are 158 people enrolled in the Middle East language training centre.

BWA (BWAP) continues to seek a reverse takeover candidate and its two investments are making progress. Prepaid cards provider Prepaid Global Services is making slower than expected progress but continues to plan to gain a quotation. BWA has applied for licences in Cameroon on behalf of investee company Mineralfields. BWA had £76,000 in the bank at the end of April 2018, while shareholder funds increased from £570,000 to £764,000.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) has appointed Igor Zjali as chief investment officer and Kirk Kashefi as a non-executive director. Nigel Quinton becomes permanent finance director. The £100,000 loan from Quanta Capital has been converted into 100 million shares. There was £56,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. Investee company Civilised Bank has resubmitted its application for authorisation to the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) engaged Bishop and Sewell to investigate transactions undertaken by former boss Baron Bloom. He failed to report that he received £6,230 of rent due to Etaireia from a tenant of the Ivy Leaf Club property. Bloom is owed outstanding salary and expenses, so no action is being taken by the company. Greg Collier has stepped down as a non-executive director.

Healthcare IT supplier DXS International (DXSP) swung from profit to loss in the year to April 2018, partly due to the interest charge. Revenues dipped from £3.43m to £3.41m. Investment in new products should help to build revenues.

Western Selection (WESP) increased its NAV from 95p to 96p. Improvements in the value of the stakes in Northbridge Industrial Services and Bilby, offset the reduction in the Swallowfield investment valuation.  The total dividend has been increased from 2.2p a share to 2.25p a share. The shares are trading at a discount to NAV of around one-third.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) increased its interim revenues by 37% to £544,000 and the loss was reduced from £1.24m to £824,000. There was £1.75m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

The NAV of EPE Special Opportunities (EL.P) fell by 19% to 190.2p a share over the six months to July 2018, due to a halving of the value of the investment in Luceco, where, in August, EPE invested a further £2m.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) reported flat interim revenues of $3.91m, but the loss increased from $331,000 to $527,000. The revenues were generated from Thailand and Africa. The Honduras operation has been delayed but should be up and running by the end of the year.

Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £140,000 from a debenture stock issue.

Interim revenues declined from HK$7.22m to HK$5.27m at MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) and there was a significantly higher loss of HK$24.8m. The cash position was HK$7.65m at the end of June 2018. The traditional Chinese medicines supplier was hit by lower wholesale orders. Discussions continue with additional distributors.

AIM    

Parasite control products developer TyraTech Inc (TYRU) has signed a conditional merger agreement with American Vanguard Corporation, which involves an offer to the other TyraTech shareholders of 3.15p a share. TyraTech needs cash to grow and 34.4% shareholder American Vanguard is in a stronger position to obtain the finance. TyraTech had cash of $3.7m at the end of June 2018.

Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) is still losing money but the electrical and oil and gas tools markets are showing signs of improvement. A full year loss of £2m is still expected but the group could reach breakeven next year. Northbridge has the cash to invest in additional rental equipment.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) reported a lower interim loss and it had net cash of $2m at the end of June 2018. Drilling of the first well on the company’s Paradox Basin acreage in Utah should start before the end of the year. A recent report suggested that there could be 13mmboe of 2C resource. There has been successful exploration in the area and it already has the appropriate infrastructure. If the appraisal well is a success that should provide a strong background for a further fundraising.

Keystone Law (KEYS) grew interim revenues by 30% to £19.9m thanks to strong recruitment of new lawyers. This progress means that Keystone is on target to improve full year pre-tax profit from £2.9m to £4.4m and a total dividend of 7.5p a share is expected.

NWF (NWF) says the warm summer has hit demand for heating oil and there has been increased competition in fuels. There has been increased demand for feed and the food distribution business is trading in line with expectations.

Health monitoring equipment supplier Deltex Medical (DEMG) is adapting its strategy in order to grow revenues and generate cash from existing customers. Costs are also being reduced. Probe revenues fell in the first half of 2018 due to delayed orders in the US and France. Overall, interim revenues fell from £2.88m to £2.33m, but the operating loss was only slightly higher at £1.14m. There is just over £1m in the bank.

Fishing Republic (FISH) has appointed Daniel Quinn as chief executive. He has previously worked at Go Outdoors and Tesco. That could point to a broadening of the range of products that will be sold by the fishing tackle retailer. Interim revenues fell from £4.1m to £3.4m, while the loss was £2.5m, which includes stock write downs and other one-off costs. Five outlets have been closed.

Trinity Exploration (TRIN) increased its oil and gas production in the first half and also achieved higher prices. The Trinidad-focused oil and gas producer increased interim revenues by 49% to $30.1m and generated $5m of cash from operating activities. There was net cash of $19m at the end of June 2018.

Gama Aviation (GMAA) increased interim revenues by 3% to $104.6m, with a lower contribution from the ground maintenance activities offset by higher revenues from the air services operations. A better second half should enable Gama to increase its full year pre-tax profit from $17.1m to $19.9m.

Oil and gas producer and explorer Cabot Energy (CAB) increased its interim revenues from $1.8m to $7.5m thanks to higher production in Canada, where Cabot took full control earlier this year. Even so, there was still a $4.2m first half loss, mainly due to exceptional costs, following the installing of a new management team. Management is in talks with potential farm-in partners for some of its Italian assets. That would enable Cabot to focus its investment in Canada. There was $6.2m in the bank at the end of June 2018, although some of that cash could be needed to complete the purchase of an Italian producing asset.

Immupharma (IMM) had £9m in the bank at the end of June 2018. The group is collaborating with Icanthera, which will in-licence the Nucant cancer programme, which has completed two phase 1 trials. Immupharma is also seeking to divest its subsidiary Ureka, while retaining an interest in the potential of the operations. Even though the results of the Lupuzor phase III trial were disappointing, a deal has been signed for Lupuzor to be provided via a Managed Access Programme. An open label extension study for Lupuzor will report by next summer.

Park Group (PKG) says that it has grown its cash balances and both the consumer and corporate businesses are trading well. Park is on course for a full year profit of £13.6m.

Active Energy (AEG) reported a higher interim loss. This was a period when $1.32m was spent on the development of the CoalSwitch plant. Along with its partner, Active has submitted an EU grant application for the SuperFuel coal slurry recovery technology and a decision should be made before the end of the year. There is also optimism about gaining a Crown Timber Licence for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Destiny Pharma (DEST) still has cash of £15.1m even though costs were increased in the first half. Investment in trials means that cash could fall to £10m by the end of the year. The phase I safety study for the use of XF-73 to prevent surgical infections should be completed by the end of this year and a phase IIb trial could commence early next year. A second formulation of XF-73 is being developed for dermal infections and diabetic foot ulcers in particular.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH) plans to sell its US subsidiary, which it acquired in 2015 when it gained its Nasdaq listing. Midatech will receive an initial $13m for the cancer care products supplier. The cash will be used for the research and development operations and paying off the loan from MidCap.

Bosch has invested £9m in fuel cell technology developer Ceres Power Holdings (CWR) in return for a 4.4% stake. Weichai Power will invest a further £1m to maintain its 10% stake.

There was a 17% fall in gold processed by Goldplat (GDP) in the year to June 2018, but sales only dipped from 40,285 ounces to 39,400 ounces. Revenues increased by 7% to £33.8m. The Kilimapesa gold mine continues to disappoint and lose money. A lower contribution from the Ghana processing operations and a bad debt were the main reasons behind the fall in pre-tax profit from £2.84m to £1.79m. Goldplat is seeking other mine investments, not necessarily in Africa. There was £1.54m in the bank.

Veltyco (VLTY) has managed to reduce its receivables but the were still €12.6m at the end of June 2018. Revenues for the previous six months were €8.9m. Net cash was €1m. Veltyco will launch its own financial trading brand in the fourth quarter.

Stride Gaming (STR) continues to be hit by the stagnation of the online bingo market but the decline in pre-tax profit is set to be in line with expectations. In the year to August 2019, pre-tax profit is expected to fall further from £14.2m to £13.8m. There will be a £4m provision for the recent fine from the UK gambling authorities.

Strategic Minerals (SML) reported a jump in interim pre-tax profit from $158,000 to $2.69m, but this did not come through in cash during the period. That is because £2.46m of the profit came from a gain based on the payment for the Leigh Creek copper mine below its asset value.

MAIN MARKET

Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) is moving towards the point where it can submit an IND application to the FDA for CDX antibodies. There is initial data that CDX antibodies can attack and eliminate Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in vitro. Hemogenyx already has an agreement with a global pharma company for this technology. Northland has been appointed as broker.

World Trade Systems (WTS) reported a drop in interim revenues from £10.1m to £6.3m and it has fallen into loss. Trading has been tough for the health food subsidiary. This is set to continue. Trading in the shares has been suspended for more than a decade and the board says that is working towards a resumption of trading on the premium segment of the Main Market.

WideCells Group (WDC) has gained financing of up to £2.7m from the European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund. The facility is convertible into shares and has warrants attached. The cash will be invested in the stem cell storage and insurance operations. The BabyCells stem cell storage service has been launched. Group revenues remain modest and WideCells made an interim loss of more than £2m. There was £1.73m in the bank at the end of June, offset by debt of £1.17m.

Investment company London Financial and Investment Group (LFI) has maintained its NAV at 65.4p a share, despite a decline in value of its stake in Finsbury Food (FIF), and the total dividend has been edged up to 1.15p a share. The share price is 42.5p.

Standard list shell Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) still had £1.4m in the bank at the end of June 2018 following its decision to change its strategy from telecoms to blockchain acquisitions. Management is analysing potential acquisitions.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 25 June 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Shareholders have agreed to the proposed broadening of investing policy for Sativa Investments (SATI) and the first acquisition under the new policy is George Botanicals. Sativa paid £415,000 in cash and shares for the UK-based wholesaler and distributor of cannaboid medicinal products, including CBD oil. The company is being acquired from the interests of Sativa chief executive Geremy Thomas.

Gas and electricity supplier Good Energy (GOOD) says that this year’s results will be weighted towards the first half because of the cold weather earlier in 2018. There will also be increased investment in the sales team and a digital app in the second half. Good supplies more than 70,000 homes and less than 1% of the business market.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) nearly doubled its revenues to $8.2m in 2017. There is $257,000 in the bank.

Pelican House Mining (PHM) has bought a 15% stake Mighty Oak Explorations, which has three licences to explore for cobalt and two to explore for lithium in Uganda.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says the commissioning of plant for the Hellyer project is on course for August. The mine is a few months away from production.

Block Commodities (BLOC) has raised £165,000 at 0.035p a share. The cash will help to finance the launch of a pilot blockchain project in Uganda.

AIM   

Alliance Pharma (APH) is acquiring the marketing rights to Nizoral, an anti-dandruff shampoo brand in Asia Pacific, for £60m. Alliance raised £34m at 91p a share. The rights being acquired, which cover 15 countries, generated net sales of £18.5m in 2017. They would have generated pro forma EBITDA of £7.1m.

Shoe retailer Footasylum (FOOT) has followed up the announcement of its exit from the FTSE AIM 100 index with a set of results that mean it is likely to be a long time before it gets back in the AIM 100. Peel Hunt has reduced its 2018-19 pre-tax profit forecast by one-quarter to £5.3m. Footasylum has been hit by discounting and the weak consumer market. Rental costs are higher than expected.

Social housing software and services provider Castleton Technology (CTP) continues to grow sales to new and existing customers. Two-fifths of customers take more than one product. Full year revenues were 15% ahead at £23.3m with organic growth of 13%. Net debt was 30% lower at £6.3m. There is a contracted backlog of £26.8m.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has taken a 24% stake in Cambridge Material Testing, which is developing software and hardware to measure material characteristics of metal components. The non-destructive tests are quick and require small samples.

Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) has raised £2.5m at 125p a share. Northbridge will use £1.05m to pay the deferred consideration for the Tasman acquisition. This was originally due in January 2016 and has been incurring an annual interest charge of 8%. The rest of the cash will be invested in rental equipment as demand recovers. Gearing will fall below 20%

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has published a maiden contingent resource for its interests in the Paradox Basin, Utah. The competent persons report shows a net 2C contingent resources of 12.3mmboe with gas accounting for nearly one-quarter of that resource. A post-tax NPV of $86.9m has been estimated. This assumes a 75% success rate for wells drilled and a recovery of up to 550,000 barrels per well. Each horizontal well is expected to cost $7m. These estimates are based on less than one-quarter of Rose’s acreage.

Myanmar-focused social media platform operator MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) is acquiring MyPay Myanmar for £1m in cash and 72.5 million shares issued at 1.38p each. An issue of unsecured convertible bonds has raised £2.22m. Bid talks have been terminated.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) has extended its credit facility for a further year. The $15m facility lasts until November 2022. The existing oil and gas assets in Trinidad are generating cash and this is also helping to fund the drilling of 12 wells this year. Next year, an exploration well will be drilled on the Ortoire block.

Michael Rowan is switching from chairman to chief executive at Active Energy Group (AEG) and the previous chief executive will focus on developing the forest management operations in North America and CoalSwitch in Poland.

Trading in the shares of URA Holdings (URA) has been suspended because it has not completed a reverse takeover. URA has signed heads of agreement to acquire Entertainment AI Ltd, which has developed tagging technology that enables viewers of video clips to purchase items in the video. It also owns the GTChannel, which runs automotive-related channels across YouTube generating revenues from advertising.

Project management services provider Progility (PGY) plans to cancel its AIM quotation. Praxis, which owns 64.75% of the company is backing the move. There is total support from shareholders owning more than 81% of the company so the cancellation is a foregone conclusion. Praxis is offering 55p a share for shares it does not own.

N4 Pharma (N4P) is making good progress with its therapeutic nanoparticle platform Nuvec. There should be results from studies in he fourth quarter. N4 is conducting studies to identify human cell types that are most responsive to Nuvec. The Sildenafil MR Viagra reformulation commenced a proof-of-concept trial in April and the results are expected in August.

Uvenco UK (UVEN) continues to hold discussions with its main creditor following the placing of its vending machine subsidiaries in administration. Those assets were sold for £1.8m and Uvenco is left with net debt of £1.6m.

Industrial equipment distributor Slingsby (HC) (SLNG) says that a stronger April and May means that sales are 1%lower in the first five months of the year. Compared to a 6% shortfall in the first quarter. Pre-tax profit is also slightly lower. Net debt was £1.4m at the end of May 2018.

Duke Royalty Ltd (DUKE) has increased its interim dividend by 17% to 0.7p a share. The dividend will be paid on 12 July.

RA International Group Ltd provides services to remote locations and it wants to raise £18.8m when it joins AIM. In 2017, RA generated revenues of $53.3m and profit of $13.7m, up from $5m the previous year.

MAIN MARKET    

Oil and gas explorer Upland Resources Ltd (UPL) has completed a placing raising £3m at 2.5p a share. The cash will help to fund the drilling of a well at Wick in the UK and finance potential ventures in Sarawak and North Africa.

Beauty and personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) continues to find trading tough and it will report a full year pre-tax profit that is £650,000 lower than expected. Revenues will increase from £8.9m to £11m. finnCap had forecast a 2017-18 pre-tax profit of £2.4m on revenues of £13.8m following the 2016-17 full year figures. Last October, InnovaDerma raised £4.4m at 276p a share and that has helped to shore up the balance sheet.

Stewart and Wright (STE) is offering to buy 21.5% of its share capital at 590p a share as part of the cancellation of its listing. That is a 7% discount to NAV. There has been one trade in the shares so far this year. The property investor has been hit by the downturn in the high street.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) is trying to raise $40m and prior to that there will be a ten-for-one share consolidation. The cash will finance the acquisition of Minto Explorations from Capstone Mining, which will cost $37.5m in cash plus shares that would give Capstone 9.9% of Pembridge. Minto is a copper producer in the Yukon. The deal could be completed by the end of July.

Tom Charlton has increased his stake in North Midland Construction (NMD) from 8.4% to 9.4%.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 18 June 2018

Small cap award winners 2018

Company of the year

ZOO Digital (ZOO)

The ZOO Digital share price is ten times the level it was one year ago. ZOO localises film and television content and it has been investing in upgrading its technology and services over the past few years. This investment is paying off and the ability to offer cloud-based services is helping the business to grow and move into profit. Hollywood studios have been customers for many years and ZOO is winning market share. Newer entrants to the market such as Netflix have grown the demand for localisation of content. ZOO is expected to report an underlying pre-tax profit of £500,000 for the year to March 2018.

NEX company of the year

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS)

Cyber security technology developer Crossword Cybersecurity originally floated on GXG and then switched to NEX. It was one of the youngest companies that was on the shortlist for this award. Crossword is generating modest revenues and it is developing cyber security products with partners. The real potential for the business will not be realised for a few years.

Impact company of the year

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR)

Walls & Futures REIT is an ethical housing REIT that develops new housing for people with learning and physical disabilities or requiring extra care. In 2017, Walls and Futures achieved a total return on its portfolio of 11.5%, ahead of its benchmark total return of 7%.

IPO of the year

K3 Capital (K3C)

Business sales and corporate finance company K3 Capital Group joined AIM at 95p a share in April 2017 and the share price has more than trebled. Bolton-based K3 helps owners to sell their businesses and it gains clients through a direct marketing strategy. The AIM quotation and the related higher profile appears to have helped to accelerate growth. A move up the Thomson Reuters deal rankings is also helping. Last year, revenues rose by 26% to £10.8m, while pre-tax profit improved 18% to £3.6m.  In the six months to November 2017, revenues were 34% ahead at £7.5m and pre-tax profit moved from £2.48m to £3.21m.

 

Fintech company of the year

FAIRFX Group (FFX)

Foreign exchange and e-banking services provider FAIRFX has a low cost model while offering an improved experience to the more established rivals. Turnover was £1.1bn last year, while revenues were £15.5m and this enable the company to move into profit. Corporate turnover was 52.3% of the total, up from 45.5%. The company recently moved its international payments book onto the City Forex platform following its acquisition. The focus is increasing scale to improve efficiency combined with the rolling out of new products.

Transaction of the year

Proactis (PHD) – merger with Perfect Commerce

Spend control software provider Proactis merged with Perfect Commerce in August 2017. The deal significantly increased the scope of the business and added to the management team. The integration of the businesses appears to be going well but the loss of a couple of large customers has held back progress in the year to July 2018. Even so, annualised contracted revenues are still £45.5m. Progressive Equity Research still expects a near-doubling of this year’s pre-tax profit to £10.2m, rising to £13.2m next year. That means that earnings per share growth is modest this year because of the additional shares in issue.

Executive director of the year

Bobby Kalar – Yu Group (YU.)

Electricity and gas supplier Yu Group floated on AIM in March 2016 at 185p a share. The current share price is more than four times that level. The focus is on commercial customers. Yu increased its revenues from £16.3m to £47m last year and annualised bookings continue to grow. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £195,000 to £3.08m. The dividend was increased from 2.25p to 3p a share. Trading continues to be strong and average annualised bookings per month were £6.6m. The cash pile has increased to £18.6m at the end of April 2018. Yu has obtained a licence to supply water.

Journalist of the year

Paul Scott – Stockopedia

Fund manager of the year

Nick Williamson – Old Mutual

Microcap fund manager of the year

Guy Feld – Canaccord Genuity

Analyst of the year

Kevin Ashton – Cantor Fitzgerald

Lifetime achievement award

Katie Potts – Herald Investment Management

Special services to small caps

John Jenkins (Founder of Ofex/NEX)

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NEX EXCHANGE   

Daniel Thwaites (THW) increased its 2017-18 by 9% to £92.2m, while operating profit improved by 7% to £12.9m. There was a 79% increase in earnings per share to 13.8p, mainly due to a swing from a loss on interest swaps to a profit.  The total dividend is unchanged at 4.46p a share. Investment in the pubs and hotels operations and in the new craft brewery at Mellor Brook has led to a rise in net debt from £47.6m to £63.7m. The old brewery will be demolished and the land will eventually be sold or developed. Poor weather means that the new financial year has started more slowly than last year.

Hellenic Capital has changed its name to Pelican House Mining (PHM) and is focusing on investing in early-stage resources projects in Africa. The focus is making capital gains on the investments. Pelican is trying to supplement its cash resources by selling a commercial property in Leeds, but the buyer withdrew. Pelican has retained the deposit. The investment property in Leeds is in the books at £204,000. Two directors, Simon Grant-Rennick and Mark Jackson, have been granted options over a total of seven million shares exercisable at 0.55p each.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that its conference and events division is 22% ahead of the same time last year and the revenues of the hotel have risen by the same percentage. There has been a 17% rise in revenues for the nursery business on the back of occupancy rates rising by six percentage points. There are longer-term worries about the financial ability of bookies to provide sponsorship and other revenues. Management says it will not be paying any dividends until 2022 at the earliest after the current development projects are completed.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has raised £303,000 at 0.15p a share and around £119,000 will go towards paying the £119,000 settlement with D-Beta, which provided an equity sharing facility. D-Beta has sold its existing stake. PCG is talking to Cavitation Solutions Ltd about distributing cavitation technology, which deals with oil and other water pollutants, in China. It is also talking to ChainZy about distributing its blockchain-based technology in Asia. There is interest from third parties concerning the use of PCG’s media and gambling licences in China.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) has raised £250,000 at 0.7p a share and the cash will be used to develop the company’s three main gold and zinc projects.

South Africa-focused investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has made a second investment in Uganda-based Four-One Financial Services, which manages the Mazima micro-pension scheme. This is the second tranche of the original investment and is in the form of a $100,000 convertible loan.

AIM   

NWF (NWF) says that last year’s trading was much better than expected and net debt is lower than forecast. The feeds business improved its performance and trading of the fuels division was strong. The food distribution operations wee hit by reorganisation requirements and did not perform as well as expected.

Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) has got another large deal on the blocks and trading in the shares has been suspended. The Appalachian Basin oil and gas producing assets will be acquired for $575m and it will more than double the group’s daily production. This should be an earnings enhancing deal. A $225m share placing is required to help finance the deal.

RedstoneConnect (REDS) chief executive Mark Braund intends to leave the smart buildings technology company. Frank Beechinor will move from chairman to chief executive. The disposal of the systems integration and managed services divisions has been completed and the group can focus on its software business.

Ilika (IKA) has gained government funding of £4.1m for two battery technology projects in the automotive sector. The PowerDriveLine project is developing a solid state battery for hybrid and electric vehicles. The other project is headed by McLaren Automotive and is developing a battery for performance cars.

Secure payment products provider Eckoh (ECK) increased its full year revenues by 3% to £30m but pre-tax profit was 61% higher at £2.4m thanks to an improvement in operating margin. Growth in the US made up for a weaker contribution in the UK.

Redhall Group (RHL) slumped back into loss in the first half due to a delayed contract. However, it is still on course to make an improved profit in the full year. Interim revenues were 22% lower at £14.7m. There is strong demand for the company’s specialist doors from the nuclear and transport sectors.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) has enough cash to get to the end of 2018. There should be further positive news about the two ongoing clinical trials prior to the end of the year. Interim analysis of phase II trial of SFX-01 as a treatment for breast cancer show that six out of 20 patients, who had tumours that had initially responded to treatment but had become resistant, saw some benefit from the treatment of their tumours. The treatment has also been shown to be safe. The final results of the trial should be published before the end of the year.

Life sciences company Abzena (ABZA) has decided to focus on monetising its technology rather than raising money via a share issue. A non-binding heads of agreement with a third party would involve the sale of an interest in future royalties. If this deal is completed there would be enough working capital for the short-term.

Active Energy Group (AEG) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Young Living Farms for the sale of a PeatSwitch plant, which makes environmentally friendly peat replacements. The first plant is in Mona, Utah and the client is paying $3.4m in cash. There could subsequently be other plants at the client’s other sites.

Trading has resumed in the shares of Audioboom (BOOM) following publication of its accounts. The share price fell from 3.6p to 2.18p. The podcasts publisher has raised £4.5m from a placing at 3p a share.

MAIN MARKET    

WideCells Group (WDC) managed to raise £513,000 at 3p a share via a bookbuild on the Teathers app. That includes £183,000 from directors. The total amount raised by the stem cell services provider is £2.04m, including conversion of debt of £165,000. Shareholder approval is required for the share issue.Trading in the shares has resumed and the share price has fallen below the placing price. WideCells is using £615,000 of its £624,500 overdraft, which will be reviewed at the end of June. Shareholders have loaned £120,000.

China-based Gamfook Jewellery is planning to join the standard list. The online retailer customised jewellery wants to raise £5m in order to invest in retail sites. Gamfook has managed to generate cash from operating activities in the past few years, although next year there will be a significant working capital outflow according to forecasts. Gamfook is offering an 8.5% yield on its potential placing price of 15p a share and that would rise to 12.5% in 2019.

Air Partner (AIR) has completed its accounting review and the net assets overstatement of £4m net of tax is in line with indications. There were accounting errors and subsequent attempts to cover up the problems going back to 2010. The review has cost £1.3m. Air Partner still intends to pay a final dividend of 3.8p a share.

BATM (BVC) has won a $3m follow-on cyber security for a government department. The total contract value will be $7m.

Falcon Media House (FAL) has raised £500,000 via a convertible loan note issue. The conversion price is 1.5p a share.

Cash shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) has raised £250,000 from an oversubscribed open offer at 20p a share but there was a delay of one day before the shares were admitted to trading on 14 June. The share price has slumped from a high of 160p to 24.5p over the past month.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has agreed a 30-year lease on a second property in north west England. Housing association Inclusion Housing is paying £168,740 a year for the lease subject to planning permission for extra rooms. The property needs to be refurbished.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has executed the 50/50 joint venture agreement with Southern Gold for the Kochang mine and the feasibility report is expected before the end of September. The required $500,000 investment has nearly been completed by Bluebird and it is on course to invest the required $250,000 in Southern Gold. First gold is expected before the end of 2019.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 21 May 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) grew 2017 revenues from the nursery, hotel and media operations. There was a 11% increase in raceday attendances, which totalled 196,000 last year, leading to a 1% like-for-like rise in revenues. Overall revenues were 5% higher at £17.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit edged up from £178,000 to £188,000. There was a small cash outflow from operations. Capital investment meant that cash was reduced from £12.9m to £5.2m with more payments to come from the David Wilson Homes deal. A further £5.17m will be spent on upgrading the Pall Mall stand. There are concerns that the cutting of maximum stakes for gaming machines following the recent government announcement could hit bookmaker sponsorship and media rights revenues.

Block Commodities Ltd (BLCC) has a secured a strategic investment from Swarm Fund, which is a decentralised marketplace platform using blockchain. Investors will be able to participate in the FarmCoin asset-backed investment coin via the Swarm platform. FarmCoin is a joint venture between FinComEco and Block Commodities focused on the agriculture sector. There will be up to $45m of FarmCoin tokens issued.

National Milk Records (NMR) is holding a general meeting on 4 June in order to propose a reduction in capital that should put it in a position to have distributable reserves if it wants to pay a dividend.

Pre-IPO investor Primorus Investments (PRIM) had cash of £561,000 at the end of 2017. The NAV was £4.95m. This was after a £3.26m inflow from share issues.

AIM   

Watkin Jones (WJG) has found a new chief executive but he will not be able to start until the beginning of 2018. Richard Simpson is joining from student accommodation developer Unite Group. The build to rent operations of Watkin Jones has secured a development arrangement for a site in Reading, which will have 315 apartments.

GAN (GAN) and Webis (WEB) are two companies that could benefit from the legalisation of online sports betting in the US. The Supreme Court of the United States has decided to overturn the Federal prohibition of sports betting. US sports betting could be worth $6bn by 2023. That covers online and onsite gambling. GAN can launch a sports betting service in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the second half of this year – in time for the NFL season. GAN already has a deal with Betfair in New Jersey and adding sports betting will increase revenues. Webis has a US subsidiary called WatchandWager, which is based in California, a strong potential market for sports betting.

Genedrive (GDR) has agreed to sell its research and pharmacogenomics divisions to a director for up to £1.9m so that it can concentrate on its core Genedrive diagnostics platform. The initial payment is £1.15m with the rest deferred and subject to claims for R and D tax credits.

Lakehouse (LAKE) is acquiring heating and renewables services provider Just Energy Solutions, which fits with the company’s gas compliance businesses in the public sector and expands coverage in the industrial and commercial sectors. There is no upfront cost and payments will be dependent on profitability over two years. Lakehouse has also won a £55m, three year, Warm Homes contract with the Wales government.

Oil and gas demand is recovering at advanced coatings provider Hardide (HDD) but it is still well below previous levels. Other customers are enhancing growth and aerospace business is on the horizon. Interim revenues were 43% higher at £2.16m but the company is still loss-making. That will continue for a couple of years.

Angling Direct (ANG) increased revenues by 44% to £30.2m in the year to January 2018 and this led to an upgrade in forecast revenues for the current year. The fishing tackle retailer grew online sales by 54% but these tend to be lower margin. Pre-tax profit was £900,000 and it is expected to rise to £1.1m this year.

Online women’s fashion retailer Sosander (SOS) says that its full year revenues will be at least £1.34m. Like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter nearly quadrupled and gross margins are improving.

Portmeirion (PMP) has increased revenues by one-fifth in the first four months to 2018, although the second half of the year is always the more significant. Full year profit is still forecast to rise from £8.8m to £9.4m.

Churchill China (CHH) says that trading is ahead of the same period last year. The ceramic products manufacturer continues to have success in Europe and other export markets.

A new patent application has been filed for SkinBiotix by SkinBiotherapeutics (SBTX) and this covers the increasing of filaggrin levels in skin. Filaggrin is required for the formation of the outer layer of skin. Eczema sufferers have a low level of filaggrin.

The People’s Operator (TPOP) is increasing its UK subscribers but US numbers have declined so the performance was down in the first quarter of 2018. Churn is declining. Margins are better than expected. Even so, progress is too slow and an alternative strategy is required by the virtual mobile network business and it is considering divesting the US subscribers. That should cut cash burn by one-third.

A bathing water test by Molendotech, which is one of the investee companies of Frontier IP Group (FIPP), is being launched by Halma. This follows the agreement earlier this year.

Altona Energy (ANR) will begin a drilling programme on the Westfield tenement of the Arckaringa coal project during August. There could be 100mt of coal in the tenement. It will take three weeks to drill 15 holes to a depth of 120 metres.

Active Energy Group (AEG) intends to acquire a controlling interest in PowerWood Canada. Which owns forestry assets in Canada. This will secure feedstock for the roll-out of CoalSwitch, the biomass replacement for coal. There are plans to construct a 25 tonne per hour CoalSwitch plant in Alberta.

Servoca (SVCA) wants shareholders to agree to the cancellation of the AIM quotation. Management says that this will save £150,000 a year.

Volex (VLX) is buying Silcotec Europe for €18.1m and raising £36m at 75p a share. Silcotec supplies harnesses and electronic sub-assemblies to the medical, telecoms and computer industries and generated an operating profit of €3.1m.

Audioboom (BOOM) is not going ahead with the reverse takeover of Triton Digital Canada Inc because it could not raise the cash from a placing. A £700,000 break fee in cash (£90,000) and shares is payable. The audio business still requires more cash and that is why trading in the shares is still suspended.

MAIN MARKET    

Sportech (SPO) has a strong presence in the US so it is in a good position to benefit from the legalisation of sports betting. It already has 90 licenced operator clients and its own network of off-track betting facilities in Connecticut.

The reasons behind founder Laurence Orbach increasing his stake in books publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) to 20.1% have become clear. Orbach was removed from the board in November 2012 but he has joined with 27% shareholder Lion Rock to unseat four non-executive directors at the AGM. Orbach and former finance director Mick Mousley have returned to the board, along with two nominees from Lion Rock. Orbach becomes executive chairman.

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has completed bulk sampling in zone 1 and this should enable a resource estimate to be calculated.

Standard list shell Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has signed heads of terms for a 50% stake in CarCloud, a car sales-based fintech company. The deal to acquire energy storage systems developer Phestor is off. That follows the abortive takeover of Myclubbetting.

S&U (SUS) says non-prime car finance applications are 10% higher this year, although approval rates have fallen. Net receivables have increased by £48m to £258m.

North Midland Construction (NMD) has made a strong start to the year. There is a secured workload of £310m for this year and this should enable an improved financial performance this year.

World Trade Systems (WTS) wants to diversify its business outside of China. A new Taiwan-based health and fitness subsidiary is being incorporated. Kun Xin International will provide a loan facility of up to £3m to finance the new business. European opportunities are being sought.

Blood diseases treatments developer Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) has signed a development agreement with a global pharma company, which will provide Hemogenyx with free technical support and some intellectual property. The pharma company will be granted a research licence for anything jointly developed.

Andrew Hore

Brand CEO Alan Green talks Active Energy #AEG, i3 Energy #I3E & Urals Energy #UEN on VOX Markets podcast

Brand CEO Alan Green talks Active Energy #AEG, i3 Energy #I3E & Urals Energy #UEN with Justin Waite on the VOX Markets podcast. The interview is 20 minutes 30 seconds in.

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 4 December 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

VI Mining is planning to join NEX this month. The Peru-focused miner is acquiring two gold mining assets in tandem with the flotation. VI will raise up to £10m in cash at 500p a share and issue a further £10m worth of shares as part of the initial payment, along with some of the cash, for the two mining assets at Rosario and Minaspampa. VI has debt facilities in place. There is a capital expenditure and working capital commitment of £30m for Minaspampa and the mine could be in operation by next August. Rosario requires £15m of capital spending and working capital and already has licences and infrastructure. Annual gold production of 83,720 ounces from the two mines could yield a $43.5m annual profit based on a $1,300/ounce gold price. That is expected to be the initial production and it could end up quadruple that level. Two tolling projects could also generate cash for the group and the first could be up and running in a few months time. VI would be valued at £535m at the flotation price. This is backed up by a Daniel Stewart estimated valuation of £557.8m. The board will retain 73% of the company. The plan is to move to the Main Market in 12 months or so. The free float will need to be increased in order for it to be at least 25% when the move is made.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has published the competent person report on the Hellyer gold project in Tasmania. This indicates that the project has a NPV of $113.2m. The processing facilities are being refurbished and operations are expected to commence in 2018 following the approval of the environmental management plan.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has acquired a 30% stake in Startup Token, which provides advice to start-ups undertaking token offerings. Coinsilium is paying £361,000 in cash and shares at 8.5p each. Coinsilium is also providing a six month loan of $100,000 that can be converted into a further 6.4% of Gibraltar-registered Startup Token.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) has started drilling on PL 3729 in County Clare, which adjoins the Kilbricken zinc deposit. A feasibility study has commenced on PL 3850 in County Wicklow. IMC’s partner Koza has completed an exploration targeting report on other licences and prioritised further exploration.

Ganapati (GANP) has agreed to supply online games to Bethard Group. Ganapati will initially supply eight games and then one each month.

Hearing and mobility products retailer DHAIS (DHAP) has delayed its figures for the year to June 2017 because it wants to ensure it has support from its main funder.

Welney (WENP) had a cash outflow of £19,000 in the year to June 2917 and most of that was covered by loans from related parties and a further £11,000 has been loaned since the year end. These loans will not be called in for at least 12 months. Net liabilities are £197,000. The board is assessing potential deals.

African Potash (AFPO) has entered into a joint venture with SG Inc to develop fertiliser opportunities in the Republic of Congo. A blockchain joint venture has also been announced with FinComEco Ltd and this will develop platforms for agricultural markets in Africa. There is a plan to offer microloans to farmers. The company intends to change its name to Block Commodities Ltd.

Forbes Ventures (FOR)

AIM

Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) continues to underperform and it is not likely to get the $1.75m it is still owed by xG Technology for the sale of Vislink. The broadcast software supplier requires its banks support and needs to appoint a new management team. Talks with potential bidders did not yield an offer. This year’s revenues will be slightly lower than last year

Versarien (VRS) has a strong balance sheet after the recent fundraising and it is generating interest for its Nanene graphene product. The carbide business has won a significant aerospace order. The 167% growth in revenues to £4.38m in the first half was mainly down to the acquisition of a plastics business. A US sales office has been established.

Mortice (MORT) reported strong revenue growth but cost pressures on a particular contract held back profit. The security and facilities management business reported a 17% rise in first half revenues to $106.3m. The contract is being sorted out and house broker finnCap still expects full year profit to improve from $5.4m to $7m.

Anti-microbial drugs developer Destiny Pharma (DEST) has secured a deal with former AIM company China Medical Systems Holdings Ltd (CMS), which is now listed in Hong Kong, for a £3m cash injection into the company and a strategic partnership that gives CMS rights to Destiny’s drug candidates pipeline in China and some other Asian countries. CMS will carry out research and development and the commercialisation of any drugs in its territories. Destiny will make a margin on manufacturing products and receive payments based on sales milestones.

Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is investing a further $6m in its Oman joint venture. This is in the form of a mezzanine loan to the company where Tri-Star has a 40% stake. The interest rate is 15% and payable on redemption – the loan term is five years. The cash will help to finance the development of the antinomy roaster in Oman. The capital budget was recently increased to $96m.

Recruitment has started for a pharmacokinetic study into the Futura Medical (FUM) erectile dysfunction treatment, MED2002. This will help to determine dosages for a phase III study. The UK and Netherlands regulatory agencies have been supportive concerning a possible switch from prescription to over the counter.

Veltyco (VLTY) has yet again announced that its figures will be better than forecast. The online gaming marketing business says that profit is likely to be much higher than expected.

ECSC Group (ECSC) is the perfect example of how a share price can get carried away on the back of general news. The share price is one-quarter its peak after publicity about cyber security and hacking. Trading is in line with previously reduced expectations following cost cutting and the securing of two managed services contracts.

Belluscura has pulled its flotation after failing to gain the EIS/VCT approvals in time and because it could not get the valuation it wanted.

The founder of Focusrite (TUNE) and a relation have sold eight million shares at 315p a share. They still retain a 38.3% stake in the audio equipment supplier.

Active Energy Group (AEG) expects its Utah-based Coal Switch plant to be completed this month. The production capacity is five tonnes of the coal replacement fuel per hour. Once the plant is up and running and proves the viability of the process there should be other plants built in 2018. The plant is modular so it is easy to increase capacity.

Trading in the shares of Graphene NanoChem (GRPH) has been suspended ahead of the proposed acquisition of CG TekBuild, which is involved in modular buildings. The deal is dependent on £18.2m of debt being converted into shares. The proceeds of the sale of non-core activities will be used to pay other creditors. The company believes the acquisition will help it to apply it graphene technology in building materials.

ITM Power (ITM) has £20.2m of projects under contract and a further £22.4m in negotiation. The figure under contract is similar to two months ago but the under negotiations figure is one-third higher.

Defence and petrol stations structures supplier MS International (MSI) reported sharply increased interim profit from £610,000 to £1.64m as revenues increased by two-fifths to £34.6m. Net cash is £14.5m. Most of the growth came from the petrol station branding business and this more than offset the decline in profit from defence. The interim dividend was increased from 1.5p a share to 1.75p a share.

Precision optical components supplier Gooch and Housego (GHH) reported slightly better than expected full year figures. Revenues were 30% ahead at £112m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £14.2m to £16.1m. Acquisitions helped to fuel significant growth in aerospace and defence. There was also increased demand from the subsea telecoms market and other industrial applications. The life sciences division still needs bulking up.

Timber supplier James Latham (LTHM) reported a 7% increase in interim revenues to £107.3m but a decline in margins meant that pre-tax profit was 12% lower at £6.7m. The interim dividend was unchanged at 4.5p a share and net cash declined to £11.6m due to capital spending. The pension deficit has fallen from £16.6m to £8.5m. A slight fall in full year profit to £13.4m is expected.

MAIN MARKET

Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) is raising £21.6m at 410p a share to speed up its growth in the US and finance the relocation of facilities in the UK. The new facility will help to improve efficiency. In the year to September 2017, revenues were one-quarter higher at £109.6m and pre-tax profit improved by 46% to £12.9m.

Torotrak (TRK) has been unable to secure the finance it requires. The vehicle technology developer is considering selling its technology and IP or it may have to appoint an administrator.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 29 May 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has taken advantage of the high profile of cyber security to raise cash at a premium to the market price. Crossword raised £145,000 at 230p a share. The current mid-price is 195p a share and the most recent trade was at 197p a share last September. Brenlen Jinkens took up 50% of the new shares and he has 5.13% of the company.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reported a dip in interim revenues due to the lack of funding so the planned £500,000 fundraising should enhance progress. In the six months to February 2017, the loss increased from £126,000 to £159,000 as revenues fell from £133,000 to £94,000.

Mechan Controls (MECP) improved its underlying 2016 operating profit from £518,000 to £594,000 on revenues that were 5% ahead at £4m but there have been significant changes since last year. Nirvana is the only subsidiary left. At the end of 2016, there was £829,000 in the bank and the NAV was £2.41m. Mechan is paying a final dividend of 2.27p a share and the shares go ex-dividend on 1 June. Once all the operations are sold money will be returned to shareholders.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) had cash in the bank of £341,000 and an NAV of £689,000 at the end of 2016. The company is valued at a 47% discount to NAV.

Social housing finance provider Queros Capital Partners (QCP) has raised an additional £875,000 by issuing 8% unsecured bonds 2025. That takes the bonds in issue to £3.5m – from 19 separate placings. So far, short-term bridging loans have generated income to fund the interest payments on the bonds. Longer-term, there are plans to acquire social housing properties.

Blockchain technology company investor Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that investee company RSK Labs has raised $3.5m. Coinsilium retains the right to 1% of RSK via a convertible. RSK has developed a sidechain to the Bitcoin that enables smart contracts. There could eventually be scope to handle more than 20,000 transactions per second but that requires the additional investment.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £751,000 at 0.3p a share. Colin Sutherland has been appointed as finance director.

AIM

Enterprise software provider Sanderson (SND) is growing strongly but the cost of investment in the business will hold back short-term profit. The digital retail division is growing fastest but its operating profit was flat as management investors in order to maintain the strong growth rate. In the six months to March 2017, revenues were 10% higher at £10.9m and operating profit was 5% ahead at £1.55m. There was net cash of £4.51m and the dividend was increased by 10% to 1.1p a share.

Software supplier Cerillion (CER) continues to grow its revenues as it starts to build its customer base outside the mobile sector. In the six months to January 2017, revenues were 10% ahead at £7.5m and underlying profit was nearly one-third higher at £900,000. Orders worth £9.4m were won during the period. The interim dividend was 8% higher at 1.4p a share. Directors’ sold 4.2 million shares at 120p each, which could help to improve the liquidity in the shares.

Redx Pharma (REDX) has failed in its attempt to juggle its cash requirements and its debt and administrators have been appointed. Liverpool City Council has previously extended the maturity date of its £2m loan but Redx did not repay the debt when it became due at the end of March. There is also interest due and that could total more than £1m. Redx nominally raised £12m in February – an equity swap agreement meant that not all of this was raised immediately – but does not appear to have raised enough to pay the loan. That is blatant bad management which has ended up destroying the investments of shareholders. Iain Ross recently took up the role of chairman so it would be unfair to blame him but the other directors, including those that have recently departed, were responsible for running the business properly and they knew when this money had to be repaid. The directors are Dr Neil Murray, Norman Molyneux, Dr Bernhard Kirschbaum and David Lawrence, while Dr Frank Armstrong, Peter McPartland, Dr Peter Jackson, Philip Tottey and Dr Derek Lindsay have resigned since Redx joined AIM. Investors’ should be aware of these people if they are or become involved in any other companies.

Lombard Risk Management (LRM) increased its revenues from £23.7m to £34.3m in the year to March 2017. The pre-tax loss was reduced from £2.2m to £1.6m. The year-end order book was worth £10.1m. Management expects the company to be cash profitable this year. Legislation continues to drive demand for reporting and risk software.

Flowgroup (FLOW) could not find a buyer for its energy supply business at an appropriate valuation so it is raising up to £29m in shares (at 1p each) and bonds, including more than £600,000 raised at 1p a share via PrimaryBid, to finance its development. This is highly dilutive even before any conversion of the bonds at the conversion price of 0.95p a share. Flowgroup also requires £1m to market its Flow boiler in Europe and £4m to end the manufacturing contract with Jabil. In 2016, there was a loss of £23.7m on revenues of £99m. Net cash was £3.7m at the end of 2016. An increasing number of smaller competitors are entering the energy supply market and this led to a reduction in customers. The funding will help Flowgroup to compete and build up its customer numbers.

Big data software supplier Fusionex International (FXI) plans to leave AIM and it already has the backing of shareholders owning 41.9% of the company for the general meeting vote on 15 June. Management blames the lack of liquidity in the shares and paucity of independent research. The also blame political uncertainty in Europe. Fusionex had a gravity defying rating in the first year or so of trading on AIM but the share price is currently less than one-fifth of the peak at the beginning of 2014. The company’s growth strategy will remain unchanged. There are plans to arrange a trading facility in the shares.

Safestay (SSTY) has paid €3m in cash for U Hostels, which operates a 226 bed hostel in Madrid. U Hostels also owns an apartment block near the hostel, where managed apartments are expected to be completed during 2018, and a building in Paris that is being converted into a 260 bed hostel, which has a 12 year lease that can be extended by a further 12 years. Safestay will have to invest up to €2.3m in the Paris development, which should be completed in early 2019. In total, including development spending, the acquisition cost will be up to €6.5m. The original Madrid hostel made a small loss on revenues of €1.3m. Earlier this year, Safestay raised £12.6m from the sale and leaseback of the Edinburgh and Elephant & Castle hostels – the leases are for 150 years.

Strategic Minerals (SML) made a maiden pre-tax profit in 2016. The $351,000 profit was after $691,000 of other income – predominantly the settlement of a rail dispute. The Cobre tailings business continues to generate profit and cash.

Thor Mining (THR) says that the Pilot Mountain tungsten resource inventory has risen to 11.73 million tonnes at 0.28% WO3. This does not include the GunMetal and Good Hope deposits.

Greatland Gold (GGP) has granted access to Newmont to the Ernest Giles tenements for a period of six months and it will have first right of refusal for a disposal or joint venture. An airborne survey has identified new structural targets suitable for gold mineralisation. Metal Tiger (MTR) has exercised 15 million warrants at 0.2p a share.

LED lighting systems developer PhotonStar LED (PSL) cut its full year loss from £3.03m to £1.43m on lower revenues. The first quarter of 2017 was tough but there have been orders for its Halcyon devices. R&D has been reduced.

Fairpoint (FRP) has delayed its full year figures yet again. They are promised at some point in June. If they do not come out then then trading in the shares will be suspended.

Arian Silver Corporation (AGQ) has raised £600,000 has raised at 0.5p a share. The cash will be used for exploration of silver and lithium projects.

Mortice (MORT) has won UK contracts worth £2.25m via its Elite subsidiary that take it into new sectors. Elite has won a three year cleaning and waste contract with Surrey and Sussex police and after securing a place on BMW’s approved supplier list a two year contract with the car maker.

Orogen (ORE) intends to acquire Thread 35, which owns e-commerce womenswear brand Sosandar. Orogen is lending up to £250,000 to Thread 35. Sosandar is targeted at 35-55 year old women. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Active Energy Group (AEG) has entered into an agreement in principle with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador which will provide a timber licence and a forest management agreement covering 1.2 million hectares. The licence would enable the harvesting of up to 140,000 cubic metres of wood annually.

MAIN MARKET

Thomas Charlton has further increased his stake in North Midland Construction (NMD) taking it to 7.24%. Finance director Daniel Taylor recently acquired 23,321 shares at 305p each. North Midland says that its first quarter profit has increased from £237,000 to £580,000 on a 5% rise in revenues to £62.2m. The main reason behind the improvement was a swing from loss to profit by the telecoms infrastructure division but the construction and water divisions generated a lower profit. Management still believes that margins can be improved. The order book is worth £254m helped by the AMP6 water investment cycle getting going. There is the promise of growing dividends.

Shareholders have agreed to the proposed bonus issue by Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL). On 1 June, existing shareholders will receive nine bonus shares for each one they own, leaving them with ten times the number of shares and the share price would be adjusted from 28.5p to 2.85p. The November 2015 flotation price was 10p (1p adjusted) and earlier this year a further £1.4m was raised at 20p (2p adjusted) a share.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has signed a binding letter of intent for its first deal with a housing association to develop supported living accommodation. The plan is identify properties worth up to £5m which will be leased to Larch Housing Association on a 50 year lease at 6.5% a year plus inflation. Dukemount floated on 29 March.

Health food products supplier World Trade Systems (WTS) has entered into memoranda of understanding with Germany-based Naturemed and Germany-based Biestmilch, which will help it to widen its product range. Naturemed is a new company but Biestmilch was formed in 1999. Trading in the shares has been suspended for years and it is approaching ten years since there was a trade in WTS shares.

CIC Gold Group Ltd (CICG) left the standard list on 25 May. Management believes it will get a better valuation on another designated exchange.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 15 May 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased its revenues by 4% to £16.9m in 2016. Underlying trading profit was 8% ahead at £740,000 but there was also a £19.4m gain on the sale of land for housebuilding partly offset by £3.45m impairment charge. The NAV was £44.4m, which is around double the company’s market value. Net cash is £5.4m. The redevelopment of the racecourse continues with the latest phase due to be completed next year.

Good Energy Group (GOOD) has launched a corporate bond. It wants to raise £10m but could raise the subscription level to £20m. Existing bond holders can roll over some or all of their investment into the new bonds. The bonds have a coupon of 4.75% or 5% for customers.

Via Developments (VIA1) has sold all 26 apartments in Napier House in Luton. Deposits of £394,000 and £52,000 of non-refundable reservations have been received. The project should be completed in the first quarter of 2018.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) continues to seek acquisitions in the agricultural logistics sector. In 2016, revenues grew from £1.98m to £3.04m and the loss fell from £96,000 to £9,000. Directors’ fees were reduced from £108,000 to £19,000. The 40%-owned AfriAg (Pty) increased its revenues by 91% to £11.7m but its reported profit dipped from £359,000 to £104,000.

Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) has completed its first supported housing sector investment. It has bought a grade two listed building in Stroud for £475,000. There will be further investment in improving the property over the next four months. The property will then be let on a 25 year lease to a UK care provider with rents adjusted each year by inflation.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested a further £100,000 in space software and hardware developer Bright Ascension. The initial investment was £150,000 and Capital for Colleagues holds 250,000 A shares. The cash will be used for product development and building up the company’s sales infrastructure.

Anna Halpern-Lande, a cleantech sector expert, has joined the board of Milamber Ventures (MLVP). Two new partners have been appointed. Executive chairman Andy Hasoon has converted £50,000 of his director loan into 312,500 shares at 16p each. Two other individuals have taken shares for fees.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has invested $75,000 (£60,000) in Coin-Dash, which is developing a social trading platform for cryptocurrency investors. Coinsilium also has an entitlement to an undisclosed number of Coindash crypto tokens.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £276,000 at 28.5p a share from four investors. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £230,000 for working capital. Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised £22,000 at 0.1p a share, while 84.7%-owned apps developer Flamethrower has paid $25,000 for advertising revenues generating Minecraft Command website.

AIM

TyraTech Inc (TYR/TYRU) is splitting itself into two businesses so that they can each raise finance to accelerate growth. The separation should be complete by the end of the year. TyraTech used up $2.2m of cash in 2016 leaving it with $1.8m, thanks to cash management in the second half. Allenby expects cash to fall to $700,000 by the end of 2017 but in reality management would hope to have raised money for the two businesses before that time. Marketing spending is required to grow the human health business while further product development investment is required by the animal health business.

Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) is increasing its market share in Europe. In the year to February 2017, revenues grew from £35.5m to £56.1m and pre-tax profit jumped from £600,000 to £2.7m. A new head office has been acquired for £5.3m and a German distribution centre is being opened.

Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) has done particularly well since it joined AIM and its figures were better than expected leading to an upgrade for this year. In 2016, Warpaint made a pre-tax profit of £6.7m on revenues of £27m. A 2017 profit of £7.6m is forecast. Growth is coming from the UK and internationally with US revenues starting to build up.

RedstoneConnect (REDS) has raised £6.5m at 1.5p a share and £1.4m of this will be spent on systems integrator acquiring Anders + Kern. This will help the group to sell its OneSpace smart buildings software. A one-for-100 share consolidation is planned.

Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) improved its full year pre-tax profit from £26m to £29.8m and its NAV is 62.3p a share. The share price is trading at a discount to NAV of one-fifth. Aftersales revenues continue to grow and used vehicle sales were strong. The new car market has declined but trading in March and April is in line with expectations.

Cambria Automotive (CAMB) has also performed well even though new and used vehicle volumes declined. Acquisitions helped its revenues to grow by 11% while its pre-tax profit was more than one-fifth higher at £5.6m. The full year profit forecast has been edged up to £11.2m.

The proposed energy price cap has hampered Flowgroup (FLOW) in its attempt to sell its energy business. It is still in talks but appears more likely to require to raise an additional £20m. This would be highly dilutive because it would be at 1.5p a share plus convertible securities. Losses will continue for the next couple of years and Flow is reducing its exposure to the microCHP business.

Arian Silver Corporation (AGQ) has completed initial sampling at its Mexican Salar project and this confirms the presence of lithium. Further tests are required to fully assess the mineralisation.

Savannah Resources (SAV) has lodged the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Mahab 4 copper mine development, having already done this for the Maqail South deposit. Savannah owns 65% of the company that has the licence for the block that includes Mahab 4. The approval process is expected to take three months. An economic study should be completed by July.

Active Energy (AEG) is reducing its exposure to Ukraine and dividing its operations into Advanced Biomass Solutions, which will own the CoalSwitch technology, and Timberlands International for the timber asset management operations. Supplying woodchip from Ukraine to Turkish fibreboard manufacturers is the main revenue generator but exposure to Ukraine has held back the share price. The company’s former chief operating officer may make an offer for the Ukrainian operations.

Draganfly Investments (DRG) has raised £500,000 at 0.5p a share. Pelamis Investments Ltd owns 11.26%.

MAIN MARKET

Waterman Group (WTM) has recommended a 140p a share bid from CTI Technology, which has already acquired 30%. This means that the £43m bid is mandatory. CTI is one of the largest consulting engineers in Japan.

A strong performance in South Korea has fuelled a strong performance from window components manufacturer Titon (TON). In the six months to March 2017, revenues were 29% higher at £14m, while pre-tax profit was 61% higher at £1.18m. The dividend was increased by 20% to 1.5p a share. Net cash is £2.71m.

Storage and wireless semiconductors developer CML Microsystems (CML) says full year trading was ahead of expectations. Revenues grew by one-fifth to £27.6m – organic growth is estimated to be 16%. Pre-tax profit was £4.2m – 5% higher than forecast. There was £12.4m in the bank t the end of the financial year.

World Trade Systems (WTS) has appointed John Hoskinson as a non-executive director. He has experience of mining, energy, property and services sectors. Clio Lee has stepped down from the board. Trading in WTS shares continues to be suspended.

UNQUOTED

Richard Griffiths and Blake Holdings have acquired 11.2% of former AIM-quoted investment company Sarossa for £519,500 (1p a share). This takes the concert party’s stake to 51.9% so it has to make a mandatory bid at 1p a share but that is well below the most recent asset value. At the end of 2016, the NAV was £11.3m or 2.4p a share. That included £3.73m of cash.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 20 March 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Health and care properties developer Ashley House (ASH) is widening its area of operations through the acquisition of a modular off-site construction business by its subsidiary F1 Modular, which already works with the company. The acquired business was in administration and assets have been acquired for £113,500 and a lease taken out on its premises – there is an option to acquire the premises. Ashley’s stake in F1 Modular has been raised from 52% to 76% for up to £250,000 depending on performance and the repayment of a previous loan. If F1 Modular makes more than £4m in profit over the next three years then the additional stake will be transferred to the minority shareholders. F1 Modular could win housing business and there are already potential housing deals with two local authorities, as well as a prospective customer for retail pods. Other potential markets are schools and student accommodation. There are also opportunities in Ashley’s core business. Ashley has reiterated it warning that the figures for the year to April 2017 because of contract delays due to a consultation on supported housing. This means a small full year profit is likely. Non-executive director John Moy acquired 2.4 million shares at 7.5p each from his son and then transferred his entire holding of 6.9millionshares to his wife, although he is still deemed to have an interest in this 11.6% stake.

Bulgaria property investment company Black Sea Property (BSP) has successfully tendered for a Sofia office building called the UniCredit Building. UniCredit is the current occupier and owner. Black Sea Property bid €10.52m and €7.6m of this will come from a loan, while the rest will have to be raised from shareholders. A deposit of €1.04m has been paid. That deposit will be forfeited if the deal does not go ahead. UniCredit can remain in the building for six months after the transaction is completed, expected to be May assuming the fundraising is successful, and will not have to pay rent. The property is more than 100 years old, has five floors and covers 98,000 square feet.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has been taken on by cosmetics firm LUSH to help it introduce employee ownership. An initial stake of 10% will be held by the employee benefits trust.

AIM

There could be a bid battle for FIH (FIH), formerly known as Falkland Islands Holdings. Staunton, which is backed by the Rowland family, has bid 300p a share and has acceptances of just over one-third of the shares in issue – it owned 25% prior to the bid. Eduardo Elsztain has entered the fray via Dolphin Fund, which says it is willing to offer even more. Elsztain is an Argentinian who has built up significant property and agricultural interests having initially been backed by George Soros in 1990. FIH has refused requests for further information because it was not provided with answers to its request about ownership and control of Dolphin. There has been a change to the current bid which no longer require 90% acceptances to go unconditional. The figure has been reduced to 50%.

Audio visual products distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) grew its 2016 revenues by 18% to £370.1m via a combination of acquisitions, currency movements and organic growth. Gross margins are strong for a distribution business but they still edged up from 14.9% to 15.3%. Underlying pre-tax profit was 23% higher at £17.9m. Net debt was £15m at the end of 2016, while the dividend for the eight months that Midwich was quoted on AIM was 8.62p share. Displays and technical products are becoming more important and there was also growth in projection products sales although not as fast as the main parts of the business. Sales of scanners and other document-related products fell. France, Germany and Australasia made significantly better contributions. Further acquisitions are likely to supplement continued organic growth.

Crossrider (CROS) has refocused its business on apps and a mobile security acquisition further boosts this side of the business. CyberGhost will cost an initial €6.2m in cash and shares with up to €3m more payable dependent on performance. The acquisition should be earnings enhancing in 2017. Last year, Crossrider group revenues fell from $84.6m to $56.5m but the core apps business grew both its revenues and its profit contribution. Net cash was $72.1m at the end of 2016. Next year, revenues and profit should start to grow again and Crossrider may even pay a dividend.

University technology commercialisation business Frontier IP (FIPP) has raised £3m at 40p a share in order to finance existing investments and make new ones.

Igas Energy (IGAS) wants to raise £45.2m via a placing and up to €5m through an open offer as part of its financial restructuring. There is also a proposed debt for equity swap and the majority of these bondholders have indicated that they will accept this proposal.

Software provider Cerillion (CER) has won a €2.4m (£2.1m) with a European wholesale telecoms company. So far this financial year, £13.2m of work has been won. That will not necessarily all be delivered this year but, along with the year-end order book, this provides backing for the £16m revenues forecast for 2016-17.

Trading and risk management systems provider Brady (BRY) is restructuring its business but the 2016 figures do not show the benefits. The company has grown by acquisition and the strategy is to fully integrate them all into one platform. Revenues increased 11% to £30.3m, mainly due to currency changes, and Brady returned to profit before exceptional charges.

Recurring revenues continue to grow at performance measurement software provider Statpro (SOG) and they were running at a rate of £39.7m at the end of 2016. House broker Panmure Gordon expects an increase in underlying pre-tax profit from £2.7m to £3.3m in 2017. The dividend is being maintained at 2.9p a share in order to build up earnings cover and invest in software development.

Training technology and services provider Pennant International (PEN) has already secured orders that underpin the 2017 revenues forecast by house broker WH Ireland, although the timing of orders can be delayed. Revenues are expected to grow from £17.2m to £18m and pre-tax profit should edge up from £2.2m to £2.4m. There was £3.5m in the bank at the end of 2016. Two additional facilities have been secured to help cope with demand for the group’s services. Defence clients dominate the business but there are plans to increase exposure to other markets. Phil Walker has taken over permanently as chief executive.film Sandy Wexler 2017

Wealth adviser Brooks Macdonald (BRK) has increased its discretionary funds under management by 19% to £9.33bn. Underlying interim pre-tax profit were one-quarter higher at £8.87m. New chief executive Caroline Connellan will start work in April.

Investment manager Miton (MGR) has grown its funds under management despite a large decline in its value fund due to the departure of its manager. The funds under management increased from £2.78bn to £2.91bn with a recovery in multi-asset funds and growth in other funds covering the loss of value investment funds and growth coming from market improvements. Miton is seeking a new chairman and it will then find a permanent chief executive. On 23 March, Miton is launching its new global infrastructure fund, which is aiming for a 4% yield.

C4X Discovery (C4XD) has raised £7m from a placing at 85p a share. The cash will be used to strengthen the balance sheet while c4X is negotiating with potential partners and strategic collaborators.

EMIS (EMIS) has managed to grow its business even though there is continued uncertainty in the NHS. The GP, pharmacy and health-related administrative software provider reported a 2% increase in 2016 revenues to £158.7m, while operating profit was 6% higher at £38.8m. Net debt fell to £400,000. The total dividend was increased by 10% to 11.7p a share, which is covered more than four times by earnings.

Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) continues to benefit from the global upturn in construction activity, particularly in North America and Europe, although the revenues from the latter are still not back to their peak levels. The dividend payout level has been raised from 30% of earnings to 40% of earnings but there is still more than $20m in the bank so a special dividend is possible later in the year.

Ilika (ILK) admits that it is unlikely to generate any licence income until the next financial year. The advanced materials developer still has plenty of cash in the bank. Development deal revenues should still double revenues to £1.2m in the year to April 2017. A £1m bioelectronics deal and an additional agreement with Toyota mean that there is a good revenue base going into the new financial year, which should reduce the annual loss even without licence deals.

Active Energy (AEG) has raised £11.6m via a convertible loan note issue. The five-year convertibles will be quoted on the Channel Islands Securities Exchange. The yield is 8% and the conversion price is 3.3p a share. The cash is required to build a commercial scale plant to produce CoalSwitch biomass fuel for use in coal-fired power stations.

Sunrise Resources (SRES) has identified additional potential for the CS project in Nevada. New zones of pozzolan and perlite have been discovered in the Tuff zone and another zone. A project development concept study is due in the next few months.

Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) has secured a four year deal to supply silicon carbide micro-fibre to a manufacturer of tooling and wear-resistant parts. The deal has been won by the US subsidiary acquired last September. The minimum annual order quantity should generate revenues of $600,000 a year.

MAIN MARKET

Sportech (SPO) is investing £100,000 in 123gaming Ltd as part of a £1m fundraising via crowdfunding platform Seedrs (www.seedrs.com/123bet). The offer is eligible for EIS relief. The cash will be used to update the US betting platform and to launch an online site in the UK. Sportech already provides technology for the US online wagering site and the pari-mutuel-type offering, which combines traditional wagers and fantasy elements as part of the game. Several US racecourses licence 123gaming’s free-to-play contests as a marketing tool. Sportech is selling its football pools business for £83m – that is lower than the £97.25m offer that fell through last year. Sportech plans to return £20m to shareholders via a tender offer. The result of the tender will be announced on 21 March. There could be a further tender offer after the disposal proceeds are received.

Avation (AVAP) has decided to sell six of its turboprop aircraft at a price above book value. This could generate $31m after related debt repayments. A deposit of $3m has been received and the deal should be completed by the end of June. A further 16 turboprop aircraft are being retained and the additional cash can be used to widen the portfolio of aircraft. House broker WH Ireland estimates an underlying value for Avation of 270p a share.

PRE-IPO / OTHER TRADING FACILITIES

Former ISDX and GXG company US OIL & Gas (USOP) has raised £1.18m at 27p a share via a ten-for-63 open offer to existing shareholders. That is 54% of the amount that the oil and gas company was seeking. A placing had already raised £470,000.

Andrew Hore

 

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