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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 6 July 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has secured a diagnostics agreement with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust that is worth £19.1m over ten years, although it is initially for five years. Rutherford will supply imaging services from a facility in Taunton, which will be developed in partnership with Equitix. The service should start in the second half of 2021.

Good Energy (GOOD) says that it remains profitable, although smaller business energy demand was lower in the second quarter. Gross margins have been hit because excess energy had to be resold. Operational efficiencies have offset some of this effect. Cash collection has been strong. Four-fifths of customers have been transferred to the Kraken customer services system. This will help to reduce costs.

Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has negotiated additional bank facilities. Total debt facilities are £132.5m. The brewery has been generating income from increased sales to supermarkets and for export. The majority of the company’s pubs should reopen by the end of July.

Cannabis-focused investment company Greencare Capital (GRE) has raised £1.37m at 50p a share. That is double the original flotation price. Management is hopeful that it will make an initial investment in its favoured acquisition target in the near future.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that plant production levels at the Hellyer gold mine increased by 44% to more than 1.3 mtpa. NQ has completed the acquisition of the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania.

British Honey Company (BHC) says sanitiser sales have enabled the company to achieve sales of 240% of budget in the past three months. BHC has swapped 4.5% of its shares for a 10% stake in List Distillery LLC. BHC has an option to buy the rest of the company for £4.5m plus up to £500,000 in contingent consideration.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had an NAV of £7.55m (48.9p a share) at the end of February 2020.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has changed its corporate adviser from Peterhouse to VSA. Tectonic has published full year figures to June 2019 and interims to December 2019. NAV was £2.49m at the end of 2019.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) generated sales of $3.64m of sales in the first quarter of 2020, compared with $3.85m in the same period last year. In 2019, revenues were $10.7m.

Human Brands is selling some of its brands, including Shinju Whisky, to Rogue Baron in return for shares and Gunsynd (GUN) will have its £379,000 convertible loan note novated to Rogue Baron, which has been granted EIS advanced reassurance. Rogue Baron plans to float on a UK market and this could trigger the issue of further shares to Gunsynd.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has supplied a £300,000 loan facility to Vox Markets. This is convertible into shares. So far, £250,000 has been advanced. Loan facilities totalling £500,000 have been provided to Ridercam Systems. A £130,000 investment has been made for a 7.4% stake in investment company Malaika. The company’s Australian subsidiary has provided a loan facility to energy producer Direct Energy Holdings.

Ecovista (EVTP) was withdrawn from the AQSE on 1 July. The day after it published interim figures to February 2020. There was £42,000 in cash and this should cover general running expenses. Management says that being quoted cost £60,000 a year. NAV is £735,000.

Formerly known as Welney, Quetzal Capital (WENP) has been readmitted to the market following a share consolidation of 100 existing shares into one new share and placing raising £22,000.

AIM

Cambridge Cognition (COG) continues to win new contracts and the first half order intake was £4.9m. The digital health business has increased its contracted order book to £7.5m. The company is on course to make a much lower loss in 2020.

Construction disputes and expert witness services provider Driver (DRV) improved its profit in the first half thanks to a good performance from its Asia Pacific businesses. However, the Middle East is still a problem and a strategic review is underway. Net cash was £3.3m at the end of March 2020 and it has increased since then. There is no dividend. The second half will be tougher, though.

Forex provider Equals (EQLS) continues its strong growth record in 2019. Trading levels were hit by the COVID-19 lockdown in April and May, but June’s revenues per day recovered to a similar level to June 2019. The administration of Wirecard has had limited effect on business.

AFC Energy (AFC) is raising £31.6m at 16p a share. This will be used to invest in manufacturing for the H-Power fuel cell systems and employing additional staff for the deployment of the technology in the electric vehicle and construction markets. There will also be cash put into the development of the AlkaMem anion exchange membrane and the HydroX-Cell solid-state membrane fuel cell system.

Telecoms equipment supplier Filtronic (FTC) says it grew revenues from continuing operations in the year to May 2020 and it made a small underlying profit. Delays to deliveries mean that it is difficult to assess the outcome for the current financial year.

Redx Pharma (REDX) is raising $29m through a convertible loan note issue to Redmile and Sofinnova Partners and £812,000 via a share issue to Sofinnova.

Robinson (RBN) is paying an interim dividend of 3.5p a share. The packaging supplier did not pay a final dividend and the interim will be payable on 30 July to make up for that. First half trading was in line with expectations. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to be flat at £2.3m.

MAIN MARKET

Trading in Lookers (LOOK) shares has been suspended because it has not published 2019 results. They should be published in August. An investigation by Grant Thornton suggests that there will be a £4m non-cash write-off relating to fraud with a further £15m non-cash write-off for incorrect or inconsistent accounting, mainly relating to stock.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 13 August 2018

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Adnams (ADB) grew its turnover by 7% to £35.5m in the first half of 2018 but there was an underlying operating loss and lower gains from asset disposals. The reported pre-tax loss increased from £284,000 to £840,000. The second half is always more profitable. Depreciation is higher due to investment in the brewery and the refurbishment of the Swan Hotel. Adnams own beer volumes increased by 4.8%, compared with the market growth of 1.3%. Carbon dioxide shortages have affected the second half. The interim dividend is unchanged at 78p/B share and 19.5p/A share.

KSE is offering £29,419.64 a share in cash for Arsenal Holdings (AFC) and that values the football club at £1.8bn. KSE already owns or has acceptances totalling more than 97% of the shares in the company.

Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) increased revenues by 184% to £293,000 in the first half of 2018 and 144 healthcare staff candidates were deployed in the period, which was nearly three times as many as in the first half of 2017. More students are being trained in the English language. Healthcare recruitment contracts have been signed in the UK and they cover nine hospitals. Contracts have also been signed outside the UK.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is subscribing for 0% secured convertible loan notes in Wallet Ads Ltd. The first drawdown is £50,000 and this will be followed by five monthly instalments of £20,000. On payment of the final instalment, or under certain other circumstances, the loan notes can be converted into 20% of the enlarged share capital of Wallet Ads, which has developed a mobile engagement platform combining mobile wallet passes, web and social media and this enables digital vouchers to be sent to smartphones. Angelfish non-exec Richard Walker will join the Wallet Ads board.

Pelican House Mining (PHM) is investing in battery minerals explorer Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration (KKME), which is exploring for nickel and platinum group metals in Botswana, near the South Africa border. AIM-quoted Two Shields Investments (TSI) is a co-investor in KKME and it increased its stake to 22.2%. Two Shields Investments also increased its stake in cobalt explorer Cobalt Blue Holdings to 49% before swapping it for a 11.26% stake in African Battery Materials (ABM), thereby gaining a wider exposure to technology metals licences.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) raised an additional £50,000 at 1p a share when it floated last year. Geremy Thomas holds a 3.1% stake.

Shareholders in Welney (WENP) have voted against the appointment of Mark Jackson and Mark Chapman as directors.

AIM-quoted TechFinancials Inc (TECH) joined NEX on 8 August. Monreal has changed its name to Eight Capital Partners (ECP).

AIM   

Fryer management and commercial kitchen services provider Filta (FLTA) says that interim figures are in line with expectations. There will be a full contribution from GMG, which was acquired last year, while the sale of the refrigeration division has helped to improve margins. Revenues are growing from newer franchisees and the UK-based seals business also grew its revenues. The interims will be published on 4 September.

Former boss Philip Swinstead has sold his 9.82% stake in Parity Group (PTY) and Helium Rising Stars has taken a 10.9% shareholding. Parity is on track to achieve double digit profit growth this year. The IT recruitment and consultancy services provider is modestly rated on a prospective multiple of less than nine, even though the share price has risen following the share dealing.

Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) expects revenues to fall from £4.6m to £3.9m but the broadcast software supplier believes that the second half should be better. A backlog of £4.7m should help full year revenues to be nearer to last year’s level.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has announced its first Portugal-based spin-out. It is taking a 31.8% stake in NTPE, which is developing Paper-E technology that can be used to print electronic circuits, sensors and semiconductors. This opportunity came through the relationship with Universidade Nova de Lisboa Faculty of Science and Technology. Another investee company, 27.5%-owned Fieldwork Robotics, has secured a deal with soft fruit grower Hall Hunter to prototype and test a raspberry harvesting robot system.

Phoenix Global Mining (PGM) has reported that the first drilling results from the Empire mine in Idaho have been encouraging. There was 68 metres at 0.57% copper from the surface. The current JORC resource is 0.52% copper so it would be good news if the current drilling provides higher levels of copper.

Mereo BioPharma (MPH) had net cash of £36.9m at the end of June 2018, but a R and D tax credit of £8.2m was received in August. An adult Phase 2b study for Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) is due to complete enrolment by the end of September. There will be initial six month data from the open-label high dose part of the study by the middle of next year. A flotation on Nasdaq is still a possibility.

MAIN MARKET  

Engineering and construction company North Midland Construction (NMD) increased its interim revenues from £135.1m to £160.9m and more than doubled pre-tax profit from £1.23m to £2.51m. The interim dividend has been doubled to 6p a share. Cash in the bank was 138% higher than 12 months before are £18.9m, although there are also finance leases of £4.5m. The order book is worth £320m. The telecoms-related part of the business is still losing money. There were much better profit contributions from the water and construction divisions.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) is developing a global datacentre management business facilitating cryptocurrency Mining-as-a-Service and has signed a deal that will provide 9.5MW of clean energy for two datacentres in Quebec (Argo already has one datacentre in Quebec). That provides the capacity for more than 150,000 subscribers and the centres will be operational in September and October. Argo joined the standard list on 3 August after raising £25m at 16p a share, which valued the company at £47m. However, the share price has fallen back to 11.13p.

Beauty and personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) has appointed Kieran Callan, who was a non-executive director, as chief executive with Haris Chaudhry moving to executive chairman. Callan used to work at PZ Cussons. This appointment follows poor trading and disappointing pre-tax profit in the year to Last October, InnovaDerma raised £4.4m at 276p a share and, having fallen by two-thirds at one point since then, the share price has recovered to 148.5p. Haircare brand Roots will be sold in Tesco.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) is holding a general meeting on 30 August in order to get shareholder approval to enable it to issue more shares to raise cash to keep the business going.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 March 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Shepherd Neame (SHEP) improved its interim revenues and underlying pre-tax profit. Revenues were 6% ahead at £84.1m and underlying profit edged up from £5.7m to £5.8m. The interim dividend has been raised from 5.62p a share to 5.75p a share. Net debt was £79.5m. The main growth in revenues was in the managed pubs and hotels division. There was an underlying improvement in the profitability of the brewing business, where own beer volumes were 4.2% higher.

Ashley House (ASH) has reached financial close on the Scarborough extra care housing development. There are 63 apartments plus communal areas and the gross development value is £10m. completion is expected in spring 2019. A housing development and health scheme are likely to follow. This development is not part of the Morgan Sindall joint venture. Non-executive director Christopher Lyons has bought 31,000 shares at 10.09p a share.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a fully diluted NAV of 239p a share on 5 March 2018 but that was prior to the Luceco profit warning. The NAV included Luceco (LUCE) shares at 77.8p each but the price has subsequently fallen to 57.2p a share. EPE is the largest shareholder in LED lighting products supplier and this was the second profit warning in three months. The original 2017 profit expectation was £16.7m and this has been cut to £11m.

Western Selection (WESP) has raised £668,000 from the disposal of shares in Swallowfield (SWL) and it has a remaining stake of 7.71%. Western sold 120,000 Swallowfield shares at 330p each and 80,000 at 340p each. Last month, personal care products supplier Swallowfield bought men’s grooming brand, Fish for an initial £2.7m.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has issued £4.76m of convertible loan notes as part of the £4.85m open offer. A holder of an existing £500,000 loan note is converting into the latest convertible loan notes and like the other subscribers is receiving one warrant for each £1 of loan notes.

MetalNRG (MNRG) says a licence has been granted relating to the Palomino cobalt project, where the company has the right to acquire a 100% stake in return for two million shares at 1.5p each. MetalNRG is also issuing 500,000 shares for work that has already been carried out.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has raised £2.16m at 270p a share. The cash will be invested in sales and marketing and developing new cyber security products.

Good Energy (GOOD) says that holders of £3.6m of its first energy bonds have agreed to retain them, while the other £4.3m worth will be repaid on 29 March.

Co-chairman David Sumner has increased the amount of Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) loan notes he will subscribe for to £5m. The outstanding balance is currently £2.7m and additional tranches of up to £200,000 can be subscribed for each month.

London Capital Group Holdings (LCG) is selling a 91.5% stake in its Tradex and 100% of other subsidiary companies to its main shareholder in return for £4.64m of loan notes with a coupon of 8%. The costs of the NEX quotation will also be covered by the buyer. The remaining 8.5% of Tradex can be acquired for £431,000 in loan notes. The disposal requires FCA approval. London Capital will seek a fintech business to acquire within the required six month period.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) and Wishbone Gold (WSBN) have joined NEX. They are both retaining their AIM quotations and are chaired by Richard Poulden.

AIM   

VR Education has raised more cash than it originally asked for. It has raised £6m at 10p a share and this values the company at £19.3m. The company has developed the ENGAGE education platform and is also developing corporate training and educational content to go on the platform. The business is generating revenues but it still has to take full advantage of the technology it has developed.

Energy supplier Yu Group (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. Yu has gained a licence to supply water. The dividend has been increased from 2.25p to 3p a share.

Share (SHRE) has continued to add to its market share. In 2017, the broker revenues grew from £14.6m to £18.7m and it moved back to underlying pre-tax profit. Digital investment continues and the benefits of this will increasingly show through over the next couple of years. This year the recent partnerships will make a 12 month contribution. Higher interest rates will also help to increase interest income on the cash held.

Smart audio sales started to take off last year and Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) continues to invest in this area. The original digital radio technology business is profitable but the development costs for smart audio more than wipe that profit out. Net cash was £3m at the end of 2017 and this should be enough for Frontier’s requirements. There is scope to grow the digital radio business but smart audio will provide the main growth. From a tiny percentage in 2016, smart audio could contribute nearly two-fifths of revenues in 2019.

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has bought Springboard Corporate Finance for an initial £2.75m in cash and shares. Springboard generated a pre-tax profit of £750,000 on revenues of £2.3m in 2016-17. Up to £500,000 more will be payable depending on performance over the next five years. Begbies says that third quarter trading is in line with expectations. Corporate insolvencies are increasing, albeit from low levels.

Polemos (PLMO) has terminated the proposal to acquire SecurLinx Corporation, which still hopes to come to the London market. Trading in the shares has been restored. Polemos is raising £270,000 at 0.01p a share, plus a further £140,000 conditional on shareholder approval. These placings are before the planned share consolidation of one new share to every 100 existing shares. When additional approvals are given by shareholders a share offering will be made via PrimaryBid.

Netcall (NET) more than doubled its interim SaaS revenues thanks to the purchase of MatsSoft. Interim revenues grew by one-third to £10.7m, which includes organic growth of 5%. Underlying pre-tax profit was 8% ahead at £1.8m. Net debt is £2.5m.

Audio products supplier Focusrite (TUNE) reported sales growth of more than 25% in the first half. Edison upgraded its full year profit forecast by 4% to £10.4m.

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) has secured the use of its graphene-enhanced epoxy prepreg in the tailgate of the W Motors Fenyr sports car. This is a limited market but it is a good showcase for the technology.

Second half trading was stronger than expected at FIH Group (FIH) as both trading in the Falkland Islands and Momart improved their performance. This has led to an upgrade in the 2017-18 profit forecast from £2.5m to £2.8m.

GRC International (GRC) raised £5.04m at 70p a share when it joined AIM on 5 March. The share price ended the week at 115p. GRC provides services relating to IT governance and compliance.

Zamano (ZMNO) had €5.05m in the bank at the end of January 2018. It remains in talks for potential acquisitions that would enable the company to remain quoted. Part of any deal would be the offer of a cash return to existing shareholders. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) had £3.2m in the bank at the end of 2017. Microsaic is focusing on the biopharma market but it could take until 2019 for its partners to start to generate revenues from its technology. There should be enough cash for more than one year but more will be required. Costs have been reduced.

SysGroup (SYS) has signed a three-year managed hosting deal with TJ Morris Ltd, trading as discount retailer Home Bargains, worth more than £950,000.

Contract research organisation Fusion Antibodies (FAB) says that its 2017-18 revenues are expected to grow by at least two-fifths to £1.9m. Last year’s flotation took up management time so revenues are lower than hoped.

Attraqt (ATQT) reported a full year loss of £4.05m, including exceptional costs of £2.38m. The e-commerce software provider intends to focus on operational efficiency this year. There was £2m in the bank at the end of February.

BOS Global Holdings (BOS) has been placed in administration.

Instem (INS) has switched a long-standing client to the SaaS model and this will increase recurring revenues by two-fifths. There are potentially £10m of fees that could be converted to the recurring revenues model.

WANdisco (WAND) has announced more deals including a partnership with Alibaba, which will embed WANdisco Fusion in some of the cloud services that it offers. Total bookings increased by 45% to $22.5m in 2017 and this has sparked a 2018 revenues upgrade by WH Ireland from $25.5m to $30.8m, although a slightly higher loss of $6.5m is expected. WANdisco could move near to breakeven in 2019.

Mirada (MIRA) has secured a £3m loan facility, which adds to the existing facilities. An initial £1.5m will be drawn down within two months. This provides working capital to finance additional contract wins. The annual interest rate is 15%. The provider of the facility is a 27% shareholder.

Strategic Minerals (SML) has paid A$1.5m in cash and A$1.45m in shares for the Leigh Creek copper mine. Strategic has acquired 24,900 tonnes of JORC compliant resource copper. Production should build up to 200 tonnes of copper each month and there is an offtake agreement for 100% of copper production. Strategic has extended its rolling agreement with the owner of the Cobre magnetite stockpile until March 2019. This deal generated revenues of $5.64m in 2017.

Zoo Digital (ZOO) says full year revenues will be at least $28m, up from $16.5m last year, while EBITDA will be ahead of expectations and be at least $2.3m. Localisation services remain the main growth area. Herald has reduced its stake from 15.7% to 14.6%.

Volvere (VLE) says that its 2017 pre-tax profit improved from £1.94m to £3.22m. Impetus Automotive contributed the growth in profit with CCTV software company Sira and Shire Foods reporting lower profits. NAV is 656p a share, with £18.4m in cash and marketable securities.

AFC Energy (AFC) reduced its loss to £5.5m in 2017. The fuel cell technology developer should have enough cash for this year, but it is likely to run out in 2019. AFC could move into profit in 2020.

Pallet developer RM2 International (RM2) has received $2m from the disposal of a building in Switzerland. That means it will have enough cash until mid-April.

Drilling is set to recommence at the Stonepark zinc project in Limerick and Connemara Mining (CON) has set aside £250,000 to cover its share of the spending over the next 12 months. Connemara has a 23.4% stake in the joint venture that owns the project.

Drilling results from the Kodal Minerals (KOD) lithium project at Bougouni in Southern Mali continue to be positive. The latest 19 drill holes have shown high grade intersections of consistent pegmatite mineralisation of up to 1.68% Li2O.

Clear Leisure (CLP) is ready to set up its Bitcoin mining joint venture in Serbia. Management says that the joint venture could produce more Bitcoins at a lower cost than expected. That would increase the return on the €200,000 investment. Assuming a Bitcoin price of $10,000 and an 8% discount rate, the investment could eventually be worth €389,000.

MAIN MARKET    

Bioquell (BQE) reported a rise in pre-exceptional profit from £1.6m to £2.9m in 2017. This was despite a decline in defence revenues. There is £14.6m in the bank. The focus is the biodecontamination business and management believes that this will show through in improved performance this year.

InnovaDerma (IDP) has warned that its full year figures will be below expectations. The personal care products supplier always expected the year to be second half-weighted and full year revenues will be higher. However pre-tax profit will be similar to the £1.03m reported for last year. Last October, £4.4m was raised at 276p a share. The share price has fallen to 121.5p.

Toople (TOOP) has raised £250,000 at 1.022p a share. This will keep the telecoms business going as it tries to increase its revenues in order to reduce its loss. Last June, Toople raised £1.41m at 3.25p a share. Toople joined the standard list in May 2016 when it raised £2m at 8p a share.

Path Investments (PATH) is delaying its exit from the standard list until 29 March. The plan is to move to AIM when an oil and gas asset acquisition is made.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 20 February 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Forbes Ventures (FOR) has taken a 0.84% stake in potential challenger bank Civilised Investments in return for £200,000 in cash. The cash investment was raised through a placing of shares at 0.5p each with Gravity Investments, which owns 62.1% of Forbes. A further six million shares were issued at the same price to settle fees. Civilised is applying for a UK banking licence in June 2016. The strategy is not to have branches but local bankers will provide loans and business banking products by attracting personal savings.

Kryptonite1 (KR1) has invested £99,905 for 25,811 tokens in Melonport AG, which is building its own blockchain protocol for digital asset management built on the Ethereum platform. Melonport raised $2.5m in 14 minutes.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £128,750 at 0.8p a share. For working capital. Daniel Stewart has been appointed as corporate adviser.

FT8 (GFT) has failed to secure the agreed monthly payments from Billyst Holdings and this means that trading in the shares of FT8 has been suspended because of the company’s uncertain financial position.

AIM

Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) has moved into Continental Europe through the acquisition of Avalon and GrassInc for an initial £9.7m in cash with deferred and contingent payments of up to £12m over four years. This is an important part of the overall strategy for the group and it also takes Victoria into the artificial grass market. The deal should be immediately earnings-enhancing with the two businesses making a 2016 operating profit of £3.6m.

Construction dispute resolution services provider Driver Group (DRV) has raised £8m at 40p a share – a 15% discount to the market price – in order to reduce borrowings and grow the business. There is also a one-for-26p open offer at 40p a share that could raise up to £500,000 – closing on 8 March. Driver has negotiated new banking facilities of £8m, down from £12m, and this expires in 2020. Net debt was £9.9m at the end of September 2016. Driver made a loss in the year to September 2016 but it moved back into profit in the second half. In the past year, Driver has reduced annualised overheads by £1.3m, cut underperforming fee earners, improved cash collection and implemented more rigorous bidding controls. Driver plans to scale down the project management operations and the main businesses should be sold by the end of this financial year. South America and eastern Europe have been identified as growth areas. New non-executive director John Horgan has been appointed as a replacement for David Webster.

Fuel cell technology developer AFC Energy (AFC) has raised £6m, £5.5m net of expenses, at 10p a share – a 40% discount to the market price. Up to £2m more could be raised from a one-for-15 open offer at the same share price – closing on 2 March. The cash will be used to deliver commitments on the joint development agreement with De Nora, additional testing and a scoping study with Peel Environmental for potential projects. Jim Gibson has been appointed as chief operating officer.

Middlesbrough-based pawnbroker Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) joined AIM on 15 February. The placing will raise £15.6m at 86p a share, valuing the company at £26.5m. The share price ended the week at 95.5p.

Tracsis (TRCS) disappointed the market with a warning that delays in contracts means that this year will be even more second-half weighted and there is still uncertainty whether certain software contracts will complete in this financial year. The transportation optimisation software and services provider still believes it can achieve this year’s forecast profit but the market was not as sure. The share price fell by nearly one-third following the trading statement and Downing is one investor that has added to its stake having previously taken profits. Interim revenues will grow from £13.1m to £15.5m but pre-tax profit will only be slightly higher than last year’s figure of £2.9m. The full year outcome could depend on the rail franchise bid timetable.

Higher LED sales helped Holders Technology (HDT) to increase overall revenues by 2% to £11.4m but the LED business is still losing money and a German business has been closed. The underlying loss increased from £141,000 to £195,000, prior to restructuring costs of £183,000. An increases in trade creditors meant that cash improved to £781,000. A final dividend of 0.25p a share is proposed. There are signs of an improvement in demand for printed circuit board materials and new smart lighting products should boost the LED business.

Vela Technologies (VELA) has raised £550,000 from a bond issue via the UK Bond Network. This should enable Vela to complete the additional investment of £150,000 in Portr, the airline passenger facilitation and baggage transport service, taking its stake to 4.27%.

Collagen Solutions (COS) is raising up to £8m from a placing and one-for-five open offer at 5p a share and this will be topped up with a £4m bond issue to Norgine Ventures, which has a coupon of 10% and 6.77 million warrants exercisable at 5.911p each. The cash will finance the expansion of the medical collagen business, commercial medical device products and launch ChondroMimetic, which is a collagen-based implant to treat small cartilage and bone defects, later this year.

Online gaming business generator Veltyco Group (VLTY) says that its 2016 figures will be significantly better than expected. An EBITDA of more than €2m, up from the initial forecast of €1.4m, on revenues of more than €5.7m, ahead of a forecast of €4.9m, is anticipated.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) has signed a services agreement with APTrans, a Cheshire-based consortium of drug developers that can provide technical expertise, for the development of SFX-01. A US patent has been granted covering the manufacturing process for SFX-01. The patent lasts until 2033. Further patents are expected to be awarded around the world.

Ascent Resources (AST) raised £3m at 1.85p a share in its latest fundraising via PrimaryBid.com. The cash will be spent on developing the Petisovci gas project in Slovenia.

Self-storage operator Lok’nStore (LOK) says that self-storage sales were 3.9% higher, thanks to higher occupancy, and document storage sales 8.8% ahead in the first half. There is a pipeline of two owned and two managed stores, which will add 14% to capacity. NAV is expected to be 404p a share at the end of July 2017.

PowerHouse Energy Group (PHE) has raised £2.5m at 0.8p a share on the back of last week’s deal with Peel. Hillgrove will receive £2m as part-payment for its loan with £1.4m converted into shares at 0.5p each. A G3-UHt waste to energy unit is being shipped from Australia and should reach the UK in March.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) is starting a phase I clinical study for safety and tolerability of Acarovac MPL as a house dust mite allergy vaccine. The trial will be in Spain, covering 32 patients and lasting one year. The global market could be worth $1.5bn a year.

Patient monitoring equipment developer LiDCO Group (LID) says that its 2016-17 revenues will be slightly lower than forecast but it will make a small profit. The loss of a US customer held back growth with revenues 8% ahead at £8.2m, although revenues from group products were 14% higher this was partly offset by lower sales of third party products.

EP Minerals has terminated its lease over the County Line Diatomite project, so Sunrise Resources (SRES) will need to find an alternative method of commercialising the potential project.

Keras Resources (KRS) says that there is a JORC-based inferred mineral resource of 36,000 ounces of gold at a grade of 6.1g/t for the Copenhagen deposit. This means that the Warrawoona gold project has a JORC mineral resource of 410,000 ounces of gold at a grade of 2.2g/t. The focus will be the higher grade Copenhagen deposit, which has more potential.

Mariana Resources (MARL) has completed three of seven planned drill holes at the Ergama project in Turkey and two of these have found large but low grade deposits.

Executive chairman John Hawkins has been given the push by Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) as part of the closure of the group’s head office following the disposal of the Vislink broadcast equipment business. Hawkins received £260,000 a year as chief executive and £100,000 a year as chairman and his contract stipulates 12 months notice. John Varney becomes non-executive chairman. The bank apparently remains supportive and the 2016 figures will be published on 31 March.

Cloud-based telecoms software supplier CloudCall Group (CALL) says that customer relationship management software provider and corporate partner Bullhorn is deploying CloudCall’s software with its US staff. This will provide a reference for potential US customers of a combined software package. Full year figures will be published on 28 March and these will be in line with expectations.

MAIN MARKET

Simian Global (SMG) has signed a non-binding letter of intent to buy BVI-incorporated media and advertising business GVC Holdings Ltd. Standard list shell Simian Global floated on 10 January when it raised £769,500 at 15p a share. This valued the company, which was seeking a technology, media and telecoms sector acquisition, at £935,000. Trading in the shares was suspended at 17.5p.

Avation (AVAP) is trading at a discount of around one-fifth to its NAV of 249p a share at the end of 2016. In the six months to December 2016, the aircraft leasing company’s revenues were 43% ahead at $45.1m and pre-tax profit 50% higher at $8.4m. Bid discussions for 22 ATR 72 aircraft continue but management wants a significant premium to the NAV.

PRE-IPO / OTHER TRADING FACILITIES

Former AIM-quoted Clinical Computing, which is currently traded on Britdaq,has initiated a strategic review and this could lead to the sale of the healthcare IT company. In the year to March 2016, revenues fell from £1.67m to £1.5m but a loss of £204,000 was turned into a profit of £23,000. There is £825,000 in the bank and net assets of £654,000, which is more than its market capitalisation on Britdaq.

Andrew Hore

 

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