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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 13 September 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

VSA Capital Group (VSA) joined Aquis on 9 September and at the same time raised £253,000 at 21p a share. The share price has risen to 23.5p (23p/24p), which values the company at £4.57m. There have been five trades. VSA Capital is a broker and financial adviser. It also has stakes in cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses. It is an Aquis corporate adviser, and this will be a major focus of the business.

Ecotricity says that it has received acceptances equivalent to 1.9% of Good Energy (GOOD) to add to its existing holding of 25.1%.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) has sold 200,000 shares in Secure Trust, raising £2.5m, and reduced its stake to 3.32%.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) increased its NAV by 24% to 542.3p a share in the six months to July 2021. Luceco (LUCE) is one of the main factors in that growth of NAV and 4.5 million shares were sold to raise £15m. Another investee company, Pharmacy2U, is moving into profit. At the end of the period, a majority stake in homewares company Rayware was acquired.

Igraine (KING), where Oscillate (MUSH) has a 24.6% stake, says that its investee company Excalibur Medicines has completed the ARCADIA phase 2 trial for AZD1656, a treatment for diabetic patients with Covid-19 (see Cizzle below). The trial covered 153 patients. The treatment has reduced mortality rates and it is safe.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) lost £214,000 in the year to March 2021, while NAV fell 5% to 102p a share. The value of investment properties fell by 1%. Walls has secured lease terms and memorandums of understanding with new partners for provision of housing for autistic people. The new homes are being designed in pods and constructed off site. There is cash available for investment, but the company requires additional funds to complete all the potential new projects. The problem is that the share price is well below NAV.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) says that its direct sales operation has made sales of its diesel additive to 200 clients in just over one month. The products will be sold on the Amazon platform.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) investor NFT Investments (NFT) has made an initial investment of $700,000 in Blimp Technologies Inc. In this case it is in the company rather than NFTs. Blimp has developed a platform that rewards home buyers and sellers, as well as advisers, for contributing value to a token network started by the Home Network Foundation. The theory is that this should reduce delays and disappointments and make the process more transparent.

CBD products supplier Voyager Life (VOY) has secured two new stores in Dundee and Edinburgh following the opening of the St Andrews store. Rebranding is complete and new products are being launched. The company’s products are stocked in more than 70 other stores.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) says chief executive John Maxwell is stepping down due to ill health, although he remains on the board. Ian Tordoff becomes executive chairman. Kieran Vaughan has left the board.

Altona Rare Earths (ALR) has raised £1.25m at 14p a share, which was a premium to the market price.

AIM

Building products supplier Alumasc (ALU) increased full year revenues by 19% to £90.5m, while underlying pre-tax profit nearly trebled to £10.5m, helped by cost cuts and improving margins. Net debt was £900,000, while the pension deficit has reduced to £4.5m. The final dividend is 6.25p a share and the total dividend is 9.5p a share. Demand is strong but Alumasc is uncertain when the customer will take the products. That is because shortages of other building products, such as bricks, have held up developments.

Michelmersh Brick (MBH) continues to benefit from strong demand for bricks and reducing stocks and orders stretch into the fourth quarter. Interim revenues were 10% ahead at £29.9m and pre-tax profit jumped from £2m to £5m. Full year figures will be slightly better than previously expected. The interim dividend is being reintroduced.

Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) benefited from buoyant North American demand in the first half. Non-residential construction is buoyant in North America and orders are at a high level. In the six months to June 2021, revenues increased from $35.3m to $64.4m, which was much higher than the first half of 2019 prior to Covid-19. Pre-tax profit more than trebled from $7.5m to $23.5m. There was $16m of cash generated from operations. The interim dividend is 9 cents a share. Guidance has been upgraded.

Minds + Machines (MMX) has announced a tender offer of up to £58m at 9.6p a share – equivalent to estimated NAV following the disposal of the operating activities. That would mean that up to 604.1 million shares could be redeemed.

There was 11.6% growth in the Vector Capital (VCAP) loan book to £40.6m. The interim dividend is 0.95p. The main customers are residential property developers that need short-to-medium-term finance. There are additional funds available to further grow the loan book to £46m.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) increased the fresh fruit bunches by one-fifth to 8,469Mt, compared to August the previous year. Crude palm oil production was 6% higher at 1,678Mt, but the amount sold was one-quarter ahead at 1,852Mt. The average crude palm oil price achieved was 76% higher at €947/tonne. Palm kernel production was also much higher.

Parsley Box (MEAL) is investing the proceeds of its recent flotation in developing products, including a range of chilled meals, and increasing marketing. This means that the loss is increasing, but the benefits will show through in the years to come. Interim revenues were £14m, up from £11.1m, and £11m of the latest revenues were from repeat customers. The loss increased from £1m to £5.42m. There is still £6.52m in the bank.

Embedded computer boards developer and manufacturer Concurrent Technologies (CNC) reported flat interim revenues of £9.3m. Lower overheads helped pre-tax profit improve from £1.22m to £1.59m.

MAIN MARKET

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) has reiterated its full year guidance following its interims. Group revenues were 51% ahead at £108.2m, while pre-tax profit improved from £8.3m to £18.5m. The comparatives did reflect the initial period of Covid-19 but there is still strong underlying growth. There have been cost pressures, but investment has improved efficiency which has offset this. Overheads grew more slowly than revenues and interim operating margins are double the level in the first half of 2019.

Cizzle Biotechnology (CIZ) expects to sign a deal with charity St George Capital, where it would receive royalty payments of up to £5m for AZD1656, a treatment for diabetic patients with Covid-19, plus payments for a companion diagnostic. St George has undertaken a successful phase II trial for AZD1656 and is seeking a license and funding for further trials.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 3 May 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Decentralised finance (DeFi) focused investment company Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) raised £9m at 3p a share. The share price closed at 4.15p (3.8p/4.5p) and there were just over one million shares traded on the first day. The market capitalisation is £25.4m. Shares were originally issued at below the placing price and the underlying NAV is 1.8p a share. Dispersion has already made two investments, although one of those is a £210,000 investment in NFT Investments, which has management in common, at the equivalent of 7p a share. NFT’s placing was at 5p a share and the investment was made after the shares commenced trading. Since then, the share price has fallen to 3.85p (3.7p/4p).

Semper Fortis Esports (SEMP) has the management experience to exploit the fast-growing esports sector. The board includes football adviser Keith Harris. Chief executive Kevin Soltani was a co-owner of an esports franchise in MENA and co-founded the GIMA Esports Agency with chief operating officer Jassem Osseiran. The Semper Fortis Esports shareholder register includes the likes of Chris Akers. Semper Fortis Esports raised £2.5m, after expenses, at 1p a share. Pro forma net assets are £2.13m, with £2.15m cash in the bank. The pro forma NAV is just over 0.5p a share. The share price ended the week at 3.95p (3.8p/4.1p).

Greencare Capital (GRE) has invested £100,000 in Voyager Life, as part of a £671,000 before an Aquis flotation. Voyager Life supplies CBD and hemp seed oil products. This follows the £100,000 investment in CBD products supplier Clearly Supplements in the form of a 5% convertible loan. The Covid-19 pandemic and legislation changes hampered the planned reverse takeover, and it did not go ahead. There should still be more than £1m in cash in the balance sheet after the investments.

Revenues fell 59% to £8.49m at Newbury Racecourse (NYR) and there was a loss of £2.27m. Only four race meetings had people attending last year. There were 20 race days last year and there will be ten by 17 May this year. There was £1.5m raised from the sale of surplus land. There was £5.53m in the bank at the end of 2020. Net assets were £48.9m, down from £51.4m.

Spirits maker British Honey (BHC) says that first quarter revenues, excluding hand sanitisers, increased by one-quarter to £1.33m. The integration of Union Distillers is nearly complete. A new bottling line will increase capacity to four million bottles a year by the end of 2021. A new bottling line for miniatures is also being installed.

Gunsynd (GUN) has made a £200,000 in DiscovOre (ORE) at 2p a share. DiscovOre is changing its investing strategy to focus on the medical psychedelic sector.

Supported housing provider Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) says that NAV has fallen by 5% to 102p a share. John D Wood values the company’s properties at £3.2m. The company collected 100% of rents last year. Virgata Services has to publish an offer document by 6 May.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has invested $2.5m in convertible loan notes in standard listed Mustang Energy (MUST) as part of a fundraising to pay for a 22.1% stake in VFFB-H, which owns 50% of Enerox, an Austria-based vanadium redox flow battery manufacturer. AIM-quoted Bushveld Minerals (BMN) is the majority shareholder in VFFB-H. Enerox plans to raise £30m. Trading has been suspended in Mustang Energy shares.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) is proceeding with the acquisition of the Monte Muambe rare earths project. The contract is being finalised and then Altona will start the earn-in to progress towards a 70% stake in the project. Altona is still assessing other projects. An application has been filed for a standard listing.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has raised £42,000 at 0.00258065 a share, plus £90,000 via a convertible loan facility at the same conversion price as the placing. Simon Grant-Rennick has been appointed executive chairman and Burns Singh Tennent Bhohi, who has taken a 14.8% stake, as an executive director.

Two locations have shown strong gold intersection at surfaces at NQ Minerals (NQMI) 100%-owned Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania. The surface potential could add significant resources to Beaconsfield.

Positive results have been reported by BWA Group (BWAP) from the sampling at the Nkoteng rutile sands project in Cameroon. There are elevated intervals of rutile-ilmenite, zircon and kyanite over continuous zones.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has signed an Africa-focused distribution agreement with Rigworld Solutions. This formalises and earlier agreement.

Watchstone Group (WTG) has made the switch from AIM to Aquis.

Coinsilium (COIN) has raised £18,500 from the sale of treasury shares at 18.5p each.

AIM

Hurricane Energy (HUR), which at one time was a constituent of the AIM 50, is restructuring its balance sheet. This would involve swapping $50m of the principal of the company’s convertible bonds into 95% of the enlarged share capital. The terms of the remaining $180m of bonds will be amended. The business will focus on extending the oil production case for the Lancaster 205/21a-6 well.

Construction services consultancy Driver (DRV) says that its latest underlying interim profit will be slightly lower than for the same period last year, which was £1.25m. That is a strong comparative period. Lockdowns have varied in the different operational countries. Driver also lost a team in Asia Pacific to a rival. The focus is higher margin work and activity levels are improving. Net cash was £7.2m at the end of March 2021. The interims will be published on 8 June.

Pennant International (PEN) fell into loss in 2020 and it should manage to return to profit this year. Forecast revenues of £16m are 90% covered by the order book. Pennant wants to win more business in the rail sector.

Pollen Street Capital is bidding 75p a share for spend control software supplier Proactis (PHD) and the board is recommending the offer, which values the company at £71.6m. Pollen Street has the finance to accelerate growth. The bid is at 24 times prospective 2020-21 earnings, falling to 19 next year.

Building software supplier Eleco (ELCO) says that first quarter revenues were 9% ahead at £7m, while year-on-year pre-tax profit was one-fifth higher. Net cash was £7.9m at the end of March 2021. A general meeting has been requisitioned so that shareholders can vote on the re-election of executive chairman Serena Lang and non-executive director Kevin Craig, a resolution to make it compulsory for all directors to come up for re-election at every AGM and a vote on the remuneration report in the 2020 accounts.

Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) had an improved second half and momentum is continuing into next year. In 2020, revenues fell from £49.3m to £40.3m, but earnings halved from 6.3p a share to 3.1p a share.

President Energy (PPC) expects to bring the EV-1001 well on the Estancia Vieja gas field into production during May. The drill rig will be moved to the next location. President is expected to return to profit in 2020.

Amiad Water Systems (AFS) plans to transfer its quotation to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

MAIN MARKET

In 2020, Argo Blockchain (ARB) increased revenues from £8.6m to £19m, but it made a small loss. Cash inflow from operating activities was £12.3m, according to finnCap. This year a pre-tax profit of £30m is forecast, although working capital will consume most of the cash generated even before significant capital expenditure.

Moulded plastic parts manufacturer Carclo (CAR) says that it has maintained its full year revenues for plastics, but there was a decline in aerospace revenues, and made a profit. Net debt has been reduced from £22.1m to £20m.

InnovaDerma (IDP) raised an additional £500,000 in an open offer and that took the total raised to £4.5m. This will fund ecommerce investment.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 2 December 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Coinsilium (COIN) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Devmons to set up a joint venture using Coinsilium’s existing Gibraltar subsidiary TerraStream. The company will offer blockchain software and systems development. Devmons supplies the technology development expertise. More details will be published when the agreement is signed, and it is hoped that operations will commence in the first quarter of 2020. The new venture should not need significant funds, due to advanced payments being requested when any contract is won.

Gunsynd (GUN) has entered an agreement to sell its stake in Oyster Oil and Gas to Sajawin Pty Ltd. There will be a payment of £20,000 after the signing of the term sheet and a further £240,000 to be paid in two tranches, the second of which will be payable 60 days after completion. Sajawin still has to complete due diligence and raise at least A$1.5m when it reverses into an ASX shell. Gunsynd will subscribe for A$200,000 of shares. The deal can be terminated if the conditions are not met by the end of April. Production sharing contracts for four blocks in Djibouti are not included in the transaction. George Garnett has resigned as a non- executive director of Gunsynd.

Sativa Group (SATI) is exploring the possibility of an AIM quotation. It has appointed Cenkos Securities as adviser. Management hopes that the move could happen early next year. The first batch of seedlings is being prepared for a move to the cultivation room with the first extract of medicinal cannabis set to be delivered to King’s College London before the end of 2019. That will be used in research on inflammation and respiratory conditions. Crops take 12 weeks to grow.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that production at the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania is ahead of expectations, but there is room for improvement in 2020. NQ has made an additional investment of £150,000 in Tasmania Energy Metals in the form of a three-year convertible loan. NQ has an option to acquire the exploration licences and minerals processing facility that is being developed. The Barnes Hill nickel project mineral resource estimate has increased to 14.3 million tonnes grading 0.725 nickel and 0.05% cobalt.

Southern Africa-based social impact company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) increased its interim revenues but also made a higher loss. The Kazuko Lodge was hampered by the water shortage in the Cape Town area, but the weak Rand is boosting demand for holidays from Americans. There was an increase in honey produced by Bee Sweet Honey in Zambia. Cash in the bank improved from R12.3m to R21.2m. following a further cash injection by existing shareholders. The NAV was R179m at the end of August 2019.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has completed the sale of its African operations. The share consolidation was completed on 29 November.

Dana Group International Investments Ltd (DANA) says that its NAV fell from $51.9m to $7.03m in the 12 months to June 2019. There was a small profit for the year and the decline in NAV came from write-downs. Trading has ended in London Capital Group Holdings and Queros Capital Partners 8% bonds 2025.

 

AIM

Sustainable wood products supplier Accsys Technologies (AXS) is raising €46.3m in order to fund the completion of the Tricoya plant in Hull and the fourth Accoya reactor in Arnhem. It will also finance the evaluation of an Accoya plant in the US. The cash will be raised at €1.05 a share via a placing and a one-for-seven open offer. The Hull plant could be operational in the second half of 2020.

STM Group (STM) warns that the rebranding of its UK pensions business has been delayed as it awaits regulatory approval to operate as a Master Trust for auto-enrolment. New pension applications have been lower than expected. The 2019 underlying pre-tax profit is forecast at £2.5m. Next year’s indemnity insurance payment will cost an additional £500,000.

Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) is raising up to £6.5m via a 31.199996 for one open offer at 1p a share in order to replenish its coffers while it seeks a suitable acquisition in the chemicals and other sectors. There was £7.5m in cash at the end of June 2019. Wilmcote will look at smaller acquisitions than in the past.

Online fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) increased interim revenues by 53% to £2.82m with growth accelerating in the second quarter to September 2019. October revenues were more than £1m. Sosandar is still loss-making, but it could move into profit in 2020-21. The customer database has been significantly increased.

Parcel delivery firm DX (DX.) says its recovery continues to be on track. It expects to return to profit this year.

Cyber security services provider Shearwater Group (SWG) generated organic revenue growth of 11% in the first half. Overall revenues grew 262% to £16.3m. New managed service contracts provide revenue visibility. There was £1.68m in the bank at the end of September 2019.

A £5m fundraising at 0.15p a share will help Union Jack Oil (UJO) to finance the drilling of two appraisal wells at West Newton, where it has a 16.665% interest. There will also be a side-track well drilled at Biscathorpe.

There will be a second half shortfall in revenues at Malvern International (MLVN) with little improvement on the same period last year. Delays in approving overseas students, plus poor trading in London and Malaysia. WH Ireland has withdrawn forecasts. Cutting out Malaysian losses could enable Malvern to make a profit in 2020.

CAP-XX (CPX) is acquiring supercapacitor manufacturing assets from Murata, which a licensee of CAP-XX IP. This will boost manufacturing capacity and should improve profit. CAP-XX has raised £2.75m and an open offer could raise up to £750,000 more.

Live data systems company WANdisco (WAND) is raising $16.5m at 425p a share, which was a premium of 23% to the previous closing price. This will provide additional working capital. An existing customer has extended its relationship with WANdisco and the contract is worth $500,000.

 

MAIN MARKET

Interim figures from Associated British Engineering (ASBE) show improved revenues and a lower loss. That is mainly down to a better performance by British Polar Engines. The business has been rationalised and surplus space will generate revenues in the fourth quarter. The pension deficit remains a concern.

Flavourings supplier Treatt (TET) reported flat full year revenues of £112.7m, but a 5% improvement in underlying pre-tax profit to £13.3m. There was a 10% decline in citrus revenues, which was made up for by growth elsewhere. The dividend was raised from 5.1p a share to 5.5p a share. There will be increased US capacity next year.

Nuformix (NFX) is raising £1.25m at 7p a share in order to provide funds while it negotiates deals in Asia and North America for NXP002, which is focused on the treatment for human idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. There will also be additional money spent on two other treatment programmes.

Highway Capital (HWC) had net liabilities of £908,000 at the end of August 2019. It continues to seek a suitable acquisition.

Blake Holdings is making a mandatory cash offer for Hardy Oil and Gas (HDY) having taken its stake to 42.27%. The 5p a share offer values Hardy at £3.7m.

Andrew Hore

 

 

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 25 November 2019

NEX EXCHANGE
National Milk Records (NMRP) says that revenues in the quarter to September 2019 fell to £5.25m. They were £5.54m in the previous quarter and £6.08m last year, although that was boosted by one-off projects. A cyber-attack hit business, but systems have been restored. Canaccord Genuity has been appointed as corporate adviser.
Western Selection (WESP) has acquired nearly 3.64 million shares in the Bilby (BILB) placing. That has more than doubled the number of shares owned by Western Selection and it owns 10.8% of Bilby, up from 6.66%.
Belvedere Leisure Resorts (www.belvedereleisureresortsplc.com) is expected to gain a quotation for £10m of its 6.25% secured bonds on 29 November. The company is a subsidiary of Belvedere Leisure Park, which owns a site in Dumfries & Galloway with planning permission for a lodge park resort of 444 holiday lodges. The park will be built by Landal GreenParks.
Formerly AIM-quoted SAPO (www.sapoinvest.com), which was known as South African Property Opportunities, plans to join the NEX Growth Market on 2 December. The plan is to use the Isle of Man-based company as a shell to invest in the UK rural broadband market, although Labour plans for the broadband market could affect this strategy. Executive chairman Michael Meyer will own 40.55% of SAPO and three shareholders will own 84.8%.
Bracken Trading (BRAC) has decided to withdrawal is preference shares from NEX trading on 18 December. Trading had started on 9 September. There have not been any trades.
Altona Energy (ANR) is acquiring a petroleum exploration licence application within the Arckaringa Basin in South Australia. This is close to the company’s existing exploration licences. There could be potential for a gasification project. Management has decided not to invest in the potential vanadium investment.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that its subsidiary has received a tax refund of $279,275. Drilling at Specimen Hill shows gold bearing mineralisation in all holes. There are targets for follow-up drilling.
BWA Group (BWAP) has not received £80,000 of the £100,000 subscription funds for convertible loan notes issued when Kings of the North Corp was acquired. Alternative funding is being secured. Vilhjamur Thor Vilhjalmsson, chief executive of 23.75% shareholder SX, has resigned as a director of BWA and been replaced by Mark Billings.
Block Commodities (BLCC) has appointed Ian Tordoff as chief executive. He has experience in the healthcare sector and has been involved in assessing the potential cannabis-based compounds.
DXS International (DXSP) chief executive David Immelman’s wife acquired one million shares at 10p each from Ron Rhodes during September. That takes David Immelman’s interests to 13.3%.
The ten-for-one share consolidation has been approved by World High Life (LIFE) shareholders. Dealings in the new share started on 20 November.
AIM
A competing bid approach led Hanover Acquisition to increase its bid for Brady (BRY) from 10p a share to 18p a share, which values the risk management and commodity software company at £15m. Hanover has bought shares owned by Kestrel and Coltrane Master Fund and these stakes have taken its shareholding to 46.1%, so the bid is mandatory.
Feedback (FDBK) has secured its first pilot study for its Bleepa communications platform that can be used to securely access medical grade images via mobiles and PCs. The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust will use Bleepa for respiratory requests. Bleepa will be the main focus for Feedback and it offers the potential for significant recurring revenues. Less money will be spent on TexRAD.
Keeping up with tradition Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) released its interims at 4.35pm on Friday. This was the same time as the previous trading statement and earlier than the previous interims which were released at 5.04pm on a Friday. Revenues remain flat and there was a pre-tax loss. Cash was £28.1m at the end of September 2019.
Nick Develin is stepping up from chief operating officer of Naked Wine (WINE) to takeover from Rowan Gormley as chief executive. The company has sold its other operations and is purely an online wine retailer. UK trading ahs been weak, but the US is going well.
Kape (KAPE) is almost doubling its earnings per share by acquiring Private Internet Access, which expands the range of security software the group can offer. The acquisition will cost up to $95.5m in cash and shares, plus debt. Kape will have net debt following the acquisition, but this should be paid down over the next two years.
Litigation finance provider Manolete Partners (MANO) is building up its business having raised cash when it floated at the end of last year. Interim revenues rose by 15% to £7.5m, but most of those revenues were unrealised gains. That meant that there was a cash outflow in the period. This is due to the higher number (and higher value) of cases being taken on and many of these will be completed and generate cash in the second half. Manolete focuses on insolvency cases and this means that they tend to be settled much quicker than ones handled by Burford Capital.
Having failed to secure the financing for its proposed acquisition, Stirling Industries (STRL) is cancelling its AIM quotation and management plans to place the company in liquidation.
First Property (FPO) increased like-for-like interim revenues by 10% to £8.1m. The spare space at CH8 in Warsaw is being filled. The interim dividend has been edged up to 0.46p a share. The underlying NAV is 50.7p a share.
Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) has sorted out its interest in Egypt at no cash cost. The stake is being transferred to the operator. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, although it can be terminated if it is not.
Social video company Brave Bison (BBSN) expects to make a full year loss on reduced revenues of £16m. That is worse than expected. Changing Facebook policies have made trading difficult. Management is trying to reduce the dependence on Facebook. There was £3.8m in the bank at the end of October 2019. Costs are being reduced. Robin Miller will step down as chairman at the end of 2019. CIP Merchant Capital (CIP) recently increased its stake in Brave Bison to 11.7%.
Digital TV software developer Mirada (MIRA) increased underlying revenues by 11% to $5.74m, but it is still losing money. However, contracts are being won with potential for more over the next few months. Net debt has fallen to $3.53m following the sale of Mirada Connect for £2.12m ($2.72m).
City of London Group (CIN) says that its subsidiary Recognise Financial Services has applied to become a bank. The plan is to offer financial services to smaller companies and savings products. The company hopes to be authorised later in 2020, but that may prove optimistic. City of London Group will have to raise cash to finance the development of the bank.
Shareholders took up 10.9% of the open offer shares in Xeros Technology Group (XSG) and this raised £217,000.
A general meeting requisition has been lodged with Plutus PowerGen (PPG) and the intention is to remove all the current directors. They would be replaced with Nicholas Lee, David Horner and Dr Nigel Burton.
Mporium (MPM) has appointed an administrator and the business has been sold to management. There is unlikely to be anything for shareholders.

MAIN MARKET
Semiconductors supplier CML Microsystems (CML) reported a decline in revenues and profit in the six months to September 2019. The storage products revenues fell by nearly one-quarter, while there was a 4% decline in communications revenues. However, an overall improvement on the first half is expected in the second half. Interim pre-tax profit fell from £2.4m to £900,000. A full year pre-tax profit of £2.6m, down from £3m is forecast.
Macfarlane Group (MACF) has increased revenues by 4% in the four months to October 2019. The packaging supplier has reduced overheads to offset price deflation. Full year performance is expected to be better than last year.
Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) has increased market share, but that has only partly offset the tough underlying markets. Interim revenues were 2% lower at £103.1m, while underlying pre-tax profit was 8.5% down at £10.6m.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has acquired ten mining claims in northern Zimbabwe and they cover carbonatite type bodies. The properties were previously explored for phosphates.
Kin + Carta (KCT) has made its first digital transformation acquisition in the form of Colorado-based Spire. The initial payment is $14.8m with a further performance-based payment next February and another after that. The company has raised £13.6m at 89p a share.
Specialist Fund Market-quoted Marwyn Value Investors Ltd (MVI) is returning £5.31m to realisation shareholders. That includes £5.28m from the takeover of BCA Marketplace and a small amount of liquidation proceeds from Gloo Networks. There will be a pro rata redemption of realisation shares. The shares will go ex-redemption on 6 December.
Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 18 November 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Trading in the shares of Barkby Group (BARK) has been suspended ahead of further information about a proposed reverse takeover. The acquisition of a group of companies referred to as the Dickson controlled entities is expected to cost £30m, predominantly paid in shares. There will also be a share placing to provide working capital for the enlarged group. Charles Dickson would become executive chairman if the deal goes ahead. The businesses include Workshop Coffee, which operates four coffee shops and is a wholesaler of speciality coffee, a commercial property developer. Barkby will also acquire the right to invest in two private companies: Transcend Packaging, which won a contract to supply McDonalds with paper straws, and VivoPlex, which has developed a medical device for fertility monitoring.

Brewer and pubs operator Daniel Thwaites (THW) says fears that interest rates will fall has required a £4m increase in the provision for its interest rate swaps. That is a non-cash item and underlying pre-tax profit increased from £5.6m to £6.2m in the six months to September 2019. That figure also excludes a quadrupling of property disposal profit to £800,000. Interim revenues improved 7% to £53.4m. The new brewery is operating at full capacity, while there was a small increase in like-for-like pub revenues. The contribution from hotels improved. Net debt was reduced by £8.6m to £61.6m compared with 12 months before, although £22.5m has been reclassified as due within one year. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.1p a share.

NEX and AIM-quoted AFH Financial (AFHP) says it is trading in line with forecasts. The wealth manager will report underlying EBITDA of more than £17m, up from £10.4m, in the year to October 2019. Funds under management were £6bn. The contribution from acquisitions has been earnings enhancing. The total dividend is expected to be 8p a share and this is expected to rise by one-quarter to 10p a share in 2019-20. There was still £11.9m in the bank at the end of October 2019, although there is estimated to be £32.2m of contingent consideration and a £15m convertible loan in the balance sheet. The current focus is on organic growth and there should be enough cash generated, along with the current balance, to pay the deferred consideration over the next two years.

Ashley House (LSE: ASH) has published a trading statement and it is changing its year end from April to October following the disposal of the Morgan Ashley joint venture. In the 12 months to April 2019, revenues fell from £18.5m to £11.9m and a pre-tax profit of £805,000 was turned into a £2.95m loss. There was a loss contributed by joint ventures. Net debt was £1.8m.

Clinical support systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) is considering a move to AIM. This would be part of a potential fundraising to enable further investment in the business. DXS has already announced that it has been awarded a place on the NHS GPIT Futures framework from the beginning of 2020. This replaces the GPSoC2 framework and means that systems and services will be able to be bought centrally rather than with GP funds. The focus will be on the existing core product DXS Point of Care, analytics and reporting service CompleteCare, digital medicines service ExpertCare and condition management platform MyVytalCare. The first is already on sale and the rest will be launched in early 2020. DXS is gaining final approvals for its four solutions to be listed in the NHS catalogue.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £160,000 at 0.1p a share. This cash will be invested in additional shares in Apollon Formularies, which will take the company’s stake to 2.68%.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) believes that the lack of flotations is providing it with more opportunities. Primorus has received the £275,000 it was owed by Zuuse and still owns 57,205 shares and holds options over one million shares at A$0.50 (26p) each. The latest fundraising by Zuuse is at A$1 a share. There is a potential market to sell the shares even before a flotation.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) shareholder Formation Group has appointed Andrew Bennett as a non-executive director of the proton beam therapy firm.

David Lenigas has been appointed chairman of NQ Minerals (NQMI) and the board is in talks to replace existing debt with lower-cost debt. First Sentinel, which is run by former NQ Minerals director, has been appointed as corporate adviser.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has raised £388,000 from an issue of convertible loan notes and shares. This is less than the company wanted to raise more than six months ago. The share issue raised £133,000 at 0.02p a share, with a warrant exercisable at the same price, and the conversion of the loan notes will also be at the same price. The cash will be used to move into the medicinal cannabis sector. Additional shares are being issued to pay creditors.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 246.47p a share at the end of October 2019.

One hundred shares in Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) will be consolidated into one new share on 18 November.

Karoo Energy has changed its name to IamFire (FIRE).

Queros Capital Partners (QCP) will leave NEX on 28 November.

AIM

DBAY Advisors does not intend to bid for Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) and instead will acquire 51% of the underlying subsidiary that owns the transport operations. The poor financial situation of the business led to the change of strategy and Eddie Stobart Logistics has recommended the deal, which involves the injection of £55m of additional finance through a PIK Facility. This will pay off a £35m loan and provide working capital. The deal requires the extension of other existing debt facilities. The interim results to May 2019 are still being compiled. An operating loss of at least £12m is expected, but the underlying business could make a full year operating profit of up to £2m. There could be a goodwill write-down of £50m. Net debt will be around £200m. Wincanton (WIN) is still considering a rival deal.

ECO Animal Health (EAH) is still suffering the after effects of the African Swine Flu outbreak in China and the US/China trade war hitting imports from the US. First half revenues from China fell by three-fifths. Restocking will take time to flow through in terms of FCO’s results. There will be a sharp fall in full year profit. The interims could also be affected by accounting policy changes.

Advanced surface coatings provider Hardide (HDD) has been selected to coat parts for the new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. This is an important step in building up business in the aerospace sector. The Hardide-A coating will replace HVOF thermal spray coatings. HVOF is one of the most widely used coatings in aerospace and Hardide-A is said to be technically superior. Hardide has also been awarded a patent for a water droplet erosion resistant coating for blades and vanes, including those used on steam and gas turbines for power generation. A field test is planned.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) says that a test production run is planned later this month by 85%-owned Future Metal at its quarry in China. The plan is to restart production by the end of the year. This will help to underpin the Adamas NAV and provide potential upside. At the end of September 2019, NAV was 84p a share, which is more than three times the share price. Future Metal is 45.2% of that NAV and when the quarry is up and running then Adamas could raise cash by selling some of its stake. Cash is required to invest in new opportunities that are being presented to the company. Adamas issued 16.18 million shares at 34.8p each for its equity investment in Infinity TNP.

Safestay (SSTY) has bought the Hotel Auberge in Berlin, which is near to Berlin zoo, and intends to turn it into a 150-bed hostel. The site has an eleven year lease. This is the latest acquisition this year and it takes the total number of hostel sites to 18. The plan is to have 20 hostels by 2020.

MAIN MARKET

PureCircle Ltd (PURE) chief executive Magomet Malsagov has stood aside temporarily pending further investigation of the classification of the stevia sweeteners supplier’s inventory and other transactions. The investigations have identified that inventory was $23m too high. Other transactions could lead to additional valuation changes. There could be write downs of intangibles and inventories. There should not be any increase in net debt, although the figures are still not fully audited. Bank covenants may need to be waived. Finance director Rakesh Sinha had previously resigned, although he remains with the company until the end of January.

Automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) is seeking a buyer. Management believes the company needs to be part of a larger group with greater financial resources.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 21 October 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Third quarter trading at Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) shows a one-third increase in loans to £1.6bn, while deposits are 17% ahead at £2bn. Impairments are rising, though. The private bank is adding 40 new clients each month.

Although Vox Markets has called off merger discussions with PCG Entertainment (PCGE) the latter’s shareholders will have preferential rights to participate in the flotation of Vox. Shareholders have to be on the register on 11 October to benefit. PCG has released any claims it may have against Vox, although Vox has the right to sue Align Research, the third party in the merger plans. PCG says nothing negative was found about Align in due diligence. First Sentinel has resigned as corporate adviser to PCG and trading in the shares has been suspended.

Good Energy (GOOD) has launched One Point to offer electric vehicle charging. The company has also been awarded he green classification and mark.

The Home Office has awarded Sativa Group (SATI) a controlled drug licence to grow medicinal cannabis. This covers cannabis with a THC content of greater than 0.2%. Sativa already has a low-THC industrial hemp licence.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) says that its investee company Apollon Formularies has received its third medical cannabis licence in Jamaica. This is for experimental research and development.

World Health Life (LIFE) has completed the acquisition of Love Hemp and a £2m convertible debenture fundraising. A second tranche of debentures should be issued in the next few weeks. Love Hemp has product distribution agreements with supermarkets and health food stores.

Triple Point Investment Management is providing a £20m loan facility for Rutherford Health (RUTH) and this will be drawn down in phases. The loan terms improve as patient numbers increase at the three proton beam therapy centres.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has received the first quarterly interest payment from Silverstream. The 12-month note matures in August 2020.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) will consolidate 20 shares into one new share and trading will commence on 22 October.

Secured Property Development (SPD) had £537,000 in the bank at the end of June 2019, but it is finding it difficult to find a suitable acquisition.

AIM

Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) is as consistent as ever. It has published a trading statement related to its interims at 4.35pm on Friday. The 2018-19 trading update was published at 4.35pm on Thursday 18 April – the last day before a long weekend. There was no particular reason to hide the latest statement. First half revenues were flat compared with a first quarter decline of 2%. Cash fell £300,000 to £28.1m over a three-month period.

Murgitroyd (MUR) is recommending a 675p a share bid from a company set up by Sovereign Capital Partners LLP. This values the patent and trademark attorney at £62.8m. Murgitroyd joined AIM 18 years ago at 121p a share and has been a consistent dividend payer.

Fully listed logistic services provider Wincanton (WIN) is considering a bid for Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) and DBAY Advisers is also still assessing whether to bid.

Disinfection products supplier Tristel (TSTL) plans to grow its revenues by up to 15% a year in each of the next three years. This follows an 18% increase to £26m in the year to June 2019, while pre-tax profit grew by one-fifth to £5.6m. The dividend was 21% higher at 5.54p a share. International markets account for 55% of revenues. Tristel is waiting for a response from the FDA, which should be forthcoming by the end of 2019.

Power projects developer Kibo Mining (KIBO) has raised £1.99m at 0.45p a share. This will be used to fund the development of power generation projects in Africa. The portfolio includes 1,055MW of power generation capacity with 355MW having heads of terms power purchase agreements. Each new share comes with a warrant exercisable at 0.8p a share.

Filtronic (FTC) has agreed to pay a warranty claim of $2m (£1.6m) and change a faulty component in antennas supplied in 2016-17. The fault relates to certain bandwidths in hot countries. The cash is payable in four instalments up until December 2020. On 23 October, Filtronic is set to report sales from continuing activities of £15.9m, down from £21.6m, and a small positive EBITDA. Filtronic has already received more than £10m of orders for its 5G backhaul transceivers due for delivery in 2019-20.

Woodford Investment Management has cut its stake in GYG (GYG) from 19.98% to less than 5%. That appears to have been a relief to the market because the share price of yacht painting services provider has recovered since the disposal. UBS has taken a 11.2% stake.

Kestrel Partners continues to build its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB), taking its stake from 25% to 26.1%. Kestrel owns 23 million shares in Brady (BRY) and, even if it makes a loss, it will be having a cash inflow. Hanover Acquisitions is offering 10p a share for the risk management software company, which values it at £8.3m.

Construction consultancy services provider Driver (DRV) says it will report underlying pre-tax profit of £3m for the full year, after £400,000 of rationalisation costs. That represents a strong performance in the second half. Net cash was £5m at the year-end, after share buy backs.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has taken a 43% stake in Elute Intelligence Holdings, which is developing software to search complex documents and detect plagiarism. Frontier IP is providing some of its own IP to an existing business to form Elute with the rest of the stake coming from providing services to the company.

Blue Star Capital (BLU) is raising £900,000 at 0.1p a share and the cash will be equally split between six investments in esports companies.

Power transmission products manufacturer Renold (RNO) says that cost savings are offsetting a downturn in trading. It is still on track to report an underlying full year pre-tax profit improving from £10.1m to £10.4m. Order intake remains weak.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has announced a restructuring of the Paradox project. This will enable the oil and gas company to focus on the most prospective acreage.

MAIN MARKET

Quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) still has a cash buffer so that it can find a new manufacturing partner to replace the US one that has withdrawn from an agreement. There could still be net cash of £1.5m at the end of July 2020.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) is planning to raise cash at NOK0.35/share in Norway. That is equivalent to 2.95p/share, compared with a market price of 3.5p. The Azerbaijan-focused oil and gas company has a drilling rig that will be mobilised before the end of the month and well M-247 has been identified as a target. It was previously in production. Zenith has identified wells in the Muradkhani oilfield in which perforations of untapped intervals can generate additional production. This will happen in the next fortnight.

OTHER MARKETS

Former AIM company Getmapping has launched a strategic review and a formal sales process. Management of the believes that the geospatial services provider could grow faster with additional investment. A company taking a minority stake is another alternative. The process should be completed by the end of 2019. The shares are traded on the Britdaq matched bargains market.

Vienna-listed Fashion On Screen is moving into theatre by acquiring musicals producer Shaftesbury Avenue. The all-share purchase is valued at £2.5m. Fashion On Screen believes that some of the musicals could become film productions.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 14 October 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its pre-tax profit by one-fifth to £2.4m in the year to June 2018. Revenues improved from £21.4m to £22.8m. The farm-based milk recording business grew, but the main growth came from the much smaller traceability and reproductive businesses. These figures are for the period before the recent virus attack. The dividend has been halved from 2.5p a share to 1.25p a share because management wants to invest in laboratories and IT. Net debt was £1.7m.

Good Energy (GOOD) has clarified its interim figures. The renewable energy supplier says that there was a misclassification of £4.9m relating to cash and current assets and current liabilities. The problem was the timing of payments. This does not change NAV and profit. There was a £20m in the bank at the end of September 2019. Good Energy has signed a technology platform agreement with Octopus Group, which could involve investment of £4m in order to improve efficiency. The existing technology will be written down over the 12 months to June 2019. Operating cost savings should cover the investment in 18 months of full implementation.

Vox has ended merger discussions with PCG Entertainment (PCGE) and Align Research saying that it is difficult to raise money for any business involving Align Research. Vox is concerned that this will hamper fundraisings for future deals, and it believes it could have a negative effect on its main business.

VI Mining (VIM) has acquired rights to near-surface oxide gold at the Aripuana project in Brazil. The company’s other assets are in Peru.

Reyker Securities has been suspended as a broker on NEX Exchange.

AIM  

PCI-compliant payment services provider PCI PAL (PCIP) is making progress in winning new contracts in North America. Recurring annual contract value is £1.9m, compared with forecast revenues of £4.8m in the year to June 2020, up from £2.8m. PCI Pal will continue to lose money as it builds up revenues. Net cash was £1.5m at the end of June 2019. A new £2.75m facility will provide the working capital required to cover losses until the company starts to generate cash. Net debt of £1.5m is forecast at the end of June 2021, so this is well within the funding available.

Uhuru Corporation is a Japanese Internet of Things technology company planning to join AIM this month. Tokyo-based Uhuru (www.uhuru.co.jp/en) is involved in consultancy and engineering, as well as providing creative content and data analysis. Customers include NEC, Dentsu, Honda, Komatsu, Yamaha and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) raised £461,500 at 44p a share via PrimaryBid.com, which takes the total raised to £16.55m. A two-for-51 open offer has been launched to raise a further £3.45m.

AIM shell Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) had discussions about the participation in the purchase of US-based speciality chemicals company Arclin Inc, but these have ended. The costs of the work done on this potential transaction have reduced the cash pile to £900,000. Wilmcote is holding talks with investors about how to fund expenses while it seeks another speciality chemicals acquisition. Trading in the shares has recommenced and the share price slumped from 97p to 65p.

Oil and gas producer Amerisur Resources (AMER) has issued revised bidding instructions to the potential acquirers that were provided data as part of the strategic review and formal sale process. The process will hopefully conclude before the end of the year.

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) is focusing on the customers that are utilising its dispersion know-how and provide the best near-term revenue potential. That will enable the graphene producer to cut its operating costs and make the cash in the bank last at least another two years. Net cash was £6.1m at the end of July 2019 and a tax credit of £600,000 has since been received. Manufacturing will be streamlined, and the annual cost base could fall from £4.3m to £3.2m. Revenues remain modest.

Pawnbroker Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) will make a one-off gross profit of £600,000 from scrapping slow moving jewellery in order to take advantage of the rise in the gold price. Trading is in line with expectations. The interims will be published on 3 December.

United Oil and Gas (UOG) is on course to acquire Rockhopper Egypt for $16m before the end of 2019. A share issue is required in order to fund the initial cash payment of at least $11m. The rest of the payment will be in shares issued at the placing price. The main asset being acquired is a 22% interest in the Abu Sennan concession.

Time Out Group (TMO) has raised £17.1m at 127p a share. The June 2016 flotation price was 150p. The cash will be used to cut debt and roll-out more Time Out Market sites, with Chicago and Montreal due to open later this year and more contracted sites for the future. Net debt was £34.4m at the end of June 2019.

Investors give no quarter when it comes to profit warnings these days. Public housing software provider Castleton Technology (CTP) says recurring revenues are still going well, but there is a shortage of one-off revenues. This has led to a 15% cut in forecast revenues for the year to March 2020. That leads to a cut in pre-tax profit forecast from £6.4m to £5.3m. A similar reduction has been made in the forecast for 2020-21, which is £5.8m. The share price fell by more than one-third to 57p, which is less than ten times prospective earnings.

Trading in the shares of Solo Energy (SOLO) has been suspended ahead of a proposed acquisition of assets from ONE-Dyas for an initial €30.1m. That will be funded by debt and a share issue raising £20m, which will involve an open offer. The 14 gas fields are in the Dutch sector of the North Sea. Tom Reynolds is moving from non-executive to chief executive. The admission document should be published in November and the name will be changed to Scirocco Energy.

Dekeloil (DKL) is still being hampered by a low crude palm oil price but it is optimistic that the price will improve. There was a 11% decrease in third quarter crude palm oil production to 4,803 tonnes. However, there was a 30% increase in sales to 7,138 tonnes. The average price achieved was 16% lower at €456/tonne. The cashew processing project is on course for first production in 2020. The company is changing its name to Dekel Agri-Vision Ltd.

Managed services provider Redcentric (RCN) says that first half trading was on track. It is on course to improve pre-tax profit from £7.2m to £9.8m.

MAIN MARKET

Nottinghamshire-based nmcn (NMCN) is acquiring Lintott Control Systems (LCS), which designs and manufactures water and wastewater treatment systems and process software. The total cost of LCS could be as high as £3.76m. The initial payment is £1, plus up to £676,000 dependent on the receipt of payment for certain invoices. The rest is dependent on profit levels over the three years to the end of 2021.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has increased third quarter revenues by 75%, compared with the second quarter. Revenues were £3.63m and the cryptocurrency mining margin is 73%, even though the bitcoin price has dropped. The number o machines in production should double to 12,000 by the end of the year.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) used cash of £2.31m in operations in the year to June 2019. Rainbow generated revenues of £1.54m from trial rare earths mining at Gakara in Burundi, but production costs were double that level. Write downs mean that net assets were £3.37m at the end of June 2019. More exploration activity is required before production levels are increased.

Stranger Holdings (STHP) has agreed terms to acquire two mineral companies. One has assets in Cameroon and the other is in Idaho. Minerals include cobalt and nickel. Previous potential transactions have been terminated.

Standard list shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) is still seeking an acquisition. There is still £912,000 in the bank.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 23 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) continues to progress its development plans and some of the benefits are shown by the near-doubling of conference and events revenues in the first half. The remodelling of the main parade ring has been completed and a contractor appointed for work on the Royal Box, which will cost £2.5m. In the six months to June 2019, revenues were 3% higher at £7.57m, even though one race day was lost, and there was a slightly lower pre-exceptional loss of £317,000. There is a danger that legislation relating to fixed odds betting terminals could have a knock-on effect on Newbury’s revenues from bookies in the second half.

Shepherd Neame (SHEP) will be releasing its annual results on Wednesday. Peel Hunt expects pre-tax profit to be 5% lower at £11.2m, because there was no contribution from the Asahi brewing contract that ended in 2018. Excluding that contract, profit could have risen. Pubs have grown their like-for-like income and brewing volumes have recovered, but second half profit could be minimal. NAV of 1664p a share is forecast.

Healthcare IT provider DXS International (DXSP) has been hit by a short-term lack of sales activity in the NHS. In the year to April 2019, DXS reported an increased loss of £200,000, up from £46,000. Revenues dipped from £3.41m to £3.35m. More than £1m was spent on developing products during the year.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that dry herb medical inhalation system Hapac has been refined and sales of the device and Hapac sachets are growing. However, legal uncertainty in Italy means that Hapac has been removed from sale while a court case over labelling and cannabis content is heard in Parma. There are plans to launch Hapac in other markets. Ananda has a 15% stake in Hapac’s owner. Edward Nealon has increased his stake in Ananda from 5.31% to 6.91%.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) says that Apollon Formularies, a Jamaican cannabis company where it owns 2.325% and it intends to acquire the rest of the shares, has completed a six week pilot opening of a medicinal cannabis therapy centre to treat patients.

Karoo Energy (KEP) is in discussions with investors so that the company can be recapitalised and settle outstanding creditors. NEX has agreed to defer the withdrawal of Karoo shares from trading ahead of the publication of a circular.

AFH Financial (AFHP) has bought another IFA. It is paying up to £3.2m for Wirral-based Broadleaf Financial Services.

LF Woodford Equity Income Fund and Woodford Patient Capital Trust own 50.6% of Rutherford Health (RUTH) following the latest cash injection of £12.5m at 176p a share.

AIM 

StatPro (SOG) is recommending a 230p a share cash bid from Confluence Technologies. That is a 55% premium to the market price and the share price has never been anywhere near that level. It is equivalent to more than 32 times last year’s earnings. Nearly two-thirds of the shares have agreed to accept the offer, which values the asset management software supplier at £161m.

Fulcrum Utility Services (LSE: FCRM) has managed to avoid publicity of its full year figures. On the plus side, they were released before the end of September so there is no danger of trading in the shares being suspended. They were in line with previous indications after multi-utility construction services provider Fulcrum and its auditors finally agreed on the way to interpret IFRS16, which relates to recognising revenues. Fulcrum is no longer allowed to take the revenues and profit from constructing its own utility assets through the income statement. Revenues were one-fifth higher at £48.9m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from £7.9m to £8.6m. NAV is 20.5p a share.

Background and medical screening checks provider ClearStar (CLSU) grew its interim revenues by 17% to $11.6m and it is getting nearer to profitability. The underlying pre-tax loss was $500,000. This has prompted a small upgrade in the revenues forecast to $23.5m, but additional marketing costs mean that pre-tax loss is still likely to be $600,000. Net debt could be $700,000 at the end of 2019. Demand from the US labour market remains strong and ClearStar is building its presence in newer sectors.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) is in talks to buy Alchemist Codes, a Malaysian IT consultancy and e-commerce app developer, for £2.3m in shares. Trading in the shares has been suspended. Due diligence is ongoing, and the shares will remain suspended until a readmission document relating to the reverse takeover is published. 

Advanced materials supplier Low and Bonar (LWB) is recommending a 15.5p a share cash bid from Germany-based FVB that values the company at £107m. The bidder says that its geographic reach will widen, and it will be able to enter the coated technical textiles market. Recent trading at Low and Bonar has been poor.

National Word (NWOR) is a standard list shell that has been launched by former Mirror boss David Montgomery so that he can acquire UK local newspapers.

Toiletries manufacturer Creightons (CRL) has agreed to acquire its premises in Peterborough for £3.8m. This needs to be agreed to be shareholders at a general meeting.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has installed a further 1,000 cryptomining machines, taking the total to 6,000. That figure could double by next spring. In the six months to June 2019, Argo generated revenues of £2.93m and made a pre-tax profit of £947,000.

 

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 2 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) generated revenues of £777,000 in the 15 months to March 2019. The nursing staff provider lost £2.63m. Since the year end, more contracts have been signed with NHS hospitals, as well as with a hospital in the UAE. The staff offered to hospitals have all obtained qualifications in English and 76% end up being employed. Most of the previous debt has been converted into shares, so net debt was £91,000 at the end of March 2019.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) reported an increase in net liabilities from £234,000 to £537,000 at the end of March 2019. There were £750,000 worth of bonds issued during the period.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) hopes that the acquisition of Vox Markets and Align Research should be closed in early October. Previous operations have been provided for in full and have been sold. There was £14,000 in the bank at the end of March 2019.

A new investor to Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has subscribed £100,000 for shares at 70p each, which is a one-third premium to the market price at the time. Westerby Trustee Services Ltd owns 3.8% of the company on behalf of Westerby Private Pension (R Prest).

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that the judicial restructuring plan for the Amapa iron ore project has been approved by the Sao Paulo commercial court. This will enable Cadence to acquire a 20% stake in Amapa. A further $3.5m investment will take the stake to 27%. Cadence plans to consolidate 100 existing shares into one new share. Shareholders will be asked to approve the proposal at the AGM on 20 September.

Paul Tuson is stepping down as finance director of Rutherford Health (RUTH) and the reappointment resolution was withdrawn from the AGM agenda.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has opened its third Goodbody CBD Wellness store in Bristol, following store openings in Bath and Cirencester. It is seeking franchisees to roll-out further stores around the country.

Panther Metals (PALM) chief executive Darren Hazelwood has acquired 18.87 million shares at 0.3p each. That takes his stake to 10.3%.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £59,000 at 14p a share via a placing with D Beta One EQ Ltd.

AIM  

President Energy (PPC) insists that it will continue to be profitable even though the Argentinian authorities are attempting to fix the price that producers can sell oil and the dollar exchange rate used for the price for a 90-day period. President has decided to delay its well drilling programme until the first quarter of 2020 and the focus will be gas wells. Gas sales from four wells in Estancia Vieja and Las Bases will commence production by the end of September. A new gas pipeline should be completed by the end of the year. finnCap has withdrawn its forecasts.  

Order books and production volumes are ahead of last year at gift wrap and greetings products supplier IG Design (IGR) thanks to a combination of organic growth and last year’s US acquisition. IG is on course to increase pre-tax profit from £30.3m to £36m.

Online musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) says that it has taken actions that are already helping to improve gross margin.

Cambridge Cognition (COG) says sales are lower than expected. The digital neuroscience services provider says that full year revenues will fall from £6.13m to around £5.5m. The loss will be around £2.8m. First half revenues were £2.1m and the loss was £1.74m. There is a strong order book, so this augurs well for next year.

Adamas Finance Asia Ltd (ADAM) has funded the second tranche of the investment in Infinity Capital Group. The $2m is being funded equally by Adamas and a Hong Kong family office.  

MAIN MARKET 

Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) intends to move to AIM if its acquisition of media-focused artificial intelligence and machine learning company Entertainment AI goes ahead.

At a general meeting, shareholders in Tex Holdings (TXH) approved the 2018 report and accounts and directors’ remuneration report, but they did not approve the reappointment of Scrutton Bland as auditors.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) is reaping the benefits of its investment in crypto mining equipment. The cost of 1,000 machines has already been recouped and Argo is on course to recoup the cost of a further 2,267 machines.

Ross Group (RGP) did not generate any revenues in the six months to June 2019 and the loss was £3.15m. Ross acquired start-up operations during the period. They will supply Chitin.

Asian consumer businesses investor Symphony International Holdings (SIHL) increased its NAV by 14% to $560.4m in the six months to June 2019.

George Bennett has become chief executive of Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) and Martin Eales has left the board. In the year to June 2019, Rainbow sold 850 tonnes of concentrate from the Gakara project, although bad weather hampered production in the fourth quarter. Sales prices have declined.

China-focused healthcare investment company Cathay International (CTI) reported a decrease in revenues from $49.2m to $38.3m. There was a $7.9m gain on the sale of shares in Zhejiang Starry Pharmaceutical, but that was not enough to cover the operating loss and interest costs.

OTHER MARKETS

Britdaq-quoted Staminier Ltd has secured a three-year option over 13 acres of land near to the south terminal of Gatwick Airport and it wants to build a car park with 2,200 spaces. In July, Staminier acquired a majority stake in eco-friendly housebuilder Eco-Space 41 Ltd. There is a four-year option to acquire the other 49% for £750,000. The strategy is to acquire businesses at a discount to their intrinsic value. There are plans to move to a more liquid stockmarket.

Asset Match will provide a trading facility for shares of former AIM company Albert Technologies Ltd. The first auction will be during September.

US Oil and Gas (USOP) has raised $382,000 at 31p a share. This follows a fundraising in July of $577,000 at 30p a share. The cash will be spent on exploration.

Andrew Hore 

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 19 August 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Adnams (ADB) reported a decline in first half revenues from £35.5m to £34.7m, while the loss increased from £840,000 to £1.15m. Beer volumes were 2% ahead, compared with a 1% decline in the market. Low alcohol beer sales grew. Gin sales fell because of greater competition. A fire at the Ship at Levington hampered the performance of the pubs business. Adnams made an underlying profit in 2018, thanks to a better second half performance. The new IT system went live in March and the implementation has been a distraction to management. The dividends are unchanged at 78p a share for each B share and 19.5p per A share.  

Bruce Pubs (PUB) has decided to cancel trading in its 7.2% secured bonds, 31 March 2022. There are £20,000 worth of bonds admitted to the market and there have been no trades. Bruce Pubs had wanted to raise up to £20m from the bond issue. It is therefore not a surprise that Bruce Pubs believes it is not worth having a trading facility. The bonds can be redeemed early by the company.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has produced 10,164 tonnes of lead concentrate, 7,431 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 46,863 tonnes of pyrite concentrate in the first half of 2019. An operating profit of A$3.6m was made on sales of A$23m.

TechFinancials (TECH) had $1.23m in the bank at the end of June 2019. A reduction in trade receivables meant that there was a small cash inflow from operating activities, but there was $402,000 capitalised developed on the blockchain ticketing system.

China-focused healthcare company MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £755,000 at 30p a share.

Queros Capital Partners (QCP) has gained a quotation for its bonds on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange

AIM  

ICAMAP has acquired 7.94 million shares in easyHotel (EZH) at its offer price of 95p a share, taking its stake to 44.1%. This means that it is a mandatory cash offer.

Iofina (IOF) has launched IofinaEX Global to deal in hemp derived products in Central America and the Caribbean. Iofina will potentially link up with a government in the region that wants to develop its country as a hub for hemp derived products. There are no details of this potential partnership. The company believes that its regulatory expertise in the iodine market will be helpful in the CBD market. The US is likely to be a major market.

LightwaveRF (LWRF) has raised £1.3m at 7p a share. The smart homes equipment supplier wants the cash to finance further growth. There are also plans to secure a facility for stock.

Altitude (ALT) is considering the disposal of its Manchester-based promotion products supplier AdProducts.com. This would enable Altitude to concentrate on its AIM platform for promotional products suppliers.

Greatland Gold (GGP) has raised £4.2m at 1.85p a share and that will be used to finance exploration in the Paterson region of Australia. There has been positive exploration news from the Scallywag prospect in the Paterson region. A ground gravity survey starts this month and an induced polarisation survey next month. Then 3D modelling using the data will come up with drill targets.

Cyber security software and services provider Corero Network Security (CNS) says interim revenues are lower, but operating costs are unchanged. That means that the interim loss has increased. However, full year revenues are expected to be one-fifth higher, but higher investment in sales means that the loss will still be higher. Net cash was $3.6m at the end of June 2019.

Equals Group (EQLS) is raising up to £16m via a placing and open offer. The international payments company has raised £14m at 110p a share and up to £2m will come from the one-for-90 open offer. The cash will be used for acquisitions and working capital.

Tanfield (TAN) says that 49%-owned Snorkel International has moved back into profit in the second quarter of 2019, although the first half was still loss-making. Last year, the value of this investment in the access equipment supplier was cut from £36.3m to £19.1m.

Oil and gas producer President Energy (PPC) says that there should not be a material effect on its operations from a change in Argentinian president. Revenues are US dollar based and cash is held in the same currency, so the decline of the Argentinian peso should not be too much of a problem.

Anthony Laiker has subscribed £25,000 in Vela Technologies (VELA) at 0.1p a share. A general meeting has to approve the share issue to the executive director, as well as an issue of 6.25 million warrants exercisable at 0.15p. Approval of the conversion of £200,000 of loan notes plus interest into nearly 241 million shares will also require the company to be given the ability to issue more shares. Laiker would than own more than 301 million shares.

Gfinity (GFIN) is pulling out of its Australian joint venture because the esports company wants to focus its cash on the US and other important markets.  

Workspace software provider Essensys (ESYS) says that its revenues were one-quarter higher at £20.5m in the year to July 2019. That was better than expected. Annual recurring revenues run rate is £17.3m.

MAIN MARKET  

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) made an increased loss of £1.81m, up from £582,000 the previous year. The company’s main pension fund remains a worry and there are ongoing discussions with the Pensions Regulator. There are net liabilities of £3.71m after the pension deficit of £4.98m.

Nanoco (NANO) generated revenues of £7.3m in the year to July 2019, more than double the previous year. The cadmium-free quantum dots developer had £7m in cash at the end of July and expects to have £6m at the end of 2019.

Highway Capital (HWC) has issued €30,000 of new convertible loan notes. These are convertible to a value in excess of 50% of the net asset value of the company at the time of conversion. The terms of an existing convertible loan note of £100,000 have been changed and the conversion price is 5p a share.

Shareholders in Avocet Mining (AVM) have voted against the resolution to wind up the company. This means that it is likely to go into administration unless there is a viable transaction that the board can assess.

Global Resources Investment Trust (GRIT) wanted shareholders to approve the voluntary liquidation of the company, but there is not enough support for the proposal. GRIT has sold 430 million shares in Kalia for £225,000 in order to provide working capital. A new board is being appointed to undertake a strategic review. James Normand will become chairman and Martin Lampshire as an executive director. Stephen Roberts will become a non-executive director.  

IMC Exploration (IMC) has been awarded two additional licences in County Wexford. They adjoin an existing licence where there are indications of gold.

Book publisher Quarto (QRT) reduced its interim loss from $6.6m to $4m on flat revenues of $56.4m. There was a change in the mix of revenues with children’s books increasing revenues by14% and in geographic terms more of the revenues were in the US, which moved into profit. Net debt has fallen by 11% to $65m.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) says that drilling has commenced at well C-37 in the Jafarli oilfield.

Pendragon (PDG) is selling its Chevrolet dealership in California for £17.2m. GM can alternatively nominate another purchaser if it wants. The rest of the US business will be sold.

Andrew Hore 

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