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British Honey Company (BHC) is acquiring Union Distillers for an initial £8m in cash and shares. Leicestershire-based Union Distillers has been trading for more than eight years and has its own still and bonded warehouse. There is a range of gins, vodkas, a spiced rum, an absinthe and an espresso vodka liqueur under the Two Birds brand. There could be up to £2m of earn-out consideration payable in cash and shares depending on the target revenues from the Union products. A share issue raised £4.59m at 110p a share, while a convertible loan note issue added a further £1.63m. Union has £250,000 in cash. The deal should be earnings enhancing and cash generative. In the year to September 2020, Union generated revenues of £4.94m and pre-tax profit £1.13m. NAV was £1.52m.
National Milk Records (NMRP) reported flat interim revenues of £10.8m, but pre-tax profit increased by one-quarter to £500,000. Net debt was reduced to £1.1m despite investment in a genomics lab. An unchanged dividend of 1.25p a share will be paid. The outlook is positive for the dairy sector with UK milk prices expected to be maintained at current levels. Finance director Mark Frankcom has bought 9,974 shares at 101.75p each.
Imperial X (IMPP) is making four acquisitions and continues to move towards a standard listing. The purchases involve the issue of 245.6 million shares. Cloudbreak Discovery Corp, Howson Ventures Inc and Cabox Gold Corp are all being acquired, and certain assets of Anglo African Minerals are being bought. Imperial X has a £10m drawdown agreement with Crescita Capital. This lasts for three years.
Upper Thames Holdings (UPPT) is not going ahead with the proposed acquisition of Sweden-based mobile camera systems technology company Ridercam. Instead, the focus will be on blockchain and the linking of conventional currencies with cryptocurrencies. A placing has raised £516,000 at 1p a share. Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser.
Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) fell into loss last year as revenues slumped by two-fifths. The hotel has been closed or under restrictions for the period since the year end in October 2020. There is £1.03m in the bank and the NAV is £3.3m.
S-Ventures (SVEN) has bought a 75.1% stake in Ohso Chocolate for £295,000 in shares at 9p each. The remaining 24.9% stake in Ohso could be sold for nearly 1.1 million shares. Ohso is a probiotic chocolate supplier and it generated revenues of £311,000 during 2020. The S-Ventures chief executive and finance director owned 50.6% in Ohso.
World High Life (LIFE) is changing its name to Love Hemp. A general meeting will be held on 11 March. In the first half, revenues were £2.36m and second quarter revenues were nearly double those in the first quarter, although the gross margin fell. A debt of £2.15m has been settled by the issue of 86.1 million shares.
Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) has submitted a novel food application for validation by the Food Standards Agency. This covers a range of CBD products.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has identified new gold targets at the Red Setter project in Western Australia. The magnetic survey has discovered targets that are shallower than previously.
Ananda Investments (ANA) has raised £300,000 from two investors. This will finance the first phase of the medicinal cannabis growing facility in Lincolnshire. Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised a further £330,000 at 4p a share.
Avacta (AVCT) is starting its first clinical study. This is a phase I study for AVA6000, developed from the pre|CISION platform. This is a treatment for solid tumours, including those for bladder, pancreatic, colorectal and breast cancer. The trial will assess safety and dosage levels. Early data could be published before the end of the year.
Transense Technologies (TRT) should move into profit next year as it receives a full year of royalties following the sale of the iTrack business to Bridgestone. In the year to June 2020, there was a £1.3m loss and this year there could be a much-reduced loss this year. Once Bridgestone has built up iTrack sales the royalties will cover group overheads. This will enable Transense to invest in its surface acoustic wave technology and Translogik tyre probes. A 2021-22 pre-tax profit of £357,000 is forecast.
Strong underlying growth in the mobile division helped Blannco Technology (BLTG) to maintain interim revenues at £17.4m. The previous year included £1.4m of one-off contract income. The fastest growth is in Asia Pacific. The prospects for data erasure operations are good and new partners have been signed up. Data erasure is particularly important while remote working is a major factor in companies.
Chamberlin (CMH) is getting a cash injection from Trevor Brown. The £200,000 loan will, subject to shareholder approval, be converted into shares at 6p each and Brown will have a 29.5% stake. The Scunthorpe foundry is busy and profitable, but management is still trying to win work for the Walsall foundry.
Duke Royalty (DUKE) has secured a new client involved in steel fabrication. There is a £6.2m royalty financing agreement with Meteor HoldCo, which makes steel street lighting and guardrail products.
Telecoms testing systems supplier Calnex Solutions (CLX) says some revenues appear to have been brought forward into 2020-21 and therefore the full year revenues and profit will be ahead of expectations.
Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) has published details of the Rodnikova project scoping study, which suggests a potential 14-year life for the project. The JORC resource is 6.3Mt at an average grade of 5g/t gold. Post tax NPV10 is $177.6m – based on $1,600/ounce gold price.
Israel-based cannabis-based products supplier Kanabo Research has completed its reversal into standard list shell Spinnaker Opportunities to form Kanabo Group (KNB) two years after the deal was announced. The value of the deal was £15m in shares and the company also raised £6m at a share price of 6.5p. Kanabo was valued at £23.4m when it was admitted to trading. The share price has risen to 31p – having at one point reached 50.75p – and that values Kanabo at £111.7m. One of the investors in Kanabo is AIM-quoted Vela Technologies (VELA) and it invested £150,000 at 6.5p a share.
MGC Pharmaceuticals (MXC) has expanded its research programme into the use of cannabinoids to treat aggressive glioblastoma brain cancer. The expanded study includes the use of a nanoparticle delivery system. MGC has also secured a three-year distribution agreement with Swiss PharmaCan for its product ArtemiC Rescue as a food supplement. The minimum order quantity is 40,000 units per quarter, which has a retail value of $3.4m.
Path Investments (PATH) is not going ahead with the purchase of DT Ultravert from two vendors including Zoetic International (ZOE) following concerns during the preparation of the potential prospectus. Path has raised £3.5m at 0.25p a share.
Rare earths explorer Pensana (PRE) is dropping its listing on the ASX.
Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has submitted a prospectus to the FCA for the proposed reverse takeover of the Kilimapesa gold project.
Daniel Thwaites (THW) closed its pubs and hotels on 20 May and it will not pay a final dividend for 2019-20. Net debt was £65.4m at the end of March 2020 and there are £16.6m of spare bank facilities. Trading had been strong, and the predominance of freehold properties means that rent payments is not as big a concern as it is for some pub operators.
Housebuilder St Mark Homes (SMAP) had a NAV of 127p a share at the end of 2019. The share price is 87.5p. There is cash of £4.8m and the company intends to pay off its bond, which has a 6% coupon. In 2019, pre-tax profit dipped from £117,000 to £114,000.
KR1 (KR1) has raised $353,000 from the sale of RPL tokens, relating to the Rocket Pool, which is developing a proof-of-stake infrastructure service using Ethereum 2.0. The tokens were acquired for $0.21 each and sold at $1.67 each. The majority of the RPL tokens acquired are still held by KR1 even though there was a buyer for all of them. The takeover of digital asset custodian Volt Ltd has generated a further $244,000.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has signed a framework agreement that will enable it to provide cancer treatment services to NHS trusts. The deal lasts an initial period of two years.
Altona Energy (ANR) has cancelled its open offer because the minimum amount was not raised. Instead, management is in discussions with three companies that could reverse into Altona. Cash will be required to cover the costs of a reverse takeover.
Trading has resumed in Lombard Capital (LCAP) shares. Lombard’s waste and recycling subsidiary is acquiring land in Preston for £1.08m. Lombard needs to issue more bonds in order to fully fund the purchase. Existing bond holders are swapping £507,000 worth into shares at 25p each and £320,000 has been raised from the exercise of warrants at 10p each. The current share price is 27.5p and it is more than five times the level it was two months ago. The site was previously used for recycling and Lombard will reapply for an environmental licence. It will be used for a waste to energy project and a plastic recovering plant.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has been appointed as adviser to Kesholabs, a Kenya-based blockchain technology developer. Kesholabs is developing three applications that could be launched within 12 months.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that CASA is set to resume limited operations after the lockdown in South Africa. CASA will produce test work and production of anthracite samples.
Ananda Developments (ANA) subsidiary DJT plants has met with the MHRA to discuss its plans to grow strains of cannabis. This is part of the licence application to grow medicinal cannabis. There will be further consultation with the UK authorities.
World High Life (LIFE) says that subsidiary Love Hemp has increased capacity for its LH Botanicals business.
IWEP is swapping part of its loan to Eight Capital Partners (ECP) into a 29.8% stake at 0.025p a share. Shares have also been issued to creditors to satisfy money owed.
First Sentinel (FSEN) has invested £270,000 in Stabiltech Biopharma as part of a £6m fundraising. The corporate finance subsidiary is advising the investee company on further fundraisings. The vaccine developer is developing a potential vaccine for COVID-19. Clinical trials should start in June.
Secured Property Developments (SPD) is still seeking property investments. There is £514,000 in the bank and net assets of £470,000.
All Star Minerals (ASMO0 has raised £80,000 at 0.02p a share and a further £170,000 is being sought. Ian Harebottle and Richard Lloyd, who both have mining experience, are joining the board.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £189,500 in placings at 7p a share and 7.5p a share. NQ has raised £340,000 in the past fortnight.
Shareholders have passed the resolution to consolidate 100 existing Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) shares into one new share.
Sport Capital Group (SCG) has appointed Peterhouse as joint broker.
Engineering businesses consolidator Vulcan Industries is seeking admittance to the Aquis Stock Exchange. The focus is profitable metal fabrication and precision engineering businesses. First Sentinel is corporate adviser. The expected admission date is 1 June.
Renalytix AI (RENX) plans to gain a Nasdaq listing. The renal diagnostics company has not decided how much money it wants to raise. Renalytix AI has launched a joint venture to develop and produce COVID-19 antibody test kits.
STM (STM) subsidiary Carey has won a court case brought by a client. Adams v Carey related to a non-advisory SIPP taken out by Adams and an investment that he asked to be put in the SIPP. The investment performed poorly, and Adams claimed for loss of value. This case has been going on for more than two years.
Employee background checks provider ClearStar (CLSU) has launched a COVID-19 testing service that will help employers with back to work planning. That could attract additional clients for ClearStar’s services.
Imaging services provider IXICO (IXI) increased interim revenues from £3.43m to £4.56m and that helped to more than double profit from £215,000 to £475,000. There was cash of £6.66m at the end of March 2020. The order book is strong. It was £15.3m at the end of the interim period and more has been added since then. Data analysis from existing trials is continuing during the lockdown.
Tiziana Life Science (TILS) intends to demerge its genomics-based personalised medicine businesses into a separate quoted vehicle. This will enable the business to raise cash to develop the StemPrintER technology for the prediction of disease recurrence in breast cancer patients.
Tissue products developer Tissue Regenix (TRX) raised £14.6m at a share price of 0.25p. This was much-needed cash because existing funds were about to run out.
A share placing by Open Orphan (ORPH) at 11p a share raised £12m after expenses. This will help to finance services for COVID-19 vaccines and tests, as well as more laboratory facilities.
Digital TV technology provider Mirada (MIRA) has extended the term for its revolving credit facility by 12 months to the end of November 2021. Earlier this month, Mirada launched a lower cost version of its technology. Iris in Swift Mode is a pre-packaged platform.
Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) has acquired the Eddie Stobart brand from Stobart Group (STOB), which will have to change its name, for £10m. An annual fee of £3m was payable for the brand. This will be saved from now on. There have been some reductions in activity due to COVID-19, but grocery and e-commerce demand remain strong.
Cash shell Summerway Capital (SWC) has £5.55m in the bank as it continues to seek an acquisition.
Contango Holdings (CGO) has published a prospectus relating to the acquisition of the Lubu coal project. The potential deal was announced more than one year ago. A £1.4m placing at 5p a share in January will finance costs and initial investment in the Lubu project. Readmission is expected on 18 June.
The Takeover Panel Executive has denied Moss Bros (MOSB) bidder Brigadier’s attempt to lapse its offer. Brigadier has asked for the ruling to be reviewed.
Pure Gold Mining Inc (PUR) has secured a $15m investment at $1.52 a share. This will be invested in the Red Lake Mine.
Loans to Shefa Gems (SEFA) totalling £1.25m have been converted at a premium to the market price. The shares issued account for 14.5% of the enlarged share capital.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) says that £2.2m of loan notes has been converted into shares at 50p each. The property portfolio has a resilient tenant base, with the majority of rents owed by national and local government tenants. During March, 82% of rents were paid. Four tenants are facing short-term difficulty. Ace will defer dividend payments.
SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) has signed contracts to supply nurses to Saudi Arabia and domestic workers to Bahrain and Malaysia. There is also a contract to supply personal protection equipment to the NHS. These deals are worth £800,000 in this financial year. Aaamir Quraishi has resigned as a director.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is raising £645,000 at 6p a share. The cash will be used to finance the bridging loan, with an annual interest rate of 18%, to fund the start-up of shipping iron ore from the Amapa project.
GP software provider DXS International (DXSP) believes that it can still match last year’s revenues despite COVID-19. New product launches have been delayed. There is cash in the bank to cover working capital.
Ananda Investments (ANA) says that medicinal cannabis strains are being analysed by Dr Dedi Meiri in Israel. Dr Meiri is assessing the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis for treating coronavirus. Ananda intends to broaden its licence application for cannabis growth to the anti-inflammatory area.
Gunsynd (GUN) had net assets of £1.72m at the end of January 2020, including £225,000 in cash. The investment in Brazil Tungsten has been written down from £400,000 to nil. Management is assessing potential investments in the Australian precious metals sector.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) intends to raise £400,000 at 40p a share. Each share will also come with a warrant exercisable at 40p.
Trading in Lombard Capital (LCAP) shares has been suspended until it makes a full announcement about the proposed recycling acquisition.
KR1 (KR1) has invested $75,000 in the Union Finance project, which is a credit mutual on Ethereum. Loans will be offered via blockchain.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has appointed VSA Capital as corporate broker.
NWF (NWF) has traded strongly, although May is likely to be weaker. Even so, pre-tax profit in the year to May 2020 is set to be substantially higher than the previous year. Food distribution was highly active in March and April. There were initial inefficiencies, but the division has adapted. The Crewe warehouse has started operations. The fuels division has benefited from lower oil prices. Heating oil demand has been strong, although the decline in economic activity has hit demand from commercial customers. Feeds demand is in line with expectations, although increased commodity prices could make trading more difficult in the coming months.
Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) has identified a significant extension of Vein 25 North at the Asacha gold mine. There is potential to significantly increase the mineral resource. Production from Vein 25 North should commence earlier than anticipated this year.
Ariana Resources (AAU) says that its Kiziltepe mine joint venture has repaid its $33m loan that it received to finance the construction of the mine.
Seafox International has proposed a 9 cents a share bid for Gulf Marine Services (GMS) but it has been rejected. GMS will be hit by the low oil price and it has net debt of $390m. GMS argues that it is cutting costs and still winning new business.
Nanoco (NANO) has ended its formal sale process due to economic uncertainty and the lack of a realistic bid. There is enough cash to take the company into the second quarter of 2021.
Cardiff Property (CDFF) edged up its NAV to 23.03p a share in the six months to March 2020. The Thames Valley property market is holding up. The interim dividend was raised from 4.6p a share to 4.8p a share.
Suffolk-based brewer Adnams (ADB) returned to profit in 2019. Revenues fell from £78.9m to £74.7m, while a loss of £877,000 was turned into a pre-tax profit of £39,000. Stripping out one-off costs, there was an underlying decline in profit. Investment in the brewery and a new IT system have led to some disruption of the business. There will be no final dividend due to COVID-19 and the subsequent pub closures. There are tangible assets valued at £43.8m, much of which is freehold property and Adnams is in discussions about new lending facilities.
Directors’ pay has been halved and other costs reduced to a minimum.
Ananda Developments (ANA) is formulating responses to the latest questions from the Home Office. The MHRA has also requested a meeting to discuss the application to grow >0.2% THC cannabis. Ananda has a 50% interest in DJT Plants which plans to grow the cannabis in Lincolnshire.
World High Life (LIFE) has gained a quotation on the US OTC market. They started trading on 8 April.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) produced 8,127 tonnes of lead concentrate and 4,609 tonnes of zinc concentrate at the Hellyer mine in the first quarter of 2020. Further production increases are planned. Mining continues in Tasmania and the concentrate can still be shipped.
Replacement windows supplier Safestyle (SFE) has raised £8.5m at 17p a share and this will provide a strong cash buffer during the COVID-19 outbreak. Banking covenants will be waived for up to six months.
ReNeuron (RENE) has secured a collaboration with a major pharma company for the potential use of the company’s exosomes, derived from the CTX neural stem cell line.
D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) won additional SaaS-based business in the fourth quarter. That has delayed the recognition of revenues and led to a 14% fall in reported revenues to £21.7m. The forecast was for revenues of £26.7m. Pre-tax profit fell from £6m to £5m. There is £12.7m of cash in the bank.
Churchill China (CHH) has decided not to pay a final dividend even though net cash was £15.6m at the end of 2019. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from £9.4m to £11.2m in 2019. Manufacturing operations have been suspended and costs are being reduced. Capital investment in manufacturing and kiln capacity should be completed in the first half of 2020.
Real Estate Investors (REI) says that trading remains strong and it still intends to pay its dividend. Rental collection was good in the first quarter of 2020. Forecasts have been trimmed with nav expected to fall from 67.4p a share to 66.1p a share. That is still well above the share price.
Circassia Pharma (CIR) is transferring the US commercial rights to Tudorza and Duaklir to AstraZeneca. The $149.9m loan from AstraZeneca (and accrued interest) will be offset against the consideration for the transfer. AstraZeneca still owns 18.9% of Circassia. The focus of Circassia will be the Niox respiratory diagnostic platform.
Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO) has raised a further £14.9m at 25p a share. This will be spent on development and gaining approval for its LIGHT proton therapy system.
Cinema operator Everyman Media (EMAN) has raised £17.5m at 100p a share. This will help finance the business while the cinemas are closed.
Upheavals continue at Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) with a further general meeting requisitioned and the resignation of chairman Andrew Morrison. A share issue raised £318,000 at 0.25p a share. Chief executive Matt Lofgran has agreed to a 60% reduction in salary until the next significant fundraising.
Trading in the shares of Bould Opportunities (BOU) has been cancelled but it continues to push ahead with a potential biotechnology acquisition.
Aquila Services Group (AQSG) is aiming to at least break even in 2020-21 and maintain a positive cash balance. The figures for the year to March 2020 will not be as good as forecast, although it was profitable. Cost savings by the consultancy services provider include the chief executive standing down and there will be no final dividend.
Avation (AVAP) says that it has received bid interest, but progress has been hampered by COVID-19. The commercial aircraft lessor has $129m in cash and it is offering short-term financial relief to airlines. Management believes that ongoing income should be enough to cover costs for another 12 months.
Car and property bridging finance provider S and U (SUS) is paying a final dividend of 50p a share. That is lower than the previous year’s final of 51p a share, but it means the total dividend for 2019-20 is 2% higher. There are signs of reduction in lending in the early weeks of the new financial year.
Flavourings and fragrances supplier Treatt (TET) says interim revenues were 5% lower due to a fall in the price of citrus raw materials. There was growth in other areas with tea revenues 48% higher. There has been strong growth in recent orders because of the use of ingredients in soaps and sanitisers. The factory relocation in the UK will not happen until 2021. Net cash was £6.5m at the end of March 2020. The interims will be published on 12 May.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated revenues of £6m in the first quarter of 2020. There was £1.8m generated in March, down from £2.5m in February. The decline was due to lower bitcoin prices and more difficult cryptocurrency mining conditions.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has raised £40,000 from a loan note issue to two investors. The conversion price is 5p a share. There will be a warrant for every two shares that is exercisable at 5p a share.
Zapp Electric Vehicles plans to join NEX in February. Zapp has developed an electric bike and it is being produced in Thailand. The first production series model was made in September. The flotation will raise cash for manufacturing and marketing the i300 in the European market where cities are promoting electric vehicles. Zapp Scooters Ltd (the previous name) had net assets of £487,000 at the end of September 2018 and most of that was accounted for by an investment in the Thailand-based subsidiary. VSA Capital is corporate adviser.
Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) increased its full year pre-tax profit from £193,000 to £282,000. Revenues were 2% ahead at £3.73m, while the cost base was flat. There were lower repair costs and the capital investment of recent years is beginning to pay off. NAV was £3.49m, including cash of £1.11m.
Ananda Developments (ANA) says that investee company DJT Plants has been asked follow-up questions by the government as part of the application to grow more than 0.2% THC cannabis. Sales of hap devices and hapac sachets has recommenced in Italy. The executive chairman has loaned £30,000 to Ananda at an interest rate of 10% a year.
Sativa Group (SATI) has signed a deal with Alliance Healthcare for the distribution of Goodbody Botanicals cannabis-based products through its 10,000 UK high street clients.
Block Commodities (BLCC) has extended its option to acquire Greenbelt Company, which has access to 4,000 acres of farmland in Sierra Leone. Greenbelt also has a licence for medicinal cannabis production and processing. A premium of £10,000 is being paid for a 90-day exclusive option to acquire the company for £4m in shares at 0.1p each, a premium to the suspension price. The proposed acquisition was announced 10 months ago.
Healthcare properties developer Ashley House (ASH) continues to build a pipeline of affordable housing schemes and it has completed six homes for Corby Borough Council. A loss will be reported for the 18 months to October 2019. More cash is still required.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has given notice to Woodford Investment Management that it expects it to subscribe £7.5m at 176p a share. This will take the LF Equity Income Fund stake to 26.8%. More cash will be required so that a fourth proton therapy centre can be opened in Liverpool. This cash will be spent later this year.
Formation Group (FRM) reported a return to profit in the year to August 2019, although it was down to one-off gains. A loss of £284,000 was turned into a pre-tax profit of £1.27m. There was still an underlying loss. The NAV is £20.9m, including cash of £16.2m. The focus was completing existing property development projects. At the end of 2019, the cash was invested in Irish development projects. Sean O’Brien and Andrew Bennett, who is a director of Rutherford Health, have become directors of Formation.
Gunsynd (GUN) has rolled over its loan notes to Human Brands Inc into one loan note with a repayment date of 20 January 2021. Human Brands’ Japanese whisky called Shinju is being sold by a major US liquor retailer. The plan is to raise more cash and Gunsynd would receive a fee in shares.
Coinsilium Group (COIN) says that IOV Labs Ltd, which owns smart contract platform developer RSK, has subscribed £250,000 at 2.65p a share and the two firms have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a joint venture in Singapore. This will commercialise RSK’s products in Asia and to promote RIF tokens which power RSK’s platforms. Gibraltar-based IOV owns 6.94% of Coinsilium, while Coinsilium owns 1.95 million RIF tokens. Almon I Holding has increased its stake in Coinsilium to 3.68%.
Black Sea Property (BSP) is acquiring two subsidiaries of European Convergence Development Company (ECDC) plus outstanding debt of €119.2m. Black Sea Property is paying €3.3m. There will also be the purchase of between 28.6% to 29.9%. This adds two development plots.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) made a loss of £131,000 in the last quarter of 2019. It is still attempting to raise cash via a bond issue.
Ganapati (GANP) says that additional regulations in Malta have required additional time for the registration as a Virtual Financial Asset licence. The application will be filed in the first quarter and a systems audit is being carried out. There are plans to apply for software gaming licence in the UK Gambling Commission and for certificates in Sweden, Denmark, Spain and Columbia.
Slater Investments has increased its stake in IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) from 10.65% to 12.2%.
Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £113,000 at 0.65p a share. There was £174,000 in the bank at the end of August 2019. Management has informed NEX that the company should be classed as an operating company, rather than an investment company with the remaining investments classed as non-core assets. There are still plans to move to the standard list.
Computer vision technology developer Seeing Machines (SEE) increased first half sales from A$13.5m to A$15.8m. The automotive division has nine ongoing programmes with six automotive manufacturers. Demand for driver monitoring systems will be driven by regulation. The cost of the Guardian fleet equipment has been cut by 21%. Seeing Machines has launched a crew training system for the aviation sector.
Best of the Best (BOTB) has sparked another profit upgrade, following the one in November. The online competitions organiser reported better than expected interim figures and this led to a 18% increase in the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast to £2.6m, compared with £2.1m last year, and a 25% jump to £3m in 2020-21. There is currently £4.3m of cash in the bank and a 14p a share special dividend is proposed. That is the eighth since 2014.
Minds + Machines (MMX) is on course to announce a maiden dividend with its 2019 figures. The onerous contract has been sorted out Net cash was $6.6m at the end of 2019.
Cloverleaf 374 has increased its stake in Urban Exposure (UEX) from 9.1% to 12.2%. Invesco trimmed its stake from 15.5% to 14.1%. The ultimate owner is Wellesley Group Investors. The board is still reviewing proposals for the future of the property finance provider.
Open Orphan (ORPH) is raising at least £5m via a placing and subscription at 6.1p a share.
Trading in the shares of Baskerville Capital (BASK) on the standard list has been suspended following the announcement of the proposed acquisition of Oberon Investments, which owns smaller company investor MD Barnard. The plan is to move to NEX. An initial 7.83% stake has been acquired for £851,000 with a commitment to subscribe a further £351,000 by the end of April. The acquisition of the rest of Oberon will be paid in Baskerville shares. The deal could be completed by the summer.
Smaller company-focused telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) has increased its full year loss from £1.4m to £1.67m. In order to build scale, Toople plans to acquire DMS Holding for £1.56m, including £460,000 in cash and 1.05 billion shares. This is a cash generative business and there are potential cost savings. That should offset some of the enormous cash outflow from the existing Toople business. A placing at 0.1p a share will raise £1.2m gross.
Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) is raising £650,000 at 1.8p each. This cash will finance further development of the company’s therapies and treatments for blood diseases.
Haynes Publishing (HYNS) increased interim revenues by 4% to £19m with the growth coming from digital. The publisher’s pre-tax profit was 500% ahead at £1.2m. The formal sale process continues.
Standard list shell Bermele (BERM) is raising £200,000 at 1p a share in order to provide further cash to assess potential acquisitions in the pharma sector.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) generated gross revenues of A$15.5m and gross profit of A$7.4m from Hellyer gold mine in the fourth quarter. Full year revenues were A$53.9m and operating profit was A$12.2m. The profit grew steadily quarter by quarter. NQ has raised £311,000 at 7p a share. In December, £300,000 was raised at 6.5p a share.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that is subsidiary Coaltech has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Uzbekistan ministry of innovation and development and Uzbekistan Railway. The coal fines project could have an initial value of $16m. A plant would be built to process coal fines into coal pellets. Coal mining is an important industry in Uzbekistan. There will be feasibility studies and the development of a business plan. This deal comes via the joint venture with Creon Investments, which is focused on Russia and former Soviet Union countries.
Ganapati (GANP) says that its Malta-based subsidiary has signed a two-year endorsement agreement with Welljam, which owns the rights to Usain Bolt’s services and image rights. Ganapati has is launching the first official Usain Bolt online slot game when the Tokyo Olympics are held during the summer. Usain Bolt will be attending the ICE London iGaming event in February. There are initial licence payments for image rights during the development of the slot game and a share of future revenues.
Ananda Developments (ANA) says that its investee company iCAN Israel-Cannabis has raised money via a convertible that places a pre-money valuation of $20m on the company. Ananda invested $200,000 in a convertible loan in August 2018 and $100,000 of the loan has been converted into 120 shares worth $200,000 at the latest valuation. DJT Plants, which is 50%-owned by Ananda, has received planning permission for the construction of a facility for cannabis plant breeding and propagation.
Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) reported a dip in pre-tax profit from £334,000 to £306,000 in the six months to October 2019. The NAV improved from £21.2m to £21.9m over the six month period, even though £349,000 was paid in dividends.
Imperial X (IMPP) has switched its investing strategy back from medicinal cannabis to energy-related businesses. The focus is building a royalty stream from oil and gas interests.
Mark Leigh is taking over from Claire Spencer as finance director of Newbury Racecourse (NYR).
Broadband-focused shell SAPO (SAPO) has raised £27,500 at 2.75p a share.
Diverse Income Trust has reduced its stake in TechFinancials (TECH) to below 3%.
Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) generated organic growth of 10.5% in the first half and it is on course to meet analyst expectations for the full year. The main first half growth was in the corporate and pensions businesses. The most recent acquisition will take annualised non-legal revenues to 12% of the group total. A full year pre-tax profit of £21.3m is forecast.
Regional legal business Knights Group (KGH) increased interim revenues by one-third to £32m through a combination of acquired and organic growth. Underlying earnings were 9% ahead at 5.95p a share. Net debt was £17.1m at the end of October 2019. The interim dividend was raised by 83% to 1.1p a share, although Knights was not quoted for all the comparative period. Two Birmingham-based firms have been acquired since the period end.
Legal firm Ince Group (INCE) raised £12m at 45p a share. The share price has more than halved since the beginning of the year. The January 2019 placing was at 140p a share. There are plans to raise £2m by a one-for-8.398 open offer and £2m via an offer to staff. The cash will enable the working capital facility to be reduced and finance investment in building up staff numbers. Net debt was £10.4m at the end of September 2019.
Pharmaceutical services provider Ergomed (ERGO) has acquired Ashfield Pharmacovigilance Inc for $10m and this will be earnings enhancing in 2020. The deal boosts Ergomed’s position in pharmacovigilance services and gives it a stronger position in the US. Ashfield has annual revenues of $11.6m and contracted future revenues of $9.8m.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) has established a 50/50 renewable energy joint venture with Green Enesys that will operate a 36MW hybrid power (solar and biomass) project in Ivory Coast. This should reduce costs at the palm oil project in Ayenouan. There could be other potential power projects in the region. Dekel is benefiting from the recovery in the crude palm oil price. It produced 37,649 tonnes of crude palm oil in 2019, even though poor weather led to disappointing fourth quarter production. Later this year processing of cashew nuts should commence.
Biopesticides developer Eden Research (EDEN) generated revenues of £2m in 2019, down from £2.8m, and an operating loss of £1.4m. Product revenues grew even though the summer weather restricted usage of Botrytis.
Lettings agency The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) is setting up a financial services division. Acquisitions are planned and the first is a 72.25% stake in Auxilium Partnership, which is the business of newly appointed financial services director Mark Graves. This has been a source of growth for rival Belvoir (BLV).
D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) has confirmed that its second half trading is much stronger than the first half thanks to the contracts won by the Celebrus data analysis software business. The financials sector has been a productive customer base for Celebrus. D4T4 is increasingly winning SaaS business and this could hold back short-term growth, which could lead to the trimming of 2019-20 forecasts.
Instem (INS) continues to increase its recurring revenues. The pharma software company generated organic revenues growth of 12% in 2019. Pre-tax profit is expected to be £3.3m. Net cash was £5.9m. A jump in profit to £4.7m is forecast for 2020.
Estate agency Winkworth (WINK) says 2019 profit was modestly ahead of expectations and a total dividend of 7.8p a share is proposed, which is higher than forecast.
Telit Communications (TCM) did better than expected in 2019 and excluding the former automotive activities revenues grew by 8%. The internet of things technology developer is forecast to make a 2020 pre-tax profit of £20.1m.
Pharma data analytics firm Diaceutics (DXRX) generated more cash tan expected last year and made a small profit. Thee was cash of £11.7m at the end of 2019. The 2020 pre-tax profit could be £800,000.
Barkby Group (BARK) has exchanged contracts on a development site in Huntingdon, which has a gross development value of £10.7m.
Risk management software developer KRM22 (KRM) says 2019 revenues were slightly lower than expected at £4m. Delayed contracts are expected to be signed soon.
Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) managed to maintain revenues at £25.6m in 2019 and a small increase is expected in 2020. The mix of revenues has changed with fleet generating 80%, up from 73%, thanks to growth in the US and France. Insurance revenues fell as expected as low margin business was shed. Pre-tax profit is still expected to decline from £8.2m to £6.6m in 2019, with a further fall to £6.3m forecast for 2020. The dividend is expected to be reduced from 12.4p a share to 12.1p a share, although it will not be fully covered by earnings.
Base Resources (BSE) has increased production guidance for the Kwale mine with midpoints of 78,000t for rutile, 345,000t for ilmenite and 30,500t for zircon. There is a lack of supply of rutile and ilmenite, so this is good news. This should provide a strong boost to profit.
Pressure Technologies (PRES) has been fined £700,000 and will have to pay prosecution costs of £169,000 following the guilty verdict relating to a fatal accident at one of its sites in 2015. The first instalment of £215,000 is due in April with a further six equal instalments payable every six months between July 2020 and January 2023.
Oil and gas explorer and producer Empyrean Energy (EME) is raising £420,000 at 9p a share and chief executive Tom Kelly has contributed £200,000 of that cash. The placing was at a 9% premium to the market price. The cash will be spent on drilling offshore of Indonesia. There is a potential resource upgrade for the Mako gas discovery in Indonesia.
Mereo BioPharma (MPH) says that there have been positive results from the phase 2b study of Setrusumab in adults with osteogenesis imperfecta. They show that it is helping to build bone. A study with children is planned. A meeting with the FDA is due in the coming weeks. Earlier this year, Mereo signed a licence agreement for the use of Navicixizumab in ovarian cancer with Oncologie Inc. An upfront payment of $4m is due.
Nutrition provider Science in Sport (SIS) expects to report 2019 sales of £50.5m with underlying growth of nearly one-quarter. The fastest growth is outside of the UK. River and Mercantile has taken a 5.5% stake.
Shareholders in AIM-quoted Anglo African Oil and Gas (AAOG) have agreed to the sale of 80% of its Congo subsidiary to Zenith Energy (ZEN) and it is waiting for government approval. There is a put and call option over the other 20%. If the call option is exercised Zenith will pay £1m in shares. If the production at the Tilapia oilfield averages at least 4,000 barrels of oil per day for 30 consecutive days, the put option can be exercised and Zenith would pay £2.5m in shares.
Endeavour Mining Corporation has ended its merger discussions with gold miner Centamin (CEY) blaming a lack of information. Endeavour still believes that a combination would be positive. Centamin is raising its final dividend to 6 cents a share, taking the 2019 total to 10 cents a share, up from 5.5 cents a share. Net cash was $348m at the end of 2019. The higher gold price will further boost cash generation. A new chief executive still has to be appointed.
Standard list cash shell Trident Resources (TRR) has £3.29m in cash at the end of October 2019, which is similar to NAV. Management is assessing a few mining project acquisition opportunities.
Stevia sweeteners producer PureCircle Ltd (PURE) says that shareholders owning more than 10% of the share capital have put forward three proposed directors to be voted on at the AGM on 10 February. The company is happy for Sridhar Krishnan, Lai Hock Meng, a former PureCircle director, and Oliver Maes, who was previously a PureCircle director, to be appointed to the board.
Books publisher Quarto (QRT) is raising £13.9m at 68p each. The open offer is underwritten and it will help to reduce the debt burden.
Menswear retailer and hirer Moss Bros (MOSB) Total sales were 3% lower in the 24 weeks to 11 January, but gross margin improved. Hire revenues fell by 17.7%. Cash is £12m.
Pallets manufacturer RM2 International (RM2) intends to move from AIM to matched bargains market Asset Match (www.assetmatch.com).
Ashley House (ASH) is selling its stake in the Morgan Ashley joint venture to its partner for £2m, with £500,000 deferred for 12-months. Delays in the financial closure of projects has led to a shortage of funds at Ashley House and this deal means it does not have to put any more cash into the joint venture. The renewed focus will be modular buildings and the health and wellness buildings sector. Ashley House cannot work in the elderly care housing sector for three years.
Medicinal cannabis company Ananda Developments (ANA) says that 50%-owned DJT Plants has lodged an application to grow >0.2% THC cannabis. Ananda had net assets of £725,000 at the end of July 2019. That included cash of £162,000. In the six months to July 2019, more than two-thirds of expenses related to the licence application to the Home Office.
Clinical support systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) 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. DXS is on course to meet approvals for its specific systems and services. Three newly developed products will be placed on the NHS Digital Online buying catalogue.
Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) is changing its name to Eastinco Mining and consolidating 100 existing shares into one new share. It is also seeking shareholder approval for the ability to issue more shares. The share purchase agreement conditions for the acquisition of Eastinco have been satisfied. Six billion shares (this will be 60 million after consolidation) and £300,000 of nil coupon loan notes June 2025 have been issued. Heavy mining equipment is being transported to the Kuaka project.
Trading in the bonds of Via Developments (VIA1) has been suspended because a new independent non-executive director has yet to be appointed.
Woodford Investment Management has reported that it has cut its stake in proton beam therapy services provider Rutherford Health (RUTH) from 49.28% to 29.78%, but it is not clear who has acquired the shares.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has declared an interim dividend of 0.83p a share and that will cost £359,000. The shares go ex-dividend on 7 November.
Panther Minerals (PALM) plans to consolidate 20 existing shares into one new share and shareholders are being asked to vote for the resolution at a general meeting on 14 November. Panther has been granted its first exploration licence in the Northern Territory. The Marrakai project licence is in the Pine Creek Orogen and covers just over 10 km2. There are a series of gold prospects and there has been previous drilling in the area.
Footwear retailer Shoe Zone (SHOE) has reassured investors that it will be able to achieve the downgraded pre-tax profit of £9.5m. Net cash of £11.3m at the end of September 2019 is better than expected.
Monoclonal antibodies developer Bioventix (BVXP) reported a 6% increase in full year revenues, although the underlying growth was 16% due to the inclusion of back dated royalties in the previous year. Underlying pre-tax profit was 14% ahead at £7.1m. A 47p a share special dividend is proposed on top of the final dividend of 43p a share. Vitamin D antibody sales increased by one-quarter and they account for 46% of group revenues.
D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) says that its first half trading was in line with expectations. Interim revenues of the data analytics and collection company were £8.8m and this should be one-third of the full year total.
Oil and gas producer President Energy (PPC) is acquiring additional acreage in Rio Negro province from the Argentine oil company CGC in return for assuming the liabilities related to the acreage. CGC is also subscribing for $1.825m worth of shares in instalments. The first instalment of $500,000 will be subscribed when the acquisition is completed. The total subscription could be the equivalent of 3% of President, depending on the share prices when the money is invested.
Thor Mining (THR) is raising £510,000 at 0.2p a share. The cash will be invested in the Molyhil and Bonya tungsten and molybdenum projects in the Northern Territory and a copper project in South Australia.
Vianet (VNET) says that its smart machines division is adding to its customer base and the contracts won in August mean that the growth will continue. Overall trading in the first half was in line with expectations.
TNG (TNG) is seeking to join the standard list. The titanium dioxide project owner already has an ASX listing. TNG owns the TIVAN process that enables production of ultra-white titanium dioxide pigment. The Munt Peake project in Australia will be the first to use the technology. The project will also produce vanadium. A final investment decision will be made as early as next summer.
Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) has been hit by weakness in its main markets. There have been reduced volumes in the automotive market. The forecast pre-tax profit for the year to March 2019 has been cut from £22m to £20.3m.
Zenith Energy (ZEN) has raised £824,000 at around 3p a share from the placing in Norway.
Standard list shell Rockpool Acquisitions (ROC) has signed heads of terms with a company in Nevada, which will subscribe for £1.6m of shares and convertibles at an issue/conversion price of 12p a share. Rockpool will make a further loan of £750,000 to Greenview Gas, taking the total to £910,000, which will be convertible into 40% of Greenview.
J Smart and Co (Contractors) (SMJ) increased full year revenues from £8.56m to £16m. The pre-tax profit improved from £5.82m to £7.27m, although that was mainly due to the net surplus on property valuations rising from £2.86m to £4.05m. A lull in contracting work means that this year’s profit is unlikely to improve.
Cash shell Baskerville Capital (BASK) still had £1.5m in the bank at the end of June 2019.
Peel Hunt has edged up its pre-tax profit forecast for brewer and pubs operator Shepherd Neame (SHEP) following the publication of its figures for the year to June 2019. They showed revenues of £145.8m and pre-tax profit of £11.4m, which was slightly better than expected. Brewing profit more than halved to £900,000 after the Asahi contract ended, but this was more than made up for by the contribution from managed and tenanted pubs. Own-brewed volumes have risen by 5.8% in the first few weeks of the year and managed ad tenanted pubs are showing like-for-like income increases. Debt costs will be lower than previously expected so the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast has moved from £11.5m to £11.7m, which will allow a slightly higher anticipated dividend of 31p a share – twice covered by earnings. There is potential to acquire more pubs.
In the 17 months to May 2019, pubs operator and automotive dealer Barkby Group (BARK) made a pre-tax profit of £75,000 on revenues of £6.29m. Stripping out the amount acquisitions were made under net asset value and acquisition cost, the profit is £135,000. The addition of pub sites, taking the total to six gastropubs and inns, and the purchase of Centurian Automotive, will significantly increase revenues in the latest 12-month period. The plan is to have up to 12 pub sites within five years.
Karoo Energy (KEP) is changing its name to IamFire and raising £143,000 at 2.4p a share. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi has been appointed as an executive director and Jeremy Ross joins as a non-executive. They are both directors of cannabis company Eurocann International (BUD). The existing business is being sold to Noel Lyons and other opportunities in the oil and gas and base and precious metals sectors will be assessed.
National Milk Records (NMRP) has been hit by a cyber attack and this will reduce profit this year. It has interrupted IT operations and EBITDA is set to be 10% lower than expected in the year to June 2020.
WH Ireland has published a broker note on Cadence Minerals (KDNC) and this suggests that the 27% stake in the Amapa iron ore mine in Brazil is a potential company maker, even before any benefits from the lithium project investments. The mine produced between 2007 and 2014 before being closed because of an incident at the port on the Amazon and a falling iron ore price. The total resource is estimated at 245Mt grading 41% Fe, but this figure dates back to 2012. The mine life could be 15 years. Capex of $168m will be required to restart mining and processing. The 27% stake will effectively cost Cadence less than £6m. The other shareholder is Singapore-based commodity trader IndoSino. If other investors are sought, then Cadence has the right to increase its stake to 49%.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) plans to consolidate every 20 existing shares into one new share. A general meeting will be held on 16 October. Primorus expects its A$500,000 loan note with Zuuse to be repaid, plus interest, in the next couple of weeks.
St Mark Homes (SMAP) reported an improvement in interim pre-tax profit from £18,000 to £84,000. The housebuilder achieved this improvement because of a much larger share of the operating profit in a joint venture and increased interest receivable. Admin expenses rose even though revenues were lower. NAV is 126p a share.
Recently floated cash shell World High Life (LIFE) plans to acquire Love Hemp in return for £4m in cash and the issue of 30 million shares. A further £2m could become payable in the next three years depending on the achievement of turnover targets. If more than target turnover is achieved in any year then the vendors will receive 5% of the excess. Love Hemp is a supplier of CBD and hemp products and it made a pre-tax profit of £532,000 on turnover of £2.5m in the year to June 2018. World High Life plans to raise up to £5m in order to finance the acquisition.
Ananda Developments (ANA) says joint venture DJT has applied for a licence to grow >0.2% THC cannabis and has been registered with the Drugs Licensing and Compliance Unit of the Home Office. DJT has acquired Aristaeus Elements, which is setting up as a cannabis extraction and processing facility, for £1 and assumption of debt of £51,000 – the deposit paid for the equipment for the plant. The plan is to finance the investment in the facility through debt secured against offtake contracts.
Blockchain-related investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) reported a dip in revenues from £1.33m to £109,000, but a reversal of an impairment charge and gains on financial assets meant that it still made a pre-tax profit of £242,000, down from £554,000 the previous year. The non-cash gains meant that cash fell from £592,000 to £475,000 over the six months to June 2019. NAV increased from £2.36m to £2.59m.
First Sentinel (FSEN) reported a fall in interim revenues from £963,000 to £710,000, while the loss increased from £46,000 and £114,000.
Panther Metals (PALM) says that early identification of an area of the Big Bear project in Ontario shows high gold grades. The 100% owned area has been extended via the acquisition of four additional mining claims.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) generated revenues of £14.2m in the first half of 2019. The Hellyer polymetallic mine was not in production in the corresponding period last year. There was still a £17.9m loss because of high admin expenses. There was £65.6m of debt at the end of June 2019 and management believes that it can get more favourable terms now the mine is up and running.
Domain name registry Minds + Machines (MMX) is improving the quality of its earnings and it is nearer to sorting out legacy problems. Renewal revenues almost cover costs. Interim net revenues increased from $5.3m to $7.4m, while pre-tax profit trebled to $1.8m, helped by a full six month contribution from ICM. A full year pre-tax profit of $4.1m is forecast. Operating expenses should rise much slower than revenues and cash generation should be strong. A $5.1m cash payment will be made in the second half in order to cover those legacy costs. Even after that, the company should have net cash of more than $5m at the end of 2019. Longer-term, Minds + Machines could become a dividend payer.
Pelatro (PTRO) is dependent on fourth quarter licence sales to achieve forecasts following the 14% increase in interim revenues to $2.7m. That means that second half revenues of the telecoms marketing services and technology provider need to be $7.8m to achieve the 2019 target. There are some large potential sales in the pipeline, but delays of a few weeks could mean that they drop into 2020. Repeat revenues more than doubled in the first half because more of the business won has been in the form of revenue gain share contracts that take time to build up and produce revenues over a longer period than a one-off licence, which is recognised as revenue straight away.
Maestrano (MNO) has conditionally agreed to acquire Airsight Holdings, which offers engineering surveying services using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. Airsight had revenues of A$1.04m in the year to June 2019 and it is loss making because of development spending. Maestrano will issue 73.4 million shares to pay for the acquisition. There could be further payments depending on revenues. The Maestrano chairman is a shareholder in Airsight.
Escape Hunt (ESC) increased revenues from £800,000 to £2.2m in the first half of 2019 but it remains loss-making. Franchise revenues were flat, and all the growth came from the operated sites. Escape Hunt has signed an agreement with Proprietors Capital Holdings for the roll-out of franchise sites in North America.
Mattress supplier eve Sleep (EVE) reduced its loss but cash is still flowing out of the business. Net cash was £12.5m at the end of June 2019 and it is expected to be £8m by the end of the year.
S and U (SUS) is adding new motor finance business even though loan standards have been tightened. Motor finance business Advantage Finance is on course to achieve its 20th year of profit growth. Bridging loans provider Aspen made a profit of £502,000 in the first half. Interim pre-tax profit rose by 3% to £17.1m and the dividend was increased by 6% to 34p a share.
Suit hire and retail business Moss Bros (MOSB) broke even, before the IFRS16 accounting changes for leases, in the six months to July 2019, which was slightly better than expected. A full year loss is still expected because despite like-for-like retail sales growth, hire revenues are declining and the IFRS16 changes will knock £2.5m off pre-tax profit. There was cash of £18.2m at the end of July 2019.
finnCap has reduced its 2019-20 forecasts for InnovaDerma (IDP) following its figures for the year June 2019. The beauty and health products supplier increased revenues by one-fifth to £12.9m and pre-tax profit more than doubled to £1.4m. This year’s pre-tax profit is expected to be £2m, down from £2.3m previously, because higher costs relating to marketing more than offset improved sales expectations. To put this in perspective, the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast back in August 2018 was £2.6m. InnovaDerma needs to start meeting forecasts rather than having them downgraded on a regular basis.
Tex Holdings (TXH) has appointed Price Bailey LLP. Trading appears to be picking up in the plastics and engineering businesses. There is a record order book of £12m.
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.
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.
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.
Proton Partners International (PPI) has set up a partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which means that the company’s Rutherford Cancer Centre North East will treat 120-150 patients a year. Woodford Investment Management has a 46.15% stake in Proton.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) intends to increase its stake in medicinal cannabis company Apollon Formularies to 2.34%. The long-term plan is to make an all share offer for Apollon. The Jamaican operation of Apollon has completed its third cannabis harvest. AfriAg has raised a further £250,000 at 0.1p a share. Sativa Group (SATI) has appointed Cenkos as its corporate adviser and broker, replacing Peterhouse. Stanford Capital has been appointed as joint broker of medicinal cannabis products developer Ananda Developments (ANA) and Peterhouse is staying on as corporate adviser and joint broker. Stanford has been issued with 3.33 million warrants exercisable at 0.45p each.
First Sentinel (FSBN) has published its 2018 figures, which were hit by a loss on its investment in Curzon Energy (CZN) and this led to a halving of NAV to £671,000. There are plans for a £7m bond listing on Euronext. Trading in First Sentinel shares has recommenced.
Since the year end, rail safety products developer Wheelsure (WHLP) has received further orders from London Underground, DLR and Siemens in Germany. Wheelsure may need additional working capital.
Gunsynd (GUN) will receive 225 shares (22.5%) in Oyster Oil and Gas Ltd as part of a settlement with creditors. Oyster requires additional cash in order to finance work on exploration assets.
Skills verification platform Indorse, where Coinsilium Ltd (COIN) has a 10% stake, will receive an investment of up to $6.5m from Brand Capital, the investment arm of India media company Times Group. Indorse has been valued at $15m for this investment, which means that Coinsilium’s stake has increased in value by 350% to $1.5m.
ULS Technology (ULS) has maintained its share of conveyancing transactions and reported flat pre-tax profit of £5.4m in the year to March 2019. This year will also be one of consolidation. Investment is being put into launching DigitalMove, which is an online platform that will make the business more efficient and provide access to additional customers. It can also be used to add new products and services.
Castleton Technology (CTP) is paying a maiden dividend of 1p a share. The provider of software and managed services to the social housing sector is expected to grow revenues by 7% this year and this could be supplemented by acquisitions. Strong cash generation means that there are spare debt facilities that can be used for acquisitions. This year pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from £5.6m to £6.4m.
Malvern International (MLVN) says that an unsettled claim means that there will be a profit shortfall in 2018. Originally a profit of £400,000 was expected but it will end up being just above breakeven. Trading in the first four months of 2019 is ahead of budget but the second half is the most important.
ClearStar Inc (CLSU) is on track this year even though the US market has softened. US unemployment has edged up, but the US remains the key market for the background checking services provider.
Telecoms marketing services provider Pelatro (PTRO) has won a contract with a large telecoms company in Asia. The contract is for the mViVa contextual marketing platform on a licence fee model. This contract and other recent work will add $1.5m to revenues. This provides an underpinning for the full year revenues forecast of $10.5m.
Diaceutics (DXRX) has acquired 16 million patient records a year to add to its patient data. Diaceutics has invested £1m to expand this global data.
Totally (TLY) has completed the acquisition of Greenbrook, which means that 90% of revenues will be generated by urgent care services. This deal should make Totally significantly profitable and enable it to start generating cash.
Some good news for Quartix (QTX) as subscriptions and new installations are increasing. This has led to a 5% upgrade in forecast 2019 revenues for the telematics business to £25.3m, although the profit forecast is unchanged at £6.5m.
Paragon Entertainment (PEL) intends to appoint an administrator following discussions with its bank, HSBC. There is not enough cash to pay all creditors.
Sports Direct International (SPD) is making a mandatory offer for GAME Digital (GAME) at 30p a share. The offer is open until 11 July. Sports Direct already has a 38.5% stake and it does not believe GAME can prosper on its own.
A major US customer is not going ahead with a contract with Nanoco (NANO) lasting until the end of 2019. The ending of the deal has nothing to do with the performance of the nanomaterial technology. Nanoco should have £6m in cash at the end of 2019.
BigDish (DISH) says its food booking platform is going live in Reading and Brighton, which is a particular region where expansion is targeted. BigDish says that it is fully funded to 2021.