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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 19 October 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) remains profitable and loan balances have increased by 3% to £1.6bn. Deposit balances are 14% higher at £2.23bn. Assets under management are 4% ahead.

Wine maker Chapel Down (CDGP) has produced a better quality harvest than 2018 and yields are better than expected. More wine can be released for sale next year.

A general meeting has been requisitioned at SulNOx Group (SNOX) by three shareholders. They want to remove the entire board and appoint four new directors.

KR1 (KR1) has generated just over $1m from the sale of tokens in the Polkadot project at $5.12 each. That is a small proportion of the stake and KR1 still owns more than 3.5 million tokens.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) continues to increase production at the Hellyer mine. In the third quarter lead concentrate production was 11,865 tonnes and zinc concentrate production was 4,585 tonnes. Production rates are still increasing.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) reported a reduction in interim revenues from $6.56m to $3.64m. There was a $224,000 outflow from operations.

Altona Energy (ANR) has extended its fundraising until 11 November. The plan is to raise up to £500,000 at 6.5p a share.

Trading has been suspended in the shares of medicinal cannabis company Freyherr International (FRYR) because trading has been difficult, and the auditing of last year’s accounts has not been completed.

VI Mining (VIM) is asking shareholders to approve of the withdrawal from the Aquis Stock Exchange.

Eastinco Mining (EM.P) has published full year and interim figures. The company remains loss-making. There was £173,000 in the bank at the end of June 2020.

TechFinancials (TECH) is stopping the development of its Footies ticketing technology because of the uncertainty surrounding events. It has also ended its investment in Cedex due to lack of cash. All B2B brokerage technology activities will end at the beginning of November. New opportunities are being assessed.

AIM

Synairgen (SNG) is raising up to £87m via a placing and open offer at 175p a share. This will finance a phase III trial for SNG001 for the treatment of Covid-19. That will start before the end of the year. Results are expected in the middle of next year. Synairgen will also invest in scaling up its manufacturing.          

More good news from Touchstone Exploration (TXP) which has made another significant gas discovery in Trinidad. The Chinook-1 discovery is the third in a row. This means that Touchstone should be highly cash generative next year enabling it to fund more exploration.

LiDCO (LID) had already outlined its interim figures in a trading statement so the move into profit thanks to high monitor sales to the NHS was not a surprise. There is likely to be a second half loss, but the heart monitoring equipment supplier will still be profitable for the full year. There have been delays in winning hup recurring revenue contracts, but these revenues have reached an annual rate of £3m. There was £3.1m in the bank at the end of July 2020.

BlueRock Diamonds (BRD) increased production in the third quarter from 3,973 carats one year ago to 5,577 carats. Sales were much lower at 3,803 carats because there was one sale during the quarter. The average price realised has fallen from $432/carat to $330/carat. That was expected due to the change in mix of stones with only one high value stone sold during the period. An updated resource estimate is expected in the near future. BlueRock is hosting a shareholder conference call at 7pm on 22 October. Anyone wanting to participate should go to www.facebook.com/valuethemarkets or www.twitter.com/valuethemarkets.

SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) is raising money to accelerate the progress of AxisBiotix, which is involved in the development of food supplements for psoriasis treatment. This could be generating revenues in the year to June 2022. A placing at 16p a share raised £4m with up to £500,000 to come from an open offer at the same price. Some cash will be available to fund development of other microbiome-related products. This cash should last until the end of 2022.

Billing and customer relationship management software provider Cerillion (LSE:CER) says that its year-end order book is at a record level and the full year figures will be slightly better than expected.

ThinkSmart (TSL) is returning A$6.5m of cash to shareholders. There will be a 4.575 cents a share capital reduction and a 1.525 cents a share unfranked dividend. ThinkSmart has around £10m in the bank. The current exchange rate is 55p for each A$1. The distribution is worth £3.6m, so around one-third of the available cash.

Seeing Machines (SEE) is increasing its potential market by developing its driver monitoring system into vehicle occupant monitoring system. This is an additional revenue opportunity of A$350m.

Angling Direct (ANG) managed to stay profitable in the first half as online sales helped to offset the closure of retail sites in the period. The fishing products retailer has a strong balance sheet and shop sales bounced back after reopening. A pre-tax profit of £400,000 is forecast for the full year, rising to £1.5m next year.

Netcall (NET) is acquiring robotic process automation technology company Automagica in order to enhance its contact centre products. Automagica has its own technology. Netcall’s full year revenues increased from £22.9m to £25.1m, while pre-tax profit increased from £1.3m to £1.8m. Margins are improving.

MAIN MARKET

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) says third quarter trading was better than expected. New and used car volumes increased by 13.6% compared with the same period the previous year. Lookers has outperformed the market. Aftersales revenues were also higher. Net debt was £22.5m at the end of September 2020.  

Electronic products supplier DiscoverIE (DSCV) says that first half sales fell by 6%, but orders were ahead of sales in September. A dividend will be announced with the interims in November.

Construction and infrastructure firm nmcn (NMCN) has reviewed major contracts and this will lead to a loss this year. The main problem has been water contracts and some of the charges may relate to other periods. This follows the departure of the chief executive and finance director.

Nanoco (NANO) has a cash outflow to £300,000 a month. There is net cash of £5.2m and that should last until July 2022.  The non-cadmium quantum dots technology developer lost £4.9m in the year to July 2020.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 28 September 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

SAPO (SAPO) has agreed to acquire Secure Web Services (SWS) and it will change its name to Rural Broadband Solutions. SAPO is paying £1.6m in cash and shares and £236,500 of the cash paid will be used to subscribe to a fundraising. SAPO wants to raise £2.5m. SWS is based in Shropshire and had revenues of £730,000. There are 2,300 customers and this could be doubled in three years. A buy and build strategy will expand the group across the UK.

Specialist social housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) swung from loss to profit in the year to March 2020. The pre-tax profit of £626,000 includes a gain on revaluation of £798,000. The underlying loss was similar to the year before. Net assets increased from £3.3m to £4m, equivalent to 107p a share. There are plans to dispose of the remaining London residential units and reinvest in specialist supported housing. The Wimbledon Park property was sold for £656,000 in June, which was a 3% discount to book value.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has made an investment in vitamin fortified, smoothies and juices provider Coldpress Foods. It has taken an initial 3.3% plus an investment in a convertible that could take the stake to 6.2%. The total investment is £60,000. Coldpress has revenues of more than £1.6m.

Oncology treatments developer Incanthera (INC) says that skin cancer technology Sol has exceeded expectations in a recent study. Sol has been shown to be effective in penetrating the skin barrier.  

A requisition for a general meeting at Primorus Investments (PRIM) has been withdrawn following the proposed board appointments of Rupert Labrum, Hedley Clark and Matthew Beardmore. Donald Strang will leave the board.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) says Nicholas Nelson has resigned from the board but remains as chief executive. Shareholders had requisitioned a general meeting to remove him from the board, but there is no need for this to happen. Nouryon has agreed to manufacture SulNOx’s HFO emulsifier and a diesel conditioner, which will be sold under the brand SulNOxEco diesel conditioner.  

Altona Energy (ANR) is seeking to raise up to £500,000 at 6.5p a share. Existing and new investors can subscribe for shares via www.nrprivatemarket.com. The offer is set to last until 15 October. The cash will go towards financing the two rare earth element projects in Malawi and Uganda.

Belvedere Leisure Resorts (BELV) has signed an agreement with Landal GreenParks UK for an exclusive partnership for the leisure park at the Barncosh site until the end of the year. Belvedere will deliver the first 50 units and then the 20-year arrangement will take effect. Belvedere has agreed to acquire the land for the 50 units at a cost of £500,000. Belvedere continues to seek new funds.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested a further £75,000 in copper/gold explorer Eagle Mountain Mining. Gunsynd owns 1.54% of the ASX-listed company.  

AfriAg Global (AFRI) believes that the FCA guidance has given it confidence that its deal with medicinal cannabis company Apollon Formularies will go ahead.

European Lithium (EUR) has raised A$2.1m at 4.5 cents a share and this will be spent on metallurgical test work at the Wolfsberg lithium project. Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £193,000 at 0.5p a share.

Sativa Wellness Group Inc expects to gain admission to the Aquis Stock Exchange on 30 September.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) non-executive director Dominic Burke has bought 20,000 shares at 700p each. He owns 127,365 shares.

AIM

Gold production in Azerbaijan fell in the first half but Anglo Asian Mining (AAZ) is confident it can still hit its full year target of 75,000-80,000 ounces of gold equivalent, which would be slightly lower than the previous year. The higher gold price offset the decline in production from 39,905 ounces to 32,501 ounces. Even though the cost of production increased because of lower volumes and the reduction in grades at the Ugur open pit, pre-tax profit improved from $10.3m to $11.8m. There was $21.4m of cash generated from operations. There is plenty of cash to invest in Azerbaijan and the new venture in Ireland with Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR). The interim dividend was increased by 29% to 4.5 cents a share and the possibility of a special dividend next year. There was cash of $29.2m at the end of June 2020.

Specialist IFA Frenkel Topping (FEN) has made an indicative all-share offer for personal injury claims generator NAHL (NAH). Frenkel Topping has already acquired 6.11% of NAHL. finnCap forecasts an improvement in Frenkel Topping pre-tax profit from £1.8m to £2.3m in 2020.

NWF (NWF) says that trading is in line with expectations. Fuel volumes are lower than the same time last year because of reduced economic activity, but they are as anticipated. The food distribution trading has been hit by volatility in demand and lower demand from the catering sector. The feeds division has benefited from a stable dairy market.  

Spinger-Verlag has increased its stake in DeepMatter (DMTR) from 2.9% to 7.4% following the issue of deferred consideration.

Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) grew managed services and consultancy revenues in the first half, although there was lower utilisation in consulting during lockdown. Consultancy revenues are improving in the second half. There was cash of £1.6m in the middle of September.  

Battery technology developer Ilika (IKA) has signed a framework agreement with the UK Battery industrialisation Centre for the production of Goliath solid state pouch cells. This will help with the scale up of production for the batteries aimed at domestic appliances and electric vehicles.

MAIN MARKET

Critical Metals (CRTM) is raising £800,000 at 5p a share. That will more than double the number of shares in issue. Critical wants to buy or acquire stakes in natural resources assets in Africa. The focus will be near-term brownfield projects that can be brought into production. Chief executive Russell Fryer is a former investment adviser in the natural resources sector and founder of Western Uranium Corporation.   

Gulf Marine Services (GMS) has received another general meeting requisition letter from Seafox. The removal from the board of Mike Turner, David Blewden, Mo Bississo and Dr Shona Grant is Seafox’s wish. It wants Rasid Al Jarwan, Mansour Al alami and Saeed Mer Abdulla Khoory to replace them.

Auctus Growth (AUCT) is in discussions to acquire HeiQ Materials AG, which is a materials innovation company focusing on the apparel, medical and home textile markets. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Hawkwing (HNG) is switching from AIM to the standard list on 30 September and raising £1.2m after expenses at 3p a share. That values the shell, which has failed to secure a technology acquisition in the time required by AIM, at £1.5m.

Digital Landscape Group (DLGI) is cancelling its standard listing on 2 October. Trading will begin on the Nasdaq Global Market on 5 October.

Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has received 73.94% acceptances from shareholders in Cindrigo Energy. When other conditions are satisfied the remaining shares will be mopped up and a prospectus prepared for a reintroduction to the standard list.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 7 September 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Daniel Thwaites (THW) had net debt of £65.4m at the end of March 2020 and this increased to £71.8m at the end of June following the closure of the company’s pubs and hotels. There is £12m of headroom in the current facilities but management is considering increasing the borrowing facilities. The sites were reopened on 4 July or shortly after. There has been steady growth in sales.

Altona Energy (ANR) has signed heads of agreement to acquire up to 75% of the Chambre rare earth project in southern Malawi. There is a backlog of exploration licence applications following recent elections. The trading suspension will end when new funds are raised. A funding will be launched via investment platform www.NRPrivateMarket.com once an exploration licence is granted in Malawi or heads of agreements are signed for another deal.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has received a requisition from two shareholders (James Redman Jr and Sungold Escrow Nominees Ltd) for a general meeting. They own more than 5% of the company. A date for the general meeting has to be announced within three weeks.

European Lithium (EUR) has appointed Kimon Gkomozias to the board as part of its strategic agreement with EV technology metals project developer Talaxis. He will help European Lithium obtain funding. A placing is planned to raise $2m at 4.5 cents a share.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has obtained agreement in principle for the bank creditor settlement relating to the Amapa iron ore project.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has made a £1.9m investment in Atlantic Credit Opportunities Fund (ACOF), a distressed credit fund. EPE’s investment advisor Epic Private Equity intends to acquire a controlling stake in Atlantic Capital Management, which manages ACOF.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) has set up Forbes Ventures Cell 1 Ltd to acquire UK-issued litigation funding loans. The rights to these loans will be assigned to and securitised by Malta-based Forbes Ventures CC1, which is planning to raise money via a bond issue. A Forbes subsidiary will receive a fee of 2% of the funds raised.

World High Life (LIFE) is assessing investment targets in the medicinal cannabis sector. This includes areas such as synthetic cannabinoids.  

Trading in the shares of Sativa Group (SATI) has been suspended while Stillcanna awaits the approval of the Canadian Stock Exchange for the takeover of Sativa. The enlarged group plans to gain readmission to the Acquis Stock Exchange as Sativa Wellness Group Inc.  

Alfred Henry Corporate Finance has been appointed as Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) corporate adviser.

Sumner Group Health Ltd (SGRL) has confirmed its withdrawal from the market on 8 September.

AIM

Capital equipment supplier Mpac (MPAC) has continued to secure orders even with the disruption caused by COVID-19. Interim revenues fell by one-fifth to £36.6m, but services revenues continue to grow. Underlying pre-tax profit fell from £4.5m to £2.5m. The order book is worth £45.4m. Net cash was £22.5m at the end of June 2020. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to fall from £7.5m to £5.2m.

CyanConnode (CYAN) was hit by delays to contracts in the 15 months to March 2020, but it appears to have a strong base for the current financial year. The smart meter technology developer is still losing money, but it has shown that it can manage its cash effectively by gaining advance payments on orders. Net cash was £1.2m at the end of March 2020.

Mattress supplier eve Sleep (EVE) says current trading is ahead of expectations and the full year loss is expected to be slightly lower than previously. Net cash of £5m is forecast for the end of 2020.

Cake Box (CBOX) has made a strong start to the new financial year. The franchised retailer of egg-free cakes is even offering a special dividend of 3.2p a share. Equity Development forecasts a rise in earnings per share from 7.8p a share to 9p a share in the year to March 2021.

7Digital (7DIG) has raised £6m at 2.25p a share, having sought a minimum of £5m. The streaming technology developer will be able to take advantage of opportunities in areas such as home fitness and social media.

Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) has continued its sales momentum in the new financial year. There will be an interim trading statement on 22 October.

Driver monitoring systems developer Seeing Machines (SEE) has unveiled a new product strategy. This involves a focus on a chip whose performance is optimised by a neural processing unit called Occula. It will be made easier for automotive clients to integrate this technology. There are also plans to licence the Occula technology.

Nostra Tera Oil and Gas (NTOG) is acquiring a 100% working interest in the Caballos Creek oil field in Texas, which has an economic life of between 16 and 32 years. The cost is $425,000 and there should be a two-year payback. There are proved reserves of 92,100 (69,300 net) barrels of oil equivalent. Current production is 30 (22 net of royalties) barrels of oil per day, which increases Nostra Terra’s production by 25%.

Matthew Freud increased his stake in Reach4Entertainment (R4E) to 19.99% before trading on AIM ended.

Omega Diagnostics (ODX) has CE-marked Mologic’s lateral flow antibody test for COVID-19, which picks up infection at an earlier stage than most tests.  

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) has in-licensed the virus-like particle vaccine technology from Saiba and DeepVax for use in solid tumours, atopic dermatitis, asthma and psoriasis. This broadens the scope of the group, but it continues to focus on allergy treatments.

MAIN MARKET

Consumer products supplier Creightons (CRL) increased full year revenues by 9% to £47.8m, while an improved profit margin meant that pre-tax profit increased from £2.87m to £3.55m. A final dividend of 0.5p a share is proposed.  

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has signed heads of agreement to acquire gold assets in Africa. It plans to acquire 100% of Kilmapesa in Kenya and 70% of the Kakamoeka gold project in Congo Brazzaville. They could provide near-term gold production.  

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 20 July 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

In the year to February 2020, Rutherford Health (RUTH) nearly quadrupled its revenues from £1.47m to £5.61m, although the loss increased from £21.5m to £29.3m. There were three proton beam cancer treatment centres open at the end of the period, but two were not operating for long. They have continued to operate throughout the Covid-19 lockdown period. A fourth is opening in Liverpool later this month. Net cash was £8.6m at the end of February 2020. There is £43.7m of contracted capital expenditure. Negotiations with the NHS should lead to Rutherford helping to deal with the backlog of cancer patients. Management is in contact with the manager of the Woodford stake.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) made a small pre-tax profit in the first half of 2020 after base rate reductions cost it £2.7m and provisions were increased. NAV was 1248p a share. Customer loans were 27% higher (at £1.62bn) than one year before. The private bank business fell into loss, while the Arbuthnot Latham and commercial bank profit contributions declined.

British Honey Company (BHC) has signed a joint venture with Cottisford Ltd, which is a 29% shareholder. The new JV is called Tusmore Collection and each partner will invest up to £1m (initially £100,000) in order to set up a distillery and bonded warehouse in the grounds of the Tusmore Park Estate in Oxfordshire. That will take 18 months. A new whiskey brand will be developed.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has negotiated a new $41m bank facility with ING as part of the refinancing of previous debt. The facility will last for six years. This will reduce the interest costs of the Hellyer mine by $2.5m a year.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) reported a slump in interim turnover from £1.55m to £1.18m, while the loss more than doubled from £101,000 to £277,000 in the six months to April 2020. This included a period where the hotel was closed. There was £587,000 in the bank. The hotel reopened in early July.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has yet to complete the acquisition of Apollon UK, which owns a stake in a Jamaican business that cultivates cannabis and has a licence to process it. There was £98,000 in cash at the end of 2019, as well as £1.17m of investments.

IamFire (FIRE) plans to take a 10% stake in Bio2pure, which owns technology to clean lakes and ponds. Richard Griffiths has acquired a 3.21% stake, while Mantis Hldings, Natural Technology Evolution and Max Capital have each taken a 3.57% shareholding. IamFire acquired 10 million shares (4.39%) in Sport Capital (SCG) in a placing that raised £324,000 at 0.3p a share.

Altona Energy (ANR) has launched a pre-funding campaign via NR Private Market (https://lounge.nrprivatemarket.com). The fundraising should happen in the next few weeks. Altona’s new focus is a rare earth metals project in Malawi. Altona believes that raising money in this way will make it easier for private investors to become involved.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that its investee company European Metals Holdings (EMH) plans a Czech listing given the local interest in the Cinovec project. Cadence owns 16% of EMH.

Veni Vidi Vici (VVV) had £339,000 in the bank at the end of June 2020. As part of a joint venture agreement, the company is responsible for the initial spending of A$300,000 on the Shangri La gold copper silver project in Western Australia. Joint venture partner Goldfields will manage the venture and receive a fee of 10% of expenses.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £200,000 by issuing 200,000 Green Finance preference shares.

PCG Entertainment has changed its name to Upper Thames Holdings (UPPT) and trading in the shares has resumed. The consolidation of 100 shares into one new share has been completed.

Coinsilium Group (COIN) is assessing its investment portfolio as part of its strategic review. It wants to sell the portfolio either by selling the subsidiary that owns the stakes or other transactions.

AIM                                                                      

Digital TV technology Mirada (MIRA) increased continuing revenues by 13% to $13m last year and it generated cash. In the year to March 2020, work was carried out on deployments that should yield growing licence and managed services revenues in the future. Capitalised development spending was $4.3m last year and this was partly financed by the cash generated from operations. Net debt was $5.1m. Lockdown has led to increased consumption and take up of services, but it could delay the finalisation of new contracts.

Background check services provider ClearStar (CLSU) says hiring activity levels in the US have soared following an easing of the lockdown. Even so, first half revenues were still lower despite a 74% rise in June, compared with the weak April level, which is back to the level in February. Interim revenues were $8.9m and net debt was $1.4m at the end of June 2020.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) is raising £3.13m at 25p a share via a placing and open offer and each new share comes with a warrant exercisable at 40p a share. The cash will help to finance additional investments by the pan-Asian investment company. The company’s name will be changed to Jade Road Investments Ltd.

Renalytix AI (RENX) is raising $74.3m from an oversubscribed offer and trading has started on Nasdaq. The offer price was 537p a share and $13.50 per ADS. The cash will be spent on the commercialisation of KidneyIntelX.

TV and film subtitling and dubbing services provider Zoo Digital (ZOO) has weathered the short-term problems related to Covid-19 and started the new financial year strongly. Even though newer content creation has been delayed, older programming is being processed. Zoo should get near to breaking even in the year to March 2021.

Omega Diagnostics (ODX) is expected to move into profit this year, but it is difficult to assess sales of the Visitect CD4 (particularly when it gains WHO prequalification) and Covid-19 tests.

MAIN MARKET

Cadmium-free quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) has raised £3.4m at 17.5p a share. This will provide cash until the end of 2021. Nanoco has obtained third party funding for its litigation with Samsung. A successful claim could exceed the current market capitalisation of the company.

Interim revenues were 14% lower at LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) although sales started to stabilise by the end of the period. Gross margins have improved, and overheads cut by 15%. Underlying operating profit increased from £7.2m to £9m.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has launched three new diagnostic kits for Covid-19. Sales will commence by the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 22 June 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Cancer treatment developer Incanthera (INC) had cash of £392,000 at the end of March 2020, following its fundraising when it joined the Aquis Stock Exchange. The company has a call option on more than £350,000 of additional cash. That should fund this year’s requirements and make the company’s cash last until next summer. The initial focus is topical cream Sol, which prevents sun damage turning into skin cancer.

European Lithium (EUR) has obtained initial funding from the EU-backed Greenpeg programme to support lithium sourced from Europe. The cash goes towards to the Wolfsburg lithium project in Austria.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that the Yangibana rare earths joint venture has commenced drilling at the project. The plan is to increase the existing 21.25Mt JORC resource. The drilling will continue until October. The Amapa iron ore project, where Cadence will own a 20% stake, is set to start shipping its stockpile early in the third quarter of this year.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) intends to change its investment strategy to one focused on healthcare.

TechFinancials (TECH) had cash of $672,000 at the end of 2019. However, write-offs mean that net assets have fallen to $309,000. Management is uncertain about the future of the Footies ticketing technology operation.

Altona Resources (ANR) had net liabilities of £353,000 at the end of 2019. There is a bank overdraft of £100,000.

Globe Capital Ltd (GCAP) is currently being supported by one of its shareholders Toddbrook Investments and the company’s loan note provider. Net assets were turned into net liabilities of £88,000 at the end of 2019.

AIM

Digital payments and fraud prevention services provider Boku (BOKU) is buying rival Fortumo Holdings for an enterprise value of $41m. Boku has raised £20.1m at 85p a share to finance the acquisition. In 2019, Fortumo made EBITDA of $2.3m on revenues of $7.2m. Fortumo is focused on smaller businesses than Boku.

International pensions administrator STM (STM) has made a good start to 2020, but profit is still set to decline this year, although that is partly due to the lack of one-off income. The current share price reflects this with the prospective multiple of eight, but that could fall to less than five in 2021.

Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) has increased the JORC compliant mineral resource estimate at the Asacha gold mine to 452,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 14.7g/t and 1.33 million ounces of silver at an average grade of 44g/t. Three-quarters of this is in the measured and indicated category. The mine life should extend to 2027. More drilling is planned in the east zone. A final dividend of $0.023 a share is proposed, and the shares go ex-dividend on 9 July.

Best of the Best (BOTB) has received tentative bid approaches and management is exploring strategic options. This follows the announcement of the competitions organiser’s full year figures. A 3p a share final dividend and 20p a share special dividend were announced.

Feedback (FDBK) is raising up to £5.59m via a placing and open offer at 1p a share in order to invest in the development and marketing of its Bleepa medical imaging communications platform. This could double the number of shares in issue. A one-for-ten open offer will raise up to £540,000 depending on the take-up. Stanford Capital was the bookrunner.

VR Education (VRE) reported a 43% increase in 2019 revenues and the loss was reduced. COVID-19 has increased interest in virtual reality-based conferences and this has probably pushed VR Education much further ahead than it would have been. The benefits of this will show though in the next couple of years as revenues grow faster than previously expected. The cash injection from HTC means that VR Education has plenty of cash for its requirements.

Omega Diagnostics (ODX) is raising up to £11m at 40p a share in order to finance further COVID-19 testing opportunities and to increase production capacity.

Inspiration Healthcare (IHC) is acquiring SLE, which makes ventilators for neonatal intensive care, for £18m in cash and shares. A £16.5m placing at 65p a share and an open offer raising up to £500,000 at the same share price will fund the cash element of the acquisition price.

Urban Exposure (UEX) says that Randeesh and Danjit Sandhu have resigned and will receive settlement payments, while Ravi Thakar has been made redundant. They can also sell their shares. This is because of the decision to stop taking new property loan business. NAV is estimated at 84p a share at the end of 2019. An orderly wind down should produce 70p-83p a share. A loan book sale is not currently attractive. There should be quarterly cash distributions as cash comes into the company.

Information management services provider IDOX (IDOX) made a strong recovery in the first half. Revenues were 13% ahead at £35.1m, while there was a small pre-tax profit from continuing operations. More than 90% of full year revenues have been contracted. Net debt fell from £26.4m to £14.3m over the six months to April 2020.

MAIN MARKET

Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) has raised 315m at 120.5p a share. An initial £5m will be invested in projects to enhance growth and the rest will provide additional working capital. Trading in the year to March 2020 was in line with forecasts adjusted for COVID-19 effects. There have been improving activity levels since May.

Seafox International has lodged a second requisition for a general meeting at Gulf Marine Services (GMS) and it has been accepted. Seafox proposes Hassan Heikal and Hesham Helbouny as directors.

Contango Holdings (CGO) has completed the acquisition of a 70% stake in the Lubu coalfield project and been readmitted to the standard list.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) is still waiting for the listing requirements relating to its acquisition of Kanabo Research. There is still uncertainty over listing regulations for cannabis-related companies. The acquisition was announced 16 months ago.

LED lighting supplier Dialight (DIA) says it is experiencing improving but volatile demand. The order book is better than expected and overdue deliveries are being made. Crucial component stocks are being built up. Net debt was 317.3m at the end of May 2020.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 8 June 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Sativa Group (SATI) has agreed a merger with Stillcana Inc. The share swap is 0.33507 of a Stillcanna share for every Sativa share. That values the cannabis products company at £10.7m and its shareholders will own 65% of the enlarged group. Trading in Sativa shares restarted on 4 June.

Engineering businesses consolidator Vulcan Industries (VULC) floated on 1 June. It was valued at £6.98m at the 3p a share placing price. Vulcan raised £746,500 via a subscription and placing and £239,000 will be spent on costs. . Vulcan has already completed four acquisitions. They supply automotive components, fire doors and frames, nails and architectural metal work. Trading was weaker than expected last year. Zanete Fergusone sold three businesses to Vulcan and her family interests own 47.7% of the company. A manufacturer of pressed steel bearing housings is set to be the next acquisition.

Adnams (ADB) has put its refinancing negotiations on hold since the COVID-19 lockdown. The long-term facilities have been extended by six months. Adnams is considering the government loan scheme. There will be a substantial interim loss.

IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) believes that £3m of temporary annualised cost savings will help to offset a decline in gross revenues this year. Interim revenues were 5% ahead at £38.2m but pre-tax profit was flat due to higher interest costs. The interim dividend is 5p a share, instead of the anticipated 7p a share. A further 2p a share may be paid later in the year depending on the prospects at the time. Underlying full year pre-tax profit should improve from £16.9m to £18m, which is a small downgrade on previous forecasts.

Good Energy (GOOD) has seen no significant financial impact from COVID-19. Cash collection has been in line with previous years. The generation assets have produced above average output. The final dividend has been deferred.

Altona Energy (ANR) is assessing the potential acquisition of a majority stake in a rare earths project. The Chambe project is in Southern Malawi. Due diligence will take up to three months.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has sold a majority interest in Tectonic South Africa to AIM-quoted Kazera Global. Tectonic will retain a 10% interest in the diamonds project. Tectonic has received £100,000.

Investment company Gledhow Investments (GDH) increased net assets from £735,000 to £907,000 by March 2020. Gledhow had £147,000 in cash at the end of March.

Welney (WENP) has published full year and interim figures. At the end of December 2019, net liabilities were £361,000. A consolidation of 100 shares into one new share will be followed by a £15,000 placing at 0.3p a share. A loan stock issue will raise £35,000. Trading in the shares restarted on 3 June. Keith, Bayley, Rogers has been appointed as corporate adviser. The company’s name will be changed to Quetzal Capital

Black Sea Property (BSP) is renegotiating its credit facilities. Management is uncertain how trading will fair this year.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) is changing its accounting reference date from 31 March to 30 June. Barry Fromson has been appointed as an executive director.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has raised £300,000 at 1.35p a share and issued £70,000 worth of share for fees and to convert loans. Peterhouse has replaced Turner Pope as broker.

AIM

Mereo Biopharma (MPH) has raised $70m (£56m) including $19.4m (£15.5m) via a share placing at 17.4p each and $50.6m (£40.5m) through a convertible loan note issue. The cash will be used to reduce debt and fund the company into 2022. Mereo plans a phase 1b study for cancer treatment etigilimab during the fourth quarter.

Life sciences IT services provider Instem (INS) continues to trade strongly and net cash was £8.3m at the end of April 2020. The 2019 figures show a rise in pre-tax profit from £2.8m to £3.2m and a jump to £4.2m is expected in 2020. Existing business continues but new business may take longer to secure, and this led to a small downgrade.

Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has signed a distribution agreement with Swixx BioPharma for leptin deficiency treatment Myalepta in 17 eastern European countries.

Armadale Capital (ACP) says that the definitive feasibility study update has increased the NPV of the Mahenge Liandu graphite project in Tanzania by 20% to $430m. That is based on a 30% rise in average annual production.

Bidstack (BIDS) has raised £5.5m at 4p a share. The in-game advertising technology developer will use the cash to expand internationally and fund marketing and further technology development.

Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) says that subscriptions have held up and installations are recovering after an initial slump in April. Trading in the first four months of 2020 was ahead of the same time last year. Some clients have been allowed payment deferrals. There is £9.5m in the bank.

President Energy (PPC) has raised £2.24m at 1.85p a share via PrimaryBid. A placing raised a further £2.5m. Trafigura is subscribing a further $6m at the same share price. Along with a $4.1m debt for equity swap this will reduce debt to around $15m. There will be a $98.5m write down of assets, particularly the Paraguay exploration activities. Even excluding this, there will be a loss this year. The crude oil reference price in Argentina has been set at $45/barrel until the end of the year, which is higher than the current global price.

MAIN MARKET

Tex Holdings (TXH) improved sales and gross margins last year, but there was still a slightly increased pre-tax loss due to redundancies and professional fees. Revenues increased from £40.1m to £43.1m, and if exceptional costs are stripped out there was a decrease in pre-tax loss to £661,000. The plastics division is profitable, but the engineering division is losing money. The overdraft has been repaid with the proceeds of a shareholder loan. The pension surplus has increased NAV from 127p a share to 134p a share. There are plans to reduce costs by an annualised £1.5m.

LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) says trading has improved in recent weeks and it expects the first half profit and cash generation to be at least as good as the same period last year. That is despite lower revenues.

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) is closing 12 more dealership sites. Annual savings of £50m are anticipated. Trading has recommenced at Lookers sites, but activity is still weak. Net debt was £57m at the end of May.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 25 May 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

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.

AIM

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.

MAIN MARKET

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.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 April 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Cannabis products-focused company Sativa (SATI) has received a bid approach from StillCana Inc, which has built two high volume CBD extraction facilities in Europe. StillCana is Europe’s largest producer of CBD distillate and isolate. StillCana plans to offer 0.33651 of one share for each Sativa share. Sativa shareholders would own 65% of the enlarged business. If StillCana does not go through with the bid it may be required to pay Sativa £1m as a break fee. Trading in Sativa shares has been suspended. Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser.

In the six months to December 2019, there was a £224,000 cash outflow at Imperial X (IMPP) as it assessed the way forward. The new investing strategy is focused on acquiring royalties in the oil and gas sector. There was £179,000 in the bank at the end of 2019. Imperial X has subsequently raised £27,700 at 2.5p a share.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) had net assets of £4.76m at the end of 2019. One of the successes has been the investment in Greatland Gold (GGP) and TruSpine Technologies is moving towards a flotation.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) owns 16% of AIM-quoted European Metal Holdings (EMH) whose shareholders have approved the £25.8m investment for a 51% stake in the holder of the Cinovec licences in the Czech Republic.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that the resource at the Barnes Hill nickel project to 25Mt at 0.6% nickel and 0.05% cobalt on a 0.25% nickel cut-off grade.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) n on-executive director Nigel Boardman has acquired an initial 5,020 shares in two amounts (1,500 shares at 960p each and 3,520 shares at 1010p each).

Altona Energy (ANR) has extended the closing date of its open offer until 12 May and it may consider a further extension if the market uncertainty continues.

AIM

Cyber security services provider Shearwater (SWG) has raised £3.75m at 240p a share. Directors David Williams and Phil Higgins are each investing £125,000. A new £4m, 3-year bank facility has been negotiated. In the year to March 2020, Shearwater generated revenues of £33m and underlying EBITDA was £3.2m. There has been a move towards higher margin business. Management believes that COVID-19 will provide opportunities to expand the business. There are acquisition opportunities with revenues of between £2m and £20m.

Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) has confirmed that profit for 2019-20 was better than expected and gross margins improved from 22.8% to 25.9%.

Last year was tough for transport and logistics firm Xpediator (XPD) and this year won’t be easy, but it has a good base and the new Southampton warehouse will come on stream early in 2021. In 2019, revenues grew but lower freight forwarding margins and higher overheads hit pre-tax profit and it fell to £5.2m. Xpediator should still be profitable in 2020 and the second quarter tends to be a weaker period. A scrip dividend of 1.05p a share has been declared.

Health monitoring equipment supplier LiDCO (LID) had a strong start to its new financial year thanks to strong demand from the NHS. Since January 195 monitors have been sold, which is nearly as many as last year. The pre-tax loss is expected to continue to reduce and LiDCO has started to generate cash from operations.

Foreign exchange provider Equals (EQLS) increased first quarter revenues by one-third to £8.3m. The majority of this was business to business revenues. There was a sharp decline in travel money business in March.

Dragon Capital Group is offering a purchase facility to minority shareholders in Dragon-Ukrainian Properties and Development (DUPD) as part of the plan to cancel the AIM quotation. The purchase price is 10p a share.  Shareholder approval for the departure from AIM will be sought at the general meeting in Kiev on 6 May.

DBAY Advisers is building up a stake in Wynnstay Group (WYN) and it has reach ed 6.47%. It is taking advantage of the decline in the share price, although it has rebounded strongly in the past few weeks. Investec has sold most of its stake. Trading has been subdued in the current financial year.

Dawn Ward and Tracy Lewis have resigned from the board of Staffline (STAF) and the company is seeking replacements. Henry Spain Investment Services has increased its stake in Staffline to 13.6%.

Mark Greenwood has taken his stake in Richland Resources (RLD) to 29.1%.

MAIN MARKET

LED light fittings and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) reported 2019 figures in line with expectations. Revenues were %5 ahead at £172.1m and improved margins meant that pre-tax profit jumped from £6.3m to £15.8m. Revenues and profit are expected to fall back this year due to COVID-19 with the major hit coming in the second quarter after modest supply issues in the first quarter. Cash outflow should be limited to £500,000 a month while lockdowns are in force in Europe. There are bank facilities available to the group. Looking further ahead, Luceco is involved in a growth market and there should be acquisition opportunities.

J Smart Contractors (SMJ) reported a decline in interim pre-tax profit from £1.12m to £265,000. Net cash was £13.7m at the end of January 2020. An unchanged interim dividend of 0.95p a share has been announced.

Cathay International Holdings (CTI) has launched a 16.7456-for-one open offer at 1.5p each, plus a subscription to at the same share price. This could raise up to £105m. This will reduce borrowings and provide cash to put into investee companies.

BATM (BVC) has received a $31m order for 1,000 critical care ventilators. One-quarter of the cash has been paid upfront and the rest will be paid when the ventilators are delivered later this year.

A trading statement by fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) sparked a 6% 2019-20 profit downgrade to £17.2m by finnCap.

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) says that sales and margins have fallen so far this year. Operating costs have been reduced. Sales of former sites are helping to reduce net debt, which is £65m. The fraud investigation has led to a £4m non-cash charge and there could be further write-downs.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 23 March 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Gin and spirits supplier British Honey Company (BHC) is using spare capacity in its distillery to produce # alcohol sanitisers. There is a shortage of sanitisers due to the coronavirus and HMRC has given permission for British Honey to produce denatured alcohol. The sanitisers are made with 70% alcohol and extracts of honey and green tea. Longer-term, the strategy is to buy other spirits brands to use spare capacity. British Honey started off as a honey producer and moved into craft spirits infused with honey in 2017. It has a computer-controlled, 1,000-litre capacity still and bottling facility with a capacity of 1.5 million bottles a year. Ingredients can be tracked. There has been £4m invested in this infrastructure. The existing products use a small proportion of this capacity. The company also produces spirits on behalf of third parties. Discussions have begun with some potential acquisitions. British Honey joined Aquis Stock Exchange at the beginning of the week and raised £4.25m (£3.88m after expenses) at 110p a share. Advanced assurance of eligibility for the Enterprise Investment Scheme has been obtained. The initial market capitalisation was £10m. Cairn is corporate adviser and Stanford Capital Partners is broker.

Sativa (SATI) is launching a cannabigerol (CBG) and alcohol-based hand sanitiser. CBG is thought to be effective as an antibacterial product and could combat superbugs.

Energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) reported better than expected 2019 pre-tax profit. Underlying pre-tax profit still dipped from £2.3m to £2.1m due to lower gross margins. Profit is expected to bounce back to £3.1m in 2020. Both business and domestic customers were higher last year. The total dividend has been increased from 3.5p a share to 3.7p a share. Net debt was £39.2m at the end of 2019.

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has decided not to pay the interim dividend of 6p a share announced the week before. The sharp downturn in trading and subsequent closure of pubs due to COVID-19 means that Shepherd Neame is also cutting capital investment and the board is taking a one-fifth cut in pay. Rent receipts from tenants were suspended from 16 March.

KR1 (KR1) has generated $168,000 from selling ATOM, taking the total raised from disposals to $290,000. It still holds nearly 17,000 ATOM.

Sheltered housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has outperformed its benchmark for a third year in a row. The MSCI UK Residential index increased by 4.4% in 2019, while Walls portfolio increased by 23%.

BWA Group (BWAP) says that its subsidiary has been awarded an exploration licence for an area known as Dehane in central Cameroon. The focus is rutile sands and other minerals. The permit is for three years and the financial commitment in year one is £275,000, followed by £207,000 in each of the next two years. Tri Castle Investments is subscribing £100,000 at 0.5p a share.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £389,000 at 20p a share for working capital. VI Mining (VIM) raised £56,000 via a placing at 15p a share that was curtailed because of COVID-19. Further cash will be raised in the future.

Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has secured a $200,000 facility from Augustin Corp, which is owned by a trust related to Eastinco executive chairman Charles Bray. The annual interest rate is 6 percentage points above commercial lending rates and the facility lasts for up to 18 months.

SAPO (SAPO) is holding a general meeting on 14 April to gain shareholder approval for increasing the share capital. Executive chairman Dr Keith Harris has been issued 20 million shares at 1p a share. The consideration will be paid by the end of 2024.

Belvedere Leisure Resorts (BELV) believes that once normality is resumed it can accelerate its resort development and deliver phase one on time.

Dozens Savings (DS07) says that 795 investors have subscribed for company bonds.

Trading in Dana International (DANA) shares remains suspended. The property investor is still trying to gain full information about share transfers.

Christian Taylor-Wilkinson has become interim chief executive of Altona Energy (ANR) following the resignation of executive chairman Qinfu Zhang.

AIM

Sales of COVID-19 tests by Novacyt (NCYT) continue to accelerate. It has received orders worth more than £8.7m in a six-week period. Manufacturing capacity is being increased.

Synairgen (SNG) is about to start a phase II trial for SNG001 for the treatment of an initial 100 patients with mild-moderate COVID-19. Initial results should be available by the summer. SNG001 is inhaled interferon beta, which has shown benefits in the treatment of SARS. The existing COPD phase II trial has been paused, but initial results suggest that there is clinical benefit.

Best of the Best (BOTB) would have been in trouble a decade ago when it generated its competition entries from airports and other areas of high footfall. Having gone online, the competitions organiser has continued to prosper. Additional marketing investment has helped the 2019-20 performance to be above expectations. The pre-tax profit forecast for the year to April 2020 has been raised from £2.6m to £3m.

Payment systems provider PCI-Pal (PCIP) has won a contract for its Agent Assist product with a UK government organisation. The annual contract value is £565,500.

Manx Financial (MFX) is buying back the 12.94% shareholding owned by Aaron Banks. Manx intends to pay £1.61m for the shares and then cancel them. This cash will become a loan to Manx and an existing £483,500 convertible will be added to the sum. Banks has requisitioned a general meeting at iodine manufacturer Iofina (IOF) in order to remove Lance Baller from the board and become a director himself. Banks does not intend to make a bid for the company.

Mobile payment services provider Bango (BGO) is still set to move into profit in 2020. End user spend doubled last year.

Indigovision (IND) is recommending a 405p a share cash bid from Motorola Solutions. This values the video security technology company at £30.4m. In 2019, pre-tax profit was $1.3m.

MJ Hudson (MJH) grew organic revenues by 12.5% in the first half. The asset management services provider has net cash of £20.1m following last year’s flotation. The acquisition of Meyler will expand the range of services provided in the US. The customer base is predominantly long-term and closed ended funds. A full year pre-tax profit of £1.1m is forecast.

Big Sofa Technologies (BST) has put itself up for sale and trading in the shares is suspended. The video and data analytics technology developer needs additional cash and it is difficult to raise funds in the market when there is so much uncertainty. The company expects proposals by the end of April.

The Wressle oil field development in north Lincolnshire is set to commence production in the second half of 2020 and Egdon Resources (EDG) has a 30% stake and is operator. Europa Oil and Gas (EOG) and Union Jack Oil (UJO) also have interests. The breakeven oil is estimated at $18/barrel. Production could start at 500 barrels a day. An application has been allowed against North Lincolnshire council for costs relating to delays in gaining a permit.

Diagnostic and precision testing services provider Diaceutics (DXRX) boosted revenues by 30% last year following its flotation. Although gross margins improved, a significant increase in headcount meant that pre-tax profit dipped to £500,000. The initial benefits of the investment in the business are showing through growth in Asia and other regions.

Regional property investor Real Estate investors (REI) increased its dividend by 7% to 3.8p a share. Like-for-like rental income was slightly lower at £16.9m and the weak retail property market led to a 3% reduction in EPRA NAV to 67.4p a share. Loan to value is 46.7%. The Midlands property market is strengthening ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. An improvement in NAV to near-69p a share is forecast for 2020.

Xeros (XSG) has signed a joint development agreement with a global commercial laundry business. XFiltra micro-particle filtration technology will be included in the partner’s commercial washing machines. The EU plans to have micro-particle filtration in use by 2026. Xeros is likely to need to raise more cash next year.

Oncimmune (ONC) says NICE has completed a positive review of EarlyCDT Lung and believes that it can help in the early diagnosis of lung cancer.

MAIN MARKET

Trading in the shares of Boston International Holdings (BIH) has been suspended ahead of the proposed acquisition of invoice factoring company Alexanders Discount Ltd, which is based in the South East. Alexanders Discount accounts for the year to November 2019 are for a dormant company and the assets were worth £4. The standard list shell floated in October 2016.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) says that the integration of DMSL is ahead of plan and it has won two new contracts.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) is partnering with Novamed for an at-home COVID-19 diagnostic kit. The kit should be completed within four months.

AIQ Ltd (AIQ) has signed a conditional share purchase agreement for Alchemist Codes, a Malaysian IT services developer. AIQ is paying £2.3m in shares.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 16 March 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) edged up its interim profit helped by a strong performance from tenanted pubs and lower interest charges. In the six months to end December 2019, revenues were 3% higher at £79m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved 5% to £6.2m. Cost pressures held back the performance of the managed pubs. There was a fall in profit contribution from brewing. Net debt was £84m at the end of 2019. The interim dividend was increased by 2% to 6p a share. Brewing volumes have increased since the period end and like-for-like pub revenues continue to grow, although the rate is slower for managed pubs. Coronavirus has not had an impact yet but it is likely to.

Altona Energy (ANR) is raising up to £400,000 through an open offer to existing shareholders at 6.5p a share. That is a one-third discount to the previous mid-price. The cash is required to acquire a new petroleum exploration licence application in South Australia and the maximum will provide 12 months working capital. This will enable assessment of an in-situ gasification project. There is also potential for wind and solar projects in the area. There was an overdraft of £96,000 at the end of June 2019. The latest time for acceptance is 31 March.

European Lithium (EUR) reported a dip in interim income in 2019 from $23,817 to $3,365, while the loss was flat at $2.3m. There was $32,000 in cash at the end of 2019. There are convertible notes valued at $1.1m, some of which have been subsequently converted, but more have been issued.

KR1 (KR1) has been hit by weak Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices, but it had already banked some of its profit. The value of the remaining portfolio has dropped sharply. There will be an update shortly.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has requested a subscription of £9.64m at 176p a share under the Woodford Commitment at the time of the company’s flotation. LF Equity Income Fund, formerly LF Woodford Equity Income Fund, will own 28.8% of the proton beam therapy company. This is the final subscription under the agreement.

Former investment banker Dr Keith Harris has been appointed as executive chairman of SAPO (SAPO) and Selwyn Lewis is joining the board as an executive director.

Fuel emulsification company SulNOx Group (SNOX) has filed an international patent application for its technology. It has already filed for the patent in the UK. The technology can be used for many fuels but the focus is diesel and heavy fuel oil.

Cannabis investment company World High Life (LIFE) has raised £2.36m from two issued of convertible loan notes with a 10% coupon. The conversion price is 100p a share.

Trading in First Sentinel 7% bonds, February 2023, First Sentinel preference shares and EPE Special Opportunities 7.5% unsecured loan stock, 2022 has been suspended because of the market maker temporarily withdrawing from market making activities.

AIM

OnTheMarket (OTMP) has ended its litigation with Connells and its subsidiary Gascoigne Halman. The property portal had already won a judgement in a Competition Appeal Tribunal and it was seeking the recovery of further damages. Earlier in the week, Ian Springett was dismissed as chief executive of OnTheMarket. He has a 12 month contract and earns £250,000 a year.

Geospatial software provider IQGeo (IQG) reported an increased loss last year, but that masks the progress made. Third party revenues declined. In 2019, total revenues fell from £9.98m to £7.81m, however, own product revenues increased from £4.74m to £5.55m, while recurring revenues contributed £1.63m, up from £918,000. More people were employed in sales and product development and operating expenses jumped from £6m to £9.5m. That is why the loss increased from £1.6m to £6.17m. There was still £13m left in the bank at the end of 2019, following £11m spent on buying back shares.

Mass spectrometry instruments developer Microsaic Systems (MSYS) continues to add to its partners. Last year, revenues rose 51% to £870,000 with the benefit of the newer agreements still to come. Higher development spending meant that the loss edged up to £3.1m. There was £2.62m in the bank at the end of 2019 and management admits it is assessing its options in terms of raising more cash.

Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) had a stronger second half, following the profit warning in the first half due to bad weather. The outcome in 2019 was slightly better than the previously downgraded expectations. Even so, revenues fell 5% to $89.3m and pre-tax profit was down by a similar percentage. The dividend was reduced by 1% to 18.75 cents a share. The additional dividend relating to excess cash (net cash was $23.8m) is 7.7 cents a share. Increased costs mean that there could be a further decline in profit this year.

Mark Greenwood has further increased his stake in Richland Resources (RLD) by buying the market and acquiring shares in a placing at 0.12p a share, which raised £100,000 for the company. Greenwood’s stake is 18.5%. The share price is one of the few AIM risers this month.

The Panoply Holdings (TPX) has acquired consultancy Ameo Professional Services, which generates 9-% of its revenues from the public sector. Ameo made a pre-tax profit of £1m last year and is being acquired for £7m in cash and shares, plus the distribution of £1.3m in excess cash.

Molecular diagnostics developer Yourgene Health (YGEN) is acquiring its French distributor and this will be immediately earnings enhancing. Yourgene will still make a loss in 2020, but the following year earnings per share will improve from 0.18p to 0.23p.

Open Orphan (ORPH) has reported positive results for the phase IIb field study of FLU-v vaccine, which has been developed by a 49%-owned joint venture. The results have been published in a journal. IP Group has cut its stake to below 3%.

Redx Pharma (REDX) says it has received a bid approach from Yesod Bio-Sciences, which is considering offering 15p a share. Redmile Group is making a mandatory offer of 15.5p a share, following its purchase of the 39.5% stake owned by Moulton Goodies, which obtained most of its shares at 5.25p each when it capitalised its £2.5m loan. Redmile owns 45.5% of Redx, which is valued at £29.5m. The board recommends the bid.

Brickability (BRCK) has made its second acquisition in one month. It is paying £6m for plastic fascia and guttering merchant U Plastics, which made a pre-tax profit of £1.3m in 2019.

MAIN MARKET

Moss Bros (MOSB) has agreed a 22p a share bid that values the suit hire and retail company at £22.6m. The bid vehicle is owned by people involved in the apparel sector, including Michael Shina of Crew Clothing. The main executives will be retained.

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) has discovered accounting irregularities. The fraudulent transactions in one of the operating divisions mean that the 2019 figures will be delayed until late April. These transactions should not be significant for the group. Chief operating officer Cameron Wade has resigned.

Standard list shell Hertsford Capital (HERT) has agreed the acquisition of oil services provider OTAQ Group for £12.4m through an issue of shares at 57.5p each (post-consolidation). A placing will raise £1.5m at the same price. OTAQ designs and supports products for the aquaculture and offshore oil and gas sectors. The focus is on growing the aquaculture operations. The company will change its name to OTAQ and be readmitted on 31 March.

Sure Ventures (SURE) is raising £250,000 at 100p a share, which is a premium to NA of 95.74p a share. This followed news of an investment by 25.9%-owned Sure Valley Ventures in AI security company Getvisibility. The fund has invested €750,000. The cash will be used to expand the business internationally.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has spent more than one year trying to finalise the acquisition of cannabis processor Kanabo Research and a commitment to invest £1.4m has been secured. At the end of 2019, there was £597,000 left in the bank.

Dev Clever (DEV) is acquiring Phenix Digital, a digital agency focused on the educational sector. It is paying £100,000 in cash and 3.57 million shares. There is an existing relationship between the two companies.

Andrew Hore

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