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Quoted Micro 28 March 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) returned to profit in 2021 and it is paying a final dividend of 22p a share, having already paid 37p a share for the financial year. Net assets are 1315p a share. Slater Investments has a 7.05% stake.

S-Ventures (SVEN) is acquiring Market Rocket Ltd, which is a digital agency that helps brand owners to sell their products, for an initial £2.25m. There could be further shares issued if performance targets are met. In the year to March 2021, revenues were £500,000 and this year they will be much higher. This is a profitable business.

British Honey Company (BHC) has raised £540,000 after expenses at 80p each. This cash will finance product development, costs related to reducing expenses and fund growth. Mark Jones has been permanently appointed as chief executive. The company is changing its name to Union Distillers.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) is acquiring Aftech, a sheet metal fabrication company, for £1.55m in shares issued at 1.257p a share, plus 24.7 million warrants exercisable at 3p a share. Services provided include laser cutting, bending and forming and the acquired business fits well with existing subsidiaries. In the year to November 2021, Aftech generated revenues of £1.18m and EBITDA of £266,000 and it has debt of £155,000.

AIM-quoted Asimilar (ASLR) plans to join the access segment of Aquis on 4 April. The technology investment company focuses on areas including big data, machine learning and Internet of Things. The corporate adviser is Oberon Capital. Chris Akers has a 6.88% stake and Nigel Wray a 9.43% shareholding. Net assets were £41.5m at the end of September 2021.

VVV Resources (VVV) has signed a conditional agreement to acquire a company that owns the Mitterberg copper project in Austria and a 49% stake in the Shangri La polymetallic project in Western Australia, which takes VVV’s share to 100%.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) increased its NAV from 437.6p a share to 455.7p a share in the 12 months to January 2022. However, the Luceco share price has fallen back since then. The Luceco stake was reduced to 22.1% last year. Cash was £27.6m at the end of January.

Capital for Companies (CFCP) had cash balances of £4.19m at the end of February 2022. Net assets were 68.4p a share, following the payment of 1.5p a share dividend on 3 March.

Jason Brewer has joined the board of All Star Minerals (ASMO) and been appointed as chief executive. The acquisition focus has switched to near-term production and revenue generating mining assets.

AQRU (AQRU) has entered a partnership with institutional lending platform owner Maple Finance, which will offer AQRU customers enhanced yields in decentralised finance. Yields could be up to 15%. The offering will be integrated into the AQRU mobile and web-based platform.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has obtained a new strategic investor and there could be more to come. Ramin Salsali has invested £302,276 at 0.5p a share to take a 4.67% stake. He believes that the CoalTech technology can help to solve the problem of 33 billion tonnes of toxic coal fines. The technology can also pelletise other materials. Several testing phase projects are at an advanced stage.

AIM

Cyber security software supplier Kape Technologies (KAPE) reported 2021 figures in line with its trading statement with pre-tax profit of $75.2m. This was without any significant contribution from the ExpressVPN acquisition, which was made at the end of the year. Pre-tax profit could more than double to in excess of $150m this year.

Geospatial software provider IQGeo (IQG) beat expectations for 2021 with a much lower loss of £2.7m. Annualised recurring revenues were £8.2m. This year the company should move towards breakeven.

Restaurant operator Tasty (TAST) bounced back into profit last year. In the 52 weeks to 26 December 2021, revenues improved from £24.2m to £34.9m. There was £11m in the bank at the end of 2021 and there are £1.25m of borrowings to offset against this. Even if deferred payments are taken into account, then underlying net cash is still £6.8m. Net assets are £1.9m.

Peel Hunt has upgraded its 2022 forecast for promotional goods platform operator The Pebble Group (PEBB) following the recent 2021 figures. Even so, pre-tax profit is forecast to dip from £10.2m to £9.9m.

Leather processor Pittards (PTD) returned to profit in 2021, but cost increases mean that WH Ireland has reduced its 2022 pre-tax profit forecast. Pre-tax profit is expected to be flat at £500,000. Net assets are 101.9p a share.

AI-enabled wound imaging technology developer Spectral MD (SMD) has made excellent progress since floating last year. Studies of the DeepView system have been positive. The technology enables earlier intervention to help wounds heal quicker than they would have done. A validation study for patients with diabetic foot ulcers is planned and could lead to an application for FDA clearance by the end of the year.

Judges Scientific (JDG) increased pre-tax profit from £13.7m to £18.1m in 2021. Revenues recovered in all geographical regions. The order intake in the first eleven weeks of this year is slightly ahead of the 2021 figure. Net cash is £1.4m and cash generated from operations will mean that the cash pile will build up ahead of any acquisitions.

MAIN MARKET

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LSE: LUCE) reported an increase in 2021 underlying pre-tax profit from £28.7m to £37.4m on revenues increasing from £176.2m to £228.2m. The total dividend was raised from 6.2p a share to 8.1p a share and it is more than twice covered by earnings. Luceco has moved into the electric vehicle charging market with the purchase of residential EV charge point supplier Sync EV for £10m – it already had a 20% stake, so the latest outflow is £8m. Annual revenues are £4m.

LeakBot reversed into Spinnaker Acquisitions to form Ondo Insurtech (ONDO). The total cost is £9.8m made up of cash of £1.6m, loan notes of £6.4m and 15 million shares issued at 12p each, including 1.36 million shares issued to Ondo Insurtech chief executive Craig Foster. The LeakBot device uses internet of things technology to identify leaks and stop them before they become more substantial. The core client base is home insurers, which can save money on claims. The share price started at 10.5p and fell to 9p by the end of the week.

RC365 Holding (RCGH) was set up to acquire Hong Kong-focused Regal Crown UK, which has developed payment gateway technology and provides other IT services. The holding company raised £2.02m at 6.2p a share, although £800,000 went on float expenses. The shares ended the week at 7p.

Beacon Rise Holdings (BRS) is the latest standard list shell, and it is highly illiquid with most of the shares owned by nine shareholders. On Sharepad.co.uk there are no trades reported, and the bid/offer spread is 100p/400p. That suggest a mid-price of 250p or a notional 150% gain – although the bid price is equal to the subscription price. Pro forma net assets equal the cash of £744,000.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 6 December 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Hydrogen Future Industries (HFI) was set up to make investments in the hydrogen sector. It raised £2.23m at 10p a share. This will finance the investigation of investment opportunities.

Field Systems Design Holdings (FSD) reported a lump in revenues from £19.8m to £9.98m in the year to May 2021, due to Covid-related problems. This meant that the mechanical and electrical design company moved into loss. The AMP7 water sector investment programme did not start as expected. Other projects have also been delayed, but power generation and transport infrastructure business held up better than the water business, which continues to be delayed. Field Systems Design is also being more selective about energy from waste projects. There was £6m in cash at the end of May 2021.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) is investing €10m in the €150m offer by new SPAC EPIC Acquisition Corp, which will be listed on Euronext Amsterdam. The target company would be involved in the consumer sector. EPE has published a prospectus for the issue of up to 20 million zero dividend preference shares at 100p each.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has concluded a partial disposal of its investment in TPS Investment, which distributes pipes and valves. There was an initial £200,000 and £121,000 will be received from a share buyback about the company. That leaves a stake in TPS valued at £510,000.

Aquis Stock Exchange-quoted non-fungible tokens (NFTs) investor NFT Investments (NFT) has swapped its £500,000 investment in Kodoku Studios for a 3% stake in Pioneer Media (PNER) valued at £2m and £125,000 in cash. Mike Edwards is a director of NFT and Pioneer. NFT has invested $1m in NFT Studios Ltd in return for a 20% stake.

Watchstone Group (WTG) has filed a claim against KPMG totalling £13.73m plus interest. This relates to the audit of the 2013 accounts of the company, then known as Quindell. These accounts were restated and the FRC fined and reprimanded KPMG.

Quetzal Capital (QTZ) has invested £1.5m in a convertible loan to TAP Global Ltd and it has an option to acquire 100%. TAP Global is a regulated (by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission) Crypto-Fiat exchange services provider, which plans to provide a bridge between traditional and crypto assets. TAP Global is already generating revenues.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has completed the 2021 drilling programme at the Mozambique Monte Muambe project. Chief executive Christian Taylor-Wilkinson bought 66,560 shares at 11.3p each and he owns 6.3% of the company.

South Africa-based social impact company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) raised cash from selling land and this has strengthened the balance sheet. Inqo continues to lose money.

Belvedere Leisure (BL03) has taken control of the 160 acre Barnsoul caravan park, which was near to full capacity during the peak season. Development of the park is continuing ahead of a reopening next spring.

Evrima (EVA) has elected to maintain its project level interest of between 8.86% and 9.26% in the Molopo Farms complex. Kavango Resources (KAV) is exercising its option to take a stake of more than 50%.

Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) has launched a new platform called AQRU, which is a platform that enables institutional investors simple access to crypto yields available in DeFi. Recently purchased Accru Finance developed AQRU, which will not be open to UK-based investors until it is approved by the FCA.

Fuel additives supplier SulNOx Group (SNOX) has signed a distribution agreement with LocoSoco Group.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £23,000 at 28.5p a share.

Slater Investments has increased its stake in Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) from 3.05% to 5.15%.

Rogue Baron (SHNJ) managing director Ryan Dolder bought 32,477 shares at 12p each and 58.827 shares at 9.5p each, taking his stake to 10.5%.

Sativa Wellness (SWEL) has appointed Arden as corporate adviser. It hopes that the broker can help to improve the share price.

AIM

Battery technology developer Gelion (GELN) raised £16m at 145p a share when it joined AIM. The share price has soared to 265p. Australia-based Gelion is a zinc-bromide battery storage technology developer. It is also developing battery additives for use in lithium-ion and lithium-sulfur batteries. Gelion Endure zinc-bromide batteries are suited for harsh environments and the non-flow zinc-bromide technology means that they can be smaller than rival lithium-ion and lead-acid technologies and are recyclable. The cash will be used to accelerate development spending.

Skillcast Group (SKL) provides content and software to companies for their training and compliance requirements. Skillcast has joined AIM to raise further cash to invest in cloud technology and training content. It raised £3.5m in a placing at 37p a share and the share price ended the week at 43p. Revenues are generated from professional services and SaaS subscriptions and the main growth comes from the latter. There were annual recurring revenues of £5.06m at the end of June 2021. Clients include Schroders and GKN. The shares are tightly held.

A trading statement from franchised lettings and estate agency Belvoir Group (BLV) led to a 3% upgrade in forecast 2021 earnings to 20.3p a share.

IPTV technology developer Mirada (MIRA) grew interim revenues by 10% to $6m thanks to increasing installations for izzi Telecom. Mirada has buit up a 5% global share of the Android TV market. The increasing use of resellers in different regions of the world should help Mirada to grow more quickly than it could relying on direct sales. There was a recent partnership agreement with North America-focused Shift 2 Stream.

Vector Capital (VCAP) says 2021 revenues and pre-tax profit will be better than expected.

Interim revenues of Coral Products (CRU) were 58% ahead at £7.1m and pre-tax profit improved from £494,000 to £698,000. The interim dividend is 0.5p a share. Plastic lotion pumps supplier Global One-Pak was hit by the ill-health of its boss and problems importing from China, but trading is improving.

Human capital services provider Mind Gym (MIND) increased its interim revenues by two-thirds to £24.1m and it returned to profit. Revenues are back to the levels in the first half of 2019, although the profit is much lower. Digital revenues account for 81% of the latest revenues.

Online fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) nearly trebled its interim revenues, helped by maintaining high stock levels following the fundraising earlier this year. Strong trading, both from the company’s website and through third parties, continues to be strong. October was a record month and November was even better. The full year revenues forecast has been raised by 11% to £27.1m. Sosandar could move into profit next year.

Cenkos has upgraded its free cash flow forecast for Duke Royalty (DUKE) following the latest interims. It is expected to be 2.3p a share, which will cover the forecast dividend of 2.2p a share. There is a record deal pipeline

Lekoil Nigeria is offering to acquire the 60% of Lekoil Ltd (LEK) that it does not own for double the suspension price of 0.95p or for a share exchange.

MAIN MARKET

Guernsey-registered technology shell Hambro Perks Acquisition Company Ltd (HPA1) raised £140m through a placing at 1000p per unit (one public share and 0.5 of one public warrant). The price went to premium and fell back to 1000p. An attractive market, innovative product or service, scalability and strong management will be required in any target. The target business would be valued at £800m or more. The Hambro Perks Ltd advisory business has expertise in investing in early-stage technology businesses and could have potential targets in its funds.

Town Centre Properties (TOWN) maintained its underlying NAV at 284p a share. Net debt was reduced to £145.6m and LTV is 51.3% at the end of June 2021. The full loss was significantly reduced, although there was cash generated from operations. The final dividend is 1.75p a share, taking the total for the year to 3.5p a share, down from 5p a share.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) is raising £380,000 at 0.045p a share. The previous placing was at 0.11p a share during October 2020.

Rebel shareholders in beverages supplier East Imperial (EISB) have withdrawn their general meeting requisition following the appointment of Alistair McGeorge as chairman and Colin Henry as a non-exec. Rabindra Lal Soni has resigned as chairman.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 25 October 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Lush co-founder Andrew Gerrie plans to float a new shell called Silverwood Brands on the Aquis Stock Exchange. The strategy is to acquire and develop consumer brands and pay with shares and cash. Hotel Chocolat (HOTC) founder Angus Thirlwell is an adviser. Silverwood Brands was formed in August. There are currently 100 shares, which were issued at par value of 1p. A pre-IPO subscription of £1m recently closed.

Boanerges (BNRG) has agreed to acquire the business and assets of digital ecommerce company WeShop, where AIM-quoted Brandshield Systems (BRSD), Vela Technologies (VELA), Primorus Investments (PRIM) and IamFire (FIRE) are shareholders. The payment will be 33.33 million shares at 75p each, compared with a market price of 77p, following a May flotation at 20p a share. Boanerges intends to leave Aquis and join the JP Jenkins matched bargain facility. Boanerges is offering to acquire any shares bought since the Aquis flotation at 75p each. Boanerges believes it has the cash it requires to develop the WeShop business, and it may seek a listing in the future.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) says customer deposits have increased by 19% to £2.8bn so far this year, while loans have risen by one-quarter to £1.97bn. Assets under management are 14% higher at £1.3bn.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has sold its investment in Office for Public Management for £469,000, having invested £250,000.

Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) has acquired Accru Finance for £8.75m in the form of 250 million shares. The vendors will own 29% of Dispersion and the founders Philip Blows and Digby Try will join the Dispersion board. The former will become chief executive. Accru is developing cryptocurrency trading platform, which is yet to get FCA approval.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has agreed to acquire a 51% interest in the Chambe rare earths project in Malawi and this new deal is likely to delay the move to the standard list. An initial payment of one million shares will be held in escrow until the exploration licence is transferred to a new company in which Altona can increase its interest to 70%.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) reported revenues of £5.23m in the year to March 2021. There was a loss of £3.42m. Net debt is £3.4m.

There was a £891,000 cash outflow at Semper Fortis Esports (SEMP) in the six months to July 2021. There is still £1.77m in the bank.

AIM

Bens Creek Group (BEN) has acquired coking coal mining assets in West Virginia, and it believes it can restart production before the end of 2021. The estimated coal resources are 17.2 million in-place tons with proven and probable reserves of 2.34 million tons. Bens Creek raised £5.8m, after expenses, at 10p a share when it joined AIM. Bens Creek announced an offtake agreement for washed Hi-Vol-B metallurgical coal with Integrity Coal Sales, which has agreed to take 22,000 US short ton of coal each month for a 12-month period. This deal starts in January and covers 50% of expected production volumes. The current market price is $277/short ton and the price paid will depend on the market price at the time. This deal sparked an uptick in the share price, which reached 13.25p by the end of the week.

Devon-based Tungsten West (TUN) is developing the Hemerdon tungsten and tine mine near Plymouth and it joined AIM during the week. The share price ended the week at 63p, up from the 60p at which £39m was raised before expenses. Hemerdon was previously owned by Wolf Minerals, which went into administration, and acquired by Tungsten West two years ago. There had previously been more than £170m invested in the mine. There is an estimated mineral resource of 325Mt at 0.12% tungsten. A bankable feasibility study was completed in March.

Disinfection products supplier Tristel (TSTL) reported lower revenues and profit but that was down to stockpiling in the comparative period. Revenues were 2% lower at £31m, while pre-tax profit fell by one-quarter to £5.4m, which is similar to the 2018-19 level. Profit growth should recommence this year, but it will take time to beat the 2019- 20 figure. Tristel is shedding non-core products, which will reduce costs. Progress continues with US product approvals.

ASX-listed Future Metals (FME) did not raise any cash when it gained a secondary quotation on AIM. The share price ended the first day of trading at 12.25p and then fell to 10.5p. The company was previously quoted on AIM as Red Emperor Resources and has returned following the acquisition of 100% of the Panton PGM project in Western Australia. There is definitely a resource. A bankable feasibility study was completed by previous owners in September 2003, and it was reviewed in 2011. There is a JORC mineral resource of 14.3Mt at 5.2g/t PGM and 2.4m ounces of gold. There is also nickel, cobalt and copper mineralisation.

Solid State (SOLI) has an order book at record levels. The order book has increased by 48% to £61.5m with orders stretching further ahead than in the past. Interim pre-tax profit is estimated to have risen from £2.6m to £3.3m. Operating margins benefited from a change in product mix.

Internet domain name registry and services provider CentralNic (CNIC) is continuing to perform ahead of expectations. Organic growth was 29% in first nine months of this year. CentralNic expects full year EBITDA of at least $32m, up from $22.1m in 2020.

MAIN MARKET

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) is trading in line with expectations of achieving a full year underlying operating profit of at least £39m. Revenues are 36% higher than the 2020 figure. Gross margins are slightly lower due to cost pressures.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 4 October 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Wine maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased interim revenues by 35% to £8.11m, which included £287,000 from the brewing business, which has been sold. Chapel Down moved from loss to profit in the first half. Underlying pre-tax profit was £459,000, helped by £73,000 of government grant income.  Wine volumes increased by 66%. Pro forma net cash is £6m, following the recent fundraising.

Digital assets investor KR1 (KR1) reported an NAV of 80.3p a share at the end of June 2021, up from 29p a share at the end of 2020. There was a £69.5m gain on intangible and financial assets.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) returned to profit in the year to April 2021. The value of the portfolio was 3% higher at £89.9m. A loss of £742,000 was turned into a pre-tax profit of £1.39m. Contracts have been exchanged for the purchase of a property in Stafford for £1.26m, where the annual rent is £95,000. The sale of properties in Leeds and Dudley are due to complete.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has sold a 60% stake in Whale Head Minerals to AIM-quoted Kazera Global Investments (KZG) in return for 13.5 million shares, which have been assigned to Consolidated Minerals to settle a A$279,732 loan. Tectonic retains a non-diluting 10% interest in Whale Head Minerals.

Coinsilium (COIN) made a pre-tax profit of £333,000 in the first half of 2021. A net fair value gain on unlisted investments of £793,000 was offset by a £148,000 investment write-down. There was a £136,000 cash outflow from operating activities.

NFT Investments (NFT) had net cash of £29.3m at the end of June 2021. So far, two investments have been made, including one after June. Management admits that the digital asset investment sector has been volatile and NFT is being highly selective.

Cancer treatment company Rutherford Health (RUTH) has increased its full year revenues from £5.6m to £7.3m. The operating loss increased from £25.7m to £31.1m. Additional investment has been obtained since the end of February 2021.

Incanthera (INC) has frilled two trademark names for its Sol skin cancer formulation. They are ACTINOMOD AND ACTINODERM.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) has sold a further 220,000 shares in Secure Trust, raising £2.5m. Arbuthnot retains 399,538 shares in Secure Trust.

Adnams (ADB) director Guy Heald has acquired 3,000 B shares from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge at £92.86 each. His B shares stake has increased to 17.15%.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has appointed VSA Capital as corporate adviser.

Block Commodities has been withdrawn from Aquis after a six-month trading suspension.

AIM

Frontier IP (FIPP) investee company Exscientia has joined the Nasdaq Global Select Market after a $304.7m offer at $22 per ADS, which values the pharmatech company at $2.6bn. The ADSs ended at $27.10 each on the first day of trading on 1 October. The closing price values the Frontier IP stake at £31.3m. Oxford-based Exscientia is a spin-out from the University of Dundee and uses artificial intelligence to help drug discovery.

Broker Peel Hunt (PEEL) has returned to AIM two decades after its original flotation, which ended with a takeover by Belgian bank KBC. A placing at 228p a share raised £40m for the company and valued it at £280m. Existing shareholders also raised £72m The share price ended the week at 231.3p. In the year to March 2021, Peel Hunt Ltd revenues more than doubled from £95.5m to £196.9m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £34.2m to £120.1m. That reflects another bumper trading period. Because of the reorganisation of the group, the illustrative, adjusted pre-tax profit is £73.6m, up from £19.4m. Revenues for the five months to August 2021 fell from £82.5m to £63.3m.

GreenRoc Mining (GROC) has acquired the Greenland mining assets of Alba Mineral Resources (ALBA) in return for shares equivalent to 54% of the newly floated company. The Amitsoq graphite project has graphite suitable for using in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries and the Thule Black Sands project in north west Greenland appears to be a continuation of the Dundas mineral sands project being developed by AIM-quoted Bluejay Mining (JAY). GreenRoc raised £4.25m after expenses at 10p a share. The share price has slipped back to 9.35p.

Made Tech Group (MTEC) is a rapidly growing provider of digital transformation services to the UK public sector, including healthcare and defence. It raised £15m at 122p a share when it joined AIM at the end of September. Over the past three years annual revenues have grown at a compound rate of 89% and this growth has been financed without seeking shareholder investment. In the year to May 2021, revenues were £13.3m.

Delivered ready meals company Parsley Box (MEAL) has been hit by supply problems. The available stock is 50% of planned levels, due to staffing and logistics problems at food producers, and Parsley Box has built up its cost base in anticipation of growth. It is set to continue to make losses until the supply problems ease, even though marketing spend will be cut.

Antimicrobial technology developer Byotrol (BYOT) has sold the American rights to the Byotrol24 surface spray to its Americas licensee Integrated Resources Inc for $1.4m (£1m). Byotrol retains the rights outside of the Americas.

Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) is growing the core loadbanks manufacturer Crestchic and the disposal of the Tasman oil and gas tools business, assuming it happens, will end the associated loss and pay off debt. Group revenues were 22% higher at £19.6m, while operating profit quadrupled to £1.6m. Net debt has fallen from £6.8m to £4.5m. A pre-tax profit of £2.83m is forecast for 2021. The construction of a new Crestchic factory has commenced.

Acquisitions and strong organic growth enabled pharma services software supplier Instem (INS) to increase interim revenues by 41% to £19.8m. Demand for the company’s software is being driven by increased life sciences investment. Instem is on course to increase full year pre-tax profit from £4m to £5.2m.

Cyber security firm Osirium Technologies (OSI) signed up 31 new customers in the first half. It was particularly successful in winning NHS Trusts. Average contract values were lower, but sales bookings were 19% higher. Interim revenues increase by 5% to £740,000, while deferred income was 17% ahead. Partners are being signed up to help with international growth. Full year revenues are expected to be 12% higher at £1.6m, but Osirium will continue to lose money due to continued investment.

Digital TV software technology developer Mirada (MIRA) has changed its strategy and employing resellers. The local presence should enable Mirada to build up its international revenues. Covid-19 hampered deployments and slowed investment decisions. Interim revenues declined by 15% to $11.1m. This is despite the growth in deployments of Mirada’s android TV technology for izzi Telecom, which is the company’s largest customer.

1Spatial (SPA) continues to win new contracts and annualised recurring revenues have increased by 12%. The latest contract for a UK government department is worth £8m.

Data erasure and mobile diagnostics services provider Blancco Technology (BLTG) reported operating 2020-21 profit slightly ahead of expectations. Investec is maintaining its 2021-22 pre-tax profit forecast of £5.4m, up from £5m.

Polymers developer Itaconix (ITX) is still loss making, but interim revenues improved 26% to $1.37m. It has a pipeline of potential deals that could generate revenues that are many times higher than that.

MAIN MARKET

S and U (SUS) reported better than expected interims. Revenues were flat at £42.8m, but the core car finance business is recovering. The loan loss provision was cut from £21.4m to £4.9m. Car finance receivables were slightly higher at the end of the six-month period at £248.8m, even though credit criteria has been toughened. Pre-tax profit more than trebled to £19.9m. This includes an improvement in the profit of the Aspen bridging loan business from £100,000 to £1.5m. The interim dividend is 50% higher at 33p a share. Edison has upgraded the 2021-22 S and U pre-tax profit forecast to £38.7m.

Anglo African Agriculture (AAAP) says that the proposed reverse takeover of Kenya-based Comarco. The loan to the company plus interest, totalling $1.5m, should be repaid by the end of October. The original loan was made in November 2018 and is secured on a company with 4.74 acres of land at Mombassa.

Aircraft lessor Avation (AVAP) reported a $70.1m loss for the year to June 2021 and it is expected to make a much smaller loss this year. Avation has a fleet of 44 aircraft. The company’s cash pile should build up when underutilised aircraft are sold.

Bay Capital (BAY) is a newly floated shell set up by two highly experienced small company directors, Peter Tom and David Williams. It raised £4m at 10p a share and has pro forma cash of £6.64m, which is equivalent to 9.5p a share. The share price ended the week at 18.4p. Acceler8 Investments (AC8) is another recently floated shell where David Williams is a director.

Roquefort Investments (ROQ) is paying £1m in cash and shares for Lyramid, which has a worldwide licence to commercialise patents related to Midkine-based therapies for cancer, kidney disease, autoimmune disorders and Covid-19. Roquefort plans to raise up to £3m. Trading in the shares has been suspended until a reverse takeover prospectus has been published.

Hygiene and protection technologies developer HeiQ (HEIQ) published lower interim revenues because the comparative figures were boosted by Covid-19 demand. Full year revenues are likely to be flat at around $50m, while pre-tax profit would decline from $7m to $3.7m due to a lower gross margin and higher overheads.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 26 July 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Ecotricity has launched a 340p a share cash bid for Good Energy (GOOD). Ecotricity believes the combined group would be better placed to compete in the energy supply business. The Good Energy board rejects the bid.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) reported a bounce back in interim pre-tax profit from £200,000 to £3m. the main profit improvement was at Arbuthnot Latham. NAV was 1292p a share at the end of June 2021. Assets under management reached £1.22bn. A second interim dividend of 16p a share was announced, and it will be paid on 24 September.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says its Hellyer gold mine generated revenues of A$19.8m in the second quarter, while net income was A$5.7m. The major capital investment in the mine cost A$16.4m and was finished during the quarter. NQ Minerals is still seeking to move to a full listing on the London Stock Market.

Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) generated record revenues in the first half of 2021, and it is generating cash from operations. CBD products supplier Goodbody Botanicals is profitable. There have been 47 clinics opened to offer Covid-19 testing.

Apollon Formularies (APOL) says that medicinal cannabis formulations developed by its subsidiary have been able to kill prostrate cancer cells.

Watchstone Group (WTG) management recommends that shareholders reject the mandatory 34p a share bid.

Ervin Kovac has resigned as director of Freyherr International (FRYR) and the shares remain suspended as the company’s financial position remains uncertain. Trading was suspended more than nine months ago.

Harry Hyman has taken a 3.08% stake in Oberon Investments (OBE).

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) is moving from the Access segment to the Apex segment.

AIM

Digital payments business Boku (BOKU) increased interim revenues by 37% to $34m – organic growth was 21%. Investment is increasing in order to take advantage of growth prospects, but cash is also increasing.

Trading is improving at employee benefits services and insurance products provider Personal Group (PGH) and interim revenues were 12% ahead at £34m even though weak insurance sales last year mean that premium income fell. SaaS-based revenues increasing by 50% – helped by the partnership with Sage. Sales of consumer electronics products through PG Let’s Connect has improved by one-fifth.

Insolvency levels remain relatively low, but Begbies Traynor (BEG) still grew strongly last year. In the year to April 2021, underlying pre-tax profit improved from £9.2m to £11.5m – a combination of organic and acquisitive growth. There is more to come this year from recent acquisitions.

Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) managed to increase its pre-tax profit from £18.1m to £19.3m despite the tough trading conditions in the year to April 2021. The property and corporate finance divisions did particularly well last year. This kept utilisation levels high. A final dividend of 5p a share was announced. Gateley is paying £815,000 for Tozer Gallagher, which is a quantity surveyor and construction consultant.

Online womenswear retailer Sosandar (SOS) increased its full year revenues by 35% to £12.2m. It remains loss-making and that is likely to continue this year even though revenues continue to grow rapidly. First quarter revenues jumped by 256% to £5.7m, although the comparatives were weak. Active customers increased by 23% compared with the previous quarter. Singer forecasts double full year revenues to £24.4m.

Parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) is still growing its freight business faster than expected and analysts have upgraded their forecasts for 2020-21 and the current year. The additional business is also more profitable than in the past. DX Express revenues are flat due to lower office mail delivery revenues.

Judges Scientific (JDG) had a much better order book at the end of June 2021. It was 49% higher than June last year. Organic sales growth was 5% compared with full year forecasts of 1.5%.

Open Orphan (ORPH) spin out Poolbeg Pharma (POLB) has started trading on AIM. The shares are trading at 10.875p, which is equivalent to 3.63p a share to Open Orphan shareholders. The Open Orphan shareholders cannot sell yet.

Vela Technologies (VELA) has invested £750,000 in Northcoders Group, which joins AIM on 27 July. Manchester -based Northcoders provides software coding training.

International payments business Cornerstone FS (CSFS) is pursuing potential acquisitions, but it has not secured any since it floated earlier this year. The mix of business remains consistent, although more of it is direct which improves margins, and trading has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels.

MAIN MARKET

New shell Acceler8 Ventures (AC8) has soared from its placing price of 100p to 215p on limited volumes. After expenses, the cash in the company is equivalent to 60p a share. The sector of the potential target has been kept vague.

Sivota (SIV) is a shell that wants to acquire Israel-based technology businesses. The company has just under 78p a share of cash. The share price has risen from the placing price of 100p to 112.5p.

NMCN (NMCN) is making progress with the refinancing and related documentation. The 2020 accounts are expected to show a pre-tax loss of much more than the £24m previously indicated.

Aquaculture technology developer OTAQ (OTAQ) increased full year revenues by 18% to £4.05m, while the underlying loss was reduced from £1.05m to £726,000. Restrictions have held back the progress of the business.

Town Centre Securities (TOWN) has collected 88% of the billed rent of £4.9m for the quarter to June 2021 with a further 8% that was agreed to be deferred.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 31 May 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Pharma C Investments (PCIL) is a shell seeking to invest in medicinal cannabis sector-focused companies, particularly those that provide ancillary products and services to the sector, and it joined the Access segment on 26 May. The indication is that plant genetics, product testing, marketing, procurement services and cannabis consumption devices are areas that might be considered. There was £920,000, after expenses, raised at 0.7p a share. Cash is equivalent to less than 0.4p a share. The shares ended the first day of trading at 0.825p (0.75p/0.9p/) and maintained that price until the end of the week.

Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) has made its first investment. An equity investment of €250,000 has been made in SportsX SAS, which is a technology platform for amateur sports clubs, for a 25% stake. SportsX SAS helps clubs to create club-branded Ethereum-based tokens. SportsX SAS takes 18% of gross merchandising revenues and charges an annual membership fee. It also retains a 10%-20% interest in club tokens. These tokens may eventually be listed on an Ethereum-based exchange, such as Uniswap.

Valereum Blockchain (VLRM) expects to launch the first listed company non-fungible token (NFT) live on a crypto exchange in the next few weeks. This will be via Valereum’s Bridge financial platform and use the Mattereum Asset Passport.

GP IT systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) maintained its profit on slightly higher turnover last year. Pilots of new systems have been continuing but the pace is slower than originally expected. Progress should speed up when there is less pressure on GPs due to Covid. Formal NHS GPIT Futures accreditation should be awarded soon for the ExpertCare hypertension product.

Virgata Services has extended its bid for Walls & Future REIT (WAFR) until 10 June. Virgata argues that the 50p a share bid provides cash immediately rather than some time in the future, even though it is a big discount to NAV.

St Mark Homes (SMAP) reported a fall in full year revenues from £324,000 to £216,000 and there was a loss of £170,000, compared with a profit of £114,000. Management is planning to refocus on developing family housing. Net assets were £5.45m (123p a share) at the end of December 2020. The share price is 87.5p (85p/90p), which values St Mark Homes at £3.86m.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) has originated new loans of £247m so far this year. That means that customers owe £1.8bn. In the four months to April 2021, customer deposits increased by 10% to £2.6bn. There were £1.2bn of assets under management at the end of April.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) increased its NAV from 50.17p a share to 61.05p a share in the 12 months to February 2021. That includes a revaluation that reflects the March disposal proceeds for Anthesis Consulting. Interim revenues fell from £271,000 to £198,000, while pre-tax profit fell from £1.28m to £1m, due to a lower level of unrealised gains. There was £1m in the bank at the end of February and this increased to £2.64m after the latest disposal.

Oberon Investments (OBE) has acquired financial planning services provider Smythe House for £300,000 in cash and shares. Up to £233,000 more could become payable dependent on performance. That increases assets under administration by £40m. At the end of March 2021, Oberon had assets under administration of £550m and it reached more than £600m by May 2021. In the year to March 2021, revenues were 240% higher at £3.75m and momentum continues. Broking subsidiary Oberon Capital has been adding clients, including finnCap and MyHealthChecked.

TruSpine Technologies (TSP) has completed its second round of testing for the screwless, spinal stabilisation system Cervi-LOK. It took two surgeons in New York an average of 15 minutes to implant Cervi-LOK on cadavers. That is one-third of the time for other technology. The feedback was positive. There is another round of testing and clearance could be obtained as early as September. An additional £78,000 has been raised at 10p a share.

CBD products supplier Sativa Wellness Group Inc (SWEL) increased first quarter revenues by 377% to £1.37m and gross profit by 234% to £707,000. The loss has been reduced to 0.3p a share.

Ben Richardson has been appointed chief executive of SulNOX Group (SNOX) and Tony Granger becomes full-time chief administration officer. Nigel Armit is no longer finance director. Radu Forescu becomes chairman.

Good Energy (GOOD) has repaid £11.5m of Good Energy Bonds II and that will save annual interest charges of £600,000. The remaining loans total £4.9m and these should be repaid by the end of 2022.

Love Hemp Group (LIFE) raised £2.35m at 3.5p a share. The cash will fund marketing for CBD and hemp products. Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) raised £1.16m at 7.5p a share (with a warrant exercisable at 15p attached). The cash will be invested in non-fungible token and open finance sectors.

Mayflower Capital Investments has increased its stake in Altona Real Earths (ANR) from 14.1% to 29.5%. Ashok Patel has taken a 5.03% stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ).

Watchstone Group (WTG) is seeking shareholder approval to cancel its AIM quotation at its AGM on 29 June.

AIM

Trellus Health (TRLS) intends to provide personalised care for people with chronic conditions with the initial focus being inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It has an exclusive licence for the commercialisation of the GRITT (Gaining Resilience Through Transition) methodology developed by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The company raised £28.5m at 40p a share. The share price jumped to 65p on the first day of trading, which values Trellus Health at £105m.

Medical devices developer Belluscura (BELL) has gained FDA clearance for its portable oxygen concentrator (POC) and it raised £17.5m – the company was originally seeking £15m of new money at 45p a share, which was in the middle of the expected range of 42p-48p. The shares ended the first day of trading at 53p.

Trading continues to be ahead of expectations at franchised lettings agency Belvoir (BLV). Management service fees 22% higher in the first four months of this year, while financial services income is 24% ahead.

Iodine producer Iofina (IOF) reported an increase in 2020 pre-tax profit from $1m to $1.3m on barely changed revenues of $29.7m. Lower interest charges and higher iodine prices will help Iofina to improve profit to $4.4m this year.

Eqtec (EQT) has raised £16m at 1.5p a share. This will finance repowering of plants in Italy and Croatia using the company’s gasification technology, plus investment in UK projects. This has led to a 26% upgrade in 2022 earnings to 0.1 eurocents a share.

MAIN MARKET

Zegona Communications (ZEG) will return £335m in cash to shareholders following the takeover of Euskaltel. The stake Zegona owns in Euskatel is equivalent to 170p a share and the cash distribution will be 153p a share. The rest of the cash is likely to fund another investment.

Kanabo Group (KNB) is raising £1m at 22p a share, which was a 10% premium to the market price. Kanabo is investing £750,000 in a pre-IPO placing by Hellenic Dynamics, a medical cannabis cultivator. A reverse takeover of an AIM shell is envisaged. There is also an agreement with Northern Greece-based Hellenic that could lead to a deal to purchase up to 1,000kg a year of cannabis flowers with pre-defined THC or CBD levels.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 26 April 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Shepherd Neame (SHEP) in common with other brewers and pub companies has been hard hit by the closure of pubs. Monthly cash burn during pub closures is £1.5m-£2m. Unsurprisingly, interim revenues slumped from £79m to £55.3m, while an underlying pre-tax profit of £4.88m was turned into an underlying loss of £4.81m. Bottled beer sales were one-quarter higher as people bought the bottles for home consumption. Net debt was £92.4m at the end of December 2020 and had reached £96.5m by the end of March. More than 200 pubs with gardens have reopened and all 316 will be open by 17 May.

Revenues fell by one-third to £50.7m at brewer Adnams (ADB) in 2020. Online sales were 245% higher. This led to a loss of £4.3m. Beer volumes fell by 23% and spirits volumes by 31%. There is no dividend and reduced investment meant that net debt was reduced.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £50,000 in the unquoted Media Tech SPAC at 4p a share. The SPAC raised £1.64m and it plans to float in the second half of 2021. Riverfort Global Capital and Sure Valley Ventures are involved in the SPAC, which is focused on media and technology investments, and the latter might want to reverse one of its investments into the company. The sale of shares in Empress Royalty and Eagle Mountain raised £218,000 for Gunsynd.

John Mahtani, who is chief executive of Media Tech SPAC, has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) to 6.08%, while Chris Akers has raised his stake to 15%.

NFT Investments (NFT) has made its first investment. A $1m investment has been made in AEON International, which develops technology for the luxury fashion industry. Hong Kong-based AEON has a customer base that includes Gucci and Louis Vuitton. The AUTHENTIQUE subsidiary offers NFT-based verification technology in order to combat counterfeit goods. A product is being developed that would use unique fashion NFTs and smart contracts to enable fashion brands to earn royalties when a product is resold. NFT is paying its board and management in cryptocurrency.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says the Hellyer mine generated gross revenues of $17.9m and net profit of $4.8m in the first quarter of 2021.

Interim sales of Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) more than halved from £116,000 to £56,000, although management expects the second half to be stronger. The interim loss increased from £75,000 to £117,000. Since the end of the interim period, a further £50,000 has been raised and a government loan of the same amount secured. Management is seeking new markets for its rail safety equipment.

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has completed the disposal of Curious Drinks and each of the minority shareholders will receive 1.57 Chapel Down shares for each Curious share they owned. This has resulted in 1.26 million additional shares being issued.

Watchstone Group (WTG) is seeking to switch from AIM to the Apex segment of Aquis. This should happen on 30 April. Watchstone is classified as a cash shell and trading in the shares would be suspended on AIM on 4 May if no acquisition had been made. The board is pursuing litigation relating to past businesses. This could result in cash being returned to shareholders. Watchstone is also seeking new investments.

Valereum Blockchain (VLRM) has purchased bitcoin mining hardware and they should be up and running in the US within one month. The plan is to have mining operations in a range of geographies.

Indorse, in which Coinsilium (COIN) has a 10% stake, has released a digital analysis tool, which scans the data on NFTs and their underlying assets. Coinsilium also owns 14.12% of the IND tokens in circulation.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has filed its drilling plans for the Red Setter project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. There could be up to 30,000 metres of drilling over four years.

Tyndall Investment Management has taken a 6.85% stake Oncology treatments developer Incanthera (INC) and directors and employees have also added to their stakes at process between 13p a share and 13.5p a share.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) has generated £3m from the sale of shares in Secure Trust Bank (STB) at £12 a share. The stake has been reduced to 4.4%.

Veni Vidi Vici (VVV) has raised £220,000 at 50p a share. Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised an additional £30,000 at 3.9p a share. A subscription at 85p a share has provided Startup Giants (SUG) with £190,000.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has moved to the Apex segment of the market.

AIM

Grease management services provider Filta (FLTA) has been hit by the closure of restaurants and venues, particularly in the US. Revenues fell by one-third last year and the company fell into loss. Trading levels are moving back to previous levels, but the progress depends on the reopening of some of the larger US venues and stadia. There should be a return to profit this year, but it will take until 2022 for a profit to exceed past levels.

The was another positive trading statement from telecoms billing and customer relationship management software provider Cerillion (CER) following a first half of record orders.

Nu-Oil and Gas (NUOG) will lose its AIM-quotation on 5 May because it has not completed a takeover. There is a proposed acquisition of Guardian Barriers IP and Guardian Maritime, but if this goes ahead the plan is to obtain a standard listing. Guardian has developed a product that can be retrofitted to ships in order to prevent pirates from boarding vessels.

Churchill China (CHH) was still profitable in 2020, but pre-tax profit slumped from £11.2m to £800,000. There was £1.8m of cash generated from operations and net cash was £14m at the end of 2020. There is no dividend. Sales of hospitality ceramics halved during the year.

Cora Gold Ltd (CORA) has announced results from its latest drilling campaign at the Sanankoro gold project in southern Mali. The initial results suggest that there could be a significant increase in the DCF valuation of the project, which was £37.8m. The drilling should be completed by the end of July and there will be continuing news flow over the coming months.

MobilityOne (MBO) is not going ahead with the proposed acquisition of Tanjung Pinang Resources.

Team (TEAM) has decided not to make an offer for Tavistock Investments (TAVI).

MAIN MARKET

MGC Pharmaceuticals (MXC) is acquiring Israeli clinical research company MediCaNL in shares for up to A$6m and it will be used to run the company’s clinical trials. That will reduce costs and lead times. Three clinical trials are planned for cannabis-based treatments in 2021.

Town Centre Securities (TOWN) has collected or deferred 92% of the due rent of £5.1m in the latest quarter. The deferred element is £600,000. The other £400,000 remains due and discussions with tenants are ongoing. Since last March, there is £1.8m of rents that remain due. The company has sold the Thornton’s Chambers property in Leeds.

Interim revenues of J Smart Contractors (SMJ) declined from £9.25m to £5.75m, but costs declined at a higher rate so pre-tax profit improved from £265,000 to £890,000. Net cash was £11.1m at the end of January 2021. The interim dividend is unchanged at 0.95p a share. Building materials costs are rising and a lull in contracting work will hit profit. Management believes that property assets should have retained their value even though a valuation will not take place until the end of the year. NAV is £99.6m, while the market capitalisation is £52m.

Standard list shell Marwyn Acquisition Company III (MAC3) has raised £12m from an issue of A shares and is considering a £200m fundraising.

Tirupati Graphite (TGR) has opened its second mine at the Vatomina project in Madagascar. The processing plant will be commissioned in the second quarter of 2021. Last week. £10m in and oversubscribed placing at 90p a share. That is double last year’s flotation price.

Wildcat Petroleum (WCAT) has signed two memoranda of understanding. The first is with Crown Energy for its participation in a future initial coin operation by Wildcat. A model to monetise hydrocarbon blocks based on blockchain technology. Crown has blocks in Madagascar, South Africa and Iraq. Nabirm Global has a Namibian exploration licence and the deal is the same as with Crown.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 6 April 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) says that customer numbers have remained stable since September. The 2020 figures will be published on 13 April. There was £18.1m in the bank at the end of 2020. Good has restructured its two renewable generation debts into one debt facility of £39.8m.

Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) has completed the acquisition of vehicle finance provider Asset Alliance Group for £10.1m, which is 50% of the estimated fair value of £20.2m. Arbuthnot raised £8.6m by selling shares in Secure Trust, in which it retains a 5.74% stake.

Greencare Capital (GRE) is investing £100,000 in Clearly Supplements in the form of a 5% convertible loan. The conversion price is a 30% discount to a listing price. Clearly has developed a range of products and is establishing distribution in Asia.

Gunsynd (GUN) has sold three million shares in Rogue Baron (SHNJ) and raised £120,000. Gunsynd still owns 25% of the spirits brands developer and Chris Akers has taken a 3.48% stake. It also has £111,464 of convertible loan notes in Rogue Baron.

TruSpine Technologies (TSP) has raised £585,000 at 10p a share with each share coming with a warrant exercisable at 15p a share. A further £165,000 may be raised. The cash will fund the FDA application and commercial launch for Cervi-LOK.

Interim revenues of Love Hemp Group (LIFE) jumped from £426,000 to £2.38m. There was a loss of £962,000. There was net cash of £79,000 at the end of 2020. The company is moving into new facilities in south London in the middle of this year. Capacity will increase to 500,000 units of cannabidiol CBD products each month.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) did not generate any revenues in the six months to December 2020. There was a £60,000 loss, although cash used in operating activities was £141,000.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) can acquire a 71% interest in the owner of the Nankoma rare earths project in Uganda. There is an option to acquire a 51% stake for £1 by the end of June. The option fee is £25,000 in cash and 250,000 ordinary shares. The stake can be increased to 71% by the issue of £15,000 worth of shares.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has reported figures for the period from its formation on 6 July 2020 to the end of January 2021. There was a £60,000 cash outflow from operations and the company made two investments with another one made since January.

Optiva Securities has been approved as a corporate adviser.

AIM

Parsley Box (MEAL) has got off to a disappointing start on AIM after raising £5m at 200p a share. The shares ended the first day of trading at 185p, before recovering to 187.5p. Parsley Box has a strong brand position in its market niche and Covid-19 lockdowns have helped it to grow its customer base. The company has a range of more than 60 single portion meals, that can be stored in a cupboard and do not have to put in a fridge or freezer. Parsley Box makes more than 900,000 deliveries per month and demand has increased due to Covid-19. There are more than 500,000 registered users and 154,000 of these active customers at the beginning of this year.

ActiveOps (AOM) is a supplier of management process automation software and it got off to a good start after it floated on AIM. The share price has risen from the placing price of 168p to 190p. No new money was raised in the float and there is £8m in the bank. ActiveOps is losing money but its is generating cash. Once customers are gained, they increase their spending over a number of years and this will be supplemented by new customer wins.

Destiny Pharma (DEST) announced positive results of the phase 2b clinical study on the use of XF-73 nasal gel for the prevention of post-surgical infections. The next step will be the design of a phase III study. Discussions are being arranged with the FDA in the US.

Gfinity (GFIN) has completed its strategic review and has decided to continue with its existing strategy of focusing on higher margin revenues. Interim revenues more than trebled and the operating loss fell by nearly three-quarters to £900,000. There is £1.8m in the bank.

Arena Events (ARE) has raised a further £11m at 14p a share, having raised £9.5m at 10p a share one year earlier. The cash will enable management to bid for strategic assets, including Aztec Shaffer, a US company in Chapter 11.

K3 Business Technology (KBT) has written £16.9m off its intangible assets. Ongoing revenues dipped from £50.1m to £48.8m and the software provider made a small profit in the year to November 2020. Recurring revenues are three-quarters of the total.

Itaconix (ITX) increased revenues from $1.29m to $3.29m in 2020. Increased use of its sustainable polymers in detergents, odour control and personal care products is enabling revenues to grow and they will rise further this year. Itaconix is still losing money but it has the cash it requires for the medium-term.

Lawyer Ince Group (INCE) has agreed a £17m, three-year financing arrangement with Investec which replaces the £10m facility with Barclays.

Recent AIM admission TEAM (TEAM) is proposing an all-share offer for Tavistock Investments (TAVI) and shareholders owning 14% of Tavistock have indicated support for the offer from the investment manager.

Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) generated better than expected 2020 revenues of £101.5m and the loss was reduced. Net cash was £11.7m at the end of 2020. This leaves management in a strong position to increase the scale of the business. This year there will be full contributions from customer books acquired last year. Average monthly new bookings were £10.3m in the second half of 2020.

Time Out (TMO) has raised £17m at 35p a share. This should supply working capital until November 2022.

MAIN MARKET

Macfarlane Group (MACF) is paying up to £4.5m for Cornwall-based protective packaging supplier Carters Packaging. In the year to March 2020, Carters made a pre-tax profit of £500,000 on revenues of £4.2m.

MasMovil has launched a bid for Euskatel, in which Zegona Communications (ZEG) has a 21.4% stake. This values the target at €2bn and the Zegona shareholding at €428m. That puts a value of 170p a share on Zegona.

InnovaDerma (IDP) reported a one-fifth decline in interim revenues to £4.1mand a more than trebled loss of £1m. Management expects trading to be uncertain for the rest of the financial year. The recent fundraising will help to keep the business on a sound footing while it waits for a more substantial recovery.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 29 March 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

New Apex segment entry Samarkand (SMK) has got off to a strong start. At one point, shares were changing hands at 142p, against the placing price of 115p, but they ended the week at 123.5p (120p/127p). There was £15.4m raised after expenses. The company has developed e-commerce software technology known as Nomad. There are a number of modules and these can be used by clients to sell their products in China. There are 105 special cross-border e-commerce zones in China. This market is expected to reach £138bn in 2021. Samarkand also sells its own brands in China and some of the money raised will be used to buy other brands.

Incanthera (INC) has raised £1.14m at 12p a share. This will provide enough cash until the middle of 2022. There are discussions ongoing with two potential partners for the Sol skin cancer prevention product.

Imperial X (IMPP) has announced its intention to gain a standard listing and raise up to £1.5m. The company will change its name to Cloudbreak Discovery.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has secured a £40m investment from Equitix Investment Management. In return the freehold of the South Wales centre will be transferred and there will be other security. There will be an initial investment of £25m with the rest paid in three equal instalments. The cash will be used for investing in infrastructure. The current debt of £18.6m will be repaid.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) generated flat operating income of £72.5m, while there was a £1.1m loss. Management is optimistic about a strong rebound if the government continues with its current roadmap out of lockdown. There is a growing demand for lending.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had NAV of 57.97p a share at the end of February 2021. That is before the sale of the investment in Anthesis for £1.15m. That leaves the company with £2.64m in cash.

In the first 18 days of March Bin 1301, a bar in Washington DC where Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has a stake, generated sales of $35,330, nearly double the same time the previous year. That is despite Covid restrictions.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has appointed A and S International as a distributor of lubrication and bioremediation products.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had an NAV of 437.63p a share at the end of January 2021, which was a 38% increase on the year before thanks to the strong performance of the Luceco (LUCE) share price. EPE is considering raising more cash through a loan note issue. That would provide further cash for investment.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has secured a memorandum of understanding for the acquisition of a rare earths mining project in Mozambique. The plaln is to buy 70% of the Monte Muambe rare earths project, via an earn-in.

First Sentinel has resigned as corporate adviser to Block Commodities (BLCC) after less than one month in the position. Block has entered into an option in partnership with Century Cobalt Corporation to acquire two million seeds, which can be used to produce medicinal grade cannabis. Block would have to issue more than 142.8 million shares at 0.07p each if the option is taken up.

Chris Akers has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (WENP) from 15.2% to 17.2%.

Upper Thames Holdings has changed its name to Valereum Blockchain (VLRM).

S-Ventures (SVEN) has applied for an OTCQB quotation in the US.

AIM

Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) says that Chronocourt, also known as Efmody could gain approval in the EU by the summer and that could enable a commercial launch in some European markets in the third quarter. Chronocourt/Efmody is a modified release hydrocortisone used to treat adult and adolescent patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which is caused by a block in cortisol production. Potential sales are greater than for Alkindi, which is aimed at children.

A potential management buyout for Cambria Automobiles (LON: CAMB) at 80p a share would value the motor dealer at £80m. This is a premium of more than one-fifth to the previous market price.

Digital healthcare company Cambridge Cognition (COG) substantially reduced its loss in 2020 and is on course to move into profit this year. Revenues increased and expenses were reduced. There is a strong order book. There was £3m in the bank at the end of 2020. Voice-based service NeuroVocalix is set to be launched this year.

Cyber security firm ECSC (ECSC) grew recurring revenues by 22% to £2.4m last year. Even so, total revenues fell 4% to £5.7m due to a tough second quarter. The loss fell from £639,000 to £153,000. Net cash is £1.1m. There has been a good start to the new year with a clutch of contract wins.

STM Group (STM) has sold its trust and company services business for £2.45m plus net assets at completion of around £570,000. This has been non-core for some time. This will reduce short-term earnings – although there could be some cost savings – but the company can focus on pension administration and life assurance.

Judges Scientific (JDG) continued its record of increasing the ongoing dividend with a 10% increase to 55p a share. Pre-tax profit fell from £17m to £13.7m in 2020 and it could recover to £16m this year.

MJ Hudson (MJH) managed organic revenue growth of 3.6% in the first half, even though there was a lack of new fund launches. Cross-selling is paying off. The North American operations are more significant following recent acquisitions. Further acquisitions will help to increase the scale of the business.

Chariot Oil and Gas (CHAR) is acquiring AEMP, an African renewable energy developer, for up to $2m. There are discussions with mine operators that require 500MW of electricity.

MAIN MARKET

Foams manufacturer Zotefoams (ZTF) almost maintained its pre-tax profit last year thanks to strong sales to the footwear sector. Revenues were 2% ahead at £82.7m, but pre-tax profit was 5% lower at £8.3m. The final dividend is 4.27p a share. The new factory in Poland has started production and capital investment should be lower this year. Net debt was £35.6m at the end of 2020 and this figure should fall this year. This year pre-tax profit should improve to £9.3m.

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LSE: LUCE) more than doubled 2020 pre-tax profit from £15.8m to £34m, even though revenues barely increased. Margins improved significantly, but there is still potential to improve LED operating margins. A strong second half offset the more difficult first half. The dividend is 6.2p a share. Net debt has fallen to £18.3m.

Oxilio has decided to exercise its option with drug developer Nuformix (NFX) to licence NXP001 for oncology indications. A licence agreement is being worked on. Once completed it will trigger a second upfront payment. Future royalties for any commercial treatments are capped at £2m a year.

Books publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) reported a dip in revenues from $135.8m to $126.9m, while adjusted pre-tax profit improved from $5.1m to $7.9m. Capitalised development costs were reduced from $23.8m to $20.3m, although the amortisation charge was higher at $28.6m. Strong cash flow combined with a share issue helped reduce net debt from $50.5m to $19.7m.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) is moving into the flexible power sector. A 50%-owned joint venture called HKSB will develop two 11KV gas peaking facilities that will produce 10MW for a total cost of £6.25m. The plan is to secure 15-year, CPI-linked contracts for each site.

Residential property developer One Heritage Group (OHG) had net assets of 9.25p a share at the end of 2020. There was an interim loss.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 1 March 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Incanthera (INC) says that it is prioritising discussions with two global cosmetic companies as potential partners for Sol, a sun cream that prevents skin cancer. Incanthera is also assessing the potential for using the technology to develop other products.

Sativa Wellness (SWEL) plans to raise C$4m through a placing of units at C$0.07875 each. Each unit consists of one share one-half of a warrant exercisable at C$0.105 each. The cash will provide working capital and investment for a new health screening service. Sativa has opened ten Covid-19 testing facilities. A dispute with Dragonfly Biosciences has been settled.

World High Life (LIFE) is submitting a novel food dossier to the Food Standards Agency. This is part of the move to regulation of the CBD market in the UK. The dossier includes pre-clinical results.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) intends to acquire the shares in medicinal cannabis pharma company Apollon Formularies that it does not own, and this will be classed as a reverse takeover. Shares will be issued to the Apollon shareholders. AfriAg is also raising £2.5m at 5p a share.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) is selling its Tay mortgage portfolio to a subsidiary of OneSavings Bank for £53.8m, which is equivalent to 97.9% of the outstanding loans. Arbuthnot has already announced that it intends to pay a 21p a share special dividend, which replaces the 2019 dividend declared in March 2020. Arbuthnot will make a loss in 2020 so there will be no dividend.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £65,000 in a convertible loan issue by B2B pool betting platform Low6. Gunsynd had already invested £200,000 last December. AIM-quoted Pires Investments (PIRI) has also increased its investment in Low6. It invested a further £35,000, having also invested £200,000 at the same time as Gunsynd. Low6 is expected to float during the second quarter of 2021 and Canaccord Genuity is its broker.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that the latest exploration at Specimen Hill reaffirms the drill targets and informs plans for higher density drilling, so that a resource can be calculated. Tectonic says that the Deep Blue Minerals diamonds joint venture with AIM-quoted Kazera Global Investments produced 220 carats in January. Higher grade materials will be mined during the rest of the year.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) says that Bureau Veritas has certified that SulnoxEco Fuel Conditioner complies with European standards. This means that SulNox’s products can be used for 70% of the hydrocarbon market. Management is confident that production can be scaled up.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has signed an agreement with ASX-listed Evolution Mining for the evaluation and potential processing of lead and silver rich stockpiles at the Sunbeam project in North Queensland. Evolution has a processing plant 80km away from Sunbeam, which has stockpiles from past mining. The processing would be done on a cost and revenue share basis with NQ. This could finance further exploration. NQ says that it should qualify for the Green Economy Mark when it moves to the standard list.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) has received shareholder approval for refocusing its strategy on property investment and development.

Almon I Holding has cut its stake in Coinsilium (COIN) to below 3%. It increased its stake to 3.68% in January 2020.

Altona Energy has changed its name to Altona Rare Earths (ANR).

AIM

Trading platform operator Aquis Exchange (AQX) moved into profit last year thanks to high levels of trading on its platform. Aquis had been expected to lose money in 2020 but it is now expected to make a £200,000 profit on revenues of £11m. EU trades have been moved to the Paris operation and London has restarted trading in Swiss shares.

VR Education (VRE) continues to grow the revenues of its ENGAGE VR platform. Group revenues increased by 38%, while ENGAGE revenues rose by 550% thanks to strong demand for virtual events. The US provides significant potential. VR is still hiring additional people, although the focus is more on marketing. VR is still losing money, but the cash burn has been reduced this year. Management is targeting 100,000 monthly users by 2025.

Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) says Alkindi sales in the UK and Germany grew by 29% in the first half but the timing of purchases in other markets meant that overall revenues barely increased. Chronocourt could gain European approval in March and the US regulatory pathway for DITEST, an oral testosterone formulation, has been set out. Net cash was £20.3m at the end of December 2020.

K3 Business Technology (KBT) has sold its managed services business for £14.7m. The business made a pre-tax profit of £1.2m last year, but the disposal proceeds will wipe out net debt and enable the repayment of the £3m shareholder loan due in June. There should still be more than £35m of recurring revenues.

Interim trading at transport software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) was active and it was not far below the levels in the six months to January 2020 prior to Covid-19 becoming a factor. Revenues declined from £26.4m to £22m and management believes Covid-19 reduced the figure by £6m. New rail contracts are being won, but the lack of events hit the data and events division. Cash has improved from £17.9m to £21m.

Revenues fell by one-third at President Energy (PPC) in 2020 due to lower oil prices. President did generate $10m of free cash flow and that helped to reduce net debt. President plans to drill seven wells this year and that could increase production by one-third. Anew subsidiary, Atome, will develop hydrogen and ammonia production.

Shield Therapeutics (STX) has raised £25m at 30p a share and could raise a further £4.2m via an open offer. The cash will finance the new strategy of directly launching iron deficiency treatment Accrufer in the US.

Yew Grove REIT (YEW) has agreed a new lease for Gateway Three building, East Wall Road, Dublin with the Electricity Supply Board. The new lease lasts five years. Along with three rent reviews, this takes the increase in annual rents to €470,000 this year.

Best of the Best (BOTB) has concluded its strategic review and it has reemphasised its online strategy. finnCap has upgraded its pre-tax profit forecast to £14m.

Benchmark Holdings (BMK) increased first quarter revenues by 18% to £29m and it is on course to reduce its loss this year, prior to moving into profit in 2021-22. The advanced nutrition business contributed significant growth in the first quarter.

MAIN MARKET

Online auctions provider Auction Technology Group (ATG) raised £247.4m at 600p a share, while existing shareholders pocketed £51.5m after the over-allotment option was exercised. The company was valued at £600m. There was a 30% gain to 780p a share at the end of the first week of trading. The company is involved with three main auction markets: arts and antiques, industrial and commercial and consumer surplus and returns. It has six main auction marketplace brands and trade magazine Antiques Trade Gazette. Low double-digit organic revenue growth is anticipated for the next few years.

Town Centre Securities (TOWN) announced a 1.75p a share interim dividend, even though this is not covered by earnings. Lower car park income meant that there was a sharp decline in interim profit. The NAV was 286p a share at the end of December 2020 and it is not expected to decline by more than 2% by the year-end in June. This is more than double the current share price.

CML Microsystems (CML) is paying 50p a share to investors following the sale of its storage division. This will cost £8.28m. the cash should be received before the end of March.

Strong demand for diagnostic products more than offset weakness in the networking division of BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) and enabled 2020 revenues to grow by 49% to $184m. Pre-tax profit jumped from $5.2m to $13.6m. Revenues are expected to decline this year, but pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from $13.6m to $17.3m. This may depend on the timing of the sale of the NGSoft business and it also assumes no additional sales of ventilators this year. Longer-term, revenues will build up from virtual networking technology NFVTime. There is also potential for dividends.

Construction services provider NMCN (NMCN) says that two contracts in the water division could lead to an additional loss of £5m in 2020. These costs relate to delays. The total loss for 2020 could be up to £22m. The additional cash costs will be spread over 28 months. Shareholders are being asked to agree to an extension of the company’s borrowing limit.

Aircraft lessor Avation (AVAP) took a $46.7m impairment charge on its aircraft and a $12.9m credit loss in the six months to December 2020. The NAV was 174p a share at the end of 2020. A full year loss of $30m is expected before the exceptional write-offs.

Cannabis-based products developer Cellular Goods (CBX) raised £13m in its offer at 5p a share. The share price jumped to 19p on the first day of dealings.

Potash project developer Emmerson (EML) raised £5.5m at 5.75p a share. Emmerson has a mining licence for the Khemisset potash project in Morocco. The cash will be used for the detailed design of the mine and the phased development of the project.

Shell company Stranger Holdings (STHP) is pushing ahead with the proposed reverse takeover of the Recyclus Group. A prospectus is being drafted.

Packaging supplier Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its 2020 profit by 10% to £13m on a 2% increase in revenues to £230m. The full year dividend has been increased from 0.69p a share to 2.55p a share.

Andrew Hore

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