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Good Energy (LON: GOOD) has rejected the bid from rival renewable energy supplier Ecotricity. It believes that the indicative offer of 340p a share in cash is too low even though it is a premium to the previous market price. Management believes that it has a clear strategy for the company. The focus is energy as a service and mobility as a service, particularly through Zap Map. A new tariff, called Green Driver, has been launched offering a choice of off-peak electric vehicle charging periods. The potential bid values Good Energy at nearly £57m. However, Ecotricity already owns 25.06% of Good Energy.
Voyager Life (VOY) has secured a preferred supply deal for its CBD and hemp oil products with independent pharmacy group Inphaserve, which supplies more than 30 independent pharmacies in England and Scotland.
Rogue Baron (SHNJ) reports another record month for its Bin 1301 bar. Sales were $95,000 in June, which is one-third higher than any pre-Covid month.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) has raised £2.59m at 30p a share. The cash will be used to build up the sales capability and finance the hiring of additional management and staff. There will also be further investment in R&D. There are 58 ongoing trials for its emission reduction product.
Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) generated interim revenues of £186,000, but it lost £383,000. The hotel has been trading for a limited time in the six months to April 2021. Refurbishment of bathrooms was undertaken during the period. The hotel will fully re-open on 19 July.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has reached an agreement with White Prospecting to set up a joint venture to mine gold at the Mount Cassidy project. Tectonic will get a 7.5% gross production royalty. This deal will enable Tectonic to concentrate on Specimen Hill.
BWA Group (BWAP) reports positive sampling results at the 90%-owned Dehane rutile sands project. It is still early days, but the elevated levels of rare earths is a good sign.
Evrima (EVA) had £164,000 in the bank at the end of 2020, while the NAV was £461,000.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) raised £6.88m at 59.5p a share, which includes £5.45m raised via crowdfunding. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £35,000 at 7p a share. All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised £257,000 at 0.02p a share and converted £54,000 of liabilities into shares. Ananda Developments (ANA) has raised £350,000 from an issue of convertible loan notes, with a conversion price of 1p a share, and a further £200,000 is committed by investors.
Building materials sector consolidator SigmaRoc (LSRC) acquiring Finland-based limestone supplier Nordkalk acquired for £402m, including debt. SigmaRoc has raised £260m in a placing at 85p a share, while a retail offer raised £1.6m. A new bank facility will help to fund the deal and £43m of shares will be issued to Rettig Group.
Energy efficiency as a service provider eEnergy Group (EAAS) has trebled full year estimated revenues to £13.5m. Organic growth was 75% and there was a small pre-tax profit. The smart metering service has been rebranded as MyZeRO and the first combined LightAsAService and smart metering contract has been won. Short-term profit growth is being sacrificed for longer-term growth.
Solid State (SOLI) marginally beat previously upgraded expectations for its figures for the year to March 2021. Revenues dipped slightly to £66.3m, but underlying pre-tax profit was 15% ahead at £5.4m following a reduction in overheads. The total dividend was 16p a share. Computing and communications products did well, but there was a decline in power products revenues. Acquisitions made a small contribution.
Glantus (GLAN) has made its first acquisition since joining AIM, but the software company still remains at a discount to its placing price. The $9.3m acquisition of Technology Insight Corporation led to an earnings up grade for 2022 from 6.4 cents a share to 7.1 cents a share.
Iodine producer Iofina (IOF) says iodine prices are back to pre-pandemic levels at $35-$37/kg. First half production is in line with guidance at 249.4Mt.
Kromek (KMK) had a better second half of the year to April 2021. Manufacturing had been closed in the first half and revenues improved. Full year revenues still fell from £13.1m to £10.4m. There is already 75% visibility over this year’s forecast revenues of £15m. Biodetection equipment for Covid-19 and other airborne viruses will provide a new market for the company. The medical imaging market is recovering.
ULS Technology (ULS) continues to invest in its DigitalMove platform, and it has net cash of £24m to complete its development. More services will be offered on the platform. Conveyancing completions fell last year and revenues declined 18% to £16.9m.
Zoo Digital (ZOO) moved into profit in the year to March 2021. A pre-tax profit of $900,000 was made on revenues of $39.5m with further improvements in profit expected in the next two years. Demand is increasing from subtitling and dubbing services for TV and film back catalogues and Zoo is also adding additional services. Zoo is extending its geographic reach in line with demand from customers.
Chains and transmissions manufacturer Renold (RNO) reported a 13% dip in revenues last year, but underlying pre-tax profit improved by one-fifth to £5.9m – that was due to £2.4m of restructuring costs the year before. Net debt was reduced to £18.4m. The cost base has been cut and efficiency improved through capital investment in facilities. In July, a £11m military contract was won by the torque transmission business.
Personal protection and insurance products provider CPP Group (CPP) says that trading in India has recovered in the past few weeks, but there had been a sharp reduction activity in April and May. The back books continue to generate revenues, although they are declining. Overall trading is in line with expectations.
Standard list shell Hawkwing (HNG) has agreed to acquire ecommerce aggregator Internet Fusion Group, which owns nine speciality retail businesses. It has developed the Reactor platform which brings together retail businesses and brands. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) has continued to improve its performance in the first half. Interim revenues are expected to be £108m and underlying operating profit of £19m. The second half will be even stronger. Luceco expects full year revenues to be at least one-quarter higher at £220m and underlying operating profit 30% ahead at £39m.
Maternity wear retailer Seraphine Group (BUMP) raised £61m at 295p when it joined the premium list last Friday. The cash will be used to pay off loans and finance growth. The share price started conditional dealings earlier in the week at 305p and subsequently fell back, opening at 280.05p when dealings were unconditional. The share price ended the day at 279.4p
HeiQ (HEIQ) has signed a collaboration agreement with LYCRA and the first product should be launched by the autumn. This will combine freshness and antiviral benefits with LYCRA stretch fabrics.
Nuformix (NFX) expects to develop a phase 1-ready formulation of its NXP002 inhaled treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in the next 18 months. This could be a time to seek a partner.
British Virgin Islands-based Boanerges (BNRG) is a SPAC seeking to acquire technology companies involved in big data, machine learning, telematics and internet of things. Boanerges floated on 17 May 2021 when it raised £500,000 at 20p a share. In April, an initial £51,500 was raised at 0.1p a share and a further £75,000 was raised at 10p a share. That means that pro forma cash is equivalent to 1p a share. The shares are trading at 24.5p (23p/26p).
Bid expenses could cost Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) up to £210,000. The 50p a share bid is rejected by the company’s board, which says that it represents a 51% discount to NAV and a 62% discount to the market value of its properties, after cash is deducted. Management is offering shareholders the opportunity to vote on a winding up of the company if the bid does not become unconditional. This would require 75% of the votes to be carried.
Brewer Adnams (ADB) continued to be hit by lockdowns in the six months to March 2021. Online demand for the beer brands remained strong and management says that bookings for pubs are building up since the lockdown was eased. There is even hope that people holidaying in the UK will boost its hotels.
Early Equity (EEQP) is acquiring Farina Investments, which provides services to the insolvency sector, for £1.9m in shares at 0.5p each. This is effectively a business that is involved in the acquisition and disposal of distressed assets. The deal will increase Early Equity’s stake in Lotto Studios, which is launching a social casino game with ITV Studios, to 20%. The deal also brings a 10% stake in life sciences company Pure Sea Nutrients. A further £90,000 has been raised in a placing at 0.5p a share.
The AGM has been postponed and there were some irregularities in the voting process.
Incanthera (INC) is continuing with discussions with two global cosmetic companies for its Sol skin cancer technology. The idea is to use Sol as a skin cream to protect sun damaged skin. Net cash was £960,000 at the end of March 2021. Incanthera recently raised £1.14m at 12p a share. There is enough cash to get into the second half of 2022. There could be an upfront payment from a deal, but the big money will take longer to be generated. More cash will be required to push ahead with other products.
Apollon Formularies (APOL) says that joint testing with Aion Therapeutic reveals that their combined formulations are effective in killing HER2+ breast cancer cells grown in 3D cell culture. HER2+ accounts for one-fifth of breast cancer. Apollon’s Jamaican medicinal cannabis formulations were particularly good at killing living HER2+ cancer cells directly.
Ananda Developments (ANA) says that its 50%-owned subsidiary DJT Plants has been granted a licence to grow >0.2% THC cannabis for research activities by the UK government. Building of the research facility will commence immediately. There will be 65 strains grown at the facility and plans to extract distil and isolate cannabis products. The business had previously grown cannabis for GW Pharma. The focus will be neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s Disease and epilepsy. Directors Charles Morgan and Melissa Sturgess have each been issued with 100 million shares as contingent consideration following the grant of the licence.
Gledhow Investments (GDH) had net assets of £2.35m at the end of March 2021, up from £907,000 12 months earlier. That includes £374,000 in cash.
Vulcan Industries (VULC) subsidiary M+G Olympic has won more than £500,000 of orders for swimming pools.
All Star Minerals (ASMO) is negotiating the acquisitions of a company with gemstone assets and another company with diamond assets. This is an area where the management team has experience. Further cash will need to be raised to complete due diligence.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £224,000 at 7p a share. Chief executive Walter Doyle has left the company. Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has raised £1.4m at 10p a share and each share has one-half of a warrant exercisable at 20p a share. Wishbone will refine the locations of drill targets at the Red Setter projects and then use the cash to finance the drilling. Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) has completed a placing raising $4.61m at 7.875 cents per unit. A unit comprises one share and one-half of a warrant exercisable at 10.5 cents a share. Love Hemp (LIFE) has raised £348,000 via the exercise of warrants at 1p each.
Compliance and energy saving services provider Sureserve (SUR) reported an underlying interim pre-tax profit was 31% higher at £4.4m. Energy saving’s profit contribution fell by three-fifths, but higher margins for the much larger compliance division meant a much higher profit. A full year pre-tax profit of £12.9m is forecast.
Tracsis (LSE: TRCS) should get additional opportunities from the Williams report on the rail industry. The report was in line with expectations. Great British Railways will take up the overall responsibility for the integrated rail network. The reforms are due in 2023, although there could be delays. Things like digital tickets, simplified fares and season ticket flexibility provide opportunities for Tracsis.
Accrol (ACRL) says that adjusted earnings for 2020-21 will be in line with expectations even though sales will be lower than expected due to a decline in the market. Accrol has 16% of the toilet tissue market and it should return to growth when the comparatives do not include the Covid-19 related panic buying. There are plans to increase capacity at the main Leyland plant.
Surgical devices developer Creo Medical (CREO) says trading was ahead of expectations in the first quarter of 201. This has led to a 10% increase in forecast revenues to £22.1m. There will still be a loss of £30m. The recovery in elective surgery is increasing demand for surgical devices.
Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) is building up its electric vehicle infrastructure business and it could move into profit in the next year. The TriConnex utility connections business is also growing revenues, although profit was flat. However, group revenues were one-quarter lower at £64m, because civil engineering business Tamdown continues to report lower revenues and profit. Nexus did make an overall operating profit. The 2020-21 pre-tax profit has been upgraded to £3.6m and it could reach £6m next year.
PerkinElmer has made a 382p a share bid for Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH).The bid is at one-third of the share price high around one decade ago. The share price has not been at this level for nearly seven years.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has secured a joint venture with flexible power company HSKB, which will be renamed DKE Energy. The 50%-owned business will develop two gas peaking facilities which will produce 10MW of power. These will cost £6.25m and the intention is to secure a 15-year, inflation linked contract. Dukemount director Paul Gazzard founded HSKB.
One Heritage Group (OHG) has signed a construction finance facility with Lyell Trading. The facility is for £3.5m and lasts 18 months at a nominal interest rate of 9.6%. The facility will be used to finance Oscar House, a development of 27 apartments in central Manchester. The development should be completed in the first quarter of 2022.
Mast Energy Developments (MAST) says that the Brodesley reserve power project has reached construction ready status.
Lee Marks has been appointed chief executive of NMCN (NMCN) and interim chief executive Robert Moyle is retiring from the board after a transition period.
Kanabo Group (KNB) has signed an agreement with Pure Origin, which will manufacture and package Kanabo’s CBD wellness products from its facility in Wales. There will be a dedicated production line for VapePod products. This deal will lead to a full international product launch.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has started to deliver two Covid-19 diagnostic tests. The saliva-based test will be used by the Italian team at the Olympic Games in Japan.
S&U (SUS) says monthly motor finance collections are above budget and the number of customers on payment holidays has fallen to 1,200. The Aspen bridging loan division is lending more for each deal and profit is reaching record levels.
Rogue Baron (SHNJ) joined the Aquis Stock Exchange on Friday. The company is a spirits brand developer, and its focus is the Shinju Japanese whisky brand and specialist tequila Copa Imperial Tequila. The idea is to build these and other niche brands to the point where larger drinks companies will want to acquire the brand. There was £755,000 raised at 7p a share. The share price ended the first day of trading at 8p (7p/9p).
Gunsynd (GUN) has already more than trebled the value of its investment In Rogue Baron, which was worth more than £1.8m, including accrued convertible interest, at the time of flotation. Gunsynd holds a 28.5% stake. Chris Akers has increased his stake in Gunsynd from 5.36% to 6.19%.
Sativa Wellness (SWEL) has taken more than £1.1m of bookings for its Covid-19 testing clinic business. This has been achieved by the Bath clinic and a further clinic has opened, plus 13 in-pharmacy and two mobile clinics. There could be 30 clinics by the end of April, ready for the easing of lockdown.
KR1 (KR1) has invested $200,000 into Automata Network’s seed funding round.
IamFire (FIRE) made a loss of £162,000 in the six months to October 2020. During the period, investments were made in WeShop and Bio2pure.
Upper Thames Holdings (UPPT) has net liabilities of £83,000 at the end of 2020 and since then £516,000 has been raised. The board will seek approval to change the company’s name to Valereum Blockchain.
Quetzal Capital (WENP) is raising £3m at 4p a share and issuing enough warrants exercisable at 8p to raise a further £3m. This will help to fund a reverse takeover or investment. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £255,000 at 7p a share. Bluebell Investment and Consulting has invested £25,000 in Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) at 13.5p a share, which represents a 4.9% stake. Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has raised a total of £800,000 at 6.5p a share from placings.
Western Selection (WESP) has increased its stake in Bilby (BILB) by 698,737 shares at an average share price of 35.11p each. This takes the stake to 12.2%.
All Star Minerals (ASMO) has appointed SP Angel as broker.
AMTE Power (AMTE) raised more than initially expected in the flotation and this should provide the cash required for investment in the battery cells development business. AMTE raised £11.3m at 175p a share. The share price jumped to 233.5p on the first day of dealings. The battery cells nearing commercialisation are aimed at the high-performance vehicles, oil and gas equipment and energy storage markets. There are currently 16 potential clients that products are being developed for.
Engineer Avingtrans (LON: AVG) is raising £35m from the sale of the Peter Brotherhood business that came with the £52.7m acquisition of Hayward Tyler in September 2017. Peter Brotherhood was estimated to be worth £9.3m of that cost. Borrowings will be paid off. Net cash is expected to be £22m at the end of May 2021.
Kape Technologies (KAPE) is acquiring Webselenese for $149.1m. This provides the group with a consumer platform for privacy and security content, which will generate information and data on consumer trends. In 2020, the acquired business generated revenues of $64.5m and EBITDA of $30.7m. In 2021, Kape is expected to increase earnings from 15.8p a share to 25.4p a share.
Billing and customer relationship management software provider Cerillion (CER) has won a Middle East contract worth £5m over five years. The implementation will take up to 18 months.
Getech (GTC) is raising up to £6.25m via a placing and open offer at 22p a share. The cash will be invested in developing hydrogen products and services.
Online merchandising technology provider Attraqt (ATQT) improved its full year revenues by 8% to £21m, helped by an initial contribution from AI firm Aleph. The loss was reduced from £4.4m to £2.6m. Annualised recurring revenues were £21.1m at the end of 2020. A £500,000 loss is forecast for 2021 before a move into profit in 2022.
Cloud-based PCI payment services provider PCI Pal (PCIP) is gaining momentum in the US. In the six months to December 2020, revenues rose by 56% to £3.2m. More of these revenues are coming via channel partners. Total annual contract revenues were 59% ahead at £8.3m. There should be enough cash in the bank to get the company to the point where it is generating cash.
Shoe Zone (SHOE) says that it does not expect to pay a dividend until at least 2025. The footwear retailer expects to continue to lose money this year. The stores are closed at the moment.ch
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) has agreed to sell a specialist collection of its products through Marks and Spencer (MKS). This follows deals with Next and John Lewis.
Coral Products (CRU) is repaying its £1.6m property mortgage out of the proceeds of its recent disposal. The £2.5m valuation of the Haydock site is expected to be increased in the next accounts. Coral has also repaid £500,000 of its CBIL loan with the other £433,333 likely to be paid before the year-end.
Business restructuring company Begbies Traynor (BEG) is acquiring of David Rubin & Partners for up to £25m. This takes the group’s market share to 12%. There is an initial £12m payable and the rest depends on performance over five years. Begbies raised £22m at 105.5p a share to help finance the deal, which should be immediately earnings enhancing.
Arden has upgraded its Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) forecasts due to higher crude palm oil and palm kernel oil prices. This means that Arden expects Dekel to be profitable in 2021.
Avation (AVAP) is raising £7.5m at 110p a share and this provides additional cash at a difficult time for the airline industry. NAV was previously 174p a share. Avation could continue to lose money for the next two years Net debt will still be more than $1bn.
Challenger Acquisitions (CHAL) is entering into a deal to acquire Cindrigo Energy, which owns Cindrigo Ltd, the company where a previous offer lapsed. The business is a developer of renewable energy projects using Swedish expertise in waste-to-energy and biomass. The shareholders of the target company will own 96.5% of the enlarged business.
Kanabo (KNB) has signed a production and supply agreement with PharmaCann Polska for cartridges containing Kanabo’s medicinal cannabis formulations. The initial production capacity is up to 36,000 cartridges. FastForward Innovations (FFWD) has sold its stake in Kanabo for a profit of £140,000. FastForward has also sold its Cellular Goods (CBX) for a £54,000 gain.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) has raised £26.8m at 200p a share and this cash will fund the purchase of a further stake in Pluto Digital Assets. The £7.3m investment in Pluto will maintain the Argo stake at 25%. AIM-quoted Pires Investments (PIRI) owns 6.4% of Pluto.
The Financial Reporting Council has started an investigation into the audit of motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) by Deloitte for 2017 and 2018.
Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM) is increasing its first quarterly dividend by 30% to 13 cents a share. The strategy is to pay 30% of average cash generated by operating activities in the previous four quarters.
Pharmaceuticals developer Nuformix (NFX) is raising £1.565m at 2p a share. This cash will finance preclinical studies for the NXP002 inhaled formulation for lung disease and further research and development of formulations. Nuformix is waiting to see whether Oxilio will option the NXP001 cancer treatment. This option expires on 24 March.
Standard list shell Baskerville Capital (BASK) plans to switch its quotation to the Access segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange. This move will happen at the time of the reverse takeover of Oberon Investments, the owner of fund manager MD Barnard. The transfer to the Access segment is expected to happen on 5 February, although this depends on completion of the deal.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) increased its NAV to £3.96m at the end of September 2020. The Southfields property has been sold for £660,000, which was a small discount to the previous book value. The remaining residential property will be sold in the next few months. The company will then concentrate on specialist supported housing.
KR1 (KR1) has sold its remaining holding of FunFair tokens for an average price of 2.0207 cents each. That raised $1.28m, which is more than treble the cost.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) expects the analysis of the aerial magnetic survey of the Red Setter project in Western Australia will be available before the end of the first quarter of 2021.
All Star Minerals (ASMO) continues to review opportunities in the mining sector in Africa. The deal is likely to be funded by a share issue, but more cash will be required.
Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) non-executive director Nigel boardman has increased his shareholding from 5,020 shares to 11,348 shares. Shepherd Neame (SHEP) director JB Neame has sold 4,000 shares at 690p each and bought back 2,000 shares at 691.5p for an ISA.
Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £150,000 in share issues at 5p a share and 5.5p a share. TruSpine Technologies (TSP) is still waiting to receive £250,000 from Evrensel Capital Partners.
Peel Hunt has been approved as an AQSE corporate adviser.
Capital equipment manufacturer Mpac (MPAC) did better than expected last year although pre-tax profit is still likely to decline from £7.5m to £6.2m. net cash is £5m following the payment of £10m for Switchback last autumn. The order book is worth more than £55m, compared to 2020 revenues of £83m. The focus on healthcare and pharma has helped Mpac.
Judges Scientific (JDG) had a strong second half in 2020 and this has led WH Ireland to increase its 2020 pre-tax profit forecast from £12.1m to £13.5m. The 2021 figure has been maintained at £15.1m. Full year results will be announced on 23 March.
Fashion retailer Joules (JOUL) offset weak high street sales prior to Christmas with strong growth in online sales. Even so, continued uncertainty means that Peel Hunt has reduced its 2020-21 pre-tax profit forecast from £5.4m to £3.5m. Net cash is £13m.
Motor dealer Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) says trading the three months to November 2020 was ahead of the same period last year even though the market remains uncertain.
Wealth management firm Mattioli Woods (MTW) had more than £10bn of client assets by the end of November 2020. Gross discretionary assets under management are £2.9bn. Management is still seeking acquisition opportunities and there is £18m of cash in the bank.
Creo Medical (CREO) has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its MicroBlate soft tissue ablation devices. This broadens the range of products with approvals.
AssetCo (ASTO) has acquired a 2.9% stake in investment manager River and Mercantile at 186p a share. This cost £4.7m. There is still around £26m in cash available since the payment from Grant Thornton and after the tender offer to shareholders.
Avingtrans (AVG) is merging its two medical equipment businesses with Australia-based MRI technology developer Magnetica and it will own 59% of the enlarged business after also injecting A$600,000. A further £3.2m investment could increase the stake to 61.2%. The combined business is loss-making but the increased scale will help it to move towards profitability.
Telit Communications (TCM) has ended bid discussions with u-blox, although the potential bidder is still interested in making an offer. An all-share bid of 250p a share was indicated.
Tekmar (TGP) has secured a contract to design and manufacture subsea scour protection for a quay development project, which is worth more than £4m. That will be recognised in this financial year.
IntegraFin has decided not to bid for Nucleus Financial Group (NUC), which increased assets under administration by 8% to £17.4bn in the three months to December 2020. Inflows of funds increased, and outflows fell.
Eqtec (EQT) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Greece-based Nobilis Pro Energy, which will enable Eqtec to be involved in its partner’s pipeline of gasification projects opportunities in Thessalia and central Greece. A joint venture will be formalised.
One Heritage Group (OHG) has acquired a site on Bank Street, Sheffield for £880,000. The final development cost is expected to be £2.9m and gross development value should be £3.6m. The residential developer says that its Burnley development will not be completed until later in the first quarter. Construction of the Waterloo Place development in Salford should commence in the second quarter.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) mined 96 Bitcoin during December. The increase in the bitcoin price means that these are valued at £1.63m. Argo holds 209 Bitcoin. The sharp rise in the share price has led to the exercising of warrants and options. This has raised £1.63m.
Tirupati Graphite (TGR) is on track to commission the Vatomina graphite project in the second quarter and build production to 6,000tpa. Tirupati raised £6m at 45p a share when it floated at the end of last year and the share price has risen to 83p.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has completed its drilling programme at the Phalaborwa rare earths project under budget and the results are expected before the end of the first quarter.
Pembridge Resources (PERE) has raised £570,000 at 4p each and this should be enough cash to take the company into next year.
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Investment company S-Ventures is set to join the market on 16 September. The strategy is to make investments in consumer health and organic food businesses in the UK and Europe. The S-Ventures management will use their expertise to help smaller brands grow faster and achieve greater scale. Up to three acquisitions are planned each year and they are likely to have values of between £150,000 and £2m.
Evrima (EVA) has secured an option to acquire a 17.2% stake in Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration (KKME), which would increase its investment in the Botswana-focused nickel, copper and platinum explorer to 19.6%. The former Sport Capital Group has 60 days to acquire the stake for $183,000 in the form of 2.3 million shares at 6p each. The same number of warrants will be issued, and they are exercisable at 12p each. AIM-quoted Power Metals has a
Block Commodities (BLCC) has been fined £7,000 by the Aquis Stock Exchange. Block failed to make sure that it provided accurate and fully up to date information to investors about fundraisings. It also failed to consult with its corporate adviser. Trading in the shares remains suspended.
All Star Minerals (ASMO) is assessing potential gemstones opportunities in Africa.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) has sold a 29.5% stake in LCP Financial for £275,000 in order to provide funds to develop the waste and recycling operations.
Early Equity (EEQP) has appointed Novum Securities as its corporate adviser and trading has recommenced in the shares.
Gold explorer Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has raised £403,000 at 0.275p a share. Each new share has a warrant attached that is exercisable at 0.7p each after the results of the exploration drilling are released. The cash will finance drilling.
Michelmersh Brick (MBH) has restarted production following lockdown despatches have recovered more quickly than the sector. Interim revenues fell by 17% and underlying pre-tax profit was halved, but full year expectations have been upgraded. The bricks manufacturer is operating at normal levels and June 2020 revenues were better than those in June 2019. Canaccord Genuity has upgraded its full year profit forecast from £5.3m to £6.5m, down from £9.7m in 2019. Limited UK brick production capacity means that Michelmersh is in a strong position and it has demonstrated its resilience this year.
Internet domain name registry and services provider CentralNic (CNIC) is paying $36m for the Codewise businesses, which provide monetisation services and online marketing tools. This fits with Team Internet and will be significantly earnings enhancing from day one. A placing raised £30m at 75p a share.
Synairgen (SNG) has published interim data for its SNG001 treatment that suggests that it could be effective for COVID-19 patients, particularly those suffering with more severe symptoms.
Belvoir Group (BLV) weathered the COVID-19 lockdown well. Financial services increased their contribution in the first half and lettings income held up. Underlying pre-tax profit improved by 7% to £3.16m, helped by the Lovelle acquisition. Earnings per share were 16% higher at 7.3p. The interim dividend is 3.4p and a further 2p is payable in lieu of the final dividend that was not paid. The former boss sold shares at 150p each.
The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) reported an unchanged interim pre-tax profit of £2m and an interim dividend of 2.1p a share is being paid. Cash has risen to £6.1m. Lettings income held up and trading was strong in June. The core business and online operation EweMove both performed strongly in July.
Arden has initiated research on Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) and it believes that the palm oil and cashew nut processer is worth 7.6p a share. The broker believes that Dekel could make an operating profit next year. Profit should build up over the next few years as cashew nuts processing activities grow.
Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises (SOM) is resuming dividends and paying a deferred final dividend of 20.7 cents a share as well as an interim of 4 cents a share. That will cost $14m. North American interim sales held up best with European sales falling by one-quarter. Pre-tax profit is still expected to fall from $28m to $17.6m, but net cash should be $20m at the end of 2020.
Digital invoicing services provider Tungsten Corporation (TUNG) is on course to move into profit in the current financial year. The loss per share was reduced from 3.5p to 1.4p in the year to April 2020 and there was cash generated from operations.
Irrigation products supplier Amiad Water Systems (AFS) reported a decline in revenues but profit increased as margins improved. Amiad was already reducing its cost base when COVID-19 started to hamper the business. This led Stifel to increase its full year pre-tax profit forecast to $4.5m. Further growth could come from new products and potential acquisitions.
Building and construction products supplier Alumasc (ALU) has realigned its cost base but pre-tax profit was still one-third down at £3.7m as full year revenues declined by 16% to £76m. A 2p a share dividend was declared. Trading has been recovering since the June year end. Further cost saving benefits will help profit to recover this year. finnCap forecasts £6.4m pre-tax profit for 2020-21.
New SIPP business has been slow for STM (STM) but the recurring revenue base means that interim revenues were maintained at £11.8m. Additional personnel costs reduced pre-tax profit by nearly one-third to £1.1m. There is £17.6m in the bank and that enables STM to pay an interim dividend of 0.55p a share, which should be one-third of the total for the year. A full year pre-tax profit of £2.5m is forecast, with a rebound to £4.5m in 2021.
Recruitment firm Hydrogen (HYDG) plans to cancel the AIM quotation. A tender offer of 40p a share provides investors with a way to sell their shares prior to the cancelation.
LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) has realigned costs so that they are more in line with revenues. In the first half of 2020, revenues fell by 13% to £71.6m, but operating profit was one-quarter higher at £9m. Gross margins continue to increase, and overheads have been kept down. Operating profit margin of 12.3% was higher than ever before.
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Medical device developer TruSpine Technologies (TSP) ended the week at 34.5p (32p/37p). TruSpine has raised £1.4m at 36p a share with a commitment for a further £250,000. This should provide enough cash until Cervi-Lok, which is one of the three spinal stabilisation devices being developed, starts to generate sales.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its joint venture with IOV Labs has signed a deal with RedFOX Labs to build fast scaling internet business on the RSK blockchain. Coinsilium has also secured an adviser role to Indorse for a forthcoming initiative to revive the token economics of its IND token through a decentralised finance model. The value of Coinsilium’s cryptocurrency holdings is $575,000, with further tokens worth $105,000 set to vest over the next 12 months.
KR1 (KR1) has started to generate revenues from staking activities on the Polkadot network, which is KR1’s largest investment. So far, 530.67 DOT have been generated and this has raised $194,802.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is raising £1.25m at 12p a share. This will provide working capital and help to pay back loan notes, which are currently valued at £1.7m.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) is raising £400,000 at 2p a share. Gold exploration is commencing at the Wishbone II project in Queensland. Exploration will also restart at the White Mountains project.
Gunsynd (GUN) owns 4.97 million shares in nickel project developer Sunshine Minerals, which is being acquired by Malachite Resources. Gunsynd will receive 1.26 million shares in Malachite with further deferred consideration of 1.64 million shares.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has released positive news from surface stockpiles at the Beaconsfield gold mine. The average grade is 3.2g/tonne in 80,000 tonnes of surveyed stockpiles.
World High Life (LIFE) is increasing production capacity by 400%. The new Love Hemp facility will produce 43,000 units of CBD oils, capsules and cosmetics each day. July sales were 57% higher than in June with much higher online sales.
Belvedere Leisure (BELV) has agreed a new strategy with Landal GreenParks UK, which involves delivering lodges for domestic tourism and staycations. The company is in negotiations to acquire the Barncrosh site in Scotland and the company is seeking other sites. Belvedere Leisure Park has been placed in administration and will no longer guarantee the company bonds.
Ian Harebottle and Richard Lloyd have been appointed as directors of All Star Minerals (ASMO).
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) chief executive Alistair Currie bought 86,419 shares at 25p each and 13,581 at 29.5p each. He has a 3.28% stake.
Online fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) doubled its revenues last year. In the year to March 2020, revenues jumped from £4.44m to £9.03m, while the loss more than doubled from £3.55m to £7.81m. First quarter revenues were 54% higher and the lower marketing costs helped to reduce operating costs by 71%. July revenues were 57% higher than the same time last year. Gross margins have improved. There was still £4.4m in cash at the end of June 2020.
Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) lost £8.9m in the first half of 2020. That is not surprising given that the car showrooms were shut for ten weeks. A small loss is expected for the full year, although this will depend on September demand. Vertu Motors (VTU) says that it lost £5.2m in the March to June period, but made a pre-tax profit of £7.4m in July. Used vehicle sales made a record gross profit last month with volume growth of 13.7%.
Ceramic products manufacturer Churchill China (CHH) managed to make a small profit before exceptional items. Revenues slumped from £31.9m to £18.9m with a strong start to the year offset by COVID-19 in the second quarter. The majority of sales were of hospitality products. Cash improved to £16.3m thanks to the fact that there was no final dividend last year. A potential interim dividend will be reviewed in December when the fourth quarter trading is clearer.
Elypsis Solutions has sold a 3.4% stake in Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) to Heirloom Investment Management, leaving it with 53.6%. The Adamas share buyback programme is still active. NAV was 75p a share at the end of June 2020, compared to a share price of 26.5p.
Oil and gas producer Hurricane Energy (HUR) admits that it is likely to materially downgrade the resource estimate for the Lancaster early production system and the West of Shetland portfolio of assets. Production is expected to decline from the current 17,000 barrels of oil per day.
Synthetic heavy fuel developer Quadrise Fuels International (QFI) will receive $150,000 for equipment and support supplied to Greenfield Energy for a commercial trial, which will be completed by the end of the year.
Renalytix AI (RENX) has announced a collaboration with AstraZeneca for the use of the KidneyIntelX technology in other chronic diseases.
EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has made a $5m investment in Trellus Health in return for a 31% stake. Trellus has licenced a platform for the management of inflammatory bowel disease.
Cyber security services provider Shearwater Group (SWG) says positive momentum is continuing. An underlying EBITDA is being made due to higher margin products and efficiencies. There is £4.1m in the bank.
Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) still has not published its 2019 accounts. Further work is required on the corporate leasing division and vehicle financing arrangements. Net debt was £13.5m at the end of June 2020, helped by delayed government payments. There was a significant first half loss in 2020.
OKYO Pharma (OKYO) is seeking a Nasdaq listing. It has raised £1.44m through additional convertible loan notes to finance clinical development.
BATM (BVC) is on course to increase full year underlying pre-tax profit from $5.2m to $8.8m on a revenues one-third higher. There was cash of $44.3m at the end of June 2020. A resumption of dividend payments is promised at the end of the year. The bio-medical division increased interim revenues by two-thirds to $50m and improved its gross margin. Demand for COVID-19 diagnostic kits remains strong. The networking division improved interim revenues by 3% to $27.4m.
LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) has upgraded its 2020 underlying operating profit guidance from £18m to at least £23m, helped by improved gross margins. Adjusted earnings per share are expected to be at least 11p a share. The interims will be published on 8 September.
Challenger Acquisitions (CHAL) has entered into a letter of intent to acquire Cindrigo and Cindrigo Energy, which are involved in waste-to-energy and biomass energy projects.
Metal Tiger (MTR) wants to obtain an Australian Stock Exchange listing before the end of the year.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased sales last year, but the loss was also higher. Sales of wine and beer grew and revenues from continuing activities improved from £12.86m to £14.8m, while the loss more than doubled from £850,000 to £2.09m. the Chapel Down Gin Works in Kings Cross has been closed. There was still £2.47m in the bank at the end of 2019, even after the loss and £12m of investment in fixed assets and land. There are 428 acres of planted vineyard. Wine stocks have also increased following a good harvest. The Ashford brewery has been completed and full brewing capacity will be available before the end of the year. Martin Glenn is succeeding John Dunsmore as chairman.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has entered into a £55m development framework agreement with Equitix, an investor in infrastructure assets. This will finance up to five diagnostic facilities in the UK. Each will be owned by a special purpose vehicle funded by Equitix and operated by Rutherford. An initial agreement has been made with a NHS Trust. Rutherford also announced a collaboration with Panthera Biopartners, which will be able to use Rutherford’s clinics for trials of potential cancer treatments.
Racing recommenced at Newbury Racecourse (NYR) on 11 June. Three race meetings have been held and five more are planned by the end of August. No public are being admitted. Revenues are coming from media rights. The Rocking Horse nursery reopened earlier this month.
Good Energy (GOOD) is increasing its investment in Next Green Car, which owns Zap-Map, to 50.1% through the exercise of a convertible loan.
BWA (BWAP) has spent £120,000 of the initial commitment of £250,000 for two rutile licence areas in Cameroon. Drilling programmes are being designed. COVID-19 has hampered progress with the company’s Canadian interests.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that investee company Factom Inc has filed for Cahpter 11 bankruptcy protection because of its failure to raise more cash. It could exit Chapter 11 protection within three months if things go to plan.The investment was valued at £237,000.
IamFire (FIRE) is reviewing strategies having raised £500,000 at 2.5p a share. Each share comes with two warrants with an exercise price of 10p a share. The investment focus is natural resources, mining and disruptive technology.
SAPO (SAPO) is still seeking a broadband investment and net assets were £1.1m at the end of 2019. At 3.2p a share, SAPO is valued at £6m.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £137,750 in Rincon Resources, which gives it a stake of 28.4%. Rincon has the rights to three prospective gold and base metals projects in Western Australia. Gunsynd has sold its stake in United Oil and Gas (UOG).
All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised a further £200,000 at 0.02p a share, taking the total raised in share issues to £280,000. Convertible loan notes worth £55,000 have been converted into 275 million shares with 34 million shares at 0.01p each to pay liabilities. This means that more than 1.3 billion shares have been issued, which has nearly doubled the shares in issue.
Recent trading at floorcoverings supplier Victoria (VCP) has exceeded expectations. Manufacturing has restarted in all the company’s plants. All the main countries are doing relatively well considering the disruption due to COVID-19 and in the most recent three weeks revenues were 85% of pre-COVID-19 budget. The UK carpets business is only just getting going again. Net debt is £370m, which is predominantly bonds that last until July 2024. Cash generation can reduce debt, although management is likely to look for potential acquisitions.
Wynnstay Group (WYN) reported a decline in interim revenues but that was due to lower commodity prices. The interim dividend has been maintained at 4.6p a share. The agriculture division maintained its operating profit, but there was an improved profit from the merchanting division. Pre-tax profit edged up from £4.3m to £4.5m. Shore Capital has reinstated forecasts. It expects a pre-tax profit of £6.7m, down from £7.9m. This id a deliberately cautious figure.
MSQ Partners has launched a 0.5p a share bid for Be Heard Group (HRD) and that values the digital media company at £6.2m. The acquirer was the subject of a buyout last year. The combined business will have the backing of Lloyds Development Capital and the greater scale will help to win larger clients.
United Oil and Gas (UOG) says that average production from the Abu Sennan concession in the first two weeks of June was 13,900 boepd, of which its working interest is 3,060 boepd. That is 69% higher than the average daily figure in April. The 2P reserves at Abu Sennan have been increased by 12.55 to 13.5MMboe
Transense Technologies (TRT) has transferred its iTrack tyre monitoring business to a Bridgestone subsidiary for $1m and it will receive quarterly royalty revenues for the next ten years. That royalty would be £150,000/ quarter currently, but growth should be faster under Bridgestone. Two Transense directors are moving with iTrack. This leaves Transense with its SAWsense (wireless tyre sensor technology) and Translogik (tyre test equipment) businesses. Transense could move into profit in 2021-22.
A positive trading statement from allergy vaccines developer Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) led finnCap to increase its 2020 pre-tax profit forecast even though revenue growth is slower than expected. A 2019-20 profit of £2.9m is expected, partly due to the timing of research spending. Allergy is expected to move back into loss in 2020-21.
Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) increased its revenues and pre-tax profit in the nine months to March 2020, with particularly strong growth in the third quarter. There is some disruption to international distribution and supply and full year revenue growth will be lower than originally expected.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) reported flat full year revenues of €20.9m for 2019. The loss was barely changed at €3.29m. There has been a decline in the palm oil price in recent months, which will hamper performance this year. The cashew project is making good progress.
Strong first half trading at BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) has led to broker upgrades for 2020. The biomedical division has done particularly well, but the networks and cyber division has also done better than expected. Stifel is raising its revenues forecast from $138m to $155m, while the EBITDA estimate has been increased by one-third to $13m. Shore Capital expects to increase forecast revenues by 17% to around $154m with a significant improvement in EBITDA expected.
Construction services provider nmcn (NMCN) made a positive start in the first quarter of this year. Revenues were 4% ahead at £97.9m and pre-tax profit 6% higher at £1.8m. This period was hardly affected by the lockdown. Since the end of March, work has been at three-quarters of normal levels. There was £11.8m in cash at the end of March 2020. The interims will be reported on 6 August and there should be guidance for the full year outcome.
Tex Holdings (TXH) expects to make further cost savings and consolidate more of its activities. The plastics division is operating at 70% of expected levels, while the engineering division has suffered delays but not lost business.
Standard list shell Boston International (BIH) had £302,000 in cash at the end of 2019. It is still assessing the proposed acquisition of invoice factoring company Alexanders Discount Ltd
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has raised £1.25m at 3p a share. The cash will accelerate trial mining at the Gakara rare earth project in Burundi.
The 2019 figures of Ross Group (RGP) include pharmaceutical grade Chitin producer Archipelago Aquaculture Group (AAG) for the first time. There were restructuring and impairment costs relating to the acquisition. Pilot production is being implemented and there are joint venture discussions with the company that has developed the Ionic Liquid extraction process licenced by AAG. There was a £3.6m loss in 2019.
SMALL CAP AWARDS 2020
Company of the year: Volex
Technology company of the year: Avacta
Impact company of the year: ITM Power
IPO of the year: Diaceutics
Transaction of the year: Kape acquisition of Private Internet Access
Executive director of the year: David Cicurel (Judges Scientific)
Innovative financing of the year: Yu Group
Journalist of the year: Joanne Hart (Mail on Sunday)
Analyst of the year: Lorne Daniel (finnCap)
VCT manager of the year: Amati
UK smaller companies fund manager of the year: JPM UK Smaller Companies
Lifetime achievement award: Giles Hargreave
Daniel Thwaites (THW) closed its pubs and hotels on 20 May and it will not pay a final dividend for 2019-20. Net debt was £65.4m at the end of March 2020 and there are £16.6m of spare bank facilities. Trading had been strong, and the predominance of freehold properties means that rent payments is not as big a concern as it is for some pub operators.
Housebuilder St Mark Homes (SMAP) had a NAV of 127p a share at the end of 2019. The share price is 87.5p. There is cash of £4.8m and the company intends to pay off its bond, which has a 6% coupon. In 2019, pre-tax profit dipped from £117,000 to £114,000.
KR1 (KR1) has raised $353,000 from the sale of RPL tokens, relating to the Rocket Pool, which is developing a proof-of-stake infrastructure service using Ethereum 2.0. The tokens were acquired for $0.21 each and sold at $1.67 each. The majority of the RPL tokens acquired are still held by KR1 even though there was a buyer for all of them. The takeover of digital asset custodian Volt Ltd has generated a further $244,000.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has signed a framework agreement that will enable it to provide cancer treatment services to NHS trusts. The deal lasts an initial period of two years.
Altona Energy (ANR) has cancelled its open offer because the minimum amount was not raised. Instead, management is in discussions with three companies that could reverse into Altona. Cash will be required to cover the costs of a reverse takeover.
Trading has resumed in Lombard Capital (LCAP) shares. Lombard’s waste and recycling subsidiary is acquiring land in Preston for £1.08m. Lombard needs to issue more bonds in order to fully fund the purchase. Existing bond holders are swapping £507,000 worth into shares at 25p each and £320,000 has been raised from the exercise of warrants at 10p each. The current share price is 27.5p and it is more than five times the level it was two months ago. The site was previously used for recycling and Lombard will reapply for an environmental licence. It will be used for a waste to energy project and a plastic recovering plant.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has been appointed as adviser to Kesholabs, a Kenya-based blockchain technology developer. Kesholabs is developing three applications that could be launched within 12 months.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that CASA is set to resume limited operations after the lockdown in South Africa. CASA will produce test work and production of anthracite samples.
Ananda Developments (ANA) subsidiary DJT plants has met with the MHRA to discuss its plans to grow strains of cannabis. This is part of the licence application to grow medicinal cannabis. There will be further consultation with the UK authorities.
World High Life (LIFE) says that subsidiary Love Hemp has increased capacity for its LH Botanicals business.
IWEP is swapping part of its loan to Eight Capital Partners (ECP) into a 29.8% stake at 0.025p a share. Shares have also been issued to creditors to satisfy money owed.
First Sentinel (FSEN) has invested £270,000 in Stabiltech Biopharma as part of a £6m fundraising. The corporate finance subsidiary is advising the investee company on further fundraisings. The vaccine developer is developing a potential vaccine for COVID-19. Clinical trials should start in June.
Secured Property Developments (SPD) is still seeking property investments. There is £514,000 in the bank and net assets of £470,000.
All Star Minerals (ASMO0 has raised £80,000 at 0.02p a share and a further £170,000 is being sought. Ian Harebottle and Richard Lloyd, who both have mining experience, are joining the board.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £189,500 in placings at 7p a share and 7.5p a share. NQ has raised £340,000 in the past fortnight.
Shareholders have passed the resolution to consolidate 100 existing Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) shares into one new share.
Sport Capital Group (SCG) has appointed Peterhouse as joint broker.
Engineering businesses consolidator Vulcan Industries is seeking admittance to the Aquis Stock Exchange. The focus is profitable metal fabrication and precision engineering businesses. First Sentinel is corporate adviser. The expected admission date is 1 June.
Renalytix AI (RENX) plans to gain a Nasdaq listing. The renal diagnostics company has not decided how much money it wants to raise. Renalytix AI has launched a joint venture to develop and produce COVID-19 antibody test kits.
STM (STM) subsidiary Carey has won a court case brought by a client. Adams v Carey related to a non-advisory SIPP taken out by Adams and an investment that he asked to be put in the SIPP. The investment performed poorly, and Adams claimed for loss of value. This case has been going on for more than two years.
Employee background checks provider ClearStar (CLSU) has launched a COVID-19 testing service that will help employers with back to work planning. That could attract additional clients for ClearStar’s services.
Imaging services provider IXICO (IXI) increased interim revenues from £3.43m to £4.56m and that helped to more than double profit from £215,000 to £475,000. There was cash of £6.66m at the end of March 2020. The order book is strong. It was £15.3m at the end of the interim period and more has been added since then. Data analysis from existing trials is continuing during the lockdown.
Tiziana Life Science (TILS) intends to demerge its genomics-based personalised medicine businesses into a separate quoted vehicle. This will enable the business to raise cash to develop the StemPrintER technology for the prediction of disease recurrence in breast cancer patients.
Tissue products developer Tissue Regenix (TRX) raised £14.6m at a share price of 0.25p. This was much-needed cash because existing funds were about to run out.
A share placing by Open Orphan (ORPH) at 11p a share raised £12m after expenses. This will help to finance services for COVID-19 vaccines and tests, as well as more laboratory facilities.
Digital TV technology provider Mirada (MIRA) has extended the term for its revolving credit facility by 12 months to the end of November 2021. Earlier this month, Mirada launched a lower cost version of its technology. Iris in Swift Mode is a pre-packaged platform.
Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) has acquired the Eddie Stobart brand from Stobart Group (STOB), which will have to change its name, for £10m. An annual fee of £3m was payable for the brand. This will be saved from now on. There have been some reductions in activity due to COVID-19, but grocery and e-commerce demand remain strong.
Cash shell Summerway Capital (SWC) has £5.55m in the bank as it continues to seek an acquisition.
Contango Holdings (CGO) has published a prospectus relating to the acquisition of the Lubu coal project. The potential deal was announced more than one year ago. A £1.4m placing at 5p a share in January will finance costs and initial investment in the Lubu project. Readmission is expected on 18 June.
The Takeover Panel Executive has denied Moss Bros (MOSB) bidder Brigadier’s attempt to lapse its offer. Brigadier has asked for the ruling to be reviewed.
Pure Gold Mining Inc (PUR) has secured a $15m investment at $1.52 a share. This will be invested in the Red Lake Mine.
Loans to Shefa Gems (SEFA) totalling £1.25m have been converted at a premium to the market price. The shares issued account for 14.5% of the enlarged share capital.
NEX Exchange company of the year
National Milk Records (NMRP)
Dairy and livestock services provider National Milk Records has been on NEX for more than a decade. The share price has increased by more than 500% over the past decade. In the latest quarter to March 2019, revenues improved from £5.32m to £5.56m, even though the number of cows on the database had declined from 743,054 to 713,379 over a 12-month period which hit milk recording revenues. Income from specialist testing has increased. Overall, growth was not as strong as in the first six months, which benefitted from one-off income. An oversupply of milk in recent weeks has hit the milk price and this has held back spending by farmers.
Wealth management group AFH Financial Group (AFHP) is raising up to £20m via a convertible unsecured loan stock issue. The conversion price is 420p a share, up from 360p before the issue was announced, and the interest rate is 4%. This cash will fund further acquisitions. There are five that are already in due diligence.
Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) is not likely to achieve financial close on three projects, so it will lose money in the 14 months to June 2019. The second half will be profitable. The company should return to profit in 2019-20.
Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has increased the valuation of its portfolio by 22% to £86.9m at the end of April 2019. Annualised rental income is £6.5m.
Investment company Angelfish Investments (ANGP) had cash of £1.48m, but debt was £3.35m and net liabilities of £543,000 at the end of 2018. This means that the preference dividend cannot be paid because there are no distributable reserves. The decline into net liabilities was mainly due to a £942,000 write-down on loans made to OME. Pre-revenue investments are included at cost.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has appointed First Sentinel as its corporate adviser. PCG has not replaced its nominated adviser so it will lose its AIM quotation. Acquisition talks continue.
First Sentinel (FSEN) has invested £75,000 in fintech company Capable Finance in return for a 50.01% stake and a £25,000 loan with an annual coupon of 15%. First Sentinel directors have participated in a £110,000 placing and they own most of the rest of the shares. First Sentinel has gained a Euronext Dublin listing for its 7.5% bonds, May 2024. Some of this cash will be invested in the activities of Capable Finance.
Shareholders in Valiant Investments have approved the change of name to Eurocann International (BUD) and the focus on medicinal cannabis. It has disposed of its investment in Flamethrower one of its own directors and raised £263,000 at 1.5p a share. Valiant had £1,289 in the bank at the end of 2018. There is still a £200,000 convertible investment in All Star Minerals (ASMO). The company has a stake in North Bud Farms Inc, which has a cannabis production facility in Quebec.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £250,000 at 0.1p a share. This ash will contribute to the £700,000 investment in Apollon Formularies. Executive chairman David Lenigas has bought 17 million shares at 0.11941p each.
Ananda Developments (ANA) has formalised the joint venture with Anglia Salads and JE Piccaver to create DJT Group. Ananda and Anglia which each own 50% of DJT, which will apply for a licence to cultivate and supply cannabis. Ananda had £141,000 in the bank at the end of January 2019.
Sativa Investments (SATI) subsidiary PhytoVista Laboratories has completed an independent blind test consumer cannabidiol products for The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis. Many proved to have too low or too high a content of relevant ingredients.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has terminated its heads of terms with Mkango Resources relating to earning up to 75% of the Thumbani licence because it could not come up with the finance required.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) increased its revenues from $8.2m to $10.9m, although the loss doubled to $1.89m. That is mainly down to a $797,000 loss on an equity sharing agreement. The cash outflow from operations fell from $904,000 to $813,000.
Via Developments (VIA1) reported an increase in interim loss from £10,000 to £259,000, because of higher finance costs.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is raising £1.6m at 0.11p a share and this will fund the investment in the Amapa iron ore project.
Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) is leaving NEX on 26 July. The minerals explorer has been on NEX for less than nine months. It does not believe it is large enough to benefit from a quotation on NEX as well as the Canadian Securities Exchange.
Small Cap Awards 2019 winners
Company of the year
Beeks Financial Cloud (BKS)
Beeks Financial Cloud provides cloud-based connectivity and infrastructure services provider for automated trading of financial assets. It also provides cyber security services to prevent distributed denial of service attacks. Beeks was formed in 2010 and has consistently grown its revenues. Beeks joined AIM in November 2017 and in May it acquired the trading assets of US-based Commercial Network Services and this adds 1,000 customers. Progressive Research forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £1.2m to £1.4m in the year to June 2019.
IPO of the year
Cake Box Holdings (CBOX)
Egg-free cakes supplier Cake Box won this award the day before its first anniversary on AIM. Cake Box raised £16.5m at 108p a share and at one point the share price was nearly double this level. There is still a premium of more than 60% to the flotation price. In the year to March 2019, revenues increased from £12.8m to £16.9m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £3.3m to £4m. Two new distribution centre sites have been acquired. There is scope to more than double the business, which currently has 113 stores.
Impact company of the year
Kromek has developed a range of radiation detection and imaging products based on cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) technology. The company focuses on three sectors – medical imaging, nuclear detection and security. Kromek has been winning multi-million pound international contracts and it has a strong balance sheet following a recent fundraising. Revenues increased by 23% to £14.5m in the year to April 2019. Kromek is losing money, but it is on course to reach breakeven in a couple of years. The orders that are already won underpin the revenue forecasts for the coming years.
Executive director of the year
Mike Creedon, chief executive of Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI)
Mike Creedon has been on the SDI board since 2010, having previously been a finance director of two former AIM companies, Ideal Shopping Direct and Ninth Floor. SDI is an acquisitive digital imaging and sensor control technology company. The acquisition record is good. A trading update has led to a small pre-tax profit upgrade to £2.9m. The 2019-20 pre-tax profit is maintained at £4.1m.
Analyst of the year
George O’Connor, Stifel Nicolaus
Journalist of the year
Simon Thompson, Investors Chronicle
Fund manager of the year
Marlborough Nano Cap Growth
Zoo Digital (ZOO) slipped back into loss in the year to March 2019, but it should return to profit this year. Demand for film and TV localisation services continues to grow but momentum has not been as expected.
Wynnstay (WYN) had already warned about tough second quarter trading, but underlying pre-tax profit held up reasonably well, falling 15% to £4.3m, even though revenues were 19% higher at £218.5m. The increase in revenues was mainly down to commodity inflation. The warmer winter weather hit demand for animal feed, although fertiliser demand has been strong. The agricultural merchanting depots acquired in the past year are moving towards profit. There has been some rationalisation of the depot network. The interim dividend has been raised 4% to 4.6p a share.
China New Energy Ltd (CNEL) has applied for a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and it will ask shareholders for permission to cancel the AIM quotation, subject to a successful Hong Kong listing.
Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) has increased its assets under influence to £5.3bn, helped by recent acquisitions. There is a strong pipeline of additional acquisitions. Interim pre-tax profit improved from £930,000 to £1.63m.
BATM (BVC) is raising $18m, 20% more than initially sought, at 42.5p a share. Most of the cash is earmarked for the cyber and networking activities. The rest will go towards medical activities. The cash will help in securing partnerships with larger technology companies.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) has varied and extended its contract with Canadian data centre provider GPU.one. This will provide access to 14MW of power at lower prices. This increases capacity by 47%, utilising the equipment that has already been ordered, and cuts power cost by 39%. The deal starts on 25 June and lasts three years. Argo can give four months’ notice. A previous deposit of £1.44m has been turned into an investment in GPU.one.
Tex Holdings (TXH) says the engineering operations have started the year slowly, but trading should return to previous levels. The plastics division is trading in line with expectations and there is investment in new machinery. The shares remain suspended.
Canadian Overseas Petroleum Ltd (COPL) has joined the standard list. The oil and gas company is focused on Nigeria and sub-Saharan African.
Avocet Mining (AVM) is holding a general meeting on 18 July to gain shareholder approval for a voluntary liquidation. Avocet has sold its interest in the Tri-K gold project in Guinea for $21m. This leaves a small residual cash sum. There is unlikely to be anything substantial left to distribute to shareholders.
Oil and gas company Aminex (AEX) shareholders have approved the switch from a premium listing to a standard listing. It is also cancelling its Dublin listing. It may have been difficult to get the full benefits of the lighter regulation of a standard listing if the company were still listed in Dublin.
Ananda Developments (ANA) joined NEX on 4 July having raised £930,000 at 0.45p a share. Ananda is the latest medicinal cannabis-focused investment vehicle. The pre-money valuation was £500,000 There are already potential investments being assessed and management has built up relationships with businesses in Israel and Canada. A reverse takeover valued at up to £10m appears most likely.
Medicinal cannabis business investor Sativa Investments (SATI) has acquired PhytoVista Laboratories from a company owned by Sativa boss Geremy Thomas. Sativa is paying £235,000 in cash and £200,000 in shares at 4p a share. PhytoVista operates a laboratory that tests cannabis oils and hemp products. Because of the demand for the shares, the shareholders originally subject to the orderly market arrangements will be allowed to trade in the shares with the consent of Peterhouse.
KR1 (KR1) has made four more investments. The company invested £593,000 in Dfinity network tokens. Dfinity is developing a supercomputer to host the next generation of software and it is expected to offer unlimited capacity. A further £100,000 has been invested in the Flying Carpet Project, which is involved with a communication protocol for devices, such as drones and automated cars. The number of tokens that the cash will represent has not been decided. A 1.25% stake has been acquired in Connext Inc, which is developing a payment hub, for $50,000 and the same amount of money has acquired a 10% stake in Blocksmith. There is a 12-month option to acquire a further 5% of blockchain system development agency Blocksmith for $100,000
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has increased its dividend by 25% to 1.25p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 12 July. This will cost £500,000. Property acquisitions have been completed in Oldham and Wigan. The total cost is £6.4m and the rental income is just over £597,000.
Monreal (MORE) has left AIM and joined NEX. Monreal has net cash of £730,000 and the plan is to invest in private technology, media and telecoms businesses.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has received a refund of €289,000 (£256,000) from the French tax authorities. This relates to the 2009 tax year and Tectonic hopes to get a €416,000 (£368,500) refund for the 2010 tax year. VSA Capital has been appointed as financial adviser and joint broker.
Ganapati (GANP) is launching blockchain-enabled casino games and plans to issue a utility token, which will be called G eight C, through an initial coin offer. Pre-sales of the tokens should start in the fourth quarter of 2018.
EcoVista (EVTP) has raised £300,000 at 0.035p a share.
There have been previously unreported trades by a broker in Karoo Energy (KEP), All Star Minerals (ASMO), Valiant Investments (VALP) and Clean Invest Africa (CIA).
Film and video localisation services provider Zoo Digital (ZOO) continues to gain momentum. Content owners can sell programmes in additional territories because using Zoo’s services means that it is economic when it was not in the past. That means that the addressable market is even bigger because it includes back catalogue that would not have been localised previously. In the year to March 2018, revenues rose from $16.5m to $26.8m and Zoo moved into profit. That pre-tax profit is expected to more than treble to $1.8m this year.
eve Sleep (EVE) is growing but not at the rate that was hoped for and the chief executive and founder has stepped down. That was inevitable considering the ridiculously high valuation put on the company when it floated and how it has not justified that level of optimism. The mattress supplier grew sales by 61% in the first half when the market had expected more than doubled sales. A new distribution agreement with beds retailer Dreams should help supplement growth in the second half. Even so, eve Sleep is not expected to make a profit until 2020.
Sinclair Pharma (SPH) has received a bid approach from Huadong Medicine and discussions are at an early stage. Both companies supply aesthetic products. Sinclair says first half revenues outside of the US grew by 18% and overall sales improved from £20.1m to £21.3m. US sales fell from £2.5m to £800,000 following the split from the company’s former partner. The direct sales operation in the US is beginning to generate revenues. Net debt was £14.8m at the end of June 2018.
Integumen (SKIN) is not proceeding with the reverse takeover of biomaterials company Cellulac but it hopes to acquire a minority stake. The 2017 accounts have still not been published.
Digital imaging technology developer Kromek (KMK) increased its revenues by nearly one-third to £11.8m in the year to March 2018 and the loss was down from £3.79m to £2.34m. There is £7.7m in the bank and that should be enough to enable Kromek to reach a cash generative situation. The medical business is growing particularly well, while nuclear detection has good prospects for medium-term growth.
Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) reported first half revenues grew by nearly 10% and flat profit. Insurance business is declining because of competitive pricing so all the growth is coming from overseas fleet business. Full year earnings per share are likely to be flat. The forecast dividend of 13.5p a share would not be covered by earnings of 12.8p a share.
Defence equipment and services supplier Cohort (CHRT) managed to improve its pre-tax profit from £14.5m to £15.5m even though the defence market was tough. Management believes that the order book has fallen due to delays to projects. The dividend was raised from 7.1p a share to 8.2p a share.
Technology business investor Mercia Technologies (MERC) reported flat NAV of 40.7p a share but it has a number of investments that could mature over the next couple of years and their valuations could be upgraded. Mercia nearly covered its expenses with its revenues. There is still £52.9m of cash that can be invested.
Waste to energy plants developer Powerhouse Energy (PHE) has raised £694,000 at 0.5p a share. Powerhouse had £750,000 in the bank at the end of 2017 but there are still significant cash outflows.
Direct carrier billing company Boku Inc (BOKU) appears on course to make a £2.7m pre-tax profit this year. Boku processed $1.5bn worth of transactions in the first half and revenues should be nearly $17m. There was $30m in the bank at the end of June 2018.
Churchill China (CHH) says that first half trading is stronger than expected on the back of growing sales in Europe. The interims will be published on 30 August.
EQTEC (EQT) has secured $3.2m (£2.4m) in new loan facilities from Cuart Investments Fund and associates. This will be drawn down in two instalments. Origen Capital put together the lenders and it is subscribing £1.15m at 0.6p a share. Existing lenders have agreed to capitalise £693,000 of interest. This means that the previous loan facility has ended.
Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has made a high grade spinel discovery. The northern Israel-focused gemstone explorer has found nine different gemstone minerals.
Software company Gresham Technologies (GHT) is paying up to €8.5m for B2 Group, which will add €1.4m in revenues and should be earnings enhancing in its first full financial year. The customer base includes banks, insurers and asset managers. Gresham expects its own first half revenues to be 5% lower due to a weak performance in Australia. Net cash was £6.8m at the end of June 2018.
Electronic Data Processing (EDP) has recommended a bid from a company owned by Kerridge Commercial Systems. The cash offer is 91p a share and values the enterprise resource planning software provider at £11.9m.