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Alan Green talks i3 Energy #I3E, Team 17 #TM17, Toople #TOOP, Brave Bison #BBSN & JD Sports #JD on Vox Markets podcast
Alan Green discusses i3 Energy #I3E, Team 17 #TM17, Toople #TOOP, Brave Bison #BBSN & JD Sports #JD with Justin Waite on the Vox Markets podcast. Interview is minutes seconds in.
Brand CEO Alan Green talks Thomas Cook #TCG, Tertiary Minerals #TYM, Cadence Minerals #KDNC & Bidstack #BIDS on Vox Markets podcast
Brand CEO Alan Green discusses Thomas Cook #TCG, Tertiary Minerals #TYM, Cadence Minerals #KDNC & Bidstack #BIDS with Justin Waite on the Vox Markets podcast. Interview is 9 minutes 50 seconds in.
Brand Comms CEO Alan Green argues with Justin Waite about Thomas Cook #TCG on Vox Markets podcast, plus Brave Bison #BBSN & Itaconix #ITX
Brand Comms CEO Alan Green argues with Justin Waite about the investment merits of Thomas Cook #TCG on the Vox Markets podcast, plus Brave Bison #BBSN & Itaconix #ITX. Interview is 29 minutes 7 seconds in.
Brand CEO Alan Green talks Brave Bison #BBSN, RA Intl #RAI & Cadogan Petroleum #CAD on Vox Markets podcast
Brand CEO Alan Green discusses Brave Bison #BBSN, RA International #RAI & Cadogan Petroleum #CAD with Justin Waite on the Vox Markets podcast. Interview is 23 minutes 12 seconds in.
Brand CEO Alan Green talks Brave Bison #BBSN, Salt Lake Potash #SO4 & Ananda Developments #ANA on Vox Markets podcast
Brand Comms CEO Alan Green discusses Brave Bison #BBSN, Salt Lake Potash #SO4 & Ananda Developments #ANA with Justin Waite on the Vox Markets podcast.
Brand CEO Alan Green talks Brave Bison #BBSN, Apollo Minerals (ASX:AON), Prairie Mining #PDZ & Bilby #BILB on Vox Podcast
Brand CEO Alan Green discusses Brave Bison #BBSN, Apollo Minerals (ASX:AON), Prairie Mining #PDZ & Bilby #BILB with Justin Waite on the Vox Markets Podcast. Interview is 35 minutes 24 seconds in.
Continuing revenues from renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) increased from £89.7m to £104.5m but underlying pre-tax profit was nearly two-thirds lower at £734,000 due to higher admin and interest costs. There was also a decline in gross margin. An increase in working capital meant that there was a £4.92m cash outflow from operating activities. There was a decline in NAV due to the loss on discontinued generation development activities. Net debt was £53.1m at the end of 2017.
Brewer Adnams (ADB) reported a 9% increase in beer volumes in 2017, even though cash sales fell by 5%. Overall sales were 6% ahead at £74.8m despite losing £1m in revenues from the closure of the Swan Hotel for refurbishment. Even if the exceptional expenses of £721,000 for removing asbestos from the Swan Hotel, are added back, the pre-tax profit, excluding disposal gains, fell from £3.59m to £1.6m. Capital investment continues with the IT system being upgraded. The full year dividend was edged up from 226p a share to 228p a share. There plans to produce an alcohol-free version of Ghost Ship.
MetalNRG (MNRG) is selling its 15.4% stake in US Cobalt to ASX-listed Tyranna Resources, which is acquiring the whole of the company. MetalNRG will receive 21.7 million shares in Tyranna at a valuation of A$0.017 a share. The shares are trading at A$0.025, which would value the deal at £300,000. First Sentinel has raised £45,000 at 13p a share and issued a further £25,000 worth of shares at the same price to market maker Winterflood.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has exercised its option to take its stake in Indorse to 10%. The additional 3.5% of the company is being bought for £97,000, taking the total investment to £246,000. Singapore-based Indorse has tested its blockchain-based social network for professionals and moved to the Mainnet. A new feature will enable token issuers to verify their advisory board. Coinsilium is advising Bundle Network on its token generating event. Bundle enables people to trade across unconnected cryptocurrency without needing to open individual accounts.
Imperial Minerals (IMPP) has raised £20,000 at 2p a share. There was just over £37,000 in the bank at the end of 2017, following a £35,000 cash outflow in the previous six months. Imperial is still seeking an opportunity in metals, such as gold, lithium, cobalt and zinc.
First Sentinel (FSBN) has appointed Colin Maltby to the board and invested £43,500 in the Union Jack Oil (UJO) placing raising £1.25m at 0.085p a share.
Baron Bloom has stepped down from the board of Etaireia Investments (ETIP) after the publishing of criticism by a judge, who said that he had been dishonest during divorce proceedings with his ex-wife.
Block Commodities (BLOC) has entered into a strategic partnership with blockchain-based financial services platform Wala and token issuer Dala. The businesses will be working together to establish the blockchain-based agricultural commodity trading initiative that Block has been developing. Dala would be used as the token for the food commodities trading ecosystem. Block’s existing joint venture will supply $10m of Dala token loans to 50,000 small farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dana Group International Investments Ltd (DANA) increased its net assets from $0.31 a share to $0.36 a share in 2017. There was a $4.15m increase in the valuation of the investment in Bonyan International Investment.
New management at social video content developer and owner Brave Bison (BBSN) will be judged on this year’s figures rather than the 2017 results. In 2017, revenues fell 48% to £9.1m and cost cutting helped to reduce the underlying operating loss before the restructuring costs and write-offs of acquired intangibles. The cash outflow from operations fell by two-thirds to £1.53m. There is £4.82m in the bank so that provides time for further improvement in performance. Collecting ad revenues for third party content on social platforms remains a significant revenue generator but commissioned sponsored content is becoming an increasingly important fee earner.
Cambridge Cognition (COG) reported a small decline in revenues because of lumpy contract wins in the previous year and the delays to two clinical trials. A small loss was reported but the neuroscience health company is expected to bounce back this year to a profit of £500,000.
Utilitywise (UTW) has finally published its figures for the year to July 2017. More conservative accounting policies mean that an under consumption of energy increased the loss to £8.5m. The utility cost management adviser had a £6.18m cash outflow from operating activities. Net debt rose from £5.5m to £19m and banking covenant breaches have been waived by the bank. The debt increase was partly down to dividend payments but there is no final dividend. The interim results will be published on 23 April.
Energy procurement business Inspired Energy (INSE) increased its underlying pre-tax profit from £7m to £9.7m, while earnings per share were one-quarter higher at 1.57p. Inspired has bought SystemsLink 2000, whose software Inspired uses, for £3.875m and Energy Cost Management, which specialises in water management services, for up to £2m.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) is confident that the 3D seismic data that has been acquired over the Gunnison Valley Unit on the Paradox oil and gas acreage in Utah provides the information required to decide a drill site for the fourth quarter and attract a farm-in partner to help finance the drilling. There are ongoing discussions with prospective partners and this should ensure that the current cash in the bank will last longer. Last September, £3m was raised at 4p a share.
Immupharma (IMM) says that it expects results from its phase III trial for Lupuzor by mid-April. The Lupus treatment has generated the required data and this will be analysed.
Wynnstay Group (WYN) continues to benefit from improved sentiment in the farming sector. Feed demand is above last year’s levels and grain volumes are improving, although margins are squeezed. Like-for-like retail sales are higher and an outlet has been acquired in mid-Wales.
Trading in Green and Smart Holdings (GSH) shares has been suspended because it will not publish its 2016-17 accounts by the end of March. The audit should be completed by the end of April.
CloudCall Group (CALL) grew revenues by two-fifths last year. The underlying loss was £2.6m and further investment in sales and marketing means that even though revenue growth could be near to last year’s level the loss will be similar. The recurring cloud-based software and telecoms services revenues that will be generated from the investment will reduce the loss and move the business into profit in the following two or three years.
James Latham (LTHM) says that its figures for the year to March 2018 will be in line with expectations. This reflects an improvement in the second half. The Wigston timber depot has been moved to a new site.
Parity Group (PTY) has signed a managed services deal with Primark Stores and, along with other extensions, this takes annual revenues from this area to £5m plus. Primark is important because most of the clients on this side of the business are in the public sector. Parity can generate £2m of cash a year.
Gama Aviation (GMAA) reported a 28% rise in underlying operating profit to $18.7m. The main growth has come from the aircraft management business, which was boosted by acquisition in the US. There were also improvements in Europe and Middle East. Gama is investing in two new ground maintenance sites in the US and this continued investment is holding back short-term profit for this division.
KCR Residential REIT (KCR) has raised £1.56m at 70p a share and capitalised loans of £1.59m. The cash will be invested in the private rental portfolio. Debt has been reduced to 45% of investment property value. Energiser Investments (ENGI) has taken a 24.7% in KCR by subscribing for shares and capitalising its £494,000 loan.
There was a cash outflow of £738,000 at Botswana Diamonds (BOD) in the six months to December 2017. That was before the £865,000 raised in a share issue. There is £230,000 left in the bank. A scoping study is being undertaken at the Thorny River project in South Africa. Drilling continues at the Ontevreden project.
Golden Saint Resources (GSR) is asking for shareholder backing for leaving AIM on 24 April. It still plans to acquire EMS Wiring Systems but it wants to join the standard list after the deal goes through.
OKYO Pharma Corporation left AIM on 23 March and the company has migrated to Guernsey. A special dividend payment is planned.
NWF has received bid acceptances for the equivalent of 42.6% of the share capital of Stellar Diamonds (STEL).
Directa Plus (DCTA) has entered into an agreement with Sartec to develop a system to treat contaminated water in the oil and gas sector by using the Grafysorber technology. Directa Plus provides the technology and support while the partner will finance the development of the first plant, starting in the second quarter of 2018.
Noel Collett is stepping down as chief executive of retail butcher Crawshaw Group (CRAW) but he will remain while a replacement is found. Finance director Alan Richardson plans to move to a new job in May. Crawshaw is estimated to have lost £2m in the year to January 2018, Trading has been poor in the first six weeks of the new financial year. There was £5m in the bank at the end of January 2018, which is similar to the company’s market capitalisation.
Grafenia (GRA) says trading has been mixed. Volumes and margins in the printing business have been below budget in recent months. Grafenia is trying to replace these revenues with licence fees, signage and website sales. Full year revenues will be two-fifths higher at nearly £15m and the loss will be similar. Net debt will be around £2.85m.
Gaming Realms (GMR) has sold two affiliate businesses for up to £2.4m. Their revenues have been declining. In 2017, group revenues were flat at £31.6m but continuing operations made a positive underlying EBITDA. Real money gaming revenues were 5% higher but social revenues were lower. New licensing deals have been signed with the likes of 888 and Golden Nugget Casino this year.
Vipera (VIP) says that 12.5% shareholder Sella Open Fintech Platform is contemplating making a bid for the mobile financial software developer.
Gatemore has taken its stake in TLA Worldwide (TLA) to 7%. Gatemore took its initial stake just after trading in TLA, which is most famous for publishing a profit warning after trading had finished prior to Christmas 2016, recommenced after it published its 2016 figures last November.
Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) is paying £4.6m, plus £1.54m for cash balances, for Southampton-based AE Financial Services. The business generated a profit of £500,000 last year.
Altona Energy (ANR) has reviewed the data for the Westfield tenement and put together a three phase drilling programme. This will cost A$1.5m in total, with the first phase costing A$230,000. The second phase will help to define a JORC resource. The final phase will be part of the preparation of a bankable feasibility study. The drilling is targeting shallow coal seams.
More bad news from toilet tissue manufacturer Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL) and the share price has fallen by three-quarters. The loss is going to be higher than expected. Net debt will be £34m by the end of April.
London and Associated Properties (LAS) says that the tenant of Brixton Markets has exercised its pre-emption rights to acquire the markets. Market Village will pay £37.25m for assets that have a book value of £24.5m.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) says it has made swift progress at the Kochang mine and sampling of the underground workings is ongoing. This has cost $65,000 so far. Feasibility studies at Kochang and Gubong should be completed in the third quarter of 2018. Bluebird has to spend $500,000 on each project to earn 50% in a joint venture for each project with Southern Gold.
Good Energy (GOOD) received applications for £16.7m of the corporate bonds on offer. The maximum application level was £20m. The energy supplier will issue the bonds on 30 June. At the company’s AGM, Martin Edwards was not re-elected as a non-executive director and four special resolutions, three relating to pre-emption rights and one about calling a general meeting at 14 days notice, were not passed. Edwards has been a director of Good Energy since its formation and has expertise in renewable energy generation. It is unclear whether the length of his time on the board was held against him by institutions or whether there was another reason for him being removed from the board. He was chairman of the remuneration committee.
South Africa-based social impact investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) says that occupancy rates of its core investment Kazuko Lodge are improving and it moved into profit last year. The weakness of the Rand has helped to boost tourist demand and room rates. In the year to February 2017, Inqo revenues increased from R10.7m to R17m and a loss of R4.72m was turned into a pre-tax profit of R10.3m, thanks to a rise in other income from R867,000 to R14m. Net cash was R2.3m at the end of February 2017. This year, the first revenues from Bee Sweet Honey and retirement savings scheme provider Four One Financial Services are anticipated.
Housebuilder St Mark Homes (SMAP) is paying an interim dividend of 5.5p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 6 July.
Phoenix UK has bought out a rival shareholder in Hornby (HRN) and this has triggered a mandatory bid at the purchase price of 32.375p a share. This purchase took Phoenix’s stake in Hornby to 55.2%. The bid values Hornby at £27.4m. Neither Hornby’s management nor Phoenix wants to lose the AIM quotation. The bid closes on 14 July.
Wynnstay (WYN) reported flat interim pre-tax profit of £4.07m prior to the goodwill write-down on the Just for Pets retail business. Pet retailing is a competitive market and it is consolidation. Just for Pets is relatively small and it loss has masked an improvement in the core agricultural division and the Wynnstay Sores retail business. A recovery in the milk price means that farmers are back in profit and are spending more money on feed. Net debt was £8.28m at the end of April 2017, which is higher than last time because of the rise in commodity prices. The interim dividend was increased by 5% to 4.2p a share. The full year profit is forecast to decline from £7.4m to £7.1m.
NWF (NWF) also benefited from a recovery in feed demand in the second half of the year to May 2017, although there was a decline in the year as a whole. The food and fuel distribution businesses both made improved contribution. The full year figures will be published on 1 August.
South America-focused gold miner Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) says that operating costs were between $800 and $900/ounce last year. In the year to May 2017, Orosur produced 35,371 ounces of gold, which is at the lower end of the expected range. There was net cash of $2.9m at the end of May 2017 even though a new underground mine has been developed. Orosur plans to commence a drilling programme in Colombia, while the deadline for a decision by Asset Chile on whether to back phase II of the Anillo project has been extended to the end of 2017, although Orosur can talk to other potential backers.
Timber importer James Latham (LTHM) reported better than expected full year figures. In the year to March 2017, revenues were 7% ahead at £199m and gross margins improved. Earnings per share were 4% higher at 55.8p and the total dividend is 15.35p a share, up from 14.3p a share. Net cash was more than £16m. Revenues were 3% higher in the first two months of the current financial year.
InterQuest Group (ITQ) continues to advise against acceptance of the bid from Chisbridge, which is a management backed takeover vehicle. Acceptances of the 42p a share cash bid have been received from shareholders owning 2.85% of InterQuest, which is added to the 40.5% of the share capital that already backed the bid. The offer has been extended to 13 July.
European Wealth Group (EWG) is raising £6.14m at 12.8p a share and could raise up to £3.07m more via an open offer to existing shareholders. The cash will be used to pay off debt and deferred consideration.
Tracking and security equipment developer Starcom (STAR) has raised £650,000 at 1.5p a share, with each share coming with one-fifth of a warrant exercisable at 2.5p a share for up to 12 months. Some of the cash will be used to pay $246,000 to YA II, which will reduce the drawn down convertible loan facility from $330,000 to $110,000. YA II has agreed to a conversion price for the rest of the facility of 2.5p a share up until the end of 2017.
Redx Pharma (REDX) has a chance of securing the funds it requires in order to come out of administration. Discussions are still at an early stage. It is unclear whether this will involve changes to management, given that the current management believed that it could string along Liverpool City Council and put off repayment of its loan. Redx has gained UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency approval for oral cancer treatment RXC004. This provides permission for a phase Ib/IIa study for gastric, biliary and pancreatic cancer patients.
Clontarf Energy (CLON) is in talks to secure further projects and additional finance. Clontarf was recently awarded block 18, offshore Equatorial Guinea.
Myanmar International Ltd (MIL) raised a total of $7.3m via PrimaryBid.com and institutions, having initially wanted to raise between $3m and $5m. The Myanmar-focused investment company offered shares at $1.18 each – a 9.2% discount to the market price. Myanmar has achieved a broadening of its shareholder base. The enhanced proceeds are still expected to be invested within six months.
Digital media content business Brave Bison Group (BBSN) has appointed Claire Hungate, a former chief operating officer of ex-AIM TV production company Shed Media, as chief executive but she does not join the company until September. Brave Bison says that it does not believe a merger with fellow AIM company Zinc Media is in its interests.
Water treatment company HaloSource (HAL) has finally completed a £1.8m fundraising at 1.5p a share. The cash will provide working capital to help expand the drinking water business and develop the lead removal technology. The cash will fund the group into 2018. The new shares are more than one-third of the enlarged share capital. The completion of the conditional fundraising was announced on 21 April. There is no mention in the latest announcement of the investor that had tried to gain Chinese government approval to invest.
Gold producer and explorer Shanta Gold (SHG) raised £11m at 6p a share as part of a refinancing that also includes a new $50m debt facility to replace the existing $40m facility. Shanta is acquiring TSX Venture Exchange-quoted Helio Gold, which has gold exploration assets near to Shanta’s own licences, for $5.6m in shares. Shanta will be able to finance the commercial underground production phase at its New Luika gold mine.
Thor Mining (THR) has raised£460,000 at 0.9p a share and there is one warrant with each new share which is exercisable at 1.8p a share. Thor has agreed to acquire 25% of US Lithium, which has interests in Arizona and New Mexico, from Pembridge Resources for £59,000 and £30,000 will be provided to cover operating costs. There is an option to acquire the other 75% for 52.8 million shares at a deemed price of 0.9p each. Thor has completed a 50 hole drilling programme on the Dundas gold project in Western Australia. The results should come through in a few weeks.
First, the good news from TLA Worldwide (TLA). Management is obviously trying to suggest that it does not have contempt for investors by releasing a profit warning at 7am – its advisers must be doing something right. This is certainly a big improvement on publishing a profit warning at 6.26pm on 23 December 2016. TLA still thinks that it will be able to report its 2016 figures and post its accounts on 30 June. However, the trade receivables write-off is going to be higher than the previous guesstimate of $1.5m-$2.5m. The write-off is expected to be $3.2m and on top of that the negative effect of the accounting corrections on EBITDA is likely to be $3.6m, up from $2m previously. That will leave 2016 EBITDA at $4.8m. The interest charge will take up the majority of that figure. It is not just that, though. The original 2015 profit will be reduced by $1.9m. Net debt was $21.8m at the end of 2016 but a large chunk of the receivables that should have helped to reduce that figure are not going to come in. There is no dividend – unsurprisingly. The finance director has left, although he will be providing assistance for three months.
Superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) is raising £6.9m at 100p a share prior to joining AIM on 5 July. GYG is valued at £46.6m at the placing price and the plan is to pay an annual dividend equivalent to 6.4% of the placing price, although it will be 3.2% for 2017. Last year, GYG generated revenues of €54.6m and made EBITDA of €6.7m.
China-focused healthcare investor Cathay International Holdings (CTI) says that it will receive just over $4m in dividends from 50.56%-owned subsidiary Lansens Pharmaceutical. The dividend will be paid on 4 August. Lansens’ subsidiaries have received insurance payments totalling $2.58m. Two directors were not re-elected at Cathay’s AGM because, although they received the majority of votes, they did not receive the majority of independent votes. Further re-election resolutions will be proposed in the next four months and they will only need a majority to be passed.
Falcon Media House (FAL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Tata Communications to collaborate on an over the top service for brands and content rights holders, using Falcon’s Q-Flow technology.
SMALL CAP AWARDS 2017 WINNERS
Company of the Year
Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music has gone from strength to strength since joining AIM in June 2015. The share price has risen by 600% in the past year. In May, £4.2m was raised at 690p a share.
The musical instruments market remains fragmented but Gear4Music is becoming one of the main players in Europe and it is opening distribution facilities in Europe as well as expanding its UK base. The investment required is holding back short-term profit growth and, in fact, pre-tax profit is expected to dip this year from £2.7m to £2.4m before rising to £3.3m in 2018-19.
IPO of the Year
Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL)
Tissue manufacturer Accrol had just celebrated its first anniversary on AIM when it was given this award. Accrol floated at 100p a share on 10 June 2016 and the share price has risen to 159.5p. Full year figures will be announced on 10 July.
Accrol is a leading supplier of tissue products to the discount sector and it has opened a new factory in Leyland, Lancashire. This investment takes annual production capacity to 143,000 tonnes. A ten-year lease has been secured on a 368,000 square foot warehouse in west Lancashire and this will become the central distribution facility. The warehouse management and logistics have been outsourced.
NEX Exchange Company of the Year
Chapel Down Group (CDGP)
English wines producer Chapel Down has been quoted on NEX and it forerunners for more than 14 years. Revenues have grown from £1.47m in the year to September 2002 to £10.2m in 2016. The Tenterden-based business made a small loss when it floated. Continuing operations moved from an underlying pre-tax profit of £156,000 in 2015 to £340,000 in 2016. Frosts have hit production this year but the outcome for wine production is still uncertain.
The company has developed brewing business Curious Drinks, which has separately raised money to build a new brewery but Chapel Down still effectively controls the business. The new Ashford brewery will be open in mid-2018 and this will free up space for further wine making at Tenterden.
Impact Company of the Year
African agricultural and forestry business Obtala is set to start to commercialise its operations this year. Up until now revenues have been modest but they are set to jump to £11.9m in 2017, trebling to £36.9m in 2018, which should be high enough to allow Obtala to make a profit in 2018. Hardman estimates that the Mozambique forestry assets could generate EBITDA of more than £25m in 2021. There are also plans to build up the orchard and horticultural business in Tanzania.
In May, Obtala acquired profitable sawn timber trader WoodBois International for $14.8m (£11.4m). The Copenhagen-based business sources timber from across Africa and sells it around the world. WoodBois has been short of capital to finance growth and it fits well with Obtala’s existing timber and forestry operations.
Executive Director of the Year
Nick Jarmany, Quixant (QTX)
Telematics technology provider Quartix is highly cash generative enabling it to finance growth in the UK, France and the US and pay increasing dividends. Chief executive Nick Jarmany founded Quixant in 2005 having spent more than two decades at Densitron Technologies. He guided the business to an AIM quotation in 2013.
The UK remains the dominant region for revenues but France and the US are growing strongly from low bases. Last year, US revenues more than doubled, from £256,000 to £677,000, but the loss was even higher than that because of the investment in sales and marketing and support services to enable growth over the next five years.
Transaction of the Year
Keywords Studios (KWS)
Outsourced video games services provider Keywords Studios has made numerous earnings enhancing acquisitions since it joined AIM but this award is for the purchase of Synthesis for up to €18m, which is one of eight purchases in 2016. This deal meant that Keywords became the global leader in localisation and voice-over recording for video games and added additional studios in Germany, France and Taiwan.
Keywords is expected to maintain a net cash position at the end of 2017 but this will depend on the level of acquisitions activity. There is a €35m bank facility that is not fully utilised and that could be used for further acquisitions.
Analyst of the Year
Andrew Blain, Cenkos Securities
Journalist of the Year
Jamie Nimmo, Evening Standard
Adviser of the Year
Fund Manager of the Year
Paul Mumford, Cavendish Asset Management
Malcolm Diamond (Trifast/Flowtech Fluidpower)