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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 26 July 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 17 May 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

United Win Asia has invested £3.15m in Samarkand (SMK) at 115p a share, which is the same as the original placing price but well below the market price. United Win Asia is part of a logistics group and this fits well with Samarkand’s ecommerce platform.

Clarify Pharma plans to raise £5m at 3p a share, which would value the life sciences company at £10.5m. The focus is psychedelic-based substances that can be used to treat PTSD, Alzheimer’s and depression. Investments will be identified in the UK and Canada. The board is dominated by the same team, including Michael Edwards, that floated decentralised finance (DeFi) focused investment company Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) and NFT Investments (NFT), which is investing in a portfolio of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Michael Edwards is also chairman of Pioneer Media Inc. This is a company that has floated on the Canadian Stock Exchange and plans to gain a quote on Aquis. Pioneer is seeking investments in eSports and mobile gaming. The expected admission date is 25 May.

Pharma C Investments is an early-stage investor in the medical cannabis sector. The focus will be on markets that already have legislation and regulations. The plan is to raise £1m and the expected admission date is 26 May.

Greencare Capital (GRE) has appointed Richard Tonthat as chief executive. The cannabis-focused investment company recently made its first two investments after its original acquisition fell through. Richard Tonthat has worked at Grant Thornton and British American Tobacco, when it made a large cannabis acquisition in Canada.

ASX-listed Pacific Nickel has completed the acquisition of 80% of Kolosori Nickel and Gunsynd (GUN) has received 682,790 Pacific Nickel shares at 8 cents each for its stake. The current Pacific Nickel shareholding is 1.95 million shares. There will be deferred consideration if a mining lease is granted, and the mineral resource is confirmed. Gunsynd could receive a further 1.14 million shares if this is achieved.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) is acquiring corporate finance adviser Innovative Finance Srl for an initial €2.45m with a further €2.45m payable depending on performance over three years. Eight Capital Partners previously had an option to acquire a 60% stake. Concreta Srl will own 9.9% of Eight Capital Partners and chairman Dominic White will own 29.9% – he is also loaning the company €1.1m.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that a second batch of iron ore has been shipped from stockpiles at the Amapa project in Brazil. The cash will be used to pay creditors, including ex-employees. The remaining creditors need to be paid before Cadence acquires a 20% stake in Amapa. A further investment of $3.5m would take the stake to 27%.

R Oldfield has been buying shares in Shepherd Neame (SHEP). He bought 6,356 shares at 1032p each, a further 2,500 shares at 1038p each and 16,144 shares at 1035p each.

Incanthera (INC) is presenting at the Shares and AJ Bell investor evening webinar on 19 May.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £70,000 at 1.5p a share. Vulcan subsidiary Orca Doors is gaining orders, which cover six months of capacity. Ananda Investments (ANA) has raised £15,000 from the exercising of warrants at 0.45p a share.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a NAV of 495.69p a share at the end of April 2021.

AIM

Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) performed     In the year to February 2021, revenues fell from £3.1bn to £2.5bn, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from £23m to £24.6m. Net cash, excluding leases and vehicle stocking loans, was £1.4m at the end of February 2021. The net tangible asset value is 50.2p a share. At the beginning of May, CIP Merchant Capital (CIP) bought 1.55 million Vertu Motors shares at just over 40.3p each.

Business restructuring company Begbies Traynor (LSE: BEG) has acquired Midlands-based MAF Property, which is a finance broker. The deal could cost up to £11.75m, with £3m in cash and shares upfront and the rest depending on profit growth. The pre-tax profit forecast for the year to April 2022 has been raised from £16.5m to £17m.

Nightcap (NGHT) has raised £10m at 23p a share and strong demand meant that existing shareholders Raymond Blanc and David Moore sold part of their stakes. The original plan was to raise £4m.

e-Therapeutics (ETX) has raised £22.5m, including £920,000 via Primary Bid, at 24p a share. The cash will be used to expand the company’s drug discovery and development operations. There are plans to complete a first in human clinical study for one RNAi asset and advance two or three other RNAi therapeutic programmes through preclinical development.

Great Western Mining (GWMO) has completed an initial six-hole drilling programme at the Trafalgar Hill project in Nevada. All six holes intercepted intercepted the main shallow structure. In the next few weeks there will be further drilling and more analysis and news about these drilling results.

Gaming Realms (GMR) has extended its SLINGO agreement with Scientific Games. The four-year licensing deal includes the opportunity to launch SLINGO digital lottery games.

Trellus Health has the rights to technology that can be used to manage irritable bowel syndrome. It can reduce unplanned hospital visits by 85%. The US-based company expects to join AIM on 28 May.

STM (STM) has sold its Jersey trust and company services business for net cash of at least £1.4m. That reduces the 2021 profit forecast by £100,000 to £2.5m.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) says April crude palm oil production was lower against strong comparatives, but that was offset by higher prices. Arden still expects a move into profit this year – €600,000 is forecast.

MAIN MARKET

Medica Group (MGP) reported a one-fifth reduction in full year revenues to £36.8m. The lack of elective surgery meant that demand for teleradiology services was reduced. However, demand for emergency services slightly increased. There was an initial contribution from the Irish business bought last year. The 2020 underlying pre-tax profit fell from £11m to £4.74m. The US business was acquired this year and an Australian joint venture has been launched.

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) expects interim operating profit to double to £18m. Operating margins are being maintained even though costs of some components are increasing. Net debt should remain at around £18.3m.

Haysmacintyre and a partner have been reprimanded and fined for its audit of the Associated British Engineering (ASBE) accounts for 2017-18. This was not undertaken in the appropriate manner.

Cizzle Biotechnology (CIZ) has reversed into standard list shell Bould Opportunities. Cizzle is is developing a test that could make diagnosing lung cancer more accurate by preventing false positives. A placing raised £2.2m at 10p a share. Pro forma cash is £1.89m, which is slightly higher than the NAV. The cash will be used to make progress towards gaining CE marking for the biomarker test.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 15 March 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

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.

AIM

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.

MAIN MARKET

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.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 25 January 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has signed contracts with the NHS that underpin a significant proportion of its fixed costs. More cash will be required in order to take advantage of the potential for the cancer care clinics. The cash will be needed in the next few months and could be raised at the same time as moving to AIM. Capacity of the Cardiff site could be fully utilised in 2021 and patients have been booked in at three other sites.

Broadband services provider Rural Broadband Solutions (RBBS) has grown its number of connections to 2,500 by the start of January and is signing up 25 a month. Digital marketing is being increased to attract clients that have access to the Rural Gigabit voucher funding scheme. There is interest from 300 households so the company can apply for £1m of government funding. The target is 5,000 monthly paying customers by October 2023.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has acquired 75.1% of We Love Purely Ltd by issuing 1.53 million shares at 9p a share, which is equivalent to £137,600 and paying off a loan of £30,000. We Love Purely is a snacks supplier and it sells Purely plantain chips. Under new ownership the product range will be expanded. Two S-Ventures directors held shares in the acquired company.

Investment company Gledhow Investments (GDH) raised £1.69m from investment disposals in the year to September 2020. That generated a profit of £508,000 after admin expenses. NAV increased from £884,000 to £1.3m. That includes £382,000 of cash compared with a market capitalisation of £539,000.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that the value of its crypto currency position has increased by two-fifths. On 21 January, there was cash of $1.5m, which is mainly crypto currencies. There are also $164,000 of RIF tokens that will vest over 22 months.

Gunsynd (GUN) has converted part of its loan to Rogue Baron at 3.97p a share and that gives it a 19.7% stake in the drinks company. Once Rogue Baron joins Aquis Stock Exchange the rest of the loan stock will be converted. Warrants have been exercised that raised £200,000 for Gunsynd.

Engineer Vulcan Industries (VULC) says third quarter trading was in line with expectations. Third quarter revenues were 14% higher the second quarter at £1.6m. Order books are strong. The proposed acquisition of E Lowe will not happen.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has maintained its NAV at 52.75p a share at the end of November 2020. There are 16 investments in the portfolio.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has filed a draft prospectus for its move to the standard list.

Dozens Savings has issued just over £1m of retail bonds and demand is outstripping supply.

AIM

Business restructuring company Begbies Traynor (LSE: BEG) has acquired rival CVR Global for up to £20.8m, which is its largest acquisition. CVR’s annual profit was £1.2m and there are potential cost savings of £750,000 a year.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) is acquiring Sanofi Bangladesh for £35.5m. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval. This will broaden the product range and helps the group move into new sectors. It will also add more manufacturing capacity. The deal should be earnings enhancing. Sanofi made a pre-tax profit of £4.3m in 2019.

Ground engineering contractor Van Elle (VANL) made a loss in the first half of 2020-21 and trading remains mixed. Interim revenues fell by 21% due to the original lockdown and delayed rail work, but there should be a recovery in the second half. Cost reductions are coming through and helping to stem the loss. This puts Van Elle in a stronger position for the next financial year. Improving utilisation of equipment will help the company return to profit and start paying dividends again.

Acoustic materials supplier Autins (AUTG) would have reported halved second-hand revenues without the contribution from PPE. Full year revenues fell from £26.9m to £21.5m as one major automotive customer was hit by production problems. The loss increased from £1.54m to £1.76m. The high depreciation charge means that £1.48m of cash was generated from operations during the year. The Neptune product is gaining new contracts, particularly for electric vehicles.

Flexible printed circuit technology developer Trackwise Designs (TWD) disappointed the market with its trading statement. Growth in revenues has been slower than expected due to short-term problems, but finnCap has maintained its 2021 forecast, which predicts a rise in revenues from £6.2m to £14.2m. That would be enough to make the company profitable.

Alumasc (LSE: ALU) traded ahead of expectations in the six months to December 2020 and this has led to a large upgrade in the full year pre-tax profit forecast to £8.9m. There has been a bounce back in building and construction activity.

Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) produced 15,217 ounces of gold at the Asacha mine in the fourth quarter, taking the total for the year to 45,066 ounces. Annual revenues were $81m. Production has stopped at Vein 25 because of an accident that killed two people. Mining in the main zone continues.

CCTV equipment supplier UniVision Engineering Ltd (UVEL) has signed a supplementary agreement with MTR Corp in Hong Kong for an additional £1.53m of work.

Jade Road Investments (JADE) is the new name for Adamas Finance Asia.

MAIN MARKET

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) traded at the top of expectations in 2020, helped by a strong second half. Pre-tax profit will be around £29m, up from £15.8m in 2019. Cash generation is strong and net debt has declined to £18.3m.

Castillo Copper (CCZ) is considering selling its Broken Hill Alliance (BHA) project. This will enable the company to focus on the Mt Oxide project in Queensland, where there have been positive drilling results. Plans are being made to accelerate the development of this project. There should be more news about the other assays from the drilling and there will be modelling of a JORC resource. It makes sense to focus on this asset. BHA has is highly prospective for silver, zinc and lead in the west zone and iron oxide copper gold in the east zone. There should be interest from companies operating in the region. BHA could be sold or spun off into a quoted vehicle.

Personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) is raising £4m from a placing with up to £500,000 more to come from an open offer. This cash will finance investment in ecommerce and improve the balance sheet. The business continues to lose money. It could be profitable in 2021-22.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has raised £22.4m at 80p a share and the cash will be invested in more crypto currency mining equipment. This will be installed between February and June. Capacity will be increased by nearly three-fifths.

Strong footwear sales helped Zotefoams (ZTF) to achieve slightly higher revenues in 2020 with pre-tax profit at the top end of expectations.

Flavour ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) continues to perform strongly in the first four months of the financial year. Drinks volumes have increased despite Covid-19 restrictions and this has helped Treatt. Forecasts have been raised with the 2020-21 pre-tax profit figure increased from £15.2m to £18.2m.

Tiziana Life Sciences (TILS) has switched from AIM to the Main Market.

Pensana Rare Earths (PRE) will drop the ASX listing on 24 February.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 15 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

AFH Financial Group (AFHP) has raised £15m from a placing of convertible unsecured loan stock in order to finance the acquisition of more IFAs. The loan stock offers a 4% annual interest rate and it matures in July 2024. The initial conversion price is 420p a share, which is a 17% premium to the market price. The annual interest cost is £600,000. Shore expects a pre-tax profit of £17m in the year to October 2019 and then a rise to £20m next year. That is before any acquisitions are made with the additional funds. There are already five potential acquisitions progressing towards completion.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) increased interim turnover by 3% to £1.55m. A decline in overheads in the six months to April 2019, due to a lack of repair work compared to the first half of the previous year. This meant that the interim loss fell from £200,000 to £101,000. There is £602,000 in the bank and NAV is £3.17m. Non-executive director CP Freeman has bought 600 shares at 750p each. He has a 1.2% stake.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested in South Cerney Outdoor, a recently formed company that has acquired the outdoor experiences business from the Shaw Trust charity. Capital for Colleagues is lending up to £250,000 to the investee company, where the employee owned trust will become a major shareholder.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its Gibraltar subsidiary has signed an agreement to support and promote RSK Smart Contract Network and RSK Infrastructure Framework blockchains in south east Asia. The 27.8%-owned start-up accelerator StartupToken is also involved in the deal.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a NAV of 260.29p a share at the end of June 2019. Since then 280,000 shares have been bought back by the company at an average share price of 205p.

KR1 (KR1) wants to buy back six million deferred shares at 0.2p each.

AIM

In the year to March 2019, Begbies Traynor (BEG) increased revenues by 15% to £60.1m, while pre-tax profit was £7.1m. Net debt was reduced from £7.5m to £6m. Increasing numbers of insolvencies is good news for the business recovery services provider. Pre-tax profit of £8.6m is forecast for this year.

Ultrasound simulation equipment supplier Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) says first half turnover was 25% ahead at £3.1m. This is before the recent AI contract win. There was £3.5m in the bank at the end of June 2019.

Tekcapital (TEK) is raising £750,000 at 8p a share in order to provide further financial backing for its IP companies. Medical devices developer Belluscura could receive FDA clearance for its advanced portable oxygen concentrator before the end of the year. It could be launched in the first half of next year. Nano-particle sized salt developer Salarius has been winning orders.

Ariana Resources (AAU) has reported positive drilling results at the Salinbas gold project in Turkey and there are indications that there is further mineralisation in the vicinity.  

Ilika (IKA) had £4m in the bank at the end of April 2019 and that should be enough for the next 12 months as the solid state battery technology developer makes progress with its Stereax battery technology. Projects that could yield deals in the coming months include, condition monitoring devices for wind turbines, track monitoring devices for Network Rail and batteries for miniature medical implants.

Mirada (MIRA) is on course to move into profit in the year to March 2021. The digital TV software provider reported a rise in revenues from $8.82m to $12.3m last year. Even so, the loss was $3.2m. There will be a loss this year, excluding the $1.75m gain on the disposal of the parking payment business. That will help net debt to reduce to $4.1m, despite the loss.  

Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) has reassured investors that it remains on target to achieve previously downgraded forecasts for 2019. Revenues should be $87m and net cash should be $18m at the end of 2019. Interims will be published on 4 September.

Polarean Imaging (POLX) has received an order for the 9820 Xenon Polariser system from the University of Kansas Medical Center. This will be used as part of an imaging research programme. This is the 25th polariser installed or ordered.

Collagen Solutions (COS) has submitted its CE Mark application for the ChondroMimetic regenerative medical device and has received initial questions it has to address. The response is being prepared. Collagen generated revenues of £4.15m in the year to March 2019. The benefits of consolidating collagen manufacturing are coming through.

Woodford Investment Management has cut its stake in eve Sleep (EVE) from 46.8% to 31.2%. Jupiter Asset Management has taken a 15.6% stake.

Oil and gas company Wentworth Resources (WEN) intends to pay dividends based on free cash flow generation. An interim will be announced in September.

FIH Group (FIH) has taken out a £13.9m mortgage on its Leyton warehouse and the interest charge is fixed at 3% for ten years. A new commercial air link has been agreed between the Falkland Islands and Brazil.

MAIN MARKET

Challenger Acquisitions (CHAL) has received a further £18,000 from the owner of Star Sanctum, which takes the total paid to £93,000. Challenger has agreed payments with the developer of the wheel project in Dallas of $26,375 at the end of July and $25,000 at the end of August.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has obtained a listing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Trading started on 11 July and it expects to become a constituent of the TA-90 index.  

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 13 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

National Milk Records (NMR) improved revenues from £5.32m to £5.56m in the three months to March 2019. Disease testing revenues grew at the fastest rate. This quarter did not benefit from one-off revenues like the first two quarters of the financial year.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) reported a reduction in net assets to £735,000 at the end of March 2019. Gledhow has trebled its money in Block Energy and sold the stake, but most of the proceeds came after the end of March.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) believes that Sport:80 has missed the chance to float, but TruSpine still has a chance to become quoted. International payments and lifecycle software provider Zuuse could be ready for a flotation within 18 months.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has finally published its results for the year to August 2018. They show revenues falling from £226,000 to £96,000, although the loss was similar at £336,000. UK and Netherlands demand were weaker than expected.

Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) says its joint venture Morgan Ashley has achieved financial close on two more projects. A further three could be closed in the current quarter. Even so, group pre-tax profit will be lower. There will be an update in July.

Sativa Investments (SATI) is changing its name to Sativa Group to reflect that it is a trading company with a greater focus on UK operations. The application for a Home Office research and development licence to grow medicinal cannabis is proceeding well. This is for its own requirements as well as growing some varieties for order.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has acquired properties in Warrington and Middlesbrough for more than £10m. The Communities and Local Government department is the long-term tenant of both properties. The Warrington property cost £2.9m and the Middlesbrough property £7.125m.

In the first four months of 2019, NQ Minerals (NQMI) has produced 6,857 DMT of lead concentrate, 4,763 DMT of zinc concentrate and 29,389 DMT of pyrite concentrate.

Giles Brand has increased his stake in EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) from 23.1% to 30.5%. EPE has a NAV of 241.3p a share. Almon I Holding SA has a 3.16% stake in Coinsilium Ltd (COIN).

MetalNRG (MNRG) is delaying a move to the Main Market because of the uranium exploration ban in The Kyrgyz Republic, which means that the proposed farm-in agreement for the Kamushanovskoye uranium deposit has been suspended. Due diligence is progressing on the Thambani licence and the transaction agreement with Mkango Resources by the end of June. Once it has funding, MetalNRG will make progress with the Gold Ridge project.

Panther Metals (PALM) reported a doubled cash outflow from operating activities of £309,000 last year. There was £1,247 in the bank at the end of 2018.

AIM   

Begbies Traynor (BEG) says that trading was ahead of expectations. The business recovery and property services provider says both divisions performed well. Shore has upped its pre-tax profit forecast for the year to April 2019 by 6% to £7.1m, compared with £5.6m the year before. The full year figures will be published on 9 July.

Interactive Investor has decided not to make a bid for Share (SHRE).

RA International (RAI) has won two new contracts. A five year contract worth $9.8m has been awarded by the United Nations Support Office for vehicle and equipment fleet services in Somalia. This is for ten locations compared to one previously. There is also a contract for construction services relating to the US Embassy in Denmark.

Immupharma (IMM) intends to merge its two French subsidiaries and either get private equity backing or float the combined business on a European stockmarket. The business is developing the Nucant cancer programme (Elro) and the peptide platform (Ureka). Immupharma will concentrate on Lupus treatment Lupuzor and it is talking to potential corporate partners.

India-focused online fashion retail investment company Koovs (KOOV) has agreed a £10.5m cash injection at 15p a share by a subsidiary of Indian retailer Future Group.

Bidstack (BIDS) is raising £5m at 12.5p a share. This will finance the growth of the in-game advertising business. Bidstack reversed into Kin Group nine months ago and that that time raised cash at 6p a share.

Trading in contract research organisation Venn Life Sciences (VENN) shares is suspended ahead of the reverse takeover of Open Orphan DAC for £5.7m in shares. The strategy is to gain approval for and provide orphan drugs for the European market. Cash will be raised to fund the new strategy.

Keystone Law (KEYS) increased full year revenues from £31.6m to £42.7m and pre-flotation costs profit jumped from £2.54m to £4.75m. This year’s profit forecast had already been upgraded at the time of the trading statement and the figure is maintained at £5.6m. This year’s dividend is set to rise from 9p a share to 10.3p a share. The cash pile is expected to rise from £6.3m to £7m.

N+1 Singer has upgraded its profit forecasts for Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) following its interims. The pre-tax profit forecast for the year to August 2019 has been increased by 13% to £11m, up from £9.8m last year and not far off the figure for 2016-17. Capital investment is peaking and net debt is expected to rise to £9.1m by the end of August 2019. NAV is set to rise to 68p a share.

Vertu Motors (VTU) reported strong full year figures with growth in used cars and aftersales offsetting the downturn in new car sales. Pre-tax profit of £23.7m was higher than forecast but lower than the £28.6m reported for the previous year. Cash generation is also better than expected. This year’s forecast has been trimmed to £25.7m. The share price remains below its NAV of 44.9p a share.

Osirium Technologies (OSI) is considering raising additional funds in order to fully exploit its new product. Opus is a cyber security product for IT process automation. Additional business development managers and distribution partners have been taken on and additional cash would enable further geographic expansion. Osirium is good at retaining clients and Opus provides an additional product to sell to them.

Packaging manufacturer Robinson (RBN) has increased its revenues by 15% in the first four months of the year and most of that is due to higher volumes. This means that it is well on its way to growing full year revenues from £32.8m to £36.1m even though second quarter revenues may be lower due to destocking. Further capital spending has been funded by cash from operations.

MAIN MARKET 

Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) increased interim revenues by 6% to £56.6m and pre-tax profit was 7% higher at £6.2m. Additional shares in issue mean that earnings per share were slightly lower. The core citrus business revenues fell slightly but other areas grew. Net cash was £9.4m at the end of March 2019. This will be spent on the relocation of UK operations and there will be net debt by the end of September 2019.

Air Partner (AIR) slipped out its figures for the year to January 2019 well after the market closed on Thursday. Even so, there was a positive share price reaction and there were no real disappointments. Underlying pre-tax profit was flat at £5.8m. The total dividend was edged up to 5.6p a share.

Macfarlane (MACF) has acquired protective packaging distributor Ecopac for £3.9m. A pre-tax profit of £500,000 was generated in 2017-18. Macfarlane will provide additional products for Ecopac to distribute.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) will hold the requisitioned general meeting on 16 May. Frank Timis is hoping to change the strategy of the company and conserve the cash pile for other uses. He wants Jonathan Bixby and Mike Edwards removed from the board. Argo expected to generate £220,000 in cryptoassets in April, which is similar to cash operating costs. These costs are expected to rise to £300,000 in May but the month should still be cash neutral.

Cardiff Property (CDFF) increased its NAV from 21.78p a share to 21.84p a share in the six months to March 2019. The interim dividend has been raised by 5% to 4.6p a share. Activity in the Thames Valley area has slowed in the first half.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) reported a 1% increase in underlying 2018 pre-tax profit of £5.9m. Pubs provided higher revenues and profit, while the brewery reported a reduction in profit contribution due to the ending of third party contracts and a small decline in volumes of its own beers and ciders. The brewing volumes have recovered in the early part of 2019.

Good Energy (GOOD) is making a strategic investment in Zap-Map owner Next Green Car Ltd. This is a business that provides electric vehicle market data and will help Good Energy move into the electric vehicle charging market. The initial investment is £1.08m for a 12.9% stake and £800,000 of convertible loan notes. If the loan notes are converted and payment of deferred consideration of £720,000 dependent on achieving financial targets, then the stake will increase to 50.1%.

Gunsynd (GUN) and Northbay Capital Partners have agreed with TSX-V-quoted Oyster Oil and Gas Ltd to settle debts of C$1.43m with the company in return for the outstanding share capital of Oyster’s subsidiary that owns production sharing contracts in Madagascar and Djibouti. Oyster shareholders have to agree to the deal for it to go ahead.

IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has commenced drilling on PL2551 in County Wexford. The drilling should help to prove the presence of a major gold mineralisation trend.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has increased its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) by two million shares, taking the stake to 1.15%. The average cost is 1.71p a share. Over the next 18 months Greatland will pursue targeted exploration campaigns in Australia and accelerate the development in the Paterson region.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies reports that the first 11 weeks of sales of the hapac medicinal cannabis products in Italy have grown strongly from a low base.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is acquiring three prospective lithium assets in Australia. They are Picasso in Western Australia, Litchfield in Northern Territories and Alcoota in Northern Territories.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) lost £204,000 in the near-13 months since incorporation. There was £69,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. The reverse takeover of the 97.5% of CoalTech not owned by the company has still to be completed.

Barkby Group (BARK) has secured an eight-year operating agreement for the Queens Arms in East Garston, Berkshire. The pub and restaurant also operates a 120-capacity function room and 12 bedrooms.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has paid £3,500 for a 70% stake in financial adviser and investment firm Epsion Capital, which could provide advice to Eight Capital investee companies. Former ZAI corporate finance director and current Eight Capital non-executive director John Treacy is the sole director and other shareholder of Epsion, which is working on two corporate finance transactions.

Following the demise of Daniel Stewart, NQ Minerals (NQMI) has changed its corporate adviser to Arden, Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) has switched to Peterhouse and VI Mining (VIM) has moved to VSA.

AIM  

Telephony services and technology provider Netcall (NET) is increasing its cloud revenues and bookings. Interim revenues improved from £11.4m to £10.7m but pre-tax profit dipped from £1.9m to £1.2m because of increased investment. Annual contract value has risen by 11% to £15.1m.

Tracsis (TRCS) improved its interim revenues from £18.1m to £19m and pre-tax profit will be higher than the £3.9m reported last year. There was £18.7m in cash at the end of January 2019. Chris Barnes has joined the transport optimisation software and services provider ahead of becoming chief executive.

Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) is buying 18 Money Shop sites for £1.5m. They are in north west England and Scotland and will be rebranded as Ramsdens. The pawn books of the sites and five others that will be closed are being acquired by Ramsdens. City Financial Investment has sold its remaining 9.73% stake.

WH Ireland (WHI) has raised £4.95m at 45p a share, which was a 30% discount to the market price. The cash will make sure that the broker has enough regulatory capital. Trading is tough and the operating loss in the second half will be higher than previously expected.

SimplyBiz (SBIZ) grew 2018 revenues by 15% to £50.7m and earnings per share were 28% higher at 11.9p. The supplier of compliance and business services to financial advisers continues to add to member numbers and sell more services to them. Net cash was £6.4m at the end of 2018.

DX (Group) (DX.) is making progress with its turnaround but there is still a long way to go. The parcel delivery business has restructured its business and raised prices to clients. The cash outflow was significantly reduced in the first half. DX could move back into profit next year.

Swallowfield (SWL) was hit by weak trading in its cosmetics manufacturing operations. The brands business maintained its revenues and profit. The second half outlook for manufacturing is better and costs have been reduced. The interim dividend was raised by 7.5% to 2.15p a share. Fidelity has increased its stake to 5.73%.

Ilika (IKA) has secured an 18 month project with Network Rail for the use of its Stereax battery technology in a ultra-low power wireless sensor for the network’s condition monitoring platform.

Pelatro (PTRO) has won a contract with Ooredoo Maldives worth $1.6m over three years. There is a fixed monthly fee and a share of the incremental revenue generated. There are also opportunities to cross-sell to other Ooredoo telecoms operations.

Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) has traded ahead of the first five months of the previous financial year. Although new car sales were lower, Cambria made more profit because of the higher value franchises. It was a similar trend in used cars. The aftersales operations increased sales and profit.

FFI Holdings (FFI) says that the film competition contracts business has been slow because of a lack of films and smaller productions. There are also possible claims. Delayed productions have hit the insurance agency business. That has reduced operating profit by $6m. The expected range for this year is $7.5m-$11m.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) reported a 11% increase in interim revenues to £46.7m and underlying pre-tax profit was 70% higher at £11.4m. That was partly down to lower development and marketing spending. Cash more than doubled to £31.6m, helped by a £10.2m placing. Net cash was £28.5m. The data from the phase III PQ Birch allergy study is expected in the next few weeks.

Finance provider ThinkSmart (TSL) reported a lower interim loss and there is cash in the bank of £11.3m. A special dividend of around 2p a share will return £44m to shareholders.

Accounting regulation changes mean that Paragon Entertainment Ltd (PEL) will not be able to recognise as much revenue in 2018 as it thought it would. That could reduce the figure by £700,000. The new range is £8.8m to £9.2m. The loss will be more than £2.5m. Revenues are expected to be higher this year.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) increased its proved reserves to 11,222 Mbbl at the end of 2018. Proved plus probable reserves are 19,275 Mbbl. NPV of future net revenues of proved reserves has increased by 18% to $79.8m.

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has completed a number of contingency engagements in the third quarter and there should be more in the fourth quarter. Corporate insolvencies are rising.

GetBusy (GETB) has increased its revenues from its core software products by 17% to £10.9m and it is making progress with its GetBusy productivity software which is in use with beta users. Cash generated from operations is being ploughed back into development spending.

Gfinity (GFIN) more than doubled its interim revenues from £1.8m to £4.4m with the growth coming from the managed services division, which includes the F1 Esports series. The Esports business is targeting breakeven in 2021.

Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has rejected a proposed 20p a share bid from RockRose Energy (RRE) which would value the company at £26.6m. Trading in the standard list company’s shares is suspended due to the proposed $140m acquisition of Marathan Oil West of Shetland.

Housebuilder Springfield Properties (SPR) is on track to increase full year pre-tax profit from £9.8m to £16.1m, following a strong first half. The housing market is stronger in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. The business has a mix of private housing and affordable housing developments. The Walker Group acquisition takes the company further upmarket in price terms and will make an initial contribution in the second half.

PhotonStar LED Group (PSL) has raised a further £170,000 at 0.01p a share, while directors John Treacy and Jonathan Freeman intend to subscribe a £24,000 when the company has authority to issue more shares. A general meeting will be held where the company will become a shell and change its name to Bould Opportunities. The operating business is being wound down. Antos Glogowski has a 20.9% stake.

In the past ten months, the valuation of the property assets of Sutton Harbour (SUH) has increased by 7% to £45.7m.

MAIN MARKET 

Small company-focused investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) reported a 21% decline in NAV to 225.9p a share at the end of 2018, although that is not a surprise given the weak stockmarket at the end of the year. The final dividend was increased by 2% to 9.1p a share. The board is in the process of appointing a fund management team. The plan is to increase the size of the fund to between £50m and £150m.

Standard list shell Cobra Resources (COBR) has agreed to acquire the owner of a 100% right title and interest in the Prince Alfred licence in South Australia. Prince Alfred was a producing copper mine. There is also an entitlement to earn 75% of five tenements in South Australia. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund has converted £140,000 of convertible bonds and penalty payments of £210,000 into 140 million shares in WideCells (WDC) and that has nearly doubled the number of shares in issue. The first 60 million shares have been sold.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 18 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its interim revenues from £10.5m to £11.7m, although some of this was due to seasonal factors and one-off testing business. Pre-tax profit improved from £0.96m to £1.13m. Net debt was £2.06m at the end of December 2018. Every part of the business grew its revenues. Milk volumes are set to be strong in the second half, although milk margins are been squeezed by a decline in the milk price and higher feed costs.

Barkby (BARK) has completed the acquisition of Centurian Automotive for an initial payment of £201,000 in shares at 4.775p each, with up to £251,000 more based on performance over three years. Operating profit in each of the years is required to be at least £200,000 in order to achieve the full payment. The consideration represents a discount to net assets and will be equivalent to up to 20% of Barkby. In the year to March 2018, the automotive dealer made a pre-tax profit of £123,000 on revenues of £5.6m.

Sandal (SAND) says there was a significant increase in Energie MiHome sales in December, particularly later in the month, but trading is still below expectations because of a lack of cash to spend on marketing. The stock overhang has been unwound. A Wi-Fi adapter plug has been added to the range, which is being rolled out in Denman’s Electrical Wholesale branches.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) owned Palermo Football Club for less than one month before selling it back to the previous management team. It was bought for a nominal sum and is being sold for a nominal value, following further due diligence. The company’s representatives joined the board in December and resigned last week. Debt will be settled at the same time. Sports Capital had been trying to raise up to £20m over the next few months.

Trading has recommenced in the shares of EcoVista (EVTP) after it published its results for the year to August 2018. There was a £142,000 property revaluation gain and net assets were £1.39m. There are plans to launch a €10m Eurobond issue to fund further property site acquisitions in London, Hertfordshire and Essex.

Gold explorer Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has completed stage one drilling on the Specimen Hill project in Queensland and each hole drilled intersected gold. Geological modelling results will be available in March. A further 7,500 metres of drilling is being planned.

Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has raised $400,000 at 20 cents a unit (one share and one-half warrant). The expenses of the placing were $28,000. The cash will be used for assessing coltan opportunities in Colombia and Brazil. NQ Mining (NQMI) has raised £54,000 at 11p a share.

AIM  

Panoply Holdings (TPX) has made its third acquisition since floating in December. UK-based GreenShoot Labs provides digital services using artificial intelligence technology. There is no initial consideration and any payment will depend on performance.

Marketing and media services provider Ebiquity (EBQ) traded in line with expectations last year. The disposal of the advertising intelligence was completed on 2 January. This cut net debt to around £8m. The continuing business is expected to continue to grow at 8% a year.

Online merchandising software and services provider ATTRAQT Group (ATQT) increased its 2018 revenues by 26% to £17.1m and the loss declined from £4.1m to £2.7m. The largest customer has renewed for two years. Annual recurring revenues are £16m.

GRC International (GRC) has acquired data consulting business DQM Group for an initial £5.9m with up to £5m in deferred consideration, although it is not expected to be more than £3.5m. This is a significantly earnings enhancing deal.

Cabot Energy (CAB) is consolidating 100 shares into one new share and raising up to £2.85m at 10p per consolidated share. The cash will pay off trade creditors. The main focus is Canada but Cabot believes its Italian oil and gas exploration assets could still be valuable even though the Italian government has suspended exploration work and is reviewing the situation.

The administrator has sold most of the businesses of Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) but there will be no money for shareholders. Dublin-based Causeway Capital has acquired Patisserie Valerie and AF Blakemore acquired Philpotts for a total of £13m, of which £3m is deferred. Baker and Spice was sold to the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs for £2.5m. The AIM quotation will be cancelled on 25 February. Paul Mumford of Cavendish Asset Management believes that the company’s banks should have supported a rescue and been more attentive to what was happening at the company. He thinks that shareholders should seek compensation from the banks.

Malvern International (MLVN) has confirmed that it moved into profit in 2018. The education business has doubled its London-based revenues and this made up for difficult trading in Malaysia.

Realm Therapeutics (RLM) is selling is hypochlorous acid assets for $10m and intends to leave AIM. Realm already had $18.8m in the bank at the end of 2018. The plan is to use the cash to complete a strategic transaction in the life sciences sector. The ADSs will continue to be listed on Nasdaq.

Stride Gaming (STR) has started a strategic review. The choices are acquisitive or organic expansion or the sale of the online gaming company.

Renalytix AI (RENX) has secured a joint venture with laboratory and clinical trials operator AKESOgen and this will enable Renalytix AI to provide additional services in the US. The artificial intelligence-based kidney diagnostics already has a presence in New York and the new joint venture is based in Georgia.

Administrators have been appointed to Utilitywise (UTW) but none of the subsidiaries is in administration. Shareholders are not likely to get anything from the administration process. Unitlitywise was unable to raise the cash it required to keep going and meet liabilities.

Heavitree Brewery (HVT) improved full year revenues from £7.3m to £7.61m and pre-tax profit grew from £1.55m to £2.25m, although that included profit on the sale of pubs and other property of £824,000, up from £6,000. The previous year had benefited from the write-back of a bad debt provision. The final dividend is being increased from 4p a share to 4.25p a share. Heavitree no longer has to cover a pension scheme deficit because three people transferred out of the scheme.

Bowmark Capital has launched a 110p a share recommended cash bid for Tax Systems (TAX) and MXC Capital Ltd (MXC) has accepted with its 25.6% stake. The bid values the tax software provider at £100.6m.

Kodal Minerals (KOD) has published the results of the drilling programme at the Bougouni lithium project. These will be used to update the JORC resource, which should happen by the end of February. Kodal has met with the Mali authorities to update them.

Insignals Neurotech is the third Portuguese spin out for Frontier IP (FIPP) and it will hold a 33% stake. Insignals is developing technology for brain stimulation surgery.

Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI) has made another scientific instruments acquisition and it has raised £2.5m at 34p a share to help finance it. A further £100,000 was raised via PrimaryBid. Graticules manufactures reticules and graticules and fits with the digital imaging division. It cost £3.4m and has added 6% to next year’s earnings per share.

Strategic Minerals (SML) has announced a trebled resource at Redmoor, in which it has a 50% stake. There is an inferred tin equivalent contained metal of 137,000 tonnes.

James Latham (LTHM) has acquired the timber merchant that has the rights to sell Accoya wood in Ireland. Abbey Woods will cost an initial €1.825m with a further €300,000-€400,000 depending on completion accounts. Further deferred consideration of up to €400,000 depending on performance over two years. Last year, Abbey Woods generated EBITDA of €379,000 on revenues of €7.5m and it has operations in Dublin and Cork.

Vast Resources (VAST) says that the tranche B offtake finance from Mercuria Energy Trading did not happen. This means that the planned December and January repayments of the loan from Sub Sahara Goldia Investments have not been made Talks continue with potential finance providers to replace the cash to invest in 80%-owned copper, silver, gold, zinc, lead, tungsten, molybdenum Baita Plai project. Bergen Global Opportunities Fund is pausing the second tranche of the $3m bridge facility because the share price has been below 0.2p for two days. A placing has raised £896,000 at 0.135p a share and this will repay the £525,000 owed to Bergen. There are discussions with a potential cornerstone investor for a diamond project in Zimbabwe.

RiverFort Global Opportunities (RGO) has subscribed for shares in Pires Investments (PIRI), that will give it a 24.3% stake. RiverFort is taking nearly 50% of the shares issued in a placing that raised £782,000 at 2.4p a share for Pires. The cash will be used for new investments.

Trading in the shares of African Battery Materials (ABM) will resume on Monday 18 February following the issue of 200 million shares at 0.5p each. The cash will be used to pay creditors and leave enough to finance the business for 12 months. Andrew Bell has been appointed executive chairman and Paul Johnson as executive director.

Windar Photonics (WPHO) will undershoot the 2018 forecast, but there should be higher orders from Vestas and another manufacturer next year. Even so, 2019 forecasts are likely to be reduced. Total 2018 revenues were 59% ahead at €3.5m and higher gross margins meant that the loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell from €1.22m to €360,000. The end of year order book was worth €1m.

Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) has more than trebled its proved and probable reserves to 2.43 million barrels of oil. Net proved reserves are 764,030 barrels of oil.

President Energy (PPC) has updated the reserves position. The Argentina and Louisiana reserves are valued at almost $300m, which is equivalent to 21p a share. That is more than twice the market capitalisation. Production is predominantly oil but gas production will increase this year.

Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) has acquired IFA Castleton Financial Planning for up to £1.6m.

Trading in the shares of Urals Energy (UEN) has been suspended following the resignation of Allenby as nominated adviser. A general meeting, which will be held on 22 February, has been called by Adler Impex SA in order to remove three directors and appoint four other directors. Oil production was 1,690 barrels/day in January. Loans made without board approval have meant that the company is short of cash.

Waste-to-energy technology developer PowerHouse Energy (PHE) is confident that it could sign up a customer in the next quarter. There is increasing interest and six potential sites are being assessed. Potential engineering, procurement and construction contractors have approached PowerHouse. Development partner Waste2Tricity is in negotiations with Toyota Tsusho, which would be a way of entering the Japanese market.

Braveheart Investment Group (BRH) has reduced its stake in Remote Monitored Systems (RMS) from 5.9% to 1.32%. Stephen Jones increased his stake from below 3% to 14.5% in just over one month.

Dewscope Ltd, where Mark Horrocks is a director, has cut its stake in Sabien Technology (SNT) from 12.7% to less than 3%. Chris Akers has also reduced his stake from 16.9% to less than 3% and Brendan Adams has cut his shareholding from 4.2% to under 3%. These stakes were acquired on 14 December, when the mid-price was 0.11p. On 11 February, when the shares were sold, the share price increased from 0.145p to 0.175p. Sabien reported a decline in interim revenues from £462,000 to £342,000, but the loss was reduced from £233,000 to £207,000 due to cost reductions.

TV programme producer DCD Media (DCD) expects to report revenues of £7.3m and a small EBITDA in 2018. Trading has started well in 2019 helped by business that was delayed from last year.

HaloSource (HAL) is seeking shareholder approval for the disposal of assets to Strix (KETL) for $1.3m. The cash will pay creditors and fund the winding down of the business. The AIM quotation will be cancelled on 12 March.

WANdisco (WAND) has raised $17.5m at 546p a share to provide cash to support relationships with partners. WANdisco has become an advanced technology partner with Amazon Web Services.

Adamas Finance Asia Ltd (ADAM) is issuing 6.1 million shares to China Aerospace for a 6.8% stake in Hong Kong Mining Holdings, where Adamas already has a 84.8% stake. This is a complicated deal, but Adamas can tell China Aerospace where to transfer these shares. It means that Adamas will not necessarily increase its shareholding in the mining company. Sorting out what was effectively a stock overhang should make it easier to do a deal that will unlock cash for Adamas.

NetScientific (NSCI) has concluded its strategic review and it has decided to cancel its AIM quotation. The remaining cash will be spent on the investee companies with the best prospects of providing a return before the company runs out of money.

Angus Energy (ANGS) is repaying the £1.5m initial advance from YA II and RiverFort Global Opportunities. Angus has raised £2.2m at 4p a share.

The University of British Columbia has ordered a polariser system from Polarean Imaging (POLX).

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has made the earnings enhancing acquisition of profitable Newcastle insolvency practice KRE. The initial payment is £450,000 with up to £150,000 more based on revenue targets over 12 months.

Full year figures will be lower than expected at IFA Tavistock Investments (TAVI) but a maiden dividend is still on the cards.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) will report a 45% increase in 2018 revenues, with most of the growth coming from software.

MAIN MARKET 

Cryptocurrency mining services provider Argo Blockchain (ARB) is refocusing its business. All existing contracts will be terminated by the beginning of April. The focus will be Argo’s own currency mining. Ongoing costs will be cut by one-third. Net cash is £15m and that is much more than the market capitalisation of Argo. The cash outflow should be stemmed in the second half of 2019. Hadron Capital recently increased its stake to 7.6%.

Trading is in line at fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) even though the UK automotive market is weak. More than two-thirds of sales are overseas. Additional UK stocks for Brexit are worth around £2m.

Commercial aircraft leasing company Avation (AVAP) expects to report a doubled interim profit on revenues that have risen from $52.4m to $58m.

Outdoor digital media company Grand Vision Media Holdings (GVMH) has signed a partnership agreement with Rakuten Bank in Japan to add to the one it signed with CY Group in South Korea. GVMH’s marketing services will help its partners promote themselves to Chinese tourists. GVMH has glasses-free 3D technology.

Helen Sachdev has been appointed as a non-executive director of Athelney Trust (ATY) and Frank Ashton has taken on the role of executive chairman. Discussions continue with Gresham House Asset Management about taking over the management of the company’s investments.

Future (FUTR) has secured a new £90m revolving credit facility and it is acquiring CyclingNews.com and Procycling Magazine, which generate annual revenues of £2m. This deal widens the sports publishing activities.

REA Holdings (RE.) significantly increased palm oil production in 2018, even though extraction rates were lower than expected. The Kota Bangun coal concession is heading towards reopening the mine, although there are local disputes.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 4 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased its rental income by one-third to £1.95m in the six months to October 2018. Profit from continuing operations improved from £218,000 to £271,000 and a dividend of 0.83p a share has been announced. Four properties have been purchased since April 2018 and Hume House was sold.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) increased its NAV from 42.69p a share to 43.35p a share in the year to August 2018. The strategic focus is to make larger investments in bigger employee-owned businesses. There was £175,000 in the bank at the end of August 2018, so there appear to be limited funds available for further investments, although there are £1.3m of loans to investee companies.

Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) was hit by delays in projects planned by its Morgan Ashley joint venture in the six months to October 2018. Only one scheme reached financial close during the period and a loss was reported for the period. Modular buildings demand is strong with a good pipeline of potential projects. A profit is still expected for the 14 months to June 2019, but this still depends on the timing of projects.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) increased its full year profit from £127,000 to £153,000 on turnover 4% higher at £3.66m. There is £1.09m in the bank at the end of October 2018. The dividend was maintained at 21p a share, which is covered 1.2 times by earnings. The strategy is to encourage more direct bookings with the hotel and an online booking system was launched last September. The completion of refurbishment activities has enabled an increase in bookings for weddings. Bedroom refurbishments continue.

Formation Group (FRM) reported an improvement in revenues from £37m to £38.6m in the year to August 2018, but the operating loss nearly quadrupled to £416,000. There was a gain on financial asset of £450,000 and an exceptional cost of £318,000 relating to an accident in 2015. Management is cautious about taking on new property developments under the current economic conditions.

Karoo Energy (KEP) is still trying to raise cash to enable it to move to AIM. Management is confident that it will be able to raise the funds in the near future.

Formerly AIM-quoted Altona Energy (ANR) did not managed to obtain a replacement nominated adviser for Northland and it has moved to NEX on 1 February. Sino-Aus Energy Group is subscribing for £500,000 of 7% convertible loan notes July 2020. The conversion price depends on the market price in the 2o days prior to conversion although the minimum is 10p a share.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) has appointed Epsion Capital to help it raise up to £20m from a share issue at a price of at least 0.5p a share. There will be a warrant issued with every four shares. A circular is being prepared to gain shareholder approval. Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £187,500 at 0.75p a share.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that 15%-owned LHT has launched its hapac medicinal cannabis inhaling technology in Milan, Italy. The initial reaction has been positive.

VI Mining (VIM) has completed the acquisition of the Cushuro gold project for $27.5m in shares.

Nuclear notes linked to guaranteed contingent value rights relating to the takeover of British Energy will mature and stop being traded on 7 February.

Dealings in the shares of Wheelsure (WHLP) and Ecovista (EVTP) have been suspended because they have not published their results for the year to August 2018.

AIM  

Recruitment and training company Staffline (STAF) has delayed the publishing of its accounts because of concerns about invoicing. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Electronic and battery products supplier Solid State (SOLI) says trading is significantly better than previously expected. Gross margins are continuing to improve. finnCap upgraded its 2018-19 earnings per share forecast by 26% and the 2019-20 figure by 21%.

Filtronic (FTC) fell into loss in the first half even before the write-off of £500,000 of capitalised development costs. Massive MIMO antennas sales will not build up as quickly as initially expected. There is £2.2m in the bank so the antennas and telecoms hardware supplier has a strong cash position while it waits for orders to come through. There is expected to be a full year loss but cash should still be £1.8m. A focus on defence and public safety markets will help to diversify the customer base and provide new opportunities.

A court has ordered Grant Thornton to pay £21m relating to its failures in the auditing of AssetCo (ASTO) accounts in the financial years to March 2009 and March 2010. AssetCo had been seeking £40m from Grant Thornton and there is still interest to be calculated on the award.

Location Sciences (LSAI) says that 2018 trading was in line with expectations and 2019 has started well. There has been a soft launch of the Verify product that ensures that responses to advertising from mobiles are genuine. Paid for trials in the US will provide further evidence of effectiveness.

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has acquired Manchester-based Croft Transport Planning and Design, which provides highways and traffic advice to property developers, for an initial £1.5m in cash and shares. This widens the range of services offered by the property services division.

Utilitywise (UTW) has not published its accounts and trading in the shares has been suspended. The utility cost management consultancy has also effectively put itself up for sale as part of its strategic review. This was sparked by the failure to raise cash required from a share issue. The £25m bank facility expires in April.

MAIN MARKET  

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has secured an investment of up to $30m to fund the commercialisation of molecular biology products being developed by Ador Diagnostics, a joint venture with Gamida for Life, that is valued at $30m prior to the investment. The first $14.5m should be invested by the end of March and the rest will be invested at a 33.3% premium to the enterprise valuation after the initial investment by the end of 2020. Most of the cash will come from medical sector investors and Puma Brandenburg. BATM and Gamida will each invest $2m and after the initial investment BATM will own 38.2% of the company. Shore Capital will reinvest its total fees of $1m into Ador.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) is obtaining a $750,000 convertible security investment and a 24 month equity facility of up to $7m from an entity managed by The Lind Partners, which will get an initial commitment fee of $75,000. Between $100,000 and $300,000 can be drawn down each month. The shares will be issued at prices that are linked to market prices at the time. Rare earths production at the Gakara project in Burundi is expected to build up over 2019 as two further areas are opened up. Production costs were higher than sales revenues in the three months to December 2018.

Sportech (SPO) has acquired digital gaming technology business LOT.TO Systems, which has developed the iLottery platform.

Path Investments (PATH) has sold its Turkish oil and gas interests for £400,000. The focus is the acquisition of ARC Marlborough. The plan is to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland, via a share issue.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has agreed a forward funding and assignment of the contract of the Wavertree property in Liverpool. This is the second project that has reached this stage. Dukemount will continue to manage the redevelopment of the property and a development profit will be received on completion. Executive chairman Geoffrey Dart has been awarded a bonus of £80,000 for the completion of the first two transactions and it will be received in shares at 0.3p each.

Andrew Hore

Ian Pollard – Winter Of Discontent Impacts Begbies’ Business.

Begbies Traynor BEG claims that a winter of discontent has impacted business with 481,000 now in significant financial distress.  Those  in ‘critical’ financial distress increased by 25% year on year as the year came to a slow end and stand at  2,183. Real estate was the hardest hit sector in quarter 4 with a 9% increase. The retail industry should, it forecasts, be braced for a tough start to 2019 after poor Christmas trading from M&S and Debenhams. Link here to a detailed article by Begbies Traynor Regional Partner Julie Palmer 

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ describes its third quarter performance to the 31st December as solid, with profits for the quarter collapsing by 87.6%. Fear not however as full year profit guidance is maintained. Passenger growth during the quarter was 15% and revenue 21%. A new carry on bag policy saw revenue per passenger rise by 7% and means that passengers now get the injured backs instead of the baggage handlers. Like all low cost airlines it is having to face the challenging industry-wide operating environment

Solid State plc SOLI updates that trading results for the year ending 31 March 2019 will now comfortably exceed current market consensus guidance. Revenues are expected to be above current guidance and adjusted profits significantly ahead. The strong demand seen in the first half has continued into the second half and the Value Added Distribution division has is now expected to deliver results well ahead of management’s previous expectations.

Ingenta ING  is now leaner and focussed on delivering first class services to all its customers claims the CEO, meaning it is significantly better placed to propel the business through the next stage of its growth. The Board confirms its intention to pay a dividend of 1.5 pence per ordinary share for the 2018 financial year.

Staffline Group STAF announces that publication of the results for the year ended 31 December 2018 has been delayed and a further update will be provided as soon as possible.

Rhythm One plc RTHM confirms that it is in advanced discussions with Taptica International Limited (“Taptica”) regarding a potential all-share offer for RhythmOne by Taptica.

Inspired Energy INSE expects to announce another strong set of results, delivering good growth in revenue, profits and cash for the year to the end of December. Group revenues are expected to be approximately 21 per cent ahead of 2017 with revenue growth expected to be approximately 29% ahead

Beachfront villas & houses for sale in Greece;   http://www.hiddengreece.net

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