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Samarkand (SMK) has been hit by a large cash outflow, which means that the China-focused e-commerce technology and brands retailer requires a cash injection of up to £3m via an open offer at 55p a share. Covid lockdowns in China have delayed progress and hampered the ability to supply products. In the year to March 2022, revenues fell from £20.6m to £16.6m, although if one-off revenues in the previous period are excluded then there was a 12% improvement. There was an initial contribution from the Zita West supplements brand acquired last year. Nomad software platform revenues were 18% ahead at £7.5m.
Aquis Stock Exchange owner Aquis Exchange (AQX), which is also quoted on AIM, has relaunched the EU dark pool trading operation it acquired from UBS as the Aquis Matching Pool.
BWA Group (BWAP) has been granted a new licence for Dehane 2 at the Dehane heavy mineral sands project in Cameroon. Results from granulometric test work at the Nkoteng heavy mineral sands show rutile is the most abundant mineral.
More news about the investee companies of Evrima (EVA) this week. Eastport Ventures Inc, where it owns 6.85%, has entered a letter of intent with TSX-V listed Auston Capital concerning a possible merger.
Marula Mining (LON: MARU) says that initial test work at the Blesberg lithium and tantalum project in South Africa shows an average lithium grade of 6.1%. Tantalum was also identified.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Rominserv, a subsidiary of Rompetrol. The Romanian company is considering using SulNOx products in its refinery processes.
MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has received a civil judgement against subsidiary Star C, which has to return £166,000 to one of its distributors.
Ananda Developments (ANA) subsidiary DJT Plants is working on self-crossing cannabis strains to create stable strains. So far, it appears that self-pollination of cannabis plants can be achieved. Field trials for growing cannabis have been successful.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says its advisory clients Blvck Paris and Metalinq Labs are joining together to launch a collection of wearables. The Metalinq technology can be used to convert 2D designs into multi-metaverse 3D designs.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) raised £2.375m at 10.35p a share and the share price fell below that level. This cash will finance expansion of exploration activities in Australia. Significant copper and gold grades have been found at the Halo project in Queensland. There are also zones of high gold silver and coper at Grassy Oaky. A high-resolution gravity survey is commencing at the Red Setter gold copper project.
EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) reported a decline in NAV to 231.9p a share by the end of August 2022.
Online musical instruments supplier Gear4Music (G4M) warned that trading has been tough in recent months. The first quarter to June 2022 was encouraging but spending in July and August was weaker than expected even if the hot weather is taken into account. September is showing signs of improvement. Guidance has been lowered with pre-tax profit expected to slump from £5m to £1.1m with a possible recovery to £3.3m next year.
Online competitions organiser Best of the Best (BOTB) is linking up with Globe Invest Ltd, the family office of Teddy Sagi the founder of gaming technology firm Playtech (PTEC), to grow international income. Globe Invest will also buy a 29.9% stake from the directors and related parties at 400p a share. They intend to enter a licensing and distribution agreement and a marketing collaboration agreement. Globe Invest will licence the Best of the Best business model outside of the UK.
Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) says trading is ahead of market expectations with sales of at least £61m and underlying pre-tax profit of more than £9m. The previous pre-tax profit forecast was £8.23m. There could be additional gains from foreign exchange.
Franchised lettings and estate agency business Belvoir Group (BLV) did well in the first half considering the ending of property buyer incentives. In the six months to June 2022, revenues were 12% higher at £15.4m. There was a 1% improvement in the underlying business with the rest of the growth coming from acquisitions. Underlying pre-tax profit fell from £4.9m to £4.2m as the cost base returned to normal. Net debt is £2.5m and the interim dividend is maintained at 4p a share.
Premium bricks maker Michelmersh Brick (MBH) increased interim revenues by 14% to £34m, while pre-tax profit was 9% ahead at £6.1m. Production efficiencies helped to offset some of the cost increases. A price rise has been pushed through in July. Overall brick stocks remain at low levels. Management has secured 90% of energy costs for this year and 50% for 2023. Net cash was £9.9m at the end of June 2022. The interim dividend is 13% higher at 1.3p a share.
Sylvania Platinum (SLP) announced a doubled final dividend of 8p a share alongside its results for the year to June 2022. There has already been a special dividend of 2.25p a share and a $7.1m share buyback. Production declined and selling prices for platinum group metals were lower in the year to June 2022. Even so, net profit was $56.2m and Sylvania Platinum has been able to finance the cash distributions and plough money back into development. The benefits of that investment will show through in 2023-24. There is still $121m of cash in the balance sheet, although the dividend will reduce that.
Avacta Group (AVCT) says the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation for the lead preICISIONdrug soft tissue sarcoma treatment candidate, AVA6000. This provides tax credits and other incentives, plus seven years of market exclusivity in the US, if the drug is improved. There is an ongoing phase I clinical trial.
Shares in AIM shell Advance Energy (ADV) were suspended on Friday after the announcement of non-binding heads of agreement have been signed for the acquisition of a European oil and gas company.
VSA published an initiation note on Prospex Energy (PXEN) and the broker believes there is upside from the development of the onshore Selva gas project in Italy, where Prospex owns 37%. First production should be in the middle of next year. Cash is being generated from the El Romeral gas to power project in Spain.
LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) interim revenues dipped by 2% to £106.4m, but they are still higher than in 2019. There was a sharp drop in pre-tax profit from £16.6m to £4.6m. The interim dividend has been reduced from 2.6p a share to 1.6p a share. DIY demand has fallen back and there was also destocking. The EV business should make a greater contribution in the second half.
Critical Metals (CTRM) has published the prospectus for the proposed acquisition of a 57% shareholding in Madini Occidental, which owns 70% of the Molulu copper cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The acquisition is expected to complete on 12 September.
Darktrace (DARK) has ended bid talks. Last year, revenues grew 46% to $415.5m and the AI company moved into profit.
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
A fall in market capitalisation to below £10m means that Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) will move from the Apex segment to the Access segment on 20 June.
Visum Technologies, which operates an on-ride photo camera system used by theme parks and other leisure operators, plans to join Aquis on 30 June.
Revenues recovered from £32.2m to £96m at brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) and it also returned to profit. A loss of £12.4m was turned into a pre-tax profit of £12.7m. The pension deficit has become a pension asset worth £10.1m. A final dividend of 2.2p a share is recommended. Staffing pubs remains a problem. Prices have been increased and are set to be raised again because of rising costs. There has been a disjointed recovery this year. but sales are growing year-on-year.
Valereum (VLRM) intends to launch a global open marketplace platform for Non-Fungible tokens (NFTs). It has also appointed Z/Yen Group Ltd as strategic adviser to review the business plans for the Gibraltar Stock Exchange and help prepare a prospectus for a listing for Valereum on a major stock exchange.
All Star Minerals (ASMO) is proceeding with investments in advanced battery metals projects. Due diligence has been completed on the Blesberg lithium and tantalum project in South Africa and the Nkombwa Hill tantalum, rare earths and phosphate project in Zambia. An initial 30% stake in Blesberg can be acquired by the issue of £337,500 of shares and £237,500 in cash. An initial 25% stake in Nkombwa Hill can be purchase for a staged cash investment of $150,000. A general meeting will be held to approve a name change to Marula Mining and a proposed 100-for-one share consolidation.
Silverwood Brands (SLWD) has been readmitted to Aquis following the acquisition of Balmonds Skincare.
Gunsynd (GUN) says ASX-listed investee company Pacific Nickel Mines Ltd has secured an offtake agreement for all the production of Kolosori, as well as a $22m pre-export finance facility, with Glencore.
Triad Endeavour Sports and Entertainment has signed up with the platform run by ChallengerX (CXS). Triad is an event promoter and talent manager involved in the Ultimate Fight League.
Lekoil Ltd (LEK) has successfully challenged the jurisdiction of the New Jersey court in litigation undertaken by its former chief executive. The Otakikpo field oil production was 4,230 bopd during May.
MiLOC Group (ML.P) is restructuring its business and focusing on the distribution of designer products with partner, CRUSHMETRIC Ltd.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says initial tests confirm copper is present in the drilling at the Halo copper gold project in northern Queensland. Drilling is underway at the Red Setter project in Western Australia.
The Care Quality Commission has granted registration to the diagnostic and screening services offered by Goodbody Health Inc (GDBY).
ProBiotix Health (PBX) has appointed Steen Andersen as chief executive. He has more than three decades of experience in the probiotics sector.
S-Ventures (SVEN) has capped future consideration for plant-based products supplier Pulsin at £400,000 and effectively lowered the total cost from £6.7m to £5.5m.
Chris Akers took a 4.96% stake in Recent Aquis admission Psych Capital (PSY). He has also increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 20.1% to 21%.
Ananda Developments (ANA) has raised £38,000 from the exercise of warrants at 0.45p each.
IDOX (IDOX) increased revenues by 7% to £33.2m in the six months to April 2022 and recurring revenues account for three-fifths of the total. Public sector software sales were 10% ahead, while engineering information management revenues declined although they should recover in the second half. Net debt was reduced by 54% to £3.8m, which leaves plenty of funds to make acquisitions.
Tatton Asset Management (TAM) is growing assets under management at more than £100m a month and they reached £11.3bn at the end of March 2022. In the year to March 2022, group revenues improved from £23.4m to £29.4m, while pre-tax profit grew from £11.2m to £14.5m. The dividend is 13% higher at 12.5p a share. Higher mortgage activity meant that there was growth in the Paradigm division and, although new mortgage activity is lower, management believes that revenues can be maintained this year. Weaker financial markets could affect this year’s group performance, but the inflow of funds should offset that.
Xeros Technology Group (XSG) was the best AIM performer last week with a 46.2% gain to 47.5p. Germany-based washing machine pumps and drives manufacturer Hanning has signed a ten-year global licence to manufacture and sell the XFilter washing machine filter technology developed by Xeros. XFilter enables microfibres and microplastics released during washing to be captured and safely disposed of. Hanning is estimated to supply components for 8.5 million washing machines each year – around one-third of those made in Europe. The royalty is undisclosed, but it could be around £1 per filter.
Subsea cable protection services provider Tekmar Group (TGP) lost more than three-quarters of its value last week after it announced that it was seeking a strategic partner or bidder. Interim revenues fell from £13.9m to £13m and Tekmar remains loss making. The order book has improved from £9.7m to £20.1m over the six months to March 2022.
Shares in US-based video game publisher Devolver Digital Inc (LON: DEVO) more than halved after it lowered its revenues and profit guidance for this year. Revenues are expected to between $130m and $140m. Zeus has cut its earnings forecast from 7.2 cents a share to 6 cents a share.
The M&C Saatchi (SAA) board has withdrawn its recommendation of the bid by the marketing services company Next Fifteen Communications (NFC), the value of which has fallen due to the slump in the share price of the bidder.
Revolution Bars Group (RBG) trading is strong and a trading statement sparked a forecast upgrade by finnCap for the vodka bars operator. Refurbished bars have done particularly well, and two new bars should open by the end of June. Forecast pre-tax profit for 2021-22 has been raised from £500,000 to £2.7m.
Oil and gas explorer Rockhopper Exploration (RKH) announced a £5.75m placing and subscription at 7p a unit (one share and of a warrant exercisable at 9p a share). The Sea Lion project in the Falkland Islands is the main focus of Rockhopper.
Wynnstay Properties (WSP) is planning to obtain shareholder approval for buying back shares. NAV increased by 19% to 1090p a share in 2021-22. The total dividend was raised from 21p a share to 22.5p a share.
Actual Experience (ACT) says that due to a change in requirements a channel partner has terminated a contract that generated £200,000 out of group revenues of £1.74m in 2020-21.
Competitions organiser Best of the Best (BOTB) reported better than forecast figures and a 66.7p a share return of capital via a tender offer. Net cash was £10.8m at the end of April 2022 and there is a 6p a share final dividend on top of the tender offer. The total cash cost of these payments is £6.84m.
In the year to April 2022, the pre-tax profit fell from £14.1m, for what was an unusually strong year due to Covid restrictions, to £5.1m.
Hong Kong-based CCTV technology company UniVision Engineering Ltd (UVEL) has received notice of the termination of a contract with MTR Corporation for the replacement of CCTV systems on Hong Kong railway lines.
Castings (CGS) generated a 29.5% increase in full year revenues to £148.6m. Profit and margins are still improving and there is more to go for as business levels get back to the pre-Covid position. Zeus forecasts a further improvement in underlying pre-tax profit from £12.1m to £15.5m in 2022-23.
Structural steel supplier Severfield (SFR) continues to win new business and higher steel prices are being passed onto clients. In the year to March 2022, revenues increased from £363.3m to £403.6m, while pre-tax profit improved £24.3m to £27.1m. The final dividend is increased from 1.8p a share to 1.9p a share, taking the total to the year to 3.1p a share. Severfield has a record order book worth £486m.
Palace Capital (PCA) has increased its NAV to 390p a share and the loan-to-value declined from 42% to 28% following property sales at a premium to book value. The total dividend is 13.3p a share.
Graft Polymer (UK) (GPL) says that MGC Pharmaceuticals (MXC) is using its IP for the nano delivery system in the pre-clinical research study for the use of cannabinoids to treat Glioblastoma multiforme cells (a form of brain cancer).
Contango Holdings (CGO) has agreed to acquire 10,000 tonnes of washed coking coal from Lubu each month. The current market price is $120/tonne. Up to $10m of earnings could be generated from this deal each year.
Funeral directors Dignity (DTY) says FCA has confirmed it is intending to authorise Dignity Funerals LTD as a regulated entity under the new regulations for pre-paid funeral plans.
Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) has a dual quotation on the Canadian Securities Exchange and obtaining the Aquis quotation is part of the stated strategy to become the largest CBD business in the world. Acquisitions have been made this year and at least three more are lined up. Prior to joining Aquis, Yooma raised £7.46m at 52.32p a share. As well as the cash raised in the placing, there is an option granted to a strategic investor to subscribe £5m for 9.56 million shares. Administrative delays relating to the investor mean that the share issue has not been completed yet. Yooma Wellness says that annualised 2021 sales could be $32m if it makes the expected acquisitions.
Ecotricity has posted its offer document for Good Energy (GOOD), which continues to reject the approach.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) is in discussions with a potential investor. A fundraising could be secured within weeks. There are also discussions concerning a joint venture. CIA has been hit by Covid-19 measures in South Africa.
Pioneer Media Holdings Inc (PNER) has made an additional investment in connected gaming platform developer Paidia eSports Inc and a new £200,000 investment in Streaks Gaming. Pioneer will own 40% of Paidia. London-based Streaks operates a conversational gaming platform. Users are matched with a personalised digital conversational partner generated by AI. Pioneer will own 16.1% of Streaks.
Sativa Wellness Group Inc (SWEL) increased revenues by 828% in the second quarter of 2021. Revenues in the six months to June 2021, revenues jumped from £733,000 to £4.86m, while the loss reduced from £2.37m to £1.27m. The business is being restructured into three divisions: Goodbody Botanicals, Phytovista and Goodbody Wellness.
Construction of the DJT Plants medical cannabis growing facility started on 4 July. Ananda Investments (ANA) continues to make progress with the purchase of the 50% of DJT it does not own.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) is partnering with genomic and theranostic company OncoDNA, which will enable its patients to obtain genomic testing that can help to secure the most appropriate cancer treatment.
Administrators have been appointed to NQ Minerals (NQMI).
Chris Akers has increased his stake in Oscillate (MUSH) from 3.1% to 9%. Thomas Grant Nominees owns 9.95%. Robert Johnson has a 3% stake in TECC Capital (TEC).
Drug developer BiVictriX Therapeutics (BVX) has a low capital cost model which outsources the main operations. It has a lead asset called BVX001, which is targeting adult leukaemia. BVX001 has already indicated an anti-tumour effect in animal models. No adverse effects were observed. The £7.5m raised at 20p a share will accelerate the optimisation of BVX001, so it reaches pre-clinical milestones. The share price ended the week at 23.5p.
Marlowe (MRL) has decided not to bid for Restore (RST), which has acquired PRM Green Technologies, which is an IT recycling business. This acquisition will be immediately earnings enhancing.
Crestchic revenues increased by 44% in the first half of 2021 and Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) group revenues are 22% ahead at £19.6m. The 2021 pre-tax profit forecast was increased from £2.1m to £2.5m.
Self-storage sites operator Lok’nStore (LOK) is increasing occupancy rates and adding new sites. Self-storage revenues increased by 21% over the year to July 2021, which is well ahead of forecasts. The first half growth rate was 11%. Over the 12-month period, occupancy rates have increased from 69.6% to 85.8%.
Oil and gas producer Southern Energy Corp (SOUC) concentrates on areas with proven low-cost producing assets, with the current focus in Mississippi. The strategy is to grow production through acquisitions. Alberta-based Southern Energy plans to increase production to 25,000 barrels of oil per day over the next two year. This will require larger acquisitions than in the past. No cash was raised, and the shares will continue to be traded on the TSX Venture Exchange. The share price opened at 6.5p on the first day and stayed at that level until the end of the second day when it fell to 5p (4p/6p) and that price was maintained.
Science Group (SAG) has made a bid approach for TP Group (TPG). Science group has acquired a 10.2% stake in TPG, with the shares being acquired for 5p each.
Best of the Best (BOTB) says that there has been a 15% decline average weekly sales of competition entries. finnCap has cut its earnings forecast from 142.4p a share to 53.3p a share. There should still be £12m in cash at the end of April 2022.
Venture Life Group (VLG) says interim revenues were lower this year because of the lack of hand sanitiser sales and lower sales of Dentyl in China. Sales of other products grew. Forecasts have been updated for recent acquisitions. Share issues mean that earnings are expected to be flat at 2.5p a share. The full benefits of the acquisitions will come through in 2022 when earnings are expected to be 4.6p a share.
Verditek (VDTK) has raised £353,000 from its Crowd for Angels bond offering.
Foams manufacturer Zotefoams (ZTF) improved its interim pre-tax profit by 49% to £4m even though it was reduced by currency movements. Footwear generates one-third of revenues. The new manufacturing site in Poland has opened.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated revenues of £31.1m from mining 883 bitcoin in the first half of 2021. Although revenues are improving, there will be higher than expected tax and finance charges this year. finnCap has reduced its 2021 earnings estimate from 7.6p a share to 5.6p a share.
Plaza Centers NV (PLAZ) has received a revised proposal from GC Hevron Capital. The company’s assets would be transferred to a trustee of managed for the benefit of bondholders. Hevron would be issued shares equivalent to 74.99% of the enlarged share capital. There will be a NIS 2 million payment to cover creditors. Hevron will then inject a new business, which is part of its investment portfolio, into the shell. The target is a nutritional food technology company.
Danakali (DNK) is cancelling its standard listing on 24 September and retaining its ASX listing.
Mast Energy Developments (MAST) has acquired Pyebridge Power, which owns a 9MW gas-powered standby generation facility, for £2.5m in cash. The site could generate EBITDA of £488,000 a year.
Hawkwing (HNG) is raising £16.5m through the issue of 8% convertible loan notes. They are convertible at 6p a share. The cash will be loaned to ecommerce aggregator Internet Fusion Group to finance two acquisitions – an outdoor lifestyle brand and an online fashion accessories retailer. Hawkwing plans to acquire Internet Fusion for an enterprise value of £115m through an issue of shares at 6p each. Trading in Hawkwing shares remains suspended.
Path Investments (PATH) has agreed to acquire DG Innovate for £32m in shares at 0.6p each. DG is developing electric motor technologies and energy storage systems. There is enhanced drive technology, which is being used to develop lightweight and cost-effective electric motors, and enhanced battery technology, which is developing fully-recyclable, sodium-ion batteries offering greater energy density than current technologies.
Incanthera (INC) says that it is prioritising discussions with two global cosmetic companies as potential partners for Sol, a sun cream that prevents skin cancer. Incanthera is also assessing the potential for using the technology to develop other products.
Sativa Wellness (SWEL) plans to raise C$4m through a placing of units at C$0.07875 each. Each unit consists of one share one-half of a warrant exercisable at C$0.105 each. The cash will provide working capital and investment for a new health screening service. Sativa has opened ten Covid-19 testing facilities. A dispute with Dragonfly Biosciences has been settled.
World High Life (LIFE) is submitting a novel food dossier to the Food Standards Agency. This is part of the move to regulation of the CBD market in the UK. The dossier includes pre-clinical results.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) intends to acquire the shares in medicinal cannabis pharma company Apollon Formularies that it does not own, and this will be classed as a reverse takeover. Shares will be issued to the Apollon shareholders. AfriAg is also raising £2.5m at 5p a share.
Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) is selling its Tay mortgage portfolio to a subsidiary of OneSavings Bank for £53.8m, which is equivalent to 97.9% of the outstanding loans. Arbuthnot has already announced that it intends to pay a 21p a share special dividend, which replaces the 2019 dividend declared in March 2020. Arbuthnot will make a loss in 2020 so there will be no dividend.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £65,000 in a convertible loan issue by B2B pool betting platform Low6. Gunsynd had already invested £200,000 last December. AIM-quoted Pires Investments (PIRI) has also increased its investment in Low6. It invested a further £35,000, having also invested £200,000 at the same time as Gunsynd. Low6 is expected to float during the second quarter of 2021 and Canaccord Genuity is its broker.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that the latest exploration at Specimen Hill reaffirms the drill targets and informs plans for higher density drilling, so that a resource can be calculated. Tectonic says that the Deep Blue Minerals diamonds joint venture with AIM-quoted Kazera Global Investments produced 220 carats in January. Higher grade materials will be mined during the rest of the year.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) says that Bureau Veritas has certified that SulnoxEco Fuel Conditioner complies with European standards. This means that SulNox’s products can be used for 70% of the hydrocarbon market. Management is confident that production can be scaled up.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has signed an agreement with ASX-listed Evolution Mining for the evaluation and potential processing of lead and silver rich stockpiles at the Sunbeam project in North Queensland. Evolution has a processing plant 80km away from Sunbeam, which has stockpiles from past mining. The processing would be done on a cost and revenue share basis with NQ. This could finance further exploration. NQ says that it should qualify for the Green Economy Mark when it moves to the standard list.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) has received shareholder approval for refocusing its strategy on property investment and development.
Almon I Holding has cut its stake in Coinsilium (COIN) to below 3%. It increased its stake to 3.68% in January 2020.
Altona Energy has changed its name to Altona Rare Earths (ANR).
Trading platform operator Aquis Exchange (AQX) moved into profit last year thanks to high levels of trading on its platform. Aquis had been expected to lose money in 2020 but it is now expected to make a £200,000 profit on revenues of £11m. EU trades have been moved to the Paris operation and London has restarted trading in Swiss shares.
VR Education (VRE) continues to grow the revenues of its ENGAGE VR platform. Group revenues increased by 38%, while ENGAGE revenues rose by 550% thanks to strong demand for virtual events. The US provides significant potential. VR is still hiring additional people, although the focus is more on marketing. VR is still losing money, but the cash burn has been reduced this year. Management is targeting 100,000 monthly users by 2025.
Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) says Alkindi sales in the UK and Germany grew by 29% in the first half but the timing of purchases in other markets meant that overall revenues barely increased. Chronocourt could gain European approval in March and the US regulatory pathway for DITEST, an oral testosterone formulation, has been set out. Net cash was £20.3m at the end of December 2020.
K3 Business Technology (KBT) has sold its managed services business for £14.7m. The business made a pre-tax profit of £1.2m last year, but the disposal proceeds will wipe out net debt and enable the repayment of the £3m shareholder loan due in June. There should still be more than £35m of recurring revenues.
Interim trading at transport software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) was active and it was not far below the levels in the six months to January 2020 prior to Covid-19 becoming a factor. Revenues declined from £26.4m to £22m and management believes Covid-19 reduced the figure by £6m. New rail contracts are being won, but the lack of events hit the data and events division. Cash has improved from £17.9m to £21m.
Revenues fell by one-third at President Energy (PPC) in 2020 due to lower oil prices. President did generate $10m of free cash flow and that helped to reduce net debt. President plans to drill seven wells this year and that could increase production by one-third. Anew subsidiary, Atome, will develop hydrogen and ammonia production.
Shield Therapeutics (STX) has raised £25m at 30p a share and could raise a further £4.2m via an open offer. The cash will finance the new strategy of directly launching iron deficiency treatment Accrufer in the US.
Yew Grove REIT (YEW) has agreed a new lease for Gateway Three building, East Wall Road, Dublin with the Electricity Supply Board. The new lease lasts five years. Along with three rent reviews, this takes the increase in annual rents to €470,000 this year.
Best of the Best (BOTB) has concluded its strategic review and it has reemphasised its online strategy. finnCap has upgraded its pre-tax profit forecast to £14m.
Benchmark Holdings (BMK) increased first quarter revenues by 18% to £29m and it is on course to reduce its loss this year, prior to moving into profit in 2021-22. The advanced nutrition business contributed significant growth in the first quarter.
Online auctions provider Auction Technology Group (ATG) raised £247.4m at 600p a share, while existing shareholders pocketed £51.5m after the over-allotment option was exercised. The company was valued at £600m. There was a 30% gain to 780p a share at the end of the first week of trading. The company is involved with three main auction markets: arts and antiques, industrial and commercial and consumer surplus and returns. It has six main auction marketplace brands and trade magazine Antiques Trade Gazette. Low double-digit organic revenue growth is anticipated for the next few years.
Town Centre Securities (TOWN) announced a 1.75p a share interim dividend, even though this is not covered by earnings. Lower car park income meant that there was a sharp decline in interim profit. The NAV was 286p a share at the end of December 2020 and it is not expected to decline by more than 2% by the year-end in June. This is more than double the current share price.
CML Microsystems (CML) is paying 50p a share to investors following the sale of its storage division. This will cost £8.28m. the cash should be received before the end of March.
Strong demand for diagnostic products more than offset weakness in the networking division of BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) and enabled 2020 revenues to grow by 49% to $184m. Pre-tax profit jumped from $5.2m to $13.6m. Revenues are expected to decline this year, but pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from $13.6m to $17.3m. This may depend on the timing of the sale of the NGSoft business and it also assumes no additional sales of ventilators this year. Longer-term, revenues will build up from virtual networking technology NFVTime. There is also potential for dividends.
Construction services provider NMCN (NMCN) says that two contracts in the water division could lead to an additional loss of £5m in 2020. These costs relate to delays. The total loss for 2020 could be up to £22m. The additional cash costs will be spread over 28 months. Shareholders are being asked to agree to an extension of the company’s borrowing limit.
Aircraft lessor Avation (AVAP) took a $46.7m impairment charge on its aircraft and a $12.9m credit loss in the six months to December 2020. The NAV was 174p a share at the end of 2020. A full year loss of $30m is expected before the exceptional write-offs.
Cannabis-based products developer Cellular Goods (CBX) raised £13m in its offer at 5p a share. The share price jumped to 19p on the first day of dealings.
Potash project developer Emmerson (EML) raised £5.5m at 5.75p a share. Emmerson has a mining licence for the Khemisset potash project in Morocco. The cash will be used for the detailed design of the mine and the phased development of the project.
Shell company Stranger Holdings (STHP) is pushing ahead with the proposed reverse takeover of the Recyclus Group. A prospectus is being drafted.
Packaging supplier Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its 2020 profit by 10% to £13m on a 2% increase in revenues to £230m. The full year dividend has been increased from 0.69p a share to 2.55p a share.
Cancer treatment developer Incanthera (INC) had cash of £392,000 at the end of March 2020, following its fundraising when it joined the Aquis Stock Exchange. The company has a call option on more than £350,000 of additional cash. That should fund this year’s requirements and make the company’s cash last until next summer. The initial focus is topical cream Sol, which prevents sun damage turning into skin cancer.
European Lithium (EUR) has obtained initial funding from the EU-backed Greenpeg programme to support lithium sourced from Europe. The cash goes towards to the Wolfsburg lithium project in Austria.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that the Yangibana rare earths joint venture has commenced drilling at the project. The plan is to increase the existing 21.25Mt JORC resource. The drilling will continue until October. The Amapa iron ore project, where Cadence will own a 20% stake, is set to start shipping its stockpile early in the third quarter of this year.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) intends to change its investment strategy to one focused on healthcare.
TechFinancials (TECH) had cash of $672,000 at the end of 2019. However, write-offs mean that net assets have fallen to $309,000. Management is uncertain about the future of the Footies ticketing technology operation.
Altona Resources (ANR) had net liabilities of £353,000 at the end of 2019. There is a bank overdraft of £100,000.
Globe Capital Ltd (GCAP) is currently being supported by one of its shareholders Toddbrook Investments and the company’s loan note provider. Net assets were turned into net liabilities of £88,000 at the end of 2019.
Digital payments and fraud prevention services provider Boku (BOKU) is buying rival Fortumo Holdings for an enterprise value of $41m. Boku has raised £20.1m at 85p a share to finance the acquisition. In 2019, Fortumo made EBITDA of $2.3m on revenues of $7.2m. Fortumo is focused on smaller businesses than Boku.
International pensions administrator STM (STM) has made a good start to 2020, but profit is still set to decline this year, although that is partly due to the lack of one-off income. The current share price reflects this with the prospective multiple of eight, but that could fall to less than five in 2021.
Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) has increased the JORC compliant mineral resource estimate at the Asacha gold mine to 452,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 14.7g/t and 1.33 million ounces of silver at an average grade of 44g/t. Three-quarters of this is in the measured and indicated category. The mine life should extend to 2027. More drilling is planned in the east zone. A final dividend of $0.023 a share is proposed, and the shares go ex-dividend on 9 July.
Best of the Best (BOTB) has received tentative bid approaches and management is exploring strategic options. This follows the announcement of the competitions organiser’s full year figures. A 3p a share final dividend and 20p a share special dividend were announced.
Feedback (FDBK) is raising up to £5.59m via a placing and open offer at 1p a share in order to invest in the development and marketing of its Bleepa medical imaging communications platform. This could double the number of shares in issue. A one-for-ten open offer will raise up to £540,000 depending on the take-up. Stanford Capital was the bookrunner.
VR Education (VRE) reported a 43% increase in 2019 revenues and the loss was reduced. COVID-19 has increased interest in virtual reality-based conferences and this has probably pushed VR Education much further ahead than it would have been. The benefits of this will show though in the next couple of years as revenues grow faster than previously expected. The cash injection from HTC means that VR Education has plenty of cash for its requirements.
Omega Diagnostics (ODX) is raising up to £11m at 40p a share in order to finance further COVID-19 testing opportunities and to increase production capacity.
Inspiration Healthcare (IHC) is acquiring SLE, which makes ventilators for neonatal intensive care, for £18m in cash and shares. A £16.5m placing at 65p a share and an open offer raising up to £500,000 at the same share price will fund the cash element of the acquisition price.
Urban Exposure (UEX) says that Randeesh and Danjit Sandhu have resigned and will receive settlement payments, while Ravi Thakar has been made redundant. They can also sell their shares. This is because of the decision to stop taking new property loan business. NAV is estimated at 84p a share at the end of 2019. An orderly wind down should produce 70p-83p a share. A loan book sale is not currently attractive. There should be quarterly cash distributions as cash comes into the company.
Information management services provider IDOX (IDOX) made a strong recovery in the first half. Revenues were 13% ahead at £35.1m, while there was a small pre-tax profit from continuing operations. More than 90% of full year revenues have been contracted. Net debt fell from £26.4m to £14.3m over the six months to April 2020.
Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) has raised 315m at 120.5p a share. An initial £5m will be invested in projects to enhance growth and the rest will provide additional working capital. Trading in the year to March 2020 was in line with forecasts adjusted for COVID-19 effects. There have been improving activity levels since May.
Seafox International has lodged a second requisition for a general meeting at Gulf Marine Services (GMS) and it has been accepted. Seafox proposes Hassan Heikal and Hesham Helbouny as directors.
Contango Holdings (CGO) has completed the acquisition of a 70% stake in the Lubu coalfield project and been readmitted to the standard list.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) is still waiting for the listing requirements relating to its acquisition of Kanabo Research. There is still uncertainty over listing regulations for cannabis-related companies. The acquisition was announced 16 months ago.
LED lighting supplier Dialight (DIA) says it is experiencing improving but volatile demand. The order book is better than expected and overdue deliveries are being made. Crucial component stocks are being built up. Net debt was 317.3m at the end of May 2020.
British Honey Company (BHC) says its hand sanitiser has generated revenues of more than £500,000 since late March. This helps to offset the reduction in sales of alcohol products. There is sufficient alcohol available for the company’s requirements for the rest of the year. British Honey has appointed finnCap as corporate adviser and joint broker with Stanford Capital.
National Milk Records (NMRP) increased first quarter revenues by 1% to £5.61m. The growth comes from testing revenues with other revenues declining slightly. The company remains positive about the prospects for the dairy sector. The supply chain is rebalancing following a drop in demand for milk from coffee shops.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that the total gold resources at the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania have increased to 1.454 million tonnes at 10.3g/t for 483,000 ounces of gold. This excludes any estimate for the upper section of the mine.
World High Life (LIFE) says the Love Hemp brand has increased online sales by 39% each month since January. The brand’s CBD products are being stocked by more retailers.
TechFinancials (TECH) has signed a separation agreement with the cofounders of Footies Ltd and it will own 100% of the business. The cofounders get the original source code from May 2019. TechFinancials is ending its B2B brokerage activities by 1 November.
Investment company Gunsynd (GUN) has consolidated 85 shares into one new share.
Adnams (ADB) has appointed Jenny Hanlon to replace Stephen Pugh as finance director, which is a role he has held for 16 years.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) reported a NAV of 266.48p a share at the end of April. That represents a decline from 317.18p a share in the latest quarter.
Best of the Best (BOTB) has sparked another profit upgrade following its trading statement. finnCap has raised its 2019-20 by 27% to £3.8m.
IP investment company Tekcapital (TEK) increased net assets by two-fifths to $22.3m, which is equivalent to 35 cents a share. The biggest gain in value was for Guident, where nearly $7m was added to the valuation. Alternative salt developer Salarius and medical devices company Bellascura also generated good increases. Hi-tech eyewear developer Lucyd’s value fell by nearly $2m. Tekcapital recently raised £925,000 at 10p a share. This will be invested in portfolio companies.
Lower costs meant that ClearStar (CLSU) made a lower loss than expected in 2019. The background checks provider had net debt of $300,000 at the end of the year and this has increased to $1m. The year commenced with a record order book but there have been delays and reductions in volumes.
Genedrive (GDR) has raised £7m at 80p a share to finance the development of two COVID-19 tests.
Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) has launched FiltaShield, a COVID-19 sanitising services. It has also combined with a technology company to provide temperature screening devices.
VR equipment supplier Immotion (IMMO) has raised money for the second time this year. It has raised £1.35m at 2.5p a share, which is much lower than the 7.25p placing price in February.
Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) says that Bangladesh’s economic slowdown and disruption to supplies due to COVID-19 could hamper the fourth quarter of the year to June 2020. Even so, Beximco still expects to report annual sales growth.
ZOO Digital (ZOO) says that strong cash collections mean that it had cash of $700,000 at the end of March 2020. Demand for localisation services weakened at the end of March but demand is recovering.
Hargreaves Services (HSP) has conditionally exchanged contracts for a 79 acre plot on the Hatfield site in South Yorkshire, which will be used to develop a national distribution centre for a retailer. The company is trading in line with expectations other than in the property business, where planned land sales will not complete before the end of May as originally anticipated.
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) has been told by the CMA that it has to sell Footasylum. The formerly AIM-quoted footwear retailer was acquired last year. An appeal is being considered.
BATM (BVC) has launched an antibody test for COVID-19 and sales have begun to European countries.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) mined 319.2 bitcoin during April, down from 333.8 the previous month. The revenues were £1.8m in each month.
Gin and spirits supplier British Honey Company (BHC) is using spare capacity in its distillery to produce # alcohol sanitisers. There is a shortage of sanitisers due to the coronavirus and HMRC has given permission for British Honey to produce denatured alcohol. The sanitisers are made with 70% alcohol and extracts of honey and green tea. Longer-term, the strategy is to buy other spirits brands to use spare capacity. British Honey started off as a honey producer and moved into craft spirits infused with honey in 2017. It has a computer-controlled, 1,000-litre capacity still and bottling facility with a capacity of 1.5 million bottles a year. Ingredients can be tracked. There has been £4m invested in this infrastructure. The existing products use a small proportion of this capacity. The company also produces spirits on behalf of third parties. Discussions have begun with some potential acquisitions. British Honey joined Aquis Stock Exchange at the beginning of the week and raised £4.25m (£3.88m after expenses) at 110p a share. Advanced assurance of eligibility for the Enterprise Investment Scheme has been obtained. The initial market capitalisation was £10m. Cairn is corporate adviser and Stanford Capital Partners is broker.
Sativa (SATI) is launching a cannabigerol (CBG) and alcohol-based hand sanitiser. CBG is thought to be effective as an antibacterial product and could combat superbugs.
Energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) reported better than expected 2019 pre-tax profit. Underlying pre-tax profit still dipped from £2.3m to £2.1m due to lower gross margins. Profit is expected to bounce back to £3.1m in 2020. Both business and domestic customers were higher last year. The total dividend has been increased from 3.5p a share to 3.7p a share. Net debt was £39.2m at the end of 2019.
Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has decided not to pay the interim dividend of 6p a share announced the week before. The sharp downturn in trading and subsequent closure of pubs due to COVID-19 means that Shepherd Neame is also cutting capital investment and the board is taking a one-fifth cut in pay. Rent receipts from tenants were suspended from 16 March.
KR1 (KR1) has generated $168,000 from selling ATOM, taking the total raised from disposals to $290,000. It still holds nearly 17,000 ATOM.
Sheltered housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has outperformed its benchmark for a third year in a row. The MSCI UK Residential index increased by 4.4% in 2019, while Walls portfolio increased by 23%.
BWA Group (BWAP) says that its subsidiary has been awarded an exploration licence for an area known as Dehane in central Cameroon. The focus is rutile sands and other minerals. The permit is for three years and the financial commitment in year one is £275,000, followed by £207,000 in each of the next two years. Tri Castle Investments is subscribing £100,000 at 0.5p a share.
First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £389,000 at 20p a share for working capital. VI Mining (VIM) raised £56,000 via a placing at 15p a share that was curtailed because of COVID-19. Further cash will be raised in the future.
Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has secured a $200,000 facility from Augustin Corp, which is owned by a trust related to Eastinco executive chairman Charles Bray. The annual interest rate is 6 percentage points above commercial lending rates and the facility lasts for up to 18 months.
SAPO (SAPO) is holding a general meeting on 14 April to gain shareholder approval for increasing the share capital. Executive chairman Dr Keith Harris has been issued 20 million shares at 1p a share. The consideration will be paid by the end of 2024.
Belvedere Leisure Resorts (BELV) believes that once normality is resumed it can accelerate its resort development and deliver phase one on time.
Dozens Savings (DS07) says that 795 investors have subscribed for company bonds.
Trading in Dana International (DANA) shares remains suspended. The property investor is still trying to gain full information about share transfers.
Christian Taylor-Wilkinson has become interim chief executive of Altona Energy (ANR) following the resignation of executive chairman Qinfu Zhang.
Sales of COVID-19 tests by Novacyt (NCYT) continue to accelerate. It has received orders worth more than £8.7m in a six-week period. Manufacturing capacity is being increased.
Synairgen (SNG) is about to start a phase II trial for SNG001 for the treatment of an initial 100 patients with mild-moderate COVID-19. Initial results should be available by the summer. SNG001 is inhaled interferon beta, which has shown benefits in the treatment of SARS. The existing COPD phase II trial has been paused, but initial results suggest that there is clinical benefit.
Best of the Best (BOTB) would have been in trouble a decade ago when it generated its competition entries from airports and other areas of high footfall. Having gone online, the competitions organiser has continued to prosper. Additional marketing investment has helped the 2019-20 performance to be above expectations. The pre-tax profit forecast for the year to April 2020 has been raised from £2.6m to £3m.
Payment systems provider PCI-Pal (PCIP) has won a contract for its Agent Assist product with a UK government organisation. The annual contract value is £565,500.
Manx Financial (MFX) is buying back the 12.94% shareholding owned by Aaron Banks. Manx intends to pay £1.61m for the shares and then cancel them. This cash will become a loan to Manx and an existing £483,500 convertible will be added to the sum. Banks has requisitioned a general meeting at iodine manufacturer Iofina (IOF) in order to remove Lance Baller from the board and become a director himself. Banks does not intend to make a bid for the company.
Mobile payment services provider Bango (BGO) is still set to move into profit in 2020. End user spend doubled last year.
Indigovision (IND) is recommending a 405p a share cash bid from Motorola Solutions. This values the video security technology company at £30.4m. In 2019, pre-tax profit was $1.3m.
MJ Hudson (MJH) grew organic revenues by 12.5% in the first half. The asset management services provider has net cash of £20.1m following last year’s flotation. The acquisition of Meyler will expand the range of services provided in the US. The customer base is predominantly long-term and closed ended funds. A full year pre-tax profit of £1.1m is forecast.
Big Sofa Technologies (BST) has put itself up for sale and trading in the shares is suspended. The video and data analytics technology developer needs additional cash and it is difficult to raise funds in the market when there is so much uncertainty. The company expects proposals by the end of April.
The Wressle oil field development in north Lincolnshire is set to commence production in the second half of 2020 and Egdon Resources (EDG) has a 30% stake and is operator. Europa Oil and Gas (EOG) and Union Jack Oil (UJO) also have interests. The breakeven oil is estimated at $18/barrel. Production could start at 500 barrels a day. An application has been allowed against North Lincolnshire council for costs relating to delays in gaining a permit.
Diagnostic and precision testing services provider Diaceutics (DXRX) boosted revenues by 30% last year following its flotation. Although gross margins improved, a significant increase in headcount meant that pre-tax profit dipped to £500,000. The initial benefits of the investment in the business are showing through growth in Asia and other regions.
Regional property investor Real Estate investors (REI) increased its dividend by 7% to 3.8p a share. Like-for-like rental income was slightly lower at £16.9m and the weak retail property market led to a 3% reduction in EPRA NAV to 67.4p a share. Loan to value is 46.7%. The Midlands property market is strengthening ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. An improvement in NAV to near-69p a share is forecast for 2020.
Xeros (XSG) has signed a joint development agreement with a global commercial laundry business. XFiltra micro-particle filtration technology will be included in the partner’s commercial washing machines. The EU plans to have micro-particle filtration in use by 2026. Xeros is likely to need to raise more cash next year.
Oncimmune (ONC) says NICE has completed a positive review of EarlyCDT Lung and believes that it can help in the early diagnosis of lung cancer.
Trading in the shares of Boston International Holdings (BIH) has been suspended ahead of the proposed acquisition of invoice factoring company Alexanders Discount Ltd, which is based in the South East. Alexanders Discount accounts for the year to November 2019 are for a dormant company and the assets were worth £4. The standard list shell floated in October 2016.
Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) says that the integration of DMSL is ahead of plan and it has won two new contracts.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) is partnering with Novamed for an at-home COVID-19 diagnostic kit. The kit should be completed within four months.
AIQ Ltd (AIQ) has signed a conditional share purchase agreement for Alchemist Codes, a Malaysian IT services developer. AIQ is paying £2.3m in shares.
Zapp Electric Vehicles plans to join NEX in February. Zapp has developed an electric bike and it is being produced in Thailand. The first production series model was made in September. The flotation will raise cash for manufacturing and marketing the i300 in the European market where cities are promoting electric vehicles. Zapp Scooters Ltd (the previous name) had net assets of £487,000 at the end of September 2018 and most of that was accounted for by an investment in the Thailand-based subsidiary. VSA Capital is corporate adviser.
Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) increased its full year pre-tax profit from £193,000 to £282,000. Revenues were 2% ahead at £3.73m, while the cost base was flat. There were lower repair costs and the capital investment of recent years is beginning to pay off. NAV was £3.49m, including cash of £1.11m.
Ananda Developments (ANA) says that investee company DJT Plants has been asked follow-up questions by the government as part of the application to grow more than 0.2% THC cannabis. Sales of hap devices and hapac sachets has recommenced in Italy. The executive chairman has loaned £30,000 to Ananda at an interest rate of 10% a year.
Sativa Group (SATI) has signed a deal with Alliance Healthcare for the distribution of Goodbody Botanicals cannabis-based products through its 10,000 UK high street clients.
Block Commodities (BLCC) has extended its option to acquire Greenbelt Company, which has access to 4,000 acres of farmland in Sierra Leone. Greenbelt also has a licence for medicinal cannabis production and processing. A premium of £10,000 is being paid for a 90-day exclusive option to acquire the company for £4m in shares at 0.1p each, a premium to the suspension price. The proposed acquisition was announced 10 months ago.
Healthcare properties developer Ashley House (ASH) continues to build a pipeline of affordable housing schemes and it has completed six homes for Corby Borough Council. A loss will be reported for the 18 months to October 2019. More cash is still required.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has given notice to Woodford Investment Management that it expects it to subscribe £7.5m at 176p a share. This will take the LF Equity Income Fund stake to 26.8%. More cash will be required so that a fourth proton therapy centre can be opened in Liverpool. This cash will be spent later this year.
Formation Group (FRM) reported a return to profit in the year to August 2019, although it was down to one-off gains. A loss of £284,000 was turned into a pre-tax profit of £1.27m. There was still an underlying loss. The NAV is £20.9m, including cash of £16.2m. The focus was completing existing property development projects. At the end of 2019, the cash was invested in Irish development projects. Sean O’Brien and Andrew Bennett, who is a director of Rutherford Health, have become directors of Formation.
Gunsynd (GUN) has rolled over its loan notes to Human Brands Inc into one loan note with a repayment date of 20 January 2021. Human Brands’ Japanese whisky called Shinju is being sold by a major US liquor retailer. The plan is to raise more cash and Gunsynd would receive a fee in shares.
Coinsilium Group (COIN) says that IOV Labs Ltd, which owns smart contract platform developer RSK, has subscribed £250,000 at 2.65p a share and the two firms have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a joint venture in Singapore. This will commercialise RSK’s products in Asia and to promote RIF tokens which power RSK’s platforms. Gibraltar-based IOV owns 6.94% of Coinsilium, while Coinsilium owns 1.95 million RIF tokens. Almon I Holding has increased its stake in Coinsilium to 3.68%.
Black Sea Property (BSP) is acquiring two subsidiaries of European Convergence Development Company (ECDC) plus outstanding debt of €119.2m. Black Sea Property is paying €3.3m. There will also be the purchase of between 28.6% to 29.9%. This adds two development plots.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) made a loss of £131,000 in the last quarter of 2019. It is still attempting to raise cash via a bond issue.
Ganapati (GANP) says that additional regulations in Malta have required additional time for the registration as a Virtual Financial Asset licence. The application will be filed in the first quarter and a systems audit is being carried out. There are plans to apply for software gaming licence in the UK Gambling Commission and for certificates in Sweden, Denmark, Spain and Columbia.
Slater Investments has increased its stake in IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) from 10.65% to 12.2%.
Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £113,000 at 0.65p a share. There was £174,000 in the bank at the end of August 2019. Management has informed NEX that the company should be classed as an operating company, rather than an investment company with the remaining investments classed as non-core assets. There are still plans to move to the standard list.
Computer vision technology developer Seeing Machines (SEE) increased first half sales from A$13.5m to A$15.8m. The automotive division has nine ongoing programmes with six automotive manufacturers. Demand for driver monitoring systems will be driven by regulation. The cost of the Guardian fleet equipment has been cut by 21%. Seeing Machines has launched a crew training system for the aviation sector.
Best of the Best (BOTB) has sparked another profit upgrade, following the one in November. The online competitions organiser reported better than expected interim figures and this led to a 18% increase in the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast to £2.6m, compared with £2.1m last year, and a 25% jump to £3m in 2020-21. There is currently £4.3m of cash in the bank and a 14p a share special dividend is proposed. That is the eighth since 2014.
Minds + Machines (MMX) is on course to announce a maiden dividend with its 2019 figures. The onerous contract has been sorted out Net cash was $6.6m at the end of 2019.
Cloverleaf 374 has increased its stake in Urban Exposure (UEX) from 9.1% to 12.2%. Invesco trimmed its stake from 15.5% to 14.1%. The ultimate owner is Wellesley Group Investors. The board is still reviewing proposals for the future of the property finance provider.
Open Orphan (ORPH) is raising at least £5m via a placing and subscription at 6.1p a share.
Trading in the shares of Baskerville Capital (BASK) on the standard list has been suspended following the announcement of the proposed acquisition of Oberon Investments, which owns smaller company investor MD Barnard. The plan is to move to NEX. An initial 7.83% stake has been acquired for £851,000 with a commitment to subscribe a further £351,000 by the end of April. The acquisition of the rest of Oberon will be paid in Baskerville shares. The deal could be completed by the summer.
Smaller company-focused telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) has increased its full year loss from £1.4m to £1.67m. In order to build scale, Toople plans to acquire DMS Holding for £1.56m, including £460,000 in cash and 1.05 billion shares. This is a cash generative business and there are potential cost savings. That should offset some of the enormous cash outflow from the existing Toople business. A placing at 0.1p a share will raise £1.2m gross.
Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) is raising £650,000 at 1.8p each. This cash will finance further development of the company’s therapies and treatments for blood diseases.
Haynes Publishing (HYNS) increased interim revenues by 4% to £19m with the growth coming from digital. The publisher’s pre-tax profit was 500% ahead at £1.2m. The formal sale process continues.
Standard list shell Bermele (BERM) is raising £200,000 at 1p a share in order to provide further cash to assess potential acquisitions in the pharma sector.
Ecommerce technology developer Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) is recommending a 11.2p a share cash offer from TrueCommerce, which values the company at £5.73m. That is nearly double the share price of the most recent share deal. Netalogue clients include Transport for London, Greene King and Bunzl. The deal will bring together ecommerce and supply chain software in one platform and provide cross-selling opportunities. US-based TrueCommerce is a global connectivity business, which also has a B2B client base. The UK part of the business has revenues of £13.8m, but it is losing money. The group as a whole has revenues of $95.2m and made a net loss of $157,000. In the year to March 2019, Netalogue made a pre-tax profit of £300,000 on revenues of £1.35m. There should be potential cos savings from duplication of development spending and overlapping roles.
AFH Financial (AFHP) is acquiring the client portfolios of Warwickshire-based Groom Associates from the two retiring advisers. The initial cost is £321,000 and a further £294,000 could be payable depending on the performance of the acquired assets over 26 months.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) is selling its African operations and consolidating 100 shares into one new share. It can then concentrate on cannabis business Apollon Formularies.
Proton beam therapy firm Rutherford Health (RUTH) grew interim revenues from £197,000 to £2.5m, but the loss increased from £9.17m to £14.9m as the initial proton beam therapy centres get up and running. Since August, a further £12.5m has been raised and a £20m debt facility agreed. The focus is building up patient numbers for the three fully operational cancer centres. At the end of October, 412 shares were traded at 245p each. There is still the Woodford share overhang.
Two months after floating World High Life intends to consolidate every ten shares into one new share. The investment company plans to acquire businesses involved in medicinal cannabis and related products, including nutraceuticals and cosmetics. World High Life has announced plans to acquire Love Hemp in return for £4m in cash and the issue of 30 million (existing) shares. A further £2m could become payable in the next three years depending on the achievement of turnover targets.
Trading in Black Sea Property (BSP) shares has recommenced following its interim results announcement. Interim revenues improved from €272,000 to €312,000, but there was a €1.9m write-down on investment properties. The overall loss was €2.58m. NAV has fallen from 0.95 cents a share to 0.75 cents a share over a six months period.
Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has converted the €2m it is owed by Finance Partners Group into shares that take its stake in the investment company, which has an investment in Italy-based Avantgarde Group, to 40%. Avantgarde owns inventory finance fintech company Supply Me (www.supplyme.tech), which may list on the London market. Eight Capital Partners has paid £1,500 to John Treacy, one of its directors, for a further 30% of Epsion Capital, giving it 100% ownership. It has also invested a further £95,000 in the company, which is applying to the FCA for full regulatory status.
VI Mining (VIM) says that talks with the vendors of the Minaspampa and Rosario de Belen projects are likely to end with them taking back the projects because there is still $42.4m of the payment outstanding. VI will focus on generating cash from tolling operations. David Sumner is waiving the $1.61m of salary owed to him. Sumner, who already provides loans to the company, is raising money via a security token offering and cash raised will be used to finance VI.
Former NEX-quoted company MESH Holdings (MESH) is proposing to gain admission to the standard list. There is a timing extension to the acquisition of AI business Sentiance and the acquisition of additional shares and the exercising of an option has taken the Sentiance stake to 16.8%. The acquisition of a majority stake is dependent on ZASAi and related interests not having to make a bid for MESH after they receive shares in return for the Sentiance stake. MESH will then own 80.1% of Sentiance and be able to issue a prospectus for the listing.
In the year to June2019, Frontier IP (FIPP) made an unrealised profit of £3.85m on its investee company portfolio, up from £2.06m last year. NAV was £17.6m at the end of the year. A placing has raised £3.8m at 50p a share. This will help to develop and commercialise investee companies.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) is acquiring a 10% of Captiva Energy Holdings II (CEH) Inc’s 89.5% net working interest in the 317-acre McCoy lease in Colorado. It will also have an option to acquire up to a further 80% of that net working interest. CEH is owned by the chairman and chief executive of Rose. Drilling should happen within one year and there are discussions about a funding partner. Rosehas raised£1.25m at 1.1p a share to provide finance to develop assets. This is expected to be the first in a series of deals. The Morton family trust has taken a 3.84% stake in Rose.
Zoo Digital (ZOO) was hit by a faster than expected decline in Blu Ray and DVD business, but the core localisation and dubbing business did grow its revenues. A stronger second half is expected, and Zoo should return to profit this year. New streaming services from Apple and Disney provide a strong back drop for demand.
Shares (SHRE) subsidiary The Share Centre won two awards at the Shares Awards 2019. They were best stocks and shares ISA provider and best customer service.
Competitions organiser Best of the Best (BOTB) is trading ahead of market expectations. This has sparked a 2019-20 profit forecast upgrade of 16% to £2.2m. The interims will be published on 30 January.
Faron Pharma (FARN) has raised £7.48m at 190p a share. This will finance the clinical programme for potential cancer treatment Clevegen.
Defenx (DFX) is seeking to cancel its AIM quotation. Strand Hanson will continue as nominated adviser until the cancellation. BV Tech, which owns 67.1% of Defenx, will vote for the cancellation.
LIDAR wine sensor technology developer Windar Photonics (WPHO) has been hit by the slow conversion of interest into orders. Revenues in the ten months to October 2019 were €1.2m. Full year revenues will be below expectations. There is limited working capital available. BDO resigned as auditor during October. A share swap has left the interests of Windar director Jorgen Jensen with a 11.2% stake and O-Net Communications with 4.5%.
Nanoco (NANO) has entered into early discussions with potential buyers of the company. This has sparked a review of strategic options for the business. That includes potential additional funding. There are also talks with potential customers in the displays and infra-red sensing markets.
InnovaDerma (IDP) executive chairman Haris Chaudry has stepped down the day after the beauty products supplier’s AGM. He has reduced his stake from 28.6% to 0.2%. The shares were sold at 52.4p each. Edale Capital has taken a 9.11% stake. Revenues have grown by 38% in the first four months of the financial year. A new skincare product will be launched in 2020.
Robbie Rayne does not want Gresham House Asset Management to be reappointed as external manager of LMS Capital (LMS) and he and his family intend to vote their 42% shareholding against the reappointment at a general meeting. He wants a return to internal management of the portfolio of assets and a £7.5m distribution to shareholders.
Standard list shell Contango Holdings (CGO) intends to try to raise £1m at 5p a share in order to help finance the acquisition of the Lubu coalfield project in Zimbabwe. Contango has advanced $310,000 to the project. If the acquisition does not go ahead by Christmas Eve, then the money should be returned.
Zenith Energy (ZEN) is planning an all share offer for Nordic Petroleum. One Zenith shares will be offered for every 100 Nordic shares. This will require the issue of up to 9.1 million shares. Nordic is involved in heavy oils in Canada. It has tax credits in Norway and a legal claim against a UK party, the rights to which will be retained by Nordic shareholders. A prospectus has been approved for an issue of up to €25m of Euro Medium Term notes at par.
In 2018, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased revenues by 8% to £19.3m. This was despite lower race course attendances because of two abandoned days of racing. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £188,000 to £568,000. The NAV was £50.7m at the end of 2018. There was a further £3.25m payment from David Wilson Homes, which helped to finance capital investment.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has entered into heads of terms with AIM-quoted Mkango Resources so that it can earn up to 75% of the Thambi licence in Southern Malawi. The licence allows exploration for uranium, tantalum and niobium. MetalNRG has to spend $500,000 in the first 12 months and then a further $700,000 in the next 12 months. A further $800,000 has to be spent in the third year to earn the full 75%. The Kyrgyz Republic has banned uranium exploration and mining and the farm-in agreement for the Kamushanovskoye uranium deposit has been suspended.
Secured Property Developments (SPD) had a NAV of £554,000 at the end of 2018. There is £584,000 in cash on the balance sheet.
High Growth Capital (HASH) has raised £4.99m after expenses via a placing at 1.75p a share with Mirador FZE, which also has warrants to subscribe for 300 million shares at 2.5p each until the end of 2019. If the High Growth Capital share price closes above 4p for five consecutive days, the warrants have to exercised or they will lapse. Mirador has a 14.2% stake. Mike Power has been appointed as a non-executive director.
Sativa Investments (SATI) has opened the first Goodbody and Blunt centre in Bath. The centre will sell cannabidiol products and have a café area.
V22 (V22O) is asking shareholders to approve the cancellation of the NEX quotation 31 May, after nearly 13 years on the market. The art investor and studio space provider plans to sell assets and distribute the cash to shareholders. A matched bargains quotation via JP Jenkins is planned for six months after leaving NEX.
Trading in Valiant Investments (VALP) shares has been suspended because it has not produced its annual report.
Queros Capital Partners (BFD) has raised £205,000 in the past two weeks from the issue of 8% unsecured bonds 2025.
The shortlist for the NEX share of the year at the Small Cap Awards 2019 has been announced. The companies are National Milk Records (NMR), Sativa Investments (SATI), NQ Minerals (NQMI), Chapel Down (CDGP), DXS International (DXSP) and Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) ,which is also on the shortlist for impact company of the year.
Capital equipment manufacturer Mpac Group (MPAC) is acquiring Lambert Automation for an initial £15m. UK-based Lambert provides automation equipment to the medical and healthcare markets. Revenues and profit have been declining, but there was an order intake of £24.5m in 2018 and that should help revenues to recover. Revenues were £17.9m in 2018. There is potential earn out consideration of up to £2.5m. Mpac’s own trading is in line with expectations.
Park Group (PARK) says that trading was better than expected in the second half of its financial year, but there were additional costs and the effects of accounting changes. Edison has reduced its 2018-19 pre-tax profit by 3% to £12.5m. Additional costs next year mean that the profit forecast has been cut from £14.3m to £11.7m.
Tracsis (TRCS) has acquired timetable optimisation software developer Bellvedi for an initial £4m with up to £7.9m more payable over four years depending on performance. Bellvedi made a pre-tax profit of £700,000 on revenues of £1.6m last year. Acquiring the ATTUne software means that less needs to spend on the development of existing Tracsis software. The deal adds 2% to this year’s earnings per share, moving it to 27.3p. Next year’s is enhanced by 7% to 32.3p.
Competitions organiser Best of the Best (BOTB) has published a fourth positive trading update in a year. This prompted finnCap to increase its earnings forecast from 15.4p a share to 18.6p a share. The previous upgrade was in January. The switch to a predominantly online model is paying off. Any upgrades to the forecasts for the year to April 2020 will happen after the 2018-19 figures are published on 20 June.
Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) says that the PQ Grass allergy phase III study will start a year later than expected. It should commence by June 2020. This follows an end of phase II study meeting with the FDA. This means that this year and next year the reported loss will be lower because of deferred spending on the study.
Eight Peaks Group (8PG) plans to cancel its AIM quotation because of limited liquidity. This will save £80,000 a year.
Trading in the shares of property investor Safeland (SAF) will end on 10 May.
Motor dealer Pendragon (PDG) is selling two Jaguar Land Rover dealerships in California. This is expected to generate around £60m of cash, although £6.9m of profit contribution before central costs will be lost. However, Jaguar Land Rover has right of first refusal.
Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has appointed Novum as broker and it has committed to invest £300,000 in convertible loan notes. The planned purchase of a 50% stake in used car market focused fintech company Pace Cloud.
Ross Group (RGP) has reported its 2018 results, but these are before the completion of the Archipelago Aquaculture which happened early in 2019. Revenues fell from £335,000 to £60,000 and a profit of £57,000 was turned into a loss of £250,000. That is partly down to costs relating to the acquisition of Archipelago Aquaculture.
Thalassa (THAL) received acceptances of 18.5% of the share capital in its bid for Local Shopping REIT (LSR) and this offer has lapsed. Thalassa owned or had acceptances of 39.3%.
Standard list shell Bermerle (BERM) went to a 50% premium on the first day of trading. However, the bid/offer spread of 1p/2p means that investors could only sell at the 1p a share placing price. The company is seeking a pharma acquisition. The areas that Bermele is assessing include diabetes, cancer and mental health. It is also looking at personalised medicine.
Standard list shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) had £920,000 in the bank at the end of 2018. Fellow shell daVictus (DVT) had £355,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and it has agreed to buy the rights to a restaurant concept from Typical Dutch NV for £100,000. The Havana Rolled Cigar Music Café concept has been developed at a site in Aruba. Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has also secured a possible acquisition in the form of Kanabo Research, which is a medicinal cannabis oil company. Kanabo is developing over the counter products and has distribution rights to a vaporiser. Spinnaker had £1.04m in the bank at the end of 2018.
Trading in the shares of Tex Holdings (TXH) and Avocet Mining (AVM) has been suspended because they have not published 2018 accounts.