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An update on the Amapa iron ore project in Brazil from Cadence Minerals (LON: KDNC) says permitting times for the mine and related logistics should be reduced to 12-16 months. An environmental control plan is required to obtain the permits. This will enable a funding decision for the project. Investee company Hastings Technology Metals has expanded its offtake agreement with thyssenkrupp Materials Trading, which will take two-thirds of production from the Yangibana rare earths project.
Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has converted an existing order from Taiwan to its next generation Mistral flow battery. This is a higher margin product targeted at large wind and solar applications. Management is securing additional production capacity with Taiwan partner Everdura.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had net assets of 308p/share at the end of July 2023. Investee company Rayware’s sales have been hit by weak consumer demand. Pharmacy2U continues to grow. Two investments have been sold. Ther was cash of £16.3m at the end of July 2023.
Financial services company Eight Capital Partners (ECP) says its 2021 figures have been restated because of a change in the accounting treatment of the bonds. Non-cash transactions have been removed from the cash flow statement. The book value of the bonds has been changed to fair value and a modified loss recognised on loan liabilities. Net liabilities were £11.4m. The 2022 results show net assets of £25.3m after a debt conversion to equity. A partial reversal of previous fair value adjustments also helped.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is providing a convertible loan of $50,000 and has a 12-month option to subscribe for $500,000 for shares in Silta at a pre-money valuation of $7.5m. This means that it could end up with 6.7% of Silta. Last year, Coinsilium entered into an early contribution agreement to buy $75,000 of SILTA tokens. Silta is developing an advanced AI platform for sustainable infrastructure financing.
Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) is paying an interim dividend of 12p/share.
Rod Weinberg has reduced his stake in SulNOx Group (SNOX) from 6.35% to 2.49%. Macaulay Capital (MCAP) managing director David Horner has bought 200,000 shares at 22.5p each. Nigel Pope has taken a 3% stake in NFT Investments (NFT). Gathoni Muchai Investments has trimmed its stake in Marula Mining (MARU) from 12.2% to 11.26%. A warrants subscription at 4p each raised £30,500.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has raised €4.44m from a loan note issue, which is being used to pay for the recent acquisition of a majority stake in Grand Hotel Varna, which owns three hotels and a beach marina resort, plus a mutual fund portfolio. There is still €15.5m to pay.
Parcel delivery and logistics company DX (DX.) has received a bid approach from private equity firm HIG European Capital Partners. Gatemore Capital Management, which owns 16.8%, says it is willing to support the proposal of 48.5p/share. Management had rejected lower bids, but it would be minded to recommend this one. Due diligence will be required.
Online gaming firm Gaming Realms (GMR) reported interim revenues 35% higher at £11.5m and a 74% increase in pre-tax profit to £2.4m. The licensing business drove the growth. North American revenues increased by 47% and there are more states likely to ease restrictions on online gaming. Growth is coming from moving into new markets and adding new games. There are upfront costs to the expansion, holding back short-term profit. Net cash is expected to be £8m at the year end
Iodine producer Iofina (IOF) increased interim revenues by 27% to $24.3m, while pre-tax profit improved from $2.6m to $4.7m. First half iodine production was 242Mt. Iofina commenced production at its IO#9 plant in Oklahoma at the end of the half year. This is the sixth plant in operation and will help boost second half production to 325-350Mt.
Contract research and infectious disease study services provider hVIVO (HVO) is moving into larger London premises in Canary Wharf. The latest interims have led to an upgrade of guidance for the full year and hVIVO intends to pay a nominal dividend for 2023. Interim revenues were £27.3m, up from £18m, and the full year outcome is expected to be £55.1m with most of the rest of the revenues already contracted.
Construction and property software supplier Eleco (ELCO) increased like-for-like interim revenues by 5% to £13.5m. More importantly, recurring revenues were 18% ahead at £9.7m. This indicates the success of the move to SaaS-based revenues which has held back progress in the short-term. Net cash could reach £10.8m by the end of 2023.
Mkango Resources (MKA) subsidiary HyProMag, which is a short loop rare earth magnet recycler, is participating in a grant funded project called RE-RE Wind, which is designed to provide a circular supply chain for rare earth magnets for wind turbines. The first generation of wind turbines are coming up to the end of their life and a decommissioning programme is required.
Payments services provider Cornerstone FS (CSFS) made a small maiden interim profit. The move into profit was earlier than expected. Interim revenues were 90% ahead at £3.6m and most of this is direct business rather than through third parties. The overheads were held down enabling more of the additional revenues to flow through to profit. Cash is being generated from operations.
Online gaming company B90 Holdings (B90) has raised £2m at 5.44491p/share. The cash will go towards funding acquisitions and further investment in existing assets. The company is also converting £4.73m of loan notes and interest into 86.8 million shares. Enwys, which acquires customers for online gaming companies, has been bought. There are more than 20 other acquisition targets.
Keystone Law (KEYS) is paying a special dividend of 12.5p/share on top of the interim of 5.8p/share. Underlying pre-tax profit was one-quarter ahead at £5.7m, while net cash was £11.3m at the end of July 2023. Interest from new principal lawyers is increasing and 25 offers were accepted in the first half. There is plenty of back office capacity for additional lawyers.
Communications technology developer Feedback (FDBK) is taking time to secure new deals, but they should be on the horizon. The community diagnostic centres contract with the Queen Victoria Hospital has been delayed, but hopefully it should be secured by the end of the year. Feedback is still loss making, even though full year revenues were 74% ahead at £1.02m. The cash outflow, including capitalised development costs, was £3m and the £7.3m in the bank should last more than two years.
North Sea oil and gas producer IOG (IOG) has been told by the authorities that the Nailsworth P2342 and P130 licences are not going to be extended and this could have a negative commercial impact on the potential for the Elland licence. Bondholder discussions continue and the waiver lasts until 29 September. There was £14.5m in cash at the end of August, including £7.3m of restricted cash. There was stable production from Blythe H2, but the realised gas price was lower.
The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) has offset lower revenues from property sales by increasing lettings revenues. Overall interim revenues were 1% ahead at £13.2m. The higher tax rate meant that earnings slipped 2% to 13.8p/share despite an increased profit. The interim dividend was increased by 10% to 4.6p/share.
US-focused betting company Sportech (SPO) plans to leave AIM. It says the burden of time and money is too great. A circular will be sent out to gain shareholder approval at a general meeting.
Bushveld Minerals (BMN) has signed a binding term sheet for a potential $69.5m-$77.5m investment by Southern Point Resources. This includes the acquisition of 50% of Vanchem and 64% of the Mokopane project, plus a $12.5m investment in Bushveld Minerals. There will also be a working capital facility provided. Southern Point Resources will take over marketing and sales of vanadium and other products. The stake disposals will lead to a book loss of $59.6m.
Animal feed ingredients supplier Ocean Harvest Technologies (OHT) raised interim revenues by 43% to €1.8m and gross margins jumped to 36%. Investment in marketing and other aspects of the business meant that the loss was flat at €1.3m. These additional costs should help to generate further sales growth of its seaweed-based feed. Field trials could add up to €13m to annual revenues. However, delays in these trials mean that full year revenues have been downgraded from €4.3m to €3.4m. There should be net cash of €2.9m at the end of 2023.
The FCA has approved the takeover of Lookers (LOOK) by Alpha Auto Group. The bid is 130p/share.
On The Beach (OTB) says its full year results will show record revenues and the holiday company says pre-tax profit will be at the top end of expectations. In the year to September 2022, revenues were £144.1m, which was slightly higher than the pre-Covid level of £140.4m, and underlying pre-tax profit was £14.1m. Consensus forecasts for 2022-23 were revenues of £179.5m and pre-tax profit of £22.6m. The guidance suggests that profit should be slightly higher than that. Even so, underlying pre-tax profit in 2017-18 was higher at £27.6m.
Valereum (VLRM) says the takeover of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange will go ahead in September. In the middle of September, a US fund is due to provide funding of £5m-£8m in two tranches. Trading in the shares has been suspended ahead of the publication of an admission document, which is likely to be in early October.
Fibre optic cables materials supplier Unigel Group (UNX) reported a dip in interim revenues from £18.8m to £18m, even so pre-tax profit jumped from £442,000 to £852,000 due to lower overheads. There was a £244,000 cash inflow from operating activities. The market declined by 3% during the period because of a slowdown in 5G investment.
Marula Mining (MARU) has acquired ore sorters to expand processing capacity at the Blesberg lithium and tantalum mine. Two ore sorters will cost £1.74m in total. The target production is up to 50 tonnes/day of lithium spodumene product from existing stockpiles. An agreement has been signed for an initial sale of 27.5 tonnes of high-grade material from Blesberg. The sale price is $3/000/tonne, based on a minimum grade of 6%. The company is negotiating to cancel a previous offtake agreement with Southern Jade Resources.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has warned that the Sonora lithium project licences, where it owns 30% of the entity that owns them, could be cancelled by the Mexican government because of minimum investment obligations between 2017 and 2021. Evidence of the spending may not have been submitted when required. This is subject to appeal. WH Ireland has already put a cautious value on the asset because of this uncertainty.
Psychedelic substances investment company Clarify Pharma (PSYC) had net assets of £1.1m at the end of May 2023. Cash had fallen to £183,000 at the end of August.
AQRU (AQRU) continues to reduce the number of employees and streamlined its investment pipeline. The main digital asset businesses have been injected into Langland Software Solutions in return for a 30% stake. Three directors are leaving the board, including Phil Blows who controls Langland. AQRU retains individual stakes, plus cash and crypto tokens.
KR1 (KR1) had net assets of 48.13p/share at the end of July 2023. There was income of £572,000 generated during the month.
Shareholders of Oscillate (MUSH) voted against voluntary liquidation. Net assets were £2.95m at the end of May 2023, including £1.17m in cash.
PanGenomic Health Inc (NARA) had net liabilities of $1.45m at the end of June 2023.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has received £200,000 from the convertible loan note issue. This will provide additional working capital. Pascal Portmann has become a non-exec director.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has raised €7.56m through a loan note issue.
Andrew Offit has taken a 4.8% stake in NFT Investments (NFT).
Pharma IT systems supplier Instem (INS) is recommending an 833p/share cash bid by Ichor Management, which is controlled by funds managed by Archimed SAS. The bid is still below the share price peak of 905p in September 2021. Instem is valued at £203m. The board believes that private ownership will provide greater access to capital to fund acquisitions and growth.
SailPoint Technologies UK is bidding 2.35p/share for Osirium Technologies (OSI), which may be nearly double the previous market price, which was an all-time low, but it is well below the share price peak of 201p during the 4 May 2016, less than one month after it joined AIM. The bid values the cyber security company at £3.11m. SailPoint Technologies believes that the business will fit well with the SailPoint Identity Security Platform. A unified platform will be developed for securing privileged and non-privileged identities for customers and there will be enhanced regional opportunities.
Frasers Group (FRAS) continues to build up its stake in online fashion retailer boohoo (BOO) from 9.1 to 10.4%. Frasers has also edged up its interest in ASOS (ASC) from 19.3% to 19.8%, although 9.2% is held through financial instruments.
Sustainable wood products supplier Accsys Technologies (AXS) made a strong start to the financial year, but it warns that demand from the construction market is declining. Sales volumes for the year to March 2024 will be worse than expected and profit will be much lower than anticipated. Operating costs are being reduced.
Revolution Beauty (REVB) has appointed Lauren Brinley as chief executive. The beauty and cosmetics products supplier also published its 2022-23 accounts. Lauren Brindley was until recently head of American retailer Walgreen’s beauty and personal care operations across its stores and online. Prior to that she worked at Boots and Tesco. Revolution Beauty has new distribution agreements with Walgreens and Boots. In the year to February 2023, revenues edged up 2% to £187.8m, while the loss reduced from £45.9m to £33.9m. That masks improved trading in the second half. First quarter sales were 60% higher, but there was destocking in the corresponding period last year. EBITDA was £3.5m in the period. Net debt increased to £21.5m.
Rosslyn Data Technologies (RDT) raised £2.7m from a placing and subscription at 0.5p/share and a retail offer to existing shareholders could raise up to £500,000 more. On top of the share issue, there is a proposed issue of 10% convertible loan notes to raise £600,000 from Hargrave Hale AIM VCT, Octopus AIM VCT and Octopus AIM VCT2. The conversion price is the lower of 0.5p or the issue price of another fundraise. There are also plans for a 50-for-one share consolidation. There will be a resolution at the general meeting on 18 September to gain shareholder approval.
Summary results for the phase II dose ranging study assessing Orenetide for hypoactive sexual desire disorder were disappointing and that has hit the Ovoca Bio (OVB) share price, which slumped 78.7% to an all-time low of 2.4p. The results of the study in Australia and New Zealand show that the treatment was not statistically significantly better than placebo. The ckinompany will have to decide how to move forward with the product and whether it should continue development. Ovoca Bio had €2.6m in the bank at the end of July.
Kinovo (KINO) says that it would not recommend a 56p/share bid from Rx3.
Linear Generator technology developer Libertine Holdings (LIB) says fees expected from Hyliion may not be recognised this year. This means that the loss would be higher than the £2.6m forecast. The first phase of development is complete and Hyliion has a six-month option period to negotiate IP rights. Work on the MAHLE powertrain was completed later than scheduled. There is £1.2m in the bank, which should last until May.
Application specific integrated circuits designer Sondrel Holdings (SND) has been hit by contract delays. Three major customers have delayed development for 6-12 months because of economic uncertainty and concerns about consumer confidence. Interim revenues will be 17% higher at £9.3m, but the full year forecast has been cut from £28.4m to £13m. Sondrel is likely to move into a net debt position by the end of 2023, but this should be temporary.
EnSilica (ENSI) has secured a $2.4m contract with an existing European customer for the development of an advanced networking ASIC. Most of this revenue will be recognised in the year to May 2024, which underpins forecasts. It has also won a €2.5m contract for its satellite broadband chip.
Pelatro (PTRO) will ask shareholders to vote to cancel the AIM quotation because of the cost and the inability to raise cash. The general meeting will be held on 21 September. Finance director Nic Hellyer is leaving the board. A matched bargain facility will be put in place.
Star Energy (STAR) is moving into geothermal project development in Croatia. This is part of the company’s move to refocus from gas to geothermal energy. A 51% interest in A14 Energy is being acquired for €1.3m in cash plus €300,000 back costs. A14 owns the Ernestinovo licence in the Pannonian Basin in Croatia. Bids have been placed for further licences. Up to €1.5m more is payable if the licences are granted.
Networking and biomedical technology company BATM (BVC) grew interim revenues by 5% to $60.2m and gross margin improved. Pre-tax profit improved from $1m to $2.3m. Cash declined to $41.9m at the end of June 2023.
RegTech Open Project (RTOP) was the biggest riser in the Main Market last week. The share price rose 55.4% to 172.5p, having joined the market on 25 August at 100p. This values the business and operational resilience software company at £103.5m. The underlying business generated revenues of £1.1m in 2022, down from £1.31m in 2021, due to a fall in operational resilience fees. The operating loss increased from £930,000 to £2m. RegTech Italy, which is part of a group that owns 65% of RegTech Open Project, is providing a shareholder facility of up to £8m with an initial cash drawdown of £2m that will help to pay the expenses of the listing. The company estimates total directors’ remuneration of £505,000 over the next 12 months.
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
In the six months to March 2022, S-Ventures (SVEN) reported an increase in revenues from £1.5m to £4.1m, although it remains loss making. The full benefits of acquisitions and the consolidation of warehousing has yet to show through. Even so, VSA has cut its 2021-22 revenues forecast from £11m to £9.4m S-Ventures will continue to lose money.
Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) improved interim underlying pre-tax profit from £6.5m to £10.7m. NAV is 1300p a share. The interim dividend is 17p a share. Customer loans increased by 5% to £2.1bn. Assets under management dipped to £1.3bn after the decline in stockmarkets. A West End long leasehold property has been sold at a value of £60m and a yield of 3.75%.
Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has acquired Bournemouth seaside bar and restaurant Urban Reef. This takes the total number of pubs owned by the Faversham-based brewer to 300.
Psych Capital (PSY) says that investee company Awakn Life Sciences has received C$2.5m of UK government funding for the phase III trial for a ketamine-assisted therapy for alcohol use disorder. Awakn will finance the other C$1.25m cost of the trial.
Vulcan Industries (VULC) is selling Orca Doors for £1. That gets rid of net liabilities of £751,000 and continued cash outflows. The fire door supplier has been hit by lockdowns and requires additional investment.
Ananda Developments (ANA) subsidiary DJT Plants has successfully self-crossed the first generation of cannabis plants. This will continue for six generations. The performance of various cannabis cultivars is being assessed.
AQRU (AQRU) subsidiary Accru Finance is partnering with Quickbit, a Sweden-based fintech, which will offer the Accru yield generating products to its customers.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has completed the purchase of Star Mil EOOD for a total consideration of Euro5.15m. The company owns a Black Sea hotel complex. A loan of Euro4.2m helped to finance the purchase.
Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has made its first sales of Shinju Japanese whisky to Austria and Switzerland.
Lombard Odier has reduced its stake in Chapel Down Group (CDGP) from 9.97% to 4.99%. Mark Horrocks has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 5.3% to 6%. A company related to Marula Mining (MARU) chief executive Jason Brewer has acquired 100,000 shares at 2.75p each.
Oscillate (MUSH) has acquired 2.5 million warrants in fully listed Dev Clever (DEV) for £250,000. The warrants are exercisable at 1p each up until 21 January 2024. Dev Clever is currently undertaking a reverse takeover.
Business restructuring business Begbies Traynor (BEG) increased underlying pre-tax profit from £11.5m to £17.8m in the year to April 2022. This was a combination of acquisitions and organic growth. The dividend has been increased from 3p a share to 3.5p a share. Net cash improved from £3m to £4.7m. Insolvencies are increasing, although the higher margin administrations are still relatively low. This could change over the next year or so, making the outlook positive.
Credit provider Morses Club (MCL) says an increasing level of customer redress claims means that it is considering a scheme of arrangement. This could provide certainty about the potential total level of claims over a set period. Management is talking with the FCA. The scheme would have to be approved by the majority of claimants. There will be an additional provision of £45m in the 2021-22 accounts and underlying pre-tax profit could be below £3.5m. Tighter controls mean that sales are declining, and Morses Club won’t make a profit in 2022-23. Fewer competitors could help Morses Club recover in the following year.
Disinfection products supplier Tristel (TSTL) announced a special dividend of 3p a share on top of a final dividend of 3.93p a share. Full year revenues are 4% ahead at £28.4m and adjusted pre-tax profit is 12% higher at £4.5m. The second half was stronger as more patient procedures have been undertaken. FDA approval for the Duo ULT could be achieved next year.
Footwear supplier Unbound Group (UBG) announced a fundraising generating £3.3m at a heavily discounted 15p a share. An open offer, which closes on 8 August, could raise up to £1m more. The footwear supplier is launching an online platform to sell third party branded products to a database of 4.6 million individuals. The cash will help to finance the expansion.
Stanley Gibbons (SGI) intends to cancel its AIM quotation. Graham Shircore is stepping down as chief executive in September and he will be replaced by Tom Pickford. The largest shareholder Phoenix SG believes it is better to cancel the quotation considering the limited free float and additional costs. The 58% shareholder also says that it would reconsider its financial support if shareholders do not agree to the cancelation. Stanley Gibbons remains loss making.
In-content advertising company Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) expects flat revenues in 2022 because of weak market conditions in China. The Chinese operations will be closed next year and that will save annualised costs of £1m. That is on top of the £2.5m of annualised savings expected for the business as a whole. Interim revenues have halved, although US revenues increased. There is £17.7m in the bank and cash should be higher than previously expected at the end of 2022. Cash outflows are still significant, though.
Window fittings supplier Titon (TON) says that supply problems with raw materials and components exacerbated by cost inflation have led to a reduction in margins. There have also been problems with IT, so this year’s figures will be lower than expectations. South Korea sales are disappointing but there should be a small profit contribution.
Restructuring services provider FRP Advisory (FRP) increased revenues from £79m to £95.2m in the year to April 2022, with 11% organic growth. Pre-tax profit improved from £21.2m to £23.1m. There are signs that administrations are starting to increase and that will boost demand for services.
Cambridge Cognition (COG) directors are buying shares following yesterday’s trading update. Chief executive Matthew Stork and finance chief Stephen Symonds each bought 22.950 shares at 113p each. The latter did not previously own shares. The digital brain health products developer increased interim revenues by 31% to £5.9m. The order book is worth £18.6m. There was a small profit and £8.6m in the bank at the end of June 2022.
The merger between Tern (TERN) and Pires Investments (PIRI) is not going ahead because not enough of the latter’s shareholders voted for it. Tern wants to generate cash from exiting one or more of its investments as soon as it is feasible. There will not be any new investments until there is a realisation of an investment, although there are likely to be commitments to existing investments that may mean a fundraising will be required.
An independent decision means that Newcrest Mining can pay $60m to Greatland Gold (GGP) to take up an option to acquire a further 5% stake in the Havieron project. Given the progress that has been made on the project over the past year this is an attractive price, and it is likely to take up the option. The cash will pay off the $50m loan facility from Newcrest and leave money for further investment. Greatland Gold will still own 25% of Havieron.
Palace Capital (PCA) is changing its strategy. It was originally going to reinvest the cash from the sale of its industrial property assets into new regional office investments. Shareholder feedback means that the potential £46.5m raised from the disposal of the industrial portfolio and other non-core assets, after repayment of related debt, will be distributed in dividends or paid back via a tender offer. Three non-exec directors have resigned.
Kin + Carta (KCT) says revenues grew 48% in the year to July 2022. Peel Hunt has upped its 2021-22 pre-tax profit forecast from £16.6m to £16.9m. Net debt is estimated at £2.5m. Kelly Manthey will be taking over as chief executive.
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Nigeria-focused oil company Lekoil Ltd (LEK) made the switch from AIM to Aquis on 18 May. Trading in the shares will remain suspended until audited accounts are published. Lekoil is in dispute with Lekoil Nigeria, where it has a major interest, and former chief executive Mr Olaekan Akinyanmi, who is being funded by Lekoil Nigeria. The board wanted shareholders to have a trading facility, while the litigation is being pursued. The main source of assets will be the recovery of intercompany debts and there is likely to be little value in the oil and gas operations.
Valereum (VLRM) is still going through the regulatory process to acquire 90% of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange. There is a government review of the Gibraltar financial services community.
Quantum Exponential (QBIT) is investing £450,000 in Brighton-based Universal Quantum Ltd, which is trying to build the first million quantum bit quantum computers. The cash will help to develop the processing unit. The investment is via an advanced subscription agreement, and this will be converted into shares after one year or if there is a fundraising of at least £10m.
Hemp and CBD wellness products company Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) generated revenues of $10.2m in 2021, while the loss was $35.7m, including $22.5m of asset write-downs and £1m of listing costs. The company’s products are being rolled out in additional high street and online stores. The US operations are being rationalised and the focus moved to other markets.
SuperSeed Capital Ltd (WWW) made two investments in the first quarter of 2022. Investors in the company’s fund during January have already made a 43% gain. There was seed capital provided to the two investments. Ai Build is a software developer for 3D printing additive manufacturing, which will enable the 3D printing of larger objects. ThingTrax is developing technology that will help manufacturers to monitor and automate production.
RentGuarantor Holdings (RGG) has obtained a non-exclusive to use the Propertymark trademark in the UK. Propertymark has 18,000 of property letting and sales businesses. Propertymark will promote RentGuarantor rent guarantees for tenants.
Major shareholder Neo London Capital is providing a lending facility to Black Sea Property (BSP) to finance the exploration of property development opportunities.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has completed the survey of additional targets at the Red Setter project in Australia. The first phase of drilling at Red Setter is 3,000 meters.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has sold a flat in Chelsea for £2.185m, which is above the book value of £2.1m.
Oscillate (MUSH) has a stake in Psych Capital, which is joining Aquis on 25 May.
The incoming finance director Robert Smith has bought 500,000 Chapel Down (CDGP) at 42.5p each.
Fishing tackle retailer Angling Direct (ANG) managed to beat previously upgraded forecasts for the year to January 2022. Revenues increased from £67.6m to £72.5m even though online sales fell. UK online sales increased but European online sales because of difficulties with prompt delivery. The new Netherlands distribution centre will help. There was £16.6m in cash at the end of January 2022. Pre-tax profit jumped from £2.7m to £4m, but this is not expected to be maintained. Singer forecasts a pre-tax profit of £2.8m on revenues of £82m in 2022-23.
Compliance and energy saving services provider Sureserve (SUR) continues to grow and it is set to supplement this growth with acquisitions in the energy efficiency and renewables sectors. Interim revenues from continuing operations increased by 24% to £126.2m, while pre-tax profit was one-third higher at £4.3m. The non-core fire and lift businesses are profitable, and they made a slightly higher pre-tax profit of £1.24m on revenues of £17.3m, which is not included under continuing operations. Those non-core businesses have net assets of £13.1m. Assuming Sureserve receives a similar amount when they are sold this would boost the cash position. There was £8.86m in the bank at the end of March 2022.
Designer and supplier of automotive interior components CT Automotive (CTA) reported its maiden full year results as an AIM company. There was a strong recovery in the first half, but component shortages have reduced the demand from car manufacturers in the second half. Even so, full year revenues recovered from $109.9m to $132.9m, although the company remained loss making. There is a strong order book, but revenues are still likely to be hit by lack of demand due to component shortages. These problems could last for most of this year with automotive volumes set to recover in 2023. A new factory in Mexico should be open in July.
Vela Technologies (VELA) invested £750,000 in convertible loan notes in EnSilica, which is about to join AIM. This investment should convert into 1.75 million shares, which is a 2.3% stake in the integrated circuits designer and supplier.
Chariot Ltd (CHAR) has raised £20.4m ($25.5m) at 18p a share and more could come via an open offer. This will help Chariot to make progress with the Anchois gas development in Morocco. Some of the cash will go on renewables projects.
Begbies Traynor (BEG) says 2021-22 results will be comfortably ahead of expectations and insolvencies are increasing.
Digital coupons and loyalty technology provider Eagle Eye (EYE) says that the roll out of services to a US retailer has helped 2021-22 EBITDA to potentially be 10% higher than expected.
Standard list shell BSF Enterprise (BSFA) completed the reverse takeover of Newcastle-upon-Tyne-based tissue engineering 3D Bio-Tissues Ltd for £2.5m in shares. There was £1.75m raised in a placing at 7.37p a share, which is the same price at which the 33.9m consideration shares were issued. That valued the company at £6.32m on readmission. The share price ended the week at 9p. There are three main types of technology that are being developed. City-mix is a serum-free media for culturing muscle and fat cells in an animal-free process that can be used to grow meat and leather in a laboratory. There is less variation between batches than for some rivals and it could cost less. Another technology is based on Lipopeptide Etsyl, which helps to increase collagen production in human skin cells, and it can be used dermatological products. This will be sold as an ingredient to skincare product manufacturers. The third technology is tissue templating. This includes the original substitute cornea technology, as well as other uses.
In the year to February 2021, Braemar Shipping Services (BMS) expects an underlying operating profit of £9.8m, up from £7.7m. The annual dividend will be two fifths higher at 7p a share. The operating profit expectations for 2022-23 have been upgraded from £10m to £12m.
Macfarlane Group (MACF) is buying German protective packaging distributor PackMann. This is a profitable business, and it will help Macfarlane to expand in northern Europe.
Nanoco (NANO) has received an official decision that its 47 disputed patent claims are valid. This is an important step in the legal proceedings against Samsung, which used its quantum dot technology without agreement. There is still some way to go, but a settlement could generate more than £100m for Nanoco, even after the litigation funder gets its payment.
Net Zero Infrastructure (NZI) is in talks to acquire specialist equipment hire company Taylor Construction Plant and Solar Highways. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Good Energy (GOOD) is partnering with Barrow Green Gas for gas shipping services. This should help the company to grow the amount of biomethane that it supplies to domestic customers. Founder Juliet Davenport has sold 50,000 shares at 317.6245p each, while finance director Rupert Sanderson has sold 17,680 at 341p each.
Decentralised finance investor Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) is acquiring platform developer Defi Yield Technologies Inc in return for 348.7 million shares. Dispersion already owned a 6.1% interest that cost C$1m.
Omni-Egis (OMNI), which was formerly known as First Sentinel, has decided to leave Aquis. Trading has already been suspended because of the lack of 2020 accounts and management believes it can save £200,000 a year. If shareholders agree the cancellation will happen on 24 November.
Valereum Blockchain (VLRM) has raised £2m at 40p a share with a warrant attached that is exercisable at 80p. Valereum has an option to acquire 80% of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange. No details have been revealed but the transaction will require the approval of the Gibraltar authorities. The idea is that the Gibraltar Stock Exchange will introduce mainstream trading in cryptocurrencies.
Pioneer Media Holdings (PNER) is raising C$1.5m at C$1 per unit, which is one share and one warrant exercisable at C$1.50. Pioneer Media has agreed to acquire Kodoku Studios, which is involved in NFT-gaming and developing a platform called The Pit, which will enable creators to host their own NFT arenas. The acquisition will cost C$850,000 in cash and eight million Pioneer Media shares at C$1 each. Pioneer Media says that it will be the only quoted investment company focused on NFT gaming.
Helium Ventures (HEV) is making its first investment since joining Aquis. Helium Ventures is investing A$400,000 in ASX-listed Blue Star Helium at A$0.056 cents a share. Blue Star has exploration projects in North America and the A$15m it has raised will be used to drill ten wells over the next 15 months.
In the year to April 2021, IamFire (FIRE) had net assets of £919,000, Since then £369,000 has been raised in a share issue.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has treated the first prostate cancer patient with a combination of its technology and a treatment developed by Panthera. This is part of a phase II study to determine the optimum dose for the Panthera drug.
Black Sea Property (BSP) had net assets of €21.8m at the end of June 2021, down from €22.4m at the end of 2020. Net debt was €16.4m.
Smaller companies broker Arden Partners (ARDN) is being acquired by legal services firm Ince (INCE), one of its own clients, in an all-share offer. Ince is offering seven shares for every 12 Arden shares in a bid recommended by the board of the broker. Assuming an Ince share price of 53p, this values each Arden share at 31p and the total share capital at £10m. Arden shareholders will own just over one-fifth of the enlarged share capital of the group. Irrevocable acceptances equate to 44.5% of the Arden share capital. This merger will enable a full range of professional services to be offered to clients. The deal is expected to be earnings enhancing and there should be a continuation of Ince’s policy to distribute one-fifth of post-tax profit in dividends.
IG Design Group (IGR) is generating the expected revenues this year, but it its warning that margins are coming under pressure from increased costs and supply problems. Progressive Research has slashed its underlying operating margin forecast from last year’s figure of 4.8% to 2.8%. Previously, a 2021-22 operating margin of 6.1% was forecast. Forecast revenues are being maintained at $934.3m, compared with $873.2m last year. There will be a full 12-month contribution from the CSS acquisition. The slump in margin means that forecast underlying pre-tax profit has been more than halved to $21.3m, down from $37m last year.
Norish (NSH) has completed the sale of its cold stores and intends to pay a 166p a share dividend out of the cash. The company will be renamed Roebuck Food Group and will have food products sourcing and dairy farming operations.
Arrow Exploration (AXL) is traded on the TSX Venture Exchange and has gained a second quotation on AIM. Arrow raised £7.6m after expenses at 6.25p a share and this will be spent on the drilling of five wells on the Tapir block in Colombia. Arden partners forecasts 2022 sales of $20m and EBITDA of $10m, based on successful drilling. Management believes that if the wells are successful then production could average more than 2,000 barrels of oil equivalent/day, rising to 3,000 barrels/day by March 2023. The share price ended the week at 7.875p.
Specialist cleaning services provider React Group (REAT) admitted that its full year trading was disappointing, and the pre-tax profit forecast has been reduced by £100,000 to £684,000. Covid-19 decontamination work was not as buoyant later in the year and reactive work was also weak. New contract wins are building up the recurring revenues base.
Building supplies retailer Wickes (WIX) says third quarter like-for-like sales fell by 1.6%. the 2021 pre-tax profit is expected to be between £67m and £75m. The share price has fallen since the demerger from Travis Perkins.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) improved full year revenues from £2.39m to £3.3m, but the loss increased from £332,000 to £914,000. That was mainly due to much higher professional fees. The revenues come form the property management business and the newer flexible power joint venture is still in development.
Digital transformation business Kin and Carta (KCT) increased full year revenues by 12.5% to £141.4m, while adjusted pre-tax profit improved from £8.1m to £13m, although that is before pension and acquisition charges. The order book is worth £70m. The plan is to organically double revenues over four years.
CBD and hemp seed oil products supplier Voyager Life (VOY) has confirmed its flotation on Aquis on 30 June and the 295 Seedrs crowdfunding investors from earlier in 2021 will have the chance to participate in the associated fundraising. Seedrs Nominees Ltd currently owns 14.6%. A shop will be opened in St Andrews in Scotland during July. Greencare Capital (GRE) has a stake in Voyager Life.
Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has agreed a joint venture with a Rwandan partner to explore mineral opportunities in southern Rwanda. Eastinco will own 70% of Kinunga Mining, while the partner will have 30% as a free-carried interest. Along with Incanthera (INC) and TruSpine Technologies (TSP), Eastinco is being moved from the Apex segment to the Access segment.
Block Commodities (BLOC) has extended its option to acquire a 70% stake in medicinal cannabis licence granted to Magnus Cannabis Group. The exclusivity period lasts until the end of August. Block has issued shares to pay creditors £77,395.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £218,000 in two million shares in base metals and lithium exploration company Charger Metals Ltd, which is planning to list on the ASX. It will raise at least A$6m before the listing in the third quarter of 2021. Gunsynd has increased its stake to 3.6 million shares. Gunsynd has raised £93,000 by selling part of its stake in Empress Royalty Corp.
BWA Group (BWAP) lost £3.64m in 2020, mainly due to a £3.59m loss on revalued assets. NAV is £1.75m.
Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has three acquisition contracts under negotiation. Management believes it can secure additional projects in Mozambique, Angola, Tanzania and Uganda. Altona would acquire a stake of at least 51%. A Main Market listing is expected by September.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that Macarthur Minerals, in which it has a 1% stake, is spinning-out its non-iron ore assets in Pilbara into Infinity Mining, which will float on the ASX. Singapore-based Jin Sung may invest in Infinity and/or Macarthur.
The first six resolutions were not passed at the Early Equity (EEQP) AGM. There will be no changes to the board.
Trading has been restored in the shares of Black Sea Property (BSP).
Open Orphan (ORPH) has completed the demerger of non-core infectious disease assets in the form of Poolbeg Pharma, which will join AIM next month. Shareholders on the Open Orphan register on 17 June will be given one Poolberg share for every 2.98 Open Orphan shares they own. The influenza treatment and vaccines developer will be making an offer to private investors via PrimaryBid. The shares distributed by Open Orphan will initially be held centrally by Croft Nominees and investors will not be allowed to deal in them until nine months after the AIM admission of Poolbeg.
Future Biogas has also confirmed its plan to float on AIM. It currently operates ten anaerobic digestion plants supplying clean biogas. Future Biogas wants to move from developing projects and selling them on to retaining ownership of some of the plants it develops. There are plans to construct up to 25 over the next six years. These plants can cost up to £20m each. The company hopes to raise £35m and it already has £5m in the bank.
Tatton Asset Management (TAM) is generating investment inflows of £100m each month and total assets under management have reached £9.5bn. This has been achieved even though face to face meetings remain relatively rare with online meetings still dominating. Tatton is benefiting from the trend for IFAs to move funds to discretionary fund managers. Full year revenues increased by 9% to £23.4m. Underlying earnings jumped 23% to 14.7p a share. Organic growth can be enhanced by acquisitions. The target is £15bn assets under management in three years time.
Access Intelligence (ACC) is acquiring ASX-listed media intelligence services provider Isentia and raising £52m in a placing and offer at 120p a share. This deal will more than double group revenues. In the year to November 2022, group revenues could reach £75m and the enlarged group could make a small profit.
There was a full year contribution from CSS in the latest IG Design (IGR) figures and this helped to increase the proportion of revenues from craft products. Revenues increased from $624m to $873m, while pre-tax profit was flat at $38.6m. The order book covers more than 60% of this year’s forecast revenues. The dividend is maintained at 8.75p a share.
Vianet (VIA) coped well with the decline in revenues in the year to March 2021 and it has limited its underlying loss to £2.8m. Vianet’s smart zones division had reduced charges to pubs while they were closed and since the relaxation of lockdown conditions these charges have been raised. New contracts are being won by the smart machines vending technology division. This means that revenues could bounce back from £8.4m to £14.8m this year, which could be enough to move Vianet back into profit.
Another earnings upgrade for K3 Capital (K3C) following its pre-close trading. The 2020-21 pre-tax profit forecast was increased from £12.9m to £13.9m and next year’s forecast has been raised from £13.5m to £14.6m. There is £14m in the bank.
ReNeuron (RENE) had to halt its trial for the lead human retinal progenitor cell (hRPC) project because one patient got an eye infection. It means that trail data could be delayed by three months. The cash should still last until after March 2022.
Kidney diagnostics firm Renalytix AI (RENX) generated revenues of $600,000 in the three months to March 2021. N+1 Singer forecasts revenues of $3.4m for the year to June 2021.
Local government and engineering documentation software provider IDOX (IDOX) reported interims in line with expectations and it remains on course to improve full year pre-tax profit from £10.5m to £12m. IDOX has sold its non-core operations and it is in a good position to acquire businesses in its core markets.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) has purchased 1,500 tonnes of raw cashew nuts ahead of the completion of the cashew plant in Tiebissou. There will be further news about the plant in the next few weeks. Higher crude palm oil prices combined with good crops mean that Dekel remains on course for profitability this year.
CML Microsystems (CML) reported a 17% decline in continuing revenues to £12.5m. The sale of the storage division enables CML to concentrate on its wireless communications technology. The addressable market is being expanded through the launch of SuRF products for microwave /mmWave applications. These products are currently being designed-in to the equipment made by customers. That means it will take time for revenues to build up. Net cash is £32.2m. The total dividend is 52p a share, reflecting the return to shareholders of part of the proceeds from the sale of the storage division.
Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) improved its interim gross profit by two-fifths to £470,000, even though revenues declined. Cash continues to flow out of the business and there is still some way to go towards breaking even. Additional sales staff are being taken on. There was nearly £1m in the bank at the end of March 2021. The £1.62m of loan notes and interest are not repayable until the end of 2022. Management is confident that it will have the backing of its investors if it secures a suitable acquisition.
Challenger Acquisitions (CHAL) has secured a new agreement for the acquisition of renewable energy company Cindrigo Energy. Cindrigo is undertaking an open offer to shareholders to raise up to £2.1m and these shares would not have been covered by the original agreement.
NMCN (NMCN) is in talks concerning a refinancing. There is a strain on working capital with two loss making water contracts and other problems. There will be a full year loss.
Triad Group (TRD) moved back into profit last year, thanks to the focus on higher margin consultancy work, and cash in the bank increased to £4.9m. The IT services provider is paying a 2p a share dividend.
HeiQ (HEIQ) has acquired Hong Kong-based Life Material Technologies for an initial $6.45m. This will enhance the antimicrobial technology part of the business. The acquired company’s additives are used in plastics, coatings, ceramics and textiles.
Employee ownership investor and adviser Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) increased its NAV by 21% to 52.69p a share in the year to August 2020. There were realised gains of £307,000 and a £1.35m increase in the fair value of investments. There was cash of £388,000 at the end of August 2020. Management hope to pay a 2020-21 dividend of at least 1p a share. Cobrio Fund Partners has increased its stake from 4.58% to 7.55% and they were nearly five months late in announcing this.
Gunsynd (GUN) has made a £200,000 investment in Low 6, a sports betting platform. Low 6 partners with sports teams and plans to float in 2021. Gunsynd has invested a further A$800,000 in Rincon Resources at 20 cents a share as part of its ASX listing on 21 December.
A successful planning permission application for a Sutton development St Mark Homes (SMAP) has led to the announcement of an interim dividend of 3p a share. The ex-dividend date is 29 December. Approval has been gained for additional retail space, which could be let to a large retailer, at an existing development in Sutton plus a new building with 30 apartments. There are also new developments in Hanwell, Finchley and Muswell Hill.
KR1 (KR1) has made two new investments. There was $150,000 invested in 15 million Lido tokens and $200,000 in 797,043.48 Swarm tokens. KR1 has also generated a further 141,564.69 Polkadot tokens since August. These have been sold for $797,000. KR1 still owns 3.5 million Polkadot tokens.
Good Energy (GOOD) has announced three strategic partnerships for its mobility as a service offer. Mina Energy has technology to make home charging more effective. Home Energy Infrastructure can arrange funding for installing EV charging infrastructure. Select Car Leasing can lease the vehicles.
Sativa Wellness (SWEL) says the EU has concluded that CBD is not a drug within the meaning of the UN single convention on narcotic drugs 1961. It therefore qualifies as a food. The company is preparing a novel food dossier for the UK Food Standards Agency in parallel with the EU. The UN has voted to remove cannabis from Schedule IV, the category of the world’s most dangerous drugs, while in the US there has been a bill passed to decriminalise cannabis at the national level.
World High Life (LIFE) has secured a listing for Love Hemp with Boots.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) shareholders have signed an option agreement with Rigworld Group, which could purchase 20 million shares at 40p each up until 31 March. This includes the whole of Nistad Group’s 14.6% stake.
Shareholders in Black Sea Property (BSP) have voted against four resolutions at its AGM, although they did vote for four other resolutions including one to retain the Aquis quotation. The two resolutions relating to Alex Borrelli were withdrawn and he has resigned from the board. Trading in the shares has been suspended until a new non-executive director is appointed.
Imperial X (IMPP) has 450,000 shares in Canada-based Imperial Helium and has subscribed for C$110,000 convertible debentures, which will be converted at a 20% discount to the IPO price.
Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £365,000 at 5.5p a share.
DP Poland (DPP) has agreed the acquisition of rival Poland-based pizza restaurant group Dominium for £22.7m in shares and loan notes of €7.5m. DP Poland raised £3.5m at 8p a share, while 21.8 million of the consideration shares were sold at the same price. The combined group will be one of the top three pizza chains in Poland.
Radio frequency communications networks developer CyanConnode (CYAN) has managed its cash well and continues to grow revenues. In the six months to September 2020, revenues were £1.5m and the loss was £1.37m. In the two months since the period end, revenues have been around £1m. The order book in India is worth £19m, which is equivalent to one million units, and these orders could be deployed over the next two years. There are also orders in Thailand and Sweden.
Construction dispute and property services provider Driver Group (DRV) maintained its profit in the second half of the year to September 2020. Underlying pre-tax profit still declined from £3m to £2.5m on revenues 9% lower at £53.1m. The higher margin Diales expert witness business continues to grow. Net cash was £8.2m at the end of September 2020. The final dividend is 0.75p a share.
Codemasters (CDM) has withdrawn is recommendation of the Take-Two Interactive bid and switched its support to the Electronic Arts offer of 604p a share.
Two companies have decided not to make an offer for Telit Communications (TCM) and that leaves u-blox as the only potential bidder left.
K3 Capital (K3C) is trading strongly and finnCap has upgraded its 2020-21 earnings forecast from 11.4p a share to 11.9p a share. There have been cross-selling benefits from recent acquisitions. The acquisitions business has performed well and there is longer-term potential from the Quantuma insolvency business.
Carpets retailer United Carpets (UCG) has decided to leave AIM and it is launching a tender offer of 6.25p a share for up to 29 million shares.
Property services provider Fletcher King (FLK) fell into loss in the six months to October 2020. Revenues from asset management and fund management clients was steady, but other revenues were weak. There is £3.1m of cash in the bank.
NWF (NWF) says that the fuels division has traded positively, and it has recommenced the process of assessing acquisitions. The new food warehouse is fully utilised, but the volatile demand has hit profitability. Feed volumes were slightly lower than the year before.
Summerway Capital (SWC) is switching its investing policy to the software sector and Vin Murria, who has built up AIM-quoted software companies in the past, is joining the board.
Yourgene Health (YGEN) had a steady first half with Covid-19 testing revenues helping to offset lower demand for other products.
Kodal Minerals (KOD) is acquiring the Fatou gold project in southern Mali. There is a mineral resource of 350,000 ounces of gold and potential to increase the figure.
Touchstone Exploration (TXP) has secured a gas sales agreement covering all production from the Ortoire block in Trinidad.
Trinity Exploration (TRIN) has signed an agreement with the National Gas Company of Trinidad to develop new projects in the Caribbean. This includes renewable energy, stranded gas and a micro liquefied national gas business.
BATM (BVM) is investing $3m in Ador Diagnostics as part of a $10m funding. This will be spent on further develop its technology. BATM has a 36.7% stake.
Contango Holdings (CGO) has a potential 1.8 million ounces gold resource at an average grade of 1g/t at the Garolo gold project in Mali. There is further gold at greater depths. The first gold production could be before the end of 2021.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has conditionally agreed an all-share acquisition of Kanabo Research and has advanced a further £100,000 to the medicinal cannabis company.
Kin and Carta (KCT) has sold healthcare communications business Hive for £13.8m. The business contributed pre-tax profit of £1.2m last year.
Sativa Group (SATI) has agreed a merger with Stillcana Inc. The share swap is 0.33507 of a Stillcanna share for every Sativa share. That values the cannabis products company at £10.7m and its shareholders will own 65% of the enlarged group. Trading in Sativa shares restarted on 4 June.
Engineering businesses consolidator Vulcan Industries (VULC) floated on 1 June. It was valued at £6.98m at the 3p a share placing price. Vulcan raised £746,500 via a subscription and placing and £239,000 will be spent on costs. . Vulcan has already completed four acquisitions. They supply automotive components, fire doors and frames, nails and architectural metal work. Trading was weaker than expected last year. Zanete Fergusone sold three businesses to Vulcan and her family interests own 47.7% of the company. A manufacturer of pressed steel bearing housings is set to be the next acquisition.
Adnams (ADB) has put its refinancing negotiations on hold since the COVID-19 lockdown. The long-term facilities have been extended by six months. Adnams is considering the government loan scheme. There will be a substantial interim loss.
IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) believes that £3m of temporary annualised cost savings will help to offset a decline in gross revenues this year. Interim revenues were 5% ahead at £38.2m but pre-tax profit was flat due to higher interest costs. The interim dividend is 5p a share, instead of the anticipated 7p a share. A further 2p a share may be paid later in the year depending on the prospects at the time. Underlying full year pre-tax profit should improve from £16.9m to £18m, which is a small downgrade on previous forecasts.
Good Energy (GOOD) has seen no significant financial impact from COVID-19. Cash collection has been in line with previous years. The generation assets have produced above average output. The final dividend has been deferred.
Altona Energy (ANR) is assessing the potential acquisition of a majority stake in a rare earths project. The Chambe project is in Southern Malawi. Due diligence will take up to three months.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has sold a majority interest in Tectonic South Africa to AIM-quoted Kazera Global. Tectonic will retain a 10% interest in the diamonds project. Tectonic has received £100,000.
Investment company Gledhow Investments (GDH) increased net assets from £735,000 to £907,000 by March 2020. Gledhow had £147,000 in cash at the end of March.
Welney (WENP) has published full year and interim figures. At the end of December 2019, net liabilities were £361,000. A consolidation of 100 shares into one new share will be followed by a £15,000 placing at 0.3p a share. A loan stock issue will raise £35,000. Trading in the shares restarted on 3 June. Keith, Bayley, Rogers has been appointed as corporate adviser. The company’s name will be changed to Quetzal Capital
Black Sea Property (BSP) is renegotiating its credit facilities. Management is uncertain how trading will fair this year.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) is changing its accounting reference date from 31 March to 30 June. Barry Fromson has been appointed as an executive director.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has raised £300,000 at 1.35p a share and issued £70,000 worth of share for fees and to convert loans. Peterhouse has replaced Turner Pope as broker.
Mereo Biopharma (MPH) has raised $70m (£56m) including $19.4m (£15.5m) via a share placing at 17.4p each and $50.6m (£40.5m) through a convertible loan note issue. The cash will be used to reduce debt and fund the company into 2022. Mereo plans a phase 1b study for cancer treatment etigilimab during the fourth quarter.
Life sciences IT services provider Instem (INS) continues to trade strongly and net cash was £8.3m at the end of April 2020. The 2019 figures show a rise in pre-tax profit from £2.8m to £3.2m and a jump to £4.2m is expected in 2020. Existing business continues but new business may take longer to secure, and this led to a small downgrade.
Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has signed a distribution agreement with Swixx BioPharma for leptin deficiency treatment Myalepta in 17 eastern European countries.
Armadale Capital (ACP) says that the definitive feasibility study update has increased the NPV of the Mahenge Liandu graphite project in Tanzania by 20% to $430m. That is based on a 30% rise in average annual production.
Bidstack (BIDS) has raised £5.5m at 4p a share. The in-game advertising technology developer will use the cash to expand internationally and fund marketing and further technology development.
Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) says that subscriptions have held up and installations are recovering after an initial slump in April. Trading in the first four months of 2020 was ahead of the same time last year. Some clients have been allowed payment deferrals. There is £9.5m in the bank.
President Energy (PPC) has raised £2.24m at 1.85p a share via PrimaryBid. A placing raised a further £2.5m. Trafigura is subscribing a further $6m at the same share price. Along with a $4.1m debt for equity swap this will reduce debt to around $15m. There will be a $98.5m write down of assets, particularly the Paraguay exploration activities. Even excluding this, there will be a loss this year. The crude oil reference price in Argentina has been set at $45/barrel until the end of the year, which is higher than the current global price.
Tex Holdings (TXH) improved sales and gross margins last year, but there was still a slightly increased pre-tax loss due to redundancies and professional fees. Revenues increased from £40.1m to £43.1m, and if exceptional costs are stripped out there was a decrease in pre-tax loss to £661,000. The plastics division is profitable, but the engineering division is losing money. The overdraft has been repaid with the proceeds of a shareholder loan. The pension surplus has increased NAV from 127p a share to 134p a share. There are plans to reduce costs by an annualised £1.5m.
LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) says trading has improved in recent weeks and it expects the first half profit and cash generation to be at least as good as the same period last year. That is despite lower revenues.
Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) is closing 12 more dealership sites. Annual savings of £50m are anticipated. Trading has recommenced at Lookers sites, but activity is still weak. Net debt was £57m at the end of May.
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.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that in 2019 the Hellyer mine in Tasmania produced 24,980 tonnes of lead concentrate, 15,646 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 77,853 tonnes of pyrite concentrate. Metal recovery has improved with average lead recoveries of more than 50%. The focus will be on generating lead revenues. Additional high-grade underground resources have been acquired from Bass Metals, which was subleasing the area. The purchase includes 1.175 million tonnes of underground JORC resources.
Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) is investing natural insecticide developer Kentegra Biotechnology. The Kenya-based company produces pyrethrum, a natural ingredient from the chrysanthemum flower for use in the home, agricultural and pharma markets. There is a shortage of supply of pyrethrum, which can only be produced in a limited number of places around the globe. There is a move away from synthetic versions of the ingredient.
Panther Metals (PALM) has completed its move to the standard list.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has raised €4.79m via a placing at 1.1 cents a share. The cash will be used for property investments. Mamferay Holdings, which is owned by majority shareholder Phoenix Capital Holdings, is swapping €1.4m of debt for shares at the same price.
Equatorial Mining and Exploration has changed its name to Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM .P).
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that the 100p-for-one share consolidation will take effect on 21 January.
EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) reported a NAV of 273.9p a share for the end of 2019.
Packaging equipment supplier Mpac (MPAC) says that the 2019 profit is going to be much better than expected. The pension deficit should be eliminated by 2024.
Ultrasound simulation equipment developer Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) expects its 2019 revenues to grow to between £5.7m and £5.9m. There will be a slightly higher loss due to higher development spending. There was £7.3m in the bank at the end of 2019. The agreement signed with FUJIFILM SonoSite Inc will help sales this year in the training market.
Shield Therapeutics (STX) has licenced its Ferracru/ Accrufer iron deficiency treatment to Beijing Aosaikang Pharmaceutical for an upfront payment of $11.4m. This means that there should be net cash of £7.5m at the end of 2020. A further $11.4m payment is due when the treatment gains approval in China, following a clinical trial funded by the licensee, possibly in 2023. There could be further milestone payments of up to $40m depending on sales. Ongoing royalties on sales will be 10% or 15%,
Biopesticide products developer Eden Research (EDEN) says that its three EU-registered active ingredients have been approved for use in organic farming. A one-year exclusive agreement with Corteva Agriscience, will give the company time to evaluate Eden’s Sustaine encapsulation technology for use with seeds. Coreva could be granted exclusive distribution rights in the EU, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine.
Accrol Group (ACRL) management believes it has turned the fortunes of the toilet paper manufacturer around. Even so, it still lost £3m in the six months to October 2019. Net debt was £24.8m and this could fall to £20m by the end of April.
Telecoms services provider Maintel (MAI) has warned that public sector contracts continue to be delayed. finnCap has cut its 2019 pre-tax profit forecast from £10.4m to £8.1m, while the 2020 estimate has been reduced by one-quarter to £8.8m.
Software company CloudBuy (CBUY) wants to leave AIM and it expects to save £100,000 a year in overheads. Lyn and Ronald Duncan subsequently sold 11.1 million shares at 0.414p each. The share price has fallen but it is still 0.6p.
Promotional products software supplier Altitude Group (ALT) has signed a strategic alliance with the Advertising Speciality Institute, which will use its software platform.
Surface Transforms (SCE) expects more contract announcements with OEMs this year. In the seven months to December 2019, revenues were £1.45m, nearly treble the same period in the previous year, but lower than expected due to delays. The new financial year end is March. There was £768,000 in the bank at the end of 2019 and a further £425,000 has already been received.
Asimilar Group (ASLR) has raised £6.8m at 40p each. This will be received in two tranches. Formerly known as YOLO, the company will invest the cash big data, machine learning, telematics and internet of things businesses.
Avation (AVAP) has started a strategic review, which could include the sale of the aircraft leasing business. Avation has 49 aircraft with an average fleet age of 3.7 years. It has also purchased a spare engine that can be leased.
InnovaDerma (IDP) grew interim revenues by 28% to £5m. This represents a slowdown in growth in the later part of the period and is slightly lower than expected. Skinny Tan was responsible for most of the growth. The second half will benefit from the launch of new skincare products in Superdrug.
Pembridge Resources (PERE) says its Minto Explorations business has received a $5.4m payment for copper concentrate produced during December. The Minto mine produced 2,247dmt of copper concentrate in the fourth quarter 2019.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) says that its molecular diagnostics business Ador Diagnostics has received its first commercial order from an Italian customer for meningitis testing.