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Decentralised finance (DeFi) focused investment company Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) raised £9m at 3p a share. The share price closed at 4.15p (3.8p/4.5p) and there were just over one million shares traded on the first day. The market capitalisation is £25.4m. Shares were originally issued at below the placing price and the underlying NAV is 1.8p a share. Dispersion has already made two investments, although one of those is a £210,000 investment in NFT Investments, which has management in common, at the equivalent of 7p a share. NFT’s placing was at 5p a share and the investment was made after the shares commenced trading. Since then, the share price has fallen to 3.85p (3.7p/4p).
Semper Fortis Esports (SEMP) has the management experience to exploit the fast-growing esports sector. The board includes football adviser Keith Harris. Chief executive Kevin Soltani was a co-owner of an esports franchise in MENA and co-founded the GIMA Esports Agency with chief operating officer Jassem Osseiran. The Semper Fortis Esports shareholder register includes the likes of Chris Akers. Semper Fortis Esports raised £2.5m, after expenses, at 1p a share. Pro forma net assets are £2.13m, with £2.15m cash in the bank. The pro forma NAV is just over 0.5p a share. The share price ended the week at 3.95p (3.8p/4.1p).
Greencare Capital (GRE) has invested £100,000 in Voyager Life, as part of a £671,000 before an Aquis flotation. Voyager Life supplies CBD and hemp seed oil products. This follows the £100,000 investment in CBD products supplier Clearly Supplements in the form of a 5% convertible loan. The Covid-19 pandemic and legislation changes hampered the planned reverse takeover, and it did not go ahead. There should still be more than £1m in cash in the balance sheet after the investments.
Revenues fell 59% to £8.49m at Newbury Racecourse (NYR) and there was a loss of £2.27m. Only four race meetings had people attending last year. There were 20 race days last year and there will be ten by 17 May this year. There was £1.5m raised from the sale of surplus land. There was £5.53m in the bank at the end of 2020. Net assets were £48.9m, down from £51.4m.
Spirits maker British Honey (BHC) says that first quarter revenues, excluding hand sanitisers, increased by one-quarter to £1.33m. The integration of Union Distillers is nearly complete. A new bottling line will increase capacity to four million bottles a year by the end of 2021. A new bottling line for miniatures is also being installed.
Gunsynd (GUN) has made a £200,000 in DiscovOre (ORE) at 2p a share. DiscovOre is changing its investing strategy to focus on the medical psychedelic sector.
Supported housing provider Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) says that NAV has fallen by 5% to 102p a share. John D Wood values the company’s properties at £3.2m. The company collected 100% of rents last year. Virgata Services has to publish an offer document by 6 May.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has invested $2.5m in convertible loan notes in standard listed Mustang Energy (MUST) as part of a fundraising to pay for a 22.1% stake in VFFB-H, which owns 50% of Enerox, an Austria-based vanadium redox flow battery manufacturer. AIM-quoted Bushveld Minerals (BMN) is the majority shareholder in VFFB-H. Enerox plans to raise £30m. Trading has been suspended in Mustang Energy shares.
Altona Rare Earths (ANR) is proceeding with the acquisition of the Monte Muambe rare earths project. The contract is being finalised and then Altona will start the earn-in to progress towards a 70% stake in the project. Altona is still assessing other projects. An application has been filed for a standard listing.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has raised £42,000 at 0.00258065 a share, plus £90,000 via a convertible loan facility at the same conversion price as the placing. Simon Grant-Rennick has been appointed executive chairman and Burns Singh Tennent Bhohi, who has taken a 14.8% stake, as an executive director.
Two locations have shown strong gold intersection at surfaces at NQ Minerals (NQMI) 100%-owned Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania. The surface potential could add significant resources to Beaconsfield.
Positive results have been reported by BWA Group (BWAP) from the sampling at the Nkoteng rutile sands project in Cameroon. There are elevated intervals of rutile-ilmenite, zircon and kyanite over continuous zones.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) has signed an Africa-focused distribution agreement with Rigworld Solutions. This formalises and earlier agreement.
Watchstone Group (WTG) has made the switch from AIM to Aquis.
Coinsilium (COIN) has raised £18,500 from the sale of treasury shares at 18.5p each.
Hurricane Energy (HUR), which at one time was a constituent of the AIM 50, is restructuring its balance sheet. This would involve swapping $50m of the principal of the company’s convertible bonds into 95% of the enlarged share capital. The terms of the remaining $180m of bonds will be amended. The business will focus on extending the oil production case for the Lancaster 205/21a-6 well.
Construction services consultancy Driver (DRV) says that its latest underlying interim profit will be slightly lower than for the same period last year, which was £1.25m. That is a strong comparative period. Lockdowns have varied in the different operational countries. Driver also lost a team in Asia Pacific to a rival. The focus is higher margin work and activity levels are improving. Net cash was £7.2m at the end of March 2021. The interims will be published on 8 June.
Pennant International (PEN) fell into loss in 2020 and it should manage to return to profit this year. Forecast revenues of £16m are 90% covered by the order book. Pennant wants to win more business in the rail sector.
Pollen Street Capital is bidding 75p a share for spend control software supplier Proactis (PHD) and the board is recommending the offer, which values the company at £71.6m. Pollen Street has the finance to accelerate growth. The bid is at 24 times prospective 2020-21 earnings, falling to 19 next year.
Building software supplier Eleco (ELCO) says that first quarter revenues were 9% ahead at £7m, while year-on-year pre-tax profit was one-fifth higher. Net cash was £7.9m at the end of March 2021. A general meeting has been requisitioned so that shareholders can vote on the re-election of executive chairman Serena Lang and non-executive director Kevin Craig, a resolution to make it compulsory for all directors to come up for re-election at every AGM and a vote on the remuneration report in the 2020 accounts.
Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) had an improved second half and momentum is continuing into next year. In 2020, revenues fell from £49.3m to £40.3m, but earnings halved from 6.3p a share to 3.1p a share.
President Energy (PPC) expects to bring the EV-1001 well on the Estancia Vieja gas field into production during May. The drill rig will be moved to the next location. President is expected to return to profit in 2020.
Amiad Water Systems (AFS) plans to transfer its quotation to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
In 2020, Argo Blockchain (ARB) increased revenues from £8.6m to £19m, but it made a small loss. Cash inflow from operating activities was £12.3m, according to finnCap. This year a pre-tax profit of £30m is forecast, although working capital will consume most of the cash generated even before significant capital expenditure.
Moulded plastic parts manufacturer Carclo (CAR) says that it has maintained its full year revenues for plastics, but there was a decline in aerospace revenues, and made a profit. Net debt has been reduced from £22.1m to £20m.
InnovaDerma (IDP) raised an additional £500,000 in an open offer and that took the total raised to £4.5m. This will fund ecommerce investment.
British Honey (BHC) generated revenues of £1.5m in the nine months to December 2020 with more sales online. There was £2.4m in the bank.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has agreed to provide cancer treatment to NHS Trusts and clinical commissioning groups in England. The initial agreement is for two years.
A subsidiary of Noble Group has sent a letter of intent to Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) saying it wasn’t to purchase a significant portion of tantalum and tine production from Musasa in Rwanda. There will be immediate payment on agreement of the grade. There has been a further cash injection of £150,000.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has discovered further gold mineralisation at Specimen Hill in Queensland. There is a 100% success rate with holes drilled. A drilling programme has started at Mt Cassidy and once completed drilling will recommence at Specimen Hill at the sites that are prospective for copper.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that the Hellyer mine in Australia produced 38,319 tonnes of lead concentrate, up 53%, and 19,019 tonnes of zinc concentrate, up 22%, in 2020. There was 5,452 ounces of gold and 1.1 million ounces of silver produced. Gross revenues were A$63.3m and net income was A$22.7m.
Preliminary sampling at one of the Cameroon licences owned by BWA Group (BWAP) has identified mineralisation. The Dehane project has elevated titanium, zircon and aluminium multi-element associations. More cash is required to fund further exploration.
Gunsynd (GUN) says that Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser to Rogue Baron ahead of a proposed flotation on Aquis in the first quarter. Rogue Baron is a spirits company and Gunsynd has a £500,000 convertible repayable at the end of March. The Gunsynd NAV increased from £2.36m to £2.47m at the end of July 2020. There was £838,000 in the bank.
Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £100,000 at 4.5p a share. SulNOx Group (SNOX) has raised £50,100 at 41.75p a share. Further cash will be required. Altona Energy (ANR) has raised a further £42,000 at 6.5p a share. MiLOC Group (ML.P) has raised £237,000 at 28.5p a share and started litigation against a distributor.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) boos Joe McTaggart has bought 30,409 shares at 49p each.
Toilet tissue manufacturer Accrol (ACRL) reported strong interims even before a contribution from the recently acquired LTC. In the six months to October 2020, revenues slipped from £64.5m to £62.3m but that reflects panic buying in the last two months of the previous year that reduced this year’s figure. A contribution from LTC should increase full year revenues from £135m to £154m and pre-tax profit could nearly double to £9.2m. Accrol intends to pay a final dividend of 0.5p a share.
Online fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) reported a 6% increase in revenues to December 2020, following a £1.6m reduction in marketing spend – mainly in December. This includes growing sales via John Lewis and Next. The loss was more than halved. Net cash was £3.9m at the end of 2020.
Kromek (KMK) reported a 14% decline in interim revenues to £4.58m, which was a resilient performance considering the disruption in the period. Kromek has moved into a net debt position but management is confident that it has enough funds for its requirements. The second half should be stronger. The long-term outlook for MRI, imaging and radiation detection products remains positive.
Battery technology developer Ilika (IKA) is on course for Stereax battery production to be scaled up by the beginning of 2022 and more significant revenues will flow through from then on. The total investment is £4m. The pilot line is running at full capacity so there is unlikely to be growth in short-term revenues. There is also the longer-term potential for Goliath batteries for electric vehicles. There should be £9m in the bank at the end of April 2021.
Voucher products supplier Appreciate (APP) had a strong third quarter and free cash reached £33.5m. The focus on digital products is paying off.
Law firm Gateley (GTLY) grew earnings by 7% in the first half, but full year earnings are expected to decline from 12.5p a share to 9.1p a share. There could be scope for an upgrade if utilisation levels remain high.
Ariana Resources (AAU) says that the 50%-owned Kiziltepe mine produced 18,645 ounces of gold in 2020. The processing plant capacity is being quadrupled.
Filtronic (FTC) has won a contract with more than £1m with a UK defence customer. Filtronic will design and supply battlefield communications hardware.
In 2020, Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) increased palm oil production by 24% to 4,824MT and the average price obtained was ahead by a similar percentage. The price has started 2021 at a much higher level and even if the price does not stay as high Dekel should be able to at least move nearer to profit in 2021.
Franchise Brands (FRAN) will report 2020 figures ahead of consensus. The business has been strongly cash generative and the consumer-facing franchises did better in the second half. Metro Rod was classed as an essential service and trading recovered after an initial slump. Allenby forecasts 2020 earnings of 4.3p a share and this could improve to 4.8p a share in 2021.
Environmental and life sciences company Deepverge (DVRG) generated revenues of £4.4m in 2020 before any contribution from the recently acquired Modern Water. This year’s revenues should more than double, although the business should still lose money. There are large projects that are being bid for that could contribute to this year.
SourceBio International (SBI) has signed a deal with a high street retailer to provide lab testing services. This will start with a limited number of stores and could then be broadened. Demand for Covid testing is likely to continue to be high for many months.
BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) has secured an option deal to sell its NGSoft communications technology services business to Aztek Technologies for $33m in cash. This is around ten times operating profit. The cash can be reinvested into the other activities.
Telecoms business Toople (TOOP) increased revenues from £2.45m to £3.44m and gross profit from £479,000 to £1.1m in the year to September 2020. The purchase of DMSL helped to grow revenues. Admin expenses were slightly higher at £2.44m. The underlying pre-tax loss edged up from £1.24m to £1.31m. That excludes a £1.1m provision for bad debts and restructuring costs. Directors pay increased from £278,000 to £312,239 last year. Net debt was nearly £1m at the end of September 2020. Debt in the form of a loan note is repayable at the end of 2022. The cash outflow from operating activities reduced from £2m to £1.6m.
InnovaDerma (IDP) reported a one-fifth decline in interim revenues. The personal care products supplier was hit by the closure of high street shops in the UK. International sales improved. The new chief executive is still assessing the business and will report plans and impairment charges in the coming weeks. A non-executive director is loaning the company £500,000 until 13 July.
BWA (BWAP) has been unable to sell Kings of The North Corp (KOTN) back to St Georges Eco-Mining and there are problems with the title to claims held by KOTN. It appears that two licences had not been renewed by St Georges. Three more licence areas are being reviewed. St Georges has claimed C$200,000 for work it is claimed that has not been done. There is already a claim for cash from a KOTN director and there could be further claims against directors of KOTN and St Georges.
Gunsynd (GUN) says trading in investee company Empress Royalty commenced on the TSX Venture Exchange. Gunsynd invested £146,000 in October and owns 1.4% of Empress.
MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has terminated its endorsement agreement with BrandKing Worldwide and First Strong Workshop for AKFS+ haircare products and also ended the commission agreement with CN Workshop. In the recent interims, inventories increased in part due to AKFS+ haircare products.
Vulcan Industries (VULC) generated revenues of £5.74m and lost £2.96m in the period between 24 October 2018 and March 2020. This was before Vulcan raised £2.2m. The subsequent quarter trading was poor, but the second quarter was ahead of expectations. Further acquisitions have been identified.
TruSpine Technologies (TSP) lost £448,000 in the six months to September 2020. There was £567,000 in the bank.
Evrima (EVA) has sold a commercial property in Leeds for £200,000, which after costs is slightly below its purchase price in 2017. The cash will be reinvested in Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration.
Small business finance provider Vector Capital (VCAP) joined AIM on 29 December. It raised £3.1m at 38p a share and ended the week at 39.5p. In the six months to June 2020, revenues increased from £1.59m to £2.13m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £954,000 to £1.26m, even though new loans were not issued in the second quarter. The business has been profitable for the past four years. The loan book was worth £34.7m at the end of September 2020. The Jain family owns 80.85% of Vector Capital. Prior to flotation the original shareholders received a total dividend of £400,000.
Xpediator (XPD) has sold its online shopping logistics business in order to concentrate on the core freight business. EshopWedrop Holdings was losing money and the total consideration is £300,000 paid in equal instalments over three years. The book value was £700,000. Xpediator will achieve annual cost savings of £350,000 following the disposal.
MJ Hudson (MJH) is acquiring fund performance analytics business PERACS and this will widen the services it can provide to the asset management sector. The initial payment is 586,016 shares and there is deferred consideration in cash and shares over a three-year period.
Shareholders voted against the reappointment of Ian Visagie as a director of Goldplat (GDP).
Cyber security services provider Shearwater Group (SWG) says that October and November revenues were 39% ahead of the same period last year and the momentum continued into December.
UFG Asset Management has a total shareholding in Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) of 54.9%.
DBAY Advisers has sold more of its stake in Wynnstay Group (WYN) and it has fallen to 3.7%.
National World (NWOR) is paying £10.2m for the former Johnstone Press group of newspapers. No debt is being taken on. JPI Media Publishing is the third largest local news group in the UK and includes titles, such as Yorkshire Post, Portsmouth News and the Scotsman. JPI is estimated to have generated revenues of £85m and EBITDA of £6m in the past year. National World will use the assets to build a local online news publishing model. There is an initial cash payment of £5.2m with two further instalments. National World is issuing £8.425m of 10% loan notes and plans to issue more. Trading in the shares remains suspended until a prospectus is published and it may not resume until April.
Oil-focused shell Wildcat Petroleum (WCAT) joined the standard list on 30 December. It raised £600,000 at 0.1p a share and was capitalised at £2.4m.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) is investing $100,000 in hashrate management platform Luxor Technologies. The technology can help cryptocurrency miners to increase their returns.
Standard list shell Rockpool Acquisitions (ROC) is still talking to Greenview Gas in its attempt to find a Northern Ireland-based acquisition. Greenview has downgraded its 2020-21 pre-tax profit expectation from £1.4m to £1m. Rockpool had loaned more than £1m, including interest, to Greenview. The initial loan agreement was three years ago. In November, this was repaid out of new borrowings.
Marwyn Acquisition Co I Ltd (MAC1), one of three shells floated by Marwyn during December, has appointed Vin Murria as chairman. She has built up two software companies on AIM and then sold them. The appointment means that the focus of this shell will be the software sector, with the first acquisition likely to be worth more than £100m. Last month, Vin Murria joined the board of AIM shell Summerway Capital (SWC) and it is also seeking software and digital acquisitions, but it is likely to be assessing smaller acquisitions.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) has completed the sale of 1.2 acres of land on the northern perimeter of the racecourse for £1.5m. That is equal to book value.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) is able to draw down from its recently arranged $55m loan facility between its subsidiary Hellyer Gold Mines with ING. The cash is being used to pay off previous debt.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) improved revenues from £178,000 to £235,000 in the year to August 2020, but there remain potential delays to sales. That is particularly true of Transport for London because of its financial problems. The loss was slightly reduced from £224,000 to £203,000. Wheelsure has moved from net liabilities to net assets of £7,000.
Four new directors have been appointed to the board of SulNOx (SNOX) following a general meeting and they have replaced the previous directors. Radu Florescu had previously been a director of the company. Shareholders have also given them permission to issue shares.
Trading has recommenced in Altona Energy (ANR) shares after £138,000 was raised at 6.5p a share. Further cash will be required in the next four months. Indications have been received from investors that a move to AIM or the standard list could enable Altona to raise £1m. Due diligence is being completed on the two rare earth acquisition targets in Malawi and Uganda. Christian Taylor-Wilkinson has been appointed chief executive.
Quetzal Capital (WENP) made a pre-tax profit of £276,000 in the year to June 2020. That was due to creditors accepting 7.5p in each £1 they were owed. Business opportunities are being assessed.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has applied for a new exploration licence in northern Queensland, which is 15km north west of the Ravenswood gold mine.
IOV Labs Ltd is investing £330,000 in Coinsilium Group (COIN) at 3p a share. One warrant will be issued for each two shares and the exercise price is 4.5p a share. IOV can appoint a director to the board, having increased its stake to 13.9%. Coinsilium says that it has enough cash until January 2022.
BWA (BWAP) reported an interim loss of £2.91m, which reduced net assets to £2.43m. The Cameroon business has marked out two licence areas and the first sampling has been undertaken with the lab results expected. BWA had written off its stake in the Prego prepaid debit card business, but there is a potential takeover by a Canadian listed company.
Belvedere Leisure (BELV) has issued £872,000 of 6.25% secured bonds, September 2025. This takes the number in issue to £979,000.
Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) produced better than expected interims. Peel Hunt increased its full year pre-tax profit forecast from £9.4m to £28.7m, while earnings are set to improve from 5.6p a share to 17.4p a share. There should be further significant recovery next year, but by then further acquisitions will have been made so the group will be different.
Springfield Properties (SPR) has gained planning approval for its first private rental development in Scotland. It is for 75 family homes at the company’s Bertha Park Village. Springfield will build the homes under a fixed cost contract and hand them to the PRS provider. This provides additional, predictable cash flow.
Online fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) increased interim revenues by 52% to £4.3m even though marketing spending was reduced. Conversion rates are improving. Sales through John Lewis and Next started in August. The loss was reduced from £2.79m to £1.1m. Marketing has been stepped up and there has been further growth in revenues during the autumn. There was still £4m in the bank at the end of November 2020.
Digital TV software Mirada (MIRA) reported a 5% reduction in interim revenues to $5.5m due to Covid-19 related delays. Allenby forecasts a decline in full year revenues from $13.2m to $11.5m and the loss is expected to increase from $1.42m to $3.26m. Net debt could rise to $8.45m by the end of March 2021. Next year, the loss should be lower and Mirada should be cash generative so net debt would reduce by March 2022.
AssetCo (ASTO) has launched a tender offer for 6.53 million shares at 411p each. That will return £26.9m to shareholders. Following payment from former auditor Grant Thornton, AssetCo should have cash of around £55m.
Tavistock Investments (TAVI) has postponed a general meeting designed to pass a new long-term incentive plan for executive directors Brian Raven and Oliver Cooke. There has been unfavourable feedback from shareholders.
The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) has made a bid approach to fellow residential lettings business Hunters Property (HUNT).
Nucleus Financial (NUC) has received a bid approach from IntegraFin Holdings (IHP) and the offer is likely to be in cash. Aquiline Capital and Allfunds (UK) are also considering offers. Sanlam UK owns 52% of Nucleus.
DBAY Advisers has acquired shares in Telit Communications (TCM) at 194.8p each, so any potential bid will have to be at least at this price.
Invinity Energy Systems (IES) is raising £20.5m via a placing at 175p a share and up to £2m more could be raised through a one-for-64 open offer. The cash will help to scale up production of its vanadium flow batteries.
Pires Investments (PIRI) is subscribing for a 15% stake in decentralised finance company DeTech Studio and it will also be issued four million YOP tokens. YOP is the decentralised finance platform that DeTech is developing. The plan is to make it easier for non-experts to use. The yop token will facilitate engagement with smart contracts on the Ethereum network.
Tirupati Graphite has launched its fundraising ahead of a standard listing on 11 December. It is raising £6m at 45p a share, which would capitalise the company at £33.6m. The cash will be invested in mining and processing of graphite.
Marwyn has launched three new shells on the standard list. Marwyn Acquisition Co I Ltd (MAC1), Marwyn Acquisition Co II Ltd (MAC2) and Marwyn Acquisition Co III Ltd (MAC3) are all seeking acquisition targets in media, technology and healthcare that can take advantage of digitalisation. Directors of past Marwyn shells are investors in the new shells. Each company has issued 700,000 shares at 100p each.
Standard list shell Mining Minerals (MMM) is in discussions with a potential strategic investor.
Daniel Thwaites (THW) had a strong eleven months in the year to March 2020, but the final month was unsurprisingly poor for the brewer and pubs operator. Full year revenues edged up from £96.9m to £98.1m, while pre-tax profit fell from £4.5m to £3.6m. Net debt was reduced from £69.7m to £65.4m, helped by property disposals. No dividends are planned in the near future.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has taken advantage of the strong Luceco (LUCE) share price and sold four million shares for total proceeds of £10m. EPE still owns a 24.9% stake.
KR1 (KR1) has participated in token generation by four platforms. There was a follow-on participation in a Plasm Network distribution event, while KR1 has also received tokens from ChainX, Edgeware and Phala Network. The Phala Network tokens have been sold for nearly $124,000.
BWA (BWAP) has given St George’s Eco-Mining Corp until 27 November to repurchase the company’s investment in Kings of the North Corp.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that the first hole drilled at the Specimen Hill prospect in Queensland has signs of gold bearing mineralisation. A second hole is underway.
Evrima (EVA) and partner Power Metal Resources (POW) have published a drilling update for the Molopo Farms complex in Botswana. The first hole has been completed at the nickel sulphide and platinum project. This confirmed that it is a feeder zone. Samples will be tested. There is a four-hole drilling programme.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) owns 30% of mining and exploration leases that form part of the Yangibana rare earth deposit. Drilling has confirmed that recent drilling results show an economic mineralised corridor 8km long.
Gledhow Investments (GDH) has taken a 4.82% stake in IamFire (FIRE).
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £835,000 at 5.5p a share, which is below the 7p a share that a UK institutional investor paid last month. Early Equity (EEQP) raised £105,000 at 0.5p a share.
Trackwise Designs (TWD) is raising a further £11m at 200p in order to finance a new Improved Harness Technology (IHT) manufacturing site to quadruple capacity. That is a large discount to the market price of 320p. A further £1m could be raised via an open offer. Back in March, there was a £5.87m fundraising at 80p a share. That was at the time of the purchase of Stevenage Circuits for up to £2.457m. The rest of that cash was earmarked for capacity expansion. The subsequent orders received by Trackwise mean that further investment in capacity is required. The funding dilutes short-term earnings per share.
Agricultural supplies group Wynnstay (WYN) had a strong end to its financial year, particularly September and October. Feed sales were better than expected. There will be one-off costs for closing three sites. Shore Capital has upgraded its underlying pre-tax profit forecast from £6.7m to £8.1m. The dividend is likely to be maintained at 14p a share.
Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) has broken its record and published interim figures at 6.22pm on Friday. Revenues fell by 27% and the company made a bigger loss.
Staffline (STAF) is selling its apprenticeships business to Babington Business College for a nominal fee. The business was losing money in the first half of 2020, although it was a lower loss than the year before. Staffline will concentrate on recruitment and adult skills training.
Bion (BION) is establishing a biogas consortium with three other companies in Malaysia. The plan is to formalise the partnership so that a special purpose vehicle that would be 55%-owned by Bion will own and operate biogas assets of Bion and Green Lagoon Technology. The new venture would be the largest owner of biogas plants in Malaysia. Shareholders will have to approve the deal if it goes ahead. Bion will work with the other two companies to develop waste-to-energy projects.
Trading is ahead of expectations at Somero Enterprises (SOM) and this should enable a significant supplementary dividend for 2020. The concrete levelling equipment supplier is expected to end the year with net cash of $26m.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) has completed the acquisition of the stake in the Cote d’Ivoire cashew nut processing project that takes its shareholding to 52%. October palm oil production was 1,818 metric tonnes and 1,843 metric tonnes was sold. The average price improved to €636/tonne.
Mirada (MIRA) has integrated Disney+ into its Iris platform for Televisa’s izzi pay TV platform in Mexico.
Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has gained a contract to deliver a 0.5MWh vanadium flow battery system to a site in California. This should generate £480,000in 2021. There is also an order for two smaller battery modules.
Three potential bidders are assessing offers for Telit Communications (TCM) and the latest is u-blox, which is considering an all-share offer worth 250p a share. DBAY Advisors and Lantronix are the other potential bidders.
Packaging supplier Macfarlane (MACF) says that trading in the four months to October 2020 is ahead of the same period in 2019. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to be similar to last year at around £14m. It was previously expected to be more than 10% lower. Arden forecasts a total 2020 dividend of 2.4p a share.
Emmerson (EML) has completed the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the Khemisset potash project in northern Morocco.
Petra Diamonds (PDL) has an agreement in principle for a restructuring that involves the raising of money from a loan note issue and the remainder of the loan notes will be converted into shares equivalent to 91% of the enlarged share capital.
Thalassa (THAL) has invested £300,000 in foreign exchange and international payments firm Cornerstone FS for a 3.65% stake. This follows a £3m investment in 8% convertible loan notes in payment systems company Tappit Technologies.
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
KR1 (KR1) has made two more investments. There is a further investment of $100,000 in the cross-chain finance hub Acala Network in return for 153,846.15 ACA tokens at 65 cents each. KR1 now holds 1.02 million ACA tokens. That stake is valued at $663,000. There is also a new investment in MetaCartel Ventures Decentralised Autonomous Organisation. KR1 received 4,938 MCV shares for its $199,000 investment.
Imperial X (IMPP) plans to buy mineral assets and investments and a placing is raising £750,000 at 2.5p a share. The purchases involve the issue of more than 245 million shares plus 8.71 million warrants exercisable at 5p a share. Trading in the shares has been suspended until the acquisitions are completed. Imperial X is buying Howson Ventures Inc, plus assets from Anglo African Minerals, Cloudbreak Discovery and Cabox Gold. Howson owns the Rupert Minerals property in British Columbia and an investment in Anglo African Minerals, which holds licences in bauxite projects in Guinea.
Gunsynd (GUN) says that its investment in ASX-listed Eagle Mountain is “well in the money” and it has the cash it requires for its immediate needs even though the disposal of the stake in Oyster Oil and Gas has still not been completed. Gunsynd invested £110,000 in copper/gold explorer Eagle Mountain at A$0.13 a share and the price has risen to A$0.24. Rincon Resources has appointed stockbrokers for its proposed listing on ASX. Gunsynd has invested £138,000 in Rincon and has a 28% stake. Spirits company Human Brands also still hopes to float. Nickel project developer Sunshine Minerals is being acquired by Malachite Resources. Gunsynd will receive 1.26 million shares in Malachite with further deferred consideration of 1.64 million shares.
IamFire (FIRE) is raising £5.5m gross through a discounted capital bond and it is participating in a fundraising for social commerce platform WeShop ahead of a future listing. The bond is being issued at a discount of 78.73% and net proceeds of £4.4m have been received. IamFire is providing £4.5m of a £9m convertible loan to WeShop. This has an interest rate of 8% and lasts for 36 months. A flotation is one of the conversion events and the conversion would be at a 20% discount to the flotation share price. There is also an exclusive option to subscribe for a 10% stake in WeShop at a pre-money valuation of £25m. This would involve an investment of £2.78m.
Primorus investments (PRIM) has invested £875,000 in WeShop. Primorus has made realised and unrealised gains £3.55m in the six months to June 2020. Greatland Gold (GGP) is the main reason for this. The NAV increased to £8.1m compared with a £4.3m market capitalisation.
BWA Group (BWAP) has agreed to sell its investment in Kings of the North Corp to St George’s Eco-Mining Corp, which sold it for £4.66m. The convertibles issued to St George’s will be cancelled and they amount to £4.3m. St George’s will issue 1.5 million shares and transfer 2.5 million warrants to BWA. St George’s is keeping its 21% stake in BWA.
There was a £673,000 cash outflow at Cadence Minerals (KDNC) in the six months to June 2020. A cash raising means that there was £2.38m in cash at the end of the period.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) plans to undertake exploration work at the Hellyer mine, possibly as early as October/November this year.
Inqo Investments (INQO) increased annual revenues from R23.8m to R24.4m, but the loss increased from R2.5m to R6.1m. That was partly down to an inventory write-down of R1.44m and higher depreciation. Last year’s Bee Sweet honey harvest was one of the largest ever. The lodge at the Kuzuko Private Game Reserve had high occupancy rates before COVID-19. All the other activities have also been hit since the end of February.
Eurocann International (BUD) intends to amend its investing strategy and change its name just over one year since it changed it from Valiant Investments.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) has appointed Allenby as corporate adviser.
Vianet (VNET) says that customer pub sites that have resumed operations have increased from 56% to 80% over the past six years. Vianet continues to offer reduced recurring charges to both closed and reopened customers. Customer demand for data analytics is recovering. The smart machines division says two-thirds of customer vending machines are in operation and generating normal levels of revenue. There have been orders for more than 1,9000 new orders for telemetry and contactless units during lockdown.
Hostels operator Safestay (SSTY) is taking additional cost saving measures due to the continued uncertainty. Occupancy rates are running at around one-quarter and it is higher in those hostels opened earlier. Safestay has available overdraft facilities but these could run out by early next year if all hostels are not reopened by October and occupancy levels fall below 20% later this year. An occupancy rate of 57% is required for a hostel to breakeven. Sales of freeholds or terminating loss-making leases are being considered. Interim results will be published on 24 September.
Integumen (SKIN) is making an all-share offer for Modern Water (MWG) that values the latter at £21.25m. Integumen plans a ten-for-one share consolidation and it is offering one of these new shares for every ten Modern Water shares. Integumen produces test kits for Modern Water.
Drug discovery company C4X Discovery (C4XD) says that Indivior has started a phase I clinical trial for C4X_3256 for the treatment of opioid dependence. The trial will last until the end of the year, but there will be no data until 2021. C4X is making progress in identifying a candidate for the treatment of IBD and it has reached the lead optimisation stage for the treatment of Psoriasis. A collaboration with the GEN-COVID consortium, which will use C4X’s Taxonomy3 mathematical analysis technology to assess the role of genetics in disease susceptibility.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) says that milling equipment has been delivered to the raw cashew nut processing project in Cote d’Ivoire. The mill should be commissioned in the second quarter of next year.
Grant Thornton has managed to persuade the courts to reduce the damages owed to AssetCo (AST) from £29.8m to £20.8m. Including interest and costs the payment should be £25m.
President Energy (PPC) has formed a renewables division. There are opportunities in wind, solar, hydro and biomass in Argentina. President has commenced a workover programme on oil wells and there are plans to drill two new wells.
Packaging supplier Macfarlane (MACF) reported a 2% decline in interim revenues to £105.6m. The second quarter decline was much lower than for the UK economy, helped by increasing exposure to ecommerce. Increased bad debts led to a 5.5% fall in pre-tax profit to £3.62m. An interim dividend of 0.7p a share is proposed. There could be a greater decline in full year profit, although the business will still be cash generative. Arden forecasts a fall in pre-tax profit from £14.4m to £11.1m.
BATM (BVC) has signed up its first tier 1 NFVTime virtual networking customer. The Asia-based telecoms company has signed up for an initial three years will provide a reference site for the technology. This contract could be a significant revenue generator in the years to come and follows the recent proof of concept trial with ARM and Vodafone.
Anglesey Mining (AYM) has raised £200,000 at 1.6p a share. The cash will be invested in studies for the development of the Parys Mountain zinc, copper, lead, silver and gold mine. Management is also assessing other projects.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased sales last year, but the loss was also higher. Sales of wine and beer grew and revenues from continuing activities improved from £12.86m to £14.8m, while the loss more than doubled from £850,000 to £2.09m. the Chapel Down Gin Works in Kings Cross has been closed. There was still £2.47m in the bank at the end of 2019, even after the loss and £12m of investment in fixed assets and land. There are 428 acres of planted vineyard. Wine stocks have also increased following a good harvest. The Ashford brewery has been completed and full brewing capacity will be available before the end of the year. Martin Glenn is succeeding John Dunsmore as chairman.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has entered into a £55m development framework agreement with Equitix, an investor in infrastructure assets. This will finance up to five diagnostic facilities in the UK. Each will be owned by a special purpose vehicle funded by Equitix and operated by Rutherford. An initial agreement has been made with a NHS Trust. Rutherford also announced a collaboration with Panthera Biopartners, which will be able to use Rutherford’s clinics for trials of potential cancer treatments.
Racing recommenced at Newbury Racecourse (NYR) on 11 June. Three race meetings have been held and five more are planned by the end of August. No public are being admitted. Revenues are coming from media rights. The Rocking Horse nursery reopened earlier this month.
Good Energy (GOOD) is increasing its investment in Next Green Car, which owns Zap-Map, to 50.1% through the exercise of a convertible loan.
BWA (BWAP) has spent £120,000 of the initial commitment of £250,000 for two rutile licence areas in Cameroon. Drilling programmes are being designed. COVID-19 has hampered progress with the company’s Canadian interests.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that investee company Factom Inc has filed for Cahpter 11 bankruptcy protection because of its failure to raise more cash. It could exit Chapter 11 protection within three months if things go to plan.The investment was valued at £237,000.
IamFire (FIRE) is reviewing strategies having raised £500,000 at 2.5p a share. Each share comes with two warrants with an exercise price of 10p a share. The investment focus is natural resources, mining and disruptive technology.
SAPO (SAPO) is still seeking a broadband investment and net assets were £1.1m at the end of 2019. At 3.2p a share, SAPO is valued at £6m.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £137,750 in Rincon Resources, which gives it a stake of 28.4%. Rincon has the rights to three prospective gold and base metals projects in Western Australia. Gunsynd has sold its stake in United Oil and Gas (UOG).
All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised a further £200,000 at 0.02p a share, taking the total raised in share issues to £280,000. Convertible loan notes worth £55,000 have been converted into 275 million shares with 34 million shares at 0.01p each to pay liabilities. This means that more than 1.3 billion shares have been issued, which has nearly doubled the shares in issue.
Recent trading at floorcoverings supplier Victoria (VCP) has exceeded expectations. Manufacturing has restarted in all the company’s plants. All the main countries are doing relatively well considering the disruption due to COVID-19 and in the most recent three weeks revenues were 85% of pre-COVID-19 budget. The UK carpets business is only just getting going again. Net debt is £370m, which is predominantly bonds that last until July 2024. Cash generation can reduce debt, although management is likely to look for potential acquisitions.
Wynnstay Group (WYN) reported a decline in interim revenues but that was due to lower commodity prices. The interim dividend has been maintained at 4.6p a share. The agriculture division maintained its operating profit, but there was an improved profit from the merchanting division. Pre-tax profit edged up from £4.3m to £4.5m. Shore Capital has reinstated forecasts. It expects a pre-tax profit of £6.7m, down from £7.9m. This id a deliberately cautious figure.
MSQ Partners has launched a 0.5p a share bid for Be Heard Group (HRD) and that values the digital media company at £6.2m. The acquirer was the subject of a buyout last year. The combined business will have the backing of Lloyds Development Capital and the greater scale will help to win larger clients.
United Oil and Gas (UOG) says that average production from the Abu Sennan concession in the first two weeks of June was 13,900 boepd, of which its working interest is 3,060 boepd. That is 69% higher than the average daily figure in April. The 2P reserves at Abu Sennan have been increased by 12.55 to 13.5MMboe
Transense Technologies (TRT) has transferred its iTrack tyre monitoring business to a Bridgestone subsidiary for $1m and it will receive quarterly royalty revenues for the next ten years. That royalty would be £150,000/ quarter currently, but growth should be faster under Bridgestone. Two Transense directors are moving with iTrack. This leaves Transense with its SAWsense (wireless tyre sensor technology) and Translogik (tyre test equipment) businesses. Transense could move into profit in 2021-22.
A positive trading statement from allergy vaccines developer Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) led finnCap to increase its 2020 pre-tax profit forecast even though revenue growth is slower than expected. A 2019-20 profit of £2.9m is expected, partly due to the timing of research spending. Allergy is expected to move back into loss in 2020-21.
Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) increased its revenues and pre-tax profit in the nine months to March 2020, with particularly strong growth in the third quarter. There is some disruption to international distribution and supply and full year revenue growth will be lower than originally expected.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) reported flat full year revenues of €20.9m for 2019. The loss was barely changed at €3.29m. There has been a decline in the palm oil price in recent months, which will hamper performance this year. The cashew project is making good progress.
Strong first half trading at BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) has led to broker upgrades for 2020. The biomedical division has done particularly well, but the networks and cyber division has also done better than expected. Stifel is raising its revenues forecast from $138m to $155m, while the EBITDA estimate has been increased by one-third to $13m. Shore Capital expects to increase forecast revenues by 17% to around $154m with a significant improvement in EBITDA expected.
Construction services provider nmcn (NMCN) made a positive start in the first quarter of this year. Revenues were 4% ahead at £97.9m and pre-tax profit 6% higher at £1.8m. This period was hardly affected by the lockdown. Since the end of March, work has been at three-quarters of normal levels. There was £11.8m in cash at the end of March 2020. The interims will be reported on 6 August and there should be guidance for the full year outcome.
Tex Holdings (TXH) expects to make further cost savings and consolidate more of its activities. The plastics division is operating at 70% of expected levels, while the engineering division has suffered delays but not lost business.
Standard list shell Boston International (BIH) had £302,000 in cash at the end of 2019. It is still assessing the proposed acquisition of invoice factoring company Alexanders Discount Ltd
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has raised £1.25m at 3p a share. The cash will accelerate trial mining at the Gakara rare earth project in Burundi.
The 2019 figures of Ross Group (RGP) include pharmaceutical grade Chitin producer Archipelago Aquaculture Group (AAG) for the first time. There were restructuring and impairment costs relating to the acquisition. Pilot production is being implemented and there are joint venture discussions with the company that has developed the Ionic Liquid extraction process licenced by AAG. There was a £3.6m loss in 2019.
SMALL CAP AWARDS 2020
Company of the year: Volex
Technology company of the year: Avacta
Impact company of the year: ITM Power
IPO of the year: Diaceutics
Transaction of the year: Kape acquisition of Private Internet Access
Executive director of the year: David Cicurel (Judges Scientific)
Innovative financing of the year: Yu Group
Journalist of the year: Joanne Hart (Mail on Sunday)
Analyst of the year: Lorne Daniel (finnCap)
VCT manager of the year: Amati
UK smaller companies fund manager of the year: JPM UK Smaller Companies
Lifetime achievement award: Giles Hargreave
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.
Results from IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) indicate the success of the acquisition policy. In the year to October 2019, underlying pre-tax profit improved from £10.3m to £17m and earnings per share rose by more than two-fifths. The dividend was one-third higher at 8p a share. Assets under management were £6.2bn. AFH plans to grow to annual revenues of £140m and assets under management of £10bn in five years. Cash generated from operations was held back by the protection division predominantly generating non-indemnity business, where the payment is spread over the term of the package. Non-indemnity business will reduce in order to have a higher proportion of revenues that gets paid upfront. Cash generation will improve, and this will mainly go on deferred consideration.
Corporate adviser First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £220,000 at 27p a share in order to provide working capital for the business. That was a small discount to the market price the day before the placing was announced, but the price fell to 19p/22p on the day. On the day, there were 25,000 shares traded at 20p each and 186,370 shares traded at 20.09p each.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has appointed New York-based Ortoli Rosenstadt as the law firm to help it with a potential ADR listing in the US.
Broadband-focused shell SAPO (SAPO) has announced the death of its executive chairman Michael Meyer, who was the founder of Emess Lighting. He and his wife own 43.4% of SAPO. Michael Langoulant is the only remaining director of SAPO.
Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has placed an additional €90,000 of 7% July 2022 bonds, which are traded on the Vienna Stock Exchange. A total of €3.64m of bonds have been issued, which is 73% of the total that can be issued.
BWA Group (BWAP) has issued 3.26 million shares at 0.5p each to settle directors’ fees for the fourth quarter of 2019. The current share price is 0.2p/0.4p. Richard Battersby’s stake is 16%, Alex Borelli holds 9.48% and James Butterfield owns 15.8%.
Juliet Adelstein will become chief executive of Ganapati (GANP) on 1 February. She previously worked at Japanese advertising agency Dentsu. Hiroki Hasegawa and Toshitaka Nakajima are stepping down as chief executive and finance director respectively.
Via Developments (VIA1) 7% debenture stock 2020 has been withdrawn from MEX. Trading was suspended on 21 October 2019 because of a delay in appointing an independent non-executive director.
Former NEX-quoted company MESH Holdings still plans to acquire AI business Sentiance and Mike Power has taken over as chairman. MESH has also appointed two new directors. Corporate finance professional Lindsay Mair and Ireland-based former broker Rory O’Sullivan.
Last year was a tough one for agriculture and feed products supplier Wynnstay (WYN) and pre-tax profit fell from £9.5m to £7.9m, but the dividend was still raised. Profit is expected to be flat this year. There was net cash of £3.8m at the end of the year, as lower commodity prices reduced working capital requirements, but there will be £7m of lease liabilities included as debt in the next balance sheet. Seasonality means that there will be a net debt figure at the interim stage and the leases mean it will be much higher than it would have been. Net cash could still be £6m by the end of next October.
Concrete levelling equipment Somero Enterprises (SOM) had a better than expected fourth quarter and this led to an upgraded 2019 earnings forecast from 33.7 cents a share to 36.5 cents a share. That is still lower than 2018 and a further dip is expected in 2020 due to higher marketing spend. The expected total dividend for 2019 is 24.6 cents a share.
United Oil and Gas (UOG) says that the ASH-2 well that is part of the interests being acquired in Egypt has been producing more than 3,000 barrels of oil per day since the beginning of the year. United’s share is 660 barrels of oil per day. The acquisition of the Egypt interest from Rockhopper Exploration (RKH) will not be completed until February.
Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) says a general meeting requisition is valid and it will announce a date for the meeting by next week. Eridge Capital wants to remove Matt Lofgran from the board and replace him with Andrew Morrison.
Regenerative medical products developer Tissue Regenix (TRX) says that revenues grew 12% last year, but the cash will not last much longer. There was £2.4m at the end of 2019 and this will last until the end of April. More funding will be required before then.
Peel Hunt has halved its dividend forecast for construction services provider Van Elle (VANL) to 1p a share, although it has maintained its 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast at £4m. The interim dividend was cut by four-fifths to 0.2p a share. A sharp drop in interim profit means that two-thirds of the forecast needs to be made in the second half. Net debt was £10.4m at the end of October 2019.
IPTV technology company Mirada (MIRA) has completed the cancelation of the share premium account.
Gear4Music (G4M) had strong Christmas trading and gross margins improved. Revenues grew by 7% to the end of 2019 and gross profit was 18% ahead. Earnings of 3.9p a share are forecast for the 2019-20 financial year.
Agronomics (ANIC) has raised a further £5.5m at 7p a share. That is a one-third discount to the market price. At the end of last year £7.7m was raised at 5.5p a share. Agronomics has invested some of the cash it previously raised in cultivated meat businesses developing meat and fish that is produced without animals, but It will have £9.9m in the bank after the cash raising.
Cyber security software provider Kape Technologies (KAPE) generated slightly better 2019 margins than anticipated. EBITDA grew by 40% to $14.5m in 2019 and it will more than double this year.
Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) believes that the best possible outcome was achieved from the initial production tests of the Cascadura well in Trinidad, which appears to have oil and associated gas. The Coho-1 well should be in production by June.
Trinidad-based oil and gas producer Trinity Exploration and Production (TRIN) increased production by 5% in 2019 and exited the year with daily production of 3,400 barrels. The current forecast for 2020 is 3,260 barrels per day. There was cash of $13.8m at the end of 2019.
Fuel cells developer Proton Motor Power Systems (PPS) has received a €400,00 order from E-Trucks Europe for fuel cells for refuse collection trucks. They will be delivered by the end of 2020.
Standard list shell Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) still intends to acquire medicinal cannabis company Kanabo Research but there are still conditions to be satisfied. The deal was announced 11 months ago.
Contango Holdings (CGO) is another cash shell and it has been in the process of acquiring the Lubu coal project since April. A £1.4m placing at 5p a share puts Contango in a position to publish a circular for the acquisition.
Tex Holdings (TXH) says it has a record order book. It is responding to matters raised by the FCA and trading in the shares remains suspended. Trading was suspended nine months ago and it has reported its late annual figures, although there still appear to be doubts about the financial state of the company. The overdraft has been repaid.