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Quoted Micro 4 July 2022

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AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Shepherd Neame (SHEP) issued a full year trading statement, and it is set to return to profit in 2021-22. The Kent-based brewer and pubs operator says revenues are recovering. Net debt was reduced from £93.2m to £75.3m by the end of June 2022. The estimated 2021-22 pre-tax profit is £7.2m and it is expected to improve to £9.6m in 2022-23.

Chief marketing officer Mark Harvey is leaving Chapel Down Group (CDGP). He has been with the wine maker for six years.

Energy storage technology developer Invinity Energy Systems (IES) generated revenues of £3.2m in 2021 and reported a substantial loss. VSA has cut its forecast 2022 revenues from £26.5m to £14.1m. There are already contracts that have been secured that are valued at £13.8m. The loss is expected to reduce from £21.3m to £17.9m. There should still be net cash of £10m by the end of 2022.

Visum Technologies (VIS) raised £601,000 at 14p a share ahead of its admission to Aquis on Thursday. Visum is the operator of an on-ride video camera system sold or licenced to theme parks, souvenir producers and ride operators. The share price opened at 12p before recovering to 14p

The technology investment company Asimilar (ASLR) reported interim figures, which show a £10.6m loss due to a sharp decline in the Dev Clever Holdings share price, which is currently suspended. Net assets were 25.3p a share at the end of March 2022.

Blockchain and digital assets investor KR1 (KR1) says net assets were 423% higher at 122.68p a share at the end of 2021, but that figure is likely to be lower now given the weak cryptocurrency market this year. There was £3.49m in cash on the balance sheet.

TruSpine Technologies (TSP) is waiting for the FDA’s response to the request for breakthrough technology designation before filing a 510k FDA submission for tis Cervi-LOK screwless spinal stabilisation system.

Trading in British Honey (BHC) shares was suspended at the end of the week because it has not published 2021 figures.

AIM

A further downgrade for Shield Therapeutics (STX) after its 2021 figures. Most of the 2021 revenues of £1.5m were generated in Europe and not the important US market for the Accrufer iron deficiency treatment. The latest figures show some progress in US Accrufer revenues with first quarter Accrufer prescriptions double the number in the fourth quarter of 2022, taking the total prescriptions for the quarter to more than 3,900. finnCap has reduced its 2022 forecast for US revenues from £8.1m to £6.3m thereby reducing total group revenues from £9.9m to £8.1m.

Shareholders in plant-based polymers developer Itaconix (ITX) have voted against the reappointment of two non-executive directors, including Charlean Gmunder, who was appointed on 19 April this year, and the Itaconix 2022 Equity Participation Plan for non-employees, where 79.16% of votes were against. First half revenues are substantially ahead of the previous record level.

Employee benefits services and insurance provider Personal Group (PGH) has acquired Quintage Consulting Group for £900,000 in cash. This is an employee reward and recognition consultancy providing things such as pay benchmarking surveys.

Footwear supplier Unbound Group (LSE: UBG) says trading has been in line with expectations following a good start to the year to January 2022. The multi-brand platform, that will exploit the extensive database that the company has built up, will launch on 28 July. There are 14 partner brands signed up, including Hush Puppies, and Sketchers.

IG Design Group (IGR) has started to improve operational efficiency in order to move back into profit. Higher freight and supply chain costs hit the business last year. Full year revenues increased from $873.2m to $965.1m, but an underlying pre-tax profit of $32.8m was turned into a loss of $1.3m. A modest rise in revenues is forecast for this year. The order book is already 71% of this year’s budgeted revenues.

Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) has reported that first half sales are 30% ahead at more than £24m and gross margin has improved.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell Alteration Earth (ALTE) is seeking an acquisition in the clean technology or energy sectors. The plan is to do this within 24 months of admission. The shell raised a total o £1.26m by issuing nine million shares at 4p each and nine million shares at 10p each. The share price ended the first day of trading at 30p, but the bid offer spread was 10p/50p. The deal would need to make the enlarged group worth a minimum of £30m.

Hamak Gold Ltd (HAMA) says two rock chip samples from the Nimba licence in Liberia show grades of 45.5g/t and 37.3g/t. These are located where gold in soil anomalies were reported. There are assays to come from channel sampling of surface exposures.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 13 June 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Psych Capital (PSY) floated on Aquis so that it can take advantage of the opportunities in the fast-growing psychedelic medicines sector. Management is seeking to invest in early-stage companies, where it can obtain a significant minority stake. Psych Capital raised £810,000 at 5p a share. Pro forma net assets are £2m. Psych Capital has cash of £872,000 following the flotation. There is an investment in Awakn Life Sciences Corp that was valued at £584,563 at the end of June 2021. The share price is declining, and it has reached C$0.96, valuing the stake at around £260,000 at the current exchange rate. The share price fell to 4p on 9 June before recovering to 4.75p (3.5p/6p). There is limited liquidity in the shares with a free float of around 11%. Fellow Aquis company Oscillate (MUSH) holds a 16.15% shareholding in Psych Capital. Chris Akers has increased his stake in Oscillate from 9.02% to 11.4%. He also has a 4.96% stake in Psych Capital.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) improved interim revenues from £198,000 to £216,000, while recognised fair value gains declined from £1.04m to £297,000. There were 14 investments at the end of the period and net assets were 68.38p a share at the end of February 2022.

Rural Broadband Solutions (RBBS) had 2,851 monthly fee-paying clients by mid-May. There was net cash of £1.2m at the end of 2021 and infrastructure funding is being negotiated.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) reopened its hotel in January and more than 105,000 racegoers have visited the racecourse so far this year. There have benefits from the catering deal with Compass and new media rights arrangement start at the beginning of 2024, which will benefit that financial year. More will be spent on prize money. Newbury is debt free, and a special dividend has been paid out of proceeds from the sale of land for housebuilding. Annual dividends may recommence next year.

Quantum technology investment company Quantum Exponential (QBIT) has made three investments at a total cost of £1.16m since it floated. There are discussions with more potential investments. There has been further progress towards setting up a fund. Anthony Lyall has been appointed as investment manager and Anna Spandl as investment analyst.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) says that it is on track for a maiden JORC resource statement for the Monte Muambe rare earths project in Mozambique. Four new drilling targets have been identified.

Ananda Developments (ANA) had net liabilities of £288,000 at the end of January 2022. There should be further news concerning the purchase of the other 50% of DJT Plants.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) expects to deploy drill rigs in Queensland in the next few weeks following the rainy season.

RentGuarantor Holdings (RGG) has raised £1m from a 6% unsecured loan note issue, with chief executive Paul Foy subscribing for 50% of the issue. The cash will be spent on hiring staff and marketing.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has commenced drilling at the Wishbone II gold copper project in Northern Queensland.

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) non-exec Jamie Brooke has bought 327,000 shares at 30.48p each. Jonathan Neame has sold 2,000 shares in Shepherd Neame (SHEP) at 806p each.

Oberon Investments has increased its stake in TruSpine Technologies (TSP) from 7.93% to 10.9%.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a NAV of 307.13p a share at the end of May 2022.

Former Aquis-quoted proton beam therapy provider Rutherford Health is being placed in liquidation. There are Rutherford Cancer Centres in Newport, Reading, Liverpool and Northumberland, plus a community diagnostics centre in Somerset. It is unclear whether there will be any buyers interested in these assets. Schroder UK Public Private Trust (SUPP) bought the remaining Woodford stake at the end of 2019. It was valued in the books at £22.8m, which will be written off. That will reduce NAV by 2p a share.

AIM

Like-for-like sales growth at City Pub Group (CPC) was 5% in May and 20% ahead over the Jubilee Bank Holiday. Management took a decision to minimise price rises so that food and drink is still relatively affordable. Two new sites have been opened with two more opening over the next few weeks.

Learning and development products and services provider Mind Gym (MIND) fell into loss in the year to March 2022. Revenues were 24% ahead at £48.7m with US revenues growing even faster. Repeat revenues from customers that have bought products and services in the past three years were 86% of the total. Overheads are higher as management anticipates future growth in demand. There were also £500,000 of non-recuring costs. The investment in digital products and services will pay off in future years when profit is expected to grow sharply.

Greater demand for foreign exchange helped Ramsdens (RFX) to move back into profit in the first half. Jewellery retail and precious metals buying also grew revenues significantly. There was modest growth in pawnbroking revenues although the growth in the loan book means that there will be a higher rate of increase in the second half. Overall revenues were £29.3m, up from £19.3m, and there was a pre-tax profit of £2.2m.

Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) improved interim revenues from £63.7m to £80.3m and the order book is 7% higher at £306.7m. Civil engineer Tamdown’s revenues were more than one-quarter higher while utilities connections business TriConnect reported a small increase in revenues. The biggest increase came from the eSmart Networks business, but that is still less than 11% of group revenues. Nexus is on course to improve full year pre-tax profit from £2.5m to £5.7m.

Open Orphan (ORPH) has an order book worth £64.25m at the end of May 2022. Open Orphan secured a £14.7m contract for an influenza characterisation study and a follow-on human challenge study. The second half is expected to be stronger than the first and the clinical trials services provider should move into profit this year.

Electrical goods retailer Marks Electrical (MRK) reported its first full year results since flotation last November. In the year to March 2022, revenues increased 44% to £80.5m. Underlying earnings were 5.01p a share and the maiden final dividend is 0.67p a share. The company is gaining market share in the domestic appliance and televisions markets and revenues have grown by one-fifth in the first couple of months of this financial year. Brand recognition is improving, but the overall market is likely to be tough. Expanding the product range is helping growth.

Interims from Hercules Site Services (HERC) reflect a period of consolidation for the staffing business. In the six months to March 2022, revenues improved from £14m to £20m, while pre-tax profit slumped from £954,000 to £31,000. Overheads were £2m higher in anticipation of growth in the coming years. The large staff supply contract for HS2 started later in the reporting period and demand will continue to grow. More suction excavators are being delivered and utilisation rates are high.

Greenland-focused AEX Gold Inc (AEXG) has signed non-binding terms for the creation of a joint venture with ACAM that will hold the group’s strategic mineral assets. ACAM will invest £18m for a 49% stake and AEX Gold will inject the non-gold assets and cover site support, logistics and overhead costs. There is an agreement to inject a further £10m on a pro rata basis as long as certain milestones are achieved. AEX Gold’s core asset is the 100% interest in the Nalunaq project, which includes a former producing gold mine.

Plant-based polymers developer Itaconix (LSE: ITX) had already warned that due to destocking 2021 revenues would fall from $3.29m to $2.6m, which is still double the 2019 figure. Itaconix remains lossmaking, but revenues should be much higher in 2022 due to the increased number of products using its ingredients. Revenues are expected to jump back to $4.7m and the loss could halve to $1m.

Rockwood Strategic (RKW) has acquired a 8.75% stake in window ventilators and parts manufacturer Titon Holdings (TON).

Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI), which is set to change its name to Crestchic, says that trading at the core power reliability business is better than the recently upgraded expectations. Previously full year earnings of 12.1p a share were forecast and this was raised to 13.4p a share.

STM (STM) pre-tax profit halved to £1.2m in 2021 and it is expected to recover to £2.9m this year. This will be helped by the completion of investment in IT that brings the personal pension businesses onto one platform. A flow of new SIPP business is anticipated.

Coral Products (CRU) has announced a final dividend of 0.2p a share, taking the total for the year to 1.1p a share. At 17.5p, the yield is 6.3%.

Eve Sleep (EVE) is outperforming a market that has fallen by 29% in the UK in the first four months of 2022 and by 37% in France. More funding is required even though Eve Sleep and a US-based investor was interested in bidding for the mattress supplier. Talks have ended but management is considering its options.

MAIN MARKET

Citius Resources (CRES) has an initial agreement for the potential acquisition of AUC Mining, which has the Kamalenge gold project in Uganda. The proposed £2m cost would be paid in shares at 4.625p each. More cash would have to be raised at the same time. Trading in the shares was suspended at 3p.

Standard list shell GS Chain (GSC) shares have reached a new high of 6.55p, having risen steadily since flotation on 13 May via an introduction at 1p a share. Net assets were less than 0.18p a share, so the share price is at a substantial premium.

Premium listed Ross Group (RGP) shares jumped from 1.45p to 1.7p following a placing raising £163,000 at 1.79p a share, which is still a premium to the higher market price. The previous placing in October was at 2.8p a share. Ross Group is effectively a shell that has an investment in an aquaculture business and is trying to develop its supply chain management business.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 23 May 2022

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.

AIM

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.

MAIN MARKET

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.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 11 April 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

NFT Investments (NFT) is not going ahead with the acquisition of crypto tech and operations company Pluto Digital Assets and trading in the shares has recommenced. NFT had cash of £21.9m, having made seven investments, and net assets of £34.4m, 3.43p a share, at the end of 2021.

National Milk Records (NMRP) is linking up with another former Milk Marketing Board business Genus (GNS). National Milk Records will provide the fully listed animal breeding company with multi-panel genomic testing and evaluations. The two firms have been part of a process to map the DNA of the worst cows and bulls in terms of environmental impact. Farmers will be able to choose to breed cows with lower impact and highest milk yields. The initial contract lasts for five years.

Asimilar Group (ASLR) has joined the Access segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange. The technology investment company hopes that this will improve share liquidity. The AIM-quotation is being maintained but may be terminated to save money if the new quotation is successful.

Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has signed two new distribution deals. Oak and Still will distribute Shinju whisky in the UK from April 2022. Beverage Hunters will be the distributor in Spain from May.

Vanadium flow batteries technology developer Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has successfully concluded a validation programme by Korea-based Hyosung Heavy Industries and signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for a global partnership and exclusivity in Korea.

Talent management and livestreaming company All Things Considered (ATC) increased revenues and other operating income by 23% to £9.9m in 2021. The loss is likely to be £2.8m. There was £4.4m in cash at the end of 2021. The live music market continues to recover. All Things Considered has invested $6m from a short-term promissory note into a new company focused on music digitisation and blockchain technology. This is a minority investment out of a total of $80m. The full year figures should be published in May.

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has been appointed as the official sparkling wine supplier to the English Cricket Board. The company’s sparkling wines will be given to the winners of internationals and domestic finals.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that iron ore stockpile shipments have started from the Amapa project in Brazil.

Eastinco Mining (EM.P) has discovered 16 new pegmatite zones following geochemical sampling at its HCK joint venture in southern Rwanda. This takes the total to 18.Surface geological exploration is underway at Musasa.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has renegotiated its loan facility and the £5m deemed to be outstanding has been changed into convertible loan stock that is convertible into shares at 1p each. There will be immediate conversion of £4.47m of loan notes.

Gunsynd (GUN) invested £75,000 into First Tin (1SN) at the placing price of 30p, having already invested £125,000 at 15p a share. The share price ended the first day at 30p.

AIM-quoted Vela Technologies (VELA) has acquired a 28.8% stake in healthcare and medtech firm Igraine (KING) for £404,000 or 1.8p a share. Richard Edwards had previously sold his 10.3% stake.

Giles Brand has increased his stake in EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) from 32.1% to 33.4%.

Aquis Exchange (AQX) non-exec chairman Glenn Collinson has bought an initial stake of 12,003 shares at 512p each. Shepherd Neame (SHEP) director Richard Oldfield has bought 25,000 shares at 837.4p each and 15,000 shares at 835.35p each. Hot Rocks investments (HRIP) non-exec chairman Brian Rowbotham bought 715,000 shares at 0.7p each and he owns 3.5%. Non-exec director Charles Vaughan has taken his stake to 2.53% after purchasing 1.5 million shares at 0.65p each.

AIM

The London Stock Exchange says that Arden Partners (ARDN) will lose its nominated adviser status if the merger with legal services provider Ince (INCE) goes ahead.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) revenues more than doubled to £24m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £4.77m to £6.42m thanks to the acquisition of rival Hunters Property. There is more to come. More financial advisers are being recruited and more of the franchisees are taking advantage of the services. The total dividend of 11.6p a share was higher than expected.

Belvoir Group (BLV) generated organic revenue growth of 25% last year. In 2021, pre-tax profit jumped from £7.5m to £10.3m, while the dividend is 8.5p a share. Management expects the residential sales part of the business to return to normal levels following the ending of incentives, while the lettings and financials businesses continue to grow.

Gaming machine monitors and consoles supplier Quixant (QXT) generated 2021 revenues of $87.1m, while pre-tax profit was $5.4m. Net cash is $17.6m. Screens supplier Densitron achieved the highest sales since it was acquired. Revenues are increasing from higher value added products.

Trading levels of most of the businesses of Tracsis (TRCS) have got back to previous levels, although the traffic data division recovery was delayed. In the six months to January 2022, group revenues were 31% ahead at £29.2m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from £4.1m to £5m. The interim dividend is 0.9p a share. The recent US acquisition provides a customer base in the US, which is not as far advanced in terms of rail optimisation software as the UK.

Freight forwarding and transport services both improved their profit contribution to Xpediator (LSE: XPD) in 2021. The warehousing and logistics profit slumped due to problems in the UK. Pre-tax profit rose by one-quarter to £9.1m in 2021. The total dividend was reduced to 1.1p a share. A special dividend is a possibility this year, though. A new chief executive is still being sought.

Ecommerce technology provider Attraqt (ATQT) increased full year revenues by 9% to £22.9m but continued to lose money. There was £3.5m in the bank at the end of 2021 and management hopes to be cash neutral in 2022.

SourceBio International (SBI) grew Covid-19 testing revenues and core divisions also improved revenues during 2021. Group revenues grew from £50m to £92.5m, but they are expected to decline to £39.5m in 2022. That masks sharply higher core revenues partly due to a recent acquisition. The Covid testing labs can be converted to other uses.

Floorcoverings supplier Likewise (LIKE) says that first quarter of 2022 is ahead of budget. The Birmingham logistics site is up and running. The latest acquisition is Delta Carpets, which is earnings enhancing.

Anglesey Mining (AYM) has made the switch from the Main Market to AIM. It had been listed since May 1988. The company’s main asset is the 100%-owned Parys Mountain copper lead zinc deposit in Anglesey, north Wales. Other assets include a 20% interest in the Grangesberg iron project in Sweden. There is a right of first refusal to increase the stake to 70%. The share price moved up by 0.01p to 4.06p on the first day of trading on AIM.

MAIN MARKET

First Tin (1SN) raised £20m at 30p a share and ended the first day of trading at 30p (29p/31p). First Tin issued 60 million shares to acquire Taronga Mines, which owns Australian tin mining assets. The company already owned German tin projects. The cash raised should last for 18-24 months.

Radiology services provider Medica Group (MGP) had a much stronger second half to 2021. Revenues from elective surgery where slightly lower in the first half because of the effect of lockdowns and restrictions. The 2021 group revenues improved from £12.5m to £17.3m as surgery activity built back to previous levels. In 2021, group revenues improved from £36.8m to £61.9m, while underlying pre-tax profit increased from £4.74m to £11.5m. That excludes £4.13m of non-underlying costs, including amortisation, share based payments and one-off professional fees of £555,000. Net cash was £3.88m at the end of 2021. There is potential contingent consideration of £6.89m. The total dividend is 5% higher at 2.68p a share.

DG Innovate (DGI) completed its reversal into Path Investments. The company was acquired for £32.4m in shares issued at 0.6p each and has two operations. The first is developing electric drive technology and the other is developing sodium-ion batteries. The £2.55m raised at 0.5p a share, plus the £2.08m raised from warrants exercised at 0.25p each, will help to commercialise these technologies. The share price ended the first day at 0.34p, which is higher than the suspension price.

Ajax Resources (AJAX) is a shell seeking energy and natural resources assets and it raised £1.34m at 4p a share. The shares ended the week at 4.75p. The pro forma net assets are 2.6p a share. Management is seeking production that provides cash flow and/or strong exploration potential in known resources areas.

Aura Renewable Acquisitions (ARA) is a new shell seeking acquisitions in the renewable energy sector and it raised £1m at 10p a share. It ended the first day of trading at 17p. Pro forma cash is 8.4p a share. The founder shareholder is Harmony Capital Investments, which is behind the management of AIM-quoted, Asia-focused investment company Jade Road Investments Ltd (JADE), where Aura chairman John Croft is executive chairman. Aura is targeting is a range of businesses in areas such as wind, solar, biomass, hydro, carbon capture, waste management, smart grids and hydrogen supply.

OTHER MARKETS

Cyprus listed FOS Holdings has appointed Nick Kounoupias as chief executive. He is a solicitor with his own intellectual property consultancy. The film and entertainment company is planning a complex of five studios in Cyprus between Limassol and Larnaca, plus studios in other locations around the world. EU grants will help the funding of the studio complex, but other funding will need to be secured. FOS also plans to make three films a year.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 20 December 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

The ecommerce technology and brands retailer Samarkand Group (SMK) reported lower interim revenues because of a one-off PPE contract in the previous period. There was a small underlying dip in revenues to £7.17m as the wholesaling business is being run down to a less important level of operations. The two core parts of the business grew revenues. The company’s brands generated £2.25m and the NOMAD ecommerce technology business generated just over £3m. Samarkand remains loss-making. Net cash was £8.8m at the end of September 2021, but Samarkand subsequently acquired Napiers the Herbalists for an initial consideration of £1.7m in cash. Revenues continue to grow at an accelerating rate. The current focus is organic growth through adding new clients.

Rural Broadband Solutions (RBBS) is acquiring Cadence Networks for £80,000 in cash and the issue of two million shares at a notional price of 7p each. Cadence is an internet service provider with revenues of £145,000. It has three data centres in London that Rural Broadband Solutions can use to build its national data network to replace third party providers. This will help to improve gross margins. There are 2,733 premises connected to the fixed wireless network of Rural Broadband Solutions. A placing is raising £1.675m at 3p a share. Directors are subscribing for 18.3 million shares. Investec Bank will advise on infrastructure funding.

VSA Capital (VSA) reported interim revenues of £1.16m and a loss of £235,000. This reflects the delay in the flotation of Tungsten West, which subsequently generated revenues of more than £1m.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has sold its residential property in Southfields for £662,500, which is a 2% premium to its valuation. This is the final private rental property in the portfolio.

Love Hemp Group (LIFE) generated revenues of £4.33m in the year to June 2021 and revenues from major retailers are increasing. Plans to move to the Main Market are progressing.

Apollon Formularies (APOL) has completed its high-volume processing laboratory. Processing capacity has increased to 20 litres of medicinal cannabis oil a day.

BWA Group (BWAP) says that the independent expert review of the two 90%-owned mineral sands projects in Cameroon supports the potential for significant mineralisation. BWA intends to drill 2,500 metres at Nkoteng and 1,500 metres in Dehane in the first quarter of 2022. An initial mineral resource estimate is expected by next summer.

Igraine (KING) says 2%-owned investee company Excalibur Medicines has completed the ARCADIA phase II clinical trial to assess a potential treatment for diabetics with Covid-19. The trial shows that AZD1656 reduced mortality in patients in combination with other medication. There are no safety concerns

S-Ventures (SVEN) has raised £3m at 70p a share and it will spend the cash on growing its food and wellness businesses. Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has raised £102,000 at 0.5p a share. IamFire (IAF) has raised £4.75m at 3p a share. EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has raised £20m from a zero dividend preference share offer. EPE has spent £1.1m and £175,000 buying back ordinary shares at 330p each and 350p each respectively.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has arranged an £8m loan at an annual interest rate of 15%. Schroder UK Public Private Trust and other shareholders will provide the loan in two tranches of £4m. There is also a convertible loan of £2m from LF Equity Income Fund – the conversion price is 176p. This will provide the working capital needed and a longer-term financing will be arranged next year. The cash is required because the cash for the £12.35m placing with SDI Holding has not been received. The acquisition of Proton Partners International has also not been completed.

Western Selection (WESP) has reduced its stake in AIM-quoted Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) from 11.35% to 9.65%. The sale, at 159.7p a share, raised £791,000. That is a gain on the balance sheet value of £216,000. Harwood Capital has increased its stake from 15.1% to 16.9%, including an unchanged 13.4% held by Gresham House Strategic (GHS).

New chief executive Andrew Carter has bought 66,079 shares in Chapel Down Group (CDGP) at 45.4p each. He owns 99,699 shares. Voyager Life (VOY) chief executive Nick Tulloch bought 537,776 shares at 18p each and chairman Eric Boyle acquired 519,112 shares at the same price. They own 14.3% and 9.1% respectively. Burns Singh-Tennent has bought one million shares in Oscillate (MUSH) at 2p each. He owns 5.22%.

AIM

NWF (NWF) had a successful first half even though feed volumes were disappointing and group figures will be much better than the previous year. Actions taken to retain drivers have helped the fuels and food distribution divisions. Fuels has done better than expected with a short-term boost from fuel shortages, which NWF did not suffer from, in the autumn. The food distribution business is benefiting from increased capacity. Net debt has fallen providing further scope for fuels acquisitions.

Totally (TLY) is acquiring Energy Fitness Professionals (Energy Fit-Pro), which provides workplace fitness services. The total cost will be up to £1.3m and Totally still has plenty of cash to finance further acquisitions. In the year to March 2021, Energy Fit-Pro made a pre-tax profit of £445,000 on revenues of £984,000. There will be cross-selling opportunities.

Digital transformation services provider Made Tech Group (MTEC) grew interim revenues by 131% to £11.7m thanks to the focus on the public sector. Hiring continues ahead of anticipated growth. Short-term gross margin was reduced due to the increased use of contractors.

Multi-utility connections and electric vehicle charging installer Fulcrum Utility Services Ltd (FCRM) is raising £19.5m at 12p a share and it could raise up to £6m more via an open offer. The placing and open offer price is below the underlying NAV of 15.4p a share, although more than 50% of that figure relates to intangible assets. The order book was £80.9m at the end of September 2021.The cash will be used to invest in the smart energy infrastructure sector as meter asset provider (MAP).

Acquisitions and tax adviser K3 Capital (K3C) expects to report a 30% increase in interim revenues to £30m through a combination of like-for-like growth and acquisitions. The diversification into additional services provides a stronger base for the group.

Hurricane Energy (HUR) could make a $54m write-off on its activities in the Greater Warwick area (GWA) of the North Sea because it does not want to fund the drilling obligations under the licence.

Tungsten Corporation (TUNG) founder Edmund Truell and his associates are backing a possible bid of 40p a share by Kofax Inc. California-based Kofax is an automated software provider that simplifies the handling of data. The board says that the bid significantly undervalues the digital invoicing business. Cloud-based automation technology provider Jaggaer LLC has decided not to make a rival bid but venture capital firms Accel-KKR, could still make an offer.

Deepmatter Group (DMTR) is seeking more cash, but it will take until early next year to secure additional investment for the digital chemistry data company. At the end of June 2021, Deepmatter had £1.8m in cash and that has fallen to £400,000. Deepmatter is loss-making.

Printed circuit technology developer Trackwise Designs (TWD) is raising £6m at 80p a share, which is a significant discount to the market price at the time of the announcement. An open offer could raise up to £1m. Capital equipment deliveries were delayed, although the EV contract will start next year.

Sovereign Metals Ltd (SVML) was listed on the ASX and obtained a secondary quotation on AIM. A scoping study for the Kasiya rutile project confirms that it is a significant deposit. The NPV8 after tax is $861m with a mine life of 25 years. The capital cost is estimated at $332m.

Youth-focused digital media company LBG Media (LBG) joined AIM in order to build a cash pile on the balance sheet so that organic and acquisitive growth can be achieved. It raised £30m at 175p each, leaving pro forma net cash of £27.1m. The share price ended the first day at 200p and the week at 193.45p.

DSW Capital (DSW) licences its brand to professionals involved in corporate finance and accounting services and provides them with back office support. Many individuals become licensees after working with major accountancy firms. Warrington-based DSW believes that the flotation will boost the profile of the business and enable it to grow geographically and broaden the services provided. DSW raised £5m at 100p a share and the price ended the week at 123.5p.

In the six months to October 2021, Begbies Traynor (BEG) revenues were 39% ahead at £52.3m. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped 60% to £8m thanks to an improvement in operating margin from 14.4% to 16%. Net cash was £1.2 million at the end of April 2021.

Public Policy Holding Company Inc (PPHC) provides public affairs, crisis management and lobbying services in the US. It has three subsidiaries in the top 20 US lobbying firms. A placing raised £11.1m at 135p a share. Although the company has reported losses, a change in bonus arrangements will make it profitable.

Problems at the CHESS naval systems subsidiary led to a slump in interim profit at defence firm Cohort (CHRT), but it still increased the interim dividend by 10% to 3.85p a share. The group order book remains strong and includes some large orders. A new managing director has been appointed at CHESS.

Jade Road Investments Ltd (JADE) says that the structure of restaurants group Fook Lam Moon has changed, and it may no longer own 71%. This could lead to a partial or full provision of the $29.1m valuation in the balance sheet.

MAIN MARKET

Anemoi International (AMOI) has completed the acquisition of id4 AG for £5.33m, with an initial payment in shares with 50% deferred and dependent on achieving targets over the next five years. The SaaS-based business provides anti-money laundering and know your client software products. A placing raised £2.175m at 4p a share.

Spinnaker Acquisitions (SPAQ) is planning to acquire leak detection technology developer HomeServe Labs, from fully listed HomeServe (HSV) for a mixture of cash and shares. The business trades under the name LeakBot and it helps insurers to reduce claims costs. Insurers can provide LeakBot to homeowners free of charge. The company would be renamed Ondo InsureTech.

Marine technology products developer OTAQ (OTAQ) is raising £1.38m at 22p a share. Interim revenues fell from £2m to £1.8m. Net debt was £800,000 at the end of September 2021. The regulatory review in Scotland has held back progress and it continues to do so. There are plans for new product launches.

Publisher National World (NWOR) says full year revenues will be around 85%, following the purchase of JPI Media, with growth in digital income and a slowing in the rate of decline of print revenues. There should be cash of £23m at the end of 2021.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 8 November 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

There are three companies on the shortlist of the AQSE company of the year award at the Small Cap Awards 2021. They are medical IT provider DXS International (DXSP), oncology and dermatology treatments developer Incanthera (INC) and Kent-based wine maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP).

Brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) was hampered by lockdowns in the six months to September 2021, but they were not as bad as in the first half of the previous year. Revenues increased from £221.8m to £47.8m, while the business returned to profit with £7.5m before tax. Net debt was £61.4m at the end of September 2021. Government support has come to an end and there are inflationary pressures, only partly offset by beer duty changes.

Quantum Exponential (QBIT) is a shell focused on quantum technology and predominantly companies in NATO countries. There are no other quoted companies offering a potential investment in this sector. The plan is to put together a portfolio of quantum technology company investments, which are most likely to be at the seed or early stage. Quantum computing uses the laws of quantum physics to increase the speed of computation. Nearly £2.5m was raised after expenses at 5p and the share price ended the week at 6.625p (6.25p/7p). The NAV is 1.65p a share, so the current share price is more than four times that level. Helium Special Situations has taken a 4.57% stake.

Kashei Holdings (KASH) intends to build up a portfolio of investments in cryptocurrencies and blockchain. The portfolio will include digital assets, listed investments, venture capital opportunities and staking digital assets into liquidity smart contracts and perform staking services. There should be around £3.7m available for investment, although 10% of that will be required for working capital, following the placing at 16p a share. The current mid-price is 20.25p (19.5p/21p). Pro forma NAV is 13.1p a share.

Samarkand Group (SMK) is acquiring Napiers the Herbalists, which it has been trading with for three years. The initial consideration is £1.7m in cash with deferred consideration of £100,000. There is also contingent consideration of up to $700,000. In the year to March 2021, revenues were £1m and EBITDA was £240,000.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) signed exclusive heads of terms with a company with gemstone assets and another company with diamond assets. It has terminated the gemstone deal and extended the potential diamond deal. The potential acquisition has white and coloured diamonds and an off-take and financing agreement. Ian Harebottle, the interim chief executive of All Star Minerals, owns 25% of the diamond company.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has signed heads of terms to acquire Aftech, which is a sheet metal fabrication company that fits in with existing subsidiaries. Aftech has net assets of £780,000 and net debt of £90,000. Full year revenues are estimated to be £1m with EBITDA of £175,000. Vulcan will pay £1.55m in shares and this may represent 21.5% of the enlarged share capital.

TruSpine Technologies (TSP) has submitted a request to the FDA to consider the Cervi-LOK system as a breakthrough device technology. That would enable the device to generate higher margins.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) had crypto assets of $4.22m at the beginning of November 2021. That is more than double the value at the end of June.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) increased interim revenues by 36% to £4.85m in the six months to August 2021. September revenues were more than £1m. More oncologists have been trained to use the company’s technology. Rutherford Health will continue to lose money.

Pioneer Media Inc (PNER) has acquired CryptoPunk 8869 for $433,700.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings (AWLP) increased interim revenues from $894,000 to $940,000, while pre-tax profit improved from $117,000 to $123,000. There was $1.36m in the bank at the end of August 2021.

AIM

Online electrical retailer Marks Electrical (MRK) specialises in kitchen appliance, audio visual products and small electrical appliances and has been growing its share of the market. Since 2014, Marks Electrical has increased its market share from 0.41% to 1.22%. A placing raised £2.63m after expenses at 110p each and shareholders sold shares worth £25m. The company’s warehouse has enough capacity to cope with revenues of £180m, more than treble last year’s level. The shares ended the first day at 110.5p.

Devolver Digital Inc (DEVO) is the latest video games publisher to join AIM. The Delaware-based company’s original focus has been indie games produced by third parties, but more recently it has been acquiring companies with their own IP. The cash raised by the company in the placing will be used to acquire strategic partners and finance the development of third party and in-house games. Nearly £30m was raised after expenses and the price has risen from the placing price of 157p to 187.5p. The overall video games market is forecast to grow from $177.8bn to $218.7bn in 2024.

Escape rooms operator Escape Hunt (ESC) is acquiring Boom Battle Bars, which offers competitive socialising activities along with drinks and food. The total cost is £17.38m, with £9.88m in cash and deferred consideration of up to 25 million shares. The shares are subject to an earn-out based on revenues number of sites open. Escape Hunt raised £15m at 30p a share and could raise up to £2.2m from a one-for-12 open offer at the same share price. The acceptance date is 19 November. The enlarged group will be renamed XP Factory.

Self-storage sites operator Lok’nStore (LOK) had a much more significant than forecast uplift in its NAV at the end of July 2021. It increased from 555.5p a share to 731.1p a share. This year the dividend has been raised by 2p a share to 15p a share. The additional sites in progress will add 38% to space over the next few years.

Bleepa communications technology developer Feedback (FDBK) is raising £10m in a placing at 0.7p a share to take advantage of opportunities and finally build up revenues. There is also a one-for-15 open offer to existing shareholders that can raise up to £500,000 more. The CareLocker technology that is being piloted in Sussex could be a game changer. Combined with Bleepa it can store patient records individually in the cloud instead of in one place where it is easier to hack.

Gensource Potash (GSP) was already quoted on the Toronto Venture Exchange before joining AIM, and its focus is the Tugaske potash project in Canada. Gensource owns 67% of the vehicle that owns the project and has arranged finance to cover the C$352m cost of building the mine. The Tugaske project’s proven and probable mineral reserve is 14.1 million tonnes and there is a likely minimum expected mine life of more than 56 years, based on annual production of 250,000 tonnes of saleable muriate of potash. The share price ended the first day at 27.5p.

Remote tracking and monitoring technology provider Starcom (STAR) is changing its name to t42 IoT Tracking Solutions and rebranding its products. There will also be an eight-for-one share consolidation.

MAIN MARKET

In the six months to August 2021, Braemar Shipping Services (BMS) revenues grew by 11% to £47.4m, while pre-tax profit improved from £4.47m to £4.92m. The order book is 28% ahead at $55.5m. Net debt has fallen to £14.7m. There is a 2p a share interim dividend.

IT services provider Triad Group (TRD) reported a decline in interim revenues, but pre-tax profit jumped from £1,000 to £670,000. There is a 2p a share interim dividend. There is cash of £5.34m. high utilisation levels are continuing.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 4 October 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Wine maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased interim revenues by 35% to £8.11m, which included £287,000 from the brewing business, which has been sold. Chapel Down moved from loss to profit in the first half. Underlying pre-tax profit was £459,000, helped by £73,000 of government grant income.  Wine volumes increased by 66%. Pro forma net cash is £6m, following the recent fundraising.

Digital assets investor KR1 (KR1) reported an NAV of 80.3p a share at the end of June 2021, up from 29p a share at the end of 2020. There was a £69.5m gain on intangible and financial assets.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) returned to profit in the year to April 2021. The value of the portfolio was 3% higher at £89.9m. A loss of £742,000 was turned into a pre-tax profit of £1.39m. Contracts have been exchanged for the purchase of a property in Stafford for £1.26m, where the annual rent is £95,000. The sale of properties in Leeds and Dudley are due to complete.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has sold a 60% stake in Whale Head Minerals to AIM-quoted Kazera Global Investments (KZG) in return for 13.5 million shares, which have been assigned to Consolidated Minerals to settle a A$279,732 loan. Tectonic retains a non-diluting 10% interest in Whale Head Minerals.

Coinsilium (COIN) made a pre-tax profit of £333,000 in the first half of 2021. A net fair value gain on unlisted investments of £793,000 was offset by a £148,000 investment write-down. There was a £136,000 cash outflow from operating activities.

NFT Investments (NFT) had net cash of £29.3m at the end of June 2021. So far, two investments have been made, including one after June. Management admits that the digital asset investment sector has been volatile and NFT is being highly selective.

Cancer treatment company Rutherford Health (RUTH) has increased its full year revenues from £5.6m to £7.3m. The operating loss increased from £25.7m to £31.1m. Additional investment has been obtained since the end of February 2021.

Incanthera (INC) has frilled two trademark names for its Sol skin cancer formulation. They are ACTINOMOD AND ACTINODERM.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) has sold a further 220,000 shares in Secure Trust, raising £2.5m. Arbuthnot retains 399,538 shares in Secure Trust.

Adnams (ADB) director Guy Heald has acquired 3,000 B shares from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge at £92.86 each. His B shares stake has increased to 17.15%.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has appointed VSA Capital as corporate adviser.

Block Commodities has been withdrawn from Aquis after a six-month trading suspension.

AIM

Frontier IP (FIPP) investee company Exscientia has joined the Nasdaq Global Select Market after a $304.7m offer at $22 per ADS, which values the pharmatech company at $2.6bn. The ADSs ended at $27.10 each on the first day of trading on 1 October. The closing price values the Frontier IP stake at £31.3m. Oxford-based Exscientia is a spin-out from the University of Dundee and uses artificial intelligence to help drug discovery.

Broker Peel Hunt (PEEL) has returned to AIM two decades after its original flotation, which ended with a takeover by Belgian bank KBC. A placing at 228p a share raised £40m for the company and valued it at £280m. Existing shareholders also raised £72m The share price ended the week at 231.3p. In the year to March 2021, Peel Hunt Ltd revenues more than doubled from £95.5m to £196.9m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £34.2m to £120.1m. That reflects another bumper trading period. Because of the reorganisation of the group, the illustrative, adjusted pre-tax profit is £73.6m, up from £19.4m. Revenues for the five months to August 2021 fell from £82.5m to £63.3m.

GreenRoc Mining (GROC) has acquired the Greenland mining assets of Alba Mineral Resources (ALBA) in return for shares equivalent to 54% of the newly floated company. The Amitsoq graphite project has graphite suitable for using in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries and the Thule Black Sands project in north west Greenland appears to be a continuation of the Dundas mineral sands project being developed by AIM-quoted Bluejay Mining (JAY). GreenRoc raised £4.25m after expenses at 10p a share. The share price has slipped back to 9.35p.

Made Tech Group (MTEC) is a rapidly growing provider of digital transformation services to the UK public sector, including healthcare and defence. It raised £15m at 122p a share when it joined AIM at the end of September. Over the past three years annual revenues have grown at a compound rate of 89% and this growth has been financed without seeking shareholder investment. In the year to May 2021, revenues were £13.3m.

Delivered ready meals company Parsley Box (MEAL) has been hit by supply problems. The available stock is 50% of planned levels, due to staffing and logistics problems at food producers, and Parsley Box has built up its cost base in anticipation of growth. It is set to continue to make losses until the supply problems ease, even though marketing spend will be cut.

Antimicrobial technology developer Byotrol (BYOT) has sold the American rights to the Byotrol24 surface spray to its Americas licensee Integrated Resources Inc for $1.4m (£1m). Byotrol retains the rights outside of the Americas.

Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) is growing the core loadbanks manufacturer Crestchic and the disposal of the Tasman oil and gas tools business, assuming it happens, will end the associated loss and pay off debt. Group revenues were 22% higher at £19.6m, while operating profit quadrupled to £1.6m. Net debt has fallen from £6.8m to £4.5m. A pre-tax profit of £2.83m is forecast for 2021. The construction of a new Crestchic factory has commenced.

Acquisitions and strong organic growth enabled pharma services software supplier Instem (INS) to increase interim revenues by 41% to £19.8m. Demand for the company’s software is being driven by increased life sciences investment. Instem is on course to increase full year pre-tax profit from £4m to £5.2m.

Cyber security firm Osirium Technologies (OSI) signed up 31 new customers in the first half. It was particularly successful in winning NHS Trusts. Average contract values were lower, but sales bookings were 19% higher. Interim revenues increase by 5% to £740,000, while deferred income was 17% ahead. Partners are being signed up to help with international growth. Full year revenues are expected to be 12% higher at £1.6m, but Osirium will continue to lose money due to continued investment.

Digital TV software technology developer Mirada (MIRA) has changed its strategy and employing resellers. The local presence should enable Mirada to build up its international revenues. Covid-19 hampered deployments and slowed investment decisions. Interim revenues declined by 15% to $11.1m. This is despite the growth in deployments of Mirada’s android TV technology for izzi Telecom, which is the company’s largest customer.

1Spatial (SPA) continues to win new contracts and annualised recurring revenues have increased by 12%. The latest contract for a UK government department is worth £8m.

Data erasure and mobile diagnostics services provider Blancco Technology (BLTG) reported operating 2020-21 profit slightly ahead of expectations. Investec is maintaining its 2021-22 pre-tax profit forecast of £5.4m, up from £5m.

Polymers developer Itaconix (ITX) is still loss making, but interim revenues improved 26% to $1.37m. It has a pipeline of potential deals that could generate revenues that are many times higher than that.

MAIN MARKET

S and U (SUS) reported better than expected interims. Revenues were flat at £42.8m, but the core car finance business is recovering. The loan loss provision was cut from £21.4m to £4.9m. Car finance receivables were slightly higher at the end of the six-month period at £248.8m, even though credit criteria has been toughened. Pre-tax profit more than trebled to £19.9m. This includes an improvement in the profit of the Aspen bridging loan business from £100,000 to £1.5m. The interim dividend is 50% higher at 33p a share. Edison has upgraded the 2021-22 S and U pre-tax profit forecast to £38.7m.

Anglo African Agriculture (AAAP) says that the proposed reverse takeover of Kenya-based Comarco. The loan to the company plus interest, totalling $1.5m, should be repaid by the end of October. The original loan was made in November 2018 and is secured on a company with 4.74 acres of land at Mombassa.

Aircraft lessor Avation (AVAP) reported a $70.1m loss for the year to June 2021 and it is expected to make a much smaller loss this year. Avation has a fleet of 44 aircraft. The company’s cash pile should build up when underutilised aircraft are sold.

Bay Capital (BAY) is a newly floated shell set up by two highly experienced small company directors, Peter Tom and David Williams. It raised £4m at 10p a share and has pro forma cash of £6.64m, which is equivalent to 9.5p a share. The share price ended the week at 18.4p. Acceler8 Investments (AC8) is another recently floated shell where David Williams is a director.

Roquefort Investments (ROQ) is paying £1m in cash and shares for Lyramid, which has a worldwide licence to commercialise patents related to Midkine-based therapies for cancer, kidney disease, autoimmune disorders and Covid-19. Roquefort plans to raise up to £3m. Trading in the shares has been suspended until a reverse takeover prospectus has been published.

Hygiene and protection technologies developer HeiQ (HEIQ) published lower interim revenues because the comparative figures were boosted by Covid-19 demand. Full year revenues are likely to be flat at around $50m, while pre-tax profit would decline from $7m to $3.7m due to a lower gross margin and higher overheads.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 9 August 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Chapel Down (CDGP) has announced Andrew Carter as successor to chief executive Frazer Thompson in September 2021.

National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its fourth quarter revenues by 7% to £5.72m. Milk recording revenues grew by 9%. The corresponding period did cover the initial lockdown. Milk prices are holding up at levels where dairy farmers will be profitable. The first phase of IT investment will be up and running later this year.

Boanerges Ltd (BNRG) has paid £25,000 for an option to invest £2m for a 14.3% stake in Fintech Digital Platforms, which owns property search internet portals.

Samarkand (SMK) has secured an extension to its distribution contract with skincare brand 111SKIN until the end of July 2023. Non-exec Keith Higgins has bought 21,739 shares at 146p a share.

Inqo Investments (INQO) had significant write-offs and bad debt provisions in the year to February 2021. This contributed to the more than doubled loss of R13.4m as revenues slumped from R24.4m to R4.2m. The total cash outflow was R14.7m and cash fell below R1m. Kuzuko Private Game Reserve will reopen in September. Uganda-based Four One Financial Services and Kenya-based South Lake Medical Centre both made higher interest payments to Inqo.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has taken a 50% stake in Vegan Punk Ventures and invested up to £100,000 in loans. The brand is PlantPunk and it has a range of ZeroBeef meat alternatives. Dave Ahern will be managing director and third-party investors will provide loans of up to £50,000.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) had cash of £436,000 at the end of June 2021.

Helium Ventures (HEV) continues to trade at a premium to its 10p placing price. The share price is currently 32.5p (31p/34p). James Sheehan has increased his stake from 8,5% to 9.47%.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has sold its stake in Finance Partners Group for €2.15m and €1.57m of this has been received. The original cost was €1.9m. The investment focus will be fintech.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £223,000 at 1.46p a share and issued £48,000 worth of shares at 2p each.

Veni Vid Vici has changed its name to VVV Resources (VVV). Angelfish Investments has changed its name to Igraine (KING). DicovORE has changed its name to Oscillate (MUSH).

Trading in First Sentinel, which has changed its name to Omni Egis (OMNI) and NQ Minerals (NQMI) shares has been suspended ahead of publication of their respective accounts. Freyherr International (FRYR) has withdrawn from Aquis.

AIM

In 2020-21, NWF (NWF) did not manage to match the previous year’s profit performance of the fuels division, but the cold winter and home working meant that the performance was better than expected. Management is keen to make further acquisitions to broaden the geographic spread of the fuels business. Overall, group pre-tax profit was 10% lower at £11.9m. The efficiency improvement in the food warehousing division meant that its profit contribution was higher. The feeds division reported a lower profit but with milk prices over 30p per litre the outlook is positive for dairy feed.

Higher second half sales and improved efficiency helped Filtronic (FTC) maintain profitability at £200,000 even though full year revenues fell 9% to £15.6m. The telecoms and RF components and equipment supplier generated cash and net cash improved to £2.8m at the end of May 2021. 5G investment and moves into newer markets, such as space, provide a positive outlook for the future and profit should build from now on. Revenues are expected to grow by 16% this year and pre-tax profit of £500,000 is forecast.

The latest trading statement from Belvoir (BLV) confirms a strong first half with revenues growing by two-fifths, due to buoyant house sales. The steadier lettings income has grown by 13% – 10% organically, which is much faster than the market.

Maestrano (MNO) has secured a five-month proof of concept contract with Network Rail for HS1, the high speed line that goes to the channel tunnel. This will monitor overhead lines, vegetation, track and passing clearances. HS1 is the same specification as European tracks so it could provide a way into the European market.

Microbiome-based products developer Optibiotix Health (OPTI) generated a 44% increase in interim revenues to £1.07m with LP LDL probiotic cholesterol-reducing products and Slimbiome products accounting for most of the revenues.

Seeing Machines (SEE) 2020-21 revenues were 2% ahead of expectations at A$47.3m. There was $47.7m in the bank at the end of June.

Xpediator (XPD) has formed a strategic partnership with e-commerce fulfilment company Synergy Retail Support and is providing space at its Braintree warehouse.

MAIN MARKET

Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated July revenues of £5.6m, up from £4.36m in June, even though the average bitcoin price fell. A Nasdaq listing is being considered.

Challenger Acquisitions has changed its name to Cindrigo Holdings (CINH) following the completion of the acquisition of the renewable energy products business.

Kanabo (KNB) has a stake in medical cannabis cultivation company Hellenic Dynamics, which is being acquired by AIM-quoted UK SPAC (SPC) for £45.2m in shares at a minimum price of 0.472p a share. The £750,000 investment in Hellenic will be converted into shares at a minimum 30% discount to the prospective. UK SPAC intends to move to the standard list.

Starcrest Education (OBOR) has signed heads of terms to acquire 80% of National Training Company. Starcrest is not going ahead with the acquisition of The London School of Science and Technology and costs of £1.2m have been written off. There was £700,000 in cash left at the end of June 2021.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 19 July 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Good Energy (LON: GOOD) has rejected the bid from rival renewable energy supplier Ecotricity. It believes that the indicative offer of 340p a share in cash is too low even though it is a premium to the previous market price. Management believes that it has a clear strategy for the company. The focus is energy as a service and mobility as a service, particularly through Zap Map. A new tariff, called Green Driver, has been launched offering a choice of off-peak electric vehicle charging periods. The potential bid values Good Energy at nearly £57m. However, Ecotricity already owns 25.06% of Good Energy.

Voyager Life (VOY) has secured a preferred supply deal for its CBD and hemp oil products with independent pharmacy group Inphaserve, which supplies more than 30 independent pharmacies in England and Scotland.

Rogue Baron (SHNJ) reports another record month for its Bin 1301 bar. Sales were $95,000 in June, which is one-third higher than any pre-Covid month.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has raised £2.59m at 30p a share. The cash will be used to build up the sales capability and finance the hiring of additional management and staff. There will also be further investment in R&D. There are 58 ongoing trials for its emission reduction product.

Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) generated interim revenues of £186,000, but it lost £383,000. The hotel has been trading for a limited time in the six months to April 2021. Refurbishment of bathrooms was undertaken during the period. The hotel will fully re-open on 19 July.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has reached an agreement with White Prospecting to set up a joint venture to mine gold at the Mount Cassidy project. Tectonic will get a 7.5% gross production royalty. This deal will enable Tectonic to concentrate on Specimen Hill.

BWA Group (BWAP) reports positive sampling results at the 90%-owned Dehane rutile sands project. It is still early days, but the elevated levels of rare earths is a good sign.

Evrima (EVA) had £164,000 in the bank at the end of 2020, while the NAV was £461,000.

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) raised £6.88m at 59.5p a share, which includes £5.45m raised via crowdfunding. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £35,000 at 7p a share. All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised £257,000 at 0.02p a share and converted £54,000 of liabilities into shares. Ananda Developments (ANA) has raised £350,000 from an issue of convertible loan notes, with a conversion price of 1p a share, and a further £200,000 is committed by investors.

AIM

Building materials sector consolidator SigmaRoc (LSRC) acquiring Finland-based limestone supplier Nordkalk acquired for £402m, including debt. SigmaRoc has raised £260m in a placing at 85p a share, while a retail offer raised £1.6m. A new bank facility will help to fund the deal and £43m of shares will be issued to Rettig Group.

Energy efficiency as a service provider eEnergy Group (EAAS) has trebled full year estimated revenues to £13.5m. Organic growth was 75% and there was a small pre-tax profit. The smart metering service has been rebranded as MyZeRO and the first combined LightAsAService and smart metering contract has been won. Short-term profit growth is being sacrificed for longer-term growth.

Solid State (SOLI) marginally beat previously upgraded expectations for its figures for the year to March 2021. Revenues dipped slightly to £66.3m, but underlying pre-tax profit was 15% ahead at £5.4m following a reduction in overheads. The total dividend was 16p a share. Computing and communications products did well, but there was a decline in power products revenues. Acquisitions made a small contribution.

Glantus (GLAN) has made its first acquisition since joining AIM, but the software company still remains at a discount to its placing price. The $9.3m acquisition of Technology Insight Corporation led to an earnings up grade for 2022 from 6.4 cents a share to 7.1 cents a share.

Iodine producer Iofina (IOF) says iodine prices are back to pre-pandemic levels at $35-$37/kg. First half production is in line with guidance at 249.4Mt.

Kromek (KMK) had a better second half of the year to April 2021. Manufacturing had been closed in the first half and revenues improved. Full year revenues still fell from £13.1m to £10.4m. There is already 75% visibility over this year’s forecast revenues of £15m. Biodetection equipment for Covid-19 and other airborne viruses will provide a new market for the company. The medical imaging market is recovering.

ULS Technology (ULS) continues to invest in its DigitalMove platform, and it has net cash of £24m to complete its development. More services will be offered on the platform. Conveyancing completions fell last year and revenues declined 18% to £16.9m.

Zoo Digital (ZOO) moved into profit in the year to March 2021. A pre-tax profit of $900,000 was made on revenues of $39.5m with further improvements in profit expected in the next two years. Demand is increasing from subtitling and dubbing services for TV and film back catalogues and Zoo is also adding additional services. Zoo is extending its geographic reach in line with demand from customers.

Chains and transmissions manufacturer Renold (RNO) reported a 13% dip in revenues last year, but underlying pre-tax profit improved by one-fifth to £5.9m – that was due to £2.4m of restructuring costs the year before. Net debt was reduced to £18.4m. The cost base has been cut and efficiency improved through capital investment in facilities. In July, a £11m military contract was won by the torque transmission business.

Personal protection and insurance products provider CPP Group (CPP) says that trading in India has recovered in the past few weeks, but there had been a sharp reduction activity in April and May. The back books continue to generate revenues, although they are declining. Overall trading is in line with expectations.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell Hawkwing (HNG) has agreed to acquire ecommerce aggregator Internet Fusion Group, which owns nine speciality retail businesses. It has developed the Reactor platform which brings together retail businesses and brands. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) has continued to improve its performance in the first half. Interim revenues are expected to be £108m and underlying operating profit of £19m. The second half will be even stronger. Luceco expects full year revenues to be at least one-quarter higher at £220m and underlying operating profit 30% ahead at £39m.

Maternity wear retailer Seraphine Group (BUMP) raised £61m at 295p when it joined the premium list last Friday. The cash will be used to pay off loans and finance growth. The share price started conditional dealings earlier in the week at 305p and subsequently fell back, opening at 280.05p when dealings were unconditional. The share price ended the day at 279.4p

HeiQ (HEIQ) has signed a collaboration agreement with LYCRA and the first product should be launched by the autumn. This will combine freshness and antiviral benefits with LYCRA stretch fabrics.

Nuformix (NFX) expects to develop a phase 1-ready formulation of its NXP002 inhaled treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in the next 18 months. This could be a time to seek a partner.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 7 June 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) is raising up to £6.88m at 59.5p a share via a placing and crowdfunding offer. The directors and Michael Spencer have invested £1.43m in the placing. The rest of the cash will come via the crowdfunding with Seedrs. The financing will only go ahead if a minimum of £3m is raised. The wine maker wants to increase the scale of its winery so it can process more fruit and complete the planting of new acreage. Management also wants to improve the e-commerce capabilities. A new asset-based financing facility of up to £15m has been secured and it will refinance the HSBC debt. Chapel Down increased its revenues from continuing operations from £10.1m to £13.3m in 2020. The underlying pre-tax profit was trebled from £308,000 to £955,000.

TECC Capital (TEC) is a new shell that is seeking to buy technology or cannabis businesses. There is a wide list of potential sub-sectors that will be considered, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, telematics, life sciences, including cannabis products, cyber security and e-commerce, which includes the Internet of Things. TECC raised £1.1m, after expenses at 5p a share. There is pro forma cash of £1.15m, which is equivalent to just over 3.8p a share. Even so, the share price ended the week at 10p. Chris Akers owns 9.9%.

Pioneer Media Holdings Inc (PNER) is a Canada-based investment company with investments in eSports and mobile gaming businesses. It already has a portfolio of ten companies and a Canadian Stock Exchange listing. The shares floated at 45p each and they closed the week at 48p each.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) is raising £850,000 at 1.75p a share. That is at a 12.5% discount to the market price. Gledhow had net assets of £2.35m at the end of March 2021, including £374,000 in cash. That means it is a significant discount to net assets of nearly 4.8p a share. That figure will be significantly diluted by the new share issue. Gledhow does need to become bigger to warrant the quotation, though. Although it has a portfolio of investments, Gledhow would make a good shell for a business. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi has taken a 3.26% stake in Gledhow.

Non-executive director Dominic Burke has bought 10,000 shares in Newbury Racecourse (NYR) at 582.5p each. The racecourse will be able to have spectators at its 10 June meeting and if there is further easing of lockdown then the hotel and events businesses can reopen. Newbury Racecourse will continue to be loss making in the first half of this year. A joint venture has been set up with a subsidiary of Compass to provide catering for the racecourse and other businesses.

KR1 (KR1) has invested a further $200,000 in Automata, as part of a $2.4m financing. KR1 will receive five million ATA tokens and it already owned ten million tokens.

Startup Giants (SUG) increased revenues from £45,000 to £87,000 in 2020. Higher costs meant that the loss increased. However, there was a £9,000 cash inflow from operating activities. There was net cash of £651,000 at the end of 2020.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that initial drilling of the Cottesloe silver project, which is close to the Red Setter project.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised nearly £80,000 at 28.5p a share.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) directors Alistair Currie and Ed Jenkins have each bought 18,400 shares at 43.25p each.  Currie owns 3.67% and Jenkins holds 0.75%. Chairman Jonathan Bixby has bought 1,000 shares in NFT Investments (NFT) at 2.9p each. Iain Livingston, the father of S-Ventures (SVEN) chief executive Scott Livingston, has sold 150,000 shares at an average price of 23p a share. Scott Livingston owns 49.1% and his family a further 3.5%.

AIM

Arecor Therapeutics (AREC) takes existing pharma products and reformulates them for new uses or to make them more effective. A placing raised £18.3m, after expenses, at 226p a share. The main focus is diabetes. Arecor’s insulin program AT247 is an ultra-rapid acting meal-time insulin product, while AT278 is an ultra-concentrated rapid acting insulin development, which could be used with miniaturised insulin pump delivery devices. AT299 is a co-formulation of pramlintide and insulin. These fast-acting insulins have an addressable market worth $6.4bn. There have been positive clinical studies for AT247. A phase II study should provide results in 24 months and that would be the point when a partner would be secured.

Artisanal Spirits Company (ART) owns the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SWMS) and it raised £13.2m after expenses at 112p a share, which was at the bottom of the 112p a share to 121p a share price range. First quarter sales in 2021 improved from £2.9m to £3.4m, even though venues and events revenues continued to be well down during the period. There was cask whisky and bottled stock of £21.7m at the end of 2020. That is the main asset in the balance sheet and an independent valuation believes that this stock is worth £9m more than book value – based on an orderly liquidation.

Franchised lettings agency Belvoir (BLV) has acquired The Nottingham Building Society’s mortgage and protection services business for £600,000. This year’s operating profit is expected to be £175,000. The deal could add 1% to earnings in a full year.

Coral Products (CRU) had £3.8m in the bank at the end of April 2021. That should be boosted by the Haydock freehold sale, which should be completed in the second half. In the year to April 2021, revenues from continuing operations increased from £8.7m to £10.7m. Even excluding the profit on disposals of £2.3m, the pre-tax profit was £700,000. There will be a final dividend of 0.5p a share.

CyanConnode (CYAN) has raised £3.15m at 9.5p, taking advantage of the strength of its share price. This was a small premium to the market price. CyanConnode could have made progress in the smart meter market without the additional cash, but this will help to accelerate its growth.

Cleantech company Verditek (VDTK) is raising up to £500,000 through a bond offering 7% interest, secured against the assets of the company. The offer is via Crowd for Angels, which is underwriting the first £225,000 of the two-year bond. Verditek wants to expand its Italian facility so that it can satisfy international contracts for its lightweight, flexible solar panels. The focus is the solar operations, but there are also minority stakes in BBR Filtration and Industrial Climate Solutions Inc.

Housebuilder Springfield Properties (SPR) says that its 2020-21 revenues and profit will be better than pre-Covid-19 levels. This was helped by two land sales. N+1 Singer forecasts an improvement in pre-tax profit from £10.2m to £18m.

Internet domain name registry and services provider CentralNic (CNIC) generated organic growth of 16% in the first quarter of 2021. Total revenues jumped from $56.9m to $84.4m, helped by acquisitions. Net debt is $79m.

MAIN MARKET

Sportech (SPO) and CML Microsystems (CML) both intend to switch to AIM. Sportech believes that the junior market is more suitable for its size and it will make it easier to complete transactions. CML also believes that AIM is more suitable following the sale of one of its divisions and it also expects its shareholders to benefit from the tax breaks.

Tarek Taksch has reduced its stake in Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCTP) from 7.75% to 5.43%. The company has entered a consultancy agreement with Voisin Consulting, which will help with regulation and development plans for OCT461201, a treatment for ailments associated with IBS.

Shefa Gems (SEFA) is demerging its gems business, because it will take longer than expected to exploit the assets, and turning itself into a shell. Existing shareholders will receive shares in the gems business. There will be a 100-for-one share consolidation and then the company will raise $1.05m (£756,000) at 3.53p a share. The name will be changed to Alef Bet Advanced Technologies and seek an acquisition in web technology and software.

Imperial X (CDL) has raised £2m at 3p a share as part of its move from Aquis to the standard list. The resources company is changing its name to Cloudbreak Discoveries.

Motor dealer Caffyns (CFYN) manged to improve its underlying profit from £251,000 to £1.88m last year, even though revenues fell from £195.8m to £165.1m. Net debt was £10.3m at the end of March 2021. There has been a property valuation that shows the portfolio is worth £12.3m more than book value. Excluding that surplus, NAV is £27.6m.

National Word (NWOR) has already secured annualised savings of £4m from the JPI Media acquisition and is on course to secure savings of at least £5m. The online audience is increasing, and monthly content revenues are being generated from Google and Facebook. Overall revenues increased by 18% in April and May. The fastest growth is from digital.

Andrew Hore

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