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Quoted Micro 20 March 2023
MBH Corporation (LON: MBH) joined the Access segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange on 13 March. The shares have previously been traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the Dusseldorf Stock Exchange. Trading started on Aquis at 7p (5p/9p) and it stayed at that price all week. There were no trades. MBH has subsidiaries in a wide variety of sectors. They include, education, construction, transport, health, engineering, property, leisure and food.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) is investing £1m in A ordinary shares in automotive engineering and manufacturing start-up Morris Commercial, as part of an £8m investment round. The investment is in three tranches with an initial outlay of £500,000. The full investment will be made by the end of 2023. The initial product is the Morris JE electric van, which is based on the design of the Morris J-Type van.
Quantum technology investment company Quantum Exponential Group (QBIT) welcomes the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s plan for quantum technology. There will be investment of £2.5bn over ten years. This should help to increase investor interest in quantum.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) believes that changes to UK duties are positive, because of the support for English sparkling wine producers. Chapel Down, along with Shepherd Neame (SHEP) have signed a partnership deal with The Boat Race, which happens on 26 March.
Macaulay Capital (MCAP) has taken over the management of the unquoted portfolio of Chelverton Asset Management.
Kasei Holdings (KASH) is still waiting for £350,000 from the February 2023 fundraising. Management hopes that this cash will be received in the next few days.
Coinsilium Group (COIN) is acquiring the advisory business and certain intellectual property assets of Tokenomi for £116,500 in cash and shares. There are four retained Web3 blockchain project clients with a further ten prospective clients. Revenues could be £551,000 over the next 12 months.
IamFire (FIRE) has subscribed a further £200,000 for convertible loan notes in WeShop, taking the total invested to £2.7m. The total amount invested in WeShop is £6.7m and there is the right to subscribe for a further £1.05m of loan notes. The conversion price is 200p. John Lewis and Sports Direct have recently become affiliated to WeShop.
Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has ended trading on Aquis. Trading starts on the standard list on 20 March. Forbes Ventures left Aquis on Friday, although it intends to acquire a litigation financing business and return to the quoted arena.
Silverwood Brands (SLWD) is still experiencing opposition to the transfer of shares in skincare products supplier Lush. Silverwood Brands holds the rights to the shares even if ownership is not registered.
Ananda Developments (ANA) has raised additional subscription funds at 0.3p a share, taking the total to £427,000.
Res Privata NV has sold its 3.83% stake in NFT Investments (NFT). Mark Horrocks has increased his shareholding in Lift Global Ventures (LIFT) from 7.1% to 11%.
EDX Medical (EDX) non-executive chairman Jason Holt bought 400,000 shares at 3025p each. Incanthera (INC) chief executive Dr Simon Ward has subscribed £115,000 for shares at 6.95p each.
Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd (GSVR) has secured a $5m silver and gold pre-payment facility, which replaces the current facility.
Snacks manufacturer S-Ventures (SVEN) says the audit for its figures for the year to September 2022 will last until the end of April, so trading in the shares will be suspended on 3 April.
Essentially Group (ESSN) joined Aquis on 17 March. The brief announcement claims that the prospectus is on the company’s website, but it is impossible to find.
Hurricane Energy (HUR) has agreed a bid from Prax Exploration & Production, which values the oil and gas producer at up to £249m. There will initially be a 3.32p a share transaction dividend and cash consideration of 0.83p a share, totalling 4.15p a share. There is then a supplementary dividend of 1.87p a share. Shareholders will also receive a deferred consideration unit worth up to 6.48p a share. The deferred consideration is based on 17.5% of future net revenues earned by Hurricane between 1 March 2023 and 31 December 2026. The deferred consideration will be paid twice a year in arrears.
MTI Wireless Edge (MWE) grew revenues of each of its three divisions and two of them made a higher profit contribution. An initial contribution from communication and monitoring systems developer PSK WIND Technologies, offset the loss of Russian distribution business. In 2022, group revenues improved from $43.2m to $46.3m, while underlying pre-tax profit rose from $4.04m to $4.32m. The total dividend is 3 cents a share. Net cash was $8.14m at the end of the year. The profitability of the Antennas division is recovering.
Cloud-based secure payments technology provider PCI-PAL (PCIP) grew interim revenues by one-third to £7.3m. North American growth was particularly strong. Total annualised contract value is £14.7m. The full year loss is likely to be around £2.2m. Legal costs due to the patent dispute meant that net cash fell to £1.9m, but it has risen since December. There should be no problem with the accounts at Silicon Valley Bank.
Digital coupons and loyalty technology provider Eagle Eye (EYE) reported the expected interims and says that full year results will be better than expected. The pre-tax profit forecast has been edged up from £3.5m to £3.8m and the 2023-24 figure has been edged up to £5m. Net cash could reach £5.3m at the end of June 2023. There should not be any problems arising from the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, although there are still cash deposits in the bank.
Verditek (VDTK) has signed an exclusive supply agreement to supply solar panels to building and roofing products supplier Lindab Profil AB. They will be sold in the Nordic and eastern European markets. The exclusivity depends on the sale of panels of 850kw in 2023.
Cordel (CRDL) has won an important contract with Amtrak in the US. The six-and-a-half year contract is valued at $6.7m. There will be $1m recognised in 2022-23 and $2m in 2023-24, with rest coming in the remaining time of the contract. Cordel’s technology will be used to capture and manage data on clearances of surrounding rail infrastructure.
Redx Pharma (REDX) merger partner Jounce Therapeutics has received an unsolicited offer from Concentra Biosciences. Cancer treatments developer Redx Pharma recently announced the merger with Jounce Therapeutics and the AIM company’s shareholders would own 63% of the enlarged group.
Purplebricks (PURP) has received a possible offer from Strike Ltd, although it is not yet part of the formal sale process and has not entered into a non-disclosure agreement.
Reabold Resources (RBD) has been approached by Kamran Sattar on behalf of an affiliate of Portillion Capital which could lead to a bid at a 10% premium to the previous day’s closing price of 0.2035p. The board believes this offer undervalues the oil and gas investment company. It recently sold the Victory gas discovery to Shell and intends to return £4m to shareholders.
Circle Property (CRC) announced a return of capital through a B share issue with a second distribution to follow. The company has nearly completed the sale of its property portfolio. The first distribution of 158p a share (£46.2m) will be on 21 March. A second distribution of 58p a share should be made in April. There will be a much smaller distribution when the final disposal is completed. An incentive payment of £620,000 is being paid to each executive.
Digital mental health company Kooth (KOO) has won a significant contract in California covering 13-25 year olds. Services will be provided to the Behavioural Health Virtual Services Platform, and they will launch in January 2024. Specific terms are still to be finalised, but there should be a material impact on annualised recurring revenues from 2024.
Condor Gold (CNR) is entering the end of the first phase of the process to sell the La India gold project in Nicaragua. There are three formal expressions of interest, including two non-binding offers, with more likely to be received. The project requires $105.5m of investment and has an estimated NPV (5%) of $86.9m.
Structural steel supplier Severfield (SFR) is expanding in Europe through the acquisition of steel fabrication company Voortman Steel Construction Holding for €24m. The Netherlands-based company will provide greater access to the northern European market.
Data integrity and banking integration software provider Gresham Technologies (GHT) is accelerating the growth of its Clareti software. Group revenues grew from £37m to £48.7m in 2022. That was helped by currency movements and a full year contribution from post-trade processing software supplier Electra, but there was still strong organic growth. The fastest growth was in the US. Pre-tax profit improved from £4m to £6.9m. Singers forecasts a 2023 pre-tax profit of £7.4m. with flat earnings due the corporation tax rate rise, increasing to £9.6m next year.
Harwood Capital has increased its stake in RM (RM.) from 8.88% to 10.4%, including 9.18% held by Rockwood Strategic (RKW). Theodore W King’s stake has risen from 7.36% to 8.25%.
Quoted Micro 5 December 2022
Good Energy (GOOD) says trading to the end of October was in line with expectations, but the subsequent mild winter has reduced gas consumption. Risk management actions should enable the energy supplier to meet 2022 expectations. There was £21.2m in cash at the end of October 2022. Heat pump installer Igloo Works has been acquired for £1.75m. Last year’s revenues were £1m. This will form an energy services division.
Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has sold 15MWh of vanadium flow batteries to Everdura Technology in Taiwan. A deposit will be paid soon, and the first deliveries will be late in 2023. This is the largest ever single order and there is follow-on potential of 255MWh over three years and it will help to underpin 2023 forecast revenues of £23.7m.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has acquired Staffordshire-based MI Accountancy Solutions, which already provides accountancy services to the employee owned businesses investor’s clients. The cost is £90,000 with a further £20,000 deferred depending on performance.
Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) has entered an agreement with Fishertown Property for a proposed lease of a 2.5 acre site in County Longford. This will become its first full scale waste plastic to hydrogen in Europe. A €50,000 payment has been made and an option for the site is being negotiated.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has completed drilling at the Specimen Hill project in Queensland. This has intersected a geophysical target below high-grade historic mine. An adjacent target has also been intersected. Joint venture discussions will be pursued.
Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd (GSVR) produced 700,264 of silver equivalent ounces in the third quarter, which is more than double the previous quarter. Cash costs fell by 19% to $19.53/ounce. However, lower silver and gold prices meant that the loss increased.
Field Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) was still affected by Covid in the year to May 2022. The mechanical and engineering contractor’s revenues fell from £9.98m to £8.09m. That meant that the loss increased from £534,000 to £1.9m. Revenues from the water sector have not grown as expected, but work is coming through. More than £9m of work has been secured for this year.
IamFire (FIRE) has subscribed for £2m of convertible loan notes in WeShop Holdings, which could be converted into one million shares, while an existing £4m investment would convert into 1.33 million shares. IamFire has the right to subscribe for a further £1.75m of convertibles. IamFire also holds convertibles in a shell that owns 25% of WeShop.
Pioneer Media Holdings (PNER) generated initial revenues of $482,000 in the year to May 2022. There was a reported loss of $28.6m, after $25.7m of impairment charges and fair value changes on investments. There was a credit of $3.26m relating to changes on accrued consideration. The cash outflow from operations was $2.14m. There is cash of $1.65m.
Recently floated Cooks Coffee Company (COOK) increased interim operational revenues by 37% to NZ$1.93m. Overall revenues fell because of the timing of recognising capital revenues on store openings. Pre-tax profit improved from NZ$128,000 to NZ$146,000 as costs were reduced.
Africa-focused sustainable investment company Inqo Investments (INQO) increased interim revenues from R608,000 to R3.39m. The loss was slightly reduced at R5.18m after a sharp increase in employee costs.
Nine months revenues from Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) improved from $4.91m to $8.91m and the reported loss was reduced.
Marula Mining (MARU) secured a 73% commercial interest in the Bagamoyo graphite project in Tanzania, which includes 22 graphite mining licences.
In the six months to August 2022, Asia Wealth Group Holdings Ltd (AWLP) reported a decline in revenues from $940,000 to $844,000 and it moved from profit to loss. There was $1.19m in the bank at the end of August 2022.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) says that it received £3.07m from its open offer at 25p a share, compared with the £4.56m it was seeking.
Evrima (EVA) chief executive Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi has made a £250,000 secured convertible loan facility available to the company. So far, £100,000 has been drawn down. This matures at the end of November 2023 and the coupon is 10%.
Goodbody Health (GDBY) chief executive Marc Howells has resigned, and George Thomas has replaced him.
Online retailer boohoo (BOO) has increased its stake in Revolution Beauty (REVB) from 13% to 26%. Bob Holt has taken over as chief executive. The shares remain suspended and there are still concerns about the 2021-22 figures.
Digital media company Digitalbox (DBOX) has acquired The Poke (www.thepoke.co.uk) for an undisclosed sum. It picks humorous content from the internet, unlike the Daily Mash which writes its own content. The Poke generated revenues of £170,000 in the year to November 2021.
Duke Royalty (DUKE) reported a 67% increase in recurring interim cash revenues from its royalty investments and free cash flow was 1.71p a share. There was a further improvement in cash revenues in the third quarter.
First Property (FPO) reported a fall in reported profit due to one-offs, but the interim dividend was maintained at 0.25p a share. NAV is 48.3p a share, not including any valuation for the investment management business, which is more than twice the share price.
A trading update from Light Source Technologies (LST) says that farmers are reluctant to commit to capital investment and that has slowed progress leading to a higher loss in the year to November 2023. The growers are finding it difficult to pass on cost increases to customers, so they are not making the commitment to install the controlled environment technology. Also, contract manufacturing margins have declined.
Venture Life Group (LON: VLG) is buying HL Healthcare, which owns Earol, EarolSwim and Sterinase, for £13m. The products generated EBITDA of £1.7m in 2021-22 and they should do better this year – £3m of the consideration is dependent on 2022-23 revenues. Venture Life is expected to make a 2022 pre-tax profit of £946,000 and that could improve to more than £4m in 2023.
Telecoms customer engagement software provider Pelatro (LON: PTRO) says the currency movements between the US dollar and Indian Rupee will lead to a shortfall in reported revenues this year. Along with other factors, this will reduce revenues by up to $800,000, although the currency movements will have a positive effect on costs that partly offsets the shortfall. EBITDA will be slightly below expectations. Some new clients are moving to a licence model, which means revenue will be recognised earlier.
Luxury brand Mulberry Group (MUL) reported flat interim revenues with higher international sales offsetting a decline in the UK. Mulberry moved from profit to loss as marketing and other spending was increased. There was an £11.2m cash outflow from operations.
Compliance and maintenance services provider Kinovo (KINO) continues to improve its profit in the six months to September 2022 and it has a strong order book. Revenues improved by one-quarter to £29.8m in the first half. Margins continue to rise with underlying pre-tax profit recovering from £1.61m to £2.1m. Three-year visible revenues total £146m, which includes contracts and predictable spend. That underpins around 90% of the 2022-23 forecast revenues of £62.1m. Net debt has fallen to below £100,000. However, in the short-term debt will increase again because of the requirements to finish contracts that are part of DCB, which was sold and then went into administration. Part of the deal was that Kinovo would guarantee the completion of projects. This could cost a total of £4.3m.
Inspiration Healthcare (IHC) says that it expects 2022-23 revenues to be similar to the previous year because of market uncertainty, particularly in China. Cenkos has reduced its forecast revenues from £45m to £41.1m. Because the reduction relates to higher margin products it means that pre-tax profit will dive from £3.96m last year to £540,000 this year.
Floorcoverings distributor Likewise (LIKE) says third quarter like-for-like sales were 21.8% higher and in October and November this accelerated to 27.7%. Total sales have more than doubled this year.
Fox Marble (FOX) has won damages and costs in its arbitration proceedings with a customer in India. Damages were Euro383,177 and costs were £454,584. The customer has 28 days to challenge the award.
Antimicrobial and textile odour control materials developer HeiQ (HEIQ) has acquired the land and property of Chem-Tex Laboratories Inc in the US for $2.5m in cash and shares at 74.4p each. Securing the site will enable further expansion. The focus of manufacturing investment will be the US because of the availability of chemicals and the reduced exposure to rising energy prices.
Edward Spencer is requisitioning a general meeting at MetalNRG (MNRG). He owns 7.3% of the company and wants to remove the chairman and chief executive. He wants four people to be voted onto the board, including himself.
Highway Capital (HWC) has still not completed the acquisition of Guinevere Esports and Entertainment, which was announced in October 2021. Highway made an interim loss of £243,000.
Quoted Micro 17 October 2022
Invinity Energy Systems (IES) is having a good week. Early in the week it announced a sale of a a 0.8MWh Invinity VS3 flow battery system to Equans Belux and then it won a California Energy Commission project as part of a consortium developing a large solar-plus-storage microgrid. Invinity Energy Systems will provide a 10MWh vanadium flow battery system. Delivery is expected in 2023. There is also a new relationship with US Vanadium, which could lead to a joint venture.
Vulcan Industries (VULC) is acquiring Peregrine X, which has developed diagnostic technology and the initial market will be oil well-head analysis. There are also medical uses. The initial consideration will be £1m of zero-coupon convertible loan notes with a further four tranches of £1m depending on progress. The total number of loan notes would be converted int a 46.2% stake in the company. The seller will also receive 500 million warrants exercisable at 1p a share. They will also receive 70% of post-tax earnings generated by Peregrine up until 2,000 tests have been contracted and 200 delivered. There are currently no revenues. This deal marks a move away from the engineering sector.
British Honey Company (BHC) has launched a strategic review of the business and sources of finance. A sale of the company is an alternative. Management expects to publish its 2021 results and 2022 interims before the end of October. More cash is required for working capital by the end of November.
Consumer businesses operator Silverwood Brands (SLWD) has announced a loss of £300,000 for the period to August 2022. The UK consumer market is tough and Silverwood is trying to increase its sales overseas.
Semper Fortis Esprit (SEMP) has ended all its contracts with esports players, and it is seeking other ways to exploit the market.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has sold its holding of A shares in Hire and Supplies Ltd for £970,000 and reinvested £1.21m in new ordinary shares, giving it a 20.8% stake.
Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Poland-based Elkard in relation to a plastic waste processing plant producing energy. They will start looking for a suitable site and the two companies will share the costs.
Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) has completed the sale of Arbuthnot Latham’s West End office. The offer was previously indicated as £60m. Chairman and chief executive Sir Henry Angest bought 25,000 shares at 820p each.
Igraine (KING) has bought a 10.2% stake in Oscillate (MUSH) and its executive director Stephen Winfield has joined the Oscillate board.
MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised nearly £40,000 at 20p a share. BWA Holdings (BWAP) has been unable to raise up to £500,000 via share issue and it may have to sell assets or issue more loan notes. A holder of £516,000 of RentGuarrantor Holdings (RGG) loan notes has converted them into 312,495 shares, which is just short of 3% of the enlarged share capital.
EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (EO.P) had net assets of 242.3p a share at the end of September 2022.
Valereum (VLRM) has appointed First Sentinel Corporate Finance as corporate adviser.
Energy and water efficiency equipment provider Eneraqua Technologies (ETP) grew its interim revenues from a combination of organic growth and a contribution from recent acquisition Welltherm, which provides drilling services for heat pump installation. Revenues were 92% higher at £24.2m, while underlying pre-tax profit was £3m. Full year expectations are covered by contracted orders as are nearly three-quarters of next year’s forecast revenues. A full year pre-tax profit of £10.6m is forecast. There are plans to move into the consumer market, but that will not make a meaningful contribution until next year – although there will be £500,000 of marketing costs.
Drug developer Evgen (EVG) is partnering with Swiss biotech Stalicia for the potential use of SFX-01 for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder and other CNS disorders. This deal could generate up to $160.5m in milestone payments and double-digit royalties, although that is a long way away. The upfront payment is $500,000 with a further $500,000 once a volunteer study is completed in the first half of 2023. If the FDA approves an investigational new drug admission that will spark a $5m payment – possibly next year. Evgen is also undertaking an additional early-stage study for the treatment of glioblastoma using SFX-01.
Interior design and furnishings supplier Sanderson Design Group (SDG) improved its interim profit, but trading was weaker in August. In the six months to July 2022, revenues edged up by 0.7% to £57.9m, although that does reflect the ending of business in Russia. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from £5.6m to £6.3m, helped by additional high margin licence fee income. The interim dividend is maintained at 0.75p a share.
Faron Pharmaceuticals (FARN) completed a placing raising €8.4m at €1.85 each. The cash will be used for the acceleration of the bexmarilimab, which is an immunotherapy treatment for difficult-to-treat cancers, clinical development programme and manufacturing.
Data analysis software provider WANdisco (WAND) has generated bookings of $61.2m so far this year with the majority coming in the third quarter. This is already higher than expectations for the full year and there is more to come. There was $26.3m in the bank at the end of September 2022, helped by upfront cash payments on contracts. Losses continue, though.
Property lending platform operator Lendinvest (LINV) reported platform assets under management one-third higher at £2.4bn, but finnCap has downgraded its full year forecast. Interest rate volatility is hampering margins. Chief executive Rod Lockhart bought 27,111 shares at 67.5p each and the chief investment officer bought 60,000 shares at 63.75p each.
Coral Products (CRU) has acquired Ecodeck Grids, which supplies building and landscape products for driveways and shed bases. There is an initial payment of £3.35m in cash and shares, with up to £1.25m more potentially payable. The products use 100% recycled plastic.
Beeks Financial Cloud (BKS) reported an improvement in full year underlying pre-tax profit from £1.6m to £2.1m. It is forecast to increase to £3.2m this year.
Sierra Oncology Inc is returning the rights to SRA737, which was jointly developed by Sareum Holdings (SAR) and the Institute of Cancer Research, to the CRT Pioneer Fund.
Investment publisher Bonhill (BONH) has commenced a strategic review that could lead to the sale of the company or separate businesses. Trading remains difficult and shareholder Rockwood Strategic (RKW) is providing a £800,000 loan facility.
OTAQ (OTAQ) is raising £2m via a placing at 4p a share, while a four-for-five open offer could raise up to £1.2m more. It is also moving from the standard list to the Access segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange. There is also a broker option that could raise up to £400,000 if there is enough demand. In order to raise the cash, the nominal value of the shares is being reduced from 15p to 1p. Every four new shares taken up will come with a warrant exercisable at 12p. The fundraising is dependent on shareholders agreeing the move to Aquis, which is planned for 9 November. In aquaculture, OTAQ has developed sonar technology that scans shrimps, live plankton analysis systems and water quality monitoring software. The geotracking operations have developed a rail personnel and asset safety and sports trackers.
Raj Unnikandeth is stepping down as a director of Zamaz (ZAMZ) six weeks after it floated. Zamaz believes that its technology platform can help to efficiently build brands via e-commerce. Earlier in the week, Zamaz acquired 70% of Italy-based food and wine retailer Eccellenze through its existing food platform subsidiary Bella Dispensa. This follows the purchase of Italian meat products supplier Ecocarni.
HeiQ (HEIQ) has filed a complaint in the US against ICP Industrial Inc for breaching exclusive agreement terms. The agreement relates to the use of HeiQ Viroblock in printing processes. ICP has failed to pay royalties or minimum fee payments, as well as not providing timely reports.
Quoted Micro 10 October 2022
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) says full results should be ahead of market expectations of a £13m pre-tax profit. The third quarter trading statement says Arbuthnot Latham deposits exceed £3bn, although costs of deposits are rising. Base rate rises have a positive effect on results as changes to deposit rates lag the rises in interest rates. Credit criteria are being tightened, particularly for property. Assets under management are £1.35bn. Non-exec Sir Nigel Boardman acquired 9.749 shares at 810p each.
Helium Ventures (HEV) has conditionally agreed to acquire Vestigo Technologies, which has developed tracking product Trackimo. Shares will be issued at 10p each and the existing share capital prior to the deal would be valued at £1.68m. Helium Ventures plans to move to the standard list after the reverse takeover. In 2021, Vestigo had revenues of $28.1m and has partnerships with Vodafone and Paramount. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
Quantum Exponential (QBIT) had net assets of £5.6m at the end of April 2022, following an increase in the value of its option in cyber security business Arqit Inc. Since then, two new quantum technology investments have been made. There is still cash for further investments and there are plans to set up a fund that will raise further funds to invest in quantum technology.
Hydrogen Future Industries (HFI) has acquired a suite of international patents through a joint venture. The patents are relevant for the company’s wind-based hydrogen production system, plus other systems. The patents were issued to the vendor when it employed the boss of HFI’s development subsidiary. The payment will be £33,000 in cash, 5.2 million shares and 2.5 warrants exercisable at 12p each, with the second tranche of the payment dependent on the achievement of development milestones.
National Milk Records (NMRP) generated a 6% increase in 2021-22 revenues to £23.2m, while pre-tax profit improved from £1.65m to £2.22m. The dividend was raised by one-third to 2p a share. The milk recording and testing services increased revenues. The biggest increase was in genomics which rose from £292,000 to £488,000 and there is a potential launch in the US during 2023.
EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) has invested £2m in Denzel’s Ltd, a premium dog snacks brand, which raised £3m in total. Denzil’s has listings in major supermarkets and has launched its own website. It is part of the Tesco Incubator Programme.
There has been a mineral resource upgrade at the Amapa iron project in Brazil, where Cadence Minerals (KDR) owns 27%. The updated resource at Amapa is 276Mt grading 38.33% Fe, up from 177Mt. The measured resource is 55Mt grading 39.26% Fe.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had net assets of £13.8m at the end of May 2022, equivalent to 74.5p a share.
S-Ventures (SVEN) has gained new contracts for its natural food businesses with ASDA, Holland Barrett, Co-op, WH Smith and easyJet. Two retailers in Finland have started stocking company products.
Marula Mining (MARU) has taken a 49% interest in the Kinusi copper mining project in Tanzania. The licences last seven years. In return for the interest, Marula has reimbursed $50,000 of costs incurred by Takela Mining and issued it with 4.5 million shares at 2p each.
Quetzal Capital (QTZ) had £1.07m in the bank out of net assets of £2.86m at the end of June 2022.
Goodbody Health (GDBY) secured a distribution agreement with blood collection services provider Tasso Inc, which supplies virtually painless medical devices to draw a blood sample with no needles. Goodbody’s clinics will be able to extract more blood than from a finger prick.
Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) reinstated the interim dividend at the rate of 14p a share.
Director buying at Kent-based brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) pushed the share price 0.4% higher at 672.5p. Richard Oldfield bought 6,000 shares at 675p a share and George Barnes acquired 3,200 shares at 672p each. The final dividend is 15p a share and the shares go ex-dividend on 13 October. Coinsilium (COIN) chairman Malcolm Palle acquired 500,000 shares at 1.9p each, while chief executive Eddy Travia bought 500,000 shares at 1.95p each. The share price rose 8.11% to 2p.
Global Smollan has increased its stake in Samarkand Group (SMK) from 14.8% to 17.6%.
Pioneer Media Holdings Inc (PNER) has raised $1m through a sale of units at 10 cents each. They include one share and one-half of a warrant exercisable at 25 cents. This cash will be spent on technology development and expanding the web3 gaming business.
Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has sold a 1.3MWh VS3 flow battery system for use in a datacentre in Arizona. Amati reduced its stake from 5.87% to 4.92%.
Trading in the shares of Vulcan Industries (VUL), Hot Rock Investments (HRIP) and VVV Resources Ltd (VVV) has been suspended due to failure to publish results.
Peter Gyllenhammar has taken a 11.2% stake in Pressure Technologies (PRES) following the share price slump after last week’s trading statement. Pressure Technologies had a disappointing second half. There will be a full year loss and the engineering company will also breach covenants on its bank facility. More cash is required. Net debt was £5.4m at the interim stage and it could be £3.9m at year-end. The finance could come from a share issue or a convertible issue or another form of funding. Management is talking to Lloyds about the bank facility. Forecast net assets are £15.4m, including the company’s main factory, which is nearly double the market capitalisation.
Former broker analyst Bill Currie has taken a 4.15% stake in online retailer In The Style (ITS). He is a non-executive director of retail loyalty technology developer Eagle Eye (EYE) and he owns 12.9% of the company. Lombard Odier has cut its stake from 20.1% to 19.8% and Ameriprise Financial has reduced its stake from 5% to 4.39%.
Gateley (GTLY) has acquired patent attorney Symbiosis IP for up to £2.5m. The business made a pre-tax profit of £300,000 in the year to March 2022. This business fits with Adamson Jones.
In video game advertising technology developer Bidstack (BIDS) raised £10.5m at 2.85p a share. Irdeto subscribed for £5m worth of shares. There are plans to develop a platform for sports bodies to control content that appears in their licenced IP. The rest will go on working capital and commercial development.
Public Policy Holding Company Inc (PPHC) is acquiring California-based KP Public Affairs in an earnings enhancing deal. Public Policy Holding Company provides public affairs, crisis management and lobbying services in the US. The acquisition enhances earnings by 2% in 2022 and 9% in 2023.
NWF (NWF) continues to perform strongly with the feed division recovering, helped by higher milk prices, and food distribution trading better than expected. Fuel distribution volumes are lower than in the previous year as people delay refilling their tanks, although margins have improved.
Seeing Machines (SEE) has an exclusive collaboration deal with Magna International for rear view mirror occupant monitoring applications in vehicles. Magan is paying $17.5m in cash ($10m immediately and $7.5m over two years) and investing $47.5m via a convertible note, which is convertible at 11p a share. This should be enough cash to get the driver monitoring technology business to profitability.
Oxford Biodynamics (OBD) is raising £9.1m via a placing at 20p a share and up to a further £2.95m could be raised through a one-for-6.81644 open offer. The share price rose 56.3% to 17.975p, which is still well below the placing price. This cash will help to fund the commercial development of the EpiSwitch CiRT test for cancer, which has been issued with a US reimbursement code earlier in the week.
Parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) has published interim figures and it intends to recommence dividend payments. A total dividend of 1.5p a share is expected for 2022-23 and that provides a base for further growth. Cash could still grow steadily. Trading in the shares remains suspended.
PCF Group (PCF) has suspended new lending by PCF Bank while it is trying to raise additional finance. Castle Trust Capital decided not to bid for PCF. Sales of assets and other options to raise money are being considered. There will be further cost cutting.
Battery cells developer AMTE Power (AMTE) has signed a framework deal with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre to produce up to 60,000 Ultra High Power cells annually. The cells are fast charging and have high power delivery. Production commences in three months and the cells will be used for in-vehicle trials by potential customers – the initial focus is high performance electric vehicles – ahead of the opening of AMTE’s own factory in Dundee in a few years.
Horizonte Mining (HZM) announced a fundraising on Tuesday evening and the size of the placing was increased from £61.7m to £70.5m at 90.5p a share. This larger fundraising has also reduced the contribution from major shareholder La Mancha from £23.8m to £22m. The cash will help to complete the construction of the Araguaia nickel project in Brazil. Total capital cost has increased from $477m to $537m. First production is scheduled for the first quarter of 2023.
Gold miner Chaarat Group Holdings (CGH) has extended the convertible loan notes from 31 October 2022 to 31 July 2023. Interest will be capitalised until the end of October and then the principal of $28.7m plus accrued interest will incur an annual interest rate of 12%. There is also a fee of 1%. If converted there will be 77 million shares issued.
Shell company Milton Capital (MII) floated on the standard list on 4 October. There was £1m raised at 1p a share. The share price ended the week at 1.1p. The initial focus is acquisition targets in the technology sector. Total flotation costs were capped at £50,000 and Peterhouse paid additional costs of £5,955. The first year’s operating costs will also be £50,000.
Data integrity software supplier Gresham Technologies (GHT) has won a £1m plus contract for Clareti Control from a major European financial and banking group. There is also A$19m of work for ANZ in the year to September 2023, which is 15% higher than last year on a constant currency basis. Full year revenues and profit will be ahead of expectations.
Golden Nice International has subscribed £650,000 worth of shares in Anglo African Agriculture (AAAP) at 5p a share. That is a 28.2% stake. There are also 13 million warrants exercisable at 5p each. Golden Nice International has also acquired 65% of convertible loan notes in issue at a 15% discount to face value. They convert into 13.7 million shares at 5p each. The other loan notes will be converted into 7.37 million shares with associated warrants. Andrew Monk and Matt Bonner have resigned and replaced by Andy Sui and Simon Grant-Rennick. The company is changing its name to Everest Global.
Shell company Insight Business Support (IBSU) had net assets of £530,000 at the end of June 2022, including cash of £440,000.
Quoted Micro 29 August 2022
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Thixotropic gels manufacturer Unigel Group (UNX) joined the Access segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange. The gels are used in the fibre optic industry. There was £800,000 raised at 64p a share. The share price ended the day at 65p.
Aquis Stock Exchange has issued a disciplinary notice to Love Hemp Group (LIFE) after omitting information in a fundraising announcement in February. It was not stated that not all the cash had been received and one investor did not pay the £1.2m it was supposed to for the shares. There was no update until May, thereby creating a false impression of the cash position. The £100,000 fine has been cut to £70,000 for early settlement. Trading in the shares remains suspended following the resignation of Peterhouse as corporate adviser. The board has been strengthened. A new corporate adviser is required for trading to recommence.
Hydrogen Utopia International (LON: HUI) is planning to enter a 50/50 joint venture with AIM-quoted Powerhouse Energy (LON: PHE) to develop a plant using non-recyclable waste plastic to produce hydrogen in Poland. Hydrogen Utopia International will be allowed to recover its costs of €250,000 with a €250,000 premium. This agreement is similar to the one between the companies for the proposed Tipperary plant, which will be built on a site leased by Trifol Resources. DXSP
British Honey Corporation (BHC) hopes to report its 2021 results before the end of September. This year’s trading has been tougher and the 2022 figures will be worse than expected with revenues of £6m.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has secured an option to acquire the Anketell gold copper project, which is north of the company’s Red Setter project in Western Australia. The option payment is £25,000. The consideration would be £50,000 in cash and 2.17 million shares at 14.75p each.
BWA Group (BWAP) has been granted a three-year licence for Nkoteng 2 at the Nkoteng heavy mineral sands project in Cameroon. This covers an additional 60km of strike length.
Evrima (EVA) has increased its holding in Eastport Ventures to 6.85%. Eastport also owns shares in another investee company, Premium Nickel, which has confirmed that saleable nickel and copper concentrates can be produced at the Selkirk mine in Botswana.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has received an initial payment of £92,629 for the disposal of the stake in The Homebuilding Centre. This is higher than the £50,000 minimum payment because of strong trading.
Watchstone Group (WTG) had cash of £10.2m and £1.8m in escrow on 19 August.
Quetzal Capital (QTZ) says investee company Tap Global Ltd has launched a Crypto-as-a-Service product. This will enable regulated banks and financial service companies to offer cryptocurrency trading services to clients.
Diesel emission reduction additives supplier SulNOx Group (SNOX) increased revenues from £18,000 to £34,000 in the year to March 2022. There was £1.07m in cash in the balance sheet, although this fell to £604,000 by the end of June 2022.
Goodbody Health Inc has become Goodbody Health Ltd (GDBY) following the redomicile to Guernsey. Trading commenced in the new entity on Wednesday.
Rail and events software and services provider Tracsis (LON: TRCS) beat forecasts in the year to July 2022. finnCap has upgraded its earnings forecast from 33.2p a share to 34.5p a share. There was a sharp recovery in the events and traffic data business, while the other businesses continue to grow. Implementations of Tracsis software continue despite the rail strikes. The full year results will be published on 9 November.
Alumasc (ALU) is selling the poorly performing solar shading manufacturer and installer Levolux to Talrus Ltd, which is owned by Rcapital, for £1. Levolux has around £1.4m in cash and that is part of the disposal. There is deferred consideration of £1m which will be paid out of the proceeds of a disposal of the Levolux business. The impairment charge for Levolux will be £14.9m, while the £2m operating loss will be reported as a discontinued activity.
Corporate finance adviser Marechale Capital (MAC) increased pre-tax profit from £246,000 to £2.56m in the year to April 2022. That was mainly down to an increase in the value of investments and warrants. Fundraisings by Future Biogas, which postponed an AIM flotation, Chestnut Group and the Burgh Island Hotel were all at a premium to Marechale’s existing holdings. There was a cash outflow from operating activities of £131,000. NAV increased from £686,000 to £3.63m, or 3.8p a share.
First Property (FPO) has sold a property in Tureni, Romania for £3.05m, which is a book profit of £981,000. That leaves one fully owned property in Romania.
Rockwood Strategic (RKW) is planning to move to the Main Market in order to improve the tax efficiency by converting into an investment trust. The prospectus should be published by 6 September and the AIM cancellation could happen before the end of September.
Aquaculture products supplier Benchmark (BMK) increased third quarter revenues by 28% to £36.3m with a particularly strong performance by the genetics division. Sales of salmon eggs were 39% higher and shrimp sales were 164% ahead from a lower base. Investment in additional capacity in Iceland and the US is beginning to pay off. In the nine months to September 2022, underlying operating profit fell from £7.3m to £5.6m.
Australia-focused explorer Artemis Resources Ltd (ARV) says no significant nickel or copper mineralisation was shown from drilling samples at the Osborne nickel prospect. The approach to exploration will be reassessed. Two drill holes at its Greater Carlow project have not shown any sign of mineralisation, but that was not a surprise. A mineral resource estimate for Greater Carlow is expected in September and new targets have been identified. Two drill holes have been completed at the Apollo target at Paterson Central and it has re-entered a previous hole to drill deeper. This is near to the Greatland Gold (GGP) Havieron project.
Greatland Gold is raising £29.7m at 8.2p a share following Newcrest Mining’s decision not to take up the option to buy a further 5% stake in the Havieron gold project in Western Australia. Greatland Gold retains a 30% stake in Havieron. The price for the 5% stake had been set at $60m and much of that cash was earmarked to pay off loans from Newcrest Mining. The money raised will help to fund Greatland Gold’s share of further drilling and development expenses at Havieron, plus providing cash for other exploration activities in the Paterson region.
Alba Mineral Resources (LON: ALBA) has agreed to acquire the 10% minority interest in the company that owns the Clogau gold mine and plans to dewater the Llechfraith mine shaft. It is also buying back a 3% net smelter return royalty leaving a 1% net smelter royalty and £72,000 of loans held by the vendor. The total cost is £400,000 in the form of 200 million Alba shares at 0.2p each, which was a 25% premium to the closing price. There are also 81.9 million warrants exercisable at 0.4p each.
Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) is raising £5m at 2p a share and there is going to be an open offer at the same price that could raise up to £510,000.
Education provider Malvern International (MLVN) is benefiting from a recovery in student numbers following the easing of Covid restrictions. Interim revenues were 60% higher at £2.3m. Pre-booked and delivered revenues mean that full year revenues should be at least £5.3m.
Great Western Mining Corporation (GWMO) assay results for drilling at four prospects in Nevada. Results from the 2022 drill programme will start arriving in September. The drilling was completed under budget.
Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) generated a 4% increase in interim revenues to £2.23bn with lower used vehicle volumes offset by higher selling prices. Underlying pre-tax profit dipped from £50m to £47.2m, although that was higher than expected. Also, there was £12.7m of government support in the previous period. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to fall from £90.7m to £67m.
Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCTP) is delaying the phase I trial of OCT130401 and concentrating on its first programme, OCT461201, where a phase I trial will start in January. This means that cash will last until the fourth quarter of 2023. There should be initial results from the phase I trial before then. Karen Lowe is stepping down as finance director.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) reported a decline in profit in the first half of 2022 after a sharp fall in diagnostics revenues because of Covid-boosted comparisons. Networking division revenues increased. Ongoing group revenues fell from £64.2m to £57.5m.
Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased interim revenues by 14% to £139.2m, while pre-tax profit edged up from £8.59m to £8.86m. The growth in profit came from the manufacturing division. The interim dividend is 3% higher at 0.9p a share. Net debt is £9.7m.
Quoted Micro 1 August 2022
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Equipmake Holdings (EQIP) has developed electric vehicle drivetrain technology that has won initial contracts. It raised £10m at 4.25p a share to invest in production facilities and finance working capital. The share price ended the first day at 5.875p (5.5p/6.25p). Snetterton-based Equipmake was founded in 1997 by former Lotus Formula 1 head of development Ian Foley and refocused on electric vehicle technology in 2007. Equipmake has a vertically integrated model. It designs and manufactures components for its electric drivetrain and integrates them into a system. Management is confident that being a systems integrator gives it a competitive advantage.
Bath-based Macaulay Capital (MCAP) was formed to acquire Macaulay Management Ltd. The strategy is to originate potential investments and generate fees from these businesses by advising them and helping to raise money, as well as investing alongside other investors. The focus is smaller companies in well-established markets. An initial investment has been made in a food manufacturer, which has also provided income for the company. Macaulay Capital raised £1.9m at 20p a share. Macaulay Capital has cash of £1.796m after the flotation. The shares ended the first day of trading at 21p (20p/22p). Managing director David Horner is also managing director of Chelverton Asset Management and a director and owner of 29.99% of AIM-quoted investment company CEPS (CEPS).
TECC Capital (TEC) is subscribing for £300,000 of convertible loan notes in EDX Medical Ltd, with a reverse takeover expected to eventually happen. This is subject to due diligence. EDX Medical was founded by Sir Chris Evans to develop digital diagnostics products and services. It owns a laboratory in Cambridge and offers testing and genomic sequencing research.
In the year to March 2022, Oberon Investments (OBE) increased its revenues by 75% to £6.7m. That includes an initial contribution from financial planning business Smythe House. The big increase in revenues came from corporate finance. The pre-tax loss was £581,000, after a £212,500 gain on investments. Funds under management increased by 80% to more than £1bn.
Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has acquired three pubs in Essex. They are all freehold.
Capital For Colleagues (LON: CFCP) has moved from the Access segment to the Apex segment. Capital For Colleagues has increased its stake in TPS Investment Holdings to 27.6% through an additional cash investment of £500,000 through the purchase of existing shares from two executive directors.
Apollon Formularies (APOL) says that its Jamaican affiliate is acquiring up to 96% of Citiva Jamaica for cash and shares. Citivas has a cultivation, manufacturing and processing facility for medical grade cannabis. This will help to obtain final approval to distribute cannabis products from the Jamaican authorities. A director, Roderick McIllree, has loaned $150,000 to Apollon.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has been appointed adviser to Metalinq Labs Inc and it has a token purchase agreement to acquire $200,000 of future Metalinq tokens, which should be issued in 2023. Metalinq is a next generation Layer 3 protocol solution enabling interoperability between metaverses. Existing Indorse token owners are eligible to receive Metalinq tokens. Coinsilium holds 5.35 million Indorse tokens.
Visum Technologies (VIS) has signed a framework services agreement with Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging and this enables the launch of Visum’s video technology system in the US. The financial year end has been changed to June.
Greencare Capital (GRE) is still seeking a suitable cannabis-related acquisition. There is still £679,000 in the bank.
AQRU (AQRU) lost £2.32m in the six months to April 2022 and still had net cash of £6.1m.
Rogue Baron (SHNJ) generated revenues of $87,492 in the three months to June 2022. Options for financing continued growth are being considered.
Shares in Lekoil Ltd (LEK) returned from suspension after the publication of interim results. Thanks to finance income Lekoil reported a pre-tax profit of $836,000. Olapade Durotoye is leaving the board to take up a role at Savannah Energy.
Richard Battersby is stepping down from the BWA Group (LON: BWAP) due to ill-health. G and O Energy Investments has bought a 13.45% stake from St Georges Eco-Mining Corp.
Former boss Michael Williams has reduced his stake in British Honey Company (BHC) from 3.96% to 1.3%. He left the board in October. The 2021 results have yet to be published and trading in the shares is suspended.
Waste plastic to hydrogen business Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) started trading on the US OTCQB Venture Market on 26 July. Executive director Howard White bought 55,500 shares at 9p each, taking his stake to 3.89%.
Chris Akers has increased his stake in Oscillate (MUSH) from 12.45% to 13.11%. Paul McKillen has a 4.15% stake in Marula Mining (MARU).
Leisure and entertainment company Brighton Pier Group (PIER) beat expectations for the year to June 2022. Adjusted EBITDA was £10.8m, which is higher than the previously upgraded forecast of £10.4m. Net debt fell from £13.3m to £6.1m. Pre-tax profit is expected to more than quadruple to £6.4m, although it was boosted by government support measures such as a temporary cut in VAT and business rate relief. The ending of the support and cost inflation means that the equivalent 2022-23 pre-tax profit is expected to fall to £4.4m on flat revenues. However, Brighton Pier intends to change its year end to December. There will be 12-month figures followed by 78-week results to December 2022.
Lithium-ion battery cell technology developer AMTE Power (AMTE) has chosen the site for a new 0.5GWh battery production facility. The facility will be in Dundee and could open in the third quarter of 2025. At full capacity, the facility could generate annual revenues of more than £200m. Scottish Enterprise and other funding bodies could contribute up to £190m of the cost of the facility. The rest will come from debt and equity.
Secure payments technology provider PCI Pal (PCIP) beat expectations in the year to June 2022. Revenues were £11.9m, compared with the previous expectation of £11.5m. finnCap has reduced its loss forecast to £2.9m. Annualised recurring revenues are 43% higher at £11m. Monthly cash breakeven is possible this year. There is no news concerning the patent dispute with Sycurio (previously Semafone).
Mobile data computing services and technology provider Touchstar (TST) increased first half revenues by 7% to £3.1m, with two-fifths of these revenues recurring. The order book is 75% ahead at £1.1m. Full year earnings could be 5.5p a share and net cash is expected to be £2.4m – at least one-third of the current market capitalisation.
Printed circuit technology developer and supplier Trackwise Designs (TWD) says that there are further delays to its large electric vehicle contract. There will be compensation for delays causing shortfalls in the minimum supply levels in the agreement. The Stonehouse improved harness technology (IHT) facility will be fully up and running by the end of the year and there are additional contracts that could be won, although most would not reach significant volumes until 2024. Management is confident that it can secure hire purchase and other facilities to cover the additional finance required.
Recruitment company Empresaria Group (EMR) is reporting interims on 11 August. The interim trading statement indicates that the expected weakness in health care is being offset by other operations. Net fee income is 15% higher at £32.6m. Net debt fell from £14m to £11.8m over six months.
Stanley Gibbons (SGI) intends to cancel its AIM quotation. The largest shareholder Phoenix SG believes it is better to cancel the quotation considering the limited free float and additional costs. The 58% shareholder also says that it would reconsider its financial support if shareholders do not agree to the cancelation. Stanley Gibbons remains loss making. Graham Shircore is stepping down as chief executive in September and he will be replaced by Tom Pickford.
In-content advertising company Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) expects flat revenues in 2022 because of weak market conditions in China. The Chinese operations will be closed next year and that will save annualised costs of £1m. That is on top of the £2.5m of annualised savings expected for the rest of the business. Interim revenues have halved, although US revenues increased. There is £17.7m in the bank and cash should be higher than previously expected at the end of 2022.
Finance and insight and control software provider Aptitude Software (APTD) grew annualised recurring revenues by 33% in the first half through a combination of organic and acquisitive growth. Revenues were 31% higher at £36.1m. Higher research and development spending is holding back short-term margins, but they should recover in the next couple of years. Operating profit declined from £5.1m to £4m. Net cash was £10.7m at the end of June 2022 and it should increase in the second half. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.8p a share.
Gresham Technologies (GHT) generated 19% organic growth in revenues to £23m in the first half of 2022. Strong US dollar revenues offset the weaker pound. Net cash is £6.5m. New contract opportunities mean that management is confident that it can meet full year pre-tax profit expectations of £5.8m.
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.
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.
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.
Quoted Micro 9 May 2022
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
In 2021, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) is paying a special dividend of 89.6p a share. The £3m payment comes after the receipt of the final £10.7m from the sale of housing development land. Newbury Racecourse increased turnover by 75% to £14.8m as racing returned to the course. There is still potential for further recovery this year. Attendances increased from 12,000 to 105,000. The hotel reopened in January 2022. There was a swing from £2.17m loss to an underlying pre-tax profit of £333,000.
Quantum Exponential (QBIT) is investing £406,000 in Aegiq Ltd, a photonics company using quantum technologies in the cybersecurity market. That gives it a 4.06% stake. Helium Special Situations has reduced its stake from 4.57% to 1.52%.
Goodbody Health Inc (GDBY) reported better than expected revenues for 2021. The CBD products and testing company made an underlying loss of £900,000 on revenues of £17.1m. Arden forecasts a £5.1m profit this year.
VSA Capital (VSA) has received a settlement of outstanding fees of £153,000 from client Anglo African Agriculture in the form of 3.82 million shares. This gives VSA a 15.3% stake plus warrants and convertible loan notes.
Gunsynd (GUN) has terminated the disposal of Oyster Oil and Gas to Sajawin.
Clarify Pharma (PSYC) had net cash of £1.3m at the end of April 2022. Investment opportunities in the psychedelics market are being assessed.
Apollon Formularies (APOL) has acquired intellectual property and patents from Aion Therapeutic for £96,000 and 4.35 million shares. It will also pay a royalty fee of 4% on net revenues from products based on these patents. The patents cover potential cancer treatments.
ChallengerX (CXS) has appointed Olivia Edwards as chief executive and Nicholas Lyth as finance director.
Phase 1 assay results from the Monte Muambe project held by Altona Rare Earths (ANR) show significant levels of rare earths.
Coinsilium (COIN) has been appointed as adviser to Silta Finance and entered into an agreement to purchase $75,000 of future SILTA tokens. Silta is building a technology to connect decentralised finance to infrastructure project developers.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has sold its remaining stake in builder’s merchant Merkko Group for £378,000.
Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has received the first UK order for Shinju and Shinju 8-year old whisky.
S-Ventures (SVEN) chairman David Mitchell bought 57,959 shares at 32p each. Chris Akers has increased its stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 19.1% to 20.1%. John Mahtani reduced his stake from 5.71% to 3.83%.
Online retailer of building materials CMO Group (CMO) continues to grow on the back of a buoyant market as well as gaining market share. The online share of the sector remains relatively low. The second half growth was not as fast as in the first half. In 2021, revenues grew 46% to £76.3m. There is organic growth supplemented by acquisitions. CMO moved from loss to an underlying pre-tax profit of £1.4m. Net cash was £6m. Following the acquisition of JTM Plumbing Plumbingsuperstore.co.uk is being launched later this year. First quarter trading has continued to be strong with like-for-like growth of 3%.
Neonatal intensive care medical devices supplier Inspiration Healthcare (IHC) increased full year revenues from £37m to £41.1m. Acquisition contributions offset the one-off Covid ventilator revenues in the previous year. Pre-tax profit improved from £3.13m to £3.96m, although earnings fell 12% to 6.1p a share because of the additional shares issued for acquisitions. The company’s order book is strong.
In 2021, targeted digital advertising services provider Dianomi (DNM) revenues grew from £28.4m to £35.8m, even though Asia Pacific revenues fell from £1.72m to £1.18m due to the ASX website stopping having advertising content. Underlying pre-tax profit moved from £2m to £2.9m – share based payment charges and float costs led to a loss being reported – and it is expected to increase to £3.6m this year. The average spend of the top 100 advertisers increased 27% to £280,000 each. Net cash was £10.3m at the end of 2021.
In 2021, Intelligent Ultrasound (IUG) reported revenues 47% higher at £7.6m, mainly from ultrasound simulation products, while the cash outflow from operations was £2.3m. AI revenues remain modest, and it will take time for them to build up. Cenkos upgraded its 2022 revenues forecast from £9m to £10m, but the cash outflow will be similar.
Plastics and packaging supplier Coral Products (CRU) is using some of its cash pile to acquire Film & Foil Solutions, a supplier of flexible packaging film used for food, books, carpets and for cable tapes. The initial payment is £1.35m in cash, plus £750,000 in shares at 15.5p each. There is just over £900,000 that could be payable based on the settlement of a contract dispute and an insurance payment. The acquired business made an underlying profit of £541,000 in 2021.
Energy efficiency as a service provider eEnergy Group (EAAS) has been hit by contract delays. That means that 2021-22 EBITDA could be £3m and not £4.4m as previously expected. A new finance director is being appointed.
Green hydrogen production developer ATOME Energy (ATOM), which was spun out of President Energy (PPC) at the end of 2021, has secured a major 60MW power purchase agreement with ANDE, the national power supplier in Paraguay. Hydrogen production could commence in Paraguay in the first quarter of 2023.
LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) will report revenues around £15m lower than expected due to overstocking. This will knock £10m off operating profit. Price rises are offsetting the effect of inflation.
Castings (CGS) 2021-22 results will be slightly ahead of expectations. Demand for commercial vehicles remains strong, but there is still uncertainty about the ability produce heavy trucks.
Kendrick Resources (KEN) was formerly AIM-quoted BMR Group, which left AIM in August 2018 after problems with the progress of the Kabwe project in Zambia. Kendrick still has a 11% royalty interest in Kabwe. Kendrick Resources has acquired Northern X Finland and Northern X Scandinavian. In Finland, there is an exploration licence at the Koitelainen project and two licences at the Karhujupukka project. There are two projects in Sweden: the Airijoki project and the Central Sweden project. There is also an option over three projects in Norway.
Gresham Technologies (GHT) has secured a contract with an existing bank customer worth up to £6.3m over a period of five years. The company’s Clareti software will be used across the whole UK business of the bank.
Quoted Micro 28 March 2022
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) returned to profit in 2021 and it is paying a final dividend of 22p a share, having already paid 37p a share for the financial year. Net assets are 1315p a share. Slater Investments has a 7.05% stake.
S-Ventures (SVEN) is acquiring Market Rocket Ltd, which is a digital agency that helps brand owners to sell their products, for an initial £2.25m. There could be further shares issued if performance targets are met. In the year to March 2021, revenues were £500,000 and this year they will be much higher. This is a profitable business.
British Honey Company (BHC) has raised £540,000 after expenses at 80p each. This cash will finance product development, costs related to reducing expenses and fund growth. Mark Jones has been permanently appointed as chief executive. The company is changing its name to Union Distillers.
Vulcan Industries (VULC) is acquiring Aftech, a sheet metal fabrication company, for £1.55m in shares issued at 1.257p a share, plus 24.7 million warrants exercisable at 3p a share. Services provided include laser cutting, bending and forming and the acquired business fits well with existing subsidiaries. In the year to November 2021, Aftech generated revenues of £1.18m and EBITDA of £266,000 and it has debt of £155,000.
AIM-quoted Asimilar (ASLR) plans to join the access segment of Aquis on 4 April. The technology investment company focuses on areas including big data, machine learning and Internet of Things. The corporate adviser is Oberon Capital. Chris Akers has a 6.88% stake and Nigel Wray a 9.43% shareholding. Net assets were £41.5m at the end of September 2021.
VVV Resources (VVV) has signed a conditional agreement to acquire a company that owns the Mitterberg copper project in Austria and a 49% stake in the Shangri La polymetallic project in Western Australia, which takes VVV’s share to 100%.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) increased its NAV from 437.6p a share to 455.7p a share in the 12 months to January 2022. However, the Luceco share price has fallen back since then. The Luceco stake was reduced to 22.1% last year. Cash was £27.6m at the end of January.
Capital for Companies (CFCP) had cash balances of £4.19m at the end of February 2022. Net assets were 68.4p a share, following the payment of 1.5p a share dividend on 3 March.
Jason Brewer has joined the board of All Star Minerals (ASMO) and been appointed as chief executive. The acquisition focus has switched to near-term production and revenue generating mining assets.
AQRU (AQRU) has entered a partnership with institutional lending platform owner Maple Finance, which will offer AQRU customers enhanced yields in decentralised finance. Yields could be up to 15%. The offering will be integrated into the AQRU mobile and web-based platform.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has obtained a new strategic investor and there could be more to come. Ramin Salsali has invested £302,276 at 0.5p a share to take a 4.67% stake. He believes that the CoalTech technology can help to solve the problem of 33 billion tonnes of toxic coal fines. The technology can also pelletise other materials. Several testing phase projects are at an advanced stage.
Cyber security software supplier Kape Technologies (KAPE) reported 2021 figures in line with its trading statement with pre-tax profit of $75.2m. This was without any significant contribution from the ExpressVPN acquisition, which was made at the end of the year. Pre-tax profit could more than double to in excess of $150m this year.
Geospatial software provider IQGeo (IQG) beat expectations for 2021 with a much lower loss of £2.7m. Annualised recurring revenues were £8.2m. This year the company should move towards breakeven.
Restaurant operator Tasty (TAST) bounced back into profit last year. In the 52 weeks to 26 December 2021, revenues improved from £24.2m to £34.9m. There was £11m in the bank at the end of 2021 and there are £1.25m of borrowings to offset against this. Even if deferred payments are taken into account, then underlying net cash is still £6.8m. Net assets are £1.9m.
Peel Hunt has upgraded its 2022 forecast for promotional goods platform operator The Pebble Group (PEBB) following the recent 2021 figures. Even so, pre-tax profit is forecast to dip from £10.2m to £9.9m.
Leather processor Pittards (PTD) returned to profit in 2021, but cost increases mean that WH Ireland has reduced its 2022 pre-tax profit forecast. Pre-tax profit is expected to be flat at £500,000. Net assets are 101.9p a share.
AI-enabled wound imaging technology developer Spectral MD (SMD) has made excellent progress since floating last year. Studies of the DeepView system have been positive. The technology enables earlier intervention to help wounds heal quicker than they would have done. A validation study for patients with diabetic foot ulcers is planned and could lead to an application for FDA clearance by the end of the year.
Judges Scientific (JDG) increased pre-tax profit from £13.7m to £18.1m in 2021. Revenues recovered in all geographical regions. The order intake in the first eleven weeks of this year is slightly ahead of the 2021 figure. Net cash is £1.4m and cash generated from operations will mean that the cash pile will build up ahead of any acquisitions.
LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LSE: LUCE) reported an increase in 2021 underlying pre-tax profit from £28.7m to £37.4m on revenues increasing from £176.2m to £228.2m. The total dividend was raised from 6.2p a share to 8.1p a share and it is more than twice covered by earnings. Luceco has moved into the electric vehicle charging market with the purchase of residential EV charge point supplier Sync EV for £10m – it already had a 20% stake, so the latest outflow is £8m. Annual revenues are £4m.
LeakBot reversed into Spinnaker Acquisitions to form Ondo Insurtech (ONDO). The total cost is £9.8m made up of cash of £1.6m, loan notes of £6.4m and 15 million shares issued at 12p each, including 1.36 million shares issued to Ondo Insurtech chief executive Craig Foster. The LeakBot device uses internet of things technology to identify leaks and stop them before they become more substantial. The core client base is home insurers, which can save money on claims. The share price started at 10.5p and fell to 9p by the end of the week.
RC365 Holding (RCGH) was set up to acquire Hong Kong-focused Regal Crown UK, which has developed payment gateway technology and provides other IT services. The holding company raised £2.02m at 6.2p a share, although £800,000 went on float expenses. The shares ended the week at 7p.
Beacon Rise Holdings (BRS) is the latest standard list shell, and it is highly illiquid with most of the shares owned by nine shareholders. On Sharepad.co.uk there are no trades reported, and the bid/offer spread is 100p/400p. That suggest a mid-price of 250p or a notional 150% gain – although the bid price is equal to the subscription price. Pro forma net assets equal the cash of £744,000.
Quoted Micro 7 February 2022
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
SuperSeed Capital Ltd (WWW) raised £2m at 100p a share in order to invest in UK based seed technology companies alongside a related fund. The share price ended the week at 70p (65p/75p). The directors can issue up to 50 million additional shares up until 27 January 2027.
Samarkand Global (SMK) says that trading conditions in China will hamper progress for the rest of this financial year. Covid restrictions have hit trading during the Chinese New Year period. Revenues will be lower than expected and higher investment will increase the expected loss. Recent deals will help Samarkand grow in the longer-term, but there are also forecast reductions for the next two years. VSA no longer expects Samarkand to make a pre-tax profit in 2022-23.
Gunsynd (GUN) investee company Low6 has raised $5m and the sports betting platform company agreed to reverse into a Canadian shell, which will list on the TSX Venture Exchange. Gunsynd has raised A$493,000 (£260,000) from the sale of part of its stake in ASX-listed Charger Metals Ltd. This has raised the initial investment and left Gunsynd holding three million shares.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) is selling its A ordinary shares in The Homebuilding Centre back to the company in five tranches. There will be a minimum payment of £50,000 a year. This guarantees Capital for Colleagues will receive its initial investment of £250,000. It still owns 15% of the ordinary shares.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has raised £4.2m at 20.5p a share via a placing and subscription. A one-for-20 open offer could raise up to £1.52m. Cadence has to invest $6m in two stages to take a 27% stake in the Amapa iron ore project in Brazil.
CBD products supplier Love Hemp Group (LIFE) is attempting to raise £2m at 1p a share and still plans to move to the Main Market in the first quarter of 2022. There are also plans to swap shares for debt. The company is moving to a new facility consolidating all the activities. Chairman Andrew Male and chief executive Tony Calamita, along with others, will accept their remuneration in shares until June 2022. This reduces the cash outflow.
Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased its interim pre-tax profit from £674,000 to £755,000. That is after a loss on disposal of £315,000, although fair value losses reduced from £200,000 to £100,000. Rental income fell 3% to £2.89m. There are £3.05m of assets held for sale. Net assets were 333.1m at the end of October 2021, while net debt is £50.4m.
AQRU (AQRU) has acquired Bison Exchange UAB for €30,000. The acquisition has changed its name to Accru Finance. The company can provide virtual currency exchange and wallet custody operations in Lithuania.
KR1 (KR1) has invested $5m in Starry Night Capital, which is building a portfolio of high-profile non-fungible tokens.
Pioneer Media Holdings (PNER) has completed the acquisition of Bark Ventures, a NFT play-to-earn game developer, for 2.86 million shares.
Western Selection (WESP) has cut its stake in Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) from 6.21% to 4.74% while Harwood Capital has increased its holding from 20.4% to 22.56%.
Helium Ventures (HEV) had £704,000 in cash at the end of October 2021. That is after a A$400,000 investment in Blue Star Helium, which has exploration projects in North America.
Quantum Exponential (QBIT) is still talking to potential investee companies. It owns 199,993 shares in Arqit Quantum, which has a contract with Virgin Orbit that covers two satellite launches.
Minerals explorer Altona Rare Earths (ANR) plans to continue to develop its rare earths projects Mozambique and Malawi to bankable feasibility study stage, as well as reviewing another acquisition that could be completed by the summer.
BWA Group (BWAP) reports that exploration of the 90%-owned mineral sands projects in Cameroon shows promising returns of rutile, ilmenite, kyanite and zircon over continuous zones.
Valereum (VLRM) has secured a $10m funding facility and this will help to finance the acquisition of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange. It has drawn down $3m which has to be repaid in six months of it can be converted into shares at 36.82p each, which is just below the current share price of 38p. There were also 663,302 warrants issued exercisable at 33.47p.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has raised £100,000 at 0.5p a share, with each two shares granted one warrant exercisable at 1.5p each.
NWF (NWF) reported a jump in interim profit. The fuel and food distribution businesses traded strongly with the former benefiting from concerns about supply shortages last autumn. The feeds business fell into loss, partly due to the loss of a distributor, and there was a £8.4m asset write down. Stripping out that exceptional, underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £2.5m to £4.3m. NWF maintained its interim dividend at 1p a share. Net debt was £7.4m at the end of November 2021. Management is seeking fuel distribution acquisitions to add to the regional network.
Wynnstay Group (WYN) has continued its record of increasing its dividend with an 18th consecutive rise. The total dividend improved from 14.6p a share to 15.5p a share. In the year to October 2021, underlying pre-tax profit was 37% higher at £11.4m. NAV is 525p a share. Wynnstay has increased market share in the feeds market, particularly for dairy and egg production. Agricultural merchanting operations benefited from the improved spending power of farmers. There could be a dip in profit this year.
Piling contractor Van Elle (VANL) improved its interim results and this led to an upgrade in full year forecasts. First half revenues were 57% ahead at £60m and it moved back into profit. Equipment usage levels have risen sharply. Net cash is £3.5m and this is enabling an increase in investment in new equipment. Van Elle had an order book of £39m at the end of 2021. Peel Hunt has increased its full year pre-tax profit forecast from £3m to £3.3m.
Hercules Site Services (HERC) originally raised £4m at 50.5p a share. The existing shareholder also raised £4m. Cirencester-based Hercules Site Services provides construction workers with a wide range of skills including carpenters, bricklayers, ground workers, security and site engineers. It also hires out suction excavators and sometimes there are cross selling opportunities with the labour supply business. More suction excavators are being acquired this year and there should be 20 following this fundraising. Demand for staff for infrastructure projects is increasing.
Electra Private Equity has sold all but one of its core investments, changed its name to Unbound Group (UBG) and moved to AIM. The remaining core business is footwear business Hotter. This is a direct to consumer business, although there are still 23 retail stores, down from 78 three years ago. One of Unbound’s main assets is its customer database. It hopes that selling additional products to that customer base will significantly improve profitability. The first sales of third-party products through the company’s website will be in the second quarter of 2022. The plan is to generate 50% of profit from these products.
Franchised lettings and estate agency business Belvoir Group (BLV) enjoyed a strong end to the year even though the stamp duty holiday ended in the autumn. The 2021 pre-tax profit forecast has been raised from £9.6m to £10m, while the £8.9m forecast for 2022 is maintained at £8.9m.
The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) continued to make strong progress in the fourth quarter despite the ending of the stamp duty holiday. There was a like-for-like increase of 26% in revenues, while the acquisition of Hunters Property meant that they more than doubled to £24.1m.
Freight forwarder and logistics company Xpediator (XPD) achieved 2021 revenues of more than £300m, compared with forecasts of £250m. The pre-tax profit will be much more than £8.5m.
Shipbroker Braemar Shipping Services (BMS) says that 2021-22 revenues will be at least £101m because the strong first half trading has continued into the second six months to February 2022. Operating profit should be at least £9.8m, up from £7.7m. Talks continue about the disposal of Cory Brothers.
Constellation Automotive has taken a 19.9% stake in motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) at the same time as it is completing its takeover of Marshall Motor. This will put Constellation in a strong position if there is a takeover battle for Lookers.
Hiro Metaverse Acquisitions 1 (HMA1) is a SPAC seeking acquisitions in video games, esports and other related areas. It raised £115m at £10 a unit (one share and 0.5 of a warrant).