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Valereum (VLRM) says the takeover of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange will go ahead in September. In the middle of September, a US fund is due to provide funding of £5m-£8m in two tranches. Trading in the shares has been suspended ahead of the publication of an admission document, which is likely to be in early October.
Fibre optic cables materials supplier Unigel Group (UNX) reported a dip in interim revenues from £18.8m to £18m, even so pre-tax profit jumped from £442,000 to £852,000 due to lower overheads. There was a £244,000 cash inflow from operating activities. The market declined by 3% during the period because of a slowdown in 5G investment.
Marula Mining (MARU) has acquired ore sorters to expand processing capacity at the Blesberg lithium and tantalum mine. Two ore sorters will cost £1.74m in total. The target production is up to 50 tonnes/day of lithium spodumene product from existing stockpiles. An agreement has been signed for an initial sale of 27.5 tonnes of high-grade material from Blesberg. The sale price is $3/000/tonne, based on a minimum grade of 6%. The company is negotiating to cancel a previous offtake agreement with Southern Jade Resources.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has warned that the Sonora lithium project licences, where it owns 30% of the entity that owns them, could be cancelled by the Mexican government because of minimum investment obligations between 2017 and 2021. Evidence of the spending may not have been submitted when required. This is subject to appeal. WH Ireland has already put a cautious value on the asset because of this uncertainty.
Psychedelic substances investment company Clarify Pharma (PSYC) had net assets of £1.1m at the end of May 2023. Cash had fallen to £183,000 at the end of August.
AQRU (AQRU) continues to reduce the number of employees and streamlined its investment pipeline. The main digital asset businesses have been injected into Langland Software Solutions in return for a 30% stake. Three directors are leaving the board, including Phil Blows who controls Langland. AQRU retains individual stakes, plus cash and crypto tokens.
KR1 (KR1) had net assets of 48.13p/share at the end of July 2023. There was income of £572,000 generated during the month.
Shareholders of Oscillate (MUSH) voted against voluntary liquidation. Net assets were £2.95m at the end of May 2023, including £1.17m in cash.
PanGenomic Health Inc (NARA) had net liabilities of $1.45m at the end of June 2023.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has received £200,000 from the convertible loan note issue. This will provide additional working capital. Pascal Portmann has become a non-exec director.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has raised €7.56m through a loan note issue.
Andrew Offit has taken a 4.8% stake in NFT Investments (NFT).
Pharma IT systems supplier Instem (INS) is recommending an 833p/share cash bid by Ichor Management, which is controlled by funds managed by Archimed SAS. The bid is still below the share price peak of 905p in September 2021. Instem is valued at £203m. The board believes that private ownership will provide greater access to capital to fund acquisitions and growth.
SailPoint Technologies UK is bidding 2.35p/share for Osirium Technologies (OSI), which may be nearly double the previous market price, which was an all-time low, but it is well below the share price peak of 201p during the 4 May 2016, less than one month after it joined AIM. The bid values the cyber security company at £3.11m. SailPoint Technologies believes that the business will fit well with the SailPoint Identity Security Platform. A unified platform will be developed for securing privileged and non-privileged identities for customers and there will be enhanced regional opportunities.
Frasers Group (FRAS) continues to build up its stake in online fashion retailer boohoo (BOO) from 9.1 to 10.4%. Frasers has also edged up its interest in ASOS (ASC) from 19.3% to 19.8%, although 9.2% is held through financial instruments.
Sustainable wood products supplier Accsys Technologies (AXS) made a strong start to the financial year, but it warns that demand from the construction market is declining. Sales volumes for the year to March 2024 will be worse than expected and profit will be much lower than anticipated. Operating costs are being reduced.
Revolution Beauty (REVB) has appointed Lauren Brinley as chief executive. The beauty and cosmetics products supplier also published its 2022-23 accounts. Lauren Brindley was until recently head of American retailer Walgreen’s beauty and personal care operations across its stores and online. Prior to that she worked at Boots and Tesco. Revolution Beauty has new distribution agreements with Walgreens and Boots. In the year to February 2023, revenues edged up 2% to £187.8m, while the loss reduced from £45.9m to £33.9m. That masks improved trading in the second half. First quarter sales were 60% higher, but there was destocking in the corresponding period last year. EBITDA was £3.5m in the period. Net debt increased to £21.5m.
Rosslyn Data Technologies (RDT) raised £2.7m from a placing and subscription at 0.5p/share and a retail offer to existing shareholders could raise up to £500,000 more. On top of the share issue, there is a proposed issue of 10% convertible loan notes to raise £600,000 from Hargrave Hale AIM VCT, Octopus AIM VCT and Octopus AIM VCT2. The conversion price is the lower of 0.5p or the issue price of another fundraise. There are also plans for a 50-for-one share consolidation. There will be a resolution at the general meeting on 18 September to gain shareholder approval.
Summary results for the phase II dose ranging study assessing Orenetide for hypoactive sexual desire disorder were disappointing and that has hit the Ovoca Bio (OVB) share price, which slumped 78.7% to an all-time low of 2.4p. The results of the study in Australia and New Zealand show that the treatment was not statistically significantly better than placebo. The ckinompany will have to decide how to move forward with the product and whether it should continue development. Ovoca Bio had €2.6m in the bank at the end of July.
Kinovo (KINO) says that it would not recommend a 56p/share bid from Rx3.
Linear Generator technology developer Libertine Holdings (LIB) says fees expected from Hyliion may not be recognised this year. This means that the loss would be higher than the £2.6m forecast. The first phase of development is complete and Hyliion has a six-month option period to negotiate IP rights. Work on the MAHLE powertrain was completed later than scheduled. There is £1.2m in the bank, which should last until May.
Application specific integrated circuits designer Sondrel Holdings (SND) has been hit by contract delays. Three major customers have delayed development for 6-12 months because of economic uncertainty and concerns about consumer confidence. Interim revenues will be 17% higher at £9.3m, but the full year forecast has been cut from £28.4m to £13m. Sondrel is likely to move into a net debt position by the end of 2023, but this should be temporary.
EnSilica (ENSI) has secured a $2.4m contract with an existing European customer for the development of an advanced networking ASIC. Most of this revenue will be recognised in the year to May 2024, which underpins forecasts. It has also won a €2.5m contract for its satellite broadband chip.
Pelatro (PTRO) will ask shareholders to vote to cancel the AIM quotation because of the cost and the inability to raise cash. The general meeting will be held on 21 September. Finance director Nic Hellyer is leaving the board. A matched bargain facility will be put in place.
Star Energy (STAR) is moving into geothermal project development in Croatia. This is part of the company’s move to refocus from gas to geothermal energy. A 51% interest in A14 Energy is being acquired for €1.3m in cash plus €300,000 back costs. A14 owns the Ernestinovo licence in the Pannonian Basin in Croatia. Bids have been placed for further licences. Up to €1.5m more is payable if the licences are granted.
Networking and biomedical technology company BATM (BVC) grew interim revenues by 5% to $60.2m and gross margin improved. Pre-tax profit improved from $1m to $2.3m. Cash declined to $41.9m at the end of June 2023.
RegTech Open Project (RTOP) was the biggest riser in the Main Market last week. The share price rose 55.4% to 172.5p, having joined the market on 25 August at 100p. This values the business and operational resilience software company at £103.5m. The underlying business generated revenues of £1.1m in 2022, down from £1.31m in 2021, due to a fall in operational resilience fees. The operating loss increased from £930,000 to £2m. RegTech Italy, which is part of a group that owns 65% of RegTech Open Project, is providing a shareholder facility of up to £8m with an initial cash drawdown of £2m that will help to pay the expenses of the listing. The company estimates total directors’ remuneration of £505,000 over the next 12 months.
Shell company Greencare Capital (GRE) is changing its investment strategy and name to MaxRS Ventures. Instead of seeking a cannabis-related acquisition, the company will try to identify opportunities that are undervalued or would benefit from being consolidated with other companies in its market. These would be technology type businesses and initially life sciences, crypto technology, impact investing and retail companies will be prioritised. The share price fell 12.3% to 25p. That valuation is still much higher than the interim net assets.
Lift Global Ventures (LFT) is asking shareholders to expand its investing strategy to include the energy sector. If this is approved, Tim Daniel and Paul Gazzard will resign as directors and they will be replaced Sandy Barblett and Roy Kelly.
Lekoil Ltd (LEK) is ending legal proceedings with Lekoil Nigeria and Olalekan Akinyanmi and it will surrender its shares in Lekoil Nigeria, which will in turn surrender its Lekoil Ltd shares. Lekoil Ltd is also waiving repayment of existing loans and lending $51.9 to Lekoil Oil and Gas Investments, which will take on certain loans granted to Lekoil Nigeria. Lekoil Ltd will change its name to Fenikso Ltd and a revised strategy will be considered. There should be some cash left after paying creditors.
Dermatology and oncology treatments developer Incanthera (INC) is continuing discussions with potential partners for its skincare formulations. There was a £267,000 cash outflow from operating activities in the six months to September 2022. There is £28,000 left in the bank.
Investment company Gunsynd (GUN) net assets fell from £6.3m to £3.85m at the end of July 2022. There was a £1.95m reduction in the value of investments and the rest relates to the costs of running the company.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) raised £155,000 at 0.5p a share – every two shares come with a warrant exercisable at 1.5p. The share price fell 15.4% to 0.275p. Clean Invest Africa is running short of cash. Subsidiary Coaltech is finding that lead times to securing sales and deals have been longer than expected. Certain creditors owed £2.5m have agreed to subordinate that debt to other trade creditors.
Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd (GSVR) secured a $5m credit facility with Ocean Partners, which already provides a $5m facility. There will be a consolidated offtake agreement with Ocean Partners for 24 months to the end of December 2024.
BWA Group (BWAP) had £6,709 in the bank at then end of November 2022. Additional funding is still be sought. St Georges Eco-Mining Corp is seeking to convert a proportion of its loan into shares. The convertible relates to an acquisition that is subject to legal action.
Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has completed drilling within budget at the Mozambique Monte Muambe rare earths project. This will enable a maiden mineral resource estimate in the first quarter of 2023.
Ananda Developments (ANA) has published a general cannabis research round-up, including a pilot study that indicates that a cannabis-based spray can help alleviate cancer pain. Ananda points to research that suggests that an individual’s genetics could predict the effects of cannabis.
Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) has announced the proposed acquisition of Helston Garages Group Ltd for £117m. This deal will be significantly earnings enhancing. Helston Garages is based in the south west of England and it has 28 outlets. This takes the group into Volvo and Ferrari for the first time. Zeus has increased its 2023-24 earnings per share forecast by 18.7% and by 24.7% for the following year when £3.2m of cost savings should be achieved.
Ashtead Technology (AT.) is buying subsea mechanical services provider Hiretech for £20m in cash. This has boosted 2023 earnings forecasts by 13%. Hiretech is already a supplier to Ashtead Technology.
Fund manager Mercia Asset Management (MERC) has acquired Frontier Development Capital for up to £9.5m. This enhances its business lending activities and brings £415m of funds under management. NAV was 46.8p a share at the end of September 2022.
Crestchic (LOAD) is recommending a 401p a share cash bid from Aggreko, which values the loadbank manufacturer and renter at £122m.
Audio equipment supplier Focusrite (LON: TUNE) edged up full year revenues thanks to positive currency movements, which was impressive given the Covid lockdown boost to demand in the previous year, but underlying pre-tax profit fell from £40.7m to £33.8m. Higher costs put pressure on margins. Asia Pacific was a particularly strong market last year. The total dividend was higher than expected at 6.1p a share. There was a positive start to the new financial year, although Focusrite will do well to maintain its profit this year.
International payments provider Equals (EQLS) says full year results will be better than expected. Canaccord Genuity has increased its 2022 pre-tax profit forecast from £10.3m to £10.8m. Last week, Equals acquired open banking platform Roqqett for up to £2.25m, subject to regulatory approval by the FCA.
Trident Royalties (TRR) is selling a portfolio of pre-production gold royalties, including Spring Hill, to Franco-Nevada for up to $15.8m – $1.25m is not payable until the Rebecca gold project goes into production. The royalties were bought for $6.5m. This leaves Trident Royalties with pro forma cash of $35m. A debt restructuring will reduce the interest charge by up to 2% and extend the facility by one year to the end of 2025.
Virtual reality and life sciences software provider Oxford Metrics (OMG) edged up revenues from £27.6m to £28.8m in the year to September 2022, but pre-tax profit decreased from £4m to £2.6m. The order book is worth £24m. The sale of Yotta left Oxford Metrics with £67.7m in cash. There is caution about acquisitions because price expectations are too high. Even so, pre-tax profit is set to rebound to £5.9m this year.
An initial contribution from Custom Power helped Solid State (SOLI) to increased interim pre-tax profit by three-fifths to £5.2m and the full year pre-tax profit could be £10.5m. There was strong growth from the components and systems divisions. There is high demand for the power products.
Automotive interiors supplier CT Automotive (CTA) has been hit by further supply chain disruption and production of new orders started later than anticipated, which has delayed profit recognition. A full year loss of $11m is forecast. A new facility has opened in Mexico, but it was later than expected. Net debt is $11.6m.
Mergers adviser K3 Capital (K3C) has received a 350p a share bid proposal from Sun European Partners.
Cote d’Ivoire-based Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) continues to benefit from high crude palm oil prices, which is near to its highs in the local market. Crude palm oil extraction rates improved to 20.9% in November 2022, although production fell by more than two-fifths to 1,535 tonnes.
Medicinal cannabis cultivation company Hellenic Dynamics reversed into former AIM-quoted shell UK Spac in an all share deal. Hellenic Dynamics (HELD) also raised £750,000 at 0.3p each. Hellenic Dynamics intends to operate a 195,506 square metres facility in northern Greece for the cultivation, production and export of THC-dominant strains of dried medicinal cannabis flowers and extracted oils of strains of medicinal cannabis flowers. The company has an installation/ construction licence. The company still has to obtain an operations licence in Greece so that it can sell the cannabis flowers and extract that it will produce.
Major shareholder MS Galleon has put forward three votes for the forthcoming AGM of tiles retailer Topps Tiles (TPT) through a requisition notice. It wants to remove chairman Darren Shapland and have Lidia Wolfinger and Michael Bartusiak appointed as non-executive directors. The Topps Tiles board recommends voting against the resolutions. MS Galleon holds 29.9% of Topps Tiles and it owns Cersanit, which is a major European tiles producer that wants to become a more significant supplier to Topps Tiles.
Finance provider S&U (SUS) says lending volumes have continued to be strong since the end of July. Write-downs remain relatively low and higher interest charges are offset by increased revenues. Pre-tax profit is set to decline this year, but it should still be more than £40m and total dividends could be 134.9p a share.
BATM (BVC) says a delay to a diagnostics contract will reduce the expected 2022 revenues. Shore Capital has reduced its forecast from $147m to $120m. That reduces pre-tax profit to $1.8m with a recovery to $17.4m forecast for 2023.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has raised £230,000 at 2p a share and this will fund the application for the temporary mountain use permits, which should be received in early 2023. There are negotiations with a streaming fund for the capital required to develop the high grade Kochang gold and silver mine in South Korea
A major 10-year contract announced by Carclo (CAR) for components for diagnostic units has been cancelled. This was expected to generate revenues of up to £15m each year. Carclo is in discussions concerning a commercial settlement, because tooling contracts have been delivered.
Full year revenues of Mears (MER) should reach £950m and pre-tax profit should be £33.5m. Net cash is likely to be more than £55m.
Kent brewer Shepherd Neame (LON: SHEP) returned to profit in the year to June 2022. The total dividend is 18.5p a share. Net assets increased from 1140p a share to 1194p a share, while net debt is back to pre-pandemic levels at £75.3m. Pubs and hotel revenues are still lower than in 2018-19. Beer volumes have more than recovered, although own beer volumes are 8% lower than three years ago. In the 13 weeks to 24 September 2022, like-for-like retail sales are 9% ahead, while own beer volumes were 1.2% higher – including a 14% improvement in own beer volumes.
Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased pre-tax profit by 49% to £2.07m in the year to April 2022. Net assets are 6% higher at £34m. Net debt has reduced from £54.8m to £44.6m. A dividend of 3.4p a share has been announced that will cost £2m.
VSA has downgraded its forecasts for battery storage technology developer Invinity Energy Systems (IES) following interim figures. First half revenues were £1.4m and the order book is worth £13m – mainly relating to the second half. However, 2022 revenues were downgraded from £14.1m to £11m. Next year’s revenues have been upgraded from £20.6m to £23.7m. Cash is likely to run out later next year.
All Things Considered (ATC) investee company Driift has acquired interactive live streaming events platform Dreamstage, which has been used by Driift for its own events. Deezer will invest a further £4m into the combined business. Music management business All Things Considered increased interim revenues by 19% to £6m and the loss was reduced. Net cash is £1.5m. A full year loss is expected compared with previous expectations of a £600,000 profit.
Wine maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased interim revenues by 4% to £6.88m. Sparkling wine revenues were 35% higher. Pre-tax profit improved by 6% to £489,000. The company started harvesting in August and a strong yield is anticipated.
KR1 (KR1) is not immune to the decline in values of digital assets. The value of intangible assets fell by £155.5m in the period, which more than offset realised gains of £2.5m and income of £16.6m. Net assets have declined by nearly three-quarters and NAV is 30.6p a share.
St Mark Homes (SMAP) reported an increased interim loss and NAV fell from 120p a share to 116p a share. As current projects complete management will consider paying a dividend.
Coinsilium (LON: COIN) reported a net fair value gain on financial assets of £163,000 in the first half of 2022. However, the value of cryptocurrency assets has declined. Net assets have fallen from £5.84m to £4.57m.
ProBiotix Health (PBX) generated sales of £306,000, down £537,000 in the first half of 2022. Orders worth £1.12m have been received since the beginning of the year, so the second half revenues should be stronger, as well as higher than last year.
In the six months to June 2022, the value of the equity stakes held by Cadence Minerals (KDNC) fell from £12m to £5.75m. The main decline was in the value of the stake in AIM-quoted European Metals Holdings. There was £1.99m in the bank at the end of the period.
NFT Investments (NFT) has been hit by a reduction in the value of cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin. That means that NAV has fallen to £30.1m, including £20.4m in cash. There was a revaluation reduction of £265,000, but that was offset by exchange gains of £362,000, leaving the value of investments at £6.47m. At 0.91p, down 4.21% on the week, the share price is less than one-third of the NAV of 3p a share.
Thixotropic gels manufacturer Unigel Group (UNX) joined the Access segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange in August. There was £800,000 raised at 64p a share. The gels are used in the fibre optic industry. A maiden trading statement says that interim pre-tax profit was 94% ahead at £940,000. New products and higher selling prices boosted revenues and current trading is described as robust.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) was the worst performer on the Aquis Stock Exchange last week. Loan notes have been converted into shares helping the company turn net liabilities into net assets of £1.72m at the end of June 2022. The company’s CoalTech technology is proven in palletising coal fines or coal waste and management believes that other materials could be palletised.
Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) had £3.2m left in the bank at the end of June 2022. There were no revenues in the first half. There was progress with waste plastic to energy project developments.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) had £2.38m in the bank at the end of June 2022. Drilling has commenced in Western Australia and Queensland in recent months.
Screwless spinal stabilisation systems developer TruSpine Technologies (TSP) had £3,471 in cash at the end of March 2022. There was a £390,000 cash outflow from operating activities and £1m of development spending capitalised. TruSpine subsequently entered into a funding agreement with Proffitt Brothers and $100,000 has been received.
Helium Ventures (HEV) is considering widening its investment strategy because of the lack of suitable helium investments. If a suitable acquisition is identified, then shareholders would be asked for their approval.
Investment in the medical imaging business is holding back short-term profit at engineer Avingtrans (AVG). In the year to May 2022, revenues were 2% ahead at 3100.4m and pre-tax profit rose from £7.6m to £8.3m. Demand from the nuclear sector is growing, but profit growth this year will be modest because of additional medical imaging costs. Net cash was £16.7m at the end of May 2022.
Online building and maintenance products retailer CMO Holdings (CMO) has been hit by softening demand for its products. There was still like-for-like revenue growth in first half of 2022, although Total Tiles sales fell because of tough comparatives. Even if the market gets tougher, there is still potential for growth because of the low share of online sales in the building materials sector.
Crownpeak Holdings is making an agreed 30p a share cash bid for omnichannel retail merchandising software provider Attraqt Group (ATQT). The plan is to combine Attraqt’s merchandising technology the Digital Experience Platform owned by Crownpeak. The share price has not been as high as the bid price since May, and it reached its all-time low of 17.5p prior to the bid.
Sustainable biopesticides developer Eden Research (EDEN) has obtained US EPA approval for its three active ingredients and two formulated products. Mevalone (a biofungicide) and Cedroz (a nematicide) sales should start next year via existing distribution partners. State approvals are required before launching in an individual state. Eden Research reduced its interim loss, but cash is still flowing out of the business. There was a cash outflow of £1.9m in the first half, including capitalised development costs and £1.85m was in the bank at the end of June 2020. R&D tax credits will help to replenish cash, but more will be required in the near future if Eden Research is going to take full advantage of the EPA approval.
Xeros Technology (XSG) has signed a joint development agreement with a global domestic washing machine component manufacturer for its XFilter microfibre filtration technology. A full licence dela could be agreed in six months. A placing raised £6m at 5p a share and a six-for-seven open offer could raise up to £1m more. In March 2021, a placing and open offer at 240p a share raised £9m. There was £2.6m of cash at the end of August 2022 and the cash outflow is £500.000 a month.
Digital transformation services TPXimpact (TPX) had a management overhaul last week because trading has been below expectations and there were complications with the integration of the businesses acquired. Chief executive Neal Gandhi and finance director Oliver Rigby. Bjorn Conway is the new chief executive. The order book is increasing in value, but revenue expectations have been cut from £97.4m to £90m. Operating costs are rising. and profit expectations have nearly halved.
musicMagpie (MMAG) has been hit be weak consumer spending with lower sales of technology. Rental income from pre-owned mobiles is growing, though, and that is good for longer-term revenues. The original pre-owned books and music operations are trading as expected. The second half should still be better than the first half, although a full year pre-tax loss is forecast on flat revenues. A small profit is forecast for 2023. Net debt is expected to be £8m at the end of the year.
Structural steel supplier Billington (BILN) increased interim revenues by 22% to £46.2m with nearly doubled pre-tax profit of £1.47m. finnCap has increased its 2022 earnings forecast by one-third to 26.4p a share.
Employee benefits services and insurance provider Personal Group (PGH) has increased revenues by 6%, but profit has declined due to higher insurance claims costs and investment in sales. The benefits of the investment will show through next year and insurance revenues will also recover.
Shell company Milton Capital (MII) intends to float on the Main Market in the coming week. There will be £1m raised at 1p a share and the investors will get two warrants for each share and they are exercisable at 1.5p a share. Total flotation costs are capped at £50,000 and the first year’s operating costs will also be £50,000. The directors will not take salaries. Instead, they will receive a success fee on the completion of a reverse takeover. The initial focus is the technology sector.
Vehicle and property bridging loans both grew in the first half at S&U (SUS) and total net receivables were £370m at the end of July. Credit quality remains high. Pre-tax profit was 5% ahead at £20.9m. The first interim dividend was raised from 33p a share to 35p a share.
Rockwood Strategic (RKW) has transferred from AIM to the Main Market. Rockwood Strategic management believes that there are plenty of undervalued smaller companies that it can invest in and help to grow.
Hawkwing (HNG) is keeping up with the traditions of its previous incarnation TLA Worldwide and published its interim figures after the market closed at the end of the week. The standard list shell had cash of £2.03m at the end of June 2022. There are also more than £16m of convertible loan notes. It has loaned Internet Fusion Group £13.7m and plans a reverse takeover.
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Hargreaves Lansdown has added stocks in the Access segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange to its electronic trading platform.
Wine maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) says interim revenues are in line with the same time last year due to the disappointing 2021 harvest. This year’s harvest should be better and full year revenues are expected to be higher. Price increases should help to improve margins. Net cash was £3.76m at the end of June 2022. Net assets are 19.5p a share. Five directors bought shares at between 19.6p and 19.9p a share.
Samarkand (SMK) says trading is in line with expectations in the year to March 2022. Revenues are estimated at £16.5m and the loss at £8.3m. There was £4m in the bank at the end of March 2022. Samarkand provides e-commerce technology and services to clients that wish to access the Chinese market. Trading has been hampered by Covid lockdowns. Management says that trading conditions are improving, although 2022-23 revenues are likely to be flat. Margins should improve.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that clan coal business CoalTech has commenced commercial coal production in South Africa, and it will initially build up production to 3,500 tonnes/month. Production is expected to double in 2023. That could be enough to eventually generate annual net profit of $1.2m.
Ecotricity has increased its stake in Good Energy (GOOD) from 26.1% to 27.2%.
CBD products supplier Love Hemp Group (LIFE) is in discussions with a replacement corporate adviser so that the trading suspension of the shares can be ended. Executive chairman Andrew Male has moved to a non-exec role. Garry Cook has stepped down from the board and replaced by Anthony Dyer.
Invinity Energy Systems (IES) says that the world’s largest hybrid energy storage system, incorporating a 5 MWh Invinity Vanadium Flow battery, was launched at the Energy Superhub Oxford. Jonathan Marren has been appointed as chief development officer, having previously been a non-exec director.
Valereum (VLRM) reported an increased loss of £1.84m for 2021. There is still £1.43m in cash anies, v,ld net assets were £2.51m at the end of 2021.
Forbes Ventures (FOR) has decided that the litigation funding securitisation will not go ahead. Peter Moss, the director handling the deal, has resigned and Forbes Ventures is seeking to recover costs. A potential acquisition is being negotiated.
IamFire (FIRE) has an option to subscribe for up to £3.75m in convertible loan notes in WeShop Holdings Ltd. It paid £250,000 for this option. The conversion price is 100p a share. WeShop has launched its social network shopping platform, which offers shares with every purchase – initially 20% of the purchase price.
AQRU (AQRU) has appointed First Sentinel as corporate adviser and Tennyson Securities as broker. They replace Novum Securities. The decentralised finance-focused incubator has launched AQRU Trend, a high-return strategy optimised for cryptocurrencies designed for small investors to access competitive returns in the crypto market. It is available through the AQRU.io platform.
All Star Minerals has changed its name to Marula Mining (LON: MARU) and consolidated 100 shares into one new share.
Macaulay Capital expects to join Aquis on 22 July. It intends to originate and manage corporate transactions and invest its own funds, in shares and loan stock, along with other investors. Macaulay will earn an arrangement fee, an annual director fee for supplying a director to the investee company and an annual management fee of 2% a year for five years once third-party investors have been repaid their initial investment – payable by the investors. There is also a potential performance fee if returns are better than the threshold set.
Shore Capital has been appointed broker to Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB).
BWA Group (BWAP) has issued 3.35 million shares at 0.5p each in order to satisfy directors fees.
Immediate Acquisition acquired new bank Fiinu (BANK) for £37.5m in shares at 20p each, which is the same price as in the placing price that raised £8.01m. Pro forma net assets are £11.7m, including £11.2m in cash. Fiinu intends to invest £2.3m of the cash raised in further technology development and £6.6m will provide regulatory capital. Fiinu has developed the Plugin Overdraft, which provides customers with an overdraft facility without the requirement to switch banks. When someone applies for the overdraft via the Fiinu app they give permission for Fiinu to access their account details at their bank. Fiinu can then assess whether they meet the requirements for access to the Plugin Overdraft. Fiinu will take deposits on fixed-terms, and these will fund shorter term lending via the Plugin Overdraft.
In the year to March 2022, Mercia Asset Management (MERC) increased its NAV from 40p a share to 45.6p a share, thanks to valuation increases in some of its direct investments. The investment manager had Assets under management of £959.2m at the end of March 2022 and this has subsequently risen above £1bn following VCT fundraisings. The dividend has been raised from 0.3p a share to 0.5p a share. There is cash and short-term investments of £61.3m.
CML Microsystems (CML) improved full year revenues from £12.5m to £17m, underlying pre-tax profit doubled from £1.1m to £2.2m. The investment in technology development is starting to pay off with design wins for internet of things, 5G and satellite products. These design wins will be making significant contributions in two years. Net cash is £24.6m and the dividend was raised from 9p a share to 10.8p a share. A 2022-23 pre-tax profit of £2.5m is forecast with cost rises offset by increasing volumes.
Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ) reported a strong recovery in revenues from £39.7m to £78.4m and it moved back into profit last year. Revenues are still much lower than pre-pandemic levels, but the £800,000 pre-tax profit is similar to the level prior to Covid-19. There were £1m of government grants included in income in the year to March 2022. There was an operating cash inflow of £5.3m and net cash was £4.4m. There was a strong recovery in UK stores revenues, but online also grew. Price rises will help to maintain gross margin. First quarter sales are 62% ahead at £27.3m and there could be further improvement in profit this year as long as overheads are controlled.
Iodine producer Iofina (IOF) has secured debt funding for expanding capacity. There were 234 metric tonnes of iodine produced in the first half of 2022. Second half production should be between 255-275 MT. Iodine prices are higher than $70/kg.
Shares in parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) remain suspended, but it believes that its 2020-21 accounts and the corporate governance investigation could be finalised before the end of September. Trading remained strong in 2021-22 and net cash is £27m. That could provide scope for dividends or some other way of returning cash to shareholders.
D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) is paying a 12.5p a share special dividend following better than expected figures for the year to March 2022. The underlying pre-tax profit declined from £4.4m to £3.3m as a move towards a subscription model delayed revenue recognition. Annual recurring revenues were £14m by the end of the period.
Stripping out flotation related costs, 4Global (4GBL) made an operating profit before government grants. The sports data and analysis company increased revenues from £2.68m to £3.64m, which is around pre-Covid levels.
Cambium Global Timber (TREE) is holding a general meeting on 3 August to gain shareholder approval to cancel the AIM quotation and wind up the company. There is £5.47m in the bank and a further £1.5m of deferred consideration is due. Cost reductions will be made and there will be an initial distribution of 6.5p a share. There could be a second distribution of 1.5p a share.
Kitchenware retailer ProCook Group (PROC) made a pre-tax profit of £9.5m on revenues of £69.1m last year. That was in line with downgraded expectations. The dividend is 0.9p a share. Like-for-like revenues have fallen by 16% so far this year, but there are short-term indications that the market could be improving. ProCook continues to win market share, but pre-tax profit is likely to be lower this year.
Spiritus Mundi (SPMU) is a cash shell seeking acquisitions in the clinical diagnostics sector and it has directors with experience in this area. A subscription raised £280,000 at 5p a share and along with previous share issues, this means that there is around £1m of cash available. Pro forma assetd are just over 2p a share.
Data integrity and control software provider Gresham Technologies (GHT) says interim revenues were 56% higher at £23.1m, including a full six-month contribution from Electra Information Systems, which was acquired in June 2021. Organic revenue growth was 19%. Clareti software annual recurring revenues are £25.9m. Net cash is £6.4m. The interims will be announced on 26 July.
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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.
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AIM-quoted OptiBiotix Health (LON: OPTI) plans to float its ProBiotix Health subsidiary on the Aquis Stock Exchange and distribute 35%-37% of the shares to its shareholders. ProBiotix, which develops probiotics for treating cardiovascular disease, is expected to have a pre-money valuation of £22.5m and will join the market on 31 March. There are plans to raise £2.5m. OptiBiotix will retain just under 50% of ProBiotix. Peterhouse is corporate adviser.
Oberon Investments (OBE) says revenues will be at least £6.4m in the year to March 2022. Funds under management have grown to more than £1bn and that has been wholly organic growth. Oberon is launching an EIS fund and an IHT service.
Natural food and snack products supplier S-Ventures (SVEN) has been making acquisitions since it floated. This means that the figures for the year to September 2021 are not a good indication of the group as it is currently made up. They show revenues of £1.53m and loss of £1m. Additional warehousing has been secured so that all the group’s requirements can be fulfilled by this site. Two centres have been closed.
National Milk Records (NMRP) has secured an exclusive licence for the exploitation of GenoCells technology in the US. The test can detect mastitis and is being piloted in the UK. The roll out of the test should start at the beginning of 2023.
SuperSeed Capital (WWW) says that SuperSeed Fund II raised £31m. There is a strong pipeline of investment opportunities.
Altona Rare Elements (ANR) is proceeding with phase 2 of the development of the Monte Muambe real earths project with resource drilling that will last for 12 months. This will produce a maiden mineral resource estimate and will cost £1.2m.
Semper Fortis Esports (SEMP) has set up a blockchain-based paly-to-earn gaming division called SMPR Guild. The subsidiary will buy in-game items in the form of NFTs, and active game players can access these items on a revenue share basis. Game-based token rewards are won during playing and they are split between the player and the company.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has completed the acquisition of a further 7% of Pedra Branca Alliance, which gives it a 27% interest in the Amapa iron ore project.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has raised £100,000 at 0.5p a share and for every two shares an investor receives a warrant exercisable at 1.5p. If these warrants are exercised, then another warrant will be issued that is exercisable at 3p a share.
Chris Akers has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 18.3% to 19.1%.
CleanTech Lithium (CTL) raised £5.6m at 30p a share when it joined AIM. The share price ended the week at 35.5p. The company has potential lithium projects in existing mining areas of Chile. This means that there is nearby infrastructure. CleanTech Lithium has an extraction process that is more environmentally friendly than alternatives. Owning 100% of each of the projects (there is currently an option over part of the Laguna Verde area) provides additional flexibility for financing. There should be updated resource figures during the summer and that will enable a pre-feasibility study to be conducted.
Ceramics and fragrance products manufacturer Portmeirion (PMP) returned to profit in 2021. Group revenues increased from £87.9m to £106m, while underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £1.4m to £7.2m. There was a rebound in revenues in South Korea. Total dividends were 13p a share. Long-term energy contracts have been secured to offset higher gas prices this year. Further profit improvement is expected this year. Healthcare had a strong year helped by Covid, but management believes that spending will
Recruitment firm Empresaria (EMR) bounced back in 2021 even though the aviation recruitment business remained in the doldrums. This shows the benefits of the wide spread of activities both in terms of sector and internationally. Revenues recovered from £54m to £59.5m, while underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £5.2m to £8.6m. This reflects the benefits of investment in group management and resources and there is more to come. Further roll out of IT will also help. Revenues and profit are well below the peak in 2018. The offshore recruitment services division is moving into the Philippines market. There has been a strong start to 2022.
Restore (REST) improved its pre-tax profit by 64% to £38.1m with demand for all parts of the business returning last year. Acquisitions did help the technology business to grow sharply but there was also 5% underlying organic growth for the group as a whole. There are spare bank facilities to fund more acquisitions this year as Restore moves towards its goal of £450m-£500m, which is double the 2021 level.
Packaging and automation equipment supplier Mpac (MPAC) did better than expected in 2021. The 13% improvement in revenues to £94.3m was mainly down to the acquisition of Switchback. Pre-tax profit grew from £6.3m to £8.6m. net cash was maintained at £7.6m. The focus on the healthcare and food sectors has helped Mpac to prosper and the international spread of business is another positive. There is a 26% like-for-like increase in the order book, which was £78.4m at the end of the year.
Tracsis (TRCS) is paying £10.9m, plus up to £2.1m deferred, for rail technology software provider RailComm, which generates revenues of £4.6m. Tracsis had already won a remote condition monitoring equipment contract in the US and the focus will be gaining further contracts for this technology, as well as for software.
Energy efficiency as a service provider eEnergy Group (LSE: EAAS) increased interim revenues by 42% to £9.6m, partly due to energy management acquisitions. Energy efficiency revenues fell during the first half because the corresponding period included work that had moved into that period due to lockdowns. Solar is a sector where management is keen to expand exposure.
Gfinity (GFIN) is raising more cash to cover its losses, but they be near to coming to an end. The esports business is raising a further £2.7m at 1.25p a share, having regularly raised money since joining AIM in 2014. A loss is expected this year, but a reduction in admin costs should help Gfinity to make a profit in 2022-23.
Corporation Financiere Europeenne has increased its bid for CIP Merchant Capital (CIP) from 55p a share to 60p a share. This is still a significant discount to NAV and the bid has been rejected, but the bidder already owns 35.2% and has acceptances of 1.3% of the share capital. Castellain Capital has doubled its stake in CIP to 11.1%.
New Energy One Acquisition Corporation (NEOA) is a cash shell seeking to acquire a business involved in the energy transition sector. It raised £175m at £10 a share. The only real asset is the cash raised in the flotation. The current share price is 989.5p.
Cash shell CYBA CYBA) has acquired its first cyber security business Narf Industries for $25.6m in cash and shares. Narf provides vulnerability research and security protocol design, as well as developing its own cyber security software. A placing raised £6m to help finance the purchase. The placing price of 2p was above the market price, but by the end of the week the price was 2.3p. CYBA may also acquire Polyswarm, although the exclusivity period has ended. CYBA director Steve Bassi is the principal shareholder of the Polyswarm businesses. The estimated cash balance is currently £2.79m. The company is licensing SRI International’s IP that is used in the Narf developed threat intelligence for grid recovery product. SRI will take a stake in CYBA.
Housebuilder One Heritage Group (OHG) has issued £1.5m worth of unsecured corporate bonds and has obtained a standard listing for them. The bond has an annual coupon of 8% and matures in March 2024. The cash will be used to repay loans outstanding from One Heritage SPC, which have an annual interest rate of 12%. There will be a £1.2m loan left that expires in August 2023.
Property investor Town Centre Securities (TOWN) improved underlying net assets to 305p a share, from 284p a share – a 2.4% increase in portfolio value plus help from share buy backs. Three property sales generated £22.5m in the six months to December 2021. There have been subsequent deals. The current loan to value is 47.7%. A 2.5p a share interim dividend is being paid.
Raven Russia (RAV) intends to sell its Russian property assets but retain outstanding loans. Trading in the shares has been suspended and the listing will be cancelled so that the option to sell the assets can be triggered.
Path Investments (PATH) has published the prospectus for the reverse takeover of DG Innovate, which is developing drive and battery technology. The initial consideration is £32.4m in shares at 0.6p each. There is conditional deferred consideration of up to £5.4m depending on the signing of additional customers. Path has raised £2.55m at 0.5p each and warrants exercised at 0.25p each to raise a further £2.08m.
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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).
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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%.
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.
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.
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Gibraltar-based RentGuarantor (RGG) provides a rent guarantee service to tenants in the private rental sector. It has joined the Access segment having raised £125,000 at 200p a share. Chief executive Paul Foy has agreed to lend the company £200,000. The business is currently loss-making and has to grow much bigger to get to the point where it is breaking even. The share price ended the week at 210p, although there were no reported trades.
Incathera (INC) continues discussions with two global cosmetics companies about the commercialisation of the Sol skin cancer treatment and started talks with two more. There was £627,000 in the bank at the end of £627,000 and this should last well into next year.
Capital For Colleagues (CFCP) has raised £1.95m at 64p a share and all the directors are participating in the placing. This will provide additional cash for investment. The company had £1.91m in the bank at the end of August 2021. NAV was 69.71p a share at the end of August 2021. A final dividend of 1.5p a share is payable on 3 March.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) lost £228,000 in the quarter to September 2021. The company requires cash, and the Gaskell House waste and recycling property is up for sales. Those proceeds will not be enough to pay off the bonds when payment is due at the end of January 2022. The plan is to try to extend the redemption date.
TECC Capital (TEC) had £1.1m in the bank at the end of September 2021, which is the same as the NAV. Acquisitions are being evaluated.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) more than halved its interim loss to £553,000. Net liabilities have increased to £3.22m. More cash is required to get the most from the CoalTech technology.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says investee company Greengage is withdrawing the application for a Gibraltar banking licence. The plan is to pursue an e-money licence and then apply for a UK bank licence.
KR1 (KR1) has paid the performance fee of £4.15m to Reflexivity Research, which is owned by the executives of KR1. There will be £830,000 paid in cash and the rest in shares. KR1 contributed 350,000 Poldadot in the Astar, formerly Plasm, crowdloan.
Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) generated record revenues in one week and that takes revenues for the eleven months to November 2021 to £13.8m. The growth is coming from the testing clinics.
Kevin Soltani has stepped down as chieve executive of Semper Fortis Esports (SEMP) and Keith Harris will be interim executive chairman.
Chris Akers has raised his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) to 17.2%. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi increased his stake in Gledhow Investments (GDH) to 8.26%. Scwiar Capital has raised its shareholding in Helium Ventures (HEV) to 10.9%.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had net assets of 511.93p a share at the end of November 2021. Share buybacks are planned and 150,000 shares were acquired at 350p each.
Pioneer Media Inc (PNER) has raised a further C$400,000 at C$1 a unit (one share and one warrant). This takes the total raised to C$1.5m. Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £383,000 via placings at 1.6p a share and 1.5p a share.
NFT Investments (NFT) is applying to list on the NEO Exchange in Canada.
Cloud video editing platform developer Blackbird (BIRD) is raising £8m at 28p a share with chief executive Ian McDonough investing £380,000. This will finance further technology development and add to the technical staff. There will also be cash for market testing advancements and new products. The potential market is enormous, and Blackbird has only just started to exploit new areas.
Windward Ltd (WNWD) has developed AI-based software that enables real-time information about seafaring vessels to be transmitted to their owners. Israel-based Windward raised £26.3m at 155p a share and it ended the week at 204p. The market capitalisation of £166.5m is high considering the progress made. In the six months to June 2021, revenues improved from $7.11m to $8.09m, while the loss jumped from $1.53m to $4.04m. Annual contract value is $19.7m with 99% of revenues from subscriptions.
Ondine Biomedical Inc (OBI) has returned to AIM and raised £22.3m at 53.41p a share. The share price ended the week at 58.5p. Canada-based Ondine develops photodisinfection-based therapies for drug resistant infections. The light-based technology can reduce inflammation and eliminate pathogens. It originally floated on AIM on 9 August 2004, then focused on dental treatments, and left in 2011. In the six months to June 2021, revenues increased from C$213,000 to C$1.98m, while the loss fell from C$7.48m to C$4.58m.
Redx Pharma (REDX) has received another $10m milestone payment from Jazz Pharmaceuticals as the research collaboration reaches the two year mark.
Antimicrobial technology developer Byotrol (LSE: BYOT) fell back into loss following the Covid-19 boosted revenues in the corresponding interim period. Revenues more than halved from £6.7m to £3.2m. There was £1.9m of cash at the end of September 2021.
4GLOBAL (4GBL) provides sports consultancy services to governments and other organisations, as well as subscription data products. It raised £4m at 91p when it joined AIM.
Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) returned to profit last year as revenues improved from £125.7m to £137m. Civil engineering services provider Tamdown continued to lose money but the eSmart Networks EV charging installation division moved into profit. Management is considering floating eSmart Networks on AIM or bringing in a strategic investor. The money that Nexus would raise can then be used to acquire a business to broaden the range of services offered by the TriConnex utilities connection division.
Sivota (SIV) has found a potential reverse takeover candidate in the form of Israel-based Apester, which has an interactive digital platform. The plan is to pay $12m for a 53.9% stake in Apester. Sivota wants to raise £11m.
Urban Logistics REIT (SHED) has moved from AIM to the Main Market following a £250m fundraising.
MENA Land (MENA) has lost its listing, trading having been suspended since 2 November 2020.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) has resolved its litigation with Celsius by terminating the lease agreement and paying $6.32m to Celsius, which is handing over title to equipment and paying bitcoin to Argo. November revenues were £8.29m with Argo mining 185 bitcoin.
Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) has a dual quotation on the Canadian Securities Exchange and obtaining the Aquis quotation is part of the stated strategy to become the largest CBD business in the world. Acquisitions have been made this year and at least three more are lined up. Prior to joining Aquis, Yooma raised £7.46m at 52.32p a share. As well as the cash raised in the placing, there is an option granted to a strategic investor to subscribe £5m for 9.56 million shares. Administrative delays relating to the investor mean that the share issue has not been completed yet. Yooma Wellness says that annualised 2021 sales could be $32m if it makes the expected acquisitions.
Ecotricity has posted its offer document for Good Energy (GOOD), which continues to reject the approach.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) is in discussions with a potential investor. A fundraising could be secured within weeks. There are also discussions concerning a joint venture. CIA has been hit by Covid-19 measures in South Africa.
Pioneer Media Holdings Inc (PNER) has made an additional investment in connected gaming platform developer Paidia eSports Inc and a new £200,000 investment in Streaks Gaming. Pioneer will own 40% of Paidia. London-based Streaks operates a conversational gaming platform. Users are matched with a personalised digital conversational partner generated by AI. Pioneer will own 16.1% of Streaks.
Sativa Wellness Group Inc (SWEL) increased revenues by 828% in the second quarter of 2021. Revenues in the six months to June 2021, revenues jumped from £733,000 to £4.86m, while the loss reduced from £2.37m to £1.27m. The business is being restructured into three divisions: Goodbody Botanicals, Phytovista and Goodbody Wellness.
Construction of the DJT Plants medical cannabis growing facility started on 4 July. Ananda Investments (ANA) continues to make progress with the purchase of the 50% of DJT it does not own.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) is partnering with genomic and theranostic company OncoDNA, which will enable its patients to obtain genomic testing that can help to secure the most appropriate cancer treatment.
Administrators have been appointed to NQ Minerals (NQMI).
Chris Akers has increased his stake in Oscillate (MUSH) from 3.1% to 9%. Thomas Grant Nominees owns 9.95%. Robert Johnson has a 3% stake in TECC Capital (TEC).
Drug developer BiVictriX Therapeutics (BVX) has a low capital cost model which outsources the main operations. It has a lead asset called BVX001, which is targeting adult leukaemia. BVX001 has already indicated an anti-tumour effect in animal models. No adverse effects were observed. The £7.5m raised at 20p a share will accelerate the optimisation of BVX001, so it reaches pre-clinical milestones. The share price ended the week at 23.5p.
Marlowe (MRL) has decided not to bid for Restore (RST), which has acquired PRM Green Technologies, which is an IT recycling business. This acquisition will be immediately earnings enhancing.
Crestchic revenues increased by 44% in the first half of 2021 and Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) group revenues are 22% ahead at £19.6m. The 2021 pre-tax profit forecast was increased from £2.1m to £2.5m.
Self-storage sites operator Lok’nStore (LOK) is increasing occupancy rates and adding new sites. Self-storage revenues increased by 21% over the year to July 2021, which is well ahead of forecasts. The first half growth rate was 11%. Over the 12-month period, occupancy rates have increased from 69.6% to 85.8%.
Oil and gas producer Southern Energy Corp (SOUC) concentrates on areas with proven low-cost producing assets, with the current focus in Mississippi. The strategy is to grow production through acquisitions. Alberta-based Southern Energy plans to increase production to 25,000 barrels of oil per day over the next two year. This will require larger acquisitions than in the past. No cash was raised, and the shares will continue to be traded on the TSX Venture Exchange. The share price opened at 6.5p on the first day and stayed at that level until the end of the second day when it fell to 5p (4p/6p) and that price was maintained.
Science Group (SAG) has made a bid approach for TP Group (TPG). Science group has acquired a 10.2% stake in TPG, with the shares being acquired for 5p each.
Best of the Best (BOTB) says that there has been a 15% decline average weekly sales of competition entries. finnCap has cut its earnings forecast from 142.4p a share to 53.3p a share. There should still be £12m in cash at the end of April 2022.
Venture Life Group (VLG) says interim revenues were lower this year because of the lack of hand sanitiser sales and lower sales of Dentyl in China. Sales of other products grew. Forecasts have been updated for recent acquisitions. Share issues mean that earnings are expected to be flat at 2.5p a share. The full benefits of the acquisitions will come through in 2022 when earnings are expected to be 4.6p a share.
Verditek (VDTK) has raised £353,000 from its Crowd for Angels bond offering.
Foams manufacturer Zotefoams (ZTF) improved its interim pre-tax profit by 49% to £4m even though it was reduced by currency movements. Footwear generates one-third of revenues. The new manufacturing site in Poland has opened.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated revenues of £31.1m from mining 883 bitcoin in the first half of 2021. Although revenues are improving, there will be higher than expected tax and finance charges this year. finnCap has reduced its 2021 earnings estimate from 7.6p a share to 5.6p a share.
Plaza Centers NV (PLAZ) has received a revised proposal from GC Hevron Capital. The company’s assets would be transferred to a trustee of managed for the benefit of bondholders. Hevron would be issued shares equivalent to 74.99% of the enlarged share capital. There will be a NIS 2 million payment to cover creditors. Hevron will then inject a new business, which is part of its investment portfolio, into the shell. The target is a nutritional food technology company.
Danakali (DNK) is cancelling its standard listing on 24 September and retaining its ASX listing.
Mast Energy Developments (MAST) has acquired Pyebridge Power, which owns a 9MW gas-powered standby generation facility, for £2.5m in cash. The site could generate EBITDA of £488,000 a year.
Hawkwing (HNG) is raising £16.5m through the issue of 8% convertible loan notes. They are convertible at 6p a share. The cash will be loaned to ecommerce aggregator Internet Fusion Group to finance two acquisitions – an outdoor lifestyle brand and an online fashion accessories retailer. Hawkwing plans to acquire Internet Fusion for an enterprise value of £115m through an issue of shares at 6p each. Trading in Hawkwing shares remains suspended.
Path Investments (PATH) has agreed to acquire DG Innovate for £32m in shares at 0.6p each. DG is developing electric motor technologies and energy storage systems. There is enhanced drive technology, which is being used to develop lightweight and cost-effective electric motors, and enhanced battery technology, which is developing fully-recyclable, sodium-ion batteries offering greater energy density than current technologies.