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Quoted Micro 23 October 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Supported housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has improved its net asset value by 4.4% to 94p a share in the six months to September 2017. Interim figures should be published within a fortnight.

African Potash Ltd (AFPO) has decided not to acquire investment company Onshore Energy Ltd and concentrate on its fertiliser business instead. Progress has been delayed but fertiliser trading has started in Zambia and a 21% stake was acquired in Advanced Agricultural Holdings, which is focused on South Africa. There were no revenues in the year to June 2017, although there was trading income of $9,000, and the loss was $2.27m. There was £11,000 in the bank at the end of June 2017. African Agronomix is earning a stake in the company’s potash interests. Trading will recommence in the shares on 23 October.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has €7m of debt, in the form of a mortgage, from UniCredit Bulbank. This will be used to complete the planned acquisition of the office building in Sofia. The loan lasts for three years from completion of the documentation.

Via Developments (VIA1) has completed the purchase of the development site in Latimer Road, Luton.

AIM

Belvoir Lettings (BLV) has approached The Property Franchising Group (TPFG) about a merger between the letting agents but the reaction has been negative. Belvoir believes that the market is consolidating and it makes sense for two of the major players to come together. The indicative offer is 0.715 of a Belvoir share and 52.2p a share in cash for each TPFG, although the amount of cash could be varied. This values each TPFG share at 130.5p.

eServGlobal Ltd (ESG) is raising £24m at 9p a share with existing retail investors given the chance to clawback £3.4m of the shares. Cash is required to be injected into the HomeSend joint venture so that the 35% stake can be maintained. There will also be costs to rationalising the core business in order to help move it into profit.

Overseas growth dominated the Tristel (TSTL) where full year revenues were one-fifth higher, or 7% excluding the acquisition of the Australian distributor. Tristel has already warned that regulatory approval has been delayed in the US but it can still continue to grow its infection control sales. Animal health and contamination control revenues fell but margins improved. House broker finnCap forecasts an improvement in profit from £4m to £4.4m this year.

Secure payments and contact centre technology provider Eckoh (ECK) continues to add contracts in the US while UK revenues are steady. Seven US contracts worth $5.1m have been won. Eckoh has moved into a net cash position of £1.7m. Interim figures will be reported on 22 November.

Telecoms software supplier Artilium (ARTA) has formed an alliance with NYSE-listed Pareteum Corporation, which involves the sharing of distribution, products and technology. The focus will be Latin America and Asia. A share exchange will mean that Pareteum will own 8.8% of Artilium, which will own 19.9% of Pareteum. Artilium is opening a new office in Germany.

Cloud-based communications software provider Cloudcall Group (CALL) is raising £5.7m at 143.5p a share and the cash will help to finance further growth. Cloudcall wants to take advantage of its partnerships with Microsoft Dynamics and Bullhorn and attract new partners.

Proteome Sciences (PRM) says that its deal pipeline is improving but the adoption of its proteomic services has been slower than hoped. This year the loss will be reduced but it will be higher than previously expected. Proteome has gained Good Clinical Laboratory Practice accreditation which will enable it to take on larger clinical projects.

Sula Iron and Gold (SULA) is evaluating the best way to develop the Ferensola gold asset as well as seeking to bring other assets into the group. There could be a joint venture or farm out at Ferensola and Sula intends to solicit interests from potential partners.

Hornby (HRN) is ending the discounting of its stock but it will still hit the figures for this financial year. New chief executive Lyndon Davies continues to review the business strategy and more will be revealed with the interim figures. The interim chairman is leaving the board.

BP Marsh (BPM) has increased its NAV from 273p a share to 304p a share in the six months to July 2017. Disposals brought in significant amounts of cash and this is being reinvested. One of the main focuses of the investment is the North American market.

Infinity Energy S.A. (INFT) is in talks to acquire Transgas Ltd from its own chief executive and its family. Transgas owns petroleum exploration licences in south west England. Infinity will issue shares for the purchase if it is agreed and it intends to change domicile from Luxembourg to Guernsey.

Molecular diagnostics firm Genedrive (GDR) has signed a distribution agreement with Sysmex Europe for the supply of the Genedrive hepatitis C (HCV) ID kit, which is designed to be used in a decentralised environment and produce results within 90 minutes. This is the first commercial partner and Sysmex will be responsible for marketing and distribution in the EMEA region. The initial focus will be African companies.

RNA therapeutics technology developer Silence Therapeutics (SLN) is claiming money in the High Court for income it believes it is owed on products sold by Alnylam. The High Court has to determine whether Silence is entitled to supplementary protection certificates, which can give up to five years of exclusivity after a patent expires

Seeing Machines (SEE) believes that it could treble its revenues this year to between A$38m to $A43m and revenues could double again next year. However, cash is in short supply so investment has been curtailed. New investment is being sought. Interest is building in the automotive sector for the FOVIO driver monitoring technology.

Jim Meredith has become executive chairman of Augean (AUG), following the resignation of Stewart Davies as chief executive, and Christopher Mills and Roger McDowell, who stepped down in June 2015, have joined the board as non-executives. Augean continues to have problems with the HMRC regarding its landfill tax assessment and profit will be lower this year and in 2018. A further £1.7m is being cut from annual overheads.

Futura Medical (FUM) has received positive market research from fellow AIM company Cello (CLL) for its MED2002 gel for erectile dysfunction. More than three-fifths of physicians canvassed in the US thought that MED2002 was better than existing treatments. The equivalent figures in Germany and France were 60% and 54% respectively.

Concepta (CPT) has signed up two distributors in China for its MyLotus fertility product. This takes the number of distributors to three and more will be signed up in the coming months. The product is being evaluated for use after a woman has got pregnant.

Sunrise Resources (SRES) has discovered a new deposit at the CS Pozzolan-Perlite project in Nevada. There have also been positive drilling results in the existing deposit areas.

Omega Diagnostics Group (ODX) has signed a three year agreement to supply food intolerance product FoodPrint to a US laboratory testing services provider.

Thor Mining (THR) is moving to a phase of progressing the commercialisation of its exploration interests. There has been a resource upgraded at Pilot Mountain and there will soon be a resource estimate at Kapunda. The options for progressing with the development of the Pilot Mountain and Molyhil projects are being considered. A placing will raise £565,000 at 0.8p a share. There is a warrant with each share which enables the holder to subscribe for a new share at 1.2p.

Strategic Minerals (SML) has entered into a binding term sheet to acquire the owner of the Leigh Creek copper mine project, which is the northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia. It will cost A$1.8m to restart production at the mine. Strategic has to inject A$1m into the holding company, pay A$250,000 in cash and A$750,000 in shares to the current owner and agree a royalty agreement with them which will be capped at A$3.65m. The Cobre magnetite ore operation in New Mexico had a record quarter to September 2017. Revenues were $2.04m, which was more than the first six months of 2017 and for 2016 as a whole. Annual sales should exceed $5m and this provides cash flow for other projects. Strategic had $1.63m in the bank at the end of September 2017. Shareholders have agreed to a new option programme for management.

MAIN MARKET

Sportech (SPO) has put itself up for sale, although the strategic review continues. There have already been four preliminary proposals but no detailed discussions have commenced.

InnovaDerma (IDP) has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for some of its online advertising for Skinny Tan. Trading is in line with expectations.

Andrew Hore

Kingfisher – Increased Transformation Activity – Profits Fall

Kingfisher plc KGF The jargon filled half year report claims that the six months to 31st July saw a significant increase in the level of transformation activity but it can not hide the fact that sales continued to fall and profits slumped. An increase of 2.5% in the interim dividend will not fool anybody. Sales appear reasonable with a rise of 4.5% until you look at them in constant currency terms which shows a fall of 1.3% Profit figures are given in a variety of guises, all of them bad. In constant currency terms they fell by 4.6%.  On an adjusted basis they were down 5.7% and  basic earnings per share followed suit with a fall of 4.4%  On a statutory basis pre tax profits fell by 5.9% and post tax profits by 8.1%. To add to the misery the company is cautious about what it calls the second half :”backdrop” in France and the UK.

Diageo DGE has issued a trading commentary ahead of its AGM asserting that it is expecting mid single digit top line growth for the current year, relying on the strength of its  marketing, innovation and commercial execution but it expects to be impacted by a late Chinese New Year and an expected motorway ban in India, hardly signs of unbridled confidence.

600 Group plc SIXH updates before todays AGM that its current machine tool order book is up by 60% and industrial lasers by 36%, on the same time last year, which augurs well for trading in the second half of the year.

Cello Group CLL Despite a slight fall in revenue Cello claims an encouraging first half, producing a statutory profit before  tax of £2.7m for the 6 months to the 30th June, compared to a loss of £0.8m last year whilst basic earnings per share came in at 2.16p compared to last years loss of 1.08p per share. The interim dividend is increased by 5%

Science in Sport  SIS experienced continued strong growth in the half year to the 30th June, with revenue rising by 28% and e commerce delivering 87% growth, followed by International with a rise of 55%. Whilst still producing operating losses, profitability at EBITDA level is expected for the full year.

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Severn Trent Drowns In Jargon

Severn Trent SVT  is so mired in jargon that it has started creating new  words which are so obscure and meaningless that it has had to add a little dictionary at the end of today’s update. What is wrong with plain English ? Even HMCR now uses it to good effect. Is it beyond the wit and intelligence of Severn Trents senior management to do the same.

Can they not really do better than ODI outperformances, totex efficiencies, business plans for AMP7 and methodology consultations for PR19. In fact  senior management seems so besotted with this nonsense that it had difficulty in finding anything about which it could update us.

Drax Group DRX managed to turn last years interim profit before tax of £184m into a thumping loss of £83m, and saw underlying earnings per share collapse from 4.2p to 2.2p. so not surprisingly management is taking action. Firstly it is claiming that this transformation is due to the maintenance of operational excellence across the group. Secondly it is more than doubling dividends for the 6 months to the 30th June from last years 2.1p per share to 4.9p. To be fair the figures do include unrealised losses of £65m due to foreign exchange hedging – so that’s alright init ?? Just as a sideline net debt surged from £85m  to £372m. Never mind, that dividend increase should ensure that jobs are safe.

RPC Group RPC will announce at todays AGM that the current share price of the company significantly undervalues its performance to date  and its future prospects. Revenues for the quarter to 30th June have been well ahead of the same period last year and have also exceeded management expectations. An inaugural share buy back program of up to £100m. is to be launched.

Wizz Air Holdings WIZZ has produced a record first quarter performance with profits rising by 50% to a record £58m, as passenger numbers rose by 25%. There is however some caution expressed about prospects for the second half of the year.

 

Cello Group CLL enjoyed a good first half with strong overall and like for like growth from Cello Health in the 6 months to 30th June. Expectations are that full year results will also be strong.

 

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William Hill Surges in Australia and US

Image result for william hill logoWilliam Hill WMH has made a positive start to the year with group net revenue rising by 9% and online revenue up by 16%, for the 17 weeks to 25th April. Australia and the US  both surged by 41% after producing double digit “wagering” growth.

Image result for spirax sarco logoSpirax- Sarco SPX Organic sales growth for the quarter to 30th April, helped by a strong economic background, exceeded that of 2016 which was unusually weak. China & Korea put in a particularly good performance and the fall in the pound provided a strong “tailwind.” Expectations for the full year remain unchanged.

Image result for gear4music logoGear4music G4M saw record growth in sales a profits for the year to 28th February which it describes as transformational. International markets were particularly strong with a rise of 124% and the number of active customers rose by 50%. Revenue was up by 58% and on an underlying basis EBITDA rose by 115% and operating profit by 192%. The company sees the next 12 months as exciting.

Cello Group CLL has made a strong start to the year and sees the outlook as pleasing.

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Redrow Expects “At Least” 22% Rise In Profit Before Tax

Redrow RDW as a result of its record order book, trading and performance in the second half of the current year continues to be robust and has enabled the company to increase its average selling prices more, or as they put it, “better” than expected. Profit before tax for the year to the end of June is now expected to increase by at least 22% to £306m.

Kingfisher KGF is increasing its total dividend for the year to 31st January by 3%, after sales and profit growth turned it into an important and productive year. Underlying profit before tax rose by 14.7%, adjusted sales were up by by 1.7%,  leaving group results ahead on all key metrics.

Savills pls SVS delivered another record performance in 2016, including what it describes as a highly resilient performance in the UK .Getting down to the nitty gritty though group profit before tax rose by only 1% after a 52% rise in continental Europe. Underlying basic earnings per share were up by 15% and total dividends for the year are increased by 12% to 29p per share, compared to 26p in 2015.

XAAR plc XAR Revenue for the year to the end of December was up by some 3% and profit before tax rose from £13.6m to £17.9m. Ceramic tile sales were disappointing.  Total dividends for the year have been increased from 9.45 p. per share to 10p.

Cello Group CLL Managed to turn earnings per share of 3.54p for 2015 into a loss of 3.23p per share for 2016. Revenue for the year to the end of December rose by 5.4% and like for like gross profit  grew “robustly” by 5.9%.  Dividends for the year grew even more robustly with a rise of 18.9% but headline profit before tax less so with a mere 0.8% rise. However a good start has been made to 2017.

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Cello Is a Bowed String Instrument And Not A Fiddle

Alliance Pharma APH has more than doubled revenue and pre tax profits in the 6 months to the 30th June and is increasing the interim dividend by by 10%. Revenue rose by 104% including sales of ex Sinclair products whilst profit before tax rose by 113% and basic earnings per share by 25%. The share price has been showing some signs of strength since the end of June with a rise from 42p to 51p, approaching its previous all time high of 60p.

Advanced Medical Solutions AMS claims to be in robust health, with strong financial growth for the half year to 30th June. LiquiBand continues to perform strongly in the US, producing a rise in revenue of 83% and further gains in market share.The interim dividend is being increased by 20% after a rise in revenue of 20% and a 13% rise in profit before tax. revenue has been helped by currency fluctuations. The share price as grown almost without interruption from 55p at the start of 2013, to its present 227p.

Dunelm DNLM Put in a strong performance for the year to 27th June and continuing a record of ever increasing sales and profits over the last 10 years. The final dividend is to be increased by 19.1% bringing full year dividends to 25.1p, a rise of 16.7%, in addition to which there has been a special distribution of 31.5p per share.Profit before tax rose by 6.2%, basic earnings per share by 7.4% and revenues by 7.1%.

Galliford Try GFRD produced another set of record results for the year to 30th June, but being a housebuilder, that is expected. Profit before tax rose by 18% and the full year dividend payments are up by 21%. Linden Homes saw completions rise from 2769 to 3078 which I make out to be a rise of 11% but revenue was up by only 8%.  Housebuilders do not give discounts, not yet at least but did the odd incentive become necessary during the course of the year?

Cello CLL is increasing its interim dividend by 19% following a statutory loss of £0.8m and a statutory basic loss of 1.8p per share, for the 6 months to 30th June. Last year it made a first half profit of £1.9m so this year has seen quite a turn round. Obviously the board must have put its thinking cap on as to how to justify the dividend hike and  to do so it came up with a new formula.  As from now dividends will be equal to 40% of headline earnings per share, that being one of the few statistics showing a positive outcome, even if at  3.54p they were lower than last years 3.61p. Nice for the shareholders, anyway. And to make sure that no one is confused with the half year results, the company makes it clear that “Headline operating margin is defined as headline operating profit as a percentage of segmental gross profit“. Can’t get fairer than that, can it?

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Bumpy Landing For Easyjet

Easyjet EZJ The chickens have at last come home to roost and Sir Stelios has been proved right. Number crunchers can not run a successful airline and that is why Ryanair and Intercontinental thingummiejigs are two of todays most successful airlines.

Easyjet has quietly tried to distance itself from its origins as a budget airline. Some fares now equal or even exceed those of the “proper” airlines but it can not get away from the fact that it still operates with the attitude of a budget airline and still tries to pretend it is a budget airline. The result is that it is caught between a rock and a hard place. The flying public is not as stupid as Easyjet thinks and has delivered it a strong warning. The results for the half year to to 31st March do not make pleasant reading.

Firstly it has clearly gone ex growth. The load factor is static and revenue has risen by by a tiny 0.3%. Revenue per seat has fallen by 4.2% but costs per seat have risen by 4.3% despite the collapse in the price of fuel, a double whammy if ever there was one.Worst of all it has managed to turn last years half time profit of £7m. into a loss of £24m and earnings per share of 1.3p have  become a loss per share of 5.1p

Easyjet calls this a robust performance, more like a bumpy landing

Few managements are capable of taking on board lessons from results like these. There is only one person capable of giving those lessons. At least Sir Stelios will be able to speak with added authority when he gives his next words of warning and advice.  For once perhaps, they should listen to him.

Bovis Homes BVS has seen the house building boom continue unabated during the first four months of the year. Freely available mortgage finance has fuelled strong demand.  Weekly sales rates have improved and sites have been selling out earlier than expected.

Cello CLL has had a good start to the year. Except in one division, it has a robust income pipelines and is continuing to work towards the resolution of its VAT dispute with HMRC.

Gear4music G4M has had a record year for its first as a listed company, with strong UK growth and excellent progress in Europe. Adjusted operating profit for the year to 29th February grew by 138%, adjusted EBITDA by 100% and revenue by 46%. Last years loss of £797,000 was turned into a tiny profit of £6,000. Year end cash has grown from just under £1million to £3.5m

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