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Quoted Micro 20 February 2023


EDX Medical Group (EDX) acquired Torax Biosciences for the issue of 1.67 million shares at a notional 6p each. Torax provides development and pilot scale fabrication of immunochemistry-based assays and diagnostic testing services. The experienced team at Torax was an attraction.

Marula Mining (MARU) signed a co-development and relationship agreement with a subsidiary of South African mining and investment company Q Global Commodities, which had already agreed to subscribe £3.75m for shares. Q Global chief executive will become Marula Mining chairman, subject to regulatory approval and admission to AIM. Marula Mining is expanding its graphite interests through the proposed purchase of a 75% stake in ten licences comprising the Nyorinyori graphite project in Tanzania.

Electric vehicle drivetrains developer Equipmake (EQIP) reported more than halved interim revenues from £2.32m to £1.05m and the loss increased to £2.76m. There was cash of £7.44m at the end of November 2022. The contracted order book is worth £9.1m. That includes 100% of second half expected revenues as well. There have been delays in delivering vehicles to First Group, so these will be in the 2023-24 figures.

Energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) has launched a new smart export product for Feed-in Tariff for FiT customers, which could help them to earn more from electricity they generate. There are plans for a new domestic export tariff for households in the next few months.

AQRU (AQRU) has incorporated the London Carbon Exchange and it has a wating list of investors interested in using the platform when it is launched later this year. The platform allows trading in the voluntary carbon market.

RentGuarantor Holdings (RGG) has entered a three-year agreement with X1 Property Management, a residential and student letting company, which hopes to generate secure tenants.

Digital asset investor Kasei Holdings (KASH) raised £500,000 at 12p a share from Aalto Capital. This is a 12.5% stake. ChallengerX (LON: CXS) raised £250,000 through a share issue to Aalto Capital at 0.45p a share. An equal number of warrants exercisable at 0.45p each were also issued.

Spirits company Rogue Baron (SHNJ) non-exec Charlie Wood acquired an initial 600,000 shares at 0.846p each. He also has an interest in the 1.1 million shares owned by Orana Corporate, where he owns 25%.

Hikmat El Rousstom has resigned as non-exec director of Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP), while at British Honey Company (BHC) Sophie Guifang Luo stepped down from the board to pursue other interests.

Love Hemp (LIFE) has withdrawn from trading on the Aquis Stock Exchange as of 14 February. Trading in Pioneer Media Holdings Inc (PNER) will end on the Aquis Stock Exchange on 9 March.


Purplebricks (PURP) is launching a strategic review because the board believes the company is undervalued. The share price slumped to 7.86p, which is a new low. Changes to the estate agency business have disrupted the third quarter performance. Instruction numbers were lower than expected. Management has identified an additional £4m of annualised cost savings. There will be £1.2m of one-off costs in the second half. The full year adjusted EBITDA loss will be between £15m and £20m. It was previously expected to be around £10m.

Semiconductors designer EnSilica (ENSI) moved into operating profit in the first half and momentum has continued in the second half. A €5m contract has been won to develop a chip for the satellite communications market, which will start generating revenues in 2023-24. Interim revenues are nearly one-quarter higher at £8.59m. The growth came from design and supply. There was a pre-tax loss of £202,000, but R&D tax credits meant that there was a £322,000 profit after tax. A small full year pre-tax loss is forecast for the full year with a £844,000 post-tax profit.

Semiconductors designer Sondrel Holdings (SND) says the project design for a customer in the automotive sector has been delayed because project design will not be completed until the first quarter of this year. The payment for the first milestone was in January and the second will not be until May. The 2022 loss is higher than forecast and there will still be a small loss in 2023.

Esports company Gfinity (GFIN) raised £2m at 0.15p a share, having originally sought £1.5m. The cash should last for 12 months. Technology platform Athlos still requires a strategic partner and there is enough funding for this for around four months. If not, then it could affect the restructuring and other plans for the rest of the business. At 0.1575p, down 33%, the current share capital is valued at Gfinity at £2.1m. Each placing share comes with a warrant to subscribe for one share at 0.15p and these warrants are exercisable between six and 18 months after the placing shares are admitted to AIM.

Fertiliser producer Harvest Minerals (HMI) had cash of A$2.72m at the end of 2022. Sales of KPFertil are growing and that has enabled the repayment of A$1.2m of debt. A court ruling requires Agrocerrado to pay $463,000, because it failed to acquire the minimum tonnes of KPFertil required by the agreement between the companies.

Medical devices developer Creo Medical (CREO) raised £28.5m from the placing at 20p a share, which was more than the £25m initially targeted. The cash will be used for further development and commercialisation of Creo Medical’s minimally invasive electrosurgical devices. With up to £5.2m more to come from the open offer, Cenkos believe that this is enough cash to fully commercialise the current product portfolio. Revenues of £100m are forecast by 2027.

Clontarf Energy (CLON) is forming a joint venture with US-based NEXT-ChemX Corporation, which covers the deployment and marketing of the latter’s direct lithium ion extraction technology in Bolivia. There is limited water and energy consumption with this technology. The share price soared by 129% to 0.172p. Pilot testing and extraction starts in March. Clontarf Energy will contribute $500,000 towards the pilot plant for exclusive use of the technology. There will also be share issues to NEXT-ChemX.

Promotional goods supplier software platform provider Altitude (ALT) says results for the year to March 2023 will be much better than expected. Zeus has upgraded its pre-tax profit forecast from £500,000 to £800,000 and that is the second upgrade in three months.

Deferral of contracts by clients has led to forecast downgrades for Jaywing (JWNG) and 2022-23 pre-tax profit expectations have been more than halved to £1m, while next year’s forecast has been slashed from £3.7m to £2m. The digital marketing services provider won an Australian online education services contract which will help to offset some of the decline in forecast revenues in 2023-24.

Mkango Resources (MKA) raised £3.5m at 12.5p and this will fund further development of the Songwe Hill rare earths project. Talks with potential funders for the project continue. Mkango Resources will also provide a €2.5m loan facility in HyProMag, which is developing a rare earth recycling production facility in Baden-Wurttemberg. The company’s stake in HyProMag could increase to 66.8%. Chief executive William Dawes acquired 400,000 shares at 12.95p each and 400,000 shares at 12.75p each. He owns 4.42%

WH Ireland has reduced its forecasts for SaaS-based retail software provider itim Group (ITIM) because of contract delays. Revenues for 2022 will be slightly below previous forecasts and that increases the loss by £200,000 to £1.1m. The 2023 loss is expected to be the same. Annualised recurring revenues are £13m, which is lower than expected. Net cash is £3.9m.

Mark Horrocks has increased his stake in cloud-based international payments services provider Cornerstone FS (CSFS) from 8.66% to 13.4%.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) achieved record local process for its crude palm oil in January and there were strong extraction rates from the fruit bunches. However, there were disappointing volumes because of aggressive rival bidding for fruit bunches, although this has eased this month. There no changes to 2023 expectations of a sharp rise in profit.


The ignominious life of Hawkwing (HNG) as a quoted company appears to be coming to an end. Kroll Advisory has been appointed administrator to the company. Hanover Investment Management demanded repayment of £2.2m relating to a convertible loan note. Hawkwing is owed £13.7m plus interest and add-ons by IFG (SPP), where liquidators have been appointed. This is secured on two subsidiaries and their assets, but it is uncertain how much can be clawed back. The cash shell was formerly sports representation and marketing company TLA Worldwide, a past AIM embarrassment which released a profit warning after the market had closed for Christmas.

Zamaz (ZAMZ) has acquired Dallatte Italia, a manufacturer of dairy products. This fits with the Bella Dispensa subsidiary and its Made in Italy ecommerce service. Management wants to change the terms of its bonds by extending their life and increasing the interest rate.

Trading in Net Zero Infrastructure (NZI) shares recommenced last week following publication of accounts and interim figures. The share price fell from 2.2p to 1.55p.

RC365 Holding (RCGH) intends to issue 18 million shares to Hatcher Group Ltd and in return it will receive 38.64 million shares in Hatcher Group. The two firms will collaborate in research and development of smart algorithm technology and other fintech services.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 26 June 2017


Good Energy (GOOD) received applications for £16.7m of the corporate bonds on offer. The maximum application level was £20m. The energy supplier will issue the bonds on 30 June. At the company’s AGM, Martin Edwards was not re-elected as a non-executive director and four special resolutions, three relating to pre-emption rights and one about calling a general meeting at 14 days notice, were not passed. Edwards has been a director of Good Energy since its formation and has expertise in renewable energy generation. It is unclear whether the length of his time on the board was held against him by institutions or whether there was another reason for him being removed from the board. He was chairman of the remuneration committee.

South Africa-based social impact investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) says that occupancy rates of its core investment Kazuko Lodge are improving and it moved into profit last year. The weakness of the Rand has helped to boost tourist demand and room rates. In the year to February 2017, Inqo revenues increased from R10.7m to R17m and a loss of R4.72m was turned into a pre-tax profit of R10.3m, thanks to a rise in other income from R867,000 to R14m. Net cash was R2.3m at the end of February 2017. This year, the first revenues from Bee Sweet Honey and retirement savings scheme provider Four One Financial Services are anticipated.

Housebuilder St Mark Homes (SMAP) is paying an interim dividend of 5.5p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 6 July.


Phoenix UK has bought out a rival shareholder in Hornby (HRN) and this has triggered a mandatory bid at the purchase price of 32.375p a share. This purchase took Phoenix’s stake in Hornby to 55.2%. The bid values Hornby at £27.4m. Neither Hornby’s management nor Phoenix wants to lose the AIM quotation. The bid closes on 14 July.

Wynnstay (WYN) reported flat interim pre-tax profit of £4.07m prior to the goodwill write-down on the Just for Pets retail business. Pet retailing is a competitive market and it is consolidation. Just for Pets is relatively small and it loss has masked an improvement in the core agricultural division and the Wynnstay Sores retail business. A recovery in the milk price means that farmers are back in profit and are spending more money on feed. Net debt was £8.28m at the end of April 2017, which is higher than last time because of the rise in commodity prices. The interim dividend was increased by 5% to 4.2p a share. The full year profit is forecast to decline from £7.4m to £7.1m.

NWF (NWF) also benefited from a recovery in feed demand in the second half of the year to May 2017, although there was a decline in the year as a whole. The food and fuel distribution businesses both made improved contribution. The full year figures will be published on 1 August.

South America-focused gold miner Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) says that operating costs were between $800 and $900/ounce last year. In the year to May 2017, Orosur produced 35,371 ounces of gold, which is at the lower end of the expected range. There was net cash of $2.9m at the end of May 2017 even though a new underground mine has been developed. Orosur plans to commence a drilling programme in Colombia, while the deadline for a decision by Asset Chile on whether to back phase II of the Anillo project has been extended to the end of 2017, although Orosur can talk to other potential backers.

Timber importer James Latham (LTHM) reported better than expected full year figures. In the year to March 2017, revenues were 7% ahead at £199m and gross margins improved. Earnings per share were 4% higher at 55.8p and the total dividend is 15.35p a share, up from 14.3p a share. Net cash was more than £16m. Revenues were 3% higher in the first two months of the current financial year.

InterQuest Group (ITQ) continues to advise against acceptance of the bid from Chisbridge, which is a management backed takeover vehicle. Acceptances of the 42p a share cash bid have been received from shareholders owning 2.85% of InterQuest, which is added to the 40.5% of the share capital that already backed the bid. The offer has been extended to 13 July.

European Wealth Group (EWG) is raising £6.14m at 12.8p a share and could raise up to £3.07m more via an open offer to existing shareholders. The cash will be used to pay off debt and deferred consideration.

Tracking and security equipment developer Starcom (STAR) has raised £650,000 at 1.5p a share, with each share coming with one-fifth of a warrant exercisable at 2.5p a share for up to 12 months. Some of the cash will be used to pay $246,000 to YA II, which will reduce the drawn down convertible loan facility from $330,000 to $110,000. YA II has agreed to a conversion price for the rest of the facility of 2.5p a share up until the end of 2017.

Redx Pharma (REDX) has a chance of securing the funds it requires in order to come out of administration. Discussions are still at an early stage. It is unclear whether this will involve changes to management, given that the current management believed that it could string along Liverpool City Council and put off repayment of its loan. Redx has gained UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency approval for oral cancer treatment RXC004. This provides permission for a phase Ib/IIa study for gastric, biliary and pancreatic cancer patients.

Clontarf Energy (CLON) is in talks to secure further projects and additional finance. Clontarf was recently awarded block 18, offshore Equatorial Guinea.

Myanmar International Ltd (MIL) raised a total of $7.3m via PrimaryBid.com and institutions, having initially wanted to raise between $3m and $5m. The Myanmar-focused investment company offered shares at $1.18 each – a 9.2% discount to the market price. Myanmar has achieved a broadening of its shareholder base. The enhanced proceeds are still expected to be invested within six months.

Digital media content business Brave Bison Group (BBSN) has appointed Claire Hungate, a former chief operating officer of ex-AIM TV production company Shed Media, as chief executive but she does not join the company until September. Brave Bison says that it does not believe a merger with fellow AIM company Zinc Media is in its interests.

Water treatment company HaloSource (HAL) has finally completed a £1.8m fundraising at 1.5p a share. The cash will provide working capital to help expand the drinking water business and develop the lead removal technology. The cash will fund the group into 2018. The new shares are more than one-third of the enlarged share capital. The completion of the conditional fundraising was announced on 21 April. There is no mention in the latest announcement of the investor that had tried to gain Chinese government approval to invest.

Gold producer and explorer Shanta Gold (SHG) raised £11m at 6p a share as part of a refinancing that also includes a new $50m debt facility to replace the existing $40m facility. Shanta is acquiring TSX Venture Exchange-quoted Helio Gold, which has gold exploration assets near to Shanta’s own licences, for $5.6m in shares. Shanta will be able to finance the commercial underground production phase at its New Luika gold mine.

Thor Mining (THR) has raised£460,000 at 0.9p a share and there is one warrant with each new share which is exercisable at 1.8p a share. Thor has agreed to acquire 25% of US Lithium, which has interests in Arizona and New Mexico, from Pembridge Resources for £59,000 and £30,000 will be provided to cover operating costs. There is an option to acquire the other 75% for 52.8 million shares at a deemed price of 0.9p each. Thor has completed a 50 hole drilling programme on the Dundas gold project in Western Australia. The results should come through in a few weeks.

First, the good news from TLA Worldwide (TLA). Management is obviously trying to suggest that it does not have contempt for investors by releasing a profit warning at 7am – its advisers must be doing something right. This is certainly a big improvement on publishing a profit warning at 6.26pm on 23 December 2016. TLA still thinks that it will be able to report its 2016 figures and post its accounts on 30 June. However, the trade receivables write-off is going to be higher than the previous guesstimate of $1.5m-$2.5m. The write-off is expected to be $3.2m and on top of that the negative effect of the accounting corrections on EBITDA is likely to be $3.6m, up from $2m previously. That will leave 2016 EBITDA at $4.8m. The interest charge will take up the majority of that figure. It is not just that, though. The original 2015 profit will be reduced by $1.9m. Net debt was $21.8m at the end of 2016 but a large chunk of the receivables that should have helped to reduce that figure are not going to come in. There is no dividend – unsurprisingly. The finance director has left, although he will be providing assistance for three months.

Superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) is raising £6.9m at 100p a share prior to joining AIM on 5 July. GYG is valued at £46.6m at the placing price and the plan is to pay an annual dividend equivalent to 6.4% of the placing price, although it will be 3.2% for 2017. Last year, GYG generated revenues of €54.6m and made EBITDA of €6.7m.


China-focused healthcare investor Cathay International Holdings (CTI) says that it will receive just over $4m in dividends from 50.56%-owned subsidiary Lansens Pharmaceutical. The dividend will be paid on 4 August. Lansens’ subsidiaries have received insurance payments totalling $2.58m. Two directors were not re-elected at Cathay’s AGM because, although they received the majority of votes, they did not receive the majority of independent votes. Further re-election resolutions will be proposed in the next four months and they will only need a majority to be passed.

Falcon Media House (FAL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Tata Communications to collaborate on an over the top service for brands and content rights holders, using Falcon’s Q-Flow technology.



Company of the Year

Gear4Music (G4M)

Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music has gone from strength to strength since joining AIM in June 2015. The share price has risen by 600% in the past year. In May, £4.2m was raised at 690p a share.

The musical instruments market remains fragmented but Gear4Music is becoming one of the main players in Europe and it is opening distribution facilities in Europe as well as expanding its UK base. The investment required is holding back short-term profit growth and, in fact, pre-tax profit is expected to dip this year from £2.7m to £2.4m before rising to £3.3m in 2018-19.

IPO of the Year

Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL)

Tissue manufacturer Accrol had just celebrated its first anniversary on AIM when it was given this award. Accrol floated at 100p a share on 10 June 2016 and the share price has risen to 159.5p. Full year figures will be announced on 10 July.

Accrol is a leading supplier of tissue products to the discount sector and it has opened a new factory in Leyland, Lancashire. This investment takes annual production capacity to 143,000 tonnes. A ten-year lease has been secured on a 368,000 square foot warehouse in west Lancashire and this will become the central distribution facility. The warehouse management and logistics have been outsourced.

NEX Exchange Company of the Year

Chapel Down Group (CDGP)

English wines producer Chapel Down has been quoted on NEX and it forerunners for more than 14 years. Revenues have grown from £1.47m in the year to September 2002 to £10.2m in 2016. The Tenterden-based business made a small loss when it floated. Continuing operations moved from an underlying pre-tax profit of £156,000 in 2015 to £340,000 in 2016. Frosts have hit production this year but the outcome for wine production is still uncertain.

The company has developed brewing business Curious Drinks, which has separately raised money to build a new brewery but Chapel Down still effectively controls the business. The new Ashford brewery will be open in mid-2018 and this will free up space for further wine making at Tenterden.

Impact Company of the Year

Obtala (OBT)

African agricultural and forestry business Obtala is set to start to commercialise its operations this year. Up until now revenues have been modest but they are set to jump to £11.9m in 2017, trebling to £36.9m in 2018, which should be high enough to allow Obtala to make a profit in 2018. Hardman estimates that the Mozambique forestry assets could generate EBITDA of more than £25m in 2021. There are also plans to build up the orchard and horticultural business in Tanzania.

In May, Obtala acquired profitable sawn timber trader WoodBois International for $14.8m (£11.4m). The Copenhagen-based business sources timber from across Africa and sells it around the world. WoodBois has been short of capital to finance growth and it fits well with Obtala’s existing timber and forestry operations.

Executive Director of the Year

Nick Jarmany, Quixant (QTX)

Telematics technology provider Quartix is highly cash generative enabling it to finance growth in the UK, France and the US and pay increasing dividends. Chief executive Nick Jarmany founded Quixant in 2005 having spent more than two decades at Densitron Technologies. He guided the business to an AIM quotation in 2013.

The UK remains the dominant region for revenues but France and the US are growing strongly from low bases. Last year, US revenues more than doubled, from £256,000 to £677,000, but the loss was even higher than that because of the investment in sales and marketing and support services to enable growth over the next five years.

Transaction of the Year

Keywords Studios (KWS)

Outsourced video games services provider Keywords Studios has made numerous earnings enhancing acquisitions since it joined AIM but this award is for the purchase of Synthesis for up to €18m, which is one of eight purchases in 2016. This deal meant that Keywords became the global leader in localisation and voice-over recording for video games and added additional studios in Germany, France and Taiwan.

Keywords is expected to maintain a net cash position at the end of 2017 but this will depend on the level of acquisitions activity. There is a €35m bank facility that is not fully utilised and that could be used for further acquisitions.

Analyst of the Year

Andrew Blain, Cenkos Securities

Journalist of the Year

Jamie Nimmo, Evening Standard

Adviser of the Year

Cenkos Securities

Fund Manager of the Year

Paul Mumford, Cavendish Asset Management

Lifetime Achievement

Malcolm Diamond (Trifast/Flowtech Fluidpower)


Andrew Hore

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