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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 22 February 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

British Honey Company (BHC) is acquiring Union Distillers for an initial £8m in cash and shares. Leicestershire-based Union Distillers has been trading for more than eight years and has its own still and bonded warehouse. There is a range of gins, vodkas, a spiced rum, an absinthe and an espresso vodka liqueur under the Two Birds brand. There could be up to £2m of earn-out consideration payable in cash and shares depending on the target revenues from the Union products. A share issue raised £4.59m at 110p a share, while a convertible loan note issue added a further £1.63m. Union has £250,000 in cash. The deal should be earnings enhancing and cash generative. In the year to September 2020, Union generated revenues of £4.94m and pre-tax profit £1.13m. NAV was £1.52m.

National Milk Records (NMRP) reported flat interim revenues of £10.8m, but pre-tax profit increased by one-quarter to £500,000. Net debt was reduced to £1.1m despite investment in a genomics lab. An unchanged dividend of 1.25p a share will be paid. The outlook is positive for the dairy sector with UK milk prices expected to be maintained at current levels. Finance director Mark Frankcom has bought 9,974 shares at 101.75p each.

Imperial X (IMPP) is making four acquisitions and continues to move towards a standard listing. The purchases involve the issue of 245.6 million shares. Cloudbreak Discovery Corp, Howson Ventures Inc and Cabox Gold Corp are all being acquired, and certain assets of Anglo African Minerals are being bought. Imperial X has a £10m drawdown agreement with Crescita Capital. This lasts for three years.

Upper Thames Holdings (UPPT) is not going ahead with the proposed acquisition of Sweden-based mobile camera systems technology company Ridercam. Instead, the focus will be on blockchain and the linking of conventional currencies with cryptocurrencies. A placing has raised £516,000 at 1p a share. Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser.

Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) fell into loss last year as revenues slumped by two-fifths. The hotel has been closed or under restrictions for the period since the year end in October 2020. There is £1.03m in the bank and the NAV is £3.3m.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has bought a 75.1% stake in Ohso Chocolate for £295,000 in shares at 9p each. The remaining 24.9% stake in Ohso could be sold for nearly 1.1 million shares. Ohso is a probiotic chocolate supplier and it generated revenues of £311,000 during 2020. The S-Ventures chief executive and finance director owned 50.6% in Ohso.

World High Life (LIFE) is changing its name to Love Hemp. A general meeting will be held on 11 March. In the first half, revenues were £2.36m and second quarter revenues were nearly double those in the first quarter, although the gross margin fell. A debt of £2.15m has been settled by the issue of 86.1 million shares.

Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) has submitted a novel food application for validation by the Food Standards Agency. This covers a range of CBD products.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has identified new gold targets at the Red Setter project in Western Australia. The magnetic survey has discovered targets that are shallower than previously.

Ananda Investments (ANA) has raised £300,000 from two investors. This will finance the first phase of the medicinal cannabis growing facility in Lincolnshire. Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised a further £330,000 at 4p a share.

AIM

Avacta (AVCT) is starting its first clinical study. This is a phase I study for AVA6000, developed from the pre|CISION platform. This is a treatment for solid tumours, including those for bladder, pancreatic, colorectal and breast cancer. The trial will assess safety and dosage levels. Early data could be published before the end of the year.

Transense Technologies (TRT) should move into profit next year as it receives a full year of royalties following the sale of the iTrack business to Bridgestone. In the year to June 2020, there was a £1.3m loss and this year there could be a much-reduced loss this year. Once Bridgestone has built up iTrack sales the royalties will cover group overheads. This will enable Transense to invest in its surface acoustic wave technology and Translogik tyre probes. A 2021-22 pre-tax profit of £357,000 is forecast.

Strong underlying growth in the mobile division helped Blannco Technology (BLTG) to maintain interim revenues at £17.4m. The previous year included £1.4m of one-off contract income. The fastest growth is in Asia Pacific. The prospects for data erasure operations are good and new partners have been signed up. Data erasure is particularly important while remote working is a major factor in companies.

Chamberlin (CMH) is getting a cash injection from Trevor Brown. The £200,000 loan will, subject to shareholder approval, be converted into shares at 6p each and Brown will have a 29.5% stake. The Scunthorpe foundry is busy and profitable, but management is still trying to win work for the Walsall foundry.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) has secured a new client involved in steel fabrication. There is a £6.2m royalty financing agreement with Meteor HoldCo, which makes steel street lighting and guardrail products.

Telecoms testing systems supplier Calnex Solutions (CLX) says some revenues appear to have been brought forward into 2020-21 and therefore the full year revenues and profit will be ahead of expectations.

Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) has published details of the Rodnikova project scoping study, which suggests a potential 14-year life for the project. The JORC resource is 6.3Mt at an average grade of 5g/t gold. Post tax NPV10 is $177.6m – based on $1,600/ounce gold price.

MAIN MARKET

Israel-based cannabis-based products supplier Kanabo Research has completed its reversal into standard list shell Spinnaker Opportunities to form Kanabo Group (KNB) two years after the deal was announced. The value of the deal was £15m in shares and the company also raised £6m at a share price of 6.5p. Kanabo was valued at £23.4m when it was admitted to trading. The share price has risen to 31p – having at one point reached 50.75p – and that values Kanabo at £111.7m. One of the investors in Kanabo is AIM-quoted Vela Technologies (VELA) and it invested £150,000 at 6.5p a share.

MGC Pharmaceuticals (MXC) has expanded its research programme into the use of cannabinoids to treat aggressive glioblastoma brain cancer. The expanded study includes the use of a nanoparticle delivery system. MGC has also secured a three-year distribution agreement with Swiss PharmaCan for its product ArtemiC Rescue as a food supplement. The minimum order quantity is 40,000 units per quarter, which has a retail value of $3.4m.

Path Investments (PATH) is not going ahead with the purchase of DT Ultravert from two vendors including Zoetic International (ZOE) following concerns during the preparation of the potential prospectus. Path has raised £3.5m at 0.25p a share.

Rare earths explorer Pensana (PRE) is dropping its listing on the ASX.

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has submitted a prospectus to the FCA for the proposed reverse takeover of the Kilimapesa gold project.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 30 November 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Healthcare IT supplier DXS International (DXSP) had £1.2m in cash at the end of October 2020. Net cash was £584,000, following the capitalisation of £568,000 of development spending. Interim revenues improved by 3% to £1.72m but progress was held back by Covid-19. Pre-tax profit jumped from £90,000 to £151,000 due to lower admin costs.

Imperial X (IMPP) is continuing its due diligence on previously announced acquisitions of mining and royalty interests and the plan is to apply for a standard listing when the acquisitions are completed.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) has invested $148,000 in RenewSenses, which has developed a wearable device for the visually impaired. The cash will help to complete the development of the A.I. Cane product, which is a camera attached to a handheld device and this enables obstacles to be identified.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has invested a further £75,000 in a convertible loan note issued by vitamin-fortified juices and smoothies Coldpress Foods. The annual interest rate is 15%. S-Ventures has a 3.3% stake in Coldpress.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has terminated options over 17.8 million shares held by three individuals and has paid a total of £140,000 in compensation. These options could have been exercised at 6p a share or 8p a share and were equivalent to 11.3% of the potentially enlarged share capital. Primorus has decided to drop the Aquis quotation on 24 December and keep the AIM quote. This and a reduction in director pay will reduce costs by more than £200,000 a year.

Formation Group (FRM) is withdrawing from the Aquis Stock Exchange on 31 December.

Good Energy (GOOD) has appointed Canaccord Genuity as joint broker.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised a further £335,000 at 5p a share and 5.5p a share.

Aquis Stock Exchange has launched a market maker incentive scheme. The market makers will offer two-way prices for 505 of stocks on the Apex segment with a maximum spread of 5%. There should be 25 companies on the Apex segment. Market makers will receive warrants for shares in the Aquis Stock Exchange with the best performers gaining the largest percentage. They could earn up to 19.9% of the market over a three year period. Early adopters include Canaccord Genuity, Liberum, Peel Hunt, Shore Capital, Stifel and Winterflood.

Liberum Capital and Zeus Capital have been approved as corporate advisers for the Aquis Stock Exchange.

AIM

Kistos (KIST) began trading on AIM on 25 November. The investment company raised £30.2m after expenses and the market capitalisation was £40.3m. The plan is to seek acquisitions in the oil and gas sector. The team behind Kist is the same as for RockRose Energy. The share price has risen from 100p to 118.2p.

Cyber security software and services provider Shearwater (SWG) reported a slump in revenues, but the decline was in lower margin products. There were also overhead reductions. That meant that there was a profit before amortisation of acquired intangibles. Orders were delayed but there was still a £1.7m cash inflow from operations. Net cash was £3m at the end of September 2020. Two-fifths of revenues are recurring, and the long-term outlook is good.

Circle Property (CRC) reported a 2p a share decline in NAV to 283p a share at the end of September 2020. Loan to value is 42% and there is £37.7m of a loan facility still undrawn. New lettings have been secured since March and rent collections have been strong. The interim dividend is 2.5p a share.

Telecoms testing instrumentation supplier Calnex Solutions (CLX) has made an impressive start to its time on AIM with interim figures that show near-doubled underlying pre-tax profit of £2.3m. This has led to an upgrade of the full year profit expectations to £2.9m. The cash being generated is enabling additional development spending.

IG Design (IGR) benefitted from a full contribution from the CSS acquisition, which has also reduced the seasonality of the group. Even so, continuing operations sales held up well. There is still scope for additional demand for Christmas wrapping and gift products, but time is running out for any significant improvement. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to be flat at $35m, although shares issued to fund the CSS acquisition mean that there would be a one-fifth decline in earnings per share to 25.5 cents. There should be a significant improvement next year.

First Property (FPO) has significantly reduced its debt following the sale of a property in Poland. This puts it in a good position to take advantage of any opportunities over the next year or so. Short-term income has declined and there were no performance fees. NAV is 54.3p a share. The interim dividend is maintained at 0.45p a share.

Appreciate (APP) has reinstated its dividend and it proposes an interim of 0.4p a share. Interim revenues were 18% lower at £27.4m. There is always a first half loss and it increased from £1.2m to £4.6m, although that does not include the restructuring costs. The Christmas savings business held up and the corporate incentives operations were boosted by additional business due to free school meals vouchers. More business is being done digitally and there continues to be a monthly improvement in trading.

D4T4 (D4T4) is continuing its development into a business focused on recurring revenues. The data collection and analysis software provider lost money in the first half, but management remains confident that D4T4 will achieve the full year pre-tax profit forecast of £3.2m, down from £5m. Net cash is expected to be £14m. The interim dividend was raised by 5% to 0.81p a share.

LoopUp (LOOP) has not achieved the annual run rate than it expected, and it will fall short of 2020 expectations. The remote meetings technology provider has been generating less revenue from international calls, which has hit overall revenues. Trimming the 2020 revenues forecast from £54.8m to £50.1m leads to a one-fifth reduction in pre-tax profit to £8.4m. The lower run rate means that 2021 forecast revenues have been slashed from £56m to £35.2m, which leads to a small loss for the year.

Outsourcing Inc has sent out the document for the takeover of CPL Resources (CPS). It is offering Euro11.25 a share, which values the Ireland-based recruitment company at Euro317.8m.

Digital advertising technology developer Miriad Advertising (MIRI) has raised £23m via a placing at 40p a share. A further £3m could be raised via an open offer. In July 2019, £16m was raised at 15p a share. The first half cash outflow was more than £4.6m. The cash will be spent on growing US revenues and further technology development.

Ilika (IKA) has decided to manufacture its Stearex batteries itself rather than outsourcing the process. This is the quickest route to production and operating margins will improve. Full scale manufacturing will start by early 2022.

ReNeuron (RENE) is raising up to £17.5m at a heavily discounted share price of 70p. This cash will enable the company to complete the current clinical trial for the retinitis pigmentosa treatment and design a phase III trial.

The share price rise of Wynnstay Group (WYN) has led to DBAY Advisors reducing its stake from 6.12% to 5.33%.

Urban Exposure (UEX) plans a tender offer of up to £65m at 75p a share. There is cash in the bank of £81m.

Second half trading was always going to be weak for Tracsis (TRCS) because of its exposure to events in the traffic and data division. Recurring revenues from the rail technology division have helped limit the pre-tax profit decline from £9.5m to £8.3m. This year is also likely to be tough, although it will depend on trading next summer. The main recovery is likely in 2021-22.

Serinus Energy (SENX) has raised $21m and this will pay off the debt of $16.5m. The lender will also receive a 9.9% stake. The rest of the cash will be invested in increasing oil and gas production.

Digital financial services and products provider Tungsten (TUNG) says profit will be lower than expected this year. Transaction volumes have declined, and revenues will be flat. Winning new business has become more difficult. Annualised savings of £4m are being made.

Michelmersh Brick (MBH) says that 2020 revenues and profit will exceed expectations. Government support of £500,000 will be repaid. There will still be net cash at the end of 2020. A final dividend of 2.25p a share will be paid.

Benchmark (BMK) has completed its restructuring and is on course to benefit from the investment it has made in products and capacity. The BMK08+CleanTreat treatment should be launched by next summer and this could help the aquaculture company to move into profit. In 2019-20, revenues fell from £124m to £105.6m, but lower costs meant that the loss was reduced. Genetics was the best performing division due to initial sales of salmon eggs from Salten. Net debt was £37.6m at the end of September 2020.

MAIN MARKET

Jlen Environmental (JLEN) is paying a second quarterly dividend of 1.69p a share, the same as the first quarter. There has been a small reduction in NAV from 97.5p a share to 96.1p a share because long-term expectations for electricity and gas prices have fallen. The portfolio is 34% wind power, 27% anaerobic digestion, 22% solar power, 15% waste and wastewater and 2% hydro and battery. A decline in waste volumes hampered the Bio Collectors business and other feedstocks are being sourced. There is £127.6m available to finance further acquisitions.

CML Microsystems (CML) had a mixed interim period with total revenues holding up at £12.9m. Storage technology revenues were one-quarter higher, but communications revenues fell by one-fifth and are no longer the largest contributor. However, the development activities have been broadened through acquisitions and there is a bigger addressable market. Pre-tax profit fell from £907,000 to £771,000 and the interim dividend is unchanged at 2p a share. The second half should be better than the first half and a rebalancing of resources should make the business more efficient.

Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) improved pre-tax profit from £14m to £15.8m, although there was a small dip in revenues to £109m. The total dividend is 6.2p a share. Demand is likely to remain weaker than normal. The move to the new UK premises should happen in the middle of 2021.

J Smart Contractors (SMJ) reported halved underlying full year pre-tax profit of £1.28m. There was a surplus on investment property revaluations of £3.18m. There is net cash of £12m. A final dividend of 2.27p a share has been declared and the total for the year has edged up from 3.19p a share to 3.22p a share. The completion of building contracts has been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Contracting work remains below the level of the previous year and private housing sales will be limited in the year to July 2021. NAV is £99.3m, which is double the market capitalisation.

Triad (LSE: TRD) revenues declined from £9m to £8.7m, but the IT consultancy did move from loss to profit due to lower costs. Utilisation rates for IT consultants is relatively high and cash covers around three-fifths of the market capitalisation.

Gulf Marine Services (GMS) has suspended chief executive Tim Summers, who was no longer a member of the board, due to an investigation into a severance payment of £429,000 on 10 November. Hassan Heikal was appointed a director at the general meeting on 25 November.

Cardiff Property (CDFF) increased its NAV from 2285p a share to 2436p a share at the end of September 2020, against a share price of 1725p. This reflects an uplift in the valuation of JV Campmoss due to an increase in value of Clivemount House in Maidenhead which has been sold since the year end. The dividend increased by 3% to 17.6p a share. There is cash of £5.5m and no debt.

Affordable housing services provider Aquila Services Group (AQSG) reported a decline in revenues from £3.89m to £3.51m, although there was a small improvement in operating profit prior to restructuring costs of £175,000. The dividend has been halved to 0.15p a share. Cash has increased to £1.4m.

OTAQ (OTAQ) increased interim revenues by 16% to £2.03m and it is on course for full year revenues of £4m. The growth has come from the aquaculture operations. Furlough claims reduced the loss.

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