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Quoted Micro 7 November 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Cooks Coffee Company Ltd (COOK), which was already quoted on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, joined Access segment of Aquis on 2 November at 20p a share. The share price rose to 21.5p (20p/23p) by the end of the week. There were no trades during the week. The company owns the Esquires Coffee and Triple Two Coffee brands. It has 111 outlets around the world, including 70 in the UK, making it the largest franchise café chain in the UK. Elena Garside has been appointed as a non-executive director.

Brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) more than doubled interim pre-tax profit from £7.5m to £15.7m, although most of the improvement came from a gain on interest rate swaps of £7.6m, up from £500,000, due to higher interest rates. Turnover was 21% ahead at £57.9m, although trading was disrupted in the corresponding period. Net debt was £61.1m at the end of September 2022. The performance of pubs is mixed, and beer volumes are not back to past levels. Higher hotels revenues were more than offset by increased costs.

Quantum Exponential Group (QBIT) investee company Universal Quantum says its German subsidiary has been commissioned by the German Aerospace Centre to build a fully scalable trapped-ion quantum computer. This follows projects supported by the UK government. Non-exec director Nigel McNair Scott has acquired 500,000 shares at 2p each, 1.5 million shares at 1.966p each and 500,000 shares at 1.95p each.

Valereum (VLRM) has gained regulatory approval for the acquisition of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange and the deal should be completed in the first quarter of 2023. Smaller companies in the Middle East, India and Africa. The plan is to attract An NFT strategy will be launched next year. Simon Brickles is chairman of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, and he will join the Valereum board. There has been the conversion of £130,000 of the funding facility into shares. There is an outstanding balance of $2.35m.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) wants to raise up to £10m from a placing at 0.02p a share. The shares will come with warrants exercisable at 0.05p. The cash will be used for fintech acquisitions. Supplying financial services to smaller companies is an area that management believes is underserved. Wealth management technology is another potential area. Acquiring a digital bank could provide a base to grow into these areas. A broker option will enable existing shareholders to buy shares, and this is open until 21 November. Bondholders will be given the chance to convert into shares.

Quetzal Capital (QTZ) has a conditional agreement to acquire the shares it does not own in TAP Global for 450 million shares. The deal requires a fundraising to finance the enlarged group. This has led to the suspension of trading in Quetzal Capital shares.

Wind and water-based green hydrogen production systems developer Hydrogen Future Industries (HFI) has commenced prototype testing of the wind element of the system. The wind turbines are designed to be more efficient, and the tests will show whether they achieve expected power output.

VVV Resources Ltd (VVV) has raised £241,000 at 20p a share and every four shares come with a warrant exercisable at 50p a share. The share price slumped 55% to 22.5p because of the placing’s large discount to the market price. VVV Resources has a conditional agreement to acquire 100% of the Mitterberg copper project in Austria and 49% of the Shangri La polymetallic project in Western Australia.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says the Amapa ore reserve estimate supports a 15-year mine life and Cadence has increased its stake in Amapa to 30% by converting loans and capitalising management and admin contributions. Investee company Evergreen Lithium is moving towards an ASX listing.

Rogue Baron (SHNJ) sold 660 cases of whisky generating $87,000. Sales have slowed in the US ahead of a move to a larger distributor. Rogue Baron is selling its De Rhum Spot bar.

Semper Fortis Esports (SEMP) generated revenues of £55,000 in the six months to July 2022. There was a £694,000 cash outflow during the period, leaving cash of £635,000. Overheads have been reduced.

Dynasty Gaming & Media, which is an investee company of AIM-quoted Blue Star Capital (BLU) will deliver new games developed by Pioneer Media Inc (PNER), to Asian telecoms company Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison, which has 100 million subscribers in Indonesia.

TruSpine Technologies (TSP) has been approached with an equity financing package. More cash is required for working capital.

There has been more buying of property investor Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) shares by chief executive Ismail Ghandour. He acquired 20,000 shares at an average price of 0.595p each. Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) director Richard Oldfield is continuing to buy shares. He acquired at total of 9,500 shares at 680p each. Coinsilium (COIN) chief executive Eddy Travia bought 250,000 shares at 1.9p each.

MiLOC (ML.P) is changing its name to Crushmetric Group.

AIM

Accsys Technologies (AXS) will report a significant impairment charge relating to the restructuring of the Tricoya consortium. Accsys Technologies intends to take 100% ownership of the Hull Tricoya plant, and construcgtion is going to be put on hold for six months. That will reduce the cash outflow. The restructure means that the consortium partners will receive 11.9 million Accsys Technologies shares. The debt facility will be restructured with the principal reduced from €15m to €6m. The plant may cost €35m to complete. A decision on construction will depend on the assessment of the longer-term outlook for costs. The fourth reactor at the Netherland Accoya plant will increase cash generation.

Shield Therapeutics (STX) says the Korean Food and Drug Administration has agreed to a single pharmacokinetic study for a new drug application for iron deficiency product Accrufer. This should start before the end of the year. Korea Pharma will conduct the survey and regulatory approval could be gained before the end of 2023.

Science Group (SAG) is buying the shares it does not own in TP Group (TPG) for 2.25p a share in cash. That values TP Group at £17.5m. Science Group already owns 28% of the company.

Oil and gas producer Hurricane Energy (HUR) has received an indicative bid of 7.7p a share but does not recommend this offer. Instead, a formal sale process has started because 28.9% shareholder Crystal Amber Fund Ltd (CRS) is keen to sell its stake. Hurricane Energy is generating cash and has more than $370m of tax losses. If there is no bid a 3.1p a share distribution is planned.

Rising costs have meant that paper manufacturer James Cropper (CRPR) with energy costs having a significant effect on paper making. The technical fibres business is not growing as fast as anticipated. Price rises are offsetting some of the cost increases. The full year pre-tax profit estimate has been cut from £5.4m to £2m, after breaking even in the first half to 24 September 2022.

Empire Metals (EEE) says the mapping of the Pitfield copper project show extensive copper, silver and other base metals anomalies over a 40km strike length. Exploration field work will start by the first quarter of 2023.

MAIN MARKET

Bowen Fintech (BWN) is a standard list shell that is seeking fintech acquisitions, such as digital payments and trading platforms, anywhere in the world. The initial focus is Europe, Asia and the US. A business that is already generating revenues with potential for growth would be ideal for Bowen Fintech. A placing raised £2m at 4p a share. There were no trades on the first day and then two on the following day. There were two more deals on Friday. The share price ended the week at 6.25p (5p/7.5p). That is nearly double the pro forma NAV of 3.2p a share.

Vox Capital has reversed into standard list shell Vertu Capital Ltd to form Vox Valor Capital Ltd (VOX) and trading recommenced on 31 October. Vertu Capital issued 2.2 million shares at 1.2p each to acquire London-based digital marketing and technology business Vox Capital, which equates to 93.9% of the enlarged share capital. However, the share price opened well below the issue price and has fallen to 0.6p (0.5p/0.7p).

National World (NWOR) is considering a bid for Daily Mirror owner Reach (LON: RCH), although it has not made an approach.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 31 October 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

TECC Capital (TEC) has agreed terms for the acquisition of diagnostics business EDX Medical Ltd for £12m in shares, while a placing will raise £1.2m at 6p a share. The shares remain suspended. Trading in the enlargement group should commence on 14 November under the name EDX Medical Group. EDX Medical develops digital diagnostic products and services for cancer, heart disease, neurology and infectious diseases.

Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd (GSVR) joined the Apex segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange on 25 October. The Mexico-focused silver miner was already quoted on the TSX Venture Exchange. The share price started at 27.5p and it has stayed at that level. There were 884 shares traded on the first day and there were four trades during the week. Guanajuato Silver is targeting annualised production of 3.4 million ounces of silver-equivalent ounces by the end of 2022 and up to six million ounces by the end of 2023.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that the terms of the agreement for the IOV Labs Asia joint venture are being renegotiated. This could mean a different business model, but the outcome is uncertain. So far this year, Coinsilium has invested $575,000 of crypto currency in Web3 ventures. Chief executive Eddy Travia bought 250,000 Coinsilium shares at 1.95p each and chairman Malcolm Palle bought 250,000 at 1.9p each.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £50,000 in Omega Oil & Gas, which listed on ASX on 25 October. This is part of a $15.07m fundraising at €0.20 a share. Omega has two exploration permits in Queensland. A two well drilling programme is planned.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) increased interim revenues from £24,000 to £75,000, but the loss moved up from £724,000 to £965,000. There was £311,000 in the bank at the end of September 2022. There were delays to sales and at least £31,500 should be included in the third quarter.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) is still on track to publish a maiden mineral resource estimate for the Monte Muambe rare earths project in the first quarter of 2023.

In the year to April 2021, IamFire (FIRE) reported a cash outflow from operating activities of £349,000. Management expects investee companies WeShop and 10%-owned Bio2Pure to make progress this year.

AQRU (AQRU) has launched a cryptocurrency-collateralised lending service called BlockLender.

Marula Mining (MARU) has raised £450,000 at 2p a share and plans to issue £265,000 secured convertible loan notes. There are talks with two Africa-focused mining investment funds that could invest up to £1m. A $5m lithium prepayment facility was secured for the Blesberg project in South Africa. Marula Mining will use $1.7m to take 100% ownership of Blesberg. Shareholders are being asked to approve the change in the investing strategy to allow the acquisition of majority interests in projects.

Sidney Sussex College reduced its stake in brewer Adnams (ADB) from 4.22% to 3.17%. Director Michael Heald increased his stake from 19.32% to 20.37% by buying 3,00 B shares at £89 each.

Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) chief executive Ismail Ghandour bought 15,000 shares at 55p each and finance director Ivan Minter acquired 20,000 shares at the same price. Last week, Ace Liberty & Stone launched a heavily discounted open offer to raise £4.56m at 25p a share. The open offer closes on 14 November

David Evans has increased his stake in Oberon Investments (OBE) from 8.74% to 9.36%. Mark Horrocks has raised his stake in Lift Global Ventures (LFT) to 7.1%. Chris Akers has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 23.4% to 24.1%. Phoenix Asset Management has a 16.5% stake in Silverwood Brands (SLWD).

AIM

Billing and charging software provider Cerillion (CER) says higher utilisation rates and beneficial exchange rate movements mean that pre-tax profit for the year to September 2022 will be much higher than the forecast £10.1m. Net cash is anticipated to be £20m. The pipeline of opportunities remains strong.

Vianet (VNET) says both divisions are increasing revenues. The smart machines division has increased vending connections by 24% to 52,490. Even though the pub sector is having a tough time, the smart zones division is growing revenues as the clients try to improve efficiency. Overall interim revenues are 13% ahead at £7.18m. However, there are cost pressures and Cenkos has reduced its 2022-23 forecast operating profit by £450,000 to £3.05m, with a bigger reduction of £950,000 to £4.04m next year.

Merit Group (MRIT) is selling its media, events and training operations to a business owned by Merit shareholder Lord Ashcroft for £4.5m. The cash will be used to pay off debt of £3.2m. Merit will focus on the Dods Political Intelligence and data businesses.

Building products supplier Alumasc (ALU) says volumes and margins improved in the first quarter. Transport and materials costs are stabilising, and exports are growing. Forecast full year pre-tax profit is £11.3m, down from £12.7m.

Franchise Brands (FRAN) says that Filta and Metro Rod are trading strongly, and full year group pre-tax profit will be better than expected. The consumer franchise businesses are finding it difficult to recruit franchisees. The 2022 pre-tax profit forecast has been raised by 5% to £12.4m.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) is able to restart production at its Worthing facility in the middle of November. The facility was shut down during peak production for does for the pollen season because of quality control problems.

ECR Minerals (ECR) has an option to purchase Placer Gold, which owns three mining tenements in Queensland. They are known as the Hurricane project, and it is prospective for gold and antimony. The option cost £144,000, while the total cost could be £3.8m, including a net smelter royalty capped at £3m.

Active investor Chris Akers has taken a 3.32% stake in Fiinu Group (BANK), which was formed in July when the Fiinu banking business reversed into the AIM shell Immediate Acquisition. Fiinu has developed the Plugin Overdraft, which provides customers with an overdraft facility without the requirement to switch banks.

Managed IT services provider CloudCoCo (CLCO) trebled revenues to £24m in the year to September 2022, while EBITDA improved from £745,000 to around £1m. There were four acquisitions in late 2021 so they contributed to the growth. Investment is sales is starting to pay off and there should be further growth in revenues and profit this year.

Secure payments technology provider PCI-Pal (PCIP) increased first quarter revenues by 29%, compared with a 20% forecast for the full year. An Open Banking payment service has been launched.

MAIN MARKET

MADE.com (MADE) says that the parties it invited to work towards making an offer for the company as part of the formal sale process will not be able to meet the necessary timetable. The company is running out of cash. There are no current funding proposals or possible offers. The main subsidiary is no longer taking orders. It appears there is little hope for shareholders unless something happens soon.

Eastinco Mining and Exploration (ATN) has acquired Aterian, and this sparked a move from the Aquis Stock Exchange to the standard list. The deal takes the business into Morocco, and it has existing projects in Rwanda. There was £854,000 raised in a placing at 1p a share. The share price ended the week at 0.95p. There are 15 different potential Moroccan prospects. They include the Agdz project, where there is a ten-year mining licence over a prospect with copper and gold deposits already identified.

Unicorn Mineral Resources (UMR) has exploration licences in two project areas in the Republic of Ireland. It is still early days in terms of exploration, but the licences in the Kilmallock area are reaching the point when drilling for zinc can commence, and the £930,000 raised at 10p a share in the flotation will finance that. The share price ended the week at 17.5p (15p/20p).

AIM-quoted Jangada Mines (JAN) has increased its holding in Blencowe Resources (BRES) from 2% to 9.5% by investing £610,000. The investment was part of a £750,000 placing at 4p a share where RAB Capital and JUB Capital also bought shares. Every two shares come with a warrant exercisable at 8p each. The cash will be invested in the Orom-Cross graphite project in Uganda, which has a net present value of $482m.

BSF Enterprise (BSFA) has received a £100,000 grant for further development of its serum-free media, City-mix. The grant is provided by EIT Food, which aims to commercialise cultivated meat. City-mix can be used to cultivate meat and leather. The company plans to unveil the first 100% lab-grown fillet in the next few months.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 10 October 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) says full results should be ahead of market expectations of a £13m pre-tax profit. The third quarter trading statement says Arbuthnot Latham deposits exceed £3bn, although costs of deposits are rising. Base rate rises have a positive effect on results as changes to deposit rates lag the rises in interest rates. Credit criteria are being tightened, particularly for property. Assets under management are £1.35bn. Non-exec Sir Nigel Boardman acquired 9.749 shares at 810p each.

Helium Ventures (HEV) has conditionally agreed to acquire Vestigo Technologies, which has developed tracking product Trackimo. Shares will be issued at 10p each and the existing share capital prior to the deal would be valued at £1.68m. Helium Ventures plans to move to the standard list after the reverse takeover. In 2021, Vestigo had revenues of $28.1m and has partnerships with Vodafone and Paramount. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Quantum Exponential (QBIT) had net assets of £5.6m at the end of April 2022, following an increase in the value of its option in cyber security business Arqit Inc. Since then, two new quantum technology investments have been made. There is still cash for further investments and there are plans to set up a fund that will raise further funds to invest in quantum technology.

Hydrogen Future Industries (HFI) has acquired a suite of international patents through a joint venture. The patents are relevant for the company’s wind-based hydrogen production system, plus other systems. The patents were issued to the vendor when it employed the boss of HFI’s development subsidiary. The payment will be £33,000 in cash, 5.2 million shares and 2.5 warrants exercisable at 12p each, with the second tranche of the payment dependent on the achievement of development milestones.

National Milk Records (NMRP) generated a 6% increase in 2021-22 revenues to £23.2m, while pre-tax profit improved from £1.65m to £2.22m. The dividend was raised by one-third to 2p a share. The milk recording and testing services increased revenues. The biggest increase was in genomics which rose from £292,000 to £488,000 and there is a potential launch in the US during 2023.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) has invested £2m in Denzel’s Ltd, a premium dog snacks brand, which raised £3m in total. Denzil’s has listings in major supermarkets and has launched its own website. It is part of the Tesco Incubator Programme.

There has been a mineral resource upgrade at the Amapa iron project in Brazil, where Cadence Minerals (KDR) owns 27%. The updated resource at Amapa is 276Mt grading 38.33% Fe, up from 177Mt. The measured resource is 55Mt grading 39.26% Fe.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had net assets of £13.8m at the end of May 2022, equivalent to 74.5p a share.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has gained new contracts for its natural food businesses with ASDA, Holland Barrett, Co-op, WH Smith and easyJet. Two retailers in Finland have started stocking company products.

Marula Mining (MARU) has taken a 49% interest in the Kinusi copper mining project in Tanzania. The licences last seven years. In return for the interest, Marula has reimbursed $50,000 of costs incurred by Takela Mining and issued it with 4.5 million shares at 2p each.

Quetzal Capital (QTZ) had £1.07m in the bank out of net assets of £2.86m at the end of June 2022.

Goodbody Health (GDBY) secured a distribution agreement with blood collection services provider Tasso Inc, which supplies virtually painless medical devices to draw a blood sample with no needles. Goodbody’s clinics will be able to extract more blood than from a finger prick.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) reinstated the interim dividend at the rate of 14p a share.

Director buying at Kent-based brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) pushed the share price 0.4% higher at 672.5p. Richard Oldfield bought 6,000 shares at 675p a share and George Barnes acquired 3,200 shares at 672p each. The final dividend is 15p a share and the shares go ex-dividend on 13 October. Coinsilium (COIN) chairman Malcolm Palle acquired 500,000 shares at 1.9p each, while chief executive Eddy Travia bought 500,000 shares at 1.95p each. The share price rose 8.11% to 2p.

Global Smollan has increased its stake in Samarkand Group (SMK) from 14.8% to 17.6%.

Pioneer Media Holdings Inc (PNER) has raised $1m through a sale of units at 10 cents each. They include one share and one-half of a warrant exercisable at 25 cents. This cash will be spent on technology development and expanding the web3 gaming business.

Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has sold a 1.3MWh VS3 flow battery system for use in a datacentre in Arizona. Amati reduced its stake from 5.87% to 4.92%.

Trading in the shares of Vulcan Industries (VUL), Hot Rock Investments (HRIP) and VVV Resources Ltd (VVV) has been suspended due to failure to publish results.

AIM

Peter Gyllenhammar has taken a 11.2% stake in Pressure Technologies (PRES) following the share price slump after last week’s trading statement. Pressure Technologies had a disappointing second half. There will be a full year loss and the engineering company will also breach covenants on its bank facility. More cash is required. Net debt was £5.4m at the interim stage and it could be £3.9m at year-end. The finance could come from a share issue or a convertible issue or another form of funding. Management is talking to Lloyds about the bank facility. Forecast net assets are £15.4m, including the company’s main factory, which is nearly double the market capitalisation.

Former broker analyst Bill Currie has taken a 4.15% stake in online retailer In The Style (ITS). He is a non-executive director of retail loyalty technology developer Eagle Eye (EYE) and he owns 12.9% of the company. Lombard Odier has cut its stake from 20.1% to 19.8% and Ameriprise Financial has reduced its stake from 5% to 4.39%.

Gateley (GTLY) has acquired patent attorney Symbiosis IP for up to £2.5m. The business made a pre-tax profit of £300,000 in the year to March 2022. This business fits with Adamson Jones.

In video game advertising technology developer Bidstack (BIDS) raised £10.5m at 2.85p a share. Irdeto subscribed for £5m worth of shares. There are plans to develop a platform for sports bodies to control content that appears in their licenced IP. The rest will go on working capital and commercial development.

Public Policy Holding Company Inc (PPHC) is acquiring California-based KP Public Affairs in an earnings enhancing deal. Public Policy Holding Company provides public affairs, crisis management and lobbying services in the US. The acquisition enhances earnings by 2% in 2022 and 9% in 2023.

NWF (NWF) continues to perform strongly with the feed division recovering, helped by higher milk prices, and food distribution trading better than expected. Fuel distribution volumes are lower than in the previous year as people delay refilling their tanks, although margins have improved.

Seeing Machines (SEE) has an exclusive collaboration deal with Magna International for rear view mirror occupant monitoring applications in vehicles. Magan is paying $17.5m in cash ($10m immediately and $7.5m over two years) and investing $47.5m via a convertible note, which is convertible at 11p a share. This should be enough cash to get the driver monitoring technology business to profitability.

Oxford Biodynamics (OBD) is raising £9.1m via a placing at 20p a share and up to a further £2.95m could be raised through a one-for-6.81644 open offer. The share price rose 56.3% to 17.975p, which is still well below the placing price. This cash will help to fund the commercial development of the EpiSwitch CiRT test for cancer, which has been issued with a US reimbursement code earlier in the week.

Parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) has published interim figures and it intends to recommence dividend payments. A total dividend of 1.5p a share is expected for 2022-23 and that provides a base for further growth. Cash could still grow steadily. Trading in the shares remains suspended.

PCF Group (PCF) has suspended new lending by PCF Bank while it is trying to raise additional finance. Castle Trust Capital decided not to bid for PCF. Sales of assets and other options to raise money are being considered. There will be further cost cutting.

Battery cells developer AMTE Power (AMTE) has signed a framework deal with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre to produce up to 60,000 Ultra High Power cells annually. The cells are fast charging and have high power delivery. Production commences in three months and the cells will be used for in-vehicle trials by potential customers – the initial focus is high performance electric vehicles – ahead of the opening of AMTE’s own factory in Dundee in a few years.

Horizonte Mining (HZM) announced a fundraising on Tuesday evening and the size of the placing was increased from £61.7m to £70.5m at 90.5p a share. This larger fundraising has also reduced the contribution from major shareholder La Mancha from £23.8m to £22m. The cash will help to complete the construction of the Araguaia nickel project in Brazil. Total capital cost has increased from $477m to $537m. First production is scheduled for the first quarter of 2023.

Gold miner Chaarat Group Holdings (CGH) has extended the convertible loan notes from 31 October 2022 to 31 July 2023. Interest will be capitalised until the end of October and then the principal of $28.7m plus accrued interest will incur an annual interest rate of 12%. There is also a fee of 1%. If converted there will be 77 million shares issued.

MAIN MARKET

Shell company Milton Capital (MII) floated on the standard list on 4 October. There was £1m raised at 1p a share. The share price ended the week at 1.1p. The initial focus is acquisition targets in the technology sector. Total flotation costs were capped at £50,000 and Peterhouse paid additional costs of £5,955. The first year’s operating costs will also be £50,000.

Data integrity software supplier Gresham Technologies (GHT) has won a £1m plus contract for Clareti Control from a major European financial and banking group. There is also A$19m of work for ANZ in the year to September 2023, which is 15% higher than last year on a constant currency basis. Full year revenues and profit will be ahead of expectations.

Golden Nice International has subscribed £650,000 worth of shares in Anglo African Agriculture (AAAP) at 5p a share. That is a 28.2% stake. There are also 13 million warrants exercisable at 5p each. Golden Nice International has also acquired 65% of convertible loan notes in issue at a 15% discount to face value. They convert into 13.7 million shares at 5p each. The other loan notes will be converted into 7.37 million shares with associated warrants. Andrew Monk and Matt Bonner have resigned and replaced by Andy Sui and Simon Grant-Rennick. The company is changing its name to Everest Global.

Shell company Insight Business Support (IBSU) had net assets of £530,000 at the end of June 2022, including cash of £440,000.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 3 October 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

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.

AIM

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.

MAIN MARKET                                                                                                                          

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.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 12 September 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Samarkand (SMK) has been hit by a large cash outflow, which means that the China-focused e-commerce technology and brands retailer requires a cash injection of up to £3m via an open offer at 55p a share. Covid lockdowns in China have delayed progress and hampered the ability to supply products. In the year to March 2022, revenues fell from £20.6m to £16.6m, although if one-off revenues in the previous period are excluded then there was a 12% improvement. There was an initial contribution from the Zita West supplements brand acquired last year. Nomad software platform revenues were 18% ahead at £7.5m.

Aquis Stock Exchange owner Aquis Exchange (AQX), which is also quoted on AIM, has relaunched the EU dark pool trading operation it acquired from UBS as the Aquis Matching Pool.

BWA Group (BWAP) has been granted a new licence for Dehane 2 at the Dehane heavy mineral sands project in Cameroon. Results from granulometric test work at the Nkoteng heavy mineral sands show rutile is the most abundant mineral.

More news about the investee companies of Evrima (EVA) this week. Eastport Ventures Inc, where it owns 6.85%, has entered a letter of intent with TSX-V listed Auston Capital concerning a possible merger.

Marula Mining (LON: MARU) says that initial test work at the Blesberg lithium and tantalum project in South Africa shows an average lithium grade of 6.1%. Tantalum was also identified.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Rominserv, a subsidiary of Rompetrol. The Romanian company is considering using SulNOx products in its refinery processes.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has received a civil judgement against subsidiary Star C, which has to return £166,000 to one of its distributors.

Ananda Developments (ANA) subsidiary DJT Plants is working on self-crossing cannabis strains to create stable strains. So far, it appears that self-pollination of cannabis plants can be achieved. Field trials for growing cannabis have been successful.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says its advisory clients Blvck Paris and Metalinq Labs are joining together to launch a collection of wearables. The Metalinq technology can be used to convert 2D designs into multi-metaverse 3D designs.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) raised £2.375m at 10.35p a share and the share price fell below that level. This cash will finance expansion of exploration activities in Australia. Significant copper and gold grades have been found at the Halo project in Queensland. There are also zones of high gold silver and coper at Grassy Oaky. A high-resolution gravity survey is commencing at the Red Setter gold copper project.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) reported a decline in NAV to 231.9p a share by the end of August 2022.

AIM

Online musical instruments supplier Gear4Music (G4M) warned that trading has been tough in recent months. The first quarter to June 2022 was encouraging but spending in July and August was weaker than expected even if the hot weather is taken into account. September is showing signs of improvement. Guidance has been lowered with pre-tax profit expected to slump from £5m to £1.1m with a possible recovery to £3.3m next year.

Online competitions organiser Best of the Best (BOTB) is linking up with Globe Invest Ltd, the family office of Teddy Sagi the founder of gaming technology firm Playtech (PTEC), to grow international income. Globe Invest will also buy a 29.9% stake from the directors and related parties at 400p a share. They intend to enter a licensing and distribution agreement and a marketing collaboration agreement. Globe Invest will licence the Best of the Best business model outside of the UK.

Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) says trading is ahead of market expectations with sales of at least £61m and underlying pre-tax profit of more than £9m. The previous pre-tax profit forecast was £8.23m. There could be additional gains from foreign exchange.

Franchised lettings and estate agency business Belvoir Group (BLV) did well in the first half considering the ending of property buyer incentives. In the six months to June 2022, revenues were 12% higher at £15.4m. There was a 1% improvement in the underlying business with the rest of the growth coming from acquisitions. Underlying pre-tax profit fell from £4.9m to £4.2m as the cost base returned to normal. Net debt is £2.5m and the interim dividend is maintained at 4p a share.

Premium bricks maker Michelmersh Brick (MBH) increased interim revenues by 14% to £34m, while pre-tax profit was 9% ahead at £6.1m. Production efficiencies helped to offset some of the cost increases. A price rise has been pushed through in July. Overall brick stocks remain at low levels. Management has secured 90% of energy costs for this year and 50% for 2023. Net cash was £9.9m at the end of June 2022. The interim dividend is 13% higher at 1.3p a share.

Sylvania Platinum (SLP) announced a doubled final dividend of 8p a share alongside its results for the year to June 2022. There has already been a special dividend of 2.25p a share and a $7.1m share buyback. Production declined and selling prices for platinum group metals were lower in the year to June 2022. Even so, net profit was $56.2m and Sylvania Platinum has been able to finance the cash distributions and plough money back into development. The benefits of that investment will show through in 2023-24. There is still $121m of cash in the balance sheet, although the dividend will reduce that.

Avacta Group (AVCT) says the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation for the lead preICISIONdrug soft tissue sarcoma treatment candidate, AVA6000. This provides tax credits and other incentives, plus seven years of market exclusivity in the US, if the drug is improved. There is an ongoing phase I clinical trial.

Shares in AIM shell Advance Energy (ADV) were suspended on Friday after the announcement of non-binding heads of agreement have been signed for the acquisition of a European oil and gas company.

VSA published an initiation note on Prospex Energy (PXEN) and the broker believes there is upside from the development of the onshore Selva gas project in Italy, where Prospex owns 37%. First production should be in the middle of next year. Cash is being generated from the El Romeral gas to power project in Spain.

MAIN MARKET

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) interim revenues dipped by 2% to £106.4m, but they are still higher than in 2019. There was a sharp drop in pre-tax profit from £16.6m to £4.6m. The interim dividend has been reduced from 2.6p a share to 1.6p a share. DIY demand has fallen back and there was also destocking. The EV business should make a greater contribution in the second half.

Critical Metals (CTRM) has published the prospectus for the proposed acquisition of a 57% shareholding in Madini Occidental, which owns 70% of the Molulu copper cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The acquisition is expected to complete on 12 September.

Darktrace (DARK) has ended bid talks. Last year, revenues grew 46% to $415.5m and the AI company moved into profit.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 1 August 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Equipmake Holdings (EQIP) has developed electric vehicle drivetrain technology that has won initial contracts. It raised £10m at 4.25p a share to invest in production facilities and finance working capital. The share price ended the first day at 5.875p (5.5p/6.25p). Snetterton-based Equipmake was founded in 1997 by former Lotus Formula 1 head of development Ian Foley and refocused on electric vehicle technology in 2007. Equipmake has a vertically integrated model. It designs and manufactures components for its electric drivetrain and integrates them into a system. Management is confident that being a systems integrator gives it a competitive advantage.

Bath-based Macaulay Capital (MCAP) was formed to acquire Macaulay Management Ltd. The strategy is to originate potential investments and generate fees from these businesses by advising them and helping to raise money, as well as investing alongside other investors. The focus is smaller companies in well-established markets. An initial investment has been made in a food manufacturer, which has also provided income for the company. Macaulay Capital raised £1.9m at 20p a share. Macaulay Capital has cash of £1.796m after the flotation. The shares ended the first day of trading at 21p (20p/22p). Managing director David Horner is also managing director of Chelverton Asset Management and a director and owner of 29.99% of AIM-quoted investment company CEPS (CEPS).

TECC Capital (TEC) is subscribing for £300,000 of convertible loan notes in EDX Medical Ltd, with a reverse takeover expected to eventually happen. This is subject to due diligence. EDX Medical was founded by Sir Chris Evans to develop digital diagnostics products and services. It owns a laboratory in Cambridge and offers testing and genomic sequencing research.

In the year to March 2022, Oberon Investments (OBE) increased its revenues by 75% to £6.7m. That includes an initial contribution from financial planning business Smythe House. The big increase in revenues came from corporate finance. The pre-tax loss was £581,000, after a £212,500 gain on investments. Funds under management increased by 80% to more than £1bn.

Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has acquired three pubs in Essex. They are all freehold.

Capital For Colleagues (LON: CFCP) has moved from the Access segment to the Apex segment. Capital For Colleagues has increased its stake in TPS Investment Holdings to 27.6% through an additional cash investment of £500,000 through the purchase of existing shares from two executive directors.

Apollon Formularies (APOL) says that its Jamaican affiliate is acquiring up to 96% of Citiva Jamaica for cash and shares. Citivas has a cultivation, manufacturing and processing facility for medical grade cannabis. This will help to obtain final approval to distribute cannabis products from the Jamaican authorities. A director, Roderick McIllree, has loaned $150,000 to Apollon.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has been appointed adviser to Metalinq Labs Inc and it has a token purchase agreement to acquire $200,000 of future Metalinq tokens, which should be issued in 2023. Metalinq is a next generation Layer 3 protocol solution enabling interoperability between metaverses. Existing Indorse token owners are eligible to receive Metalinq tokens. Coinsilium holds 5.35 million Indorse tokens.

Visum Technologies (VIS) has signed a framework services agreement with Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging and this enables the launch of Visum’s video technology system in the US. The financial year end has been changed to June.

Greencare Capital (GRE) is still seeking a suitable cannabis-related acquisition. There is still £679,000 in the bank.

AQRU (AQRU) lost £2.32m in the six months to April 2022 and still had net cash of £6.1m.

Rogue Baron (SHNJ) generated revenues of $87,492 in the three months to June 2022. Options for financing continued growth are being considered.

Shares in Lekoil Ltd (LEK) returned from suspension after the publication of interim results. Thanks to finance income Lekoil reported a pre-tax profit of $836,000. Olapade Durotoye is leaving the board to take up a role at Savannah Energy.

Richard Battersby is stepping down from the BWA Group (LON: BWAP) due to ill-health. G and O Energy Investments has bought a 13.45% stake from St Georges Eco-Mining Corp.

Former boss Michael Williams has reduced his stake in British Honey Company (BHC) from 3.96% to 1.3%. He left the board in October. The 2021 results have yet to be published and trading in the shares is suspended.

Waste plastic to hydrogen business Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) started trading on the US OTCQB Venture Market on 26 July. Executive director Howard White bought 55,500 shares at 9p each, taking his stake to 3.89%.

Chris Akers has increased his stake in Oscillate (MUSH) from 12.45% to 13.11%. Paul McKillen has a 4.15% stake in Marula Mining (MARU).

AIM

Leisure and entertainment company Brighton Pier Group (PIER) beat expectations for the year to June 2022. Adjusted EBITDA was £10.8m, which is higher than the previously upgraded forecast of £10.4m. Net debt fell from £13.3m to £6.1m. Pre-tax profit is expected to more than quadruple to £6.4m, although it was boosted by government support measures such as a temporary cut in VAT and business rate relief. The ending of the support and cost inflation means that the equivalent 2022-23 pre-tax profit is expected to fall to £4.4m on flat revenues. However, Brighton Pier intends to change its year end to December. There will be 12-month figures followed by 78-week results to December 2022.

Lithium-ion battery cell technology developer AMTE Power (AMTE) has chosen the site for a new 0.5GWh battery production facility. The facility will be in Dundee and could open in the third quarter of 2025. At full capacity, the facility could generate annual revenues of more than £200m. Scottish Enterprise and other funding bodies could contribute up to £190m of the cost of the facility. The rest will come from debt and equity.

Secure payments technology provider PCI Pal (PCIP) beat expectations in the year to June 2022. Revenues were £11.9m, compared with the previous expectation of £11.5m. finnCap has reduced its loss forecast to £2.9m. Annualised recurring revenues are 43% higher at £11m. Monthly cash breakeven is possible this year. There is no news concerning the patent dispute with Sycurio (previously Semafone).

Mobile data computing services and technology provider Touchstar (TST) increased first half revenues by 7% to £3.1m, with two-fifths of these revenues recurring. The order book is 75% ahead at £1.1m. Full year earnings could be 5.5p a share and net cash is expected to be £2.4m – at least one-third of the current market capitalisation.

Printed circuit technology developer and supplier Trackwise Designs (TWD) says that there are further delays to its large electric vehicle contract. There will be compensation for delays causing shortfalls in the minimum supply levels in the agreement. The Stonehouse improved harness technology (IHT) facility will be fully up and running by the end of the year and there are additional contracts that could be won, although most would not reach significant volumes until 2024. Management is confident that it can secure hire purchase and other facilities to cover the additional finance required.

Recruitment company Empresaria Group (EMR) is reporting interims on 11 August. The interim trading statement indicates that the expected weakness in health care is being offset by other operations. Net fee income is 15% higher at £32.6m. Net debt fell from £14m to £11.8m over six months.

Stanley Gibbons (SGI) intends to cancel its AIM quotation. The largest shareholder Phoenix SG believes it is better to cancel the quotation considering the limited free float and additional costs. The 58% shareholder also says that it would reconsider its financial support if shareholders do not agree to the cancelation. Stanley Gibbons remains loss making. Graham Shircore is stepping down as chief executive in September and he will be replaced by Tom Pickford.

In-content advertising company Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) expects flat revenues in 2022 because of weak market conditions in China. The Chinese operations will be closed next year and that will save annualised costs of £1m. That is on top of the £2.5m of annualised savings expected for the rest of the business. Interim revenues have halved, although US revenues increased. There is £17.7m in the bank and cash should be higher than previously expected at the end of 2022.

MAIN MARKET

Finance and insight and control software provider Aptitude Software (APTD) grew annualised recurring revenues by 33% in the first half through a combination of organic and acquisitive growth. Revenues were 31% higher at £36.1m. Higher research and development spending is holding back short-term margins, but they should recover in the next couple of years. Operating profit declined from £5.1m to £4m. Net cash was £10.7m at the end of June 2022 and it should increase in the second half. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.8p a share.

Gresham Technologies (GHT) generated 19% organic growth in revenues to £23m in the first half of 2022. Strong US dollar revenues offset the weaker pound. Net cash is £6.5m. New contract opportunities mean that management is confident that it can meet full year pre-tax profit expectations of £5.8m.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 27 June 2022

good,

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Resolutions 8-12 were not passed at the Good Energy (GOOD) AGM, which were mainly enabling the company to issue new shares or buy back existing shares. Resolution 12 would have amended the articles of association to permit hybrid meetings.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has agreed to sell its 30% working interest in the Yangibana project tenements for £5.1m in shares of the ASX-listed operator Hastings Technology Metals. Cadence reported an outflow of cash from operating activities of £751,000 in 2021, down from £1.36m the previous year.

Blockchain and cryptocurrency investor Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) increased 2021 revenues by 130% to £530,000. Net fair value loss on financial assets was £407,000, compared with a gain of £566,000, but realised gains increased from £199,000 to £1.52m. Overall pre-tax profit fell from £310,000 to £14,000. There is £1.51m in the bank at the end of 2021, while NAV is £5.84m. Coinsilium has entered a simple agreement for future tokens (SAFT) with potential Latin America- focused blockchain gaming hub GGs.io for $100,000 of its future tokens and is a strategic adviser.

Pluto Digital has repaid the loan, plus interest, of £5.18m owed to NFT Investments (NFT).

All Star Minerals (ASMO) is raising £200,000 at 0.02p a share and every two shares come with a warrant to subscribe for a share at 0.04p. The cash will be used to finance investment in the company’s exploration projects. A further share issue at 0.02p pays £102,000 owed to GMI, where the All Star Minerals chief executive is a substantial shareholder. Management says that it is planning a much bigger cash raise.

Gunsynd (GUN) has agreed binding heads of terms with Metals One to farm into the Black Schist nickel zinc copper cobalt projects in Finland. In return for £1m, Gunsynd will earn 25% of the company owning the projects.

In 2021, Startup Giants (SUG) moved from a loss of £188,000 to a profit of £44,000. Current trading is in line with expectations.

Gowin New Energy (GWIN) had cash of RMB2.33m at the end of 2021, but it also had net liabilities. There are plans to trade agarwood products.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that drilling at the Halo project in north Queensland has discovered copper mineralisation in the majority of holes drilled. The 21 hole is apparently the most promising.

Western Selection (WESP) has taken advantage of the Northbridge Industrial Services share price rise to sell 35,500 shares at 200.87p a share. It retains a 3.86% stake in the loadbanks manufacturer and renter, which changed its name to Crestchic (LOAD) later in the week.

Bondholders have approved the plan by Eight Capital Partners (ECP) to modify the terms and conditions of its 7% bonds.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £74,000 at 1p a share and issued additional shares for the acquisition of Aftech Ltd.

The wife of DXS International (DXSP) chief executive David Immelman has acquired 845,000 shares at 10p each, taking their interests to 11.85%.

Mark Horrocks has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from below 3% to 5.3%. Chris Akers has raised his shareholding in Oscillate (MUSH) from 11.4% to 12.45%. Dowgate Wealth has a 4.9% stake in Silverwood Brands (SLWD).

AIM

Springfield Properties (SPR) has acquired the housebuilding business of Mactaggart and Mickel Group for a total cost of £46.3m. The initial payment is £10.5m and the rest will be paid over the next five years as homes are built on the sites acquired and sold. This way the deal should be self-financing. Six existing sites are being acquired as part of the deal and eleven will transfer as more payments are made. These sites have a gross development value of £230m.

Springfield is also acquiring a timber frame factory as part of the deal. It already owns a timber frame factory and 90% of the homes it builds have timber frames. Springfield’s capacity will double to 2,000 timber frames a year, which is more than enough for existing building plans, so outside suppliers will not be required any more.

In the six months to March 2022, Team (TEAM) revenues improved from £610,000 to £999,000, although there was an increased loss. The wealth management and financial services company acquired financial adviser Omega Financial Services in the first half and bought investment consulting business Concentric after the period end. There are other acquisition opportunities. There are opportunities to win new clients, but weak markets are holding back growth. Executive chairman Mark Clubb bought 5,004 shares at 63.9p each.

Property investor and fund manager First Property (FPO) returned to profit last year. In the year to March 2022, revenues reduced from £12.1m to £8.65m. That was mainly down to the loss of rental income from the Gdynia property. Asset management fees edged up from £3.35m to £3.46m and performance related fees jumped from £40,000 to £578,000.

There was a reduction of £7.81m in the amount owed to ING Bank, relating to the Gdynia property, and this was taken as a gain. Last year, there was a £7m write down on the property. That is why a loss of £5.09m was turned into a £7.98m profit. First Property is set to sell its properties in Romania and its supermarket properties in Poland. That will reduce net debt, which was £17.2m at the end of March 2022.

Insolvency litigation funder Manolete Partners (MANO) expects that the rising level of insolvencies will provide additional potential cases. In the year to March 2022, revenues declined from £27.8m to £20.4m. The realised revenues fell more sharply from £24.4m to £15.2m, with the main reason behind this being the large case with realised revenues of £9.3m in the previous year. Unrealised revenues increased from £3.41m to £5.2m. Pre-tax profit fell from £6.99m to £4.51m. Cash generated from operations before tax and investment in cases increased from £2.79m to £4.42m, due to a small reduction working capital. Investment in cases moved up from £5.89m to £6.47m. Peel Hunt has reduced its pre-tax profit forecast for this year from £7m to £5m.

Restaurants operator Tasty (TAST) has repaid its £1.1m bank loan, leaving it with net cash of £8.6m. Annualised interest rate savings will be £57,000 and there was no early repayment penalty. There are plans to open five or six more restaurants this year.

Premier African Minerals (PREM) has signed a deal that can get the Zulu lithium project pilot plant up and running. The pilot plant has target annual production of 50,000-ton SC6 and there are binding heads of terms with Suzhou TA&A Ultra Clean Technology to take all of this production starting from the first quarter of 2023.

Shares in 4D Pharma (DDDD) declined 28.5% to 16.66p before trading was suspended ahead of administrators being appointed. 4d Pharma says Oxford Finance has demanded immediate repayment of the $13.86m it is owed. The company cannot afford this.

Paper and specialist fibres maker James Cropper (CRPR) reported a full year, underlying pre-tax profit of £4m. The paper making business is cyclical and it made an increased loss. The TFP Hydrogen division, which makes products for fuel cells, accounts for around 30% of revenues and its operating profit before group overheads increased from £6.48m to £8.68m. James Cropper has reinstated the dividend this year with a 7.5p a share final dividend taking the total to 10p a share.

Cancer diagnostics developer ANGLE (AGL) has signed another contract with its first large pharma services customer. The Parsortix system will be used to monitor patients with unresectable solid tumours in a new phase Ib dose escalation study using the pharma company’s drug in combination with immuno-oncology agents.

Provexis (PXS) has signed two agreements with DSM relating to Fruitflow, an ingredient that helps normal blood flow and circulation. DSM customers for Fruitflow will become direct customers of Provexis at the beginning of 2023. DSM will still receive a royalty on the gross profit of Fruitflow sales to customers it transfers to Provexis for four years. The deal means that, assuming like-for-like sales and margins, Provexis would make a higher net profit in 2023 and it would increase in subsequent years. There should also be new direct customers. Provexis is also partnering with DSM on a gut microbiome patent.

Investment management company Forward Partners (FWD) says that weak stockmarkets have hit the valuations of technology companies and thereby the valuations of its investments. This means that there is likely to be a mid-to-high teens percentage decline from the interim NAV of £108m.

Argentina-focused oil and gas company Phoenix Global Resources (PGR) says that it is in discussions with 84% shareholder Mercuria Energy Group concerning a cancellation of its AIM quotation and a cash offer to purchase shares from independent shareholders at 7.5p each.

Asia-focused investment company Jade Road Investments (JADE) is selling part of its stake in China-based wind turbine blade manufacturer Meize Energy Industries. It has a 7.2% stake and will receive $1.2m in cash in three tranches, leaving it with a 6.3% stake valued at $10m. The company has already received $400,000 with the rest due for payment in July and August.

Solid State (SOLI) has been awarded a contract by Transport for London for a new one person operation CCTV system for the Piccadilly line upgrade.

MAIN MARKET

Oil services provider Lamprell (LAM) has received a non-binding indicative cash offer from 25.1% shareholder Blofeld Investment Management. Lamprell requires funding of $75m over the next two months and that is making the board seriously consider the offer even though it is at a large discount to the previous closing price. Financing opportunities are being explored. An attempt to raise $150m via a share issue did not meet with approval by all the institutional shareholders.

Roquefort Therapeutics (ROQ) has announced its second acquisition in seven months. Cancer medicines company Oncogeni Ltd is being acquired for the issue of 50 million shares and there is a placing to raise £1.01m at 14p a share. Two pre-clinical families of innovative cell and RNA oncology medicines come with Oncogeni, as well as a laboratory facility in Stratford-upon-Avon

CYBA (CYBA) is changing its name to NARF Industries. Steve Bassi will become chief executive.

Fackelmann Gmbh has increased its stake in cookware retailer Procook (PROC) from 3.83% to 4.63%.

Slovenia-based Graft Polymer (GPL) has reached cash flow positive in its core business. New equipment has been ordered in order to double capacity.

OTHER MARKETS

Pacific Road Resources Fund II is making a 0.01p a share cash bid for former AIM company Firestone Diamonds (FDI), which values the company at £79,000. Pacific Road also owns all the Firestone bonds and hopes to restart production at the Liqhobong open cast diamond mine. Firestone originally joined AIM in August 1998 at 114p a share. Since 2020, the shares have been traded by JP Jenkins and the latest price is 0.2p. The bidder owns 30.4% with a further 4.25% owned by affiliated funds. Resource Capital, which owns 34.7%, intends to accept.

Andrew Hore

UK Inflation, Berkeley Group Holdings #BKG, Coinsilium #COIN and Vela Technologies #VELA with Alan Green

The UK Investor Magazine Podcast is joined by Alan Green for a discussion around UK equities and the global economic environment.

We start by looking at the latest UK inflation data which jumped to a whopping 9.1% in May with predictions it will continue to rise through the summer. Our focus shifts to the market’s perception of this data and what it means for central bank action.

With major central banks set for further interest rates hikes, there is a real risk of a recession both in the UK and US. However, there is plenty of room for easing after this which will be welcomed by the markets and could spark an equities rally.

Berkeley Group Holdings shares stumbled in early trade after the Housebuilder said their margins were being squeezed by rising input prices and a lower mix of housing sales.

We explore Coinsilium in a backdrop of crypto volatility and drill down into their blockchain operations.

We finish with a rundown of Vela Technologies portfolio, especially a number of upcoming IPOs from their portfolio companies.

UK Inflation, Berkeley Group Holdings, and Vela Technologies with Alan Green

Quoted Micro 20 June 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

A fall in market capitalisation to below £10m means that Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) will move from the Apex segment to the Access segment on 20 June.

Visum Technologies, which operates an on-ride photo camera system used by theme parks and other leisure operators, plans to join Aquis on 30 June.

Revenues recovered from £32.2m to £96m at brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) and it also returned to profit. A loss of £12.4m was turned into a pre-tax profit of £12.7m. The pension deficit has become a pension asset worth £10.1m. A final dividend of 2.2p a share is recommended. Staffing pubs remains a problem. Prices have been increased and are set to be raised again because of rising costs. There has been a disjointed recovery this year. but sales are growing year-on-year.

Valereum (VLRM) intends to launch a global open marketplace platform for Non-Fungible tokens (NFTs). It has also appointed Z/Yen Group Ltd as strategic adviser to review the business plans for the Gibraltar Stock Exchange and help prepare a prospectus for a listing for Valereum on a major stock exchange.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) is proceeding with investments in advanced battery metals projects. Due diligence has been completed on the Blesberg lithium and tantalum project in South Africa and the Nkombwa Hill tantalum, rare earths and phosphate project in Zambia. An initial 30% stake in Blesberg can be acquired by the issue of £337,500 of shares and £237,500 in cash. An initial 25% stake in Nkombwa Hill can be purchase for a staged cash investment of $150,000. A general meeting will be held to approve a name change to Marula Mining and a proposed 100-for-one share consolidation.

Silverwood Brands (SLWD) has been readmitted to Aquis following the acquisition of Balmonds Skincare.

Gunsynd (GUN) says ASX-listed investee company Pacific Nickel Mines Ltd has secured an offtake agreement for all the production of Kolosori, as well as a $22m pre-export finance facility, with Glencore.

Triad Endeavour Sports and Entertainment has signed up with the platform run by ChallengerX (CXS). Triad is an event promoter and talent manager involved in the Ultimate Fight League.

Lekoil Ltd (LEK) has successfully challenged the jurisdiction of the New Jersey court in litigation undertaken by its former chief executive. The Otakikpo field oil production was 4,230 bopd during May.

MiLOC Group (ML.P) is restructuring its business and focusing on the distribution of designer products with partner, CRUSHMETRIC Ltd.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says initial tests confirm copper is present in the drilling at the Halo copper gold project in northern Queensland. Drilling is underway at the Red Setter project in Western Australia.

The Care Quality Commission has granted registration to the diagnostic and screening services offered by Goodbody Health Inc (GDBY).

ProBiotix Health (PBX) has appointed Steen Andersen as chief executive. He has more than three decades of experience in the probiotics sector.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has capped future consideration for plant-based products supplier Pulsin at £400,000 and effectively lowered the total cost from £6.7m to £5.5m.

Chris Akers took a 4.96% stake in Recent Aquis admission Psych Capital (PSY). He has also increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 20.1% to 21%.

Ananda Developments (ANA) has raised £38,000 from the exercise of warrants at 0.45p each.

AIM

IDOX (IDOX) increased revenues by 7% to £33.2m in the six months to April 2022 and recurring revenues account for three-fifths of the total. Public sector software sales were 10% ahead, while engineering information management revenues declined although they should recover in the second half. Net debt was reduced by 54% to £3.8m, which leaves plenty of funds to make acquisitions.

Tatton Asset Management (TAM) is growing assets under management at more than £100m a month and they reached £11.3bn at the end of March 2022. In the year to March 2022, group revenues improved from £23.4m to £29.4m, while pre-tax profit grew from £11.2m to £14.5m. The dividend is 13% higher at 12.5p a share. Higher mortgage activity meant that there was growth in the Paradigm division and, although new mortgage activity is lower, management believes that revenues can be maintained this year. Weaker financial markets could affect this year’s group performance, but the inflow of funds should offset that.

Xeros Technology Group (XSG) was the best AIM performer last week with a 46.2% gain to 47.5p. Germany-based washing machine pumps and drives manufacturer Hanning has signed a ten-year global licence to manufacture and sell the XFilter washing machine filter technology developed by Xeros. XFilter enables microfibres and microplastics released during washing to be captured and safely disposed of. Hanning is estimated to supply components for 8.5 million washing machines each year – around one-third of those made in Europe. The royalty is undisclosed, but it could be around £1 per filter.

Subsea cable protection services provider Tekmar Group (TGP) lost more than three-quarters of its value last week after it announced that it was seeking a strategic partner or bidder. Interim revenues fell from £13.9m to £13m and Tekmar remains loss making. The order book has improved from £9.7m to £20.1m over the six months to March 2022.

Shares in US-based video game publisher Devolver Digital Inc (LON: DEVO) more than halved after it lowered its revenues and profit guidance for this year. Revenues are expected to between $130m and $140m. Zeus has cut its earnings forecast from 7.2 cents a share to 6 cents a share.

The M&C Saatchi (SAA) board has withdrawn its recommendation of the bid by the marketing services company Next Fifteen Communications (NFC), the value of which has fallen due to the slump in the share price of the bidder.

Revolution Bars Group (RBG) trading is strong and a trading statement sparked a forecast upgrade by finnCap for the vodka bars operator. Refurbished bars have done particularly well, and two new bars should open by the end of June. Forecast pre-tax profit for 2021-22 has been raised from £500,000 to £2.7m.

Oil and gas explorer Rockhopper Exploration (RKH) announced a £5.75m placing and subscription at 7p a unit (one share and of a warrant exercisable at 9p a share). The Sea Lion project in the Falkland Islands is the main focus of Rockhopper.

Wynnstay Properties (WSP) is planning to obtain shareholder approval for buying back shares. NAV increased by 19% to 1090p a share in 2021-22. The total dividend was raised from 21p a share to 22.5p a share.

Actual Experience (ACT) says that due to a change in requirements a channel partner has terminated a contract that generated £200,000 out of group revenues of £1.74m in 2020-21.

Competitions organiser Best of the Best (BOTB) reported better than forecast figures and a 66.7p a share return of capital via a tender offer. Net cash was £10.8m at the end of April 2022 and there is a 6p a share final dividend on top of the tender offer. The total cash cost of these payments is £6.84m.

In the year to April 2022, the pre-tax profit fell from £14.1m, for what was an unusually strong year due to Covid restrictions, to £5.1m.

Hong Kong-based CCTV technology company UniVision Engineering Ltd (UVEL) has received notice of the termination of a contract with MTR Corporation for the replacement of CCTV systems on Hong Kong railway lines.

MAIN MARKET

Castings (CGS) generated a 29.5% increase in full year revenues to £148.6m. Profit and margins are still improving and there is more to go for as business levels get back to the pre-Covid position. Zeus forecasts a further improvement in underlying pre-tax profit from £12.1m to £15.5m in 2022-23.

Structural steel supplier Severfield (SFR) continues to win new business and higher steel prices are being passed onto clients. In the year to March 2022, revenues increased from £363.3m to £403.6m, while pre-tax profit improved £24.3m to £27.1m. The final dividend is increased from 1.8p a share to 1.9p a share, taking the total to the year to 3.1p a share. Severfield has a record order book worth £486m.

Palace Capital (PCA) has increased its NAV to 390p a share and the loan-to-value declined from 42% to 28% following property sales at a premium to book value. The total dividend is 13.3p a share.

Graft Polymer (UK) (GPL) says that MGC Pharmaceuticals (MXC) is using its IP for the nano delivery system in the pre-clinical research study for the use of cannabinoids to treat Glioblastoma multiforme cells (a form of brain cancer).

Contango Holdings (CGO) has agreed to acquire 10,000 tonnes of washed coking coal from Lubu each month. The current market price is $120/tonne. Up to $10m of earnings could be generated from this deal each year.

Funeral directors Dignity (DTY) says FCA has confirmed it is intending to authorise Dignity Funerals LTD as a regulated entity under the new regulations for pre-paid funeral plans.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 9 May 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

In 2021, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) is paying a special dividend of 89.6p a share. The £3m payment comes after the receipt of the final £10.7m from the sale of housing development land. Newbury Racecourse increased turnover by 75% to £14.8m as racing returned to the course. There is still potential for further recovery this year. Attendances increased from 12,000 to 105,000. The hotel reopened in January 2022. There was a swing from £2.17m loss to an underlying pre-tax profit of £333,000.

Quantum Exponential (QBIT) is investing £406,000 in Aegiq Ltd, a photonics company using quantum technologies in the cybersecurity market. That gives it a 4.06% stake. Helium Special Situations has reduced its stake from 4.57% to 1.52%.

Goodbody Health Inc (GDBY) reported better than expected revenues for 2021. The CBD products and testing company made an underlying loss of £900,000 on revenues of £17.1m. Arden forecasts a £5.1m profit this year.

VSA Capital (VSA) has received a settlement of outstanding fees of £153,000 from client Anglo African Agriculture in the form of 3.82 million shares. This gives VSA a 15.3% stake plus warrants and convertible loan notes.

Gunsynd (GUN) has terminated the disposal of Oyster Oil and Gas to Sajawin.

Clarify Pharma (PSYC) had net cash of £1.3m at the end of April 2022. Investment opportunities in the psychedelics market are being assessed.

Apollon Formularies (APOL) has acquired intellectual property and patents from Aion Therapeutic for £96,000 and 4.35 million shares. It will also pay a royalty fee of 4% on net revenues from products based on these patents. The patents cover potential cancer treatments.

ChallengerX (CXS) has appointed Olivia Edwards as chief executive and Nicholas Lyth as finance director.

Phase 1 assay results from the Monte Muambe project held by Altona Rare Earths (ANR) show significant levels of rare earths.

Coinsilium (COIN) has been appointed as adviser to Silta Finance and entered into an agreement to purchase $75,000 of future SILTA tokens. Silta is building a technology to connect decentralised finance to infrastructure project developers.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has sold its remaining stake in builder’s merchant Merkko Group for £378,000.

Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has received the first UK order for Shinju and Shinju 8-year old whisky.

S-Ventures (SVEN) chairman David Mitchell bought 57,959 shares at 32p each. Chris Akers has increased its stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 19.1% to 20.1%. John Mahtani reduced his stake from 5.71% to 3.83%.

AIM

Online retailer of building materials CMO Group (CMO) continues to grow on the back of a buoyant market as well as gaining market share. The online share of the sector remains relatively low. The second half growth was not as fast as in the first half. In 2021, revenues grew 46% to £76.3m. There is organic growth supplemented by acquisitions. CMO moved from loss to an underlying pre-tax profit of £1.4m. Net cash was £6m. Following the acquisition of JTM Plumbing Plumbingsuperstore.co.uk is being launched later this year. First quarter trading has continued to be strong with like-for-like growth of 3%.

Neonatal intensive care medical devices supplier Inspiration Healthcare (IHC) increased full year revenues from £37m to £41.1m. Acquisition contributions offset the one-off Covid ventilator revenues in the previous year. Pre-tax profit improved from £3.13m to £3.96m, although earnings fell 12% to 6.1p a share because of the additional shares issued for acquisitions. The company’s order book is strong.

In 2021, targeted digital advertising services provider Dianomi (DNM) revenues grew from £28.4m to £35.8m, even though Asia Pacific revenues fell from £1.72m to £1.18m due to the ASX website stopping having advertising content. Underlying pre-tax profit moved from £2m to £2.9m – share based payment charges and float costs led to a loss being reported – and it is expected to increase to £3.6m this year. The average spend of the top 100 advertisers increased 27% to £280,000 each. Net cash was £10.3m at the end of 2021.

In 2021, Intelligent Ultrasound (IUG) reported revenues 47% higher at £7.6m, mainly from ultrasound simulation products, while the cash outflow from operations was £2.3m. AI revenues remain modest, and it will take time for them to build up. Cenkos upgraded its 2022 revenues forecast from £9m to £10m, but the cash outflow will be similar.

Plastics and packaging supplier Coral Products (CRU) is using some of its cash pile to acquire Film & Foil Solutions, a supplier of flexible packaging film used for food, books, carpets and for cable tapes. The initial payment is £1.35m in cash, plus £750,000 in shares at 15.5p each. There is just over £900,000 that could be payable based on the settlement of a contract dispute and an insurance payment. The acquired business made an underlying profit of £541,000 in 2021.

Energy efficiency as a service provider eEnergy Group (EAAS) has been hit by contract delays. That means that 2021-22 EBITDA could be £3m and not £4.4m as previously expected. A new finance director is being appointed.

Green hydrogen production developer ATOME Energy (ATOM), which was spun out of President Energy (PPC) at the end of 2021, has secured a major 60MW power purchase agreement with ANDE, the national power supplier in Paraguay. Hydrogen production could commence in Paraguay in the first quarter of 2023.

MAIN MARKET

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) will report revenues around £15m lower than expected due to overstocking. This will knock £10m off operating profit. Price rises are offsetting the effect of inflation.

Castings (CGS) 2021-22 results will be slightly ahead of expectations. Demand for commercial vehicles remains strong, but there is still uncertainty about the ability produce heavy trucks.

Kendrick Resources (KEN) was formerly AIM-quoted BMR Group, which left AIM in August 2018 after problems with the progress of the Kabwe project in Zambia. Kendrick still has a 11% royalty interest in Kabwe. Kendrick Resources has acquired Northern X Finland and Northern X Scandinavian. In Finland, there is an exploration licence at the Koitelainen project and two licences at the Karhujupukka project. There are two projects in Sweden: the Airijoki project and the Central Sweden project. There is also an option over three projects in Norway.

Gresham Technologies (GHT) has secured a contract with an existing bank customer worth up to £6.3m over a period of five years. The company’s Clareti software will be used across the whole UK business of the bank.

Andrew Hore

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