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Shepherd Neame (SHEP) in common with other brewers and pub companies has been hard hit by the closure of pubs. Monthly cash burn during pub closures is £1.5m-£2m. Unsurprisingly, interim revenues slumped from £79m to £55.3m, while an underlying pre-tax profit of £4.88m was turned into an underlying loss of £4.81m. Bottled beer sales were one-quarter higher as people bought the bottles for home consumption. Net debt was £92.4m at the end of December 2020 and had reached £96.5m by the end of March. More than 200 pubs with gardens have reopened and all 316 will be open by 17 May.
Revenues fell by one-third to £50.7m at brewer Adnams (ADB) in 2020. Online sales were 245% higher. This led to a loss of £4.3m. Beer volumes fell by 23% and spirits volumes by 31%. There is no dividend and reduced investment meant that net debt was reduced.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £50,000 in the unquoted Media Tech SPAC at 4p a share. The SPAC raised £1.64m and it plans to float in the second half of 2021. Riverfort Global Capital and Sure Valley Ventures are involved in the SPAC, which is focused on media and technology investments, and the latter might want to reverse one of its investments into the company. The sale of shares in Empress Royalty and Eagle Mountain raised £218,000 for Gunsynd.
John Mahtani, who is chief executive of Media Tech SPAC, has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) to 6.08%, while Chris Akers has raised his stake to 15%.
NFT Investments (NFT) has made its first investment. A $1m investment has been made in AEON International, which develops technology for the luxury fashion industry. Hong Kong-based AEON has a customer base that includes Gucci and Louis Vuitton. The AUTHENTIQUE subsidiary offers NFT-based verification technology in order to combat counterfeit goods. A product is being developed that would use unique fashion NFTs and smart contracts to enable fashion brands to earn royalties when a product is resold. NFT is paying its board and management in cryptocurrency.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) says the Hellyer mine generated gross revenues of $17.9m and net profit of $4.8m in the first quarter of 2021.
Interim sales of Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) more than halved from £116,000 to £56,000, although management expects the second half to be stronger. The interim loss increased from £75,000 to £117,000. Since the end of the interim period, a further £50,000 has been raised and a government loan of the same amount secured. Management is seeking new markets for its rail safety equipment.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has completed the disposal of Curious Drinks and each of the minority shareholders will receive 1.57 Chapel Down shares for each Curious share they owned. This has resulted in 1.26 million additional shares being issued.
Watchstone Group (WTG) is seeking to switch from AIM to the Apex segment of Aquis. This should happen on 30 April. Watchstone is classified as a cash shell and trading in the shares would be suspended on AIM on 4 May if no acquisition had been made. The board is pursuing litigation relating to past businesses. This could result in cash being returned to shareholders. Watchstone is also seeking new investments.
Valereum Blockchain (VLRM) has purchased bitcoin mining hardware and they should be up and running in the US within one month. The plan is to have mining operations in a range of geographies.
Indorse, in which Coinsilium (COIN) has a 10% stake, has released a digital analysis tool, which scans the data on NFTs and their underlying assets. Coinsilium also owns 14.12% of the IND tokens in circulation.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has filed its drilling plans for the Red Setter project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. There could be up to 30,000 metres of drilling over four years.
Tyndall Investment Management has taken a 6.85% stake Oncology treatments developer Incanthera (INC) and directors and employees have also added to their stakes at process between 13p a share and 13.5p a share.
Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) has generated £3m from the sale of shares in Secure Trust Bank (STB) at £12 a share. The stake has been reduced to 4.4%.
Veni Vidi Vici (VVV) has raised £220,000 at 50p a share. Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised an additional £30,000 at 3.9p a share. A subscription at 85p a share has provided Startup Giants (SUG) with £190,000.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) has moved to the Apex segment of the market.
Grease management services provider Filta (FLTA) has been hit by the closure of restaurants and venues, particularly in the US. Revenues fell by one-third last year and the company fell into loss. Trading levels are moving back to previous levels, but the progress depends on the reopening of some of the larger US venues and stadia. There should be a return to profit this year, but it will take until 2022 for a profit to exceed past levels.
The was another positive trading statement from telecoms billing and customer relationship management software provider Cerillion (CER) following a first half of record orders.
Nu-Oil and Gas (NUOG) will lose its AIM-quotation on 5 May because it has not completed a takeover. There is a proposed acquisition of Guardian Barriers IP and Guardian Maritime, but if this goes ahead the plan is to obtain a standard listing. Guardian has developed a product that can be retrofitted to ships in order to prevent pirates from boarding vessels.
Churchill China (CHH) was still profitable in 2020, but pre-tax profit slumped from £11.2m to £800,000. There was £1.8m of cash generated from operations and net cash was £14m at the end of 2020. There is no dividend. Sales of hospitality ceramics halved during the year.
Cora Gold Ltd (CORA) has announced results from its latest drilling campaign at the Sanankoro gold project in southern Mali. The initial results suggest that there could be a significant increase in the DCF valuation of the project, which was £37.8m. The drilling should be completed by the end of July and there will be continuing news flow over the coming months.
MobilityOne (MBO) is not going ahead with the proposed acquisition of Tanjung Pinang Resources.
Team (TEAM) has decided not to make an offer for Tavistock Investments (TAVI).
MGC Pharmaceuticals (MXC) is acquiring Israeli clinical research company MediCaNL in shares for up to A$6m and it will be used to run the company’s clinical trials. That will reduce costs and lead times. Three clinical trials are planned for cannabis-based treatments in 2021.
Town Centre Securities (TOWN) has collected or deferred 92% of the due rent of £5.1m in the latest quarter. The deferred element is £600,000. The other £400,000 remains due and discussions with tenants are ongoing. Since last March, there is £1.8m of rents that remain due. The company has sold the Thornton’s Chambers property in Leeds.
Interim revenues of J Smart Contractors (SMJ) declined from £9.25m to £5.75m, but costs declined at a higher rate so pre-tax profit improved from £265,000 to £890,000. Net cash was £11.1m at the end of January 2021. The interim dividend is unchanged at 0.95p a share. Building materials costs are rising and a lull in contracting work will hit profit. Management believes that property assets should have retained their value even though a valuation will not take place until the end of the year. NAV is £99.6m, while the market capitalisation is £52m.
Standard list shell Marwyn Acquisition Company III (MAC3) has raised £12m from an issue of A shares and is considering a £200m fundraising.
Tirupati Graphite (TGR) has opened its second mine at the Vatomina project in Madagascar. The processing plant will be commissioned in the second quarter of 2021. Last week. £10m in and oversubscribed placing at 90p a share. That is double last year’s flotation price.
Wildcat Petroleum (WCAT) has signed two memoranda of understanding. The first is with Crown Energy for its participation in a future initial coin operation by Wildcat. A model to monetise hydrocarbon blocks based on blockchain technology. Crown has blocks in Madagascar, South Africa and Iraq. Nabirm Global has a Namibian exploration licence and the deal is the same as with Crown.
Incanthera (INC) raised £1.21m at 9.5p a share prior to joining NEX on 28 February. The price at the end of the first day of dealings was 10.5p (9.5p/11.5p). There were no trades. Incanthera is developing Sol, a topical product for the treatment of solar keratosis and prevention of skin cancer, which could be licenced to a partner within 18 months.
Mechanical and electrical installation services provider Field System Designs Holdings (FSD) continued to be hit by problems with its energy from waste customer in the first half. Revenues dipped from £11.8m to £11.5m, but it went from profit to loss due to litigation costs. The water sector is the main focus of the company. The new AMP7 water investment period starts in April. There was cash of £4.38m at the end of November 2019. The NAV was £3.28m compared with a market capitalisation of £2.4m.
Employee-owned business finance provider Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) broadly maintained its NAV at 43.44p a share at the end of August 2019. A £800,000 investment valuation gain plus a £126,000 write back of provisions was offset by loan impairments of £908,000. Management believes that several investee companies will have encouraging developments this year.
Ashley House (ASH) has decided to withdraw from NEX on 26 March and maintain its AIM quotation. Cash remains in short supply due to the failure to receive more than £1m owed by two debtors. More cash needs to be raised. Non-core assets could be sold. There are good prospects for the business. Three memoranda of understanding / framework agreements have been signed with institutions. There is a pipeline of nine potential affordable housing schemes, four of which have planning permission.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) says it intends to bid for the rest of Apollon UK, which has the right to 95% of net profit of Apollon Formularies Jamaica and the right to acquire a 49% stake in that business. AfriAg owns 2.68% of Apollon UK and is trying to satisfy regulatory requirements for the offer to go ahead.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) had less than $24,000 left in the bank at the end of September 2019. A proposed deal fell through last year and management is considering a new strategy which could be announced in a few weeks. Trading in the shares remains suspended.
Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has signed a joint venture agreement with Dynasty Construction, which owns 600 hectares of land in Rwanda, to explore for tin, tungsten and tantalum. Eastinco says the operation of the wash plant at the Kuaka mine has been delayed. It should be in operation by the end of April.
Dozen Savings 5% secured bonds 1 March 2020 have been withdrawn from NEX.
Netcall (NET) increased its total annual contract value by 10% to £16.6m at the end of 2019. The customer engagement software provider has been increasing the sales of its low-code products, which represent one-third of group revenues just a couple of years after the products were launched. The Liberty Connect conversational messaging platform has generated the first orders.
Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ) has been performing poorly almost since it joined AIM and many investors have lost patience. Fidelity sold its 5% stake, but one investor that believes it is a good time to buy the shares is Cavendish Asset Management, which has more than doubled its stake from 5.24% to 11.8%.
Redx Pharma (REDX) has terminated merger discussions with Yesod Bio-Sciences because the offer was not high enough. Redmile Group will provide up to £26.3m of funding to Redx. Redmile will subscribe for 11.5 million shares at 11.2p each, which is higher than the market price in the past six months. There will also be a £5m short-term loan and a £20m convertible loan. The share subscription will provide enough cash until April while the terms of the loans are agreed.
Cora Gold (CORA) has announced further drill results for the Sanankoro gold project in the Yanfolila gold belt in southern Mali. The results confirm significant additional mineralisation with some grades above 2g/t. There are more results to come.
finnCap is not changing its forecast for Surface Transforms (SCE) following its seven month figures. The carbon fibre brake discs developer is changing its year end from May to December. In the 17 months to December 2020, revenues of £3.3m and a loss of £1.7m are forecast.
Empire Metals (EEE) has raised £600,000 at 1p a share in order to invest in its assets in Georgia and identify other assets.
United Oil and Gas (UOG) has completed the acquisition of Egyptian oil and gas assets from Rockhopper Exploration (RKH) and it was readmitted to AIM on 28 February.
Eden Research (EDEN) is raising up to £10.6m at 6p a share via a placing and open offer. The biopesticides developer will spend the cash on gaining regulatory approval and registration for its products, as well as on further development.
AssetCo (ASTO) had cash of £17.1m at the end of September 2019 and since then a further £11m has been received. There are also bonds of £3.5m. Grant Thornton is appealing the judgement for negligence and the decision of the Court of Appeal should be made in the summer.
Billing Services Group (BILL) has completed the sale of its business and will distribute cash to shareholders by the end of March.
Mereo BioPharma (MPH) says it received positive feedback from the FDA following an end of phase 2 meeting for Setrusumab, a treatment for osteogenesis imperfecta in the young. A phase 3 study programme has been agreed.
STM Group (STM) has confirmed previous expectations for its 2019 figures which will be reported on 24 March. An underlying pre-tax profit of £2.5m is forecast.
Firestone Diamonds (FDI) wants shareholder permission to leave AIM. The general meeting is on 13 March. A weak diamond market and lower recovery levels than expected have made it difficult to finance the debt burden. Leaving AIM will reduce costs and there has been little liquidity anyway.
Packaging supplier Macfarlane (MACF) increased its pre-tax profit by 10% to £12m. The full year dividend was raised by 7% to 2.45p a share. Both distribution and manufacturing made higher profit contributions. This year’s profitability is ahead of 2019, so far.
Personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) has a lot to do to make its full year forecast. Interim revenues increased from £3.9m to £5.4m and there was a slightly lower loss. There is £ in the bank but that could recover to more than £2m by the end of June 2020.
Chief executive George Bennett has leant $1m to Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) to fund exploration and operations. He already has a 8.6% stake and there are warrants over 2 million shares exercisable at 4.55p each that have been issued in return for the loan, which does not have an interest charge.
Commercial aircraft leasing company Avation (AVAP) trebled its interim profit to $45.2m, including an unrealised gain of $37m on aircraft purchase rights, and the net asset value was 15% higher at $4.29 a share. This is equivalent to 325p a share. The dividend was raised by 5% to 2.1 US cents a share.
Trading in the shares of Mila Resources (MILA) has been suspended following an agreement to progress with the purchase of E-Tech Metals in a share deal. The transaction is subject to due diligence. The attraction is high grade neodymium and praseodymium mineralisation, which are important rare earths, in the Eureka rare earth project in Namibia.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has won a $4m cyber contract from an existing government customer. This customer has and will generate contracted revenues of more than $18m.
Investment company London Finance and Investment (LFI) increased net assets by 7% to 63p a share at the end of 2019, although it fell to 62.6p a share by the end of January. An increase in the value of the stake in AIM quoted cake maker Finsbury Food (FIF) more than offset declines elsewhere in the six months to December 2019.
Alan Green CEO of Brand Communications discusses Cora Gold #CORA, Cerillion #CER, Gulf Keystone Petroleum #GKP, Europa Oil & Gas #EOG & Tertiary Minerals #TYM with Justin Waite. Interview starts at 13 minutes 16 seconds.
National Express NEX has continued to see a good trading performance across all its divisions in October and November. In both the US and Spain early Christmas trading has been strong and advanced sales are higher then last year. Two small acqisitions have been completed, one in he states with 204 buses and the second in Madrid with 73 buses, each of which is expected to provide a return of 15 – 20% in line with company policy.
Elegant Hotels ELG had received an approach from Melia Hotels regarding a possible all cash offer for shares in Elegant but discussions have now been terminated and Melia will not be making any offer.
Alliance Pharma APH has agreed to acquire from Tyra Tech for an initial consideration of £13m, the worldwide rights to Vamousse which is an innovative consumer healthcare brand. The acquisition will be immediately earnings enhancing.
My Sale Group MYSL will announce at today’s AGM that the current year has started well, revenue growth has accelerated compared to last year, gross margins are increasing and costs are being kept under control. Plans fr the year are ambitious but underlying profitability is growing in line with management expectations.
Palace Capital PCA is increasing its interim dividend for the 6 months to the 30th September, by 5.6%. The end September portfolio valuation showed a rise of 10.7%, profit before tax increased by 25.6% and adjusted earnings per share by 18.5%. Palace claims it has built a high quality portfolio, due to careful stock selection and is showing increasing growth both in income and in capital value.
Cora Gold Limited CORA has commenced a six month drill pogramme at its Sanankora Gold discovery in southern Mali. The pogramme is expected to be completed during he second quarter of 2018.