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Quoted Micro 11 October 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Ecotricity has failed in its takeover bid for Good Energy (GOOD). Ecotricity had a 25.1% stake and acceptances of the bid totalled 11.5% of God Energy. Acceptances did increase significantly in the last few days of the bid, but they are still well below the level required for the bid to succeed. The offer has lapsed.

National Milk Record (NMRP) reported flat full year revenues of £21.9m, while like-for-like growth was 3.5%. This was despite the cyber attack last year. Pre-tax profit improved from £929,000 to £1.65m with help from lower overheads and a higher contribution from a joint venture. Net debt was reduced to £1m by the end of June 2021. The dividend was increased from 1.25p a share to 1.5p a share. Genomics revenues should build up this year.

Quantum Exponential Group plans to join Aquis. The plan is to identify opportunities in the quantum technology sector. More than 175 start-ups have been identified. Notion Capital will be involved with any investments. This is another investment company being floated by David William – the most recent was standard listed Bay Capital (BAY).

NFT Investments (LSE: NFT) has made two new investments. The first is a C$100,000 investment in Big Whale Labs, a decentralised social network platform. The other investment is $1.4m in Sturdy Exchange, which is a subsidiary of Sturdy Agency. Sturdy Exchange is a marketplace to display, collect and trade NFTs created by artists and performers. So far, four investments have been made.

Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) is holding a general meeting on 26 October in order to gain shareholder permission to issue more shares.

Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) is acquiring Tokyo-based Vertex for $12m. The initial payment is $2.5m with $6.5m to follow in April 2023 and the last payment of $3m in April 2024. Vertex sells wellness products via home shopping channels in Japan.

BWA Group (BWAP) has won its case against JV Capital and has been awarded £74,169.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) is collaborating with Sedwell Ltd to develop a secure digital fastener for use in the global rail market. Sedwell has bolt load monitoring technology.

TechFinancials (TECH) has sold its CEDEX subsidiary. There is no initial payment. There could be cash received if the company is sold or raises $20m of new money.

Gunsynd (GUN) says that investee company Pacific Nickel has a JORC resource estimate for the Jejevo tenement in the Solomon Islands, where it has a 80% stake. Jejevo has a mineral resource of 14.42 million tonnes at 1l.29% nickel.

Trading in Harrogate Group (HGTE) shares has been suspended because its 2020-21 accounts have not been published.

Robert Hanson has bought a 0.36% stake in Oberon Investments (OBE) through a share purchase at 6.85p each. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi has bought one million Oscillate (MUSH) shares at 2p each.

Michael Williams and Robert Porter-Smith have stepped down from the British Honey (BHC) board.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 488.21p a share at the end of September 2021.

AIM

Tortilla Mexican Grill (MEX) operates and franchises fast-casual Mexican restaurants offering California-inspired food. It raised £5m at 181p a share. The cash raised in the flotation, plus a new senior finance facility of up to £10m, will provide working capital and fund the UK roll out and development of franchise opportunities. Tortilla Mexican Grill has 52 restaurants in the UK, two of which are franchised with SSP – they are at Euston station and Gatwick airport. There are also ten franchised sites in the Middle East – the franchisee is Eathos. Six sites have opened this year. A new site costs between £350,000 and £425,000 to kit out.

Continuing operations of plastic products supplier Coral Products (CRU) increased revenues from £8.7m to £10.7m in the year to April 2021. Underlying profit jumped from £230,000 to £756,000. This could rise to £1m this year with the existing businesses. Once the Haydock site has been sold there should be cash of more than £7m.

Compliance and energy saving services provider Sureserve (SUR) says its order book has grown by more than 30%. Net cash was more than £16m. The results will be announced on 25 January.

Elliott Bernerd of international property developer Chelsfield is taking a significant stake in AIM-quoted chartered surveyor and property adviser Fletcher King (FLK). He is investing £547,000 in new shares and buying existing shares so that his stake is 29.99%. He is buying the shares at 52.5p a share, which is a premium to the market price.

AMTE Power (AMTE) is on course to launch its first commercial battery cell product before the end of 2021. This is a product for the automotive market. There should also be news in the coming months about the site for the company’s UK Gigafactory.

CEPS (CEPS) has restructured its investment interests and the latest interims are the first with the ongoing businesses. Revenues increased by 65% to £9m and lower group overheads meant that operating profit before exceptionals improved from £357,000 to £855,000. Building services company Hickton increased its profit, as did Aford Awards. That offset a lower contribution from stretch fabric supplier Friedman’s.

Palm oil plantation operator Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) processed 12% more fresh fruit bunches in September 2021 than the year before, while the crude palm oil price was 76% higher than the same month last year. The new cashew plant should be up and running in October. Dekel is on course to be profitable this year.

MAIN MARKET

NMCN (NMCN) has appointed Grant Thornton as administrator. Galliford Try (GFRD) has acquired the company’s water sector businesses, which have annual revenues of £100m, for £1m in cash.

Reserve power generator Mast Energy Developments (MAST) has completed the acquisition of Rochdale Power. This is the third site in the portfolio of sites under development that will have a total capacity of 18.4 MW.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 7 June 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) is raising up to £6.88m at 59.5p a share via a placing and crowdfunding offer. The directors and Michael Spencer have invested £1.43m in the placing. The rest of the cash will come via the crowdfunding with Seedrs. The financing will only go ahead if a minimum of £3m is raised. The wine maker wants to increase the scale of its winery so it can process more fruit and complete the planting of new acreage. Management also wants to improve the e-commerce capabilities. A new asset-based financing facility of up to £15m has been secured and it will refinance the HSBC debt. Chapel Down increased its revenues from continuing operations from £10.1m to £13.3m in 2020. The underlying pre-tax profit was trebled from £308,000 to £955,000.

TECC Capital (TEC) is a new shell that is seeking to buy technology or cannabis businesses. There is a wide list of potential sub-sectors that will be considered, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, telematics, life sciences, including cannabis products, cyber security and e-commerce, which includes the Internet of Things. TECC raised £1.1m, after expenses at 5p a share. There is pro forma cash of £1.15m, which is equivalent to just over 3.8p a share. Even so, the share price ended the week at 10p. Chris Akers owns 9.9%.

Pioneer Media Holdings Inc (PNER) is a Canada-based investment company with investments in eSports and mobile gaming businesses. It already has a portfolio of ten companies and a Canadian Stock Exchange listing. The shares floated at 45p each and they closed the week at 48p each.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) is raising £850,000 at 1.75p a share. That is at a 12.5% discount to the market price. Gledhow had net assets of £2.35m at the end of March 2021, including £374,000 in cash. That means it is a significant discount to net assets of nearly 4.8p a share. That figure will be significantly diluted by the new share issue. Gledhow does need to become bigger to warrant the quotation, though. Although it has a portfolio of investments, Gledhow would make a good shell for a business. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi has taken a 3.26% stake in Gledhow.

Non-executive director Dominic Burke has bought 10,000 shares in Newbury Racecourse (NYR) at 582.5p each. The racecourse will be able to have spectators at its 10 June meeting and if there is further easing of lockdown then the hotel and events businesses can reopen. Newbury Racecourse will continue to be loss making in the first half of this year. A joint venture has been set up with a subsidiary of Compass to provide catering for the racecourse and other businesses.

KR1 (KR1) has invested a further $200,000 in Automata, as part of a $2.4m financing. KR1 will receive five million ATA tokens and it already owned ten million tokens.

Startup Giants (SUG) increased revenues from £45,000 to £87,000 in 2020. Higher costs meant that the loss increased. However, there was a £9,000 cash inflow from operating activities. There was net cash of £651,000 at the end of 2020.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that initial drilling of the Cottesloe silver project, which is close to the Red Setter project.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised nearly £80,000 at 28.5p a share.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) directors Alistair Currie and Ed Jenkins have each bought 18,400 shares at 43.25p each.  Currie owns 3.67% and Jenkins holds 0.75%. Chairman Jonathan Bixby has bought 1,000 shares in NFT Investments (NFT) at 2.9p each. Iain Livingston, the father of S-Ventures (SVEN) chief executive Scott Livingston, has sold 150,000 shares at an average price of 23p a share. Scott Livingston owns 49.1% and his family a further 3.5%.

AIM

Arecor Therapeutics (AREC) takes existing pharma products and reformulates them for new uses or to make them more effective. A placing raised £18.3m, after expenses, at 226p a share. The main focus is diabetes. Arecor’s insulin program AT247 is an ultra-rapid acting meal-time insulin product, while AT278 is an ultra-concentrated rapid acting insulin development, which could be used with miniaturised insulin pump delivery devices. AT299 is a co-formulation of pramlintide and insulin. These fast-acting insulins have an addressable market worth $6.4bn. There have been positive clinical studies for AT247. A phase II study should provide results in 24 months and that would be the point when a partner would be secured.

Artisanal Spirits Company (ART) owns the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SWMS) and it raised £13.2m after expenses at 112p a share, which was at the bottom of the 112p a share to 121p a share price range. First quarter sales in 2021 improved from £2.9m to £3.4m, even though venues and events revenues continued to be well down during the period. There was cask whisky and bottled stock of £21.7m at the end of 2020. That is the main asset in the balance sheet and an independent valuation believes that this stock is worth £9m more than book value – based on an orderly liquidation.

Franchised lettings agency Belvoir (BLV) has acquired The Nottingham Building Society’s mortgage and protection services business for £600,000. This year’s operating profit is expected to be £175,000. The deal could add 1% to earnings in a full year.

Coral Products (CRU) had £3.8m in the bank at the end of April 2021. That should be boosted by the Haydock freehold sale, which should be completed in the second half. In the year to April 2021, revenues from continuing operations increased from £8.7m to £10.7m. Even excluding the profit on disposals of £2.3m, the pre-tax profit was £700,000. There will be a final dividend of 0.5p a share.

CyanConnode (CYAN) has raised £3.15m at 9.5p, taking advantage of the strength of its share price. This was a small premium to the market price. CyanConnode could have made progress in the smart meter market without the additional cash, but this will help to accelerate its growth.

Cleantech company Verditek (VDTK) is raising up to £500,000 through a bond offering 7% interest, secured against the assets of the company. The offer is via Crowd for Angels, which is underwriting the first £225,000 of the two-year bond. Verditek wants to expand its Italian facility so that it can satisfy international contracts for its lightweight, flexible solar panels. The focus is the solar operations, but there are also minority stakes in BBR Filtration and Industrial Climate Solutions Inc.

Housebuilder Springfield Properties (SPR) says that its 2020-21 revenues and profit will be better than pre-Covid-19 levels. This was helped by two land sales. N+1 Singer forecasts an improvement in pre-tax profit from £10.2m to £18m.

Internet domain name registry and services provider CentralNic (CNIC) generated organic growth of 16% in the first quarter of 2021. Total revenues jumped from $56.9m to $84.4m, helped by acquisitions. Net debt is $79m.

MAIN MARKET

Sportech (SPO) and CML Microsystems (CML) both intend to switch to AIM. Sportech believes that the junior market is more suitable for its size and it will make it easier to complete transactions. CML also believes that AIM is more suitable following the sale of one of its divisions and it also expects its shareholders to benefit from the tax breaks.

Tarek Taksch has reduced its stake in Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCTP) from 7.75% to 5.43%. The company has entered a consultancy agreement with Voisin Consulting, which will help with regulation and development plans for OCT461201, a treatment for ailments associated with IBS.

Shefa Gems (SEFA) is demerging its gems business, because it will take longer than expected to exploit the assets, and turning itself into a shell. Existing shareholders will receive shares in the gems business. There will be a 100-for-one share consolidation and then the company will raise $1.05m (£756,000) at 3.53p a share. The name will be changed to Alef Bet Advanced Technologies and seek an acquisition in web technology and software.

Imperial X (CDL) has raised £2m at 3p a share as part of its move from Aquis to the standard list. The resources company is changing its name to Cloudbreak Discoveries.

Motor dealer Caffyns (CFYN) manged to improve its underlying profit from £251,000 to £1.88m last year, even though revenues fell from £195.8m to £165.1m. Net debt was £10.3m at the end of March 2021. There has been a property valuation that shows the portfolio is worth £12.3m more than book value. Excluding that surplus, NAV is £27.6m.

National Word (NWOR) has already secured annualised savings of £4m from the JPI Media acquisition and is on course to secure savings of at least £5m. The online audience is increasing, and monthly content revenues are being generated from Google and Facebook. Overall revenues increased by 18% in April and May. The fastest growth is from digital.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 May 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Virgata has published its offer document for the 50p a share bid for Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) and the first acceptance date is 27 May. Walls & Future REIT management are still arguing that the bid is too low because it is at less than 50% of NAV. Virgata points out that shareholders would not be able to sell their shares in the market for anywhere near NAV and that costs, including director pay, exceed income. Liquidity is certainly and that means that it has been difficult to raise cash to scale up the business.

Samarkand (SMK) is making its first acquisition following its admission to the Aquis Apex segment. The cross-border trading group is paying £2.41m in cash and shares (at 139.67p each) for Zita West Products and 51% of Babawest, where a further £400,000 will be loaned. Zita West Products supplies nutritional supplements for fertility and pregnancy, and it has worked with Samarkand for more than three years. Babawest supplies nutritional products for mothers and babies. In the year to September 2020, Zita West Products made an adjusted pre-tax profit of £241,000 on revenues of £854,000. Interim revenues were 60% ahead at £636,000. Samarkand can use its ecommerce technology and contacts in China to grow sales.

Third quarter revenues dipped at National Milk Records (NMRP), but like-for-like revenues were 1% greater at £5.42m. That excludes the former heat detection operations. The growth has come from newer areas, such as Johne’s and surveillance testing. There was a small decline in milk recording revenues, but they are recovering and the next quarter comparisons will not be as strong.

British Virgin Islands-based technology-focused shell Boanerges Ltd plans to float on 17 May. It appears that the share issue will be relatively small because Richard Griffiths will have his stake diluted from 75% to 71.7%. Internet of Things, big data and telematics are some of the areas where the directors are seeking acquisitions.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) is drawing down £15m from its infrastructure investment facility, which means that all £40m will have been drawn down. This will be invested in the company’s cancer treatment facilities.

Sativa Wellness (SWEL) increased 2020 revenues by 38% to £1.99m. Transaction costs increased the loss from £3.8m to £4.8m. There are 30 wellness clinics in operation, and they are adding to the range of tests on top of the Covid-19 tests. The benefits of CBD products launched last year should show through in 2021.

URA Holdings has distributed its shares in Ananda Developments (ANA) to its own shareholders. This has increased the stakes of directors Charles Morgan (to 8.65%), Melissa Sturgess (to 13.2%) and Peter Redmond (to 1.47%).

Western Selection (WESP) has increased its stake in electrical and gas services provider Bilby (BILB) from 11.93% to 12.18%. This was before the trading statement that revealed that Bilby generated 2020-21 revenues of £60m and EBITDA of £3m. Net debt was £2.7m at the end of March 2021, prior to commencing paying £1m of VAT liabilities. The full yar results will be published in early July.

Christopher Potts has taken a 5.94% stake in DiscovOre (ORE).

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) non-executive director Bryan Burrough has acquired 8,600 shares at 737.5p each.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has raised £3m at 15p a share and every two shares will be issued a warrant exercisable at 25p. Chief executive Scott Livingston invested £500,000 in the placing and his stake is 49.1%. Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised nearly £75,000 at 3.2p a share.

AIM

Virgin Wines (VINO) says that sales and profit are ahead of expectations in the year to June 2021. Liberum had forecast revenues of £70.3m, up from £56.5m last year, and the outcome is expected to be at least £73m. The easing of lockdowns could hamper growth, but the expanded customer base will help Virgin to continue to grow.

Bars operator Nightcap (NGHT) is making its first acquisition since joining AIM. Nightcap is paying £2.5m for Adventure Bars Group with £1m in shares being paid initially and up to £1.5m (at the same share price) dependent on performance in the two years from 1 July 2021. The cost is much higher than that because the acquisition comes with around £4.3m of borrowings, of which between £1.28m and £1.78m will be repaid and a £110,000 convertible (at 21p a share) issued to the lender. Nightcap is trying to raise a further £4m.

IPTV technology developer Mirada (MIRA) says trading was in line with expectations in the year to March 2020. That means that revenues were around £12m and the loss was around £3m. Trading improved during the second half and revenues were higher than in the first half. New opportunities mean that Mirada should improve its performance this year. Demand is building up in Asia.

A positive trading statement by concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises (SOM) has led to a 15% upgrade in forecasts earnings to 39.9 cents a share. That has led to an increase in the expected dividend to 27.9 cents a share. Trading has been strong in the US, while Europe and Australia are recovering.

Coral Products (CRU) is paying an interim dividend 0.5p a share and the ex-dividend date is 13 May. Coral is selling the Haydock facility for £3.5m, but has to spend £650,000 on the roof before the sale is completed. Book value is £2.5m. Coral will lose the £300,000 a year of rental income.

Appreciate Group (APP) says 2020-21 figures are in line with expectations. Even so, the underlying pre-tax profit of the financial services and savings business has been slightly upgraded by Edison. The pre-tax profit is still likely to slump from £11.4m to £4.5m, before recovering to £7.2m in 2021-22. Digital sales are becoming increasingly important.

Trinity Exploration and Production (TRIN) has acquired a 100% interest in the PS-4 lease block, onshore Trinidad, for $3.5m. Average daily production was 83 barrels during 2020.

Software company WANdisco (WAND) increased its loss in 2020-21, but it is expected to fall sharply this year. That is because revenues are forecast to jump from $10.5m to $37m. WANdisco could even move into profit next year. The LIVEdata software is thought to be the only credible petabyte data analysis product capable of migrating data to the cloud on the market.

One Media IP Group (OMIP) has acquired the writer’s share of producer royalties, which covers more than 250 tracks by Kid Creole and the Coconuts. This deal has been done through Harmony IP, which gives artists the chance to access future income by selling a portion of their rights. This high profile deal could attract other artists to the Harmony IP proposition.

Initial drilling results from the Hamersley iron project owned by Alien Metals (UFO) shows new iron ore zone targets in the Hancock area of the project. The interpretation work outlines much larger target areas. Results from 36 more drill holes are due later this month.

Bacanora Lithium (BCN) says that there has been a 67.5p a share cash bid approach from Ganfeng International Trading. The bid is near to the share price high at the beginning of the year, which was the highest it has been for nearly three years. Ganfeng owns 50% of the Sonora lithium project and already holds 28.9% of Bacanora.

Anglo African Oil & Gas (AAOG) has lost its AIM quotation because it has failed to acquire a new business. It has entered into an option to acquire a 25% interest in the Saltfleetby gas field in east Lincolnshire for £8m in shares. The deal is dependent on at least £1m being raised and the shares becoming quoted on a recognised market.

Nu-Oil and Gas (NUOG) has left AIM, but it continues to make progress with the acquisition of Guardian Maritime. The cash generative business sells a retro-fitted system for ships that stops pirates boarding vessels. This deal should enable the shares to be admitted to the standard list by the end of June.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell East Star Resources (EST) commenced trading on 4 May, and it is seeking resources opportunities. The shell raised £1.73m net of expenses at 5p a share. The existing shares were previously issued at 1p each. The share price ended the week at 6.25p.

Tirupati Graphite (TGR) has developed a graphene-aluminium composite. This has conductivity properties comparable to copper. Tirupati is talking with potential customers who would want to replace copper because of the composite’s lower weight. Power and propulsion systems are one area where there is interest.

Cardiff Property (CDFF) has increased the interim dividend from 4.8p a share to 5p a share. There was a dip in pre-tax profit from £387.000 to £365,000, but there was a lower tax charge. The Thames Valley property markets has shown signs of slowing down and rental income will be lower this year. The current share price is 1850p, compared with a NAV of 2445p a share – although there is a potential tax liability on any disposal of the investment in Campmoss of 265p a share.

MGC Pharmaceuticals (MXC) says pre-clinical and clinical results for ArtemiC Rescue, which targets viral infections with inflammatory complications, has demonstrated an ability to decrease the markers of inflammation. Phase II clinical trials showed that the treatment could hasten recovery in Covid-19 patients with mild to moderate illness, which should offset the problem of long Covid.

CBD products supplier Zoetic International (ZOE) is raising £6m at 60p each and this will be used to terminate the financing agreement with LDA Capital. That will cost £1.2m and the rest will go on the US rollout of Chill products and launching new products.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 15 March 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Rogue Baron (SHNJ) joined the Aquis Stock Exchange on Friday. The company is a spirits brand developer, and its focus is the Shinju Japanese whisky brand and specialist tequila Copa Imperial Tequila. The idea is to build these and other niche brands to the point where larger drinks companies will want to acquire the brand. There was £755,000 raised at 7p a share. The share price ended the first day of trading at 8p (7p/9p).

Gunsynd (GUN) has already more than trebled the value of its investment In Rogue Baron, which was worth more than £1.8m, including accrued convertible interest, at the time of flotation. Gunsynd holds a 28.5% stake. Chris Akers has increased his stake in Gunsynd from 5.36% to 6.19%.

Sativa Wellness (SWEL) has taken more than £1.1m of bookings for its Covid-19 testing clinic business. This has been achieved by the Bath clinic and a further clinic has opened, plus 13 in-pharmacy and two mobile clinics. There could be 30 clinics by the end of April, ready for the easing of lockdown.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $200,000 into Automata Network’s seed funding round.

IamFire (FIRE) made a loss of £162,000 in the six months to October 2020. During the period, investments were made in WeShop and Bio2pure.

Upper Thames Holdings (UPPT) has net liabilities of £83,000 at the end of 2020 and since then £516,000 has been raised. The board will seek approval to change the company’s name to Valereum Blockchain.

Quetzal Capital (WENP) is raising £3m at 4p a share and issuing enough warrants exercisable at 8p to raise a further £3m. This will help to fund a reverse takeover or investment. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £255,000 at 7p a share. Bluebell Investment and Consulting has invested £25,000 in Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) at 13.5p a share, which represents a 4.9% stake. Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has raised a total of £800,000 at 6.5p a share from placings.

Western Selection (WESP) has increased its stake in Bilby (BILB) by 698,737 shares at an average share price of 35.11p each. This takes the stake to 12.2%.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) has appointed SP Angel as broker.

AIM

AMTE Power (AMTE) raised more than initially expected in the flotation and this should provide the cash required for investment in the battery cells development business. AMTE raised £11.3m at 175p a share. The share price jumped to 233.5p on the first day of dealings. The battery cells nearing commercialisation are aimed at the high-performance vehicles, oil and gas equipment and energy storage markets. There are currently 16 potential clients that products are being developed for.

Engineer Avingtrans (LON: AVG) is raising £35m from the sale of the Peter Brotherhood business that came with the £52.7m acquisition of Hayward Tyler in September 2017. Peter Brotherhood was estimated to be worth £9.3m of that cost. Borrowings will be paid off. Net cash is expected to be £22m at the end of May 2021.

Kape Technologies (KAPE) is acquiring Webselenese for $149.1m. This provides the group with a consumer platform for privacy and security content, which will generate information and data on consumer trends. In 2020, the acquired business generated revenues of $64.5m and EBITDA of $30.7m. In 2021, Kape is expected to increase earnings from 15.8p a share to 25.4p a share.

Billing and customer relationship management software provider Cerillion (CER) has won a Middle East contract worth £5m over five years. The implementation will take up to 18 months.

Getech (GTC) is raising up to £6.25m via a placing and open offer at 22p a share. The cash will be invested in developing hydrogen products and services.

Online merchandising technology provider Attraqt (ATQT) improved its full year revenues by 8% to £21m, helped by an initial contribution from AI firm Aleph. The loss was reduced from £4.4m to £2.6m. Annualised recurring revenues were £21.1m at the end of 2020. A £500,000 loss is forecast for 2021 before a move into profit in 2022.

Cloud-based PCI payment services provider PCI Pal (PCIP) is gaining momentum in the US. In the six months to December 2020, revenues rose by 56% to £3.2m. More of these revenues are coming via channel partners. Total annual contract revenues were 59% ahead at £8.3m. There should be enough cash in the bank to get the company to the point where it is generating cash.

Shoe Zone (SHOE) says that it does not expect to pay a dividend until at least 2025. The footwear retailer expects to continue to lose money this year. The stores are closed at the moment.ch

Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) has agreed to sell a specialist collection of its products through Marks and Spencer (MKS). This follows deals with Next and John Lewis.

Coral Products (CRU) is repaying its £1.6m property mortgage out of the proceeds of its recent disposal. The £2.5m valuation of the Haydock site is expected to be increased in the next accounts. Coral has also repaid £500,000 of its CBIL loan with the other £433,333 likely to be paid before the year-end.

Business restructuring company Begbies Traynor (BEG) is acquiring of David Rubin & Partners for up to £25m. This takes the group’s market share to 12%. There is an initial £12m payable and the rest depends on performance over five years. Begbies raised £22m at 105.5p a share to help finance the deal, which should be immediately earnings enhancing.

Arden has upgraded its Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) forecasts due to higher crude palm oil and palm kernel oil prices. This means that Arden expects Dekel to be profitable in 2021.

MAIN MARKET

Avation (AVAP) is raising £7.5m at 110p a share and this provides additional cash at a difficult time for the airline industry. NAV was previously 174p a share. Avation could continue to lose money for the next two years Net debt will still be more than $1bn.

Challenger Acquisitions (CHAL) is entering into a deal to acquire Cindrigo Energy, which owns Cindrigo Ltd, the company where a previous offer lapsed. The business is a developer of renewable energy projects using Swedish expertise in waste-to-energy and biomass. The shareholders of the target company will own 96.5% of the enlarged business.

Kanabo (KNB) has signed a production and supply agreement with PharmaCann Polska for cartridges containing Kanabo’s medicinal cannabis formulations. The initial production capacity is up to 36,000 cartridges. FastForward Innovations (FFWD) has sold its stake in Kanabo for a profit of £140,000. FastForward has also sold its Cellular Goods (CBX) for a £54,000 gain.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has raised £26.8m at 200p a share and this cash will fund the purchase of a further stake in Pluto Digital Assets. The £7.3m investment in Pluto will maintain the Argo stake at 25%. AIM-quoted Pires Investments (PIRI) owns 6.4% of Pluto.

The Financial Reporting Council has started an investigation into the audit of motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) by Deloitte for 2017 and 2018.

Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM) is increasing its first quarterly dividend by 30% to 13 cents a share. The strategy is to pay 30% of average cash generated by operating activities in the previous four quarters.

Pharmaceuticals developer Nuformix (NFX) is raising £1.565m at 2p a share. This cash will finance preclinical studies for the NXP002 inhaled formulation for lung disease and further research and development of formulations. Nuformix is waiting to see whether Oxilio will option the NXP001 cancer treatment. This option expires on 24 March.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 8 March 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Installation services provider and engineer Field Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) reported a dip in interim revenues due to Covid-19 and lack of work in the water sector. In the six months to November 2020, revenues halved from £11.5m to £5.7m and the loss increased to £209,000. Net assets improved from £3.87m to £3.93m with cash increasing from £4.34m to £5.6m. There are signs of water projects being announced.

Gunsynd (GUN) says its investee company Rogue Baron should join the Access segment on around 12 March. Gunsynd will own 28.48% of the drinks company and retain £111,000 of convertible loan notes.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) says that a £40m tranche of two-year notes is expected to take place in Malta in the middle of March. A further £60m should be listed within two months of the first tranche. A subsidiary of Forbes will receive a one-off fee of 2% of the funds raised.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had net assets of 57.96p a share at the end of February 2021. There was cash of £2.68m. It has subsequently sold the investment in Anthesis Consulting for £1.15m. This was previously valued at £705,000.

Upper Thames Holdings (UPPT) is changing its name to Valereum Blockchain. The company has initiated the launch of the first series of securitised derivative tokens on a regulated cryptocurrency exchange, which should happen within two months. This will enable trading in currency and other products.

KR1 (KR1) has raised nearly $256,000 by selling tokens in Stake DAO. KR1 still has the rights to more than 700,000 SDT tokens and these will vest over 23 months. KR1 has spent $75,000 of the cash on a stake in LazyLedger Labs.

Exploration by Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has identified high grade silver and base metals potential at the Cottesloe project in Patersons Range Western Australia.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is linking with 10%-owned Indorse to launch a Non-Fungible Token development studio in Gibraltar.

Quetzal Capital (WENP) has appointed Peterhouse as corporate adviser and raised £432,000 at 0.7p a share. Chris Akers will own a 9.4% stake.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has appointed First Sentinel as corporate adviser and trading in the share has recommenced. Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has appointed Optiva Securities as broker, and it hopes to move to the standard list in the second quarter.

World High Life has changed its name to Love Hemp Group (LIFE). It has appointed Hannam and Partners as financial advisor. Chris Cleverly and Elias Pungong have left the board.

AIM

Coral Products (CRU) has completed the sale of two plastic mouldings businesses and acquired Customised Packaging for £1.25m in cash and shares issued at 11p each. If 2021 profit is greater than £250,000 the vendors will receive 30% of the excess profit (capped at £250,000). Customised Packaging generated revenues of £2.3m in 2020. The Manchester-based business designs plastic products using sheet extrusion technology and vacuum forming capability. WH Ireland has been appointed as nominated adviser and broker.

Interims from parcel and freight delivery company DX (LSE:DX.) showed a 7% rise in revenues to £182.7m with strong growth in freight offsetting a fall in the express division. That enabled DX to move from loss to a pre-tax profit of £3.8m. New depots are being opened because of the demand for the company’s services, while the document exchange business is being revamped. Non-executive director Paul Goodson has acquired 176,810 shares at an average price of 28.25p.

In 2020, Franchise Brands (FRAN) improved pre-tax profit from £4.07m to £4.84m, helped by a full contribution from Willow Pumps. The dividend was increased from 0.95p a share to 1.1p a share. Income returned to growth in the fourth quarter and there has been a good start to 2021. That sparked a forecast upgrade for pre-tax profit to £6.1m.

The bid for AFH Financial (AFHP) has been increased from 463p a share to 480p a share.

BlueRock Diamonds (BRD) has raised £1.5m at 40p a share. This cash will be used to complete the weather delayed installation of the new processing plant at the Kareevlei diamond mine so that annual production can be raised to one million tonnes. There have been 29 production days lost to rain. The first two diamond tenders of 2021 have achieved an average diamond price of $423/carat, which is higher than the average price assumed for the full year.

Maestrano (MNO) has taken advantage of its strong share price to raise £2m at 13p a share. This will help to grow revenues of the Corridor.ai digital surveying platform for the rail sector. There is still manual rail survey business that can be done digitally.

In 2020, the revenues of MTI Wireless Edge (MWE) rose by 2% to $40.9m, while pre-tax profit jumped from $3.41m to $4.06m. The net cash position was better than expected at $9.44m. The dividend has been increased by one-quarter to 2.5 cents a share. The antennas business is winning larger 5G orders and the electronic components division is converting design wins into production orders.

Virgin Wines (VINO) ended the week at 225.5p a share, having floated at 197p a share.

Prospex Energy (PXEN) has completed the purchase of a 49.9% stake in the El Romeral gas and power operation in Spain. There is potential to increase production from the three producing gas wells and this could also help increase the amount of electricity generated from the 8.1MW power station, which is running well below capacity. An offshore gas well should start production later this year.

Safestay (SSTY) has sold the smallest of its three hostels in Barcelona for the book value of €900,000. Safestay is due to the final consideration of €1.18m for one of the other Barcelona hostels.

MAIN MARKET

Caerus Mineral is acquiring New Cyprus Copper and joining the standard list. A placing has raised £2.25m at 10p. There is a portfolio of exploration licences in Cyprus. There is potential for near-term mining of resources on closed copper mines and extensions of existing orebodies.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) says from this month chief executive Peter Wall will be paid in Bitcoin and other employees will be given the chance to follow suit. Argo held 599 Bitcoin at the end of February, having mined 129 (equivalent to £4.34m) during the month.

Emmerson (EML) plans to switch from the standard list to AIM ahead of the commencement of construction of its mine at the Khemisset potash project.

HeiQ (HEIQ) is acquiring 51% of Chrisal NV, a profitable industrial biotechnology company that has developed a symbiotic interior cleaner called Synbio with enhanced cleaning performance.

Castillo Copper (CCZ) expects the modelling of a JORC resource for the Big One deposit should be completed shortly. Drilling will resume when the wet season ends.

Boston International Holdings (BIH) is not going ahead with the reverse takeover of invoice factor Alexanders Discount. The shares remain suspended.

Starcrest Education The Belt and Road (OBOR) says that the purchase of 60% of The London School of Science and Technology is unlikely to happen before June.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 28 December 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

TruSpine Technologies (TSP) has delayed the application for FDA approval of its Cervi-LOK spinal device for up to three months. This is due to a lack of testing time because of Covid-19. Computer modelling has enabled the company to make minor modifications, which widens the market for the device. A £250,000 cash injection is expected by 5 January.

Daniel Thwaites (THW) reopened its pubs in early July and up until the end of September sales were running at three-quarters of the previous year. Due to the lockdown in the first three months of the period, the interim revenues were 59% lower at £21.8m and the business moved into loss. Net debt was £66.6m at the end of September 2020. There are total borrowing facilities of £90m.

KR1 (KR1) has made two more investments. There is a $200,000 investment in Tidal Finance in return for 222,222,222.22 Tidal tokens. A further $200,000 is invested in HydraDX and the number of tokens has not been determined as yet.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has more than £1m of cryptocurrency and tokens with a further $127,000 of RIF tokens due to vest over 23 months.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has drilled 11 holes at the Specimen Hill prospect in Queensland. Gold/ copper/silver mineralisation was intersected in the first three holes. The other eight holes have similar characteristics.

Belvedere Leisure (BELV) has entered into an exclusivity agreement to purchase the 160 acre site known as Barnsoul Park in Dumfries and Galloway for £1.4m. The deal is subject to due diligence and 12 weeks after completion there are plans to install at least 28 lodges as part of an upgrade of the park. Bookings will be taken for June 2021 onwards if the deal goes ahead. In two years, there should be more than 150 lodges.

Upper Thames Holdings (UPPT) has non-binding heads of agreement for the purchase of a 10% stake in Sweden-based Ridercam, which supplies mobile camera systems for theme park rides.

Gunsynd (GUN) says that Angold Resources has completed the acquisition of Federal Gold Corp and trading in Angold shares will begin on the TSX Venture Exchange on 31 December. Gunsynd owns 712,500 shares.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) has appointed Allenby Capital as its corporate adviser.

AIM

Applegreen (APGN) is recommending a €5.75 a share bid from the company’s founders, which values the company at €718.1m. The roadside convenience retailer floated on AIM in 2015 at 277p a share. Applegreen has 559 sites.

Coral Products (CRU) its core mouldings business at Haydock and Interpack to One51 ES Plastics for £7.9m. That is nearly as much as the current market capitalisation, while pro forma net cash is expected to be £6.6m. One51 acquired Straight in 2014. Coral will still own the Haydock freehold and the annual rent will be £300,000. The deal required shareholder approval because it is deemed to constitute a change of business. The remaining subsidiaries are Tatra Rotalac, which produces plastic extrusions and mouldings, and Global One Pak, which supplies lotion pumps and trigger sprays. They generated full year revenues of £5.4m and are profitable prior to central costs. Pro forma NAV is £13.6m.

Equatorial Palm Oil (PAL) has agreed to acquire Capital Metals for £15.8m. The company is raising £2.09m at 12p a share (following a 20-for-one consolidation). Capital has an interest in the Eastern Minerals project in Sri Lanka. There is a JORC resource of 17.2Mt with an average grade of 17.6% total heavy minerals. The Environmental Impact Assessment should be published soon. First production could be in 2022.

Hargreaves Services (HSP) has sold its remaining speciality coal stocks to its German joint venture company for £24m. Hargreaves will market the coal on the joint venture’s behalf for commission. There will be a £3m goodwill write-off, but the profit impact should be neutral.

Duke Royalty Ltd (DUKE) has exited its investment in IT firm Welltel (Ireland) for £15.4m. This represents an IRR of 27%. There have been follow-on investments in two other royalty companies. Duke has invested £3.1m in recreational vehicle parts wholesaler MRDB, which will use the cash to help buy vendor loan notes for £4.9m. Duke will own 30% of MRDB. Monthly payments will be £147,000. A further £1m has been invested in Irish insurance brokerage company BHPC.

IXICO (IXI) has secured a £3.4m contract to provide data analytics services for rare neurodegenerative condition, SCA3 (Machado-Joseph disease). This will last more than four years.

Driver Group (DRV) chairman Steven Norris has bought 46,000 shares at 53.5p each. He owns 293,062 shares.

Sutton Harbour (SUH) has purchased a 1.5 acre site to the east of Sutton Harbour. Two residential developments totalling 200 units are planned for the site. A planning application has been submitted for another residential and commercial development at Sugar Quay. The company has also gained permission for event pontoons in the harbour.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has not received a definitive offer and the board has decided to end bid talks. It has also failed to secure the cash it requires and KRE Corporate Recovery has been appointed to advise on alternatives, such as selling assets. There is a possibility that an administrator may be appointed.

TMT Investments (TMT) received $40.9m for its stake in CRM company Pipedrive Inc and this increases its cash to $42m. It will repay the shareholder loan of $3m.

MAIN MARKET

Residential developer One Heritage Group (OHG) has raised £930,000 at 10p a share when it joined the standard list. This valued the company at £3m. The shares ended the week at 11p. The initial focus is north west England and One Heritage redevelops and refurbishes buildings and has a lettings operation. The company has a marketing network in Hong Kong and also sells developments to institutional investors.

Standard list shell Pineapple Power Corporation (PNPL) raised £1.3m at 3p a share. The focus is renewable and clean energy. The share price increased to 3.25p.

Construction and water infrastructure company nmcn (NMCN) says that its full year loss will be £16.5m. That includes £5.3m of prior year adjustments. There should be a small cash outflow. The one bright area is telecoms, where capital investment by clients increased. The order book is valued at £200m. Shore Capital has been appointed broker.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 16 December 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) is investing in new portfolio company The Security Awareness Group Ltd (TSAG), which was established to acquire an existing business that has been trading for more than two decades. It provides training to ensure than employees are aware of cyber security and potential for human error. The £405,000 investment in loans, preference and ordinary shares, will enable the acquisition to be completed and leave Capital for Colleagues with a 34% stake. Management will own 51% and an employee ownership trust the rest.

Fuel emulsifier technology developer SulNOx is joining NEX on 17 December and it will be valued at £42.3m at 50p a share. SulNOx originally said it planned to join NEX during the spring when it raised £550,000 in pre-IPO funds. It has developed a process that can emulsify hydrocarbon fuels, such as diesel and heavy oils. The products can reduce Nitrous Oxide, Carbon Dioxide and Sulphur Oxide gases and particulates, as well as making combustion more efficient. The emulsifier can be used in existing engines.

Health property developer Ashley House (ASH) is exploring opportunities for modular affordable housing. Overheads have been reduced but the company says that it retains its core team and has appointed Paul Williamson as head of the modular activities. Adrian Wright, who is the largest shareholder with a 13.4% stake, has been appointed to the board.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has met with the management of AIM-quoted investee company Greatland Gold (GGP) and it says that it believes that the Havieron gold/copper deposit may host more than 20 million ounces. Further share acquisitions are possible. Primorus currently owns 37 million shares at an average cost of 1.71p each, which is slightly higher than the market price. Newcrest Mining is farming-in to Havieron. Six rigs will be working on the project over the coming months.

Gunsynd (GUN) had cash of £568,000 out of total net assets of £2.36m at the end of July 2019. Gunsynd did raise £498,000 from a share issue during the period. There was an unrealised loss on investments of £224,000 partly offset by a realised profit of £35,000. There was a £400,000 cash outflow from operations. The stake in Oyster Oil and Gas was valued at £350,000 and Gunsynd has subsequently agreed to sell the shares for a total of £260,000. Production sharing contracts for four blocks in Djibouti are not included in the transaction.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) is expanding the capacity of the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania. A 100 tonne per hour mining dredge should be operational by the end of the year.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) is increasing its interim dividend from 7p a share to 9p a share and this goes ex-dividend on 19 December. The final dividend will be maintained at 14p a share.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has sold its stake in Tirupati Graphite for £86,844. The initial investment in 2016 was £40,000.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a net asset value of 261.97p a share at the end of November 2019.

The acquisition of Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) has been completed and trading on NEX will end on 10 January.

Jersey-based Zandra Holdings has increased its stake in Formation Group (FRM) from 74.62% to 89.99%.

AIM

Lawyer Gately (GTLY) is acquiring T-three Group, which offers human resources services for £3.4m. Pro forma sales from continuing operations were £4.2m and EBITDA was £700,000 and the deal should be immediately earnings enhancing. This business fits with Kiddy which was acquired last year.

Feed, fuel and food distributor NWF (NWF) has leased another warehouse on the back of a five-year contract with a food customer. This will add 37,000 pallet spaces in Crewe, which will be predominantly used up by this contract. There is a five-year break clause on the lease. There will be £500,000 of start-up costs this year. Two fuel distributors have been acquired for £5m in recent weeks. The contributions from these will offset the additional cost in the year to May 2020. The feed business has grown its volumes and market share. Interim profit should be better than the weak comparisons.

Pelatro (PTRO) has won another contract. This is for providing additional campaign management services to an existing telecoms client. The deal involves monthly revenues with a share of gains. It is worth $1m over three years.

Investment in connected devices technology is starting to pay off for Vianet (VNET) with the revenues and profit of the smart machines division growing strongly. Additional contracts have been won that provide additional business over the next five years. These contracts alone cover 20,000 units. Technology upgrades are helping the smart zones division to retain and generate more revenues from pub clients. The US smart zones business made its maiden profit in the period. The interim dividend is maintained at 1.7p a share.

Versarien (VRS) has enough cash for its current requirements. The graphene products developer had £2.64m in cash at the end of September 2019. There is an invoice discounting facility available to provide additional liquidity. There is £898,000 of borrowings which are being paid back at around £30,000/month. At the current rate of cash outflow, the cash should last around one year, although a company is not going to wait until it runs out to raise more cash. The hard wear components business is generating cash, but the plastics business has been a drain. There are still plenty of opportunities for Versarien, including in China.

Open Orphan (ORPH) is merging with hVIVO (HVO) via an offer for 2.47 shares for each hVIVO share. Both companies are clinical research organisations. There is limited overlap in the services offered.

Integumen (SKIN) has raised £1.37m at 1.5p a share. The company needs additional funds because a potential client is doing due diligence. Revenues are expected to quadruple to £4m in 2020. Capacity at the Labskin laboratory is being increased.

Audio equipment supplier Focusrite (TUNE) is holding a general meeting to increase the amount it is allowed to borrow from up to £15m to up to £60m. Net cash was £14.9m at the end of August 2019, but the company is keen to make acquisitions.

Digital chemistry analysis company Deepmatter (DMTR) says that AstraZeneca has agreed to use its DigitalGlassware technology in Sweden alongside its own automated compound synthesis platform. This is an initial trial to assess how the technologies can work together. Data capture by DigitalGlassware could reduce cost and time, as well as providing improved analysis.

Spitfire Oil Ltd (SRO) had cash of $2.1m at the end of June 2019. Spitfire has relinquished the Salmon Gums lignite licences. It is a shell and has to make an acquisition by 29 February or trading in the shares will be suspended. This seems likely. The there is six months to make an acquisition or lose the AIM quotation.

Coral Products (CRU) has gained approval to offset production from its plastics recycling plant against the plastic packaging waste levy. Production hours have been doubled and the equipment should be run 24 hours a day by the end of April.

FireAngel Safety Technology (FA.) expects to report a loss nearly double its previous expectations at between £2.6m and £2.9m. that is partly down to lower sales from higher margin products. The fire and smoke alarms company could still be profitable in 2020.

Packaging supplier Robinson (RBN) says that 2019 revenues are slightly lower than forecast but pre-tax profit will be better than expected at £2.2m.

Digital services provider The Panoply Holdings (TPX) reported a one-third increase in interim revenues to £13.4m and the public sector is becoming a greater percentage of revenues. The company is on course to move into profit this year. A pre-tax profit of £3m is forecast.

Wind sensor technology developer Windar Photonics (WPHO) is raising £1.41m at 27.5p a share. This follows the trading statement admitting that sales are disappointing.

India-focused online retailer Koov (KOOV) has been placed in administration because a funder failed to come up with the cash it promised.

MAIN MARKET

ASX-listed Adriatic Metals (ADT1) has joined the standard list. Adriatic has projects in Bosnia Herzegovina. The main focus is the Vares project, north of Sarajevo. There is lead, zinc, copper, silver, gold and barite.

Shefa Gems Ltd (SEFA) has announced a maiden resource for the Kishon Mid-Reach project. The contained revenues are $41/tonne, predominantly due to the Carmel Sapphire. The mining cost is estimated at $26/tonne and it could be reduced.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) has decided not to acquire Nordic Petroleum because of high costs. Work on the C-37 well in Azerbaijan should enable production of more than 250 barrels of oil a day.

Hadrian’s Wall Secured Investments Ltd (HWSL) says it should not continue in its current form due to the large discount to NAV. A review could end up with a decision to run down the company. Brett Miller has been appointed to the board. A new NAV figure has been delayed.

Ferro-Alloy Resources (FAR) says that a sharp fall in the vanadium price has hit short-term profitability and cash generation. It remains confident that the operations in southern Kazakhstan are still viable.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 26 August 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) grew revenues by one-third to £136,000 but the ethical housing provider moved from profit to loss. In the year to March 2019, revenues improved from £103,000 to £136,000. The main reason behind the reported loss was a reduction in the gain on revaluation of assets from £198,000 to £145,000. The NAV still increased from £3.25m to £3.31m. These figures were prior to the acquisition of a property in Didcot. There is a pipeline of other potential transactions.

Barkby Group (BARK) has appointed finnCap as its corporate adviser.

Peterhouse has resigned as corporate adviser to Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) and that follows the resignation of its auditor Crowe and the continued delays to the publication of the accounts for 2018. Peterhouse took over as corporate adviser from Daniel Stewart in March. Gamfook floated in December 2018.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has opened its latest centre in Reading. The company was previously known as Proton Partners International Ltd.

Henry Lees-Buckley is taking on the chief executive role at Sativa Group (SATI) and Geremy Thomas has moved to deputy chairman.

AIM  

Injection moulded plastic products Coral Products (CRU) returned to profit in the year to April 2019, although the underlying pre-tax profit only edged up from £568,000 to £580,000 because of a decline in exceptional costs. The second half was not as good as the first half, but cost cutting enabled a recovery at the end of the year. Net debt was £8.2m at the end of April 2019. There is no final dividend following the interim of 0.25p a share. Continuing problems at a major customer could continue to hamper progress. Equipment enabling recycling of plastic products is up and running. New products will be launched later this year, including roof tiles and road highway sound barriers.

International staffing provider Empresaria (EMR) had a tough first half, but despite this the company still expects to maintain its full year profit at £11.4m. Interim net fee income was 7% ahead but underlying pre-tax profit was one-fifth lower at £3.7m. That suggests a much stronger second half even though the German and Japanese businesses remain subdued, although they could start to recover. The diversification of the business in terms of sectors and geographies helps to offset the weakness in parts of the group. New chief executive Rhona Driggs is putting in place a new strategy, which should help next year’s figures.

Adamas Finance Asia Ltd (ADAM) has maintained its NAV at $1.10 a share (88p a share). Investee company Hong Kong Mining Holdings is still on course to restart mining operations and it is acquiring additional land for mining activities. Fook Lam Moon is assessing opportunities to expand its catering operations. The internal fit out for Infinity Capital’s Tellus Niseko project should be completed before the end of September.

MySale Group (MYSL) has raised £11.2m at 2p a share, which is a 58% discount to the market price. There will be £5.5m used to pay down bank facilities. The number of shares in issue is trebled. This follows a strategic review by the retailer, which is refocusing on Australasian operations and the selling down of stock. The cost base will be reduced.

Transport optimisation software and equipment supplier Tracsis (TRCS) grew its cash pile to £24m at the end of July 2019, even after paying around £9m on acquisitions. Pre-tax profit is in line with expectations at £9.4m, up from £8.5m.

Breedon Group (BREE) intends to change its tax domicile from Jersey to the UK. The company will still be incorporated in Jersey. The general meeting to gain approval to change the article of association will be held on 9 September.

Packaging supplier Robinson (RBN) improved gross margins by 12 percentage points to 19.7% in the first half, but that was partly offset by higher overheads. Pre-tax profit improved from £478,000 to £684,000. Net debt was £9.1m. The interim dividend is unchanged at 2.5p a share.

IT services provider Adept4 (AD4) is in talks to acquire CloudCoCo, which was set up by former sales directors of Redcentric. The deal would involve the issue of new shares that would nearly double the number in issue. The Business Growth Fund has agreed to sell £5m of unsecured loan notes to MXC Capital for £3.5m.

Data software and services provider D4T4 (D4T4) says that the figures will be second half weighted this year but not as much as last year.

Science Group (SAG) has increased its stake in Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) by subscribing £1m at 25p a share. This takes the stake to 52.3% (costing £6.9m) and this means that Frontier’s results will be consolidated. A standby facility is also being provided. Frontier’s cost base is being reduced.

Commodity trading and risk management software provider Brady (BRY) expects 2019 revenues to be around one-fifth lower than previous forecasts. That means that revenues are expected to decline from £23.2m in 2018 to £19m and this will lead to a loss of more than £4m.

Three directors have been removed from the board of Management Resource Solutions (MRS) and they have been replaced by John Copley and Robert Wall following a requisitioned general meeting.

Cancer therapies developer Scancell (SCLP) has initiated the UK SCIB1 phase 2 clinical trial for advanced melanoma, where SCIB1 is used in conjunction with the checkpoint inhibitor Pembrolizumab.  

The financial director of Maestrano (MNO) has resigned to take up a role in Australia. The software company continues to undertake due diligence on a potential acquisition. An Australian bank client has decided not to go ahead with a new banking platform. There should be enough cash to last into next year.

Cyber security company Osirium Technologies (OSI) has signed up the first customer for its Opus privileged process automation software, plus two customers for the PxM platform. The Opus client is an asset manager that is already a user of PxM.

Cellcast (CLTV) has called a general meeting on 6 September in order to approve the sale of its operations. The company will change its name to Vintana.

MAIN MARKET 

BATM (BVC) reported an improved interim profit, but that was due to a one-off unrealised gain after an investment in the Ador diagnostics joint venture. Revenues dipped from $58.2m to $56.2m. The second half performance will be more important. Revenues are expected to grow from $119.6m to $128.5m, with pre-tax profit jumping form $2m to $6.7m. There is further longer-term growth to come from both the biomedical and networking divisions. The recent fundraising means that there is plenty of cash to finance growth.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) is further increasing its capacity and this could make it the largest quoted cryptocurrency miner by next year.

Injection moulding and engineering company Tex Holdings (TXH) says net assets per share have fallen from 168p to 140p after it swung into loss last year. There is no final dividend. The plastics division is trading profitably and orders have improved at the engineering division.

Path Investments (PATH) plans to acquire FineGems Extraction Corporation, which has a 75% stake in a company that holds the Jagoda licence in Zambia. The assets are near to production. They are manganese ore and tourmaline deposits. The acquisition would leave existing shareholders with 50% of the enlarged share capital.

Gold explorer IMC Exploration (IMC) has raised £150,000 at 1p a share and has paid £27,000 of professional fees in shares. The cash will be spent on exploration and geological work on a tailings project in Avoca, County Wicklow.

Dev Clever (DEV) has appointed Novum Securities as joint broker and raised £436,000 at 3.4p a share. The consumer engagement systems company has secured a three-year agreement with Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, which will offer Dev Clever’s Engage gamification platform and its learning and development platform to retail customers.

 Andrew Hore 

CHOO Sees Significant Growth Potential Ahead

Jimmy Choo plc CHOO claims an excellent first half performance with margin expansion, impressive growth in China and a weak pound, all helping operating profit to rise by 42.6%.  Total revenue rose by 9.2% and adjusted earnings per share by 26.7%.  A strong start has been made to the second half and the company still sees significant growth potential ahead.

John Laing Group JLG Has more than tripled its profit before tax  for the half year to the 30th June with a rise from £32.6m to £108.3m. External assets under management rose by 12.5% and the yield from the investment portfolio rose from £11.4m to £18.3m An interim dividend of 1.85p per share will be paid in October.

CRH PLC. CRH First half profit before tax rose more than sixfold to 407m Euro and reported EBITDA more than doubled to 1.12 billion Euro. Sales were up by 35%  or 8% on a like for like basis. The interim dividend is being increased by 1.6% to 18.8p Early stage signs of economic recovery in Europe have been seen and further progress is expected in the second half, with continuing positive momentum in the Americas.

STV Group STVG is enjoying its sixth continuous year of profit growth with a 50% rise in pre tax profit for the half year to 30th June. Revenue was up by 5% and statutory earnings per share by 55%. Net debt fell by 17%. the interim dividend is increased by 33% to 4p per share and it is intended to pay a final dividend of 12p. The company puts its success down to (inter alia) its ambitious vision.

Coral Products plc CRU made further progress during the year to 30th April and expects to continue increasing its market share in the medium term. Revenue rose by 7.4% and profit before tax by 296% or 22.2% on an underlying basis. The final dividend is to be increased from 0.7p to 1.0p

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