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Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) says customer loan balances had increased by 4% in the quarter to March 2020. Customer deposits increased by 2%. There were net inflows to the investment management business despite the uncertainty in the markets.
Gunsynd (GUN) has extended the deadline for the Oyster Oil and Gas deal from 30 April to 30 October. If the conditions are not satisfied by October, then the sale of the Oyster shares can be terminated.
Inqo Investments (INQO) says that its February 2020 accounts may not be published until September because of delays to audits. The company’s investments have been affected by COVID-19. Kuzuko Lodge in South Africa was closed in early April and Inqo believes that it could take another two years to fully recover. Kentegra Biotechnology and South Lake Medical Centre in Kenya are both continuing to trade. Four One Financial Services could find trading difficult.
Eastinco Mining (EM.P) is completing the wash plant and starting operations at its tantalum mine in Rwanda. Cash is running out and management wants to raise cash through the exercise of warrants at 1.5p each. If 30% of warrants are exercised it will raise £700,000. If a shareholder exercises warrants, they will receive another warrant exercisable at 3p a share. The cash raised will finance capital investment and exploration.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £151,000 at 5.75p a share. SulNOx Group (SNOX) has raised £230,000 at 40p a share. Each share comes with a warrant exercisable at 40p.
Belvedere Leisure (BELV) says that the COVID-19 lockdown has stopped it obtaining additional subscriptions. Phase one of the company’s development will be split into two parts. The first 50 self-catering lodges are due to open next February.
Veni Vidi Vici (VVV) had cash of £354,000 at the end of 2019. The company is committed to paying A$300,000 towards initial spending of the joint venture that holds the Shangri La gold, copper and silver project in Western Australia.
Two directors and a managing partner of EPE have bought shares in EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) at 160p each. The total amount invested is £44,259. Boston Trust Company has increased its stake from 2.9% to 4.3%.
Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has moved into a positive EBITDA position in the first quarter, which is earlier than expected. The orphan drugs provider is on course to generate revenues of $172m this year. An underlying EBITDA of $19.5m is forecast for 2020 and that move above $50m next year. Amryt has cash on the balance sheet that is more than enough for its current requirements, but there is also debt, including convertibles. Net debt is expected to increase to $160m by the end of 2020 before reducing the following year.
Acquisitions helped Focusrite (TUNE) to grow in the first half. There was a decline in the revenues of continuing operations, although trading was strong in the corresponding period. Overall revenues were 24% ahead at £49.9m. there were first time contributions from ADAM Audio and Martin Audio (two months). Lower margins and higher interest charges meant that pre-tax profit fell from £7.15m to £6.38m. Focusrite has moved into a net debt position due to the money spent on acquisitions. Martin is likely to be hardest hit by lockdowns around the world due to its event-based customers, whereas demand for other products is holding up as people make music at home.
Payments platform provider Bango (BGO) has signed a new deal that should be worth £1.5m over three years and there is potential for it to be worth even more. Bango could move into profit this year.
Appreciate (APPS) says that the first 11 months trading was in line with expectations, but March trading was hit by COVID-19. Corporate activity has declined by around two-thirds, while Christmas savings have fallen 10%. There was still free cash of £30m at the end of March 2020. This year’s figures will be much harder hit by COVID-19 and profit is likely to plummet. Achieving a profit will be dependent on an upturn in the second half. Cash is also likely to decline.
Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) moves from AIM to a premium listing on 18 May. Diversified has raised £69.4m at 108p a share. This cash will go towards financing two potential oil and gas asset acquisitions. Trident Resources (TRR) will be going in the opposite direction on 2 June.
Smart home products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported a decline in overall revenues from £3.75m to £3.62m for the year to May 2018, but this masks the 71% growth of the Energenie MiHome revenues to £1.01m. Sandal reduced its operating loss and there was nearly £51,000 in the bank, although net debt was £1.09m.. A small profit is forecast for 2018-19 with a small increase in net debt expected. Sandal may need additional cash to increase the marketing for the Energenie MiHome brand.
High Growth Capital (HASH) has raised £500,000 at 0.8p a share, which was a 77% premium to the market price. Malcolm Burne and Professor Michael Cain have left the board and been replaced by Jens Zimmerman, who becomes non-executive chairman. The investment strategy will be widened from medicinal cannabis, because of a lack of opportunities, to technology. The company intends to acquire a 9.8% stake in Belgium-based artificial intelligence software developer Sentiance. The software enables companies to understand user behaviour. The data comes from smart devices. The technology is used in areas, such as insurance, health and car driving.
Asia Wealth Group Holdings Ltd (AWLP) improved its interim revenues from $1.15m to $1.24m. The pre-tax profit fell from $162,000 to $66,000. There was $1.4m in the bank at the end of August 2018.
Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has published its 2017 figures and interims to June 2018. The full year loss was £294,000 and the interim loss increased from £117,000 to £162,000. There was £53,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. The company is beginning to ship coal from its mine in Nigeria.
Positive Healthcare (DOC) has appointed KSA Group Ltd to liquidate the company.
Shen Chaohuli has sold his 18.3% stake in TechFinancials Inc (TECH) to Ou Qiao.
Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) has received a cash injection to keep it going, after unknown overdraft facilities were discovered. The cash balance in the recent accounts does not appear to exist. A placing has raised £15.7m at 50p a share. Chairman Luke Johnson is also providing loan facilities of up to £20m.
EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has revealed details of the spinning off of Renalytix AI on AIM. Renalytix AI is raising cash at 121p a share as part of the flotation, which should happen on 31 October. EKF will distribute its near-21 million shares in the company to its own shareholders, although it will subscribe for new shares. EKF shareholders will also get the chance to invest up to £3.5m in new shares.
Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) is making another major acquisition. The oil and gas producer is paying $183m for Core Appalachia, which is funded by cash and shares issued at 115p each. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing.
Vertu Motors (VTU) has been hit by a lack of cars due to the newly installed testing procedures but it still has a strong balance sheet and it will make a significant full year profit. September registrations were the worst since 2011 and Vertu was not immune. That will hit the second half. There was an improved performance in the used car market to help offset the weaker new car sales in the first half. Pre-tax profit is expected to decline from £28.6m to £22.1m in the year to February 2019.
Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) has reaffirmed that it is on course to make a full year pre-tax profit of £24.2m, down from £29.1m in 2017.
OnTheMarket (OTMP) has increased its spending on marketing and IT since floating on AIM and this has pushed it into loss. A full year loss of £14.7m is expected and there is not likely to be much of a reduction the following year. The online property platform has succeeded in doubling the estate agency offices using the service to more than 11,000 many of the additional offices are in a trial period and not paying to put their properties on the platform. The investment being made will only be justified if these offices start to pay fees. The IT investment will enable the company to offer more products and services and increase revenues that way as well.
Access Intelligence (ACC) is acquiring ResponseSource, which provides SaaS-based services to the PR and media sectors, for £5.5m. This company fits well with the group’s existing business. A ten-for-one share consolidation is planned.
Health monitoring equipment developer LiDCO Group (LID) is still going through the transition from a sales model to one based on regular income from hospitals. Interim recurring revenues increased by 11% but total revenues were 8% lower at £3.6m. Importantly, there should be enough cash in the bank to move the business towards profitability. That could happen in 2019-2020 but is more likely to be the following year.
Melissa Blau is stepping down as chief executive of Veltyco (VLTY) fewer than seven months after she was appointed. The shares price has fallen by three-fifths in the subsequent period.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosander (SOS) has raised £3m at 32p a share, which is more than double the flotation price of 15.1p a share. First half revenues were £1.84m.
Titon (TON) has firmed up its plan to move to AIM. The window components manufacturer expects to join AIM on 10 December.
Toople (TOOP) says trading in the first week of its new financial year is ahead of expectations. The statement remains, as ever, light on proper financials and indications of losses. Toople raised £2.2m at 0.3p a share, so it has enough cash for the time being.
Small cap award winners 2018
Company of the year
ZOO Digital (ZOO)
The ZOO Digital share price is ten times the level it was one year ago. ZOO localises film and television content and it has been investing in upgrading its technology and services over the past few years. This investment is paying off and the ability to offer cloud-based services is helping the business to grow and move into profit. Hollywood studios have been customers for many years and ZOO is winning market share. Newer entrants to the market such as Netflix have grown the demand for localisation of content. ZOO is expected to report an underlying pre-tax profit of £500,000 for the year to March 2018.
NEX company of the year
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS)
Cyber security technology developer Crossword Cybersecurity originally floated on GXG and then switched to NEX. It was one of the youngest companies that was on the shortlist for this award. Crossword is generating modest revenues and it is developing cyber security products with partners. The real potential for the business will not be realised for a few years.
Impact company of the year
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR)
Walls & Futures REIT is an ethical housing REIT that develops new housing for people with learning and physical disabilities or requiring extra care. In 2017, Walls and Futures achieved a total return on its portfolio of 11.5%, ahead of its benchmark total return of 7%.
IPO of the year
K3 Capital (K3C)
Business sales and corporate finance company K3 Capital Group joined AIM at 95p a share in April 2017 and the share price has more than trebled. Bolton-based K3 helps owners to sell their businesses and it gains clients through a direct marketing strategy. The AIM quotation and the related higher profile appears to have helped to accelerate growth. A move up the Thomson Reuters deal rankings is also helping. Last year, revenues rose by 26% to £10.8m, while pre-tax profit improved 18% to £3.6m. In the six months to November 2017, revenues were 34% ahead at £7.5m and pre-tax profit moved from £2.48m to £3.21m.
Fintech company of the year
FAIRFX Group (FFX)
Foreign exchange and e-banking services provider FAIRFX has a low cost model while offering an improved experience to the more established rivals. Turnover was £1.1bn last year, while revenues were £15.5m and this enable the company to move into profit. Corporate turnover was 52.3% of the total, up from 45.5%. The company recently moved its international payments book onto the City Forex platform following its acquisition. The focus is increasing scale to improve efficiency combined with the rolling out of new products.
Transaction of the year
Proactis (PHD) – merger with Perfect Commerce
Spend control software provider Proactis merged with Perfect Commerce in August 2017. The deal significantly increased the scope of the business and added to the management team. The integration of the businesses appears to be going well but the loss of a couple of large customers has held back progress in the year to July 2018. Even so, annualised contracted revenues are still £45.5m. Progressive Equity Research still expects a near-doubling of this year’s pre-tax profit to £10.2m, rising to £13.2m next year. That means that earnings per share growth is modest this year because of the additional shares in issue.
Executive director of the year
Bobby Kalar – Yu Group (YU.)
Electricity and gas supplier Yu Group floated on AIM in March 2016 at 185p a share. The current share price is more than four times that level. The focus is on commercial customers. Yu increased its revenues from £16.3m to £47m last year and annualised bookings continue to grow. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £195,000 to £3.08m. The dividend was increased from 2.25p to 3p a share. Trading continues to be strong and average annualised bookings per month were £6.6m. The cash pile has increased to £18.6m at the end of April 2018. Yu has obtained a licence to supply water.
Journalist of the year
Paul Scott – Stockopedia
Fund manager of the year
Nick Williamson – Old Mutual
Microcap fund manager of the year
Guy Feld – Canaccord Genuity
Analyst of the year
Kevin Ashton – Cantor Fitzgerald
Lifetime achievement award
Katie Potts – Herald Investment Management
Special services to small caps
John Jenkins (Founder of Ofex/NEX)
Daniel Thwaites (THW) increased its 2017-18 by 9% to £92.2m, while operating profit improved by 7% to £12.9m. There was a 79% increase in earnings per share to 13.8p, mainly due to a swing from a loss on interest swaps to a profit. The total dividend is unchanged at 4.46p a share. Investment in the pubs and hotels operations and in the new craft brewery at Mellor Brook has led to a rise in net debt from £47.6m to £63.7m. The old brewery will be demolished and the land will eventually be sold or developed. Poor weather means that the new financial year has started more slowly than last year.
Hellenic Capital has changed its name to Pelican House Mining (PHM) and is focusing on investing in early-stage resources projects in Africa. The focus is making capital gains on the investments. Pelican is trying to supplement its cash resources by selling a commercial property in Leeds, but the buyer withdrew. Pelican has retained the deposit. The investment property in Leeds is in the books at £204,000. Two directors, Simon Grant-Rennick and Mark Jackson, have been granted options over a total of seven million shares exercisable at 0.55p each.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that its conference and events division is 22% ahead of the same time last year and the revenues of the hotel have risen by the same percentage. There has been a 17% rise in revenues for the nursery business on the back of occupancy rates rising by six percentage points. There are longer-term worries about the financial ability of bookies to provide sponsorship and other revenues. Management says it will not be paying any dividends until 2022 at the earliest after the current development projects are completed.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has raised £303,000 at 0.15p a share and around £119,000 will go towards paying the £119,000 settlement with D-Beta, which provided an equity sharing facility. D-Beta has sold its existing stake. PCG is talking to Cavitation Solutions Ltd about distributing cavitation technology, which deals with oil and other water pollutants, in China. It is also talking to ChainZy about distributing its blockchain-based technology in Asia. There is interest from third parties concerning the use of PCG’s media and gambling licences in China.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) has raised £250,000 at 0.7p a share and the cash will be used to develop the company’s three main gold and zinc projects.
South Africa-focused investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has made a second investment in Uganda-based Four-One Financial Services, which manages the Mazima micro-pension scheme. This is the second tranche of the original investment and is in the form of a $100,000 convertible loan.
NWF (NWF) says that last year’s trading was much better than expected and net debt is lower than forecast. The feeds business improved its performance and trading of the fuels division was strong. The food distribution operations wee hit by reorganisation requirements and did not perform as well as expected.
Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) has got another large deal on the blocks and trading in the shares has been suspended. The Appalachian Basin oil and gas producing assets will be acquired for $575m and it will more than double the group’s daily production. This should be an earnings enhancing deal. A $225m share placing is required to help finance the deal.
RedstoneConnect (REDS) chief executive Mark Braund intends to leave the smart buildings technology company. Frank Beechinor will move from chairman to chief executive. The disposal of the systems integration and managed services divisions has been completed and the group can focus on its software business.
Ilika (IKA) has gained government funding of £4.1m for two battery technology projects in the automotive sector. The PowerDriveLine project is developing a solid state battery for hybrid and electric vehicles. The other project is headed by McLaren Automotive and is developing a battery for performance cars.
Secure payment products provider Eckoh (ECK) increased its full year revenues by 3% to £30m but pre-tax profit was 61% higher at £2.4m thanks to an improvement in operating margin. Growth in the US made up for a weaker contribution in the UK.
Redhall Group (RHL) slumped back into loss in the first half due to a delayed contract. However, it is still on course to make an improved profit in the full year. Interim revenues were 22% lower at £14.7m. There is strong demand for the company’s specialist doors from the nuclear and transport sectors.
Evgen Pharma (EVG) has enough cash to get to the end of 2018. There should be further positive news about the two ongoing clinical trials prior to the end of the year. Interim analysis of phase II trial of SFX-01 as a treatment for breast cancer show that six out of 20 patients, who had tumours that had initially responded to treatment but had become resistant, saw some benefit from the treatment of their tumours. The treatment has also been shown to be safe. The final results of the trial should be published before the end of the year.
Life sciences company Abzena (ABZA) has decided to focus on monetising its technology rather than raising money via a share issue. A non-binding heads of agreement with a third party would involve the sale of an interest in future royalties. If this deal is completed there would be enough working capital for the short-term.
Active Energy Group (AEG) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Young Living Farms for the sale of a PeatSwitch plant, which makes environmentally friendly peat replacements. The first plant is in Mona, Utah and the client is paying $3.4m in cash. There could subsequently be other plants at the client’s other sites.
Trading has resumed in the shares of Audioboom (BOOM) following publication of its accounts. The share price fell from 3.6p to 2.18p. The podcasts publisher has raised £4.5m from a placing at 3p a share.
WideCells Group (WDC) managed to raise £513,000 at 3p a share via a bookbuild on the Teathers app. That includes £183,000 from directors. The total amount raised by the stem cell services provider is £2.04m, including conversion of debt of £165,000. Shareholder approval is required for the share issue.Trading in the shares has resumed and the share price has fallen below the placing price. WideCells is using £615,000 of its £624,500 overdraft, which will be reviewed at the end of June. Shareholders have loaned £120,000.
China-based Gamfook Jewellery is planning to join the standard list. The online retailer customised jewellery wants to raise £5m in order to invest in retail sites. Gamfook has managed to generate cash from operating activities in the past few years, although next year there will be a significant working capital outflow according to forecasts. Gamfook is offering an 8.5% yield on its potential placing price of 15p a share and that would rise to 12.5% in 2019.
Air Partner (AIR) has completed its accounting review and the net assets overstatement of £4m net of tax is in line with indications. There were accounting errors and subsequent attempts to cover up the problems going back to 2010. The review has cost £1.3m. Air Partner still intends to pay a final dividend of 3.8p a share.
BATM (BVC) has won a $3m follow-on cyber security for a government department. The total contract value will be $7m.
Falcon Media House (FAL) has raised £500,000 via a convertible loan note issue. The conversion price is 1.5p a share.
Cash shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) has raised £250,000 from an oversubscribed open offer at 20p a share but there was a delay of one day before the shares were admitted to trading on 14 June. The share price has slumped from a high of 160p to 24.5p over the past month.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has agreed a 30-year lease on a second property in north west England. Housing association Inclusion Housing is paying £168,740 a year for the lease subject to planning permission for extra rooms. The property needs to be refurbished.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has executed the 50/50 joint venture agreement with Southern Gold for the Kochang mine and the feasibility report is expected before the end of September. The required $500,000 investment has nearly been completed by Bluebird and it is on course to invest the required $250,000 in Southern Gold. First gold is expected before the end of 2019.
Western Selection (WESP) maintained its NAV at 95p a share at the end of the six month period of December 2017. Net debt was £1.13m. A sharp upturn in the value of the stake in Bilby (BILB) and offset declines in other investments. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.1p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 8 March.
Gledhow Investments (GDH) has granted six million options to its directors and company secretary. Guy Miller and Brett Miller will receive 2.5 million options each and Geoffrey Melamet receives 1 million. The exercise price is 1p a share. They last for five years and would equate to 10.9% of the enlarged share capital if taken up. The current share price is 1p (0.75p/1.25p). Gledhow had a NAV of £714,452 at the end of September 2017, which is equivalent to 1.45p a share. Since the year end, a gain of £115,000 was achieved on the sale of Coinsilium shares and Gledhow retains a significant stake which in Coinsilium, where the share price is more than three times the level at the end of September 2017. That could add more than £100,000 to the Gledhow NAV but the Coinsilium share price is volatile. Directors and company secretary remuneration was £21,514 last year. There are 4.9 million warrants exercisable at 1.5p each but these expire on 6 March 2017. Bruce Rowan and related parties own 83.37% of the current share capital.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) is continuing with its plans to move to the standard list. IMC has signed heads of agreement with Trove Metals Ltd and this should lead to a joint venture for the project at Avoca, County Wicklow. The current Koza/IMC joint venture has been set aside. IMC has decided to focus on the 12 most prospective of its 15 licences.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) says that its revenues more than doubled to more than £700,000 in 2017. There is customer interest in the Rizikon cyber security product and the General Data Protection Regulations will provide momentum when they come into force in May. Full year figures should be published by the end of April.
Sandal (SAND) says that radiators supplier Pitacs will be a distributor of the Energie MiHome range. Pitacs is launching a new boiler in April and the Energie MiHome thermostats and radiator valves can be sold with this. Pitacs supplies more than 2,000 independent plumbers’ merchants as well as Plumb Nation.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that its investee company Rapid Nutrition plans to gain a quotation in London. Rapid, which is already quoted on the SIX Swiss Exchange, has developed a nutraceutical product range. One of the terms of the £150,000 loan to Rapid was that it should be admitted to the London market by the end of February but this date has been extended to the end of April because of delays in the flotation process. If admission to the market happens by 1 March, then the principal and interest will convert into Rapid shares. If it takes longer than the interest after the end of February is payable in cash.
BWA Group (BWAP) has issued £220,000 of 4% convertible loan notes, with £120,000 taken up by Bath Group, which is owned by BWA chairman Richard Battersby. Bath has taken £70,000 of the loan notes in lieu of cash owed by BWA investee company Mineralfields Group.
Trevor Lloyd has succeeded Philip Kirkham as chairman of National Milk Records (NMR).
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has changed its name to KR1.
Shield Therapeutics (STX) disappointed the market with phase III patient trial results for the use of Feraccru in the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia in patients with chronic kidney disease that did not meet statistical significance requirements. The results are being analysed in order to identify the reason the trial failed. The share price fell by two-thirds.
Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) expects to complete the acquisition of Appalachian producing gas and oil assets from CNX Gas by the end of March. This will cost $85m (£59.9m), while the acquisition of Alliance Petroleum will cost a further $95m (£66.9m). A placing at 80p a share has raised £133.1m. The group’s net working interest production will increase by 173% to 28,133 boed. Management expects annualised EBITDA to be $70m-$75m.
OnTheMarket (OTMP) joined AIM on 9 February having raised £30m at 165p a share. The share price ended the day at 148p. The online property portal operator will make significant investment in its business over the next two years and this will lead it to fall into loss for a couple of years.
Draper Esprit (GROW) has made three new investments. Evonetix is developing the ability for parallel synthesis of DNA on silicon arrays. Droplet Computing has developed technology to decouple applications from the operating system for online and offline use. Kaptivo is developing products to provide whiteboard live streaming and image capture.
Seeing Machines (SEE) has published a trading statement to try to reassure investors following the unexpected departure of its chief executive. Interim revenues will be greater than the A$13.6m reported for last year. The fleet business is gaining revenues internationally. There is growing interest in the driver fatigue technology from Transport for London.
Recruitment software provider Dillistone (DSG) says that its 2017 figures will be much better than expected. This led to a pre-tax profit upgrade from £200,000 to £300,000. This is still a depressed figure due to the investment in GatedTalent and the future of the business depends on the take-up of this new product.
Engineering and technology recruiter Gattaca (GATC) says that weakness in the technology sector will hold back its progress and its chief executive has resigned. Underlying pre-tax profit is set to decline for a second year while the dividend could be halved to 11.5p a share in order for its to be twice covered.
Trading in the shares of BOS Global Holdings (BOS) remains suspended because of the resignation of RFC Ambrian as nominated adviser. BOS still does not have enough working capital so it cannot publish its 2016-17 annual report because the uncertainty over the AIM quotation scuppered a £1.2m placing.
Trading in Kennedy Ventures (KENV) shares will recommence on 12 February following the publication of its annual report. There was a cash outflow of £2.76m in the year to June 2017. The Namibia Tantalite Investment Mine run by African Tantalum has made its fourth shipment of tantalum to its North American customer and there are two more potential customers.
Croma Security Solutions (CSSG) says its first half figures will be much better than those reported for the first half of last year. The EBITDA will improve from £440,000 to more than £1.1m. The company’s largest ever contract was won at the end of the period. There has been an increase in demand for personnel from Croma Vigilant and it has won a five year contract. There is also improved demand for technology supplied by Croma Systems. The interims will be published in February.
BNN Technology (BNN) will lose its AIM quotation on 12 February. A matched bargain facility will be set up. The remaining board hopes to do at least one deal with the two US-listed companies it is in discussions with concerning the acquisition of all or most of BNN’s business.
Strategic Minerals (SML) has extended its access to the Cobre magnetite stockpile in New Mexico until the end of March 2019. This will provide cash to finance other projects.
Origo Partners (OPP) has sold 4.7% of Jinan Heng Yu Environmental Protection Co Ltd for the equivalent of $3m. This is in line with book value but it may take many months for the cash to be received. Origo retains a 7.2% indirect stake. The Origo NAV was $0.09 a share at the end of June 2017.
Alba Mineral Resources (ALBA) has secured additional exploration licences in Greenland. The 466 square km of land is in north west Greenland. Exploration work can be combined with existing licence areas.
Mercantile Ports and Logistics (MPL) says its port in Mumbai will receive its first revenues in a few weeks, following delays in the first customer sorting out its logistics. A further 200 metres is being added to the quay on the east flank of the facility.
Physiomics (PYC) has won a £70,000 contract from a major pharma company. The company’s Virtual Tumour computer model will be used for helping to predict outcomes in pre-clinical testing.
Warpaint London (W7L) says its 2017 results will be in line with expectations suggesting a pre-tax profit of £9.8m and a total dividend of 4p a share.
Polarean Imaging has relaunched plans to come to AIM. It had planned to float at the end of 2017 and the new proposed date is 22 February.
Fryer management services provider Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) says its 2017 revenues were 30% higher at £13.25m. The sale of the refrigeration business should increase the group margin.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) has pulled out of the sale of non-core operations because the buyer had still not obtained regulatory approval.
Cadmium-free quantum dots producer Nanoco (NANO) has secured a material development and supply agreement with a major US firm that will provide funding to expand Nanoco’s manufacturing site in Runcorn. The deal covers the production of nano-particles for electronic devices. Commercial supply should commence in 2019.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has secured a two month extension to its option on a property in north west England while talks with a housing association continue. Plans for the refurbishment of the building will be presented to the housing association. Gary Carp has increased his stake from below 3% to 5% in the past fortnight.
Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) is negotiating to buy a North American medical imaging software developer, which owns FDA-approved medical imaging software that fits well with Flying Brands; own software. The cost of £500,000 would mainly be financed through a share issue.
Avocet Mining (AVM) has completed the sale of Resolute (West Africa) for $5m.
Path Investments (PATH) is still intending to raise cash and move to AIM in the first quarter of 2018. The farm-in deal to acquire 50% of Alfeld-Elze II licence and gas field in Germany is expected to go ahead in the near future.
Chuk Kin Lau has increased his stake in book publisher Quarto Group (QRT) from 20% to 25.6%. Cavendish Asset Management nearly halved its stake to 3.69%.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) says that the 2017 harvest was second best in the company’s history. There was a 10% volume increase on the previous year. The quality was also good. There had been fears for the harvest because of the frost in April but Chapel Down sources from a wide range of vineyards. Chapel Down has completed the acquisition of the 1.6 acre site in Ashford where the Curious Brewery will be developed.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) is setting up a joint venture to focus on consultancy and advisory operations so that the core business is purely involved in investment in employee owned businesses. Capital for Colleagues will own 34% of Castlefield Corporate Advisory Partners, with 51% owned by Castlefield Partners and the rest by executives of the joint venture.
Supported housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has delivered its first project and has a pipeline of other projects. The NAV is 94p a share. In the six months to September 2017, there was a £203,000 uplift in property values and that is why there was an interim profit of £127,000. There is £237,000 in the bank.
Mechanical and engineering installation work provider Field Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) reported a 19% increase in full year revenues to £17.2m. The main growth came from the water and sewerage operations and the AMP6 regulatory period is just getting going. Pre-tax profit more than doubled from £308,000 to £672,000.
South Africa-focused investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) still has R756,000 in the bank following further investments. Kuzuko Lodge continues to lose money but its occupancy and room rates are improving. Investee company Bee Sweet Honey harvest 133 metric tonnes of honey in May and this has generated revenues for Inqo.
Ganapati (GANP) reported a reduced interim loss of £4.54m, down from £8.75m. The online casino software and apps supplier increased revenues from £1.34m to £2.19m. A mobile operating system update has held back revenue generation from the company’s apps.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) has raised £75,000 at 1p a share and issued warrants that could raise a further £150,000 at 2p each. The cash will finance a feasibility study on the licence in Avoca in County Wicklow.
MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £540,000 at 28.5p a share and issued further shares as payments to consultants at 30p a share.
Sanderson Group (SND) expects its full year revenues to be slightly higher at £21.5m but underlying operating profit is anticipated to rise from £3.69m to £3.9m. That excludes £500,000 of reorganisation and acquisition costs. The digital retail software divisions continues to be the main growth area. The order book of £5.8m at the end of September is much higher than the same time one year earlier. It does include a large order that will be delivered over two financial years. There is more than £6m in the bank.
At last week’s general meeting of Stratex International (STI) the requisitioners were successful with their first and fifth resolutions but not the second. The third and fourth resolutions were conditional on the passing of the first two so they did not go to a vote. Marcus Engelbrecht has left the board and the acquisition of Crusader Resources appears unlikely to go ahead. The requisitioners want to inject joint venture Thani Stratex into the quoted company.
Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) completed the acquisition of the Titan oil and gas assets at the end of September. Operating costs have been reduced by 8% to $7.14/barrel of oil equivalent since the first half of 2017, which has helped margins to improve. Trading is in line with expectations.
Billing and charging software provider Cerillion (CER) says that its full year revenues increased 8% to £16.2m. Mobile telecoms operators continue to dominate the business but the customer base is set to broaden.
Sapphire producer Richland Resources (RLD) produced 1.06 million carats from its Capricorn mine in the third quarter of 2017 but this was lower than the 1.2 million carats that was expected because of mine disruption and rehabilitation. Production and operating costs were $0.75/carat. The next sapphire sales are this month. Illegally mined sapphires are holding back prices so only $245,000 was generated from sales in the third quarter as Richland held on to sapphires in order to sell them in the fourth quarter.
Redx Pharma (REDX) has come out of administration. The board will be writing to shareholders laying out its strategy and the suspension of trading in Redx shares could be lifted later this year.
Versarien (VRS) is trying to raise £1.2m via institutions and PrimaryBid.com at 18p a share. Back in March, £1.5m was raised at 15p a share in the same way. The advanced materials company will use the cash to buy capital equipment in order to fulfil the requirements for graphene-related collaborations. There are negotiations with two of the largest consumer goods companies in the world. An order is expected shortly and there are many other discussions ongoing. The Total Carbide business is winning aerospace work to offset the shortfall in demand from the oil and gas sector.
Proxama (PROX) has sold its loss-making digital payments division in order to concentrate on its location sciences technology business. The deal will raise £1m with potential deferred consideration of up to £1m over 18 months. The company will change its name to Location Sciences.
Starcom (STAR) has raised £475,000 at 1.3p a share. The cash will provide working capital for recently announced large orders and to repay $100,000 owed to YA II and $115,000 owed to other creditors.
INEOS has acquired an interest in shale gas licences where Egdon Resources (EDR) is also involved. Egdon plans to increase its onshore UK production this year. INEOS has taken on the obligations of Total to carry Egdon in the PEDL 139 and 140 areas. Egdon owns 14.5% of each of these licences. Egdon also has a £4.85m carry on PEDL209, where Egdon has a 36% interest.
Pakistan-focused coal mine developer Oracle Power (ORCP) says a memorandum of understanding should be signed this month. Oracle will retain a 12.1% stake in the block VI project. Sichuan Provincial Investment Group will take a 78% interest in the project and the other 9.9% will be owned by PowerChina International Group. The gross cost of the project is estimated to be $1.6bn and the debt/equity ratio will be 75/25.
Gordon Dadds (GOR) has made its first acquisition since reversing into Work Group. The lawyer will pay £4m over a five year period for CW Energy. There could be additional payments dependent on performance. CWE is a corporate tax adviser and prior to distributions to partners it made EBITDA of £1.3m last year.
WideCells Group (WDC) has signed a five–year agreement with White Apex General Trading, which will provide the companies stem cell services. WideCells immediately receives £255,000. The agreement covers the stem cell insurance product, stem cell storage and the educational platform Wideacademy. A further £1.5m could be payable if the Wideacademy platform is adapted for Middle East, North Africa and Asia. There could be £250,000 of this paid by the end of this year.
OTHER MARKETS / UNQUOTED
Fashion On Screen continues to progress towards a floatation on Nasdaq First North in the first quarter of next year. It is also raising money for its first film, Will, which is based on the life of William Shakespeare, via the SyndicateRoom crowdfunding platform. There are at least two other films in development.
Bondholders in US-focused oil and gas company Diversified Gas & Oil (DOIL) have overwhelmingly opted to take the cash alternative ahead of the flotation of the ordinary shares on AIM on 3 February. A total of £10.35m worth of bonds (97.1% of bonds in issue) are taking cash, while £198,000 of bonds will be swapped for 380,769 ordinary shares. There will be £106,640 worth of bonds remaining in issue but there will be no trading facility. The ordinary shares of Diversified Oil & Gas (DGOC) raised £39.7m at 65p a share, valuing the company at £68.6m. The share price slipped to 56.25p at the end of the first day’s trading.
Property investor Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) had a property portfolio worth £28.5m at the end of October 2016 and this generates annual rental income of £2.31m. The NAV was £18.25m at the end of October 2016 with a £500,000 revaluation gain partly offset by the final dividend payment.Net debt was £6.7m, down from £7.7m at the year end and there are assets held for sale worth £6.3m. Since October, a property was acquired at Hanley for £9m. The deal was financed by a £13.75m loan facility from Lloyds Bank with the rest of the cash used to refinance debt relating to five other properties.
DagangHalal (DGHL), which operates an e-marketplace for Halal verification, has parted company with its chief executive and trading in the shares has recommenced. Mohamed Hussain was paid the compensation that he was entitled to in his contract but he is claiming for twice his annual salary – equivalent to £195,000. Ali Sabri Sani Abdullah has stepped up from finance director to chief executive, while Jeff Teo and Derek Marsh have been appointed to the board. Cairn has replaced Arden as corporate adviser. The share price has not changed since trading recommenced.
AIM-quoted Metal Tiger (MTR) has sold its 28.2% in MetalNRG (MNRG) to Value Generation Ltd, a business associated with MetalNRG director Paul Johnson, and Gervaise Heddle, which each own 14.1% of the resources shell. The sales price was 0.26271p a share, whereas Metal Tiger had paid 0.2628p a share nearly one year ago.
BWA Group (BWAP) says it has been in talks with three potential acquisitions but none of the potential deals progressed. There was a £16,276 cash outflow from operations in the six months to October 2016, which was partially offset by the sale of an investment. BWA had a NAV of £562,000, with £41,593 in the bank, at the end of October 2016.
Botswana-focused oil and gas explorer Karoo Energy (KEP) says that exploration work on its two licences has confirmed the company’s geological model which predicts a deep sedimentary basin that could contain shale gas. In the six months to October 2016, there was a £326,000 cash outflow including capitalised exploration spending. Karoo had £168,000 in the bank at the end of October 2016, and £11,000 has subsequently been raised.
Property development and management services provider Formation Group (FRM) plans to consolidate its shares and shareholders will get to vote on the proposal at the AGM on 27 February. If the five-for-one consolidation is approved it will take place on 28 February.
Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised a further £34,000 at 0.1p a share. Valiant’s 84.7%-owned subsidiary Flamethrower has set up a new company called Slot Right In, which will be the social casino division and Flamethrower plans to acquire and trade domain names. Flamethrower continues to add to its portfolio of apps.
Property investor Ecovista (EVTP) says it is looking at investments in London, Essex and Hertfordshire. An offer of £275,000 has been accepted for a cottage owned by the company, while a house in Bishop Stortford, acquired for £665,000 last year, has been demolished and construction of a new building with a gross value of £1.35m will start in the spring. A planning appeal has been lodged for the development of car park site near Stansted Airport.
Grant Thornton will step down as corporate adviser to Chinese medical products and services provider MiLOC Group (ML.P) on 6 March.
AdEPT Telecom (ADT) is acquiring Our IT Department, an IT services provider in London and the South East, for an initial £4.75m with up to £3.75m more payable depending on performance. This is a profitable business that brings additional IT skills to the telecoms business. AdEPT has secured a £30m, five-year bank facility from Barclays and RBS, which will help to finance further acquisitions.
Everpower International is acquiring a 9.9% stake in Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) in return for a £3.26m cash payment – equivalent to 170p a share. This is part of an agreement that will enable Haydale products to be manufactured for the Chinese market. Commercial revenues from the Huntsman agreement are not likely to come through until 2017-18 and with other strategy changes this means that the revenues for the year to June 2017 will be lower than expected.
Automotive acoustics and thermal insulation designer Autins (AUTG) has shocked the market with a profit warning less than six months after joining AIM and the chief executive has resigned. First quarter sales have been in line with expectations but a major customer has reduced orders. The share price has fallen from the August placing price of 168p to 145p – but it had been as high as 240p. Miton had added to its stake in January.
Ascent Resources (AST) says the flow test at the Pg-10 well was better than expected. The maximum stabilised flow rate was 8.8 million cubic feet of gas per day.
LED lighting technology developer PhotonStar LED (PSL) says that its 2016 revenues will be slightly lower than expected and the loss will be higher because of a challenging second half. Revenues were around £5.4m and the pre-tax loss was £1.3m. There was £230,000 in the bank at the end of 2016 with £830,000 of invoice financing. Cost savings have been made and this helps to improve the outlook for 2017, although the poor second half trading has continued into January.
Eagle Eye Solutions (EYE) says that interim revenues have grown 72% to £5.1m, which is better than expected. The nationwide roll-out of the Asda contract has increased coupon redemption numbers. Cavendish Asset Management has increased its stake to 8.26%.
ECR Minerals (ECR) says that the Australian government has given consent to for drilling at the Byron target in the Bailieston project area. ECR has applied for two more licences and is awaiting news of the renewal of the Avoca licence.
Tissue Regenix Group (TRX) says that dermal allograft product DermaPure, which includes the company’s dCELL technology, has been included in the US Department of Veteran Affairs Federal Supply Schedule. This covers 152 hospitals and 800 outpatient units. This will boost the commercial prospects of the wound care product.
Prospex Oil & Gas (PXOG) is raising £850,000 at 0.5p a share and this will help to finance the evaluation of potential projects. The share price has slumped since the beginning of the year because of a disappointing result from a well on its Kolo licence area in Poland. The placing price is about one-fifth of the share price prior to the drilling news.
New management at Quantum Pharma (QP.) says trading is in line. This suggests that the pre-tax profit for the year to January 2017 will be £6.7m, down from £10m in the previous year, although there will be exceptional reorganisation charges. The loss-making NuPharm business has been closed. Net debt was £13.5m – after most of the reorganisation costs have been paid. The share price is less than one-third of its peak less than two years ago but it is higher than the 34p a share placing price in October.
Vela Technologies (VELA) is raising up to £550,000 from a bond issue via the UK Bond Network. There is already interest for £250,000 of bonds and the other £300,000 have been underwritten. The interest rate is 10% and the bonds can be repaid after one year, including interest. If they are repaid earlier than one year’s interest has to be paid. Vela will use £150,000 to increase its investment in Portr, the airline passenger facilitation and baggage transport service.
BP Marsh (BPM) has subscribed for a 30% cumulative preferred ordinary shareholding in Stewart Speciality Risk Underwriting Ltd, a Toronto-based start-up headed by a boss with 25 years of experience. Stewart specialises in insurance for the construction, manufacturing, onshore energy, transport and public sectors. A £480,000 loan facility is also being provided.
Reconstruction Capital (RC2) is returning €17m of cash to shareholders. This equates to €0.115 a share.
Engineering and environmental consultancy Waterman Group (WTM) says that its interim revenues and profit will be in line with last year. Net cash was £6.7m at the end of 2016. This will enable Waterman to continue to increase its dividend.
Publisher Quarto (QRT) is on course to increase its pre-tax profit from $14.1m to $15.5m. Net debt was $62.2m at the end of 2016. A buyer has been identified for the Australian distributor Books and Gifts Direct. This will raise $1m in cash with the other $4.75m of the disposal price in loan notes. Even after a 46% increase in the share price, the 2016 multiple is less than eight. There are plans to change the way that the backlist of titles is valued.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) commenced trading on the standard list and the share price ended the week at 12p, compared with the placing price of 10p. Rainbow has issued £260,000 worth of shares at the placing price to cover a majority of the costs of its flotation.
Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has sold Starneth less than two years after buying the designer and engineer of giant observation wheels. Challenger completed the acquisition of Starneth in July 2015 when an initial €1.25m was paid in cash and €825,000 in shares at 75p each. The second cash payment of €1.25m was delayed. Challenger will receive $6m in fees when the Jakarta wheel’s funding arrangements are finalised and the €1.25m payment will be taken out of that. There had been a third payment due but that does not appear likely to happen. This is a complicated deal but it is difficult to see this as a positive deal for Challenger but it will continue to work with Starneth and it will have a stake in the New York wheel. Acquisitions of businesses in the leisure and entertainment sectors that are close to revenues are likely.