Home » Posts tagged 'DRV'

Tag Archives: DRV

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 3 May 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Decentralised finance (DeFi) focused investment company Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) raised £9m at 3p a share. The share price closed at 4.15p (3.8p/4.5p) and there were just over one million shares traded on the first day. The market capitalisation is £25.4m. Shares were originally issued at below the placing price and the underlying NAV is 1.8p a share. Dispersion has already made two investments, although one of those is a £210,000 investment in NFT Investments, which has management in common, at the equivalent of 7p a share. NFT’s placing was at 5p a share and the investment was made after the shares commenced trading. Since then, the share price has fallen to 3.85p (3.7p/4p).

Semper Fortis Esports (SEMP) has the management experience to exploit the fast-growing esports sector. The board includes football adviser Keith Harris. Chief executive Kevin Soltani was a co-owner of an esports franchise in MENA and co-founded the GIMA Esports Agency with chief operating officer Jassem Osseiran. The Semper Fortis Esports shareholder register includes the likes of Chris Akers. Semper Fortis Esports raised £2.5m, after expenses, at 1p a share. Pro forma net assets are £2.13m, with £2.15m cash in the bank. The pro forma NAV is just over 0.5p a share. The share price ended the week at 3.95p (3.8p/4.1p).

Greencare Capital (GRE) has invested £100,000 in Voyager Life, as part of a £671,000 before an Aquis flotation. Voyager Life supplies CBD and hemp seed oil products. This follows the £100,000 investment in CBD products supplier Clearly Supplements in the form of a 5% convertible loan. The Covid-19 pandemic and legislation changes hampered the planned reverse takeover, and it did not go ahead. There should still be more than £1m in cash in the balance sheet after the investments.

Revenues fell 59% to £8.49m at Newbury Racecourse (NYR) and there was a loss of £2.27m. Only four race meetings had people attending last year. There were 20 race days last year and there will be ten by 17 May this year. There was £1.5m raised from the sale of surplus land. There was £5.53m in the bank at the end of 2020. Net assets were £48.9m, down from £51.4m.

Spirits maker British Honey (BHC) says that first quarter revenues, excluding hand sanitisers, increased by one-quarter to £1.33m. The integration of Union Distillers is nearly complete. A new bottling line will increase capacity to four million bottles a year by the end of 2021. A new bottling line for miniatures is also being installed.

Gunsynd (GUN) has made a £200,000 in DiscovOre (ORE) at 2p a share. DiscovOre is changing its investing strategy to focus on the medical psychedelic sector.

Supported housing provider Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) says that NAV has fallen by 5% to 102p a share. John D Wood values the company’s properties at £3.2m. The company collected 100% of rents last year. Virgata Services has to publish an offer document by 6 May.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has invested $2.5m in convertible loan notes in standard listed Mustang Energy (MUST) as part of a fundraising to pay for a 22.1% stake in VFFB-H, which owns 50% of Enerox, an Austria-based vanadium redox flow battery manufacturer. AIM-quoted Bushveld Minerals (BMN) is the majority shareholder in VFFB-H. Enerox plans to raise £30m. Trading has been suspended in Mustang Energy shares.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) is proceeding with the acquisition of the Monte Muambe rare earths project. The contract is being finalised and then Altona will start the earn-in to progress towards a 70% stake in the project. Altona is still assessing other projects. An application has been filed for a standard listing.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has raised £42,000 at 0.00258065 a share, plus £90,000 via a convertible loan facility at the same conversion price as the placing. Simon Grant-Rennick has been appointed executive chairman and Burns Singh Tennent Bhohi, who has taken a 14.8% stake, as an executive director.

Two locations have shown strong gold intersection at surfaces at NQ Minerals (NQMI) 100%-owned Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania. The surface potential could add significant resources to Beaconsfield.

Positive results have been reported by BWA Group (BWAP) from the sampling at the Nkoteng rutile sands project in Cameroon. There are elevated intervals of rutile-ilmenite, zircon and kyanite over continuous zones.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has signed an Africa-focused distribution agreement with Rigworld Solutions. This formalises and earlier agreement.

Watchstone Group (WTG) has made the switch from AIM to Aquis.

Coinsilium (COIN) has raised £18,500 from the sale of treasury shares at 18.5p each.

AIM

Hurricane Energy (HUR), which at one time was a constituent of the AIM 50, is restructuring its balance sheet. This would involve swapping $50m of the principal of the company’s convertible bonds into 95% of the enlarged share capital. The terms of the remaining $180m of bonds will be amended. The business will focus on extending the oil production case for the Lancaster 205/21a-6 well.

Construction services consultancy Driver (DRV) says that its latest underlying interim profit will be slightly lower than for the same period last year, which was £1.25m. That is a strong comparative period. Lockdowns have varied in the different operational countries. Driver also lost a team in Asia Pacific to a rival. The focus is higher margin work and activity levels are improving. Net cash was £7.2m at the end of March 2021. The interims will be published on 8 June.

Pennant International (PEN) fell into loss in 2020 and it should manage to return to profit this year. Forecast revenues of £16m are 90% covered by the order book. Pennant wants to win more business in the rail sector.

Pollen Street Capital is bidding 75p a share for spend control software supplier Proactis (PHD) and the board is recommending the offer, which values the company at £71.6m. Pollen Street has the finance to accelerate growth. The bid is at 24 times prospective 2020-21 earnings, falling to 19 next year.

Building software supplier Eleco (ELCO) says that first quarter revenues were 9% ahead at £7m, while year-on-year pre-tax profit was one-fifth higher. Net cash was £7.9m at the end of March 2021. A general meeting has been requisitioned so that shareholders can vote on the re-election of executive chairman Serena Lang and non-executive director Kevin Craig, a resolution to make it compulsory for all directors to come up for re-election at every AGM and a vote on the remuneration report in the 2020 accounts.

Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) had an improved second half and momentum is continuing into next year. In 2020, revenues fell from £49.3m to £40.3m, but earnings halved from 6.3p a share to 3.1p a share.

President Energy (PPC) expects to bring the EV-1001 well on the Estancia Vieja gas field into production during May. The drill rig will be moved to the next location. President is expected to return to profit in 2020.

Amiad Water Systems (AFS) plans to transfer its quotation to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

MAIN MARKET

In 2020, Argo Blockchain (ARB) increased revenues from £8.6m to £19m, but it made a small loss. Cash inflow from operating activities was £12.3m, according to finnCap. This year a pre-tax profit of £30m is forecast, although working capital will consume most of the cash generated even before significant capital expenditure.

Moulded plastic parts manufacturer Carclo (CAR) says that it has maintained its full year revenues for plastics, but there was a decline in aerospace revenues, and made a profit. Net debt has been reduced from £22.1m to £20m.

InnovaDerma (IDP) raised an additional £500,000 in an open offer and that took the total raised to £4.5m. This will fund ecommerce investment.

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 21 December 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Employee ownership investor and adviser Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) increased its NAV by 21% to 52.69p a share in the year to August 2020. There were realised gains of £307,000 and a £1.35m increase in the fair value of investments. There was cash of £388,000 at the end of August 2020. Management hope to pay a 2020-21 dividend of at least 1p a share. Cobrio Fund Partners has increased its stake from 4.58% to 7.55% and they were nearly five months late in announcing this.

Gunsynd (GUN) has made a £200,000 investment in Low 6, a sports betting platform. Low 6 partners with sports teams and plans to float in 2021. Gunsynd has invested a further A$800,000 in Rincon Resources at 20 cents a share as part of its ASX listing on 21 December.

A successful planning permission application for a Sutton development St Mark Homes (SMAP) has led to the announcement of an interim dividend of 3p a share. The ex-dividend date is 29 December. Approval has been gained for additional retail space, which could be let to a large retailer, at an existing development in Sutton plus a new building with 30 apartments. There are also new developments in Hanwell, Finchley and Muswell Hill.

KR1 (KR1) has made two new investments. There was $150,000 invested in 15 million Lido tokens and $200,000 in 797,043.48 Swarm tokens. KR1 has also generated a further 141,564.69 Polkadot tokens since August. These have been sold for $797,000. KR1 still owns 3.5 million Polkadot tokens.

Good Energy (GOOD) has announced three strategic partnerships for its mobility as a service offer. Mina Energy has technology to make home charging more effective. Home Energy Infrastructure can arrange funding for installing EV charging infrastructure. Select Car Leasing can lease the vehicles.

Sativa Wellness (SWEL) says the EU has concluded that CBD is not a drug within the meaning of the UN single convention on narcotic drugs 1961. It therefore qualifies as a food. The company is preparing a novel food dossier for the UK Food Standards Agency in parallel with the EU. The UN has voted to remove cannabis from Schedule IV, the category of the world’s most dangerous drugs, while in the US there has been a bill passed to decriminalise cannabis at the national level.

World High Life (LIFE) has secured a listing for Love Hemp with Boots.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) shareholders have signed an option agreement with Rigworld Group, which could purchase 20 million shares at 40p each up until 31 March. This includes the whole of Nistad Group’s 14.6% stake.

Shareholders in Black Sea Property (BSP) have voted against four resolutions at its AGM, although they did vote for four other resolutions including one to retain the Aquis quotation. The two resolutions relating to Alex Borrelli were withdrawn and he has resigned from the board. Trading in the shares has been suspended until a new non-executive director is appointed.

Imperial X (IMPP) has 450,000 shares in Canada-based Imperial Helium and has subscribed for C$110,000 convertible debentures, which will be converted at a 20% discount to the IPO price.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £365,000 at 5.5p a share.

AIM

DP Poland (DPP) has agreed the acquisition of rival Poland-based pizza restaurant group Dominium for £22.7m in shares and loan notes of €7.5m. DP Poland raised £3.5m at 8p a share, while 21.8 million of the consideration shares were sold at the same price. The combined group will be one of the top three pizza chains in Poland.

Radio frequency communications networks developer CyanConnode (CYAN) has managed its cash well and continues to grow revenues. In the six months to September 2020, revenues were £1.5m and the loss was £1.37m. In the two months since the period end, revenues have been around £1m. The order book in India is worth £19m, which is equivalent to one million units, and these orders could be deployed over the next two years. There are also orders in Thailand and Sweden.

Construction dispute and property services provider Driver Group (DRV) maintained its profit in the second half of the year to September 2020. Underlying pre-tax profit still declined from £3m to £2.5m on revenues 9% lower at £53.1m. The higher margin Diales expert witness business continues to grow. Net cash was £8.2m at the end of September 2020. The final dividend is 0.75p a share.

Codemasters (CDM) has withdrawn is recommendation of the Take-Two Interactive bid and switched its support to the Electronic Arts offer of 604p a share.

Two companies have decided not to make an offer for Telit Communications (TCM) and that leaves u-blox as the only potential bidder left.

K3 Capital (K3C) is trading strongly and finnCap has upgraded its 2020-21 earnings forecast from 11.4p a share to 11.9p a share. There have been cross-selling benefits from recent acquisitions. The acquisitions business has performed well and there is longer-term potential from the Quantuma insolvency business.

Carpets retailer United Carpets (UCG) has decided to leave AIM and it is launching a tender offer of 6.25p a share for up to 29 million shares.

Property services provider Fletcher King (FLK) fell into loss in the six months to October 2020. Revenues from asset management and fund management clients was steady, but other revenues were weak. There is £3.1m of cash in the bank.

NWF (NWF) says that the fuels division has traded positively, and it has recommenced the process of assessing acquisitions. The new food warehouse is fully utilised, but the volatile demand has hit profitability. Feed volumes were slightly lower than the year before.

Summerway Capital (SWC) is switching its investing policy to the software sector and Vin Murria, who has built up AIM-quoted software companies in the past, is joining the board.

Yourgene Health (YGEN) had a steady first half with Covid-19 testing revenues helping to offset lower demand for other products.

Kodal Minerals (KOD) is acquiring the Fatou gold project in southern Mali. There is a mineral resource of 350,000 ounces of gold and potential to increase the figure.

Touchstone Exploration (TXP) has secured a gas sales agreement covering all production from the Ortoire block in Trinidad.

Trinity Exploration (TRIN) has signed an agreement with the National Gas Company of Trinidad to develop new projects in the Caribbean. This includes renewable energy, stranded gas and a micro liquefied national gas business.

MAIN MARKET

BATM (BVM) is investing $3m in Ador Diagnostics as part of a $10m funding. This will be spent on further develop its technology. BATM has a 36.7% stake.

Contango Holdings (CGO) has a potential 1.8 million ounces gold resource at an average grade of 1g/t at the Garolo gold project in Mali. There is further gold at greater depths. The first gold production could be before the end of 2021.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has conditionally agreed an all-share acquisition of Kanabo Research and has advanced a further £100,000 to the medicinal cannabis company.

Kin and Carta (KCT) has sold healthcare communications business Hive for £13.8m. The business contributed pre-tax profit of £1.2m last year.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 9 November 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Kent-based brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) lost £2.9m in the year to June 2020. There was a small operating profit, but this was swamped by interest charges. The loss excludes one-off charges of more than £9m, predominantly relating to the impairment of 26 properties and the cost of unlawful actions by an employee. Pub revenues fell due to the original lockdown period, although tenanted pubs remained profitable in the financial year. Trade was slow in July, but it started to build up prior to the latest restrictions.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) is not entering into new contracts and suspending existing contracts. Management is paying amounts owed under existing contracts and says that there will be minimal cash balances. The requisitioners of a general meeting have injected cash in order to keep the company trading and enable it to hold the general meeting on 4 December. The employment contracts of the directors have been terminated and the requisitioners want their own representatives elected to the board. Trading in the shares remains suspended.

There was a slight improvement in first quarter revenues generated by National Milk Records (NMRP) to £5.32m. The specialist services such as the testing of Johne’s disease provided the growth. Milk recording figures were 3% down. The latest lockdown should not have a significant effect on performance.

Gunsynd (GUN) has subscribed A$100,000 for a convertible in gold explorer Rincon Resources that converts at a discount to the flotation price on ASX. Rincon plans to raise at least A$5m prior a listing planned for 10 December.

GP software provider DXS International (DXSP) says that revenues are marginally up on the previous year and it remains profitable. There is around £1m in the bank. However, launches of new products have been delayed by the pandemic.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has sold its remaining shareholding in Greatland Gold (GGP) and raised £4.6m. That means that Primorus made a total gain of around £5.9m.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has identified four shallow targets on its Patersons Range project in Western Australia. Wishbone intends to move to close the acquisition of its interest in the tenements.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has agreed in principle to a settlement with secured creditors of the Amapa project. Once this is completed, Cadence will inject $2.5m into the project and take a 20% shareholding. There has been a 21% increase in the mineral resource. The initial mine plan envisages the production of 4.7 million tonnes of iron concentrate a year and the mine life could be nearer to 17 years following the updated resource.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) expects to complete its relaunch with a new strategy before the end of the year. There will be new corporate branding and a new website.

World High Life (LIFE) has raised £381,000 at 1p a share. This cash will finance due diligence on investment opportunities.

Imperial X (IMPP) has appointed Novum Securities as corporate adviser.

European Lithium has left the Aquis Stock Exchange.

AIM

Trinidad-focused oil and gas producer Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) has raised £23.1m at 95p a share. The previous placing in February raised cash at 40p a share. The money will be used to fund further exploration and development of the Ortoire onshore block. Touchstone recently announced its third discovery (Chinook-1) out of three wells drilled. Chinook-1 is thought to be a similar size to Cascadura, which is estimated at around 45mmboe. The current exploration well is Cascadura Deep-1 and that will be completed and tested in the first quarter of 2021. The original discovery, Coho, will soon start producing gas.

Mkango Resources (MKA) has started a drilling and soil sampling programme at the Mchinji rutile licence area. This will help management to identify the areas with the best prospects. The licence initially lasts until 2022 but can be extended. It is next door to a rutile discovery by Sovereign Metals, which makes the chances of a commercial discovery even better. There is already significant infrastructure in the area. Rutile is a white pigment used in paints, plastic and paper. Demand is strong and reserves are declining.

PerkinElmer Inc is offering 185p a share in cash for Horizon Discovery (HZD), which is double the previous market price. The bid is equivalent to the high in the past 12 months, but below the share price three years ago. Horizon is valued at £296m. PerkinElmer is keen to increase the scale of its cell engineering business and add to its gene editing services.

Trading in the shares of NWF (NWF) has been suspended following a cyber attack on the feed and fuels divisions. The businesses continue to operate.

Attis Oil and Gas (AOGL) has agreed an amalgamation with Helium One, which will then gain an AIM quotation and raise at least £5m. Helium One is offering one of its shares for 236 shares in Attis, which values the AIM shell at £1.76m (0.012p a share). The Attis share price has risen to 0.02p. Helium One has a potential helium project in Tanzania and is valued at £6m, which is similar to level of investment put into the project. Drilling is planned early next year. Scirocco Energy (SCIR) subscribed for a 10% stake three years ago and that will probably be diluted to around 4.6%.

AB Traction has increased its stake in construction disputes company Driver (DRV) from 15.6% to 17.3%.  

Empire Metals (EEE) has achieved significant results with its drilling programme at the Eclipse gold project in Western Australia. The results confirm extensions to previously defined mineralisation. Drilling has started at the second potential target called Houdini. The proposed sale of the Bolnisi copper and gold project to TSXV-quoted Candelaria Mining Corporation means that Eclipse is currently the main focus of Empire’s cash investment.  

Nasdaq-quoted Masimo Corporation is making a 12p a share recommended cash bid for non-invasive hemodynamic monitoring technology developer LiDCO (LID). Masimo is a medical technology company.

Surgical endoscopy devices supplier Creo Medical (CREO) has acquired its distributor in Belgium. Creo has also received FDA clearance for MicroBlate Fine, which is thought to be the world’s smallest diameter microwave ablation needle.

Dekel Agri-vision (DKL) has acquired a further 14.2% in the Tiebissou cashew nut processing project in return for 28.55 million shares. This takes the stake to 52%.

Beximco Pharma (BXP) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Serum Institute of India and the Bangladesh government for the supply of 30 million doses of the Oxford University/ AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Supplies will commence one month after regulatory approval in Bangladesh. This could provide a significant uplift to revenues, although the timing is uncertain.

Toilet tissue manufacturer Accrol (ACRL) is buying rival LTC for up to £41.8m. This will take Accrol’s share of the market to 16% and provide greater geographic coverage of the UK market. LTC has revenues of £28m and is profitable. There could be cost savings of £1m a year. Accrol raised £38.5m at 44p a share to help finance the deal. A one-for-21 open offer could raise up to £4.1m.

MAIN MARKET

Zotefoams (ZTF) says that third quarter revenues were 22% higher year-on-year due to demand for protective equipment and footwear. Management expects continued growth in the fourth quarter. Net debt was £36m at the end of September 2020. The new site in Poland should commence production early next year.

Cryptocurrency miner Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated £1.2m in revenues during October. It held 137 BTC in bitcoin at the end of the month. Argo is leasing 4,500 mining machines for 24 months and they should be up and running in February. It is also managing the mining operations of 4,378 machines for a third party.

Shell company Highway Capital (HWC) had £3,000 in the bank at the end of February 2020 and it has net liabilities of £991,000. There was £327,000 in borrowings.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 20 April 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) increased its NAV by 54.6% to 317.18p a share in the year to January 2020. The main gains are from fully listed Luceco (LUCE), although the share price has fallen back since then, and Whittard of Chelsea. Whittard closed its 49 stores during March. The focus is conserving cash to find existing investments rather than new investments.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that DEV Mineraco, the owner of the Amapa iron ore project, has been given permission to ship iron ore from the company’s port in Brazil. The stockpile has 1.39Mt of iron ore and the cash generated will help to bring the mine back into production. Cadence owns 30% of Yangibana rare earth deposit, which has received environmental approval for mining.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) says it is taking longer than expected to conclude a deal to sell its diesel conditioner through a major UK fuel distributor. The plan is to undertake engine trials with major engine manufacturers. COVID-19 has led to delays in getting trials underway.

First Sentinel (FSEN) is raising £151,000 at 20p a share. This will provide additional working capital.

Gunsynd (GUN) is consolidating 85 existing shares into one new share.

Ganapati (GANP) has gained shareholder approval to leave AQSE by 15 May.

AIM

In changing times there is one thing that can be relied on and that is Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) putting out its trading statement after 4.30pm on a Friday. Never one to disappoint, Immunodiagnostic Holdings has done it again. Full year revenues were 2% ahead at £39.3m. Cash was maintained at £27.6m.

Nu-Oil and Gas (NUOG) is planning to acquire a Europe-based plastic recycling and processing business. The group would then become a consolidator under the current management. The deal has not been finalised and trading in the shares will be suspended until an acquisition document is published or the deal is called off.

Aquis Exchange (AQX) increased revenues by 73% to £6.9m and the loss was reduced to £800,000. There was £11m in the bank at the end of 2019. The market share of pan European trading increased from 3.8% to 4.62%. Market volumes have increased following the COVID-19 stockmarket concerns.

Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) is raising £500,000 at 55p a share. This will make sure there is enough cash to keep the business going even if there is an extended disruption to trading.

Parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) says activity has been reduced by one-third. Net debt was £8.9m at the end of March. Profitability has been delayed until 2020-21.

A circular has been posted by Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) for a general meeting on 13 May. The first resolution is for the removal of Matt Lofgran from the board and the other two resolutions provide the company with the ability to issue shares.

Bluejay Mining (BJAY) has signed a memo of understanding with a company that will take 50% of the production of the Dundas Ilmenite project.

Construction consultancy services provider Driver (DRV) was not impacted by COVID-19 in the first half and the recovery in pre-tax profit should be as expected. Business in April and May remains encouraging. Net cash is £3.3m. There will be no interim dividend.

Oil and gas producer Empyrean Energy (EME) has raised £411,000 at 3.5p a share and plans to launch an open offer to existing shareholders. It is not going ahead with a previously announced placing. The additional cash is required to pay Empyrean’s share of the costs of two wells drilled at the end of 2019. The 1C contingent resource estimate for the Mako gas field, where Empyrean has a 8.5% stake, has been increased by 76% to 323bcf. A production rate of 150 MMscf/day could be achieved.

Beeks Financial Cloud (BKS) has acquired network monitoring and trade analytics software provider Velocimetrics for an initial £1.3m. The maximum earnout payment is £4.55m. This adds real-time transaction tracking technology to Beeks’ software.

Cake Box (CBOX) was growing strongly before COVID-19 hit the cake retail chain. Store closures in the second half of March reduced annual like-for-like sales growth to 2%. Pre-tax profit will be in the range of £4.1m to £4.3m. There will not be a final dividend.

Circle Property (CRC) says its NAV has increased by 4.7% to 290p a share at the end of March 2020. The focus on office properties has helped. Loan to value is 40%. A maintained dividend has been indicated by the board.

Kodal Minerals (KOD) has been granted a further three-year term for two of the gold concessions in the Ivory Coast.

Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) has raised £5.2m at 10.5p a share to bolster its balance sheet ahead of the commencement of royalties from its AI software. The cash will finance further development. There was already net cash of £7.3m at the end of 2019, although some of this cash will already have been used.

Jubilee Metals (JML) has recommenced mining at the Inyoni Surface PGM and chrome project and the Windsor JV PGM project.

MAIN MARKET

Sure Ventures (SURE) says that 25.9%-owned investee fund Sure Valley Ventures has made a follow-on investment in Admix, which provides advertising services in video games. Sure has a 7.02% stake in Admix.

Engineering and construction services provider NMCN (NMCN) says that it continues to work on around two-thirds of its current projects. There will be no final dividend for 2019. Net cash was £25.8m at the end of 2019. A further trading update is planned for 23 April.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) says that production at the Gakara mine is increasing and 100 tonnes of concentrate has been exported since February.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 21 October 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Third quarter trading at Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) shows a one-third increase in loans to £1.6bn, while deposits are 17% ahead at £2bn. Impairments are rising, though. The private bank is adding 40 new clients each month.

Although Vox Markets has called off merger discussions with PCG Entertainment (PCGE) the latter’s shareholders will have preferential rights to participate in the flotation of Vox. Shareholders have to be on the register on 11 October to benefit. PCG has released any claims it may have against Vox, although Vox has the right to sue Align Research, the third party in the merger plans. PCG says nothing negative was found about Align in due diligence. First Sentinel has resigned as corporate adviser to PCG and trading in the shares has been suspended.

Good Energy (GOOD) has launched One Point to offer electric vehicle charging. The company has also been awarded he green classification and mark.

The Home Office has awarded Sativa Group (SATI) a controlled drug licence to grow medicinal cannabis. This covers cannabis with a THC content of greater than 0.2%. Sativa already has a low-THC industrial hemp licence.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) says that its investee company Apollon Formularies has received its third medical cannabis licence in Jamaica. This is for experimental research and development.

World Health Life (LIFE) has completed the acquisition of Love Hemp and a £2m convertible debenture fundraising. A second tranche of debentures should be issued in the next few weeks. Love Hemp has product distribution agreements with supermarkets and health food stores.

Triple Point Investment Management is providing a £20m loan facility for Rutherford Health (RUTH) and this will be drawn down in phases. The loan terms improve as patient numbers increase at the three proton beam therapy centres.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has received the first quarterly interest payment from Silverstream. The 12-month note matures in August 2020.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) will consolidate 20 shares into one new share and trading will commence on 22 October.

Secured Property Development (SPD) had £537,000 in the bank at the end of June 2019, but it is finding it difficult to find a suitable acquisition.

AIM

Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) is as consistent as ever. It has published a trading statement related to its interims at 4.35pm on Friday. The 2018-19 trading update was published at 4.35pm on Thursday 18 April – the last day before a long weekend. There was no particular reason to hide the latest statement. First half revenues were flat compared with a first quarter decline of 2%. Cash fell £300,000 to £28.1m over a three-month period.

Murgitroyd (MUR) is recommending a 675p a share bid from a company set up by Sovereign Capital Partners LLP. This values the patent and trademark attorney at £62.8m. Murgitroyd joined AIM 18 years ago at 121p a share and has been a consistent dividend payer.

Fully listed logistic services provider Wincanton (WIN) is considering a bid for Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) and DBAY Advisers is also still assessing whether to bid.

Disinfection products supplier Tristel (TSTL) plans to grow its revenues by up to 15% a year in each of the next three years. This follows an 18% increase to £26m in the year to June 2019, while pre-tax profit grew by one-fifth to £5.6m. The dividend was 21% higher at 5.54p a share. International markets account for 55% of revenues. Tristel is waiting for a response from the FDA, which should be forthcoming by the end of 2019.

Power projects developer Kibo Mining (KIBO) has raised £1.99m at 0.45p a share. This will be used to fund the development of power generation projects in Africa. The portfolio includes 1,055MW of power generation capacity with 355MW having heads of terms power purchase agreements. Each new share comes with a warrant exercisable at 0.8p a share.

Filtronic (FTC) has agreed to pay a warranty claim of $2m (£1.6m) and change a faulty component in antennas supplied in 2016-17. The fault relates to certain bandwidths in hot countries. The cash is payable in four instalments up until December 2020. On 23 October, Filtronic is set to report sales from continuing activities of £15.9m, down from £21.6m, and a small positive EBITDA. Filtronic has already received more than £10m of orders for its 5G backhaul transceivers due for delivery in 2019-20.

Woodford Investment Management has cut its stake in GYG (GYG) from 19.98% to less than 5%. That appears to have been a relief to the market because the share price of yacht painting services provider has recovered since the disposal. UBS has taken a 11.2% stake.

Kestrel Partners continues to build its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB), taking its stake from 25% to 26.1%. Kestrel owns 23 million shares in Brady (BRY) and, even if it makes a loss, it will be having a cash inflow. Hanover Acquisitions is offering 10p a share for the risk management software company, which values it at £8.3m.

Construction consultancy services provider Driver (DRV) says it will report underlying pre-tax profit of £3m for the full year, after £400,000 of rationalisation costs. That represents a strong performance in the second half. Net cash was £5m at the year-end, after share buy backs.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has taken a 43% stake in Elute Intelligence Holdings, which is developing software to search complex documents and detect plagiarism. Frontier IP is providing some of its own IP to an existing business to form Elute with the rest of the stake coming from providing services to the company.

Blue Star Capital (BLU) is raising £900,000 at 0.1p a share and the cash will be equally split between six investments in esports companies.

Power transmission products manufacturer Renold (RNO) says that cost savings are offsetting a downturn in trading. It is still on track to report an underlying full year pre-tax profit improving from £10.1m to £10.4m. Order intake remains weak.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has announced a restructuring of the Paradox project. This will enable the oil and gas company to focus on the most prospective acreage.

MAIN MARKET

Quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) still has a cash buffer so that it can find a new manufacturing partner to replace the US one that has withdrawn from an agreement. There could still be net cash of £1.5m at the end of July 2020.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) is planning to raise cash at NOK0.35/share in Norway. That is equivalent to 2.95p/share, compared with a market price of 3.5p. The Azerbaijan-focused oil and gas company has a drilling rig that will be mobilised before the end of the month and well M-247 has been identified as a target. It was previously in production. Zenith has identified wells in the Muradkhani oilfield in which perforations of untapped intervals can generate additional production. This will happen in the next fortnight.

OTHER MARKETS

Former AIM company Getmapping has launched a strategic review and a formal sales process. Management of the believes that the geospatial services provider could grow faster with additional investment. A company taking a minority stake is another alternative. The process should be completed by the end of 2019. The shares are traded on the Britdaq matched bargains market.

Vienna-listed Fashion On Screen is moving into theatre by acquiring musicals producer Shaftesbury Avenue. The all-share purchase is valued at £2.5m. Fashion On Screen believes that some of the musicals could become film productions.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 June 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) has asked Woodford Investment Management to subscribe for £25m worth of shares at 176p a share. This is part of an agreement with Woodford that was outlined in the prospectus and it comes at a time when the fund manager is coming under pressure for poor performance and it has closed redemptions from one of its funds. The cash will pay off a loan and provide working capital.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) is making a £155,000 investment in Tasmania Energy Metals and the two companies will evaluate whether they should develop an integrated facility for the treatment of metal concentrate. NQ also has an exclusivity period until the end of July during which to decide whether to acquire Tasmania’s assets.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has signed an offtake agreement with a Swiss supplier of cannabis oil. This will be used to manufacture cannabidiol products.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has invested £300,000 in Apollon Formularies for a 0.71% stake. Apollon plans to open a licenced retail medicinal cannabis dispensary and processing facility in Jamaica by the end of the month.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that it is unlikely to return to paying dividends or return capital to shareholders before 2022 at the earliest. There is uncertainty about future revenue streams from fixed-odds betting terminals and how this could impact UK betting. It could reduce prize money levels. The onsite hotel has increased revenues by 15% so far this year.

Trading in shares of Equatorial Mining (EM.P) has been suspended ahead of publishing accounts. They should be published at the time of the general meeting to gain approval of the acquisition of Rwanda-based miner and explorer Eastinco. A £1.2m fundraising is also planned.

Altona Energy (ANR) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Shaanxi Qianyan Vanadium and Magnesium Mining, which owns a vanadium mine in China. The plan is to forma joint venture where Altona will be the controlling shareholder. Due diligence will take up to six months and there will be a JORC-compliant mineral resource classification report. The estimated reserve is 190,000 tonnes of vanadium.

Formation Group (FRM) has secured a £10m subscription at 7.71p a share through the acquisition of Zandra Holdings, whose asset is £10m in cash. This takes the Kennedy Private Trust stake in Formation to 89.99%. A £10m loan facility ahs also been secured.

The Little Bear mine area has been transferred to Panther Metals (PALM) and the Little Bear vein is a high priority drill target in order to see if the bonanza grade gold mineralisation still exists at depth. Panther has also applied for a licence over the Annaburroo gold project in Northern Territory, Australia.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has secured a £600,000 secured revolving credit facility and spent £465,000 on a bungalow in Didcot to be redeveloped into a home providing specialist support for four adults.

Valiant Investments (VALP) is raising £263,000 at 1.5p a share and it is changing its name to Eurocann International as an indication of the change in strategy to investment in the medicinal cannabis sector. Jeremy Rose will become chief executive and he has a number of directorships including of Speakeasy Cannabis.  Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi will become a non-executive.

EcoVista (EVTP) had £419,000 in cash at the end of February 2019 and it is seeking further investment. The interim loss declined from £238,000 to £202,000. Net assets were £1.19m at the end of February 2019.

Share trading in Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has been suspended because it has not published its 2018 accounts.

AIM  

The smart machines division of Vianet (VNET) is going to be the source of profit growth for the coming years. Profit can be improved by converting the vending machines that came with the Vendman acquisition to Vianet’s contactless technology, as well as winning new business. The smart zones pub dispensing technology division should be able to maintain its contribution with lower UK profit due to pub closures being offset by an improved performance in the US. Pre-tax profit is expected to improve from £2.7m to £2.9m, although earnings per share will be hit by a higher tax charge.

Interim revenues at smart home devices supplier LightwaveRF (LWRF) increased 120% to £2.5m, although there was still a pre-tax loss of £1.35m.  New distribution channels are helping to accelerate growth in revenues. The company could move into profit next year

Bad weather in the US has hampered the progress of Somero Enterprises (SOM) and led to forecast downgrades. Demand for concrete levelling equipment is normally stronger in the spring. This year’s earnings have been cut by 12% and next year by 11%. This will also reduce the potential dividend. The forecast 2019 normal dividend plus payout of surplus cash has been cut from 27.8 cents a share to 19.8 cents a share.

Waste-to-energy technology developer EQTEC (EQT) is acquiring a 19.99% stake in North Fork Community Power, a biomass gasification power project in California. EQTEC will supply $2.5m worth of equipment from its Newry site in return for the stake. It also expects to generate €2.2m from selling additional equipment.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has signed a distribution agreement for the Microsaic 4500 MID MS detector with CM Corporation for the South Korean market.

A shareholder owning a 17.2% stake in Rurelec (RUR) intends to propose an AGM resolution for the appointment of Gordon Fisher as a director. He is a former boss of a freight forwarding and customs brokerage. The electricity generator reduced its pre-tax loss from £5.8m to £600,000 in 2018, mainly due to lower overheads, exchange gains and a disposal gain. NAV is 4.4p a share, which is more than four times the share price.

Driver (DRV) had already said that its interims would be disappointing and pre-tax profit slumped from £2.11m to £762,000. The Middle East and Asia Pacific were tough markets with lower contributions. The expert witness operations made a reduced contribution. A 0.5p a share interim dividend was announced, and the ex-dividend date is 19 September. The company is also buying back shares in order to put a floor under the share price.

Chemicals-focused shell Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) is in exclusive discussions with Arclin Inc for a potential acquisition. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Acquisitions consultancy K3 Capital (K3C) has confirmed that trading is in line with previous guidance and EBITDA is at the upper end of the range of £4.5m to £5m. An 80% payout would mean a reduction in dividend from 11.2p a share to 7.2p a share.

Osirium Technologies (OSI) has won a contract with a European telecoms services provider. The three year contract covers cyber security software and services.

MAIN MARKET 

A strong first half has continued into the second half trading for automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) and pre-tax profit for the year to May 2019 is expected to exceed expectations by 10%. This suggests pre-tax profit of around £2m. The results will be announced on 12 September.

Caffyns (CFYN) reported a small improvement in underlying pre-tax profit to £1.45m in the year to March 2019. New car sales were 10% lower, which is more than three times the market decline. However, there was growth in used car sales and aftersales revenues.

Positive news from Argo Blockchain (ARB) where results for May were well ahead of the company’s budgets. New cryptomining hardware has started contributing faster than expected and rising cryptocurrency prices have improved mining yields. A further £2.85m is being invested in equipment. There was £685,000 generated in May, based on a bitcoin price of $8,575, while cash operating costs were £280,000. Second quarter figures will be better than expected. If the bitcoin price is maintained, then there will be £2.85m of crypto assets at the end of the second quarter.

BigDish (DISH) has raised £2.1m at 7.2p a share and this should be enough cash for the restaurant platform until 2021. The UK rollout will be accelerated.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) is acquiring the Minto mine from Capstone Mining. Pembridge will pay up to $20m out of future cash flows. Commercial production could recommence before the end of the year. A $10m loan has been secured.

Symphony International Holdings (SIHL) has made an investment in Soothe Healthcare, which manufactures feminine hygiene products under the Paree and Pariz brands.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 18 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Peel Hunt forecasts a dip in Shepherd Neame (SHEP) pre-tax profit from £11.8m to £11.2m in the year to June 2019. The broker still expects the total dividend to be increased from 29.2p a share to 30p a share.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has suspended Ian Fellman as a non-executive director pending investigation into certain matters. The mortgagee of two units at Whitehouse Business park in Peterlee has enforced security and sold the properties and these have been written off the Etaireia balance sheet. David Barnett, who owns 37.8% of the company, has requisitioned a general meeting in order to have himself appointed to the board.

European Lithium (EUR) expects to commence drilling in the second quarter in order to convert the resource in zone one of the Wolfsburg lithium project into measured and indicated categories. The company is part of a syndicate applying for grant funding for building up battery production in Germany. Lithium hydroxide is expected to continue to rise in price until 2022 and then fall back. European Lithium is in talks with lithium battery plant operators in Europe about an offtake agreement. The company had £3.3m of cash and financial assets at the end of 2018, as well as a convertible note of £2.56m, with more available to draw down. There was a cash outflow of £2.6m in the six month period. European Lithium is also ASX-listed and is considering a listing in Vienna.

Sandal (SAND) has decided to leave the NEX Exchange growth market after four years. Management says that share trading is limited, and the company has not been able to raise the cash it wanted to. They believe it would be easier to raise funds as an unquoted company. The company already has the backing of enough shareholders to make a general meeting pointless. The last day of trading is 10 April.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has already made a significant gain on its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) after the miner announced a $65m farm-in agreement with Newcrest for the Havieron gold copper project in Western Australia. Newcrest, which will ear up to 70% of the project, also has first right of refusal over the rest of the Paterson project area. The Greatland stake cost 1.71p a share. Even after some profit-taking, the Greatland share price is 2p, which represents a gain of more than £100,000 on the Primorus investment. Primorus has invested £875,000 in WeShop Ltd and has a 3.5% stake worth more than £1m. WeShop has developed new branding for its platform, added to its product range and enhanced the management team. The number of WeShop retailers has trebled to more than 9,000. The technology provides access to more than 20,000 merchants around the world. Vela Technologies (VELA) has a 1.42% stake in WeShop, which cost £100,000 and is valued at £427,000. Two Shields Investments (TSI) invested at a later date and has a 1.2% stake valued at £350,000.

Barkby Group (BARK) made a small interim loss on revenues of £1.82m. The three gastropubs operated by the company were profitable before central overheads and exceptionals. There was £37,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and a VAT refund is expected. This period is before the acquisition of Centurian Automotive, which was acquired for shares.

Gunsynd (GUN) has sold its stake in UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) at 1.405p a share. The 31.17 million shares raised £438,000. Gunsynd had net assets of £2.18m at the end of January 2019, including £543,000 in cash. The flotation of FastBase Inc has been delayed and Gunsynd is no longer advising the company. Human Brands International Inc, where Gunsynd has a £300,000 convertibles investment, is on course for a standard listing.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has incorporated a subsidiary in Gibraltar and it is applying for a business licence.

Ganapati (GANP) says that its subsidiary GanaEight Coin Ltd, which is developing and operating a blockchain-based online casino platform, has launched a virtual token private pre-sale of its initial virtual financial asset offering.

Gavin Burnell has bought 5.83 million shares in Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) and that takes his stake to 22.3%. His fellow director Charles Vaughan bought 750,000 shares, taking his shareholding to 1.67%. Non-executive chairman Brian Rowbotham bought the same number of shares, taking his stake to 3.09%. The shares were all acquired at 0.136p each.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has commenced gold mining under the joint venture agreement with VAST Mineral Sands in Australia, where it has a 50% economic interest. Tectonic has provided the initial funding. Tectonic is considering moving to the standard list.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has taken a 3.48% stake in standard listed coal bed methane company Curzon Energy (CZN). Brian Kinane has resigned as a director of Curzon.

AIM  

Driver Group (DRV) disappointed the market with a warning because of delayed expert witness contracts in the first half. The construction consultancy services provider has not made the expected progress in the Middle East and south east Asia and full year underlying pre-tax profit will be slightly lower than the £3.5m originally forecast. There is a strong pipeline of potential business, but this has to be secured in order to reassure investors about the full year outcome. There is still £5.1m in the bank. Driver will spend up to £500,000 buying back shares and it has already spent £124,000 at 55p a share. The directors have also been buying shares.

Bowmark Capital has increased its bid for Tax Systems (TAX) from 110p a share to 115p a share, valuing the company at £102.3m. The subsequent general meeting voted in favour of the scheme of arrangement.

Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) increased its revenues from £4.12m to £5.38m, while the loss was cut by two-thirds to £1m. The loss should be much lower in 2019 and cash should be generated so that net cash exceeds £1m. Demand for cyber security continues to grow and the consulting division is getting business from existing and new clients. This is also feeding through to additional managed services business.

Marshall Motor (MMH) managed to edge up its underlying pre-tax profit to £25.7m even though trading conditions remain tough for car dealers. There was a strong last quarter for the used cars division. A small dip in profit to £24.1m is expected for 2019.

Franchise Brands (FRAN) had a full 12-month contribution from the Metro Rod business acquired in 2017, although the full benefits of the restructuring of the business and IT investment are still to come through. These changes should help to generate organic growth this year. Allenby forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £2.9m to £3.5m in 2019. The group is in a position to seek more acquisitions, particularly ones that add to the services provided by Metro Rod.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) grew its full year revenues by 69% to £578,000 and gross margin improved. The protein identification product ProteinID will be launched later this month. There was still £5.4m in the bank at the end of 2018. This is enough to cover the expected cash requirements.

Standard list shell Safe Harbour Holdings (SHH) has appointed James Brotherton as finance director. He was previously finance director at Tyman, where he was involved in acquisitions, and he earned £568,000 in 2017. Fully listed Tyman, which was previously on AIM, made an underlying pre-tax profit of £72.7m in 2018. The acquisition Safe Harbour is seeking will be in distribution and business services. WSP founder Chris Cole was recently appointed as independent non-executive director. There was £28.1m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Immupharma (IMM) is seeking partners for its lupus treatment Lupuzor and is also seeking to commence a managed access programme in Europe for the treatment. An extension study from the original phase III trial has commenced.

RedT Energy (RED) is raising up to £3.2m via a placing and open offer at 2p a share, ahead of a strategic review to decide how to finance the business. Last October, the energy storage equipment developer raised £5.03m at 7p a share. The company could generate $1m from the sale of its US business and costs are being cut. The plan is to cut the monthly cash costs to less than £500,000. Discussions continue with strategic partners.

SimplyBiz Group (SBIZ) has signed a five-year contract with insurer Aviva, which will use the company’s Zest employee benefits technology platform to deliver a new benefits product for smaller clients. This follows a three-year contract with Taylor Wimpey, which will use Zest to deliver employee benefits to its 5,000 plus employees.

Concepta (CPT) is supplying its myLotus fertility test to Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Proton Power Systems (PPS) has signed a letter of intent with Skoda for the development of fuel cell electric buses using Proton’s HyRange systems. The plan is to build 10 buses by the first quarter of 2020.

i3 Energy (I3E) has raised £16m via a placing at 16p a share, although it is partly dependent on shareholder approval for the issue of additional shares. Existing shareholders are being given the opportunity to subscribe up to £2m through an open offer. Along with a £24m loan, the cash will fund the drilling of three wells. Two will be on the Liberator oil field and the other will be on the Serenity prospect.

Paragon Entertainment Ltd (PEL) has raised £150,000 at 0.8p a share, which was a 23% discount to the market price. Management and an existing shareholder bought the shares.

Urals Energy (UEN) failed to replace Allenby as nominated adviser and the quotation has been cancelled.

Mereo BioPharma (MPH) expects its merger with OncoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc to close in the second quarter of 2019.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) achieved crude oil sales of 1,994 barrels per day in January and 2,179 barrels per day in February. The realised prices were $52/barrel and $56.84/barrel for each month respectively. Current estimated production is 2,358 barrels per day.

MAIN MARKET 

Quarto Group (QRT) reported a 51% recovery in underlying 2018 pre-tax profit to $5.9m, although the publisher’s revenues were slightly lower. The best performance was in children’s publishing. Net debt fell by 6% to $60.4m.

Local Shopping REIT (LSR) has responded to the bid by Thalassa (THAL) and it continues to find it opportunistic. The company is committed to returning cash to shareholders and it argues that they will get more cash than the £9m on offer as part of the cash and shares bid. The offer is 14.64p in cash and 0.26 of a Thalassa share for each Local Shopping REIT share.

Path Investments (PATH) has withdrawn from the proposed transaction with ARC Marlborough after due diligence. The plan was to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland.

European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund has converted more of its bonds into shares in WideCells Group (WDC) having sold most of the recently converted shares. A further 115 million shares have been issued in return for £115,000 of bonds and a penalty payment of £172,500.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has submitted an application for a permit to develop the Kochang Mine in South Korea. The application for the Gubong mine should get a response by 23 March.

Andrew Hore

Ian Pollard – Clarkson #CKN Challenged By Headwinds

Clarkson plc CKN   Despite a challenging start to the year Clarkson produced a robust performance for the year to the end of December.Underlying profit before tax fell by 10% and earnings per share declined from 116p to 105p.The CEO is happy with this as it enables the dividend to be increased by 3% making it  the16th consecutive year of increased dividends. Headwinds are having their impact in the form of political uncertainty and natural disasters but these are expected to diminish as the year passes.

Polymetal International POLY  Preliminaries to the 31st December showed that 2018 was a year of strong operating and financial results,with revenue rising by 4% and gold sales up by 10$. Adjusted EBITDA was up by 5%, although average realised gold and silver prices both fell. A final dividend of US$ .31 is proposed. The dividend declared during the period has risen by 47% from last years 32 cents to the current 47 cents.

Xaar plc XAR updates that underlying trading results for the year to 31 December 2018 are in line with previous expectations and delays in ramp up of new product volumes in China have resulted in an unfavourable aging profile of working capital.   Provisions are therefore being taken on the basis of prudency.

Silence Therapeutics plc SRN updates that 2018 was a defining year for the company, with transformational change throughout the business. With the approval by the FDA of the first RNAi therapeutics, a new class of medicines has effectively been created. In-human clinical trials are due to commence later in 2019 to demonstrate both safety and tolerability. The interim Chair of Silence describes it as being at the cutting edge of an extremely promising new class of therapeutics.

Driver Group plc DRV reports that  the cumulative trading result is now behind the Board’s expectations for the current period due to a slowing in the speed of client conversion, in particular in the Middle East and south-east Asian markets. The cumulative trading result is now behind the Board’s expectations for the current period and the shortfall is unlikely to be recovered in the second half. Full year underlying profits before taxation are now expected to be slightly below the 2017/18 result at approximately £3.5m.

Find beachfront villas for sale in Greece;   http://www.hiddengreece.net

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 17 December 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Ecommerce software provider Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) moved into profit in the first half and had £648,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. Revenues increased by £168,000 to £647,000, even though subscription-based pricing is reducing the initial revenues from B2B clients. A loss of £60,000 became a pre-tax profit of £142,000, helped by lower operating expenses.

Veni Vidi Vici Ltd (VVV) is acquiring a 51% stake in a licence in the Shangri La gold, silver and copper project in Western Australia for A$220,000, which is payable to Goldfields Consolidated in the form of 190,000 shares and A$20,000 in cash. The shares cannot be sold for three months. VVV will spend an initial A$300,000 over three years and Goldfields will receive a 10% management fee.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has raised £367,000 at 4p a share and each new share comes with a two-year warrant exercisable at 7.5p a share. If the share price averages more than 15p for five consecutive days, then the company can require the warrants to be exercised.

Gastropubs operator Barkby Group (BARK) has signed heads of terms to acquire Northamptonshire-based upmarket car dealer Centurian Automotive Ltd. The most recent accounts were for a dormant company and shows £200 in the bank.

Quetzal Securities Ltd sold 6.75 million shares in Pelican House Mining (PHM) for 0.5p each and Eight Capital Partners (ECP) acquired 8.25 million shares at 0.491p each. Quetzal subsequently sold a further 6.75 million shares in Pelican shares, leaving a 13.2% stake, to Eight Capital at 0.5p a share, taking its stake to 15.3%.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) has declared an unchanged total dividend of 21p a share for the year to October 2018. An interim of 7p a share will be paid in January (ex-dividend 20 December) and a final dividend of 14p a share paid in May (ex-dividend 18 April).

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has appointed Northland as broker.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (EL.P) had a NAV of 200.95p a share at the end of November 2018. The shares are trading at 160p.

AIM  

Construction consultancy Driver Group (DRV) reported a 2017-18 pre-tax profit of £3.8m, up from £2.5m, and it is returning to paying dividends with a 0.5p a share payment. Net cash is £6.9m, helped by a property disposal, and this could reach more than £10m by September 2019 even after dividend payments. The Diales expert witness business is becoming an increasingly important revenue generator and overall utilisation levels have improved. There has also been a focus on better margin work in the Middle East.

SigmaRoc (SRC) is in the process of acquiring precast concrete products supplier CPP Building Products for £15.2m, although the deal requires shareholder approval for share issues, so it will not happen until early January. CPP is based in north west England and fits well with the existing precast concrete business. In the year to August 2018, revenues were £20.9m and EBITDA was £2.6m. This year’s trading is in line with expectations. There are plans to refinance the convertible loan notes.

Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) had already warned about delays to its utility connection contracts with housebuilders and the 2017-18 figures were slightly better than expected with flat pre-tax profit of £9.2m. Nexus has a strong order book and could increase its 2018-19 pre-tax profit to £10.4m. The new electric vehicle charging points division will take time to build up.

Advanced coatings provider Hardide (HDD) has benefited from an upturn in demand from the oil and gas sector. It is also getting nearer to obtaining its first aerospace orders. Hardide remains loss-making and this will still be the case next year as it continues to invest in increasing capacity in the UK and US as demand grows.

Curtis Banks (CBP) has purchased around 600 SIPPS with assets of £180m from Hargreaves Hale, which will continue to manage the assets. Curtis Banks will launch a new SIPP product in January.

Clinical trials manager Venn Life Sciences (VENN) is collaborating with Open Orphan DAC. The two firms will share resources in the orphan drugs market. Venn is raising £1m from a two-year loan note issue.

WH Ireland has upgraded its forecast for banknote authentication and brand protection technology business Spectra Systems (SPSY) for the second time. The underlying pre-tax profit forecast has been raised by 10% to $4.5m. The 2019 forecast, which had previously been upgrade by 16%, is maintained for the time being.

Kibo Energy (KIBO) says that its 60%-owned subsidiary MAST Energy Developments has an exclusive option to undertake due diligence and acquire three peaking power sites totalling 31.3MW. This would provide initial revenues for Kibo later next year. Kibo has renewed its memorandum of understanding with Mozambique-based electric utility Electricidade de Mocambique for the financing and operation of the Benga independent power project.

eServGlobal Ltd (ESG) says that 2018 revenues will be lower than expected due to weak trading at the PayMobile business and the failure to close orders. The PayMobile business may be sold and the focus will be the HomeSend remittances business.

NWF (NWF) says feeds demand was strong in the summer because of a lack of natural grazing. In contrast, the hot weather held back demand for fuels. A Solihull-based fuel distributor has been acquired. The food distribution business continues to trade at around capacity because of contract wins. The interims will be published on 29 January.

ReNeuron (RENE) has important clinical trial results coming up in the next 18 months. A retinitis pigmentosa treatment is in phase I/II trials and there should be data in mid-2019. A phase IIb trial for a CTX cell therapy-based treatment for chronic stroke is due to report by early 2020. There was £30.7m in the bank at the end of September 2018. Management is seeking partners to help it to make the most of its technology.

PhotonStar LED Group (PSL) has raised £100,000 at 0.02p a share and this will enable the board to assess new business opportunities.

Property adviser Fletcher King (FLK) is maintaining its interim dividend at 1p a share even though pre-tax profit has dipped from £148,000 to £132,000. Ratings appeals revenues were lower. There is £2.28m of cash in the balance sheet.

Kromek (KMK) has secured an initial contract with the US Department of Defense worth $2m over 12 months. The plan is to develop a proof-of-concept device for a vehicle-mounted biological threat identifier.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) started trading on AIM on Friday and the share price ended the day at 272.5p. Crossword raised £2m at 290p a share.

Volex (VLX) is buying cable assemblies and connectors manufacturer GTK for £14.3m in cash and shares. in the year to July 2018, GTK generated a pre-exceptional operating profit of £1.7m. There was £1.3m in the bank. The deal is earnings enhancing.

African Battery Metals (ABM) has found it difficult to raise the cash it requires and trading in the shares has been suspended.  The company wants to come to a settlement with creditors so that it could continue to trade.

Smaller company mergers and acquisitions business K3 Capital Group (K3C) is cautiously optimistic but the full year outcome will depend on the timing of deals. There could be a small dip in pre-tax profit to £7m this year and there could be a corresponding dip in dividend from 11.2p a share to 10.8p a share.

Telit Communications (TCM) says that it will not complete the sale of its automotive business until next year. Telit is expected to make a 2018 loss. Further cost savings are being made in the Internet of Things operations.

More bad news from Filtronic (FTC) with sales of Massive MIMO antennas lower than expected. The main customer has reduced its forecast demand. The capitalised development costs of £500,000 will be written off and options are being reviewed. The rest of the business is trading in line with expectations. Filtronic will be loss-making this year. Net cash was £2.3m at the end of November 2018.

Science Group (SAG) has ended its formal sale process because of stockmarket and exchange rate uncertainty. The strategic review continues. Trading is in line with expectations and the company will recommence the share buy back programme. Net cash was £6.4m at the end of November 2018.

Like-for-like sales growth has been slowing at DP Poland (DPP) and this means that progress in 2019 is unlikely to be as good as expected. This means that it will take longer to reach profitability. Rivals have been spending money on marketing and warm weather has also held DP Poland back. A full year trading update will be published on 29 January.

Taptica International Ltd (TAP) plans to spend up to $10m on buying back shares and it has already spent nearly £110,000. There was net cash of $42.1m at the end of June 2018.

Tristel (TSTL) says that the US regulatory process for its disinfection products is on track and interim pre-tax profit should be £2.2m.

TomCo Energy (TOM) has managed to secure £550,000 at 2p a share. The previous £532,000 placing at 8.5p a share was pulled. Laurence Read has become a non-executive director.

RA International (RAI) has won a five year contract worth up to $5.6m from a US corporate client in Central Africa.

MAIN MARKET   

Circassia Pharmaceuticals (CIR) is moving to AIM and it has decided to exercise its option to acquire US rights to COPD treatment Tudorza from AstraZeneca. This deal should complete by the end of the year and it will trigger a payment of $5m. A further $20m is payable upon approval of Duaklir and then there is further deferred consideration of $100m.

Tex Holdings (TXH) has warned that second half earnings will be lower than anticipated due to delayed deliveries and reorganisation costs.

Cadmium-free quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) is on course to complete the expansion of its Runcorn facility by the end of 2018 with commercial volume manufacturing by the middle of 2019.

Lb-shell (LBP) is being wound-up because of potential litigation relating to before it became a shell. There is unlikely to be anything left for shareholders.

Giant Saint Technologies Ltd (GST) is installing a $1m data centre in Singapore.

Andrew Hore

I would like to receive Brand Communications updates and news...
Free Stock Updates & News
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 3.000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn how to optimize your blog for search engines, find free traffic, and monetize your website.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.