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Ferguson plc FERG is proposing to increase its final dividend by 21% for the year to the 31st July after making what it describes as significant progress in a good year. Revenue rose by 7.6% and ongoing trading profit by 14.7%, despite a weak performance in the UK where trading profit declined in challenging markets. 90% of group trading profit is now generated in the USA.
DX (Group) plc (DX) is now on the road to recovery after a new Board took charge in October 2017. Revenue for the year to the 30th June was slightly ahead of market expectations, whilst the EBITDA loss was lower.The loss before tax was down from £82.3m to £19.9m and the loss after tax showed a similar decline. The group remains well positioned to make further progress and trading since the start of the new financial year has been encouraging.Net debt of £1.1m as at 30 June showed a marked improvement, ahead of market expectations, compared to last years £19.1m.
On The Market plc OTMP has doubled the number of branches since its admission to AIM in February and has now signed listing agreements with UK estate and letting agents with more than 11,000 offices. Traffic to the portal reached a record high of 17.4 million visits during September, more than three times the number of visits compared to February 2018.
DX (Group) plc DX The half year results for the six months to the 31st December reflected what the company describes as ” another challenging period” but the new management team has set the business on the road to recovery and long term profitable growth. Net new business in the last two months has been at a higher level than at any point in the last 12 months. The reported loss for the half year more than halved from £29.3m to £14.1m
Parkmead Group PMG Excellent progress was made in the half year to the 31st December with gross profits doubling from £0.7m to £1.4m. Oil and gas reserves increased by 67% and after maintaining strict financial discipline the company became debt free.
RPC Group RPC updates that the positive trend experienced in quarter 3 has continued and full year revenue since 1st April 2017 is expected to have grown significantly, both organically and by acquisition and with the help of foreign exchange tailwinds. The financial position remains robust.
3i Infrastructure plc 3IN claims that in the period from 1st October to 28th March its investment advisor has delivered outstanding value to shareholders. Stakes in Elenia and Anglian Water have been disposed of generating £1,120,000m. and enabling £425m to be returned to shareholders in cash by way of a special dividend. Four new investments have been made totalling £345m.
Ingenta plc ING proposes to increase its dividend for the year to 31st December by 50% taking it from 1p to 1.5p per share, after further progress was made in 2017, following on the successes of 2016.Operating profit rose by 29% and adjusted EBITDA by 8%. In the second half of the year results from the joint venture in China, showed considerable improvement.
Intercontinental Hotel Grp. IHG delivers a jargon laden third quarter update indicating that it is very pleased with itself. Net rooms grew at 4.1%, the strongest since 2010 and it is accelerating brand growth around the world. Rev Par 2.3% in the quarter and 2.2% for the year to date.Europe was particularly strong with rises of 7.1% and 6.6% respectively, slightly behind Greater China which led the way, whilst for once the US lagged. The financial position of the company is robust.
DX (Group) plc DX admits it has gone through a particularly challenging time and turned last years profit of £11.5m into a reported loss before tax of of £82.3m. for the year to the 30th June. Exceptional items of £80.7m. included everything but the kitchen sink, from goodwill impairment of £72.4m to provisions for property delapidations, professional costs and senior management departures. Adjusted earnings per share or the year collapsed to 0.1p from last years 4.9p. Now the company is focused on its operational and financial under performance, new business has risen by 20%, major new contracts have been signed and a new leadership team has been appointed. So investors who believe in bottom fishing, get your hook, line and sinkers out and see what you can catch.
Octagonal plc OCT is extremely pleased with its record revenue and profits for the six months to the 30th September, during which revenue grew by 17.5% and net profit by 40%. The pleasure is added to by the fact that the second quarter is usually impacted by reduced summer trading and revenue negative currency movements had an impact on revenue.
Ascent Resources AST expects that the long awaited process of the re certification by the Croation authorities of the export pipeline, which will allow export production to commence, is now awaited. An exchange of signatures can now be expected within a short time frame.
Sylvania Platinum SLP The year to the 30th June saw basic earnings per share rise by 139 % whilst profit after tax surged from $3.73m to $8.87m. Group EBITDA was up by 65% and group revenue rose by 28%. The equation was further helped by a fall of 12% in general and administrative costs. Sylvania Dump Operations set a record for the fourth consecutive year.
Spectra Systems Corporation SPSY trading has been strong during the first half and market expectation for full year profit before tax and cash flow will significantly exceed market expectations.
Avanti Communications Group AVN has agreed a launch slot with Arianespace for its Hylas 4 satellite beginning on the 1st March 2018. This will enable it to reach geostationary orbit 90 days earlier than previously expected.
DX (Group) plc DX Trading in shares of DX Group has resumed this morning following the failure to reach agreement with John Menzies Distribution. The DX Board is now pursuing business transformation on a stand-alone basis,
Clarkson Plc CKN reports a strong half-year performance, with underlying PBT up 25% at £21.9m, on revenues up to £156.8m (2016: £147.2m). Underlying EPS grew 9% to 57.5p, and CKSN has a robust balance sheet, with £71.4m of net funds, up from £46.7m this time last year. CEO Andi Case says the solid cash position means that irrespective of market conditions, CKSN can invest in the business for future growth, and the company is in a good position entering H2.
DX Group DX. / John Menzies MNZS – Merger discussions have been terminated. While the respective Boards believed that the proposed combination had strong strategic logic for all stakeholders, the DX Board has been unable to agree suitable terms.
EVR Holdings EVRH says its subsidiary MelodyVR Ltd has entered into a music licensing agreement with ARESA GmbH, the Anglo-American Rights European Service Agency. EVRH CEO Anthony Matchett said the agreement with ARESA “further enhances our opportunities for the distribution and monetisation of our vast library of content and further extends our market-leading position as the world’s only licensed VR music platform.”
Tracsis TRCS says group trading for the year has been in line with market expectations, with revenues in excess of £34m (2016: £32.6m) and good trading experienced throughout all parts of the business. EBITDA & adj PBT are in line and also ahead of the previous year (2016: EBITDA £7.6m, APBT £6.9m). TRCS remains debt free and highly cash generative.
Social impact investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has taken a stake in Uganda-based Four-One Financial Services Ltd, which manages the Mazima Voluntary Individual Retirement Benefits Scheme. The pension scheme is aimed a low income earners and Four-One provides marketing and administration services.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has been regularly raising funds in the past few weeks. The latest placing raised nearly £126,000 at 7.3p a share. So far this year, NQ has raised nearly £900,000.
Malcolm Burne has increased his stake in Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) by 500,000 shares, taking his shareholding to 6.19%.
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) consolidated every 19 shares into one new share on 4 April.
StatPro (SOG) is acquiring UBS Delta, which provides risk and performance analysis services, for €13m (£11.1m) over three years. UBS Delta has 115 clients with 100 of these being new to StatPro. This provides a ready made customer base for the StatPro Revolution product. UBS Delta has annualised recurring revenues of £14.5m and the combined group will have £53m. This is a highly earnings enhancing deal. A full contribution in 2018 leads to an improvement in forecast earnings per share from 4.5p to 7.4p. Net debt will double to £20.2m by the end of 2017 and then start to come down through cash generated from operations.
Bushveld Minerals Ltd (BMN) has completed the purchase of a 78.8% stake in Strategic Minerals Corporation, which owns 75% of the company that owns Vametco Alloys in South Africa. Bushveld says that the $16.5m it has paid is less than the cost of setting up a greenfield mining operation. The deal is part of the strategy to develop a vertically integrated vanadium operation. Bushveld is acquiring a low cost, open pit mine and plant with an existing customer base. There are enough ore reserves to last for 24 years at current production levels, plus scope to increase these reserves. Vametco is also near to Bushveld’s Brits vanadium project. Bushveld has also agreed to work with Sinohydro Corporation on developing a 60MW coal powered plant and related transmission infrastructure in southern Madagascar. Sinohydro will pay for the bankable feasibility study and project implementation proposal in the next 12 months. Bushveld is also moving ahead with the acquisition of an interest in the Uis tin project in Namibia.
AdEPT Telecom (ADT) says that its figures for the year to March 2017 will be ahead of expectations. Revenues are expected to be 16% higher and EBITDA 26% ahead. Net debt of £15.8m is £1.3m lower than forecast. The total dividend will be increased by 19% to 7.75p a share.
Belvoir Lettings (BLV) grew its 2016 revenues by 43% to £9.94m, while pre-tax profit improved from £2.2m to £2.5m. Contributions from acquired letting networks helped the growth. Demand remains strong for rented property. The estate agency business continues to grow from a low base and there are plans to increase revenues from other services. The final dividend is unchanged at 3.4p a share.
Gatemore Capital Management has withdrawn its requisition for a general meeting to change the board at DX (Group) (DX.) following the announcement of the discussions for the merger with Menzies Distribution.
Staunton failed to secure 50% acceptances for its 300p a share bid for FIH Group (FIH). The level of acceptances was 34.74% but nearly two-thirds of those were related parties to Staunton, which itself already owned 2.34%. The bid has lapsed. Dolphin Fund Ltd is still waiting in the wings but has not made a firm offer.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) returned to profit in 2016 but there remains uncertainty due to the loss of the company’s major customer. There are plans to widen the range of products offered in order to offset the loss and the impact of regulatory changes. There was $7.7m in the bank at the end of 2016 and since then a $3m dividend has been received from the DragonFinancials joint venture.
Gresham House Strategic (GHS) has revealed plans to pay a maiden dividend. The 15p a share final dividend will be combined with a share buy back programme. At the end of March 2017, there were £1.7m of realised gains and 50% of that is available for dividends and buy backs. The company has already bought 500 shares at 831p each.
BP Marsh (BPM) is selling its 29.9% stake in Trireme for £2.96m, compared with a book value of £2.53m. Trireme will also repay a loan of £2.16m.
Revenue recognition changes mean that Styles & Wood (STY) will report lower revenues for 2016 but pre-tax profit will be in line with expectations.
Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has discovered two kimberlite blows at the Frischgewaagt project in South Africa. This could mean that the kimberlite dyke system could widen, thereby providing higher volumes of kimberlite.
Tracsis (TRCS) is investing up to £1.3m in Vivacity Labs Ltd, which has developed machine learning software to help solve traffic and transport problems. Tracsis could use the technology to reduce the costs of processing video for its traffic and data services division. Tracsis will invest £1m to take a 23.3% stake and it has an option to acquire a further 4.8% for £300,000.
IT firm Triad Group (TRD) says that its full year pre-tax profit will increase from £863,000 to around £1.5m. The majority of that improvement came in the first half but there was also profit growth in the second half.
World Trade Systems (WTS) says that its health foods subsidiary is planning to enter cooperation agreements with two companies that will help it to diversify its product range and extend its market in China. CHelac and WTS plan to collaborate on R&D to develop cosmetic products using the former’s collagen stimulating technology. Fine Japan is linking up with WTS as a way of increasing its business in China. WTS is heading towards the first decade of the suspension of trading in its shares.
SMALLCAP AWARDS 2017 NOMINATIONS
IPO of the Year
Accrol Holdings; Blue Prism Group; Franchise Brands; InnovaDerma
Company of the Year
DP Poland; Fulcrum Utility Services; Gear4Music; Harvest Minerals
Nex Exchange Company of the Year
Adnams plc; Capital for Colleagues plc; Chapeldown; Crossword Cybersecurity plc; Sandal plc
Social Stock Exchange Impact Company of the Year
Capital for Colleagues; Caretech; Impax Asset Management; Obtala
Executive Director of the Year
Stephen Moon, CEO, Science in Sports; Andrew Jacobs, CEO, Lok’nStore; Nick Jarmany, CEO, Quixant; Tim Mitchell, CEO, Sareum
Transaction of the Year
Amino Technologies; Keyword Studios (Synthesis Group); Marlowe ; SCISYS (Annova)
Analyst of the Year
Mike Allen – Zeus; Andrew Blain – Cenkos Securities; Eric Burns – WH Ireland; Simon Strong – Cenkos Securities
Journalist of the Year
Paul Scott – Stockopedia; Jamie Nimmo – Evening Standard; Simon Thompson – Investors Chronicle
Advisor of the Year
Cenkos Securities; FinnCap; Panmure Gordon; Shore Capital; Stockdale Securities; Zeus Capital
Fund Manager of the Year
Paul Jourdan – Amati Global; Simon Knott – MI Discretionary Trust; Paul Mumford – Cavendish; Giles Hargreave and Guy Feld – Marlborough Fund