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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

Ian Pollard – easyJet benefits from collapse of competition & Ryanair disruption

easyJet plc EZJ produced a strong first quarter performance thanks in part at least to the collapse of a number its competitors such as Al Italia, Monarch and Air Berlin, which it has now bought and the disruption suffered by its main competitor Ryanair. On time performance rose by 2 percentage points to 81% despite increased disruption. Total revenue for the quarter rose by 14% and passenger numbers by 8%. Constant currency revenue is expected to rise by mid to high single digits in the first half of 2018. Passenger numbers are expected to rise from 80 million to 90 million, again helped by the lack of competition.

IG Group Holdings IGG produced new records in revenue and profit before tax in the half year to the 30th November. Profit before tax rose by 29%, diluted earnings per share by 30% and operating expenses fell by 7%. Own funds generated by operations rose by 38%.The interim dividend is being increased a tad to 9.69p per share compared to 9.42 pence in 2017

Pets at Home Group PETS The third quarter to the 4th January produced group revenue growth of 9.6% or 7.2% on a like for like basis after a strong customer response following the launch of a low price initiative.

Marstons MARS suffered disruption from ice and snow  both at the beginning of December and between Christmas and the New Year which cost it nearly £1m in lost profits. Despite that  Santa looked kindly  on the brewer on Xmas day itself which produced record retail sales  of nearly £4m., 5.4% up on last year. Market conditions are tough but 2018 will still see the opening of 15 new restaurants and pubs and 6 lodges.

Elecosoft ELCO Profit before tax and revenue for the year to 31st December are expected to be significantly higher than in 2016. Following strong conversion of operating profits into cash, net borowings were eliminated at the 30th June. Staff are praised for the development of a number of significant award winning technical innovations which have pleased customers.

Ideagen IDEA saw revenue rise by 43% and adjusted profit before tax by 56% after a strong performance during the half year to the 31st October. Sales momentum was strong in the USA, Europe and in the Asia Pacific region. Current trading is described as robust and the interim dividend is to be increased by 15%.

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Ameriseur Production Soaring And Prices Rising

Amerisur AMER increased production significantly to 4475 BOPD in the half year to the 30th June. compared to 2016’s 2641 barrels. At the same time the average realised sale price rose from $38.4 per barrel to $47.3. These two factors resulted in revenue for the half year rising by more than 57% with the Platanillo field alone having producing 8MMBO so far this year. Average production by the end of the year is expected to have reach 7,000 barrels of oil per day compared to the present rate of 6,000 barrels. By the end of 2018, 16 wells are expected to be operational, all of them fully funded from cash resources and operational cash flow.

M&C Saatchi SAA enjoyed strong revenue momentum and earnings growth in the 6 months to the 30th June and interim dividend is to be increased by 15%. The UK as so often is the case, was the geographical laggard with only 5% like for like growth compared to 15% in Europe and 14% in the USA. Profit before tax and like for like revenue, both rose by 17% and earnings per share by 11%. The second half is said to have started well.

Elecosoft plc ELCO Saw profit before tax  rise by 81% in the 6 months to the 30th June and shareholders are rewarded with a 30% proposed increase in the interim dividend. On a constant currency basis the rise in profits came to 68%. Revenue for the half year rose by 14%, basic earnings per share by 83% and EBITDA by 66%. Growth was experienced in all of the company’s geographical regions.

Osirium Technologies plc OSI which came to aim in 2016, has produced strong progress in sales momentum in the six months to the end of June with invoiced sales rising by 393% and revenue up by 59%. High profile data breaches and new regulations which are due t come into force in 2018 have attracted new customers and ensured the renewal of existing contract. Profitability has not yet been achieved because of high investment in sales and marketing and operating losses for the half year more than doubled but the company is pleased with its  operational and financial progress which has resulted in it being declared a “cool vendor” by Gartner.

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BT Caught Out in Major Fraud.

BT Group BT.A has reluctantly apologised for cheating on its Openreach customers over a number of years. After a whopping £42m fine which has now been imposed by Ofcom, it did not have much choice but it still has the audacity to try and get away with calling them “mistakes”. Ofcom takes a slighty different view and calls them “serious failings” and they were serious failings which BT doggedly refused to do anything about for three years.

Even after it had been caught out, BT refused  for those three years from 2013, to pay any compensation to those of its customers who had suffered loss. In the end Ofcom has forced it to come to the table to agree a compensation figure which it is expected, will reach something in the region of £300m. BT laughingly blathers on about failing to adhere to its extremely high standards of customer service but makes no mention of action against any of its management who were responsible for what was in effect a major fraud.

Elecosoft plc ELCO saw a significant improvement in trading and financial performances in 2016 and the current year has started well. Like for like revenue on a constant currency basis for the year to the end of December rose by 8%. Profit before tax was up by 42%, EBITDA by 35% and basic earnings per share by 55%. The proposed final dividend is 0.25p, making a total of 0.4p for the year. Eleco also claims that it is well placed for trading post Brexit.

YouGov plc YOU enjoyed a strong period of organic revenue and profit growth in the half year to 31st January. Revenue grew by 24% or 8% on a constant currency basis. Earnings per share were up by 21% and profit before tax by 27% on an adjusted basis. trading in the second half has started positively.

Bioventix BVXP produced a strong first half performance and is inceasing its interim dividend by 21%. Turnover grew by 32% and profit before tax by 49% in the six months to 31st December.

Gama Aviaton GMAA claims an exceptionally busy year for 2016 and a robust financial performance, with aircraft under management up by 12.2% and total revenue at record levels with a rise of 12.6%. US air revenue for the year to the end of December rose by 30% and ground revenue by 15%, as Gamma became a powerful market leader in the US. Europe however told a different story with air revenue down by 5% and ground revenue by 15% as  it extricated itself from contracts it may have been better without and entered a restructuring programme. On a reported basis, profit before tax nearly tripled to $19.3m and earnings per share nearly doubled to $42.9m. the dividend is increased by 4%.

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