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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 18 May 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) says customer loan balances had increased by 4% in the quarter to March 2020. Customer deposits increased by 2%. There were net inflows to the investment management business despite the uncertainty in the markets.

Gunsynd (GUN) has extended the deadline for the Oyster Oil and Gas deal from 30 April to 30 October. If the conditions are not satisfied by October, then the sale of the Oyster shares can be terminated.

Inqo Investments (INQO) says that its February 2020 accounts may not be published until September because of delays to audits. The company’s investments have been affected by COVID-19. Kuzuko Lodge in South Africa was closed in early April and Inqo believes that it could take another two years to fully recover. Kentegra Biotechnology and South Lake Medical Centre in Kenya are both continuing to trade. Four One Financial Services could find trading difficult.

Eastinco Mining (EM.P) is completing the wash plant and starting operations at its tantalum mine in Rwanda. Cash is running out and management wants to raise cash through the exercise of warrants at 1.5p each. If 30% of warrants are exercised it will raise £700,000. If a shareholder exercises warrants, they will receive another warrant exercisable at 3p a share. The cash raised will finance capital investment and exploration.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £151,000 at 5.75p a share. SulNOx Group (SNOX) has raised £230,000 at 40p a share. Each share comes with a warrant exercisable at 40p.

Belvedere Leisure (BELV) says that the COVID-19 lockdown has stopped it obtaining additional subscriptions. Phase one of the company’s development will be split into two parts. The first 50 self-catering lodges are due to open next February.

Veni Vidi Vici (VVV) had cash of £354,000 at the end of 2019. The company is committed to paying A$300,000 towards initial spending of the joint venture that holds the Shangri La gold, copper and silver project in Western Australia.

Two directors and a managing partner of EPE have bought shares in EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) at 160p each. The total amount invested is £44,259. Boston Trust Company has increased its stake from 2.9% to 4.3%.

AIM

Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has moved into a positive EBITDA position in the first quarter, which is earlier than expected. The orphan drugs provider is on course to generate revenues of $172m this year. An underlying EBITDA of $19.5m is forecast for 2020 and that move above $50m next year. Amryt has cash on the balance sheet that is more than enough for its current requirements, but there is also debt, including convertibles. Net debt is expected to increase to $160m by the end of 2020 before reducing the following year.

Acquisitions helped Focusrite (TUNE) to grow in the first half. There was a decline in the revenues of continuing operations, although trading was strong in the corresponding period. Overall revenues were 24% ahead at £49.9m. there were first time contributions from ADAM Audio and Martin Audio (two months). Lower margins and higher interest charges meant that pre-tax profit fell from £7.15m to £6.38m. Focusrite has moved into a net debt position due to the money spent on acquisitions. Martin is likely to be hardest hit by lockdowns around the world due to its event-based customers, whereas demand for other products is holding up as people make music at home.

Payments platform provider Bango (BGO) has signed a new deal that should be worth £1.5m over three years and there is potential for it to be worth even more. Bango could move into profit this year.

Appreciate (APPS) says that the first 11 months trading was in line with expectations, but March trading was hit by COVID-19. Corporate activity has declined by around two-thirds, while Christmas savings have fallen 10%. There was still free cash of £30m at the end of March 2020. This year’s figures will be much harder hit by COVID-19 and profit is likely to plummet. Achieving a profit will be dependent on an upturn in the second half. Cash is also likely to decline.

MAIN MARKET

Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) moves from AIM to a premium listing on 18 May. Diversified has raised £69.4m at 108p a share. This cash will go towards financing two potential oil and gas asset acquisitions. Trident Resources (TRR) will be going in the opposite direction on 2 June.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 18 November 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Trading in the shares of Barkby Group (BARK) has been suspended ahead of further information about a proposed reverse takeover. The acquisition of a group of companies referred to as the Dickson controlled entities is expected to cost £30m, predominantly paid in shares. There will also be a share placing to provide working capital for the enlarged group. Charles Dickson would become executive chairman if the deal goes ahead. The businesses include Workshop Coffee, which operates four coffee shops and is a wholesaler of speciality coffee, a commercial property developer. Barkby will also acquire the right to invest in two private companies: Transcend Packaging, which won a contract to supply McDonalds with paper straws, and VivoPlex, which has developed a medical device for fertility monitoring.

Brewer and pubs operator Daniel Thwaites (THW) says fears that interest rates will fall has required a £4m increase in the provision for its interest rate swaps. That is a non-cash item and underlying pre-tax profit increased from £5.6m to £6.2m in the six months to September 2019. That figure also excludes a quadrupling of property disposal profit to £800,000. Interim revenues improved 7% to £53.4m. The new brewery is operating at full capacity, while there was a small increase in like-for-like pub revenues. The contribution from hotels improved. Net debt was reduced by £8.6m to £61.6m compared with 12 months before, although £22.5m has been reclassified as due within one year. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.1p a share.

NEX and AIM-quoted AFH Financial (AFHP) says it is trading in line with forecasts. The wealth manager will report underlying EBITDA of more than £17m, up from £10.4m, in the year to October 2019. Funds under management were £6bn. The contribution from acquisitions has been earnings enhancing. The total dividend is expected to be 8p a share and this is expected to rise by one-quarter to 10p a share in 2019-20. There was still £11.9m in the bank at the end of October 2019, although there is estimated to be £32.2m of contingent consideration and a £15m convertible loan in the balance sheet. The current focus is on organic growth and there should be enough cash generated, along with the current balance, to pay the deferred consideration over the next two years.

Ashley House (LSE: ASH) has published a trading statement and it is changing its year end from April to October following the disposal of the Morgan Ashley joint venture. In the 12 months to April 2019, revenues fell from £18.5m to £11.9m and a pre-tax profit of £805,000 was turned into a £2.95m loss. There was a loss contributed by joint ventures. Net debt was £1.8m.

Clinical support systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) is considering a move to AIM. This would be part of a potential fundraising to enable further investment in the business. DXS has already announced that it has been awarded a place on the NHS GPIT Futures framework from the beginning of 2020. This replaces the GPSoC2 framework and means that systems and services will be able to be bought centrally rather than with GP funds. The focus will be on the existing core product DXS Point of Care, analytics and reporting service CompleteCare, digital medicines service ExpertCare and condition management platform MyVytalCare. The first is already on sale and the rest will be launched in early 2020. DXS is gaining final approvals for its four solutions to be listed in the NHS catalogue.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £160,000 at 0.1p a share. This cash will be invested in additional shares in Apollon Formularies, which will take the company’s stake to 2.68%.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) believes that the lack of flotations is providing it with more opportunities. Primorus has received the £275,000 it was owed by Zuuse and still owns 57,205 shares and holds options over one million shares at A$0.50 (26p) each. The latest fundraising by Zuuse is at A$1 a share. There is a potential market to sell the shares even before a flotation.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) shareholder Formation Group has appointed Andrew Bennett as a non-executive director of the proton beam therapy firm.

David Lenigas has been appointed chairman of NQ Minerals (NQMI) and the board is in talks to replace existing debt with lower-cost debt. First Sentinel, which is run by former NQ Minerals director, has been appointed as corporate adviser.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has raised £388,000 from an issue of convertible loan notes and shares. This is less than the company wanted to raise more than six months ago. The share issue raised £133,000 at 0.02p a share, with a warrant exercisable at the same price, and the conversion of the loan notes will also be at the same price. The cash will be used to move into the medicinal cannabis sector. Additional shares are being issued to pay creditors.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 246.47p a share at the end of October 2019.

One hundred shares in Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) will be consolidated into one new share on 18 November.

Karoo Energy has changed its name to IamFire (FIRE).

Queros Capital Partners (QCP) will leave NEX on 28 November.

AIM

DBAY Advisors does not intend to bid for Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) and instead will acquire 51% of the underlying subsidiary that owns the transport operations. The poor financial situation of the business led to the change of strategy and Eddie Stobart Logistics has recommended the deal, which involves the injection of £55m of additional finance through a PIK Facility. This will pay off a £35m loan and provide working capital. The deal requires the extension of other existing debt facilities. The interim results to May 2019 are still being compiled. An operating loss of at least £12m is expected, but the underlying business could make a full year operating profit of up to £2m. There could be a goodwill write-down of £50m. Net debt will be around £200m. Wincanton (WIN) is still considering a rival deal.

ECO Animal Health (EAH) is still suffering the after effects of the African Swine Flu outbreak in China and the US/China trade war hitting imports from the US. First half revenues from China fell by three-fifths. Restocking will take time to flow through in terms of FCO’s results. There will be a sharp fall in full year profit. The interims could also be affected by accounting policy changes.

Advanced surface coatings provider Hardide (HDD) has been selected to coat parts for the new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. This is an important step in building up business in the aerospace sector. The Hardide-A coating will replace HVOF thermal spray coatings. HVOF is one of the most widely used coatings in aerospace and Hardide-A is said to be technically superior. Hardide has also been awarded a patent for a water droplet erosion resistant coating for blades and vanes, including those used on steam and gas turbines for power generation. A field test is planned.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) says that a test production run is planned later this month by 85%-owned Future Metal at its quarry in China. The plan is to restart production by the end of the year. This will help to underpin the Adamas NAV and provide potential upside. At the end of September 2019, NAV was 84p a share, which is more than three times the share price. Future Metal is 45.2% of that NAV and when the quarry is up and running then Adamas could raise cash by selling some of its stake. Cash is required to invest in new opportunities that are being presented to the company. Adamas issued 16.18 million shares at 34.8p each for its equity investment in Infinity TNP.

Safestay (SSTY) has bought the Hotel Auberge in Berlin, which is near to Berlin zoo, and intends to turn it into a 150-bed hostel. The site has an eleven year lease. This is the latest acquisition this year and it takes the total number of hostel sites to 18. The plan is to have 20 hostels by 2020.

MAIN MARKET

PureCircle Ltd (PURE) chief executive Magomet Malsagov has stood aside temporarily pending further investigation of the classification of the stevia sweeteners supplier’s inventory and other transactions. The investigations have identified that inventory was $23m too high. Other transactions could lead to additional valuation changes. There could be write downs of intangibles and inventories. There should not be any increase in net debt, although the figures are still not fully audited. Bank covenants may need to be waived. Finance director Rakesh Sinha had previously resigned, although he remains with the company until the end of January.

Automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) is seeking a buyer. Management believes the company needs to be part of a larger group with greater financial resources.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 28 October 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Ashley House (ASH) is selling its stake in the Morgan Ashley joint venture to its partner for £2m, with £500,000 deferred for 12-months. Delays in the financial closure of projects has led to a shortage of funds at Ashley House and this deal means it does not have to put any more cash into the joint venture. The renewed focus will be modular buildings and the health and wellness buildings sector. Ashley House cannot work in the elderly care housing sector for three years.

Medicinal cannabis company Ananda Developments (ANA) says that 50%-owned DJT Plants has lodged an application to grow >0.2% THC cannabis. Ananda had net assets of £725,000 at the end of July 2019. That included cash of £162,000. In the six months to July 2019, more than two-thirds of expenses related to the licence application to the Home Office.

Clinical support systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) has been awarded a place on the NHS GPIT Futures framework from the beginning of 2020. This replaces the GPSoC2 framework and means that systems and services will be able to be bought centrally rather than with GP funds. DXS is on course to meet approvals for its specific systems and services. Three newly developed products will be placed on the NHS Digital Online buying catalogue.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) is changing its name to Eastinco Mining and consolidating 100 existing shares into one new share. It is also seeking shareholder approval for the ability to issue more shares. The share purchase agreement conditions for the acquisition of Eastinco have been satisfied. Six billion shares (this will be 60 million after consolidation) and £300,000 of nil coupon loan notes June 2025 have been issued. Heavy mining equipment is being transported to the Kuaka project.

Trading in the bonds of Via Developments (VIA1) has been suspended because a new independent non-executive director has yet to be appointed.

Woodford Investment Management has reported that it has cut its stake in proton beam therapy services provider Rutherford Health (RUTH) from 49.28% to 29.78%, but it is not clear who has acquired the shares.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has declared an interim dividend of 0.83p a share and that will cost £359,000. The shares go ex-dividend on 7 November.

Panther Minerals (PALM) plans to consolidate 20 existing shares into one new share and shareholders are being asked to vote for the resolution at a general meeting on 14 November. Panther has been granted its first exploration licence in the Northern Territory. The Marrakai project licence is in the Pine Creek Orogen and covers just over 10 km2. There are a series of gold prospects and there has been previous drilling in the area.

AIM

Footwear retailer Shoe Zone (SHOE) has reassured investors that it will be able to achieve the downgraded pre-tax profit of £9.5m. Net cash of £11.3m at the end of September 2019 is better than expected.

Monoclonal antibodies developer Bioventix (BVXP) reported a 6% increase in full year revenues, although the underlying growth was 16% due to the inclusion of back dated royalties in the previous year. Underlying pre-tax profit was 14% ahead at £7.1m. A 47p a share special dividend is proposed on top of the final dividend of 43p a share. Vitamin D antibody sales increased by one-quarter and they account for 46% of group revenues.

D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) says that its first half trading was in line with expectations. Interim revenues of the data analytics and collection company were £8.8m and this should be one-third of the full year total.

Oil and gas producer President Energy (PPC) is acquiring additional acreage in Rio Negro province from the Argentine oil company CGC in return for assuming the liabilities related to the acreage. CGC is also subscribing for $1.825m worth of shares in instalments. The first instalment of $500,000 will be subscribed when the acquisition is completed. The total subscription could be the equivalent of 3% of President, depending on the share prices when the money is invested.

Thor Mining (THR) is raising £510,000 at 0.2p a share. The cash will be invested in the Molyhil and Bonya tungsten and molybdenum projects in the Northern Territory and a copper project in South Australia.

Vianet (VNET) says that its smart machines division is adding to its customer base and the contracts won in August mean that the growth will continue. Overall trading in the first half was in line with expectations.

MAIN MARKET

TNG (TNG) is seeking to join the standard list. The titanium dioxide project owner already has an ASX listing. TNG owns the TIVAN process that enables production of ultra-white titanium dioxide pigment. The Munt Peake project in Australia will be the first to use the technology. The project will also produce vanadium. A final investment decision will be made as early as next summer.

Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) has been hit by weakness in its main markets. There have been reduced volumes in the automotive market. The forecast pre-tax profit for the year to March 2019 has been cut from £22m to £20.3m.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) has raised £824,000 at around 3p a share from the placing in Norway.

Standard list shell Rockpool Acquisitions (ROC) has signed heads of terms with a company in Nevada, which will subscribe for £1.6m of shares and convertibles at an issue/conversion price of 12p a share. Rockpool will make a further loan of £750,000 to Greenview Gas, taking the total to £910,000, which will be convertible into 40% of Greenview.

J Smart and Co (Contractors) (SMJ) increased full year revenues from £8.56m to £16m. The pre-tax profit improved from £5.82m to £7.27m, although that was mainly due to the net surplus on property valuations rising from £2.86m to £4.05m. A lull in contracting work means that this year’s profit is unlikely to improve.

Cash shell Baskerville Capital (BASK) still had £1.5m in the bank at the end of June 2019.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 8 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

AIM-quoted Aquis Exchange (AQX) is acquiring NEX Exchange from CME Group Inc, which bought it as part of its £3.9bn takeover of NEX Group. Aquis will pay £1, plus £2.7m for working capital requirements. The deal requires FCA approval so it is unlikely to complete before the autumn.

Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) is purchasing a residential mortgage portfolio for £258m. The loan portfolio has £266m outstanding and the yield is 3.6%.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) is raising £1.3m via a share issue at 0.1p a share and loan notes worth £904,000, which are convertible at the same share price. The cash will be used to acquire Rwanda-based Eastinco.

MESH Holdings (MESH) has reached an early agreement to exercise the option to acquire Sentiance. MESH will issue 4,000 shares for each Sentiance share. Sentiance will have €19m in cash when the deal completes. More than 404 million MESH shares will be issued, which is nearly two-thirds of the enlarged share capital. Trading in the shares is suspended until a circular is published in order to gain shareholder approval.

The forecast 2018-19 loss for health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) has been increased from £1m to £1.6m following clarity about what deals were signed prior to the year end. A return to profit is expected this year.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has announced a third interim dividend of 0.84p a share. The ex-dividend date is 11 July.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has extended its A$4m loan facility to 5 September. The two month extension cost A$160,000.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested a further $130,000 in Oyster Oil and Gas, taking its stake to 30%.

Trading in Ganapati (GANP) shares has been suspended because accounts for the year to January 2019 have not been published.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has appointed Cairn as its corporate adviser.

AIM

Science Group (SAG) has launched a 35p a share cash bid for Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) and that is higher than the indicative offer of 30p a share. Frontier advises that shareholders take no action and says that it has received approaches from other parties and there are discussions with one of them about the structure and pricing of any deal.

Independent directors of FFI Holdings (FFI) are recommending a bid of 25p a share, which values the film completion insurance provider at £39.5m. The mandatory offer comes two years after FFI floated at 150p a share.

IMImobile (IMO) continues to grow strongly in the Americas and Europe with 42% growth in revenues last year. The cloud and mobile services provider increased total revenues by 28% to £142.7m, with organic growth of 14% on a constant currency basis. Net debt was £7.5m at the end of March 2019 and cash generation is strong. Thee was £14.6m generated from operating activities last year.

Plastic components and packaging producer Synnovia (SYN) has refinanced its debt. The maximum amount available is £25.3m. The maturity has been extended from June 2021 to June 2023. The full year results will be published on 9 July.

Bango (BGO) has partnered with appScatter (APPS) in order to help the latter’s app development clients to grow in-app revenues.

Gfinity (GFIN) has generated better than expected revenues in the year to June 2019. The esports company expects to breakeven by 2021.

Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) is raising £14.18m via a placing at 15p a share, while an open offer could raise up to £3.94m. Revenues remain modest and the cash is required to cover continuing losses. Cash consumption is running at £1m a month and 2019 revenues of £1.1m are anticipated.

Churchill China (CHH) has generated higher than expected revenues in the hospitality sector, particularly in Europe. Full year trading will be ahead of expectations. The interims will be announced on 29 August.

Mirada (MIRA) is raising £2.1m from the sale of its Mirada Connect car park payment services business to part of VW. The business generated revenues of £633,000 and pre-tax profit of £122,000 in the year to March 2019. This will enable Mirada to concentrate on its digital TV business, where annual revenues are approaching $12m. Mirada had net debt of $4.9m at the end of March.

LightwaveRF (LWRF) has signed an agreement with Google to jointly market Lightwave compatible smart speakers that provide voice-controlled lighting.

Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) has secured its first OEM agreement for its AI-based imaging software and the share price nearly doubled on the back of the deal. The technology will be integrated into ultrasound systems. Initial royalties are expected in 2021.

Cellcast (CLTV) plans to sell its operating subsidiary to its management team, but it is unlikely to generate a good price because of its poor performance. The company will become a shell. Fraser Cropper of e-cigarette company Totally Wicked has taken a 3.7% stake.

MAIN MARKET

InnovaDerma (IDP) has reassured investors that it is on course to more than double pre-tax profit to £1.5m in the year to June 2019. The pharma and beauty products supplier had £1.7m in the bank at the end of June 2019, which is better than expected. It is still down from £1.9m one year earlier.

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) has appointed FRP Advisory to find a buyer for loss-making British Polar Engines Ltd. There is a deficit of £1.35m on the pension scheme.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has announced further outperformance by its crypto mining activities as the bitcoin price continues to recover. The company had £3.07m of crypto assets in the balance sheet at the end of June 2019, which is more than £200,000 more than expected. Additional equipment is being acquired.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) is raising £4.3m at 3p a share. The money will finance production growth at the Gakara rare earth project. There should be some cash left to pay for additional drilling.

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has revised its 2018 accounts. The original version did not reflect two transactions with director James Longley.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has paid an initial dividend of 5.68p a share with a further dividend double that level (depending on exchange rates) due to be paid after the interim figures are published.

Boston International Holdings (BIH) has returned from suspension following the termination of the reverse takeover of Cornhill FX, which was first announced in August 2017. Boston could not raise the cash required. Management is assessing future strategy. The costs of the proposed transaction mean that cash is below £150,000, which is less than 50% of share capital.  

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore: Quoted Micro 15 October 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Smart home products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported a decline in overall revenues from £3.75m to £3.62m for the year to May 2018, but this masks the 71% growth of the Energenie MiHome revenues to £1.01m. Sandal reduced its operating loss and there was nearly £51,000 in the bank, although net debt was £1.09m.. A small profit is forecast for 2018-19 with a small increase in net debt expected. Sandal may need additional cash to increase the marketing for the Energenie MiHome brand.

High Growth Capital (HASH) has raised £500,000 at 0.8p a share, which was a 77% premium to the market price. Malcolm Burne and Professor Michael Cain have left the board and been replaced by Jens Zimmerman, who becomes non-executive chairman. The investment strategy will be widened from medicinal cannabis, because of a lack of opportunities, to technology. The company intends to acquire a 9.8% stake in Belgium-based artificial intelligence software developer Sentiance. The software enables companies to understand user behaviour. The data comes from smart devices. The technology is used in areas, such as insurance, health and car driving.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings Ltd (AWLP) improved its interim revenues from $1.15m to $1.24m. The pre-tax profit fell from $162,000 to $66,000. There was $1.4m in the bank at the end of August 2018.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has published its 2017 figures and interims to June 2018. The full year loss was £294,000 and the interim loss increased from £117,000 to £162,000. There was £53,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. The company is beginning to ship coal from its mine in Nigeria.

Positive Healthcare (DOC) has appointed KSA Group Ltd to liquidate the company.

Shen Chaohuli has sold his 18.3% stake in TechFinancials Inc (TECH) to Ou Qiao.

AIM  

Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) has received a cash injection to keep it going, after unknown overdraft facilities were discovered. The cash balance in the recent accounts does not appear to exist. A placing has raised £15.7m at 50p a share. Chairman Luke Johnson is also providing loan facilities of up to £20m.

EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has revealed details of the spinning off of Renalytix AI on AIM. Renalytix AI is raising cash at 121p a share as part of the flotation, which should happen on 31 October. EKF will distribute its near-21 million shares in the company to its own shareholders, although it will subscribe for new shares. EKF shareholders will also get the chance to invest up to £3.5m in new shares.

Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) is making another major acquisition. The oil and gas producer is paying $183m for Core Appalachia, which is funded by cash and shares issued at 115p each. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing.

Vertu Motors (VTU) has been hit by a lack of cars due to the newly installed testing procedures but it still has a strong balance sheet and it will make a significant full year profit. September registrations were the worst since 2011 and Vertu was not immune. That will hit the second half. There was an improved performance in the used car market to help offset the weaker new car sales in the first half. Pre-tax profit is expected to decline from £28.6m to £22.1m in the year to February 2019.

Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) has reaffirmed that it is on course to make a full year pre-tax profit of £24.2m, down from £29.1m in 2017.

OnTheMarket (OTMP) has increased its spending on marketing and IT since floating on AIM and this has pushed it into loss. A full year loss of £14.7m is expected and there is not likely to be much of a reduction the following year. The online property platform has succeeded in doubling the estate agency offices using the service to more than 11,000 many of the additional offices are in a trial period and not paying to put their properties on the platform. The investment being made will only be justified if these offices start to pay fees. The IT investment will enable the company to offer more products and services and increase revenues that way as well.

Access Intelligence (ACC) is acquiring ResponseSource, which provides SaaS-based services to the PR and media sectors, for £5.5m. This company fits well with the group’s existing business. A ten-for-one share consolidation is planned.

Health monitoring equipment developer LiDCO Group (LID) is still going through the transition from a sales model to one based on regular income from hospitals. Interim recurring revenues increased by 11% but total revenues were 8% lower at £3.6m. Importantly, there should be enough cash in the bank to move the business towards profitability. That could happen in 2019-2020 but is more likely to be the following year.

Melissa Blau is stepping down as chief executive of Veltyco (VLTY) fewer than seven months after she was appointed. The shares price has fallen by three-fifths in the subsequent period.

Online women’s fashion retailer Sosander (SOS) has raised £3m at 32p a share, which is more than double the flotation price of 15.1p a share. First half revenues were £1.84m.

MAIN MARKET   

Titon (TON) has firmed up its plan to move to AIM. The window components manufacturer expects to join AIM on 10 December.

Toople (TOOP) says trading in the first week of its new financial year is ahead of expectations. The statement remains, as ever, light on proper financials and indications of losses. Toople raised £2.2m at 0.3p a share, so it has enough cash for the time being.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 23 July 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) moved back into profit in the year to March 2018 and it is paying a dividend of 0.4p a share. The e-commerce technology company edged up revenues from £1.04m to £1.07m, while a loss of £46,000 was turned into a profit of £82,000, even after amortisation of £70,000, up from £20,000 in the previous year.  Net assets of £770,000 include £502,000 of cash.  There are a growing number of opportunities for this financial year.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has signed an IP sharing agreement with Canada-based Veritas Pharma. This could help with Sativa’s plans to grow medicinal cannabis and also help to choose a particular strain.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has completed its investment agreement with ARQ Minerals and this formalises the commitment to work together in Nigeria. The St Leonard’s mine is supplying trial amounts of coal. ARQ helps to manage the mine and it is subscribing £50,000 each for two tranches of shares in the operating company, which will take is stake to 50%. ARQ will also own 1,000 million warrants exercisable at 0.02p a share. ARQ has committed to producing a minimum of 40,000 tonnes of coal and every 1,000 tonnes produced above this level will earn an additional 0.625% stake in the operating company, which can take the stake up to a maximum level of 75%. ARQ and Equatorial will be paid 10% of gross profit each month with the rest of the profit shared in line with their equity interests.

Welney (WENP) has announced a general meeting to vote on the appointment of Mark Jackson and Mark Chapman as directors.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) still had £627,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018 because it has not been able to find an investment at a realistic price.

Blockchain investment company Coinsilium Group (COIN) says that Malcolm Burne has been appointed as project adviser to the company’s blockchain platform development company TerraStream.

New director Melissa Sturgess has bought 9.23 million shares in Imperial Minerals (IMPP) at 1p each. That is a 29% stake.

Medicinal cannabis sector investment company High Growth Capital Ltd (HASH) had £522,000 in the bank at the end of March 2018 and it has raised £250,000 at 0.4p a share.

AIM  

Parity (PTY) is still on track to achieve double digit profit growth this year. The IT recruitment and consultancy services provider remains modestly rated even though the share price has risen substantially this year.

Yu Group (YU.) says interim revenues increased by 69% to £35m. The energy supplier expects full year revenues to be at least £82m, which means that operating profit should rise by three-quarters. There is £18.2m in the bank.

Frontier IP Group (FIPP) says that portfolio company Tarsis Technology has entered into a collaboration with a major crop protection products company. The company will provide the funds to further develop the Tarsis technology to deliver chemical pesticides and fungicides in a more controlled way. In return the company gets exclusive rights to particular agrochemicals usage and Tarsis would get royalties from commercial products. Frontier IP is lending Tarsis £150,000 in return for share options.

Consumer healthcare business Venture Life Group (VLG) is raising £18.75m at 40p a share to help finance the acquisition of Dentyl Dual action mouthwash and BB Mints for £4.2m and repay £3.7m of convertible loan notes. The remaining cash will be used for further acquisitions. The share issue more than doubles the number of shares in issue.

Odey has withdrawn its general meeting requisition at Tungsten Corporation (TUNG) following the appointment of Anthony Bromovsky and Duncan Goldie-Morrison to the board.

600 Group (SIXH) has offloaded its pension scheme to specialist insurer Pension Insurance Corporation. The scheme will be wound up and surplus funds after tax will be returned to the machine tools supplier. That could be up to £4m. Full year revenues grew from $58.8m to $66m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from $2.65m to $3.05m. That excludes the gain on the sale of ProPhotonix (PPTX) shares.

Integumen (SKIN) is raising £700,000 at 0.65p a share and renegotiated the deal with food supplements supplier Cellulac so that it will acquire a 9.35% stake. Cellulac’s chief executive and chief operations officer will join Integumen in those roles. Cellulac will grant Integumen a licence to sell its products in certain territories.

A positive trading statement from audio visual equipment distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) has led to a forecast upgrade. Earnings per share forecasts have been raised by 3% for each of the next three years. The 2018 profit is expected to be £28.3m and earnings per share 27.6p. The interims will be published on 11 September.

EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has signed a manufacturing agreement with Oragenics Inc. EKF will supply drug substances for the customer and this will boost next year’s profit by 5%.

LiDCO (LID) has signed a distribution deal with a Chinese supplier of blood monitoring cuffs and this will help to replace the lost income from the Argon distribution contract. It may take time to build up sales, though.

Woodford Investment has increased its stake in superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) to 21.5%. This comes at a time that Old Mutual has been selling down its stake after the recent profit warning.

Corporation tax software supplier Tax Systems (TAX) has grown its recurring and non-recurring revenues in the first half of 2018 and total revenues were 14% higher, which includes 9% organic growth. Net debt is down to £17.5m.

Synectics (SNX) had net cash of £9.1m at the end of May 2018. The surveillance technology company increased interim revenues by 3% to £34.7m thanks to strong demand from the gaming sector. Underlying profit improved from £1.3m to £1.5m. Stockdale has maintained its full year profit forecast at £3.1m.

EMIS (EMIS) says that its primary care business is sorting out its problems and the net cash grew to £32.3m at the end of June 2018. The health IT technology supplier says that the business has grown in the first half and still expects an improvement in full year profit. The share price has recovered since the disappointing trading statement earlier this year.

Ken Kroeger has become permanent chief executive of driver monitoring systems technology developer Seeing Machines (SEE) and he will had over the chairmanship to Jack Boyer at the beginning of 2019.

MAIN MARKET    

Investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) says that its NAV dipped to 264.2p a share at the end of June 2018, although this was partly due to the payment of the final dividend of 8.9p a share. Excluding that, there was a 4% decline. There was an improvement on the net return on ordinary activities from £110,000 to £125,000, but the loss in the capital part of the income statement was slightly higher than that revenue gain. The total value of investments was £5.61m and NAV was £5.7m. During the first half, shareholdings in Countrywide, Debenhams, DX, Juridica Investments, HC Slingsby and Sprue Aegis were sold.

Avation (AVAP) has acquired a second new Airbus A220-300 aircraft and leased it to airBaltic.

Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) is raising £500,000 at 2.5p a share in order to help finance obtaining FDA clearance for StoneChecker software and design a cloud-based interface, as well as boost commercial operations. Subsidiary Imaging Biometrics is involved with a phase II trial that will use its IB Rad Tech technology to process data from 20 sites to determine how well dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging in measuring the effectiveness of brain tumour treatment.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 5 March 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

VI Mining (VIM) finally made it to NEX on 2 March. The South America-focused miner announced its plans late last year. VI raised £5.36m at 500p a share. That valued the company at £535m. VI is acquiring two gold and silver projects in Peru and owns two toll processing plants.

Mechanical and electrical installation and maintenance services provider Field Systems Design Holdings (FSD) nearly doubled its interim profit. In the six months to November 2017, revenues jumped from £8.47m to £12m, while pre-tax profit improved from £114,000 to £211,000. There was £3.34m of cash in the bank. AMP6 capital spending by water companies has been strong in the period and there are significant waste to energy contracts, although the medium-term outlook for that sector is not as good. Margins remain under pressure.

Energy saving electrical products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported flat interim revenues of £1.88m but this masks the growth in the sales of MiHome products. This growth will continue in the second half. The interim pre-tax profit edged up from £35,000 to £44,000.

Block Energy (BLOK) has completed the sale of its assets in Ghana for $600,000. Block still plans to join AIM.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has acquired educational consultancy Vocamedia for up to £165,000, with £60,000 dependent on performance in 2018-19.

Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has announced plans to raise a further £2.5m via placings at 90p a share. The first tranche of $1.25m has been raised and this will be used to invest in opportunities in the healthcare, education and eco tourism sectors in Africa. The focus is businesses that are two-to-three years from profit and have a positive social impact. The second tranche of £1.25m should be raised in one year.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested a further £130,000 in Human Brands by way of a convertible loan note. If Human Brands gets its expected quotation, the loan can be converted at a 55% discount to a three day average volume weighted price. This doubles the investment in the spirits distributor which will also pay (in shares) a fee of 1% of market capitalisation on flotation.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has sold a 5% stake in Horse Hill Developments to Solo Oil (SOLO) in return for £650,000 in cash and £350,000 in shares. Solo has raised £2m at 3.5p a share.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) is working with Haydale Graphene (HAYD) and the University of Swansea to develop intelligent transport systems using Haydale’s graphene ink sensor technology.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) says that it needs to raise a minimum of £50,000. A trial amount of coal has been sold by the St Leonard Mine in Nigeria. The buyer is negotiating a long-term supply agreement with a minimum tonnage per month. A second mine would need to be opened to satisfy this demand. Equatorial believes it can make a pre-tax profit of £380,000 in 2018 if the supply agreement is secured.

Supported housing provider Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has joined the MSCI IPD UK Residential Property Index.

AIM   

Content owner One Media IP (OMIP) has weathered the changes to the market due to the rise of music and video streaming and profit should continue to recover this year. In the year to October 2017, revenues were 14% ahead at £2.34m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £30,000 to £298,000. That is still well below the profit made three years ago. Profit could double this year. Michael Grade and Ivan Dunleavy have invested in the company and they should help One Media IP to secure acquisitions and exploit the existing catalogue.

India-focused online retailer Koovs (KOOV) needs more money to continue its expansion. Management wants up to £50m and much of this will go on marketing and promoting the brand. Talks continue but the current cash pile will not last much more than four months. Second half sales are expected to be lower because of the lack of investment in marketing and the full year EBITDA loss will be £14.4m.

Gresham Hose (GHE) increased its assets under management from £363m to £69m. The British Strategic Investment Fund raised £165m in the period and the plan is to try to raise £250m by the end of 2018. The acquisition of Hazel Capital added a further £86m to assets under management. The value of the strategic assets portfolio value was flat due to distributions to investors. Gresham House has a diluted NAV of 211.2p a share. There is cash of £9.8m with more to come from the sale of the last surplus property and deferred consideration from a previous property sale.

Condor Gold (CNR) is confident that it is on the way to gaining a permit to construct a mine at Mina La India in Nicaragua. An amendment has been submitted for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and it appears that Condor will not have to move the village. This will make it easier to gain the permit. Once the permit is gained then Condor can push ahead with the construction of the mine, which is in an area where there has been mining in the past.

Management Resource Services (MRS) reported a return to profit in its interim figures. Continuing operations increased revenues from A$20.6m to A$33.6m and a loss of A$745,000 was turned into a profit of A$2.52m. Management says that full year earnings per share should be at least 2p.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) is closing its loss-making non-core operations having failed to complete their sale because the buyer had not obtained regulatory approval.

Scotgold Resources Ltd (SGZ) has gained planning permission for the development of the Cononish gold mine in Scotland. This is subject to concluding legal agreements.

Lighting supplier Photonstar LED (PSL) is raising £430,000 at 0.15p a share. The cash will help to complete the development of the company’s new building control system.

Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) continues to grow particularly rapidly outside of the UK. Overall sales grew 43% to £80.1m in the year to February 2018 with international sales well over two-fifths of the total. Both branded and own-brand sales grew. Investment in growth means that EBITDA will be similar to last year. The results will be published on 15 May.

Saffron Energy (SRON) has withdrawn from the acquisition of Po Valley Operations due to regulatory and tax issues but it is still buying Sound Energy’s Italian assets. A new document should be published in the next few days.

Replacement windows supplier Safestyle UK (SFE) says that orders have been weak so far this year. This means that 2018 revenues and profit will be well below the 2017 figures. Cost savings will help to offset some of the downturn in the second half and the business is still cash generative. A final dividend of 7.5p a share is still planned when the 2017 results are announced.

MAIN MARKET    

Founder Laurence Orbach has increased his stake in Quarto (QRT) to 20.1%. Back in October 2017, he owned 15.1%. Orbach was removed from the board in November 2012.

Town Centre Securities (TOWN) reported better than expected interim figures. The property investor’s NAV was 4% higher at 375p a share and the interim dividend was maintained at 3.25p a share.

WH Ireland has raised its full year forecast for Avation (AVAP) following the publication of interim figures. The 2018 earnings forecast was raised 10.5% to 26.2 cents a share. Interim profit declined by 13% to $7.3m, while earnings per share fell 15%. The transition of an A320 aircraft from Air Berlin to easyJet led to a release of a maintenance reserve but some transactions will not come through until the second half.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 25 September 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Shepherd Neame (SHEP) improved both beer volumes and like-for-like sales in its managed pubs last year. The first phase of investment in the brewery has been completed and new beer brands have been launched to replace the contract brewing of Asahi lager, which comes to an end next February. In the year to June 2017, revenues were 12% ahead at £156.2m, while underlying pre-tax profit was 8% higher at £11.2m. The total dividend has been raised by 3% to 28.35p a share, which is more than twice covered by earnings. Net debt was £60.1m because of investment in the brewery and pub acquisitions. In the first ten week of this financial year, like-for-like managed pub sales were up by 1.5% and beer volumes were ahead by 4.4%. Graeme Craig has resigned as brewing and brands director. Peel Hunt has become corporate broker.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) had £5,000 left in the bank at the end of June 2017 but since then £40,000 has been raised via loan securities. Equatorial has signed a three year exploitation rights agreement covering an open cast coal mine in central Nigeria, which will be called the St Leonard mine. The mining will be outsourced and production should build up over a six month period.

Kryptonite1 (KR1) is investing £200,000 in Vo1t Ltd, a digital custodian of bitcoin assets, for a 5% stake. Kryptonite1 is the first beta client.

Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) says the refurbishment of the first supported housing investment in Stroud is complete and the first residents will move in during October. There is a pipeline of other supported housing projects.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) has identified an investment product around which it intends to build a business. This involves the provision of reinsurance to reduce the risks relating to investments secured on Senior Life Settlement (SLS) policies. The details of the product are still to be finalised. Lombard has issued a total of £150,000 of 7.5% convertible unsecured loan notes 2020, out of a potential £3m note issue. The conversion price is 10p a share and there are ten warrants for each £1 loan note exercisable at the same share price.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) is investing $200,000 in Stream TV Networks Inc, which has developed a glasses-free 3D technology. The strategy is to licence this technology for TVs and smartphones, followed by PCs and other uses. Stream is valued at $336m and plans to join Nasdaq in 2018. Primorus still has £350,000 in the bank.

AIM

Electronic coupon and loyalty technology developer Eagle Eye (EYE) reported faster than expected growth in revenues in the year to June 2017 and they are likely to grow by around one-third in the first quarter of this financial year thanks to the new John Lewis contract. Full year revenues improved from £6.5m to £11.1m, while the underlying loss was slightly lower at £3.8m. Recurring revenues were 68% of the total and this percentage is likely to increase. There was £3.7m left in the bank and there is likely to be net debt by the end of June 2018.

Safestyle UK (SFE) is not immune to the tough consumer climate but it still performed well in the first half of 2017. There was a small increase in interim revenues to £82.1m but there was a 15% fall in underlying pre-tax profit to £9m. The full year profit forecast is £16m, down from £20.4m. This means that the forecast dividend is flat at 11.3p a share. Safestyle is taking share in the replacement windows market and new manufacturing facilities will make it more efficient.

Bango (BGO) says that end user spend via its mobile billing platform doubled to £92.3m in the first half of 2017. This prompted Cenkos to lower its forecast loss for 2017 from £800,000 to £600,000 and raise its 2018 profit forecast from £1.1m to £1.5m. There is room for improvement if there is further roll outs around the world by Amazon.

Electricity supplier Flowgroup (FLOW) continued to make significant losses in the first half of 2017 but it has raised £25m to improve the strength of its balance sheet. The rate of customer acquisition will be lower but Flowgroup should make more money from the customers it does obtain. Breakeven is possible by the end of 2018 and there could be positive cash flow in 2018.

MAIN MARKET

Macfarlane Group (MACF) has acquired Nottinghamshire-based packaging distributor and manufacturer Greenwoods for up to £16.75m, which was partly funded via an oversubscribed £8m placing at 66p a share. The deal helps Macfarlane move into the clothing and apparel sector. The acquisition will be earnings enhancing in its first full year.

Sportech (SPO) is undergoing a strategic review and it expects to update shareholders on 9 November. Chief executive Ian Penrose, who is leaving at the end of 2017, and his wife have sold 300,000 shares at an average price of 95.2916p each, which takes their stake to 561,800 shares.

Last Thursday, telecoms-focused cash shell Stapleton Capital (STC) joined the standard list. Stapleton raised £1.5m, £1.4m net, at 5p a share. The potential acquisition would be valued at between £2m and £3m. Cash shell Baskerville Capital (BASK) started trading on the standard list last Friday, having raised £1.8m, £1.65m net, at 5p a share. The focus of the Chris Akers-backed shell is on companies in the technology sector that have strong management and the potential for scaling up their business. Rodger Sargent is a director of Stapleton and Baskerville, and he was previously a founder of the shell that became Satellite Solutions Worldwide (SAT).

Standard list shell Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP), which is focused on the energy and industrial sectors, still has £1.1m in the bank. Management is pressing ahead with discussions for the acquisition of the most attractive of its potential acquisitions.

Intelligent Energy Holdings (IEH) expects its current year revenues to decline from £91.8m to around £21m but the loss after tax should fall from £82.7m to around £24m. If the large Indian contract is excluded then the decline in revenues is from £6.7m to £4.3m. There is still £2.7m in the bank but this will not last long if the loss is not stemmed. The cash burn is currently £1.6m per month, although an R&D tax credit is anticipated in the next couple of months. Management has put the fuel cell technology developer’s assets up for sale. The fact that some of these assets are part of the security of the company’s £30m of convertible loan notes could prove a constraint. There is likely to be little, if anything, left for ordinary shareholders. That led to the share price more than halving to 2.45p.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 5 June 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

National Milk Records (NMRP) is raising £7.33m at 65p a share in order to help finance the withdrawal from the Milk Pension Fund. Like Genus, National Milk Records was part of the Milk Marketing Board and that is why it has part responsibility for the Milk Pension Fund. There will be a one-off contribution of £10.1m to the fund and £4.68m will be paid in cash and shares to Genus. National Milk Records is also selling its loss-making generic products reseller Inimex to Genus for a nominal amount and entering a collaboration agreement with the animal genetics company. There would be a requirement to finance the fund up until 2076 if the deal does not go ahead. A New Zealand-based farmer cooperative and Singapore-based fund manager Working Capital Management are among the investors subscribing for the shares.

Contemporary art collector and workspace provider V22 (V22O) moved into profit in 2016. The £1m profit was helped by a £225,000 gain on the sale of half of the option to acquire part of the freehold of its Peckham building and a £225,000 notional gain on the remaining option. There was also other operating income of £621,000. Stripping these items out, there would have been a slightly higher loss. Revenues grew from £822,000 to £1.24m. There was £64,000 in the bank at the end of 2016. NAV, including a valuation of the art portfolio, is 7.31p a share. Demand for studio space is strong at a time when it is become less affordable. This puts V22 in a strong position. V22 has agreed a ten year lease on premises in Shoreditch and is the preferred bidder for a 125 year lease on The Priory in Orpington.

Blockchain-focused investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has raised £250,000 at 2.2p a share to finance further investments. In 2016, Coinsilium increased revenues from £12,000 to £209,000. There was a total loss of £738,000, including a £317,000 loss on disposals and investment impairments of £160,000 – admittedly down from £1.31m the previous year. The NAV was £1.43m at the end of 2016.

Kryptonite 1 (KR1) is also seeking blockchain investments. This includes subscribing for shares in Satoshipay. It has also invested in five initial token offerings and three of them are already being traded and have performed well.

London Nusantara Plantations (PALM) is selling its stake in Next Oasis for £124,000. This was in the 2016 balance sheet at a valuation of £112,000 and the proceeds will boost the 2016 cash pile from £83,000. London Nusantara has been quoted for three years and it is still seeking to acquire plantation assets and it has widened its geographic search to Indonesia, as well as considering the palm oil mill sector and generating income from oil palm waste.

Early Equity (EEQP) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Malaysian multi-level marketing business Early Infinity, which has a distribution agreement with healthcare products supplier Yicom, where Early Equity owns 32.1%. The plan is for Early Equity to buy up to 30% of Early Infinity. Trading in Early Equity shares has been suspended.

Ganapati (GANP) has obtained a class 4 gaming licence in Malta and this should widen the potential market for its games. A tech office has been set up in Romania.

Halal services provider DagangHalal (DGHL) has raised £3.1m at 26.5p a share and this will leave managing director Francis Chong with a 29.9% stake. Revenues fell last year and there were significant asset write downs.

Middle East-focused investment company Indigo Holdings (INGO) had £906,000 in the bank at the end of 2016 and it raised £818,000 in February. Around £650,000 of that cash has been invested in three companies.

Restructuring and slow LED product sales meant that Gowin New Energy Group Ltd (GWIN) reported a slump in revenues from RMB652,000 to RMB28,000, while the loss was RMB6.94m. There is RMB2.08m of cash in the bank but there is more than that figure in shareholder loans because of the significant cash outflow during the year.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) increased its revenues from HK$8.31m to HK$10.9m in 2016 and the loss fell from HK$17.1m to HK$11.5m. The company’s clinics and traditional Chinese medicines generate the revenues and the TCM PLUS skincare products are expected to make a substantial contribution in the future. Last year, there was a large one-off cost relating to TCM PLUS. A hair care range is planned.

Equatorial Mining & Exploration (EM.P) intends to apply for a small scale mining lease for a coal mining prospect in Nigeria. Equatorial lost £1.55m in 2016 but £1.24m of this was a non-cash share-based payment charge. The cash outflow from operations was £383,000. Brett Clark has stepped down from the board following the failure to secure the acquisition of a Mexican gold project.

Healthcare staff provider Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) reported a £3.1m loss on revenues of £2,000 for 2016 but the business should generate more significant revenues this year. Steve Howson has become chief executive, while the former incumbent David Sumner became non-executive co-chairman. Two groups of overseas recruits have started work in the UK.

Ecovista (EVTP) has raised £470,000 via an issue of convertible loan notes. The conversion price is 0.05p a share. Any loan notes not converted will be repayable on 30 May 2018. Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has raised £64,500 from a placing at 75p a share with most of the shares bought by Bijan Daneshmand, thereby taking his stake to 5.16%.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) lost £2.39m in 2016 but this was before the acquisition of the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania. The main asset of All Star Minerals (ASMO) is its stake in NQ Minerals. This stake was valued at £414,000 at the end of 2016. The 2016 loss was £187,000, including a £28,000 write down in the NQ Minerals stake.

AIM

Touchstone Innovations (IVO), the former Imperial Innovations, has rejected the bid from rival University-focused technology businesses developer IP Group. The initial approach was made in April and some major shareholders were keen to pursue the merger. The main problems concerned valuation and corporate governance.

It does not appear that Tanfield Group (TAN) is going to be able to sell its 49% stake in access platforms manufacturer Snorkel in the near future because it continues to lose money. The value of the stake in the books is £36.3m – equivalent to 23.2p a share. This value can be achieved if Snorkel makes an annualised trailing EBITDA of $25m in any 12 month period up until September 2018. However, Snorkel is losing money and after September 2018 there is no fixed amount that Tanfield would receive if it sold its stake. Jon Pither has stepped down from the Tanfield board.

Acoustic insulation manufacturer Autins Group (AUTG) has appointed Michael Jennings as chief executive. He has been interim chief executive since February. Interim figures will be published on 13 June.

Draganfly Investments (DRG) has appointed mining engineer Luke Bryan as executive chairman. Edward Bayman will step down as chairman but continue on the board.

Hostels operator Safestay (SSTY) is planning to buy three hostels from Equity Point. The hostels are in Barcelona, Prague and Lisbon and they generate revenues of €1.6m. Safestay is loaning €3.6m to Equity Point and the plan is to swap the hostels for this debt.

Stanley Gibbons Ltd (SGI) has sold its 25% stake in Masterpiece London for £1.4m. The stake was valued in the books at £6,000. This is part of the strategy to focus on stamps and coins.

A general meeting has been requisitioned at Magnolia Petroleum (MAGP) in order to make changes to the board. At the end of May, Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (NTOG) acquired a 10.9% stake in Magnolia from former chief executive Steven Snead but the requisitioner has not been named.

Adams (ADA) has launched an underwritten one-for-one open offer to raise £1.03m at 2.5p a share. The investment focus is the technology and life sciences sectors. Richard Griffiths, who owns 29.9% of Adams, is underwriting the open offer. The announcement says that Adams has four AIM-quoted investments but only one of the companies mentioned, Oxford Pharmascience, is on AIM the others are fully listed.

TLA Worldwide (TLA), which published a profit warning at 6.26pm on 23 December 2016, thinks that it will be able to report its 2016 figures on 30 June. It will need to do this or trading in the shares will be suspended. TLA has warned that it will have to write-off some of the money owed to it.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) plans to move from AIM to the more lightly regulated standard listing. This will enable it to be more flexible in what it invests in and the level of stakes that it acquires. The main hurdle for a standard listing is getting the prospectus approved by the UKLA. Once that is done companies do not have the level of regulation they would if they were on AIM.

MAIN MARKET

Second half trading has been strong for car manuals publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS). Pre-tax profit is expected to be two-fifths higher than last year. Haynes has benefited from lowering its costs and positive exchange rate movements. The new Haynes OnDemand video service will be launched this year but there will be a write down of the costs of the previous platform in the 2016-17 figures. The full year figures will be published on 13 September.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) is trying to raise up to £2m because it is running short of cash. Members of the PrimaryBid crowdfunding platform have been offered the chance to subscribe for shares at 2p each. A minimum of £1m needs to be raised. Even if the maximum is raised then the cash is unlikely to last long unless the cash outflow is stemmed in the near future.

Acorn Growth has changed its name to Vordere (VOR). This follows the proposed acquisition of German properties, which will be paid for by a share issue at 17p each. The shell company was originally known as Acorn Minerals when it joined the standard list at a placing price of 20p a share in October 2012.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 8 May 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Mechan Controls (MECP) is selling its main subsidiary to its technical director and intends to sell its other business and return cash to shareholders. The core business is being sold for up to £2m, with a minimum of £1.64m, including £1.24m initially, payable. The final £360,000 is dependent on the buyers selling the 142,300 shares they own in Mechan Controls. This leaves the group with Nirvana Engineering, which made a pre-tax profit of £352,000 last year. The company is changing its name to Mandicon.

Wine maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) is putting a brave face on the frosts at the end of April. These were the worst frosts in April for two decades. There was a patchy impact with some vineyards impacted and some not. The company says that it mitigates risk by sourcing fruit from a wider area. The potential crop will become clearer in June. A further 129 acres of vineyard will be planted in the rest of this year.

Bulgaria property investment company Black Sea Property (BSP) is still negotiating a loan from UniCredit Bulbank to finance the acquisition of the UniCredit Building. Black Sea Property is paying €10.52m for the building – a deposit of €1.04m has been paid – and €7.6m of this will come from a loan. Once this loan is secured then a share issue can be undertaken. It appears that the deal may not be completed in May as originally envisaged. Unicredit can remain in the building for six months after completion and does not have to pay rent. The deposit will be forfeited if the deal does not go ahead. Black Sea Property has extended the repayment date of £100,000 of the unsecured loan facility from Phoenix Capital to the end of July. Discussions continue about the assignment to Phoenix of the investment advisory agreement from AG Asset Management. Anthony Gardner-Hillman is stepping down from the board and a replacement should be appointed in the near future.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has acquired the Grosvenor Casino site in George Street, Manchester for £4m. The annual rental is £300,000. Ace has also bought the company that owns Willow House in Aldershot for £1.05m.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that the loan of £497,500 has been repaid with interest by 4 Navitas. The talks about a joint venture have ended and Angelfish is trying to recover professional fees and expenses. This means that Angelfish has £1.1m in the bank and a loan to One Media Enterprises of $425,500 and it is seeking pre-IPO investments. It should be remembered that Angelfish has £2.3m of preference shares in issue.

Early stage investor Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that cloud-based food service business Fresho has announced that annualised revenues through its platform is nearly A$100m. The platform connects wholesalers and suppliers to restaurants, hotels, independent supermarkets, hospitals, pubs and other retailers. Additional automation will help to boost margins. Primorus, which is also quoted on AIM, invested £175,000 in Fresho in September 2016. Another round of funding is expected early next year. That will provide an opportunity to revalue the existing investment.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) is buying two office buildings at Whitehouse Office Park in Peterlee, County Durham, with 113 out of the 125 year lease left unexpired. The purchase price of £1.125m will be paid through a combination of 600 million shares at 0.1p a share, giving Taxspecialefx (Peterlee) LLP a 24.3% stake, and cash payment of £525,000 deferred for 12 months. Completion is expected within three months. The annual rental income is £99,500. The seller is entitled to 75% of rental income until the deferred payment is made.

Adnams (ADB) non-executive director Guy Heald has sold 310 B shares at £114 each, raising £35,340. He retains 15.9% of the B shares.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised £40,500 at 0.075p a share. Equatorial Mining & Exploration (EM.P) has raised £14,000 via the exercising of warrants at 0.01p each and it has also issued 110 million irredeemable 0.01p convertible loan notes.

AIM

The new management team has spent 2016 restructuring Quantum Pharma (QP.). One part of the business has been closed and another may be divested. The focus is niche pharmaceuticals and specials. In the year to January 2017, pre-tax profit dropped from £10.1m £6.2m. There will be a recovery in profit this year but it will take another year for profit to get back to £10m.

Podcasts supplier Audioboom (BOOM) has increased its revenues from £192,000 to £1.31m although it continues to lose money. There is already more than £3m of recognised or pre-booked advertising for 2017. Audioboom has built up its user base and it has started to generate revenues on the back of that. The acquisition of advertising technology firm SONR should help to further target advertising. Audioboom will make a further loss this year and, even after raising around £5m, the net cash is expected to be less than £1m at the end of 2017.

Management spent a significant amount of time last year sorting out the operations that Inspiration Healthcare (IHC) inherited when it reversed into the AIM-quoted business. This meant that underlying profit was flat at £1.1m. Demand for pre-natal care equipment and services is rising. There is scope for further organic growth and for acquisitions.

Pennant International Group (PEN) says that Lockheed Martin has increased the size of a contract from £200,000 to £2.2m, with potential for me. The total order book is worth more than £35m.

A concept study for the CS pozzolan-perlite project has persuaded Sunrise Resources (SRES) to focus on the project. It is thought that the 100%-owned project should have low caped and operating expenses thanks to surface mining and simple production processes. The pozzolan mined can be used as a greener alternative to Portland cement. There are no defined resources yet.

Onshore oil and gas explorer Egdon Resources (EDR) has submitted a new planning application for the Wressle field development. This follows the rejection of the previous planning application by North Lincolnshire Council. Egdon is also appealing the original decision.

Verona Pharma (VRP) raised $80m at the time of its flotation on Nasdaq. The shares were issued at 132p each and the ADSs issued in the US at $13.50 each – one ADS represents eight shares. The ADSs are trading on the Nasdaq Global Market. Last month, respiratory disease treatment developer has received authorisation from the FDA to proceed with a clinical trial for RPL554.

Manufacturer of professional audio equipment Focusrite (TUNE) produced good interim figures thanks to strong sales in North America. Interim revenues were 24% higher at £32m with pre-tax profit 89% ahead at £4.6m. Net cash is £9.4m and the interim dividend was raised by 15% to 0.75p a share. . Edison has upgraded its 2016-17 pre-tax profit forecast from £8m to £8.5m.

The Article 6 Marital Trust has become the largest shareholder in FIH Group (FIH), with 28.9%, following the sale of shares by Blackfish Capital Alpha Fund and former bidder Staunton Holdings at 300p each. Edmund Rowland has stepped down as chairman.

PowerHouse Energy (PHE) has moved its ultra high temperature gasification waste to energy G3-UHt unit to the Thornton Science Park, operated by the University of Cheshire. This will enable further development and opportunities for demonstrating the technology.

LED lighting products developer Photonstar LED (PSL) has taken advantage of a sharp share price recovery to raise £465,000 at 1.25p. The cash will be used to roll-out new product ranges.

Sanderson Group (SND) says that interim figures are in line with expectations. The retail and manufacturing software provider increased interim revenues from £9.86m to £10.9m – just under 50% is recurring revenues. Digital retail revenues were one-fifth higher. Net cash was £4.51m at the end of March 2017. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £3.44m to £3.72m. The interims will be published on 24 May.

Strategic Minerals (SML) is acquiring its joint venture partner’s stake in Central Australia Rare Earths for £522,500. Larger amounts of funding will be required to explore the resource than originally thought. Cash generated from Cobre in New Mexico will be used to finance this investment.

Digital audio technology developer Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) says that its first half revenues is significantly ahead of last year and full year EBITDA is set to be well ahead of expectations with margins higher than anticipated. Analogue radio has been switched off in Norway and there is strong demand for digital radio across Europe. Smart audio contracts have been won and there will be a better indication of progress in the second half.

Gas producer Ascent Resources (AST) has re-entered the second well at the Petisovci gas field in Slovenia. The well is being prepared for production, which should take four weeks. There has been a further objection to the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control permit, which it requires to build a gas processing plant so more gas can be produced.

DP Poland (DPP) says that system sales grew by 21% in the first quarter of 2017. There have been eight stores added this year and a new commissary is under construction.

Accident prone Redcentric (RCN) appears to be sorting itself out but it is not out of the woods yet. Net debt is estimated at £39.5m at the end of March 2017 and the bank appears to support the company. Waivers have been received for covenant breaches and there were large exceptional charges. The underlying pre-tax profit is forecast to rise from £6.3m to £9.1m.

MAIN MARKET

Personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) has acquired the owner of the IP for Prolong, the only FDA-approved medical device for the treatment of premature ejaculation, a market valued at more than $1bn a year. This is part of a strategy to build up a life sciences division. Prolong is a non-prescription, vibrating medical device that is used in training in order to increase time between arousal and ejaculation. The device could cost between £250 and £300. InnovaDerma is paying £1m in shares, issued at a 25% discount to the market price minus the settlement of current liabilities at the current share price – estimated at £323,600. On top of this, a royalty of £11 per unit sold will be paid until the patent runs out in 2031 and if Prolong generates an operating margin of 20% in any year a bonus of £150,000 is payable. Prolong will be launched in North America in the second half of 2017 and Europe and Australia next year. InnovaDerma also announced that its self-tanning Skinny Tan products will be available on the ASOS website.

Opera Investments (OPRA) is going ahead with its acquisition of Kibo Gold from AIM-quoted Kibo Mining (KIBO) for £3.66m in shares at 6p each and moving from the standard list to AIM. The acquisition has the Imweru and Lubando gold projects in Tanzania. Opera is also raising £1.5m at 6p a share – it already had £486,000 in the bank. The Imweru project could be producing 50,000 ounces of gold a year within two years. Opera is changing its name to Katoro Gold.

Andrew Hore

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