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Oberon Investments Group (OBE) is acquiring 63% of Logic Investments Ltd, which provides back office services to investment managers. Logic has funds under management and administration of more than £275m and Oberon Investments will merge its own back office operations with Logic. A placing raised £1.75m at 3.5p a share. Chairman Alex Hambro subscribed for 1.14 million of the shares, taking his stake to 1.64 million shares. The cash will be used to accelerate growth.
GP IT systems supplier DXS International (LON: DXSP) reported a 2% improvement in interim revenues to £1.65m, while the loss was £131,000 due to higher depreciation and operating costs. There was £399,000 in the bank at the end of October 2022. Management options can be exercised if annual turnover reaches £5m in the next three years. Hybridan forecasts revenues 2022-23 revenues of £3.61m with a pre-tax profit of £86,000.
Cooks Coffee Company (COOK) says UK sales were 41% higher in 2022, while sales in Ireland were 91% ahead. The focus is generating better returns from existing café sites, although there will be some new openings.
Healthy snacks supplier S-Ventures (SVEN) says full year revenues were £8.7m, but the inability to obtain ingredients hampered sales income. The operating loss is £2.6m. The revenues were one-fifth down on initial expectations for the year to September 2022. Supply problems have eased, and price rises have helped to offset higher costs.
Marula Mining (MARU) has appointed Geofields Tanzania to commence copper exploration at the Kinusi copper project, where Marula Mining owns a 49% interest, and £80,000 has been raised from a warrant exercise. Initial exploration results should be published in the second quarter of 2023.
Hydrogen Future Industries (HFI) is investing in hydrogen production facilities developer Tower Green. It has spent £100,000 in cash and shares on a 20% stake and has the right to invest a further £50,000 for another 10% stake. Tower has an agreement with Element 2 to supply hydrogen fuel to fleet operators. Hydrogen Future Industries has developed wind-based hydrogen production systems.
Tap Global (TAP) continues to rise following the previous week’s completion of its reversal into Quetzal Capital last week. There was £3.1m raised at 4.5p at the same time, even though the market price had not been that high since May last year. Chief executive David Carr acquired 190,000 shares at 4.1p each and finance director Anthony Quirke bought 135,135 shares at 4.4p each.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) lost money on the Great Christmas Carnival and the company is likely to make a small profit in 2022. The other parts of the business traded in line with expectations.
Quantum Exponential (QBIT) had £2.48m in cash out of net assets of £4.85m at the end of October 2022. There was a cash outflow of £313,000 in the previous six months.
Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd (GSVR) has restarted processing at the Cata mill at the Valenciana mine. The initial processing rate is around 8,000 tonnes/month.
Invinity Energy Systems (IES) says that its VFB technology has passed phase 1 requirements for UK government’s LODES competition, and it is submitting the application for phase 2. The competition offers £11m of funding to the winner.
AQRU (AQRU) says that Accru Finance is raising the threshold for minimum account deposits on its app to $250,000. This will reduce assets on the app, but hardly affect revenues. There will also be further cost cutting.
Rogue Baron (SHNJ) sold 930 cases of Shinju whisky in the fourth quarter of 2022. Revenues were $120,000.
Gunsynd (GUN) has raised £194,000 from partial disposals of stakes in three companies. Gunsynd has invested £150,000 in Strategic Minerals Europe, the holding company of Aberdeen Minerals, which is exploring for nickel-copper-cobalt deposits in north east Scotland. Shares were acquired at 2.5p each and Gunsynd has a 2.7% stake.
Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) is paying a dividend of 23p a share, up from 21p a share last year.
Pawnbroker Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) did much better than expected in the year to September 2022. Group revenues increased by 62% to £66.1m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £564,000 to £8.27m. Net cash is £8.84m. The total dividend is 9p a share. Earnings forecasts for 2022-23 were upgraded by 5% following a 6% upgrade in October.
Regional legal firm consolidator Knights Group Holdings (KGH) reported a 19% increase in interim revenues to £71.2m and underlying pre-tax profit was also 19% ahead at £9m. This was achieved in a flat market. Net debt was £35.6m at the end of October 2022. The interim dividend is 153p a share.
China-based Hainan Mining is funding the Bougouni lithium project that is wholly owned by Kodal Minerals (KOD). A $100m investment will be made into a joint venture providing Hainan Mining with a 51% stake. The work on the construction of the mine will be overseen by Kodal Minerals. Hainan Mining is also subscribing $17.75m for a 14.8% stake in Kodal Minerals and that money will be spent on other projects.
Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) is launching a strategic review and potentially putting itself up for sale. The board of the programmatic advertising business believes that Mirriad Advertising is undervalued even though it continues to make heavy losses. Revenues were £1.51m in 2022 and there was £11.3m in cash, which should last until the third quarter of 2023. The strategic review will consider how the business should be funded from then on. In-content advertising is set to grow significantly, but Mirriad Advertising has to have the funding to take advantage.
Legal services provider Gateley (GTLY) generated organic growth of 10% and improved profit by 12% in the first half. In the six months to October 2022, group revenues were 22% ahead at £76.1m, helped by contributions from the new patent activities, while pre-tax profit improved from £8.5m to £9.6m. The dividend has been raised by 10% to 3.3p a share.
Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) grew revenues by 5% in the third quarter despite strikes and weak consumer spending. UK sales were flat, and the growth was in Europe. Gross margins declined. A full year pre-tax profit of £1.1m, down from £5m, is forecast.
Inland Homes (INL) chief executive Donagh O’Sullivan has resigned after little more than one month in the job.
Panther Securities (PNS) is paying a special interim dividend of 10p a share. The property investor says that it expects net assets to increase by £19m in 2022, mainly due to the removal of two derivatives liabilities relating to interest rates on debt. Loan-to-value is less than 40%. Debt refinancing discussions will begin later this year.
Online women’s fashion retailer In The Style (ITS) was hit in December by price cutting by rivals and difficulties in delivering orders. Revenues in the quarter to December 2022 fell by 22%. Full year revenues are expected to be £46m, which is not much more than the £44.7m generated in the year before flotation. The EBITDA outcome is likely to be a loss of between £4.25m and £4.75m. There was £3.2m in cash at the end of 2022. On 8 December, In The Style launched a strategic review and that continues.
Rockfire Resources (ROCK) has entered into a joint venture with Sunshine Gold for the Plateau gold deposit in Queensland. Sunshine Gold will fund all exploration for three years. Rockfire Resources will focus on the Molaoi zinc deposit in Greece.
Circle Property (CRC) intends to return at least £30m to shareholders by March 2023. Three-fifths of the portfolio has been sold in 14 months. At 220p, the shares are trading on a discount to NAV of around 18%.
Upgrades for Equals Group (EQLS) continue to push the share price higher. The forecasts had already been upgraded in December and earnings per share have been increased by a further 4% to 4.8p, up from 2.8p in 2021. There was £15m in the bank at the end of 2022.
Crimson Tide (TIDE) revenues were better than expected and that reduced the forecast loss. The mobile as a service technology developer is still on course to breakeven next year. Annualised recurring revenues are £5.8m, which is more than generated in 2022. The US provides additional potential.
Shanta Gold (SHG) produced 65,209 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of $1,270 at the New Luika gold mine in Tasmania, which is just below guidance. Capital investment means that it could produce 66,000-72,000 ounces of gold at an all-in costs of $1,200-$1,300/ounce.
LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) as 2022 revenues and profit are at the upper end of guidance. Strong cash flow reduced borrowings with net debt one-third lower than expected at £24m. The finance director is leaving and being replaced with non-exec Will Hoy.
Medica Group (MGP) revenues and profit for 2022 should be in line with expectations. Improved radiologist capacity helped revenues improve from £61.9m to £77m, while pre-tax profit is set to improve from £7.4m to £13m. Acquisition opportunities are being evaluated.
Shell company Greencare Capital (GRE) is changing its investment strategy and name to MaxRS Ventures. Instead of seeking a cannabis-related acquisition, the company will try to identify opportunities that are undervalued or would benefit from being consolidated with other companies in its market. These would be technology type businesses and initially life sciences, crypto technology, impact investing and retail companies will be prioritised. The share price fell 12.3% to 25p. That valuation is still much higher than the interim net assets.
Lift Global Ventures (LFT) is asking shareholders to expand its investing strategy to include the energy sector. If this is approved, Tim Daniel and Paul Gazzard will resign as directors and they will be replaced Sandy Barblett and Roy Kelly.
Lekoil Ltd (LEK) is ending legal proceedings with Lekoil Nigeria and Olalekan Akinyanmi and it will surrender its shares in Lekoil Nigeria, which will in turn surrender its Lekoil Ltd shares. Lekoil Ltd is also waiving repayment of existing loans and lending $51.9 to Lekoil Oil and Gas Investments, which will take on certain loans granted to Lekoil Nigeria. Lekoil Ltd will change its name to Fenikso Ltd and a revised strategy will be considered. There should be some cash left after paying creditors.
Dermatology and oncology treatments developer Incanthera (INC) is continuing discussions with potential partners for its skincare formulations. There was a £267,000 cash outflow from operating activities in the six months to September 2022. There is £28,000 left in the bank.
Investment company Gunsynd (GUN) net assets fell from £6.3m to £3.85m at the end of July 2022. There was a £1.95m reduction in the value of investments and the rest relates to the costs of running the company.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) raised £155,000 at 0.5p a share – every two shares come with a warrant exercisable at 1.5p. The share price fell 15.4% to 0.275p. Clean Invest Africa is running short of cash. Subsidiary Coaltech is finding that lead times to securing sales and deals have been longer than expected. Certain creditors owed £2.5m have agreed to subordinate that debt to other trade creditors.
Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd (GSVR) secured a $5m credit facility with Ocean Partners, which already provides a $5m facility. There will be a consolidated offtake agreement with Ocean Partners for 24 months to the end of December 2024.
BWA Group (BWAP) had £6,709 in the bank at then end of November 2022. Additional funding is still be sought. St Georges Eco-Mining Corp is seeking to convert a proportion of its loan into shares. The convertible relates to an acquisition that is subject to legal action.
Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has completed drilling within budget at the Mozambique Monte Muambe rare earths project. This will enable a maiden mineral resource estimate in the first quarter of 2023.
Ananda Developments (ANA) has published a general cannabis research round-up, including a pilot study that indicates that a cannabis-based spray can help alleviate cancer pain. Ananda points to research that suggests that an individual’s genetics could predict the effects of cannabis.
Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) has announced the proposed acquisition of Helston Garages Group Ltd for £117m. This deal will be significantly earnings enhancing. Helston Garages is based in the south west of England and it has 28 outlets. This takes the group into Volvo and Ferrari for the first time. Zeus has increased its 2023-24 earnings per share forecast by 18.7% and by 24.7% for the following year when £3.2m of cost savings should be achieved.
Ashtead Technology (AT.) is buying subsea mechanical services provider Hiretech for £20m in cash. This has boosted 2023 earnings forecasts by 13%. Hiretech is already a supplier to Ashtead Technology.
Fund manager Mercia Asset Management (MERC) has acquired Frontier Development Capital for up to £9.5m. This enhances its business lending activities and brings £415m of funds under management. NAV was 46.8p a share at the end of September 2022.
Crestchic (LOAD) is recommending a 401p a share cash bid from Aggreko, which values the loadbank manufacturer and renter at £122m.
Audio equipment supplier Focusrite (LON: TUNE) edged up full year revenues thanks to positive currency movements, which was impressive given the Covid lockdown boost to demand in the previous year, but underlying pre-tax profit fell from £40.7m to £33.8m. Higher costs put pressure on margins. Asia Pacific was a particularly strong market last year. The total dividend was higher than expected at 6.1p a share. There was a positive start to the new financial year, although Focusrite will do well to maintain its profit this year.
International payments provider Equals (EQLS) says full year results will be better than expected. Canaccord Genuity has increased its 2022 pre-tax profit forecast from £10.3m to £10.8m. Last week, Equals acquired open banking platform Roqqett for up to £2.25m, subject to regulatory approval by the FCA.
Trident Royalties (TRR) is selling a portfolio of pre-production gold royalties, including Spring Hill, to Franco-Nevada for up to $15.8m – $1.25m is not payable until the Rebecca gold project goes into production. The royalties were bought for $6.5m. This leaves Trident Royalties with pro forma cash of $35m. A debt restructuring will reduce the interest charge by up to 2% and extend the facility by one year to the end of 2025.
Virtual reality and life sciences software provider Oxford Metrics (OMG) edged up revenues from £27.6m to £28.8m in the year to September 2022, but pre-tax profit decreased from £4m to £2.6m. The order book is worth £24m. The sale of Yotta left Oxford Metrics with £67.7m in cash. There is caution about acquisitions because price expectations are too high. Even so, pre-tax profit is set to rebound to £5.9m this year.
An initial contribution from Custom Power helped Solid State (SOLI) to increased interim pre-tax profit by three-fifths to £5.2m and the full year pre-tax profit could be £10.5m. There was strong growth from the components and systems divisions. There is high demand for the power products.
Automotive interiors supplier CT Automotive (CTA) has been hit by further supply chain disruption and production of new orders started later than anticipated, which has delayed profit recognition. A full year loss of $11m is forecast. A new facility has opened in Mexico, but it was later than expected. Net debt is $11.6m.
Mergers adviser K3 Capital (K3C) has received a 350p a share bid proposal from Sun European Partners.
Cote d’Ivoire-based Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) continues to benefit from high crude palm oil prices, which is near to its highs in the local market. Crude palm oil extraction rates improved to 20.9% in November 2022, although production fell by more than two-fifths to 1,535 tonnes.
Medicinal cannabis cultivation company Hellenic Dynamics reversed into former AIM-quoted shell UK Spac in an all share deal. Hellenic Dynamics (HELD) also raised £750,000 at 0.3p each. Hellenic Dynamics intends to operate a 195,506 square metres facility in northern Greece for the cultivation, production and export of THC-dominant strains of dried medicinal cannabis flowers and extracted oils of strains of medicinal cannabis flowers. The company has an installation/ construction licence. The company still has to obtain an operations licence in Greece so that it can sell the cannabis flowers and extract that it will produce.
Major shareholder MS Galleon has put forward three votes for the forthcoming AGM of tiles retailer Topps Tiles (TPT) through a requisition notice. It wants to remove chairman Darren Shapland and have Lidia Wolfinger and Michael Bartusiak appointed as non-executive directors. The Topps Tiles board recommends voting against the resolutions. MS Galleon holds 29.9% of Topps Tiles and it owns Cersanit, which is a major European tiles producer that wants to become a more significant supplier to Topps Tiles.
Finance provider S&U (SUS) says lending volumes have continued to be strong since the end of July. Write-downs remain relatively low and higher interest charges are offset by increased revenues. Pre-tax profit is set to decline this year, but it should still be more than £40m and total dividends could be 134.9p a share.
BATM (BVC) says a delay to a diagnostics contract will reduce the expected 2022 revenues. Shore Capital has reduced its forecast from $147m to $120m. That reduces pre-tax profit to $1.8m with a recovery to $17.4m forecast for 2023.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has raised £230,000 at 2p a share and this will fund the application for the temporary mountain use permits, which should be received in early 2023. There are negotiations with a streaming fund for the capital required to develop the high grade Kochang gold and silver mine in South Korea
A major 10-year contract announced by Carclo (CAR) for components for diagnostic units has been cancelled. This was expected to generate revenues of up to £15m each year. Carclo is in discussions concerning a commercial settlement, because tooling contracts have been delivered.
Full year revenues of Mears (MER) should reach £950m and pre-tax profit should be £33.5m. Net cash is likely to be more than £55m.
Virgata Services is making a 50p a share cash offer for Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) and that is a 52% discount to net assets at the end of September 2020. It is a premium to the market price prior to the announcement, but management recommends shareholders take no action. The bid values Walls & Futures REIT at £1.9m. Six shareholders own more than 80% of the company. Roy Nominees holds 33.2% and Standard Life Trustee Co Ltd holds 22.9%. Virgata is owned by the family office of the Goetstouwers family, and it has a property portfolio worth €80m, plus stakes in developments in the Netherlands. All the interests are outside of the UK.
Love Hemp (LIFE) plans to move to the Main Market later this year and has raised £5m at 3.5p a share. The cash will finance a global market campaign for its CBD and hemp products.
Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) has raised C$3.6m from the first tranche of its private placement. Sativa is offering two and eight day quarantine tests for travellers returning to the UK.
Good Energy (GOOD) is appointing Nigel Pocklington as chief executive. He is the former chief commercial director at Moneysupermarket.com. He starts on 1 May. Good Energy is making a further £1m investment, via a convertible, in electric vehicle mapping services provider Zap-Map’s parent company Next Green Car. Good Energy already owns 50.1% of Next Green Car. Zap-Map covers more than 95% of the UK public electric vehicle charging points.
KR1 (KR1) has invested a further $150,000 in Moonbeam Network for 30,000 GLMR tokens, taking the total owned to 130,000 tokens.
On 6 April, Coinsilium (COIN) $3.13m of cryptocurrency and tokens, up from $1.98m two months earlier.
Gunsynd (GUN) says that investee company Low 6 is on course to float in the second quarter of 2021. The B2B pool betting firm has 122,000 users.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has signed a memorandum of understanding Exagogi for the development of opportunities in India for CoalTech. India has high stockpiles of coal fines waste, which CoalTech can clean-up.
A general meeting has been requisitioned by shareholders at Early Equity (EEQP).
Evrensel Capital Partners has not subscribed the £250,000 for shares in Truspine Technologies (TSP) that it promised last September. TruSpine has raised £35,000 at 10p a share, taking the total raised in the latest fundraising to £620,500.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has raised £634,000 following the exercise of warrants at 0.7p each. Tectonic has raised A$215,000 from selling part of its holding in VOX Royalty Corp.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a nav of 448.15p a share at the end of March 2021.
Chris Akers has reduced his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 17.2% to 12.3%.
Gowin New Energy (GWIN) has appointed Novum Securities as corporate adviser and trading in the shares has recommenced.
Minds + Machines (LSE: MMX) is selling its business and assets to GoDaddy for $120m (£87m) and this is equivalent to 8.8p a share, after transaction costs. ICANN needs to provide approval for the transfer of the top level domains. The company will become a shell.
Mobile phone and technology recycler and reseller musicMagpie could have an enterprise value of between £180m and £220m when it plans to join AIM later in April. The company buys and resells smartphones, computers, CDs, DVDs, books and other products that might have ended up in landfill. The market for pre-owned technology and media is estimated to be growing at 10% a year. In the year to November 2020, revenues were £153.4m and EBITDA was £13.9m.
Demand remains strong from the rail sector for software and consultancy services from Tracsis (TRCS), although the data and events businesses had a tougher time. Interim profit declined in the first half. finnCap forecasts a recovery in full year pre-tax profit from £8.3m to £9.1m, before a much larger increase in 2021-22 assuming trading is nearer to past levels. The Williams rail review is due to be published and this could provide additional opportunities for Tracsis.
International payment services provider Equals (EQLS) increased business revenues in 2020, but a slump in consumer revenues due to the lack of travel. Total revenues were 4% ahead at £29m and Equals made a small profit. In the first quarter of 2021, revenues were flat at £8m and again this masks business growth, plus the comparatives were strong in this period. Canaccord Genuity has upgraded its 2021 pre-tax profit forecast from £3.8m to £4.2m.
FIH Group (FIH) lost money in the UK last year, but this was more than offset by profits in the Falklands. The art distribution and Portsmouth Ferry operations were hit by Covid-19 lockdowns.
Oil palm plantation operator Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) produced 71,500MT in the first quarter. Crude palm oil sales were 27% higher at 13,921MT and average realised prices are one-fifth higher. Dekel is on course to make a pre-tax profit in 2021.
Arena Events (ARE) has been successful in its bid for the business and assets of Aztec Schaffer. Arena will pay $3.35m for a 50% stake in a new joint venture owner of the assets and there will be a debt financing package of $18.25m.
Sales of new and used cars by Lookers (LOOK) fell by 10% last year. However, it appears to have gained market share in new cars. Peel Hunt has increased its 2021 pre-tax profit forecast by £11m to £34.8m.
Stranger Holdings (STHP) has signed heads of terms to acquire Technology Minerals, which itself is involved in acquisitions of businesses producing battery raw materials and recycling batteries. These include Recyclus Group, which Stranger has previously considered buying. League of Angels founder Barney Battles has been appointed as a non-executive director.
Caerus Mineral Resources (CMRS) is acquiring PR Ploutonic Resources. This includes the Troulli, Kokkinapetra and St Nicholas copper and gold licences. Caerus is paying £750,000 in shares.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) says March revenues were at a record level of £6.57m. This reflects the installation of additional equipment and a higher bitcoin price.
Tirupati Graphite (TGR) achieved record graphite production in the first quarter of 2021. Work continues on increasing capacity at the Sahamamy project in Madagascar.
Anemoi International (AMOI) has raised £240,000 at 4p per depositary interest.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has secured a diagnostics agreement with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust that is worth £19.1m over ten years, although it is initially for five years. Rutherford will supply imaging services from a facility in Taunton, which will be developed in partnership with Equitix. The service should start in the second half of 2021.
Good Energy (GOOD) says that it remains profitable, although smaller business energy demand was lower in the second quarter. Gross margins have been hit because excess energy had to be resold. Operational efficiencies have offset some of this effect. Cash collection has been strong. Four-fifths of customers have been transferred to the Kraken customer services system. This will help to reduce costs.
Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has negotiated additional bank facilities. Total debt facilities are £132.5m. The brewery has been generating income from increased sales to supermarkets and for export. The majority of the company’s pubs should reopen by the end of July.
Cannabis-focused investment company Greencare Capital (GRE) has raised £1.37m at 50p a share. That is double the original flotation price. Management is hopeful that it will make an initial investment in its favoured acquisition target in the near future.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that plant production levels at the Hellyer gold mine increased by 44% to more than 1.3 mtpa. NQ has completed the acquisition of the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania.
British Honey Company (BHC) says sanitiser sales have enabled the company to achieve sales of 240% of budget in the past three months. BHC has swapped 4.5% of its shares for a 10% stake in List Distillery LLC. BHC has an option to buy the rest of the company for £4.5m plus up to £500,000 in contingent consideration.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had an NAV of £7.55m (48.9p a share) at the end of February 2020.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has changed its corporate adviser from Peterhouse to VSA. Tectonic has published full year figures to June 2019 and interims to December 2019. NAV was £2.49m at the end of 2019.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) generated sales of $3.64m of sales in the first quarter of 2020, compared with $3.85m in the same period last year. In 2019, revenues were $10.7m.
Human Brands is selling some of its brands, including Shinju Whisky, to Rogue Baron in return for shares and Gunsynd (GUN) will have its £379,000 convertible loan note novated to Rogue Baron, which has been granted EIS advanced reassurance. Rogue Baron plans to float on a UK market and this could trigger the issue of further shares to Gunsynd.
First Sentinel (FSEN) has supplied a £300,000 loan facility to Vox Markets. This is convertible into shares. So far, £250,000 has been advanced. Loan facilities totalling £500,000 have been provided to Ridercam Systems. A £130,000 investment has been made for a 7.4% stake in investment company Malaika. The company’s Australian subsidiary has provided a loan facility to energy producer Direct Energy Holdings.
Ecovista (EVTP) was withdrawn from the AQSE on 1 July. The day after it published interim figures to February 2020. There was £42,000 in cash and this should cover general running expenses. Management says that being quoted cost £60,000 a year. NAV is £735,000.
Formerly known as Welney, Quetzal Capital (WENP) has been readmitted to the market following a share consolidation of 100 existing shares into one new share and placing raising £22,000.
Cambridge Cognition (COG) continues to win new contracts and the first half order intake was £4.9m. The digital health business has increased its contracted order book to £7.5m. The company is on course to make a much lower loss in 2020.
Construction disputes and expert witness services provider Driver (DRV) improved its profit in the first half thanks to a good performance from its Asia Pacific businesses. However, the Middle East is still a problem and a strategic review is underway. Net cash was £3.3m at the end of March 2020 and it has increased since then. There is no dividend. The second half will be tougher, though.
Forex provider Equals (EQLS) continues its strong growth record in 2019. Trading levels were hit by the COVID-19 lockdown in April and May, but June’s revenues per day recovered to a similar level to June 2019. The administration of Wirecard has had limited effect on business.
AFC Energy (AFC) is raising £31.6m at 16p a share. This will be used to invest in manufacturing for the H-Power fuel cell systems and employing additional staff for the deployment of the technology in the electric vehicle and construction markets. There will also be cash put into the development of the AlkaMem anion exchange membrane and the HydroX-Cell solid-state membrane fuel cell system.
Telecoms equipment supplier Filtronic (FTC) says it grew revenues from continuing operations in the year to May 2020 and it made a small underlying profit. Delays to deliveries mean that it is difficult to assess the outcome for the current financial year.
Redx Pharma (REDX) is raising $29m through a convertible loan note issue to Redmile and Sofinnova Partners and £812,000 via a share issue to Sofinnova.
Robinson (RBN) is paying an interim dividend of 3.5p a share. The packaging supplier did not pay a final dividend and the interim will be payable on 30 July to make up for that. First half trading was in line with expectations. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to be flat at £2.3m.
Trading in Lookers (LOOK) shares has been suspended because it has not published 2019 results. They should be published in August. An investigation by Grant Thornton suggests that there will be a £4m non-cash write-off relating to fraud with a further £15m non-cash write-off for incorrect or inconsistent accounting, mainly relating to stock.
Cannabis products-focused company Sativa (SATI) has received a bid approach from StillCana Inc, which has built two high volume CBD extraction facilities in Europe. StillCana is Europe’s largest producer of CBD distillate and isolate. StillCana plans to offer 0.33651 of one share for each Sativa share. Sativa shareholders would own 65% of the enlarged business. If StillCana does not go through with the bid it may be required to pay Sativa £1m as a break fee. Trading in Sativa shares has been suspended. Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser.
In the six months to December 2019, there was a £224,000 cash outflow at Imperial X (IMPP) as it assessed the way forward. The new investing strategy is focused on acquiring royalties in the oil and gas sector. There was £179,000 in the bank at the end of 2019. Imperial X has subsequently raised £27,700 at 2.5p a share.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) had net assets of £4.76m at the end of 2019. One of the successes has been the investment in Greatland Gold (GGP) and TruSpine Technologies is moving towards a flotation.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) owns 16% of AIM-quoted European Metal Holdings (EMH) whose shareholders have approved the £25.8m investment for a 51% stake in the holder of the Cinovec licences in the Czech Republic.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that the resource at the Barnes Hill nickel project to 25Mt at 0.6% nickel and 0.05% cobalt on a 0.25% nickel cut-off grade.
Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) n on-executive director Nigel Boardman has acquired an initial 5,020 shares in two amounts (1,500 shares at 960p each and 3,520 shares at 1010p each).
Altona Energy (ANR) has extended the closing date of its open offer until 12 May and it may consider a further extension if the market uncertainty continues.
Cyber security services provider Shearwater (SWG) has raised £3.75m at 240p a share. Directors David Williams and Phil Higgins are each investing £125,000. A new £4m, 3-year bank facility has been negotiated. In the year to March 2020, Shearwater generated revenues of £33m and underlying EBITDA was £3.2m. There has been a move towards higher margin business. Management believes that COVID-19 will provide opportunities to expand the business. There are acquisition opportunities with revenues of between £2m and £20m.
Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) has confirmed that profit for 2019-20 was better than expected and gross margins improved from 22.8% to 25.9%.
Last year was tough for transport and logistics firm Xpediator (XPD) and this year won’t be easy, but it has a good base and the new Southampton warehouse will come on stream early in 2021. In 2019, revenues grew but lower freight forwarding margins and higher overheads hit pre-tax profit and it fell to £5.2m. Xpediator should still be profitable in 2020 and the second quarter tends to be a weaker period. A scrip dividend of 1.05p a share has been declared.
Health monitoring equipment supplier LiDCO (LID) had a strong start to its new financial year thanks to strong demand from the NHS. Since January 195 monitors have been sold, which is nearly as many as last year. The pre-tax loss is expected to continue to reduce and LiDCO has started to generate cash from operations.
Foreign exchange provider Equals (EQLS) increased first quarter revenues by one-third to £8.3m. The majority of this was business to business revenues. There was a sharp decline in travel money business in March.
Dragon Capital Group is offering a purchase facility to minority shareholders in Dragon-Ukrainian Properties and Development (DUPD) as part of the plan to cancel the AIM quotation. The purchase price is 10p a share. Shareholder approval for the departure from AIM will be sought at the general meeting in Kiev on 6 May.
DBAY Advisers is building up a stake in Wynnstay Group (WYN) and it has reach ed 6.47%. It is taking advantage of the decline in the share price, although it has rebounded strongly in the past few weeks. Investec has sold most of its stake. Trading has been subdued in the current financial year.
Dawn Ward and Tracy Lewis have resigned from the board of Staffline (STAF) and the company is seeking replacements. Henry Spain Investment Services has increased its stake in Staffline to 13.6%.
Mark Greenwood has taken his stake in Richland Resources (RLD) to 29.1%.
LED light fittings and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) reported 2019 figures in line with expectations. Revenues were %5 ahead at £172.1m and improved margins meant that pre-tax profit jumped from £6.3m to £15.8m. Revenues and profit are expected to fall back this year due to COVID-19 with the major hit coming in the second quarter after modest supply issues in the first quarter. Cash outflow should be limited to £500,000 a month while lockdowns are in force in Europe. There are bank facilities available to the group. Looking further ahead, Luceco is involved in a growth market and there should be acquisition opportunities.
J Smart Contractors (SMJ) reported a decline in interim pre-tax profit from £1.12m to £265,000. Net cash was £13.7m at the end of January 2020. An unchanged interim dividend of 0.95p a share has been announced.
Cathay International Holdings (CTI) has launched a 16.7456-for-one open offer at 1.5p each, plus a subscription to at the same share price. This could raise up to £105m. This will reduce borrowings and provide cash to put into investee companies.
BATM (BVC) has received a $31m order for 1,000 critical care ventilators. One-quarter of the cash has been paid upfront and the rest will be paid when the ventilators are delivered later this year.
A trading statement by fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) sparked a 6% 2019-20 profit downgrade to £17.2m by finnCap.
Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) says that sales and margins have fallen so far this year. Operating costs have been reduced. Sales of former sites are helping to reduce net debt, which is £65m. The fraud investigation has led to a £4m non-cash charge and there could be further write-downs.
Brewer Adnams (ADB) reported a decline in first half revenues from £35.5m to £34.7m, while the loss increased from £840,000 to £1.15m. Beer volumes were 2% ahead, compared with a 1% decline in the market. Low alcohol beer sales grew. Gin sales fell because of greater competition. A fire at the Ship at Levington hampered the performance of the pubs business. Adnams made an underlying profit in 2018, thanks to a better second half performance. The new IT system went live in March and the implementation has been a distraction to management. The dividends are unchanged at 78p a share for each B share and 19.5p per A share.
Bruce Pubs (PUB) has decided to cancel trading in its 7.2% secured bonds, 31 March 2022. There are £20,000 worth of bonds admitted to the market and there have been no trades. Bruce Pubs had wanted to raise up to £20m from the bond issue. It is therefore not a surprise that Bruce Pubs believes it is not worth having a trading facility. The bonds can be redeemed early by the company.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has produced 10,164 tonnes of lead concentrate, 7,431 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 46,863 tonnes of pyrite concentrate in the first half of 2019. An operating profit of A$3.6m was made on sales of A$23m.
TechFinancials (TECH) had $1.23m in the bank at the end of June 2019. A reduction in trade receivables meant that there was a small cash inflow from operating activities, but there was $402,000 capitalised developed on the blockchain ticketing system.
China-focused healthcare company MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £755,000 at 30p a share.
Queros Capital Partners (QCP) has gained a quotation for its bonds on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange
ICAMAP has acquired 7.94 million shares in easyHotel (EZH) at its offer price of 95p a share, taking its stake to 44.1%. This means that it is a mandatory cash offer.
Iofina (IOF) has launched IofinaEX Global to deal in hemp derived products in Central America and the Caribbean. Iofina will potentially link up with a government in the region that wants to develop its country as a hub for hemp derived products. There are no details of this potential partnership. The company believes that its regulatory expertise in the iodine market will be helpful in the CBD market. The US is likely to be a major market.
LightwaveRF (LWRF) has raised £1.3m at 7p a share. The smart homes equipment supplier wants the cash to finance further growth. There are also plans to secure a facility for stock.
Altitude (ALT) is considering the disposal of its Manchester-based promotion products supplier AdProducts.com. This would enable Altitude to concentrate on its AIM platform for promotional products suppliers.
Greatland Gold (GGP) has raised £4.2m at 1.85p a share and that will be used to finance exploration in the Paterson region of Australia. There has been positive exploration news from the Scallywag prospect in the Paterson region. A ground gravity survey starts this month and an induced polarisation survey next month. Then 3D modelling using the data will come up with drill targets.
Cyber security software and services provider Corero Network Security (CNS) says interim revenues are lower, but operating costs are unchanged. That means that the interim loss has increased. However, full year revenues are expected to be one-fifth higher, but higher investment in sales means that the loss will still be higher. Net cash was $3.6m at the end of June 2019.
Equals Group (EQLS) is raising up to £16m via a placing and open offer. The international payments company has raised £14m at 110p a share and up to £2m will come from the one-for-90 open offer. The cash will be used for acquisitions and working capital.
Tanfield (TAN) says that 49%-owned Snorkel International has moved back into profit in the second quarter of 2019, although the first half was still loss-making. Last year, the value of this investment in the access equipment supplier was cut from £36.3m to £19.1m.
Oil and gas producer President Energy (PPC) says that there should not be a material effect on its operations from a change in Argentinian president. Revenues are US dollar based and cash is held in the same currency, so the decline of the Argentinian peso should not be too much of a problem.
Anthony Laiker has subscribed £25,000 in Vela Technologies (VELA) at 0.1p a share. A general meeting has to approve the share issue to the executive director, as well as an issue of 6.25 million warrants exercisable at 0.15p. Approval of the conversion of £200,000 of loan notes plus interest into nearly 241 million shares will also require the company to be given the ability to issue more shares. Laiker would than own more than 301 million shares.
Gfinity (GFIN) is pulling out of its Australian joint venture because the esports company wants to focus its cash on the US and other important markets.
Workspace software provider Essensys (ESYS) says that its revenues were one-quarter higher at £20.5m in the year to July 2019. That was better than expected. Annual recurring revenues run rate is £17.3m.
Associated British Engineering (ASBE) made an increased loss of £1.81m, up from £582,000 the previous year. The company’s main pension fund remains a worry and there are ongoing discussions with the Pensions Regulator. There are net liabilities of £3.71m after the pension deficit of £4.98m.
Nanoco (NANO) generated revenues of £7.3m in the year to July 2019, more than double the previous year. The cadmium-free quantum dots developer had £7m in cash at the end of July and expects to have £6m at the end of 2019.
Highway Capital (HWC) has issued €30,000 of new convertible loan notes. These are convertible to a value in excess of 50% of the net asset value of the company at the time of conversion. The terms of an existing convertible loan note of £100,000 have been changed and the conversion price is 5p a share.
Shareholders in Avocet Mining (AVM) have voted against the resolution to wind up the company. This means that it is likely to go into administration unless there is a viable transaction that the board can assess.
Global Resources Investment Trust (GRIT) wanted shareholders to approve the voluntary liquidation of the company, but there is not enough support for the proposal. GRIT has sold 430 million shares in Kalia for £225,000 in order to provide working capital. A new board is being appointed to undertake a strategic review. James Normand will become chairman and Martin Lampshire as an executive director. Stephen Roberts will become a non-executive director.
IMC Exploration (IMC) has been awarded two additional licences in County Wexford. They adjoin an existing licence where there are indications of gold.
Book publisher Quarto (QRT) reduced its interim loss from $6.6m to $4m on flat revenues of $56.4m. There was a change in the mix of revenues with children’s books increasing revenues by14% and in geographic terms more of the revenues were in the US, which moved into profit. Net debt has fallen by 11% to $65m.
Zenith Energy (ZEN) says that drilling has commenced at well C-37 in the Jafarli oilfield.
Pendragon (PDG) is selling its Chevrolet dealership in California for £17.2m. GM can alternatively nominate another purchaser if it wants. The rest of the US business will be sold.