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Quoted Micro 10 October 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) says full results should be ahead of market expectations of a £13m pre-tax profit. The third quarter trading statement says Arbuthnot Latham deposits exceed £3bn, although costs of deposits are rising. Base rate rises have a positive effect on results as changes to deposit rates lag the rises in interest rates. Credit criteria are being tightened, particularly for property. Assets under management are £1.35bn. Non-exec Sir Nigel Boardman acquired 9.749 shares at 810p each.

Helium Ventures (HEV) has conditionally agreed to acquire Vestigo Technologies, which has developed tracking product Trackimo. Shares will be issued at 10p each and the existing share capital prior to the deal would be valued at £1.68m. Helium Ventures plans to move to the standard list after the reverse takeover. In 2021, Vestigo had revenues of $28.1m and has partnerships with Vodafone and Paramount. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Quantum Exponential (QBIT) had net assets of £5.6m at the end of April 2022, following an increase in the value of its option in cyber security business Arqit Inc. Since then, two new quantum technology investments have been made. There is still cash for further investments and there are plans to set up a fund that will raise further funds to invest in quantum technology.

Hydrogen Future Industries (HFI) has acquired a suite of international patents through a joint venture. The patents are relevant for the company’s wind-based hydrogen production system, plus other systems. The patents were issued to the vendor when it employed the boss of HFI’s development subsidiary. The payment will be £33,000 in cash, 5.2 million shares and 2.5 warrants exercisable at 12p each, with the second tranche of the payment dependent on the achievement of development milestones.

National Milk Records (NMRP) generated a 6% increase in 2021-22 revenues to £23.2m, while pre-tax profit improved from £1.65m to £2.22m. The dividend was raised by one-third to 2p a share. The milk recording and testing services increased revenues. The biggest increase was in genomics which rose from £292,000 to £488,000 and there is a potential launch in the US during 2023.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) has invested £2m in Denzel’s Ltd, a premium dog snacks brand, which raised £3m in total. Denzil’s has listings in major supermarkets and has launched its own website. It is part of the Tesco Incubator Programme.

There has been a mineral resource upgrade at the Amapa iron project in Brazil, where Cadence Minerals (KDR) owns 27%. The updated resource at Amapa is 276Mt grading 38.33% Fe, up from 177Mt. The measured resource is 55Mt grading 39.26% Fe.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had net assets of £13.8m at the end of May 2022, equivalent to 74.5p a share.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has gained new contracts for its natural food businesses with ASDA, Holland Barrett, Co-op, WH Smith and easyJet. Two retailers in Finland have started stocking company products.

Marula Mining (MARU) has taken a 49% interest in the Kinusi copper mining project in Tanzania. The licences last seven years. In return for the interest, Marula has reimbursed $50,000 of costs incurred by Takela Mining and issued it with 4.5 million shares at 2p each.

Quetzal Capital (QTZ) had £1.07m in the bank out of net assets of £2.86m at the end of June 2022.

Goodbody Health (GDBY) secured a distribution agreement with blood collection services provider Tasso Inc, which supplies virtually painless medical devices to draw a blood sample with no needles. Goodbody’s clinics will be able to extract more blood than from a finger prick.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) reinstated the interim dividend at the rate of 14p a share.

Director buying at Kent-based brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) pushed the share price 0.4% higher at 672.5p. Richard Oldfield bought 6,000 shares at 675p a share and George Barnes acquired 3,200 shares at 672p each. The final dividend is 15p a share and the shares go ex-dividend on 13 October. Coinsilium (COIN) chairman Malcolm Palle acquired 500,000 shares at 1.9p each, while chief executive Eddy Travia bought 500,000 shares at 1.95p each. The share price rose 8.11% to 2p.

Global Smollan has increased its stake in Samarkand Group (SMK) from 14.8% to 17.6%.

Pioneer Media Holdings Inc (PNER) has raised $1m through a sale of units at 10 cents each. They include one share and one-half of a warrant exercisable at 25 cents. This cash will be spent on technology development and expanding the web3 gaming business.

Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has sold a 1.3MWh VS3 flow battery system for use in a datacentre in Arizona. Amati reduced its stake from 5.87% to 4.92%.

Trading in the shares of Vulcan Industries (VUL), Hot Rock Investments (HRIP) and VVV Resources Ltd (VVV) has been suspended due to failure to publish results.

AIM

Peter Gyllenhammar has taken a 11.2% stake in Pressure Technologies (PRES) following the share price slump after last week’s trading statement. Pressure Technologies had a disappointing second half. There will be a full year loss and the engineering company will also breach covenants on its bank facility. More cash is required. Net debt was £5.4m at the interim stage and it could be £3.9m at year-end. The finance could come from a share issue or a convertible issue or another form of funding. Management is talking to Lloyds about the bank facility. Forecast net assets are £15.4m, including the company’s main factory, which is nearly double the market capitalisation.

Former broker analyst Bill Currie has taken a 4.15% stake in online retailer In The Style (ITS). He is a non-executive director of retail loyalty technology developer Eagle Eye (EYE) and he owns 12.9% of the company. Lombard Odier has cut its stake from 20.1% to 19.8% and Ameriprise Financial has reduced its stake from 5% to 4.39%.

Gateley (GTLY) has acquired patent attorney Symbiosis IP for up to £2.5m. The business made a pre-tax profit of £300,000 in the year to March 2022. This business fits with Adamson Jones.

In video game advertising technology developer Bidstack (BIDS) raised £10.5m at 2.85p a share. Irdeto subscribed for £5m worth of shares. There are plans to develop a platform for sports bodies to control content that appears in their licenced IP. The rest will go on working capital and commercial development.

Public Policy Holding Company Inc (PPHC) is acquiring California-based KP Public Affairs in an earnings enhancing deal. Public Policy Holding Company provides public affairs, crisis management and lobbying services in the US. The acquisition enhances earnings by 2% in 2022 and 9% in 2023.

NWF (NWF) continues to perform strongly with the feed division recovering, helped by higher milk prices, and food distribution trading better than expected. Fuel distribution volumes are lower than in the previous year as people delay refilling their tanks, although margins have improved.

Seeing Machines (SEE) has an exclusive collaboration deal with Magna International for rear view mirror occupant monitoring applications in vehicles. Magan is paying $17.5m in cash ($10m immediately and $7.5m over two years) and investing $47.5m via a convertible note, which is convertible at 11p a share. This should be enough cash to get the driver monitoring technology business to profitability.

Oxford Biodynamics (OBD) is raising £9.1m via a placing at 20p a share and up to a further £2.95m could be raised through a one-for-6.81644 open offer. The share price rose 56.3% to 17.975p, which is still well below the placing price. This cash will help to fund the commercial development of the EpiSwitch CiRT test for cancer, which has been issued with a US reimbursement code earlier in the week.

Parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) has published interim figures and it intends to recommence dividend payments. A total dividend of 1.5p a share is expected for 2022-23 and that provides a base for further growth. Cash could still grow steadily. Trading in the shares remains suspended.

PCF Group (PCF) has suspended new lending by PCF Bank while it is trying to raise additional finance. Castle Trust Capital decided not to bid for PCF. Sales of assets and other options to raise money are being considered. There will be further cost cutting.

Battery cells developer AMTE Power (AMTE) has signed a framework deal with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre to produce up to 60,000 Ultra High Power cells annually. The cells are fast charging and have high power delivery. Production commences in three months and the cells will be used for in-vehicle trials by potential customers – the initial focus is high performance electric vehicles – ahead of the opening of AMTE’s own factory in Dundee in a few years.

Horizonte Mining (HZM) announced a fundraising on Tuesday evening and the size of the placing was increased from £61.7m to £70.5m at 90.5p a share. This larger fundraising has also reduced the contribution from major shareholder La Mancha from £23.8m to £22m. The cash will help to complete the construction of the Araguaia nickel project in Brazil. Total capital cost has increased from $477m to $537m. First production is scheduled for the first quarter of 2023.

Gold miner Chaarat Group Holdings (CGH) has extended the convertible loan notes from 31 October 2022 to 31 July 2023. Interest will be capitalised until the end of October and then the principal of $28.7m plus accrued interest will incur an annual interest rate of 12%. There is also a fee of 1%. If converted there will be 77 million shares issued.

MAIN MARKET

Shell company Milton Capital (MII) floated on the standard list on 4 October. There was £1m raised at 1p a share. The share price ended the week at 1.1p. The initial focus is acquisition targets in the technology sector. Total flotation costs were capped at £50,000 and Peterhouse paid additional costs of £5,955. The first year’s operating costs will also be £50,000.

Data integrity software supplier Gresham Technologies (GHT) has won a £1m plus contract for Clareti Control from a major European financial and banking group. There is also A$19m of work for ANZ in the year to September 2023, which is 15% higher than last year on a constant currency basis. Full year revenues and profit will be ahead of expectations.

Golden Nice International has subscribed £650,000 worth of shares in Anglo African Agriculture (AAAP) at 5p a share. That is a 28.2% stake. There are also 13 million warrants exercisable at 5p each. Golden Nice International has also acquired 65% of convertible loan notes in issue at a 15% discount to face value. They convert into 13.7 million shares at 5p each. The other loan notes will be converted into 7.37 million shares with associated warrants. Andrew Monk and Matt Bonner have resigned and replaced by Andy Sui and Simon Grant-Rennick. The company is changing its name to Everest Global.

Shell company Insight Business Support (IBSU) had net assets of £530,000 at the end of June 2022, including cash of £440,000.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 12 September 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Samarkand (SMK) has been hit by a large cash outflow, which means that the China-focused e-commerce technology and brands retailer requires a cash injection of up to £3m via an open offer at 55p a share. Covid lockdowns in China have delayed progress and hampered the ability to supply products. In the year to March 2022, revenues fell from £20.6m to £16.6m, although if one-off revenues in the previous period are excluded then there was a 12% improvement. There was an initial contribution from the Zita West supplements brand acquired last year. Nomad software platform revenues were 18% ahead at £7.5m.

Aquis Stock Exchange owner Aquis Exchange (AQX), which is also quoted on AIM, has relaunched the EU dark pool trading operation it acquired from UBS as the Aquis Matching Pool.

BWA Group (BWAP) has been granted a new licence for Dehane 2 at the Dehane heavy mineral sands project in Cameroon. Results from granulometric test work at the Nkoteng heavy mineral sands show rutile is the most abundant mineral.

More news about the investee companies of Evrima (EVA) this week. Eastport Ventures Inc, where it owns 6.85%, has entered a letter of intent with TSX-V listed Auston Capital concerning a possible merger.

Marula Mining (LON: MARU) says that initial test work at the Blesberg lithium and tantalum project in South Africa shows an average lithium grade of 6.1%. Tantalum was also identified.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Rominserv, a subsidiary of Rompetrol. The Romanian company is considering using SulNOx products in its refinery processes.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has received a civil judgement against subsidiary Star C, which has to return £166,000 to one of its distributors.

Ananda Developments (ANA) subsidiary DJT Plants is working on self-crossing cannabis strains to create stable strains. So far, it appears that self-pollination of cannabis plants can be achieved. Field trials for growing cannabis have been successful.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says its advisory clients Blvck Paris and Metalinq Labs are joining together to launch a collection of wearables. The Metalinq technology can be used to convert 2D designs into multi-metaverse 3D designs.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) raised £2.375m at 10.35p a share and the share price fell below that level. This cash will finance expansion of exploration activities in Australia. Significant copper and gold grades have been found at the Halo project in Queensland. There are also zones of high gold silver and coper at Grassy Oaky. A high-resolution gravity survey is commencing at the Red Setter gold copper project.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) reported a decline in NAV to 231.9p a share by the end of August 2022.

AIM

Online musical instruments supplier Gear4Music (G4M) warned that trading has been tough in recent months. The first quarter to June 2022 was encouraging but spending in July and August was weaker than expected even if the hot weather is taken into account. September is showing signs of improvement. Guidance has been lowered with pre-tax profit expected to slump from £5m to £1.1m with a possible recovery to £3.3m next year.

Online competitions organiser Best of the Best (BOTB) is linking up with Globe Invest Ltd, the family office of Teddy Sagi the founder of gaming technology firm Playtech (PTEC), to grow international income. Globe Invest will also buy a 29.9% stake from the directors and related parties at 400p a share. They intend to enter a licensing and distribution agreement and a marketing collaboration agreement. Globe Invest will licence the Best of the Best business model outside of the UK.

Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) says trading is ahead of market expectations with sales of at least £61m and underlying pre-tax profit of more than £9m. The previous pre-tax profit forecast was £8.23m. There could be additional gains from foreign exchange.

Franchised lettings and estate agency business Belvoir Group (BLV) did well in the first half considering the ending of property buyer incentives. In the six months to June 2022, revenues were 12% higher at £15.4m. There was a 1% improvement in the underlying business with the rest of the growth coming from acquisitions. Underlying pre-tax profit fell from £4.9m to £4.2m as the cost base returned to normal. Net debt is £2.5m and the interim dividend is maintained at 4p a share.

Premium bricks maker Michelmersh Brick (MBH) increased interim revenues by 14% to £34m, while pre-tax profit was 9% ahead at £6.1m. Production efficiencies helped to offset some of the cost increases. A price rise has been pushed through in July. Overall brick stocks remain at low levels. Management has secured 90% of energy costs for this year and 50% for 2023. Net cash was £9.9m at the end of June 2022. The interim dividend is 13% higher at 1.3p a share.

Sylvania Platinum (SLP) announced a doubled final dividend of 8p a share alongside its results for the year to June 2022. There has already been a special dividend of 2.25p a share and a $7.1m share buyback. Production declined and selling prices for platinum group metals were lower in the year to June 2022. Even so, net profit was $56.2m and Sylvania Platinum has been able to finance the cash distributions and plough money back into development. The benefits of that investment will show through in 2023-24. There is still $121m of cash in the balance sheet, although the dividend will reduce that.

Avacta Group (AVCT) says the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation for the lead preICISIONdrug soft tissue sarcoma treatment candidate, AVA6000. This provides tax credits and other incentives, plus seven years of market exclusivity in the US, if the drug is improved. There is an ongoing phase I clinical trial.

Shares in AIM shell Advance Energy (ADV) were suspended on Friday after the announcement of non-binding heads of agreement have been signed for the acquisition of a European oil and gas company.

VSA published an initiation note on Prospex Energy (PXEN) and the broker believes there is upside from the development of the onshore Selva gas project in Italy, where Prospex owns 37%. First production should be in the middle of next year. Cash is being generated from the El Romeral gas to power project in Spain.

MAIN MARKET

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) interim revenues dipped by 2% to £106.4m, but they are still higher than in 2019. There was a sharp drop in pre-tax profit from £16.6m to £4.6m. The interim dividend has been reduced from 2.6p a share to 1.6p a share. DIY demand has fallen back and there was also destocking. The EV business should make a greater contribution in the second half.

Critical Metals (CTRM) has published the prospectus for the proposed acquisition of a 57% shareholding in Madini Occidental, which owns 70% of the Molulu copper cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The acquisition is expected to complete on 12 September.

Darktrace (DARK) has ended bid talks. Last year, revenues grew 46% to $415.5m and the AI company moved into profit.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 13 June 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Psych Capital (PSY) floated on Aquis so that it can take advantage of the opportunities in the fast-growing psychedelic medicines sector. Management is seeking to invest in early-stage companies, where it can obtain a significant minority stake. Psych Capital raised £810,000 at 5p a share. Pro forma net assets are £2m. Psych Capital has cash of £872,000 following the flotation. There is an investment in Awakn Life Sciences Corp that was valued at £584,563 at the end of June 2021. The share price is declining, and it has reached C$0.96, valuing the stake at around £260,000 at the current exchange rate. The share price fell to 4p on 9 June before recovering to 4.75p (3.5p/6p). There is limited liquidity in the shares with a free float of around 11%. Fellow Aquis company Oscillate (MUSH) holds a 16.15% shareholding in Psych Capital. Chris Akers has increased his stake in Oscillate from 9.02% to 11.4%. He also has a 4.96% stake in Psych Capital.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) improved interim revenues from £198,000 to £216,000, while recognised fair value gains declined from £1.04m to £297,000. There were 14 investments at the end of the period and net assets were 68.38p a share at the end of February 2022.

Rural Broadband Solutions (RBBS) had 2,851 monthly fee-paying clients by mid-May. There was net cash of £1.2m at the end of 2021 and infrastructure funding is being negotiated.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) reopened its hotel in January and more than 105,000 racegoers have visited the racecourse so far this year. There have benefits from the catering deal with Compass and new media rights arrangement start at the beginning of 2024, which will benefit that financial year. More will be spent on prize money. Newbury is debt free, and a special dividend has been paid out of proceeds from the sale of land for housebuilding. Annual dividends may recommence next year.

Quantum technology investment company Quantum Exponential (QBIT) has made three investments at a total cost of £1.16m since it floated. There are discussions with more potential investments. There has been further progress towards setting up a fund. Anthony Lyall has been appointed as investment manager and Anna Spandl as investment analyst.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) says that it is on track for a maiden JORC resource statement for the Monte Muambe rare earths project in Mozambique. Four new drilling targets have been identified.

Ananda Developments (ANA) had net liabilities of £288,000 at the end of January 2022. There should be further news concerning the purchase of the other 50% of DJT Plants.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) expects to deploy drill rigs in Queensland in the next few weeks following the rainy season.

RentGuarantor Holdings (RGG) has raised £1m from a 6% unsecured loan note issue, with chief executive Paul Foy subscribing for 50% of the issue. The cash will be spent on hiring staff and marketing.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has commenced drilling at the Wishbone II gold copper project in Northern Queensland.

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) non-exec Jamie Brooke has bought 327,000 shares at 30.48p each. Jonathan Neame has sold 2,000 shares in Shepherd Neame (SHEP) at 806p each.

Oberon Investments has increased its stake in TruSpine Technologies (TSP) from 7.93% to 10.9%.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a NAV of 307.13p a share at the end of May 2022.

Former Aquis-quoted proton beam therapy provider Rutherford Health is being placed in liquidation. There are Rutherford Cancer Centres in Newport, Reading, Liverpool and Northumberland, plus a community diagnostics centre in Somerset. It is unclear whether there will be any buyers interested in these assets. Schroder UK Public Private Trust (SUPP) bought the remaining Woodford stake at the end of 2019. It was valued in the books at £22.8m, which will be written off. That will reduce NAV by 2p a share.

AIM

Like-for-like sales growth at City Pub Group (CPC) was 5% in May and 20% ahead over the Jubilee Bank Holiday. Management took a decision to minimise price rises so that food and drink is still relatively affordable. Two new sites have been opened with two more opening over the next few weeks.

Learning and development products and services provider Mind Gym (MIND) fell into loss in the year to March 2022. Revenues were 24% ahead at £48.7m with US revenues growing even faster. Repeat revenues from customers that have bought products and services in the past three years were 86% of the total. Overheads are higher as management anticipates future growth in demand. There were also £500,000 of non-recuring costs. The investment in digital products and services will pay off in future years when profit is expected to grow sharply.

Greater demand for foreign exchange helped Ramsdens (RFX) to move back into profit in the first half. Jewellery retail and precious metals buying also grew revenues significantly. There was modest growth in pawnbroking revenues although the growth in the loan book means that there will be a higher rate of increase in the second half. Overall revenues were £29.3m, up from £19.3m, and there was a pre-tax profit of £2.2m.

Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) improved interim revenues from £63.7m to £80.3m and the order book is 7% higher at £306.7m. Civil engineer Tamdown’s revenues were more than one-quarter higher while utilities connections business TriConnect reported a small increase in revenues. The biggest increase came from the eSmart Networks business, but that is still less than 11% of group revenues. Nexus is on course to improve full year pre-tax profit from £2.5m to £5.7m.

Open Orphan (ORPH) has an order book worth £64.25m at the end of May 2022. Open Orphan secured a £14.7m contract for an influenza characterisation study and a follow-on human challenge study. The second half is expected to be stronger than the first and the clinical trials services provider should move into profit this year.

Electrical goods retailer Marks Electrical (MRK) reported its first full year results since flotation last November. In the year to March 2022, revenues increased 44% to £80.5m. Underlying earnings were 5.01p a share and the maiden final dividend is 0.67p a share. The company is gaining market share in the domestic appliance and televisions markets and revenues have grown by one-fifth in the first couple of months of this financial year. Brand recognition is improving, but the overall market is likely to be tough. Expanding the product range is helping growth.

Interims from Hercules Site Services (HERC) reflect a period of consolidation for the staffing business. In the six months to March 2022, revenues improved from £14m to £20m, while pre-tax profit slumped from £954,000 to £31,000. Overheads were £2m higher in anticipation of growth in the coming years. The large staff supply contract for HS2 started later in the reporting period and demand will continue to grow. More suction excavators are being delivered and utilisation rates are high.

Greenland-focused AEX Gold Inc (AEXG) has signed non-binding terms for the creation of a joint venture with ACAM that will hold the group’s strategic mineral assets. ACAM will invest £18m for a 49% stake and AEX Gold will inject the non-gold assets and cover site support, logistics and overhead costs. There is an agreement to inject a further £10m on a pro rata basis as long as certain milestones are achieved. AEX Gold’s core asset is the 100% interest in the Nalunaq project, which includes a former producing gold mine.

Plant-based polymers developer Itaconix (LSE: ITX) had already warned that due to destocking 2021 revenues would fall from $3.29m to $2.6m, which is still double the 2019 figure. Itaconix remains lossmaking, but revenues should be much higher in 2022 due to the increased number of products using its ingredients. Revenues are expected to jump back to $4.7m and the loss could halve to $1m.

Rockwood Strategic (RKW) has acquired a 8.75% stake in window ventilators and parts manufacturer Titon Holdings (TON).

Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI), which is set to change its name to Crestchic, says that trading at the core power reliability business is better than the recently upgraded expectations. Previously full year earnings of 12.1p a share were forecast and this was raised to 13.4p a share.

STM (STM) pre-tax profit halved to £1.2m in 2021 and it is expected to recover to £2.9m this year. This will be helped by the completion of investment in IT that brings the personal pension businesses onto one platform. A flow of new SIPP business is anticipated.

Coral Products (CRU) has announced a final dividend of 0.2p a share, taking the total for the year to 1.1p a share. At 17.5p, the yield is 6.3%.

Eve Sleep (EVE) is outperforming a market that has fallen by 29% in the UK in the first four months of 2022 and by 37% in France. More funding is required even though Eve Sleep and a US-based investor was interested in bidding for the mattress supplier. Talks have ended but management is considering its options.

MAIN MARKET

Citius Resources (CRES) has an initial agreement for the potential acquisition of AUC Mining, which has the Kamalenge gold project in Uganda. The proposed £2m cost would be paid in shares at 4.625p each. More cash would have to be raised at the same time. Trading in the shares was suspended at 3p.

Standard list shell GS Chain (GSC) shares have reached a new high of 6.55p, having risen steadily since flotation on 13 May via an introduction at 1p a share. Net assets were less than 0.18p a share, so the share price is at a substantial premium.

Premium listed Ross Group (RGP) shares jumped from 1.45p to 1.7p following a placing raising £163,000 at 1.79p a share, which is still a premium to the higher market price. The previous placing in October was at 2.8p a share. Ross Group is effectively a shell that has an investment in an aquaculture business and is trying to develop its supply chain management business.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 16 May 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Brewer Adnams (ADB) says that trading is in line with expectation in the first four months of the year. The retail side is trading ahead of the same period in 2019. Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge has reduced its shareholding from 5.27% to 4.22%., while Michael Heald increased his stake from 18.2% to 19.3% by acquiring 3,200 B shares at 8870p each.

Silverwood Brands (SLWD) has made its first investment since joining Aquis last year. Ginger Teleporter is licenced to operate e-scooters and e-bikes in England. Silverwood Brands has subscribed for a convertible loan note of £200,000 with an interest rate of 15%. The conversion price is £28.94. Silverwood Brands directors Paul Hodgins and Andrew Gerrie are also directors of Ginger. Along with another shareholder in Ginger they have agreed to sell shares to Silverwood Brands at a nominal cost if the target valuation is less than two times the original investment.

National Milk Records (NMRP) says third quarter revenues were 4% higher at £5.63m, with all main parts of the business increasing their contribution. Health testing is growing fastest, but it is still less than one-quarter of the total. Milk purchase prices have been increased to cover higher farm costs.

Talent management and livestreaming company All Things Considered (ATC) invested $6m in a new company focused on music digitisation and blockchain technology, which has announced the acquisition of Napster.

Gunsynd (GUN) has sold 175,000 shares in Charger Metals NL, raising £93,000. It still owns 2.825 million shares.

ChallengerX (CXS) has signed a digital asset monetisation agreement with US-based online TV network FOXD. This is a five-year deal.

Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) says it is in talks with Powerhouse Energy (PHE) about a project in Ireland.

Peterhouse Capital resigned as corporate adviser to Love Hemp (LIFE) prior to the announcement that an investor had not made the promised £1.2m subscription. A new corporate adviser is required for trading in the shares to recommence. A strategic review is ongoing, and a finance director is being sought.

AQRU (AQRU) says that its decentralised finance subsidiary has more than $50m of assets under management five months after the launch of the AQRU.io platform.

SuperSeed Capital Ltd (WWW) managing director sold 50,000 shares at 100p each. He still owns 79.6%.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 355.46p a share.

AIM

There have not been any large contract wins for telecoms billing software provider Cerillion (CER) this year, but the interims show the benefit of previous wins. In the six months to March 2022, revenues increased from £12.8m to £16.1m. Annualised recurring revenues are £9.8m. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £3.8m to £6.3m. The business is highly cash generative and net cash has reached £16.5m. There are no borrowings. The dividend has been raised by 24% to 2.6p a share. Although the order book has dipped from £42.1m to £39.7m it is still well above previous years. There is a weighted pipeline of prospective customer business of £35m and there is a good chance that some deals could be secured before the end of September.

Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) had an exceptionally strong 2021-22 due to the delayed demand for cars due to lockdowns in the previous year. The figures were ahead of expectations. Revenues were £3.62bn, which is 18% higher than in 2019-20. Pre-tax profit jumped from £24.6m to £80.7m. The profit should more than halve this year. Supply shortages are continuing, although used car prices are set to come down over the rest of the year.

Omnichannel retail software provider itim Group (ITIM) has annual recurring revenues were £11.1m in 2021 and it has already reached £13m this year. Clients pay a monthly fee. There was a £1m pre-tax profit in 2021 and investment in growing the business means that it could halve this year. The company raised cash so that it could finance the replacement of an existing system with its own software without charging an upfront fee.

Healthcare technology investor and adviser Netscientific (NSCI) increased net assets to £18.5m at the end of 2021. There are 22 investments in the portfolio. WH Ireland has a sum of the parts valuation of 180p a share.

Trellus Health (TRLS) has changed its strategy to focus on the direct-to-consumer model and is broadening the market by including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Trellus Health can provide personalised care for people with chronic conditions with the initial focus inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). There should be initial revenues in 2022. Net cash is $32m and this should last more than two years as revenues build up.

Plug-in cards developer Concurrent Technologies (CNC) says component shortages held back revenues and they dipped from £21.1m to £20.5m in 2021. Even so, pre-tax profit improved from £3.7m to £4.1m thanks to lower operating expenses. Chief executive Miles Adcock joined the AIM-quoted company last June. He has reviewed strategy plans to launch new products more quickly. This year there should be eight new products – double the previous level. A manufacturing partner in the US will help the group win more business. Although there was an increased interim dividend, the total dividend for the year was unchanged at 2.55p a share.

Advanced coatings provider Hardide (HDD) is recovering but it is still some way from profit. Interim revenues were 50% ahead at £2.7m and while the loss was nearly halved it was still £771,000. Revenues for the year to September 2022 could be double the interim level, but so could the loss. Net debt was £335,000 at the end of March 2022. Overheads have fallen following the completion of the move to a new factory in the UK. Variable gross margin is 70%, so additional revenues will rapidly reduce the loss.

Further good news from NWF (NWF) thanks to the fuels business due to short-term volatility. Trading in the year to May 2022 will be significantly ahead of expectations.

Credit hire and legal services firm Anexo (ANX) increased 2021 revenues by 36% to £118.2m, while pre-tax profit was 50% ahead at £24.1m. The new housing disrepair business made a contribution, and the credit hire business is running at high levels. There is still potential upside from the VW emissions case. The total dividend is 1.5p a share.

Iodine producer Iofina (IOF) increased 2021 revenues from $29.7m to $39m and underlying pre-tax profit from $1.3m to $4.9m, even though iodine production was lower. Net debt was $3m at the end of 2021. Iodine prices remain above $60/kg. Plans are being made for additional production capacity.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) has raised a further £20m via a placing and PrimaryBid offer at 35p a share. The additional cash should enable Duke to increase its debt facility by £25m. Cenkos forecasts royalty revenues of £21.3m in the year to March 2023. That should generate enough cash for a 3p a share dividend.

Immedia Group (IME) has completed the disposal of its operating business and it is changing its name to Immediate Acquisition.

Sweden-based investor AB Traction has increased its stake ceramics and fragrance products manufacturer Portmeirion (PMP) to 5.08%.

MAIN MARKET

GS Chain (GSC) is a shell seeking a technology acquisition. It was introduced to the standard list at 1p a share. The share price opened on 13 May at 3p before ending the day at 3.625p (3.5p/4p). There is nearly £1m in cash that should last 12 months. The pro forma asset value is less than 0.18p a share.

Macfarlane (MACF) says first quarter sales and profit are ahead of the same period last year. Better packaging sales to industrial and hospitality sectors has offset weaker sales for e-commerce.

Flavours supplier Treatt (TET) grew revenues by 9% to £66.3m, although underlying pre-tax profit fell to £6.3m. Forecast revenues have been upgraded, but the profit estimate is the same due to lower margins. Orange oil prices have risen.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 18 April 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Brewer Adnams (ADB) increased its revenues from £50.7m to £57.4m in 2021 and the loss was reduced from £4.3m to £1.39m. There is no final dividend. Net bank debt was £11m. The pension liability more than halved from £11.2m to £5m. Beer volumes were maintained.

S-Ventures (SVEN) says headwinds in the economy have held back sales of its healthy snacks. Even so, like-for-like sales are currently 10% ahead of last year. Cost savings of £300,000 a year have been found at the Pulsin plant-based products business.

Watchstone Group (WTG) subsidiary WTGIL Ltd has lost its VAT appeal. It is considering whether to take the appeal to the Upper tax Tribunal.

Cannabis-related products supplier Voyager Life (VOY) has opened three stores and relaunched its website in the year to March 2022. The Ascend Skincare brand was launched. There was £14.3m in the bank at the end of March 2022. Monthly overheads were just under £50,000. In the 16 months to March 2022, revenue reached £178,000. Revenues are steadily growing. Voyager is still waiting for ingestible products to receive authorisation from the authorities.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $700,000 in Zeitgeist in return for one million ZTG tokens. Zeitgeist is an application specific blockchain for prediction markets and futarchy.

Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) says that Aterian Resources has been awarded a ten year mining licence for the Agdz copper and silver project in Morocco. Eastinco has agreed to acquire Aterian from AIM-quoted Altus Strategies (ALS). Once the Aterian acquisition is completed Eastinco plans to move to the Main Market.

Goodbody Health (GDBY) says subsidiary PhytoVista Laboratories has been granted a licence to handle Schedule 1 controlled drugs.

Chris Akers has increased his stake in TECC Capital (TEC) from 10.6% to 11.1%. Robert Johnson reduced his stake to below 3%. Chief executive Kiran Morzaria has bought 54,422 shares in Cadence Minerals (KDNC) at 18.37p a share.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has extended two loans with £1.225m payable on 16 April 2023 and £629,000 on 4 July 2023.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had net assets of 368.49p a share at the end of March 2022.

AIM

Recycling Technologies has pulled its AIM flotation after its chief executive stepped down due to personal reasons. It had apparently raised the money it was seeking but the late change meant that the company has decided to have a smaller private fundraising before having another attempt at floating on AIM.

Loadbanks maker and hirer Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) is able to concentrate on its core business following the disposal of Tasman. In 2021, revenues from continuing operations were one-fifth higher with a greater proportion of hire business. Pre-tax profit trebled to £3.3m, before the restructuring and convertible loan note redemption costs of £7.6m, which were predominantly asset write-downs. There was a 1p a share dividend. The company is changing its name to Crestchic.

Online electricals retailer Marks Electrical (MRK) reported full year revenues that were 44% ahead at £80.5m and EBITDA margins are 9%. The fourth quarter revenues to March 2022 were 19% ahead at £20.7m. The comparatives are particularly strong because they were during a period of lockdowns when online sales made up a higher proportion of appliance sales. Pre-tax profit is still expected to decline from £6.8m to £6.1m in 2021-22 due to additional overhead costs.

Cambridge Cognition (COG) is building up its clinical trial business. Full year revenues increased by 50% to £10.1m and the digital health company moved into profit. There was £6.8m in the bank at the end of 2021. At least £7.5m of the year-end order book of £17m should be recognised in 2022. More contracts have been secured since the end of 2021.

Asset management services provider MJ Hudson (MJH) grew interim revenues by 48% to £23.4m with particularly strong growth in ESG-related services. Underlying pre-tax profit quadrupled to £1.6m. Net debt excluding leases was £13m at the end of December 2021. New business activity remains strong and there is no direct effect from the weak stockmarkets on revenues. Guernsey-based Saffery Champness Fund Services was acquired during the period.

Telematics firm Microlise (SAAS) reported revenues of £88.2m in the 18 months to December 2021. Annual revenues grew by 17%. Existing customers generated £35.6m in 2021 and there is hardly any customer churn. Annual recurring revenues are £38.9m.

AEX Gold (AEXG) has announced exploration results from the iron oxide, copper, gold project at Sava in southern Greenland. These showed that there is mineralisation. There are three high priority targets.

The lock-up period for shares in Poolbeg Pharma (POLB) distributed by Open Orphan (ORPH) ends on 20 April and new investors are hoping to buy up to £1.6m of shares at 5.9p each. The share price subsequently recovered to 6.7p, having been sliding in recent months ahead of the end of the lock-up period when there were concerns there could be a significant number of shares coming onto the market.

Ince (INCE) is going ahead with the acquisition of broker Arden Partners (ARDN) even though it is losing its nominated adviser status. The merger should be completed on 29 April.

MAIN MARKET

Financials Acquisition Corp (FINS) is a shell looking for a financial services acquisition, particularly in the insurance area. The focus is technology that is used to make the insurance sector more efficient. There was £150m raised at £10 a share. The share price ended the week at 997.5p.

It took a year to secure the transaction, but DG Innovate (DGI) has completed its reversal into Path Investments. The purchase of the electric drive and sodium-ion battery technology developer cost an initial £32.4m in shares at a deemed price of 0.6p a share, which was well above the market price. There was also £2.55m raised at 0.5p a share. The shares opened at 0.45p and ended the week at 0.305p.

Materials developer HeiQ (HEIQ) estimates that revenues were $57.9m thanks to a good fourth quarter. This is despite deferring revenues and $1m in operating profit from technology milestones for the agreement with the Lycra Company for its AeoniQ material into 2022. Operating profit is expected to be $3.4m, compared with the $4m forecast. Revenues are expected to grow by one-fifth this year.

Natural ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) grew interim revenues by 9% to £66.3m. The operating profit will be second half weighted.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 11 April 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

NFT Investments (NFT) is not going ahead with the acquisition of crypto tech and operations company Pluto Digital Assets and trading in the shares has recommenced. NFT had cash of £21.9m, having made seven investments, and net assets of £34.4m, 3.43p a share, at the end of 2021.

National Milk Records (NMRP) is linking up with another former Milk Marketing Board business Genus (GNS). National Milk Records will provide the fully listed animal breeding company with multi-panel genomic testing and evaluations. The two firms have been part of a process to map the DNA of the worst cows and bulls in terms of environmental impact. Farmers will be able to choose to breed cows with lower impact and highest milk yields. The initial contract lasts for five years.

Asimilar Group (ASLR) has joined the Access segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange. The technology investment company hopes that this will improve share liquidity. The AIM-quotation is being maintained but may be terminated to save money if the new quotation is successful.

Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has signed two new distribution deals. Oak and Still will distribute Shinju whisky in the UK from April 2022. Beverage Hunters will be the distributor in Spain from May.

Vanadium flow batteries technology developer Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has successfully concluded a validation programme by Korea-based Hyosung Heavy Industries and signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for a global partnership and exclusivity in Korea.

Talent management and livestreaming company All Things Considered (ATC) increased revenues and other operating income by 23% to £9.9m in 2021. The loss is likely to be £2.8m. There was £4.4m in cash at the end of 2021. The live music market continues to recover. All Things Considered has invested $6m from a short-term promissory note into a new company focused on music digitisation and blockchain technology. This is a minority investment out of a total of $80m. The full year figures should be published in May.

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has been appointed as the official sparkling wine supplier to the English Cricket Board. The company’s sparkling wines will be given to the winners of internationals and domestic finals.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that iron ore stockpile shipments have started from the Amapa project in Brazil.

Eastinco Mining (EM.P) has discovered 16 new pegmatite zones following geochemical sampling at its HCK joint venture in southern Rwanda. This takes the total to 18.Surface geological exploration is underway at Musasa.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has renegotiated its loan facility and the £5m deemed to be outstanding has been changed into convertible loan stock that is convertible into shares at 1p each. There will be immediate conversion of £4.47m of loan notes.

Gunsynd (GUN) invested £75,000 into First Tin (1SN) at the placing price of 30p, having already invested £125,000 at 15p a share. The share price ended the first day at 30p.

AIM-quoted Vela Technologies (VELA) has acquired a 28.8% stake in healthcare and medtech firm Igraine (KING) for £404,000 or 1.8p a share. Richard Edwards had previously sold his 10.3% stake.

Giles Brand has increased his stake in EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) from 32.1% to 33.4%.

Aquis Exchange (AQX) non-exec chairman Glenn Collinson has bought an initial stake of 12,003 shares at 512p each. Shepherd Neame (SHEP) director Richard Oldfield has bought 25,000 shares at 837.4p each and 15,000 shares at 835.35p each. Hot Rocks investments (HRIP) non-exec chairman Brian Rowbotham bought 715,000 shares at 0.7p each and he owns 3.5%. Non-exec director Charles Vaughan has taken his stake to 2.53% after purchasing 1.5 million shares at 0.65p each.

AIM

The London Stock Exchange says that Arden Partners (ARDN) will lose its nominated adviser status if the merger with legal services provider Ince (INCE) goes ahead.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) revenues more than doubled to £24m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £4.77m to £6.42m thanks to the acquisition of rival Hunters Property. There is more to come. More financial advisers are being recruited and more of the franchisees are taking advantage of the services. The total dividend of 11.6p a share was higher than expected.

Belvoir Group (BLV) generated organic revenue growth of 25% last year. In 2021, pre-tax profit jumped from £7.5m to £10.3m, while the dividend is 8.5p a share. Management expects the residential sales part of the business to return to normal levels following the ending of incentives, while the lettings and financials businesses continue to grow.

Gaming machine monitors and consoles supplier Quixant (QXT) generated 2021 revenues of $87.1m, while pre-tax profit was $5.4m. Net cash is $17.6m. Screens supplier Densitron achieved the highest sales since it was acquired. Revenues are increasing from higher value added products.

Trading levels of most of the businesses of Tracsis (TRCS) have got back to previous levels, although the traffic data division recovery was delayed. In the six months to January 2022, group revenues were 31% ahead at £29.2m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from £4.1m to £5m. The interim dividend is 0.9p a share. The recent US acquisition provides a customer base in the US, which is not as far advanced in terms of rail optimisation software as the UK.

Freight forwarding and transport services both improved their profit contribution to Xpediator (LSE: XPD) in 2021. The warehousing and logistics profit slumped due to problems in the UK. Pre-tax profit rose by one-quarter to £9.1m in 2021. The total dividend was reduced to 1.1p a share. A special dividend is a possibility this year, though. A new chief executive is still being sought.

Ecommerce technology provider Attraqt (ATQT) increased full year revenues by 9% to £22.9m but continued to lose money. There was £3.5m in the bank at the end of 2021 and management hopes to be cash neutral in 2022.

SourceBio International (SBI) grew Covid-19 testing revenues and core divisions also improved revenues during 2021. Group revenues grew from £50m to £92.5m, but they are expected to decline to £39.5m in 2022. That masks sharply higher core revenues partly due to a recent acquisition. The Covid testing labs can be converted to other uses.

Floorcoverings supplier Likewise (LIKE) says that first quarter of 2022 is ahead of budget. The Birmingham logistics site is up and running. The latest acquisition is Delta Carpets, which is earnings enhancing.

Anglesey Mining (AYM) has made the switch from the Main Market to AIM. It had been listed since May 1988. The company’s main asset is the 100%-owned Parys Mountain copper lead zinc deposit in Anglesey, north Wales. Other assets include a 20% interest in the Grangesberg iron project in Sweden. There is a right of first refusal to increase the stake to 70%. The share price moved up by 0.01p to 4.06p on the first day of trading on AIM.

MAIN MARKET

First Tin (1SN) raised £20m at 30p a share and ended the first day of trading at 30p (29p/31p). First Tin issued 60 million shares to acquire Taronga Mines, which owns Australian tin mining assets. The company already owned German tin projects. The cash raised should last for 18-24 months.

Radiology services provider Medica Group (MGP) had a much stronger second half to 2021. Revenues from elective surgery where slightly lower in the first half because of the effect of lockdowns and restrictions. The 2021 group revenues improved from £12.5m to £17.3m as surgery activity built back to previous levels. In 2021, group revenues improved from £36.8m to £61.9m, while underlying pre-tax profit increased from £4.74m to £11.5m. That excludes £4.13m of non-underlying costs, including amortisation, share based payments and one-off professional fees of £555,000. Net cash was £3.88m at the end of 2021. There is potential contingent consideration of £6.89m. The total dividend is 5% higher at 2.68p a share.

DG Innovate (DGI) completed its reversal into Path Investments. The company was acquired for £32.4m in shares issued at 0.6p each and has two operations. The first is developing electric drive technology and the other is developing sodium-ion batteries. The £2.55m raised at 0.5p a share, plus the £2.08m raised from warrants exercised at 0.25p each, will help to commercialise these technologies. The share price ended the first day at 0.34p, which is higher than the suspension price.

Ajax Resources (AJAX) is a shell seeking energy and natural resources assets and it raised £1.34m at 4p a share. The shares ended the week at 4.75p. The pro forma net assets are 2.6p a share. Management is seeking production that provides cash flow and/or strong exploration potential in known resources areas.

Aura Renewable Acquisitions (ARA) is a new shell seeking acquisitions in the renewable energy sector and it raised £1m at 10p a share. It ended the first day of trading at 17p. Pro forma cash is 8.4p a share. The founder shareholder is Harmony Capital Investments, which is behind the management of AIM-quoted, Asia-focused investment company Jade Road Investments Ltd (JADE), where Aura chairman John Croft is executive chairman. Aura is targeting is a range of businesses in areas such as wind, solar, biomass, hydro, carbon capture, waste management, smart grids and hydrogen supply.

OTHER MARKETS

Cyprus listed FOS Holdings has appointed Nick Kounoupias as chief executive. He is a solicitor with his own intellectual property consultancy. The film and entertainment company is planning a complex of five studios in Cyprus between Limassol and Larnaca, plus studios in other locations around the world. EU grants will help the funding of the studio complex, but other funding will need to be secured. FOS also plans to make three films a year.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 28 March 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) returned to profit in 2021 and it is paying a final dividend of 22p a share, having already paid 37p a share for the financial year. Net assets are 1315p a share. Slater Investments has a 7.05% stake.

S-Ventures (SVEN) is acquiring Market Rocket Ltd, which is a digital agency that helps brand owners to sell their products, for an initial £2.25m. There could be further shares issued if performance targets are met. In the year to March 2021, revenues were £500,000 and this year they will be much higher. This is a profitable business.

British Honey Company (BHC) has raised £540,000 after expenses at 80p each. This cash will finance product development, costs related to reducing expenses and fund growth. Mark Jones has been permanently appointed as chief executive. The company is changing its name to Union Distillers.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) is acquiring Aftech, a sheet metal fabrication company, for £1.55m in shares issued at 1.257p a share, plus 24.7 million warrants exercisable at 3p a share. Services provided include laser cutting, bending and forming and the acquired business fits well with existing subsidiaries. In the year to November 2021, Aftech generated revenues of £1.18m and EBITDA of £266,000 and it has debt of £155,000.

AIM-quoted Asimilar (ASLR) plans to join the access segment of Aquis on 4 April. The technology investment company focuses on areas including big data, machine learning and Internet of Things. The corporate adviser is Oberon Capital. Chris Akers has a 6.88% stake and Nigel Wray a 9.43% shareholding. Net assets were £41.5m at the end of September 2021.

VVV Resources (VVV) has signed a conditional agreement to acquire a company that owns the Mitterberg copper project in Austria and a 49% stake in the Shangri La polymetallic project in Western Australia, which takes VVV’s share to 100%.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) increased its NAV from 437.6p a share to 455.7p a share in the 12 months to January 2022. However, the Luceco share price has fallen back since then. The Luceco stake was reduced to 22.1% last year. Cash was £27.6m at the end of January.

Capital for Companies (CFCP) had cash balances of £4.19m at the end of February 2022. Net assets were 68.4p a share, following the payment of 1.5p a share dividend on 3 March.

Jason Brewer has joined the board of All Star Minerals (ASMO) and been appointed as chief executive. The acquisition focus has switched to near-term production and revenue generating mining assets.

AQRU (AQRU) has entered a partnership with institutional lending platform owner Maple Finance, which will offer AQRU customers enhanced yields in decentralised finance. Yields could be up to 15%. The offering will be integrated into the AQRU mobile and web-based platform.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has obtained a new strategic investor and there could be more to come. Ramin Salsali has invested £302,276 at 0.5p a share to take a 4.67% stake. He believes that the CoalTech technology can help to solve the problem of 33 billion tonnes of toxic coal fines. The technology can also pelletise other materials. Several testing phase projects are at an advanced stage.

AIM

Cyber security software supplier Kape Technologies (KAPE) reported 2021 figures in line with its trading statement with pre-tax profit of $75.2m. This was without any significant contribution from the ExpressVPN acquisition, which was made at the end of the year. Pre-tax profit could more than double to in excess of $150m this year.

Geospatial software provider IQGeo (IQG) beat expectations for 2021 with a much lower loss of £2.7m. Annualised recurring revenues were £8.2m. This year the company should move towards breakeven.

Restaurant operator Tasty (TAST) bounced back into profit last year. In the 52 weeks to 26 December 2021, revenues improved from £24.2m to £34.9m. There was £11m in the bank at the end of 2021 and there are £1.25m of borrowings to offset against this. Even if deferred payments are taken into account, then underlying net cash is still £6.8m. Net assets are £1.9m.

Peel Hunt has upgraded its 2022 forecast for promotional goods platform operator The Pebble Group (PEBB) following the recent 2021 figures. Even so, pre-tax profit is forecast to dip from £10.2m to £9.9m.

Leather processor Pittards (PTD) returned to profit in 2021, but cost increases mean that WH Ireland has reduced its 2022 pre-tax profit forecast. Pre-tax profit is expected to be flat at £500,000. Net assets are 101.9p a share.

AI-enabled wound imaging technology developer Spectral MD (SMD) has made excellent progress since floating last year. Studies of the DeepView system have been positive. The technology enables earlier intervention to help wounds heal quicker than they would have done. A validation study for patients with diabetic foot ulcers is planned and could lead to an application for FDA clearance by the end of the year.

Judges Scientific (JDG) increased pre-tax profit from £13.7m to £18.1m in 2021. Revenues recovered in all geographical regions. The order intake in the first eleven weeks of this year is slightly ahead of the 2021 figure. Net cash is £1.4m and cash generated from operations will mean that the cash pile will build up ahead of any acquisitions.

MAIN MARKET

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LSE: LUCE) reported an increase in 2021 underlying pre-tax profit from £28.7m to £37.4m on revenues increasing from £176.2m to £228.2m. The total dividend was raised from 6.2p a share to 8.1p a share and it is more than twice covered by earnings. Luceco has moved into the electric vehicle charging market with the purchase of residential EV charge point supplier Sync EV for £10m – it already had a 20% stake, so the latest outflow is £8m. Annual revenues are £4m.

LeakBot reversed into Spinnaker Acquisitions to form Ondo Insurtech (ONDO). The total cost is £9.8m made up of cash of £1.6m, loan notes of £6.4m and 15 million shares issued at 12p each, including 1.36 million shares issued to Ondo Insurtech chief executive Craig Foster. The LeakBot device uses internet of things technology to identify leaks and stop them before they become more substantial. The core client base is home insurers, which can save money on claims. The share price started at 10.5p and fell to 9p by the end of the week.

RC365 Holding (RCGH) was set up to acquire Hong Kong-focused Regal Crown UK, which has developed payment gateway technology and provides other IT services. The holding company raised £2.02m at 6.2p a share, although £800,000 went on float expenses. The shares ended the week at 7p.

Beacon Rise Holdings (BRS) is the latest standard list shell, and it is highly illiquid with most of the shares owned by nine shareholders. On Sharepad.co.uk there are no trades reported, and the bid/offer spread is 100p/400p. That suggest a mid-price of 250p or a notional 150% gain – although the bid price is equal to the subscription price. Pro forma net assets equal the cash of £744,000.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 14 February 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) has repelled the latest attempt by major shareholder Ecotricity to influence decisions. It wanted to remove the chairman and stop the sale of generation assets without shareholder approval. Both resolutions were defeated.

Dominique Einhorn has resigned as chief executive of ChallengerX (CXS) following his arrest in France for tax and other offences. ChallengerX joined Aquis in December after it acquired SportsX, which provides marketing services to rugby and football clubs. Sarlat Rugby, which is 100%-owned by Dominique Einhorn, is one of the first clients. The share price was unchanged at 2.4p (2.2p/2.6p).

Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) increased revenues from £2.23m to £2.79m in the year to October 2021 and that enabled it to move from a loss of £174,000 to £457,000. This was helped by government assistance. Trading is still not back to pre-pandemic levels. There is £1.33m in the bank.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had net assets of 455.66p a share at the end of January 2022. There was £27.6m of available funds at the end of January. Directors and managing partners bought shares, but more were sold by others.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has completed the purchase of a 20% stake in the Amapa iron ore project.

Gowin New Energy (GWIN) is considering trading in agarwood products, including incense and oils in Taiwan. A trial is being launched ahead of the Quingming festival.

Quantum Exponential (QBIT) investee company Arqit Quantum has signed a research and development agreement with the United States Air Force. This could lead to a quantum encryption service for the Department of Defense.

SulNOx (SNOX) plans to gain an OTC quotation in the US so that Americans can invest.

SuperSeed Capital Ltd (WWW) managing director Mads Jensen has bought 3,000 shares at an average price of 83.9p. SuperSeed raised £2m at 100p a share at the end of January. The share price ended the first week at 70p (65p/75p) and it remained at that quoted price last week with limited trading volumes.

Samarkand (SMK) non-exec Phil Smiley acquired 28,777 shares at 139p a share. Daniel Thwaites (THW) director RAJ Bailey bought 15,000 shares at 102.25p a share. Chris Akers has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 17.2% to 18.3%.

Alfred Henry has resigned as corporate adviser to Lombard Capital (LCAP).

AIM

Building products supplier Alumasc (ALU) reported that interim pre-tax profit fell 12% to £5.1m on revenues 2% ahead at £46.3m. The profit fell because shading business Levolux fell back into a loss of £1m. Roofing did well but the Levolux business held that division back. The water management division sales were nearly one-fifth higher, and profit improved. Housebuilding product sales increased but margins fell. However, the second half should be stronger.

Self-storage sites operator Lok’nStore (LOK) says that first half trading was strong. Interim revenues are one-third higher, helped by higher occupancy and prices.

Orchard Funding Group (ORCH) has launched a bond offer and it is guaranteeing 10% of face value of outstanding bonds. The Orchard Bond Finance bond offers an annual interest rate of 6.25% payable twice a year. The repayment date is 2027. The cash from the bonds will help to finance growth. The offer is open until 23 February. The offer is available through PriamryBid and intermediaries, such as Interactive Investor and AJ Bell. The minimum subscription is £2,000. The bonds will be issued on 2 March and trade on the Official List.

Sustainable investments company i(x) Net Zero (IX.) raised £10.7m at 76p a share. The share price ended the week at 77p, which is a premium to pro forma net assets.

ASX-listed Artemis Resources (ARV) joined AIM and raised £5m at 3.75p a share on 7 February. It owns 100% of the Greater Carlow gold copper cobalt project and the Paterson Central gold copper exploration project in Western Australia. Exploration commenced at Paterson Central in November 2021, and it is expected to resume in March. The Paterson Central project is adjacent to the Havieron project that is being developed by Newcrest Mining and Greatland Gold (GGP). Greater Carlow has a JORC complied mineral resources estimate for its Carlow Castle deposit of 14.3Mt @ 0.7g/t gold, 0.4% copper and 0.05% cobalt. An update is expected by the summer. The share price ended the week at 3.875p.

Filtronic (FTC) grew ongoing interim revenues by 12% to £8m and the telecoms components manufacturer moved back into profit. The full year pre-tax profit forecast is being maintained at £1m even though revenues have been edged up to £18m because the improvement is from lower margin products. Defence spending is boosting demand.

Omega Diagnostics (ODX) is raising £5m and could raise a further £2m from an open offer. It is also selling its manufacturing facility in Alva for £1m after it failed to win a Covid diagnostics contract. Even so, Omega is expected to continue to lose money. The CD4 diagnostics operations will be transferred to the Ely site and sales are building up, Health and nutrition business continues to grow.

Kitwave (KITW) has acquired West Country-based MJ Baker, which distributes ambient, chilled and frozen food. This is the first acquisition since flotation and Kitwave is paying £24.5m in cash. This deal includes own branded Bakers Best Buy products and should be earnings enhancing.

Recent new admission Facilities by ADF (ADF) has already sparked a forecast upgrade from a trading statement. The film and TV hire services provider is expected to make earnings of 4.5p a share for 2021.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) continues to generate increasing revenues from crude palm oil, but it is taking longer than expected for cashew revenues to grow. January was a record month for production and extraction rates improved, while prices rising. The cashew plant is using 15% of capacity and waiting for additional components.

Mergers and tax adviser K3 Capital (K3C) increased interim revenues from £17.6m to £31.2m providing a significant boost to profitability. The interim dividend is 4p a share. K3 is on course for a full year pre-tax profit of £17.7m, up from £13.6m, providing the ability to potentially pay a total dividend of 12.1p a share.

MAIN MARKET

S and U (SUS) is paying a second interim dividend of 36p a share. Group debt is £114m out of possible facilities of £180m. There was a reduced level of bad debts in the year to January 2022 and pre-tax profit will be more than double last year’s £17.2m. Advantage has started to finance electric vehicles. Net loan advances are £140m. Property bridging has a loan book of £64m.

Anglesey Mining (AYM) plans to move to AIM. A general meeting will be held on 8 March to gain shareholder approval.

Sure Ventures (SURE) has net assets of 118.34p a share.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 17 January 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Failed bidder Ecotricity has requisitioned a general meeting at Good Energy (GOOD) in order to remove Will Whitehorn as a director and to stop the company selling generating assets without shareholder approval. The meeting will be held on 11 February. Ecotricity owns 25% of Good Energy. The sale of the generating assets is an important part of the company’s strategy. The cash would be used to reduce borrowings and invest in newer businesses, such as Zap-Map and other digital businesses.

Samarkand Group (SMK) has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with AIM-quoted Venture Life (VLG). The e-commerce technology platform will be the exclusive distributor of mouthwash Dentyl Dual Action and halitosis mouthwash Ultradex in China for an initial term of five years.

Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) has signed a letter of intent with RZZO, which is a regional municipal waste management company in Ostrow Wielkopolski in Poland. RZZO will provide a plot of land where a HUI waste plastic to hydrogen plant can be sited and also source the plastic waste. They will seek funding from the EU as well as Polish grants. The heat would be fed into a district heating system.

Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has identified 11 new pegmatite zones at its HCK joint venture in Rwanda. These are potential tantalum-niobium bearing zones. The sampling should be completed in February.

Apollon Formularies (APOL) has signed agreements with more than a dozen cannabis cultivators. They all have the appropriate licences. It has also set up the Apollon Kannabiz Cooperative to work with local Jamaican farmers.  Rod McIllree has been appointed as a non-exec director. He owns 29.1% of Apollon.

Western Selection (WESP) cut its stake in Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) from 9.65% to 6.21%, while Harwood Capital has raised its stake to 16.9% to 20.4%. Western Selection raised £1.7m from the disposal.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 510.95p a share at the end of 2021.

Sativa Wellness Group Inc is changing its name to Goodbody Health Inc (GBDY).

Dispersion Holdings has changed its name to AQRU (AQRU), which is aligned with the brand of its retail online platform for lending cryptocurrencies.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) will leave Aquis on 25 January.

AIM

Frontier IP (FIPP) says the increase in the value of tis stake in the Nasdaq-listed Exscientia will be an important component of the rise in NAV at the end of 2021. NAV was 69.8p a share at the end of June 2021. A small portion of the shareholding has been sold and further sales are likely. This cash can be ploughed back into Frontier IP and help with new investments.

Legal services provider Gateley (GTLY) reported organic growth of 23% in the six months to October 2021. That partly reflects the weak comparative figures as well as underlying growth. All four divisions grew revenues with only the property division having a small contribution from an acquisition. Utilisation levels improved from 79% to 84%. Underlying pre-tax profit increased from £7.5m to £8.5m. The interim dividend was one-fifth higher at 3p a share. Management is seeking acquisitions to add to organic growth. There is normally a second half weighting to the figures.

Strong trading at Metro Rod and Metro Plumb is the major factor behind the growth at Franchise Brands (FRAN) and the B2C franchise brands are recruiting more franchisees. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to increase from £4.8m to £6.4m. Net cash was £8.6m at the end of 2021.

Corporation Financeiere Europeenne acquired shares in CIP Merchant Capital (CIP) taking its stake to 31.8%. This has sparked a mandatory bid at 55p a share. This is a substantial discount to net assets of 87.6p a share. The plan is to save the costs of being a quoted company.

Cornerstone FS (CSFS) has come to an agreement with Robert Lee concerning the £100,000 convertible loan facility he had promised. Instead of being convertible at a fixed price of 61p a share the convertible could be converted at the average mid-market price of the shares for the five dealing days prior to the drawdown of the loan if this is lower. This will mean that it is much more dilutive unless there is a sharp rise in the share price. The international payments company says 2021 revenues should be £2.3m with more generated by direct sales.

Specialist IFA Frenkel Topping (FEN) is paying up to £10m for Cardinal Management, which provides patient support at hospitals following traumatic events. This provides access to potential clients at an early stage.

Heart disease risk assessment technology developer GENinCode (GENI) has filed a pre-submission for its Cardio inCode-SCORE test with the FDA in the US. This will provide information ahead of a future marketing application. The test combines genetic risk with clinical risk to assess an overall risk of heart problems for a patient.

Oil palm plantations operator Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) generated record figures in 2021. December crude palm oil production more than doubled and the total production for the year was 39,953 tonnes, up 17.5% on the previous year. Extraction rates are starting to improve. The average crude palm oil price was $868/tonne, which is 44% higher than in 2021. The crude palm oil price is currently more than $1,000/ tonne

Minds + Machines (MMX) decided to return the remaining cash to shareholders and cancel the AIM quotation. There will be 10.4p a share tender offer.

Vector Capital (VCAP) has increased its debt facilities by £5m to £35m. In 2021, the total loan book rose by 27% to £46.3m. This is ahead of expectations.

Capital equipment supplier Mpac Group (MPAC) says it traded in line with expectations in 2021. A pre-tax profit of £8.2m is forecast. The closing order book was £77m. The 2021 results will be published on 14 March.

Holders Technology (HDT) is paying a special dividend of 2p a share on 28 January in addition to a final dividend which will be announced with the 2021 figures. The interim dividend was 0.5p a share. This follows the disposal of some of the company’s PCB assets for around £1.7m.

Mosman Oil and Gas (MSMN) has dropped its plans for a 100-for-one share consolidation after negative feedback from shareholders.

MJ Hudson (MJH) has gained a multimillion contract to advise the ACCESS local government pension scheme over a seven-year period. This covers eleven local authority pension schemes. They have £35bn in pooled assets.

MAIN MARKET

Cash shell Electric Guitar (ELEG) joined the standard list on 11 January. It raised £1.2m at 3p a share and the share price has risen to 3.7p. The current NAV is 1.78p a share, which is effectively all cash. Electric Guitar is a shell seeking acquisitions in the digital advertising sector. There could be opportunities to consolidate smaller agencies. A suitable target will be run by management with a good record, be involved in growth areas, have good quality clients, an existing IT platform and be scalable. It should be near to cash generation. The company acquired would have an enterprise value of at least £5m.

East Star Resources (EST) has gained readmission to the standard list following the acquisition of Discovery Ventures Kazakhstan. A placing raised £3.1m at 5p a share.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum (COPL) has made a significant oil discovery in Wyoming. The discovery has between 1.5 billion and 1.9 billion barrels of oil in place.

PYX Resources Ltd (PYX) has begun sales of rutile from its Mandiri deposit in Indonesia with production of ilmenite and leucoxene starting later in the year.

One Heritage Group (OHG) is acquiring Seaton House in Stockport for £675,000. This is an office building, and the plan would be to convert it into up to 30 apartments. The gross development value is £5.6m.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 10 January 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) has agreed an exclusive, non-transferrable licence for the distributed modular gasification technology developed by Powerhouse Energy, and this covers Poland, Greece and Hungary. There is also an initial agreement in Bulgaria. The technology turns waste plastic into syngas. Hydrogen Utopia has raised £3m at 7.5p a share, which values the company at £28.8m. The share price has risen to 13.75p. There has already been work done on developing a facility in Poland. The initial cost could be €10m and the facility in Poland could be on stream in 2023. Hydrogen Utopia is targeting places where EU funding or private sector cash is available to finance investment. Even so, the company will need to raise more cash, but not for 18 months.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) increased interim revenues from £2.19m to £2.72m and the loss was reduced from £1.56m to £951,000. Third quarter activity is improving and the acquisition of Aftech should be completed during January, although the effective date is 1 December, and this will help the second half, as well as enhancing earnings. Vulcan has raised £224,000 at 1.6p a share.

British Honey Company (BHC) says that 2021 sales will be at least £8.4m and there is a strong order book for the first quarter of 2022. Production and dispatch will be consolidated at the Market Harborough distillery and the Buckinghamshire office and distillery will be closed.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has exchanged contracts on the acquisition of a property in Stafford that is let to Iceland Foods. The purchase price is £1.26m and the annual rent is £95,000. Ace Liberty has raised £11.85m from disposals. There were £200,000 of convertible loans converted into shares and there is £375,000 of convertible loans outstanding.

Apollon Formularies (APOL) has renewed three medical cannabis licences approved by the Jamaican government.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) is stopping buying back its shares. It has bought 628,844 shares in the past month.

Trading in the bonds of Belvedere Leisure has been suspended because the annual report has not been published. The audit should be completed by the end of the month. Trading in Lombard Capital (LCAP) shares has also been suspended. Although the results for the year to June 2021 have been published Aquis has queried the audit report relating to the recoverability of loans. Lombard Capital has net liabilities of £1.57m.

AIM

Facilities by ADF (ADF) is the first AIM new admission of 2022. The company provides vehicles and services to the film and TV industry, predominantly in the UK but also in Europe. The £13m net raised at 50p a share that Facilities by ADF has raised will be invested in much needed additional capacity. The company is already nearly fully booked for this year. The company has a fleet of more than 500 vehicles and trailers. This includes artiste trailers, make-up units, generator units and transport vehicles. This could increase to 700 by the end of 2023. Unsurprisingly, revenues fell from £15.9m to £8m in 2020 because lockdowns affected TV and film production. There has been a sharp recovery in the first half of 2021 with revenues reaching £11.5m, which is nearly as much as in 2018.

Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR) has signed the joint venture agreement with Turkey-based Demir Export. This covers licences held along the 65km district scale gold trend in the Longford-Down Massif in Ireland. The plan is to develop an initial gold project and start mining.  Phase 1 will involve Demir Export investing €5.5m to earn 25%, then another €4.5m to earn a further 15%. The final phase will involve the investment of additional funds by Demir Export so that the project will reach construction ready status. That will take the stake to 57.5%. Regulatory consent is still required.

Restaurants operator Tasty (TAST) says that second half trading was extremely encouraging, but December, normally the best month of the year, was disappointing because of Covid uncertainty. There are 50 restaurants trading with the other four due to reopen later this year. There are two or three restaurants that might be sold.

Nicholas Slater has increased his stake in upmarket kitchens supplier John Lewis of Hungerford (JLH) from 4.78% to 6.07%. John Llewellyn Lewis has reduced his stake from 22.15% to 19.57%, while non-exec Alan Charlton has bought 2.5 million shares at 1.2p a share, taking his stake to 8.73%.

MAIN MARKET

Slovenia-based Graft Polymer (GPL) is a developer of polymer modification and drug delivery systems. More than 50 products have been launched. In 2020, GraftBio was started to develop IP for biopharma applications. Revenues remain small but there are opportunities for them to grow significantly. The business should have strong operational gearing. A placing raised £5m at 21.5p a share. Graft Polymer intends to invest in capital equipment and further product development. A new production line will cost £2m and some of the other cash will go on lab upgrades and other investment. Management also wants to expand the distribution network and secure deals with more partners.

AdvancedAdvT (ADVT) has acquired 12 million shares in advertising agency M&C Saatchi (SAA) at 200p a share and the standard list shell approached the advertising agency with a bid proposition based on a share swap. AdvancedAdvT had £129.2m in the bank at the end of June 2021, so this investment is less than one-fifth of that cash. Vin Murria is a director of both companies, and she has a 13.2% stake in M&C Saatchi. The independent directors of M&C Saatchi say that they do not believe in the logic of a merger and also do not think the valuation put on the business is high enough.

Online retailer Made.com (MADE) says that the UK and Europe each achieved 38% growth over 2021. Average order values were 8% higher and active customers increased by 26%. The supply chain is a worry, but management says that lead times are three to four weeks. This follows the deferral of around £40m of sales to the first quarter of £40m. Made.com is still expected to lose money in 2021 before moving into profit in 2022.

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) has sparked another upgrade with its trading statement. Peel Hunt has increased its 2021 pre-tax profit forecast from £82.6m to £86.7m. Strong margins continued in the fourth quarter. However, those margins may not continue.

Macfarlane (MACF) has sold its labels business for £6.4m. This business generated a profit of £300,000 in 2020.

Andrew Hore

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