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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 7 September 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Daniel Thwaites (THW) had net debt of £65.4m at the end of March 2020 and this increased to £71.8m at the end of June following the closure of the company’s pubs and hotels. There is £12m of headroom in the current facilities but management is considering increasing the borrowing facilities. The sites were reopened on 4 July or shortly after. There has been steady growth in sales.

Altona Energy (ANR) has signed heads of agreement to acquire up to 75% of the Chambre rare earth project in southern Malawi. There is a backlog of exploration licence applications following recent elections. The trading suspension will end when new funds are raised. A funding will be launched via investment platform www.NRPrivateMarket.com once an exploration licence is granted in Malawi or heads of agreements are signed for another deal.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has received a requisition from two shareholders (James Redman Jr and Sungold Escrow Nominees Ltd) for a general meeting. They own more than 5% of the company. A date for the general meeting has to be announced within three weeks.

European Lithium (EUR) has appointed Kimon Gkomozias to the board as part of its strategic agreement with EV technology metals project developer Talaxis. He will help European Lithium obtain funding. A placing is planned to raise $2m at 4.5 cents a share.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has obtained agreement in principle for the bank creditor settlement relating to the Amapa iron ore project.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has made a £1.9m investment in Atlantic Credit Opportunities Fund (ACOF), a distressed credit fund. EPE’s investment advisor Epic Private Equity intends to acquire a controlling stake in Atlantic Capital Management, which manages ACOF.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) has set up Forbes Ventures Cell 1 Ltd to acquire UK-issued litigation funding loans. The rights to these loans will be assigned to and securitised by Malta-based Forbes Ventures CC1, which is planning to raise money via a bond issue. A Forbes subsidiary will receive a fee of 2% of the funds raised.

World High Life (LIFE) is assessing investment targets in the medicinal cannabis sector. This includes areas such as synthetic cannabinoids.  

Trading in the shares of Sativa Group (SATI) has been suspended while Stillcanna awaits the approval of the Canadian Stock Exchange for the takeover of Sativa. The enlarged group plans to gain readmission to the Acquis Stock Exchange as Sativa Wellness Group Inc.  

Alfred Henry Corporate Finance has been appointed as Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) corporate adviser.

Sumner Group Health Ltd (SGRL) has confirmed its withdrawal from the market on 8 September.

AIM

Capital equipment supplier Mpac (MPAC) has continued to secure orders even with the disruption caused by COVID-19. Interim revenues fell by one-fifth to £36.6m, but services revenues continue to grow. Underlying pre-tax profit fell from £4.5m to £2.5m. The order book is worth £45.4m. Net cash was £22.5m at the end of June 2020. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to fall from £7.5m to £5.2m.

CyanConnode (CYAN) was hit by delays to contracts in the 15 months to March 2020, but it appears to have a strong base for the current financial year. The smart meter technology developer is still losing money, but it has shown that it can manage its cash effectively by gaining advance payments on orders. Net cash was £1.2m at the end of March 2020.

Mattress supplier eve Sleep (EVE) says current trading is ahead of expectations and the full year loss is expected to be slightly lower than previously. Net cash of £5m is forecast for the end of 2020.

Cake Box (CBOX) has made a strong start to the new financial year. The franchised retailer of egg-free cakes is even offering a special dividend of 3.2p a share. Equity Development forecasts a rise in earnings per share from 7.8p a share to 9p a share in the year to March 2021.

7Digital (7DIG) has raised £6m at 2.25p a share, having sought a minimum of £5m. The streaming technology developer will be able to take advantage of opportunities in areas such as home fitness and social media.

Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) has continued its sales momentum in the new financial year. There will be an interim trading statement on 22 October.

Driver monitoring systems developer Seeing Machines (SEE) has unveiled a new product strategy. This involves a focus on a chip whose performance is optimised by a neural processing unit called Occula. It will be made easier for automotive clients to integrate this technology. There are also plans to licence the Occula technology.

Nostra Tera Oil and Gas (NTOG) is acquiring a 100% working interest in the Caballos Creek oil field in Texas, which has an economic life of between 16 and 32 years. The cost is $425,000 and there should be a two-year payback. There are proved reserves of 92,100 (69,300 net) barrels of oil equivalent. Current production is 30 (22 net of royalties) barrels of oil per day, which increases Nostra Terra’s production by 25%.

Matthew Freud increased his stake in Reach4Entertainment (R4E) to 19.99% before trading on AIM ended.

Omega Diagnostics (ODX) has CE-marked Mologic’s lateral flow antibody test for COVID-19, which picks up infection at an earlier stage than most tests.  

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) has in-licensed the virus-like particle vaccine technology from Saiba and DeepVax for use in solid tumours, atopic dermatitis, asthma and psoriasis. This broadens the scope of the group, but it continues to focus on allergy treatments.

MAIN MARKET

Consumer products supplier Creightons (CRL) increased full year revenues by 9% to £47.8m, while an improved profit margin meant that pre-tax profit increased from £2.87m to £3.55m. A final dividend of 0.5p a share is proposed.  

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has signed heads of agreement to acquire gold assets in Africa. It plans to acquire 100% of Kilmapesa in Kenya and 70% of the Kakamoeka gold project in Congo Brazzaville. They could provide near-term gold production.  

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 1 June 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that it plans to host racing during June and July, although there will be no crowd. There will be income from media rights and betting shops are set to reopen on 15 June. The Rocking Horse nursery reopens on 1 June, although the hotel at the racecourse will remain closed. The £2.75m loan from Compton Beauchamp Estates has been extended to April 2022. David Wilson Homes is expected to make the next land payment of £10.98m by then. The 2019 audited accounts should be published by the end of July.

First Sentinel (FSEN) is making an investment in proposed Aquis Stock Exchange company Vulcan Industries. It will pay £234,000 for shares at 3p each and is also providing a convertible loan facility of up to £500,000 with an interest rate of 12%. There is an arrangement fee of £50,000 in shares. The initial stake is 4.56% of Vulcan, which plans to be a consolidator in the engineering sector. First Sentinel has raised £117,000 at 21p a share.

SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) is supplying hand sanitiser to the NHS and that should generate £650,000 in gross profit in this financial year. The contract lasts for an initial 11 weeks. In the six months to September 2019, gross profit is £288,000.

Cannabis-focused shell Greencare Capital (GRE) says that it remains in discussions with its principle potential acquisition and other opportunities. As lockdown conditions ease the discussions should gain momentum.

Employee-owned businesses investor and adviser Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) doubled unrealised gains from £630,000 to £1.33m at the interim stage and this helped pre-tax profit improve from £585,000 to £1.28m. NAV was 50.17p a share at the end of February 2020, although this figure has subsequently declined. TG Engineering went into administration in April, but this investment had already been written-off.

European Lithium Ltd (EUR) has secured an agreement with Talaxis for help with completing the definitive feasibility study on the Wolfsberg lithium project. Talaxis has expertise in developing electric vehicle technology metals. An introduction fee of 5% is payable for a debt or equity raising, plus a total of up to 36 million shares depending on the achievement of milestones. There is a minimum one-year non-exclusive period. Creditors and short-term loans of $743,000 have been converted into shares.

KR1 (KR1) investee company Argent Labs has raised a further $12m and this puts a value of $260,000 on the stake in the mobile crypto wallet developer.

Formation Group (FRM) has swung from an operating loss of £137,000 to a profit of £175,000 at the interim stage. This was supplemented by a £766,000 gain on financial assets to generate a £941,000 pre-tax profit. There is £5.18m in the bank and net assets were £21.7m at the end of February 2020.

Investment company Forbes Ventures (FOR) says that it expects its litigation funding project to male progress over the next few months. This should generate cash for the business and other projects are being assessed.

Early Equity (EEQP) increased its interim loss from £68,000 to £344,000. Early Equity has suspended its application to the standard list.

AIM

Safestay (SSTY) ended 2019 with 20 hostels across 12 European countries. In 2019, revenues increased by one-quarter to £18.4m and 49% of this comes from outside of the UK. There was a small pre-tax loss, which will increase this year due to closures because of COVID-19. Liberum believes that net bank debt will be £26.3m by the end of 2020. The share price is less than one-third of the NAV of around 56p a share.

In-game advertising technology develop Bidstack (BIDS) has received its first advertising bookings in the US. The company expects significant second half revenues.

Mattress retailer eve Sleep (EVE) says demand improved in April and May putting it in a position to meet full year expectations. A loss of £3.6m is forecast. The online focus has helped because high street retailers have closed. There have also been opportunities to buy TV advertising at attractive rates. The Woodford stock overhang has been cleared.

First quarter trading at fryer management services provider Filta (FLTA) started well and margins were improving. The catering customer base has been hit by the COVID-19 lockdown and Filta is offering additional services. Last year, organic revenue growth was 16%. Net debt was £2.1m at the end of 2019.

MAIN MARKET

Motor dealer Caffyns (CFYN) says it still expects to make a profit in the year to March 2020. Aftersales have restarted and showrooms are set to reopen. There is an annual salary ceiling of £37,500 for all active employees in April. This is being unwound.

Moss Bros (MOSB) bidder Brigadier has decided to withdraw its appeal to the Takeover Panel and the bid needs to be approved by the courts to be finalised.

Path Investments (PATH) has found a new acquisition target to replace the purchase of FineGems. Path is buying a 75% stake in the DT Ultraviolet technology owned by AIM-quoted Zoetic International (ZOE). Path will also acquire the nitrogen reserves and assets owned by Zoetic. The DTU refracking well stimulation technology is cheaper than existing technologies. Path will issue 15 million shares, and 15 million warrants exercisable at 1.5p each, to pay for the assets. Path will also pay a royalty of 5% on DTU revenues.

Cash shell Fandango Holdings (FHP) says the prospectus for the acquisition of an oil well services company is currently being prepared. There will also be a placing.

Avation (AVAP) has ended its formal sales process. Disruption to the aviation sector means that a realistic bid is unlikely.

Cathay International Holdings (CTI) is planning to transfer from a premium to a standard listing even though shareholders did not pass the resolution when it was previously tabled.

Nanoco (NANO) has signed a quantum dot material supply agreement with STMicroelectronics. Initial purchases will generate cash during the rest of 2020.

Seafox international says that is has no longer intends to bid for Gulf Marine Services (GMS).

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 1 October 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) managed to edge up its profit despite flat turnover of £156.6m in the year to June 2018. Underlying pre-tax profit was 5% ahead at £11.8m. The total dividend is 3% higher at 29.2p a share. Growth came from the managed pubs but there was a decline in the brewing operations because of the loss of the Asahi contract. Own brand volumes were 0.9% lower, but the division improved its profit contribution. Volumes will continue to fall as third party business is further reduced. The current year has started well.

Chapel Down (CDGP) is opening a bar, restaurant and ginnery called the Chapel Down Gin Works in the Kings Cross area. The wines and beers maker reported a 15% rise in interim revenues to £5.72m. The majority of the growth in revenues came from the wine business and demand continues to exceed supply. The overall loss rose because of the much higher loss from the brewing business. Group profit is second half weighted.

V22 (V22) slipped into loss in the first half of 2018 as the NAV declined from 3.94p a share to 3.88p a share. If the art portfolio is revalued the NAV has increased from 7.47p a share to 8.29p a share.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) generated revenues of £1.33m in the six months to June 2018. There was a reported pre-tax profit of £554,000, after an impairment charge of £216,000. There was £65,000 of cash generated in the period. The blockchain consultancy and investment company obtained most of its revenues from token sales advisory business.

KR1 (KR1) made a loss of £7.36m in the six months to June 2018. That loss was due to unrealised losses on the carrying value of digital currencies and other investments because of the decline in prices during the period.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased its annul revenues by one-third to £3.52m, but pre-tax profit declined from £1.12m to £214,000. That was due to a lack of disposal gains and higher interest costs. Ace has acquired the Mecca Bingo Hall in Chesterfield for £3.999m and this generates an annual rent of £301,000.

A €5.34m gain on the acquisition of an investment property helped Black Sea Property (BSP) swing from a loss to a pre-tax profit of €5.11m. The NAV increased from 0.76 cents a share to 1.16 cents a share.

Health staff provider Healthperm Resources Ltd (HPR) nearly trebled its interim revenues to £297,000 as the number of candidates deployed jumped from 50 to 144. There are 158 people enrolled in the Middle East language training centre.

BWA (BWAP) continues to seek a reverse takeover candidate and its two investments are making progress. Prepaid cards provider Prepaid Global Services is making slower than expected progress but continues to plan to gain a quotation. BWA has applied for licences in Cameroon on behalf of investee company Mineralfields. BWA had £76,000 in the bank at the end of April 2018, while shareholder funds increased from £570,000 to £764,000.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) has appointed Igor Zjali as chief investment officer and Kirk Kashefi as a non-executive director. Nigel Quinton becomes permanent finance director. The £100,000 loan from Quanta Capital has been converted into 100 million shares. There was £56,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. Investee company Civilised Bank has resubmitted its application for authorisation to the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) engaged Bishop and Sewell to investigate transactions undertaken by former boss Baron Bloom. He failed to report that he received £6,230 of rent due to Etaireia from a tenant of the Ivy Leaf Club property. Bloom is owed outstanding salary and expenses, so no action is being taken by the company. Greg Collier has stepped down as a non-executive director.

Healthcare IT supplier DXS International (DXSP) swung from profit to loss in the year to April 2018, partly due to the interest charge. Revenues dipped from £3.43m to £3.41m. Investment in new products should help to build revenues.

Western Selection (WESP) increased its NAV from 95p to 96p. Improvements in the value of the stakes in Northbridge Industrial Services and Bilby, offset the reduction in the Swallowfield investment valuation.  The total dividend has been increased from 2.2p a share to 2.25p a share. The shares are trading at a discount to NAV of around one-third.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) increased its interim revenues by 37% to £544,000 and the loss was reduced from £1.24m to £824,000. There was £1.75m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

The NAV of EPE Special Opportunities (EL.P) fell by 19% to 190.2p a share over the six months to July 2018, due to a halving of the value of the investment in Luceco, where, in August, EPE invested a further £2m.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) reported flat interim revenues of $3.91m, but the loss increased from $331,000 to $527,000. The revenues were generated from Thailand and Africa. The Honduras operation has been delayed but should be up and running by the end of the year.

Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £140,000 from a debenture stock issue.

Interim revenues declined from HK$7.22m to HK$5.27m at MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) and there was a significantly higher loss of HK$24.8m. The cash position was HK$7.65m at the end of June 2018. The traditional Chinese medicines supplier was hit by lower wholesale orders. Discussions continue with additional distributors.

AIM    

Parasite control products developer TyraTech Inc (TYRU) has signed a conditional merger agreement with American Vanguard Corporation, which involves an offer to the other TyraTech shareholders of 3.15p a share. TyraTech needs cash to grow and 34.4% shareholder American Vanguard is in a stronger position to obtain the finance. TyraTech had cash of $3.7m at the end of June 2018.

Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) is still losing money but the electrical and oil and gas tools markets are showing signs of improvement. A full year loss of £2m is still expected but the group could reach breakeven next year. Northbridge has the cash to invest in additional rental equipment.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) reported a lower interim loss and it had net cash of $2m at the end of June 2018. Drilling of the first well on the company’s Paradox Basin acreage in Utah should start before the end of the year. A recent report suggested that there could be 13mmboe of 2C resource. There has been successful exploration in the area and it already has the appropriate infrastructure. If the appraisal well is a success that should provide a strong background for a further fundraising.

Keystone Law (KEYS) grew interim revenues by 30% to £19.9m thanks to strong recruitment of new lawyers. This progress means that Keystone is on target to improve full year pre-tax profit from £2.9m to £4.4m and a total dividend of 7.5p a share is expected.

NWF (NWF) says the warm summer has hit demand for heating oil and there has been increased competition in fuels. There has been increased demand for feed and the food distribution business is trading in line with expectations.

Health monitoring equipment supplier Deltex Medical (DEMG) is adapting its strategy in order to grow revenues and generate cash from existing customers. Costs are also being reduced. Probe revenues fell in the first half of 2018 due to delayed orders in the US and France. Overall, interim revenues fell from £2.88m to £2.33m, but the operating loss was only slightly higher at £1.14m. There is just over £1m in the bank.

Fishing Republic (FISH) has appointed Daniel Quinn as chief executive. He has previously worked at Go Outdoors and Tesco. That could point to a broadening of the range of products that will be sold by the fishing tackle retailer. Interim revenues fell from £4.1m to £3.4m, while the loss was £2.5m, which includes stock write downs and other one-off costs. Five outlets have been closed.

Trinity Exploration (TRIN) increased its oil and gas production in the first half and also achieved higher prices. The Trinidad-focused oil and gas producer increased interim revenues by 49% to $30.1m and generated $5m of cash from operating activities. There was net cash of $19m at the end of June 2018.

Gama Aviation (GMAA) increased interim revenues by 3% to $104.6m, with a lower contribution from the ground maintenance activities offset by higher revenues from the air services operations. A better second half should enable Gama to increase its full year pre-tax profit from $17.1m to $19.9m.

Oil and gas producer and explorer Cabot Energy (CAB) increased its interim revenues from $1.8m to $7.5m thanks to higher production in Canada, where Cabot took full control earlier this year. Even so, there was still a $4.2m first half loss, mainly due to exceptional costs, following the installing of a new management team. Management is in talks with potential farm-in partners for some of its Italian assets. That would enable Cabot to focus its investment in Canada. There was $6.2m in the bank at the end of June 2018, although some of that cash could be needed to complete the purchase of an Italian producing asset.

Immupharma (IMM) had £9m in the bank at the end of June 2018. The group is collaborating with Icanthera, which will in-licence the Nucant cancer programme, which has completed two phase 1 trials. Immupharma is also seeking to divest its subsidiary Ureka, while retaining an interest in the potential of the operations. Even though the results of the Lupuzor phase III trial were disappointing, a deal has been signed for Lupuzor to be provided via a Managed Access Programme. An open label extension study for Lupuzor will report by next summer.

Park Group (PKG) says that it has grown its cash balances and both the consumer and corporate businesses are trading well. Park is on course for a full year profit of £13.6m.

Active Energy (AEG) reported a higher interim loss. This was a period when $1.32m was spent on the development of the CoalSwitch plant. Along with its partner, Active has submitted an EU grant application for the SuperFuel coal slurry recovery technology and a decision should be made before the end of the year. There is also optimism about gaining a Crown Timber Licence for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Destiny Pharma (DEST) still has cash of £15.1m even though costs were increased in the first half. Investment in trials means that cash could fall to £10m by the end of the year. The phase I safety study for the use of XF-73 to prevent surgical infections should be completed by the end of this year and a phase IIb trial could commence early next year. A second formulation of XF-73 is being developed for dermal infections and diabetic foot ulcers in particular.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH) plans to sell its US subsidiary, which it acquired in 2015 when it gained its Nasdaq listing. Midatech will receive an initial $13m for the cancer care products supplier. The cash will be used for the research and development operations and paying off the loan from MidCap.

Bosch has invested £9m in fuel cell technology developer Ceres Power Holdings (CWR) in return for a 4.4% stake. Weichai Power will invest a further £1m to maintain its 10% stake.

There was a 17% fall in gold processed by Goldplat (GDP) in the year to June 2018, but sales only dipped from 40,285 ounces to 39,400 ounces. Revenues increased by 7% to £33.8m. The Kilimapesa gold mine continues to disappoint and lose money. A lower contribution from the Ghana processing operations and a bad debt were the main reasons behind the fall in pre-tax profit from £2.84m to £1.79m. Goldplat is seeking other mine investments, not necessarily in Africa. There was £1.54m in the bank.

Veltyco (VLTY) has managed to reduce its receivables but the were still €12.6m at the end of June 2018. Revenues for the previous six months were €8.9m. Net cash was €1m. Veltyco will launch its own financial trading brand in the fourth quarter.

Stride Gaming (STR) continues to be hit by the stagnation of the online bingo market but the decline in pre-tax profit is set to be in line with expectations. In the year to August 2019, pre-tax profit is expected to fall further from £14.2m to £13.8m. There will be a £4m provision for the recent fine from the UK gambling authorities.

Strategic Minerals (SML) reported a jump in interim pre-tax profit from $158,000 to $2.69m, but this did not come through in cash during the period. That is because £2.46m of the profit came from a gain based on the payment for the Leigh Creek copper mine below its asset value.

MAIN MARKET

Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) is moving towards the point where it can submit an IND application to the FDA for CDX antibodies. There is initial data that CDX antibodies can attack and eliminate Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in vitro. Hemogenyx already has an agreement with a global pharma company for this technology. Northland has been appointed as broker.

World Trade Systems (WTS) reported a drop in interim revenues from £10.1m to £6.3m and it has fallen into loss. Trading has been tough for the health food subsidiary. This is set to continue. Trading in the shares has been suspended for more than a decade and the board says that is working towards a resumption of trading on the premium segment of the Main Market.

WideCells Group (WDC) has gained financing of up to £2.7m from the European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund. The facility is convertible into shares and has warrants attached. The cash will be invested in the stem cell storage and insurance operations. The BabyCells stem cell storage service has been launched. Group revenues remain modest and WideCells made an interim loss of more than £2m. There was £1.73m in the bank at the end of June, offset by debt of £1.17m.

Investment company London Financial and Investment Group (LFI) has maintained its NAV at 65.4p a share, despite a decline in value of its stake in Finsbury Food (FIF), and the total dividend has been edged up to 1.15p a share. The share price is 42.5p.

Standard list shell Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) still had £1.4m in the bank at the end of June 2018 following its decision to change its strategy from telecoms to blockchain acquisitions. Management is analysing potential acquisitions.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 14 May 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Ashley House (ASH) is expected to achieve its full year profit target of £1.8m, although that includes a non-cash write back. The health and community care property developer had year-end net debt of £1.5m. The Morgan Sindall joint venture has reached financial close on its first extra care apartments and bungalows scheme in the Isle of Wight with a further scheme expected to reach financial close in the next few weeks. Modular building business F1 Modular lost money last year. There is work manufacturing classrooms for schools and projects in the retail sector so it is not dependent on residential and health development. Maureen Moy has taken her stake to 10% after buying 1.9 million shares at 13.23p a share.

Dairy and livestock services provider National Milk Records (NMR) generated revenues of £5.32m in the three months to March 2018. This means that revenues are £1.51m ahead so far this year, although the comparatives are weak. Herdwise, the screening service for Johne’s disease and other testing services are providing growth with a small improvement from milk recording services. Rising milk supply has started to hold back milk prices. There will be a one-off benefit in the fourth quarter and the first quarter of next year from a contract to supply 10,000 genomic tests that should help to provide information to improve resistance to bovine TB. NMR is one of the nominees for NEX Exchange company of the year at the 2018 Small Cap Awards.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) says that the majority shareholder in challenger bank Civilised Investments Ltd has exercised warrants that increased its shareholding to 95.7. Warwick Capital Partners is also underwriting a £12m subscription, although £4.65m of this can be subscribed by minority shareholders. This would increase the overall valuation of the bank to £20m. Forbes owns 0.05% of Civilised Investments prior to the subscription and it has not said if it will be investing any more cash.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) had £172,000 in cash at the end of March 2018 but £20,000 is trapped in a Beaufort Securities account. NAV has increased from £510,000 to £869,000.

Gunsynd (GUN) says that Brazil Tungsten Holdings, the company it owns a 6.18% stake in, has restarted mining operations after a government suspension was lifted.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) will advise FANTOM Foundation on the $39.8m token generation event due to start on 15 June. FANTOM is using Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) as a smart contract platform. This is an alternative to blockchain, which should be faster and have lower fees.

IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) is focusing on the completion of works programmes in its three principal projects. The joint venture with Trove Rehabilitation only requires ministerial approval to complete. Eamon O’Brien has been appointed as a director and he will become chairman. Kathrine Byrne is also joining the board. Nial Ring and Liam McGrattan will step down from the board.

AIM   

A strong performance in the used vehicles market and continued growth in aftersales helped to offset the downturn in the new vehicles contribution at Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) in the six months to February 2018. Underlying operating profit still fell from £5.8m to £5.3m. Interim pre-tax profit was £4.8m. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to decline from £11.3m to £9.5m. The significant capital investment programme continues but net debt is minimal.

Vertu Motors (VTU) also performed well despite the tough background in the motor dealer sector. In the year to February 2018, adjusted pre-tax profit fell from £31.5m to £28.6m on flat revenues. The full year dividend was increased by 7% to 1.5p a share. It appears that trading may be starting to improve and the benefits of the current investment programme are yet to show through. Net cash is £19.3m. A further dip in profit to £25m is expected this year.

CEPS (CEPS) reported flat 2017 revenues but the underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £146,000 to £902,000. The biggest improvement in profit came from Friedman’s and Aford Awards, while CEM Press made a larger loss.

TyraTech Inc (TYR) says sales of the PureScience poultry mite treatment are building in the US and a launch is planned in Europe. Trials of a treatment for intestinal worms in pigs have shown a 70% reduction in the worms. TyraTech has shown that it can develop effective products and the remaining cash from the sale of Vamousse will finance further product development and trials.

Deltex Medical (DMG) had a tough 2017 but lower cost meant that the loss was reduced. The medical monitoring equipment and consumables supplier has won significant contracts in the US and France. Revenues dipped from £6.3m to £5.9m, while the loss was down from £2.4m to £2m. Annualised cost reductions of £1m will partly show through in 2018. The UK remains tough with potential recovery later in the year. International business should grow. A £2m fundraising should provide enough cash to invest in the technology and cover a reduced loss.

HaloSource Inc (HALO) has disappointed the market again. This time the auditors have not allowed some of the sales shipped at the end of 2017 to be included in revenues. Cantor Fitzgerald has maintained its 2018 loss forecast at $3.4m, down from $5.7m. The cash outflow should be lower.

Sprue Aegis (SPRP) has come to an agreement with BRK over the termination of their distribution and manufacturing agreements. Sprue Aegis will have to pay £11m in instalments up until December. There will be a £3.8m exceptional charge in the 2017 accounts. The full year results will be published on 15 March.

Wey Education (WEY) reported interim revenues 44% ahead at £1.74m and an improvement in underlying pre-tax profit from £75,000 to £145,000. An initial contribution from Academy 21 accounted for part of the improvement. A 2017-18 profit of £500,000 is forecast, rising to £2.5m the following year.

Trading in the shares of Lionsgold Ltd (LION) has been suspended following the completion of the acquisition of Goldbloc, which has developed a digital gold currency. This is deemed as a change of business. The suspension could last up to four months.

Fox Marble (FOX) increased revenues by 50% to €1.2m in 2017 and lost €3.4m. This year will be more significant with the processing factory up and running and capital investment made in machinery. There was €440,000 in the bank at the end of April 2018.

Out-of-hospital care services provider Totally (TLY) has secured the renewal of an urgent care services contract worth €1.2m with the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Westminster Group (WSG) has admitted that a previously announced Middle East contract is in Iran and it has still to become effective. The current political situation could scupper the deal or at least delay it.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has signed a distribution agreement with Rightek, which will distribute the Microsaic 4500 MiD mass spectrometry detector in Taiwan.

MAIN MARKET    

Stem cell services provider WideCells Group (WDC) has commitments to invest £1.47m at 3p a share and is offering the chance of additional investment of up to £450,000, via a bookbuild using the Teathers app and that closes on 21 May. WideCells has still not been able to publish its 2017 accounts so trading in the shares remains suspended. Directors have loaned the company £215,000. At the end of June 2017, there was cash of £869,000 and debt of £634,000, before any of the director loans. WideCells intends to repay £120,000 of debt, spend £150,000 on product development, £110,000 on the CellPlan platform and £33,000 on WideAcademy. The other £1m plus will pay expenses and provide working capital.

Nanoco (NANO) will receive a £1.8m milestone payment from its unnamed US-listed partner. This is the second of three milestone payments.

Falcon Media House (FAL) has raised a further £200,000 from a convertible loan note issue, taking the total to £3.14m. The conversion price is 2.5p a share.

Treatt (TET) has sold pressed vegetable seed oils supplier Earthoil Plantations for £11m. That takes pro forma net cash to £17.5m. In the six months to March 2018, Treatt increased revenues by 14% to £53.6m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £4.79m to £5.77m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 16 April 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

London Nusantara Plantations has become Panther Metals (PALM) and it has sent out notice of a general meeting on 1 May to enable directors to issue up to one billion shares. This power will expire after 15 months. The company is issuing 17 million shares at 0.1p a share to pay a £17,000 bill from an adviser.

Early Equity (EEQP) had £429,000 in the bank at the end of February 2018. The company raised £705,000 during the year and this has helped to increase the value of the investment portfolio from £594,000 to £1.01m. The NAV has increased from £639,000 to £1.54m. There are plans to raise more cash if its is required for additional investments.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) says that investee company Civilised Bank Ltd has released the banking licence it was granted by the Bank of England because it will not meet the mobilisation deadline. There have been delays in developing the IT needed by the bank so the intention is to reapply when the IT development is further advanced.

AIM

Oil palm plantations operator MP Evans (MPE) is starting to enjoy the benefits of its investment in planting oil palm but there is plenty more to come. The 2017 profit was boosted by a gain on discontinued operations of $68m. The underlying dividend improved from 15p a share to 17.75p a share and there should be continued growth as the plantations mature. The value of the business is estimated at £11 a share.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) increased revenues by 23% to £10.2m and this led to a one-third improvement in pre-tax profit to £4.3m. This was despite the loss by online estate agency EweMove, where new management has been put in place. The total dividend is 7.5p a share and there was a modest year-end net cash position. The tenant fee ban could hit the business in 2019 but there is time to mitigate the impact.

Parity (PTY) has completed its turnaround and from now on profit growth will come from growing the revenues. The IT recruitment side was hit by changes in tax treatment for freelancers working for government departments but underlying pre-tax profit was still improved from £1.4m to £1.7m. The recently announced Primark contract will help this year. The higher margin consultancy business continues to grow. Cash generation was better than expected with net debt falling from £4.4m to £1.6m. There should be net cash at the end of 2018. There is also the prospect of a dividend in the medium-term.

D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) had a strong fourth quarter and this strength is set to continue into the first few months of this financial year.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) boss Matthew Idiens has nearly doubled his stake in the oil and gas company through the acquisition of 800,000 shares at an average price of 2.5p each. Finance director Christopher Eadie has bought 424,715 shares at an average of 2.35p each. Rose recently added to its land position in the Paradox Basin in Utah. Rose acquired a 75% working interest in 3,320 gross acres for $120,000. There has already been a 3D seismic survey of the acreage.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has increased its stake in Fieldwork Robotics by offering additional engineering and development support. That will help to develop a prototype for harvesting vegetables. The stake will rise from 21% to 27.5%.

Boku Inc (BOKU) is growing its revenues and the relatively stable cost base means that it could be on course for a profit in 2018. The direct mobile carrier billing company is expected to grow revenues from $24.4m to $32.7m in 2018 and that would be enough to make a profit. Additional services could further boost long-term revenues.

Starcom (STAR) published a positive AGM statement. First quarter revenues were much higher than expected at $1.5m, which is nearly double the first quarter of 2017. This should help to reduce the loss this year.

RedT Energy (RED) is raising £3.85m at 5.9p a share and this will be invested in growing its energy storage technology business.

MAIN MARKET    

Cadmium-free quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) had £8.7m in the bank at the end of January 2018, thanks to the £8m raised in November. The reported interim loss declined from £6.4m to £4.8m. There could be additional revenues in the second half from initial payments by the US partner funding the development of nano-particles for electronic devices. There should also be product revenues from the launch of gaming-focused computer displays in the second half. There should be £5.7m in the bank at the end of July 2018.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) says that it intends to increase the number of rooms and add office space in its second development. This will increase the rental income. These changes have been sparked by the potential housing association buyer of the assisted housing development. The architect will have to make changes to the plans and a two-month extension to the option period for the purchase from the current owner of the building.

China-focused health food products supplier World Trade Systems (WTS) increased its revenues from £8.7m to £19.6m in 2017. There reported profit more than doubled from £906,000 to £1.98m. There is £2.17m in the bank offset by £1.26m of borrowings.

Standard list shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) has raised £115,000 at 20p a share. This should help to improve the limited liquidity of the shares. A one-for-40 open offer at the same share price could raise up to £253,000 more. The suspension of trading in the shares should be lifted on 19 April. The suspension price was 125p a share. In January, £4m was raised at 8p a share and the limited liquidity led to a ridiculous rise in the share price.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 4 December 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

VI Mining is planning to join NEX this month. The Peru-focused miner is acquiring two gold mining assets in tandem with the flotation. VI will raise up to £10m in cash at 500p a share and issue a further £10m worth of shares as part of the initial payment, along with some of the cash, for the two mining assets at Rosario and Minaspampa. VI has debt facilities in place. There is a capital expenditure and working capital commitment of £30m for Minaspampa and the mine could be in operation by next August. Rosario requires £15m of capital spending and working capital and already has licences and infrastructure. Annual gold production of 83,720 ounces from the two mines could yield a $43.5m annual profit based on a $1,300/ounce gold price. That is expected to be the initial production and it could end up quadruple that level. Two tolling projects could also generate cash for the group and the first could be up and running in a few months time. VI would be valued at £535m at the flotation price. This is backed up by a Daniel Stewart estimated valuation of £557.8m. The board will retain 73% of the company. The plan is to move to the Main Market in 12 months or so. The free float will need to be increased in order for it to be at least 25% when the move is made.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has published the competent person report on the Hellyer gold project in Tasmania. This indicates that the project has a NPV of $113.2m. The processing facilities are being refurbished and operations are expected to commence in 2018 following the approval of the environmental management plan.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has acquired a 30% stake in Startup Token, which provides advice to start-ups undertaking token offerings. Coinsilium is paying £361,000 in cash and shares at 8.5p each. Coinsilium is also providing a six month loan of $100,000 that can be converted into a further 6.4% of Gibraltar-registered Startup Token.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) has started drilling on PL 3729 in County Clare, which adjoins the Kilbricken zinc deposit. A feasibility study has commenced on PL 3850 in County Wicklow. IMC’s partner Koza has completed an exploration targeting report on other licences and prioritised further exploration.

Ganapati (GANP) has agreed to supply online games to Bethard Group. Ganapati will initially supply eight games and then one each month.

Hearing and mobility products retailer DHAIS (DHAP) has delayed its figures for the year to June 2017 because it wants to ensure it has support from its main funder.

Welney (WENP) had a cash outflow of £19,000 in the year to June 2917 and most of that was covered by loans from related parties and a further £11,000 has been loaned since the year end. These loans will not be called in for at least 12 months. Net liabilities are £197,000. The board is assessing potential deals.

African Potash (AFPO) has entered into a joint venture with SG Inc to develop fertiliser opportunities in the Republic of Congo. A blockchain joint venture has also been announced with FinComEco Ltd and this will develop platforms for agricultural markets in Africa. There is a plan to offer microloans to farmers. The company intends to change its name to Block Commodities Ltd.

Forbes Ventures (FOR)

AIM

Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) continues to underperform and it is not likely to get the $1.75m it is still owed by xG Technology for the sale of Vislink. The broadcast software supplier requires its banks support and needs to appoint a new management team. Talks with potential bidders did not yield an offer. This year’s revenues will be slightly lower than last year

Versarien (VRS) has a strong balance sheet after the recent fundraising and it is generating interest for its Nanene graphene product. The carbide business has won a significant aerospace order. The 167% growth in revenues to £4.38m in the first half was mainly down to the acquisition of a plastics business. A US sales office has been established.

Mortice (MORT) reported strong revenue growth but cost pressures on a particular contract held back profit. The security and facilities management business reported a 17% rise in first half revenues to $106.3m. The contract is being sorted out and house broker finnCap still expects full year profit to improve from $5.4m to $7m.

Anti-microbial drugs developer Destiny Pharma (DEST) has secured a deal with former AIM company China Medical Systems Holdings Ltd (CMS), which is now listed in Hong Kong, for a £3m cash injection into the company and a strategic partnership that gives CMS rights to Destiny’s drug candidates pipeline in China and some other Asian countries. CMS will carry out research and development and the commercialisation of any drugs in its territories. Destiny will make a margin on manufacturing products and receive payments based on sales milestones.

Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is investing a further $6m in its Oman joint venture. This is in the form of a mezzanine loan to the company where Tri-Star has a 40% stake. The interest rate is 15% and payable on redemption – the loan term is five years. The cash will help to finance the development of the antinomy roaster in Oman. The capital budget was recently increased to $96m.

Recruitment has started for a pharmacokinetic study into the Futura Medical (FUM) erectile dysfunction treatment, MED2002. This will help to determine dosages for a phase III study. The UK and Netherlands regulatory agencies have been supportive concerning a possible switch from prescription to over the counter.

Veltyco (VLTY) has yet again announced that its figures will be better than forecast. The online gaming marketing business says that profit is likely to be much higher than expected.

ECSC Group (ECSC) is the perfect example of how a share price can get carried away on the back of general news. The share price is one-quarter its peak after publicity about cyber security and hacking. Trading is in line with previously reduced expectations following cost cutting and the securing of two managed services contracts.

Belluscura has pulled its flotation after failing to gain the EIS/VCT approvals in time and because it could not get the valuation it wanted.

The founder of Focusrite (TUNE) and a relation have sold eight million shares at 315p a share. They still retain a 38.3% stake in the audio equipment supplier.

Active Energy Group (AEG) expects its Utah-based Coal Switch plant to be completed this month. The production capacity is five tonnes of the coal replacement fuel per hour. Once the plant is up and running and proves the viability of the process there should be other plants built in 2018. The plant is modular so it is easy to increase capacity.

Trading in the shares of Graphene NanoChem (GRPH) has been suspended ahead of the proposed acquisition of CG TekBuild, which is involved in modular buildings. The deal is dependent on £18.2m of debt being converted into shares. The proceeds of the sale of non-core activities will be used to pay other creditors. The company believes the acquisition will help it to apply it graphene technology in building materials.

ITM Power (ITM) has £20.2m of projects under contract and a further £22.4m in negotiation. The figure under contract is similar to two months ago but the under negotiations figure is one-third higher.

Defence and petrol stations structures supplier MS International (MSI) reported sharply increased interim profit from £610,000 to £1.64m as revenues increased by two-fifths to £34.6m. Net cash is £14.5m. Most of the growth came from the petrol station branding business and this more than offset the decline in profit from defence. The interim dividend was increased from 1.5p a share to 1.75p a share.

Precision optical components supplier Gooch and Housego (GHH) reported slightly better than expected full year figures. Revenues were 30% ahead at £112m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £14.2m to £16.1m. Acquisitions helped to fuel significant growth in aerospace and defence. There was also increased demand from the subsea telecoms market and other industrial applications. The life sciences division still needs bulking up.

Timber supplier James Latham (LTHM) reported a 7% increase in interim revenues to £107.3m but a decline in margins meant that pre-tax profit was 12% lower at £6.7m. The interim dividend was unchanged at 4.5p a share and net cash declined to £11.6m due to capital spending. The pension deficit has fallen from £16.6m to £8.5m. A slight fall in full year profit to £13.4m is expected.

MAIN MARKET

Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) is raising £21.6m at 410p a share to speed up its growth in the US and finance the relocation of facilities in the UK. The new facility will help to improve efficiency. In the year to September 2017, revenues were one-quarter higher at £109.6m and pre-tax profit improved by 46% to £12.9m.

Torotrak (TRK) has been unable to secure the finance it requires. The vehicle technology developer is considering selling its technology and IP or it may have to appoint an administrator.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 30 October 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

The government proposal to drop plans to cap housing benefit in the supported living sector to Local Housing Allowance rates is good news for Ashley House (ASH) because the rates would not have been viable. Ashley House has development schemes that could go-ahead following the change of government plans. There could still be other proposals that hamper development in the government paper on funding supported housing that is due to be published on Tuesday but if there are not then Ashley House is in a good position.

Belvedere Capital has subscribed for £31,500 of convertible loan notes in Forbes Ventures (FOR) and the investment is expected to increase to up to £100,000. The initial cash will pay creditors and enable Forbes to issue its interim figures. That is required for trading in the shares to recommence. The interest rate is 1% per month and the conversion price is 0.1p a share. A representative of Belvedere, which is focused on technology investments in northern England, will join the Forbes board as an executive director.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has made a £625,000 investment in standard-listed Curzon Energy (CZN). The shares in the oil and gas company were acquired at the flotation price of 10p each but the share price has fallen back to 8.38p. Curzon has a coal bed methane asset in Oregon.

Middle East-focused investment company Indigo Holdings (INGO) has made four investments, although one of these was earlier this month so it is not included in the balance sheet to the end of June 2017. There was still nearly £241,000 in the bank, prior to investing £10,000 in 3sootjobs, a job search platform in Iran.

Supported housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has been granted membership of the Social Stock Exchange. Management hopes that this will help the company attract investors seeking investments with a positive social impact.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has completed the €10.5m purchase of the UniCredit Bulbank office building in Sofia.

AIM

A management review at Real Good Food (RGD) has uncovered further disappointment and there will be a loss this year. All three divisions are growing their sales with overall like-for-like sales 13% ahead but this is not translating into higher profit. A combination of higher commodity prices and disruption from capital investment. Overheads are being reviewed and Real Good Food is also racking up costs relating to its corporate governance problems. The head office is being moved from London to Liverpool. New banking covenants have been agreed but the further downgrades could mean they come under pressure but the food company has the backing of its three main shareholders.

Investment in European distribution centres and a new UK head office held back the first half progress of musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) but the benefits will start to show through in the second half. There was a small loss in the first half but a full year pre-tax profit of £2.4m is forecast as European sales build up and margins start to recover.

Stratex International (STI) is holding a general meeting requisitioned by shareholders, including AnglGold Ashanti and Teck Resources, on 1 November. The requistioners, which own 24% of Stratex, want to remove the current chairman and chief executive and block the proposed reverse takeover of Brazil-focused Crusader Resources, which was announced in May. They want former Stratex directors David Hall and Paul Foord to return to the board. The two men run Thani Stratex Resources Ltd, which is 30%-owned by Stratex. Institutional Shareholder Services Inc advises voting against the resolutions. Stratex has the backing of shareholders owning 12.1% of the share capital. Earlier this month, Stratex sold its 13.7% stake in Goldstone Resources for £550,000 (1.6p a share).This was valued in the latest accounts at £950,000.

Datatec (DTC) is dropping its AIM quotation and concentrating on the JSE listing. There has been a lack of interest in the shares in London with non-South African investors trading through the JSE. The cancellation becomes effective on 8 December.

It appears easier to push a piano up a steep flight of stairs than for TLA Worldwide (TLA) to bring out its 2016 accounts. The latest management estimate for publication is before the end of November. Former CFO Don Malter is said to have misappropriated $800,000 of funds over three years. It is unclear if any of this is included in the $6.8m EBITDA adjustment for 2016 that was revealed in June. TLA remains best known for publishing a profit warning at 6.26pm on 23 December 2016. It will be interesting to see whether the accounts are published before this date and time in 2017.

Lombard Risk Management (LRM) had a tough first half but it expects to do much better in the second half and move back into profit. Interim revenues fell by 16% as risk management software sales fell. Regulatory reporting software sales improved. A full year profit of £1.8m is forecast.

Zinc Media (ZIN) has acquired Tern Television Productions for up to £5.45m, with up to £2.35m deferred. Tern made a pre-tax profit of £300,000 on revenues of £5.3m in the year to March 2017. Tern specialises in factual programming. A placing at 0.9p a share raised £3.5m.

Systems1 Group (SYS1) had a poor first half with revenues falling and costs increasing. The market research firm reported a 10% decline in interim revenues to £13.8m and a 70% slump in pre-tax profit to £540,000. There was still £3.5m in the bank at the end of September 2017. Rebranding and reorganisation hampered the business at a time when clients were also holding back spending.

Fox Marble (FOX) has sold the first polished marble slabs from its factory in Kosovo. This sale was part of the agreement to supply Marble Dino. Fox recently signed a three year agreement to supply OM Enterprises in India. An advance payment of $500,000 has been received.

Third quarter trading at broking business Share (SHRE) continued to be strong and revenues were 29% higher compared with the third quarter of 2016. Market share jumped to 13.9%.

A new finance director has reviewed the forecasts for Attraqt Group (ATQT) and problems in timing of contracts have been identified. This means that revenues will be 10% lower than expected in 2017, although there will be organic growth. There was £2.3m in the bank at the end of September.

Hardide (HDD) has raised £2.54m at 1.7p a share in order to fund an increase in reactor capacity. Two additional reactors will be installed in the US and other equipment will be installed in the UK and US. The surface coatings business has signed a framework agreement with a North American oil and gas business. Full year figures will be published on 11 December.

Botswana Diamonds (BOD) expects major developments over the coming months. There is enough cash to last into 2018. An inferred resource is expected to be reported for the Thorny River project before the end of the year. Eight kimberlites have been discovered at the Free State project.

Ascent Resources (AST) is raising a further £1.5m via PrimaryBid.com. Ascent is a regular user of the crowdfunding site. The shares will be issued at 1.66p each. Ascent is awaiting a signature on a government document that will enable it to export gas from Croatia.

Internet gaming software-as-a-service provider GAN (GAN) will benefit from the final approval of a bill in Pennsylvania that legalises real money online gaming. The regulated gaming is expected to start early in 2018.

Cenkos has lowered its revenue expectations for Collagen Solutions (COS) following a trading statement. It has knocked £400,000 off its 2017-18 revenues forecast and trimmed forecasts for later years. A profit is not anticipated until 2019-20. First half revenues of the collagen products supplier were flat.

K&C REIT (KCR) is raising £150m at 100p a share, following a ten-for-one share consolidation. The name is being changed to KCR Residential REIT and a move to a premium listing is planned.

The Ottoman Fund Ltd (OTM) has repatriated cash from Turkey and shut three Turkish subsidiaries. This is an important step in winding up the company returning cash to shareholders. The final distribution will be in the range of 1.36p a share to 1.53p a share.

Stellar Diamonds (STEL) has been granted an environmental licence for the Tongo project in Sierra Leone.

MAIN MARKET

Fuel cell technology developer Intelligent Energy Holdings (IEH) is selling its business and being wound up. Convertible loan note holders are likely to get 65% of the principal of the loan notes prior to their cancellation but ordinary shareholders will get nothing. Cash is likely to run out in November. Meditor Energy is paying £19.5m for the remaining business and this will be used to pay the 65% of principal of the loan notes. A Meditor fund owns 85.5% of these loan notes.

Orient Telecoms (ORNT) is a new standard list company that wants to start a telecoms business in Singapore from scratch. The share price ended the first day at 11p (10p/12p) and it remains unchanged since then. The shares are tightly held so any trading activity could push up the share price, so beware of this lack of liquidity. There does not appear to have been any trading activity, as yet.

Aquila Services Group (AQSG) is acquiring development consultancy and financial modelling services business pod. The business made an operating profit of £162,000 on annual revenues of £1.09m. This fits with the group’s affordable housing services operations.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 2 October 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) reported a slightly lower interim operating loss of £268,000 on revenues 10% higher at £7.04m. More racedays helped the racing operations but there were fewer other events which offset that. The nursery business made a much better contribution. Investment in the racecourse continues and income from residential property development of £1.95m helped to fund this. NAV is £44.1m.

Interim revenues were 22% ahead at £4.98m at Chapel Down (CDGP) helped by a 29% increase in wine sales. Management has reassured investors that there was a good harvest in 2017, which will help to improve wine revenues. The Curious Beer brewery is about to commence construction at Ashford.

St Mark Homes (SMAP) has launched a crowdfunding offer via Crowdstacker to raise up to £2m from a bond offering interest at 6% a year. The bonds can be held in ISAs. The cash will finance residential developments, which will predominantly focus on the government’s Help-to-Buy scheme. The company’s NAV per share was 136p at the end of the interim stage.

Block Energy (BLOK) is acquiring the 31% interest in the Norio field in the Republic of Georgia that it does not own and becoming operator of the field. The deal also includes 90% of the Satskhenisi field. The cost is $310,000 in cash. This is classed as a reverse takeover and trading in Block shares is suspended. An assessment of the reserve potential of the oil and gas assets in Georgia ahead of a return to NEX and a dual quotation on AIM.

V22 (V22O) increased its NAV from 1.55p a share to 3.94p a share in the 12 months to June 2017. That includes £235,000 of cash. If the art portfolio is included at its revalued level then the NAV goes up to 7.47p a share. An uplift in the value of the property portfolio offset an operating loss.

Investment company Western Selection (WESP) made a 2016-17 profit of £850,000 and nearly all of this came from the gain on the sale of shares in Swallowfield. Dividend income fell because Northbridge Industrial did not pay a dividend last year. NAV was one-fifth higher at 95p a share. The stake in Bilby was increased during the period. The total dividend has been raised from 2.1p a share to 2.2p a share.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) lost money in the first half of 2017 but it expects token investments to generate near-term revenues. There was £344,000 left in the bank at the end of June 2017 and this has subsequently been boosted by the sale of the shareholding in SatoshiPay. Coinsilium’s NAV is £2.34m.

Chris Bateman has resigned as chief executive of Forbes Ventures (FOR) after the sale of £500,000 of loan notes in Primus Care to his company Gravity Investment Group. Gravity has handed back 1166.7 million shares in Forbes, which have been cancelled. Gravity still owns 49.7% of Forbes, which still owns stakes in K&C REIT and challenger bank Civilised Investments. Trading in Forbes shares remains suspended ahead of the raising of further cash.

Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) has purchased Princes House, Barnstaple, which generates annual rent of £190,000, for £2.325m and College Square Margate, generating annual rent of £630,000, for £8.3m. Disposals of residential properties have raised £3.25m. Ace has raised £500,000 at 71.25p a share.

BWA Group (BWAP) had two investments and £17,000 in the bank at the end of April 2017. Pre-paid cards provider Prego Investments has taken longer to build up its business than expected. Mineralfields Group is in the process of obtaining mining licences in Cameroon.

Trading has commenced in Doriemus (DOR) shares on the ASX. A$3.5m was raised at A$0.26 per share equivalent. The cash will be used to complete drilling on the Lidsey and Brockham oil fields in the UK

Healthcare IT provider DXS International (DXSP) says that growth has been held back by changes in the NHS and the benefits of recent development spending are not likely to show through until 2018-19. In the year to April 2017, revenues were 5% higher at £3.43m but pre-tax profit fell from £46,000 to £39,000. There was £166,000 in the bank at the end of April 2017.

IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has commenced its drilling programme on the zinc licence in south west Ireland. The licence in County Clare is near to other licences where mining companies have achieved encouraging results.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is providing a £150,000 loan facility to healthcare company Rapid Nutrition. The interest rate is 10% a year until the end of February 2018 when it rises to 15% a year. If Rapid Nutrition floats before the end of February 2018 the loan is convertible at 13.32p a share. The loan remains convertible after that but it also becomes repayable in instalments over 18 months. Angelfish is still seeking to recover transaction costs related the repaid investment in 4Navitas.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has licenced blockchain intellectual property to defence-focused ByzGen, which has just raised £500,000 from Regulatory Financial Services Ltd.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £782,000 at 8.5p a share and paid £400,000 of expenses via a share issue at 10p a share.

Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £215,000 from a debenture issue that takes the total value of debentures in issue to £5.11m.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £160,000 in a 3.01% stake in standard listed United Oil & Gas. The average cost was 2.7p a share. United has an onshore UK licence and an Italian onshore licence.

AIM

Premier African Minerals (PREM) is raising up to £3.5m at 0.3p a share with the help of PrimaryBid.com. The cash will go towards funding the underground development of the RHA tungsten mine and repaying and cancellation of the YA II loan agreement and D-Beta equity swap.

AP Systems Holdings says that it is considering a bid for RedstoneConnect (REDS). The underlying business of AP has been going since 1985 but AP Systems Holdings is a couple of years old and has only published accounts as a dormant company. The share capital was recently increased followed by a sub division of the shares. It appears that David Anderson still owns 100% of the group.

ITM Power (ITM) is raising £25m via a placing at 40p a share plus up to £4.4m from an open offer at the same price. ITM has £20m of projects under contract and £17m under negotiation. The cash will help to service these projects and finance the winning of additional contracts. The open offer closes on 17 October.

Recruitment software provider Dillistone (DSG) is launching its new software product and this has held back performance in the first half of 2017. The full benefits of the GatedTalent, which enables executives to share their personal information with recruitment consultants on a confidential basis, will not be seen for more than a year. House broker WH Ireland believes that full year profit could fall to £200,000 and it expects the 2018 profit to be flat. Profit is then expected to more than double I 2019 but the exact pace of take u of GatedTalent will be a significant factor in how quickly profit recovers.

Photonstar LED (PSL) significantly reduced its first half costs so even though revenues fell from £2.53m to £2.26m the interim loss decreased from £914,000 to £604,000. Research and development of the new LED systems range is almost complete and the second half sales should be better.

Full year figures from Real Good Food (RGD) show a slump into loss while net debt increased to £16.2m at the end of March 2017. There has been a subsequent refinancing and corporate governance is being improved.

MAIN MARKET

Curzon Energy (CZN) is joining the standard list following the acquisition of coalbed methane licences in Oregon. Curzon believes that gas could be produced before the end of the year. Curzon is raising £2.3m and this will be used to connect five existing wells to a pipeline and drill two more wells. The average cost is $350,000 per well.

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) had £9,000 left in the bank at the end of June 2017 following the costs of the abortive acquisition of Myclubbetting. Papillon has agreed heads of terms to acquire Phestor and Greenway Activated Carbon, which are involved in ultra-supercapacitor development for energy storage and supply of active carbon produced from biomass.

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) says that the level of enquiries for its products are increasing.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 20 February 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Forbes Ventures (FOR) has taken a 0.84% stake in potential challenger bank Civilised Investments in return for £200,000 in cash. The cash investment was raised through a placing of shares at 0.5p each with Gravity Investments, which owns 62.1% of Forbes. A further six million shares were issued at the same price to settle fees. Civilised is applying for a UK banking licence in June 2016. The strategy is not to have branches but local bankers will provide loans and business banking products by attracting personal savings.

Kryptonite1 (KR1) has invested £99,905 for 25,811 tokens in Melonport AG, which is building its own blockchain protocol for digital asset management built on the Ethereum platform. Melonport raised $2.5m in 14 minutes.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £128,750 at 0.8p a share. For working capital. Daniel Stewart has been appointed as corporate adviser.

FT8 (GFT) has failed to secure the agreed monthly payments from Billyst Holdings and this means that trading in the shares of FT8 has been suspended because of the company’s uncertain financial position.

AIM

Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) has moved into Continental Europe through the acquisition of Avalon and GrassInc for an initial £9.7m in cash with deferred and contingent payments of up to £12m over four years. This is an important part of the overall strategy for the group and it also takes Victoria into the artificial grass market. The deal should be immediately earnings-enhancing with the two businesses making a 2016 operating profit of £3.6m.

Construction dispute resolution services provider Driver Group (DRV) has raised £8m at 40p a share – a 15% discount to the market price – in order to reduce borrowings and grow the business. There is also a one-for-26p open offer at 40p a share that could raise up to £500,000 – closing on 8 March. Driver has negotiated new banking facilities of £8m, down from £12m, and this expires in 2020. Net debt was £9.9m at the end of September 2016. Driver made a loss in the year to September 2016 but it moved back into profit in the second half. In the past year, Driver has reduced annualised overheads by £1.3m, cut underperforming fee earners, improved cash collection and implemented more rigorous bidding controls. Driver plans to scale down the project management operations and the main businesses should be sold by the end of this financial year. South America and eastern Europe have been identified as growth areas. New non-executive director John Horgan has been appointed as a replacement for David Webster.

Fuel cell technology developer AFC Energy (AFC) has raised £6m, £5.5m net of expenses, at 10p a share – a 40% discount to the market price. Up to £2m more could be raised from a one-for-15 open offer at the same share price – closing on 2 March. The cash will be used to deliver commitments on the joint development agreement with De Nora, additional testing and a scoping study with Peel Environmental for potential projects. Jim Gibson has been appointed as chief operating officer.

Middlesbrough-based pawnbroker Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) joined AIM on 15 February. The placing will raise £15.6m at 86p a share, valuing the company at £26.5m. The share price ended the week at 95.5p.

Tracsis (TRCS) disappointed the market with a warning that delays in contracts means that this year will be even more second-half weighted and there is still uncertainty whether certain software contracts will complete in this financial year. The transportation optimisation software and services provider still believes it can achieve this year’s forecast profit but the market was not as sure. The share price fell by nearly one-third following the trading statement and Downing is one investor that has added to its stake having previously taken profits. Interim revenues will grow from £13.1m to £15.5m but pre-tax profit will only be slightly higher than last year’s figure of £2.9m. The full year outcome could depend on the rail franchise bid timetable.

Higher LED sales helped Holders Technology (HDT) to increase overall revenues by 2% to £11.4m but the LED business is still losing money and a German business has been closed. The underlying loss increased from £141,000 to £195,000, prior to restructuring costs of £183,000. An increases in trade creditors meant that cash improved to £781,000. A final dividend of 0.25p a share is proposed. There are signs of an improvement in demand for printed circuit board materials and new smart lighting products should boost the LED business.

Vela Technologies (VELA) has raised £550,000 from a bond issue via the UK Bond Network. This should enable Vela to complete the additional investment of £150,000 in Portr, the airline passenger facilitation and baggage transport service, taking its stake to 4.27%.

Collagen Solutions (COS) is raising up to £8m from a placing and one-for-five open offer at 5p a share and this will be topped up with a £4m bond issue to Norgine Ventures, which has a coupon of 10% and 6.77 million warrants exercisable at 5.911p each. The cash will finance the expansion of the medical collagen business, commercial medical device products and launch ChondroMimetic, which is a collagen-based implant to treat small cartilage and bone defects, later this year.

Online gaming business generator Veltyco Group (VLTY) says that its 2016 figures will be significantly better than expected. An EBITDA of more than €2m, up from the initial forecast of €1.4m, on revenues of more than €5.7m, ahead of a forecast of €4.9m, is anticipated.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) has signed a services agreement with APTrans, a Cheshire-based consortium of drug developers that can provide technical expertise, for the development of SFX-01. A US patent has been granted covering the manufacturing process for SFX-01. The patent lasts until 2033. Further patents are expected to be awarded around the world.

Ascent Resources (AST) raised £3m at 1.85p a share in its latest fundraising via PrimaryBid.com. The cash will be spent on developing the Petisovci gas project in Slovenia.

Self-storage operator Lok’nStore (LOK) says that self-storage sales were 3.9% higher, thanks to higher occupancy, and document storage sales 8.8% ahead in the first half. There is a pipeline of two owned and two managed stores, which will add 14% to capacity. NAV is expected to be 404p a share at the end of July 2017.

PowerHouse Energy Group (PHE) has raised £2.5m at 0.8p a share on the back of last week’s deal with Peel. Hillgrove will receive £2m as part-payment for its loan with £1.4m converted into shares at 0.5p each. A G3-UHt waste to energy unit is being shipped from Australia and should reach the UK in March.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) is starting a phase I clinical study for safety and tolerability of Acarovac MPL as a house dust mite allergy vaccine. The trial will be in Spain, covering 32 patients and lasting one year. The global market could be worth $1.5bn a year.

Patient monitoring equipment developer LiDCO Group (LID) says that its 2016-17 revenues will be slightly lower than forecast but it will make a small profit. The loss of a US customer held back growth with revenues 8% ahead at £8.2m, although revenues from group products were 14% higher this was partly offset by lower sales of third party products.

EP Minerals has terminated its lease over the County Line Diatomite project, so Sunrise Resources (SRES) will need to find an alternative method of commercialising the potential project.

Keras Resources (KRS) says that there is a JORC-based inferred mineral resource of 36,000 ounces of gold at a grade of 6.1g/t for the Copenhagen deposit. This means that the Warrawoona gold project has a JORC mineral resource of 410,000 ounces of gold at a grade of 2.2g/t. The focus will be the higher grade Copenhagen deposit, which has more potential.

Mariana Resources (MARL) has completed three of seven planned drill holes at the Ergama project in Turkey and two of these have found large but low grade deposits.

Executive chairman John Hawkins has been given the push by Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) as part of the closure of the group’s head office following the disposal of the Vislink broadcast equipment business. Hawkins received £260,000 a year as chief executive and £100,000 a year as chairman and his contract stipulates 12 months notice. John Varney becomes non-executive chairman. The bank apparently remains supportive and the 2016 figures will be published on 31 March.

Cloud-based telecoms software supplier CloudCall Group (CALL) says that customer relationship management software provider and corporate partner Bullhorn is deploying CloudCall’s software with its US staff. This will provide a reference for potential US customers of a combined software package. Full year figures will be published on 28 March and these will be in line with expectations.

MAIN MARKET

Simian Global (SMG) has signed a non-binding letter of intent to buy BVI-incorporated media and advertising business GVC Holdings Ltd. Standard list shell Simian Global floated on 10 January when it raised £769,500 at 15p a share. This valued the company, which was seeking a technology, media and telecoms sector acquisition, at £935,000. Trading in the shares was suspended at 17.5p.

Avation (AVAP) is trading at a discount of around one-fifth to its NAV of 249p a share at the end of 2016. In the six months to December 2016, the aircraft leasing company’s revenues were 43% ahead at $45.1m and pre-tax profit 50% higher at $8.4m. Bid discussions for 22 ATR 72 aircraft continue but management wants a significant premium to the NAV.

PRE-IPO / OTHER TRADING FACILITIES

Former AIM-quoted Clinical Computing, which is currently traded on Britdaq,has initiated a strategic review and this could lead to the sale of the healthcare IT company. In the year to March 2016, revenues fell from £1.67m to £1.5m but a loss of £204,000 was turned into a profit of £23,000. There is £825,000 in the bank and net assets of £654,000, which is more than its market capitalisation on Britdaq.

Andrew Hore

 

Quoted Micro 30 January 2017

NEX / ISDX

There was a sharp improvement in operating profit from £120,006 to £213,657 at Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) in the year to October 2016. Revenues improved from £3.13m to £3.21m, while gross margin jumped from 9.9% to 13.6%. Pre-tax profit rose from £133,576 to £224,352. Improved marketing has helped to boost trade but the hotel will be hit by increases in the national living wage. Further refurbishment is panned at the hotel. Strong cash generation has increased the cash position from £651,000 to £1.39m. The second interim dividend is being raised from 12p a share to 14p a share, taking the total to 21p a share, up from 18p a share.

Rail track technology supplier Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reported an increased loss in the year to August 2016 because of higher admin expenses. Pre-tax loss moved from £228,000 to £262,000. Revenues increased by 21% to £290,000 even though London Underground orders have been delayed by budget restrictions. Orders have been received since the year end. Wheelsure has issued shares at 1p in lieu of £14,000 of commission owed to the company’s Italian agent, which has generated the first order for track equipment incorporating Tracksure.

Ashley House (ASH) remained profitable in the six months to October 2016 even though trading conditions were tough and there remains uncertainty about government funding for supported housing. It does appear likely though that there will be increasing demand for extra care housing schemes. Interim revenues were flat at £10.7m and the gross margin was much lower. The underlying pre-tax profit was halved to £200,000. Full year profit is still forecast to rise from £1.2m to £1.5m but this depends on three schemes reaching financial close by April.

Building projects manager and developer Formation Group (FRM) maintained its pre-tax profit at £2.2m in the year to August 2016, even though the recognised profit share from the development at Norwich House in Streatham fell from £2.42m to £1.42m. Group revenues were one-quarter higher at £29.4m helped by sales of apartments at Iverson Road, London N6. There was also a £1.02m post-tax write back relating to past properties. NAV increased from £7.6m to £10.4m. Since the year end, cash has been received from disposal proceeds, which will reduce net debt from £3m.

Mechan Controls (MECP) has appointed administrators from Leonard Curtis to its subsidiary PJO Industrial, following a deterioration in its prospects. PJO supplies mining and pipe laying equipment. Mining demand has been weak. PJO was hit by a bad debt in 2015 and lost £206,000, while net liabilities were £514,000.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) has raised £530,000 from Gravity Investment Group at 0.3p a share. Gravity has a 60.8% shareholding in Forbes. The bulk of the cash will be invested in £500,000 worth of 12%, two-year convertible loan notes in residential care provider Primus Care, where Gravity director Chris Bateman is on the board. The conversion price will be 80% of the fair market value of an ordinary share.

There was further fundraising activity last week. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £125,000 at 7p a share in order to finance working capital. Energy efficiency products supplier Sandal (SAND) has raised £52,000 at 28p a share. Milamber Ventures (MLVP) executive chairman Andy Hasoon has invested a further £16,300 in the technology investment company at 13.55p a share. Property investor Etaireia (ETIP) has generated £10,000 from the issue of shares at 0.09p each.

United Cacao (UCL) has raised further concerns about former chairman Dennis Melka. This involves a number of loans which were not previously disclosed. It also turns out that the small farmer programme has planted 70 hectares and not 194 hectares as said in the interim figures. The Peru-based cacao plantation operator has extended the exclusivity agreement with existing investors, in order to try to secure the long-term financial viability of the business, to 31 March. Cash is being raised from bond issues at large discounts. Just over $515,000 has been raised from the issue of $3.45m of nominal value bonds with a 7% coupon. One of the company’s directors will invest a further $40,000 at 18 cents per $1 bond.

AIM

Scientific instruments manufacturer Judges Scientific (JDG) had a strong end to 2016 and order intake grew organically by 3% during the year. This was too late to benefit the 2016 figures where slow orders and manufacturing problems had led to disappointment and pre-tax profit is expected to fall to £7.1m. Earnings per share will fall by nearly one-quarter to 82.8p a share. That is line with previously downgraded expectations. The year has started with an order book lasting 13.9 weeks and there are positive foreign exchange movements that will help in the recovery. A 2017 pre-tax profit of £8.6m and earnings per share of 102p are forecast, which is still below the level in 2015.

Imaging and radiation detection products developer Kromek Group (KMK) is raising up to £21m via a placing and one-for-30 open offer at 20p a share. Net cash was £2.3m at the end of October 2016 and the additional cash will provide a significant cushion for the company. Kromek is still a couple of years away from making a pre-tax profit but the cash outflow should decline.

Taptica Ltd (TAP) has issued a positive trading statement and this has led to a forecast upgrade for 2016. Earnings per share have been upgraded by 12% to 29.3 cents, which is 150% higher than the forecast was one year ago. Increasing mobile marketing spend by customers means that there should continue to be significant growth.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) has formed a joint venture with BioCare Manufacturing in Malaysia. Beximco will own 30% of the joint venture and will provide technical support. The initial product is a metered dose inhaler. Beximco reported a 14% local currency increase in interim revenues but in sterling they rose from £58m to £79.7m, while the growth rate in pre-tax profit was slightly higher with the sterling equivalent rising from £8.2m to £11.6m. The first product is being sold in the US and approvals have been gained for two other products.

Walker Greenbank (WGB) has received a further £1m insurance payment relating to flooding at Standfast & Barracks at the end of 2015. This takes the total insurance payments for the Lancaster fabric printing factory to £14.3m and there could be more to come. The Milton Keynes warehouse has been restocked. Octopus has increased its stake to 13.1%.

Ultrasound training simulators developer MedaPhor (MED) says it still had cash of £1.4m, net of the litigation settlement, which has been formalised with SonoSim Inc. In 2016, revenues grew by 50% to £3.3m, partly thanks to an initial contribution of £850,000 from the acquisition of Inventive Medical. The loss has increased from £1.5m to £2.5m, after settlement costs.

ImmuPharma (IMM) has recruited the 200 patients it requires for its phase III trial for the Lupuzor potential treatment for Lupus. By the end of January, more than 80% of the patients will have been treated for three months. Patients have to be monitored for 12 months so the full trial will not be completed until the first quarter of 2018. So far, there have been no indications that the drug is not safe.

Headway Investment Partners has increased its offer for Ludgate Environmental (LEF) from 16p a share to 16.3p a share, which compares with the latest NAV of 21.7p a share. The bid, though, provides cash up front rather than having to wait for the portfolio to be sold off.

Ascent Resources (AST) has started a well test at Pg-10 at the Petisovci project in Slovenia and an announcement about the results of the test should be published later this week. Henderson took advantage of a share price rise to sell one-fifth of their stake taking it to just below 10% but then almost doubled the number of shares it owns by converting £1m of convertible loan notes into 100 million shares. There are still £8.14m of convertibles in issue.

Ramblers Metals & Mining (RMM) expects to achieve the milling of 1,250 metric tonnes a day by the middle of 2017. Saleable copper of between 5,100 and 5,800 tonnes is forecast to be produced in 2017, along with 4,400 to 5,100 ounces of gold. In 2016, there was 4,174 tonnes of copper and 6,132 ounces of gold produced.

Keras Resources (KRS) has raised £600,000 at 0.35p a share in order to finance exploration at the Klondyke gold project in Australia. Some of the cash will be used to repay a £265,000 loan.

A concept study for the development of the CS natural pozzolan project in Nevada should be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2017. Sunrise Resources (SRES) should have information about the potential timeline for commercial production for the pozzolan, which is more environmentally friendly alternative to Portland cement.

MAIN MARKET

East Africa-focused Rainbow Rare Earths has raised $8m at 10p a share ahead of its standard listing. Demand for the shares was strong. This cash will be invested in the Gakara rare earths project in Burundi. Rainbow requires $2.23m to enable it to commence production in nine months. The main rare earths will be neodymium and praseodymium, which are used in generators, electric vehicles and wind turbines. Rainbow has secured a ten year offtake agreement with thyssenkrupp Raw Materials, which covers the sale of 5,000 tpa of concentrate. Petra Diamonds founder Adonis Pouroulis is chairman of Rainbow, which could move into profit in the year to June 2018.

Andrew Hore

 

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