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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 8 March 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Installation services provider and engineer Field Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) reported a dip in interim revenues due to Covid-19 and lack of work in the water sector. In the six months to November 2020, revenues halved from £11.5m to £5.7m and the loss increased to £209,000. Net assets improved from £3.87m to £3.93m with cash increasing from £4.34m to £5.6m. There are signs of water projects being announced.

Gunsynd (GUN) says its investee company Rogue Baron should join the Access segment on around 12 March. Gunsynd will own 28.48% of the drinks company and retain £111,000 of convertible loan notes.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) says that a £40m tranche of two-year notes is expected to take place in Malta in the middle of March. A further £60m should be listed within two months of the first tranche. A subsidiary of Forbes will receive a one-off fee of 2% of the funds raised.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had net assets of 57.96p a share at the end of February 2021. There was cash of £2.68m. It has subsequently sold the investment in Anthesis Consulting for £1.15m. This was previously valued at £705,000.

Upper Thames Holdings (UPPT) is changing its name to Valereum Blockchain. The company has initiated the launch of the first series of securitised derivative tokens on a regulated cryptocurrency exchange, which should happen within two months. This will enable trading in currency and other products.

KR1 (KR1) has raised nearly $256,000 by selling tokens in Stake DAO. KR1 still has the rights to more than 700,000 SDT tokens and these will vest over 23 months. KR1 has spent $75,000 of the cash on a stake in LazyLedger Labs.

Exploration by Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has identified high grade silver and base metals potential at the Cottesloe project in Patersons Range Western Australia.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is linking with 10%-owned Indorse to launch a Non-Fungible Token development studio in Gibraltar.

Quetzal Capital (WENP) has appointed Peterhouse as corporate adviser and raised £432,000 at 0.7p a share. Chris Akers will own a 9.4% stake.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has appointed First Sentinel as corporate adviser and trading in the share has recommenced. Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has appointed Optiva Securities as broker, and it hopes to move to the standard list in the second quarter.

World High Life has changed its name to Love Hemp Group (LIFE). It has appointed Hannam and Partners as financial advisor. Chris Cleverly and Elias Pungong have left the board.

AIM

Coral Products (CRU) has completed the sale of two plastic mouldings businesses and acquired Customised Packaging for £1.25m in cash and shares issued at 11p each. If 2021 profit is greater than £250,000 the vendors will receive 30% of the excess profit (capped at £250,000). Customised Packaging generated revenues of £2.3m in 2020. The Manchester-based business designs plastic products using sheet extrusion technology and vacuum forming capability. WH Ireland has been appointed as nominated adviser and broker.

Interims from parcel and freight delivery company DX (LSE:DX.) showed a 7% rise in revenues to £182.7m with strong growth in freight offsetting a fall in the express division. That enabled DX to move from loss to a pre-tax profit of £3.8m. New depots are being opened because of the demand for the company’s services, while the document exchange business is being revamped. Non-executive director Paul Goodson has acquired 176,810 shares at an average price of 28.25p.

In 2020, Franchise Brands (FRAN) improved pre-tax profit from £4.07m to £4.84m, helped by a full contribution from Willow Pumps. The dividend was increased from 0.95p a share to 1.1p a share. Income returned to growth in the fourth quarter and there has been a good start to 2021. That sparked a forecast upgrade for pre-tax profit to £6.1m.

The bid for AFH Financial (AFHP) has been increased from 463p a share to 480p a share.

BlueRock Diamonds (BRD) has raised £1.5m at 40p a share. This cash will be used to complete the weather delayed installation of the new processing plant at the Kareevlei diamond mine so that annual production can be raised to one million tonnes. There have been 29 production days lost to rain. The first two diamond tenders of 2021 have achieved an average diamond price of $423/carat, which is higher than the average price assumed for the full year.

Maestrano (MNO) has taken advantage of its strong share price to raise £2m at 13p a share. This will help to grow revenues of the Corridor.ai digital surveying platform for the rail sector. There is still manual rail survey business that can be done digitally.

In 2020, the revenues of MTI Wireless Edge (MWE) rose by 2% to $40.9m, while pre-tax profit jumped from $3.41m to $4.06m. The net cash position was better than expected at $9.44m. The dividend has been increased by one-quarter to 2.5 cents a share. The antennas business is winning larger 5G orders and the electronic components division is converting design wins into production orders.

Virgin Wines (VINO) ended the week at 225.5p a share, having floated at 197p a share.

Prospex Energy (PXEN) has completed the purchase of a 49.9% stake in the El Romeral gas and power operation in Spain. There is potential to increase production from the three producing gas wells and this could also help increase the amount of electricity generated from the 8.1MW power station, which is running well below capacity. An offshore gas well should start production later this year.

Safestay (SSTY) has sold the smallest of its three hostels in Barcelona for the book value of €900,000. Safestay is due to the final consideration of €1.18m for one of the other Barcelona hostels.

MAIN MARKET

Caerus Mineral is acquiring New Cyprus Copper and joining the standard list. A placing has raised £2.25m at 10p. There is a portfolio of exploration licences in Cyprus. There is potential for near-term mining of resources on closed copper mines and extensions of existing orebodies.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) says from this month chief executive Peter Wall will be paid in Bitcoin and other employees will be given the chance to follow suit. Argo held 599 Bitcoin at the end of February, having mined 129 (equivalent to £4.34m) during the month.

Emmerson (EML) plans to switch from the standard list to AIM ahead of the commencement of construction of its mine at the Khemisset potash project.

HeiQ (HEIQ) is acquiring 51% of Chrisal NV, a profitable industrial biotechnology company that has developed a symbiotic interior cleaner called Synbio with enhanced cleaning performance.

Castillo Copper (CCZ) expects the modelling of a JORC resource for the Big One deposit should be completed shortly. Drilling will resume when the wet season ends.

Boston International Holdings (BIH) is not going ahead with the reverse takeover of invoice factor Alexanders Discount. The shares remain suspended.

Starcrest Education The Belt and Road (OBOR) says that the purchase of 60% of The London School of Science and Technology is unlikely to happen before June.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 18 January 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

British Honey (BHC) generated revenues of £1.5m in the nine months to December 2020 with more sales online. There was £2.4m in the bank.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has agreed to provide cancer treatment to NHS Trusts and clinical commissioning groups in England. The initial agreement is for two years.

A subsidiary of Noble Group has sent a letter of intent to Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) saying it wasn’t to purchase a significant portion of tantalum and tine production from Musasa in Rwanda. There will be immediate payment on agreement of the grade. There has been a further cash injection of £150,000.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has discovered further gold mineralisation at Specimen Hill in Queensland. There is a 100% success rate with holes drilled. A drilling programme has started at Mt Cassidy and once completed drilling will recommence at Specimen Hill at the sites that are prospective for copper.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that the Hellyer mine in Australia produced 38,319 tonnes of lead concentrate, up 53%, and 19,019 tonnes of zinc concentrate, up 22%, in 2020. There was 5,452 ounces of gold and 1.1 million ounces of silver produced. Gross revenues were A$63.3m and net income was A$22.7m.

Preliminary sampling at one of the Cameroon licences owned by BWA Group (BWAP) has identified mineralisation. The Dehane project has elevated titanium, zircon and aluminium multi-element associations. More cash is required to fund further exploration.

Gunsynd (GUN) says that Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser to Rogue Baron ahead of a proposed flotation on Aquis in the first quarter. Rogue Baron is a spirits company and Gunsynd has a £500,000 convertible repayable at the end of March. The Gunsynd NAV increased from £2.36m to £2.47m at the end of July 2020. There was £838,000 in the bank.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £100,000 at 4.5p a share. SulNOx Group (SNOX) has raised £50,100 at 41.75p a share. Further cash will be required. Altona Energy (ANR) has raised a further £42,000 at 6.5p a share. MiLOC Group (ML.P) has raised £237,000 at 28.5p a share and started litigation against a distributor.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) boos Joe McTaggart has bought 30,409 shares at 49p each.

AIM

Toilet tissue manufacturer Accrol (ACRL) reported strong interims even before a contribution from the recently acquired LTC. In the six months to October 2020, revenues slipped from £64.5m to £62.3m but that reflects panic buying in the last two months of the previous year that reduced this year’s figure. A contribution from LTC should increase full year revenues from £135m to £154m and pre-tax profit could nearly double to £9.2m. Accrol intends to pay a final dividend of 0.5p a share.

Online fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) reported a 6% increase in revenues to December 2020, following a £1.6m reduction in marketing spend – mainly in December. This includes growing sales via John Lewis and Next. The loss was more than halved. Net cash was £3.9m at the end of 2020.

Kromek (KMK) reported a 14% decline in interim revenues to £4.58m, which was a resilient performance considering the disruption in the period. Kromek has moved into a net debt position but management is confident that it has enough funds for its requirements. The second half should be stronger. The long-term outlook for MRI, imaging and radiation detection products remains positive.

Battery technology developer Ilika (IKA) is on course for Stereax battery production to be scaled up by the beginning of 2022 and more significant revenues will flow through from then on. The total investment is £4m. The pilot line is running at full capacity so there is unlikely to be growth in short-term revenues. There is also the longer-term potential for Goliath batteries for electric vehicles. There should be £9m in the bank at the end of April 2021.

Voucher products supplier Appreciate (APP) had a strong third quarter and free cash reached £33.5m. The focus on digital products is paying off.

Law firm Gateley (GTLY) grew earnings by 7% in the first half, but full year earnings are expected to decline from 12.5p a share to 9.1p a share. There could be scope for an upgrade if utilisation levels remain high.

Ariana Resources (AAU) says that the 50%-owned Kiziltepe mine produced 18,645 ounces of gold in 2020. The processing plant capacity is being quadrupled.

Filtronic (FTC) has won a contract with more than £1m with a UK defence customer. Filtronic will design and supply battlefield communications hardware.

In 2020, Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) increased palm oil production by 24% to 4,824MT and the average price obtained was ahead by a similar percentage. The price has started 2021 at a much higher level and even if the price does not stay as high Dekel should be able to at least move nearer to profit in 2021.

Franchise Brands (FRAN) will report 2020 figures ahead of consensus. The business has been strongly cash generative and the consumer-facing franchises did better in the second half. Metro Rod was classed as an essential service and trading recovered after an initial slump. Allenby forecasts 2020 earnings of 4.3p a share and this could improve to 4.8p a share in 2021.

Environmental and life sciences company Deepverge (DVRG) generated revenues of £4.4m in 2020 before any contribution from the recently acquired Modern Water. This year’s revenues should more than double, although the business should still lose money. There are large projects that are being bid for that could contribute to this year.

SourceBio International (SBI) has signed a deal with a high street retailer to provide lab testing services. This will start with a limited number of stores and could then be broadened. Demand for Covid testing is likely to continue to be high for many months.

MAIN MARKET

BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) has secured an option deal to sell its NGSoft communications technology services business to Aztek Technologies for $33m in cash. This is around ten times operating profit. The cash can be reinvested into the other activities.

Telecoms business Toople (TOOP) increased revenues from £2.45m to £3.44m and gross profit from £479,000 to £1.1m in the year to September 2020. The purchase of DMSL helped to grow revenues. Admin expenses were slightly higher at £2.44m. The underlying pre-tax loss edged up from £1.24m to £1.31m. That excludes a £1.1m provision for bad debts and restructuring costs. Directors pay increased from £278,000 to £312,239 last year. Net debt was nearly £1m at the end of September 2020. Debt in the form of a loan note is repayable at the end of 2022. The cash outflow from operating activities reduced from £2m to £1.6m.

InnovaDerma (IDP) reported a one-fifth decline in interim revenues. The personal care products supplier was hit by the closure of high street shops in the UK. International sales improved. The new chief executive is still assessing the business and will report plans and impairment charges in the coming weeks. A non-executive director is loaning the company £500,000 until 13 July.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 29 April 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Adnams (ADB) says that beer volumes grew year-on-year in the first quarter, helped by low alcohol Ghost Ship and pubs are also doing well. Margins are coming under pressure and gin sales have been hit by increasing competition. A new IT system has gone live.

KR1 (KR1) has cashed inn some of its tokens. It has sold the remaining OmiseGo tokens for $206,000. They were bought for 27.38 cents each and sold for 205.4 cents each. KR1 has sold 50% of its tokens in the Nash Exchange product for nearly $51,000, at a more than doubled price per token, which means that the cost of the remaining 25,000 tokens have been covered.

High Growth Capital (HASH) has appointed Mark De Smedt as chief executive. He is a Belgian who previously worked for recruitment firm Adecco and already owns a 0.6% stake in High Growth Capital. He has been awarded options over 125 million shares at 1.75p each and further options over 150 million shares, which are exercisable at 3p a share, but only if the share price reaches at least 7.5p and stays there for a consecutive period of six months. Girod Equities has taken a 3.81% stake in the company, which is proposing a name change to MESH Holdings.

SG Recruitment (SGRL) has been appointed to recruit international nurses for more than 20 hospitals in England. This is under the Health Education England Global Learners Programme, which offers three year packages. Also, the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust has appointed SG to recruit 140 nurses. A contract has been gained with Thumbay Hospital in UAE to recruit at least 150 healthcare professionals each year.

Metal Tiger (MNRG) is holding a general meeting on 15 May in order to gain shareholder approval for the directors to issue new ordinary shares without the requirement to offer them to existing shareholders.

AIM  

Franchise Brands (FRAN) says that Micro Rod had a record quarter in the first three months of 2019. System sales were 12.9% higher. The business to consumer franchises have also had a good start to the year.

International payments services provider FAIRFX (FFX) increased revenues by 69% to £26.1m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £900,000 to £6.79m. City Forex was acquired in February 2018 but there was like-for-like growth. In the first quarter of 2019, revenues are 43% ahead at £7m.

Tekcapital (TEK) says that investee company Salarius has secured the first commercial order for its low sodium MicroSalt from a snack food manufacturer. Investee company Belluscura has raised just over £500,000 from a crowdfunding offer, including further investment from Tekcapital. The cash will be used to market and further develop a portable oxygen concentrator called X-PLOR.

More good news from Eden Research (EDEN) as partner Eastman has received a 120 day emergency use authorisation for Cedroz, which is used to combat plant-parasitic nematodes, in Italy. This will enable sales while the Italian authorities process the application for authorisation.

Aviation services provider Gama Aviation (GMAA) has reported 2018 figures with the comparatives for 2017 restated. Pre-tax profit slumped from $16.6m to $11m. That is before more than $40m of exceptional charges, including a $27.7m impairment charge. A final dividend of 2p a share is being paid. Hutchison Capital Holdings has bought more shares to take its stake to 25.45% after a shareholding limitation was ended.

Software company WANdisco (WAND) reported a fall in revenues from $19.6m to $17m in 2018, but this was down to a change in the revenue model to subscription-based business. The loss increased from $14m to $19.4m, but this will fall sharply over the next two years as revenues grow rapidly.

ReNeuron (RENE) has positive news from the first three retinitis pigmentosa patients given its human retinal progenitor cell product. Vision has improved after 60 days and 120 days. Longer-term evidence is required, but this is a good start and three more patients are being provided with the treatment.

Kestrel has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) from 23.1% to 24.2%.

Satellite communications equipment provider Global Invacom (GINV) has terminated the proposed acquisition of Tactilis and related fund raisings. The two companies will provide equal funding of the costs of the terminated deal. Group revenues were $122.3m in 2018. Electronic component shortages have eased, and pricing is normalising. Trading in Global Invacom shares resumed and the share price jumped from 4.5p to 7p.

Angling Direct (ANG) has opened its 27th store on a former Majestic Wine site in Nottingham. The fishing equipment retailer has started the new financial year strongly. Overall sales were 50.7% higher in February and March. Full year figures for the year to January 2019 will be reported on 13 May.

Piling company Van Elle (VANL) reported that its full year profit will be slightly worse than expected but the share price still bounced back from recent lows. Volumes have recovered in the fourth quarter, but full year sales are 3% below expectations. A new director of the piling division will join in June.

The microCHP boilers developer Inspirit Energy (INSP) is still developing its product and it still has to commercialise its boilers.

MAIN MARKET 

Standard list shell Fandango Holdings (FHP) has ended discussions with Konnect Mobile Communications Inc because it could not raise the finance for the acquisition. Fandango has been making loans to another standard list shell, Stranger Holdings, where Charles Tatnall is also a director. There was £141,000 outstanding at the end of August 2018, plus accrued interest of £38,721, and this has been reduced to £108,000, excluding interest. There was cash of £53,000 in the balance sheet at the end of August 2018.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) chief executive Andrea Cattaneo has acquired 593,289 shares at 3.3p each, taking his stake in the Azerbaijan-focused oil and gas company to 8.46%.

Former finance director Michael Mousley has been appointed as a non-executive director of Quarto (QRT). A new finance director will join the company in July.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 18 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Peel Hunt forecasts a dip in Shepherd Neame (SHEP) pre-tax profit from £11.8m to £11.2m in the year to June 2019. The broker still expects the total dividend to be increased from 29.2p a share to 30p a share.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has suspended Ian Fellman as a non-executive director pending investigation into certain matters. The mortgagee of two units at Whitehouse Business park in Peterlee has enforced security and sold the properties and these have been written off the Etaireia balance sheet. David Barnett, who owns 37.8% of the company, has requisitioned a general meeting in order to have himself appointed to the board.

European Lithium (EUR) expects to commence drilling in the second quarter in order to convert the resource in zone one of the Wolfsburg lithium project into measured and indicated categories. The company is part of a syndicate applying for grant funding for building up battery production in Germany. Lithium hydroxide is expected to continue to rise in price until 2022 and then fall back. European Lithium is in talks with lithium battery plant operators in Europe about an offtake agreement. The company had £3.3m of cash and financial assets at the end of 2018, as well as a convertible note of £2.56m, with more available to draw down. There was a cash outflow of £2.6m in the six month period. European Lithium is also ASX-listed and is considering a listing in Vienna.

Sandal (SAND) has decided to leave the NEX Exchange growth market after four years. Management says that share trading is limited, and the company has not been able to raise the cash it wanted to. They believe it would be easier to raise funds as an unquoted company. The company already has the backing of enough shareholders to make a general meeting pointless. The last day of trading is 10 April.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has already made a significant gain on its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) after the miner announced a $65m farm-in agreement with Newcrest for the Havieron gold copper project in Western Australia. Newcrest, which will ear up to 70% of the project, also has first right of refusal over the rest of the Paterson project area. The Greatland stake cost 1.71p a share. Even after some profit-taking, the Greatland share price is 2p, which represents a gain of more than £100,000 on the Primorus investment. Primorus has invested £875,000 in WeShop Ltd and has a 3.5% stake worth more than £1m. WeShop has developed new branding for its platform, added to its product range and enhanced the management team. The number of WeShop retailers has trebled to more than 9,000. The technology provides access to more than 20,000 merchants around the world. Vela Technologies (VELA) has a 1.42% stake in WeShop, which cost £100,000 and is valued at £427,000. Two Shields Investments (TSI) invested at a later date and has a 1.2% stake valued at £350,000.

Barkby Group (BARK) made a small interim loss on revenues of £1.82m. The three gastropubs operated by the company were profitable before central overheads and exceptionals. There was £37,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and a VAT refund is expected. This period is before the acquisition of Centurian Automotive, which was acquired for shares.

Gunsynd (GUN) has sold its stake in UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) at 1.405p a share. The 31.17 million shares raised £438,000. Gunsynd had net assets of £2.18m at the end of January 2019, including £543,000 in cash. The flotation of FastBase Inc has been delayed and Gunsynd is no longer advising the company. Human Brands International Inc, where Gunsynd has a £300,000 convertibles investment, is on course for a standard listing.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has incorporated a subsidiary in Gibraltar and it is applying for a business licence.

Ganapati (GANP) says that its subsidiary GanaEight Coin Ltd, which is developing and operating a blockchain-based online casino platform, has launched a virtual token private pre-sale of its initial virtual financial asset offering.

Gavin Burnell has bought 5.83 million shares in Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) and that takes his stake to 22.3%. His fellow director Charles Vaughan bought 750,000 shares, taking his shareholding to 1.67%. Non-executive chairman Brian Rowbotham bought the same number of shares, taking his stake to 3.09%. The shares were all acquired at 0.136p each.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has commenced gold mining under the joint venture agreement with VAST Mineral Sands in Australia, where it has a 50% economic interest. Tectonic has provided the initial funding. Tectonic is considering moving to the standard list.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has taken a 3.48% stake in standard listed coal bed methane company Curzon Energy (CZN). Brian Kinane has resigned as a director of Curzon.

AIM  

Driver Group (DRV) disappointed the market with a warning because of delayed expert witness contracts in the first half. The construction consultancy services provider has not made the expected progress in the Middle East and south east Asia and full year underlying pre-tax profit will be slightly lower than the £3.5m originally forecast. There is a strong pipeline of potential business, but this has to be secured in order to reassure investors about the full year outcome. There is still £5.1m in the bank. Driver will spend up to £500,000 buying back shares and it has already spent £124,000 at 55p a share. The directors have also been buying shares.

Bowmark Capital has increased its bid for Tax Systems (TAX) from 110p a share to 115p a share, valuing the company at £102.3m. The subsequent general meeting voted in favour of the scheme of arrangement.

Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) increased its revenues from £4.12m to £5.38m, while the loss was cut by two-thirds to £1m. The loss should be much lower in 2019 and cash should be generated so that net cash exceeds £1m. Demand for cyber security continues to grow and the consulting division is getting business from existing and new clients. This is also feeding through to additional managed services business.

Marshall Motor (MMH) managed to edge up its underlying pre-tax profit to £25.7m even though trading conditions remain tough for car dealers. There was a strong last quarter for the used cars division. A small dip in profit to £24.1m is expected for 2019.

Franchise Brands (FRAN) had a full 12-month contribution from the Metro Rod business acquired in 2017, although the full benefits of the restructuring of the business and IT investment are still to come through. These changes should help to generate organic growth this year. Allenby forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £2.9m to £3.5m in 2019. The group is in a position to seek more acquisitions, particularly ones that add to the services provided by Metro Rod.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) grew its full year revenues by 69% to £578,000 and gross margin improved. The protein identification product ProteinID will be launched later this month. There was still £5.4m in the bank at the end of 2018. This is enough to cover the expected cash requirements.

Standard list shell Safe Harbour Holdings (SHH) has appointed James Brotherton as finance director. He was previously finance director at Tyman, where he was involved in acquisitions, and he earned £568,000 in 2017. Fully listed Tyman, which was previously on AIM, made an underlying pre-tax profit of £72.7m in 2018. The acquisition Safe Harbour is seeking will be in distribution and business services. WSP founder Chris Cole was recently appointed as independent non-executive director. There was £28.1m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Immupharma (IMM) is seeking partners for its lupus treatment Lupuzor and is also seeking to commence a managed access programme in Europe for the treatment. An extension study from the original phase III trial has commenced.

RedT Energy (RED) is raising up to £3.2m via a placing and open offer at 2p a share, ahead of a strategic review to decide how to finance the business. Last October, the energy storage equipment developer raised £5.03m at 7p a share. The company could generate $1m from the sale of its US business and costs are being cut. The plan is to cut the monthly cash costs to less than £500,000. Discussions continue with strategic partners.

SimplyBiz Group (SBIZ) has signed a five-year contract with insurer Aviva, which will use the company’s Zest employee benefits technology platform to deliver a new benefits product for smaller clients. This follows a three-year contract with Taylor Wimpey, which will use Zest to deliver employee benefits to its 5,000 plus employees.

Concepta (CPT) is supplying its myLotus fertility test to Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Proton Power Systems (PPS) has signed a letter of intent with Skoda for the development of fuel cell electric buses using Proton’s HyRange systems. The plan is to build 10 buses by the first quarter of 2020.

i3 Energy (I3E) has raised £16m via a placing at 16p a share, although it is partly dependent on shareholder approval for the issue of additional shares. Existing shareholders are being given the opportunity to subscribe up to £2m through an open offer. Along with a £24m loan, the cash will fund the drilling of three wells. Two will be on the Liberator oil field and the other will be on the Serenity prospect.

Paragon Entertainment Ltd (PEL) has raised £150,000 at 0.8p a share, which was a 23% discount to the market price. Management and an existing shareholder bought the shares.

Urals Energy (UEN) failed to replace Allenby as nominated adviser and the quotation has been cancelled.

Mereo BioPharma (MPH) expects its merger with OncoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc to close in the second quarter of 2019.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) achieved crude oil sales of 1,994 barrels per day in January and 2,179 barrels per day in February. The realised prices were $52/barrel and $56.84/barrel for each month respectively. Current estimated production is 2,358 barrels per day.

MAIN MARKET 

Quarto Group (QRT) reported a 51% recovery in underlying 2018 pre-tax profit to $5.9m, although the publisher’s revenues were slightly lower. The best performance was in children’s publishing. Net debt fell by 6% to $60.4m.

Local Shopping REIT (LSR) has responded to the bid by Thalassa (THAL) and it continues to find it opportunistic. The company is committed to returning cash to shareholders and it argues that they will get more cash than the £9m on offer as part of the cash and shares bid. The offer is 14.64p in cash and 0.26 of a Thalassa share for each Local Shopping REIT share.

Path Investments (PATH) has withdrawn from the proposed transaction with ARC Marlborough after due diligence. The plan was to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland.

European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund has converted more of its bonds into shares in WideCells Group (WDC) having sold most of the recently converted shares. A further 115 million shares have been issued in return for £115,000 of bonds and a penalty payment of £172,500.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has submitted an application for a permit to develop the Kochang Mine in South Korea. The application for the Gubong mine should get a response by 23 March.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 7 November 2016

ISDX

Mechanical and engineering services provider Fluid Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) has successfully diversified into the Energy from Waste (EfW) sector and has won work on major projects. In the year to May 2016, revenues were flat at £14.5m, while pre-tax profit increased £277,000 to £372,000. The AMP6 water investment programme has commenced so demand should start to build up but there was a small reduction in revenues from this sector. New framework agreements are being pursued.

Hellenic Capital (HECP) is changing its investment policy and name. The general meeting to gain shareholder approval will be held on 16 November. The company, whose new name will be City and Commercial Investments, will have a two pronged investment policy: UK property and African natural resources. The idea is to generate steady income from property in order to cover overheads. The company can then focus its remaining capital on seeking out resources projects.

Blockchain technology investor Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has divested its 27.3% stake in TRAC Technology because it no longer meets the company’s criteria. Coinsilium will receive $100,000 – 50% in cash and 50% in 2.6 million shares at 1.6p each in AIM-quoted Kolar Gold Ltd (KGLD), which have to be held for three months. Former Coinsilium director Cameron Parry is chief executive of Kolar Gold, which has also secured a 50/50 joint venture with TRAC to launch an online gold and silver trading and storage platform for the Indian market. Kolar will invest £50,000 in the joint venture. TRAC already stores 120kg of gold and 4.3 tonnes of silver for clients in vaults in London, Geneva, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised another £24,000 at 0.1p a share, having recently raised £51,500 at the same share price. Valiant owns 84.7% of Flamethrower, which has acquired Compass Heading, a compass app, for $12,500. Revenues are generated from advertising and in-app sales.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested a further £100,000 in existing investee company Anthesis Consulting Group. The investment is part of a larger share placing by Anthesis in order to finance organic and acquisitive growth.

Trading in the shares of Dana Group International Investments Ltd (DANA) has been suspended because it has not released its results for the period from January 2015 to May 2016. There have been problems preparing the accounts for 21.7%-owned investee company Bonyan International Investment. Dana intends to extend the accounting period to June 2016 to align its calendar to Bonyan. Earlier this year, Dana sold its 34.12% stake in Makkah and Madinnah Commercial Investment Company. Khaled Al-Husseini has stepped down from the Dana board, while Firas Baba, the chief operating officer of Bonyan, has become a director of Dana.

AIM

Drug developer Sareum (SAR) has enough cash to finance itself for a couple of years following the licence agreement for its Chk1 inhibitor drug candidate CCT245737 with ProNAi Therapeutics. This deal shows that the strategy to licence drug candidates when they reach the point of clinical trials can work and provide cash to finance other drug candidates. Sareum has a 27.5% interest in Chk1 with co-investment partner CRT Pioneer Fund owning the rest. This deal means that Sareum effectively has cash of £1.55m – including unspent funds in the partnership of around £300,000 – plus the $1.9m (£1.5m) share of the initial payment for the licensing deal. Sareum has already received £900,000 of the initial payment with the rest due to come through in the near future and it could receive up to $550,000 more in the next 12 months if the initial milestone is achieved. There was a £674,000 cash outflow in Sareum’s most recent financial year so this cash pile could last for some time. Sareum continues to develop its TYK2 autoimmune and cancer candidates and it could purchase interests in other potential drug candidates if it can find suitable acquisitions.

Berkeley Energia (BKY) has raised £24.1m ($30m) at 45p a share in order to finance the development of the Salamanca uranium mine, which will cost a total of $100m. The amount raised was at the upper end of the range sought by the company.

X-ray and gamma ray imaging and radiation detection technology developer Kromek Group (KMK) has won a number of new contracts in recent weeks and these underpin the expectations for a reduction in loss over the next two financial years. The latest contract is in the bone mineral densitometry market and it is worth $1.2m over two years – $300,000 in the current financial year. Prior to this there was a $1.6m contract with the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency, which is another two year contract. A loss of £3.7m is forecast for the year to April 2017and that should fall to £2.1m in 2017-18.

Franchise Brands (FRAN) has announced its first acquisition since it floated in August. It is paying £900,000 in cash and shares for Barking Mad, which provides dog sitting services, and it should be earnings enhancing in the first full year. The business was established in 2000 and it has 71 franchisees covering 75 territories. The deal has led to an upgrade of the 2017 earnings forecast from 2.03p a share to 2.27p a share.

Goldplat (GDP) produced 9,129 ounces of gold in the three months to September 2016. The loss was reduced at the Kilmapesa mine and the new plant should be installed in time to move the mine into profitability in this financial year.

Caledonia Mining Corporation (CMCL) says that this year’s profit is likely to be lower than expected, partly due to a lower grade at the Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe. WH Ireland has reduced its 2016 earnings forecast from 25.2 cents a share to 17.8 cents a share, which is still nearly double the 2015 level. The profit has also been impacted by the movement the strength of the rand against the dollar and cost of assessing investment opportunities. Gold production is still expected to be 50,400 ounces this year, rising to 60,300 ounces in 2017 when earnings of 41.9 cents a share are forecast.

MAIN MARKET

InnovaDerma (IDP) has entered the US market with its self-tanning brand Skinny Tan. Superdrug started selling Skinny Tan in the UK last February and it has become its best selling tanning brand. Production is being moved from Australia to the UK, which should reduce transport costs by early 2017. In the year to June 2016, revenues jumped from A$1.05m to A$8.4m from seven countries even before sales in the US have started. This enabled the company, which switched from the Marche Libre to the standard list in September, to move from a loss to a pre-tax profit of A$473,000 – or A$411,000 after development costs. Net debt was A$871,000 at the end of June 2016.

OTHER MARKETS

Former AIM investment company Gate Ventures has raised £2.25m at 6p a share, which is double the share price of the last trade on Britdaq. Gate recently invested £380,000 in a fundraising by AIM-quoted Reach4Entertainment. Gate is valued at more than £100m at 3p a share despite its modest asset value.

Andrew Hore

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