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Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) improved its underlying pre-tax profit from £2.7m to £3.4m in the first half of 2019. The interim dividend has been raised from 15p a share to 16p a share. The recent residential mortgage portfolio acquisition was after the end of June. The strategy is to diversify the business and asset-based lending and specialist finance are being built up. Savings platform Arbuthnot Direct has recently been launched. The core private banking operations of Arbuthnot Latham are still growing, though. The shareholding in Secure Trust Bank has been sold down to below 10%, which means it is no longer consolidated. The change from associate led to a write down and NAV declined to £13.21 a share.
VI Mining (VIM) has so far paid $9.1m in cash to the vendors of the Minaspampa and Rosario projects in Peru. There is still $42.2m outstanding 18 months after the acquisition agreement was signed. Majority shareholder Sumner Group Holdings is raising money from a security token offering, which could be completed in the autumn. Some of the proceeds will be used to replace existing facilities and help to pay outstanding acquisition considering, pending renegotiation of the deal. Chief executive David Sumner has provided a $10m term loan, plus a £39m facility of which $3m has been drawn down. There is $1.2m outstanding on the Tassili Jewellery LLC loan facility.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) has completed its acquisition of a 2.325% stake in cannabis company Apollon Formularies. The Jamaican subsidiary has produced its first licensed medical cannabis oils for commercial sale on the island.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has published a prospectus for its move to a standard listing on 23 July. It has raised £193,000 at 0.3p a share.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that its CoalTech subsidiary has signed a joint venture agreement with Creon Capital covering Russia and nearby countries. CoalTech is negotiating with other potential partners to set up operations in Europe, Indonesia and the US.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says its mining subsidiary has received approval for the R and D tax incentive scheme in Australia for 2018-19. A claim is being prepared.
Share trading has recommenced in Ganapati (GANP) after it published results for the year to January 2019. There was a cash outflow from operations of £23.8m. Since January, two new games have been generated each month.
Focusrite (TUNE) has acquired Germany-based studio monitor loudspeakers supplier Pro Audio for £16.2m in cash and it will still have £12m left in the bank. Pro Audio supplies ADAM branded products and made a pre-tax profit of €1m. This is an earnings enhancing acquisition. The businesses will operate separately but work together to develop cross-selling benefits.
Swallowfield (SWL) is selling its manufacturing business to the much larger US manufacturer Knowlton Development Corporation for £35m in order to concentrate on its portfolio of personal care and beauty brands. This should leave net cash of £23m in Swallowfield and this will be used to acquire more brands. The company is changing its name to Brand Architekts Group.
Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) grew all its main operations. Acquisitions helped revenues to increase by one-fifth to £103.5m in the year to April 2019, but there was still organic growth of 9.5%. Pre-tax profit improved from £15.4m to £18.1m. The dividend was raised from 7p a share to 8p a share. Corporate business grew more modestly than other parts of the business, but this was impressive given market conditions for corporate deals. A profit of £21m is forecast for this year.
Victoria (VCP) has raised €330m via an issue of 5.25% senior secured notes 2024. This offer was three times subscribed. The floorcoverings manufacturer is using the money to refinance existing debt and will have £80m of cash after the issue.
Packaging machinery supplier Mpac Group (MPAC) is trading significantly ahead of expectations. Equity Development has increased its 2019 operating profit forecast from £4.6m to £5.5m.
Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) has completed a co-investment agreement with a Hong Kong-based family office for the investment in Japanese resort business Infinity Capital Group. The family office will pay Adamas $1m of the $2m already drawn by Infinity and the other $2m will be provided 50/50 by the two parties. The facility has a coupon of 17.5% per annum. This deal provides cash to invest in other opportunities. Adamas took advantage of a dip in the share price to buy back £30,400worth of shares at 38p each.
Velocys (VLS) has raised £7m at 3p a share on the back of news that Shell and British Airways will co-fund the development of the Immingham biorefinery project. The cash will be used for further technology development and to progress the Mississippi biorefinery project.
Block Energy (BLOE) has completed the increase from a 71.5% to 100% of its working interest in the West Rustavi field in Georgia. The cash and shares payment means tha Georgia Oil and Gas has increased its stake in Block to 7.7%. Miton has cut its stake from 9.17% to 4.73%.
Mortice (MORT) has decided to cancel its AIM quotation and is offering shareholders the chance to sell their shares for 12p each. A lack of liquidity and a weak share price making it difficult to finance acquisitions are the main reasons for leaving AIM.
Albert Technologies Ltd (ALB) also wants to leave AIM, but it is not offering an exit for shareholders. It believes it can attract investors, but they would prefer to invest in an unquoted company.
Science Group (SAG) has been buying more shares in Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) at the bid price of 35p each and it has built up a 39.9% stake. It also has 3.1% acceptances for its bid.
Mirada (MIRA) has integrated Netflix into its set-top box platform and this will make its technology even more attractive to broadcasters.
Bangladesh has brought in a law that all listed companies have to pay at least 30% of post-tax profit, or an extra 10% tax charge will be levied. Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) is assessing the legislation and will consider how best to manage cash.
Novacyt (NCYT) has sold its loss-making clinical labs business for £400,000 and it will concentrate on diagnostics businesses Primerdesign and Lab21. The first instalment of £100,000 has been paid and £100,000 more is due in September, but the rest will be paid in three equal instalments on the first, second and third anniversaries of the deal.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has received a commitment to invest up to £1.4m from a single investor conditional on the deal to acquire medicinal cannabis company Kanabo Research. The investment will be for a maximum of 4.99% of the enlarged share capital, although if there is any of the £1.4m left it could be invested in a convertible loan note. The investment underpins the expected acquisition-related fundraising and a fee of 10% of the investment is payable.
General meeting resolutions to wind-up Avocet Mining (AVM) were withdrawn at its general meeting. This comes after discussions with shareholders. There is a few weeks cash left in the business and any potential transaction would have to come with finance to cover the costs of an acquisition process.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has commenced construction of 17 specially developed apartments and retail space on its West Derby property.
Fashion On Screen has listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange, which has European Growth Market status by the HMRC. This means that there is no stamp duty. The company had previously considered a listing on the Nasdaq First North market in Copenhagen. Fashion On Screen has raised more than £3m prior to its listing. A film based on the kidnapping of racing driver Juan Fangio in Cuba in 1958 could start before the end of the year (for more about the background to the story listen to https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p055fjfx).
AIM-quoted Aquis Exchange (AQX) is acquiring NEX Exchange from CME Group Inc, which bought it as part of its £3.9bn takeover of NEX Group. Aquis will pay £1, plus £2.7m for working capital requirements. The deal requires FCA approval so it is unlikely to complete before the autumn.
Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) is purchasing a residential mortgage portfolio for £258m. The loan portfolio has £266m outstanding and the yield is 3.6%.
Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) is raising £1.3m via a share issue at 0.1p a share and loan notes worth £904,000, which are convertible at the same share price. The cash will be used to acquire Rwanda-based Eastinco.
MESH Holdings (MESH) has reached an early agreement to exercise the option to acquire Sentiance. MESH will issue 4,000 shares for each Sentiance share. Sentiance will have €19m in cash when the deal completes. More than 404 million MESH shares will be issued, which is nearly two-thirds of the enlarged share capital. Trading in the shares is suspended until a circular is published in order to gain shareholder approval.
The forecast 2018-19 loss for health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) has been increased from £1m to £1.6m following clarity about what deals were signed prior to the year end. A return to profit is expected this year.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has announced a third interim dividend of 0.84p a share. The ex-dividend date is 11 July.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has extended its A$4m loan facility to 5 September. The two month extension cost A$160,000.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested a further $130,000 in Oyster Oil and Gas, taking its stake to 30%.
Trading in Ganapati (GANP) shares has been suspended because accounts for the year to January 2019 have not been published.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has appointed Cairn as its corporate adviser.
Science Group (SAG) has launched a 35p a share cash bid for Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) and that is higher than the indicative offer of 30p a share. Frontier advises that shareholders take no action and says that it has received approaches from other parties and there are discussions with one of them about the structure and pricing of any deal.
Independent directors of FFI Holdings (FFI) are recommending a bid of 25p a share, which values the film completion insurance provider at £39.5m. The mandatory offer comes two years after FFI floated at 150p a share.
IMImobile (IMO) continues to grow strongly in the Americas and Europe with 42% growth in revenues last year. The cloud and mobile services provider increased total revenues by 28% to £142.7m, with organic growth of 14% on a constant currency basis. Net debt was £7.5m at the end of March 2019 and cash generation is strong. Thee was £14.6m generated from operating activities last year.
Plastic components and packaging producer Synnovia (SYN) has refinanced its debt. The maximum amount available is £25.3m. The maturity has been extended from June 2021 to June 2023. The full year results will be published on 9 July.
Bango (BGO) has partnered with appScatter (APPS) in order to help the latter’s app development clients to grow in-app revenues.
Gfinity (GFIN) has generated better than expected revenues in the year to June 2019. The esports company expects to breakeven by 2021.
Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) is raising £14.18m via a placing at 15p a share, while an open offer could raise up to £3.94m. Revenues remain modest and the cash is required to cover continuing losses. Cash consumption is running at £1m a month and 2019 revenues of £1.1m are anticipated.
Churchill China (CHH) has generated higher than expected revenues in the hospitality sector, particularly in Europe. Full year trading will be ahead of expectations. The interims will be announced on 29 August.
Mirada (MIRA) is raising £2.1m from the sale of its Mirada Connect car park payment services business to part of VW. The business generated revenues of £633,000 and pre-tax profit of £122,000 in the year to March 2019. This will enable Mirada to concentrate on its digital TV business, where annual revenues are approaching $12m. Mirada had net debt of $4.9m at the end of March.
LightwaveRF (LWRF) has signed an agreement with Google to jointly market Lightwave compatible smart speakers that provide voice-controlled lighting.
Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) has secured its first OEM agreement for its AI-based imaging software and the share price nearly doubled on the back of the deal. The technology will be integrated into ultrasound systems. Initial royalties are expected in 2021.
Cellcast (CLTV) plans to sell its operating subsidiary to its management team, but it is unlikely to generate a good price because of its poor performance. The company will become a shell. Fraser Cropper of e-cigarette company Totally Wicked has taken a 3.7% stake.
InnovaDerma (IDP) has reassured investors that it is on course to more than double pre-tax profit to £1.5m in the year to June 2019. The pharma and beauty products supplier had £1.7m in the bank at the end of June 2019, which is better than expected. It is still down from £1.9m one year earlier.
Associated British Engineering (ASBE) has appointed FRP Advisory to find a buyer for loss-making British Polar Engines Ltd. There is a deficit of £1.35m on the pension scheme.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) has announced further outperformance by its crypto mining activities as the bitcoin price continues to recover. The company had £3.07m of crypto assets in the balance sheet at the end of June 2019, which is more than £200,000 more than expected. Additional equipment is being acquired.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) is raising £4.3m at 3p a share. The money will finance production growth at the Gakara rare earth project. There should be some cash left to pay for additional drilling.
Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has revised its 2018 accounts. The original version did not reflect two transactions with director James Longley.
Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has paid an initial dividend of 5.68p a share with a further dividend double that level (depending on exchange rates) due to be paid after the interim figures are published.
Boston International Holdings (BIH) has returned from suspension following the termination of the reverse takeover of Cornhill FX, which was first announced in August 2017. Boston could not raise the cash required. Management is assessing future strategy. The costs of the proposed transaction mean that cash is below £150,000, which is less than 50% of share capital.
Renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) says that holding back on operating expenditure has offset the downturn in demand due to warmer weather. Profit will be weighted to the first half. Good is investing in electric vehicle platform Zap-Map.
Brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) reported a more than halved pre-tax profit from £9.8m to £4.5m. Turnover improved from £92.2m to £96.9m and the profit decline was mainly due to a non-cash swing from gain to loss on swaps and a pension adjustment. Operating profit was flat at £12.9m. The Inns business improved its profit and individual pubs are making a higher profit contribution, but hotels profit declined. The total dividend was maintained at 3.36p a share. Net debt was £69.7m at the end of March 2019, while NAV was £180.7m. The pension liability has fallen from £34.9m to £24.8m.
KR1 (KR1) has sold 70,079 tokens in the Cosmos Network for $361,000. The average cost of the tokens was $0.10 each and they were sold for $5.14 each. KR1 has also generate a further 7,008 tokens from staking activities and these were sold for $6.93 each.
There was a sharp rise in the share price of TechFinancials Inc (TECH) but much of this gain was lost by the end of the week. There does not appear to be a reason for the rise. Full year results should be published this week. There will be an operating loss. There was $1.1m in the bank at the end of May 2019. The company is still waiting for approval from the Seychelles authorities for the €100,000 disposal of MarketFinancials. There will be write-downs of the value of diamond trading blockchain developer CEDEX and MarketFinancials.
EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a NAV of 272.02p a share at the end of May 2019. The company intends to start buying back shares and these purchases could exceed 25% of the average daily volume of ordinary shares.
Shareholders have approved the plan of Oyster Oil and Gas to distribute the shares of its main subsidiary to settle indebtedness and certain creditors. These include Gunsynd (GUN) although the exact shareholding has yet to be announced. Production sharing contracts in Madagascar and Djibouti are owned by the subsidiary. Gunsynd has raised £500,000 at 0.037p a share.
Trading in Via Developments (VIA1) debentures has recommenced following the publication of figures for 18 months to September 2018. The company has net liabilities of £329,000 with long-term debt of £5.68m offset by cash of £91,000. A subsidiary is securing debt and equity for a project that will generate management fees fir Via, but that won’t happen until September.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) is holding a general meeting on 3 July in order to gain shareholder approval for the acquisition of the 97.5% of Coal Tech and its related business that it does not own for £27.2m in shares at 2.75p each. CoalTech transforms discarded coal into coal pellets.
Lombard Odier sold 1.65 million shares in Chapel Down Group (CDGP) at 75p a share, reducing its stake to 11.5%. Chief executive Frazer Thompson exercised 2.39 million options at 12.5p a share and finance director Richard Woodhouse exercised 200,000 options at 10p a share and all these shares were sold at 75p each.
Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) has received another bid approach. Previous potential bidder Science Group (SAG) has built up a 28.3% stake in Frontier so it is in a strong position. It says that it does not intend to sell the shares to another bidder and could block any move to cancel the AIM quotation.
Park Group (PARK) increased investment in the business last year and this knocked underlying pre-tax profit progress which was flat at £12.5m, before asset write-downs. The dividend was increased by 5% to 3.2p a share. There was a smaller contribution from Christmas savings, but growth from corporate promotions and incentives offset that. Increasingly, business is card-based. There was £36.9m of the company’s own cash at the end of March 2019. There will be a dip in profit this year due to higher overheads and profit growth should resume in 2020-21. Chief executive Ian O’Doherty has bought 30,000 shares at 69.5p each.
Stanley Gibbons (SGB) has resolved claims against former management at antique dealer Mallett and this will result in a cash inflow of £850,000 over 12 months.
Safestyle (SSTY) has acquired the freehold of a 161 bed hostel in Pisa for €3.25m. This takes the company’s portfolio to 14 hostels, including the Paris site that is under construction.
Last year was about OnTheMarket (OTMP) building up the number of agencies on its property portal and increasing the number of homebuyers looking at the properties advertised. The rival to Rightmove and Zoopla needs to convert these agencies into fee payers and that process has just started. OnTheMarket will continue to be loss-making this year with higher marketing spending likely to offset higher revenues. Cash is expected to fall from £15.7m to £6.6m at the end of January 2019.
NWF (NWF) did better than expected in the year to May 2019. The feeds business was slightly behind the previous year, but new business helped the food warehouse business to significantly improve its performance and fuels did better than expected despite the milder winter, although behind the previous year. The results will be published on 30 July.
Industrial equipment distributor HC Slingsby (SLNG) says that pressure on margin means that operating profit in the four months to April 2019 is lower, even though revenues are slightly higher. Uncertainty over Brexit is affecting levels of demand in the first half of 2019. Net debt was £1.3m at the end of May 2019.
The actuarial deficit on the Molins UK Pension Fund has been cut from £69.9m to £35.2m over a three-year period. Mpac (MPAC) believes the deficit should be eliminated by July 2024. That is based on maintained payments into the scheme.
Filta (FLTA) says that its figures will be more skewed towards the second half. This is partly down to the integration of the Watbio grease management business. There has been growth in the FiltaSeal business and the North American FiltaFry fryer management franchise business.
Avingtrans (AVG) has acquired the Booth Industries specialist door manufacturing business from the administrator of Redhall (RHL) for £1.8m in cash. Booth made a pre-tax profit of £300,000 last year.
Full year results from fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) were slightly better than expected. Revenues were 6% ahead at £209m, while re-tax profit was a similar percentage higher at £23.5m. The dividend was increased by 10% to 4.25p a share. Trading remains tough.
Aquila Services (AQSG) has acquired education and sports consultancy Oaks Consultancy for up to £1.7m in cash and shares. In the year to March 2019, Oaks made a pre-tax profit of £254,000 on revenues of £909,000.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) is converting $2.89m of loans into 121.5 million shares. Management made most of the loans and chief executive Colin Patterson will end up with 19.1% of Bluebird. Bluebird is debt-free.
Standard list shell Safe Harbour Holdings (SHH) lost £2.3m in 2018 due to overheads and due diligence costs. There is still £26.9m in the bank.
Ananda Developments (ANA) is amending its investing strategy and acquiring Tiamat Agriculture, which is applying for a UK controlled drug cannabis cultivation and supply licence. Anglia Salads and JEPCO will provide cannabis growing expertise. The new investing strategy will include the cultivation of medicinal cannabis. URA Holdings will subscribe £400,000 for shares at 0.45p each.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £1m at 0.1p a share and the cash will be used to acquire a 2.34% stake in Apollon Formularies Ltd. AfriAg hopes to gain first refusal to acquire the rest of Apollon in a transaction that would value the company at £40m.
Good Energy (GOOD) will redeem the first Good Energy Bond, which was launched in 2013, before the end of June. The outstanding principal is £3.6m and the cash for repayment will come from the disposals of Newton Downs and Brynwhilach solar farms to the local communities. The cash helped to develop nearly 150MW of renewable generation projects.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that gold recoveries in Honduras have been low and it is considering whether to sell to the joint venture partner or take full control of the operations. Gold trading volumes are increasing but the contribution to overheads is modest.
Panther Minerals (PALM) has applied for an exploration licence for the Marrakai gold project in Northern Territory, Australia. Panther has also acquired additional ground surrounding the former Little Bear mine in Ontario, Canada.
Formation Group (FORM) reported a reduced loss in the six months to February 2019. There is £3.05m in cash in the balance sheet.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is investing up to £150,000 in convertible loan notes in ASSIF, which is developing a digital product to improve mental health. The first tranche has been drawn down and the rest will be invested when design work is completed. The loan notes are convertible into up to 35% of ASSIF, depending on the milestones achieved prior to conversion.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has shipped 34,500 tonnes of precious metal pyrite concentrate from the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania.
Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) has started offering high energy proton beam therapy in Bomarsund in Northumberland.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) non-executive director Dominic Burke has nearly doubled his shareholding to 2.8%. Tim Syder increased his stake to 3.1%.
V22 (V22O) will leave NEX at the close of business on 31 May.
SafeCharge International (SCH) is recommending a $5.55 (436p) a share cash offer from a subsidiary of fellow payment services provider Nuvei Corporation, valuing the company at £699m. The final dividend of 7.22p a share will be paid. The international payments processor joined AIM five years ago at 162p a share. Nuvei has a strong market position in North America and SafeCharge provides scale in Europe.
Trading in the shares of LXB Retail Properties (LXB) has been suspended following court approval of the dissolution of the company and a return of capital of 1.2p a share. The cancellation of the quotation will happen on 31 May.
Volvere (VLE) has sold its oldest subsidiary Sira Defence and Security for £3m, although management bonuses of £320,000 will be paid out of the proceeds. Sira cost a nominal amount and has contributed cash to the group. This leaves 80%-owned frozen pies maker Shire Foods, which increased its full year pre-tax profit from £635,000 to £854,000. Even stripping out incentive payments relating to the sale of the Impetus business, Shire hardly makes enough profit to cover central overheads.
Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) has confirmed that its full year revenues will be at least £102m and EBITDA at least £19m, an increase of 15%. The growth is a combination of acquisitive and organic. Knights Group (KGH) says that its full year revenues will be not less than £52.4m and underlying pre-tax profit will be ahead of expectations at £9.7m.
Argentina-focused oil and gas producer President Energy (PPC) increased revenues by 160% to $47.2m in 2018 and this enabled it to move into profit. This year pre-tax profit is set to improve from $3.5m to $17.3m as last year’s acquisition makes a more significant contribution and capital investment starts to pay back. Average production is expected to be 3,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2019.
Science Group (SAG) has taken a 9% stake in digital radio technology developer Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) at 12.5p a share. Science offered to acquire the whole company via a cash bid of 30p a share but the proposal met with a negative response from the target’s board and the offer has been withdrawn.
Caledonian Trust (CNN) has renegotiated the conditions of the proposed sale of St Margaret’s House in Edinburgh, which was announced in February 2018. The buyer is still in the process of applying for planning consent and it has three months in which to submit the application, plus 12 months to secure consent. A further three months will be allowed to find a pre-let and Caledonia will vacate the property six months after that. This means that it could be two years before the transaction is completed. The consideration is still £15m, compared with a book value of £8m.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has received a £300,000 investment at 1.2p a share and appointed Colin Harrington to the board as executive chairman. Origin Creek Energy has a 14.8% shareholding following the share issue. This replaces the previously announced subscription at a lower share price and Robert Bensh has left the board because of that.
Kibo Energy (KIBO) says that 60%-owned flexible power generation development subsidiary MAST Energy Developments is acquiring Bordersley Power Ltd, which is developing a 5MW gas-fuelled power generation plant and relevant grid connections. The deal is dependent on certain conditions.
Cellcast (CLTV) is owed £453,000 by a Kenyan client of its gaming and lottery consultancy activities, which generated revenues of £395,000 in 2018. The government in Kenya is cracking down on advertising of gambling and it had previously raised taxation rates. Cellcast had £698,000 in the bank at the end of 2018.
Trading in the shares of Dublin-based Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has been suspended ahead of the proposed all share acquisition of the larger Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, which is a subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed Novelion Therapeutics Inc. Amryt plans to raise $60m from a share issue.
Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) has made a non-binding offer for Entertainment AI Inc although it is still subject to due diligence on the artificial intelligence and machine learning company. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) says trading continues to improve even though sales to UK professional customers are subdued. The overseas market is stronger. Margins are improving.
Motor finance provider S and U (SUS) says that profit from its core business has improved so far this year. The property bridging lending business has increased its loan book to £22m.
Sativa Investments (SATI) has made two investments in the past week. A C$200,000 investment in Rapid Dose Therapeutics Inc has been made prior to a flotation. The company’s QuickStrip fast-dissolving strip technology can be used to deliver medicinal cannabis. The other investment is in Veritas Pharma. A further C$200,000 is being invested in Veritas, which develops and commercialises medicinal cannabis treatments for chronic pain and palliative care.
Gunsynd (GUN) says that Danish software business FastBase Inc is delaying its flotation. An AIM quotation was originally planned but it may come to the standard list. There may also be a corporate transaction. Gunsynd has a 10% stake in Sunshine Minerals, which has announced that the authorities in the Solomon Islands intends to issue a prospecting licence for its nickel project as long as it gains right of access with land owners.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reported halved revenues in the six months to February 2018. Orders for the company’s rail systems and technology have been disappointing due to tight budgets and admin delays. The interim revenues fell from £104,000 to £46,000.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) raised £80,000 from an open offer at 94p a share.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had a NAV of 41.5p a share at the end of February 2018, down from 43.5p a share one year earlier. The employee-owned business investor invested £324,000 in the latest six month period. There is £789,000 in the bank.
Stride Gaming (STR) intends to get rid of its poorly performing social gaming business and concentrate on growing its online gaming operations internationally. Licences are being applied for and Italy should be up and running in the near future. As expected increased regulation and tax are holding back profit. Revenues should grow this year but pre-tax profit is expected to decline from £18.9m to £14.2m and be flat next year.
Watkin Jones (WJG) increased its revenues by 18% to £158.3m in the first half. Pre-tax profit was 12% ahead at £23.6m. Student accommodation developments remain the core but build to let developments will become more important over the coming years. There is even potential for a separate operation focused on build to let. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to be £48.1m.
Sanderson (SND) put in a strong first half performance. The enterprise software provider had an initial contribution from Anisa but even so the like-for-like profit was higher even though like-for-like revenues only edged up. The retail business was the main driver of profit growth and the improved order book, which increased from £2.78m to £8.61m. The like-for-like order book was 16% higher. The interim dividend was increased by 14% to 1.25p a share. Earnings per share rose by 44% to 2.3p a share, helped by a lower tax charge.
Oxford Metrics (OMG) has completed the disposal of its Yotta Surveying business to Ginger Group. The sale of the highways surveying business will generate £1.3m in cash. Oxford Metrics still owns the Yotta software.
GetBusy (GETB) has made a strong start to 2018 with revenues 17% ahead in the first four months of the year. Stockdale expects the software company to increase its profit from £1m to £1.6m this year.
River and Mercantile has sold its shares in InterQuest (ITQ) and Chisbridge has increased its stake to 51.4%. This comes at a time when InterQuest is seeking to cancel the AIM quotation and investors are being offered 24p a share.
Best of the Best (BOTB) has received the full £4.5m VAT claim from the HMRC. There will be fees and costs to offset against this. On the negative side, HMRC says that the company owes retrospective remote gaming duty for a period of four years.
Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) says tough trading in the second quarter will hit the full year outcome. Expectations have been downgraded to revenues of £34.9m and EBITDA of £800,000. There will be an EBITDA loss of £1.5m in the first half. Excess stock levels hit orders for the digital radio division. Smart audio revenues are expected to grow slower than envisaged originally because of competition in the market. Development spending is being reduced.
Magnolia Petroleum (MAGP) wants to cancel its AIM quotation. The oil and gas producer estimates that it will save £100,000 a year by leaving AIM. The strategy is to sell assets in order to reduce debt.
Clear Leisure (CLP) is raising £600,000 at 0.95p a share. The cash will be invested in the bitcoin data mining business and fund continued litigation.
Trading in the shares of Path Investments (PATH) remains suspended and the AIM flotation continues to be delayed. The acquisition of a 50% stake in an onshore gas field in Germany is progressing. The 2017 annual report should be published in June.
Fandango Holdings (FHP) has secured two potential factoring and financial services acquisitions. The standard list shell would issue 908.4 million shares for the acquisition. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
Predator Oil and Gas (PRD) joined the standard list on 24 May. The share price edged up from 2.8p to 2.88p. The flotation raised £1.3m to finance the plan to acquire oil and gas assets in Trinidad and Tobago and Ireland.
Bisichi Mining (BISI) has acquired five shops in west Ealing (via a joint venture) for £5.6m. Bisichi and its main shareholder London and Associated Property will each own 45% with the other 10% owned by Metroprop Real Estate. The annual rental income is £140,000 and there is planning consent for 20 flats.
Life sciences company Bioquell (BQE) has sold its defence business for an initial £400,000. Up to £600,000 more could become due depending on winning a particular contract in the next 12 months. This business is lumpy and it made a small loss last year.
WideCells (WDC) is still finalising its 2017 accounts. The stem cell services provider is offering the chance for small investors to invest up to £450,000, via a bookbuild using the Teathers app and that was due to close on 21 May but it will be extended until the results are published. Trading in the shares remains suspended.
Shepherd Neame (SHEP) improved its interim revenues and underlying pre-tax profit. Revenues were 6% ahead at £84.1m and underlying profit edged up from £5.7m to £5.8m. The interim dividend has been raised from 5.62p a share to 5.75p a share. Net debt was £79.5m. The main growth in revenues was in the managed pubs and hotels division. There was an underlying improvement in the profitability of the brewing business, where own beer volumes were 4.2% higher.
Ashley House (ASH) has reached financial close on the Scarborough extra care housing development. There are 63 apartments plus communal areas and the gross development value is £10m. completion is expected in spring 2019. A housing development and health scheme are likely to follow. This development is not part of the Morgan Sindall joint venture. Non-executive director Christopher Lyons has bought 31,000 shares at 10.09p a share.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a fully diluted NAV of 239p a share on 5 March 2018 but that was prior to the Luceco profit warning. The NAV included Luceco (LUCE) shares at 77.8p each but the price has subsequently fallen to 57.2p a share. EPE is the largest shareholder in LED lighting products supplier and this was the second profit warning in three months. The original 2017 profit expectation was £16.7m and this has been cut to £11m.
Western Selection (WESP) has raised £668,000 from the disposal of shares in Swallowfield (SWL) and it has a remaining stake of 7.71%. Western sold 120,000 Swallowfield shares at 330p each and 80,000 at 340p each. Last month, personal care products supplier Swallowfield bought men’s grooming brand, Fish for an initial £2.7m.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has issued £4.76m of convertible loan notes as part of the £4.85m open offer. A holder of an existing £500,000 loan note is converting into the latest convertible loan notes and like the other subscribers is receiving one warrant for each £1 of loan notes.
MetalNRG (MNRG) says a licence has been granted relating to the Palomino cobalt project, where the company has the right to acquire a 100% stake in return for two million shares at 1.5p each. MetalNRG is also issuing 500,000 shares for work that has already been carried out.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has raised £2.16m at 270p a share. The cash will be invested in sales and marketing and developing new cyber security products.
Good Energy (GOOD) says that holders of £3.6m of its first energy bonds have agreed to retain them, while the other £4.3m worth will be repaid on 29 March.
Co-chairman David Sumner has increased the amount of Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) loan notes he will subscribe for to £5m. The outstanding balance is currently £2.7m and additional tranches of up to £200,000 can be subscribed for each month.
London Capital Group Holdings (LCG) is selling a 91.5% stake in its Tradex and 100% of other subsidiary companies to its main shareholder in return for £4.64m of loan notes with a coupon of 8%. The costs of the NEX quotation will also be covered by the buyer. The remaining 8.5% of Tradex can be acquired for £431,000 in loan notes. The disposal requires FCA approval. London Capital will seek a fintech business to acquire within the required six month period.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) and Wishbone Gold (WSBN) have joined NEX. They are both retaining their AIM quotations and are chaired by Richard Poulden.
VR Education has raised more cash than it originally asked for. It has raised £6m at 10p a share and this values the company at £19.3m. The company has developed the ENGAGE education platform and is also developing corporate training and educational content to go on the platform. The business is generating revenues but it still has to take full advantage of the technology it has developed.
Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) increased its revenues from £16.3m to £47m last year and annualised bookings continue to grow. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £195,000 to £3.08m. Yu has gained a licence to supply water. The dividend has been increased from 2.25p to 3p a share.
Share (SHRE) has continued to add to its market share. In 2017, the broker revenues grew from £14.6m to £18.7m and it moved back to underlying pre-tax profit. Digital investment continues and the benefits of this will increasingly show through over the next couple of years. This year the recent partnerships will make a 12 month contribution. Higher interest rates will also help to increase interest income on the cash held.
Smart audio sales started to take off last year and Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) continues to invest in this area. The original digital radio technology business is profitable but the development costs for smart audio more than wipe that profit out. Net cash was £3m at the end of 2017 and this should be enough for Frontier’s requirements. There is scope to grow the digital radio business but smart audio will provide the main growth. From a tiny percentage in 2016, smart audio could contribute nearly two-fifths of revenues in 2019.
Begbies Traynor (BEG) has bought Springboard Corporate Finance for an initial £2.75m in cash and shares. Springboard generated a pre-tax profit of £750,000 on revenues of £2.3m in 2016-17. Up to £500,000 more will be payable depending on performance over the next five years. Begbies says that third quarter trading is in line with expectations. Corporate insolvencies are increasing, albeit from low levels.
Polemos (PLMO) has terminated the proposal to acquire SecurLinx Corporation, which still hopes to come to the London market. Trading in the shares has been restored. Polemos is raising £270,000 at 0.01p a share, plus a further £140,000 conditional on shareholder approval. These placings are before the planned share consolidation of one new share to every 100 existing shares. When additional approvals are given by shareholders a share offering will be made via PrimaryBid.
Netcall (NET) more than doubled its interim SaaS revenues thanks to the purchase of MatsSoft. Interim revenues grew by one-third to £10.7m, which includes organic growth of 5%. Underlying pre-tax profit was 8% ahead at £1.8m. Net debt is £2.5m.
Audio products supplier Focusrite (TUNE) reported sales growth of more than 25% in the first half. Edison upgraded its full year profit forecast by 4% to £10.4m.
Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) has secured the use of its graphene-enhanced epoxy prepreg in the tailgate of the W Motors Fenyr sports car. This is a limited market but it is a good showcase for the technology.
Second half trading was stronger than expected at FIH Group (FIH) as both trading in the Falkland Islands and Momart improved their performance. This has led to an upgrade in the 2017-18 profit forecast from £2.5m to £2.8m.
GRC International (GRC) raised £5.04m at 70p a share when it joined AIM on 5 March. The share price ended the week at 115p. GRC provides services relating to IT governance and compliance.
Zamano (ZMNO) had €5.05m in the bank at the end of January 2018. It remains in talks for potential acquisitions that would enable the company to remain quoted. Part of any deal would be the offer of a cash return to existing shareholders. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
Microsaic Systems (MSYS) had £3.2m in the bank at the end of 2017. Microsaic is focusing on the biopharma market but it could take until 2019 for its partners to start to generate revenues from its technology. There should be enough cash for more than one year but more will be required. Costs have been reduced.
SysGroup (SYS) has signed a three-year managed hosting deal with TJ Morris Ltd, trading as discount retailer Home Bargains, worth more than £950,000.
Contract research organisation Fusion Antibodies (FAB) says that its 2017-18 revenues are expected to grow by at least two-fifths to £1.9m. Last year’s flotation took up management time so revenues are lower than hoped.
Attraqt (ATQT) reported a full year loss of £4.05m, including exceptional costs of £2.38m. The e-commerce software provider intends to focus on operational efficiency this year. There was £2m in the bank at the end of February.
BOS Global Holdings (BOS) has been placed in administration.
Instem (INS) has switched a long-standing client to the SaaS model and this will increase recurring revenues by two-fifths. There are potentially £10m of fees that could be converted to the recurring revenues model.
WANdisco (WAND) has announced more deals including a partnership with Alibaba, which will embed WANdisco Fusion in some of the cloud services that it offers. Total bookings increased by 45% to $22.5m in 2017 and this has sparked a 2018 revenues upgrade by WH Ireland from $25.5m to $30.8m, although a slightly higher loss of $6.5m is expected. WANdisco could move near to breakeven in 2019.
Mirada (MIRA) has secured a £3m loan facility, which adds to the existing facilities. An initial £1.5m will be drawn down within two months. This provides working capital to finance additional contract wins. The annual interest rate is 15%. The provider of the facility is a 27% shareholder.
Strategic Minerals (SML) has paid A$1.5m in cash and A$1.45m in shares for the Leigh Creek copper mine. Strategic has acquired 24,900 tonnes of JORC compliant resource copper. Production should build up to 200 tonnes of copper each month and there is an offtake agreement for 100% of copper production. Strategic has extended its rolling agreement with the owner of the Cobre magnetite stockpile until March 2019. This deal generated revenues of $5.64m in 2017.
Zoo Digital (ZOO) says full year revenues will be at least $28m, up from $16.5m last year, while EBITDA will be ahead of expectations and be at least $2.3m. Localisation services remain the main growth area. Herald has reduced its stake from 15.7% to 14.6%.
Volvere (VLE) says that its 2017 pre-tax profit improved from £1.94m to £3.22m. Impetus Automotive contributed the growth in profit with CCTV software company Sira and Shire Foods reporting lower profits. NAV is 656p a share, with £18.4m in cash and marketable securities.
AFC Energy (AFC) reduced its loss to £5.5m in 2017. The fuel cell technology developer should have enough cash for this year, but it is likely to run out in 2019. AFC could move into profit in 2020.
Pallet developer RM2 International (RM2) has received $2m from the disposal of a building in Switzerland. That means it will have enough cash until mid-April.
Drilling is set to recommence at the Stonepark zinc project in Limerick and Connemara Mining (CON) has set aside £250,000 to cover its share of the spending over the next 12 months. Connemara has a 23.4% stake in the joint venture that owns the project.
Drilling results from the Kodal Minerals (KOD) lithium project at Bougouni in Southern Mali continue to be positive. The latest 19 drill holes have shown high grade intersections of consistent pegmatite mineralisation of up to 1.68% Li2O.
Clear Leisure (CLP) is ready to set up its Bitcoin mining joint venture in Serbia. Management says that the joint venture could produce more Bitcoins at a lower cost than expected. That would increase the return on the €200,000 investment. Assuming a Bitcoin price of $10,000 and an 8% discount rate, the investment could eventually be worth €389,000.
Bioquell (BQE) reported a rise in pre-exceptional profit from £1.6m to £2.9m in 2017. This was despite a decline in defence revenues. There is £14.6m in the bank. The focus is the biodecontamination business and management believes that this will show through in improved performance this year.
InnovaDerma (IDP) has warned that its full year figures will be below expectations. The personal care products supplier always expected the year to be second half-weighted and full year revenues will be higher. However pre-tax profit will be similar to the £1.03m reported for last year. Last October, £4.4m was raised at 276p a share. The share price has fallen to 121.5p.
Toople (TOOP) has raised £250,000 at 1.022p a share. This will keep the telecoms business going as it tries to increase its revenues in order to reduce its loss. Last June, Toople raised £1.41m at 3.25p a share. Toople joined the standard list in May 2016 when it raised £2m at 8p a share.
Path Investments (PATH) is delaying its exit from the standard list until 29 March. The plan is to move to AIM when an oil and gas asset acquisition is made.
Mechan Controls (MECP) is selling its main subsidiary to its technical director and intends to sell its other business and return cash to shareholders. The core business is being sold for up to £2m, with a minimum of £1.64m, including £1.24m initially, payable. The final £360,000 is dependent on the buyers selling the 142,300 shares they own in Mechan Controls. This leaves the group with Nirvana Engineering, which made a pre-tax profit of £352,000 last year. The company is changing its name to Mandicon.
Wine maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) is putting a brave face on the frosts at the end of April. These were the worst frosts in April for two decades. There was a patchy impact with some vineyards impacted and some not. The company says that it mitigates risk by sourcing fruit from a wider area. The potential crop will become clearer in June. A further 129 acres of vineyard will be planted in the rest of this year.
Bulgaria property investment company Black Sea Property (BSP) is still negotiating a loan from UniCredit Bulbank to finance the acquisition of the UniCredit Building. Black Sea Property is paying €10.52m for the building – a deposit of €1.04m has been paid – and €7.6m of this will come from a loan. Once this loan is secured then a share issue can be undertaken. It appears that the deal may not be completed in May as originally envisaged. Unicredit can remain in the building for six months after completion and does not have to pay rent. The deposit will be forfeited if the deal does not go ahead. Black Sea Property has extended the repayment date of £100,000 of the unsecured loan facility from Phoenix Capital to the end of July. Discussions continue about the assignment to Phoenix of the investment advisory agreement from AG Asset Management. Anthony Gardner-Hillman is stepping down from the board and a replacement should be appointed in the near future.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has acquired the Grosvenor Casino site in George Street, Manchester for £4m. The annual rental is £300,000. Ace has also bought the company that owns Willow House in Aldershot for £1.05m.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that the loan of £497,500 has been repaid with interest by 4 Navitas. The talks about a joint venture have ended and Angelfish is trying to recover professional fees and expenses. This means that Angelfish has £1.1m in the bank and a loan to One Media Enterprises of $425,500 and it is seeking pre-IPO investments. It should be remembered that Angelfish has £2.3m of preference shares in issue.
Early stage investor Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that cloud-based food service business Fresho has announced that annualised revenues through its platform is nearly A$100m. The platform connects wholesalers and suppliers to restaurants, hotels, independent supermarkets, hospitals, pubs and other retailers. Additional automation will help to boost margins. Primorus, which is also quoted on AIM, invested £175,000 in Fresho in September 2016. Another round of funding is expected early next year. That will provide an opportunity to revalue the existing investment.
Etaireia Investments (ETIP) is buying two office buildings at Whitehouse Office Park in Peterlee, County Durham, with 113 out of the 125 year lease left unexpired. The purchase price of £1.125m will be paid through a combination of 600 million shares at 0.1p a share, giving Taxspecialefx (Peterlee) LLP a 24.3% stake, and cash payment of £525,000 deferred for 12 months. Completion is expected within three months. The annual rental income is £99,500. The seller is entitled to 75% of rental income until the deferred payment is made.
Adnams (ADB) non-executive director Guy Heald has sold 310 B shares at £114 each, raising £35,340. He retains 15.9% of the B shares.
All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised £40,500 at 0.075p a share. Equatorial Mining & Exploration (EM.P) has raised £14,000 via the exercising of warrants at 0.01p each and it has also issued 110 million irredeemable 0.01p convertible loan notes.
The new management team has spent 2016 restructuring Quantum Pharma (QP.). One part of the business has been closed and another may be divested. The focus is niche pharmaceuticals and specials. In the year to January 2017, pre-tax profit dropped from £10.1m £6.2m. There will be a recovery in profit this year but it will take another year for profit to get back to £10m.
Podcasts supplier Audioboom (BOOM) has increased its revenues from £192,000 to £1.31m although it continues to lose money. There is already more than £3m of recognised or pre-booked advertising for 2017. Audioboom has built up its user base and it has started to generate revenues on the back of that. The acquisition of advertising technology firm SONR should help to further target advertising. Audioboom will make a further loss this year and, even after raising around £5m, the net cash is expected to be less than £1m at the end of 2017.
Management spent a significant amount of time last year sorting out the operations that Inspiration Healthcare (IHC) inherited when it reversed into the AIM-quoted business. This meant that underlying profit was flat at £1.1m. Demand for pre-natal care equipment and services is rising. There is scope for further organic growth and for acquisitions.
Pennant International Group (PEN) says that Lockheed Martin has increased the size of a contract from £200,000 to £2.2m, with potential for me. The total order book is worth more than £35m.
A concept study for the CS pozzolan-perlite project has persuaded Sunrise Resources (SRES) to focus on the project. It is thought that the 100%-owned project should have low caped and operating expenses thanks to surface mining and simple production processes. The pozzolan mined can be used as a greener alternative to Portland cement. There are no defined resources yet.
Onshore oil and gas explorer Egdon Resources (EDR) has submitted a new planning application for the Wressle field development. This follows the rejection of the previous planning application by North Lincolnshire Council. Egdon is also appealing the original decision.
Verona Pharma (VRP) raised $80m at the time of its flotation on Nasdaq. The shares were issued at 132p each and the ADSs issued in the US at $13.50 each – one ADS represents eight shares. The ADSs are trading on the Nasdaq Global Market. Last month, respiratory disease treatment developer has received authorisation from the FDA to proceed with a clinical trial for RPL554.
Manufacturer of professional audio equipment Focusrite (TUNE) produced good interim figures thanks to strong sales in North America. Interim revenues were 24% higher at £32m with pre-tax profit 89% ahead at £4.6m. Net cash is £9.4m and the interim dividend was raised by 15% to 0.75p a share. . Edison has upgraded its 2016-17 pre-tax profit forecast from £8m to £8.5m.
The Article 6 Marital Trust has become the largest shareholder in FIH Group (FIH), with 28.9%, following the sale of shares by Blackfish Capital Alpha Fund and former bidder Staunton Holdings at 300p each. Edmund Rowland has stepped down as chairman.
PowerHouse Energy (PHE) has moved its ultra high temperature gasification waste to energy G3-UHt unit to the Thornton Science Park, operated by the University of Cheshire. This will enable further development and opportunities for demonstrating the technology.
LED lighting products developer Photonstar LED (PSL) has taken advantage of a sharp share price recovery to raise £465,000 at 1.25p. The cash will be used to roll-out new product ranges.
Sanderson Group (SND) says that interim figures are in line with expectations. The retail and manufacturing software provider increased interim revenues from £9.86m to £10.9m – just under 50% is recurring revenues. Digital retail revenues were one-fifth higher. Net cash was £4.51m at the end of March 2017. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £3.44m to £3.72m. The interims will be published on 24 May.
Strategic Minerals (SML) is acquiring its joint venture partner’s stake in Central Australia Rare Earths for £522,500. Larger amounts of funding will be required to explore the resource than originally thought. Cash generated from Cobre in New Mexico will be used to finance this investment.
Digital audio technology developer Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) says that its first half revenues is significantly ahead of last year and full year EBITDA is set to be well ahead of expectations with margins higher than anticipated. Analogue radio has been switched off in Norway and there is strong demand for digital radio across Europe. Smart audio contracts have been won and there will be a better indication of progress in the second half.
Gas producer Ascent Resources (AST) has re-entered the second well at the Petisovci gas field in Slovenia. The well is being prepared for production, which should take four weeks. There has been a further objection to the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control permit, which it requires to build a gas processing plant so more gas can be produced.
DP Poland (DPP) says that system sales grew by 21% in the first quarter of 2017. There have been eight stores added this year and a new commissary is under construction.
Accident prone Redcentric (RCN) appears to be sorting itself out but it is not out of the woods yet. Net debt is estimated at £39.5m at the end of March 2017 and the bank appears to support the company. Waivers have been received for covenant breaches and there were large exceptional charges. The underlying pre-tax profit is forecast to rise from £6.3m to £9.1m.
Personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) has acquired the owner of the IP for Prolong, the only FDA-approved medical device for the treatment of premature ejaculation, a market valued at more than $1bn a year. This is part of a strategy to build up a life sciences division. Prolong is a non-prescription, vibrating medical device that is used in training in order to increase time between arousal and ejaculation. The device could cost between £250 and £300. InnovaDerma is paying £1m in shares, issued at a 25% discount to the market price minus the settlement of current liabilities at the current share price – estimated at £323,600. On top of this, a royalty of £11 per unit sold will be paid until the patent runs out in 2031 and if Prolong generates an operating margin of 20% in any year a bonus of £150,000 is payable. Prolong will be launched in North America in the second half of 2017 and Europe and Australia next year. InnovaDerma also announced that its self-tanning Skinny Tan products will be available on the ASOS website.
Opera Investments (OPRA) is going ahead with its acquisition of Kibo Gold from AIM-quoted Kibo Mining (KIBO) for £3.66m in shares at 6p each and moving from the standard list to AIM. The acquisition has the Imweru and Lubando gold projects in Tanzania. Opera is also raising £1.5m at 6p a share – it already had £486,000 in the bank. The Imweru project could be producing 50,000 ounces of gold a year within two years. Opera is changing its name to Katoro Gold.