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Cancer treatment developer Incanthera (INC) had cash of £392,000 at the end of March 2020, following its fundraising when it joined the Aquis Stock Exchange. The company has a call option on more than £350,000 of additional cash. That should fund this year’s requirements and make the company’s cash last until next summer. The initial focus is topical cream Sol, which prevents sun damage turning into skin cancer.
European Lithium (EUR) has obtained initial funding from the EU-backed Greenpeg programme to support lithium sourced from Europe. The cash goes towards to the Wolfsburg lithium project in Austria.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that the Yangibana rare earths joint venture has commenced drilling at the project. The plan is to increase the existing 21.25Mt JORC resource. The drilling will continue until October. The Amapa iron ore project, where Cadence will own a 20% stake, is set to start shipping its stockpile early in the third quarter of this year.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) intends to change its investment strategy to one focused on healthcare.
TechFinancials (TECH) had cash of $672,000 at the end of 2019. However, write-offs mean that net assets have fallen to $309,000. Management is uncertain about the future of the Footies ticketing technology operation.
Altona Resources (ANR) had net liabilities of £353,000 at the end of 2019. There is a bank overdraft of £100,000.
Globe Capital Ltd (GCAP) is currently being supported by one of its shareholders Toddbrook Investments and the company’s loan note provider. Net assets were turned into net liabilities of £88,000 at the end of 2019.
Digital payments and fraud prevention services provider Boku (BOKU) is buying rival Fortumo Holdings for an enterprise value of $41m. Boku has raised £20.1m at 85p a share to finance the acquisition. In 2019, Fortumo made EBITDA of $2.3m on revenues of $7.2m. Fortumo is focused on smaller businesses than Boku.
International pensions administrator STM (STM) has made a good start to 2020, but profit is still set to decline this year, although that is partly due to the lack of one-off income. The current share price reflects this with the prospective multiple of eight, but that could fall to less than five in 2021.
Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) has increased the JORC compliant mineral resource estimate at the Asacha gold mine to 452,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 14.7g/t and 1.33 million ounces of silver at an average grade of 44g/t. Three-quarters of this is in the measured and indicated category. The mine life should extend to 2027. More drilling is planned in the east zone. A final dividend of $0.023 a share is proposed, and the shares go ex-dividend on 9 July.
Best of the Best (BOTB) has received tentative bid approaches and management is exploring strategic options. This follows the announcement of the competitions organiser’s full year figures. A 3p a share final dividend and 20p a share special dividend were announced.
Feedback (FDBK) is raising up to £5.59m via a placing and open offer at 1p a share in order to invest in the development and marketing of its Bleepa medical imaging communications platform. This could double the number of shares in issue. A one-for-ten open offer will raise up to £540,000 depending on the take-up. Stanford Capital was the bookrunner.
VR Education (VRE) reported a 43% increase in 2019 revenues and the loss was reduced. COVID-19 has increased interest in virtual reality-based conferences and this has probably pushed VR Education much further ahead than it would have been. The benefits of this will show though in the next couple of years as revenues grow faster than previously expected. The cash injection from HTC means that VR Education has plenty of cash for its requirements.
Omega Diagnostics (ODX) is raising up to £11m at 40p a share in order to finance further COVID-19 testing opportunities and to increase production capacity.
Inspiration Healthcare (IHC) is acquiring SLE, which makes ventilators for neonatal intensive care, for £18m in cash and shares. A £16.5m placing at 65p a share and an open offer raising up to £500,000 at the same share price will fund the cash element of the acquisition price.
Urban Exposure (UEX) says that Randeesh and Danjit Sandhu have resigned and will receive settlement payments, while Ravi Thakar has been made redundant. They can also sell their shares. This is because of the decision to stop taking new property loan business. NAV is estimated at 84p a share at the end of 2019. An orderly wind down should produce 70p-83p a share. A loan book sale is not currently attractive. There should be quarterly cash distributions as cash comes into the company.
Information management services provider IDOX (IDOX) made a strong recovery in the first half. Revenues were 13% ahead at £35.1m, while there was a small pre-tax profit from continuing operations. More than 90% of full year revenues have been contracted. Net debt fell from £26.4m to £14.3m over the six months to April 2020.
Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) has raised 315m at 120.5p a share. An initial £5m will be invested in projects to enhance growth and the rest will provide additional working capital. Trading in the year to March 2020 was in line with forecasts adjusted for COVID-19 effects. There have been improving activity levels since May.
Seafox International has lodged a second requisition for a general meeting at Gulf Marine Services (GMS) and it has been accepted. Seafox proposes Hassan Heikal and Hesham Helbouny as directors.
Contango Holdings (CGO) has completed the acquisition of a 70% stake in the Lubu coalfield project and been readmitted to the standard list.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) is still waiting for the listing requirements relating to its acquisition of Kanabo Research. There is still uncertainty over listing regulations for cannabis-related companies. The acquisition was announced 16 months ago.
LED lighting supplier Dialight (DIA) says it is experiencing improving but volatile demand. The order book is better than expected and overdue deliveries are being made. Crucial component stocks are being built up. Net debt was 317.3m at the end of May 2020.
Formation Group (FRM) has been repaid its £5m loan for a development in Wembley and it retains a 40% share of the profit of the development. This cash has been used to invest in acquired a 3.44% stake in Proton Partners International, which has an operational proton beam therapy centre in South Wales with two more sites planned. A treatment unit in Abu Dhabi is expected to be launched in 2019.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has loaned £600,000 to TG Engineering, which supplies steel and aluminium components to the aerospace and scientific sectors. The Dorset-based company will be 35%-owned by Capital for Colleagues and 20%-owned by the employee share ownership trust. The rest of the shares will be owned by the original founders and management.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) intends to focus on its main projects in Ireland. The interim loss was reduced from £99,000 to £75,000. There was net debt of £35,000 at the end of 2017.
Block Commodities (BLOC) has agreed to acquire a 21% stake South African fertiliser and plant products wholesaler VIPA Holdings. Block is paying £150,000 for new shares and acquiring £610,000 worth of existing shares in return for 748.5 million Block shares. VIPA is loss-making following the withdrawal of a major international trading partner. The ongoing focus will be fertiliser and the investment in Advanced Agricultural Holdings will be unwound with the 221.6 million shares issued as initial consideration returned to the company.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has invested £500,000, at £22 a share, in Engage Technology Partners. This follows an initial subscription of £400,000 at £15 a share. Primorus owns 3.6% of Engage, which builds SaaS-based employee workflow software.
Hellenic Capital (HECP) had £272 in the bank at the end of 2017, but since then £179,000 has been raised at 0.5p a share. There was £120,000 generated from operations in 2017 but that was due to a £143,000 increase in creditors. An investment property in Leeds is in the books at £204,000, while the NAV was £58,000 at the end of 2017. The property is being sold for £235,000 and a £5,000 non-refundable deposit has been paid.
Globe Capital Ltd (GCAP) has raised £500,000 via subscription at 0.75p a share. The cash will finance a new office in Dubai. Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised £51,000 at 0.15p a share. The 84.7%-owned Flamethrower has acquired National-Preservation.com, which focuses on British railway heritage, and has nearly 10,000 registered users. Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has raised £40,000 from an issue of 5% unsecured irredeemable convertible loan notes and a further £10,000 could come from the exercise of warrants. Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £590,000 from a debenture issue, taking the total raised to nearly £6m. The accounting reference date is being changed from March to September.
In 2017, Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) achieved a total return on its portfolio of 11.5%, ahead of its benchmark total return of 7%.
DHAIS (DHAP) is leaving NEX on 18 April, nearly ten years after joining the market. The business is being streamlined and the focus is organic growth of the hearing aid operations. Shareholders owning 78.9% of DHAIS agree to the withdrawal so the company does not have to hold a general meeting.
Diurnal Group (DNL) is raising up to £11m at 190p a share in order to finance the launch of the Alkindi hormonal disease treatment for children in Europe and complete the development of Chronocourt in Europe and start a phase III study in the US. IP Group is converting its loan into shares.
Shares in VR Education (VRE) immediately went to a premium when trading commenced. It raised £6m at 10p a share and the share price ended the week at 12.25p. More than two million shares were traded during the week.
1Spatial (SPA) has sold Enables IT back to the founder for £1, while retaining a 19.9% stake. 1Spatial has also injected £150,000 into the business and loaned a further £85,000. The group will be able to focus on its geospatial data operations, which are performing better than expected. 1Spatial is on course to approach breakeven in the year to January 2019.
Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) is outperforming new and used car markets, although like-for-like sales are still lower. Profit is expected to decline this year but Marshall should be able to continue its progressive dividend policy. There is a significant capex programme but the sale of the leasing business means that net debt is £2.2m.
Pennant International Group (PEN) already has nearly all of the £20.5m revenues forecast for 2018 covered by orders. Pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from £2.1m to £3.5m.
Amryt (AMYT) says that sales of Lojuxta were higher than expected last year. The figure was €11.9m, against the forecast €10.5m. There is still €20.5m in the bank.
Futura Medical (FUM) announced positive pharmacokinetic results for higher doses of the MED2002 erectile dysfunction treatment. This will enable US phase III trials to start later this year. There is £8.36m in cash plus tax credits due.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) says that Cedex Holdings, where it could acquire a majority interest, has launched its token pre-sale event. One Ethereum (equivalent to £437) will equal 900 CEDEX coins. The blockchain-based online diamonds exchange says that there is strong pre-sale demand.
Genedrive (GDR) has started to sell its Genedrive HCV ID kit in the EMEA region. Sales in Asia Pacific should start in the next few weeks.
Consumer security software provider Kape Technologies (KAPE) improved its pre-tax profit from $4.8m to $6.7m. There is net cash of $69.5m. A 2018 profit of $8.3m is forecast.
Trevor Brown gas cut his stake in Feedback (FDBK) from 11.5% to 9.75%. Lindsay Melvin has taken on the role of finance director.
Advanced foams supplier Zotefoams (ZTF) continues to benefit from investment in capacity and there is more to come. There was growth from all divisions and a good spread of revenues from different sectors. In 2017, revenues were 22% higher at £70.2m, while underlying earnings per share were 14% ahead at 16.6p. The dividend is 3% higher at 5.93p a share. The partnership with Nike to develop footwear technology and supply materials is yet to make a significant contribution.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) returned to profit last year and both its telecoms and biomedical divisions have good growth prospects. There is $24m in cash in the bank.
Sportech (SPO) has ended its formal sales process because no suitable offers were received. Trading has been poor and there will be asset write-offs in the 2017 figures. Andrew Gaughan has been appointed as chief executive.
Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) has acquired Imaging Biometrics for $68,134 in cash and 11 million shares at 4p each, plus $75,000 to cover debt obligations. The final 6.2 million of these shares will be paid by the end of September 2018. The Wisconsin-based company has been managing the CE marking and FDA clearance process for Flying Brands’ StoneChecker visualisation software, as well as commercialising perfusion software IB Neuro, which provides additional information about tumours.
World Trade Systems (WTS) has submitted its application to the International Stock Exchange.
Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) announced a collaboration that will generate $250,000 for the blood stem cell-based treatments developer. The partner is a US-based leader in the field of blood cancer treatment and the deal involves the development of a type of humanised mice.
Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) generated a 10% increase in turnover to £3.52m, but there was a decline in pre-tax profit from £224,000 to £156,000 in the year to October 2017. This is blamed on the increase in the minimum wage and the fact that more bookings are coming from online travel agents. The total dividend was unchanged at 21p a share. There is £1m in the bank. The public rooms’ refurbishment is complete and the hotel has gained 4* status. Exterior repair work and bedroom refurbishments continue.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has launched a private fund for digital tokens. The Gibraltar-based fund will hold tokens issued to Coinsilium. The value of the digital tokens received in 2017 is $822,000. If digital tokens that will be received over the coming two years are included the total value is $5.34m. The advisory business has advised on four token issues and there are four more to be completed.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) says that its investee company Cotswold Valves has acquired Flow Capital Company Ltd. Capital for Colleagues has made a working capital loan of £300,000, on top of an existing £50,000 loan. Capital for Colleagues also owns 49% of Cotswold Valves.
Ganapati (GANP) says that its slot game Pikotaro’s Pineapple Pen has been selected as one of the ten finalists at the Global Gaming Awards. The result will be announced on 5 February.
Globe Capital (GCAP) has raised £100,000 from a 6% convertible loan note. The conversion price is 0.5p a share.
MayAir Group (MAYA) is recommending a 120p a share cash bid from Poly Glorious, which is ultimately owned by Jiang Li. That is below the 130p a share floatation price less than three years ago. The air purification equipment manufacturer is valued at £50.4m. The current chief executive and other management are taking shares in the acquisition vehicle, which is already involved in air conditioning industry in China. MayAir has been hit by increased competition.
Learning Technologies Group (LTG) reports that 2017 profit and cash was much better than forecast. Pre-tax profit is set to more than double to £13m and net cash was £1m. The e-learning business appears to have made good progress integrating NetDimensions and it is assessing other international acquisitions.
The decline in underlying profit at compliance and energy services provider Lakehouse (LAKE) was slightly lower than expected. There was still a fall from £7.5m to £5.5m and a cut in dividend from 1.5p a share to 0.5p a share. Net debt was £1.3m but there might be additional working capital requirements this year. Profit is on course to recover this year but dividend expectations have been downgraded. Property services and construction remain the weaker parts of the business but the core operations are growing.
MYCELX Technologies (MYX) says that orders from Saudi Arabian chemicals company SABIC boosted 2017 revenues. These revenues were generated late in the year. This has increased estimates by 20% to 30%. This means MYCELX will be cash flow positive. This year’s revenues should at least be maintained at 2017 levels.
Castleton Technology (CTP) has won two contracts, one of which is a renewal with Places for People, worth £1.2m and both incorporate a range of the modules provided by the housing association-focused business.
Composite materials supplier Velocity Composites (VEL) sparked a 2017-18 earnings per share downgrade from 8.5p to 5.5p following its 2016-17 figures. This is due to cost increases with the concomitant revenues not set to show through for another year at least.
Ideagen (IDEA) grew revenues by 43% to £17.2m in the six months to September 2017. The document control and compliance software supplier is on course to increase full year profit from £6.9m to £9.7m. Recurring revenues generated 63% of total interim revenues.
Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC), the renamed Stapleton Capital, has changed its investing strategy to cover the blockchain technology industry. Management claims to have already seen a number of exciting blockchain opportunities.
Standard list cash shell Derriston Capital (DERR) still had £2.17m in cash at the end of 2017. Derriston has been seeking an acquisition for more than one year but it has not yet identified a suitable target.
Avocet Mining (AVM) has delayed completion of the sale of Resolute (West Africa) for a further five days to 30 January.
Business incubator Milamber Ventures (MLVP) is acquiring The League of Angels, an angel network set up by Barney Battles, a Milamber director. There is a subsidiary called The China 68 Club that offers access to Chinese family offices. The business made a small profit last year and since April it has referred work to Milamber worth £200,000. Milamber is paying £150,000 in shares at 15p each. Battles will own 21.6% of Milamber. In the six months to September 2016, Milamber increased its revenues from £34,000 to £224,000, while the loss rose from £54,000 to £196,000.
Residential property developer Via Developments (VIA1) has found buyers for all eight apartments in its Canal Street development in Manchester and non-refundable deposits of £375,000 have been received. The apartments should be completed in the second quarter of 2017. The gross development value of the project is £2.2m. Revised plans have been submitted for the Plymouth Grove development in Manchester and planning applications for the Napier Street site in Luton, the place in the UK where house prices have been strongest over the past year, should be determined in the next few months.
African Potash (AFPO) has revised its bridge loan agreement with Katrina Clayton, the wife of the company‘s finance director. This agreement provided finance of £150,000 and this will be increased to £900,000, in return for a fee of £7,500, because it failed to raise additional cash through share issues. If the shares cease to be traded on ISDX/NEX or a regulated market then African Potash will be in default. The lender can also appoint a director to the company. There was a $2m cash outflow from operating activities in the year to June 2016, plus $873,000 of capital investment. There were limited revenues from fertiliser trading. Net debt was $706,000 at the end of June 2016.
Globe Capital Ltd (GCAP) had £5,000 left in the bank at the end of September 2016. There was a cash outflow of £91,000 over the previous nine months, while £100,000 was raised from issuing shares. The only investment is a 25% stake in online menswear retailer Sterling Craig.
It is not just TLA Worldwide (TLA) that has used the Christmas and New Year period to put out bad news, although none was quite as blatant and late in the day as TLA. Legal and debt management services provider Fairpoint (FRP) used the period between Christmas and New Year to report the departure of chief executive Chris Moat, although he will continue to assist in the closure of the debt management business. The share price has fallen by two-thirds since its profit warning on 9 December. Hargreave Hale has been trimming its stake from above 14% to 12.2%. 1Spatial (SPA) has parted company with its chief executive Marcus Hanke. This follows the disposal of the Avisen and Storage Fusion businesses. 1Spatial had warned that contracts were going to fall into 2017 and therefore it will make a 2016 loss.
Intercede (IGP) is raising around £5m from the issue of £4.5m of convertible loan notes and a £500,000 subscription at 57p a share – although this requires shareholder approval – compared with a market price of 57.5p. The identity and digital security services provider is not generating enough cash to make the required investment in its products and a move into the consumer market. Full year revenues will be less than the £11m reported for 2015-16. Interim revenues halved to £2.8m and the pre-tax loss soared from £432,000 to £3.67m. The cash pile fell from £5.29m to £1.38m in the six months to September 2016 so most of this cash has probably already gone. The convertibles last for five years and have an annual interest charge of 8%. The conversion price is just over 68.8p a share.
B2B gaming services provider Nektan (NKTN) has raised £2.275m at 27.5p a share and is offering shareholders the chance to subscribe for £500,000 at the same share price. That was a 15% discount to the market price but it has since fallen to 27p – compared with the November 2014 flotation price of 236p. In the year to June 2016, revenues jumped from £528,000 to £5.78m but the loss still increased from £8.12m to £10.5m. The cash outflow, before a rise in trade payables, was £6.18m. Conversion of loans means that Nektan’s stake in US business ReSpin has been raised from 50% to 85%.
It has not just been bad news between Christmas and New Year. Windar Photonics (WPHO) has revealed a number of new orders for its LiDAR wind sensors for use on wind turbines. An Indian power producer and the Indian National Institute of Wind Energy have ordered sensors, with the power producer ordering an initial five units with an option for a further 35 units. On top of this there are orders for seven units from Canada – a repeat order – and South Korea – the first order in that country. Windar has already said that its 2016 revenues will be between €1.5m and €2m – slightly below expectations. Before Christmas, Windar raised £491,000 at 94p a share. The share price has since fallen back to 77p.
Commercial property investor Summit Germany Ltd (SMTG) is paying a third interim dividend of 1.02 cents a share – the same as the previous quarterly dividend. The ex-dividend date is 5 January and forms to receive the dividend in pence need to be completed by 4 January. The exchange rate for the previous quarterly dividend was 0.8815p to one Euro, so the current exchange rate suggests that the sterling equivalent will be lower in this quarter. Summit has sold an empty office building in Hamburg for €14m.
Facilities management and security services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) is generating more than three-quarters of its revenues from repeat business. In the six months to September 2016, revenues were 79% ahead at $91.1m. Much of that growth comes from a full contribution from the UK operations but the Indian business grew 22% and still accounts for 63% of revenues. Underlying pre-tax profit has jumped from $300,000 to $2/6m. Net debt was $14.6m but since then £2.3m has been raised at 75p a share. Trading continues to be strong.
Kodal Minerals (KOD) says that the latest samples at the Bougouni lithium project show high grade lithium mineralization of up to 2.03% lithium oxide. A total of 18 holes have been drilled and the results of analysis are expected by the end of January.
Stanley Gibbons (SGB) lost £6.18m in the first half, compared with a £1.11m profit in the comparative period after revenues slumped from £29.4m to £20.2m. Net debt was £16.5m at the end of September 2016. The US-based ecommerce business has been closed after an investment of £10m. A new coin joint venture has been set up by Baldwin with coin auctioneer St James’s, following a number of management departures.
Redcentric (RCN) has issued options to finance director Peter Brotherton and chief operating officer Mo Siddiqi. Brotherton has 161,905 options at nil cost and Siddiqi has 257,143 options at no cost, while Siddiqi has 250,000 at 84p each. These options are dependent on diluted earnings per share growth between March 2016 and March 2019. The compound annual growth rate required is not specified but the figures for the year to March 2016 have already been restated downwards. Siddiqi also has 250,000 options at 84p each that have no performance criteria. The current share price is 91p.
Grapheme NanoChem (GRPH) has gained its first commercial order for PlatDrill synthetic-based drilling mud in China. The initial order of 4,000 barrels of PlatDrill will be used for two shale gas wells in south west China and will generate revenues of $360,000. There could be more than 300 wells drilled in China each year over a five year period.
Mobile financial services provider Vipera (VIP) is increasing its stake in Codd & Date, which deploys Vipera’s technology services with customers, from 51% to 80.7%. In fact, the part of the business that focuses on Vipera’s Motif software will be split out and become a wholly-owned business. The enlarged group will move into larger premises in Milan More Info. Vipera is issuing 21.4 million shares and six million warrants exercisable at 5p each to pay for the additional stake.
CPP Group (CPP) is paying SSP £2.5m for terminating the contract to build an IT platform.
Fire and emergency services resource manager AssetCo (ASTO) is still attempting to renew its main contract in Abu Dhabi, which was due for renewal on 17 November. The contract will continue on existing terms until the new one is agreed. There should be further news concerning a one year extension at the end of January. Trading is in line with expectations.
Positive news from Providence Resources (PANR) concerning its VOBM4 well. Drilling of the Wilcox sandstone suggests that there is a potentially highly productive hydrocarbon zone at shallower depths.
Igas Energy (IGAS) is still trying to negotiate a capital restructuring and a strategic investor is interested in injecting funds into the business. There is around $32m left in the bank but net debt is significant enough for IGas to be on the verge of breaking its leverage covenant.
Circle Oil (COP) has lost its AIM quotation because trading in the shares had been suspended for six months and management says that the shares are unlikely to have any value. The International Finance Corporation and associates have waived debt repayments and deferred interest payments until 26 January.
Derriston Capital (DERR) joined the standard list on 29 September. Medical products and devices are the proposed areas where an acquisition is likely to come from. Derriston (www.derristoncapital.co.uk), whose investors include Nigel Wray, former Domino’s Pizza boss Stephen Hemsley and Primary Health Properties boss Harry Hyman, raised £2.275m at 10p a share to go with the £56,000 previously raised. Derriston was valued at £2.5m when it floated. The standard list shell more than doubled in value in the first couple of days of trading but ended the week at 17.5p.
Property investor Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) has had a busy week of acquisitions and disposals. Shildon House in Gateshead has been acquired for £1.825m, while Hume House in Leeds is being sold for £3.55m – a profit of £1.88m – although the deal is not expected to complete until the end of this year. Ace has bought out the 62% shareholder in Radcliff Property, the company that owned Telephone House which was sold in October, for £1.235m. Ace has already received £2.8m from the Telephone House sale but there is a dilapidations claim on a former tenant and Ace will now get 100% of any settlement. In the six months to October 2015, revenues jumped from £404,000 to £990,000, while pre-tax profit increased from £282,000 to £514,000. There was a £252,000 cash inflow from operations and net debt was £2.64m at the end of October. Of course, this is before the latest deals and some others that have been announced since October. NAV was £13.8m and the property portfolio, valued at £20.1m, generates more than £2.26m of annual rental income. Hybridan has been appointed as broker. At 3.75p (3.5p/4p) a share, Ace is valued at £21.9m.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP), which develops locking nut devices for railway tracks, reported a sharply reduced loss in the year to August 2015. Revenues improved from £144,000 to £240,000 and combined with lower admin expenses this helped the loss decline from £406,000 to £228,000. House broker Daniel Stewart forecasts more than doubled revenues and near break even this year.
Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYPD) reported a higher profit in the year to October 2015. Revenues edged up from £3.07m to £3.13m, while pre-tax profit moved from £124,000 to £134,000. There was £1.15m in the bank. Hydro has already announced an unchanged total dividend of 18p a share, although it is not fully covered by earnings. At 750p (725p/775p) a share, Hydro is valued at £4.5m. Second half trading improved after a weak first half. Staff costs are rising this year.
Investing company Globe Capital Ltd (GCAP) raised £100,000 at 0.105p a share and there is a warrant exercisable at 0.0025p each attached to each placing share. Globe had £11,000 left in the bank at the end of June 2015 and there had been a cash outflow of £188,000. The chief executive has resigned and this could mark a change in focus. Globe had been focused on investing in debt and equity of businesses but failed to find a suitable investment. New director and 3.3% shareholder David Barnett has a background in the fashion industry. Globe was previously known as Ford Eagle Ltd and when it changed its name in June 2013 it raised £207,000 via an open offer at 1p a share and it was capitalised at nearly £250,000 at the open offer price. Later that year, £199,000 was raised at 0.4p a share. At 0.625p a share, Globe is valued at £1.2m, although the bid offer spread is 0.25p/1p and there are no reported trades on the ISDX website suggesting that this is not necessarily fully reflective of the business particularly as the placing is at such a discount to the bid price.
AfriAg (AFRI) has decided to leave AIM and concentrate on its ISDX quotation and it says this could save up to £40,000 a year. Trading via ISDX has been increasing since this quotation was obtained. If shareholders agree AfriAg will leave AIM on 24 February. Although the strategy will stay the same AfriAg has hinted that it is assessing strategic options.
Vertu Motors (VTU) has bought three Honda dealerships from fully listed rival Lookers for £2m. Vertu has 12 Honda dealerships and this makes it the largest Honda car retailer in Europe and it also operates two motorcycle dealerships. All three sites adjoin existing dealership areas and they broke even last year. Vertu says that the acquisition will be earnings enhancing in its first full year.
Cathexis has increased its offer for Interior Services Group (ISG) from 143p a share to 171p a share. This bid is open until 17 February and will not be extended unless there is a rival bid. There were acceptances for the previous bid equal to 1.7% of the ISG share capital. Cathexis has taken its own stake above 30% so this is a mandatory bid.
Online business and marketing platform operator blur (BLUR) reported a decreased cash burn in the fourth quarter partly due to lower development spending. The quarterly cash burn more than halved to $1.5m. More of the projects put on the site are being taken up and completed, while the move towards larger customers is paying off. Revenues are estimated to have been $2.7m in 2015, while the underlying loss is around $10m. That loss is expected halve next year and the rate of cash burn will slow further and net cash is forecast to fall from £6.3m to £2.2m.
Learning Technologies Group (LTG) has expanded its US e-learning interests through the $26m acquisition of Nashville-based Rustici Software. The business is international and it is involved in a wide number of sectors. In 2015, revenues were $6.6m, mainly recurring, and EBITDA was $2.7m. Up to $11m more may become payable depending on performance. Watershed Systems Inc has been split from the rest of the business with LTG taking a 30% stake and the former Rustici owners will own the rest. Watershed is developing a new learning analytics platform that will gather and analyse learning data and LTG is injecting $3m for its stake.
Specialist IFA Frenkel Topping (FEN) says that 2015 figures are broadly in line with expectations with assets under management of £666m at the end of the year. House broker Shore has been updating its forecasts and it has reduced the 2016 figures but increased the 2017 ones. This is because 2016 is a transitional year as assets under management are moved to come under its own management. This still requires final FCA approval. A profit of £1.74m is forecast for 2016, rising to £3.28m in 2017.
IP-focused investment company FastForward Innovations Ltd (FFWD) has raised £5.6m from a placing at 15p a share – a premium to the then market price although it was as high as 18.25p earlier in the month. The share price ended the week at 15.25p. The shares issued are just under one-quarter of the enlarged share capital. The previous placing raised £3.17m at 8p a share. The latest placing follows the appointment of board director Lorne Abony as chief executive and he invested more than £800,000 taking his stake to 19.7%. He stood down from the boards of two investee companies – Vested Finance Inc and Vemo Education Inc – and he will not be involved in future investment decisions relating to them. There are seven investments in the portfolio. Abony has been the boss of two other AIM-quoted (and TSX-listed) companies that were based in Canada – Fun Technologies and Mood Media Corporation.
Tissue Regenix (TRX) has signed a joint venture with GTM-V to form a tissue bank in Rostock, Germany and management believes that this model can be used to expand internationally. Tissue Regenix has invested €250,000 in cash in the joint venture, which has been granted licences for human dCELL . Regulatory submissions for EU approval are being prepared and the first human tissue treatment products based on the dCELL decellularisation technology could be launched in Germany next year.
Call centre and outsourced customer services provider IBEX Global Solutions (IBEX) says that it has won two new clients in financial services and consumer electronics and it has opened a new operation in Nicaragua. There are plans for an additional site in the next few months. Focusing on higher margin business means that the interim figures will be in line with expectations and the second half will benefit from the new customers. The interims will be published on 24 February. House broker Cenkos forecasts 2015-16 earnings equivalent to 14.3p a share, which puts the shares on eight times prospective earnings.
A strong final quarter meant that publisher Quarto Group (QRT) beat 2015 expectations. A better than expected contribution from the Ivy Press acquisition and the strong performance of adult colouring books were behind the improved trading. A profit of around $13.5m is anticipated. Net debt was $59.7m at the end of 2015 – Northland had forecast $60.7m. A profit of around $15m is expected for 2016. At 217.5p a share, Quarto is trading on little more than six times prospective earnings.
Interim figures from automotive manuals and information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) show an improvement in profit in what is the weaker half of the year. In the six months to November 2015, revenues were 3% ahead at £12.2m, while pre-tax profit increased from £55,000 to £295,000. However, capitalised development spending, net of amortisation, increased from £48,000 to £464,000. Net debt was ££475,000 at the end of November 2015. Haynes continues to review its structure and costs. US and Australian revenues were much lower and this was made up for by higher European revenues. There was growth in UK manual sales but against a weak comparative period but the focus is developing the digital platform. Digital revenues were more than one-quarter of the interim total. An unchanged interim dividend of 3.5p a share was announced. A full year profit of £2.47m is forecast. James Bunkum has joined the board as chief financial officer designate and he takes over the role in May.
Standard list investment company Highlands Natural Resources (HNR) has published its prospectus for the acquisition of 75% of patents and know how rights for DT Ultravert and it has raised £765,000 at 12p a share. The cash will cover the costs of field trials for the technology that are part of a potential licence agreement with Schlumberger.
Hearing aids and mobility products retailer DHAIS (DHAP) fell into loss in the first half on slightly lower revenues. Costs increased in the mobility division and the focus will be on the hearing aids business. A store in Swindon was sold but DHAIS is still selling hearing aids from the site. In the six months to December 2015, revenues dipped from £5.13m to £5.07m, while a profit of £21,000 was turned into a loss of £86,000. At 24.5p (22p/27p) a share, DHAIS is valued at £15.3m.
Globe Capital Ltd (GCAP) has bought Globe Capital Administration, which was incorporated in January 2016, for £1,250 and paid £12,500 for a 25% stake in Sterling Craig, which was incorporated on 11 December 2015.
Welney (WENP) still has options over tyre recycling business Mitre Rubber and cleaning company Cleanbrite Facilitation and has not made a decision on whether to proceed with either deal. Neither company had a business at the time of their most recent accounts. Another investment is being negotiated. There was £59 in the bank plus a Nasdaq listed investment worth £2,675 at the end of 2015.
Ultrasound training simulators developer Medaphor (MED) has raised £3.2m at 45p a share in order to finance working capital for its latest contract. Earlier this year, Medaphor’s US subsidiary has signed a long-term agreement with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) for the use of its ScanTrainer as the simulator for its obstetrics and gynecology certification exams. ABOG undertakes 2,000 examinations each year. The cash will also be used to develop the US sales team and the continued product development. Hopefully, this will be enough cash to get Medaphor to profitability. Last year, Medaphor lost £1.7m on revenues of £2.2m.
Fastnet Equity (FAST) has published the acquisition document for Amryt Pharmaceuticals. The deal is valued at £29.6m and Fastnet is raising £10m at 24p a share (post one-for-eight share consolidation). Amryt has, conditional on the deal going ahead, agreed to acquire Germany-based Birken, which has developed a recently approved drug for partial thickness wounds and a potential orphan drug for the skin disorder epidermolysis bullosa called Episalvan, and Switzerland-based SomPharmacuticals, which is focusing on treatments for acromegaly and Cushing’s disease. Some of the cash will be used to fund a phase III clinical trial of Episalvan.
Digital Barriers (DGB) is selling its services business to its management for a nominal sum and this should reduce costs by £1m a year. The focus will be surveillance, security and safety technology, where organic revenue growth was 50% in the year to March 2016. The underlying loss has been reduced.
Investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) is seeking to raise additional funds. This will help to spread costs over a larger capital base. The plan is to increase the share capital by up to 9.9%, which should also help to make the shares more liquid.
Aseana Properties Ltd (ASPL) is selling the Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral Hotel for a gross value of $104.6m. That should generate a gain of $35.9m to project NAV. The hotel was developed by Aseana and opened in March 2013. The transaction should be completed in the third quarter and marks a significant step in the plan to realise the company’s assets. Net gearing will be reduced from 1.12 times to 0.48 times NAV. There are plans for a $10m capital distribution and then will be further distributions after that.
Civil engineer and building services provider North Midland Construction (NMD) returned to profit in 2015but there is still no dividend. The board hopes to start paying dividends in the near future. In 2015, revenues improved from £193.2m to £217.6m. The core building division returned to profit and the group pre-tax loss of £2.97m to £606,000. This was helped by a reduction in the costs of legacy contracts. Net cash was £2.4m at the end of 2015.
Cleantech-focused investment company Menhaden Capital (MHN) is traded on the Main Market on the Social Stock Exchange offshoot of ISDX and it raised £80m last July. At the end of 2015, the NAV was 83.9p a share – a 14.1% decline even after initial costs are excluded. Management remains optimistic, particularly concerning its investment in solar energy products developer X-Elio.