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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 7 June 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) is raising up to £6.88m at 59.5p a share via a placing and crowdfunding offer. The directors and Michael Spencer have invested £1.43m in the placing. The rest of the cash will come via the crowdfunding with Seedrs. The financing will only go ahead if a minimum of £3m is raised. The wine maker wants to increase the scale of its winery so it can process more fruit and complete the planting of new acreage. Management also wants to improve the e-commerce capabilities. A new asset-based financing facility of up to £15m has been secured and it will refinance the HSBC debt. Chapel Down increased its revenues from continuing operations from £10.1m to £13.3m in 2020. The underlying pre-tax profit was trebled from £308,000 to £955,000.

TECC Capital (TEC) is a new shell that is seeking to buy technology or cannabis businesses. There is a wide list of potential sub-sectors that will be considered, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, telematics, life sciences, including cannabis products, cyber security and e-commerce, which includes the Internet of Things. TECC raised £1.1m, after expenses at 5p a share. There is pro forma cash of £1.15m, which is equivalent to just over 3.8p a share. Even so, the share price ended the week at 10p. Chris Akers owns 9.9%.

Pioneer Media Holdings Inc (PNER) is a Canada-based investment company with investments in eSports and mobile gaming businesses. It already has a portfolio of ten companies and a Canadian Stock Exchange listing. The shares floated at 45p each and they closed the week at 48p each.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) is raising £850,000 at 1.75p a share. That is at a 12.5% discount to the market price. Gledhow had net assets of £2.35m at the end of March 2021, including £374,000 in cash. That means it is a significant discount to net assets of nearly 4.8p a share. That figure will be significantly diluted by the new share issue. Gledhow does need to become bigger to warrant the quotation, though. Although it has a portfolio of investments, Gledhow would make a good shell for a business. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi has taken a 3.26% stake in Gledhow.

Non-executive director Dominic Burke has bought 10,000 shares in Newbury Racecourse (NYR) at 582.5p each. The racecourse will be able to have spectators at its 10 June meeting and if there is further easing of lockdown then the hotel and events businesses can reopen. Newbury Racecourse will continue to be loss making in the first half of this year. A joint venture has been set up with a subsidiary of Compass to provide catering for the racecourse and other businesses.

KR1 (KR1) has invested a further $200,000 in Automata, as part of a $2.4m financing. KR1 will receive five million ATA tokens and it already owned ten million tokens.

Startup Giants (SUG) increased revenues from £45,000 to £87,000 in 2020. Higher costs meant that the loss increased. However, there was a £9,000 cash inflow from operating activities. There was net cash of £651,000 at the end of 2020.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that initial drilling of the Cottesloe silver project, which is close to the Red Setter project.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised nearly £80,000 at 28.5p a share.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) directors Alistair Currie and Ed Jenkins have each bought 18,400 shares at 43.25p each.  Currie owns 3.67% and Jenkins holds 0.75%. Chairman Jonathan Bixby has bought 1,000 shares in NFT Investments (NFT) at 2.9p each. Iain Livingston, the father of S-Ventures (SVEN) chief executive Scott Livingston, has sold 150,000 shares at an average price of 23p a share. Scott Livingston owns 49.1% and his family a further 3.5%.

AIM

Arecor Therapeutics (AREC) takes existing pharma products and reformulates them for new uses or to make them more effective. A placing raised £18.3m, after expenses, at 226p a share. The main focus is diabetes. Arecor’s insulin program AT247 is an ultra-rapid acting meal-time insulin product, while AT278 is an ultra-concentrated rapid acting insulin development, which could be used with miniaturised insulin pump delivery devices. AT299 is a co-formulation of pramlintide and insulin. These fast-acting insulins have an addressable market worth $6.4bn. There have been positive clinical studies for AT247. A phase II study should provide results in 24 months and that would be the point when a partner would be secured.

Artisanal Spirits Company (ART) owns the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SWMS) and it raised £13.2m after expenses at 112p a share, which was at the bottom of the 112p a share to 121p a share price range. First quarter sales in 2021 improved from £2.9m to £3.4m, even though venues and events revenues continued to be well down during the period. There was cask whisky and bottled stock of £21.7m at the end of 2020. That is the main asset in the balance sheet and an independent valuation believes that this stock is worth £9m more than book value – based on an orderly liquidation.

Franchised lettings agency Belvoir (BLV) has acquired The Nottingham Building Society’s mortgage and protection services business for £600,000. This year’s operating profit is expected to be £175,000. The deal could add 1% to earnings in a full year.

Coral Products (CRU) had £3.8m in the bank at the end of April 2021. That should be boosted by the Haydock freehold sale, which should be completed in the second half. In the year to April 2021, revenues from continuing operations increased from £8.7m to £10.7m. Even excluding the profit on disposals of £2.3m, the pre-tax profit was £700,000. There will be a final dividend of 0.5p a share.

CyanConnode (CYAN) has raised £3.15m at 9.5p, taking advantage of the strength of its share price. This was a small premium to the market price. CyanConnode could have made progress in the smart meter market without the additional cash, but this will help to accelerate its growth.

Cleantech company Verditek (VDTK) is raising up to £500,000 through a bond offering 7% interest, secured against the assets of the company. The offer is via Crowd for Angels, which is underwriting the first £225,000 of the two-year bond. Verditek wants to expand its Italian facility so that it can satisfy international contracts for its lightweight, flexible solar panels. The focus is the solar operations, but there are also minority stakes in BBR Filtration and Industrial Climate Solutions Inc.

Housebuilder Springfield Properties (SPR) says that its 2020-21 revenues and profit will be better than pre-Covid-19 levels. This was helped by two land sales. N+1 Singer forecasts an improvement in pre-tax profit from £10.2m to £18m.

Internet domain name registry and services provider CentralNic (CNIC) generated organic growth of 16% in the first quarter of 2021. Total revenues jumped from $56.9m to $84.4m, helped by acquisitions. Net debt is $79m.

MAIN MARKET

Sportech (SPO) and CML Microsystems (CML) both intend to switch to AIM. Sportech believes that the junior market is more suitable for its size and it will make it easier to complete transactions. CML also believes that AIM is more suitable following the sale of one of its divisions and it also expects its shareholders to benefit from the tax breaks.

Tarek Taksch has reduced its stake in Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCTP) from 7.75% to 5.43%. The company has entered a consultancy agreement with Voisin Consulting, which will help with regulation and development plans for OCT461201, a treatment for ailments associated with IBS.

Shefa Gems (SEFA) is demerging its gems business, because it will take longer than expected to exploit the assets, and turning itself into a shell. Existing shareholders will receive shares in the gems business. There will be a 100-for-one share consolidation and then the company will raise $1.05m (£756,000) at 3.53p a share. The name will be changed to Alef Bet Advanced Technologies and seek an acquisition in web technology and software.

Imperial X (CDL) has raised £2m at 3p a share as part of its move from Aquis to the standard list. The resources company is changing its name to Cloudbreak Discoveries.

Motor dealer Caffyns (CFYN) manged to improve its underlying profit from £251,000 to £1.88m last year, even though revenues fell from £195.8m to £165.1m. Net debt was £10.3m at the end of March 2021. There has been a property valuation that shows the portfolio is worth £12.3m more than book value. Excluding that surplus, NAV is £27.6m.

National Word (NWOR) has already secured annualised savings of £4m from the JPI Media acquisition and is on course to secure savings of at least £5m. The online audience is increasing, and monthly content revenues are being generated from Google and Facebook. Overall revenues increased by 18% in April and May. The fastest growth is from digital.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 24 May 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

British Virgin Islands-based Boanerges (BNRG) is a SPAC seeking to acquire technology companies involved in big data, machine learning, telematics and internet of things. Boanerges floated on 17 May 2021 when it raised £500,000 at 20p a share. In April, an initial £51,500 was raised at 0.1p a share and a further £75,000 was raised at 10p a share. That means that pro forma cash is equivalent to 1p a share. The shares are trading at 24.5p (23p/26p).

Bid expenses could cost Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) up to £210,000. The 50p a share bid is rejected by the company’s board, which says that it represents a 51% discount to NAV and a 62% discount to the market value of its properties, after cash is deducted. Management is offering shareholders the opportunity to vote on a winding up of the company if the bid does not become unconditional. This would require 75% of the votes to be carried.

Brewer Adnams (ADB) continued to be hit by lockdowns in the six months to March 2021. Online demand for the beer brands remained strong and management says that bookings for pubs are building up since the lockdown was eased. There is even hope that people holidaying in the UK will boost its hotels.

Early Equity (EEQP) is acquiring Farina Investments, which provides services to the insolvency sector, for £1.9m in shares at 0.5p each. This is effectively a business that is involved in the acquisition and disposal of distressed assets. The deal will increase Early Equity’s stake in Lotto Studios, which is launching a social casino game with ITV Studios, to 20%. The deal also brings a 10% stake in life sciences company Pure Sea Nutrients. A further £90,000 has been raised in a placing at 0.5p a share.

The AGM has been postponed and there were some irregularities in the voting process.

Incanthera (INC) is continuing with discussions with two global cosmetic companies for its Sol skin cancer technology. The idea is to use Sol as a skin cream to protect sun damaged skin. Net cash was £960,000 at the end of March 2021. Incanthera recently raised £1.14m at 12p a share. There is enough cash to get into the second half of 2022. There could be an upfront payment from a deal, but the big money will take longer to be generated. More cash will be required to push ahead with other products.

Apollon Formularies (APOL) says that joint testing with Aion Therapeutic reveals that their combined formulations are effective in killing HER2+ breast cancer cells grown in 3D cell culture. HER2+ accounts for one-fifth of breast cancer. Apollon’s Jamaican medicinal cannabis formulations were particularly good at killing living HER2+ cancer cells directly.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that its 50%-owned subsidiary DJT Plants has been granted a licence to grow >0.2% THC cannabis for research activities by the UK government. Building of the research facility will commence immediately. There will be 65 strains grown at the facility and plans to extract distil and isolate cannabis products. The business had previously grown cannabis for GW Pharma. The focus will be neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s Disease and epilepsy. Directors Charles Morgan and Melissa Sturgess have each been issued with 100 million shares as contingent consideration following the grant of the licence.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) had net assets of £2.35m at the end of March 2021, up from £907,000 12 months earlier. That includes £374,000 in cash.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) subsidiary M+G Olympic has won more than £500,000 of orders for swimming pools.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) is negotiating the acquisitions of a company with gemstone assets and another company with diamond assets. This is an area where the management team has experience. Further cash will need to be raised to complete due diligence.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £224,000 at 7p a share. Chief executive Walter Doyle has left the company. Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has raised £1.4m at 10p a share and each share has one-half of a warrant exercisable at 20p a share. Wishbone will refine the locations of drill targets at the Red Setter projects and then use the cash to finance the drilling. Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) has completed a placing raising $4.61m at 7.875 cents per unit. A unit comprises one share and one-half of a warrant exercisable at 10.5 cents a share. Love Hemp (LIFE) has raised £348,000 via the exercise of warrants at 1p each.

AIM

Compliance and energy saving services provider Sureserve (SUR) reported an underlying interim pre-tax profit was 31% higher at £4.4m. Energy saving’s profit contribution fell by three-fifths, but higher margins for the much larger compliance division meant a much higher profit. A full year pre-tax profit of £12.9m is forecast.

Tracsis (LSE: TRCS) should get additional opportunities from the Williams report on the rail industry. The report was in line with expectations. Great British Railways will take up the overall responsibility for the integrated rail network. The reforms are due in 2023, although there could be delays. Things like digital tickets, simplified fares and season ticket flexibility provide opportunities for Tracsis.

Accrol (ACRL) says that adjusted earnings for 2020-21 will be in line with expectations even though sales will be lower than expected due to a decline in the market. Accrol has 16% of the toilet tissue market and it should return to growth when the comparatives do not include the Covid-19 related panic buying. There are plans to increase capacity at the main Leyland plant.

Surgical devices developer Creo Medical (CREO) says trading was ahead of expectations in the first quarter of 201. This has led to a 10% increase in forecast revenues to £22.1m. There will still be a loss of £30m. The recovery in elective surgery is increasing demand for surgical devices.

Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) is building up its electric vehicle infrastructure business and it could move into profit in the next year. The TriConnex utility connections business is also growing revenues, although profit was flat. However, group revenues were one-quarter lower at £64m, because civil engineering business Tamdown continues to report lower revenues and profit. Nexus did make an overall operating profit. The 2020-21 pre-tax profit has been upgraded to £3.6m and it could reach £6m next year.

PerkinElmer has made a 382p a share bid for Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH).The bid is at one-third of the share price high around one decade ago. The share price has not been at this level for nearly seven years.

MAIN MARKET

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has secured a joint venture with flexible power company HSKB, which will be renamed DKE Energy. The 50%-owned business will develop two gas peaking facilities which will produce 10MW of power. These will cost £6.25m and the intention is to secure a 15-year, inflation linked contract. Dukemount director Paul Gazzard founded HSKB.

One Heritage Group (OHG) has signed a construction finance facility with Lyell Trading. The facility is for £3.5m and lasts 18 months at a nominal interest rate of 9.6%. The facility will be used to finance Oscar House, a development of 27 apartments in central Manchester. The development should be completed in the first quarter of 2022.

Mast Energy Developments (MAST) says that the Brodesley reserve power project has reached construction ready status.

Lee Marks has been appointed chief executive of NMCN (NMCN) and interim chief executive Robert Moyle is retiring from the board after a transition period.

Kanabo Group (KNB) has signed an agreement with Pure Origin, which will manufacture and package Kanabo’s CBD wellness products from its facility in Wales. There will be a dedicated production line for VapePod products. This deal will lead to a full international product launch.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has started to deliver two Covid-19 diagnostic tests. The saliva-based test will be used by the Italian team at the Olympic Games in Japan.

S&U (SUS) says monthly motor finance collections are above budget and the number of customers on payment holidays has fallen to 1,200. The Aspen bridging loan division is lending more for each deal and profit is reaching record levels.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 25 January 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has signed contracts with the NHS that underpin a significant proportion of its fixed costs. More cash will be required in order to take advantage of the potential for the cancer care clinics. The cash will be needed in the next few months and could be raised at the same time as moving to AIM. Capacity of the Cardiff site could be fully utilised in 2021 and patients have been booked in at three other sites.

Broadband services provider Rural Broadband Solutions (RBBS) has grown its number of connections to 2,500 by the start of January and is signing up 25 a month. Digital marketing is being increased to attract clients that have access to the Rural Gigabit voucher funding scheme. There is interest from 300 households so the company can apply for £1m of government funding. The target is 5,000 monthly paying customers by October 2023.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has acquired 75.1% of We Love Purely Ltd by issuing 1.53 million shares at 9p a share, which is equivalent to £137,600 and paying off a loan of £30,000. We Love Purely is a snacks supplier and it sells Purely plantain chips. Under new ownership the product range will be expanded. Two S-Ventures directors held shares in the acquired company.

Investment company Gledhow Investments (GDH) raised £1.69m from investment disposals in the year to September 2020. That generated a profit of £508,000 after admin expenses. NAV increased from £884,000 to £1.3m. That includes £382,000 of cash compared with a market capitalisation of £539,000.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that the value of its crypto currency position has increased by two-fifths. On 21 January, there was cash of $1.5m, which is mainly crypto currencies. There are also $164,000 of RIF tokens that will vest over 22 months.

Gunsynd (GUN) has converted part of its loan to Rogue Baron at 3.97p a share and that gives it a 19.7% stake in the drinks company. Once Rogue Baron joins Aquis Stock Exchange the rest of the loan stock will be converted. Warrants have been exercised that raised £200,000 for Gunsynd.

Engineer Vulcan Industries (VULC) says third quarter trading was in line with expectations. Third quarter revenues were 14% higher the second quarter at £1.6m. Order books are strong. The proposed acquisition of E Lowe will not happen.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has maintained its NAV at 52.75p a share at the end of November 2020. There are 16 investments in the portfolio.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has filed a draft prospectus for its move to the standard list.

Dozens Savings has issued just over £1m of retail bonds and demand is outstripping supply.

AIM

Business restructuring company Begbies Traynor (LSE: BEG) has acquired rival CVR Global for up to £20.8m, which is its largest acquisition. CVR’s annual profit was £1.2m and there are potential cost savings of £750,000 a year.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) is acquiring Sanofi Bangladesh for £35.5m. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval. This will broaden the product range and helps the group move into new sectors. It will also add more manufacturing capacity. The deal should be earnings enhancing. Sanofi made a pre-tax profit of £4.3m in 2019.

Ground engineering contractor Van Elle (VANL) made a loss in the first half of 2020-21 and trading remains mixed. Interim revenues fell by 21% due to the original lockdown and delayed rail work, but there should be a recovery in the second half. Cost reductions are coming through and helping to stem the loss. This puts Van Elle in a stronger position for the next financial year. Improving utilisation of equipment will help the company return to profit and start paying dividends again.

Acoustic materials supplier Autins (AUTG) would have reported halved second-hand revenues without the contribution from PPE. Full year revenues fell from £26.9m to £21.5m as one major automotive customer was hit by production problems. The loss increased from £1.54m to £1.76m. The high depreciation charge means that £1.48m of cash was generated from operations during the year. The Neptune product is gaining new contracts, particularly for electric vehicles.

Flexible printed circuit technology developer Trackwise Designs (TWD) disappointed the market with its trading statement. Growth in revenues has been slower than expected due to short-term problems, but finnCap has maintained its 2021 forecast, which predicts a rise in revenues from £6.2m to £14.2m. That would be enough to make the company profitable.

Alumasc (LSE: ALU) traded ahead of expectations in the six months to December 2020 and this has led to a large upgrade in the full year pre-tax profit forecast to £8.9m. There has been a bounce back in building and construction activity.

Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) produced 15,217 ounces of gold at the Asacha mine in the fourth quarter, taking the total for the year to 45,066 ounces. Annual revenues were $81m. Production has stopped at Vein 25 because of an accident that killed two people. Mining in the main zone continues.

CCTV equipment supplier UniVision Engineering Ltd (UVEL) has signed a supplementary agreement with MTR Corp in Hong Kong for an additional £1.53m of work.

Jade Road Investments (JADE) is the new name for Adamas Finance Asia.

MAIN MARKET

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) traded at the top of expectations in 2020, helped by a strong second half. Pre-tax profit will be around £29m, up from £15.8m in 2019. Cash generation is strong and net debt has declined to £18.3m.

Castillo Copper (CCZ) is considering selling its Broken Hill Alliance (BHA) project. This will enable the company to focus on the Mt Oxide project in Queensland, where there have been positive drilling results. Plans are being made to accelerate the development of this project. There should be more news about the other assays from the drilling and there will be modelling of a JORC resource. It makes sense to focus on this asset. BHA has is highly prospective for silver, zinc and lead in the west zone and iron oxide copper gold in the east zone. There should be interest from companies operating in the region. BHA could be sold or spun off into a quoted vehicle.

Personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) is raising £4m from a placing with up to £500,000 more to come from an open offer. This cash will finance investment in ecommerce and improve the balance sheet. The business continues to lose money. It could be profitable in 2021-22.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has raised £22.4m at 80p a share and the cash will be invested in more crypto currency mining equipment. This will be installed between February and June. Capacity will be increased by nearly three-fifths.

Strong footwear sales helped Zotefoams (ZTF) to achieve slightly higher revenues in 2020 with pre-tax profit at the top end of expectations.

Flavour ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) continues to perform strongly in the first four months of the financial year. Drinks volumes have increased despite Covid-19 restrictions and this has helped Treatt. Forecasts have been raised with the 2020-21 pre-tax profit figure increased from £15.2m to £18.2m.

Tiziana Life Sciences (TILS) has switched from AIM to the Main Market.

Pensana Rare Earths (PRE) will drop the ASX listing on 24 February.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 23 November 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Daniel Thwaites (THW) had a strong eleven months in the year to March 2020, but the final month was unsurprisingly poor for the brewer and pubs operator. Full year revenues edged up from £96.9m to £98.1m, while pre-tax profit fell from £4.5m to £3.6m. Net debt was reduced from £69.7m to £65.4m, helped by property disposals. No dividends are planned in the near future.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has taken advantage of the strong Luceco (LUCE) share price and sold four million shares for total proceeds of £10m. EPE still owns a 24.9% stake.

KR1 (KR1) has participated in token generation by four platforms. There was a follow-on participation in a Plasm Network distribution event, while KR1 has also received tokens from ChainX, Edgeware and Phala Network. The Phala Network tokens have been sold for nearly $124,000.

BWA (BWAP) has given St George’s Eco-Mining Corp until 27 November to repurchase the company’s investment in Kings of the North Corp.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that the first hole drilled at the Specimen Hill prospect in Queensland has signs of gold bearing mineralisation. A second hole is underway.

Evrima (EVA) and partner Power Metal Resources (POW) have published a drilling update for the Molopo Farms complex in Botswana. The first hole has been completed at the nickel sulphide and platinum project. This confirmed that it is a feeder zone. Samples will be tested. There is a four-hole drilling programme.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) owns 30% of mining and exploration leases that form part of the Yangibana rare earth deposit. Drilling has confirmed that recent drilling results show an economic mineralised corridor 8km long.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) has taken a 4.82% stake in IamFire (FIRE).

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £835,000 at 5.5p a share, which is below the 7p a share that a UK institutional investor paid last month. Early Equity (EEQP) raised £105,000 at 0.5p a share.

AIM

Trackwise Designs (TWD) is raising a further £11m at 200p in order to finance a new Improved Harness Technology (IHT) manufacturing site to quadruple capacity. That is a large discount to the market price of 320p. A further £1m could be raised via an open offer. Back in March, there was a £5.87m fundraising at 80p a share.  That was at the time of the purchase of Stevenage Circuits for up to £2.457m. The rest of that cash was earmarked for capacity expansion. The subsequent orders received by Trackwise mean that further investment in capacity is required. The funding dilutes short-term earnings per share.

Agricultural supplies group Wynnstay (WYN) had a strong end to its financial year, particularly September and October. Feed sales were better than expected. There will be one-off costs for closing three sites. Shore Capital has upgraded its underlying pre-tax profit forecast from £6.7m to £8.1m. The dividend is likely to be maintained at 14p a share.

Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) has broken its record and published interim figures at 6.22pm on Friday. Revenues fell by 27% and the company made a bigger loss.

Staffline (STAF) is selling its apprenticeships business to Babington Business College for a nominal fee. The business was losing money in the first half of 2020, although it was a lower loss than the year before. Staffline will concentrate on recruitment and adult skills training.

Bion (BION) is establishing a biogas consortium with three other companies in Malaysia. The plan is to formalise the partnership so that a special purpose vehicle that would be 55%-owned by Bion will own and operate biogas assets of Bion and Green Lagoon Technology. The new venture would be the largest owner of biogas plants in Malaysia. Shareholders will have to approve the deal if it goes ahead. Bion will work with the other two companies to develop waste-to-energy projects.

Trading is ahead of expectations at Somero Enterprises (SOM) and this should enable a significant supplementary dividend for 2020. The concrete levelling equipment supplier is expected to end the year with net cash of $26m.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) has completed the acquisition of the stake in the Cote d’Ivoire cashew nut processing project that takes its shareholding to 52%. October palm oil production was 1,818 metric tonnes and 1,843 metric tonnes was sold. The average price improved to €636/tonne.

Mirada (MIRA) has integrated Disney+ into its Iris platform for Televisa’s izzi pay TV platform in Mexico.

Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has gained a contract to deliver a 0.5MWh vanadium flow battery system to a site in California. This should generate £480,000in 2021. There is also an order for two smaller battery modules.

Three potential bidders are assessing offers for Telit Communications (TCM) and the latest is u-blox, which is considering an all-share offer worth 250p a share. DBAY Advisors and Lantronix are the other potential bidders.

MAIN MARKET

Packaging supplier Macfarlane (MACF) says that trading in the four months to October 2020 is ahead of the same period in 2019. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to be similar to last year at around £14m. It was previously expected to be more than 10% lower. Arden forecasts a total 2020 dividend of 2.4p a share.

Emmerson (EML) has completed the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the Khemisset potash project in northern Morocco.

Petra Diamonds (PDL) has an agreement in principle for a restructuring that involves the raising of money from a loan note issue and the remainder of the loan notes will be converted into shares equivalent to 91% of the enlarged share capital.

Thalassa (THAL) has invested £300,000 in foreign exchange and international payments firm Cornerstone FS for a 3.65% stake. This follows a £3m investment in 8% convertible loan notes in payment systems company Tappit Technologies.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 8 June 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Sativa Group (SATI) has agreed a merger with Stillcana Inc. The share swap is 0.33507 of a Stillcanna share for every Sativa share. That values the cannabis products company at £10.7m and its shareholders will own 65% of the enlarged group. Trading in Sativa shares restarted on 4 June.

Engineering businesses consolidator Vulcan Industries (VULC) floated on 1 June. It was valued at £6.98m at the 3p a share placing price. Vulcan raised £746,500 via a subscription and placing and £239,000 will be spent on costs. . Vulcan has already completed four acquisitions. They supply automotive components, fire doors and frames, nails and architectural metal work. Trading was weaker than expected last year. Zanete Fergusone sold three businesses to Vulcan and her family interests own 47.7% of the company. A manufacturer of pressed steel bearing housings is set to be the next acquisition.

Adnams (ADB) has put its refinancing negotiations on hold since the COVID-19 lockdown. The long-term facilities have been extended by six months. Adnams is considering the government loan scheme. There will be a substantial interim loss.

IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) believes that £3m of temporary annualised cost savings will help to offset a decline in gross revenues this year. Interim revenues were 5% ahead at £38.2m but pre-tax profit was flat due to higher interest costs. The interim dividend is 5p a share, instead of the anticipated 7p a share. A further 2p a share may be paid later in the year depending on the prospects at the time. Underlying full year pre-tax profit should improve from £16.9m to £18m, which is a small downgrade on previous forecasts.

Good Energy (GOOD) has seen no significant financial impact from COVID-19. Cash collection has been in line with previous years. The generation assets have produced above average output. The final dividend has been deferred.

Altona Energy (ANR) is assessing the potential acquisition of a majority stake in a rare earths project. The Chambe project is in Southern Malawi. Due diligence will take up to three months.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has sold a majority interest in Tectonic South Africa to AIM-quoted Kazera Global. Tectonic will retain a 10% interest in the diamonds project. Tectonic has received £100,000.

Investment company Gledhow Investments (GDH) increased net assets from £735,000 to £907,000 by March 2020. Gledhow had £147,000 in cash at the end of March.

Welney (WENP) has published full year and interim figures. At the end of December 2019, net liabilities were £361,000. A consolidation of 100 shares into one new share will be followed by a £15,000 placing at 0.3p a share. A loan stock issue will raise £35,000. Trading in the shares restarted on 3 June. Keith, Bayley, Rogers has been appointed as corporate adviser. The company’s name will be changed to Quetzal Capital

Black Sea Property (BSP) is renegotiating its credit facilities. Management is uncertain how trading will fair this year.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) is changing its accounting reference date from 31 March to 30 June. Barry Fromson has been appointed as an executive director.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has raised £300,000 at 1.35p a share and issued £70,000 worth of share for fees and to convert loans. Peterhouse has replaced Turner Pope as broker.

AIM

Mereo Biopharma (MPH) has raised $70m (£56m) including $19.4m (£15.5m) via a share placing at 17.4p each and $50.6m (£40.5m) through a convertible loan note issue. The cash will be used to reduce debt and fund the company into 2022. Mereo plans a phase 1b study for cancer treatment etigilimab during the fourth quarter.

Life sciences IT services provider Instem (INS) continues to trade strongly and net cash was £8.3m at the end of April 2020. The 2019 figures show a rise in pre-tax profit from £2.8m to £3.2m and a jump to £4.2m is expected in 2020. Existing business continues but new business may take longer to secure, and this led to a small downgrade.

Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has signed a distribution agreement with Swixx BioPharma for leptin deficiency treatment Myalepta in 17 eastern European countries.

Armadale Capital (ACP) says that the definitive feasibility study update has increased the NPV of the Mahenge Liandu graphite project in Tanzania by 20% to $430m. That is based on a 30% rise in average annual production.

Bidstack (BIDS) has raised £5.5m at 4p a share. The in-game advertising technology developer will use the cash to expand internationally and fund marketing and further technology development.

Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) says that subscriptions have held up and installations are recovering after an initial slump in April. Trading in the first four months of 2020 was ahead of the same time last year. Some clients have been allowed payment deferrals. There is £9.5m in the bank.

President Energy (PPC) has raised £2.24m at 1.85p a share via PrimaryBid. A placing raised a further £2.5m. Trafigura is subscribing a further $6m at the same share price. Along with a $4.1m debt for equity swap this will reduce debt to around $15m. There will be a $98.5m write down of assets, particularly the Paraguay exploration activities. Even excluding this, there will be a loss this year. The crude oil reference price in Argentina has been set at $45/barrel until the end of the year, which is higher than the current global price.

MAIN MARKET

Tex Holdings (TXH) improved sales and gross margins last year, but there was still a slightly increased pre-tax loss due to redundancies and professional fees. Revenues increased from £40.1m to £43.1m, and if exceptional costs are stripped out there was a decrease in pre-tax loss to £661,000. The plastics division is profitable, but the engineering division is losing money. The overdraft has been repaid with the proceeds of a shareholder loan. The pension surplus has increased NAV from 127p a share to 134p a share. There are plans to reduce costs by an annualised £1.5m.

LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) says trading has improved in recent weeks and it expects the first half profit and cash generation to be at least as good as the same period last year. That is despite lower revenues.

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) is closing 12 more dealership sites. Annual savings of £50m are anticipated. Trading has recommenced at Lookers sites, but activity is still weak. Net debt was £57m at the end of May.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 February 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) is in discussions with providers of additional finance. Sales increased and costs were reduced in the year to August 2019. Two-fifths of sales come from Transport for London, where the Tracksure locking device is mandatory for one application.

The transfer of the exploration licence for the area surrounding the Hellyer gold mine to NQ Minerals (NQMI) has been approved.

Gunsynd (GUN) says that its 6.18%-owned investee company Brazil Tungsten is short of cash and needs to raise money at a discounted share price or go into administration. The value of the investment has already been written down and it is in the balance sheet at £400,000, which is 17% of Gunsynd NAV. This could be written down to nil.

Smaller company investor Gledhow Investments (GDH) made a £110,000 gain on disposals after overheads. The NAV was £884,000 at the end of September 2019, compared with a market capitalisation of £500,000 at 0.95p/1.25p. There was cash of £125,000 at the end of September 2019. This was before the £95,000 gain (£220,000 proceeds) on the disposal of shares in Yolo Leisure and Technology, now Asimilar (ASLR), and the takeover proceeds of £81,000 for Netalogue Technologies.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has treated more than 100 cancer patients at its proton beam therapy centres.

IamFire (FIRE) has reduced non-core costs and is seeking acquisitions that do not require a lot of capital. The hydrocarbon licences in Botswana have been relinquished. An interim profit was reported, but there was a £88,000 cash outflow from operating activities because trade payables were reduced.

Gowin New Energy 2% preference shares (GWPT) have been admitted to NEX. Up to £5m of preference shares will be issued. The cash will be loaned to the tea business of 15%-owned Goyoung International.

AIM

Telecoms hardware manufacturer Filtronic (FTC) reported lower interim revenues from continuing activities but margins improved because of a change in product mix. Capacity is being increased at the Sedgefield factory. There was £121,000 in the bank at the end of November 2019. That is before the $5.5m from the disposal of the antennas business. Growth is coming from defence and mmWave (X-Haul products) that are used in the 5G mobile market.

More good news from Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) as the results of the test well at Cascadura were better than expected. The rate during the test was more than 5,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. There will be a pressure build up test. There should be further news in March. Shore has increased its risked NAV estimate by one-fifth to 48p a share.

Andalas Energy and Power (ADL) has appointed Leslie Peterkin as chief executive and Mark Rollins as chairman. They have experience in the oil and gas sector. Andalas also raised £525,000 at 0.15p a share, which was a 20% premium to the market price, and most of the cash came from the two men. Dr Robert Arnott and Simon Gorringe have stepped down from the board. The company is changing its name to Advance Energy.

DP Poland (DPP) increased system sales by 13% last year with 3% like-for-like growth. The pizza stores operator improved its performance during the year and there was an acceleration of growth in the second half. DPP has 69 stores with six opened last year. There was still £3.6m left in the bank at the end of 2019.

Volvere (VLE) has made another food manufacturing acquisition. Essex-based Indulgence Patisserie is in administration and the desserts maker is costing £1.25m. Freehold premises and equipment is being acquired. The business lost £230,000 on revenues of £3.3m. Volvere already owns pie maker Shire Foods, which has an overlapping customer base.

PCI-Pal (PCIP) says interim revenues were 70% higher at £2m. Total annual contract revenues are £5m. There is a small net debt figure with a further £1.25m of facilities. The PCI compliant payment services provider will still lost money this year.

Mergers adviser K3 Capital (K3C) reported improved interim figures even though trading conditions remained tough. A full year pre-tax profit of £7.4m, similar to two years ago, is forecast. The interim dividend was raised from 3.6p a share to 3.7p a share and the total dividend is expected to increase from 7.6p a share to 11.4p a share. If K3 can maintain its interim margins, then the full year outcome could be better.

Argentina-based oil and gas producer President Energy (PPC) had a disappointing 2019 with revenues declining by 13% to $41m because of an oil price cap. The company traded at breakeven. A return to a significant profit is expected in 2020.

Greatland Gold (GGP) says that maiden drilling at Derby North on the Warrentinna project in Tasmania has intersected high-grade gold mineralisation. This is more good news following the plans to announce a maiden resource for Havieron before the end of this year. NCM has spent enough money to earn a 30% stake in Havieron. This will be increased to 40% after another $10m of spending.

MAIN MARKET

Nuformix (NFX) says that it still has not received the £2.5m it is owed by NSB. Despite assurances the money has not been paid and the therapeutics company’s contact has been dismissed. Dave Tapolczay has resigned as chairman.

Standard list shell Stranger Holdings (STHP) had £100,000 in the bank at September 2019 and it has started the fundraising process for the reverse takeover of two companies with technology mineral assets in Africa and the US.

Social media company Iconic Labs (ICON) is generating revenues and has relaunched the Gay Star N website, which is trading better than expected. Icon is still trying to sort out its historic financing agreements and difficulties. Additional facilities have been provided by the existing finance provider, which has agreed to reduce previous amounts owed by 30%. Again, though, the new finance is in the form of convertibles, so yet more shares are likely to be issued.

Landscape Acquisition Holdings (LAHL) expects the proposed acquisition of AP WIP Investment, which generates rental income from wireless telecom assets, in early 2020. There is $501m in the bank and the acquisition should cost $333m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 13 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

National Milk Records (NMR) improved revenues from £5.32m to £5.56m in the three months to March 2019. Disease testing revenues grew at the fastest rate. This quarter did not benefit from one-off revenues like the first two quarters of the financial year.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) reported a reduction in net assets to £735,000 at the end of March 2019. Gledhow has trebled its money in Block Energy and sold the stake, but most of the proceeds came after the end of March.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) believes that Sport:80 has missed the chance to float, but TruSpine still has a chance to become quoted. International payments and lifecycle software provider Zuuse could be ready for a flotation within 18 months.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has finally published its results for the year to August 2018. They show revenues falling from £226,000 to £96,000, although the loss was similar at £336,000. UK and Netherlands demand were weaker than expected.

Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) says its joint venture Morgan Ashley has achieved financial close on two more projects. A further three could be closed in the current quarter. Even so, group pre-tax profit will be lower. There will be an update in July.

Sativa Investments (SATI) is changing its name to Sativa Group to reflect that it is a trading company with a greater focus on UK operations. The application for a Home Office research and development licence to grow medicinal cannabis is proceeding well. This is for its own requirements as well as growing some varieties for order.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has acquired properties in Warrington and Middlesbrough for more than £10m. The Communities and Local Government department is the long-term tenant of both properties. The Warrington property cost £2.9m and the Middlesbrough property £7.125m.

In the first four months of 2019, NQ Minerals (NQMI) has produced 6,857 DMT of lead concentrate, 4,763 DMT of zinc concentrate and 29,389 DMT of pyrite concentrate.

Giles Brand has increased his stake in EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) from 23.1% to 30.5%. EPE has a NAV of 241.3p a share. Almon I Holding SA has a 3.16% stake in Coinsilium Ltd (COIN).

MetalNRG (MNRG) is delaying a move to the Main Market because of the uranium exploration ban in The Kyrgyz Republic, which means that the proposed farm-in agreement for the Kamushanovskoye uranium deposit has been suspended. Due diligence is progressing on the Thambani licence and the transaction agreement with Mkango Resources by the end of June. Once it has funding, MetalNRG will make progress with the Gold Ridge project.

Panther Metals (PALM) reported a doubled cash outflow from operating activities of £309,000 last year. There was £1,247 in the bank at the end of 2018.

AIM   

Begbies Traynor (BEG) says that trading was ahead of expectations. The business recovery and property services provider says both divisions performed well. Shore has upped its pre-tax profit forecast for the year to April 2019 by 6% to £7.1m, compared with £5.6m the year before. The full year figures will be published on 9 July.

Interactive Investor has decided not to make a bid for Share (SHRE).

RA International (RAI) has won two new contracts. A five year contract worth $9.8m has been awarded by the United Nations Support Office for vehicle and equipment fleet services in Somalia. This is for ten locations compared to one previously. There is also a contract for construction services relating to the US Embassy in Denmark.

Immupharma (IMM) intends to merge its two French subsidiaries and either get private equity backing or float the combined business on a European stockmarket. The business is developing the Nucant cancer programme (Elro) and the peptide platform (Ureka). Immupharma will concentrate on Lupus treatment Lupuzor and it is talking to potential corporate partners.

India-focused online fashion retail investment company Koovs (KOOV) has agreed a £10.5m cash injection at 15p a share by a subsidiary of Indian retailer Future Group.

Bidstack (BIDS) is raising £5m at 12.5p a share. This will finance the growth of the in-game advertising business. Bidstack reversed into Kin Group nine months ago and that that time raised cash at 6p a share.

Trading in contract research organisation Venn Life Sciences (VENN) shares is suspended ahead of the reverse takeover of Open Orphan DAC for £5.7m in shares. The strategy is to gain approval for and provide orphan drugs for the European market. Cash will be raised to fund the new strategy.

Keystone Law (KEYS) increased full year revenues from £31.6m to £42.7m and pre-flotation costs profit jumped from £2.54m to £4.75m. This year’s profit forecast had already been upgraded at the time of the trading statement and the figure is maintained at £5.6m. This year’s dividend is set to rise from 9p a share to 10.3p a share. The cash pile is expected to rise from £6.3m to £7m.

N+1 Singer has upgraded its profit forecasts for Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) following its interims. The pre-tax profit forecast for the year to August 2019 has been increased by 13% to £11m, up from £9.8m last year and not far off the figure for 2016-17. Capital investment is peaking and net debt is expected to rise to £9.1m by the end of August 2019. NAV is set to rise to 68p a share.

Vertu Motors (VTU) reported strong full year figures with growth in used cars and aftersales offsetting the downturn in new car sales. Pre-tax profit of £23.7m was higher than forecast but lower than the £28.6m reported for the previous year. Cash generation is also better than expected. This year’s forecast has been trimmed to £25.7m. The share price remains below its NAV of 44.9p a share.

Osirium Technologies (OSI) is considering raising additional funds in order to fully exploit its new product. Opus is a cyber security product for IT process automation. Additional business development managers and distribution partners have been taken on and additional cash would enable further geographic expansion. Osirium is good at retaining clients and Opus provides an additional product to sell to them.

Packaging manufacturer Robinson (RBN) has increased its revenues by 15% in the first four months of the year and most of that is due to higher volumes. This means that it is well on its way to growing full year revenues from £32.8m to £36.1m even though second quarter revenues may be lower due to destocking. Further capital spending has been funded by cash from operations.

MAIN MARKET 

Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) increased interim revenues by 6% to £56.6m and pre-tax profit was 7% higher at £6.2m. Additional shares in issue mean that earnings per share were slightly lower. The core citrus business revenues fell slightly but other areas grew. Net cash was £9.4m at the end of March 2019. This will be spent on the relocation of UK operations and there will be net debt by the end of September 2019.

Air Partner (AIR) slipped out its figures for the year to January 2019 well after the market closed on Thursday. Even so, there was a positive share price reaction and there were no real disappointments. Underlying pre-tax profit was flat at £5.8m. The total dividend was edged up to 5.6p a share.

Macfarlane (MACF) has acquired protective packaging distributor Ecopac for £3.9m. A pre-tax profit of £500,000 was generated in 2017-18. Macfarlane will provide additional products for Ecopac to distribute.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) will hold the requisitioned general meeting on 16 May. Frank Timis is hoping to change the strategy of the company and conserve the cash pile for other uses. He wants Jonathan Bixby and Mike Edwards removed from the board. Argo expected to generate £220,000 in cryptoassets in April, which is similar to cash operating costs. These costs are expected to rise to £300,000 in May but the month should still be cash neutral.

Cardiff Property (CDFF) increased its NAV from 21.78p a share to 21.84p a share in the six months to March 2019. The interim dividend has been raised by 5% to 4.6p a share. Activity in the Thames Valley area has slowed in the first half.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 21 January 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Sport Capital Group (SCG) is acquiring Italian football club Palermo for a nominal sum. The deal also includes the project for a new stadium for the Serie B team, which is currently five points clear at the top of the table. Promotion back to Serie A would boost revenue generation and it would also trigger an earn-out payment. There is also potential for more sponsorship and match revenues. There is a plan to raise up to £10m from a bond issue that would be traded on NEX.

Clinical decision support technology provider DXS International (DXSP) reported a lower interim loss in the six months to October 2018. Revenues edged up from £1.61m to £1.69m and the loss declined from £92,000 to £35,000. Tax credits meant that there was a post-tax profit of £70,000, up from £28,000. The GPSoC tender has been delayed but it is expected to be completed this year.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its priorities for 2019 are to demonstrate the potential of the blockchain investments that it has and to take advantage of the growing sector. There were record levels of investment in the blockchain sector last year. Management wants movements in the share price to reflect progress rather than the movement of the price of bitcoin, as has been the case in the past year.

KR1 (KR1) has set up a subsidiary in Gibraltar. KRX Ltd will sponsor token-based projects that will list on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, which operates the first regulated blockchain exchange. The subsidiary will generate fees from clients and there are a limited number of sponsors.

AFH Financial Group (AFHP) has acquired fellow wealth management firm Hayburn Rock for up to £3.5m. The initial payment is £900,000. In 2017, the firm made a profit of £400,000.

TechFinancials (TECH) is selling its stake in MarketFinancials, which no longer trades, for €100,000. The investment had no value on the balance sheet.

Smaller company investor Gledhow Investments (GDH) had £167,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018, having made a small profit in the period. The NAV is £793,000.

Ashley House (ASH) is changing its year from April to June. This is the end of the first six months period for joint venture Morgan Ashley Care Developments LLP. There will be interim results for the six months to October 2018 reported at the end of January.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has commissioned the Hellyer processing plant and in the fourth quarter generated £3.2m of revenues from lead, zinc and pyrite.

AIM   

Ascent Resources (AST) is attempting to raise cash at 0.3p a share, which is a 20% discount to the market price, via PrimaryBid.com. Ascent has successfully raised cash via the platform in the past. The broker handling the deal is Stanford Capital Partners. Ascent, which has €400,000 in the bank plus a deposit for a bank guarantee of €200,000, is refocusing its expansion outside of Slovenia because of regulatory hold ups in the country. Revenues from the export of gas from Slovenia totalled €2.1m in 2018 but gaining permission to process the gas and sell it to the national grid has proved difficult.

Knights Group Holdings (KGH) has acquired Leicester-based legal services business Cummins for £1.57m in cash and shares. This fits well with the existing east Midlands operations. In the six months to October 2018, group revenues were 37% ahead at £23.9m and organic growth was 10%. Underlying pre-tax profit doubled to £4.4m. The maiden interim dividend is 0.6p a share. Net debt was £9.5m at the end of October 2018. Average fees per fee earner was one-quarter higher at £66,000.

Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) did better than expected last year. The 2018 pre-tax profit forecast has been raised by 5% to $29m. Net cash is $25m and 50% of the excess over $15m will be paid in a special dividend on top of the ordinary dividend. Somero has also paid $2m for concrete pouring and line dragging company Line Dragon and this broadens the product range.

Student accommodation activities fuelled the growth of Watkin Jones (WJG) last year but private rental will become increasingly important from this year onwards. Richard Simpson has taken over as chief executive.

Kromek (KMK) is making progress towards breakeven and it has plenty of cash in the bank to take it there. The imaging and radiation detection technology developer has a strong order book. There was a dip in first half revenues because of the transfer of production to a new site in Pittsburgh. Even so, full year revenues are forecast to increase from £11.8m to £15m and the loss should reduce from £2.5m to £1.9m.

Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is selling its antinomy exploration interests in Turkey. The company’s main asset is the 40% shareholding in the Sohar antinomy and gold production facility in northern Oman. Some engineering problems have to be sorted out before the plant is fully up and running. More cash will be required. The venture has requested $10.5m from its shareholders.

The market was disappointed by news from Verona Pharma (VRP) about the clinical trial results for COPD treatment Ensifentrine (RPL554). Two different does were used in combination with Stiolto Respimat. The treatment did work better than the placebo, but the improvement in breathing was not statistically significant. The share price slumped by more than one-third, although there was a small subsequent recovery.

CH Bailey (BLEY) has decided to cancel its AIM quotation and it is asking for shareholder approval. The company is offering to buy back shares at 100p each via a tender offer.

Ariana Resources (AAU) says that its 50%-owned Kiziltepe mine produced 27,110ounces of gold in 2018. Ariana expects its $33m development loan to be fully repaid during 2019.

Tax Systems (TAX) had reduced net debt from £20.5m to £13.9m by the end of 2018. Pre-tax profit of £5.8m is forecast for 2018.

Ideagen (IDEA) is acquiring Cork-based Scannell Solutions, which provides environmental health and safety software, for £3.5m. Annualised revenues are around €1m, of which, two-thirds is recurring.

Consumer engagement technology provider Pelatro (PTRO) has confirmed that 2018 figures are in line with expectations and there was improved cash generation in the second half. Net cash was $1.8m at the end of 2018. finnCap expects 2019 pre-tax profit to double from $2.9m to $6m.

Plexus Holdings (POS) plans to buy back 4.95 million shares owned by LLC Gusar. The price will be 50.5p a share. Gusar will use the cash to buy two POS-GRIP wellhead systems, which it announced it was going to buy one year ago.

Midwich Group (MIDW) has acquired MobilePro AG, which expands the audio visual products distributor into Switzerland. The business has annual revenues of CHF25m.

Pharmaxis has completed a toxicity study for two LOXL2 inhibitors in which Synairgen (SNG) has a 17%carried financial interest. Pharmaxis can brief potential licensing partners with the information gained.

Tracsis (TRCS) is acquiring Compass Informatics, which is a data analytics and systems development business. Tracsis is paying up to €5.15m for the Dublin-based company, which made a pre-tax profit of £600,000 last year.

Portmeirion Group (PMP) has achieved record sales in 2018 and beat the profit forecast of £9.5m. The fastest growth came in the home fragrance division.

Iofina (IOF) achieved record iodine production levels in the second half of 2018. Full year production was 17% higher at 588.8 million tonnes. There should be a further rise in production this year and that could move Iofina into profit.

Brandon Hill has initiated coverage of Karelian Diamond Resources (KDR) and it has valued the company’s Lahtojoki diamond project in Finland at $32.9m, based on an average diamond price of $100/carat.

The People’s Operator (TPOP) has postponed the appointment of an administrator as negotiations with interested parties continue.

Kestrel Opportunities has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) from 22.2% to 23.1%. Little more than one year ago the stake was below 15%.

Caledonia Mining Corporation (CMCL) has cut 2019 gold production guidance for its Blanket Mine and WH Ireland has downgraded its forecast from 61,200 ounces to 55,500 ounces, which is at the higher end of the guidance. There was 54,5000 ounces of gold produced in 2018.

MAIN MARKET 

Athelney Trust (ATY) is holding the requisitioned general meeting on Tuesday 22 January. Robin Boyle has requisitioned a general meeting in order to get himself reappointed. He left the board last year after a disagreement over the future of the investment company. He wanted to stay on as a non-executive director to shepherd the change in investment management for the trust. The plan is to get Gresham House involved in the investment management. Boyle also wants David Lawman and Paul Coffin to be appointed and the three existing directors, Dr Emmanuel Pohl, Simon Moore and Jemma Jackson, to be removed.

Path Investments (PATH) has signed heads of agreement with ARC Marlborough. The plan is to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland, via a share issue. Path had £31,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has agreed to sell its $300,000 investment in the Dallas Wheel project back to the developers. Challenger has received $27,000 in interest and will receive $50,000 a month, plus interest, for six months.

Gresham Technologies (GHT) has sold its VME mainframe software business for £2m.

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has sufficient cash to finance continued exploration in the first quarter of 2019. By the middle of the year the gems explorer will be able to estimate how much cash it requires to start trial mining.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 14 May 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET    

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 February 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Western Selection (WESP) maintained its NAV at 95p a share at the end of the six month period of December 2017. Net debt was £1.13m. A sharp upturn in the value of the stake in Bilby (BILB) and offset declines in other investments. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.1p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 8 March.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) has granted six million options to its directors and company secretary. Guy Miller and Brett Miller will receive 2.5 million options each and Geoffrey Melamet receives 1 million. The exercise price is 1p a share. They last for five years and would equate to 10.9% of the enlarged share capital if taken up. The current share price is 1p (0.75p/1.25p). Gledhow had a NAV of £714,452 at the end of September 2017, which is equivalent to 1.45p a share. Since the year end, a gain of £115,000 was achieved on the sale of Coinsilium shares and Gledhow retains a significant stake which in Coinsilium, where the share price is more than three times the level at the end of September 2017. That could add more than £100,000 to the Gledhow NAV but the Coinsilium share price is volatile. Directors and company secretary remuneration was £21,514 last year. There are 4.9 million warrants exercisable at 1.5p each but these expire on 6 March 2017. Bruce Rowan and related parties own 83.37% of the current share capital.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) is continuing with its plans to move to the standard list. IMC has signed heads of agreement with Trove Metals Ltd and this should lead to a joint venture for the project at Avoca, County Wicklow. The current Koza/IMC joint venture has been set aside. IMC has decided to focus on the 12 most prospective of its 15 licences.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) says that its revenues more than doubled to more than £700,000 in 2017. There is customer interest in the Rizikon cyber security product and the General Data Protection Regulations will provide momentum when they come into force in May. Full year figures should be published by the end of April.

Sandal (SAND) says that radiators supplier Pitacs will be a distributor of the Energie MiHome range. Pitacs is launching a new boiler in April and the Energie MiHome thermostats and radiator valves can be sold with this. Pitacs supplies more than 2,000 independent plumbers’ merchants as well as Plumb Nation.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that its investee company Rapid Nutrition plans to gain a quotation in London. Rapid, which is already quoted on the SIX Swiss Exchange, has developed a nutraceutical product range. One of the terms of the £150,000 loan to Rapid was that it should be admitted to the London market by the end of February but this date has been extended to the end of April because of delays in the flotation process. If admission to the market happens by 1 March, then the principal and interest will convert into Rapid shares. If it takes longer than the interest after the end of February is payable in cash.

BWA Group (BWAP) has issued £220,000 of 4% convertible loan notes, with £120,000 taken up by Bath Group, which is owned by BWA chairman Richard Battersby. Bath has taken £70,000 of the loan notes in lieu of cash owed by BWA investee company Mineralfields Group.

Trevor Lloyd has succeeded Philip Kirkham as chairman of National Milk Records (NMR).

Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has changed its name to KR1.

AIM    

Shield Therapeutics (STX) disappointed the market with phase III patient trial results for the use of Feraccru in the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia in patients with chronic kidney disease that did not meet statistical significance requirements. The results are being analysed in order to identify the reason the trial failed. The share price fell by two-thirds.

Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) expects to complete the acquisition of Appalachian producing gas and oil assets from CNX Gas by the end of March. This will cost $85m (£59.9m), while the acquisition of Alliance Petroleum will cost a further $95m (£66.9m). A placing at 80p a share has raised £133.1m. The group’s net working interest production will increase by 173% to 28,133 boed. Management expects annualised EBITDA to be $70m-$75m.

OnTheMarket (OTMP) joined AIM on 9 February having raised £30m at 165p a share. The share price ended the day at 148p. The online property portal operator will make significant investment in its business over the next two years and this will lead it to fall into loss for a couple of years.

Draper Esprit (GROW) has made three new investments. Evonetix is developing the ability for parallel synthesis of DNA on silicon arrays. Droplet Computing has developed technology to decouple applications from the operating system for online and offline use. Kaptivo is developing products to provide whiteboard live streaming and image capture.

Seeing Machines (SEE) has published a trading statement to try to reassure investors following the unexpected departure of its chief executive. Interim revenues will be greater than the A$13.6m reported for last year. The fleet business is gaining revenues internationally. There is growing interest in the driver fatigue technology from Transport for London.

Recruitment software provider Dillistone (DSG) says that its 2017 figures will be much better than expected. This led to a pre-tax profit upgrade from £200,000 to £300,000. This is still a depressed figure due to the investment in GatedTalent and the future of the business depends on the take-up of this new product.

Engineering and technology recruiter Gattaca (GATC) says that weakness in the technology sector will hold back its progress and its chief executive has resigned. Underlying pre-tax profit is set to decline for a second year while the dividend could be halved to 11.5p a share in order for its to be twice covered.

Trading in the shares of BOS Global Holdings (BOS) remains suspended because of the resignation of RFC Ambrian as nominated adviser. BOS still does not have enough working capital so it cannot publish its 2016-17 annual report because the uncertainty over the AIM quotation scuppered a £1.2m placing.

Trading in Kennedy Ventures (KENV) shares will recommence on 12 February following the publication of its annual report. There was a cash outflow of £2.76m in the year to June 2017. The Namibia Tantalite Investment Mine run by African Tantalum has made its fourth shipment of tantalum to its North American customer and there are two more potential customers.

Croma Security Solutions (CSSG) says its first half figures will be much better than those reported for the first half of last year. The EBITDA will improve from £440,000 to more than £1.1m. The company’s largest ever contract was won at the end of the period. There has been an increase in demand for personnel from Croma Vigilant and it has won a five year contract. There is also improved demand for technology supplied by Croma Systems. The interims will be published in February.

BNN Technology (BNN) will lose its AIM quotation on 12 February. A matched bargain facility will be set up. The remaining board hopes to do at least one deal with the two US-listed companies it is in discussions with concerning the acquisition of all or most of BNN’s business.

Strategic Minerals (SML) has extended its access to the Cobre magnetite stockpile in New Mexico until the end of March 2019. This will provide cash to finance other projects.

Origo Partners (OPP) has sold 4.7% of Jinan Heng Yu Environmental Protection Co Ltd for the equivalent of $3m. This is in line with book value but it may take many months for the cash to be received. Origo retains a 7.2% indirect stake. The Origo NAV was $0.09 a share at the end of June 2017.

Alba Mineral Resources (ALBA) has secured additional exploration licences in Greenland. The 466 square km of land is in north west Greenland. Exploration work can be combined with existing licence areas.

Mercantile Ports and Logistics (MPL) says its port in Mumbai will receive its first revenues in a few weeks, following delays in the first customer sorting out its logistics. A further 200 metres is being added to the quay on the east flank of the facility.

Physiomics (PYC) has won a £70,000 contract from a major pharma company. The company’s Virtual Tumour computer model will be used for helping to predict outcomes in pre-clinical testing.

Warpaint London (W7L) says its 2017 results will be in line with expectations suggesting a pre-tax profit of £9.8m and a total dividend of 4p a share.

Polarean Imaging has relaunched plans to come to AIM. It had planned to float at the end of 2017 and the new proposed date is 22 February.

Fryer management services provider Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) says its 2017 revenues were 30% higher at £13.25m. The sale of the refrigeration business should increase the group margin.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) has pulled out of the sale of non-core operations because the buyer had still not obtained regulatory approval.

MAIN MARKET    

Cadmium-free quantum dots producer Nanoco (NANO) has secured a material development and supply agreement with a major US firm that will provide funding to expand Nanoco’s manufacturing site in Runcorn. The deal covers the production of nano-particles for electronic devices. Commercial supply should commence in 2019.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has secured a two month extension to its option on a property in north west England while talks with a housing association continue. Plans for the refurbishment of the building will be presented to the housing association. Gary Carp has increased his stake from below 3% to 5% in the past fortnight.

Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) is negotiating to buy a North American medical imaging software developer, which owns FDA-approved medical imaging software that fits well with Flying Brands; own software. The cost of £500,000 would mainly be financed through a share issue.

Avocet Mining (AVM) has completed the sale of Resolute (West Africa) for $5m.

Path Investments (PATH) is still intending to raise cash and move to AIM in the first quarter of 2018. The farm-in deal to acquire 50% of Alfeld-Elze II licence and gas field in Germany is expected to go ahead in the near future.

Chuk Kin Lau has increased his stake in book publisher Quarto Group (QRT) from 20% to 25.6%. Cavendish Asset Management nearly halved its stake to 3.69%.

Andrew Hore

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