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AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
The ecommerce technology and brands retailer Samarkand Group (SMK) reported lower interim revenues because of a one-off PPE contract in the previous period. There was a small underlying dip in revenues to £7.17m as the wholesaling business is being run down to a less important level of operations. The two core parts of the business grew revenues. The company’s brands generated £2.25m and the NOMAD ecommerce technology business generated just over £3m. Samarkand remains loss-making. Net cash was £8.8m at the end of September 2021, but Samarkand subsequently acquired Napiers the Herbalists for an initial consideration of £1.7m in cash. Revenues continue to grow at an accelerating rate. The current focus is organic growth through adding new clients.
Rural Broadband Solutions (RBBS) is acquiring Cadence Networks for £80,000 in cash and the issue of two million shares at a notional price of 7p each. Cadence is an internet service provider with revenues of £145,000. It has three data centres in London that Rural Broadband Solutions can use to build its national data network to replace third party providers. This will help to improve gross margins. There are 2,733 premises connected to the fixed wireless network of Rural Broadband Solutions. A placing is raising £1.675m at 3p a share. Directors are subscribing for 18.3 million shares. Investec Bank will advise on infrastructure funding.
VSA Capital (VSA) reported interim revenues of £1.16m and a loss of £235,000. This reflects the delay in the flotation of Tungsten West, which subsequently generated revenues of more than £1m.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has sold its residential property in Southfields for £662,500, which is a 2% premium to its valuation. This is the final private rental property in the portfolio.
Love Hemp Group (LIFE) generated revenues of £4.33m in the year to June 2021 and revenues from major retailers are increasing. Plans to move to the Main Market are progressing.
Apollon Formularies (APOL) has completed its high-volume processing laboratory. Processing capacity has increased to 20 litres of medicinal cannabis oil a day.
BWA Group (BWAP) says that the independent expert review of the two 90%-owned mineral sands projects in Cameroon supports the potential for significant mineralisation. BWA intends to drill 2,500 metres at Nkoteng and 1,500 metres in Dehane in the first quarter of 2022. An initial mineral resource estimate is expected by next summer.
Igraine (KING) says 2%-owned investee company Excalibur Medicines has completed the ARCADIA phase II clinical trial to assess a potential treatment for diabetics with Covid-19. The trial shows that AZD1656 reduced mortality in patients in combination with other medication. There are no safety concerns
S-Ventures (SVEN) has raised £3m at 70p a share and it will spend the cash on growing its food and wellness businesses. Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has raised £102,000 at 0.5p a share. IamFire (IAF) has raised £4.75m at 3p a share. EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has raised £20m from a zero dividend preference share offer. EPE has spent £1.1m and £175,000 buying back ordinary shares at 330p each and 350p each respectively.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has arranged an £8m loan at an annual interest rate of 15%. Schroder UK Public Private Trust and other shareholders will provide the loan in two tranches of £4m. There is also a convertible loan of £2m from LF Equity Income Fund – the conversion price is 176p. This will provide the working capital needed and a longer-term financing will be arranged next year. The cash is required because the cash for the £12.35m placing with SDI Holding has not been received. The acquisition of Proton Partners International has also not been completed.
Western Selection (WESP) has reduced its stake in AIM-quoted Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) from 11.35% to 9.65%. The sale, at 159.7p a share, raised £791,000. That is a gain on the balance sheet value of £216,000. Harwood Capital has increased its stake from 15.1% to 16.9%, including an unchanged 13.4% held by Gresham House Strategic (GHS).
New chief executive Andrew Carter has bought 66,079 shares in Chapel Down Group (CDGP) at 45.4p each. He owns 99,699 shares. Voyager Life (VOY) chief executive Nick Tulloch bought 537,776 shares at 18p each and chairman Eric Boyle acquired 519,112 shares at the same price. They own 14.3% and 9.1% respectively. Burns Singh-Tennent has bought one million shares in Oscillate (MUSH) at 2p each. He owns 5.22%.
NWF (NWF) had a successful first half even though feed volumes were disappointing and group figures will be much better than the previous year. Actions taken to retain drivers have helped the fuels and food distribution divisions. Fuels has done better than expected with a short-term boost from fuel shortages, which NWF did not suffer from, in the autumn. The food distribution business is benefiting from increased capacity. Net debt has fallen providing further scope for fuels acquisitions.
Totally (TLY) is acquiring Energy Fitness Professionals (Energy Fit-Pro), which provides workplace fitness services. The total cost will be up to £1.3m and Totally still has plenty of cash to finance further acquisitions. In the year to March 2021, Energy Fit-Pro made a pre-tax profit of £445,000 on revenues of £984,000. There will be cross-selling opportunities.
Digital transformation services provider Made Tech Group (MTEC) grew interim revenues by 131% to £11.7m thanks to the focus on the public sector. Hiring continues ahead of anticipated growth. Short-term gross margin was reduced due to the increased use of contractors.
Multi-utility connections and electric vehicle charging installer Fulcrum Utility Services Ltd (FCRM) is raising £19.5m at 12p a share and it could raise up to £6m more via an open offer. The placing and open offer price is below the underlying NAV of 15.4p a share, although more than 50% of that figure relates to intangible assets. The order book was £80.9m at the end of September 2021.The cash will be used to invest in the smart energy infrastructure sector as meter asset provider (MAP).
Acquisitions and tax adviser K3 Capital (K3C) expects to report a 30% increase in interim revenues to £30m through a combination of like-for-like growth and acquisitions. The diversification into additional services provides a stronger base for the group.
Hurricane Energy (HUR) could make a $54m write-off on its activities in the Greater Warwick area (GWA) of the North Sea because it does not want to fund the drilling obligations under the licence.
Tungsten Corporation (TUNG) founder Edmund Truell and his associates are backing a possible bid of 40p a share by Kofax Inc. California-based Kofax is an automated software provider that simplifies the handling of data. The board says that the bid significantly undervalues the digital invoicing business. Cloud-based automation technology provider Jaggaer LLC has decided not to make a rival bid but venture capital firms Accel-KKR, could still make an offer.
Deepmatter Group (DMTR) is seeking more cash, but it will take until early next year to secure additional investment for the digital chemistry data company. At the end of June 2021, Deepmatter had £1.8m in cash and that has fallen to £400,000. Deepmatter is loss-making.
Printed circuit technology developer Trackwise Designs (TWD) is raising £6m at 80p a share, which is a significant discount to the market price at the time of the announcement. An open offer could raise up to £1m. Capital equipment deliveries were delayed, although the EV contract will start next year.
Sovereign Metals Ltd (SVML) was listed on the ASX and obtained a secondary quotation on AIM. A scoping study for the Kasiya rutile project confirms that it is a significant deposit. The NPV8 after tax is $861m with a mine life of 25 years. The capital cost is estimated at $332m.
Youth-focused digital media company LBG Media (LBG) joined AIM in order to build a cash pile on the balance sheet so that organic and acquisitive growth can be achieved. It raised £30m at 175p each, leaving pro forma net cash of £27.1m. The share price ended the first day at 200p and the week at 193.45p.
DSW Capital (DSW) licences its brand to professionals involved in corporate finance and accounting services and provides them with back office support. Many individuals become licensees after working with major accountancy firms. Warrington-based DSW believes that the flotation will boost the profile of the business and enable it to grow geographically and broaden the services provided. DSW raised £5m at 100p a share and the price ended the week at 123.5p.
In the six months to October 2021, Begbies Traynor (BEG) revenues were 39% ahead at £52.3m. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped 60% to £8m thanks to an improvement in operating margin from 14.4% to 16%. Net cash was £1.2 million at the end of April 2021.
Public Policy Holding Company Inc (PPHC) provides public affairs, crisis management and lobbying services in the US. It has three subsidiaries in the top 20 US lobbying firms. A placing raised £11.1m at 135p a share. Although the company has reported losses, a change in bonus arrangements will make it profitable.
Problems at the CHESS naval systems subsidiary led to a slump in interim profit at defence firm Cohort (CHRT), but it still increased the interim dividend by 10% to 3.85p a share. The group order book remains strong and includes some large orders. A new managing director has been appointed at CHESS.
Jade Road Investments Ltd (JADE) says that the structure of restaurants group Fook Lam Moon has changed, and it may no longer own 71%. This could lead to a partial or full provision of the $29.1m valuation in the balance sheet.
Anemoi International (AMOI) has completed the acquisition of id4 AG for £5.33m, with an initial payment in shares with 50% deferred and dependent on achieving targets over the next five years. The SaaS-based business provides anti-money laundering and know your client software products. A placing raised £2.175m at 4p a share.
Spinnaker Acquisitions (SPAQ) is planning to acquire leak detection technology developer HomeServe Labs, from fully listed HomeServe (HSV) for a mixture of cash and shares. The business trades under the name LeakBot and it helps insurers to reduce claims costs. Insurers can provide LeakBot to homeowners free of charge. The company would be renamed Ondo InsureTech.
Marine technology products developer OTAQ (OTAQ) is raising £1.38m at 22p a share. Interim revenues fell from £2m to £1.8m. Net debt was £800,000 at the end of September 2021. The regulatory review in Scotland has held back progress and it continues to do so. There are plans for new product launches.
Publisher National World (NWOR) says full year revenues will be around 85%, following the purchase of JPI Media, with growth in digital income and a slowing in the rate of decline of print revenues. There should be cash of £23m at the end of 2021.
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Good Energy (GOOD) has followed the lapsed Ecotricity bid with a nine-month trading statement saying that the renewable energy supplier is on course to meet full year expectations. Good Energy is more than 90% hedged for the next 12 months, so there is limited exposure to the current price volatility. Price rises have been implemented. The 0.75p a share interim dividend is payable on 29 November and the ex-dividend date is 21 October. Finance director Rupert Sanderson has sold 14,800 shares at 335p each, while chief executive Nigel Pocklington bought 7,500 shares at 351.666p each.
Walls and Future REIT (WAFR) is engaging with new investors so that there are buyers for the 10% of the share capital where investors are not long-term holders. This is holding back the share price and causing the high discount to NAV, according to management. The company has completed the design of its autism friendly housing.
CBD products supplier Voyager Life (VOY) generated revenues of £65,000 from incorporation to the end of September 2021. Monthly overheads are less than £50,000. There is £1.8m in the bank. New stores are opening in Edinburgh and Dundee.
Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) has acquired CBD products manufacturer N8 Essentials for 1.17 million shares issued at 67.3 cents a share. N8 has a 14,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Kansas. This will enable more group production to be brought in house.
Sativa Wellness (SWEL) has launched an online telemedicine service. This enables patients to follow up tests with a virtual medical consultation.
KR1 (KR1) is participating in the Kintsugi crowdloan and Kusama (KSM) parachain auction. KR1 contributed 5,000 KSM to the crowdloan.
Altona Natural Resources (ANR) has started drilling at the Monte Muambe project in Mozambique. This will improve the understanding of the geological model and test four newly identified targets.
The requisition for a general meeting at British Honey (BHC) has been withdrawn. Richard Day has been reappointed chairman and Mark Gamble as an executive director. Alex Maurice has stepped down from the board but continues to be employed by the company.
Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) non-exec director CP Freeman has bought 800 shares at 884p each. David Evans has a 7.61% stake in Oberon Investments (OBE).
The SFO has ended its investigation into people associated with Watchstone Group (WTG) when it was known as Quindell.
Light Science Technologies (LST) is a contract electronics manufacturer and a developer of controlled environment agriculture technology, which joined AIM on 15 October. The agricultural technology being developed helps farmers to maximise crop productivity and monitor the growing environment. The company’s LED lighting range is called nurturGrow Luminaire and the nurturGROW sensor is being developed. There was £5m raised at 10p a share and the price ended the first day at 11.5p. The cash raised in the flotation will be used to expand facilities and increase marketing.
Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) has achieved record interim earnings. The UK has been a strong market, but Australia has been tougher. The full year outcome is likely to be ahead of expectations. Peel Hunt has upgraded its full year pre-tax profit forecast from £58.3m to £65m.
Branded furnishings and wallcoverings supplier Sanderson Design Group (SDG) improved interim pre-tax profit by 22% to £6m on a 48% increase in revenues. North American and UK sales were strong, and the manufacturing business bounced back. Management plans to generate more income from the archive of past patterns and designs. Net cash is £15.4m. Sanderson is on course to achieve an increase in full year pre-tax profit from £7.1m to £10.9m.
Eqtec (EQT) plans to acquire a 5MW project in Drama, Greece, which will generate energy from forestry waste. Financial close should be achieved for the project in the third quarter of 2022. There is also an additional £2.1m of investment in the North Fork project in California, which increases the stake from 10% to 49%. The 2MW biomass to energy project has been delayed due to fires and Covid. A $4.5m convertible loan facility has been provided to the development.
CyanConnode (CYAN) says interim revenues were £4.1m and it is well on the way to £9.4m of revenues for the full year. The narrowband radio frequency networks company continues to lose money, but cash levels should improve.
Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) recorded record first half results despite supply problems for new vehicles. Used car prices have been rising because of the shortage of new vehicles. In the six months to August 2021, revenues increased from £1.2bn to £1.92bn. Underlying pre-tax profit soared from £4.7m to £51.8m, which is more than treble the first half of 2019-20. Net cash is £57.3m. The interim dividend has been re-established at 0.65p a share. The net tangible asset value is 61.5p a share.
High street sales recovered at fishing tackle retailer Angling Direct (ANG) despite being closed in the first ten weeks of the first half and online sales continued to grow. In the six months to July 2021, revenues improved from £32.1m to £38.4m with high street sales increasing by two-fifths. Online sales were 2% ahead. Pre-tax profit jumped from £1.36m to £3.72m, which includes government lockdown support. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to increase from £2.6m to £3.5m.
Driving safety technology developer Seeing Machines (SEE) has signed a framework agreement with Shell Global Solutions for its Guardian driver distraction and fatigue technology. Deployments should start later this year. Shell has 20,000 vehicles, compared with the total number of 31,771 vehicles using Guardian technology. Seeing Machines has also set up an EU sales team with a headquarters in Amsterdam.
Gresham House Strategic (GHS) has decided to change its investment manager from Gresham House Asset Management to Harwood Capital, where its previous investment manager Richard Staveley moved earlier this year, and Gresham House (GHE) has requisitioned a general meeting in order to have the company’s cash distributed to shareholders and the portfolio of investments liquidated over a 24-month period. Gresham House has a 23.3% stake in Gresham House Strategic and claims the backing of 40% of the share capital. The opposition to the move owns 30% of the company. Harwood intends to invest in the company, and it will generate lower fees, which will save the company £270,000.
Iodine company Iofina (IOF) produced 142.7 MT of crystalline iodine in the third quarter of 2021 and that underpins full year forecasts. Iodine prices continue to rise and recently hit $40/kg.
LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) has acquired DW Windsor, an exterior lighting business, for £16.9m in cash. In the year to September 2021, operating profit was £1.9m.
Highway Capital (HWC) has finally found a suitable reverse takeover target, although there is no firm agreement. There will be a fundraising alongside the purchase of esports adviser and investor Guinevere Capital Esports & Entertainment. No purchase price has been announced
Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCTP) has acquired medical assets from Canopy Growth Corporation, which provides access to cannabinoid derivatives and will help the company to develop additional drug projects. The lead compound OCT461201, which is a potential neuropathic pain treatment, is progressing towards clinical trials in the third quarter of 2022.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that it is confident that it has the resources to trade through the current economic difficulties. Significant losses are expected this year and into next year. There was £1.27m in the bank at the end of 2019. Net assets were £50.9m. Newbury increased revenues by 3% to £19.8m in 2019, while underlying pre-tax profit fell by two-thirds to £490,000.
Blockchain technology and tokens investor KR1 (KR1) reported realised gains of £694,000 in 2019, while staking yields and advisory fees generated £422.000 in income. There was also a net unrealised gain on all investments of nearly £1m. Reported pre-tax profit was £1.36m, compared with a large loss the previous year because of a significant unrealised loss. NAV was £7.47m at the end of 2019.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) is raising a further £447,500 at 7p a share. This also helps to extend the shareholder register. The cash will finance the reopening of the Beaconsfield gold mine.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that the capex on the Yangibana rare earths project, where Cadence has a 30% interest, will be reduced by A$68m (13% of the total) due to the relocation of the processing plant.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has secured a contract to produce 10,000 tonnes of ilmenite pellets from tailings sludge. This will increase the effectiveness of the ilmenite and get rid of the sludge. This indicates that there is a broader market for the pelleting technology than just coal.
Eight Capital Partners (ECP) is restructuring its investment in Financial Innovations Team because of a disappointing performance. The investment will be unwound, and the funds invested should be recovered. The stake has been returned to the vendors and a vendor loan has been cancelled and Eight Capital bonds returned. That totals €750,000 out of the aggregate consideration of €1.2m, with a further €100,000 to come. A £1 payment has secured an option to take a 60% stake Innovative Finance.
Incanthera (INC) has filed a new patent for its Sol skin cancer technology. This should extend the life of the Sol patents to 2041.
European Lithium Ltd (EUR) has received the A$1m balance of the $10m finance facility with Winance Investment.
Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) traded strongly in June following a tough three months. There was limited impact on the figures for the year to March 2020 with revenues of £621.5m and like-for-like growth of 0.4%. Higher interest charges held back pre-tax profit to £50.7m. Net debt was £365.9m, with most debt in the form of quoted bonds. There is £174.7m of cash in the balance sheet. This could be used to finance further acquisitions. Pre-tax profit is forecast to decline to £27m this year before improving to £54m next year. The outcomes will depend on the strength and consistency of the recovery.
Peter Gyllenhammar continues to build up his stake in Brand Architekts (BAR) and it has reached 6.1%. He owned less than 3% just over a fortnight ago. This follows the reduction in the stake held by Gresham House Strategic (GHS) to below 3%.
Fortiana Holdings has launched a recommended 300p a share bid for Highland Gold Mining (HGM) and that values the gold miner at £1.09bn. The Highland share price has not hit 300p since 2006.
At the end of March 2020, the NAV of Wynnstay Properties (WSP) was 792p a share. In the first quarter, 100% of rents were received.
Harwood Capital is offering 37.5p a share for property manager HML Holdings (HMLH) and this valued it at £19m.
Goldplat (GDP) says its gold recovery processing operations in South Africa and Ghana have increased profitability in the year to June 2020. South Africa more than doubled its profit contribution and Ghana moved from loss to profit. The higher gold price has offset shutdown periods. here was £3.2m in the bank at the end of June 2020. The loss-making Kilmapesa mine is being sold for an initial payment of $1.5m plus up to $1.5m via a 1% net smelter royalty. An unnamed UK listed company plans to make the acquisition if it raises at least $4m and gains shareholder approval.
Gemfields (GEM) reduced cash operating spending to below $5m in June and that left net cash of $9.3m. There is uncertainty about whether gemstone auctions will be held. If not, more cash is likely to be needed
Coro Energy (CORO) is not going ahead with the disposal of its Italian oil and gas assets Zenith Energy (ZEN) because regulatory approval has not been received.
Shareholders of cash shell Safe Harbour Holdings (SHH) have voted to wind up the company, although one-fifth of the votes were against the resolution. A 74p a share distribution will be made by the end of September and a final distribution is planned by next July.
Tex Holdings (TXH) says it needs additional working capital and is talking to its major shareholder. The plastics division is trading at 70% of expected levels, while engineering is having a difficult year, although orders improved in June. Other parts of the business are suffering delays in orders.
Books publisher Quarto (QRT) reported a slump in revenues from $56.4m to $46.9m, although the underlying loss dipped from $3.7m to $3.3m due to lower interest charges. Cash generated from operating activities was $8.38m. Pre-publication costs fell from $11.9m to $10.3m. Net debt was $36.6m at the end of June 2020.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) says that it believes that the UK review of regulatory requirements for cannabis-related companies is near completion. When this happens Spinnaker should be able to complete the acquisition of Kanabo Research.
A gain on a disposal of an investment by Sure Valley Ventures has helped Sure Ventures (SURE) to increase its NAV to 92.6p a share.
Blockchain venture builder Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that RIF Labs is acquiring RSK Labs, where Coinsilium owns 65,000 series Seed-1 preferred shares. The cost of the investment was $83,750. The acquisition is a share for token swap and Coinsilium will end up with 1.95 million RIF tokens, which is the equivalent of 139.4 bitcoins, currently valued at $773,000. However, an initial 12.5% of the consideration will be released six months after the deal is completed and then 2.5% each month for 42 months.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has entered into an additional marketing and off-take agreement with Traxys Europe. The deal covers the production from the Hellyer project in Tasmania for the first five years. This includes a facility for prepayment.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that its Australian subsidiary has received a A$590,000 tax rebate from the Australian government. A 43.5% rebate is due on qualifying technical expenditure and so far more than A$2m has been received. Spending continues.
Gowin New Energy Group Ltd (GWIN) chief executive Chen Chih-Lung is lending £40,000 to the company for 12 months at an annual interest rate of 2%.
Music and audio equipment supplier Focusrite (TUNE) is continuing to grow internationally although Asia is growing at the fastest rate. Full year revenues grew by 14% to £75.1m, while pre-tax profit improved from £9.51m to £11.3m. The dividend is 22% higher at 3.3p a share. There is £22.8m of cash in the bank and this could be used for add-on acquisitions. Tariffs on Chinese exports are being used as a way of testing out price rises for the US market. Forecast profit growth is modest but there is potential for outperformance.
Tristel (TSTL) is buying its distributor in Benelux and France and this will enhance earnings. The maximum payment for Ecomed will be €6.8m (£6m) with €5m paid up front. The deal also provides an additional warehouse in Europe. A full year contribution in 2019-20 will increase pre-tax profit by £700,000 to £6.5m.
Sustainable timber supplier Accsys Technologies (AXS) has increased its capacity for Accoya production by 50% and this will help production in the second half. Demand for Accoya is strong and sales increased from €28.3m to €31.1m in the six months to September 2018. The development of the Tricoya plant in Hull is progressing. Construction could be completed in the middle of 2019 and it will breakeven at 40% of capacity. Tricoya, which is used in MDF-type panels, is currently produced from Accoya and this plant will free up Accoya production for other customers. Numis forecasts a rise in full year revenues from €60.9m to €73.1m and a decline in loss to €5.1m. Net debt is expected to be €46m at the end of March 2019 and it will continue to rise because of the capital investment programmes. If partners can be secured in the USA and Asia then this could provide a significant boost to the company.
Initial drilling results at the Havieron licence area in Western Australia provided good news for Greatland Gold (GGP) with two wide zones of gold and copper mineralisation intersected. This significantly extends the known mineralisation.
Immunodiagnostic System Holdings (IDH) is up to its old tricks. The interim figures were published at 5.04pm on Friday 23 November. To be fair this is 14 minutes earlier than the half year trading statement so maybe the company is improving. Here’s hoping. Interim revenues were flat at £18.5m but the company fell into loss. There was £27.8m of cash in the bank (net cash of £26.5m) at the end of September 2018. Maybe some of this should be spent on an alarm clock so management can get up in the morning to release its results.
Chris Jagusz has stood down as chief executive of Redcentric (RCN) as revenue growth has been hard to come by. The latest interims have sparked downgrades for 2018-19 with revenues cut by 5% to £94.2m.
SIMEC AtlantisEnergy (SAE) has singed a joint venture with AD Normandie Developpement and this will enable the commencement of tidal energy projects between France and Alderney. A capacity of 3,000MW is being targeted and there is potential for EU grants.
Innovation software provider Imaginatik (IMTK) has achieved annualised cost savings of £1.2m, but the strategic review held back revenues and new orders in the first half. The cash outflow declined. Trading levels are picking up.
There are no competition concerns about the Ebiquity (EBQ) disposal of its advertising intelligence business to Neilsen Media Research. The business has been underperforming because of the uncertainty and this will enable the deal to go ahead. Ebiquity says that 2018 operating profit will be lower than expected.
Positive news about the Wressle oil project, where the planning officer for North Lincolnshire has recommended approval. The original application was refused two years ago. Operator Egdon Resources (EDR) owns a 30% interest in Wressle, Europa Oil and Gas (EOG) has a 30% interest and Union Jack Oil (UJO) has a 27.5% interest. Humber Oil and Gas owns the other 12.5%.
Integumen (SKIN) has raised £355,000 from a placing at 0.44p a share. This cash will support the development and commercialisation of Labskin. Integumen is paying €40,000 and six million shares to former chief executive Declan Service.
Sutton Harbour (SUH) returned to profit in the six months to September 2018, although the corresponding period had a hefty asset write-down, and it is raising cash for pre-construction funding. An open offer of 77-for-786 at 29p a share will raise up to £3m and close on 6 December. Planning approvals have been received for the Sugar Quay and Harbour Arch Quay schemes in Plymouth.
Electronic and battery products supplier Solid State (SOLI) is starting to improve its performance, although there may still be a decline in full year profit. In the six months to September 2018, revenues were 5% ahead at £23.6m and pre-tax profit improved from £1.55m to £1.66m. The interim dividend was 5% higher at 4.2p a share. The order book was worth £29.6m at the end of September 2018.
TomCo Energy (TOM) has appointed Turner Pope to replace SVS as broker and trading in the shares has recommenced.
SEC (SECG) is acquiring France-based public and corporate affairs business CLAI. An initial 10% stake, but with 50.1% of voting rights, will cost €490,000 in cash. A further stake of 40.01% will be acquired in the second half of 2020 and another 10% in the second half of 2023. The shareholders can ask SEC to buy the remaining shares between 30 July 2025 and 30 November 2025. The final payments are based on an earnout although the maximum will be €8.8m. In 2017, CLAI made a pre-tax profit of €551,000 on revenues of €4.49m. The acquisition could be earnings enhancing. CLAI will continue to be run by existing management.
Majestic Wine (WINE) is finding the UK market tough and margins are coming under pressure. Peel Hunt has reduced its 2018-19 pre-tax profit forecast by £2m to £12.8m, partly due to increased investment in Naked.
Kestrel has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) to 22.2%.
Another disappointing trading statement from Fire Angel Safety (FA.) has led to a 2018 profit downgrade. Stock problems and delays to orders have hit the smoke alarms supplier. Scottish legislation due to be passed next year should provide a boost to demand. Fire Angel will be loss-making in 2018 but should make a small second half profit.
Legal services firm Knights Group (KGH) says that interim figures will be in line with expectations with double digit organic revenue growth. The interims will be announced on 15 January.
Maritime identification systems developer SRT Marine (SRT) had already flagged its 9% increase in interim revenues to £3.2m and increased underlying loss of £1.3m. There was little contribution from the GeoVS analytics system. There are expected to be significant deliveries in the second half, but timing cannot be guaranteed. A full year profit of around £3m is expected if the deliveries do take place. SRT is no longer considering investing in its own satellite constellation for this business.
FIH Group (FIH) reported flat interim profit, although there was a sharp improvement in contribution by the Momart art and museum logistics business. There was a decline in the performance of the Gosport ferry and Falkland Islands activities.
Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) says interim revenues will be one-fifth higher at £46.4m with around 50% of this organic growth. Full year revenues should be at least £102m. EBITDA margins should be maintained suggesting full year EBITDA of more than £19m. That is slightly higher than previous consensus.
Argentina-focused oil and gas producer and explorer President Energy (PPC) says the first Puesto Flores development well is producing at 600 bopd, having peaked at 1,000 bopd. This is as much as was anticipated from all three development wells. The results from the second development well appear positive and testing is about to commence. finnCap believes that the first well could have a post-tax NPV of $20m.
Pallett developer and manufacturer RM2 International (RM2) is raising £13m at 105p a share, following a 200-for-one share consolidation. This replaces the second tranche of a previously announced placing which would have happened at 1p a share (200p a share equivalent) but RM2 did not meet the performance requirements to spark the other placing. All but one of the investors set to buy shares previously will subscribe to the new placing. The cash will be used to fit track and trace devices to existing pallets, produce new pallets and cover admin costs. The cash will last until next April.
finnCap has sharply downgraded its pre-tax profit forecasts for telecoms services provider Maintel Holdings (MAI) due to project delays. The 2018 figure has been cut from £12.9m to £9.8m and the 2019 figure from £16.1m to £12.7m. The 2018 dividend is still expected to be 34.5p a share, although the cover will fall to 1.6 times. There is a move towards recurring revenues which will have a longer-term benefit for Maintel.
Restaurants operator Tasty (TAST) has revised its £7m term loan facility, which will be extended until March 2022. Quarterly repayments will be reduced from July 2019, by which time the amount draw down will be reduced by £1.1m. Net debt is currently £4.3m.
The NAV of value-focused investment vehicle Gresham House Strategic (GHS) has held up well considering the stockmarket decline. It grew to 1264p a share at the end of September 2018 and it was still 1243.2p a share on 16 November. The stake in IMImobile (IMO) has been reduced but it remains a strong performer. Cloud communications software supplier IMImobile improved its interim revenues by one-quarter and organic growth was 15%. The growth came from the European and American operations. Established customers are buying more services from the company and acquisitions are supplementing growth. Liontrust has increased its IMImobile stake to 21.4% but Kestrel has cut its to below 3%.
Payment protection software provider PCI-PAL (PCIP) is paying former boss William Catchpole his contracted entitlements plus £100,100 in settlement of his claims. The board unanimously asked Catchpole to leave in October. The final loan note repayment of £250,000 has been received from the buyer of the contact centre business.
Digital and media recruiter Nakama Group (NAK) reported flat interim net fees of £2.7m, but it managed to return to profit thanks to reduced costs. Further cost cutting is underway. There was a £558,00 cash inflow from operations and net debt was £488,000.
Antennas developer MTI Wireless Edge (LSE: MWE) has completed its merger with Israel-quoted majority shareholder MTI Computers and the initial benefits will show through in the second half. The interim figures show organic growth in revenues of 2%, but that growth should accelerate in the second half. Water management technology provider Mottech is winning new business and there are good prospects for the other divisions. The NAV is 17.8p a share and the full year dividend could be 1.25p a share.
Two directors have invested nearly £230,000 in shares in Condor Gold (CNR) at 22pa share. Non-executive Jim Mellon took his stake to 7%, while executive chairman Mark Child has reached 6%. Condor has been granted an important environmental permit for the development of a processing plant at its La India project in Nicaragua. SRK Consultants is preparing an updated mineral resource.
Juridica Investments Ltd (JIL) plans to leave AIM as part of the process of winding-up the company. The quotation will be cancelled on 21 December after liquidators from KPMG Channel Islands are appointed. Management fees will be reduced.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) continues to build up its sales, having been trading for two years, and they reached £1.84m in the six months to September 2018. The loss was nearly £2m. Returns were 52% but that was put down to a high level of dress sales in the period and it can be more difficult to get the right fit. The benefits of the move to the Magento 2 ecommerce platform and the investment in the website are showing through in the second half. October was a record month. A placing raised £3m after the balance sheet date so pro forma cash is £5.56m.
600 Group (SIXH) has rationalised its UK business and sorted out its pension problems. Interim revenues were slightly ahead but underlying margins improved from 5.1% to 6%. The machine tools and laser marking equipment supplier is expected to improve its full year pre-tax profit from $3.05m to $3.9m.
Motor dealer Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) has performed well considering the dip in the new car market. Used vehicles and aftersales offset some of the decline. There was a 2% decline in revenues to £630m and underlying pre-tax profit fell by 13% to £9.8m. The capital investment programme for new sites has peaked and the benefits of that investment are still to come.
Veltyco Group (VLTY) is still finding it difficult to collect the money it is owed. This means that its cash is running low and this will impact its ability to promote its own brands.
Graphene materials supplier Directa Plus (DCTA) is confident that it will achieve 2018 revenues of €2.3m and this figure could double in 2019. Growth is coming from textiles, environmental and elastomers customers.
Ubisense Group (UBI) is selling RTLS SmartSpace for up to £35m, which is around two-thirds of the software company’s current market value. The group had cash of £6.8m in the middle of November 2018. Funds managed by Investcorp Technology Partners will pay an initial £30m. Liabilities of £3.1m and a loan of £1.75m will have to be paid out of the proceeds. The company’s name will be changed to IQGeo and it will focus on the myWorld product, which helps telecom companies to integrate their technology ecosystem. The myWorld business generated interim revenues of £5.7m but £3.2m was geospatial services from third party products. Some of the cash will be distributed to shareholders.
The decline in annual pre-tax profit at Stride Gaming (STR) from £18.9m to £14.8m was no surprise given the impact of regulation and tax. The online bingo and gaming company is likely to report a further fall in profit this year. A special dividend of 8p a share has been announced and in future 50% of net earnings will be paid in dividends.
Packaging and labels supplier Macfarlane Group (MACF) continues to grow revenues organically, supplemented by recent acquisitions. Organic growth has been 5% and overall growth is 13%. The fourth quarter is important, though. Full year pre-tax profit is forecast to improve by 47% to £13.6m and earnings per share by one-third to 7p. Acquisition payments should be offset by cash generated in the second half.
S and U (SUS) has increased its investment in Aspen Bridging from £20m to £30m. Aspen has been trading for less than two years and is already in profit.
Creightons (CRL) increased its interim profit by 44% to £1.38m on revenues one-third ahead at £22.3m. The main growth in sales has come from retailer own brands, while Creightons own brands raised their sales by 11%.
David Brown has sold his 4.55% stake in Associated British Engineering (ASBE).
Sealand Capital (SCGL) has formed a new subsidiary called ePurse (HK) Ltd, which is generating commissions from WeChat Pay activities in Hong Kong. Licences have been obtained in the UK and Dubai.
Social impact investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has taken a stake in Uganda-based Four-One Financial Services Ltd, which manages the Mazima Voluntary Individual Retirement Benefits Scheme. The pension scheme is aimed a low income earners and Four-One provides marketing and administration services.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has been regularly raising funds in the past few weeks. The latest placing raised nearly £126,000 at 7.3p a share. So far this year, NQ has raised nearly £900,000.
Malcolm Burne has increased his stake in Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) by 500,000 shares, taking his shareholding to 6.19%.
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) consolidated every 19 shares into one new share on 4 April.
StatPro (SOG) is acquiring UBS Delta, which provides risk and performance analysis services, for €13m (£11.1m) over three years. UBS Delta has 115 clients with 100 of these being new to StatPro. This provides a ready made customer base for the StatPro Revolution product. UBS Delta has annualised recurring revenues of £14.5m and the combined group will have £53m. This is a highly earnings enhancing deal. A full contribution in 2018 leads to an improvement in forecast earnings per share from 4.5p to 7.4p. Net debt will double to £20.2m by the end of 2017 and then start to come down through cash generated from operations.
Bushveld Minerals Ltd (BMN) has completed the purchase of a 78.8% stake in Strategic Minerals Corporation, which owns 75% of the company that owns Vametco Alloys in South Africa. Bushveld says that the $16.5m it has paid is less than the cost of setting up a greenfield mining operation. The deal is part of the strategy to develop a vertically integrated vanadium operation. Bushveld is acquiring a low cost, open pit mine and plant with an existing customer base. There are enough ore reserves to last for 24 years at current production levels, plus scope to increase these reserves. Vametco is also near to Bushveld’s Brits vanadium project. Bushveld has also agreed to work with Sinohydro Corporation on developing a 60MW coal powered plant and related transmission infrastructure in southern Madagascar. Sinohydro will pay for the bankable feasibility study and project implementation proposal in the next 12 months. Bushveld is also moving ahead with the acquisition of an interest in the Uis tin project in Namibia.
AdEPT Telecom (ADT) says that its figures for the year to March 2017 will be ahead of expectations. Revenues are expected to be 16% higher and EBITDA 26% ahead. Net debt of £15.8m is £1.3m lower than forecast. The total dividend will be increased by 19% to 7.75p a share.
Belvoir Lettings (BLV) grew its 2016 revenues by 43% to £9.94m, while pre-tax profit improved from £2.2m to £2.5m. Contributions from acquired letting networks helped the growth. Demand remains strong for rented property. The estate agency business continues to grow from a low base and there are plans to increase revenues from other services. The final dividend is unchanged at 3.4p a share.
Gatemore Capital Management has withdrawn its requisition for a general meeting to change the board at DX (Group) (DX.) following the announcement of the discussions for the merger with Menzies Distribution.
Staunton failed to secure 50% acceptances for its 300p a share bid for FIH Group (FIH). The level of acceptances was 34.74% but nearly two-thirds of those were related parties to Staunton, which itself already owned 2.34%. The bid has lapsed. Dolphin Fund Ltd is still waiting in the wings but has not made a firm offer.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) returned to profit in 2016 but there remains uncertainty due to the loss of the company’s major customer. There are plans to widen the range of products offered in order to offset the loss and the impact of regulatory changes. There was $7.7m in the bank at the end of 2016 and since then a $3m dividend has been received from the DragonFinancials joint venture.
Gresham House Strategic (GHS) has revealed plans to pay a maiden dividend. The 15p a share final dividend will be combined with a share buy back programme. At the end of March 2017, there were £1.7m of realised gains and 50% of that is available for dividends and buy backs. The company has already bought 500 shares at 831p each.
BP Marsh (BPM) is selling its 29.9% stake in Trireme for £2.96m, compared with a book value of £2.53m. Trireme will also repay a loan of £2.16m.
Revenue recognition changes mean that Styles & Wood (STY) will report lower revenues for 2016 but pre-tax profit will be in line with expectations.
Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has discovered two kimberlite blows at the Frischgewaagt project in South Africa. This could mean that the kimberlite dyke system could widen, thereby providing higher volumes of kimberlite.
Tracsis (TRCS) is investing up to £1.3m in Vivacity Labs Ltd, which has developed machine learning software to help solve traffic and transport problems. Tracsis could use the technology to reduce the costs of processing video for its traffic and data services division. Tracsis will invest £1m to take a 23.3% stake and it has an option to acquire a further 4.8% for £300,000.
IT firm Triad Group (TRD) says that its full year pre-tax profit will increase from £863,000 to around £1.5m. The majority of that improvement came in the first half but there was also profit growth in the second half.
World Trade Systems (WTS) says that its health foods subsidiary is planning to enter cooperation agreements with two companies that will help it to diversify its product range and extend its market in China. CHelac and WTS plan to collaborate on R&D to develop cosmetic products using the former’s collagen stimulating technology. Fine Japan is linking up with WTS as a way of increasing its business in China. WTS is heading towards the first decade of the suspension of trading in its shares.
SMALLCAP AWARDS 2017 NOMINATIONS
IPO of the Year
Accrol Holdings; Blue Prism Group; Franchise Brands; InnovaDerma
Company of the Year
DP Poland; Fulcrum Utility Services; Gear4Music; Harvest Minerals
Nex Exchange Company of the Year
Adnams plc; Capital for Colleagues plc; Chapeldown; Crossword Cybersecurity plc; Sandal plc
Social Stock Exchange Impact Company of the Year
Capital for Colleagues; Caretech; Impax Asset Management; Obtala
Executive Director of the Year
Stephen Moon, CEO, Science in Sports; Andrew Jacobs, CEO, Lok’nStore; Nick Jarmany, CEO, Quixant; Tim Mitchell, CEO, Sareum
Transaction of the Year
Amino Technologies; Keyword Studios (Synthesis Group); Marlowe ; SCISYS (Annova)
Analyst of the Year
Mike Allen – Zeus; Andrew Blain – Cenkos Securities; Eric Burns – WH Ireland; Simon Strong – Cenkos Securities
Journalist of the Year
Paul Scott – Stockopedia; Jamie Nimmo – Evening Standard; Simon Thompson – Investors Chronicle
Advisor of the Year
Cenkos Securities; FinnCap; Panmure Gordon; Shore Capital; Stockdale Securities; Zeus Capital
Fund Manager of the Year
Paul Jourdan – Amati Global; Simon Knott – MI Discretionary Trust; Paul Mumford – Cavendish; Giles Hargreave and Guy Feld – Marlborough Fund
Triad Group TRD claims another strong set of results as half year profit before tax more than triples to 668 million, following on last years successful results. Revenue for the six months to the 30th September rose by16.4%, leading to profit after tax rising from 0.22m to 0.69m and basic earnings per share up from 1.42p to 4.57p. The order book continues to be strong. No dividend is to be paid at the interim stage. Since March the share price has risen from 21p to yesterdays 52p
Pennon Group PNN results for the half year to the 30th September are written only for those who have had the privilege of being initiated into the secrets of water speak. Thus, the company has “delivered 80 million of Totex savings since the beginning of K6” . Should one respond to that with an “excellent” or a “could do better”. Returning to English, revenue for the six months fell by 0.5% out of which they managed to screw a rise of 19.9% in profit before tax and an underlying rise in profit after tax of 14.7%. The interim dividend is increased by 6% pursuant to the company’s sector leading dividend policy of increasing dividends by by an annual 4% above RPI inflation to 2020.
Gresham House GHS turned last years first half loss of 0.5 million into a profit before tax of 3.2m for the six months to the end of September. About 15p per share is now available for return to shareholders, pursuant to the company’s policy of returning half of net profit on realised investment gains