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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 19 April 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

NFT Investments (NFT) is a shell that intends to invest a portfolio of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). An NFT is a digital file with a unique and verified identity held on a digital ledger or blockchain. The tokens can be bought with cryptocurrency and resold. Ownership of NFTs can be tracked and they can be set up so that the original owner gets a cut of any subsequent sale. NFT Investments will apply to be a small registered UK AIFM. NFT Investments raised £35m at 5p a share and it has net assets of 3.7p a share. The shares ended the first day of trading at 4.95p (4.8p/5.1p) after a significant number of trades.

Apollon Formularies (APOL) has completed its reversal into AfriAg Global via an all share offer. The business holds medicinal cannabis licences in Jamaica. Interim regulations allow the export of medicinal cannabis. Medicinal cannabis oils are being sold and medically supervised treatments provided. Management intends to use £1.1m of the funds raised to finance research and development. The rest of the cash raised will go on developing product sales, operating costs and market research.

Good Energy (GOOD) increased revenues by 5% to £130.6m in 2020. Gross margins declined and higher bad debts and increased depreciation meant that underlying pre-tax profit was £400,000, down from £2.1m. Net debt was £34.6m at the end of 2020. Dividend payments will resume this year.

Gunsynd (GUN) had net assets of £4.94m at the end of January 2021. That was before the flotation of spirits company Rogue Baron (SHNJ), which has increased the value of the shareholding. There was £1m in the bank prior to the recent sale of part of the Rogue Baron stake.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $250,000 into Equilibrium in return for 595,238 EQ tokens.

Eastinco Mining (EM.P) is conducting test work on orebody samples. Discussions continue with Noble Group about an offtake agreement for tantalum and tine from the Musasa project. There is $325,000 in the bank.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) subsidiary CoalTech has signed development agreements to identify opportunities in China and Indonesia. It will own 20% CoalTech Far East and Daniel Lee the rest.

Love Hemp (LIFE) has increased the amount raised in the recent placing from £5m to £7m.

Chris Akers has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 12.3% to 14.1%. Sebastian Marr has taken a 3% stake in Rogue Baron (SHNJ).

AIM

AdEPT Technology (LON: ADT) has acquired Datrix for an initial £9m, with potential deferred consideration of up to £7m based on the growth of the business. The business provides cloud-based networking and cyber security services, and the two firms already work together. In the year to March 2021, Datrix is estimated to have generated revenues of £10.7m and pre-tax profit of £600,000. There should be £400,000 of annualised cost savings.

A £10m placing at 10p a share by Helium One Global (HE1) was oversubscribed. There was enough cash in the bank to drill three exploration wells at the 100%-owned Rukwa helium project in Tanzania in the next few months. The additional funds will enable the drilling rig to be retained for additional appraisal and more 3D seismic can be acquired.

Open Orphan (ORPH) is planning to demerge HVO-001, which is a small molecule, immunomodulator drug that could become a treatment for severe flu, and other non-core assets inherited from the merger with hVIVO. Shareholders will receive shares in the new vehicle which could be quoted on AIM.

Franchised lettings agency Belvoir (LSE: BLV) improved 2020 revenues from £19.3m to £21.7m, while pre-tax profit rose from £6.2m to £7.5m. Net debt was £3.7m at the end of 2020, although £4m has since been spent on the Nicholas Humphreys business. The property market remains buoyant.

Steel structures supplier Billington (LSE: BILN) still has a strong balance sheet with net cash of £13.9m. Last year, revenues slumped from £104.9m to £66m, while pre-tax profit dipped from £5.9m to £1.7m. The final dividend is 4.25p a share. There is a significant order book, but costs are increasing.

Gaming machine monitors and consoles supplier Quixant (QXT) returned to profit in the second half of 2020. Full year revenues fell from $92.3m to $63.8m, while pre-tax profit dipped from $10.7m to $1.3m. The Densitron displays business did well due to demand from medical and broadcast customers.

Iodine producer Iofina (IOF) says that quarterly production fell 17% to 108.2MT and the first half production is likely to be around 250MT. This is due to the cold weather and the lower than expected production is offset by higher iodine prices.

GYG (GYG) says that a German shipyard has gone into administration with more than £2m of invoices outstanding. This was announced after Harwood Capital said it is considering a bid for the superyacht painting and maintenance services provider of 92.5p a share.

For the first time since April 2017, Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) has published a trading statement at 7pm on a Friday rather than after 4.30pm.

MAIN MARKET

Mast Energy Developments (MAST) intends to develop a portfolio of reserve power assets. The first projects should be up and running this year. AIM-quoted, Africa-focused power projects developer Kibo Energy (KIBO) set up Mast Energy to buy and develop flexible power plants that will supply the reserve power market in the UK. A placing raised £5.54m at 12.5p a share when Mast joined the standard list on 14 April. Kibo still owns 55.4% of Mast.

NMCN (NMCN) has agreed a new £8.9m facility with Reflex Bridging Ltd. This is secured on property developments. The overdraft has been extended by Lloyds Bank.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has secured a strategic partnership with albis-elcon, which will jointly offer the company’s network function virtualisation technology NFVTime.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 21 October 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Third quarter trading at Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) shows a one-third increase in loans to £1.6bn, while deposits are 17% ahead at £2bn. Impairments are rising, though. The private bank is adding 40 new clients each month.

Although Vox Markets has called off merger discussions with PCG Entertainment (PCGE) the latter’s shareholders will have preferential rights to participate in the flotation of Vox. Shareholders have to be on the register on 11 October to benefit. PCG has released any claims it may have against Vox, although Vox has the right to sue Align Research, the third party in the merger plans. PCG says nothing negative was found about Align in due diligence. First Sentinel has resigned as corporate adviser to PCG and trading in the shares has been suspended.

Good Energy (GOOD) has launched One Point to offer electric vehicle charging. The company has also been awarded he green classification and mark.

The Home Office has awarded Sativa Group (SATI) a controlled drug licence to grow medicinal cannabis. This covers cannabis with a THC content of greater than 0.2%. Sativa already has a low-THC industrial hemp licence.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) says that its investee company Apollon Formularies has received its third medical cannabis licence in Jamaica. This is for experimental research and development.

World Health Life (LIFE) has completed the acquisition of Love Hemp and a £2m convertible debenture fundraising. A second tranche of debentures should be issued in the next few weeks. Love Hemp has product distribution agreements with supermarkets and health food stores.

Triple Point Investment Management is providing a £20m loan facility for Rutherford Health (RUTH) and this will be drawn down in phases. The loan terms improve as patient numbers increase at the three proton beam therapy centres.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has received the first quarterly interest payment from Silverstream. The 12-month note matures in August 2020.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) will consolidate 20 shares into one new share and trading will commence on 22 October.

Secured Property Development (SPD) had £537,000 in the bank at the end of June 2019, but it is finding it difficult to find a suitable acquisition.

AIM

Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) is as consistent as ever. It has published a trading statement related to its interims at 4.35pm on Friday. The 2018-19 trading update was published at 4.35pm on Thursday 18 April – the last day before a long weekend. There was no particular reason to hide the latest statement. First half revenues were flat compared with a first quarter decline of 2%. Cash fell £300,000 to £28.1m over a three-month period.

Murgitroyd (MUR) is recommending a 675p a share bid from a company set up by Sovereign Capital Partners LLP. This values the patent and trademark attorney at £62.8m. Murgitroyd joined AIM 18 years ago at 121p a share and has been a consistent dividend payer.

Fully listed logistic services provider Wincanton (WIN) is considering a bid for Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) and DBAY Advisers is also still assessing whether to bid.

Disinfection products supplier Tristel (TSTL) plans to grow its revenues by up to 15% a year in each of the next three years. This follows an 18% increase to £26m in the year to June 2019, while pre-tax profit grew by one-fifth to £5.6m. The dividend was 21% higher at 5.54p a share. International markets account for 55% of revenues. Tristel is waiting for a response from the FDA, which should be forthcoming by the end of 2019.

Power projects developer Kibo Mining (KIBO) has raised £1.99m at 0.45p a share. This will be used to fund the development of power generation projects in Africa. The portfolio includes 1,055MW of power generation capacity with 355MW having heads of terms power purchase agreements. Each new share comes with a warrant exercisable at 0.8p a share.

Filtronic (FTC) has agreed to pay a warranty claim of $2m (£1.6m) and change a faulty component in antennas supplied in 2016-17. The fault relates to certain bandwidths in hot countries. The cash is payable in four instalments up until December 2020. On 23 October, Filtronic is set to report sales from continuing activities of £15.9m, down from £21.6m, and a small positive EBITDA. Filtronic has already received more than £10m of orders for its 5G backhaul transceivers due for delivery in 2019-20.

Woodford Investment Management has cut its stake in GYG (GYG) from 19.98% to less than 5%. That appears to have been a relief to the market because the share price of yacht painting services provider has recovered since the disposal. UBS has taken a 11.2% stake.

Kestrel Partners continues to build its stake in Pebble Beach Systems (PEB), taking its stake from 25% to 26.1%. Kestrel owns 23 million shares in Brady (BRY) and, even if it makes a loss, it will be having a cash inflow. Hanover Acquisitions is offering 10p a share for the risk management software company, which values it at £8.3m.

Construction consultancy services provider Driver (DRV) says it will report underlying pre-tax profit of £3m for the full year, after £400,000 of rationalisation costs. That represents a strong performance in the second half. Net cash was £5m at the year-end, after share buy backs.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has taken a 43% stake in Elute Intelligence Holdings, which is developing software to search complex documents and detect plagiarism. Frontier IP is providing some of its own IP to an existing business to form Elute with the rest of the stake coming from providing services to the company.

Blue Star Capital (BLU) is raising £900,000 at 0.1p a share and the cash will be equally split between six investments in esports companies.

Power transmission products manufacturer Renold (RNO) says that cost savings are offsetting a downturn in trading. It is still on track to report an underlying full year pre-tax profit improving from £10.1m to £10.4m. Order intake remains weak.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has announced a restructuring of the Paradox project. This will enable the oil and gas company to focus on the most prospective acreage.

MAIN MARKET

Quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) still has a cash buffer so that it can find a new manufacturing partner to replace the US one that has withdrawn from an agreement. There could still be net cash of £1.5m at the end of July 2020.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) is planning to raise cash at NOK0.35/share in Norway. That is equivalent to 2.95p/share, compared with a market price of 3.5p. The Azerbaijan-focused oil and gas company has a drilling rig that will be mobilised before the end of the month and well M-247 has been identified as a target. It was previously in production. Zenith has identified wells in the Muradkhani oilfield in which perforations of untapped intervals can generate additional production. This will happen in the next fortnight.

OTHER MARKETS

Former AIM company Getmapping has launched a strategic review and a formal sales process. Management of the believes that the geospatial services provider could grow faster with additional investment. A company taking a minority stake is another alternative. The process should be completed by the end of 2019. The shares are traded on the Britdaq matched bargains market.

Vienna-listed Fashion On Screen is moving into theatre by acquiring musicals producer Shaftesbury Avenue. The all-share purchase is valued at £2.5m. Fashion On Screen believes that some of the musicals could become film productions.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 5 November 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has secured long-term facilities of £50m, which expires in 2023, and a £35m private placement of loan notes with BAE Systems Pensions Fund which lasts for 20 years. These replace existing loans. A revaluation of pub assets has delivered a £24m gain on book value.

Mechanical and electrical services provider Field Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) has benefitted from strong spending in the water sector as Asset Management Plan 6 reaches its mid-point, as well as demand from the energy from waste sector. However, the energy from waste customer’s tough stance has held back group gross margin. In the year to May 2018, revenues improved from £17.2m to £25.9m, but pre-tax profit fell from £839,000 to £625,000. If the defined benefit scheme settlement gain is stripped out, then there is an improvement in profit from £463,000 to £558,000. There is £3.97m in the bank. The current order book is worth £12m.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is pushing ahead with Flowstone Capital Ltd, which is a private crypto fund and it has set up Flowstone Management Ltd to manage the fund. Coinsilium has also secured a strategic advisory partnership with LC LITE, which is planning a token generation event to finance the development of a digital letter of credit system for importers and exporters.

Startup Giants (SUG) still had £665,000 in the ban at the end of July 2018. Thee are plans to raise more cash via the event management services provider Exponential Events’ platform.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) is in talks with blockchain-based sports ticketing platform Footies Tech to establish a new subsidiary to develop a blockchain-based venue management system. The idea is that TechFinancials will own 75% of the company and it would provide finance of up to $500,000 to develop a proof of concept. TechFinancials will licence its technology to the new company for free.

Formerly AIM-quoted Metminco (MNC) has withdrawn from the proposed acquisition of Gunsynd (GUN) investee company Sunshine Minerals after it failed to complete due diligence. Gunsynd says that there are other interested buyers even though the nickel price has fallen since the original announcement about the proposed acquisition.

The chairman and chief executive of DXS International (DXSP) have bought further shares last week. Chairman Bob Sutcliffe bought 18,857 shares at 10.5p each, while chief executive Bob Immelman acquired 19,802 shares at 10p a share which took his stake to 10.4%.

Ananda Investments (ANA) executive director Melissa Sturgess has bought another 500,000 shares at 0.4501p each.

AIM    

Gordon Dadds (GOR) is acquiring Ince and Co International LLP and its associates, which will make it the largest quoted law firm. Annual revenues will be more than £110m. The estimated consideration will be £34m, depending on revenues generated in the three years after acquisition. The merged company will be called Ince Gordon Dadds. Share trading remains suspended until the full details of the deal are published.

Watkin Jones (WJG) says that its full year figures will be slightly better than expected. Good progress is being made with the build to rent operations, but the benefits will come in the future. The sale of a client portfolio of the student accommodation management division has led to a termination fee and a share in the profit of the disposal, which totals £4m.

Concepta (CPT) has obtained a CE Mark for its myLotus fertility testing technology. This enables women to test for their optimal level of fertility. The self-test platform has been launched at the Fertility Show in London. Initial sales will be via the company’s own website. It will take time to build up sales and it is likely to be next year when they become more significant. Concepta raised £2m in August so it is well-funded for its current requirements.

Goldplat (GDP) says that first quarter production fell to 6,100 ounces of gold because of problems sourcing raw materials in Ghana and South Africa, but there has been a recovery in the second quarter and it should be able to achieve full year production estimates of 39,5000 ounces of gold. The Kilpesa mine is being put on care and maintenance if a partner cannot be found and that could knock 3,700 ounces off the production figure.

Next Fifteen Communications (NFC) has raised £20m at 475p a share. The PR firm will use some of the cash to finance the acquisition of Activate Marketing Services for an initial $9m in cash. This technology-focused business is data-led and will continue to be operated separately. This is the latest example of Next Fifteen’s strategy of growing its digital marketing operations.

Gama Aviation (GMAA) says that growth has been slower than anticipated in the second half. The main culprits are the US air associate and slower than expected growth at the new Bournemouth ground services facility. This equates to a $3m cut in forecast operating profit for 2018 and the earnings per share forecast has been reduced by 19% to 21.3 cents.

The share price of floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) slumped on the back of a warning that margins were coming under pressure. Like-for-like revenue growth was more than 3% in the six months to September 2019, but less profit is being made. Victoria is attempting to refinance its two-year bank facility through the issue of a five-year €450m bond, which has been given a BB minus credit rating by Standard & Poors.

Safestay (SSTY) has acquired a 20-year lease on a site in Vienna. This is currently a hotel and it will be converted into a 234 bed hostel at a cost of less than €300,000. Safestay will have 13 hostels.

Pires Investments (PIRI) had a NAV of £950,000 at its year end. The £200,000 increase was mainly due to investments in SalvaRx and Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas.

Imaginatik (IMTK) has launched its six-for-nine open offer to shareholders. This could raise up to £253,000 at 1.1p a share. The closing date is 26 November.

Market research firm System1 Group (SYS1) has declared a maintained interim dividend of 1.1p a share, but the final dividend may be reduced. Interim revenues declined by 5% and pre-tax profit was lower without the £250,000 exceptional credit. That is due to investment in the Ad Ratings business. There was £3.55m in the bank at the end of September 2018.

Mporium (MPM) has signed a deal with BPC Land and Sales Marketing, a services provider to property developers. BPC will use Mporium’s IMPACT technology for digital advertising campaigns. This is a new sector for Mporium.

Biome Technologies (BIOM) has increased nine months revenues by 59% to £7m, which is more than for the whole of 2017. Biome is profitable and it had £2.5m in the bank at the end of September 2018. The main growth has come in the RF Technologies division. The bioplastics business increased its third quarter revenues, but nine months revenues are still lower.

Parity (PTY) has warned that there will be a significant shortfall in profit in 2018 because of the continuing delay of a major contract. WH Ireland has slashed its pre-tax profit forecast from £1.9m to £850,000, suggesting limited profit in the second half.

Meat and delicatessen products retailer Crawshaw (CRAW) is appointing an administrator because it was unable to raise the cash it required.

Elektron Technology (EKT) has increased its nine months revenues from £22.1m to £25.8m and the full year outcome is set to be ahead of expectations. Sight screening technology developer Elektron Eye Technology is expected to move into profit. Net cash was £8.5m at the end of October 2018.

Transportation software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) has received a renewal and extension of data hosting services and software with a rail client. The contract is worth more than £2m over two years.

More bad news from superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) as 2018 figures are set to be well below expectations that have already been revised downwards. There will be a full year loss on revenues of €44m. There will be no dividend. Refit projects have been delayed and one shipyard undergoing maintenance. New build contracts have been won for 2019. The order book is worth €31.3m, of which €18.2m relates to 2019.

BlueRock Diamonds (BRD) has raised £626,000 at 0.3p a share with every two new shares coming with a warrant to subscribe for a share at 0.4p. The directors have invested £170,000. The cash will be used to open two of the five kimberlite pipes at the Kareevlei diamond mine in South Africa.

Tern (TERN) has invested a further £1.1m in in virtual reality training and data analysis technology platform developer FRVS.

PhotonStar LED Group (PSL) has appointed Menzies as administrator of its subsidiary PhotonStar LED Ltd. That business generated £1.15m of first half revenues of £1.33m. It also made most of the loss. More cash will be required for the remaining subsidiary.

TomCo Energy (TOM) has raised £100,000 at 8.5p and disposed of its stake in Red Leaf Resources for $133,333, which had no value in the balance sheet. This will take cash resources to £335,000. The field test on the Holliday block has been delayed due to a failure of couplings.

Ascent Resources (AST) is still finding it difficult to obtain the permits it is waiting for from the Slovenian authorities so that it can generate revenues from gas. Ascent is considering taking action in the European Court.

N4 Pharma (N4P) says clinical data suggests that its Nuvec technology is suitable for use with multiple antigens. It has delivered mRNA and pDNA in sufficient levels to generate the required immune response. The results of the next study should be available in the first half of 2019.

Wey Education (WEY) reported good results but WH Ireland has downgraded its forecasts for this year and next year. The broker is being more cautious about international growth prospects and cut the 2018-19 pre-tax profit forecast from £1.95m to £1.31m and the following year’s from £5.2m to £3.3m.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has made its second Portuguese investment. Des Solutio is developing greener versions of chemicals used to make beauty, pharma and personal care products. Frontier IP has taken a 25% stake.

Myanmar-focused social media platform operator MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) is raising £600,000 at 0.35p a share. Management is focusing on active users and in the first quarter of this financial year there were 412,338 active users of the mobile games offer and 426,750 media and mobile apps users. Last year’s revenues were $1.84m but they need to be much higher than that.

Property investor Safeland (SAF) has acquired North Downs golf club in Surrey for £1.07m and it will invest in the facilities.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) says that the US Bureau of Land Management has approved the application for a permit to drill the GV 22-1 well on the Paradox acreage in Utah.

MAIN MARKET 

Zotefoams (ZTF) has improved revenues by 16% in the nine months to September 2018. Full year profit is expected to be slightly better than anticipated. HPP sales have nearly doubled due to demand from the footwear and aviation sectors. Capacity is being increased.

Books publisher Quarto Group (QRT) has extended its facilities to the end of August 2020. The bank facility has been reduced. Large shareholders have agreed to provide unsecured and subordinated loans of $13m, repayable on 31 August 2020.

Stem cell services provider WideCells Group (WDC) is restructuring its Wideacademy educational subsidiary and closed its London office. Annualised savings are worth £400,000. Alan Greenberg has stepped down from the board.

Social media investment company Sealand Capital (SCGL) has published its full year figures and subsequent interim results. Trading in the shares has recommenced. The SecureCom business has been sold. Sealand has subscribed for a 55% interest in Guangzhou Ruiyou Information Technologies Co, which is a mobile game distributor. It is also party to a licenced operator agreement of the WeChat advertisement product in the UK and UAE. There was £758,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Gems explorer Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has raised £250,000 at 80p a share. The shares each come with one warrant exercisable at 100p a share.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has gained planning permission for a minor extension on its second property in north west England.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 23 July 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) moved back into profit in the year to March 2018 and it is paying a dividend of 0.4p a share. The e-commerce technology company edged up revenues from £1.04m to £1.07m, while a loss of £46,000 was turned into a profit of £82,000, even after amortisation of £70,000, up from £20,000 in the previous year.  Net assets of £770,000 include £502,000 of cash.  There are a growing number of opportunities for this financial year.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has signed an IP sharing agreement with Canada-based Veritas Pharma. This could help with Sativa’s plans to grow medicinal cannabis and also help to choose a particular strain.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has completed its investment agreement with ARQ Minerals and this formalises the commitment to work together in Nigeria. The St Leonard’s mine is supplying trial amounts of coal. ARQ helps to manage the mine and it is subscribing £50,000 each for two tranches of shares in the operating company, which will take is stake to 50%. ARQ will also own 1,000 million warrants exercisable at 0.02p a share. ARQ has committed to producing a minimum of 40,000 tonnes of coal and every 1,000 tonnes produced above this level will earn an additional 0.625% stake in the operating company, which can take the stake up to a maximum level of 75%. ARQ and Equatorial will be paid 10% of gross profit each month with the rest of the profit shared in line with their equity interests.

Welney (WENP) has announced a general meeting to vote on the appointment of Mark Jackson and Mark Chapman as directors.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) still had £627,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018 because it has not been able to find an investment at a realistic price.

Blockchain investment company Coinsilium Group (COIN) says that Malcolm Burne has been appointed as project adviser to the company’s blockchain platform development company TerraStream.

New director Melissa Sturgess has bought 9.23 million shares in Imperial Minerals (IMPP) at 1p each. That is a 29% stake.

Medicinal cannabis sector investment company High Growth Capital Ltd (HASH) had £522,000 in the bank at the end of March 2018 and it has raised £250,000 at 0.4p a share.

AIM  

Parity (PTY) is still on track to achieve double digit profit growth this year. The IT recruitment and consultancy services provider remains modestly rated even though the share price has risen substantially this year.

Yu Group (YU.) says interim revenues increased by 69% to £35m. The energy supplier expects full year revenues to be at least £82m, which means that operating profit should rise by three-quarters. There is £18.2m in the bank.

Frontier IP Group (FIPP) says that portfolio company Tarsis Technology has entered into a collaboration with a major crop protection products company. The company will provide the funds to further develop the Tarsis technology to deliver chemical pesticides and fungicides in a more controlled way. In return the company gets exclusive rights to particular agrochemicals usage and Tarsis would get royalties from commercial products. Frontier IP is lending Tarsis £150,000 in return for share options.

Consumer healthcare business Venture Life Group (VLG) is raising £18.75m at 40p a share to help finance the acquisition of Dentyl Dual action mouthwash and BB Mints for £4.2m and repay £3.7m of convertible loan notes. The remaining cash will be used for further acquisitions. The share issue more than doubles the number of shares in issue.

Odey has withdrawn its general meeting requisition at Tungsten Corporation (TUNG) following the appointment of Anthony Bromovsky and Duncan Goldie-Morrison to the board.

600 Group (SIXH) has offloaded its pension scheme to specialist insurer Pension Insurance Corporation. The scheme will be wound up and surplus funds after tax will be returned to the machine tools supplier. That could be up to £4m. Full year revenues grew from $58.8m to $66m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from $2.65m to $3.05m. That excludes the gain on the sale of ProPhotonix (PPTX) shares.

Integumen (SKIN) is raising £700,000 at 0.65p a share and renegotiated the deal with food supplements supplier Cellulac so that it will acquire a 9.35% stake. Cellulac’s chief executive and chief operations officer will join Integumen in those roles. Cellulac will grant Integumen a licence to sell its products in certain territories.

A positive trading statement from audio visual equipment distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) has led to a forecast upgrade. Earnings per share forecasts have been raised by 3% for each of the next three years. The 2018 profit is expected to be £28.3m and earnings per share 27.6p. The interims will be published on 11 September.

EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has signed a manufacturing agreement with Oragenics Inc. EKF will supply drug substances for the customer and this will boost next year’s profit by 5%.

LiDCO (LID) has signed a distribution deal with a Chinese supplier of blood monitoring cuffs and this will help to replace the lost income from the Argon distribution contract. It may take time to build up sales, though.

Woodford Investment has increased its stake in superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) to 21.5%. This comes at a time that Old Mutual has been selling down its stake after the recent profit warning.

Corporation tax software supplier Tax Systems (TAX) has grown its recurring and non-recurring revenues in the first half of 2018 and total revenues were 14% higher, which includes 9% organic growth. Net debt is down to £17.5m.

Synectics (SNX) had net cash of £9.1m at the end of May 2018. The surveillance technology company increased interim revenues by 3% to £34.7m thanks to strong demand from the gaming sector. Underlying profit improved from £1.3m to £1.5m. Stockdale has maintained its full year profit forecast at £3.1m.

EMIS (EMIS) says that its primary care business is sorting out its problems and the net cash grew to £32.3m at the end of June 2018. The health IT technology supplier says that the business has grown in the first half and still expects an improvement in full year profit. The share price has recovered since the disappointing trading statement earlier this year.

Ken Kroeger has become permanent chief executive of driver monitoring systems technology developer Seeing Machines (SEE) and he will had over the chairmanship to Jack Boyer at the beginning of 2019.

MAIN MARKET    

Investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) says that its NAV dipped to 264.2p a share at the end of June 2018, although this was partly due to the payment of the final dividend of 8.9p a share. Excluding that, there was a 4% decline. There was an improvement on the net return on ordinary activities from £110,000 to £125,000, but the loss in the capital part of the income statement was slightly higher than that revenue gain. The total value of investments was £5.61m and NAV was £5.7m. During the first half, shareholdings in Countrywide, Debenhams, DX, Juridica Investments, HC Slingsby and Sprue Aegis were sold.

Avation (AVAP) has acquired a second new Airbus A220-300 aircraft and leased it to airBaltic.

Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) is raising £500,000 at 2.5p a share in order to help finance obtaining FDA clearance for StoneChecker software and design a cloud-based interface, as well as boost commercial operations. Subsidiary Imaging Biometrics is involved with a phase II trial that will use its IB Rad Tech technology to process data from 20 sites to determine how well dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging in measuring the effectiveness of brain tumour treatment.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 16 July 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Hotel operator Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) reported flat interim revenues of £1.51m in the six months to April 2018, during a period where building repairs were undertaken. Higher overheads and maintenance costs meant that the loss increased from £153,000 to £200,000. There is £635,000 in the bank.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £300,000 at 0.1p a share in order to finance its new investing strategy of investing in medicinal cannabis businesses.

Panther Metals (PALM) has signed an option agreement to acquire gold exploration properties in Ontario. The total potential consideration is C$133,000 (£77,000) in cash and the issue of 19.15 million shares at 0.3p each, locked-in for six weeks. A non-refundable payment of C$30,000, one-half cash and one-half shares, has been paid. Due diligence needs to be completed within eight weeks.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has entered into two marketing and off-take agreements, combined with a $10m secured prepayment facility with Traxys Europe. The off-take agreements relate to all lead and zinc concentrates from the Hellyer project in Tasmania in the first five years of production.

Pelican House Mining (PHM) had nearly £49,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. The former Hellenic Capital acquired a 15% stake in Might Oak Explorations last month.

Melissa Sturgess and Michael Langoulant have been appointed as directors of Imperial Minerals (IMPP) and James Hamilton and Russell Hardwick have resigned.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has received approval for the Tracksure locking device from the Italian State Railway.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) plans to buy out the other shareholders in CoalTech LLC. Due diligence has commenced prior to making an offer for the 97.5% of CoalTech not owned by the clean technology investment company. The initial investment was $500,000.

AIM     

Frontier IP (FIPP) investee company Pulsiv Solar has won a UK government grant worth £130,00, which will be put towards a £289,000 project to compete the development of its solar micro-inverter by next April. Frontier IP owns 18.9% of the University of Plymouth spin-out.

Kestrel Partners continues to build up its stake in broadcast software provider Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) and it has taken it from 16.6% to 17.4%. Continuing operations moved back into operating profit in 2017, even though revenues fell from £10.9m to £10.3, but the £500,000 was not enough to cover interest charges and rationalisation costs. Net debt was still £10.3m after getting some proceeds from the sale of the Vislink hardware business. The revolving credit facility is £15m.

Medical imaging technology developer Polarean Imaging (POLX) has raised £800,000 at 16p a share, following last month’s investor symposium. This provides additional cash to support phase III clinical trials in the US and invest in further development.

Veltyco (VLTY) has decided not to go ahead with the potential acquisition of sportsbook operator Ruleo Alpenland.

Telit Communications (TCM) has agreed to sell its automotive division to TUS International for $105m and the deal should be completed by the end of 2018. In 2017, this business made a $10.1m contribution to EBITDA before group overheads. This deal will more than wipe out the current net debt of $25m. The focus will be the Internet of Things operations.

Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) continues to build up its sales. The reported interim revenues were £1.35m. Like-for-like interim revenues grew by 268%. The company remains loss-making but the gross margin improved from 37.8% to 49.4%. There was £4.6m in the bank at the end of March 2018 and this will help to finance further increase in the product range as well as continued losses. There is a database of more than 54,000 customers and 11,407 of those were repeat customers in the period.

Duke Royalty Ltd (DUKE) is raising £44m at 44p a share to fund the pipeline of royalty financing opportunities. There are already four new potential royalty partners requiring £27.5m. These include healthcare, foods and media businesses. Within 12 months, Duke expects to increase its dividend yield. Last December Duke raised £20m at 40p a share.

Itaconix (ITX) is raising £3.4m at 2p a share, which was a 70% discount to the suspension price. Trading in the shares will start again on Monday 16 July. The speciality polymers designer will have enough cash for 12 months, assuming shareholders vote in favour of the share issue. Revenues have been building up slowly and last year they nearly doubled to £553,000. The loss was £11.9m.

One year after it joined AIM, superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) says that first half trading was weaker than expected. There were delays in refits and fewer new build projects were won. First half revenues of around €25.1m are lower than the two previous first half outcomes. It appears that the interim loss will be more than €1m. There are €12.1m of orders expected to be completed in the second half with a further €25m of “high probability prospects”. The 2017 revenues were €62.6m.

Marlowe (MRL) is raising £20m at 475p a share in order to finance further acquisitions in the critical asset management services sector.

Tristel (TSTL) says that its full year pre-tax profit should be at least in line with the £4.4m forecast, up 8%. Higher investment in gaining US approvals for disinfection products has held back profit growth, but it is expected to accelerate in 2018-19 when a pre-tax profit of £5.2m is forecast.

ReNeuron (RENE) has signed a three-month exclusivity agreement with a major pharma company to potentially out-licence the global rights, excluding China, of its hRPC retinal stem cell technology platform. A non-refundable payment of $2.5m will be received with a further $2.5m due if the deal goes ahead. There was £34.7m in the bank at the end of March 2018 and this should last well into 2020 even though there will be significant spending on trials, including the phase III trial of the CTX cell treatment for stroke disability.

Xpediator (XPD) has acquired Import Services Ltd, which operates a logistics and warehousing business at the Port of Southampton, for up to £12m. The business, which made a 2017 profit of £1.7m, fits well with Xpediator’s existing business in the port and has a good management team that can help the enlarged operations to grow. It should be earnings enhancing in the first full year. A placing raised £7m at 70p a share.

Fifteen-month figures from healthcare services provider Totally (TLY) include five months from the Vocare acquisition but that was still enough to generate revenues of £42.5m. A full 12 months of Vocare should increase revenues to £85m but Totally would still be loss-making. There is further restructuring and integration required. Cost savings should help Totally move into profit in 2019-20. Net cash was £10.2m at the end of March 2018.

Collagen Solutions (COS) improved its revenues in the second half, compared with the first half, but full year revenues were still 6% lower at £3.83m. There is still £5.02m in the bank. There was growth in EMEA. The eight year clinical study for cartilage repair product ChondroMimetic was successful.

Full year figures from managed communications services provider AdEPT Telecom (ADT) were better than expected. Managed services were more than two-thirds of revenues, which were 35% ahead at £46.4m. Underlying pre-tax profit was one-third higher at £7.7m. Net debt was £17.6m at the end of March 2018.

Strategic Minerals (SML) generated sales of $696,000 from the Cobre magnetite operations in the three months to June 2018, but the suspension of a major contract will hit the current quarter. There was $2.09m in the bank at the end of June 2018 and a payment of $375,000 has subsequently been received.

ECR Minerals (ECR) has raised £650,000 at 0.7p a share and that provides enough cash until the third quarter of 2019. The development programme at the Blue Moon target in Victoria, Australia will be accelerated.

An international mining company has agreed to subscribe $250,000 for shares in Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) and that will help to finance further exploration at the Anza project in Colombia. The subscription is at 5.2p a share, double the market price at the time of the agreement.

Fishing tackle retailer Fishing Republic (FISH) expects interim revenues to decline from £4.1m to £3.4m following the closure of five underperforming stores. Like-for-like store sales were 22% lower and online sales also fell. Inventory levels have fallen.

Clear Leisure (CLP) has started operations at its crypto currencies mining data centre in Serbia.

Battery technology and advanced materials developer Ilika (ILK) has raised £4m at 20p a share and an open offer could raise up to £1m more. The cash will finance the costs of developing battery technology for the automotive market. There was £2.8m in the bank at the end of April 2018.

N4 Pharma (N4P) reported disappointing results from the pharmacokinetic data for the clinical trial for reformulated sildenafil, which is better known as Viagra. The plan is to improve the speed at which the drug takes effect but the formulation has not meet the targets set.

Ariana Resources (AAU) says that the Kiziltepe mine produced 7,171 ounces of gold in the second quarter of 2019 and it is still on course to produce 20,000 ounces of gold for the whole year.

Trading remains tough at replacement windows supplier Safestyle UK (SFE) although order intake has firmed in recent weeks. This follows the loss of staff to a competitor that is being sued by Safestyle. It will take until next year to rebuild the team. Thee will be a loss this year even before £6m of restructuring costs. This will use up the cash in the bank.

Next Fifteen Communications (NFC) is paying an initial £2.2m for Technical Associates Group, which is a technical content and digital marketing business. This deal increases the group’s exposure to the industrial engineering sector.

MAIN MARKET    

More director changes at Quarto Group Inc (QRT) with Andy Cumming appointed as senior independent non-executive chairman. Major shareholder Laurence Orbach has stepped down as executive chairman and will become a non-executive director. Chief operating officer Ken Fund has joined the board.

Nicholas Lyth has resigned from the board of Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL) having been a director for 17 months.

China-focused healthcare investor Cathay International Holdings (CTI) says that the first half sales and profit will be lower than expected but it hopes to make up the shortfall in the second half. Healthcare subsidiary Lansen has appointed a new chief executive and there have been operational changes, while regulation changes also continue to hit sales in the first quarter. The company’s hotel operations are trading ahead of expectations. The interim will be published in late August.

Andrew Hore

Ian Pollard: Dart Group To Substantially Exceed Expectations In 2019

Dart Group plc DTG is proposing to increase its final dividend by 54 % after strong passenger growth for both Jet2.com and Jet2holidays saw revenue for the year to the 30th June increase by 38%. Profit before tax rose by 49% and basic earnings per share by 44%. Demand  has strengthened even more since the start of the new financial year and having regard to current forward bookings Group profit before foreign exchange revaluations and taxation for the year ending 31 March 2019, will substantially exceed current market expectations. 

ASOS plc ASC retail sales for the four months to the 30th June grew by 21% on a constant currency basis, slightly down on the ten month figure of 23%. In the UK market share continued to increase and full year profit for 2018 is expected to be in line with consensus.

Computacenter CCC Following a strong start to the year, momentum has continued into the second quarter and  The first half has shown considerable progress in adjusted profitability, and even further progress in adjusted earnings per share. Trading result for 2018 will now be comfortably in excess of previous expectations.

GYG plc GYG Trading has been significantly weaker than expected in the half year to the 30th June due to lower than expected project wins  and some additional delays in anticipated contracts. Full year revenue is now expected to be flat  and adjusted EBITDA to be materially below the Board’s expectations at approximately €5 million. There is however grounds for optimism for the the immediate future as the New Build Order Book stands at €13.4 million for 2019 and €5.6 million for 2020 compared to a meagre 1m only a year ago.

Portmeirion Group PMP updates that total group sales for the six months to the 30th June have increased by 11% or, on a constant currency basis, 15%.

Telford Homes TEF updates that the London Market has remained robust since the year end in May although, as a sign of the times, the average selling price of open market homes is expected to remain constant. The strategy of concentrating on build to rent homes is believed to be the correct one.

Beachfront villas & houses for sale in Greece;   http://www.hiddengreece.net

Quoted Micro 10 July 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has sold its remaining stake in nanopayments software and blockchain company SatoshiPay to AIM-quoted Blue Star Capital (BLU) for €725,000 (£650,000), which has been raised through a placing at 0.2p a share. Blue Star Capital owns 31.1% of SatoshiPay. Blue Star Capital has granted Coinsilium 85 million warrants, of which 42.5 million are exercisable at 0.6p and 42.5 million at 0.8p. Coinsilium has made a gain of 362.6% on its initial SatoshiPay investment in less than two years, even before any longer-term upside from the warrants.

Via Developments (VIA1) has secured an exclusivity agreement to acquire land in Luton, Bedfordshire for £8.25m. The residential development site has planning permission for 200 apartments. A non-refundable deposit of £50,000 has been paid.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested £400,000 in Employee Owners Group Ltd, whose main business is timber frame buildings supplier Carpenter Oak, in return for a 30% stake. The cash will be used to grow the business which currently supplies around 90 frames a year.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £700,000 at 11p a share and made three investments, including £35,000 at 7p a share in fellow NEX-quoted company Milamber Ventures (MLVP). The two firms are already working on an investor event at the Century Club, Shaftesbury Avenue in London on 11 July. First Sentinel plans to sell the Milamber shares in the market. First Sentinel has also invested $300,000 in a 13%, one year loan note for Red Rock Resources (RRR) with two year warrants exercisable at 2.2p a share, compared with a market price of 0.75p. The third investment is in newly floated AIM copper mining company Phoenix Global Mining (PGM), where First Sentinel invested £81,000 at the placing price of 4p a share.

Blockchain investments company Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has raised £750,000 at 2p a share. Chinese medicines firm MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £99,000 at 28.5p a share.

AIM

Premier Technical Services Group (PTSG) is acquiring Brooke Edge Industrial Chimneys Ltd for an initial £14m, plus £1m in acquisition costs, and the building services provider has raised £15m in a placing at 120p a share. There is deferred consideration of £6m payable in three yearly instalments, which fits with the owners staying on with the business for at least three years. The acquisition made a profit of £2.1m on revenues of £10.6m last year. This consolidates Premier’s position in lightning protection services, while specialist earthing and surge protection will be added to the group’s range of services. Although the acquired business has similar margins to Premier, it has lower margins than the same businesses already owned by Premier. This means that continued growth in revenues could be complemented by improvements in margins providing even faster profit growth. According to Numis, he acquisition will enhance earnings per share by 5% to 8.7p in 2017 and 12% to 9.2p in 2018.

Blur Group (BLUR) has managed to raise £1.7m at 1.75p a share in an oversubscribed placing that more than trebles the number of shares in issue. There is one warrant for every four shares with an exercise price of 3.5p. Robert Keith has increased his stake to 25% following the placing. The need for the cash is reflected in the low issue price, which is more than 40% below the all time low market price.

Superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) joined AIM on 5 July and the share price has already risen from 100p to 120p. GYG raised £6.9m before expenses.

Thor Mining (THR) will start a drill programme for the Pilot Mountain tungsten project in August. Thor expects the results in the near future from a 50 hole drilling programme on the Dundas gold project in Western Australia. Further opportunities are being assessed.

Portmeirion Group (PMP) says that its sales were 16% higher in the first half of 2017 but excluding home fragrance products manufacturer Wax Lyrical, which was acquired in May 2016, the sales are 3% higher due to a boost from sterling weakness. Churchill China (CHH) continues to grow it exports and this has been helped by weaker sterling comparatives in the first half of 2017.

Walker Greenbank (WGB) has received its final insurance payment of £2.4m relating to the flood of its fabric printing factory at the end of 2015. This takes the total payment to £19.3m.

Home improvement products supplier entu (UK) (ENTU) is undertaking a strategic review. There are already plans to cut costs and improve efficiency but entu needs to secure long-term financing to improve the balance sheet. There could also be disposals of businesses.

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA) has completed six holes of the phase 3 drilling at Sanama Hill at the Ferensola gold project in Sierra Leone. So far, 2,000 metres out of a total of 5,000 metres of drilling has been completed. Part of the drilling will include further exploration of the new southern target. The assay results will be available at the end of July.

Veltyco Group (VLTY) says that first half trading is significantly ahead of market expectations. This is not the first time that Veltyco has beaten expectations and even before this the full year pre-tax profit was expected to jump from €1.74m to €4.62m.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) expects to make a first half loss. Senior management has taken a 20% pay cut. There is still $5.8m in the bank.

Safestay (SSTY) has acquired second hostel in Barcelona for €2m. Safestay has eleven hostels and acquisitions have gathered pace following a £12.6m sale and leaseback deal.

MAIN MARKET

Share trading will commence on 12 July in standard list shell Rockpool Acquisitions, which is seeking to acquire a Northern Ireland-based company. Rockpool is raising £1.085m at 10p a share, having previously issued 1.875 million shares at 8p each.

RockRose Energy (RRE) has raised £8m at 150p a share and it continues to progress the acquisition of oil and gas assets.

Gresham Technologies (GHT) says that revenues will be 26% higher in the first half of 2017. Eight new Clareti Transaction Control software clients have been signed up in the first half. Net cash is £7.7m.

Quarto Group Inc (QRT) has sold its New Zealand business, which was the last non-publishing business owned by the group. Quarto will receive $600,000 over two years plus 50% of debtor receipts for the next year. Quarto is also entitled to 15% of pre-interest profit for three years.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 26 June 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) received applications for £16.7m of the corporate bonds on offer. The maximum application level was £20m. The energy supplier will issue the bonds on 30 June. At the company’s AGM, Martin Edwards was not re-elected as a non-executive director and four special resolutions, three relating to pre-emption rights and one about calling a general meeting at 14 days notice, were not passed. Edwards has been a director of Good Energy since its formation and has expertise in renewable energy generation. It is unclear whether the length of his time on the board was held against him by institutions or whether there was another reason for him being removed from the board. He was chairman of the remuneration committee.

South Africa-based social impact investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) says that occupancy rates of its core investment Kazuko Lodge are improving and it moved into profit last year. The weakness of the Rand has helped to boost tourist demand and room rates. In the year to February 2017, Inqo revenues increased from R10.7m to R17m and a loss of R4.72m was turned into a pre-tax profit of R10.3m, thanks to a rise in other income from R867,000 to R14m. Net cash was R2.3m at the end of February 2017. This year, the first revenues from Bee Sweet Honey and retirement savings scheme provider Four One Financial Services are anticipated.

Housebuilder St Mark Homes (SMAP) is paying an interim dividend of 5.5p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 6 July.

AIM

Phoenix UK has bought out a rival shareholder in Hornby (HRN) and this has triggered a mandatory bid at the purchase price of 32.375p a share. This purchase took Phoenix’s stake in Hornby to 55.2%. The bid values Hornby at £27.4m. Neither Hornby’s management nor Phoenix wants to lose the AIM quotation. The bid closes on 14 July.

Wynnstay (WYN) reported flat interim pre-tax profit of £4.07m prior to the goodwill write-down on the Just for Pets retail business. Pet retailing is a competitive market and it is consolidation. Just for Pets is relatively small and it loss has masked an improvement in the core agricultural division and the Wynnstay Sores retail business. A recovery in the milk price means that farmers are back in profit and are spending more money on feed. Net debt was £8.28m at the end of April 2017, which is higher than last time because of the rise in commodity prices. The interim dividend was increased by 5% to 4.2p a share. The full year profit is forecast to decline from £7.4m to £7.1m.

NWF (NWF) also benefited from a recovery in feed demand in the second half of the year to May 2017, although there was a decline in the year as a whole. The food and fuel distribution businesses both made improved contribution. The full year figures will be published on 1 August.

South America-focused gold miner Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) says that operating costs were between $800 and $900/ounce last year. In the year to May 2017, Orosur produced 35,371 ounces of gold, which is at the lower end of the expected range. There was net cash of $2.9m at the end of May 2017 even though a new underground mine has been developed. Orosur plans to commence a drilling programme in Colombia, while the deadline for a decision by Asset Chile on whether to back phase II of the Anillo project has been extended to the end of 2017, although Orosur can talk to other potential backers.

Timber importer James Latham (LTHM) reported better than expected full year figures. In the year to March 2017, revenues were 7% ahead at £199m and gross margins improved. Earnings per share were 4% higher at 55.8p and the total dividend is 15.35p a share, up from 14.3p a share. Net cash was more than £16m. Revenues were 3% higher in the first two months of the current financial year.

InterQuest Group (ITQ) continues to advise against acceptance of the bid from Chisbridge, which is a management backed takeover vehicle. Acceptances of the 42p a share cash bid have been received from shareholders owning 2.85% of InterQuest, which is added to the 40.5% of the share capital that already backed the bid. The offer has been extended to 13 July.

European Wealth Group (EWG) is raising £6.14m at 12.8p a share and could raise up to £3.07m more via an open offer to existing shareholders. The cash will be used to pay off debt and deferred consideration.

Tracking and security equipment developer Starcom (STAR) has raised £650,000 at 1.5p a share, with each share coming with one-fifth of a warrant exercisable at 2.5p a share for up to 12 months. Some of the cash will be used to pay $246,000 to YA II, which will reduce the drawn down convertible loan facility from $330,000 to $110,000. YA II has agreed to a conversion price for the rest of the facility of 2.5p a share up until the end of 2017.

Redx Pharma (REDX) has a chance of securing the funds it requires in order to come out of administration. Discussions are still at an early stage. It is unclear whether this will involve changes to management, given that the current management believed that it could string along Liverpool City Council and put off repayment of its loan. Redx has gained UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency approval for oral cancer treatment RXC004. This provides permission for a phase Ib/IIa study for gastric, biliary and pancreatic cancer patients.

Clontarf Energy (CLON) is in talks to secure further projects and additional finance. Clontarf was recently awarded block 18, offshore Equatorial Guinea.

Myanmar International Ltd (MIL) raised a total of $7.3m via PrimaryBid.com and institutions, having initially wanted to raise between $3m and $5m. The Myanmar-focused investment company offered shares at $1.18 each – a 9.2% discount to the market price. Myanmar has achieved a broadening of its shareholder base. The enhanced proceeds are still expected to be invested within six months.

Digital media content business Brave Bison Group (BBSN) has appointed Claire Hungate, a former chief operating officer of ex-AIM TV production company Shed Media, as chief executive but she does not join the company until September. Brave Bison says that it does not believe a merger with fellow AIM company Zinc Media is in its interests.

Water treatment company HaloSource (HAL) has finally completed a £1.8m fundraising at 1.5p a share. The cash will provide working capital to help expand the drinking water business and develop the lead removal technology. The cash will fund the group into 2018. The new shares are more than one-third of the enlarged share capital. The completion of the conditional fundraising was announced on 21 April. There is no mention in the latest announcement of the investor that had tried to gain Chinese government approval to invest.

Gold producer and explorer Shanta Gold (SHG) raised £11m at 6p a share as part of a refinancing that also includes a new $50m debt facility to replace the existing $40m facility. Shanta is acquiring TSX Venture Exchange-quoted Helio Gold, which has gold exploration assets near to Shanta’s own licences, for $5.6m in shares. Shanta will be able to finance the commercial underground production phase at its New Luika gold mine.

Thor Mining (THR) has raised£460,000 at 0.9p a share and there is one warrant with each new share which is exercisable at 1.8p a share. Thor has agreed to acquire 25% of US Lithium, which has interests in Arizona and New Mexico, from Pembridge Resources for £59,000 and £30,000 will be provided to cover operating costs. There is an option to acquire the other 75% for 52.8 million shares at a deemed price of 0.9p each. Thor has completed a 50 hole drilling programme on the Dundas gold project in Western Australia. The results should come through in a few weeks.

First, the good news from TLA Worldwide (TLA). Management is obviously trying to suggest that it does not have contempt for investors by releasing a profit warning at 7am – its advisers must be doing something right. This is certainly a big improvement on publishing a profit warning at 6.26pm on 23 December 2016. TLA still thinks that it will be able to report its 2016 figures and post its accounts on 30 June. However, the trade receivables write-off is going to be higher than the previous guesstimate of $1.5m-$2.5m. The write-off is expected to be $3.2m and on top of that the negative effect of the accounting corrections on EBITDA is likely to be $3.6m, up from $2m previously. That will leave 2016 EBITDA at $4.8m. The interest charge will take up the majority of that figure. It is not just that, though. The original 2015 profit will be reduced by $1.9m. Net debt was $21.8m at the end of 2016 but a large chunk of the receivables that should have helped to reduce that figure are not going to come in. There is no dividend – unsurprisingly. The finance director has left, although he will be providing assistance for three months.

Superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) is raising £6.9m at 100p a share prior to joining AIM on 5 July. GYG is valued at £46.6m at the placing price and the plan is to pay an annual dividend equivalent to 6.4% of the placing price, although it will be 3.2% for 2017. Last year, GYG generated revenues of €54.6m and made EBITDA of €6.7m.

MAIN MARKET

China-focused healthcare investor Cathay International Holdings (CTI) says that it will receive just over $4m in dividends from 50.56%-owned subsidiary Lansens Pharmaceutical. The dividend will be paid on 4 August. Lansens’ subsidiaries have received insurance payments totalling $2.58m. Two directors were not re-elected at Cathay’s AGM because, although they received the majority of votes, they did not receive the majority of independent votes. Further re-election resolutions will be proposed in the next four months and they will only need a majority to be passed.

Falcon Media House (FAL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Tata Communications to collaborate on an over the top service for brands and content rights holders, using Falcon’s Q-Flow technology.

 

SMALL CAP AWARDS 2017 WINNERS

Company of the Year

Gear4Music (G4M)

Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music has gone from strength to strength since joining AIM in June 2015. The share price has risen by 600% in the past year. In May, £4.2m was raised at 690p a share.

The musical instruments market remains fragmented but Gear4Music is becoming one of the main players in Europe and it is opening distribution facilities in Europe as well as expanding its UK base. The investment required is holding back short-term profit growth and, in fact, pre-tax profit is expected to dip this year from £2.7m to £2.4m before rising to £3.3m in 2018-19.

IPO of the Year

Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL)

Tissue manufacturer Accrol had just celebrated its first anniversary on AIM when it was given this award. Accrol floated at 100p a share on 10 June 2016 and the share price has risen to 159.5p. Full year figures will be announced on 10 July.

Accrol is a leading supplier of tissue products to the discount sector and it has opened a new factory in Leyland, Lancashire. This investment takes annual production capacity to 143,000 tonnes. A ten-year lease has been secured on a 368,000 square foot warehouse in west Lancashire and this will become the central distribution facility. The warehouse management and logistics have been outsourced.

NEX Exchange Company of the Year

Chapel Down Group (CDGP)

English wines producer Chapel Down has been quoted on NEX and it forerunners for more than 14 years. Revenues have grown from £1.47m in the year to September 2002 to £10.2m in 2016. The Tenterden-based business made a small loss when it floated. Continuing operations moved from an underlying pre-tax profit of £156,000 in 2015 to £340,000 in 2016. Frosts have hit production this year but the outcome for wine production is still uncertain.

The company has developed brewing business Curious Drinks, which has separately raised money to build a new brewery but Chapel Down still effectively controls the business. The new Ashford brewery will be open in mid-2018 and this will free up space for further wine making at Tenterden.

Impact Company of the Year

Obtala (OBT)

African agricultural and forestry business Obtala is set to start to commercialise its operations this year. Up until now revenues have been modest but they are set to jump to £11.9m in 2017, trebling to £36.9m in 2018, which should be high enough to allow Obtala to make a profit in 2018. Hardman estimates that the Mozambique forestry assets could generate EBITDA of more than £25m in 2021. There are also plans to build up the orchard and horticultural business in Tanzania.

In May, Obtala acquired profitable sawn timber trader WoodBois International for $14.8m (£11.4m). The Copenhagen-based business sources timber from across Africa and sells it around the world. WoodBois has been short of capital to finance growth and it fits well with Obtala’s existing timber and forestry operations.

Executive Director of the Year

Nick Jarmany, Quixant (QTX)

Telematics technology provider Quartix is highly cash generative enabling it to finance growth in the UK, France and the US and pay increasing dividends. Chief executive Nick Jarmany founded Quixant in 2005 having spent more than two decades at Densitron Technologies. He guided the business to an AIM quotation in 2013.

The UK remains the dominant region for revenues but France and the US are growing strongly from low bases. Last year, US revenues more than doubled, from £256,000 to £677,000, but the loss was even higher than that because of the investment in sales and marketing and support services to enable growth over the next five years.

Transaction of the Year

Keywords Studios (KWS)

Outsourced video games services provider Keywords Studios has made numerous earnings enhancing acquisitions since it joined AIM but this award is for the purchase of Synthesis for up to €18m, which is one of eight purchases in 2016. This deal meant that Keywords became the global leader in localisation and voice-over recording for video games and added additional studios in Germany, France and Taiwan.

Keywords is expected to maintain a net cash position at the end of 2017 but this will depend on the level of acquisitions activity. There is a €35m bank facility that is not fully utilised and that could be used for further acquisitions.

Analyst of the Year

Andrew Blain, Cenkos Securities

Journalist of the Year

Jamie Nimmo, Evening Standard

Adviser of the Year

Cenkos Securities

Fund Manager of the Year

Paul Mumford, Cavendish Asset Management

Lifetime Achievement

Malcolm Diamond (Trifast/Flowtech Fluidpower)

 

Andrew Hore

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