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AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Globe Capital (GCAP) has reported its 2020 and latest interim results and undergone board changes. Simon Grant-Rennick becomes executive chairman and Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi an executive director. They are advancing £100,000 via a convertible, which will convert at 0.04p a share following the upcoming AGM. More cash will be raised, and a new corporate strategy announced. There was £23,000 in the bank at the end of June 2021. There were net liabilities. Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser.
Voyager Life (VOY) interim revenues were £59,000 and it remains loss making. There was £1.74m in cash at the middle of November 2021 and monthly overheads are below £50,000. The CBD products supplier is getting its products stocked in retailers and has opened its third store.
Helium Ventures (HEV) has made its maiden investment in Blue Star Helium, which has the Voyager prospect at Las Animas County Colorado. There are indications that it could have one of the highest helium concentrations in the US. A maiden well could be drilled in December.
Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) is offering a range of blood tests through 40 Superdrug sites.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has completed the Specimen Hill drilling campaign. Initial results for Goldsmith’s Reef, which was mined 100 years ago, has had some positive drilling results and there are more results to come. This will help to secure a partner.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) is preparing to drill at Red Setter in Western Australia. Four high priority zones have been identified. Wishbone raised £126,000 at 14p a share.
EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) plans to issue up to 25 million zero dividend preference shares at 100p each.
Pioneer Media Holdings Inc (PNER) has raised C$1.1m at C$1 per unit (one share and one warrant exercisable at C$1.50). Investee company Leaf Mobile Inc is raising cash ahead of a proposed standard listing.
IamFire (FIRE) has an option to subscribe up to $4.5m into convertible loan notes of former Aquis company Boanerges. They convert into shares at 75p each.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) sold 4.58 million treasury shares at 10p each to raise £458,000.
Omni Egis (OMNI) is leaving Aquis on 24 November.
Scott Livingston has taken a 5.16% stake in Silverwood Brands (SLWD).
Acoustic and thermal insulation material manufacturer Autins Group (AUTG) has raised £3m at 20p a share, which was a significant discount to the market price. The cash will be used to develop the Neptune acoustic material manufacturing facilities and in product development for electric vehicles.
Steel structures supplier Billington (BILN) has been hit by short-term delays to contracts, which has knocked £3.5m off forecast 2021 revenues. That has led to a halving of the 2021 forecast pre-tax profit to £1.1m. The order book is still strong.
Microbiome-based products developer Optibiotix Health (OPTI) has sold 3.64 million shares in SkinBioTerapeutics (SBTX) at 55p each and raised £2m. Optibiotix still owns 20.7% of the company and that stake is valued at £18m.
Managed IT and networking services provider AdEPT Technology (ADT) increased interim revenues by one-fifth to £34.3m. Underlying pre-tax profit was 16% higher at £3.5m and earnings per share were 30% ahead at 13.2p due to a lower tax charge. Net debt was £31.2m at the end of September 2021, which was after spending £9m on acquiring Datrix.
Ilika (IKA) says that its Stereax and Goliath battery technologies remain on track. Commercial revenues from the smaller Stereax batteries should commence in 2022. Once lithium-ion equivalence is achieved Ilika will seek a partner for Goliath.
Health services provider Totally (TLY) had a strong interim period as insourcing and planned care revenues improved. Organic revenue growth was 14%, while the underlying pre-tax profit was £2.1m. There was £18.3m in cash at the end of September 2021, which provides plenty of fire power for making acquisitions in the out of hospital care sector. The urgent care business has been winning contracts and extensions to existing ones. Full year pre-tax profit could improve from £2.5m to £4.1m with more growth to come from the existing operations as demand returns to more normal levels.
Arden has updated its forecast for Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) due to shipping delays holding up the start of production at the cashew plant. Palm oil production and revenues continue to grow. This means that the company will not make a pre-tax profit in 2021, but it should still make a substantial 2022 profit.
Trakm8 (TRAK) has not done well in recent years but the latest statement from the telemetry equipment and services provider has sparked an upgrade. The company should breakeven this year and make a significant profit in 2022-23.
Technology-focused shell Red Capital (REDC) raised £4m at 10p a share and after expenses it has total cash of £725,000. The shares certainly jumped when trading commenced and closed at 25.5p. This is the latest vehicle floated by Marwyn Capital founder David Williams.
PYX Resources Ltd (PYX) was already quoted on the NSX in Australia before joining the standard list. PYX is in a strong position as the second largest resources of zircon in the world with zircon prices increasing and demand remaining strong. It has two mineral sands projects in Central Kalimantan in Indonesia with one already in production. No new money was raised. Trading started at 94p a share and ended the week at 92.8p a share. There was solid trading in the shares all week.
Technology Minerals (TM1) was set up as investment company after Stranger Holdings (STPH) decided not to proceed with the acquisition of Technology Minerals and related assets. It has acquired these assets and is building a business that covers the battery cycle from exploration and mining to recycling. The main focus is on the Emperium project in Idaho, where £100,000 will be spent over up to 18 months. The company raised £1.5m at 2.25p a share and issued 786.2 million shares to acquire the assets. The share price opened at 2.6p and ended the first day at 3.25p. It ended the week at 3.5875p.
A general meeting has been requisitioned at East Imperial (EISB) by Andrew Regan of Corvus Capital. He wants to remove two directors and replace them with his picks. The board criticises the experience of his choices.
Helium Ventures (LON: HEV) is a shell seeking to acquire a business in the upstream natural gas sector, with a focus on helium. It raised £765,000, after expenses, at 10p a share. This followed placings at 1p a share and 5p a share. The underlying value of Helium Ventures cash is 4.9p a share. The share price jumped to 16p (14p/18p) on the first day of trading. That values the company at £2.69m.
Virgata Services did not receive the requisite acceptances for its bid for Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) and the 10.2% of the share capital that accepted the offer are no longer bound by the acceptances.
KR1 (KR1) has made three new investments. There was a $100,000 investment in the iTrust seed round and it will receive iTrust tokens. A further $50,000 was invested in 625,000 Clover tokens. The largest of the investments was the $400,000 spent on nearly 20.7 million DIVER (Divergence) tokens.
Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has decided not to exercise its option to acquire 51% of the owner of the Nankoma mining project in Uganda because of its inability to carry out due diligence.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) has signed a media rights agreement with Arena Leisure covering all fixtures until the end of 2028. This replaces existing rights agreements expiring in 2023.
EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had an NAV of 582.13p a share at the end of June 2021.
Ilika (IKA) has raised £18m through a placing at 140p a share and a further £3m from a retail offer via PrimaryBid. An open offer could raise up to £3.7m. The share price was 200p before the fundraising. The cash will finance the development of Goliath battery pouch cells until they exceed the performance of lithium ion batteries and increase the capacity of the pre-pilot line.
Managed IT and networking services provider AdEPT Technology (ADT) will benefit from its earnings enhancing acquisition of Datrix in 2021-22. In the year to March 2021, revenues fell by 6% to £57.9m, while pre-tax profit fell from £7.7m to £6.2m. There was 9% growth in fourth quarter revenues. Management has taken advantage of the past year to restructure the business. . A three-year, £70m bank facility was agreed during March, so there is plenty of funding for other acquisitions.
CMO Group (CMO) is the largest online retailer of building materials in a market where pure online businesses still have a relatively small share. CMO raised £27.3m at 132p a share and existing shareholders raised £17.7m. Pro forma revenues, including Total Tiles which was acquired at the end of 2020, were £67m and pre-tax profit was £1.05m. The share price ended the week at 155.5p.
California-based LungLife AI (LLAI) is developing the LungLB lung cancer diagnostic test. The plan is to have a commercial test available in the US by 2023. It raised £17m at 176p a share and ended the week at 202.5p. LungLB is a blood-based test intended to identify cancerous and benign lung nodules that have been seen through a CT scan. Two-fifths of biopsies following the identification of nodules are not required and the test can stop them happening.
Saietta (SED) has raised nearly £32m, after expenses, at 120p a share to complete the development of its aerial flux motor technology and build a production facility for the motors. Liquid cooled aerial flux motor technology (AFT) has been developed for use with motorcycles and small vehicles. AFT motors are modular in design and highly efficient – reducing the need for additional batteries. There can be high or low voltage versions. The AFT 140 is the motor developed by Saietta. The share price was 121.5p at the end of the week.
Mercia Asset Management (MERC) made an underlying operating profit of £3.3m in the year to March 2021 and on top of that there were significant realised and unrealised gains. The NAV is 40p a share.
There were 97% of rents collected by Real Estate Investors (RLE) in the first half. Occupancy is lower at 83.4% because of the expected ends to certain tenancies, but management believes that the occupancy will recover by the end of the year as the space is rented out. NAV is expected to decline from 55.2p a share to 54.7p a share by the end of 2021.
Kinovo (KINO) is the new name for electrical and buildings services provider Bilby. In the year to March 2022, revenues declined from £65.4m to £60.2m and underlying pre-tax profit fell from £3.69m to £2.36m. The balance sheet is certainly stronger thanks to cash generated from operations. Net debt is down to £2.7m and combined with a recovering share price there may be chances to make acquisitions. There is a 0.5p a share dividend.
Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCTP) has signed an agreement with Evotec that should increase the development speed for the OCT461201. It will help to prove the tolerability and safety of the compound.
Tirupati Graphite (TGR) has signed a marketing agreement with Japan-based Hanwa, which will expand markets for flake and speciality graphite products to south east Asia. Hanwa is already a joint venture partner with Bacanora Lithium.
GC Hevron has proposed a reorganisation of Plaza Centres (PLAZ) and the board has decided to allow GC Hevron to conduct due diligence. The proposal will be put to bondholders on 13 July.
finnCap has downgraded its forecast for InnovaDerma (IDP). The forecast 2020-21 revenues have been cut by £700,000 to £10.2m, although better gross margins should mean that the loss will be similar to previously forecast. A small profit is still forecast for 2021-22.
British Honey (BHC) generated revenues of £1.5m in the nine months to December 2020 with more sales online. There was £2.4m in the bank.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has agreed to provide cancer treatment to NHS Trusts and clinical commissioning groups in England. The initial agreement is for two years.
A subsidiary of Noble Group has sent a letter of intent to Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) saying it wasn’t to purchase a significant portion of tantalum and tine production from Musasa in Rwanda. There will be immediate payment on agreement of the grade. There has been a further cash injection of £150,000.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has discovered further gold mineralisation at Specimen Hill in Queensland. There is a 100% success rate with holes drilled. A drilling programme has started at Mt Cassidy and once completed drilling will recommence at Specimen Hill at the sites that are prospective for copper.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that the Hellyer mine in Australia produced 38,319 tonnes of lead concentrate, up 53%, and 19,019 tonnes of zinc concentrate, up 22%, in 2020. There was 5,452 ounces of gold and 1.1 million ounces of silver produced. Gross revenues were A$63.3m and net income was A$22.7m.
Preliminary sampling at one of the Cameroon licences owned by BWA Group (BWAP) has identified mineralisation. The Dehane project has elevated titanium, zircon and aluminium multi-element associations. More cash is required to fund further exploration.
Gunsynd (GUN) says that Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser to Rogue Baron ahead of a proposed flotation on Aquis in the first quarter. Rogue Baron is a spirits company and Gunsynd has a £500,000 convertible repayable at the end of March. The Gunsynd NAV increased from £2.36m to £2.47m at the end of July 2020. There was £838,000 in the bank.
Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £100,000 at 4.5p a share. SulNOx Group (SNOX) has raised £50,100 at 41.75p a share. Further cash will be required. Altona Energy (ANR) has raised a further £42,000 at 6.5p a share. MiLOC Group (ML.P) has raised £237,000 at 28.5p a share and started litigation against a distributor.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) boos Joe McTaggart has bought 30,409 shares at 49p each.
Toilet tissue manufacturer Accrol (ACRL) reported strong interims even before a contribution from the recently acquired LTC. In the six months to October 2020, revenues slipped from £64.5m to £62.3m but that reflects panic buying in the last two months of the previous year that reduced this year’s figure. A contribution from LTC should increase full year revenues from £135m to £154m and pre-tax profit could nearly double to £9.2m. Accrol intends to pay a final dividend of 0.5p a share.
Online fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) reported a 6% increase in revenues to December 2020, following a £1.6m reduction in marketing spend – mainly in December. This includes growing sales via John Lewis and Next. The loss was more than halved. Net cash was £3.9m at the end of 2020.
Kromek (KMK) reported a 14% decline in interim revenues to £4.58m, which was a resilient performance considering the disruption in the period. Kromek has moved into a net debt position but management is confident that it has enough funds for its requirements. The second half should be stronger. The long-term outlook for MRI, imaging and radiation detection products remains positive.
Battery technology developer Ilika (IKA) is on course for Stereax battery production to be scaled up by the beginning of 2022 and more significant revenues will flow through from then on. The total investment is £4m. The pilot line is running at full capacity so there is unlikely to be growth in short-term revenues. There is also the longer-term potential for Goliath batteries for electric vehicles. There should be £9m in the bank at the end of April 2021.
Voucher products supplier Appreciate (APP) had a strong third quarter and free cash reached £33.5m. The focus on digital products is paying off.
Law firm Gateley (GTLY) grew earnings by 7% in the first half, but full year earnings are expected to decline from 12.5p a share to 9.1p a share. There could be scope for an upgrade if utilisation levels remain high.
Ariana Resources (AAU) says that the 50%-owned Kiziltepe mine produced 18,645 ounces of gold in 2020. The processing plant capacity is being quadrupled.
Filtronic (FTC) has won a contract with more than £1m with a UK defence customer. Filtronic will design and supply battlefield communications hardware.
In 2020, Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) increased palm oil production by 24% to 4,824MT and the average price obtained was ahead by a similar percentage. The price has started 2021 at a much higher level and even if the price does not stay as high Dekel should be able to at least move nearer to profit in 2021.
Franchise Brands (FRAN) will report 2020 figures ahead of consensus. The business has been strongly cash generative and the consumer-facing franchises did better in the second half. Metro Rod was classed as an essential service and trading recovered after an initial slump. Allenby forecasts 2020 earnings of 4.3p a share and this could improve to 4.8p a share in 2021.
Environmental and life sciences company Deepverge (DVRG) generated revenues of £4.4m in 2020 before any contribution from the recently acquired Modern Water. This year’s revenues should more than double, although the business should still lose money. There are large projects that are being bid for that could contribute to this year.
SourceBio International (SBI) has signed a deal with a high street retailer to provide lab testing services. This will start with a limited number of stores and could then be broadened. Demand for Covid testing is likely to continue to be high for many months.
BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) has secured an option deal to sell its NGSoft communications technology services business to Aztek Technologies for $33m in cash. This is around ten times operating profit. The cash can be reinvested into the other activities.
Telecoms business Toople (TOOP) increased revenues from £2.45m to £3.44m and gross profit from £479,000 to £1.1m in the year to September 2020. The purchase of DMSL helped to grow revenues. Admin expenses were slightly higher at £2.44m. The underlying pre-tax loss edged up from £1.24m to £1.31m. That excludes a £1.1m provision for bad debts and restructuring costs. Directors pay increased from £278,000 to £312,239 last year. Net debt was nearly £1m at the end of September 2020. Debt in the form of a loan note is repayable at the end of 2022. The cash outflow from operating activities reduced from £2m to £1.6m.
InnovaDerma (IDP) reported a one-fifth decline in interim revenues. The personal care products supplier was hit by the closure of high street shops in the UK. International sales improved. The new chief executive is still assessing the business and will report plans and impairment charges in the coming weeks. A non-executive director is loaning the company £500,000 until 13 July.
Healthcare IT supplier DXS International (DXSP) had £1.2m in cash at the end of October 2020. Net cash was £584,000, following the capitalisation of £568,000 of development spending. Interim revenues improved by 3% to £1.72m but progress was held back by Covid-19. Pre-tax profit jumped from £90,000 to £151,000 due to lower admin costs.
Imperial X (IMPP) is continuing its due diligence on previously announced acquisitions of mining and royalty interests and the plan is to apply for a standard listing when the acquisitions are completed.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) has invested $148,000 in RenewSenses, which has developed a wearable device for the visually impaired. The cash will help to complete the development of the A.I. Cane product, which is a camera attached to a handheld device and this enables obstacles to be identified.
S-Ventures (SVEN) has invested a further £75,000 in a convertible loan note issued by vitamin-fortified juices and smoothies Coldpress Foods. The annual interest rate is 15%. S-Ventures has a 3.3% stake in Coldpress.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has terminated options over 17.8 million shares held by three individuals and has paid a total of £140,000 in compensation. These options could have been exercised at 6p a share or 8p a share and were equivalent to 11.3% of the potentially enlarged share capital. Primorus has decided to drop the Aquis quotation on 24 December and keep the AIM quote. This and a reduction in director pay will reduce costs by more than £200,000 a year.
Formation Group (FRM) is withdrawing from the Aquis Stock Exchange on 31 December.
Good Energy (GOOD) has appointed Canaccord Genuity as joint broker.
Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised a further £335,000 at 5p a share and 5.5p a share.
Aquis Stock Exchange has launched a market maker incentive scheme. The market makers will offer two-way prices for 505 of stocks on the Apex segment with a maximum spread of 5%. There should be 25 companies on the Apex segment. Market makers will receive warrants for shares in the Aquis Stock Exchange with the best performers gaining the largest percentage. They could earn up to 19.9% of the market over a three year period. Early adopters include Canaccord Genuity, Liberum, Peel Hunt, Shore Capital, Stifel and Winterflood.
Liberum Capital and Zeus Capital have been approved as corporate advisers for the Aquis Stock Exchange.
Kistos (KIST) began trading on AIM on 25 November. The investment company raised £30.2m after expenses and the market capitalisation was £40.3m. The plan is to seek acquisitions in the oil and gas sector. The team behind Kist is the same as for RockRose Energy. The share price has risen from 100p to 118.2p.
Cyber security software and services provider Shearwater (SWG) reported a slump in revenues, but the decline was in lower margin products. There were also overhead reductions. That meant that there was a profit before amortisation of acquired intangibles. Orders were delayed but there was still a £1.7m cash inflow from operations. Net cash was £3m at the end of September 2020. Two-fifths of revenues are recurring, and the long-term outlook is good.
Circle Property (CRC) reported a 2p a share decline in NAV to 283p a share at the end of September 2020. Loan to value is 42% and there is £37.7m of a loan facility still undrawn. New lettings have been secured since March and rent collections have been strong. The interim dividend is 2.5p a share.
Telecoms testing instrumentation supplier Calnex Solutions (CLX) has made an impressive start to its time on AIM with interim figures that show near-doubled underlying pre-tax profit of £2.3m. This has led to an upgrade of the full year profit expectations to £2.9m. The cash being generated is enabling additional development spending.
IG Design (IGR) benefitted from a full contribution from the CSS acquisition, which has also reduced the seasonality of the group. Even so, continuing operations sales held up well. There is still scope for additional demand for Christmas wrapping and gift products, but time is running out for any significant improvement. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to be flat at $35m, although shares issued to fund the CSS acquisition mean that there would be a one-fifth decline in earnings per share to 25.5 cents. There should be a significant improvement next year.
First Property (FPO) has significantly reduced its debt following the sale of a property in Poland. This puts it in a good position to take advantage of any opportunities over the next year or so. Short-term income has declined and there were no performance fees. NAV is 54.3p a share. The interim dividend is maintained at 0.45p a share.
Appreciate (APP) has reinstated its dividend and it proposes an interim of 0.4p a share. Interim revenues were 18% lower at £27.4m. There is always a first half loss and it increased from £1.2m to £4.6m, although that does not include the restructuring costs. The Christmas savings business held up and the corporate incentives operations were boosted by additional business due to free school meals vouchers. More business is being done digitally and there continues to be a monthly improvement in trading.
D4T4 (D4T4) is continuing its development into a business focused on recurring revenues. The data collection and analysis software provider lost money in the first half, but management remains confident that D4T4 will achieve the full year pre-tax profit forecast of £3.2m, down from £5m. Net cash is expected to be £14m. The interim dividend was raised by 5% to 0.81p a share.
LoopUp (LOOP) has not achieved the annual run rate than it expected, and it will fall short of 2020 expectations. The remote meetings technology provider has been generating less revenue from international calls, which has hit overall revenues. Trimming the 2020 revenues forecast from £54.8m to £50.1m leads to a one-fifth reduction in pre-tax profit to £8.4m. The lower run rate means that 2021 forecast revenues have been slashed from £56m to £35.2m, which leads to a small loss for the year.
Outsourcing Inc has sent out the document for the takeover of CPL Resources (CPS). It is offering Euro11.25 a share, which values the Ireland-based recruitment company at Euro317.8m.
Digital advertising technology developer Miriad Advertising (MIRI) has raised £23m via a placing at 40p a share. A further £3m could be raised via an open offer. In July 2019, £16m was raised at 15p a share. The first half cash outflow was more than £4.6m. The cash will be spent on growing US revenues and further technology development.
Ilika (IKA) has decided to manufacture its Stearex batteries itself rather than outsourcing the process. This is the quickest route to production and operating margins will improve. Full scale manufacturing will start by early 2022.
ReNeuron (RENE) is raising up to £17.5m at a heavily discounted share price of 70p. This cash will enable the company to complete the current clinical trial for the retinitis pigmentosa treatment and design a phase III trial.
The share price rise of Wynnstay Group (WYN) has led to DBAY Advisors reducing its stake from 6.12% to 5.33%.
Urban Exposure (UEX) plans a tender offer of up to £65m at 75p a share. There is cash in the bank of £81m.
Second half trading was always going to be weak for Tracsis (TRCS) because of its exposure to events in the traffic and data division. Recurring revenues from the rail technology division have helped limit the pre-tax profit decline from £9.5m to £8.3m. This year is also likely to be tough, although it will depend on trading next summer. The main recovery is likely in 2021-22.
Serinus Energy (SENX) has raised $21m and this will pay off the debt of $16.5m. The lender will also receive a 9.9% stake. The rest of the cash will be invested in increasing oil and gas production.
Digital financial services and products provider Tungsten (TUNG) says profit will be lower than expected this year. Transaction volumes have declined, and revenues will be flat. Winning new business has become more difficult. Annualised savings of £4m are being made.
Michelmersh Brick (MBH) says that 2020 revenues and profit will exceed expectations. Government support of £500,000 will be repaid. There will still be net cash at the end of 2020. A final dividend of 2.25p a share will be paid.
Benchmark (BMK) has completed its restructuring and is on course to benefit from the investment it has made in products and capacity. The BMK08+CleanTreat treatment should be launched by next summer and this could help the aquaculture company to move into profit. In 2019-20, revenues fell from £124m to £105.6m, but lower costs meant that the loss was reduced. Genetics was the best performing division due to initial sales of salmon eggs from Salten. Net debt was £37.6m at the end of September 2020.
Jlen Environmental (JLEN) is paying a second quarterly dividend of 1.69p a share, the same as the first quarter. There has been a small reduction in NAV from 97.5p a share to 96.1p a share because long-term expectations for electricity and gas prices have fallen. The portfolio is 34% wind power, 27% anaerobic digestion, 22% solar power, 15% waste and wastewater and 2% hydro and battery. A decline in waste volumes hampered the Bio Collectors business and other feedstocks are being sourced. There is £127.6m available to finance further acquisitions.
CML Microsystems (CML) had a mixed interim period with total revenues holding up at £12.9m. Storage technology revenues were one-quarter higher, but communications revenues fell by one-fifth and are no longer the largest contributor. However, the development activities have been broadened through acquisitions and there is a bigger addressable market. Pre-tax profit fell from £907,000 to £771,000 and the interim dividend is unchanged at 2p a share. The second half should be better than the first half and a rebalancing of resources should make the business more efficient.
Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) improved pre-tax profit from £14m to £15.8m, although there was a small dip in revenues to £109m. The total dividend is 6.2p a share. Demand is likely to remain weaker than normal. The move to the new UK premises should happen in the middle of 2021.
J Smart Contractors (SMJ) reported halved underlying full year pre-tax profit of £1.28m. There was a surplus on investment property revaluations of £3.18m. There is net cash of £12m. A final dividend of 2.27p a share has been declared and the total for the year has edged up from 3.19p a share to 3.22p a share. The completion of building contracts has been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Contracting work remains below the level of the previous year and private housing sales will be limited in the year to July 2021. NAV is £99.3m, which is double the market capitalisation.
Triad (LSE: TRD) revenues declined from £9m to £8.7m, but the IT consultancy did move from loss to profit due to lower costs. Utilisation rates for IT consultants is relatively high and cash covers around three-fifths of the market capitalisation.
Gulf Marine Services (GMS) has suspended chief executive Tim Summers, who was no longer a member of the board, due to an investigation into a severance payment of £429,000 on 10 November. Hassan Heikal was appointed a director at the general meeting on 25 November.
Cardiff Property (CDFF) increased its NAV from 2285p a share to 2436p a share at the end of September 2020, against a share price of 1725p. This reflects an uplift in the valuation of JV Campmoss due to an increase in value of Clivemount House in Maidenhead which has been sold since the year end. The dividend increased by 3% to 17.6p a share. There is cash of £5.5m and no debt.
Affordable housing services provider Aquila Services Group (AQSG) reported a decline in revenues from £3.89m to £3.51m, although there was a small improvement in operating profit prior to restructuring costs of £175,000. The dividend has been halved to 0.15p a share. Cash has increased to £1.4m.
OTAQ (OTAQ) increased interim revenues by 16% to £2.03m and it is on course for full year revenues of £4m. The growth has come from the aquaculture operations. Furlough claims reduced the loss.
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
SAPO (SAPO) has agreed to acquire Secure Web Services (SWS) and it will change its name to Rural Broadband Solutions. SAPO is paying £1.6m in cash and shares and £236,500 of the cash paid will be used to subscribe to a fundraising. SAPO wants to raise £2.5m. SWS is based in Shropshire and had revenues of £730,000. There are 2,300 customers and this could be doubled in three years. A buy and build strategy will expand the group across the UK.
Specialist social housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) swung from loss to profit in the year to March 2020. The pre-tax profit of £626,000 includes a gain on revaluation of £798,000. The underlying loss was similar to the year before. Net assets increased from £3.3m to £4m, equivalent to 107p a share. There are plans to dispose of the remaining London residential units and reinvest in specialist supported housing. The Wimbledon Park property was sold for £656,000 in June, which was a 3% discount to book value.
S-Ventures (SVEN) has made an investment in vitamin fortified, smoothies and juices provider Coldpress Foods. It has taken an initial 3.3% plus an investment in a convertible that could take the stake to 6.2%. The total investment is £60,000. Coldpress has revenues of more than £1.6m.
Oncology treatments developer Incanthera (INC) says that skin cancer technology Sol has exceeded expectations in a recent study. Sol has been shown to be effective in penetrating the skin barrier.
A requisition for a general meeting at Primorus Investments (PRIM) has been withdrawn following the proposed board appointments of Rupert Labrum, Hedley Clark and Matthew Beardmore. Donald Strang will leave the board.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) says Nicholas Nelson has resigned from the board but remains as chief executive. Shareholders had requisitioned a general meeting to remove him from the board, but there is no need for this to happen. Nouryon has agreed to manufacture SulNOx’s HFO emulsifier and a diesel conditioner, which will be sold under the brand SulNOxEco diesel conditioner.
Altona Energy (ANR) is seeking to raise up to £500,000 at 6.5p a share. Existing and new investors can subscribe for shares via www.nrprivatemarket.com. The offer is set to last until 15 October. The cash will go towards financing the two rare earth element projects in Malawi and Uganda.
Belvedere Leisure Resorts (BELV) has signed an agreement with Landal GreenParks UK for an exclusive partnership for the leisure park at the Barncosh site until the end of the year. Belvedere will deliver the first 50 units and then the 20-year arrangement will take effect. Belvedere has agreed to acquire the land for the 50 units at a cost of £500,000. Belvedere continues to seek new funds.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested a further £75,000 in copper/gold explorer Eagle Mountain Mining. Gunsynd owns 1.54% of the ASX-listed company.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) believes that the FCA guidance has given it confidence that its deal with medicinal cannabis company Apollon Formularies will go ahead.
European Lithium (EUR) has raised A$2.1m at 4.5 cents a share and this will be spent on metallurgical test work at the Wolfsberg lithium project. Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £193,000 at 0.5p a share.
Sativa Wellness Group Inc expects to gain admission to the Aquis Stock Exchange on 30 September.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) non-executive director Dominic Burke has bought 20,000 shares at 700p each. He owns 127,365 shares.
Gold production in Azerbaijan fell in the first half but Anglo Asian Mining (AAZ) is confident it can still hit its full year target of 75,000-80,000 ounces of gold equivalent, which would be slightly lower than the previous year. The higher gold price offset the decline in production from 39,905 ounces to 32,501 ounces. Even though the cost of production increased because of lower volumes and the reduction in grades at the Ugur open pit, pre-tax profit improved from $10.3m to $11.8m. There was $21.4m of cash generated from operations. There is plenty of cash to invest in Azerbaijan and the new venture in Ireland with Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR). The interim dividend was increased by 29% to 4.5 cents a share and the possibility of a special dividend next year. There was cash of $29.2m at the end of June 2020.
Specialist IFA Frenkel Topping (FEN) has made an indicative all-share offer for personal injury claims generator NAHL (NAH). Frenkel Topping has already acquired 6.11% of NAHL. finnCap forecasts an improvement in Frenkel Topping pre-tax profit from £1.8m to £2.3m in 2020.
NWF (NWF) says that trading is in line with expectations. Fuel volumes are lower than the same time last year because of reduced economic activity, but they are as anticipated. The food distribution trading has been hit by volatility in demand and lower demand from the catering sector. The feeds division has benefited from a stable dairy market.
Spinger-Verlag has increased its stake in DeepMatter (DMTR) from 2.9% to 7.4% following the issue of deferred consideration.
Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) grew managed services and consultancy revenues in the first half, although there was lower utilisation in consulting during lockdown. Consultancy revenues are improving in the second half. There was cash of £1.6m in the middle of September.
Battery technology developer Ilika (IKA) has signed a framework agreement with the UK Battery industrialisation Centre for the production of Goliath solid state pouch cells. This will help with the scale up of production for the batteries aimed at domestic appliances and electric vehicles.
Critical Metals (CRTM) is raising £800,000 at 5p a share. That will more than double the number of shares in issue. Critical wants to buy or acquire stakes in natural resources assets in Africa. The focus will be near-term brownfield projects that can be brought into production. Chief executive Russell Fryer is a former investment adviser in the natural resources sector and founder of Western Uranium Corporation.
Gulf Marine Services (GMS) has received another general meeting requisition letter from Seafox. The removal from the board of Mike Turner, David Blewden, Mo Bississo and Dr Shona Grant is Seafox’s wish. It wants Rasid Al Jarwan, Mansour Al alami and Saeed Mer Abdulla Khoory to replace them.
Auctus Growth (AUCT) is in discussions to acquire HeiQ Materials AG, which is a materials innovation company focusing on the apparel, medical and home textile markets. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
Hawkwing (HNG) is switching from AIM to the standard list on 30 September and raising £1.2m after expenses at 3p a share. That values the shell, which has failed to secure a technology acquisition in the time required by AIM, at £1.5m.
Digital Landscape Group (DLGI) is cancelling its standard listing on 2 October. Trading will begin on the Nasdaq Global Market on 5 October.
Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has received 73.94% acceptances from shareholders in Cindrigo Energy. When other conditions are satisfied the remaining shares will be mopped up and a prospectus prepared for a reintroduction to the standard list.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has published results for the year to August 2019 and the subsequent interims. Following these announcements, trading in the shares has resumed. There was strong growth in the interim figures with revenues of £116,000 but there was still a loss of £75,000. The working capital facility has been increased to £500,000.
Cannabis products supplier World High Life (LIFE) says it intends to list on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Revenues were £1.05m in the nine months to March 2020. Write-offs meant that the loss was £11.3m. Subsidiary Love Hemp’s online sales in May were double the level in January. Sales have switched from high street to online. There will be a rebrand in September
Engineering businesses consolidator Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised a further £179,000, including £65,000 raised by share issues to employees at 2p a share. There were also shares issued at 4.25p each. The placing price was 3p a share and creditors are taking shares at that price valued at £175,000 in lieu of flotation costs. The current share price is 4.5p (4p/5p).
Gunsynd (GUN) is raising £600,000 at 0.65p a share and this will be used for further investments.
KR1 (KR1) has participated in the Plasm token distribution. KR1 has 1,232 Ether (ETH) valued at $253,000 which it has agreed to be locked up. Access will be obtained in three intervals over 1,000 days. In return for the lockup KR1 receives 66.3 million Plasm tokens. Plasm is launching a platform on the Polkadot blockchain.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has raised £650,000 at 9p a share. The cash will be used to help develop the Amapa iron ore project and pay off loan notes. The stockpile of iron ore should be shipped during the summer. Cadence and the joint venture partners are in discussions with creditors. A scoping study will be commissioned.
The Australian government has approved the acquisition of the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania by NQ Minerals (NQMI). This will enable the mine to be reopened. NQ Minerals has raised £119,000 at 7.5p a share.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has sold a residential property in Wimbledon Park for £656,000, so that it can reinvest the cash in the core supported housing business. The sale was at a 3% discount to book value.
British Honey Company (BHC) has launched a Special Charity Edition Premium Vodka to raise money for COVID-19 research. One-quarter of sales revenues will go towards funding this research.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) has completed the purchase of a property in Preston. Barry Fromson has been appointed as chief executive and Barry Fitzpatrick as non-executive chairman. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
Sport Capital Group (SCG) had an investment property and nearly £12,000 in the bank at the end of 2019. NAV is £206,000.
Bahamas Petroleum (BPC) and Columbus Energy (CERP) are merging. Columbus shareholders will receive 0.803 of a BPC share for each share they own. Columbus was valued at £25m when the deal was announced. Columbus will generate cash to help finance exploration by BPC.
Escape Hunt (ESC) is raising up to £4m via a placing and one-for-four open offer at 7.5p a share and a convertible loan note issue of £340,000. The escape rooms operator says all the directors are buying shares. The intention is to spend £2.5m on rolling out more sites and the rest will go on operational improvements and working capital. Five or six new sites are planned in the next 12 months. UK sites were growing revenues prior to lockdown.
Hummingbird Resources (HUM) intends to acquire the Kouroussa gold project from Cassidy Gold Corp. First gold production could be within two years. There is a gold resource of 1.18Moz at >3g/t.
Hawkwing (HNG) plans to move to a standard listing. Formerly TLA Worldwide, trading in the shares is suspended because the shell has not found a suitable acquisition. Hawkwing would lose its AIM quotation in September without an acquisition. There is no time limit on acquisitions for shells on the standard list.
Ilika (IKA) had cash of £14.9m at the end of April 2020. The battery technology developer is choosing a fabrication facility for the manufacture of its batteries. Four potential partners are in the running. A tool that will increase productivity has been ordered and should be delivered by the end of 2020.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) produced less crude palm oil during May because of a decline in fruit delivered to the mill. There were 3,316 tonnes of crude palm oil produced in May, down from 5,316 tonnes in May 2019. However, more was sold during the month because of the much higher production in April. The average price received per tonne increased.
Be Heard (BHRD) has received a bid approach of 0.5p a share from MSQ Partners.
Lower energy prices have led to a fall in the net asset value of JLEN Environmental Assets (JLEN) but it continues to generate cash and pay dividends. NAV has fallen from 104.7p a share to 97.5p a share. Total dividends were 6.66p a share last year and the target for this year is 6.76p a share. JLEN is joining the FTSE 250 index on 22 June.
Air Partner (AIR) is raising £7.5m at 75p a share. Profit was ahead of budget in the four months to May 2020 with strong freight demand. There is also recovery in the private jets market. The cash will fund organic growth including the opening of offices in new locations.
Seafox International has attempted to requisition a general meeting at Gulf Marine Services (GMS) in order to appoint its representatives to the board. GMS says that the requisition is not valid in its current form. Hassan Heikal and Hesham Helbouny are the proposed directors.
Boston International Holdings (BIH) has secured a new £200,000 loan facility from a major shareholder. The plan is to acquire invoice factor Alexanders Discount.
Associated British Engineering (ASBE) is selling its interest in British Polar Engines and this will mean that it will no longer have any commitments to the pension fund. There will be no debt if the deal goes ahead.
Small Cap Awards 2020
The shortlist for the 2020 Small Cap Awards has been published. The awards are for quoted companies with a market capitalisation of less than £200m. This year the awards dinner has been cancelled. Instead, there will be a live virtual awards ceremony held via Zoom on 25 June. There are eleven awards for companies and individuals.
Company Of The Year
IPO Of The Year
Argentex Group PLC
Executive Director Of The Year
Matt Jones – CEO of Blancco Technology Group
Giulio Cerroni – CEO of Ixico
Lyn Rees – CEO of Yourgene Health
Jennifer Winter – CEO of Animalcare
Peter Harrison – CEO of Bioventix
David Cicurel – CEO of Judges Scientific
Transaction Of The Year
Centralnic Group – Team Internet
Rockrose Energy – Marathon Oil and Marathon West of Shetland Limited
Kape Technologies – Private Internet Access
Amryt Pharma – Aegerion
Totally – Greenbrook Healthcare
Inspiration Healthcare acquisition of Vio Holdings
Technology Company Of The Year
SRT Marine Systems
Blancco Technology Group
Innovative Financing Of The Year
Yu Group PLC
Simec Atlantis Energy
Impact Company Of The Year
Analyst Of The Year
Kartik Swaminathan, Arden Partners
Peter McNally, Panmure Gordon
Jens Lindqvist, Investec
Lorne Daniel, Finn Cap
Kai Korschelt, Canaccord Genuity
George O’Connor, Stifel London
Journalist Of The Year
Simon Thompson – Investors Chronicle
Michael Taylor – Investors Chronicle
Mark Shapland – Evening Standard
Joanne Hart – Mail on Sunday
Emma Agyemang – Financial Times
Hannah Godfrey – Professional Adviser
UK Smaller Companies Fund Manager Of The Year
ASI UK Smaller Companies – Harry Nimmo
JPM UK Smaller Companies – Georgina Brittain and Katen Patel
M&G Smaller Companies – Garfield Kiff and Rory Alexander
Invesco UK Smaller Companies Equity (UK) – Jonathan Brown
TM Cavendish AIM B – Paul Mumford
Kames UK Smaller Companies – Elaine Morgan
VCT Manager Of The Year
Amati AIM VCT PLC – Dr. Paul Jourdan, David Stevenson, Anna MacDonald
Unicorn AIM VCT PLC – Chris Hutchinson
Octopus AIM VCT 2 PLC – Kate Tidbury
Maven Income and Growth VCT 1 PLC – Bill Nixon
Seneca Growth Capital VCT PLC – John Davies
Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 – Oliver Bedford
AFH Financial Group (AFHP) has raised £15m from a placing of convertible unsecured loan stock in order to finance the acquisition of more IFAs. The loan stock offers a 4% annual interest rate and it matures in July 2024. The initial conversion price is 420p a share, which is a 17% premium to the market price. The annual interest cost is £600,000. Shore expects a pre-tax profit of £17m in the year to October 2019 and then a rise to £20m next year. That is before any acquisitions are made with the additional funds. There are already five potential acquisitions progressing towards completion.
Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) increased interim turnover by 3% to £1.55m. A decline in overheads in the six months to April 2019, due to a lack of repair work compared to the first half of the previous year. This meant that the interim loss fell from £200,000 to £101,000. There is £602,000 in the bank and NAV is £3.17m. Non-executive director CP Freeman has bought 600 shares at 750p each. He has a 1.2% stake.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested in South Cerney Outdoor, a recently formed company that has acquired the outdoor experiences business from the Shaw Trust charity. Capital for Colleagues is lending up to £250,000 to the investee company, where the employee owned trust will become a major shareholder.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its Gibraltar subsidiary has signed an agreement to support and promote RSK Smart Contract Network and RSK Infrastructure Framework blockchains in south east Asia. The 27.8%-owned start-up accelerator StartupToken is also involved in the deal.
EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a NAV of 260.29p a share at the end of June 2019. Since then 280,000 shares have been bought back by the company at an average share price of 205p.
KR1 (KR1) wants to buy back six million deferred shares at 0.2p each.
In the year to March 2019, Begbies Traynor (BEG) increased revenues by 15% to £60.1m, while pre-tax profit was £7.1m. Net debt was reduced from £7.5m to £6m. Increasing numbers of insolvencies is good news for the business recovery services provider. Pre-tax profit of £8.6m is forecast for this year.
Ultrasound simulation equipment supplier Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) says first half turnover was 25% ahead at £3.1m. This is before the recent AI contract win. There was £3.5m in the bank at the end of June 2019.
Tekcapital (TEK) is raising £750,000 at 8p a share in order to provide further financial backing for its IP companies. Medical devices developer Belluscura could receive FDA clearance for its advanced portable oxygen concentrator before the end of the year. It could be launched in the first half of next year. Nano-particle sized salt developer Salarius has been winning orders.
Ariana Resources (AAU) has reported positive drilling results at the Salinbas gold project in Turkey and there are indications that there is further mineralisation in the vicinity.
Ilika (IKA) had £4m in the bank at the end of April 2019 and that should be enough for the next 12 months as the solid state battery technology developer makes progress with its Stereax battery technology. Projects that could yield deals in the coming months include, condition monitoring devices for wind turbines, track monitoring devices for Network Rail and batteries for miniature medical implants.
Mirada (MIRA) is on course to move into profit in the year to March 2021. The digital TV software provider reported a rise in revenues from $8.82m to $12.3m last year. Even so, the loss was $3.2m. There will be a loss this year, excluding the $1.75m gain on the disposal of the parking payment business. That will help net debt to reduce to $4.1m, despite the loss.
Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) has reassured investors that it remains on target to achieve previously downgraded forecasts for 2019. Revenues should be $87m and net cash should be $18m at the end of 2019. Interims will be published on 4 September.
Polarean Imaging (POLX) has received an order for the 9820 Xenon Polariser system from the University of Kansas Medical Center. This will be used as part of an imaging research programme. This is the 25th polariser installed or ordered.
Collagen Solutions (COS) has submitted its CE Mark application for the ChondroMimetic regenerative medical device and has received initial questions it has to address. The response is being prepared. Collagen generated revenues of £4.15m in the year to March 2019. The benefits of consolidating collagen manufacturing are coming through.
Woodford Investment Management has cut its stake in eve Sleep (EVE) from 46.8% to 31.2%. Jupiter Asset Management has taken a 15.6% stake.
Oil and gas company Wentworth Resources (WEN) intends to pay dividends based on free cash flow generation. An interim will be announced in September.
FIH Group (FIH) has taken out a £13.9m mortgage on its Leyton warehouse and the interest charge is fixed at 3% for ten years. A new commercial air link has been agreed between the Falkland Islands and Brazil.
Challenger Acquisitions (CHAL) has received a further £18,000 from the owner of Star Sanctum, which takes the total paid to £93,000. Challenger has agreed payments with the developer of the wheel project in Dallas of $26,375 at the end of July and $25,000 at the end of August.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has obtained a listing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Trading started on 11 July and it expects to become a constituent of the TA-90 index.
Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) reported a 1% increase in underlying 2018 pre-tax profit of £5.9m. Pubs provided higher revenues and profit, while the brewery reported a reduction in profit contribution due to the ending of third party contracts and a small decline in volumes of its own beers and ciders. The brewing volumes have recovered in the early part of 2019.
Good Energy (GOOD) is making a strategic investment in Zap-Map owner Next Green Car Ltd. This is a business that provides electric vehicle market data and will help Good Energy move into the electric vehicle charging market. The initial investment is £1.08m for a 12.9% stake and £800,000 of convertible loan notes. If the loan notes are converted and payment of deferred consideration of £720,000 dependent on achieving financial targets, then the stake will increase to 50.1%.
Gunsynd (GUN) and Northbay Capital Partners have agreed with TSX-V-quoted Oyster Oil and Gas Ltd to settle debts of C$1.43m with the company in return for the outstanding share capital of Oyster’s subsidiary that owns production sharing contracts in Madagascar and Djibouti. Oyster shareholders have to agree to the deal for it to go ahead.
IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has commenced drilling on PL2551 in County Wexford. The drilling should help to prove the presence of a major gold mineralisation trend.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has increased its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) by two million shares, taking the stake to 1.15%. The average cost is 1.71p a share. Over the next 18 months Greatland will pursue targeted exploration campaigns in Australia and accelerate the development in the Paterson region.
Ananda Developments (ANA) says 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies reports that the first 11 weeks of sales of the hapac medicinal cannabis products in Italy have grown strongly from a low base.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is acquiring three prospective lithium assets in Australia. They are Picasso in Western Australia, Litchfield in Northern Territories and Alcoota in Northern Territories.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) lost £204,000 in the near-13 months since incorporation. There was £69,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. The reverse takeover of the 97.5% of CoalTech not owned by the company has still to be completed.
Barkby Group (BARK) has secured an eight-year operating agreement for the Queens Arms in East Garston, Berkshire. The pub and restaurant also operates a 120-capacity function room and 12 bedrooms.
Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has paid £3,500 for a 70% stake in financial adviser and investment firm Epsion Capital, which could provide advice to Eight Capital investee companies. Former ZAI corporate finance director and current Eight Capital non-executive director John Treacy is the sole director and other shareholder of Epsion, which is working on two corporate finance transactions.
Following the demise of Daniel Stewart, NQ Minerals (NQMI) has changed its corporate adviser to Arden, Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) has switched to Peterhouse and VI Mining (VIM) has moved to VSA.
Telephony services and technology provider Netcall (NET) is increasing its cloud revenues and bookings. Interim revenues improved from £11.4m to £10.7m but pre-tax profit dipped from £1.9m to £1.2m because of increased investment. Annual contract value has risen by 11% to £15.1m.
Tracsis (TRCS) improved its interim revenues from £18.1m to £19m and pre-tax profit will be higher than the £3.9m reported last year. There was £18.7m in cash at the end of January 2019. Chris Barnes has joined the transport optimisation software and services provider ahead of becoming chief executive.
Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) is buying 18 Money Shop sites for £1.5m. They are in north west England and Scotland and will be rebranded as Ramsdens. The pawn books of the sites and five others that will be closed are being acquired by Ramsdens. City Financial Investment has sold its remaining 9.73% stake.
WH Ireland (WHI) has raised £4.95m at 45p a share, which was a 30% discount to the market price. The cash will make sure that the broker has enough regulatory capital. Trading is tough and the operating loss in the second half will be higher than previously expected.
SimplyBiz (SBIZ) grew 2018 revenues by 15% to £50.7m and earnings per share were 28% higher at 11.9p. The supplier of compliance and business services to financial advisers continues to add to member numbers and sell more services to them. Net cash was £6.4m at the end of 2018.
DX (Group) (DX.) is making progress with its turnaround but there is still a long way to go. The parcel delivery business has restructured its business and raised prices to clients. The cash outflow was significantly reduced in the first half. DX could move back into profit next year.
Swallowfield (SWL) was hit by weak trading in its cosmetics manufacturing operations. The brands business maintained its revenues and profit. The second half outlook for manufacturing is better and costs have been reduced. The interim dividend was raised by 7.5% to 2.15p a share. Fidelity has increased its stake to 5.73%.
Ilika (IKA) has secured an 18 month project with Network Rail for the use of its Stereax battery technology in a ultra-low power wireless sensor for the network’s condition monitoring platform.
Pelatro (PTRO) has won a contract with Ooredoo Maldives worth $1.6m over three years. There is a fixed monthly fee and a share of the incremental revenue generated. There are also opportunities to cross-sell to other Ooredoo telecoms operations.
Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) has traded ahead of the first five months of the previous financial year. Although new car sales were lower, Cambria made more profit because of the higher value franchises. It was a similar trend in used cars. The aftersales operations increased sales and profit.
FFI Holdings (FFI) says that the film competition contracts business has been slow because of a lack of films and smaller productions. There are also possible claims. Delayed productions have hit the insurance agency business. That has reduced operating profit by $6m. The expected range for this year is $7.5m-$11m.
Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) reported a 11% increase in interim revenues to £46.7m and underlying pre-tax profit was 70% higher at £11.4m. That was partly down to lower development and marketing spending. Cash more than doubled to £31.6m, helped by a £10.2m placing. Net cash was £28.5m. The data from the phase III PQ Birch allergy study is expected in the next few weeks.
Finance provider ThinkSmart (TSL) reported a lower interim loss and there is cash in the bank of £11.3m. A special dividend of around 2p a share will return £44m to shareholders.
Accounting regulation changes mean that Paragon Entertainment Ltd (PEL) will not be able to recognise as much revenue in 2018 as it thought it would. That could reduce the figure by £700,000. The new range is £8.8m to £9.2m. The loss will be more than £2.5m. Revenues are expected to be higher this year.
Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) increased its proved reserves to 11,222 Mbbl at the end of 2018. Proved plus probable reserves are 19,275 Mbbl. NPV of future net revenues of proved reserves has increased by 18% to $79.8m.
Begbies Traynor (BEG) has completed a number of contingency engagements in the third quarter and there should be more in the fourth quarter. Corporate insolvencies are rising.
GetBusy (GETB) has increased its revenues from its core software products by 17% to £10.9m and it is making progress with its GetBusy productivity software which is in use with beta users. Cash generated from operations is being ploughed back into development spending.
Gfinity (GFIN) more than doubled its interim revenues from £1.8m to £4.4m with the growth coming from the managed services division, which includes the F1 Esports series. The Esports business is targeting breakeven in 2021.
Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has rejected a proposed 20p a share bid from RockRose Energy (RRE) which would value the company at £26.6m. Trading in the standard list company’s shares is suspended due to the proposed $140m acquisition of Marathan Oil West of Shetland.
Housebuilder Springfield Properties (SPR) is on track to increase full year pre-tax profit from £9.8m to £16.1m, following a strong first half. The housing market is stronger in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. The business has a mix of private housing and affordable housing developments. The Walker Group acquisition takes the company further upmarket in price terms and will make an initial contribution in the second half.
PhotonStar LED Group (PSL) has raised a further £170,000 at 0.01p a share, while directors John Treacy and Jonathan Freeman intend to subscribe a £24,000 when the company has authority to issue more shares. A general meeting will be held where the company will become a shell and change its name to Bould Opportunities. The operating business is being wound down. Antos Glogowski has a 20.9% stake.
In the past ten months, the valuation of the property assets of Sutton Harbour (SUH) has increased by 7% to £45.7m.
Small company-focused investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) reported a 21% decline in NAV to 225.9p a share at the end of 2018, although that is not a surprise given the weak stockmarket at the end of the year. The final dividend was increased by 2% to 9.1p a share. The board is in the process of appointing a fund management team. The plan is to increase the size of the fund to between £50m and £150m.
Standard list shell Cobra Resources (COBR) has agreed to acquire the owner of a 100% right title and interest in the Prince Alfred licence in South Australia. Prince Alfred was a producing copper mine. There is also an entitlement to earn 75% of five tenements in South Australia. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund has converted £140,000 of convertible bonds and penalty payments of £210,000 into 140 million shares in WideCells (WDC) and that has nearly doubled the number of shares in issue. The first 60 million shares have been sold.
Small cap award winners 2018
Company of the year
ZOO Digital (ZOO)
The ZOO Digital share price is ten times the level it was one year ago. ZOO localises film and television content and it has been investing in upgrading its technology and services over the past few years. This investment is paying off and the ability to offer cloud-based services is helping the business to grow and move into profit. Hollywood studios have been customers for many years and ZOO is winning market share. Newer entrants to the market such as Netflix have grown the demand for localisation of content. ZOO is expected to report an underlying pre-tax profit of £500,000 for the year to March 2018.
NEX company of the year
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS)
Cyber security technology developer Crossword Cybersecurity originally floated on GXG and then switched to NEX. It was one of the youngest companies that was on the shortlist for this award. Crossword is generating modest revenues and it is developing cyber security products with partners. The real potential for the business will not be realised for a few years.
Impact company of the year
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR)
Walls & Futures REIT is an ethical housing REIT that develops new housing for people with learning and physical disabilities or requiring extra care. In 2017, Walls and Futures achieved a total return on its portfolio of 11.5%, ahead of its benchmark total return of 7%.
IPO of the year
K3 Capital (K3C)
Business sales and corporate finance company K3 Capital Group joined AIM at 95p a share in April 2017 and the share price has more than trebled. Bolton-based K3 helps owners to sell their businesses and it gains clients through a direct marketing strategy. The AIM quotation and the related higher profile appears to have helped to accelerate growth. A move up the Thomson Reuters deal rankings is also helping. Last year, revenues rose by 26% to £10.8m, while pre-tax profit improved 18% to £3.6m. In the six months to November 2017, revenues were 34% ahead at £7.5m and pre-tax profit moved from £2.48m to £3.21m.
Fintech company of the year
FAIRFX Group (FFX)
Foreign exchange and e-banking services provider FAIRFX has a low cost model while offering an improved experience to the more established rivals. Turnover was £1.1bn last year, while revenues were £15.5m and this enable the company to move into profit. Corporate turnover was 52.3% of the total, up from 45.5%. The company recently moved its international payments book onto the City Forex platform following its acquisition. The focus is increasing scale to improve efficiency combined with the rolling out of new products.
Transaction of the year
Proactis (PHD) – merger with Perfect Commerce
Spend control software provider Proactis merged with Perfect Commerce in August 2017. The deal significantly increased the scope of the business and added to the management team. The integration of the businesses appears to be going well but the loss of a couple of large customers has held back progress in the year to July 2018. Even so, annualised contracted revenues are still £45.5m. Progressive Equity Research still expects a near-doubling of this year’s pre-tax profit to £10.2m, rising to £13.2m next year. That means that earnings per share growth is modest this year because of the additional shares in issue.
Executive director of the year
Bobby Kalar – Yu Group (YU.)
Electricity and gas supplier Yu Group floated on AIM in March 2016 at 185p a share. The current share price is more than four times that level. The focus is on commercial customers. Yu increased its revenues from £16.3m to £47m last year and annualised bookings continue to grow. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £195,000 to £3.08m. The dividend was increased from 2.25p to 3p a share. Trading continues to be strong and average annualised bookings per month were £6.6m. The cash pile has increased to £18.6m at the end of April 2018. Yu has obtained a licence to supply water.
Journalist of the year
Paul Scott – Stockopedia
Fund manager of the year
Nick Williamson – Old Mutual
Microcap fund manager of the year
Guy Feld – Canaccord Genuity
Analyst of the year
Kevin Ashton – Cantor Fitzgerald
Lifetime achievement award
Katie Potts – Herald Investment Management
Special services to small caps
John Jenkins (Founder of Ofex/NEX)
Daniel Thwaites (THW) increased its 2017-18 by 9% to £92.2m, while operating profit improved by 7% to £12.9m. There was a 79% increase in earnings per share to 13.8p, mainly due to a swing from a loss on interest swaps to a profit. The total dividend is unchanged at 4.46p a share. Investment in the pubs and hotels operations and in the new craft brewery at Mellor Brook has led to a rise in net debt from £47.6m to £63.7m. The old brewery will be demolished and the land will eventually be sold or developed. Poor weather means that the new financial year has started more slowly than last year.
Hellenic Capital has changed its name to Pelican House Mining (PHM) and is focusing on investing in early-stage resources projects in Africa. The focus is making capital gains on the investments. Pelican is trying to supplement its cash resources by selling a commercial property in Leeds, but the buyer withdrew. Pelican has retained the deposit. The investment property in Leeds is in the books at £204,000. Two directors, Simon Grant-Rennick and Mark Jackson, have been granted options over a total of seven million shares exercisable at 0.55p each.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that its conference and events division is 22% ahead of the same time last year and the revenues of the hotel have risen by the same percentage. There has been a 17% rise in revenues for the nursery business on the back of occupancy rates rising by six percentage points. There are longer-term worries about the financial ability of bookies to provide sponsorship and other revenues. Management says it will not be paying any dividends until 2022 at the earliest after the current development projects are completed.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has raised £303,000 at 0.15p a share and around £119,000 will go towards paying the £119,000 settlement with D-Beta, which provided an equity sharing facility. D-Beta has sold its existing stake. PCG is talking to Cavitation Solutions Ltd about distributing cavitation technology, which deals with oil and other water pollutants, in China. It is also talking to ChainZy about distributing its blockchain-based technology in Asia. There is interest from third parties concerning the use of PCG’s media and gambling licences in China.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) has raised £250,000 at 0.7p a share and the cash will be used to develop the company’s three main gold and zinc projects.
South Africa-focused investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has made a second investment in Uganda-based Four-One Financial Services, which manages the Mazima micro-pension scheme. This is the second tranche of the original investment and is in the form of a $100,000 convertible loan.
NWF (NWF) says that last year’s trading was much better than expected and net debt is lower than forecast. The feeds business improved its performance and trading of the fuels division was strong. The food distribution operations wee hit by reorganisation requirements and did not perform as well as expected.
Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) has got another large deal on the blocks and trading in the shares has been suspended. The Appalachian Basin oil and gas producing assets will be acquired for $575m and it will more than double the group’s daily production. This should be an earnings enhancing deal. A $225m share placing is required to help finance the deal.
RedstoneConnect (REDS) chief executive Mark Braund intends to leave the smart buildings technology company. Frank Beechinor will move from chairman to chief executive. The disposal of the systems integration and managed services divisions has been completed and the group can focus on its software business.
Ilika (IKA) has gained government funding of £4.1m for two battery technology projects in the automotive sector. The PowerDriveLine project is developing a solid state battery for hybrid and electric vehicles. The other project is headed by McLaren Automotive and is developing a battery for performance cars.
Secure payment products provider Eckoh (ECK) increased its full year revenues by 3% to £30m but pre-tax profit was 61% higher at £2.4m thanks to an improvement in operating margin. Growth in the US made up for a weaker contribution in the UK.
Redhall Group (RHL) slumped back into loss in the first half due to a delayed contract. However, it is still on course to make an improved profit in the full year. Interim revenues were 22% lower at £14.7m. There is strong demand for the company’s specialist doors from the nuclear and transport sectors.
Evgen Pharma (EVG) has enough cash to get to the end of 2018. There should be further positive news about the two ongoing clinical trials prior to the end of the year. Interim analysis of phase II trial of SFX-01 as a treatment for breast cancer show that six out of 20 patients, who had tumours that had initially responded to treatment but had become resistant, saw some benefit from the treatment of their tumours. The treatment has also been shown to be safe. The final results of the trial should be published before the end of the year.
Life sciences company Abzena (ABZA) has decided to focus on monetising its technology rather than raising money via a share issue. A non-binding heads of agreement with a third party would involve the sale of an interest in future royalties. If this deal is completed there would be enough working capital for the short-term.
Active Energy Group (AEG) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Young Living Farms for the sale of a PeatSwitch plant, which makes environmentally friendly peat replacements. The first plant is in Mona, Utah and the client is paying $3.4m in cash. There could subsequently be other plants at the client’s other sites.
Trading has resumed in the shares of Audioboom (BOOM) following publication of its accounts. The share price fell from 3.6p to 2.18p. The podcasts publisher has raised £4.5m from a placing at 3p a share.
WideCells Group (WDC) managed to raise £513,000 at 3p a share via a bookbuild on the Teathers app. That includes £183,000 from directors. The total amount raised by the stem cell services provider is £2.04m, including conversion of debt of £165,000. Shareholder approval is required for the share issue.Trading in the shares has resumed and the share price has fallen below the placing price. WideCells is using £615,000 of its £624,500 overdraft, which will be reviewed at the end of June. Shareholders have loaned £120,000.
China-based Gamfook Jewellery is planning to join the standard list. The online retailer customised jewellery wants to raise £5m in order to invest in retail sites. Gamfook has managed to generate cash from operating activities in the past few years, although next year there will be a significant working capital outflow according to forecasts. Gamfook is offering an 8.5% yield on its potential placing price of 15p a share and that would rise to 12.5% in 2019.
Air Partner (AIR) has completed its accounting review and the net assets overstatement of £4m net of tax is in line with indications. There were accounting errors and subsequent attempts to cover up the problems going back to 2010. The review has cost £1.3m. Air Partner still intends to pay a final dividend of 3.8p a share.
BATM (BVC) has won a $3m follow-on cyber security for a government department. The total contract value will be $7m.
Falcon Media House (FAL) has raised £500,000 via a convertible loan note issue. The conversion price is 1.5p a share.
Cash shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) has raised £250,000 from an oversubscribed open offer at 20p a share but there was a delay of one day before the shares were admitted to trading on 14 June. The share price has slumped from a high of 160p to 24.5p over the past month.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has agreed a 30-year lease on a second property in north west England. Housing association Inclusion Housing is paying £168,740 a year for the lease subject to planning permission for extra rooms. The property needs to be refurbished.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has executed the 50/50 joint venture agreement with Southern Gold for the Kochang mine and the feasibility report is expected before the end of September. The required $500,000 investment has nearly been completed by Bluebird and it is on course to invest the required $250,000 in Southern Gold. First gold is expected before the end of 2019.
Wines maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) says that its open offer at 50p a share was oversubscribed. Excess applications will be scaled back. The additional £1.47m raised takes the total to £20m. BlackRock holds a 5.79% stake and Nigel Wray owns 16.2%.
Startup Giants (SUG) has made its first investment since floating. An undisclosed investment has been made in Go Show Ltd, which operates a brand marketplace designed to enable product placement deals (www.goshow.net), and it will be released when milestones have been achieved. Go Show initially applied for funding in 2015 and it has been mentored by Startup Giants. There is a target for revenue generation of up to £1m within 12 months. An accelerator round has also been launched by Startup Giants. It is aimed at early stage, UK-registered companies.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has increased its shareholding in Indorse from 3% to 6.5% at cost of S$175,000. There is an option to acquire a further 3.5%, at the same cost, to take the stake to 10%. Indorse completed a token sales last September and those tokens are currently valued at $34m. The Indorse platform is designed to enable users to generate income from sharing their skills and validating the claims of others.
African Potash Ltd (AFPO) has entered into an agreement with Gibraltar-based TokenCommunities Ltd. This deal will help the blockchain joint venture that has also already been announced with FinComEco Ltd, which is developing platforms for agricultural markets in sub-Saharan Africa. TokenCommunities will advise on the deployment of tokens. The chain will link smallholder farmers, traders, brokers, storage, transportation and commodity buyers. There are plans for microloans to farmers at an annual interest rate of 12%, which is lower than existing rates. African Potash has completed the raising of £400,000 at 0.025p a share.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has completed the €2.76m purchase of four plots of land with permission to develop a camping complex. It has also invested €3.37 to help finance the development of the site, which could be completed by the middle of the year. Black Sea Property raised €3.53m at €0.01 a share late last year.
Lake Acquisitions (U.P) says that the contingent value rights holders will not get a distribution for 2017. The cumulative relevant revenues from the eligible nuclear power output was £41.1m. The cumulative base revenues were £41.9m.
UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOG) has decided to drop its NEX Exchange quotation on 31 January. That is just over 27 months after it joined. The company says that there have been low levels of trading on NEX and it still has its primary quotation on AIM. Interestingly, oil and gas company UK Oil and Gas was formed many years ago out of the shell of a former technology equipment business, yet it is still classed under the technology hardware and equipment sub-sector of the technology sector in the AIM statistics.
Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) reported maiden full year results as a quoted company that were slightly better than expected. The housebuilding infrastructure provider reported a dip in pre-tax profit from £10.8m to £9.1m on flat revenues of £135m. The total dividend is 6.3p a share. A 2017-18 pre-tax profit of £10.8m is forecast.
Ilika (IKA) reported a significant cash outflow in the first half but the outflow should be reduced in the second half. Interim revenues trebled to £1m and full year revenues of £2.9m are forecast. The loss is reducing. There are licensing proposals with a handful of potential customers and any one of these could transform the fortunes of Ilika.
EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has confirmed that trading was strong in 2017 and EBITDA will be much better than the £8.8m forecast. EKF plans to spin-off its sTNFR biomarker technology into a separate company. This technology has no value in the balance sheet.
Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal Group (DNL) says that its Akindi treatment has performed well in a food matrix study in the US and it will be able to move onto the next stage in the process of gaining US approval. European approval for Akindi is expected in a matter of weeks. There was £14m in the bank at the end of 2017. The interims will be published on 12 March.
Lombard Risk Management (LRM) is recommending a 13p a share cash bid, which was nearly double the market price. The bid from rival financial services technology supplier is valued at £52.1m.
Somero Enterprises (SOM) has sparked another forecast upgrade with the 2017 pre-tax profit forecast rising 8% to $25.9m. Net cash should be at least $18.5m and that could rise by around $10m by the end of 2018. That leaves room for another special dividend as well as growth in the ongoing dividend. The tax changes in the US had already led to a one-fifth increase in the 2018 earnings per share forecast to 34.4 cents, which has been raised again to 36.8 cents.
Engineer Avingtrans (AVG) says that trading is on track and the integration of Hayward Tyler continues. A pre-tax profit of £2.2m is forecast for the year to May 2018 and this should generate nearly enough earnings to cover the forecast dividend of 3.6p a share.
Tough market conditions and adverse currency movements have not stopped motor dealer Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) trading ahead of expectations. Forecasts had already been upgraded and the 2017 pre-tax profit estimate has been raised a further 2% to £28.8m. However, a decline in pre-tax profit to £23.5m is forecast for 2018.
Smart meter communications technology provider CyanConnode (CYAN) continues to progress but the timing of orders has been delayed. The order book is worth $100m but 2017 revenues were £1.2m and the loss more than £10m. This year’s revenues are forecast to be £10m and the loss £7m. There should be enough cash to last the whole of 2018.
Strategic Minerals (SML) generated fourth quarter revenues of $2.14m from magnetite ore sales at Cobre. The 2017 total revenues of $5.64m were quadruple the previous year. Strategic had $3.8m in the bank at the end of 2017.
Online Blockchain (OBC) has taken advantage of its rising share price to raise £1m at 100p a share.
Fashion retailer Footasylum (FOOT) increased revenues by one-third to £89.8m in the 18 weeks to 30 December 2017. The fastest growth came from e-commerce. The revenues for the 44 weeks to 30 December 2017 also improved by one-third to £173m. These are not like-for-like increases and six stores were opened in the past 18 weeks.
There was a small decline in the full year revenues of Shoe Zone (SHOE) from £159.8m to £157.8m. The shoes retailer did improve its gross margin from 62% to 63.2% but higher admin and distribution costs offset this and pre-tax profit fell from £10.3m to £9.5m. The total dividend was edged up from 10.1p a share to 10.2p a share. Net cash was £11.8m at the end of September 2017. The pension fund liability has fallen from £13.1m to £7.1m. Consumer demand and currency movements remain the main challenges.
BNN Technology (BNN) directors Harry Keiley and Lord Mancroft are following the nominated adviser out of the door. Mark Hanson becomes non-executive chairman.
Film completion contracts provider FFI Holdings (FFI) has acquired the motorsports entertainment insurance book of business from All Risks for $1.825m. The acquisition has been made by Reel Media, which itself was acquired before Christmas for $7.25m in total.
Background checking services provider ClearStar (CLSU) traded in line with expectations in 2017. Revenues were 11% higher at $17.8m and the loss was reduced. There was net cash of $1m. The loss should be further reduced in 2018.
Masawara (MASA) and Kimberly Enterprises (KBE) both plan to leave AIM. Two shareholders own 90% of Masawara. Minority shareholders are being offered 25p a share or the chance to convert the shares into preference shares. Eastern European property investor Kimberly has net liabilities of €24.1m and sold most of its property assets. The lease agreement for the Marina Dorcol project has been terminated.
Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) has completed the enrolment of its 560 plus patient phase III trial for a treatment for patients with allergic rhino conjunctivitis due to birch pollen. The results of the trial should be available before the end of this year. The potential market is worth around £3bn.
Two large clinical trial contracts have been delayed and this means that Cambridge Cognition (COG) 2017 revenues will be 18% lower than expected. This means that there will be a loss for the year.
Telematics equipment and services provider Quartix (QTX) pleased the market by growing its 2017 revenues by 5% to £24.4m. This means that earnings per share forecasts have been raised from 11.8p to 12.3p.
Geospatial software company 1Spatial (SPA) has won a five-year contract from the state of Michigan in the US worth $766,000. Liontrust has sold all its 9.35% stake.
Xeros Technology Group (XSG) has launched its domestic washing machine that can cut the use of water, detergent and energy by up to 50%. A second development agreement has been signed with a commercial washing machines manufacturer.
Oracle Power (ORCP) is acquiring the minority stake in coal mining lease owner Sindh Carbon Energy for up to £3.6m in shares.
APC Technology Group (APC) has acquired electronic components distributor First Byte Micro for £1.2m. In 2016, First Byte made a pre-tax profit of £194,000 on revenues of £1.3m.
Reconstruction Capital II (RC2) has acquired stakes in two funds that own 60% of Romanian paints and coatings supplier Policolor. This will mean that Reconstruction Capital II has an effective stake of 55.36% in Policolor and make it easier to liquidate the investment.
BOS Global (BOS) wants to raise £1.2m at 1.25p a share to settle debts and provide working capital. The software company says the directors will not be paid until April and one of them, William Giles, will subscribe up to £300,000 in the placing and open offer.
Connemara Mining (CON) has announced drilling results from the Mine River gold project in Wicklow and Wexford. Most of the intersections contained gold at grades of less than 1g/t but two were more positive with 4.53g/t over eight metres and 16.1g/t over two metres.
Versarien (VRS) is collaborating with an Asia-based global textiles manufacturer on incorporating graphene into fabrics via yarns and finishes.
E-commerce-focused cash shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) soared as trading commenced on the standard list and trading in the shares had to be suspended after three days. There appear to have been nearly 1.4 million shares traded over three days, which is 2.8% of the shares in issue. Cayman Islands-based AIQ, raised £3.6m after expenses, at 8p a share. The suspension price is 125p. That means that the quotation and £3.6m in cash are valued at £62.5m. The plan is to seek an e-commerce acquisition, which has a strong management and is near to cash generation.
Bio-decontamination products supplier Bioquell (BQE) has completed the £122,000 disposal of the UK AirFlow parts and manufacturing business and received the final £70,000 for the sale of the service business. There was already net cash of £14.5m at the end of 2017. Full year revenues were better than expected at £29.3m, up from £26.8m and pre-exceptional profit will be much better, even before the £250,000 gain on the Airflow disposals. The 2017 figures will be published on 7 March.
Software supplier Gresham Technologies (GHT) says 2017 revenues were 24% ahead to £21.3m and more of these revenues are coming from Clareti enterprise data integrity software. There is £8.5m in the bank. Kestrel has trimmed its stake from 14.9% to 12.5%.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has won a cyber communication technology contract with a government worth $4m over 12 months. Delivery will start in the second quarter of 2018.
Thomas Charlton has further increased his stake in North Midland Construction (NMD) from 7.24% to 8.2%. This appears to have sparked a recovery in the share price.
Avocet Mining (AVM) has deferred the completion the sale of its Burkina Faso assets for $5m. The buyer, the Balaji group of companies, wants more time to settle a claim from International Royalty Corporation, a creditor of the holding company of the assets. Avocet has received a deposit of $500,000.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has announced the results of preliminary grab samples from the Gubong gold mine. The majority of samples had gold grades of more than 1g/t and silver grades of 10g/t or more.
Zenith Energy Ltd (ZEN) has entered an exclusivity agreement for the acquisition of production and exploration licences in a Central Asian country. Azerbaijan-focused Zenith would be acquiring assets in a proven petroleum system and they produce 250 barrels of oil per day.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has started drilling at the Gakara project in Burundi. Gakara has an estimated in situ-grade of 47%-67% total rare earth oxide. The drilling is focused on the production area at Gasagwe and anomalies that have been identified. The first results will be in April. A second phase of drilling is planned later in the year and this could produce a JORC-compliant resource before the end of 2018. Production is building up and the run rate target for the end of 2018 is 5,000tpa. In December, Rainbow raised £2.8m at 14p a share in an oversubscribed placing. The cash will be used to acquire capital equipment.