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Quoted Micro 18 April 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Brewer Adnams (ADB) increased its revenues from £50.7m to £57.4m in 2021 and the loss was reduced from £4.3m to £1.39m. There is no final dividend. Net bank debt was £11m. The pension liability more than halved from £11.2m to £5m. Beer volumes were maintained.

S-Ventures (SVEN) says headwinds in the economy have held back sales of its healthy snacks. Even so, like-for-like sales are currently 10% ahead of last year. Cost savings of £300,000 a year have been found at the Pulsin plant-based products business.

Watchstone Group (WTG) subsidiary WTGIL Ltd has lost its VAT appeal. It is considering whether to take the appeal to the Upper tax Tribunal.

Cannabis-related products supplier Voyager Life (VOY) has opened three stores and relaunched its website in the year to March 2022. The Ascend Skincare brand was launched. There was £14.3m in the bank at the end of March 2022. Monthly overheads were just under £50,000. In the 16 months to March 2022, revenue reached £178,000. Revenues are steadily growing. Voyager is still waiting for ingestible products to receive authorisation from the authorities.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $700,000 in Zeitgeist in return for one million ZTG tokens. Zeitgeist is an application specific blockchain for prediction markets and futarchy.

Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) says that Aterian Resources has been awarded a ten year mining licence for the Agdz copper and silver project in Morocco. Eastinco has agreed to acquire Aterian from AIM-quoted Altus Strategies (ALS). Once the Aterian acquisition is completed Eastinco plans to move to the Main Market.

Goodbody Health (GDBY) says subsidiary PhytoVista Laboratories has been granted a licence to handle Schedule 1 controlled drugs.

Chris Akers has increased his stake in TECC Capital (TEC) from 10.6% to 11.1%. Robert Johnson reduced his stake to below 3%. Chief executive Kiran Morzaria has bought 54,422 shares in Cadence Minerals (KDNC) at 18.37p a share.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has extended two loans with £1.225m payable on 16 April 2023 and £629,000 on 4 July 2023.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had net assets of 368.49p a share at the end of March 2022.

AIM

Recycling Technologies has pulled its AIM flotation after its chief executive stepped down due to personal reasons. It had apparently raised the money it was seeking but the late change meant that the company has decided to have a smaller private fundraising before having another attempt at floating on AIM.

Loadbanks maker and hirer Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) is able to concentrate on its core business following the disposal of Tasman. In 2021, revenues from continuing operations were one-fifth higher with a greater proportion of hire business. Pre-tax profit trebled to £3.3m, before the restructuring and convertible loan note redemption costs of £7.6m, which were predominantly asset write-downs. There was a 1p a share dividend. The company is changing its name to Crestchic.

Online electricals retailer Marks Electrical (MRK) reported full year revenues that were 44% ahead at £80.5m and EBITDA margins are 9%. The fourth quarter revenues to March 2022 were 19% ahead at £20.7m. The comparatives are particularly strong because they were during a period of lockdowns when online sales made up a higher proportion of appliance sales. Pre-tax profit is still expected to decline from £6.8m to £6.1m in 2021-22 due to additional overhead costs.

Cambridge Cognition (COG) is building up its clinical trial business. Full year revenues increased by 50% to £10.1m and the digital health company moved into profit. There was £6.8m in the bank at the end of 2021. At least £7.5m of the year-end order book of £17m should be recognised in 2022. More contracts have been secured since the end of 2021.

Asset management services provider MJ Hudson (MJH) grew interim revenues by 48% to £23.4m with particularly strong growth in ESG-related services. Underlying pre-tax profit quadrupled to £1.6m. Net debt excluding leases was £13m at the end of December 2021. New business activity remains strong and there is no direct effect from the weak stockmarkets on revenues. Guernsey-based Saffery Champness Fund Services was acquired during the period.

Telematics firm Microlise (SAAS) reported revenues of £88.2m in the 18 months to December 2021. Annual revenues grew by 17%. Existing customers generated £35.6m in 2021 and there is hardly any customer churn. Annual recurring revenues are £38.9m.

AEX Gold (AEXG) has announced exploration results from the iron oxide, copper, gold project at Sava in southern Greenland. These showed that there is mineralisation. There are three high priority targets.

The lock-up period for shares in Poolbeg Pharma (POLB) distributed by Open Orphan (ORPH) ends on 20 April and new investors are hoping to buy up to £1.6m of shares at 5.9p each. The share price subsequently recovered to 6.7p, having been sliding in recent months ahead of the end of the lock-up period when there were concerns there could be a significant number of shares coming onto the market.

Ince (INCE) is going ahead with the acquisition of broker Arden Partners (ARDN) even though it is losing its nominated adviser status. The merger should be completed on 29 April.

MAIN MARKET

Financials Acquisition Corp (FINS) is a shell looking for a financial services acquisition, particularly in the insurance area. The focus is technology that is used to make the insurance sector more efficient. There was £150m raised at £10 a share. The share price ended the week at 997.5p.

It took a year to secure the transaction, but DG Innovate (DGI) has completed its reversal into Path Investments. The purchase of the electric drive and sodium-ion battery technology developer cost an initial £32.4m in shares at a deemed price of 0.6p a share, which was well above the market price. There was also £2.55m raised at 0.5p a share. The shares opened at 0.45p and ended the week at 0.305p.

Materials developer HeiQ (HEIQ) estimates that revenues were $57.9m thanks to a good fourth quarter. This is despite deferring revenues and $1m in operating profit from technology milestones for the agreement with the Lycra Company for its AeoniQ material into 2022. Operating profit is expected to be $3.4m, compared with the $4m forecast. Revenues are expected to grow by one-fifth this year.

Natural ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) grew interim revenues by 9% to £66.3m. The operating profit will be second half weighted.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 1 November 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) is partnering with Barrow Green Gas for gas shipping services. This should help the company to grow the amount of biomethane that it supplies to domestic customers. Founder Juliet Davenport has sold 50,000 shares at 317.6245p each, while finance director Rupert Sanderson has sold 17,680 at 341p each.

Decentralised finance investor Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) is acquiring platform developer Defi Yield Technologies Inc in return for 348.7 million shares. Dispersion already owned a 6.1% interest that cost C$1m.

Omni-Egis (OMNI), which was formerly known as First Sentinel, has decided to leave Aquis. Trading has already been suspended because of the lack of 2020 accounts and management believes it can save £200,000 a year. If shareholders agree the cancellation will happen on 24 November.

Valereum Blockchain (VLRM) has raised £2m at 40p a share with a warrant attached that is exercisable at 80p. Valereum has an option to acquire 80% of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange. No details have been revealed but the transaction will require the approval of the Gibraltar authorities. The idea is that the Gibraltar Stock Exchange will introduce mainstream trading in cryptocurrencies.

Pioneer Media Holdings (PNER) is raising C$1.5m at C$1 per unit, which is one share and one warrant exercisable at C$1.50. Pioneer Media has agreed to acquire Kodoku Studios, which is involved in NFT-gaming and developing a platform called The Pit, which will enable creators to host their own NFT arenas. The acquisition will cost C$850,000 in cash and eight million Pioneer Media shares at C$1 each. Pioneer Media says that it will be the only quoted investment company focused on NFT gaming.

Helium Ventures (HEV) is making its first investment since joining Aquis. Helium Ventures is investing A$400,000 in ASX-listed Blue Star Helium at A$0.056 cents a share. Blue Star has exploration projects in North America and the A$15m it has raised will be used to drill ten wells over the next 15 months.

In the year to April 2021, IamFire (FIRE) had net assets of £919,000, Since then £369,000 has been raised in a share issue.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has treated the first prostate cancer patient with a combination of its technology and a treatment developed by Panthera. This is part of a phase II study to determine the optimum dose for the Panthera drug.

Black Sea Property (BSP) had net assets of €21.8m at the end of June 2021, down from €22.4m at the end of 2020. Net debt was €16.4m.

AIM

Smaller companies broker Arden Partners (ARDN) is being acquired by legal services firm Ince (INCE), one of its own clients, in an all-share offer. Ince is offering seven shares for every 12 Arden shares in a bid recommended by the board of the broker. Assuming an Ince share price of 53p, this values each Arden share at 31p and the total share capital at £10m. Arden shareholders will own just over one-fifth of the enlarged share capital of the group. Irrevocable acceptances equate to 44.5% of the Arden share capital. This merger will enable a full range of professional services to be offered to clients. The deal is expected to be earnings enhancing and there should be a continuation of Ince’s policy to distribute one-fifth of post-tax profit in dividends.

IG Design Group (IGR) is generating the expected revenues this year, but it its warning that margins are coming under pressure from increased costs and supply problems. Progressive Research has slashed its underlying operating margin forecast from last year’s figure of 4.8% to 2.8%. Previously, a 2021-22 operating margin of 6.1% was forecast. Forecast revenues are being maintained at $934.3m, compared with $873.2m last year. There will be a full 12-month contribution from the CSS acquisition. The slump in margin means that forecast underlying pre-tax profit has been more than halved to $21.3m, down from $37m last year.

Norish (NSH) has completed the sale of its cold stores and intends to pay a 166p a share dividend out of the cash. The company will be renamed Roebuck Food Group and will have food products sourcing and dairy farming operations.

Arrow Exploration (AXL) is traded on the TSX Venture Exchange and has gained a second quotation on AIM. Arrow raised £7.6m after expenses at 6.25p a share and this will be spent on the drilling of five wells on the Tapir block in Colombia. Arden partners forecasts 2022 sales of $20m and EBITDA of $10m, based on successful drilling. Management believes that if the wells are successful then production could average more than 2,000 barrels of oil equivalent/day, rising to 3,000 barrels/day by March 2023. The share price ended the week at 7.875p.

Specialist cleaning services provider React Group (REAT) admitted that its full year trading was disappointing, and the pre-tax profit forecast has been reduced by £100,000 to £684,000. Covid-19 decontamination work was not as buoyant later in the year and reactive work was also weak. New contract wins are building up the recurring revenues base.

MAIN MARKET

Building supplies retailer Wickes (WIX) says third quarter like-for-like sales fell by 1.6%. the 2021 pre-tax profit is expected to be between £67m and £75m. The share price has fallen since the demerger from Travis Perkins.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) improved full year revenues from £2.39m to £3.3m, but the loss increased from £332,000 to £914,000. That was mainly due to much higher professional fees. The revenues come form the property management business and the newer flexible power joint venture is still in development.

Digital transformation business Kin and Carta (KCT) increased full year revenues by 12.5% to £141.4m, while adjusted pre-tax profit improved from £8.1m to £13m, although that is before pension and acquisition charges. The order book is worth £70m. The plan is to organically double revenues over four years.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 6 April 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) says that customer numbers have remained stable since September. The 2020 figures will be published on 13 April. There was £18.1m in the bank at the end of 2020. Good has restructured its two renewable generation debts into one debt facility of £39.8m.

Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) has completed the acquisition of vehicle finance provider Asset Alliance Group for £10.1m, which is 50% of the estimated fair value of £20.2m. Arbuthnot raised £8.6m by selling shares in Secure Trust, in which it retains a 5.74% stake.

Greencare Capital (GRE) is investing £100,000 in Clearly Supplements in the form of a 5% convertible loan. The conversion price is a 30% discount to a listing price. Clearly has developed a range of products and is establishing distribution in Asia.

Gunsynd (GUN) has sold three million shares in Rogue Baron (SHNJ) and raised £120,000. Gunsynd still owns 25% of the spirits brands developer and Chris Akers has taken a 3.48% stake. It also has £111,464 of convertible loan notes in Rogue Baron.

TruSpine Technologies (TSP) has raised £585,000 at 10p a share with each share coming with a warrant exercisable at 15p a share. A further £165,000 may be raised. The cash will fund the FDA application and commercial launch for Cervi-LOK.

Interim revenues of Love Hemp Group (LIFE) jumped from £426,000 to £2.38m. There was a loss of £962,000. There was net cash of £79,000 at the end of 2020. The company is moving into new facilities in south London in the middle of this year. Capacity will increase to 500,000 units of cannabidiol CBD products each month.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) did not generate any revenues in the six months to December 2020. There was a £60,000 loss, although cash used in operating activities was £141,000.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) can acquire a 71% interest in the owner of the Nankoma rare earths project in Uganda. There is an option to acquire a 51% stake for £1 by the end of June. The option fee is £25,000 in cash and 250,000 ordinary shares. The stake can be increased to 71% by the issue of £15,000 worth of shares.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has reported figures for the period from its formation on 6 July 2020 to the end of January 2021. There was a £60,000 cash outflow from operations and the company made two investments with another one made since January.

Optiva Securities has been approved as a corporate adviser.

AIM

Parsley Box (MEAL) has got off to a disappointing start on AIM after raising £5m at 200p a share. The shares ended the first day of trading at 185p, before recovering to 187.5p. Parsley Box has a strong brand position in its market niche and Covid-19 lockdowns have helped it to grow its customer base. The company has a range of more than 60 single portion meals, that can be stored in a cupboard and do not have to put in a fridge or freezer. Parsley Box makes more than 900,000 deliveries per month and demand has increased due to Covid-19. There are more than 500,000 registered users and 154,000 of these active customers at the beginning of this year.

ActiveOps (AOM) is a supplier of management process automation software and it got off to a good start after it floated on AIM. The share price has risen from the placing price of 168p to 190p. No new money was raised in the float and there is £8m in the bank. ActiveOps is losing money but its is generating cash. Once customers are gained, they increase their spending over a number of years and this will be supplemented by new customer wins.

Destiny Pharma (DEST) announced positive results of the phase 2b clinical study on the use of XF-73 nasal gel for the prevention of post-surgical infections. The next step will be the design of a phase III study. Discussions are being arranged with the FDA in the US.

Gfinity (GFIN) has completed its strategic review and has decided to continue with its existing strategy of focusing on higher margin revenues. Interim revenues more than trebled and the operating loss fell by nearly three-quarters to £900,000. There is £1.8m in the bank.

Arena Events (ARE) has raised a further £11m at 14p a share, having raised £9.5m at 10p a share one year earlier. The cash will enable management to bid for strategic assets, including Aztec Shaffer, a US company in Chapter 11.

K3 Business Technology (KBT) has written £16.9m off its intangible assets. Ongoing revenues dipped from £50.1m to £48.8m and the software provider made a small profit in the year to November 2020. Recurring revenues are three-quarters of the total.

Itaconix (ITX) increased revenues from $1.29m to $3.29m in 2020. Increased use of its sustainable polymers in detergents, odour control and personal care products is enabling revenues to grow and they will rise further this year. Itaconix is still losing money but it has the cash it requires for the medium-term.

Lawyer Ince Group (INCE) has agreed a £17m, three-year financing arrangement with Investec which replaces the £10m facility with Barclays.

Recent AIM admission TEAM (TEAM) is proposing an all-share offer for Tavistock Investments (TAVI) and shareholders owning 14% of Tavistock have indicated support for the offer from the investment manager.

Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) generated better than expected 2020 revenues of £101.5m and the loss was reduced. Net cash was £11.7m at the end of 2020. This leaves management in a strong position to increase the scale of the business. This year there will be full contributions from customer books acquired last year. Average monthly new bookings were £10.3m in the second half of 2020.

Time Out (TMO) has raised £17m at 35p a share. This should supply working capital until November 2022.

MAIN MARKET

Macfarlane Group (MACF) is paying up to £4.5m for Cornwall-based protective packaging supplier Carters Packaging. In the year to March 2020, Carters made a pre-tax profit of £500,000 on revenues of £4.2m.

MasMovil has launched a bid for Euskatel, in which Zegona Communications (ZEG) has a 21.4% stake. This values the target at €2bn and the Zegona shareholding at €428m. That puts a value of 170p a share on Zegona.

InnovaDerma (IDP) reported a one-fifth decline in interim revenues to £4.1mand a more than trebled loss of £1m. Management expects trading to be uncertain for the rest of the financial year. The recent fundraising will help to keep the business on a sound footing while it waits for a more substantial recovery.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 August 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

National Milk Records (NMRP) generated revenues of £5.35m in the quarter to June 2020, down from £5.6m in the previous year. Milk recording revenues declined because of COVID-19 restrictions. There was limited disruption to other parts of the business. The second half of the year to June 2020 was still better than the first half.

British Honey Company (BHC) has signed a four-year global licensing and distribution agreement with English Heritage. Spirits will be sold under the English Heritage brand.

The Hellyer gold mine operated by NQ Minerals (NQMI) achieved record production levels in July. The new processing plant had a monthly throughput of 106,365 tonnes. There was 4,075 tonnes of lead concentrate, 1,509 tonnes of zinc concentrate, 461 ounces of gold and 89,854 ounces of silver produced.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) intends to refocus its investment strategy on the natural resources sector and change its name to Evrima. An investment has been made in Kalahari Key Metals Exploration. A share consolidation of ten shares into one new share is planned.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that its subsidiary CoalTech has signed heads of agreement for a feasibility study and commercialisation of a 5,000 tonnes per month pelletising plant in New South Wales. The study will take three months and it would take a further nine months. The plant would be near to a power station.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) increased its revenues from HK$10.7m to HK$15.4m in the year to December 2019, but the loss still increased to HK$40.6m, partly due to stock write-downs. Both traditional Chinese medicine products and the company’s clinics made higher contributions to revenues.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings (AWLP) reported a decline in revenues from $2.4m to $1.43m in the year to February 2020. There was a swing from profit to loss.

AIM

NWF (NWF) benefitted from strong demand for heating oil and the slump in the oil price. There were bumper profits from the fuel distribution business in the year to May 2020. Operating profit nearly doubled to £11m and this won’t be repeated. Opening cost of the new Crewe facility led to a dip in profit contribution from food distribution. The feeds business increased market share but profit fell. Group pre-tax profit improved from £9.7m to £11.5m. A pre-tax profit of £10.7m is forecast for next year.

Telecoms hardware manufacturer Filtronic (FTC) reported full year figures in line with the recent trading statement and there was a small pre-tax profit. Revenues are building up as demand for 5G products increases. There is spare manufacturing capacity and efficiency will improve as capacity is used up. The US-based subsidiary is in a good position to win 5G orders.

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) has signed two new distribution agreements. A deal with Arpadis Benelux will enable Genablle graphene dispersion technology to be sold in the main speciality chemicals markets in Europe. An agreement with Maroon Group provides access to the coatings and polymers sectors in North America.

Construction materials distributor Brickability (BRCK) generated revenues of £23.8m in the three months to June 2020. There was a loss in April but Brickability returned to profit in May and June.

Telecoms customer engagement software provider Pelatro (PTRO) is raising £21m at 47p a share. This will fund investment in sales and marketing and working capital. Pelatro is profitable but cash generation has been relatively poor, although it was better last year.

Lawyer Ince Group (INCE) has reported 2019-20 figures that show an underlying pre-tax profit of £7m, although earnings per share declined following share issues. The consolidation of international acquisitions has been completed and IT is being improved. First quarter trading is 10% below plan but the business is still profitable.

Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) was quick to develop a COVID-19 module for its machines and this helped to partly offset a drop in first half revenues. Losses continue but the potential launch of AI-based products in 2021 and 2022 will put the company in a good position to move into profit.

K3 Business Technology (KBT) is a much smaller business following the sale of its UK Dynamics subsidiary, but it has a more solid and profitable base. Interim revenues slipped from £27.9m to £27.2m. K3’s own IP contributed 48% of revenues.

Fulcrum Utility Services (FCRM) has a better base going into the year to March 2021, even though the multi-utility infrastructure services provider was hit by the construction lockdown in the first quarter. Housebuilding activity is improving. Operational inefficiencies are being addressed.

Entertainment events marketing services provider Reach4Entertainment (R4E) intends to leave AIM in order to save money and enable greater flexibility. The share price slumped after the announcement, but it has moved back above the price at the beginning of the week. Chief executive Marc Boyan has bought 70 million shares at 0.2155p a share. That takes his stake to 16.1%. Herald has sold its 14.4% stake and Matthew Freud has bought a 14.95% stake.

Pensions administrator STM (STM) says that interim trading was in line with expectations thanks to its recurring revenues and control of costs.

Mergers adviser K3 Capital (K3C) has acquired Quantuma Advisory, which is focused on insolvency and restructuring, for an initial £20.2m. A further £6.7m could be payable depending on performance over three years.

Yourgene Health (YGEN) is acquiring Coastal Genomics for an initial $5.5m and up to $8m dependent on performance. Vancouver-based Coastal is a sample preparation technology company. The technology complements Yourgene’s technology and gives it a North American base. Yourgene raised £15m at 17p a share.

MAIN MARKET

Castillo Copper (LON: CCZ) joined the standard list on 4 August. Castillo raised £1.3m at 1.7p a share and the share price ended the week at 2.45p (2.2p/2.7p). There are three core projects, but the one that management is focusing on is Mt Oxide. The plan is to develop a copper mine. The Ayra prospect is the main exploration target and £450,000 will be spent on the Mt oxide area. The other core projects are the Cangai copper project in Australia and the Zed projects in Zambia.

BATM (BVC) says Vodafone has completed proof-of-concept on the ARM-based uCPE, which includes BATM’s network functions vizualisation (NFV) operating system. Field trials are likely to follow. This shows that both the networking and biomedical have good growth prospects. Stifel forecasts a rise in BATM pre-tax profit from $4.8m to $7.7m in 2020.

Construction and infrastructure services provider NMCN (NMCN) had a strong first quarter but a tougher second quarter meant that interim pre-tax profit fell by three-quarters. Even so, an interim dividend of 10p a share has been announced, which partly compensates for the lack of 2019 final dividend. There was an improved performance in telecoms and water is at the lower point in the cycle. Construction sites are becoming more active. Progress Equity Research forecasts a full year pre-tax profit of £1.9m, before recovering to £7.6m next year. A forecast total dividend of 15p a share for 2020, would not quite be covered by earnings.

Seafox International was successful in persuading Gulf Marine Services (GMS) shareholders to appoint Hassan Heikal and Hesham Halbouny to the board of the offshore oil services provider. They each received 57.7% of the votes.

Standard list shell Boston International Holdings (BIH) had £310,000 in cash at the end of June 2020, although there is also an unsecured loan of £200,000.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) mined 165 bitcoin in July, down from 180 in June. There were problems in the middle of the month. Mining revenue was £1.25m in July.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 20 January 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

NQ Minerals (NQMI) generated gross revenues of A$15.5m and gross profit of A$7.4m from Hellyer gold mine in the fourth quarter. Full year revenues were A$53.9m and operating profit was A$12.2m. The profit grew steadily quarter by quarter. NQ has raised £311,000 at 7p a share. In December, £300,000 was raised at 6.5p a share.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that is subsidiary Coaltech has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Uzbekistan ministry of innovation and development and Uzbekistan Railway. The coal fines project could have an initial value of $16m. A plant would be built to process coal fines into coal pellets. Coal mining is an important industry in Uzbekistan. There will be feasibility studies and the development of a business plan. This deal comes via the joint venture with Creon Investments, which is focused on Russia and former Soviet Union countries.

Ganapati (GANP) says that its Malta-based subsidiary has signed a two-year endorsement agreement with Welljam, which owns the rights to Usain Bolt’s services and image rights. Ganapati has is launching the first official Usain Bolt online slot game when the Tokyo Olympics are held during the summer. Usain Bolt will be attending the ICE London iGaming event in February. There are initial licence payments for image rights during the development of the slot game and a share of future revenues.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that its investee company iCAN Israel-Cannabis has raised money via a convertible that places a pre-money valuation of $20m on the company. Ananda invested $200,000 in a convertible loan in August 2018 and $100,000 of the loan has been converted into 120 shares worth $200,000 at the latest valuation. DJT Plants, which is 50%-owned by Ananda, has received planning permission for the construction of a facility for cannabis plant breeding and propagation.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) reported a dip in pre-tax profit from £334,000 to £306,000 in the six months to October 2019. The NAV improved from £21.2m to £21.9m over the six month period, even though £349,000 was paid in dividends.

Imperial X (IMPP) has switched its investing strategy back from medicinal cannabis to energy-related businesses. The focus is building a royalty stream from oil and gas interests.

Mark Leigh is taking over from Claire Spencer as finance director of Newbury Racecourse (NYR).

Broadband-focused shell SAPO (SAPO) has raised £27,500 at 2.75p a share.

Diverse Income Trust has reduced its stake in TechFinancials (TECH) to below 3%.

AIM

Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) generated organic growth of 10.5% in the first half and it is on course to meet analyst expectations for the full year. The main first half growth was in the corporate and pensions businesses. The most recent acquisition will take annualised non-legal revenues to 12% of the group total. A full year pre-tax profit of £21.3m is forecast.

Regional legal business Knights Group (KGH) increased interim revenues by one-third to £32m through a combination of acquired and organic growth. Underlying earnings were 9% ahead at 5.95p a share. Net debt was £17.1m at the end of October 2019. The interim dividend was raised by 83% to 1.1p a share, although Knights was not quoted for all the comparative period. Two Birmingham-based firms have been acquired since the period end.

Legal firm Ince Group (INCE) raised £12m at 45p a share. The share price has more than halved since the beginning of the year. The January 2019 placing was at 140p a share. There are plans to raise £2m by a one-for-8.398 open offer and £2m via an offer to staff. The cash will enable the working capital facility to be reduced and finance investment in building up staff numbers. Net debt was £10.4m at the end of September 2019.

Pharmaceutical services provider Ergomed (ERGO) has acquired Ashfield Pharmacovigilance Inc for $10m and this will be earnings enhancing in 2020. The deal boosts Ergomed’s position in pharmacovigilance services and gives it a stronger position in the US. Ashfield has annual revenues of $11.6m and contracted future revenues of $9.8m.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) has established a 50/50 renewable energy joint venture with Green Enesys that will operate a 36MW hybrid power (solar and biomass) project in Ivory Coast. This should reduce costs at the palm oil project in Ayenouan. There could be other potential power projects in the region. Dekel is benefiting from the recovery in the crude palm oil price. It produced 37,649 tonnes of crude palm oil in 2019, even though poor weather led to disappointing fourth quarter production. Later this year processing of cashew nuts should commence.

Biopesticides developer Eden Research (EDEN) generated revenues of £2m in 2019, down from £2.8m, and an operating loss of £1.4m. Product revenues grew even though the summer weather restricted usage of Botrytis.

Lettings agency The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) is setting up a financial services division. Acquisitions are planned and the first is a 72.25% stake in Auxilium Partnership, which is the business of newly appointed financial services director Mark Graves. This has been a source of growth for rival Belvoir (BLV).

D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) has confirmed that its second half trading is much stronger than the first half thanks to the contracts won by the Celebrus data analysis software business. The financials sector has been a productive customer base for Celebrus. D4T4 is increasingly winning SaaS business and this could hold back short-term growth, which could lead to the trimming of 2019-20 forecasts.

Instem (INS) continues to increase its recurring revenues. The pharma software company generated organic revenues growth of 12% in 2019. Pre-tax profit is expected to be £3.3m. Net cash was £5.9m. A jump in profit to £4.7m is forecast for 2020.

Estate agency Winkworth (WINK) says 2019 profit was modestly ahead of expectations and a total dividend of 7.8p a share is proposed, which is higher than forecast.

Telit Communications (TCM) did better than expected in 2019 and excluding the former automotive activities revenues grew by 8%. The internet of things technology developer is forecast to make a 2020 pre-tax profit of £20.1m.

Pharma data analytics firm Diaceutics (DXRX) generated more cash tan expected last year and made a small profit. Thee was cash of £11.7m at the end of 2019. The 2020 pre-tax profit could be £800,000.

Barkby Group (BARK) has exchanged contracts on a development site in Huntingdon, which has a gross development value of £10.7m.

Risk management software developer KRM22 (KRM) says 2019 revenues were slightly lower than expected at £4m. Delayed contracts are expected to be signed soon.

Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) managed to maintain revenues at £25.6m in 2019 and a small increase is expected in 2020. The mix of revenues has changed with fleet generating 80%, up from 73%, thanks to growth in the US and France. Insurance revenues fell as expected as low margin business was shed. Pre-tax profit is still expected to decline from £8.2m to £6.6m in 2019, with a further fall to £6.3m forecast for 2020. The dividend is expected to be reduced from 12.4p a share to 12.1p a share, although it will not be fully covered by earnings.

Base Resources (BSE) has increased production guidance for the Kwale mine with midpoints of 78,000t for rutile, 345,000t for ilmenite and 30,500t for zircon. There is a lack of supply of rutile and ilmenite, so this is good news. This should provide a strong boost to profit.

Pressure Technologies (PRES) has been fined £700,000 and will have to pay prosecution costs of £169,000 following the guilty verdict relating to a fatal accident at one of its sites in 2015. The first instalment of £215,000 is due in April with a further six equal instalments payable every six months between July 2020 and January 2023.

Oil and gas explorer and producer Empyrean Energy (EME) is raising £420,000 at 9p a share and chief executive Tom Kelly has contributed £200,000 of that cash. The placing was at a 9% premium to the market price. The cash will be spent on drilling offshore of Indonesia. There is a potential resource upgrade for the Mako gas discovery in Indonesia.

Mereo BioPharma (MPH) says that there have been positive results from the phase 2b study of Setrusumab in adults with osteogenesis imperfecta. They show that it is helping to build bone. A study with children is planned. A meeting with the FDA is due in the coming weeks. Earlier this year, Mereo signed a licence agreement for the use of Navicixizumab in ovarian cancer with Oncologie Inc. An upfront payment of $4m is due.

Nutrition provider Science in Sport (SIS) expects to report 2019 sales of £50.5m with underlying growth of nearly one-quarter. The fastest growth is outside of the UK. River and Mercantile has taken a 5.5% stake.

MAIN MARKET

Shareholders in AIM-quoted Anglo African Oil and Gas (AAOG) have agreed to the sale of 80% of its Congo subsidiary to Zenith Energy (ZEN) and it is waiting for government approval. There is a put and call option over the other 20%. If the call option is exercised Zenith will pay £1m in shares. If the production at the Tilapia oilfield averages at least 4,000 barrels of oil per day for 30 consecutive days, the put option can be exercised and Zenith would pay £2.5m in shares.

Endeavour Mining Corporation has ended its merger discussions with gold miner Centamin (CEY) blaming a lack of information. Endeavour still believes that a combination would be positive. Centamin is raising its final dividend to 6 cents a share, taking the 2019 total to 10 cents a share, up from 5.5 cents a share. Net cash was $348m at the end of 2019. The higher gold price will further boost cash generation. A new chief executive still has to be appointed.

Standard list cash shell Trident Resources (TRR) has £3.29m in cash at the end of October 2019, which is similar to NAV. Management is assessing a few mining project acquisition opportunities.

Stevia sweeteners producer PureCircle Ltd (PURE) says that shareholders owning more than 10% of the share capital have put forward three proposed directors to be voted on at the AGM on 10 February. The company is happy for Sridhar Krishnan, Lai Hock Meng, a former PureCircle director, and Oliver Maes, who was previously a PureCircle director, to be appointed to the board.

Books publisher Quarto (QRT) is raising £13.9m at 68p each. The open offer is underwritten and it will help to reduce the debt burden.

Menswear retailer and hirer Moss Bros (MOSB) Total sales were 3% lower in the 24 weeks to 11 January, but gross margin improved. Hire revenues fell by 17.7%. Cash is £12m.

OTHER MARKETS

Pallets manufacturer RM2 International (RM2) intends to move from AIM to matched bargains market Asset Match (www.assetmatch.com).

Andrew Hore

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