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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 1 March 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Incanthera (INC) says that it is prioritising discussions with two global cosmetic companies as potential partners for Sol, a sun cream that prevents skin cancer. Incanthera is also assessing the potential for using the technology to develop other products.

Sativa Wellness (SWEL) plans to raise C$4m through a placing of units at C$0.07875 each. Each unit consists of one share one-half of a warrant exercisable at C$0.105 each. The cash will provide working capital and investment for a new health screening service. Sativa has opened ten Covid-19 testing facilities. A dispute with Dragonfly Biosciences has been settled.

World High Life (LIFE) is submitting a novel food dossier to the Food Standards Agency. This is part of the move to regulation of the CBD market in the UK. The dossier includes pre-clinical results.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) intends to acquire the shares in medicinal cannabis pharma company Apollon Formularies that it does not own, and this will be classed as a reverse takeover. Shares will be issued to the Apollon shareholders. AfriAg is also raising £2.5m at 5p a share.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) is selling its Tay mortgage portfolio to a subsidiary of OneSavings Bank for £53.8m, which is equivalent to 97.9% of the outstanding loans. Arbuthnot has already announced that it intends to pay a 21p a share special dividend, which replaces the 2019 dividend declared in March 2020. Arbuthnot will make a loss in 2020 so there will be no dividend.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £65,000 in a convertible loan issue by B2B pool betting platform Low6. Gunsynd had already invested £200,000 last December. AIM-quoted Pires Investments (PIRI) has also increased its investment in Low6. It invested a further £35,000, having also invested £200,000 at the same time as Gunsynd. Low6 is expected to float during the second quarter of 2021 and Canaccord Genuity is its broker.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that the latest exploration at Specimen Hill reaffirms the drill targets and informs plans for higher density drilling, so that a resource can be calculated. Tectonic says that the Deep Blue Minerals diamonds joint venture with AIM-quoted Kazera Global Investments produced 220 carats in January. Higher grade materials will be mined during the rest of the year.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) says that Bureau Veritas has certified that SulnoxEco Fuel Conditioner complies with European standards. This means that SulNox’s products can be used for 70% of the hydrocarbon market. Management is confident that production can be scaled up.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has signed an agreement with ASX-listed Evolution Mining for the evaluation and potential processing of lead and silver rich stockpiles at the Sunbeam project in North Queensland. Evolution has a processing plant 80km away from Sunbeam, which has stockpiles from past mining. The processing would be done on a cost and revenue share basis with NQ. This could finance further exploration. NQ says that it should qualify for the Green Economy Mark when it moves to the standard list.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) has received shareholder approval for refocusing its strategy on property investment and development.

Almon I Holding has cut its stake in Coinsilium (COIN) to below 3%. It increased its stake to 3.68% in January 2020.

Altona Energy has changed its name to Altona Rare Earths (ANR).

AIM

Trading platform operator Aquis Exchange (AQX) moved into profit last year thanks to high levels of trading on its platform. Aquis had been expected to lose money in 2020 but it is now expected to make a £200,000 profit on revenues of £11m. EU trades have been moved to the Paris operation and London has restarted trading in Swiss shares.

VR Education (VRE) continues to grow the revenues of its ENGAGE VR platform. Group revenues increased by 38%, while ENGAGE revenues rose by 550% thanks to strong demand for virtual events. The US provides significant potential. VR is still hiring additional people, although the focus is more on marketing. VR is still losing money, but the cash burn has been reduced this year. Management is targeting 100,000 monthly users by 2025.

Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) says Alkindi sales in the UK and Germany grew by 29% in the first half but the timing of purchases in other markets meant that overall revenues barely increased. Chronocourt could gain European approval in March and the US regulatory pathway for DITEST, an oral testosterone formulation, has been set out. Net cash was £20.3m at the end of December 2020.

K3 Business Technology (KBT) has sold its managed services business for £14.7m. The business made a pre-tax profit of £1.2m last year, but the disposal proceeds will wipe out net debt and enable the repayment of the £3m shareholder loan due in June. There should still be more than £35m of recurring revenues.

Interim trading at transport software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) was active and it was not far below the levels in the six months to January 2020 prior to Covid-19 becoming a factor. Revenues declined from £26.4m to £22m and management believes Covid-19 reduced the figure by £6m. New rail contracts are being won, but the lack of events hit the data and events division. Cash has improved from £17.9m to £21m.

Revenues fell by one-third at President Energy (PPC) in 2020 due to lower oil prices. President did generate $10m of free cash flow and that helped to reduce net debt. President plans to drill seven wells this year and that could increase production by one-third. Anew subsidiary, Atome, will develop hydrogen and ammonia production.

Shield Therapeutics (STX) has raised £25m at 30p a share and could raise a further £4.2m via an open offer. The cash will finance the new strategy of directly launching iron deficiency treatment Accrufer in the US.

Yew Grove REIT (YEW) has agreed a new lease for Gateway Three building, East Wall Road, Dublin with the Electricity Supply Board. The new lease lasts five years. Along with three rent reviews, this takes the increase in annual rents to €470,000 this year.

Best of the Best (BOTB) has concluded its strategic review and it has reemphasised its online strategy. finnCap has upgraded its pre-tax profit forecast to £14m.

Benchmark Holdings (BMK) increased first quarter revenues by 18% to £29m and it is on course to reduce its loss this year, prior to moving into profit in 2021-22. The advanced nutrition business contributed significant growth in the first quarter.

MAIN MARKET

Online auctions provider Auction Technology Group (ATG) raised £247.4m at 600p a share, while existing shareholders pocketed £51.5m after the over-allotment option was exercised. The company was valued at £600m. There was a 30% gain to 780p a share at the end of the first week of trading. The company is involved with three main auction markets: arts and antiques, industrial and commercial and consumer surplus and returns. It has six main auction marketplace brands and trade magazine Antiques Trade Gazette. Low double-digit organic revenue growth is anticipated for the next few years.

Town Centre Securities (TOWN) announced a 1.75p a share interim dividend, even though this is not covered by earnings. Lower car park income meant that there was a sharp decline in interim profit. The NAV was 286p a share at the end of December 2020 and it is not expected to decline by more than 2% by the year-end in June. This is more than double the current share price.

CML Microsystems (CML) is paying 50p a share to investors following the sale of its storage division. This will cost £8.28m. the cash should be received before the end of March.

Strong demand for diagnostic products more than offset weakness in the networking division of BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) and enabled 2020 revenues to grow by 49% to $184m. Pre-tax profit jumped from $5.2m to $13.6m. Revenues are expected to decline this year, but pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from $13.6m to $17.3m. This may depend on the timing of the sale of the NGSoft business and it also assumes no additional sales of ventilators this year. Longer-term, revenues will build up from virtual networking technology NFVTime. There is also potential for dividends.

Construction services provider NMCN (NMCN) says that two contracts in the water division could lead to an additional loss of £5m in 2020. These costs relate to delays. The total loss for 2020 could be up to £22m. The additional cash costs will be spread over 28 months. Shareholders are being asked to agree to an extension of the company’s borrowing limit.

Aircraft lessor Avation (AVAP) took a $46.7m impairment charge on its aircraft and a $12.9m credit loss in the six months to December 2020. The NAV was 174p a share at the end of 2020. A full year loss of $30m is expected before the exceptional write-offs.

Cannabis-based products developer Cellular Goods (CBX) raised £13m in its offer at 5p a share. The share price jumped to 19p on the first day of dealings.

Potash project developer Emmerson (EML) raised £5.5m at 5.75p a share. Emmerson has a mining licence for the Khemisset potash project in Morocco. The cash will be used for the detailed design of the mine and the phased development of the project.

Shell company Stranger Holdings (STHP) is pushing ahead with the proposed reverse takeover of the Recyclus Group. A prospectus is being drafted.

Packaging supplier Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its 2020 profit by 10% to £13m on a 2% increase in revenues to £230m. The full year dividend has been increased from 0.69p a share to 2.55p a share.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 23 November 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 31 August 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

KR1 (KR1) has made two more investments. There is a further investment of $100,000 in the cross-chain finance hub Acala Network in return for 153,846.15 ACA tokens at 65 cents each. KR1 now holds 1.02 million ACA tokens. That stake is valued at $663,000. There is also a new investment in MetaCartel Ventures Decentralised Autonomous Organisation. KR1 received 4,938 MCV shares for its $199,000 investment.

Imperial X (IMPP) plans to buy mineral assets and investments and a placing is raising £750,000 at 2.5p a share. The purchases involve the issue of more than 245 million shares plus 8.71 million warrants exercisable at 5p a share. Trading in the shares has been suspended until the acquisitions are completed. Imperial X is buying Howson Ventures Inc, plus assets from Anglo African Minerals, Cloudbreak Discovery and Cabox Gold. Howson owns the Rupert Minerals property in British Columbia and an investment in Anglo African Minerals, which holds licences in bauxite projects in Guinea.  

Gunsynd (GUN) says that its investment in ASX-listed Eagle Mountain is “well in the money” and it has the cash it requires for its immediate needs even though the disposal of the stake in Oyster Oil and Gas has still not been completed. Gunsynd invested £110,000 in copper/gold explorer Eagle Mountain at A$0.13 a share and the price has risen to A$0.24. Rincon Resources has appointed stockbrokers for its proposed listing on ASX. Gunsynd has invested £138,000 in Rincon and has a 28% stake. Spirits company Human Brands also still hopes to float. Nickel project developer Sunshine Minerals is being acquired by Malachite Resources. Gunsynd will receive 1.26 million shares in Malachite with further deferred consideration of 1.64 million shares.

IamFire (FIRE) is raising £5.5m gross through a discounted capital bond and it is participating in a fundraising for social commerce platform WeShop ahead of a future listing. The bond is being issued at a discount of 78.73% and net proceeds of £4.4m have been received. IamFire is providing £4.5m of a £9m convertible loan to WeShop. This has an interest rate of 8% and lasts for 36 months. A flotation is one of the conversion events and the conversion would be at a 20% discount to the flotation share price. There is also an exclusive option to subscribe for a 10% stake in WeShop at a pre-money valuation of £25m. This would involve an investment of £2.78m.

Primorus investments (PRIM) has invested £875,000 in WeShop. Primorus has made realised and unrealised gains £3.55m in the six months to June 2020. Greatland Gold (GGP) is the main reason for this. The NAV increased to £8.1m compared with a £4.3m market capitalisation.

BWA Group (BWAP) has agreed to sell its investment in Kings of the North Corp to St George’s Eco-Mining Corp, which sold it for £4.66m. The convertibles issued to St George’s will be cancelled and they amount to £4.3m. St George’s will issue 1.5 million shares and transfer 2.5 million warrants to BWA. St George’s is keeping its 21% stake in BWA.  

There was a £673,000 cash outflow at Cadence Minerals (KDNC) in the six months to June 2020. A cash raising means that there was £2.38m in cash at the end of the period.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) plans to undertake exploration work at the Hellyer mine, possibly as early as October/November this year.

Inqo Investments (INQO) increased annual revenues from R23.8m to R24.4m, but the loss increased from R2.5m to R6.1m. That was partly down to an inventory write-down of R1.44m and higher depreciation. Last year’s Bee Sweet honey harvest was one of the largest ever. The lodge at the Kuzuko Private Game Reserve had high occupancy rates before COVID-19. All the other activities have also been hit since the end of February.  

Eurocann International (BUD) intends to amend its investing strategy and change its name just over one year since it changed it from Valiant Investments.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has appointed Allenby as corporate adviser.

AIM

Vianet (VNET) says that customer pub sites that have resumed operations have increased from 56% to 80% over the past six years. Vianet continues to offer reduced recurring charges to both closed and reopened customers. Customer demand for data analytics is recovering. The smart machines division says two-thirds of customer vending machines are in operation and generating normal levels of revenue. There have been orders for more than 1,9000 new orders for telemetry and contactless units during lockdown.  

Hostels operator Safestay (SSTY) is taking additional cost saving measures due to the continued uncertainty. Occupancy rates are running at around one-quarter and it is higher in those hostels opened earlier. Safestay has available overdraft facilities but these could run out by early next year if all hostels are not reopened by October and occupancy levels fall below 20% later this year. An occupancy rate of 57% is required for a hostel to breakeven. Sales of freeholds or terminating loss-making leases are being considered. Interim results will be published on 24 September.

Integumen (SKIN) is making an all-share offer for Modern Water (MWG) that values the latter at £21.25m. Integumen plans a ten-for-one share consolidation and it is offering one of these new shares for every ten Modern Water shares. Integumen produces test kits for Modern Water.

Drug discovery company C4X Discovery (C4XD) says that Indivior has started a phase I clinical trial for C4X_3256 for the treatment of opioid dependence. The trial will last until the end of the year, but there will be no data until 2021. C4X is making progress in identifying a candidate for the treatment of IBD and it has reached the lead optimisation stage for the treatment of Psoriasis. A collaboration with the GEN-COVID consortium, which will use C4X’s Taxonomy3 mathematical analysis technology to assess the role of genetics in disease susceptibility.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) says that milling equipment has been delivered to the raw cashew nut processing project in Cote d’Ivoire. The mill should be commissioned in the second quarter of next year.

Grant Thornton has managed to persuade the courts to reduce the damages owed to AssetCo (AST) from £29.8m to £20.8m. Including interest and costs the payment should be £25m.

President Energy (PPC) has formed a renewables division. There are opportunities in wind, solar, hydro and biomass in Argentina. President has commenced a workover programme on oil wells and there are plans to drill two new wells.

MAIN MARKET

Packaging supplier Macfarlane (MACF) reported a 2% decline in interim revenues to £105.6m. The second quarter decline was much lower than for the UK economy, helped by increasing exposure to ecommerce. Increased bad debts led to a 5.5% fall in pre-tax profit to £3.62m. An interim dividend of 0.7p a share is proposed. There could be a greater decline in full year profit, although the business will still be cash generative. Arden forecasts a fall in pre-tax profit from £14.4m to £11.1m.

BATM (BVC) has signed up its first tier 1 NFVTime virtual networking customer. The Asia-based telecoms company has signed up for an initial three years will provide a reference site for the technology. This contract could be a significant revenue generator in the years to come and follows the recent proof of concept trial with ARM and Vodafone.

Anglesey Mining (AYM) has raised £200,000 at 1.6p a share. The cash will be invested in studies for the development of the Parys Mountain zinc, copper, lead, silver and gold mine. Management is also assessing other projects.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 13 July 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has sold its investment in builder’s merchant Merkko Group for double the original investment. The cash consideration for the redemption of the non-voting stake is £400,000. Capital for Colleagues has reinvested £150,000 for a 10% stake in Merkko. The rest of the cash can be reinvested in other companies.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is forming a 50/50 Singapore joint venture with blockchain protocol company IOV Labs, which will finance the venture with a loan. IOV owns 6.94% of Coinsilium. A strategic review is commencing a strategic review because there will be a focus on the new joint venture.

In the second quarter, the Hellyer gold mine owned by NQ Minerals (NQMI) produced 1,223 ounces of gold, 229,947 ounces of silver, 8,762 tonnes of lead concentrate and 4,241 tonnes of zinc concentrate. More gold and lead were produced than in the previous quarter, but less silver and zinc. Investment in plant means production should increase in the third quarter. NQ has raised £917,000 at 6.5p a share and this will help to finance the reopening of the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania.

Cannabis-based products supplier Sativa Group (SATI) achieved record trading in June. This includes sales of the company’s hand sanitiser.

Fellow cannabis-focused company Freyherr International Group (FRYR) is changing its year end to 30 June. The next results will be for 18 months to June 2020. Luka Freyer and Tomaz Frelih have stepped down from the board and Ervin Kovac has joined the board and becomes general manager of the Slovenian operations. The Ljubljana office has been closed as part of overhead reductions. The mortgage on the Koper facility has been extended and the interest rate reduced to 5% a year.

World High Life (LIFE) has issued 12.7 million shares at 9p each to pay director and adviser fees and 3.45 million shares at the same price in lieu of debt repayments. A further 7.18 million shares will be issued on conversion of £666,666 of debentures, plus interest of £46,393. CBD-brand Love Hemp has been awarded ISO certification.

Gunsynd (GUN) has raised £469,000 at 0.65p a share. Every three new shares come with a warrant exercisable at 1.3p a share. MiLOC Group (ML.P) is raising £1.1m at 28.5p a share through a placing with BWB International. Recently floated engineering consolidator Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised an additional £71,000 at 4.5p a share. The original placing was at 3p a share.

At the end of June 2020, EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a NAV of 265.3p a share.

AIM

Management consultancy Elixirr International (ELIX) joined AIM last week. The share price has fallen from the placing level of 217p to 204.5p. The shares are trading on just over 13 times prospective 2020 earnings. The forecast dividend is 2.2p a share.

Seeing Machines (SEE) is set to be a beneficiary of legislation that will go to the Senate in the US that will make driver monitoring systems (DMS) compulsory in cars and trucks sold in the US from 2024. This is part of a more wide-ranging act relating to vehicle safety. There is similar legislation in Europe, although there will be delays in it coming into force due to COVID-19. That should not have too much of a negative effect on Seeing Machines.

Trading at Tracsis (TRCS) was not as badly affected by COVID-19 as it feared. There will be a £10m reduction in full year revenues to around £46m. The traffic and data services business has been hit by the lack of summer events. The rail software business has traded well and there is a pipeline of potential new contracts. There is still £16m in the bank even after paying an initial £12.5m for smart ticketing firm iBlocks.

DBAY Advisors has bought more shares in in Wynnstay Group (WYN) and the stake is 6.12%.

Energy procurement consultancy Inspired Energy (INSE) is raising up to £35m through a placing and two-for-43 open offer at 15p a share. The purchase of the 60% of Ignite Energy that Inspired does not won will cost £11m with contingent consideration of £19m payable in cash and shares. There are plans for further acquisitions.

e-therapeutics (ETX) has raised just over £11m from a share issue at 12p a share, including £750,000 raised via PrimaryBid. This was a 31% discount to the market price. The cash will be used to develop the company’s informatics platform and RNAi technology. Additional staff will be taken on.

Burford Capital (BUR) has filed a registration statement with the SEC ahead of a US listing. There are no plans for a share issue.

Genedrive (GDR) says that full year revenues were 31m and it had cash of £8.2m at the end of June 2020. The molecular diagnostics company says there are 31m in indicative orders for its COVID-19 test.

MAIN MARKET

Viaro Energy has bid 1850p a share for RockRose Energy (RRE) and acceptances have already reached 36.8%. The bid values RockRose at £247.6m. At the beginning of 2016, RockRose floated at 50p a share intending to acquire oil and gas assets.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) increased full year revenues by 39% to £1.5m and gross margins improved. The cash outflow from operations was £924,000 and there was £1m in cash at the end of March 2020. This year is important because there will be a full contribution from DMSL plus cost savings that could be more than £1m. Chief executive Andy Hollingworth bought 10.6 million shares at 0.0944p each. He owns 38.8 million shares.

Baskerville Capital (BASK) has increased its stake in Oberon Investments, the owner of fund manager MD Barnard, to 10.13% and expects to buy the company by the end of the third quarter. Oberon has acquired Hanson Asset Management, and this takes assets under management to more than £300m. Baskerville may move to the Aquis Stock Exchange after the deal is completed.

Packaging supplier Macfarlane (MACF) says interim revenues were 3% lower following a tough second quarter when revenues fell 7%. Macfarlane is confident that it will be profitable and cash generative this year. The board hopes to restart dividend payments when the outlook is more certain.

InnovaDerma (IDP) says online sales have replaced lost high street sales. Full year revenues were 2% higher at £13.2m, but profit will be lower due to higher online advertising costs and lower margin sales. Margins could recover this year.

Tex Holdings (TXH) says that the FCA has asked questions about its 2019 audited financial statements. Christian Ross has been appointed as finance director.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 2 March 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

Incanthera (INC) raised £1.21m at 9.5p a share prior to joining NEX on 28 February. The price at the end of the first day of dealings was 10.5p (9.5p/11.5p). There were no trades. Incanthera is developing Sol, a topical product for the treatment of solar keratosis and prevention of skin cancer, which could be licenced to a partner within 18 months.

Mechanical and electrical installation services provider Field System Designs Holdings (FSD) continued to be hit by problems with its energy from waste customer in the first half. Revenues dipped from £11.8m to £11.5m, but it went from profit to loss due to litigation costs. The water sector is the main focus of the company. The new AMP7 water investment period starts in April. There was cash of £4.38m at the end of November 2019. The NAV was £3.28m compared with a market capitalisation of £2.4m.

Employee-owned business finance provider Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) broadly maintained its NAV at 43.44p a share at the end of August 2019. A £800,000 investment valuation gain plus a £126,000 write back of provisions was offset by loan impairments of £908,000. Management believes that several investee companies will have encouraging developments this year.

Ashley House (ASH) has decided to withdraw from NEX on 26 March and maintain its AIM quotation. Cash remains in short supply due to the failure to receive more than £1m owed by two debtors. More cash needs to be raised. Non-core assets could be sold. There are good prospects for the business. Three memoranda of understanding / framework agreements have been signed with institutions. There is a pipeline of nine potential affordable housing schemes, four of which have planning permission.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) says it intends to bid for the rest of Apollon UK, which has the right to 95% of net profit of Apollon Formularies Jamaica and the right to acquire a 49% stake in that business. AfriAg owns 2.68% of Apollon UK and is trying to satisfy regulatory requirements for the offer to go ahead.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) had less than $24,000 left in the bank at the end of September 2019. A proposed deal fell through last year and management is considering a new strategy which could be announced in a few weeks. Trading in the shares remains suspended.

Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has signed a joint venture agreement with Dynasty Construction, which owns 600 hectares of land in Rwanda, to explore for tin, tungsten and tantalum. Eastinco says the operation of the wash plant at the Kuaka mine has been delayed. It should be in operation by the end of April.

Dozen Savings 5% secured bonds 1 March 2020 have been withdrawn from NEX.

AIM

Netcall (NET) increased its total annual contract value by 10% to £16.6m at the end of 2019. The customer engagement software provider has been increasing the sales of its low-code products, which represent one-third of group revenues just a couple of years after the products were launched. The Liberty Connect conversational messaging platform has generated the first orders.

Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ) has been performing poorly almost since it joined AIM and many investors have lost patience. Fidelity sold its 5% stake, but one investor that believes it is a good time to buy the shares is Cavendish Asset Management, which has more than doubled its stake from 5.24% to 11.8%.

Redx Pharma (REDX) has terminated merger discussions with Yesod Bio-Sciences because the offer was not high enough. Redmile Group will provide up to £26.3m of funding to Redx. Redmile will subscribe for 11.5 million shares at 11.2p each, which is higher than the market price in the past six months. There will also be a £5m short-term loan and a £20m convertible loan. The share subscription will provide enough cash until April while the terms of the loans are agreed.

Cora Gold (CORA) has announced further drill results for the Sanankoro gold project in the Yanfolila gold belt in southern Mali. The results confirm significant additional mineralisation with some grades above 2g/t. There are more results to come.

finnCap is not changing its forecast for Surface Transforms (SCE) following its seven month figures. The carbon fibre brake discs developer is changing its year end from May to December. In the 17 months to December 2020, revenues of £3.3m and a loss of £1.7m are forecast.

Empire Metals (EEE) has raised £600,000 at 1p a share in order to invest in its assets in Georgia and identify other assets.

United Oil and Gas (UOG) has completed the acquisition of Egyptian oil and gas assets from Rockhopper Exploration (RKH) and it was readmitted to AIM on 28 February.

Eden Research (EDEN) is raising up to £10.6m at 6p a share via a placing and open offer. The biopesticides developer will spend the cash on gaining regulatory approval and registration for its products, as well as on further development.

AssetCo (ASTO) had cash of £17.1m at the end of September 2019 and since then a further £11m has been received. There are also bonds of £3.5m. Grant Thornton is appealing the judgement for negligence and the decision of the Court of Appeal should be made in the summer.

Billing Services Group (BILL) has completed the sale of its business and will distribute cash to shareholders by the end of March.

Mereo BioPharma (MPH) says it received positive feedback from the FDA following an end of phase 2 meeting for Setrusumab, a treatment for osteogenesis imperfecta in the young. A phase 3 study programme has been agreed.

STM Group (STM) has confirmed previous expectations for its 2019 figures which will be reported on 24 March. An underlying pre-tax profit of £2.5m is forecast.

Firestone Diamonds (FDI) wants shareholder permission to leave AIM. The general meeting is on 13 March. A weak diamond market and lower recovery levels than expected have made it difficult to finance the debt burden. Leaving AIM will reduce costs and there has been little liquidity anyway.

MAIN MARKET

Packaging supplier Macfarlane (MACF) increased its pre-tax profit by 10% to £12m. The full year dividend was raised by 7% to 2.45p a share. Both distribution and manufacturing made higher profit contributions. This year’s profitability is ahead of 2019, so far.

Personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) has a lot to do to make its full year forecast. Interim revenues increased from £3.9m to £5.4m and there was a slightly lower loss. There is £ in the bank but that could recover to more than £2m by the end of June 2020.

Chief executive George Bennett has leant $1m to Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) to fund exploration and operations. He already has a 8.6% stake and there are warrants over 2 million shares exercisable at 4.55p each that have been issued in return for the loan, which does not have an interest charge.

Commercial aircraft leasing company Avation (AVAP) trebled its interim profit to $45.2m, including an unrealised gain of $37m on aircraft purchase rights, and the net asset value was 15% higher at $4.29 a share. This is equivalent to 325p a share. The dividend was raised by 5% to 2.1 US cents a share.

Trading in the shares of Mila Resources (MILA) has been suspended following an agreement to progress with the purchase of E-Tech Metals in a share deal. The transaction is subject to due diligence. The attraction is high grade neodymium and praseodymium mineralisation, which are important rare earths, in the Eureka rare earth project in Namibia.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has won a $4m cyber contract from an existing government customer. This customer has and will generate contracted revenues of more than $18m.

Investment company London Finance and Investment (LFI) increased net assets by 7% to 63p a share at the end of 2019, although it fell to 62.6p a share by the end of January. An increase in the value of the stake in AIM quoted cake maker Finsbury Food (FIF) more than offset declines elsewhere in the six months to December 2019.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 25 November 2019

NEX EXCHANGE
National Milk Records (NMRP) says that revenues in the quarter to September 2019 fell to £5.25m. They were £5.54m in the previous quarter and £6.08m last year, although that was boosted by one-off projects. A cyber-attack hit business, but systems have been restored. Canaccord Genuity has been appointed as corporate adviser.
Western Selection (WESP) has acquired nearly 3.64 million shares in the Bilby (BILB) placing. That has more than doubled the number of shares owned by Western Selection and it owns 10.8% of Bilby, up from 6.66%.
Belvedere Leisure Resorts (www.belvedereleisureresortsplc.com) is expected to gain a quotation for £10m of its 6.25% secured bonds on 29 November. The company is a subsidiary of Belvedere Leisure Park, which owns a site in Dumfries & Galloway with planning permission for a lodge park resort of 444 holiday lodges. The park will be built by Landal GreenParks.
Formerly AIM-quoted SAPO (www.sapoinvest.com), which was known as South African Property Opportunities, plans to join the NEX Growth Market on 2 December. The plan is to use the Isle of Man-based company as a shell to invest in the UK rural broadband market, although Labour plans for the broadband market could affect this strategy. Executive chairman Michael Meyer will own 40.55% of SAPO and three shareholders will own 84.8%.
Bracken Trading (BRAC) has decided to withdrawal is preference shares from NEX trading on 18 December. Trading had started on 9 September. There have not been any trades.
Altona Energy (ANR) is acquiring a petroleum exploration licence application within the Arckaringa Basin in South Australia. This is close to the company’s existing exploration licences. There could be potential for a gasification project. Management has decided not to invest in the potential vanadium investment.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that its subsidiary has received a tax refund of $279,275. Drilling at Specimen Hill shows gold bearing mineralisation in all holes. There are targets for follow-up drilling.
BWA Group (BWAP) has not received £80,000 of the £100,000 subscription funds for convertible loan notes issued when Kings of the North Corp was acquired. Alternative funding is being secured. Vilhjamur Thor Vilhjalmsson, chief executive of 23.75% shareholder SX, has resigned as a director of BWA and been replaced by Mark Billings.
Block Commodities (BLCC) has appointed Ian Tordoff as chief executive. He has experience in the healthcare sector and has been involved in assessing the potential cannabis-based compounds.
DXS International (DXSP) chief executive David Immelman’s wife acquired one million shares at 10p each from Ron Rhodes during September. That takes David Immelman’s interests to 13.3%.
The ten-for-one share consolidation has been approved by World High Life (LIFE) shareholders. Dealings in the new share started on 20 November.
AIM
A competing bid approach led Hanover Acquisition to increase its bid for Brady (BRY) from 10p a share to 18p a share, which values the risk management and commodity software company at £15m. Hanover has bought shares owned by Kestrel and Coltrane Master Fund and these stakes have taken its shareholding to 46.1%, so the bid is mandatory.
Feedback (FDBK) has secured its first pilot study for its Bleepa communications platform that can be used to securely access medical grade images via mobiles and PCs. The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust will use Bleepa for respiratory requests. Bleepa will be the main focus for Feedback and it offers the potential for significant recurring revenues. Less money will be spent on TexRAD.
Keeping up with tradition Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) released its interims at 4.35pm on Friday. This was the same time as the previous trading statement and earlier than the previous interims which were released at 5.04pm on a Friday. Revenues remain flat and there was a pre-tax loss. Cash was £28.1m at the end of September 2019.
Nick Develin is stepping up from chief operating officer of Naked Wine (WINE) to takeover from Rowan Gormley as chief executive. The company has sold its other operations and is purely an online wine retailer. UK trading ahs been weak, but the US is going well.
Kape (KAPE) is almost doubling its earnings per share by acquiring Private Internet Access, which expands the range of security software the group can offer. The acquisition will cost up to $95.5m in cash and shares, plus debt. Kape will have net debt following the acquisition, but this should be paid down over the next two years.
Litigation finance provider Manolete Partners (MANO) is building up its business having raised cash when it floated at the end of last year. Interim revenues rose by 15% to £7.5m, but most of those revenues were unrealised gains. That meant that there was a cash outflow in the period. This is due to the higher number (and higher value) of cases being taken on and many of these will be completed and generate cash in the second half. Manolete focuses on insolvency cases and this means that they tend to be settled much quicker than ones handled by Burford Capital.
Having failed to secure the financing for its proposed acquisition, Stirling Industries (STRL) is cancelling its AIM quotation and management plans to place the company in liquidation.
First Property (FPO) increased like-for-like interim revenues by 10% to £8.1m. The spare space at CH8 in Warsaw is being filled. The interim dividend has been edged up to 0.46p a share. The underlying NAV is 50.7p a share.
Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) has sorted out its interest in Egypt at no cash cost. The stake is being transferred to the operator. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, although it can be terminated if it is not.
Social video company Brave Bison (BBSN) expects to make a full year loss on reduced revenues of £16m. That is worse than expected. Changing Facebook policies have made trading difficult. Management is trying to reduce the dependence on Facebook. There was £3.8m in the bank at the end of October 2019. Costs are being reduced. Robin Miller will step down as chairman at the end of 2019. CIP Merchant Capital (CIP) recently increased its stake in Brave Bison to 11.7%.
Digital TV software developer Mirada (MIRA) increased underlying revenues by 11% to $5.74m, but it is still losing money. However, contracts are being won with potential for more over the next few months. Net debt has fallen to $3.53m following the sale of Mirada Connect for £2.12m ($2.72m).
City of London Group (CIN) says that its subsidiary Recognise Financial Services has applied to become a bank. The plan is to offer financial services to smaller companies and savings products. The company hopes to be authorised later in 2020, but that may prove optimistic. City of London Group will have to raise cash to finance the development of the bank.
Shareholders took up 10.9% of the open offer shares in Xeros Technology Group (XSG) and this raised £217,000.
A general meeting requisition has been lodged with Plutus PowerGen (PPG) and the intention is to remove all the current directors. They would be replaced with Nicholas Lee, David Horner and Dr Nigel Burton.
Mporium (MPM) has appointed an administrator and the business has been sold to management. There is unlikely to be anything for shareholders.

MAIN MARKET
Semiconductors supplier CML Microsystems (CML) reported a decline in revenues and profit in the six months to September 2019. The storage products revenues fell by nearly one-quarter, while there was a 4% decline in communications revenues. However, an overall improvement on the first half is expected in the second half. Interim pre-tax profit fell from £2.4m to £900,000. A full year pre-tax profit of £2.6m, down from £3m is forecast.
Macfarlane Group (MACF) has increased revenues by 4% in the four months to October 2019. The packaging supplier has reduced overheads to offset price deflation. Full year performance is expected to be better than last year.
Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) has increased market share, but that has only partly offset the tough underlying markets. Interim revenues were 2% lower at £103.1m, while underlying pre-tax profit was 8.5% down at £10.6m.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has acquired ten mining claims in northern Zimbabwe and they cover carbonatite type bodies. The properties were previously explored for phosphates.
Kin + Carta (KCT) has made its first digital transformation acquisition in the form of Colorado-based Spire. The initial payment is $14.8m with a further performance-based payment next February and another after that. The company has raised £13.6m at 89p a share.
Specialist Fund Market-quoted Marwyn Value Investors Ltd (MVI) is returning £5.31m to realisation shareholders. That includes £5.28m from the takeover of BCA Marketplace and a small amount of liquidation proceeds from Gloo Networks. There will be a pro rata redemption of realisation shares. The shares will go ex-redemption on 6 December.
Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 9 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

BWA Group (BWAP) is acquiring Kings of the North Corp, which owns five groups of exploration licences in Canada. BWA will pay £4.66m for the business, which is owned by a Canadian Stock Exchange listed company. Management believes that there is significant upside in the licences. Nearly $C1m needs to be spent for the licences to be renewed.

World High Life plans to join NEX on 12 September. This is an investment company that intends to acquire businesses involved in medicinal cannabis. The company (www.worldhighlife.uk) has already raised £2.4m from subscribers and no additional cash will be raised on flotation.

Adnams (ADB) director Guy Heald has purchased 3,000 B shares at £95.21 each. That takes his shareholding to 15.1%. The shares were sold by Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, whose interest has been reduced to 6.32%.

Better news from Ashley House (LSE: ASH) because a scheme in Romsey has reached financial close. There are still two other delayed schemes that have not completed. Funding sources are being explored.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) is selling its 2.5% royalty interest in the Graphmada graphite mine in Madagascar for up to A$550,000 in cash and convertible notes in royalty business SilverStream.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) reported a decline in net assets from £5.16m to £4.74m in the six months to June 2019. Management believes there are plenty of opportunities in the pre-IPO market.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has agreed the terms for a realisation of its investment in Cotswold Valves, because it no longer wants to focus on employee ownership. The equity interest is being sold for its £220,000 cost and loans totalling £450,000 have been rescheduled. The cash will be received over a three year period.

KR1 (KR1) has made investments in the Nym Protocol project, Alice Si, a blockchain-based social funding platform developer, and Nexus Mutual, which is a follow-on investment.

Resources-focused investment company Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) increased its cash position from £17,000 to £47,000 in the year to March 2019, but net assets fell from £722,000 to £687,000.

AIM  

Good news from car dealers Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) and Vertu Motors (VTU). Cambria says that trading in the eleven months to July 2019 has been well ahead of the same period last year and the full year profit will be higher than market estimates. New car sales are lower but Cambria is making more profit on each sale because of the mix of franchises and greater exposure to the luxury end of the market. More profit was made on each used car sold as well. Vertu says that its trading is in line with expectations, helped by price stability in the used vehicle market since July.

Mirada (MIRA) has won a new contract for the deployment of its Iris multiscreen digital TV product with a new Spanish interactive TV services provider Plataforma Multimedia de Operadores. Mirada’s technology will be used to deliver content to Android set-top boxes, smartphones, laptops and other devices. The commercial launch will be early next year and the plan is to build up a subscriber base of 600,000.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) says that its consolidated NAV increased by 3.5% to $96.3m (£78.4m) in the six months to June 2019. That includes cash of $5.4m. There was interest income of $677,000 in the period. Production at Future Metal Holdings’ dolomite magnesium limestone mine in China should restart before the end of the year.

A secured creditor has appointed voluntary administrators to five subsidiaries of Management Resource Solutions (MRS) but the businesses continue to trade. A creditors meeting is set for 16 September. The businesses will need to be recapitalised.

Filtronic (FTC) has decided to sell its antenna division.

Colin Harrington has switched from executive chairman to chief executive of Rose Petroleum (ROSE) following the departure of its previous chief executive Matthew Idiens. Rick Grant will become chairman. Gordon Stein is a new independent non-executive.

MAIN MARKET 

Avation (AVAP) reported full year results that were ahead of expectations. The commercial aircraft leasing company’s pre-tax profit was 15% ahead of forecasts and there was also a tax credit which further boosted earnings per share. The dividend was raised by 45% to 10.5 cents a share.

Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane (MACF) has acquired the Leyland Packaging Company for up to £3.25m, with up to £1m in the form of an earn-out based on performance of the distributor in the year to August 2020, in cash and shares. In 2018, Leyland made a pre-tax profit of £550,000 on revenues of £4.06m.

Fully listed shell Highway Capital (HWC) has published its accounts for the year to February 2019. They showed net liabilities rising to £781,000. There was cash of £245,000 in the balance sheet following the repayment of loans. Trading in the shares has been suspended for three years.

Standard list shell Boston International Holdings (BIH) is considering potential acquisitions outside of the foreign exchange sector.       

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has ended discussions about a partnership with Hive Blockchain Technologies. Argo believes that its investment in additional crypto mining capacity has provided it with the scale it needs.

Sure Ventures (SURE) is investing a further €2.5m in Sure Valley Ventures Fund.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 20 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Fuel emulsification technology developer SulNOx Group (www.sulnoxgroup.com) plans to join NEX. SulNOx has developed an emulsification and condition process for hydrocarbon fuels. This process makes the fuel more efficient and thereby reduces fuel usage and emissions. Nouryon AB will manufacture and distribute the company’s products under the Berol brand. SulNOx will do the sales and marketing. The directors are applying for approval of eligibility of the company for EIS relief.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) has obtained a NEX Growth Market quotation. The shares continue to be traded on AIM.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has agreed to subscribe for four million shares in Apollon at 25p each, although part of the investment requires shareholder approval. This is equivalent to a 2.34% stake. However, AfriAg needs to raise this £1m in order to make the investment. It had £101,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and NAV was £1.9m. The plan is to obtain an option to acquire the rest of the company. Apollon is a medicinal cannabis company and it has an affiliate in Jamaica that has a licence to cultivate, process and sell hemp and medicinal cannabis. Specific strains of medicinal cannabis have been developed.

KR1 (KR1) is generating staking yield revenues on the Cosmos Network, which launched on 14 March. The yields will be a minimum 5.6% yield and it could be much higher. This type of revenues could be generated by other networks where KR1 has an investment.

Sativa Investments (SATI) had £3.74m of cash at the end of 2018. This will be used to develop operations in the UK and Germany. Last year’s revenues were £260,000.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has taken operational control of the Vast Mineral Sands diamond mining contract. Cash generated will finance gold exploration.

High Growth Capital (HASH) has consolidated 20 shares into one new share. Dealings commenced on 16 May.

Primorus Investors (PRIM) increased its NAV from £4.95m to £5.16m at the end of 2018. This has been achieved even though pre-IPO investments have had their flotations delayed by poor market conditions. There was £408,000 in cash in the balance sheet.

Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) has raised £10m at 176p a share by issuing shares to Woodford as part of the agreement in the flotation prospectus. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has issued 1.37 million shares at 6.5p each to satisfy a payment for the three month extension of maturing debt.

Gowin New Energy (GWIN) has extended the loan agreements with four shareholders so that the repayment dates are all around the beginning of November. The loans total £500,000.

AIM 

Software provider Sanderson (SND) prospered in the first half. Revenues improved by 18% to £17.2m and operating profit was one-third higher at £2.8m. Recurring revenues grew by 18% and they are 55% of total revenues. Sanderson has already secured most of the revenues it requires to make the full year revenues forecast of £35.3m, which is expected to generate pre-tax profit of £5.4m.

Block Energy (BLOE) has raised £12m at 11p a share. This comes less than one year after Block joined AIM when the oil and gas company was valued at £10.3m at the placing price of 4p. The cash will be invested in the West Rustavi PSA in the Republic of Georgia. Up to four horizontal sidetracks will be drilled in order to scale up existing production, as ell as drilling one new well. There will also be funds for 3D seismic, appraisal of two existing gas discoveries and increase the capacity of production facilities to up to 5,000 barrels per day. This will all be done over the next 12 months.

Investment and new store opening costs have pushed fishing equipment retailer Angling Direct (ANG) into loss. In the year to January 2019, revenues grew from £30.2m to £42m. International sales more than doubled to £4.7m. IT investment is improving efficiency. Angling Direct will continue to lose money this year as the number of stores is set to be increased from 24 to 34. It takes more than a couple of years for a store to start to mature so the benefits of the current investment will take time to show through in profit terms.

Live events agency Aeorema Communications (AEO) says its revenues reached a new high in the second half and full year revenues will be better than expected. New business has been won but it is lower margin than previous contracts so profit will be in line with expectations. There should be a full year dividend. Last year’s dividend was 0.75p a share, which was an increase of 50%.

TruFin (TRU) is launching a tender offer for up to £5m of shares at 92p each. The tender offer closes on 4 June. TruFin recently £44.5m raised from the sale of its stake in Zopa and demerged Distribution Finance Capital (DFCH). There are plans to return a further £5m by the end of 2019.

Churchill China (CHH) is continuing to trade strongly so far this year. The opening of the Rotterdam distribution facility is supporting European growth. Sales of added value products are growing. The integration of the Dudson brand and products is progressing well.

Online retailer MySale (MYSL) has sold the cocosa.co.uk website. This is part of the plan to exit the UK and concentrate on Australia and New Zealand.

Film completion contracts provider FFI Holdings (FFI) says operating profit will be at the lower end of the range of $7.5m to $11.5m previously reported.

Maistro (MAIS) has decided to leave AIM. The company has gone from a hyped-up online business called blur to cash strapped operation that needs to save as much money as possible. Maistro has raised plenty of cash in its time as a quoted company.

Veltyco Group (VLTY) has generated flat revenues from sportsbook and casino marketing business in the year to April 2019. The revenue mix has changed, and lower margin activities have grown in importance. The company is loss-making and more investment will be required.

The recovery at Safestay UK (SFE) appears to be stalling, even though it is growing revenues faster than the market is growing. The problem is that margins are not improving as quickly as expected.

Ten Lifestyle (TENG) increased revenues by 24% to £21.5m but the loss has risen due to greater investment in the business. The lifestyle and travel platform still has £13.2m in the bank. New contracts are being won and existing ones increased in size.

MAIN MARKET 

Blencowe Resources (BRES) has wasted little time in securing a takeover target. It plans to acquire a company which is the owner of the Oram graphite project in Uganda for £2m in shares at 6p each.

nmcn (NMCN), which formerly North Midlands Construction, says first quarter revenues increased by 27% to £94.4m and improved margin meant that profitability increased by 170% to £1.75m. The built environment division moved back into profit and the water division doubled its profit. There is £22m in the bank. The secured workload for the year is £342m.

Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane Group (MACF) says profit is ahead of last year and in line with expectations. Sales have grown by 7% so far this year and organic growth is 3%. The manufacturing operations have grown fastest.

Highway Capital (HWC) is catching up with its figures having published more than one set this week. The interims to August 2018 show a cash outflow from operations of £9,000. Net liabilities were £614,000.

There was a £949,000 cash outflow from operations at Toople (TOOP) in the six months to March 2019. There is net cash of £546,000.

Flavours supplier Creightons (CRL) says second half sales will be similar to those in the first half. There will be a £350,000 benefit from research and development tax credits.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has adjourned its general meeting following the resignation of Jonathan Bixby. Mike Edwards become chairman. Another director will be appointed in consultation with First Investments, which requisitioned the general meeting. First Investments is backing the existing business by investing up to $1m as a cryptomining-as-a-service customer.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 13 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET 

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

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