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VSA Capital Group (VSA) joined Aquis on 9 September and at the same time raised £253,000 at 21p a share. The share price has risen to 23.5p (23p/24p), which values the company at £4.57m. There have been five trades. VSA Capital is a broker and financial adviser. It also has stakes in cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses. It is an Aquis corporate adviser, and this will be a major focus of the business.
Ecotricity says that it has received acceptances equivalent to 1.9% of Good Energy (GOOD) to add to its existing holding of 25.1%.
Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) has sold 200,000 shares in Secure Trust, raising £2.5m, and reduced its stake to 3.32%.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) increased its NAV by 24% to 542.3p a share in the six months to July 2021. Luceco (LUCE) is one of the main factors in that growth of NAV and 4.5 million shares were sold to raise £15m. Another investee company, Pharmacy2U, is moving into profit. At the end of the period, a majority stake in homewares company Rayware was acquired.
Igraine (KING), where Oscillate (MUSH) has a 24.6% stake, says that its investee company Excalibur Medicines has completed the ARCADIA phase 2 trial for AZD1656, a treatment for diabetic patients with Covid-19 (see Cizzle below). The trial covered 153 patients. The treatment has reduced mortality rates and it is safe.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) lost £214,000 in the year to March 2021, while NAV fell 5% to 102p a share. The value of investment properties fell by 1%. Walls has secured lease terms and memorandums of understanding with new partners for provision of housing for autistic people. The new homes are being designed in pods and constructed off site. There is cash available for investment, but the company requires additional funds to complete all the potential new projects. The problem is that the share price is well below NAV.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) says that its direct sales operation has made sales of its diesel additive to 200 clients in just over one month. The products will be sold on the Amazon platform.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) investor NFT Investments (NFT) has made an initial investment of $700,000 in Blimp Technologies Inc. In this case it is in the company rather than NFTs. Blimp has developed a platform that rewards home buyers and sellers, as well as advisers, for contributing value to a token network started by the Home Network Foundation. The theory is that this should reduce delays and disappointments and make the process more transparent.
CBD products supplier Voyager Life (VOY) has secured two new stores in Dundee and Edinburgh following the opening of the St Andrews store. Rebranding is complete and new products are being launched. The company’s products are stocked in more than 70 other stores.
Vulcan Industries (VULC) says chief executive John Maxwell is stepping down due to ill health, although he remains on the board. Ian Tordoff becomes executive chairman. Kieran Vaughan has left the board.
Altona Rare Earths (ALR) has raised £1.25m at 14p a share, which was a premium to the market price.
Building products supplier Alumasc (ALU) increased full year revenues by 19% to £90.5m, while underlying pre-tax profit nearly trebled to £10.5m, helped by cost cuts and improving margins. Net debt was £900,000, while the pension deficit has reduced to £4.5m. The final dividend is 6.25p a share and the total dividend is 9.5p a share. Demand is strong but Alumasc is uncertain when the customer will take the products. That is because shortages of other building products, such as bricks, have held up developments.
Michelmersh Brick (MBH) continues to benefit from strong demand for bricks and reducing stocks and orders stretch into the fourth quarter. Interim revenues were 10% ahead at £29.9m and pre-tax profit jumped from £2m to £5m. Full year figures will be slightly better than previously expected. The interim dividend is being reintroduced.
Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) benefited from buoyant North American demand in the first half. Non-residential construction is buoyant in North America and orders are at a high level. In the six months to June 2021, revenues increased from $35.3m to $64.4m, which was much higher than the first half of 2019 prior to Covid-19. Pre-tax profit more than trebled from $7.5m to $23.5m. There was $16m of cash generated from operations. The interim dividend is 9 cents a share. Guidance has been upgraded.
Minds + Machines (MMX) has announced a tender offer of up to £58m at 9.6p a share – equivalent to estimated NAV following the disposal of the operating activities. That would mean that up to 604.1 million shares could be redeemed.
There was 11.6% growth in the Vector Capital (VCAP) loan book to £40.6m. The interim dividend is 0.95p. The main customers are residential property developers that need short-to-medium-term finance. There are additional funds available to further grow the loan book to £46m.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) increased the fresh fruit bunches by one-fifth to 8,469Mt, compared to August the previous year. Crude palm oil production was 6% higher at 1,678Mt, but the amount sold was one-quarter ahead at 1,852Mt. The average crude palm oil price achieved was 76% higher at €947/tonne. Palm kernel production was also much higher.
Parsley Box (MEAL) is investing the proceeds of its recent flotation in developing products, including a range of chilled meals, and increasing marketing. This means that the loss is increasing, but the benefits will show through in the years to come. Interim revenues were £14m, up from £11.1m, and £11m of the latest revenues were from repeat customers. The loss increased from £1m to £5.42m. There is still £6.52m in the bank.
Embedded computer boards developer and manufacturer Concurrent Technologies (CNC) reported flat interim revenues of £9.3m. Lower overheads helped pre-tax profit improve from £1.22m to £1.59m.
LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) has reiterated its full year guidance following its interims. Group revenues were 51% ahead at £108.2m, while pre-tax profit improved from £8.3m to £18.5m. The comparatives did reflect the initial period of Covid-19 but there is still strong underlying growth. There have been cost pressures, but investment has improved efficiency which has offset this. Overheads grew more slowly than revenues and interim operating margins are double the level in the first half of 2019.
Cizzle Biotechnology (CIZ) expects to sign a deal with charity St George Capital, where it would receive royalty payments of up to £5m for AZD1656, a treatment for diabetic patients with Covid-19, plus payments for a companion diagnostic. St George has undertaken a successful phase II trial for AZD1656 and is seeking a license and funding for further trials.