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Brewer and pubs operator Shepherd Neame (SHEP) is starting to recover from lockdowns. Pubs started to reopen outdoors on 12 April, while indoor trading recommenced on 17 May. From that point pubs achieved 97% of 2019 trading levels. Since June, drinks sales have been down on the 2019 level, but food and room revenues were higher. In the year to 26 June 2021, revenues fell from £118.2m to £86.9m with both periods hampered by Covid-19 lockdowns. There was a swing from a pre-tax profit of £1.5m to a loss of £4.2m. A revaluation of licenced pubs shows a surplus over book value of £35.9m, which is a 13% uplift not reflected in the NAV of 1140p a share.
Silverwood Brands (SLWD) is a shell focused on food and lifestyle acquisitions. It raised £1.03m at 40p a share. The share price ended the week at 43.75p. NAV is 35p a share. The strategy is to build up a portfolio of consumer brands. The cash raised in the flotation and prior to the admission will help to identify targets and carry out due diligence. Directors Andrew Gerrie and Andrew Tone were both involved in building up the Lush handmade cosmetics business.
In the first quarter National Milk Records (NMRP) revenues increased by 8% to £5.72m. There was a small decline in revenues for testing for Johne’s disease, while the core milk testing business increased revenues, although the comparatives were for a weak period when lockdown was ending. The launch of genomic services under the GeneEze brand is planned for this winter. UK milk prices are exceeding 40p a litre, although the costs for farmers are increasing.
SulNOx Group (SNOX) has 600 potential customers and 130 trials proposed or underway. This includes vehicle and marine clients for the fuel emulsification additive.
Pharma C Investments (PCIL) has made its first cannabis-related investment in Product Earth Expo UK, which runs an annual CBD trade show in Coventry. A £275,000 investment gives Pharma C a 7.5% stake. Product Earth also offers a digital marketing service. Tom Toumazis, the former boss of European newspapers publisher Mecom, is chairman of Product Earth and Pharma C investment strategy director Gavin Sathianathan is also a director. At the end of October, Pharma C had cash of £608,000.
Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) increased revenues in the nine months to September 2021 by 724% to £9.88m. This enabled Sativa to move into profit, although it is a modest one. Trading has been boosted by demand for Covid tests and the range of tests is being broadened.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) is partnering with BUPA, which will open clinics within the company’s sites and refer patients if they have symptoms of cancer. The first clinic will be opened at Rutherford’s Liverpool cancer centre and the second in Northumberland.
Spirits company Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has raised £200,000 at 7p a share, which is just above the market price. Each of the placing shares comes with a warrant exercisable at 7p. The cash will be used to acquire additional stocks of Shinju whisky.
Valereum Blockchain (VLRM) has raised £197,500 from the exercise of warrants.
David Evans has increased its stake in Oberon Investments Group (OBE) from 7.61% to 8.15% and Rodger Sargent has a 3.14% shareholding.
EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 536.19p a share at the end of October 2021.
Firering Strategic Minerals (FRG) has a 51% stake in the Atex lithium and coltan project and has the option to increase it. Firering raised £4m at 13p a share and expenses were £516,000. The money raised will finance the £1.55m cost of the exploration spending for Atex for the next two years. There is also potential to generate revenues from tantalum production within 18 months, which will help to finance further development.
The Life Science REIT PrimaryBid offer closes on 15 November, and investors can apply for shares in the intermediaries offer via Interactive Investor and other firms by 16 November. A 4% yield is being targeted, based on the issue price of 100p a share, with annual growth of 5%. Life Science REIT will be the first London-quoted REIT focusing on life science properties. The types of properties will include laboratories, offices and manufacturing facilities and they will be situated in Oxford, Cambridge and London. There is strong demand for these properties from companies and organisations and a lack of supply. It is estimated that up to 20 million square feet of additional office and laboratory space will be required over the next two decades. The target for the offer and placing is up to £300 million.
Parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) continues to make a rapid recovery despite the uncertainties of the past year. Group pre-tax profit improved from £200,000 to £12m with freight’s improvement offsetting the decline in profit in the rest of the group. Net cash was £16.8m at the end of June 2021 and there could be a dividend this year. finnCap maintained its 2021-22 pre-tax profit forecast at £16.5m.
Tracsis (TRCS) has shown the solidity of its rail technology and services revenues and the more volatile data and events business has started to recover. Revenues edged up from £48m to £50.2m, with most of the growth coming from acquisitions. Rail technology revenues grew, but the data and events division reported a small decline. According to finnCap, adjusted pre-tax profit improved from £8.3m to £10.9m. Since the end of July, Tracsis has acquired Dublin-based Icon Group, which made a pre-tax profit of £800,000 in 2020, and this will be integrated with the similar UK data analysis operations.
Chain and transmission equipment manufacturer Renold (RNO) is managing to pass on higher materials prices and the chain division revenues have recovered. Group interim revenues were 17% ahead at £95.3m, while pre-tax profit was 52% higher at £5m. Order intake was 55% higher at £113m. Net debt is £13.9m. Forecast full year earnings are 3.2p a share.
Media localisation and post-production services provider Zoo Digital (ZOO) is growing revenues on the back of the international expansion of streaming platforms and broadening the range of services that it offers. New production projects are starting to ramp up and that provides further growth opportunities. Interim revenues jumped from $16.4m to $26.9m and there was a small operating profit.
Insolvency litigation financer Manolete Partners (MANO) continued to generate cash before investment in new cases during the six months to September 2021. Revenues were lower than the first half of 2019-20 when there was a large case settlement, but they were higher than the second half. Interim profit fell and that is why the interim dividend has been reduced from 1.17p a share to 0.39p a share. New case enquiries are rising.
Maestrano (MNO) has won a new contract for surveying an electricity transmission line in Australia. The 700km line goes from Wagga Wagga to the South Australian and the contract runs between 2022 and 2025. This shows there is demand for the surveying technology outside of the rail sector.
Property investor Town Centre Securities (TOWN) says that the latest valuation shows a 0.3% increase over the June 2020 valuation. Since then, a London property has been sold for £3.85m, which is 6% above the 2020 valuation. Rent collections are back to pre-pandemic levels. The full year results will be published on 24 November.
Cookware supplier Procook (PROC) joined the premium list at a valuation of £158m at the placing price of 145p a share. Procook ended the week at 159.75p.
Chapel Down (CDGP) has announced Andrew Carter as successor to chief executive Frazer Thompson in September 2021.
National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its fourth quarter revenues by 7% to £5.72m. Milk recording revenues grew by 9%. The corresponding period did cover the initial lockdown. Milk prices are holding up at levels where dairy farmers will be profitable. The first phase of IT investment will be up and running later this year.
Boanerges Ltd (BNRG) has paid £25,000 for an option to invest £2m for a 14.3% stake in Fintech Digital Platforms, which owns property search internet portals.
Samarkand (SMK) has secured an extension to its distribution contract with skincare brand 111SKIN until the end of July 2023. Non-exec Keith Higgins has bought 21,739 shares at 146p a share.
Inqo Investments (INQO) had significant write-offs and bad debt provisions in the year to February 2021. This contributed to the more than doubled loss of R13.4m as revenues slumped from R24.4m to R4.2m. The total cash outflow was R14.7m and cash fell below R1m. Kuzuko Private Game Reserve will reopen in September. Uganda-based Four One Financial Services and Kenya-based South Lake Medical Centre both made higher interest payments to Inqo.
S-Ventures (SVEN) has taken a 50% stake in Vegan Punk Ventures and invested up to £100,000 in loans. The brand is PlantPunk and it has a range of ZeroBeef meat alternatives. Dave Ahern will be managing director and third-party investors will provide loans of up to £50,000.
Altona Rare Earths (ANR) had cash of £436,000 at the end of June 2021.
Helium Ventures (HEV) continues to trade at a premium to its 10p placing price. The share price is currently 32.5p (31p/34p). James Sheehan has increased his stake from 8,5% to 9.47%.
Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has sold its stake in Finance Partners Group for €2.15m and €1.57m of this has been received. The original cost was €1.9m. The investment focus will be fintech.
Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £223,000 at 1.46p a share and issued £48,000 worth of shares at 2p each.
Veni Vid Vici has changed its name to VVV Resources (VVV). Angelfish Investments has changed its name to Igraine (KING). DicovORE has changed its name to Oscillate (MUSH).
Trading in First Sentinel, which has changed its name to Omni Egis (OMNI) and NQ Minerals (NQMI) shares has been suspended ahead of publication of their respective accounts. Freyherr International (FRYR) has withdrawn from Aquis.
In 2020-21, NWF (NWF) did not manage to match the previous year’s profit performance of the fuels division, but the cold winter and home working meant that the performance was better than expected. Management is keen to make further acquisitions to broaden the geographic spread of the fuels business. Overall, group pre-tax profit was 10% lower at £11.9m. The efficiency improvement in the food warehousing division meant that its profit contribution was higher. The feeds division reported a lower profit but with milk prices over 30p per litre the outlook is positive for dairy feed.
Higher second half sales and improved efficiency helped Filtronic (FTC) maintain profitability at £200,000 even though full year revenues fell 9% to £15.6m. The telecoms and RF components and equipment supplier generated cash and net cash improved to £2.8m at the end of May 2021. 5G investment and moves into newer markets, such as space, provide a positive outlook for the future and profit should build from now on. Revenues are expected to grow by 16% this year and pre-tax profit of £500,000 is forecast.
The latest trading statement from Belvoir (BLV) confirms a strong first half with revenues growing by two-fifths, due to buoyant house sales. The steadier lettings income has grown by 13% – 10% organically, which is much faster than the market.
Maestrano (MNO) has secured a five-month proof of concept contract with Network Rail for HS1, the high speed line that goes to the channel tunnel. This will monitor overhead lines, vegetation, track and passing clearances. HS1 is the same specification as European tracks so it could provide a way into the European market.
Microbiome-based products developer Optibiotix Health (OPTI) generated a 44% increase in interim revenues to £1.07m with LP LDL probiotic cholesterol-reducing products and Slimbiome products accounting for most of the revenues.
Seeing Machines (SEE) 2020-21 revenues were 2% ahead of expectations at A$47.3m. There was $47.7m in the bank at the end of June.
Xpediator (XPD) has formed a strategic partnership with e-commerce fulfilment company Synergy Retail Support and is providing space at its Braintree warehouse.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated July revenues of £5.6m, up from £4.36m in June, even though the average bitcoin price fell. A Nasdaq listing is being considered.
Challenger Acquisitions has changed its name to Cindrigo Holdings (CINH) following the completion of the acquisition of the renewable energy products business.
Kanabo (KNB) has a stake in medical cannabis cultivation company Hellenic Dynamics, which is being acquired by AIM-quoted UK SPAC (SPC) for £45.2m in shares at a minimum price of 0.472p a share. The £750,000 investment in Hellenic will be converted into shares at a minimum 30% discount to the prospective. UK SPAC intends to move to the standard list.
Starcrest Education (OBOR) has signed heads of terms to acquire 80% of National Training Company. Starcrest is not going ahead with the acquisition of The London School of Science and Technology and costs of £1.2m have been written off. There was £700,000 in cash left at the end of June 2021.
Installation services provider and engineer Field Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) reported a dip in interim revenues due to Covid-19 and lack of work in the water sector. In the six months to November 2020, revenues halved from £11.5m to £5.7m and the loss increased to £209,000. Net assets improved from £3.87m to £3.93m with cash increasing from £4.34m to £5.6m. There are signs of water projects being announced.
Gunsynd (GUN) says its investee company Rogue Baron should join the Access segment on around 12 March. Gunsynd will own 28.48% of the drinks company and retain £111,000 of convertible loan notes.
Forbes Ventures (FOR) says that a £40m tranche of two-year notes is expected to take place in Malta in the middle of March. A further £60m should be listed within two months of the first tranche. A subsidiary of Forbes will receive a one-off fee of 2% of the funds raised.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had net assets of 57.96p a share at the end of February 2021. There was cash of £2.68m. It has subsequently sold the investment in Anthesis Consulting for £1.15m. This was previously valued at £705,000.
Upper Thames Holdings (UPPT) is changing its name to Valereum Blockchain. The company has initiated the launch of the first series of securitised derivative tokens on a regulated cryptocurrency exchange, which should happen within two months. This will enable trading in currency and other products.
KR1 (KR1) has raised nearly $256,000 by selling tokens in Stake DAO. KR1 still has the rights to more than 700,000 SDT tokens and these will vest over 23 months. KR1 has spent $75,000 of the cash on a stake in LazyLedger Labs.
Exploration by Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has identified high grade silver and base metals potential at the Cottesloe project in Patersons Range Western Australia.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is linking with 10%-owned Indorse to launch a Non-Fungible Token development studio in Gibraltar.
Quetzal Capital (WENP) has appointed Peterhouse as corporate adviser and raised £432,000 at 0.7p a share. Chris Akers will own a 9.4% stake.
Block Commodities (BLCC) has appointed First Sentinel as corporate adviser and trading in the share has recommenced. Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has appointed Optiva Securities as broker, and it hopes to move to the standard list in the second quarter.
World High Life has changed its name to Love Hemp Group (LIFE). It has appointed Hannam and Partners as financial advisor. Chris Cleverly and Elias Pungong have left the board.
Coral Products (CRU) has completed the sale of two plastic mouldings businesses and acquired Customised Packaging for £1.25m in cash and shares issued at 11p each. If 2021 profit is greater than £250,000 the vendors will receive 30% of the excess profit (capped at £250,000). Customised Packaging generated revenues of £2.3m in 2020. The Manchester-based business designs plastic products using sheet extrusion technology and vacuum forming capability. WH Ireland has been appointed as nominated adviser and broker.
Interims from parcel and freight delivery company DX (LSE:DX.) showed a 7% rise in revenues to £182.7m with strong growth in freight offsetting a fall in the express division. That enabled DX to move from loss to a pre-tax profit of £3.8m. New depots are being opened because of the demand for the company’s services, while the document exchange business is being revamped. Non-executive director Paul Goodson has acquired 176,810 shares at an average price of 28.25p.
In 2020, Franchise Brands (FRAN) improved pre-tax profit from £4.07m to £4.84m, helped by a full contribution from Willow Pumps. The dividend was increased from 0.95p a share to 1.1p a share. Income returned to growth in the fourth quarter and there has been a good start to 2021. That sparked a forecast upgrade for pre-tax profit to £6.1m.
The bid for AFH Financial (AFHP) has been increased from 463p a share to 480p a share.
BlueRock Diamonds (BRD) has raised £1.5m at 40p a share. This cash will be used to complete the weather delayed installation of the new processing plant at the Kareevlei diamond mine so that annual production can be raised to one million tonnes. There have been 29 production days lost to rain. The first two diamond tenders of 2021 have achieved an average diamond price of $423/carat, which is higher than the average price assumed for the full year.
Maestrano (MNO) has taken advantage of its strong share price to raise £2m at 13p a share. This will help to grow revenues of the Corridor.ai digital surveying platform for the rail sector. There is still manual rail survey business that can be done digitally.
In 2020, the revenues of MTI Wireless Edge (MWE) rose by 2% to $40.9m, while pre-tax profit jumped from $3.41m to $4.06m. The net cash position was better than expected at $9.44m. The dividend has been increased by one-quarter to 2.5 cents a share. The antennas business is winning larger 5G orders and the electronic components division is converting design wins into production orders.
Virgin Wines (VINO) ended the week at 225.5p a share, having floated at 197p a share.
Prospex Energy (PXEN) has completed the purchase of a 49.9% stake in the El Romeral gas and power operation in Spain. There is potential to increase production from the three producing gas wells and this could also help increase the amount of electricity generated from the 8.1MW power station, which is running well below capacity. An offshore gas well should start production later this year.
Safestay (SSTY) has sold the smallest of its three hostels in Barcelona for the book value of €900,000. Safestay is due to the final consideration of €1.18m for one of the other Barcelona hostels.
Caerus Mineral is acquiring New Cyprus Copper and joining the standard list. A placing has raised £2.25m at 10p. There is a portfolio of exploration licences in Cyprus. There is potential for near-term mining of resources on closed copper mines and extensions of existing orebodies.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) says from this month chief executive Peter Wall will be paid in Bitcoin and other employees will be given the chance to follow suit. Argo held 599 Bitcoin at the end of February, having mined 129 (equivalent to £4.34m) during the month.
Emmerson (EML) plans to switch from the standard list to AIM ahead of the commencement of construction of its mine at the Khemisset potash project.
HeiQ (HEIQ) is acquiring 51% of Chrisal NV, a profitable industrial biotechnology company that has developed a symbiotic interior cleaner called Synbio with enhanced cleaning performance.
Castillo Copper (CCZ) expects the modelling of a JORC resource for the Big One deposit should be completed shortly. Drilling will resume when the wet season ends.
Boston International Holdings (BIH) is not going ahead with the reverse takeover of invoice factor Alexanders Discount. The shares remain suspended.
Starcrest Education The Belt and Road (OBOR) says that the purchase of 60% of The London School of Science and Technology is unlikely to happen before June.
Peel Hunt has edged up its pre-tax profit forecast for brewer and pubs operator Shepherd Neame (SHEP) following the publication of its figures for the year to June 2019. They showed revenues of £145.8m and pre-tax profit of £11.4m, which was slightly better than expected. Brewing profit more than halved to £900,000 after the Asahi contract ended, but this was more than made up for by the contribution from managed and tenanted pubs. Own-brewed volumes have risen by 5.8% in the first few weeks of the year and managed ad tenanted pubs are showing like-for-like income increases. Debt costs will be lower than previously expected so the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast has moved from £11.5m to £11.7m, which will allow a slightly higher anticipated dividend of 31p a share – twice covered by earnings. There is potential to acquire more pubs.
In the 17 months to May 2019, pubs operator and automotive dealer Barkby Group (BARK) made a pre-tax profit of £75,000 on revenues of £6.29m. Stripping out the amount acquisitions were made under net asset value and acquisition cost, the profit is £135,000. The addition of pub sites, taking the total to six gastropubs and inns, and the purchase of Centurian Automotive, will significantly increase revenues in the latest 12-month period. The plan is to have up to 12 pub sites within five years.
Karoo Energy (KEP) is changing its name to IamFire and raising £143,000 at 2.4p a share. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi has been appointed as an executive director and Jeremy Ross joins as a non-executive. They are both directors of cannabis company Eurocann International (BUD). The existing business is being sold to Noel Lyons and other opportunities in the oil and gas and base and precious metals sectors will be assessed.
National Milk Records (NMRP) has been hit by a cyber attack and this will reduce profit this year. It has interrupted IT operations and EBITDA is set to be 10% lower than expected in the year to June 2020.
WH Ireland has published a broker note on Cadence Minerals (KDNC) and this suggests that the 27% stake in the Amapa iron ore mine in Brazil is a potential company maker, even before any benefits from the lithium project investments. The mine produced between 2007 and 2014 before being closed because of an incident at the port on the Amazon and a falling iron ore price. The total resource is estimated at 245Mt grading 41% Fe, but this figure dates back to 2012. The mine life could be 15 years. Capex of $168m will be required to restart mining and processing. The 27% stake will effectively cost Cadence less than £6m. The other shareholder is Singapore-based commodity trader IndoSino. If other investors are sought, then Cadence has the right to increase its stake to 49%.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) plans to consolidate every 20 existing shares into one new share. A general meeting will be held on 16 October. Primorus expects its A$500,000 loan note with Zuuse to be repaid, plus interest, in the next couple of weeks.
St Mark Homes (SMAP) reported an improvement in interim pre-tax profit from £18,000 to £84,000. The housebuilder achieved this improvement because of a much larger share of the operating profit in a joint venture and increased interest receivable. Admin expenses rose even though revenues were lower. NAV is 126p a share.
Recently floated cash shell World High Life (LIFE) plans to acquire Love Hemp in return for £4m in cash and the issue of 30 million shares. A further £2m could become payable in the next three years depending on the achievement of turnover targets. If more than target turnover is achieved in any year then the vendors will receive 5% of the excess. Love Hemp is a supplier of CBD and hemp products and it made a pre-tax profit of £532,000 on turnover of £2.5m in the year to June 2018. World High Life plans to raise up to £5m in order to finance the acquisition.
Ananda Developments (ANA) says joint venture DJT has applied for a licence to grow >0.2% THC cannabis and has been registered with the Drugs Licensing and Compliance Unit of the Home Office. DJT has acquired Aristaeus Elements, which is setting up as a cannabis extraction and processing facility, for £1 and assumption of debt of £51,000 – the deposit paid for the equipment for the plant. The plan is to finance the investment in the facility through debt secured against offtake contracts.
Blockchain-related investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) reported a dip in revenues from £1.33m to £109,000, but a reversal of an impairment charge and gains on financial assets meant that it still made a pre-tax profit of £242,000, down from £554,000 the previous year. The non-cash gains meant that cash fell from £592,000 to £475,000 over the six months to June 2019. NAV increased from £2.36m to £2.59m.
First Sentinel (FSEN) reported a fall in interim revenues from £963,000 to £710,000, while the loss increased from £46,000 and £114,000.
Panther Metals (PALM) says that early identification of an area of the Big Bear project in Ontario shows high gold grades. The 100% owned area has been extended via the acquisition of four additional mining claims.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) generated revenues of £14.2m in the first half of 2019. The Hellyer polymetallic mine was not in production in the corresponding period last year. There was still a £17.9m loss because of high admin expenses. There was £65.6m of debt at the end of June 2019 and management believes that it can get more favourable terms now the mine is up and running.
Domain name registry Minds + Machines (MMX) is improving the quality of its earnings and it is nearer to sorting out legacy problems. Renewal revenues almost cover costs. Interim net revenues increased from $5.3m to $7.4m, while pre-tax profit trebled to $1.8m, helped by a full six month contribution from ICM. A full year pre-tax profit of $4.1m is forecast. Operating expenses should rise much slower than revenues and cash generation should be strong. A $5.1m cash payment will be made in the second half in order to cover those legacy costs. Even after that, the company should have net cash of more than $5m at the end of 2019. Longer-term, Minds + Machines could become a dividend payer.
Pelatro (PTRO) is dependent on fourth quarter licence sales to achieve forecasts following the 14% increase in interim revenues to $2.7m. That means that second half revenues of the telecoms marketing services and technology provider need to be $7.8m to achieve the 2019 target. There are some large potential sales in the pipeline, but delays of a few weeks could mean that they drop into 2020. Repeat revenues more than doubled in the first half because more of the business won has been in the form of revenue gain share contracts that take time to build up and produce revenues over a longer period than a one-off licence, which is recognised as revenue straight away.
Maestrano (MNO) has conditionally agreed to acquire Airsight Holdings, which offers engineering surveying services using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. Airsight had revenues of A$1.04m in the year to June 2019 and it is loss making because of development spending. Maestrano will issue 73.4 million shares to pay for the acquisition. There could be further payments depending on revenues. The Maestrano chairman is a shareholder in Airsight.
Escape Hunt (ESC) increased revenues from £800,000 to £2.2m in the first half of 2019 but it remains loss-making. Franchise revenues were flat, and all the growth came from the operated sites. Escape Hunt has signed an agreement with Proprietors Capital Holdings for the roll-out of franchise sites in North America.
Mattress supplier eve Sleep (EVE) reduced its loss but cash is still flowing out of the business. Net cash was £12.5m at the end of June 2019 and it is expected to be £8m by the end of the year.
S and U (SUS) is adding new motor finance business even though loan standards have been tightened. Motor finance business Advantage Finance is on course to achieve its 20th year of profit growth. Bridging loans provider Aspen made a profit of £502,000 in the first half. Interim pre-tax profit rose by 3% to £17.1m and the dividend was increased by 6% to 34p a share.
Suit hire and retail business Moss Bros (MOSB) broke even, before the IFRS16 accounting changes for leases, in the six months to July 2019, which was slightly better than expected. A full year loss is still expected because despite like-for-like retail sales growth, hire revenues are declining and the IFRS16 changes will knock £2.5m off pre-tax profit. There was cash of £18.2m at the end of July 2019.
finnCap has reduced its 2019-20 forecasts for InnovaDerma (IDP) following its figures for the year June 2019. The beauty and health products supplier increased revenues by one-fifth to £12.9m and pre-tax profit more than doubled to £1.4m. This year’s pre-tax profit is expected to be £2m, down from £2.3m previously, because higher costs relating to marketing more than offset improved sales expectations. To put this in perspective, the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast back in August 2018 was £2.6m. InnovaDerma needs to start meeting forecasts rather than having them downgraded on a regular basis.
Tex Holdings (TXH) has appointed Price Bailey LLP. Trading appears to be picking up in the plastics and engineering businesses. There is a record order book of £12m.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) grew revenues by one-third to £136,000 but the ethical housing provider moved from profit to loss. In the year to March 2019, revenues improved from £103,000 to £136,000. The main reason behind the reported loss was a reduction in the gain on revaluation of assets from £198,000 to £145,000. The NAV still increased from £3.25m to £3.31m. These figures were prior to the acquisition of a property in Didcot. There is a pipeline of other potential transactions.
Barkby Group (BARK) has appointed finnCap as its corporate adviser.
Peterhouse has resigned as corporate adviser to Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) and that follows the resignation of its auditor Crowe and the continued delays to the publication of the accounts for 2018. Peterhouse took over as corporate adviser from Daniel Stewart in March. Gamfook floated in December 2018.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has opened its latest centre in Reading. The company was previously known as Proton Partners International Ltd.
Henry Lees-Buckley is taking on the chief executive role at Sativa Group (SATI) and Geremy Thomas has moved to deputy chairman.
Injection moulded plastic products Coral Products (CRU) returned to profit in the year to April 2019, although the underlying pre-tax profit only edged up from £568,000 to £580,000 because of a decline in exceptional costs. The second half was not as good as the first half, but cost cutting enabled a recovery at the end of the year. Net debt was £8.2m at the end of April 2019. There is no final dividend following the interim of 0.25p a share. Continuing problems at a major customer could continue to hamper progress. Equipment enabling recycling of plastic products is up and running. New products will be launched later this year, including roof tiles and road highway sound barriers.
International staffing provider Empresaria (EMR) had a tough first half, but despite this the company still expects to maintain its full year profit at £11.4m. Interim net fee income was 7% ahead but underlying pre-tax profit was one-fifth lower at £3.7m. That suggests a much stronger second half even though the German and Japanese businesses remain subdued, although they could start to recover. The diversification of the business in terms of sectors and geographies helps to offset the weakness in parts of the group. New chief executive Rhona Driggs is putting in place a new strategy, which should help next year’s figures.
Adamas Finance Asia Ltd (ADAM) has maintained its NAV at $1.10 a share (88p a share). Investee company Hong Kong Mining Holdings is still on course to restart mining operations and it is acquiring additional land for mining activities. Fook Lam Moon is assessing opportunities to expand its catering operations. The internal fit out for Infinity Capital’s Tellus Niseko project should be completed before the end of September.
MySale Group (MYSL) has raised £11.2m at 2p a share, which is a 58% discount to the market price. There will be £5.5m used to pay down bank facilities. The number of shares in issue is trebled. This follows a strategic review by the retailer, which is refocusing on Australasian operations and the selling down of stock. The cost base will be reduced.
Transport optimisation software and equipment supplier Tracsis (TRCS) grew its cash pile to £24m at the end of July 2019, even after paying around £9m on acquisitions. Pre-tax profit is in line with expectations at £9.4m, up from £8.5m.
Breedon Group (BREE) intends to change its tax domicile from Jersey to the UK. The company will still be incorporated in Jersey. The general meeting to gain approval to change the article of association will be held on 9 September.
Packaging supplier Robinson (RBN) improved gross margins by 12 percentage points to 19.7% in the first half, but that was partly offset by higher overheads. Pre-tax profit improved from £478,000 to £684,000. Net debt was £9.1m. The interim dividend is unchanged at 2.5p a share.
IT services provider Adept4 (AD4) is in talks to acquire CloudCoCo, which was set up by former sales directors of Redcentric. The deal would involve the issue of new shares that would nearly double the number in issue. The Business Growth Fund has agreed to sell £5m of unsecured loan notes to MXC Capital for £3.5m.
Data software and services provider D4T4 (D4T4) says that the figures will be second half weighted this year but not as much as last year.
Science Group (SAG) has increased its stake in Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) by subscribing £1m at 25p a share. This takes the stake to 52.3% (costing £6.9m) and this means that Frontier’s results will be consolidated. A standby facility is also being provided. Frontier’s cost base is being reduced.
Commodity trading and risk management software provider Brady (BRY) expects 2019 revenues to be around one-fifth lower than previous forecasts. That means that revenues are expected to decline from £23.2m in 2018 to £19m and this will lead to a loss of more than £4m.
Three directors have been removed from the board of Management Resource Solutions (MRS) and they have been replaced by John Copley and Robert Wall following a requisitioned general meeting.
Cancer therapies developer Scancell (SCLP) has initiated the UK SCIB1 phase 2 clinical trial for advanced melanoma, where SCIB1 is used in conjunction with the checkpoint inhibitor Pembrolizumab.
The financial director of Maestrano (MNO) has resigned to take up a role in Australia. The software company continues to undertake due diligence on a potential acquisition. An Australian bank client has decided not to go ahead with a new banking platform. There should be enough cash to last into next year.
Cyber security company Osirium Technologies (OSI) has signed up the first customer for its Opus privileged process automation software, plus two customers for the PxM platform. The Opus client is an asset manager that is already a user of PxM.
Cellcast (CLTV) has called a general meeting on 6 September in order to approve the sale of its operations. The company will change its name to Vintana.
BATM (BVC) reported an improved interim profit, but that was due to a one-off unrealised gain after an investment in the Ador diagnostics joint venture. Revenues dipped from $58.2m to $56.2m. The second half performance will be more important. Revenues are expected to grow from $119.6m to $128.5m, with pre-tax profit jumping form $2m to $6.7m. There is further longer-term growth to come from both the biomedical and networking divisions. The recent fundraising means that there is plenty of cash to finance growth.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) is further increasing its capacity and this could make it the largest quoted cryptocurrency miner by next year.
Injection moulding and engineering company Tex Holdings (TXH) says net assets per share have fallen from 168p to 140p after it swung into loss last year. There is no final dividend. The plastics division is trading profitably and orders have improved at the engineering division.
Path Investments (PATH) plans to acquire FineGems Extraction Corporation, which has a 75% stake in a company that holds the Jagoda licence in Zambia. The assets are near to production. They are manganese ore and tourmaline deposits. The acquisition would leave existing shareholders with 50% of the enlarged share capital.
Gold explorer IMC Exploration (IMC) has raised £150,000 at 1p a share and has paid £27,000 of professional fees in shares. The cash will be spent on exploration and geological work on a tailings project in Avoca, County Wicklow.
Dev Clever (DEV) has appointed Novum Securities as joint broker and raised £436,000 at 3.4p a share. The consumer engagement systems company has secured a three-year agreement with Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, which will offer Dev Clever’s Engage gamification platform and its learning and development platform to retail customers.