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Andrew Hore: Quoted Micro 29 October 2018

NEX EXCHANGE

Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has added a NEX quotation to its year-old Canadian Stock Exchange listing. Auxico has mineral properties in Colombia and Mexico. There is already a UK investor base.

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) had a bumper 2018 harvest that was 125% ahead of the previous best, thanks to the hot summer. Some vineyards produced their first crops.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) is paying this year’s dividend in three instalments: October, April and July. The first interim will be 0.83p a share and the ex-dividend date is 25 October. The sale of Hume House in Leeds has been completed for £3.9m, compared to a cost of £1.67m in March 2014. A 37-storey building will be constructed on the site.

Eight Capital Partners (MORE) is investing £250,000 in AIM-quoted Imaginatik (IMTK) with £160,000 subscription for shares at 1.1p a share for a 29.7% stake, and £90,000 in convertible loan notes with an annual interest rate of 7.5%. Eight Capital is issuing up to £2.5m of convertible bonds at 95% of their nominal value. The annual coupon is 5%. One warrant will be granted for every two shares issued.

Trading in the shares of Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has been suspended ahead of a potential acquisition of property assets from the Oyston family.

Gunsynd (GUN) will get a 4% stake in Human Brands when, or if, it floats on the standard list. Previously it would have been a 1% stake. Gunsynd has £289,000 invested in drinks distributor Human Brands loan notes.

Founder Sebastian Snow has resigned as creative director of pubs and inns operator Barkby Group (BARK) and Lana Snow has also left the group. Occupancy rates were good in September and there is significant demand for the Christmas period.

Ganapati (GANP) reported a reduction in interim loss from £4.54m to £3.56m, although total income was flat at £2.19m. There was cash in the bank of £2m at the end of July 2018. This could be added to by an initial coin offering by Malta-based blockchain subsidiary GanaEightCoin Ltd next spring.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £81,250 at 15p a share to provide further working capital.

The chairman and chief executive of DXS International (DXSP) have both bought shares in the healthcare technology company. Bob Sutcliffe bought 100,000 shares at 8.515p each, while David Immelman bought 20,538 shares at 8.66p each, which takes the chief executive’s stake to 10.3%.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has signed an option on a 298,806 square foot glasshouse for growing medicinal cannabis. Mark Blower is becoming a non-executive director.

Melissa Sturgess has acquired 590,000 shares in Ananda Developments (ANA) at 0.4496p each. The executive director of the cannabis-focused investment company owns 47.8 million shares. Ananda joined NEX on 4 July having raised £930,000 at 0.45p a share. The share price ended the first day at 0.975p and it has more than halved since then.

AIM

Chris Marsh has resigned as finance director of Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) having been suspended on 9 October. Previously undisclosed LTIP share awards have been revealed.

GB Group (GBG) has acquired Australia-based ID verification services provider Vix Verify Global for £21m. This has led to a 2.7% upgrade in the 2019-20 forecast earnings per share. Third quarter trading of the existing business was in line with expectations with organic growth in revenues of 11%.

Avingtrans (AVG) is acquiring Texas-based Tecmag Inc for $243,000. Tecmag manufactures instrumentation for magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear magnetic resonance systems. This fits well with Avingtrans’ magnets business in the sector.

Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) has shocked investors with accounting changes relating to accrued income and increases in impairment charges for trade debtors. This will slash £10m for this year’s profit turning it into a loss. There is £11.5m in the bank at the end of September 2018.

1Spatial (SPA) reduced its loss n the first half and is on course to cut its full year loss from £1.5m to £1m. The geospatial data services provider should move into profit next year.

HaloSource Corporation (HALO) says it has sufficient working capital until the end of the year, but up to $5m is required to add a further 12 months. The company expects to generate revenues of $2m-$2.5m in 2018 and the target is to treble that figure in 2019, which would reduce the loss.

EKF Diagnostics (EKF) says the record date for the distribution of shares in Renalytix AI is 23 October and the shares will start trading on 2 November.

Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) expects 2017-18 profit to be in line with expectations and order books are strong. Infrastructure services provider Tamdown’s revenues will be slightly lower due to planning delays with the growth coming from utility connections business TriConnex. Net cash is £20m.

RA International (RAI) has won a $9.1m contract with URS Group Inc. This is a new client. The contract covers construction services for an asphalt runway in Somalia and lasts for 11 months.

Data analysis software and services provider D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) trebled its interim revenues to £14m, although the comparatives were weak. Net cash is £12.2m.

Gfinity (GFIN) is raising £6m at 8p a share and this cash will further develop the esports activities and the UK Elite series. The 2017-18 revenues were 82% ahead at £4.3m and losses continue.

Angling Direct (ANG) is taking advantage of its strong position in the fishing tackle retail market by raising £20m at 92.5p a share, which compares to the July 2017 flotation price of 64p a share. The cash will finance the opening of 20 stores and the launch of European websites. This accelerated investment means that Angling Direct will fall into loss this year.

Velocity Composites (VEL) has managed to trade in line with downgraded forecasts for the year to October 2018. Revenues will be slightly above £24m and there is net cash of £3.6m. The company is seeking a new chief executive and the former incumbent has left the board.

The cancellation of a contract and the failure to gain backing for an acquisition have hampered the progress of Image Scan Holdings (IGE) in the year to September 2018. Revenues fell from £5m to £3.5m, although the gross margin improved from 39% to 48%. Pre-exceptional profit will slump from £480,000 to £45,000. That was before the £245,000 cost of the failed acquisition. There was £780,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. Sarah Atwell-King has been appointed finance director.

VR Education (VRE) has been hit by the delayed launch of its Titanic VR product on PlayStation. This should still happen this year, but 2018 revenues will be well below expectations. The timing of the launch will determine the outcome for the year. The ENGAGE platform will be launched before the end of the year as anticipated. Non-executive director Mike Boyce is helping out with sales.

SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) increased its research and development spending from £157,000 to £416,000 in the year to June 2018. The cosmetic application has started a human study and data should be available between November and April 2019. A clinical trial for an eczema treatment could start before the end of 2019. There was £3.2m in cash at the end of June 2018.

Rare books trader Scholium (SCHO) says it will move into loss in the first half, but it expects to make a higher full year profit than the £38,000 reported last year. Start-up Mayfair Philatelics is losing money but three auctions are taking place in the second half.

AfriTin Mining Ltd (ATM) is making progress towards production at its Uis tin project in Namibia. The first phase plant being constructed will be able to process 500,000 tonnes of pegmatite in order to produce 720 tonnes of tin concentrate a year. AfriTin has the cash required to reach production.

A strong performance from manned guarding meant that Croma Security Solutions (CSSG) increased its full year revenues by 59% to £35.1m and pre-tax profit was 400% higher at £2m. There were some one-off boosts during the year. Net cash was £2.1m. The dividend has been increased from 0.5p a share to 1.6p a share.

Property investment adviser First Property Group (FPO) has reduced its stake in Fprop Opportunities to 44.3% so it will no longer be consolidated in the group’s results. The plan is to lower the stake to below 30%. Fund management will be a greater contributor to profit.

More cash is required at meat and delicatessen products retailer Crawshaw (CRAW) for restructuring purposes and it also still needs a new nominated adviser.

Kemin Resources (KEM) will leave AIM on 29 October because it has not been able to find a replacement for Strand Hanson as nominated adviser. JP Jenkins Ltd will provide a trading facility.

OnTheMarket (OTMP) has signed up Belvoir Lettings (BLV) to its online platform. All Belvoir’s sales and lettings properties will be on the platform.

StatPro Group (SOG) says annualised recurring income has increased by 3% to £54.8m.

MAIN MARKET

Communisis (CMS) is recommending a 71p a share cash offer by consumer communications services provider OSG, which values the target at £153.8m. The combined business would be able to develop internationally because of OSG’s global strength.

WideCells Group (WDC) has signed a partnership deal with stem cell extraction and storage company Smart Cells. The deal is with the healthcare insurance subsidiary CellPlan, whose insurance plans will be offered to Smart Cells’ 60,000 clients.  

Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) has signed a second agreement with US biopharma company Orgenesis Inc. The deal involves the development and commercialisation of the company’s Human Postnatal Hemogenic Endothelial Cell (Hu-PHEC) technology, which could develop cancer-free, patient-matched blood stem cells after transplantation into a patient. Like the previous agreement, Orgenesis will provide a convertible loan of $1m and this can be converted into shares in the Hemogenyx subsidiary that owns the technology. Orgenesis will pay a 12% royalty on net revenues generated by the technology.

North Midland Construction (NMD) says that full year revenues will be better than anticipated at between £340m and £345m, with net margins between 1.7% to 1.8%. The order book for delivery in 2019 is £222m. A new single identity for the group will be launched in November. HR director Karen Morris has bought 8,172 shares at 550p each.

 

 

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 24 September 2018

NEX EXCHANGE       

In the first half of 2018, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased media revenues by one-fifth and, along with growth in nursery and lodge revenues, this helped the racecourse operator to raise revenues by 5% to £7.33m even though two race days were lost to bad weather. Enough cash was generated to more than cover capital spending.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has signed a non-binding letter of intent with the Eelleet Network Corp, which intends to buy Block. There would be an all share recommended offer and the enlarged business would list on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Trading in Block shares has been suspended.

Ananda Developments (ANA) has obtained a £300,000 convertible loan facility with two directors, Charles Morgan and Melissa Sturgess. The annual interest rate is 10% and the conversion price is 0.75p a share. The manufacture of 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies’ vaporisers and consumable packs containing four hapac sachets of 0.25g medicinal cannabis has commenced in China. AfriAg Global (AFRI) has applied for a medicinal cannabis licence in the UK. Fellow cannabis investment company Sativa Investments (SATI) has set up a German wholesaling subsidiary and it will invest €80,000 for a 60% stake.

In the six months to June 2018, St Mark Homes (SMAP) increased revenues from £71,000 to £139,000 and it made a small loss excluding negative goodwill release. The interim dividend was unchanged at 5.5p a share. The NAV is £5.9m, including £754,000 in cash, which is equivalent to 134p a share. St Mark is trying to gain planning permission for the commercial development in Sutton High Street. Two other properties in London are being redeveloped and sales have commenced. A development in Wembley should start in 2019.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) reported a profit in the first half of 2018, but that was due to a change in the fair value of the option to acquire 90% of Cedex. Revenues fell 48% to $3.78m and the underlying loss of the fintech software provider increased from $282,000 to $971,000. The blockchain operations made an initial contribution of $1.23m to revenues. The B2C operations have ceased in Europe and the company wants to sell its subsidiary with a FSA licence. Higher regulations have hampered the B2B technology customers.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) reported an increased interim loss of $9.43m due to higher finance costs. Admin costs were flat. The development of the Hellyer gold project in Tasmania is progressing well and the first sales of concentrate should happen before the end of this year. Work continues towards a move to a standard listing.

Less than one month after asking for trading in the company’s 7% bonds 2021 to be suspended Positive Healthcare (DOC) has appointed Eric Walls and Wayne Harrison of KSA to advise on a liquidation process. Irregularities were identified at the principal operating subsidiary and Positive is unable to pay the next instalment of interest on the bonds.

Eight Capital Partners (MORE) had cash of £773,000 at the end of June 2018. That was before the former Cogenpower acquired €111,100 worth of 8% corporate bonds 2020 in Italian financial services company Finance Partners Group. Other financial services and technology investments are being considered.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has been readmitted to NEX and AIM on 21 September, after it completed its migration from the Isle of Man to Bermuda.

AIM  

IT recruitment and consultancy Parity (PTY) remains on track for an improvement in pre-tax profit from £1.7m to £1.9m but cash generation is not as good as expected. Net debt is still expected to reduce from £1.6m to £900,000. The previously announced Primark managed services contract has started well, although another contract has been delayed. The consultancy business continues to contribute a growing proportion of profit.

Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) has agreed locations for pilot production at the Lesedi coal bed methane project in Botswana and the first well should be spudded in October.

N+1 Singer has upgraded its forecast for EKF Diagnostics (EKF) following the interim figures. There was a 5% decline in revenues to £20.4m, while underlying profit improved from £2.3m to £2.7m. Around £250,000 has been added to the profit, taking pre-tax profit to £7.7m. The launch of haemoglobin analyser DiaSpect following FDA approval will boost next year’s figures. The spin out of RenalytixAI continues and it will require a general meeting.

Audio products supplier Focusrite (TUNE) says full year revenues were in line with expectations of £75.4m, while cash of £22.8m is better than forecast. A pre-tax profit of £10.8m is forecast. There are concerns about US tariffs.

Tanfield (TAN) has warned that it may not get anything for its stake in Snorkel if the call option is exercised. Management has already said that it will write down the value of the investment to £19.1m ($25.3m), which already knocks 12p a share off NAV, but there is a disagreement about the interpretation of the original agreement.

Disappointing results from the Atopic Dermatitis study has led Realm Therapeutics (RLM) to appoint MTS Health Partners to advise on strategy alternatives. Realm is considered to be in an offer period. There was $21.3m in the bank at the end of August.

Short-term weakness in the oil palm price has held back the progress of plantations operator MP Evans (MPE) in the first half, but crude palm oil production is increasing in line with expectations (91,900 tons in the first half). That means that full year revenues are likely to be flat and pre-tax profit will be lower. Longer-term growth will come from increased production from more recently planted areas.

Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) is coming up to its first year on AIM and the growth momentum continues.

Huadong Medicine Aesthetics has launched its recommended 32p a share cash bid for Sinclair Pharma (SPH) and that values the company at £166.6m.

There has been a lot of activity at Frontier IP (FIPP) in the past week. The AB Sugar head of innovation Matthew White is joining the company as head of commercialisation. Recycled building materials developer Alusid has raised £1.34m, including the conversion of a £348,000 loan from Frontier IP, which has a 35.6% stake. The Alusid investment had been valued at £700,000 and the latest fundraising values it at £1.73m. The cash will be used by Alusid to invest in its manufacturing facility, which should start production in 2020. The total cost will be £10m. A new company has been set up to develop new antibiotics. Frontier IP has a 10% stake in Amprologix, which has been spun out of the University of Plymouth. The first product is likely to be a cream that contains epidermicin, which can kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA.

There was a switch in the mix of revenues at job screening services provider ClearStar Inc (CLSU) in the first half as revenues increased by 11% to $9.9m. The growth has come from Medical Information Systems, which has lower margins and this means that the overall loss is reducing more slowly than expected. The cash outflow is small. Net cash is $1.2m.

Diurnal Group (DNL) is going along as expected with the launch of its Alkindi paediatric adrenal insufficiency treatment in Germany but the market has been unnerved by a negative comment from a German government research organisation. It pointed out that the performance of Alkindi was not compared with another treatment which has not been given regulatory approval. This does not appear likely to affect the relationship with the German regulatory authorities. There will be news from the European phase III trial for Chronocort before the end of the year.

Stockdale has initiated research on professional services group Christie Group (CTG) and expects a full year profit of £3.5m. It has already achieved an interim profit of £1.75m.

VR Education (VRE) still had £4.9m in the bank at the end of June 2018. Since then there have been improvements to the ENGAGE platform ahead of the full commercial launch before the end of the year. The full version of Titanic VR was launched in August and it is set to be launched on Playstation.

Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) continues to grow rapidly and it is moving into the water sector. Interim revenues jumped from £20.8m to £35.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit moved ahead from £1.15m to £1.8m. Growth is coming from the larger corporate sector which has held back margins because they are via brokers. The interim dividend is one-fifth higher at 1.2p a share. There was £18.2m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

N4 Pharma (N4P) has undertaken a strategic review following the failure of the reformulation of sildenafil to achieve its key targets in its clinical trial. It would cost a lot and increase risk if the company undertook further reformulation of this generic. The generics division has been closed and the focus will be the Nuvec delivery system. Initial results from research should be available before the end of the year. There was £1.6m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

MAIN MARKET  

Books publisher Quarto Group (QRT) increased interim revenues from $50.2m to $56.2m and the underlying loss fell from $8.7m to $6.6m. Net debt was $73.2m at the end of June 2018. Management is talking to banks to extend the bank facility until August 2020. Costs are being reduced.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) intends to broaden its investment remit to include cannabis processing, as well as the energy and industrial sectors. Finance professional Alan Hume has joined the board of the standard list shell. He was previously an adviser to the company and until last year finance director of Zenith Energy (ZEN). Between 2010 and 2012 he was finance director of Xtract Energy (XTR).

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has completed its feasibility report into the reopening of the Gubong gold mine and the joint venture with Southern Gold has started. Production of 10,000 ounces of gold is initially targeted.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore: Quoted Micro 17 September 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) reported a 19% increase in interim revenues to £61.8m. Pre-tax profit has more than trebled to £2.4m, if discontinued activities, including the investment in the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, are excluded. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1p a share. A brand relaunch is planned for the second half.

Eight Capital Partners (MORE) has made its first investment in the financial services sector. It is acquiring €111,100 worth of 8% corporate bonds 2020 in Italian financial services company Finance Partners Group. Management believes the link up with the Italian company will fit well with other potential investments.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has completed its migration from the Isle of Man to Bermuda. Trading in the shares has been suspended. Trading should be restored by 21 September.

KR1 (KR1) continues to invest in new token issues. A $200,000 investment has been made in Foamspace Corp for 3.63 million FOAM tokens. This business intends to develop a protocol for a network of beacons providing location services. A further $100,000 has been invested in the Althea Mesh project tokens. This enables decentralised internet service providers to be set up. There has been $100,000 invested in Etherisc tokens. Etherisc is developing a blockchain service for the insurance sector.

Sandal (SAND) has launched an installer service for its MiHome smart home range. The service will be provided by Icon Heating Solutions.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has initiated a ten hole drilling campaign at the Specimen Hill discovery in Queensland. Four holes have been completed. The drilling should be complete in four weeks.

Panther Metals (PALM) has acquired the Bear Lake project, which is a package of gold and base metal prospects in north wester Ontario. The consideration is C$133,000 (£77,000) in cash and shares.

AIM  

Manx Telecom (MANX) reported relatively flat interim figures but a deal by one of its developing investments could mean that the business could become significant in a couple of years time. The interim dividend was raised by 5% to 4.1p a share. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to edge up to £15.2m with a similar increase in the final dividend. Investee company Goshawk has developed a hearing loss product and signed up BT’s mobile subsidiary EE, which could provide a potential market of 3 million people.

Property Franchise Group (TPFG) grew all its letting brands in the first half of 2018 and its online estate agency eweMove went from loss to profit in the period. Full year profit is expected to increase from £4.3m to £4.6m.

Anexo Group (ANX) has reported growth in interim revenues and profit although the cash raised in the recent flotation has yet to be put to use. The legal services and credit hire provider is expected to increase full year pre-tax profit from £13.8m to £14.7m in 2018, and then to £16.4m in 2019.

STM Group (STM) increased interim revenues by 6% to £10.8m and pre-tax profit by 11% to £2.1m. The interim dividend was increased by 17% to 0.7p a share. The main growth has come from the pensions business.

K3 Capital Group (K3C) continues to go from strength to strength. The mergers and acquisition adviser increased revenues by 53% to £16.5m and net cash more than doubled to £7.5m by the end of May 2018. Pre-tax profit could dip from £7.3m to £7m, which would lead to a small reduction in dividend from 11.2p a share, but there is scope for upgrades in expectations.

Gatemore continues to build up its stake in TLA Worldwide (TLA) by taking advantage of the share price decline following TLA’s latest profit warning, which was released in the morning for a change, but there is no news about a replacement nominated adviser. The shareholding has been increased from 12.2% to 13.7%. No news about a new nominated adviser.

Audio visual equipment distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) increased its interim, constant currency, revenues by 24% to £264.1m. Organic growth was around 9%. Underlying pre-tax profit was 22% higher at £9.78m. A full year pre-tax profit of £28.4m is forecast.

Potatoes producer Produce Investments (PIL) is recommending a 193p a share cash bid by Promethean Investments. This values the company at £53m.

Orosur Mining (OMI) has secured a $2m investment from Newmont Mining at more than treble the pre-deal market share price. This will provide investment for the Anza project in Colombia. Orosur had been profitable and cash generative but it fell into loss in the year to May 2018 as gold production costs were in excess of the selling price.

Education services provider Malvern International (MLVN) made a small first half loss but it is on course to move into profit in the full year. The number of students signing up for courses means that enough revenues should have been secured for a full year pre-tax profit of £300,000. There will also be a second half contribution from the recent Manchester acquisition.

MAIN MARKET  

Photovoltaic silicon wafers supplier PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) had net cash of €39.6m at the end of June 2018. This could be returned to shareholders or used to finance an acquisition. The decision will be made before the end of this year. Multicrystalline silicon wafer production ceased in April 2018 and the focus is cutting of quartz and glass. Interim revenues more than halved to €6.2m.

Toople (TOOP) is raising £2.2m at 0.3p a share, following its recent contract news. This is no surprise, but the share price has fallen back from just over 0.9p near the end of August.

Contango Holdings (CGO) continues to undertake due diligence on a near-term producing asset in Zimbabwe. This potential deal was announced last December. There was nearly £638,000 in the bank at the end of May 2018.

Standard list cash shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) had £962,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. The NAV is 35.5p a share.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 9 July 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Ananda Developments (ANA) joined NEX on 4 July having raised £930,000 at 0.45p a share. Ananda is the latest medicinal cannabis-focused investment vehicle. The pre-money valuation was £500,000 There are already potential investments being assessed and management has built up relationships with businesses in Israel and Canada. A reverse takeover valued at up to £10m appears most likely.

Medicinal cannabis business investor Sativa Investments (SATI) has acquired PhytoVista Laboratories from a company owned by Sativa boss Geremy Thomas. Sativa is paying £235,000 in cash and £200,000 in shares at 4p a share. PhytoVista operates a laboratory that tests cannabis oils and hemp products. Because of the demand for the shares, the shareholders originally subject to the orderly market arrangements will be allowed to trade in the shares with the consent of Peterhouse.

KR1 (KR1) has made four more investments. The company invested £593,000 in Dfinity network tokens. Dfinity is developing a supercomputer to host the next generation of software and it is expected to offer unlimited capacity. A further £100,000 has been invested in the Flying Carpet Project, which is involved with a communication protocol for devices, such as drones and automated cars. The number of tokens that the cash will represent has not been decided. A 1.25% stake has been acquired in Connext Inc, which is developing a payment hub, for $50,000 and the same amount of money has acquired a 10% stake in Blocksmith. There is a 12-month option to acquire a further 5% of blockchain system development agency Blocksmith for $100,000

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has increased its dividend by 25% to 1.25p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 12 July. This will cost £500,000. Property acquisitions have been completed in Oldham and Wigan. The total cost is £6.4m and the rental income is just over £597,000.

Monreal (MORE) has left AIM and joined NEX. Monreal has net cash of £730,000 and the plan is to invest in private technology, media and telecoms businesses.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has received a refund of €289,000 (£256,000) from the French tax authorities. This relates to the 2009 tax year and Tectonic hopes to get a €416,000 (£368,500) refund for the 2010 tax year.  VSA Capital has been appointed as financial adviser and joint broker.

Ganapati (GANP) is launching blockchain-enabled casino games and plans to issue a utility token, which will be called G eight C, through an initial coin offer. Pre-sales of the tokens should start in the fourth quarter of 2018.

EcoVista (EVTP) has raised £300,000 at 0.035p a share.

There have been previously unreported trades by a broker in Karoo Energy (KEP), All Star Minerals (ASMO), Valiant Investments (VALP) and Clean Invest Africa (CIA).

AIM     

Film and video localisation services provider Zoo Digital (ZOO) continues to gain momentum. Content owners can sell programmes in additional territories because using Zoo’s services means that it is economic when it was not in the past. That means that the addressable market is even bigger because it includes back catalogue that would not have been localised previously. In the year to March 2018, revenues rose from $16.5m to $26.8m and Zoo moved into profit. That pre-tax profit is expected to more than treble to $1.8m this year.

eve Sleep (EVE) is growing but not at the rate that was hoped for and the chief executive and founder has stepped down. That was inevitable considering the ridiculously high valuation put on the company when it floated and how it has not justified that level of optimism. The mattress supplier grew sales by 61% in the first half when the market had expected more than doubled sales. A new distribution agreement with beds retailer Dreams should help supplement growth in the second half. Even so, eve Sleep is not expected to make a profit until 2020.

Sinclair Pharma (SPH) has received a bid approach from Huadong Medicine and discussions are at an early stage. Both companies supply aesthetic products. Sinclair says first half revenues outside of the US grew by 18% and overall sales improved from £20.1m to £21.3m. US sales fell from £2.5m to £800,000 following the split from the company’s former partner. The direct sales operation in the US is beginning to generate revenues. Net debt was £14.8m at the end of June 2018.

Integumen (SKIN) is not proceeding with the reverse takeover of biomaterials company Cellulac but it hopes to acquire a minority stake. The 2017 accounts have still not been published.

Digital imaging technology developer Kromek (KMK) increased its revenues by nearly one-third to £11.8m in the year to March 2018 and the loss was down from £3.79m to £2.34m. There is £7.7m in the bank and that should be enough to enable Kromek to reach a cash generative situation. The medical business is growing particularly well, while nuclear detection has good prospects for medium-term growth.

Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) reported first half revenues grew by nearly 10% and flat profit. Insurance business is declining because of competitive pricing so all the growth is coming from overseas fleet business. Full year earnings per share are likely to be flat. The forecast dividend of 13.5p a share would not be covered by earnings of 12.8p a share.

Defence equipment and services supplier Cohort (CHRT) managed to improve its pre-tax profit from £14.5m to £15.5m even though the defence market was tough. Management believes that the order book has fallen due to delays to projects. The dividend was raised from 7.1p a share to 8.2p a share.

Technology business investor Mercia Technologies (MERC) reported flat NAV of 40.7p a share but it has a number of investments that could mature over the next couple of years and their valuations could be upgraded. Mercia nearly covered its expenses with its revenues. There is still £52.9m of cash that can be invested.

Waste to energy plants developer Powerhouse Energy (PHE) has raised £694,000 at 0.5p a share. Powerhouse had £750,000 in the bank at the end of 2017 but there are still significant cash outflows.

Direct carrier billing company Boku Inc (BOKU) appears on course to make a £2.7m pre-tax profit this year. Boku processed $1.5bn worth of transactions in the first half and revenues should be nearly $17m. There was $30m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Churchill China (CHH) says that first half trading is stronger than expected on the back of growing sales in Europe. The interims will be published on 30 August.

EQTEC (EQT) has secured $3.2m (£2.4m) in new loan facilities from Cuart Investments Fund and associates. This will be drawn down in two instalments. Origen Capital put together the lenders and it is subscribing £1.15m at 0.6p a share. Existing lenders have agreed to capitalise £693,000 of interest. This means that the previous loan facility has ended.

MAIN MARKET    

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has made a high grade spinel discovery. The northern Israel-focused gemstone explorer has found nine different gemstone minerals.

Software company Gresham Technologies (GHT) is paying up to €8.5m for B2 Group, which will add €1.4m in revenues and should be earnings enhancing in its first full financial year. The customer base includes banks, insurers and asset managers. Gresham expects its own first half revenues to be 5% lower due to a weak performance in Australia. Net cash was £6.8m at the end of June 2018.

Electronic Data Processing (EDP) has recommended a bid from a company owned by Kerridge Commercial Systems. The cash offer is 91p a share and values the enterprise resource planning software provider at £11.9m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 June 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

There are eight companies in the running for the NEX Exchange company of the year at the Small Cap Awards. The awards will be held at The Montcalm Hotel, Marble Arch.

Kent-based wines maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has built up a significant presence in the English wines market. The company has a winery in Tenterden and it is building a new brewery for its beer operations. Chapel Down reported a 15% increase in annual sales to £11.8m. Wine sales were one-fifth higher at £8.12m with cider and beer sales, via associate Curious Drinks, were 7% ahead at £3.68m. Operating profit improved from £346,000 to £470,000 but there was a much larger loss from the Curious Drinks associate so pre-tax profit was lower. The new brewery should be open in the first quarter of 2019.

Cyber security technology developer Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) is still at a very early stage of its development but it more than doubled its revenues in 2017. The loss still increased from £950,000 to £1.24m despite the improvement in revenues from £345,000 to £737,000. The cash outflow was £1.06m, which left £490,000 in the bank. Since then, £2.16m was raised via a placing at 270p a share. Crossword has interests in a number of early stage businesses, including CyberOwl, a joint venture between Coventry University and Crossword, which has backing from Mercia Fund Management. CyberOwl is developing network security software for target-centric monitoring.

Field Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) has one of the longest track records on NEX and it has its highest share price in more than one decade of trading. Field Systems designs, installs and supplies electrical, instrumentation and control systems, for the water, power and transport sectors. In the six months to November 2017, revenues jumped from £8.47m to £12m, while pre-tax profit improved from £114,000 to £211,000. There was £3.34m of cash in the bank and NAV was £3.31m, which is more than the market capitalisation.

KR1 (KR1) has had a successful year buying and trading various coins and tokens. The KR1 share price has more than quadrupled over the past year. KR1 generated gains of £4.3m on its trading in digital coins and tokens during 2017. There was also a total unrealised gain of £10.8m on these investments and a £1.18m foreign exchange gain. The total pre-tax profit was £14.5m, with a tax charge of £2.87m.

Dairy and livestock services provider National Milk Records (NMR) was originally part of the Milk Marketing Board and after it was spun off it joined the forerunner of NEX. National Milk Records generated revenues of £5.32m in the three months to March 2018. This means that revenues are £1.51m ahead so far this year, although the comparatives are weak. Herdwise, the screening service for Johne’s disease and other testing services are providing growth with a small improvement from milk recording services. Rising milk supply has started to hold back milk prices.

Energy saving electrical products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported flat interim revenues of £1.88m but it masks the growth in the sales of MiHome products. This growth will continue in the second half. The interim pre-tax profit edged up from £35,000 to £44,000. Sandal secured a term loan of up to £500,000 from major shareholder Greenbrook Industries Ltd and £250,000 was used to buy back 862,068 shares from Greenbrook. The shares were cancelled and this will enhance earnings per share.

Daniel Thwaites (THW) is a brewer, hotels and pubs operator that has been trading for more than two centuries. It has also been on NEX for more than two decades, since the London Stock Exchange closed rule 4.2, which was a matched bargains facility for unquoted companies. Some of these former rule 4.2 companies moved to AIM, while others, including a number of regional brewers, moved to Ofex/NEX. In the six months to September 2017, revenues improved from £44m to £48m and underlying pre-tax profit were flat at £5.9m. The shares are trading at a near-50% discount to NAV.

Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) is an ethical housing REIT and it is also on the shortlist for the impact company of the year. The company develops new housing for people with learning and physical disabilities or needing extra care. Earlier this year, Walls and Futures raised £80,000 from an open offer at 94p a share. In 2017, Walls and Futures achieved a total return on its portfolio of 11.5%, ahead of its benchmark total return of 7%. Walls and Futures has joined the MSCI IPD UK Residential Property Index.

The winner will be announced on Thursday 14 June.

Cannabis investment company Sativa Investments (SATI) is widening its remit. It is asking shareholders to agree to investments outside of Canada.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has completed the acquisition of offices in Leicester for £4.385m. The Leicester Crown Prosecution Service pays an annual rent of £290,000.

St Mark Homes (SMAP) is paying a maintained interim dividend of 5.5p a share and the ex-dividend date is 5 July. The dividend will cost £247,000. The carbon emissions trading business has also started electronic currency mining.

China CDM Exchange Centre Ltd (CCEP) reported a small dip in revenues from £898,000 to £888,000 but it managed to increase its profit from £2,000 to £35,000.

Karoo Energy (KEP) has secured Contax Partners as technical partner and project manager for the shale gas project in Botswana. Contax will accept £800,000 worth of shares in Karoo as payment for services. Karoo hopes to apply for admission to AIM by 1 July.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says full production at its Honduras processing plant has been delayed because permits have not been received for the processing of larger amounts of gold ore.

EPE Special Opportunities (EL.P) had an NAV of 228.16p a share at the end of May 2018.

AIM   

Property investment adviser First Property Group (FPO) reported flat pre-tax profit of £9.23m in the year to March 2018. The final dividend is 3% higher at 1.18p a share. The underlying NAV rose from 47.6p a share to 53.1p a share. Third party assets under management were 45% higher at £454m, which is mainly down to the new office fund. Progress this year will be held back by the departure of the tenant in a building in Poland. Some of the space has already been re-let and the rest should be during the year.

Pawnbroker Ramsdens (RFX) continues to grow on the back of strong foreign exchange revenues. Last year, they were 26% higher at £11.3m. Group revenues were 16% ahead at £39.9m, while underlying pre-tax profit rose 60% to £6.5m. Net cash was £12.7m, although that does include foreign currency stocks. The total dividend was 6.6p a share.

Gooch and Housego (GHH) increased interim revenues by 7% to £55.6m and underlying pre-tax profit was13% ahead at £7m. Aerospace was the main growth area as subsea telecoms demand was weak. The photonics and optical equipment company is on course for a full year profit of £18.5m.

Artilium (ARTA) is recommending a cash and shares bid from Pareteum. The offer is 0.1016 of a Pareteum share and 1.9p in cash for each Artilium share, which values the telecoms software supplier at £78m. The offer follows a strategic alliance between the two companies that was announced last year.

IT managed services provider Redcentric (RCN) says that some public sector contracts have been cancelled and there will be upfront costs for a new contract with the NHS in Yorkshire. That means that 2018-19 EBITDA will be 10% lower than previously forecast.

Imaginatik (IMTK) has completed its strategic review and the chairman and chief executive are both leaving and they are waiving compensation. This will help to reduce annual costs by £750,000. The business is no longer up for sale because no suitable bid was received. Annualised revenues are £2.8m and the innovation software business could move into profit after a full year’s benefit of the cost savings. Former chairman Matt Cooper has sold £225,000 worth of shares at 0.5p each and reinvested the cash in a new £225,000 convertible, interest free loan note. Octopus has reduced its stake from 27.2% to 7.1%.

Mass spectrometry instruments supplier Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has raised £5.5m at 2p a share and an additional £102,000 via a PrimaryBid.com offer.

Trading in cash shell Monreal (MORE) has been suspended because the former Cogenpower has not completed a deal. The board is asking for shareholder approval to move to NEX after the AIM quotation is cancelled on 3 July. The investment strategy will focus on technology, media and telecoms.

Education-focused virtual reality content supplier VR Education (VRE) has delayed the full launch of the latest version of its Titanic VR product until August but it is not expected to affect full year expectations. Work has started with the BBC on 1943: Berlin Blitz.

Driver Group (DRV) continues to improve its margins and profit helped by the growth of the Diales expert witness business. Middle East revenues were lower but profit was higher, while high utilisation rates in Asia Pacific meant that was a sharp swing back to profit in the region. Underlying pre-tax interim profit doubled to £2.1m om the six months to March 2018 and Driver ended the period with net cash of £800,000. The sale and leaseback of the company’s head office was completed in April and net cash is forecast at £5.5m for the end of September 2018. A full year profit of £3.5m, up from £2.5m, is forecast. A return to dividend payments is a possibility in the next year or so.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has enough cash to push forward with the exploration of its Paradox basin acreage in the US. Rose is still earning its 75% working interest in the acreage and it has already received interest from potential farm-in partners that could help finance the first well, which could cost $7m-$8m. A competent person’s report will provide an updated resource in the next few weeks.

The smart machines division was behind the small improvement in profit at Vianet (VNET) in the year to March 2018. That was helped by a contribution from the Vendman acquisition. The smart zones drinks dispensing technology made a slightly lower contribution to profit as it lost more pub customers but the US side is making progress. Research and development spending on technology peaked at £1.5m last year and should fall this year. Net cash fell to £1.27m because of the extra spending but the dividend was maintained at 5.7p a share. The investment should start to pay off this year and pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £2.7m to £3m.

MAIN MARKET    

LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) is closing its loss-making US business at a cost of £2m. The US business lost £1.9m last year. Luceco announced an operating profit of £14.2m in 2017.

Quarto Group Inc (QRT) has appointed former finance director Mick Mousley as interim finance director following the departure of Carolyn Bresh. This follows the change of control at the AGM.

Lb-shell (LBP) is asking for shareholder approval for the creation of £435,000 of unsecured convertible loan notes with a conversion price of 0.025p a share. That requires the par value to be reduced to 0.025p a share. Full conversion could mean the issue of shares equivalent to 89.4%. Three directors will own a total of £290,000 of the loan notes. The former Intelligent Energy will offer shareholders the chance to sell their shares for 0.025p each.

Andrew Hore

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