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Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 22 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) improved its underlying pre-tax profit from £2.7m to £3.4m in the first half of 2019. The interim dividend has been raised from 15p a share to 16p a share. The recent residential mortgage portfolio acquisition was after the end of June. The strategy is to diversify the business and asset-based lending and specialist finance are being built up. Savings platform Arbuthnot Direct has recently been launched. The core private banking operations of Arbuthnot Latham are still growing, though. The shareholding in Secure Trust Bank has been sold down to below 10%, which means it is no longer consolidated. The change from associate led to a write down and NAV declined to £13.21 a share.

VI Mining (VIM) has so far paid $9.1m in cash to the vendors of the Minaspampa and Rosario projects in Peru. There is still $42.2m outstanding 18 months after the acquisition agreement was signed. Majority shareholder Sumner Group Holdings is raising money from a security token offering, which could be completed in the autumn. Some of the proceeds will be used to replace existing facilities and help to pay outstanding acquisition considering, pending renegotiation of the deal. Chief executive David Sumner has provided a $10m term loan, plus a £39m facility of which $3m has been drawn down. There is $1.2m outstanding on the Tassili Jewellery LLC loan facility.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has completed its acquisition of a 2.325% stake in cannabis company Apollon Formularies. The Jamaican subsidiary has produced its first licensed medical cannabis oils for commercial sale on the island.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has published a prospectus for its move to a standard listing on 23 July. It has raised £193,000 at 0.3p a share.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that its CoalTech subsidiary has signed a joint venture agreement with Creon Capital covering Russia and nearby countries. CoalTech is negotiating with other potential partners to set up operations in Europe, Indonesia and the US.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says its mining subsidiary has received approval for the R and D tax incentive scheme in Australia for 2018-19. A claim is being prepared.

Share trading has recommenced in Ganapati (GANP) after it published results for the year to January 2019. There was a cash outflow from operations of £23.8m. Since January, two new games have been generated each month.

AIM

Focusrite (TUNE) has acquired Germany-based studio monitor loudspeakers supplier Pro Audio for £16.2m in cash and it will still have £12m left in the bank. Pro Audio supplies ADAM branded products and made a pre-tax profit of €1m. This is an earnings enhancing acquisition. The businesses will operate separately but work together to develop cross-selling benefits.

Swallowfield (SWL) is selling its manufacturing business to the much larger US manufacturer Knowlton Development Corporation for £35m in order to concentrate on its portfolio of personal care and beauty brands. This should leave net cash of £23m in Swallowfield and this will be used to acquire more brands. The company is changing its name to Brand Architekts Group.

Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) grew all its main operations. Acquisitions helped revenues to increase by one-fifth to £103.5m in the year to April 2019, but there was still organic growth of 9.5%. Pre-tax profit improved from £15.4m to £18.1m. The dividend was raised from 7p a share to 8p a share. Corporate business grew more modestly than other parts of the business, but this was impressive given market conditions for corporate deals. A profit of £21m is forecast for this year.

Victoria (VCP) has raised €330m via an issue of 5.25% senior secured notes 2024. This offer was three times subscribed. The floorcoverings manufacturer is using the money to refinance existing debt and will have £80m of cash after the issue.

Packaging machinery supplier Mpac Group (MPAC) is trading significantly ahead of expectations. Equity Development has increased its 2019 operating profit forecast from £4.6m to £5.5m.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) has completed a co-investment agreement with a Hong Kong-based family office for the investment in Japanese resort business Infinity Capital Group. The family office will pay Adamas $1m of the $2m already drawn by Infinity and the other $2m will be provided 50/50 by the two parties. The facility has a coupon of 17.5% per annum. This deal provides cash to invest in other opportunities. Adamas took advantage of a dip in the share price to buy back £30,400worth of shares at 38p each.

Velocys (VLS) has raised £7m at 3p a share on the back of news that Shell and British Airways will co-fund the development of the Immingham biorefinery project. The cash will be used for further technology development and to progress the Mississippi biorefinery project.

Block Energy (BLOE) has completed the increase from a 71.5% to 100% of its working interest in the West Rustavi field in Georgia. The cash and shares payment means tha Georgia Oil and Gas has increased its stake in Block to 7.7%. Miton has cut its stake from 9.17% to 4.73%.

Mortice (MORT) has decided to cancel its AIM quotation and is offering shareholders the chance to sell their shares for 12p each. A lack of liquidity and a weak share price making it difficult to finance acquisitions are the main reasons for leaving AIM.

Albert Technologies Ltd (ALB) also wants to leave AIM, but it is not offering an exit for shareholders. It believes it can attract investors, but they would prefer to invest in an unquoted company.  

Science Group (SAG) has been buying more shares in Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) at the bid price of 35p each and it has built up a 39.9% stake. It also has 3.1% acceptances for its bid.

Mirada (MIRA) has integrated Netflix into its set-top box platform and this will make its technology even more attractive to broadcasters.

Bangladesh has brought in a law that all listed companies have to pay at least 30% of post-tax profit, or an extra 10% tax charge will be levied. Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) is assessing the legislation and will consider how best to manage cash.

Novacyt (NCYT) has sold its loss-making clinical labs business for £400,000 and it will concentrate on diagnostics businesses Primerdesign and Lab21. The first instalment of £100,000 has been paid and £100,000 more is due in September, but the rest will be paid in three equal instalments on the first, second and third anniversaries of the deal.

MAIN MARKET 

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has received a commitment to invest up to £1.4m from a single investor conditional on the deal to acquire medicinal cannabis company Kanabo Research. The investment will be for a maximum of 4.99% of the enlarged share capital, although if there is any of the £1.4m left it could be invested in a convertible loan note. The investment underpins the expected acquisition-related fundraising and a fee of 10% of the investment is payable.

General meeting resolutions to wind-up Avocet Mining (AVM) were withdrawn at its general meeting. This comes after discussions with shareholders. There is a few weeks cash left in the business and any potential transaction would have to come with finance to cover the costs of an acquisition process.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has commenced construction of 17 specially developed apartments and retail space on its West Derby property.

OTHER MARKETS 

Fashion On Screen has listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange, which has European Growth Market status by the HMRC. This means that there is no stamp duty. The company had previously considered a listing on the Nasdaq First North market in Copenhagen. Fashion On Screen has raised more than £3m prior to its listing. A film based on the kidnapping of racing driver Juan Fangio in Cuba in 1958 could start before the end of the year (for more about the background to the story listen to https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p055fjfx).

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 31 December 2018

NEX EXCHANGE 

China-based Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) joined NEX on 24 December. The online retailer of customised jewellery was introduced at 15p a share, and the shares ended the first week at 15.5p (14p/17p).  That values Gamfook at £15.5m. Executive chairman Jindian Lin and his wife own 72.8% of Gamfook. A dividend based on 28% of profit attributable to shareholders is promised.

Part of the £407,000 Sanderson Capital Partners loan to Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has been converted into shares. The conversion of £258,500 was done at 0.1247p a share.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) reported an increased interim loss of £343,000, up from £263,000. There were net liabilities at the end of September 2018, but the balance sheet has been improved by the issue of shares for cash and to pay off creditors. Problems at apprenticeship training company Eseential Learning are being sorted out.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) had $913,000 in the bank and shareholders’ funds of £1.02m at the end of September 2018. There was a cash outflow from operations of £817,000 in the six month period to September 2018.

A subsidiary of Lombard Capital (LCAP) is issuing two bonds. The first is a 4% bond, raising up to £50m and expiring at the end of January 2022, and the other is a 4.5% bond, raising up to £90m and expiring at the end of January 2024. It is intended that both bonds should be lised on a recognised exchange.

AIM  

For a change the last major announcement of the year is a positive one. Gordon Dadds (GOR) has completed the acquisition of international law firm Ince UK and it will trade as Ince Gordon Dadds. Trading in the shares recommences on 2 January. The deal will cost £27.3m over four years, plus options over three million shares, and the combined group generated fees of £30.5m in the year to April 2018. The deal should be earnings enhancing in the current financial year.

Earthport (EPO) is recommending a 30p a share bid from Visa Inc. This values the payments technology company at £198m. The bid is 50% higher than the 20p a share placing price in October 2017, but lower than the 40.85p a share placing price in September 2014.

Chamberlin (CMH) improved its trading in the first half and the cash from the sale of the Exidor business has improved its balance sheet. The foundries business moved back into profit in the first half as demand continues to increase for turbo charger housings, which are used for hybrid cars as wells as conventinal ones. The company’s debt has been reduced from £10.5m at the end of September 2018 to £3.7m. The pension deficit has been cut from £4m in the last balance sheet to £1.5m.

Facilities management and security services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) increased its interim revenues by 10% to $116.7m. Underlying pre-tax profit was 5% ahead at $2.3m. Net debt was $20.1m at the end of September 2018.

TUS International has published a circular for a general meeting in January in order to gain shareholder approval for the acquisition of the Telit Communications (TCM) automotive business, whose reorganisation is near completion.

In the six months to September 2018, Stanley Gibbons (SGI) continues to lose money although costs have been reduced. Revenues fell from £7.14m to £5.03m. Coins and medals are the part of the business still making a profit. The overall loss has been reduced from £2.93m to £2.37m.

The People’s Operator (TPOP) does not expect to appoint a new nominated adviser and the share placing with the owner of LycaMobile has been pulled. The investment of £1.3m in shares (29.9%) and convertible loan notes will not go ahead but the potential investor is considering its options. The AIM quotation will be cancelled on 3 January.

TSX-V quoted PetroTal Corp (PTAL) has gained an AIM quotation. The Peru-focused oil producer is developing its interests at Bretana and growing near-term production.

IT compliance and security services provider GRC International (GRC) increased its interim revenues by 54% to £8.91m, thanks to a boost from GDPR, but it moved from a pre-tax profit of £614,000 to a loss of £2.18m. There was additional investment following the flotation of the company in March. Cash is running out and an overdraft and a loan facility have been secured.

Gaming technology developer Nektan (NKTN) is raising £1.5m at 15p a share, although not all the shares will be issued until the company gets shareholder approval at the AGM on 7 February, and it will generate £2m from the sale of 57.5 of US subsidiary Respin. There are also plans to restructure the conversion terms of loan notes and a shareholder loan. These proposals are dependent on each other going ahead and on the successful negotiation with the HMRC over the payment terms for £2.9m of UK point of consumption tax. There was £1.4m in cash at the end of June 2018, which is similar to the cash outflow from operations in the preceeding 12 months.

Functional food ingredients developer Provexis (PXS) improved interim revenues from £124,000 to £194,000. The company’s Fruitiflow products are being more widely sold and the prospects for the deal with BY-HEALTH in China are positive. Pro forma cash was £556,000.

Veltyco Group (VLTY) is going to launch its own regulated financial trading brand in the first quarter of 2019, although this depnds on regulatory approval.

Oil and gas explorer and producer Cabot Energy (CAB) says that it is still trying to raise cash via a share issue and it would be at a large discount to the current share price. The cash needs to bre raised by the end of January in order to pay overdue creditors and provide working capital.

Building materials sector consolidator SigmaRoc (SRC) has announced its plans to redeem its £10m of 6% convertible loan notes. SigmaRoc is offering 105p for each 100p loan note, plus 0.378p a note in interest payments. The last acceptance date for the tender is 16 January.

Mobile commerce services provider Bango (BGO) will be loss-making in 2018, although there was an EBITDA in the fourth quarter. End user spend more than doubled to £550m. There should be £3.5m in the bank at the end of 2018.

WANdisco (WAND) has secured a three-year agreement with an American healthcare company worth £700,000. The deal involves WANdisco Fusion and comes via the sales partnership with IBM.

Paracale Gold is providing a loan of up to $1.224m to Goldstone Resources (GRL) to finance the development of the Akrokeri-Homase project in Ghana. This mine could be in production in 2020. Paracale will receive 40.35 million warrants exercisable at 1.2p a share, which replace existing warrants.

Mobile payments technology provider MobilityOne Ltd (MBO) has secured an agency and reseller agreement with MBP Solutions for the company’s products in Malaysia.

In the six months to September 2018, Vast Resources (VAST) reported a 8% increase in gold production to 13,352 ounes at the Pickstone-Peerless gold mine in Zimbabwe. There was a 61% increase in copper concentrate produced to 1,526 tonnes at the Manaila polymetallic mine and zinc concentrate produced has nearly doubled to 199 tonnes. Revenues increased from $14.9m to $21.9m. There was still a cash outflow from operations of $1.79m.

Michael Principe and Greg Genske have resigned from the board of TLA Worldwide (TLA) following the sale of its core US business. The agreement with SunTrust Bank to defer capital and interest payments has been extended to 31 January.

Phoenix Global Mining (PGM) has raised £358,000 at 28p a share. There is a warrant exercisable at 28p, lasting until the end of 2021, with every four new shares. The cash will be invested in the Empire copper, gold, silver, zinc and tungsten mine in Idaho, where news of the most recent drilling is expected. A new resource statement will be prepared and additional acreage acquired.

Urban Exposure (UEX) had committed new lending of £522m during 2018. It has secured a £165m loan facility for its joint venture with KKR, as well as a £32.8m loan from Aviva for a single transaction by the joint venture.

MAIN MARKET    

Nanoco (NANO) has achieved the third milestone in its cadmium-free quantum dots technology development and supply agreement with a US customer and triggered a £1.6m. This is the final milestone of three and they have generated £4.2m.

Robin Boyle has requisitioned a general meeting at Athelney Trust (ATY) in order to get himself reappointed. He also wants David Lawman and Paul Coffin to be appointed and the three existing directors, Dr Emmanuel Pohl, Simon Moore and Jemma Jackson, to be removed. The other two resolutions are to terminate Jason Pohl as alternate director and any other director appointed by the time of the general meeting on 22 January.

Standard list shell Stranger Holdings (STHP) is still awaiting UKLA approval for its proposed reverse takeover of waste energy technology developer Alchemy, which was announced in August 2017. Management is hopeful that the deal could go ahead by the end of the first quarter of 2019. Stranger had net liabilities of £435,000 at the end of September 2018.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has forward-funded and pre-sold its first development at West Derby to a fund managed by Alpha Real Capital. Dukemunt will receive £570,000 for the site and the total funding package for the development will be £3m. The development involves demolishing the existing building and constructing 17 supported living appartments and retail space. Dukemount continues to manage and develop the project on behalf of the supported living housing association that has taken a 50-year lease.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 August 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has signed a memorandum of understanding with IP Group, covering the commercialising of cybersecurity intellectual property from universities.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that investee company iCAN Israel-Cannabis Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding with Yom Chai. The deal involves the development and validation of a cannabis-based treatment for Crohn’s Disease, Autism and other neurological and gastrointestinal diseases. The agreement will generate revenues for iCAN, as well as obtaining a stake and potential future royalties.

Supported housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) ended March 2018 with a NAV of 92p a share. Full year revenues were 127% higher at £103,000 and the company moved into profit. The first supported housing property was completed during the period. The board wants shareholders to approve a new management incentive plan at the company’s AGM.

There was a £88,000 cash outflow for Lombard Capital (LCAP) in the year to March 2018, but the investment company has moved from net assets to net liabilities. There is £2,154 in the bank plus £112,500 in investments. Since the year end, £320,000 has been raised from subscriptions for 7.5% 2020 unsecured loan notes.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) and Gunsynd (GUN) are selling their direct interests in the Horse Hill prospect to UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) for cash and shares.  Primorus will receive £375,000 in cash and £1m in UK Oil and Gas shares at 1.75p each for its 5% stake in Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL), while Gunsynd will receive £50,000 in cash and £500,000 in shares for its 2% stake.

AIM     

Tracsis (TRCS) says that full year revenues were ahead of expectations at around £40m and profit will be better than expected. There was £22m in the bank at the end of July 2018. The margins of the traffic and data division are improving.

Audio visual equipment distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) is acquiring Nuremberg-based Bauer und Trummer, which has annual revenues of €21m.

A potential partner has ended its interest in the Bahamas-based oil and gas prospects of Bahamas Petroleum (BPC) and that knocked two-thirds off the share price. BPC received $1m in exclusivity payments from the international oil and company and it has started talks with other third parties.

KEFI Minerals (KEFI) has signed heads of agreement with Ethiopian investors which are setting up a vehicle to make a $35m investment to finance the Tulu Kapi gold project. The first investment of $9m should be made in the current quarter.

Caledonia Mining Corp (CMCL) has agreed to acquire a further 15% of the Blanket gold mine in return for the cancellation of a $11.5m loan and 730,000 shares. That takes the Caledonia stake in Blanket to 64%. The dividend will be kept at 27.5 cents/share.

Waste gasification to energy technology provider EQTEC (EQT) has finished a strategic review following the appointment of a new chief executive. The focus will change to the delivery of customer requirements. Additional technological expertise will come from an alliance with CT3 Ingenieria.

AdEPT Telecom (ADT) is a paying an initial £5m for Shift F7 and this should be earnings enhancing. The two companies have worked together for more than a decade. AdEPT chief executive Ian Fishwick has bought 10,196 shares at 373p each.

Thor Mining (THR) has completed the definitive feasibility study for the Molyhil open pit tungsten project. The post-tax NPV is A$101 and project payback would be less than 18 months. Molyhil has opex costs of tungsten of $90/mtu, compared to an average of $157/mtu for other tungsten projects.

Data and analytics services provider D4T4 (D4T4) says that it has received the £19.5m of trade debtors in the balance sheet at the end of March 2018.

Restaurants operator Fulham Shore (FUL) says revenues generated by The Real Greek and Franco Manca have increased. New openings will be financed out of cash flow. Chief executive Nabil Mankarious has acquired 127,000 shares at 12p each, taking his stake to 19.9%.

Versarien (VRS) has signed two collaborations. A deal with AXIA Materials will lead to the development of graphene enhanced composite materials and smart graphene devices. The first two projects will be for smart buildings and electric vehicles. An agreement with AECOM will be focused on developing large-scale polymer structures for civil engineering infrastructure projects.

Broadcast software provider Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) has moved back into profit at the adjusted level in the first half of 2018, but that is after adjusting for £400,000 of amortisation of capitalised development costs. If that amortisation charge is not excluded the company would have been around breakeven. Net cash generated from operating activities was £126,000, but there is an outflow of £254,000 after capitalised investment. Most importantly, net debt is £10.5m. Debt repayments have started with £850,000 due to be repaid in the second half.

Facilities management services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) reported a 29% decline in pre-tax profit to $3.9m. Net debt was $18.4m at the end of March 2018. The minority interest in Singapore-based Frontline Security has been acquired for $3.5m.

Wey Education (WEY) says it is planning for significant growth next year, having exceeded market expectations of revenues of £4.1m in the year to August 2018. The first sales from the Chinese joint venture should be in September. A general meeting is being held to enable the issue of more shares and to create distributable reserves to allow a dividend to be paid.

Tekmar Group (TGP) intends to acquire Subsea Innovations for up to £4m. Subsea is focused on the oil and gas sector and it is involved in back deck equipment and subsea pipeline repair clamps. The deal includes £3m of fixed assets.

Veltyco (VLTY) has trade receivables of €8.9m, higher than in July, with €5.4m owed by Celestial, €1.5m of which relates to 2017. The current cash balance is €1.3m. Veltyco will launch its own regulated online trading brand. Betsson Services has renewed its contract until May 2021.

MAIN MARKET    

Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its interim pre-tax profit by 39% to £3.53m. The growth in profit came from the distribution division on the back of higher sales to internet retailers. Net debt was £11.1m at the end of June 2018. The interim dividend is increased by 8% to 0.65p a share.

London and Associated Properties (LAS) is broadening its investment remit to areas other than retail property. Diluted NAV was 54.5p a share at the end of June 2018.

Bisichi Mining (BISI) increased its pre-tax profit from £243,000 to £3.97m on the back of strong demand for coal.

Standard list shell daVictus (DVT) still has £431,000 in the bank. The board continues to look at food and beverage businesses.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 6 August 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Veni Vidi Vici Ltd (VVV) joined NEX on 2 August. The minerals investment company has net cash of £513,000, following a £490,000 subscription at 50p a share. The focus will be precious metals and base metals opportunities in Australia, Western Europe and North America. Management will concentrate on capital appreciation.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) is changing its domicile from the Isle of Man to Bermuda. The private equity investment company will have to be readmitted to NEX and AIM. EPE has invested £2m in Main Market-listed LED lighting company Luceco at 39.74p a share. That takes EPE’s stake in Luceco to 27.4%. Poor trading has meant that the Luceco share price has slumped to well below its 2016 flotation level. EPE has redeemed 50% of its unsecured loan notes.

Etaireia (ETIP) has appointed Dennis Rogers as chief executive. He has more than three decades of experience in property development.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has issued 2.685 billion shares, around one-quarter of the enlarged share capital, to wipe out the convertible loan note debt and other creditors. Twenty three year old Devon Marais, who works with ARQ Minerals, which is helping Equatorial to extract coal from the St Leonard’s mine in Nigeria, has been appointed as a non-executive director of Equatorial.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings (AWLP) reported a profit last year. In the year to February 2018, revenues increased from $1.52m to $2.16m, while a pre-tax loss of $110,000 was turned into a pre-tax profit of $150,000. That figure was helped by a $114,000 currency gain, compared with a $19,000 loss. There was still a small net loss from operations before other income.

AIM   

Petrol stations operator Applegreen (APGN) intends to take a majority stake in UK Motorway services operator Welcome Break. The purchase of a 55% stake for €361.8m would be a reverse takeover. The deal would make Applegreen market leader in the UK as well as Ireland.

A subsidiary of Stride Gaming (STR) has been issued a notice by the Gambling Commission, which intends to levy a significant financial penalty because of the manner in which it carried on its trading. This is not final and there might be room to appeal but it has hit the share price of the online bingo operator.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) increased interim revenues by 11% to £5.3m. Most of the growth came from management service fees from the property lettings franchisees. The EweMove estate agency business was profitable.

Goldplat (GDP) says that gold production fell by 17% to 35,400 ounces, which is lower than anticipated, but pre-tax profit will be in line with expectations because of a higher margin per ounce. There was 39,400 ounces of gold sold during the year.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) has received abbreviated new drug application approval from the FDA to sell Nadolol tablets, which are a generic form of Corgard and used for managing high blood pressure. This is the fifth approval in the US. A pre-tax profit of £33.3m is forecast for the year to June 2018.

Tough UK trading and higher costs held back the results of security and facilities management services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) in the year to March 2018. Revenues were 21% higher at $219m, but underlying pre-tax profit was down by 16% to $3.9m. Net debt was $18.4m.

Precision marketing software supplier Pelatro (PTRO) is acquiring assets from the Danateq Group for an initial $7m. The deal will take the group into central Europe and adds to the recurring revenues base. A placing has raised £6m at 73p a share.

GetBusy (GETB) grew its interim revenues from £4.5m to £5.2m, with £4.5m of that figure recurring revenues. Annualised recurring revenues are running at £9.4m. Profit generated from document management software sales is being ploughed back into developing the existing product and the new GetBusy software. There is £2.37m in the back.

Starcom (STAR) says that interim revenues have improved from $1.92m to $3m and the loss will be lower. Most of the revenue increase came from two large clients. Growth is starting to come from higher margin security products. The 2018 loss is expected to be much lower than last year’s.

Kosovo-based quarry operator Fox Marble Holdings (FOX) increased interim sales from €329,000 to €614,000 and the second half has started strongly. The benefits of investment in capital equipment are beginning to show through.

MAIN MARKET    

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has joined the standard list after raising £25m at 16p a share, which values the company at £47m. However, the share price fell to 12.5p by the end of the first day of trading on 3 August. Argo is developing a global datacentre management business facilitating cryptocurrency Mining-as-a-Service. It currently covers four cryptocurrencies. AIM-quoted Vela Technologies (VELA) owns 2.5 million shares, which were acquired for 8p a share.

Motor finance provider S&U (SUS) achieved record first half profit as the second hand car market continues to grow. Quality standards have been tightened with 25% of applications accepted, but net receivables have reached £263m. The property bridging loan book has risen from £11m to £16m over six months. The interims will be announced on 25 September.

BigDish (DISH) was originally going to reverse into AIM shell Nyota Minerals Ltd but instead it has joined the standard list. The company operates an online and mobile restaurant reservation platform, which is in operation in the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong. The purchase of Pouncer, takes the company into the UK. Revenues come from booking fees per diner. BigDish raised £2.22m at 4.5p a share.

Path Investments (PATH) is raising £10m to complete the farm-in agreement with 5P Energy for the proposed acquisition of a 50% participating interest in the Alfeld-Elze II licence and gas field. This will make Path cash generative. The new shares will be eligible for EIS and VCT relief because Path is moving to AIM.

Dave Brieth has sold his stake in telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP).

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) reported a sharp increase in full year revenues from £1.04m to £1.6m in the year to March 2018. The loss fell from £962,000 to £582,000. This includes investment in developing new diesel engines. The NAV is £976,000, as the loss was partly offset by a £600,000 property revaluation gain. The oil and gas-related operations are still depressed.

Mila Resources (MILA) plans to acquire Capital Metals, which owns 100% of a high-grade mineral sands project in southern Asia. The reverse takeover will be subject to due diligence and shareholder approval.

Fandango Holdings (FHP) has ended bid discussions with Corporate Commercial Collections and Vatbridge following initial due diligence.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 4 December 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

VI Mining is planning to join NEX this month. The Peru-focused miner is acquiring two gold mining assets in tandem with the flotation. VI will raise up to £10m in cash at 500p a share and issue a further £10m worth of shares as part of the initial payment, along with some of the cash, for the two mining assets at Rosario and Minaspampa. VI has debt facilities in place. There is a capital expenditure and working capital commitment of £30m for Minaspampa and the mine could be in operation by next August. Rosario requires £15m of capital spending and working capital and already has licences and infrastructure. Annual gold production of 83,720 ounces from the two mines could yield a $43.5m annual profit based on a $1,300/ounce gold price. That is expected to be the initial production and it could end up quadruple that level. Two tolling projects could also generate cash for the group and the first could be up and running in a few months time. VI would be valued at £535m at the flotation price. This is backed up by a Daniel Stewart estimated valuation of £557.8m. The board will retain 73% of the company. The plan is to move to the Main Market in 12 months or so. The free float will need to be increased in order for it to be at least 25% when the move is made.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has published the competent person report on the Hellyer gold project in Tasmania. This indicates that the project has a NPV of $113.2m. The processing facilities are being refurbished and operations are expected to commence in 2018 following the approval of the environmental management plan.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has acquired a 30% stake in Startup Token, which provides advice to start-ups undertaking token offerings. Coinsilium is paying £361,000 in cash and shares at 8.5p each. Coinsilium is also providing a six month loan of $100,000 that can be converted into a further 6.4% of Gibraltar-registered Startup Token.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) has started drilling on PL 3729 in County Clare, which adjoins the Kilbricken zinc deposit. A feasibility study has commenced on PL 3850 in County Wicklow. IMC’s partner Koza has completed an exploration targeting report on other licences and prioritised further exploration.

Ganapati (GANP) has agreed to supply online games to Bethard Group. Ganapati will initially supply eight games and then one each month.

Hearing and mobility products retailer DHAIS (DHAP) has delayed its figures for the year to June 2017 because it wants to ensure it has support from its main funder.

Welney (WENP) had a cash outflow of £19,000 in the year to June 2917 and most of that was covered by loans from related parties and a further £11,000 has been loaned since the year end. These loans will not be called in for at least 12 months. Net liabilities are £197,000. The board is assessing potential deals.

African Potash (AFPO) has entered into a joint venture with SG Inc to develop fertiliser opportunities in the Republic of Congo. A blockchain joint venture has also been announced with FinComEco Ltd and this will develop platforms for agricultural markets in Africa. There is a plan to offer microloans to farmers. The company intends to change its name to Block Commodities Ltd.

Forbes Ventures (FOR)

AIM

Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) continues to underperform and it is not likely to get the $1.75m it is still owed by xG Technology for the sale of Vislink. The broadcast software supplier requires its banks support and needs to appoint a new management team. Talks with potential bidders did not yield an offer. This year’s revenues will be slightly lower than last year

Versarien (VRS) has a strong balance sheet after the recent fundraising and it is generating interest for its Nanene graphene product. The carbide business has won a significant aerospace order. The 167% growth in revenues to £4.38m in the first half was mainly down to the acquisition of a plastics business. A US sales office has been established.

Mortice (MORT) reported strong revenue growth but cost pressures on a particular contract held back profit. The security and facilities management business reported a 17% rise in first half revenues to $106.3m. The contract is being sorted out and house broker finnCap still expects full year profit to improve from $5.4m to $7m.

Anti-microbial drugs developer Destiny Pharma (DEST) has secured a deal with former AIM company China Medical Systems Holdings Ltd (CMS), which is now listed in Hong Kong, for a £3m cash injection into the company and a strategic partnership that gives CMS rights to Destiny’s drug candidates pipeline in China and some other Asian countries. CMS will carry out research and development and the commercialisation of any drugs in its territories. Destiny will make a margin on manufacturing products and receive payments based on sales milestones.

Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is investing a further $6m in its Oman joint venture. This is in the form of a mezzanine loan to the company where Tri-Star has a 40% stake. The interest rate is 15% and payable on redemption – the loan term is five years. The cash will help to finance the development of the antinomy roaster in Oman. The capital budget was recently increased to $96m.

Recruitment has started for a pharmacokinetic study into the Futura Medical (FUM) erectile dysfunction treatment, MED2002. This will help to determine dosages for a phase III study. The UK and Netherlands regulatory agencies have been supportive concerning a possible switch from prescription to over the counter.

Veltyco (VLTY) has yet again announced that its figures will be better than forecast. The online gaming marketing business says that profit is likely to be much higher than expected.

ECSC Group (ECSC) is the perfect example of how a share price can get carried away on the back of general news. The share price is one-quarter its peak after publicity about cyber security and hacking. Trading is in line with previously reduced expectations following cost cutting and the securing of two managed services contracts.

Belluscura has pulled its flotation after failing to gain the EIS/VCT approvals in time and because it could not get the valuation it wanted.

The founder of Focusrite (TUNE) and a relation have sold eight million shares at 315p a share. They still retain a 38.3% stake in the audio equipment supplier.

Active Energy Group (AEG) expects its Utah-based Coal Switch plant to be completed this month. The production capacity is five tonnes of the coal replacement fuel per hour. Once the plant is up and running and proves the viability of the process there should be other plants built in 2018. The plant is modular so it is easy to increase capacity.

Trading in the shares of Graphene NanoChem (GRPH) has been suspended ahead of the proposed acquisition of CG TekBuild, which is involved in modular buildings. The deal is dependent on £18.2m of debt being converted into shares. The proceeds of the sale of non-core activities will be used to pay other creditors. The company believes the acquisition will help it to apply it graphene technology in building materials.

ITM Power (ITM) has £20.2m of projects under contract and a further £22.4m in negotiation. The figure under contract is similar to two months ago but the under negotiations figure is one-third higher.

Defence and petrol stations structures supplier MS International (MSI) reported sharply increased interim profit from £610,000 to £1.64m as revenues increased by two-fifths to £34.6m. Net cash is £14.5m. Most of the growth came from the petrol station branding business and this more than offset the decline in profit from defence. The interim dividend was increased from 1.5p a share to 1.75p a share.

Precision optical components supplier Gooch and Housego (GHH) reported slightly better than expected full year figures. Revenues were 30% ahead at £112m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £14.2m to £16.1m. Acquisitions helped to fuel significant growth in aerospace and defence. There was also increased demand from the subsea telecoms market and other industrial applications. The life sciences division still needs bulking up.

Timber supplier James Latham (LTHM) reported a 7% increase in interim revenues to £107.3m but a decline in margins meant that pre-tax profit was 12% lower at £6.7m. The interim dividend was unchanged at 4.5p a share and net cash declined to £11.6m due to capital spending. The pension deficit has fallen from £16.6m to £8.5m. A slight fall in full year profit to £13.4m is expected.

MAIN MARKET

Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) is raising £21.6m at 410p a share to speed up its growth in the US and finance the relocation of facilities in the UK. The new facility will help to improve efficiency. In the year to September 2017, revenues were one-quarter higher at £109.6m and pre-tax profit improved by 46% to £12.9m.

Torotrak (TRK) has been unable to secure the finance it requires. The vehicle technology developer is considering selling its technology and IP or it may have to appoint an administrator.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 31 July 2017


NEX EXCHANGE

Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has invested $100,000 in the initial coin offering of the Omisego project, which is being developed to enable decentralised payments and remittances, acquiring 365,199 tokens. A further $200,000 has been invested in a similar offering by the Insurex platform, a marketplace for insurance products, and $100,000 invested in tokens in the Agrello project, which is building an artificial intelligence-based interface for smart contracts.

Good Energy (GOOD) has agreed with Ecotricity that there should be a short deferral of the latter’s general meeting requisition. Good Energy still believes that “any nominee remunerated by Ecotricity” that joined the board would not act independently because of a conflict of interest. An appeal for planning permission for the Big Field onshore wind farm in Cornwall. Good Energy has switched its nominated adviser and broker from Arden to Investec.

e-commerce technology provider Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) says that strong second half trading made up for a weak first half. In the year to March 2017, revenues slipped from £1.12m to £1.04m and made a loss before restructuring coats of £11,000 compared with a pre-tax profit of £70,000 the previous year. This does mean that the second half profit was £221,000. Cash in the bank increased from £549,000 to £614,000, mainly due to lower debtors. There was a net increase in intangible assets of £67,000. New clients include AIM-quoted Conviviality, Enterprise Inns and Marstons. The full benefits of management changes and improved marketing are still to show through in the figures.

Ecovista (EVTP) has sold its subsidiary that owns 2 Willow Cottage and adjoining land near to Stanstead Airport for its book value of £400,000. However, the original cost of the investment was £500,000 and management was hoping to gain planning permission for car storage. It is unclear whether the former subsidiary still owns the same assets or whether any have been transferred elsewhere. The cash will be reinvested in other property.

V22 (V22O) has received planning permission for Silvertown Studios at the Royal Docks in London. V22 owns 51% of the company developing the studios, along with the landowners the Greater London Authority and The Silvertown Partnership, and a private investor owns the rest. There will be up to 200 workspaces and exhibition spaces. This development is part of £3.5bn Silvertown regeneration project.

Online games company Ganapati (GANP) has agreed a debt for equity swap with major Japanese shareholders. Shares will be issued at 52p each and £610,000 of debt will be capitalised. The current share price is 55p (45p/65p).

AIM

Morning sickness treatment Diclectin has not gained marketing authorisation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority in the UK, which is a blow to the strategy of Alliance Pharma (APH). The effectiveness of Diclectin is being questioned in Canada, where around 50% of pregnant women are prescribed the drug, and it is claimed that there are flaws in the original study of the treatment from four decades ago. In 2015, Alliance in-licenced Diclectin for the UK, and subsequently nine other countries, for £1.5m. Alliance hoped to begin sales in the UK by the end of the year and it was estimated that the potential annual revenues in all the in-licenced markets were £40m.

Fiserv has postponed the court meeting for its 2.9p a share bid for mobile banking technology developer Monitise (MONI) because some substantial shareholders have been unhappy about the level of the bid. The Monitise board still recommends the bid, which values the company at £70m. Full year revenues have fallen from £67.6m to £50.9m and the trend is set to continue. The new FINkit platform has yet to secure a contract.

Mortice Ltd (MORT) reported full year revenues 37% higher at $181m and more than trebled pre-tax profit of $5.35m. Net debt was $13.5m at the end of March 2017. Facilities management services grew revenues the fastest and it moved into profit but security revenues also grew strongly. Around three-fifths of the growth in revenues came through acquisitions but there was significant organic growth particularly in the core Indian business.

Minds + Machines Group (MMX) says that renewal rates for .vip have been 75%. There were 317,000 renewals and new registrations have risen by 49% since the beginning of the year. The .vip suffix accounted for 59% of 2016 gross billings and finnCap estimates that renewal revenues could be $6.1m this year. There will be more news about the strategic review with the interims in September.

ANGLE (AGL) says that there were positive results from a 400 patient ovarian cancer study using the Parsortix liquid biopsy technology and a breast cancer clinical study should report in the first half of next year. There are also pilot studies for other cancers. Any single cancer could provide a significant market for the Parsortix diagnostic technology. Sales for research use are taking time to build up but revenues did improve from £361,000 to £398,000. At the end of April 2017, there was £5.5m in the bank with more than £1m of R&D tax credits due to be received. That cash could last one year but this will depend on how quickly the research revenues grow and if there are any potential deals.

Crop enhancement technology developer Plant Impact (PIM) is raising £4m at 31p a share, which was a 6% premium to the market price. This will more than double the existing cash balance of £3.2m. The cash will be spent on R&D and product development.

Gear4music (G4M) says trading is in line with expectations. The musical instruments retailer expects second half weighted revenues this year. First half revenue growth will be modest but full revenue growth of 42% is anticipated. Investment in new European distribution centres will increase costs, including depreciation, and this is forecast to lead to a decline in full year pre-tax profit from £2.7m to £2.4m this year, before increasing to £3.3m the following year.

Quartix Holdings (QTX) reported flat interim revenues of £11.5m and pre-tax profit of £3.4m. The interim dividend of the telematics business has been increased by 9% to 2.4p a share and a special dividend is expected later in the year. Insurance business has recovered so full year revenues could be slightly higher, while pre-tax profit could be flat at £6.7m.

Conroy Gold & Natural Resources (CGNR) is holding a requisitioned general meeting in Dublin on 4 August. Patrick O’Sullivan, who owns 28% of Conroy, wants to remove six directors: Seamus FitzPatrick, James Jones, Dr Sorca Conroy, Louis Maguire, Michael Power and David Wathen and replace them with Patrick O’Sullivan, Paul Johnson and Gervaise Heddle. The three directors not affected by the requisition are Professor Richard Conroy, Maureen Jones and Professor Garth Earls. The indicated resources at Clontibret in Monaghan have been increased by 23% to 310,000 ounces of gold.

Interactive entertainment company Tencent has taken invested £17.7m in Frontier Developments (FDEV) and it is expected to promote games developed by the AIM company. The 9% stake was acquired at 523.2p a share.

MAIN MARKET

Specialist smaller companies-focused investment trust Athelney Trust (ATY) increased its NAV by 7% to 268.7p a share by the end of the first half of 2017. This is after the payment of a final dividend of 8.6p a share. Athelney nearly doubled its money on Lavendon when it was taken over and it has also sold its stakes in Beazley, Hiscox and Novae. New investments include The PRS REIT, Murgitroyd, Safecharge, Hostelworld, Ibstock, Crest Nicholson and Debenhams. According to the company the uncertainty in the country and the economy means that: “A sensible aim would be to try to hang onto the gains made in the first half”.

Senterra Energy (SEN) is being readmitted to the standard list on 31 July as United Oil & Gas (UOG) following the acquisition of UOG Holdings.

Biodecontamination services provider Bioquell (BQE) says that its full year profit will be better than expectations. Bioquell increased its interim revenues by 19% to £14.3m and pre-tax profit more than trebled to £1.4m. Net cash was £11.8m at the end of June 2017, compared with a market value of just over £46m at 199.5p a share.

Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL) has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire at least 51% of China-based mobile games developer Rightyoo. The acquisition discussions are still at an early stage and the deal has to be approved by the Chinese authorities. Rightyoo has an agreement with communications technology firm Huawei to help it to distribute its games. Management believes that the deal will help to add traffic to Sealand’s social networking platforms.

Andrew Hore

Corporate news review Monday 24 July 2017

Cranswick CWK – reports a positive start to the current financial year, with 3-month revenues to June 30 up 27%, while net debt of £18m is down £4m on this time last year. The board is confident in both outlook and continued long-term success and development of the business.

Earthport EPO – FY revenues are up c33% to £30.3m, with a adjusted EBITDA losses reduced by c65% to £2.4m Group cash balances at June 30 stood at £11.9m vs. £14.4m this time last year.

Mortice MORT – reports a 36.7% hike in FY revenues to $181.01m, with EBITDA up 114 % to $10.3 m. Following the pacing last December, Mortice reports net debt of $13.5m and balance sheet flexibility to pursue growth opportunities.

Ryanair RYA – Q1 results: CEO Michael O’Leary said the 55% increase in PAT of €397m was distorted by the absence of Easter in the prior year Q1. Highlights include: Traffic up 12% to 35m, load factor +2% to 96%, Av fare up 1% to €40.30, unit costs down 6%, €200m+ returned to shareholders via share buybacks and 397 B737’s in fleet at end of Q1.

Petra Diamonds PDL – issues a FY 2017 trading update and reports an 8% increase in FY production to 4.0 Mcts, with revenue up 11% to $477m. PDL reports year end cash of $205m, vs. $46.1m this time last year, and with Capex now in decline, debt levels will start to fall, expects to become free cashflow positive during FY 2018.

SThree STHR – reports encouraging H1 with accelerated momentum in Q2. Operating profits grew 26% year on year to £19.m, and the group reports a strong financial position with net cash of £5.2m, vs/ £4.4m debt this time last year. Says the macro-economic environment remains uncertain.

Reckitt Benckiser RB. – reports half-year net revenue of £5,017m, down -1%. The results include half a month of trading from Mead Johnson Nutrition, acquired on 15 June. RB CEO says the FY net revenue target of +2% LFL growth is a challenging target amid tough market conditions, and there is work to do on addressing the full implications of the recent cyber-attack.

W.H. Ireland WHI – reports a 24% increase in H1 revenue to £14.9m, with pre-exceptional operating profits of £0.4m. WHI remains optimistic about the outlook for the second half of 2017 and the foundations for future growth into 2018.

Quoted Micro 17 July 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Renewable electricity supplier Good Energy (GOOD) says rival Ecotricity, which owns 25.3% of Good Energy, has requisitioned a general meeting to get two directors, Dale Vince and Simon Crowfoot, on the board. Ecotricity founder Dale Vince believes that because of the significant stake he deserves representation on the board but Good Energy argues that it would not be in its interest to have a rival on the board with access to group information. Vince has been critical of contracts between Good Energy and chief executive Juliet Davenport’s husband. Ecotricity also owns Forest Green Rovers which was promoted to League Two at the end of last season. Annual revenues £126.5m, including £1m from football club. In the year to April 2016, revenues were £126.5m, including £1m from the football club. In 2016, Good Energy generated revenues of £90.4m. Both companies are profitable. Ecotricity had net debt of £97m at the end of April 2016, while Good Energy had net debt of £55m at the end of 2016. Gary Peagram (former Good Energy finance director between 2010 and 2014) was appointed as Ecotricity finance director on 6 April 2017 but he left on 6 July.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has acquired 18.18% of US Cobalt and an option to purchase the rest. The main interest is the Columbia Pass high grade cobalt exploration and development project in Nevada. The initial stake will cost $200,000 (£118,000) and the option cost $50,000 (£30,000) in shares at 1.5p each. If it takes up the option, MetalNRG will pay £724,000 in shares at 1.5p a share. The vendors will also receive 40 million warrants exercisable at prices up to 10p a share. MetalNRG has also set up an Australian cobalt subsidiary. MetalNRG chief executive Paul Johnson has bought 300,000 shares at 1.5p each, taking his family’s stake to 11%.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) is starting to benefit from its new general manager’s strategic programme. Interim revenues grew from £1.33m to £1.52m but the loss increased because of repair costs. The second half generates all the profit.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has launched the Milamber Education Technology Fund in partnership with Innvotec. This is a hybrid EIS and SEIS fund. Milamber will help to identify potential education technology investments and Innvotec will raise funds and manage the fund.

Global Halal verification e-marketplace operator DagangHalal (DGHL) says it is taking longer than expected to penetrate markets. Management is considering widening the scope of the business. This could mean the acquisition of producers of Halal products.

Bulgaria-focused property company Black Sea Property (BSP) has gained the official approvals to acquire the UniCredit building and the purchase should be completed by the end of September. A deposit of €1.04m has been paid out of the total purchase price of €10.5m and Black Sea Property is raising the rest of the cash. If the cash is not raised then the deposit will be forfeited. Phoenix Capital Management is taking over from AG Asset Management as investment adviser but the same team will be handling the task. Phoenix owns Mamferay Holdings, which owns 28.65% of Black Sea Property and has lent it £100,000 in the form of a convertible which has to be repaid by 31 July.

AIM

Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (NTOG) has withdrawn its general meeting requisition at Magnolia Petroleum (MAGP) after it became clear that it had no chance of winning any of the votes.

Chisbridge Ltd has received acceptances totalling 49.6% for its 42p a share cash offer for InterQuest Group (ITQ) and the bid has been extended until 31 July. This means that independent shareholders owning 6.92% of the company have accepted the bid, which is up from just short of 3% previously.

First half trading at Pennant International (PEN) was strong and the order book was more than £42m at the end of June 2017. The order book stretches out into 2020 and there is a pipeline of other potential orders. Full year pre-tax profit is forecast to increase from £2.2m to £2.4m. There is a possibility of a return to paying dividends but that might have to wait until next year.

In the year to March 2017, AdEPT Telecom (ADT) reported a 19% increase in revenues to £34.4m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from £5.5m to £6.9m. Net debt was £15.5m at the end of March 2017, following spending on acquisitions. The total dividend also rose by 19% to 7.75p a share. The growth in managed services is helping margins to improve. A profit of £7.4m is forecast for this year.

Premier Technical Services Group (PTSG) has increased its revolving credit facility from £10m to £12m and doubled the overdraft facility to £8m. This will provide additional working capital and funds for acquisitions following the recent purchase of Brooke Edge Industrial Chimneys Ltd for £14m.

Savannah Resources (SAV) has raised £1.3m at 5.25p a share and there is one warrant for every two shares issued exercisable at 6p. Two directors have subscribed for £500,000 worth of shares, including chief executive David Archer, and Al Marjan Ltd has subscribed £520,000 to take its stake to 29.3%. The money will be used on the lithium project in Portugal, the Mutamba heavy mineral sands project in Mozambique and the copper project in Oman.

The sale by Stanley Gibbons (SGI) of part of its interiors division to Millicent has been delayed. The buyer has not obtained the £2.25m initial payment because of a change in financial backers. Millicent has until the end of July to complete the acquisition.

Arian Silver Corp (AGQ) has raised £600,000 a 0.5p a unit, which is one share and one warrant exercisable at 0.6p. The cash will be spent on exploration of the three lithium projects where Arian has an option.

Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has discovered a group 2 kimberlite pipe on the Ontevreden licence held by Vutomi joint venture. A 1.5 hectares to 2.5 hectares area is thought to contain high levels of garnet. Drilling will help to better understand of the kimberlite and to find out if it is diamondiferous. A refined grade estimate has been published for the Frischgewaagt project in South Africa. This estimate has a range of 64cpht to 110cpht. The dyke system covers 7.5 kilometres.

Interim revenues will grow by two-fifths at cloud-based software provider Cloudcall Group (CALL) and recurring revenues will be 61% higher. The second quarter was the strongest quarter ever for new orders. Annualised revenues are £7m.

Camper & Nicholsons Marina Investments Ltd (CNMI) is raising £3.3m via a one-for-four open offer at 8p a share, a premium of 33% over the market price. The NAV was €0.154 a share at the end of 2016.

DX (Group) (DX.) has announced that its chief executive and finance director are leaving. The business is being reorganised into two divisions. Revenues are expected to be £292m in the year to June 2017. Net debt was £19.1m.

Sphere Medical (SPHR) is in discussions with potential investors in a share issue. A shortage of sensors has hampered first half sales of blood monitor Proxima 4.

Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) admits that there has been unauthorised access to its IT system but there should be minimal disruption to the pawnbroking business. Trading continues to be strong.

House broker Northland has increased its profit forecasts for online gaming marketing services provider Veltyco Group (VLTY) following its interim trading update. The 2017 pre-tax profit forecast has been upgraded from €4.62m to €5.82m, up from €1.74m in 2016. The 2018 profit forecast is €7.63m.

Rich Pro Investments Ltd has launched a 2.1p a share cash bid for ASA Resource Group (ASA) but the mining company has yet to recommend the offer. The bid values ASA at £35.5m. Rich Pro argues that the high level of creditors and other uncertainties makes its bid attractive.

Angling Direct (ANG) raised £9m at 64p a share when it joined AIM. The group has 15 stores and the retailer wants to be a consolidator in the fishing tackle market.

Venture Life Group (VLG) says that interim revenues will be 28% higher at £7.8m and like-for-like growth was 18%. New product listings will help further growth in the second half.

An interim trading statement by ClearStar Inc (CLSU) suggests that it should be able to meet expectations this year. The employee background checks provider says that the improving employment levels in the US and international growth are helping growth, as is the demand for medical testing. Interim revenues are expected to increase by 12% to $8.9m. A full year loss is still expected.

Sunrise Resources (SRES) is starting drilling at its CS pozzolan-perlite project and it should take around one week to complete. Eleven trenches have been excavated and ten of them contain pozzolan and/or perlite. Sample results will be available in fewer than ten weeks.

Housebuilding infrastructure services provider Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) has joined AIM. Although £35m was raised by existing shareholders via a placing at 185p a share, the company, which was valued at £70.5m, is not raising any new money. There is already cash in the bank. The share price ended the first week at 188p. In the year to September 2016, revenues grew from £130.9m to £135.7m. That growth appears modest but a change in the mix of business helped underlying pre-tax profit improve from £9.4m to £11m. However, the latest interim profit was lower because of delays to contracts for earthworks business Tamdown. At the end of May 2017, the group order book was worth £187m.

Abzena (ABZA) has secured another licensing deal for its ThioBridge antibody drug conjugate linker technology with a Taiwan pharma company. The value of the deal could be up to £128m in development and commercial milestones.

House broker finnCap has upgraded its 2016-17 forecast for Mortice Ltd (MORT) after a positive trading statement by the security and facilities management services provider. The pre-tax profit forecast has been raised from $5m to $5.3m. Trading in the first quarter of the current financial year shows a 12% increase in revenues even though currencies have moved against Mortice and there were similar increases for each part of the group. Like-for-like growth was 5%.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell Rockpool Acquisitions (ROC) floated on 12 July and the share price ended the week at 10.5p. Rockpool is raising £1.085m at 10p a share, having previously issued 1.875 million shares at 8p each.

Fandango Holdings (FHP) also joined the standard list on 12 July. The shell raised £840,000 at 1p a share and is seeking to acquire a company valued at between £1m and £20m. The share price ended the week at 1.25p (1p/1.5p).

PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) is closing its silicon ingot block manufacturing facility in the UK in the third quarter. The blocks will be sourced from an external supplier. The judgement relating to a customer which failed to buy the amount of wafers it was supposed to is expected by the end of September.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 29 May 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has taken advantage of the high profile of cyber security to raise cash at a premium to the market price. Crossword raised £145,000 at 230p a share. The current mid-price is 195p a share and the most recent trade was at 197p a share last September. Brenlen Jinkens took up 50% of the new shares and he has 5.13% of the company.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reported a dip in interim revenues due to the lack of funding so the planned £500,000 fundraising should enhance progress. In the six months to February 2017, the loss increased from £126,000 to £159,000 as revenues fell from £133,000 to £94,000.

Mechan Controls (MECP) improved its underlying 2016 operating profit from £518,000 to £594,000 on revenues that were 5% ahead at £4m but there have been significant changes since last year. Nirvana is the only subsidiary left. At the end of 2016, there was £829,000 in the bank and the NAV was £2.41m. Mechan is paying a final dividend of 2.27p a share and the shares go ex-dividend on 1 June. Once all the operations are sold money will be returned to shareholders.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) had cash in the bank of £341,000 and an NAV of £689,000 at the end of 2016. The company is valued at a 47% discount to NAV.

Social housing finance provider Queros Capital Partners (QCP) has raised an additional £875,000 by issuing 8% unsecured bonds 2025. That takes the bonds in issue to £3.5m – from 19 separate placings. So far, short-term bridging loans have generated income to fund the interest payments on the bonds. Longer-term, there are plans to acquire social housing properties.

Blockchain technology company investor Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that investee company RSK Labs has raised $3.5m. Coinsilium retains the right to 1% of RSK via a convertible. RSK has developed a sidechain to the Bitcoin that enables smart contracts. There could eventually be scope to handle more than 20,000 transactions per second but that requires the additional investment.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £751,000 at 0.3p a share. Colin Sutherland has been appointed as finance director.

AIM

Enterprise software provider Sanderson (SND) is growing strongly but the cost of investment in the business will hold back short-term profit. The digital retail division is growing fastest but its operating profit was flat as management investors in order to maintain the strong growth rate. In the six months to March 2017, revenues were 10% higher at £10.9m and operating profit was 5% ahead at £1.55m. There was net cash of £4.51m and the dividend was increased by 10% to 1.1p a share.

Software supplier Cerillion (CER) continues to grow its revenues as it starts to build its customer base outside the mobile sector. In the six months to January 2017, revenues were 10% ahead at £7.5m and underlying profit was nearly one-third higher at £900,000. Orders worth £9.4m were won during the period. The interim dividend was 8% higher at 1.4p a share. Directors’ sold 4.2 million shares at 120p each, which could help to improve the liquidity in the shares.

Redx Pharma (REDX) has failed in its attempt to juggle its cash requirements and its debt and administrators have been appointed. Liverpool City Council has previously extended the maturity date of its £2m loan but Redx did not repay the debt when it became due at the end of March. There is also interest due and that could total more than £1m. Redx nominally raised £12m in February – an equity swap agreement meant that not all of this was raised immediately – but does not appear to have raised enough to pay the loan. That is blatant bad management which has ended up destroying the investments of shareholders. Iain Ross recently took up the role of chairman so it would be unfair to blame him but the other directors, including those that have recently departed, were responsible for running the business properly and they knew when this money had to be repaid. The directors are Dr Neil Murray, Norman Molyneux, Dr Bernhard Kirschbaum and David Lawrence, while Dr Frank Armstrong, Peter McPartland, Dr Peter Jackson, Philip Tottey and Dr Derek Lindsay have resigned since Redx joined AIM. Investors’ should be aware of these people if they are or become involved in any other companies.

Lombard Risk Management (LRM) increased its revenues from £23.7m to £34.3m in the year to March 2017. The pre-tax loss was reduced from £2.2m to £1.6m. The year-end order book was worth £10.1m. Management expects the company to be cash profitable this year. Legislation continues to drive demand for reporting and risk software.

Flowgroup (FLOW) could not find a buyer for its energy supply business at an appropriate valuation so it is raising up to £29m in shares (at 1p each) and bonds, including more than £600,000 raised at 1p a share via PrimaryBid, to finance its development. This is highly dilutive even before any conversion of the bonds at the conversion price of 0.95p a share. Flowgroup also requires £1m to market its Flow boiler in Europe and £4m to end the manufacturing contract with Jabil. In 2016, there was a loss of £23.7m on revenues of £99m. Net cash was £3.7m at the end of 2016. An increasing number of smaller competitors are entering the energy supply market and this led to a reduction in customers. The funding will help Flowgroup to compete and build up its customer numbers.

Big data software supplier Fusionex International (FXI) plans to leave AIM and it already has the backing of shareholders owning 41.9% of the company for the general meeting vote on 15 June. Management blames the lack of liquidity in the shares and paucity of independent research. The also blame political uncertainty in Europe. Fusionex had a gravity defying rating in the first year or so of trading on AIM but the share price is currently less than one-fifth of the peak at the beginning of 2014. The company’s growth strategy will remain unchanged. There are plans to arrange a trading facility in the shares.

Safestay (SSTY) has paid €3m in cash for U Hostels, which operates a 226 bed hostel in Madrid. U Hostels also owns an apartment block near the hostel, where managed apartments are expected to be completed during 2018, and a building in Paris that is being converted into a 260 bed hostel, which has a 12 year lease that can be extended by a further 12 years. Safestay will have to invest up to €2.3m in the Paris development, which should be completed in early 2019. In total, including development spending, the acquisition cost will be up to €6.5m. The original Madrid hostel made a small loss on revenues of €1.3m. Earlier this year, Safestay raised £12.6m from the sale and leaseback of the Edinburgh and Elephant & Castle hostels – the leases are for 150 years.

Strategic Minerals (SML) made a maiden pre-tax profit in 2016. The $351,000 profit was after $691,000 of other income – predominantly the settlement of a rail dispute. The Cobre tailings business continues to generate profit and cash.

Thor Mining (THR) says that the Pilot Mountain tungsten resource inventory has risen to 11.73 million tonnes at 0.28% WO3. This does not include the GunMetal and Good Hope deposits.

Greatland Gold (GGP) has granted access to Newmont to the Ernest Giles tenements for a period of six months and it will have first right of refusal for a disposal or joint venture. An airborne survey has identified new structural targets suitable for gold mineralisation. Metal Tiger (MTR) has exercised 15 million warrants at 0.2p a share.

LED lighting systems developer PhotonStar LED (PSL) cut its full year loss from £3.03m to £1.43m on lower revenues. The first quarter of 2017 was tough but there have been orders for its Halcyon devices. R&D has been reduced.

Fairpoint (FRP) has delayed its full year figures yet again. They are promised at some point in June. If they do not come out then then trading in the shares will be suspended.

Arian Silver Corporation (AGQ) has raised £600,000 has raised at 0.5p a share. The cash will be used for exploration of silver and lithium projects.

Mortice (MORT) has won UK contracts worth £2.25m via its Elite subsidiary that take it into new sectors. Elite has won a three year cleaning and waste contract with Surrey and Sussex police and after securing a place on BMW’s approved supplier list a two year contract with the car maker.

Orogen (ORE) intends to acquire Thread 35, which owns e-commerce womenswear brand Sosandar. Orogen is lending up to £250,000 to Thread 35. Sosandar is targeted at 35-55 year old women. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Active Energy Group (AEG) has entered into an agreement in principle with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador which will provide a timber licence and a forest management agreement covering 1.2 million hectares. The licence would enable the harvesting of up to 140,000 cubic metres of wood annually.

MAIN MARKET

Thomas Charlton has further increased his stake in North Midland Construction (NMD) taking it to 7.24%. Finance director Daniel Taylor recently acquired 23,321 shares at 305p each. North Midland says that its first quarter profit has increased from £237,000 to £580,000 on a 5% rise in revenues to £62.2m. The main reason behind the improvement was a swing from loss to profit by the telecoms infrastructure division but the construction and water divisions generated a lower profit. Management still believes that margins can be improved. The order book is worth £254m helped by the AMP6 water investment cycle getting going. There is the promise of growing dividends.

Shareholders have agreed to the proposed bonus issue by Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL). On 1 June, existing shareholders will receive nine bonus shares for each one they own, leaving them with ten times the number of shares and the share price would be adjusted from 28.5p to 2.85p. The November 2015 flotation price was 10p (1p adjusted) and earlier this year a further £1.4m was raised at 20p (2p adjusted) a share.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has signed a binding letter of intent for its first deal with a housing association to develop supported living accommodation. The plan is identify properties worth up to £5m which will be leased to Larch Housing Association on a 50 year lease at 6.5% a year plus inflation. Dukemount floated on 29 March.

Health food products supplier World Trade Systems (WTS) has entered into memoranda of understanding with Germany-based Naturemed and Germany-based Biestmilch, which will help it to widen its product range. Naturemed is a new company but Biestmilch was formed in 1999. Trading in the shares has been suspended for years and it is approaching ten years since there was a trade in WTS shares.

CIC Gold Group Ltd (CICG) left the standard list on 25 May. Management believes it will get a better valuation on another designated exchange.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 22 May 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

London and south east England residential property developer St Mark Homes (SMAP) says it will in the immediate future focus on homes for sale for less than £600,000, because this is the London help to buy limit. In 2016, revenues fell from £3.1m to £1.34m but the unchanged contribution from joint ventures and a release of negative goodwill of £150,000 – a non-cash item – meant that pre-tax profit improved from £549,000 to £652,000. There is still negative goodwill of £137,000 on the balance sheet which is likely to boost a future financial year. A lower tax charge helped earnings per share to rise from 14.8p to 16.6p. Total dividends were 11% higher at 5p a share. There was a cash outflow from operations in the period. The NAV is £5.8m, following a share issue that raised £690,000 net of costs via an open offer to existing shareholders. That is 131p a share. Finance director Sean Ryan acquired 4,912 shares at an average price of 94p each.

Markets operator WMC Retail Partners (WELL) benefitted from an increased valuation of its Luton market but trading was down on the previous year. In 2016, revenues dipped from £4.31m to £4.23m, including £100,000 of consultancy revenues, and a pre-tax profit of £13,000 was turned into a £58,000 loss. WMC is on course to reopen its Cornish site under the name Cornucopia in July.

Property developer Formation Group (FRM) moved back into profit at the interim stage based on continuing operations. Revenues doubled from £10.2m to £20.2m, while an operating loss of £84,000 was turned into a profit of £48,000. The corresponding period also included a £1.08m write-back of loans secured on past properties. There was £1.58m in the bank at the end of February 2017. The NAV was £10.4m.

Block Energy (BLOK) says that Schlumberger has completed the acquisition of three production sharIng contracts in the Republic of Georgia that are near to Bock’s own interests. This indicates the interest in the region. Roger McMechan has been appointed as technical manager for Block’s interests.

Investment company Early Equity (EEQP) increased its interim loss from £46,000 to £67,000. The NAV fell from £770,000 to £639,000 at the end of February 2017. The value of investments in BWA Group and Alpha Prospects declined and the investment in Devilfish Poker was written off, although it is hoped that there could eventually some value to the shareholding. Yicom Global, a healthcare products supplier primarily focused on China, has been increasing its number of sales agents and sales.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that nano-payments company SatoshiPay has linked up with PayPal so that 200 million users could potentially use its service. Coinsilium has a 12.1% stake in SatoshiPay.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has paid £75,000 for a 15% in Essential Learning, which provides apprenticeship training. The UK Apprenticeship Levy is expected to generate £2.8bn to be invested in training. In the nine months to April 2016, revenues were £616,000 and lost nearly £30,000. Share placings at 16p a share and 20p a share raised a total of £75,000.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has raised £500,000 at 1p a share and it hopes to raise a further £50,000. Management says that the economic climate has delayed sales of its Tracksure rail safety components and Wheelsure is short of cash to develop the business. The cash is needed for marketing, product development and patent protection. There are trials of products in process. Wheelsure is focusing on generating more sales from existing customers while targeting longer-term sales from new customers.

Karoo Energy (KEP) has raised £465,000 at 3p a share. These investors will receive a warrant exercisable at 6p a share for each share they subscribed for. The warrants last for 36 months. The cash will be used for shale gas exploration in Botswana.

AIM

A strong end to the financial year means that Bilby (BILB) expects to report EBITDA of at least £3.6m, compared with a forecast of £3m. The building services provider says that demand was strong at the end of the financial year with some work starting earlier than expected. There is a cash balance of £2.5m. The figures for the year to March 2017 will be reported before the end of June.

Mortice (MORT) has sparked another profit forecast upgrade following a trading statement. House broker finnCap has increased its 2016-17 pre-tax profit forecast from $4.3m to $5m and next year’s forecast has been raised from $6.2m to $7m. Revenues are better than expected and costs have been kept under control. Net debt was $13.6m at the end of March 2017. The facilities management and security divisions both generated much higher revenues.

Gemfields (GEM) has received an unsolicited bid from 47.1% shareholder Pallinghurst Resources. The offer is not generous. Pallinghurst is offering 1.91 of its shares for each Gemfields share. That is equivalent to 38.5p a share or a total value of £211.5m.

Veltyco Group (VLTY) did even better than expected in 2016. Revenues were 7% ahead of forecast at €6.1m. Underlying pre-tax profit was €1.74m and Northland forecasts a 2017 profit of €4.27m, helped by recent acquisitions. The online gaming marketing business has started 2017 strongly.

RNA therapeutics developer Silence Therapeutics (SLN) has gained a European Patent Office grant for its chemical modification technology and expects to use this patent to generate revenues from specific medicines that are already undergoing clinical trials.

A recovery in oil and gas demand has helped Hardide (HDD) in the first half. Revenues increased by 59% to £1.51m. The underlying operating loss fell from £1.02m to £720,000. Production is building up at the new US facility. Sales are yet to come through from the approvals already given by Airbus Group. A $100,000 order has been received from General Electric.

LightwaveRF (LWRF) reported a slightly reduced interim loss on revenues that grew from £804,000 to £1.17m. The loss fell from £384,000 to £333,000. The home automation business has developed technology and it needs to generate higher sales in order to move into profit. A partnership with Google in the voice control area has propelled the share price upwards.

ImmuPharma (IMM) says that the latest clinical trial results show that Lupuzor, a potential treatment for Lupus, has a robust safety profile. The phase III trial of 200 patients has been going on for 52 weeks and the full results should be available in the first quarter of 2018.

Tiso Blackstar Group SE (TBGR) is selling its 22.9% stake in industrial holding company KTH back to the company. The payment of around £86m will be paid over 19 months with £7m due before the end of 2017 and the rest by the end of 2018. Tiso Blackstar will repay its debt of £23m and a special dividend of £2.3m. The rest of the cash will be reinvested in media investments. There are plans to move the listing in South Africa from AltX to the Main Market. The company is also moving its registered office from Malta to the UK.

Management has announced a potential bid for recruitment company InterQuest Group (ITQ) but the independent directors are not impressed. Chisbridge Ltd is offering 42- a share. The two independent directors say the offer undervalues the company.

Brave Bison (BBSN) has approached Zinc Media (ZIN) and merger discussions are underway. Herald Investments has stakes in both companies.

Edenville Energy (EDL), which operates the Rukwa coal project in Tanzania, has signed a letter of intent to supply 1,000t of coal/month and this could increase to 7,000t/month. This should hopefully be followed by a formal coal supply agreement so that deliveries can start in July.

Tissue Regenix (TRX) is in talks to acquire US-based regenerative medicine company CellRight Technologies.

MAIN MARKET

Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) says that the prospectus relating to the acquisition of kidney stone analysis company Stone Checker Software has been approved by the authorities. A placing has raised £550,000 at 3p a share.

Andrew Hore

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