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Sativa Group (SATI) has agreed a merger with Stillcana Inc. The share swap is 0.33507 of a Stillcanna share for every Sativa share. That values the cannabis products company at £10.7m and its shareholders will own 65% of the enlarged group. Trading in Sativa shares restarted on 4 June.
Engineering businesses consolidator Vulcan Industries (VULC) floated on 1 June. It was valued at £6.98m at the 3p a share placing price. Vulcan raised £746,500 via a subscription and placing and £239,000 will be spent on costs. . Vulcan has already completed four acquisitions. They supply automotive components, fire doors and frames, nails and architectural metal work. Trading was weaker than expected last year. Zanete Fergusone sold three businesses to Vulcan and her family interests own 47.7% of the company. A manufacturer of pressed steel bearing housings is set to be the next acquisition.
Adnams (ADB) has put its refinancing negotiations on hold since the COVID-19 lockdown. The long-term facilities have been extended by six months. Adnams is considering the government loan scheme. There will be a substantial interim loss.
IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) believes that £3m of temporary annualised cost savings will help to offset a decline in gross revenues this year. Interim revenues were 5% ahead at £38.2m but pre-tax profit was flat due to higher interest costs. The interim dividend is 5p a share, instead of the anticipated 7p a share. A further 2p a share may be paid later in the year depending on the prospects at the time. Underlying full year pre-tax profit should improve from £16.9m to £18m, which is a small downgrade on previous forecasts.
Good Energy (GOOD) has seen no significant financial impact from COVID-19. Cash collection has been in line with previous years. The generation assets have produced above average output. The final dividend has been deferred.
Altona Energy (ANR) is assessing the potential acquisition of a majority stake in a rare earths project. The Chambe project is in Southern Malawi. Due diligence will take up to three months.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has sold a majority interest in Tectonic South Africa to AIM-quoted Kazera Global. Tectonic will retain a 10% interest in the diamonds project. Tectonic has received £100,000.
Investment company Gledhow Investments (GDH) increased net assets from £735,000 to £907,000 by March 2020. Gledhow had £147,000 in cash at the end of March.
Welney (WENP) has published full year and interim figures. At the end of December 2019, net liabilities were £361,000. A consolidation of 100 shares into one new share will be followed by a £15,000 placing at 0.3p a share. A loan stock issue will raise £35,000. Trading in the shares restarted on 3 June. Keith, Bayley, Rogers has been appointed as corporate adviser. The company’s name will be changed to Quetzal Capital
Black Sea Property (BSP) is renegotiating its credit facilities. Management is uncertain how trading will fair this year.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) is changing its accounting reference date from 31 March to 30 June. Barry Fromson has been appointed as an executive director.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has raised £300,000 at 1.35p a share and issued £70,000 worth of share for fees and to convert loans. Peterhouse has replaced Turner Pope as broker.
Mereo Biopharma (MPH) has raised $70m (£56m) including $19.4m (£15.5m) via a share placing at 17.4p each and $50.6m (£40.5m) through a convertible loan note issue. The cash will be used to reduce debt and fund the company into 2022. Mereo plans a phase 1b study for cancer treatment etigilimab during the fourth quarter.
Life sciences IT services provider Instem (INS) continues to trade strongly and net cash was £8.3m at the end of April 2020. The 2019 figures show a rise in pre-tax profit from £2.8m to £3.2m and a jump to £4.2m is expected in 2020. Existing business continues but new business may take longer to secure, and this led to a small downgrade.
Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has signed a distribution agreement with Swixx BioPharma for leptin deficiency treatment Myalepta in 17 eastern European countries.
Armadale Capital (ACP) says that the definitive feasibility study update has increased the NPV of the Mahenge Liandu graphite project in Tanzania by 20% to $430m. That is based on a 30% rise in average annual production.
Bidstack (BIDS) has raised £5.5m at 4p a share. The in-game advertising technology developer will use the cash to expand internationally and fund marketing and further technology development.
Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) says that subscriptions have held up and installations are recovering after an initial slump in April. Trading in the first four months of 2020 was ahead of the same time last year. Some clients have been allowed payment deferrals. There is £9.5m in the bank.
President Energy (PPC) has raised £2.24m at 1.85p a share via PrimaryBid. A placing raised a further £2.5m. Trafigura is subscribing a further $6m at the same share price. Along with a $4.1m debt for equity swap this will reduce debt to around $15m. There will be a $98.5m write down of assets, particularly the Paraguay exploration activities. Even excluding this, there will be a loss this year. The crude oil reference price in Argentina has been set at $45/barrel until the end of the year, which is higher than the current global price.
Tex Holdings (TXH) improved sales and gross margins last year, but there was still a slightly increased pre-tax loss due to redundancies and professional fees. Revenues increased from £40.1m to £43.1m, and if exceptional costs are stripped out there was a decrease in pre-tax loss to £661,000. The plastics division is profitable, but the engineering division is losing money. The overdraft has been repaid with the proceeds of a shareholder loan. The pension surplus has increased NAV from 127p a share to 134p a share. There are plans to reduce costs by an annualised £1.5m.
LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) says trading has improved in recent weeks and it expects the first half profit and cash generation to be at least as good as the same period last year. That is despite lower revenues.
Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) is closing 12 more dealership sites. Annual savings of £50m are anticipated. Trading has recommenced at Lookers sites, but activity is still weak. Net debt was £57m at the end of May.
Incanthera (INC) raised £1.21m at 9.5p a share prior to joining NEX on 28 February. The price at the end of the first day of dealings was 10.5p (9.5p/11.5p). There were no trades. Incanthera is developing Sol, a topical product for the treatment of solar keratosis and prevention of skin cancer, which could be licenced to a partner within 18 months.
Mechanical and electrical installation services provider Field System Designs Holdings (FSD) continued to be hit by problems with its energy from waste customer in the first half. Revenues dipped from £11.8m to £11.5m, but it went from profit to loss due to litigation costs. The water sector is the main focus of the company. The new AMP7 water investment period starts in April. There was cash of £4.38m at the end of November 2019. The NAV was £3.28m compared with a market capitalisation of £2.4m.
Employee-owned business finance provider Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) broadly maintained its NAV at 43.44p a share at the end of August 2019. A £800,000 investment valuation gain plus a £126,000 write back of provisions was offset by loan impairments of £908,000. Management believes that several investee companies will have encouraging developments this year.
Ashley House (ASH) has decided to withdraw from NEX on 26 March and maintain its AIM quotation. Cash remains in short supply due to the failure to receive more than £1m owed by two debtors. More cash needs to be raised. Non-core assets could be sold. There are good prospects for the business. Three memoranda of understanding / framework agreements have been signed with institutions. There is a pipeline of nine potential affordable housing schemes, four of which have planning permission.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) says it intends to bid for the rest of Apollon UK, which has the right to 95% of net profit of Apollon Formularies Jamaica and the right to acquire a 49% stake in that business. AfriAg owns 2.68% of Apollon UK and is trying to satisfy regulatory requirements for the offer to go ahead.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) had less than $24,000 left in the bank at the end of September 2019. A proposed deal fell through last year and management is considering a new strategy which could be announced in a few weeks. Trading in the shares remains suspended.
Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has signed a joint venture agreement with Dynasty Construction, which owns 600 hectares of land in Rwanda, to explore for tin, tungsten and tantalum. Eastinco says the operation of the wash plant at the Kuaka mine has been delayed. It should be in operation by the end of April.
Dozen Savings 5% secured bonds 1 March 2020 have been withdrawn from NEX.
Netcall (NET) increased its total annual contract value by 10% to £16.6m at the end of 2019. The customer engagement software provider has been increasing the sales of its low-code products, which represent one-third of group revenues just a couple of years after the products were launched. The Liberty Connect conversational messaging platform has generated the first orders.
Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ) has been performing poorly almost since it joined AIM and many investors have lost patience. Fidelity sold its 5% stake, but one investor that believes it is a good time to buy the shares is Cavendish Asset Management, which has more than doubled its stake from 5.24% to 11.8%.
Redx Pharma (REDX) has terminated merger discussions with Yesod Bio-Sciences because the offer was not high enough. Redmile Group will provide up to £26.3m of funding to Redx. Redmile will subscribe for 11.5 million shares at 11.2p each, which is higher than the market price in the past six months. There will also be a £5m short-term loan and a £20m convertible loan. The share subscription will provide enough cash until April while the terms of the loans are agreed.
Cora Gold (CORA) has announced further drill results for the Sanankoro gold project in the Yanfolila gold belt in southern Mali. The results confirm significant additional mineralisation with some grades above 2g/t. There are more results to come.
finnCap is not changing its forecast for Surface Transforms (SCE) following its seven month figures. The carbon fibre brake discs developer is changing its year end from May to December. In the 17 months to December 2020, revenues of £3.3m and a loss of £1.7m are forecast.
Empire Metals (EEE) has raised £600,000 at 1p a share in order to invest in its assets in Georgia and identify other assets.
United Oil and Gas (UOG) has completed the acquisition of Egyptian oil and gas assets from Rockhopper Exploration (RKH) and it was readmitted to AIM on 28 February.
Eden Research (EDEN) is raising up to £10.6m at 6p a share via a placing and open offer. The biopesticides developer will spend the cash on gaining regulatory approval and registration for its products, as well as on further development.
AssetCo (ASTO) had cash of £17.1m at the end of September 2019 and since then a further £11m has been received. There are also bonds of £3.5m. Grant Thornton is appealing the judgement for negligence and the decision of the Court of Appeal should be made in the summer.
Billing Services Group (BILL) has completed the sale of its business and will distribute cash to shareholders by the end of March.
Mereo BioPharma (MPH) says it received positive feedback from the FDA following an end of phase 2 meeting for Setrusumab, a treatment for osteogenesis imperfecta in the young. A phase 3 study programme has been agreed.
STM Group (STM) has confirmed previous expectations for its 2019 figures which will be reported on 24 March. An underlying pre-tax profit of £2.5m is forecast.
Firestone Diamonds (FDI) wants shareholder permission to leave AIM. The general meeting is on 13 March. A weak diamond market and lower recovery levels than expected have made it difficult to finance the debt burden. Leaving AIM will reduce costs and there has been little liquidity anyway.
Packaging supplier Macfarlane (MACF) increased its pre-tax profit by 10% to £12m. The full year dividend was raised by 7% to 2.45p a share. Both distribution and manufacturing made higher profit contributions. This year’s profitability is ahead of 2019, so far.
Personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) has a lot to do to make its full year forecast. Interim revenues increased from £3.9m to £5.4m and there was a slightly lower loss. There is £ in the bank but that could recover to more than £2m by the end of June 2020.
Chief executive George Bennett has leant $1m to Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) to fund exploration and operations. He already has a 8.6% stake and there are warrants over 2 million shares exercisable at 4.55p each that have been issued in return for the loan, which does not have an interest charge.
Commercial aircraft leasing company Avation (AVAP) trebled its interim profit to $45.2m, including an unrealised gain of $37m on aircraft purchase rights, and the net asset value was 15% higher at $4.29 a share. This is equivalent to 325p a share. The dividend was raised by 5% to 2.1 US cents a share.
Trading in the shares of Mila Resources (MILA) has been suspended following an agreement to progress with the purchase of E-Tech Metals in a share deal. The transaction is subject to due diligence. The attraction is high grade neodymium and praseodymium mineralisation, which are important rare earths, in the Eureka rare earth project in Namibia.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has won a $4m cyber contract from an existing government customer. This customer has and will generate contracted revenues of more than $18m.
Investment company London Finance and Investment (LFI) increased net assets by 7% to 63p a share at the end of 2019, although it fell to 62.6p a share by the end of January. An increase in the value of the stake in AIM quoted cake maker Finsbury Food (FIF) more than offset declines elsewhere in the six months to December 2019.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) generated gross revenues of A$15.5m and gross profit of A$7.4m from Hellyer gold mine in the fourth quarter. Full year revenues were A$53.9m and operating profit was A$12.2m. The profit grew steadily quarter by quarter. NQ has raised £311,000 at 7p a share. In December, £300,000 was raised at 6.5p a share.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that is subsidiary Coaltech has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Uzbekistan ministry of innovation and development and Uzbekistan Railway. The coal fines project could have an initial value of $16m. A plant would be built to process coal fines into coal pellets. Coal mining is an important industry in Uzbekistan. There will be feasibility studies and the development of a business plan. This deal comes via the joint venture with Creon Investments, which is focused on Russia and former Soviet Union countries.
Ganapati (GANP) says that its Malta-based subsidiary has signed a two-year endorsement agreement with Welljam, which owns the rights to Usain Bolt’s services and image rights. Ganapati has is launching the first official Usain Bolt online slot game when the Tokyo Olympics are held during the summer. Usain Bolt will be attending the ICE London iGaming event in February. There are initial licence payments for image rights during the development of the slot game and a share of future revenues.
Ananda Developments (ANA) says that its investee company iCAN Israel-Cannabis has raised money via a convertible that places a pre-money valuation of $20m on the company. Ananda invested $200,000 in a convertible loan in August 2018 and $100,000 of the loan has been converted into 120 shares worth $200,000 at the latest valuation. DJT Plants, which is 50%-owned by Ananda, has received planning permission for the construction of a facility for cannabis plant breeding and propagation.
Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) reported a dip in pre-tax profit from £334,000 to £306,000 in the six months to October 2019. The NAV improved from £21.2m to £21.9m over the six month period, even though £349,000 was paid in dividends.
Imperial X (IMPP) has switched its investing strategy back from medicinal cannabis to energy-related businesses. The focus is building a royalty stream from oil and gas interests.
Mark Leigh is taking over from Claire Spencer as finance director of Newbury Racecourse (NYR).
Broadband-focused shell SAPO (SAPO) has raised £27,500 at 2.75p a share.
Diverse Income Trust has reduced its stake in TechFinancials (TECH) to below 3%.
Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) generated organic growth of 10.5% in the first half and it is on course to meet analyst expectations for the full year. The main first half growth was in the corporate and pensions businesses. The most recent acquisition will take annualised non-legal revenues to 12% of the group total. A full year pre-tax profit of £21.3m is forecast.
Regional legal business Knights Group (KGH) increased interim revenues by one-third to £32m through a combination of acquired and organic growth. Underlying earnings were 9% ahead at 5.95p a share. Net debt was £17.1m at the end of October 2019. The interim dividend was raised by 83% to 1.1p a share, although Knights was not quoted for all the comparative period. Two Birmingham-based firms have been acquired since the period end.
Legal firm Ince Group (INCE) raised £12m at 45p a share. The share price has more than halved since the beginning of the year. The January 2019 placing was at 140p a share. There are plans to raise £2m by a one-for-8.398 open offer and £2m via an offer to staff. The cash will enable the working capital facility to be reduced and finance investment in building up staff numbers. Net debt was £10.4m at the end of September 2019.
Pharmaceutical services provider Ergomed (ERGO) has acquired Ashfield Pharmacovigilance Inc for $10m and this will be earnings enhancing in 2020. The deal boosts Ergomed’s position in pharmacovigilance services and gives it a stronger position in the US. Ashfield has annual revenues of $11.6m and contracted future revenues of $9.8m.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) has established a 50/50 renewable energy joint venture with Green Enesys that will operate a 36MW hybrid power (solar and biomass) project in Ivory Coast. This should reduce costs at the palm oil project in Ayenouan. There could be other potential power projects in the region. Dekel is benefiting from the recovery in the crude palm oil price. It produced 37,649 tonnes of crude palm oil in 2019, even though poor weather led to disappointing fourth quarter production. Later this year processing of cashew nuts should commence.
Biopesticides developer Eden Research (EDEN) generated revenues of £2m in 2019, down from £2.8m, and an operating loss of £1.4m. Product revenues grew even though the summer weather restricted usage of Botrytis.
Lettings agency The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) is setting up a financial services division. Acquisitions are planned and the first is a 72.25% stake in Auxilium Partnership, which is the business of newly appointed financial services director Mark Graves. This has been a source of growth for rival Belvoir (BLV).
D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) has confirmed that its second half trading is much stronger than the first half thanks to the contracts won by the Celebrus data analysis software business. The financials sector has been a productive customer base for Celebrus. D4T4 is increasingly winning SaaS business and this could hold back short-term growth, which could lead to the trimming of 2019-20 forecasts.
Instem (INS) continues to increase its recurring revenues. The pharma software company generated organic revenues growth of 12% in 2019. Pre-tax profit is expected to be £3.3m. Net cash was £5.9m. A jump in profit to £4.7m is forecast for 2020.
Estate agency Winkworth (WINK) says 2019 profit was modestly ahead of expectations and a total dividend of 7.8p a share is proposed, which is higher than forecast.
Telit Communications (TCM) did better than expected in 2019 and excluding the former automotive activities revenues grew by 8%. The internet of things technology developer is forecast to make a 2020 pre-tax profit of £20.1m.
Pharma data analytics firm Diaceutics (DXRX) generated more cash tan expected last year and made a small profit. Thee was cash of £11.7m at the end of 2019. The 2020 pre-tax profit could be £800,000.
Barkby Group (BARK) has exchanged contracts on a development site in Huntingdon, which has a gross development value of £10.7m.
Risk management software developer KRM22 (KRM) says 2019 revenues were slightly lower than expected at £4m. Delayed contracts are expected to be signed soon.
Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) managed to maintain revenues at £25.6m in 2019 and a small increase is expected in 2020. The mix of revenues has changed with fleet generating 80%, up from 73%, thanks to growth in the US and France. Insurance revenues fell as expected as low margin business was shed. Pre-tax profit is still expected to decline from £8.2m to £6.6m in 2019, with a further fall to £6.3m forecast for 2020. The dividend is expected to be reduced from 12.4p a share to 12.1p a share, although it will not be fully covered by earnings.
Base Resources (BSE) has increased production guidance for the Kwale mine with midpoints of 78,000t for rutile, 345,000t for ilmenite and 30,500t for zircon. There is a lack of supply of rutile and ilmenite, so this is good news. This should provide a strong boost to profit.
Pressure Technologies (PRES) has been fined £700,000 and will have to pay prosecution costs of £169,000 following the guilty verdict relating to a fatal accident at one of its sites in 2015. The first instalment of £215,000 is due in April with a further six equal instalments payable every six months between July 2020 and January 2023.
Oil and gas explorer and producer Empyrean Energy (EME) is raising £420,000 at 9p a share and chief executive Tom Kelly has contributed £200,000 of that cash. The placing was at a 9% premium to the market price. The cash will be spent on drilling offshore of Indonesia. There is a potential resource upgrade for the Mako gas discovery in Indonesia.
Mereo BioPharma (MPH) says that there have been positive results from the phase 2b study of Setrusumab in adults with osteogenesis imperfecta. They show that it is helping to build bone. A study with children is planned. A meeting with the FDA is due in the coming weeks. Earlier this year, Mereo signed a licence agreement for the use of Navicixizumab in ovarian cancer with Oncologie Inc. An upfront payment of $4m is due.
Nutrition provider Science in Sport (SIS) expects to report 2019 sales of £50.5m with underlying growth of nearly one-quarter. The fastest growth is outside of the UK. River and Mercantile has taken a 5.5% stake.
Shareholders in AIM-quoted Anglo African Oil and Gas (AAOG) have agreed to the sale of 80% of its Congo subsidiary to Zenith Energy (ZEN) and it is waiting for government approval. There is a put and call option over the other 20%. If the call option is exercised Zenith will pay £1m in shares. If the production at the Tilapia oilfield averages at least 4,000 barrels of oil per day for 30 consecutive days, the put option can be exercised and Zenith would pay £2.5m in shares.
Endeavour Mining Corporation has ended its merger discussions with gold miner Centamin (CEY) blaming a lack of information. Endeavour still believes that a combination would be positive. Centamin is raising its final dividend to 6 cents a share, taking the 2019 total to 10 cents a share, up from 5.5 cents a share. Net cash was $348m at the end of 2019. The higher gold price will further boost cash generation. A new chief executive still has to be appointed.
Standard list cash shell Trident Resources (TRR) has £3.29m in cash at the end of October 2019, which is similar to NAV. Management is assessing a few mining project acquisition opportunities.
Stevia sweeteners producer PureCircle Ltd (PURE) says that shareholders owning more than 10% of the share capital have put forward three proposed directors to be voted on at the AGM on 10 February. The company is happy for Sridhar Krishnan, Lai Hock Meng, a former PureCircle director, and Oliver Maes, who was previously a PureCircle director, to be appointed to the board.
Books publisher Quarto (QRT) is raising £13.9m at 68p each. The open offer is underwritten and it will help to reduce the debt burden.
Menswear retailer and hirer Moss Bros (MOSB) Total sales were 3% lower in the 24 weeks to 11 January, but gross margin improved. Hire revenues fell by 17.7%. Cash is £12m.
Pallets manufacturer RM2 International (RM2) intends to move from AIM to matched bargains market Asset Match (www.assetmatch.com).
Brewer Adnams (ADB) grew its turnover by 7% to £35.5m in the first half of 2018 but there was an underlying operating loss and lower gains from asset disposals. The reported pre-tax loss increased from £284,000 to £840,000. The second half is always more profitable. Depreciation is higher due to investment in the brewery and the refurbishment of the Swan Hotel. Adnams own beer volumes increased by 4.8%, compared with the market growth of 1.3%. Carbon dioxide shortages have affected the second half. The interim dividend is unchanged at 78p/B share and 19.5p/A share.
KSE is offering £29,419.64 a share in cash for Arsenal Holdings (AFC) and that values the football club at £1.8bn. KSE already owns or has acceptances totalling more than 97% of the shares in the company.
Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) increased revenues by 184% to £293,000 in the first half of 2018 and 144 healthcare staff candidates were deployed in the period, which was nearly three times as many as in the first half of 2017. More students are being trained in the English language. Healthcare recruitment contracts have been signed in the UK and they cover nine hospitals. Contracts have also been signed outside the UK.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is subscribing for 0% secured convertible loan notes in Wallet Ads Ltd. The first drawdown is £50,000 and this will be followed by five monthly instalments of £20,000. On payment of the final instalment, or under certain other circumstances, the loan notes can be converted into 20% of the enlarged share capital of Wallet Ads, which has developed a mobile engagement platform combining mobile wallet passes, web and social media and this enables digital vouchers to be sent to smartphones. Angelfish non-exec Richard Walker will join the Wallet Ads board.
Pelican House Mining (PHM) is investing in battery minerals explorer Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration (KKME), which is exploring for nickel and platinum group metals in Botswana, near the South Africa border. AIM-quoted Two Shields Investments (TSI) is a co-investor in KKME and it increased its stake to 22.2%. Two Shields Investments also increased its stake in cobalt explorer Cobalt Blue Holdings to 49% before swapping it for a 11.26% stake in African Battery Materials (ABM), thereby gaining a wider exposure to technology metals licences.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) raised an additional £50,000 at 1p a share when it floated last year. Geremy Thomas holds a 3.1% stake.
Shareholders in Welney (WENP) have voted against the appointment of Mark Jackson and Mark Chapman as directors.
AIM-quoted TechFinancials Inc (TECH) joined NEX on 8 August. Monreal has changed its name to Eight Capital Partners (ECP).
Fryer management and commercial kitchen services provider Filta (FLTA) says that interim figures are in line with expectations. There will be a full contribution from GMG, which was acquired last year, while the sale of the refrigeration division has helped to improve margins. Revenues are growing from newer franchisees and the UK-based seals business also grew its revenues. The interims will be published on 4 September.
Former boss Philip Swinstead has sold his 9.82% stake in Parity Group (PTY) and Helium Rising Stars has taken a 10.9% shareholding. Parity is on track to achieve double digit profit growth this year. The IT recruitment and consultancy services provider is modestly rated on a prospective multiple of less than nine, even though the share price has risen following the share dealing.
Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) expects revenues to fall from £4.6m to £3.9m but the broadcast software supplier believes that the second half should be better. A backlog of £4.7m should help full year revenues to be nearer to last year’s level.
Frontier IP (FIPP) has announced its first Portugal-based spin-out. It is taking a 31.8% stake in NTPE, which is developing Paper-E technology that can be used to print electronic circuits, sensors and semiconductors. This opportunity came through the relationship with Universidade Nova de Lisboa Faculty of Science and Technology. Another investee company, 27.5%-owned Fieldwork Robotics, has secured a deal with soft fruit grower Hall Hunter to prototype and test a raspberry harvesting robot system.
Phoenix Global Mining (PGM) has reported that the first drilling results from the Empire mine in Idaho have been encouraging. There was 68 metres at 0.57% copper from the surface. The current JORC resource is 0.52% copper so it would be good news if the current drilling provides higher levels of copper.
Mereo BioPharma (MPH) had net cash of £36.9m at the end of June 2018, but a R and D tax credit of £8.2m was received in August. An adult Phase 2b study for Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) is due to complete enrolment by the end of September. There will be initial six month data from the open-label high dose part of the study by the middle of next year. A flotation on Nasdaq is still a possibility.
Engineering and construction company North Midland Construction (NMD) increased its interim revenues from £135.1m to £160.9m and more than doubled pre-tax profit from £1.23m to £2.51m. The interim dividend has been doubled to 6p a share. Cash in the bank was 138% higher than 12 months before are £18.9m, although there are also finance leases of £4.5m. The order book is worth £320m. The telecoms-related part of the business is still losing money. There were much better profit contributions from the water and construction divisions.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) is developing a global datacentre management business facilitating cryptocurrency Mining-as-a-Service and has signed a deal that will provide 9.5MW of clean energy for two datacentres in Quebec (Argo already has one datacentre in Quebec). That provides the capacity for more than 150,000 subscribers and the centres will be operational in September and October. Argo joined the standard list on 3 August after raising £25m at 16p a share, which valued the company at £47m. However, the share price has fallen back to 11.13p.
Beauty and personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) has appointed Kieran Callan, who was a non-executive director, as chief executive with Haris Chaudhry moving to executive chairman. Callan used to work at PZ Cussons. This appointment follows poor trading and disappointing pre-tax profit in the year to Last October, InnovaDerma raised £4.4m at 276p a share and, having fallen by two-thirds at one point since then, the share price has recovered to 148.5p. Haircare brand Roots will be sold in Tesco.
Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) is holding a general meeting on 30 August in order to get shareholder approval to enable it to issue more shares to raise cash to keep the business going.