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Clinical IT developer DXS International (DXSP) is encouraged by the initial results from pilots of the ExpertCare system designed to analyse the electronic records of people with hypertension. DXS is awaiting NHS accreditation.
World High Life (LIFE) has appointed Tony Calamita as chief executive. He is a founder of Love Hemp, whose vendors will receive deferred consideration of £2m in shares at 1.5p each. Calamita will hold a 13.5% stake. The company has raised £467,000 at 1p a share.
Juliet Davenport is stepping down as chief executive of Good Energy (GOOD) but will continue as a non-executive. Good Energy company Zap-Map has signed up ESB Energy to its Zap-Pay electric vehicle charging payment service.
Capital For Colleagues (CFCP) has sold its investment in civil engineering materials distributor Civils Store for £1m, which represents a profit of 150% on a £400,000 investment. The initial £500,000 will be received on 15 February and the rest by the end of July.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) increased its NAV by 38% to 437.63p a share during the year to January 2021. EPE raised £10m from the sale of LED lighting company Luceco (LUCE) shares and retains a 24.9% stake.
Belvedere Leisure (BELV) reported a loss of £499,000 for the year to June 2020. There were the costs of the flotation of the corporate bonds.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has approval to treat patients at its North West cancer centre. The first patients should be treated in 2022.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has been promoted to the Apex segment of the AQSE Growth Market.
Eastinco Mining (EM.P) has appointed Novum Securities as its corporate adviser.
A higher interim profit contribution from fuels partly offset lower contributions from the rest of the NWF (NWF) businesses. Group revenues fell from £348.9m to £309.4m, while underlying pre-tax profit declined from £3m to £2.5m. The main decline was in food distribution where volatile demand hampered profitability. The cold weather will boost demand for heating oil in the second half.
Document management services provider IDOX (IDOX) improved revenues from £65.5m to £68m and pre-tax profit from £7.7m to £10.5m. There is further potential to improve margins. The order book at the end of October was £15.9m. Having sorted out the business, management is considering returning to the acquisition trail.
Mattioli Woods (MTW) is paying up to £2.34m for wealth management adviser Montagu. There are £80m of assets under advice.
STM Group (STM) expects to report a £2m pre-tax profit on revenues of £24m in 2020. There was net cash of £15.5m. Therese Neish is stepping down as finance director.
BlueRock Diamonds (LON: BRD) has revealed a significantly increased resource at the Kareevlei diamond mine in South Africa. There was a 49% increase in resource to 10.4 million net tonnes and a 53% increase in net carats to 516,200. The overall grade has edged up to 5 carats per tonne. There was 19% of the resource upgraded to indicated resources. BlueRock plans to mine one million tonnes per annum.
Strong first half trading at parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) has prompted finnCap to increase its forecast pre-tax profit for the year to June 2021 by £2m to £8.7m. The business continues to recover with profitability building up in the freight division.
Open Orphan (ORPH) has opened a new challenge study quarantine facility across the road from its existing centre in east London, which is already booked up for this year. This adds a further 19 beds.
Compliance and energy saving services provider Sureserve (SUR) has doubled its dividend to 1p a share. Less traffic on the road during the original lockdown helped to improve efficiency and margins. Shore has increased its 2020-21 pre-tax profit forecast by 16% from £9.4m to £11.9m.
Lexington Gold (LEX) has received environmental approvals for drilling at the JKL project in the US. Drilling should commence later in February. Pure Ice Ltd has increased its stake from 14.3% to 15.1%.
Advanced surface coatings provider Hardide (HDD) has raised £790,000 at 30.9p a share and secured a CBILS loan of £250,000. This will boost the cash position while the company waits for delayed work to come through.
Seeing Machines (SEE) says interim revenues will improve by 15% to A$18.1m. The driver safety systems developer’s annualised recurring revenues are A$15.5m.
Real-time software provider Checkit (CKT) has acquired its US distributor Tutela Monitoring Systems for £850,000.
Lok’nStore (LOK) acquired its Chichester self-storage site has been acquired for £4.2m, with the cash outflow offset by the £1.5m disposal of the Wolverhampton freehold and £1.7m sale of the vacant Southampton site – around £300,000 lower than book value. Contracts have been exchanged for a new site in Staines. Self-storage has proved to be resilient during Covid-19 lockdowns. Occupancy rates are rising, and prices have been stable at Lok’nStore.
Filtronic (FTC) made a small first half loss but the outlook for the full year is better. New defence contracts and increasing 5G-related demand will help the second half and the defence orders are at higher margins. Full year revenues are set to fall but pre-tax profit could treble to £300,000. Capex requirements are low so the business should be cash generative.
Bacanora Lithium (BCN) has raised £48.1m from a placing and retail offer at 45p a share. Ganfeng has also subscribed for £24m worth of shares. This will finance the development of the Sonora lithium project. It will pay for the 50% share of the cost of bringing stage one into production.
Evgen Pharma (EVG) has launched a placing and open offer to raise up to £11m at 8p a share. This will fund preclinical work on metastatic breast cancer and two other potential treatments, including glioma where there could be a clinical trial. The cash should last until the middle of 2023.
Thalassa Holdings (THAL) is making a £2.5m investment in London Medical Laboratory. Thalassa will lend the company £2.5m to finance the opening of a phlebotomy clinic and increase capacity at existing facilities. The loan would be converted into shares if London Medical Laboratory floats on AIM. Thalassa also has warrants to subscribe for an 8% stake in the fully diluted share capital.
French Connection (FCCN) says Spotlight Brands and Go Global Retail are potential bidders for the clothing retailer.
Personal products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) has rebuffed an all-share offer from Creighton (CRL) although the potential bidder is still interested in making an offer and has sent a letter to InnovaDerma. This suggests an offer of two share for every three InnovaDerma shares, which is equivalent to around 44p a share.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) says full year revenues were at least $180m, which is 45% ahead of the previous year. The diagnostics business is the main impetus behind the growth.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) has taken a 25% stake in Pluto Digital Assets. This cost £1m at 3p a share and there are also warrants exercisable at 6p a share. Pluto is a crypto venture capital and technology company.
Standard list shell Baskerville Capital (BASK) plans to switch its quotation to the Access segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange. This move will happen at the time of the reverse takeover of Oberon Investments, the owner of fund manager MD Barnard. The transfer to the Access segment is expected to happen on 5 February, although this depends on completion of the deal.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) increased its NAV to £3.96m at the end of September 2020. The Southfields property has been sold for £660,000, which was a small discount to the previous book value. The remaining residential property will be sold in the next few months. The company will then concentrate on specialist supported housing.
KR1 (KR1) has sold its remaining holding of FunFair tokens for an average price of 2.0207 cents each. That raised $1.28m, which is more than treble the cost.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) expects the analysis of the aerial magnetic survey of the Red Setter project in Western Australia will be available before the end of the first quarter of 2021.
All Star Minerals (ASMO) continues to review opportunities in the mining sector in Africa. The deal is likely to be funded by a share issue, but more cash will be required.
Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) non-executive director Nigel boardman has increased his shareholding from 5,020 shares to 11,348 shares. Shepherd Neame (SHEP) director JB Neame has sold 4,000 shares at 690p each and bought back 2,000 shares at 691.5p for an ISA.
Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £150,000 in share issues at 5p a share and 5.5p a share. TruSpine Technologies (TSP) is still waiting to receive £250,000 from Evrensel Capital Partners.
Peel Hunt has been approved as an AQSE corporate adviser.
Capital equipment manufacturer Mpac (MPAC) did better than expected last year although pre-tax profit is still likely to decline from £7.5m to £6.2m. net cash is £5m following the payment of £10m for Switchback last autumn. The order book is worth more than £55m, compared to 2020 revenues of £83m. The focus on healthcare and pharma has helped Mpac.
Judges Scientific (JDG) had a strong second half in 2020 and this has led WH Ireland to increase its 2020 pre-tax profit forecast from £12.1m to £13.5m. The 2021 figure has been maintained at £15.1m. Full year results will be announced on 23 March.
Fashion retailer Joules (JOUL) offset weak high street sales prior to Christmas with strong growth in online sales. Even so, continued uncertainty means that Peel Hunt has reduced its 2020-21 pre-tax profit forecast from £5.4m to £3.5m. Net cash is £13m.
Motor dealer Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) says trading the three months to November 2020 was ahead of the same period last year even though the market remains uncertain.
Wealth management firm Mattioli Woods (MTW) had more than £10bn of client assets by the end of November 2020. Gross discretionary assets under management are £2.9bn. Management is still seeking acquisition opportunities and there is £18m of cash in the bank.
Creo Medical (CREO) has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its MicroBlate soft tissue ablation devices. This broadens the range of products with approvals.
AssetCo (ASTO) has acquired a 2.9% stake in investment manager River and Mercantile at 186p a share. This cost £4.7m. There is still around £26m in cash available since the payment from Grant Thornton and after the tender offer to shareholders.
Avingtrans (AVG) is merging its two medical equipment businesses with Australia-based MRI technology developer Magnetica and it will own 59% of the enlarged business after also injecting A$600,000. A further £3.2m investment could increase the stake to 61.2%. The combined business is loss-making but the increased scale will help it to move towards profitability.
Telit Communications (TCM) has ended bid discussions with u-blox, although the potential bidder is still interested in making an offer. An all-share bid of 250p a share was indicated.
Tekmar (TGP) has secured a contract to design and manufacture subsea scour protection for a quay development project, which is worth more than £4m. That will be recognised in this financial year.
IntegraFin has decided not to bid for Nucleus Financial Group (NUC), which increased assets under administration by 8% to £17.4bn in the three months to December 2020. Inflows of funds increased, and outflows fell.
Eqtec (EQT) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Greece-based Nobilis Pro Energy, which will enable Eqtec to be involved in its partner’s pipeline of gasification projects opportunities in Thessalia and central Greece. A joint venture will be formalised.
One Heritage Group (OHG) has acquired a site on Bank Street, Sheffield for £880,000. The final development cost is expected to be £2.9m and gross development value should be £3.6m. The residential developer says that its Burnley development will not be completed until later in the first quarter. Construction of the Waterloo Place development in Salford should commence in the second quarter.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) mined 96 Bitcoin during December. The increase in the bitcoin price means that these are valued at £1.63m. Argo holds 209 Bitcoin. The sharp rise in the share price has led to the exercising of warrants and options. This has raised £1.63m.
Tirupati Graphite (TGR) is on track to commission the Vatomina graphite project in the second quarter and build production to 6,000tpa. Tirupati raised £6m at 45p a share when it floated at the end of last year and the share price has risen to 83p.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has completed its drilling programme at the Phalaborwa rare earths project under budget and the results are expected before the end of the first quarter.
Pembridge Resources (PERE) has raised £570,000 at 4p each and this should be enough cash to take the company into next year.
Ian Pollard – Amino Technologies #AMO – Resilient performance; revenue, profits, EBITDA & earnings down, divi up
Amino Technologies plc AMO claims a resilient performance in challenging markets for the year to the 30th November. The dividend is being increased by 10%, the seventh consecutive year, it claims of dividend increases. That is all very good if it is backed up by the figures which speak for themselves. Revenue fell by 7%, gross profit by 15%. EBITDA by 18%, profit before tax by 26% and earnings per share by 30%
Ocado Group plc OCDO claims that 2018 was its “18-year overnight success”, the result of many years of focus, dedication and perseverance as it continued on its journey of transformation. Group revenue for the year to the 2nd December grew by 12.3% and is expected to grow by a further 10-15% in 2019. The number of active customers rose by 11.8. Gross profit was up by 10.8%, although EBITDA was down by 20.7%.
DCC plc DCC operating profit for the third quarter to the end of December 2018 was significantly ahead of the prior year, with strong operating profit growth seen on all fronts. Despite a milder winter, it is expected that operating profit for the year to the end of March will be significantly ahead of the previous year.
Mattioli Woods MTW is increasing its interim dividend by 15.1% for the six months to the 30th November.another period of sustainable profit growth, achieved against the backdrop of a complex market. Revenue growth was slightly lower than expected. Adjusted profit before tax rose by 8.1%, adjusted EBITDA by 18.5% and adjusted earnings per share by 9.2%
Safestay plc SSTY Total revenue for the year to the 31st December rose by 39% and occupancy improved from 72.8% to 75.6%. A further fifteen cities have been identified for a European roll out. The company is already one of the leading hostel operators in Europe with 2,792 beds and the market is one of the fastest growing segments of the accommodation market with a growth rate of 5%.
Bruce Pubs (PUB) has raised £100,000 from an issue of 7.2% bonds and trading has commenced on NEX. The pubs operator wants to raise up to £20m. The cash will be used to acquire pubs in Scotland. Bruce owns 18 licenced premises with another licence pending. Bruce Pubs is a subsidiary of the holding company Bruce Group, which had net assets of £3.8m at the end of June 2018.
Sativa Investments (SATI) is investigating ways of raising cash to finance the company’s glasshouse and working capital for the first cannabis crop. There are also talks with vets about using medicinal cannabis in animal health. Sativa is pleased with the platform that NEX has given the business. Imperial X (IMPP) is the latest NEX company to change its investing strategy to cannabis investments.
Trading in the shares of Clean Invest Africa (CIA) following news that it has negotiated an agreement to acquire the 97.5% of CoalTech LLC it does not own. The company has technology that can convert waste coal into coal pellets for industrial and commercial use. A circular will be sent to shareholders in the first quarter of 2019.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has increased its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) to 35 million shares, which is equivalent to 1.09%. The average cost is 1.71p a share. The investment has been made ahead of further drilling results at the Havieron gold/copper project in Australia.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) reported a NAV of 189.95p a share for the end of 2018.
President Energy (PPC) beat its production target for the end of 2018. The Argentina-focused oil and gas company was producing 3,300 boepd by the year end, which is 10% above the target. The latest drilling programme of three wells has been a 100% success. President intends to build on this base during 2019. The next reserves audit should be published in March. There should be a significant jump in profit in 2019. Panmure Gordon forecasts a 2019 pre-tax profit of $18.6m. The cash generated will help to finance forecast capital investment of around $40m during the year. The target price is 15p a share.
Gateley (GTLY) continues to trade strongly with organic growth supplemented by contributions from acquisitions. The legal services provider increased interim revenues by one-fifth to £46.4m, while pre-tax profit rose from £4.2m to £5m. Net debt increased from £7.1m to £8.2m after acquisitions spending and dividend payments. The second half tends to be more cash generative. More business is coming from litigation work but management is confident that its revenue recognition policies mean that the strong cash generation will not be hit.
Castleton Technology (CTP) is paying £1.8m for Deeplake Digital, which provides digital communications services between landlords and tenants. Thirty of its 90 customers are new to Castleton.
ATTRAQT (ATQT) is expecting to make a small EBITDA figure for 2018. The online shopping performance enhancement services provider will report its 2018 results on 14 February.
More woe for Footasylum (FOOT) as gross margins come under pressure. Revenues were in line with expectations over Christmas but less money was made from them as old stock was discounted. The 2018-19 loss forecast has been edged up to more than £5m.
Higher input costs mean that Accrol Group (ACRL) will not do as well as expected and it will make a significant 2018-19 loss after exceptional charges.
Packaging machinery supplier Mpac Group (MPAC) says 2018 trading was in line with expectations and the year has started with a strong order book. The company is assessing the potential additional cost of pension equalisation for its defined benefit scheme.
Bowleven (BLVN) is paying a 15p a share special dividend on 8 February. This will leave the oil and gas explorer with the cash it requires for its exploration programme.
Wealth manager Mattioli Woods (MTW) says that its interim EBITDA margin was substantially ahead of the 20% target. Gross discretionary assets under management were £2.4bn at the end of November 2018.
Churchill China (CHH) had a strong finish to the financial year with a better second half performance in the UK. The 2018 profit will be higher than expected. The figures will be published on 27 March.
Shoe Zone (SHOE) stands out amongst its peers because it has had strong 2017-18 figures and a good Christmas. Last year’s pre-tax profit improved from £9.5m to £11.3m. Forecasts have been upgraded with 2018-19 earnings per share increased from 16.4p a share to 17.6p a share based on flat profit and a higher tax charge.
Quiz (QUIZ) sales continue to decline, albeit at a slightly lower rate of 5% like-for-like. The fashion retailer had to discount and gross margins were two percentage points lower. Overheads are also too high because of the lack of growth. The full year profit forecast has been cut from £6m to £4.4m.
A North African order for the Helios product supplied by Starcom (STAR) has been delayed until 2019 so 2018 revenues will be lower than expected. The total order value is $1.1m and the majority was expected to be recognised in 2018. Even so, revenues were better than expected, but the loss will be higher.
A general meeting has been requisitioned at Angus Energy (ANGS) by shareholders owning 6.2% of the company. It is believed that former chairman Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius is behind this requisition, which involves the proposed removal of Paul Vonk from the board and the appointment of the Earl of Lucan and George Bingham. Non-exec Rob Shepherd has resigned. Angus has entered into a 24 month, £3m loan facility with YA II PN Ltd and Riverfort Global Capital in order to finance the development of the Balcombe field in the Weald basin. A £1.5m drawdown is planned immediately.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has acquired additional acreage in the Paradox Basin in Utah at a cost of $35,000. Rose believes that the new acreage could have an NPV10 of around $12m. The deal follows the results of the Schlumberger study which suggests that the site of a proposed well in the area should be in an optimal position.
Diurnal Group (DNL) has been granted a second patent for hydrocortisone treatment Chronocourt, which already has orphan drug designation. The patent lasts until 2033.
A £2m subscription and $5m investment into an internal finance note by 1795 Volantis Fund will provide Obtala Ltd (OBT) with additional funds. 1795 Volantis Fund will own 12.9% of Obtala, as well as 40 million warrants exercisable at 10p each. The disposal of a Tanzanian agricultural business will bring in a further $2.5m. Obtala intends to acquire the 25% it does not own in Montara Continental for $5m, which will be reinvested in the internal finance note.
Fuel cell developer Proton Power Systems (PPS) will own 33.33% of Hamburg-based Clean Logistics, which is being set up to build heavy trucks powered by fuel cell hybrid systems in the range of 75kw-150kw. The other two equal shareholders are Hopen, which has interests in battery and electric vehicle developers, and modular transport service provider Hary.
Sopheon (SPE) had a strong end to 2018. The software provider will provide more details in its trading statement later this month, when finnCap says it will reassess its forecasts.
Dekeloil (DKL) says that fourth quarter volumes were in line with expectations with a 2% increase in crude palm oil production on the third quarter. The annual production was 15% lower because of the weak first half. Selling prices have been at a premium to the market price. The purchase of a 43.8% stake in the Tiebissou cashew processing project has been completed.
Imaginatik (IMTK) has decided to sell its software business and assets to Planbox. The initial cash payment is $1.7m and up to $800,000 more could become payable. If it is all paid then the selling price would be higher than the book value of the assets. Imaginatik will become a shell with around £1m in cash left from the initial payment. If the disposal is approved by sharehodlers the company will change its name to Abal Group.
Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) continues to grow fleet sales but lower insurance sales are partly offsetting that growth. A supplementary dividend will be announced with the final dividend when the 2018 figures are published on 25 February.
Brighton Pier Group (PIER) says problems with the railways are hampering the income generation of Brighton Pier and earning shave been lower. The trading of the bars division was flat last year. Pre-tax profit will be around £3.2m, which is 18% lower than previous expectations.
Frontier IP (FIPP) says that its investee company Exscientia has raised $26m and is collaborating with Roche in a deal worth up to CHF67m. Frontier IP owns 3.32% of artificial intelligence-driven drug developer Exscientia.
InnovaDerma (IDP) has revealed a 6% dip in first half revenues to £3.9m, even though retail sales grew strongly. Direct sales fell, although there are indications that they are recovering. The cosmetic products supplier will have to do well in the second half to achieve full year forecast revenues of £14.4m.
Trident Resources (TRR) has £1.85m in the bank at the end of October. The shell raised £4m when it floated in October. The balance sheet includes trade receivables of £2.1m, although management says that it started the year with just under £4m in cash. Potential acquisitions are being assessed.
Sainsbury J SBRY First quarter sales for the 16 weeks to the 30th June saw a continuation of the improving volume trend which became evident in the second half of last year. Like for like retail sales grew by 0.2% excluding fuel and grocery sales rose by 0.5% helped by online grocery growth of 7.3% and an improving price position. Clothing and General Merchandise, including Argos both outperformed the market in what Sainsbury claims were challenging conditions. It is also on track to achieve its target of 200m in cost savings for the current year.
National Express NEX has been awarded a major bus contract in Morocco.covering the major cities of the Kingdom and with expectations of carrying 100m. passengers a year across 61 routes. The initial contract is for 15 years with an option to extend for a further 7 years and services are expected to commence with a year.
Gresham Technologies plc GHT expects a strong second half despite an anticipated decline of 5% in group revenue for the six months to the 30th June. Like for like Claretti revenue should show a rise of 17% for the first half but non Claretti revenues are expected to slide by 21%.
Staffline STAF updates that it is only trading inline despite a strong performance in The Recruitment division which has continued to perform strongly allowing it to meet growing customer demand during the six months to the 30th June.
Mattioli Woods MTW produced another year of strong and sustainable growth, with organic revenue growth of over 15% in the year to the 31st May. Acquisitions remain a core part of the company’s growth strategy. and recent acquisitions have continued to perform well. EBITDA has also continued to grow and the EBITDA margin for the year remains slightly ahead of the 20% target
Nektan NKTN delivered very strong growth, with record net gaming revenue of £5.7m,in quarter 4 an increase of 10.9% over the third quarter and 36.7% compared to quarter 4 of 2017. The strong fourth quarter ensured that full year net gaming revenue was £19.4m, an increase of 48.1% over the previous year. The strong momentum is expected to continue in the year ahead.
H&T Group HAT expects profit before tax for the full year to 31st December will be above market expectations following a strong fourth quarter in pawnbroking, with quality watches doing particularly well. The pledge book increased by11.6% on a year ago following the higher gold price and the personal loans book rocketed by 94.7%, after the introduction of a lower interest rate, long term product
Micro Focus International MCRO is increasing its interim dividend by 16.4% for the half year to the 31st October and afrer completion of its complex acquisition of HPE Software on the 1st September. The interim figures include results from HPE. as from 1st September. Revenue rose by 80.7% and pre tax profit by 28.7% ( or 33.8% at constant currency rates). Basic earnings per share fell by 9.5% but on an adjusted basis rose by 16%. Micro Focus is confident that its industry leading margins will ensure that it can deliver on its strategy which will be enhanced by further acquisitions.
System 1 group SYS1 (formerly Brainjuicer) After a fall of 9% in first half gross profit, trading in quarter three has continued to be worse than expected and expectations for gross profit for the full year are that it will show a 20% decline on the previous year. Profit before tax for the full year will be only a little over breakeven point. The cas position is however sound with a balance of £4.6m and no debt
Bango BGO saw total End User Spend for the year to 31st December, grow by by 105%, from £132m to 271m. It has also now entered into partnership with Netflix to launch carrier billing for Netflix customers in Mexico, making carrier billing available to over 12 million Mexican customers.
Mattioli Woods MTW The six months to the end of November has produced another period of strong and sustainable growth with EBITDA margins for the first half substantially ahead of the 20% target.
Stobart Group STOB The new CEO who has only been in post for two months has issued a surprise warning that the company faces short term risks in both energy and aviation and that there will be short term delays in the company’s value creation potential although the long term potential remains unaffected. Despite the popularity of Southend airport where passenger numbers rose by 22% in the 5 months to the 31st July, more airlines need to be persuaded to use it. In energy, problems have been caused by delays in commissioning new power stations and in the take up of agreed bio mass volumes, with only 40,000 tonnes being supplied out of a notified 190 tonnes. The second half should see some amelioration in the position with expectations that deliveries will reach 330 tonnes.
Halfords HFD Like for like revenue for the 20 weeks to the 18th August rose by 2.7% with retail growing by 3.5% and auto centres down by 2% “as planned”. No explanation is given as to how or why the decline was planned (editor has a good idea – sic). The strongest areas were travel solutions with growth of 8.2% and cycling which was up by 5.2%.
Redrow RDW has delivered record financial results for the fourth consecutive year and a final dividend of 11p per share makes a 70% increase for the year to 30th June. And that is nothing compared to what the future three years will bring, with expectations that 2017’s 17p total will in 2020 have nearly doubled to 32p per share. As for 2017 legal completions rose by 15%, revenue by 20%, profit before tax by 26% and earnings per share by 27%. Sales in the first 9 weeks of the new financial year are up 8% on a year ago.
Mattioli Woods MTW enjoyed strong new business flows during the year to the 31st May leading to a 17.4% rise in revenue, 18% in EBITDA and 18.7% in basic earnings per share. The final dividend is to be increased by 12.8%. The company;s financial position is described as strong with net cash of £23m
Lighthouse Group LTG made further progress in the 6 months to the 30th June with revenue rising by 8% leading to rises in EBITDA and basic earnings per share of 26% and 35% respectively. The interim dividend is to be increased by 33% to 12p per share.
Investment vehicle Indigo Holdings (INGO) is seeking acquisitions in the consumer, financial and technology sectors in the Middle East and it joined NEX on 10 February. An initial 15 million shares were issued at 1p each and in January a further 26.5 million shares were placed at 3p each. The market capitalisation is £1.24m at 3p a share. There was net cash of £818,000 at the time of flotation. Indigo can issue a further 218.5 million shares. There has been one trade of 4,000 shares at 5p each but the bid/offer spread is 3p/5p.
Equatorial Mining & Exploration (EM.P) has signed a conditional option agreement to acquire a Mexican mining and exploration project. The option lasts 90 days and the acquisition will be funded by the issue of £10.4m worth of shares. Equatorial will need to raise at least £2m to finance the Tango project which includes copper, gold and molybdenum interests. This is an area with historic workings. An initial fundraising of £250,000 at 0.00125p a share will finance the current interests in Nigeria. There are plans to consolidate the Equatorial shares on the basis of 0ne new share for 650 shares and then switch to a standard listing.
A new investment in blockchain technology company Factom Inc means that the stake owned by investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has increased by 236.5% since the initial investment. The 1.5678% stake in the developer of audit and accountability tools using blockchain technology is valued at $473,000.
Western Selection (WESP) says that its NAV has increased by 6% to 84p a share in the six months to December 2016 but this had increased to 91p a share by the end of January. Gains have been made on the disposal of shares in Swallowfield (SWL) with some of the cash used to buy shares in Bilby (BILB), which has been hit by a profit warning. The interim dividend has been increased from 1.05p a share to 1.1p a share.
Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has removed Barney Battles from the board but he wants to convene a general meeting to get himself reappointed to the board. Milamber says that there are concerns about the League of Angels business that he sold to the company.
African Potash Ltd (AFPO) has raised £126,000 at 0.045p a share and issued 55.2 million shares to pay liabilities. The new shares account for 22.7% of the enlarged share capital.
FT8 (GFT) is still trying to secure payments from Billyst Holdings, which has defaulted on its agreement to provide monthly payments. This means that FT8 is short of cash.
Staunton Holdings Ltd has launched a recommended offer of 300p a share for FIH Group (FIH). The deal values the Falkland Islands trader and transportation company at £37.1m. The bidder is controlled by The Rowland Purpose Trust 2001he bid is at a significant premium to the market price prior to the announcement but it is below the level of the share price two years ago. FIH has net cash of nearly £10m. The bid values FIH at 15 times 2015-16 earnings but profit is likely to fall this year making the prospective rating 26 times. When the interim figures were published in November, house broker WH Ireland estimated a sum of the parts valuation of 320p a share but this was subsequently reduced to 300p a share.
Ascent Resources (AST) launched a £3m fundraising via PrimaryBid.com, which closed at 5pm on Sunday 12 January. The offer at 1.85p a share is underwritten. The cash will be spent on the Petisovci project in Slovenia, where there has been positive news on flow rates at Pg-10. Ascent has risen money via PrimaryBid.com a number of times in the past.
Strategic Minerals (SML) has exercised the option to take a 50% stake in the Redmoor tin/tungsten project in Cornwall. The £844,000 payment to take the stake to 50% will provide the joint venture with funds for the 2017 drilling programme. The rights to sell the stockpile of magnetite from the Cobre mine in New Mexico have been renewed for a further 12 months to the end of February 2018 and there is still a possibility to come to agreement over a contract lasting a number of years, which would provide more certainty about future revenues. Strategic Minerals moved into profit in 2016 thanks to strong sales of magnetite and it has enough cash to push ahead with the development of its other interests. Strategic Minerals is also interested in the CARE nickel project in Australia.
Billington (BILN) has confirmed that its 2016 figures will be in line with expectations, which ended had been increased by 26% over the past year. A pre-tax profit of £3.5m is forecast. The structural steel supplier will publish the figures on 21 March.
Thor Mining (THR) says that it should receive the final payment for the disposal of its Spring Hill gold project before the end of February. Heavy snow has delayed the commencement of drilling at Pilot Mountain. The cash received will help to finance the drilling.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) says that its 2016 figures will be better than expected but the loss of a client (24Option.com) will hit the 2017 figures. The client will end the agreement on 1 April. The 2016 EBITDA of $2.8m is well above the forecast of $1.6m. However, any dividend will be put off until there is more clarity about future trading.
Spend management platform developer blur Group (BLUR) has signed up the first large customer for its 12 month group buyer plan. The subscription is paid upfront which is good for blur’s cash flow. The attraction is the potential cost savings by the customer, which is a law firm, and it could be followed by other large customers signing up for the package which provides access to 65,000 suppliers and covers up to $2m of purchases in a year. There is a higher subscription rate for annual purchases of more than $2m. By focusing on larger customers blur has been able to reduce costs and it has been jettisoning unprofitable small customers. Cash burn has been reduced in each of the past five quarters and 2017 will see the full benefits of the cost cutting. The costs in the fourth quarter of 2016 were 43% down on the fourth quarter of 2016. There was £2m in the bank at the end of 2016. This will not last long if the cash burn is not reduced further.
Monchhichi (MCC), formerly Mercom Capital, is raising £2.1m at 35p a share in order to finance the company’s new investing policy focused on technology, media and internet sectors. Each of the new shares comes with a warrant that is exercisable at 80p a share. Shares have been issued at 40p each to cover £200,000 of professional fees.
Crystal Amber Fund Ltd (CRS) has increased its stake in medical devices developer GI Dyamics Inc from 22.65% to 38.73%. Other shareholders in the developer of the EndoBarrier minimally invasive device for treating type 2 diabetes and obesity, include Johnson & Johnson. EndoBarrier is in use in Europe and other countries outside of the EU but an FDA trial was terminated. More than 3,500 patients have been treated through the placing of a temporary bypass sleeve in the intestine – equivalent to a gastric bypass–type treatment. Although GI is based in Boston, Massachusetts but it is quoted on the ASX. The share price has slumped since GI joined the ASX in 2011 and Crystal Amber believes that this is an opportunity to invest in a treatment for significant clinical need at a depressed valuation.
Pebble Beach Systems (PEB), or Vislink as it was known up until the beginning of February, has warned that its 2016 figures will be even worse than expected. The poor performance of the former Vislink hardware activities is not great surprise and the additional write-offs were obviously required given the price it was sold for. However, the remaining software business has also disappointed, although order levels have been good. That suggests a better 2017. Debt remains high and the £8m deferred payment due in mid-March is important if Pebble Beach is to have anything like a stable financial position. Kestrel still believes in the business and it has taken its stake to 14.4%.
React Energy has changed its name to EQTEC (EQT) following the issue of shares to EBIOSS Energy taking its stake to 51%. The share issue covers the €5.15m debt that was due from 50.02%-owned subsidiary Newry Biomass. The 5.53p issue price was a premium to the market price at the time the deal was announced but it subsequently rose above the issue price. Newry should be on course to produce electricity by March 2018. The main revenue generating asset is a wind turbine in County Cork.
Mattioli Woods (MTW) has acquired a 49% stake in profitable small company-focused fund manager Amati Global Investors for £3.33m in cash and shares and has an option, lasting two years from February 2019, to buy the other 51% for cash and shares. The wealth management and employee benefits business reported interim earnings per share nearly one-quarter higher at 11.7p and an interim dividend per share 22% higher at 4.7p. Net cash was £22.6m at the end of November 2016.
PowerHouse Energy Group (PHE) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Peel Environmental to develop and operate an energy from waste plant at Peel subsidiary Protos’ Chester facility. This would be PowerHouse’s first commercial project and Peel has a number of other potential sites if this is successful. The deal is a positive result of the previously announced joint development agreement with Waste2Tricity.
Former Hydro International boss Michael Jennings has taken over as interim chief executive of Autins Group (AUTG). Jennings has been appointed for six months following the departure of the previous chief executive of the acoustic and thermal insulation supplier. The strategy is to take Autins products into new sectors so that it is not so dependent on a limited number of automotive customers. Earlier in the month, a major customer reduced orders leading to a profit warning.
A slow build-up of occupancy levels at the new Holland Park site meant that hostels operator Safestay (SSTY) performed disappointingly last year. Even so, EBITDA increased from £600,000 to £2.2m.
Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has entered into an option to acquire kimberlite projects in South Africa. Botswana Diamonds has the option to acquire a 72% interest in the projects in return for £942,000 in cash and 100 million shares. This is payable in stages. An exclusivity and option fee of £122,000 is payable equally in cash and shares at 1.9p each. Then £215,000 has to be spent on exploration in 12 months to earn a 15% stake and then a further £215,000 in the next 12 months to take the stake to 40%. There is then nine days in which to issue 96.8 million shares and pay £300,000 of shareholder loans in order to reach 72%. The main asset is the Frishgewaagt project in Limpopo province and there are nine other prospecting rights.
Connemara Mining Company (CON) has confirmed the presence of lead, zinc and silver within a 2 metre wide bed at the former silver mine at Glentogher in Donegal but there are no signs of gold. Connemara Mining had previously found gold 8km away and the structural model will have to be revised. Teck has spent enough on exploration to take its stake in the Oldcastle block on the Cavan/Meath border to 65%. The latest drill hole has found trace mineralisation (zinc and lead).
Savannah Resources (SAV) says that initial metallurgical results suggest that there should by 90% plus recoveries at the Oman copper gold project.
BATM Advanced Communications Ltd (BVC) is paying £580,000 to buy Zer Laboratories, the largest private diagnostics laboratory in Israel. Zer’s expertise fits well with BATM’s move into non-invasive pre-natal tests. In 2015, Zer made a profit of $27,000 on revenues of $2.4m. There are potential deferred payments dependent on sales increases.
PRE-IPO / OTHER TRADING FACILITIES
Integumen, which bought the Innovenn healthcare product development business of Venn Life Sciences (VENN), is raising £2.16m ahead of a flotation. EIS relief is available for this investment. The offer equates to 23.6% of the enlarged share capital. Integumen has made three other acquisitions and its interests include skincare, wound care and oral care. It also includes the Labskin product developed by AIM-quoted Evocutis before it was sold to Venn. The offer is available via the Crowd for Angels crowdfunding site (www.crowdforangels.com/integumen)
Former GXG-quoted company US Oil & Gas is trying to raise up to £2.18m via a ten-for-63 open offer at 27p a share. A placing has already raised £470,000 at the same price. Revised resource estimates in the area of the Eblana#1 well in Nevada show a 20% recovery factor suggesting a low case of 57 million recoverable barrels of oil and a best case of 207 million recoverable barrels of oil.
NEX / ISDX
Ecommerce technology provider Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) has secured three contracts in the drinks sector. Brewer Marston’s, pubs operator Enterprise Inns and drinks wholesaler Matthew Clark have bought ecommerce portals. They all used the iTradeNetwork online ordering system previously but this will no longer be available from August so this provides a significant opportunity for Netalogue.
Goldcrest Resources (GCRP) has raised £217,000 at 0.25p a share to provide working capital so that it can execute its plans. Further shares are being issued to Pelamis Investments Ltd for the conversion of a £70,000 convertible loan note at 0.25p a share and from issuing 48.52 million shares at the same price to settle £121,000 of liabilities. Goldcrest plans to seek further gold projects. Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser and broker.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has secured funding of A$4m and raised £400,000 at 8p a share. The loan is secured on the assets of a subsidiary and has an annual interest charge of 12%, payable quarterly. There is a fee of A$35,000. Greg Lane, who has experience in mine development, has joined the board. He has four million options exercisable at 7p a share.
This year will be an important one for battery technology developer Ilika (IKA). There are discussions with potential licensees for solid state battery technology and there should be deals during 2017. Stereax M250 batteries are being assessed by a number of potential customers. In the six months to October 2016, revenues improved from £254,000 to £329,000 but the operating loss edged up to £2.2m. Full year revenues should grow from £600,000 to £2.5m, which is partly underpinned by recent grant wins. Losses are expected to continue for the time being. The balance sheet is strong and there should be £6.7m in cash at the end of April thanks to cash raised late in 2016.
Packaging supplier Robinson (RBN) says that trading is still tough but it has gained planning permission on part of its surplus property portfolio. The outline planning permission covers 23 acres on two sites. House broker finnCap believes that this could double the value of the land from £5m to £10m – equivalent to 60p a share. The disappointing trading and investment in sales and marketing has led to a 12.5% downgrade in the 2016 pre-tax profit forecast to £2m, and the 2017 forecast has been cut to £2.1m.
Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) has sparked another forecast upgrade with its latest trading statement. A strong finish to the year means that the earnings per share for 2016 have been upgraded from 22.7 cents to 24.4 cents. There was good demand for newer products and larger concrete levelling machines. Net cash is expected to be $18.7m and the dividend payout ration has been increased from 30% to 40% of net adjusted income. There is even potential for a special dividend.
Cloud-based telecom services provider Cloudcall (CALL) increased its full year revenues by 50% to £4.9m with a large chunk of this growth coming from existing customers. Around 400 customers were added each month last year. There is cash of £3.2m. The expected 2016 loss of £3.5m is similar to the year before but it is expected to be reduced in 2017. Around 85% of revenues are recurring or repeating.
Focusrite (TUNE) says trading continues to be strong and cash is building up. Foreign exchange movements have been favourable. Timothy Carroll has taken over as chief executive.
Tertiary Minerals (TYM) is evaluating acquisitions so that it can generate revenues and profit earlier than would be the case with its current fluorspar interests. Legal changes in Sweden and poor market conditions for fluorspar has delayed progress with the existing assets.
Caledonia Mining Corporation (CMCL) says that its Blanket mine beat production expectations for 2016. There was an 18% increase in fourth quarter gold production (year-on-year) and 2016 gold production was 18% higher at 50,351 ounces. Caledonia owns 49% of Blanket mine. In 2017, production of 60,000 ounces is expected and the mine cost is estimated to be lower than in 2016 at $600-$630/ounce. Investment in infrastructure are improving production but there is a lot more to come and annual production of 80,000 ounces of gold is anticipated in 2021.
Evgen Pharma (EVG) has received a positive interim safety review from the Data Safety Monitoring Board for the use of SFX-01 to treat subarachnoid haemorrhage. This means that the phase II trial will proceed and results should be available in the first half of 2018. So far, 26 patients have enrolled out of a total of 90 people.
Pensions services provider Mattioli Woods (MTW) says that revenues are growing faster than expected. Profit growth has been held back by investment in the business but finnCap has raised its earnings per share estimate from 30.5p to 32.5p. The interim figures are due to be published on 7 February.
Edenville Energy (EDL) has started trial mining at its Rukwa coal project in Tanzania and commercial mining should begin by the end of the first quarter of 2017. The trail mining is generating revenues.
The old guard continues to depart from 1Spatial (SPA) with the latest being Marcus Yeoman.
Canadian oil and gas explorer and producer Zenith Energy Ltd (ZEN) joined the standard list on 11 January. The company, which operates onshore oil and gas fields in Azerbaijan, Argentina and Italy, is already listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. Zenith also produces electricity in Italy. AIM-quoted and NEX-quoted Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £524,000 in Zenith.
BP results trigger FTSE slump? Nick ‘Moose’ Batsford discusses with Zak Mir & Brand CEO Alan Green on TipTV
Nick ‘Moose’ Batsford was alongside Zak Mir, Technical Analyst for Zak’s Traders Cafe, and Alan Green, CEO of Brand Communications, when he opened the Tip TV Finance Show to discuss a range of stocks and the outlook for the FTSE 100, as well as the recent macroeconomic activity in global markets. Stocks discussed include BP (BP.), Ocado (OCDO) and Mattioli Woods (MTW).