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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 19 October 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) remains profitable and loan balances have increased by 3% to £1.6bn. Deposit balances are 14% higher at £2.23bn. Assets under management are 4% ahead.

Wine maker Chapel Down (CDGP) has produced a better quality harvest than 2018 and yields are better than expected. More wine can be released for sale next year.

A general meeting has been requisitioned at SulNOx Group (SNOX) by three shareholders. They want to remove the entire board and appoint four new directors.

KR1 (KR1) has generated just over $1m from the sale of tokens in the Polkadot project at $5.12 each. That is a small proportion of the stake and KR1 still owns more than 3.5 million tokens.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) continues to increase production at the Hellyer mine. In the third quarter lead concentrate production was 11,865 tonnes and zinc concentrate production was 4,585 tonnes. Production rates are still increasing.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) reported a reduction in interim revenues from $6.56m to $3.64m. There was a $224,000 outflow from operations.

Altona Energy (ANR) has extended its fundraising until 11 November. The plan is to raise up to £500,000 at 6.5p a share.

Trading has been suspended in the shares of medicinal cannabis company Freyherr International (FRYR) because trading has been difficult, and the auditing of last year’s accounts has not been completed.

VI Mining (VIM) is asking shareholders to approve of the withdrawal from the Aquis Stock Exchange.

Eastinco Mining (EM.P) has published full year and interim figures. The company remains loss-making. There was £173,000 in the bank at the end of June 2020.

TechFinancials (TECH) is stopping the development of its Footies ticketing technology because of the uncertainty surrounding events. It has also ended its investment in Cedex due to lack of cash. All B2B brokerage technology activities will end at the beginning of November. New opportunities are being assessed.

AIM

Synairgen (SNG) is raising up to £87m via a placing and open offer at 175p a share. This will finance a phase III trial for SNG001 for the treatment of Covid-19. That will start before the end of the year. Results are expected in the middle of next year. Synairgen will also invest in scaling up its manufacturing.          

More good news from Touchstone Exploration (TXP) which has made another significant gas discovery in Trinidad. The Chinook-1 discovery is the third in a row. This means that Touchstone should be highly cash generative next year enabling it to fund more exploration.

LiDCO (LID) had already outlined its interim figures in a trading statement so the move into profit thanks to high monitor sales to the NHS was not a surprise. There is likely to be a second half loss, but the heart monitoring equipment supplier will still be profitable for the full year. There have been delays in winning hup recurring revenue contracts, but these revenues have reached an annual rate of £3m. There was £3.1m in the bank at the end of July 2020.

BlueRock Diamonds (BRD) increased production in the third quarter from 3,973 carats one year ago to 5,577 carats. Sales were much lower at 3,803 carats because there was one sale during the quarter. The average price realised has fallen from $432/carat to $330/carat. That was expected due to the change in mix of stones with only one high value stone sold during the period. An updated resource estimate is expected in the near future. BlueRock is hosting a shareholder conference call at 7pm on 22 October. Anyone wanting to participate should go to www.facebook.com/valuethemarkets or www.twitter.com/valuethemarkets.

SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) is raising money to accelerate the progress of AxisBiotix, which is involved in the development of food supplements for psoriasis treatment. This could be generating revenues in the year to June 2022. A placing at 16p a share raised £4m with up to £500,000 to come from an open offer at the same price. Some cash will be available to fund development of other microbiome-related products. This cash should last until the end of 2022.

Billing and customer relationship management software provider Cerillion (LSE:CER) says that its year-end order book is at a record level and the full year figures will be slightly better than expected.

ThinkSmart (TSL) is returning A$6.5m of cash to shareholders. There will be a 4.575 cents a share capital reduction and a 1.525 cents a share unfranked dividend. ThinkSmart has around £10m in the bank. The current exchange rate is 55p for each A$1. The distribution is worth £3.6m, so around one-third of the available cash.

Seeing Machines (SEE) is increasing its potential market by developing its driver monitoring system into vehicle occupant monitoring system. This is an additional revenue opportunity of A$350m.

Angling Direct (ANG) managed to stay profitable in the first half as online sales helped to offset the closure of retail sites in the period. The fishing products retailer has a strong balance sheet and shop sales bounced back after reopening. A pre-tax profit of £400,000 is forecast for the full year, rising to £1.5m next year.

Netcall (NET) is acquiring robotic process automation technology company Automagica in order to enhance its contact centre products. Automagica has its own technology. Netcall’s full year revenues increased from £22.9m to £25.1m, while pre-tax profit increased from £1.3m to £1.8m. Margins are improving.

MAIN MARKET

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) says third quarter trading was better than expected. New and used car volumes increased by 13.6% compared with the same period the previous year. Lookers has outperformed the market. Aftersales revenues were also higher. Net debt was £22.5m at the end of September 2020.  

Electronic products supplier DiscoverIE (DSCV) says that first half sales fell by 6%, but orders were ahead of sales in September. A dividend will be announced with the interims in November.

Construction and infrastructure firm nmcn (NMCN) has reviewed major contracts and this will lead to a loss this year. The main problem has been water contracts and some of the charges may relate to other periods. This follows the departure of the chief executive and finance director.

Nanoco (NANO) has a cash outflow to £300,000 a month. There is net cash of £5.2m and that should last until July 2022.  The non-cadmium quantum dots technology developer lost £4.9m in the year to July 2020.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 2 March 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

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.

AIM

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.

MAIN MARKET

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.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) reported a 1% increase in underlying 2018 pre-tax profit of £5.9m. Pubs provided higher revenues and profit, while the brewery reported a reduction in profit contribution due to the ending of third party contracts and a small decline in volumes of its own beers and ciders. The brewing volumes have recovered in the early part of 2019.

Good Energy (GOOD) is making a strategic investment in Zap-Map owner Next Green Car Ltd. This is a business that provides electric vehicle market data and will help Good Energy move into the electric vehicle charging market. The initial investment is £1.08m for a 12.9% stake and £800,000 of convertible loan notes. If the loan notes are converted and payment of deferred consideration of £720,000 dependent on achieving financial targets, then the stake will increase to 50.1%.

Gunsynd (GUN) and Northbay Capital Partners have agreed with TSX-V-quoted Oyster Oil and Gas Ltd to settle debts of C$1.43m with the company in return for the outstanding share capital of Oyster’s subsidiary that owns production sharing contracts in Madagascar and Djibouti. Oyster shareholders have to agree to the deal for it to go ahead.

IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has commenced drilling on PL2551 in County Wexford. The drilling should help to prove the presence of a major gold mineralisation trend.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has increased its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) by two million shares, taking the stake to 1.15%. The average cost is 1.71p a share. Over the next 18 months Greatland will pursue targeted exploration campaigns in Australia and accelerate the development in the Paterson region.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies reports that the first 11 weeks of sales of the hapac medicinal cannabis products in Italy have grown strongly from a low base.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is acquiring three prospective lithium assets in Australia. They are Picasso in Western Australia, Litchfield in Northern Territories and Alcoota in Northern Territories.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) lost £204,000 in the near-13 months since incorporation. There was £69,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. The reverse takeover of the 97.5% of CoalTech not owned by the company has still to be completed.

Barkby Group (BARK) has secured an eight-year operating agreement for the Queens Arms in East Garston, Berkshire. The pub and restaurant also operates a 120-capacity function room and 12 bedrooms.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has paid £3,500 for a 70% stake in financial adviser and investment firm Epsion Capital, which could provide advice to Eight Capital investee companies. Former ZAI corporate finance director and current Eight Capital non-executive director John Treacy is the sole director and other shareholder of Epsion, which is working on two corporate finance transactions.

Following the demise of Daniel Stewart, NQ Minerals (NQMI) has changed its corporate adviser to Arden, Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) has switched to Peterhouse and VI Mining (VIM) has moved to VSA.

AIM  

Telephony services and technology provider Netcall (NET) is increasing its cloud revenues and bookings. Interim revenues improved from £11.4m to £10.7m but pre-tax profit dipped from £1.9m to £1.2m because of increased investment. Annual contract value has risen by 11% to £15.1m.

Tracsis (TRCS) improved its interim revenues from £18.1m to £19m and pre-tax profit will be higher than the £3.9m reported last year. There was £18.7m in cash at the end of January 2019. Chris Barnes has joined the transport optimisation software and services provider ahead of becoming chief executive.

Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) is buying 18 Money Shop sites for £1.5m. They are in north west England and Scotland and will be rebranded as Ramsdens. The pawn books of the sites and five others that will be closed are being acquired by Ramsdens. City Financial Investment has sold its remaining 9.73% stake.

WH Ireland (WHI) has raised £4.95m at 45p a share, which was a 30% discount to the market price. The cash will make sure that the broker has enough regulatory capital. Trading is tough and the operating loss in the second half will be higher than previously expected.

SimplyBiz (SBIZ) grew 2018 revenues by 15% to £50.7m and earnings per share were 28% higher at 11.9p. The supplier of compliance and business services to financial advisers continues to add to member numbers and sell more services to them. Net cash was £6.4m at the end of 2018.

DX (Group) (DX.) is making progress with its turnaround but there is still a long way to go. The parcel delivery business has restructured its business and raised prices to clients. The cash outflow was significantly reduced in the first half. DX could move back into profit next year.

Swallowfield (SWL) was hit by weak trading in its cosmetics manufacturing operations. The brands business maintained its revenues and profit. The second half outlook for manufacturing is better and costs have been reduced. The interim dividend was raised by 7.5% to 2.15p a share. Fidelity has increased its stake to 5.73%.

Ilika (IKA) has secured an 18 month project with Network Rail for the use of its Stereax battery technology in a ultra-low power wireless sensor for the network’s condition monitoring platform.

Pelatro (PTRO) has won a contract with Ooredoo Maldives worth $1.6m over three years. There is a fixed monthly fee and a share of the incremental revenue generated. There are also opportunities to cross-sell to other Ooredoo telecoms operations.

Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) has traded ahead of the first five months of the previous financial year. Although new car sales were lower, Cambria made more profit because of the higher value franchises. It was a similar trend in used cars. The aftersales operations increased sales and profit.

FFI Holdings (FFI) says that the film competition contracts business has been slow because of a lack of films and smaller productions. There are also possible claims. Delayed productions have hit the insurance agency business. That has reduced operating profit by $6m. The expected range for this year is $7.5m-$11m.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) reported a 11% increase in interim revenues to £46.7m and underlying pre-tax profit was 70% higher at £11.4m. That was partly down to lower development and marketing spending. Cash more than doubled to £31.6m, helped by a £10.2m placing. Net cash was £28.5m. The data from the phase III PQ Birch allergy study is expected in the next few weeks.

Finance provider ThinkSmart (TSL) reported a lower interim loss and there is cash in the bank of £11.3m. A special dividend of around 2p a share will return £44m to shareholders.

Accounting regulation changes mean that Paragon Entertainment Ltd (PEL) will not be able to recognise as much revenue in 2018 as it thought it would. That could reduce the figure by £700,000. The new range is £8.8m to £9.2m. The loss will be more than £2.5m. Revenues are expected to be higher this year.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) increased its proved reserves to 11,222 Mbbl at the end of 2018. Proved plus probable reserves are 19,275 Mbbl. NPV of future net revenues of proved reserves has increased by 18% to $79.8m.

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has completed a number of contingency engagements in the third quarter and there should be more in the fourth quarter. Corporate insolvencies are rising.

GetBusy (GETB) has increased its revenues from its core software products by 17% to £10.9m and it is making progress with its GetBusy productivity software which is in use with beta users. Cash generated from operations is being ploughed back into development spending.

Gfinity (GFIN) more than doubled its interim revenues from £1.8m to £4.4m with the growth coming from the managed services division, which includes the F1 Esports series. The Esports business is targeting breakeven in 2021.

Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has rejected a proposed 20p a share bid from RockRose Energy (RRE) which would value the company at £26.6m. Trading in the standard list company’s shares is suspended due to the proposed $140m acquisition of Marathan Oil West of Shetland.

Housebuilder Springfield Properties (SPR) is on track to increase full year pre-tax profit from £9.8m to £16.1m, following a strong first half. The housing market is stronger in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. The business has a mix of private housing and affordable housing developments. The Walker Group acquisition takes the company further upmarket in price terms and will make an initial contribution in the second half.

PhotonStar LED Group (PSL) has raised a further £170,000 at 0.01p a share, while directors John Treacy and Jonathan Freeman intend to subscribe a £24,000 when the company has authority to issue more shares. A general meeting will be held where the company will become a shell and change its name to Bould Opportunities. The operating business is being wound down. Antos Glogowski has a 20.9% stake.

In the past ten months, the valuation of the property assets of Sutton Harbour (SUH) has increased by 7% to £45.7m.

MAIN MARKET 

Small company-focused investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) reported a 21% decline in NAV to 225.9p a share at the end of 2018, although that is not a surprise given the weak stockmarket at the end of the year. The final dividend was increased by 2% to 9.1p a share. The board is in the process of appointing a fund management team. The plan is to increase the size of the fund to between £50m and £150m.

Standard list shell Cobra Resources (COBR) has agreed to acquire the owner of a 100% right title and interest in the Prince Alfred licence in South Australia. Prince Alfred was a producing copper mine. There is also an entitlement to earn 75% of five tenements in South Australia. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund has converted £140,000 of convertible bonds and penalty payments of £210,000 into 140 million shares in WideCells (WDC) and that has nearly doubled the number of shares in issue. The first 60 million shares have been sold.

Andrew Hore

Ian Pollard – Intertek #ITRK Dividend Rises 39%

Intertek Group ITRK is going from strength to strength, with consistent progress on strategy and performance leading to a 39.1% increase in the full year dividend. In 1918 revenue grew by 3.7% on a like for like basis at constant currency rates,. profit before tax was up  by 8.3% and diluted earnings per share by 7.7%. Good organic revenue growth at constant currency is expected  in 2019.

Ashtead Group AHT delivered a strong quarter in the 3 months to the 31st January. Underlying profit before tax and earnings per share rose by 18% and 34% respectively. whilst revenue was up by 19%.  As a result, for the nine months to date  revenue and underlying pre tax profit both increased by 18% at constant exchange rates.

Direct Line Insurance DLG delivered a strong set of results for the year to the 31st December driven by what it describes as its resilient business model which it claims, performed well in a highly competitive market. A final dividend of 14.0p, is announced, an increase of 2.9% on last year plus a special dividend of 8.3p.

Ibstock Brick plc IBST claims that the year to the 31st December was a busy year of development with profit before tax rising by 19.1% on revenue up by 7.9%. Statutory earnings per share rose by 17.5% but the final dividend remains unchanged at 6.5p making the 2018 full year dividend 9.5 pence per share compared to 9.1 pence per share for 2017.  Market fundamentals remain encouraging for the medium term, says the CEO

Netcall plc NET has seen strong sales momentum continue into the second half with order inflow significantly ahead of the same period last year.  Profit before tax for the six months to the 31st December leapt by 49% on revenue up by 6%. Revenues for the full year are expected  to be more weighted toward the second half, as Cloud services growth accelerates.

Waterfront villas & houses for sale in Greece;   http://www.hiddengreece.net

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 March 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Shepherd Neame (SHEP) improved its interim revenues and underlying pre-tax profit. Revenues were 6% ahead at £84.1m and underlying profit edged up from £5.7m to £5.8m. The interim dividend has been raised from 5.62p a share to 5.75p a share. Net debt was £79.5m. The main growth in revenues was in the managed pubs and hotels division. There was an underlying improvement in the profitability of the brewing business, where own beer volumes were 4.2% higher.

Ashley House (ASH) has reached financial close on the Scarborough extra care housing development. There are 63 apartments plus communal areas and the gross development value is £10m. completion is expected in spring 2019. A housing development and health scheme are likely to follow. This development is not part of the Morgan Sindall joint venture. Non-executive director Christopher Lyons has bought 31,000 shares at 10.09p a share.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a fully diluted NAV of 239p a share on 5 March 2018 but that was prior to the Luceco profit warning. The NAV included Luceco (LUCE) shares at 77.8p each but the price has subsequently fallen to 57.2p a share. EPE is the largest shareholder in LED lighting products supplier and this was the second profit warning in three months. The original 2017 profit expectation was £16.7m and this has been cut to £11m.

Western Selection (WESP) has raised £668,000 from the disposal of shares in Swallowfield (SWL) and it has a remaining stake of 7.71%. Western sold 120,000 Swallowfield shares at 330p each and 80,000 at 340p each. Last month, personal care products supplier Swallowfield bought men’s grooming brand, Fish for an initial £2.7m.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has issued £4.76m of convertible loan notes as part of the £4.85m open offer. A holder of an existing £500,000 loan note is converting into the latest convertible loan notes and like the other subscribers is receiving one warrant for each £1 of loan notes.

MetalNRG (MNRG) says a licence has been granted relating to the Palomino cobalt project, where the company has the right to acquire a 100% stake in return for two million shares at 1.5p each. MetalNRG is also issuing 500,000 shares for work that has already been carried out.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has raised £2.16m at 270p a share. The cash will be invested in sales and marketing and developing new cyber security products.

Good Energy (GOOD) says that holders of £3.6m of its first energy bonds have agreed to retain them, while the other £4.3m worth will be repaid on 29 March.

Co-chairman David Sumner has increased the amount of Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) loan notes he will subscribe for to £5m. The outstanding balance is currently £2.7m and additional tranches of up to £200,000 can be subscribed for each month.

London Capital Group Holdings (LCG) is selling a 91.5% stake in its Tradex and 100% of other subsidiary companies to its main shareholder in return for £4.64m of loan notes with a coupon of 8%. The costs of the NEX quotation will also be covered by the buyer. The remaining 8.5% of Tradex can be acquired for £431,000 in loan notes. The disposal requires FCA approval. London Capital will seek a fintech business to acquire within the required six month period.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) and Wishbone Gold (WSBN) have joined NEX. They are both retaining their AIM quotations and are chaired by Richard Poulden.

AIM   

VR Education has raised more cash than it originally asked for. It has raised £6m at 10p a share and this values the company at £19.3m. The company has developed the ENGAGE education platform and is also developing corporate training and educational content to go on the platform. The business is generating revenues but it still has to take full advantage of the technology it has developed.

Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) increased its revenues from £16.3m to £47m last year and annualised bookings continue to grow. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £195,000 to £3.08m. Yu has gained a licence to supply water. The dividend has been increased from 2.25p to 3p a share.

Share (SHRE) has continued to add to its market share. In 2017, the broker revenues grew from £14.6m to £18.7m and it moved back to underlying pre-tax profit. Digital investment continues and the benefits of this will increasingly show through over the next couple of years. This year the recent partnerships will make a 12 month contribution. Higher interest rates will also help to increase interest income on the cash held.

Smart audio sales started to take off last year and Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) continues to invest in this area. The original digital radio technology business is profitable but the development costs for smart audio more than wipe that profit out. Net cash was £3m at the end of 2017 and this should be enough for Frontier’s requirements. There is scope to grow the digital radio business but smart audio will provide the main growth. From a tiny percentage in 2016, smart audio could contribute nearly two-fifths of revenues in 2019.

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has bought Springboard Corporate Finance for an initial £2.75m in cash and shares. Springboard generated a pre-tax profit of £750,000 on revenues of £2.3m in 2016-17. Up to £500,000 more will be payable depending on performance over the next five years. Begbies says that third quarter trading is in line with expectations. Corporate insolvencies are increasing, albeit from low levels.

Polemos (PLMO) has terminated the proposal to acquire SecurLinx Corporation, which still hopes to come to the London market. Trading in the shares has been restored. Polemos is raising £270,000 at 0.01p a share, plus a further £140,000 conditional on shareholder approval. These placings are before the planned share consolidation of one new share to every 100 existing shares. When additional approvals are given by shareholders a share offering will be made via PrimaryBid.

Netcall (NET) more than doubled its interim SaaS revenues thanks to the purchase of MatsSoft. Interim revenues grew by one-third to £10.7m, which includes organic growth of 5%. Underlying pre-tax profit was 8% ahead at £1.8m. Net debt is £2.5m.

Audio products supplier Focusrite (TUNE) reported sales growth of more than 25% in the first half. Edison upgraded its full year profit forecast by 4% to £10.4m.

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) has secured the use of its graphene-enhanced epoxy prepreg in the tailgate of the W Motors Fenyr sports car. This is a limited market but it is a good showcase for the technology.

Second half trading was stronger than expected at FIH Group (FIH) as both trading in the Falkland Islands and Momart improved their performance. This has led to an upgrade in the 2017-18 profit forecast from £2.5m to £2.8m.

GRC International (GRC) raised £5.04m at 70p a share when it joined AIM on 5 March. The share price ended the week at 115p. GRC provides services relating to IT governance and compliance.

Zamano (ZMNO) had €5.05m in the bank at the end of January 2018. It remains in talks for potential acquisitions that would enable the company to remain quoted. Part of any deal would be the offer of a cash return to existing shareholders. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) had £3.2m in the bank at the end of 2017. Microsaic is focusing on the biopharma market but it could take until 2019 for its partners to start to generate revenues from its technology. There should be enough cash for more than one year but more will be required. Costs have been reduced.

SysGroup (SYS) has signed a three-year managed hosting deal with TJ Morris Ltd, trading as discount retailer Home Bargains, worth more than £950,000.

Contract research organisation Fusion Antibodies (FAB) says that its 2017-18 revenues are expected to grow by at least two-fifths to £1.9m. Last year’s flotation took up management time so revenues are lower than hoped.

Attraqt (ATQT) reported a full year loss of £4.05m, including exceptional costs of £2.38m. The e-commerce software provider intends to focus on operational efficiency this year. There was £2m in the bank at the end of February.

BOS Global Holdings (BOS) has been placed in administration.

Instem (INS) has switched a long-standing client to the SaaS model and this will increase recurring revenues by two-fifths. There are potentially £10m of fees that could be converted to the recurring revenues model.

WANdisco (WAND) has announced more deals including a partnership with Alibaba, which will embed WANdisco Fusion in some of the cloud services that it offers. Total bookings increased by 45% to $22.5m in 2017 and this has sparked a 2018 revenues upgrade by WH Ireland from $25.5m to $30.8m, although a slightly higher loss of $6.5m is expected. WANdisco could move near to breakeven in 2019.

Mirada (MIRA) has secured a £3m loan facility, which adds to the existing facilities. An initial £1.5m will be drawn down within two months. This provides working capital to finance additional contract wins. The annual interest rate is 15%. The provider of the facility is a 27% shareholder.

Strategic Minerals (SML) has paid A$1.5m in cash and A$1.45m in shares for the Leigh Creek copper mine. Strategic has acquired 24,900 tonnes of JORC compliant resource copper. Production should build up to 200 tonnes of copper each month and there is an offtake agreement for 100% of copper production. Strategic has extended its rolling agreement with the owner of the Cobre magnetite stockpile until March 2019. This deal generated revenues of $5.64m in 2017.

Zoo Digital (ZOO) says full year revenues will be at least $28m, up from $16.5m last year, while EBITDA will be ahead of expectations and be at least $2.3m. Localisation services remain the main growth area. Herald has reduced its stake from 15.7% to 14.6%.

Volvere (VLE) says that its 2017 pre-tax profit improved from £1.94m to £3.22m. Impetus Automotive contributed the growth in profit with CCTV software company Sira and Shire Foods reporting lower profits. NAV is 656p a share, with £18.4m in cash and marketable securities.

AFC Energy (AFC) reduced its loss to £5.5m in 2017. The fuel cell technology developer should have enough cash for this year, but it is likely to run out in 2019. AFC could move into profit in 2020.

Pallet developer RM2 International (RM2) has received $2m from the disposal of a building in Switzerland. That means it will have enough cash until mid-April.

Drilling is set to recommence at the Stonepark zinc project in Limerick and Connemara Mining (CON) has set aside £250,000 to cover its share of the spending over the next 12 months. Connemara has a 23.4% stake in the joint venture that owns the project.

Drilling results from the Kodal Minerals (KOD) lithium project at Bougouni in Southern Mali continue to be positive. The latest 19 drill holes have shown high grade intersections of consistent pegmatite mineralisation of up to 1.68% Li2O.

Clear Leisure (CLP) is ready to set up its Bitcoin mining joint venture in Serbia. Management says that the joint venture could produce more Bitcoins at a lower cost than expected. That would increase the return on the €200,000 investment. Assuming a Bitcoin price of $10,000 and an 8% discount rate, the investment could eventually be worth €389,000.

MAIN MARKET    

Bioquell (BQE) reported a rise in pre-exceptional profit from £1.6m to £2.9m in 2017. This was despite a decline in defence revenues. There is £14.6m in the bank. The focus is the biodecontamination business and management believes that this will show through in improved performance this year.

InnovaDerma (IDP) has warned that its full year figures will be below expectations. The personal care products supplier always expected the year to be second half-weighted and full year revenues will be higher. However pre-tax profit will be similar to the £1.03m reported for last year. Last October, £4.4m was raised at 276p a share. The share price has fallen to 121.5p.

Toople (TOOP) has raised £250,000 at 1.022p a share. This will keep the telecoms business going as it tries to increase its revenues in order to reduce its loss. Last June, Toople raised £1.41m at 3.25p a share. Toople joined the standard list in May 2016 when it raised £2m at 8p a share.

Path Investments (PATH) is delaying its exit from the standard list until 29 March. The plan is to move to AIM when an oil and gas asset acquisition is made.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 November 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has invested $986,000 in DOT tokens, which are related to the Polkadot Project. A total of $150m was raised to finance the development of a decentralised protocol that allows trust-free movement of tokens and data between blockchains., that will also be able to create new parachains instead of starting a new community. The project is expected to go live by the end of 2019. Kryptonite 1 has sold Melon, Omisego and FunFair tokens in order to raise just over £290,000. That is a gain of around £270,000.

Via Developments (VIA1) has agreed to sell Plymouth Grove, Manchester for £2.5m. A non-refundable deposit of £250,000 has been paid and the deal should go through by the end of November. The property was originally acquired in June 2016 for £1.625m, although there will have been additional investment in development since then. In March, Via Developments announced a previous exclusivity agreement to sell which was dependent on planning permission. There was a refundable deposit of £100,000 for that potential deal. It is unclear whether the deals are related.

Health and care properties developer Ashley House (ASH) has welcomed the increased funding for health and housing schemes announced in the Budget. News that the government will not cap rents in the supported living sector has improved sentiment. Financial closure is anticipated on two projects in the next few weeks. Management continues to seek additional finance.

Block Energy (BLOK) has published its Schedule 1 notice for its proposed move to AIM. This is expected by 7 December.

Sandal (SAND) says that trading is in line with expectations with Energie MiHome sales trebling. By the end of 2018 the energy efficiency products should be generate as much in revenues as the power connections division.

There were 300,000 shares taken up in the Hellenic Capital (HECP) open offer but £250,000 was raised because the rest of the shares were placed.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has raised £1m at 0.2p a share, which was a small premium to the previous closing price. The cash will finance further pre-IPO investments. Turner Pope has been appointed broker.

Trading in the shares of Churchill Mining (CHL) should recommence when the figures for the year to June 2017 are published. That should be before the end of November. Pala Investments has subscribed for £500,000 of 10% convertible loan notes, which have a conversion price of 2.976p a share. Pala holds 21.3% of Churchill and full conversion of the loan notes would take the stake to 29.3%. Pala is also entitled to receive 25% of any proceeds from the claim for unlawful expropriation of the East Kutai coal project. Churchill is hopeful of overturning an unfavourable ruling on the case.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has issued shares valued at £21,750 at 0.09p a share in settlement of an outstanding loan from Blue Oak Assets. The deferred payment of £20,000 for the purchase of Pacha Cleator from Oliver Fattal has been satisfied by a share issue at the same price. That takes his stake to 9.96%.

Ken Riley is no longer finance director and company secretary of WMC Retail Partners (WELL) and Nigel Higgs has taken over as interim finance director.

AIM

Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL) is raising £18m at 50p a share, which should be enough to keep the toilet roll business going. A restructuring of the business is underway and health and safety procedures are being reviewed. The bank facility has been extended until 2021. The share price fell by more than two-thirds when the suspension was lifted and ended the week at 37.5p.

Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) published its interims at 4.30pm on Friday. That means that the share price reaction will be on Monday. There were no shares traded in the diagnostic services provider on Friday. Revenues were 4% lower at £18.7m. Growth in automated business revenues partly offset lower licensing revenues. Pre-tax profit excluding restructuring costs fell from £1.77m to £1.11m. Net cash is £28.3m. The average number of assays per instrument has increased from 3.8 to 4.3. Reg Duval stepped down as chief executive at the end of October after seven months in the job. Jaap Stuut took over the role. He talks about improving the sales team.

Sutton Harbour (SUH) has agreed a 29.5p a share bid for 70% of the shares of the harbour operator and property developer from FB Investors. That will cost £19.9m. A shareholder can accept for more than 70% of their shareholding but they could be scaled back. FB Investors is subscribing £2.75m for new shares at the same price.

Boku Inc (BOKU) had a successful first week on AIM with the share price rising from the 59p placing price to 81p. That values the developer of technology enabling payments via mobile at around £170m.

Contact centre services software provider Netcall (NET) says the integration of the MatsSoft acquisition is progressing well and trading is strong in the first four months of the financial year. The dividend will return to a normal level this year having been enhanced in the past few years. This year’s dividend is expected to be 1.2p a share.

Angle (AGL) is included in a €6.3m study to develop liquid biopsy services that is being headed by Philips. This is a four year research project.

Jon Fenton has stepped down as chief executive of Van Elle Holdings (VANL) ahead of a requisitioned general meeting on 15 December.

Amiad Water Systems (AFS) has been granted a licence by Dow Technologies to use its TEQUATIC PLUS filter. Amiad will take over the manufacturing of the product and pay Dow 3.75% of revenues generated.

First Property Group (FPO) has already invested £51m for the new Fprop Office LLP but there is more than £200m more to invest. Annualised management fees are £2.64m and full investment of the new vehicle will significantly increase that figure.

Audio equipment supplier Focusrite (TUNE) increased its full year pre-tax profit by one-third to £9.5m. There was particularly strong growth in the US.

Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) managed to edge up its pre-tax profit last year even though trading becoming tougher in the second half. The motor dealer is expected to report a lower profit of £9.5m this year but it has a strong balance sheet and it is investing heavily in new sites for upmarket brands that will not fully contribute until next year.

Premier African Minerals (PREM) raised £1m via PrimaryBid at 0.4p a share, which was double the amount it was originally asking for. The cash will be used to develop mining projects in Zimbabwe and Benin.

Professional services provider Progility (PGY) put out its full year figures late on Friday. There was still time for the share price to fall by 0.2p to 1.25p. Progility did move back into profit in the period but it was a modest one. There was a warning that progress may be held back this year by operational efficiency improvements.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) is selling non-core businesses for $400,000 and reinvesting the cash in the development of technology to integrate blockchain-based currencies into its systems.

African Alliance is planning to invest £2.4m at 11p a share coal bed methane projects developer Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) conditional on a listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange before the end of the year.

Thor Mining (THR) is making a $125,000 (£95,000) payment to Pacific Gold and Royalty Corporation in settlement for the $1.5m (£1.13m) payment that would have had to have been made when the Pilot Mountain tungsten project in Nevada comes into production. Thor is still fully funded well into 2019. Metal Tiger has taken its stake in Thor to 9.77% after exercising 16 million warrants.

MAIN MARKET

Cash shell Landscape Acquisition Holdings (LAHL) raised $500m at $10 a share but the share price fell below the placing price when dealings commenced. The focus is hospitality, land-based gaming and real estate businesses in North America and Europe.

Rockpool Acquisitions (ROC) has secured a potential reverse takeover target. It is lending an initial £543,000 to Northern Ireland-based renewable energy firm Greenview Gas and this will be used to buy two companies. The deal includes an option for Rockpool to acquire Greenview paid for by a share issue.

Creightons (CRL) increased its pre-tax profit by one-fifth to £956,000, helped by an improvement in gross margin. An interim dividend of 0.15p a share is proposed.

IT services provider Triad Group (TRD) made further progress in the first half. In the six months to September 2017, revenues dipped from £14.8m to £14.2m, while pre-tax profit moved from £668,000 to £737,000. There is £2m in the bank. An interim dividend of 0.5p a share has been declared.

Andrew Hore

 

Corporate news review Tuesday 26th September 2017

AA Plc AA. Reports a robust H1 for Roadside and Insurance. Trading EBITDA rose 1% to £193m reflecting gains in insurance broking as well as reduced Head Office costs. Chairman John Leach said the Board “is very pleased that Simon Breakwell has agreed to take the role of CEO on a permanent basis”

Animalcare Group ANCR says pre-merger trading for 12 months ended 30th June 2017 was in line with the Board’s and market expectations. Total revenues were up 7.9% at £15.87m, underlying operating profits grew 11.8% to £3.57m. The enlarged group is confident in prospects for growth and expectations for earnings accretion in 2018 and beyond.

Barr (A.G.) BAG says interim revenues grew 8.8% to £136.6m, while PBT fell to £19.4m (2016 : £21.1m) including an exceptional credit of £1.9m. Free cash flow of £20m has resulted in a net cash position of £7.9m (2016 : net debt (£6.6m) and an 5% hike in the interim dividend has been declared. The Company remains on course to meet the FY expectations.

Ebiquity EBQ reports a 5.6% rise in total revenue to £44.6m, and underlying PBT down 21.8% to £6.2m, in line with market expectations and implementation of growth acceleration plan. Underlying operating cashflow conversion increased significantly to 89.2%, while net debt decreased as expected by £1.8m to £26.3m. EBQ remains on track to meet FY expectations.

Netcall NET reports a significant increase in mix of cloud services contracts, with an order book of contracted future minimum revenues up 13% to £17m. Annualised recurring core revenues increased by 8% to £11.8m, while adjusted EBITDA increased 1% to £4.49m. A final dividend of 1.16p is proposed, an increase of 5%.

Thomas Cook TCG publishes a pre-close trading update, and says summer 2017 is closing out as expected, with FY underlying EBIT outlook unchanged. Overall Group bookings remain in line with expectations, up 11% compared to this time last year, with average selling prices up 1%.

Transense Technology TRT reports FY revenues steady at £2m (2016: £2.08m), and pre tax losses from continuing operations of £2.16m (2016: Pre tax profit of £1.59m, adjusted pre tax loss of £1.17m). Executive Chairman David Ford, said: “The forward looking cash flow based on the anticipated level of activity indicates that the Group should have sufficient funds available for the short to medium term”

United Utilities UU. says FY revenue is expected to be just under 3% higher than the first half of last year, reflecting regulatory revenue changes, partly offset by the accounting impact of Water Plus business retail joint venture, which completed on 1 June 2016. Underlying H1 operating profit for 2017/18 is expected to be higher than the first half of 2016/17

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