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Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has added a NEX quotation to its year-old Canadian Stock Exchange listing. Auxico has mineral properties in Colombia and Mexico. There is already a UK investor base.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) had a bumper 2018 harvest that was 125% ahead of the previous best, thanks to the hot summer. Some vineyards produced their first crops.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) is paying this year’s dividend in three instalments: October, April and July. The first interim will be 0.83p a share and the ex-dividend date is 25 October. The sale of Hume House in Leeds has been completed for £3.9m, compared to a cost of £1.67m in March 2014. A 37-storey building will be constructed on the site.
Eight Capital Partners (MORE) is investing £250,000 in AIM-quoted Imaginatik (IMTK) with £160,000 subscription for shares at 1.1p a share for a 29.7% stake, and £90,000 in convertible loan notes with an annual interest rate of 7.5%. Eight Capital is issuing up to £2.5m of convertible bonds at 95% of their nominal value. The annual coupon is 5%. One warrant will be granted for every two shares issued.
Trading in the shares of Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has been suspended ahead of a potential acquisition of property assets from the Oyston family.
Gunsynd (GUN) will get a 4% stake in Human Brands when, or if, it floats on the standard list. Previously it would have been a 1% stake. Gunsynd has £289,000 invested in drinks distributor Human Brands loan notes.
Founder Sebastian Snow has resigned as creative director of pubs and inns operator Barkby Group (BARK) and Lana Snow has also left the group. Occupancy rates were good in September and there is significant demand for the Christmas period.
Ganapati (GANP) reported a reduction in interim loss from £4.54m to £3.56m, although total income was flat at £2.19m. There was cash in the bank of £2m at the end of July 2018. This could be added to by an initial coin offering by Malta-based blockchain subsidiary GanaEightCoin Ltd next spring.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £81,250 at 15p a share to provide further working capital.
The chairman and chief executive of DXS International (DXSP) have both bought shares in the healthcare technology company. Bob Sutcliffe bought 100,000 shares at 8.515p each, while David Immelman bought 20,538 shares at 8.66p each, which takes the chief executive’s stake to 10.3%.
Sativa Investments (SATI) has signed an option on a 298,806 square foot glasshouse for growing medicinal cannabis. Mark Blower is becoming a non-executive director.
Melissa Sturgess has acquired 590,000 shares in Ananda Developments (ANA) at 0.4496p each. The executive director of the cannabis-focused investment company owns 47.8 million shares. Ananda joined NEX on 4 July having raised £930,000 at 0.45p a share. The share price ended the first day at 0.975p and it has more than halved since then.
Chris Marsh has resigned as finance director of Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) having been suspended on 9 October. Previously undisclosed LTIP share awards have been revealed.
GB Group (GBG) has acquired Australia-based ID verification services provider Vix Verify Global for £21m. This has led to a 2.7% upgrade in the 2019-20 forecast earnings per share. Third quarter trading of the existing business was in line with expectations with organic growth in revenues of 11%.
Avingtrans (AVG) is acquiring Texas-based Tecmag Inc for $243,000. Tecmag manufactures instrumentation for magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear magnetic resonance systems. This fits well with Avingtrans’ magnets business in the sector.
Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) has shocked investors with accounting changes relating to accrued income and increases in impairment charges for trade debtors. This will slash £10m for this year’s profit turning it into a loss. There is £11.5m in the bank at the end of September 2018.
1Spatial (SPA) reduced its loss n the first half and is on course to cut its full year loss from £1.5m to £1m. The geospatial data services provider should move into profit next year.
HaloSource Corporation (HALO) says it has sufficient working capital until the end of the year, but up to $5m is required to add a further 12 months. The company expects to generate revenues of $2m-$2.5m in 2018 and the target is to treble that figure in 2019, which would reduce the loss.
EKF Diagnostics (EKF) says the record date for the distribution of shares in Renalytix AI is 23 October and the shares will start trading on 2 November.
Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) expects 2017-18 profit to be in line with expectations and order books are strong. Infrastructure services provider Tamdown’s revenues will be slightly lower due to planning delays with the growth coming from utility connections business TriConnex. Net cash is £20m.
RA International (RAI) has won a $9.1m contract with URS Group Inc. This is a new client. The contract covers construction services for an asphalt runway in Somalia and lasts for 11 months.
Data analysis software and services provider D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) trebled its interim revenues to £14m, although the comparatives were weak. Net cash is £12.2m.
Gfinity (GFIN) is raising £6m at 8p a share and this cash will further develop the esports activities and the UK Elite series. The 2017-18 revenues were 82% ahead at £4.3m and losses continue.
Angling Direct (ANG) is taking advantage of its strong position in the fishing tackle retail market by raising £20m at 92.5p a share, which compares to the July 2017 flotation price of 64p a share. The cash will finance the opening of 20 stores and the launch of European websites. This accelerated investment means that Angling Direct will fall into loss this year.
Velocity Composites (VEL) has managed to trade in line with downgraded forecasts for the year to October 2018. Revenues will be slightly above £24m and there is net cash of £3.6m. The company is seeking a new chief executive and the former incumbent has left the board.
The cancellation of a contract and the failure to gain backing for an acquisition have hampered the progress of Image Scan Holdings (IGE) in the year to September 2018. Revenues fell from £5m to £3.5m, although the gross margin improved from 39% to 48%. Pre-exceptional profit will slump from £480,000 to £45,000. That was before the £245,000 cost of the failed acquisition. There was £780,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. Sarah Atwell-King has been appointed finance director.
VR Education (VRE) has been hit by the delayed launch of its Titanic VR product on PlayStation. This should still happen this year, but 2018 revenues will be well below expectations. The timing of the launch will determine the outcome for the year. The ENGAGE platform will be launched before the end of the year as anticipated. Non-executive director Mike Boyce is helping out with sales.
SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) increased its research and development spending from £157,000 to £416,000 in the year to June 2018. The cosmetic application has started a human study and data should be available between November and April 2019. A clinical trial for an eczema treatment could start before the end of 2019. There was £3.2m in cash at the end of June 2018.
Rare books trader Scholium (SCHO) says it will move into loss in the first half, but it expects to make a higher full year profit than the £38,000 reported last year. Start-up Mayfair Philatelics is losing money but three auctions are taking place in the second half.
AfriTin Mining Ltd (ATM) is making progress towards production at its Uis tin project in Namibia. The first phase plant being constructed will be able to process 500,000 tonnes of pegmatite in order to produce 720 tonnes of tin concentrate a year. AfriTin has the cash required to reach production.
A strong performance from manned guarding meant that Croma Security Solutions (CSSG) increased its full year revenues by 59% to £35.1m and pre-tax profit was 400% higher at £2m. There were some one-off boosts during the year. Net cash was £2.1m. The dividend has been increased from 0.5p a share to 1.6p a share.
Property investment adviser First Property Group (FPO) has reduced its stake in Fprop Opportunities to 44.3% so it will no longer be consolidated in the group’s results. The plan is to lower the stake to below 30%. Fund management will be a greater contributor to profit.
More cash is required at meat and delicatessen products retailer Crawshaw (CRAW) for restructuring purposes and it also still needs a new nominated adviser.
Kemin Resources (KEM) will leave AIM on 29 October because it has not been able to find a replacement for Strand Hanson as nominated adviser. JP Jenkins Ltd will provide a trading facility.
OnTheMarket (OTMP) has signed up Belvoir Lettings (BLV) to its online platform. All Belvoir’s sales and lettings properties will be on the platform.
StatPro Group (SOG) says annualised recurring income has increased by 3% to £54.8m.
Communisis (CMS) is recommending a 71p a share cash offer by consumer communications services provider OSG, which values the target at £153.8m. The combined business would be able to develop internationally because of OSG’s global strength.
WideCells Group (WDC) has signed a partnership deal with stem cell extraction and storage company Smart Cells. The deal is with the healthcare insurance subsidiary CellPlan, whose insurance plans will be offered to Smart Cells’ 60,000 clients.
Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) has signed a second agreement with US biopharma company Orgenesis Inc. The deal involves the development and commercialisation of the company’s Human Postnatal Hemogenic Endothelial Cell (Hu-PHEC) technology, which could develop cancer-free, patient-matched blood stem cells after transplantation into a patient. Like the previous agreement, Orgenesis will provide a convertible loan of $1m and this can be converted into shares in the Hemogenyx subsidiary that owns the technology. Orgenesis will pay a 12% royalty on net revenues generated by the technology.
North Midland Construction (NMD) says that full year revenues will be better than anticipated at between £340m and £345m, with net margins between 1.7% to 1.8%. The order book for delivery in 2019 is £222m. A new single identity for the group will be launched in November. HR director Karen Morris has bought 8,172 shares at 550p each.
Brewer Adnams (ADB) grew its turnover by 7% to £35.5m in the first half of 2018 but there was an underlying operating loss and lower gains from asset disposals. The reported pre-tax loss increased from £284,000 to £840,000. The second half is always more profitable. Depreciation is higher due to investment in the brewery and the refurbishment of the Swan Hotel. Adnams own beer volumes increased by 4.8%, compared with the market growth of 1.3%. Carbon dioxide shortages have affected the second half. The interim dividend is unchanged at 78p/B share and 19.5p/A share.
KSE is offering £29,419.64 a share in cash for Arsenal Holdings (AFC) and that values the football club at £1.8bn. KSE already owns or has acceptances totalling more than 97% of the shares in the company.
Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) increased revenues by 184% to £293,000 in the first half of 2018 and 144 healthcare staff candidates were deployed in the period, which was nearly three times as many as in the first half of 2017. More students are being trained in the English language. Healthcare recruitment contracts have been signed in the UK and they cover nine hospitals. Contracts have also been signed outside the UK.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is subscribing for 0% secured convertible loan notes in Wallet Ads Ltd. The first drawdown is £50,000 and this will be followed by five monthly instalments of £20,000. On payment of the final instalment, or under certain other circumstances, the loan notes can be converted into 20% of the enlarged share capital of Wallet Ads, which has developed a mobile engagement platform combining mobile wallet passes, web and social media and this enables digital vouchers to be sent to smartphones. Angelfish non-exec Richard Walker will join the Wallet Ads board.
Pelican House Mining (PHM) is investing in battery minerals explorer Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration (KKME), which is exploring for nickel and platinum group metals in Botswana, near the South Africa border. AIM-quoted Two Shields Investments (TSI) is a co-investor in KKME and it increased its stake to 22.2%. Two Shields Investments also increased its stake in cobalt explorer Cobalt Blue Holdings to 49% before swapping it for a 11.26% stake in African Battery Materials (ABM), thereby gaining a wider exposure to technology metals licences.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) raised an additional £50,000 at 1p a share when it floated last year. Geremy Thomas holds a 3.1% stake.
Shareholders in Welney (WENP) have voted against the appointment of Mark Jackson and Mark Chapman as directors.
AIM-quoted TechFinancials Inc (TECH) joined NEX on 8 August. Monreal has changed its name to Eight Capital Partners (ECP).
Fryer management and commercial kitchen services provider Filta (FLTA) says that interim figures are in line with expectations. There will be a full contribution from GMG, which was acquired last year, while the sale of the refrigeration division has helped to improve margins. Revenues are growing from newer franchisees and the UK-based seals business also grew its revenues. The interims will be published on 4 September.
Former boss Philip Swinstead has sold his 9.82% stake in Parity Group (PTY) and Helium Rising Stars has taken a 10.9% shareholding. Parity is on track to achieve double digit profit growth this year. The IT recruitment and consultancy services provider is modestly rated on a prospective multiple of less than nine, even though the share price has risen following the share dealing.
Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) expects revenues to fall from £4.6m to £3.9m but the broadcast software supplier believes that the second half should be better. A backlog of £4.7m should help full year revenues to be nearer to last year’s level.
Frontier IP (FIPP) has announced its first Portugal-based spin-out. It is taking a 31.8% stake in NTPE, which is developing Paper-E technology that can be used to print electronic circuits, sensors and semiconductors. This opportunity came through the relationship with Universidade Nova de Lisboa Faculty of Science and Technology. Another investee company, 27.5%-owned Fieldwork Robotics, has secured a deal with soft fruit grower Hall Hunter to prototype and test a raspberry harvesting robot system.
Phoenix Global Mining (PGM) has reported that the first drilling results from the Empire mine in Idaho have been encouraging. There was 68 metres at 0.57% copper from the surface. The current JORC resource is 0.52% copper so it would be good news if the current drilling provides higher levels of copper.
Mereo BioPharma (MPH) had net cash of £36.9m at the end of June 2018, but a R and D tax credit of £8.2m was received in August. An adult Phase 2b study for Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) is due to complete enrolment by the end of September. There will be initial six month data from the open-label high dose part of the study by the middle of next year. A flotation on Nasdaq is still a possibility.
Engineering and construction company North Midland Construction (NMD) increased its interim revenues from £135.1m to £160.9m and more than doubled pre-tax profit from £1.23m to £2.51m. The interim dividend has been doubled to 6p a share. Cash in the bank was 138% higher than 12 months before are £18.9m, although there are also finance leases of £4.5m. The order book is worth £320m. The telecoms-related part of the business is still losing money. There were much better profit contributions from the water and construction divisions.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) is developing a global datacentre management business facilitating cryptocurrency Mining-as-a-Service and has signed a deal that will provide 9.5MW of clean energy for two datacentres in Quebec (Argo already has one datacentre in Quebec). That provides the capacity for more than 150,000 subscribers and the centres will be operational in September and October. Argo joined the standard list on 3 August after raising £25m at 16p a share, which valued the company at £47m. However, the share price has fallen back to 11.13p.
Beauty and personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) has appointed Kieran Callan, who was a non-executive director, as chief executive with Haris Chaudhry moving to executive chairman. Callan used to work at PZ Cussons. This appointment follows poor trading and disappointing pre-tax profit in the year to Last October, InnovaDerma raised £4.4m at 276p a share and, having fallen by two-thirds at one point since then, the share price has recovered to 148.5p. Haircare brand Roots will be sold in Tesco.
Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) is holding a general meeting on 30 August in order to get shareholder approval to enable it to issue more shares to raise cash to keep the business going.
Shareholders have agreed to the proposed broadening of investing policy for Sativa Investments (SATI) and the first acquisition under the new policy is George Botanicals. Sativa paid £415,000 in cash and shares for the UK-based wholesaler and distributor of cannaboid medicinal products, including CBD oil. The company is being acquired from the interests of Sativa chief executive Geremy Thomas.
Gas and electricity supplier Good Energy (GOOD) says that this year’s results will be weighted towards the first half because of the cold weather earlier in 2018. There will also be increased investment in the sales team and a digital app in the second half. Good supplies more than 70,000 homes and less than 1% of the business market.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) nearly doubled its revenues to $8.2m in 2017. There is $257,000 in the bank.
Pelican House Mining (PHM) has bought a 15% stake Mighty Oak Explorations, which has three licences to explore for cobalt and two to explore for lithium in Uganda.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) says the commissioning of plant for the Hellyer project is on course for August. The mine is a few months away from production.
Block Commodities (BLOC) has raised £165,000 at 0.035p a share. The cash will help to finance the launch of a pilot blockchain project in Uganda.
Alliance Pharma (APH) is acquiring the marketing rights to Nizoral, an anti-dandruff shampoo brand in Asia Pacific, for £60m. Alliance raised £34m at 91p a share. The rights being acquired, which cover 15 countries, generated net sales of £18.5m in 2017. They would have generated pro forma EBITDA of £7.1m.
Shoe retailer Footasylum (FOOT) has followed up the announcement of its exit from the FTSE AIM 100 index with a set of results that mean it is likely to be a long time before it gets back in the AIM 100. Peel Hunt has reduced its 2018-19 pre-tax profit forecast by one-quarter to £5.3m. Footasylum has been hit by discounting and the weak consumer market. Rental costs are higher than expected.
Social housing software and services provider Castleton Technology (CTP) continues to grow sales to new and existing customers. Two-fifths of customers take more than one product. Full year revenues were 15% ahead at £23.3m with organic growth of 13%. Net debt was 30% lower at £6.3m. There is a contracted backlog of £26.8m.
Frontier IP (FIPP) has taken a 24% stake in Cambridge Material Testing, which is developing software and hardware to measure material characteristics of metal components. The non-destructive tests are quick and require small samples.
Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) has raised £2.5m at 125p a share. Northbridge will use £1.05m to pay the deferred consideration for the Tasman acquisition. This was originally due in January 2016 and has been incurring an annual interest charge of 8%. The rest of the cash will be invested in rental equipment as demand recovers. Gearing will fall below 20%
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has published a maiden contingent resource for its interests in the Paradox Basin, Utah. The competent persons report shows a net 2C contingent resources of 12.3mmboe with gas accounting for nearly one-quarter of that resource. A post-tax NPV of $86.9m has been estimated. This assumes a 75% success rate for wells drilled and a recovery of up to 550,000 barrels per well. Each horizontal well is expected to cost $7m. These estimates are based on less than one-quarter of Rose’s acreage.
Myanmar-focused social media platform operator MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) is acquiring MyPay Myanmar for £1m in cash and 72.5 million shares issued at 1.38p each. An issue of unsecured convertible bonds has raised £2.22m. Bid talks have been terminated.
Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) has extended its credit facility for a further year. The $15m facility lasts until November 2022. The existing oil and gas assets in Trinidad are generating cash and this is also helping to fund the drilling of 12 wells this year. Next year, an exploration well will be drilled on the Ortoire block.
Michael Rowan is switching from chairman to chief executive at Active Energy Group (AEG) and the previous chief executive will focus on developing the forest management operations in North America and CoalSwitch in Poland.
Trading in the shares of URA Holdings (URA) has been suspended because it has not completed a reverse takeover. URA has signed heads of agreement to acquire Entertainment AI Ltd, which has developed tagging technology that enables viewers of video clips to purchase items in the video. It also owns the GTChannel, which runs automotive-related channels across YouTube generating revenues from advertising.
Project management services provider Progility (PGY) plans to cancel its AIM quotation. Praxis, which owns 64.75% of the company is backing the move. There is total support from shareholders owning more than 81% of the company so the cancellation is a foregone conclusion. Praxis is offering 55p a share for shares it does not own.
N4 Pharma (N4P) is making good progress with its therapeutic nanoparticle platform Nuvec. There should be results from studies in he fourth quarter. N4 is conducting studies to identify human cell types that are most responsive to Nuvec. The Sildenafil MR Viagra reformulation commenced a proof-of-concept trial in April and the results are expected in August.
Uvenco UK (UVEN) continues to hold discussions with its main creditor following the placing of its vending machine subsidiaries in administration. Those assets were sold for £1.8m and Uvenco is left with net debt of £1.6m.
Industrial equipment distributor Slingsby (HC) (SLNG) says that a stronger April and May means that sales are 1%lower in the first five months of the year. Compared to a 6% shortfall in the first quarter. Pre-tax profit is also slightly lower. Net debt was £1.4m at the end of May 2018.
Duke Royalty Ltd (DUKE) has increased its interim dividend by 17% to 0.7p a share. The dividend will be paid on 12 July.
RA International Group Ltd provides services to remote locations and it wants to raise £18.8m when it joins AIM. In 2017, RA generated revenues of $53.3m and profit of $13.7m, up from $5m the previous year.
Oil and gas explorer Upland Resources Ltd (UPL) has completed a placing raising £3m at 2.5p a share. The cash will help to fund the drilling of a well at Wick in the UK and finance potential ventures in Sarawak and North Africa.
Beauty and personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) continues to find trading tough and it will report a full year pre-tax profit that is £650,000 lower than expected. Revenues will increase from £8.9m to £11m. finnCap had forecast a 2017-18 pre-tax profit of £2.4m on revenues of £13.8m following the 2016-17 full year figures. Last October, InnovaDerma raised £4.4m at 276p a share and that has helped to shore up the balance sheet.
Stewart and Wright (STE) is offering to buy 21.5% of its share capital at 590p a share as part of the cancellation of its listing. That is a 7% discount to NAV. There has been one trade in the shares so far this year. The property investor has been hit by the downturn in the high street.
Pembridge Resources (PERE) is trying to raise $40m and prior to that there will be a ten-for-one share consolidation. The cash will finance the acquisition of Minto Explorations from Capstone Mining, which will cost $37.5m in cash plus shares that would give Capstone 9.9% of Pembridge. Minto is a copper producer in the Yukon. The deal could be completed by the end of July.
Tom Charlton has increased his stake in North Midland Construction (NMD) from 8.4% to 9.4%.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) grew 2017 revenues from the nursery, hotel and media operations. There was a 11% increase in raceday attendances, which totalled 196,000 last year, leading to a 1% like-for-like rise in revenues. Overall revenues were 5% higher at £17.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit edged up from £178,000 to £188,000. There was a small cash outflow from operations. Capital investment meant that cash was reduced from £12.9m to £5.2m with more payments to come from the David Wilson Homes deal. A further £5.17m will be spent on upgrading the Pall Mall stand. There are concerns that the cutting of maximum stakes for gaming machines following the recent government announcement could hit bookmaker sponsorship and media rights revenues.
Block Commodities Ltd (BLCC) has a secured a strategic investment from Swarm Fund, which is a decentralised marketplace platform using blockchain. Investors will be able to participate in the FarmCoin asset-backed investment coin via the Swarm platform. FarmCoin is a joint venture between FinComEco and Block Commodities focused on the agriculture sector. There will be up to $45m of FarmCoin tokens issued.
National Milk Records (NMR) is holding a general meeting on 4 June in order to propose a reduction in capital that should put it in a position to have distributable reserves if it wants to pay a dividend.
Pre-IPO investor Primorus Investments (PRIM) had cash of £561,000 at the end of 2017. The NAV was £4.95m. This was after a £3.26m inflow from share issues.
Watkin Jones (WJG) has found a new chief executive but he will not be able to start until the beginning of 2018. Richard Simpson is joining from student accommodation developer Unite Group. The build to rent operations of Watkin Jones has secured a development arrangement for a site in Reading, which will have 315 apartments.
GAN (GAN) and Webis (WEB) are two companies that could benefit from the legalisation of online sports betting in the US. The Supreme Court of the United States has decided to overturn the Federal prohibition of sports betting. US sports betting could be worth $6bn by 2023. That covers online and onsite gambling. GAN can launch a sports betting service in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the second half of this year – in time for the NFL season. GAN already has a deal with Betfair in New Jersey and adding sports betting will increase revenues. Webis has a US subsidiary called WatchandWager, which is based in California, a strong potential market for sports betting.
Genedrive (GDR) has agreed to sell its research and pharmacogenomics divisions to a director for up to £1.9m so that it can concentrate on its core Genedrive diagnostics platform. The initial payment is £1.15m with the rest deferred and subject to claims for R and D tax credits.
Lakehouse (LAKE) is acquiring heating and renewables services provider Just Energy Solutions, which fits with the company’s gas compliance businesses in the public sector and expands coverage in the industrial and commercial sectors. There is no upfront cost and payments will be dependent on profitability over two years. Lakehouse has also won a £55m, three year, Warm Homes contract with the Wales government.
Oil and gas demand is recovering at advanced coatings provider Hardide (HDD) but it is still well below previous levels. Other customers are enhancing growth and aerospace business is on the horizon. Interim revenues were 43% higher at £2.16m but the company is still loss-making. That will continue for a couple of years.
Angling Direct (ANG) increased revenues by 44% to £30.2m in the year to January 2018 and this led to an upgrade in forecast revenues for the current year. The fishing tackle retailer grew online sales by 54% but these tend to be lower margin. Pre-tax profit was £900,000 and it is expected to rise to £1.1m this year.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosander (SOS) says that its full year revenues will be at least £1.34m. Like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter nearly quadrupled and gross margins are improving.
Portmeirion (PMP) has increased revenues by one-fifth in the first four months to 2018, although the second half of the year is always the more significant. Full year profit is still forecast to rise from £8.8m to £9.4m.
Churchill China (CHH) says that trading is ahead of the same period last year. The ceramic products manufacturer continues to have success in Europe and other export markets.
A new patent application has been filed for SkinBiotix by SkinBiotherapeutics (SBTX) and this covers the increasing of filaggrin levels in skin. Filaggrin is required for the formation of the outer layer of skin. Eczema sufferers have a low level of filaggrin.
The People’s Operator (TPOP) is increasing its UK subscribers but US numbers have declined so the performance was down in the first quarter of 2018. Churn is declining. Margins are better than expected. Even so, progress is too slow and an alternative strategy is required by the virtual mobile network business and it is considering divesting the US subscribers. That should cut cash burn by one-third.
A bathing water test by Molendotech, which is one of the investee companies of Frontier IP Group (FIPP), is being launched by Halma. This follows the agreement earlier this year.
Altona Energy (ANR) will begin a drilling programme on the Westfield tenement of the Arckaringa coal project during August. There could be 100mt of coal in the tenement. It will take three weeks to drill 15 holes to a depth of 120 metres.
Active Energy Group (AEG) intends to acquire a controlling interest in PowerWood Canada. Which owns forestry assets in Canada. This will secure feedstock for the roll-out of CoalSwitch, the biomass replacement for coal. There are plans to construct a 25 tonne per hour CoalSwitch plant in Alberta.
Servoca (SVCA) wants shareholders to agree to the cancellation of the AIM quotation. Management says that this will save £150,000 a year.
Volex (VLX) is buying Silcotec Europe for €18.1m and raising £36m at 75p a share. Silcotec supplies harnesses and electronic sub-assemblies to the medical, telecoms and computer industries and generated an operating profit of €3.1m.
Audioboom (BOOM) is not going ahead with the reverse takeover of Triton Digital Canada Inc because it could not raise the cash from a placing. A £700,000 break fee in cash (£90,000) and shares is payable. The audio business still requires more cash and that is why trading in the shares is still suspended.
Sportech (SPO) has a strong presence in the US so it is in a good position to benefit from the legalisation of sports betting. It already has 90 licenced operator clients and its own network of off-track betting facilities in Connecticut.
The reasons behind founder Laurence Orbach increasing his stake in books publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) to 20.1% have become clear. Orbach was removed from the board in November 2012 but he has joined with 27% shareholder Lion Rock to unseat four non-executive directors at the AGM. Orbach and former finance director Mick Mousley have returned to the board, along with two nominees from Lion Rock. Orbach becomes executive chairman.
Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has completed bulk sampling in zone 1 and this should enable a resource estimate to be calculated.
Standard list shell Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has signed heads of terms for a 50% stake in CarCloud, a car sales-based fintech company. The deal to acquire energy storage systems developer Phestor is off. That follows the abortive takeover of Myclubbetting.
S&U (SUS) says non-prime car finance applications are 10% higher this year, although approval rates have fallen. Net receivables have increased by £48m to £258m.
North Midland Construction (NMD) has made a strong start to the year. There is a secured workload of £310m for this year and this should enable an improved financial performance this year.
World Trade Systems (WTS) wants to diversify its business outside of China. A new Taiwan-based health and fitness subsidiary is being incorporated. Kun Xin International will provide a loan facility of up to £3m to finance the new business. European opportunities are being sought.
Blood diseases treatments developer Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) has signed a development agreement with a global pharma company, which will provide Hemogenyx with free technical support and some intellectual property. The pharma company will be granted a research licence for anything jointly developed.
Sativa Investments (SAPI) joined NEX on 29 March after raising £1.1m at 1p a share. The share price has already reached 3.125p. Sativa has £1.5m in cash that it can invest in businesses involved in medicinal cannabis. The initial focus is Canada.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) reported a slight reduction in NAV to 41.5p a share at the end of February 2018. The portfolio includes 17 unquoted employee owned businesses with a value of £5.24m.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has entered into a three-year, $10m loan facility with a US private equity firm and this will be used to develop the Hellyer mine. The facility has a 12% annual interest charge and it is secured on the company’s assets. NQ has entered into a silver purchase deed with the finance provider and has to sell them 30% of the first 8 million ounces recovered from the Hellyer mine and 10% of the payable silver for the lifetime of mine. The price will be the lower of $6/ounce or 80% of market price.
Gunsynd (GUN) says that investee company Human Brands is acquiring a 10% stake in wine and spirits distributor Milestone Beverages HK Ltd, which can help to increase the distribution coverage of the investee company’s drinks brands. Gunsynd owns 6.18% of Brazil Tungsten Holdings, which has been forced to suspend operations after a fatal accident. The investment is currently valued at £500,000.
Welney (WENP) made a broadly similar interim loss of £37,000 and it has net liabilities of £234,000.
Block Commodities (BLOC) has reduced its interim loss from $1.19m to $782,000.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has reached agreement with 4Navitas, which will make a payment to cover the majority of costs incurred when Angelfish was trying to negotiate a joint venture agreement.
Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has raised £50,000 at 0.06p a share.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has sold 50% of its stake in Pharmacy 2U, for double its cost, at the same time as the digital pharmacy services provider raised £40m of new cash.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has extended the closing date of the one-for-four open offer to raise up to £1.05m at 94p a share from 26 March to 30 April.
MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) slipped out its interim figures at 5.32pm after the market had closed for Easter. They show near-doubled cash outflow from operating activities of $2.22m. There was $68,000 in the bank at the end of 2017. Management is hopeful that the $218,000 of trade receivables at the end of December 2017 can be collected by June. Since then, MySQUAR has issued £2.11m of convertible bonds at 90% of their face value to Atlas Capital Markets Ltd. There are also more than 20 million warrants exercisable at 3.15p a share. There is talk of an acquisition of a mobile payment services business.
Conviviality (CVR) is calling in administrators after a rescue fundraising failed to win the backing of investors.
Publisher Axel Springer is investing £125m in Purplebricks (PURP) and this will give it 11.9% of the estate agency. The shares are being acquired at 360p each and £25m worth of existing shares are being acquired from management. Full year revenues will double but a weak UK market, exacerbated by the weather and potentially by negative publicity. There was £51.7m in the bank at the end of February 2018. The additional cash will enable a faster roll-out in the US and entry into other markets.
Royal Bank of Scotland has bid 120p a share for FreeAgent (FREE) and that values the accounting software provider at £53m. The founders will take shares and have a 23.5% stake in the bid vehicle. FreeAgent floated 18 months ago at 84p a share. At the beginning of 2017, FreeAgent signed a deal with RBS, which offers the company’s SaaS-based software to small business customers. More than 10,000 customers have taken up the software.
Polarean Imaging (POLX) joined AIM on 29 March and raised £3m at 15p a share. Polarean has developed xenon gas-based technology that enables MRI scans to produce better images. Amphion Innovations (AMP) retains a 23.2% stake.
Polemos (PLMO) has withdrawn its general meeting resolutions. The placing and 100-for-one share consolidation will not go ahead for the time being. There could be an open offer and placing at the previously proposed price of 0.01p a share.
Thor Mining (THR) is acquiring 40% of an exploration licence, which has 13 outcropping tungsten deposits and one copper deposit and 100% of a prospective copper exploration licence. Thor is issuing A$550,000 of shares to Rox Resources in payment for these purchases. The 60%-owner of the first licence has the right to match the price offered.
Tracsis (TRCS) increased its interim profit by one-third to £2.4m as revenues grew by 18% to £18.1m. The software division increased its profit and there was a recovery in the traffic and data services division. There is more improvement to come from the latter division. The interim dividend is 17% higher at 0.7p a share. There is £18.5m in the bank. There will be a second half contribution from the rail sector delay repay businesses acquired in February. Progress is being made in selling remote condition monitoring technology in North America.
Internet gaming software supplier GAN (GAN) reported a reduced loss of £4.2m for 2017. There was £2.7m in the bank at the end of 2017 and since then has raised £2m via an unsecured 9% convertible loan note. There could be further fundraisings in order to make the most of the prospects for real money internet gaming in the US.
Inland Homes (INL) increased its adjusted EPRA NAV by 6% to 97.63p a share. Interim pre-tax profit improved from £4.95m to £5.37m. The interim dividend was raised 30% to 0.65p a share. The landbank has been expanded to 7,372 plots.
Altona Energy (ANR) slightly increased its first half loss to £260,000 and there was £690,000 in the bank at the end of 2017. The current focus is conventional coal mining at the Arckaringa coal project in Australia. Altona is assessing less wet coal seams.
RM2 International (RM2) is raising £25.3m at 1p a share, just over 50% after a general meeting and the rest dependent on the reduction of operating costs and commercial launch of new technology, and converting preferred shares into 3.16 billion shares. There are also plans for an open offer to raise around £4.5m. The new cash will be used to retrofit existing pallets with ELIoT track and trace devices and produce new RM2 ELIoT pallets. Former chief executive John Walsh has stepped down from the board, as has Frederic de Mevius. Woodford appears likely to end up owning around two-thirds of RM2. The second tranche is dependent on Woodford agreeing that key performance indicators have been met. Three members of RM2’s management will acquire shares in the placing via a reduction in their salaries over an 18 month period.
STM Group (STM) reported better than expected 2017 and this led to an upgrade for 2018. Last year’s pre-tax profit improved from £2.6m to £4m, helped by an increased provision release from the acquired life book. The underlying pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £3.2m to £4.2m in 2018.
Caledonian Trust (CNN) reported a NAV of 185.7p a share at the end of 2017. This was helped an increase in the valuation of St Margaret’s House, which is in the process of being sold.
The SimplyBiz Group provides regulatory and support services to financial advisers and is set to join AIM on 4 April.
Sosandar (SOS) has gained momentum since floating last year. The online women’s fashion retailer continues to lose money but the customer database has increased nearly ten-fold to 36,328.
NetScientific (NSCI) is running out of money and it needs more by the end of June. A placing and subscription will raise up to £6m at 52.5p a share. The cash will be used to provide additional financial backing for investee companies.
Manx Financial Services (MFX) has acquired Blue Star Business Solutions, which is a broker for IT equipment funding, for an initial £1.5m in cash. This could increase to up to £4m depending on performance.
Connemara Mining (CON) is focusing on three main areas: the Inishowen gold project in Donegal, the Mine River gold project in Wicklow and Wexford and multiple zinc exploration projects. The next exploration is at the 100%-owned Mine River gold project where high grade intersections will be targeted.
Wynnstay Properties (WSP) has increased the value of its investment properties by £1.63m to £30.1m in the year to March 2018. The NAV has increased by 100p a share to more than 770p a share.
Real Good Food (RGD) has agreed a loan note facility of up to £4m with three major shareholders. Longer-term, a share issue will be required.
Vernalis (VER) lost £37.6m in 2017, mainly down to exceptional write-downs and unrealised foreign exchange movements. There was £46m in the bank. US commercial activity should finish by the end of September and that will slow the ongoing cash outflow.
Kestrel has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems Group (PEB) from 15.2% to 16.6%. The share price has been on a downward trajectory and borrowings are significant but Kestrel must believe that the software company will survive.
Life science software provider Instem (INS) coupled its 2017 figures with a contract announcement for its SEND software. Revenues were 18% ahead at £21.7m, and that included organic growth of 5%, while pre-tax profit recovered from £500,000 to £1.9m. A further improvement to £2.7m is expected this year.
Feedback (FDBK) has raised £440,000 at 1.25p a share and it will invest in sales and marketing for the TexRAD and Cadran technology, as well as developing a clinical evidence base for TexRAD.
Oracle Power (ORCP) has raised £550,000 at 1.4p a share to provide cash for the company as it moves to financial close for the development of the Thar Block VI lignite coal mine and power plant in the Sindh province in Pakistan.
GoTech Group (GOT) plans to sell its Sportsdata business to Starnevesse for £1. The company was a shell prior to the acquisition of the business in May 2016 and it effectively became a shell again when it stopped supporting the business at the end of 2017. There is £566,000 in the bank and there will be a £100,000 cash payment as part of the settlement of indebtedness to Starnevesse.
Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has signed an agreement with Unimicro Technologies Inc, which will integrate Microsaic’s 4500 MiD mass spectrometry detector into its Capillary Electrophoresis instruments.
Collagen Solutions (COS) is restructuring its New Zealand operations. The plan is to focus on tissue collection and processing and then consolidate collagen production in Glasgow. Annual cost savings should be £200,000 and one-off costs will be £150,000.
Chris Akers has increased its stake in YOLO Leisure (YOLO) from 6.8% to 7.93%.
S&U Group (SUS) reported a one-fifth increase in pre-tax profit to £30.2m. The car finance provider achieved this despite a start-up loss from the bridging finance business Aspen. The total dividend for the year was increased from 91p a share to 105p a share. A rise in pre-tax profit to £35.8m is forecast for this year.
Book publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) slumped into loss in 2017, although the underlying pre-tax profit fell from $13.9m to $3.9m. Net debt was $64m. The year end is being changed to March.
Shefa Yamim (SEFA) had NIS6.49m in the bank at the end of 2017 following its flotation. Bulk sampling results for the Kishon Mid-Reach gemstones project have been positive and the processing plant has been upgraded.
Path Investments (PATH) has postponed its exit from the standard list until further notice. The plan is to move to AIM when the proposed oil and gas asset acquisition is made but the timing remains uncertain.
North Midland Construction (NMD) reported a fall in profit in 2017 even though revenues increased from £250.5m to £291.8m. Pre-tax profit more than halved from £2.06m to £1m. That is because the loss on legacy contracts increased from £3.85m to £7.29m. The final dividend is unchanged at 3p a share even though the total dividend is one-third higher at 6p a share.
NCC (NCC) has sold its web performance business for £7.5m. The sale process for the software testing business is continuing.
Wines maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) says that its open offer at 50p a share was oversubscribed. Excess applications will be scaled back. The additional £1.47m raised takes the total to £20m. BlackRock holds a 5.79% stake and Nigel Wray owns 16.2%.
Startup Giants (SUG) has made its first investment since floating. An undisclosed investment has been made in Go Show Ltd, which operates a brand marketplace designed to enable product placement deals (www.goshow.net), and it will be released when milestones have been achieved. Go Show initially applied for funding in 2015 and it has been mentored by Startup Giants. There is a target for revenue generation of up to £1m within 12 months. An accelerator round has also been launched by Startup Giants. It is aimed at early stage, UK-registered companies.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has increased its shareholding in Indorse from 3% to 6.5% at cost of S$175,000. There is an option to acquire a further 3.5%, at the same cost, to take the stake to 10%. Indorse completed a token sales last September and those tokens are currently valued at $34m. The Indorse platform is designed to enable users to generate income from sharing their skills and validating the claims of others.
African Potash Ltd (AFPO) has entered into an agreement with Gibraltar-based TokenCommunities Ltd. This deal will help the blockchain joint venture that has also already been announced with FinComEco Ltd, which is developing platforms for agricultural markets in sub-Saharan Africa. TokenCommunities will advise on the deployment of tokens. The chain will link smallholder farmers, traders, brokers, storage, transportation and commodity buyers. There are plans for microloans to farmers at an annual interest rate of 12%, which is lower than existing rates. African Potash has completed the raising of £400,000 at 0.025p a share.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has completed the €2.76m purchase of four plots of land with permission to develop a camping complex. It has also invested €3.37 to help finance the development of the site, which could be completed by the middle of the year. Black Sea Property raised €3.53m at €0.01 a share late last year.
Lake Acquisitions (U.P) says that the contingent value rights holders will not get a distribution for 2017. The cumulative relevant revenues from the eligible nuclear power output was £41.1m. The cumulative base revenues were £41.9m.
UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOG) has decided to drop its NEX Exchange quotation on 31 January. That is just over 27 months after it joined. The company says that there have been low levels of trading on NEX and it still has its primary quotation on AIM. Interestingly, oil and gas company UK Oil and Gas was formed many years ago out of the shell of a former technology equipment business, yet it is still classed under the technology hardware and equipment sub-sector of the technology sector in the AIM statistics.
Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) reported maiden full year results as a quoted company that were slightly better than expected. The housebuilding infrastructure provider reported a dip in pre-tax profit from £10.8m to £9.1m on flat revenues of £135m. The total dividend is 6.3p a share. A 2017-18 pre-tax profit of £10.8m is forecast.
Ilika (IKA) reported a significant cash outflow in the first half but the outflow should be reduced in the second half. Interim revenues trebled to £1m and full year revenues of £2.9m are forecast. The loss is reducing. There are licensing proposals with a handful of potential customers and any one of these could transform the fortunes of Ilika.
EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has confirmed that trading was strong in 2017 and EBITDA will be much better than the £8.8m forecast. EKF plans to spin-off its sTNFR biomarker technology into a separate company. This technology has no value in the balance sheet.
Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal Group (DNL) says that its Akindi treatment has performed well in a food matrix study in the US and it will be able to move onto the next stage in the process of gaining US approval. European approval for Akindi is expected in a matter of weeks. There was £14m in the bank at the end of 2017. The interims will be published on 12 March.
Lombard Risk Management (LRM) is recommending a 13p a share cash bid, which was nearly double the market price. The bid from rival financial services technology supplier is valued at £52.1m.
Somero Enterprises (SOM) has sparked another forecast upgrade with the 2017 pre-tax profit forecast rising 8% to $25.9m. Net cash should be at least $18.5m and that could rise by around $10m by the end of 2018. That leaves room for another special dividend as well as growth in the ongoing dividend. The tax changes in the US had already led to a one-fifth increase in the 2018 earnings per share forecast to 34.4 cents, which has been raised again to 36.8 cents.
Engineer Avingtrans (AVG) says that trading is on track and the integration of Hayward Tyler continues. A pre-tax profit of £2.2m is forecast for the year to May 2018 and this should generate nearly enough earnings to cover the forecast dividend of 3.6p a share.
Tough market conditions and adverse currency movements have not stopped motor dealer Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) trading ahead of expectations. Forecasts had already been upgraded and the 2017 pre-tax profit estimate has been raised a further 2% to £28.8m. However, a decline in pre-tax profit to £23.5m is forecast for 2018.
Smart meter communications technology provider CyanConnode (CYAN) continues to progress but the timing of orders has been delayed. The order book is worth $100m but 2017 revenues were £1.2m and the loss more than £10m. This year’s revenues are forecast to be £10m and the loss £7m. There should be enough cash to last the whole of 2018.
Strategic Minerals (SML) generated fourth quarter revenues of $2.14m from magnetite ore sales at Cobre. The 2017 total revenues of $5.64m were quadruple the previous year. Strategic had $3.8m in the bank at the end of 2017.
Online Blockchain (OBC) has taken advantage of its rising share price to raise £1m at 100p a share.
Fashion retailer Footasylum (FOOT) increased revenues by one-third to £89.8m in the 18 weeks to 30 December 2017. The fastest growth came from e-commerce. The revenues for the 44 weeks to 30 December 2017 also improved by one-third to £173m. These are not like-for-like increases and six stores were opened in the past 18 weeks.
There was a small decline in the full year revenues of Shoe Zone (SHOE) from £159.8m to £157.8m. The shoes retailer did improve its gross margin from 62% to 63.2% but higher admin and distribution costs offset this and pre-tax profit fell from £10.3m to £9.5m. The total dividend was edged up from 10.1p a share to 10.2p a share. Net cash was £11.8m at the end of September 2017. The pension fund liability has fallen from £13.1m to £7.1m. Consumer demand and currency movements remain the main challenges.
BNN Technology (BNN) directors Harry Keiley and Lord Mancroft are following the nominated adviser out of the door. Mark Hanson becomes non-executive chairman.
Film completion contracts provider FFI Holdings (FFI) has acquired the motorsports entertainment insurance book of business from All Risks for $1.825m. The acquisition has been made by Reel Media, which itself was acquired before Christmas for $7.25m in total.
Background checking services provider ClearStar (CLSU) traded in line with expectations in 2017. Revenues were 11% higher at $17.8m and the loss was reduced. There was net cash of $1m. The loss should be further reduced in 2018.
Masawara (MASA) and Kimberly Enterprises (KBE) both plan to leave AIM. Two shareholders own 90% of Masawara. Minority shareholders are being offered 25p a share or the chance to convert the shares into preference shares. Eastern European property investor Kimberly has net liabilities of €24.1m and sold most of its property assets. The lease agreement for the Marina Dorcol project has been terminated.
Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) has completed the enrolment of its 560 plus patient phase III trial for a treatment for patients with allergic rhino conjunctivitis due to birch pollen. The results of the trial should be available before the end of this year. The potential market is worth around £3bn.
Two large clinical trial contracts have been delayed and this means that Cambridge Cognition (COG) 2017 revenues will be 18% lower than expected. This means that there will be a loss for the year.
Telematics equipment and services provider Quartix (QTX) pleased the market by growing its 2017 revenues by 5% to £24.4m. This means that earnings per share forecasts have been raised from 11.8p to 12.3p.
Geospatial software company 1Spatial (SPA) has won a five-year contract from the state of Michigan in the US worth $766,000. Liontrust has sold all its 9.35% stake.
Xeros Technology Group (XSG) has launched its domestic washing machine that can cut the use of water, detergent and energy by up to 50%. A second development agreement has been signed with a commercial washing machines manufacturer.
Oracle Power (ORCP) is acquiring the minority stake in coal mining lease owner Sindh Carbon Energy for up to £3.6m in shares.
APC Technology Group (APC) has acquired electronic components distributor First Byte Micro for £1.2m. In 2016, First Byte made a pre-tax profit of £194,000 on revenues of £1.3m.
Reconstruction Capital II (RC2) has acquired stakes in two funds that own 60% of Romanian paints and coatings supplier Policolor. This will mean that Reconstruction Capital II has an effective stake of 55.36% in Policolor and make it easier to liquidate the investment.
BOS Global (BOS) wants to raise £1.2m at 1.25p a share to settle debts and provide working capital. The software company says the directors will not be paid until April and one of them, William Giles, will subscribe up to £300,000 in the placing and open offer.
Connemara Mining (CON) has announced drilling results from the Mine River gold project in Wicklow and Wexford. Most of the intersections contained gold at grades of less than 1g/t but two were more positive with 4.53g/t over eight metres and 16.1g/t over two metres.
Versarien (VRS) is collaborating with an Asia-based global textiles manufacturer on incorporating graphene into fabrics via yarns and finishes.
E-commerce-focused cash shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) soared as trading commenced on the standard list and trading in the shares had to be suspended after three days. There appear to have been nearly 1.4 million shares traded over three days, which is 2.8% of the shares in issue. Cayman Islands-based AIQ, raised £3.6m after expenses, at 8p a share. The suspension price is 125p. That means that the quotation and £3.6m in cash are valued at £62.5m. The plan is to seek an e-commerce acquisition, which has a strong management and is near to cash generation.
Bio-decontamination products supplier Bioquell (BQE) has completed the £122,000 disposal of the UK AirFlow parts and manufacturing business and received the final £70,000 for the sale of the service business. There was already net cash of £14.5m at the end of 2017. Full year revenues were better than expected at £29.3m, up from £26.8m and pre-exceptional profit will be much better, even before the £250,000 gain on the Airflow disposals. The 2017 figures will be published on 7 March.
Software supplier Gresham Technologies (GHT) says 2017 revenues were 24% ahead to £21.3m and more of these revenues are coming from Clareti enterprise data integrity software. There is £8.5m in the bank. Kestrel has trimmed its stake from 14.9% to 12.5%.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has won a cyber communication technology contract with a government worth $4m over 12 months. Delivery will start in the second quarter of 2018.
Thomas Charlton has further increased his stake in North Midland Construction (NMD) from 7.24% to 8.2%. This appears to have sparked a recovery in the share price.
Avocet Mining (AVM) has deferred the completion the sale of its Burkina Faso assets for $5m. The buyer, the Balaji group of companies, wants more time to settle a claim from International Royalty Corporation, a creditor of the holding company of the assets. Avocet has received a deposit of $500,000.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has announced the results of preliminary grab samples from the Gubong gold mine. The majority of samples had gold grades of more than 1g/t and silver grades of 10g/t or more.
Zenith Energy Ltd (ZEN) has entered an exclusivity agreement for the acquisition of production and exploration licences in a Central Asian country. Azerbaijan-focused Zenith would be acquiring assets in a proven petroleum system and they produce 250 barrels of oil per day.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has started drilling at the Gakara project in Burundi. Gakara has an estimated in situ-grade of 47%-67% total rare earth oxide. The drilling is focused on the production area at Gasagwe and anomalies that have been identified. The first results will be in April. A second phase of drilling is planned later in the year and this could produce a JORC-compliant resource before the end of 2018. Production is building up and the run rate target for the end of 2018 is 5,000tpa. In December, Rainbow raised £2.8m at 14p a share in an oversubscribed placing. The cash will be used to acquire capital equipment.
Brewer Adnams (ADB) continues to grow its beer volumes and Ghost Ship is behind much of that growth. Interim revenues improved from £31.2m to £33.2m, while there was a swing from a pre-tax profit of £1.86m to a £284,000 loss. There is a one-off cost of £721,000 mainly due to a write down in the value of the Swan Hotel and the costs of removing asbestos and a reduction in the disposal profit from £1.42m to £526,000. Even so, there was a still a sharp drop in underlying profit. The closure of the Swan Hotel knocked £550,000 off profit even before the one-off charges. Beer and spirit sales improved even though the Lagunitas beer distribution rights were sold one year ago. The B share dividend has been increased by 2p a share to 78p a share and the A share dividend has been improved by 0.5p a share to 19.5p a share. The capital investment programme is near to completion and bank debt has risen to £14.4m.
Secured Property Developments (SPD) is still finding it difficult to suitable investment. There was a £12,000 loss in the six months to June 2017. There is £310,000 in the bank and debtors of £415,000. Mark Jackson has increased his stake from 7.6% to 8.6%.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised A$1m at 10 cents a share and A$49,000 at 12 cents a share. NQ has also appointed Adrian Lungan to the board as a non-executive director. He effectively owns 11% of NQ.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has an option to acquire 7% of Singapore-based Indorse for SG$350,000. The option lasts for three months and Coinsilium has already invested SG$100,000 (£56,000) via a convertible loan. Along with the convertible, the stake could be 10%. Indorse plans to develop a blockchain-based decentralised network for professionals and it has raised $5.37m from a token pre-sale, which continues until 7 September. Coinsilium received Indorse tokens as part of the convertible investment.
Share (SHRE) had a strong first half in 2017 and Cenkos has upgraded its forecast on the back of the interims. Revenues generated by the owner of The Share Centre retail stockbroker, increased from £7.2m to £8.9m even though interest revenues continue to decline. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £110,000 to £310,000. The investment in digital, such as the upgraded website and app, are starting to pay off but there should be much more to come. Assets under management were one-quarter higher at £4.3bn. The 2017 earnings per share forecast has been raised by 94% to 0.3p and the 2018 forecast by 36% to 0.4p.
Conroy Gold & Natural Resources (CGNR) is being asked to hold another general meeting by Patrick O’Sullivan, who owns 28% of Conroy. O’Sullivan successfully removed six directors at the general meeting last week. However, Conroy says that the proposed appointments of Patrick O’Sullivan, Paul Johnson and Gervaise Heddle did not comply with the company’s constitution. The plan is to remove the three directors not affected by the original requisition: Professor Richard Conroy, Maureen Jones and Professor Garth Earls.
There have been more departures from Real Good Food (RGD) and this includes executive chairman Peter Totte. Finance director David Newman has also stepped down and he is replaced by Harveen Rai. Hugh Cawley becomes a non-executive director and Pat Ridgwell is interim chairman. Christopher Thomas moves from non-executive to executive director.
Fiserv has edged up its bid for Monitise (MONI) from 2.9p a share to 3.1p a share, which values the mobile technology company at £75m. Gross cash was £22.2m at the end of June 2017.
Fox Marble Holdings (FOX) has signed a three year agreement with US distributor Pristine Stone NYC, which will act as marketing sales and distribution agent in the US. As part of the deal Fox Marble gets a 5% stake in Pristine, which itself will receive 750,000 warrants in Fox Marble exercisable at 2p a share although that depends on achieving minimum volumes of $1.5m over three years.
Prospex Oil & Gas (PXOG) is acquiring a 50% economic interest in the EIV-1 Suceava concession in north east Romania for €750,000 plus the promise to finance €550,000 of this year’s work programme. The operator Raffles Energy owns the other 50%. The area includes an undeveloped discovery but the investment does not include the two producing fields in the area.
LiDCO (LID) has signed its first high use contract in the US. The patient monitoring devices developer has signed a two year contract with a potential two year extension. This order covers 44 monitors. However, disappointing sales in Europe and China, where a registration process has been messed up, have led to a forecast downgrade for this year. Interim revenues are 4% ahead at £3.94m but the full year revenues forecast has been cut from £9.5m to £8.6m, still higher than the £8.2m made last year. This means that the loss will be higher than originally forecast and LiDCO is not expected to move into profit next year.
Altona Energy (ANR) has agreed with its joint venture partners that there should be a different strategy for the coal asset at the Arckaringa site in Australia. The new strategy involves producing coal to create gas to generate electricity. Other by-products will be methanol and ethanol. A specialist adviser has been appointed to report on the best way of progressing with the strategy.
North Midland Construction (NMD) reported a more than doubled interim profit. In the six months to June 2017, revenues increased from £129.6m to £135.1m and pre-tax profit jumped from £512,000 to £1.22m. The main reason behind the improvement was a swing into profit by the telecommunications division. There were lower contributions from construction, because of project delays, and water divisions. The power division fell into loss. One customer still accounts for two-fifths of group revenues. The interim dividend was doubled to 3p a share. The FCA has concluded that it will not take any further action on a breach of the related party rules by the Moyle family as controlling shareholders.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) says that the laboratory assessment of material from the main vein at Gasagwe, which is part of the Gakara project in Burundi, showed an average total rare earth oxide grade of 62.17%. Rainbow hopes to start production at Gasagwe by the end of 2017 and it should produce ore for two years. Rare earths prices have strengthened so the ore is becoming more valuable.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that raceday attendances are 29% so far this year and no meetings were lost to the weather. Conference and events revenues have been maintained despite the refurbishment of the racecourse. Occupancy levels are building up at on-site hotel The Lodge. The Rocking Horse nursery has increased revenues by 29%. The pre-parade ring and saddling boxes are completed and the Owners’ Club conference and wedding venue will be finished in the late summer. Further improvements will begin later this year. The first home owners have moved into the residential development, which will take until 2021 to complete. Newbury is involved in the new racecourse controlled betting pool from July 2018.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has signed a memorandum of understanding with hedge fund HyperChain Capital. This will lead to co-investment opportunities in blockchain companies. Singapore-based HyperChain predominantly invests in tokens, which has proved more profitable than direct investment in companies in recent times – see Kryptonite 1. The two investors are each invested in social trading crypto platform CoinDash, which is about to launch a token offering.
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has made a profitable turn on tokens in blockchain-related investments, some of which were acquired four months ago. The company sold 6,407 Melonport tokens for £33.17 each, raising £212,520, compared with the buying price of £3.87 each providing a profit of just over £187,000. The 2,105,254 tokens acquired in the Golem project were sold for an average price of 27p each – 27 times the original investment – raising £569,418 and representing a gain of just over £548,000. Kryptonite 1 has tax losses, which it should be able to use to offset against the total gains of £735,000. A small amount of the cash raised has been reinvested in 126,796.5 tokens in the initial coin offering of the Mysterium project – a peer-to-peer, server-less virtual private network.
Property investment company Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) is paying an interim dividend of 1p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 22 June.
Peterhouse has resigned as corporate adviser to African Potash Ltd (AFPO), which has also completed the acquisition of a 21% stake in Advanced Agricultural Holdings in return for 221.6 million African Potash shares (11.8% of the enlarged share capital).
NEX Exchange Company of the Year
Here are the companies on the shortlist for NEX Exchange Company of the Year which will be awarded at the 2017 Small Cap Awards on 22 June.
£33.6m @11750p (11500p/12000p)
Brewer and distributor Adnams has been around the longest of the five nominees for this award and it is also much larger than any of the others. Adnams, which sponsored last year’s Tour of Britain cycling event, continues to invest in its brewery with beer sales moving above 100,000 barrels in 2016. More of that beer is being sold in kegs. The £7m investment in the brewery is almost complete.
In 2016, revenues improved from £65.7m to £70.3m, while pre-tax profit increased from £4.07m to £5.02m, predominantly down to a rise in asset disposal gains from £625,000 to £1.43m. The NAV has fallen to £27.5m because of an increase in the pension liability. There is a dividend of 150p per B share and 37.5p per A share.
So far this year, sales of beers and spirits continue to grow and Adnam’s pubs are trading well, although the sale of smaller pubs will reduce the profitability of this part of the group. Currency movements, the sale of the UK distribution rights for Lagunitas beers and the renovation of the Swan Hotel will hamper overall progress in the first half. This year there will be the first beer duty tax increase in four years.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP)
£6.9m @45p (40p/50p)
Employee ownership-focused investment company Capital for Colleagues has not had a smooth ride in the past year with a major investee company going bust but it is still able to attract more cash from investors. Capital for Colleagues raised £1.44m at 42p a share from its recent open offer and a further £980,000 in a placing at the same price.
One of the group’s employee-owned investee companies FJ Holdings sold its businesses and was placed in administration. Capital for Colleagues was not kept up to date with these moves. The figures for the six months to February 2017 show the aftermath of this loss. The profit from ongoing activities improved from £40,000 to £159,000 but the write-off for FJ of £1.32m, more than one-fifth of the previous asset value, meant that there was a loss of £1.16m. The NAV fell to 43.5p a share at the end of February and this will be slightly diluted by the subsequent fundraising.
There remains strong demand from companies wanting to encourage employee ownership and the Capital for Colleagues management has, excluding FJ, a good record.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP)
£94.9m @94p (90p/98p)
English wines producer Chapel Down has been one of the most high-profile companies on NEX. Revenues grew by one-quarter to £10.2m in 2016. The Tenterden-based wine business grew revenues by 22% and the brewing operations increased revenues by one-third.
Brewer Curious Drinks separately raised money to build a new brewery but Chapel Down still effectively controls the business – although it is now classified as an associate in accounting terms. The Ashford brewery will be open in mid-2018 and this will free up space for wine making at Tenterden.
Continuing operations moved from an underlying pre-tax profit of £156,000 in 2015 to £340,000 in 2016. Gross margins on the wine business improved from 40% to 43%. More premium wines are being launched this year.
Some of the Chapel Down vineyards were hit by frosts in late April but there will be firmer evidence of any effect this month. However, management says they were the worst April frosts in two decades.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS)
Crossword Cybersecurity is developing cyber security products with six UK universities. A blockchain-related Ministry of Defence smart documents contract was won with the University of Warwick and cyber risk product, Rizikon, which uses expertise from City University, has started to generate revenues.
Crossword is also involved with CyberOwl, a spin-out from Coventry University that is commercialising research into the early warning of cyber attacks. CyberOwl has been selected to join GCHQ’s Cyber Accelerator.
In May, Crossword Cybersecurity took advantage of the high profile of cyber security problems to raise cash at a large premium to the market price. Crossword raised £145,000 at 230p a share. Brenlen Jinkens took up 50% of the new shares and he has 5.13% of the company.
In 2016, revenues jumped from £21,000 to £345,000 but the loss increased from £755,000 to £950,000 – even after £78,000 of R&D tax credits. There was £1.55m in the bank at the end of 2016. AIM-quoted Iomart is cooperating with Crossword on launching the Nixer machine learning Denial of Service (DDoS) platform on the market.
£4.9m @ 29.5p (28p/31p)
Sandal is a developer and manufacturer of energy efficiency and other electronic products. It has signed a number of agreements with retailers and distributors for its Energenie MiHome range, which is also being integrated with a number of home automation systems, including those of Google and Amazon. Retailers selling the company’s products include Argos, Sainsbury, Robert Dyas, Shop Direct Group and Ocado.
Recently, Sandal signed an agreement with Spanish smart home technology business Momit, which will redesign its smart thermostat so that it is compatible with the Energenie MiHome platform. This is part of Momit’s strategy to enter the UK market. The redesigned product should be launched in September and, along with related radiator valve sales, could add £500,000 to Sandal’s annual revenues.
In the six months to November 2016, revenues were 13% ahead at £1.88m, with Energenie MiHome products growing revenues by 74%, and the pre-tax profit has improved from £7,000 to £35,000. Further growth is expected in the second half as home automation becomes a more mainstream product area.
PrimaryBid.com is helping Myanmar International Ltd (MIL) to raise between $3m and $5m. The Myanmar-focused investment company is offering shares at $1.18 each – a 9.2% discount to the market price. Myanmar wants to widen its shareholder base. The proceeds are expected to be invested within six months. This is the 23rd offer by PrimaryBid and it closed at 5pm on 18 June.
Disruptive Capital says that it is not going to make on offer for Stanley Gibbons (SGI) because it was not given the information it required, although the stamps and coins dealer has effectively put itself up for sale. A strategic review has commenced and the formal sale process is part of this.
Wynnstay Properties (WSP) has kept up its record of increasing its dividend. The 19% rise took the total dividend to 15.75p a share. The NAV was 15% ahead to 674p a share at the end of March 2017.
Home improvements company entu (UK) is taking longer to turn around than was hoped. There were problems with installation capacity, which is not enough to meet demand but there are also problems with the supply chain. The underlying interim loss is likely to be similar to the restated loss in the first half of 2016. There will also be a full year loss. Net debt was £6.5m at the end of April 2017. The boilers and energy switching businesses have been closed and the LED business scaled back.
FIH Group (FIH) reported a 4% increase in 2016-17 revenues to £40.5m, while underlying pre-tax profit fell from £3.1m to £2.4m. The profit decline was not as great as originally expected.
Egdon Resources (EDR) is acquiring a 50% interest in PEDL278 in the East Midlands, with the other 50% being acquired by the proposed operator IGas (IGAS). The licence area includes a tight gas discovery from 1985.
Keras Resources (KRS) says drilling at the Warrawoona gold project in Australia, which is now part of Calidus Resources, has commenced. Calidus Resources is about to join ASX.
Savannah Resources (SAV) has received approval in principle for a tailings storage facility at the abandoned Lasail West pit in Oman. There is still potential for further copper mineralisation at the Lasail copper mine. It is taking longer than expected to gain licensing approval for the copper mine development at Mahab 4 and Maqail South. Mining should still start in the first half of 2018.
Italian PR firm SEC (SECG) reported a decline in revenues in 2016 as markets are growing slowly and competition is fierce. There was also a lack of large one-off events. Revenues fell from €21.2m to €18.5m, while pre-tax profit has slumped from €3.25m to €734,000.
Starcom (STAR) has secured a three-year, $1.5m equipment and tracking order. Shiptek Solutions is paying $1.2m for Tetis R container tracking units and there should be at least $250,000 of income from online tracking services over three years.
IT consultancy and resourcing firm Triad Group (TRD) believes that the appointment of Arden as broker in February “is a significant step in returning the group to its former glory”. In the year to March 2017, revenues improved from £28.3m to £30.9m and pre-tax profit increased from £863,000 to £1.52m. Net cash was £2.24m. Triad intends to build up business outside of the public sector and increase exposure to new technologies, such as blockchain. Triad is returning to paying a dividend with the latest pay out of 0.5p a share. The ex-dividend date is 10 August. The trustee in the bankruptcy of former boss Mira Makar has been selling down her shareholding, which was over 21% but it has been reduced to 17.4%. The share price has held up over the past couple of months despite this.
Storage and communications semiconductors developer CML Microsystems (CML) increased full year revenues by one-fifth to £27.7m and organic growth was 14%. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from £3.5m to £4.3m. The dividend was increased to 7.4p a share. R&D investment continues to increase but there is plenty of cash to fund this. Net cash was £12.5m at the end of March 2017.
Industrial fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) increased its pre-tax profit by more than one-quarter to £20.5m, which was better than expected. Growth is coming from the top 25 key accounts and new product launches.
Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) has completed the acquisition of kidney stone analysis company Stone Checker Software in return for the issue of eight million shares at 3p each and been readmitted to the standard list on 16 June. A placing raised £550,000 at 3p a share. Stone Checker was previously 50%-owned by AIM-quoted Feedback (FDBK), which licenced its TexRAD software to the company for use with kidney stones.
North Midland Construction (NMD) has been awarded a joint venture infrastructure contract for Severn Trent Water on the Birmingham Resilience project worth more than £100m. This contract will be split between North Midland and its joint venture partner. The scheme starts in the third quarter of 2017 and this means that the 2017 figures will be ahead of expectations.
Jacek Slotala has stepped down as a director of fully listed shell Highway Capital (HWC). He joined the board in December 2015. Trading in the shares has been suspended since 22 September 2016. Highway has been seeking a significant acquisition for approaching two decades.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has taken advantage of the high profile of cyber security to raise cash at a premium to the market price. Crossword raised £145,000 at 230p a share. The current mid-price is 195p a share and the most recent trade was at 197p a share last September. Brenlen Jinkens took up 50% of the new shares and he has 5.13% of the company.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reported a dip in interim revenues due to the lack of funding so the planned £500,000 fundraising should enhance progress. In the six months to February 2017, the loss increased from £126,000 to £159,000 as revenues fell from £133,000 to £94,000.
Mechan Controls (MECP) improved its underlying 2016 operating profit from £518,000 to £594,000 on revenues that were 5% ahead at £4m but there have been significant changes since last year. Nirvana is the only subsidiary left. At the end of 2016, there was £829,000 in the bank and the NAV was £2.41m. Mechan is paying a final dividend of 2.27p a share and the shares go ex-dividend on 1 June. Once all the operations are sold money will be returned to shareholders.
Secured Property Developments (SPD) had cash in the bank of £341,000 and an NAV of £689,000 at the end of 2016. The company is valued at a 47% discount to NAV.
Social housing finance provider Queros Capital Partners (QCP) has raised an additional £875,000 by issuing 8% unsecured bonds 2025. That takes the bonds in issue to £3.5m – from 19 separate placings. So far, short-term bridging loans have generated income to fund the interest payments on the bonds. Longer-term, there are plans to acquire social housing properties.
Blockchain technology company investor Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that investee company RSK Labs has raised $3.5m. Coinsilium retains the right to 1% of RSK via a convertible. RSK has developed a sidechain to the Bitcoin that enables smart contracts. There could eventually be scope to handle more than 20,000 transactions per second but that requires the additional investment.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £751,000 at 0.3p a share. Colin Sutherland has been appointed as finance director.
Enterprise software provider Sanderson (SND) is growing strongly but the cost of investment in the business will hold back short-term profit. The digital retail division is growing fastest but its operating profit was flat as management investors in order to maintain the strong growth rate. In the six months to March 2017, revenues were 10% higher at £10.9m and operating profit was 5% ahead at £1.55m. There was net cash of £4.51m and the dividend was increased by 10% to 1.1p a share.
Software supplier Cerillion (CER) continues to grow its revenues as it starts to build its customer base outside the mobile sector. In the six months to January 2017, revenues were 10% ahead at £7.5m and underlying profit was nearly one-third higher at £900,000. Orders worth £9.4m were won during the period. The interim dividend was 8% higher at 1.4p a share. Directors’ sold 4.2 million shares at 120p each, which could help to improve the liquidity in the shares.
Redx Pharma (REDX) has failed in its attempt to juggle its cash requirements and its debt and administrators have been appointed. Liverpool City Council has previously extended the maturity date of its £2m loan but Redx did not repay the debt when it became due at the end of March. There is also interest due and that could total more than £1m. Redx nominally raised £12m in February – an equity swap agreement meant that not all of this was raised immediately – but does not appear to have raised enough to pay the loan. That is blatant bad management which has ended up destroying the investments of shareholders. Iain Ross recently took up the role of chairman so it would be unfair to blame him but the other directors, including those that have recently departed, were responsible for running the business properly and they knew when this money had to be repaid. The directors are Dr Neil Murray, Norman Molyneux, Dr Bernhard Kirschbaum and David Lawrence, while Dr Frank Armstrong, Peter McPartland, Dr Peter Jackson, Philip Tottey and Dr Derek Lindsay have resigned since Redx joined AIM. Investors’ should be aware of these people if they are or become involved in any other companies.
Lombard Risk Management (LRM) increased its revenues from £23.7m to £34.3m in the year to March 2017. The pre-tax loss was reduced from £2.2m to £1.6m. The year-end order book was worth £10.1m. Management expects the company to be cash profitable this year. Legislation continues to drive demand for reporting and risk software.
Flowgroup (FLOW) could not find a buyer for its energy supply business at an appropriate valuation so it is raising up to £29m in shares (at 1p each) and bonds, including more than £600,000 raised at 1p a share via PrimaryBid, to finance its development. This is highly dilutive even before any conversion of the bonds at the conversion price of 0.95p a share. Flowgroup also requires £1m to market its Flow boiler in Europe and £4m to end the manufacturing contract with Jabil. In 2016, there was a loss of £23.7m on revenues of £99m. Net cash was £3.7m at the end of 2016. An increasing number of smaller competitors are entering the energy supply market and this led to a reduction in customers. The funding will help Flowgroup to compete and build up its customer numbers.
Big data software supplier Fusionex International (FXI) plans to leave AIM and it already has the backing of shareholders owning 41.9% of the company for the general meeting vote on 15 June. Management blames the lack of liquidity in the shares and paucity of independent research. The also blame political uncertainty in Europe. Fusionex had a gravity defying rating in the first year or so of trading on AIM but the share price is currently less than one-fifth of the peak at the beginning of 2014. The company’s growth strategy will remain unchanged. There are plans to arrange a trading facility in the shares.
Safestay (SSTY) has paid €3m in cash for U Hostels, which operates a 226 bed hostel in Madrid. U Hostels also owns an apartment block near the hostel, where managed apartments are expected to be completed during 2018, and a building in Paris that is being converted into a 260 bed hostel, which has a 12 year lease that can be extended by a further 12 years. Safestay will have to invest up to €2.3m in the Paris development, which should be completed in early 2019. In total, including development spending, the acquisition cost will be up to €6.5m. The original Madrid hostel made a small loss on revenues of €1.3m. Earlier this year, Safestay raised £12.6m from the sale and leaseback of the Edinburgh and Elephant & Castle hostels – the leases are for 150 years.
Strategic Minerals (SML) made a maiden pre-tax profit in 2016. The $351,000 profit was after $691,000 of other income – predominantly the settlement of a rail dispute. The Cobre tailings business continues to generate profit and cash.
Thor Mining (THR) says that the Pilot Mountain tungsten resource inventory has risen to 11.73 million tonnes at 0.28% WO3. This does not include the GunMetal and Good Hope deposits.
Greatland Gold (GGP) has granted access to Newmont to the Ernest Giles tenements for a period of six months and it will have first right of refusal for a disposal or joint venture. An airborne survey has identified new structural targets suitable for gold mineralisation. Metal Tiger (MTR) has exercised 15 million warrants at 0.2p a share.
LED lighting systems developer PhotonStar LED (PSL) cut its full year loss from £3.03m to £1.43m on lower revenues. The first quarter of 2017 was tough but there have been orders for its Halcyon devices. R&D has been reduced.
Fairpoint (FRP) has delayed its full year figures yet again. They are promised at some point in June. If they do not come out then then trading in the shares will be suspended.
Arian Silver Corporation (AGQ) has raised £600,000 has raised at 0.5p a share. The cash will be used for exploration of silver and lithium projects.
Mortice (MORT) has won UK contracts worth £2.25m via its Elite subsidiary that take it into new sectors. Elite has won a three year cleaning and waste contract with Surrey and Sussex police and after securing a place on BMW’s approved supplier list a two year contract with the car maker.
Orogen (ORE) intends to acquire Thread 35, which owns e-commerce womenswear brand Sosandar. Orogen is lending up to £250,000 to Thread 35. Sosandar is targeted at 35-55 year old women. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
Active Energy Group (AEG) has entered into an agreement in principle with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador which will provide a timber licence and a forest management agreement covering 1.2 million hectares. The licence would enable the harvesting of up to 140,000 cubic metres of wood annually.
Thomas Charlton has further increased his stake in North Midland Construction (NMD) taking it to 7.24%. Finance director Daniel Taylor recently acquired 23,321 shares at 305p each. North Midland says that its first quarter profit has increased from £237,000 to £580,000 on a 5% rise in revenues to £62.2m. The main reason behind the improvement was a swing from loss to profit by the telecoms infrastructure division but the construction and water divisions generated a lower profit. Management still believes that margins can be improved. The order book is worth £254m helped by the AMP6 water investment cycle getting going. There is the promise of growing dividends.
Shareholders have agreed to the proposed bonus issue by Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL). On 1 June, existing shareholders will receive nine bonus shares for each one they own, leaving them with ten times the number of shares and the share price would be adjusted from 28.5p to 2.85p. The November 2015 flotation price was 10p (1p adjusted) and earlier this year a further £1.4m was raised at 20p (2p adjusted) a share.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has signed a binding letter of intent for its first deal with a housing association to develop supported living accommodation. The plan is identify properties worth up to £5m which will be leased to Larch Housing Association on a 50 year lease at 6.5% a year plus inflation. Dukemount floated on 29 March.
Health food products supplier World Trade Systems (WTS) has entered into memoranda of understanding with Germany-based Naturemed and Germany-based Biestmilch, which will help it to widen its product range. Naturemed is a new company but Biestmilch was formed in 1999. Trading in the shares has been suspended for years and it is approaching ten years since there was a trade in WTS shares.
CIC Gold Group Ltd (CICG) left the standard list on 25 May. Management believes it will get a better valuation on another designated exchange.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) has published its prospectus for the proposed switch to the standard list. The prospectus has been approved by the Central Bank of Ireland. The switch should happen by the end of May. At 1.5p (1p/2p) a share, IMC is valued at £1.6m.
St Mark Homes (SMAP) is trading at a discount of one-fifth to its NAV at the end of 2015. At 105p (90p/120p) a share, St Marks is valued at £3.1m, compared with the latest NAV of £3.95m. In 2015, pre-tax profit dipped from £579,000 to £549,000. The regional house builder has three projects in Surrey which will contribute to profit in 2016 and 2017, while the final two sales at Cheltenham were made earlier this year and there have been initial sales in Richmond. St Mark has already paid a dividend of 4.5p a share. Obtaining sufficient capital is difficult and it is holding back progress.
FT8 (GFT) has raised £173,000 at 0.7p a share in order to provide working capital following the news that a $1.5m finance package that was revealed last year has not become available. At 0.65p (0.6p/0.7p) a share, FT8, which was formerly Ezybonds, is valued at £4.8m. Last week, 65,000 shares were traded at 0.6p each – the first deal since March.
Seeing Machines (SEE) has signed a term sheet with a US investment fund which should mark the start of the process of spinning off the automotive technology operations of the company into a separate company, which will focus on the development of this technology. Seeing Machines will retain a significant stake. A product has already been provided to a customer and it will be in cars launched in 2018 – slightly later than hoped.
Greka Engineering & Technology Ltd (GEL), one of the spin offs from China-focused coal mine methane producer Golden Dragon Gas, plans to leave AIM. Trading in the shares of the s-making gas engineering and technology business has been limited since the spin off in September 2013. The board already has the backing of the owners of more than 75% of the shares so this will go ahead. Charles Stanley has been given the job of acquiring shares in the market at 0.8p each up until the quotation is cancelled.
Storm and waste water treatment equipment manufacturer Hydro International (HYD) has received a bid approach from major shareholder Hanover Investors. Hanover took a 17.5% stake in the middle of January and the share price has risen by one-third since then. The order book continued to grow in the first quarter, with orders in the North American wastewater market recovering. However, the orders will not contribute significantly until the second half of 2016.
HML Holdings (HML) has acquired Essex-based residential property lettings firm Homes & Watson Partnership for £360,000. The deal adds 1,400 units taking the group total to around 60,000. Trading is in line with expectations so pre-tax profit for the year to March 2016 should be £1.6m.
Karelian Diamond Resources (KDR) has raised £250,000 at 0.8p a share and this will help to fund development of the Lahtojoki diamond project. Each new share has a warrant attached that provides the opportunity to subscribe for another share at 1.6p each. They have to be exercised if the share price is at or above 5p for at least ten days.
TV and digital publishing company Ten Alps (TAL) has warned that recovery is taking much longer than expected. The television programme production business is doing well despite commissioning delays but publishing remains a problem area and it continues to lose money. The group loss for the year to June 2016 is likely to be lower than last year. Parts of the publishing division will be sold and the rest restructured.
Residential property developer Formation Group (FRM) fell into loss at the interim stage but there should be significant profits in the second half. There is £3.9m of profit share to come from the Norwich House development and there will be profit from the Iverson Road development. An interim profit was reported due to the writing back of a loan previously provided for but higher admin expenses meant that there was an operating loss. NAV rose from £7.6m to nearly £10m.
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North Midland Construction (NMD) continued to be profitable in the first quarter of this year having returned to profit in 2015. The order book for 2016 is around £200m with more to come from framework contracts. Only one costly legacy contract remains to be sorted out. The utilities division remains loss-making and existing contracts being reviewed. Civil engineering made a small first quarter profit. The main improvement came in the water-infrastructure business even though the latest AMP6 capital spending regulatory cycle is still building up. The main focus of the group is improving margins plus better cash collection.