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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 22 February 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

British Honey Company (BHC) is acquiring Union Distillers for an initial £8m in cash and shares. Leicestershire-based Union Distillers has been trading for more than eight years and has its own still and bonded warehouse. There is a range of gins, vodkas, a spiced rum, an absinthe and an espresso vodka liqueur under the Two Birds brand. There could be up to £2m of earn-out consideration payable in cash and shares depending on the target revenues from the Union products. A share issue raised £4.59m at 110p a share, while a convertible loan note issue added a further £1.63m. Union has £250,000 in cash. The deal should be earnings enhancing and cash generative. In the year to September 2020, Union generated revenues of £4.94m and pre-tax profit £1.13m. NAV was £1.52m.

National Milk Records (NMRP) reported flat interim revenues of £10.8m, but pre-tax profit increased by one-quarter to £500,000. Net debt was reduced to £1.1m despite investment in a genomics lab. An unchanged dividend of 1.25p a share will be paid. The outlook is positive for the dairy sector with UK milk prices expected to be maintained at current levels. Finance director Mark Frankcom has bought 9,974 shares at 101.75p each.

Imperial X (IMPP) is making four acquisitions and continues to move towards a standard listing. The purchases involve the issue of 245.6 million shares. Cloudbreak Discovery Corp, Howson Ventures Inc and Cabox Gold Corp are all being acquired, and certain assets of Anglo African Minerals are being bought. Imperial X has a £10m drawdown agreement with Crescita Capital. This lasts for three years.

Upper Thames Holdings (UPPT) is not going ahead with the proposed acquisition of Sweden-based mobile camera systems technology company Ridercam. Instead, the focus will be on blockchain and the linking of conventional currencies with cryptocurrencies. A placing has raised £516,000 at 1p a share. Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser.

Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) fell into loss last year as revenues slumped by two-fifths. The hotel has been closed or under restrictions for the period since the year end in October 2020. There is £1.03m in the bank and the NAV is £3.3m.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has bought a 75.1% stake in Ohso Chocolate for £295,000 in shares at 9p each. The remaining 24.9% stake in Ohso could be sold for nearly 1.1 million shares. Ohso is a probiotic chocolate supplier and it generated revenues of £311,000 during 2020. The S-Ventures chief executive and finance director owned 50.6% in Ohso.

World High Life (LIFE) is changing its name to Love Hemp. A general meeting will be held on 11 March. In the first half, revenues were £2.36m and second quarter revenues were nearly double those in the first quarter, although the gross margin fell. A debt of £2.15m has been settled by the issue of 86.1 million shares.

Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) has submitted a novel food application for validation by the Food Standards Agency. This covers a range of CBD products.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has identified new gold targets at the Red Setter project in Western Australia. The magnetic survey has discovered targets that are shallower than previously.

Ananda Investments (ANA) has raised £300,000 from two investors. This will finance the first phase of the medicinal cannabis growing facility in Lincolnshire. Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised a further £330,000 at 4p a share.

AIM

Avacta (AVCT) is starting its first clinical study. This is a phase I study for AVA6000, developed from the pre|CISION platform. This is a treatment for solid tumours, including those for bladder, pancreatic, colorectal and breast cancer. The trial will assess safety and dosage levels. Early data could be published before the end of the year.

Transense Technologies (TRT) should move into profit next year as it receives a full year of royalties following the sale of the iTrack business to Bridgestone. In the year to June 2020, there was a £1.3m loss and this year there could be a much-reduced loss this year. Once Bridgestone has built up iTrack sales the royalties will cover group overheads. This will enable Transense to invest in its surface acoustic wave technology and Translogik tyre probes. A 2021-22 pre-tax profit of £357,000 is forecast.

Strong underlying growth in the mobile division helped Blannco Technology (BLTG) to maintain interim revenues at £17.4m. The previous year included £1.4m of one-off contract income. The fastest growth is in Asia Pacific. The prospects for data erasure operations are good and new partners have been signed up. Data erasure is particularly important while remote working is a major factor in companies.

Chamberlin (CMH) is getting a cash injection from Trevor Brown. The £200,000 loan will, subject to shareholder approval, be converted into shares at 6p each and Brown will have a 29.5% stake. The Scunthorpe foundry is busy and profitable, but management is still trying to win work for the Walsall foundry.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) has secured a new client involved in steel fabrication. There is a £6.2m royalty financing agreement with Meteor HoldCo, which makes steel street lighting and guardrail products.

Telecoms testing systems supplier Calnex Solutions (CLX) says some revenues appear to have been brought forward into 2020-21 and therefore the full year revenues and profit will be ahead of expectations.

Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) has published details of the Rodnikova project scoping study, which suggests a potential 14-year life for the project. The JORC resource is 6.3Mt at an average grade of 5g/t gold. Post tax NPV10 is $177.6m – based on $1,600/ounce gold price.

MAIN MARKET

Israel-based cannabis-based products supplier Kanabo Research has completed its reversal into standard list shell Spinnaker Opportunities to form Kanabo Group (KNB) two years after the deal was announced. The value of the deal was £15m in shares and the company also raised £6m at a share price of 6.5p. Kanabo was valued at £23.4m when it was admitted to trading. The share price has risen to 31p – having at one point reached 50.75p – and that values Kanabo at £111.7m. One of the investors in Kanabo is AIM-quoted Vela Technologies (VELA) and it invested £150,000 at 6.5p a share.

MGC Pharmaceuticals (MXC) has expanded its research programme into the use of cannabinoids to treat aggressive glioblastoma brain cancer. The expanded study includes the use of a nanoparticle delivery system. MGC has also secured a three-year distribution agreement with Swiss PharmaCan for its product ArtemiC Rescue as a food supplement. The minimum order quantity is 40,000 units per quarter, which has a retail value of $3.4m.

Path Investments (PATH) is not going ahead with the purchase of DT Ultravert from two vendors including Zoetic International (ZOE) following concerns during the preparation of the potential prospectus. Path has raised £3.5m at 0.25p a share.

Rare earths explorer Pensana (PRE) is dropping its listing on the ASX.

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has submitted a prospectus to the FCA for the proposed reverse takeover of the Kilimapesa gold project.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 9 November 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Kent-based brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) lost £2.9m in the year to June 2020. There was a small operating profit, but this was swamped by interest charges. The loss excludes one-off charges of more than £9m, predominantly relating to the impairment of 26 properties and the cost of unlawful actions by an employee. Pub revenues fell due to the original lockdown period, although tenanted pubs remained profitable in the financial year. Trade was slow in July, but it started to build up prior to the latest restrictions.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) is not entering into new contracts and suspending existing contracts. Management is paying amounts owed under existing contracts and says that there will be minimal cash balances. The requisitioners of a general meeting have injected cash in order to keep the company trading and enable it to hold the general meeting on 4 December. The employment contracts of the directors have been terminated and the requisitioners want their own representatives elected to the board. Trading in the shares remains suspended.

There was a slight improvement in first quarter revenues generated by National Milk Records (NMRP) to £5.32m. The specialist services such as the testing of Johne’s disease provided the growth. Milk recording figures were 3% down. The latest lockdown should not have a significant effect on performance.

Gunsynd (GUN) has subscribed A$100,000 for a convertible in gold explorer Rincon Resources that converts at a discount to the flotation price on ASX. Rincon plans to raise at least A$5m prior a listing planned for 10 December.

GP software provider DXS International (DXSP) says that revenues are marginally up on the previous year and it remains profitable. There is around £1m in the bank. However, launches of new products have been delayed by the pandemic.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has sold its remaining shareholding in Greatland Gold (GGP) and raised £4.6m. That means that Primorus made a total gain of around £5.9m.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has identified four shallow targets on its Patersons Range project in Western Australia. Wishbone intends to move to close the acquisition of its interest in the tenements.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has agreed in principle to a settlement with secured creditors of the Amapa project. Once this is completed, Cadence will inject $2.5m into the project and take a 20% shareholding. There has been a 21% increase in the mineral resource. The initial mine plan envisages the production of 4.7 million tonnes of iron concentrate a year and the mine life could be nearer to 17 years following the updated resource.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) expects to complete its relaunch with a new strategy before the end of the year. There will be new corporate branding and a new website.

World High Life (LIFE) has raised £381,000 at 1p a share. This cash will finance due diligence on investment opportunities.

Imperial X (IMPP) has appointed Novum Securities as corporate adviser.

European Lithium has left the Aquis Stock Exchange.

AIM

Trinidad-focused oil and gas producer Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) has raised £23.1m at 95p a share. The previous placing in February raised cash at 40p a share. The money will be used to fund further exploration and development of the Ortoire onshore block. Touchstone recently announced its third discovery (Chinook-1) out of three wells drilled. Chinook-1 is thought to be a similar size to Cascadura, which is estimated at around 45mmboe. The current exploration well is Cascadura Deep-1 and that will be completed and tested in the first quarter of 2021. The original discovery, Coho, will soon start producing gas.

Mkango Resources (MKA) has started a drilling and soil sampling programme at the Mchinji rutile licence area. This will help management to identify the areas with the best prospects. The licence initially lasts until 2022 but can be extended. It is next door to a rutile discovery by Sovereign Metals, which makes the chances of a commercial discovery even better. There is already significant infrastructure in the area. Rutile is a white pigment used in paints, plastic and paper. Demand is strong and reserves are declining.

PerkinElmer Inc is offering 185p a share in cash for Horizon Discovery (HZD), which is double the previous market price. The bid is equivalent to the high in the past 12 months, but below the share price three years ago. Horizon is valued at £296m. PerkinElmer is keen to increase the scale of its cell engineering business and add to its gene editing services.

Trading in the shares of NWF (NWF) has been suspended following a cyber attack on the feed and fuels divisions. The businesses continue to operate.

Attis Oil and Gas (AOGL) has agreed an amalgamation with Helium One, which will then gain an AIM quotation and raise at least £5m. Helium One is offering one of its shares for 236 shares in Attis, which values the AIM shell at £1.76m (0.012p a share). The Attis share price has risen to 0.02p. Helium One has a potential helium project in Tanzania and is valued at £6m, which is similar to level of investment put into the project. Drilling is planned early next year. Scirocco Energy (SCIR) subscribed for a 10% stake three years ago and that will probably be diluted to around 4.6%.

AB Traction has increased its stake in construction disputes company Driver (DRV) from 15.6% to 17.3%.  

Empire Metals (EEE) has achieved significant results with its drilling programme at the Eclipse gold project in Western Australia. The results confirm extensions to previously defined mineralisation. Drilling has started at the second potential target called Houdini. The proposed sale of the Bolnisi copper and gold project to TSXV-quoted Candelaria Mining Corporation means that Eclipse is currently the main focus of Empire’s cash investment.  

Nasdaq-quoted Masimo Corporation is making a 12p a share recommended cash bid for non-invasive hemodynamic monitoring technology developer LiDCO (LID). Masimo is a medical technology company.

Surgical endoscopy devices supplier Creo Medical (CREO) has acquired its distributor in Belgium. Creo has also received FDA clearance for MicroBlate Fine, which is thought to be the world’s smallest diameter microwave ablation needle.

Dekel Agri-vision (DKL) has acquired a further 14.2% in the Tiebissou cashew nut processing project in return for 28.55 million shares. This takes the stake to 52%.

Beximco Pharma (BXP) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Serum Institute of India and the Bangladesh government for the supply of 30 million doses of the Oxford University/ AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Supplies will commence one month after regulatory approval in Bangladesh. This could provide a significant uplift to revenues, although the timing is uncertain.

Toilet tissue manufacturer Accrol (ACRL) is buying rival LTC for up to £41.8m. This will take Accrol’s share of the market to 16% and provide greater geographic coverage of the UK market. LTC has revenues of £28m and is profitable. There could be cost savings of £1m a year. Accrol raised £38.5m at 44p a share to help finance the deal. A one-for-21 open offer could raise up to £4.1m.

MAIN MARKET

Zotefoams (ZTF) says that third quarter revenues were 22% higher year-on-year due to demand for protective equipment and footwear. Management expects continued growth in the fourth quarter. Net debt was £36m at the end of September 2020. The new site in Poland should commence production early next year.

Cryptocurrency miner Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated £1.2m in revenues during October. It held 137 BTC in bitcoin at the end of the month. Argo is leasing 4,500 mining machines for 24 months and they should be up and running in February. It is also managing the mining operations of 4,378 machines for a third party.

Shell company Highway Capital (HWC) had £3,000 in the bank at the end of February 2020 and it has net liabilities of £991,000. There was £327,000 in borrowings.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 October 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Kent-based brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has been profitable since the beginning of July when pubs were allowed to reopen. However, like-for-like sales were lower, particularly in city centres. Own brand beer volumes fell by 2%.  Net debt was £82.4m on 26 September, with deferred payments of £6.9m. 

There was a reduction in full year revenues generated by National Milk Records (NMRP) from £22.8m to £21.6m. Earnings per share halved to 4.7p.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has an exclusive 45-day option to acquire 100% of mineral tenements in the Patersons Range region of Western Australia. The option payment is £50,000. A dividend of 1.25p a share is proposed.

In the year to April 2020, property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased revenues by 26% to £6.39m. Pre-tax profit was £9,252, including a lease breakage fee of £173,000. There were £800,000 of fair value reductions. Net cash generated by operating activities was £1.88m. Since the year end, £3.14m has been spent on properties.

British Honey Company (BHC) generated revenues of £1.04m in the five months to August 2020, with £500,000 from sanitiser. More recently alcohol sales have recovered, and sanitiser generates around 10% of sales. There was a £435,000 loss in the period because of higher admin expenses.

VI Mining (VIM) is terminating the Minaspampa and Rosario de Belen project acquisitions. Unpaid deferred consideration of $42.2m has bee cancelled. A joint venture is being discussed for other group projects.

Good Energy (GOOD) has launched the UK’s first dedicated heat pump tariff. There is no standing charge in the winter months.

European Lithium (EUR) intends to leave the Aquis Stock Exchange on 6 November.

Peterhouse has resigned as corporate adviser to Imperial X (IMPP).

Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £94,000 at 0.5p a share.

AIM

Omega Diagnostics (ODX) is involved with the initial UK-RTC order for one million Covid-19 rapid antibody tests. Omega is set to manufacture 175,000 of these tests. This is the first order and Omega plans to increase capacity to 200,000 tests per week by the beginning of November. finnCap believes each test could generate 150p and the gross margin is 50%. The current revenue forecast of £12.6m for the year to March 2021 does not include the Covid-19 tests which could generate a further £5.7m. Omega should be profitable without any contribution from the tests.

Xpediator (XPD) has acquired Yorkshire-based freight business Nidd Transport for £4.6m. The owner is retiring, and the purchase price is covered by Nidd’s cash and property assets -where there is already an agreement for a sale and leaseback. The deal is earnings enhancing. The logistics business does not have a significant presence in northern England and there will be cross-selling opportunities with other parts of the business. Nidd also has operations in France, Spain and Portugal. In the year to April 2020, Nidd made and operating profit of £500,000 on revenues of £11m. 

Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) has raised £7.5m after expenses at 60p a share and there is an open offer to raise up to £2m.

Plutus PowerGen (PPG) plans to demerge its generation assets and become a cash shell. A placing at 0.02p a share will raise £490,000 after expenses and this will pay money owed to directors and provide working capital. Debt of £266,000 will be capitalised. Plutus tried to sell its co-investee assets but there was no buyer found. Plutus Energy is being demerged and there are plans to demerge the Plutus energy investment portfolio, but this is currently being blocked by Rockpool.  

Vanadium flow batteries developer Invinity Energy Systems (IES) is involved in four energy storage products funded by the California Energy Commission. These total 7.8MWh of batteries and they should be delivered next year. Commercial terms are still be agreed with partners. This follows a £1.1m order during June.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) increased third quarter crude palm oil produced by 10% to 5,280MT, thanks to a higher extraction rate. The cashew nut processing plant should still be commissioned next spring.

Caledonia Mining (CMCL) has increased 2020 guidance following third quarter figures showing gold production of 15,200 ounces and nine-month production of 42,900 ounces. Full year guidance is between 55,000 and 58,000 ounces. Caledonia has secured an agreement with the Zimbabwe government that will enable it to assess other gold projects. A solar plant is being built that will provide 27% of the electricity needs of the Blanket mine.

MAIN MARKET

Fintech firm Mode Global Holdings (MODE) joined the standard list on 5 October. Mode raised £7.5m in a placing at 50p a share. Trading commenced. The share price has fallen back to 48.5p. The cash will help to finance the launch of a payments service powered by Open Banking that would replace the need for cards.

Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) had net cash of £1m at the end of September 2020 and it intends to pay a final dividend. Pre-tax profit of £14m is in line with pre-Covid-19 expectations. Health and wellness revenues grew by 16%, although total revenues fell by  3% due to the lower orange oil prices.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) plans to acquire the two data centres in Quebec housing its cryptocurrency mining equipment that are owned by GPU.one. September mining revenues were £1.1m.

BATM (BVC) has secured an initial order for its Covid-19 Real-Time PCR diagnostic test kits and they will be delivered in the fourth quarter.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 August 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

National Milk Records (NMRP) generated revenues of £5.35m in the quarter to June 2020, down from £5.6m in the previous year. Milk recording revenues declined because of COVID-19 restrictions. There was limited disruption to other parts of the business. The second half of the year to June 2020 was still better than the first half.

British Honey Company (BHC) has signed a four-year global licensing and distribution agreement with English Heritage. Spirits will be sold under the English Heritage brand.

The Hellyer gold mine operated by NQ Minerals (NQMI) achieved record production levels in July. The new processing plant had a monthly throughput of 106,365 tonnes. There was 4,075 tonnes of lead concentrate, 1,509 tonnes of zinc concentrate, 461 ounces of gold and 89,854 ounces of silver produced.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) intends to refocus its investment strategy on the natural resources sector and change its name to Evrima. An investment has been made in Kalahari Key Metals Exploration. A share consolidation of ten shares into one new share is planned.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that its subsidiary CoalTech has signed heads of agreement for a feasibility study and commercialisation of a 5,000 tonnes per month pelletising plant in New South Wales. The study will take three months and it would take a further nine months. The plant would be near to a power station.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) increased its revenues from HK$10.7m to HK$15.4m in the year to December 2019, but the loss still increased to HK$40.6m, partly due to stock write-downs. Both traditional Chinese medicine products and the company’s clinics made higher contributions to revenues.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings (AWLP) reported a decline in revenues from $2.4m to $1.43m in the year to February 2020. There was a swing from profit to loss.

AIM

NWF (NWF) benefitted from strong demand for heating oil and the slump in the oil price. There were bumper profits from the fuel distribution business in the year to May 2020. Operating profit nearly doubled to £11m and this won’t be repeated. Opening cost of the new Crewe facility led to a dip in profit contribution from food distribution. The feeds business increased market share but profit fell. Group pre-tax profit improved from £9.7m to £11.5m. A pre-tax profit of £10.7m is forecast for next year.

Telecoms hardware manufacturer Filtronic (FTC) reported full year figures in line with the recent trading statement and there was a small pre-tax profit. Revenues are building up as demand for 5G products increases. There is spare manufacturing capacity and efficiency will improve as capacity is used up. The US-based subsidiary is in a good position to win 5G orders.

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) has signed two new distribution agreements. A deal with Arpadis Benelux will enable Genablle graphene dispersion technology to be sold in the main speciality chemicals markets in Europe. An agreement with Maroon Group provides access to the coatings and polymers sectors in North America.

Construction materials distributor Brickability (BRCK) generated revenues of £23.8m in the three months to June 2020. There was a loss in April but Brickability returned to profit in May and June.

Telecoms customer engagement software provider Pelatro (PTRO) is raising £21m at 47p a share. This will fund investment in sales and marketing and working capital. Pelatro is profitable but cash generation has been relatively poor, although it was better last year.

Lawyer Ince Group (INCE) has reported 2019-20 figures that show an underlying pre-tax profit of £7m, although earnings per share declined following share issues. The consolidation of international acquisitions has been completed and IT is being improved. First quarter trading is 10% below plan but the business is still profitable.

Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) was quick to develop a COVID-19 module for its machines and this helped to partly offset a drop in first half revenues. Losses continue but the potential launch of AI-based products in 2021 and 2022 will put the company in a good position to move into profit.

K3 Business Technology (KBT) is a much smaller business following the sale of its UK Dynamics subsidiary, but it has a more solid and profitable base. Interim revenues slipped from £27.9m to £27.2m. K3’s own IP contributed 48% of revenues.

Fulcrum Utility Services (FCRM) has a better base going into the year to March 2021, even though the multi-utility infrastructure services provider was hit by the construction lockdown in the first quarter. Housebuilding activity is improving. Operational inefficiencies are being addressed.

Entertainment events marketing services provider Reach4Entertainment (R4E) intends to leave AIM in order to save money and enable greater flexibility. The share price slumped after the announcement, but it has moved back above the price at the beginning of the week. Chief executive Marc Boyan has bought 70 million shares at 0.2155p a share. That takes his stake to 16.1%. Herald has sold its 14.4% stake and Matthew Freud has bought a 14.95% stake.

Pensions administrator STM (STM) says that interim trading was in line with expectations thanks to its recurring revenues and control of costs.

Mergers adviser K3 Capital (K3C) has acquired Quantuma Advisory, which is focused on insolvency and restructuring, for an initial £20.2m. A further £6.7m could be payable depending on performance over three years.

Yourgene Health (YGEN) is acquiring Coastal Genomics for an initial $5.5m and up to $8m dependent on performance. Vancouver-based Coastal is a sample preparation technology company. The technology complements Yourgene’s technology and gives it a North American base. Yourgene raised £15m at 17p a share.

MAIN MARKET

Castillo Copper (LON: CCZ) joined the standard list on 4 August. Castillo raised £1.3m at 1.7p a share and the share price ended the week at 2.45p (2.2p/2.7p). There are three core projects, but the one that management is focusing on is Mt Oxide. The plan is to develop a copper mine. The Ayra prospect is the main exploration target and £450,000 will be spent on the Mt oxide area. The other core projects are the Cangai copper project in Australia and the Zed projects in Zambia.

BATM (BVC) says Vodafone has completed proof-of-concept on the ARM-based uCPE, which includes BATM’s network functions vizualisation (NFV) operating system. Field trials are likely to follow. This shows that both the networking and biomedical have good growth prospects. Stifel forecasts a rise in BATM pre-tax profit from $4.8m to $7.7m in 2020.

Construction and infrastructure services provider NMCN (NMCN) had a strong first quarter but a tougher second quarter meant that interim pre-tax profit fell by three-quarters. Even so, an interim dividend of 10p a share has been announced, which partly compensates for the lack of 2019 final dividend. There was an improved performance in telecoms and water is at the lower point in the cycle. Construction sites are becoming more active. Progress Equity Research forecasts a full year pre-tax profit of £1.9m, before recovering to £7.6m next year. A forecast total dividend of 15p a share for 2020, would not quite be covered by earnings.

Seafox International was successful in persuading Gulf Marine Services (GMS) shareholders to appoint Hassan Heikal and Hesham Halbouny to the board of the offshore oil services provider. They each received 57.7% of the votes.

Standard list shell Boston International Holdings (BIH) had £310,000 in cash at the end of June 2020, although there is also an unsecured loan of £200,000.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) mined 165 bitcoin in July, down from 180 in June. There were problems in the middle of the month. Mining revenue was £1.25m in July.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 May 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

British Honey Company (BHC) says its hand sanitiser has generated revenues of more than £500,000 since late March. This helps to offset the reduction in sales of alcohol products. There is sufficient alcohol available for the company’s requirements for the rest of the year. British Honey has appointed finnCap as corporate adviser and joint broker with Stanford Capital.

National Milk Records (NMRP) increased first quarter revenues by 1% to £5.61m. The growth comes from testing revenues with other revenues declining slightly. The company remains positive about the prospects for the dairy sector. The supply chain is rebalancing following a drop in demand for milk from coffee shops.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that the total gold resources at the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania have increased to 1.454 million tonnes at 10.3g/t for 483,000 ounces of gold. This excludes any estimate for the upper section of the mine.

World High Life (LIFE) says the Love Hemp brand has increased online sales by 39% each month since January. The brand’s CBD products are being stocked by more retailers.

TechFinancials (TECH) has signed a separation agreement with the cofounders of Footies Ltd and it will own 100% of the business. The cofounders get the original source code from May 2019. TechFinancials is ending its B2B brokerage activities by 1 November.

Investment company Gunsynd (GUN) has consolidated 85 shares into one new share.

Adnams (ADB) has appointed Jenny Hanlon to replace Stephen Pugh as finance director, which is a role he has held for 16 years.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) reported a NAV of 266.48p a share at the end of April. That represents a decline from 317.18p a share in the latest quarter.

AIM

Best of the Best (BOTB) has sparked another profit upgrade following its trading statement. finnCap has raised its 2019-20 by 27% to £3.8m.

IP investment company Tekcapital (TEK) increased net assets by two-fifths to $22.3m, which is equivalent to 35 cents a share. The biggest gain in value was for Guident, where nearly $7m was added to the valuation. Alternative salt developer Salarius and medical devices company Bellascura also generated good increases. Hi-tech eyewear developer Lucyd’s value fell by nearly $2m. Tekcapital recently raised £925,000 at 10p a share. This will be invested in portfolio companies.

Lower costs meant that ClearStar (CLSU) made a lower loss than expected in 2019. The background checks provider had net debt of $300,000 at the end of the year and this has increased to $1m. The year commenced with a record order book but there have been delays and reductions in volumes.

Genedrive (GDR) has raised £7m at 80p a share to finance the development of two COVID-19 tests.

Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) has launched FiltaShield, a COVID-19 sanitising services. It has also combined with a technology company to provide temperature screening devices.

VR equipment supplier Immotion (IMMO) has raised money for the second time this year. It has raised £1.35m at 2.5p a share, which is much lower than the 7.25p placing price in February.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) says that Bangladesh’s economic slowdown and disruption to supplies due to COVID-19 could hamper the fourth quarter of the year to June 2020. Even so, Beximco still expects to report annual sales growth.

ZOO Digital (ZOO) says that strong cash collections mean that it had cash of $700,000 at the end of March 2020.  Demand for localisation services weakened at the end of March but demand is recovering.

Hargreaves Services (HSP) has conditionally exchanged contracts for a 79 acre plot on the Hatfield site in South Yorkshire, which will be used to develop a national distribution centre for a retailer. The company is trading in line with expectations other than in the property business, where planned land sales will not complete before the end of May as originally anticipated.

MAIN MARKET

JD Sports Fashion (JD.) has been told by the CMA that it has to sell Footasylum. The formerly AIM-quoted footwear retailer was acquired last year. An appeal is being considered.

BATM (BVC) has launched an antibody test for COVID-19 and sales have begun to European countries.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) mined 319.2 bitcoin during April, down from 333.8 the previous month. The revenues were £1.8m in each month.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 24 February 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

The costs of a cyber-attack meant that National Milk Records (NMRP) interim pre-tax profit fell by two-thirds to £375,000. Revenues also declined from £11.7m to £10.7m, although that was mainly due to one-off revenues in the corresponding period. Disease testing services was the only part of the group where revenues improved. Underlying trading is within expectations. Net debt increased from £2.1m to £2.4m. Lower milk prices may reduce milk volumes from their high levels last year.

GP software supplier DXS International (DXSP) has raised just over £1m at 8p a share. The shares equate to more than one-quarter of the enlarged share capital. The cash will provide working capital required to market the company’s new products. The latest framework agreement has included a modest price rise. NHS accreditation of the company’s new software should be complete in April.

Cancer treatments developer Incanthera is planning to join NEX this week. Manchester-based Incanthera is developing Sol, a topical product for the treatment of solar keratosis and prevention of skin cancer, which could be licenced to a partner within 18 months. There is a pipeline of cancer therapeutics which have come through the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics at Bradford University, which owns 12.3% of the company. AIM-quoted Immupharma (IMM) will hold a 11.9% stake and has 7.27 million warrants, where the exercise price is being rebased to the issue price. Cairn is the corporate adviser and Stanford Capital Partners is the broker. The expected admission date is 28 February.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) is paying A$2m for 100% of the Beaconsfield gold mine and processing plant in Tasmania. This was a major gold mine up until 2012 and it could go back into production. The gold price has risen by 50% since production stopped. The initial payment is A$100,000.

NAV fell from 64p a share to 59p a share at Western Selection (WESP) in the six months to December 2019. The lack of a dividend from AIM-quoted Bilby (BILB) meant that dividend income nearly halved, although it was the one core investment that increased in value. There will be no interim dividend. Share disposals mean that net cash was £2.45m at the end of 2019.

Gunsynd (GUN) has decided not to take up its option to acquire a further 22.33% stake in the Kolosori nickel prospect in the Solomon Islands. Previously £45,000 was paid for a 7.76% stake. Gunsynd has received £20,000 of the £260,000 it is due to be paid for its stake in Oyster Oil and Gas.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company SOA Energy UK hopes to join AIM by the fourth quarter of 2020. Drilling is due to commence at the Ofek well in Israel during May and it could last 40 days with a further 40 days of testing. The results will be known before the flotation. Primorus owns 14,977 SOA shares.

Belvedere Leisure Resorts (BELV) is still waiting for cash to cover the full subscription promised just after flotation and it does not appear likely that the investor can come up with the cash. Other investors may come up with the funds in the next six weeks.

Investment company First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £196,000 from an issue of Green Finance preference shares at 100p each. There is a fixed interest rate of 5.05% a year and then a variable rate of up to 10.15% depending on whether certain conditions are met. The preference are convertible into ordinary shares. The focus is investments in the ethical, sustainable and renewable energy sectors.

Sativa Group (SATI) says subsidiary Goodbody Botanicals will have its products stocked in 100 of WH Smith Travel’s UK stores.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has appointed Novum Securities as its corporate adviser.

AIM

Rail optimisation software and equipment supplier Tracsis (TRCS) had a strong first half. Interim revenues increased from £18.8m to £26m. There were two acquisitions in January 2019, so they contributed for a full period this time. There is cash of £26m and it should reach £31.6m by the end of July.

Medical technology supplier Inspiration Healthcare (IHC) says it did better than expected in the year to January 2020. Revenues should be 15% ahead at £17.8m, which is equivalent to like-for-like growth of 12%. EBITDA should be one-fifth higher at above £2m.

4D Pharma (DDDD) is raising £22m at 50p a share, which is half the level that 4D floated at in June 2014. This cash will provide the additional funds required to support ongoing studies for IBS and oncology. The clinical study data is important when it comes the next step for the group.

Urban Logistics REIT (SHED) plans to raise up to £106.7m at 137.5p a share and this will be used to acquire logistics properties. The cash will be raised via a placing, offer for subscription and open offer. The share price equates to adjusted NAV and is a discount to the market price. A special dividend of 3.85p a share will be paid.

Stanley Gibbons (SGI) is acquiring trading inventory from 58.1% shareholder Phoenix SG Ltd for £1.07m. This will be paid as the inventory is sold, net of sales commission.

AdEPT Technology (ADT) raised £4.25m at 320p a share, which was more than it was initially seeking. This will reduce debt and provide funding for acquisitions.

Chris Pullen has resigned as chief executive of Staffware (STAF) and a search for a replacement is about to commence. The recruitment and training company continues to talk with its lenders. Net debt is estimated at £60m at the end of 2019.

Toys supplier Hornby (HRN) is raising up to £15m via a placing and one-for-3.006268641288 open offer at 36p a share. The cash will be invested in the company’s brands, digital marketing and corporate systems.

MAIN MARKET

Nanoco (NANO) has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung relating to Nanoco’s synthesis and resin technology for quantum dots. There was a collaboration with Samsung, but it ended without a licence agreement.

Stevia supplier PureCircle (PURE) has secured a waiver and amendment to its bank facility. This covers all previous defaults and provides an additional $8.6m of funds.

Career development platforms developer Dev Clever (DEV) has delayed the roll-out of its platform and that hit interim revenues. Management hopes to secure a partnership with a worldwide technology manufacturer that will enable an international roll-out. Chris Akers has increased his stake from 6% to 7.15%.

World Trade Systems (WTS) intends to cancel its listing on 27 March in order to save costs.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 25 November 2019

NEX EXCHANGE
National Milk Records (NMRP) says that revenues in the quarter to September 2019 fell to £5.25m. They were £5.54m in the previous quarter and £6.08m last year, although that was boosted by one-off projects. A cyber-attack hit business, but systems have been restored. Canaccord Genuity has been appointed as corporate adviser.
Western Selection (WESP) has acquired nearly 3.64 million shares in the Bilby (BILB) placing. That has more than doubled the number of shares owned by Western Selection and it owns 10.8% of Bilby, up from 6.66%.
Belvedere Leisure Resorts (www.belvedereleisureresortsplc.com) is expected to gain a quotation for £10m of its 6.25% secured bonds on 29 November. The company is a subsidiary of Belvedere Leisure Park, which owns a site in Dumfries & Galloway with planning permission for a lodge park resort of 444 holiday lodges. The park will be built by Landal GreenParks.
Formerly AIM-quoted SAPO (www.sapoinvest.com), which was known as South African Property Opportunities, plans to join the NEX Growth Market on 2 December. The plan is to use the Isle of Man-based company as a shell to invest in the UK rural broadband market, although Labour plans for the broadband market could affect this strategy. Executive chairman Michael Meyer will own 40.55% of SAPO and three shareholders will own 84.8%.
Bracken Trading (BRAC) has decided to withdrawal is preference shares from NEX trading on 18 December. Trading had started on 9 September. There have not been any trades.
Altona Energy (ANR) is acquiring a petroleum exploration licence application within the Arckaringa Basin in South Australia. This is close to the company’s existing exploration licences. There could be potential for a gasification project. Management has decided not to invest in the potential vanadium investment.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that its subsidiary has received a tax refund of $279,275. Drilling at Specimen Hill shows gold bearing mineralisation in all holes. There are targets for follow-up drilling.
BWA Group (BWAP) has not received £80,000 of the £100,000 subscription funds for convertible loan notes issued when Kings of the North Corp was acquired. Alternative funding is being secured. Vilhjamur Thor Vilhjalmsson, chief executive of 23.75% shareholder SX, has resigned as a director of BWA and been replaced by Mark Billings.
Block Commodities (BLCC) has appointed Ian Tordoff as chief executive. He has experience in the healthcare sector and has been involved in assessing the potential cannabis-based compounds.
DXS International (DXSP) chief executive David Immelman’s wife acquired one million shares at 10p each from Ron Rhodes during September. That takes David Immelman’s interests to 13.3%.
The ten-for-one share consolidation has been approved by World High Life (LIFE) shareholders. Dealings in the new share started on 20 November.
AIM
A competing bid approach led Hanover Acquisition to increase its bid for Brady (BRY) from 10p a share to 18p a share, which values the risk management and commodity software company at £15m. Hanover has bought shares owned by Kestrel and Coltrane Master Fund and these stakes have taken its shareholding to 46.1%, so the bid is mandatory.
Feedback (FDBK) has secured its first pilot study for its Bleepa communications platform that can be used to securely access medical grade images via mobiles and PCs. The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust will use Bleepa for respiratory requests. Bleepa will be the main focus for Feedback and it offers the potential for significant recurring revenues. Less money will be spent on TexRAD.
Keeping up with tradition Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) released its interims at 4.35pm on Friday. This was the same time as the previous trading statement and earlier than the previous interims which were released at 5.04pm on a Friday. Revenues remain flat and there was a pre-tax loss. Cash was £28.1m at the end of September 2019.
Nick Develin is stepping up from chief operating officer of Naked Wine (WINE) to takeover from Rowan Gormley as chief executive. The company has sold its other operations and is purely an online wine retailer. UK trading ahs been weak, but the US is going well.
Kape (KAPE) is almost doubling its earnings per share by acquiring Private Internet Access, which expands the range of security software the group can offer. The acquisition will cost up to $95.5m in cash and shares, plus debt. Kape will have net debt following the acquisition, but this should be paid down over the next two years.
Litigation finance provider Manolete Partners (MANO) is building up its business having raised cash when it floated at the end of last year. Interim revenues rose by 15% to £7.5m, but most of those revenues were unrealised gains. That meant that there was a cash outflow in the period. This is due to the higher number (and higher value) of cases being taken on and many of these will be completed and generate cash in the second half. Manolete focuses on insolvency cases and this means that they tend to be settled much quicker than ones handled by Burford Capital.
Having failed to secure the financing for its proposed acquisition, Stirling Industries (STRL) is cancelling its AIM quotation and management plans to place the company in liquidation.
First Property (FPO) increased like-for-like interim revenues by 10% to £8.1m. The spare space at CH8 in Warsaw is being filled. The interim dividend has been edged up to 0.46p a share. The underlying NAV is 50.7p a share.
Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) has sorted out its interest in Egypt at no cash cost. The stake is being transferred to the operator. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, although it can be terminated if it is not.
Social video company Brave Bison (BBSN) expects to make a full year loss on reduced revenues of £16m. That is worse than expected. Changing Facebook policies have made trading difficult. Management is trying to reduce the dependence on Facebook. There was £3.8m in the bank at the end of October 2019. Costs are being reduced. Robin Miller will step down as chairman at the end of 2019. CIP Merchant Capital (CIP) recently increased its stake in Brave Bison to 11.7%.
Digital TV software developer Mirada (MIRA) increased underlying revenues by 11% to $5.74m, but it is still losing money. However, contracts are being won with potential for more over the next few months. Net debt has fallen to $3.53m following the sale of Mirada Connect for £2.12m ($2.72m).
City of London Group (CIN) says that its subsidiary Recognise Financial Services has applied to become a bank. The plan is to offer financial services to smaller companies and savings products. The company hopes to be authorised later in 2020, but that may prove optimistic. City of London Group will have to raise cash to finance the development of the bank.
Shareholders took up 10.9% of the open offer shares in Xeros Technology Group (XSG) and this raised £217,000.
A general meeting requisition has been lodged with Plutus PowerGen (PPG) and the intention is to remove all the current directors. They would be replaced with Nicholas Lee, David Horner and Dr Nigel Burton.
Mporium (MPM) has appointed an administrator and the business has been sold to management. There is unlikely to be anything for shareholders.

MAIN MARKET
Semiconductors supplier CML Microsystems (CML) reported a decline in revenues and profit in the six months to September 2019. The storage products revenues fell by nearly one-quarter, while there was a 4% decline in communications revenues. However, an overall improvement on the first half is expected in the second half. Interim pre-tax profit fell from £2.4m to £900,000. A full year pre-tax profit of £2.6m, down from £3m is forecast.
Macfarlane Group (MACF) has increased revenues by 4% in the four months to October 2019. The packaging supplier has reduced overheads to offset price deflation. Full year performance is expected to be better than last year.
Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) has increased market share, but that has only partly offset the tough underlying markets. Interim revenues were 2% lower at £103.1m, while underlying pre-tax profit was 8.5% down at £10.6m.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has acquired ten mining claims in northern Zimbabwe and they cover carbonatite type bodies. The properties were previously explored for phosphates.
Kin + Carta (KCT) has made its first digital transformation acquisition in the form of Colorado-based Spire. The initial payment is $14.8m with a further performance-based payment next February and another after that. The company has raised £13.6m at 89p a share.
Specialist Fund Market-quoted Marwyn Value Investors Ltd (MVI) is returning £5.31m to realisation shareholders. That includes £5.28m from the takeover of BCA Marketplace and a small amount of liquidation proceeds from Gloo Networks. There will be a pro rata redemption of realisation shares. The shares will go ex-redemption on 6 December.
Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 14 October 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its pre-tax profit by one-fifth to £2.4m in the year to June 2018. Revenues improved from £21.4m to £22.8m. The farm-based milk recording business grew, but the main growth came from the much smaller traceability and reproductive businesses. These figures are for the period before the recent virus attack. The dividend has been halved from 2.5p a share to 1.25p a share because management wants to invest in laboratories and IT. Net debt was £1.7m.

Good Energy (GOOD) has clarified its interim figures. The renewable energy supplier says that there was a misclassification of £4.9m relating to cash and current assets and current liabilities. The problem was the timing of payments. This does not change NAV and profit. There was a £20m in the bank at the end of September 2019. Good Energy has signed a technology platform agreement with Octopus Group, which could involve investment of £4m in order to improve efficiency. The existing technology will be written down over the 12 months to June 2019. Operating cost savings should cover the investment in 18 months of full implementation.

Vox has ended merger discussions with PCG Entertainment (PCGE) and Align Research saying that it is difficult to raise money for any business involving Align Research. Vox is concerned that this will hamper fundraisings for future deals, and it believes it could have a negative effect on its main business.

VI Mining (VIM) has acquired rights to near-surface oxide gold at the Aripuana project in Brazil. The company’s other assets are in Peru.

Reyker Securities has been suspended as a broker on NEX Exchange.

AIM  

PCI-compliant payment services provider PCI PAL (PCIP) is making progress in winning new contracts in North America. Recurring annual contract value is £1.9m, compared with forecast revenues of £4.8m in the year to June 2020, up from £2.8m. PCI Pal will continue to lose money as it builds up revenues. Net cash was £1.5m at the end of June 2019. A new £2.75m facility will provide the working capital required to cover losses until the company starts to generate cash. Net debt of £1.5m is forecast at the end of June 2021, so this is well within the funding available.

Uhuru Corporation is a Japanese Internet of Things technology company planning to join AIM this month. Tokyo-based Uhuru (www.uhuru.co.jp/en) is involved in consultancy and engineering, as well as providing creative content and data analysis. Customers include NEC, Dentsu, Honda, Komatsu, Yamaha and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) raised £461,500 at 44p a share via PrimaryBid.com, which takes the total raised to £16.55m. A two-for-51 open offer has been launched to raise a further £3.45m.

AIM shell Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) had discussions about the participation in the purchase of US-based speciality chemicals company Arclin Inc, but these have ended. The costs of the work done on this potential transaction have reduced the cash pile to £900,000. Wilmcote is holding talks with investors about how to fund expenses while it seeks another speciality chemicals acquisition. Trading in the shares has recommenced and the share price slumped from 97p to 65p.

Oil and gas producer Amerisur Resources (AMER) has issued revised bidding instructions to the potential acquirers that were provided data as part of the strategic review and formal sale process. The process will hopefully conclude before the end of the year.

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) is focusing on the customers that are utilising its dispersion know-how and provide the best near-term revenue potential. That will enable the graphene producer to cut its operating costs and make the cash in the bank last at least another two years. Net cash was £6.1m at the end of July 2019 and a tax credit of £600,000 has since been received. Manufacturing will be streamlined, and the annual cost base could fall from £4.3m to £3.2m. Revenues remain modest.

Pawnbroker Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) will make a one-off gross profit of £600,000 from scrapping slow moving jewellery in order to take advantage of the rise in the gold price. Trading is in line with expectations. The interims will be published on 3 December.

United Oil and Gas (UOG) is on course to acquire Rockhopper Egypt for $16m before the end of 2019. A share issue is required in order to fund the initial cash payment of at least $11m. The rest of the payment will be in shares issued at the placing price. The main asset being acquired is a 22% interest in the Abu Sennan concession.

Time Out Group (TMO) has raised £17.1m at 127p a share. The June 2016 flotation price was 150p. The cash will be used to cut debt and roll-out more Time Out Market sites, with Chicago and Montreal due to open later this year and more contracted sites for the future. Net debt was £34.4m at the end of June 2019.

Investors give no quarter when it comes to profit warnings these days. Public housing software provider Castleton Technology (CTP) says recurring revenues are still going well, but there is a shortage of one-off revenues. This has led to a 15% cut in forecast revenues for the year to March 2020. That leads to a cut in pre-tax profit forecast from £6.4m to £5.3m. A similar reduction has been made in the forecast for 2020-21, which is £5.8m. The share price fell by more than one-third to 57p, which is less than ten times prospective earnings.

Trading in the shares of Solo Energy (SOLO) has been suspended ahead of a proposed acquisition of assets from ONE-Dyas for an initial €30.1m. That will be funded by debt and a share issue raising £20m, which will involve an open offer. The 14 gas fields are in the Dutch sector of the North Sea. Tom Reynolds is moving from non-executive to chief executive. The admission document should be published in November and the name will be changed to Scirocco Energy.

Dekeloil (DKL) is still being hampered by a low crude palm oil price but it is optimistic that the price will improve. There was a 11% decrease in third quarter crude palm oil production to 4,803 tonnes. However, there was a 30% increase in sales to 7,138 tonnes. The average price achieved was 16% lower at €456/tonne. The cashew processing project is on course for first production in 2020. The company is changing its name to Dekel Agri-Vision Ltd.

Managed services provider Redcentric (RCN) says that first half trading was on track. It is on course to improve pre-tax profit from £7.2m to £9.8m.

MAIN MARKET

Nottinghamshire-based nmcn (NMCN) is acquiring Lintott Control Systems (LCS), which designs and manufactures water and wastewater treatment systems and process software. The total cost of LCS could be as high as £3.76m. The initial payment is £1, plus up to £676,000 dependent on the receipt of payment for certain invoices. The rest is dependent on profit levels over the three years to the end of 2021.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has increased third quarter revenues by 75%, compared with the second quarter. Revenues were £3.63m and the cryptocurrency mining margin is 73%, even though the bitcoin price has dropped. The number o machines in production should double to 12,000 by the end of the year.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) used cash of £2.31m in operations in the year to June 2019. Rainbow generated revenues of £1.54m from trial rare earths mining at Gakara in Burundi, but production costs were double that level. Write downs mean that net assets were £3.37m at the end of June 2019. More exploration activity is required before production levels are increased.

Stranger Holdings (STHP) has agreed terms to acquire two mineral companies. One has assets in Cameroon and the other is in Idaho. Minerals include cobalt and nickel. Previous potential transactions have been terminated.

Standard list shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) is still seeking an acquisition. There is still £912,000 in the bank.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 30 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Peel Hunt has edged up its pre-tax profit forecast for brewer and pubs operator Shepherd Neame (SHEP) following the publication of its figures for the year to June 2019. They showed revenues of £145.8m and pre-tax profit of £11.4m, which was slightly better than expected. Brewing profit more than halved to £900,000 after the Asahi contract ended, but this was more than made up for by the contribution from managed and tenanted pubs. Own-brewed volumes have risen by 5.8% in the first few weeks of the year and managed ad tenanted pubs are showing like-for-like income increases. Debt costs will be lower than previously expected so the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast has moved from £11.5m to £11.7m, which will allow a slightly higher anticipated dividend of 31p a share – twice covered by earnings. There is potential to acquire more pubs.

In the 17 months to May 2019, pubs operator and automotive dealer Barkby Group (BARK) made a pre-tax profit of £75,000 on revenues of £6.29m. Stripping out the amount acquisitions were made under net asset value and acquisition cost, the profit is £135,000. The addition of pub sites, taking the total to six gastropubs and inns, and the purchase of Centurian Automotive, will significantly increase revenues in the latest 12-month period. The plan is to have up to 12 pub sites within five years.

Karoo Energy (KEP) is changing its name to IamFire and raising £143,000 at 2.4p a share. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi has been appointed as an executive director and Jeremy Ross joins as a non-executive. They are both directors of cannabis company Eurocann International (BUD). The existing business is being sold to Noel Lyons and other opportunities in the oil and gas and base and precious metals sectors will be assessed.

National Milk Records (NMRP) has been hit by a cyber attack and this will reduce profit this year. It has interrupted IT operations and EBITDA is set to be 10% lower than expected in the year to June 2020.

WH Ireland has published a broker note on Cadence Minerals (KDNC) and this suggests that the 27% stake in the Amapa iron ore mine in Brazil is a potential company maker, even before any benefits from the lithium project investments. The mine produced between 2007 and 2014 before being closed because of an incident at the port on the Amazon and a falling iron ore price. The total resource is estimated at 245Mt grading 41% Fe, but this figure dates back to 2012. The mine life could be 15 years. Capex of $168m will be required to restart mining and processing. The 27% stake will effectively cost Cadence less than £6m. The other shareholder is Singapore-based commodity trader IndoSino. If other investors are sought, then Cadence has the right to increase its stake to 49%.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) plans to consolidate every 20 existing shares into one new share. A general meeting will be held on 16 October. Primorus expects its A$500,000 loan note with Zuuse to be repaid, plus interest, in the next couple of weeks.

St Mark Homes (SMAP) reported an improvement in interim pre-tax profit from £18,000 to £84,000. The housebuilder achieved this improvement because of a much larger share of the operating profit in a joint venture and increased interest receivable. Admin expenses rose even though revenues were lower. NAV is 126p a share.

Recently floated cash shell World High Life (LIFE) plans to acquire Love Hemp in return for £4m in cash and the issue of 30 million shares. A further £2m could become payable in the next three years depending on the achievement of turnover targets. If more than target turnover is achieved in any year then the vendors will receive 5% of the excess. Love Hemp is a supplier of CBD and hemp products and it made a pre-tax profit of £532,000 on turnover of £2.5m in the year to June 2018. World High Life plans to raise up to £5m in order to finance the acquisition.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says joint venture DJT has applied for a licence to grow >0.2% THC cannabis and has been registered with the Drugs Licensing and Compliance Unit of the Home Office. DJT has acquired Aristaeus Elements, which is setting up as a cannabis extraction and processing facility, for £1 and assumption of debt of £51,000 – the deposit paid for the equipment for the plant. The plan is to finance the investment in the facility through debt secured against offtake contracts.

Blockchain-related investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) reported a dip in revenues from £1.33m to £109,000, but a reversal of an impairment charge and gains on financial assets meant that it still made a pre-tax profit of £242,000, down from £554,000 the previous year. The non-cash gains meant that cash fell from £592,000 to £475,000 over the six months to June 2019. NAV increased from £2.36m to £2.59m.

First Sentinel (FSEN) reported a fall in interim revenues from £963,000 to £710,000, while the loss increased from £46,000 and £114,000.

Panther Metals (PALM) says that early identification of an area of the Big Bear project in Ontario shows high gold grades. The 100% owned area has been extended via the acquisition of four additional mining claims.  

NQ Minerals (NQMI) generated revenues of £14.2m in the first half of 2019. The Hellyer polymetallic mine was not in production in the corresponding period last year. There was still a £17.9m loss because of high admin expenses. There was £65.6m of debt at the end of June 2019 and management believes that it can get more favourable terms now the mine is up and running.

AIM

Domain name registry Minds + Machines (MMX) is improving the quality of its earnings and it is nearer to sorting out legacy problems. Renewal revenues almost cover costs. Interim net revenues increased from $5.3m to $7.4m, while pre-tax profit trebled to $1.8m, helped by a full six month contribution from ICM. A full year pre-tax profit of $4.1m is forecast. Operating expenses should rise much slower than revenues and cash generation should be strong. A $5.1m cash payment will be made in the second half in order to cover those legacy costs. Even after that, the company should have net cash of more than $5m at the end of 2019. Longer-term, Minds + Machines could become a dividend payer.

Pelatro (PTRO) is dependent on fourth quarter licence sales to achieve forecasts following the 14% increase in interim revenues to $2.7m. That means that second half revenues of the telecoms marketing services and technology provider need to be $7.8m to achieve the 2019 target. There are some large potential sales in the pipeline, but delays of a few weeks could mean that they drop into 2020. Repeat revenues more than doubled in the first half because more of the business won has been in the form of revenue gain share contracts that take time to build up and produce revenues over a longer period than a one-off licence, which is recognised as revenue straight away.

Maestrano (MNO) has conditionally agreed to acquire Airsight Holdings, which offers engineering surveying services using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. Airsight had revenues of A$1.04m in the year to June 2019 and it is loss making because of development spending. Maestrano will issue 73.4 million shares to pay for the acquisition. There could be further payments depending on revenues. The Maestrano chairman is a shareholder in Airsight.

Escape Hunt (ESC) increased revenues from £800,000 to £2.2m in the first half of 2019 but it remains loss-making. Franchise revenues were flat, and all the growth came from the operated sites. Escape Hunt has signed an agreement with Proprietors Capital Holdings for the roll-out of franchise sites in North America.

Mattress supplier eve Sleep (EVE) reduced its loss but cash is still flowing out of the business. Net cash was £12.5m at the end of June 2019 and it is expected to be £8m by the end of the year.

MAIN MARKET

S and U (SUS) is adding new motor finance business even though loan standards have been tightened. Motor finance business Advantage Finance is on course to achieve its 20th year of profit growth. Bridging loans provider Aspen made a profit of £502,000 in the first half. Interim pre-tax profit rose by 3% to £17.1m and the dividend was increased by 6% to 34p a share.

Suit hire and retail business Moss Bros (MOSB) broke even, before the IFRS16 accounting changes for leases, in the six months to July 2019, which was slightly better than expected. A full year loss is still expected because despite like-for-like retail sales growth, hire revenues are declining and the IFRS16 changes will knock £2.5m off pre-tax profit. There was cash of £18.2m at the end of July 2019.

finnCap has reduced its 2019-20 forecasts for InnovaDerma (IDP) following its figures for the year June 2019. The beauty and health products supplier increased revenues by one-fifth to £12.9m and pre-tax profit more than doubled to £1.4m. This year’s pre-tax profit is expected to be £2m, down from £2.3m previously, because higher costs relating to marketing more than offset improved sales expectations. To put this in perspective, the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast back in August 2018 was £2.6m. InnovaDerma needs to start meeting forecasts rather than having them downgraded on a regular basis.

Tex Holdings (TXH) has appointed Price Bailey LLP. Trading appears to be picking up in the plastics and engineering businesses. There is a record order book of £12m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 1 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

NEX Exchange company of the year

National Milk Records (NMRP)  

Dairy and livestock services provider National Milk Records has been on NEX for more than a decade. The share price has increased by more than 500% over the past decade. In the latest quarter to March 2019, revenues improved from £5.32m to £5.56m, even though the number of cows on the database had declined from 743,054 to 713,379 over a 12-month period which hit milk recording revenues. Income from specialist testing has increased. Overall, growth was not as strong as in the first six months, which benefitted from one-off income. An oversupply of milk in recent weeks has hit the milk price and this has held back spending by farmers.

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Wealth management group AFH Financial Group (AFHP) is raising up to £20m via a convertible unsecured loan stock issue. The conversion price is 420p a share, up from 360p before the issue was announced, and the interest rate is 4%. This cash will fund further acquisitions. There are five that are already in due diligence.

Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) is not likely to achieve financial close on three projects, so it will lose money in the 14 months to June 2019. The second half will be profitable. The company should return to profit in 2019-20.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has increased the valuation of its portfolio by 22% to £86.9m at the end of April 2019. Annualised rental income is £6.5m.

Investment company Angelfish Investments (ANGP) had cash of £1.48m, but debt was £3.35m and net liabilities of £543,000 at the end of 2018. This means that the preference dividend cannot be paid because there are no distributable reserves. The decline into net liabilities was mainly due to a £942,000 write-down on loans made to OME. Pre-revenue investments are included at cost.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has appointed First Sentinel as its corporate adviser. PCG has not replaced its nominated adviser so it will lose its AIM quotation. Acquisition talks continue.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has invested £75,000 in fintech company Capable Finance in return for a 50.01% stake and a £25,000 loan with an annual coupon of 15%. First Sentinel directors have participated in a £110,000 placing and they own most of the rest of the shares. First Sentinel has gained a Euronext Dublin listing for its 7.5% bonds, May 2024. Some of this cash will be invested in the activities of Capable Finance.

Shareholders in Valiant Investments have approved the change of name to Eurocann International (BUD) and the focus on medicinal cannabis. It has disposed of its investment in Flamethrower one of its own directors and raised £263,000 at 1.5p a share. Valiant had £1,289 in the bank at the end of 2018. There is still a £200,000 convertible investment in All Star Minerals (ASMO). The company has a stake in North Bud Farms Inc, which has a cannabis production facility in Quebec.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £250,000 at 0.1p a share. This ash will contribute to the £700,000 investment in Apollon Formularies. Executive chairman David Lenigas has bought 17 million shares at 0.11941p each.

Ananda Developments (ANA) has formalised the joint venture with Anglia Salads and JE Piccaver to create DJT Group. Ananda and Anglia which each own 50% of DJT, which will apply for a licence to cultivate and supply cannabis. Ananda had £141,000 in the bank at the end of January 2019.

Sativa Investments (SATI) subsidiary PhytoVista Laboratories has completed an independent blind test consumer cannabidiol products for The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis. Many proved to have too low or too high a content of relevant ingredients.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has terminated its heads of terms with Mkango Resources relating to earning up to 75% of the Thumbani licence because it could not come up with the finance required.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) increased its revenues from $8.2m to $10.9m, although the loss doubled to $1.89m. That is mainly down to a $797,000 loss on an equity sharing agreement. The cash outflow from operations fell from $904,000 to $813,000.

Via Developments (VIA1) reported an increase in interim loss from £10,000 to £259,000, because of higher finance costs.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is raising £1.6m at 0.11p a share and this will fund the investment in the Amapa iron ore project.

Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) is leaving NEX on 26 July. The minerals explorer has been on NEX for less than nine months. It does not believe it is large enough to benefit from a quotation on NEX as well as the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Small Cap Awards 2019 winners

Company of the year

Beeks Financial Cloud (BKS)

Beeks Financial Cloud provides cloud-based connectivity and infrastructure services provider for automated trading of financial assets. It also provides cyber security services to prevent distributed denial of service attacks. Beeks was formed in 2010 and has consistently grown its revenues. Beeks joined AIM in November 2017 and in May it acquired the trading assets of US-based Commercial Network Services and this adds 1,000 customers. Progressive Research forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £1.2m to £1.4m in the year to June 2019.

IPO of the year

Cake Box Holdings (CBOX)

Egg-free cakes supplier Cake Box won this award the day before its first anniversary on AIM. Cake Box raised £16.5m at 108p a share and at one point the share price was nearly double this level. There is still a premium of more than 60% to the flotation price. In the year to March 2019, revenues increased from £12.8m to £16.9m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £3.3m to £4m. Two new distribution centre sites have been acquired. There is scope to more than double the business, which currently has 113 stores.

Impact company of the year

Kromek (KMK)

Kromek has developed a range of radiation detection and imaging products based on cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) technology. The company focuses on three sectors – medical imaging, nuclear detection and security. Kromek has been winning multi-million pound international contracts and it has a strong balance sheet following a recent fundraising. Revenues increased by 23% to £14.5m in the year to April 2019. Kromek is losing money, but it is on course to reach breakeven in a couple of years. The orders that are already won underpin the revenue forecasts for the coming years.

Executive director of the year

Mike Creedon, chief executive of Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI)

Mike Creedon has been on the SDI board since 2010, having previously been a finance director of two former AIM companies, Ideal Shopping Direct and Ninth Floor. SDI is an acquisitive digital imaging and sensor control technology company. The acquisition record is good. A trading update has led to a small pre-tax profit upgrade to £2.9m. The 2019-20 pre-tax profit is maintained at £4.1m.

Analyst of the year

George O’Connor, Stifel Nicolaus

Journalist of the year

Simon Thompson, Investors Chronicle

Fund manager of the year

Marlborough Nano Cap Growth

Lifetime achievement

Andrew Buchanan

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AIM 

Zoo Digital (ZOO) slipped back into loss in the year to March 2019, but it should return to profit this year. Demand for film and TV localisation services continues to grow but momentum has not been as expected.

Wynnstay (WYN) had already warned about tough second quarter trading, but underlying pre-tax profit held up reasonably well, falling 15% to £4.3m, even though revenues were 19% higher at £218.5m. The increase in revenues was mainly down to commodity inflation. The warmer winter weather hit demand for animal feed, although fertiliser demand has been strong. The agricultural merchanting depots acquired in the past year are moving towards profit. There has been some rationalisation of the depot network. The interim dividend has been raised 4% to 4.6p a share.

China New Energy Ltd (CNEL) has applied for a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and it will ask shareholders for permission to cancel the AIM quotation, subject to a successful Hong Kong listing.

Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) has increased its assets under influence to £5.3bn, helped by recent acquisitions. There is a strong pipeline of additional acquisitions. Interim pre-tax profit improved from £930,000 to £1.63m.

MAIN MARKET 

BATM (BVC) is raising $18m, 20% more than initially sought, at 42.5p a share. Most of the cash is earmarked for the cyber and networking activities. The rest will go towards medical activities. The cash will help in securing partnerships with larger technology companies.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has varied and extended its contract with Canadian data centre provider GPU.one. This will provide access to 14MW of power at lower prices. This increases capacity by 47%, utilising the equipment that has already been ordered, and cuts power cost by 39%. The deal starts on 25 June and lasts three years. Argo can give four months’ notice. A previous deposit of £1.44m has been turned into an investment in GPU.one.

Tex Holdings (TXH) says the engineering operations have started the year slowly, but trading should return to previous levels. The plastics division is trading in line with expectations and there is investment in new machinery. The shares remain suspended.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Ltd (COPL) has joined the standard list. The oil and gas company is focused on Nigeria and sub-Saharan African.

Avocet Mining (AVM) is holding a general meeting on 18 July to gain shareholder approval for a voluntary liquidation. Avocet has sold its interest in the Tri-K gold project in Guinea for $21m. This leaves a small residual cash sum. There is unlikely to be anything substantial left to distribute to shareholders.

Oil and gas company Aminex (AEX) shareholders have approved the switch from a premium listing to a standard listing. It is also cancelling its Dublin listing. It may have been difficult to get the full benefits of the lighter regulation of a standard listing if the company were still listed in Dublin.

Andrew Hore

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