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Quoted Micro 16 May 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Brewer Adnams (ADB) says that trading is in line with expectation in the first four months of the year. The retail side is trading ahead of the same period in 2019. Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge has reduced its shareholding from 5.27% to 4.22%., while Michael Heald increased his stake from 18.2% to 19.3% by acquiring 3,200 B shares at 8870p each.

Silverwood Brands (SLWD) has made its first investment since joining Aquis last year. Ginger Teleporter is licenced to operate e-scooters and e-bikes in England. Silverwood Brands has subscribed for a convertible loan note of £200,000 with an interest rate of 15%. The conversion price is £28.94. Silverwood Brands directors Paul Hodgins and Andrew Gerrie are also directors of Ginger. Along with another shareholder in Ginger they have agreed to sell shares to Silverwood Brands at a nominal cost if the target valuation is less than two times the original investment.

National Milk Records (NMRP) says third quarter revenues were 4% higher at £5.63m, with all main parts of the business increasing their contribution. Health testing is growing fastest, but it is still less than one-quarter of the total. Milk purchase prices have been increased to cover higher farm costs.

Talent management and livestreaming company All Things Considered (ATC) invested $6m in a new company focused on music digitisation and blockchain technology, which has announced the acquisition of Napster.

Gunsynd (GUN) has sold 175,000 shares in Charger Metals NL, raising £93,000. It still owns 2.825 million shares.

ChallengerX (CXS) has signed a digital asset monetisation agreement with US-based online TV network FOXD. This is a five-year deal.

Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) says it is in talks with Powerhouse Energy (PHE) about a project in Ireland.

Peterhouse Capital resigned as corporate adviser to Love Hemp (LIFE) prior to the announcement that an investor had not made the promised £1.2m subscription. A new corporate adviser is required for trading in the shares to recommence. A strategic review is ongoing, and a finance director is being sought.

AQRU (AQRU) says that its decentralised finance subsidiary has more than $50m of assets under management five months after the launch of the AQRU.io platform.

SuperSeed Capital Ltd (WWW) managing director sold 50,000 shares at 100p each. He still owns 79.6%.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 355.46p a share.

AIM

There have not been any large contract wins for telecoms billing software provider Cerillion (CER) this year, but the interims show the benefit of previous wins. In the six months to March 2022, revenues increased from £12.8m to £16.1m. Annualised recurring revenues are £9.8m. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £3.8m to £6.3m. The business is highly cash generative and net cash has reached £16.5m. There are no borrowings. The dividend has been raised by 24% to 2.6p a share. Although the order book has dipped from £42.1m to £39.7m it is still well above previous years. There is a weighted pipeline of prospective customer business of £35m and there is a good chance that some deals could be secured before the end of September.

Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) had an exceptionally strong 2021-22 due to the delayed demand for cars due to lockdowns in the previous year. The figures were ahead of expectations. Revenues were £3.62bn, which is 18% higher than in 2019-20. Pre-tax profit jumped from £24.6m to £80.7m. The profit should more than halve this year. Supply shortages are continuing, although used car prices are set to come down over the rest of the year.

Omnichannel retail software provider itim Group (ITIM) has annual recurring revenues were £11.1m in 2021 and it has already reached £13m this year. Clients pay a monthly fee. There was a £1m pre-tax profit in 2021 and investment in growing the business means that it could halve this year. The company raised cash so that it could finance the replacement of an existing system with its own software without charging an upfront fee.

Healthcare technology investor and adviser Netscientific (NSCI) increased net assets to £18.5m at the end of 2021. There are 22 investments in the portfolio. WH Ireland has a sum of the parts valuation of 180p a share.

Trellus Health (TRLS) has changed its strategy to focus on the direct-to-consumer model and is broadening the market by including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Trellus Health can provide personalised care for people with chronic conditions with the initial focus inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). There should be initial revenues in 2022. Net cash is $32m and this should last more than two years as revenues build up.

Plug-in cards developer Concurrent Technologies (CNC) says component shortages held back revenues and they dipped from £21.1m to £20.5m in 2021. Even so, pre-tax profit improved from £3.7m to £4.1m thanks to lower operating expenses. Chief executive Miles Adcock joined the AIM-quoted company last June. He has reviewed strategy plans to launch new products more quickly. This year there should be eight new products – double the previous level. A manufacturing partner in the US will help the group win more business. Although there was an increased interim dividend, the total dividend for the year was unchanged at 2.55p a share.

Advanced coatings provider Hardide (HDD) is recovering but it is still some way from profit. Interim revenues were 50% ahead at £2.7m and while the loss was nearly halved it was still £771,000. Revenues for the year to September 2022 could be double the interim level, but so could the loss. Net debt was £335,000 at the end of March 2022. Overheads have fallen following the completion of the move to a new factory in the UK. Variable gross margin is 70%, so additional revenues will rapidly reduce the loss.

Further good news from NWF (NWF) thanks to the fuels business due to short-term volatility. Trading in the year to May 2022 will be significantly ahead of expectations.

Credit hire and legal services firm Anexo (ANX) increased 2021 revenues by 36% to £118.2m, while pre-tax profit was 50% ahead at £24.1m. The new housing disrepair business made a contribution, and the credit hire business is running at high levels. There is still potential upside from the VW emissions case. The total dividend is 1.5p a share.

Iodine producer Iofina (IOF) increased 2021 revenues from $29.7m to $39m and underlying pre-tax profit from $1.3m to $4.9m, even though iodine production was lower. Net debt was $3m at the end of 2021. Iodine prices remain above $60/kg. Plans are being made for additional production capacity.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) has raised a further £20m via a placing and PrimaryBid offer at 35p a share. The additional cash should enable Duke to increase its debt facility by £25m. Cenkos forecasts royalty revenues of £21.3m in the year to March 2023. That should generate enough cash for a 3p a share dividend.

Immedia Group (IME) has completed the disposal of its operating business and it is changing its name to Immediate Acquisition.

Sweden-based investor AB Traction has increased its stake ceramics and fragrance products manufacturer Portmeirion (PMP) to 5.08%.

MAIN MARKET

GS Chain (GSC) is a shell seeking a technology acquisition. It was introduced to the standard list at 1p a share. The share price opened on 13 May at 3p before ending the day at 3.625p (3.5p/4p). There is nearly £1m in cash that should last 12 months. The pro forma asset value is less than 0.18p a share.

Macfarlane (MACF) says first quarter sales and profit are ahead of the same period last year. Better packaging sales to industrial and hospitality sectors has offset weaker sales for e-commerce.

Flavours supplier Treatt (TET) grew revenues by 9% to £66.3m, although underlying pre-tax profit fell to £6.3m. Forecast revenues have been upgraded, but the profit estimate is the same due to lower margins. Orange oil prices have risen.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 11 April 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

NFT Investments (NFT) is not going ahead with the acquisition of crypto tech and operations company Pluto Digital Assets and trading in the shares has recommenced. NFT had cash of £21.9m, having made seven investments, and net assets of £34.4m, 3.43p a share, at the end of 2021.

National Milk Records (NMRP) is linking up with another former Milk Marketing Board business Genus (GNS). National Milk Records will provide the fully listed animal breeding company with multi-panel genomic testing and evaluations. The two firms have been part of a process to map the DNA of the worst cows and bulls in terms of environmental impact. Farmers will be able to choose to breed cows with lower impact and highest milk yields. The initial contract lasts for five years.

Asimilar Group (ASLR) has joined the Access segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange. The technology investment company hopes that this will improve share liquidity. The AIM-quotation is being maintained but may be terminated to save money if the new quotation is successful.

Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has signed two new distribution deals. Oak and Still will distribute Shinju whisky in the UK from April 2022. Beverage Hunters will be the distributor in Spain from May.

Vanadium flow batteries technology developer Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has successfully concluded a validation programme by Korea-based Hyosung Heavy Industries and signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for a global partnership and exclusivity in Korea.

Talent management and livestreaming company All Things Considered (ATC) increased revenues and other operating income by 23% to £9.9m in 2021. The loss is likely to be £2.8m. There was £4.4m in cash at the end of 2021. The live music market continues to recover. All Things Considered has invested $6m from a short-term promissory note into a new company focused on music digitisation and blockchain technology. This is a minority investment out of a total of $80m. The full year figures should be published in May.

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has been appointed as the official sparkling wine supplier to the English Cricket Board. The company’s sparkling wines will be given to the winners of internationals and domestic finals.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that iron ore stockpile shipments have started from the Amapa project in Brazil.

Eastinco Mining (EM.P) has discovered 16 new pegmatite zones following geochemical sampling at its HCK joint venture in southern Rwanda. This takes the total to 18.Surface geological exploration is underway at Musasa.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has renegotiated its loan facility and the £5m deemed to be outstanding has been changed into convertible loan stock that is convertible into shares at 1p each. There will be immediate conversion of £4.47m of loan notes.

Gunsynd (GUN) invested £75,000 into First Tin (1SN) at the placing price of 30p, having already invested £125,000 at 15p a share. The share price ended the first day at 30p.

AIM-quoted Vela Technologies (VELA) has acquired a 28.8% stake in healthcare and medtech firm Igraine (KING) for £404,000 or 1.8p a share. Richard Edwards had previously sold his 10.3% stake.

Giles Brand has increased his stake in EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) from 32.1% to 33.4%.

Aquis Exchange (AQX) non-exec chairman Glenn Collinson has bought an initial stake of 12,003 shares at 512p each. Shepherd Neame (SHEP) director Richard Oldfield has bought 25,000 shares at 837.4p each and 15,000 shares at 835.35p each. Hot Rocks investments (HRIP) non-exec chairman Brian Rowbotham bought 715,000 shares at 0.7p each and he owns 3.5%. Non-exec director Charles Vaughan has taken his stake to 2.53% after purchasing 1.5 million shares at 0.65p each.

AIM

The London Stock Exchange says that Arden Partners (ARDN) will lose its nominated adviser status if the merger with legal services provider Ince (INCE) goes ahead.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) revenues more than doubled to £24m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £4.77m to £6.42m thanks to the acquisition of rival Hunters Property. There is more to come. More financial advisers are being recruited and more of the franchisees are taking advantage of the services. The total dividend of 11.6p a share was higher than expected.

Belvoir Group (BLV) generated organic revenue growth of 25% last year. In 2021, pre-tax profit jumped from £7.5m to £10.3m, while the dividend is 8.5p a share. Management expects the residential sales part of the business to return to normal levels following the ending of incentives, while the lettings and financials businesses continue to grow.

Gaming machine monitors and consoles supplier Quixant (QXT) generated 2021 revenues of $87.1m, while pre-tax profit was $5.4m. Net cash is $17.6m. Screens supplier Densitron achieved the highest sales since it was acquired. Revenues are increasing from higher value added products.

Trading levels of most of the businesses of Tracsis (TRCS) have got back to previous levels, although the traffic data division recovery was delayed. In the six months to January 2022, group revenues were 31% ahead at £29.2m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from £4.1m to £5m. The interim dividend is 0.9p a share. The recent US acquisition provides a customer base in the US, which is not as far advanced in terms of rail optimisation software as the UK.

Freight forwarding and transport services both improved their profit contribution to Xpediator (LSE: XPD) in 2021. The warehousing and logistics profit slumped due to problems in the UK. Pre-tax profit rose by one-quarter to £9.1m in 2021. The total dividend was reduced to 1.1p a share. A special dividend is a possibility this year, though. A new chief executive is still being sought.

Ecommerce technology provider Attraqt (ATQT) increased full year revenues by 9% to £22.9m but continued to lose money. There was £3.5m in the bank at the end of 2021 and management hopes to be cash neutral in 2022.

SourceBio International (SBI) grew Covid-19 testing revenues and core divisions also improved revenues during 2021. Group revenues grew from £50m to £92.5m, but they are expected to decline to £39.5m in 2022. That masks sharply higher core revenues partly due to a recent acquisition. The Covid testing labs can be converted to other uses.

Floorcoverings supplier Likewise (LIKE) says that first quarter of 2022 is ahead of budget. The Birmingham logistics site is up and running. The latest acquisition is Delta Carpets, which is earnings enhancing.

Anglesey Mining (AYM) has made the switch from the Main Market to AIM. It had been listed since May 1988. The company’s main asset is the 100%-owned Parys Mountain copper lead zinc deposit in Anglesey, north Wales. Other assets include a 20% interest in the Grangesberg iron project in Sweden. There is a right of first refusal to increase the stake to 70%. The share price moved up by 0.01p to 4.06p on the first day of trading on AIM.

MAIN MARKET

First Tin (1SN) raised £20m at 30p a share and ended the first day of trading at 30p (29p/31p). First Tin issued 60 million shares to acquire Taronga Mines, which owns Australian tin mining assets. The company already owned German tin projects. The cash raised should last for 18-24 months.

Radiology services provider Medica Group (MGP) had a much stronger second half to 2021. Revenues from elective surgery where slightly lower in the first half because of the effect of lockdowns and restrictions. The 2021 group revenues improved from £12.5m to £17.3m as surgery activity built back to previous levels. In 2021, group revenues improved from £36.8m to £61.9m, while underlying pre-tax profit increased from £4.74m to £11.5m. That excludes £4.13m of non-underlying costs, including amortisation, share based payments and one-off professional fees of £555,000. Net cash was £3.88m at the end of 2021. There is potential contingent consideration of £6.89m. The total dividend is 5% higher at 2.68p a share.

DG Innovate (DGI) completed its reversal into Path Investments. The company was acquired for £32.4m in shares issued at 0.6p each and has two operations. The first is developing electric drive technology and the other is developing sodium-ion batteries. The £2.55m raised at 0.5p a share, plus the £2.08m raised from warrants exercised at 0.25p each, will help to commercialise these technologies. The share price ended the first day at 0.34p, which is higher than the suspension price.

Ajax Resources (AJAX) is a shell seeking energy and natural resources assets and it raised £1.34m at 4p a share. The shares ended the week at 4.75p. The pro forma net assets are 2.6p a share. Management is seeking production that provides cash flow and/or strong exploration potential in known resources areas.

Aura Renewable Acquisitions (ARA) is a new shell seeking acquisitions in the renewable energy sector and it raised £1m at 10p a share. It ended the first day of trading at 17p. Pro forma cash is 8.4p a share. The founder shareholder is Harmony Capital Investments, which is behind the management of AIM-quoted, Asia-focused investment company Jade Road Investments Ltd (JADE), where Aura chairman John Croft is executive chairman. Aura is targeting is a range of businesses in areas such as wind, solar, biomass, hydro, carbon capture, waste management, smart grids and hydrogen supply.

OTHER MARKETS

Cyprus listed FOS Holdings has appointed Nick Kounoupias as chief executive. He is a solicitor with his own intellectual property consultancy. The film and entertainment company is planning a complex of five studios in Cyprus between Limassol and Larnaca, plus studios in other locations around the world. EU grants will help the funding of the studio complex, but other funding will need to be secured. FOS also plans to make three films a year.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 21 March 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

AIM-quoted OptiBiotix Health (LON: OPTI) plans to float its ProBiotix Health subsidiary on the Aquis Stock Exchange and distribute 35%-37% of the shares to its shareholders. ProBiotix, which develops probiotics for treating cardiovascular disease, is expected to have a pre-money valuation of £22.5m and will join the market on 31 March. There are plans to raise £2.5m. OptiBiotix will retain just under 50% of ProBiotix. Peterhouse is corporate adviser.

Oberon Investments (OBE) says revenues will be at least £6.4m in the year to March 2022. Funds under management have grown to more than £1bn and that has been wholly organic growth. Oberon is launching an EIS fund and an IHT service.

Natural food and snack products supplier S-Ventures (SVEN) has been making acquisitions since it floated. This means that the figures for the year to September 2021 are not a good indication of the group as it is currently made up. They show revenues of £1.53m and loss of £1m. Additional warehousing has been secured so that all the group’s requirements can be fulfilled by this site. Two centres have been closed.

National Milk Records (NMRP) has secured an exclusive licence for the exploitation of GenoCells technology in the US. The test can detect mastitis and is being piloted in the UK. The roll out of the test should start at the beginning of 2023.

SuperSeed Capital (WWW) says that SuperSeed Fund II raised £31m. There is a strong pipeline of investment opportunities.

Altona Rare Elements (ANR) is proceeding with phase 2 of the development of the Monte Muambe real earths project with resource drilling that will last for 12 months. This will produce a maiden mineral resource estimate and will cost £1.2m.

Semper Fortis Esports (SEMP) has set up a blockchain-based paly-to-earn gaming division called SMPR Guild. The subsidiary will buy in-game items in the form of NFTs, and active game players can access these items on a revenue share basis. Game-based token rewards are won during playing and they are split between the player and the company.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has completed the acquisition of a further 7% of Pedra Branca Alliance, which gives it a 27% interest in the Amapa iron ore project.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has raised £100,000 at 0.5p a share and for every two shares an investor receives a warrant exercisable at 1.5p. If these warrants are exercised, then another warrant will be issued that is exercisable at 3p a share.

Chris Akers has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 18.3% to 19.1%.

AIM

CleanTech Lithium (CTL) raised £5.6m at 30p a share when it joined AIM. The share price ended the week at 35.5p. The company has potential lithium projects in existing mining areas of Chile. This means that there is nearby infrastructure. CleanTech Lithium has an extraction process that is more environmentally friendly than alternatives. Owning 100% of each of the projects (there is currently an option over part of the Laguna Verde area) provides additional flexibility for financing. There should be updated resource figures during the summer and that will enable a pre-feasibility study to be conducted.

Ceramics and fragrance products manufacturer Portmeirion (PMP) returned to profit in 2021. Group revenues increased from £87.9m to £106m, while underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £1.4m to £7.2m. There was a rebound in revenues in South Korea. Total dividends were 13p a share. Long-term energy contracts have been secured to offset higher gas prices this year. Further profit improvement is expected this year. Healthcare had a strong year helped by Covid, but management believes that spending will

Recruitment firm Empresaria (EMR) bounced back in 2021 even though the aviation recruitment business remained in the doldrums. This shows the benefits of the wide spread of activities both in terms of sector and internationally. Revenues recovered from £54m to £59.5m, while underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £5.2m to £8.6m. This reflects the benefits of investment in group management and resources and there is more to come. Further roll out of IT will also help. Revenues and profit are well below the peak in 2018. The offshore recruitment services division is moving into the Philippines market. There has been a strong start to 2022.

Restore (REST) improved its pre-tax profit by 64% to £38.1m with demand for all parts of the business returning last year. Acquisitions did help the technology business to grow sharply but there was also 5% underlying organic growth for the group as a whole. There are spare bank facilities to fund more acquisitions this year as Restore moves towards its goal of £450m-£500m, which is double the 2021 level.

Packaging and automation equipment supplier Mpac (MPAC) did better than expected in 2021. The 13% improvement in revenues to £94.3m was mainly down to the acquisition of Switchback. Pre-tax profit grew from £6.3m to £8.6m. net cash was maintained at £7.6m. The focus on the healthcare and food sectors has helped Mpac to prosper and the international spread of business is another positive. There is a 26% like-for-like increase in the order book, which was £78.4m at the end of the year.

Tracsis (TRCS) is paying £10.9m, plus up to £2.1m deferred, for rail technology software provider RailComm, which generates revenues of £4.6m. Tracsis had already won a remote condition monitoring equipment contract in the US and the focus will be gaining further contracts for this technology, as well as for software.

Energy efficiency as a service provider eEnergy Group (LSE: EAAS) increased interim revenues by 42% to £9.6m, partly due to energy management acquisitions. Energy efficiency revenues fell during the first half because the corresponding period included work that had moved into that period due to lockdowns. Solar is a sector where management is keen to expand exposure.

Gfinity (GFIN) is raising more cash to cover its losses, but they be near to coming to an end. The esports business is raising a further £2.7m at 1.25p a share, having regularly raised money since joining AIM in 2014. A loss is expected this year, but a reduction in admin costs should help Gfinity to make a profit in 2022-23.

Corporation Financiere Europeenne has increased its bid for CIP Merchant Capital (CIP) from 55p a share to 60p a share. This is still a significant discount to NAV and the bid has been rejected, but the bidder already owns 35.2% and has acceptances of 1.3% of the share capital. Castellain Capital has doubled its stake in CIP to 11.1%.

MAIN MARKET

New Energy One Acquisition Corporation (NEOA) is a cash shell seeking to acquire a business involved in the energy transition sector. It raised £175m at £10 a share. The only real asset is the cash raised in the flotation. The current share price is 989.5p.

Cash shell CYBA CYBA) has acquired its first cyber security business Narf Industries for $25.6m in cash and shares. Narf provides vulnerability research and security protocol design, as well as developing its own cyber security software. A placing raised £6m to help finance the purchase. The placing price of 2p was above the market price, but by the end of the week the price was 2.3p. CYBA may also acquire Polyswarm, although the exclusivity period has ended. CYBA director Steve Bassi is the principal shareholder of the Polyswarm businesses. The estimated cash balance is currently £2.79m. The company is licensing SRI International’s IP that is used in the Narf developed threat intelligence for grid recovery product. SRI will take a stake in CYBA.

Housebuilder One Heritage Group (OHG) has issued £1.5m worth of unsecured corporate bonds and has obtained a standard listing for them. The bond has an annual coupon of 8% and matures in March 2024. The cash will be used to repay loans outstanding from One Heritage SPC, which have an annual interest rate of 12%. There will be a £1.2m loan left that expires in August 2023.

Property investor Town Centre Securities (TOWN) improved underlying net assets to 305p a share, from 284p a share – a 2.4% increase in portfolio value plus help from share buy backs. Three property sales generated £22.5m in the six months to December 2021. There have been subsequent deals. The current loan to value is 47.7%. A 2.5p a share interim dividend is being paid.

Raven Russia (RAV) intends to sell its Russian property assets but retain outstanding loans. Trading in the shares has been suspended and the listing will be cancelled so that the option to sell the assets can be triggered.

Path Investments (PATH) has published the prospectus for the reverse takeover of DG Innovate, which is developing drive and battery technology. The initial consideration is £32.4m in shares at 0.6p each. There is conditional deferred consideration of up to £5.4m depending on the signing of additional customers. Path has raised £2.55m at 0.5p each and warrants exercised at 0.25p each to raise a further £2.08m.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 21 February 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

National Milk Records (NMRP) improved interim revenues by 6% to £11.4m, while pre-tax profit increased by 53% to £750,000. There was a £1m cash inflow from operations. Net debt was £1.1m at the end of December 2021. Genomics testing revenues were 17% higher. The interim dividend has been raised from 1.25p a share to 1.5p a share. Milk prices are strong, but costs are increasing.

Grid storage technology developer Invinity Energy Systems (IES) plans to gain a quotation on Aquis, while retaining its AIM quotation. This is so that it can also obtain an Aquis Access quotation for its warrants, which were issued in a fundraising at the end of last year. The short-term warrants are exercisable at 150p a share up until 15 September. The long-term warrants are exercisable at 225p a share up until 16 December 2024. The current share price is 77p.

Natural foods company S-Ventures (SVEN) has acquired the business of Livia’s Health Foods, which makes plant-based food treats. This includes Million Squares, Nugglets and Dunx. S-Ventures is paying £350,000 in cash and shares. The business has been loss making and generated revenues of £1.3m in the 12 months to January 2022. If revenues exceed £600,000 in the 10 months after acquisition than a further £100,000 is payable. VSA forecasts S-Ventures 2022 EBITDA of £1.8m.

Goodbody Health inc (GDBY) is launching blood testing through itkino, nbi, fire, shnj, coin, s network of clinics. More pharmacies are being added to the network. Covid tests are running at more than 500 a day even though UK testing requirements have been eased. The first clinic has been opened in Vancouver, Canada. Arden is forecasting a 2022 pre-tax profit of £5.1m, but this could depend on whether the level of Covid testing continues at these levels.

ChallengerX (CXS) has appointed John May as non-exec chairman and Brian Connell will take over as chief executive. Management is trying to unfreeze cash held in the accounts of its French subsidiary and says that they were mistakenly frozen after the former chief executive was arrested. There is still £550,000 of cash available for use by the company.

Western Selection (WESP) increased net assets to 68p a share at the end of 2021 thanks to gains on disposals and an uplift in the remaining stakes in Kinovo (KINO) and Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI). Net debt was £674,000 at the end of December 2021. There is no dividend.

IamFire (FIRE) has subscribed for a further £2m of convertible loan notes in WeShop. The conversion price is 75p a share. The beta version of the WeShop platform is on course.

Rogue Baron (SHNJ) is launching its Shinju whisky in the UK. This will be the first market with an 8-year old version of the whisky.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is advising fashion brand Blvck Paris for the launch of the Blvck Genesis NFT collection.

Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) says that talks with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries concerning the potential development of plastic waste to hydrogen facilities in Japan have ended.

SuperSeed Capital (WWW) managing director Mads Jensen has bought shares, while related party Capex Ventures sold 50,000 shares at 100p each, taking his interest to 81.9%. The shareholding of Anne Mette Horneman increased from 4.25% to 6.75%.

AIM

Franchise Brands (FRAN) has launched a recommended all share bid for kitchen services provider Filta Holdings (FLTA). The offer is 1.157 shares for each Filta share. Management and related parties own the majority of Filta. Shareholders owning more than 81% of Filta are backing the bid. Filta boss Jason Sayers will continue to run Filta, which provides cooking oil filtration and drain management services to restaurants and other venues in the UK and North America. Metro Rod, Metro Plumb and Willow Pumps are already owned by Franchise Brands and these services can be offered to Filta’s customer base in the UK.

Shield Therapeutics (STX) got off to a slow start with its Ferracu iron deficiency treatment launch in the US. Total 2021 revenues, including European income, were £1.5m. Forecasts are all over the place. The statement was in line with Peel Hunt’s forecast but well below the finnCap estimate. The 2022 revenues forecasts are the other way around with Peel Hunt (£27.9m) being much more optimistic than finnCap (£9.9m). They agree Shield will continue to lose money, though. This shows that management does not have any real idea what is going to happen, or it could have provided better guidance. Hopefully, there shall be better information when the full year results are published.

Circle Property (CRC) is selling one of its main properties and plans to return cash to shareholders. Circle Property is selling Kents Hill Park Conference Centre to LXI REIT for £34.5m – 1.5% ahead of book value. There are plans to sell other properties.

Domain name and online marketing services provider CentralNic (CNIC) is doing much better than initial expectations in 2022. Online marketing services is where the growth is coming from. Broker Zeus has upgraded its 2022 pre-tax profit forecast from $37.2m to $39m. CentralNic is acquiring Fireball Search and the .ruhr top level domain, which has around 10,000 domain registrations, for €600,000 in cash. A maiden dividend is likely to be announced with the 2021 figures.

Cloud-based conferencing services provider LoopUp (LOOP) says the 2021 trading outcome was in line with previously downgraded expectations, but lack of cash could become a problem. Last year’s revenues were £19.5m, down from £50.2m in 2020, which was a bumper year. It is also well below the £42.5m generated in 2019. The loss is expected to be more than £10m in 2021 and 2022. Net debt was £2.5m at the end of 2021 and it is forecast to rise to £5.7m at the end of 2022.

SkinBioTerapeutics (SBTX) is still optimistic about the prospects for the AxisBiotix-Ps food supplement treatment for psoriasis, but the second phase of the launch, which has just commenced, will be an important indicator of success. The first significant revenues will be in the second half of the year to June 2022. The SkinBiotix cosmetic ingredient is ready to be mass produced by Croda, which is talking to potential cosmetics customers.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has raised a further £3.2m from the sale of ADSs in AI-based drug discovery company Exscientia compared with a book value of £1.75m. Froniter IP has raised £6.1m in total and retains 1.17 million ADSs.

Ariana Resources (AAU) will pay a special dividend of 0.175p a share on 25 March with another payment of the same amount due later this year. Ariana says that drilling at the Kilrou deposit in Cyprus has confirmed the existence of gold at the site, as well as copper and zinc.

MAIN MARKET

Antimicrobial and textile odour control materials developer HeiQ (HEIQ) has secured a development partnership with Hugo Boss for HeiQ AeoniQ, a high-performance yarn. Hugo Boss is investing $5m in a subsidiary that holds the technology, which values that company at $200m. AeoniQ is designed as a sustainable alternative to oil-based nylon and polyester, which take up to 1,000 years to degrade and generate $135bn a year in fibre sales. HeiQ AeoniQ yarns are made from cellulosic biopolymers. The LYCRA Company will become the exclusive distributor of HeiQ AeoniQ yarns, and it will also make a financial contribution. The first product should be available in the second half of 2022.

Standard listed shell CYBA (CYBA) has agreed the acquisition of Narf Industries, which is a cyber security business, for $26.5m in cash and shares issued at 2p each. A placing will raise £6m at 2p a share. In 2020, Narf revenues were $2.78m and in the first half of 2021 they were $1.05m. SaaS subscriptions are generating an increasing proportion of revenues. Further acquisitions are planned.

BATM Advanced (BVC) says that its 2021 pre-tax profit figures will be slightly higher than expectations of $23m. The figures will be announced on 28 February.

Cizzle Biotechnology (CIZ) has agreed to acquire a 5% economic interest in AZD1656, a potential treatment for patients with Covid-19. This agreement was made with Conduit Pharmaceuticals and St George Street Capital and is in addition to previous agreements. Conduit has taken a 8.98% stake in Cizzle as part of the deal.

Studio Retail (STU) intends to appoint administrators.

Cash shell MAC Alpha Ltd (MACA) had £700,000 in cash at the end of 2021. Net assets are £369,000.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 15 November 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Brewer and pubs operator Shepherd Neame (SHEP) is starting to recover from lockdowns. Pubs started to reopen outdoors on 12 April, while indoor trading recommenced on 17 May. From that point pubs achieved 97% of 2019 trading levels. Since June, drinks sales have been down on the 2019 level, but food and room revenues were higher. In the year to 26 June 2021, revenues fell from £118.2m to £86.9m with both periods hampered by Covid-19 lockdowns. There was a swing from a pre-tax profit of £1.5m to a loss of £4.2m. A revaluation of licenced pubs shows a surplus over book value of £35.9m, which is a 13% uplift not reflected in the NAV of 1140p a share.

Silverwood Brands (SLWD) is a shell focused on food and lifestyle acquisitions. It raised £1.03m at 40p a share. The share price ended the week at 43.75p. NAV is 35p a share. The strategy is to build up a portfolio of consumer brands. The cash raised in the flotation and prior to the admission will help to identify targets and carry out due diligence. Directors Andrew Gerrie and Andrew Tone were both involved in building up the Lush handmade cosmetics business.

In the first quarter National Milk Records (NMRP) revenues increased by 8% to £5.72m. There was a small decline in revenues for testing for Johne’s disease, while the core milk testing business increased revenues, although the comparatives were for a weak period when lockdown was ending. The launch of genomic services under the GeneEze brand is planned for this winter. UK milk prices are exceeding 40p a litre, although the costs for farmers are increasing.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has 600 potential customers and 130 trials proposed or underway. This includes vehicle and marine clients for the fuel emulsification additive.

Pharma C Investments (PCIL) has made its first cannabis-related investment in Product Earth Expo UK, which runs an annual CBD trade show in Coventry. A £275,000 investment gives Pharma C a 7.5% stake. Product Earth also offers a digital marketing service. Tom Toumazis, the former boss of European newspapers publisher Mecom, is chairman of Product Earth and Pharma C investment strategy director Gavin Sathianathan is also a director. At the end of October, Pharma C had cash of £608,000.

Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) increased revenues in the nine months to September 2021 by 724% to £9.88m. This enabled Sativa to move into profit, although it is a modest one. Trading has been boosted by demand for Covid tests and the range of tests is being broadened.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) is partnering with BUPA, which will open clinics within the company’s sites and refer patients if they have symptoms of cancer. The first clinic will be opened at Rutherford’s Liverpool cancer centre and the second in Northumberland.

Spirits company Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has raised £200,000 at 7p a share, which is just above the market price. Each of the placing shares comes with a warrant exercisable at 7p. The cash will be used to acquire additional stocks of Shinju whisky.

Valereum Blockchain (VLRM) has raised £197,500 from the exercise of warrants.

David Evans has increased its stake in Oberon Investments Group (OBE) from 7.61% to 8.15% and Rodger Sargent has a 3.14% shareholding.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 536.19p a share at the end of October 2021.

AIM

Firering Strategic Minerals (FRG) has a 51% stake in the Atex lithium and coltan project and has the option to increase it. Firering raised £4m at 13p a share and expenses were £516,000. The money raised will finance the £1.55m cost of the exploration spending for Atex for the next two years. There is also potential to generate revenues from tantalum production within 18 months, which will help to finance further development.

The Life Science REIT PrimaryBid offer closes on 15 November, and investors can apply for shares in the intermediaries offer via Interactive Investor and other firms by 16 November. A 4% yield is being targeted, based on the issue price of 100p a share, with annual growth of 5%. Life Science REIT will be the first London-quoted REIT focusing on life science properties. The types of properties will include laboratories, offices and manufacturing facilities and they will be situated in Oxford, Cambridge and London. There is strong demand for these properties from companies and organisations and a lack of supply. It is estimated that up to 20 million square feet of additional office and laboratory space will be required over the next two decades. The target for the offer and placing is up to £300 million.

Parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) continues to make a rapid recovery despite the uncertainties of the past year. Group pre-tax profit improved from £200,000 to £12m with freight’s improvement offsetting the decline in profit in the rest of the group. Net cash was £16.8m at the end of June 2021 and there could be a dividend this year. finnCap maintained its 2021-22 pre-tax profit forecast at £16.5m.

Tracsis (TRCS) has shown the solidity of its rail technology and services revenues and the more volatile data and events business has started to recover. Revenues edged up from £48m to £50.2m, with most of the growth coming from acquisitions. Rail technology revenues grew, but the data and events division reported a small decline. According to finnCap, adjusted pre-tax profit improved from £8.3m to £10.9m. Since the end of July, Tracsis has acquired Dublin-based Icon Group, which made a pre-tax profit of £800,000 in 2020, and this will be integrated with the similar UK data analysis operations.

Chain and transmission equipment manufacturer Renold (RNO) is managing to pass on higher materials prices and the chain division revenues have recovered. Group interim revenues were 17% ahead at £95.3m, while pre-tax profit was 52% higher at £5m. Order intake was 55% higher at £113m. Net debt is £13.9m. Forecast full year earnings are 3.2p a share.

Media localisation and post-production services provider Zoo Digital (ZOO) is growing revenues on the back of the international expansion of streaming platforms and broadening the range of services that it offers. New production projects are starting to ramp up and that provides further growth opportunities. Interim revenues jumped from $16.4m to $26.9m and there was a small operating profit.

Insolvency litigation financer Manolete Partners (MANO) continued to generate cash before investment in new cases during the six months to September 2021. Revenues were lower than the first half of 2019-20 when there was a large case settlement, but they were higher than the second half. Interim profit fell and that is why the interim dividend has been reduced from 1.17p a share to 0.39p a share. New case enquiries are rising.

Maestrano (MNO) has won a new contract for surveying an electricity transmission line in Australia. The 700km line goes from Wagga Wagga to the South Australian and the contract runs between 2022 and 2025. This shows there is demand for the surveying technology outside of the rail sector.

MAIN MARKET

Property investor Town Centre Securities (TOWN) says that the latest valuation shows a 0.3% increase over the June 2020 valuation. Since then, a London property has been sold for £3.85m, which is 6% above the 2020 valuation. Rent collections are back to pre-pandemic levels. The full year results will be published on 24 November.

Cookware supplier Procook (PROC) joined the premium list at a valuation of £158m at the placing price of 145p a share. Procook ended the week at 159.75p.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 11 October 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Ecotricity has failed in its takeover bid for Good Energy (GOOD). Ecotricity had a 25.1% stake and acceptances of the bid totalled 11.5% of God Energy. Acceptances did increase significantly in the last few days of the bid, but they are still well below the level required for the bid to succeed. The offer has lapsed.

National Milk Record (NMRP) reported flat full year revenues of £21.9m, while like-for-like growth was 3.5%. This was despite the cyber attack last year. Pre-tax profit improved from £929,000 to £1.65m with help from lower overheads and a higher contribution from a joint venture. Net debt was reduced to £1m by the end of June 2021. The dividend was increased from 1.25p a share to 1.5p a share. Genomics revenues should build up this year.

Quantum Exponential Group plans to join Aquis. The plan is to identify opportunities in the quantum technology sector. More than 175 start-ups have been identified. Notion Capital will be involved with any investments. This is another investment company being floated by David William – the most recent was standard listed Bay Capital (BAY).

NFT Investments (LSE: NFT) has made two new investments. The first is a C$100,000 investment in Big Whale Labs, a decentralised social network platform. The other investment is $1.4m in Sturdy Exchange, which is a subsidiary of Sturdy Agency. Sturdy Exchange is a marketplace to display, collect and trade NFTs created by artists and performers. So far, four investments have been made.

Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) is holding a general meeting on 26 October in order to gain shareholder permission to issue more shares.

Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) is acquiring Tokyo-based Vertex for $12m. The initial payment is $2.5m with $6.5m to follow in April 2023 and the last payment of $3m in April 2024. Vertex sells wellness products via home shopping channels in Japan.

BWA Group (BWAP) has won its case against JV Capital and has been awarded £74,169.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) is collaborating with Sedwell Ltd to develop a secure digital fastener for use in the global rail market. Sedwell has bolt load monitoring technology.

TechFinancials (TECH) has sold its CEDEX subsidiary. There is no initial payment. There could be cash received if the company is sold or raises $20m of new money.

Gunsynd (GUN) says that investee company Pacific Nickel has a JORC resource estimate for the Jejevo tenement in the Solomon Islands, where it has a 80% stake. Jejevo has a mineral resource of 14.42 million tonnes at 1l.29% nickel.

Trading in Harrogate Group (HGTE) shares has been suspended because its 2020-21 accounts have not been published.

Robert Hanson has bought a 0.36% stake in Oberon Investments (OBE) through a share purchase at 6.85p each. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi has bought one million Oscillate (MUSH) shares at 2p each.

Michael Williams and Robert Porter-Smith have stepped down from the British Honey (BHC) board.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 488.21p a share at the end of September 2021.

AIM

Tortilla Mexican Grill (MEX) operates and franchises fast-casual Mexican restaurants offering California-inspired food. It raised £5m at 181p a share. The cash raised in the flotation, plus a new senior finance facility of up to £10m, will provide working capital and fund the UK roll out and development of franchise opportunities. Tortilla Mexican Grill has 52 restaurants in the UK, two of which are franchised with SSP – they are at Euston station and Gatwick airport. There are also ten franchised sites in the Middle East – the franchisee is Eathos. Six sites have opened this year. A new site costs between £350,000 and £425,000 to kit out.

Continuing operations of plastic products supplier Coral Products (CRU) increased revenues from £8.7m to £10.7m in the year to April 2021. Underlying profit jumped from £230,000 to £756,000. This could rise to £1m this year with the existing businesses. Once the Haydock site has been sold there should be cash of more than £7m.

Compliance and energy saving services provider Sureserve (SUR) says its order book has grown by more than 30%. Net cash was more than £16m. The results will be announced on 25 January.

Elliott Bernerd of international property developer Chelsfield is taking a significant stake in AIM-quoted chartered surveyor and property adviser Fletcher King (FLK). He is investing £547,000 in new shares and buying existing shares so that his stake is 29.99%. He is buying the shares at 52.5p a share, which is a premium to the market price.

AMTE Power (AMTE) is on course to launch its first commercial battery cell product before the end of 2021. This is a product for the automotive market. There should also be news in the coming months about the site for the company’s UK Gigafactory.

CEPS (CEPS) has restructured its investment interests and the latest interims are the first with the ongoing businesses. Revenues increased by 65% to £9m and lower group overheads meant that operating profit before exceptionals improved from £357,000 to £855,000. Building services company Hickton increased its profit, as did Aford Awards. That offset a lower contribution from stretch fabric supplier Friedman’s.

Palm oil plantation operator Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) processed 12% more fresh fruit bunches in September 2021 than the year before, while the crude palm oil price was 76% higher than the same month last year. The new cashew plant should be up and running in October. Dekel is on course to be profitable this year.

MAIN MARKET

NMCN (NMCN) has appointed Grant Thornton as administrator. Galliford Try (GFRD) has acquired the company’s water sector businesses, which have annual revenues of £100m, for £1m in cash.

Reserve power generator Mast Energy Developments (MAST) has completed the acquisition of Rochdale Power. This is the third site in the portfolio of sites under development that will have a total capacity of 18.4 MW.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 9 August 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Chapel Down (CDGP) has announced Andrew Carter as successor to chief executive Frazer Thompson in September 2021.

National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its fourth quarter revenues by 7% to £5.72m. Milk recording revenues grew by 9%. The corresponding period did cover the initial lockdown. Milk prices are holding up at levels where dairy farmers will be profitable. The first phase of IT investment will be up and running later this year.

Boanerges Ltd (BNRG) has paid £25,000 for an option to invest £2m for a 14.3% stake in Fintech Digital Platforms, which owns property search internet portals.

Samarkand (SMK) has secured an extension to its distribution contract with skincare brand 111SKIN until the end of July 2023. Non-exec Keith Higgins has bought 21,739 shares at 146p a share.

Inqo Investments (INQO) had significant write-offs and bad debt provisions in the year to February 2021. This contributed to the more than doubled loss of R13.4m as revenues slumped from R24.4m to R4.2m. The total cash outflow was R14.7m and cash fell below R1m. Kuzuko Private Game Reserve will reopen in September. Uganda-based Four One Financial Services and Kenya-based South Lake Medical Centre both made higher interest payments to Inqo.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has taken a 50% stake in Vegan Punk Ventures and invested up to £100,000 in loans. The brand is PlantPunk and it has a range of ZeroBeef meat alternatives. Dave Ahern will be managing director and third-party investors will provide loans of up to £50,000.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) had cash of £436,000 at the end of June 2021.

Helium Ventures (HEV) continues to trade at a premium to its 10p placing price. The share price is currently 32.5p (31p/34p). James Sheehan has increased his stake from 8,5% to 9.47%.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has sold its stake in Finance Partners Group for €2.15m and €1.57m of this has been received. The original cost was €1.9m. The investment focus will be fintech.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £223,000 at 1.46p a share and issued £48,000 worth of shares at 2p each.

Veni Vid Vici has changed its name to VVV Resources (VVV). Angelfish Investments has changed its name to Igraine (KING). DicovORE has changed its name to Oscillate (MUSH).

Trading in First Sentinel, which has changed its name to Omni Egis (OMNI) and NQ Minerals (NQMI) shares has been suspended ahead of publication of their respective accounts. Freyherr International (FRYR) has withdrawn from Aquis.

AIM

In 2020-21, NWF (NWF) did not manage to match the previous year’s profit performance of the fuels division, but the cold winter and home working meant that the performance was better than expected. Management is keen to make further acquisitions to broaden the geographic spread of the fuels business. Overall, group pre-tax profit was 10% lower at £11.9m. The efficiency improvement in the food warehousing division meant that its profit contribution was higher. The feeds division reported a lower profit but with milk prices over 30p per litre the outlook is positive for dairy feed.

Higher second half sales and improved efficiency helped Filtronic (FTC) maintain profitability at £200,000 even though full year revenues fell 9% to £15.6m. The telecoms and RF components and equipment supplier generated cash and net cash improved to £2.8m at the end of May 2021. 5G investment and moves into newer markets, such as space, provide a positive outlook for the future and profit should build from now on. Revenues are expected to grow by 16% this year and pre-tax profit of £500,000 is forecast.

The latest trading statement from Belvoir (BLV) confirms a strong first half with revenues growing by two-fifths, due to buoyant house sales. The steadier lettings income has grown by 13% – 10% organically, which is much faster than the market.

Maestrano (MNO) has secured a five-month proof of concept contract with Network Rail for HS1, the high speed line that goes to the channel tunnel. This will monitor overhead lines, vegetation, track and passing clearances. HS1 is the same specification as European tracks so it could provide a way into the European market.

Microbiome-based products developer Optibiotix Health (OPTI) generated a 44% increase in interim revenues to £1.07m with LP LDL probiotic cholesterol-reducing products and Slimbiome products accounting for most of the revenues.

Seeing Machines (SEE) 2020-21 revenues were 2% ahead of expectations at A$47.3m. There was $47.7m in the bank at the end of June.

Xpediator (XPD) has formed a strategic partnership with e-commerce fulfilment company Synergy Retail Support and is providing space at its Braintree warehouse.

MAIN MARKET

Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated July revenues of £5.6m, up from £4.36m in June, even though the average bitcoin price fell. A Nasdaq listing is being considered.

Challenger Acquisitions has changed its name to Cindrigo Holdings (CINH) following the completion of the acquisition of the renewable energy products business.

Kanabo (KNB) has a stake in medical cannabis cultivation company Hellenic Dynamics, which is being acquired by AIM-quoted UK SPAC (SPC) for £45.2m in shares at a minimum price of 0.472p a share. The £750,000 investment in Hellenic will be converted into shares at a minimum 30% discount to the prospective. UK SPAC intends to move to the standard list.

Starcrest Education (OBOR) has signed heads of terms to acquire 80% of National Training Company. Starcrest is not going ahead with the acquisition of The London School of Science and Technology and costs of £1.2m have been written off. There was £700,000 in cash left at the end of June 2021.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 May 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Virgata has published its offer document for the 50p a share bid for Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) and the first acceptance date is 27 May. Walls & Future REIT management are still arguing that the bid is too low because it is at less than 50% of NAV. Virgata points out that shareholders would not be able to sell their shares in the market for anywhere near NAV and that costs, including director pay, exceed income. Liquidity is certainly and that means that it has been difficult to raise cash to scale up the business.

Samarkand (SMK) is making its first acquisition following its admission to the Aquis Apex segment. The cross-border trading group is paying £2.41m in cash and shares (at 139.67p each) for Zita West Products and 51% of Babawest, where a further £400,000 will be loaned. Zita West Products supplies nutritional supplements for fertility and pregnancy, and it has worked with Samarkand for more than three years. Babawest supplies nutritional products for mothers and babies. In the year to September 2020, Zita West Products made an adjusted pre-tax profit of £241,000 on revenues of £854,000. Interim revenues were 60% ahead at £636,000. Samarkand can use its ecommerce technology and contacts in China to grow sales.

Third quarter revenues dipped at National Milk Records (NMRP), but like-for-like revenues were 1% greater at £5.42m. That excludes the former heat detection operations. The growth has come from newer areas, such as Johne’s and surveillance testing. There was a small decline in milk recording revenues, but they are recovering and the next quarter comparisons will not be as strong.

British Virgin Islands-based technology-focused shell Boanerges Ltd plans to float on 17 May. It appears that the share issue will be relatively small because Richard Griffiths will have his stake diluted from 75% to 71.7%. Internet of Things, big data and telematics are some of the areas where the directors are seeking acquisitions.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) is drawing down £15m from its infrastructure investment facility, which means that all £40m will have been drawn down. This will be invested in the company’s cancer treatment facilities.

Sativa Wellness (SWEL) increased 2020 revenues by 38% to £1.99m. Transaction costs increased the loss from £3.8m to £4.8m. There are 30 wellness clinics in operation, and they are adding to the range of tests on top of the Covid-19 tests. The benefits of CBD products launched last year should show through in 2021.

URA Holdings has distributed its shares in Ananda Developments (ANA) to its own shareholders. This has increased the stakes of directors Charles Morgan (to 8.65%), Melissa Sturgess (to 13.2%) and Peter Redmond (to 1.47%).

Western Selection (WESP) has increased its stake in electrical and gas services provider Bilby (BILB) from 11.93% to 12.18%. This was before the trading statement that revealed that Bilby generated 2020-21 revenues of £60m and EBITDA of £3m. Net debt was £2.7m at the end of March 2021, prior to commencing paying £1m of VAT liabilities. The full yar results will be published in early July.

Christopher Potts has taken a 5.94% stake in DiscovOre (ORE).

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) non-executive director Bryan Burrough has acquired 8,600 shares at 737.5p each.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has raised £3m at 15p a share and every two shares will be issued a warrant exercisable at 25p. Chief executive Scott Livingston invested £500,000 in the placing and his stake is 49.1%. Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised nearly £75,000 at 3.2p a share.

AIM

Virgin Wines (VINO) says that sales and profit are ahead of expectations in the year to June 2021. Liberum had forecast revenues of £70.3m, up from £56.5m last year, and the outcome is expected to be at least £73m. The easing of lockdowns could hamper growth, but the expanded customer base will help Virgin to continue to grow.

Bars operator Nightcap (NGHT) is making its first acquisition since joining AIM. Nightcap is paying £2.5m for Adventure Bars Group with £1m in shares being paid initially and up to £1.5m (at the same share price) dependent on performance in the two years from 1 July 2021. The cost is much higher than that because the acquisition comes with around £4.3m of borrowings, of which between £1.28m and £1.78m will be repaid and a £110,000 convertible (at 21p a share) issued to the lender. Nightcap is trying to raise a further £4m.

IPTV technology developer Mirada (MIRA) says trading was in line with expectations in the year to March 2020. That means that revenues were around £12m and the loss was around £3m. Trading improved during the second half and revenues were higher than in the first half. New opportunities mean that Mirada should improve its performance this year. Demand is building up in Asia.

A positive trading statement by concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises (SOM) has led to a 15% upgrade in forecasts earnings to 39.9 cents a share. That has led to an increase in the expected dividend to 27.9 cents a share. Trading has been strong in the US, while Europe and Australia are recovering.

Coral Products (CRU) is paying an interim dividend 0.5p a share and the ex-dividend date is 13 May. Coral is selling the Haydock facility for £3.5m, but has to spend £650,000 on the roof before the sale is completed. Book value is £2.5m. Coral will lose the £300,000 a year of rental income.

Appreciate Group (APP) says 2020-21 figures are in line with expectations. Even so, the underlying pre-tax profit of the financial services and savings business has been slightly upgraded by Edison. The pre-tax profit is still likely to slump from £11.4m to £4.5m, before recovering to £7.2m in 2021-22. Digital sales are becoming increasingly important.

Trinity Exploration and Production (TRIN) has acquired a 100% interest in the PS-4 lease block, onshore Trinidad, for $3.5m. Average daily production was 83 barrels during 2020.

Software company WANdisco (WAND) increased its loss in 2020-21, but it is expected to fall sharply this year. That is because revenues are forecast to jump from $10.5m to $37m. WANdisco could even move into profit next year. The LIVEdata software is thought to be the only credible petabyte data analysis product capable of migrating data to the cloud on the market.

One Media IP Group (OMIP) has acquired the writer’s share of producer royalties, which covers more than 250 tracks by Kid Creole and the Coconuts. This deal has been done through Harmony IP, which gives artists the chance to access future income by selling a portion of their rights. This high profile deal could attract other artists to the Harmony IP proposition.

Initial drilling results from the Hamersley iron project owned by Alien Metals (UFO) shows new iron ore zone targets in the Hancock area of the project. The interpretation work outlines much larger target areas. Results from 36 more drill holes are due later this month.

Bacanora Lithium (BCN) says that there has been a 67.5p a share cash bid approach from Ganfeng International Trading. The bid is near to the share price high at the beginning of the year, which was the highest it has been for nearly three years. Ganfeng owns 50% of the Sonora lithium project and already holds 28.9% of Bacanora.

Anglo African Oil & Gas (AAOG) has lost its AIM quotation because it has failed to acquire a new business. It has entered into an option to acquire a 25% interest in the Saltfleetby gas field in east Lincolnshire for £8m in shares. The deal is dependent on at least £1m being raised and the shares becoming quoted on a recognised market.

Nu-Oil and Gas (NUOG) has left AIM, but it continues to make progress with the acquisition of Guardian Maritime. The cash generative business sells a retro-fitted system for ships that stops pirates boarding vessels. This deal should enable the shares to be admitted to the standard list by the end of June.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell East Star Resources (EST) commenced trading on 4 May, and it is seeking resources opportunities. The shell raised £1.73m net of expenses at 5p a share. The existing shares were previously issued at 1p each. The share price ended the week at 6.25p.

Tirupati Graphite (TGR) has developed a graphene-aluminium composite. This has conductivity properties comparable to copper. Tirupati is talking with potential customers who would want to replace copper because of the composite’s lower weight. Power and propulsion systems are one area where there is interest.

Cardiff Property (CDFF) has increased the interim dividend from 4.8p a share to 5p a share. There was a dip in pre-tax profit from £387.000 to £365,000, but there was a lower tax charge. The Thames Valley property markets has shown signs of slowing down and rental income will be lower this year. The current share price is 1850p, compared with a NAV of 2445p a share – although there is a potential tax liability on any disposal of the investment in Campmoss of 265p a share.

MGC Pharmaceuticals (MXC) says pre-clinical and clinical results for ArtemiC Rescue, which targets viral infections with inflammatory complications, has demonstrated an ability to decrease the markers of inflammation. Phase II clinical trials showed that the treatment could hasten recovery in Covid-19 patients with mild to moderate illness, which should offset the problem of long Covid.

CBD products supplier Zoetic International (ZOE) is raising £6m at 60p each and this will be used to terminate the financing agreement with LDA Capital. That will cost £1.2m and the rest will go on the US rollout of Chill products and launching new products.

Andrew Hore

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

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