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Quoted Micro 25 April 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Gunsynd (GUN) had net assets of £5.99m at the end of January 2022. That includes £1.08m in cash. Investee company Low6 is still seeking a listing in Toronto via 1319735 BC Ltd. Mining investee company Charger Metals plans to start its maiden drilling programme at the Coates project in Western Australia. First Tin joined the Main Market after the period end.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has appointed Ian Bruce as exploration manager, and he will restart the drilling at Specimen Hill. A permit has been secured in the same area for Taree Fields, which was historically a high-grade copper mine. Deep Blue Minerals, where Tectonic owns 10%, raised $236,000 from diamond sales.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) has agreed in principle the sale of LCP Financial to SBS Group for £4.2m in shares and the repayment of a £370,000 intercompany loan. Lombard Capital will acquire Waste and Recycling Services before the sale is completed. Management will be seeking shareholder approval to leave Aquis.

ChallengerX (CXS) has signed a five-year agreement with The American Arena League for the use of the SaaS-based platform CXSports. This will help to promote the league and generate revenues.

Blockchain and open finance investor Coinsilium (COIN) has agreed to purchase $200,000 of YELLOW tokens for the Yellow Network, which is a cross chain overlay, financial information exchange and distributed infrastructure network.

Adam Pollock, who was previously head of corporate and institutional at WH Ireland, has become a director of Oberon Capital, the broking business of Oberon Investments Group (OBE).

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £48,000 at 1.37p each.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) is changing its name to Marula Mining.

AIM

TV programmes producer Zinc Media (ZIN) lost on £2.61m on revenues of £17.5m in 2021. There is already £13m of booked revenues for 2022 and there is potential further business worth £35m that could be delivered this year. A greater proportion of the work being won is for series, rather than one-off programmes. Zinc Communicate, which produces non-broadcast content and podcasts, is becoming increasingly important. The timing of the orders is uncertain and not all the work will materialise, although £8m is at an advanced stage. This suggests that 2022 revenues should be much higher, and Zinc Media should become profitable and cash generative. Last year, the cash outflow from operations was £245,000. Net cash was £2.18m at the end of 2021.

Churchill China (CHH) is beating its rivals thanks to its capital expenditure and investment in marketing, and it has a better order book than normal for this time of year. In 2021, pre-tax profit bounced back from £800,000 to £6m as revenues recovered from £36.4m to £60.8m. The total dividend is £24p a share, while there is £19m in the bank. Churchill China has taken on more than 200 additional staff in the past year and they still require training. Last autumn, selling prices were raised by 12% and a 5% increase is planned for May. That will help to offset the cost rises. Pre-tax profit is expected to be between £8m and £8.8m this year.

Tungsten West (TUN) is reviewing development options for the Hemerden mine because of rising costs. This will lead to a two-month delay. This could lead to a focus on sodium tungstate production because it is higher value than ammonium paratungstate.

Solid State (SOLI) continues to best expectations. Revenues for the year to March 2022 will be around 6% ahead of previous expectations at £85m, while there is a 11% upgrade in pre-tax profit to £7.4m.

Seeing Machines (LSE: SEE) has secured a collaboration with Magna to develop and demonstration model driver monitoring system (DMS) combining, camera, electronics and interior mirror technology. This should help Seeing Machines win more market share.

Plant-based polymers developer Itaconix (ITX) says volumes continue to increase, particularly in the dishwashing detergent ingredients market.

Coral Products (CRU) is trading ahead of expectations in the year to April 2022 and there is a second interim dividend of 0.4p a share. There could also be a final dividend to add to this year’s total of 0.9p a share.

MAIN MARKET

Nuclear-related business has helped structural steel supplier Severfield (SFR) to enjoy record orders. Logistics, infrastructure and data centres are other areas of high demand. Longer-term, battery manufacturing plants could be another booming area. The current order book is worth £479m. The 2021-22 figures will be in line with expectations with pre-tax profit forecast to improve from £24.3m to £28.1m. This year’s revenues should be better than previously expected, but profit expectations have been maintained because of higher steel costs. The higher steel prices mean that higher working capital is required.

Full year profit of kitchenware retailer ProCook Group (PROC) will be slightly lower than expected at £9.5m. ProCook has grown revenues in a market that is slightly down

J Smart Contractors (SMJ) reported a decline in interim revenues from £5.75m to £5.16m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £890,000 to £6.35m, although that was due to a gain on the sale of investment properties of £6.06m. It is unlikely that full year profit will be higher this year. Net assets are £117.2m, including £76.2m of investment properties and net cash of £27.6m. The interim dividend is 0.96p a share and the ex-dividend date is 5 May.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 4 April 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

In 2021, Good Energy (GOOD) revenues were 12% higher at £146m, while underlying pre-tax profit recovered from £500,000 to £2.6m. Since the year end the sale of the generating assets has boosted the balance sheet making it debt free. A final dividend of 1.8p a share takes the total for the year to 2.55p a share. Investment in billing platforms will help improve efficiency. The Zap-Map EV charging services business remains a focus of growth, along with an accelerating smart meter roll out. Even though trading conditions are tough, Good Energy could improve its profit this year.

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) is returned to profit at the interim stage, and it is paying an interim dividend of 3.5p a share. In the six months to December 2021, revenues increased by 55% to £78.7m, which is similar to the six months to December 2019. A loss of £7.2m was turned into a profit of £5.4m. Net debt is £82.4m after paying delayed VAT liabilities. Net assets are 1176p a share, excluding property revaluations. In the 13 weeks to 26 March 2022, like-for-like managed pub sales are 10% ahead, but it is a weak comparative. Costs are increasing and Peel Hunt has trimmed its full year pre-tax profit forecast from £8.6m to £7.2m.

ProBiotix Health (PBX) started trading on the Access segment having raised £2.5m at 21p a share. The share price ended the week at 21.5p, valuing the company at £26.2m. The company has been spun-off by OptiBiotix Health (OPTI), which retains a 44% stake after issuing ProBiotix shares to its own shareholders. They will not be able to deal in the shares for nine months. The core product developed by ProBiotix is LP-LDL ®. Studies have shown that the product can reduce cholesterol levels.

AIM-quoted European equities exchange operator Aquis Exchange (AQX) joined the Apex segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange on the same day as it reported full year figures. In 2021, revenues were 42% ahead at £16.2m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £470,000 to £3.22m. Net cash is £14.1m, after spending £1.1m on buying back shares. The company’s market share of pan-European trading improved from 4.7% to 5.2% and the purchase of the non-displayed matching pool of UBS could add a further 0.6% of market share. Liberum forecasts further growth in pre-tax profit to £4.2m this year.

Oberon Investments (OBE) is raising £3.4m at 6p a share in a significantly oversubscribed placing. The broker and investment manager wants to spend the cash on expanding its corporate finance and wealth management operations.

Pharma C Investments (PCIL) invested £100,000 in AIM-quoted Celadon Pharmaceuticals (CEL), formerly Summerway Capital, at 165p a share. Trading started on 28 March and the share price subsequently fell to 130p. Vertigrow, which was established in 2018, reversed into Celadon and it grows indoor hydroponic, high THC cannabis, which will be used for medicines to treat chronic pain. A Home Office licence to legally grow medicinal cannabis was received in July 2021 and it has been renewed until January 2023.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $1.5m in Subspace Labs Inc and it will receive a yet-to-be determined number of tokens. Subspace Network is an eco-friendly blockchain that enables scalable chain storage and computing.

Gunsynd (GUN) owns 1.25 million shares in Media Tech SPAC, which is acquiring Scandinavia-based Drylab A/S, which has developed a subscription-based film and TV production platform. The technology allows reviewing and sharing of filmed takes in real-time, uploads those filmed takes to a cloud-based platform and saves time and costs. The service is designed to work without internet access.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has sold M and G Olympic Products, which manufactures architectural metalwork, for £1. This is part of refocusing on fabrication businesses.

Cadence minerals (KDNC) has agreed to sell its 31.5% stake in Lithium Technologies and Lithium Supplies in return for £3.72m.

The attempt to remove the chairman and the other resolution put forward at a requisitioned general meeting of Love Hemp (LIFE) were heavily defeated.

Pioneer Holdings Inc (PNER) has acquired Crowdform, which creates apps and websites for brands and start-ups.

Trading in Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) shares was restored after it reported 2020-21 results and interims to September 2021. There was cash of £93,000 and net assets were £788,000 at the end of September 2021.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) had £396,000 in the bank at the end of 2021 and management says that it is well funded even though there have been delays to exploration.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) had net liabilities of £2.29m at the end of 2021. The directors are trying to refinance the company.

Hydrogen Future Industries (HFI) has incorporated a subsidiary to develop wind and water-based hydrogen production systems.

Evrima (EVA) has replaced corporate adviser Keith Bayley Rogers with Novum Securities.

Kasei Holdings (KASH) says that its chair Jane Thomason Abigail subscribed £150,000 for new shares at 20p each.

AIM

Digital payments business Boku (BOKU) improved its underlying pre-tax profit from $8.8m to $11.8m in 2021. Longer-term, eWallet activity will help to accelerate growth. Monthly average cash balances are running at $50.8m. Boku will be hit by the loss of Russian revenues that were likely to be around $1.5m.

NWF (NWF) says that its fuels business is making a profit of 2p a litre, compared with 1p a litre under normal circumstances. This will boost cash flow, but it is not likely to be repeatable. Full year profit will be much better than expected.

Artisanal Spirits (ART) achieved strong growth in the UK, China and the US last year. Member lifetime value increased from £932 to £1,445, helped by retention rates improving to 77%. The investment in casks of whisky is paying off with the value of the stocks increasing by 26%. Current year revenues are growing by 30%.

EKF Diagnostics (EKF) increased 2021 revenues by 25% to £81.8m. Even stripping out one-off Covid business, the growth was 14%. Pre-tax profit improved from £15.4m to £21.4m. Net cash was £19.6m at the end of 2021, although that was prior to an additional investment in Verici Dx (VRCI). Some of the cash pile is being invested in expanding the fermentation capacity in Indiana. There are plans to buy back up to nine million shares.

Employee benefits services and insurance provider Personal Group (LSE: PGH) beat expectations with 2021 even though pre-tax profit declined from £8.8m to £4.7m as the effects of the original lockdown showed through in the figures. There will also be a delay in the recovery coming through in better profit. The total dividend was reduced from 18.4p a share to 10.6p a share. Net cash is £20.3m.

Brand Architekts (BAR) is making a recommended bid for fully listed InnovaDerma (IDP), which has regularly disappointed investors. The offer is 7p in cash and 0.3818 of a Brand Architekts share for each InnovaDerma share, which values the skincare company at £13.6m. Brand Architekts has a strong balance sheet and will be able to improve the marketing for the combined group’s products.

Windward (WNWD), which supplies AI-based software for real-time marine and shipping information, doubled its customer base last year. There is an increased need for information to stop breaches of sanctions following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as the ongoing requirement to track sea cargos. Windward is loss-making, but revenues should build up significantly as marine compliance requirements become more stringent. Net cash is $39m and this will provide the funds for Windward to achieve its growth forecasts.

SIPPs admin services provider Curtis Banks (CBP) improved pre-tax profit from £13.4m to £14m in 2021. The growth was held back by delays in technology projects. The dividend is maintained at 9p a share. This was achieved despite a decline in interest income. The higher interest rates will not make a significant difference until 2023. Investment in systems will improve efficiency.

Construction and building software supplier Eleco (ELCO) grew revenues from £25.2m to £27.3m, while pre-tax profit improved from £4.9m to £5.3m. Eleco is transitioning to a SaaS-based model and that will hold back short-term revenues growth. Eleco increased its full year dividend from 0.4p a share to 0.6p a share.

Great Western Mining (GWMO) has completed the road to its Mineral Jackpot properties in Nevada and that will help it to exploit spoil heaps. There are also plans to drill five shallow exploration holes in the area.

MAIN MARKET

Repair and maintenance services provider Mears (MER) reported a 2021 pre-tax profit of £25.6m on revenues of £878m as local authority repair and maintenance activity returned to normal levels. Mears made a loss in 2020. The order book is worth £2.4bn.

Beacon Rise Holdings (BRS) joined the standard list with nine shareholders owning most of the shares. Prior to flotation £1.07m was raised at 100p a share. The current bid/offer spread is 100p/400p. Beacon Rise Holdings is seeking acquisitions involved in primary and secondary related education technology. This could be software or hardware that facilitates active learning. Pro forma net assets equals the cash of £744,000.

Rockpool Acquisitions (ROC) has terminated its proposed acquisition of Greenview Gas. Another party will acquire the business. Rockpool has received £1.2m from Greenview, which is a small premium on the loan provided plus interest.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) says first quarter revenues are 9% ahead of the previous fourth quarter, while gross profit is 17% higher.

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 29 November 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) is selling its 47.5MW of renewable generation capacity and then reinvest the cash. The portfolio is valued at £56.8m, with £39.1m of related debt, and could be sold in the first quarter of 2022. Good Energy is investing in the latest funding round for Zap Map and the disposal cash may be received at around the same time. The company is investing in its decentralised energy services platform, and this will be rolled out next year. There will be further investments in these areas. Competition has fallen away in the domestic energy supply market and management believes that more normal conditions could return next spring. There will be £2.5m of additional costs to cope with the knock-on effect of higher prices and the exit of rivals. There is still a possibility of achieving full year expectations.

Oberon Investments (OBE) nearly trebled revenues in the first half with the growth coming from the broking business. In the six months to September 2021, revenues improved from £1.2m to £3.4m, while funds under management were £765m at the end of the period. Investment management fees doubled, but corporate finance income jumped from £89,000 to £1.56m. Oberon moved from a loss of £514,000 to a pre-tax profit of £128,000. New product launches should enhance growth in funds under management, while the broking side remains busy.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) investor NFT Investments (NFT) is investing $250,000 in Afterparty Inc, a platform where creators generate revenues from music events. This was set up by former Disney executive David Fields.

Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) plans to acquire battery metals explorer Aterian Resources and move to the standard list. There will be a ten-for-one share consolidation and the company’s name will change to Aterian. AIM-quoted Altus Strategies (ALS) will become a major shareholder. A fundraising has raised £850,000 from convertible loans and £100,000 from shares at 1.5p each, which is the conversion price of the convertible loans. Aterian Resources has a portfolio of 15 exploration projects.

Investment company Gunsynd (GUN) had net assets of £6.3m, including £1.07m of cash, at the end of July 2021. Investee company Low6 still intends to float.

KR1 (KR1) has contributed 350,000 Polkadot tokens to the Acala Network auction. It already has more than 10.2 million Acala tokens and more will be received after 96 weeks, when the Polkadot tokens will be returned. A further 350,000 Polkadot tokens were contributed in the auction of smart contract platform Moonbeam Network. Again, these will be locked up for 96 weeks and a undecided number of Moonbeam tokens will also be received.

Newly crowned Aquis company of the year DXS International (DXSP) reported a small dip in interim revenues from £1.72m to £1.62m, while pre-tax profit fell from £151,000 to £21,000. The second half is expected to be stronger, although additional costs will hold back profit. The healthcare IT provider continues to develop its cloud-based product and it is accelerating the development of products aimed at long-term conditions, such as diabetes.

Rogue Baron (SHNJ) is closing its Bin 1301 bar in Washington DC and concentrate on the bigger De Rhum Spot site.

Pioneer Media Holdings (PNER) is planning to acquire NGMI Labs Inc in return for four million shares. Pioneer has 45 days to undertake due diligence. NGMI was founded by three people with significant experience in the decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) tokens sector.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) expects to receive a tax rebate of $275,000 by the year end.

Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) has persuaded ASDA to stock 17 of its Vitality CBD products.

Scott Livingston has taken a 5.54%, not 5.16%, stake in Silverwood Brands (SLWD).

AIM

Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) says that 64.4% shareholder Marshalls of Cambridge is thinking about selling its stake. Constellation Automotive has made it clear that it is interested.

Alien Metals (UFO) has acquired 30% of the Munni Munni project in Western Australia from ASX-listed Platina Resources for A$2.23m in shares and cash. This is one of the largest platinum group resources in Australia and it is near to the Elizabeth Hill project, which has platinum, silver, copper and nickel potential. Munni Munni has a historic non-compliant JORC resource estimate that suggests that there is 1.14 million ounces of palladium, 830,000 ounces of platinum, 152,000 ounces of gold and 76,000 ounces of rhodium. Artemis Resources owns the other 70%.

Telecoms billing and customer relationship management software provider Cerillion (CER) more than doubled its full year pre-tax profit from £3.7m to £8.5m, helped by much higher software revenues. New orders are building up and the order book is at record levels. The dividend was raised from 5.5p a share to 7.1p a share.

Driving safety technology developer Seeing Machines (SEE) has won its largest ever driver monitoring systems (DMS) order and raised £30.4m at 11p a share on the back of this announcement. The cash will be used for technology development and boost sales resources. The DMS deal, which has come through Magna International, is worth A$120m. In the year to June 2021, revenues improved from A$39.9m to $46.6m, while the loss was substantially reduced to A$16.7m.

Credit hire and legal services firm Anexo (ANX) has won a new contract with MCE Insurance to provide claims services for non-fault motorcycle accidents, which tends to be higher margin business. This will boost market share.

Appreciate (APPS) made the expected, although lower, loss in the first half, but the 50% increase in the interim dividend to 0.6p a share suggests confidence in the future. Revenues were 50% ahead at £41m with the faster growth coming in the consumer business even though the Christmas savings order book is lower. Appreciate has withdrawn from lower margin corporate business and there is volatility in bookings in recent months.

Asset management services provider MJ Hudson (MJH) achieved organic revenue growth of 14% and it is on course to grow full year revenues from £25.5m to £31m, helped by acquisitions, which would produce a pre-tax profit of £4m. Demand for ESG services is growing rapidly. On top of that, there is increasing outsourcing of the services provided by MJ Hudson.

Ashtead Technology (AT.) provides services and rents equipment to the offshore oil and gas and offshore wind markets. Services can be provided for installation, ongoing maintenance and decommissioning. It raised £15.5m at 162p a share to help it to grow internationally. The offshore wind services market is set to grow at 19% a year up until 2025. The shares ended the week at 162p.

Eneraqua Technologies (ETP) is well positioned to take advantage of the increasing focus on energy and water efficiency. It raised £12m at 277p a share and the shares ended the week at 285p. Eneraqua Technologies supplies and installs technology that improves energy and water efficiency in multiple occupancy social housing and commercial projects. The systems installed include the company’s Control Flow HL2024 technology, which will be manufactured in Spain. The order book for between August 2021 and January 2022 includes £22m of contracted revenues and there a further £21.3m of contracted revenues for the following two years.

Brickability (BRCK) is paying an initial £3.3m for HBS NE, which takes it into the renewable energy products market. It supplies and maintains solar, battery storage and electric vehicle charging. Brickability has relationships with housebuilders, which are being required to install EV charging points in new homes. Even before cross-selling, the deal is earnings enhancing.

Cyber security services provider Shearwater (SWG) reported a small decline in interim revenues due to lower services sales. Software revenues were flat, but margins improved. There is 50% visibility for second quarter revenues.

Treated sustainable wood producer Accsys Technologies (AXS) increased interim revenues by 31% in the first half. Accoya production remains limited because the new reactor will not go into service until next year. The Hull Tricoya plant will should commence production next July. The plans for the potential US Accoya plant are also progressing with a final investment decision expected in the next few months.

Omega Diagnostics (ODX) grew its health and nutrition revenues to pre-pandemic levels. Sales of the global health division also grew but Covid-19 test sales were disappointing. DAM Health has ordered £750,000 of tests since the end of the half year. Net cash was £3.9m at the end of September 2021. Omega remains loss making, and it is difficult to predict how quickly revenues will grow. There are some orders coming in for the VISITECT CD4 test.

Workflow technology provider ActiveOps (AOM) has improved gross margin and interim revenues grew by one-fifth. Annual recurring revenues are running at £19.8m.

MAIN MARKET

Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane (MACF) is trading ahead of expectations. Revenues are 25% higher than last year and the pre-tax profit is ahead of 2020. There are cost pressures and some customers have had supply problems elsewhere so their demand for packaging has reduced. Net debt was £2m at the end of October 2021.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has announced a dividend of 0.74p a share.

JLEN Environmental (JLEN) is targeting a dividend of 6.8p a share in the year to March 2022. The interim dividend is more than covered by earnings. The portfolio of renewable energy and environmental assets has been diversified in recent years and that means that the company is not as dependent on revenues from wind power, which were hampered by low wind speeds in the period. Other assets performed well and there are plenty of investment opportunities in Europe. NAV is 98.4p a share.

Marine technology developer OTAQ (OTAQ) has secured a multi-year contract with Minnowtech. It will supply sonar technology for the jointly developed shrimp farming technology. Commercial launch is planned in Asia and the initial order will be more than $200,000. OTAQ owns 15.2% of Minnowtech. A major customer has given notice and OTAQ is seeking additional sources of funding.

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCTP) has signed an agreement with Dalriada Drug Discovery Inc of Canada, which will provide research and development services on compounds that Oxford Cannabinoid has access to via the Canopy Growth Corporation agreement.

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 18 October 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) has followed the lapsed Ecotricity bid with a nine-month trading statement saying that the renewable energy supplier is on course to meet full year expectations. Good Energy is more than 90% hedged for the next 12 months, so there is limited exposure to the current price volatility. Price rises have been implemented. The 0.75p a share interim dividend is payable on 29 November and the ex-dividend date is 21 October. Finance director Rupert Sanderson has sold 14,800 shares at 335p each, while chief executive Nigel Pocklington bought 7,500 shares at 351.666p each.

Walls and Future REIT (WAFR) is engaging with new investors so that there are buyers for the 10% of the share capital where investors are not long-term holders. This is holding back the share price and causing the high discount to NAV, according to management. The company has completed the design of its autism friendly housing.

CBD products supplier Voyager Life (VOY) generated revenues of £65,000 from incorporation to the end of September 2021. Monthly overheads are less than £50,000. There is £1.8m in the bank. New stores are opening in Edinburgh and Dundee.

Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) has acquired CBD products manufacturer N8 Essentials for 1.17 million shares issued at 67.3 cents a share. N8 has a 14,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Kansas. This will enable more group production to be brought in house.

Sativa Wellness (SWEL) has launched an online telemedicine service. This enables patients to follow up tests with a virtual medical consultation.

KR1 (KR1) is participating in the Kintsugi crowdloan and Kusama (KSM) parachain auction. KR1 contributed 5,000 KSM to the crowdloan.

Altona Natural Resources (ANR) has started drilling at the Monte Muambe project in Mozambique. This will improve the understanding of the geological model and test four newly identified targets.

The requisition for a general meeting at British Honey (BHC) has been withdrawn. Richard Day has been reappointed chairman and Mark Gamble as an executive director. Alex Maurice has stepped down from the board but continues to be employed by the company.

Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) non-exec director CP Freeman has bought 800 shares at 884p each. David Evans has a 7.61% stake in Oberon Investments (OBE).

The SFO has ended its investigation into people associated with Watchstone Group (WTG) when it was known as Quindell.

AIM

Light Science Technologies (LST) is a contract electronics manufacturer and a developer of controlled environment agriculture technology, which joined AIM on 15 October. The agricultural technology being developed helps farmers to maximise crop productivity and monitor the growing environment. The company’s LED lighting range is called nurturGrow Luminaire and the nurturGROW sensor is being developed. There was £5m raised at 10p a share and the price ended the first day at 11.5p. The cash raised in the flotation will be used to expand facilities and increase marketing.

Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) has achieved record interim earnings. The UK has been a strong market, but Australia has been tougher. The full year outcome is likely to be ahead of expectations. Peel Hunt has upgraded its full year pre-tax profit forecast from £58.3m to £65m.

Branded furnishings and wallcoverings supplier Sanderson Design Group (SDG) improved interim pre-tax profit by 22% to £6m on a 48% increase in revenues. North American and UK sales were strong, and the manufacturing business bounced back. Management plans to generate more income from the archive of past patterns and designs. Net cash is £15.4m. Sanderson is on course to achieve an increase in full year pre-tax profit from £7.1m to £10.9m.

Eqtec (EQT) plans to acquire a 5MW project in Drama, Greece, which will generate energy from forestry waste. Financial close should be achieved for the project in the third quarter of 2022. There is also an additional £2.1m of investment in the North Fork project in California, which increases the stake from 10% to 49%. The 2MW biomass to energy project has been delayed due to fires and Covid. A $4.5m convertible loan facility has been provided to the development.

CyanConnode (CYAN) says interim revenues were £4.1m and it is well on the way to £9.4m of revenues for the full year. The narrowband radio frequency networks company continues to lose money, but cash levels should improve.

Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) recorded record first half results despite supply problems for new vehicles. Used car prices have been rising because of the shortage of new vehicles. In the six months to August 2021, revenues increased from £1.2bn to £1.92bn. Underlying pre-tax profit soared from £4.7m to £51.8m, which is more than treble the first half of 2019-20. Net cash is £57.3m. The interim dividend has been re-established at 0.65p a share. The net tangible asset value is 61.5p a share.

High street sales recovered at fishing tackle retailer Angling Direct (ANG) despite being closed in the first ten weeks of the first half and online sales continued to grow. In the six months to July 2021, revenues improved from £32.1m to £38.4m with high street sales increasing by two-fifths. Online sales were 2% ahead. Pre-tax profit jumped from £1.36m to £3.72m, which includes government lockdown support. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to increase from £2.6m to £3.5m.

Driving safety technology developer Seeing Machines (SEE) has signed a framework agreement with Shell Global Solutions for its Guardian driver distraction and fatigue technology. Deployments should start later this year. Shell has 20,000 vehicles, compared with the total number of 31,771 vehicles using Guardian technology. Seeing Machines has also set up an EU sales team with a headquarters in Amsterdam.

Gresham House Strategic (GHS) has decided to change its investment manager from Gresham House Asset Management to Harwood Capital, where its previous investment manager Richard Staveley moved earlier this year, and Gresham House (GHE) has requisitioned a general meeting in order to have the company’s cash distributed to shareholders and the portfolio of investments liquidated over a 24-month period. Gresham House has a 23.3% stake in Gresham House Strategic and claims the backing of 40% of the share capital. The opposition to the move owns 30% of the company. Harwood intends to invest in the company, and it will generate lower fees, which will save the company £270,000.

Iodine company Iofina (IOF) produced 142.7 MT of crystalline iodine in the third quarter of 2021 and that underpins full year forecasts. Iodine prices continue to rise and recently hit $40/kg.

MAIN MARKET

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) has acquired DW Windsor, an exterior lighting business, for £16.9m in cash. In the year to September 2021, operating profit was £1.9m.

Highway Capital (HWC) has finally found a suitable reverse takeover target, although there is no firm agreement. There will be a fundraising alongside the purchase of esports adviser and investor Guinevere Capital Esports & Entertainment. No purchase price has been announced

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCTP) has acquired medical assets from Canopy Growth Corporation, which provides access to cannabinoid derivatives and will help the company to develop additional drug projects. The lead compound OCT461201, which is a potential neuropathic pain treatment, is progressing towards clinical trials in the third quarter of 2022.

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 2 August 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) says trading has picked up since 12 April and was even better from 17 May. Beer volumes are good, but the company lost money in the year to June 2021. Between 12 April and 26 June managed pub revenues were 84% of the same time in 2019, while tenanted pubs achieved 77% of the volume in 2019. Tenanted pubs return to paying normal rent on 2 August. Net debt is £89.8m.

Brands owner and ecommerce technology platform operator Samarkand (SMK) increased its revenues by 201% in the year to March 2021, but that was flattered by one-off personal protective equipment revenues. Since the year end a Tokyo office has been opened. The latest technology, Nomad Checkout is being piloted.

Oberon Investments (OBE) more than trebled its revenues to £3.8m in the year to March 2021. Assets under administration increased by 340% to more than £550m and more investment management firms were acquired after the year end. The broking operation has already started to win clients and has raised £30m since June 2020. There were record first quarter revenues. Chris Akers has taken a 3.58% stake.

CBD and hemp products supplier Love Hemp (LIFE) has increased its full year revenues by 60% to £4.31m, although second half revenues were lower than those in the first half, which benefitted from large orders by Boots and Holland and Barrett. This year online revenues are expected to increase significantly.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has requested that trading of the shares on Aquis should cease. There are problems with the company’s 2020 accounts. Begbies Traynor has been appointed to advise on restructuring, but the board is unsure whether the company can continue trading.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $100,000 in the Redstone project, which will be changed for tokens at a later date. Redstone is a cross-chain data oracle technology that provides fast access to data and historic audit trail. A further $269,892 was invested in Interlay for 1,224 series seed shares.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has acquired plant-based nutrition products supplier Pulsin for £2m in cash, £2m in loan notes and 15.18 million shares. The issue of three million of the shares is deferred and dependent on sales in 2021. Pulsin has net debt of £1.2m and generated sales of 37.05m in the year to April 2021. S-Ventures already owns Ohso Chocolate and snacks firm We Love Purely.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has invested £22.5m for a majority stake in a company that owns homeware brands, including Kilner, Viners, Typhoon and Ravenhead. In 2020, revenues were £35.6m.

Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) had net cash of £8.8m at the end of July 2021. It has also invested £910,000 in decentralised finance investments.

Black Sea Property (BSP) is selling a property in Cyprus for €1.06m, compared with a valuation of €830,000.

Coinsilium (COIN) has moved to the Apex segment.

AIM

Big Technologies (BIG) provides remote and personal monitoring services, predominantly to the criminal justice market, and the technology has been developed over more than a decade. The company raised £14.7m after expenses at 200p a share. There was also £185.6m raised by existing shareholders, which sold around one-third of the shares in issue. In three days of trading the share price soared to 355p, which values the company at £1bn. Revenues increased from £19.3m in 2019 to £29.6m in 2020 thanks to new contracts and additional revenues from existing customers. Pre-tax profit jumped from £5.53m to £12.7m.

Tracsis (TRCS) has won a multi-year contract for its RailHub planning software. The deal is worth several million pounds, and this will make an initial high margin contribution to the financial year to July 2021. It sparked a £1m uplift in the 2021 profit forecast to £10.5m.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) has doubled interim revenues, helped by the Hunters acquisition early this year. Organic growth was 35%.

Hostels operator Safestay (SSTY) had a tough 2020 and has just published its 2020 figures. It achieved 38% occupancy in its hostels when they were open. The loss was £10m. NAV is £28.5m. Leasehold sales have helped to reduce bank debt to £18m in July 2021. There are 16 hostels currently trading and the other two are set to reopen.

Seed Innovations (SEED) has a 5.1% stake in Canadian Stock Exchange listed CDD and health products supplier Yooma Wellness Inc, which is joining Aquis on 10 August.

MAIN MARKET

Spinnaker Acquisitions (SPAQ) is a new cash shell that has been brought to the market by the same team that floated Spinnaker Opportunities, which eventually acquired cannabis products supplier Kanabo (KNB). It raised £2.08m at 10p a share. The share price has risen to 12.5p, but there is a wide spread of 10p/15p. Spinnaker is seeking to acquire a business in the sustainability and energy transition services markets.

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) outperformed the market in the first half of 2021 with a like-for-like increase in vehicle sales of 45%. The interim profit will be around £50m, which is one-fifth higher than previous expectations.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 26 July 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Ecotricity has launched a 340p a share cash bid for Good Energy (GOOD). Ecotricity believes the combined group would be better placed to compete in the energy supply business. The Good Energy board rejects the bid.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) reported a bounce back in interim pre-tax profit from £200,000 to £3m. the main profit improvement was at Arbuthnot Latham. NAV was 1292p a share at the end of June 2021. Assets under management reached £1.22bn. A second interim dividend of 16p a share was announced, and it will be paid on 24 September.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says its Hellyer gold mine generated revenues of A$19.8m in the second quarter, while net income was A$5.7m. The major capital investment in the mine cost A$16.4m and was finished during the quarter. NQ Minerals is still seeking to move to a full listing on the London Stock Market.

Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) generated record revenues in the first half of 2021, and it is generating cash from operations. CBD products supplier Goodbody Botanicals is profitable. There have been 47 clinics opened to offer Covid-19 testing.

Apollon Formularies (APOL) says that medicinal cannabis formulations developed by its subsidiary have been able to kill prostrate cancer cells.

Watchstone Group (WTG) management recommends that shareholders reject the mandatory 34p a share bid.

Ervin Kovac has resigned as director of Freyherr International (FRYR) and the shares remain suspended as the company’s financial position remains uncertain. Trading was suspended more than nine months ago.

Harry Hyman has taken a 3.08% stake in Oberon Investments (OBE).

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) is moving from the Access segment to the Apex segment.

AIM

Digital payments business Boku (BOKU) increased interim revenues by 37% to $34m – organic growth was 21%. Investment is increasing in order to take advantage of growth prospects, but cash is also increasing.

Trading is improving at employee benefits services and insurance products provider Personal Group (PGH) and interim revenues were 12% ahead at £34m even though weak insurance sales last year mean that premium income fell. SaaS-based revenues increasing by 50% – helped by the partnership with Sage. Sales of consumer electronics products through PG Let’s Connect has improved by one-fifth.

Insolvency levels remain relatively low, but Begbies Traynor (BEG) still grew strongly last year. In the year to April 2021, underlying pre-tax profit improved from £9.2m to £11.5m – a combination of organic and acquisitive growth. There is more to come this year from recent acquisitions.

Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) managed to increase its pre-tax profit from £18.1m to £19.3m despite the tough trading conditions in the year to April 2021. The property and corporate finance divisions did particularly well last year. This kept utilisation levels high. A final dividend of 5p a share was announced. Gateley is paying £815,000 for Tozer Gallagher, which is a quantity surveyor and construction consultant.

Online womenswear retailer Sosandar (SOS) increased its full year revenues by 35% to £12.2m. It remains loss-making and that is likely to continue this year even though revenues continue to grow rapidly. First quarter revenues jumped by 256% to £5.7m, although the comparatives were weak. Active customers increased by 23% compared with the previous quarter. Singer forecasts double full year revenues to £24.4m.

Parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) is still growing its freight business faster than expected and analysts have upgraded their forecasts for 2020-21 and the current year. The additional business is also more profitable than in the past. DX Express revenues are flat due to lower office mail delivery revenues.

Judges Scientific (JDG) had a much better order book at the end of June 2021. It was 49% higher than June last year. Organic sales growth was 5% compared with full year forecasts of 1.5%.

Open Orphan (ORPH) spin out Poolbeg Pharma (POLB) has started trading on AIM. The shares are trading at 10.875p, which is equivalent to 3.63p a share to Open Orphan shareholders. The Open Orphan shareholders cannot sell yet.

Vela Technologies (VELA) has invested £750,000 in Northcoders Group, which joins AIM on 27 July. Manchester -based Northcoders provides software coding training.

International payments business Cornerstone FS (CSFS) is pursuing potential acquisitions, but it has not secured any since it floated earlier this year. The mix of business remains consistent, although more of it is direct which improves margins, and trading has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels.

MAIN MARKET

New shell Acceler8 Ventures (AC8) has soared from its placing price of 100p to 215p on limited volumes. After expenses, the cash in the company is equivalent to 60p a share. The sector of the potential target has been kept vague.

Sivota (SIV) is a shell that wants to acquire Israel-based technology businesses. The company has just under 78p a share of cash. The share price has risen from the placing price of 100p to 112.5p.

NMCN (NMCN) is making progress with the refinancing and related documentation. The 2020 accounts are expected to show a pre-tax loss of much more than the £24m previously indicated.

Aquaculture technology developer OTAQ (OTAQ) increased full year revenues by 18% to £4.05m, while the underlying loss was reduced from £1.05m to £726,000. Restrictions have held back the progress of the business.

Town Centre Securities (TOWN) has collected 88% of the billed rent of £4.9m for the quarter to June 2021 with a further 8% that was agreed to be deferred.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 31 May 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Pharma C Investments (PCIL) is a shell seeking to invest in medicinal cannabis sector-focused companies, particularly those that provide ancillary products and services to the sector, and it joined the Access segment on 26 May. The indication is that plant genetics, product testing, marketing, procurement services and cannabis consumption devices are areas that might be considered. There was £920,000, after expenses, raised at 0.7p a share. Cash is equivalent to less than 0.4p a share. The shares ended the first day of trading at 0.825p (0.75p/0.9p/) and maintained that price until the end of the week.

Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) has made its first investment. An equity investment of €250,000 has been made in SportsX SAS, which is a technology platform for amateur sports clubs, for a 25% stake. SportsX SAS helps clubs to create club-branded Ethereum-based tokens. SportsX SAS takes 18% of gross merchandising revenues and charges an annual membership fee. It also retains a 10%-20% interest in club tokens. These tokens may eventually be listed on an Ethereum-based exchange, such as Uniswap.

Valereum Blockchain (VLRM) expects to launch the first listed company non-fungible token (NFT) live on a crypto exchange in the next few weeks. This will be via Valereum’s Bridge financial platform and use the Mattereum Asset Passport.

GP IT systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) maintained its profit on slightly higher turnover last year. Pilots of new systems have been continuing but the pace is slower than originally expected. Progress should speed up when there is less pressure on GPs due to Covid. Formal NHS GPIT Futures accreditation should be awarded soon for the ExpertCare hypertension product.

Virgata Services has extended its bid for Walls & Future REIT (WAFR) until 10 June. Virgata argues that the 50p a share bid provides cash immediately rather than some time in the future, even though it is a big discount to NAV.

St Mark Homes (SMAP) reported a fall in full year revenues from £324,000 to £216,000 and there was a loss of £170,000, compared with a profit of £114,000. Management is planning to refocus on developing family housing. Net assets were £5.45m (123p a share) at the end of December 2020. The share price is 87.5p (85p/90p), which values St Mark Homes at £3.86m.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) has originated new loans of £247m so far this year. That means that customers owe £1.8bn. In the four months to April 2021, customer deposits increased by 10% to £2.6bn. There were £1.2bn of assets under management at the end of April.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) increased its NAV from 50.17p a share to 61.05p a share in the 12 months to February 2021. That includes a revaluation that reflects the March disposal proceeds for Anthesis Consulting. Interim revenues fell from £271,000 to £198,000, while pre-tax profit fell from £1.28m to £1m, due to a lower level of unrealised gains. There was £1m in the bank at the end of February and this increased to £2.64m after the latest disposal.

Oberon Investments (OBE) has acquired financial planning services provider Smythe House for £300,000 in cash and shares. Up to £233,000 more could become payable dependent on performance. That increases assets under administration by £40m. At the end of March 2021, Oberon had assets under administration of £550m and it reached more than £600m by May 2021. In the year to March 2021, revenues were 240% higher at £3.75m and momentum continues. Broking subsidiary Oberon Capital has been adding clients, including finnCap and MyHealthChecked.

TruSpine Technologies (TSP) has completed its second round of testing for the screwless, spinal stabilisation system Cervi-LOK. It took two surgeons in New York an average of 15 minutes to implant Cervi-LOK on cadavers. That is one-third of the time for other technology. The feedback was positive. There is another round of testing and clearance could be obtained as early as September. An additional £78,000 has been raised at 10p a share.

CBD products supplier Sativa Wellness Group Inc (SWEL) increased first quarter revenues by 377% to £1.37m and gross profit by 234% to £707,000. The loss has been reduced to 0.3p a share.

Ben Richardson has been appointed chief executive of SulNOX Group (SNOX) and Tony Granger becomes full-time chief administration officer. Nigel Armit is no longer finance director. Radu Forescu becomes chairman.

Good Energy (GOOD) has repaid £11.5m of Good Energy Bonds II and that will save annual interest charges of £600,000. The remaining loans total £4.9m and these should be repaid by the end of 2022.

Love Hemp Group (LIFE) raised £2.35m at 3.5p a share. The cash will fund marketing for CBD and hemp products. Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) raised £1.16m at 7.5p a share (with a warrant exercisable at 15p attached). The cash will be invested in non-fungible token and open finance sectors.

Mayflower Capital Investments has increased its stake in Altona Real Earths (ANR) from 14.1% to 29.5%. Ashok Patel has taken a 5.03% stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ).

Watchstone Group (WTG) is seeking shareholder approval to cancel its AIM quotation at its AGM on 29 June.

AIM

Trellus Health (TRLS) intends to provide personalised care for people with chronic conditions with the initial focus being inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It has an exclusive licence for the commercialisation of the GRITT (Gaining Resilience Through Transition) methodology developed by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The company raised £28.5m at 40p a share. The share price jumped to 65p on the first day of trading, which values Trellus Health at £105m.

Medical devices developer Belluscura (BELL) has gained FDA clearance for its portable oxygen concentrator (POC) and it raised £17.5m – the company was originally seeking £15m of new money at 45p a share, which was in the middle of the expected range of 42p-48p. The shares ended the first day of trading at 53p.

Trading continues to be ahead of expectations at franchised lettings agency Belvoir (BLV). Management service fees 22% higher in the first four months of this year, while financial services income is 24% ahead.

Iodine producer Iofina (IOF) reported an increase in 2020 pre-tax profit from $1m to $1.3m on barely changed revenues of $29.7m. Lower interest charges and higher iodine prices will help Iofina to improve profit to $4.4m this year.

Eqtec (EQT) has raised £16m at 1.5p a share. This will finance repowering of plants in Italy and Croatia using the company’s gasification technology, plus investment in UK projects. This has led to a 26% upgrade in 2022 earnings to 0.1 eurocents a share.

MAIN MARKET

Zegona Communications (ZEG) will return £335m in cash to shareholders following the takeover of Euskaltel. The stake Zegona owns in Euskatel is equivalent to 170p a share and the cash distribution will be 153p a share. The rest of the cash is likely to fund another investment.

Kanabo Group (KNB) is raising £1m at 22p a share, which was a 10% premium to the market price. Kanabo is investing £750,000 in a pre-IPO placing by Hellenic Dynamics, a medical cannabis cultivator. A reverse takeover of an AIM shell is envisaged. There is also an agreement with Northern Greece-based Hellenic that could lead to a deal to purchase up to 1,000kg a year of cannabis flowers with pre-defined THC or CBD levels.

Andrew Hore

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