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Brewer Adnams (ADB) reported a decline in first half revenues from £35.5m to £34.7m, while the loss increased from £840,000 to £1.15m. Beer volumes were 2% ahead, compared with a 1% decline in the market. Low alcohol beer sales grew. Gin sales fell because of greater competition. A fire at the Ship at Levington hampered the performance of the pubs business. Adnams made an underlying profit in 2018, thanks to a better second half performance. The new IT system went live in March and the implementation has been a distraction to management. The dividends are unchanged at 78p a share for each B share and 19.5p per A share.
Bruce Pubs (PUB) has decided to cancel trading in its 7.2% secured bonds, 31 March 2022. There are £20,000 worth of bonds admitted to the market and there have been no trades. Bruce Pubs had wanted to raise up to £20m from the bond issue. It is therefore not a surprise that Bruce Pubs believes it is not worth having a trading facility. The bonds can be redeemed early by the company.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has produced 10,164 tonnes of lead concentrate, 7,431 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 46,863 tonnes of pyrite concentrate in the first half of 2019. An operating profit of A$3.6m was made on sales of A$23m.
TechFinancials (TECH) had $1.23m in the bank at the end of June 2019. A reduction in trade receivables meant that there was a small cash inflow from operating activities, but there was $402,000 capitalised developed on the blockchain ticketing system.
China-focused healthcare company MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £755,000 at 30p a share.
Queros Capital Partners (QCP) has gained a quotation for its bonds on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange
ICAMAP has acquired 7.94 million shares in easyHotel (EZH) at its offer price of 95p a share, taking its stake to 44.1%. This means that it is a mandatory cash offer.
Iofina (IOF) has launched IofinaEX Global to deal in hemp derived products in Central America and the Caribbean. Iofina will potentially link up with a government in the region that wants to develop its country as a hub for hemp derived products. There are no details of this potential partnership. The company believes that its regulatory expertise in the iodine market will be helpful in the CBD market. The US is likely to be a major market.
LightwaveRF (LWRF) has raised £1.3m at 7p a share. The smart homes equipment supplier wants the cash to finance further growth. There are also plans to secure a facility for stock.
Altitude (ALT) is considering the disposal of its Manchester-based promotion products supplier AdProducts.com. This would enable Altitude to concentrate on its AIM platform for promotional products suppliers.
Greatland Gold (GGP) has raised £4.2m at 1.85p a share and that will be used to finance exploration in the Paterson region of Australia. There has been positive exploration news from the Scallywag prospect in the Paterson region. A ground gravity survey starts this month and an induced polarisation survey next month. Then 3D modelling using the data will come up with drill targets.
Cyber security software and services provider Corero Network Security (CNS) says interim revenues are lower, but operating costs are unchanged. That means that the interim loss has increased. However, full year revenues are expected to be one-fifth higher, but higher investment in sales means that the loss will still be higher. Net cash was $3.6m at the end of June 2019.
Equals Group (EQLS) is raising up to £16m via a placing and open offer. The international payments company has raised £14m at 110p a share and up to £2m will come from the one-for-90 open offer. The cash will be used for acquisitions and working capital.
Tanfield (TAN) says that 49%-owned Snorkel International has moved back into profit in the second quarter of 2019, although the first half was still loss-making. Last year, the value of this investment in the access equipment supplier was cut from £36.3m to £19.1m.
Oil and gas producer President Energy (PPC) says that there should not be a material effect on its operations from a change in Argentinian president. Revenues are US dollar based and cash is held in the same currency, so the decline of the Argentinian peso should not be too much of a problem.
Anthony Laiker has subscribed £25,000 in Vela Technologies (VELA) at 0.1p a share. A general meeting has to approve the share issue to the executive director, as well as an issue of 6.25 million warrants exercisable at 0.15p. Approval of the conversion of £200,000 of loan notes plus interest into nearly 241 million shares will also require the company to be given the ability to issue more shares. Laiker would than own more than 301 million shares.
Gfinity (GFIN) is pulling out of its Australian joint venture because the esports company wants to focus its cash on the US and other important markets.
Workspace software provider Essensys (ESYS) says that its revenues were one-quarter higher at £20.5m in the year to July 2019. That was better than expected. Annual recurring revenues run rate is £17.3m.
Associated British Engineering (ASBE) made an increased loss of £1.81m, up from £582,000 the previous year. The company’s main pension fund remains a worry and there are ongoing discussions with the Pensions Regulator. There are net liabilities of £3.71m after the pension deficit of £4.98m.
Nanoco (NANO) generated revenues of £7.3m in the year to July 2019, more than double the previous year. The cadmium-free quantum dots developer had £7m in cash at the end of July and expects to have £6m at the end of 2019.
Highway Capital (HWC) has issued €30,000 of new convertible loan notes. These are convertible to a value in excess of 50% of the net asset value of the company at the time of conversion. The terms of an existing convertible loan note of £100,000 have been changed and the conversion price is 5p a share.
Shareholders in Avocet Mining (AVM) have voted against the resolution to wind up the company. This means that it is likely to go into administration unless there is a viable transaction that the board can assess.
Global Resources Investment Trust (GRIT) wanted shareholders to approve the voluntary liquidation of the company, but there is not enough support for the proposal. GRIT has sold 430 million shares in Kalia for £225,000 in order to provide working capital. A new board is being appointed to undertake a strategic review. James Normand will become chairman and Martin Lampshire as an executive director. Stephen Roberts will become a non-executive director.
IMC Exploration (IMC) has been awarded two additional licences in County Wexford. They adjoin an existing licence where there are indications of gold.
Book publisher Quarto (QRT) reduced its interim loss from $6.6m to $4m on flat revenues of $56.4m. There was a change in the mix of revenues with children’s books increasing revenues by14% and in geographic terms more of the revenues were in the US, which moved into profit. Net debt has fallen by 11% to $65m.
Zenith Energy (ZEN) says that drilling has commenced at well C-37 in the Jafarli oilfield.
Pendragon (PDG) is selling its Chevrolet dealership in California for £17.2m. GM can alternatively nominate another purchaser if it wants. The rest of the US business will be sold.
In 2018, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased revenues by 8% to £19.3m. This was despite lower race course attendances because of two abandoned days of racing. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £188,000 to £568,000. The NAV was £50.7m at the end of 2018. There was a further £3.25m payment from David Wilson Homes, which helped to finance capital investment.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has entered into heads of terms with AIM-quoted Mkango Resources so that it can earn up to 75% of the Thambi licence in Southern Malawi. The licence allows exploration for uranium, tantalum and niobium. MetalNRG has to spend $500,000 in the first 12 months and then a further $700,000 in the next 12 months. A further $800,000 has to be spent in the third year to earn the full 75%. The Kyrgyz Republic has banned uranium exploration and mining and the farm-in agreement for the Kamushanovskoye uranium deposit has been suspended.
Secured Property Developments (SPD) had a NAV of £554,000 at the end of 2018. There is £584,000 in cash on the balance sheet.
High Growth Capital (HASH) has raised £4.99m after expenses via a placing at 1.75p a share with Mirador FZE, which also has warrants to subscribe for 300 million shares at 2.5p each until the end of 2019. If the High Growth Capital share price closes above 4p for five consecutive days, the warrants have to exercised or they will lapse. Mirador has a 14.2% stake. Mike Power has been appointed as a non-executive director.
Sativa Investments (SATI) has opened the first Goodbody and Blunt centre in Bath. The centre will sell cannabidiol products and have a café area.
V22 (V22O) is asking shareholders to approve the cancellation of the NEX quotation 31 May, after nearly 13 years on the market. The art investor and studio space provider plans to sell assets and distribute the cash to shareholders. A matched bargains quotation via JP Jenkins is planned for six months after leaving NEX.
Trading in Valiant Investments (VALP) shares has been suspended because it has not produced its annual report.
Queros Capital Partners (BFD) has raised £205,000 in the past two weeks from the issue of 8% unsecured bonds 2025.
The shortlist for the NEX share of the year at the Small Cap Awards 2019 has been announced. The companies are National Milk Records (NMR), Sativa Investments (SATI), NQ Minerals (NQMI), Chapel Down (CDGP), DXS International (DXSP) and Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) ,which is also on the shortlist for impact company of the year.
Capital equipment manufacturer Mpac Group (MPAC) is acquiring Lambert Automation for an initial £15m. UK-based Lambert provides automation equipment to the medical and healthcare markets. Revenues and profit have been declining, but there was an order intake of £24.5m in 2018 and that should help revenues to recover. Revenues were £17.9m in 2018. There is potential earn out consideration of up to £2.5m. Mpac’s own trading is in line with expectations.
Park Group (PARK) says that trading was better than expected in the second half of its financial year, but there were additional costs and the effects of accounting changes. Edison has reduced its 2018-19 pre-tax profit by 3% to £12.5m. Additional costs next year mean that the profit forecast has been cut from £14.3m to £11.7m.
Tracsis (TRCS) has acquired timetable optimisation software developer Bellvedi for an initial £4m with up to £7.9m more payable over four years depending on performance. Bellvedi made a pre-tax profit of £700,000 on revenues of £1.6m last year. Acquiring the ATTUne software means that less needs to spend on the development of existing Tracsis software. The deal adds 2% to this year’s earnings per share, moving it to 27.3p. Next year’s is enhanced by 7% to 32.3p.
Competitions organiser Best of the Best (BOTB) has published a fourth positive trading update in a year. This prompted finnCap to increase its earnings forecast from 15.4p a share to 18.6p a share. The previous upgrade was in January. The switch to a predominantly online model is paying off. Any upgrades to the forecasts for the year to April 2020 will happen after the 2018-19 figures are published on 20 June.
Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) says that the PQ Grass allergy phase III study will start a year later than expected. It should commence by June 2020. This follows an end of phase II study meeting with the FDA. This means that this year and next year the reported loss will be lower because of deferred spending on the study.
Eight Peaks Group (8PG) plans to cancel its AIM quotation because of limited liquidity. This will save £80,000 a year.
Trading in the shares of property investor Safeland (SAF) will end on 10 May.
Motor dealer Pendragon (PDG) is selling two Jaguar Land Rover dealerships in California. This is expected to generate around £60m of cash, although £6.9m of profit contribution before central costs will be lost. However, Jaguar Land Rover has right of first refusal.
Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has appointed Novum as broker and it has committed to invest £300,000 in convertible loan notes. The planned purchase of a 50% stake in used car market focused fintech company Pace Cloud.
Ross Group (RGP) has reported its 2018 results, but these are before the completion of the Archipelago Aquaculture which happened early in 2019. Revenues fell from £335,000 to £60,000 and a profit of £57,000 was turned into a loss of £250,000. That is partly down to costs relating to the acquisition of Archipelago Aquaculture.
Thalassa (THAL) received acceptances of 18.5% of the share capital in its bid for Local Shopping REIT (LSR) and this offer has lapsed. Thalassa owned or had acceptances of 39.3%.
Standard list shell Bermerle (BERM) went to a 50% premium on the first day of trading. However, the bid/offer spread of 1p/2p means that investors could only sell at the 1p a share placing price. The company is seeking a pharma acquisition. The areas that Bermele is assessing include diabetes, cancer and mental health. It is also looking at personalised medicine.
Standard list shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) had £920,000 in the bank at the end of 2018. Fellow shell daVictus (DVT) had £355,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and it has agreed to buy the rights to a restaurant concept from Typical Dutch NV for £100,000. The Havana Rolled Cigar Music Café concept has been developed at a site in Aruba. Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has also secured a possible acquisition in the form of Kanabo Research, which is a medicinal cannabis oil company. Kanabo is developing over the counter products and has distribution rights to a vaporiser. Spinnaker had £1.04m in the bank at the end of 2018.
Trading in the shares of Tex Holdings (TXH) and Avocet Mining (AVM) has been suspended because they have not published 2018 accounts.
Pendragon PDG claims it made significant progress during the year to 31st December despite a patchy performance in some areas. Used vehicle revenue over 5 years grew by 64% at an annual compound rate of 10.4%. In 2016 the rate came in at only 5.6% whilst like for like after sales revenue rose by 7.3% but total new vehicle revenue actually fell by 1.4%. Underlying profit before tax rose by 7.6% but total profit before tax fell by the same amount.
Mucklow (A&J) Group MKLW makes no comment at all on its half time figures for the 6 months to 31st December. Perhaps it prefers to let the figures speak for themselves, which they certainly do. Statutory pre tax profit slumped from £14.4m to £9.1m and basic earnings per share were down from 22.72p to 14.39p. The interim dividend is increased a smidgeon from 9.59p to 9.88p
Electric Word ELE is another company which sought transformation and it claims that by the year end it had succeeded, turning a loss of £2.3m in 2015 to a profit of £9.2m for 2016, including a £10.7m profit from discontinued operations. Like for like revenue rose 16% but continuing operations still doubled its losses over the year, which it ended with a cash pile of nearly £13m.
Braemar Shipping BMS Half year figures to 31st august illustrate the savage decline which has hit the worldwide shipping market. A fall in revenue from £79.6m to £70.2m resulted in earnings per share falling from 13.3p to 0.4p and operating profit declining from £5.3m to £0.3m. Braemar however gives the definite impression that it is fighting back successfully against the challenges which it faces. Shipbroking has produced a resilient performance in volatile conditions. The Technical division has suffered most but is being realigned to current market conditions and the group claims it is well placed to take advantage of any upturn. The interim dividend is unchanged.
GKN plc GKN The collapse in sterling gave GKN a massive bonus in the 9 months to the end of September with a 21% increase in sales. The currency benefit amounted to £ 474m or some 6% of the rise and three times the miserable 2% which came from from organic growth
Whitbread International WTB claims a good set of results with strong growth for the six months to the 1st September and is raising its interim dividend by 4.9%. Powered by Premier Inns and Costa total revenue grew by 8.1% as both divisions increased market share. Premier Inns revenue rose by 8.9% or 2.4% on a like for like basis whilst total sales at Costa were up by `10.7% or 2.3% on a like for like basis
Pendragon PDG Third quarter sales to 30th September have risen by 5.7% and like for like profit is up by 6.3%. Priority is being given to used car sales, which have been particularly strong with revenue growth of 8.3%. The company has not noticed any change in customer attitudes which can be attributed to the referendum.
On The Beach Group OTB Despite terrorist attacks and the slump in the pound OTB delivered a year of highly profitable growth and traded well during the 12 months to the end of September. UK revenue grew by 12% which was less than expected but underlying profit before tax will be marginally ahead of the top end of market expectations. Since the last update in July demand for beach holidays has remained resilient.
Lloyds Bank LLOY claims to have delivered a robust first quarter performance with underlying profit down 6% and statutory profit before tax down by 46% – you can’t get more robust than that. And then just to illustrate how banks are prepared to show their teeth when necessary it does not seek to hide the fact that it achieved positive operating jaws of 1 per cent. Well,from a bank, what else would you expect – once bitten, twice shy.
Taylor Wimpey TW claims it has performed well so far in 2016 with customer demand up by 14%. Average private net reservations per outlet have risen to 0.80 from 0.76 and the total order book is up by 16.6% on a year ago and 21.9% from the beginning of this year. further help has come in the form of a fall in the build cost inflation rate which it is anticipated will be between 3-4% for the rest of the year. As ever the main prop to the market continues to be mortgage availability.
Pendragon PDG on the other hand is not so happy with prospects for the rest of the year. Registrations for year to 31st March grew by 5.1% but that growth rate is expected to halve to 2.5% for the remainder of 2016. Pendragon’s underlying profit before tax rose by 8.7% for the period from 1st January to 27th April. Gross profit from new car sales led the way with like for like rise of 15.2% but this is not expected to continue for the rest of the year as growth in the new vehicle market will moderate.
Harvey Nash HVN is increasing its final dividend by 8.7% for the year to 31st January as preliminary results show an increase of 13% in profit before tax and 18% in earnings per share. revenue for theb year grew by 5%. Strong growth in the USA produced a 25% rise in gross profits there and Germany and Sweden were both good performers, although held back by those currency headwinds (such as the fall in sterling ??). The UK on the other hand was weak with business confidence falling, the economy slowing and Brexit creating those dreadful things called fears.
Despite their best efforts Harold Wilson, Ted Heath, Kinnock, Blair, Old Uncle Tom Cameron and all did not manage to destroy completely the UK’s industrial base.It is still there, even if there were times when it looked like they may succeed and even if it is limited to the Barnsley- Sheffield triangle and a couple of Welsh valleys.
Firstly, Hargreaves Services (HSP) – Hargreaves, a name from the north, a name full of grit and determination. With a name like that it has to be in coal and steel and it is, at least for the next year or two. As with most things from the north it has fallen on hard times and has just slashed its interim dividend by 83% from 10p to a miserable 1.7p.
As if that were not enough, like for like profit before tax for the 6 months to 31st January is down by 94.7% and like for like revenue by 50.2%, all due to the widely reported pressures in the UK coal and steel markets.
Hargreaves however has a cunning plan, or two. Firstly it has built itself a range of exciting opportunities with its extensive property portfolio and over the next eighteen months it will be reducing further its exposure to steel and thermal coal.
The share price has naturally not been well and has lost 75% of its value, from a high of 886p, almost two years ago to the day, to its present 215p, which includes a 9% fall this morning.
Now for the modern. Pendragon (PDG) is not just the UK’s largest automotive retailer, it is its largest online automotive retailer and you can not get more modern than that.
Pendragon’s final dividend for the year to 31st December is being raised by 44% after another record breaking year, in which profit before tax rose by 22.3% and earnings per share by 19.4%. Despite that, its share price is well down, having fallen with some speed from a January high of 49p to 37p which includes a rise of a penny this morning. It just goes to show there is no pleasing those city chaps.
Daily Actions is a daily summary analysis of changes in short term actions from our Daily Recs – AIM and Daily Recs Main markets reports. This report is typically distributed before the open of trading in London.
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|Omega Diagnostics Group||Buy||Neutral|
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|Gooch & Housego||Sell||Neutral|
|21st Century Technology||Sell||Neutral|
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|Aerospace & Defence|
|Automobiles & Parts|
|Lloyds Banking Group||Buy||Neutral|
|Electronics & Electrical Equipment|
|Engineering & Machinery|
|Hill & Smith||Sell||Neutral|
|Morgan Advanced Material||Buy||Neutral|
|Information Technology & Hardware|
|Leisure & Hotels|
|Millennium & Copthorn Hotels||Neutral||Buy|
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|Reckitt Benckiser Group||Sell||Neutral|
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|AMEC Foster Wheeler||Buy||Neutral|
|Michael Page International||Buy||Neutral|
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