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Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) managed to edge up its profit despite flat turnover of £156.6m in the year to June 2018. Underlying pre-tax profit was 5% ahead at £11.8m. The total dividend is 3% higher at 29.2p a share. Growth came from the managed pubs but there was a decline in the brewing operations because of the loss of the Asahi contract. Own brand volumes were 0.9% lower, but the division improved its profit contribution. Volumes will continue to fall as third party business is further reduced. The current year has started well.
Chapel Down (CDGP) is opening a bar, restaurant and ginnery called the Chapel Down Gin Works in the Kings Cross area. The wines and beers maker reported a 15% rise in interim revenues to £5.72m. The majority of the growth in revenues came from the wine business and demand continues to exceed supply. The overall loss rose because of the much higher loss from the brewing business. Group profit is second half weighted.
V22 (V22) slipped into loss in the first half of 2018 as the NAV declined from 3.94p a share to 3.88p a share. If the art portfolio is revalued the NAV has increased from 7.47p a share to 8.29p a share.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) generated revenues of £1.33m in the six months to June 2018. There was a reported pre-tax profit of £554,000, after an impairment charge of £216,000. There was £65,000 of cash generated in the period. The blockchain consultancy and investment company obtained most of its revenues from token sales advisory business.
KR1 (KR1) made a loss of £7.36m in the six months to June 2018. That loss was due to unrealised losses on the carrying value of digital currencies and other investments because of the decline in prices during the period.
Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased its annul revenues by one-third to £3.52m, but pre-tax profit declined from £1.12m to £214,000. That was due to a lack of disposal gains and higher interest costs. Ace has acquired the Mecca Bingo Hall in Chesterfield for £3.999m and this generates an annual rent of £301,000.
A €5.34m gain on the acquisition of an investment property helped Black Sea Property (BSP) swing from a loss to a pre-tax profit of €5.11m. The NAV increased from 0.76 cents a share to 1.16 cents a share.
Health staff provider Healthperm Resources Ltd (HPR) nearly trebled its interim revenues to £297,000 as the number of candidates deployed jumped from 50 to 144. There are 158 people enrolled in the Middle East language training centre.
BWA (BWAP) continues to seek a reverse takeover candidate and its two investments are making progress. Prepaid cards provider Prepaid Global Services is making slower than expected progress but continues to plan to gain a quotation. BWA has applied for licences in Cameroon on behalf of investee company Mineralfields. BWA had £76,000 in the bank at the end of April 2018, while shareholder funds increased from £570,000 to £764,000.
Forbes Ventures (FOR) has appointed Igor Zjali as chief investment officer and Kirk Kashefi as a non-executive director. Nigel Quinton becomes permanent finance director. The £100,000 loan from Quanta Capital has been converted into 100 million shares. There was £56,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. Investee company Civilised Bank has resubmitted its application for authorisation to the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Etaireia Investments (ETIP) engaged Bishop and Sewell to investigate transactions undertaken by former boss Baron Bloom. He failed to report that he received £6,230 of rent due to Etaireia from a tenant of the Ivy Leaf Club property. Bloom is owed outstanding salary and expenses, so no action is being taken by the company. Greg Collier has stepped down as a non-executive director.
Healthcare IT supplier DXS International (DXSP) swung from profit to loss in the year to April 2018, partly due to the interest charge. Revenues dipped from £3.43m to £3.41m. Investment in new products should help to build revenues.
Western Selection (WESP) increased its NAV from 95p to 96p. Improvements in the value of the stakes in Northbridge Industrial Services and Bilby, offset the reduction in the Swallowfield investment valuation. The total dividend has been increased from 2.2p a share to 2.25p a share. The shares are trading at a discount to NAV of around one-third.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) increased its interim revenues by 37% to £544,000 and the loss was reduced from £1.24m to £824,000. There was £1.75m in the bank at the end of June 2018.
The NAV of EPE Special Opportunities (EL.P) fell by 19% to 190.2p a share over the six months to July 2018, due to a halving of the value of the investment in Luceco, where, in August, EPE invested a further £2m.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) reported flat interim revenues of $3.91m, but the loss increased from $331,000 to $527,000. The revenues were generated from Thailand and Africa. The Honduras operation has been delayed but should be up and running by the end of the year.
Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £140,000 from a debenture stock issue.
Interim revenues declined from HK$7.22m to HK$5.27m at MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) and there was a significantly higher loss of HK$24.8m. The cash position was HK$7.65m at the end of June 2018. The traditional Chinese medicines supplier was hit by lower wholesale orders. Discussions continue with additional distributors.
Parasite control products developer TyraTech Inc (TYRU) has signed a conditional merger agreement with American Vanguard Corporation, which involves an offer to the other TyraTech shareholders of 3.15p a share. TyraTech needs cash to grow and 34.4% shareholder American Vanguard is in a stronger position to obtain the finance. TyraTech had cash of $3.7m at the end of June 2018.
Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) is still losing money but the electrical and oil and gas tools markets are showing signs of improvement. A full year loss of £2m is still expected but the group could reach breakeven next year. Northbridge has the cash to invest in additional rental equipment.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) reported a lower interim loss and it had net cash of $2m at the end of June 2018. Drilling of the first well on the company’s Paradox Basin acreage in Utah should start before the end of the year. A recent report suggested that there could be 13mmboe of 2C resource. There has been successful exploration in the area and it already has the appropriate infrastructure. If the appraisal well is a success that should provide a strong background for a further fundraising.
Keystone Law (KEYS) grew interim revenues by 30% to £19.9m thanks to strong recruitment of new lawyers. This progress means that Keystone is on target to improve full year pre-tax profit from £2.9m to £4.4m and a total dividend of 7.5p a share is expected.
NWF (NWF) says the warm summer has hit demand for heating oil and there has been increased competition in fuels. There has been increased demand for feed and the food distribution business is trading in line with expectations.
Health monitoring equipment supplier Deltex Medical (DEMG) is adapting its strategy in order to grow revenues and generate cash from existing customers. Costs are also being reduced. Probe revenues fell in the first half of 2018 due to delayed orders in the US and France. Overall, interim revenues fell from £2.88m to £2.33m, but the operating loss was only slightly higher at £1.14m. There is just over £1m in the bank.
Fishing Republic (FISH) has appointed Daniel Quinn as chief executive. He has previously worked at Go Outdoors and Tesco. That could point to a broadening of the range of products that will be sold by the fishing tackle retailer. Interim revenues fell from £4.1m to £3.4m, while the loss was £2.5m, which includes stock write downs and other one-off costs. Five outlets have been closed.
Trinity Exploration (TRIN) increased its oil and gas production in the first half and also achieved higher prices. The Trinidad-focused oil and gas producer increased interim revenues by 49% to $30.1m and generated $5m of cash from operating activities. There was net cash of $19m at the end of June 2018.
Gama Aviation (GMAA) increased interim revenues by 3% to $104.6m, with a lower contribution from the ground maintenance activities offset by higher revenues from the air services operations. A better second half should enable Gama to increase its full year pre-tax profit from $17.1m to $19.9m.
Oil and gas producer and explorer Cabot Energy (CAB) increased its interim revenues from $1.8m to $7.5m thanks to higher production in Canada, where Cabot took full control earlier this year. Even so, there was still a $4.2m first half loss, mainly due to exceptional costs, following the installing of a new management team. Management is in talks with potential farm-in partners for some of its Italian assets. That would enable Cabot to focus its investment in Canada. There was $6.2m in the bank at the end of June 2018, although some of that cash could be needed to complete the purchase of an Italian producing asset.
Immupharma (IMM) had £9m in the bank at the end of June 2018. The group is collaborating with Icanthera, which will in-licence the Nucant cancer programme, which has completed two phase 1 trials. Immupharma is also seeking to divest its subsidiary Ureka, while retaining an interest in the potential of the operations. Even though the results of the Lupuzor phase III trial were disappointing, a deal has been signed for Lupuzor to be provided via a Managed Access Programme. An open label extension study for Lupuzor will report by next summer.
Park Group (PKG) says that it has grown its cash balances and both the consumer and corporate businesses are trading well. Park is on course for a full year profit of £13.6m.
Active Energy (AEG) reported a higher interim loss. This was a period when $1.32m was spent on the development of the CoalSwitch plant. Along with its partner, Active has submitted an EU grant application for the SuperFuel coal slurry recovery technology and a decision should be made before the end of the year. There is also optimism about gaining a Crown Timber Licence for Newfoundland and Labrador.
Destiny Pharma (DEST) still has cash of £15.1m even though costs were increased in the first half. Investment in trials means that cash could fall to £10m by the end of the year. The phase I safety study for the use of XF-73 to prevent surgical infections should be completed by the end of this year and a phase IIb trial could commence early next year. A second formulation of XF-73 is being developed for dermal infections and diabetic foot ulcers in particular.
Midatech Pharma (MTPH) plans to sell its US subsidiary, which it acquired in 2015 when it gained its Nasdaq listing. Midatech will receive an initial $13m for the cancer care products supplier. The cash will be used for the research and development operations and paying off the loan from MidCap.
Bosch has invested £9m in fuel cell technology developer Ceres Power Holdings (CWR) in return for a 4.4% stake. Weichai Power will invest a further £1m to maintain its 10% stake.
There was a 17% fall in gold processed by Goldplat (GDP) in the year to June 2018, but sales only dipped from 40,285 ounces to 39,400 ounces. Revenues increased by 7% to £33.8m. The Kilimapesa gold mine continues to disappoint and lose money. A lower contribution from the Ghana processing operations and a bad debt were the main reasons behind the fall in pre-tax profit from £2.84m to £1.79m. Goldplat is seeking other mine investments, not necessarily in Africa. There was £1.54m in the bank.
Veltyco (VLTY) has managed to reduce its receivables but the were still €12.6m at the end of June 2018. Revenues for the previous six months were €8.9m. Net cash was €1m. Veltyco will launch its own financial trading brand in the fourth quarter.
Stride Gaming (STR) continues to be hit by the stagnation of the online bingo market but the decline in pre-tax profit is set to be in line with expectations. In the year to August 2019, pre-tax profit is expected to fall further from £14.2m to £13.8m. There will be a £4m provision for the recent fine from the UK gambling authorities.
Strategic Minerals (SML) reported a jump in interim pre-tax profit from $158,000 to $2.69m, but this did not come through in cash during the period. That is because £2.46m of the profit came from a gain based on the payment for the Leigh Creek copper mine below its asset value.
Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) is moving towards the point where it can submit an IND application to the FDA for CDX antibodies. There is initial data that CDX antibodies can attack and eliminate Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in vitro. Hemogenyx already has an agreement with a global pharma company for this technology. Northland has been appointed as broker.
World Trade Systems (WTS) reported a drop in interim revenues from £10.1m to £6.3m and it has fallen into loss. Trading has been tough for the health food subsidiary. This is set to continue. Trading in the shares has been suspended for more than a decade and the board says that is working towards a resumption of trading on the premium segment of the Main Market.
WideCells Group (WDC) has gained financing of up to £2.7m from the European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund. The facility is convertible into shares and has warrants attached. The cash will be invested in the stem cell storage and insurance operations. The BabyCells stem cell storage service has been launched. Group revenues remain modest and WideCells made an interim loss of more than £2m. There was £1.73m in the bank at the end of June, offset by debt of £1.17m.
Investment company London Financial and Investment Group (LFI) has maintained its NAV at 65.4p a share, despite a decline in value of its stake in Finsbury Food (FIF), and the total dividend has been edged up to 1.15p a share. The share price is 42.5p.
Standard list shell Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) still had £1.4m in the bank at the end of June 2018 following its decision to change its strategy from telecoms to blockchain acquisitions. Management is analysing potential acquisitions.
Kent-based brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has acquired Village Green Restaurants, the operator of five freehold pub restaurants in the Maidstone and Ashford area, for £11.85m. The business made an operating profit of £900,000 on revenues of £6.6m in the year to October 2016. The cash for the acquisition has come from an extended credit facility.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) says that it is evaluating approaches from mining companies concerning IMC’s ten base metal licences in Ireland. IMC has already secured Koza as partner for its gold licences. IMC’s full year loss was slightly lower at £418,000. There was less than £4,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016.
Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) floated on 29 November at 100p a share and ended the week at 100.5p (98p/103p). The residential property investor raised just over £1m in an offer for subscription and is capitalised at £3.3m. The REIT has acquired the assets of the Walls & Futures London Growth Fund and the additional cash will be used to invest in development and redevelopment assets in cities and towns around the UK. The focus is the private renting and social housing sectors.
Hearing and mobility products retailer DHAIS (DHAP) has been hit by a further decline in its mobility business. Three mobility stores have been sold and two others closed, leaving ten stores. The hearing aid division is the main focus. In the year to June 2016, revenues fell from £10.6m to £9.86m, while the loss increased from £186,000 to £295,000. There is £216,000 in the bank and cash was generated in the period but it went towards the regular repayment of an interest free loan from a hearing aid manufacturer. A notional interest charge is recognised on this loan, which is why there is positive cash flow despite the loss.
Welney (WENP) is still seeking a new direction and talking to potential funders and recipients of investment. There was £52 in the bank at the end of June 2016. Management admits it will need more cash this year and that is why the accounts are prepared on a going concern basis. The directors are not taking fees for the time being and loan note holders have agreed not to ask for them to be redeemed for at least the next 12 months. The investment in Nasdaq-listed Green Automotive Co has performed poorly and is illiquid.
Exploration company NQ Minerals (NQMI) has appointed Daniel Stewart as its broker as part of a proposed move to the standard list.
A strong second half meant that enterprise software provider Sanderson (SND) grew its full year revenues by 11% to £21.3m and ended the year with a strong order book. New customer orders were 18% of revenues – a higher level than normal. There was additional investment in development and support but underlying pre-tax profit still improved from £2.91m to £3.44m. There is £4.34m in the bank. The retail, manufacturing and logistics operations all have stronger order books than normal. A 2016-17 profit of £3.7m is forecast.
Park Group (PKG) made a relatively small interim loss. The consumer and corporate gift voucher and prepaid card business is still highly seasonal with the Christmas savings business maintaining its importance. New product launches will continue to reduce the importance, though, as will the acquisition of Fisher Moy International, which brings with it some large corporate clients. An increase in full year profit from £11.9m to £12.7m is forecast.
A strong performance in the industrials division of Gooch & Housego (GHH) offset flatter performances elsewhere. Acquisitions masked an underlying decline in defence and electronics and revenues also fell in the he much smaller life sciences division, which requires acquisitions itself in order to build its scale. Pre-tax profit was slightly better than expected at £14.2m. Despite spending on acquisitions, there is still net cash of £11.7m and the total dividend has been raised by 10% to 9p a share. The order book is worth £52.8m but it covers more than one year. A full year profit of £15.5m is forecast.
Active Energy (AEG) has received a $6m, five year unsecured loan facility to finance the construction of a reference plant for its CoalSwitch technology. The North American plant will have an annual capacity o 35,000 tonnes. This plant could generate revenues of $6.3m a year. CoalSwitch technology can use low value wood, pulp and saw-mill by-products to produce a biomass fuel that can be mixed with coal, or replace coal, in coal-fired power stations. The interest rate on the loan is 8%.
Billing and customer relationship software provider Cerillion (CER) reported annualised revenues 6% ahead at £14.8m but the mix of revenues changed with software revenues one-fifth higher. Underlying pre-tax profit edged ahead to £2.3m. The total dividend is 3.9p a share. A $2.8m (£2.4m) contract has been won in the Americas, which is the second phase of an existing contract. Cerillion should be able to achieve a pre-tax profit of £2.7m this year with scope to expand the customer base outside of the mobile sector in the next few years.
TechFinancials (TECH) will receive a $1.02m dividend from its 51%-owned joint venture DragonFinancials. The dividend relates to the nine months to September 2016. This cash inflow should make it more likely that TechFinancials will restart paying its won dividends. TechFinancials had already said that its 2016 profit will be ahead of market expectations. House broker Northland forecasts a 0.42 cents a share dividend for the 2016 financial year and a decision will be made in early 2017. That level of dividend would be more than two times covered by forecast earnings.
Premier African Minerals (PREM) has increased the open pit mineral resource estimate at the RHA tungsten mine in Zimbabwe to 20.9 million tonnes at a grade of 2.34kg/t. The maiden mineral resource estimate for the underground mine is 1.3 million tonnes at a grade of 4.25kg/t. The mine could last 40 years. Premier owns 49% of RHA.
There was an organic sales decline of 7% in the first half at electronic components manufacturer distributor Acal (ACL) but better margins and acquisitions helped earnings per share grow by 10%. Order levels were stronger in the second quarter and this augurs well for the second half.
Bluebird Merchant (BMV) is acquiring 100% of the Batangas gold project, where it previously held a 25% stake. Bluebird is issuing 1.25 million shares and it will pay a 1% royalty in return for taking full control of the project in the Philippines, which has a JORC resource of 445,000 ounces of gold and gold equivalent. The deal also means that Bluebird will have access to $20m of tax losses.
Opera Investments (OPRA)has reassured investors that the plan to acquire the Omweru and Lubando gold projects from Kibo Mining (KIBO) continues to make progress and a fundraising should happen in the New Year. The deal was first announced in September.
Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) has acquired 1-5 Upper Market Square in Hanley for £9m. The tenants are Boots and National Westminster Bank. Prior to this deal, property holdings has grown 23% to £29.5m at the end of April 2016, while the NAV is £17.9m. The sale of Hume House for £3.55m – more than double the 2014 purchase price – should be completed by the end of 2016. Economic uncertainty has made it difficult to complete other deals. Management believes it can increase the size of the portfolio to £50m within in the next year without the need for more cash from shareholders.
DXS International (DXSP), which provides software for clinical commissioning groups and GPs. Has reported a one-fifth increase in revenues to £3.25m in the year to April 2016. Pre-tax profit improved from £27,000 to £46,000. Progress has been held back by NHS but DXS continues to investment in developing software in order to widen the range it can offer. There was £315,000 in the bank at the end of April 2016 and debt has been reduced.
Hellenic Capital (HECP) continues to seek an acquisition and it had £82,600 in the bank at the end of June 2016. Mark Jackson of Quetzal Securities, which has acquired a 29.9% stake, partly from director Gavin Burnell, at 0.3784p a share, has been appointed a Hellenic director.
Ganapati (GANP) is not proceeding with the existing application for a gaming licence in the UK and will instead apply via new Maltese subsidiary Ganapati (Malta) Ltd. There will be licence applications to the regulators in the UK and Malta.
Investment company Western Selection (WSE) increased its NAV from 75p a share to 79p a share in the year to June 2016. Since then £520,000 has been raised from selling 200,000 shares in toiletries supplier Swallowfield. That is a gain of £180,000 before expenses. The final dividend is 1.05p a share, making an unchanged total for the year to 2.1p a share.
WMC Retail Partners (WELL) has agreed an extended lease on Cornish World Market on better terms and it will be able to commence the new retail development at the front of the market. More funding will be required for this and WMC is asking shareholders to allow it to issue up to £500,000 of five year secured loan stock. Two related parties will subscribe for £400,000 to replace existing loans. This is part of a £1.96m funding package with £1.26m coming from the bank and £300,000 from the landlord. A capital reorganisation will reduce the par value of the shares from 50p to 5p so that money can be raised through share issues. The general meeting will be held on 21 October.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has lent a further £70,000 to 4 Navitas (Green Energy Solutions) Ltd. This takes the amount loaned to the Lancashire-based to £497,500 and this is repayable at the end of 2015. The loans have an interest rate of 12% a year. The cash will be used to acquire composite materials for manufacturing an upgraded version of the 4N-VAWT vertical axis wind turbine designed in partnership with Siemens. The wind turbine is lower cost and smaller.
Employee owned business finance provider Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has lent and invested more than £5m in its portfolio companies. There have been four main loans and investments in the most recent quarter. The NAV is 54.5p a share.
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has made its first investment into an initial coin offering (ICO) of SingularDTV. It has invested £5,605 for 462,931 SNGLS tokens that provide a claim to a portion of revenues and IP to show content – there are no voting rights. The tokens can be traded on the Consensys blockchain platform. The idea behind the business is to enable people to directly reward creators of content so that less is taken in fees.
Trading in the shares of DagangHalal (DGHL) has been suspended after three directors failed to be re-elected at the AGM. This leaves three remaining directors. The shares will remain suspended until there is further information about the composition of the board.
Investment company Draganfly Investment (DRG) is loaning IP developer AltEnergis (www.altenergis.co.uk) £60,000 for one year at an annual interest rate of 8%. AltEnergis was formed in 2011 and lost £53,000 last year. At the end of 2015, net liabilities were £11,000 but there is no value placed on the development of five technologies. The company’s strategy is to develop technologies that will attract deals with multinationals. There is a piezoelectric technology that the company believes can be adapted to use vibrational energy/human movement to recharge a phone on the move. This was developed with Swansea University and Solar Press Ltd. There is a gearbox condition monitoring technology being developed with Oxford University and GSS Avionics. At the time of its 2015 annual report, AltEnergis says that it was hoping to complete a reverse takeover of an AIM-quoted company and raise at least £1m.
Mariana Resources (MARL) has acquired the early stage Bondoukou gold project in Cote d’Ivoire. The deal involves acquiring 80% of the holding company in return for $544,274 in shares plus paying obligations of $89,000 and lending $56,000 to the company to pay other loans. Up to $3.5m more could be paid based on the mineral resource defined. This is based on $0.5/ounce up to one million ounces and $1/ounce after that.
Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) is buying Bradford-based underlay manufacturer Ezi Floor in a deal that will be earnings enhancing this year. Victoria is paying £13m – £6.5m immediately and the rest over four years – with up to £6.5m payable depending on the achievement of targets. Earnings per share forecasts for this year have been upgraded by 4% to 23.8p and by 10% next year to 26.5p a share. Net debt is forecast at £54.7m at the end of this financial year.
Engineer Avingtrans (AVG) has announced details of its tender offer that will pay out £28m to shareholders. Each shareholder can tender up to 50% of their shareholding at a tender price of 200p a share – a 4.2% premium to the share price at the end of September. There is potential to tender more than 50% of a shareholding if others do not tender their full share. There will be 14 million shares left in issue.
DP Poland (DPP) is raising £3.2m at 48p a share. The previous placing was at 15.8p a share. There was still net cash of £5.39m at the end of June 2016 but management wants to accelerate the store opening programme. The new target is 100 stores by 2020. There are currently 29, including 16 corporately managed, in seven Polish cities. The interim loss was £944,000.
Park Group (PKG) is acquiring corporate employee and customer engagement company Fisher Moy International. The two companies have been working together for more than one year. This deal should be modestly earnings enhancing in the first full year and provides a new base in Buckinghamshire.
Digital media provider Milestone (MSG) is collaborating with the Social Stock Exchange, which currently has 44 companies as members. The two organisations will introduce new members to each other , enter joint promotions and also establish an investment fund. Milestone will also offer training expertise.
Versarien (VRS) is acquiring plastics manufacturing business AAC Cyroma in order to develop a graphene-enhanced plastics manufacturing operation. Versarien is paying an initial £1.925m with up to £200,000 more payable depending on profit figures in 2017 and 2018. – 2015 pre-tax profit was £166,000.
Software provider Gresham Computing (GHT) has agreed to pay up to £4.55m for C24 Technologies in order to expand its data integrity business in the financial markets. The deal doubles the customer base and should be earnings enhancing next year. Gresham raised £3.32m at 105p a share.
Industrial fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) continues to trade strongly in the first half of its financial year and sterling weakness will be a further help in the second half. A new distribution centre has been opened in Barcelona. The profit forecast for the year to March 2016 has been raised from £16.9m to £17.6m to take account of currency movements.
Ashtead AHD continued to go from strength to strength during its fourth quarter ending on the 30th April. Revenue for the quarter rose by 18%, profit before tax by 38% and earnings per share by 44%. This compares very favourably with the full year figures showing rises of 19% in revenue, 24% in profit before tax and 27% in earnings per share. The big bonus for shareholders is the proposed final dividend of 18.5p which will mean a 48% rise for the full year.
Eckoh ECK is increasing its full year dividend by 20% after revenue to 31st March rose by 31% and in the US where it claims tremendous progress was made, revenue skyrocketed from £0.2m to £4m., giving Eckoh its third successive year of double digit revenue and margin growth. Adjusted operating profit rose by 22% and EBITDA by 20%.
Ted Baker TED Despite challenging external trading conditions, the strength of the brands saw retail sales for the 19 weeks from 31st January, rise by 12.7%, wholesale by 7.3% and e commerce sales by 32.3%.
Crest Nicholson CRST The government fueled housing bonanza continues apace allowing Crest to increase its completions for the 6 months to to 30th April by 7%. Revenue rose by 22% and both profit before tax and basic earnings per share were up by 25%. Forward sales at mid June were up by 19% on a year ago.
Blockchain technology Coinsilium Group (COIN) has joined ISDX and raised £1m from a placing at 10p a share. The Seedrs crowdfunding offer raised an additional £123,000 at 10p a share from 161 investors. Daniel Stewart has been appointed joint broker and granted a warrant to subscribe for one million shares exercisable at 20p a share. The share price ended the first day of trading at 11p, valuing the company at £7.8m.
Renewable energy generator and supplier Good Energy (GOOD) is applying for a dual quotation on the Social Impact segment of the ISDX Growth Market 41 months after it switched from ISDX to AIM. A placing at 85p a share in July 2012 valued Good Energy at £10.6m. The share price has risen to 205p, valuing the company at £30.5m. Since joining AIM, Good Energy has paid dividends of 10.6p a share.
Personal care products supplier Sutherland Health Group (SHGP) reported a small reduction in its interim loss from £38,000 to £33,000 even though revenues fell from £343,000 to £286,000 in the six months to September 2015. Sales to the NHS are declining but online sales are being built up. There was £28,000 in the bank at the end of September 2015.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) increased its annual revenues from £212,000 to £523,000, while unrealised investment gains jumped from £34,000 to £459,000. A pre-tax profit was reported for the year to August 2015 but excluding the unrealised gains there was a small loss. There was an additional £400,000 invested during the year. The NAV was £4.13m at the end of August 2015. A further four investments have been made since then, including an investment in a new company, which takes the total of unquoted investments to 12.
Speciality pharma company Diurnal (DNL), which is an investee company of former AIM company Fusion IP (now a part of IP Group), joined AIM on Christmas Eve. Diurnal was spun out of Sheffield University but it is now based in Cardiff – Finance Wales has a 22.1% stake. Founder Professor Richard Ross is still with the company and owns 3%. A placing at 144p a share raised £25.4m, before £1.6m of costs, and values Diurnal at £75.2m. An additional £4.65m was raised via a convertible issue. Diurnal Ltd, now a subsidiary of the company that joined AIM, had £6m in the bank at the end of June 2015. There are two main treatments in development are Infacourt and Chronocourt, which are treatments for diseases of the adrenal gland. Infacourt is the first product designed for children of less than six years old suffering from Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia and Adrenal Insufficiency. Chronocourt mimics the body’s natural cortisol circadian rhythm which should improve disease control in the same areas as Infacourt. Longer-term, Diurnal wants to become a wider-based endocrinology treatments specialist. There is currently a phase III trial in Europe for Infacourt and a phase III trial of Chronocourt is expected to start in the first quarter of 2016. IP Group still owns 45.6% of Diurnal. The share price ended the first day at 153p.
Den Harthogh is making a recommended 9p a share cash offer for Interbulk (INB), which values the bulk transport container rental business at £42.1m. The bid is more than double the previous closing price. Interbulk has high borrowings – net debt was £53.2m at the end of September 2015 – and they come up for renewal in March 2017. The two companies have a good geographic fit. In the year to September 2015, revenues fell from £256.3m to £225.3m and underlying pre-tax profit was flat at £3.16m.
EKF Diagnostics (EKF) is selling its loss-making molecular diagnostics business back to its co-founders. Selah Genomics was acquired for $35.6m in shares during April 2014 and it had been in the EKF balance sheet at £41.4m. The disposal consideration is nominal and the balance sheet value is being written off. There should be annual cost savings of £2m for EKF which will either receive 10% of the proceeds of the future disposal of Selah or if new equity is raised within 12 months EKF will obtain a 10% stake. EKF is borrowing £3m from Zwanziger Family Ventures, where non-executive chairman Ron Zwanzinger has interests, at an interest rate fixed at 5 percentage points above LIBOR. The debt is secured via second charge on EKF’s assets – HSBC has the first charge. The loan can be converted at 14.25p a share – a 20% premium to the market price at the time – or at a 15% discount to the next substantial fundraising.
Paragon Diamonds has not found a new nominated adviser and its quotation will be cancelled on 29 December. Paragon is still trying to raise the cash to bring the Lemphane kimberlite pipe project in Lesotho to production and trying to obtain an exploration licence for the Mothae kimberlite resource. Management hopes to obtain another London quotation later in 2016.
Non-executive chairman Peter Johnson and his interests have sold 50.2 million shares in Park Group (PKG) at 65p each. This is the whole of their 27.3% stake. Artemis has increased its stake to 6.16%, while Schroders has raised its stake to 13%.
Castle Street Investments (CSI) is in negotiations with a potential IT managed services acquisition but the cash shell has failed to secure an acquisition within 12 months so trading in the shares has been suspended. Cash, excluding liabilities should be £22m at the end of 2015 but further cash will be required to pay for the acquisition and finance its growth.
Tracsis (TRCS) is selling its Australian business to its management. This company became part of the business after the Sky High acquisition. Tracsis will focus on its core markets and it does not believe the Australian data capture operation, which made a pre-tax profit of £250,000 on revenues of £2.2m in the year to July 2015, has critical mass. The initial payment is A$285,000 with deferred consideration of A$799,000 payable over three years.
The board of ISG Group (ISG) says that the 143p a share bid from Cathexis does not offer an adequate premium for control. The argument is that the level of the offer does not reflect recent growth and future potential of the fit-out business. Investment company Cathexis took its 29.6% stake at a much lower share price.