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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 May 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 3 May 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Decentralised finance (DeFi) focused investment company Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) raised £9m at 3p a share. The share price closed at 4.15p (3.8p/4.5p) and there were just over one million shares traded on the first day. The market capitalisation is £25.4m. Shares were originally issued at below the placing price and the underlying NAV is 1.8p a share. Dispersion has already made two investments, although one of those is a £210,000 investment in NFT Investments, which has management in common, at the equivalent of 7p a share. NFT’s placing was at 5p a share and the investment was made after the shares commenced trading. Since then, the share price has fallen to 3.85p (3.7p/4p).

Semper Fortis Esports (SEMP) has the management experience to exploit the fast-growing esports sector. The board includes football adviser Keith Harris. Chief executive Kevin Soltani was a co-owner of an esports franchise in MENA and co-founded the GIMA Esports Agency with chief operating officer Jassem Osseiran. The Semper Fortis Esports shareholder register includes the likes of Chris Akers. Semper Fortis Esports raised £2.5m, after expenses, at 1p a share. Pro forma net assets are £2.13m, with £2.15m cash in the bank. The pro forma NAV is just over 0.5p a share. The share price ended the week at 3.95p (3.8p/4.1p).

Greencare Capital (GRE) has invested £100,000 in Voyager Life, as part of a £671,000 before an Aquis flotation. Voyager Life supplies CBD and hemp seed oil products. This follows the £100,000 investment in CBD products supplier Clearly Supplements in the form of a 5% convertible loan. The Covid-19 pandemic and legislation changes hampered the planned reverse takeover, and it did not go ahead. There should still be more than £1m in cash in the balance sheet after the investments.

Revenues fell 59% to £8.49m at Newbury Racecourse (NYR) and there was a loss of £2.27m. Only four race meetings had people attending last year. There were 20 race days last year and there will be ten by 17 May this year. There was £1.5m raised from the sale of surplus land. There was £5.53m in the bank at the end of 2020. Net assets were £48.9m, down from £51.4m.

Spirits maker British Honey (BHC) says that first quarter revenues, excluding hand sanitisers, increased by one-quarter to £1.33m. The integration of Union Distillers is nearly complete. A new bottling line will increase capacity to four million bottles a year by the end of 2021. A new bottling line for miniatures is also being installed.

Gunsynd (GUN) has made a £200,000 in DiscovOre (ORE) at 2p a share. DiscovOre is changing its investing strategy to focus on the medical psychedelic sector.

Supported housing provider Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) says that NAV has fallen by 5% to 102p a share. John D Wood values the company’s properties at £3.2m. The company collected 100% of rents last year. Virgata Services has to publish an offer document by 6 May.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has invested $2.5m in convertible loan notes in standard listed Mustang Energy (MUST) as part of a fundraising to pay for a 22.1% stake in VFFB-H, which owns 50% of Enerox, an Austria-based vanadium redox flow battery manufacturer. AIM-quoted Bushveld Minerals (BMN) is the majority shareholder in VFFB-H. Enerox plans to raise £30m. Trading has been suspended in Mustang Energy shares.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) is proceeding with the acquisition of the Monte Muambe rare earths project. The contract is being finalised and then Altona will start the earn-in to progress towards a 70% stake in the project. Altona is still assessing other projects. An application has been filed for a standard listing.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has raised £42,000 at 0.00258065 a share, plus £90,000 via a convertible loan facility at the same conversion price as the placing. Simon Grant-Rennick has been appointed executive chairman and Burns Singh Tennent Bhohi, who has taken a 14.8% stake, as an executive director.

Two locations have shown strong gold intersection at surfaces at NQ Minerals (NQMI) 100%-owned Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania. The surface potential could add significant resources to Beaconsfield.

Positive results have been reported by BWA Group (BWAP) from the sampling at the Nkoteng rutile sands project in Cameroon. There are elevated intervals of rutile-ilmenite, zircon and kyanite over continuous zones.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has signed an Africa-focused distribution agreement with Rigworld Solutions. This formalises and earlier agreement.

Watchstone Group (WTG) has made the switch from AIM to Aquis.

Coinsilium (COIN) has raised £18,500 from the sale of treasury shares at 18.5p each.

AIM

Hurricane Energy (HUR), which at one time was a constituent of the AIM 50, is restructuring its balance sheet. This would involve swapping $50m of the principal of the company’s convertible bonds into 95% of the enlarged share capital. The terms of the remaining $180m of bonds will be amended. The business will focus on extending the oil production case for the Lancaster 205/21a-6 well.

Construction services consultancy Driver (DRV) says that its latest underlying interim profit will be slightly lower than for the same period last year, which was £1.25m. That is a strong comparative period. Lockdowns have varied in the different operational countries. Driver also lost a team in Asia Pacific to a rival. The focus is higher margin work and activity levels are improving. Net cash was £7.2m at the end of March 2021. The interims will be published on 8 June.

Pennant International (PEN) fell into loss in 2020 and it should manage to return to profit this year. Forecast revenues of £16m are 90% covered by the order book. Pennant wants to win more business in the rail sector.

Pollen Street Capital is bidding 75p a share for spend control software supplier Proactis (PHD) and the board is recommending the offer, which values the company at £71.6m. Pollen Street has the finance to accelerate growth. The bid is at 24 times prospective 2020-21 earnings, falling to 19 next year.

Building software supplier Eleco (ELCO) says that first quarter revenues were 9% ahead at £7m, while year-on-year pre-tax profit was one-fifth higher. Net cash was £7.9m at the end of March 2021. A general meeting has been requisitioned so that shareholders can vote on the re-election of executive chairman Serena Lang and non-executive director Kevin Craig, a resolution to make it compulsory for all directors to come up for re-election at every AGM and a vote on the remuneration report in the 2020 accounts.

Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) had an improved second half and momentum is continuing into next year. In 2020, revenues fell from £49.3m to £40.3m, but earnings halved from 6.3p a share to 3.1p a share.

President Energy (PPC) expects to bring the EV-1001 well on the Estancia Vieja gas field into production during May. The drill rig will be moved to the next location. President is expected to return to profit in 2020.

Amiad Water Systems (AFS) plans to transfer its quotation to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

MAIN MARKET

In 2020, Argo Blockchain (ARB) increased revenues from £8.6m to £19m, but it made a small loss. Cash inflow from operating activities was £12.3m, according to finnCap. This year a pre-tax profit of £30m is forecast, although working capital will consume most of the cash generated even before significant capital expenditure.

Moulded plastic parts manufacturer Carclo (CAR) says that it has maintained its full year revenues for plastics, but there was a decline in aerospace revenues, and made a profit. Net debt has been reduced from £22.1m to £20m.

InnovaDerma (IDP) raised an additional £500,000 in an open offer and that took the total raised to £4.5m. This will fund ecommerce investment.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 14 December 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Incanthera (INC) says that study results for Sol, a sun cream that prevents skin cancer, have been better than expected. There is significantly greater dermal delivery by Sol compared with four rival products and it was found to be a non-irritant. The cream exceeds bioequivalence compared with oral treatments. A new patent is being filed which will extend the protection until 2041. Incanthera had £433,000 in the bank at the end of September 2020 and outgoings are low. The cash will last well into 2021 Incanthera is seeking a partner to license Sol and launch the product, which could lead to an upfront payment. Incanthera has already licensed potential cancer treatment EP0015 to Ellipses Pharma. There are other earlier stage treatments being developed, including Duo-C, which is a potential treatment for bladder cancer.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) is acquiring vehicle finance provider Asset Alliance, which specialises in coaches and trucks, for £4.1m. Arbuthnot can use its own deposit base to provide finance for the acquisition, which should be earnings enhancing in 2021.

In the year to May 2020, mechanical and engineering services provider Fuel Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) reported a decline in pre-tax profit from £553,000 to £354,000 and a fall in revenues from £21.8m to £19.8m. The decline in revenues came from the power generation division, while water and sewerage revenues were slightly higher. Cash in the bank has improved from £4.8m to £5.96m.

SulNOX (SNOX) has signed a collaboration agreement with Ghana-based Rigworld, which will market the company’s fuel conditioner and heavy fuel emulsifier products in Africa. Rigworld has identified the mining sector as an initial opportunity.

Chris Akers has taken a 4.08% stake in Gunsynd (GUN). Investee company Rincon Resources has had its ASX listing delayed. Pacific Nickel, formerly Malachite, has raised $3.8m for the exploration of nickel projects in the Solomon Islands.

World High Life (LIFE) generated revenues of £1.69m in the year to June 2020. Impairment goodwill of £7.4m increased the full year loss to £12.7m. Management continues to seek further CBD investment opportunities.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has launched new membership scheme Rutherford Direct. The healthcare plan focuses on cancer cover and provides the cost of treatment and care for people diagnosed with cancer.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has raised £1.75m at 10p a share in order to finance exploration at the Red Setter project in Western Australia. There will also be additional exploration in Queensland.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has signed an agreement with Vietnam-based RedFOX Labs, which will lead to the development of a range of virtual asset and digital collectible marketplaces. It will also cover the trading of non-fungible tokens.

Cairn has been replaced Turner Pope as broker to Primorus Investments (PRIM) as well as nominated adviser. Primorus is leaving Aquis Stock Exchange on 24 December as part of cost saving measures.

AIM

IMImobile (IMO) has agreed a 595p a share bid from Cisco Systems, which values the communications services company at £543m. This is a good add-on service for Cisco.

ULS Technology (ULS) has sold its CAL subsidiary for £27m, so that it can concentrate on its core eConceyancer platform and its digital investment. In the six months to September 2020, the group market share of purchases and sales was slightly lower but remortgage market share rose from 4.8% to 6.8%. The sale of CAL will reduce the numbers, but the mix of business should not change. ULS managed to make a small interim profit on reduced revenues.

Eqtec (EQT) has signed an agreement to acquire full ownership of the Deeside refuse derived fuel project. Eqtec is talking to the local authority and is pursuing additional planning permissions for the site so the company’s gasification technology can be used. Financing is being secured.

Access Intelligence (ACC) has raised £10m in a heavily oversubscribed placing at 80p a share. This cash will fund international expansion for its SaaS products.

Bion (BION) has entered the solar power market and it has agreed to acquire existing solar assets. The company is purchasing a 77% stake in rooftop solar panels that supply 0.95MW of electricity. The total cost will be RM6m. The assets should generate a profit of RM400,000 a year from 2021.

Housebuilder Abbey (ABBY) has recommended a 1575p a share cash offer from Gallagher Holdings for the minority stake it does not own. The Irish housebuilder is valued at £328.8m and the remaining 4.4% shareholding will cost £14.4m.

Roadside convenience retailer Applegreen (APGN) has been approached by its founders and management team with a €5.75 a share cash offer. The independent directors are considering the offer.

Iron deficiency products developer Shield Therapeutics (STX) says that discussions with potential licensees for the US rights to Accrufer will not be completed by the end of the year as had been hoped. Shield would need up to $40m to launch the treatment in the US if it did it on its own. A loan facility will help Shield to have working capital well into next year.

MAIN MARKET

S and U (SUS) says trading in its car finance and property bridging loans businesses has rebounded since the end of July. A background of higher demand and strong used car price growth means that current net receivables are £253m even though there was poor demand earlier in 2020. Third quarter collection rates were 87.5% of due payments. Aspen Bridging has higher net receivables than one year ago.

Tirupati Graphite (TGR) is set to join the standard list on Monday. It is an integrated graphite mining and processing business. Mining has commenced in Madagascar and the Indian processing facility was opened last year. There are plans to move into the graphene market. Management has decades of experience in the graphite industry.

Textile materials and chemicals company HeiQ (HEIQ) has started trading on the standard list following the reversal into Auctus Growth. A placing and subscription raised £60m at 112p a share. The share price ended the week at 118.5p.

CML Microsystems (CML) is selling its storage division so that it can concentrate on its communications division. The disposal to Swissbit will raise $49m in cash and it should be completed early in 2021. Net cash was £7.35m at the end of September 2020.

BATM (BVC) has delivered the first Celitron instrument for the recovery of protein and oils from insects.

Cyprus-focused explorer Chesterfield Resources (CHF) has raised £2.5m from a share issue at 9p, with £2.1m of the cash coming from Polymetal International.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 30 November 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Healthcare IT supplier DXS International (DXSP) had £1.2m in cash at the end of October 2020. Net cash was £584,000, following the capitalisation of £568,000 of development spending. Interim revenues improved by 3% to £1.72m but progress was held back by Covid-19. Pre-tax profit jumped from £90,000 to £151,000 due to lower admin costs.

Imperial X (IMPP) is continuing its due diligence on previously announced acquisitions of mining and royalty interests and the plan is to apply for a standard listing when the acquisitions are completed.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) has invested $148,000 in RenewSenses, which has developed a wearable device for the visually impaired. The cash will help to complete the development of the A.I. Cane product, which is a camera attached to a handheld device and this enables obstacles to be identified.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has invested a further £75,000 in a convertible loan note issued by vitamin-fortified juices and smoothies Coldpress Foods. The annual interest rate is 15%. S-Ventures has a 3.3% stake in Coldpress.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has terminated options over 17.8 million shares held by three individuals and has paid a total of £140,000 in compensation. These options could have been exercised at 6p a share or 8p a share and were equivalent to 11.3% of the potentially enlarged share capital. Primorus has decided to drop the Aquis quotation on 24 December and keep the AIM quote. This and a reduction in director pay will reduce costs by more than £200,000 a year.

Formation Group (FRM) is withdrawing from the Aquis Stock Exchange on 31 December.

Good Energy (GOOD) has appointed Canaccord Genuity as joint broker.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised a further £335,000 at 5p a share and 5.5p a share.

Aquis Stock Exchange has launched a market maker incentive scheme. The market makers will offer two-way prices for 505 of stocks on the Apex segment with a maximum spread of 5%. There should be 25 companies on the Apex segment. Market makers will receive warrants for shares in the Aquis Stock Exchange with the best performers gaining the largest percentage. They could earn up to 19.9% of the market over a three year period. Early adopters include Canaccord Genuity, Liberum, Peel Hunt, Shore Capital, Stifel and Winterflood.

Liberum Capital and Zeus Capital have been approved as corporate advisers for the Aquis Stock Exchange.

AIM

Kistos (KIST) began trading on AIM on 25 November. The investment company raised £30.2m after expenses and the market capitalisation was £40.3m. The plan is to seek acquisitions in the oil and gas sector. The team behind Kist is the same as for RockRose Energy. The share price has risen from 100p to 118.2p.

Cyber security software and services provider Shearwater (SWG) reported a slump in revenues, but the decline was in lower margin products. There were also overhead reductions. That meant that there was a profit before amortisation of acquired intangibles. Orders were delayed but there was still a £1.7m cash inflow from operations. Net cash was £3m at the end of September 2020. Two-fifths of revenues are recurring, and the long-term outlook is good.

Circle Property (CRC) reported a 2p a share decline in NAV to 283p a share at the end of September 2020. Loan to value is 42% and there is £37.7m of a loan facility still undrawn. New lettings have been secured since March and rent collections have been strong. The interim dividend is 2.5p a share.

Telecoms testing instrumentation supplier Calnex Solutions (CLX) has made an impressive start to its time on AIM with interim figures that show near-doubled underlying pre-tax profit of £2.3m. This has led to an upgrade of the full year profit expectations to £2.9m. The cash being generated is enabling additional development spending.

IG Design (IGR) benefitted from a full contribution from the CSS acquisition, which has also reduced the seasonality of the group. Even so, continuing operations sales held up well. There is still scope for additional demand for Christmas wrapping and gift products, but time is running out for any significant improvement. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to be flat at $35m, although shares issued to fund the CSS acquisition mean that there would be a one-fifth decline in earnings per share to 25.5 cents. There should be a significant improvement next year.

First Property (FPO) has significantly reduced its debt following the sale of a property in Poland. This puts it in a good position to take advantage of any opportunities over the next year or so. Short-term income has declined and there were no performance fees. NAV is 54.3p a share. The interim dividend is maintained at 0.45p a share.

Appreciate (APP) has reinstated its dividend and it proposes an interim of 0.4p a share. Interim revenues were 18% lower at £27.4m. There is always a first half loss and it increased from £1.2m to £4.6m, although that does not include the restructuring costs. The Christmas savings business held up and the corporate incentives operations were boosted by additional business due to free school meals vouchers. More business is being done digitally and there continues to be a monthly improvement in trading.

D4T4 (D4T4) is continuing its development into a business focused on recurring revenues. The data collection and analysis software provider lost money in the first half, but management remains confident that D4T4 will achieve the full year pre-tax profit forecast of £3.2m, down from £5m. Net cash is expected to be £14m. The interim dividend was raised by 5% to 0.81p a share.

LoopUp (LOOP) has not achieved the annual run rate than it expected, and it will fall short of 2020 expectations. The remote meetings technology provider has been generating less revenue from international calls, which has hit overall revenues. Trimming the 2020 revenues forecast from £54.8m to £50.1m leads to a one-fifth reduction in pre-tax profit to £8.4m. The lower run rate means that 2021 forecast revenues have been slashed from £56m to £35.2m, which leads to a small loss for the year.

Outsourcing Inc has sent out the document for the takeover of CPL Resources (CPS). It is offering Euro11.25 a share, which values the Ireland-based recruitment company at Euro317.8m.

Digital advertising technology developer Miriad Advertising (MIRI) has raised £23m via a placing at 40p a share. A further £3m could be raised via an open offer. In July 2019, £16m was raised at 15p a share. The first half cash outflow was more than £4.6m. The cash will be spent on growing US revenues and further technology development.

Ilika (IKA) has decided to manufacture its Stearex batteries itself rather than outsourcing the process. This is the quickest route to production and operating margins will improve. Full scale manufacturing will start by early 2022.

ReNeuron (RENE) is raising up to £17.5m at a heavily discounted share price of 70p. This cash will enable the company to complete the current clinical trial for the retinitis pigmentosa treatment and design a phase III trial.

The share price rise of Wynnstay Group (WYN) has led to DBAY Advisors reducing its stake from 6.12% to 5.33%.

Urban Exposure (UEX) plans a tender offer of up to £65m at 75p a share. There is cash in the bank of £81m.

Second half trading was always going to be weak for Tracsis (TRCS) because of its exposure to events in the traffic and data division. Recurring revenues from the rail technology division have helped limit the pre-tax profit decline from £9.5m to £8.3m. This year is also likely to be tough, although it will depend on trading next summer. The main recovery is likely in 2021-22.

Serinus Energy (SENX) has raised $21m and this will pay off the debt of $16.5m. The lender will also receive a 9.9% stake. The rest of the cash will be invested in increasing oil and gas production.

Digital financial services and products provider Tungsten (TUNG) says profit will be lower than expected this year. Transaction volumes have declined, and revenues will be flat. Winning new business has become more difficult. Annualised savings of £4m are being made.

Michelmersh Brick (MBH) says that 2020 revenues and profit will exceed expectations. Government support of £500,000 will be repaid. There will still be net cash at the end of 2020. A final dividend of 2.25p a share will be paid.

Benchmark (BMK) has completed its restructuring and is on course to benefit from the investment it has made in products and capacity. The BMK08+CleanTreat treatment should be launched by next summer and this could help the aquaculture company to move into profit. In 2019-20, revenues fell from £124m to £105.6m, but lower costs meant that the loss was reduced. Genetics was the best performing division due to initial sales of salmon eggs from Salten. Net debt was £37.6m at the end of September 2020.

MAIN MARKET

Jlen Environmental (JLEN) is paying a second quarterly dividend of 1.69p a share, the same as the first quarter. There has been a small reduction in NAV from 97.5p a share to 96.1p a share because long-term expectations for electricity and gas prices have fallen. The portfolio is 34% wind power, 27% anaerobic digestion, 22% solar power, 15% waste and wastewater and 2% hydro and battery. A decline in waste volumes hampered the Bio Collectors business and other feedstocks are being sourced. There is £127.6m available to finance further acquisitions.

CML Microsystems (CML) had a mixed interim period with total revenues holding up at £12.9m. Storage technology revenues were one-quarter higher, but communications revenues fell by one-fifth and are no longer the largest contributor. However, the development activities have been broadened through acquisitions and there is a bigger addressable market. Pre-tax profit fell from £907,000 to £771,000 and the interim dividend is unchanged at 2p a share. The second half should be better than the first half and a rebalancing of resources should make the business more efficient.

Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) improved pre-tax profit from £14m to £15.8m, although there was a small dip in revenues to £109m. The total dividend is 6.2p a share. Demand is likely to remain weaker than normal. The move to the new UK premises should happen in the middle of 2021.

J Smart Contractors (SMJ) reported halved underlying full year pre-tax profit of £1.28m. There was a surplus on investment property revaluations of £3.18m. There is net cash of £12m. A final dividend of 2.27p a share has been declared and the total for the year has edged up from 3.19p a share to 3.22p a share. The completion of building contracts has been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Contracting work remains below the level of the previous year and private housing sales will be limited in the year to July 2021. NAV is £99.3m, which is double the market capitalisation.

Triad (LSE: TRD) revenues declined from £9m to £8.7m, but the IT consultancy did move from loss to profit due to lower costs. Utilisation rates for IT consultants is relatively high and cash covers around three-fifths of the market capitalisation.

Gulf Marine Services (GMS) has suspended chief executive Tim Summers, who was no longer a member of the board, due to an investigation into a severance payment of £429,000 on 10 November. Hassan Heikal was appointed a director at the general meeting on 25 November.

Cardiff Property (CDFF) increased its NAV from 2285p a share to 2436p a share at the end of September 2020, against a share price of 1725p. This reflects an uplift in the valuation of JV Campmoss due to an increase in value of Clivemount House in Maidenhead which has been sold since the year end. The dividend increased by 3% to 17.6p a share. There is cash of £5.5m and no debt.

Affordable housing services provider Aquila Services Group (AQSG) reported a decline in revenues from £3.89m to £3.51m, although there was a small improvement in operating profit prior to restructuring costs of £175,000. The dividend has been halved to 0.15p a share. Cash has increased to £1.4m.

OTAQ (OTAQ) increased interim revenues by 16% to £2.03m and it is on course for full year revenues of £4m. The growth has come from the aquaculture operations. Furlough claims reduced the loss.

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 16 November 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Robert Labrum is executive chairman of Primorus Investments (PRIM) following the resignation of Jeremy Taylor Firth and fellow director Alastair Clayton. Primorus is undertaking a strategic review of the business, following the sale of its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP). Other investments include TruSpine Technologies (TSP). Primorus does not have any debt and it has decided not to go ahead with a share buy back.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a net asset value of 345.7p a share at the end of August 2020. Since then, the investment company has made a $2.5m investment in a segregated account of Prelude Structured Alternative Masters Fund, which invests in distressed credit opportunities.

Youth training services provider Harrogate Group joined the Aquis Stock Exchange on 9 November. The current share price is 3p (2p/4p).

Gunsynd (GUN) is raising £1.13m at 1p a share. This cash will be used to make further investments.

Evrima (EVA) has exercised its option agreement to increase its stake in KKME from 2.4% to 19.6%. This cost £138,000 and this was paid in the form of 2.3 million shares plus the award of 2.3 million warrants at an exercise price of 12 pa share, lasting three years. KKME’s main project is Molopo Farms Complex, which could be a nickel sulphide project. There is an earn-in agreement with AIM-quoted Power Metals (POW) and four holes have been drilled.

KR1 (KR1) has earned 40,270.1 tokens in Kusama, which is described as an incentivised canary network for the Polkadot blockchain project. This stake did not cost anything.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) says progress with the development of a recycling business has been held back by the suspension of trading in the shares. The main asset is a freehold waste recycling site. There was £3,630 in cash in the bank on 30 June 2020. There are net liabilities of £100,000.

Sumner Group Mining has left the Aquis Stock Exchange.

AIM

Digital brand protection services provider Brandshield is reversing into Two Shield Investments (TSI) in an all share deal that values the 80% not already owned by Two Shields at £13.2m. A placing will raise £3.2m at 20p a share, following a 200-for-one share consolidation. Brandshield has developed technology that can be used to protect the brands of clients and get illegal sites and information taken down. Revenues of $1.51m in the first half of 2020 were nearly as much as for the whole of 2019. Two Shields has mining investments that could provide further funds for the core business in the future.

Insolvency litigation finance provider Manolete Partners (MANO) generated cash before new investments in the six months to September 2020. One major case has extended payment term s so there was a working capital outflow during the period. After the announcement of the interims another case was completed, and this will realise £2.8m in cash out of the total settlement of £7.5m. That will be paid over a two year period. Net debt was £5.4m and there are additional facilities that can be sued to finance additional cases.

Zoo Digital (ZOO) generated additional revenues from localisation services on past films and TV programmes in the first half, while production of new programming was delayed by the problems relating to Covid-19. Back catalogue work and higher dubbing revenues more than offset the reduction subtitling revenues. Interim revenues were 15% ahead at $16.4m. Forecasts have been upgraded and a $1.4m pre-tax profit is expected for the full year.

Three directors in Anexo (ANX) are selling a combined 29% of the credit hire and legal services firm to institutional investor DBAY at 150p a share, which is a premium to the market price. DBAY has the finance to provide backing to Anexo in order to expand its business.

Healthcare services provider Totally (TLY) moved into profit in the first half even though revenues were hit by the lack of elective surgeries in the period. Revenues increased by 9% to £54.1m, helped by a full contribution from urgent care business Greenbrook. Net cash is £12.3m and there is an unchanged interim dividend of 0.25p a share. Activity levels have been improving although there is still uncertainty due to lockdowns and restrictions around the UK and Ireland.

One Media IP (OMIP) increased revenues by 14% to £4m on the back of the strong music streaming market in the recent financial year. A 2019-20 pre-tax profit of £600,000 is forecast. That is slightly better than forecast. There is £6.7m in cash and there should be news of acquisitions and partnerships with artists over the coming months. The TCAT anti-piracy software service will be managed as a separate business. Dr Ed Vernon will head up the new Belfast-based venture and take a 8% stake.

MAIN MARKET

OTAQ (OTAQ) is acquiring the assets of ROS Technology for up to £300,000. ROS is a developer of electronic and mechanical products in sectors including aquaculture and offshore. The former owner Dr Peter Robinson was the designer of OTAQ’s SealFence product. He is an important addition to the development team. ROS made a pre-tax profit on full year revenues of £312,000.

Auctus Growth (AUCT) has agreed the acquisition of HeiQ Materials AG, which is a materials innovation company focusing on the apparel, medical and home textile markets, for £119.6m via a share issue at 112p a share post one-for-three share consolidation. A placing and subscription will raise £20m at the same price, while the vendors of the business will sell £40m of the shares they are issued. The company’s name will be changed to HeiQ.

Matomy Media (MTMY) has agreed to merge with Global Auto Max in an all share deal. Global Auto Max imports vehicles made by Toyota, Jeep, Chrysler, Fiat, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, VW, Volvo and Ford. Turnover was ILS355m.

Conduit Holdings plans to join the standard list in December. An offer could raise up to $1.1bn in order to finance the newly established reinsurance underwriting business. The focus is property, casualty and speciality insurance. There are no legacy losses to hamper the business.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 9 November 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

European Lithium has left the Aquis Stock Exchange.

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 5 October 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Wine and beer maker Chapel Down (CDGP) made a similar interim loss this year. Wine revenues were one-fifth ahead even though sales were lost in pubs and the company’s own retail site. Online sales offset those declines. Wine stocks have increased by one-third to £11m. Beer and cider sales fell by 38% and gross profit slump by 59%. There was £5.83m in cash at the end of June 2020.  

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) reported an increase in interim revenues from £109,000 to £140,000. Reversal of impairments and unrealised gains helped to generate a pre-tax profit of £27,000, down from £242,000 because of lower unrealised gains. NAV was £2.52m, including cash of £129,000, at the end of June 2020. Since then, there has been an increase in the value of cryptocurrency and tokens held by the company.

Western Selection (WESP) has sold its stake in AIM-quoted Brand Architekts (BAR) and raised £1.43m at 109.78p a share. The shares were valued at £1.63m in the recent balance sheet. Peter Gyllenhammr increased his stake in Brand Architekts from 6.1% to 10.5%.

KR1 (KR1) reported an interim pre-tax profit of £522,000, including an unrealised gain of £711,000. The NAV was 6.18p a share at the end of June 2020. The latest digital asset investment is $100,000 in the Moonbeam Network project. This is a smart contract platform and KR1 will receive Glimmer tokens that will power Moonbeam’s blockchain.

Incanthera (INC) has announced positive data for a skin sensitisation study for skin cancer technology Sol. This shows it to be non-irritant. ImmuPharma has subscribed £250,000 for shares at 9.5p each. That takes the stake to 15.3%. A total of £350,000 was raised with directors subscribing for the other £100,000.

Housebuilder St Mark Homes (SMAP) has an NAV of 125p a share, compared with a share price of 87.5p (85p/90p). There was a swing from interim profit to loss.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £58,000 in gold explorer Angold Resources, subject to its reversal into ZTR Acquisition, which was formerly Oyster Oil and Gas, where Gunsynd already has a stake.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has completed the £1.43m acquisition of a property in Scarborough leased to Skipton Building Society. It has exchanged contracts on a Carlisle property costing £1.71m.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that processing rates at the Hellyer gold mine have increased to 165 tonnes per hour. The average annualised production rate was 1.23Mtpa in July and August.

Gowin New Energy Group (GWIN) says it is near to appointing a new corporate adviser so that trading can resume in the shares. Management is working towards launching a tea business.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has invested £1m in construction payments software company Zuuse. Thi is part of a £2.2m fundraising to pay for a transaction expected in the next few weeks. Primorus already owned shares and warrants in Zuuse, so it owns 1.7% of fully diluted share capital. Primorus has sold six million Greatland Gold (GGP) shares at an average price of 14.8p each. That leaves Primorus with 20 million Greatland shares.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had an NAV of 51.53p a share at the end of May 2020.

IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) says that business is recovering and it continues to be profitable and cash generative.

Eurocann International (BUD) is changing its name to DiscovOre (ORE) and the investing strategy broadened to include natural resources as well as cannabis-related activities.

SativaWellness Group Inc (SWEL) has been readmitted to the AQSE growth market following the reverse takeover of the company.

AIM

Avingtrans (AVG) improved its 2019-20 pre-tax profit from £5.3m to £5.9m despite loss contributions from recent acquisitions. One of those acquisitions, Booth Industries, has won a £36m doors contract for HS2. finnCap forecasts a 2020-21 pre-tax profit of £7.3m and Avingtrans is likely to reinstate the dividend.

Demand for the type of data erasure and cyber security services provided by Blancco (BLTG) remains strong, although April and May were tough. In the year to June 2020, revenues improved from £30.5m to £33.4m, helped by acquisitions. Pre-tax profit grew from £3m to £3.9m. Investec expects further profit improvement to £4.3m this year, but it will be second half weighted.

Geospatial services provider 1Spatial (SPA) reported an 8% rise in interim revenues to £11.7m, although the core business revenues made up a greater proportion of the total. There was an interim loss but positive operating cashflow of £1.7m. Net cash was £3.4m. 1Spatial could make a small full year profit.

Grant Thornton has decided to settle litigation with AssetCo (ASTO) rather than appeal the court judgement. This means that AssetCo can access the £28.6m lodged with the court plus the balance of money owed by Grant Thornton. Once this is received, AssetCo will have cash of £55m and net assets of around £52m. The market capitalisation already takes this into account.

The FDA has approved adrenal treatment Alkindi in the US and Diurnal (DNL) should receive a $2.5m milestone payment from distributor Eaton pharmaceuticals when sales start next year. That is on top of licence income. That means that Diurnal’s cash will last longer.

New Trend Lifestyle Group (NTLG) changes its name to Conduity Capital (CCAP) on 5 October. The former activities have been sold and Conduity becomes a shell.

Erris Resources (ERIS) plans to buy a 50% stake in Zinnwald lithium project owner Deutsche Lithium from Bacanora Lithium (BCN) in exchange for shares and a net profit royalty.

Yu Group (YU.) reported a decline in first half revenues from £56.6m to £45.9m due to lower energy consumption by its commercial energy customers. There was a lower loss in the period but reduced working capital requirements meant that there was a significant cash inflow from operating activities. There was £17.9m in the bank at the end of June 2020. Management has invested in marketing in order to win new business.

Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) is launching its first AI software product alongside GE Healthcare. GE has 480,000 ultrasound machines in use and the AI software will be integrated in a range of women’s health ultrasound machines. It could be rolled out across other machines in the future.

M and C Saatchi (SAA) has failed to publish its results and trading in the shares has been suspended. Windar Photonics (WHPO), Clear Leisure (CLP), Malvern International (MLVN), Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) and Hydrodec (HYR) have had share trading suspended for the same reason. The acquisition of Bristol Energy customers will boost scale and help Yu to move towards profitability.

MAIN MARKET

Car finance provider S and U (SUS) generated revenues of £42.8m in the six months to July 2020. That was a 3% decline, but the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown will be greater in the second half. Net receivables were down by 6% to £281.9m, but new loan volumes fell by one-third in the first half. Bad debt provisions were increased by £13.8m to £21.7m and this led pre-tax profit to slump from £17.1m to £6.3m. The property bridging loan business made a lower profit contribution, although the market has subsequently inproved. Even so, a dividend of 22p a share was announced, down from 34p a share.

Guild Esports (GILD) raised £20m at 8p a share. The share price ended the first day of trading at 8.15p.

Mining shell Critical Metals (CRTM) joined the standard list on 29 September. The placing price was 5p and the price was 5.5p at the end of the week.

Toople (TOOP) is on course to achieve £1.6m of annualised cost savings from integrating DMSL. The focus is on margin rather than just growing revenues.  

Ross Group (RGP) reported a reduced loss of £830,000, down from £3.15m, in the first half of 2020. There were no revenues, but the company is trying to build up supply chain operations.

InnovaDerma (IDP) reported full year figures in line with its trading statement in July. The skincare products supplier slumped into loss due to higher marketing costs. There was cash of £1.2m at the end of June 2020.

Newspaper publishing consolidator National World (NWOR) had £4.31m in the bank at the end of June 2020. It is still evaluating acquisition opportunities.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 28 September 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

SAPO (SAPO) has agreed to acquire Secure Web Services (SWS) and it will change its name to Rural Broadband Solutions. SAPO is paying £1.6m in cash and shares and £236,500 of the cash paid will be used to subscribe to a fundraising. SAPO wants to raise £2.5m. SWS is based in Shropshire and had revenues of £730,000. There are 2,300 customers and this could be doubled in three years. A buy and build strategy will expand the group across the UK.

Specialist social housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) swung from loss to profit in the year to March 2020. The pre-tax profit of £626,000 includes a gain on revaluation of £798,000. The underlying loss was similar to the year before. Net assets increased from £3.3m to £4m, equivalent to 107p a share. There are plans to dispose of the remaining London residential units and reinvest in specialist supported housing. The Wimbledon Park property was sold for £656,000 in June, which was a 3% discount to book value.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has made an investment in vitamin fortified, smoothies and juices provider Coldpress Foods. It has taken an initial 3.3% plus an investment in a convertible that could take the stake to 6.2%. The total investment is £60,000. Coldpress has revenues of more than £1.6m.

Oncology treatments developer Incanthera (INC) says that skin cancer technology Sol has exceeded expectations in a recent study. Sol has been shown to be effective in penetrating the skin barrier.  

A requisition for a general meeting at Primorus Investments (PRIM) has been withdrawn following the proposed board appointments of Rupert Labrum, Hedley Clark and Matthew Beardmore. Donald Strang will leave the board.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) says Nicholas Nelson has resigned from the board but remains as chief executive. Shareholders had requisitioned a general meeting to remove him from the board, but there is no need for this to happen. Nouryon has agreed to manufacture SulNOx’s HFO emulsifier and a diesel conditioner, which will be sold under the brand SulNOxEco diesel conditioner.  

Altona Energy (ANR) is seeking to raise up to £500,000 at 6.5p a share. Existing and new investors can subscribe for shares via www.nrprivatemarket.com. The offer is set to last until 15 October. The cash will go towards financing the two rare earth element projects in Malawi and Uganda.

Belvedere Leisure Resorts (BELV) has signed an agreement with Landal GreenParks UK for an exclusive partnership for the leisure park at the Barncosh site until the end of the year. Belvedere will deliver the first 50 units and then the 20-year arrangement will take effect. Belvedere has agreed to acquire the land for the 50 units at a cost of £500,000. Belvedere continues to seek new funds.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested a further £75,000 in copper/gold explorer Eagle Mountain Mining. Gunsynd owns 1.54% of the ASX-listed company.  

AfriAg Global (AFRI) believes that the FCA guidance has given it confidence that its deal with medicinal cannabis company Apollon Formularies will go ahead.

European Lithium (EUR) has raised A$2.1m at 4.5 cents a share and this will be spent on metallurgical test work at the Wolfsberg lithium project. Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £193,000 at 0.5p a share.

Sativa Wellness Group Inc expects to gain admission to the Aquis Stock Exchange on 30 September.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) non-executive director Dominic Burke has bought 20,000 shares at 700p each. He owns 127,365 shares.

AIM

Gold production in Azerbaijan fell in the first half but Anglo Asian Mining (AAZ) is confident it can still hit its full year target of 75,000-80,000 ounces of gold equivalent, which would be slightly lower than the previous year. The higher gold price offset the decline in production from 39,905 ounces to 32,501 ounces. Even though the cost of production increased because of lower volumes and the reduction in grades at the Ugur open pit, pre-tax profit improved from $10.3m to $11.8m. There was $21.4m of cash generated from operations. There is plenty of cash to invest in Azerbaijan and the new venture in Ireland with Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR). The interim dividend was increased by 29% to 4.5 cents a share and the possibility of a special dividend next year. There was cash of $29.2m at the end of June 2020.

Specialist IFA Frenkel Topping (FEN) has made an indicative all-share offer for personal injury claims generator NAHL (NAH). Frenkel Topping has already acquired 6.11% of NAHL. finnCap forecasts an improvement in Frenkel Topping pre-tax profit from £1.8m to £2.3m in 2020.

NWF (NWF) says that trading is in line with expectations. Fuel volumes are lower than the same time last year because of reduced economic activity, but they are as anticipated. The food distribution trading has been hit by volatility in demand and lower demand from the catering sector. The feeds division has benefited from a stable dairy market.  

Spinger-Verlag has increased its stake in DeepMatter (DMTR) from 2.9% to 7.4% following the issue of deferred consideration.

Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) grew managed services and consultancy revenues in the first half, although there was lower utilisation in consulting during lockdown. Consultancy revenues are improving in the second half. There was cash of £1.6m in the middle of September.  

Battery technology developer Ilika (IKA) has signed a framework agreement with the UK Battery industrialisation Centre for the production of Goliath solid state pouch cells. This will help with the scale up of production for the batteries aimed at domestic appliances and electric vehicles.

MAIN MARKET

Critical Metals (CRTM) is raising £800,000 at 5p a share. That will more than double the number of shares in issue. Critical wants to buy or acquire stakes in natural resources assets in Africa. The focus will be near-term brownfield projects that can be brought into production. Chief executive Russell Fryer is a former investment adviser in the natural resources sector and founder of Western Uranium Corporation.   

Gulf Marine Services (GMS) has received another general meeting requisition letter from Seafox. The removal from the board of Mike Turner, David Blewden, Mo Bississo and Dr Shona Grant is Seafox’s wish. It wants Rasid Al Jarwan, Mansour Al alami and Saeed Mer Abdulla Khoory to replace them.

Auctus Growth (AUCT) is in discussions to acquire HeiQ Materials AG, which is a materials innovation company focusing on the apparel, medical and home textile markets. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Hawkwing (HNG) is switching from AIM to the standard list on 30 September and raising £1.2m after expenses at 3p a share. That values the shell, which has failed to secure a technology acquisition in the time required by AIM, at £1.5m.

Digital Landscape Group (DLGI) is cancelling its standard listing on 2 October. Trading will begin on the Nasdaq Global Market on 5 October.

Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has received 73.94% acceptances from shareholders in Cindrigo Energy. When other conditions are satisfied the remaining shares will be mopped up and a prospectus prepared for a reintroduction to the standard list.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 31 August 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

KR1 (KR1) has made two more investments. There is a further investment of $100,000 in the cross-chain finance hub Acala Network in return for 153,846.15 ACA tokens at 65 cents each. KR1 now holds 1.02 million ACA tokens. That stake is valued at $663,000. There is also a new investment in MetaCartel Ventures Decentralised Autonomous Organisation. KR1 received 4,938 MCV shares for its $199,000 investment.

Imperial X (IMPP) plans to buy mineral assets and investments and a placing is raising £750,000 at 2.5p a share. The purchases involve the issue of more than 245 million shares plus 8.71 million warrants exercisable at 5p a share. Trading in the shares has been suspended until the acquisitions are completed. Imperial X is buying Howson Ventures Inc, plus assets from Anglo African Minerals, Cloudbreak Discovery and Cabox Gold. Howson owns the Rupert Minerals property in British Columbia and an investment in Anglo African Minerals, which holds licences in bauxite projects in Guinea.  

Gunsynd (GUN) says that its investment in ASX-listed Eagle Mountain is “well in the money” and it has the cash it requires for its immediate needs even though the disposal of the stake in Oyster Oil and Gas has still not been completed. Gunsynd invested £110,000 in copper/gold explorer Eagle Mountain at A$0.13 a share and the price has risen to A$0.24. Rincon Resources has appointed stockbrokers for its proposed listing on ASX. Gunsynd has invested £138,000 in Rincon and has a 28% stake. Spirits company Human Brands also still hopes to float. Nickel project developer Sunshine Minerals is being acquired by Malachite Resources. Gunsynd will receive 1.26 million shares in Malachite with further deferred consideration of 1.64 million shares.

IamFire (FIRE) is raising £5.5m gross through a discounted capital bond and it is participating in a fundraising for social commerce platform WeShop ahead of a future listing. The bond is being issued at a discount of 78.73% and net proceeds of £4.4m have been received. IamFire is providing £4.5m of a £9m convertible loan to WeShop. This has an interest rate of 8% and lasts for 36 months. A flotation is one of the conversion events and the conversion would be at a 20% discount to the flotation share price. There is also an exclusive option to subscribe for a 10% stake in WeShop at a pre-money valuation of £25m. This would involve an investment of £2.78m.

Primorus investments (PRIM) has invested £875,000 in WeShop. Primorus has made realised and unrealised gains £3.55m in the six months to June 2020. Greatland Gold (GGP) is the main reason for this. The NAV increased to £8.1m compared with a £4.3m market capitalisation.

BWA Group (BWAP) has agreed to sell its investment in Kings of the North Corp to St George’s Eco-Mining Corp, which sold it for £4.66m. The convertibles issued to St George’s will be cancelled and they amount to £4.3m. St George’s will issue 1.5 million shares and transfer 2.5 million warrants to BWA. St George’s is keeping its 21% stake in BWA.  

There was a £673,000 cash outflow at Cadence Minerals (KDNC) in the six months to June 2020. A cash raising means that there was £2.38m in cash at the end of the period.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) plans to undertake exploration work at the Hellyer mine, possibly as early as October/November this year.

Inqo Investments (INQO) increased annual revenues from R23.8m to R24.4m, but the loss increased from R2.5m to R6.1m. That was partly down to an inventory write-down of R1.44m and higher depreciation. Last year’s Bee Sweet honey harvest was one of the largest ever. The lodge at the Kuzuko Private Game Reserve had high occupancy rates before COVID-19. All the other activities have also been hit since the end of February.  

Eurocann International (BUD) intends to amend its investing strategy and change its name just over one year since it changed it from Valiant Investments.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has appointed Allenby as corporate adviser.

AIM

Vianet (VNET) says that customer pub sites that have resumed operations have increased from 56% to 80% over the past six years. Vianet continues to offer reduced recurring charges to both closed and reopened customers. Customer demand for data analytics is recovering. The smart machines division says two-thirds of customer vending machines are in operation and generating normal levels of revenue. There have been orders for more than 1,9000 new orders for telemetry and contactless units during lockdown.  

Hostels operator Safestay (SSTY) is taking additional cost saving measures due to the continued uncertainty. Occupancy rates are running at around one-quarter and it is higher in those hostels opened earlier. Safestay has available overdraft facilities but these could run out by early next year if all hostels are not reopened by October and occupancy levels fall below 20% later this year. An occupancy rate of 57% is required for a hostel to breakeven. Sales of freeholds or terminating loss-making leases are being considered. Interim results will be published on 24 September.

Integumen (SKIN) is making an all-share offer for Modern Water (MWG) that values the latter at £21.25m. Integumen plans a ten-for-one share consolidation and it is offering one of these new shares for every ten Modern Water shares. Integumen produces test kits for Modern Water.

Drug discovery company C4X Discovery (C4XD) says that Indivior has started a phase I clinical trial for C4X_3256 for the treatment of opioid dependence. The trial will last until the end of the year, but there will be no data until 2021. C4X is making progress in identifying a candidate for the treatment of IBD and it has reached the lead optimisation stage for the treatment of Psoriasis. A collaboration with the GEN-COVID consortium, which will use C4X’s Taxonomy3 mathematical analysis technology to assess the role of genetics in disease susceptibility.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) says that milling equipment has been delivered to the raw cashew nut processing project in Cote d’Ivoire. The mill should be commissioned in the second quarter of next year.

Grant Thornton has managed to persuade the courts to reduce the damages owed to AssetCo (AST) from £29.8m to £20.8m. Including interest and costs the payment should be £25m.

President Energy (PPC) has formed a renewables division. There are opportunities in wind, solar, hydro and biomass in Argentina. President has commenced a workover programme on oil wells and there are plans to drill two new wells.

MAIN MARKET

Packaging supplier Macfarlane (MACF) reported a 2% decline in interim revenues to £105.6m. The second quarter decline was much lower than for the UK economy, helped by increasing exposure to ecommerce. Increased bad debts led to a 5.5% fall in pre-tax profit to £3.62m. An interim dividend of 0.7p a share is proposed. There could be a greater decline in full year profit, although the business will still be cash generative. Arden forecasts a fall in pre-tax profit from £14.4m to £11.1m.

BATM (BVC) has signed up its first tier 1 NFVTime virtual networking customer. The Asia-based telecoms company has signed up for an initial three years will provide a reference site for the technology. This contract could be a significant revenue generator in the years to come and follows the recent proof of concept trial with ARM and Vodafone.

Anglesey Mining (AYM) has raised £200,000 at 1.6p a share. The cash will be invested in studies for the development of the Parys Mountain zinc, copper, lead, silver and gold mine. Management is also assessing other projects.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 17 August 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Brewer Adnams (ADB) reported a slump in revenues from £34.7m to £21m in the six months to June 2020 and there was a loss. That is no surprise given the problems of the hospitality sector. Online sales grew but could not offset the loss of on-trade sales. Net debt was £14m at the end of June 2020.

Medical device developer TruSpine Technologies (TSP) is on course to join the Aquis Stock Exchange on 20 August. TruSpine wants to raise £1.5m, which would give it a valuation of £31.5m. The investment is eligible for EIS-relief. TruSpine expects to make a FDA submission for Cervi-Lok, which is one of the three spinal stabilisation devices being developed, in the fourth quarter of 2020. Existing Aquis-quoted company Primorus Investments (PRIM) is an investor in TruSpine. In 2017, it invested £500,000 at a pre-money valuation of £15m. Another Primorus investment, Greatland Gold (GGP), has performed strongly in the second quarter and the share price is more than 155% ahead over the period.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £695,000 at 7p a share. NQ has also secured a $55m loan facility to refinance the project debt of the Hellyer gold mine. Interest savings should be $3.4m a year. Chairman David Lenigas has acquired 20,000 shares at $0.12 each.

Sativa Group (SATI) had a record July. The CBD products supplier has benefitted from sanitiser demand.

TechFinancials (TECH) reported a loss of $492,000 in the first half of 2020. There is $716,000 in the bank. The closure of the trading software operations will be completed in the second half. The Footies ticketing business still has not progressed in terms of signing up clients.

Recruitment company Sumner Group Health (SGRL) intends to withdraw from Aquis in order to save money. A general meeting will be held on 3 September.

IamFire (FIRE) has completed the purchase of a 10% stake in Bio2pure, in a deal that values the company at £8m. The investee company’s CoviPure disinfectant has been launched

AIM

Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) has been criticised for its financial controls and systems back in 2018. A £300,000 fine has been waived because remedial action has been undertaken. Yu has acquired Bristol City Council-owned Bristol Energy’s B2B business for an initial £1.24m.

Appreciate (APP) was going to have a tough year even before COVID-19. In the year to March 2020, underlying pre-tax profit fell from £12.5m to £11.4m and there is likely to be a much larger profit decline this year. Trading has improved after a tough first quarter. If Appreciate had not been investing in its digital products it would have found recent months even more difficult. A property has been sold for £3.2m, which further enhances the cash pile of £29.6m at the end of March. The hamper business will be closed this year, but the overall Christmas savings business is holding up. Corporate demand is recovering.

Investment in VW emissions case work will hold back profit in the second half at credit hire firm Anexo (ANX). Lockdown led to a sharp fall in interim profit, but business is building up again. Profit could return to the 2019 level of £23m in 2021, even if there are no VW case revenues. A 0.5p a share interim dividend is being paid.

The geographic and sector spread of recruitment firm Empresaria (EMR) has helped it cope with difficult trading, particularly in its airline-related business. The business was profitable in the first and second quarters. The underlying interim pre-tax profit fell from £3.7m to £2.4m. There is no full year forecast.

Touchstone Exploration (TXP) has commenced drilling at Chinook on the Ortoire block in Trinidad. Chinook is valued at 2p a share by finnCap, but it could be significant like previous find Cascadura, which is valued at 78p a share. Cost cutting has helped to reduce year-on-year per barrel operating costs by 28% in the second quarter. There was still a second quarter loss. Production has declined to 1,396 barrels/day in the second quarter, but this will rise substantially when Cascadura comes into production.

STM (STM) has acquired pensions administrator Berkeley Burke for up to £2.9m. this will add to the UK operations. The business will be rebranded.

Pennant International (PEN) has an order book worth £36m and net cash of £2m. Annualised cost savings of £1m will help the second half performance and a profit is expected. That may not be enough to cover the first half loss.

Pires Investments (PIRI) investee company Getvisibility has signed a US distribution agreement. The data security business will gain access to US government work.

Matthew Freud has taken his stake in Reach4Entertainment (R4E) to 18.7%. The company’s chief executive has increased his stake to 18.7%. The general meeting to vote on the proposal to leave AIM is on 21 August.

MAIN MARKET

Tex Holdings (TXH) says interim revenues fell from £21.8m to £18.5m and the loss has increased from £351,000 to £1.36m. There is £2.54m in the bank, but net debt is £10.7m. The board still wants to raise more cash. The plastics business is still profitable, although it made a lower contribution. The engineering loss was slightly lower, but boards and panels fell from profit to loss.

MATCHED BARGAINS

Fastjet (FJET) is moving from AIM to Asset Match and the airline is reregistering as a private limited company. Trading is expected to start on 24 August. The first auction will be on 30 September.

Andrew Hore

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