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Brewer Adnams (ADB) reported a decline in first half revenues from £35.5m to £34.7m, while the loss increased from £840,000 to £1.15m. Beer volumes were 2% ahead, compared with a 1% decline in the market. Low alcohol beer sales grew. Gin sales fell because of greater competition. A fire at the Ship at Levington hampered the performance of the pubs business. Adnams made an underlying profit in 2018, thanks to a better second half performance. The new IT system went live in March and the implementation has been a distraction to management. The dividends are unchanged at 78p a share for each B share and 19.5p per A share.
Bruce Pubs (PUB) has decided to cancel trading in its 7.2% secured bonds, 31 March 2022. There are £20,000 worth of bonds admitted to the market and there have been no trades. Bruce Pubs had wanted to raise up to £20m from the bond issue. It is therefore not a surprise that Bruce Pubs believes it is not worth having a trading facility. The bonds can be redeemed early by the company.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has produced 10,164 tonnes of lead concentrate, 7,431 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 46,863 tonnes of pyrite concentrate in the first half of 2019. An operating profit of A$3.6m was made on sales of A$23m.
TechFinancials (TECH) had $1.23m in the bank at the end of June 2019. A reduction in trade receivables meant that there was a small cash inflow from operating activities, but there was $402,000 capitalised developed on the blockchain ticketing system.
China-focused healthcare company MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £755,000 at 30p a share.
Queros Capital Partners (QCP) has gained a quotation for its bonds on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange
ICAMAP has acquired 7.94 million shares in easyHotel (EZH) at its offer price of 95p a share, taking its stake to 44.1%. This means that it is a mandatory cash offer.
Iofina (IOF) has launched IofinaEX Global to deal in hemp derived products in Central America and the Caribbean. Iofina will potentially link up with a government in the region that wants to develop its country as a hub for hemp derived products. There are no details of this potential partnership. The company believes that its regulatory expertise in the iodine market will be helpful in the CBD market. The US is likely to be a major market.
LightwaveRF (LWRF) has raised £1.3m at 7p a share. The smart homes equipment supplier wants the cash to finance further growth. There are also plans to secure a facility for stock.
Altitude (ALT) is considering the disposal of its Manchester-based promotion products supplier AdProducts.com. This would enable Altitude to concentrate on its AIM platform for promotional products suppliers.
Greatland Gold (GGP) has raised £4.2m at 1.85p a share and that will be used to finance exploration in the Paterson region of Australia. There has been positive exploration news from the Scallywag prospect in the Paterson region. A ground gravity survey starts this month and an induced polarisation survey next month. Then 3D modelling using the data will come up with drill targets.
Cyber security software and services provider Corero Network Security (CNS) says interim revenues are lower, but operating costs are unchanged. That means that the interim loss has increased. However, full year revenues are expected to be one-fifth higher, but higher investment in sales means that the loss will still be higher. Net cash was $3.6m at the end of June 2019.
Equals Group (EQLS) is raising up to £16m via a placing and open offer. The international payments company has raised £14m at 110p a share and up to £2m will come from the one-for-90 open offer. The cash will be used for acquisitions and working capital.
Tanfield (TAN) says that 49%-owned Snorkel International has moved back into profit in the second quarter of 2019, although the first half was still loss-making. Last year, the value of this investment in the access equipment supplier was cut from £36.3m to £19.1m.
Oil and gas producer President Energy (PPC) says that there should not be a material effect on its operations from a change in Argentinian president. Revenues are US dollar based and cash is held in the same currency, so the decline of the Argentinian peso should not be too much of a problem.
Anthony Laiker has subscribed £25,000 in Vela Technologies (VELA) at 0.1p a share. A general meeting has to approve the share issue to the executive director, as well as an issue of 6.25 million warrants exercisable at 0.15p. Approval of the conversion of £200,000 of loan notes plus interest into nearly 241 million shares will also require the company to be given the ability to issue more shares. Laiker would than own more than 301 million shares.
Gfinity (GFIN) is pulling out of its Australian joint venture because the esports company wants to focus its cash on the US and other important markets.
Workspace software provider Essensys (ESYS) says that its revenues were one-quarter higher at £20.5m in the year to July 2019. That was better than expected. Annual recurring revenues run rate is £17.3m.
Associated British Engineering (ASBE) made an increased loss of £1.81m, up from £582,000 the previous year. The company’s main pension fund remains a worry and there are ongoing discussions with the Pensions Regulator. There are net liabilities of £3.71m after the pension deficit of £4.98m.
Nanoco (NANO) generated revenues of £7.3m in the year to July 2019, more than double the previous year. The cadmium-free quantum dots developer had £7m in cash at the end of July and expects to have £6m at the end of 2019.
Highway Capital (HWC) has issued €30,000 of new convertible loan notes. These are convertible to a value in excess of 50% of the net asset value of the company at the time of conversion. The terms of an existing convertible loan note of £100,000 have been changed and the conversion price is 5p a share.
Shareholders in Avocet Mining (AVM) have voted against the resolution to wind up the company. This means that it is likely to go into administration unless there is a viable transaction that the board can assess.
Global Resources Investment Trust (GRIT) wanted shareholders to approve the voluntary liquidation of the company, but there is not enough support for the proposal. GRIT has sold 430 million shares in Kalia for £225,000 in order to provide working capital. A new board is being appointed to undertake a strategic review. James Normand will become chairman and Martin Lampshire as an executive director. Stephen Roberts will become a non-executive director.
IMC Exploration (IMC) has been awarded two additional licences in County Wexford. They adjoin an existing licence where there are indications of gold.
Book publisher Quarto (QRT) reduced its interim loss from $6.6m to $4m on flat revenues of $56.4m. There was a change in the mix of revenues with children’s books increasing revenues by14% and in geographic terms more of the revenues were in the US, which moved into profit. Net debt has fallen by 11% to $65m.
Zenith Energy (ZEN) says that drilling has commenced at well C-37 in the Jafarli oilfield.
Pendragon (PDG) is selling its Chevrolet dealership in California for £17.2m. GM can alternatively nominate another purchaser if it wants. The rest of the US business will be sold.
Bruce Pubs (PUB) has raised £100,000 from an issue of 7.2% bonds and trading has commenced on NEX. The pubs operator wants to raise up to £20m. The cash will be used to acquire pubs in Scotland. Bruce owns 18 licenced premises with another licence pending. Bruce Pubs is a subsidiary of the holding company Bruce Group, which had net assets of £3.8m at the end of June 2018.
Sativa Investments (SATI) is investigating ways of raising cash to finance the company’s glasshouse and working capital for the first cannabis crop. There are also talks with vets about using medicinal cannabis in animal health. Sativa is pleased with the platform that NEX has given the business. Imperial X (IMPP) is the latest NEX company to change its investing strategy to cannabis investments.
Trading in the shares of Clean Invest Africa (CIA) following news that it has negotiated an agreement to acquire the 97.5% of CoalTech LLC it does not own. The company has technology that can convert waste coal into coal pellets for industrial and commercial use. A circular will be sent to shareholders in the first quarter of 2019.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has increased its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) to 35 million shares, which is equivalent to 1.09%. The average cost is 1.71p a share. The investment has been made ahead of further drilling results at the Havieron gold/copper project in Australia.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) reported a NAV of 189.95p a share for the end of 2018.
President Energy (PPC) beat its production target for the end of 2018. The Argentina-focused oil and gas company was producing 3,300 boepd by the year end, which is 10% above the target. The latest drilling programme of three wells has been a 100% success. President intends to build on this base during 2019. The next reserves audit should be published in March. There should be a significant jump in profit in 2019. Panmure Gordon forecasts a 2019 pre-tax profit of $18.6m. The cash generated will help to finance forecast capital investment of around $40m during the year. The target price is 15p a share.
Gateley (GTLY) continues to trade strongly with organic growth supplemented by contributions from acquisitions. The legal services provider increased interim revenues by one-fifth to £46.4m, while pre-tax profit rose from £4.2m to £5m. Net debt increased from £7.1m to £8.2m after acquisitions spending and dividend payments. The second half tends to be more cash generative. More business is coming from litigation work but management is confident that its revenue recognition policies mean that the strong cash generation will not be hit.
Castleton Technology (CTP) is paying £1.8m for Deeplake Digital, which provides digital communications services between landlords and tenants. Thirty of its 90 customers are new to Castleton.
ATTRAQT (ATQT) is expecting to make a small EBITDA figure for 2018. The online shopping performance enhancement services provider will report its 2018 results on 14 February.
More woe for Footasylum (FOOT) as gross margins come under pressure. Revenues were in line with expectations over Christmas but less money was made from them as old stock was discounted. The 2018-19 loss forecast has been edged up to more than £5m.
Higher input costs mean that Accrol Group (ACRL) will not do as well as expected and it will make a significant 2018-19 loss after exceptional charges.
Packaging machinery supplier Mpac Group (MPAC) says 2018 trading was in line with expectations and the year has started with a strong order book. The company is assessing the potential additional cost of pension equalisation for its defined benefit scheme.
Bowleven (BLVN) is paying a 15p a share special dividend on 8 February. This will leave the oil and gas explorer with the cash it requires for its exploration programme.
Wealth manager Mattioli Woods (MTW) says that its interim EBITDA margin was substantially ahead of the 20% target. Gross discretionary assets under management were £2.4bn at the end of November 2018.
Churchill China (CHH) had a strong finish to the financial year with a better second half performance in the UK. The 2018 profit will be higher than expected. The figures will be published on 27 March.
Shoe Zone (SHOE) stands out amongst its peers because it has had strong 2017-18 figures and a good Christmas. Last year’s pre-tax profit improved from £9.5m to £11.3m. Forecasts have been upgraded with 2018-19 earnings per share increased from 16.4p a share to 17.6p a share based on flat profit and a higher tax charge.
Quiz (QUIZ) sales continue to decline, albeit at a slightly lower rate of 5% like-for-like. The fashion retailer had to discount and gross margins were two percentage points lower. Overheads are also too high because of the lack of growth. The full year profit forecast has been cut from £6m to £4.4m.
A North African order for the Helios product supplied by Starcom (STAR) has been delayed until 2019 so 2018 revenues will be lower than expected. The total order value is $1.1m and the majority was expected to be recognised in 2018. Even so, revenues were better than expected, but the loss will be higher.
A general meeting has been requisitioned at Angus Energy (ANGS) by shareholders owning 6.2% of the company. It is believed that former chairman Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius is behind this requisition, which involves the proposed removal of Paul Vonk from the board and the appointment of the Earl of Lucan and George Bingham. Non-exec Rob Shepherd has resigned. Angus has entered into a 24 month, £3m loan facility with YA II PN Ltd and Riverfort Global Capital in order to finance the development of the Balcombe field in the Weald basin. A £1.5m drawdown is planned immediately.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has acquired additional acreage in the Paradox Basin in Utah at a cost of $35,000. Rose believes that the new acreage could have an NPV10 of around $12m. The deal follows the results of the Schlumberger study which suggests that the site of a proposed well in the area should be in an optimal position.
Diurnal Group (DNL) has been granted a second patent for hydrocortisone treatment Chronocourt, which already has orphan drug designation. The patent lasts until 2033.
A £2m subscription and $5m investment into an internal finance note by 1795 Volantis Fund will provide Obtala Ltd (OBT) with additional funds. 1795 Volantis Fund will own 12.9% of Obtala, as well as 40 million warrants exercisable at 10p each. The disposal of a Tanzanian agricultural business will bring in a further $2.5m. Obtala intends to acquire the 25% it does not own in Montara Continental for $5m, which will be reinvested in the internal finance note.
Fuel cell developer Proton Power Systems (PPS) will own 33.33% of Hamburg-based Clean Logistics, which is being set up to build heavy trucks powered by fuel cell hybrid systems in the range of 75kw-150kw. The other two equal shareholders are Hopen, which has interests in battery and electric vehicle developers, and modular transport service provider Hary.
Sopheon (SPE) had a strong end to 2018. The software provider will provide more details in its trading statement later this month, when finnCap says it will reassess its forecasts.
Dekeloil (DKL) says that fourth quarter volumes were in line with expectations with a 2% increase in crude palm oil production on the third quarter. The annual production was 15% lower because of the weak first half. Selling prices have been at a premium to the market price. The purchase of a 43.8% stake in the Tiebissou cashew processing project has been completed.
Imaginatik (IMTK) has decided to sell its software business and assets to Planbox. The initial cash payment is $1.7m and up to $800,000 more could become payable. If it is all paid then the selling price would be higher than the book value of the assets. Imaginatik will become a shell with around £1m in cash left from the initial payment. If the disposal is approved by sharehodlers the company will change its name to Abal Group.
Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) continues to grow fleet sales but lower insurance sales are partly offsetting that growth. A supplementary dividend will be announced with the final dividend when the 2018 figures are published on 25 February.
Brighton Pier Group (PIER) says problems with the railways are hampering the income generation of Brighton Pier and earning shave been lower. The trading of the bars division was flat last year. Pre-tax profit will be around £3.2m, which is 18% lower than previous expectations.
Frontier IP (FIPP) says that its investee company Exscientia has raised $26m and is collaborating with Roche in a deal worth up to CHF67m. Frontier IP owns 3.32% of artificial intelligence-driven drug developer Exscientia.
InnovaDerma (IDP) has revealed a 6% dip in first half revenues to £3.9m, even though retail sales grew strongly. Direct sales fell, although there are indications that they are recovering. The cosmetic products supplier will have to do well in the second half to achieve full year forecast revenues of £14.4m.
Trident Resources (TRR) has £1.85m in the bank at the end of October. The shell raised £4m when it floated in October. The balance sheet includes trade receivables of £2.1m, although management says that it started the year with just under £4m in cash. Potential acquisitions are being assessed.
Marks & Spencer MKS CEO Steve Rowe openly admits in todays strategic update that Marks business is not sustainable and needs to be built into one that is and one which will also delight its customers. If its stores in Greece are anything to go by he is dead right and it is going to take a lot of work to make them anything like sustainable and pleasing.
How can you make a profit if you can not bother to open up until 9am. when you are within 100 m. of a Lidl which opens and has queues from 8a.m. and 50 m from one of Greeces largest supermarkets which like most shops also opens at 8a.m. The M&S staff in the clothing store are so unsupervised that they go and sit on the steps outside and smoke whilst customers queue because of unattended check outs and are told if they want to be served quicker they must go upstairs. it is in the backwoods of a business that management weaknesses are exposed not in stores within a stones throw of head office.
Food sales for the half year to 1st October did rise by 4% and made good progress but like for like sales still fell by 0.9% despite outperforming the market. Clothing and Home fell by 5.3% or 5.9% on a like for like basis. In the UK like for like sales fell by 3.0%. Basic earnings per share for the half year slumped by 90.5%, statutory profit before tax by 88%. and on an underlying basis profit before tax was down by over 18%
Punch Taverns PUB Average profit per pub rose by 4% during the year to 20th August as strategic disposals came to an end. The year produced a strong set of results but nowhere near strong enough to reinstate a final dividend. Underlying profit before tax was down from £60m to £53m. but last years loss of £105m was transformed into an actual profit before tax of £60m.
GETECH GTC Profit before tax fell by nearly two thirds during the year to 31st July and earnings per share were down from 5.77p to 3.25p. However steps taken in the first half strengthened considerably the performance in the second half. The backdrop to the company’s performance remained challenging as oil prices remained low and volatile.
Aviva AV. is raising its interim dividend for the half year to the 30th September by 117% to 13p but it is only doing this so that full year dividends are re weighted towards the interim dividend. I winder how the final dividend will be re weighted. The full year outlook is in line.
Telit Communications TCM expects to finish the current year strongly, with double digit growth anticipated in EBITDA and earnings per share.
Punch Taverns PUB Todays trading statement for the year to 20th August omits virtually any mention of its trading statistics It says it has produced a solid set of results following completion of its strategic disposal programme but fails to back that up with any meaningful figures, save to say that average profit per pub has risen by 4% and like for like net income from the core estate is up by 1% and the retail divisions 97 pubs are operating ahead of expectations. No doubt all will be revealed in the fullness of time.
Churchill China CHH produced yet another strong performance with profit before tax up by 29% for the half year to 30th June. Group revenue rose by 12% and basic earnings per share by 30%. The interim dividend is to be increased by 12%.
Fisher (James) FSJ is definitely ex growth for the time being , although that has not stopped it raising the interim dividend by 10% and it does expect to see growth resume in the second half, with new contracts and good demand for ship to ship services. Group revenue for the half year to the 30th June was down by some 2% and statutory profit before tax declined slightly from £17.9 to £17.4m. Strong growth was experienced in Marine Support, Tankships and Specialist Technical but this was offset, perhaps not surprisingly, by poor results from Offshore Oil.
HSS Hire Group HSS produced revenue growth of 13.5% in the half year to 2nd July and adjusted EBITDA rose by 11.1% which all helped to bring down the loss before tax from £14.1m to £9.8m and most of that, says the company, was due to what it euphemistically calls “strategy execution”. The interim dividend remains unchanged and the third quarter has started off ahead of last year.
Chemring Group plc CHG Revenue in the three months to the 31st July rose by 20% and the order book was up by 12.6% but £50m of this was due to the collapse of sterling which defintely did not help the company’s US dollar debt.
Surgical Innovations SUN Revenue for the six months to 30th June was robust rising by 16%, led by exports and a particularly strong performance in the US. Increased productivity helped margins rise by 26.6% and the company returned to profitability at the operating level. By the end of the half year net bank borrowings had been eliminated.
GKN plc GKN The collapse of sterling was to bring a new dawn for what was left of British Industry, lied Diddy David and the rest of his old Etonian clique of rulers. Well the truth is that it hasnt, at least not yet. All it has done is help companies to mask performances which are downright unacceptable. Thus for its first quarter, sales are up by 12%, trumpets GKN. Looks great that, dunnit, until you see that two thirds of that came from acquisitions and a quarter of it from beneficial currency movements. A mere 1% came from like for like growth which means that GKN just failed to take advantage of the opportunities which a collapsing pound were supposed to bring. GKN land systems led the decline with like for like sales down 6% even after taking into account a 3% currency benefit. Headmaster comments – can do better, must do better.
Travis Perkins TPK produced good 1st quarter growth in all businesses with total sales rising by 5% and like for like sales by 4.2% or 9.5% over two years, which at least shows some long term consistency. And it is all due to the company having a clear focus on driving the maturity of the heavyside range centre network. Presumably they know what they mean, even if nobody else does.
Rentokil Initial RTO First quarter revenue grew by 11% but 9% came from acquisition and only 2.8% from like for like growth. Pest control in North America had a great three months with 54% growth but, wait a minute, most of this so called growth came from acquisitions and only 6.4% from like for like growth. Not surprisingly the company does not offer any hope of beating expectations for the full year. Management seems to think it best not to give any reasons for this.
Punch Taverns PUB The big Punch pub sale has continued apace during the 28 weeks to 5th March and it is so beneficial to the company that it is ahead of target on this front. What is a welcome change is that underlying retail profits and sales are also ahead of expectations. EBITDA is down by some 10% following 18 months of strategic disposals but average profit per pub is up by 3%. Amazing really that what was one of the countries largest pub owners was so bad at managing its estate that it had to sell a lot of it off in the hope that it could make a profit out of what was left. Obviously the buyers of all these pubs, thought they could make a better job of running them, than Punch had.
ARM Holdings ARM Poor old sterling. It can’t do right for doing wrong. Now ARM claims its first quarter results have been impacted by the weakness of sterling, whereas nearly everybody else has been cursing the pound for its continued strength over the past year or so. First quarter revenue rose by 14% in US$ terms or 22% in pounds. There was strong demand for the company;s most advanced technology and the number of chips shipped rose by 10% to 4.1 billion