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BHP Billiton BHP benefited in 2017 from a substantial reduction in exceptional losses which fell from $6.4b in 2016 to $842m. as the Samarco dam failure in Brazil weighed less heavily on the company. The year to the 30th June turned out to be a very strong financial year with free cash flow at $12.b., the second highest on record and net debt down by 37%. On an underlying basis, EBITDA rise by 64%, basic earnings per share by 455% and attributable profit multiplied from $1.2b to $6.7b. Having laid the foundations over the past five years to improve return on capital and grow shareholder value, the momentum will continue into 2018 with volume growth of 7% expected, as well as further productivity gains.
Accordingly shareholders receive their reward with dividends for the year increased by 177% to a total of 83 cents per share.
Wood Group (John) plc WG had a mix of both robust and weaker performances across its businesses in the 6 months to the 30th June. Total revenue declined by 11% but profit was down by 86% and basic earnings per share by 89.0%. The interim dividend is increased cautiously by 3%.
Empresario Group EMR produced a record first half performance with revenue rising by 50% at constant exchange rates and adjusted profit before tax up by 24% or 12% at constant exchange rates. The company has successfully integrated its two acquisitions into the business and see them both offering further opportunities for growth.
Sareum Holdings SAR expects that profit for the year to 30th June and cash at the bank will be ahead of market expectation.
Proactis Holdings plc PHD expects to see a 31% rise in revenue for the year to 31st July, with EBITDA up 43% and profit before tax rising from 3.1m to 5.3m
Quantum Pharma plc QP Revenue for the half year to the 31st July rose by 13% following a strong performance from Niche Pharmaceuticals. Adjusted EBITDA rose by 23% and statutory operating prfit by 74% whilst net debt halved to 11.9m.
Good Energy (GOOD) has set the date for general meeting requisitioned by rival renewable electricity supplier Ecotricity, which wants Dale Vince and Simon Crowfoot to join the board. The general meeting will be held on 6 September. Good Energy still believes it would be unwise to have the representatives of its rival on the board.
Via Developments (VIA1) has paid a £412,500 non-refundable deposit on a residential development site in Latimer Road, Luton. Funding still has to be secured for the £8.25m purchase price.
Early Equity (EEQP) has taken a 4% stake in Malaysian multi-level marketing business Early Infinity, which has a distribution agreement with healthcare products supplier Yicom, where Early Equity owns 32.1%. The purchase was funded by the issue of 10 million Early Equity shares. The plan is for Early Equity to buy up to 30% of Early Infinity. Five million Early Equity shares have been issued at 0.6p each to raise £30,000.
Karoo Energy (KEP) has published the competent persons report on the Kalahari Karoo basin shale gas play. There is insufficient data to estimate shale gas or quantify the associated risk. The Lower Ecca shales are broadly correlatable with the source rocks in the broader basin. The low, unrisked estimate of gas initially in place (GIIP) is 310 bscf and Karoo has a 93.475% working interest. The advice is that further exploration is required to improve the understanding of maturity trends and confirm the depths of the Lower Ecca shale.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) has issued a further £55,000 of 7.5% convertible unsecured loan notes 2018, taking the total to £100,000. The conversion price is 10p a share and there are ten warrants for each £1 loan note exercisable at the same share price. There is planning permission for 200 apartments.
Clinigen (CLIN) has approached Quantum Pharma (QP.) about a proposed cash and shares offer. Due diligence has to be undertaken before there is a firm bid. Clinigen is taking advantage of the work that Quantum management has done in selling non-core operations and improving the performance of the rest of the business. Quantum says the interim figures will be brought forward to 22 August.
DX (Group) (DX.) has ended discussions with John Menzies over the merger with its distribution division because suitable terms could not be agreed. There had already been a change in the proposals but this was not enough to make the deal go through. This will mean that DX requires to raise additional funds. The four people that Gatemore Capital wanted to be appointed to the board when it requisitioned a general meeting, later withdrawn, are being proposed as directors and Bob Holt will be leaving the board. Trading in the shares remains suspended.
Oozi Cats has been kicked off the board of Telit Communications (TCM) after it turned out that he withheld information about an indictment against him in the US when the company floated 12 years ago. There have been fears about the cash position of the business but the directors’ have tried to reassure investors. Telit plans to appoint three UK-based non-executive directors.
Tracsis (TRCS) has reassured investors that it should hit market expectations for 2016-17. This means that pre-tax profit will be better than the £6.9m reported in the previous year. Tracsis had warned that the second half would have to be strong in order to make the forecast and this has happened. There was £15m in the bank at the end of July 2017. A reorganisation of the traffic and data services division should improve margins this year. The full year results will be reported in November.
IDOX (IDOX) is acquiring electoral back office software provider Halarose for £3.5m in cash and £1.5m in shares. This will boost the market share of IDOX in the UK elections market and there should also be cost savings.
Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) is the latest shell backed by Marwyn to join AIM. The £15m raised will be used to seek significant acquisitions in the chemicals sector. The share price rose from 120p to 132.5p. Former Synthomer boss Adrian Whitfield is chief executive.
Market research firm System1 Group (SYS1) stunned the market with a profit warning that sent its shares down nearly one-third. The former BrainJuicer announced at its AGM that the lack of a repeat of a large contract last year means that gross profit could be up to 11% lower in the first half of this year. On top of this costs are rising. The interim figures are likely to show breakeven compared with a £2.8m profit in the first half of the previous year. Full year pre-tax profit could fall by up to 15% from last year’s level of £6.3m.
Bushveld Minerals Ltd (BMN) says that a study carried out in conjunction with the Industrial Development Corporation shows strong vanadium redox flow battery technology in Africa with the market peaking by 2025-2030. Global electrolyte demand is likely to peak at the same time at 1200-1800 MWh. There is potential for Bushveld to supply 200MWh of storage per annum and a study is being undertaken for a potential vanadium electrolyte production plant in South Africa. Vanadium mining and related battery technology is the focus for Bushveld. There was a small net cash position at the end of February 2017.
Malvern International (MLVN) reported a reduction in interim loss from £460,000 to £395,000 as revenues slumped from £2.07m to £1.65m. Malaysian revenues fell but operating costs were reduced. There is £360,000 in the bank. The loss in Singapore has been reduced and that was before EduTrust certification, which is required to enrol international students, was reinstated. There has been year-on-year growth of 17% in London revenues and the loss was sharply reduced. House broker WH Ireland is not publishing forecasts at the moment.
Pawnbroker H&T Group (HAT) reported a 62% increase in first half pre-tax profit to £6.2m and the interim dividend was raised by 10%. H&T has been compared with Ramsden (RFX) but the mix of operations and revenues is very different.
Connemara Mining (CON) has raised £200,000 via a placing at 1.75p a share and each new share has a warrant to subscribe for an additional share at 3.42p each. Patrick Cullen has been appointed as chief executive of the gold and zinc explorer.
Red Leopard Holdings (RLH) is in talks to acquire a coal project in Colombia. Red Leopard will have to issue shares with a minimum valued of $180m in order to acquire the La Luna project. Trading in the shares is suspended.
Stem cell services and insurance provider WideCells Group (WDC) has raised £750,000 at 14p a share and the cash will be used to finance growth in the three operating divisions. Positive news has helped to boost the share price over the past two months. This includes the granting of a research licence by the UK Human Tissue Authority. The CellPlan insurance product is on sale and a digital platform is being developed for the educational division, WideAcademy.
Myanmar Strategic Holdings Ltd (SHWE) has raised $423,000 at $10 a share, while $3.9m of loan notes have been converted into shares. The focus is on hospitality and education sectors. The company already operates three hostels in Myanmar and it has acquired the rights from Pearson to open English language centres. Last year, revenues were $330,000 and the loss was $2.38m. Dealings are due to commence on 22 August.
Pembridge Resources (PERE) is set to move from AIM to the standard list on 21 August. It has raised £2.27m at 1.6p a share. The move will provide more time for Pembridge to build up a portfolio of mining investments without worrying about doing this within the timescale required on AIM.
Quarto (QRT) has ended bid negotiations with an unnamed bidder less than a fortnight after revealing the talks. One of the stumbling blocks was the regulatory approval required by the bidder and the book publisher’s management did not want to be distracted from trading by a bid that could take a long time to come to fruition. This is despite the fact that the bid proposal was at an attractive premium.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has located the three historic entry points to the Gubong gold mine in South Korea. This will enable access to five of the veins that were previously mined when the gold price was much lower.
A 40%-owned subsidiary of food and logistics company AfriAg Global (AFRI) has signed a deal with LGC Capital, which is quoted on TSX and acquired former NEX-quoted Leni Gas Cuba but it is no longer purely focused on Cuba, to create a 50/50 joint venture to grow and distribute medical and recreational cannabis products in southern Africa. David Lenigas is a director of both companies.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has obtained the right to acquire 100% of exploration licence applications, which are known as the Palomino cobalt project in Western Australia, in return for A$15,000 and one million MetalNRG shares at 1.5p each. Once the licences are granted a further two million MetalNRG shares will be issued. MetalNRG has formed a cobalt business. The cobalt price has moved from $24,000/t to $59,000/t in the past year.
Kryptonite1 (KR1) has invested £384,000 in 73,272,717 FunFair tokens. FunFair enables anyone to launch a blockchain casino. The company has also invested £83,416 in 46,860 Bancor tokens. Instead of an intermediary matching trades, Bancor tokens use automatically executed rules to do the matching.
Block Energy (BLOK) has successfully acquired up to 75% working interest in permit XIf, West Rustavi 12km from Tiblisi in Georgia, from Gerogia Oil and Gas. A $100,000 cash payment will be made for a 5% interest with a further 20% interest costing $500,000 in cash and $1m in shares and it is dependent on a move to AIM. Once the AIM flotation happens, a further $1m payable in three tranches will pay for a further 25% interest. The remaining 25% will be earned by a commitment to a side-track in two specified wells. Further bonus payments totalling $1.25m in cash or shares are payable depending on the achievement of milestones. Block is raising £90,000 at 0.85p a share and £210,000 via a convertible loan and this will finance a competent persons report on the Rustavi block.
Management believes that social media and consumer games apps developer Ganapati (GANP) could move into profit in two years. Ganapati improved revenues from £2.3m to £3.27m in the year to January 2017. The loss increased from £7.47m to £8.73m because of higher costs and interest charges. There was £2.38m in the bank at the end of January 2017.
Via Developments (VIA1) plans to issue up to $4m of 7% debenture stock 2020 with the first tranche expected to be £100,000.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has appointed Bedford Row Capital Advisers to raise up to £25m through an asset-backed bond. The cash will be used to refinance existing borrowings and to refurbish plant and equipment to enable production at its mine in Australia.
Robotic software supplier Blue Prism (PRSM) continues to outstrip growth expectations. In the six months to April 2017, revenues increased by 133% to £9.3m but the loss jumped from £1.94m to £3.11m as Blue Prism invests in growing the business. The current run-rate of revenues is £1.72m/month. There was still £10.6m in the bank.
Jangada Mines (JAN) has one of South America’s largest potential platinum group metals projects and it has floated on AIM. There is the prospect of a low cost open pit mine. Previous explorers have already invested more than $35m in developing the potential mine. An updated resource inventory is expected before the end of the year.
Phoenix Global Mining Ltd (PGM) has joined AIM and raised £4.6m at 1p a share, which doubles the shares in issue. British Virgin Islands-based Phoenix (www.pgmining.com) has an option to acquire 80% of the ExGen Resources Inc subsidiary Konnex, which holds the leases to the Empire mine project in Idaho. The plan is to mine 7,000 tonnes of copper a year from an opencast pit with a downstream plant extracting gold and silver. Pre-feasibility study work is already underway.
Bricks maker Michelmersh Brick (MBH) is acquiring Barnsley-based Carlton Main Brickworks for £31.2m. This will increase Michelmersh’s output by 40% to 100 million bricks a year. The acquisition will be significantly earnings enhancing this year. The Dunton brickworks is being sold for £2.68m.
TLA Worldwide (TLA) timewatch: TLA announced that trading its shares was suspended at 2pm on Thursday 29 June. TLA, which is best known for publishing a profit warning at 6.26pm on 23 December 2016, has not been able to complete the auditing and publishing of its accounts by the end of June.
Kromek Group (KMK) has already got the vast majority of its forecast revenues in its existing order book and it is set to reduce its loss this year. Revenues from medical, nuclear and security markets are forecast to grow from £9m to £12.5m and the loss should fall from £3.8m to £2.9m. There is plenty of cash in the bank to cover losses as Kromek moves towards profit.
Niche pharmaceuticals supplier Quantum Pharma (QP.) has sold its non-core biodose services for an initial £1.75m. More importantly this means that the low margin medical adherence division no longer exits and Quantum can focus on the core operations.
Strategic Minerals (SML) says that its Central Australian Rare Earths (CARE) subsidiary plans a three stage exploration programme with stage one including 40-50 drill holes totalling 2,000 metres. This will focus on cobalt and nickel laterites. The second phase will focus on deeper nickel sulphide deposits. Stage three is the sampling of soil for signs of rare earths. This is all fully funded from existing cash and cash to be generated from the tailings operation in the US.
Zoo Digital (ZOO) grew revenues from $11.6m to $16.5m in the year to March 2017. There was an unusually strong second half and Zoo almost broke even compared with a loss of $1.6m the previous year. Demand for localisation services from the likes of Netflix is expanding Zoo’s market and making it less dependent on its main customer. The recent fundraising and loan conversion has significantly reduced debt and net debt is forecast to be less than $1m at the end of March 2018. A small profit is expected this year.
Savannah Resources (SAV) says that metallurgical test work at its lithium project in Portugal demonstrates that a high-grade, low iron spodumene concentrate can be produced. This would be suitable for lithium batteries.
Fairpoint (FRP) says that it will not be able to publish its accounts before the end of June and trading in the shares has been suspended.
Hipgnosis Songs Fund Ltd says that an institutional investor has agreed to subscribe for 20% of the fund which intends to invest in songs and music rights. The offer closes on 5 July. The fund has been set up by Merck Mercuriadis, who has decades of experience in the music industry, particularly managing parts of Sanctuary Group. Former AIM-quoted Sanctuary ran into problems with its accounts when it was quoted and was eventually taken over.
Nanoco Group (NANO) has received its first commercial order for the supply of CFQD resin to Wah Hong Industrial, which manufactures optical films and sheets for displays. The resin will be used to supply films to a manufacturer of TV and monitor products.
Aircraft leasing company Avation (AVAP) has declared an interim dividend of 6 cents a share, up from 3.25 cents a share. The ex-dividend date is 20 July. Revenues for the year to June 2017 are expected to be $94m.
Mechan Controls (MECP) is selling its main subsidiary to its technical director and intends to sell its other business and return cash to shareholders. The core business is being sold for up to £2m, with a minimum of £1.64m, including £1.24m initially, payable. The final £360,000 is dependent on the buyers selling the 142,300 shares they own in Mechan Controls. This leaves the group with Nirvana Engineering, which made a pre-tax profit of £352,000 last year. The company is changing its name to Mandicon.
Wine maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) is putting a brave face on the frosts at the end of April. These were the worst frosts in April for two decades. There was a patchy impact with some vineyards impacted and some not. The company says that it mitigates risk by sourcing fruit from a wider area. The potential crop will become clearer in June. A further 129 acres of vineyard will be planted in the rest of this year.
Bulgaria property investment company Black Sea Property (BSP) is still negotiating a loan from UniCredit Bulbank to finance the acquisition of the UniCredit Building. Black Sea Property is paying €10.52m for the building – a deposit of €1.04m has been paid – and €7.6m of this will come from a loan. Once this loan is secured then a share issue can be undertaken. It appears that the deal may not be completed in May as originally envisaged. Unicredit can remain in the building for six months after completion and does not have to pay rent. The deposit will be forfeited if the deal does not go ahead. Black Sea Property has extended the repayment date of £100,000 of the unsecured loan facility from Phoenix Capital to the end of July. Discussions continue about the assignment to Phoenix of the investment advisory agreement from AG Asset Management. Anthony Gardner-Hillman is stepping down from the board and a replacement should be appointed in the near future.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has acquired the Grosvenor Casino site in George Street, Manchester for £4m. The annual rental is £300,000. Ace has also bought the company that owns Willow House in Aldershot for £1.05m.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that the loan of £497,500 has been repaid with interest by 4 Navitas. The talks about a joint venture have ended and Angelfish is trying to recover professional fees and expenses. This means that Angelfish has £1.1m in the bank and a loan to One Media Enterprises of $425,500 and it is seeking pre-IPO investments. It should be remembered that Angelfish has £2.3m of preference shares in issue.
Early stage investor Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that cloud-based food service business Fresho has announced that annualised revenues through its platform is nearly A$100m. The platform connects wholesalers and suppliers to restaurants, hotels, independent supermarkets, hospitals, pubs and other retailers. Additional automation will help to boost margins. Primorus, which is also quoted on AIM, invested £175,000 in Fresho in September 2016. Another round of funding is expected early next year. That will provide an opportunity to revalue the existing investment.
Etaireia Investments (ETIP) is buying two office buildings at Whitehouse Office Park in Peterlee, County Durham, with 113 out of the 125 year lease left unexpired. The purchase price of £1.125m will be paid through a combination of 600 million shares at 0.1p a share, giving Taxspecialefx (Peterlee) LLP a 24.3% stake, and cash payment of £525,000 deferred for 12 months. Completion is expected within three months. The annual rental income is £99,500. The seller is entitled to 75% of rental income until the deferred payment is made.
Adnams (ADB) non-executive director Guy Heald has sold 310 B shares at £114 each, raising £35,340. He retains 15.9% of the B shares.
All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised £40,500 at 0.075p a share. Equatorial Mining & Exploration (EM.P) has raised £14,000 via the exercising of warrants at 0.01p each and it has also issued 110 million irredeemable 0.01p convertible loan notes.
The new management team has spent 2016 restructuring Quantum Pharma (QP.). One part of the business has been closed and another may be divested. The focus is niche pharmaceuticals and specials. In the year to January 2017, pre-tax profit dropped from £10.1m £6.2m. There will be a recovery in profit this year but it will take another year for profit to get back to £10m.
Podcasts supplier Audioboom (BOOM) has increased its revenues from £192,000 to £1.31m although it continues to lose money. There is already more than £3m of recognised or pre-booked advertising for 2017. Audioboom has built up its user base and it has started to generate revenues on the back of that. The acquisition of advertising technology firm SONR should help to further target advertising. Audioboom will make a further loss this year and, even after raising around £5m, the net cash is expected to be less than £1m at the end of 2017.
Management spent a significant amount of time last year sorting out the operations that Inspiration Healthcare (IHC) inherited when it reversed into the AIM-quoted business. This meant that underlying profit was flat at £1.1m. Demand for pre-natal care equipment and services is rising. There is scope for further organic growth and for acquisitions.
Pennant International Group (PEN) says that Lockheed Martin has increased the size of a contract from £200,000 to £2.2m, with potential for me. The total order book is worth more than £35m.
A concept study for the CS pozzolan-perlite project has persuaded Sunrise Resources (SRES) to focus on the project. It is thought that the 100%-owned project should have low caped and operating expenses thanks to surface mining and simple production processes. The pozzolan mined can be used as a greener alternative to Portland cement. There are no defined resources yet.
Onshore oil and gas explorer Egdon Resources (EDR) has submitted a new planning application for the Wressle field development. This follows the rejection of the previous planning application by North Lincolnshire Council. Egdon is also appealing the original decision.
Verona Pharma (VRP) raised $80m at the time of its flotation on Nasdaq. The shares were issued at 132p each and the ADSs issued in the US at $13.50 each – one ADS represents eight shares. The ADSs are trading on the Nasdaq Global Market. Last month, respiratory disease treatment developer has received authorisation from the FDA to proceed with a clinical trial for RPL554.
Manufacturer of professional audio equipment Focusrite (TUNE) produced good interim figures thanks to strong sales in North America. Interim revenues were 24% higher at £32m with pre-tax profit 89% ahead at £4.6m. Net cash is £9.4m and the interim dividend was raised by 15% to 0.75p a share. . Edison has upgraded its 2016-17 pre-tax profit forecast from £8m to £8.5m.
The Article 6 Marital Trust has become the largest shareholder in FIH Group (FIH), with 28.9%, following the sale of shares by Blackfish Capital Alpha Fund and former bidder Staunton Holdings at 300p each. Edmund Rowland has stepped down as chairman.
PowerHouse Energy (PHE) has moved its ultra high temperature gasification waste to energy G3-UHt unit to the Thornton Science Park, operated by the University of Cheshire. This will enable further development and opportunities for demonstrating the technology.
LED lighting products developer Photonstar LED (PSL) has taken advantage of a sharp share price recovery to raise £465,000 at 1.25p. The cash will be used to roll-out new product ranges.
Sanderson Group (SND) says that interim figures are in line with expectations. The retail and manufacturing software provider increased interim revenues from £9.86m to £10.9m – just under 50% is recurring revenues. Digital retail revenues were one-fifth higher. Net cash was £4.51m at the end of March 2017. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £3.44m to £3.72m. The interims will be published on 24 May.
Strategic Minerals (SML) is acquiring its joint venture partner’s stake in Central Australia Rare Earths for £522,500. Larger amounts of funding will be required to explore the resource than originally thought. Cash generated from Cobre in New Mexico will be used to finance this investment.
Digital audio technology developer Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) says that its first half revenues is significantly ahead of last year and full year EBITDA is set to be well ahead of expectations with margins higher than anticipated. Analogue radio has been switched off in Norway and there is strong demand for digital radio across Europe. Smart audio contracts have been won and there will be a better indication of progress in the second half.
Gas producer Ascent Resources (AST) has re-entered the second well at the Petisovci gas field in Slovenia. The well is being prepared for production, which should take four weeks. There has been a further objection to the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control permit, which it requires to build a gas processing plant so more gas can be produced.
DP Poland (DPP) says that system sales grew by 21% in the first quarter of 2017. There have been eight stores added this year and a new commissary is under construction.
Accident prone Redcentric (RCN) appears to be sorting itself out but it is not out of the woods yet. Net debt is estimated at £39.5m at the end of March 2017 and the bank appears to support the company. Waivers have been received for covenant breaches and there were large exceptional charges. The underlying pre-tax profit is forecast to rise from £6.3m to £9.1m.
Personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) has acquired the owner of the IP for Prolong, the only FDA-approved medical device for the treatment of premature ejaculation, a market valued at more than $1bn a year. This is part of a strategy to build up a life sciences division. Prolong is a non-prescription, vibrating medical device that is used in training in order to increase time between arousal and ejaculation. The device could cost between £250 and £300. InnovaDerma is paying £1m in shares, issued at a 25% discount to the market price minus the settlement of current liabilities at the current share price – estimated at £323,600. On top of this, a royalty of £11 per unit sold will be paid until the patent runs out in 2031 and if Prolong generates an operating margin of 20% in any year a bonus of £150,000 is payable. Prolong will be launched in North America in the second half of 2017 and Europe and Australia next year. InnovaDerma also announced that its self-tanning Skinny Tan products will be available on the ASOS website.
Opera Investments (OPRA) is going ahead with its acquisition of Kibo Gold from AIM-quoted Kibo Mining (KIBO) for £3.66m in shares at 6p each and moving from the standard list to AIM. The acquisition has the Imweru and Lubando gold projects in Tanzania. Opera is also raising £1.5m at 6p a share – it already had £486,000 in the bank. The Imweru project could be producing 50,000 ounces of gold a year within two years. Opera is changing its name to Katoro Gold.
Bondholders in US-focused oil and gas company Diversified Gas & Oil (DOIL) have overwhelmingly opted to take the cash alternative ahead of the flotation of the ordinary shares on AIM on 3 February. A total of £10.35m worth of bonds (97.1% of bonds in issue) are taking cash, while £198,000 of bonds will be swapped for 380,769 ordinary shares. There will be £106,640 worth of bonds remaining in issue but there will be no trading facility. The ordinary shares of Diversified Oil & Gas (DGOC) raised £39.7m at 65p a share, valuing the company at £68.6m. The share price slipped to 56.25p at the end of the first day’s trading.
Property investor Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) had a property portfolio worth £28.5m at the end of October 2016 and this generates annual rental income of £2.31m. The NAV was £18.25m at the end of October 2016 with a £500,000 revaluation gain partly offset by the final dividend payment.Net debt was £6.7m, down from £7.7m at the year end and there are assets held for sale worth £6.3m. Since October, a property was acquired at Hanley for £9m. The deal was financed by a £13.75m loan facility from Lloyds Bank with the rest of the cash used to refinance debt relating to five other properties.
DagangHalal (DGHL), which operates an e-marketplace for Halal verification, has parted company with its chief executive and trading in the shares has recommenced. Mohamed Hussain was paid the compensation that he was entitled to in his contract but he is claiming for twice his annual salary – equivalent to £195,000. Ali Sabri Sani Abdullah has stepped up from finance director to chief executive, while Jeff Teo and Derek Marsh have been appointed to the board. Cairn has replaced Arden as corporate adviser. The share price has not changed since trading recommenced.
AIM-quoted Metal Tiger (MTR) has sold its 28.2% in MetalNRG (MNRG) to Value Generation Ltd, a business associated with MetalNRG director Paul Johnson, and Gervaise Heddle, which each own 14.1% of the resources shell. The sales price was 0.26271p a share, whereas Metal Tiger had paid 0.2628p a share nearly one year ago.
BWA Group (BWAP) says it has been in talks with three potential acquisitions but none of the potential deals progressed. There was a £16,276 cash outflow from operations in the six months to October 2016, which was partially offset by the sale of an investment. BWA had a NAV of £562,000, with £41,593 in the bank, at the end of October 2016.
Botswana-focused oil and gas explorer Karoo Energy (KEP) says that exploration work on its two licences has confirmed the company’s geological model which predicts a deep sedimentary basin that could contain shale gas. In the six months to October 2016, there was a £326,000 cash outflow including capitalised exploration spending. Karoo had £168,000 in the bank at the end of October 2016, and £11,000 has subsequently been raised.
Property development and management services provider Formation Group (FRM) plans to consolidate its shares and shareholders will get to vote on the proposal at the AGM on 27 February. If the five-for-one consolidation is approved it will take place on 28 February.
Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised a further £34,000 at 0.1p a share. Valiant’s 84.7%-owned subsidiary Flamethrower has set up a new company called Slot Right In, which will be the social casino division and Flamethrower plans to acquire and trade domain names. Flamethrower continues to add to its portfolio of apps.
Property investor Ecovista (EVTP) says it is looking at investments in London, Essex and Hertfordshire. An offer of £275,000 has been accepted for a cottage owned by the company, while a house in Bishop Stortford, acquired for £665,000 last year, has been demolished and construction of a new building with a gross value of £1.35m will start in the spring. A planning appeal has been lodged for the development of car park site near Stansted Airport.
Grant Thornton will step down as corporate adviser to Chinese medical products and services provider MiLOC Group (ML.P) on 6 March.
AdEPT Telecom (ADT) is acquiring Our IT Department, an IT services provider in London and the South East, for an initial £4.75m with up to £3.75m more payable depending on performance. This is a profitable business that brings additional IT skills to the telecoms business. AdEPT has secured a £30m, five-year bank facility from Barclays and RBS, which will help to finance further acquisitions.
Everpower International is acquiring a 9.9% stake in Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) in return for a £3.26m cash payment – equivalent to 170p a share. This is part of an agreement that will enable Haydale products to be manufactured for the Chinese market. Commercial revenues from the Huntsman agreement are not likely to come through until 2017-18 and with other strategy changes this means that the revenues for the year to June 2017 will be lower than expected.
Automotive acoustics and thermal insulation designer Autins (AUTG) has shocked the market with a profit warning less than six months after joining AIM and the chief executive has resigned. First quarter sales have been in line with expectations but a major customer has reduced orders. The share price has fallen from the August placing price of 168p to 145p – but it had been as high as 240p. Miton had added to its stake in January.
Ascent Resources (AST) says the flow test at the Pg-10 well was better than expected. The maximum stabilised flow rate was 8.8 million cubic feet of gas per day.
LED lighting technology developer PhotonStar LED (PSL) says that its 2016 revenues will be slightly lower than expected and the loss will be higher because of a challenging second half. Revenues were around £5.4m and the pre-tax loss was £1.3m. There was £230,000 in the bank at the end of 2016 with £830,000 of invoice financing. Cost savings have been made and this helps to improve the outlook for 2017, although the poor second half trading has continued into January.
Eagle Eye Solutions (EYE) says that interim revenues have grown 72% to £5.1m, which is better than expected. The nationwide roll-out of the Asda contract has increased coupon redemption numbers. Cavendish Asset Management has increased its stake to 8.26%.
ECR Minerals (ECR) says that the Australian government has given consent to for drilling at the Byron target in the Bailieston project area. ECR has applied for two more licences and is awaiting news of the renewal of the Avoca licence.
Tissue Regenix Group (TRX) says that dermal allograft product DermaPure, which includes the company’s dCELL technology, has been included in the US Department of Veteran Affairs Federal Supply Schedule. This covers 152 hospitals and 800 outpatient units. This will boost the commercial prospects of the wound care product.
Prospex Oil & Gas (PXOG) is raising £850,000 at 0.5p a share and this will help to finance the evaluation of potential projects. The share price has slumped since the beginning of the year because of a disappointing result from a well on its Kolo licence area in Poland. The placing price is about one-fifth of the share price prior to the drilling news.
New management at Quantum Pharma (QP.) says trading is in line. This suggests that the pre-tax profit for the year to January 2017 will be £6.7m, down from £10m in the previous year, although there will be exceptional reorganisation charges. The loss-making NuPharm business has been closed. Net debt was £13.5m – after most of the reorganisation costs have been paid. The share price is less than one-third of its peak less than two years ago but it is higher than the 34p a share placing price in October.
Vela Technologies (VELA) is raising up to £550,000 from a bond issue via the UK Bond Network. There is already interest for £250,000 of bonds and the other £300,000 have been underwritten. The interest rate is 10% and the bonds can be repaid after one year, including interest. If they are repaid earlier than one year’s interest has to be paid. Vela will use £150,000 to increase its investment in Portr, the airline passenger facilitation and baggage transport service.
BP Marsh (BPM) has subscribed for a 30% cumulative preferred ordinary shareholding in Stewart Speciality Risk Underwriting Ltd, a Toronto-based start-up headed by a boss with 25 years of experience. Stewart specialises in insurance for the construction, manufacturing, onshore energy, transport and public sectors. A £480,000 loan facility is also being provided.
Reconstruction Capital (RC2) is returning €17m of cash to shareholders. This equates to €0.115 a share.
Engineering and environmental consultancy Waterman Group (WTM) says that its interim revenues and profit will be in line with last year. Net cash was £6.7m at the end of 2016. This will enable Waterman to continue to increase its dividend.
Publisher Quarto (QRT) is on course to increase its pre-tax profit from $14.1m to $15.5m. Net debt was $62.2m at the end of 2016. A buyer has been identified for the Australian distributor Books and Gifts Direct. This will raise $1m in cash with the other $4.75m of the disposal price in loan notes. Even after a 46% increase in the share price, the 2016 multiple is less than eight. There are plans to change the way that the backlist of titles is valued.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) commenced trading on the standard list and the share price ended the week at 12p, compared with the placing price of 10p. Rainbow has issued £260,000 worth of shares at the placing price to cover a majority of the costs of its flotation.
Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has sold Starneth less than two years after buying the designer and engineer of giant observation wheels. Challenger completed the acquisition of Starneth in July 2015 when an initial €1.25m was paid in cash and €825,000 in shares at 75p each. The second cash payment of €1.25m was delayed. Challenger will receive $6m in fees when the Jakarta wheel’s funding arrangements are finalised and the €1.25m payment will be taken out of that. There had been a third payment due but that does not appear likely to happen. This is a complicated deal but it is difficult to see this as a positive deal for Challenger but it will continue to work with Starneth and it will have a stake in the New York wheel. Acquisitions of businesses in the leisure and entertainment sectors that are close to revenues are likely.