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AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Hargreaves Lansdown has added stocks in the Access segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange to its electronic trading platform.
Wine maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) says interim revenues are in line with the same time last year due to the disappointing 2021 harvest. This year’s harvest should be better and full year revenues are expected to be higher. Price increases should help to improve margins. Net cash was £3.76m at the end of June 2022. Net assets are 19.5p a share. Five directors bought shares at between 19.6p and 19.9p a share.
Samarkand (SMK) says trading is in line with expectations in the year to March 2022. Revenues are estimated at £16.5m and the loss at £8.3m. There was £4m in the bank at the end of March 2022. Samarkand provides e-commerce technology and services to clients that wish to access the Chinese market. Trading has been hampered by Covid lockdowns. Management says that trading conditions are improving, although 2022-23 revenues are likely to be flat. Margins should improve.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that clan coal business CoalTech has commenced commercial coal production in South Africa, and it will initially build up production to 3,500 tonnes/month. Production is expected to double in 2023. That could be enough to eventually generate annual net profit of $1.2m.
Ecotricity has increased its stake in Good Energy (GOOD) from 26.1% to 27.2%.
CBD products supplier Love Hemp Group (LIFE) is in discussions with a replacement corporate adviser so that the trading suspension of the shares can be ended. Executive chairman Andrew Male has moved to a non-exec role. Garry Cook has stepped down from the board and replaced by Anthony Dyer.
Invinity Energy Systems (IES) says that the world’s largest hybrid energy storage system, incorporating a 5 MWh Invinity Vanadium Flow battery, was launched at the Energy Superhub Oxford. Jonathan Marren has been appointed as chief development officer, having previously been a non-exec director.
Valereum (VLRM) reported an increased loss of £1.84m for 2021. There is still £1.43m in cash anies, v,ld net assets were £2.51m at the end of 2021.
Forbes Ventures (FOR) has decided that the litigation funding securitisation will not go ahead. Peter Moss, the director handling the deal, has resigned and Forbes Ventures is seeking to recover costs. A potential acquisition is being negotiated.
IamFire (FIRE) has an option to subscribe for up to £3.75m in convertible loan notes in WeShop Holdings Ltd. It paid £250,000 for this option. The conversion price is 100p a share. WeShop has launched its social network shopping platform, which offers shares with every purchase – initially 20% of the purchase price.
AQRU (AQRU) has appointed First Sentinel as corporate adviser and Tennyson Securities as broker. They replace Novum Securities. The decentralised finance-focused incubator has launched AQRU Trend, a high-return strategy optimised for cryptocurrencies designed for small investors to access competitive returns in the crypto market. It is available through the AQRU.io platform.
All Star Minerals has changed its name to Marula Mining (LON: MARU) and consolidated 100 shares into one new share.
Macaulay Capital expects to join Aquis on 22 July. It intends to originate and manage corporate transactions and invest its own funds, in shares and loan stock, along with other investors. Macaulay will earn an arrangement fee, an annual director fee for supplying a director to the investee company and an annual management fee of 2% a year for five years once third-party investors have been repaid their initial investment – payable by the investors. There is also a potential performance fee if returns are better than the threshold set.
Shore Capital has been appointed broker to Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB).
BWA Group (BWAP) has issued 3.35 million shares at 0.5p each in order to satisfy directors fees.
Immediate Acquisition acquired new bank Fiinu (BANK) for £37.5m in shares at 20p each, which is the same price as in the placing price that raised £8.01m. Pro forma net assets are £11.7m, including £11.2m in cash. Fiinu intends to invest £2.3m of the cash raised in further technology development and £6.6m will provide regulatory capital. Fiinu has developed the Plugin Overdraft, which provides customers with an overdraft facility without the requirement to switch banks. When someone applies for the overdraft via the Fiinu app they give permission for Fiinu to access their account details at their bank. Fiinu can then assess whether they meet the requirements for access to the Plugin Overdraft. Fiinu will take deposits on fixed-terms, and these will fund shorter term lending via the Plugin Overdraft.
In the year to March 2022, Mercia Asset Management (MERC) increased its NAV from 40p a share to 45.6p a share, thanks to valuation increases in some of its direct investments. The investment manager had Assets under management of £959.2m at the end of March 2022 and this has subsequently risen above £1bn following VCT fundraisings. The dividend has been raised from 0.3p a share to 0.5p a share. There is cash and short-term investments of £61.3m.
CML Microsystems (CML) improved full year revenues from £12.5m to £17m, underlying pre-tax profit doubled from £1.1m to £2.2m. The investment in technology development is starting to pay off with design wins for internet of things, 5G and satellite products. These design wins will be making significant contributions in two years. Net cash is £24.6m and the dividend was raised from 9p a share to 10.8p a share. A 2022-23 pre-tax profit of £2.5m is forecast with cost rises offset by increasing volumes.
Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ) reported a strong recovery in revenues from £39.7m to £78.4m and it moved back into profit last year. Revenues are still much lower than pre-pandemic levels, but the £800,000 pre-tax profit is similar to the level prior to Covid-19. There were £1m of government grants included in income in the year to March 2022. There was an operating cash inflow of £5.3m and net cash was £4.4m. There was a strong recovery in UK stores revenues, but online also grew. Price rises will help to maintain gross margin. First quarter sales are 62% ahead at £27.3m and there could be further improvement in profit this year as long as overheads are controlled.
Iodine producer Iofina (IOF) has secured debt funding for expanding capacity. There were 234 metric tonnes of iodine produced in the first half of 2022. Second half production should be between 255-275 MT. Iodine prices are higher than $70/kg.
Shares in parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) remain suspended, but it believes that its 2020-21 accounts and the corporate governance investigation could be finalised before the end of September. Trading remained strong in 2021-22 and net cash is £27m. That could provide scope for dividends or some other way of returning cash to shareholders.
D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) is paying a 12.5p a share special dividend following better than expected figures for the year to March 2022. The underlying pre-tax profit declined from £4.4m to £3.3m as a move towards a subscription model delayed revenue recognition. Annual recurring revenues were £14m by the end of the period.
Stripping out flotation related costs, 4Global (4GBL) made an operating profit before government grants. The sports data and analysis company increased revenues from £2.68m to £3.64m, which is around pre-Covid levels.
Cambium Global Timber (TREE) is holding a general meeting on 3 August to gain shareholder approval to cancel the AIM quotation and wind up the company. There is £5.47m in the bank and a further £1.5m of deferred consideration is due. Cost reductions will be made and there will be an initial distribution of 6.5p a share. There could be a second distribution of 1.5p a share.
Kitchenware retailer ProCook Group (PROC) made a pre-tax profit of £9.5m on revenues of £69.1m last year. That was in line with downgraded expectations. The dividend is 0.9p a share. Like-for-like revenues have fallen by 16% so far this year, but there are short-term indications that the market could be improving. ProCook continues to win market share, but pre-tax profit is likely to be lower this year.
Spiritus Mundi (SPMU) is a cash shell seeking acquisitions in the clinical diagnostics sector and it has directors with experience in this area. A subscription raised £280,000 at 5p a share and along with previous share issues, this means that there is around £1m of cash available. Pro forma assetd are just over 2p a share.
Data integrity and control software provider Gresham Technologies (GHT) says interim revenues were 56% higher at £23.1m, including a full six-month contribution from Electra Information Systems, which was acquired in June 2021. Organic revenue growth was 19%. Clareti software annual recurring revenues are £25.9m. Net cash is £6.4m. The interims will be announced on 26 July.
Incanthera (INC) raised £1.21m at 9.5p a share prior to joining NEX on 28 February. The price at the end of the first day of dealings was 10.5p (9.5p/11.5p). There were no trades. Incanthera is developing Sol, a topical product for the treatment of solar keratosis and prevention of skin cancer, which could be licenced to a partner within 18 months.
Mechanical and electrical installation services provider Field System Designs Holdings (FSD) continued to be hit by problems with its energy from waste customer in the first half. Revenues dipped from £11.8m to £11.5m, but it went from profit to loss due to litigation costs. The water sector is the main focus of the company. The new AMP7 water investment period starts in April. There was cash of £4.38m at the end of November 2019. The NAV was £3.28m compared with a market capitalisation of £2.4m.
Employee-owned business finance provider Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) broadly maintained its NAV at 43.44p a share at the end of August 2019. A £800,000 investment valuation gain plus a £126,000 write back of provisions was offset by loan impairments of £908,000. Management believes that several investee companies will have encouraging developments this year.
Ashley House (ASH) has decided to withdraw from NEX on 26 March and maintain its AIM quotation. Cash remains in short supply due to the failure to receive more than £1m owed by two debtors. More cash needs to be raised. Non-core assets could be sold. There are good prospects for the business. Three memoranda of understanding / framework agreements have been signed with institutions. There is a pipeline of nine potential affordable housing schemes, four of which have planning permission.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) says it intends to bid for the rest of Apollon UK, which has the right to 95% of net profit of Apollon Formularies Jamaica and the right to acquire a 49% stake in that business. AfriAg owns 2.68% of Apollon UK and is trying to satisfy regulatory requirements for the offer to go ahead.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) had less than $24,000 left in the bank at the end of September 2019. A proposed deal fell through last year and management is considering a new strategy which could be announced in a few weeks. Trading in the shares remains suspended.
Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has signed a joint venture agreement with Dynasty Construction, which owns 600 hectares of land in Rwanda, to explore for tin, tungsten and tantalum. Eastinco says the operation of the wash plant at the Kuaka mine has been delayed. It should be in operation by the end of April.
Dozen Savings 5% secured bonds 1 March 2020 have been withdrawn from NEX.
Netcall (NET) increased its total annual contract value by 10% to £16.6m at the end of 2019. The customer engagement software provider has been increasing the sales of its low-code products, which represent one-third of group revenues just a couple of years after the products were launched. The Liberty Connect conversational messaging platform has generated the first orders.
Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ) has been performing poorly almost since it joined AIM and many investors have lost patience. Fidelity sold its 5% stake, but one investor that believes it is a good time to buy the shares is Cavendish Asset Management, which has more than doubled its stake from 5.24% to 11.8%.
Redx Pharma (REDX) has terminated merger discussions with Yesod Bio-Sciences because the offer was not high enough. Redmile Group will provide up to £26.3m of funding to Redx. Redmile will subscribe for 11.5 million shares at 11.2p each, which is higher than the market price in the past six months. There will also be a £5m short-term loan and a £20m convertible loan. The share subscription will provide enough cash until April while the terms of the loans are agreed.
Cora Gold (CORA) has announced further drill results for the Sanankoro gold project in the Yanfolila gold belt in southern Mali. The results confirm significant additional mineralisation with some grades above 2g/t. There are more results to come.
finnCap is not changing its forecast for Surface Transforms (SCE) following its seven month figures. The carbon fibre brake discs developer is changing its year end from May to December. In the 17 months to December 2020, revenues of £3.3m and a loss of £1.7m are forecast.
Empire Metals (EEE) has raised £600,000 at 1p a share in order to invest in its assets in Georgia and identify other assets.
United Oil and Gas (UOG) has completed the acquisition of Egyptian oil and gas assets from Rockhopper Exploration (RKH) and it was readmitted to AIM on 28 February.
Eden Research (EDEN) is raising up to £10.6m at 6p a share via a placing and open offer. The biopesticides developer will spend the cash on gaining regulatory approval and registration for its products, as well as on further development.
AssetCo (ASTO) had cash of £17.1m at the end of September 2019 and since then a further £11m has been received. There are also bonds of £3.5m. Grant Thornton is appealing the judgement for negligence and the decision of the Court of Appeal should be made in the summer.
Billing Services Group (BILL) has completed the sale of its business and will distribute cash to shareholders by the end of March.
Mereo BioPharma (MPH) says it received positive feedback from the FDA following an end of phase 2 meeting for Setrusumab, a treatment for osteogenesis imperfecta in the young. A phase 3 study programme has been agreed.
STM Group (STM) has confirmed previous expectations for its 2019 figures which will be reported on 24 March. An underlying pre-tax profit of £2.5m is forecast.
Firestone Diamonds (FDI) wants shareholder permission to leave AIM. The general meeting is on 13 March. A weak diamond market and lower recovery levels than expected have made it difficult to finance the debt burden. Leaving AIM will reduce costs and there has been little liquidity anyway.
Packaging supplier Macfarlane (MACF) increased its pre-tax profit by 10% to £12m. The full year dividend was raised by 7% to 2.45p a share. Both distribution and manufacturing made higher profit contributions. This year’s profitability is ahead of 2019, so far.
Personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) has a lot to do to make its full year forecast. Interim revenues increased from £3.9m to £5.4m and there was a slightly lower loss. There is £ in the bank but that could recover to more than £2m by the end of June 2020.
Chief executive George Bennett has leant $1m to Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) to fund exploration and operations. He already has a 8.6% stake and there are warrants over 2 million shares exercisable at 4.55p each that have been issued in return for the loan, which does not have an interest charge.
Commercial aircraft leasing company Avation (AVAP) trebled its interim profit to $45.2m, including an unrealised gain of $37m on aircraft purchase rights, and the net asset value was 15% higher at $4.29 a share. This is equivalent to 325p a share. The dividend was raised by 5% to 2.1 US cents a share.
Trading in the shares of Mila Resources (MILA) has been suspended following an agreement to progress with the purchase of E-Tech Metals in a share deal. The transaction is subject to due diligence. The attraction is high grade neodymium and praseodymium mineralisation, which are important rare earths, in the Eureka rare earth project in Namibia.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has won a $4m cyber contract from an existing government customer. This customer has and will generate contracted revenues of more than $18m.
Investment company London Finance and Investment (LFI) increased net assets by 7% to 63p a share at the end of 2019, although it fell to 62.6p a share by the end of January. An increase in the value of the stake in AIM quoted cake maker Finsbury Food (FIF) more than offset declines elsewhere in the six months to December 2019.
GP clinical software supplier DXS International (DXSP) broadly maintained its interim revenues at £1.66m. Admin costs were lower so DXS returned to profit. There was also a higher tax credit. It made a pre-tax profit of £90,000 in the six months to October 2019, while the post-tax figure was £202,000. The final accreditation for the NHS Digital Care Services (GP IT Futures) contract is due this month. This will provide a positive outlook for the rest of this year and next year.
Formation Group (FRM) is investing £10m in Irish property development sites in Dublin, Limerick and Kildare. These sites were owned by major Formation shareholder Zandra Holdings, which also shares directors with Formation. Market Equities is buying the sites and it will be 45%-owned by Formation and 55% by Zandra.
Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has bought a 59.9% stake in Financial Innovations Team, which provides corporate finance services. Eight Capital also owns 40% of Finance Partners Group, which owns the rest of Financial Innovations Team. The strategy is to eventually become the single direct owner of the business.
Hellyer generated record profit for NQ Minerals (NQMI) in November. The gold mine has provisionally reported net profit before tax of A$2.44m on revenues of A$5.64m.
Belvedere Leisure Resorts has obtained a NEX quotation for its 6.25% secured bonds. Up to £25m of bonds can be issued. The company is a subsidiary of Belvedere Leisure Park, which owns a site in Dumfries & Galloway with planning permission for a lodge park resort of 444 holiday lodges.
SAPO (SAPO) has joined the NEX Growth Market and set its sights on gaining some of the £200m that the government has set aside to make sure that rural people can have fast broadband.
Gunsynd (GUN) has bought a 7.67% stake in Kolosori Nickel, which owns 80% of the Kolorosi prospect in the Solomon Islands. Gunsynd has a 90-day option to purchase a further 22.33%. Gunsynd’s stake in Sunshine Minerals will be diluted to 15.5%, if Malachite Resources earns a 15% stake by financing geological data and technical work.
TechFinancials (TECH) is dropping its AIM quotation and concentrating on the NEX-quotation. The company is reviewing the future of its original financial trading software operations and closing its loss-making business-to-consumer operations. There will be a $2.6m write-off. Blockchain-based ticketing business Footies has still not signed up a client. The first version of the platform is being tested with clubs and the feedback is helping to focus development. The focus is mid-sized clubs. Diamond platform developer Cedex is still commercialising its technology and TechFinancials may consider selling its stake.
Block Commodities (BLCC) has sent a circular to shareholders to convene a general meeting to expand the investment strategy in terms of cultivation of medicinal cannabis, as well as to gain approval for issuing more shares.
Trading in Welney (WENP) shares has been suspended because it has not published its accounts for the year to June 2019.
A large contract has been won by telecoms marketing technology provider Pelatro (PTRO) has been won in the form of a recurring revenue deal rather than a one-off licence. This has led to short-term downgrades, but the longer-term prospects are better. The contract is worth up to $12m over five years, with $10m fixed and the other $2m coming from gain share with the global telecoms client. Pelatro has 50% of next year’s forecast revenues of $8m in the form of recurring revenues. That would generate pre-tax profit of $2.2m.
Shareholders have voted in favour of the DBAY rescue proposal for Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) and will acquire a 51% stake in the main operating subsidiary of the transport business.
Summit Therapeutics (SUMM) is raising £38.7m at 22.1p a share with most of the shares being acquired by Robert W Duggan who will own 72.8% of the antibiotics developer. He will also become a non-executive director. Summit will leave AIM and retain its Nasdaq listing.
ReNeuron (RENE) is expanding the scope of the phase IIa study of its hRPC stem cell therapy treatment in order to speed up the process towards a phase III study. Further data will be published next year. Patient recruitment for a treatment for stroke disability is being accelerated. The main data will be published in the middle of 2021. There was £21.3m in the bank at the end of September 2019.
Subsea cable protection services provider Tekmar (TGP) continues to benefit from increasing investment in offshore wind. Interim revenues were 140% higher at £17.1m and the business moved from loss to profit. Acquisitions boosted organic growth. The order book was at a record level of £15.9m at the end of September 2019.
Renalytix AI (RENX) will receive $950 per KidneyIntelX test used in the US from 1 January. This price lasts for three years and is set by the US authorities. Insurance companies are likely to pay a similar amount. Initial revenues have been generated by a pharma testing programme.
Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ) is still finding trading conditions tough with like-for-like store sales 10% lower so far this year. Costs have been reduced, but a pre-tax loss of £3.3m is forecast for this year.
Medical grade collagen components supplier Collagen Solutions (COS) is building up sales of tissue and starting to benefit from the collaboration with its major US shareholder. Investment in the Glasgow facility will increase collagen supply.
Antibody discovery company Fusion Antibodies (FAB) improved interim revenues from £660,000 to £1.75m. There was still £1.31m left in the bank at the end of September 2019. Belfast-based Fusion has launched its RAMP service, which helps clients to optimise the performance of an antibody. The Mammalian Antibody library should be launched by next September.
Standard list shell National World (NWOR) has asked for trading in the shares to be suspended as it negotiates the potential acquisition of regional titles from JPI. There are also other acquisitions being assessed.
Zenith Energy (ZEN) has acquired the Italian gas production and exploration assets of Coro Energy (CORO) for an initial £402,000 in shares at 6p each. Up to £3.5m in also payable in shares if gas production averages 100,000 scm/day over a period of four successive months. Production is expected to reach 113,000 scm/day following developments planned over the next 6-9 months. The Italian authorities have to agree to the deal, which adds to Zenith’s existing assets in Italy.
Haynes Publishing (HYNS) says that interim pre-tax profit will be 37% higher than in the corresponding period last year. This is all organic growth. The interims will be announced on 30 January.
Digital inkjet technology developer Xaar (XAR) says that Stratasys has completed its increased investment in Xaar 3D and it has an option to acquire the rest of Xaar 3D within three years. Xaar sold 20% of the 3D printing business for $10m and Stratasys can buy the 55% it does not won for at least $33m.
Nanoco (NANO) says that interested parties have been asked to submit acquisition proposals by mid-December. The majority of contracted revenues of £3.5m will be delivered in the first half. Progress with new customers has been hampered by the formal sale process.
IMC Exploration (IMC) says that the exploration programme in the Goldmines River licence in Wicklow has confirmed gold values ranging up to 0.4g/t. Drilling results are still being analysed.
Pembridge Resources (PERE) says that its Minto mine in Canada has received £3.7m in payment for copper concentrate. Sumitomo makes a 90% advanced payment for the concentrate. The rest is paid on delivery. Pembridge is on a roadshow to raise between £3m-£5m.
BATM (BVC) has gained a $4m contract in Asia for its agri-waste business. Three units will be supplied to two poultry processing facilities.
MESH Holdings, which recently left NEX will have its shares dealt on the JP Jenkins dealing platform. The acquisition option for AI company Sentiance has lapsed but management is in talks to agree a new option, which would require MESH to invest more cash in Sentiance, where it has a 16.8% stake.
WH Smith plc SMWH is rapidly evolving into two separate businesses one of which does not seem to be able to find the management which it seems to need. The problem is the High Street, the traditional business which keeps on trying to make a profit out of selling newspapers, books and pencils. Smiths highlights its problems as if it is something to be proud of. Like for like High Street revenue fell by 2% in the six months to the 28th February and that, it proudly boasts, is its second best sales performance in a decade.Travel on the other hand is the jewel in the crown, with sales up by 18%, like for like revenue up by 3% and profit by 7%. Travel is expected to produce strong profit growth in the second half, slightly ahead of expectations. and it is thanks to travel that the interim dividend can be increased by 8%.
Quiz plc QUIZ saw group revenue rise by 12% during the year to the 31st March, helped by strong online expansion of 34%, compared to UK stores and concessions and International sales up by 8%. The company operates 108 Debenham concessions in the UK and a further 11 in the Republic of Ireland which between them produce 23% of total revenues. Slower than anticipated growth is expected during the year. and a thorough review of all aspects of the business is being undertaken, to mitigate the effects of the slowdown.It still looks forward to continuing to work productively with Debenhams.
easy Hotel plc EZH continued to outperform for the fourth year its hotel markets in the UK and across Europe during the six months to the 31st March, System sales rose by 24% and revenue by 47%. Regional market performance was weaker compared to a strong London. market., There was a marked deterioration across the UK in in the second quarter compared to the first.. As a result the short-term market outlook remains uncertain and trading is mixed on a country-by-country basis and as in the UK overall market demand has softened.
Christie Group plc CTG The 12 months to the end of December produced a solid performance but it can not be hidden that here is yet another company which is being damaged by our feckless politicians Brexit performance and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit is causing UK transaction related activity to slow.despite that, operating profit rose by 8.4%, revenue by 6.3%, the total dividend is to be increased by 3% and the second half performance is expected to be stronger.
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.
This month marks the 22nd anniversary of the launch of NEX Exchange, although it was then originally called Ofex. A number of companies have gone on to bigger things, including Genus, which is in the FTSE250 index and accesso Technology, which is one of the top 50 companies on AIM. Further information can be found at http://www.hubinvest.com/AIMPDFOctober2017_97.pdf
MetalNRG (MNRG) has applied for two cobalt licences at Palomino and north Palomino in Western Australia but a rival has applied for the latter licence. There has also been interest from potential acquirers of this interest. A report has been received about the company’s US cobalt interests and this is being reviewed. A potential uranium project has been brought to the company and it is considering the opportunity.
Indigo Holdings (INGO) has invested £10,000 in 3sootjobs, a job search platform in Iran, giving it a 1.53% stake. Turquoise, which owns 32.1% of Indigo, and related parties, including Indigo directors, own around two-thirds of 3sootjobs.
Ecovista (EVTP) has bought a 80% stake in a company that owns a four bedroom property near Stanstead and it has paid £10,000 for an option on the next door property. The properties cover 1.72 acres.
Parcel delivery company DX (Group (DX.) is raising £24m from an issue of convertible loan notes. The conversion price will be 10p a share and the interest rate 8%. There is potential to issue a further £2m of loan notes. Lloyd Dunn has been appointed as chief executive but he is not on the board. Along with three directors, he is subscribing for £5.25m of loan notes.
Angle (AGL) has further positive indications of the effectiveness of its Parsortix liquid biopsy technology and it has also raised a further £2.8m, taking the total raised at 37.5p a share to £15m. Heinrich Heine University researchers has been able to able to continue to grow circulating tumour cells harvested using a Parsortix device.
Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ) performed strongly in the first half and online sales have increased to one-quarter of the total. This was before the launch of a website focused on Spain and there are plans for other international websites. The UK stores grew sales by 15%. Overall revenues were 35% ahead at £56.1m.
Orogen (ORE) is acquiring Thread 35 Ltd and changing its name to Sosandar (SOS), which is the acquisition’s online womenswear brand. The brand was launched on 19 September 2016 by the founders of fashion magazine Look and is aimed at the affluent professional woman. Orogen is paying £6.3m in cash and shares for the acquisition. Ten Orogen shares are being consolidated into one new share. A placing at 15.1p a share will raise £4.8m net to cover the cash portion of the acquisition cost.
Toilet tissue supplier Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL) expects to pay between£550,000 and £2.9m and because of its guilty plea the amount will be discounted by one-third. The figure will be announced early next year. Talks continue with major shareholders and the bank.
Wynnstay Group (WYN) has appointed administrators to Just for pets and 18 of the stores have been sold to PSR Ltd. The other seven have been closed. The loss-making pet products retailer had net assets of £2.2m.
Crop enhancement products supplier Plant Impact (PIM) increased its full year revenues by 17% to £8.5m even though sales in Brazil were disappointing. Higher research and development spending meant that there was a £3m loss. There was £7.2m in the bank at the end of July 2017. Plant Impact is moving into new geographic markets as well as building share in its existing markets.
Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) intends to use some of its cash to buy back up to £3m worth of shares. There was net cash of £20.8m at the end of August 2017. Interim revenues were flat at £1.45bn buy underlying pre-tax profit was 7% higher at £20.9m.
Patrick O’Sullivan, who failed to gain a board seat at Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR), has reduced his stake in the Irish gold explorer to three million shares (24.6%). Conroy was awarded costs of the court proceedings made by Patrick O’Sullivan and the level is still to be assessed. Conroy has decided to cancel its quotation on the Dublin-based Enterprise Securities Market on 6 November. Conroy will still be quoted on AIM so shareholder approval is not required. Andrea Gonella currently owns less than 3% of Conroy, having owned more than 6% in July. Conroy has raised €240,000 via a €0.30 a share placing and a further €167,000 was raised from warrants taken up by directors Professor Richard Conroy and Maureen Jones.
Digital Barriers (DGB) has decided to sell its video business for up to £27.5m. It will concentrate on its Thruvision people screening business.
InterQuest Group (ITQ) has appointed Allenby as its nominated adviser and Peterhouse as its broker so trading in the shares has recommenced. Chisbridge Ltd ended up with 58.3% of InterQuest after its bid. It still wants to ditch the AIM quotation and it can buy shares in the market in order to increase the stake.
Patient monitoring device developer LiDCO (LID) has gained its first long-term high use programme contract with a US customer but that did not contribute in the first half. In the six months to July 2017, revenues were 4% higher at £3.9m and the loss was £1m. That was due to higher sales and marketing costs without the benefits of higher sales yet showing through.
1Spatial (SPA) has sold its non-core assets so that it can focus on geospatial data. There is particular potential in the US market. Although interim revenues were flat at £12.1m but a greater proportion were from the geospatial business. The operating loss was reduced from £1.9m to £1.2m and the cash outflow in the period was minimal. Claire Milverton has been confirmed as chief executive.
Two graphene-related companies are raising cash. Applied Graphene (AGM) has raised £9m at 36p a share and existing shareholders are being given the chance to subscribe for up to £1m via a one-for-eight open offer. There was £4.7m in the bank at the end of July 2017. The cash is being used to finance joint development activity for the strategic ink programme, which uses 2D inkjet printing to deliver graphene-based inks. Other potential uses are also being explored. Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) is raising £10m via a placing and offer at 120p a share, which was a 32% discount to the market price. Haydale recently changed broker to Arden. The cash will be used to provide working capital for existing orders and to develop new uses for graphene, including cookware.
SaaS-based accounting software supplier FreeAgent Holdings (FREE) says that it generated interim revenues of £4.6m, compared with £3.6m. There was a smaller first half loss and had net cash of £3.4m at the end of September 2017.
Top level domain names owner and distributor Minds + Machines (MMX) has received approval from the authorities in China to sell .law, .work, .beer and the Chinese equivalent of .shopping. Four more extensions are going through the approvals progress. So far, revenues from China for .vip have been a significant contributor to group revenues.
A consortium led by former chief executive Peter Earl is in early discussions with Rurelec (RUR) about a bid that could be backed by Rurelec’s joint venture Patagonia Energy Ltd.
An application to enable Redx Pharma (REDX) to get back control of its main subsidiary will be heard on 26 October. If approved, the subsidiary will come out of administration and the suspension of trading in Redx shares could be lifted.
Realm Therapeutics (RLM) has completed the £19.3m placing at 29p a unit (one unit is one share and a warrant for 0.4 of a share). The warrants provide an opportunity to subscribe for a share at 58p each. The initial focus of the cash will be the treatments PR022 for atopic dermatitis and PR013 for allergic conjunctivitis. There are also plans for a phase II trial for the PR023 treatment for acne vulgaris.
PipeHawk (PIP) has sold its 28.4% stake in south east England-based survey practice SUMO Ltd to its own executive chairman Gordon Watt for £197,499. That is the equivalent of the investment in loss-making SUMO and is more than its value in the books.
Dr Cliff Holloway has been appointed as chief executive of Scancell Holdings (SCLP) and he will push forward the immunotherapy platforms being developed by the company. His predecessor Dr Richard Goodfellow is remaining on the board. Scancell had £2.67m in the bank at the end of April 2017, which was less than the cash outflow in the previous 12 months.
Ashanti Gold Corp says that the Anumso gold project, where Goldplat (GDP) is earning up to 75% through a $3m investment in exploration, has broader and new mineralised zones. Soil sampling has produced good results and suggests high gold recovery rates.
Former AIM company Zenith Hygiene has agreed a cash bid from BCPE Diamond UK. The deal values Zenith at £100m, based on its enterprise value, although the final amount depends on performance.
Cash shell J2 Acquisition Ltd (JTWO) commenced trading on the standard list on 10 October, having raised $1.25bn. The shell is seeking a company with a strong market share and proven track record. If an acquisition is not made within two years, shareholder approval will be required for a further 12 months of operation.
Levrett (LVRT) has completed the acquisition of Nuformix Ltd for £12m in shares at 4p each and it has changed its name to Nuformix. A further £2.3m has been raised at 4p a share. Trading will recommence on 16 September.
Sealand Capital Galaxy (SCGL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with AIM-quoted MySQUAR (MYSQ) that will enable the two companies to distribute each other’s mobile games.
Monchhichi (MCC) still intends to follow Pembridge Resources (PERE) from AIM to the standard list but the move has been delayed until mid-November. This will follow shareholder approval for the €10m investment in artificial intelligence, machine learning and behavioural data science company Sentiance and the approval of the prospectus by the UKLA. Sentiance lost more than €2m on revenues of €1.4m in 2016.
WideCells Group (WDC) plans to launch its CellPlan insurance for stem cell treatment in Spain before the end of the year. A partner has been secured for the expansion of stem cell services in the Middle East, north Africa and Asia Pacific. White Apex General Trading will be exclusive strategic partner for three years.