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Small cap award winners 2018
Company of the year
ZOO Digital (ZOO)
The ZOO Digital share price is ten times the level it was one year ago. ZOO localises film and television content and it has been investing in upgrading its technology and services over the past few years. This investment is paying off and the ability to offer cloud-based services is helping the business to grow and move into profit. Hollywood studios have been customers for many years and ZOO is winning market share. Newer entrants to the market such as Netflix have grown the demand for localisation of content. ZOO is expected to report an underlying pre-tax profit of £500,000 for the year to March 2018.
NEX company of the year
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS)
Cyber security technology developer Crossword Cybersecurity originally floated on GXG and then switched to NEX. It was one of the youngest companies that was on the shortlist for this award. Crossword is generating modest revenues and it is developing cyber security products with partners. The real potential for the business will not be realised for a few years.
Impact company of the year
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR)
Walls & Futures REIT is an ethical housing REIT that develops new housing for people with learning and physical disabilities or requiring extra care. In 2017, Walls and Futures achieved a total return on its portfolio of 11.5%, ahead of its benchmark total return of 7%.
IPO of the year
K3 Capital (K3C)
Business sales and corporate finance company K3 Capital Group joined AIM at 95p a share in April 2017 and the share price has more than trebled. Bolton-based K3 helps owners to sell their businesses and it gains clients through a direct marketing strategy. The AIM quotation and the related higher profile appears to have helped to accelerate growth. A move up the Thomson Reuters deal rankings is also helping. Last year, revenues rose by 26% to £10.8m, while pre-tax profit improved 18% to £3.6m. In the six months to November 2017, revenues were 34% ahead at £7.5m and pre-tax profit moved from £2.48m to £3.21m.
Fintech company of the year
FAIRFX Group (FFX)
Foreign exchange and e-banking services provider FAIRFX has a low cost model while offering an improved experience to the more established rivals. Turnover was £1.1bn last year, while revenues were £15.5m and this enable the company to move into profit. Corporate turnover was 52.3% of the total, up from 45.5%. The company recently moved its international payments book onto the City Forex platform following its acquisition. The focus is increasing scale to improve efficiency combined with the rolling out of new products.
Transaction of the year
Proactis (PHD) – merger with Perfect Commerce
Spend control software provider Proactis merged with Perfect Commerce in August 2017. The deal significantly increased the scope of the business and added to the management team. The integration of the businesses appears to be going well but the loss of a couple of large customers has held back progress in the year to July 2018. Even so, annualised contracted revenues are still £45.5m. Progressive Equity Research still expects a near-doubling of this year’s pre-tax profit to £10.2m, rising to £13.2m next year. That means that earnings per share growth is modest this year because of the additional shares in issue.
Executive director of the year
Bobby Kalar – Yu Group (YU.)
Electricity and gas supplier Yu Group floated on AIM in March 2016 at 185p a share. The current share price is more than four times that level. The focus is on commercial customers. Yu increased its revenues from £16.3m to £47m last year and annualised bookings continue to grow. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £195,000 to £3.08m. The dividend was increased from 2.25p to 3p a share. Trading continues to be strong and average annualised bookings per month were £6.6m. The cash pile has increased to £18.6m at the end of April 2018. Yu has obtained a licence to supply water.
Journalist of the year
Paul Scott – Stockopedia
Fund manager of the year
Nick Williamson – Old Mutual
Microcap fund manager of the year
Guy Feld – Canaccord Genuity
Analyst of the year
Kevin Ashton – Cantor Fitzgerald
Lifetime achievement award
Katie Potts – Herald Investment Management
Special services to small caps
John Jenkins (Founder of Ofex/NEX)
Daniel Thwaites (THW) increased its 2017-18 by 9% to £92.2m, while operating profit improved by 7% to £12.9m. There was a 79% increase in earnings per share to 13.8p, mainly due to a swing from a loss on interest swaps to a profit. The total dividend is unchanged at 4.46p a share. Investment in the pubs and hotels operations and in the new craft brewery at Mellor Brook has led to a rise in net debt from £47.6m to £63.7m. The old brewery will be demolished and the land will eventually be sold or developed. Poor weather means that the new financial year has started more slowly than last year.
Hellenic Capital has changed its name to Pelican House Mining (PHM) and is focusing on investing in early-stage resources projects in Africa. The focus is making capital gains on the investments. Pelican is trying to supplement its cash resources by selling a commercial property in Leeds, but the buyer withdrew. Pelican has retained the deposit. The investment property in Leeds is in the books at £204,000. Two directors, Simon Grant-Rennick and Mark Jackson, have been granted options over a total of seven million shares exercisable at 0.55p each.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that its conference and events division is 22% ahead of the same time last year and the revenues of the hotel have risen by the same percentage. There has been a 17% rise in revenues for the nursery business on the back of occupancy rates rising by six percentage points. There are longer-term worries about the financial ability of bookies to provide sponsorship and other revenues. Management says it will not be paying any dividends until 2022 at the earliest after the current development projects are completed.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has raised £303,000 at 0.15p a share and around £119,000 will go towards paying the £119,000 settlement with D-Beta, which provided an equity sharing facility. D-Beta has sold its existing stake. PCG is talking to Cavitation Solutions Ltd about distributing cavitation technology, which deals with oil and other water pollutants, in China. It is also talking to ChainZy about distributing its blockchain-based technology in Asia. There is interest from third parties concerning the use of PCG’s media and gambling licences in China.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) has raised £250,000 at 0.7p a share and the cash will be used to develop the company’s three main gold and zinc projects.
South Africa-focused investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has made a second investment in Uganda-based Four-One Financial Services, which manages the Mazima micro-pension scheme. This is the second tranche of the original investment and is in the form of a $100,000 convertible loan.
NWF (NWF) says that last year’s trading was much better than expected and net debt is lower than forecast. The feeds business improved its performance and trading of the fuels division was strong. The food distribution operations wee hit by reorganisation requirements and did not perform as well as expected.
Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) has got another large deal on the blocks and trading in the shares has been suspended. The Appalachian Basin oil and gas producing assets will be acquired for $575m and it will more than double the group’s daily production. This should be an earnings enhancing deal. A $225m share placing is required to help finance the deal.
RedstoneConnect (REDS) chief executive Mark Braund intends to leave the smart buildings technology company. Frank Beechinor will move from chairman to chief executive. The disposal of the systems integration and managed services divisions has been completed and the group can focus on its software business.
Ilika (IKA) has gained government funding of £4.1m for two battery technology projects in the automotive sector. The PowerDriveLine project is developing a solid state battery for hybrid and electric vehicles. The other project is headed by McLaren Automotive and is developing a battery for performance cars.
Secure payment products provider Eckoh (ECK) increased its full year revenues by 3% to £30m but pre-tax profit was 61% higher at £2.4m thanks to an improvement in operating margin. Growth in the US made up for a weaker contribution in the UK.
Redhall Group (RHL) slumped back into loss in the first half due to a delayed contract. However, it is still on course to make an improved profit in the full year. Interim revenues were 22% lower at £14.7m. There is strong demand for the company’s specialist doors from the nuclear and transport sectors.
Evgen Pharma (EVG) has enough cash to get to the end of 2018. There should be further positive news about the two ongoing clinical trials prior to the end of the year. Interim analysis of phase II trial of SFX-01 as a treatment for breast cancer show that six out of 20 patients, who had tumours that had initially responded to treatment but had become resistant, saw some benefit from the treatment of their tumours. The treatment has also been shown to be safe. The final results of the trial should be published before the end of the year.
Life sciences company Abzena (ABZA) has decided to focus on monetising its technology rather than raising money via a share issue. A non-binding heads of agreement with a third party would involve the sale of an interest in future royalties. If this deal is completed there would be enough working capital for the short-term.
Active Energy Group (AEG) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Young Living Farms for the sale of a PeatSwitch plant, which makes environmentally friendly peat replacements. The first plant is in Mona, Utah and the client is paying $3.4m in cash. There could subsequently be other plants at the client’s other sites.
Trading has resumed in the shares of Audioboom (BOOM) following publication of its accounts. The share price fell from 3.6p to 2.18p. The podcasts publisher has raised £4.5m from a placing at 3p a share.
WideCells Group (WDC) managed to raise £513,000 at 3p a share via a bookbuild on the Teathers app. That includes £183,000 from directors. The total amount raised by the stem cell services provider is £2.04m, including conversion of debt of £165,000. Shareholder approval is required for the share issue.Trading in the shares has resumed and the share price has fallen below the placing price. WideCells is using £615,000 of its £624,500 overdraft, which will be reviewed at the end of June. Shareholders have loaned £120,000.
China-based Gamfook Jewellery is planning to join the standard list. The online retailer customised jewellery wants to raise £5m in order to invest in retail sites. Gamfook has managed to generate cash from operating activities in the past few years, although next year there will be a significant working capital outflow according to forecasts. Gamfook is offering an 8.5% yield on its potential placing price of 15p a share and that would rise to 12.5% in 2019.
Air Partner (AIR) has completed its accounting review and the net assets overstatement of £4m net of tax is in line with indications. There were accounting errors and subsequent attempts to cover up the problems going back to 2010. The review has cost £1.3m. Air Partner still intends to pay a final dividend of 3.8p a share.
BATM (BVC) has won a $3m follow-on cyber security for a government department. The total contract value will be $7m.
Falcon Media House (FAL) has raised £500,000 via a convertible loan note issue. The conversion price is 1.5p a share.
Cash shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) has raised £250,000 from an oversubscribed open offer at 20p a share but there was a delay of one day before the shares were admitted to trading on 14 June. The share price has slumped from a high of 160p to 24.5p over the past month.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has agreed a 30-year lease on a second property in north west England. Housing association Inclusion Housing is paying £168,740 a year for the lease subject to planning permission for extra rooms. The property needs to be refurbished.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has executed the 50/50 joint venture agreement with Southern Gold for the Kochang mine and the feasibility report is expected before the end of September. The required $500,000 investment has nearly been completed by Bluebird and it is on course to invest the required $250,000 in Southern Gold. First gold is expected before the end of 2019.
Stratmin Global Resources which was quoted AIM until August 2017, is expected to join NEX on 6 June. Stratmin lost the AIM quotation because it failed to complete a reverse takeover, partly due to the fact that it was waiting for a promised investment. Stratmin is still in the process of completing the acquisition of Australian gold explorer Signature Gold, which would be paid for by the issue of 450 million shares at 2p each. After the deal, the company will change its name to Tectonic Gold.
Ananda Investments is the latest cannabis-focused investment vehicle to be joining NEX. The pre-money valuation is £500,000 and the minimum fundraising is £750,000. Ananda is willing to raise up to £4m. There are already potential investments being assessed. A reverse takeover valued at up to £10m appears most likely.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) says that 40%-owned AfriAg (Pty) Ltd increased its net profit from £104,000 to £179,000. This was equity accounted by AfriAg Global and the £72,000, up from £42,000, contribution helped offset the operating loss from the agricultural logistics group’s operations. The overall loss increased from £9,000 to £38,000. AfriAg (Pty) Ltd had the right to take a 60% stake in House of Hemp but this deal was terminated when the South African government delayed setting up the legal framework for medicinal cannabis. Focus has turned to other countries.
KR1 (KR1) generated gains of £4.3m on its trading in digital coins and tokens during 2017. There was also a total unrealised gain of £10.8m on these investments and a £1.18m foreign exchange gain. The total pre-tax profit was £14.5m, with a tax charge of £2.87m. That tax charge is included in trade creditors due within one year of £4.21m. There is cash in the bank, but total current assets were £3.5m. A creditor has subsequently been paid with £79,000 of shares, issued at 10p each. The KR1 share price has more than quadrupled over the past year and there is regular daily trading in the shares.
Workspace provider and art collector V22 (V22) reported a 2017 pre-tax profit of £175,000, down from £1.01m the previous year. The profit included a gain on the sale of an option to acquire one of the company’s buildings. The NAV is £1.34m, equivalent to 4.26p a share. That increases to 8.68p a share if the company’s art collection is revalued. The shares are trading at 2.95p (2.7p/3.2p).
Housebuilder St Mark Homes (SMAP) reported a reduction in pre-tax profit from £652,000 to £384,000 in 2017. There was a reduction in revenues from £1.34m to £120,000 and the share of operating profit from a joint venture was more than halved. There was cash in the bank of £514,000 at the end of 2017. St Mark has raised £3.47m from a 6% bond. This cash will be invested in new projects. The NAV is 134p a share, compared with a share price of 95p (90p/100p).
Peru-based gold and silver producer VI Mining (VIM) reported a tripled loss of $6.33m for 2017. No revenues were generated and the NAV was $2.56m. That was before VIM acquired two projects for $51.3m and raised £5.35m at 500p a share.
Georgia-focused oil and gas company Block Energy withdrew from NEX on 23 March and it is set to join AIM on 11 June. It will be valued at £10.3m at 4p a share.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has identified an acquisition that could provide the opportunity to move to the standard list.
Iran-focused investment company Indigo Holdings (INGO) is reviewing its strategic options. Hamish Harris and Nicholas Harwood are stepping down from the board.
First Sentinel (FSBN) generated initial revenues of £156,000 but, even excluding admission expenses of £65,000, it lost £117,000 in the 15 months to December 2017. The NAV of the small company adviser and investor was £1.26m at the end of the year. Since then, a further £1.5m has been raised via a convertible bond.
Formation Group (FRM) fell back into loss in the six months to February 2018. Revenues fell by 15% to £17.2m and there was s wing from a pre-tax profit of £15,000 to a loss of £277,000. The loss was greater than the second half loss last year. The NAV is £9.95m, including £3.2m in cash.
Secured Property Developments (SPD) has received repayment of the loan it made to a developer of a retail scheme in York. This cash will be used to finance any property deals that management feel are good value, thanks to more realistic pricing.
Trading in the shares of DagangHalal (DGHL) and Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) have been suspended. DagangHal has failed to publish its 2017 accounts. Equatorial is in negotiations with South African mining company ARQ Minerals, which intends to invest £50,000 for 500 million shares. This has led to a delay in the publication of accounts.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has appointed Allenby to replace City and Merchant as its corporate adviser.
Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) had already warned that its TriConnex utility connections business was suffering from delays and even so interim figures showed a 4% rise in revenues to £62.9m and a 15% increase in pre-tax profit to £3.4m. The interim dividend was raised by 5% to 2.2p a share. Delays to the commencement of projects continue but the group order book has increased to more than £234m.
RedstoneConnect (REDS) is selling its systems integration and managed services businesses for £21.6m, so that it can concentrate on its software for smart buildings. The cash raised will pay off existing debt. Last year, the software division had revenues of £5.3m and made an operating profit of £1.4m.
Maritime monitoring equipment supplier SRT Marine Systems (SRT) has raised £3m at 25p a share and it is swapping £1.15m of short term loan notes for new three year loan notes. The cash will finance systems projects and product development. SRT is working on projects worth £30.5m.
A positive AGM statement from Parity (PTY) confirms that the trading of the consultancy and staffing divisions is going well. Parity should be cash positive by the end of the year and there is a strong pipeline of potential business.
Fishing tackle retailer Fishing Republic (FISH) increased revenues by 58% to £9.15m, but it slumped into loss. Trading was weaker than expected, particularly in the fourth quarter, and gross margin fell sharply even before stock write-offs. Fishing Republic has relaunched its website and the review of operations is ongoing. Five stores have been closed, reducing the total number to 14.
Share (SHRE) increased its revenues by one-fifth in the first quarter as the services provided for Computershare make a contribution in the full quarter. Broker commissions increased by 27% on the back of a 5% increase in trading volumes. First quarter market share dipped from 3.66% to 3.54%. An upgrade to the website has been completed.
Itaconix (ITX) is restructuring its UK operations in order to focus on core products. The main focus will be the US polymer operations. The annual fixed cost base will fall to less than £3.5m in 2019.
IDOX (IDOX) has appointed David Meaden as chief executive. He has experience of the public sector and software development. The information management software and services provider has closed its loss-making digital division. Underlying EBITDA is likely to be in the range of £13m-£15m for the full year, compared with previous expectations of £22.8m. Excluding digital, the EBITDA will be between £18m and £20m.
Immupharma (IMM) has further analysed the results of the phase III lupus treatment trial for Lupuzor. There were different results in the European and US parts of the trial with antibody positive patients in Europe showed a statistically significant improvement.
Haynes Publishing (HYNS) expects to report a better than expected full year profit. Underlying pre-tax profit will be 10% ahead at around £2.9m. Earnings per share will be hit by US tax changes.
Falcon Media House (FAL) has decided to leave the standard list. The digital media group says that the share price fall has hampered its ability to raise more cash to develop its Q-Flow technology. Revenues have not come through as quickly as expected. If cash were raised, it could reduce the free float so the shares would be suspended.
Dixon Carphone DC has plenty to fix but it is all fixable, claims the new CEO. The first thing which seems to need attention is next years profit which is expected to slump from this years expected £382m to £300m.The dividend for the current year is being maintained at 11.25p per share. Growth in the UK & Ireland has seriously lagged behind the rest of the Dixons empire with like for like full year growth at 2%, falling to 1% for the fourth quarter. The Nordics and Greece tell a different story with full year like for like revenue up by 9% and 11% respectively, whilst quarter four produced rises of 8% and 10%. Must be many years since Greece thrashed the UK in a major retail market.
Smiths Group Medical SMIN has announced that it is in the very early stages of discussions about the combination of its medical division with ICU Medical Inc.Smith claims it routinely reviews all its options.
Redstone Connect plc REDS The year to the thirty first January saw strong revenue growth of 15%, EBITDA rising by 60% and adjusted profit before tax increasing from £1.3m to £2.4m. Since the year end the sale of the Systems Integration & Managed Services Division for a total consideration of £23m will allow the group to focus on delivering and growing its software division.
Buy RedstoneConnect (REDS) says VectorVest. The stock currently offers an enticing investment opportunity for the more adventurous investor
RedstoneConnect Plc (REDS.L), formerly Coms plc, is engaged in providing technology and services for smart buildings and commercial spaces through its core businesses Redstone and Connect IB. The Redstone division provides a range of services, including design, build and installation; managed services, and software solutions. Managed services encompasses the provision of outsourcing services spanning network infrastructure management, smart buildings support services, desktop and data center support services and move, add and change services. REDS has also developed OneSpace, a real estate management software platform. Connect IB develops and deploys applications, including those that address mapping and way finding of Smart Buildings and Smart Spaces, such as car parks or retail shopping centers. It serves customers of all sizes, including corporations, such as property developers, landlords and principal occupiers of commercial property.
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On September 8th 2017, REDS published a trading update ahead of the interim results announcement October 10th. The company said it was pleased with the progress made across the business in the first half, and confirmed trading was in line with management expectations. Software Applications continues to gain market traction, and the company said it had commenced the global roll out of OneSpaceTM, its real estate management software platform. Managed Services also reported an encouraging start to the year. The acquisition of Anders + Kern U.L. Ltd is now fully integrated into the Company and has provided excellent complementary skill sets and a positive contribution to the Company. In addition the company secured a prestigious contract to install an IT cabling infrastructure throughout Tottenham Hotspur’s new 61,500 seat stadium. CEO Mark Braund said while the performance is anticipated to be largely second half weighted, “given our pipeline of work, new business momentum and strong order book, coupled with the additional services that we have added to our offering through the acquisition of A+K, we remain confident for the full year.”
A number of key metrics alerted VectorVest subscribers to the potential at REDS earlier in 2017. The VST Vector, the master indicator for ranking every stock in the VectorVest database, logs REDS with a rating of 1.25, very good on a scale of 0.00 to 2.00. Key to growth potential, the GRT (Earnings Growth Rate) flagged the potential at REDS earlier this summer, when the shares were trading around 123p. The stock has since recovered to 138p, but still retains a forecasted GRT of 35%, which VectorVest considers to be excellent. Traders should note that the RS (Relative Safety) metric records a fair rating of 0.87 on a scale of 0.00 to 2.00, but with a current VectorVest valuation of 174p per share, in the run up to next week’s results announcement REDS remains undervalued.
The chart of REDS is shown above using my normal layout. The blue line study in the window below the price shows the rise in earnings per share (EPS) over the last six months and this is the engine that’s driving the share price higher. The share is on a Buy signal on VectorVest and looks set to move towards the old highs of 190/200 in the near future.
Summary: The transformation in the company under the stewardship of CEO Mark Braund, coupled with a solid first half performance really puts REDS in the frame as an enticing investment opportunity for the more adventurous investor. With clear potential for growth in the second half of the year, VectorVest rates the stock as a buy.
Dr David Paul
October 4th 2017
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Newbury Racecourse (NYR) reported a slightly lower interim operating loss of £268,000 on revenues 10% higher at £7.04m. More racedays helped the racing operations but there were fewer other events which offset that. The nursery business made a much better contribution. Investment in the racecourse continues and income from residential property development of £1.95m helped to fund this. NAV is £44.1m.
Interim revenues were 22% ahead at £4.98m at Chapel Down (CDGP) helped by a 29% increase in wine sales. Management has reassured investors that there was a good harvest in 2017, which will help to improve wine revenues. The Curious Beer brewery is about to commence construction at Ashford.
St Mark Homes (SMAP) has launched a crowdfunding offer via Crowdstacker to raise up to £2m from a bond offering interest at 6% a year. The bonds can be held in ISAs. The cash will finance residential developments, which will predominantly focus on the government’s Help-to-Buy scheme. The company’s NAV per share was 136p at the end of the interim stage.
Block Energy (BLOK) is acquiring the 31% interest in the Norio field in the Republic of Georgia that it does not own and becoming operator of the field. The deal also includes 90% of the Satskhenisi field. The cost is $310,000 in cash. This is classed as a reverse takeover and trading in Block shares is suspended. An assessment of the reserve potential of the oil and gas assets in Georgia ahead of a return to NEX and a dual quotation on AIM.
V22 (V22O) increased its NAV from 1.55p a share to 3.94p a share in the 12 months to June 2017. That includes £235,000 of cash. If the art portfolio is included at its revalued level then the NAV goes up to 7.47p a share. An uplift in the value of the property portfolio offset an operating loss.
Investment company Western Selection (WESP) made a 2016-17 profit of £850,000 and nearly all of this came from the gain on the sale of shares in Swallowfield. Dividend income fell because Northbridge Industrial did not pay a dividend last year. NAV was one-fifth higher at 95p a share. The stake in Bilby was increased during the period. The total dividend has been raised from 2.1p a share to 2.2p a share.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) lost money in the first half of 2017 but it expects token investments to generate near-term revenues. There was £344,000 left in the bank at the end of June 2017 and this has subsequently been boosted by the sale of the shareholding in SatoshiPay. Coinsilium’s NAV is £2.34m.
Chris Bateman has resigned as chief executive of Forbes Ventures (FOR) after the sale of £500,000 of loan notes in Primus Care to his company Gravity Investment Group. Gravity has handed back 1166.7 million shares in Forbes, which have been cancelled. Gravity still owns 49.7% of Forbes, which still owns stakes in K&C REIT and challenger bank Civilised Investments. Trading in Forbes shares remains suspended ahead of the raising of further cash.
Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) has purchased Princes House, Barnstaple, which generates annual rent of £190,000, for £2.325m and College Square Margate, generating annual rent of £630,000, for £8.3m. Disposals of residential properties have raised £3.25m. Ace has raised £500,000 at 71.25p a share.
BWA Group (BWAP) had two investments and £17,000 in the bank at the end of April 2017. Pre-paid cards provider Prego Investments has taken longer to build up its business than expected. Mineralfields Group is in the process of obtaining mining licences in Cameroon.
Trading has commenced in Doriemus (DOR) shares on the ASX. A$3.5m was raised at A$0.26 per share equivalent. The cash will be used to complete drilling on the Lidsey and Brockham oil fields in the UK
Healthcare IT provider DXS International (DXSP) says that growth has been held back by changes in the NHS and the benefits of recent development spending are not likely to show through until 2018-19. In the year to April 2017, revenues were 5% higher at £3.43m but pre-tax profit fell from £46,000 to £39,000. There was £166,000 in the bank at the end of April 2017.
IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has commenced its drilling programme on the zinc licence in south west Ireland. The licence in County Clare is near to other licences where mining companies have achieved encouraging results.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is providing a £150,000 loan facility to healthcare company Rapid Nutrition. The interest rate is 10% a year until the end of February 2018 when it rises to 15% a year. If Rapid Nutrition floats before the end of February 2018 the loan is convertible at 13.32p a share. The loan remains convertible after that but it also becomes repayable in instalments over 18 months. Angelfish is still seeking to recover transaction costs related the repaid investment in 4Navitas.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has licenced blockchain intellectual property to defence-focused ByzGen, which has just raised £500,000 from Regulatory Financial Services Ltd.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £782,000 at 8.5p a share and paid £400,000 of expenses via a share issue at 10p a share.
Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £215,000 from a debenture issue that takes the total value of debentures in issue to £5.11m.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £160,000 in a 3.01% stake in standard listed United Oil & Gas. The average cost was 2.7p a share. United has an onshore UK licence and an Italian onshore licence.
Premier African Minerals (PREM) is raising up to £3.5m at 0.3p a share with the help of PrimaryBid.com. The cash will go towards funding the underground development of the RHA tungsten mine and repaying and cancellation of the YA II loan agreement and D-Beta equity swap.
AP Systems Holdings says that it is considering a bid for RedstoneConnect (REDS). The underlying business of AP has been going since 1985 but AP Systems Holdings is a couple of years old and has only published accounts as a dormant company. The share capital was recently increased followed by a sub division of the shares. It appears that David Anderson still owns 100% of the group.
ITM Power (ITM) is raising £25m via a placing at 40p a share plus up to £4.4m from an open offer at the same price. ITM has £20m of projects under contract and £17m under negotiation. The cash will help to service these projects and finance the winning of additional contracts. The open offer closes on 17 October.
Recruitment software provider Dillistone (DSG) is launching its new software product and this has held back performance in the first half of 2017. The full benefits of the GatedTalent, which enables executives to share their personal information with recruitment consultants on a confidential basis, will not be seen for more than a year. House broker WH Ireland believes that full year profit could fall to £200,000 and it expects the 2018 profit to be flat. Profit is then expected to more than double I 2019 but the exact pace of take u of GatedTalent will be a significant factor in how quickly profit recovers.
Photonstar LED (PSL) significantly reduced its first half costs so even though revenues fell from £2.53m to £2.26m the interim loss decreased from £914,000 to £604,000. Research and development of the new LED systems range is almost complete and the second half sales should be better.
Full year figures from Real Good Food (RGD) show a slump into loss while net debt increased to £16.2m at the end of March 2017. There has been a subsequent refinancing and corporate governance is being improved.
Curzon Energy (CZN) is joining the standard list following the acquisition of coalbed methane licences in Oregon. Curzon believes that gas could be produced before the end of the year. Curzon is raising £2.3m and this will be used to connect five existing wells to a pipeline and drill two more wells. The average cost is $350,000 per well.
Papillon Holdings (PPHP) had £9,000 left in the bank at the end of June 2017 following the costs of the abortive acquisition of Myclubbetting. Papillon has agreed heads of terms to acquire Phestor and Greenway Activated Carbon, which are involved in ultra-supercapacitor development for energy storage and supply of active carbon produced from biomass.
Associated British Engineering (ASBE) says that the level of enquiries for its products are increasing.
Brand CEO Alan Green talks RedstoneConnect (REDS), Andalas Energy (ADL) & Coats Group (COA) on the VOX Markets podcast
Brand CEO Alan Green discusses RedstoneConnect (REDS), Andalas Energy (ADL) & Coats Group (COA) with Justin Waite on the VOX Markets podcast. The interview is 28 minutes 40 seconds in.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased its revenues by 4% to £16.9m in 2016. Underlying trading profit was 8% ahead at £740,000 but there was also a £19.4m gain on the sale of land for housebuilding partly offset by £3.45m impairment charge. The NAV was £44.4m, which is around double the company’s market value. Net cash is £5.4m. The redevelopment of the racecourse continues with the latest phase due to be completed next year.
Good Energy Group (GOOD) has launched a corporate bond. It wants to raise £10m but could raise the subscription level to £20m. Existing bond holders can roll over some or all of their investment into the new bonds. The bonds have a coupon of 4.75% or 5% for customers.
Via Developments (VIA1) has sold all 26 apartments in Napier House in Luton. Deposits of £394,000 and £52,000 of non-refundable reservations have been received. The project should be completed in the first quarter of 2018.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) continues to seek acquisitions in the agricultural logistics sector. In 2016, revenues grew from £1.98m to £3.04m and the loss fell from £96,000 to £9,000. Directors’ fees were reduced from £108,000 to £19,000. The 40%-owned AfriAg (Pty) increased its revenues by 91% to £11.7m but its reported profit dipped from £359,000 to £104,000.
Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) has completed its first supported housing sector investment. It has bought a grade two listed building in Stroud for £475,000. There will be further investment in improving the property over the next four months. The property will then be let on a 25 year lease to a UK care provider with rents adjusted each year by inflation.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested a further £100,000 in space software and hardware developer Bright Ascension. The initial investment was £150,000 and Capital for Colleagues holds 250,000 A shares. The cash will be used for product development and building up the company’s sales infrastructure.
Anna Halpern-Lande, a cleantech sector expert, has joined the board of Milamber Ventures (MLVP). Two new partners have been appointed. Executive chairman Andy Hasoon has converted £50,000 of his director loan into 312,500 shares at 16p each. Two other individuals have taken shares for fees.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has invested $75,000 (£60,000) in Coin-Dash, which is developing a social trading platform for cryptocurrency investors. Coinsilium also has an entitlement to an undisclosed number of Coindash crypto tokens.
MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £276,000 at 28.5p a share from four investors. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £230,000 for working capital. Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised £22,000 at 0.1p a share, while 84.7%-owned apps developer Flamethrower has paid $25,000 for advertising revenues generating Minecraft Command website.
TyraTech Inc (TYR/TYRU) is splitting itself into two businesses so that they can each raise finance to accelerate growth. The separation should be complete by the end of the year. TyraTech used up $2.2m of cash in 2016 leaving it with $1.8m, thanks to cash management in the second half. Allenby expects cash to fall to $700,000 by the end of 2017 but in reality management would hope to have raised money for the two businesses before that time. Marketing spending is required to grow the human health business while further product development investment is required by the animal health business.
Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) is increasing its market share in Europe. In the year to February 2017, revenues grew from £35.5m to £56.1m and pre-tax profit jumped from £600,000 to £2.7m. A new head office has been acquired for £5.3m and a German distribution centre is being opened.
Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) has done particularly well since it joined AIM and its figures were better than expected leading to an upgrade for this year. In 2016, Warpaint made a pre-tax profit of £6.7m on revenues of £27m. A 2017 profit of £7.6m is forecast. Growth is coming from the UK and internationally with US revenues starting to build up.
RedstoneConnect (REDS) has raised £6.5m at 1.5p a share and £1.4m of this will be spent on systems integrator acquiring Anders + Kern. This will help the group to sell its OneSpace smart buildings software. A one-for-100 share consolidation is planned.
Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) improved its full year pre-tax profit from £26m to £29.8m and its NAV is 62.3p a share. The share price is trading at a discount to NAV of one-fifth. Aftersales revenues continue to grow and used vehicle sales were strong. The new car market has declined but trading in March and April is in line with expectations.
Cambria Automotive (CAMB) has also performed well even though new and used vehicle volumes declined. Acquisitions helped its revenues to grow by 11% while its pre-tax profit was more than one-fifth higher at £5.6m. The full year profit forecast has been edged up to £11.2m.
The proposed energy price cap has hampered Flowgroup (FLOW) in its attempt to sell its energy business. It is still in talks but appears more likely to require to raise an additional £20m. This would be highly dilutive because it would be at 1.5p a share plus convertible securities. Losses will continue for the next couple of years and Flow is reducing its exposure to the microCHP business.
Arian Silver Corporation (AGQ) has completed initial sampling at its Mexican Salar project and this confirms the presence of lithium. Further tests are required to fully assess the mineralisation.
Savannah Resources (SAV) has lodged the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Mahab 4 copper mine development, having already done this for the Maqail South deposit. Savannah owns 65% of the company that has the licence for the block that includes Mahab 4. The approval process is expected to take three months. An economic study should be completed by July.
Active Energy (AEG) is reducing its exposure to Ukraine and dividing its operations into Advanced Biomass Solutions, which will own the CoalSwitch technology, and Timberlands International for the timber asset management operations. Supplying woodchip from Ukraine to Turkish fibreboard manufacturers is the main revenue generator but exposure to Ukraine has held back the share price. The company’s former chief operating officer may make an offer for the Ukrainian operations.
Draganfly Investments (DRG) has raised £500,000 at 0.5p a share. Pelamis Investments Ltd owns 11.26%.
Waterman Group (WTM) has recommended a 140p a share bid from CTI Technology, which has already acquired 30%. This means that the £43m bid is mandatory. CTI is one of the largest consulting engineers in Japan.
A strong performance in South Korea has fuelled a strong performance from window components manufacturer Titon (TON). In the six months to March 2017, revenues were 29% higher at £14m, while pre-tax profit was 61% higher at £1.18m. The dividend was increased by 20% to 1.5p a share. Net cash is £2.71m.
Storage and wireless semiconductors developer CML Microsystems (CML) says full year trading was ahead of expectations. Revenues grew by one-fifth to £27.6m – organic growth is estimated to be 16%. Pre-tax profit was £4.2m – 5% higher than forecast. There was £12.4m in the bank t the end of the financial year.
World Trade Systems (WTS) has appointed John Hoskinson as a non-executive director. He has experience of mining, energy, property and services sectors. Clio Lee has stepped down from the board. Trading in WTS shares continues to be suspended.
Richard Griffiths and Blake Holdings have acquired 11.2% of former AIM-quoted investment company Sarossa for £519,500 (1p a share). This takes the concert party’s stake to 51.9% so it has to make a mandatory bid at 1p a share but that is well below the most recent asset value. At the end of 2016, the NAV was £11.3m or 2.4p a share. That included £3.73m of cash.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has raised £1.4m via a placing and subscription at 190p a share – the same as the current bid price – and the cash will be invested in sales and marketing and further cyber security product development. There was £668,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016. Chief executive Thomas Ilube subscribed for 132,103 shares but his holding has been diluted from 52.6% to 44.4%.
Brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) made a small loss in the six months to September 2016 due to the impact of a loss on interest rate swaps of £5.7m due to the fall in sterling but the underlying business is still highly profitable. A 5% increase in revenues to £44m led to an improvement in operating profit from continuing operations from £7m to £7.4m. Investment in hotels and bars has offset the effect of the national living wage. However, the loss on interest rate swaps meant that a previous interim profit of £5.7m was turned into a loss of £300,000. An unchanged interim dividend of 1.1p a share was announced. Net debt was £34.9m at the end of September 2016 and more capital investment is planned. There are ongoing plans to relocate the brewery and offices and this should be completed in 2018. Thwaites has been named as preferred partner to redevelop Dee House, a grade II listed Georgian building, in Chester.
AIM cash shell Tengri Resources (TEN) has joined the ISDX Growth Market. The AIM quotation will be retained and it is seeking a technology acquisition. Tengri has paid Robust Resources $200,000 in cash, 4.3 million shares and sold Robust its shareholding in gold explorer Prospech in return for the relinquishment of a loan of $1.02m. Tengri has raised £650,000 from an issue of convertible loan stock – which would be equivalent to 65.5% of Tengri if converted – having previously raised £100,000 from a share issue at 5p a share. A general meeting is planned to reorganise the company’s capital and change the name of the company to Forbes Ventures – the ticker will be changed to FOR. The share price was 1p prior to joining ISDX and it ended the week at 2p (1.5p/2.5p).
Ganapati (GANP), the developer of apps for social media and games, has clarified the bonds it has issued to Japanese investors. They are three-year bonds, not two-year bonds as previously stated, with an option to renew for a further year. EveryMatrix Ltd is in talks with Ganapati’s Malta business to obtain an online casino licence but this will be dependent on Ganapati being granted a licence from the British Gambling Commission and a class 4 licence from the Malta Gaming Authority.
The Italian agent of Tracksure has subscribed for up to 4.55 million shares in Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) in lieu of its commission on sales up until the end of August 2017. There will be an initial issue of 562,400 shares in lieu of commission of £5,624. Daniel Stewart has taken its fee for the previous fundraising by the company in the form of 500,000 shares at 1p each and 3.52 million warrants to subscribe for shares at 1p each.
FT8 (GFT) continues to assess potential fintech investments and decisions will be made on specific investments before the end of the year. A lack of financial resources remains a constraint. There was less than £3,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016. Opportunities have also been sought in the US that are in a similar sector to Homeland Health Care, where an FT8 investment provides technology for the employee benefits operations.
Hellenic Capital (HECP) has adopted a new pronged investment policy – UK property and African natural resources investments – but it is not changing its name to City and Commercial Investments. Hellenic will wait until it has made investments before deciding on a new name.
Investors have subscribed for just over 50% of the shares in the one-for-three open offer by St Mark Homes (SMAP). This has raised £694,000 at 105p a share.
Greenbrook Industries has increases its stake in Sandal (SAND) to 29.6%. The shares were transferred to Greenbrook as part of loan agreements with Robin Fuller and Kingswood Asset Management.
Kuala Lumpur Kepong has increased its bid for MP Evans (MPE) from 640p a share to 740p a share, which values the oil palm plantations operator at £415.4m. The bid will be declared unconditional if acceptances reach 50%. The bid has been rejected by MP Evans. This offer cannot be increased unless there is a rival bidder or the target recommends an increased offer. There is scope for a rival bidder.
Transport-related software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) promised that the second half of its financial year would produce the vast majority of profit and it has delivered. In the year to July 2016, the underlying pre-tax profit improved from £5.6m to £6.7m. There is net cash of £10.7m with potential deferred consideration of £6.15m. The rail technology and services division grew organically and thanks to a contribution from software company Ontrac. The remote control monitoring equipment business generated lower revenues but this year it will benefit from a US contract. Traffic & data services benefited from a contribution from traffic planning services provider SEP in a stronger part of its financial year – the first half included a partial contribution during the off-season. Earnings per share were slightly flattered by a lower tax rate. This holds back potential earnings growth this year to around 9% even though pre-tax profit is forecast to improve to £8m helped by a full contribution from SEP.
Student accommodation developer and manager Watkin Jones (WJG) says that 2015-16 trading was in line with expectations. At the end of September 2016, there was a development pipeline of 21 developments with 6,814 beds. These should be delivered in 2017 and 2018. Management business Fresh Student Living has 12,337 beds under management. The full year figures will be published on 18 January.
Totally (TLY) has acquired sports physiotherapy provider Optimum Sports Performance Centre for an initial £400,000. This is an earnings enhancing deal. There are additional deferred payments of 100% of 2016 EBITDA and 75% of 2017 EBITDA. The total maximum payment is £650,000.
Immobile (IMO) reported a 22% increase in pre-tax profit to £3.3m in the six months to 2016 and the cash pile has reached £17.9m. Immobile provides services to enable mobile and digital commerce. Organic growth was 14% with particularly strong growth in India. Recurring revenues were 94% of the total revenues. The launch of IMIchat provides a further service that can be sold to the customer base. Immobile has won its first US mobile operator client and has yet to see the benefits of this. Kestrel Partners has taken its stake above 5%.
RedstoneConnect (REDS) has paid £2.4m for Commensus, which provides managed IT support services, and this should be earnings enhancing. The deal enables RedstoneConnect to offer cloud-hosting services and provides opportunities for cross-selling.
Sula Iron & Gold (SULA) has launched a placing and open offer to raise up to £1.47m at 0.21p a share. This will help to finance the development of the Ferensola gold project in Sierra Leone. Early next year there will be additional drilling in order to demonstrate the scale of the project.
FIH Group (FIH), formerly Falkland Island Holdings, has achieved 60% of this year’s forecast profit in the first half of the financial year. Normally there is a fairly even split. WH Ireland has maintained its full year profit forecast at £1.85m because the outcome will be dependent on how quickly art logistics services provider Momart fills its additional capacity. Net cash was £4.3m at the end of September 2016. The current share price of 218.5p is similar to NAV, excluding intangibles.
Fire and emergency services resource manager AssetCo (ASTO) has still to renew its main contract in Abu Dhabi. The renewal for the contract was due on 17 November and it is still being renegotiated so the contract will continue on existing terms until the new one is finalised. That should be before the end of the year. Trading is in line with expectations and it appears that the contract will be renewed. The £42m claim against former auditor Grant Thornton is still being pursued.
Tanzania-focused Edenville Energy (EDL) says that results of bulk sampling at the Mkomolo and Namwele deposits indicate that the coal is suitable to feed a power plant and requires little or no washing.
Avation (AVAP) says that its dividends will be based in US dollars from now on. Management believes that it will receive proposals for the disposal of 22 ATR turboprop aircraft before the end of 2016. Avation is seeking a price that is well in excess of NAV and the deal will require shareholder approval. That could lead to a special dividend with part of the proceeds invested in further aircraft.
Marketing services firm Creston (CRE) has recommended a 125p a share bid from value investor DBAY Advisors Ltd, which values the target at £75.8m. Shareholders will also keep the 1.42p a share interim dividend. DBAY has been a Creston shareholder for more than two years.