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Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 14 October 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its pre-tax profit by one-fifth to £2.4m in the year to June 2018. Revenues improved from £21.4m to £22.8m. The farm-based milk recording business grew, but the main growth came from the much smaller traceability and reproductive businesses. These figures are for the period before the recent virus attack. The dividend has been halved from 2.5p a share to 1.25p a share because management wants to invest in laboratories and IT. Net debt was £1.7m.

Good Energy (GOOD) has clarified its interim figures. The renewable energy supplier says that there was a misclassification of £4.9m relating to cash and current assets and current liabilities. The problem was the timing of payments. This does not change NAV and profit. There was a £20m in the bank at the end of September 2019. Good Energy has signed a technology platform agreement with Octopus Group, which could involve investment of £4m in order to improve efficiency. The existing technology will be written down over the 12 months to June 2019. Operating cost savings should cover the investment in 18 months of full implementation.

Vox has ended merger discussions with PCG Entertainment (PCGE) and Align Research saying that it is difficult to raise money for any business involving Align Research. Vox is concerned that this will hamper fundraisings for future deals, and it believes it could have a negative effect on its main business.

VI Mining (VIM) has acquired rights to near-surface oxide gold at the Aripuana project in Brazil. The company’s other assets are in Peru.

Reyker Securities has been suspended as a broker on NEX Exchange.

AIM  

PCI-compliant payment services provider PCI PAL (PCIP) is making progress in winning new contracts in North America. Recurring annual contract value is £1.9m, compared with forecast revenues of £4.8m in the year to June 2020, up from £2.8m. PCI Pal will continue to lose money as it builds up revenues. Net cash was £1.5m at the end of June 2019. A new £2.75m facility will provide the working capital required to cover losses until the company starts to generate cash. Net debt of £1.5m is forecast at the end of June 2021, so this is well within the funding available.

Uhuru Corporation is a Japanese Internet of Things technology company planning to join AIM this month. Tokyo-based Uhuru (www.uhuru.co.jp/en) is involved in consultancy and engineering, as well as providing creative content and data analysis. Customers include NEC, Dentsu, Honda, Komatsu, Yamaha and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) raised £461,500 at 44p a share via PrimaryBid.com, which takes the total raised to £16.55m. A two-for-51 open offer has been launched to raise a further £3.45m.

AIM shell Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) had discussions about the participation in the purchase of US-based speciality chemicals company Arclin Inc, but these have ended. The costs of the work done on this potential transaction have reduced the cash pile to £900,000. Wilmcote is holding talks with investors about how to fund expenses while it seeks another speciality chemicals acquisition. Trading in the shares has recommenced and the share price slumped from 97p to 65p.

Oil and gas producer Amerisur Resources (AMER) has issued revised bidding instructions to the potential acquirers that were provided data as part of the strategic review and formal sale process. The process will hopefully conclude before the end of the year.

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) is focusing on the customers that are utilising its dispersion know-how and provide the best near-term revenue potential. That will enable the graphene producer to cut its operating costs and make the cash in the bank last at least another two years. Net cash was £6.1m at the end of July 2019 and a tax credit of £600,000 has since been received. Manufacturing will be streamlined, and the annual cost base could fall from £4.3m to £3.2m. Revenues remain modest.

Pawnbroker Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) will make a one-off gross profit of £600,000 from scrapping slow moving jewellery in order to take advantage of the rise in the gold price. Trading is in line with expectations. The interims will be published on 3 December.

United Oil and Gas (UOG) is on course to acquire Rockhopper Egypt for $16m before the end of 2019. A share issue is required in order to fund the initial cash payment of at least $11m. The rest of the payment will be in shares issued at the placing price. The main asset being acquired is a 22% interest in the Abu Sennan concession.

Time Out Group (TMO) has raised £17.1m at 127p a share. The June 2016 flotation price was 150p. The cash will be used to cut debt and roll-out more Time Out Market sites, with Chicago and Montreal due to open later this year and more contracted sites for the future. Net debt was £34.4m at the end of June 2019.

Investors give no quarter when it comes to profit warnings these days. Public housing software provider Castleton Technology (CTP) says recurring revenues are still going well, but there is a shortage of one-off revenues. This has led to a 15% cut in forecast revenues for the year to March 2020. That leads to a cut in pre-tax profit forecast from £6.4m to £5.3m. A similar reduction has been made in the forecast for 2020-21, which is £5.8m. The share price fell by more than one-third to 57p, which is less than ten times prospective earnings.

Trading in the shares of Solo Energy (SOLO) has been suspended ahead of a proposed acquisition of assets from ONE-Dyas for an initial €30.1m. That will be funded by debt and a share issue raising £20m, which will involve an open offer. The 14 gas fields are in the Dutch sector of the North Sea. Tom Reynolds is moving from non-executive to chief executive. The admission document should be published in November and the name will be changed to Scirocco Energy.

Dekeloil (DKL) is still being hampered by a low crude palm oil price but it is optimistic that the price will improve. There was a 11% decrease in third quarter crude palm oil production to 4,803 tonnes. However, there was a 30% increase in sales to 7,138 tonnes. The average price achieved was 16% lower at €456/tonne. The cashew processing project is on course for first production in 2020. The company is changing its name to Dekel Agri-Vision Ltd.

Managed services provider Redcentric (RCN) says that first half trading was on track. It is on course to improve pre-tax profit from £7.2m to £9.8m.

MAIN MARKET

Nottinghamshire-based nmcn (NMCN) is acquiring Lintott Control Systems (LCS), which designs and manufactures water and wastewater treatment systems and process software. The total cost of LCS could be as high as £3.76m. The initial payment is £1, plus up to £676,000 dependent on the receipt of payment for certain invoices. The rest is dependent on profit levels over the three years to the end of 2021.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has increased third quarter revenues by 75%, compared with the second quarter. Revenues were £3.63m and the cryptocurrency mining margin is 73%, even though the bitcoin price has dropped. The number o machines in production should double to 12,000 by the end of the year.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) used cash of £2.31m in operations in the year to June 2019. Rainbow generated revenues of £1.54m from trial rare earths mining at Gakara in Burundi, but production costs were double that level. Write downs mean that net assets were £3.37m at the end of June 2019. More exploration activity is required before production levels are increased.

Stranger Holdings (STHP) has agreed terms to acquire two mineral companies. One has assets in Cameroon and the other is in Idaho. Minerals include cobalt and nickel. Previous potential transactions have been terminated.

Standard list shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) is still seeking an acquisition. There is still £912,000 in the bank.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 3 June 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

BWA Group (BWAP) has conditionally agreed to acquire share capital of a company with rights to five mining projects, predominantly in Quebec. The company is majority owned by Canadian Stock Exchange listed St-Georges Eco-Mining Corp and the total cost of the deal is C$7.5m (£4.3m). This will be paid in unlisted, convertible, interest-free loan notes. The repayment date will be three years after issue. The notes are convertible at 0.5p a share, or the market price of a share if it is higher. BWA will subscribe for C$300,000 (£170,000) of shares in St-Georges. BWA needs to raise at least £500,000 to go ahead with the deal.

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased 2018 sales by 10% to £13m. Turnover from wine and spirits and from Curious Drinks grew by similar percentages. However, a pre-tax profit of £253,000 to a loss of £850,000 as overheads were doubled to £5.57m. There is still £12.8m in the bank even though there was a cash outflow from operations and £8.37m of capital investment. There are 635 acres of vineyards that have been planted and a further 388 acres will be planted on the North Downs.

Wealth management firm AFH Financial (AFHP) increased interim revenues by 61% to £36.6m and underlying earnings per share were 49% higher to 14.9p a share. AFH continue to acquire IFA firms. Funds under management totalled £5.4bn and that is expected to nearly double within five years.

St Mark Homes (SMAP) has net assets of 130p a share, which is a discount of around one-third to the share price bid/offer of 85p/90p. The dividend was maintained at 5.5p a share, providing a yield of more than 6%. In 2018, revenues increased from £120,000 to £294,000, but underlying pre-tax profit declined to £80,000, because of higher overheads and a lower contribution from joint ventures. The regional housebuilder intends to release capital from existing developments to fund other opportunities in the outer London Boroughs.

Coinsilium (COIN) reported near-trebled revenues of £1.68m in 2018, but a pre-tax profit of £121,000 was turned into a loss of £982,000. That is due to much higher overheads and a £973,000 impairment of current assets. There was £592,000 in the bank at the end of 2018. Most of the revenues came from advisory services to blockchain companies. That business has moved to Gibraltar.

KR1 (KR1) made reduced realised gains in 2018 and there was an unrealised loss on investments, compared with an unrealised gain in 2017. The total pre-tax loss was nearly £11m. The NAV fell from £13.6m to £6.11m.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) increased the value of its investments by around £630,000, which reflects performance and prospects. Even without that unrealised gain, the loss declined. The NAV of the employee-owned businesses investor rose from 41.5p a share to 48.1p a share at the end of February 2019.

European Lithium (EUR) is commencing a drilling programme to confirm part of the inferred resource at the Wolfsburg lithium project in Austria. This data will be used in the definitive feasibility study.

In the six months to February 2019, Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reduced its loss from £181,000 to £126,000. Revenues remain small but they grew from £44,000 to £61,000. There were orders from Germany in the period, but Netherlands and Austria were delayed. Lower overheads helped to reduce the loss.

Cancer therapy provider Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) generated revenues of £1.47m in the year to February 2019. There was cash generated from operations but that was dwarfed by £42.3m of capital investment. Additional cash has been raised since the year end.

In 2018, the revenues of Chinese treatments supplier MiLOC (ML.P) dipped from HK$11.6m to $10.7m, while the reported loss more than doubled to HK$37.9m. That was mainly due to a royalty fee related to AKFS Plus haircare brand. There was HK$2.75m in the bank at the end of 2018. Since then, HK$3.45m (£334,000) has been raised in a placing at 28.5p a share.

Cannabis investor Sativa Investments (SATI) has secured a commercial offtake agreement with a Portuguese supplier of cannabis oil. This will be included in products produced in Somerset.

Barkby Group (BARK) has secured a new six-year lease for the Rose and Crown Inn, near Swindon. This is the second lease from Arkell’s Brewery.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) says 75%-owned Footies Ltd has completed its sports ticketing system demonstration product. This will enable it to approach potential football club clients. It is still hopeful that it can sign one up this year. Ian Ayre has stepped down from the Footies board.

Investment company Eight Capital Group (ECP) had net assets of £668,000 at the end of 2018. The investments include shell companies Abal Investments (ABAL) (formerly Imaginatik) and Sport Capital Group (SCG) which has net assets of £206,000 at the end of 2018.

Investment fund manager Startup Giants (SUG) still had £646,000 in the bank at the end of 2018.

Trading in the shares of Angelfish Investments (ANGP), London Capital Group (LCG), Black Sea Property (BSP) and Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) is suspended because they have not published their 2018 accounts. Gamfook has replaced its auditor and will not publish accounts before the middle of July. Allenby has ceased to be nominated adviser and broker, as well as NEX corporate adviser, to PCG Entertainment. Trading in PCG shares is already suspended because of a potential reverse takeover.

AIM  

Ramsdens (RFX) has acquired another four stores trading as The Money Shop and 12 loan books from Instant Cash Loans. This takes the number of stores acquired to 22 and the loan books to 17. Ramsdens says that there will be a small contribution to profit in the first year. The additional stores will be rebranded as Ramsdens and it has 163 stores. The 2018-19 figures will be published on 12 June.

Ideagen (IDEA) has gained a new £1.2m, three-year SaaS contract with an airline. The software will be used for safety incident reporting. Ideagen is expected to report a 2018-19 pre-tax profit of £12.2m.

Volvere (VLE) is returning up to £16.6m via a tender offer at 1290p a share, a premium of 12% to the market price when it was announced. Recent disposals have generated £25.6m, which took the cash pile to £36.2m. Management says it requires around £20m of cash for ongoing requirements.

Stride Gaming (STR) has received a bid proposal from Rank Group. A 151p a share offer is being considered. Stride floated four years ago at 132p a share.

TSX Venture Exchange company Hunt Mining Corp is offering 10.76 shares for each share in Patagonia Gold (PGD) and this values the target at £17.2m. The bid is recommended, and Patagonia shareholders will own 80% of the enlarged company. Hunt is producing silver and gold in Argentina and Patagonia has assets in the same region.

Nautilus Mineral Services (NAUT) wants to cancel its AIM quotation. A general meeting has been set for 24 June and shareholders owning 73.4% agree with the proposal. A matched bargain facility is planned.

Suits manufacturer Bagir (BAGR) still has not received the remaining cash investment of $13.2m from Shangdong Ruyi, which has requested an extension and wants to change the terms of the deal.

AfriTin (ATM) says that it expects to ramp up production at the Uis tin mine in the fourth quarter. The initial phase of the plant will be able to produce 60t/month of tin concentrate.

AssetCo (ASTO) says that Grant Thornton has been granted permission to appeal the judgment against it relating to the auditing of past AssetCo accounts.

Tavistock Investments (TAVI) has ended its strategic alliance with Lighthouse Group (LGT) because of the Quilter takeover of the IFA.

MAIN MARKET 

Aptitude Software (APTD) plans to sell Microgen Financial Systems for £51m. Previously, this business was going to be demerged on AIM. There should be £48.4m after expenses and a majority of this will be returned to shareholders.

Standard list shell Fandango Holdings (FHP) has ended acquisition discussions with Konnect Mobile Communications because it could not raise the funds it required. There was £8,000 in the bank at the end of February 2019.

Novo Holdings has exercised its option to subscribe for 6.57 million Oxford Biomedica (OXB) shares at 690p each. Novo will own 10.1%.

Summerway Capital (SWC) had £5.69m in cash at the end of February 2019. Potential acquisitions have been identified.

Toople (TOOP) has raised £662,000 at 0.35p a share and it will use £150,000 as final settlement of £601,000 of loans from David Brieth. There was £1.15m in the bank at the end of March 2019. There was a cash outflow of nearly £1m in the previous six months. Last September’s placing was at 0.3p a share.

Cathay International Holdings (CTI) has been fined £411,000 by the FCA due to a breach of listing principles. These relate to the preparation of forecasts and monitoring of financial performance, as well as a failure to provide information in a timely manner. Chief executive Jinyi Lee and finance director Eric Siu were both deemed to be involved in the breaches but they are considering an appeal.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) reported a 1% increase in underlying 2018 pre-tax profit of £5.9m. Pubs provided higher revenues and profit, while the brewery reported a reduction in profit contribution due to the ending of third party contracts and a small decline in volumes of its own beers and ciders. The brewing volumes have recovered in the early part of 2019.

Good Energy (GOOD) is making a strategic investment in Zap-Map owner Next Green Car Ltd. This is a business that provides electric vehicle market data and will help Good Energy move into the electric vehicle charging market. The initial investment is £1.08m for a 12.9% stake and £800,000 of convertible loan notes. If the loan notes are converted and payment of deferred consideration of £720,000 dependent on achieving financial targets, then the stake will increase to 50.1%.

Gunsynd (GUN) and Northbay Capital Partners have agreed with TSX-V-quoted Oyster Oil and Gas Ltd to settle debts of C$1.43m with the company in return for the outstanding share capital of Oyster’s subsidiary that owns production sharing contracts in Madagascar and Djibouti. Oyster shareholders have to agree to the deal for it to go ahead.

IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has commenced drilling on PL2551 in County Wexford. The drilling should help to prove the presence of a major gold mineralisation trend.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has increased its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) by two million shares, taking the stake to 1.15%. The average cost is 1.71p a share. Over the next 18 months Greatland will pursue targeted exploration campaigns in Australia and accelerate the development in the Paterson region.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies reports that the first 11 weeks of sales of the hapac medicinal cannabis products in Italy have grown strongly from a low base.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is acquiring three prospective lithium assets in Australia. They are Picasso in Western Australia, Litchfield in Northern Territories and Alcoota in Northern Territories.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) lost £204,000 in the near-13 months since incorporation. There was £69,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. The reverse takeover of the 97.5% of CoalTech not owned by the company has still to be completed.

Barkby Group (BARK) has secured an eight-year operating agreement for the Queens Arms in East Garston, Berkshire. The pub and restaurant also operates a 120-capacity function room and 12 bedrooms.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has paid £3,500 for a 70% stake in financial adviser and investment firm Epsion Capital, which could provide advice to Eight Capital investee companies. Former ZAI corporate finance director and current Eight Capital non-executive director John Treacy is the sole director and other shareholder of Epsion, which is working on two corporate finance transactions.

Following the demise of Daniel Stewart, NQ Minerals (NQMI) has changed its corporate adviser to Arden, Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) has switched to Peterhouse and VI Mining (VIM) has moved to VSA.

AIM  

Telephony services and technology provider Netcall (NET) is increasing its cloud revenues and bookings. Interim revenues improved from £11.4m to £10.7m but pre-tax profit dipped from £1.9m to £1.2m because of increased investment. Annual contract value has risen by 11% to £15.1m.

Tracsis (TRCS) improved its interim revenues from £18.1m to £19m and pre-tax profit will be higher than the £3.9m reported last year. There was £18.7m in cash at the end of January 2019. Chris Barnes has joined the transport optimisation software and services provider ahead of becoming chief executive.

Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) is buying 18 Money Shop sites for £1.5m. They are in north west England and Scotland and will be rebranded as Ramsdens. The pawn books of the sites and five others that will be closed are being acquired by Ramsdens. City Financial Investment has sold its remaining 9.73% stake.

WH Ireland (WHI) has raised £4.95m at 45p a share, which was a 30% discount to the market price. The cash will make sure that the broker has enough regulatory capital. Trading is tough and the operating loss in the second half will be higher than previously expected.

SimplyBiz (SBIZ) grew 2018 revenues by 15% to £50.7m and earnings per share were 28% higher at 11.9p. The supplier of compliance and business services to financial advisers continues to add to member numbers and sell more services to them. Net cash was £6.4m at the end of 2018.

DX (Group) (DX.) is making progress with its turnaround but there is still a long way to go. The parcel delivery business has restructured its business and raised prices to clients. The cash outflow was significantly reduced in the first half. DX could move back into profit next year.

Swallowfield (SWL) was hit by weak trading in its cosmetics manufacturing operations. The brands business maintained its revenues and profit. The second half outlook for manufacturing is better and costs have been reduced. The interim dividend was raised by 7.5% to 2.15p a share. Fidelity has increased its stake to 5.73%.

Ilika (IKA) has secured an 18 month project with Network Rail for the use of its Stereax battery technology in a ultra-low power wireless sensor for the network’s condition monitoring platform.

Pelatro (PTRO) has won a contract with Ooredoo Maldives worth $1.6m over three years. There is a fixed monthly fee and a share of the incremental revenue generated. There are also opportunities to cross-sell to other Ooredoo telecoms operations.

Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) has traded ahead of the first five months of the previous financial year. Although new car sales were lower, Cambria made more profit because of the higher value franchises. It was a similar trend in used cars. The aftersales operations increased sales and profit.

FFI Holdings (FFI) says that the film competition contracts business has been slow because of a lack of films and smaller productions. There are also possible claims. Delayed productions have hit the insurance agency business. That has reduced operating profit by $6m. The expected range for this year is $7.5m-$11m.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) reported a 11% increase in interim revenues to £46.7m and underlying pre-tax profit was 70% higher at £11.4m. That was partly down to lower development and marketing spending. Cash more than doubled to £31.6m, helped by a £10.2m placing. Net cash was £28.5m. The data from the phase III PQ Birch allergy study is expected in the next few weeks.

Finance provider ThinkSmart (TSL) reported a lower interim loss and there is cash in the bank of £11.3m. A special dividend of around 2p a share will return £44m to shareholders.

Accounting regulation changes mean that Paragon Entertainment Ltd (PEL) will not be able to recognise as much revenue in 2018 as it thought it would. That could reduce the figure by £700,000. The new range is £8.8m to £9.2m. The loss will be more than £2.5m. Revenues are expected to be higher this year.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) increased its proved reserves to 11,222 Mbbl at the end of 2018. Proved plus probable reserves are 19,275 Mbbl. NPV of future net revenues of proved reserves has increased by 18% to $79.8m.

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has completed a number of contingency engagements in the third quarter and there should be more in the fourth quarter. Corporate insolvencies are rising.

GetBusy (GETB) has increased its revenues from its core software products by 17% to £10.9m and it is making progress with its GetBusy productivity software which is in use with beta users. Cash generated from operations is being ploughed back into development spending.

Gfinity (GFIN) more than doubled its interim revenues from £1.8m to £4.4m with the growth coming from the managed services division, which includes the F1 Esports series. The Esports business is targeting breakeven in 2021.

Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has rejected a proposed 20p a share bid from RockRose Energy (RRE) which would value the company at £26.6m. Trading in the standard list company’s shares is suspended due to the proposed $140m acquisition of Marathan Oil West of Shetland.

Housebuilder Springfield Properties (SPR) is on track to increase full year pre-tax profit from £9.8m to £16.1m, following a strong first half. The housing market is stronger in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. The business has a mix of private housing and affordable housing developments. The Walker Group acquisition takes the company further upmarket in price terms and will make an initial contribution in the second half.

PhotonStar LED Group (PSL) has raised a further £170,000 at 0.01p a share, while directors John Treacy and Jonathan Freeman intend to subscribe a £24,000 when the company has authority to issue more shares. A general meeting will be held where the company will become a shell and change its name to Bould Opportunities. The operating business is being wound down. Antos Glogowski has a 20.9% stake.

In the past ten months, the valuation of the property assets of Sutton Harbour (SUH) has increased by 7% to £45.7m.

MAIN MARKET 

Small company-focused investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) reported a 21% decline in NAV to 225.9p a share at the end of 2018, although that is not a surprise given the weak stockmarket at the end of the year. The final dividend was increased by 2% to 9.1p a share. The board is in the process of appointing a fund management team. The plan is to increase the size of the fund to between £50m and £150m.

Standard list shell Cobra Resources (COBR) has agreed to acquire the owner of a 100% right title and interest in the Prince Alfred licence in South Australia. Prince Alfred was a producing copper mine. There is also an entitlement to earn 75% of five tenements in South Australia. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund has converted £140,000 of convertible bonds and penalty payments of £210,000 into 140 million shares in WideCells (WDC) and that has nearly doubled the number of shares in issue. The first 60 million shares have been sold.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 June 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

There are eight companies in the running for the NEX Exchange company of the year at the Small Cap Awards. The awards will be held at The Montcalm Hotel, Marble Arch.

Kent-based wines maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has built up a significant presence in the English wines market. The company has a winery in Tenterden and it is building a new brewery for its beer operations. Chapel Down reported a 15% increase in annual sales to £11.8m. Wine sales were one-fifth higher at £8.12m with cider and beer sales, via associate Curious Drinks, were 7% ahead at £3.68m. Operating profit improved from £346,000 to £470,000 but there was a much larger loss from the Curious Drinks associate so pre-tax profit was lower. The new brewery should be open in the first quarter of 2019.

Cyber security technology developer Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) is still at a very early stage of its development but it more than doubled its revenues in 2017. The loss still increased from £950,000 to £1.24m despite the improvement in revenues from £345,000 to £737,000. The cash outflow was £1.06m, which left £490,000 in the bank. Since then, £2.16m was raised via a placing at 270p a share. Crossword has interests in a number of early stage businesses, including CyberOwl, a joint venture between Coventry University and Crossword, which has backing from Mercia Fund Management. CyberOwl is developing network security software for target-centric monitoring.

Field Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) has one of the longest track records on NEX and it has its highest share price in more than one decade of trading. Field Systems designs, installs and supplies electrical, instrumentation and control systems, for the water, power and transport sectors. In the six months to November 2017, revenues jumped from £8.47m to £12m, while pre-tax profit improved from £114,000 to £211,000. There was £3.34m of cash in the bank and NAV was £3.31m, which is more than the market capitalisation.

KR1 (KR1) has had a successful year buying and trading various coins and tokens. The KR1 share price has more than quadrupled over the past year. 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.

Dairy and livestock services provider National Milk Records (NMR) was originally part of the Milk Marketing Board and after it was spun off it joined the forerunner of NEX. National Milk Records generated revenues of £5.32m in the three months to March 2018. This means that revenues are £1.51m ahead so far this year, although the comparatives are weak. Herdwise, the screening service for Johne’s disease and other testing services are providing growth with a small improvement from milk recording services. Rising milk supply has started to hold back milk prices.

Energy saving electrical products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported flat interim revenues of £1.88m but it masks the growth in the sales of MiHome products. This growth will continue in the second half. The interim pre-tax profit edged up from £35,000 to £44,000. Sandal secured a term loan of up to £500,000 from major shareholder Greenbrook Industries Ltd and £250,000 was used to buy back 862,068 shares from Greenbrook. The shares were cancelled and this will enhance earnings per share.

Daniel Thwaites (THW) is a brewer, hotels and pubs operator that has been trading for more than two centuries. It has also been on NEX for more than two decades, since the London Stock Exchange closed rule 4.2, which was a matched bargains facility for unquoted companies. Some of these former rule 4.2 companies moved to AIM, while others, including a number of regional brewers, moved to Ofex/NEX. In the six months to September 2017, revenues improved from £44m to £48m and underlying pre-tax profit were flat at £5.9m. The shares are trading at a near-50% discount to NAV.

Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) is an ethical housing REIT and it is also on the shortlist for the impact company of the year. The company develops new housing for people with learning and physical disabilities or needing extra care. Earlier this year, Walls and Futures raised £80,000 from an open offer at 94p a share. In 2017, Walls and Futures achieved a total return on its portfolio of 11.5%, ahead of its benchmark total return of 7%. Walls and Futures has joined the MSCI IPD UK Residential Property Index.

The winner will be announced on Thursday 14 June.

Cannabis investment company Sativa Investments (SATI) is widening its remit. It is asking shareholders to agree to investments outside of Canada.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has completed the acquisition of offices in Leicester for £4.385m. The Leicester Crown Prosecution Service pays an annual rent of £290,000.

St Mark Homes (SMAP) is paying a maintained interim dividend of 5.5p a share and the ex-dividend date is 5 July. The dividend will cost £247,000. The carbon emissions trading business has also started electronic currency mining.

China CDM Exchange Centre Ltd (CCEP) reported a small dip in revenues from £898,000 to £888,000 but it managed to increase its profit from £2,000 to £35,000.

Karoo Energy (KEP) has secured Contax Partners as technical partner and project manager for the shale gas project in Botswana. Contax will accept £800,000 worth of shares in Karoo as payment for services. Karoo hopes to apply for admission to AIM by 1 July.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says full production at its Honduras processing plant has been delayed because permits have not been received for the processing of larger amounts of gold ore.

EPE Special Opportunities (EL.P) had an NAV of 228.16p a share at the end of May 2018.

AIM   

Property investment adviser First Property Group (FPO) reported flat pre-tax profit of £9.23m in the year to March 2018. The final dividend is 3% higher at 1.18p a share. The underlying NAV rose from 47.6p a share to 53.1p a share. Third party assets under management were 45% higher at £454m, which is mainly down to the new office fund. Progress this year will be held back by the departure of the tenant in a building in Poland. Some of the space has already been re-let and the rest should be during the year.

Pawnbroker Ramsdens (RFX) continues to grow on the back of strong foreign exchange revenues. Last year, they were 26% higher at £11.3m. Group revenues were 16% ahead at £39.9m, while underlying pre-tax profit rose 60% to £6.5m. Net cash was £12.7m, although that does include foreign currency stocks. The total dividend was 6.6p a share.

Gooch and Housego (GHH) increased interim revenues by 7% to £55.6m and underlying pre-tax profit was13% ahead at £7m. Aerospace was the main growth area as subsea telecoms demand was weak. The photonics and optical equipment company is on course for a full year profit of £18.5m.

Artilium (ARTA) is recommending a cash and shares bid from Pareteum. The offer is 0.1016 of a Pareteum share and 1.9p in cash for each Artilium share, which values the telecoms software supplier at £78m. The offer follows a strategic alliance between the two companies that was announced last year.

IT managed services provider Redcentric (RCN) says that some public sector contracts have been cancelled and there will be upfront costs for a new contract with the NHS in Yorkshire. That means that 2018-19 EBITDA will be 10% lower than previously forecast.

Imaginatik (IMTK) has completed its strategic review and the chairman and chief executive are both leaving and they are waiving compensation. This will help to reduce annual costs by £750,000. The business is no longer up for sale because no suitable bid was received. Annualised revenues are £2.8m and the innovation software business could move into profit after a full year’s benefit of the cost savings. Former chairman Matt Cooper has sold £225,000 worth of shares at 0.5p each and reinvested the cash in a new £225,000 convertible, interest free loan note. Octopus has reduced its stake from 27.2% to 7.1%.

Mass spectrometry instruments supplier Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has raised £5.5m at 2p a share and an additional £102,000 via a PrimaryBid.com offer.

Trading in cash shell Monreal (MORE) has been suspended because the former Cogenpower has not completed a deal. The board is asking for shareholder approval to move to NEX after the AIM quotation is cancelled on 3 July. The investment strategy will focus on technology, media and telecoms.

Education-focused virtual reality content supplier VR Education (VRE) has delayed the full launch of the latest version of its Titanic VR product until August but it is not expected to affect full year expectations. Work has started with the BBC on 1943: Berlin Blitz.

Driver Group (DRV) continues to improve its margins and profit helped by the growth of the Diales expert witness business. Middle East revenues were lower but profit was higher, while high utilisation rates in Asia Pacific meant that was a sharp swing back to profit in the region. Underlying pre-tax interim profit doubled to £2.1m om the six months to March 2018 and Driver ended the period with net cash of £800,000. The sale and leaseback of the company’s head office was completed in April and net cash is forecast at £5.5m for the end of September 2018. A full year profit of £3.5m, up from £2.5m, is forecast. A return to dividend payments is a possibility in the next year or so.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has enough cash to push forward with the exploration of its Paradox basin acreage in the US. Rose is still earning its 75% working interest in the acreage and it has already received interest from potential farm-in partners that could help finance the first well, which could cost $7m-$8m. A competent person’s report will provide an updated resource in the next few weeks.

The smart machines division was behind the small improvement in profit at Vianet (VNET) in the year to March 2018. That was helped by a contribution from the Vendman acquisition. The smart zones drinks dispensing technology made a slightly lower contribution to profit as it lost more pub customers but the US side is making progress. Research and development spending on technology peaked at £1.5m last year and should fall this year. Net cash fell to £1.27m because of the extra spending but the dividend was maintained at 5.7p a share. The investment should start to pay off this year and pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £2.7m to £3m.

MAIN MARKET    

LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) is closing its loss-making US business at a cost of £2m. The US business lost £1.9m last year. Luceco announced an operating profit of £14.2m in 2017.

Quarto Group Inc (QRT) has appointed former finance director Mick Mousley as interim finance director following the departure of Carolyn Bresh. This follows the change of control at the AGM.

Lb-shell (LBP) is asking for shareholder approval for the creation of £435,000 of unsecured convertible loan notes with a conversion price of 0.025p a share. That requires the par value to be reduced to 0.025p a share. Full conversion could mean the issue of shares equivalent to 89.4%. Three directors will own a total of £290,000 of the loan notes. The former Intelligent Energy will offer shareholders the chance to sell their shares for 0.025p each.

Andrew Hore

Ian Pollard – Beware When Pawnbrokers Prosper

Ramsdens RFX has continued to enjoy strong growth in he half year to 30th September with Foreign Exchange, Pawnbroking and Jewellery Retail all sharing in the success. Group revenue rose by 18%, basic earnings per share by 33% and profit before tax by 63%. The pawnbroking loan book rose by 18% during the half year. Good news for Ramsdens but beware. Prosperous pawnbrokers are usually a sign that the economy is not prosperous

Trakm8 Holdings TRAK enjoyed a period of good organic growth from new and existing customers in the half year to 30th September. Like for like new revenue grew by 17%, basic earnings per share soared by 238% and  profit before tax following closely behind with a  rise of 157%. A strong second half is anticipated.

Cerillion CER The strong final results for the year to 30th September reflect buoyant growth in software revenue. Total revenue rose by 8.3% and on a recurring basis, by 9.6%. Earnings per share soared virtually five fold from 1.3p per share last year to 6.9p this year. Adjusted profit before tax was up by 8.4% and the proposed final dividend is 2.8p per share, making a total of 4.2p for the year, a rise of 7.7%

Patisserie Holdings CAKE produced another year of excellent results  and is proposing to increase its final dividend for the year to the end of September by 20%. Statutory profit before tax rose by 17.1%, basic earnings per share by 19.1% and revenue by 9.7%. 20 new stores were opened during the year, every one of which traded profitably from the day they opened. The company was trading from 199 stores at he year end.

Universe Group UNG is disappointed not to have closed the small group of high value contracts for which it had planned before the year end on the 31st December. Group revenue for the year is now expected to be 19.5m. with adjusted EBITDA of around 2.7m. The company believes that the hoped for deals will materialise early in 2018.

Beachfront villas & houses for sale in Greece    http://www.hiddengreece.net

Quoted Micro 4 September 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Gowin New Energy Group Ltd (GWIN) is moving into the tea market, where its chief executive already has experience. Gowin intends to buy a 15% stake in a Cayman Islands-registered tea business and this new business will link up with experience of the industry that are based in Taiwan. The plan is to raise £5m from a preference share issue at 2p each, with an initial £2m raised, and use part of this cash as a loan to the new business. There will be a fixed annual preference dividend of 2%, while the loan will geerate 3% a year.

Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) raised £1m when it joined the NEX Exchange Growth Market. There was £843,000 in the bank at the end of March 2017 and since then £475,000 has been spent on a building in Stroud that is being rented to a supported housing operator. The private rented housing portfolio, which is properties in the Wimbledon area, is worth £2.15m and the group NAV is £2.98m, equivalent to just over 90p a share. The focus is supported housing and there are plans to raise more cash from a placing and open offer in order to fund more property purchases.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) is close to finalising a 7.5% 2020 unsecured loan note series 2 issue to raise between £500,000 and £3m. This will be invested so that it provides a fixed income and capital return.

An impairment charge against the book value of the Royston Hill property meant that Etaireia (ETIP) lost £622,000 last year. The company expects to complete the purchase of properties at the Whitehouse Office Park having secured bridging finance. The current portfolio of properties should generate enough income to make the company profitable.

Block Energy (BLOK) has raised £250,000 at 0.85p a share and this cash will be used to finance the proposed move to AIM. Block has also issued 70 million shares to complete the acquisition of the 90% working interest in the Satskhenisi production sharing agreement in Gerogia. This means that Iskander Energy owns 13.3% of Block.

Healthcare recruitment company Positive Healthcare (DOC) reported revenues of £7.8m and a loss of £276,000 between November 2015 and March 2017. The two majority-owned subsidiaries were included for nine months.

Andrew Sparrow is replacing Malcolm Ball as chief executive of WMC Retail Partners (WELL). Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has appointed Rob Johnson, a former senior investment director at AIM-quoted Mercia Technologies, as chief operating officer.

Primorous Investments (PRIM) has made six investments in the past month and four of them are seeking to join AIM in 2018. Primorous has invested £400,000 in a £5.25m fundraising for software company Engage Technology Partners and £200,000 in online shopping and rewards firm WeShop. The other two potential AIM flotations are the investee companies Sport:80, where £100,000 was invested, and TruSpine Technologies, where £500,000 was invested to help TruSpine’s minimally invasive spine stabilisation devices to gain FDA clearance.

Doriemus (DOR) has filed a prospectus for an ASX listing. A 400-for-one share consolidation has been completed in advance of the listing. The new investing policy is focusing on oil and gas assets in Asia Pacific.

AIM

IT healthcare software and services provider EMIS (EMIS) reported a 1% increase in interim revenues to £79.2m even though the healthcare market is tough, particularly when it comes to hospital services. EMIS’s recurring revenues were 84% of the total. Profit was slightly lower. There could be a small fall in full year profit but the 10% increase in interim dividend to 12.9p a share indicates the strength of cash flow and the longer-term potential. Net cash was £10.5m at the end of June 2017. The newly created patient division is a growth area and the patient.info website is still being developed so that ecommerce revenues can be earned.

Digital TV software provider Mirada (MIRA) has secured a SaaS-based contract with ATN International and four of its cable networks in the Caribbean. In the past Mirada has been paid every time a viewer signs up for the service but this contract is based on recurring subscriber fees. There will still be an initial upfront payment for implementation services but the rest of the revenues will be generated on a monthly basis. Mirada is expected to release its 2016-17 annual report before the end of September so trading in the shares should not have to be suspended. Mirada will require additional working capital facilities and these are being negotiated.

MP Evans (MPE) is acquiring a 10,000 hectare estate in Indonesia for $108m, including the assumption of $20m of debt. This will be funded by the sale of the company’s minority stake in another estate. Infrastructure spending will cost a further $30m over five years. The estate is just starting to build up production and it will become more significant in a couple of years time. NAV is £11 a share and Peel Hunt expects this to rise by more than 5% a year as group production increases.

South America-focused gold miner Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) generated $9.7m from operations in the year to May 2017 thanks to lower operating costs and a higher gold price. There was net cash of $3m at the end of May 2017. Since the year end, Orosur has raised £3.2m at 14.7p a share and two new institutions invested in the placing. This will help to finance drilling at the Anza gold project in Colombia.

The administrator of Fairpoint Group (FRP) is selling off parts of the group but there is no chance that shareholders will get anything. Consumer claims business IVA Assurance is being sold for £450,000 plus cash balances on completion. Allixium, another consumer claims company, has been sold for £53,000. The original Debt Free Direct business has been sold to Aperture Debt Solutions for £1.34m but unlike the rest of the proceeds this cash will pay Debt Free Direct creditors rather than the creditors of the holding company. Legal subsidiary Simpson Millar has sold Simpson Millar Financial Services to its boss for £271,000 plus up to £250,000 over five years. This cash will go back into Simpson Millar.

Stockbroker Share (SHRE) will be paid £900,000 for work carried out relating to a potential partner that is not going ahead with a deal. Trading continues to be strong.

Pawnbroker and foreign currency services provider Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) says that its pre-tax profit will be higher than expected this year. This is thanks to strong foreign exchange trading results and a higher gold price.

Samuel Heath & Co (HSM) has appointed former Zeus Capital director Ross Andrews as a non-executive director.

Real Good Food (RGD) says that EBITDA will be half its previous, already downgraded, expectations at £1m. The company is in discussions with its bankers to change the conditions of its bank facility.

Educational services provider Wey Education (WEY) says revenues will increase from £1.5m to at least £2.4m and this will enable it to make a maiden pre-tax profit. There is still £909,000 in the bank. The figures for the year to August 2017 will be published in October. David Massie has taken his £33,000 annual salary in shares at 3.88p each.

Conroy Gold & Natural Resources (CGNR) has appointed Dr Karl Keegan and Brendan McMorrow as non-executive directors. Another general meeting has been requisitioned by Patrick O’Sullivan, who owns 28% of Conroy, and it will take place on 6 October. He had asked for assurances that new directors would not be appointed. The previous general meeting successfully removed six directors but Conroy said the proposed appointments of Patrick O’Sullivan, Paul Johnson and Gervaise Heddle did not comply with the company’s constitution and they are being proposed as directors again. A hearing will be held at the High Court in Dublin on 14 September and that could affect whether the three people are upheld as directors prior to the new general meeting. The plan is also to remove Professor Richard Conroy and Maureen Jones from the board.

Galileo Resources (GLR) has raised £1.09m at 2p a share to finance a joint venture with BMR Group (BMR) to develop the Star Zinc project in Lusaka, Zambia and also to finance exploration of the gold property in Nevada and the Glenover phosphate project in South Africa. Galileo had £1.1m in the bank at the end of March 2017. Galileo will lend $592,000 to BMR, which will be received once there is a settlement agreement with Bushbuck Resources for the acquisition of Star Zinc. This loan will eventually be swapped for 51% of the joint venture and $100,000 will be placed in escrow. Galileo can then increase that stake to 85% by funding $250,000 of work on the project.

Back office optimisation software provider eg solutions (EGS) has signed a five year master supply agreement that will be worth at least £8.12m. This will kick-in next year and increases the order book of recurring revenues to £22.9m. In the year to July 2017 revenues were at least £10.5m.

Cyber security software provider Defenx (DFX) has raised £1.25m from a convertible bond issue to add to the £1.74m raised from a share issue at 160p each. Defenx was trying to raise up to £2m via a bond auction carried out by UK Bond Network.

Robin Williams has taken over as chairman of FIH Group (FIH) and the company continues to seek acquisitions. There was £15.25m in the bank at the end of August 2017. Trading is expected to be flat this year with modest growth in the UK but quiet trading in the Falkland Islands with additional retail competition. The low oil price is too low to prompt development of oilfields around the islands.

Trading technology provider TechFinancials Inc (TECH) reported a dip in interim revenues from $9.86m to $6.97m mainly due to lower software licencing income. Pre-tax profit fell from $1.33m to $282,000. There was cash of $5.81m in bank at the end of June 2017.

MAIN MARKET

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) is beginning to reap the benefits from past investment and the second half should show even more progress. Revenues have started to grow even though the corresponding first half included more significant sales of older networking products. Overall group interim revenues were 10% ahead at $49.8m with both divisions increasing their revenues. There was a 17% increase in R&D spending to $4m. There was an interim loss but Shore Capital still believes that BATM can break even this year.

Ross Group (RGP) continues to seek an acquisition that would provide a more significant business for the company. In the six months to June 2017, revenues grew 51% to £93,000, while the pre-tax profit was one-fifth higher at £17,000. The balance sheet is weak with net debt of £6m but the major shareholder is supportive. That level of debt might put off some potential acquisition targets.

Standard list shell Stranger Holdings (STHP) has signed non-binding heads of terms with Irish sustainable utility company Alchemy Utilities. This acquisition would be a reverse takeover. Alchemy is involved in waste to gas production, renewable energy and using waste energy to remove salt from water to produce drinking water (www.alchemyutilities.ie). Trading in the shares was suspended at 1.38p.

Standard list shell Derriston Capital (DERR) had £2.2m left in the bank at the end of June 2017. Derriston has changed its investing strategy from a focus on medtech to technology and high growth sectors.

Andrew Hore

Corporate news review Friday 1st September 2017

Flybe Group FLYB announces the start of its alliance with Eastern Airways (UK) Ltd. The two have signed a joint revenue and risk sharing agreement, covering four Eastern aircraft, to fly existing Flybe branded routes from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester. These flights start today, and will significantly enhance connectivity in Scotland.

Ramsdens Holdings RFX updates on trading, and says the strong foreign exchange results, jewellery retail initiatives and strong gold price leads it to expect that interim and full year PBT will be significantly ahead of market expectations.

Rio Tinto RIO completes the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary Coal & Allied Industries Ltd to Yancoal Australia Ltd for a total consideration of $2.69bn. Under the terms of the sale, Rio may also receive an additional royalty linked to the coal price capped at $410m.

TechFinancials TECH reports a fall in interim group revenues of $6.97m (H1 2016: $9.86m), on gross profit down to $4.87m (H1 2016: $7.36m). Basic EPS decreased to a loss of $0.0109 from a profit of $0.0065 in H1 2016. CEO Asaf Lahav said the board anticipates that the remainder of this financial year “will continuing to be challenging within the binary options market until there is clarity surrounding the on-going regulatory consultations. “

Vertu Motors VTU provides a pre-close trading update and says since the 26 July AGM, it has continued to trade in line with the trends set out in that update and in line with market expectations.

Quoted Micro 17 July 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Renewable electricity supplier Good Energy (GOOD) says rival Ecotricity, which owns 25.3% of Good Energy, has requisitioned a general meeting to get two directors, Dale Vince and Simon Crowfoot, on the board. Ecotricity founder Dale Vince believes that because of the significant stake he deserves representation on the board but Good Energy argues that it would not be in its interest to have a rival on the board with access to group information. Vince has been critical of contracts between Good Energy and chief executive Juliet Davenport’s husband. Ecotricity also owns Forest Green Rovers which was promoted to League Two at the end of last season. Annual revenues £126.5m, including £1m from football club. In the year to April 2016, revenues were £126.5m, including £1m from the football club. In 2016, Good Energy generated revenues of £90.4m. Both companies are profitable. Ecotricity had net debt of £97m at the end of April 2016, while Good Energy had net debt of £55m at the end of 2016. Gary Peagram (former Good Energy finance director between 2010 and 2014) was appointed as Ecotricity finance director on 6 April 2017 but he left on 6 July.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has acquired 18.18% of US Cobalt and an option to purchase the rest. The main interest is the Columbia Pass high grade cobalt exploration and development project in Nevada. The initial stake will cost $200,000 (£118,000) and the option cost $50,000 (£30,000) in shares at 1.5p each. If it takes up the option, MetalNRG will pay £724,000 in shares at 1.5p a share. The vendors will also receive 40 million warrants exercisable at prices up to 10p a share. MetalNRG has also set up an Australian cobalt subsidiary. MetalNRG chief executive Paul Johnson has bought 300,000 shares at 1.5p each, taking his family’s stake to 11%.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) is starting to benefit from its new general manager’s strategic programme. Interim revenues grew from £1.33m to £1.52m but the loss increased because of repair costs. The second half generates all the profit.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has launched the Milamber Education Technology Fund in partnership with Innvotec. This is a hybrid EIS and SEIS fund. Milamber will help to identify potential education technology investments and Innvotec will raise funds and manage the fund.

Global Halal verification e-marketplace operator DagangHalal (DGHL) says it is taking longer than expected to penetrate markets. Management is considering widening the scope of the business. This could mean the acquisition of producers of Halal products.

Bulgaria-focused property company Black Sea Property (BSP) has gained the official approvals to acquire the UniCredit building and the purchase should be completed by the end of September. A deposit of €1.04m has been paid out of the total purchase price of €10.5m and Black Sea Property is raising the rest of the cash. If the cash is not raised then the deposit will be forfeited. Phoenix Capital Management is taking over from AG Asset Management as investment adviser but the same team will be handling the task. Phoenix owns Mamferay Holdings, which owns 28.65% of Black Sea Property and has lent it £100,000 in the form of a convertible which has to be repaid by 31 July.

AIM

Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (NTOG) has withdrawn its general meeting requisition at Magnolia Petroleum (MAGP) after it became clear that it had no chance of winning any of the votes.

Chisbridge Ltd has received acceptances totalling 49.6% for its 42p a share cash offer for InterQuest Group (ITQ) and the bid has been extended until 31 July. This means that independent shareholders owning 6.92% of the company have accepted the bid, which is up from just short of 3% previously.

First half trading at Pennant International (PEN) was strong and the order book was more than £42m at the end of June 2017. The order book stretches out into 2020 and there is a pipeline of other potential orders. Full year pre-tax profit is forecast to increase from £2.2m to £2.4m. There is a possibility of a return to paying dividends but that might have to wait until next year.

In the year to March 2017, AdEPT Telecom (ADT) reported a 19% increase in revenues to £34.4m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from £5.5m to £6.9m. Net debt was £15.5m at the end of March 2017, following spending on acquisitions. The total dividend also rose by 19% to 7.75p a share. The growth in managed services is helping margins to improve. A profit of £7.4m is forecast for this year.

Premier Technical Services Group (PTSG) has increased its revolving credit facility from £10m to £12m and doubled the overdraft facility to £8m. This will provide additional working capital and funds for acquisitions following the recent purchase of Brooke Edge Industrial Chimneys Ltd for £14m.

Savannah Resources (SAV) has raised £1.3m at 5.25p a share and there is one warrant for every two shares issued exercisable at 6p. Two directors have subscribed for £500,000 worth of shares, including chief executive David Archer, and Al Marjan Ltd has subscribed £520,000 to take its stake to 29.3%. The money will be used on the lithium project in Portugal, the Mutamba heavy mineral sands project in Mozambique and the copper project in Oman.

The sale by Stanley Gibbons (SGI) of part of its interiors division to Millicent has been delayed. The buyer has not obtained the £2.25m initial payment because of a change in financial backers. Millicent has until the end of July to complete the acquisition.

Arian Silver Corp (AGQ) has raised £600,000 a 0.5p a unit, which is one share and one warrant exercisable at 0.6p. The cash will be spent on exploration of the three lithium projects where Arian has an option.

Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has discovered a group 2 kimberlite pipe on the Ontevreden licence held by Vutomi joint venture. A 1.5 hectares to 2.5 hectares area is thought to contain high levels of garnet. Drilling will help to better understand of the kimberlite and to find out if it is diamondiferous. A refined grade estimate has been published for the Frischgewaagt project in South Africa. This estimate has a range of 64cpht to 110cpht. The dyke system covers 7.5 kilometres.

Interim revenues will grow by two-fifths at cloud-based software provider Cloudcall Group (CALL) and recurring revenues will be 61% higher. The second quarter was the strongest quarter ever for new orders. Annualised revenues are £7m.

Camper & Nicholsons Marina Investments Ltd (CNMI) is raising £3.3m via a one-for-four open offer at 8p a share, a premium of 33% over the market price. The NAV was €0.154 a share at the end of 2016.

DX (Group) (DX.) has announced that its chief executive and finance director are leaving. The business is being reorganised into two divisions. Revenues are expected to be £292m in the year to June 2017. Net debt was £19.1m.

Sphere Medical (SPHR) is in discussions with potential investors in a share issue. A shortage of sensors has hampered first half sales of blood monitor Proxima 4.

Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) admits that there has been unauthorised access to its IT system but there should be minimal disruption to the pawnbroking business. Trading continues to be strong.

House broker Northland has increased its profit forecasts for online gaming marketing services provider Veltyco Group (VLTY) following its interim trading update. The 2017 pre-tax profit forecast has been upgraded from €4.62m to €5.82m, up from €1.74m in 2016. The 2018 profit forecast is €7.63m.

Rich Pro Investments Ltd has launched a 2.1p a share cash bid for ASA Resource Group (ASA) but the mining company has yet to recommend the offer. The bid values ASA at £35.5m. Rich Pro argues that the high level of creditors and other uncertainties makes its bid attractive.

Angling Direct (ANG) raised £9m at 64p a share when it joined AIM. The group has 15 stores and the retailer wants to be a consolidator in the fishing tackle market.

Venture Life Group (VLG) says that interim revenues will be 28% higher at £7.8m and like-for-like growth was 18%. New product listings will help further growth in the second half.

An interim trading statement by ClearStar Inc (CLSU) suggests that it should be able to meet expectations this year. The employee background checks provider says that the improving employment levels in the US and international growth are helping growth, as is the demand for medical testing. Interim revenues are expected to increase by 12% to $8.9m. A full year loss is still expected.

Sunrise Resources (SRES) is starting drilling at its CS pozzolan-perlite project and it should take around one week to complete. Eleven trenches have been excavated and ten of them contain pozzolan and/or perlite. Sample results will be available in fewer than ten weeks.

Housebuilding infrastructure services provider Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) has joined AIM. Although £35m was raised by existing shareholders via a placing at 185p a share, the company, which was valued at £70.5m, is not raising any new money. There is already cash in the bank. The share price ended the first week at 188p. In the year to September 2016, revenues grew from £130.9m to £135.7m. That growth appears modest but a change in the mix of business helped underlying pre-tax profit improve from £9.4m to £11m. However, the latest interim profit was lower because of delays to contracts for earthworks business Tamdown. At the end of May 2017, the group order book was worth £187m.

Abzena (ABZA) has secured another licensing deal for its ThioBridge antibody drug conjugate linker technology with a Taiwan pharma company. The value of the deal could be up to £128m in development and commercial milestones.

House broker finnCap has upgraded its 2016-17 forecast for Mortice Ltd (MORT) after a positive trading statement by the security and facilities management services provider. The pre-tax profit forecast has been raised from $5m to $5.3m. Trading in the first quarter of the current financial year shows a 12% increase in revenues even though currencies have moved against Mortice and there were similar increases for each part of the group. Like-for-like growth was 5%.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell Rockpool Acquisitions (ROC) floated on 12 July and the share price ended the week at 10.5p. Rockpool is raising £1.085m at 10p a share, having previously issued 1.875 million shares at 8p each.

Fandango Holdings (FHP) also joined the standard list on 12 July. The shell raised £840,000 at 1p a share and is seeking to acquire a company valued at between £1m and £20m. The share price ended the week at 1.25p (1p/1.5p).

PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) is closing its silicon ingot block manufacturing facility in the UK in the third quarter. The blocks will be sourced from an external supplier. The judgement relating to a customer which failed to buy the amount of wafers it was supposed to is expected by the end of September.

Andrew Hore

Dixons Carphone Pulls Out of Spain

Dixons Carphone plc DC. has agreed to dispose of its entire holding in The Phone House Spain for 55m Euro less adjustments. Not a single reason, good bad or indifferent, is given for the withdrawal.

 

Hays plc HAS produced a record net fee performance for the quarter to 30th June, its 17th consecutive quarter of net growth. Like for like net fees for the quarter grew by 7%, with the UK, as appears to be happening more and more frequently, coming last with 5%, less than half of the growth in the rest of the world, led, as can also be expected, by Germany with a rise of 16%. Indeed the UK’s performance with a fall in net fees of 5% (not like for like) was even worse. Operating profits for the full year are expected to be marginally ahead of current market expectations.

Workspace Group plc WKP claims a strong start to the new financial year with robust customer demand. The fact that monthly enquiries are very slightly down on full year 2016-17 and average monthly lettings are down by about 4% from 99 to 95 per month, does not receive a comment.

Ramsdens Holdings RFX has traded strongly during the early part of the current financial year and this has continued into its all important summer period. It has had to report to its regulators that there has been unauthorised access to its IT systems but it expects that any disruption will be minimal.

Villas & houses for sale in Greece  – visit;   http://www.hiddengreece.net

 

Quoted Micro 20 February 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Forbes Ventures (FOR) has taken a 0.84% stake in potential challenger bank Civilised Investments in return for £200,000 in cash. The cash investment was raised through a placing of shares at 0.5p each with Gravity Investments, which owns 62.1% of Forbes. A further six million shares were issued at the same price to settle fees. Civilised is applying for a UK banking licence in June 2016. The strategy is not to have branches but local bankers will provide loans and business banking products by attracting personal savings.

Kryptonite1 (KR1) has invested £99,905 for 25,811 tokens in Melonport AG, which is building its own blockchain protocol for digital asset management built on the Ethereum platform. Melonport raised $2.5m in 14 minutes.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £128,750 at 0.8p a share. For working capital. Daniel Stewart has been appointed as corporate adviser.

FT8 (GFT) has failed to secure the agreed monthly payments from Billyst Holdings and this means that trading in the shares of FT8 has been suspended because of the company’s uncertain financial position.

AIM

Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) has moved into Continental Europe through the acquisition of Avalon and GrassInc for an initial £9.7m in cash with deferred and contingent payments of up to £12m over four years. This is an important part of the overall strategy for the group and it also takes Victoria into the artificial grass market. The deal should be immediately earnings-enhancing with the two businesses making a 2016 operating profit of £3.6m.

Construction dispute resolution services provider Driver Group (DRV) has raised £8m at 40p a share – a 15% discount to the market price – in order to reduce borrowings and grow the business. There is also a one-for-26p open offer at 40p a share that could raise up to £500,000 – closing on 8 March. Driver has negotiated new banking facilities of £8m, down from £12m, and this expires in 2020. Net debt was £9.9m at the end of September 2016. Driver made a loss in the year to September 2016 but it moved back into profit in the second half. In the past year, Driver has reduced annualised overheads by £1.3m, cut underperforming fee earners, improved cash collection and implemented more rigorous bidding controls. Driver plans to scale down the project management operations and the main businesses should be sold by the end of this financial year. South America and eastern Europe have been identified as growth areas. New non-executive director John Horgan has been appointed as a replacement for David Webster.

Fuel cell technology developer AFC Energy (AFC) has raised £6m, £5.5m net of expenses, at 10p a share – a 40% discount to the market price. Up to £2m more could be raised from a one-for-15 open offer at the same share price – closing on 2 March. The cash will be used to deliver commitments on the joint development agreement with De Nora, additional testing and a scoping study with Peel Environmental for potential projects. Jim Gibson has been appointed as chief operating officer.

Middlesbrough-based pawnbroker Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) joined AIM on 15 February. The placing will raise £15.6m at 86p a share, valuing the company at £26.5m. The share price ended the week at 95.5p.

Tracsis (TRCS) disappointed the market with a warning that delays in contracts means that this year will be even more second-half weighted and there is still uncertainty whether certain software contracts will complete in this financial year. The transportation optimisation software and services provider still believes it can achieve this year’s forecast profit but the market was not as sure. The share price fell by nearly one-third following the trading statement and Downing is one investor that has added to its stake having previously taken profits. Interim revenues will grow from £13.1m to £15.5m but pre-tax profit will only be slightly higher than last year’s figure of £2.9m. The full year outcome could depend on the rail franchise bid timetable.

Higher LED sales helped Holders Technology (HDT) to increase overall revenues by 2% to £11.4m but the LED business is still losing money and a German business has been closed. The underlying loss increased from £141,000 to £195,000, prior to restructuring costs of £183,000. An increases in trade creditors meant that cash improved to £781,000. A final dividend of 0.25p a share is proposed. There are signs of an improvement in demand for printed circuit board materials and new smart lighting products should boost the LED business.

Vela Technologies (VELA) has raised £550,000 from a bond issue via the UK Bond Network. This should enable Vela to complete the additional investment of £150,000 in Portr, the airline passenger facilitation and baggage transport service, taking its stake to 4.27%.

Collagen Solutions (COS) is raising up to £8m from a placing and one-for-five open offer at 5p a share and this will be topped up with a £4m bond issue to Norgine Ventures, which has a coupon of 10% and 6.77 million warrants exercisable at 5.911p each. The cash will finance the expansion of the medical collagen business, commercial medical device products and launch ChondroMimetic, which is a collagen-based implant to treat small cartilage and bone defects, later this year.

Online gaming business generator Veltyco Group (VLTY) says that its 2016 figures will be significantly better than expected. An EBITDA of more than €2m, up from the initial forecast of €1.4m, on revenues of more than €5.7m, ahead of a forecast of €4.9m, is anticipated.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) has signed a services agreement with APTrans, a Cheshire-based consortium of drug developers that can provide technical expertise, for the development of SFX-01. A US patent has been granted covering the manufacturing process for SFX-01. The patent lasts until 2033. Further patents are expected to be awarded around the world.

Ascent Resources (AST) raised £3m at 1.85p a share in its latest fundraising via PrimaryBid.com. The cash will be spent on developing the Petisovci gas project in Slovenia.

Self-storage operator Lok’nStore (LOK) says that self-storage sales were 3.9% higher, thanks to higher occupancy, and document storage sales 8.8% ahead in the first half. There is a pipeline of two owned and two managed stores, which will add 14% to capacity. NAV is expected to be 404p a share at the end of July 2017.

PowerHouse Energy Group (PHE) has raised £2.5m at 0.8p a share on the back of last week’s deal with Peel. Hillgrove will receive £2m as part-payment for its loan with £1.4m converted into shares at 0.5p each. A G3-UHt waste to energy unit is being shipped from Australia and should reach the UK in March.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) is starting a phase I clinical study for safety and tolerability of Acarovac MPL as a house dust mite allergy vaccine. The trial will be in Spain, covering 32 patients and lasting one year. The global market could be worth $1.5bn a year.

Patient monitoring equipment developer LiDCO Group (LID) says that its 2016-17 revenues will be slightly lower than forecast but it will make a small profit. The loss of a US customer held back growth with revenues 8% ahead at £8.2m, although revenues from group products were 14% higher this was partly offset by lower sales of third party products.

EP Minerals has terminated its lease over the County Line Diatomite project, so Sunrise Resources (SRES) will need to find an alternative method of commercialising the potential project.

Keras Resources (KRS) says that there is a JORC-based inferred mineral resource of 36,000 ounces of gold at a grade of 6.1g/t for the Copenhagen deposit. This means that the Warrawoona gold project has a JORC mineral resource of 410,000 ounces of gold at a grade of 2.2g/t. The focus will be the higher grade Copenhagen deposit, which has more potential.

Mariana Resources (MARL) has completed three of seven planned drill holes at the Ergama project in Turkey and two of these have found large but low grade deposits.

Executive chairman John Hawkins has been given the push by Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) as part of the closure of the group’s head office following the disposal of the Vislink broadcast equipment business. Hawkins received £260,000 a year as chief executive and £100,000 a year as chairman and his contract stipulates 12 months notice. John Varney becomes non-executive chairman. The bank apparently remains supportive and the 2016 figures will be published on 31 March.

Cloud-based telecoms software supplier CloudCall Group (CALL) says that customer relationship management software provider and corporate partner Bullhorn is deploying CloudCall’s software with its US staff. This will provide a reference for potential US customers of a combined software package. Full year figures will be published on 28 March and these will be in line with expectations.

MAIN MARKET

Simian Global (SMG) has signed a non-binding letter of intent to buy BVI-incorporated media and advertising business GVC Holdings Ltd. Standard list shell Simian Global floated on 10 January when it raised £769,500 at 15p a share. This valued the company, which was seeking a technology, media and telecoms sector acquisition, at £935,000. Trading in the shares was suspended at 17.5p.

Avation (AVAP) is trading at a discount of around one-fifth to its NAV of 249p a share at the end of 2016. In the six months to December 2016, the aircraft leasing company’s revenues were 43% ahead at $45.1m and pre-tax profit 50% higher at $8.4m. Bid discussions for 22 ATR 72 aircraft continue but management wants a significant premium to the NAV.

PRE-IPO / OTHER TRADING FACILITIES

Former AIM-quoted Clinical Computing, which is currently traded on Britdaq,has initiated a strategic review and this could lead to the sale of the healthcare IT company. In the year to March 2016, revenues fell from £1.67m to £1.5m but a loss of £204,000 was turned into a profit of £23,000. There is £825,000 in the bank and net assets of £654,000, which is more than its market capitalisation on Britdaq.

Andrew Hore

 

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