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Quoted Micro 13 June 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Psych Capital (PSY) floated on Aquis so that it can take advantage of the opportunities in the fast-growing psychedelic medicines sector. Management is seeking to invest in early-stage companies, where it can obtain a significant minority stake. Psych Capital raised £810,000 at 5p a share. Pro forma net assets are £2m. Psych Capital has cash of £872,000 following the flotation. There is an investment in Awakn Life Sciences Corp that was valued at £584,563 at the end of June 2021. The share price is declining, and it has reached C$0.96, valuing the stake at around £260,000 at the current exchange rate. The share price fell to 4p on 9 June before recovering to 4.75p (3.5p/6p). There is limited liquidity in the shares with a free float of around 11%. Fellow Aquis company Oscillate (MUSH) holds a 16.15% shareholding in Psych Capital. Chris Akers has increased his stake in Oscillate from 9.02% to 11.4%. He also has a 4.96% stake in Psych Capital.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) improved interim revenues from £198,000 to £216,000, while recognised fair value gains declined from £1.04m to £297,000. There were 14 investments at the end of the period and net assets were 68.38p a share at the end of February 2022.

Rural Broadband Solutions (RBBS) had 2,851 monthly fee-paying clients by mid-May. There was net cash of £1.2m at the end of 2021 and infrastructure funding is being negotiated.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) reopened its hotel in January and more than 105,000 racegoers have visited the racecourse so far this year. There have benefits from the catering deal with Compass and new media rights arrangement start at the beginning of 2024, which will benefit that financial year. More will be spent on prize money. Newbury is debt free, and a special dividend has been paid out of proceeds from the sale of land for housebuilding. Annual dividends may recommence next year.

Quantum technology investment company Quantum Exponential (QBIT) has made three investments at a total cost of £1.16m since it floated. There are discussions with more potential investments. There has been further progress towards setting up a fund. Anthony Lyall has been appointed as investment manager and Anna Spandl as investment analyst.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) says that it is on track for a maiden JORC resource statement for the Monte Muambe rare earths project in Mozambique. Four new drilling targets have been identified.

Ananda Developments (ANA) had net liabilities of £288,000 at the end of January 2022. There should be further news concerning the purchase of the other 50% of DJT Plants.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) expects to deploy drill rigs in Queensland in the next few weeks following the rainy season.

RentGuarantor Holdings (RGG) has raised £1m from a 6% unsecured loan note issue, with chief executive Paul Foy subscribing for 50% of the issue. The cash will be spent on hiring staff and marketing.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has commenced drilling at the Wishbone II gold copper project in Northern Queensland.

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) non-exec Jamie Brooke has bought 327,000 shares at 30.48p each. Jonathan Neame has sold 2,000 shares in Shepherd Neame (SHEP) at 806p each.

Oberon Investments has increased its stake in TruSpine Technologies (TSP) from 7.93% to 10.9%.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a NAV of 307.13p a share at the end of May 2022.

Former Aquis-quoted proton beam therapy provider Rutherford Health is being placed in liquidation. There are Rutherford Cancer Centres in Newport, Reading, Liverpool and Northumberland, plus a community diagnostics centre in Somerset. It is unclear whether there will be any buyers interested in these assets. Schroder UK Public Private Trust (SUPP) bought the remaining Woodford stake at the end of 2019. It was valued in the books at £22.8m, which will be written off. That will reduce NAV by 2p a share.

AIM

Like-for-like sales growth at City Pub Group (CPC) was 5% in May and 20% ahead over the Jubilee Bank Holiday. Management took a decision to minimise price rises so that food and drink is still relatively affordable. Two new sites have been opened with two more opening over the next few weeks.

Learning and development products and services provider Mind Gym (MIND) fell into loss in the year to March 2022. Revenues were 24% ahead at £48.7m with US revenues growing even faster. Repeat revenues from customers that have bought products and services in the past three years were 86% of the total. Overheads are higher as management anticipates future growth in demand. There were also £500,000 of non-recuring costs. The investment in digital products and services will pay off in future years when profit is expected to grow sharply.

Greater demand for foreign exchange helped Ramsdens (RFX) to move back into profit in the first half. Jewellery retail and precious metals buying also grew revenues significantly. There was modest growth in pawnbroking revenues although the growth in the loan book means that there will be a higher rate of increase in the second half. Overall revenues were £29.3m, up from £19.3m, and there was a pre-tax profit of £2.2m.

Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) improved interim revenues from £63.7m to £80.3m and the order book is 7% higher at £306.7m. Civil engineer Tamdown’s revenues were more than one-quarter higher while utilities connections business TriConnect reported a small increase in revenues. The biggest increase came from the eSmart Networks business, but that is still less than 11% of group revenues. Nexus is on course to improve full year pre-tax profit from £2.5m to £5.7m.

Open Orphan (ORPH) has an order book worth £64.25m at the end of May 2022. Open Orphan secured a £14.7m contract for an influenza characterisation study and a follow-on human challenge study. The second half is expected to be stronger than the first and the clinical trials services provider should move into profit this year.

Electrical goods retailer Marks Electrical (MRK) reported its first full year results since flotation last November. In the year to March 2022, revenues increased 44% to £80.5m. Underlying earnings were 5.01p a share and the maiden final dividend is 0.67p a share. The company is gaining market share in the domestic appliance and televisions markets and revenues have grown by one-fifth in the first couple of months of this financial year. Brand recognition is improving, but the overall market is likely to be tough. Expanding the product range is helping growth.

Interims from Hercules Site Services (HERC) reflect a period of consolidation for the staffing business. In the six months to March 2022, revenues improved from £14m to £20m, while pre-tax profit slumped from £954,000 to £31,000. Overheads were £2m higher in anticipation of growth in the coming years. The large staff supply contract for HS2 started later in the reporting period and demand will continue to grow. More suction excavators are being delivered and utilisation rates are high.

Greenland-focused AEX Gold Inc (AEXG) has signed non-binding terms for the creation of a joint venture with ACAM that will hold the group’s strategic mineral assets. ACAM will invest £18m for a 49% stake and AEX Gold will inject the non-gold assets and cover site support, logistics and overhead costs. There is an agreement to inject a further £10m on a pro rata basis as long as certain milestones are achieved. AEX Gold’s core asset is the 100% interest in the Nalunaq project, which includes a former producing gold mine.

Plant-based polymers developer Itaconix (LSE: ITX) had already warned that due to destocking 2021 revenues would fall from $3.29m to $2.6m, which is still double the 2019 figure. Itaconix remains lossmaking, but revenues should be much higher in 2022 due to the increased number of products using its ingredients. Revenues are expected to jump back to $4.7m and the loss could halve to $1m.

Rockwood Strategic (RKW) has acquired a 8.75% stake in window ventilators and parts manufacturer Titon Holdings (TON).

Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI), which is set to change its name to Crestchic, says that trading at the core power reliability business is better than the recently upgraded expectations. Previously full year earnings of 12.1p a share were forecast and this was raised to 13.4p a share.

STM (STM) pre-tax profit halved to £1.2m in 2021 and it is expected to recover to £2.9m this year. This will be helped by the completion of investment in IT that brings the personal pension businesses onto one platform. A flow of new SIPP business is anticipated.

Coral Products (CRU) has announced a final dividend of 0.2p a share, taking the total for the year to 1.1p a share. At 17.5p, the yield is 6.3%.

Eve Sleep (EVE) is outperforming a market that has fallen by 29% in the UK in the first four months of 2022 and by 37% in France. More funding is required even though Eve Sleep and a US-based investor was interested in bidding for the mattress supplier. Talks have ended but management is considering its options.

MAIN MARKET

Citius Resources (CRES) has an initial agreement for the potential acquisition of AUC Mining, which has the Kamalenge gold project in Uganda. The proposed £2m cost would be paid in shares at 4.625p each. More cash would have to be raised at the same time. Trading in the shares was suspended at 3p.

Standard list shell GS Chain (GSC) shares have reached a new high of 6.55p, having risen steadily since flotation on 13 May via an introduction at 1p a share. Net assets were less than 0.18p a share, so the share price is at a substantial premium.

Premium listed Ross Group (RGP) shares jumped from 1.45p to 1.7p following a placing raising £163,000 at 1.79p a share, which is still a premium to the higher market price. The previous placing in October was at 2.8p a share. Ross Group is effectively a shell that has an investment in an aquaculture business and is trying to develop its supply chain management business.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 5 July 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Voyager Life (VOY) is an early-stage company offering CBD-based products – including chewable sweets, bath products, oils and skincare products. The company has been in existence for around eight months and revenues are small. The first high street shop will be opened in St Andrews during July. Voyager Life raised £400,000 at 58p a share, but by the end of the first week of trading the share price has fallen to 40.5p (39p/42p) – possibly because of trading by crowdfunders that bought at 31p a share. Proforma cash appears to be around £2.4m, but there will have been expenses since the end of March. Greencare Capital (GRE) invested £100,000 and it is currently worth around £107,000.

Samarkand (SMK) reported 2020-21 revenues of £20.6m, including exceptional revenues of £5.8m, up from £6.8m. This enabled the ecommerce technology provider to make a positive EBITDA. There was £14.6m in the bank at the end of March 2021. A Tokyo office was opened in June. The full year results will be published before the end of July.

Revenues fell by more than two-thirds at pubs and brewery operator Daniel Thwaites (THW) and they were £32.2m in the year to March 2021. There was a swing from profit to loss. Net debt increased to £78.8m with monthly cash burn running at £1.5m during lockdown. There were £11.2m of additional bank facilities available and there have been subsequent disposals of non-core properties.

Polygon Global Partners has taken its stake in Watchstone Group (WTG) to above 30% and it is making a mandatory bid at 34p a share, valuing the company at £15.7m.

KR1 (KR1) increased its NAV from 5.72p a share to 28.97p a share at the end of 2020. Non-exec director Rhys Davies has exercised options over 767,236 shares at 19.55p each, which raised £150,000 for the company.

In 2020, Coinsilium Group (COIN) made a pre-tax profit of £310,000, compared with a loss of £259,000. That was mainly due to unrealised gains. The cash outflow from operating activities increased from £496,000 to £788,000. There was £173,000 in the bank.

NFT Investments (NFT) has conserved its cash despite declines in cryptocurrency values. It made a $440,000 gain on crypto token investments but has exited the market for the time being. There is still £34.1m of cash and stable coin, which is deemed to be less volatile because their value tends to be linked to the dollar, in the balance sheet, compared with a market value of £25.6m at 2.55p. How that figure is split between cash and stable coin is not stated.

In the nine months to December 2020, British Honey (BHC) generated revenues of £1.5m. Union Distillers was acquired in February 2021. There was cash of £2.95m at the end of March 2021.

Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has opened a second bar in Washington DC, called De Rhum Shot, and it is three times the size of the existing bar. Rogue Baron is investing £90,000 for a 51% stake and it is committed to a further payment of £20,000. Sales of Shinju whisky should reach 5,000 cases in 2021.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) had cash of £457,000 at the end of 2020 and net assets were £175,000. Management is seeking investment opportunities.

Chris Akers has taken a 3.09% stake in DiscovOre (ORE).

Valereum Blockchain (VLRM) completed the £1m placing at 70p a share.

AIM

Wynnstay (WYN) has gained market share in the animal feed market and the milk price remains at a level that provides confidence to farmers helping the retail operations to grow. In the six months to April 2021, revenues rose from £229.3m to £249.7m. Raw material prices have increased but Wynnstay has been able to pass them on and improve gross profit from £31.5m to £33.3m, which is the important measure. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from £4.5m to £5.5m. The interim dividend was raised by 9% to 5p a share.

The restructuring of Huricane Energy (HUR) has been rejected by the courts and that effectively means that the company has defaulted on the planned convertible bond repayments. The non-exec directors have resigned, and two directors appointed to replace them.

Digital marketing services and technology provider Silver Bullet Data Services (SBDS) raised £9.5m at 257p a share when it floated. This will be spent on further development of its 4D technology that helps brands to target advertising. 4D has been developed as an alternative to cookies that remains in line with current and likely regulations.

Specialist cleaning company React Group (REAT) increased interim revenues from £2.09m to £2.51m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from £50,000 to £74,000. Fidelis was acquired too late in the period to make a significant contribution. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to increase from £188,000 to £784,000.

MAIN MARKET

Bermele (BERM) has agreed the acquisition of premium mixers supplier East Imperial Pte for £24.45m and it will be changing its name to East Imperial and raising £3m at 10p a share.

In 2020, Lookers (LOOK) increased its underlying pre-tax profit from £4m to £14.1m. The motor dealer is making annualised savings of £50m.

Highway Capital (HWC) says that it has whittled down potential acquisitions to a small number and is in discussions with one target. There is £41,000 in cash and net liabilities of £1.13m.

Wildcat Petroleum (WCAT) is focusing on Angola and Namibia in its search for oil and gas assets.

Media Tech SPAC is raising cash via Primary Bid ahead of a standard listing later this summer. The company wants to raise up to £6m at 10p a share. Areas of interest include digital technology, cyber security, social media, content distribution, virtual reality, gaming and interactive entertainment. Media Tech SPAC has previously raised £415,000 at 1p a share and £1.64m at 4p a share.

Ross Group (RGP) lost £1.46m in 2020. Net liabilities are £5m. Ross has acquired an aquaculture business, but it is yet to benefit from the investment put into this business.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 5 October 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Wine and beer maker Chapel Down (CDGP) made a similar interim loss this year. Wine revenues were one-fifth ahead even though sales were lost in pubs and the company’s own retail site. Online sales offset those declines. Wine stocks have increased by one-third to £11m. Beer and cider sales fell by 38% and gross profit slump by 59%. There was £5.83m in cash at the end of June 2020.  

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) reported an increase in interim revenues from £109,000 to £140,000. Reversal of impairments and unrealised gains helped to generate a pre-tax profit of £27,000, down from £242,000 because of lower unrealised gains. NAV was £2.52m, including cash of £129,000, at the end of June 2020. Since then, there has been an increase in the value of cryptocurrency and tokens held by the company.

Western Selection (WESP) has sold its stake in AIM-quoted Brand Architekts (BAR) and raised £1.43m at 109.78p a share. The shares were valued at £1.63m in the recent balance sheet. Peter Gyllenhammr increased his stake in Brand Architekts from 6.1% to 10.5%.

KR1 (KR1) reported an interim pre-tax profit of £522,000, including an unrealised gain of £711,000. The NAV was 6.18p a share at the end of June 2020. The latest digital asset investment is $100,000 in the Moonbeam Network project. This is a smart contract platform and KR1 will receive Glimmer tokens that will power Moonbeam’s blockchain.

Incanthera (INC) has announced positive data for a skin sensitisation study for skin cancer technology Sol. This shows it to be non-irritant. ImmuPharma has subscribed £250,000 for shares at 9.5p each. That takes the stake to 15.3%. A total of £350,000 was raised with directors subscribing for the other £100,000.

Housebuilder St Mark Homes (SMAP) has an NAV of 125p a share, compared with a share price of 87.5p (85p/90p). There was a swing from interim profit to loss.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £58,000 in gold explorer Angold Resources, subject to its reversal into ZTR Acquisition, which was formerly Oyster Oil and Gas, where Gunsynd already has a stake.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has completed the £1.43m acquisition of a property in Scarborough leased to Skipton Building Society. It has exchanged contracts on a Carlisle property costing £1.71m.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that processing rates at the Hellyer gold mine have increased to 165 tonnes per hour. The average annualised production rate was 1.23Mtpa in July and August.

Gowin New Energy Group (GWIN) says it is near to appointing a new corporate adviser so that trading can resume in the shares. Management is working towards launching a tea business.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has invested £1m in construction payments software company Zuuse. Thi is part of a £2.2m fundraising to pay for a transaction expected in the next few weeks. Primorus already owned shares and warrants in Zuuse, so it owns 1.7% of fully diluted share capital. Primorus has sold six million Greatland Gold (GGP) shares at an average price of 14.8p each. That leaves Primorus with 20 million Greatland shares.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had an NAV of 51.53p a share at the end of May 2020.

IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) says that business is recovering and it continues to be profitable and cash generative.

Eurocann International (BUD) is changing its name to DiscovOre (ORE) and the investing strategy broadened to include natural resources as well as cannabis-related activities.

SativaWellness Group Inc (SWEL) has been readmitted to the AQSE growth market following the reverse takeover of the company.

AIM

Avingtrans (AVG) improved its 2019-20 pre-tax profit from £5.3m to £5.9m despite loss contributions from recent acquisitions. One of those acquisitions, Booth Industries, has won a £36m doors contract for HS2. finnCap forecasts a 2020-21 pre-tax profit of £7.3m and Avingtrans is likely to reinstate the dividend.

Demand for the type of data erasure and cyber security services provided by Blancco (BLTG) remains strong, although April and May were tough. In the year to June 2020, revenues improved from £30.5m to £33.4m, helped by acquisitions. Pre-tax profit grew from £3m to £3.9m. Investec expects further profit improvement to £4.3m this year, but it will be second half weighted.

Geospatial services provider 1Spatial (SPA) reported an 8% rise in interim revenues to £11.7m, although the core business revenues made up a greater proportion of the total. There was an interim loss but positive operating cashflow of £1.7m. Net cash was £3.4m. 1Spatial could make a small full year profit.

Grant Thornton has decided to settle litigation with AssetCo (ASTO) rather than appeal the court judgement. This means that AssetCo can access the £28.6m lodged with the court plus the balance of money owed by Grant Thornton. Once this is received, AssetCo will have cash of £55m and net assets of around £52m. The market capitalisation already takes this into account.

The FDA has approved adrenal treatment Alkindi in the US and Diurnal (DNL) should receive a $2.5m milestone payment from distributor Eaton pharmaceuticals when sales start next year. That is on top of licence income. That means that Diurnal’s cash will last longer.

New Trend Lifestyle Group (NTLG) changes its name to Conduity Capital (CCAP) on 5 October. The former activities have been sold and Conduity becomes a shell.

Erris Resources (ERIS) plans to buy a 50% stake in Zinnwald lithium project owner Deutsche Lithium from Bacanora Lithium (BCN) in exchange for shares and a net profit royalty.

Yu Group (YU.) reported a decline in first half revenues from £56.6m to £45.9m due to lower energy consumption by its commercial energy customers. There was a lower loss in the period but reduced working capital requirements meant that there was a significant cash inflow from operating activities. There was £17.9m in the bank at the end of June 2020. Management has invested in marketing in order to win new business.

Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) is launching its first AI software product alongside GE Healthcare. GE has 480,000 ultrasound machines in use and the AI software will be integrated in a range of women’s health ultrasound machines. It could be rolled out across other machines in the future.

M and C Saatchi (SAA) has failed to publish its results and trading in the shares has been suspended. Windar Photonics (WHPO), Clear Leisure (CLP), Malvern International (MLVN), Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) and Hydrodec (HYR) have had share trading suspended for the same reason. The acquisition of Bristol Energy customers will boost scale and help Yu to move towards profitability.

MAIN MARKET

Car finance provider S and U (SUS) generated revenues of £42.8m in the six months to July 2020. That was a 3% decline, but the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown will be greater in the second half. Net receivables were down by 6% to £281.9m, but new loan volumes fell by one-third in the first half. Bad debt provisions were increased by £13.8m to £21.7m and this led pre-tax profit to slump from £17.1m to £6.3m. The property bridging loan business made a lower profit contribution, although the market has subsequently inproved. Even so, a dividend of 22p a share was announced, down from 34p a share.

Guild Esports (GILD) raised £20m at 8p a share. The share price ended the first day of trading at 8.15p.

Mining shell Critical Metals (CRTM) joined the standard list on 29 September. The placing price was 5p and the price was 5.5p at the end of the week.

Toople (TOOP) is on course to achieve £1.6m of annualised cost savings from integrating DMSL. The focus is on margin rather than just growing revenues.  

Ross Group (RGP) reported a reduced loss of £830,000, down from £3.15m, in the first half of 2020. There were no revenues, but the company is trying to build up supply chain operations.

InnovaDerma (IDP) reported full year figures in line with its trading statement in July. The skincare products supplier slumped into loss due to higher marketing costs. There was cash of £1.2m at the end of June 2020.

Newspaper publishing consolidator National World (NWOR) had £4.31m in the bank at the end of June 2020. It is still evaluating acquisition opportunities.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 29 June 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased sales last year, but the loss was also higher. Sales of wine and beer grew and revenues from continuing activities improved from £12.86m to £14.8m, while the loss more than doubled from £850,000 to £2.09m. the Chapel Down Gin Works in Kings Cross has been closed. There was still £2.47m in the bank at the end of 2019, even after the loss and £12m of investment in fixed assets and land. There are 428 acres of planted vineyard. Wine stocks have also increased following a good harvest. The Ashford brewery has been completed and full brewing capacity will be available before the end of the year. Martin Glenn is succeeding John Dunsmore as chairman.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has entered into a £55m development framework agreement with Equitix, an investor in infrastructure assets. This will finance up to five diagnostic facilities in the UK. Each will be owned by a special purpose vehicle funded by Equitix and operated by Rutherford. An initial agreement has been made with a NHS Trust. Rutherford also announced a collaboration with Panthera Biopartners, which will be able to use Rutherford’s clinics for trials of potential cancer treatments.

Racing recommenced at Newbury Racecourse (NYR) on 11 June. Three race meetings have been held and five more are planned by the end of August. No public are being admitted. Revenues are coming from media rights. The Rocking Horse nursery reopened earlier this month.

Good Energy (GOOD) is increasing its investment in Next Green Car, which owns Zap-Map, to 50.1% through the exercise of a convertible loan.

BWA (BWAP) has spent £120,000 of the initial commitment of £250,000 for two rutile licence areas in Cameroon. Drilling programmes are being designed. COVID-19 has hampered progress with the company’s Canadian interests.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that investee company Factom Inc has filed for Cahpter 11 bankruptcy protection because of its failure to raise more cash. It could exit Chapter 11 protection within three months if things go to plan.The investment was valued at £237,000.

IamFire (FIRE) is reviewing strategies having raised £500,000 at 2.5p a share.  Each share comes with two warrants with an exercise price of 10p a share. The investment focus is natural resources, mining and disruptive technology.

SAPO (SAPO) is still seeking a broadband investment and net assets were £1.1m at the end of 2019. At 3.2p a share, SAPO is valued at £6m.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £137,750 in Rincon Resources, which gives it a stake of 28.4%. Rincon has the rights to three prospective gold and base metals projects in Western Australia. Gunsynd has sold its stake in United Oil and Gas (UOG).

All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised a further £200,000 at 0.02p a share, taking the total raised in share issues to £280,000. Convertible loan notes worth £55,000 have been converted into 275 million shares with 34 million shares at 0.01p each to pay liabilities. This means that more than 1.3 billion shares have been issued, which has nearly doubled the shares in issue.

AIM

Recent trading at floorcoverings supplier Victoria (VCP) has exceeded expectations. Manufacturing has restarted in all the company’s plants. All the main countries are doing relatively well considering the disruption due to COVID-19 and in the most recent three weeks revenues were 85% of pre-COVID-19 budget. The UK carpets business is only just getting going again. Net debt is £370m, which is predominantly bonds that last until July 2024. Cash generation can reduce debt, although management is likely to look for potential acquisitions.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) reported a decline in interim revenues but that was due to lower commodity prices. The interim dividend has been maintained at 4.6p a share. The agriculture division maintained its operating profit, but there was an improved profit from the merchanting division. Pre-tax profit edged up from £4.3m to £4.5m. Shore Capital has reinstated forecasts. It expects a pre-tax profit of £6.7m, down from £7.9m. This id a deliberately cautious figure.

MSQ Partners has launched a 0.5p a share bid for Be Heard Group (HRD) and that values the digital media company at £6.2m. The acquirer was the subject of a buyout last year. The combined business will have the backing of Lloyds Development Capital and the greater scale will help to win larger clients.

United Oil and Gas (UOG) says that average production from the Abu Sennan concession in the first two weeks of June was 13,900 boepd, of which its working interest is 3,060 boepd. That is 69% higher than the average daily figure in April. The 2P reserves at Abu Sennan have been increased by 12.55 to 13.5MMboe

Transense Technologies (TRT) has transferred its iTrack tyre monitoring business to a Bridgestone subsidiary for $1m and it will receive quarterly royalty revenues for the next ten years. That royalty would be £150,000/ quarter currently, but growth should be faster under Bridgestone. Two Transense directors are moving with iTrack. This leaves Transense with its SAWsense (wireless tyre sensor technology) and Translogik (tyre test equipment) businesses. Transense could move into profit in 2021-22.

A positive trading statement from allergy vaccines developer Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) led finnCap to increase its 2020 pre-tax profit forecast even though revenue growth is slower than expected. A 2019-20 profit of £2.9m is expected, partly due to the timing of research spending. Allergy is expected to move back into loss in 2020-21.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) increased its revenues and pre-tax profit in the nine months to March 2020, with particularly strong growth in the third quarter. There is some disruption to international distribution and supply and full year revenue growth will be lower than originally expected.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) reported flat full year revenues of €20.9m for 2019. The loss was barely changed at €3.29m. There has been a decline in the palm oil price in recent months, which will hamper performance this year. The cashew project is making good progress.

MAIN MARKET

Strong first half trading at BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) has led to broker upgrades for 2020. The biomedical division has done particularly well, but the networks and cyber division has also done better than expected.  Stifel is raising its revenues forecast from $138m to $155m, while the EBITDA estimate has been increased by one-third to $13m. Shore Capital expects to increase forecast revenues by 17% to around $154m with a significant improvement in EBITDA expected.

Construction services provider nmcn (NMCN) made a positive start in the first quarter of this year. Revenues were 4% ahead at £97.9m and pre-tax profit 6% higher at £1.8m. This period was hardly affected by the lockdown. Since the end of March, work has been at three-quarters of normal levels. There was £11.8m in cash at the end of March 2020. The interims will be reported on 6 August and there should be guidance for the full year outcome.

Tex Holdings (TXH) expects to make further cost savings and consolidate more of its activities. The plastics division is operating at 70% of expected levels, while the engineering division has suffered delays but not lost business.

Standard list shell Boston International (BIH) had £302,000 in cash at the end of 2019. It is still assessing the proposed acquisition of invoice factoring company Alexanders Discount Ltd

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has raised £1.25m at 3p a share. The cash will accelerate trial mining at the Gakara rare earth project in Burundi.

The 2019 figures of Ross Group (RGP) include pharmaceutical grade Chitin producer Archipelago Aquaculture Group (AAG) for the first time. There were restructuring and impairment costs relating to the acquisition. Pilot production is being implemented and there are joint venture discussions with the company that has developed the Ionic Liquid extraction process licenced by AAG. There was a £3.6m loss in 2019.

SMALL CAP AWARDS 2020

Company of the year: Volex

Technology company of the year: Avacta

Impact company of the year: ITM Power

IPO of the year: Diaceutics

Transaction of the year: Kape acquisition of Private Internet Access

Executive director of the year: David Cicurel (Judges Scientific)

Innovative financing of the year: Yu Group

Journalist of the year: Joanne Hart (Mail on Sunday)

Analyst of the year: Lorne Daniel (finnCap)

VCT manager of the year: Amati

UK smaller companies fund manager of the year: JPM UK Smaller Companies

Lifetime achievement award: Giles Hargreave

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 2 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) generated revenues of £777,000 in the 15 months to March 2019. The nursing staff provider lost £2.63m. Since the year end, more contracts have been signed with NHS hospitals, as well as with a hospital in the UAE. The staff offered to hospitals have all obtained qualifications in English and 76% end up being employed. Most of the previous debt has been converted into shares, so net debt was £91,000 at the end of March 2019.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) reported an increase in net liabilities from £234,000 to £537,000 at the end of March 2019. There were £750,000 worth of bonds issued during the period.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) hopes that the acquisition of Vox Markets and Align Research should be closed in early October. Previous operations have been provided for in full and have been sold. There was £14,000 in the bank at the end of March 2019.

A new investor to Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has subscribed £100,000 for shares at 70p each, which is a one-third premium to the market price at the time. Westerby Trustee Services Ltd owns 3.8% of the company on behalf of Westerby Private Pension (R Prest).

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that the judicial restructuring plan for the Amapa iron ore project has been approved by the Sao Paulo commercial court. This will enable Cadence to acquire a 20% stake in Amapa. A further $3.5m investment will take the stake to 27%. Cadence plans to consolidate 100 existing shares into one new share. Shareholders will be asked to approve the proposal at the AGM on 20 September.

Paul Tuson is stepping down as finance director of Rutherford Health (RUTH) and the reappointment resolution was withdrawn from the AGM agenda.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has opened its third Goodbody CBD Wellness store in Bristol, following store openings in Bath and Cirencester. It is seeking franchisees to roll-out further stores around the country.

Panther Metals (PALM) chief executive Darren Hazelwood has acquired 18.87 million shares at 0.3p each. That takes his stake to 10.3%.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £59,000 at 14p a share via a placing with D Beta One EQ Ltd.

AIM  

President Energy (PPC) insists that it will continue to be profitable even though the Argentinian authorities are attempting to fix the price that producers can sell oil and the dollar exchange rate used for the price for a 90-day period. President has decided to delay its well drilling programme until the first quarter of 2020 and the focus will be gas wells. Gas sales from four wells in Estancia Vieja and Las Bases will commence production by the end of September. A new gas pipeline should be completed by the end of the year. finnCap has withdrawn its forecasts.  

Order books and production volumes are ahead of last year at gift wrap and greetings products supplier IG Design (IGR) thanks to a combination of organic growth and last year’s US acquisition. IG is on course to increase pre-tax profit from £30.3m to £36m.

Online musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) says that it has taken actions that are already helping to improve gross margin.

Cambridge Cognition (COG) says sales are lower than expected. The digital neuroscience services provider says that full year revenues will fall from £6.13m to around £5.5m. The loss will be around £2.8m. First half revenues were £2.1m and the loss was £1.74m. There is a strong order book, so this augurs well for next year.

Adamas Finance Asia Ltd (ADAM) has funded the second tranche of the investment in Infinity Capital Group. The $2m is being funded equally by Adamas and a Hong Kong family office.  

MAIN MARKET 

Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) intends to move to AIM if its acquisition of media-focused artificial intelligence and machine learning company Entertainment AI goes ahead.

At a general meeting, shareholders in Tex Holdings (TXH) approved the 2018 report and accounts and directors’ remuneration report, but they did not approve the reappointment of Scrutton Bland as auditors.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) is reaping the benefits of its investment in crypto mining equipment. The cost of 1,000 machines has already been recouped and Argo is on course to recoup the cost of a further 2,267 machines.

Ross Group (RGP) did not generate any revenues in the six months to June 2019 and the loss was £3.15m. Ross acquired start-up operations during the period. They will supply Chitin.

Asian consumer businesses investor Symphony International Holdings (SIHL) increased its NAV by 14% to $560.4m in the six months to June 2019.

George Bennett has become chief executive of Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) and Martin Eales has left the board. In the year to June 2019, Rainbow sold 850 tonnes of concentrate from the Gakara project, although bad weather hampered production in the fourth quarter. Sales prices have declined.

China-focused healthcare investment company Cathay International (CTI) reported a decrease in revenues from $49.2m to $38.3m. There was a $7.9m gain on the sale of shares in Zhejiang Starry Pharmaceutical, but that was not enough to cover the operating loss and interest costs.

OTHER MARKETS

Britdaq-quoted Staminier Ltd has secured a three-year option over 13 acres of land near to the south terminal of Gatwick Airport and it wants to build a car park with 2,200 spaces. In July, Staminier acquired a majority stake in eco-friendly housebuilder Eco-Space 41 Ltd. There is a four-year option to acquire the other 49% for £750,000. The strategy is to acquire businesses at a discount to their intrinsic value. There are plans to move to a more liquid stockmarket.

Asset Match will provide a trading facility for shares of former AIM company Albert Technologies Ltd. The first auction will be during September.

US Oil and Gas (USOP) has raised $382,000 at 31p a share. This follows a fundraising in July of $577,000 at 30p a share. The cash will be spent on exploration.

Andrew Hore 

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 6 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

In 2018, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased revenues by 8% to £19.3m. This was despite lower race course attendances because of two abandoned days of racing. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £188,000 to £568,000. The NAV was £50.7m at the end of 2018. There was a further £3.25m payment from David Wilson Homes, which helped to finance capital investment.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has entered into heads of terms with AIM-quoted Mkango Resources so that it can earn up to 75% of the Thambi licence in Southern Malawi. The licence allows exploration for uranium, tantalum and niobium. MetalNRG has to spend $500,000 in the first 12 months and then a further $700,000 in the next 12 months. A further $800,000 has to be spent in the third year to earn the full 75%. The Kyrgyz Republic has banned uranium exploration and mining and the farm-in agreement for the Kamushanovskoye uranium deposit has been suspended.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) had a NAV of £554,000 at the end of 2018. There is £584,000 in cash on the balance sheet.

High Growth Capital (HASH) has raised £4.99m after expenses via a placing at 1.75p a share with Mirador FZE, which also has warrants to subscribe for 300 million shares at 2.5p each until the end of 2019. If the High Growth Capital share price closes above 4p for five consecutive days, the warrants have to exercised or they will lapse. Mirador has a 14.2% stake. Mike Power has been appointed as a non-executive director.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has opened the first Goodbody and Blunt centre in Bath. The centre will sell cannabidiol products and have a café area.

V22 (V22O) is asking shareholders to approve the cancellation of the NEX quotation 31 May, after nearly 13 years on the market. The art investor and studio space provider plans to sell assets and distribute the cash to shareholders. A matched bargains quotation via JP Jenkins is planned for six months after leaving NEX.

Trading in Valiant Investments (VALP) shares has been suspended because it has not produced its annual report.

Queros Capital Partners (BFD) has raised £205,000 in the past two weeks from the issue of 8% unsecured bonds 2025.

The shortlist for the NEX share of the year at the Small Cap Awards 2019 has been announced. The companies are National Milk Records (NMR), Sativa Investments (SATI), NQ Minerals (NQMI), Chapel Down (CDGP), DXS International (DXSP) and Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) ,which is also on the shortlist for impact company of the year.

AIM     

Capital equipment manufacturer Mpac Group (MPAC) is acquiring Lambert Automation for an initial £15m. UK-based Lambert provides automation equipment to the medical and healthcare markets. Revenues and profit have been declining, but there was an order intake of £24.5m in 2018 and that should help revenues to recover. Revenues were £17.9m in 2018. There is potential earn out consideration of up to £2.5m. Mpac’s own trading is in line with expectations.

Park Group (PARK) says that trading was better than expected in the second half of its financial year, but there were additional costs and the effects of accounting changes. Edison has reduced its 2018-19 pre-tax profit by 3% to £12.5m. Additional costs next year mean that the profit forecast has been cut from £14.3m to £11.7m.

Tracsis (TRCS) has acquired timetable optimisation software developer Bellvedi for an initial £4m with up to £7.9m more payable over four years depending on performance. Bellvedi made a pre-tax profit of £700,000 on revenues of £1.6m last year. Acquiring the ATTUne software means that less needs to spend on the development of existing Tracsis software. The deal adds 2% to this year’s earnings per share, moving it to 27.3p. Next year’s is enhanced by 7% to 32.3p.

Competitions organiser Best of the Best (BOTB) has published a fourth positive trading update in a year. This prompted finnCap to increase its earnings forecast from 15.4p a share to 18.6p a share. The previous upgrade was in January. The switch to a predominantly online model is paying off. Any upgrades to the forecasts for the year to April 2020 will happen after the 2018-19 figures are published on 20 June.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) says that the PQ Grass allergy phase III study will start a year later than expected. It should commence by June 2020. This follows an end of phase II study meeting with the FDA. This means that this year and next year the reported loss will be lower because of deferred spending on the study.

Eight Peaks Group (8PG) plans to cancel its AIM quotation because of limited liquidity. This will save £80,000 a year.

Trading in the shares of property investor Safeland (SAF) will end on 10 May.

MAIN MARKET 

Motor dealer Pendragon (PDG) is selling two Jaguar Land Rover dealerships in California. This is expected to generate around £60m of cash, although £6.9m of profit contribution before central costs will be lost. However, Jaguar Land Rover has right of first refusal.

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has appointed Novum as broker and it has committed to invest £300,000 in convertible loan notes. The planned purchase of a 50% stake in used car market focused fintech company Pace Cloud.

Ross Group (RGP) has reported its 2018 results, but these are before the completion of the Archipelago Aquaculture which happened early in 2019. Revenues fell from £335,000 to £60,000 and a profit of £57,000 was turned into a loss of £250,000. That is partly down to costs relating to the acquisition of Archipelago Aquaculture.

Thalassa (THAL) received acceptances of 18.5% of the share capital in its bid for Local Shopping REIT (LSR) and this offer has lapsed. Thalassa owned or had acceptances of 39.3%.

Standard list shell Bermerle (BERM) went to a 50% premium on the first day of trading. However, the bid/offer spread of 1p/2p means that investors could only sell at the 1p a share placing price. The company is seeking a pharma acquisition. The areas that Bermele is assessing include diabetes, cancer and mental health. It is also looking at personalised medicine.

Standard list shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) had £920,000 in the bank at the end of 2018. Fellow shell daVictus (DVT) had £355,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and it has agreed to buy the rights to a restaurant concept from Typical Dutch NV for £100,000. The Havana Rolled Cigar Music Café concept has been developed at a site in Aruba. Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has also secured a possible acquisition in the form of Kanabo Research, which is a medicinal cannabis oil company. Kanabo is developing over the counter products and has distribution rights to a vaporiser. Spinnaker had £1.04m in the bank at the end of 2018.

Trading in the shares of Tex Holdings (TXH) and Avocet Mining (AVM) has been suspended because they have not published 2018 accounts.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 28 January 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Full year figures from AFH Financial Group (AFHP) show how successful its acquisition strategy is with revenues 51% higher at £50.7m and pre-tax profit that nearly doubled to £6m. Despite the additional shares issued to part-finance these acquisitions, underlying earnings per share were one-third higher. The dividend is 50% higher at 6p a share. Acquisitions have continued since the year end. Management believes that it can double funds under management to £10bn in three to five years.

Startup Giants (SUG) has commenced a programme to raise up to £3m. There will be an initial share placing to raise £200,000. The company has launched its 2019 accelerator round for pre-seed capital tech entrepreneurs. Funding of up to £100,000 can be received by successful applications.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $200,000 in Rlay, a data collaboration framework for crowdsourcing. KR1 will receive an undetermined number of discounted tokens. This will be a discount to the lowest price paid by any investor in the tokens. KR1 has spent £50,000 in 50,000 Nash tokens.  These are the first tokens issued out of Liechtenstein.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has signed a deal with Master Kingdom Ltd in order to create a range of body care and body wash products, which will be sold under the Artist’s brand name.

MetalNRG (MNRG) says that the Kyrgyzstan authorities have granted the application for a mining licence for the company’s uranium project in the country. The in-situ value of the uranium reserves is $253m and there is potential exploration upside.

Johnny Martin Smith is joining the board of VI Mining (VIM) and trading in the shares has resumed. Smith is a former mining analyst.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £142,000 at 11p a share. Bryan Smart has resigned from the board.

BWA Group (BWAP) had nearly £45,000 left in the bank at the end of October 2018. Elections have delayed progress with the potential licence acquisitions for rutile sands deposits in Cameroon. Investee company Prego International is moving from Guernsey to Norway and it may merge with another business.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) is seeking a replacement for First Sentinel Corporate Finance as its corporate adviser.

AIM   

Mporium (MPM) has signed a partnership deal with claims management firm Allay, which will use the company’s technology to generate leads for its business. Allay will be issued a 25% stake in Mporium in return for the revenuesthat will be generated, which could be worth millions of pounds. The stake could be increased to 29.9% if Mporium is successful in winning leads for Allay.

Mastercard has launched a rival bid for Earthport (EPO) and Visa is considering its position. The new bid is 33p a share and this values the company at £233m. That is a 10% premium to the Visa bid.

Aquaculture business Benchmark (BMK) has expanded its production capacity and is launching new products. Revenues were 8% higher at £151.5m and it would have been higher at constant exchange rates. It made an underlying pre-tax profit of £5.6m last year, up from £4.7m, and that could nearly double this year. Net debt was £55.7m.

Sureserve (SUR) has been restructured and non-core businesses sold. This enables it to concentrate on compliance and energy support services. Full year revenues from the continuing operations were 5% higher at £191m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £5.4m to £6.6m. This was better than expected and net debt was £11.4m. The dividend has been halved to 0.25p a share.

K3 Capital (K3C) was expected to report lower figures in the first half due to the timing of larger corporate finance deals and the mergers and acquisitions achieved interim revenues 4% lower at £7.2m and an even larger decline in profit. The second half should be better and revenues could be slightly higher than last year at £16.6m, but full year pre-tax profit is forecast to fall from £7.3m to £7m.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) reported record full year results. The higher milk price has led to increased demand for dairy feed. Revenues grew from £390.7m to £462.7m and pre-tax profit moved from £7.9m to £9.5m. The agriculture and retail divisions both improved their profit and the latter added additional sites in the second half that were not profitable in the period. There was the normal second half cash inflow but it was not as great as in the past, so net debt was nearly £1m. The dividend has been raised 6% to 13.4p a share.

InfraStrata (INFA) has raised £1.5m at 1.2p a share. This will boost its balance sheet while it negotiates with investors in the Islandmagee gas storage project. One equity investor has appointed advisers to do due diligence work. The project will continue to progress as these negotiations continue and the cash will make sure that progress is made while the final funding package is secured.

Lighthouse Group (LGT) has secured a deal to transfer the members and assets of its pension trust to Smart Pensions Ltd. The IFA will protect itself from the rising cost of the administration and capital requirements of pension trusts.

Audioboom (BOOM) grew last year’s revenues by 92% to $11.7m, although this was a 13 month period, and it says that there was no cash outflow from operations in the final three months. That meant that there was $1.6m in the bank at the end of 2018.

Robinson (RBN) traded in line with expectations last year. The packaging manufacturer expects revenues of £32.8m, which is a 10% improvement. The fastest growth was in Poland. Even so, pre-tax profit will be lower, but it should bounce back in 2019.

A large localisation project has been cancelled and this will hamper the progress of Zoo Digital (ZOO) in the second half of its financial year. The legacy DVD business is also declining faster than anticipated. This means that ZOO will not be profitable in the year to March 2019.

Velocity Composites (VEL) increased its full year revenues by 15% to £24.5m, and there was a small loss, but business wins are slower than previously hoped. Revenues could be flat this year.

Another upgrade for audio visual products distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) following its latest trading statement. Pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £24.3m to £29.1m and then a further increase to £31.7m in 2019.

MAIN MARKET 

Robin Boyle has failed to get back on the board of Athelney Trust (ATY) but he was successful in removing the existing directors. David Lawman and Paul Coffin were appointed although the latter resigned at the end of the week and he was replaced by Frank Ashton. The proposed tender offer and placing was also passed.

Dev Clever Holdings (DEV) is the latest company to float on the standard list. A share issue has raised £898,000 at 1p a share, including £220,000 due to the conversion of debt. The software development company was valued at £3.73m. The share price ended the week a 7.75p.

Nanoco (NANO) has signed a contract extension with a US company and this lasts until the end of 2019. This underpins the current year forecast.

Ross Group (RGP) has issued the final 21.3 million shares for the acquisition of Archipelago Aquaculture, which plans to start producing Chitin to help to produce quality shrimp. The deal was announced last September, and 17.9 million shares were issued at 1p a share. Global Blue Technologies Inc owns 19.9% of Ross.

Interim figures from Haynes Publishing (HYNS) show a 23% increase in underlying pre-tax profit to £1.6m on a 7% rise in revenues to £18.3m. Digital revenues were 23% higher at £9.7m. The growth in revenues and profit was in the UK and Europe. The interim dividend is unchanged at 3.5p a share. Net cash was £2.6m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 3 September 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) has won a contract from Medway NHS Foundation Trust to supply up to 400 nurses. New research from Edison Investment Research forecasts a 2018 loss of £2.3m for the healthcare staffing company, falling to £600,000 in 2019. Initial revenues were generated last year and they could reach £2.8m in 2019. As revenues grow margins should improve. Net debt could be more than £5m by the end of 2018. The company’s loan notes, which are being subscribed for in monthly tranches by the majority shareholder, are repayable at the end of 2019.

Barkby Group (BARK) joined NEX in June after reversing into former AIM company Sovereign Mines of Africa. The gastropubs operator generated revenues of £950,000 and an underlying pre-tax profit, before flotation costs, of £133,000 in the three months to July 2018. The Turf to Table branded outlets continue to outperform expectations.  The company is debt free and ready to acquire additional properties.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has appointed an unnamed nominated adviser ahead of a prospective flotation on AIM in the next few months. Hybridan is already the company broker. SaaS-based cyber software provider Rizikon Assurance is making progress and other products are in development.

Halal food-based certification services provider DagangHalal (DGHL) increased its revenues from MYR4.64m to MYR6.46m in 2017. There was a cash outflow from operating activities of MYR9.44m and net cash was MYR11.6m at the end of 2018. The company has subsequently settled the dispute with its former chief executive with a payment of MYR500,000.

Blockchain ventures investor and adviser Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has entered into a strategic partnership with Universal Reward Protocol, which is developing a protocol so that retailers and shoppers can interact, for a €20m token sale. Coinsilium has also agreed an advisory partnership with Y Ventures subsidiary, Luminore 8.

Positive Healthcare (DOC) has asked for trading in the company’s 7% bonds 2021 to be suspended. Irregularities have been identified at the principal operating subsidiary and Positive is unable to publish its accounts or pay the next instalment of interest on the bonds.

Etaireia (ETIP) has completed the sale of a property in Girvan for a loss of £12,000. The company acquired the property for 25 million shares and £35.000 in cash and has received £47,000 in cash plus £1,000 contribution to legal costs. The £35,000 cash consideration is yet to be paid.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) had $1.4m in the bank at the end of March 2018. Since then, the settlement of an equity share agreement cost $156,000. Litigation with a former chief executive, which scuppered acquisition plans, has been completed with a settlement of $286,000. PCG is in talks with a potential gaming company acquisition.

Panther Metals (PALM) has completed its review of technical information on three exploration tenements in north west Ontario, where it holds an option to acquire. Several high grade gold veins and base metal occurrences have been identified. A detailed exploration programme is being designed.

AIM    

Sinclair Pharma (SPH) has agreed a 32p a share cash offer from Huadong Medicine Co, but it is still subject to pre-conditions relating to the Chinese authorities.

Watkin Jones (WJG) has exchanged contracts for a 599 bed student accommodation site from Kelaty Propco. This project should be completed by September 2021. It has also secured another deal with Kelaty for a 300 residential apartment scheme in the same area, which will boost the build-to-rent pipeline.

One Media IP Group (OMIP) is planning to raise £2.9m via a share placing at 6p a share and up to £6m from a loan note issue to the Business Growth Fund. Lord Grade and Ivan Dunleavy have each invested £37,500 in new shares. The intellectual property owner intends to use the cash to acquire music publishing rights, artists recordings and songwriters’ rights.

Westmount Energy Ltd (WTE) has made a £810,000 investment in JHI Associates Inc, which is focused on exploration in the Guyana-Suriname basin, where it has a 40% carried interest in the Canje offshore block. This investment represents 56% of Westmount’s gross assets.

Otus Capital Management and Andrew Gibbs have nearly doubled their stake in Van Elle (VANL) to 10.2%. Mark Cutler joined the piling company as chief executive last month.

Polarean Imaging (POLX) has commenced the recruitment of patients for the phase III clinical trial in the US to demonstrate the non-inferiority of the company’s drug / device combination. The medical resonance imaging technology using hyperpolarised 129-xenon gas only has to show that it is as good as the current treatment. Eighty patients will be recruited. Some will be candidates for lung resection and others for lung removal. A pilot programme has helped to design the study, which could be finished before the end of 2019. Polarean has enough cash to make progress with the trial but will need more finance to reach completion.

Positive initial results from an oncology drug study have given the Midatech Pharma (MTPH) share price a boost. This is the first in-human study for MTD201 Q-Octreotide, a sustained-release treatment for carcinoid cancer and acromegaly. The study shows a safe, well-tolerated and effective sustained release of the drug.

Filtronic (FTC) has won a second order, worth $1.1m, for its MassiveMIMO technology, which helps mobile networks use their spectrum efficiently. It is still early days for the technology, but this is a positive sign and will offset the decline in older product ranges.

CCTV and security technology supplier Synectics (SNX) has secured a large contract with Serco, covering six custodial sites. This will help to underpin the current forecasts.

Altona Energy (AHR) has signed an exclusive licence for pyrolysis technology in Australia and China with GCAT. This will enable Altona to construct plants in the two countries and Altona will receive 95% of the net revenues generated by the technology when used in the treatment of waste.

Thor Mining (THR) says that metallurgical test work shows 78% copper recovery at the Kapunda copper project when using glycine as a leaching agent. Thor is earning up to 60% of Kapunda.

FIH Group (FIH) has traded well in the first five months of its financial year, thanks to a strong performance by arts logistics business Momart, which has opened a new facility. The Gosport ferry and Falkland Islands activities are trading in line with expectations. A small reduction on last year’s pre-tax profit of £3.2m is still anticipated.

Starcom (STAR) reported a 61% increase in interim revenues to $3.1m. There has also been a change in mix from lower margin to higher margin products. The security and tracking products developer is still losing money and is on course for a small, but much reduced, full year loss. The business is second half weighted so the outcome is heavily dependent on trading in the last few months of the year.

MAIN MARKET   

BATM (BVC) is set for a good second half. The biomedical and networking divisions have both been winning contracts and a significant amount of the benefits of these wins will come through in the second half. The most high profile contract win is the joint development deal with ARM. The first deal under this agreement is with FatPipe Networks, which develops technology for the optimisation and security of wide area networks. Longer-term, BATM’s SDN/NFV technology could be important in the development of driverless vehicles and other new technologies. BATM has net cash of nearly $17m.

Interim revenues at Ross Group (RGP) declined by 28% to £68,000 but it still managed to make a pre-tax profit of £10,000. The search continues for a suitable acquisition. Large shareholders have lent £6.07m to Ross.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) has won a contract with a reseller worth at least £3.5m over a three year period. Group gross margins are running at around 15%. That suggests a gross profit of £525,000 over the period of the contract, although the gross margin on this business could be higher. To put that in perspective, chief executive Andrew Hollingworth is entitled to a salary of £120,000, so this contract could cover his salary and some of the other directors’ salaries. Toople needs further wins to reach breakeven. The share price has more than trebled since the contract news, just in time for another share issue to raise cash to keep the business going.

Andrew Hore

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

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