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Health and community care properties developer Ashley House (ASH) reported a much-improved profit for the year to April 2018. There was a strong second half performance because of the completion of four schemes. Full year revenues were flat at £18.5m, while pre-tax profit jumped from less than £100,000 to £1.8m, although that includes a £500,000 write back of a previous impairment charge. Net debt was reduced from £2.5m to £1.5m. The housing and health property pipeline is valued at £206m, covering 22 schemes. The F1 Modular business lost money last year but trading appears likely to improve.
Ananda Developments (ANA) has acquired $200,000 of convertible loan notes in iCAN Israel-Cannabis Ltd, which focuses on medicinal cannabis. This is the first investment for Ananda and the convertibles have an annual interest rate of 6%. The interests of Ananda director Charles Morgan have assigned $100,000 of the convertibles to the company. iCan has subsidiaries involved in organising cannabis symposiums and cannabis-based research services, plus a 5% stake in CannRx Technology Inc, which has developed liquid soluble cannabinoids for use in treatments, and a 20% stake in CMTREX, which is developing a trading platform for cannabis.
Nigel Wray has reduced his stake in High Growth Capital (HASH) from 5.99% to 4.72%. Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) non-executive chairman David Sumner has bought 29,230 shares at 190p each, taking his stake to 84.7%.
Early Equity (EEQP) says trading in the company shares will resume on 28 August. Trading had been suspended on 16 May. The resumption follows an agreement with NEX Exchange that will change how shares are distributed to related parties. Early Infinity Holdings (EI) is the exclusive distributor for Yicom Global, where Early Equity is a 47. 1% shareholder. EI’s agents sell the products in Malaysia and elsewhere in south east Asia. EI incentivises its agents by gifting them shares in Early Equity. These were deemed to be a gift rather than a trade, so they were not reported. A new nominee company with two trustees that are not shareholders in Early Equity has been set up. This will hold shares for the benefit of agents of EI. Agents will receive a warrant certificate. These agents own 46.7% of Early Equity and shares equivalent to 6.29% of the company will be transferred to the nominee company. Early Equity previously announced that it wants to move to a standard listing. The company’s NAV was £1.54m, including £429,000, at the end of 2017.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is investing $125,000 in Bundle Network Ltd, which is developing an online platform that enables the trading of cryptocurrencies. Coinsilium will also receive Bundle Network crypto tokens.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has paid a $50,000 option fee, which could lead to the company gaining a 51% stake in a new company that holds the rights to the Kamyshanovskoye uranium project in the Kyrgyz Republic. The project has an inferred uranium resource that could be worth $144m at $26/lb, plus exploration upside. International Mining Company owns 100% of the project and it would be put into a new vehicle, where MetalNRG would inject cash to gain its majority stake. MetalNRG has 90 days to undertake due diligence and review data. If the option is not taken up the option fee would be converted into a 2.5% stake in the new vehicle.
VI Mining (VIM) is starting its drilling campaigns at minas Pampa and Rosario de Belen, while the vendors are in discussions about changes in the terms of the deals. The timing of the due payment has been extended while the talks continue.
Panther Metals (PALM) has appointed Ariana Resources (AAU) boss Dr Kerim Sener as a non-executive director.
Ecovista (EVTP) is asking for shareholder approval for a resolution that will enable it to issue up to 3.486 billion shares so that management can continue with its strategy.
Gatemore Investments has increased its stake in TLA Worldwide (TLA), the company famous for issuing a profit warning after the market closed prior to Christmas 2016, from 7.4% to 12.2%. Bart Campbell has stepped down as executive chairman of TLA, but he will continue to receive his monthly salary until the end of the year.
Last year, revenues fell by nearly one-third to £24m at microwave electronic products supplier Filtronic (FTC) but it had already been flagged. The ending of a low margin contract meant that pre-tax profit fell from £2.16m to £1.23m, although that includes exceptional finance charges of £486,000 due to exchange rate movements. The broadband and wireless divisions are being merged because they have similar customer bases. There is net cash of £3.6m plus available bank facilities. Investment in new products continues and there is long-term demand from investment in 5G networks and security-related areas.
Marshall Motor (MMH) reported a decent set of figures given the tough new car market, which is exacerbated by the decline in diesel car sales. There was a small dip in continuing revenues but underlying pre-tax profit edged up to £16.4m. Used vehicle profit improved. The dividend is maintained at 2.15p a share. Trading will be even tougher in the second half, partly due to testing regulation changes, and full year profit is expected to decline from £29.1m to £24.2m. There is a strong balance sheet with a NAV of £201m.
Zamano (ZMNO) has ended discussions with its potential reverse takeover target. This means that cash is likely to be returned to shareholders.
Condor Gold (CNR) has been granted an environmental permit for developing a processing plant for the La India project by the Nicaragua authorities. Gold production could be 80,000 ounces a year from a single open pit. Accounts for the six months to June 2018, show cash of £1.57m.
Abzena (ABZA) is recommending a 16p a share cash bid from Astro Bidco, which values it at £34.4m. The life sciences company joined AIM four years ago when it raised £20m at 80p a share. It needs additional finance pumped into the business.
Oil and gas producer Empyrean Energy (EME) has received a $906,000 tax refund from the IRS from the 2016-17 tax year.
SalvaRx Group (SALV) is selling its business to a Toronto-quoted company in return for shares, most of which will be distributed to shareholders. The 94.2% stake in cancer drugs developer SalvaRx Ltd is being swapped for 757.9million shares in Portage Biotech Inc, which are deemed to have a value of $67.5m. SalvaRx shareholders will receive 18 Portage shares for each SalvaRx share they own if they approve the disposal. SalvaRx will retain around 100 million Portage shares and become a shell.
ClearStar (CLSU) has been named as preferred contract labour screening provider for Gulfstream Aerospace. This should contribute to a reduction in loss this year.
Premier African Minerals (PREM) has raised £750,000 at 0.18p a share. Premier plans a drilling programme of up to 2,750 metres to expand the resource base at the RHA Tungsten mine. The cash should last until the end of 2018.
Tex Holdings (TXH) reported a slump in interim pre-tax profit from £423,000 to £96,000 even though there was a small reduction in admin expenses. There was a much better contribution from the plastics division but that was more than offset by the slump in profit by the engineering division due to delays in orders. Metal fabrication and powder coating business Argento UK has recently been bought. The interim dividend is unchanged at 2.5p a share.
Nanoco (NANO) expects the first displays using its cadmium-free quantum dots to be launched before Christmas. Volume production is expected at the new Runcorn plant before the end of 2019. The 2017-18 revenues were lower than expected because it could not recognise a payment from a large customer. Net cash is estimated at £7.9m at the end of July 2018.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) reported an increase in full year loss from £177,000 to £286,000. The NAV was £379,000 at the end of April 2018. There is £148,000 in the bank. Dukemount is on the brink of moving forward with its first two supported living developments.
PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) has settled its claim with a customer. The customer will pay a total of €28.8m, of which the outstanding payment of €14.3m will be paid at the end of November. The customer has also waived the delivery of the solar wafers that were supposed to be supplied.
Brewer Adnams (ADB), which sponsored last year’s Tour of Britain cycling event, continues to invest in its brewery with beer sales moving above 100,000 barrels in 2016. More of that beer is being sold in kegs. The decline in sterling increased the price of hops and wine, which hit the retail operations. In 2016, revenues improved from £65.7m to £70.3m, while pre-tax profit increased from £4.07m to £5.02m, predominantly down to a rise in asset disposal gains from £625,000 to £1.43m. Adnams sold the UK distribution rights to Lagunitas beer. The NAV has fallen to £27.5m because of an increase in the pension liability. There is a dividend of 150p per B share and 37.5p per A share. This year there will be the first beer duty tax increase in four years.
Investment company First Sentinel (FSEN) joined the NEX Exchange growth market on 24 March and pre-IPO £633,000 was raised at 10p a share. That is before costs of £130,000. The founding shareholders own 99.2% of the company with 50,000 shares issued to the market maker. The company’s strategy is to provide investments to small companies with an opportunity covering more than 1,000 quoted companies identified in the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia. First Sentinel is run by former Rangers International Football Club director Brian Stockbridge and the main shareholders are two other former directors of Rangers or its subsidiaries, James Easdale and Sandy Easdale. The company is employing Stockbridge’s corporate finance business First Sentinel Corporate Finance, which will receive an annual fee of 1% of First Sentinel’s assets under management (payable at 0.25% each quarter) plus performance fees based on 20% of pre-tax profit each year when the gross return on capital is less than 20% or 40% of pre-tax profit if the gross return is more than 20%. First Sentinel will be paid 50% of deal fees generated by First Sentinel Corporate Finance from any investment transactions involving the NEX-quoted company. Stockbridge and his partner Aimee Freeding each receive £2,000 a month from First Sentinal. The whole board will be paid £72,000 a year in fees. There are currently 6.36 million shares in issue, with nearly as many shareholder warrants, but the company intends to issue up to 100 million more shares. Stockridge and Freeding have director warrants that enables each of them to receive 10% of the enlarged share capital at the time they are exercised – they each currently own 8.1%. Fellow director Tom Dignall has directors warrants over 5% of the enlarged capital at the time of exercise. The warrants are exercisable over five years. Matthew Rice is the independent director and he has no interest in the present or future share capital. First Sentinel is an investment for fans of Stockbridge.
Angus Energy (ANGS) expects to issue a first tranche of bonds on or around 27 April. Angus plans to issue up to £3.5m secured bonds maturing on 30 June 2022 and these will be quoted on NEX.
A rise in the zinc price has provided further impetus for IMC Exploration (IMCP). A comprehensive zinc works programme on its licences that are between the existing Tynagh and Silvermines deposits in Ireland.
Imperial Minerals (IMPP) is more optimistic about the prospects of the resources sector than one year ago. There was £66,000 in the bank at the end of 2016 and since then Imperial has sold its remaining shares in North River Resources for £30,000.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has raised £295,000 at 0.5p a share – every two shares have a warrant to subscribe for one share at 1p – and directors have exercised options at the same price that provide a further £47,500 – every option exercised sparks the issue of a bonus option exercisable at 0.75p a share. This takes the cash in the bank to £480,000, which will be used as working capital as the company seeks suitable investments. Gervaise Heddle has become a non-executive director. Heddle already owns 9.51 million shares in MetalNRG and he will not receive any pay until the company’s NAV is more than £1.5m but he has been issued 3 million options at 0.5p each.
Ecommerce technology provider Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) has signed an agreement with Sage. Netalogue’s ecommerce platform complements Sage’s X3 ERP technology and the deal could help Netalogue to access new customers.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £32,000 at 8p a share.
Gatemore Capital Management has requisitioned a general meeting at DX (Group) in order to remove Bob Holt and Paul Murray from the board. The plan is to replace them with Ron Series (as chairman), Paul Goodson, Russell Black and Lloyd Dunn. Gatemore is an activist investor that has been involved with French Connection and Gym Group in recent months. Gatemore’s stake in the parcel deiivery company rose above 3% six months ago and the stake has been built up to 11.3%.Furious 7 live streaming film
Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) formerly Vislink, has taken a reduced payment for its broadcast technology division. Former AIM company xG Technology Inc, which has spent more than a decade failing to develop its own business into a profitable operation, is paying $2m of the $4.9m it still owed in the agreement. Net debt has been reduced from £17m to £12m via the disposal and there is potential to obtain $2m from a creditor. The problem is that the remaining software business is too small to prosper with that level of debt.
SalvaRx Group (SALV) is investing in Rift Biotherapeutics Inc, which is developing antibodies for use in oncology. An initial investment of $1m will give SalvaRx a 30% stake in Rift. If the company achieves milestones then SalvaRx could invest a further $1.5m at the same valuation and swap its shares for the shares in Rift held by the other shareholders.
Tracsis (TRCS) had already warned that its interims would be weak. In the end, revenues were one-fifth higher at £15.6m and underlying profit was 11% higher at £3.1m.The cash balance improved to £12.7m. The interim dividend was raised by one-fifth to 0.6p a share. Management is still confident that the second half will be significantly stronger.
Caledonia Mining (CMCL) increased its production, cut costs and received a higher gold price in 2016. The Blanket mine increased gold production from 42,804 ounces to 50,351 ounces and all in sustaining costs fell from $1,037/ounce to $912/ounce. The gold price achieved rose from $1,139/ounce to $1,232/ounce. Production and costs are set to continue to improve. There was $23m generated from operations last year, more than enough to cover capital expenditure and dividends. The annualised dividend is running at 5.5 cents.
Starcom (STAR) continues to be accident prone. Last year, it could not satisfy demand for Watchlock Pro because parts were not delivered. This meant that full year revenues were flat at $5.13m although the post-tax loss fell from $1.76m to $1.36m. There was $35,000 in the bank at the end of 2016.
Falcon Acquisitions Ltd (FAL) is acquiring two businesses involved in technology, distribution and content operations in the Over The Top television sector. Falcon has raised £4m at 25p a share to provide finance for the enlarged business. The plan is to offer a platform to customers as well as its own content via its own channels. The shares should be readmitted on 27 March. The company will be renamed Falcon Media House Ltd.
Telecoms company Toople (TOOP) is finding it difficult to win business. Apparently, Toople’s main offering to small businesses is not as competitive as it thought so it is focusing on its cloud-based telephony service, which is building up its revenues. The share price has slumped from 8p to 3.25p in less than one year. According to last year’s prospectus, chief executive Andrew Hollingworth gets £120,000 per year (as well as 35 days holiday plus bank holidays) while he acquired his 26 million shares in Toople at 0.0667p each. Finance director Neil Taylor gets £60,000 a year for a two day week. In 2015-16, gross profit was £78,000 while the cash outflow from operations was £1.42m. It appears that the outflow should slow in the first half of this financial year but it will still be significant. There was £744,000 in the bank at the end of September 2016 but there was also debt of £469,000. Given the vast overheads for a company of this size it is no surprise that Toople needs to raise working capital. The trading statement also says that the board “continues to focus on tight cost control” and hopefully they will be able to think of some excess costs that could be reduced.
Books publisher Quarto Group (QRT) has sold its 75% stake in Hong Kong-based Regent Publishing Services for $7m – a gain of $3.3m on book value.
Wine and beer maker Chapel Down (CDGP) reported a one-third increase in 2015 revenues but a smaller increase in profit. The investment in an additional 90 acres of vineyards should provide further impetus in the coming years. Wine sales were 27% higher last year. Revenues increased from £6.11m to £8.18m and underlying profit improved from £133,000 to £141,000. Brewing subsidiary Curious Drinks has raised £1.71m to invest in a new brewery and last year its sales rose by 50%. At 33.5p (32p/35p) a share, Chapel Down is valued at £33.8m.
Electronics and engineering group Mechan Controls (MECP) failed to find a bidder that was willing to meet its board’s valuation for the business. Bids for parts of the group were also too low but there is still potential to sell individual subsidiaries. This means that the formal sales process has ended. At 248p (243p/253p) a share, Mechan is valued at £5m.
Diversified Gas & Oil Corp (DOIL) has completed the purchase of assets in Ohio for $4.8m. These assets are producing 250 barrels of oil per day and 3,000 mcf of gas a day. Diversified operates more than 5,000 producing wells in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania producing 450 barrels of per day and 13,000 mcf gas a day. So far £6.9m has been raised from bond issues. There are further acquisition opportunities.
Queros Capital Partners (QCP) has issued a further £390,000 of 8% unsecured bonds. The company’s focus is investment in social housing portfolios and property asset-backed lending in the UK and Europe. Queros originally raised £500,000 last July and the latest issue takes the bonds in issue to £972,000.
Electrical testing and oil and gas equipment rental and sales company Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) is raising £5.5m through a placing and open offer at 75p a share and management will contribute around one-fifth of this cash. Northbridge fell into loss last year as demand from the oil sector weakened. Costs have been reduced but Northbridge is not expected to return to profit until 2017. Debt covenants have been a concern and the additional cash will help net debt to fall from £14.3m, while capex should be lower than depreciation this year.
SalvaRx Group (SALV) has made its first investment since it reversed into 3Legs Resources. A $2m investment will give SavaRx a 9.2% interest in Intensity Therapeutics, which is developing a treatment for solid tumours. Intensity has a platform called DfuseRx that can identify formulations based on existing treatments that could be injected into solid tumours. The lead treatment is INT230-6, which could enter human trials by the end of this year. SalvaRx chief executive Dr Ian Walters has been working with Intensity for nearly two years so he knows about the technology. Jim Mellon and a fellow SalvaRx non-exec are subscribing for $1m of convertible loan notes in SalvaRx. The conversion price is 35.5p a share.
Healthcare services provider Totally (TLY) has been adding new clients to its services, including new prison contracts. The nine new contracts cover 21 locations and are worth £300,000 a year over the five years of the contracts. The services provided include physiotherapy. Totally is also integrating health education services and products provided by US business Healthwise into its self-care services. Totally has a three year agreement with Healthwise.
Investment company BP Marsh (BPM) has sold its 49% stake in small business sales adviser Broucour Group to its founder for up to £341,000. A £330,000 loan will also be repaid. BP Marsh has also invested S$2.4m for a 20% stake in Asia Reinsurance Brokers. An additional investment of S$500,000 could increase the stake to 25%. The Singapore-based reinsurance and insurance risk services provider is well-established and profitable.
CEII Roma is investing £10.45m in copper and gold miner Rambler Metals & Mining (RMM) at 4p a share – a small discount to the market price. Canada-based Rambler has also issued 200 million warrants with an exercise price of 5p a share. The initial cash should enable production at the Ming copper-gold mine to increase to 1,250 metric tonnes per day over the next few years. Rambler will assess the potential for further investment in the mine. Last month, Rambler said that it is exploring the potential for toll mining gold concentrate from the Cap Ray deposit at its Nugget Pond mill.
Standard list cash shell Vertu Capital Ltd (VCBC) has identified a potential acquisition. The financial services-focused investment company intends to acquire corporate finance consultancy VCB Malaysia for £350,000. VCB is profitable and offers capital market, investor relations, fundraising and wealth management services. Vertu believes that VCB can be used as a base to grow a consultancy and wealth management business. Due diligence is still being undertaken. The deal will require a document for the readmission of the company to the standard list because it is a reverse takeover but it does not require shareholder approval because the company is on the standard list.
Standard list cash shell Falcon Acquisitions (FAL) has raised £2m at 20p a share to add to its cash pile. Falcon, which is seeking online television and broadcasting businesses to acquire, previously raised £1.73m, mainly at 10p a share when Falcon floated in January. At the time of flotation, Falcon said that it wanted to raise additional funds of up to £2m at a share price to be set between 10p and 30p.
Investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) has raised £390,000 after expenses at 233.2p a share, the NAV at the end of March, and the shares were admitted to the market on 21 April. The placing price was at a premium to the market price. Managing director Robin Boyle believes that there are a number of mis-priced shares that the cash can be used to buy.