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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 20 January 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

NQ Minerals (NQMI) generated gross revenues of A$15.5m and gross profit of A$7.4m from Hellyer gold mine in the fourth quarter. Full year revenues were A$53.9m and operating profit was A$12.2m. The profit grew steadily quarter by quarter. NQ has raised £311,000 at 7p a share. In December, £300,000 was raised at 6.5p a share.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that is subsidiary Coaltech has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Uzbekistan ministry of innovation and development and Uzbekistan Railway. The coal fines project could have an initial value of $16m. A plant would be built to process coal fines into coal pellets. Coal mining is an important industry in Uzbekistan. There will be feasibility studies and the development of a business plan. This deal comes via the joint venture with Creon Investments, which is focused on Russia and former Soviet Union countries.

Ganapati (GANP) says that its Malta-based subsidiary has signed a two-year endorsement agreement with Welljam, which owns the rights to Usain Bolt’s services and image rights. Ganapati has is launching the first official Usain Bolt online slot game when the Tokyo Olympics are held during the summer. Usain Bolt will be attending the ICE London iGaming event in February. There are initial licence payments for image rights during the development of the slot game and a share of future revenues.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that its investee company iCAN Israel-Cannabis has raised money via a convertible that places a pre-money valuation of $20m on the company. Ananda invested $200,000 in a convertible loan in August 2018 and $100,000 of the loan has been converted into 120 shares worth $200,000 at the latest valuation. DJT Plants, which is 50%-owned by Ananda, has received planning permission for the construction of a facility for cannabis plant breeding and propagation.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) reported a dip in pre-tax profit from £334,000 to £306,000 in the six months to October 2019. The NAV improved from £21.2m to £21.9m over the six month period, even though £349,000 was paid in dividends.

Imperial X (IMPP) has switched its investing strategy back from medicinal cannabis to energy-related businesses. The focus is building a royalty stream from oil and gas interests.

Mark Leigh is taking over from Claire Spencer as finance director of Newbury Racecourse (NYR).

Broadband-focused shell SAPO (SAPO) has raised £27,500 at 2.75p a share.

Diverse Income Trust has reduced its stake in TechFinancials (TECH) to below 3%.

AIM

Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) generated organic growth of 10.5% in the first half and it is on course to meet analyst expectations for the full year. The main first half growth was in the corporate and pensions businesses. The most recent acquisition will take annualised non-legal revenues to 12% of the group total. A full year pre-tax profit of £21.3m is forecast.

Regional legal business Knights Group (KGH) increased interim revenues by one-third to £32m through a combination of acquired and organic growth. Underlying earnings were 9% ahead at 5.95p a share. Net debt was £17.1m at the end of October 2019. The interim dividend was raised by 83% to 1.1p a share, although Knights was not quoted for all the comparative period. Two Birmingham-based firms have been acquired since the period end.

Legal firm Ince Group (INCE) raised £12m at 45p a share. The share price has more than halved since the beginning of the year. The January 2019 placing was at 140p a share. There are plans to raise £2m by a one-for-8.398 open offer and £2m via an offer to staff. The cash will enable the working capital facility to be reduced and finance investment in building up staff numbers. Net debt was £10.4m at the end of September 2019.

Pharmaceutical services provider Ergomed (ERGO) has acquired Ashfield Pharmacovigilance Inc for $10m and this will be earnings enhancing in 2020. The deal boosts Ergomed’s position in pharmacovigilance services and gives it a stronger position in the US. Ashfield has annual revenues of $11.6m and contracted future revenues of $9.8m.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) has established a 50/50 renewable energy joint venture with Green Enesys that will operate a 36MW hybrid power (solar and biomass) project in Ivory Coast. This should reduce costs at the palm oil project in Ayenouan. There could be other potential power projects in the region. Dekel is benefiting from the recovery in the crude palm oil price. It produced 37,649 tonnes of crude palm oil in 2019, even though poor weather led to disappointing fourth quarter production. Later this year processing of cashew nuts should commence.

Biopesticides developer Eden Research (EDEN) generated revenues of £2m in 2019, down from £2.8m, and an operating loss of £1.4m. Product revenues grew even though the summer weather restricted usage of Botrytis.

Lettings agency The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) is setting up a financial services division. Acquisitions are planned and the first is a 72.25% stake in Auxilium Partnership, which is the business of newly appointed financial services director Mark Graves. This has been a source of growth for rival Belvoir (BLV).

D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) has confirmed that its second half trading is much stronger than the first half thanks to the contracts won by the Celebrus data analysis software business. The financials sector has been a productive customer base for Celebrus. D4T4 is increasingly winning SaaS business and this could hold back short-term growth, which could lead to the trimming of 2019-20 forecasts.

Instem (INS) continues to increase its recurring revenues. The pharma software company generated organic revenues growth of 12% in 2019. Pre-tax profit is expected to be £3.3m. Net cash was £5.9m. A jump in profit to £4.7m is forecast for 2020.

Estate agency Winkworth (WINK) says 2019 profit was modestly ahead of expectations and a total dividend of 7.8p a share is proposed, which is higher than forecast.

Telit Communications (TCM) did better than expected in 2019 and excluding the former automotive activities revenues grew by 8%. The internet of things technology developer is forecast to make a 2020 pre-tax profit of £20.1m.

Pharma data analytics firm Diaceutics (DXRX) generated more cash tan expected last year and made a small profit. Thee was cash of £11.7m at the end of 2019. The 2020 pre-tax profit could be £800,000.

Barkby Group (BARK) has exchanged contracts on a development site in Huntingdon, which has a gross development value of £10.7m.

Risk management software developer KRM22 (KRM) says 2019 revenues were slightly lower than expected at £4m. Delayed contracts are expected to be signed soon.

Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) managed to maintain revenues at £25.6m in 2019 and a small increase is expected in 2020. The mix of revenues has changed with fleet generating 80%, up from 73%, thanks to growth in the US and France. Insurance revenues fell as expected as low margin business was shed. Pre-tax profit is still expected to decline from £8.2m to £6.6m in 2019, with a further fall to £6.3m forecast for 2020. The dividend is expected to be reduced from 12.4p a share to 12.1p a share, although it will not be fully covered by earnings.

Base Resources (BSE) has increased production guidance for the Kwale mine with midpoints of 78,000t for rutile, 345,000t for ilmenite and 30,500t for zircon. There is a lack of supply of rutile and ilmenite, so this is good news. This should provide a strong boost to profit.

Pressure Technologies (PRES) has been fined £700,000 and will have to pay prosecution costs of £169,000 following the guilty verdict relating to a fatal accident at one of its sites in 2015. The first instalment of £215,000 is due in April with a further six equal instalments payable every six months between July 2020 and January 2023.

Oil and gas explorer and producer Empyrean Energy (EME) is raising £420,000 at 9p a share and chief executive Tom Kelly has contributed £200,000 of that cash. The placing was at a 9% premium to the market price. The cash will be spent on drilling offshore of Indonesia. There is a potential resource upgrade for the Mako gas discovery in Indonesia.

Mereo BioPharma (MPH) says that there have been positive results from the phase 2b study of Setrusumab in adults with osteogenesis imperfecta. They show that it is helping to build bone. A study with children is planned. A meeting with the FDA is due in the coming weeks. Earlier this year, Mereo signed a licence agreement for the use of Navicixizumab in ovarian cancer with Oncologie Inc. An upfront payment of $4m is due.

Nutrition provider Science in Sport (SIS) expects to report 2019 sales of £50.5m with underlying growth of nearly one-quarter. The fastest growth is outside of the UK. River and Mercantile has taken a 5.5% stake.

MAIN MARKET

Shareholders in AIM-quoted Anglo African Oil and Gas (AAOG) have agreed to the sale of 80% of its Congo subsidiary to Zenith Energy (ZEN) and it is waiting for government approval. There is a put and call option over the other 20%. If the call option is exercised Zenith will pay £1m in shares. If the production at the Tilapia oilfield averages at least 4,000 barrels of oil per day for 30 consecutive days, the put option can be exercised and Zenith would pay £2.5m in shares.

Endeavour Mining Corporation has ended its merger discussions with gold miner Centamin (CEY) blaming a lack of information. Endeavour still believes that a combination would be positive. Centamin is raising its final dividend to 6 cents a share, taking the 2019 total to 10 cents a share, up from 5.5 cents a share. Net cash was $348m at the end of 2019. The higher gold price will further boost cash generation. A new chief executive still has to be appointed.

Standard list cash shell Trident Resources (TRR) has £3.29m in cash at the end of October 2019, which is similar to NAV. Management is assessing a few mining project acquisition opportunities.

Stevia sweeteners producer PureCircle Ltd (PURE) says that shareholders owning more than 10% of the share capital have put forward three proposed directors to be voted on at the AGM on 10 February. The company is happy for Sridhar Krishnan, Lai Hock Meng, a former PureCircle director, and Oliver Maes, who was previously a PureCircle director, to be appointed to the board.

Books publisher Quarto (QRT) is raising £13.9m at 68p each. The open offer is underwritten and it will help to reduce the debt burden.

Menswear retailer and hirer Moss Bros (MOSB) Total sales were 3% lower in the 24 weeks to 11 January, but gross margin improved. Hire revenues fell by 17.7%. Cash is £12m.

OTHER MARKETS

Pallets manufacturer RM2 International (RM2) intends to move from AIM to matched bargains market Asset Match (www.assetmatch.com).

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 25 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) increased full year revenues from continuing operations from £104.5m to £116.9m, helped by last winter’s cold weather and a price increase, and pre-tax profit recovered from £700,000 to £1.7m. The renewable electricity supplier and generator has increased its dividend from 3.3p a share to 3.5p a share. Net debt was £40.1m at the end of 2018. Energy supply volumes increased by 3%, but domestic volumes were 1.2% lower in an increasingly competitive market. The growth came in the business side, which increased volumes by 23%. Good Energy generates energy from six solar sites and two wind farms. The company expects to continue to grow business volumes and invest in digital technology. Non-executive director Nemone Wynn-Evans has bought 9,500 shares at 105p each.

Trading in PCG Entertainment (PCGE) shares has been suspended because it is in talks to acquire VOX Markets and Align Research.

Karoo Energy (KEP) has been told by its potential nominated adviser does not believe its is suitable for an AIM quotation. This also means that the planned fundraising cannot go ahead. A refinancing is required. There are trade creditors of around £300,000. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has maintained its 3.4% stake in Fresho by participating in its latest fundraising, which was at a 76% premium to the price paid for the initial investment. The investment is worth A$673,000.

Dana Group International Investments Ltd (DANA) reported swing from loss of $129,000 to a profit of $95,000 in the six months to December 2018, due to other income of $276,000.

Tectonic Gold (TAU) says that roc chip samples from the Clermont project in Queensland show up to 8.01g/t gold, 140g/t silver and 6.32% copper.

Panther Metals (PALM) has completed the acquisition of Parthian Resources and its former shareholders own 16.1% of Panther.

Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has raised a further £225,000 at 90p a share.

Imperial X (IMPP) has changed its focus to medicinal cannabis. There was a small cash outflow in the six months to the end of December 2018. There was nearly £70,000 in the bank with net cash of £19,000. There are net liabilities and more cash will be required later this year.

Steve Howson is stepping down as chief executive of SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) and he will become a non-executive director. Majority shareholder David Sumner will be interim chief executive.

AIM  

Footasylum (FOOT) has recommended a 82.5p a share bid from JD Sports Fashion (SPD) which values the footwear retailer at £90.1m. JD Sports was buying shares between 50p and 75p and built up a 18.7% stake. The bidder promises to maintain the separate commercial identity. Footasylum floated in November 2017 at 164p a share.

Diaceutics (DXRX) ended the week at 97.5p, having floated at 72p. The company provides data analysis and advisory services to pharma companies seeking to develop and commercialise diagnostic tests. There were £15.2m of placing proceeds net of expenses and £5.5m will be spent on the acquisition of data, while the rest will be used to pay off debt and develop AI analysis technology. There is limited liquidity in the shares because they are tightly held.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) warns that trading in the second quarter is weak because of the warmer winter weather. There has also been a weakening in farmgate prices. Interim figures will be well below the first half of last year and the full year will be below forecast. Peel Hunt argues that it has already factored these elements into its forecast for rival feed supplier NWF (NWF) and it is not changing its forecasts.

Pelatro (PTRO) has launched a data monetisation platform with a revenue share contract with an existing client, which is worth $500,000 in the first year. This is a product that can be sold to other customers.

Financial trading platform Aquis Exchange (AQX) reported 2018 revenues ahead of expectations and it doubled its market share during the year. The subscription-based model means that higher trading levels by a trader lead to subscription income levels going up. Aquis will continue to be loss-making this year, but the relatively fixed cost base means that once this is covered the profit should grow significantly as revenues grow.

Scientific instruments supplier Judges Scientific (JDG) increased is cash generation from operations from £10.9m to £15.7m in 2018. There was 5.5% organic growth in revenues and underlying operating profit rose by just over one-third to £14.7m. The cash balance has increased to £15.7m, which provides firepower for acquisitions. Shore Capital has edged up its earnings per share forecast from 188.8p to 190p.

Volvere (VLE) says full year revenues from continuing operations will rise from £16.2m to £18.6m. There was a £23.1m gain on the sale of Impetus Automotive. There was an underlying loss on continuing activities, but the frozen pie maker Shire Foods improved its profit contribution. There is £34.1m of cash in the Volvere balance sheet.

Frontier IP (FIPP) says that the outcome for the year to June 2019 is likely to be ahead of management expectations. A deal by investee company Exscientia, which is involved in AI-based drug discovery, with Celgene Corporation should result in a substantial uplift in its valuation.

Science in Sport (SIS) had a 25-day contribution from the profitable PhD Nutrition business in 2018. The group’s underlying loss increased last year, but PhD will help to reduce the loss and the cash outflow from operations, which was £6.42m last year. There is £8m in the bank and even with capital investment requirements that should be enough to cover requirements this year.

Ceramic products supplier Portmeirion Group (PMP) increased its 2018 pre-tax profit by 10% to £9.7m and a further rise to £10.3m is forecast for this year. Online sales are growing rapidly from a relatively low base. The home fragrance business is doing well, and capacity is being added. The total dividend is 8% higher at 35.7p a share.

Share (SHRE) improved its significantly improved its profitability in the second half of 2018, although trading levels weakened towards the end of the year. That weakness has continued into the early months of this year. Evan so, Cenkos forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £700,000 to £1.3m, upgraded from £1.1m, in 2019.

Clear Leisure (CLP) has placed its 50%-owned data mining operation in Serbia on a care and maintenance basis. This is due to the fall in the price of cryptocurrency. Legal actions and negotiations continue concerning a number of past investments. Clear has paid £76,000 for a 10% stake in PBV, which provides data services for the Italian legal sector. At the end of 2018, there were €2.1m of bonds converted into shares.

Andrew Perloff has increased his stake in 600 Group (SIXH) from 6.19% to 8.85%.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH) has changed the ratio of its ADRs from two shares for each ADR to 20 shares for each ADR. This is a way of getting the trading price of the ADRs on NASDAQ back above $1.

EQTEC (EQT) could be a beneficiary of the deal done by its largest shareholder EBIOSS with Urbaser for the collection, treatment and possible conversion of waste to energy. Urbaser is conducting due diligence on EQTEC’s gasification technology and this could be used for any waste to energy plant if all three parties come to an agreement on a specific opportunity. Projects could be in Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia and Romania.

A local authority report has placed a five year reserve status on the Plymouth Airport site where Sutton Harbour (SUH) has a 135 year lease. The local authorities are keen that the site should be used for general aviation, but a viable business plan needs to be put together. Sutton Harbour would like to develop the site.

Tau Capital (TAU) has sent a circular to shareholders concerning a capital return of $1.19m or 2.42 cents a share, raise $150,000 via a placing at 0.1 cents a share and change its name to UK Onshore. Reverse takeover candidates are being assessed. Gerwyn Williams and Nigel Burton will join the board.

Synectics (SNX) has won a £1m order from the oil and gas sector. This is the largest order for its surveillance systems from this sector for a number of years. Synectics reported a rise in full year revenues from £70.1m to £71.2m and pre-tax profit slipped from £3.02m to £2.86m. The full year dividend is increased from 4p a share to 4.7p a share.

MAIN MARKET 

Athelney Trust (ATY) has responded to the letter from former director Dr Pohl, who wants to regain his place on the board along with Simon Moore and remove David Lawman. Dr Pohl has acquired more than 100,000 shares in the past month, and this means that five shareholders own more than 50% of the investment company putting its investment trust status at risk. As long as there is more than 35% of the company held by the public this is not a problem, but it would be if Dr Pohl joined the board. There have been £90,000 of extra costs because of disputes between the two major shareholders. The plan remains to bring Gresham House on board as fund manager

WideCells Group (WDC) is changing its name to Iconic Labs and moving into digital marketing and technology. The management of this business previously built up social publisher Unilad. In the first 12 months, an agency consulting division will be launched to assists clients to develop brands. There are plans to build up a distribution and publishing division through acquisitions and launch content licensing and e-commerce divisions. There is little indication of what will happen to the stem cell operations, although management appears to believe that the insurance business could be worth pursuing. Historic liabilities are being resolved. The convertible loan note holder continues to convert a proportion of the loan note that is below 30% and then sell the shares. There are 785.6 million shares in issue with more to come.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has raised £436,500 at 2.25p a share. The cash will be used for the pre-construction phase of the South Korean gold projects. An agreement has been made with a local landowner for the use of land outside the main entrance of the Kochang mine.

Highlands Natural Resources (HNR) has raised £1.56m at 8.5p a share via an offer through PrimaryBid.com. This cash will fund a move by the natural resources company into the organic cannabidiol market. It has established Zoetic Organics in the US and it believes that hydrogen produced by Highland in Kansas can be used as a fertiliser with potential to increase the size of the plant. First revenues could be achieved in the summer.

Standard list shell Stranger Holdings (STHP) claims that Alchemy Utilities Ltd has sabotaged the proposed reverse takeover by refusing to provide audited accounts. Stranger is trying to get back the £300,000 it lent to Alchemy as well as its reverse takeover costs of £450,000. Stranger believes that the Alchemy management team may have misrepresented its financial status. An alternative acquisition is being lined up, but Stranger had negative net assets at the end of September 2018 and there are additional costs since then.

Standard list shell Hertsford Capital (HERT) still had £2.88m in cash at the end of 2018.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) is growing its gross profit but EBITDA is similar to the same period last year, which was around £650,000.

PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) has ended its wafer production activities in Germany and it intends to apply its wire sawing expertise to cutting non-silicon materials. There are plans to return £38.5m to shareholders, which is equivalent to 24p a share and that is not far short of the current market price. That could still leave more than €10m of cash. Management is considering whether to maintain a listing.

Sure Ventures (SURE) says 23%-owned Suir Valley Ventures has maintained its 10% stake in WarDucks, which is developing an AR game, by participating in a €3.3m fundraising.

Andrew Hore

Ian Pollard – Kingfisher’s #KGF double digit dive

Kingfisher KGF Despite double digit declines in virtually everything for the half year to the 31st July, Kingfisher tries to put a brave face on things and claim that for the third year in a row, it is on track to deliver strategic milestones. That can only be true if it had some very peculiar milestones in mind such as falls of 30.1% and 29.5% in statutory post and pre tax profits and basic earnings per share down by 27.1%.The half year report is littered with words such as tough, challenges, inefficiencies, mixed and difficult, each one a give away as to how bad things really are.

Constant currency sales  fell by 1.1%, adjusted profit before tax was down by 18% and basic earnings per share by 15.4%. The performance in France needs support which does not sound very encouraging and all that is said for the outlook for the rest of the year, is that in its main markets things will continue to be mixed.

Babcock International Group BAB has issued a further update covering the period from the 1st April, confirming that it continues to make significant progress in expanding its international businesses. New offices are being opened in South Korea and Japan. Low single digit underlying organic revenue growth at constant currency is expected for the full year and margins are expected to be stable.

 

Stagecoach Group SGC provides an update for the financial year to the 27th April which is rather curates eggish. Revenue decreases in London Bus reflected the impact of contracts lost in the previous year but the regions provided like for like growth of 3.2%. Operating costs were higher in the hot weather which sounds like a sort of “wrong type of leaves on the line” sort of excuse. North America failed to impress with a like for like revenue decline of 3.8%.

Science in Sport SIS enjoyed strong growth in the half year to the 30th June with revenue rising by 20% to 9.93m.  In the three months to August growth is described as having been very strong. Core business has been profitable at the half year for the first time with £0.3 million EBITDA. International markets also performed strongly with growth of 53% and international revenue now accounts for 34% of the total compared to 27% in the previous year.

Forget Brexit; Get A Greek Residence Permit Valid For The EU   http://www.hiddengreece.net

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 20 November 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) raised £530,000 at 0.4p a share and joined the NEX Exchange Growth Market on 14 November. The founders subscribed for shares at 0.25p each during September and October. The expected admission price was 1p and the share price ended the week at 1.45p (1.3p/1.6p). That values the company at £2.26m. There is £512,000 in the bank after expenses of £63,800. Clean Invest Africa is focused on renewable and clean energy projects and technologies that will aid the development of Africa. Executive coach Rene Carayol has a 6.28% stake.

Brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) reported an improvement in interim revenues from £44m to £48m but pre-tax profit was flat at £5.4m, excluding movements on interest rate swaps. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.1p a share. Net debt rose to £60.9m due to hotel acquisitions and capital investment. Most of the growth in revenues has come from the hotels and inns businesses. Management says that it is aware of some weakening in its consumer markets.

Metal NRG (MNRG) lost £59,000 in the six months to August 2017 but there was still £273,000 in the bank. The focus is cobalt and investments have been made in Western Australia and Nevada. There are further potential investments in Australia and North America. Management plans to announce how it will increase its profile and the liquidity of its shares.

African Potash Ltd (AFPO) is raising £400,000 at 0.025p a share and the cash will finance the development of the African fertiliser trading business and an eVoucher payment system using blockchain.

AIM

Science in Sport (SIS) has secured £14m via a placing at 70p a share in order to expand geographically and in terms of sports. A further £1m could be raised through a one-for-32 open offer at the same share price. The cash will be used to expand the company’s online presence in the US and new product development. The US expansion will be predominantly via Amazon initially and this will require additional stock levels. The SIS.com ecommerce platform will also grow. A move into football will increase the addressable market. Losses are expected to continue for at least two more years.

Zoo Digital (ZOO) is already getting the initial benefits from its film and video dubbing service ZOOdubs. This has widened the scope of the business and helped interim revenues to grow by 63% to $12.7m. A full second half from ZOOdubs will help achieve full year revenues of $26m and that should move Zoo digital into profit in the year to March 2018 even though costs are being increased ahead of expansion in revenues. Localisation services are generating more than two-thirds of revenues with subtitling service ZOOsubs also growing its revenues. ZOOscripts is being developed to provide scripts and metadata that can be used by the other services.

Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) has agreed to acquire floor and wall ceramic tiles manufacturer Keraben Grupo for £246.5m. A placing is raising £180m at 783p a share.

Meat and dairy products supplier Zambeef (ZAM) achieved its downgraded forecast for last year but there has been a further downgrade for 2017-18. Revenues were 17% higher at $255.8m but profit slumped to £200,000. Sales are expected to be flat this year but a recovery in pre-tax profit to $4.2m is anticipated. Non-executive director Tim Pollock, who is investment director for food and agriculture at CDC Group, will take over as joint chief executive from Carl Irwin at the end of March.

President Energy (PPC) is beginning the workover programme of four wells on Puesto Flores, which will cost $2.2m. The payback should be less than 12 months, assuming an oil price of $55/barrel. This is one of the reasons behind the expected increase in forecasts sales from $20.6m in 2017 to $69.5m in 2018, which will enable a 2018 pre-tax profit of $10m.

SRT Marine Systems (SRT) expects a strong second half following a 10% rose interim revenues to £2.9m but a higher loss of £1.6m. That excludes a £1.5m impairment charge for a large Asian contract that has been delayed until 2018-19. finnCap expects the maritime awareness technology developer to report flat full year pre-profit of £1.5m but that requires £12m of revenues in the second half. That requires project milestones to be achieved.

AB Dynamics (ABDP) continued to grow its business at the same time as starting to move into new premises. In the year to August 2017, the automotive testing systems and measurement products supplier increased revenues by one-fifth to £24.6m. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from £4.72m to £5.94m. The total dividend has been raised by 10% to 3.331p a share. Net cash was £9.6m.

Versarien (VRS) wanted to raise £1.2m via institutions and PrimaryBid.com at 18p a share and it ended up accepting £2.9m. Back in March, £1.5m was raised at 15p a share in the same way. The advanced materials company has announced a collaboration with a global consumer goods company on the development of the Nanene graphene nano-platelets in polymer structures. The first purchase order has been made.

GCM Resources (GCM) has completed the appointment of Northland as nominated adviser and joint broker. GCM wants to raise £2m via an offer at 34.4p a share through PrimaryBid. The cash will be used to provide further funding for the development of a mine mouth power plant proposal and for working capital.

Serabi Gold (SRB) has announced the conditional acquisition of Chapleau Resources Ltd for an initial $5m, with a further $5m payable in three months and the final $12m when first gold is produced from the Coringa project in Brazil or 24 months from the initial payment. Coringa is relatively near to Serabi’s existing producing gold mine at Palito. Running the two together should reduce the costs of production. The initial payment can come out of existing facilities. Serabi generated revenues of $36.2m and a cash inflow from operations of nearly $7m.

InterQuest Group (ITQ) appears to have set in motion the first stage of plans to leave AIM. That is because it wants shareholder approval to allow it to issue additional shares equivalent to 75% of the issued share capital. The management behind the recent bid for the company own a majority of the shares but need the backing of 75% of the shares voted in order to cancel the quotation. By issuing additional shares InterQuest can dilute the stake of the shareholders that oppose the cancellation of the AIM quotation and management can get what it wants.

AdEPT Telecom (ADT) reported a 36% increase in interim revenues to £22.6m with managed services contributing more than two-thirds of the total. Pre-tax profit increased by 29% to £3.9m. The interim dividend was raised by 13% to 4.25p a share. Full year profit is expected to rise from £6.9m to £8.3m.

Boku Inc develops technology which enables people to pay for services via their mobile. The company is loss-making but it is highly operationally geared so after it covers its costs the profit should grow rapidly. At 59p a share, Boku will be valued at £125.9m. Existing shareholders will raise £30m and the company will raise £15m.

Belluscura has announced details of its plans to join its parent company Tekcapital (TEK) on AIM in early December. Tekcapital’s 47.5% stake in Belluscura will be diluted by a fundraising to generate between £7.5m and £10m. Belluscura has acquired non-core product lines from large medical device companies as well as new IP and technologies.

Keystone Law Group is the latest legal firm to come to AIM. A placing at 160p a share will raise £10m and value the company at £50m. The flotation is due to be completed on 27 November.

Beeks Financial Cloud Group is raising £7m at 50p a share, which values the company at £24.5m. The flotation date is 27 November. Beeks is a cloud-based provider of automated foreign exchange and futures trading.

Ten Lifestyle Group is a lifestyle and travel platform providing concierge services. Corporate clients provide Ten’s services to individual customers. It also expects to join AIM on 27 November.

Mirriad Advertising has developed native in-video advertising technology, which can insert branded advertising into existing content. Revenues are modest and Miriad is still heavily loss-making. IP Group currently owns 38.2%. The flotation is expected on 29 November.

Concepta (CPT) has confirmed a £600,000 order from China for its MyLotus product which provides measurements to help improve the chances of conception. On the back of this, Concepta raised £2m at 7p a share.

Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with El Seif in Saudi Arabia for its products.

Africa Oil Corp is subscribing for £8.46m worth of shares in Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas (ECO) and this will give it a 19.8% stake. The subscription price of 22.25p a share was at a 28% premium to the closing price on the previous day’s trading. The cash will be used to identify and acquire new oil and gas exploration assets.

MTI Wireless Edge (MWE) has won a $1m contract for military antennas. Along with previous contracts, the revenues will be recognised over the period until the end of 2019. There is potential for larger orders to come.

TLA Worldwide (TLA) reported its 2016 results at 7am on 15 November and the 2017 interims at 7.01am on the same day. That is much better than releasing the profit warning concerning the 2016 figures at 6.26pm on the last day of trading prior to Christmas 2016. Trading in the shares resumed at 2pm on 16 November after the 2016 accounts were posted. The 2017 loss was $9.26m. The interim loss was $3.86m and net debt was $25m with further contingent consideration of $12.2m. The share price slumped to 12p and then recovered to 14p.

Former chairman Michael Ellis has requisitioned a general meeting at Van Elle Holdings (VANL) so that he and his son-in-law Thomas Lindup can be returned to the board. Both men had left the board of the ground engineering services provider prior to its profit warning in March, which was five months after floating. Ellis also wants to remove chief executive Jon Fenton and senior independent director Robin Williams.

Utilitywise (UTW) has delayed publication of its results because of the requirements for further auditing.

Integumen (SKIN) has acquired the Stoer skincare range for men and its ecommerce platform. This brand complements the Visible Youth brand aimed at women. Integumen is issuing 12.6% of its enlarged share capital in payment for Stoer, which values it at £510,000 at a share price of 2.45p.

Interim revenues fell from £21.9m to £17m at Hornby (HRN) and the loss increased to £5.7m. Net debt was £4.7m at the end of September 2017. A £12m placing and open offer at 29.5p a share will provide cash for investment and to buy a 49% stake in the holding company of Oxford Diecast Ltd, which is controlled by Hornby chief executive Lyndon Davies.

Blue Prism Group (PRSM) has sparked another upgrade with its latest trading statement. The robotic process automation supplier has added more customers and has a 100% renewal rate so full year figures will be comfortably ahead of expectations but the loss will be in line with forecasts. The annual figures will be published on 25 January.

Fishing Republic (FISH) has been hit by increased competition in the fishing market, which has knocked profit margins. There was a decline in like-for-like store sales in October. That means that there will be a loss this year. This has led to the departure of the chief executive and other board members. Chris Griffin becomes acting chief executive and he will conduct a strategic review. His experience should be helpful with online sales, which continue to grow.

Angling Direct (ANG) has acquired North West Angling Centre and Tacklesaver for £450,000 in cash plus stock. They have annual revenues of £1.8m. That takes the number of stores to 20. Angling Direct has reassured the market that trading is in line with expectations.

Oracle Power (ORCP) and its partners have submitted plans to the Pakistan authorities for a 660MW power plant which would eventually become a 1,320MW plant. The coal for the power plant will come from Thar Block VI. If the regulator issues a letter of intent then the partners will have to submit an electricity tariff application and apply for a generation licence.

Film finance provider FFI Holdings (FFI) has acquired digital, post-editing machine rental business EPS-Cineworks for $9.54m. This business fits well with the Pivotal Post post-production business acquired earlier this year prior to flotation.

BOS Global Holdings (BOS) says that Innovation Corporation has asked for security to be provided against its convertible note. Innovation has converted £217,000 of convertibles at 16p a share. That left £1.06m available from the note. Former managing director Michael Travia, who has requisitioned a general meeting to change the BOS board, is associated with Innovation and they have a total stake of 18.9%. BOS admits that its cash position is tight.

MAIN MARKET

Packaging supplier Macfarlane Group (MACF) says it expects full year expectations to be met as the momentum of the first half has continued into the second half. The distribution division increased revenues by 11% in the four months to October 2017 which more than offset a small dip in manufacturing sales. Manufacturing profit will be flat this year but distribution profit will be much higher.

Standard list shell Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has viewed potential acquisitions but has yet to find one that fits with its criteria. It is seeking an energy or industrial acquisition valued at between £5m and £30m. There was still £1.1m in cash at the end of October 2017 and the NAV was 4.23p a share.

Telecoms business Toople (TOOP) has more than 1,300 small business customers and it says that “monthly revenues have consistently exceeded £100,000” between June and October 2017. Toople has decided to end its relationship with a third party sales agency and bring sales in-house. The current customer acquisition cost is said to be “within the range previously announced of £40 to £91 per customer” and that is the same as 12 months ago. In the first half, admin expenses were £662,000. There was a £82,000 gross profit on sales of £655,000. Management has tried to keep costs down but revenues do not appear to be significantly higher in the second half based on the above statement. The first half cash outflow from operating activities was £552,000. This may have been reduced in the second half but the outflow is still likely to be significant. There was net debt of just over £300,000 at the end of March 2017 but since then £1.26m net from a fundraising in June. The share price is 1.18p, compared with the 2p fundraising price.

Simian Global (SMG) says that the exclusivity period for the acquisition of media and advertising company GVC Holdings has been extended to the end of March 2018. A further £50,000, on top of £200,000 already lent, will be provided to GVC at an interest rate of 15%.

Andrew Hore

Kingfisher – Increased Transformation Activity – Profits Fall

Kingfisher plc KGF The jargon filled half year report claims that the six months to 31st July saw a significant increase in the level of transformation activity but it can not hide the fact that sales continued to fall and profits slumped. An increase of 2.5% in the interim dividend will not fool anybody. Sales appear reasonable with a rise of 4.5% until you look at them in constant currency terms which shows a fall of 1.3% Profit figures are given in a variety of guises, all of them bad. In constant currency terms they fell by 4.6%.  On an adjusted basis they were down 5.7% and  basic earnings per share followed suit with a fall of 4.4%  On a statutory basis pre tax profits fell by 5.9% and post tax profits by 8.1%. To add to the misery the company is cautious about what it calls the second half :”backdrop” in France and the UK.

Diageo DGE has issued a trading commentary ahead of its AGM asserting that it is expecting mid single digit top line growth for the current year, relying on the strength of its  marketing, innovation and commercial execution but it expects to be impacted by a late Chinese New Year and an expected motorway ban in India, hardly signs of unbridled confidence.

600 Group plc SIXH updates before todays AGM that its current machine tool order book is up by 60% and industrial lasers by 36%, on the same time last year, which augurs well for trading in the second half of the year.

Cello Group CLL Despite a slight fall in revenue Cello claims an encouraging first half, producing a statutory profit before  tax of £2.7m for the 6 months to the 30th June, compared to a loss of £0.8m last year whilst basic earnings per share came in at 2.16p compared to last years loss of 1.08p per share. The interim dividend is increased by 5%

Science in Sport  SIS experienced continued strong growth in the half year to the 30th June, with revenue rising by 28% and e commerce delivering 87% growth, followed by International with a rise of 55%. Whilst still producing operating losses, profitability at EBITDA level is expected for the full year.

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ABF Expects Good Full Year Growth From Primark

AB Foods ABF Markdowns at Primark have fallen even more since the third quarter, further improving the outlook for the full year to the 16th September. Good growth is now expected in both adjusted operating profit and earnings per share. The weakness of sterling has also played its part and will provide a currency windfall of some £85m.

Restore plc RST has produced strong organic growth across the group for the half year to the 30th June and the interim dividend is to be increased by 26% to 1.67p pr share. Like for like revenue rose by 57%, EBITDA and profit before tax were both up by 59% and earnings per share by 38%. It is anticipated that the full year performance will be slightly ahead of previous expectations.

Pennant Group PEN managed to deliver a pre tax profit for the six months to the 30th June with revenue rising from £6.6m. to £9m. Profit before tax  rose from a lowly £10,582 in the first half of 2016 to £935,353 and earnings per share showed a similar sharp rise from 0.04 to 2.84p per share.  Delays in a major UK contract however, mean that for the full year revenues will be below current market expectations. in the longer term, the company has a strong order book and an encouraging pipeline for the three years to 2020 and beyond.

Seeing Machines Ltd. SEE saw second half sales rise by 250% over the first half and full year Fleet business at A$9.1m almost tripled that of 2016. The Fleet business is described as being a tremendous success with strong growth in the markets in which it participates. The strong momentum is expected to continue in 2018. However continuing major investment has meant that the net loss before tax has soared from last years A$1.6m to A$28.5m.

Science in Sport plc SIS has reached agreement with Team Sky for the renewal of its contract for a further three years.

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Persimmon Full Of Optimism

Persimmon PSN ends 2016 full of optimism and  certainly does not share the gloom displayed by many of its competitors. Revenue rose by 8% during the year and average sales prices were increased by a modest 4% which compares favourably with the greed shown by many of the household names in the industry. Competitive mortgage rates remain a key factor behind the strength of the market, Autumn reservations were strong and second half private sales rates were 15% ahead of 2015 and legal completions rose by 10%. Second half margins are also expected to have improved because of cheaper prices for land.

Churchill China CHH also has a smile on its face with its update for 2016. final quarter trading has been ahead of expectations, performance in export markets has been strong and the operating performance for the year to the end of December gas been ahead of market expectations and well ahead of 2015. Preliminary results will be announced on the 28th March.

<img class="alignleft" src="https://upload.wikimedia herbal slimming pills.org/wikipedia/en/d/d4/PureCircle_logo.jpeg” width=”113″ height=”68″ />Pure Circle PURE experienced very strong growth in 2016 in Europe and in Latin America but first half sales are expected to be down 14% on 2016 following the detention of shipments by US Customs which has been large enough to offset growth in the rest of the world. First half group profits are expected to be down by 19% as a direct result of this and for the full year it is anticipated that for the full year last years profit of $5m. will be turned into a loss of $2m. The company has been working with US Customs from whom a final decision is now awaited.

Science in Sport SIS enjoyed strong growth in the year to 31st December with sales rising by 30%. Direct sales for the year doubled and the new Australian operation delivered sales ahead of expectations.  Continuing strong growth is confidently expected for 2017 and beyond.

Johnson Services JSG is disposing of its dry cleaning business to Timpsons for £8.25m. Results for the year to 31st December will be slightly ahead of current market expectations.

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Naked Wine on Cloud Nine

The CEO of Majestic Wine (WINE) is very excited about Naked Wines record sales of £100 m., already achieved in the year to 31st March 2016. For those who like their wine clothed and in a glass, Naked Wine is an online crowd funding platform and apparantly one of the best things since sliced bread.

Enterprise Inns (ETI) Reinvigoration of leased and tenanted pubs is continuing, leading to like for like net income growth of 1.5% in the 25 weeks to the 19th March.Its quality commercial property portfolio has seen rapid expansion and a new share buy back programme of up to £25 million is being initiated.

Science in Sport (SiS) is still running up losses despite revenue growth of 18% in the 9 months to 31st December. The underlying operating loss came in at £0.25m as against £0.19m for the previous 12 months due to investment in brand awareness and market entry costs in Australia and the US.

888 Holdings (888) has been hit by a triple whammy of Duties, VAT and adverse currency movements. Despite that it puts a brave face on things and claims that 2015 was a very good year with a like for like revenue rise of 12%, casino revenue leading the way with a rise of 18%. Unless one adjusts it, profit before tax has been halved from $67.9m to $32,5m and similarly with earnings per share which are down to 8.3 cents from the previous years 16.1 cents – gain, unless one adjusts it.  Total dividends for the year are being increased from 15 cents to 15.5 cents

Thomas Cook (TCG) claims to be going for margins rather than volume, which is perhaps as good an excuse as any whilst times are hard and summer bookings are falling. Conditions are challenging and volatile and confidence has been affected by disruption in key destinations.

Winter UK bookings are down 3%, continental Eurrope by 8% and only Northern Europe shows a rise.

Summer holidays are 40% sold which is 2% down on last year =, whilst summer bookings are down 5%.

Hang on to those margins Mr Cook at least until you have to start discounting later in the year, if things get worse.

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