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In the first half of 2018, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased media revenues by one-fifth and, along with growth in nursery and lodge revenues, this helped the racecourse operator to raise revenues by 5% to £7.33m even though two race days were lost to bad weather. Enough cash was generated to more than cover capital spending.
Block Commodities (BLCC) has signed a non-binding letter of intent with the Eelleet Network Corp, which intends to buy Block. There would be an all share recommended offer and the enlarged business would list on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Trading in Block shares has been suspended.
Ananda Developments (ANA) has obtained a £300,000 convertible loan facility with two directors, Charles Morgan and Melissa Sturgess. The annual interest rate is 10% and the conversion price is 0.75p a share. The manufacture of 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies’ vaporisers and consumable packs containing four hapac sachets of 0.25g medicinal cannabis has commenced in China. AfriAg Global (AFRI) has applied for a medicinal cannabis licence in the UK. Fellow cannabis investment company Sativa Investments (SATI) has set up a German wholesaling subsidiary and it will invest €80,000 for a 60% stake.
In the six months to June 2018, St Mark Homes (SMAP) increased revenues from £71,000 to £139,000 and it made a small loss excluding negative goodwill release. The interim dividend was unchanged at 5.5p a share. The NAV is £5.9m, including £754,000 in cash, which is equivalent to 134p a share. St Mark is trying to gain planning permission for the commercial development in Sutton High Street. Two other properties in London are being redeveloped and sales have commenced. A development in Wembley should start in 2019.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) reported a profit in the first half of 2018, but that was due to a change in the fair value of the option to acquire 90% of Cedex. Revenues fell 48% to $3.78m and the underlying loss of the fintech software provider increased from $282,000 to $971,000. The blockchain operations made an initial contribution of $1.23m to revenues. The B2C operations have ceased in Europe and the company wants to sell its subsidiary with a FSA licence. Higher regulations have hampered the B2B technology customers.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) reported an increased interim loss of $9.43m due to higher finance costs. Admin costs were flat. The development of the Hellyer gold project in Tasmania is progressing well and the first sales of concentrate should happen before the end of this year. Work continues towards a move to a standard listing.
Less than one month after asking for trading in the company’s 7% bonds 2021 to be suspended Positive Healthcare (DOC) has appointed Eric Walls and Wayne Harrison of KSA to advise on a liquidation process. Irregularities were identified at the principal operating subsidiary and Positive is unable to pay the next instalment of interest on the bonds.
Eight Capital Partners (MORE) had cash of £773,000 at the end of June 2018. That was before the former Cogenpower acquired €111,100 worth of 8% corporate bonds 2020 in Italian financial services company Finance Partners Group. Other financial services and technology investments are being considered.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has been readmitted to NEX and AIM on 21 September, after it completed its migration from the Isle of Man to Bermuda.
IT recruitment and consultancy Parity (PTY) remains on track for an improvement in pre-tax profit from £1.7m to £1.9m but cash generation is not as good as expected. Net debt is still expected to reduce from £1.6m to £900,000. The previously announced Primark managed services contract has started well, although another contract has been delayed. The consultancy business continues to contribute a growing proportion of profit.
Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) has agreed locations for pilot production at the Lesedi coal bed methane project in Botswana and the first well should be spudded in October.
N+1 Singer has upgraded its forecast for EKF Diagnostics (EKF) following the interim figures. There was a 5% decline in revenues to £20.4m, while underlying profit improved from £2.3m to £2.7m. Around £250,000 has been added to the profit, taking pre-tax profit to £7.7m. The launch of haemoglobin analyser DiaSpect following FDA approval will boost next year’s figures. The spin out of RenalytixAI continues and it will require a general meeting.
Audio products supplier Focusrite (TUNE) says full year revenues were in line with expectations of £75.4m, while cash of £22.8m is better than forecast. A pre-tax profit of £10.8m is forecast. There are concerns about US tariffs.
Tanfield (TAN) has warned that it may not get anything for its stake in Snorkel if the call option is exercised. Management has already said that it will write down the value of the investment to £19.1m ($25.3m), which already knocks 12p a share off NAV, but there is a disagreement about the interpretation of the original agreement.
Disappointing results from the Atopic Dermatitis study has led Realm Therapeutics (RLM) to appoint MTS Health Partners to advise on strategy alternatives. Realm is considered to be in an offer period. There was $21.3m in the bank at the end of August.
Short-term weakness in the oil palm price has held back the progress of plantations operator MP Evans (MPE) in the first half, but crude palm oil production is increasing in line with expectations (91,900 tons in the first half). That means that full year revenues are likely to be flat and pre-tax profit will be lower. Longer-term growth will come from increased production from more recently planted areas.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) is coming up to its first year on AIM and the growth momentum continues.
Huadong Medicine Aesthetics has launched its recommended 32p a share cash bid for Sinclair Pharma (SPH) and that values the company at £166.6m.
There has been a lot of activity at Frontier IP (FIPP) in the past week. The AB Sugar head of innovation Matthew White is joining the company as head of commercialisation. Recycled building materials developer Alusid has raised £1.34m, including the conversion of a £348,000 loan from Frontier IP, which has a 35.6% stake. The Alusid investment had been valued at £700,000 and the latest fundraising values it at £1.73m. The cash will be used by Alusid to invest in its manufacturing facility, which should start production in 2020. The total cost will be £10m. A new company has been set up to develop new antibiotics. Frontier IP has a 10% stake in Amprologix, which has been spun out of the University of Plymouth. The first product is likely to be a cream that contains epidermicin, which can kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA.
There was a switch in the mix of revenues at job screening services provider ClearStar Inc (CLSU) in the first half as revenues increased by 11% to $9.9m. The growth has come from Medical Information Systems, which has lower margins and this means that the overall loss is reducing more slowly than expected. The cash outflow is small. Net cash is $1.2m.
Diurnal Group (DNL) is going along as expected with the launch of its Alkindi paediatric adrenal insufficiency treatment in Germany but the market has been unnerved by a negative comment from a German government research organisation. It pointed out that the performance of Alkindi was not compared with another treatment which has not been given regulatory approval. This does not appear likely to affect the relationship with the German regulatory authorities. There will be news from the European phase III trial for Chronocort before the end of the year.
Stockdale has initiated research on professional services group Christie Group (CTG) and expects a full year profit of £3.5m. It has already achieved an interim profit of £1.75m.
VR Education (VRE) still had £4.9m in the bank at the end of June 2018. Since then there have been improvements to the ENGAGE platform ahead of the full commercial launch before the end of the year. The full version of Titanic VR was launched in August and it is set to be launched on Playstation.
Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) continues to grow rapidly and it is moving into the water sector. Interim revenues jumped from £20.8m to £35.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit moved ahead from £1.15m to £1.8m. Growth is coming from the larger corporate sector which has held back margins because they are via brokers. The interim dividend is one-fifth higher at 1.2p a share. There was £18.2m in the bank at the end of June 2018.
N4 Pharma (N4P) has undertaken a strategic review following the failure of the reformulation of sildenafil to achieve its key targets in its clinical trial. It would cost a lot and increase risk if the company undertook further reformulation of this generic. The generics division has been closed and the focus will be the Nuvec delivery system. Initial results from research should be available before the end of the year. There was £1.6m in the bank at the end of June 2018.
Books publisher Quarto Group (QRT) increased interim revenues from $50.2m to $56.2m and the underlying loss fell from $8.7m to $6.6m. Net debt was $73.2m at the end of June 2018. Management is talking to banks to extend the bank facility until August 2020. Costs are being reduced.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) intends to broaden its investment remit to include cannabis processing, as well as the energy and industrial sectors. Finance professional Alan Hume has joined the board of the standard list shell. He was previously an adviser to the company and until last year finance director of Zenith Energy (ZEN). Between 2010 and 2012 he was finance director of Xtract Energy (XTR).
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has completed its feasibility report into the reopening of the Gubong gold mine and the joint venture with Southern Gold has started. Production of 10,000 ounces of gold is initially targeted.
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.
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.
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.
Ananda Developments (ANA) joined NEX on 4 July having raised £930,000 at 0.45p a share. Ananda is the latest medicinal cannabis-focused investment vehicle. The pre-money valuation was £500,000 There are already potential investments being assessed and management has built up relationships with businesses in Israel and Canada. A reverse takeover valued at up to £10m appears most likely.
Medicinal cannabis business investor Sativa Investments (SATI) has acquired PhytoVista Laboratories from a company owned by Sativa boss Geremy Thomas. Sativa is paying £235,000 in cash and £200,000 in shares at 4p a share. PhytoVista operates a laboratory that tests cannabis oils and hemp products. Because of the demand for the shares, the shareholders originally subject to the orderly market arrangements will be allowed to trade in the shares with the consent of Peterhouse.
KR1 (KR1) has made four more investments. The company invested £593,000 in Dfinity network tokens. Dfinity is developing a supercomputer to host the next generation of software and it is expected to offer unlimited capacity. A further £100,000 has been invested in the Flying Carpet Project, which is involved with a communication protocol for devices, such as drones and automated cars. The number of tokens that the cash will represent has not been decided. A 1.25% stake has been acquired in Connext Inc, which is developing a payment hub, for $50,000 and the same amount of money has acquired a 10% stake in Blocksmith. There is a 12-month option to acquire a further 5% of blockchain system development agency Blocksmith for $100,000
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has increased its dividend by 25% to 1.25p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 12 July. This will cost £500,000. Property acquisitions have been completed in Oldham and Wigan. The total cost is £6.4m and the rental income is just over £597,000.
Monreal (MORE) has left AIM and joined NEX. Monreal has net cash of £730,000 and the plan is to invest in private technology, media and telecoms businesses.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has received a refund of €289,000 (£256,000) from the French tax authorities. This relates to the 2009 tax year and Tectonic hopes to get a €416,000 (£368,500) refund for the 2010 tax year. VSA Capital has been appointed as financial adviser and joint broker.
Ganapati (GANP) is launching blockchain-enabled casino games and plans to issue a utility token, which will be called G eight C, through an initial coin offer. Pre-sales of the tokens should start in the fourth quarter of 2018.
EcoVista (EVTP) has raised £300,000 at 0.035p a share.
There have been previously unreported trades by a broker in Karoo Energy (KEP), All Star Minerals (ASMO), Valiant Investments (VALP) and Clean Invest Africa (CIA).
Film and video localisation services provider Zoo Digital (ZOO) continues to gain momentum. Content owners can sell programmes in additional territories because using Zoo’s services means that it is economic when it was not in the past. That means that the addressable market is even bigger because it includes back catalogue that would not have been localised previously. In the year to March 2018, revenues rose from $16.5m to $26.8m and Zoo moved into profit. That pre-tax profit is expected to more than treble to $1.8m this year.
eve Sleep (EVE) is growing but not at the rate that was hoped for and the chief executive and founder has stepped down. That was inevitable considering the ridiculously high valuation put on the company when it floated and how it has not justified that level of optimism. The mattress supplier grew sales by 61% in the first half when the market had expected more than doubled sales. A new distribution agreement with beds retailer Dreams should help supplement growth in the second half. Even so, eve Sleep is not expected to make a profit until 2020.
Sinclair Pharma (SPH) has received a bid approach from Huadong Medicine and discussions are at an early stage. Both companies supply aesthetic products. Sinclair says first half revenues outside of the US grew by 18% and overall sales improved from £20.1m to £21.3m. US sales fell from £2.5m to £800,000 following the split from the company’s former partner. The direct sales operation in the US is beginning to generate revenues. Net debt was £14.8m at the end of June 2018.
Integumen (SKIN) is not proceeding with the reverse takeover of biomaterials company Cellulac but it hopes to acquire a minority stake. The 2017 accounts have still not been published.
Digital imaging technology developer Kromek (KMK) increased its revenues by nearly one-third to £11.8m in the year to March 2018 and the loss was down from £3.79m to £2.34m. There is £7.7m in the bank and that should be enough to enable Kromek to reach a cash generative situation. The medical business is growing particularly well, while nuclear detection has good prospects for medium-term growth.
Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) reported first half revenues grew by nearly 10% and flat profit. Insurance business is declining because of competitive pricing so all the growth is coming from overseas fleet business. Full year earnings per share are likely to be flat. The forecast dividend of 13.5p a share would not be covered by earnings of 12.8p a share.
Defence equipment and services supplier Cohort (CHRT) managed to improve its pre-tax profit from £14.5m to £15.5m even though the defence market was tough. Management believes that the order book has fallen due to delays to projects. The dividend was raised from 7.1p a share to 8.2p a share.
Technology business investor Mercia Technologies (MERC) reported flat NAV of 40.7p a share but it has a number of investments that could mature over the next couple of years and their valuations could be upgraded. Mercia nearly covered its expenses with its revenues. There is still £52.9m of cash that can be invested.
Waste to energy plants developer Powerhouse Energy (PHE) has raised £694,000 at 0.5p a share. Powerhouse had £750,000 in the bank at the end of 2017 but there are still significant cash outflows.
Direct carrier billing company Boku Inc (BOKU) appears on course to make a £2.7m pre-tax profit this year. Boku processed $1.5bn worth of transactions in the first half and revenues should be nearly $17m. There was $30m in the bank at the end of June 2018.
Churchill China (CHH) says that first half trading is stronger than expected on the back of growing sales in Europe. The interims will be published on 30 August.
EQTEC (EQT) has secured $3.2m (£2.4m) in new loan facilities from Cuart Investments Fund and associates. This will be drawn down in two instalments. Origen Capital put together the lenders and it is subscribing £1.15m at 0.6p a share. Existing lenders have agreed to capitalise £693,000 of interest. This means that the previous loan facility has ended.
Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has made a high grade spinel discovery. The northern Israel-focused gemstone explorer has found nine different gemstone minerals.
Software company Gresham Technologies (GHT) is paying up to €8.5m for B2 Group, which will add €1.4m in revenues and should be earnings enhancing in its first full financial year. The customer base includes banks, insurers and asset managers. Gresham expects its own first half revenues to be 5% lower due to a weak performance in Australia. Net cash was £6.8m at the end of June 2018.
Electronic Data Processing (EDP) has recommended a bid from a company owned by Kerridge Commercial Systems. The cash offer is 91p a share and values the enterprise resource planning software provider at £11.9m.
Forbes Ventures (FOR) has sold its stake in KCR Residential REIT (KCR) for £145,000. The remaining investment is in challenger bank Civilised Investments Ltd. Nigel Quinton, who has run two building societies, has been appointed as finance director of Forbes. Igor Zjali has become a non-executive director. The investment strategy covers disruptive technology in the property and fintech sectors.
KR1 (KR1) has been raising cash from partially disposing of token holdings. Cash has been generated from sales of tokens issued by six projects and this will be available for re-investment. KR1 has already acquired 30,587 tokens in the Waves project at $6.41 each.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) says that there has been a further delay in its investee company Rapid Nutrition’s plans to gain a quotation in London. Rapid, which is already quoted on the SIX Swiss Exchange, has developed a nutraceutical product range. One of the terms of a £150,000 loan to Rapid was that it should be admitted to the London market by the end of February, but this date was extended to the end of April and has been extended again to the end of July. The principal and interest, up until the end of February, will convert into Rapid shares. Interest has been payable in cash since the end of February.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) reported a 35.6% decrease in NAV to 234.4p a share at the end of January 2018. That was mainly down to the poor performance of fully listed LED lighting company Luceco (LUCE) after sales growth did not turn into higher profit. EPE is considering exercising the option to redeem up to 50% of the outstanding unsecured loan notes. Redeeming £4m of loan notes would save £300,000 in interest. There is £28m in the bank.
Middle East-focused investment company Indigo Holdings (INGO) has lost €165,300 on an Iran-based car ride-sharing app. This will be mainly offset by a book gain of around €160,000 on its investment in Sheypoor following another fundraising round.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has started to refurbish the Hellyer flotation plant in Tasmania. The mill should be commissioned in the third quarter of 2018.
First Sentinel (FSBN) has invested in AIM-quoted Amur Minerals and unquoted Titan FM Ltd in April. An investment of $250,000 has been made in the form of a contribution to a $10m loan facility made available to Amur. Titan FM is an acquisition vehicle in the facilities management sector with a focus on areas covered by strict regulation. The £50,000 pre-IPO investment helped to finance the first acquisition of a provider of air conditioning and refrigeration services. Two more acquisitions are planned this year as is a quotation on NEX. The latest tranche of First Sentinel bonds has raised a further £1m.
Valiant Investments (VALP) reported a flat full year loss of £216,000 and this would have been higher if there had not been a swing from a £3,000 loss on listed investment movements to a £25,000 gain. Valiant has invested some of its cash in five AIM-quoted, dividend paying companies. Valiant had a NAV of £197,000.
Sandal (SAND) has appointed David Munting as finance director and Richard Green as a non-executive.
Minds + Machines (MMX) swung from loss to profit in 2017 and it is acquiring four top level domains. Minds + Machines is paying $10m in cash and $31m in shares in two tranches for the membership interests of Florida-based ICM Registry, which owns .xxx, .sex, .adult and .porn. In 2017, revenues were $7.27m (78% recurring) and net income was $3.5m. The recurring nature of the revenues and the reduced dependence on China should help the group to start paying dividends in the next couple of years. Multinational brands buy related domain names with these suffixes so that nobody else can. This helps to boost recurring revenues. Not all of the other purchasers are sex-related, either. The main uncertainty concerns whether the group will get a lower rating because of the association with sex-related businesses.
Sanderson Group (SND) says that its interim results are slightly ahead of expectations and the positive momentum is continuing. The enterprise software supplier’s operating profit has increased from £1.55m to £2m. Two-thirds of the improvement has come from recent acquisition Anisa and the rest is organic.
DX (Group) (DX.) has raised £4.76m at 8.5p a share, which is much higher than the indicated minimum price of 7.41p that is being used to capitalise the company’s loan notes. These additional shares will heavily dilute existing shareholders. The cash will be used to restructure the parcel delivery networks, open new depots and finance IT investment.
Wynnstay Group (WYN) is acquiring eight country stores previously operated by Countrywide Farmers, which has gone into administration. Five of the stores take Wynnstay into Devon and Cornwall. The stores have annual sales of £16.4m.
Berkeley Energia (BKY) has announced plans to move to the standard list and the Spanish Stock Exchanges in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao. The admissions should happen by the end of May. No money will be raised because the cash injected by the Oman sovereign wealth fund covers the upfront capital costs of developing the Salamanca project in Spain.
A combination of lower costs and higher iodine prices meant that Iofina (IOF) reduced its underlying loss from $5.4m to $3.4m in 2017. There was also a $5.3m impairment charge. There was a cash inflow before working capital movements. The new IO#7 plant started up in February and there could be another plant in the next year. Iofina is on course to be profitable in 2019.
Sinclair Pharma (SPH) has secured a €23m loan facility. This will replace bank debt and help to finance the aesthetics company’s new strategy in the US following the decision to terminate the Silhouette InstaLift distribution agreement with Thermi when reorder rates were disappointing. Negotiations are ongoing with potential distribution partners in the US. There was growth in other markets, including Brazil, and the 2017 loss was lower.
Pelatro (PTRO) provides precision marketing services to telecoms companies that helps them to retain subscribers and generate more income from each of them. Maiden results for Pelatro show a jump in underlying profit to $1.8m but the trade receivables are the most significant number in the accounts. Despite the profit there was a small cash outflow after tax payments. That is because trade receivables were $1.78m and $756,000 of that figure is for more than 121 days. That is because the company used extended payment terms to help to attract a customer. There is $3.1m in the bank so Pelatro has the cash to finance additional working capital for that and future deals. It is best to keep an eye on the trade receivables.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has raised £1m at 3.25p a share. The cash will be used to finance progress with the Paradox project towards being drill-ready. There are also other partnership and investment opportunities in the region.
Gloo Networks (GLOO) cannot find a suitable acquisition and it is winding itself up. Shareholders should receive at least 47p a share. The original placing price was 120p, so three-fifths of the cash has gone in less than three years without doing a deal.
Braime (TF and JH) (BMTO) reported a jump in pre-tax profit from £1.3m to £2.2m in 2017. The total dividend has been increased from 9.3p a share to 10.2p a share. Pressings profit was flat and the improvement came from the materials handling division.
Safestyle UK (SFE) says Steve Bermingham will retire as chief executive at the end of this year and he is being replaced by Mike Gallacher, who until recently ran First Milk, the farmer-owned milk business, which he restructured.
Trading in Green and Smart Holdings (GSH) shares was suspended because it did not publish its 2016-17 accounts by the end of March. The audit was expected to be completed by the end of April, but it is still going on and the accounts are not expected before June. Discussions continue with a potential investor.
Stem cell services provider WideCells Group (WDC) is running out of cash and has not been able to publish its 2017 accounts so trading in the shares has been suspended. Directors have loaned the company a further £115,000, on top of a previous £100,000. At the end of June 2017, there was cash of £869,000 and debt of £634,000. That was before any of the director loans. It appears that management has taken too long to sort out the funding it requires and the potential share issue, if it is arranged, could be significantly dilutive.
Nanoco (NANO) has launched Nanoco 2D Materials Ltd in order to develop nanomaterials. The University of Manchester has invested £400,000 via a convertible.
Symphony International Holdings (SIHL) is paying an ordinary and special dividend of 12 cents in total. That will cost $71.5m. The Asian healthcare and hospitality businesses investor has sold investments and realised gains have helped to fund the payment.
St Ives (SIV) has completely exited book printing with the sale of Clays for £20m. The pension liabilities will stay with St Ives and it will contribute £2.5m to the pension fund. Net debt was £42.2m on 2 February 2018.
Trading in Sealand Capital (SCGL) shares has been suspended because it could not publish its 2017 accounts by the end of April.
Small Cap Awards (14 June, Montcalm Hotel, Marble Arch, London) Nominees
IPO of the Year
Alpha FX Group
Keystone Law Group PLC
K3 Capital Group
Rainbow Rare Earths Ltd
Company of the Year
Nostra Terra Oil and Gas Company
ZOO Digital Group
NEX Exchange Company of the Year
Field Systems Designs
National Milk Records
Walls & Futures
Executive Director of the Year
Zillah Byng-Thorne (CEO) and Penny Ladkin-Brand (CFO) – Future plc
Dr. Stuart Green, CEO – Zoo Digital Group PLC
Chris Gurry, Group Managing Director – CML MicroSystems PLC
Tom Ilube, CEO – Crossword Cybersecurity PLC
Dr Markku Jalkanen, CEO – Faron Pharmaceuticals
Bobby Kalar, CEO – Yu Group PLC
Dr. James Millen, CEO – Physiomics PLC
Ian Simm, CEO – Impax Asset Management Group PLC
Frazer Thompson, CEO – Chapel Down Group PLC
Andrew Wass, CEO – Gear4Music Holdings PLC
Impact Company of the Year Sponsored by Impact Investment Network
Walls & Future
Fintech Company of the Year
Transaction of the Year
Proactis Holdings PLC – Acquisition of Perfect Commerce
Work Group PLC / Gordon Dadds Group PLC – Reverse takeover
Atlantis Resources Limited – Uksmouth power stations deal (SUSPENDED)
Frontier IP Group PLC – Transactions FairFX Group PLC – Acquisition of CardOne
7digital Group PLC – Acquisition of 24-7
Impax Asset Management Group PLC – Acquisition of Pax World Management LLC
Analyst of the Year
Vadim Alexandre, Head of Research – Northland Capital Partners
Kevin Ashton, TMT Analyst – Cantor Fitzgerald
Eric Burns, Deputy Head of Institutional Research – WH Ireland Limited
David Johnson, Research Director – Allenby Capital Limited
Rob Sanders, Head of Growth Companies Research – Stockdale Securities Limited
Simon Strong, Head of Research Growth Companies – Cenkos Securities PLC
Journalist of the Year
Smit Berry – Small Company Sharewatch
Joanne Hart – Midas
Jamie Nimmo – Mail on Sunday
Paul Scott – Stockopedia
Mark Shapland – Evening Standard
Merryn Somerset Webb – Financial Times
Simon Thompson – Investors Chronicle
Fund Manager of the Year
Daniel Nickols – Old Mutual UK Smaller Companies
James Thorne – Threadneedle UK Smaller Companies
Nick Williamson – Old Mutual UK Smaller Companies
James Zimmerman – Jupiter UK Smaller Companies
Microcap Fund Manager of the Year
Guy Feld – Cannaccord (Hargreave Hale Limited)
David Horner – Chelverton Small Companies Dividend Trust PLC
Judith MacKenzie – Downing LLP
Katie Potts – Herald Investment Management
Gervais Williams – Miton Group PLC
Lifetime Achievement Award To be announced on the evening
Special Services to Small Caps To be announced on the evening.
William Hill plc WMH Adjusted operating profit for the year to 26th December is expected to show a rise of 11%, ahead of expectations. In the nine weeks since the last trading statement on the 11th November the UK and the US have shown good momentum, gross win margins have been ahead of expectations and significantly ahead of the previous year.Net revenue has been very strong.
Judges Scientific plc JDG The positive demand for the company’s products which started in the second half of 2016 has continued throughout 2017Organic order intake for the year to 31st December increased by 16% and it is anticipated that earnings per share will be above current market expectations.
Watkin Jones WJG delivered what it describes as another set of impressive results with profit before tax for the year the year to 30th September soaring from £13.3m to £43m., a rise of 326.3%, on revenue up by 13.1%. Both revenue and gross profit showed strong growth, driven by student accommodation developments. EBITDA was up by 8.6% and the final dividend is to be increased by 10% to 6p per share.
SpaceandPeople SAL enjoyed strong trading during the final quarter of 2017 and became debt free by the end of the year on the 31st December, all bank debt having been repaid during the course of the year. Profit before tax will be £100,000 higher than anticipated at about £1.2m. Dividend payments are to be re-commenced and a final dividend of 1.5p per share will be proposed.
Sinclair Pharma plc SPH Revenue over the past two years has grown by in excess of 80%, returning the company to EBITDA profitability in 2017, a year which saw a strong performance across all key brands and revenue growth of 20% or 14% on a constant currency basis. The fourth quarter was particularly strong in Germany and Brazil and 2018 is expected to produce further strong growth overall.
Steppe Cement STCM Revenue for the year to 31st December rose by 20% over the previous year, after a 4% volume increase and a 15% price rise. Exports doubled to 146,000 tonnes
Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) reported record results for the year to June 2016. Revenues increased by 1% to £139.9m, while underlying pre-tax profit was 11% higher at £10.3m. The growth in revenues and profit came from the managed pubs business. The brewing division reported a lower profit due to the loss of the Kingfisher brewing contract and higher costs of the water treatment plant. The final dividend is 3% higher at 22.05p a share, making a total for the year of 27.5p a share.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) is starting to build up its revenues from products created in partnership with a number of UK universities. Distributors are being appointed for the cyber risk product Rizikon which is based on research by City University. In the six months to June 2016, revenues were £164,000 – eight times the previous twelve months. The loss was £403,000. There was £668,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016, which is slightly more than the cash outflow in the first half. Boss Tom Ilube was on the panel for the cyber security seminar held at ICAP’s headquarters last Wednesday.
Blockchain businesses investor Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) reported revenues of £196,000 and a loss of £270,000, including an impairment charge of £120,000, in the first half of 2016. There was nearly £164,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016. There are investments valued at £1.67m in the balance sheet.
Residential property developer Via Developments (VIA1) has issued a further £1m of 7% debentures 2020. This takes the total issued to £4.5m.
London Nusantara Plantations (LNPP) has identified potential oil palm estates investments in east Malaysia. The company has acquired an 11% stake in 404 hectares of land to use for oil palm cultivation. There is nearly £162,000 in the bank. Acquisitions will be funded by a mix of debt and equity.
Incubator company Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has become involved with 15 companies and one of these, Knowledge Motion, has signed a seven figure deal with Pearson. Milamber has the rights to 5% of Knowledge Motion. There was £289 in the bank at the end of March 2016 and the NAV was £291,000. Since then, a further £45,000 has been raised. Service and success fees plus grant-related revenues mean that this years revenues should be much higher than the £70,000 reported in the year to March 2016.
White Fox Ventures Inc is subscribing for $2.35m of shares in Australian minerals explorer NQ Minerals (NQMI) in seven tranches over six months. The issue price is 11.1 cents (8.4p). White Fox has already subscribed for $150,000 worth of shares. White Fox (www.whitefoxventures.com) is an OTXQB-traded company and this is the first of a number of strategic investments planned by the company. The company is also seeking acquisitions and its current activity is educating people how to make money.
Electricity and gas supplier Yu Group (YU.) could reach profitability in the second half of 2016. Even before it moved into profit Yu is paying a maiden dividend of 0.75p. A growing dividend is planned. Yu is still building up its revenues and they were £5.1m in the first half of 2016 but higher operating expenses meant that there was an underlying interim loss. Yu could become highly cash generative. It is expected to end 2016 with cash of £6.6m and this could rise to £10.3m a year later.
Bond International Software (BDI) has recommended the increase Constellation Software bid of 115.5p a share, which is near to the 116p-118p a share the company expects to distribute to shareholders if it were wound up. The bid provides a certain outcome whereas there is a risk that the total distributions could be lower. However, if there is a majority vote at the upcoming general meeting to agree to the sale of the remaining businesses the offer will lapse. That would mean that the proposed acquirer would have to be paid up to £350,000 due to the deal falling through.
Sinclair Pharma (SPH) was undergone significant changes in the past year but it has still to enjoy the benefits of some of these. It does have cash of £24.4m following the disposal of non-core activities in order to concentrate on aesthetic treatments. Sales are growing internationally but the taking over of distribution in Brazil and the US distribution deal for Silhouette InstaLift will make more significant contributions in a year or two. The latter will require a lot of investment in the coming year or so but it should help Sinclair to move into profit in 2018.
Structural steel supplier Billington Holdings (BILN) is continuing its recovery and the acquisition of Shafton Steel Services, which is based five miles away from the head office, enables Billington to increase its capacity. In the six months to June 2016, revenues improved from £24.5m to £27m, while pre-tax profit edged ahead from £1.7m to £1.74m after redundancy costs. The pre-tax profit margin is back above 6% but there is still more potential for recovery. Strong cash flow meant that cash more than doubled to £6.24m. There will be some additional capital investment required to increase capacity. The order book continues to grow.
Mobile payments processor MiPay (MPAY) is being used to process an increasing number of transactions, although interim revenues were affected by a change in terms with a large customer. The good news is that although revenues were 7% ahead at £1.6m, gross profit was one-third higher. Combining that with lower overheads means that the operating loss was reduced by three-quarters to £250,000. Clients are attracted by MiPay’s ability to reduce the risk of fraud. There should be £3m of net cash at the end of 2016. MiPay could make a small profit in 2017.
Fund manager Miton Group (MGR) increased its funds under management to £2.54bn by the end of June and that was despite an outflow from the CF Miton UK Value Opportunities Fund. The figure has risen further to £2.71bn since then. In the six months to June 2016, pre-tax profit recovered from £800,000 to £3.1m. Net cash was £18.4m at the end of August 2016.
Mortice Ltd (MORT) says that its UK facilities management business has been appointed to a £60m framework contract with London Universities. The contract for cleaning and associated services is for a three year period. Those companies on the framework will be invited to bid for individual contracts. Mortice’s subsidiary is the only company that has been appointed to all three parts of the framework.
Fishing tackle and consumables retailer Fishing Republic (FISH) grew its first half revenues by one-third to £2.5m. This was via a combination of organic growth and new store openings, although these newere sites are still building up trade. Online sales were weaker as management moved the focus away from third party sites to its own branded website. That will help margins in the medium-term. Underlying pre-tax profit edged up from £149,000 to £157,000. Two more stores will open in the second half. Investment in new stores will hold back this year’s profit whih is expected to rise from £305,000 in 2015 to £404,000. Earnings per share will decline because of the recent share issue but that cash is being put to work and the benefits should show through next year.
Talent management technology and services provider NetDimensions (NETD) remains on track to move into profit next year. Higher margin licence sales rose during the first half but overall interim revenues were slightly lower at $10.5m. Recurring revenues are more than two-thirds of total revenues. Full year revenues of $26.6m and a loss of $400,000 is forecast. In 2017, a profit of $1.2m is expected on revenues of $31.5m.
Coins investor Avarae Global Coins (AVR) plans to ditch its AIM quotation and it is offering to buy back 16.16 million shares at 11.5p each. It plans to buy back the same number of shares after it leaves AIM. High quality coin prices are plateauing and a small loss was made in the year to March 2016. There is no dividend. There was a cash balance of £570,000 at the end of March and the NAV was 14.6p a share.
Project management services provider Styles & Wood (STY) is paying an initial £2m in cash and shares for Keysource, which will boost the group’s expertise in projects for critical facilities and data centres. The deal will be earnings enhancing next year. In the six months to June 2016, Styles & Wood improved its underlying pre-tax profit from £200,000 to £500,000, although the business is second half weighted so the full year outcome will be much higher.
AIM-quoted Kibo Mining (KIBO) is reversing the Imweru and Lubando gold projects into standard list shell Opera Investments (OPRA). Kibo will receive 61 million shares in Opera at a notional price of 6p each for the Tanzania-based projects. Imeru could be producing gold in 18 months. An AIM admission document is expected to be published before the end of November and at least £1.2m will be raised at 6p a share. The Opera share price has slumped from 10p to 4.38p since it floated in April 2015. Two previous acquisitions have fallen through. It will be interesting to see whether Opera will change its name to Katoro Gold Mining.