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VI Mining (VIM) finally made it to NEX on 2 March. The South America-focused miner announced its plans late last year. VI raised £5.36m at 500p a share. That valued the company at £535m. VI is acquiring two gold and silver projects in Peru and owns two toll processing plants.
Mechanical and electrical installation and maintenance services provider Field Systems Design Holdings (FSD) nearly doubled its interim profit. In the six months to November 2017, revenues jumped from £8.47m to £12m, while pre-tax profit improved from £114,000 to £211,000. There was £3.34m of cash in the bank. AMP6 capital spending by water companies has been strong in the period and there are significant waste to energy contracts, although the medium-term outlook for that sector is not as good. Margins remain under pressure.
Energy saving electrical products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported flat interim revenues of £1.88m but this masks the growth in the sales of MiHome products. This growth will continue in the second half. The interim pre-tax profit edged up from £35,000 to £44,000.
Block Energy (BLOK) has completed the sale of its assets in Ghana for $600,000. Block still plans to join AIM.
Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has acquired educational consultancy Vocamedia for up to £165,000, with £60,000 dependent on performance in 2018-19.
Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has announced plans to raise a further £2.5m via placings at 90p a share. The first tranche of $1.25m has been raised and this will be used to invest in opportunities in the healthcare, education and eco tourism sectors in Africa. The focus is businesses that are two-to-three years from profit and have a positive social impact. The second tranche of £1.25m should be raised in one year.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested a further £130,000 in Human Brands by way of a convertible loan note. If Human Brands gets its expected quotation, the loan can be converted at a 55% discount to a three day average volume weighted price. This doubles the investment in the spirits distributor which will also pay (in shares) a fee of 1% of market capitalisation on flotation.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has sold a 5% stake in Horse Hill Developments to Solo Oil (SOLO) in return for £650,000 in cash and £350,000 in shares. Solo has raised £2m at 3.5p a share.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) is working with Haydale Graphene (HAYD) and the University of Swansea to develop intelligent transport systems using Haydale’s graphene ink sensor technology.
Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) says that it needs to raise a minimum of £50,000. A trial amount of coal has been sold by the St Leonard Mine in Nigeria. The buyer is negotiating a long-term supply agreement with a minimum tonnage per month. A second mine would need to be opened to satisfy this demand. Equatorial believes it can make a pre-tax profit of £380,000 in 2018 if the supply agreement is secured.
Supported housing provider Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has joined the MSCI IPD UK Residential Property Index.
Content owner One Media IP (OMIP) has weathered the changes to the market due to the rise of music and video streaming and profit should continue to recover this year. In the year to October 2017, revenues were 14% ahead at £2.34m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £30,000 to £298,000. That is still well below the profit made three years ago. Profit could double this year. Michael Grade and Ivan Dunleavy have invested in the company and they should help One Media IP to secure acquisitions and exploit the existing catalogue.
India-focused online retailer Koovs (KOOV) needs more money to continue its expansion. Management wants up to £50m and much of this will go on marketing and promoting the brand. Talks continue but the current cash pile will not last much more than four months. Second half sales are expected to be lower because of the lack of investment in marketing and the full year EBITDA loss will be £14.4m.
Gresham Hose (GHE) increased its assets under management from £363m to £69m. The British Strategic Investment Fund raised £165m in the period and the plan is to try to raise £250m by the end of 2018. The acquisition of Hazel Capital added a further £86m to assets under management. The value of the strategic assets portfolio value was flat due to distributions to investors. Gresham House has a diluted NAV of 211.2p a share. There is cash of £9.8m with more to come from the sale of the last surplus property and deferred consideration from a previous property sale.
Condor Gold (CNR) is confident that it is on the way to gaining a permit to construct a mine at Mina La India in Nicaragua. An amendment has been submitted for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and it appears that Condor will not have to move the village. This will make it easier to gain the permit. Once the permit is gained then Condor can push ahead with the construction of the mine, which is in an area where there has been mining in the past.
Management Resource Services (MRS) reported a return to profit in its interim figures. Continuing operations increased revenues from A$20.6m to A$33.6m and a loss of A$745,000 was turned into a profit of A$2.52m. Management says that full year earnings per share should be at least 2p.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) is closing its loss-making non-core operations having failed to complete their sale because the buyer had not obtained regulatory approval.
Scotgold Resources Ltd (SGZ) has gained planning permission for the development of the Cononish gold mine in Scotland. This is subject to concluding legal agreements.
Lighting supplier Photonstar LED (PSL) is raising £430,000 at 0.15p a share. The cash will help to complete the development of the company’s new building control system.
Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) continues to grow particularly rapidly outside of the UK. Overall sales grew 43% to £80.1m in the year to February 2018 with international sales well over two-fifths of the total. Both branded and own-brand sales grew. Investment in growth means that EBITDA will be similar to last year. The results will be published on 15 May.
Saffron Energy (SRON) has withdrawn from the acquisition of Po Valley Operations due to regulatory and tax issues but it is still buying Sound Energy’s Italian assets. A new document should be published in the next few days.
Replacement windows supplier Safestyle UK (SFE) says that orders have been weak so far this year. This means that 2018 revenues and profit will be well below the 2017 figures. Cost savings will help to offset some of the downturn in the second half and the business is still cash generative. A final dividend of 7.5p a share is still planned when the 2017 results are announced.
Founder Laurence Orbach has increased his stake in Quarto (QRT) to 20.1%. Back in October 2017, he owned 15.1%. Orbach was removed from the board in November 2012.
Town Centre Securities (TOWN) reported better than expected interim figures. The property investor’s NAV was 4% higher at 375p a share and the interim dividend was maintained at 3.25p a share.
WH Ireland has raised its full year forecast for Avation (AVAP) following the publication of interim figures. The 2018 earnings forecast was raised 10.5% to 26.2 cents a share. Interim profit declined by 13% to $7.3m, while earnings per share fell 15%. The transition of an A320 aircraft from Air Berlin to easyJet led to a release of a maintenance reserve but some transactions will not come through until the second half.
Blockchain technology investor Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is advising Tutellus Technologies on its upcoming token generation event. Tutellus matches students with teachers in the Spanish-speaking world. The Tutellus token will be used as a medium of exchange for the new blockchain-based platform. Richard Lloyd has been appointed as adviser to Coinsilium’s Gibraltar-based subsidiary TerraStream, which is developing a token offering platform. TerraStream intends to raise cash via a token offer but it is waiting for a more specific set of regulations from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission that should be published in the second quarter.
IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has decided to focus on the flagship project in gold project at Avoca, Wicklow and the Kilbricken zinc deposit in County Clare. IMC plans to relinquish five licences.
Natural resources investing company MetalNRG (MNRG) has appointed Rolf Gerritsen as chief executive and he is subscribing for 2.5 million shares at 2p each, combined with 2.5 million warrants exercisable at 3p each. The former chief executive Paul Johnson is acquiring the same number of shares on the same terms. MetalNRG is progressing the potential standard listings of a number of resources businesses and it will retain stakes. MetalNRG is also seeking to move to the standard list.
Health staff recruiter Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) generated revenues of £250,000 in 2017. There were 130 candidates deployed. The company intends to double its number of employees by the end of June 2018. New contracts have been won in the Middle East and with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and these candidates will be found this year. The 2017 figures should be published in May.
Gooch and Housego (GHH) says that it is experiencing exceptional demand for critical components for microelectronic manufacturing and this has offset any slowing in demand for high reliability fibre couplers. Trading is in line with expectations and there will be a second half weighting to the year’s figures. US tax changes will reduce the deferred tax in the balance sheet by £500,000 and cut the effective rate of tax to around 23%.
Lighthouse Group (LGT) is doing particularly well at the moment. The IFA significantly increased its business from affinity groups and average revenues per adviser rose by nearly one-quarter to £122,000. Assets under management are starting to build up and the fees from these will begin to become more important. In 2017, pre-tax profit improved from £1.9m to £2.5m and net cash was £8.7m. The dividend was raised from 0.27p a share to 0.42p a share.
Scotland-based Springfield Properties (SPR) reported maiden interim results. Revenues were 10% higher at £54.8m and pre-tax profit was £3.1m, up from £2.6m. The fastest growth came from the affordable homes division. The private housing side is waiting for planning permissions for planned villages in Scotland but existing permissions mean that the second half has significant contracted revenues. Even though Springfield was quoted for a few weeks of the period it is paying a 1p a share interim dividend.
Saffron Energy (SRON) has asked for trading in its shares to be suspended because there have been changes to the proposed acquisition of south east Asian oil and gas assets. A supplementary admission document is likely to be required.
Gas and electricity supplier Flowgroup (FLOW) has secured £5m of additional funding from Palm Ventures and Lombard Odier Asset Management to provide seasonal working capital. Cost savings are on track but the market remains competitive.
Ultimate Sports Group (USG) has decided to stop marketing spending on the UltimatePlayer.me children’s sport platform due to disappointing take-up. There will be a £521,000 write-off relating to this platform. There was £130,000 in the bank at the end of 2017 and Ultimate has raised £537,500 at 5p a share, although this will require a capital reduction. Richard Bernstein is acquiring nine million shares and David Kyte the other 1.75 million shares. Eurovestech-boss Bernstein has been engaged to find a suitable business to acquire and a successful transaction would net him a fee of 1% of the value of the acquisition.
Fintech business TruFin (TRU) joined AIM on 21 February, when it raised £70m at 190p a share. The share price ended the week at 214p.
Stanley Gibbons (SGI) has secured a £19.4m investment from Phoenix UK Fund to shore up its poor balance sheet. This will leave Phoenix with a majority stake, but it will take out the RBS debt.
CCTV technology business Synectics (SNX) improved its pre-tax profit from £2.6m to £3m last year, despite strong comparatives in the key gaming sector in the previous year. Oil and gas improved its contribution but trading in transport was hit by the lack of new buses being bought by companies. Synectics expects flat pre-tax profit of £3m for the year to November 2018, due to additional development spending, but a sharp jump to £4m is forecast for next year.
Tristel (TSTL) has been hit by tough trading conditions in surface cleaners in the NHS and investment in gaining approvals have also held back profit. The international business goes from strength to strength and this helped interim pre-tax profit to grow to £2m. US EPA approvals for surface cleaners could be gained by May but then state by state approvals are required so revenues will not flow through until 2019. Approvals for endoscope cleaning products require FDA approval and will take longer.
Drilling results from the APTA deposit at the Anza project in Colombia that is 100%-owned by Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) have been positive. High grade gold mineralised intercepts currently cover a strike extent of 1.5km and a depth of 275 metres. Results are awaited on five more holes and six holes will be drilled on Charrascala deposit.
Kin Group (KIN) says it will not make an acquisition by 28 February so trading in the shares will be suspended. There are talks with potential acquisitions and £800,000 remains in the bank.
London and Associated Properties (LAS) is selling the Brixton markets to Market Village for £37.25m in cash. This compares to book value of £24.5m. The net income is £1.2m a year. London and Associate Properties had net assets of £38m, which is equivalent to 44.5p a share, at the end of June 2017. The share price is at a one-third discount to the June 2017 even without any profit on the disposal and gearing should fall to below 100%.
Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased pre-tax profit by 19% to £9.3m on the back of a 9% increase in revenues. The profit growth came from the packaging distribution division with the manufacturing division making a lower contribution. The full year dividend was raised from 1.95p a share to 2.1p a share. The pension deficit has been cut from £14.5m to £11.8m.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) had a strong second half and 2017 revenues were much better than expected. EBITDA is expected to jump from $2.8m to $7m. The growth is coming from both the networking and biomedical divisions.
Precious stones explorer Shefa Yamim (SEFA) says that Macquarie University has confirmed the existence of moissanite coupled with titanium-rich corundum in its licence area volcanic rocks and this augurs well for the potential of the Kishon Mid-Reach project.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) says that one of its employee-owned investee business FJ Holdings has sold its businesses and been placed in administration. Capital for Colleagues had not been kept up to date with these moves. The loans to FJ and its subsidiary Ham Baker Adams plus the FJ share stake were valued at £1.3m at the end of November 2016, which included a £790,000 valuation for the share stake. That investment is equivalent to one-quarter of Capital for Colleagues’ NAV, suggesting a pro forma NAV of about 40.5p a share if the investment is completely written off. That is well below the current share price.
Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) says that the £3.55m sale of Hume House in Leeds announced in January 2016 has not been completed. Hume House was acquired for £1.67m in March 2014 and annual rental income is £188,000. Ace has raised £4.55m from the sale of Bridge House in Luton, which was acquired for £2.75m in November 2014, and been occupied by HM Revenue & Customs for more than three decades.
Middle East-focused investment vehicle Indigo Holdings (INGO) has made its first investment ten days after it joined NEX on 10 February. There was net cash of £818,000 at the time of flotation and €176,800 (£150,000) was spent on a 5% stake in Iranian car ride sharing app Carvanro. Indigo believes that the growing younger population in Iran will be receptive to the service. The app was launched in mid-2016 and registered users and completed rides are growing month-on-month.
Queros Capital Partners (QCP) has issued an additional £960,000 (£950,400 net) of 8% bonds 2025. That takes the bonds in issue to £2.625m. The cash will initially be used to provide bridging loans as Queros seeks to acquire social housing projects in the longer term. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £82,000, having raised £128,750 at 0.8p a share last week. IMC Exploration (IMCP) has issued 2.5 million shares at 1p each to pay for professional fees and converted a Wilhan loan note into 3.2 million shares at 2p each. .
Peterhouse has replaced Grant Thornton as corporate adviser to Chinese medical products and services provider MiLOC Group (ML.P). Director Dennis Ow has satisfied a HK$500,000 loan by transferring 177,353 shares previously pledged as collateral, taking his stake to 0.44%.
Impact investing company Menhaden Capital (MHN) has decided to delist from the NEX Exchange Main Board in order to reduce costs but retain its premium listing on the London Stock Exchange.
Fishing tackle and products retailer Fishing Republic (FISH) is on course to increase pre-tax profit from £305,000 to £404,000 in 2016. Year-on-year revenues were 40% ahead, suggesting a figure of around £5.8m. A new store was opened in Mildenhall at the end of 2016 and another in Milton Keynes in January 2017. Two more, in Reading and Ipswich, are planned before the end of the fourth quarter. These stores will all be ready for the 2017 fishing season. Online sales have fallen but a greater proportion of them are direct through the company’s website which has improved gross margin. Last year’s share issue has diluted earnings per share but investing the cash in new stores will help to compensate for that. The 2016 figures will be published before the end of April.
Software robotics company Blue Prism (PRSM) says that its revenues were strong in the first quarter and it already expects full year revenues to be well ahead of expectations.
North Italy-based gas producer Saffron Energy (SRON) joined AIM on 24 January and ended the day at 7.38p. Saffron raised £2.5m at 5p a share. The cash will finance the development of three gas fields.
Gold recovery services and mining company Goldplat (GDP) increased its revenues in the first half even though gold sales were lower due to delays in selling gold from the Ghana plant, which did not get the required licence to sell the gold until the end of the period. The gold has been sold in the second half. First half revenues were still higher because of a 15% rise in the gold price achieved and currency movements. There was still £885,000 in the bank at the end of 2016. A full year pre-tax profit of £1.94m is forecast as the benefits from the investment in the Kilimapesa gold mine start to show through. Further capital investment will be required for the Kenyan mine and the gold recovery activities.
Conygar Investment Company (CIC) is selling its investment property portfolio to Regional Commercial Midco, which is owned by Regional REIT, for £129.8m – a few hundred thousand pounds ahead of its book valuation. Regional REIT will issue 26.3 million shares at 106.347p a share and assume bank debt and repayment of zero dividend preference shares. Shareholders will have to approve the transaction. Conygar will be able to focus on its development assets.
Vernalis (VER) made further progress in building sales of the Tuzistra cough treatment in the first few months of the cough season. In the six months to December 2016, revenues were one-third higher at £800,000 and the second half could be stronger. Growth in Tuzistra sales was not enough to offset declines elsewhere and total revenues fell from £6.1m to £5.6m. There could be two additional cough treatments on sale next year if the FDA approvals are achieved. Net cash was £74.2m at the end of 2016.
Security technology and services supplier Synectics (SNX) reported a 4% rise in revenues to £70.9m last year but higher margin gaming contracts meant that there was a sharp bounce back in profit. Net cash was £2.17m at the end of November 2016. This year’s underlying pre-tax profit is expected to grow from £2.6m to £3m, although this represents slower growth than originally expected.
Cairn is resigning as nominated adviser to CloudTag Inc (CTAG) on 10 April but the company has managed to raise £975,000 at 3.75p a share via Novum Securities at a cost of £58,500. Trading in the shares was subsequently suspended pending an announcement. CloudTag will need to find another nominated adviser to continue on AIM.
International benefits insurance provider GBGI Ltd (GBGI) joined AIM on 22 February when it was valued at £130.4m at 150p a share. The share price was unchanged at the end of the week. GBGI intends to pay a dividend equivalent to 60% of distributable profit.
Stellar Diamonds (STEL) is raising £324,500 from a placing at 5.5p a share and up to £250,000 from an open offer at the same price. Once the placing is completed the shares will return from suspension. The cash will help to pay creditors and be used to progress the Tonguma project in Sierra Leone. Further cash will be required.
Timber processing and renewable energy business Active Energy (AEG) is in discussions to acquire further timber assets in North America and Europe. AEG WoodFibre generated lower revenues in 2016 because of weak demand from MDF manufacturers in Turkey after the coup. A new softwood processing plant should be up and running in April. The CoalSwitch division will be the main focus of growth this year.
SigmaRoc (SRC) says that its maiden acquisition Ronez has been integrated more quickly than it expected. The new systems should be up and running by the end of April and the back office systems budget should be halved. January sales volumes were ahead of budget and the first quarter order book is strong for the Channel Islands-based construction materials supplier. SigmaRoc has secured a £2m revolving credit facility from Santander and a £18m term facility is being negotiated. These two facilities will last until 2021.
Northland has increased its profit forecasts for online gaming marketing business Veltyco Group (VLTY). The 2016 pre-tax profit estimate has been raised from €1.35m to €1.99m, which is in line with the recent trading statement. The 2017 profit forecast has been raised from €3.18m to €4.27m and for 2018 from €4.21m to €5.44m.
Savannah Resources (SAV) has raised £2.24m at 5.25p a share and it has letters of intent for a further £1.01m from the chairman and a major investor, Al Marjan, which will maintain its stake at 29.9%. Savannah has reduced its full year loss from £3.1m to £1.8m and there was £700,000 left in the bank at the end of 2016. This year Savannah expects to complete the scoping study for the Mutamba heavy mineral sands project in Mozambique, where it has signed a consortium agreement with Rio Tinto, and start mining copper in Oman. Savannah is also defining drill targets for Lithium in Finland.
Premier African Minerals (PREM) is on course to get production restarted at the RHA tungsten mine. Underground mining contract terms have been agreed with delivery of up to 16,000 tonnes of ore each month.
Edenville Energy (EDL) has raised £2m at 0.8p a share, with every two new shares eligible for a warrant exercisable at 1.08p a share over the next 18 months. The cash will be used to acquire capital equipment and finance other costs of developing the Rukwa coal project in Tanzania. Commercial mining should begin by the end of the first quarter of 2017. Edenville has relinquished its uranium prospecting licence to concentrate on Rukwa.
Small company-focused investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) has increased its dividend by 8.8% to 8.6p a share, although NAV growth was more modest at 2.5%. Last year, Athelney did not do as well as AIM or the FTSE Fledgling index which each grew by around 15%. Athelney is more exposed to the commercial property market than AIM or the Fledgling index. Property shares were hit by the EU referendum and did not clawback their falls by the end of the year. Athelney takes a long-term view and it has still outperformed AIM since 2005. The focus remains companies that are steadily growing profitability and dividends. Realised capital gains were £294,000 in 2016, helped by takeovers of Premier Farnell, UK Mail and Wireless. A stake was acquired in Lavendon last year and that is being taken over. The NAV was 251.1p a share at the end of 2016. Having raised £407,000 at 233.2p a share last April, Athelney still had invested most of the cash and had £59,000 left in the bank – slightly higher than a year earlier. The NAV had slipped to 250.4p a share by the end of January.
Standard listed and TSX Venture Capital Market-quoted Zenith Energy (ZEN) is selling its operations in Argentina so that it can concentrate on its operations in Italy and Azerbaijan. Production was suspended in 2015 because a storage tank owned by the state oil company collapsed so oil could not be transported. The operations are being sold for a nominal sum because investment is required and the buyers are taking on environmental responsibilities.
Standard list shell Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL) is acquiring SecureCom Group for 10 million shares and £1m in cash. Sealand had £600,000 in cash at the end of June 2016 and it is raising a further £1.4m (1.27m net of expenses) at 20p a share. The November 2015 flotation price was 10p. SecureCom also brings cash with it and pro forma cash is £3.26m and there is subscription money owed to the company of £8.58m. The pro forma NAV is 3.87m because of the heavy losses incurred by SecureCom, which has spent large amounts on sales and marketing of its instant messaging and communications products n the Asia Pacific region.