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First Sentinel (FSEN) has bought a 80% stake in Perennial Enterprises in Australia in an all share deal. Perennial is a profitable debtor finance business and it is purchasing A$5m of invoices each month. Shane Perry of Perennial will join the First Sentinel board.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has sold its investment in Gold Mines of Wales to Alba Mineral Resources (ALBA) in return for 83.3 million shares in Alba (3.6% of the company). That was worth £317,000 at an Alba share price of 0.38p.
NHS-focused software systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) has been hit by budget cuts but management is hopeful that NHS restructuring will have a positive effect. A tender has been won for a pilot of a new product range. The NHS will launch the GPSOC3 tendering in 2018 and this could provide opportunities for DXS.
Block Energy (BLOK) has delayed its move to AIM until mid-January. It was originally expected to make the move on 7 December.
Etaireia Investments (ETIP) had net assets of £1.88m at the end of September 2017. Since then, two buildings in Peterlee have been acquired and more acquisitions are promised in the near future.
Early Equity (EEQP) impaired two investments in the year to August 2017. The full year loss was £139,000. Further cash has been raised since the year end.
Commercial property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has completed the purchase of the New Majestic Bingo Hall, Middlesbrough for £4.15m and it generates rent of £313,000 a year.
All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised £30,000 at 0.075p a share.
Sula Iron and Gold (SULA) is acquiring a controlling interest in a cobalt licence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for $100,000. This is near to existing cobalt and copper mines. A holding company will be 70% owned by Sula and 30% owned by the vendor. A placing is raising £1.75m at 0.05p a share. This will provide cash for the exploration of the new licence and finance the development of the assets in Sierra Leone. Sula will assess other opportunities in the DRC. The Riverfort facility will be terminated and shares bought back from D-Beta. The company is changing its name to African Battery Materials.
Evgen Pharma (EVG) has raised the cash to finance the completion of the phase II studies for SFX-01, which uses its synthetic sulforaphane called Sulforadex. There is a phase II trial assessing the treatment of metastatic breast cancer and there should be an interim reading in the first half of 2018 and it will report fully before the end of the year. There is also a phase II trial for subarachnoid haemorrhage stroke, which should also report by the end of 2018. Evgen has raised £2.3m at 12p a share. Hardman says that cash burn is £300,000 a month.
Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) has reset its flotation date to 19 December and it is raising £25.4m, before costs of £1.2m, at 62p a share. Numis is nominated adviser and broker, while Baden Hill is joint bookrunner. Mirriad, which has developed technology to enable product placement in existing TV and film content, will be valued at £63.2m. Management is raising £800,000 from the sale of existing shares. IP Group is a major shareholder and is investing a further £3.7m, leaving it with a 27.2% stake. Amati VCT, Amati VCT 2, Edge Performance VCT and Oxford Technology 4 VCT, which acquired its shareholding around a decade ago, also have stakes, although it does not appear that the VCTs will generate much of an increase in the value of their holdings at the placing price.
Brighton Pier Group (PIER) has agreed to buy mini golf site operator Paradise Island Adventure Golf for an initial £10.5m. The business made an EBITDA of £1.21m on revenues of £3.49m in the most recent financial year. Six sites are being operated with two to be added. This is less seasonal than Brighton Pier. A placing raised £3m at 95p a share, with executive chairman Luke Johnson investing £850,000.
Delays with a project at Hinckley C hampered last year’s figures from Redhall (RHL) but the underlying business has been put on a much firmer footing. The order book is higher and so are the gross margins on the work.
Collagen Solutions (COS) has been hit by a delayed order from a major tissue customer which is launching a new product incorporating the tissue. This will hamper full year revenues. Interim revenues were flat at £1.86m and the full year revenues are expected to still rise from £3.95m to £4.31m but this is around £800,000 lower than previous forecasts. There should still be £6m in the bank at the end of March 2018. The long-term prospects for the ChondroMimetic cartilage repair product are positive.
Vianet Group (VNET) is switching its revenue model for its smart machines division to focus increasingly on regular recurring revenues from contactless payment technology sales. This held back interim revenues. Since the end of the first half, Vianet has completed the acquisition of Vendman and this should make a small profit contribution in the second half. Full year group revenues are expected to rise from £14.3m to £15.4m, while pre-tax profit should move from £2.5m to £2.8m. Vianet is changing its sector to telecommunication equipment.
Accounting software supplier FreeAgent Holdings (FREE) grew its interim revenues by 28% to £4.6m without any significant contribution from its partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland. Growth was slowed by regulation changes relating to public sector contractors. The policy of moving towards digital tax returns will provide a future boost to demand for the company’s software from small businesses. House broker N+1 Singer has trimmed its forecast revenues for the next two years and does not expect FreeAgent to make a full year pre-tax profit over that time scale.
Sovereign Mines of Africa (SMA) ran into regulatory and tax issues relating to its proposed reverse takeover of an Indian eyewear manufacturer. Trading in the shares was suspended on 21 July so it has until 27 January to find a potential acquisition.
Pennant International (PEN) is partnering with Capewell Aerial Systems, a producer of military and law enforcement equipment. The two companies will develop opportunities and an initial product is already under development. The news that BAE is selling Typhoon aircraft to Qatar is also good for Pennant.
Wind measurement technology developer Windar Photonics (WPHO) has received an order for 300 WindEYE LiDAR systems from a Chinese distributor. There will be 50 delivered this year and the rest in the first half of 2018.
Software supplier Pelatro plans to join AIM on 19 December. The mViva software is developed in India and used for marketing by telecommunications companies.
Video games developer Sumo Group plans to float by the end of December. Video games industry veteran Ian Livingstone is a non-executive director.
Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals (HEMO) has made good progress since it reversed into a standard list shell. Hemogenyx continues to work with contract research organisation LakePharma Inc, whose holding company invested £350,000 in Hemogenyx, to develop its therapies for bone marrow or blood stem cell transplants. This collaboration should help to progress the CDX technology towards clinical studies in 16 months time and preparatory work has started on a submission to the US FDA. The company has recently announced a collaboration with Oxford University that could generate work that will significantly improve the efficiency and safety of bone marrow transplants. A reliable supply of human tissue has been secured from a US research university.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has shipped the first load of rare earth mineral concentrate and it is currently on the road Mombasa. Production has commenced on time and within budget. Gasagwe is the only producing rare earths mine in Africa. Arden believes that Rainbow could make a profit of $3.4m in the year to June 2018, rising to $4.2m in 2018-19.
Deloitte has been appointed as administrator to Torotrak (TRK) because of a shortage of cash. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
Supported housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has improved its net asset value by 4.4% to 94p a share in the six months to September 2017. Interim figures should be published within a fortnight.
African Potash Ltd (AFPO) has decided not to acquire investment company Onshore Energy Ltd and concentrate on its fertiliser business instead. Progress has been delayed but fertiliser trading has started in Zambia and a 21% stake was acquired in Advanced Agricultural Holdings, which is focused on South Africa. There were no revenues in the year to June 2017, although there was trading income of $9,000, and the loss was $2.27m. There was £11,000 in the bank at the end of June 2017. African Agronomix is earning a stake in the company’s potash interests. Trading will recommence in the shares on 23 October.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has €7m of debt, in the form of a mortgage, from UniCredit Bulbank. This will be used to complete the planned acquisition of the office building in Sofia. The loan lasts for three years from completion of the documentation.
Via Developments (VIA1) has completed the purchase of the development site in Latimer Road, Luton.
Belvoir Lettings (BLV) has approached The Property Franchising Group (TPFG) about a merger between the letting agents but the reaction has been negative. Belvoir believes that the market is consolidating and it makes sense for two of the major players to come together. The indicative offer is 0.715 of a Belvoir share and 52.2p a share in cash for each TPFG, although the amount of cash could be varied. This values each TPFG share at 130.5p.
eServGlobal Ltd (ESG) is raising £24m at 9p a share with existing retail investors given the chance to clawback £3.4m of the shares. Cash is required to be injected into the HomeSend joint venture so that the 35% stake can be maintained. There will also be costs to rationalising the core business in order to help move it into profit.
Overseas growth dominated the Tristel (TSTL) where full year revenues were one-fifth higher, or 7% excluding the acquisition of the Australian distributor. Tristel has already warned that regulatory approval has been delayed in the US but it can still continue to grow its infection control sales. Animal health and contamination control revenues fell but margins improved. House broker finnCap forecasts an improvement in profit from £4m to £4.4m this year.
Secure payments and contact centre technology provider Eckoh (ECK) continues to add contracts in the US while UK revenues are steady. Seven US contracts worth $5.1m have been won. Eckoh has moved into a net cash position of £1.7m. Interim figures will be reported on 22 November.
Telecoms software supplier Artilium (ARTA) has formed an alliance with NYSE-listed Pareteum Corporation, which involves the sharing of distribution, products and technology. The focus will be Latin America and Asia. A share exchange will mean that Pareteum will own 8.8% of Artilium, which will own 19.9% of Pareteum. Artilium is opening a new office in Germany.
Cloud-based communications software provider Cloudcall Group (CALL) is raising £5.7m at 143.5p a share and the cash will help to finance further growth. Cloudcall wants to take advantage of its partnerships with Microsoft Dynamics and Bullhorn and attract new partners.
Proteome Sciences (PRM) says that its deal pipeline is improving but the adoption of its proteomic services has been slower than hoped. This year the loss will be reduced but it will be higher than previously expected. Proteome has gained Good Clinical Laboratory Practice accreditation which will enable it to take on larger clinical projects.
Sula Iron and Gold (SULA) is evaluating the best way to develop the Ferensola gold asset as well as seeking to bring other assets into the group. There could be a joint venture or farm out at Ferensola and Sula intends to solicit interests from potential partners.
Hornby (HRN) is ending the discounting of its stock but it will still hit the figures for this financial year. New chief executive Lyndon Davies continues to review the business strategy and more will be revealed with the interim figures. The interim chairman is leaving the board.
BP Marsh (BPM) has increased its NAV from 273p a share to 304p a share in the six months to July 2017. Disposals brought in significant amounts of cash and this is being reinvested. One of the main focuses of the investment is the North American market.
Infinity Energy S.A. (INFT) is in talks to acquire Transgas Ltd from its own chief executive and its family. Transgas owns petroleum exploration licences in south west England. Infinity will issue shares for the purchase if it is agreed and it intends to change domicile from Luxembourg to Guernsey.
Molecular diagnostics firm Genedrive (GDR) has signed a distribution agreement with Sysmex Europe for the supply of the Genedrive hepatitis C (HCV) ID kit, which is designed to be used in a decentralised environment and produce results within 90 minutes. This is the first commercial partner and Sysmex will be responsible for marketing and distribution in the EMEA region. The initial focus will be African companies.
RNA therapeutics technology developer Silence Therapeutics (SLN) is claiming money in the High Court for income it believes it is owed on products sold by Alnylam. The High Court has to determine whether Silence is entitled to supplementary protection certificates, which can give up to five years of exclusivity after a patent expires
Seeing Machines (SEE) believes that it could treble its revenues this year to between A$38m to $A43m and revenues could double again next year. However, cash is in short supply so investment has been curtailed. New investment is being sought. Interest is building in the automotive sector for the FOVIO driver monitoring technology.
Jim Meredith has become executive chairman of Augean (AUG), following the resignation of Stewart Davies as chief executive, and Christopher Mills and Roger McDowell, who stepped down in June 2015, have joined the board as non-executives. Augean continues to have problems with the HMRC regarding its landfill tax assessment and profit will be lower this year and in 2018. A further £1.7m is being cut from annual overheads.
Futura Medical (FUM) has received positive market research from fellow AIM company Cello (CLL) for its MED2002 gel for erectile dysfunction. More than three-fifths of physicians canvassed in the US thought that MED2002 was better than existing treatments. The equivalent figures in Germany and France were 60% and 54% respectively.
Concepta (CPT) has signed up two distributors in China for its MyLotus fertility product. This takes the number of distributors to three and more will be signed up in the coming months. The product is being evaluated for use after a woman has got pregnant.
Sunrise Resources (SRES) has discovered a new deposit at the CS Pozzolan-Perlite project in Nevada. There have also been positive drilling results in the existing deposit areas.
Omega Diagnostics Group (ODX) has signed a three year agreement to supply food intolerance product FoodPrint to a US laboratory testing services provider.
Thor Mining (THR) is moving to a phase of progressing the commercialisation of its exploration interests. There has been a resource upgraded at Pilot Mountain and there will soon be a resource estimate at Kapunda. The options for progressing with the development of the Pilot Mountain and Molyhil projects are being considered. A placing will raise £565,000 at 0.8p a share. There is a warrant with each share which enables the holder to subscribe for a new share at 1.2p.
Strategic Minerals (SML) has entered into a binding term sheet to acquire the owner of the Leigh Creek copper mine project, which is the northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia. It will cost A$1.8m to restart production at the mine. Strategic has to inject A$1m into the holding company, pay A$250,000 in cash and A$750,000 in shares to the current owner and agree a royalty agreement with them which will be capped at A$3.65m. The Cobre magnetite ore operation in New Mexico had a record quarter to September 2017. Revenues were $2.04m, which was more than the first six months of 2017 and for 2016 as a whole. Annual sales should exceed $5m and this provides cash flow for other projects. Strategic had $1.63m in the bank at the end of September 2017. Shareholders have agreed to a new option programme for management.
Sportech (SPO) has put itself up for sale, although the strategic review continues. There have already been four preliminary proposals but no detailed discussions have commenced.
InnovaDerma (IDP) has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for some of its online advertising for Skinny Tan. Trading is in line with expectations.
Good Energy (GOOD) and Ecotricity have come to an agreement that means the latter has withdrawn its requisition of a general meeting. No details were released about the reasons behind the withdrawal.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is in talks to sell part of its 16.1% stake in AIM-quoted Bacanora Minerals (BCN) to a strategic investor group. Bacanora’s main interest is in the Sonora lithium project in Mexico.
Blockchain investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has formed a Gibraltar-based subsidiary called Terrastream Ltd, which plans to develop blockchain platform for a token-based alternative funding system. Gibraltar is expected to be the first jurisdiction to develop a regulatory framework for distributed ledger technology and the blockchain. A token sale will help to finance the development work. The initial focus is likely to be the resources sector.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has added additional ground to its licence in Australia. The new area will be called Palomino North.
All Star Minerals (ASMO) has extended the terms of the convertible loan note issued to Valiant Investments have been extended so it matures in May 2018. The annual interest charge is 20% and the conversion price is 0.1p a share. The maturity dates of other loan notes totalling £110,000 have been extended to January 2018. The interest rate and conversion price are the same. Shares have been issued to satisfy past liabilities on these loan notes.
Warehouse REIT has issued the AIM prospectus for its placing, offer for subscription and intermediaries offer to raise up to £150m. An existing portfolio of warehouse assets will be acquired for £108.9m, based on a 7% net initial yield, and there are other potential assets being assessed. A dividend of 5.5p a share is being targeted for the year to March 2019.
Utilitywise (UTW) has confirmed that trading last year was in line with expectations so pre-tax profit is likely to decline from £8.2m to £4.7m.
Palace Capital (PCA) has sold a Bristol property for £2.25m, which is its net asset value, following the loss of one of its tenants, Blafour Beatty. The property was acquired as part of a portfolio from Quintain in 2013.
Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI) is acquiring Applied Thermal Control, a manufacturer of chillers, coolers and heat exchangers, for up to £1.2m.
Management Resource Solutions (MRS) says that its chief executive Joe Clayton has left the company. He was appointed chief executive at the end of 2016. In the year to June 2017, MRS generated revenues of A$52.2m and the loss for the year will be higher than expected. Exceptional costs will also be higher than thought initially. MRS had cash of A$2m.
Gatemore Capital has increased its stake in DX (DX.) from 21.3% to 23.8% following the resumption of trading in the shares.
Redx Pharma (REDX) will be paying unsecured creditors in full. The process has begun but it will take some time. This brings the reintroduction of trading in the shares nearer.
Home improvements products provider entu (UK) (ENTU) is appointing an administrator because it has not agreed a refinancing with a potential financial backer. The trading businesses will be sold. Trading in the shares was suspended on 24 August. entu raised £32.8m when it joined AIM in October 2014.
Kin Group (KIN) has been unable to secure the funding it requires and an administrator has been appointed to the main subsidiary. Kin Group will not get anything from a sale of the subsidiary and it will become a shell. There will still be a requirement for a fundraising for the shell to be viable.
365 Agile (365) has left AIM because it has been unable to secure a reverse takeover. Potential acquisitions are still being assessed.
Mercantile Ports and Logistics Ltd (MPL) has signed up the first customer for its Mumbai port facility. This should generate £4.7m for each one million tonnes handled, with the payment raised by 7% a year. Two million tonnes of cargo have been contracted for the first year, with a guaranteed minimum of 750,000 tonnes, and the figure will rise for each of the next two years reaching three million tonnes in the third year, with a minimum of two million tonnes. Operations should commence in December. The share price rose by two-thirds to 8.13p.
Sula Iron & Gold (SULA) has raised £900,000 at 0.146p a share but £500,000 of this figure will be part of an equity sharing agreement. Sula is gambling that it will receive £500,000 or more as part of the equity sharing agreement and this will paid on a monthly basis until September 2018. The benchmark price is 0.161p a share so each month the share price has to be at least that level for Sula to at least receive that amount owed. The board members have agreed to halve their salaries.
Verditek (VDTK) has secured a deal that will mean that 51%-owned Greenflex Energy will provide its solar technology to power digital advertising boards in bus shelters in Italy. This is a trial contract won via competitive tender and starting with one bus shelter and then rolling out to a further 20. The customer is Media One, which operates more than 5,000 digital advertising boards.
Finsbury Food (FIF) is closing the loss-making pastry products maker Grain D’Or,which has failed to improve despite cost controls. Grain D’Or was acquired as part of the £56m Fletchers acquisition in 2014 and last year generated revenues of £28.5m.
Church & Dwight has terminated its CSD500 condom licensing deal with Futura Medical (FUM) after just over four years. The licence covered North America and part of Europe. The rights will be returned to Futura by November. New partners will be sought.
Green & Smart Holdings (GSH) says that biogas project development is on track and the company could pay a maiden dividend for the 2017-18 financial year.
Investment in the business has held back first half progress at packaging manufacturer Robinson (RBN) and underlying pre-tax profit fell from £580,000 to £364,000. It was also difficult to pass on plastic resin cost increases. Full year profit is forecast to fall from £2.2m to £1.2m.
Bushveld Minerals Ltd (BMN) has retired its $3m prepayment facility, which was used to buy part of its 78.8% stake in Strategic Minerals Corporation, with Wogen Resources. Vametco Alloys has increased its facility from $6m to $11m. Vametco’s Nitrovan vanadium will be marketed by Wogen around the world outside of Japan and Taiwan.
Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) is acquire drain services provider Grease Management for up to £1.11m. Annual revenues are £1.28m and three-quarters are recurring. Post-acquisition cost savings of around £100,000 could nearly double the profit contribution.
Cancer drug developer Sareum (SAR) says that its full year profit will be better than expected. The cash pile will also be higher than forecast.
Sphere Medical Holdings (SPHR) is ditching its AIM quotation as part of a funding deal with Woodford Investment Management and the Wales Life Sciences Investment Fund, which will invest £5m in convertible preferred shares. Other investors will invest up to £3m. The convertibles will be issued at 2.82p each and can be swapped for one ordinary share. Sphere will be re-registered as a private limited company, which makes it possible for Woodford to invest more.
Nanoco Group (NANO) is attracting interest in its cadmium-free quantum dots following the EU’s plans to ban cadmium in displays from October 2019. However, revenues are slower in coming through than hoped.
Photovoltaic silicon wafers supplier PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) still had net cash of €27.9m at the end of June 2017. Running down inventories has offset the loss of €5.4m. A decision should be made by the arbitration tribunal concerning a customer that did not purchase the wafers it was contracted to buy by the end of September.
Packaging company Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its revenues from £81.5m to £89.8m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £2m to £2.54m with the improvement coming from the distribution business. Net debt was £14.6m at the end of June 2017, while the pension fund deficit was cut from £14.5m to £13.4m. The interim dividend was increased from 0.55p a share to 0.6p a share.
Following the ending of bid talks for Quarto (QRT), Liontrust has cut its stake from 12.65% to 7.54%. Cavendish Asset Management has taken its stake to 5.18%, while two directors have also made small purchases.
Shares in standard list hostels operator Myanmar Strategic (SHWE) started trading on 22 August. The placing price was $10 and the shares are trading at $9.5m – a bid/offer price of $7/$12.
Standard list shell Boston International (BIH) is in talks to acquire Cornhill FX Holdings. This is part of the strategy to acquire operations in the foreign exchange sector. Legal and financial due diligence is being undertaken. Cornhill Capital is Boston’s broker.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has sold its remaining stake in nanopayments software and blockchain company SatoshiPay to AIM-quoted Blue Star Capital (BLU) for €725,000 (£650,000), which has been raised through a placing at 0.2p a share. Blue Star Capital owns 31.1% of SatoshiPay. Blue Star Capital has granted Coinsilium 85 million warrants, of which 42.5 million are exercisable at 0.6p and 42.5 million at 0.8p. Coinsilium has made a gain of 362.6% on its initial SatoshiPay investment in less than two years, even before any longer-term upside from the warrants.
Via Developments (VIA1) has secured an exclusivity agreement to acquire land in Luton, Bedfordshire for £8.25m. The residential development site has planning permission for 200 apartments. A non-refundable deposit of £50,000 has been paid.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested £400,000 in Employee Owners Group Ltd, whose main business is timber frame buildings supplier Carpenter Oak, in return for a 30% stake. The cash will be used to grow the business which currently supplies around 90 frames a year.
First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £700,000 at 11p a share and made three investments, including £35,000 at 7p a share in fellow NEX-quoted company Milamber Ventures (MLVP). The two firms are already working on an investor event at the Century Club, Shaftesbury Avenue in London on 11 July. First Sentinel plans to sell the Milamber shares in the market. First Sentinel has also invested $300,000 in a 13%, one year loan note for Red Rock Resources (RRR) with two year warrants exercisable at 2.2p a share, compared with a market price of 0.75p. The third investment is in newly floated AIM copper mining company Phoenix Global Mining (PGM), where First Sentinel invested £81,000 at the placing price of 4p a share.
Premier Technical Services Group (PTSG) is acquiring Brooke Edge Industrial Chimneys Ltd for an initial £14m, plus £1m in acquisition costs, and the building services provider has raised £15m in a placing at 120p a share. There is deferred consideration of £6m payable in three yearly instalments, which fits with the owners staying on with the business for at least three years. The acquisition made a profit of £2.1m on revenues of £10.6m last year. This consolidates Premier’s position in lightning protection services, while specialist earthing and surge protection will be added to the group’s range of services. Although the acquired business has similar margins to Premier, it has lower margins than the same businesses already owned by Premier. This means that continued growth in revenues could be complemented by improvements in margins providing even faster profit growth. According to Numis, he acquisition will enhance earnings per share by 5% to 8.7p in 2017 and 12% to 9.2p in 2018.
Blur Group (BLUR) has managed to raise £1.7m at 1.75p a share in an oversubscribed placing that more than trebles the number of shares in issue. There is one warrant for every four shares with an exercise price of 3.5p. Robert Keith has increased his stake to 25% following the placing. The need for the cash is reflected in the low issue price, which is more than 40% below the all time low market price.
Superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) joined AIM on 5 July and the share price has already risen from 100p to 120p. GYG raised £6.9m before expenses.
Thor Mining (THR) will start a drill programme for the Pilot Mountain tungsten project in August. Thor expects the results in the near future from a 50 hole drilling programme on the Dundas gold project in Western Australia. Further opportunities are being assessed.
Portmeirion Group (PMP) says that its sales were 16% higher in the first half of 2017 but excluding home fragrance products manufacturer Wax Lyrical, which was acquired in May 2016, the sales are 3% higher due to a boost from sterling weakness. Churchill China (CHH) continues to grow it exports and this has been helped by weaker sterling comparatives in the first half of 2017.
Walker Greenbank (WGB) has received its final insurance payment of £2.4m relating to the flood of its fabric printing factory at the end of 2015. This takes the total payment to £19.3m.
Home improvement products supplier entu (UK) (ENTU) is undertaking a strategic review. There are already plans to cut costs and improve efficiency but entu needs to secure long-term financing to improve the balance sheet. There could also be disposals of businesses.
Sula Iron & Gold (SULA) has completed six holes of the phase 3 drilling at Sanama Hill at the Ferensola gold project in Sierra Leone. So far, 2,000 metres out of a total of 5,000 metres of drilling has been completed. Part of the drilling will include further exploration of the new southern target. The assay results will be available at the end of July.
Veltyco Group (VLTY) says that first half trading is significantly ahead of market expectations. This is not the first time that Veltyco has beaten expectations and even before this the full year pre-tax profit was expected to jump from €1.74m to €4.62m.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) expects to make a first half loss. Senior management has taken a 20% pay cut. There is still $5.8m in the bank.
Safestay (SSTY) has acquired second hostel in Barcelona for €2m. Safestay has eleven hostels and acquisitions have gathered pace following a £12.6m sale and leaseback deal.
Share trading will commence on 12 July in standard list shell Rockpool Acquisitions, which is seeking to acquire a Northern Ireland-based company. Rockpool is raising £1.085m at 10p a share, having previously issued 1.875 million shares at 8p each.
RockRose Energy (RRE) has raised £8m at 150p a share and it continues to progress the acquisition of oil and gas assets.
Gresham Technologies (GHT) says that revenues will be 26% higher in the first half of 2017. Eight new Clareti Transaction Control software clients have been signed up in the first half. Net cash is £7.7m.
Quarto Group Inc (QRT) has sold its New Zealand business, which was the last non-publishing business owned by the group. Quarto will receive $600,000 over two years plus 50% of debtor receipts for the next year. Quarto is also entitled to 15% of pre-interest profit for three years.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has raised £1.4m via a placing and subscription at 190p a share – the same as the current bid price – and the cash will be invested in sales and marketing and further cyber security product development. There was £668,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016. Chief executive Thomas Ilube subscribed for 132,103 shares but his holding has been diluted from 52.6% to 44.4%.
Brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) made a small loss in the six months to September 2016 due to the impact of a loss on interest rate swaps of £5.7m due to the fall in sterling but the underlying business is still highly profitable. A 5% increase in revenues to £44m led to an improvement in operating profit from continuing operations from £7m to £7.4m. Investment in hotels and bars has offset the effect of the national living wage. However, the loss on interest rate swaps meant that a previous interim profit of £5.7m was turned into a loss of £300,000. An unchanged interim dividend of 1.1p a share was announced. Net debt was £34.9m at the end of September 2016 and more capital investment is planned. There are ongoing plans to relocate the brewery and offices and this should be completed in 2018. Thwaites has been named as preferred partner to redevelop Dee House, a grade II listed Georgian building, in Chester.
AIM cash shell Tengri Resources (TEN) has joined the ISDX Growth Market. The AIM quotation will be retained and it is seeking a technology acquisition. Tengri has paid Robust Resources $200,000 in cash, 4.3 million shares and sold Robust its shareholding in gold explorer Prospech in return for the relinquishment of a loan of $1.02m. Tengri has raised £650,000 from an issue of convertible loan stock – which would be equivalent to 65.5% of Tengri if converted – having previously raised £100,000 from a share issue at 5p a share. A general meeting is planned to reorganise the company’s capital and change the name of the company to Forbes Ventures – the ticker will be changed to FOR. The share price was 1p prior to joining ISDX and it ended the week at 2p (1.5p/2.5p).
Ganapati (GANP), the developer of apps for social media and games, has clarified the bonds it has issued to Japanese investors. They are three-year bonds, not two-year bonds as previously stated, with an option to renew for a further year. EveryMatrix Ltd is in talks with Ganapati’s Malta business to obtain an online casino licence but this will be dependent on Ganapati being granted a licence from the British Gambling Commission and a class 4 licence from the Malta Gaming Authority.
The Italian agent of Tracksure has subscribed for up to 4.55 million shares in Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) in lieu of its commission on sales up until the end of August 2017. There will be an initial issue of 562,400 shares in lieu of commission of £5,624. Daniel Stewart has taken its fee for the previous fundraising by the company in the form of 500,000 shares at 1p each and 3.52 million warrants to subscribe for shares at 1p each.
FT8 (GFT) continues to assess potential fintech investments and decisions will be made on specific investments before the end of the year. A lack of financial resources remains a constraint. There was less than £3,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016. Opportunities have also been sought in the US that are in a similar sector to Homeland Health Care, where an FT8 investment provides technology for the employee benefits operations.
Hellenic Capital (HECP) has adopted a new pronged investment policy – UK property and African natural resources investments – but it is not changing its name to City and Commercial Investments. Hellenic will wait until it has made investments before deciding on a new name.
Investors have subscribed for just over 50% of the shares in the one-for-three open offer by St Mark Homes (SMAP). This has raised £694,000 at 105p a share.
Greenbrook Industries has increases its stake in Sandal (SAND) to 29.6%. The shares were transferred to Greenbrook as part of loan agreements with Robin Fuller and Kingswood Asset Management.
Kuala Lumpur Kepong has increased its bid for MP Evans (MPE) from 640p a share to 740p a share, which values the oil palm plantations operator at £415.4m. The bid will be declared unconditional if acceptances reach 50%. The bid has been rejected by MP Evans. This offer cannot be increased unless there is a rival bidder or the target recommends an increased offer. There is scope for a rival bidder.
Transport-related software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) promised that the second half of its financial year would produce the vast majority of profit and it has delivered. In the year to July 2016, the underlying pre-tax profit improved from £5.6m to £6.7m. There is net cash of £10.7m with potential deferred consideration of £6.15m. The rail technology and services division grew organically and thanks to a contribution from software company Ontrac. The remote control monitoring equipment business generated lower revenues but this year it will benefit from a US contract. Traffic & data services benefited from a contribution from traffic planning services provider SEP in a stronger part of its financial year – the first half included a partial contribution during the off-season. Earnings per share were slightly flattered by a lower tax rate. This holds back potential earnings growth this year to around 9% even though pre-tax profit is forecast to improve to £8m helped by a full contribution from SEP.
Student accommodation developer and manager Watkin Jones (WJG) says that 2015-16 trading was in line with expectations. At the end of September 2016, there was a development pipeline of 21 developments with 6,814 beds. These should be delivered in 2017 and 2018. Management business Fresh Student Living has 12,337 beds under management. The full year figures will be published on 18 January.
Totally (TLY) has acquired sports physiotherapy provider Optimum Sports Performance Centre for an initial £400,000. This is an earnings enhancing deal. There are additional deferred payments of 100% of 2016 EBITDA and 75% of 2017 EBITDA. The total maximum payment is £650,000.
Immobile (IMO) reported a 22% increase in pre-tax profit to £3.3m in the six months to 2016 and the cash pile has reached £17.9m. Immobile provides services to enable mobile and digital commerce. Organic growth was 14% with particularly strong growth in India. Recurring revenues were 94% of the total revenues. The launch of IMIchat provides a further service that can be sold to the customer base. Immobile has won its first US mobile operator client and has yet to see the benefits of this. Kestrel Partners has taken its stake above 5%.
RedstoneConnect (REDS) has paid £2.4m for Commensus, which provides managed IT support services, and this should be earnings enhancing. The deal enables RedstoneConnect to offer cloud-hosting services and provides opportunities for cross-selling.
Sula Iron & Gold (SULA) has launched a placing and open offer to raise up to £1.47m at 0.21p a share. This will help to finance the development of the Ferensola gold project in Sierra Leone. Early next year there will be additional drilling in order to demonstrate the scale of the project.
FIH Group (FIH), formerly Falkland Island Holdings, has achieved 60% of this year’s forecast profit in the first half of the financial year. Normally there is a fairly even split. WH Ireland has maintained its full year profit forecast at £1.85m because the outcome will be dependent on how quickly art logistics services provider Momart fills its additional capacity. Net cash was £4.3m at the end of September 2016. The current share price of 218.5p is similar to NAV, excluding intangibles.
Fire and emergency services resource manager AssetCo (ASTO) has still to renew its main contract in Abu Dhabi. The renewal for the contract was due on 17 November and it is still being renegotiated so the contract will continue on existing terms until the new one is finalised. That should be before the end of the year. Trading is in line with expectations and it appears that the contract will be renewed. The £42m claim against former auditor Grant Thornton is still being pursued.
Tanzania-focused Edenville Energy (EDL) says that results of bulk sampling at the Mkomolo and Namwele deposits indicate that the coal is suitable to feed a power plant and requires little or no washing.
Avation (AVAP) says that its dividends will be based in US dollars from now on. Management believes that it will receive proposals for the disposal of 22 ATR turboprop aircraft before the end of 2016. Avation is seeking a price that is well in excess of NAV and the deal will require shareholder approval. That could lead to a special dividend with part of the proceeds invested in further aircraft.
Marketing services firm Creston (CRE) has recommended a 125p a share bid from value investor DBAY Advisors Ltd, which values the target at £75.8m. Shareholders will also keep the 1.42p a share interim dividend. DBAY has been a Creston shareholder for more than two years.