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Quoted Micro 14 February 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) has repelled the latest attempt by major shareholder Ecotricity to influence decisions. It wanted to remove the chairman and stop the sale of generation assets without shareholder approval. Both resolutions were defeated.

Dominique Einhorn has resigned as chief executive of ChallengerX (CXS) following his arrest in France for tax and other offences. ChallengerX joined Aquis in December after it acquired SportsX, which provides marketing services to rugby and football clubs. Sarlat Rugby, which is 100%-owned by Dominique Einhorn, is one of the first clients. The share price was unchanged at 2.4p (2.2p/2.6p).

Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) increased revenues from £2.23m to £2.79m in the year to October 2021 and that enabled it to move from a loss of £174,000 to £457,000. This was helped by government assistance. Trading is still not back to pre-pandemic levels. There is £1.33m in the bank.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had net assets of 455.66p a share at the end of January 2022. There was £27.6m of available funds at the end of January. Directors and managing partners bought shares, but more were sold by others.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has completed the purchase of a 20% stake in the Amapa iron ore project.

Gowin New Energy (GWIN) is considering trading in agarwood products, including incense and oils in Taiwan. A trial is being launched ahead of the Quingming festival.

Quantum Exponential (QBIT) investee company Arqit Quantum has signed a research and development agreement with the United States Air Force. This could lead to a quantum encryption service for the Department of Defense.

SulNOx (SNOX) plans to gain an OTC quotation in the US so that Americans can invest.

SuperSeed Capital Ltd (WWW) managing director Mads Jensen has bought 3,000 shares at an average price of 83.9p. SuperSeed raised £2m at 100p a share at the end of January. The share price ended the first week at 70p (65p/75p) and it remained at that quoted price last week with limited trading volumes.

Samarkand (SMK) non-exec Phil Smiley acquired 28,777 shares at 139p a share. Daniel Thwaites (THW) director RAJ Bailey bought 15,000 shares at 102.25p a share. Chris Akers has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 17.2% to 18.3%.

Alfred Henry has resigned as corporate adviser to Lombard Capital (LCAP).

AIM

Building products supplier Alumasc (ALU) reported that interim pre-tax profit fell 12% to £5.1m on revenues 2% ahead at £46.3m. The profit fell because shading business Levolux fell back into a loss of £1m. Roofing did well but the Levolux business held that division back. The water management division sales were nearly one-fifth higher, and profit improved. Housebuilding product sales increased but margins fell. However, the second half should be stronger.

Self-storage sites operator Lok’nStore (LOK) says that first half trading was strong. Interim revenues are one-third higher, helped by higher occupancy and prices.

Orchard Funding Group (ORCH) has launched a bond offer and it is guaranteeing 10% of face value of outstanding bonds. The Orchard Bond Finance bond offers an annual interest rate of 6.25% payable twice a year. The repayment date is 2027. The cash from the bonds will help to finance growth. The offer is open until 23 February. The offer is available through PriamryBid and intermediaries, such as Interactive Investor and AJ Bell. The minimum subscription is £2,000. The bonds will be issued on 2 March and trade on the Official List.

Sustainable investments company i(x) Net Zero (IX.) raised £10.7m at 76p a share. The share price ended the week at 77p, which is a premium to pro forma net assets.

ASX-listed Artemis Resources (ARV) joined AIM and raised £5m at 3.75p a share on 7 February. It owns 100% of the Greater Carlow gold copper cobalt project and the Paterson Central gold copper exploration project in Western Australia. Exploration commenced at Paterson Central in November 2021, and it is expected to resume in March. The Paterson Central project is adjacent to the Havieron project that is being developed by Newcrest Mining and Greatland Gold (GGP). Greater Carlow has a JORC complied mineral resources estimate for its Carlow Castle deposit of 14.3Mt @ 0.7g/t gold, 0.4% copper and 0.05% cobalt. An update is expected by the summer. The share price ended the week at 3.875p.

Filtronic (FTC) grew ongoing interim revenues by 12% to £8m and the telecoms components manufacturer moved back into profit. The full year pre-tax profit forecast is being maintained at £1m even though revenues have been edged up to £18m because the improvement is from lower margin products. Defence spending is boosting demand.

Omega Diagnostics (ODX) is raising £5m and could raise a further £2m from an open offer. It is also selling its manufacturing facility in Alva for £1m after it failed to win a Covid diagnostics contract. Even so, Omega is expected to continue to lose money. The CD4 diagnostics operations will be transferred to the Ely site and sales are building up, Health and nutrition business continues to grow.

Kitwave (KITW) has acquired West Country-based MJ Baker, which distributes ambient, chilled and frozen food. This is the first acquisition since flotation and Kitwave is paying £24.5m in cash. This deal includes own branded Bakers Best Buy products and should be earnings enhancing.

Recent new admission Facilities by ADF (ADF) has already sparked a forecast upgrade from a trading statement. The film and TV hire services provider is expected to make earnings of 4.5p a share for 2021.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) continues to generate increasing revenues from crude palm oil, but it is taking longer than expected for cashew revenues to grow. January was a record month for production and extraction rates improved, while prices rising. The cashew plant is using 15% of capacity and waiting for additional components.

Mergers and tax adviser K3 Capital (K3C) increased interim revenues from £17.6m to £31.2m providing a significant boost to profitability. The interim dividend is 4p a share. K3 is on course for a full year pre-tax profit of £17.7m, up from £13.6m, providing the ability to potentially pay a total dividend of 12.1p a share.

MAIN MARKET

S and U (SUS) is paying a second interim dividend of 36p a share. Group debt is £114m out of possible facilities of £180m. There was a reduced level of bad debts in the year to January 2022 and pre-tax profit will be more than double last year’s £17.2m. Advantage has started to finance electric vehicles. Net loan advances are £140m. Property bridging has a loan book of £64m.

Anglesey Mining (AYM) plans to move to AIM. A general meeting will be held on 8 March to gain shareholder approval.

Sure Ventures (SURE) has net assets of 118.34p a share.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 14 June 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Clarify Pharma (PSYC) joined the Access segment on 11 June and raised £1.96m at 2.5p a share. Prior to flotation, Clarify Pharma raised £100,000 at 0.1p a share and £1.19m at 1p a share. Pro forma NAV, after flotation expenses, is £2.97m. That is equivalent to 1p a share. Management includes Michael Edwards and Jonathan Bixby from NFT Investments (NFT) and other recent Aquis new admissions. Clarify Pharma will focus on investing in psychedelic medicine businesses and products in the UK and Canada. The share price ended the day at 2.875p (2.75p/3p).

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is changing its Igraine (KING) and DiscovOre (ORE) is subscribing £2m at 2.5807p a share (post consolidation) for a 24.6% stake. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi is a director of both companies. Angelfish will become a biotech and medtech investor and it will have co-investment rights with Excalibur Healthcare Services, which is run by Professor Sir Chris Evans. He will also become an Angelfish director. Angelfish will take a 2% stake in Excalibur Medicines Ltd, which has the rights to a potential drug for diabetics suffering from Covid-19. Angelfish will pay £600,000 in cash plus issue £500,000 of deferred shares at 5p each, which could be converted into ordinary shares is the trial of the potential Covid-19 treatment is successful. Every 1,000 existing shares will be consolidated into one new share.

Ananda Developments (ANA) plans to acquire 100% of cannabis grower DJT Plants Ltd. Ananda already owns 50% and it will issue 790.5 million shares, equivalent to £7.3m, to Anglia Salads for the other 50%. Stuart Piccaver will become joint chief executive of Ananda.

KR1 (KR1) has invested the equivalent of $4.45m in KSM tokens in Shiden Network, a smart contract platform on Kusama. Once the parachain auction is completed the KSM will be returned and KR1 will receive Shiden tokens. KR1 made a similar investment in the Karura crowdloan.

Rural Broadband (RBBS) has 2,571 monthly fee-paying clients for its broadband services. Annual run rate revenues are £820,000.

Veni Vidi Vici (VVV) had £272,000 in cash and NAV of £359,000 at the end of 2020. The company has since raised £220,000 at 50p a share. This will help finance the A$300,000 that the company has to spend over the next three years on the 51% owned Shangri La gold, copper and silver project.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) raised £100,000 at 1.675p a share.

Virgata Services has extended its bid for Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) until 21 June. Acceptances currently total 9.3% of the share capital.

UK SPAC (SPC) has withdrawn its application for a move from AIM to Aquis.

AIM

NWF (NWF) is trading ahead of expectations and net debt will be lower than anticipated at the end of May 2021. The fuels division has a strong year thanks to the cold winter. The food distribution business improved its trading, but the unstable patterns of demand are hampering profit. Feed margins were under pressure.

AB Traction has increased its stake in construction dispute and property services provider Driver Group (DRV) from 17.32% to 18.27%. That was after Driver reported a 11% decline in revenues to £25m, while underlying pre-tax profit fell from £1.3m to £1m. The comparatives were tough, but gross margins were maintained at 25.6%. Europe and the Americas performed strongly, but the other regions lost money. Net cash was £7.2m at the end of March 2021. A full year pre-tax profit of £2m, down from £2.5m, is forecast.

Cambria Automotive (CAMB) is recommending an 80p a share cash bid, which values the motor dealer at £80m.

Mind Gym (MIND) is increasing its development spending on digital assets, but the benefits are yet to show through. Even so, the learning and development services company returned to profit in the second half. Revenues began growing again in the fourth quarter. In the year to March 2021, revenues were 18% lower at £39.4m, while underlying pre-tax profit slumped from £6.6m to £300,000. Even so, there was £5.9m of cash generated from operations. This level of cash generation will not be repeated, but advance payments mean that cash generation is impressive. There is £16.8m in the bank, after spending £2.8m on new digital products. Two of these products will launch later this year. The first quarter is well ahead of the same period last year.

Drug discovery company Redx Pharma (REDX) plans to move its main cancer treatment, RXC004, into phase 2 studies later this year after the phase 1 safety study is completed. This treatment is designed to prevent tumour growth. The main focus is colorectal, pancreatic and biliary cancer. Lung fibrosis treatment RXC007, the ROCK2 selective inhibitor, has started clinical trials. Redx still had £39.9m at the end of March 2021 and this cash should last until the end of 2022.

MAIN MARKET

JLEN Environmental Assets Group Ltd (JLEN) started investing in battery storage projects in the year to March 2021. JLEN generated £39.5m in cash from operations, up from £36.2m the year before. The proposed increase in UK corporation tax from 19% to 25% has reduced the NAV by around £20m due to its effect on deferred tax provisions. NAV was cut from 97.5p a share to 92.2p a share. The total dividend was 6.76p a share in 2020-21.

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) lost £49,000 in the six months to March 2021. NAV is £1.06m, including £383,000 in cash.

Sure Ventures (SURE) has raised £662,500 at 100p a share. The NAV was 92.06p a share at the end of March 2021.

Cellular Goods (CBX) has secured a supply agreement with Willow Biosciences, which will supply ultra-pure, biosynthetically-produced cannabigerol for use in the company’s cannabinoid-based skin care products.

Aircraft leasing firm Avation (AVAP) generated revenues of $91m in the nine months to March 2021. Key customers are starting to run more flights.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 3 August 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that it is confident that it has the resources to trade through the current economic difficulties. Significant losses are expected this year and into next year. There was £1.27m in the bank at the end of 2019. Net assets were £50.9m. Newbury increased revenues by 3% to £19.8m in 2019, while underlying pre-tax profit fell by two-thirds to £490,000.

Blockchain technology and tokens investor KR1 (KR1) reported realised gains of £694,000 in 2019, while staking yields and advisory fees generated £422.000 in income. There was also a net unrealised gain on all investments of nearly £1m. Reported pre-tax profit was £1.36m, compared with a large loss the previous year because of a significant unrealised loss. NAV was £7.47m at the end of 2019.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) is raising a further £447,500 at 7p a share. This also helps to extend the shareholder register. The cash will finance the reopening of the Beaconsfield gold mine.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that the capex on the Yangibana rare earths project, where Cadence has a 30% interest, will be reduced by A$68m (13% of the total) due to the relocation of the processing plant.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has secured a contract to produce 10,000 tonnes of ilmenite pellets from tailings sludge. This will increase the effectiveness of the ilmenite and get rid of the sludge. This indicates that there is a broader market for the pelleting technology than just coal.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) is restructuring its investment in Financial Innovations Team because of a disappointing performance. The investment will be unwound, and the funds invested should be recovered. The stake has been returned to the vendors and a vendor loan has been cancelled and Eight Capital bonds returned. That totals €750,000 out of the aggregate consideration of €1.2m, with a further €100,000 to come. A £1 payment has secured an option to take a 60% stake Innovative Finance.

Incanthera (INC) has filed a new patent for its Sol skin cancer technology. This should extend the life of the Sol patents to 2041.

European Lithium Ltd (EUR) has received the A$1m balance of the $10m finance facility with Winance Investment.

AIM

Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) traded strongly in June following a tough three months. There was limited impact on the figures for the year to March 2020 with revenues of £621.5m and like-for-like growth of 0.4%. Higher interest charges held back pre-tax profit to £50.7m. Net debt was £365.9m, with most debt in the form of quoted bonds. There is £174.7m of cash in the balance sheet. This could be used to finance further acquisitions. Pre-tax profit is forecast to decline to £27m this year before improving to £54m next year. The outcomes will depend on the strength and consistency of the recovery.

Peter Gyllenhammar continues to build up his stake in Brand Architekts (BAR) and it has reached 6.1%. He owned less than 3% just over a fortnight ago. This follows the reduction in the stake held by Gresham House Strategic (GHS) to below 3%.

Fortiana Holdings has launched a recommended 300p a share bid for Highland Gold Mining (HGM) and that values the gold miner at £1.09bn. The Highland share price has not hit 300p since 2006.

At the end of March 2020, the NAV of Wynnstay Properties (WSP) was 792p a share. In the first quarter, 100% of rents were received.

Harwood Capital is offering 37.5p a share for property manager HML Holdings (HMLH) and this valued it at £19m.

Goldplat (GDP) says its gold recovery processing operations in South Africa and Ghana have increased profitability in the year to June 2020. South Africa more than doubled its profit contribution and Ghana moved from loss to profit. The higher gold price has offset shutdown periods. here was £3.2m in the bank at the end of June 2020. The loss-making Kilmapesa mine is being sold for an initial payment of $1.5m plus up to $1.5m via a 1% net smelter royalty. An unnamed UK listed company plans to make the acquisition if it raises at least $4m and gains shareholder approval.

Gemfields (GEM) reduced cash operating spending to below $5m in June and that left net cash of $9.3m. There is uncertainty about whether gemstone auctions will be held. If not, more cash is likely to be needed

Coro Energy (CORO) is not going ahead with the disposal of its Italian oil and gas assets Zenith Energy (ZEN) because regulatory approval has not been received.

Shareholders of cash shell Safe Harbour Holdings (SHH) have voted to wind up the company, although one-fifth of the votes were against the resolution. A 74p a share distribution will be made by the end of September and a final distribution is planned by next July.

MAIN MARKET

Tex Holdings (TXH) says it needs additional working capital and is talking to its major shareholder. The plastics division is trading at 70% of expected levels, while engineering is having a difficult year, although orders improved in June. Other parts of the business are suffering delays in orders.

Books publisher Quarto (QRT) reported a slump in revenues from $56.4m to $46.9m, although the underlying loss dipped from $3.7m to $3.3m due to lower interest charges. Cash generated from operating activities was $8.38m. Pre-publication costs fell from $11.9m to $10.3m. Net debt was $36.6m at the end of June 2020.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) says that it believes that the UK review of regulatory requirements for cannabis-related companies is near completion. When this happens Spinnaker should be able to complete the acquisition of Kanabo Research.

A gain on a disposal of an investment by Sure Valley Ventures has helped Sure Ventures (SURE) to increase its NAV to 92.6p a share.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 20 April 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) increased its NAV by 54.6% to 317.18p a share in the year to January 2020. The main gains are from fully listed Luceco (LUCE), although the share price has fallen back since then, and Whittard of Chelsea. Whittard closed its 49 stores during March. The focus is conserving cash to find existing investments rather than new investments.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that DEV Mineraco, the owner of the Amapa iron ore project, has been given permission to ship iron ore from the company’s port in Brazil. The stockpile has 1.39Mt of iron ore and the cash generated will help to bring the mine back into production. Cadence owns 30% of Yangibana rare earth deposit, which has received environmental approval for mining.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) says it is taking longer than expected to conclude a deal to sell its diesel conditioner through a major UK fuel distributor. The plan is to undertake engine trials with major engine manufacturers. COVID-19 has led to delays in getting trials underway.

First Sentinel (FSEN) is raising £151,000 at 20p a share. This will provide additional working capital.

Gunsynd (GUN) is consolidating 85 existing shares into one new share.

Ganapati (GANP) has gained shareholder approval to leave AQSE by 15 May.

AIM

In changing times there is one thing that can be relied on and that is Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) putting out its trading statement after 4.30pm on a Friday. Never one to disappoint, Immunodiagnostic Holdings has done it again. Full year revenues were 2% ahead at £39.3m. Cash was maintained at £27.6m.

Nu-Oil and Gas (NUOG) is planning to acquire a Europe-based plastic recycling and processing business. The group would then become a consolidator under the current management. The deal has not been finalised and trading in the shares will be suspended until an acquisition document is published or the deal is called off.

Aquis Exchange (AQX) increased revenues by 73% to £6.9m and the loss was reduced to £800,000. There was £11m in the bank at the end of 2019. The market share of pan European trading increased from 3.8% to 4.62%. Market volumes have increased following the COVID-19 stockmarket concerns.

Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) is raising £500,000 at 55p a share. This will make sure there is enough cash to keep the business going even if there is an extended disruption to trading.

Parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) says activity has been reduced by one-third. Net debt was £8.9m at the end of March. Profitability has been delayed until 2020-21.

A circular has been posted by Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) for a general meeting on 13 May. The first resolution is for the removal of Matt Lofgran from the board and the other two resolutions provide the company with the ability to issue shares.

Bluejay Mining (BJAY) has signed a memo of understanding with a company that will take 50% of the production of the Dundas Ilmenite project.

Construction consultancy services provider Driver (DRV) was not impacted by COVID-19 in the first half and the recovery in pre-tax profit should be as expected. Business in April and May remains encouraging. Net cash is £3.3m. There will be no interim dividend.

Oil and gas producer Empyrean Energy (EME) has raised £411,000 at 3.5p a share and plans to launch an open offer to existing shareholders. It is not going ahead with a previously announced placing. The additional cash is required to pay Empyrean’s share of the costs of two wells drilled at the end of 2019. The 1C contingent resource estimate for the Mako gas field, where Empyrean has a 8.5% stake, has been increased by 76% to 323bcf. A production rate of 150 MMscf/day could be achieved.

Beeks Financial Cloud (BKS) has acquired network monitoring and trade analytics software provider Velocimetrics for an initial £1.3m. The maximum earnout payment is £4.55m. This adds real-time transaction tracking technology to Beeks’ software.

Cake Box (CBOX) was growing strongly before COVID-19 hit the cake retail chain. Store closures in the second half of March reduced annual like-for-like sales growth to 2%. Pre-tax profit will be in the range of £4.1m to £4.3m. There will not be a final dividend.

Circle Property (CRC) says its NAV has increased by 4.7% to 290p a share at the end of March 2020. The focus on office properties has helped. Loan to value is 40%. A maintained dividend has been indicated by the board.

Kodal Minerals (KOD) has been granted a further three-year term for two of the gold concessions in the Ivory Coast.

Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) has raised £5.2m at 10.5p a share to bolster its balance sheet ahead of the commencement of royalties from its AI software. The cash will finance further development. There was already net cash of £7.3m at the end of 2019, although some of this cash will already have been used.

Jubilee Metals (JML) has recommenced mining at the Inyoni Surface PGM and chrome project and the Windsor JV PGM project.

MAIN MARKET

Sure Ventures (SURE) says that 25.9%-owned investee fund Sure Valley Ventures has made a follow-on investment in Admix, which provides advertising services in video games. Sure has a 7.02% stake in Admix.

Engineering and construction services provider NMCN (NMCN) says that it continues to work on around two-thirds of its current projects. There will be no final dividend for 2019. Net cash was £25.8m at the end of 2019. A further trading update is planned for 23 April.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) says that production at the Gakara mine is increasing and 100 tonnes of concentrate has been exported since February.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 16 March 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) edged up its interim profit helped by a strong performance from tenanted pubs and lower interest charges. In the six months to end December 2019, revenues were 3% higher at £79m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved 5% to £6.2m. Cost pressures held back the performance of the managed pubs. There was a fall in profit contribution from brewing. Net debt was £84m at the end of 2019. The interim dividend was increased by 2% to 6p a share. Brewing volumes have increased since the period end and like-for-like pub revenues continue to grow, although the rate is slower for managed pubs. Coronavirus has not had an impact yet but it is likely to.

Altona Energy (ANR) is raising up to £400,000 through an open offer to existing shareholders at 6.5p a share. That is a one-third discount to the previous mid-price. The cash is required to acquire a new petroleum exploration licence application in South Australia and the maximum will provide 12 months working capital. This will enable assessment of an in-situ gasification project. There is also potential for wind and solar projects in the area. There was an overdraft of £96,000 at the end of June 2019. The latest time for acceptance is 31 March.

European Lithium (EUR) reported a dip in interim income in 2019 from $23,817 to $3,365, while the loss was flat at $2.3m. There was $32,000 in cash at the end of 2019. There are convertible notes valued at $1.1m, some of which have been subsequently converted, but more have been issued.

KR1 (KR1) has been hit by weak Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices, but it had already banked some of its profit. The value of the remaining portfolio has dropped sharply. There will be an update shortly.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has requested a subscription of £9.64m at 176p a share under the Woodford Commitment at the time of the company’s flotation. LF Equity Income Fund, formerly LF Woodford Equity Income Fund, will own 28.8% of the proton beam therapy company. This is the final subscription under the agreement.

Former investment banker Dr Keith Harris has been appointed as executive chairman of SAPO (SAPO) and Selwyn Lewis is joining the board as an executive director.

Fuel emulsification company SulNOx Group (SNOX) has filed an international patent application for its technology. It has already filed for the patent in the UK. The technology can be used for many fuels but the focus is diesel and heavy fuel oil.

Cannabis investment company World High Life (LIFE) has raised £2.36m from two issued of convertible loan notes with a 10% coupon. The conversion price is 100p a share.

Trading in First Sentinel 7% bonds, February 2023, First Sentinel preference shares and EPE Special Opportunities 7.5% unsecured loan stock, 2022 has been suspended because of the market maker temporarily withdrawing from market making activities.

AIM

OnTheMarket (OTMP) has ended its litigation with Connells and its subsidiary Gascoigne Halman. The property portal had already won a judgement in a Competition Appeal Tribunal and it was seeking the recovery of further damages. Earlier in the week, Ian Springett was dismissed as chief executive of OnTheMarket. He has a 12 month contract and earns £250,000 a year.

Geospatial software provider IQGeo (IQG) reported an increased loss last year, but that masks the progress made. Third party revenues declined. In 2019, total revenues fell from £9.98m to £7.81m, however, own product revenues increased from £4.74m to £5.55m, while recurring revenues contributed £1.63m, up from £918,000. More people were employed in sales and product development and operating expenses jumped from £6m to £9.5m. That is why the loss increased from £1.6m to £6.17m. There was still £13m left in the bank at the end of 2019, following £11m spent on buying back shares.

Mass spectrometry instruments developer Microsaic Systems (MSYS) continues to add to its partners. Last year, revenues rose 51% to £870,000 with the benefit of the newer agreements still to come. Higher development spending meant that the loss edged up to £3.1m. There was £2.62m in the bank at the end of 2019 and management admits it is assessing its options in terms of raising more cash.

Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) had a stronger second half, following the profit warning in the first half due to bad weather. The outcome in 2019 was slightly better than the previously downgraded expectations. Even so, revenues fell 5% to $89.3m and pre-tax profit was down by a similar percentage. The dividend was reduced by 1% to 18.75 cents a share. The additional dividend relating to excess cash (net cash was $23.8m) is 7.7 cents a share. Increased costs mean that there could be a further decline in profit this year.

Mark Greenwood has further increased his stake in Richland Resources (RLD) by buying the market and acquiring shares in a placing at 0.12p a share, which raised £100,000 for the company. Greenwood’s stake is 18.5%. The share price is one of the few AIM risers this month.

The Panoply Holdings (TPX) has acquired consultancy Ameo Professional Services, which generates 9-% of its revenues from the public sector. Ameo made a pre-tax profit of £1m last year and is being acquired for £7m in cash and shares, plus the distribution of £1.3m in excess cash.

Molecular diagnostics developer Yourgene Health (YGEN) is acquiring its French distributor and this will be immediately earnings enhancing. Yourgene will still make a loss in 2020, but the following year earnings per share will improve from 0.18p to 0.23p.

Open Orphan (ORPH) has reported positive results for the phase IIb field study of FLU-v vaccine, which has been developed by a 49%-owned joint venture. The results have been published in a journal. IP Group has cut its stake to below 3%.

Redx Pharma (REDX) says it has received a bid approach from Yesod Bio-Sciences, which is considering offering 15p a share. Redmile Group is making a mandatory offer of 15.5p a share, following its purchase of the 39.5% stake owned by Moulton Goodies, which obtained most of its shares at 5.25p each when it capitalised its £2.5m loan. Redmile owns 45.5% of Redx, which is valued at £29.5m. The board recommends the bid.

Brickability (BRCK) has made its second acquisition in one month. It is paying £6m for plastic fascia and guttering merchant U Plastics, which made a pre-tax profit of £1.3m in 2019.

MAIN MARKET

Moss Bros (MOSB) has agreed a 22p a share bid that values the suit hire and retail company at £22.6m. The bid vehicle is owned by people involved in the apparel sector, including Michael Shina of Crew Clothing. The main executives will be retained.

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) has discovered accounting irregularities. The fraudulent transactions in one of the operating divisions mean that the 2019 figures will be delayed until late April. These transactions should not be significant for the group. Chief operating officer Cameron Wade has resigned.

Standard list shell Hertsford Capital (HERT) has agreed the acquisition of oil services provider OTAQ Group for £12.4m through an issue of shares at 57.5p each (post-consolidation). A placing will raise £1.5m at the same price. OTAQ designs and supports products for the aquaculture and offshore oil and gas sectors. The focus is on growing the aquaculture operations. The company will change its name to OTAQ and be readmitted on 31 March.

Sure Ventures (SURE) is raising £250,000 at 100p a share, which is a premium to NA of 95.74p a share. This followed news of an investment by 25.9%-owned Sure Valley Ventures in AI security company Getvisibility. The fund has invested €750,000. The cash will be used to expand the business internationally.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has spent more than one year trying to finalise the acquisition of cannabis processor Kanabo Research and a commitment to invest £1.4m has been secured. At the end of 2019, there was £597,000 left in the bank.

Dev Clever (DEV) is acquiring Phenix Digital, a digital agency focused on the educational sector. It is paying £100,000 in cash and 3.57 million shares. There is an existing relationship between the two companies.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 30 December 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has called for a further subscription by Woodford as laid out in the flotation prospectus. A further £15m has been raised at 176p a share. These shares go into the LF Equity Income Fund and its stake rises to 25.1%. Further cash will be required to open a fourth clinic in Liverpool. The current share price is 227.5p (210p/245p).

Greencare Capital (www.greencare.capital) is set to join NEX. This is an investment vehicle that will invest in medicinal cannabis and other cannabis-related products. NEX-quoted Eight Capital Partners (ECP) is set to own a 12.5% stake. E-Value One will own two-thirds of the company.

Bulgaria-focused property investor Black Sea Property (BSP) has agreed o cancel the sale of 23 plots of land in Byala. There has been a rise in value of the plots since the 2014 deal to sell the land for €1.02m. It is costing €1.15m to get the land back.

Medicinal cannabis company Sativa Group (SATI) says that BMAK Investments and Ken Lawrence has increased their combined stake from 4.27% to 7.96%.

Trading in European Lithium Ltd (EUR) shares has been halted on the ASX. This is ahead of an announcement for the financing of a definitive feasibility study for the Wolfsberg lithium project.

Compton Beauchamp Estates has raised its stake in Newbury Racecourse (NYR) from 31.9% to 40.9%. The shares were acquired for 775p each from non-executive director Erik Penser, who also controls Compton Beauchamp Estates. His interest remains at 40.9%.

AIM

Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) is recommending a 145p a share cash bid. Shareholders can opt to take a combination of cash and securities. Management believes that it needs greater financial backing to make more acquisitions. Carlyle and Hurst Point are working together on the bid.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) says that 85%-owned Future Metal has commenced dolomite production and it is on course to reach the daily production target of 800-1,000 tonnes over the next three months. That could double by the middle of the year. This will depend on signing up customers. Adamas has bought back 2.4 million shares at 16.1p a share.

Wealth management firm Kingswood Holdings (KWG) is acquiring a 85% stake in US wealth management firm Chalice for £3.1m. Kingswood could make a pre-tax profit of £4m in 2020.

Internet domains manager Minds + Machines (MMX) has renegotiated its onerous contract and it will cost $5.1m in cash. The estimated liability was $7.9m. The contract could still generate $500,000 in revenues. There will be a trading update in January.

Regency Mines (RGM) is setting up a partnership with Ion Ventures to identify and prioritise its most commercially attractive battery metals projects. Regency will issue shares to Ion in return for consultancy. James Parsons has become executive chairman and Regency. A one-for-100 share consolidation has been completed.

MAIN MARKET

Sure Ventures (SURE) says that Sure Valley Ventures (25.9%-owned by Sure Ventures) investee company Artomatix is being acquired. The company automates 3D content creation and the original investment was 14 months ago. Sure Ventures share of the sale proceeds is €1.6m, which is five times the original investment.

Contango Holdings (CGO) has advanced a total of $356,314 to develop the Lubu coal project in Zimbabwe. The plan is to acquire the project, where mining could commence in the second half of 2020, and if the acquisition is not completed by next Christmas Eve the cash will be returned. Contango believes it can complete the fundraising to acquire Lupu in January.

Cobra Resources (COBR) has raised £613,000 and filed a prospectus for the reverse takeover of Lady Alice Mines, which owns an exploration licence for an area in South Australia including the former Prince Alfred copper mine, as well as a 75% interest in five gold exploration tenements near Wudinna. The prospectus should be published in January.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) is acquiring 80% of the Congo subsidiary of AIM-quoted Anglo African Oil and Gas (AAOG). This company owns 56% of the operator of the Tilapia oilfield in the Republic of Congo. Production is 30 barrels of oil per day. Multiple potential productive reservoirs have been identified. Zenith will fund its share of up to $5.5m of a work programme, plus a renewal payment of up to $2m. The Congo subsidiary owes Anglo African Oil £12.5m and it will retain 20% of the debt and novate the rest to Zenith.

James Ritchie has been appointed chief restructuring officer and interim finance director of stevia sweeteners developer PureCircle Ltd (PURE).

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 23 December 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Trading in the shares of Barkby Group (BARK) following the publication of the prospectus for the reverse takeover of the Dickson group companies and move to AIM. There will also be a share consolidation of 193 shares into 74 new shares. Barkby is paying £30.6m, predominantly in shares with £750,000 in cash, and raising £5m at 30p a share. The businesses include Workshop Coffee, which operates four coffee shops and is a wholesaler of speciality coffee, and a south east England-focused commercial property developer. Barkby will also acquire the right to invest in two private companies: Transcend Packaging, which won a contract to supply McDonalds with paper straws, and VivoPlex, which has developed a medical device for fertility monitoring. A dividend is planned for this financial year.

Schroders has bought the whole of the 29.8% stake in Rutherford Health (RUTH) that was previously held by Woodford Investment Management.

Trading in the shares of Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has been suspended. Tectonic South Africa has been awarded an interim land mining contract at a diamond mining project in Alexander Bay in South Africa. It is replacing a previous subcontract that the company had. Mining can resume until the full contract is agreed. That could be by next March. A private investor signed an option agreement for the purchase of a 64% stake in Tectonic South Africa. In return they will fund future project development. There is a £100,000 cash payment to Tectonic on completion. There are 120 days for the investor to raise the cash required. The figures for the year to June 2019 will not be published by the end of 2019.

SulNOx (SNOX) started trading last week and the share price rose from 50p to 55.5p (53p/58p). There have been 35,875 shares traded on NEX.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) is raising £300,000 at 6.5p a share. This will fund an exploration programme to extend the life of the Hellyer mine.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company WeShop hopes to float on AIM in the second quarter of 2020. Pre-IPO funding of £2m has been secured. Vela Technologies (VELA) and Two Shields Investment (TSI) are also investors in WeShop.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that its CoalTech subsidiary has had successful tests with two listed South African coal consumers. Pelletised coal fines have been produced and they were deemed suitable. The first potential customer could sign up for a long-term supply agreement and the second could justify a plant at their location.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that it generated 2019 revenues of $10.6m up to 17 December and the full year figure should be higher than the $10.9m reported in 2018. The starting of operations in Europe will help to grow revenues. Wishbone will receive $600,000 in relation to its operations in Honduras. There could be a further $400,000 depending on production. There will be a consolidation of 100 existing shares into one new share.

The CAMRA Members’ Investment Club has increased its stake in brewer Adnams (ADB) from 2.81% to 3.69%.

AIM

Focusrite (TUNE) is paying £39.2m for professional sound systems manufacturer Martin Audio. This will diversify the product range of the group and enhance earnings in the first year. The two companies are based near to each other in High Wycombe. In the 12 months to October 2019, Martin made an operating profit of £2.9m on revenues of £24.4m. ADAM Audio’s contribution has helped revenues to increase in the first quarter. Like-for-like revenues are lower due to adverse exchange rate movements and a on-off boost in the first quarter of the previous year.

Bidstack (BIDS) has entered into a two-year agreement with a global marketing services group, which will spend up to £10m on advertising via the Bidstack in-game platform over that period. None of the revenue will be in 2019, which is why the forecast will not be met and revenues will not be signficant.

Naked Wines (WINE) is paying a special dividend of 5.2p a share. The ex-dividend date is 24 December.

Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) is acquiring six VW car, one VW commercial vehicles and one SKODA franchise from Jardine Motors for up to £22.3m. Trading remains in line with expectations, but Edison has cut its 2020 profit forecast by £4.1m to £23.2m, partly due to the loss-making acquisition.

Filtronic (FTC) is selling its telecoms antenna business to Microdata for $5.5m (£4.2m). The company can concentrate on the 5G and defence markets.

ValiRx (VAL) says that the VAL201 phase I/II clinical trial is coming to an end and the initial results appear to show that there is an impact on patients with prostate cancer. The compound is also safe and well tolerated.

A trading statement from Van Elle (VANL) has led to Peel Hunt cutting its 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast from £4.8m to £4m. The ground engineering contractor says that the second quarter was stronger than the first and first half revenues have risen from £42.9m to £48m. However, pre-tax profit slumped from £2.8m to £1m. There should be some improvement in the second half. The share price has halved this year. The interims will be published on 22 January.

Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) says the Russian authorities have confirmed the company’s residency in the Kamchatka advanced special economic zone and this could save $6m over seven years. Trans-Siberian will develop an extension of the Asacha gold mine and expects to invest up to $21.2m in the next five years.

Sabien Technology (SNT) has raised £300,000 at 0.15p a share. This will provide working capital as a review of the business continues. Sabien is seeking to broaden its range of products from energy efficiency to other technologies, particularly health and medical rehabilitation sectors. Alan O’Brien stepped down as chief executive and Richard Parris became executive chairman.

Shareholders have agreed to put Stirling Industries (STRL) into voluntary liquidation. Trading will be cancelled on 24 December.

MAIN MARKET

Sure Ventures (SURE) maintained its net asset value at 83.1p a share at the end of September 2019. That includes cash of £1.45m. Management believes that some of the earlier investments are maturing and they could have valuation uplifts.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) has raised £638,000 at 2p a share via a placing in Norway. The cash will be used to buy drilling equipment.

Career development and consumer engagement platforms provider Dev Clever (DEV) plans to raise more cash four months after raising £436,000 at 3.4p a share. The share price fell by around one-third just before and just after the company admitted it was raising money. The share price fell to 1.05p.

OTHERS

Getmapping has ended its strategic review and is no longer up for sale. The geospatial services provider believes it is not the optimal time to consider offers.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 9 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

BWA Group (BWAP) is acquiring Kings of the North Corp, which owns five groups of exploration licences in Canada. BWA will pay £4.66m for the business, which is owned by a Canadian Stock Exchange listed company. Management believes that there is significant upside in the licences. Nearly $C1m needs to be spent for the licences to be renewed.

World High Life plans to join NEX on 12 September. This is an investment company that intends to acquire businesses involved in medicinal cannabis. The company (www.worldhighlife.uk) has already raised £2.4m from subscribers and no additional cash will be raised on flotation.

Adnams (ADB) director Guy Heald has purchased 3,000 B shares at £95.21 each. That takes his shareholding to 15.1%. The shares were sold by Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, whose interest has been reduced to 6.32%.

Better news from Ashley House (LSE: ASH) because a scheme in Romsey has reached financial close. There are still two other delayed schemes that have not completed. Funding sources are being explored.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) is selling its 2.5% royalty interest in the Graphmada graphite mine in Madagascar for up to A$550,000 in cash and convertible notes in royalty business SilverStream.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) reported a decline in net assets from £5.16m to £4.74m in the six months to June 2019. Management believes there are plenty of opportunities in the pre-IPO market.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has agreed the terms for a realisation of its investment in Cotswold Valves, because it no longer wants to focus on employee ownership. The equity interest is being sold for its £220,000 cost and loans totalling £450,000 have been rescheduled. The cash will be received over a three year period.

KR1 (KR1) has made investments in the Nym Protocol project, Alice Si, a blockchain-based social funding platform developer, and Nexus Mutual, which is a follow-on investment.

Resources-focused investment company Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) increased its cash position from £17,000 to £47,000 in the year to March 2019, but net assets fell from £722,000 to £687,000.

AIM  

Good news from car dealers Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) and Vertu Motors (VTU). Cambria says that trading in the eleven months to July 2019 has been well ahead of the same period last year and the full year profit will be higher than market estimates. New car sales are lower but Cambria is making more profit on each sale because of the mix of franchises and greater exposure to the luxury end of the market. More profit was made on each used car sold as well. Vertu says that its trading is in line with expectations, helped by price stability in the used vehicle market since July.

Mirada (MIRA) has won a new contract for the deployment of its Iris multiscreen digital TV product with a new Spanish interactive TV services provider Plataforma Multimedia de Operadores. Mirada’s technology will be used to deliver content to Android set-top boxes, smartphones, laptops and other devices. The commercial launch will be early next year and the plan is to build up a subscriber base of 600,000.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) says that its consolidated NAV increased by 3.5% to $96.3m (£78.4m) in the six months to June 2019. That includes cash of $5.4m. There was interest income of $677,000 in the period. Production at Future Metal Holdings’ dolomite magnesium limestone mine in China should restart before the end of the year.

A secured creditor has appointed voluntary administrators to five subsidiaries of Management Resource Solutions (MRS) but the businesses continue to trade. A creditors meeting is set for 16 September. The businesses will need to be recapitalised.

Filtronic (FTC) has decided to sell its antenna division.

Colin Harrington has switched from executive chairman to chief executive of Rose Petroleum (ROSE) following the departure of its previous chief executive Matthew Idiens. Rick Grant will become chairman. Gordon Stein is a new independent non-executive.

MAIN MARKET 

Avation (AVAP) reported full year results that were ahead of expectations. The commercial aircraft leasing company’s pre-tax profit was 15% ahead of forecasts and there was also a tax credit which further boosted earnings per share. The dividend was raised by 45% to 10.5 cents a share.

Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane (MACF) has acquired the Leyland Packaging Company for up to £3.25m, with up to £1m in the form of an earn-out based on performance of the distributor in the year to August 2020, in cash and shares. In 2018, Leyland made a pre-tax profit of £550,000 on revenues of £4.06m.

Fully listed shell Highway Capital (HWC) has published its accounts for the year to February 2019. They showed net liabilities rising to £781,000. There was cash of £245,000 in the balance sheet following the repayment of loans. Trading in the shares has been suspended for three years.

Standard list shell Boston International Holdings (BIH) is considering potential acquisitions outside of the foreign exchange sector.       

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has ended discussions about a partnership with Hive Blockchain Technologies. Argo believes that its investment in additional crypto mining capacity has provided it with the scale it needs.

Sure Ventures (SURE) is investing a further €2.5m in Sure Valley Ventures Fund.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 25 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 22 January 2018

NEX EXCHANGE

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) reported a decline in full year revenues from £560,000 to £372,000 and there was no repeat of the realised gains on investments in the previous year. There was an increase in unrealised gains from £71,000 to £317,000. However, there was a £1.32m investment impairment. This meant that a profit of £158,000 was turned into a loss of £1.17m. There is £1.28m in the bank. The employee-owned businesses investor is focusing on managing its portfolio and the advisory business spun off into a joint venture. The NAV is 42.7p a share.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has invested the £1.4m it raised when it joined NEX last year. These investments include fellow NEX-quoted company NQ Minerals, where First Sentinel boss Brian Stockbridge is chairman, AIM-quoted UK Oil and Gas Investments and AIM-quoted Premier African Minerals. There is a £65,000 loan to unquoted tea cafés operator Yumchaa, where Stockbridge is 50% shareholder. The loan has an interest rate of 12% and lasts until October.

Block Energy (BLOK) has further delayed the planned move to AIM. The oil and gas company has a new expected admission date of end-February. Trading remains suspended on NEX.

AIM

Mark Watkin Jones intends to step down as chief executive of student and private rental accommodation developer Watkin Jones (WJG) but he will stay until a successor is identified. In the year to September 2017, revenues were 13% higher at £301.9m and underlying operating profit rose by a similar percentage to £42.7m. The dividend was 6.6p a share, equivalent to a 10% increase if Watkin Jones had been quoted for all the previous year. Investor demand for student accommodation and private rental residential property remains strong.

Van Elle (VNL) has an outstanding debt of £1.6m from failed facilities management and construction company Carillion. finnCap has also assumed lower second half profit of £1.3m relating to expected business from Carillion. The specialist piling contractor has a poor record since floating and this does not help.

Engineering and IT recruitment company Gattaca (GATC) says that most of Carillion’s debt to the company is insured with around £100,000 uninsured. Premier Technical Services (PTSG) says that it has £800,000 of annual revenues with Carillion with £300,000 still owed. Elsewhere, business is in line with expectations. Bilby (BILB) says that it does not think that the contract with CarillionAmey will be impacted.

Sinclair Pharma (SPH) directors have been buying shares on the back of the news that it has received regulatory approval of Ellanse pre-mixed bioresorbable collagen stimulating fillers in Brazil, one of the most important global markets. Ellanse will be soft launched immediately and the full launch is a matter of weeks away. Other Sinclair dermatological products are selling well in Brazil.

K3 Capital (K3C) reported interim figures that were better than forecast. This led to a £1m increase in forecast full year revenues but the pre-tax profit forecast is maintained at £5.4m because of additional costs required to accelerate the growth of the business. The business broker and corporate finance adviser announced an interim dividend of 2.85p a share and a total dividend of 8.2p a share is forecast for the full year.

Full year trading at Midwich (MIDW) was better than expected with revenues 28% ahead at £470m, helped by acquisitions performing ahead of expectations. The audio visual equipment distributor has also improved gross margin. The 2017 results will be published on 13 March.

Utilitywise (UTW) has changed its accounting policy relating to initial revenue recognition of new contracts.

LiDCO (LID) has signed up a new Japanese distributor. Merit Medical has a three year exclusive agreement and there is potential to significantly increase last year’s sales of £117,000. The LiDCOunity version 2 monitor has been approved in Japan.

African Battery Metals (ABM) is the new name for Sula Iron and Gold. Prior to the name change, £1.75m was raised and the Riverfort facility terminated with an associated buy back of shares. ABM is paying $100,000 ($50,000 is still outstanding) for a 70% stake in cobalt licences in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The other shareholder will retain its 30% stake up until a decision is made to mine, so ABM will pay the exploration costs.

Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) produced 7,052 ounces of gold at an average cash operating cost of $867/ounce in the second quarter and plans to produce at least 30,000 ounces in the financial year. Although the South America-focused gold producer and explorer generated $2.16m in cash in the second quarter, there was a $251,000 loss in the period because the all in sustaining cost was higher than the gold price received. Asset Chile has forfeited the 16% stake it earned in Anillo because it did not move into phase 2 of the project.

Shareholders have approved share buybacks by China New Energy Ltd (CNEL) until the end of 2019. Up to one-fifth of the shares can be acquired for less than 2p a share. The bioenergy technology developer and operator increased revenues from £8.85m to £24.7m in 2017 and the order book is worth £13.7m. The company was profitable last year and anticipates it will be in 2018.

Data software company WANdisco (WAND) says bookings increased 45% to $22.5m in 2017 with two-thirds generated by WANdisco Fusion software. There was cash of $27.4m at the end of 2017, with $4m from a new growth capital facility.

Thor Mining (THR) has had its stake in US Lithium diluted to 20.8% due to a A$240,000 fundraising at A$0.12 a share, which is four times the Thor acquisition price. US Lithium plans an ASX-listing.

Veltyco Group (VLTY) is acquiring a 51% stake in Varkasso, which has exclusive rights to use the crypto wallet technology platform 8Crypt, for £265,000 in cash and shares. Veltyco will incorporate the 8Crypt crypto wallet in all the gaming platforms it is involved with.

Newmont Mining has decided not to become involved in the Greatland Gold (GGP)-owned Ernest Giles gold project in Australia. It appears that the project was not in the right place or large enough for Newmont to go ahead with, although it took its time to make a final decision. Greatland benefits from the work conducted by Newmont, which has identified a large gold anomaly. Targeted exploration will be undertaken at Ernest Giles in the first quarter of 2018.

Kodal Minerals (KOD) says that the authorities have approved its exploration licences for the Bougouni lithium project in southern Mali. Triumvirat Mining Company will have a 10% economic interest in the licences, which are for an initial three year life. There has been positive drilling news concerning the Ngoualana and Sogola-Baoule prospects.

Electrical accessories supplier Volex (VLX) moved from the Main Market to AIM on 19 January.

Waste gasification technology business EQTEC (EQT) has partially repaid a five-year, £1.1m loan facility with an annual interest rate of 15%. The remaining balance of £621,000 is repayable in July 2020. The £2m of convertible secured loan note with Altair Group Investment Ltd has been extended until July 2020 and the interest rate doubled to 15%.

Renewable fuels technology developer Velocys (VLS) has raised £14m via a placing at 10p a share and hopes to raise up to £4.4m through an open offer at the same price. Last year, there was a £1.16m share issue at 45p a share. The cash will be used to finance initial development of the Mississippi biorefinery and fund the UK waste-to-renewable jet fuel project which has been around for many years.

Generic drugs supplier Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) expects to complete the £18.2m acquisition of a 85.2% stake in Nuvista Pharma by the end of February.

Gama Aviation (GMAA) says last year’s trading was in line with expectations. The business aviation services provider has incurred $1m of costs relating to legal proceedings and there will be a similar amount to come. There will be around $2.5m of restructuring costs and write-downs. Net debt fell from $19m to $13m.

Although Blancco Technology Group (BLTG) says that first half sales declined this is due to the fact that certain contracts were not repeated in the latest period. The data erasure software business is expected to report continuing full year revenues 6% higher at £28.5m. However, higher overheads mean that there will be little profit.

Cyber security software supplier Crossrider (CROS) says that 2017 trading was in line with expectations and revenues improved 16% to $65.8m, while underlying EBITDA was 29% ahead at $8.3m. Profitability from the core activities more than doubled. There was $69.4m in the bank at the end of 2017.

Legend Gold Corp shareholders have agreed to the arrangement for Altus Strategies (ALS) to acquire the entity that owns the Legend gold projects in Mali in return for 41.1 million Altus shares. The mining projects investor is also applying for a dual listing on the TSX-V. Legend shareholders will be issued three Altus shares for each Legend share that they own, giving them 27.6% of Altus.

Toys supplier Character Group (CCT) says it has exited Christmas with “virtually no excess stocks”. International sales were poor but domestic sales grew. Pokemon products will be launched during the summer.

Caledonia Mining Corporation (CMCL) reported higher than guided annual production at the Blanket gold mine. The prediction was 54,000-56,000 ounces but the outcome was 56,135 ounces.

Sustainable pallets manufacturer RM2 International SA (RM2) had unrestricted cash of $4.1m at the end of 2017, but that could fall to $2m by the end of January. That means that there should be enough cash until the third week in February. Management continues to seek additional finance. There are plenty of potential customers but little in the way of orders.

Tiziana Life Sciences (TILS) has raised a further £150,000 at 150p. This is on top of the £150,000, £275,000 and £200,000 raised at the same price during November and December. There is a warrant with each new share and they are exercisable at 160p a share, although the most recent warrants last until January 2024. The cash is being invested in the phase IIa clinical trial for the Milciclib cancer treatment.
Remote tracking and monitoring products developer Starcom (STAR) says that last year’s turnover improved from $5.1m to $5.5m and lower operating costs mean that it will move from loss to breakeven. Strong orders mean that revenues and margins should improve this year.
Condor Gold (CNR) has obtained a TSX listing.

MAIN MARKET

Path Investments (PATH) is cancelling its standard listing even before finalising its acquisition of a 50% participating interest in the Alfeld-Elze licence and gas field in Germany. The plan is to cancel the standard listing on 19 February and raise money and apply for an AIM quotation in the first quarter of 2018. Path has previously been on AIM in a different guise but if the deal does not go ahead the plan would be to maintain the standard listing.

World Trade Systems (WTS) plans a transaction involving the sale of its assets to a new company that will float on the Channel Islands-based The International Stock Exchange. WTS shareholders will be distributed shares in the new company that will be used to acquire the assets.
Loss-making telecoms firm Toople (TOOP) did not publish a full set of figures on RNS. That is always a giveaway. It did announce that the operating loss declined by 23% to £1.31m in the year to September 2017. Cash flow is much more important for a colander company like Toople.

Technology investment company Sure Ventures (SURE) has joined the Specialist Fund Segment of the Main Market, having raised £3.31m at 100p a share. The main focus is augmented reality, fintech and the Internet of Things.

Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has invested $300,000 in a new giant observation wheel for Dallas, Texas. Challenger also has the opportunity to operate the wheel.

Andrew Hore

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