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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 30 November 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Healthcare IT supplier DXS International (DXSP) had £1.2m in cash at the end of October 2020. Net cash was £584,000, following the capitalisation of £568,000 of development spending. Interim revenues improved by 3% to £1.72m but progress was held back by Covid-19. Pre-tax profit jumped from £90,000 to £151,000 due to lower admin costs.

Imperial X (IMPP) is continuing its due diligence on previously announced acquisitions of mining and royalty interests and the plan is to apply for a standard listing when the acquisitions are completed.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) has invested $148,000 in RenewSenses, which has developed a wearable device for the visually impaired. The cash will help to complete the development of the A.I. Cane product, which is a camera attached to a handheld device and this enables obstacles to be identified.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has invested a further £75,000 in a convertible loan note issued by vitamin-fortified juices and smoothies Coldpress Foods. The annual interest rate is 15%. S-Ventures has a 3.3% stake in Coldpress.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has terminated options over 17.8 million shares held by three individuals and has paid a total of £140,000 in compensation. These options could have been exercised at 6p a share or 8p a share and were equivalent to 11.3% of the potentially enlarged share capital. Primorus has decided to drop the Aquis quotation on 24 December and keep the AIM quote. This and a reduction in director pay will reduce costs by more than £200,000 a year.

Formation Group (FRM) is withdrawing from the Aquis Stock Exchange on 31 December.

Good Energy (GOOD) has appointed Canaccord Genuity as joint broker.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised a further £335,000 at 5p a share and 5.5p a share.

Aquis Stock Exchange has launched a market maker incentive scheme. The market makers will offer two-way prices for 505 of stocks on the Apex segment with a maximum spread of 5%. There should be 25 companies on the Apex segment. Market makers will receive warrants for shares in the Aquis Stock Exchange with the best performers gaining the largest percentage. They could earn up to 19.9% of the market over a three year period. Early adopters include Canaccord Genuity, Liberum, Peel Hunt, Shore Capital, Stifel and Winterflood.

Liberum Capital and Zeus Capital have been approved as corporate advisers for the Aquis Stock Exchange.

AIM

Kistos (KIST) began trading on AIM on 25 November. The investment company raised £30.2m after expenses and the market capitalisation was £40.3m. The plan is to seek acquisitions in the oil and gas sector. The team behind Kist is the same as for RockRose Energy. The share price has risen from 100p to 118.2p.

Cyber security software and services provider Shearwater (SWG) reported a slump in revenues, but the decline was in lower margin products. There were also overhead reductions. That meant that there was a profit before amortisation of acquired intangibles. Orders were delayed but there was still a £1.7m cash inflow from operations. Net cash was £3m at the end of September 2020. Two-fifths of revenues are recurring, and the long-term outlook is good.

Circle Property (CRC) reported a 2p a share decline in NAV to 283p a share at the end of September 2020. Loan to value is 42% and there is £37.7m of a loan facility still undrawn. New lettings have been secured since March and rent collections have been strong. The interim dividend is 2.5p a share.

Telecoms testing instrumentation supplier Calnex Solutions (CLX) has made an impressive start to its time on AIM with interim figures that show near-doubled underlying pre-tax profit of £2.3m. This has led to an upgrade of the full year profit expectations to £2.9m. The cash being generated is enabling additional development spending.

IG Design (IGR) benefitted from a full contribution from the CSS acquisition, which has also reduced the seasonality of the group. Even so, continuing operations sales held up well. There is still scope for additional demand for Christmas wrapping and gift products, but time is running out for any significant improvement. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to be flat at $35m, although shares issued to fund the CSS acquisition mean that there would be a one-fifth decline in earnings per share to 25.5 cents. There should be a significant improvement next year.

First Property (FPO) has significantly reduced its debt following the sale of a property in Poland. This puts it in a good position to take advantage of any opportunities over the next year or so. Short-term income has declined and there were no performance fees. NAV is 54.3p a share. The interim dividend is maintained at 0.45p a share.

Appreciate (APP) has reinstated its dividend and it proposes an interim of 0.4p a share. Interim revenues were 18% lower at £27.4m. There is always a first half loss and it increased from £1.2m to £4.6m, although that does not include the restructuring costs. The Christmas savings business held up and the corporate incentives operations were boosted by additional business due to free school meals vouchers. More business is being done digitally and there continues to be a monthly improvement in trading.

D4T4 (D4T4) is continuing its development into a business focused on recurring revenues. The data collection and analysis software provider lost money in the first half, but management remains confident that D4T4 will achieve the full year pre-tax profit forecast of £3.2m, down from £5m. Net cash is expected to be £14m. The interim dividend was raised by 5% to 0.81p a share.

LoopUp (LOOP) has not achieved the annual run rate than it expected, and it will fall short of 2020 expectations. The remote meetings technology provider has been generating less revenue from international calls, which has hit overall revenues. Trimming the 2020 revenues forecast from £54.8m to £50.1m leads to a one-fifth reduction in pre-tax profit to £8.4m. The lower run rate means that 2021 forecast revenues have been slashed from £56m to £35.2m, which leads to a small loss for the year.

Outsourcing Inc has sent out the document for the takeover of CPL Resources (CPS). It is offering Euro11.25 a share, which values the Ireland-based recruitment company at Euro317.8m.

Digital advertising technology developer Miriad Advertising (MIRI) has raised £23m via a placing at 40p a share. A further £3m could be raised via an open offer. In July 2019, £16m was raised at 15p a share. The first half cash outflow was more than £4.6m. The cash will be spent on growing US revenues and further technology development.

Ilika (IKA) has decided to manufacture its Stearex batteries itself rather than outsourcing the process. This is the quickest route to production and operating margins will improve. Full scale manufacturing will start by early 2022.

ReNeuron (RENE) is raising up to £17.5m at a heavily discounted share price of 70p. This cash will enable the company to complete the current clinical trial for the retinitis pigmentosa treatment and design a phase III trial.

The share price rise of Wynnstay Group (WYN) has led to DBAY Advisors reducing its stake from 6.12% to 5.33%.

Urban Exposure (UEX) plans a tender offer of up to £65m at 75p a share. There is cash in the bank of £81m.

Second half trading was always going to be weak for Tracsis (TRCS) because of its exposure to events in the traffic and data division. Recurring revenues from the rail technology division have helped limit the pre-tax profit decline from £9.5m to £8.3m. This year is also likely to be tough, although it will depend on trading next summer. The main recovery is likely in 2021-22.

Serinus Energy (SENX) has raised $21m and this will pay off the debt of $16.5m. The lender will also receive a 9.9% stake. The rest of the cash will be invested in increasing oil and gas production.

Digital financial services and products provider Tungsten (TUNG) says profit will be lower than expected this year. Transaction volumes have declined, and revenues will be flat. Winning new business has become more difficult. Annualised savings of £4m are being made.

Michelmersh Brick (MBH) says that 2020 revenues and profit will exceed expectations. Government support of £500,000 will be repaid. There will still be net cash at the end of 2020. A final dividend of 2.25p a share will be paid.

Benchmark (BMK) has completed its restructuring and is on course to benefit from the investment it has made in products and capacity. The BMK08+CleanTreat treatment should be launched by next summer and this could help the aquaculture company to move into profit. In 2019-20, revenues fell from £124m to £105.6m, but lower costs meant that the loss was reduced. Genetics was the best performing division due to initial sales of salmon eggs from Salten. Net debt was £37.6m at the end of September 2020.

MAIN MARKET

Jlen Environmental (JLEN) is paying a second quarterly dividend of 1.69p a share, the same as the first quarter. There has been a small reduction in NAV from 97.5p a share to 96.1p a share because long-term expectations for electricity and gas prices have fallen. The portfolio is 34% wind power, 27% anaerobic digestion, 22% solar power, 15% waste and wastewater and 2% hydro and battery. A decline in waste volumes hampered the Bio Collectors business and other feedstocks are being sourced. There is £127.6m available to finance further acquisitions.

CML Microsystems (CML) had a mixed interim period with total revenues holding up at £12.9m. Storage technology revenues were one-quarter higher, but communications revenues fell by one-fifth and are no longer the largest contributor. However, the development activities have been broadened through acquisitions and there is a bigger addressable market. Pre-tax profit fell from £907,000 to £771,000 and the interim dividend is unchanged at 2p a share. The second half should be better than the first half and a rebalancing of resources should make the business more efficient.

Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) improved pre-tax profit from £14m to £15.8m, although there was a small dip in revenues to £109m. The total dividend is 6.2p a share. Demand is likely to remain weaker than normal. The move to the new UK premises should happen in the middle of 2021.

J Smart Contractors (SMJ) reported halved underlying full year pre-tax profit of £1.28m. There was a surplus on investment property revaluations of £3.18m. There is net cash of £12m. A final dividend of 2.27p a share has been declared and the total for the year has edged up from 3.19p a share to 3.22p a share. The completion of building contracts has been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Contracting work remains below the level of the previous year and private housing sales will be limited in the year to July 2021. NAV is £99.3m, which is double the market capitalisation.

Triad (LSE: TRD) revenues declined from £9m to £8.7m, but the IT consultancy did move from loss to profit due to lower costs. Utilisation rates for IT consultants is relatively high and cash covers around three-fifths of the market capitalisation.

Gulf Marine Services (GMS) has suspended chief executive Tim Summers, who was no longer a member of the board, due to an investigation into a severance payment of £429,000 on 10 November. Hassan Heikal was appointed a director at the general meeting on 25 November.

Cardiff Property (CDFF) increased its NAV from 2285p a share to 2436p a share at the end of September 2020, against a share price of 1725p. This reflects an uplift in the valuation of JV Campmoss due to an increase in value of Clivemount House in Maidenhead which has been sold since the year end. The dividend increased by 3% to 17.6p a share. There is cash of £5.5m and no debt.

Affordable housing services provider Aquila Services Group (AQSG) reported a decline in revenues from £3.89m to £3.51m, although there was a small improvement in operating profit prior to restructuring costs of £175,000. The dividend has been halved to 0.15p a share. Cash has increased to £1.4m.

OTAQ (OTAQ) increased interim revenues by 16% to £2.03m and it is on course for full year revenues of £4m. The growth has come from the aquaculture operations. Furlough claims reduced the loss.

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 19 October 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) remains profitable and loan balances have increased by 3% to £1.6bn. Deposit balances are 14% higher at £2.23bn. Assets under management are 4% ahead.

Wine maker Chapel Down (CDGP) has produced a better quality harvest than 2018 and yields are better than expected. More wine can be released for sale next year.

A general meeting has been requisitioned at SulNOx Group (SNOX) by three shareholders. They want to remove the entire board and appoint four new directors.

KR1 (KR1) has generated just over $1m from the sale of tokens in the Polkadot project at $5.12 each. That is a small proportion of the stake and KR1 still owns more than 3.5 million tokens.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) continues to increase production at the Hellyer mine. In the third quarter lead concentrate production was 11,865 tonnes and zinc concentrate production was 4,585 tonnes. Production rates are still increasing.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) reported a reduction in interim revenues from $6.56m to $3.64m. There was a $224,000 outflow from operations.

Altona Energy (ANR) has extended its fundraising until 11 November. The plan is to raise up to £500,000 at 6.5p a share.

Trading has been suspended in the shares of medicinal cannabis company Freyherr International (FRYR) because trading has been difficult, and the auditing of last year’s accounts has not been completed.

VI Mining (VIM) is asking shareholders to approve of the withdrawal from the Aquis Stock Exchange.

Eastinco Mining (EM.P) has published full year and interim figures. The company remains loss-making. There was £173,000 in the bank at the end of June 2020.

TechFinancials (TECH) is stopping the development of its Footies ticketing technology because of the uncertainty surrounding events. It has also ended its investment in Cedex due to lack of cash. All B2B brokerage technology activities will end at the beginning of November. New opportunities are being assessed.

AIM

Synairgen (SNG) is raising up to £87m via a placing and open offer at 175p a share. This will finance a phase III trial for SNG001 for the treatment of Covid-19. That will start before the end of the year. Results are expected in the middle of next year. Synairgen will also invest in scaling up its manufacturing.          

More good news from Touchstone Exploration (TXP) which has made another significant gas discovery in Trinidad. The Chinook-1 discovery is the third in a row. This means that Touchstone should be highly cash generative next year enabling it to fund more exploration.

LiDCO (LID) had already outlined its interim figures in a trading statement so the move into profit thanks to high monitor sales to the NHS was not a surprise. There is likely to be a second half loss, but the heart monitoring equipment supplier will still be profitable for the full year. There have been delays in winning hup recurring revenue contracts, but these revenues have reached an annual rate of £3m. There was £3.1m in the bank at the end of July 2020.

BlueRock Diamonds (BRD) increased production in the third quarter from 3,973 carats one year ago to 5,577 carats. Sales were much lower at 3,803 carats because there was one sale during the quarter. The average price realised has fallen from $432/carat to $330/carat. That was expected due to the change in mix of stones with only one high value stone sold during the period. An updated resource estimate is expected in the near future. BlueRock is hosting a shareholder conference call at 7pm on 22 October. Anyone wanting to participate should go to www.facebook.com/valuethemarkets or www.twitter.com/valuethemarkets.

SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) is raising money to accelerate the progress of AxisBiotix, which is involved in the development of food supplements for psoriasis treatment. This could be generating revenues in the year to June 2022. A placing at 16p a share raised £4m with up to £500,000 to come from an open offer at the same price. Some cash will be available to fund development of other microbiome-related products. This cash should last until the end of 2022.

Billing and customer relationship management software provider Cerillion (LSE:CER) says that its year-end order book is at a record level and the full year figures will be slightly better than expected.

ThinkSmart (TSL) is returning A$6.5m of cash to shareholders. There will be a 4.575 cents a share capital reduction and a 1.525 cents a share unfranked dividend. ThinkSmart has around £10m in the bank. The current exchange rate is 55p for each A$1. The distribution is worth £3.6m, so around one-third of the available cash.

Seeing Machines (SEE) is increasing its potential market by developing its driver monitoring system into vehicle occupant monitoring system. This is an additional revenue opportunity of A$350m.

Angling Direct (ANG) managed to stay profitable in the first half as online sales helped to offset the closure of retail sites in the period. The fishing products retailer has a strong balance sheet and shop sales bounced back after reopening. A pre-tax profit of £400,000 is forecast for the full year, rising to £1.5m next year.

Netcall (NET) is acquiring robotic process automation technology company Automagica in order to enhance its contact centre products. Automagica has its own technology. Netcall’s full year revenues increased from £22.9m to £25.1m, while pre-tax profit increased from £1.3m to £1.8m. Margins are improving.

MAIN MARKET

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) says third quarter trading was better than expected. New and used car volumes increased by 13.6% compared with the same period the previous year. Lookers has outperformed the market. Aftersales revenues were also higher. Net debt was £22.5m at the end of September 2020.  

Electronic products supplier DiscoverIE (DSCV) says that first half sales fell by 6%, but orders were ahead of sales in September. A dividend will be announced with the interims in November.

Construction and infrastructure firm nmcn (NMCN) has reviewed major contracts and this will lead to a loss this year. The main problem has been water contracts and some of the charges may relate to other periods. This follows the departure of the chief executive and finance director.

Nanoco (NANO) has a cash outflow to £300,000 a month. There is net cash of £5.2m and that should last until July 2022.  The non-cadmium quantum dots technology developer lost £4.9m in the year to July 2020.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 17 August 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Brewer Adnams (ADB) reported a slump in revenues from £34.7m to £21m in the six months to June 2020 and there was a loss. That is no surprise given the problems of the hospitality sector. Online sales grew but could not offset the loss of on-trade sales. Net debt was £14m at the end of June 2020.

Medical device developer TruSpine Technologies (TSP) is on course to join the Aquis Stock Exchange on 20 August. TruSpine wants to raise £1.5m, which would give it a valuation of £31.5m. The investment is eligible for EIS-relief. TruSpine expects to make a FDA submission for Cervi-Lok, which is one of the three spinal stabilisation devices being developed, in the fourth quarter of 2020. Existing Aquis-quoted company Primorus Investments (PRIM) is an investor in TruSpine. In 2017, it invested £500,000 at a pre-money valuation of £15m. Another Primorus investment, Greatland Gold (GGP), has performed strongly in the second quarter and the share price is more than 155% ahead over the period.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £695,000 at 7p a share. NQ has also secured a $55m loan facility to refinance the project debt of the Hellyer gold mine. Interest savings should be $3.4m a year. Chairman David Lenigas has acquired 20,000 shares at $0.12 each.

Sativa Group (SATI) had a record July. The CBD products supplier has benefitted from sanitiser demand.

TechFinancials (TECH) reported a loss of $492,000 in the first half of 2020. There is $716,000 in the bank. The closure of the trading software operations will be completed in the second half. The Footies ticketing business still has not progressed in terms of signing up clients.

Recruitment company Sumner Group Health (SGRL) intends to withdraw from Aquis in order to save money. A general meeting will be held on 3 September.

IamFire (FIRE) has completed the purchase of a 10% stake in Bio2pure, in a deal that values the company at £8m. The investee company’s CoviPure disinfectant has been launched

AIM

Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) has been criticised for its financial controls and systems back in 2018. A £300,000 fine has been waived because remedial action has been undertaken. Yu has acquired Bristol City Council-owned Bristol Energy’s B2B business for an initial £1.24m.

Appreciate (APP) was going to have a tough year even before COVID-19. In the year to March 2020, underlying pre-tax profit fell from £12.5m to £11.4m and there is likely to be a much larger profit decline this year. Trading has improved after a tough first quarter. If Appreciate had not been investing in its digital products it would have found recent months even more difficult. A property has been sold for £3.2m, which further enhances the cash pile of £29.6m at the end of March. The hamper business will be closed this year, but the overall Christmas savings business is holding up. Corporate demand is recovering.

Investment in VW emissions case work will hold back profit in the second half at credit hire firm Anexo (ANX). Lockdown led to a sharp fall in interim profit, but business is building up again. Profit could return to the 2019 level of £23m in 2021, even if there are no VW case revenues. A 0.5p a share interim dividend is being paid.

The geographic and sector spread of recruitment firm Empresaria (EMR) has helped it cope with difficult trading, particularly in its airline-related business. The business was profitable in the first and second quarters. The underlying interim pre-tax profit fell from £3.7m to £2.4m. There is no full year forecast.

Touchstone Exploration (TXP) has commenced drilling at Chinook on the Ortoire block in Trinidad. Chinook is valued at 2p a share by finnCap, but it could be significant like previous find Cascadura, which is valued at 78p a share. Cost cutting has helped to reduce year-on-year per barrel operating costs by 28% in the second quarter. There was still a second quarter loss. Production has declined to 1,396 barrels/day in the second quarter, but this will rise substantially when Cascadura comes into production.

STM (STM) has acquired pensions administrator Berkeley Burke for up to £2.9m. this will add to the UK operations. The business will be rebranded.

Pennant International (PEN) has an order book worth £36m and net cash of £2m. Annualised cost savings of £1m will help the second half performance and a profit is expected. That may not be enough to cover the first half loss.

Pires Investments (PIRI) investee company Getvisibility has signed a US distribution agreement. The data security business will gain access to US government work.

Matthew Freud has taken his stake in Reach4Entertainment (R4E) to 18.7%. The company’s chief executive has increased his stake to 18.7%. The general meeting to vote on the proposal to leave AIM is on 21 August.

MAIN MARKET

Tex Holdings (TXH) says interim revenues fell from £21.8m to £18.5m and the loss has increased from £351,000 to £1.36m. There is £2.54m in the bank, but net debt is £10.7m. The board still wants to raise more cash. The plastics business is still profitable, although it made a lower contribution. The engineering loss was slightly lower, but boards and panels fell from profit to loss.

MATCHED BARGAINS

Fastjet (FJET) is moving from AIM to Asset Match and the airline is reregistering as a private limited company. Trading is expected to start on 24 August. The first auction will be on 30 September.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 22 June 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Cancer treatment developer Incanthera (INC) had cash of £392,000 at the end of March 2020, following its fundraising when it joined the Aquis Stock Exchange. The company has a call option on more than £350,000 of additional cash. That should fund this year’s requirements and make the company’s cash last until next summer. The initial focus is topical cream Sol, which prevents sun damage turning into skin cancer.

European Lithium (EUR) has obtained initial funding from the EU-backed Greenpeg programme to support lithium sourced from Europe. The cash goes towards to the Wolfsburg lithium project in Austria.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that the Yangibana rare earths joint venture has commenced drilling at the project. The plan is to increase the existing 21.25Mt JORC resource. The drilling will continue until October. The Amapa iron ore project, where Cadence will own a 20% stake, is set to start shipping its stockpile early in the third quarter of this year.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) intends to change its investment strategy to one focused on healthcare.

TechFinancials (TECH) had cash of $672,000 at the end of 2019. However, write-offs mean that net assets have fallen to $309,000. Management is uncertain about the future of the Footies ticketing technology operation.

Altona Resources (ANR) had net liabilities of £353,000 at the end of 2019. There is a bank overdraft of £100,000.

Globe Capital Ltd (GCAP) is currently being supported by one of its shareholders Toddbrook Investments and the company’s loan note provider. Net assets were turned into net liabilities of £88,000 at the end of 2019.

AIM

Digital payments and fraud prevention services provider Boku (BOKU) is buying rival Fortumo Holdings for an enterprise value of $41m. Boku has raised £20.1m at 85p a share to finance the acquisition. In 2019, Fortumo made EBITDA of $2.3m on revenues of $7.2m. Fortumo is focused on smaller businesses than Boku.

International pensions administrator STM (STM) has made a good start to 2020, but profit is still set to decline this year, although that is partly due to the lack of one-off income. The current share price reflects this with the prospective multiple of eight, but that could fall to less than five in 2021.

Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) has increased the JORC compliant mineral resource estimate at the Asacha gold mine to 452,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 14.7g/t and 1.33 million ounces of silver at an average grade of 44g/t. Three-quarters of this is in the measured and indicated category. The mine life should extend to 2027. More drilling is planned in the east zone. A final dividend of $0.023 a share is proposed, and the shares go ex-dividend on 9 July.

Best of the Best (BOTB) has received tentative bid approaches and management is exploring strategic options. This follows the announcement of the competitions organiser’s full year figures. A 3p a share final dividend and 20p a share special dividend were announced.

Feedback (FDBK) is raising up to £5.59m via a placing and open offer at 1p a share in order to invest in the development and marketing of its Bleepa medical imaging communications platform. This could double the number of shares in issue. A one-for-ten open offer will raise up to £540,000 depending on the take-up. Stanford Capital was the bookrunner.

VR Education (VRE) reported a 43% increase in 2019 revenues and the loss was reduced. COVID-19 has increased interest in virtual reality-based conferences and this has probably pushed VR Education much further ahead than it would have been. The benefits of this will show though in the next couple of years as revenues grow faster than previously expected. The cash injection from HTC means that VR Education has plenty of cash for its requirements.

Omega Diagnostics (ODX) is raising up to £11m at 40p a share in order to finance further COVID-19 testing opportunities and to increase production capacity.

Inspiration Healthcare (IHC) is acquiring SLE, which makes ventilators for neonatal intensive care, for £18m in cash and shares. A £16.5m placing at 65p a share and an open offer raising up to £500,000 at the same share price will fund the cash element of the acquisition price.

Urban Exposure (UEX) says that Randeesh and Danjit Sandhu have resigned and will receive settlement payments, while Ravi Thakar has been made redundant. They can also sell their shares. This is because of the decision to stop taking new property loan business. NAV is estimated at 84p a share at the end of 2019. An orderly wind down should produce 70p-83p a share. A loan book sale is not currently attractive. There should be quarterly cash distributions as cash comes into the company.

Information management services provider IDOX (IDOX) made a strong recovery in the first half. Revenues were 13% ahead at £35.1m, while there was a small pre-tax profit from continuing operations. More than 90% of full year revenues have been contracted. Net debt fell from £26.4m to £14.3m over the six months to April 2020.

MAIN MARKET

Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) has raised 315m at 120.5p a share. An initial £5m will be invested in projects to enhance growth and the rest will provide additional working capital. Trading in the year to March 2020 was in line with forecasts adjusted for COVID-19 effects. There have been improving activity levels since May.

Seafox International has lodged a second requisition for a general meeting at Gulf Marine Services (GMS) and it has been accepted. Seafox proposes Hassan Heikal and Hesham Helbouny as directors.

Contango Holdings (CGO) has completed the acquisition of a 70% stake in the Lubu coalfield project and been readmitted to the standard list.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) is still waiting for the listing requirements relating to its acquisition of Kanabo Research. There is still uncertainty over listing regulations for cannabis-related companies. The acquisition was announced 16 months ago.

LED lighting supplier Dialight (DIA) says it is experiencing improving but volatile demand. The order book is better than expected and overdue deliveries are being made. Crucial component stocks are being built up. Net debt was 317.3m at the end of May 2020.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 May 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

British Honey Company (BHC) says its hand sanitiser has generated revenues of more than £500,000 since late March. This helps to offset the reduction in sales of alcohol products. There is sufficient alcohol available for the company’s requirements for the rest of the year. British Honey has appointed finnCap as corporate adviser and joint broker with Stanford Capital.

National Milk Records (NMRP) increased first quarter revenues by 1% to £5.61m. The growth comes from testing revenues with other revenues declining slightly. The company remains positive about the prospects for the dairy sector. The supply chain is rebalancing following a drop in demand for milk from coffee shops.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that the total gold resources at the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania have increased to 1.454 million tonnes at 10.3g/t for 483,000 ounces of gold. This excludes any estimate for the upper section of the mine.

World High Life (LIFE) says the Love Hemp brand has increased online sales by 39% each month since January. The brand’s CBD products are being stocked by more retailers.

TechFinancials (TECH) has signed a separation agreement with the cofounders of Footies Ltd and it will own 100% of the business. The cofounders get the original source code from May 2019. TechFinancials is ending its B2B brokerage activities by 1 November.

Investment company Gunsynd (GUN) has consolidated 85 shares into one new share.

Adnams (ADB) has appointed Jenny Hanlon to replace Stephen Pugh as finance director, which is a role he has held for 16 years.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) reported a NAV of 266.48p a share at the end of April. That represents a decline from 317.18p a share in the latest quarter.

AIM

Best of the Best (BOTB) has sparked another profit upgrade following its trading statement. finnCap has raised its 2019-20 by 27% to £3.8m.

IP investment company Tekcapital (TEK) increased net assets by two-fifths to $22.3m, which is equivalent to 35 cents a share. The biggest gain in value was for Guident, where nearly $7m was added to the valuation. Alternative salt developer Salarius and medical devices company Bellascura also generated good increases. Hi-tech eyewear developer Lucyd’s value fell by nearly $2m. Tekcapital recently raised £925,000 at 10p a share. This will be invested in portfolio companies.

Lower costs meant that ClearStar (CLSU) made a lower loss than expected in 2019. The background checks provider had net debt of $300,000 at the end of the year and this has increased to $1m. The year commenced with a record order book but there have been delays and reductions in volumes.

Genedrive (GDR) has raised £7m at 80p a share to finance the development of two COVID-19 tests.

Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) has launched FiltaShield, a COVID-19 sanitising services. It has also combined with a technology company to provide temperature screening devices.

VR equipment supplier Immotion (IMMO) has raised money for the second time this year. It has raised £1.35m at 2.5p a share, which is much lower than the 7.25p placing price in February.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) says that Bangladesh’s economic slowdown and disruption to supplies due to COVID-19 could hamper the fourth quarter of the year to June 2020. Even so, Beximco still expects to report annual sales growth.

ZOO Digital (ZOO) says that strong cash collections mean that it had cash of $700,000 at the end of March 2020.  Demand for localisation services weakened at the end of March but demand is recovering.

Hargreaves Services (HSP) has conditionally exchanged contracts for a 79 acre plot on the Hatfield site in South Yorkshire, which will be used to develop a national distribution centre for a retailer. The company is trading in line with expectations other than in the property business, where planned land sales will not complete before the end of May as originally anticipated.

MAIN MARKET

JD Sports Fashion (JD.) has been told by the CMA that it has to sell Footasylum. The formerly AIM-quoted footwear retailer was acquired last year. An appeal is being considered.

BATM (BVC) has launched an antibody test for COVID-19 and sales have begun to European countries.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) mined 319.2 bitcoin during April, down from 333.8 the previous month. The revenues were £1.8m in each month.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 30 March 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

AQSE and AIM-quoted Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) improved its underlying pre-tax profit from £4.4m to £5.8m in 2019, while the second interim dividend is 5% higher at 21p a share. This does not have to be agreed at an AGM. NAV rose from 1283p a share to 1364p a share. The total capital ratio has edged up from 17.2% to 17.3%.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that its insurers stipulated that COVID-19 was excluded from the insurance for the abandonment of race meetings. There will be a significant loss of revenues even if horse racing remains suspended until the end of April. Events, the hotel and the nursery will also be hit. There are bank facilities that should be enough to cover needs for the foreseeable future and the company is talking with its lenders. Management still expects David Wilson Homes to make a further payment of £10.9m for the development sites it has acquired.

Employee-owned businesses investor Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) believes that the value of its investments has declined by up to 15% since the end of February. NAV will have fallen from 50.17p a share to a range of 42.6p a share to 45.1p a share. That offsets the increase in the previous six months.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) is cancelling its interim dividend of 14p a share. The hotel has been temporarily closed.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $65,000 in the Acala Network project and will receive 866,666.67 tokens at 7.5 cents each. Acala will offer a stablecoin that can be transferred across different blockchains and collateralised with digital assets.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that its 4.1%-owned investee company Macarthur Minerals is seeking a partner for its Lake Giles iron ore project in Western Australia. Another investee company, 16.7%-owned AIM-quoted European Metals Holdings (EMH), has secured a strategic investment by CEZ in the Cinovec project. CEZ will subscribe for a 51% stake in the company that owns the project, subject to EMH shareholder approval. The price payable has been reduced from €34.1m to €29.1m.

AFH Financial (AFHP) non-executive director has invested nearly £25,000 in the IFA at 198p a share.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that subsidiary Coal Agglomeration South Africa has stopped activities until 16 April, which is in line with the government lockdown.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) has cash of £26.4m and it could defer the July repayment of £2m of its £3.9m convertible loans, so it is in a strong position to cope with the effects of COVID-19.

Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has suspended mining in Rwanda because of COVID-19. This will be for an initial two weeks. Planning for continues exploration will continue.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has employed consultants to prepare a mine reopening due diligence study on the Beaconsfield gold mine.

TechFinancials (TECH) is exercising its option to acquire shares in Cedex Holdings and the resulting stake will be 97.3% or 90.8% fully diluted. The company will consider disposing of the stake.

World High Life (LIFE) is holding a general meeting on 14 April in order to gain shareholder approval for each existing share to be sub-divided into ten new shares.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has issued a further £245,000 of bonds. This takes the total value of bonds in issue to £1.23m. Trading in First Sentinel 7% bonds, February 2023, First Sentinel preference shares and EPE Special Opportunities 7.5% unsecured loan stock, 2022 has started again after the market maker resumed activities.

AIM

Novacyt (NCYT) has signed a contract manufacturing deal with Yourgene Health (YGEN) for its COVID-19 test. The initial plan is for Yourgene to manufacture critical components. A global distribution agreement for the COVID-19 test has been secured with Bruker-Hain Diagnostics for use on its instruments. The Philippines has approved the test for commercial use.

Graphene materials supplier Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) has successfully reduced its cost base and it had £4.3m in the bank at the end of January 2020. This should last until the second half of 2021. Revenues remain small but a number of coatings products using the company’s graphene have been launched in the past year. There is a pipeline of additional products.

Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) is still losing money, but it is generating cash. In 2019, ECSC revenues grew by 10% to £5.91m. Managed services revenues increased by 48% to £2.61m. Managed services has additional capacity and as more work is won margins could continue to improve. Consulting revenues dipped slightly to £2.9m, although they did grow in the second half. The other revenues come from third party products and other services.

Secure payments systems provider PCI-Pal (PCIP) is raising £5m at 30p a share. The cash will finance sales and marketing in North America and further product development. There will also be additional flexibility for any medium-term effects of COVID-19.

Georgia-focused oil and gas company Block Energy (BLOE) is acquiring two blocks adjacent to its own from Schlumberger. They include Block XIB, which is Georgia’s most productive block, although the peak production was in the 1980s. This will boost Block’s production by 245 barrels of oil per day. There is also another exploration block and a central production facility being acquired. There are 14 years remaining on the permits for the two blocks. Block is paying for the assets with 120 million options exercisable at nil cost. They are deemed to have a value of 5 cents each. The options can be exercised between 12 and 24 months from completion.

Replacement windows and doors supplier Safestyle UK (SFE) has temporarily ceased installations. Safestyle believes with cost reductions and government assistance it will be able to cope with the closure of activities until after the end of June.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) is still paying its 9.4p a share final dividend. Trading in the four months to February 2020 was subdued but in line with expectations. The company’s agricultural stores have been allowed to stay open. There may be some additional costs relating to COVID-19.

Geospatial software provider IQGeo (IQG) has secured an expansion to its contract with Tokyo Electric Power Company, which is worth £1.8m over three years.

MAIN MARKET

Trident Resources (TRR) is becoming a mining royalty company and moving to AIM. The first acquisition is a 1.5% free on board revenue royalty over part of the Koolyanobbing iron ore operation in Western Australia for a staged cash consideration of A$7m. There are plans to increase production from an annualised rate of 11Mtpa to 15Mtpa by the end of 2020. The initial payment is A$4m and the other A$3m is payable one year after completion. The most recent quarterly royalty was A$731,000. Further royalty interests are set to be acquired. A fundraising is planned and the company will change its name to Trident Royalties.

Dev Clever (DEV) says that COVID-19 restrictions have increased demand for its SaaS-based career guidance platforms. The US launch was in April.

Nanoco (NANO) says Merck has issued three-month notice of termination of its cadmium-free quantum dots licence agreement so that the licence can be renegotiated. The existing licence had minimum annual royalties. Merck continues to buy materials.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) says that an investor commitment to provide £1.4m for the company when it acquires Kanabo Research has been terminated. This arrangement was made in July 2019 and the acquisition of the medicinal cannabis company has still not been completed.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) is amending the terms of the purchase of 80% of the Anglo American Oil and Gas (AAOG) subsidiary that owns 56% stake in the Tilapia oilfield in the Republic of Congo. The purchase price has been reduced by one-fifth to £800,000 and it will be paid in ten monthly instalments. Zenith will no longer issue any shares and it will not be providing a £250,000 secured loan facility.

Books publisher Quarto (QRT) says revenues fell from $149.3m to $135.8m in 2019 but it did return to profit. Banking facilities have been extended to July 2021.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) says the Wavertree project is at the final fit out stage, but work has been suspended due to COVID-19. There are 16 apartments and offices on the site in north west England.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 20 January 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

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

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

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

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

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

OTHER MARKETS

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 9 December 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

GP clinical software supplier DXS International (DXSP) broadly maintained its interim revenues at £1.66m. Admin costs were lower so DXS returned to profit. There was also a higher tax credit. It made a pre-tax profit of £90,000 in the six months to October 2019, while the post-tax figure was £202,000. The final accreditation for the NHS Digital Care Services (GP IT Futures) contract is due this month. This will provide a positive outlook for the rest of this year and next year.

Formation Group (FRM) is investing £10m in Irish property development sites in Dublin, Limerick and Kildare. These sites were owned by major Formation shareholder Zandra Holdings, which also shares directors with Formation. Market Equities is buying the sites and it will be 45%-owned by Formation and 55% by Zandra.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has bought a 59.9% stake in Financial Innovations Team, which provides corporate finance services. Eight Capital also owns 40% of Finance Partners Group, which owns the rest of Financial Innovations Team. The strategy is to eventually become the single direct owner of the business.

Hellyer generated record profit for NQ Minerals (NQMI) in November. The gold mine has provisionally reported net profit before tax of A$2.44m on revenues of A$5.64m.

Belvedere Leisure Resorts has obtained a NEX quotation for its 6.25% secured bonds. Up to £25m of bonds can be issued. The company is a subsidiary of Belvedere Leisure Park, which owns a site in Dumfries & Galloway with planning permission for a lodge park resort of 444 holiday lodges.

SAPO (SAPO) has joined the NEX Growth Market and set its sights on gaining some of the £200m that the government has set aside to make sure that rural people can have fast broadband.

Gunsynd (GUN) has bought a 7.67% stake in Kolosori Nickel, which owns 80% of the Kolorosi prospect in the Solomon Islands. Gunsynd has a 90-day option to purchase a further 22.33%. Gunsynd’s stake in Sunshine Minerals will be diluted to 15.5%, if Malachite Resources earns a 15% stake by financing geological data and technical work.

TechFinancials (TECH) is dropping its AIM quotation and concentrating on the NEX-quotation. The company is reviewing the future of its original financial trading software operations and closing its loss-making business-to-consumer operations. There will be a $2.6m write-off. Blockchain-based ticketing business Footies has still not signed up a client. The first version of the platform is being tested with clubs and the feedback is helping to focus development. The focus is mid-sized clubs. Diamond platform developer Cedex is still commercialising its technology and TechFinancials may consider selling its stake.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has sent a circular to shareholders to convene a general meeting to expand the investment strategy in terms of cultivation of medicinal cannabis, as well as to gain approval for issuing more shares.

Trading in Welney (WENP) shares has been suspended because it has not published its accounts for the year to June 2019.

AIM

A large contract has been won by telecoms marketing technology provider Pelatro (PTRO) has been won in the form of a recurring revenue deal rather than a one-off licence. This has led to short-term downgrades, but the longer-term prospects are better. The contract is worth up to $12m over five years, with $10m fixed and the other $2m coming from gain share with the global telecoms client. Pelatro has 50% of next year’s forecast revenues of $8m in the form of recurring revenues. That would generate pre-tax profit of $2.2m.

Shareholders have voted in favour of the DBAY rescue proposal for Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) and will acquire a 51% stake in the main operating subsidiary of the transport business.

Summit Therapeutics (SUMM) is raising £38.7m at 22.1p a share with most of the shares being acquired by Robert W Duggan who will own 72.8% of the antibiotics developer. He will also become a non-executive director. Summit will leave AIM and retain its Nasdaq listing.

ReNeuron (RENE) is expanding the scope of the phase IIa study of its hRPC stem cell therapy treatment in order to speed up the process towards a phase III study. Further data will be published next year. Patient recruitment for a treatment for stroke disability is being accelerated. The main data will be published in the middle of 2021. There was £21.3m in the bank at the end of September 2019.

Subsea cable protection services provider Tekmar (TGP) continues to benefit from increasing investment in offshore wind. Interim revenues were 140% higher at £17.1m and the business moved from loss to profit. Acquisitions boosted organic growth. The order book was at a record level of £15.9m at the end of September 2019.

Renalytix AI (RENX) will receive $950 per KidneyIntelX test used in the US from 1 January. This price lasts for three years and is set by the US authorities. Insurance companies are likely to pay a similar amount. Initial revenues have been generated by a pharma testing programme.

Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ) is still finding trading conditions tough with like-for-like store sales 10% lower so far this year. Costs have been reduced, but a pre-tax loss of £3.3m is forecast for this year.

Medical grade collagen components supplier Collagen Solutions (COS) is building up sales of tissue and starting to benefit from the collaboration with its major US shareholder. Investment in the Glasgow facility will increase collagen supply.

Antibody discovery company Fusion Antibodies (FAB) improved interim revenues from £660,000 to £1.75m. There was still £1.31m left in the bank at the end of September 2019. Belfast-based Fusion has launched its RAMP service, which helps clients to optimise the performance of an antibody. The Mammalian Antibody library should be launched by next September.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell National World (NWOR) has asked for trading in the shares to be suspended as it negotiates the potential acquisition of regional titles from JPI. There are also other acquisitions being assessed.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) has acquired the Italian gas production and exploration assets of Coro Energy (CORO) for an initial £402,000 in shares at 6p each. Up to £3.5m in also payable in shares if gas production averages 100,000 scm/day over a period of four successive months. Production is expected to reach 113,000 scm/day following developments planned over the next 6-9 months. The Italian authorities have to agree to the deal, which adds to Zenith’s existing assets in Italy.

Haynes Publishing (HYNS) says that interim pre-tax profit will be 37% higher than in the corresponding period last year. This is all organic growth. The interims will be announced on 30 January.

Digital inkjet technology developer Xaar (XAR) says that Stratasys has completed its increased investment in Xaar 3D and it has an option to acquire the rest of Xaar 3D within three years. Xaar sold 20% of the 3D printing business for $10m and Stratasys can buy the 55% it does not won for at least $33m.

Nanoco (NANO) says that interested parties have been asked to submit acquisition proposals by mid-December. The majority of contracted revenues of £3.5m will be delivered in the first half. Progress with new customers has been hampered by the formal sale process.

IMC Exploration (IMC) says that the exploration programme in the Goldmines River licence in Wicklow has confirmed gold values ranging up to 0.4g/t. Drilling results are still being analysed.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) says that its Minto mine in Canada has received £3.7m in payment for copper concentrate. Sumitomo makes a 90% advanced payment for the concentrate. The rest is paid on delivery. Pembridge is on a roadshow to raise between £3m-£5m.

BATM (BVC) has gained a $4m contract in Asia for its agri-waste business. Three units will be supplied to two poultry processing facilities.

MATCHED BARGAINS

MESH Holdings, which recently left NEX will have its shares dealt on the JP Jenkins dealing platform. The acquisition option for AI company Sentiance has lapsed but management is in talks to agree a new option, which would require MESH to invest more cash in Sentiance, where it has a 16.8% stake.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 4 November 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has managed to generate 92% of 2018’s record harvest in volume terms for the company’s wines. This was achieved even though the weather was not as good this summer. Some vineyards produced their first crop and are still maturing.

Belvedere Leisure Resorts plans to gain a quotation on the NEX Growth Market for its bonds on 22 November. The company is a subsidiary of Belvedere Leisure Park, which owns a site in Dumfries & Galloway with planning permission for a lodge park resort of 444 holiday lodges. The park will be built by Landal GreenParks. The bonds will offer a coupon 6.25%. An initial £10m of bonds will be admitted with a maximum of £25m expected to be raised.

First Sentinel (FSEN) is seeking shareholder approval to issue Green Finance preference shares, which would be quoted on NEX. The cash raised will be invested in the renewable energy sector. A general meeting will be held on 18 November. Warrants have been exercised at 10p a share and this has raised £400,000 for First Sentinel.

Mechanical and electrical design and installation company Field Systems Design Holding (FSD) reported a decline in revenues from £25.9m to £21.8m in the year to May 2019. Higher gross margins meant that the decline in the pre-tax profit was limited and it fell from £625,000 to £553,000. Water generated four-fifths of revenues, up from 48% the previous year. There are no solid spending forecasts, as yet, for the latest water capital investment period for between 2020 and 2025. This causes some medium-term uncertainty. The order book is worth £8.2m, compared with £12m one year earlier. There is a pension surplus.

KR1 (KR1) has made three more investments in blockchain-related tokens. A $100,000 cash investment and payment for advisory expertise will earn 1.017% of Vega tokens issued. Vega is developing a decentralised and censorship-resistant blockchain trading platform. A further $266,220 has been invested in Edgeware smart-contract platform tokens and they will be locked up for 12 months. KR1 will receive 1,000 Ether and this will translate into 3.8 million Edgeware tokens. KR1 has spent $50,000 on a minimum stake of 0.625% in Commonwealth Labs, which is helping to market the Edgeware platform.

Allenby Capital has published a research note on cannabis products supplier Sativa Investments (SATI) and it forecasts revenues of £1.64m in 2019 and £5.15m next year. This will not be enough to make Sativa profitable. Allenby believes that it may have to raise £6m next year to cover its cash outflows and maintain net cash. Sativa has changed the brand name from George Botanicals to Goodbody Botanicals.

Imperial X (IMPP) has raised £347,000 at 2.5p a share. This represents 27.3% of the enlarged share capital.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) increased lead concentrate production at the Hellyer mine from 5,452 tonnes in the second quarter to 6,656 tonnes in the third quarter, but zinc and pyrite concentrate production declined. However, recovery levels have improved for both lead and zinc.

BWA Group (BWAP) intends to sell its investments in Prepaid Card Services and a mining project in Cameroon. They are in the balance sheet at a value of £608,000. The focus will be gold explorer Kings of the North. St-Georges Eco-Mining is converting £300,000 of the £2.45m of convertible loan notes at 0.5p a share. This is equivalent to 23.75% of the enlarged share capital. The loan notes were issued to acquired Kings of the North Corp. BWA is still waiting for £88,000 of the £100,000 of convertibles issued for cash.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has published its 2018 accounts, but it will have to publish its interims before trading in the shares recommences. Management says that it is addressing the accounting concerns of its auditor BDO. The NAV was 0.95 cents a share at the end of 2018.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings (AWLP) reported a drop in revenues from $1.24m to $797,000. This meant that the company fell into loss. There is $726,000 in the bank at the end of August 2019.

Ganapati (GANP) improved its interim revenues from £2.19m to £2.33m, but higher admin expenses meant that the reported loss more than trebled to £8.5m. The company continues to develop its online gaming platform.

TechFinancials (TECH) has completed the sale of a loss-making asset for €100,000.

Queros Capital Partners (QCP) is asking shareholders to approve the ending of the NEX quotation. The general meeting will be held on 14 November.

AIM

Duke Royalty (DUKE) has made a follow-on investment in Lynx Equity, to help the company to finance the purchase of Denmark-based steel staircases supplier Sundby Trapper. This means that Duke has exposure of £12m in Lynx and it will receive annual distributions of £1.6m.

Space management software supplier Smartspace Software (SMRT) is paying £3.2m in cash and shares for Australia-based Space Connect, a provider of cloud-based workplace management software for room booking, desk management, catering and workspace analytics. This will save up to £1.2m a year on product development over two years. The software can be rolled-out in the UK. Smartspace made an interim loss of £4m.

An investor group intends to increase its stake in Petrel Resources (PET) from 29.99% to 51% via a share issue at 1.25p each. They will offer potential oil and gas-related investments to Petrel.

Cabot Energy (CAB) has decided to ditch its AIM quotation on 3 December, but it intends to have its shares matched on Asset Match. This will have to be approved by shareholders. The Canada-focused oil and gas company wants to reduce its overheads.

RedT Energy (RED) plans to merge with Avalon Battery Corporation and combine the best features of each company’s technology. Bushveld Minerals (BMN) is providing an interim loan facility prior to the raising of £23m of new funds.

Avingtrans (AVG) is already reaping the benefits of the acquisition of Booth Industries, thanks to a £7.2m safety doors contract from the government. That means that £12m of orders have been won since the purchase in June.

Safestay (SSTY) is buying a hostel in Athens for €1.5m. The hostel has been operating since 2008 and has an 18-year lease. Safestay has also completed the purchase of the Best Western Glasgow City hotel for £3.15m and this will be transformed into a 200-bed hostel.

MAIN MARKET

Stevia producer PureCircle (PURE) has won a legal decision in its patent litigation with SweeGen, which challenged the patent. It will pursue Federal District court litigation against SweeGen. The patent is for the process of producing Reb M stevia sweetener via bioconversion. The shares remain suspended because it has not published the results for the year to June 2019.

Meditor is considering a 5p a share offer for carpets retailer Carpetright (CPR) and without this offer thee would need to be a refinancing of £80m of debt and additional working capital.

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) has warned that its 2019 figures will be even worse than previously thought and chief executive Andy Bruce and chief operating officer Nigel McMinn have left the board. The pre-tax forecast has been cut from £38.7m to £15.5m, compared with £53.9m in 2018. Third quarter new car unit sales fell by 3.2% (on a like-for-like basis), compared with the market decline of 0.6%.

InnovaDerma (IDP) is launching a new topical product in Superdrug before the end of June. The full details will be announced nearer the launch.

The chairman and chief executive of Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) have acquired 5.46 million shares at 3p each and they have a combined shareholding of 27.5%. Further cost reductions have been identified for the Gakara project in Burundi. A further 100 tonnes of rare earth oxides concentrate were shipped in October. Production levels will fall in the short-term as the production focus moves to a mechanised operation.

Cryptominer Argo Blockchain (ARB) has doubled its mining equipment order and changed the machines it is buying. The cost has been reduced from $13.1m to $9.51m. The machines are more efficient. The current machine orders will increase capacity by 240%.

Resources cash shell Mila Resources (MILA) is still seeking a deal. There was £429,000 in cash at the end of June 2019. Another shell, Bermele (BERM), is also still seeking a deal. It had £682,000 in cash at the end of July 2019.

Blencowe Resources (BRES) is acquiring the Orom graphite project in Uganda for £2m in shares at 6p each. This is subject to a fundraising.

Iconic Labs (ICON) slipped out its results for the 18 months to June 2019 at 6.28pm on 31 October. They show a £6.12m loss, of which, £308,000 was from continuing operations. Net liabilities were £1.67m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 19 August 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Adnams (ADB) reported a decline in first half revenues from £35.5m to £34.7m, while the loss increased from £840,000 to £1.15m. Beer volumes were 2% ahead, compared with a 1% decline in the market. Low alcohol beer sales grew. Gin sales fell because of greater competition. A fire at the Ship at Levington hampered the performance of the pubs business. Adnams made an underlying profit in 2018, thanks to a better second half performance. The new IT system went live in March and the implementation has been a distraction to management. The dividends are unchanged at 78p a share for each B share and 19.5p per A share.  

Bruce Pubs (PUB) has decided to cancel trading in its 7.2% secured bonds, 31 March 2022. There are £20,000 worth of bonds admitted to the market and there have been no trades. Bruce Pubs had wanted to raise up to £20m from the bond issue. It is therefore not a surprise that Bruce Pubs believes it is not worth having a trading facility. The bonds can be redeemed early by the company.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has produced 10,164 tonnes of lead concentrate, 7,431 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 46,863 tonnes of pyrite concentrate in the first half of 2019. An operating profit of A$3.6m was made on sales of A$23m.

TechFinancials (TECH) had $1.23m in the bank at the end of June 2019. A reduction in trade receivables meant that there was a small cash inflow from operating activities, but there was $402,000 capitalised developed on the blockchain ticketing system.

China-focused healthcare company MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £755,000 at 30p a share.

Queros Capital Partners (QCP) has gained a quotation for its bonds on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange

AIM  

ICAMAP has acquired 7.94 million shares in easyHotel (EZH) at its offer price of 95p a share, taking its stake to 44.1%. This means that it is a mandatory cash offer.

Iofina (IOF) has launched IofinaEX Global to deal in hemp derived products in Central America and the Caribbean. Iofina will potentially link up with a government in the region that wants to develop its country as a hub for hemp derived products. There are no details of this potential partnership. The company believes that its regulatory expertise in the iodine market will be helpful in the CBD market. The US is likely to be a major market.

LightwaveRF (LWRF) has raised £1.3m at 7p a share. The smart homes equipment supplier wants the cash to finance further growth. There are also plans to secure a facility for stock.

Altitude (ALT) is considering the disposal of its Manchester-based promotion products supplier AdProducts.com. This would enable Altitude to concentrate on its AIM platform for promotional products suppliers.

Greatland Gold (GGP) has raised £4.2m at 1.85p a share and that will be used to finance exploration in the Paterson region of Australia. There has been positive exploration news from the Scallywag prospect in the Paterson region. A ground gravity survey starts this month and an induced polarisation survey next month. Then 3D modelling using the data will come up with drill targets.

Cyber security software and services provider Corero Network Security (CNS) says interim revenues are lower, but operating costs are unchanged. That means that the interim loss has increased. However, full year revenues are expected to be one-fifth higher, but higher investment in sales means that the loss will still be higher. Net cash was $3.6m at the end of June 2019.

Equals Group (EQLS) is raising up to £16m via a placing and open offer. The international payments company has raised £14m at 110p a share and up to £2m will come from the one-for-90 open offer. The cash will be used for acquisitions and working capital.

Tanfield (TAN) says that 49%-owned Snorkel International has moved back into profit in the second quarter of 2019, although the first half was still loss-making. Last year, the value of this investment in the access equipment supplier was cut from £36.3m to £19.1m.

Oil and gas producer President Energy (PPC) says that there should not be a material effect on its operations from a change in Argentinian president. Revenues are US dollar based and cash is held in the same currency, so the decline of the Argentinian peso should not be too much of a problem.

Anthony Laiker has subscribed £25,000 in Vela Technologies (VELA) at 0.1p a share. A general meeting has to approve the share issue to the executive director, as well as an issue of 6.25 million warrants exercisable at 0.15p. Approval of the conversion of £200,000 of loan notes plus interest into nearly 241 million shares will also require the company to be given the ability to issue more shares. Laiker would than own more than 301 million shares.

Gfinity (GFIN) is pulling out of its Australian joint venture because the esports company wants to focus its cash on the US and other important markets.  

Workspace software provider Essensys (ESYS) says that its revenues were one-quarter higher at £20.5m in the year to July 2019. That was better than expected. Annual recurring revenues run rate is £17.3m.

MAIN MARKET  

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) made an increased loss of £1.81m, up from £582,000 the previous year. The company’s main pension fund remains a worry and there are ongoing discussions with the Pensions Regulator. There are net liabilities of £3.71m after the pension deficit of £4.98m.

Nanoco (NANO) generated revenues of £7.3m in the year to July 2019, more than double the previous year. The cadmium-free quantum dots developer had £7m in cash at the end of July and expects to have £6m at the end of 2019.

Highway Capital (HWC) has issued €30,000 of new convertible loan notes. These are convertible to a value in excess of 50% of the net asset value of the company at the time of conversion. The terms of an existing convertible loan note of £100,000 have been changed and the conversion price is 5p a share.

Shareholders in Avocet Mining (AVM) have voted against the resolution to wind up the company. This means that it is likely to go into administration unless there is a viable transaction that the board can assess.

Global Resources Investment Trust (GRIT) wanted shareholders to approve the voluntary liquidation of the company, but there is not enough support for the proposal. GRIT has sold 430 million shares in Kalia for £225,000 in order to provide working capital. A new board is being appointed to undertake a strategic review. James Normand will become chairman and Martin Lampshire as an executive director. Stephen Roberts will become a non-executive director.  

IMC Exploration (IMC) has been awarded two additional licences in County Wexford. They adjoin an existing licence where there are indications of gold.

Book publisher Quarto (QRT) reduced its interim loss from $6.6m to $4m on flat revenues of $56.4m. There was a change in the mix of revenues with children’s books increasing revenues by14% and in geographic terms more of the revenues were in the US, which moved into profit. Net debt has fallen by 11% to $65m.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) says that drilling has commenced at well C-37 in the Jafarli oilfield.

Pendragon (PDG) is selling its Chevrolet dealership in California for £17.2m. GM can alternatively nominate another purchaser if it wants. The rest of the US business will be sold.

Andrew Hore 

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