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Quoted Micro 12 December 2022


Shell company Greencare Capital (GRE) is changing its investment strategy and name to MaxRS Ventures. Instead of seeking a cannabis-related acquisition, the company will try to identify opportunities that are undervalued or would benefit from being consolidated with other companies in its market. These would be technology type businesses and initially life sciences, crypto technology, impact investing and retail companies will be prioritised. The share price fell 12.3% to 25p. That valuation is still much higher than the interim net assets.

Lift Global Ventures (LFT) is asking shareholders to expand its investing strategy to include the energy sector. If this is approved, Tim Daniel and Paul Gazzard will resign as directors and they will be replaced Sandy Barblett and Roy Kelly.

Lekoil Ltd (LEK) is ending legal proceedings with Lekoil Nigeria and Olalekan Akinyanmi and it will surrender its shares in Lekoil Nigeria, which will in turn surrender its Lekoil Ltd shares. Lekoil Ltd is also waiving repayment of existing loans and lending $51.9 to Lekoil Oil and Gas Investments, which will take on certain loans granted to Lekoil Nigeria. Lekoil Ltd will change its name to Fenikso Ltd and a revised strategy will be considered. There should be some cash left after paying creditors.

Dermatology and oncology treatments developer Incanthera (INC) is continuing discussions with potential partners for its skincare formulations. There was a £267,000 cash outflow from operating activities in the six months to September 2022. There is £28,000 left in the bank.

Investment company Gunsynd (GUN) net assets fell from £6.3m to £3.85m at the end of July 2022. There was a £1.95m reduction in the value of investments and the rest relates to the costs of running the company.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) raised £155,000 at 0.5p a share – every two shares come with a warrant exercisable at 1.5p. The share price fell 15.4% to 0.275p. Clean Invest Africa is running short of cash. Subsidiary Coaltech is finding that lead times to securing sales and deals have been longer than expected. Certain creditors owed £2.5m have agreed to subordinate that debt to other trade creditors.

Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd (GSVR) secured a $5m credit facility with Ocean Partners, which already provides a $5m facility. There will be a consolidated offtake agreement with Ocean Partners for 24 months to the end of December 2024.

BWA Group (BWAP) had £6,709 in the bank at then end of November 2022. Additional funding is still be sought. St Georges Eco-Mining Corp is seeking to convert a proportion of its loan into shares. The convertible relates to an acquisition that is subject to legal action.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has completed drilling within budget at the Mozambique Monte Muambe rare earths project. This will enable a maiden mineral resource estimate in the first quarter of 2023.

Ananda Developments (ANA) has published a general cannabis research round-up, including a pilot study that indicates that a cannabis-based spray can help alleviate cancer pain.  Ananda points to research that suggests that an individual’s genetics could predict the effects of cannabis.


Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) has announced the proposed acquisition of Helston Garages Group Ltd for £117m. This deal will be significantly earnings enhancing. Helston Garages is based in the south west of England and it has 28 outlets. This takes the group into Volvo and Ferrari for the first time. Zeus has increased its 2023-24 earnings per share forecast by 18.7% and by 24.7% for the following year when £3.2m of cost savings should be achieved.

Ashtead Technology (AT.) is buying subsea mechanical services provider Hiretech for £20m in cash. This has boosted 2023 earnings forecasts by 13%. Hiretech is already a supplier to Ashtead Technology.

Fund manager Mercia Asset Management (MERC) has acquired Frontier Development Capital for up to £9.5m. This enhances its business lending activities and brings £415m of funds under management. NAV was 46.8p a share at the end of September 2022.

Crestchic (LOAD) is recommending a 401p a share cash bid from Aggreko, which values the loadbank manufacturer and renter at £122m.

Audio equipment supplier Focusrite (LON: TUNE) edged up full year revenues thanks to positive currency movements, which was impressive given the Covid lockdown boost to demand in the previous year, but underlying pre-tax profit fell from £40.7m to £33.8m. Higher costs put pressure on margins. Asia Pacific was a particularly strong market last year. The total dividend was higher than expected at 6.1p a share. There was a positive start to the new financial year, although Focusrite will do well to maintain its profit this year.

International payments provider Equals (EQLS) says full year results will be better than expected. Canaccord Genuity has increased its 2022 pre-tax profit forecast from £10.3m to £10.8m. Last week, Equals acquired open banking platform Roqqett for up to £2.25m, subject to regulatory approval by the FCA.

Trident Royalties (TRR) is selling a portfolio of pre-production gold royalties, including Spring Hill, to Franco-Nevada for up to $15.8m – $1.25m is not payable until the Rebecca gold project goes into production. The royalties were bought for $6.5m. This leaves Trident Royalties with pro forma cash of $35m. A debt restructuring will reduce the interest charge by up to 2% and extend the facility by one year to the end of 2025.

Virtual reality and life sciences software provider Oxford Metrics (OMG) edged up revenues from £27.6m to £28.8m in the year to September 2022, but pre-tax profit decreased from £4m to £2.6m. The order book is worth £24m. The sale of Yotta left Oxford Metrics with £67.7m in cash. There is caution about acquisitions because price expectations are too high. Even so, pre-tax profit is set to rebound to £5.9m this year.

An initial contribution from Custom Power helped Solid State (SOLI) to increased interim pre-tax profit by three-fifths to £5.2m and the full year pre-tax profit could be £10.5m. There was strong growth from the components and systems divisions. There is high demand for the power products.

Automotive interiors supplier CT Automotive (CTA) has been hit by further supply chain disruption and production of new orders started later than anticipated, which has delayed profit recognition. A full year loss of $11m is forecast. A new facility has opened in Mexico, but it was later than expected. Net debt is $11.6m.

Mergers adviser K3 Capital (K3C) has received a 350p a share bid proposal from Sun European Partners.

Cote d’Ivoire-based Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) continues to benefit from high crude palm oil prices, which is near to its highs in the local market. Crude palm oil extraction rates improved to 20.9% in November 2022, although production fell by more than two-fifths to 1,535 tonnes.


Medicinal cannabis cultivation company Hellenic Dynamics reversed into former AIM-quoted shell UK Spac in an all share deal. Hellenic Dynamics (HELD) also raised £750,000 at 0.3p each. Hellenic Dynamics intends to operate a 195,506 square metres facility in northern Greece for the cultivation, production and export of THC-dominant strains of dried medicinal cannabis flowers and extracted oils of strains of medicinal cannabis flowers. The company has an installation/ construction licence. The company still has to obtain an operations licence in Greece so that it can sell the cannabis flowers and extract that it will produce.

Major shareholder MS Galleon has put forward three votes for the forthcoming AGM of tiles retailer Topps Tiles (TPT) through a requisition notice. It wants to remove chairman Darren Shapland and have Lidia Wolfinger and Michael Bartusiak appointed as non-executive directors. The Topps Tiles board recommends voting against the resolutions. MS Galleon holds 29.9% of Topps Tiles and it owns Cersanit, which is a major European tiles producer that wants to become a more significant supplier to Topps Tiles.

Finance provider S&U (SUS) says lending volumes have continued to be strong since the end of July. Write-downs remain relatively low and higher interest charges are offset by increased revenues. Pre-tax profit is set to decline this year, but it should still be more than £40m and total dividends could be 134.9p a share.

BATM (BVC) says a delay to a diagnostics contract will reduce the expected 2022 revenues. Shore Capital has reduced its forecast from $147m to $120m. That reduces pre-tax profit to $1.8m with a recovery to $17.4m forecast for 2023.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has raised £230,000 at 2p a share and this will fund the application for the temporary mountain use permits, which should be received in early 2023. There are negotiations with a streaming fund for the capital required to develop the high grade Kochang gold and silver mine in South Korea

A major 10-year contract announced by Carclo (CAR) for components for diagnostic units has been cancelled. This was expected to generate revenues of up to £15m each year. Carclo is in discussions concerning a commercial settlement, because tooling contracts have been delivered.

Full year revenues of Mears (MER) should reach £950m and pre-tax profit should be £33.5m. Net cash is likely to be more than £55m.

Andrew Hore

Brand CEO Alan Green talks markets,EU, Cranswick (CWK) & Topps Tiles (TPT) with Jenny Hammond on TipTV.

Brand CEO Alan Green talks markets, the EU, Cranswick Plc (CWK) and Topps Tiles (TPT) with Jenny Hammond on TipTV.

Tesco Blows A Trumpet or Two

Tesco TSCO blows a fanfare of trumpets over today’s interim results and when one considers that over the past two years prices have fallen by over 6%, it is perhaps right to do so. It claims significant progress in the first half with positive like for like sales and volume growth in all regions. UK and International sales volume grew by 2.1% and3.3% respectively. Operating profit rose by 38% and net debt fell by 49.3% year on year. On the statutory basis profit before tax was down by 28.3% but for the full year Tesco expects it will turn in an operating profit of £1.2bn before exceptionals.

Topps Tiles TPT claims record sales for the year to the 1st October despite a slowdown in the fourth quarter caused by weaker market conditions and the decision to exit from low margin wood flooring. These reduced like for like sales by 1.9%. leaving a rise for the quarter of 1.4% compared to the headier rises of the first three quarters. For the full year a healthy like for like rise of 4.2% is anticipated.

Gooch & Housego GHH is enjoying a positive trading environment in its second half, which has produced a robust order book standing 10.5% higher than it was a year ago, excluding recent acquisitions, which makes the company well placed for further growth.

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Tobacco Sales Drop Sharply at Bookers

Booker Group BOK has seen tobacco sales drop substantially in the face of the latest set of display restrictions, whilst non tobacco sales have been hit by food price deflation. Like for like tobacco sales for the 12 weeks to the 17th June were down by 7.7% and non tobacco fell by 0.7%. Total group sales rose by 10%. Shareholders will be rewarded with a proposed payment of 3.2p per ordinary share by way of return of capital.

Pure Circle PURE expects a 9% increase in 2016 sales and future orders have increased but apart from that today’s update makes for strange reading. Planned customer launches have been delayed into 2017 and problems with US customs appear to be still ongoing to the extent that they have not been resolved, despite release of the shipments detained in May. The CEO says the business model is robust and he is confident that profitability will improve but then come the warnings that there will be continued volatility in the development of the business and sales growth will be uneven.

Topps Tiles TPT has shown healthy growth during the 13 weeks to the 2nd July with like for like sales up by 6.2% on 2015, although the figures have been skewed slightly by Easter moving about a bit.


easyJet plc EZJ June passenger figures rose by 5.8% and the load factor by 1.44pp but on a rolling 12 month basis the load factor rose only a smidgeon by 0.3pp

EKF Diagnostic Holdings EKF expects that after a difficult 2015, the half year to the end of June will be ahead of both budget and expectations. First half revenue is expected to exceed £16.5m and no impact is expected from Brexit.

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Aveva Hikes Dividend As Profits Collapse

AVEVA AVV  The final dividend for the year to 31st March is being hiked by 20% after a 46% collapse in profit before tax. This fairly logical step follows revenue for the year to 31st March declining by 3% and basic earnings per share falling by 51%. Aveva would have us believe that this superb performance is due to strong customer relations, the strength of its business model and its disciplined approach to efficiency. Those of us who are still on planet earth, may have their doubts.

Entertainment One ETO is increasing its final dividend for the year to the end of March by 9%, in line with the rise in reported profit before tax. EBITA was up by 20% but diluted earnings per share fell by 23%. TV & Family enjoyed strong organic growthFilms was weak with revenue down 7% and underlying EBITDA down 28%. The Film division is to be punished with a wide ranging restructuring programme. Despite Films problems, the company is still on track to double the size of the business by 2020.

De La Rue DLAR Seems to have benefited from the disposal of its loss making bits and pieces which has helped to make the figures from the remaining bits and pieces look better. Like for like figures for the year to 26th March show revenue up by 7% and underlying profit up by 2% or 35% if you prefer your profits on a reported basis. It expects to be able to mitigate the ending of a material contract and one positive sign is that the 12 month order book is up by 62%. It has not quite got its head round the fact that “a10% net headcount reduction” means a10% reduction in the number of headcounts and not in the number  of heads but we know what they are trying to say even if they have not quite got the English to say it correctly.

Topps Tiles TPT continues its recovery with profit before tax up by 11% and earnings per share by 12.2% for the half year to the 2nd April. Like for like revenue grew by 4.7% and the second half has started even more strongly with like for like sales up by 8.4% in the first seven weeks.

The interim dividend is to be increased by 33.3%.

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