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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 2 August 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) says trading has picked up since 12 April and was even better from 17 May. Beer volumes are good, but the company lost money in the year to June 2021. Between 12 April and 26 June managed pub revenues were 84% of the same time in 2019, while tenanted pubs achieved 77% of the volume in 2019. Tenanted pubs return to paying normal rent on 2 August. Net debt is £89.8m.

Brands owner and ecommerce technology platform operator Samarkand (SMK) increased its revenues by 201% in the year to March 2021, but that was flattered by one-off personal protective equipment revenues. Since the year end a Tokyo office has been opened. The latest technology, Nomad Checkout is being piloted.

Oberon Investments (OBE) more than trebled its revenues to £3.8m in the year to March 2021. Assets under administration increased by 340% to more than £550m and more investment management firms were acquired after the year end. The broking operation has already started to win clients and has raised £30m since June 2020. There were record first quarter revenues. Chris Akers has taken a 3.58% stake.

CBD and hemp products supplier Love Hemp (LIFE) has increased its full year revenues by 60% to £4.31m, although second half revenues were lower than those in the first half, which benefitted from large orders by Boots and Holland and Barrett. This year online revenues are expected to increase significantly.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has requested that trading of the shares on Aquis should cease. There are problems with the company’s 2020 accounts. Begbies Traynor has been appointed to advise on restructuring, but the board is unsure whether the company can continue trading.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $100,000 in the Redstone project, which will be changed for tokens at a later date. Redstone is a cross-chain data oracle technology that provides fast access to data and historic audit trail. A further $269,892 was invested in Interlay for 1,224 series seed shares.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has acquired plant-based nutrition products supplier Pulsin for £2m in cash, £2m in loan notes and 15.18 million shares. The issue of three million of the shares is deferred and dependent on sales in 2021. Pulsin has net debt of £1.2m and generated sales of 37.05m in the year to April 2021. S-Ventures already owns Ohso Chocolate and snacks firm We Love Purely.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has invested £22.5m for a majority stake in a company that owns homeware brands, including Kilner, Viners, Typhoon and Ravenhead. In 2020, revenues were £35.6m.

Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) had net cash of £8.8m at the end of July 2021. It has also invested £910,000 in decentralised finance investments.

Black Sea Property (BSP) is selling a property in Cyprus for €1.06m, compared with a valuation of €830,000.

Coinsilium (COIN) has moved to the Apex segment.

AIM

Big Technologies (BIG) provides remote and personal monitoring services, predominantly to the criminal justice market, and the technology has been developed over more than a decade. The company raised £14.7m after expenses at 200p a share. There was also £185.6m raised by existing shareholders, which sold around one-third of the shares in issue. In three days of trading the share price soared to 355p, which values the company at £1bn. Revenues increased from £19.3m in 2019 to £29.6m in 2020 thanks to new contracts and additional revenues from existing customers. Pre-tax profit jumped from £5.53m to £12.7m.

Tracsis (TRCS) has won a multi-year contract for its RailHub planning software. The deal is worth several million pounds, and this will make an initial high margin contribution to the financial year to July 2021. It sparked a £1m uplift in the 2021 profit forecast to £10.5m.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) has doubled interim revenues, helped by the Hunters acquisition early this year. Organic growth was 35%.

Hostels operator Safestay (SSTY) had a tough 2020 and has just published its 2020 figures. It achieved 38% occupancy in its hostels when they were open. The loss was £10m. NAV is £28.5m. Leasehold sales have helped to reduce bank debt to £18m in July 2021. There are 16 hostels currently trading and the other two are set to reopen.

Seed Innovations (SEED) has a 5.1% stake in Canadian Stock Exchange listed CDD and health products supplier Yooma Wellness Inc, which is joining Aquis on 10 August.

MAIN MARKET

Spinnaker Acquisitions (SPAQ) is a new cash shell that has been brought to the market by the same team that floated Spinnaker Opportunities, which eventually acquired cannabis products supplier Kanabo (KNB). It raised £2.08m at 10p a share. The share price has risen to 12.5p, but there is a wide spread of 10p/15p. Spinnaker is seeking to acquire a business in the sustainability and energy transition services markets.

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) outperformed the market in the first half of 2021 with a like-for-like increase in vehicle sales of 45%. The interim profit will be around £50m, which is one-fifth higher than previous expectations.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 24 May 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

British Virgin Islands-based Boanerges (BNRG) is a SPAC seeking to acquire technology companies involved in big data, machine learning, telematics and internet of things. Boanerges floated on 17 May 2021 when it raised £500,000 at 20p a share. In April, an initial £51,500 was raised at 0.1p a share and a further £75,000 was raised at 10p a share. That means that pro forma cash is equivalent to 1p a share. The shares are trading at 24.5p (23p/26p).

Bid expenses could cost Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) up to £210,000. The 50p a share bid is rejected by the company’s board, which says that it represents a 51% discount to NAV and a 62% discount to the market value of its properties, after cash is deducted. Management is offering shareholders the opportunity to vote on a winding up of the company if the bid does not become unconditional. This would require 75% of the votes to be carried.

Brewer Adnams (ADB) continued to be hit by lockdowns in the six months to March 2021. Online demand for the beer brands remained strong and management says that bookings for pubs are building up since the lockdown was eased. There is even hope that people holidaying in the UK will boost its hotels.

Early Equity (EEQP) is acquiring Farina Investments, which provides services to the insolvency sector, for £1.9m in shares at 0.5p each. This is effectively a business that is involved in the acquisition and disposal of distressed assets. The deal will increase Early Equity’s stake in Lotto Studios, which is launching a social casino game with ITV Studios, to 20%. The deal also brings a 10% stake in life sciences company Pure Sea Nutrients. A further £90,000 has been raised in a placing at 0.5p a share.

The AGM has been postponed and there were some irregularities in the voting process.

Incanthera (INC) is continuing with discussions with two global cosmetic companies for its Sol skin cancer technology. The idea is to use Sol as a skin cream to protect sun damaged skin. Net cash was £960,000 at the end of March 2021. Incanthera recently raised £1.14m at 12p a share. There is enough cash to get into the second half of 2022. There could be an upfront payment from a deal, but the big money will take longer to be generated. More cash will be required to push ahead with other products.

Apollon Formularies (APOL) says that joint testing with Aion Therapeutic reveals that their combined formulations are effective in killing HER2+ breast cancer cells grown in 3D cell culture. HER2+ accounts for one-fifth of breast cancer. Apollon’s Jamaican medicinal cannabis formulations were particularly good at killing living HER2+ cancer cells directly.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that its 50%-owned subsidiary DJT Plants has been granted a licence to grow >0.2% THC cannabis for research activities by the UK government. Building of the research facility will commence immediately. There will be 65 strains grown at the facility and plans to extract distil and isolate cannabis products. The business had previously grown cannabis for GW Pharma. The focus will be neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s Disease and epilepsy. Directors Charles Morgan and Melissa Sturgess have each been issued with 100 million shares as contingent consideration following the grant of the licence.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) had net assets of £2.35m at the end of March 2021, up from £907,000 12 months earlier. That includes £374,000 in cash.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) subsidiary M+G Olympic has won more than £500,000 of orders for swimming pools.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) is negotiating the acquisitions of a company with gemstone assets and another company with diamond assets. This is an area where the management team has experience. Further cash will need to be raised to complete due diligence.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £224,000 at 7p a share. Chief executive Walter Doyle has left the company. Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has raised £1.4m at 10p a share and each share has one-half of a warrant exercisable at 20p a share. Wishbone will refine the locations of drill targets at the Red Setter projects and then use the cash to finance the drilling. Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) has completed a placing raising $4.61m at 7.875 cents per unit. A unit comprises one share and one-half of a warrant exercisable at 10.5 cents a share. Love Hemp (LIFE) has raised £348,000 via the exercise of warrants at 1p each.

AIM

Compliance and energy saving services provider Sureserve (SUR) reported an underlying interim pre-tax profit was 31% higher at £4.4m. Energy saving’s profit contribution fell by three-fifths, but higher margins for the much larger compliance division meant a much higher profit. A full year pre-tax profit of £12.9m is forecast.

Tracsis (LSE: TRCS) should get additional opportunities from the Williams report on the rail industry. The report was in line with expectations. Great British Railways will take up the overall responsibility for the integrated rail network. The reforms are due in 2023, although there could be delays. Things like digital tickets, simplified fares and season ticket flexibility provide opportunities for Tracsis.

Accrol (ACRL) says that adjusted earnings for 2020-21 will be in line with expectations even though sales will be lower than expected due to a decline in the market. Accrol has 16% of the toilet tissue market and it should return to growth when the comparatives do not include the Covid-19 related panic buying. There are plans to increase capacity at the main Leyland plant.

Surgical devices developer Creo Medical (CREO) says trading was ahead of expectations in the first quarter of 201. This has led to a 10% increase in forecast revenues to £22.1m. There will still be a loss of £30m. The recovery in elective surgery is increasing demand for surgical devices.

Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) is building up its electric vehicle infrastructure business and it could move into profit in the next year. The TriConnex utility connections business is also growing revenues, although profit was flat. However, group revenues were one-quarter lower at £64m, because civil engineering business Tamdown continues to report lower revenues and profit. Nexus did make an overall operating profit. The 2020-21 pre-tax profit has been upgraded to £3.6m and it could reach £6m next year.

PerkinElmer has made a 382p a share bid for Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH).The bid is at one-third of the share price high around one decade ago. The share price has not been at this level for nearly seven years.

MAIN MARKET

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has secured a joint venture with flexible power company HSKB, which will be renamed DKE Energy. The 50%-owned business will develop two gas peaking facilities which will produce 10MW of power. These will cost £6.25m and the intention is to secure a 15-year, inflation linked contract. Dukemount director Paul Gazzard founded HSKB.

One Heritage Group (OHG) has signed a construction finance facility with Lyell Trading. The facility is for £3.5m and lasts 18 months at a nominal interest rate of 9.6%. The facility will be used to finance Oscar House, a development of 27 apartments in central Manchester. The development should be completed in the first quarter of 2022.

Mast Energy Developments (MAST) says that the Brodesley reserve power project has reached construction ready status.

Lee Marks has been appointed chief executive of NMCN (NMCN) and interim chief executive Robert Moyle is retiring from the board after a transition period.

Kanabo Group (KNB) has signed an agreement with Pure Origin, which will manufacture and package Kanabo’s CBD wellness products from its facility in Wales. There will be a dedicated production line for VapePod products. This deal will lead to a full international product launch.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has started to deliver two Covid-19 diagnostic tests. The saliva-based test will be used by the Italian team at the Olympic Games in Japan.

S&U (SUS) says monthly motor finance collections are above budget and the number of customers on payment holidays has fallen to 1,200. The Aspen bridging loan division is lending more for each deal and profit is reaching record levels.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 April 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Virgata Services is making a 50p a share cash offer for Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) and that is a 52% discount to net assets at the end of September 2020. It is a premium to the market price prior to the announcement, but management recommends shareholders take no action. The bid values Walls & Futures REIT at £1.9m. Six shareholders own more than 80% of the company. Roy Nominees holds 33.2% and Standard Life Trustee Co Ltd holds 22.9%. Virgata is owned by the family office of the Goetstouwers family, and it has a property portfolio worth €80m, plus stakes in developments in the Netherlands. All the interests are outside of the UK.

Love Hemp (LIFE) plans to move to the Main Market later this year and has raised £5m at 3.5p a share. The cash will finance a global market campaign for its CBD and hemp products.

Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) has raised C$3.6m from the first tranche of its private placement. Sativa is offering two and eight day quarantine tests for travellers returning to the UK.

Good Energy (GOOD) is appointing Nigel Pocklington as chief executive. He is the former chief commercial director at Moneysupermarket.com. He starts on 1 May. Good Energy is making a further £1m investment, via a convertible, in electric vehicle mapping services provider Zap-Map’s parent company Next Green Car. Good Energy already owns 50.1% of Next Green Car. Zap-Map covers more than 95% of the UK public electric vehicle charging points.

KR1 (KR1) has invested a further $150,000 in Moonbeam Network for 30,000 GLMR tokens, taking the total owned to 130,000 tokens.

On 6 April, Coinsilium (COIN) $3.13m of cryptocurrency and tokens, up from $1.98m two months earlier.

Gunsynd (GUN) says that investee company Low 6 is on course to float in the second quarter of 2021. The B2B pool betting firm has 122,000 users.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has signed a memorandum of understanding Exagogi for the development of opportunities in India for CoalTech. India has high stockpiles of coal fines waste, which CoalTech can clean-up.

A general meeting has been requisitioned by shareholders at Early Equity (EEQP).

Evrensel Capital Partners has not subscribed the £250,000 for shares in Truspine Technologies (TSP) that it promised last September. TruSpine has raised £35,000 at 10p a share, taking the total raised in the latest fundraising to £620,500.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has raised £634,000 following the exercise of warrants at 0.7p each. Tectonic has raised A$215,000 from selling part of its holding in VOX Royalty Corp.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a nav of 448.15p a share at the end of March 2021.

Chris Akers has reduced his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 17.2% to 12.3%.

Gowin New Energy (GWIN) has appointed Novum Securities as corporate adviser and trading in the shares has recommenced.

AIM

Minds + Machines (LSE: MMX) is selling its business and assets to GoDaddy for $120m (£87m) and this is equivalent to 8.8p a share, after transaction costs. ICANN needs to provide approval for the transfer of the top level domains. The company will become a shell.

Mobile phone and technology recycler and reseller musicMagpie could have an enterprise value of between £180m and £220m when it plans to join AIM later in April. The company buys and resells smartphones, computers, CDs, DVDs, books and other products that might have ended up in landfill. The market for pre-owned technology and media is estimated to be growing at 10% a year. In the year to November 2020, revenues were £153.4m and EBITDA was £13.9m.

Demand remains strong from the rail sector for software and consultancy services from Tracsis (TRCS), although the data and events businesses had a tougher time. Interim profit declined in the first half. finnCap forecasts a recovery in full year pre-tax profit from £8.3m to £9.1m, before a much larger increase in 2021-22 assuming trading is nearer to past levels. The Williams rail review is due to be published and this could provide additional opportunities for Tracsis.

International payment services provider Equals (EQLS) increased business revenues in 2020, but a slump in consumer revenues due to the lack of travel. Total revenues were 4% ahead at £29m and Equals made a small profit. In the first quarter of 2021, revenues were flat at £8m and again this masks business growth, plus the comparatives were strong in this period. Canaccord Genuity has upgraded its 2021 pre-tax profit forecast from £3.8m to £4.2m.

FIH Group (FIH) lost money in the UK last year, but this was more than offset by profits in the Falklands. The art distribution and Portsmouth Ferry operations were hit by Covid-19 lockdowns.

Oil palm plantation operator Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) produced 71,500MT in the first quarter. Crude palm oil sales were 27% higher at 13,921MT and average realised prices are one-fifth higher. Dekel is on course to make a pre-tax profit in 2021.

Arena Events (ARE) has been successful in its bid for the business and assets of Aztec Schaffer. Arena will pay $3.35m for a 50% stake in a new joint venture owner of the assets and there will be a debt financing package of $18.25m.

MAIN MARKET

Sales of new and used cars by Lookers (LOOK) fell by 10% last year. However, it appears to have gained market share in new cars. Peel Hunt has increased its 2021 pre-tax profit forecast by £11m to £34.8m.

Stranger Holdings (STHP) has signed heads of terms to acquire Technology Minerals, which itself is involved in acquisitions of businesses producing battery raw materials and recycling batteries. These include Recyclus Group, which Stranger has previously considered buying. League of Angels founder Barney Battles has been appointed as a non-executive director.

Caerus Mineral Resources (CMRS) is acquiring PR Ploutonic Resources. This includes the Troulli, Kokkinapetra and St Nicholas copper and gold licences. Caerus is paying £750,000 in shares.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) says March revenues were at a record level of £6.57m. This reflects the installation of additional equipment and a higher bitcoin price.

Tirupati Graphite (TGR) achieved record graphite production in the first quarter of 2021. Work continues on increasing capacity at the Sahamamy project in Madagascar.

Anemoi International (AMOI) has raised £240,000 at 4p per depositary interest.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 1 March 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Incanthera (INC) says that it is prioritising discussions with two global cosmetic companies as potential partners for Sol, a sun cream that prevents skin cancer. Incanthera is also assessing the potential for using the technology to develop other products.

Sativa Wellness (SWEL) plans to raise C$4m through a placing of units at C$0.07875 each. Each unit consists of one share one-half of a warrant exercisable at C$0.105 each. The cash will provide working capital and investment for a new health screening service. Sativa has opened ten Covid-19 testing facilities. A dispute with Dragonfly Biosciences has been settled.

World High Life (LIFE) is submitting a novel food dossier to the Food Standards Agency. This is part of the move to regulation of the CBD market in the UK. The dossier includes pre-clinical results.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) intends to acquire the shares in medicinal cannabis pharma company Apollon Formularies that it does not own, and this will be classed as a reverse takeover. Shares will be issued to the Apollon shareholders. AfriAg is also raising £2.5m at 5p a share.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) is selling its Tay mortgage portfolio to a subsidiary of OneSavings Bank for £53.8m, which is equivalent to 97.9% of the outstanding loans. Arbuthnot has already announced that it intends to pay a 21p a share special dividend, which replaces the 2019 dividend declared in March 2020. Arbuthnot will make a loss in 2020 so there will be no dividend.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £65,000 in a convertible loan issue by B2B pool betting platform Low6. Gunsynd had already invested £200,000 last December. AIM-quoted Pires Investments (PIRI) has also increased its investment in Low6. It invested a further £35,000, having also invested £200,000 at the same time as Gunsynd. Low6 is expected to float during the second quarter of 2021 and Canaccord Genuity is its broker.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that the latest exploration at Specimen Hill reaffirms the drill targets and informs plans for higher density drilling, so that a resource can be calculated. Tectonic says that the Deep Blue Minerals diamonds joint venture with AIM-quoted Kazera Global Investments produced 220 carats in January. Higher grade materials will be mined during the rest of the year.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) says that Bureau Veritas has certified that SulnoxEco Fuel Conditioner complies with European standards. This means that SulNox’s products can be used for 70% of the hydrocarbon market. Management is confident that production can be scaled up.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has signed an agreement with ASX-listed Evolution Mining for the evaluation and potential processing of lead and silver rich stockpiles at the Sunbeam project in North Queensland. Evolution has a processing plant 80km away from Sunbeam, which has stockpiles from past mining. The processing would be done on a cost and revenue share basis with NQ. This could finance further exploration. NQ says that it should qualify for the Green Economy Mark when it moves to the standard list.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) has received shareholder approval for refocusing its strategy on property investment and development.

Almon I Holding has cut its stake in Coinsilium (COIN) to below 3%. It increased its stake to 3.68% in January 2020.

Altona Energy has changed its name to Altona Rare Earths (ANR).

AIM

Trading platform operator Aquis Exchange (AQX) moved into profit last year thanks to high levels of trading on its platform. Aquis had been expected to lose money in 2020 but it is now expected to make a £200,000 profit on revenues of £11m. EU trades have been moved to the Paris operation and London has restarted trading in Swiss shares.

VR Education (VRE) continues to grow the revenues of its ENGAGE VR platform. Group revenues increased by 38%, while ENGAGE revenues rose by 550% thanks to strong demand for virtual events. The US provides significant potential. VR is still hiring additional people, although the focus is more on marketing. VR is still losing money, but the cash burn has been reduced this year. Management is targeting 100,000 monthly users by 2025.

Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) says Alkindi sales in the UK and Germany grew by 29% in the first half but the timing of purchases in other markets meant that overall revenues barely increased. Chronocourt could gain European approval in March and the US regulatory pathway for DITEST, an oral testosterone formulation, has been set out. Net cash was £20.3m at the end of December 2020.

K3 Business Technology (KBT) has sold its managed services business for £14.7m. The business made a pre-tax profit of £1.2m last year, but the disposal proceeds will wipe out net debt and enable the repayment of the £3m shareholder loan due in June. There should still be more than £35m of recurring revenues.

Interim trading at transport software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) was active and it was not far below the levels in the six months to January 2020 prior to Covid-19 becoming a factor. Revenues declined from £26.4m to £22m and management believes Covid-19 reduced the figure by £6m. New rail contracts are being won, but the lack of events hit the data and events division. Cash has improved from £17.9m to £21m.

Revenues fell by one-third at President Energy (PPC) in 2020 due to lower oil prices. President did generate $10m of free cash flow and that helped to reduce net debt. President plans to drill seven wells this year and that could increase production by one-third. Anew subsidiary, Atome, will develop hydrogen and ammonia production.

Shield Therapeutics (STX) has raised £25m at 30p a share and could raise a further £4.2m via an open offer. The cash will finance the new strategy of directly launching iron deficiency treatment Accrufer in the US.

Yew Grove REIT (YEW) has agreed a new lease for Gateway Three building, East Wall Road, Dublin with the Electricity Supply Board. The new lease lasts five years. Along with three rent reviews, this takes the increase in annual rents to €470,000 this year.

Best of the Best (BOTB) has concluded its strategic review and it has reemphasised its online strategy. finnCap has upgraded its pre-tax profit forecast to £14m.

Benchmark Holdings (BMK) increased first quarter revenues by 18% to £29m and it is on course to reduce its loss this year, prior to moving into profit in 2021-22. The advanced nutrition business contributed significant growth in the first quarter.

MAIN MARKET

Online auctions provider Auction Technology Group (ATG) raised £247.4m at 600p a share, while existing shareholders pocketed £51.5m after the over-allotment option was exercised. The company was valued at £600m. There was a 30% gain to 780p a share at the end of the first week of trading. The company is involved with three main auction markets: arts and antiques, industrial and commercial and consumer surplus and returns. It has six main auction marketplace brands and trade magazine Antiques Trade Gazette. Low double-digit organic revenue growth is anticipated for the next few years.

Town Centre Securities (TOWN) announced a 1.75p a share interim dividend, even though this is not covered by earnings. Lower car park income meant that there was a sharp decline in interim profit. The NAV was 286p a share at the end of December 2020 and it is not expected to decline by more than 2% by the year-end in June. This is more than double the current share price.

CML Microsystems (CML) is paying 50p a share to investors following the sale of its storage division. This will cost £8.28m. the cash should be received before the end of March.

Strong demand for diagnostic products more than offset weakness in the networking division of BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) and enabled 2020 revenues to grow by 49% to $184m. Pre-tax profit jumped from $5.2m to $13.6m. Revenues are expected to decline this year, but pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from $13.6m to $17.3m. This may depend on the timing of the sale of the NGSoft business and it also assumes no additional sales of ventilators this year. Longer-term, revenues will build up from virtual networking technology NFVTime. There is also potential for dividends.

Construction services provider NMCN (NMCN) says that two contracts in the water division could lead to an additional loss of £5m in 2020. These costs relate to delays. The total loss for 2020 could be up to £22m. The additional cash costs will be spread over 28 months. Shareholders are being asked to agree to an extension of the company’s borrowing limit.

Aircraft lessor Avation (AVAP) took a $46.7m impairment charge on its aircraft and a $12.9m credit loss in the six months to December 2020. The NAV was 174p a share at the end of 2020. A full year loss of $30m is expected before the exceptional write-offs.

Cannabis-based products developer Cellular Goods (CBX) raised £13m in its offer at 5p a share. The share price jumped to 19p on the first day of dealings.

Potash project developer Emmerson (EML) raised £5.5m at 5.75p a share. Emmerson has a mining licence for the Khemisset potash project in Morocco. The cash will be used for the detailed design of the mine and the phased development of the project.

Shell company Stranger Holdings (STHP) is pushing ahead with the proposed reverse takeover of the Recyclus Group. A prospectus is being drafted.

Packaging supplier Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its 2020 profit by 10% to £13m on a 2% increase in revenues to £230m. The full year dividend has been increased from 0.69p a share to 2.55p a share.

Andrew Hore

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 13 July 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has sold its investment in builder’s merchant Merkko Group for double the original investment. The cash consideration for the redemption of the non-voting stake is £400,000. Capital for Colleagues has reinvested £150,000 for a 10% stake in Merkko. The rest of the cash can be reinvested in other companies.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is forming a 50/50 Singapore joint venture with blockchain protocol company IOV Labs, which will finance the venture with a loan. IOV owns 6.94% of Coinsilium. A strategic review is commencing a strategic review because there will be a focus on the new joint venture.

In the second quarter, the Hellyer gold mine owned by NQ Minerals (NQMI) produced 1,223 ounces of gold, 229,947 ounces of silver, 8,762 tonnes of lead concentrate and 4,241 tonnes of zinc concentrate. More gold and lead were produced than in the previous quarter, but less silver and zinc. Investment in plant means production should increase in the third quarter. NQ has raised £917,000 at 6.5p a share and this will help to finance the reopening of the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania.

Cannabis-based products supplier Sativa Group (SATI) achieved record trading in June. This includes sales of the company’s hand sanitiser.

Fellow cannabis-focused company Freyherr International Group (FRYR) is changing its year end to 30 June. The next results will be for 18 months to June 2020. Luka Freyer and Tomaz Frelih have stepped down from the board and Ervin Kovac has joined the board and becomes general manager of the Slovenian operations. The Ljubljana office has been closed as part of overhead reductions. The mortgage on the Koper facility has been extended and the interest rate reduced to 5% a year.

World High Life (LIFE) has issued 12.7 million shares at 9p each to pay director and adviser fees and 3.45 million shares at the same price in lieu of debt repayments. A further 7.18 million shares will be issued on conversion of £666,666 of debentures, plus interest of £46,393. CBD-brand Love Hemp has been awarded ISO certification.

Gunsynd (GUN) has raised £469,000 at 0.65p a share. Every three new shares come with a warrant exercisable at 1.3p a share. MiLOC Group (ML.P) is raising £1.1m at 28.5p a share through a placing with BWB International. Recently floated engineering consolidator Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised an additional £71,000 at 4.5p a share. The original placing was at 3p a share.

At the end of June 2020, EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a NAV of 265.3p a share.

AIM

Management consultancy Elixirr International (ELIX) joined AIM last week. The share price has fallen from the placing level of 217p to 204.5p. The shares are trading on just over 13 times prospective 2020 earnings. The forecast dividend is 2.2p a share.

Seeing Machines (SEE) is set to be a beneficiary of legislation that will go to the Senate in the US that will make driver monitoring systems (DMS) compulsory in cars and trucks sold in the US from 2024. This is part of a more wide-ranging act relating to vehicle safety. There is similar legislation in Europe, although there will be delays in it coming into force due to COVID-19. That should not have too much of a negative effect on Seeing Machines.

Trading at Tracsis (TRCS) was not as badly affected by COVID-19 as it feared. There will be a £10m reduction in full year revenues to around £46m. The traffic and data services business has been hit by the lack of summer events. The rail software business has traded well and there is a pipeline of potential new contracts. There is still £16m in the bank even after paying an initial £12.5m for smart ticketing firm iBlocks.

DBAY Advisors has bought more shares in in Wynnstay Group (WYN) and the stake is 6.12%.

Energy procurement consultancy Inspired Energy (INSE) is raising up to £35m through a placing and two-for-43 open offer at 15p a share. The purchase of the 60% of Ignite Energy that Inspired does not won will cost £11m with contingent consideration of £19m payable in cash and shares. There are plans for further acquisitions.

e-therapeutics (ETX) has raised just over £11m from a share issue at 12p a share, including £750,000 raised via PrimaryBid. This was a 31% discount to the market price. The cash will be used to develop the company’s informatics platform and RNAi technology. Additional staff will be taken on.

Burford Capital (BUR) has filed a registration statement with the SEC ahead of a US listing. There are no plans for a share issue.

Genedrive (GDR) says that full year revenues were 31m and it had cash of £8.2m at the end of June 2020. The molecular diagnostics company says there are 31m in indicative orders for its COVID-19 test.

MAIN MARKET

Viaro Energy has bid 1850p a share for RockRose Energy (RRE) and acceptances have already reached 36.8%. The bid values RockRose at £247.6m. At the beginning of 2016, RockRose floated at 50p a share intending to acquire oil and gas assets.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) increased full year revenues by 39% to £1.5m and gross margins improved. The cash outflow from operations was £924,000 and there was £1m in cash at the end of March 2020. This year is important because there will be a full contribution from DMSL plus cost savings that could be more than £1m. Chief executive Andy Hollingworth bought 10.6 million shares at 0.0944p each. He owns 38.8 million shares.

Baskerville Capital (BASK) has increased its stake in Oberon Investments, the owner of fund manager MD Barnard, to 10.13% and expects to buy the company by the end of the third quarter. Oberon has acquired Hanson Asset Management, and this takes assets under management to more than £300m. Baskerville may move to the Aquis Stock Exchange after the deal is completed.

Packaging supplier Macfarlane (MACF) says interim revenues were 3% lower following a tough second quarter when revenues fell 7%. Macfarlane is confident that it will be profitable and cash generative this year. The board hopes to restart dividend payments when the outlook is more certain.

InnovaDerma (IDP) says online sales have replaced lost high street sales. Full year revenues were 2% higher at £13.2m, but profit will be lower due to higher online advertising costs and lower margin sales. Margins could recover this year.

Tex Holdings (TXH) says that the FCA has asked questions about its 2019 audited financial statements. Christian Ross has been appointed as finance director.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 24 February 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

The costs of a cyber-attack meant that National Milk Records (NMRP) interim pre-tax profit fell by two-thirds to £375,000. Revenues also declined from £11.7m to £10.7m, although that was mainly due to one-off revenues in the corresponding period. Disease testing services was the only part of the group where revenues improved. Underlying trading is within expectations. Net debt increased from £2.1m to £2.4m. Lower milk prices may reduce milk volumes from their high levels last year.

GP software supplier DXS International (DXSP) has raised just over £1m at 8p a share. The shares equate to more than one-quarter of the enlarged share capital. The cash will provide working capital required to market the company’s new products. The latest framework agreement has included a modest price rise. NHS accreditation of the company’s new software should be complete in April.

Cancer treatments developer Incanthera is planning to join NEX this week. Manchester-based Incanthera is developing Sol, a topical product for the treatment of solar keratosis and prevention of skin cancer, which could be licenced to a partner within 18 months. There is a pipeline of cancer therapeutics which have come through the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics at Bradford University, which owns 12.3% of the company. AIM-quoted Immupharma (IMM) will hold a 11.9% stake and has 7.27 million warrants, where the exercise price is being rebased to the issue price. Cairn is the corporate adviser and Stanford Capital Partners is the broker. The expected admission date is 28 February.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) is paying A$2m for 100% of the Beaconsfield gold mine and processing plant in Tasmania. This was a major gold mine up until 2012 and it could go back into production. The gold price has risen by 50% since production stopped. The initial payment is A$100,000.

NAV fell from 64p a share to 59p a share at Western Selection (WESP) in the six months to December 2019. The lack of a dividend from AIM-quoted Bilby (BILB) meant that dividend income nearly halved, although it was the one core investment that increased in value. There will be no interim dividend. Share disposals mean that net cash was £2.45m at the end of 2019.

Gunsynd (GUN) has decided not to take up its option to acquire a further 22.33% stake in the Kolosori nickel prospect in the Solomon Islands. Previously £45,000 was paid for a 7.76% stake. Gunsynd has received £20,000 of the £260,000 it is due to be paid for its stake in Oyster Oil and Gas.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company SOA Energy UK hopes to join AIM by the fourth quarter of 2020. Drilling is due to commence at the Ofek well in Israel during May and it could last 40 days with a further 40 days of testing. The results will be known before the flotation. Primorus owns 14,977 SOA shares.

Belvedere Leisure Resorts (BELV) is still waiting for cash to cover the full subscription promised just after flotation and it does not appear likely that the investor can come up with the cash. Other investors may come up with the funds in the next six weeks.

Investment company First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £196,000 from an issue of Green Finance preference shares at 100p each. There is a fixed interest rate of 5.05% a year and then a variable rate of up to 10.15% depending on whether certain conditions are met. The preference are convertible into ordinary shares. The focus is investments in the ethical, sustainable and renewable energy sectors.

Sativa Group (SATI) says subsidiary Goodbody Botanicals will have its products stocked in 100 of WH Smith Travel’s UK stores.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has appointed Novum Securities as its corporate adviser.

AIM

Rail optimisation software and equipment supplier Tracsis (TRCS) had a strong first half. Interim revenues increased from £18.8m to £26m. There were two acquisitions in January 2019, so they contributed for a full period this time. There is cash of £26m and it should reach £31.6m by the end of July.

Medical technology supplier Inspiration Healthcare (IHC) says it did better than expected in the year to January 2020. Revenues should be 15% ahead at £17.8m, which is equivalent to like-for-like growth of 12%. EBITDA should be one-fifth higher at above £2m.

4D Pharma (DDDD) is raising £22m at 50p a share, which is half the level that 4D floated at in June 2014. This cash will provide the additional funds required to support ongoing studies for IBS and oncology. The clinical study data is important when it comes the next step for the group.

Urban Logistics REIT (SHED) plans to raise up to £106.7m at 137.5p a share and this will be used to acquire logistics properties. The cash will be raised via a placing, offer for subscription and open offer. The share price equates to adjusted NAV and is a discount to the market price. A special dividend of 3.85p a share will be paid.

Stanley Gibbons (SGI) is acquiring trading inventory from 58.1% shareholder Phoenix SG Ltd for £1.07m. This will be paid as the inventory is sold, net of sales commission.

AdEPT Technology (ADT) raised £4.25m at 320p a share, which was more than it was initially seeking. This will reduce debt and provide funding for acquisitions.

Chris Pullen has resigned as chief executive of Staffware (STAF) and a search for a replacement is about to commence. The recruitment and training company continues to talk with its lenders. Net debt is estimated at £60m at the end of 2019.

Toys supplier Hornby (HRN) is raising up to £15m via a placing and one-for-3.006268641288 open offer at 36p a share. The cash will be invested in the company’s brands, digital marketing and corporate systems.

MAIN MARKET

Nanoco (NANO) has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung relating to Nanoco’s synthesis and resin technology for quantum dots. There was a collaboration with Samsung, but it ended without a licence agreement.

Stevia supplier PureCircle (PURE) has secured a waiver and amendment to its bank facility. This covers all previous defaults and provides an additional $8.6m of funds.

Career development platforms developer Dev Clever (DEV) has delayed the roll-out of its platform and that hit interim revenues. Management hopes to secure a partnership with a worldwide technology manufacturer that will enable an international roll-out. Chris Akers has increased his stake from 6% to 7.15%.

World Trade Systems (WTS) intends to cancel its listing on 27 March in order to save costs.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 26 August 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) grew revenues by one-third to £136,000 but the ethical housing provider moved from profit to loss. In the year to March 2019, revenues improved from £103,000 to £136,000. The main reason behind the reported loss was a reduction in the gain on revaluation of assets from £198,000 to £145,000. The NAV still increased from £3.25m to £3.31m. These figures were prior to the acquisition of a property in Didcot. There is a pipeline of other potential transactions.

Barkby Group (BARK) has appointed finnCap as its corporate adviser.

Peterhouse has resigned as corporate adviser to Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) and that follows the resignation of its auditor Crowe and the continued delays to the publication of the accounts for 2018. Peterhouse took over as corporate adviser from Daniel Stewart in March. Gamfook floated in December 2018.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has opened its latest centre in Reading. The company was previously known as Proton Partners International Ltd.

Henry Lees-Buckley is taking on the chief executive role at Sativa Group (SATI) and Geremy Thomas has moved to deputy chairman.

AIM  

Injection moulded plastic products Coral Products (CRU) returned to profit in the year to April 2019, although the underlying pre-tax profit only edged up from £568,000 to £580,000 because of a decline in exceptional costs. The second half was not as good as the first half, but cost cutting enabled a recovery at the end of the year. Net debt was £8.2m at the end of April 2019. There is no final dividend following the interim of 0.25p a share. Continuing problems at a major customer could continue to hamper progress. Equipment enabling recycling of plastic products is up and running. New products will be launched later this year, including roof tiles and road highway sound barriers.

International staffing provider Empresaria (EMR) had a tough first half, but despite this the company still expects to maintain its full year profit at £11.4m. Interim net fee income was 7% ahead but underlying pre-tax profit was one-fifth lower at £3.7m. That suggests a much stronger second half even though the German and Japanese businesses remain subdued, although they could start to recover. The diversification of the business in terms of sectors and geographies helps to offset the weakness in parts of the group. New chief executive Rhona Driggs is putting in place a new strategy, which should help next year’s figures.

Adamas Finance Asia Ltd (ADAM) has maintained its NAV at $1.10 a share (88p a share). Investee company Hong Kong Mining Holdings is still on course to restart mining operations and it is acquiring additional land for mining activities. Fook Lam Moon is assessing opportunities to expand its catering operations. The internal fit out for Infinity Capital’s Tellus Niseko project should be completed before the end of September.

MySale Group (MYSL) has raised £11.2m at 2p a share, which is a 58% discount to the market price. There will be £5.5m used to pay down bank facilities. The number of shares in issue is trebled. This follows a strategic review by the retailer, which is refocusing on Australasian operations and the selling down of stock. The cost base will be reduced.

Transport optimisation software and equipment supplier Tracsis (TRCS) grew its cash pile to £24m at the end of July 2019, even after paying around £9m on acquisitions. Pre-tax profit is in line with expectations at £9.4m, up from £8.5m.

Breedon Group (BREE) intends to change its tax domicile from Jersey to the UK. The company will still be incorporated in Jersey. The general meeting to gain approval to change the article of association will be held on 9 September.

Packaging supplier Robinson (RBN) improved gross margins by 12 percentage points to 19.7% in the first half, but that was partly offset by higher overheads. Pre-tax profit improved from £478,000 to £684,000. Net debt was £9.1m. The interim dividend is unchanged at 2.5p a share.

IT services provider Adept4 (AD4) is in talks to acquire CloudCoCo, which was set up by former sales directors of Redcentric. The deal would involve the issue of new shares that would nearly double the number in issue. The Business Growth Fund has agreed to sell £5m of unsecured loan notes to MXC Capital for £3.5m.

Data software and services provider D4T4 (D4T4) says that the figures will be second half weighted this year but not as much as last year.

Science Group (SAG) has increased its stake in Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) by subscribing £1m at 25p a share. This takes the stake to 52.3% (costing £6.9m) and this means that Frontier’s results will be consolidated. A standby facility is also being provided. Frontier’s cost base is being reduced.

Commodity trading and risk management software provider Brady (BRY) expects 2019 revenues to be around one-fifth lower than previous forecasts. That means that revenues are expected to decline from £23.2m in 2018 to £19m and this will lead to a loss of more than £4m.

Three directors have been removed from the board of Management Resource Solutions (MRS) and they have been replaced by John Copley and Robert Wall following a requisitioned general meeting.

Cancer therapies developer Scancell (SCLP) has initiated the UK SCIB1 phase 2 clinical trial for advanced melanoma, where SCIB1 is used in conjunction with the checkpoint inhibitor Pembrolizumab.  

The financial director of Maestrano (MNO) has resigned to take up a role in Australia. The software company continues to undertake due diligence on a potential acquisition. An Australian bank client has decided not to go ahead with a new banking platform. There should be enough cash to last into next year.

Cyber security company Osirium Technologies (OSI) has signed up the first customer for its Opus privileged process automation software, plus two customers for the PxM platform. The Opus client is an asset manager that is already a user of PxM.

Cellcast (CLTV) has called a general meeting on 6 September in order to approve the sale of its operations. The company will change its name to Vintana.

MAIN MARKET 

BATM (BVC) reported an improved interim profit, but that was due to a one-off unrealised gain after an investment in the Ador diagnostics joint venture. Revenues dipped from $58.2m to $56.2m. The second half performance will be more important. Revenues are expected to grow from $119.6m to $128.5m, with pre-tax profit jumping form $2m to $6.7m. There is further longer-term growth to come from both the biomedical and networking divisions. The recent fundraising means that there is plenty of cash to finance growth.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) is further increasing its capacity and this could make it the largest quoted cryptocurrency miner by next year.

Injection moulding and engineering company Tex Holdings (TXH) says net assets per share have fallen from 168p to 140p after it swung into loss last year. There is no final dividend. The plastics division is trading profitably and orders have improved at the engineering division.

Path Investments (PATH) plans to acquire FineGems Extraction Corporation, which has a 75% stake in a company that holds the Jagoda licence in Zambia. The assets are near to production. They are manganese ore and tourmaline deposits. The acquisition would leave existing shareholders with 50% of the enlarged share capital.

Gold explorer IMC Exploration (IMC) has raised £150,000 at 1p a share and has paid £27,000 of professional fees in shares. The cash will be spent on exploration and geological work on a tailings project in Avoca, County Wicklow.

Dev Clever (DEV) has appointed Novum Securities as joint broker and raised £436,000 at 3.4p a share. The consumer engagement systems company has secured a three-year agreement with Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, which will offer Dev Clever’s Engage gamification platform and its learning and development platform to retail customers.

 Andrew Hore 

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 6 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

In 2018, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased revenues by 8% to £19.3m. This was despite lower race course attendances because of two abandoned days of racing. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £188,000 to £568,000. The NAV was £50.7m at the end of 2018. There was a further £3.25m payment from David Wilson Homes, which helped to finance capital investment.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has entered into heads of terms with AIM-quoted Mkango Resources so that it can earn up to 75% of the Thambi licence in Southern Malawi. The licence allows exploration for uranium, tantalum and niobium. MetalNRG has to spend $500,000 in the first 12 months and then a further $700,000 in the next 12 months. A further $800,000 has to be spent in the third year to earn the full 75%. The Kyrgyz Republic has banned uranium exploration and mining and the farm-in agreement for the Kamushanovskoye uranium deposit has been suspended.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) had a NAV of £554,000 at the end of 2018. There is £584,000 in cash on the balance sheet.

High Growth Capital (HASH) has raised £4.99m after expenses via a placing at 1.75p a share with Mirador FZE, which also has warrants to subscribe for 300 million shares at 2.5p each until the end of 2019. If the High Growth Capital share price closes above 4p for five consecutive days, the warrants have to exercised or they will lapse. Mirador has a 14.2% stake. Mike Power has been appointed as a non-executive director.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has opened the first Goodbody and Blunt centre in Bath. The centre will sell cannabidiol products and have a café area.

V22 (V22O) is asking shareholders to approve the cancellation of the NEX quotation 31 May, after nearly 13 years on the market. The art investor and studio space provider plans to sell assets and distribute the cash to shareholders. A matched bargains quotation via JP Jenkins is planned for six months after leaving NEX.

Trading in Valiant Investments (VALP) shares has been suspended because it has not produced its annual report.

Queros Capital Partners (BFD) has raised £205,000 in the past two weeks from the issue of 8% unsecured bonds 2025.

The shortlist for the NEX share of the year at the Small Cap Awards 2019 has been announced. The companies are National Milk Records (NMR), Sativa Investments (SATI), NQ Minerals (NQMI), Chapel Down (CDGP), DXS International (DXSP) and Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) ,which is also on the shortlist for impact company of the year.

AIM     

Capital equipment manufacturer Mpac Group (MPAC) is acquiring Lambert Automation for an initial £15m. UK-based Lambert provides automation equipment to the medical and healthcare markets. Revenues and profit have been declining, but there was an order intake of £24.5m in 2018 and that should help revenues to recover. Revenues were £17.9m in 2018. There is potential earn out consideration of up to £2.5m. Mpac’s own trading is in line with expectations.

Park Group (PARK) says that trading was better than expected in the second half of its financial year, but there were additional costs and the effects of accounting changes. Edison has reduced its 2018-19 pre-tax profit by 3% to £12.5m. Additional costs next year mean that the profit forecast has been cut from £14.3m to £11.7m.

Tracsis (TRCS) has acquired timetable optimisation software developer Bellvedi for an initial £4m with up to £7.9m more payable over four years depending on performance. Bellvedi made a pre-tax profit of £700,000 on revenues of £1.6m last year. Acquiring the ATTUne software means that less needs to spend on the development of existing Tracsis software. The deal adds 2% to this year’s earnings per share, moving it to 27.3p. Next year’s is enhanced by 7% to 32.3p.

Competitions organiser Best of the Best (BOTB) has published a fourth positive trading update in a year. This prompted finnCap to increase its earnings forecast from 15.4p a share to 18.6p a share. The previous upgrade was in January. The switch to a predominantly online model is paying off. Any upgrades to the forecasts for the year to April 2020 will happen after the 2018-19 figures are published on 20 June.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) says that the PQ Grass allergy phase III study will start a year later than expected. It should commence by June 2020. This follows an end of phase II study meeting with the FDA. This means that this year and next year the reported loss will be lower because of deferred spending on the study.

Eight Peaks Group (8PG) plans to cancel its AIM quotation because of limited liquidity. This will save £80,000 a year.

Trading in the shares of property investor Safeland (SAF) will end on 10 May.

MAIN MARKET 

Motor dealer Pendragon (PDG) is selling two Jaguar Land Rover dealerships in California. This is expected to generate around £60m of cash, although £6.9m of profit contribution before central costs will be lost. However, Jaguar Land Rover has right of first refusal.

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has appointed Novum as broker and it has committed to invest £300,000 in convertible loan notes. The planned purchase of a 50% stake in used car market focused fintech company Pace Cloud.

Ross Group (RGP) has reported its 2018 results, but these are before the completion of the Archipelago Aquaculture which happened early in 2019. Revenues fell from £335,000 to £60,000 and a profit of £57,000 was turned into a loss of £250,000. That is partly down to costs relating to the acquisition of Archipelago Aquaculture.

Thalassa (THAL) received acceptances of 18.5% of the share capital in its bid for Local Shopping REIT (LSR) and this offer has lapsed. Thalassa owned or had acceptances of 39.3%.

Standard list shell Bermerle (BERM) went to a 50% premium on the first day of trading. However, the bid/offer spread of 1p/2p means that investors could only sell at the 1p a share placing price. The company is seeking a pharma acquisition. The areas that Bermele is assessing include diabetes, cancer and mental health. It is also looking at personalised medicine.

Standard list shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) had £920,000 in the bank at the end of 2018. Fellow shell daVictus (DVT) had £355,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and it has agreed to buy the rights to a restaurant concept from Typical Dutch NV for £100,000. The Havana Rolled Cigar Music Café concept has been developed at a site in Aruba. Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has also secured a possible acquisition in the form of Kanabo Research, which is a medicinal cannabis oil company. Kanabo is developing over the counter products and has distribution rights to a vaporiser. Spinnaker had £1.04m in the bank at the end of 2018.

Trading in the shares of Tex Holdings (TXH) and Avocet Mining (AVM) has been suspended because they have not published 2018 accounts.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) reported a 1% increase in underlying 2018 pre-tax profit of £5.9m. Pubs provided higher revenues and profit, while the brewery reported a reduction in profit contribution due to the ending of third party contracts and a small decline in volumes of its own beers and ciders. The brewing volumes have recovered in the early part of 2019.

Good Energy (GOOD) is making a strategic investment in Zap-Map owner Next Green Car Ltd. This is a business that provides electric vehicle market data and will help Good Energy move into the electric vehicle charging market. The initial investment is £1.08m for a 12.9% stake and £800,000 of convertible loan notes. If the loan notes are converted and payment of deferred consideration of £720,000 dependent on achieving financial targets, then the stake will increase to 50.1%.

Gunsynd (GUN) and Northbay Capital Partners have agreed with TSX-V-quoted Oyster Oil and Gas Ltd to settle debts of C$1.43m with the company in return for the outstanding share capital of Oyster’s subsidiary that owns production sharing contracts in Madagascar and Djibouti. Oyster shareholders have to agree to the deal for it to go ahead.

IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has commenced drilling on PL2551 in County Wexford. The drilling should help to prove the presence of a major gold mineralisation trend.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has increased its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) by two million shares, taking the stake to 1.15%. The average cost is 1.71p a share. Over the next 18 months Greatland will pursue targeted exploration campaigns in Australia and accelerate the development in the Paterson region.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies reports that the first 11 weeks of sales of the hapac medicinal cannabis products in Italy have grown strongly from a low base.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is acquiring three prospective lithium assets in Australia. They are Picasso in Western Australia, Litchfield in Northern Territories and Alcoota in Northern Territories.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) lost £204,000 in the near-13 months since incorporation. There was £69,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. The reverse takeover of the 97.5% of CoalTech not owned by the company has still to be completed.

Barkby Group (BARK) has secured an eight-year operating agreement for the Queens Arms in East Garston, Berkshire. The pub and restaurant also operates a 120-capacity function room and 12 bedrooms.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has paid £3,500 for a 70% stake in financial adviser and investment firm Epsion Capital, which could provide advice to Eight Capital investee companies. Former ZAI corporate finance director and current Eight Capital non-executive director John Treacy is the sole director and other shareholder of Epsion, which is working on two corporate finance transactions.

Following the demise of Daniel Stewart, NQ Minerals (NQMI) has changed its corporate adviser to Arden, Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) has switched to Peterhouse and VI Mining (VIM) has moved to VSA.

AIM  

Telephony services and technology provider Netcall (NET) is increasing its cloud revenues and bookings. Interim revenues improved from £11.4m to £10.7m but pre-tax profit dipped from £1.9m to £1.2m because of increased investment. Annual contract value has risen by 11% to £15.1m.

Tracsis (TRCS) improved its interim revenues from £18.1m to £19m and pre-tax profit will be higher than the £3.9m reported last year. There was £18.7m in cash at the end of January 2019. Chris Barnes has joined the transport optimisation software and services provider ahead of becoming chief executive.

Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) is buying 18 Money Shop sites for £1.5m. They are in north west England and Scotland and will be rebranded as Ramsdens. The pawn books of the sites and five others that will be closed are being acquired by Ramsdens. City Financial Investment has sold its remaining 9.73% stake.

WH Ireland (WHI) has raised £4.95m at 45p a share, which was a 30% discount to the market price. The cash will make sure that the broker has enough regulatory capital. Trading is tough and the operating loss in the second half will be higher than previously expected.

SimplyBiz (SBIZ) grew 2018 revenues by 15% to £50.7m and earnings per share were 28% higher at 11.9p. The supplier of compliance and business services to financial advisers continues to add to member numbers and sell more services to them. Net cash was £6.4m at the end of 2018.

DX (Group) (DX.) is making progress with its turnaround but there is still a long way to go. The parcel delivery business has restructured its business and raised prices to clients. The cash outflow was significantly reduced in the first half. DX could move back into profit next year.

Swallowfield (SWL) was hit by weak trading in its cosmetics manufacturing operations. The brands business maintained its revenues and profit. The second half outlook for manufacturing is better and costs have been reduced. The interim dividend was raised by 7.5% to 2.15p a share. Fidelity has increased its stake to 5.73%.

Ilika (IKA) has secured an 18 month project with Network Rail for the use of its Stereax battery technology in a ultra-low power wireless sensor for the network’s condition monitoring platform.

Pelatro (PTRO) has won a contract with Ooredoo Maldives worth $1.6m over three years. There is a fixed monthly fee and a share of the incremental revenue generated. There are also opportunities to cross-sell to other Ooredoo telecoms operations.

Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) has traded ahead of the first five months of the previous financial year. Although new car sales were lower, Cambria made more profit because of the higher value franchises. It was a similar trend in used cars. The aftersales operations increased sales and profit.

FFI Holdings (FFI) says that the film competition contracts business has been slow because of a lack of films and smaller productions. There are also possible claims. Delayed productions have hit the insurance agency business. That has reduced operating profit by $6m. The expected range for this year is $7.5m-$11m.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) reported a 11% increase in interim revenues to £46.7m and underlying pre-tax profit was 70% higher at £11.4m. That was partly down to lower development and marketing spending. Cash more than doubled to £31.6m, helped by a £10.2m placing. Net cash was £28.5m. The data from the phase III PQ Birch allergy study is expected in the next few weeks.

Finance provider ThinkSmart (TSL) reported a lower interim loss and there is cash in the bank of £11.3m. A special dividend of around 2p a share will return £44m to shareholders.

Accounting regulation changes mean that Paragon Entertainment Ltd (PEL) will not be able to recognise as much revenue in 2018 as it thought it would. That could reduce the figure by £700,000. The new range is £8.8m to £9.2m. The loss will be more than £2.5m. Revenues are expected to be higher this year.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) increased its proved reserves to 11,222 Mbbl at the end of 2018. Proved plus probable reserves are 19,275 Mbbl. NPV of future net revenues of proved reserves has increased by 18% to $79.8m.

Begbies Traynor (BEG) has completed a number of contingency engagements in the third quarter and there should be more in the fourth quarter. Corporate insolvencies are rising.

GetBusy (GETB) has increased its revenues from its core software products by 17% to £10.9m and it is making progress with its GetBusy productivity software which is in use with beta users. Cash generated from operations is being ploughed back into development spending.

Gfinity (GFIN) more than doubled its interim revenues from £1.8m to £4.4m with the growth coming from the managed services division, which includes the F1 Esports series. The Esports business is targeting breakeven in 2021.

Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has rejected a proposed 20p a share bid from RockRose Energy (RRE) which would value the company at £26.6m. Trading in the standard list company’s shares is suspended due to the proposed $140m acquisition of Marathan Oil West of Shetland.

Housebuilder Springfield Properties (SPR) is on track to increase full year pre-tax profit from £9.8m to £16.1m, following a strong first half. The housing market is stronger in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. The business has a mix of private housing and affordable housing developments. The Walker Group acquisition takes the company further upmarket in price terms and will make an initial contribution in the second half.

PhotonStar LED Group (PSL) has raised a further £170,000 at 0.01p a share, while directors John Treacy and Jonathan Freeman intend to subscribe a £24,000 when the company has authority to issue more shares. A general meeting will be held where the company will become a shell and change its name to Bould Opportunities. The operating business is being wound down. Antos Glogowski has a 20.9% stake.

In the past ten months, the valuation of the property assets of Sutton Harbour (SUH) has increased by 7% to £45.7m.

MAIN MARKET 

Small company-focused investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) reported a 21% decline in NAV to 225.9p a share at the end of 2018, although that is not a surprise given the weak stockmarket at the end of the year. The final dividend was increased by 2% to 9.1p a share. The board is in the process of appointing a fund management team. The plan is to increase the size of the fund to between £50m and £150m.

Standard list shell Cobra Resources (COBR) has agreed to acquire the owner of a 100% right title and interest in the Prince Alfred licence in South Australia. Prince Alfred was a producing copper mine. There is also an entitlement to earn 75% of five tenements in South Australia. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund has converted £140,000 of convertible bonds and penalty payments of £210,000 into 140 million shares in WideCells (WDC) and that has nearly doubled the number of shares in issue. The first 60 million shares have been sold.

Andrew Hore

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