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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 January 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

Results from IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) indicate the success of the acquisition policy. In the year to October 2019, underlying pre-tax profit improved from £10.3m to £17m and earnings per share rose by more than two-fifths. The dividend was one-third higher at 8p a share. Assets under management were £6.2bn. AFH plans to grow to annual revenues of £140m and assets under management of £10bn in five years. Cash generated from operations was held back by the protection division predominantly generating non-indemnity business, where the payment is spread over the term of the package. Non-indemnity business will reduce in order to have a higher proportion of revenues that gets paid upfront. Cash generation will improve, and this will mainly go on deferred consideration.

Corporate adviser First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £220,000 at 27p a share in order to provide working capital for the business. That was a small discount to the market price the day before the placing was announced, but the price fell to 19p/22p on the day. On the day, there were 25,000 shares traded at 20p each and 186,370 shares traded at 20.09p each.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has appointed New York-based Ortoli Rosenstadt as the law firm to help it with a potential ADR listing in the US.

Broadband-focused shell SAPO (SAPO) has announced the death of its executive chairman Michael Meyer, who was the founder of Emess Lighting. He and his wife own 43.4% of SAPO. Michael Langoulant is the only remaining director of SAPO.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has placed an additional €90,000 of 7% July 2022 bonds, which are traded on the Vienna Stock Exchange. A total of €3.64m of bonds have been issued, which is 73% of the total that can be issued.

BWA Group (BWAP) has issued 3.26 million shares at 0.5p each to settle directors’ fees for the fourth quarter of 2019. The current share price is 0.2p/0.4p. Richard Battersby’s stake is 16%, Alex Borelli holds 9.48% and James Butterfield owns 15.8%.

Juliet Adelstein will become chief executive of Ganapati (GANP) on 1 February. She previously worked at Japanese advertising agency Dentsu. Hiroki Hasegawa and Toshitaka Nakajima are stepping down as chief executive and finance director respectively.

Via Developments (VIA1) 7% debenture stock 2020 has been withdrawn from MEX. Trading was suspended on 21 October 2019 because of a delay in appointing an independent non-executive director.

Former NEX-quoted company MESH Holdings still plans to acquire AI business Sentiance and Mike Power has taken over as chairman. MESH has also appointed two new directors. Corporate finance professional Lindsay Mair and Ireland-based former broker Rory O’Sullivan.

AIM

Last year was a tough one for agriculture and feed products supplier Wynnstay (WYN) and pre-tax profit fell from £9.5m to £7.9m, but the dividend was still raised. Profit is expected to be flat this year. There was net cash of £3.8m at the end of the year, as lower commodity prices reduced working capital requirements, but there will be £7m of lease liabilities included as debt in the next balance sheet. Seasonality means that there will be a net debt figure at the interim stage and the leases mean it will be much higher than it would have been. Net cash could still be £6m by the end of next October.

Concrete levelling equipment Somero Enterprises (SOM) had a better than expected fourth quarter and this led to an upgraded 2019 earnings forecast from 33.7 cents a share to 36.5 cents a share. That is still lower than 2018 and a further dip is expected in 2020 due to higher marketing spend. The expected total dividend for 2019 is 24.6 cents a share.

United Oil and Gas (UOG) says that the ASH-2 well that is part of the interests being acquired in Egypt has been producing more than 3,000 barrels of oil per day since the beginning of the year. United’s share is 660 barrels of oil per day. The acquisition of the Egypt interest from Rockhopper Exploration (RKH) will not be completed until February.

Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) says a general meeting requisition is valid and it will announce a date for the meeting by next week. Eridge Capital wants to remove Matt Lofgran from the board and replace him with Andrew Morrison.

Regenerative medical products developer Tissue Regenix (TRX) says that revenues grew 12% last year, but the cash will not last much longer. There was £2.4m at the end of 2019 and this will last until the end of April. More funding will be required before then.

Peel Hunt has halved its dividend forecast for construction services provider Van Elle (VANL) to 1p a share, although it has maintained its 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast at £4m. The interim dividend was cut by four-fifths to 0.2p a share. A sharp drop in interim profit means that two-thirds of the forecast needs to be made in the second half. Net debt was £10.4m at the end of October 2019.

IPTV technology company Mirada (MIRA) has completed the cancelation of the share premium account.

Gear4Music (G4M) had strong Christmas trading and gross margins improved. Revenues grew by 7% to the end of 2019 and gross profit was 18% ahead. Earnings of 3.9p a share are forecast for the 2019-20 financial year.

Agronomics (ANIC) has raised a further £5.5m at 7p a share. That is a one-third discount to the market price. At the end of last year £7.7m was raised at 5.5p a share. Agronomics has invested some of the cash it previously raised in cultivated meat businesses developing meat and fish that is produced without animals, but It will have £9.9m in the bank after the cash raising.

Cyber security software provider Kape Technologies (KAPE) generated slightly better 2019 margins than anticipated. EBITDA grew by 40% to $14.5m in 2019 and it will more than double this year.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) believes that the best possible outcome was achieved from the initial production tests of the Cascadura well in Trinidad, which appears to have oil and associated gas. The Coho-1 well should be in production by June.

Trinidad-based oil and gas producer Trinity Exploration and Production (TRIN) increased production by 5% in 2019 and exited the year with daily production of 3,400 barrels. The current forecast for 2020 is 3,260 barrels per day. There was cash of $13.8m at the end of 2019.

Fuel cells developer Proton Motor Power Systems (PPS) has received a €400,00 order from E-Trucks Europe for fuel cells for refuse collection trucks. They will be delivered by the end of 2020.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) still intends to acquire medicinal cannabis company Kanabo Research but there are still conditions to be satisfied. The deal was announced 11 months ago.

Contango Holdings (CGO) is another cash shell and it has been in the process of acquiring the Lubu coal project since April. A £1.4m placing at 5p a share puts Contango in a position to publish a circular for the acquisition.

Tex Holdings (TXH) says it has a record order book. It is responding to matters raised by the FCA and trading in the shares remains suspended. Trading was suspended nine months ago and it has reported its late annual figures, although there still appear to be doubts about the financial state of the company. The overdraft has been repaid.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 1 October 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) managed to edge up its profit despite flat turnover of £156.6m in the year to June 2018. Underlying pre-tax profit was 5% ahead at £11.8m. The total dividend is 3% higher at 29.2p a share. Growth came from the managed pubs but there was a decline in the brewing operations because of the loss of the Asahi contract. Own brand volumes were 0.9% lower, but the division improved its profit contribution. Volumes will continue to fall as third party business is further reduced. The current year has started well.

Chapel Down (CDGP) is opening a bar, restaurant and ginnery called the Chapel Down Gin Works in the Kings Cross area. The wines and beers maker reported a 15% rise in interim revenues to £5.72m. The majority of the growth in revenues came from the wine business and demand continues to exceed supply. The overall loss rose because of the much higher loss from the brewing business. Group profit is second half weighted.

V22 (V22) slipped into loss in the first half of 2018 as the NAV declined from 3.94p a share to 3.88p a share. If the art portfolio is revalued the NAV has increased from 7.47p a share to 8.29p a share.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) generated revenues of £1.33m in the six months to June 2018. There was a reported pre-tax profit of £554,000, after an impairment charge of £216,000. There was £65,000 of cash generated in the period. The blockchain consultancy and investment company obtained most of its revenues from token sales advisory business.

KR1 (KR1) made a loss of £7.36m in the six months to June 2018. That loss was due to unrealised losses on the carrying value of digital currencies and other investments because of the decline in prices during the period.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased its annul revenues by one-third to £3.52m, but pre-tax profit declined from £1.12m to £214,000. That was due to a lack of disposal gains and higher interest costs. Ace has acquired the Mecca Bingo Hall in Chesterfield for £3.999m and this generates an annual rent of £301,000.

A €5.34m gain on the acquisition of an investment property helped Black Sea Property (BSP) swing from a loss to a pre-tax profit of €5.11m. The NAV increased from 0.76 cents a share to 1.16 cents a share.

Health staff provider Healthperm Resources Ltd (HPR) nearly trebled its interim revenues to £297,000 as the number of candidates deployed jumped from 50 to 144. There are 158 people enrolled in the Middle East language training centre.

BWA (BWAP) continues to seek a reverse takeover candidate and its two investments are making progress. Prepaid cards provider Prepaid Global Services is making slower than expected progress but continues to plan to gain a quotation. BWA has applied for licences in Cameroon on behalf of investee company Mineralfields. BWA had £76,000 in the bank at the end of April 2018, while shareholder funds increased from £570,000 to £764,000.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) has appointed Igor Zjali as chief investment officer and Kirk Kashefi as a non-executive director. Nigel Quinton becomes permanent finance director. The £100,000 loan from Quanta Capital has been converted into 100 million shares. There was £56,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. Investee company Civilised Bank has resubmitted its application for authorisation to the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) engaged Bishop and Sewell to investigate transactions undertaken by former boss Baron Bloom. He failed to report that he received £6,230 of rent due to Etaireia from a tenant of the Ivy Leaf Club property. Bloom is owed outstanding salary and expenses, so no action is being taken by the company. Greg Collier has stepped down as a non-executive director.

Healthcare IT supplier DXS International (DXSP) swung from profit to loss in the year to April 2018, partly due to the interest charge. Revenues dipped from £3.43m to £3.41m. Investment in new products should help to build revenues.

Western Selection (WESP) increased its NAV from 95p to 96p. Improvements in the value of the stakes in Northbridge Industrial Services and Bilby, offset the reduction in the Swallowfield investment valuation.  The total dividend has been increased from 2.2p a share to 2.25p a share. The shares are trading at a discount to NAV of around one-third.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) increased its interim revenues by 37% to £544,000 and the loss was reduced from £1.24m to £824,000. There was £1.75m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

The NAV of EPE Special Opportunities (EL.P) fell by 19% to 190.2p a share over the six months to July 2018, due to a halving of the value of the investment in Luceco, where, in August, EPE invested a further £2m.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) reported flat interim revenues of $3.91m, but the loss increased from $331,000 to $527,000. The revenues were generated from Thailand and Africa. The Honduras operation has been delayed but should be up and running by the end of the year.

Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £140,000 from a debenture stock issue.

Interim revenues declined from HK$7.22m to HK$5.27m at MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) and there was a significantly higher loss of HK$24.8m. The cash position was HK$7.65m at the end of June 2018. The traditional Chinese medicines supplier was hit by lower wholesale orders. Discussions continue with additional distributors.

AIM    

Parasite control products developer TyraTech Inc (TYRU) has signed a conditional merger agreement with American Vanguard Corporation, which involves an offer to the other TyraTech shareholders of 3.15p a share. TyraTech needs cash to grow and 34.4% shareholder American Vanguard is in a stronger position to obtain the finance. TyraTech had cash of $3.7m at the end of June 2018.

Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) is still losing money but the electrical and oil and gas tools markets are showing signs of improvement. A full year loss of £2m is still expected but the group could reach breakeven next year. Northbridge has the cash to invest in additional rental equipment.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) reported a lower interim loss and it had net cash of $2m at the end of June 2018. Drilling of the first well on the company’s Paradox Basin acreage in Utah should start before the end of the year. A recent report suggested that there could be 13mmboe of 2C resource. There has been successful exploration in the area and it already has the appropriate infrastructure. If the appraisal well is a success that should provide a strong background for a further fundraising.

Keystone Law (KEYS) grew interim revenues by 30% to £19.9m thanks to strong recruitment of new lawyers. This progress means that Keystone is on target to improve full year pre-tax profit from £2.9m to £4.4m and a total dividend of 7.5p a share is expected.

NWF (NWF) says the warm summer has hit demand for heating oil and there has been increased competition in fuels. There has been increased demand for feed and the food distribution business is trading in line with expectations.

Health monitoring equipment supplier Deltex Medical (DEMG) is adapting its strategy in order to grow revenues and generate cash from existing customers. Costs are also being reduced. Probe revenues fell in the first half of 2018 due to delayed orders in the US and France. Overall, interim revenues fell from £2.88m to £2.33m, but the operating loss was only slightly higher at £1.14m. There is just over £1m in the bank.

Fishing Republic (FISH) has appointed Daniel Quinn as chief executive. He has previously worked at Go Outdoors and Tesco. That could point to a broadening of the range of products that will be sold by the fishing tackle retailer. Interim revenues fell from £4.1m to £3.4m, while the loss was £2.5m, which includes stock write downs and other one-off costs. Five outlets have been closed.

Trinity Exploration (TRIN) increased its oil and gas production in the first half and also achieved higher prices. The Trinidad-focused oil and gas producer increased interim revenues by 49% to $30.1m and generated $5m of cash from operating activities. There was net cash of $19m at the end of June 2018.

Gama Aviation (GMAA) increased interim revenues by 3% to $104.6m, with a lower contribution from the ground maintenance activities offset by higher revenues from the air services operations. A better second half should enable Gama to increase its full year pre-tax profit from $17.1m to $19.9m.

Oil and gas producer and explorer Cabot Energy (CAB) increased its interim revenues from $1.8m to $7.5m thanks to higher production in Canada, where Cabot took full control earlier this year. Even so, there was still a $4.2m first half loss, mainly due to exceptional costs, following the installing of a new management team. Management is in talks with potential farm-in partners for some of its Italian assets. That would enable Cabot to focus its investment in Canada. There was $6.2m in the bank at the end of June 2018, although some of that cash could be needed to complete the purchase of an Italian producing asset.

Immupharma (IMM) had £9m in the bank at the end of June 2018. The group is collaborating with Icanthera, which will in-licence the Nucant cancer programme, which has completed two phase 1 trials. Immupharma is also seeking to divest its subsidiary Ureka, while retaining an interest in the potential of the operations. Even though the results of the Lupuzor phase III trial were disappointing, a deal has been signed for Lupuzor to be provided via a Managed Access Programme. An open label extension study for Lupuzor will report by next summer.

Park Group (PKG) says that it has grown its cash balances and both the consumer and corporate businesses are trading well. Park is on course for a full year profit of £13.6m.

Active Energy (AEG) reported a higher interim loss. This was a period when $1.32m was spent on the development of the CoalSwitch plant. Along with its partner, Active has submitted an EU grant application for the SuperFuel coal slurry recovery technology and a decision should be made before the end of the year. There is also optimism about gaining a Crown Timber Licence for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Destiny Pharma (DEST) still has cash of £15.1m even though costs were increased in the first half. Investment in trials means that cash could fall to £10m by the end of the year. The phase I safety study for the use of XF-73 to prevent surgical infections should be completed by the end of this year and a phase IIb trial could commence early next year. A second formulation of XF-73 is being developed for dermal infections and diabetic foot ulcers in particular.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH) plans to sell its US subsidiary, which it acquired in 2015 when it gained its Nasdaq listing. Midatech will receive an initial $13m for the cancer care products supplier. The cash will be used for the research and development operations and paying off the loan from MidCap.

Bosch has invested £9m in fuel cell technology developer Ceres Power Holdings (CWR) in return for a 4.4% stake. Weichai Power will invest a further £1m to maintain its 10% stake.

There was a 17% fall in gold processed by Goldplat (GDP) in the year to June 2018, but sales only dipped from 40,285 ounces to 39,400 ounces. Revenues increased by 7% to £33.8m. The Kilimapesa gold mine continues to disappoint and lose money. A lower contribution from the Ghana processing operations and a bad debt were the main reasons behind the fall in pre-tax profit from £2.84m to £1.79m. Goldplat is seeking other mine investments, not necessarily in Africa. There was £1.54m in the bank.

Veltyco (VLTY) has managed to reduce its receivables but the were still €12.6m at the end of June 2018. Revenues for the previous six months were €8.9m. Net cash was €1m. Veltyco will launch its own financial trading brand in the fourth quarter.

Stride Gaming (STR) continues to be hit by the stagnation of the online bingo market but the decline in pre-tax profit is set to be in line with expectations. In the year to August 2019, pre-tax profit is expected to fall further from £14.2m to £13.8m. There will be a £4m provision for the recent fine from the UK gambling authorities.

Strategic Minerals (SML) reported a jump in interim pre-tax profit from $158,000 to $2.69m, but this did not come through in cash during the period. That is because £2.46m of the profit came from a gain based on the payment for the Leigh Creek copper mine below its asset value.

MAIN MARKET

Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) is moving towards the point where it can submit an IND application to the FDA for CDX antibodies. There is initial data that CDX antibodies can attack and eliminate Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in vitro. Hemogenyx already has an agreement with a global pharma company for this technology. Northland has been appointed as broker.

World Trade Systems (WTS) reported a drop in interim revenues from £10.1m to £6.3m and it has fallen into loss. Trading has been tough for the health food subsidiary. This is set to continue. Trading in the shares has been suspended for more than a decade and the board says that is working towards a resumption of trading on the premium segment of the Main Market.

WideCells Group (WDC) has gained financing of up to £2.7m from the European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund. The facility is convertible into shares and has warrants attached. The cash will be invested in the stem cell storage and insurance operations. The BabyCells stem cell storage service has been launched. Group revenues remain modest and WideCells made an interim loss of more than £2m. There was £1.73m in the bank at the end of June, offset by debt of £1.17m.

Investment company London Financial and Investment Group (LFI) has maintained its NAV at 65.4p a share, despite a decline in value of its stake in Finsbury Food (FIF), and the total dividend has been edged up to 1.15p a share. The share price is 42.5p.

Standard list shell Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) still had £1.4m in the bank at the end of June 2018 following its decision to change its strategy from telecoms to blockchain acquisitions. Management is analysing potential acquisitions.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 18 December 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Wine and beer maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has raised £18.53m at 50p a share and could raise up to £1.47m more via a one-for-35 open offer at the same share price. The latest acceptance date is 5 January. Chapel Down will invest in an additional 500 acres of vineyard land and more money will be put into marketing. The family interests of Michael Spencer have invested in the fundraising. Nigel Wray has invested a further £500,000 but his stake has fallen to 16.5%, prior to the open offer. This year’s turnover is expected to be at least £11.6m and management expects growth to accelerate after the additional investment. New gin and vodka brands have been launched and the Ashford brewery should be up and running by the end of 2018.

Ashley House (ASH) has signed a joint venture with Morgan Sindall to develop extra care and supported living housing. This deal sparked a 55% increase in the share price to 14.75p. Morgan Sindall is paying £4m in total for the 50% stake in the joint venture, with £1.5m of this dependent on certain completion factors. It should all be paid by the end of 2018. The Ashley House housing division will complete two existing schemes and then own 50% of the joint venture, which will develop any further schemes. This additional cash will help to accelerate the growth of this part of the business. There is already a pipeline of potential developments. Ashley House will make an interim loss but expects to profitable for the full year.

e-commerce technology provider Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) reduced its interim loss as revenues grew from £317,000 to £479,000. There has been a lower number of larger projects, particularly in the food and drink sector, and Netalogue would have been profitable without the investment in the company’s technical team. A move towards a SaaS-based model could hold back short-term revenues.

AIM-quoted, spread betting business London Capital Group (LCG) has joined the NEX Exchange Growth Market on 15 December. Glio Holdings Ltd owns 78.1% of London Capital.

Early Equity (EEQP) has made two more investments. It has invested £60,000 in TruSpine Technologies Ltd, which plans to join AIM next year. TruSpine has developed the Faci-LOK and Cervi-FAS minimally invasive spine stabilisation devices and the VOSC catheter atherosclerosis treatment product. The plan is to gain FDA authorisation for Faci-LOK next year and then float. TruSpine is valued at £15m. A £35,000 investment in the profitable corporate finance and asset management business Farina Investments (UK) Ltd has been made ahead of a flotation. Early Equity raised £115,000 at 0.6p a share.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) has declared an unchanged total dividend of 21p a share for the year to October 2017.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) says that it is progressing towards the issue of an investment bond that will be quoted on a recognised bond market. There was nearly £60,000 in the bank at the end of September 2017.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) raised £720,000 at 9p a share and this will be used to invest in blockchain companies and expand the company’s own advisory business. Last June, £250,000 was raised at 2.2p a share. Coinsilium has been appointed as an adviser to token generation event of Hdac Technology AG, which is developing payment platforms for connected devices.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has raised £5,000 at 0.01p a share and issued further shares for convertible loan notes and warrants at the same price. Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised £34,000 at 0.1p a share. Via Developments (VIA1) has issued a further £50,000 of debenture stock.

AIM

Satellites owner Avanti Communications Group (AVN) has revealed a financial restructuring that could put it on a firm footing. Certainly, without this restructuring the outlook would be bleak. The $557m of 2023 loan notes will be converted into two billion shares, while investors in the 2021 loan notes are being asked to accept and extension of the term and lower income. Annual interest charges would still be $36.6m

Best of the Best (BOTB) says that it expects to pay remote gaming duty and this will knock £300,000 from profit this year and £600,000 next year. This year’s pre-tax profit is forecast to decline from £1.5m to £1.4m, with a further fall to £1.2m in 2018-19. Net cash is expected to be £2.6m at the end of April 2018. The company is still claiming £4.5m of VAT so this could provide a cash boost in the future.

Plant Impact (PIM) is suffering continued delays in demand for its Veritas product in Brazil. A new partnership with Albaugh Brazil will commercialise other Plant Impact products in Brazil. This has sparked the decision to consider putting the company up for sale. Cash is running out and a further £7m would need to be raised to keep the company going well into 2019.

Van Elle Holdings (VANL) has defeated the five resolutions proposed by former chairman Michael Ellis at last week’s general meeting.

Recruitment and outsourcing services provider Servoca (SVCA) reported better than expected full year figures. Pre-tax profit improved from £3.5m to £3.9m. Education and healthcare will be the main growth areas.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) is collaborating with King’s College London to examine the use of SFX-01 as a therapy against ischaemic stroke. Multiple doses will be assessed and this will take nine months. This could lead to a clinical trial that might be funded by a charity organisation associated with King’s College.

Range Resources Ltd (RRL) returned to AIM following the reverse takeover of producing oil and gas assets in Trinidad from Trinity Exploration and Production (TRIN).

Defence equipment and services supplier Cohort (CHRT) had a weak first half but it expects to more than make up for that in the second half. There was a mixed performance with some parts of the business finding trading conditions difficult. The order book is worth £132m. Full year pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from £14.5m to £15.4m.

Savannah Resources (SAV) says that it has discovered high-grades and large intercepts in the latest drilling at the Mina do Barroso lithium project. A maiden mineral resource estimated could be announced before the year end with potential for upgrades from further drilling.

Daniel Stewart expects China New Energy (CNEL) to report a jump in pre-tax profit from £400,000 to £2.6m in 2017. The shares are trading on less than four times fully-taxed 2017 prospective earnings. The company constructs bioenergy plants that convert feedstock into ethanol. The most recently reported order book was worth £28.7m with the orders due to be fulfilled in 2017 and 2018. Demand from China is strong and there is also international business.

Coal bed methane projects developer Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) has secured a listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange and trading commenced on 13 December. Tlou raised £2.4m at 11p a share.

Synairgen (SNG) has secured a £5m cash injection from a deal with Pharmaxis, which will take over the development of LOXL2 in fibrotic diseases. Synairgen will also receive 17% of any partnering revenues. This compares with £3m invested by Synairgen in LOXL2. The cash will enable Synairgen to fund the phase IIa study for SNG001 for COPD. The trial should be complete by the end of 2018.

New management has turned around the performance of contract disputes and expert witness services provider Driver (DRV) and it moved back into profit last year. Cost savings have been made and the focus is on profitable business rather than just growing revenues. Cash collection is improving with net debt down to £200,000 and there is likely to be net cash of £2m in one year’s time. This year’s revenues are likely to be flat at around £60m but pre-tax profit should improve from £2.5m to £2.7m.

One month after its previous trading statement IDOX (IDOX) says that an internal audit has found that it should not recognise all the revenues that it originally intended to. This will knock £3m off profit for 2016-17. The software company reported its full year figures in December but the attest full year figures have been delayed until February. Chief executive Andrew Riley is away ill and former boss Richard Kellett-Clarke has taken over on a temporary basis.

Abzena (ABZ) reported interims in line with expectations. Growth came from the chemistry and manufacturing businesses. This is a period of capital investment as various parts of the company move to new facilities. The ADC master services agreement with a US biotech will yield at least $5m in services revenues over the next 12 months. This deal is shared between chemistry and manufacturing divisions.

Surface coatings provider Hardide (HDD) is starting to improve its gross margin as demand improves. There is even some signs of improved demand from the oil and gas sector. Even so, Hardide remains loss-making but it still has not gained any orders from Airbus. It raised £2.5m for capital investment earlier this year. A new reactor will be installed in the US in this financial year and another next year.

MAIN MARKET

Titon Holdings (TON) continues to benefit from strong demand for its window ventilation components in South Korea. The majority of profit comes from South Korea and that is where all the growth came from last year as the contributions from the UK and North America fell. In the year to September 2017, revenues were one-fifth ahead at £28m, while pre-tax profit improved from £2.14m to £2.49m. The dividend growth of 20% to 4.2p a share is ahead of earnings per share growth. A pre-tax profit of £2.81m is forecast for this year.

Avation (AVAP) has secured an initial $100m revolving facility to finance the acquisition of aircraft.

Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL) has secured an agreement with AIM-quoted MySQUAR (MYSQ) for the distribution of its games on MySQUAR’s platform and MySQUAR’s games on the Huawei InTouch platform. This is initially a two year deal.

Standard list shell Stranger Holdings (STHP) says that it expects to complete the acquisition of biogas and renewable energy business Alchemy Utilities. A five-year £20m bond is being raised.

Andrew Hore

Animalcare grows as Blur Group burns cash

Animalcare Group ANCR – Enters into a conditional share purchase agreement to acquire the entire issued share capital of European animal health company Ecuphar NV. The consideration for the Acquisition is structured on a consolidated Animalcare/Ecuphar Enlarged Issued Share Capital ratio of 37:63 (after taking into account dilution from certain Animalcare incentive arrangements), and will be satisfied through the issue of shares & cash to the Ecuphar vendors. The cash component will be satisfied in part through a placing of approximately 8.6m new shares (representing approx 40.4% of the existing share capital) to raise gross proceeds of not less than £30m, with the balance (of £4m) to be funded by existing cash held by the Group. The number of shares to be issued to the vendors of Ecuphar, will be determined following completion of the placing.

Blur Group BLUR – Continues to burn cash in its update today, cash balances at 31 May of $1.14m. Trading since 31 Dec 2016 has been in line with expectations, with finals from Blur due on 29 June 2017. As a result of the current cash balances, the company are sounding out new and existing potential cornerstone investors and evaluating alternative sources of near-term funding, which may or may not be forthcoming, within the next three to six weeks. If alternative sources of financing are not available the board would be required to take action to protect the interests of creditors and which could result in the value attributable to shareholders being severely reduced or becoming nil.

Trinity Exploration TRIN – Following the difficulties of 2015 and 2016, Trinity now has a clear strategic focus going forward, which is to grow reserves and production to maximise the cash flow from our assets while achieving a market value that is more reflective of underlying assets and business. Production has declined significantly from average levels of 3,600 barrels of oil per day in 2014 to current levels of approximately 2,500 bopd due to a lack of investment. The funding required to stabilise operations and recommence value extraction from the asset base was received in January, the primary focus during H1 has been to initiate essential maintenance and upgrades to infrastructure and to sustain base production levels whilst undertaking parallel planning activities to grow production across the portfolio from a range of; workovers, swabbing, re-activations, re-completions and new infill drilling.

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