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First Sentinel (FSEN) has bought a 80% stake in Perennial Enterprises in Australia in an all share deal. Perennial is a profitable debtor finance business and it is purchasing A$5m of invoices each month. Shane Perry of Perennial will join the First Sentinel board.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has sold its investment in Gold Mines of Wales to Alba Mineral Resources (ALBA) in return for 83.3 million shares in Alba (3.6% of the company). That was worth £317,000 at an Alba share price of 0.38p.
NHS-focused software systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) has been hit by budget cuts but management is hopeful that NHS restructuring will have a positive effect. A tender has been won for a pilot of a new product range. The NHS will launch the GPSOC3 tendering in 2018 and this could provide opportunities for DXS.
Block Energy (BLOK) has delayed its move to AIM until mid-January. It was originally expected to make the move on 7 December.
Etaireia Investments (ETIP) had net assets of £1.88m at the end of September 2017. Since then, two buildings in Peterlee have been acquired and more acquisitions are promised in the near future.
Early Equity (EEQP) impaired two investments in the year to August 2017. The full year loss was £139,000. Further cash has been raised since the year end.
Commercial property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has completed the purchase of the New Majestic Bingo Hall, Middlesbrough for £4.15m and it generates rent of £313,000 a year.
All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised £30,000 at 0.075p a share.
Sula Iron and Gold (SULA) is acquiring a controlling interest in a cobalt licence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for $100,000. This is near to existing cobalt and copper mines. A holding company will be 70% owned by Sula and 30% owned by the vendor. A placing is raising £1.75m at 0.05p a share. This will provide cash for the exploration of the new licence and finance the development of the assets in Sierra Leone. Sula will assess other opportunities in the DRC. The Riverfort facility will be terminated and shares bought back from D-Beta. The company is changing its name to African Battery Materials.
Evgen Pharma (EVG) has raised the cash to finance the completion of the phase II studies for SFX-01, which uses its synthetic sulforaphane called Sulforadex. There is a phase II trial assessing the treatment of metastatic breast cancer and there should be an interim reading in the first half of 2018 and it will report fully before the end of the year. There is also a phase II trial for subarachnoid haemorrhage stroke, which should also report by the end of 2018. Evgen has raised £2.3m at 12p a share. Hardman says that cash burn is £300,000 a month.
Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) has reset its flotation date to 19 December and it is raising £25.4m, before costs of £1.2m, at 62p a share. Numis is nominated adviser and broker, while Baden Hill is joint bookrunner. Mirriad, which has developed technology to enable product placement in existing TV and film content, will be valued at £63.2m. Management is raising £800,000 from the sale of existing shares. IP Group is a major shareholder and is investing a further £3.7m, leaving it with a 27.2% stake. Amati VCT, Amati VCT 2, Edge Performance VCT and Oxford Technology 4 VCT, which acquired its shareholding around a decade ago, also have stakes, although it does not appear that the VCTs will generate much of an increase in the value of their holdings at the placing price.
Brighton Pier Group (PIER) has agreed to buy mini golf site operator Paradise Island Adventure Golf for an initial £10.5m. The business made an EBITDA of £1.21m on revenues of £3.49m in the most recent financial year. Six sites are being operated with two to be added. This is less seasonal than Brighton Pier. A placing raised £3m at 95p a share, with executive chairman Luke Johnson investing £850,000.
Delays with a project at Hinckley C hampered last year’s figures from Redhall (RHL) but the underlying business has been put on a much firmer footing. The order book is higher and so are the gross margins on the work.
Collagen Solutions (COS) has been hit by a delayed order from a major tissue customer which is launching a new product incorporating the tissue. This will hamper full year revenues. Interim revenues were flat at £1.86m and the full year revenues are expected to still rise from £3.95m to £4.31m but this is around £800,000 lower than previous forecasts. There should still be £6m in the bank at the end of March 2018. The long-term prospects for the ChondroMimetic cartilage repair product are positive.
Vianet Group (VNET) is switching its revenue model for its smart machines division to focus increasingly on regular recurring revenues from contactless payment technology sales. This held back interim revenues. Since the end of the first half, Vianet has completed the acquisition of Vendman and this should make a small profit contribution in the second half. Full year group revenues are expected to rise from £14.3m to £15.4m, while pre-tax profit should move from £2.5m to £2.8m. Vianet is changing its sector to telecommunication equipment.
Accounting software supplier FreeAgent Holdings (FREE) grew its interim revenues by 28% to £4.6m without any significant contribution from its partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland. Growth was slowed by regulation changes relating to public sector contractors. The policy of moving towards digital tax returns will provide a future boost to demand for the company’s software from small businesses. House broker N+1 Singer has trimmed its forecast revenues for the next two years and does not expect FreeAgent to make a full year pre-tax profit over that time scale.
Sovereign Mines of Africa (SMA) ran into regulatory and tax issues relating to its proposed reverse takeover of an Indian eyewear manufacturer. Trading in the shares was suspended on 21 July so it has until 27 January to find a potential acquisition.
Pennant International (PEN) is partnering with Capewell Aerial Systems, a producer of military and law enforcement equipment. The two companies will develop opportunities and an initial product is already under development. The news that BAE is selling Typhoon aircraft to Qatar is also good for Pennant.
Wind measurement technology developer Windar Photonics (WPHO) has received an order for 300 WindEYE LiDAR systems from a Chinese distributor. There will be 50 delivered this year and the rest in the first half of 2018.
Software supplier Pelatro plans to join AIM on 19 December. The mViva software is developed in India and used for marketing by telecommunications companies.
Video games developer Sumo Group plans to float by the end of December. Video games industry veteran Ian Livingstone is a non-executive director.
Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals (HEMO) has made good progress since it reversed into a standard list shell. Hemogenyx continues to work with contract research organisation LakePharma Inc, whose holding company invested £350,000 in Hemogenyx, to develop its therapies for bone marrow or blood stem cell transplants. This collaboration should help to progress the CDX technology towards clinical studies in 16 months time and preparatory work has started on a submission to the US FDA. The company has recently announced a collaboration with Oxford University that could generate work that will significantly improve the efficiency and safety of bone marrow transplants. A reliable supply of human tissue has been secured from a US research university.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has shipped the first load of rare earth mineral concentrate and it is currently on the road Mombasa. Production has commenced on time and within budget. Gasagwe is the only producing rare earths mine in Africa. Arden believes that Rainbow could make a profit of $3.4m in the year to June 2018, rising to $4.2m in 2018-19.
Deloitte has been appointed as administrator to Torotrak (TRK) because of a shortage of cash. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
VI Mining is planning to join NEX this month. The Peru-focused miner is acquiring two gold mining assets in tandem with the flotation. VI will raise up to £10m in cash at 500p a share and issue a further £10m worth of shares as part of the initial payment, along with some of the cash, for the two mining assets at Rosario and Minaspampa. VI has debt facilities in place. There is a capital expenditure and working capital commitment of £30m for Minaspampa and the mine could be in operation by next August. Rosario requires £15m of capital spending and working capital and already has licences and infrastructure. Annual gold production of 83,720 ounces from the two mines could yield a $43.5m annual profit based on a $1,300/ounce gold price. That is expected to be the initial production and it could end up quadruple that level. Two tolling projects could also generate cash for the group and the first could be up and running in a few months time. VI would be valued at £535m at the flotation price. This is backed up by a Daniel Stewart estimated valuation of £557.8m. The board will retain 73% of the company. The plan is to move to the Main Market in 12 months or so. The free float will need to be increased in order for it to be at least 25% when the move is made.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has published the competent person report on the Hellyer gold project in Tasmania. This indicates that the project has a NPV of $113.2m. The processing facilities are being refurbished and operations are expected to commence in 2018 following the approval of the environmental management plan.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has acquired a 30% stake in Startup Token, which provides advice to start-ups undertaking token offerings. Coinsilium is paying £361,000 in cash and shares at 8.5p each. Coinsilium is also providing a six month loan of $100,000 that can be converted into a further 6.4% of Gibraltar-registered Startup Token.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) has started drilling on PL 3729 in County Clare, which adjoins the Kilbricken zinc deposit. A feasibility study has commenced on PL 3850 in County Wicklow. IMC’s partner Koza has completed an exploration targeting report on other licences and prioritised further exploration.
Ganapati (GANP) has agreed to supply online games to Bethard Group. Ganapati will initially supply eight games and then one each month.
Hearing and mobility products retailer DHAIS (DHAP) has delayed its figures for the year to June 2017 because it wants to ensure it has support from its main funder.
Welney (WENP) had a cash outflow of £19,000 in the year to June 2917 and most of that was covered by loans from related parties and a further £11,000 has been loaned since the year end. These loans will not be called in for at least 12 months. Net liabilities are £197,000. The board is assessing potential deals.
African Potash (AFPO) has entered into a joint venture with SG Inc to develop fertiliser opportunities in the Republic of Congo. A blockchain joint venture has also been announced with FinComEco Ltd and this will develop platforms for agricultural markets in Africa. There is a plan to offer microloans to farmers. The company intends to change its name to Block Commodities Ltd.
Forbes Ventures (FOR)
Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) continues to underperform and it is not likely to get the $1.75m it is still owed by xG Technology for the sale of Vislink. The broadcast software supplier requires its banks support and needs to appoint a new management team. Talks with potential bidders did not yield an offer. This year’s revenues will be slightly lower than last year
Versarien (VRS) has a strong balance sheet after the recent fundraising and it is generating interest for its Nanene graphene product. The carbide business has won a significant aerospace order. The 167% growth in revenues to £4.38m in the first half was mainly down to the acquisition of a plastics business. A US sales office has been established.
Mortice (MORT) reported strong revenue growth but cost pressures on a particular contract held back profit. The security and facilities management business reported a 17% rise in first half revenues to $106.3m. The contract is being sorted out and house broker finnCap still expects full year profit to improve from $5.4m to $7m.
Anti-microbial drugs developer Destiny Pharma (DEST) has secured a deal with former AIM company China Medical Systems Holdings Ltd (CMS), which is now listed in Hong Kong, for a £3m cash injection into the company and a strategic partnership that gives CMS rights to Destiny’s drug candidates pipeline in China and some other Asian countries. CMS will carry out research and development and the commercialisation of any drugs in its territories. Destiny will make a margin on manufacturing products and receive payments based on sales milestones.
Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is investing a further $6m in its Oman joint venture. This is in the form of a mezzanine loan to the company where Tri-Star has a 40% stake. The interest rate is 15% and payable on redemption – the loan term is five years. The cash will help to finance the development of the antinomy roaster in Oman. The capital budget was recently increased to $96m.
Recruitment has started for a pharmacokinetic study into the Futura Medical (FUM) erectile dysfunction treatment, MED2002. This will help to determine dosages for a phase III study. The UK and Netherlands regulatory agencies have been supportive concerning a possible switch from prescription to over the counter.
Veltyco (VLTY) has yet again announced that its figures will be better than forecast. The online gaming marketing business says that profit is likely to be much higher than expected.
ECSC Group (ECSC) is the perfect example of how a share price can get carried away on the back of general news. The share price is one-quarter its peak after publicity about cyber security and hacking. Trading is in line with previously reduced expectations following cost cutting and the securing of two managed services contracts.
Belluscura has pulled its flotation after failing to gain the EIS/VCT approvals in time and because it could not get the valuation it wanted.
The founder of Focusrite (TUNE) and a relation have sold eight million shares at 315p a share. They still retain a 38.3% stake in the audio equipment supplier.
Active Energy Group (AEG) expects its Utah-based Coal Switch plant to be completed this month. The production capacity is five tonnes of the coal replacement fuel per hour. Once the plant is up and running and proves the viability of the process there should be other plants built in 2018. The plant is modular so it is easy to increase capacity.
Trading in the shares of Graphene NanoChem (GRPH) has been suspended ahead of the proposed acquisition of CG TekBuild, which is involved in modular buildings. The deal is dependent on £18.2m of debt being converted into shares. The proceeds of the sale of non-core activities will be used to pay other creditors. The company believes the acquisition will help it to apply it graphene technology in building materials.
ITM Power (ITM) has £20.2m of projects under contract and a further £22.4m in negotiation. The figure under contract is similar to two months ago but the under negotiations figure is one-third higher.
Defence and petrol stations structures supplier MS International (MSI) reported sharply increased interim profit from £610,000 to £1.64m as revenues increased by two-fifths to £34.6m. Net cash is £14.5m. Most of the growth came from the petrol station branding business and this more than offset the decline in profit from defence. The interim dividend was increased from 1.5p a share to 1.75p a share.
Precision optical components supplier Gooch and Housego (GHH) reported slightly better than expected full year figures. Revenues were 30% ahead at £112m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £14.2m to £16.1m. Acquisitions helped to fuel significant growth in aerospace and defence. There was also increased demand from the subsea telecoms market and other industrial applications. The life sciences division still needs bulking up.
Timber supplier James Latham (LTHM) reported a 7% increase in interim revenues to £107.3m but a decline in margins meant that pre-tax profit was 12% lower at £6.7m. The interim dividend was unchanged at 4.5p a share and net cash declined to £11.6m due to capital spending. The pension deficit has fallen from £16.6m to £8.5m. A slight fall in full year profit to £13.4m is expected.
Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) is raising £21.6m at 410p a share to speed up its growth in the US and finance the relocation of facilities in the UK. The new facility will help to improve efficiency. In the year to September 2017, revenues were one-quarter higher at £109.6m and pre-tax profit improved by 46% to £12.9m.
Torotrak (TRK) has been unable to secure the finance it requires. The vehicle technology developer is considering selling its technology and IP or it may have to appoint an administrator.
Filtronic FTC traded strongly in the first half and returned to profitability as revenue leapt from £4.5m to £21.6m and turning last years half time loss of £4.1m into a profit of £1.8m. Increased sales of its main antenna product, and strengthening of its Wireless sales team were responsible for the turnaround. The Chairman went overboard with praise referring not to the company’s growing opportunities but to its growing opportunity pipeline so he has obviously done his bit by attending company speak classes.
Torotrak TRK warns of a material reduction in the mass market for its V charger in passenger cars following the recent shift towards electrification and the move away from diesel engines. This appears to mean that t he company is going to basically have to re-invent itself which includes managing its resources prudently and focusing on KERS. Engineering resources will have to be consolidated.
Hydrodec HYR expects revenue from its core refining business to have risen by 100% for the year to the end of December following the recommissioning of its Canton plant which enabled the company to become EBITDA positive in the last quarter, a situation which is expected to continue throughout 2017. Utilisation of plant increased to 73% as unscheduled plant stoppages declined. Recent changes in the operating environment also impacted the company positively.
Pure Circle PURE has received the happy news that it has been removed by US Customs from the Withhold Release Order and can now resume sales to the US which represented a third of its annual sales.
YouGov YOU anticipates that trading will be ahead of expectations for the half year to the end of January, following strong revenue growth
Trinity Mirror TNI is confident that its full year performance will be ahead of expectations, even if only marginally and that the fall in its net debt will be significantly greater than expectations. Having said that the trading figures are still dire with like for like revenue expected to show a fourth quarter fall of of 8%, with publicity, print and circulation down by 8%, 10% and 17% respectively. Digital is one strong feature with an expected rise of 8%.
United Carpets UCG Trading has been robust in the 6 months to the end of September and the interim dividend is increased to 0.13p from 0.125p. The momentum which got under way last year has continued and like for like sales rose by 2.1%, producing an 8.8% rise in profit before tax.
Torotrak TRK Further deterioration in the trading outlook for the global off highway market is likely to lead to delay in its ability to secure the initial licence for the Flybrid KERS technology, which it anticipated would be concluded during the current financial year. A prospective licencee now expects having to delay the negotiations and the Board believes it will be 2018 before the first licence can be secured. The Board still believes that there is significant commercial opportunity for the KERS technology.
The Fulham Shore plc FUL claims a busy and successful 6 months with half year revenue to 25th September rising by nearly 50% from last years £13.9m to £19.9m. Operating profit rose accordingly, from 2015’s £1.7m to £2.4m. whilst EBITDA was up from 2.6m to 3.7m. The company is delighting the taste buds of the more select parts of London and south east England with chains of Franco Manca Pizzeria, The Real Greek and Bukowski. Since the half year end total number have risen from 36 to 42, with more in the pipeline. I suppose it takes all tastes.