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AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) improved interim revenues by 6% to £67.5m. Gross margins declined as Good Energy focused on business customers. There was a slump from profit to loss, partly down to expected credit losses. There is no interim dividend, but payments should resume next year.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) reported a two-thirds slump in interim revenues to £2.43m. This meant that the loss jumped from £363,000 to £1.69m. There were six race days in the period. Catering, events and the hotel all fell into loss, although the Rocking Horse nursery made a reduced profit. Nine race days are planned for the second half. There will be a substantial loss for 2020.
S-Ventures (SVEN) raised £650,400 at 2.67p a share prior to flotation on 16 September. There have been no trades and the share price ended the week at 3p/5p.
Trading has resumed in Lombard Capital (LCAP) following the completion of disciplinary proceedings. A fine of £23,800 has been imposed on Lombard for the failure to provide timely information and a resulting sharp movement in the share price. Lombard also failed to notify changes in significant shareholdings.
Western Selection (WESP) says that its NAV has fallen by 29.7% to 45p a share over the 12 months to June 2020. The decline in the share prices of AIM-quoted investments is behind the decline. The lack of a dividend from Bilby (BILB) meant that income more than halved.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £275,000 at 7p a share. TruSpine Technologies (TSP) says that Evrensel Capital Partners is being given an extension for its subscription of £250,000 at 36p a share. Evrensel has until 11 November to complete the subscription and it has been taken on as an adviser by TruSpine.
Panmure Gordon has been approved as a corporate adviser for the Aquis Stock Exchange.
ThinkSmart (LON: TSL) has revalued its remaining 10% stake in buy now, pay later finance provider Clearpay. The Clearpay stake was valued at £53.7m at the end of June 2020. That is based on the Afterpay share price, which has risen since. Following the settlement of litigation with Dixons Carphone, which led to a payment of £1.45m after June, ThinkSmart has around £10m in the bank and generating cash.
Hanover Bidco has launched a 40p a share recommended bid for ClearStar (CLSU) and this values the employee checks company at £14.7m. ClearStar floated at 57p a share back in July 2014.
Parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) increased full year revenues by 2% to £329m and there was a move from loss to a pre-tax profit of £1.8m. The freight division loss was reduced. Net cash was £12.3m, although it is helped by delayed tax payments. The parcels market is growing, and DX continues to invest in new depots.
Keystone Law (KEYS) has resumed dividends following the interims. Revenues grew but the rate of growth slowed. Lawyer recruitment continues and Panmure Gordon has upgraded its 2020-21 earnings from 7.1p a share to 11.9p a share.
Billing and customer relationship management software provider Cerillion (CER) has gained its largest ever contract. This £11.2m contract underpins next year’s figures.
There was a small decline in interim revenues at freight management services provider Xpediator (XPD) and there are further cost saving benefits in the second half. Freight forwarding made a higher profit, although overall operating profit was flat. A 0.45p a share dividend was declared. NAV is 19.9p a share.
Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) has been hit by closures and weak trading in the catering sector. The commercial kitchen services franchise group says trading is recovering, but it is still down on previous levels. Revenues should be more than two-thirds of normal levels by the end of 2020.
Online security software provider Kape Technologies (KAPE) doubled revenues in the first half of 2020. Organic growth was 12% as more people working from home led to demand for Kape’s software products. There are still cost savings to come from the Private internet Access acquisition. Full year earnings per share are expected to increase from 6.5p to 13.3p.
Cloud-based payment services provider PCI Pal (PCIP) reported slightly higher than expected full year revenues of £4.4m, up from £2.8m the previous year. Total annual contract value is running at £6.7m and this underpins the current forecast for this year. PCI Pal will continue to lose money but the cash outflow will reduce.
Union Jack Oil (UJO) is raising £7m at 0.16p a share to cover the oil and gas company’s share of investment in the Wressle field and fund other work programmes and drilling.
Trading in Phimedix (PHM) shares has been suspended because the shell has not found a suitable acquisition. Prior to suspension, Steven Myers sold his 7.7% stake and Ali Mortazavi further reduced his stake from 8.15% to 7.7%.
Tex Holdings (TXH) has decided to delist from the Main Market by 13 October. Trading has been suspended since 29 April 2019. Funding is required and the board believes it will be difficult to secure the cash as a listed company because of the requirement for a prospectus for a major share issue. Costs will also be reduced.
IMC Exploration (IMC) intends to accelerate its exploration programme at the North Wexford gold project. The drilling will be JORC compliant.
Papillon (PPHP) says due diligence on its potential mining acquisitions has been completed. Kilmapesa has recommenced gold production.
Castillo Copper Ltd (CCZ) says that it has verified high-grade copper and identified gold mineralisation at the Big One deposit, on the Mt Oxide project. There are plans to commence drilling.
Brewer Adnams (ADB) reported a slump in revenues from £34.7m to £21m in the six months to June 2020 and there was a loss. That is no surprise given the problems of the hospitality sector. Online sales grew but could not offset the loss of on-trade sales. Net debt was £14m at the end of June 2020.
Medical device developer TruSpine Technologies (TSP) is on course to join the Aquis Stock Exchange on 20 August. TruSpine wants to raise £1.5m, which would give it a valuation of £31.5m. The investment is eligible for EIS-relief. TruSpine expects to make a FDA submission for Cervi-Lok, which is one of the three spinal stabilisation devices being developed, in the fourth quarter of 2020. Existing Aquis-quoted company Primorus Investments (PRIM) is an investor in TruSpine. In 2017, it invested £500,000 at a pre-money valuation of £15m. Another Primorus investment, Greatland Gold (GGP), has performed strongly in the second quarter and the share price is more than 155% ahead over the period.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £695,000 at 7p a share. NQ has also secured a $55m loan facility to refinance the project debt of the Hellyer gold mine. Interest savings should be $3.4m a year. Chairman David Lenigas has acquired 20,000 shares at $0.12 each.
Sativa Group (SATI) had a record July. The CBD products supplier has benefitted from sanitiser demand.
TechFinancials (TECH) reported a loss of $492,000 in the first half of 2020. There is $716,000 in the bank. The closure of the trading software operations will be completed in the second half. The Footies ticketing business still has not progressed in terms of signing up clients.
Recruitment company Sumner Group Health (SGRL) intends to withdraw from Aquis in order to save money. A general meeting will be held on 3 September.
IamFire (FIRE) has completed the purchase of a 10% stake in Bio2pure, in a deal that values the company at £8m. The investee company’s CoviPure disinfectant has been launched
Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) has been criticised for its financial controls and systems back in 2018. A £300,000 fine has been waived because remedial action has been undertaken. Yu has acquired Bristol City Council-owned Bristol Energy’s B2B business for an initial £1.24m.
Appreciate (APP) was going to have a tough year even before COVID-19. In the year to March 2020, underlying pre-tax profit fell from £12.5m to £11.4m and there is likely to be a much larger profit decline this year. Trading has improved after a tough first quarter. If Appreciate had not been investing in its digital products it would have found recent months even more difficult. A property has been sold for £3.2m, which further enhances the cash pile of £29.6m at the end of March. The hamper business will be closed this year, but the overall Christmas savings business is holding up. Corporate demand is recovering.
Investment in VW emissions case work will hold back profit in the second half at credit hire firm Anexo (ANX). Lockdown led to a sharp fall in interim profit, but business is building up again. Profit could return to the 2019 level of £23m in 2021, even if there are no VW case revenues. A 0.5p a share interim dividend is being paid.
The geographic and sector spread of recruitment firm Empresaria (EMR) has helped it cope with difficult trading, particularly in its airline-related business. The business was profitable in the first and second quarters. The underlying interim pre-tax profit fell from £3.7m to £2.4m. There is no full year forecast.
Touchstone Exploration (TXP) has commenced drilling at Chinook on the Ortoire block in Trinidad. Chinook is valued at 2p a share by finnCap, but it could be significant like previous find Cascadura, which is valued at 78p a share. Cost cutting has helped to reduce year-on-year per barrel operating costs by 28% in the second quarter. There was still a second quarter loss. Production has declined to 1,396 barrels/day in the second quarter, but this will rise substantially when Cascadura comes into production.
STM (STM) has acquired pensions administrator Berkeley Burke for up to £2.9m. this will add to the UK operations. The business will be rebranded.
Pennant International (PEN) has an order book worth £36m and net cash of £2m. Annualised cost savings of £1m will help the second half performance and a profit is expected. That may not be enough to cover the first half loss.
Pires Investments (PIRI) investee company Getvisibility has signed a US distribution agreement. The data security business will gain access to US government work.
Matthew Freud has taken his stake in Reach4Entertainment (R4E) to 18.7%. The company’s chief executive has increased his stake to 18.7%. The general meeting to vote on the proposal to leave AIM is on 21 August.
Tex Holdings (TXH) says interim revenues fell from £21.8m to £18.5m and the loss has increased from £351,000 to £1.36m. There is £2.54m in the bank, but net debt is £10.7m. The board still wants to raise more cash. The plastics business is still profitable, although it made a lower contribution. The engineering loss was slightly lower, but boards and panels fell from profit to loss.
Fastjet (FJET) is moving from AIM to Asset Match and the airline is reregistering as a private limited company. Trading is expected to start on 24 August. The first auction will be on 30 September.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that it is confident that it has the resources to trade through the current economic difficulties. Significant losses are expected this year and into next year. There was £1.27m in the bank at the end of 2019. Net assets were £50.9m. Newbury increased revenues by 3% to £19.8m in 2019, while underlying pre-tax profit fell by two-thirds to £490,000.
Blockchain technology and tokens investor KR1 (KR1) reported realised gains of £694,000 in 2019, while staking yields and advisory fees generated £422.000 in income. There was also a net unrealised gain on all investments of nearly £1m. Reported pre-tax profit was £1.36m, compared with a large loss the previous year because of a significant unrealised loss. NAV was £7.47m at the end of 2019.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) is raising a further £447,500 at 7p a share. This also helps to extend the shareholder register. The cash will finance the reopening of the Beaconsfield gold mine.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that the capex on the Yangibana rare earths project, where Cadence has a 30% interest, will be reduced by A$68m (13% of the total) due to the relocation of the processing plant.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has secured a contract to produce 10,000 tonnes of ilmenite pellets from tailings sludge. This will increase the effectiveness of the ilmenite and get rid of the sludge. This indicates that there is a broader market for the pelleting technology than just coal.
Eight Capital Partners (ECP) is restructuring its investment in Financial Innovations Team because of a disappointing performance. The investment will be unwound, and the funds invested should be recovered. The stake has been returned to the vendors and a vendor loan has been cancelled and Eight Capital bonds returned. That totals €750,000 out of the aggregate consideration of €1.2m, with a further €100,000 to come. A £1 payment has secured an option to take a 60% stake Innovative Finance.
Incanthera (INC) has filed a new patent for its Sol skin cancer technology. This should extend the life of the Sol patents to 2041.
European Lithium Ltd (EUR) has received the A$1m balance of the $10m finance facility with Winance Investment.
Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) traded strongly in June following a tough three months. There was limited impact on the figures for the year to March 2020 with revenues of £621.5m and like-for-like growth of 0.4%. Higher interest charges held back pre-tax profit to £50.7m. Net debt was £365.9m, with most debt in the form of quoted bonds. There is £174.7m of cash in the balance sheet. This could be used to finance further acquisitions. Pre-tax profit is forecast to decline to £27m this year before improving to £54m next year. The outcomes will depend on the strength and consistency of the recovery.
Peter Gyllenhammar continues to build up his stake in Brand Architekts (BAR) and it has reached 6.1%. He owned less than 3% just over a fortnight ago. This follows the reduction in the stake held by Gresham House Strategic (GHS) to below 3%.
Fortiana Holdings has launched a recommended 300p a share bid for Highland Gold Mining (HGM) and that values the gold miner at £1.09bn. The Highland share price has not hit 300p since 2006.
At the end of March 2020, the NAV of Wynnstay Properties (WSP) was 792p a share. In the first quarter, 100% of rents were received.
Harwood Capital is offering 37.5p a share for property manager HML Holdings (HMLH) and this valued it at £19m.
Goldplat (GDP) says its gold recovery processing operations in South Africa and Ghana have increased profitability in the year to June 2020. South Africa more than doubled its profit contribution and Ghana moved from loss to profit. The higher gold price has offset shutdown periods. here was £3.2m in the bank at the end of June 2020. The loss-making Kilmapesa mine is being sold for an initial payment of $1.5m plus up to $1.5m via a 1% net smelter royalty. An unnamed UK listed company plans to make the acquisition if it raises at least $4m and gains shareholder approval.
Gemfields (GEM) reduced cash operating spending to below $5m in June and that left net cash of $9.3m. There is uncertainty about whether gemstone auctions will be held. If not, more cash is likely to be needed
Coro Energy (CORO) is not going ahead with the disposal of its Italian oil and gas assets Zenith Energy (ZEN) because regulatory approval has not been received.
Shareholders of cash shell Safe Harbour Holdings (SHH) have voted to wind up the company, although one-fifth of the votes were against the resolution. A 74p a share distribution will be made by the end of September and a final distribution is planned by next July.
Tex Holdings (TXH) says it needs additional working capital and is talking to its major shareholder. The plastics division is trading at 70% of expected levels, while engineering is having a difficult year, although orders improved in June. Other parts of the business are suffering delays in orders.
Books publisher Quarto (QRT) reported a slump in revenues from $56.4m to $46.9m, although the underlying loss dipped from $3.7m to $3.3m due to lower interest charges. Cash generated from operating activities was $8.38m. Pre-publication costs fell from $11.9m to $10.3m. Net debt was $36.6m at the end of June 2020.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) says that it believes that the UK review of regulatory requirements for cannabis-related companies is near completion. When this happens Spinnaker should be able to complete the acquisition of Kanabo Research.
A gain on a disposal of an investment by Sure Valley Ventures has helped Sure Ventures (SURE) to increase its NAV to 92.6p a share.
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.
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.
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.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased sales last year, but the loss was also higher. Sales of wine and beer grew and revenues from continuing activities improved from £12.86m to £14.8m, while the loss more than doubled from £850,000 to £2.09m. the Chapel Down Gin Works in Kings Cross has been closed. There was still £2.47m in the bank at the end of 2019, even after the loss and £12m of investment in fixed assets and land. There are 428 acres of planted vineyard. Wine stocks have also increased following a good harvest. The Ashford brewery has been completed and full brewing capacity will be available before the end of the year. Martin Glenn is succeeding John Dunsmore as chairman.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has entered into a £55m development framework agreement with Equitix, an investor in infrastructure assets. This will finance up to five diagnostic facilities in the UK. Each will be owned by a special purpose vehicle funded by Equitix and operated by Rutherford. An initial agreement has been made with a NHS Trust. Rutherford also announced a collaboration with Panthera Biopartners, which will be able to use Rutherford’s clinics for trials of potential cancer treatments.
Racing recommenced at Newbury Racecourse (NYR) on 11 June. Three race meetings have been held and five more are planned by the end of August. No public are being admitted. Revenues are coming from media rights. The Rocking Horse nursery reopened earlier this month.
Good Energy (GOOD) is increasing its investment in Next Green Car, which owns Zap-Map, to 50.1% through the exercise of a convertible loan.
BWA (BWAP) has spent £120,000 of the initial commitment of £250,000 for two rutile licence areas in Cameroon. Drilling programmes are being designed. COVID-19 has hampered progress with the company’s Canadian interests.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that investee company Factom Inc has filed for Cahpter 11 bankruptcy protection because of its failure to raise more cash. It could exit Chapter 11 protection within three months if things go to plan.The investment was valued at £237,000.
IamFire (FIRE) is reviewing strategies having raised £500,000 at 2.5p a share. Each share comes with two warrants with an exercise price of 10p a share. The investment focus is natural resources, mining and disruptive technology.
SAPO (SAPO) is still seeking a broadband investment and net assets were £1.1m at the end of 2019. At 3.2p a share, SAPO is valued at £6m.
Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £137,750 in Rincon Resources, which gives it a stake of 28.4%. Rincon has the rights to three prospective gold and base metals projects in Western Australia. Gunsynd has sold its stake in United Oil and Gas (UOG).
All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised a further £200,000 at 0.02p a share, taking the total raised in share issues to £280,000. Convertible loan notes worth £55,000 have been converted into 275 million shares with 34 million shares at 0.01p each to pay liabilities. This means that more than 1.3 billion shares have been issued, which has nearly doubled the shares in issue.
Recent trading at floorcoverings supplier Victoria (VCP) has exceeded expectations. Manufacturing has restarted in all the company’s plants. All the main countries are doing relatively well considering the disruption due to COVID-19 and in the most recent three weeks revenues were 85% of pre-COVID-19 budget. The UK carpets business is only just getting going again. Net debt is £370m, which is predominantly bonds that last until July 2024. Cash generation can reduce debt, although management is likely to look for potential acquisitions.
Wynnstay Group (WYN) reported a decline in interim revenues but that was due to lower commodity prices. The interim dividend has been maintained at 4.6p a share. The agriculture division maintained its operating profit, but there was an improved profit from the merchanting division. Pre-tax profit edged up from £4.3m to £4.5m. Shore Capital has reinstated forecasts. It expects a pre-tax profit of £6.7m, down from £7.9m. This id a deliberately cautious figure.
MSQ Partners has launched a 0.5p a share bid for Be Heard Group (HRD) and that values the digital media company at £6.2m. The acquirer was the subject of a buyout last year. The combined business will have the backing of Lloyds Development Capital and the greater scale will help to win larger clients.
United Oil and Gas (UOG) says that average production from the Abu Sennan concession in the first two weeks of June was 13,900 boepd, of which its working interest is 3,060 boepd. That is 69% higher than the average daily figure in April. The 2P reserves at Abu Sennan have been increased by 12.55 to 13.5MMboe
Transense Technologies (TRT) has transferred its iTrack tyre monitoring business to a Bridgestone subsidiary for $1m and it will receive quarterly royalty revenues for the next ten years. That royalty would be £150,000/ quarter currently, but growth should be faster under Bridgestone. Two Transense directors are moving with iTrack. This leaves Transense with its SAWsense (wireless tyre sensor technology) and Translogik (tyre test equipment) businesses. Transense could move into profit in 2021-22.
A positive trading statement from allergy vaccines developer Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) led finnCap to increase its 2020 pre-tax profit forecast even though revenue growth is slower than expected. A 2019-20 profit of £2.9m is expected, partly due to the timing of research spending. Allergy is expected to move back into loss in 2020-21.
Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) increased its revenues and pre-tax profit in the nine months to March 2020, with particularly strong growth in the third quarter. There is some disruption to international distribution and supply and full year revenue growth will be lower than originally expected.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) reported flat full year revenues of €20.9m for 2019. The loss was barely changed at €3.29m. There has been a decline in the palm oil price in recent months, which will hamper performance this year. The cashew project is making good progress.
Strong first half trading at BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) has led to broker upgrades for 2020. The biomedical division has done particularly well, but the networks and cyber division has also done better than expected. Stifel is raising its revenues forecast from $138m to $155m, while the EBITDA estimate has been increased by one-third to $13m. Shore Capital expects to increase forecast revenues by 17% to around $154m with a significant improvement in EBITDA expected.
Construction services provider nmcn (NMCN) made a positive start in the first quarter of this year. Revenues were 4% ahead at £97.9m and pre-tax profit 6% higher at £1.8m. This period was hardly affected by the lockdown. Since the end of March, work has been at three-quarters of normal levels. There was £11.8m in cash at the end of March 2020. The interims will be reported on 6 August and there should be guidance for the full year outcome.
Tex Holdings (TXH) expects to make further cost savings and consolidate more of its activities. The plastics division is operating at 70% of expected levels, while the engineering division has suffered delays but not lost business.
Standard list shell Boston International (BIH) had £302,000 in cash at the end of 2019. It is still assessing the proposed acquisition of invoice factoring company Alexanders Discount Ltd
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has raised £1.25m at 3p a share. The cash will accelerate trial mining at the Gakara rare earth project in Burundi.
The 2019 figures of Ross Group (RGP) include pharmaceutical grade Chitin producer Archipelago Aquaculture Group (AAG) for the first time. There were restructuring and impairment costs relating to the acquisition. Pilot production is being implemented and there are joint venture discussions with the company that has developed the Ionic Liquid extraction process licenced by AAG. There was a £3.6m loss in 2019.
SMALL CAP AWARDS 2020
Company of the year: Volex
Technology company of the year: Avacta
Impact company of the year: ITM Power
IPO of the year: Diaceutics
Transaction of the year: Kape acquisition of Private Internet Access
Executive director of the year: David Cicurel (Judges Scientific)
Innovative financing of the year: Yu Group
Journalist of the year: Joanne Hart (Mail on Sunday)
Analyst of the year: Lorne Daniel (finnCap)
VCT manager of the year: Amati
UK smaller companies fund manager of the year: JPM UK Smaller Companies
Lifetime achievement award: Giles Hargreave
Sativa Group (SATI) has agreed a merger with Stillcana Inc. The share swap is 0.33507 of a Stillcanna share for every Sativa share. That values the cannabis products company at £10.7m and its shareholders will own 65% of the enlarged group. Trading in Sativa shares restarted on 4 June.
Engineering businesses consolidator Vulcan Industries (VULC) floated on 1 June. It was valued at £6.98m at the 3p a share placing price. Vulcan raised £746,500 via a subscription and placing and £239,000 will be spent on costs. . Vulcan has already completed four acquisitions. They supply automotive components, fire doors and frames, nails and architectural metal work. Trading was weaker than expected last year. Zanete Fergusone sold three businesses to Vulcan and her family interests own 47.7% of the company. A manufacturer of pressed steel bearing housings is set to be the next acquisition.
Adnams (ADB) has put its refinancing negotiations on hold since the COVID-19 lockdown. The long-term facilities have been extended by six months. Adnams is considering the government loan scheme. There will be a substantial interim loss.
IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) believes that £3m of temporary annualised cost savings will help to offset a decline in gross revenues this year. Interim revenues were 5% ahead at £38.2m but pre-tax profit was flat due to higher interest costs. The interim dividend is 5p a share, instead of the anticipated 7p a share. A further 2p a share may be paid later in the year depending on the prospects at the time. Underlying full year pre-tax profit should improve from £16.9m to £18m, which is a small downgrade on previous forecasts.
Good Energy (GOOD) has seen no significant financial impact from COVID-19. Cash collection has been in line with previous years. The generation assets have produced above average output. The final dividend has been deferred.
Altona Energy (ANR) is assessing the potential acquisition of a majority stake in a rare earths project. The Chambe project is in Southern Malawi. Due diligence will take up to three months.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has sold a majority interest in Tectonic South Africa to AIM-quoted Kazera Global. Tectonic will retain a 10% interest in the diamonds project. Tectonic has received £100,000.
Investment company Gledhow Investments (GDH) increased net assets from £735,000 to £907,000 by March 2020. Gledhow had £147,000 in cash at the end of March.
Welney (WENP) has published full year and interim figures. At the end of December 2019, net liabilities were £361,000. A consolidation of 100 shares into one new share will be followed by a £15,000 placing at 0.3p a share. A loan stock issue will raise £35,000. Trading in the shares restarted on 3 June. Keith, Bayley, Rogers has been appointed as corporate adviser. The company’s name will be changed to Quetzal Capital
Black Sea Property (BSP) is renegotiating its credit facilities. Management is uncertain how trading will fair this year.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) is changing its accounting reference date from 31 March to 30 June. Barry Fromson has been appointed as an executive director.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has raised £300,000 at 1.35p a share and issued £70,000 worth of share for fees and to convert loans. Peterhouse has replaced Turner Pope as broker.
Mereo Biopharma (MPH) has raised $70m (£56m) including $19.4m (£15.5m) via a share placing at 17.4p each and $50.6m (£40.5m) through a convertible loan note issue. The cash will be used to reduce debt and fund the company into 2022. Mereo plans a phase 1b study for cancer treatment etigilimab during the fourth quarter.
Life sciences IT services provider Instem (INS) continues to trade strongly and net cash was £8.3m at the end of April 2020. The 2019 figures show a rise in pre-tax profit from £2.8m to £3.2m and a jump to £4.2m is expected in 2020. Existing business continues but new business may take longer to secure, and this led to a small downgrade.
Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has signed a distribution agreement with Swixx BioPharma for leptin deficiency treatment Myalepta in 17 eastern European countries.
Armadale Capital (ACP) says that the definitive feasibility study update has increased the NPV of the Mahenge Liandu graphite project in Tanzania by 20% to $430m. That is based on a 30% rise in average annual production.
Bidstack (BIDS) has raised £5.5m at 4p a share. The in-game advertising technology developer will use the cash to expand internationally and fund marketing and further technology development.
Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) says that subscriptions have held up and installations are recovering after an initial slump in April. Trading in the first four months of 2020 was ahead of the same time last year. Some clients have been allowed payment deferrals. There is £9.5m in the bank.
President Energy (PPC) has raised £2.24m at 1.85p a share via PrimaryBid. A placing raised a further £2.5m. Trafigura is subscribing a further $6m at the same share price. Along with a $4.1m debt for equity swap this will reduce debt to around $15m. There will be a $98.5m write down of assets, particularly the Paraguay exploration activities. Even excluding this, there will be a loss this year. The crude oil reference price in Argentina has been set at $45/barrel until the end of the year, which is higher than the current global price.
Tex Holdings (TXH) improved sales and gross margins last year, but there was still a slightly increased pre-tax loss due to redundancies and professional fees. Revenues increased from £40.1m to £43.1m, and if exceptional costs are stripped out there was a decrease in pre-tax loss to £661,000. The plastics division is profitable, but the engineering division is losing money. The overdraft has been repaid with the proceeds of a shareholder loan. The pension surplus has increased NAV from 127p a share to 134p a share. There are plans to reduce costs by an annualised £1.5m.
LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) says trading has improved in recent weeks and it expects the first half profit and cash generation to be at least as good as the same period last year. That is despite lower revenues.
Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) is closing 12 more dealership sites. Annual savings of £50m are anticipated. Trading has recommenced at Lookers sites, but activity is still weak. Net debt was £57m at the end of May.
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.
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.
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.
Peel Hunt has edged up its pre-tax profit forecast for brewer and pubs operator Shepherd Neame (SHEP) following the publication of its figures for the year to June 2019. They showed revenues of £145.8m and pre-tax profit of £11.4m, which was slightly better than expected. Brewing profit more than halved to £900,000 after the Asahi contract ended, but this was more than made up for by the contribution from managed and tenanted pubs. Own-brewed volumes have risen by 5.8% in the first few weeks of the year and managed ad tenanted pubs are showing like-for-like income increases. Debt costs will be lower than previously expected so the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast has moved from £11.5m to £11.7m, which will allow a slightly higher anticipated dividend of 31p a share – twice covered by earnings. There is potential to acquire more pubs.
In the 17 months to May 2019, pubs operator and automotive dealer Barkby Group (BARK) made a pre-tax profit of £75,000 on revenues of £6.29m. Stripping out the amount acquisitions were made under net asset value and acquisition cost, the profit is £135,000. The addition of pub sites, taking the total to six gastropubs and inns, and the purchase of Centurian Automotive, will significantly increase revenues in the latest 12-month period. The plan is to have up to 12 pub sites within five years.
Karoo Energy (KEP) is changing its name to IamFire and raising £143,000 at 2.4p a share. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi has been appointed as an executive director and Jeremy Ross joins as a non-executive. They are both directors of cannabis company Eurocann International (BUD). The existing business is being sold to Noel Lyons and other opportunities in the oil and gas and base and precious metals sectors will be assessed.
National Milk Records (NMRP) has been hit by a cyber attack and this will reduce profit this year. It has interrupted IT operations and EBITDA is set to be 10% lower than expected in the year to June 2020.
WH Ireland has published a broker note on Cadence Minerals (KDNC) and this suggests that the 27% stake in the Amapa iron ore mine in Brazil is a potential company maker, even before any benefits from the lithium project investments. The mine produced between 2007 and 2014 before being closed because of an incident at the port on the Amazon and a falling iron ore price. The total resource is estimated at 245Mt grading 41% Fe, but this figure dates back to 2012. The mine life could be 15 years. Capex of $168m will be required to restart mining and processing. The 27% stake will effectively cost Cadence less than £6m. The other shareholder is Singapore-based commodity trader IndoSino. If other investors are sought, then Cadence has the right to increase its stake to 49%.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) plans to consolidate every 20 existing shares into one new share. A general meeting will be held on 16 October. Primorus expects its A$500,000 loan note with Zuuse to be repaid, plus interest, in the next couple of weeks.
St Mark Homes (SMAP) reported an improvement in interim pre-tax profit from £18,000 to £84,000. The housebuilder achieved this improvement because of a much larger share of the operating profit in a joint venture and increased interest receivable. Admin expenses rose even though revenues were lower. NAV is 126p a share.
Recently floated cash shell World High Life (LIFE) plans to acquire Love Hemp in return for £4m in cash and the issue of 30 million shares. A further £2m could become payable in the next three years depending on the achievement of turnover targets. If more than target turnover is achieved in any year then the vendors will receive 5% of the excess. Love Hemp is a supplier of CBD and hemp products and it made a pre-tax profit of £532,000 on turnover of £2.5m in the year to June 2018. World High Life plans to raise up to £5m in order to finance the acquisition.
Ananda Developments (ANA) says joint venture DJT has applied for a licence to grow >0.2% THC cannabis and has been registered with the Drugs Licensing and Compliance Unit of the Home Office. DJT has acquired Aristaeus Elements, which is setting up as a cannabis extraction and processing facility, for £1 and assumption of debt of £51,000 – the deposit paid for the equipment for the plant. The plan is to finance the investment in the facility through debt secured against offtake contracts.
Blockchain-related investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) reported a dip in revenues from £1.33m to £109,000, but a reversal of an impairment charge and gains on financial assets meant that it still made a pre-tax profit of £242,000, down from £554,000 the previous year. The non-cash gains meant that cash fell from £592,000 to £475,000 over the six months to June 2019. NAV increased from £2.36m to £2.59m.
First Sentinel (FSEN) reported a fall in interim revenues from £963,000 to £710,000, while the loss increased from £46,000 and £114,000.
Panther Metals (PALM) says that early identification of an area of the Big Bear project in Ontario shows high gold grades. The 100% owned area has been extended via the acquisition of four additional mining claims.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) generated revenues of £14.2m in the first half of 2019. The Hellyer polymetallic mine was not in production in the corresponding period last year. There was still a £17.9m loss because of high admin expenses. There was £65.6m of debt at the end of June 2019 and management believes that it can get more favourable terms now the mine is up and running.
Domain name registry Minds + Machines (MMX) is improving the quality of its earnings and it is nearer to sorting out legacy problems. Renewal revenues almost cover costs. Interim net revenues increased from $5.3m to $7.4m, while pre-tax profit trebled to $1.8m, helped by a full six month contribution from ICM. A full year pre-tax profit of $4.1m is forecast. Operating expenses should rise much slower than revenues and cash generation should be strong. A $5.1m cash payment will be made in the second half in order to cover those legacy costs. Even after that, the company should have net cash of more than $5m at the end of 2019. Longer-term, Minds + Machines could become a dividend payer.
Pelatro (PTRO) is dependent on fourth quarter licence sales to achieve forecasts following the 14% increase in interim revenues to $2.7m. That means that second half revenues of the telecoms marketing services and technology provider need to be $7.8m to achieve the 2019 target. There are some large potential sales in the pipeline, but delays of a few weeks could mean that they drop into 2020. Repeat revenues more than doubled in the first half because more of the business won has been in the form of revenue gain share contracts that take time to build up and produce revenues over a longer period than a one-off licence, which is recognised as revenue straight away.
Maestrano (MNO) has conditionally agreed to acquire Airsight Holdings, which offers engineering surveying services using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. Airsight had revenues of A$1.04m in the year to June 2019 and it is loss making because of development spending. Maestrano will issue 73.4 million shares to pay for the acquisition. There could be further payments depending on revenues. The Maestrano chairman is a shareholder in Airsight.
Escape Hunt (ESC) increased revenues from £800,000 to £2.2m in the first half of 2019 but it remains loss-making. Franchise revenues were flat, and all the growth came from the operated sites. Escape Hunt has signed an agreement with Proprietors Capital Holdings for the roll-out of franchise sites in North America.
Mattress supplier eve Sleep (EVE) reduced its loss but cash is still flowing out of the business. Net cash was £12.5m at the end of June 2019 and it is expected to be £8m by the end of the year.
S and U (SUS) is adding new motor finance business even though loan standards have been tightened. Motor finance business Advantage Finance is on course to achieve its 20th year of profit growth. Bridging loans provider Aspen made a profit of £502,000 in the first half. Interim pre-tax profit rose by 3% to £17.1m and the dividend was increased by 6% to 34p a share.
Suit hire and retail business Moss Bros (MOSB) broke even, before the IFRS16 accounting changes for leases, in the six months to July 2019, which was slightly better than expected. A full year loss is still expected because despite like-for-like retail sales growth, hire revenues are declining and the IFRS16 changes will knock £2.5m off pre-tax profit. There was cash of £18.2m at the end of July 2019.
finnCap has reduced its 2019-20 forecasts for InnovaDerma (IDP) following its figures for the year June 2019. The beauty and health products supplier increased revenues by one-fifth to £12.9m and pre-tax profit more than doubled to £1.4m. This year’s pre-tax profit is expected to be £2m, down from £2.3m previously, because higher costs relating to marketing more than offset improved sales expectations. To put this in perspective, the 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast back in August 2018 was £2.6m. InnovaDerma needs to start meeting forecasts rather than having them downgraded on a regular basis.
Tex Holdings (TXH) has appointed Price Bailey LLP. Trading appears to be picking up in the plastics and engineering businesses. There is a record order book of £12m.
SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) generated revenues of £777,000 in the 15 months to March 2019. The nursing staff provider lost £2.63m. Since the year end, more contracts have been signed with NHS hospitals, as well as with a hospital in the UAE. The staff offered to hospitals have all obtained qualifications in English and 76% end up being employed. Most of the previous debt has been converted into shares, so net debt was £91,000 at the end of March 2019.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) reported an increase in net liabilities from £234,000 to £537,000 at the end of March 2019. There were £750,000 worth of bonds issued during the period.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) hopes that the acquisition of Vox Markets and Align Research should be closed in early October. Previous operations have been provided for in full and have been sold. There was £14,000 in the bank at the end of March 2019.
A new investor to Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has subscribed £100,000 for shares at 70p each, which is a one-third premium to the market price at the time. Westerby Trustee Services Ltd owns 3.8% of the company on behalf of Westerby Private Pension (R Prest).
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that the judicial restructuring plan for the Amapa iron ore project has been approved by the Sao Paulo commercial court. This will enable Cadence to acquire a 20% stake in Amapa. A further $3.5m investment will take the stake to 27%. Cadence plans to consolidate 100 existing shares into one new share. Shareholders will be asked to approve the proposal at the AGM on 20 September.
Paul Tuson is stepping down as finance director of Rutherford Health (RUTH) and the reappointment resolution was withdrawn from the AGM agenda.
Sativa Investments (SATI) has opened its third Goodbody CBD Wellness store in Bristol, following store openings in Bath and Cirencester. It is seeking franchisees to roll-out further stores around the country.
Panther Metals (PALM) chief executive Darren Hazelwood has acquired 18.87 million shares at 0.3p each. That takes his stake to 10.3%.
First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £59,000 at 14p a share via a placing with D Beta One EQ Ltd.
President Energy (PPC) insists that it will continue to be profitable even though the Argentinian authorities are attempting to fix the price that producers can sell oil and the dollar exchange rate used for the price for a 90-day period. President has decided to delay its well drilling programme until the first quarter of 2020 and the focus will be gas wells. Gas sales from four wells in Estancia Vieja and Las Bases will commence production by the end of September. A new gas pipeline should be completed by the end of the year. finnCap has withdrawn its forecasts.
Order books and production volumes are ahead of last year at gift wrap and greetings products supplier IG Design (IGR) thanks to a combination of organic growth and last year’s US acquisition. IG is on course to increase pre-tax profit from £30.3m to £36m.
Online musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) says that it has taken actions that are already helping to improve gross margin.
Cambridge Cognition (COG) says sales are lower than expected. The digital neuroscience services provider says that full year revenues will fall from £6.13m to around £5.5m. The loss will be around £2.8m. First half revenues were £2.1m and the loss was £1.74m. There is a strong order book, so this augurs well for next year.
Adamas Finance Asia Ltd (ADAM) has funded the second tranche of the investment in Infinity Capital Group. The $2m is being funded equally by Adamas and a Hong Kong family office.
Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) intends to move to AIM if its acquisition of media-focused artificial intelligence and machine learning company Entertainment AI goes ahead.
At a general meeting, shareholders in Tex Holdings (TXH) approved the 2018 report and accounts and directors’ remuneration report, but they did not approve the reappointment of Scrutton Bland as auditors.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) is reaping the benefits of its investment in crypto mining equipment. The cost of 1,000 machines has already been recouped and Argo is on course to recoup the cost of a further 2,267 machines.
Ross Group (RGP) did not generate any revenues in the six months to June 2019 and the loss was £3.15m. Ross acquired start-up operations during the period. They will supply Chitin.
Asian consumer businesses investor Symphony International Holdings (SIHL) increased its NAV by 14% to $560.4m in the six months to June 2019.
George Bennett has become chief executive of Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) and Martin Eales has left the board. In the year to June 2019, Rainbow sold 850 tonnes of concentrate from the Gakara project, although bad weather hampered production in the fourth quarter. Sales prices have declined.
China-focused healthcare investment company Cathay International (CTI) reported a decrease in revenues from $49.2m to $38.3m. There was a $7.9m gain on the sale of shares in Zhejiang Starry Pharmaceutical, but that was not enough to cover the operating loss and interest costs.
Britdaq-quoted Staminier Ltd has secured a three-year option over 13 acres of land near to the south terminal of Gatwick Airport and it wants to build a car park with 2,200 spaces. In July, Staminier acquired a majority stake in eco-friendly housebuilder Eco-Space 41 Ltd. There is a four-year option to acquire the other 49% for £750,000. The strategy is to acquire businesses at a discount to their intrinsic value. There are plans to move to a more liquid stockmarket.
Asset Match will provide a trading facility for shares of former AIM company Albert Technologies Ltd. The first auction will be during September.
US Oil and Gas (USOP) has raised $382,000 at 31p a share. This follows a fundraising in July of $577,000 at 30p a share. The cash will be spent on exploration.
NEX Exchange company of the year
National Milk Records (NMRP)
Dairy and livestock services provider National Milk Records has been on NEX for more than a decade. The share price has increased by more than 500% over the past decade. In the latest quarter to March 2019, revenues improved from £5.32m to £5.56m, even though the number of cows on the database had declined from 743,054 to 713,379 over a 12-month period which hit milk recording revenues. Income from specialist testing has increased. Overall, growth was not as strong as in the first six months, which benefitted from one-off income. An oversupply of milk in recent weeks has hit the milk price and this has held back spending by farmers.
Wealth management group AFH Financial Group (AFHP) is raising up to £20m via a convertible unsecured loan stock issue. The conversion price is 420p a share, up from 360p before the issue was announced, and the interest rate is 4%. This cash will fund further acquisitions. There are five that are already in due diligence.
Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) is not likely to achieve financial close on three projects, so it will lose money in the 14 months to June 2019. The second half will be profitable. The company should return to profit in 2019-20.
Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has increased the valuation of its portfolio by 22% to £86.9m at the end of April 2019. Annualised rental income is £6.5m.
Investment company Angelfish Investments (ANGP) had cash of £1.48m, but debt was £3.35m and net liabilities of £543,000 at the end of 2018. This means that the preference dividend cannot be paid because there are no distributable reserves. The decline into net liabilities was mainly due to a £942,000 write-down on loans made to OME. Pre-revenue investments are included at cost.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has appointed First Sentinel as its corporate adviser. PCG has not replaced its nominated adviser so it will lose its AIM quotation. Acquisition talks continue.
First Sentinel (FSEN) has invested £75,000 in fintech company Capable Finance in return for a 50.01% stake and a £25,000 loan with an annual coupon of 15%. First Sentinel directors have participated in a £110,000 placing and they own most of the rest of the shares. First Sentinel has gained a Euronext Dublin listing for its 7.5% bonds, May 2024. Some of this cash will be invested in the activities of Capable Finance.
Shareholders in Valiant Investments have approved the change of name to Eurocann International (BUD) and the focus on medicinal cannabis. It has disposed of its investment in Flamethrower one of its own directors and raised £263,000 at 1.5p a share. Valiant had £1,289 in the bank at the end of 2018. There is still a £200,000 convertible investment in All Star Minerals (ASMO). The company has a stake in North Bud Farms Inc, which has a cannabis production facility in Quebec.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £250,000 at 0.1p a share. This ash will contribute to the £700,000 investment in Apollon Formularies. Executive chairman David Lenigas has bought 17 million shares at 0.11941p each.
Ananda Developments (ANA) has formalised the joint venture with Anglia Salads and JE Piccaver to create DJT Group. Ananda and Anglia which each own 50% of DJT, which will apply for a licence to cultivate and supply cannabis. Ananda had £141,000 in the bank at the end of January 2019.
Sativa Investments (SATI) subsidiary PhytoVista Laboratories has completed an independent blind test consumer cannabidiol products for The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis. Many proved to have too low or too high a content of relevant ingredients.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has terminated its heads of terms with Mkango Resources relating to earning up to 75% of the Thumbani licence because it could not come up with the finance required.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) increased its revenues from $8.2m to $10.9m, although the loss doubled to $1.89m. That is mainly down to a $797,000 loss on an equity sharing agreement. The cash outflow from operations fell from $904,000 to $813,000.
Via Developments (VIA1) reported an increase in interim loss from £10,000 to £259,000, because of higher finance costs.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is raising £1.6m at 0.11p a share and this will fund the investment in the Amapa iron ore project.
Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) is leaving NEX on 26 July. The minerals explorer has been on NEX for less than nine months. It does not believe it is large enough to benefit from a quotation on NEX as well as the Canadian Securities Exchange.
Small Cap Awards 2019 winners
Company of the year
Beeks Financial Cloud (BKS)
Beeks Financial Cloud provides cloud-based connectivity and infrastructure services provider for automated trading of financial assets. It also provides cyber security services to prevent distributed denial of service attacks. Beeks was formed in 2010 and has consistently grown its revenues. Beeks joined AIM in November 2017 and in May it acquired the trading assets of US-based Commercial Network Services and this adds 1,000 customers. Progressive Research forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £1.2m to £1.4m in the year to June 2019.
IPO of the year
Cake Box Holdings (CBOX)
Egg-free cakes supplier Cake Box won this award the day before its first anniversary on AIM. Cake Box raised £16.5m at 108p a share and at one point the share price was nearly double this level. There is still a premium of more than 60% to the flotation price. In the year to March 2019, revenues increased from £12.8m to £16.9m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £3.3m to £4m. Two new distribution centre sites have been acquired. There is scope to more than double the business, which currently has 113 stores.
Impact company of the year
Kromek has developed a range of radiation detection and imaging products based on cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) technology. The company focuses on three sectors – medical imaging, nuclear detection and security. Kromek has been winning multi-million pound international contracts and it has a strong balance sheet following a recent fundraising. Revenues increased by 23% to £14.5m in the year to April 2019. Kromek is losing money, but it is on course to reach breakeven in a couple of years. The orders that are already won underpin the revenue forecasts for the coming years.
Executive director of the year
Mike Creedon, chief executive of Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI)
Mike Creedon has been on the SDI board since 2010, having previously been a finance director of two former AIM companies, Ideal Shopping Direct and Ninth Floor. SDI is an acquisitive digital imaging and sensor control technology company. The acquisition record is good. A trading update has led to a small pre-tax profit upgrade to £2.9m. The 2019-20 pre-tax profit is maintained at £4.1m.
Analyst of the year
George O’Connor, Stifel Nicolaus
Journalist of the year
Simon Thompson, Investors Chronicle
Fund manager of the year
Marlborough Nano Cap Growth
Zoo Digital (ZOO) slipped back into loss in the year to March 2019, but it should return to profit this year. Demand for film and TV localisation services continues to grow but momentum has not been as expected.
Wynnstay (WYN) had already warned about tough second quarter trading, but underlying pre-tax profit held up reasonably well, falling 15% to £4.3m, even though revenues were 19% higher at £218.5m. The increase in revenues was mainly down to commodity inflation. The warmer winter weather hit demand for animal feed, although fertiliser demand has been strong. The agricultural merchanting depots acquired in the past year are moving towards profit. There has been some rationalisation of the depot network. The interim dividend has been raised 4% to 4.6p a share.
China New Energy Ltd (CNEL) has applied for a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and it will ask shareholders for permission to cancel the AIM quotation, subject to a successful Hong Kong listing.
Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) has increased its assets under influence to £5.3bn, helped by recent acquisitions. There is a strong pipeline of additional acquisitions. Interim pre-tax profit improved from £930,000 to £1.63m.
BATM (BVC) is raising $18m, 20% more than initially sought, at 42.5p a share. Most of the cash is earmarked for the cyber and networking activities. The rest will go towards medical activities. The cash will help in securing partnerships with larger technology companies.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) has varied and extended its contract with Canadian data centre provider GPU.one. This will provide access to 14MW of power at lower prices. This increases capacity by 47%, utilising the equipment that has already been ordered, and cuts power cost by 39%. The deal starts on 25 June and lasts three years. Argo can give four months’ notice. A previous deposit of £1.44m has been turned into an investment in GPU.one.
Tex Holdings (TXH) says the engineering operations have started the year slowly, but trading should return to previous levels. The plastics division is trading in line with expectations and there is investment in new machinery. The shares remain suspended.
Canadian Overseas Petroleum Ltd (COPL) has joined the standard list. The oil and gas company is focused on Nigeria and sub-Saharan African.
Avocet Mining (AVM) is holding a general meeting on 18 July to gain shareholder approval for a voluntary liquidation. Avocet has sold its interest in the Tri-K gold project in Guinea for $21m. This leaves a small residual cash sum. There is unlikely to be anything substantial left to distribute to shareholders.
Oil and gas company Aminex (AEX) shareholders have approved the switch from a premium listing to a standard listing. It is also cancelling its Dublin listing. It may have been difficult to get the full benefits of the lighter regulation of a standard listing if the company were still listed in Dublin.