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Medical device developer TruSpine Technologies (TSP) ended the week at 34.5p (32p/37p). TruSpine has raised £1.4m at 36p a share with a commitment for a further £250,000. This should provide enough cash until Cervi-Lok, which is one of the three spinal stabilisation devices being developed, starts to generate sales.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its joint venture with IOV Labs has signed a deal with RedFOX Labs to build fast scaling internet business on the RSK blockchain. Coinsilium has also secured an adviser role to Indorse for a forthcoming initiative to revive the token economics of its IND token through a decentralised finance model. The value of Coinsilium’s cryptocurrency holdings is $575,000, with further tokens worth $105,000 set to vest over the next 12 months.
KR1 (KR1) has started to generate revenues from staking activities on the Polkadot network, which is KR1’s largest investment. So far, 530.67 DOT have been generated and this has raised $194,802.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is raising £1.25m at 12p a share. This will provide working capital and help to pay back loan notes, which are currently valued at £1.7m.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) is raising £400,000 at 2p a share. Gold exploration is commencing at the Wishbone II project in Queensland. Exploration will also restart at the White Mountains project.
Gunsynd (GUN) owns 4.97 million shares in nickel project developer Sunshine Minerals, which is being acquired by Malachite Resources. Gunsynd will receive 1.26 million shares in Malachite with further deferred consideration of 1.64 million shares.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has released positive news from surface stockpiles at the Beaconsfield gold mine. The average grade is 3.2g/tonne in 80,000 tonnes of surveyed stockpiles.
World High Life (LIFE) is increasing production capacity by 400%. The new Love Hemp facility will produce 43,000 units of CBD oils, capsules and cosmetics each day. July sales were 57% higher than in June with much higher online sales.
Belvedere Leisure (BELV) has agreed a new strategy with Landal GreenParks UK, which involves delivering lodges for domestic tourism and staycations. The company is in negotiations to acquire the Barncrosh site in Scotland and the company is seeking other sites. Belvedere Leisure Park has been placed in administration and will no longer guarantee the company bonds.
Ian Harebottle and Richard Lloyd have been appointed as directors of All Star Minerals (ASMO).
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) chief executive Alistair Currie bought 86,419 shares at 25p each and 13,581 at 29.5p each. He has a 3.28% stake.
Online fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) doubled its revenues last year. In the year to March 2020, revenues jumped from £4.44m to £9.03m, while the loss more than doubled from £3.55m to £7.81m. First quarter revenues were 54% higher and the lower marketing costs helped to reduce operating costs by 71%. July revenues were 57% higher than the same time last year. Gross margins have improved. There was still £4.4m in cash at the end of June 2020.
Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) lost £8.9m in the first half of 2020. That is not surprising given that the car showrooms were shut for ten weeks. A small loss is expected for the full year, although this will depend on September demand. Vertu Motors (VTU) says that it lost £5.2m in the March to June period, but made a pre-tax profit of £7.4m in July. Used vehicle sales made a record gross profit last month with volume growth of 13.7%.
Ceramic products manufacturer Churchill China (CHH) managed to make a small profit before exceptional items. Revenues slumped from £31.9m to £18.9m with a strong start to the year offset by COVID-19 in the second quarter. The majority of sales were of hospitality products. Cash improved to £16.3m thanks to the fact that there was no final dividend last year. A potential interim dividend will be reviewed in December when the fourth quarter trading is clearer.
Elypsis Solutions has sold a 3.4% stake in Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) to Heirloom Investment Management, leaving it with 53.6%. The Adamas share buyback programme is still active. NAV was 75p a share at the end of June 2020, compared to a share price of 26.5p.
Oil and gas producer Hurricane Energy (HUR) admits that it is likely to materially downgrade the resource estimate for the Lancaster early production system and the West of Shetland portfolio of assets. Production is expected to decline from the current 17,000 barrels of oil per day.
Synthetic heavy fuel developer Quadrise Fuels International (QFI) will receive $150,000 for equipment and support supplied to Greenfield Energy for a commercial trial, which will be completed by the end of the year.
Renalytix AI (RENX) has announced a collaboration with AstraZeneca for the use of the KidneyIntelX technology in other chronic diseases.
EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has made a $5m investment in Trellus Health in return for a 31% stake. Trellus has licenced a platform for the management of inflammatory bowel disease.
Cyber security services provider Shearwater Group (SWG) says positive momentum is continuing. An underlying EBITDA is being made due to higher margin products and efficiencies. There is £4.1m in the bank.
Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) still has not published its 2019 accounts. Further work is required on the corporate leasing division and vehicle financing arrangements. Net debt was £13.5m at the end of June 2020, helped by delayed government payments. There was a significant first half loss in 2020.
OKYO Pharma (OKYO) is seeking a Nasdaq listing. It has raised £1.44m through additional convertible loan notes to finance clinical development.
BATM (BVC) is on course to increase full year underlying pre-tax profit from $5.2m to $8.8m on a revenues one-third higher. There was cash of $44.3m at the end of June 2020. A resumption of dividend payments is promised at the end of the year. The bio-medical division increased interim revenues by two-thirds to $50m and improved its gross margin. Demand for COVID-19 diagnostic kits remains strong. The networking division improved interim revenues by 3% to $27.4m.
LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) has upgraded its 2020 underlying operating profit guidance from £18m to at least £23m, helped by improved gross margins. Adjusted earnings per share are expected to be at least 11p a share. The interims will be published on 8 September.
Challenger Acquisitions (CHAL) has entered into a letter of intent to acquire Cindrigo and Cindrigo Energy, which are involved in waste-to-energy and biomass energy projects.
Metal Tiger (MTR) wants to obtain an Australian Stock Exchange listing before the end of the year.
BWA Group (BWAP) is acquiring Kings of the North Corp, which owns five groups of exploration licences in Canada. BWA will pay £4.66m for the business, which is owned by a Canadian Stock Exchange listed company. Management believes that there is significant upside in the licences. Nearly $C1m needs to be spent for the licences to be renewed.
World High Life plans to join NEX on 12 September. This is an investment company that intends to acquire businesses involved in medicinal cannabis. The company (www.worldhighlife.uk) has already raised £2.4m from subscribers and no additional cash will be raised on flotation.
Adnams (ADB) director Guy Heald has purchased 3,000 B shares at £95.21 each. That takes his shareholding to 15.1%. The shares were sold by Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, whose interest has been reduced to 6.32%.
Better news from Ashley House (LSE: ASH) because a scheme in Romsey has reached financial close. There are still two other delayed schemes that have not completed. Funding sources are being explored.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) is selling its 2.5% royalty interest in the Graphmada graphite mine in Madagascar for up to A$550,000 in cash and convertible notes in royalty business SilverStream.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) reported a decline in net assets from £5.16m to £4.74m in the six months to June 2019. Management believes there are plenty of opportunities in the pre-IPO market.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has agreed the terms for a realisation of its investment in Cotswold Valves, because it no longer wants to focus on employee ownership. The equity interest is being sold for its £220,000 cost and loans totalling £450,000 have been rescheduled. The cash will be received over a three year period.
KR1 (KR1) has made investments in the Nym Protocol project, Alice Si, a blockchain-based social funding platform developer, and Nexus Mutual, which is a follow-on investment.
Resources-focused investment company Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) increased its cash position from £17,000 to £47,000 in the year to March 2019, but net assets fell from £722,000 to £687,000.
Good news from car dealers Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) and Vertu Motors (VTU). Cambria says that trading in the eleven months to July 2019 has been well ahead of the same period last year and the full year profit will be higher than market estimates. New car sales are lower but Cambria is making more profit on each sale because of the mix of franchises and greater exposure to the luxury end of the market. More profit was made on each used car sold as well. Vertu says that its trading is in line with expectations, helped by price stability in the used vehicle market since July.
Mirada (MIRA) has won a new contract for the deployment of its Iris multiscreen digital TV product with a new Spanish interactive TV services provider Plataforma Multimedia de Operadores. Mirada’s technology will be used to deliver content to Android set-top boxes, smartphones, laptops and other devices. The commercial launch will be early next year and the plan is to build up a subscriber base of 600,000.
Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) says that its consolidated NAV increased by 3.5% to $96.3m (£78.4m) in the six months to June 2019. That includes cash of $5.4m. There was interest income of $677,000 in the period. Production at Future Metal Holdings’ dolomite magnesium limestone mine in China should restart before the end of the year.
A secured creditor has appointed voluntary administrators to five subsidiaries of Management Resource Solutions (MRS) but the businesses continue to trade. A creditors meeting is set for 16 September. The businesses will need to be recapitalised.
Filtronic (FTC) has decided to sell its antenna division.
Colin Harrington has switched from executive chairman to chief executive of Rose Petroleum (ROSE) following the departure of its previous chief executive Matthew Idiens. Rick Grant will become chairman. Gordon Stein is a new independent non-executive.
Avation (AVAP) reported full year results that were ahead of expectations. The commercial aircraft leasing company’s pre-tax profit was 15% ahead of forecasts and there was also a tax credit which further boosted earnings per share. The dividend was raised by 45% to 10.5 cents a share.
Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane (MACF) has acquired the Leyland Packaging Company for up to £3.25m, with up to £1m in the form of an earn-out based on performance of the distributor in the year to August 2020, in cash and shares. In 2018, Leyland made a pre-tax profit of £550,000 on revenues of £4.06m.
Fully listed shell Highway Capital (HWC) has published its accounts for the year to February 2019. They showed net liabilities rising to £781,000. There was cash of £245,000 in the balance sheet following the repayment of loans. Trading in the shares has been suspended for three years.
Standard list shell Boston International Holdings (BIH) is considering potential acquisitions outside of the foreign exchange sector.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) has ended discussions about a partnership with Hive Blockchain Technologies. Argo believes that its investment in additional crypto mining capacity has provided it with the scale it needs.
Sure Ventures (SURE) is investing a further €2.5m in Sure Valley Ventures Fund.
National Milk Records (NMR) improved revenues from £5.32m to £5.56m in the three months to March 2019. Disease testing revenues grew at the fastest rate. This quarter did not benefit from one-off revenues like the first two quarters of the financial year.
Gledhow Investments (GDH) reported a reduction in net assets to £735,000 at the end of March 2019. Gledhow has trebled its money in Block Energy and sold the stake, but most of the proceeds came after the end of March.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) believes that Sport:80 has missed the chance to float, but TruSpine still has a chance to become quoted. International payments and lifecycle software provider Zuuse could be ready for a flotation within 18 months.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has finally published its results for the year to August 2018. They show revenues falling from £226,000 to £96,000, although the loss was similar at £336,000. UK and Netherlands demand were weaker than expected.
Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) says its joint venture Morgan Ashley has achieved financial close on two more projects. A further three could be closed in the current quarter. Even so, group pre-tax profit will be lower. There will be an update in July.
Sativa Investments (SATI) is changing its name to Sativa Group to reflect that it is a trading company with a greater focus on UK operations. The application for a Home Office research and development licence to grow medicinal cannabis is proceeding well. This is for its own requirements as well as growing some varieties for order.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has acquired properties in Warrington and Middlesbrough for more than £10m. The Communities and Local Government department is the long-term tenant of both properties. The Warrington property cost £2.9m and the Middlesbrough property £7.125m.
In the first four months of 2019, NQ Minerals (NQMI) has produced 6,857 DMT of lead concentrate, 4,763 DMT of zinc concentrate and 29,389 DMT of pyrite concentrate.
Giles Brand has increased his stake in EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) from 23.1% to 30.5%. EPE has a NAV of 241.3p a share. Almon I Holding SA has a 3.16% stake in Coinsilium Ltd (COIN).
MetalNRG (MNRG) is delaying a move to the Main Market because of the uranium exploration ban in The Kyrgyz Republic, which means that the proposed farm-in agreement for the Kamushanovskoye uranium deposit has been suspended. Due diligence is progressing on the Thambani licence and the transaction agreement with Mkango Resources by the end of June. Once it has funding, MetalNRG will make progress with the Gold Ridge project.
Panther Metals (PALM) reported a doubled cash outflow from operating activities of £309,000 last year. There was £1,247 in the bank at the end of 2018.
Begbies Traynor (BEG) says that trading was ahead of expectations. The business recovery and property services provider says both divisions performed well. Shore has upped its pre-tax profit forecast for the year to April 2019 by 6% to £7.1m, compared with £5.6m the year before. The full year figures will be published on 9 July.
Interactive Investor has decided not to make a bid for Share (SHRE).
RA International (RAI) has won two new contracts. A five year contract worth $9.8m has been awarded by the United Nations Support Office for vehicle and equipment fleet services in Somalia. This is for ten locations compared to one previously. There is also a contract for construction services relating to the US Embassy in Denmark.
Immupharma (IMM) intends to merge its two French subsidiaries and either get private equity backing or float the combined business on a European stockmarket. The business is developing the Nucant cancer programme (Elro) and the peptide platform (Ureka). Immupharma will concentrate on Lupus treatment Lupuzor and it is talking to potential corporate partners.
India-focused online fashion retail investment company Koovs (KOOV) has agreed a £10.5m cash injection at 15p a share by a subsidiary of Indian retailer Future Group.
Bidstack (BIDS) is raising £5m at 12.5p a share. This will finance the growth of the in-game advertising business. Bidstack reversed into Kin Group nine months ago and that that time raised cash at 6p a share.
Trading in contract research organisation Venn Life Sciences (VENN) shares is suspended ahead of the reverse takeover of Open Orphan DAC for £5.7m in shares. The strategy is to gain approval for and provide orphan drugs for the European market. Cash will be raised to fund the new strategy.
Keystone Law (KEYS) increased full year revenues from £31.6m to £42.7m and pre-flotation costs profit jumped from £2.54m to £4.75m. This year’s profit forecast had already been upgraded at the time of the trading statement and the figure is maintained at £5.6m. This year’s dividend is set to rise from 9p a share to 10.3p a share. The cash pile is expected to rise from £6.3m to £7m.
N+1 Singer has upgraded its profit forecasts for Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) following its interims. The pre-tax profit forecast for the year to August 2019 has been increased by 13% to £11m, up from £9.8m last year and not far off the figure for 2016-17. Capital investment is peaking and net debt is expected to rise to £9.1m by the end of August 2019. NAV is set to rise to 68p a share.
Vertu Motors (VTU) reported strong full year figures with growth in used cars and aftersales offsetting the downturn in new car sales. Pre-tax profit of £23.7m was higher than forecast but lower than the £28.6m reported for the previous year. Cash generation is also better than expected. This year’s forecast has been trimmed to £25.7m. The share price remains below its NAV of 44.9p a share.
Osirium Technologies (OSI) is considering raising additional funds in order to fully exploit its new product. Opus is a cyber security product for IT process automation. Additional business development managers and distribution partners have been taken on and additional cash would enable further geographic expansion. Osirium is good at retaining clients and Opus provides an additional product to sell to them.
Packaging manufacturer Robinson (RBN) has increased its revenues by 15% in the first four months of the year and most of that is due to higher volumes. This means that it is well on its way to growing full year revenues from £32.8m to £36.1m even though second quarter revenues may be lower due to destocking. Further capital spending has been funded by cash from operations.
Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) increased interim revenues by 6% to £56.6m and pre-tax profit was 7% higher at £6.2m. Additional shares in issue mean that earnings per share were slightly lower. The core citrus business revenues fell slightly but other areas grew. Net cash was £9.4m at the end of March 2019. This will be spent on the relocation of UK operations and there will be net debt by the end of September 2019.
Air Partner (AIR) slipped out its figures for the year to January 2019 well after the market closed on Thursday. Even so, there was a positive share price reaction and there were no real disappointments. Underlying pre-tax profit was flat at £5.8m. The total dividend was edged up to 5.6p a share.
Macfarlane (MACF) has acquired protective packaging distributor Ecopac for £3.9m. A pre-tax profit of £500,000 was generated in 2017-18. Macfarlane will provide additional products for Ecopac to distribute.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) will hold the requisitioned general meeting on 16 May. Frank Timis is hoping to change the strategy of the company and conserve the cash pile for other uses. He wants Jonathan Bixby and Mike Edwards removed from the board. Argo expected to generate £220,000 in cryptoassets in April, which is similar to cash operating costs. These costs are expected to rise to £300,000 in May but the month should still be cash neutral.
Cardiff Property (CDFF) increased its NAV from 21.78p a share to 21.84p a share in the six months to March 2019. The interim dividend has been raised by 5% to 4.6p a share. Activity in the Thames Valley area has slowed in the first half.
ITV plc ITV made good progress in delivering its stategy in the quarter to the 31st March. Online viewing rose by 16% and Family Share of viewing by 4%. Total external revenue was down 4%. ITV Broadcast & Online revenue fared even worse with a fall of 7% at £489m compared to £526m in 2018 and ITV total advertising also fell by 7%. Advertising in the first half of the year will be impacted by continuing economic and political uncertainty with ITV total advertising expected to be down 6% over the first half. Over the full year delivery of double digit growth in online revenue is expected together with good organic revenue growth in ITV Studios.
Imperial Brands plc IMB claims a pleasing underlying tobacco performance in the six months to the 31st March with volume down 6.9%. Focus is being maintained on longstanding brands which are delivering high margin sales growth. In both Europe and the Americas revenue grew by 4%. Operating profit rose by 38.1%, basic earnings per share by 37.7% and the interim dividend is to be increased by 10%.
Travis Perkins plc TPK made a positive start to 2019 with strong first quarter sales growth. Like for like sales rose by 7.3% and total sales by 5.4%. Travis Perkins itself generated like-for-like sales growth of 8%, continuing the improving trend seen from the end of 2018.Wickes delivered encouraging sales growth in both DIY and showroom categories, with a strong turnaround in Kitchen and Bathroom performance. Sales in Plumbing & Heating were impacted by the milder winter.
Wetherspoon JD plc JDW saw third quarter like for like sales rise by 7.6% and total sales by 8.4%. Since the start of the financial year, the Company has opened three new pubs, closed seven and intends to open two further pubs in the current financial year. The trading outcome for the current financial year is expected to be in line.
Vertu Motors Plc VTU produced profit and cash generation ahead of expectations for the year to the end of February. The full year dividend is to be increased by 6.7% to 1.6p per share. Adjusted profit before tax of £23.7m was ahead of market expectations but down from £28.6m in 2018. Like-for-like revenue growth came in at 5.1% but in used vehicles revenue growth was particularly strong at 11.6%
Smart home products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported a decline in overall revenues from £3.75m to £3.62m for the year to May 2018, but this masks the 71% growth of the Energenie MiHome revenues to £1.01m. Sandal reduced its operating loss and there was nearly £51,000 in the bank, although net debt was £1.09m.. A small profit is forecast for 2018-19 with a small increase in net debt expected. Sandal may need additional cash to increase the marketing for the Energenie MiHome brand.
High Growth Capital (HASH) has raised £500,000 at 0.8p a share, which was a 77% premium to the market price. Malcolm Burne and Professor Michael Cain have left the board and been replaced by Jens Zimmerman, who becomes non-executive chairman. The investment strategy will be widened from medicinal cannabis, because of a lack of opportunities, to technology. The company intends to acquire a 9.8% stake in Belgium-based artificial intelligence software developer Sentiance. The software enables companies to understand user behaviour. The data comes from smart devices. The technology is used in areas, such as insurance, health and car driving.
Asia Wealth Group Holdings Ltd (AWLP) improved its interim revenues from $1.15m to $1.24m. The pre-tax profit fell from $162,000 to $66,000. There was $1.4m in the bank at the end of August 2018.
Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has published its 2017 figures and interims to June 2018. The full year loss was £294,000 and the interim loss increased from £117,000 to £162,000. There was £53,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. The company is beginning to ship coal from its mine in Nigeria.
Positive Healthcare (DOC) has appointed KSA Group Ltd to liquidate the company.
Shen Chaohuli has sold his 18.3% stake in TechFinancials Inc (TECH) to Ou Qiao.
Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) has received a cash injection to keep it going, after unknown overdraft facilities were discovered. The cash balance in the recent accounts does not appear to exist. A placing has raised £15.7m at 50p a share. Chairman Luke Johnson is also providing loan facilities of up to £20m.
EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has revealed details of the spinning off of Renalytix AI on AIM. Renalytix AI is raising cash at 121p a share as part of the flotation, which should happen on 31 October. EKF will distribute its near-21 million shares in the company to its own shareholders, although it will subscribe for new shares. EKF shareholders will also get the chance to invest up to £3.5m in new shares.
Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) is making another major acquisition. The oil and gas producer is paying $183m for Core Appalachia, which is funded by cash and shares issued at 115p each. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing.
Vertu Motors (VTU) has been hit by a lack of cars due to the newly installed testing procedures but it still has a strong balance sheet and it will make a significant full year profit. September registrations were the worst since 2011 and Vertu was not immune. That will hit the second half. There was an improved performance in the used car market to help offset the weaker new car sales in the first half. Pre-tax profit is expected to decline from £28.6m to £22.1m in the year to February 2019.
Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) has reaffirmed that it is on course to make a full year pre-tax profit of £24.2m, down from £29.1m in 2017.
OnTheMarket (OTMP) has increased its spending on marketing and IT since floating on AIM and this has pushed it into loss. A full year loss of £14.7m is expected and there is not likely to be much of a reduction the following year. The online property platform has succeeded in doubling the estate agency offices using the service to more than 11,000 many of the additional offices are in a trial period and not paying to put their properties on the platform. The investment being made will only be justified if these offices start to pay fees. The IT investment will enable the company to offer more products and services and increase revenues that way as well.
Access Intelligence (ACC) is acquiring ResponseSource, which provides SaaS-based services to the PR and media sectors, for £5.5m. This company fits well with the group’s existing business. A ten-for-one share consolidation is planned.
Health monitoring equipment developer LiDCO Group (LID) is still going through the transition from a sales model to one based on regular income from hospitals. Interim recurring revenues increased by 11% but total revenues were 8% lower at £3.6m. Importantly, there should be enough cash in the bank to move the business towards profitability. That could happen in 2019-2020 but is more likely to be the following year.
Melissa Blau is stepping down as chief executive of Veltyco (VLTY) fewer than seven months after she was appointed. The shares price has fallen by three-fifths in the subsequent period.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosander (SOS) has raised £3m at 32p a share, which is more than double the flotation price of 15.1p a share. First half revenues were £1.84m.
Titon (TON) has firmed up its plan to move to AIM. The window components manufacturer expects to join AIM on 10 December.
Toople (TOOP) says trading in the first week of its new financial year is ahead of expectations. The statement remains, as ever, light on proper financials and indications of losses. Toople raised £2.2m at 0.3p a share, so it has enough cash for the time being.
Ashley House (ASH) is expected to achieve its full year profit target of £1.8m, although that includes a non-cash write back. The health and community care property developer had year-end net debt of £1.5m. The Morgan Sindall joint venture has reached financial close on its first extra care apartments and bungalows scheme in the Isle of Wight with a further scheme expected to reach financial close in the next few weeks. Modular building business F1 Modular lost money last year. There is work manufacturing classrooms for schools and projects in the retail sector so it is not dependent on residential and health development. Maureen Moy has taken her stake to 10% after buying 1.9 million shares at 13.23p a share.
Dairy and livestock services provider National Milk Records (NMR) generated revenues of £5.32m in the three months to March 2018. This means that revenues are £1.51m ahead so far this year, although the comparatives are weak. Herdwise, the screening service for Johne’s disease and other testing services are providing growth with a small improvement from milk recording services. Rising milk supply has started to hold back milk prices. There will be a one-off benefit in the fourth quarter and the first quarter of next year from a contract to supply 10,000 genomic tests that should help to provide information to improve resistance to bovine TB. NMR is one of the nominees for NEX Exchange company of the year at the 2018 Small Cap Awards.
Forbes Ventures (FOR) says that the majority shareholder in challenger bank Civilised Investments Ltd has exercised warrants that increased its shareholding to 95.7. Warwick Capital Partners is also underwriting a £12m subscription, although £4.65m of this can be subscribed by minority shareholders. This would increase the overall valuation of the bank to £20m. Forbes owns 0.05% of Civilised Investments prior to the subscription and it has not said if it will be investing any more cash.
Gledhow Investments (GDH) had £172,000 in cash at the end of March 2018 but £20,000 is trapped in a Beaufort Securities account. NAV has increased from £510,000 to £869,000.
Gunsynd (GUN) says that Brazil Tungsten Holdings, the company it owns a 6.18% stake in, has restarted mining operations after a government suspension was lifted.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) will advise FANTOM Foundation on the $39.8m token generation event due to start on 15 June. FANTOM is using Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) as a smart contract platform. This is an alternative to blockchain, which should be faster and have lower fees.
IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) is focusing on the completion of works programmes in its three principal projects. The joint venture with Trove Rehabilitation only requires ministerial approval to complete. Eamon O’Brien has been appointed as a director and he will become chairman. Kathrine Byrne is also joining the board. Nial Ring and Liam McGrattan will step down from the board.
A strong performance in the used vehicles market and continued growth in aftersales helped to offset the downturn in the new vehicles contribution at Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) in the six months to February 2018. Underlying operating profit still fell from £5.8m to £5.3m. Interim pre-tax profit was £4.8m. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to decline from £11.3m to £9.5m. The significant capital investment programme continues but net debt is minimal.
Vertu Motors (VTU) also performed well despite the tough background in the motor dealer sector. In the year to February 2018, adjusted pre-tax profit fell from £31.5m to £28.6m on flat revenues. The full year dividend was increased by 7% to 1.5p a share. It appears that trading may be starting to improve and the benefits of the current investment programme are yet to show through. Net cash is £19.3m. A further dip in profit to £25m is expected this year.
CEPS (CEPS) reported flat 2017 revenues but the underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £146,000 to £902,000. The biggest improvement in profit came from Friedman’s and Aford Awards, while CEM Press made a larger loss.
TyraTech Inc (TYR) says sales of the PureScience poultry mite treatment are building in the US and a launch is planned in Europe. Trials of a treatment for intestinal worms in pigs have shown a 70% reduction in the worms. TyraTech has shown that it can develop effective products and the remaining cash from the sale of Vamousse will finance further product development and trials.
Deltex Medical (DMG) had a tough 2017 but lower cost meant that the loss was reduced. The medical monitoring equipment and consumables supplier has won significant contracts in the US and France. Revenues dipped from £6.3m to £5.9m, while the loss was down from £2.4m to £2m. Annualised cost reductions of £1m will partly show through in 2018. The UK remains tough with potential recovery later in the year. International business should grow. A £2m fundraising should provide enough cash to invest in the technology and cover a reduced loss.
HaloSource Inc (HALO) has disappointed the market again. This time the auditors have not allowed some of the sales shipped at the end of 2017 to be included in revenues. Cantor Fitzgerald has maintained its 2018 loss forecast at $3.4m, down from $5.7m. The cash outflow should be lower.
Sprue Aegis (SPRP) has come to an agreement with BRK over the termination of their distribution and manufacturing agreements. Sprue Aegis will have to pay £11m in instalments up until December. There will be a £3.8m exceptional charge in the 2017 accounts. The full year results will be published on 15 March.
Wey Education (WEY) reported interim revenues 44% ahead at £1.74m and an improvement in underlying pre-tax profit from £75,000 to £145,000. An initial contribution from Academy 21 accounted for part of the improvement. A 2017-18 profit of £500,000 is forecast, rising to £2.5m the following year.
Trading in the shares of Lionsgold Ltd (LION) has been suspended following the completion of the acquisition of Goldbloc, which has developed a digital gold currency. This is deemed as a change of business. The suspension could last up to four months.
Fox Marble (FOX) increased revenues by 50% to €1.2m in 2017 and lost €3.4m. This year will be more significant with the processing factory up and running and capital investment made in machinery. There was €440,000 in the bank at the end of April 2018.
Out-of-hospital care services provider Totally (TLY) has secured the renewal of an urgent care services contract worth €1.2m with the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Westminster Group (WSG) has admitted that a previously announced Middle East contract is in Iran and it has still to become effective. The current political situation could scupper the deal or at least delay it.
Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has signed a distribution agreement with Rightek, which will distribute the Microsaic 4500 MiD mass spectrometry detector in Taiwan.
Stem cell services provider WideCells Group (WDC) has commitments to invest £1.47m at 3p a share and is offering the chance of additional investment of up to £450,000, via a bookbuild using the Teathers app and that closes on 21 May. WideCells has still not been able to publish its 2017 accounts so trading in the shares remains suspended. Directors have loaned the company £215,000. At the end of June 2017, there was cash of £869,000 and debt of £634,000, before any of the director loans. WideCells intends to repay £120,000 of debt, spend £150,000 on product development, £110,000 on the CellPlan platform and £33,000 on WideAcademy. The other £1m plus will pay expenses and provide working capital.
Nanoco (NANO) will receive a £1.8m milestone payment from its unnamed US-listed partner. This is the second of three milestone payments.
Falcon Media House (FAL) has raised a further £200,000 from a convertible loan note issue, taking the total to £3.14m. The conversion price is 2.5p a share.
Treatt (TET) has sold pressed vegetable seed oils supplier Earthoil Plantations for £11m. That takes pro forma net cash to £17.5m. In the six months to March 2018, Treatt increased revenues by 14% to £53.6m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £4.79m to £5.77m.
This month marks the 22nd anniversary of the launch of NEX Exchange, although it was then originally called Ofex. A number of companies have gone on to bigger things, including Genus, which is in the FTSE250 index and accesso Technology, which is one of the top 50 companies on AIM. Further information can be found at http://www.hubinvest.com/AIMPDFOctober2017_97.pdf
MetalNRG (MNRG) has applied for two cobalt licences at Palomino and north Palomino in Western Australia but a rival has applied for the latter licence. There has also been interest from potential acquirers of this interest. A report has been received about the company’s US cobalt interests and this is being reviewed. A potential uranium project has been brought to the company and it is considering the opportunity.
Indigo Holdings (INGO) has invested £10,000 in 3sootjobs, a job search platform in Iran, giving it a 1.53% stake. Turquoise, which owns 32.1% of Indigo, and related parties, including Indigo directors, own around two-thirds of 3sootjobs.
Ecovista (EVTP) has bought a 80% stake in a company that owns a four bedroom property near Stanstead and it has paid £10,000 for an option on the next door property. The properties cover 1.72 acres.
Parcel delivery company DX (Group (DX.) is raising £24m from an issue of convertible loan notes. The conversion price will be 10p a share and the interest rate 8%. There is potential to issue a further £2m of loan notes. Lloyd Dunn has been appointed as chief executive but he is not on the board. Along with three directors, he is subscribing for £5.25m of loan notes.
Angle (AGL) has further positive indications of the effectiveness of its Parsortix liquid biopsy technology and it has also raised a further £2.8m, taking the total raised at 37.5p a share to £15m. Heinrich Heine University researchers has been able to able to continue to grow circulating tumour cells harvested using a Parsortix device.
Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ) performed strongly in the first half and online sales have increased to one-quarter of the total. This was before the launch of a website focused on Spain and there are plans for other international websites. The UK stores grew sales by 15%. Overall revenues were 35% ahead at £56.1m.
Orogen (ORE) is acquiring Thread 35 Ltd and changing its name to Sosandar (SOS), which is the acquisition’s online womenswear brand. The brand was launched on 19 September 2016 by the founders of fashion magazine Look and is aimed at the affluent professional woman. Orogen is paying £6.3m in cash and shares for the acquisition. Ten Orogen shares are being consolidated into one new share. A placing at 15.1p a share will raise £4.8m net to cover the cash portion of the acquisition cost.
Toilet tissue supplier Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL) expects to pay between£550,000 and £2.9m and because of its guilty plea the amount will be discounted by one-third. The figure will be announced early next year. Talks continue with major shareholders and the bank.
Wynnstay Group (WYN) has appointed administrators to Just for pets and 18 of the stores have been sold to PSR Ltd. The other seven have been closed. The loss-making pet products retailer had net assets of £2.2m.
Crop enhancement products supplier Plant Impact (PIM) increased its full year revenues by 17% to £8.5m even though sales in Brazil were disappointing. Higher research and development spending meant that there was a £3m loss. There was £7.2m in the bank at the end of July 2017. Plant Impact is moving into new geographic markets as well as building share in its existing markets.
Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) intends to use some of its cash to buy back up to £3m worth of shares. There was net cash of £20.8m at the end of August 2017. Interim revenues were flat at £1.45bn buy underlying pre-tax profit was 7% higher at £20.9m.
Patrick O’Sullivan, who failed to gain a board seat at Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR), has reduced his stake in the Irish gold explorer to three million shares (24.6%). Conroy was awarded costs of the court proceedings made by Patrick O’Sullivan and the level is still to be assessed. Conroy has decided to cancel its quotation on the Dublin-based Enterprise Securities Market on 6 November. Conroy will still be quoted on AIM so shareholder approval is not required. Andrea Gonella currently owns less than 3% of Conroy, having owned more than 6% in July. Conroy has raised €240,000 via a €0.30 a share placing and a further €167,000 was raised from warrants taken up by directors Professor Richard Conroy and Maureen Jones.
Digital Barriers (DGB) has decided to sell its video business for up to £27.5m. It will concentrate on its Thruvision people screening business.
InterQuest Group (ITQ) has appointed Allenby as its nominated adviser and Peterhouse as its broker so trading in the shares has recommenced. Chisbridge Ltd ended up with 58.3% of InterQuest after its bid. It still wants to ditch the AIM quotation and it can buy shares in the market in order to increase the stake.
Patient monitoring device developer LiDCO (LID) has gained its first long-term high use programme contract with a US customer but that did not contribute in the first half. In the six months to July 2017, revenues were 4% higher at £3.9m and the loss was £1m. That was due to higher sales and marketing costs without the benefits of higher sales yet showing through.
1Spatial (SPA) has sold its non-core assets so that it can focus on geospatial data. There is particular potential in the US market. Although interim revenues were flat at £12.1m but a greater proportion were from the geospatial business. The operating loss was reduced from £1.9m to £1.2m and the cash outflow in the period was minimal. Claire Milverton has been confirmed as chief executive.
Two graphene-related companies are raising cash. Applied Graphene (AGM) has raised £9m at 36p a share and existing shareholders are being given the chance to subscribe for up to £1m via a one-for-eight open offer. There was £4.7m in the bank at the end of July 2017. The cash is being used to finance joint development activity for the strategic ink programme, which uses 2D inkjet printing to deliver graphene-based inks. Other potential uses are also being explored. Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) is raising £10m via a placing and offer at 120p a share, which was a 32% discount to the market price. Haydale recently changed broker to Arden. The cash will be used to provide working capital for existing orders and to develop new uses for graphene, including cookware.
SaaS-based accounting software supplier FreeAgent Holdings (FREE) says that it generated interim revenues of £4.6m, compared with £3.6m. There was a smaller first half loss and had net cash of £3.4m at the end of September 2017.
Top level domain names owner and distributor Minds + Machines (MMX) has received approval from the authorities in China to sell .law, .work, .beer and the Chinese equivalent of .shopping. Four more extensions are going through the approvals progress. So far, revenues from China for .vip have been a significant contributor to group revenues.
A consortium led by former chief executive Peter Earl is in early discussions with Rurelec (RUR) about a bid that could be backed by Rurelec’s joint venture Patagonia Energy Ltd.
An application to enable Redx Pharma (REDX) to get back control of its main subsidiary will be heard on 26 October. If approved, the subsidiary will come out of administration and the suspension of trading in Redx shares could be lifted.
Realm Therapeutics (RLM) has completed the £19.3m placing at 29p a unit (one unit is one share and a warrant for 0.4 of a share). The warrants provide an opportunity to subscribe for a share at 58p each. The initial focus of the cash will be the treatments PR022 for atopic dermatitis and PR013 for allergic conjunctivitis. There are also plans for a phase II trial for the PR023 treatment for acne vulgaris.
PipeHawk (PIP) has sold its 28.4% stake in south east England-based survey practice SUMO Ltd to its own executive chairman Gordon Watt for £197,499. That is the equivalent of the investment in loss-making SUMO and is more than its value in the books.
Dr Cliff Holloway has been appointed as chief executive of Scancell Holdings (SCLP) and he will push forward the immunotherapy platforms being developed by the company. His predecessor Dr Richard Goodfellow is remaining on the board. Scancell had £2.67m in the bank at the end of April 2017, which was less than the cash outflow in the previous 12 months.
Ashanti Gold Corp says that the Anumso gold project, where Goldplat (GDP) is earning up to 75% through a $3m investment in exploration, has broader and new mineralised zones. Soil sampling has produced good results and suggests high gold recovery rates.
Former AIM company Zenith Hygiene has agreed a cash bid from BCPE Diamond UK. The deal values Zenith at £100m, based on its enterprise value, although the final amount depends on performance.
Cash shell J2 Acquisition Ltd (JTWO) commenced trading on the standard list on 10 October, having raised $1.25bn. The shell is seeking a company with a strong market share and proven track record. If an acquisition is not made within two years, shareholder approval will be required for a further 12 months of operation.
Levrett (LVRT) has completed the acquisition of Nuformix Ltd for £12m in shares at 4p each and it has changed its name to Nuformix. A further £2.3m has been raised at 4p a share. Trading will recommence on 16 September.
Sealand Capital Galaxy (SCGL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with AIM-quoted MySQUAR (MYSQ) that will enable the two companies to distribute each other’s mobile games.
Monchhichi (MCC) still intends to follow Pembridge Resources (PERE) from AIM to the standard list but the move has been delayed until mid-November. This will follow shareholder approval for the €10m investment in artificial intelligence, machine learning and behavioural data science company Sentiance and the approval of the prospectus by the UKLA. Sentiance lost more than €2m on revenues of €1.4m in 2016.
WideCells Group (WDC) plans to launch its CellPlan insurance for stem cell treatment in Spain before the end of the year. A partner has been secured for the expansion of stem cell services in the Middle East, north Africa and Asia Pacific. White Apex General Trading will be exclusive strategic partner for three years.
Flybe Group FLYB announces the start of its alliance with Eastern Airways (UK) Ltd. The two have signed a joint revenue and risk sharing agreement, covering four Eastern aircraft, to fly existing Flybe branded routes from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester. These flights start today, and will significantly enhance connectivity in Scotland.
Ramsdens Holdings RFX updates on trading, and says the strong foreign exchange results, jewellery retail initiatives and strong gold price leads it to expect that interim and full year PBT will be significantly ahead of market expectations.
Rio Tinto RIO completes the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary Coal & Allied Industries Ltd to Yancoal Australia Ltd for a total consideration of $2.69bn. Under the terms of the sale, Rio may also receive an additional royalty linked to the coal price capped at $410m.
TechFinancials TECH reports a fall in interim group revenues of $6.97m (H1 2016: $9.86m), on gross profit down to $4.87m (H1 2016: $7.36m). Basic EPS decreased to a loss of $0.0109 from a profit of $0.0065 in H1 2016. CEO Asaf Lahav said the board anticipates that the remainder of this financial year “will continuing to be challenging within the binary options market until there is clarity surrounding the on-going regulatory consultations. “
Vertu Motors VTU provides a pre-close trading update and says since the 26 July AGM, it has continued to trade in line with the trends set out in that update and in line with market expectations.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased its revenues by 4% to £16.9m in 2016. Underlying trading profit was 8% ahead at £740,000 but there was also a £19.4m gain on the sale of land for housebuilding partly offset by £3.45m impairment charge. The NAV was £44.4m, which is around double the company’s market value. Net cash is £5.4m. The redevelopment of the racecourse continues with the latest phase due to be completed next year.
Good Energy Group (GOOD) has launched a corporate bond. It wants to raise £10m but could raise the subscription level to £20m. Existing bond holders can roll over some or all of their investment into the new bonds. The bonds have a coupon of 4.75% or 5% for customers.
Via Developments (VIA1) has sold all 26 apartments in Napier House in Luton. Deposits of £394,000 and £52,000 of non-refundable reservations have been received. The project should be completed in the first quarter of 2018.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) continues to seek acquisitions in the agricultural logistics sector. In 2016, revenues grew from £1.98m to £3.04m and the loss fell from £96,000 to £9,000. Directors’ fees were reduced from £108,000 to £19,000. The 40%-owned AfriAg (Pty) increased its revenues by 91% to £11.7m but its reported profit dipped from £359,000 to £104,000.
Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) has completed its first supported housing sector investment. It has bought a grade two listed building in Stroud for £475,000. There will be further investment in improving the property over the next four months. The property will then be let on a 25 year lease to a UK care provider with rents adjusted each year by inflation.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested a further £100,000 in space software and hardware developer Bright Ascension. The initial investment was £150,000 and Capital for Colleagues holds 250,000 A shares. The cash will be used for product development and building up the company’s sales infrastructure.
Anna Halpern-Lande, a cleantech sector expert, has joined the board of Milamber Ventures (MLVP). Two new partners have been appointed. Executive chairman Andy Hasoon has converted £50,000 of his director loan into 312,500 shares at 16p each. Two other individuals have taken shares for fees.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has invested $75,000 (£60,000) in Coin-Dash, which is developing a social trading platform for cryptocurrency investors. Coinsilium also has an entitlement to an undisclosed number of Coindash crypto tokens.
MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £276,000 at 28.5p a share from four investors. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £230,000 for working capital. Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised £22,000 at 0.1p a share, while 84.7%-owned apps developer Flamethrower has paid $25,000 for advertising revenues generating Minecraft Command website.
TyraTech Inc (TYR/TYRU) is splitting itself into two businesses so that they can each raise finance to accelerate growth. The separation should be complete by the end of the year. TyraTech used up $2.2m of cash in 2016 leaving it with $1.8m, thanks to cash management in the second half. Allenby expects cash to fall to $700,000 by the end of 2017 but in reality management would hope to have raised money for the two businesses before that time. Marketing spending is required to grow the human health business while further product development investment is required by the animal health business.
Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) is increasing its market share in Europe. In the year to February 2017, revenues grew from £35.5m to £56.1m and pre-tax profit jumped from £600,000 to £2.7m. A new head office has been acquired for £5.3m and a German distribution centre is being opened.
Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) has done particularly well since it joined AIM and its figures were better than expected leading to an upgrade for this year. In 2016, Warpaint made a pre-tax profit of £6.7m on revenues of £27m. A 2017 profit of £7.6m is forecast. Growth is coming from the UK and internationally with US revenues starting to build up.
RedstoneConnect (REDS) has raised £6.5m at 1.5p a share and £1.4m of this will be spent on systems integrator acquiring Anders + Kern. This will help the group to sell its OneSpace smart buildings software. A one-for-100 share consolidation is planned.
Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) improved its full year pre-tax profit from £26m to £29.8m and its NAV is 62.3p a share. The share price is trading at a discount to NAV of one-fifth. Aftersales revenues continue to grow and used vehicle sales were strong. The new car market has declined but trading in March and April is in line with expectations.
Cambria Automotive (CAMB) has also performed well even though new and used vehicle volumes declined. Acquisitions helped its revenues to grow by 11% while its pre-tax profit was more than one-fifth higher at £5.6m. The full year profit forecast has been edged up to £11.2m.
The proposed energy price cap has hampered Flowgroup (FLOW) in its attempt to sell its energy business. It is still in talks but appears more likely to require to raise an additional £20m. This would be highly dilutive because it would be at 1.5p a share plus convertible securities. Losses will continue for the next couple of years and Flow is reducing its exposure to the microCHP business.
Arian Silver Corporation (AGQ) has completed initial sampling at its Mexican Salar project and this confirms the presence of lithium. Further tests are required to fully assess the mineralisation.
Savannah Resources (SAV) has lodged the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Mahab 4 copper mine development, having already done this for the Maqail South deposit. Savannah owns 65% of the company that has the licence for the block that includes Mahab 4. The approval process is expected to take three months. An economic study should be completed by July.
Active Energy (AEG) is reducing its exposure to Ukraine and dividing its operations into Advanced Biomass Solutions, which will own the CoalSwitch technology, and Timberlands International for the timber asset management operations. Supplying woodchip from Ukraine to Turkish fibreboard manufacturers is the main revenue generator but exposure to Ukraine has held back the share price. The company’s former chief operating officer may make an offer for the Ukrainian operations.
Draganfly Investments (DRG) has raised £500,000 at 0.5p a share. Pelamis Investments Ltd owns 11.26%.
Waterman Group (WTM) has recommended a 140p a share bid from CTI Technology, which has already acquired 30%. This means that the £43m bid is mandatory. CTI is one of the largest consulting engineers in Japan.
A strong performance in South Korea has fuelled a strong performance from window components manufacturer Titon (TON). In the six months to March 2017, revenues were 29% higher at £14m, while pre-tax profit was 61% higher at £1.18m. The dividend was increased by 20% to 1.5p a share. Net cash is £2.71m.
Storage and wireless semiconductors developer CML Microsystems (CML) says full year trading was ahead of expectations. Revenues grew by one-fifth to £27.6m – organic growth is estimated to be 16%. Pre-tax profit was £4.2m – 5% higher than forecast. There was £12.4m in the bank t the end of the financial year.
World Trade Systems (WTS) has appointed John Hoskinson as a non-executive director. He has experience of mining, energy, property and services sectors. Clio Lee has stepped down from the board. Trading in WTS shares continues to be suspended.
Richard Griffiths and Blake Holdings have acquired 11.2% of former AIM-quoted investment company Sarossa for £519,500 (1p a share). This takes the concert party’s stake to 51.9% so it has to make a mandatory bid at 1p a share but that is well below the most recent asset value. At the end of 2016, the NAV was £11.3m or 2.4p a share. That included £3.73m of cash.
Property investor Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) has had a busy week of acquisitions and disposals. Shildon House in Gateshead has been acquired for £1.825m, while Hume House in Leeds is being sold for £3.55m – a profit of £1.88m – although the deal is not expected to complete until the end of this year. Ace has bought out the 62% shareholder in Radcliff Property, the company that owned Telephone House which was sold in October, for £1.235m. Ace has already received £2.8m from the Telephone House sale but there is a dilapidations claim on a former tenant and Ace will now get 100% of any settlement. In the six months to October 2015, revenues jumped from £404,000 to £990,000, while pre-tax profit increased from £282,000 to £514,000. There was a £252,000 cash inflow from operations and net debt was £2.64m at the end of October. Of course, this is before the latest deals and some others that have been announced since October. NAV was £13.8m and the property portfolio, valued at £20.1m, generates more than £2.26m of annual rental income. Hybridan has been appointed as broker. At 3.75p (3.5p/4p) a share, Ace is valued at £21.9m.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP), which develops locking nut devices for railway tracks, reported a sharply reduced loss in the year to August 2015. Revenues improved from £144,000 to £240,000 and combined with lower admin expenses this helped the loss decline from £406,000 to £228,000. House broker Daniel Stewart forecasts more than doubled revenues and near break even this year.
Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYPD) reported a higher profit in the year to October 2015. Revenues edged up from £3.07m to £3.13m, while pre-tax profit moved from £124,000 to £134,000. There was £1.15m in the bank. Hydro has already announced an unchanged total dividend of 18p a share, although it is not fully covered by earnings. At 750p (725p/775p) a share, Hydro is valued at £4.5m. Second half trading improved after a weak first half. Staff costs are rising this year.
Investing company Globe Capital Ltd (GCAP) raised £100,000 at 0.105p a share and there is a warrant exercisable at 0.0025p each attached to each placing share. Globe had £11,000 left in the bank at the end of June 2015 and there had been a cash outflow of £188,000. The chief executive has resigned and this could mark a change in focus. Globe had been focused on investing in debt and equity of businesses but failed to find a suitable investment. New director and 3.3% shareholder David Barnett has a background in the fashion industry. Globe was previously known as Ford Eagle Ltd and when it changed its name in June 2013 it raised £207,000 via an open offer at 1p a share and it was capitalised at nearly £250,000 at the open offer price. Later that year, £199,000 was raised at 0.4p a share. At 0.625p a share, Globe is valued at £1.2m, although the bid offer spread is 0.25p/1p and there are no reported trades on the ISDX website suggesting that this is not necessarily fully reflective of the business particularly as the placing is at such a discount to the bid price.
AfriAg (AFRI) has decided to leave AIM and concentrate on its ISDX quotation and it says this could save up to £40,000 a year. Trading via ISDX has been increasing since this quotation was obtained. If shareholders agree AfriAg will leave AIM on 24 February. Although the strategy will stay the same AfriAg has hinted that it is assessing strategic options.
Vertu Motors (VTU) has bought three Honda dealerships from fully listed rival Lookers for £2m. Vertu has 12 Honda dealerships and this makes it the largest Honda car retailer in Europe and it also operates two motorcycle dealerships. All three sites adjoin existing dealership areas and they broke even last year. Vertu says that the acquisition will be earnings enhancing in its first full year.
Cathexis has increased its offer for Interior Services Group (ISG) from 143p a share to 171p a share. This bid is open until 17 February and will not be extended unless there is a rival bid. There were acceptances for the previous bid equal to 1.7% of the ISG share capital. Cathexis has taken its own stake above 30% so this is a mandatory bid.
Online business and marketing platform operator blur (BLUR) reported a decreased cash burn in the fourth quarter partly due to lower development spending. The quarterly cash burn more than halved to $1.5m. More of the projects put on the site are being taken up and completed, while the move towards larger customers is paying off. Revenues are estimated to have been $2.7m in 2015, while the underlying loss is around $10m. That loss is expected halve next year and the rate of cash burn will slow further and net cash is forecast to fall from £6.3m to £2.2m.
Learning Technologies Group (LTG) has expanded its US e-learning interests through the $26m acquisition of Nashville-based Rustici Software. The business is international and it is involved in a wide number of sectors. In 2015, revenues were $6.6m, mainly recurring, and EBITDA was $2.7m. Up to $11m more may become payable depending on performance. Watershed Systems Inc has been split from the rest of the business with LTG taking a 30% stake and the former Rustici owners will own the rest. Watershed is developing a new learning analytics platform that will gather and analyse learning data and LTG is injecting $3m for its stake.
Specialist IFA Frenkel Topping (FEN) says that 2015 figures are broadly in line with expectations with assets under management of £666m at the end of the year. House broker Shore has been updating its forecasts and it has reduced the 2016 figures but increased the 2017 ones. This is because 2016 is a transitional year as assets under management are moved to come under its own management. This still requires final FCA approval. A profit of £1.74m is forecast for 2016, rising to £3.28m in 2017.
IP-focused investment company FastForward Innovations Ltd (FFWD) has raised £5.6m from a placing at 15p a share – a premium to the then market price although it was as high as 18.25p earlier in the month. The share price ended the week at 15.25p. The shares issued are just under one-quarter of the enlarged share capital. The previous placing raised £3.17m at 8p a share. The latest placing follows the appointment of board director Lorne Abony as chief executive and he invested more than £800,000 taking his stake to 19.7%. He stood down from the boards of two investee companies – Vested Finance Inc and Vemo Education Inc – and he will not be involved in future investment decisions relating to them. There are seven investments in the portfolio. Abony has been the boss of two other AIM-quoted (and TSX-listed) companies that were based in Canada – Fun Technologies and Mood Media Corporation.
Tissue Regenix (TRX) has signed a joint venture with GTM-V to form a tissue bank in Rostock, Germany and management believes that this model can be used to expand internationally. Tissue Regenix has invested €250,000 in cash in the joint venture, which has been granted licences for human dCELL . Regulatory submissions for EU approval are being prepared and the first human tissue treatment products based on the dCELL decellularisation technology could be launched in Germany next year.
Call centre and outsourced customer services provider IBEX Global Solutions (IBEX) says that it has won two new clients in financial services and consumer electronics and it has opened a new operation in Nicaragua. There are plans for an additional site in the next few months. Focusing on higher margin business means that the interim figures will be in line with expectations and the second half will benefit from the new customers. The interims will be published on 24 February. House broker Cenkos forecasts 2015-16 earnings equivalent to 14.3p a share, which puts the shares on eight times prospective earnings.
A strong final quarter meant that publisher Quarto Group (QRT) beat 2015 expectations. A better than expected contribution from the Ivy Press acquisition and the strong performance of adult colouring books were behind the improved trading. A profit of around $13.5m is anticipated. Net debt was $59.7m at the end of 2015 – Northland had forecast $60.7m. A profit of around $15m is expected for 2016. At 217.5p a share, Quarto is trading on little more than six times prospective earnings.
Interim figures from automotive manuals and information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) show an improvement in profit in what is the weaker half of the year. In the six months to November 2015, revenues were 3% ahead at £12.2m, while pre-tax profit increased from £55,000 to £295,000. However, capitalised development spending, net of amortisation, increased from £48,000 to £464,000. Net debt was ££475,000 at the end of November 2015. Haynes continues to review its structure and costs. US and Australian revenues were much lower and this was made up for by higher European revenues. There was growth in UK manual sales but against a weak comparative period but the focus is developing the digital platform. Digital revenues were more than one-quarter of the interim total. An unchanged interim dividend of 3.5p a share was announced. A full year profit of £2.47m is forecast. James Bunkum has joined the board as chief financial officer designate and he takes over the role in May.
Standard list investment company Highlands Natural Resources (HNR) has published its prospectus for the acquisition of 75% of patents and know how rights for DT Ultravert and it has raised £765,000 at 12p a share. The cash will cover the costs of field trials for the technology that are part of a potential licence agreement with Schlumberger.