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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 3 May 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Decentralised finance (DeFi) focused investment company Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) raised £9m at 3p a share. The share price closed at 4.15p (3.8p/4.5p) and there were just over one million shares traded on the first day. The market capitalisation is £25.4m. Shares were originally issued at below the placing price and the underlying NAV is 1.8p a share. Dispersion has already made two investments, although one of those is a £210,000 investment in NFT Investments, which has management in common, at the equivalent of 7p a share. NFT’s placing was at 5p a share and the investment was made after the shares commenced trading. Since then, the share price has fallen to 3.85p (3.7p/4p).

Semper Fortis Esports (SEMP) has the management experience to exploit the fast-growing esports sector. The board includes football adviser Keith Harris. Chief executive Kevin Soltani was a co-owner of an esports franchise in MENA and co-founded the GIMA Esports Agency with chief operating officer Jassem Osseiran. The Semper Fortis Esports shareholder register includes the likes of Chris Akers. Semper Fortis Esports raised £2.5m, after expenses, at 1p a share. Pro forma net assets are £2.13m, with £2.15m cash in the bank. The pro forma NAV is just over 0.5p a share. The share price ended the week at 3.95p (3.8p/4.1p).

Greencare Capital (GRE) has invested £100,000 in Voyager Life, as part of a £671,000 before an Aquis flotation. Voyager Life supplies CBD and hemp seed oil products. This follows the £100,000 investment in CBD products supplier Clearly Supplements in the form of a 5% convertible loan. The Covid-19 pandemic and legislation changes hampered the planned reverse takeover, and it did not go ahead. There should still be more than £1m in cash in the balance sheet after the investments.

Revenues fell 59% to £8.49m at Newbury Racecourse (NYR) and there was a loss of £2.27m. Only four race meetings had people attending last year. There were 20 race days last year and there will be ten by 17 May this year. There was £1.5m raised from the sale of surplus land. There was £5.53m in the bank at the end of 2020. Net assets were £48.9m, down from £51.4m.

Spirits maker British Honey (BHC) says that first quarter revenues, excluding hand sanitisers, increased by one-quarter to £1.33m. The integration of Union Distillers is nearly complete. A new bottling line will increase capacity to four million bottles a year by the end of 2021. A new bottling line for miniatures is also being installed.

Gunsynd (GUN) has made a £200,000 in DiscovOre (ORE) at 2p a share. DiscovOre is changing its investing strategy to focus on the medical psychedelic sector.

Supported housing provider Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) says that NAV has fallen by 5% to 102p a share. John D Wood values the company’s properties at £3.2m. The company collected 100% of rents last year. Virgata Services has to publish an offer document by 6 May.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has invested $2.5m in convertible loan notes in standard listed Mustang Energy (MUST) as part of a fundraising to pay for a 22.1% stake in VFFB-H, which owns 50% of Enerox, an Austria-based vanadium redox flow battery manufacturer. AIM-quoted Bushveld Minerals (BMN) is the majority shareholder in VFFB-H. Enerox plans to raise £30m. Trading has been suspended in Mustang Energy shares.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) is proceeding with the acquisition of the Monte Muambe rare earths project. The contract is being finalised and then Altona will start the earn-in to progress towards a 70% stake in the project. Altona is still assessing other projects. An application has been filed for a standard listing.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has raised £42,000 at 0.00258065 a share, plus £90,000 via a convertible loan facility at the same conversion price as the placing. Simon Grant-Rennick has been appointed executive chairman and Burns Singh Tennent Bhohi, who has taken a 14.8% stake, as an executive director.

Two locations have shown strong gold intersection at surfaces at NQ Minerals (NQMI) 100%-owned Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania. The surface potential could add significant resources to Beaconsfield.

Positive results have been reported by BWA Group (BWAP) from the sampling at the Nkoteng rutile sands project in Cameroon. There are elevated intervals of rutile-ilmenite, zircon and kyanite over continuous zones.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has signed an Africa-focused distribution agreement with Rigworld Solutions. This formalises and earlier agreement.

Watchstone Group (WTG) has made the switch from AIM to Aquis.

Coinsilium (COIN) has raised £18,500 from the sale of treasury shares at 18.5p each.

AIM

Hurricane Energy (HUR), which at one time was a constituent of the AIM 50, is restructuring its balance sheet. This would involve swapping $50m of the principal of the company’s convertible bonds into 95% of the enlarged share capital. The terms of the remaining $180m of bonds will be amended. The business will focus on extending the oil production case for the Lancaster 205/21a-6 well.

Construction services consultancy Driver (DRV) says that its latest underlying interim profit will be slightly lower than for the same period last year, which was £1.25m. That is a strong comparative period. Lockdowns have varied in the different operational countries. Driver also lost a team in Asia Pacific to a rival. The focus is higher margin work and activity levels are improving. Net cash was £7.2m at the end of March 2021. The interims will be published on 8 June.

Pennant International (PEN) fell into loss in 2020 and it should manage to return to profit this year. Forecast revenues of £16m are 90% covered by the order book. Pennant wants to win more business in the rail sector.

Pollen Street Capital is bidding 75p a share for spend control software supplier Proactis (PHD) and the board is recommending the offer, which values the company at £71.6m. Pollen Street has the finance to accelerate growth. The bid is at 24 times prospective 2020-21 earnings, falling to 19 next year.

Building software supplier Eleco (ELCO) says that first quarter revenues were 9% ahead at £7m, while year-on-year pre-tax profit was one-fifth higher. Net cash was £7.9m at the end of March 2021. A general meeting has been requisitioned so that shareholders can vote on the re-election of executive chairman Serena Lang and non-executive director Kevin Craig, a resolution to make it compulsory for all directors to come up for re-election at every AGM and a vote on the remuneration report in the 2020 accounts.

Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) had an improved second half and momentum is continuing into next year. In 2020, revenues fell from £49.3m to £40.3m, but earnings halved from 6.3p a share to 3.1p a share.

President Energy (PPC) expects to bring the EV-1001 well on the Estancia Vieja gas field into production during May. The drill rig will be moved to the next location. President is expected to return to profit in 2020.

Amiad Water Systems (AFS) plans to transfer its quotation to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

MAIN MARKET

In 2020, Argo Blockchain (ARB) increased revenues from £8.6m to £19m, but it made a small loss. Cash inflow from operating activities was £12.3m, according to finnCap. This year a pre-tax profit of £30m is forecast, although working capital will consume most of the cash generated even before significant capital expenditure.

Moulded plastic parts manufacturer Carclo (CAR) says that it has maintained its full year revenues for plastics, but there was a decline in aerospace revenues, and made a profit. Net debt has been reduced from £22.1m to £20m.

InnovaDerma (IDP) raised an additional £500,000 in an open offer and that took the total raised to £4.5m. This will fund ecommerce investment.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 April 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 18 January 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

British Honey (BHC) generated revenues of £1.5m in the nine months to December 2020 with more sales online. There was £2.4m in the bank.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has agreed to provide cancer treatment to NHS Trusts and clinical commissioning groups in England. The initial agreement is for two years.

A subsidiary of Noble Group has sent a letter of intent to Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) saying it wasn’t to purchase a significant portion of tantalum and tine production from Musasa in Rwanda. There will be immediate payment on agreement of the grade. There has been a further cash injection of £150,000.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has discovered further gold mineralisation at Specimen Hill in Queensland. There is a 100% success rate with holes drilled. A drilling programme has started at Mt Cassidy and once completed drilling will recommence at Specimen Hill at the sites that are prospective for copper.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that the Hellyer mine in Australia produced 38,319 tonnes of lead concentrate, up 53%, and 19,019 tonnes of zinc concentrate, up 22%, in 2020. There was 5,452 ounces of gold and 1.1 million ounces of silver produced. Gross revenues were A$63.3m and net income was A$22.7m.

Preliminary sampling at one of the Cameroon licences owned by BWA Group (BWAP) has identified mineralisation. The Dehane project has elevated titanium, zircon and aluminium multi-element associations. More cash is required to fund further exploration.

Gunsynd (GUN) says that Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser to Rogue Baron ahead of a proposed flotation on Aquis in the first quarter. Rogue Baron is a spirits company and Gunsynd has a £500,000 convertible repayable at the end of March. The Gunsynd NAV increased from £2.36m to £2.47m at the end of July 2020. There was £838,000 in the bank.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £100,000 at 4.5p a share. SulNOx Group (SNOX) has raised £50,100 at 41.75p a share. Further cash will be required. Altona Energy (ANR) has raised a further £42,000 at 6.5p a share. MiLOC Group (ML.P) has raised £237,000 at 28.5p a share and started litigation against a distributor.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) boos Joe McTaggart has bought 30,409 shares at 49p each.

AIM

Toilet tissue manufacturer Accrol (ACRL) reported strong interims even before a contribution from the recently acquired LTC. In the six months to October 2020, revenues slipped from £64.5m to £62.3m but that reflects panic buying in the last two months of the previous year that reduced this year’s figure. A contribution from LTC should increase full year revenues from £135m to £154m and pre-tax profit could nearly double to £9.2m. Accrol intends to pay a final dividend of 0.5p a share.

Online fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) reported a 6% increase in revenues to December 2020, following a £1.6m reduction in marketing spend – mainly in December. This includes growing sales via John Lewis and Next. The loss was more than halved. Net cash was £3.9m at the end of 2020.

Kromek (KMK) reported a 14% decline in interim revenues to £4.58m, which was a resilient performance considering the disruption in the period. Kromek has moved into a net debt position but management is confident that it has enough funds for its requirements. The second half should be stronger. The long-term outlook for MRI, imaging and radiation detection products remains positive.

Battery technology developer Ilika (IKA) is on course for Stereax battery production to be scaled up by the beginning of 2022 and more significant revenues will flow through from then on. The total investment is £4m. The pilot line is running at full capacity so there is unlikely to be growth in short-term revenues. There is also the longer-term potential for Goliath batteries for electric vehicles. There should be £9m in the bank at the end of April 2021.

Voucher products supplier Appreciate (APP) had a strong third quarter and free cash reached £33.5m. The focus on digital products is paying off.

Law firm Gateley (GTLY) grew earnings by 7% in the first half, but full year earnings are expected to decline from 12.5p a share to 9.1p a share. There could be scope for an upgrade if utilisation levels remain high.

Ariana Resources (AAU) says that the 50%-owned Kiziltepe mine produced 18,645 ounces of gold in 2020. The processing plant capacity is being quadrupled.

Filtronic (FTC) has won a contract with more than £1m with a UK defence customer. Filtronic will design and supply battlefield communications hardware.

In 2020, Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) increased palm oil production by 24% to 4,824MT and the average price obtained was ahead by a similar percentage. The price has started 2021 at a much higher level and even if the price does not stay as high Dekel should be able to at least move nearer to profit in 2021.

Franchise Brands (FRAN) will report 2020 figures ahead of consensus. The business has been strongly cash generative and the consumer-facing franchises did better in the second half. Metro Rod was classed as an essential service and trading recovered after an initial slump. Allenby forecasts 2020 earnings of 4.3p a share and this could improve to 4.8p a share in 2021.

Environmental and life sciences company Deepverge (DVRG) generated revenues of £4.4m in 2020 before any contribution from the recently acquired Modern Water. This year’s revenues should more than double, although the business should still lose money. There are large projects that are being bid for that could contribute to this year.

SourceBio International (SBI) has signed a deal with a high street retailer to provide lab testing services. This will start with a limited number of stores and could then be broadened. Demand for Covid testing is likely to continue to be high for many months.

MAIN MARKET

BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) has secured an option deal to sell its NGSoft communications technology services business to Aztek Technologies for $33m in cash. This is around ten times operating profit. The cash can be reinvested into the other activities.

Telecoms business Toople (TOOP) increased revenues from £2.45m to £3.44m and gross profit from £479,000 to £1.1m in the year to September 2020. The purchase of DMSL helped to grow revenues. Admin expenses were slightly higher at £2.44m. The underlying pre-tax loss edged up from £1.24m to £1.31m. That excludes a £1.1m provision for bad debts and restructuring costs. Directors pay increased from £278,000 to £312,239 last year. Net debt was nearly £1m at the end of September 2020. Debt in the form of a loan note is repayable at the end of 2022. The cash outflow from operating activities reduced from £2m to £1.6m.

InnovaDerma (IDP) reported a one-fifth decline in interim revenues. The personal care products supplier was hit by the closure of high street shops in the UK. International sales improved. The new chief executive is still assessing the business and will report plans and impairment charges in the coming weeks. A non-executive director is loaning the company £500,000 until 13 July.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 January 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Standard list shell Baskerville Capital (BASK) plans to switch its quotation to the Access segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange. This move will happen at the time of the reverse takeover of Oberon Investments, the owner of fund manager MD Barnard. The transfer to the Access segment is expected to happen on 5 February, although this depends on completion of the deal.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) increased its NAV to £3.96m at the end of September 2020. The Southfields property has been sold for £660,000, which was a small discount to the previous book value. The remaining residential property will be sold in the next few months. The company will then concentrate on specialist supported housing.

KR1 (KR1) has sold its remaining holding of FunFair tokens for an average price of 2.0207 cents each. That raised $1.28m, which is more than treble the cost.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) expects the analysis of the aerial magnetic survey of the Red Setter project in Western Australia will be available before the end of the first quarter of 2021.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) continues to review opportunities in the mining sector in Africa. The deal is likely to be funded by a share issue, but more cash will be required.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) non-executive director Nigel boardman has increased his shareholding from 5,020 shares to 11,348 shares. Shepherd Neame (SHEP) director JB Neame has sold 4,000 shares at 690p each and bought back 2,000 shares at 691.5p for an ISA.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £150,000 in share issues at 5p a share and 5.5p a share. TruSpine Technologies (TSP) is still waiting to receive £250,000 from Evrensel Capital Partners.

Peel Hunt has been approved as an AQSE corporate adviser.

AIM

Capital equipment manufacturer Mpac (MPAC) did better than expected last year although pre-tax profit is still likely to decline from £7.5m to £6.2m. net cash is £5m following the payment of £10m for Switchback last autumn. The order book is worth more than £55m, compared to 2020 revenues of £83m. The focus on healthcare and pharma has helped Mpac.

Judges Scientific (JDG) had a strong second half in 2020 and this has led WH Ireland to increase its 2020 pre-tax profit forecast from £12.1m to £13.5m. The 2021 figure has been maintained at £15.1m. Full year results will be announced on 23 March.

Fashion retailer Joules (JOUL) offset weak high street sales prior to Christmas with strong growth in online sales. Even so, continued uncertainty means that Peel Hunt has reduced its 2020-21 pre-tax profit forecast from £5.4m to £3.5m. Net cash is £13m.

Motor dealer Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) says trading the three months to November 2020 was ahead of the same period last year even though the market remains uncertain.

Wealth management firm Mattioli Woods (MTW) had more than £10bn of client assets by the end of November 2020. Gross discretionary assets under management are £2.9bn. Management is still seeking acquisition opportunities and there is £18m of cash in the bank.

Creo Medical (CREO) has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its MicroBlate soft tissue ablation devices. This broadens the range of products with approvals.

AssetCo (ASTO) has acquired a 2.9% stake in investment manager River and Mercantile at 186p a share. This cost £4.7m. There is still around £26m in cash available since the payment from Grant Thornton and after the tender offer to shareholders.

Avingtrans (AVG) is merging its two medical equipment businesses with Australia-based MRI technology developer Magnetica and it will own 59% of the enlarged business after also injecting A$600,000. A further £3.2m investment could increase the stake to 61.2%. The combined business is loss-making but the increased scale will help it to move towards profitability.

Telit Communications (TCM) has ended bid discussions with u-blox, although the potential bidder is still interested in making an offer. An all-share bid of 250p a share was indicated.

Tekmar (TGP) has secured a contract to design and manufacture subsea scour protection for a quay development project, which is worth more than £4m. That will be recognised in this financial year.

IntegraFin has decided not to bid for Nucleus Financial Group (NUC), which increased assets under administration by 8% to £17.4bn in the three months to December 2020. Inflows of funds increased, and outflows fell.

Eqtec (EQT) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Greece-based Nobilis Pro Energy, which will enable Eqtec to be involved in its partner’s pipeline of gasification projects opportunities in Thessalia and central Greece. A joint venture will be formalised.

MAIN MARKET

One Heritage Group (OHG) has acquired a site on Bank Street, Sheffield for £880,000. The final development cost is expected to be £2.9m and gross development value should be £3.6m. The residential developer says that its Burnley development will not be completed until later in the first quarter. Construction of the Waterloo Place development in Salford should commence in the second quarter.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) mined 96 Bitcoin during December. The increase in the bitcoin price means that these are valued at £1.63m. Argo holds 209 Bitcoin. The sharp rise in the share price has led to the exercising of warrants and options. This has raised £1.63m.

Tirupati Graphite (TGR) is on track to commission the Vatomina graphite project in the second quarter and build production to 6,000tpa. Tirupati raised £6m at 45p a share when it floated at the end of last year and the share price has risen to 83p.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has completed its drilling programme at the Phalaborwa rare earths project under budget and the results are expected before the end of the first quarter.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) has raised £570,000 at 4p each and this should be enough cash to take the company into next year.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 28 September 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

SAPO (SAPO) has agreed to acquire Secure Web Services (SWS) and it will change its name to Rural Broadband Solutions. SAPO is paying £1.6m in cash and shares and £236,500 of the cash paid will be used to subscribe to a fundraising. SAPO wants to raise £2.5m. SWS is based in Shropshire and had revenues of £730,000. There are 2,300 customers and this could be doubled in three years. A buy and build strategy will expand the group across the UK.

Specialist social housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) swung from loss to profit in the year to March 2020. The pre-tax profit of £626,000 includes a gain on revaluation of £798,000. The underlying loss was similar to the year before. Net assets increased from £3.3m to £4m, equivalent to 107p a share. There are plans to dispose of the remaining London residential units and reinvest in specialist supported housing. The Wimbledon Park property was sold for £656,000 in June, which was a 3% discount to book value.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has made an investment in vitamin fortified, smoothies and juices provider Coldpress Foods. It has taken an initial 3.3% plus an investment in a convertible that could take the stake to 6.2%. The total investment is £60,000. Coldpress has revenues of more than £1.6m.

Oncology treatments developer Incanthera (INC) says that skin cancer technology Sol has exceeded expectations in a recent study. Sol has been shown to be effective in penetrating the skin barrier.  

A requisition for a general meeting at Primorus Investments (PRIM) has been withdrawn following the proposed board appointments of Rupert Labrum, Hedley Clark and Matthew Beardmore. Donald Strang will leave the board.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) says Nicholas Nelson has resigned from the board but remains as chief executive. Shareholders had requisitioned a general meeting to remove him from the board, but there is no need for this to happen. Nouryon has agreed to manufacture SulNOx’s HFO emulsifier and a diesel conditioner, which will be sold under the brand SulNOxEco diesel conditioner.  

Altona Energy (ANR) is seeking to raise up to £500,000 at 6.5p a share. Existing and new investors can subscribe for shares via www.nrprivatemarket.com. The offer is set to last until 15 October. The cash will go towards financing the two rare earth element projects in Malawi and Uganda.

Belvedere Leisure Resorts (BELV) has signed an agreement with Landal GreenParks UK for an exclusive partnership for the leisure park at the Barncosh site until the end of the year. Belvedere will deliver the first 50 units and then the 20-year arrangement will take effect. Belvedere has agreed to acquire the land for the 50 units at a cost of £500,000. Belvedere continues to seek new funds.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested a further £75,000 in copper/gold explorer Eagle Mountain Mining. Gunsynd owns 1.54% of the ASX-listed company.  

AfriAg Global (AFRI) believes that the FCA guidance has given it confidence that its deal with medicinal cannabis company Apollon Formularies will go ahead.

European Lithium (EUR) has raised A$2.1m at 4.5 cents a share and this will be spent on metallurgical test work at the Wolfsberg lithium project. Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £193,000 at 0.5p a share.

Sativa Wellness Group Inc expects to gain admission to the Aquis Stock Exchange on 30 September.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) non-executive director Dominic Burke has bought 20,000 shares at 700p each. He owns 127,365 shares.

AIM

Gold production in Azerbaijan fell in the first half but Anglo Asian Mining (AAZ) is confident it can still hit its full year target of 75,000-80,000 ounces of gold equivalent, which would be slightly lower than the previous year. The higher gold price offset the decline in production from 39,905 ounces to 32,501 ounces. Even though the cost of production increased because of lower volumes and the reduction in grades at the Ugur open pit, pre-tax profit improved from $10.3m to $11.8m. There was $21.4m of cash generated from operations. There is plenty of cash to invest in Azerbaijan and the new venture in Ireland with Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR). The interim dividend was increased by 29% to 4.5 cents a share and the possibility of a special dividend next year. There was cash of $29.2m at the end of June 2020.

Specialist IFA Frenkel Topping (FEN) has made an indicative all-share offer for personal injury claims generator NAHL (NAH). Frenkel Topping has already acquired 6.11% of NAHL. finnCap forecasts an improvement in Frenkel Topping pre-tax profit from £1.8m to £2.3m in 2020.

NWF (NWF) says that trading is in line with expectations. Fuel volumes are lower than the same time last year because of reduced economic activity, but they are as anticipated. The food distribution trading has been hit by volatility in demand and lower demand from the catering sector. The feeds division has benefited from a stable dairy market.  

Spinger-Verlag has increased its stake in DeepMatter (DMTR) from 2.9% to 7.4% following the issue of deferred consideration.

Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) grew managed services and consultancy revenues in the first half, although there was lower utilisation in consulting during lockdown. Consultancy revenues are improving in the second half. There was cash of £1.6m in the middle of September.  

Battery technology developer Ilika (IKA) has signed a framework agreement with the UK Battery industrialisation Centre for the production of Goliath solid state pouch cells. This will help with the scale up of production for the batteries aimed at domestic appliances and electric vehicles.

MAIN MARKET

Critical Metals (CRTM) is raising £800,000 at 5p a share. That will more than double the number of shares in issue. Critical wants to buy or acquire stakes in natural resources assets in Africa. The focus will be near-term brownfield projects that can be brought into production. Chief executive Russell Fryer is a former investment adviser in the natural resources sector and founder of Western Uranium Corporation.   

Gulf Marine Services (GMS) has received another general meeting requisition letter from Seafox. The removal from the board of Mike Turner, David Blewden, Mo Bississo and Dr Shona Grant is Seafox’s wish. It wants Rasid Al Jarwan, Mansour Al alami and Saeed Mer Abdulla Khoory to replace them.

Auctus Growth (AUCT) is in discussions to acquire HeiQ Materials AG, which is a materials innovation company focusing on the apparel, medical and home textile markets. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Hawkwing (HNG) is switching from AIM to the standard list on 30 September and raising £1.2m after expenses at 3p a share. That values the shell, which has failed to secure a technology acquisition in the time required by AIM, at £1.5m.

Digital Landscape Group (DLGI) is cancelling its standard listing on 2 October. Trading will begin on the Nasdaq Global Market on 5 October.

Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has received 73.94% acceptances from shareholders in Cindrigo Energy. When other conditions are satisfied the remaining shares will be mopped up and a prospectus prepared for a reintroduction to the standard list.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 15 June 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has published results for the year to August 2019 and the subsequent interims. Following these announcements, trading in the shares has resumed. There was strong growth in the interim figures with revenues of £116,000 but there was still a loss of £75,000. The working capital facility has been increased to £500,000.

Cannabis products supplier World High Life (LIFE) says it intends to list on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Revenues were £1.05m in the nine months to March 2020. Write-offs meant that the loss was £11.3m. Subsidiary Love Hemp’s online sales in May were double the level in January. Sales have switched from high street to online. There will be a rebrand in September

Engineering businesses consolidator Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised a further £179,000, including £65,000 raised by share issues to employees at 2p a share. There were also shares issued at 4.25p each. The placing price was 3p a share and creditors are taking shares at that price valued at £175,000 in lieu of flotation costs. The current share price is 4.5p (4p/5p).

Gunsynd (GUN) is raising £600,000 at 0.65p a share and this will be used for further investments.

KR1 (KR1) has participated in the Plasm token distribution. KR1 has 1,232 Ether (ETH) valued at $253,000 which it has agreed to be locked up. Access will be obtained in three intervals over 1,000 days. In return for the lockup KR1 receives 66.3 million Plasm tokens. Plasm is launching a platform on the Polkadot blockchain.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has raised £650,000 at 9p a share. The cash will be used to help develop the Amapa iron ore project and pay off loan notes. The stockpile of iron ore should be shipped during the summer. Cadence and the joint venture partners are in discussions with creditors. A scoping study will be commissioned.

The Australian government has approved the acquisition of the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania by NQ Minerals (NQMI). This will enable the mine to be reopened. NQ Minerals has raised £119,000 at 7.5p a share.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has sold a residential property in Wimbledon Park for £656,000, so that it can reinvest the cash in the core supported housing business. The sale was at a 3% discount to book value.

British Honey Company (BHC) has launched a Special Charity Edition Premium Vodka to raise money for COVID-19 research. One-quarter of sales revenues will go towards funding this research.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) has completed the purchase of a property in Preston. Barry Fromson has been appointed as chief executive and Barry Fitzpatrick as non-executive chairman. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) had an investment property and nearly £12,000 in the bank at the end of 2019. NAV is £206,000.

AIM

Bahamas Petroleum (BPC) and Columbus Energy (CERP) are merging. Columbus shareholders will receive 0.803 of a BPC share for each share they own. Columbus was valued at £25m when the deal was announced. Columbus will generate cash to help finance exploration by BPC.

Escape Hunt (ESC) is raising up to £4m via a placing and one-for-four open offer at 7.5p a share and a convertible loan note issue of £340,000. The escape rooms operator says all the directors are buying shares. The intention is to spend £2.5m on rolling out more sites and the rest will go on operational improvements and working capital. Five or six new sites are planned in the next 12 months. UK sites were growing revenues prior to lockdown.

Hummingbird Resources (HUM) intends to acquire the Kouroussa gold project from Cassidy Gold Corp. First gold production could be within two years. There is a gold resource of 1.18Moz at >3g/t.

Hawkwing (HNG) plans to move to a standard listing. Formerly TLA Worldwide, trading in the shares is suspended because the shell has not found a suitable acquisition. Hawkwing would lose its AIM quotation in September without an acquisition. There is no time limit on acquisitions for shells on the standard list.

Ilika (IKA) had cash of £14.9m at the end of April 2020. The battery technology developer is choosing a fabrication facility for the manufacture of its batteries. Four potential partners are in the running. A tool that will increase productivity has been ordered and should be delivered by the end of 2020.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) produced less crude palm oil during May because of a decline in fruit delivered to the mill. There were 3,316 tonnes of crude palm oil produced in May, down from 5,316 tonnes in May 2019. However, more was sold during the month because of the much higher production in April. The average price received per tonne increased.

Be Heard (BHRD) has received a bid approach of 0.5p a share from MSQ Partners.

MAIN MARKET

Lower energy prices have led to a fall in the net asset value of JLEN Environmental Assets (JLEN) but it continues to generate cash and pay dividends. NAV has fallen from 104.7p a share to 97.5p a share. Total dividends were 6.66p a share last year and the target for this year is 6.76p a share. JLEN is joining the FTSE 250 index on 22 June.

Air Partner (AIR) is raising £7.5m at 75p a share. Profit was ahead of budget in the four months to May 2020 with strong freight demand. There is also recovery in the private jets market. The cash will fund organic growth including the opening of offices in new locations.

Seafox International has attempted to requisition a general meeting at Gulf Marine Services (GMS) in order to appoint its representatives to the board. GMS says that the requisition is not valid in its current form. Hassan Heikal and Hesham Helbouny are the proposed directors.

Boston International Holdings (BIH) has secured a new £200,000 loan facility from a major shareholder. The plan is to acquire invoice factor Alexanders Discount.

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) is selling its interest in British Polar Engines and this will mean that it will no longer have any commitments to the pension fund. There will be no debt if the deal goes ahead.

Small Cap Awards 2020

The shortlist for the 2020 Small Cap Awards has been published. The awards are for quoted companies with a market capitalisation of less than £200m. This year the awards dinner has been cancelled. Instead, there will be a live virtual awards ceremony held via Zoom on 25 June. There are eleven awards for companies and individuals.

 

Company Of The Year

Yourgene Health

Volex

Renalytix AI

SDI Group

Ergomed

Judges Scientific

 

IPO Of The Year

Diaceutics

Brickability Group

Essensys

Argentex Group PLC

Loungers

Pebble Group

 

Executive Director Of The Year

Matt Jones – CEO of Blancco Technology Group

Giulio Cerroni – CEO of Ixico

Lyn Rees – CEO of Yourgene Health

Jennifer Winter – CEO of Animalcare

Peter Harrison – CEO of Bioventix

David Cicurel – CEO of Judges Scientific

 

Transaction Of The Year

Centralnic Group – Team Internet

Rockrose Energy – Marathon Oil and Marathon West of Shetland Limited

Kape Technologies – Private Internet Access

Amryt Pharma – Aegerion

Totally – Greenbrook Healthcare

Inspiration Healthcare acquisition of Vio Holdings

 

Technology Company Of The Year

SRT Marine Systems

Oxford Metrics

Blackbird

Avacta

Blancco Technology Group

Reneuron

 

Innovative Financing Of The Year

Yu Group PLC

Simec Atlantis Energy

1pm PLC

Symphony Environmental

 

Impact Company Of The Year

Good Energy

Eden Research

ITM Power

Inspired Energy

Jubilee Metals

Ilika

 

Analyst Of The Year

Kartik Swaminathan, Arden Partners

Peter McNally, Panmure Gordon

Jens Lindqvist, Investec

Lorne Daniel, Finn Cap

Kai Korschelt, Canaccord Genuity

George O’Connor, Stifel London

 

Journalist Of The Year

Simon Thompson – Investors Chronicle

Michael Taylor – Investors Chronicle

Mark Shapland – Evening Standard

Joanne Hart – Mail on Sunday

Emma Agyemang – Financial Times

Hannah Godfrey – Professional Adviser

 

UK Smaller Companies Fund Manager Of The Year

ASI UK Smaller Companies – Harry Nimmo

JPM UK Smaller Companies – Georgina Brittain and Katen Patel

M&G Smaller Companies – Garfield Kiff and Rory Alexander

Invesco UK Smaller Companies Equity (UK) – Jonathan Brown

TM Cavendish AIM B – Paul Mumford

Kames UK Smaller Companies – Elaine Morgan

 

VCT Manager Of The Year

Amati AIM VCT PLC – Dr. Paul Jourdan, David Stevenson, Anna MacDonald

Unicorn AIM VCT PLC – Chris Hutchinson

Octopus AIM VCT 2 PLC – Kate Tidbury

Maven Income and Growth VCT 1 PLC – Bill Nixon

Seneca Growth Capital VCT PLC – John Davies

Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 – Oliver Bedford

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 23 March 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Gin and spirits supplier British Honey Company (BHC) is using spare capacity in its distillery to produce # alcohol sanitisers. There is a shortage of sanitisers due to the coronavirus and HMRC has given permission for British Honey to produce denatured alcohol. The sanitisers are made with 70% alcohol and extracts of honey and green tea. Longer-term, the strategy is to buy other spirits brands to use spare capacity. British Honey started off as a honey producer and moved into craft spirits infused with honey in 2017. It has a computer-controlled, 1,000-litre capacity still and bottling facility with a capacity of 1.5 million bottles a year. Ingredients can be tracked. There has been £4m invested in this infrastructure. The existing products use a small proportion of this capacity. The company also produces spirits on behalf of third parties. Discussions have begun with some potential acquisitions. British Honey joined Aquis Stock Exchange at the beginning of the week and raised £4.25m (£3.88m after expenses) at 110p a share. Advanced assurance of eligibility for the Enterprise Investment Scheme has been obtained. The initial market capitalisation was £10m. Cairn is corporate adviser and Stanford Capital Partners is broker.

Sativa (SATI) is launching a cannabigerol (CBG) and alcohol-based hand sanitiser. CBG is thought to be effective as an antibacterial product and could combat superbugs.

Energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) reported better than expected 2019 pre-tax profit. Underlying pre-tax profit still dipped from £2.3m to £2.1m due to lower gross margins. Profit is expected to bounce back to £3.1m in 2020. Both business and domestic customers were higher last year. The total dividend has been increased from 3.5p a share to 3.7p a share. Net debt was £39.2m at the end of 2019.

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has decided not to pay the interim dividend of 6p a share announced the week before. The sharp downturn in trading and subsequent closure of pubs due to COVID-19 means that Shepherd Neame is also cutting capital investment and the board is taking a one-fifth cut in pay. Rent receipts from tenants were suspended from 16 March.

KR1 (KR1) has generated $168,000 from selling ATOM, taking the total raised from disposals to $290,000. It still holds nearly 17,000 ATOM.

Sheltered housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has outperformed its benchmark for a third year in a row. The MSCI UK Residential index increased by 4.4% in 2019, while Walls portfolio increased by 23%.

BWA Group (BWAP) says that its subsidiary has been awarded an exploration licence for an area known as Dehane in central Cameroon. The focus is rutile sands and other minerals. The permit is for three years and the financial commitment in year one is £275,000, followed by £207,000 in each of the next two years. Tri Castle Investments is subscribing £100,000 at 0.5p a share.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £389,000 at 20p a share for working capital. VI Mining (VIM) raised £56,000 via a placing at 15p a share that was curtailed because of COVID-19. Further cash will be raised in the future.

Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has secured a $200,000 facility from Augustin Corp, which is owned by a trust related to Eastinco executive chairman Charles Bray. The annual interest rate is 6 percentage points above commercial lending rates and the facility lasts for up to 18 months.

SAPO (SAPO) is holding a general meeting on 14 April to gain shareholder approval for increasing the share capital. Executive chairman Dr Keith Harris has been issued 20 million shares at 1p a share. The consideration will be paid by the end of 2024.

Belvedere Leisure Resorts (BELV) believes that once normality is resumed it can accelerate its resort development and deliver phase one on time.

Dozens Savings (DS07) says that 795 investors have subscribed for company bonds.

Trading in Dana International (DANA) shares remains suspended. The property investor is still trying to gain full information about share transfers.

Christian Taylor-Wilkinson has become interim chief executive of Altona Energy (ANR) following the resignation of executive chairman Qinfu Zhang.

AIM

Sales of COVID-19 tests by Novacyt (NCYT) continue to accelerate. It has received orders worth more than £8.7m in a six-week period. Manufacturing capacity is being increased.

Synairgen (SNG) is about to start a phase II trial for SNG001 for the treatment of an initial 100 patients with mild-moderate COVID-19. Initial results should be available by the summer. SNG001 is inhaled interferon beta, which has shown benefits in the treatment of SARS. The existing COPD phase II trial has been paused, but initial results suggest that there is clinical benefit.

Best of the Best (BOTB) would have been in trouble a decade ago when it generated its competition entries from airports and other areas of high footfall. Having gone online, the competitions organiser has continued to prosper. Additional marketing investment has helped the 2019-20 performance to be above expectations. The pre-tax profit forecast for the year to April 2020 has been raised from £2.6m to £3m.

Payment systems provider PCI-Pal (PCIP) has won a contract for its Agent Assist product with a UK government organisation. The annual contract value is £565,500.

Manx Financial (MFX) is buying back the 12.94% shareholding owned by Aaron Banks. Manx intends to pay £1.61m for the shares and then cancel them. This cash will become a loan to Manx and an existing £483,500 convertible will be added to the sum. Banks has requisitioned a general meeting at iodine manufacturer Iofina (IOF) in order to remove Lance Baller from the board and become a director himself. Banks does not intend to make a bid for the company.

Mobile payment services provider Bango (BGO) is still set to move into profit in 2020. End user spend doubled last year.

Indigovision (IND) is recommending a 405p a share cash bid from Motorola Solutions. This values the video security technology company at £30.4m. In 2019, pre-tax profit was $1.3m.

MJ Hudson (MJH) grew organic revenues by 12.5% in the first half. The asset management services provider has net cash of £20.1m following last year’s flotation. The acquisition of Meyler will expand the range of services provided in the US. The customer base is predominantly long-term and closed ended funds. A full year pre-tax profit of £1.1m is forecast.

Big Sofa Technologies (BST) has put itself up for sale and trading in the shares is suspended. The video and data analytics technology developer needs additional cash and it is difficult to raise funds in the market when there is so much uncertainty. The company expects proposals by the end of April.

The Wressle oil field development in north Lincolnshire is set to commence production in the second half of 2020 and Egdon Resources (EDG) has a 30% stake and is operator. Europa Oil and Gas (EOG) and Union Jack Oil (UJO) also have interests. The breakeven oil is estimated at $18/barrel. Production could start at 500 barrels a day. An application has been allowed against North Lincolnshire council for costs relating to delays in gaining a permit.

Diagnostic and precision testing services provider Diaceutics (DXRX) boosted revenues by 30% last year following its flotation. Although gross margins improved, a significant increase in headcount meant that pre-tax profit dipped to £500,000. The initial benefits of the investment in the business are showing through growth in Asia and other regions.

Regional property investor Real Estate investors (REI) increased its dividend by 7% to 3.8p a share. Like-for-like rental income was slightly lower at £16.9m and the weak retail property market led to a 3% reduction in EPRA NAV to 67.4p a share. Loan to value is 46.7%. The Midlands property market is strengthening ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. An improvement in NAV to near-69p a share is forecast for 2020.

Xeros (XSG) has signed a joint development agreement with a global commercial laundry business. XFiltra micro-particle filtration technology will be included in the partner’s commercial washing machines. The EU plans to have micro-particle filtration in use by 2026. Xeros is likely to need to raise more cash next year.

Oncimmune (ONC) says NICE has completed a positive review of EarlyCDT Lung and believes that it can help in the early diagnosis of lung cancer.

MAIN MARKET

Trading in the shares of Boston International Holdings (BIH) has been suspended ahead of the proposed acquisition of invoice factoring company Alexanders Discount Ltd, which is based in the South East. Alexanders Discount accounts for the year to November 2019 are for a dormant company and the assets were worth £4. The standard list shell floated in October 2016.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) says that the integration of DMSL is ahead of plan and it has won two new contracts.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) is partnering with Novamed for an at-home COVID-19 diagnostic kit. The kit should be completed within four months.

AIQ Ltd (AIQ) has signed a conditional share purchase agreement for Alchemist Codes, a Malaysian IT services developer. AIQ is paying £2.3m in shares.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 17 February 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

NEX and AIM-quoted Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) says that there has been an increase in the level of confidence in its markets since the General Election. That was too late to have much effect on the 2019 results, but full year pre-tax profit will be at the upper end of expectations. Last year, customer loan balances rose by 31% and deposits by 22%.

Sativa Group (SATI) says that it welcomes the guidance from the Food Standards Agency on the safe use of CBD products and the timetable for novel food authorisation. Management points out that Sativa’s products do not include THC. Sativa expects to report 2019 gross profit slightly higher than expectations on lower than marginally lower than expected. Goodbody Wellness has piloted three retail stores, but they did not perform as well as expected. PhytoVista Laboratories has completed more than 3,000 tests on cannabis-based products. That includes Sativa’s own products and a new sports range is near launch. Medicinal cannabis-based development is focused on veterinary treatments.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has increased its NAV by 55% to 317.2p a share following a strong performance by Whittard of Chelsea and a recovery in the share price of fully listed Luceco. Pharmacy2U continues to grow strongly. Last year, 2.3% of the shares in issue were bought back by the company. New investments are being sought for available funds.

Ethical housing investor Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) increased its NAV by 15% to 106p a share in the year to January 2020. Chief executive Joseph McTaggart bought 1,991 shares at 61.75p each.

Hellyer gold mine operator NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £210,000 at 7p a share.

Investment company Primorus Investments (PRIM) has benefitted from the sharp share price rise in Greatland Gold (GGP) and the stake is worth two-fifths of the company’s market value. The current profit is £1.25m. Investee company TruSpine is on course to float in London this year. The spine stabilisation devices developer has gained a new cornerstone investor. Primorus is debt free.

Trading in the shares of Altona Energy (ANR) has been suspended because it has not published its annual report for the year to June 2019. Cash needs to be raised to keep the company going and management says that shareholders will be invited to participate in a fundraising. The company says it expects to publish the report in the next two weeks and blames the delay on a change of auditor and a new accounting treatment for its exploration licences. Final terms for the acquisition of the previously announced new petroleum exploration licence application are being negotiated.

SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) majority shareholder and chief executive David Sumner has also taken on the role as chairman after the resignation of Alan Kitchin and Katie Hiess from the board.

AIM

Brickability (BRCK) has acquired McCann Roofing Products for £2.75m. Essex-based McCann imports roofing and building products from Europe and generated a 2019 pre-tax profit of £700,000 on revenues of £8.2m. This deal adds additional suppliers to the group and should be immediately earnings enhancing.

Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) has convened the requisitioned general meeting on 3 March. Eridge Capital wants to remove Matt Lofgran and Ewen Ainsworth from the board and replace them with Andrew Morrison. Eridge was previously known as former AIM company New World Oil and Gas. Nostra Terra’s subsidiary has loans that have a key man clause which stipulate that Lofgran has to be president of the subsidiary unless it give consent or there will be a default.

Drug discovery platform developer e-Therapeutics (ETX) has overhauled its board and raised £1.6m at 3p a share. Former Silence Therapeutics boss Ali Mortazavi becomes executive chairman. Ian Ross is stepping down to concentrate his role at Silence Therapeutics. Chief executive Ray Barlow and finance director Steve Medlicott are also leaving. An additional independent non-executive director will be appointed.

Gemfields Group Ltd (GEM) joined AIM last Friday. The share price ended the day at 11.7p.

Bidstack (BIDS) expects to have generated £150,000 from programmatic advertising for video games. That is much lower than previously hoped because it is taking much longer to get advertising agencies to take in-game advertising seriously. There was cash of £3.14m at the end of 2019 following a loss of £5.3m. There was £6m in the bank at the end of June 2019. First half revenues will still be small.

Knights Group Holdings (KGH) has acquired Nottingham law firm Fraser Brown Solicitors for up to £8.28m in cash and shares. This follows the purchase of Croftons Solicitors, which is based in Manchester, for up to £2.8m. A new revolving credit facility of £40m has been agreed and it lasts until June 2023.

Octopus Investments has cut its stake in Staffware (STAF) from 13.2% to 0.53%. Gresham House Asset Management increased its stake from 6.7% to 10.6%.

Filta Holdings (FLTA) says it should make an EBITDA of £3.2m in 2019. Cost savings and investment software will help the fryer management services provider to produce a much better performance in 2020.

Keystone Law (KEYS) has traded in line with expectations. Pre-tax profit is forecast to increase from £5.1m to £5.7m.

Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) says that the FDA has accepted the new drug application for Akindi Sprinkle as a treatment for infants and children. Approval could be gained by the autumn and it will be the only licenced treatment specifically for children. There was cash of £4.6m at the end of 2019.

MAIN MARKET

Automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) is recommending a 700p a share bid from Infopro Digital, valuing the company at £114.5m. The two companies fit well together and will have greater scale.

Finance provider S and U (SUS) says that its figures for the year to January 2020 will be in line with expectations and trading has been getting better in the past few weeks. The used car market has held up well even though the new car market is week. This is why second hand car finance provider Advance should produce another record performance in 2020-21. Property bridging finance provider Aspen has made the progress hoped because of delays in repayments and the loan book is lower than expected, but it is still a young business. A 2019-20 pre-tax profit of £35.5m is expected to increase to £39m this year. The latest total dividend will be raised by around 5% to 124p a share.

JLEN Environmental Assets (JLEN) is raising cash from the placing of up to 49.7 million shares. This will fund a pipeline of investments. The bookbuild will close on 26 February.

Ultimate Products (UPGS) says that sales growth is easing this year with first half revenues 3% ahead at £67.7m. There is also uncertainty about the supply of products from China. Even so, Shore is maintaining its full year pre-tax forecast of £8.77m, a small increase on last year. That could change.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) is widening the geographic scope of its activities by negotiating to acquire an oil production licence in West Africa. Zenith has raised £135,000 through a share issue at 1.5p a share. It has also entered into an equity sharing agreement with a consortium of institutional investors. The nominal amount raised is £810,000, but the ultimate amount will depend on the share price when each tranche is paid over the next 12 months. The benchmark price is NOK0.2231/share, equivalent to around 1.85p. The share price is 1.43p, so the first instalment is likely to be below the notional level if there is no share price recovery.

BATM Communications (BVC) has gained a $1.3m order from a Middle East-based poultry firm for its agri-waste treatment system.

Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) says market conditions are more challenging and there has been a slow start to the fourth quarter, which is normally the strongest. Margins have fallen and profit will be at the lower end of the range of forecasts. The Coronavirus has led to the extended closure of Chinese sites, but this is a small percentage of production.

Cathay International Holdings (CTI) says that production at its plants is on hold or preparing to gradual resume production because of the effects of the Coronavirus. The hotel business has been hit by a sharp reduction in occupancy rates.

Avation (AVAP) has made firm orders for two ATR 72-600 aircraft that will be leased to US-Bangla, the largest private airline in Bangladesh.

Predator Oil and Gas (PRD) is raising £3.56m at 4p a share. This will finance the drilling of the Moulouya well in Morocco and provide cash for further investment in Trinidad.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 2 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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.

AIM  

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.  

MAIN MARKET 

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.

OTHER MARKETS

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.

Andrew Hore 

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 26 August 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Andrew Hore 

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