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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 7 June 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) is raising up to £6.88m at 59.5p a share via a placing and crowdfunding offer. The directors and Michael Spencer have invested £1.43m in the placing. The rest of the cash will come via the crowdfunding with Seedrs. The financing will only go ahead if a minimum of £3m is raised. The wine maker wants to increase the scale of its winery so it can process more fruit and complete the planting of new acreage. Management also wants to improve the e-commerce capabilities. A new asset-based financing facility of up to £15m has been secured and it will refinance the HSBC debt. Chapel Down increased its revenues from continuing operations from £10.1m to £13.3m in 2020. The underlying pre-tax profit was trebled from £308,000 to £955,000.

TECC Capital (TEC) is a new shell that is seeking to buy technology or cannabis businesses. There is a wide list of potential sub-sectors that will be considered, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, telematics, life sciences, including cannabis products, cyber security and e-commerce, which includes the Internet of Things. TECC raised £1.1m, after expenses at 5p a share. There is pro forma cash of £1.15m, which is equivalent to just over 3.8p a share. Even so, the share price ended the week at 10p. Chris Akers owns 9.9%.

Pioneer Media Holdings Inc (PNER) is a Canada-based investment company with investments in eSports and mobile gaming businesses. It already has a portfolio of ten companies and a Canadian Stock Exchange listing. The shares floated at 45p each and they closed the week at 48p each.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) is raising £850,000 at 1.75p a share. That is at a 12.5% discount to the market price. Gledhow had net assets of £2.35m at the end of March 2021, including £374,000 in cash. That means it is a significant discount to net assets of nearly 4.8p a share. That figure will be significantly diluted by the new share issue. Gledhow does need to become bigger to warrant the quotation, though. Although it has a portfolio of investments, Gledhow would make a good shell for a business. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi has taken a 3.26% stake in Gledhow.

Non-executive director Dominic Burke has bought 10,000 shares in Newbury Racecourse (NYR) at 582.5p each. The racecourse will be able to have spectators at its 10 June meeting and if there is further easing of lockdown then the hotel and events businesses can reopen. Newbury Racecourse will continue to be loss making in the first half of this year. A joint venture has been set up with a subsidiary of Compass to provide catering for the racecourse and other businesses.

KR1 (KR1) has invested a further $200,000 in Automata, as part of a $2.4m financing. KR1 will receive five million ATA tokens and it already owned ten million tokens.

Startup Giants (SUG) increased revenues from £45,000 to £87,000 in 2020. Higher costs meant that the loss increased. However, there was a £9,000 cash inflow from operating activities. There was net cash of £651,000 at the end of 2020.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that initial drilling of the Cottesloe silver project, which is close to the Red Setter project.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised nearly £80,000 at 28.5p a share.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) directors Alistair Currie and Ed Jenkins have each bought 18,400 shares at 43.25p each.  Currie owns 3.67% and Jenkins holds 0.75%. Chairman Jonathan Bixby has bought 1,000 shares in NFT Investments (NFT) at 2.9p each. Iain Livingston, the father of S-Ventures (SVEN) chief executive Scott Livingston, has sold 150,000 shares at an average price of 23p a share. Scott Livingston owns 49.1% and his family a further 3.5%.

AIM

Arecor Therapeutics (AREC) takes existing pharma products and reformulates them for new uses or to make them more effective. A placing raised £18.3m, after expenses, at 226p a share. The main focus is diabetes. Arecor’s insulin program AT247 is an ultra-rapid acting meal-time insulin product, while AT278 is an ultra-concentrated rapid acting insulin development, which could be used with miniaturised insulin pump delivery devices. AT299 is a co-formulation of pramlintide and insulin. These fast-acting insulins have an addressable market worth $6.4bn. There have been positive clinical studies for AT247. A phase II study should provide results in 24 months and that would be the point when a partner would be secured.

Artisanal Spirits Company (ART) owns the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SWMS) and it raised £13.2m after expenses at 112p a share, which was at the bottom of the 112p a share to 121p a share price range. First quarter sales in 2021 improved from £2.9m to £3.4m, even though venues and events revenues continued to be well down during the period. There was cask whisky and bottled stock of £21.7m at the end of 2020. That is the main asset in the balance sheet and an independent valuation believes that this stock is worth £9m more than book value – based on an orderly liquidation.

Franchised lettings agency Belvoir (BLV) has acquired The Nottingham Building Society’s mortgage and protection services business for £600,000. This year’s operating profit is expected to be £175,000. The deal could add 1% to earnings in a full year.

Coral Products (CRU) had £3.8m in the bank at the end of April 2021. That should be boosted by the Haydock freehold sale, which should be completed in the second half. In the year to April 2021, revenues from continuing operations increased from £8.7m to £10.7m. Even excluding the profit on disposals of £2.3m, the pre-tax profit was £700,000. There will be a final dividend of 0.5p a share.

CyanConnode (CYAN) has raised £3.15m at 9.5p, taking advantage of the strength of its share price. This was a small premium to the market price. CyanConnode could have made progress in the smart meter market without the additional cash, but this will help to accelerate its growth.

Cleantech company Verditek (VDTK) is raising up to £500,000 through a bond offering 7% interest, secured against the assets of the company. The offer is via Crowd for Angels, which is underwriting the first £225,000 of the two-year bond. Verditek wants to expand its Italian facility so that it can satisfy international contracts for its lightweight, flexible solar panels. The focus is the solar operations, but there are also minority stakes in BBR Filtration and Industrial Climate Solutions Inc.

Housebuilder Springfield Properties (SPR) says that its 2020-21 revenues and profit will be better than pre-Covid-19 levels. This was helped by two land sales. N+1 Singer forecasts an improvement in pre-tax profit from £10.2m to £18m.

Internet domain name registry and services provider CentralNic (CNIC) generated organic growth of 16% in the first quarter of 2021. Total revenues jumped from $56.9m to $84.4m, helped by acquisitions. Net debt is $79m.

MAIN MARKET

Sportech (SPO) and CML Microsystems (CML) both intend to switch to AIM. Sportech believes that the junior market is more suitable for its size and it will make it easier to complete transactions. CML also believes that AIM is more suitable following the sale of one of its divisions and it also expects its shareholders to benefit from the tax breaks.

Tarek Taksch has reduced its stake in Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCTP) from 7.75% to 5.43%. The company has entered a consultancy agreement with Voisin Consulting, which will help with regulation and development plans for OCT461201, a treatment for ailments associated with IBS.

Shefa Gems (SEFA) is demerging its gems business, because it will take longer than expected to exploit the assets, and turning itself into a shell. Existing shareholders will receive shares in the gems business. There will be a 100-for-one share consolidation and then the company will raise $1.05m (£756,000) at 3.53p a share. The name will be changed to Alef Bet Advanced Technologies and seek an acquisition in web technology and software.

Imperial X (CDL) has raised £2m at 3p a share as part of its move from Aquis to the standard list. The resources company is changing its name to Cloudbreak Discoveries.

Motor dealer Caffyns (CFYN) manged to improve its underlying profit from £251,000 to £1.88m last year, even though revenues fell from £195.8m to £165.1m. Net debt was £10.3m at the end of March 2021. There has been a property valuation that shows the portfolio is worth £12.3m more than book value. Excluding that surplus, NAV is £27.6m.

National Word (NWOR) has already secured annualised savings of £4m from the JPI Media acquisition and is on course to secure savings of at least £5m. The online audience is increasing, and monthly content revenues are being generated from Google and Facebook. Overall revenues increased by 18% in April and May. The fastest growth is from digital.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 24 May 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

British Virgin Islands-based Boanerges (BNRG) is a SPAC seeking to acquire technology companies involved in big data, machine learning, telematics and internet of things. Boanerges floated on 17 May 2021 when it raised £500,000 at 20p a share. In April, an initial £51,500 was raised at 0.1p a share and a further £75,000 was raised at 10p a share. That means that pro forma cash is equivalent to 1p a share. The shares are trading at 24.5p (23p/26p).

Bid expenses could cost Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) up to £210,000. The 50p a share bid is rejected by the company’s board, which says that it represents a 51% discount to NAV and a 62% discount to the market value of its properties, after cash is deducted. Management is offering shareholders the opportunity to vote on a winding up of the company if the bid does not become unconditional. This would require 75% of the votes to be carried.

Brewer Adnams (ADB) continued to be hit by lockdowns in the six months to March 2021. Online demand for the beer brands remained strong and management says that bookings for pubs are building up since the lockdown was eased. There is even hope that people holidaying in the UK will boost its hotels.

Early Equity (EEQP) is acquiring Farina Investments, which provides services to the insolvency sector, for £1.9m in shares at 0.5p each. This is effectively a business that is involved in the acquisition and disposal of distressed assets. The deal will increase Early Equity’s stake in Lotto Studios, which is launching a social casino game with ITV Studios, to 20%. The deal also brings a 10% stake in life sciences company Pure Sea Nutrients. A further £90,000 has been raised in a placing at 0.5p a share.

The AGM has been postponed and there were some irregularities in the voting process.

Incanthera (INC) is continuing with discussions with two global cosmetic companies for its Sol skin cancer technology. The idea is to use Sol as a skin cream to protect sun damaged skin. Net cash was £960,000 at the end of March 2021. Incanthera recently raised £1.14m at 12p a share. There is enough cash to get into the second half of 2022. There could be an upfront payment from a deal, but the big money will take longer to be generated. More cash will be required to push ahead with other products.

Apollon Formularies (APOL) says that joint testing with Aion Therapeutic reveals that their combined formulations are effective in killing HER2+ breast cancer cells grown in 3D cell culture. HER2+ accounts for one-fifth of breast cancer. Apollon’s Jamaican medicinal cannabis formulations were particularly good at killing living HER2+ cancer cells directly.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that its 50%-owned subsidiary DJT Plants has been granted a licence to grow >0.2% THC cannabis for research activities by the UK government. Building of the research facility will commence immediately. There will be 65 strains grown at the facility and plans to extract distil and isolate cannabis products. The business had previously grown cannabis for GW Pharma. The focus will be neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s Disease and epilepsy. Directors Charles Morgan and Melissa Sturgess have each been issued with 100 million shares as contingent consideration following the grant of the licence.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) had net assets of £2.35m at the end of March 2021, up from £907,000 12 months earlier. That includes £374,000 in cash.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) subsidiary M+G Olympic has won more than £500,000 of orders for swimming pools.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) is negotiating the acquisitions of a company with gemstone assets and another company with diamond assets. This is an area where the management team has experience. Further cash will need to be raised to complete due diligence.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £224,000 at 7p a share. Chief executive Walter Doyle has left the company. Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has raised £1.4m at 10p a share and each share has one-half of a warrant exercisable at 20p a share. Wishbone will refine the locations of drill targets at the Red Setter projects and then use the cash to finance the drilling. Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) has completed a placing raising $4.61m at 7.875 cents per unit. A unit comprises one share and one-half of a warrant exercisable at 10.5 cents a share. Love Hemp (LIFE) has raised £348,000 via the exercise of warrants at 1p each.

AIM

Compliance and energy saving services provider Sureserve (SUR) reported an underlying interim pre-tax profit was 31% higher at £4.4m. Energy saving’s profit contribution fell by three-fifths, but higher margins for the much larger compliance division meant a much higher profit. A full year pre-tax profit of £12.9m is forecast.

Tracsis (LSE: TRCS) should get additional opportunities from the Williams report on the rail industry. The report was in line with expectations. Great British Railways will take up the overall responsibility for the integrated rail network. The reforms are due in 2023, although there could be delays. Things like digital tickets, simplified fares and season ticket flexibility provide opportunities for Tracsis.

Accrol (ACRL) says that adjusted earnings for 2020-21 will be in line with expectations even though sales will be lower than expected due to a decline in the market. Accrol has 16% of the toilet tissue market and it should return to growth when the comparatives do not include the Covid-19 related panic buying. There are plans to increase capacity at the main Leyland plant.

Surgical devices developer Creo Medical (CREO) says trading was ahead of expectations in the first quarter of 201. This has led to a 10% increase in forecast revenues to £22.1m. There will still be a loss of £30m. The recovery in elective surgery is increasing demand for surgical devices.

Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) is building up its electric vehicle infrastructure business and it could move into profit in the next year. The TriConnex utility connections business is also growing revenues, although profit was flat. However, group revenues were one-quarter lower at £64m, because civil engineering business Tamdown continues to report lower revenues and profit. Nexus did make an overall operating profit. The 2020-21 pre-tax profit has been upgraded to £3.6m and it could reach £6m next year.

PerkinElmer has made a 382p a share bid for Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH).The bid is at one-third of the share price high around one decade ago. The share price has not been at this level for nearly seven years.

MAIN MARKET

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has secured a joint venture with flexible power company HSKB, which will be renamed DKE Energy. The 50%-owned business will develop two gas peaking facilities which will produce 10MW of power. These will cost £6.25m and the intention is to secure a 15-year, inflation linked contract. Dukemount director Paul Gazzard founded HSKB.

One Heritage Group (OHG) has signed a construction finance facility with Lyell Trading. The facility is for £3.5m and lasts 18 months at a nominal interest rate of 9.6%. The facility will be used to finance Oscar House, a development of 27 apartments in central Manchester. The development should be completed in the first quarter of 2022.

Mast Energy Developments (MAST) says that the Brodesley reserve power project has reached construction ready status.

Lee Marks has been appointed chief executive of NMCN (NMCN) and interim chief executive Robert Moyle is retiring from the board after a transition period.

Kanabo Group (KNB) has signed an agreement with Pure Origin, which will manufacture and package Kanabo’s CBD wellness products from its facility in Wales. There will be a dedicated production line for VapePod products. This deal will lead to a full international product launch.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has started to deliver two Covid-19 diagnostic tests. The saliva-based test will be used by the Italian team at the Olympic Games in Japan.

S&U (SUS) says monthly motor finance collections are above budget and the number of customers on payment holidays has fallen to 1,200. The Aspen bridging loan division is lending more for each deal and profit is reaching record levels.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 26 April 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Shepherd Neame (SHEP) in common with other brewers and pub companies has been hard hit by the closure of pubs. Monthly cash burn during pub closures is £1.5m-£2m. Unsurprisingly, interim revenues slumped from £79m to £55.3m, while an underlying pre-tax profit of £4.88m was turned into an underlying loss of £4.81m. Bottled beer sales were one-quarter higher as people bought the bottles for home consumption. Net debt was £92.4m at the end of December 2020 and had reached £96.5m by the end of March. More than 200 pubs with gardens have reopened and all 316 will be open by 17 May.

Revenues fell by one-third to £50.7m at brewer Adnams (ADB) in 2020. Online sales were 245% higher. This led to a loss of £4.3m. Beer volumes fell by 23% and spirits volumes by 31%. There is no dividend and reduced investment meant that net debt was reduced.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £50,000 in the unquoted Media Tech SPAC at 4p a share. The SPAC raised £1.64m and it plans to float in the second half of 2021. Riverfort Global Capital and Sure Valley Ventures are involved in the SPAC, which is focused on media and technology investments, and the latter might want to reverse one of its investments into the company. The sale of shares in Empress Royalty and Eagle Mountain raised £218,000 for Gunsynd.

John Mahtani, who is chief executive of Media Tech SPAC, has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) to 6.08%, while Chris Akers has raised his stake to 15%.

NFT Investments (NFT) has made its first investment. A $1m investment has been made in AEON International, which develops technology for the luxury fashion industry. Hong Kong-based AEON has a customer base that includes Gucci and Louis Vuitton. The AUTHENTIQUE subsidiary offers NFT-based verification technology in order to combat counterfeit goods. A product is being developed that would use unique fashion NFTs and smart contracts to enable fashion brands to earn royalties when a product is resold. NFT is paying its board and management in cryptocurrency.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says the Hellyer mine generated gross revenues of $17.9m and net profit of $4.8m in the first quarter of 2021.

Interim sales of Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) more than halved from £116,000 to £56,000, although management expects the second half to be stronger. The interim loss increased from £75,000 to £117,000. Since the end of the interim period, a further £50,000 has been raised and a government loan of the same amount secured. Management is seeking new markets for its rail safety equipment.

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has completed the disposal of Curious Drinks and each of the minority shareholders will receive 1.57 Chapel Down shares for each Curious share they owned. This has resulted in 1.26 million additional shares being issued.

Watchstone Group (WTG) is seeking to switch from AIM to the Apex segment of Aquis. This should happen on 30 April. Watchstone is classified as a cash shell and trading in the shares would be suspended on AIM on 4 May if no acquisition had been made. The board is pursuing litigation relating to past businesses. This could result in cash being returned to shareholders. Watchstone is also seeking new investments.

Valereum Blockchain (VLRM) has purchased bitcoin mining hardware and they should be up and running in the US within one month. The plan is to have mining operations in a range of geographies.

Indorse, in which Coinsilium (COIN) has a 10% stake, has released a digital analysis tool, which scans the data on NFTs and their underlying assets. Coinsilium also owns 14.12% of the IND tokens in circulation.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has filed its drilling plans for the Red Setter project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. There could be up to 30,000 metres of drilling over four years.

Tyndall Investment Management has taken a 6.85% stake Oncology treatments developer Incanthera (INC) and directors and employees have also added to their stakes at process between 13p a share and 13.5p a share.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) has generated £3m from the sale of shares in Secure Trust Bank (STB) at £12 a share. The stake has been reduced to 4.4%.

Veni Vidi Vici (VVV) has raised £220,000 at 50p a share. Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised an additional £30,000 at 3.9p a share. A subscription at 85p a share has provided Startup Giants (SUG) with £190,000.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has moved to the Apex segment of the market.

AIM

Grease management services provider Filta (FLTA) has been hit by the closure of restaurants and venues, particularly in the US. Revenues fell by one-third last year and the company fell into loss. Trading levels are moving back to previous levels, but the progress depends on the reopening of some of the larger US venues and stadia. There should be a return to profit this year, but it will take until 2022 for a profit to exceed past levels.

The was another positive trading statement from telecoms billing and customer relationship management software provider Cerillion (CER) following a first half of record orders.

Nu-Oil and Gas (NUOG) will lose its AIM-quotation on 5 May because it has not completed a takeover. There is a proposed acquisition of Guardian Barriers IP and Guardian Maritime, but if this goes ahead the plan is to obtain a standard listing. Guardian has developed a product that can be retrofitted to ships in order to prevent pirates from boarding vessels.

Churchill China (CHH) was still profitable in 2020, but pre-tax profit slumped from £11.2m to £800,000. There was £1.8m of cash generated from operations and net cash was £14m at the end of 2020. There is no dividend. Sales of hospitality ceramics halved during the year.

Cora Gold Ltd (CORA) has announced results from its latest drilling campaign at the Sanankoro gold project in southern Mali. The initial results suggest that there could be a significant increase in the DCF valuation of the project, which was £37.8m. The drilling should be completed by the end of July and there will be continuing news flow over the coming months.

MobilityOne (MBO) is not going ahead with the proposed acquisition of Tanjung Pinang Resources.

Team (TEAM) has decided not to make an offer for Tavistock Investments (TAVI).

MAIN MARKET

MGC Pharmaceuticals (MXC) is acquiring Israeli clinical research company MediCaNL in shares for up to A$6m and it will be used to run the company’s clinical trials. That will reduce costs and lead times. Three clinical trials are planned for cannabis-based treatments in 2021.

Town Centre Securities (TOWN) has collected or deferred 92% of the due rent of £5.1m in the latest quarter. The deferred element is £600,000. The other £400,000 remains due and discussions with tenants are ongoing. Since last March, there is £1.8m of rents that remain due. The company has sold the Thornton’s Chambers property in Leeds.

Interim revenues of J Smart Contractors (SMJ) declined from £9.25m to £5.75m, but costs declined at a higher rate so pre-tax profit improved from £265,000 to £890,000. Net cash was £11.1m at the end of January 2021. The interim dividend is unchanged at 0.95p a share. Building materials costs are rising and a lull in contracting work will hit profit. Management believes that property assets should have retained their value even though a valuation will not take place until the end of the year. NAV is £99.6m, while the market capitalisation is £52m.

Standard list shell Marwyn Acquisition Company III (MAC3) has raised £12m from an issue of A shares and is considering a £200m fundraising.

Tirupati Graphite (TGR) has opened its second mine at the Vatomina project in Madagascar. The processing plant will be commissioned in the second quarter of 2021. Last week. £10m in and oversubscribed placing at 90p a share. That is double last year’s flotation price.

Wildcat Petroleum (WCAT) has signed two memoranda of understanding. The first is with Crown Energy for its participation in a future initial coin operation by Wildcat. A model to monetise hydrocarbon blocks based on blockchain technology. Crown has blocks in Madagascar, South Africa and Iraq. Nabirm Global has a Namibian exploration licence and the deal is the same as with Crown.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 8 March 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Installation services provider and engineer Field Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) reported a dip in interim revenues due to Covid-19 and lack of work in the water sector. In the six months to November 2020, revenues halved from £11.5m to £5.7m and the loss increased to £209,000. Net assets improved from £3.87m to £3.93m with cash increasing from £4.34m to £5.6m. There are signs of water projects being announced.

Gunsynd (GUN) says its investee company Rogue Baron should join the Access segment on around 12 March. Gunsynd will own 28.48% of the drinks company and retain £111,000 of convertible loan notes.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) says that a £40m tranche of two-year notes is expected to take place in Malta in the middle of March. A further £60m should be listed within two months of the first tranche. A subsidiary of Forbes will receive a one-off fee of 2% of the funds raised.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had net assets of 57.96p a share at the end of February 2021. There was cash of £2.68m. It has subsequently sold the investment in Anthesis Consulting for £1.15m. This was previously valued at £705,000.

Upper Thames Holdings (UPPT) is changing its name to Valereum Blockchain. The company has initiated the launch of the first series of securitised derivative tokens on a regulated cryptocurrency exchange, which should happen within two months. This will enable trading in currency and other products.

KR1 (KR1) has raised nearly $256,000 by selling tokens in Stake DAO. KR1 still has the rights to more than 700,000 SDT tokens and these will vest over 23 months. KR1 has spent $75,000 of the cash on a stake in LazyLedger Labs.

Exploration by Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has identified high grade silver and base metals potential at the Cottesloe project in Patersons Range Western Australia.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is linking with 10%-owned Indorse to launch a Non-Fungible Token development studio in Gibraltar.

Quetzal Capital (WENP) has appointed Peterhouse as corporate adviser and raised £432,000 at 0.7p a share. Chris Akers will own a 9.4% stake.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has appointed First Sentinel as corporate adviser and trading in the share has recommenced. Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has appointed Optiva Securities as broker, and it hopes to move to the standard list in the second quarter.

World High Life has changed its name to Love Hemp Group (LIFE). It has appointed Hannam and Partners as financial advisor. Chris Cleverly and Elias Pungong have left the board.

AIM

Coral Products (CRU) has completed the sale of two plastic mouldings businesses and acquired Customised Packaging for £1.25m in cash and shares issued at 11p each. If 2021 profit is greater than £250,000 the vendors will receive 30% of the excess profit (capped at £250,000). Customised Packaging generated revenues of £2.3m in 2020. The Manchester-based business designs plastic products using sheet extrusion technology and vacuum forming capability. WH Ireland has been appointed as nominated adviser and broker.

Interims from parcel and freight delivery company DX (LSE:DX.) showed a 7% rise in revenues to £182.7m with strong growth in freight offsetting a fall in the express division. That enabled DX to move from loss to a pre-tax profit of £3.8m. New depots are being opened because of the demand for the company’s services, while the document exchange business is being revamped. Non-executive director Paul Goodson has acquired 176,810 shares at an average price of 28.25p.

In 2020, Franchise Brands (FRAN) improved pre-tax profit from £4.07m to £4.84m, helped by a full contribution from Willow Pumps. The dividend was increased from 0.95p a share to 1.1p a share. Income returned to growth in the fourth quarter and there has been a good start to 2021. That sparked a forecast upgrade for pre-tax profit to £6.1m.

The bid for AFH Financial (AFHP) has been increased from 463p a share to 480p a share.

BlueRock Diamonds (BRD) has raised £1.5m at 40p a share. This cash will be used to complete the weather delayed installation of the new processing plant at the Kareevlei diamond mine so that annual production can be raised to one million tonnes. There have been 29 production days lost to rain. The first two diamond tenders of 2021 have achieved an average diamond price of $423/carat, which is higher than the average price assumed for the full year.

Maestrano (MNO) has taken advantage of its strong share price to raise £2m at 13p a share. This will help to grow revenues of the Corridor.ai digital surveying platform for the rail sector. There is still manual rail survey business that can be done digitally.

In 2020, the revenues of MTI Wireless Edge (MWE) rose by 2% to $40.9m, while pre-tax profit jumped from $3.41m to $4.06m. The net cash position was better than expected at $9.44m. The dividend has been increased by one-quarter to 2.5 cents a share. The antennas business is winning larger 5G orders and the electronic components division is converting design wins into production orders.

Virgin Wines (VINO) ended the week at 225.5p a share, having floated at 197p a share.

Prospex Energy (PXEN) has completed the purchase of a 49.9% stake in the El Romeral gas and power operation in Spain. There is potential to increase production from the three producing gas wells and this could also help increase the amount of electricity generated from the 8.1MW power station, which is running well below capacity. An offshore gas well should start production later this year.

Safestay (SSTY) has sold the smallest of its three hostels in Barcelona for the book value of €900,000. Safestay is due to the final consideration of €1.18m for one of the other Barcelona hostels.

MAIN MARKET

Caerus Mineral is acquiring New Cyprus Copper and joining the standard list. A placing has raised £2.25m at 10p. There is a portfolio of exploration licences in Cyprus. There is potential for near-term mining of resources on closed copper mines and extensions of existing orebodies.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) says from this month chief executive Peter Wall will be paid in Bitcoin and other employees will be given the chance to follow suit. Argo held 599 Bitcoin at the end of February, having mined 129 (equivalent to £4.34m) during the month.

Emmerson (EML) plans to switch from the standard list to AIM ahead of the commencement of construction of its mine at the Khemisset potash project.

HeiQ (HEIQ) is acquiring 51% of Chrisal NV, a profitable industrial biotechnology company that has developed a symbiotic interior cleaner called Synbio with enhanced cleaning performance.

Castillo Copper (CCZ) expects the modelling of a JORC resource for the Big One deposit should be completed shortly. Drilling will resume when the wet season ends.

Boston International Holdings (BIH) is not going ahead with the reverse takeover of invoice factor Alexanders Discount. The shares remain suspended.

Starcrest Education The Belt and Road (OBOR) says that the purchase of 60% of The London School of Science and Technology is unlikely to happen before June.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 22 February 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

British Honey Company (BHC) is acquiring Union Distillers for an initial £8m in cash and shares. Leicestershire-based Union Distillers has been trading for more than eight years and has its own still and bonded warehouse. There is a range of gins, vodkas, a spiced rum, an absinthe and an espresso vodka liqueur under the Two Birds brand. There could be up to £2m of earn-out consideration payable in cash and shares depending on the target revenues from the Union products. A share issue raised £4.59m at 110p a share, while a convertible loan note issue added a further £1.63m. Union has £250,000 in cash. The deal should be earnings enhancing and cash generative. In the year to September 2020, Union generated revenues of £4.94m and pre-tax profit £1.13m. NAV was £1.52m.

National Milk Records (NMRP) reported flat interim revenues of £10.8m, but pre-tax profit increased by one-quarter to £500,000. Net debt was reduced to £1.1m despite investment in a genomics lab. An unchanged dividend of 1.25p a share will be paid. The outlook is positive for the dairy sector with UK milk prices expected to be maintained at current levels. Finance director Mark Frankcom has bought 9,974 shares at 101.75p each.

Imperial X (IMPP) is making four acquisitions and continues to move towards a standard listing. The purchases involve the issue of 245.6 million shares. Cloudbreak Discovery Corp, Howson Ventures Inc and Cabox Gold Corp are all being acquired, and certain assets of Anglo African Minerals are being bought. Imperial X has a £10m drawdown agreement with Crescita Capital. This lasts for three years.

Upper Thames Holdings (UPPT) is not going ahead with the proposed acquisition of Sweden-based mobile camera systems technology company Ridercam. Instead, the focus will be on blockchain and the linking of conventional currencies with cryptocurrencies. A placing has raised £516,000 at 1p a share. Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser.

Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) fell into loss last year as revenues slumped by two-fifths. The hotel has been closed or under restrictions for the period since the year end in October 2020. There is £1.03m in the bank and the NAV is £3.3m.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has bought a 75.1% stake in Ohso Chocolate for £295,000 in shares at 9p each. The remaining 24.9% stake in Ohso could be sold for nearly 1.1 million shares. Ohso is a probiotic chocolate supplier and it generated revenues of £311,000 during 2020. The S-Ventures chief executive and finance director owned 50.6% in Ohso.

World High Life (LIFE) is changing its name to Love Hemp. A general meeting will be held on 11 March. In the first half, revenues were £2.36m and second quarter revenues were nearly double those in the first quarter, although the gross margin fell. A debt of £2.15m has been settled by the issue of 86.1 million shares.

Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) has submitted a novel food application for validation by the Food Standards Agency. This covers a range of CBD products.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has identified new gold targets at the Red Setter project in Western Australia. The magnetic survey has discovered targets that are shallower than previously.

Ananda Investments (ANA) has raised £300,000 from two investors. This will finance the first phase of the medicinal cannabis growing facility in Lincolnshire. Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised a further £330,000 at 4p a share.

AIM

Avacta (AVCT) is starting its first clinical study. This is a phase I study for AVA6000, developed from the pre|CISION platform. This is a treatment for solid tumours, including those for bladder, pancreatic, colorectal and breast cancer. The trial will assess safety and dosage levels. Early data could be published before the end of the year.

Transense Technologies (TRT) should move into profit next year as it receives a full year of royalties following the sale of the iTrack business to Bridgestone. In the year to June 2020, there was a £1.3m loss and this year there could be a much-reduced loss this year. Once Bridgestone has built up iTrack sales the royalties will cover group overheads. This will enable Transense to invest in its surface acoustic wave technology and Translogik tyre probes. A 2021-22 pre-tax profit of £357,000 is forecast.

Strong underlying growth in the mobile division helped Blannco Technology (BLTG) to maintain interim revenues at £17.4m. The previous year included £1.4m of one-off contract income. The fastest growth is in Asia Pacific. The prospects for data erasure operations are good and new partners have been signed up. Data erasure is particularly important while remote working is a major factor in companies.

Chamberlin (CMH) is getting a cash injection from Trevor Brown. The £200,000 loan will, subject to shareholder approval, be converted into shares at 6p each and Brown will have a 29.5% stake. The Scunthorpe foundry is busy and profitable, but management is still trying to win work for the Walsall foundry.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) has secured a new client involved in steel fabrication. There is a £6.2m royalty financing agreement with Meteor HoldCo, which makes steel street lighting and guardrail products.

Telecoms testing systems supplier Calnex Solutions (CLX) says some revenues appear to have been brought forward into 2020-21 and therefore the full year revenues and profit will be ahead of expectations.

Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) has published details of the Rodnikova project scoping study, which suggests a potential 14-year life for the project. The JORC resource is 6.3Mt at an average grade of 5g/t gold. Post tax NPV10 is $177.6m – based on $1,600/ounce gold price.

MAIN MARKET

Israel-based cannabis-based products supplier Kanabo Research has completed its reversal into standard list shell Spinnaker Opportunities to form Kanabo Group (KNB) two years after the deal was announced. The value of the deal was £15m in shares and the company also raised £6m at a share price of 6.5p. Kanabo was valued at £23.4m when it was admitted to trading. The share price has risen to 31p – having at one point reached 50.75p – and that values Kanabo at £111.7m. One of the investors in Kanabo is AIM-quoted Vela Technologies (VELA) and it invested £150,000 at 6.5p a share.

MGC Pharmaceuticals (MXC) has expanded its research programme into the use of cannabinoids to treat aggressive glioblastoma brain cancer. The expanded study includes the use of a nanoparticle delivery system. MGC has also secured a three-year distribution agreement with Swiss PharmaCan for its product ArtemiC Rescue as a food supplement. The minimum order quantity is 40,000 units per quarter, which has a retail value of $3.4m.

Path Investments (PATH) is not going ahead with the purchase of DT Ultravert from two vendors including Zoetic International (ZOE) following concerns during the preparation of the potential prospectus. Path has raised £3.5m at 0.25p a share.

Rare earths explorer Pensana (PRE) is dropping its listing on the ASX.

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has submitted a prospectus to the FCA for the proposed reverse takeover of the Kilimapesa gold project.

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 14 December 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Incanthera (INC) says that study results for Sol, a sun cream that prevents skin cancer, have been better than expected. There is significantly greater dermal delivery by Sol compared with four rival products and it was found to be a non-irritant. The cream exceeds bioequivalence compared with oral treatments. A new patent is being filed which will extend the protection until 2041. Incanthera had £433,000 in the bank at the end of September 2020 and outgoings are low. The cash will last well into 2021 Incanthera is seeking a partner to license Sol and launch the product, which could lead to an upfront payment. Incanthera has already licensed potential cancer treatment EP0015 to Ellipses Pharma. There are other earlier stage treatments being developed, including Duo-C, which is a potential treatment for bladder cancer.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) is acquiring vehicle finance provider Asset Alliance, which specialises in coaches and trucks, for £4.1m. Arbuthnot can use its own deposit base to provide finance for the acquisition, which should be earnings enhancing in 2021.

In the year to May 2020, mechanical and engineering services provider Fuel Systems Designs Holdings (FSD) reported a decline in pre-tax profit from £553,000 to £354,000 and a fall in revenues from £21.8m to £19.8m. The decline in revenues came from the power generation division, while water and sewerage revenues were slightly higher. Cash in the bank has improved from £4.8m to £5.96m.

SulNOX (SNOX) has signed a collaboration agreement with Ghana-based Rigworld, which will market the company’s fuel conditioner and heavy fuel emulsifier products in Africa. Rigworld has identified the mining sector as an initial opportunity.

Chris Akers has taken a 4.08% stake in Gunsynd (GUN). Investee company Rincon Resources has had its ASX listing delayed. Pacific Nickel, formerly Malachite, has raised $3.8m for the exploration of nickel projects in the Solomon Islands.

World High Life (LIFE) generated revenues of £1.69m in the year to June 2020. Impairment goodwill of £7.4m increased the full year loss to £12.7m. Management continues to seek further CBD investment opportunities.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has launched new membership scheme Rutherford Direct. The healthcare plan focuses on cancer cover and provides the cost of treatment and care for people diagnosed with cancer.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has raised £1.75m at 10p a share in order to finance exploration at the Red Setter project in Western Australia. There will also be additional exploration in Queensland.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has signed an agreement with Vietnam-based RedFOX Labs, which will lead to the development of a range of virtual asset and digital collectible marketplaces. It will also cover the trading of non-fungible tokens.

Cairn has been replaced Turner Pope as broker to Primorus Investments (PRIM) as well as nominated adviser. Primorus is leaving Aquis Stock Exchange on 24 December as part of cost saving measures.

AIM

IMImobile (IMO) has agreed a 595p a share bid from Cisco Systems, which values the communications services company at £543m. This is a good add-on service for Cisco.

ULS Technology (ULS) has sold its CAL subsidiary for £27m, so that it can concentrate on its core eConceyancer platform and its digital investment. In the six months to September 2020, the group market share of purchases and sales was slightly lower but remortgage market share rose from 4.8% to 6.8%. The sale of CAL will reduce the numbers, but the mix of business should not change. ULS managed to make a small interim profit on reduced revenues.

Eqtec (EQT) has signed an agreement to acquire full ownership of the Deeside refuse derived fuel project. Eqtec is talking to the local authority and is pursuing additional planning permissions for the site so the company’s gasification technology can be used. Financing is being secured.

Access Intelligence (ACC) has raised £10m in a heavily oversubscribed placing at 80p a share. This cash will fund international expansion for its SaaS products.

Bion (BION) has entered the solar power market and it has agreed to acquire existing solar assets. The company is purchasing a 77% stake in rooftop solar panels that supply 0.95MW of electricity. The total cost will be RM6m. The assets should generate a profit of RM400,000 a year from 2021.

Housebuilder Abbey (ABBY) has recommended a 1575p a share cash offer from Gallagher Holdings for the minority stake it does not own. The Irish housebuilder is valued at £328.8m and the remaining 4.4% shareholding will cost £14.4m.

Roadside convenience retailer Applegreen (APGN) has been approached by its founders and management team with a €5.75 a share cash offer. The independent directors are considering the offer.

Iron deficiency products developer Shield Therapeutics (STX) says that discussions with potential licensees for the US rights to Accrufer will not be completed by the end of the year as had been hoped. Shield would need up to $40m to launch the treatment in the US if it did it on its own. A loan facility will help Shield to have working capital well into next year.

MAIN MARKET

S and U (SUS) says trading in its car finance and property bridging loans businesses has rebounded since the end of July. A background of higher demand and strong used car price growth means that current net receivables are £253m even though there was poor demand earlier in 2020. Third quarter collection rates were 87.5% of due payments. Aspen Bridging has higher net receivables than one year ago.

Tirupati Graphite (TGR) is set to join the standard list on Monday. It is an integrated graphite mining and processing business. Mining has commenced in Madagascar and the Indian processing facility was opened last year. There are plans to move into the graphene market. Management has decades of experience in the graphite industry.

Textile materials and chemicals company HeiQ (HEIQ) has started trading on the standard list following the reversal into Auctus Growth. A placing and subscription raised £60m at 112p a share. The share price ended the week at 118.5p.

CML Microsystems (CML) is selling its storage division so that it can concentrate on its communications division. The disposal to Swissbit will raise $49m in cash and it should be completed early in 2021. Net cash was £7.35m at the end of September 2020.

BATM (BVC) has delivered the first Celitron instrument for the recovery of protein and oils from insects.

Cyprus-focused explorer Chesterfield Resources (CHF) has raised £2.5m from a share issue at 9p, with £2.1m of the cash coming from Polymetal International.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 9 November 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Kent-based brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) lost £2.9m in the year to June 2020. There was a small operating profit, but this was swamped by interest charges. The loss excludes one-off charges of more than £9m, predominantly relating to the impairment of 26 properties and the cost of unlawful actions by an employee. Pub revenues fell due to the original lockdown period, although tenanted pubs remained profitable in the financial year. Trade was slow in July, but it started to build up prior to the latest restrictions.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) is not entering into new contracts and suspending existing contracts. Management is paying amounts owed under existing contracts and says that there will be minimal cash balances. The requisitioners of a general meeting have injected cash in order to keep the company trading and enable it to hold the general meeting on 4 December. The employment contracts of the directors have been terminated and the requisitioners want their own representatives elected to the board. Trading in the shares remains suspended.

There was a slight improvement in first quarter revenues generated by National Milk Records (NMRP) to £5.32m. The specialist services such as the testing of Johne’s disease provided the growth. Milk recording figures were 3% down. The latest lockdown should not have a significant effect on performance.

Gunsynd (GUN) has subscribed A$100,000 for a convertible in gold explorer Rincon Resources that converts at a discount to the flotation price on ASX. Rincon plans to raise at least A$5m prior a listing planned for 10 December.

GP software provider DXS International (DXSP) says that revenues are marginally up on the previous year and it remains profitable. There is around £1m in the bank. However, launches of new products have been delayed by the pandemic.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has sold its remaining shareholding in Greatland Gold (GGP) and raised £4.6m. That means that Primorus made a total gain of around £5.9m.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has identified four shallow targets on its Patersons Range project in Western Australia. Wishbone intends to move to close the acquisition of its interest in the tenements.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has agreed in principle to a settlement with secured creditors of the Amapa project. Once this is completed, Cadence will inject $2.5m into the project and take a 20% shareholding. There has been a 21% increase in the mineral resource. The initial mine plan envisages the production of 4.7 million tonnes of iron concentrate a year and the mine life could be nearer to 17 years following the updated resource.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) expects to complete its relaunch with a new strategy before the end of the year. There will be new corporate branding and a new website.

World High Life (LIFE) has raised £381,000 at 1p a share. This cash will finance due diligence on investment opportunities.

Imperial X (IMPP) has appointed Novum Securities as corporate adviser.

European Lithium has left the Aquis Stock Exchange.

AIM

Trinidad-focused oil and gas producer Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) has raised £23.1m at 95p a share. The previous placing in February raised cash at 40p a share. The money will be used to fund further exploration and development of the Ortoire onshore block. Touchstone recently announced its third discovery (Chinook-1) out of three wells drilled. Chinook-1 is thought to be a similar size to Cascadura, which is estimated at around 45mmboe. The current exploration well is Cascadura Deep-1 and that will be completed and tested in the first quarter of 2021. The original discovery, Coho, will soon start producing gas.

Mkango Resources (MKA) has started a drilling and soil sampling programme at the Mchinji rutile licence area. This will help management to identify the areas with the best prospects. The licence initially lasts until 2022 but can be extended. It is next door to a rutile discovery by Sovereign Metals, which makes the chances of a commercial discovery even better. There is already significant infrastructure in the area. Rutile is a white pigment used in paints, plastic and paper. Demand is strong and reserves are declining.

PerkinElmer Inc is offering 185p a share in cash for Horizon Discovery (HZD), which is double the previous market price. The bid is equivalent to the high in the past 12 months, but below the share price three years ago. Horizon is valued at £296m. PerkinElmer is keen to increase the scale of its cell engineering business and add to its gene editing services.

Trading in the shares of NWF (NWF) has been suspended following a cyber attack on the feed and fuels divisions. The businesses continue to operate.

Attis Oil and Gas (AOGL) has agreed an amalgamation with Helium One, which will then gain an AIM quotation and raise at least £5m. Helium One is offering one of its shares for 236 shares in Attis, which values the AIM shell at £1.76m (0.012p a share). The Attis share price has risen to 0.02p. Helium One has a potential helium project in Tanzania and is valued at £6m, which is similar to level of investment put into the project. Drilling is planned early next year. Scirocco Energy (SCIR) subscribed for a 10% stake three years ago and that will probably be diluted to around 4.6%.

AB Traction has increased its stake in construction disputes company Driver (DRV) from 15.6% to 17.3%.  

Empire Metals (EEE) has achieved significant results with its drilling programme at the Eclipse gold project in Western Australia. The results confirm extensions to previously defined mineralisation. Drilling has started at the second potential target called Houdini. The proposed sale of the Bolnisi copper and gold project to TSXV-quoted Candelaria Mining Corporation means that Eclipse is currently the main focus of Empire’s cash investment.  

Nasdaq-quoted Masimo Corporation is making a 12p a share recommended cash bid for non-invasive hemodynamic monitoring technology developer LiDCO (LID). Masimo is a medical technology company.

Surgical endoscopy devices supplier Creo Medical (CREO) has acquired its distributor in Belgium. Creo has also received FDA clearance for MicroBlate Fine, which is thought to be the world’s smallest diameter microwave ablation needle.

Dekel Agri-vision (DKL) has acquired a further 14.2% in the Tiebissou cashew nut processing project in return for 28.55 million shares. This takes the stake to 52%.

Beximco Pharma (BXP) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Serum Institute of India and the Bangladesh government for the supply of 30 million doses of the Oxford University/ AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Supplies will commence one month after regulatory approval in Bangladesh. This could provide a significant uplift to revenues, although the timing is uncertain.

Toilet tissue manufacturer Accrol (ACRL) is buying rival LTC for up to £41.8m. This will take Accrol’s share of the market to 16% and provide greater geographic coverage of the UK market. LTC has revenues of £28m and is profitable. There could be cost savings of £1m a year. Accrol raised £38.5m at 44p a share to help finance the deal. A one-for-21 open offer could raise up to £4.1m.

MAIN MARKET

Zotefoams (ZTF) says that third quarter revenues were 22% higher year-on-year due to demand for protective equipment and footwear. Management expects continued growth in the fourth quarter. Net debt was £36m at the end of September 2020. The new site in Poland should commence production early next year.

Cryptocurrency miner Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated £1.2m in revenues during October. It held 137 BTC in bitcoin at the end of the month. Argo is leasing 4,500 mining machines for 24 months and they should be up and running in February. It is also managing the mining operations of 4,378 machines for a third party.

Shell company Highway Capital (HWC) had £3,000 in the bank at the end of February 2020 and it has net liabilities of £991,000. There was £327,000 in borrowings.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 19 October 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) remains profitable and loan balances have increased by 3% to £1.6bn. Deposit balances are 14% higher at £2.23bn. Assets under management are 4% ahead.

Wine maker Chapel Down (CDGP) has produced a better quality harvest than 2018 and yields are better than expected. More wine can be released for sale next year.

A general meeting has been requisitioned at SulNOx Group (SNOX) by three shareholders. They want to remove the entire board and appoint four new directors.

KR1 (KR1) has generated just over $1m from the sale of tokens in the Polkadot project at $5.12 each. That is a small proportion of the stake and KR1 still owns more than 3.5 million tokens.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) continues to increase production at the Hellyer mine. In the third quarter lead concentrate production was 11,865 tonnes and zinc concentrate production was 4,585 tonnes. Production rates are still increasing.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) reported a reduction in interim revenues from $6.56m to $3.64m. There was a $224,000 outflow from operations.

Altona Energy (ANR) has extended its fundraising until 11 November. The plan is to raise up to £500,000 at 6.5p a share.

Trading has been suspended in the shares of medicinal cannabis company Freyherr International (FRYR) because trading has been difficult, and the auditing of last year’s accounts has not been completed.

VI Mining (VIM) is asking shareholders to approve of the withdrawal from the Aquis Stock Exchange.

Eastinco Mining (EM.P) has published full year and interim figures. The company remains loss-making. There was £173,000 in the bank at the end of June 2020.

TechFinancials (TECH) is stopping the development of its Footies ticketing technology because of the uncertainty surrounding events. It has also ended its investment in Cedex due to lack of cash. All B2B brokerage technology activities will end at the beginning of November. New opportunities are being assessed.

AIM

Synairgen (SNG) is raising up to £87m via a placing and open offer at 175p a share. This will finance a phase III trial for SNG001 for the treatment of Covid-19. That will start before the end of the year. Results are expected in the middle of next year. Synairgen will also invest in scaling up its manufacturing.          

More good news from Touchstone Exploration (TXP) which has made another significant gas discovery in Trinidad. The Chinook-1 discovery is the third in a row. This means that Touchstone should be highly cash generative next year enabling it to fund more exploration.

LiDCO (LID) had already outlined its interim figures in a trading statement so the move into profit thanks to high monitor sales to the NHS was not a surprise. There is likely to be a second half loss, but the heart monitoring equipment supplier will still be profitable for the full year. There have been delays in winning hup recurring revenue contracts, but these revenues have reached an annual rate of £3m. There was £3.1m in the bank at the end of July 2020.

BlueRock Diamonds (BRD) increased production in the third quarter from 3,973 carats one year ago to 5,577 carats. Sales were much lower at 3,803 carats because there was one sale during the quarter. The average price realised has fallen from $432/carat to $330/carat. That was expected due to the change in mix of stones with only one high value stone sold during the period. An updated resource estimate is expected in the near future. BlueRock is hosting a shareholder conference call at 7pm on 22 October. Anyone wanting to participate should go to www.facebook.com/valuethemarkets or www.twitter.com/valuethemarkets.

SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) is raising money to accelerate the progress of AxisBiotix, which is involved in the development of food supplements for psoriasis treatment. This could be generating revenues in the year to June 2022. A placing at 16p a share raised £4m with up to £500,000 to come from an open offer at the same price. Some cash will be available to fund development of other microbiome-related products. This cash should last until the end of 2022.

Billing and customer relationship management software provider Cerillion (LSE:CER) says that its year-end order book is at a record level and the full year figures will be slightly better than expected.

ThinkSmart (TSL) is returning A$6.5m of cash to shareholders. There will be a 4.575 cents a share capital reduction and a 1.525 cents a share unfranked dividend. ThinkSmart has around £10m in the bank. The current exchange rate is 55p for each A$1. The distribution is worth £3.6m, so around one-third of the available cash.

Seeing Machines (SEE) is increasing its potential market by developing its driver monitoring system into vehicle occupant monitoring system. This is an additional revenue opportunity of A$350m.

Angling Direct (ANG) managed to stay profitable in the first half as online sales helped to offset the closure of retail sites in the period. The fishing products retailer has a strong balance sheet and shop sales bounced back after reopening. A pre-tax profit of £400,000 is forecast for the full year, rising to £1.5m next year.

Netcall (NET) is acquiring robotic process automation technology company Automagica in order to enhance its contact centre products. Automagica has its own technology. Netcall’s full year revenues increased from £22.9m to £25.1m, while pre-tax profit increased from £1.3m to £1.8m. Margins are improving.

MAIN MARKET

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) says third quarter trading was better than expected. New and used car volumes increased by 13.6% compared with the same period the previous year. Lookers has outperformed the market. Aftersales revenues were also higher. Net debt was £22.5m at the end of September 2020.  

Electronic products supplier DiscoverIE (DSCV) says that first half sales fell by 6%, but orders were ahead of sales in September. A dividend will be announced with the interims in November.

Construction and infrastructure firm nmcn (NMCN) has reviewed major contracts and this will lead to a loss this year. The main problem has been water contracts and some of the charges may relate to other periods. This follows the departure of the chief executive and finance director.

Nanoco (NANO) has a cash outflow to £300,000 a month. There is net cash of £5.2m and that should last until July 2022.  The non-cadmium quantum dots technology developer lost £4.9m in the year to July 2020.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 October 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Kent-based brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has been profitable since the beginning of July when pubs were allowed to reopen. However, like-for-like sales were lower, particularly in city centres. Own brand beer volumes fell by 2%.  Net debt was £82.4m on 26 September, with deferred payments of £6.9m. 

There was a reduction in full year revenues generated by National Milk Records (NMRP) from £22.8m to £21.6m. Earnings per share halved to 4.7p.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has an exclusive 45-day option to acquire 100% of mineral tenements in the Patersons Range region of Western Australia. The option payment is £50,000. A dividend of 1.25p a share is proposed.

In the year to April 2020, property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased revenues by 26% to £6.39m. Pre-tax profit was £9,252, including a lease breakage fee of £173,000. There were £800,000 of fair value reductions. Net cash generated by operating activities was £1.88m. Since the year end, £3.14m has been spent on properties.

British Honey Company (BHC) generated revenues of £1.04m in the five months to August 2020, with £500,000 from sanitiser. More recently alcohol sales have recovered, and sanitiser generates around 10% of sales. There was a £435,000 loss in the period because of higher admin expenses.

VI Mining (VIM) is terminating the Minaspampa and Rosario de Belen project acquisitions. Unpaid deferred consideration of $42.2m has bee cancelled. A joint venture is being discussed for other group projects.

Good Energy (GOOD) has launched the UK’s first dedicated heat pump tariff. There is no standing charge in the winter months.

European Lithium (EUR) intends to leave the Aquis Stock Exchange on 6 November.

Peterhouse has resigned as corporate adviser to Imperial X (IMPP).

Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £94,000 at 0.5p a share.

AIM

Omega Diagnostics (ODX) is involved with the initial UK-RTC order for one million Covid-19 rapid antibody tests. Omega is set to manufacture 175,000 of these tests. This is the first order and Omega plans to increase capacity to 200,000 tests per week by the beginning of November. finnCap believes each test could generate 150p and the gross margin is 50%. The current revenue forecast of £12.6m for the year to March 2021 does not include the Covid-19 tests which could generate a further £5.7m. Omega should be profitable without any contribution from the tests.

Xpediator (XPD) has acquired Yorkshire-based freight business Nidd Transport for £4.6m. The owner is retiring, and the purchase price is covered by Nidd’s cash and property assets -where there is already an agreement for a sale and leaseback. The deal is earnings enhancing. The logistics business does not have a significant presence in northern England and there will be cross-selling opportunities with other parts of the business. Nidd also has operations in France, Spain and Portugal. In the year to April 2020, Nidd made and operating profit of £500,000 on revenues of £11m. 

Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) has raised £7.5m after expenses at 60p a share and there is an open offer to raise up to £2m.

Plutus PowerGen (PPG) plans to demerge its generation assets and become a cash shell. A placing at 0.02p a share will raise £490,000 after expenses and this will pay money owed to directors and provide working capital. Debt of £266,000 will be capitalised. Plutus tried to sell its co-investee assets but there was no buyer found. Plutus Energy is being demerged and there are plans to demerge the Plutus energy investment portfolio, but this is currently being blocked by Rockpool.  

Vanadium flow batteries developer Invinity Energy Systems (IES) is involved in four energy storage products funded by the California Energy Commission. These total 7.8MWh of batteries and they should be delivered next year. Commercial terms are still be agreed with partners. This follows a £1.1m order during June.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) increased third quarter crude palm oil produced by 10% to 5,280MT, thanks to a higher extraction rate. The cashew nut processing plant should still be commissioned next spring.

Caledonia Mining (CMCL) has increased 2020 guidance following third quarter figures showing gold production of 15,200 ounces and nine-month production of 42,900 ounces. Full year guidance is between 55,000 and 58,000 ounces. Caledonia has secured an agreement with the Zimbabwe government that will enable it to assess other gold projects. A solar plant is being built that will provide 27% of the electricity needs of the Blanket mine.

MAIN MARKET

Fintech firm Mode Global Holdings (MODE) joined the standard list on 5 October. Mode raised £7.5m in a placing at 50p a share. Trading commenced. The share price has fallen back to 48.5p. The cash will help to finance the launch of a payments service powered by Open Banking that would replace the need for cards.

Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) had net cash of £1m at the end of September 2020 and it intends to pay a final dividend. Pre-tax profit of £14m is in line with pre-Covid-19 expectations. Health and wellness revenues grew by 16%, although total revenues fell by  3% due to the lower orange oil prices.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) plans to acquire the two data centres in Quebec housing its cryptocurrency mining equipment that are owned by GPU.one. September mining revenues were £1.1m.

BATM (BVC) has secured an initial order for its Covid-19 Real-Time PCR diagnostic test kits and they will be delivered in the fourth quarter.

Andrew Hore

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