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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 13 July 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has sold its investment in builder’s merchant Merkko Group for double the original investment. The cash consideration for the redemption of the non-voting stake is £400,000. Capital for Colleagues has reinvested £150,000 for a 10% stake in Merkko. The rest of the cash can be reinvested in other companies.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is forming a 50/50 Singapore joint venture with blockchain protocol company IOV Labs, which will finance the venture with a loan. IOV owns 6.94% of Coinsilium. A strategic review is commencing a strategic review because there will be a focus on the new joint venture.

In the second quarter, the Hellyer gold mine owned by NQ Minerals (NQMI) produced 1,223 ounces of gold, 229,947 ounces of silver, 8,762 tonnes of lead concentrate and 4,241 tonnes of zinc concentrate. More gold and lead were produced than in the previous quarter, but less silver and zinc. Investment in plant means production should increase in the third quarter. NQ has raised £917,000 at 6.5p a share and this will help to finance the reopening of the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania.

Cannabis-based products supplier Sativa Group (SATI) achieved record trading in June. This includes sales of the company’s hand sanitiser.

Fellow cannabis-focused company Freyherr International Group (FRYR) is changing its year end to 30 June. The next results will be for 18 months to June 2020. Luka Freyer and Tomaz Frelih have stepped down from the board and Ervin Kovac has joined the board and becomes general manager of the Slovenian operations. The Ljubljana office has been closed as part of overhead reductions. The mortgage on the Koper facility has been extended and the interest rate reduced to 5% a year.

World High Life (LIFE) has issued 12.7 million shares at 9p each to pay director and adviser fees and 3.45 million shares at the same price in lieu of debt repayments. A further 7.18 million shares will be issued on conversion of £666,666 of debentures, plus interest of £46,393. CBD-brand Love Hemp has been awarded ISO certification.

Gunsynd (GUN) has raised £469,000 at 0.65p a share. Every three new shares come with a warrant exercisable at 1.3p a share. MiLOC Group (ML.P) is raising £1.1m at 28.5p a share through a placing with BWB International. Recently floated engineering consolidator Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised an additional £71,000 at 4.5p a share. The original placing was at 3p a share.

At the end of June 2020, EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a NAV of 265.3p a share.

AIM

Management consultancy Elixirr International (ELIX) joined AIM last week. The share price has fallen from the placing level of 217p to 204.5p. The shares are trading on just over 13 times prospective 2020 earnings. The forecast dividend is 2.2p a share.

Seeing Machines (SEE) is set to be a beneficiary of legislation that will go to the Senate in the US that will make driver monitoring systems (DMS) compulsory in cars and trucks sold in the US from 2024. This is part of a more wide-ranging act relating to vehicle safety. There is similar legislation in Europe, although there will be delays in it coming into force due to COVID-19. That should not have too much of a negative effect on Seeing Machines.

Trading at Tracsis (TRCS) was not as badly affected by COVID-19 as it feared. There will be a £10m reduction in full year revenues to around £46m. The traffic and data services business has been hit by the lack of summer events. The rail software business has traded well and there is a pipeline of potential new contracts. There is still £16m in the bank even after paying an initial £12.5m for smart ticketing firm iBlocks.

DBAY Advisors has bought more shares in in Wynnstay Group (WYN) and the stake is 6.12%.

Energy procurement consultancy Inspired Energy (INSE) is raising up to £35m through a placing and two-for-43 open offer at 15p a share. The purchase of the 60% of Ignite Energy that Inspired does not won will cost £11m with contingent consideration of £19m payable in cash and shares. There are plans for further acquisitions.

e-therapeutics (ETX) has raised just over £11m from a share issue at 12p a share, including £750,000 raised via PrimaryBid. This was a 31% discount to the market price. The cash will be used to develop the company’s informatics platform and RNAi technology. Additional staff will be taken on.

Burford Capital (BUR) has filed a registration statement with the SEC ahead of a US listing. There are no plans for a share issue.

Genedrive (GDR) says that full year revenues were 31m and it had cash of £8.2m at the end of June 2020. The molecular diagnostics company says there are 31m in indicative orders for its COVID-19 test.

MAIN MARKET

Viaro Energy has bid 1850p a share for RockRose Energy (RRE) and acceptances have already reached 36.8%. The bid values RockRose at £247.6m. At the beginning of 2016, RockRose floated at 50p a share intending to acquire oil and gas assets.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) increased full year revenues by 39% to £1.5m and gross margins improved. The cash outflow from operations was £924,000 and there was £1m in cash at the end of March 2020. This year is important because there will be a full contribution from DMSL plus cost savings that could be more than £1m. Chief executive Andy Hollingworth bought 10.6 million shares at 0.0944p each. He owns 38.8 million shares.

Baskerville Capital (BASK) has increased its stake in Oberon Investments, the owner of fund manager MD Barnard, to 10.13% and expects to buy the company by the end of the third quarter. Oberon has acquired Hanson Asset Management, and this takes assets under management to more than £300m. Baskerville may move to the Aquis Stock Exchange after the deal is completed.

Packaging supplier Macfarlane (MACF) says interim revenues were 3% lower following a tough second quarter when revenues fell 7%. Macfarlane is confident that it will be profitable and cash generative this year. The board hopes to restart dividend payments when the outlook is more certain.

InnovaDerma (IDP) says online sales have replaced lost high street sales. Full year revenues were 2% higher at £13.2m, but profit will be lower due to higher online advertising costs and lower margin sales. Margins could recover this year.

Tex Holdings (TXH) says that the FCA has asked questions about its 2019 audited financial statements. Christian Ross has been appointed as finance director.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 29 June 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased sales last year, but the loss was also higher. Sales of wine and beer grew and revenues from continuing activities improved from £12.86m to £14.8m, while the loss more than doubled from £850,000 to £2.09m. the Chapel Down Gin Works in Kings Cross has been closed. There was still £2.47m in the bank at the end of 2019, even after the loss and £12m of investment in fixed assets and land. There are 428 acres of planted vineyard. Wine stocks have also increased following a good harvest. The Ashford brewery has been completed and full brewing capacity will be available before the end of the year. Martin Glenn is succeeding John Dunsmore as chairman.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has entered into a £55m development framework agreement with Equitix, an investor in infrastructure assets. This will finance up to five diagnostic facilities in the UK. Each will be owned by a special purpose vehicle funded by Equitix and operated by Rutherford. An initial agreement has been made with a NHS Trust. Rutherford also announced a collaboration with Panthera Biopartners, which will be able to use Rutherford’s clinics for trials of potential cancer treatments.

Racing recommenced at Newbury Racecourse (NYR) on 11 June. Three race meetings have been held and five more are planned by the end of August. No public are being admitted. Revenues are coming from media rights. The Rocking Horse nursery reopened earlier this month.

Good Energy (GOOD) is increasing its investment in Next Green Car, which owns Zap-Map, to 50.1% through the exercise of a convertible loan.

BWA (BWAP) has spent £120,000 of the initial commitment of £250,000 for two rutile licence areas in Cameroon. Drilling programmes are being designed. COVID-19 has hampered progress with the company’s Canadian interests.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that investee company Factom Inc has filed for Cahpter 11 bankruptcy protection because of its failure to raise more cash. It could exit Chapter 11 protection within three months if things go to plan.The investment was valued at £237,000.

IamFire (FIRE) is reviewing strategies having raised £500,000 at 2.5p a share.  Each share comes with two warrants with an exercise price of 10p a share. The investment focus is natural resources, mining and disruptive technology.

SAPO (SAPO) is still seeking a broadband investment and net assets were £1.1m at the end of 2019. At 3.2p a share, SAPO is valued at £6m.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £137,750 in Rincon Resources, which gives it a stake of 28.4%. Rincon has the rights to three prospective gold and base metals projects in Western Australia. Gunsynd has sold its stake in United Oil and Gas (UOG).

All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised a further £200,000 at 0.02p a share, taking the total raised in share issues to £280,000. Convertible loan notes worth £55,000 have been converted into 275 million shares with 34 million shares at 0.01p each to pay liabilities. This means that more than 1.3 billion shares have been issued, which has nearly doubled the shares in issue.

AIM

Recent trading at floorcoverings supplier Victoria (VCP) has exceeded expectations. Manufacturing has restarted in all the company’s plants. All the main countries are doing relatively well considering the disruption due to COVID-19 and in the most recent three weeks revenues were 85% of pre-COVID-19 budget. The UK carpets business is only just getting going again. Net debt is £370m, which is predominantly bonds that last until July 2024. Cash generation can reduce debt, although management is likely to look for potential acquisitions.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) reported a decline in interim revenues but that was due to lower commodity prices. The interim dividend has been maintained at 4.6p a share. The agriculture division maintained its operating profit, but there was an improved profit from the merchanting division. Pre-tax profit edged up from £4.3m to £4.5m. Shore Capital has reinstated forecasts. It expects a pre-tax profit of £6.7m, down from £7.9m. This id a deliberately cautious figure.

MSQ Partners has launched a 0.5p a share bid for Be Heard Group (HRD) and that values the digital media company at £6.2m. The acquirer was the subject of a buyout last year. The combined business will have the backing of Lloyds Development Capital and the greater scale will help to win larger clients.

United Oil and Gas (UOG) says that average production from the Abu Sennan concession in the first two weeks of June was 13,900 boepd, of which its working interest is 3,060 boepd. That is 69% higher than the average daily figure in April. The 2P reserves at Abu Sennan have been increased by 12.55 to 13.5MMboe

Transense Technologies (TRT) has transferred its iTrack tyre monitoring business to a Bridgestone subsidiary for $1m and it will receive quarterly royalty revenues for the next ten years. That royalty would be £150,000/ quarter currently, but growth should be faster under Bridgestone. Two Transense directors are moving with iTrack. This leaves Transense with its SAWsense (wireless tyre sensor technology) and Translogik (tyre test equipment) businesses. Transense could move into profit in 2021-22.

A positive trading statement from allergy vaccines developer Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) led finnCap to increase its 2020 pre-tax profit forecast even though revenue growth is slower than expected. A 2019-20 profit of £2.9m is expected, partly due to the timing of research spending. Allergy is expected to move back into loss in 2020-21.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) increased its revenues and pre-tax profit in the nine months to March 2020, with particularly strong growth in the third quarter. There is some disruption to international distribution and supply and full year revenue growth will be lower than originally expected.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) reported flat full year revenues of €20.9m for 2019. The loss was barely changed at €3.29m. There has been a decline in the palm oil price in recent months, which will hamper performance this year. The cashew project is making good progress.

MAIN MARKET

Strong first half trading at BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) has led to broker upgrades for 2020. The biomedical division has done particularly well, but the networks and cyber division has also done better than expected.  Stifel is raising its revenues forecast from $138m to $155m, while the EBITDA estimate has been increased by one-third to $13m. Shore Capital expects to increase forecast revenues by 17% to around $154m with a significant improvement in EBITDA expected.

Construction services provider nmcn (NMCN) made a positive start in the first quarter of this year. Revenues were 4% ahead at £97.9m and pre-tax profit 6% higher at £1.8m. This period was hardly affected by the lockdown. Since the end of March, work has been at three-quarters of normal levels. There was £11.8m in cash at the end of March 2020. The interims will be reported on 6 August and there should be guidance for the full year outcome.

Tex Holdings (TXH) expects to make further cost savings and consolidate more of its activities. The plastics division is operating at 70% of expected levels, while the engineering division has suffered delays but not lost business.

Standard list shell Boston International (BIH) had £302,000 in cash at the end of 2019. It is still assessing the proposed acquisition of invoice factoring company Alexanders Discount Ltd

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has raised £1.25m at 3p a share. The cash will accelerate trial mining at the Gakara rare earth project in Burundi.

The 2019 figures of Ross Group (RGP) include pharmaceutical grade Chitin producer Archipelago Aquaculture Group (AAG) for the first time. There were restructuring and impairment costs relating to the acquisition. Pilot production is being implemented and there are joint venture discussions with the company that has developed the Ionic Liquid extraction process licenced by AAG. There was a £3.6m loss in 2019.

SMALL CAP AWARDS 2020

Company of the year: Volex

Technology company of the year: Avacta

Impact company of the year: ITM Power

IPO of the year: Diaceutics

Transaction of the year: Kape acquisition of Private Internet Access

Executive director of the year: David Cicurel (Judges Scientific)

Innovative financing of the year: Yu Group

Journalist of the year: Joanne Hart (Mail on Sunday)

Analyst of the year: Lorne Daniel (finnCap)

VCT manager of the year: Amati

UK smaller companies fund manager of the year: JPM UK Smaller Companies

Lifetime achievement award: Giles Hargreave

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 April 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Cannabis products-focused company Sativa (SATI) has received a bid approach from StillCana Inc, which has built two high volume CBD extraction facilities in Europe. StillCana is Europe’s largest producer of CBD distillate and isolate. StillCana plans to offer 0.33651 of one share for each Sativa share. Sativa shareholders would own 65% of the enlarged business. If StillCana does not go through with the bid it may be required to pay Sativa £1m as a break fee. Trading in Sativa shares has been suspended. Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser.

In the six months to December 2019, there was a £224,000 cash outflow at Imperial X (IMPP) as it assessed the way forward. The new investing strategy is focused on acquiring royalties in the oil and gas sector. There was £179,000 in the bank at the end of 2019. Imperial X has subsequently raised £27,700 at 2.5p a share.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) had net assets of £4.76m at the end of 2019. One of the successes has been the investment in Greatland Gold (GGP) and TruSpine Technologies is moving towards a flotation.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) owns 16% of AIM-quoted European Metal Holdings (EMH) whose shareholders have approved the £25.8m investment for a 51% stake in the holder of the Cinovec licences in the Czech Republic.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that the resource at the Barnes Hill nickel project to 25Mt at 0.6% nickel and 0.05% cobalt on a 0.25% nickel cut-off grade.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) n on-executive director Nigel Boardman has acquired an initial 5,020 shares in two amounts (1,500 shares at 960p each and 3,520 shares at 1010p each).

Altona Energy (ANR) has extended the closing date of its open offer until 12 May and it may consider a further extension if the market uncertainty continues.

AIM

Cyber security services provider Shearwater (SWG) has raised £3.75m at 240p a share. Directors David Williams and Phil Higgins are each investing £125,000. A new £4m, 3-year bank facility has been negotiated. In the year to March 2020, Shearwater generated revenues of £33m and underlying EBITDA was £3.2m. There has been a move towards higher margin business. Management believes that COVID-19 will provide opportunities to expand the business. There are acquisition opportunities with revenues of between £2m and £20m.

Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) has confirmed that profit for 2019-20 was better than expected and gross margins improved from 22.8% to 25.9%.

Last year was tough for transport and logistics firm Xpediator (XPD) and this year won’t be easy, but it has a good base and the new Southampton warehouse will come on stream early in 2021. In 2019, revenues grew but lower freight forwarding margins and higher overheads hit pre-tax profit and it fell to £5.2m. Xpediator should still be profitable in 2020 and the second quarter tends to be a weaker period. A scrip dividend of 1.05p a share has been declared.

Health monitoring equipment supplier LiDCO (LID) had a strong start to its new financial year thanks to strong demand from the NHS. Since January 195 monitors have been sold, which is nearly as many as last year. The pre-tax loss is expected to continue to reduce and LiDCO has started to generate cash from operations.

Foreign exchange provider Equals (EQLS) increased first quarter revenues by one-third to £8.3m. The majority of this was business to business revenues. There was a sharp decline in travel money business in March.

Dragon Capital Group is offering a purchase facility to minority shareholders in Dragon-Ukrainian Properties and Development (DUPD) as part of the plan to cancel the AIM quotation. The purchase price is 10p a share.  Shareholder approval for the departure from AIM will be sought at the general meeting in Kiev on 6 May.

DBAY Advisers is building up a stake in Wynnstay Group (WYN) and it has reach ed 6.47%. It is taking advantage of the decline in the share price, although it has rebounded strongly in the past few weeks. Investec has sold most of its stake. Trading has been subdued in the current financial year.

Dawn Ward and Tracy Lewis have resigned from the board of Staffline (STAF) and the company is seeking replacements. Henry Spain Investment Services has increased its stake in Staffline to 13.6%.

Mark Greenwood has taken his stake in Richland Resources (RLD) to 29.1%.

MAIN MARKET

LED light fittings and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) reported 2019 figures in line with expectations. Revenues were %5 ahead at £172.1m and improved margins meant that pre-tax profit jumped from £6.3m to £15.8m. Revenues and profit are expected to fall back this year due to COVID-19 with the major hit coming in the second quarter after modest supply issues in the first quarter. Cash outflow should be limited to £500,000 a month while lockdowns are in force in Europe. There are bank facilities available to the group. Looking further ahead, Luceco is involved in a growth market and there should be acquisition opportunities.

J Smart Contractors (SMJ) reported a decline in interim pre-tax profit from £1.12m to £265,000. Net cash was £13.7m at the end of January 2020. An unchanged interim dividend of 0.95p a share has been announced.

Cathay International Holdings (CTI) has launched a 16.7456-for-one open offer at 1.5p each, plus a subscription to at the same share price. This could raise up to £105m. This will reduce borrowings and provide cash to put into investee companies.

BATM (BVC) has received a $31m order for 1,000 critical care ventilators. One-quarter of the cash has been paid upfront and the rest will be paid when the ventilators are delivered later this year.

A trading statement by fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) sparked a 6% 2019-20 profit downgrade to £17.2m by finnCap.

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) says that sales and margins have fallen so far this year. Operating costs have been reduced. Sales of former sites are helping to reduce net debt, which is £65m. The fraud investigation has led to a £4m non-cash charge and there could be further write-downs.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 30 March 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

AQSE and AIM-quoted Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) improved its underlying pre-tax profit from £4.4m to £5.8m in 2019, while the second interim dividend is 5% higher at 21p a share. This does not have to be agreed at an AGM. NAV rose from 1283p a share to 1364p a share. The total capital ratio has edged up from 17.2% to 17.3%.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that its insurers stipulated that COVID-19 was excluded from the insurance for the abandonment of race meetings. There will be a significant loss of revenues even if horse racing remains suspended until the end of April. Events, the hotel and the nursery will also be hit. There are bank facilities that should be enough to cover needs for the foreseeable future and the company is talking with its lenders. Management still expects David Wilson Homes to make a further payment of £10.9m for the development sites it has acquired.

Employee-owned businesses investor Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) believes that the value of its investments has declined by up to 15% since the end of February. NAV will have fallen from 50.17p a share to a range of 42.6p a share to 45.1p a share. That offsets the increase in the previous six months.

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) is cancelling its interim dividend of 14p a share. The hotel has been temporarily closed.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $65,000 in the Acala Network project and will receive 866,666.67 tokens at 7.5 cents each. Acala will offer a stablecoin that can be transferred across different blockchains and collateralised with digital assets.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that its 4.1%-owned investee company Macarthur Minerals is seeking a partner for its Lake Giles iron ore project in Western Australia. Another investee company, 16.7%-owned AIM-quoted European Metals Holdings (EMH), has secured a strategic investment by CEZ in the Cinovec project. CEZ will subscribe for a 51% stake in the company that owns the project, subject to EMH shareholder approval. The price payable has been reduced from €34.1m to €29.1m.

AFH Financial (AFHP) non-executive director has invested nearly £25,000 in the IFA at 198p a share.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that subsidiary Coal Agglomeration South Africa has stopped activities until 16 April, which is in line with the government lockdown.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) has cash of £26.4m and it could defer the July repayment of £2m of its £3.9m convertible loans, so it is in a strong position to cope with the effects of COVID-19.

Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has suspended mining in Rwanda because of COVID-19. This will be for an initial two weeks. Planning for continues exploration will continue.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has employed consultants to prepare a mine reopening due diligence study on the Beaconsfield gold mine.

TechFinancials (TECH) is exercising its option to acquire shares in Cedex Holdings and the resulting stake will be 97.3% or 90.8% fully diluted. The company will consider disposing of the stake.

World High Life (LIFE) is holding a general meeting on 14 April in order to gain shareholder approval for each existing share to be sub-divided into ten new shares.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has issued a further £245,000 of bonds. This takes the total value of bonds in issue to £1.23m. Trading in First Sentinel 7% bonds, February 2023, First Sentinel preference shares and EPE Special Opportunities 7.5% unsecured loan stock, 2022 has started again after the market maker resumed activities.

AIM

Novacyt (NCYT) has signed a contract manufacturing deal with Yourgene Health (YGEN) for its COVID-19 test. The initial plan is for Yourgene to manufacture critical components. A global distribution agreement for the COVID-19 test has been secured with Bruker-Hain Diagnostics for use on its instruments. The Philippines has approved the test for commercial use.

Graphene materials supplier Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) has successfully reduced its cost base and it had £4.3m in the bank at the end of January 2020. This should last until the second half of 2021. Revenues remain small but a number of coatings products using the company’s graphene have been launched in the past year. There is a pipeline of additional products.

Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) is still losing money, but it is generating cash. In 2019, ECSC revenues grew by 10% to £5.91m. Managed services revenues increased by 48% to £2.61m. Managed services has additional capacity and as more work is won margins could continue to improve. Consulting revenues dipped slightly to £2.9m, although they did grow in the second half. The other revenues come from third party products and other services.

Secure payments systems provider PCI-Pal (PCIP) is raising £5m at 30p a share. The cash will finance sales and marketing in North America and further product development. There will also be additional flexibility for any medium-term effects of COVID-19.

Georgia-focused oil and gas company Block Energy (BLOE) is acquiring two blocks adjacent to its own from Schlumberger. They include Block XIB, which is Georgia’s most productive block, although the peak production was in the 1980s. This will boost Block’s production by 245 barrels of oil per day. There is also another exploration block and a central production facility being acquired. There are 14 years remaining on the permits for the two blocks. Block is paying for the assets with 120 million options exercisable at nil cost. They are deemed to have a value of 5 cents each. The options can be exercised between 12 and 24 months from completion.

Replacement windows and doors supplier Safestyle UK (SFE) has temporarily ceased installations. Safestyle believes with cost reductions and government assistance it will be able to cope with the closure of activities until after the end of June.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) is still paying its 9.4p a share final dividend. Trading in the four months to February 2020 was subdued but in line with expectations. The company’s agricultural stores have been allowed to stay open. There may be some additional costs relating to COVID-19.

Geospatial software provider IQGeo (IQG) has secured an expansion to its contract with Tokyo Electric Power Company, which is worth £1.8m over three years.

MAIN MARKET

Trident Resources (TRR) is becoming a mining royalty company and moving to AIM. The first acquisition is a 1.5% free on board revenue royalty over part of the Koolyanobbing iron ore operation in Western Australia for a staged cash consideration of A$7m. There are plans to increase production from an annualised rate of 11Mtpa to 15Mtpa by the end of 2020. The initial payment is A$4m and the other A$3m is payable one year after completion. The most recent quarterly royalty was A$731,000. Further royalty interests are set to be acquired. A fundraising is planned and the company will change its name to Trident Royalties.

Dev Clever (DEV) says that COVID-19 restrictions have increased demand for its SaaS-based career guidance platforms. The US launch was in April.

Nanoco (NANO) says Merck has issued three-month notice of termination of its cadmium-free quantum dots licence agreement so that the licence can be renegotiated. The existing licence had minimum annual royalties. Merck continues to buy materials.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) says that an investor commitment to provide £1.4m for the company when it acquires Kanabo Research has been terminated. This arrangement was made in July 2019 and the acquisition of the medicinal cannabis company has still not been completed.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) is amending the terms of the purchase of 80% of the Anglo American Oil and Gas (AAOG) subsidiary that owns 56% stake in the Tilapia oilfield in the Republic of Congo. The purchase price has been reduced by one-fifth to £800,000 and it will be paid in ten monthly instalments. Zenith will no longer issue any shares and it will not be providing a £250,000 secured loan facility.

Books publisher Quarto (QRT) says revenues fell from $149.3m to $135.8m in 2019 but it did return to profit. Banking facilities have been extended to July 2021.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) says the Wavertree project is at the final fit out stage, but work has been suspended due to COVID-19. There are 16 apartments and offices on the site in north west England.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 January 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

Results from IFA group AFH Financial (AFHP) indicate the success of the acquisition policy. In the year to October 2019, underlying pre-tax profit improved from £10.3m to £17m and earnings per share rose by more than two-fifths. The dividend was one-third higher at 8p a share. Assets under management were £6.2bn. AFH plans to grow to annual revenues of £140m and assets under management of £10bn in five years. Cash generated from operations was held back by the protection division predominantly generating non-indemnity business, where the payment is spread over the term of the package. Non-indemnity business will reduce in order to have a higher proportion of revenues that gets paid upfront. Cash generation will improve, and this will mainly go on deferred consideration.

Corporate adviser First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £220,000 at 27p a share in order to provide working capital for the business. That was a small discount to the market price the day before the placing was announced, but the price fell to 19p/22p on the day. On the day, there were 25,000 shares traded at 20p each and 186,370 shares traded at 20.09p each.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has appointed New York-based Ortoli Rosenstadt as the law firm to help it with a potential ADR listing in the US.

Broadband-focused shell SAPO (SAPO) has announced the death of its executive chairman Michael Meyer, who was the founder of Emess Lighting. He and his wife own 43.4% of SAPO. Michael Langoulant is the only remaining director of SAPO.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has placed an additional €90,000 of 7% July 2022 bonds, which are traded on the Vienna Stock Exchange. A total of €3.64m of bonds have been issued, which is 73% of the total that can be issued.

BWA Group (BWAP) has issued 3.26 million shares at 0.5p each to settle directors’ fees for the fourth quarter of 2019. The current share price is 0.2p/0.4p. Richard Battersby’s stake is 16%, Alex Borelli holds 9.48% and James Butterfield owns 15.8%.

Juliet Adelstein will become chief executive of Ganapati (GANP) on 1 February. She previously worked at Japanese advertising agency Dentsu. Hiroki Hasegawa and Toshitaka Nakajima are stepping down as chief executive and finance director respectively.

Via Developments (VIA1) 7% debenture stock 2020 has been withdrawn from MEX. Trading was suspended on 21 October 2019 because of a delay in appointing an independent non-executive director.

Former NEX-quoted company MESH Holdings still plans to acquire AI business Sentiance and Mike Power has taken over as chairman. MESH has also appointed two new directors. Corporate finance professional Lindsay Mair and Ireland-based former broker Rory O’Sullivan.

AIM

Last year was a tough one for agriculture and feed products supplier Wynnstay (WYN) and pre-tax profit fell from £9.5m to £7.9m, but the dividend was still raised. Profit is expected to be flat this year. There was net cash of £3.8m at the end of the year, as lower commodity prices reduced working capital requirements, but there will be £7m of lease liabilities included as debt in the next balance sheet. Seasonality means that there will be a net debt figure at the interim stage and the leases mean it will be much higher than it would have been. Net cash could still be £6m by the end of next October.

Concrete levelling equipment Somero Enterprises (SOM) had a better than expected fourth quarter and this led to an upgraded 2019 earnings forecast from 33.7 cents a share to 36.5 cents a share. That is still lower than 2018 and a further dip is expected in 2020 due to higher marketing spend. The expected total dividend for 2019 is 24.6 cents a share.

United Oil and Gas (UOG) says that the ASH-2 well that is part of the interests being acquired in Egypt has been producing more than 3,000 barrels of oil per day since the beginning of the year. United’s share is 660 barrels of oil per day. The acquisition of the Egypt interest from Rockhopper Exploration (RKH) will not be completed until February.

Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) says a general meeting requisition is valid and it will announce a date for the meeting by next week. Eridge Capital wants to remove Matt Lofgran from the board and replace him with Andrew Morrison.

Regenerative medical products developer Tissue Regenix (TRX) says that revenues grew 12% last year, but the cash will not last much longer. There was £2.4m at the end of 2019 and this will last until the end of April. More funding will be required before then.

Peel Hunt has halved its dividend forecast for construction services provider Van Elle (VANL) to 1p a share, although it has maintained its 2019-20 pre-tax profit forecast at £4m. The interim dividend was cut by four-fifths to 0.2p a share. A sharp drop in interim profit means that two-thirds of the forecast needs to be made in the second half. Net debt was £10.4m at the end of October 2019.

IPTV technology company Mirada (MIRA) has completed the cancelation of the share premium account.

Gear4Music (G4M) had strong Christmas trading and gross margins improved. Revenues grew by 7% to the end of 2019 and gross profit was 18% ahead. Earnings of 3.9p a share are forecast for the 2019-20 financial year.

Agronomics (ANIC) has raised a further £5.5m at 7p a share. That is a one-third discount to the market price. At the end of last year £7.7m was raised at 5.5p a share. Agronomics has invested some of the cash it previously raised in cultivated meat businesses developing meat and fish that is produced without animals, but It will have £9.9m in the bank after the cash raising.

Cyber security software provider Kape Technologies (KAPE) generated slightly better 2019 margins than anticipated. EBITDA grew by 40% to $14.5m in 2019 and it will more than double this year.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) believes that the best possible outcome was achieved from the initial production tests of the Cascadura well in Trinidad, which appears to have oil and associated gas. The Coho-1 well should be in production by June.

Trinidad-based oil and gas producer Trinity Exploration and Production (TRIN) increased production by 5% in 2019 and exited the year with daily production of 3,400 barrels. The current forecast for 2020 is 3,260 barrels per day. There was cash of $13.8m at the end of 2019.

Fuel cells developer Proton Motor Power Systems (PPS) has received a €400,00 order from E-Trucks Europe for fuel cells for refuse collection trucks. They will be delivered by the end of 2020.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) still intends to acquire medicinal cannabis company Kanabo Research but there are still conditions to be satisfied. The deal was announced 11 months ago.

Contango Holdings (CGO) is another cash shell and it has been in the process of acquiring the Lubu coal project since April. A £1.4m placing at 5p a share puts Contango in a position to publish a circular for the acquisition.

Tex Holdings (TXH) says it has a record order book. It is responding to matters raised by the FCA and trading in the shares remains suspended. Trading was suspended nine months ago and it has reported its late annual figures, although there still appear to be doubts about the financial state of the company. The overdraft has been repaid.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 1 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

NEX Exchange company of the year

National Milk Records (NMRP)  

Dairy and livestock services provider National Milk Records has been on NEX for more than a decade. The share price has increased by more than 500% over the past decade. In the latest quarter to March 2019, revenues improved from £5.32m to £5.56m, even though the number of cows on the database had declined from 743,054 to 713,379 over a 12-month period which hit milk recording revenues. Income from specialist testing has increased. Overall, growth was not as strong as in the first six months, which benefitted from one-off income. An oversupply of milk in recent weeks has hit the milk price and this has held back spending by farmers.

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Wealth management group AFH Financial Group (AFHP) is raising up to £20m via a convertible unsecured loan stock issue. The conversion price is 420p a share, up from 360p before the issue was announced, and the interest rate is 4%. This cash will fund further acquisitions. There are five that are already in due diligence.

Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) is not likely to achieve financial close on three projects, so it will lose money in the 14 months to June 2019. The second half will be profitable. The company should return to profit in 2019-20.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has increased the valuation of its portfolio by 22% to £86.9m at the end of April 2019. Annualised rental income is £6.5m.

Investment company Angelfish Investments (ANGP) had cash of £1.48m, but debt was £3.35m and net liabilities of £543,000 at the end of 2018. This means that the preference dividend cannot be paid because there are no distributable reserves. The decline into net liabilities was mainly due to a £942,000 write-down on loans made to OME. Pre-revenue investments are included at cost.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has appointed First Sentinel as its corporate adviser. PCG has not replaced its nominated adviser so it will lose its AIM quotation. Acquisition talks continue.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has invested £75,000 in fintech company Capable Finance in return for a 50.01% stake and a £25,000 loan with an annual coupon of 15%. First Sentinel directors have participated in a £110,000 placing and they own most of the rest of the shares. First Sentinel has gained a Euronext Dublin listing for its 7.5% bonds, May 2024. Some of this cash will be invested in the activities of Capable Finance.

Shareholders in Valiant Investments have approved the change of name to Eurocann International (BUD) and the focus on medicinal cannabis. It has disposed of its investment in Flamethrower one of its own directors and raised £263,000 at 1.5p a share. Valiant had £1,289 in the bank at the end of 2018. There is still a £200,000 convertible investment in All Star Minerals (ASMO). The company has a stake in North Bud Farms Inc, which has a cannabis production facility in Quebec.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £250,000 at 0.1p a share. This ash will contribute to the £700,000 investment in Apollon Formularies. Executive chairman David Lenigas has bought 17 million shares at 0.11941p each.

Ananda Developments (ANA) has formalised the joint venture with Anglia Salads and JE Piccaver to create DJT Group. Ananda and Anglia which each own 50% of DJT, which will apply for a licence to cultivate and supply cannabis. Ananda had £141,000 in the bank at the end of January 2019.

Sativa Investments (SATI) subsidiary PhytoVista Laboratories has completed an independent blind test consumer cannabidiol products for The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis. Many proved to have too low or too high a content of relevant ingredients.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has terminated its heads of terms with Mkango Resources relating to earning up to 75% of the Thumbani licence because it could not come up with the finance required.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) increased its revenues from $8.2m to $10.9m, although the loss doubled to $1.89m. That is mainly down to a $797,000 loss on an equity sharing agreement. The cash outflow from operations fell from $904,000 to $813,000.

Via Developments (VIA1) reported an increase in interim loss from £10,000 to £259,000, because of higher finance costs.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is raising £1.6m at 0.11p a share and this will fund the investment in the Amapa iron ore project.

Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) is leaving NEX on 26 July. The minerals explorer has been on NEX for less than nine months. It does not believe it is large enough to benefit from a quotation on NEX as well as the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Small Cap Awards 2019 winners

Company of the year

Beeks Financial Cloud (BKS)

Beeks Financial Cloud provides cloud-based connectivity and infrastructure services provider for automated trading of financial assets. It also provides cyber security services to prevent distributed denial of service attacks. Beeks was formed in 2010 and has consistently grown its revenues. Beeks joined AIM in November 2017 and in May it acquired the trading assets of US-based Commercial Network Services and this adds 1,000 customers. Progressive Research forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £1.2m to £1.4m in the year to June 2019.

IPO of the year

Cake Box Holdings (CBOX)

Egg-free cakes supplier Cake Box won this award the day before its first anniversary on AIM. Cake Box raised £16.5m at 108p a share and at one point the share price was nearly double this level. There is still a premium of more than 60% to the flotation price. In the year to March 2019, revenues increased from £12.8m to £16.9m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £3.3m to £4m. Two new distribution centre sites have been acquired. There is scope to more than double the business, which currently has 113 stores.

Impact company of the year

Kromek (KMK)

Kromek has developed a range of radiation detection and imaging products based on cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) technology. The company focuses on three sectors – medical imaging, nuclear detection and security. Kromek has been winning multi-million pound international contracts and it has a strong balance sheet following a recent fundraising. Revenues increased by 23% to £14.5m in the year to April 2019. Kromek is losing money, but it is on course to reach breakeven in a couple of years. The orders that are already won underpin the revenue forecasts for the coming years.

Executive director of the year

Mike Creedon, chief executive of Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI)

Mike Creedon has been on the SDI board since 2010, having previously been a finance director of two former AIM companies, Ideal Shopping Direct and Ninth Floor. SDI is an acquisitive digital imaging and sensor control technology company. The acquisition record is good. A trading update has led to a small pre-tax profit upgrade to £2.9m. The 2019-20 pre-tax profit is maintained at £4.1m.

Analyst of the year

George O’Connor, Stifel Nicolaus

Journalist of the year

Simon Thompson, Investors Chronicle

Fund manager of the year

Marlborough Nano Cap Growth

Lifetime achievement

Andrew Buchanan

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AIM 

Zoo Digital (ZOO) slipped back into loss in the year to March 2019, but it should return to profit this year. Demand for film and TV localisation services continues to grow but momentum has not been as expected.

Wynnstay (WYN) had already warned about tough second quarter trading, but underlying pre-tax profit held up reasonably well, falling 15% to £4.3m, even though revenues were 19% higher at £218.5m. The increase in revenues was mainly down to commodity inflation. The warmer winter weather hit demand for animal feed, although fertiliser demand has been strong. The agricultural merchanting depots acquired in the past year are moving towards profit. There has been some rationalisation of the depot network. The interim dividend has been raised 4% to 4.6p a share.

China New Energy Ltd (CNEL) has applied for a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and it will ask shareholders for permission to cancel the AIM quotation, subject to a successful Hong Kong listing.

Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) has increased its assets under influence to £5.3bn, helped by recent acquisitions. There is a strong pipeline of additional acquisitions. Interim pre-tax profit improved from £930,000 to £1.63m.

MAIN MARKET 

BATM (BVC) is raising $18m, 20% more than initially sought, at 42.5p a share. Most of the cash is earmarked for the cyber and networking activities. The rest will go towards medical activities. The cash will help in securing partnerships with larger technology companies.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has varied and extended its contract with Canadian data centre provider GPU.one. This will provide access to 14MW of power at lower prices. This increases capacity by 47%, utilising the equipment that has already been ordered, and cuts power cost by 39%. The deal starts on 25 June and lasts three years. Argo can give four months’ notice. A previous deposit of £1.44m has been turned into an investment in GPU.one.

Tex Holdings (TXH) says the engineering operations have started the year slowly, but trading should return to previous levels. The plastics division is trading in line with expectations and there is investment in new machinery. The shares remain suspended.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Ltd (COPL) has joined the standard list. The oil and gas company is focused on Nigeria and sub-Saharan African.

Avocet Mining (AVM) is holding a general meeting on 18 July to gain shareholder approval for a voluntary liquidation. Avocet has sold its interest in the Tri-K gold project in Guinea for $21m. This leaves a small residual cash sum. There is unlikely to be anything substantial left to distribute to shareholders.

Oil and gas company Aminex (AEX) shareholders have approved the switch from a premium listing to a standard listing. It is also cancelling its Dublin listing. It may have been difficult to get the full benefits of the lighter regulation of a standard listing if the company were still listed in Dublin.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 25 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) increased full year revenues from continuing operations from £104.5m to £116.9m, helped by last winter’s cold weather and a price increase, and pre-tax profit recovered from £700,000 to £1.7m. The renewable electricity supplier and generator has increased its dividend from 3.3p a share to 3.5p a share. Net debt was £40.1m at the end of 2018. Energy supply volumes increased by 3%, but domestic volumes were 1.2% lower in an increasingly competitive market. The growth came in the business side, which increased volumes by 23%. Good Energy generates energy from six solar sites and two wind farms. The company expects to continue to grow business volumes and invest in digital technology. Non-executive director Nemone Wynn-Evans has bought 9,500 shares at 105p each.

Trading in PCG Entertainment (PCGE) shares has been suspended because it is in talks to acquire VOX Markets and Align Research.

Karoo Energy (KEP) has been told by its potential nominated adviser does not believe its is suitable for an AIM quotation. This also means that the planned fundraising cannot go ahead. A refinancing is required. There are trade creditors of around £300,000. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has maintained its 3.4% stake in Fresho by participating in its latest fundraising, which was at a 76% premium to the price paid for the initial investment. The investment is worth A$673,000.

Dana Group International Investments Ltd (DANA) reported swing from loss of $129,000 to a profit of $95,000 in the six months to December 2018, due to other income of $276,000.

Tectonic Gold (TAU) says that roc chip samples from the Clermont project in Queensland show up to 8.01g/t gold, 140g/t silver and 6.32% copper.

Panther Metals (PALM) has completed the acquisition of Parthian Resources and its former shareholders own 16.1% of Panther.

Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has raised a further £225,000 at 90p a share.

Imperial X (IMPP) has changed its focus to medicinal cannabis. There was a small cash outflow in the six months to the end of December 2018. There was nearly £70,000 in the bank with net cash of £19,000. There are net liabilities and more cash will be required later this year.

Steve Howson is stepping down as chief executive of SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) and he will become a non-executive director. Majority shareholder David Sumner will be interim chief executive.

AIM  

Footasylum (FOOT) has recommended a 82.5p a share bid from JD Sports Fashion (SPD) which values the footwear retailer at £90.1m. JD Sports was buying shares between 50p and 75p and built up a 18.7% stake. The bidder promises to maintain the separate commercial identity. Footasylum floated in November 2017 at 164p a share.

Diaceutics (DXRX) ended the week at 97.5p, having floated at 72p. The company provides data analysis and advisory services to pharma companies seeking to develop and commercialise diagnostic tests. There were £15.2m of placing proceeds net of expenses and £5.5m will be spent on the acquisition of data, while the rest will be used to pay off debt and develop AI analysis technology. There is limited liquidity in the shares because they are tightly held.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) warns that trading in the second quarter is weak because of the warmer winter weather. There has also been a weakening in farmgate prices. Interim figures will be well below the first half of last year and the full year will be below forecast. Peel Hunt argues that it has already factored these elements into its forecast for rival feed supplier NWF (NWF) and it is not changing its forecasts.

Pelatro (PTRO) has launched a data monetisation platform with a revenue share contract with an existing client, which is worth $500,000 in the first year. This is a product that can be sold to other customers.

Financial trading platform Aquis Exchange (AQX) reported 2018 revenues ahead of expectations and it doubled its market share during the year. The subscription-based model means that higher trading levels by a trader lead to subscription income levels going up. Aquis will continue to be loss-making this year, but the relatively fixed cost base means that once this is covered the profit should grow significantly as revenues grow.

Scientific instruments supplier Judges Scientific (JDG) increased is cash generation from operations from £10.9m to £15.7m in 2018. There was 5.5% organic growth in revenues and underlying operating profit rose by just over one-third to £14.7m. The cash balance has increased to £15.7m, which provides firepower for acquisitions. Shore Capital has edged up its earnings per share forecast from 188.8p to 190p.

Volvere (VLE) says full year revenues from continuing operations will rise from £16.2m to £18.6m. There was a £23.1m gain on the sale of Impetus Automotive. There was an underlying loss on continuing activities, but the frozen pie maker Shire Foods improved its profit contribution. There is £34.1m of cash in the Volvere balance sheet.

Frontier IP (FIPP) says that the outcome for the year to June 2019 is likely to be ahead of management expectations. A deal by investee company Exscientia, which is involved in AI-based drug discovery, with Celgene Corporation should result in a substantial uplift in its valuation.

Science in Sport (SIS) had a 25-day contribution from the profitable PhD Nutrition business in 2018. The group’s underlying loss increased last year, but PhD will help to reduce the loss and the cash outflow from operations, which was £6.42m last year. There is £8m in the bank and even with capital investment requirements that should be enough to cover requirements this year.

Ceramic products supplier Portmeirion Group (PMP) increased its 2018 pre-tax profit by 10% to £9.7m and a further rise to £10.3m is forecast for this year. Online sales are growing rapidly from a relatively low base. The home fragrance business is doing well, and capacity is being added. The total dividend is 8% higher at 35.7p a share.

Share (SHRE) improved its significantly improved its profitability in the second half of 2018, although trading levels weakened towards the end of the year. That weakness has continued into the early months of this year. Evan so, Cenkos forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £700,000 to £1.3m, upgraded from £1.1m, in 2019.

Clear Leisure (CLP) has placed its 50%-owned data mining operation in Serbia on a care and maintenance basis. This is due to the fall in the price of cryptocurrency. Legal actions and negotiations continue concerning a number of past investments. Clear has paid £76,000 for a 10% stake in PBV, which provides data services for the Italian legal sector. At the end of 2018, there were €2.1m of bonds converted into shares.

Andrew Perloff has increased his stake in 600 Group (SIXH) from 6.19% to 8.85%.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH) has changed the ratio of its ADRs from two shares for each ADR to 20 shares for each ADR. This is a way of getting the trading price of the ADRs on NASDAQ back above $1.

EQTEC (EQT) could be a beneficiary of the deal done by its largest shareholder EBIOSS with Urbaser for the collection, treatment and possible conversion of waste to energy. Urbaser is conducting due diligence on EQTEC’s gasification technology and this could be used for any waste to energy plant if all three parties come to an agreement on a specific opportunity. Projects could be in Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia and Romania.

A local authority report has placed a five year reserve status on the Plymouth Airport site where Sutton Harbour (SUH) has a 135 year lease. The local authorities are keen that the site should be used for general aviation, but a viable business plan needs to be put together. Sutton Harbour would like to develop the site.

Tau Capital (TAU) has sent a circular to shareholders concerning a capital return of $1.19m or 2.42 cents a share, raise $150,000 via a placing at 0.1 cents a share and change its name to UK Onshore. Reverse takeover candidates are being assessed. Gerwyn Williams and Nigel Burton will join the board.

Synectics (SNX) has won a £1m order from the oil and gas sector. This is the largest order for its surveillance systems from this sector for a number of years. Synectics reported a rise in full year revenues from £70.1m to £71.2m and pre-tax profit slipped from £3.02m to £2.86m. The full year dividend is increased from 4p a share to 4.7p a share.

MAIN MARKET 

Athelney Trust (ATY) has responded to the letter from former director Dr Pohl, who wants to regain his place on the board along with Simon Moore and remove David Lawman. Dr Pohl has acquired more than 100,000 shares in the past month, and this means that five shareholders own more than 50% of the investment company putting its investment trust status at risk. As long as there is more than 35% of the company held by the public this is not a problem, but it would be if Dr Pohl joined the board. There have been £90,000 of extra costs because of disputes between the two major shareholders. The plan remains to bring Gresham House on board as fund manager

WideCells Group (WDC) is changing its name to Iconic Labs and moving into digital marketing and technology. The management of this business previously built up social publisher Unilad. In the first 12 months, an agency consulting division will be launched to assists clients to develop brands. There are plans to build up a distribution and publishing division through acquisitions and launch content licensing and e-commerce divisions. There is little indication of what will happen to the stem cell operations, although management appears to believe that the insurance business could be worth pursuing. Historic liabilities are being resolved. The convertible loan note holder continues to convert a proportion of the loan note that is below 30% and then sell the shares. There are 785.6 million shares in issue with more to come.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has raised £436,500 at 2.25p a share. The cash will be used for the pre-construction phase of the South Korean gold projects. An agreement has been made with a local landowner for the use of land outside the main entrance of the Kochang mine.

Highlands Natural Resources (HNR) has raised £1.56m at 8.5p a share via an offer through PrimaryBid.com. This cash will fund a move by the natural resources company into the organic cannabidiol market. It has established Zoetic Organics in the US and it believes that hydrogen produced by Highland in Kansas can be used as a fertiliser with potential to increase the size of the plant. First revenues could be achieved in the summer.

Standard list shell Stranger Holdings (STHP) claims that Alchemy Utilities Ltd has sabotaged the proposed reverse takeover by refusing to provide audited accounts. Stranger is trying to get back the £300,000 it lent to Alchemy as well as its reverse takeover costs of £450,000. Stranger believes that the Alchemy management team may have misrepresented its financial status. An alternative acquisition is being lined up, but Stranger had negative net assets at the end of September 2018 and there are additional costs since then.

Standard list shell Hertsford Capital (HERT) still had £2.88m in cash at the end of 2018.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) is growing its gross profit but EBITDA is similar to the same period last year, which was around £650,000.

PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) has ended its wafer production activities in Germany and it intends to apply its wire sawing expertise to cutting non-silicon materials. There are plans to return £38.5m to shareholders, which is equivalent to 24p a share and that is not far short of the current market price. That could still leave more than €10m of cash. Management is considering whether to maintain a listing.

Sure Ventures (SURE) says 23%-owned Suir Valley Ventures has maintained its 10% stake in WarDucks, which is developing an AR game, by participating in a €3.3m fundraising.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 28 January 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Full year figures from AFH Financial Group (AFHP) show how successful its acquisition strategy is with revenues 51% higher at £50.7m and pre-tax profit that nearly doubled to £6m. Despite the additional shares issued to part-finance these acquisitions, underlying earnings per share were one-third higher. The dividend is 50% higher at 6p a share. Acquisitions have continued since the year end. Management believes that it can double funds under management to £10bn in three to five years.

Startup Giants (SUG) has commenced a programme to raise up to £3m. There will be an initial share placing to raise £200,000. The company has launched its 2019 accelerator round for pre-seed capital tech entrepreneurs. Funding of up to £100,000 can be received by successful applications.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $200,000 in Rlay, a data collaboration framework for crowdsourcing. KR1 will receive an undetermined number of discounted tokens. This will be a discount to the lowest price paid by any investor in the tokens. KR1 has spent £50,000 in 50,000 Nash tokens.  These are the first tokens issued out of Liechtenstein.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has signed a deal with Master Kingdom Ltd in order to create a range of body care and body wash products, which will be sold under the Artist’s brand name.

MetalNRG (MNRG) says that the Kyrgyzstan authorities have granted the application for a mining licence for the company’s uranium project in the country. The in-situ value of the uranium reserves is $253m and there is potential exploration upside.

Johnny Martin Smith is joining the board of VI Mining (VIM) and trading in the shares has resumed. Smith is a former mining analyst.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £142,000 at 11p a share. Bryan Smart has resigned from the board.

BWA Group (BWAP) had nearly £45,000 left in the bank at the end of October 2018. Elections have delayed progress with the potential licence acquisitions for rutile sands deposits in Cameroon. Investee company Prego International is moving from Guernsey to Norway and it may merge with another business.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) is seeking a replacement for First Sentinel Corporate Finance as its corporate adviser.

AIM   

Mporium (MPM) has signed a partnership deal with claims management firm Allay, which will use the company’s technology to generate leads for its business. Allay will be issued a 25% stake in Mporium in return for the revenuesthat will be generated, which could be worth millions of pounds. The stake could be increased to 29.9% if Mporium is successful in winning leads for Allay.

Mastercard has launched a rival bid for Earthport (EPO) and Visa is considering its position. The new bid is 33p a share and this values the company at £233m. That is a 10% premium to the Visa bid.

Aquaculture business Benchmark (BMK) has expanded its production capacity and is launching new products. Revenues were 8% higher at £151.5m and it would have been higher at constant exchange rates. It made an underlying pre-tax profit of £5.6m last year, up from £4.7m, and that could nearly double this year. Net debt was £55.7m.

Sureserve (SUR) has been restructured and non-core businesses sold. This enables it to concentrate on compliance and energy support services. Full year revenues from the continuing operations were 5% higher at £191m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £5.4m to £6.6m. This was better than expected and net debt was £11.4m. The dividend has been halved to 0.25p a share.

K3 Capital (K3C) was expected to report lower figures in the first half due to the timing of larger corporate finance deals and the mergers and acquisitions achieved interim revenues 4% lower at £7.2m and an even larger decline in profit. The second half should be better and revenues could be slightly higher than last year at £16.6m, but full year pre-tax profit is forecast to fall from £7.3m to £7m.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) reported record full year results. The higher milk price has led to increased demand for dairy feed. Revenues grew from £390.7m to £462.7m and pre-tax profit moved from £7.9m to £9.5m. The agriculture and retail divisions both improved their profit and the latter added additional sites in the second half that were not profitable in the period. There was the normal second half cash inflow but it was not as great as in the past, so net debt was nearly £1m. The dividend has been raised 6% to 13.4p a share.

InfraStrata (INFA) has raised £1.5m at 1.2p a share. This will boost its balance sheet while it negotiates with investors in the Islandmagee gas storage project. One equity investor has appointed advisers to do due diligence work. The project will continue to progress as these negotiations continue and the cash will make sure that progress is made while the final funding package is secured.

Lighthouse Group (LGT) has secured a deal to transfer the members and assets of its pension trust to Smart Pensions Ltd. The IFA will protect itself from the rising cost of the administration and capital requirements of pension trusts.

Audioboom (BOOM) grew last year’s revenues by 92% to $11.7m, although this was a 13 month period, and it says that there was no cash outflow from operations in the final three months. That meant that there was $1.6m in the bank at the end of 2018.

Robinson (RBN) traded in line with expectations last year. The packaging manufacturer expects revenues of £32.8m, which is a 10% improvement. The fastest growth was in Poland. Even so, pre-tax profit will be lower, but it should bounce back in 2019.

A large localisation project has been cancelled and this will hamper the progress of Zoo Digital (ZOO) in the second half of its financial year. The legacy DVD business is also declining faster than anticipated. This means that ZOO will not be profitable in the year to March 2019.

Velocity Composites (VEL) increased its full year revenues by 15% to £24.5m, and there was a small loss, but business wins are slower than previously hoped. Revenues could be flat this year.

Another upgrade for audio visual products distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) following its latest trading statement. Pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £24.3m to £29.1m and then a further increase to £31.7m in 2019.

MAIN MARKET 

Robin Boyle has failed to get back on the board of Athelney Trust (ATY) but he was successful in removing the existing directors. David Lawman and Paul Coffin were appointed although the latter resigned at the end of the week and he was replaced by Frank Ashton. The proposed tender offer and placing was also passed.

Dev Clever Holdings (DEV) is the latest company to float on the standard list. A share issue has raised £898,000 at 1p a share, including £220,000 due to the conversion of debt. The software development company was valued at £3.73m. The share price ended the week a 7.75p.

Nanoco (NANO) has signed a contract extension with a US company and this lasts until the end of 2019. This underpins the current year forecast.

Ross Group (RGP) has issued the final 21.3 million shares for the acquisition of Archipelago Aquaculture, which plans to start producing Chitin to help to produce quality shrimp. The deal was announced last September, and 17.9 million shares were issued at 1p a share. Global Blue Technologies Inc owns 19.9% of Ross.

Interim figures from Haynes Publishing (HYNS) show a 23% increase in underlying pre-tax profit to £1.6m on a 7% rise in revenues to £18.3m. Digital revenues were 23% higher at £9.7m. The growth in revenues and profit was in the UK and Europe. The interim dividend is unchanged at 3.5p a share. Net cash was £2.6m.

Andrew Hore

Ian Pollard: Winnstay Benefits From Agriculture Recovery

Wynnstay Group WYN the first half year to the 30th April was seen as  encouraging as the long awaited upturn in the agricultural sector kicked in and farm gate prices continued to recover, Growth was seen in both divisions and revenue from continuing operations rose by 10.3%, profit before tax  by 15.7% and earnings per share by 13.3%. The interim dividend is to be increased by 5%.

Immunodiagnostic Sys Group IDH  Revenue for the year to 31st March declined by 8% on a like to like basis. Adjusted earnings per share fell by 61% and EBITDA by 28%. Profit from operations was down by 43%. According to the new CEO appointed last November  one good sign for the future is that good progress has been made in restructuring the company

Elektron Technology plc EKT updates that Bulgins order book is significantly stronger with year to date orders at record levels. Half year sales are expected to show a rise of some 8% on last year.

Best of the Best plc BOTB Preliminary results for the year to the 30th April were ahead of management expectations and are described by the company as being solid. Like for like revenue rose by 13.3% and profit before tax by by 5.8%. Online like for like revenue increased by 23% and a special dividend of 4.5p per share is to be paid on the 20th July in addition to the proposed ordinary dividend of 1.5p per share due on the 21st Setpember.

Inspired Energy INSE has continued to build on a strong 2017 and is trading in line with market expectations

 

Luxury villas & houses for sale in the Greek Islands;   http://www.hiddengreece.net

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 26 March 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Continuing revenues from renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) increased from £89.7m to £104.5m but underlying pre-tax profit was nearly two-thirds lower at £734,000 due to higher admin and interest costs. There was also a decline in gross margin. An increase in working capital meant that there was a £4.92m cash outflow from operating activities. There was a decline in NAV due to the loss on discontinued generation development activities. Net debt was £53.1m at the end of 2017.

Brewer Adnams (ADB) reported a 9% increase in beer volumes in 2017, even though cash sales fell by 5%. Overall sales were 6% ahead at £74.8m despite losing £1m in revenues from the closure of the Swan Hotel for refurbishment. Even if the exceptional expenses of £721,000 for removing asbestos from the Swan Hotel, are added back, the pre-tax profit, excluding disposal gains, fell from £3.59m to £1.6m. Capital investment continues with the IT system being upgraded. The full year dividend was edged up from 226p a share to 228p a share. There plans to produce an alcohol-free version of Ghost Ship.

MetalNRG (MNRG) is selling its 15.4% stake in US Cobalt to ASX-listed Tyranna Resources, which is acquiring the whole of the company. MetalNRG will receive 21.7 million shares in Tyranna at a valuation of A$0.017 a share. The shares are trading at A$0.025, which would value the deal at £300,000. First Sentinel has raised £45,000 at 13p a share and issued a further £25,000 worth of shares at the same price to market maker Winterflood.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has exercised its option to take its stake in Indorse to 10%. The additional 3.5% of the company is being bought for £97,000, taking the total investment to £246,000. Singapore-based Indorse has tested its blockchain-based social network for professionals and moved to the Mainnet. A new feature will enable token issuers to verify their advisory board. Coinsilium is advising Bundle Network on its token generating event. Bundle enables people to trade across unconnected cryptocurrency without needing to open individual accounts.

Imperial Minerals (IMPP) has raised £20,000 at 2p a share. There was just over £37,000 in the bank at the end of 2017, following a £35,000 cash outflow in the previous six months. Imperial is still seeking an opportunity in metals, such as gold, lithium, cobalt and zinc.

First Sentinel (FSBN) has appointed Colin Maltby to the board and invested £43,500 in the Union Jack Oil (UJO) placing raising £1.25m at 0.085p a share.

Baron Bloom has stepped down from the board of Etaireia Investments (ETIP) after the publishing of criticism by a judge, who said that he had been dishonest during divorce proceedings with his ex-wife.

Block Commodities (BLOC) has entered into a strategic partnership with blockchain-based financial services platform Wala and token issuer Dala. The businesses will be working together to establish the blockchain-based agricultural commodity trading initiative that Block has been developing. Dala would be used as the token for the food commodities trading ecosystem. Block’s existing joint venture will supply $10m of Dala token loans to 50,000 small farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dana Group International Investments Ltd (DANA) increased its net assets from $0.31 a share to $0.36 a share in 2017. There was a $4.15m increase in the valuation of the investment in Bonyan International Investment.

AIM   

New management at social video content developer and owner Brave Bison (BBSN) will be judged on this year’s figures rather than the 2017 results. In 2017, revenues fell 48% to £9.1m and cost cutting helped to reduce the underlying operating loss before the restructuring costs and write-offs of acquired intangibles. The cash outflow from operations fell by two-thirds to £1.53m. There is £4.82m in the bank so that provides time for further improvement in performance. Collecting ad revenues for third party content on social platforms remains a significant revenue generator but commissioned sponsored content is becoming an increasingly important fee earner.

Cambridge Cognition (COG) reported a small decline in revenues because of lumpy contract wins in the previous year and the delays to two clinical trials. A small loss was reported but the neuroscience health company is expected to bounce back this year to a profit of £500,000.

Utilitywise (UTW) has finally published its figures for the year to July 2017. More conservative accounting policies mean that an under consumption of energy increased the loss to £8.5m. The utility cost management adviser had a £6.18m cash outflow from operating activities. Net debt rose from £5.5m to £19m and banking covenant breaches have been waived by the bank. The debt increase was partly down to dividend payments but there is no final dividend. The interim results will be published on 23 April.

Energy procurement business Inspired Energy (INSE) increased its underlying pre-tax profit from £7m to £9.7m, while earnings per share were one-quarter higher at 1.57p. Inspired has bought SystemsLink 2000, whose software Inspired uses, for £3.875m and Energy Cost Management, which specialises in water management services, for up to £2m.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) is confident that the 3D seismic data that has been acquired over the Gunnison Valley Unit on the Paradox oil and gas acreage in Utah provides the information required to decide a drill site for the fourth quarter and attract a farm-in partner to help finance the drilling. There are ongoing discussions with prospective partners and this should ensure that the current cash in the bank will last longer. Last September, £3m was raised at 4p a share.

Immupharma (IMM) says that it expects results from its phase III trial for Lupuzor by mid-April. The Lupus treatment has generated the required data and this will be analysed.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) continues to benefit from improved sentiment in the farming sector. Feed demand is above last year’s levels and grain volumes are improving, although margins are squeezed. Like-for-like retail sales are higher and an outlet has been acquired in mid-Wales.

Trading in Green and Smart Holdings (GSH) shares has been suspended because it will not publish its 2016-17 accounts by the end of March. The audit should be completed by the end of April.

CloudCall Group (CALL) grew revenues by two-fifths last year. The underlying loss was £2.6m and further investment in sales and marketing means that even though revenue growth could be near to last year’s level the loss will be similar. The recurring cloud-based software and telecoms services revenues that will be generated from the investment will reduce the loss and move the business into profit in the following two or three years.

James Latham (LTHM) says that its figures for the year to March 2018 will be in line with expectations. This reflects an improvement in the second half. The Wigston timber depot has been moved to a new site.

Parity Group (PTY) has signed a managed services deal with Primark Stores and, along with other extensions, this takes annual revenues from this area to £5m plus. Primark is important because most of the clients on this side of the business are in the public sector. Parity can generate £2m of cash a year.

Gama Aviation (GMAA) reported a 28% rise in underlying operating profit to $18.7m. The main growth has come from the aircraft management business, which was boosted by acquisition in the US. There were also improvements in Europe and Middle East. Gama is investing in two new ground maintenance sites in the US and this continued investment is holding back short-term profit for this division.

KCR Residential REIT (KCR) has raised £1.56m at 70p a share and capitalised loans of £1.59m. The cash will be invested in the private rental portfolio. Debt has been reduced to 45% of investment property value. Energiser Investments (ENGI) has taken a 24.7% in KCR by subscribing for shares and capitalising its £494,000 loan.

There was a cash outflow of £738,000 at Botswana Diamonds (BOD) in the six months to December 2017. That was before the £865,000 raised in a share issue. There is £230,000 left in the bank. A scoping study is being undertaken at the Thorny River project in South Africa. Drilling continues at the Ontevreden project.

Golden Saint Resources (GSR) is asking for shareholder backing for leaving AIM on 24 April. It still plans to acquire EMS Wiring Systems but it wants to join the standard list after the deal goes through.

OKYO Pharma Corporation left AIM on 23 March and the company has migrated to Guernsey. A special dividend payment is planned.

NWF has received bid acceptances for the equivalent of 42.6% of the share capital of Stellar Diamonds (STEL).

Directa Plus (DCTA) has entered into an agreement with Sartec to develop a system to treat contaminated water in the oil and gas sector by using the Grafysorber technology. Directa Plus provides the technology and support while the partner will finance the development of the first plant, starting in the second quarter of 2018.

Noel Collett is stepping down as chief executive of retail butcher Crawshaw Group (CRAW) but he will remain while a replacement is found. Finance director Alan Richardson plans to move to a new job in May. Crawshaw is estimated to have lost £2m in the year to January 2018, Trading has been poor in the first six weeks of the new financial year. There was £5m in the bank at the end of January 2018, which is similar to the company’s market capitalisation.

Grafenia (GRA) says trading has been mixed. Volumes and margins in the printing business have been below budget in recent months. Grafenia is trying to replace these revenues with licence fees, signage and website sales. Full year revenues will be two-fifths higher at nearly £15m and the loss will be similar. Net debt will be around £2.85m.

Gaming Realms (GMR) has sold two affiliate businesses for up to £2.4m. Their revenues have been declining. In 2017, group revenues were flat at £31.6m but continuing operations made a positive underlying EBITDA. Real money gaming revenues were 5% higher but social revenues were lower. New licensing deals have been signed with the likes of 888 and Golden Nugget Casino this year.

Vipera (VIP) says that 12.5% shareholder Sella Open Fintech Platform is contemplating making a bid for the mobile financial software developer.

Gatemore has taken its stake in TLA Worldwide (TLA) to 7%. Gatemore took its initial stake just after trading in TLA, which is most famous for publishing a profit warning after trading had finished prior to Christmas 2016, recommenced after it published its 2016 figures last November.

Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) is paying £4.6m, plus £1.54m for cash balances, for Southampton-based AE Financial Services. The business generated a profit of £500,000 last year.

Altona Energy (ANR) has reviewed the data for the Westfield tenement and put together a three phase drilling programme. This will cost A$1.5m in total, with the first phase costing A$230,000. The second phase will help to define a JORC resource. The final phase will be part of the preparation of a bankable feasibility study. The drilling is targeting shallow coal seams.

More bad news from toilet tissue manufacturer Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL) and the share price has fallen by three-quarters. The loss is going to be higher than expected. Net debt will be £34m by the end of April.

MAIN MARKET    

London and Associated Properties (LAS) says that the tenant of Brixton Markets has exercised its pre-emption rights to acquire the markets. Market Village will pay £37.25m for assets that have a book value of £24.5m.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) says it has made swift progress at the Kochang mine and sampling of the underground workings is ongoing. This has cost $65,000 so far. Feasibility studies at Kochang and Gubong should be completed in the third quarter of 2018. Bluebird has to spend $500,000 on each project to earn 50% in a joint venture for each project with Southern Gold.

Andrew Hore

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