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Quoted Micro 11 April 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

NFT Investments (NFT) is not going ahead with the acquisition of crypto tech and operations company Pluto Digital Assets and trading in the shares has recommenced. NFT had cash of £21.9m, having made seven investments, and net assets of £34.4m, 3.43p a share, at the end of 2021.

National Milk Records (NMRP) is linking up with another former Milk Marketing Board business Genus (GNS). National Milk Records will provide the fully listed animal breeding company with multi-panel genomic testing and evaluations. The two firms have been part of a process to map the DNA of the worst cows and bulls in terms of environmental impact. Farmers will be able to choose to breed cows with lower impact and highest milk yields. The initial contract lasts for five years.

Asimilar Group (ASLR) has joined the Access segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange. The technology investment company hopes that this will improve share liquidity. The AIM-quotation is being maintained but may be terminated to save money if the new quotation is successful.

Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has signed two new distribution deals. Oak and Still will distribute Shinju whisky in the UK from April 2022. Beverage Hunters will be the distributor in Spain from May.

Vanadium flow batteries technology developer Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has successfully concluded a validation programme by Korea-based Hyosung Heavy Industries and signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for a global partnership and exclusivity in Korea.

Talent management and livestreaming company All Things Considered (ATC) increased revenues and other operating income by 23% to £9.9m in 2021. The loss is likely to be £2.8m. There was £4.4m in cash at the end of 2021. The live music market continues to recover. All Things Considered has invested $6m from a short-term promissory note into a new company focused on music digitisation and blockchain technology. This is a minority investment out of a total of $80m. The full year figures should be published in May.

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) has been appointed as the official sparkling wine supplier to the English Cricket Board. The company’s sparkling wines will be given to the winners of internationals and domestic finals.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that iron ore stockpile shipments have started from the Amapa project in Brazil.

Eastinco Mining (EM.P) has discovered 16 new pegmatite zones following geochemical sampling at its HCK joint venture in southern Rwanda. This takes the total to 18.Surface geological exploration is underway at Musasa.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has renegotiated its loan facility and the £5m deemed to be outstanding has been changed into convertible loan stock that is convertible into shares at 1p each. There will be immediate conversion of £4.47m of loan notes.

Gunsynd (GUN) invested £75,000 into First Tin (1SN) at the placing price of 30p, having already invested £125,000 at 15p a share. The share price ended the first day at 30p.

AIM-quoted Vela Technologies (VELA) has acquired a 28.8% stake in healthcare and medtech firm Igraine (KING) for £404,000 or 1.8p a share. Richard Edwards had previously sold his 10.3% stake.

Giles Brand has increased his stake in EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) from 32.1% to 33.4%.

Aquis Exchange (AQX) non-exec chairman Glenn Collinson has bought an initial stake of 12,003 shares at 512p each. Shepherd Neame (SHEP) director Richard Oldfield has bought 25,000 shares at 837.4p each and 15,000 shares at 835.35p each. Hot Rocks investments (HRIP) non-exec chairman Brian Rowbotham bought 715,000 shares at 0.7p each and he owns 3.5%. Non-exec director Charles Vaughan has taken his stake to 2.53% after purchasing 1.5 million shares at 0.65p each.

AIM

The London Stock Exchange says that Arden Partners (ARDN) will lose its nominated adviser status if the merger with legal services provider Ince (INCE) goes ahead.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) revenues more than doubled to £24m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £4.77m to £6.42m thanks to the acquisition of rival Hunters Property. There is more to come. More financial advisers are being recruited and more of the franchisees are taking advantage of the services. The total dividend of 11.6p a share was higher than expected.

Belvoir Group (BLV) generated organic revenue growth of 25% last year. In 2021, pre-tax profit jumped from £7.5m to £10.3m, while the dividend is 8.5p a share. Management expects the residential sales part of the business to return to normal levels following the ending of incentives, while the lettings and financials businesses continue to grow.

Gaming machine monitors and consoles supplier Quixant (QXT) generated 2021 revenues of $87.1m, while pre-tax profit was $5.4m. Net cash is $17.6m. Screens supplier Densitron achieved the highest sales since it was acquired. Revenues are increasing from higher value added products.

Trading levels of most of the businesses of Tracsis (TRCS) have got back to previous levels, although the traffic data division recovery was delayed. In the six months to January 2022, group revenues were 31% ahead at £29.2m, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from £4.1m to £5m. The interim dividend is 0.9p a share. The recent US acquisition provides a customer base in the US, which is not as far advanced in terms of rail optimisation software as the UK.

Freight forwarding and transport services both improved their profit contribution to Xpediator (LSE: XPD) in 2021. The warehousing and logistics profit slumped due to problems in the UK. Pre-tax profit rose by one-quarter to £9.1m in 2021. The total dividend was reduced to 1.1p a share. A special dividend is a possibility this year, though. A new chief executive is still being sought.

Ecommerce technology provider Attraqt (ATQT) increased full year revenues by 9% to £22.9m but continued to lose money. There was £3.5m in the bank at the end of 2021 and management hopes to be cash neutral in 2022.

SourceBio International (SBI) grew Covid-19 testing revenues and core divisions also improved revenues during 2021. Group revenues grew from £50m to £92.5m, but they are expected to decline to £39.5m in 2022. That masks sharply higher core revenues partly due to a recent acquisition. The Covid testing labs can be converted to other uses.

Floorcoverings supplier Likewise (LIKE) says that first quarter of 2022 is ahead of budget. The Birmingham logistics site is up and running. The latest acquisition is Delta Carpets, which is earnings enhancing.

Anglesey Mining (AYM) has made the switch from the Main Market to AIM. It had been listed since May 1988. The company’s main asset is the 100%-owned Parys Mountain copper lead zinc deposit in Anglesey, north Wales. Other assets include a 20% interest in the Grangesberg iron project in Sweden. There is a right of first refusal to increase the stake to 70%. The share price moved up by 0.01p to 4.06p on the first day of trading on AIM.

MAIN MARKET

First Tin (1SN) raised £20m at 30p a share and ended the first day of trading at 30p (29p/31p). First Tin issued 60 million shares to acquire Taronga Mines, which owns Australian tin mining assets. The company already owned German tin projects. The cash raised should last for 18-24 months.

Radiology services provider Medica Group (MGP) had a much stronger second half to 2021. Revenues from elective surgery where slightly lower in the first half because of the effect of lockdowns and restrictions. The 2021 group revenues improved from £12.5m to £17.3m as surgery activity built back to previous levels. In 2021, group revenues improved from £36.8m to £61.9m, while underlying pre-tax profit increased from £4.74m to £11.5m. That excludes £4.13m of non-underlying costs, including amortisation, share based payments and one-off professional fees of £555,000. Net cash was £3.88m at the end of 2021. There is potential contingent consideration of £6.89m. The total dividend is 5% higher at 2.68p a share.

DG Innovate (DGI) completed its reversal into Path Investments. The company was acquired for £32.4m in shares issued at 0.6p each and has two operations. The first is developing electric drive technology and the other is developing sodium-ion batteries. The £2.55m raised at 0.5p a share, plus the £2.08m raised from warrants exercised at 0.25p each, will help to commercialise these technologies. The share price ended the first day at 0.34p, which is higher than the suspension price.

Ajax Resources (AJAX) is a shell seeking energy and natural resources assets and it raised £1.34m at 4p a share. The shares ended the week at 4.75p. The pro forma net assets are 2.6p a share. Management is seeking production that provides cash flow and/or strong exploration potential in known resources areas.

Aura Renewable Acquisitions (ARA) is a new shell seeking acquisitions in the renewable energy sector and it raised £1m at 10p a share. It ended the first day of trading at 17p. Pro forma cash is 8.4p a share. The founder shareholder is Harmony Capital Investments, which is behind the management of AIM-quoted, Asia-focused investment company Jade Road Investments Ltd (JADE), where Aura chairman John Croft is executive chairman. Aura is targeting is a range of businesses in areas such as wind, solar, biomass, hydro, carbon capture, waste management, smart grids and hydrogen supply.

OTHER MARKETS

Cyprus listed FOS Holdings has appointed Nick Kounoupias as chief executive. He is a solicitor with his own intellectual property consultancy. The film and entertainment company is planning a complex of five studios in Cyprus between Limassol and Larnaca, plus studios in other locations around the world. EU grants will help the funding of the studio complex, but other funding will need to be secured. FOS also plans to make three films a year.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 7 February 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

SuperSeed Capital Ltd (WWW) raised £2m at 100p a share in order to invest in UK based seed technology companies alongside a related fund. The share price ended the week at 70p (65p/75p). The directors can issue up to 50 million additional shares up until 27 January 2027.

Samarkand Global (SMK) says that trading conditions in China will hamper progress for the rest of this financial year. Covid restrictions have hit trading during the Chinese New Year period. Revenues will be lower than expected and higher investment will increase the expected loss. Recent deals will help Samarkand grow in the longer-term, but there are also forecast reductions for the next two years. VSA no longer expects Samarkand to make a pre-tax profit in 2022-23.

Gunsynd (GUN) investee company Low6 has raised $5m and the sports betting platform company agreed to reverse into a Canadian shell, which will list on the TSX Venture Exchange. Gunsynd has raised A$493,000 (£260,000) from the sale of part of its stake in ASX-listed Charger Metals Ltd. This has raised the initial investment and left Gunsynd holding three million shares.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) is selling its A ordinary shares in The Homebuilding Centre back to the company in five tranches. There will be a minimum payment of £50,000 a year. This guarantees Capital for Colleagues will receive its initial investment of £250,000. It still owns 15% of the ordinary shares.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has raised £4.2m at 20.5p a share via a placing and subscription. A one-for-20 open offer could raise up to £1.52m. Cadence has to invest $6m in two stages to take a 27% stake in the Amapa iron ore project in Brazil.

CBD products supplier Love Hemp Group (LIFE) is attempting to raise £2m at 1p a share and still plans to move to the Main Market in the first quarter of 2022. There are also plans to swap shares for debt. The company is moving to a new facility consolidating all the activities. Chairman Andrew Male and chief executive Tony Calamita, along with others, will accept their remuneration in shares until June 2022. This reduces the cash outflow.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased its interim pre-tax profit from £674,000 to £755,000. That is after a loss on disposal of £315,000, although fair value losses reduced from £200,000 to £100,000. Rental income fell 3% to £2.89m. There are £3.05m of assets held for sale. Net assets were 333.1m at the end of October 2021, while net debt is £50.4m.

AQRU (AQRU) has acquired Bison Exchange UAB for €30,000. The acquisition has changed its name to Accru Finance. The company can provide virtual currency exchange and wallet custody operations in Lithuania.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $5m in Starry Night Capital, which is building a portfolio of high-profile non-fungible tokens.

Pioneer Media Holdings (PNER) has completed the acquisition of Bark Ventures, a NFT play-to-earn game developer, for 2.86 million shares.

Western Selection (WESP) has cut its stake in Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) from 6.21% to 4.74% while Harwood Capital has increased its holding from 20.4% to 22.56%.

Helium Ventures (HEV) had £704,000 in cash at the end of October 2021. That is after a A$400,000 investment in Blue Star Helium, which has exploration projects in North America.

Quantum Exponential (QBIT) is still talking to potential investee companies. It owns 199,993 shares in Arqit Quantum, which has a contract with Virgin Orbit that covers two satellite launches.

Minerals explorer Altona Rare Earths (ANR) plans to continue to develop its rare earths projects Mozambique and Malawi to bankable feasibility study stage, as well as reviewing another acquisition that could be completed by the summer.

BWA Group (BWAP) reports that exploration of the 90%-owned mineral sands projects in Cameroon shows promising returns of rutile, ilmenite, kyanite and zircon over continuous zones.

Valereum (VLRM) has secured a $10m funding facility and this will help to finance the acquisition of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange. It has drawn down $3m which has to be repaid in six months of it can be converted into shares at 36.82p each, which is just below the current share price of 38p. There were also 663,302 warrants issued exercisable at 33.47p.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has raised £100,000 at 0.5p a share, with each two shares granted one warrant exercisable at 1.5p each.

AIM

NWF (NWF) reported a jump in interim profit. The fuel and food distribution businesses traded strongly with the former benefiting from concerns about supply shortages last autumn. The feeds business fell into loss, partly due to the loss of a distributor, and there was a £8.4m asset write down. Stripping out that exceptional, underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £2.5m to £4.3m. NWF maintained its interim dividend at 1p a share. Net debt was £7.4m at the end of November 2021. Management is seeking fuel distribution acquisitions to add to the regional network.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) has continued its record of increasing its dividend with an 18th consecutive rise. The total dividend improved from 14.6p a share to 15.5p a share. In the year to October 2021, underlying pre-tax profit was 37% higher at £11.4m. NAV is 525p a share. Wynnstay has increased market share in the feeds market, particularly for dairy and egg production. Agricultural merchanting operations benefited from the improved spending power of farmers. There could be a dip in profit this year.

Piling contractor Van Elle (VANL) improved its interim results and this led to an upgrade in full year forecasts. First half revenues were 57% ahead at £60m and it moved back into profit. Equipment usage levels have risen sharply. Net cash is £3.5m and this is enabling an increase in investment in new equipment. Van Elle had an order book of £39m at the end of 2021. Peel Hunt has increased its full year pre-tax profit forecast from £3m to £3.3m.

Hercules Site Services (HERC) originally raised £4m at 50.5p a share. The existing shareholder also raised £4m. Cirencester-based Hercules Site Services provides construction workers with a wide range of skills including carpenters, bricklayers, ground workers, security and site engineers. It also hires out suction excavators and sometimes there are cross selling opportunities with the labour supply business. More suction excavators are being acquired this year and there should be 20 following this fundraising. Demand for staff for infrastructure projects is increasing.

Electra Private Equity has sold all but one of its core investments, changed its name to Unbound Group (UBG) and moved to AIM. The remaining core business is footwear business Hotter. This is a direct to consumer business, although there are still 23 retail stores, down from 78 three years ago. One of Unbound’s main assets is its customer database. It hopes that selling additional products to that customer base will significantly improve profitability. The first sales of third-party products through the company’s website will be in the second quarter of 2022. The plan is to generate 50% of profit from these products.

Franchised lettings and estate agency business Belvoir Group (BLV) enjoyed a strong end to the year even though the stamp duty holiday ended in the autumn. The 2021 pre-tax profit forecast has been raised from £9.6m to £10m, while the £8.9m forecast for 2022 is maintained at £8.9m.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) continued to make strong progress in the fourth quarter despite the ending of the stamp duty holiday. There was a like-for-like increase of 26% in revenues, while the acquisition of Hunters Property meant that they more than doubled to £24.1m.

Freight forwarder and logistics company Xpediator (XPD) achieved 2021 revenues of more than £300m, compared with forecasts of £250m. The pre-tax profit will be much more than £8.5m.

MAIN MARKET

Shipbroker Braemar Shipping Services (BMS) says that 2021-22 revenues will be at least £101m because the strong first half trading has continued into the second six months to February 2022. Operating profit should be at least £9.8m, up from £7.7m. Talks continue about the disposal of Cory Brothers.

Constellation Automotive has taken a 19.9% stake in motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) at the same time as it is completing its takeover of Marshall Motor. This will put Constellation in a strong position if there is a takeover battle for Lookers.

Hiro Metaverse Acquisitions 1 (HMA1) is a SPAC seeking acquisitions in video games, esports and other related areas. It raised £115m at £10 a unit (one share and 0.5 of a warrant).

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 9 August 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Chapel Down (CDGP) has announced Andrew Carter as successor to chief executive Frazer Thompson in September 2021.

National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its fourth quarter revenues by 7% to £5.72m. Milk recording revenues grew by 9%. The corresponding period did cover the initial lockdown. Milk prices are holding up at levels where dairy farmers will be profitable. The first phase of IT investment will be up and running later this year.

Boanerges Ltd (BNRG) has paid £25,000 for an option to invest £2m for a 14.3% stake in Fintech Digital Platforms, which owns property search internet portals.

Samarkand (SMK) has secured an extension to its distribution contract with skincare brand 111SKIN until the end of July 2023. Non-exec Keith Higgins has bought 21,739 shares at 146p a share.

Inqo Investments (INQO) had significant write-offs and bad debt provisions in the year to February 2021. This contributed to the more than doubled loss of R13.4m as revenues slumped from R24.4m to R4.2m. The total cash outflow was R14.7m and cash fell below R1m. Kuzuko Private Game Reserve will reopen in September. Uganda-based Four One Financial Services and Kenya-based South Lake Medical Centre both made higher interest payments to Inqo.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has taken a 50% stake in Vegan Punk Ventures and invested up to £100,000 in loans. The brand is PlantPunk and it has a range of ZeroBeef meat alternatives. Dave Ahern will be managing director and third-party investors will provide loans of up to £50,000.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) had cash of £436,000 at the end of June 2021.

Helium Ventures (HEV) continues to trade at a premium to its 10p placing price. The share price is currently 32.5p (31p/34p). James Sheehan has increased his stake from 8,5% to 9.47%.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has sold its stake in Finance Partners Group for €2.15m and €1.57m of this has been received. The original cost was €1.9m. The investment focus will be fintech.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £223,000 at 1.46p a share and issued £48,000 worth of shares at 2p each.

Veni Vid Vici has changed its name to VVV Resources (VVV). Angelfish Investments has changed its name to Igraine (KING). DicovORE has changed its name to Oscillate (MUSH).

Trading in First Sentinel, which has changed its name to Omni Egis (OMNI) and NQ Minerals (NQMI) shares has been suspended ahead of publication of their respective accounts. Freyherr International (FRYR) has withdrawn from Aquis.

AIM

In 2020-21, NWF (NWF) did not manage to match the previous year’s profit performance of the fuels division, but the cold winter and home working meant that the performance was better than expected. Management is keen to make further acquisitions to broaden the geographic spread of the fuels business. Overall, group pre-tax profit was 10% lower at £11.9m. The efficiency improvement in the food warehousing division meant that its profit contribution was higher. The feeds division reported a lower profit but with milk prices over 30p per litre the outlook is positive for dairy feed.

Higher second half sales and improved efficiency helped Filtronic (FTC) maintain profitability at £200,000 even though full year revenues fell 9% to £15.6m. The telecoms and RF components and equipment supplier generated cash and net cash improved to £2.8m at the end of May 2021. 5G investment and moves into newer markets, such as space, provide a positive outlook for the future and profit should build from now on. Revenues are expected to grow by 16% this year and pre-tax profit of £500,000 is forecast.

The latest trading statement from Belvoir (BLV) confirms a strong first half with revenues growing by two-fifths, due to buoyant house sales. The steadier lettings income has grown by 13% – 10% organically, which is much faster than the market.

Maestrano (MNO) has secured a five-month proof of concept contract with Network Rail for HS1, the high speed line that goes to the channel tunnel. This will monitor overhead lines, vegetation, track and passing clearances. HS1 is the same specification as European tracks so it could provide a way into the European market.

Microbiome-based products developer Optibiotix Health (OPTI) generated a 44% increase in interim revenues to £1.07m with LP LDL probiotic cholesterol-reducing products and Slimbiome products accounting for most of the revenues.

Seeing Machines (SEE) 2020-21 revenues were 2% ahead of expectations at A$47.3m. There was $47.7m in the bank at the end of June.

Xpediator (XPD) has formed a strategic partnership with e-commerce fulfilment company Synergy Retail Support and is providing space at its Braintree warehouse.

MAIN MARKET

Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated July revenues of £5.6m, up from £4.36m in June, even though the average bitcoin price fell. A Nasdaq listing is being considered.

Challenger Acquisitions has changed its name to Cindrigo Holdings (CINH) following the completion of the acquisition of the renewable energy products business.

Kanabo (KNB) has a stake in medical cannabis cultivation company Hellenic Dynamics, which is being acquired by AIM-quoted UK SPAC (SPC) for £45.2m in shares at a minimum price of 0.472p a share. The £750,000 investment in Hellenic will be converted into shares at a minimum 30% discount to the prospective. UK SPAC intends to move to the standard list.

Starcrest Education (OBOR) has signed heads of terms to acquire 80% of National Training Company. Starcrest is not going ahead with the acquisition of The London School of Science and Technology and costs of £1.2m have been written off. There was £700,000 in cash left at the end of June 2021.

Andrew Hore

Alan Green talks markets & budget, plus EQTEC #EQT, Xpediator #XPD & Mirriad #MIRI on UK Investor Magazine podcast

Alan Green discusses markets & budget, plus EQTEC #EQT, Xpediator #XPD & Mirriad #MIRI with Jonathan Roy on the UK Investor Magazine podcast

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 4 January 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

BWA (BWAP) has been unable to sell Kings of The North Corp (KOTN) back to St Georges Eco-Mining and there are problems with the title to claims held by KOTN. It appears that two licences had not been renewed by St Georges. Three more licence areas are being reviewed. St Georges has claimed C$200,000 for work it is claimed that has not been done. There is already a claim for cash from a KOTN director and there could be further claims against directors of KOTN and St Georges.

Gunsynd (GUN) says trading in investee company Empress Royalty commenced on the TSX Venture Exchange. Gunsynd invested £146,000 in October and owns 1.4% of Empress.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has terminated its endorsement agreement with BrandKing Worldwide and First Strong Workshop for AKFS+ haircare products and also ended the commission agreement with CN Workshop. In the recent interims, inventories increased in part due to AKFS+ haircare products.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) generated revenues of £5.74m and lost £2.96m in the period between 24 October 2018 and March 2020. This was before Vulcan raised £2.2m. The subsequent quarter trading was poor, but the second quarter was ahead of expectations. Further acquisitions have been identified.

TruSpine Technologies (TSP) lost £448,000 in the six months to September 2020. There was £567,000 in the bank.

Evrima (EVA) has sold a commercial property in Leeds for £200,000, which after costs is slightly below its purchase price in 2017. The cash will be reinvested in Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration.

AIM

Small business finance provider Vector Capital (VCAP) joined AIM on 29 December. It raised £3.1m at 38p a share and ended the week at 39.5p. In the six months to June 2020, revenues increased from £1.59m to £2.13m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £954,000 to £1.26m, even though new loans were not issued in the second quarter. The business has been profitable for the past four years. The loan book was worth £34.7m at the end of September 2020. The Jain family owns 80.85% of Vector Capital. Prior to flotation the original shareholders received a total dividend of £400,000.

Xpediator (XPD) has sold its online shopping logistics business in order to concentrate on the core freight business. EshopWedrop Holdings was losing money and the total consideration is £300,000 paid in equal instalments over three years. The book value was £700,000. Xpediator will achieve annual cost savings of £350,000 following the disposal.

MJ Hudson (MJH) is acquiring fund performance analytics business PERACS and this will widen the services it can provide to the asset management sector. The initial payment is 586,016 shares and there is deferred consideration in cash and shares over a three-year period.

Shareholders voted against the reappointment of Ian Visagie as a director of Goldplat (GDP).

Cyber security services provider Shearwater Group (SWG) says that October and November revenues were 39% ahead of the same period last year and the momentum continued into December.

UFG Asset Management has a total shareholding in Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) of 54.9%.

DBAY Advisers has sold more of its stake in Wynnstay Group (WYN) and it has fallen to 3.7%.

MAIN MARKET

National World (NWOR) is paying £10.2m for the former Johnstone Press group of newspapers. No debt is being taken on. JPI Media Publishing is the third largest local news group in the UK and includes titles, such as Yorkshire Post, Portsmouth News and the Scotsman. JPI is estimated to have generated revenues of £85m and EBITDA of £6m in the past year. National World will use the assets to build a local online news publishing model. There is an initial cash payment of £5.2m with two further instalments. National World is issuing £8.425m of 10% loan notes and plans to issue more. Trading in the shares remains suspended until a prospectus is published and it may not resume until April.

Oil-focused shell Wildcat Petroleum (WCAT) joined the standard list on 30 December. It raised £600,000 at 0.1p a share and was capitalised at £2.4m.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) is investing $100,000 in hashrate management platform Luxor Technologies. The technology can help cryptocurrency miners to increase their returns.

Standard list shell Rockpool Acquisitions (ROC) is still talking to Greenview Gas in its attempt to find a Northern Ireland-based acquisition. Greenview has downgraded its 2020-21 pre-tax profit expectation from £1.4m to £1m. Rockpool had loaned more than £1m, including interest, to Greenview. The initial loan agreement was three years ago. In November, this was repaid out of new borrowings.

Marwyn Acquisition Co I Ltd (MAC1), one of three shells floated by Marwyn during December, has appointed Vin Murria as chairman. She has built up two software companies on AIM and then sold them. The appointment means that the focus of this shell will be the software sector, with the first acquisition likely to be worth more than £100m. Last month, Vin Murria joined the board of AIM shell Summerway Capital (SWC) and it is also seeking software and digital acquisitions, but it is likely to be assessing smaller acquisitions.

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

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 21 September 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) improved interim revenues by 6% to £67.5m. Gross margins declined as Good Energy focused on business customers. There was a slump from profit to loss, partly down to expected credit losses. There is no interim dividend, but payments should resume next year.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) reported a two-thirds slump in interim revenues to £2.43m. This meant that the loss jumped from £363,000 to £1.69m. There were six race days in the period. Catering, events and the hotel all fell into loss, although the Rocking Horse nursery made a reduced profit. Nine race days are planned for the second half. There will be a substantial loss for 2020.  

S-Ventures (SVEN) raised £650,400 at 2.67p a share prior to flotation on 16 September. There have been no trades and the share price ended the week at 3p/5p.

Trading has resumed in Lombard Capital (LCAP) following the completion of disciplinary proceedings. A fine of £23,800 has been imposed on Lombard for the failure to provide timely information and a resulting sharp movement in the share price. Lombard also failed to notify changes in significant shareholdings.

Western Selection (WESP) says that its NAV has fallen by 29.7% to 45p a share over the 12 months to June 2020. The decline in the share prices of AIM-quoted investments is behind the decline. The lack of a dividend from Bilby (BILB) meant that income more than halved.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £275,000 at 7p a share. TruSpine Technologies (TSP) says that Evrensel Capital Partners is being given an extension for its subscription of £250,000 at 36p a share. Evrensel has until 11 November to complete the subscription and it has been taken on as an adviser by TruSpine.  

Panmure Gordon has been approved as a corporate adviser for the Aquis Stock Exchange.

AIM

ThinkSmart (LON: TSL) has revalued its remaining 10% stake in buy now, pay later finance provider Clearpay. The Clearpay stake was valued at £53.7m at the end of June 2020. That is based on the Afterpay share price, which has risen since. Following the settlement of litigation with Dixons Carphone, which led to a payment of £1.45m after June, ThinkSmart has around £10m in the bank and generating cash.

Hanover Bidco has launched a 40p a share recommended bid for ClearStar (CLSU) and this values the employee checks company at £14.7m. ClearStar floated at 57p a share back in July 2014.

Parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) increased full year revenues by 2% to £329m and there was a move from loss to a pre-tax profit of £1.8m. The freight division loss was reduced. Net cash was £12.3m, although it is helped by delayed tax payments. The parcels market is growing, and DX continues to invest in new depots.

Keystone Law (KEYS) has resumed dividends following the interims. Revenues grew but the rate of growth slowed. Lawyer recruitment continues and Panmure Gordon has upgraded its 2020-21 earnings from 7.1p a share to 11.9p a share.

Billing and customer relationship management software provider Cerillion (CER) has gained its largest ever contract. This £11.2m contract underpins next year’s figures.

There was a small decline in interim revenues at freight management services provider Xpediator (XPD) and there are further cost saving benefits in the second half. Freight forwarding made a higher profit, although overall operating profit was flat. A 0.45p a share dividend was declared. NAV is 19.9p a share.

Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) has been hit by closures and weak trading in the catering sector. The commercial kitchen services franchise group says trading is recovering, but it is still down on previous levels. Revenues should be more than two-thirds of normal levels by the end of 2020.

Online security software provider Kape Technologies (KAPE) doubled revenues in the first half of 2020. Organic growth was 12% as more people working from home led to demand for Kape’s software products. There are still cost savings to come from the Private internet Access acquisition. Full year earnings per share are expected to increase from 6.5p to 13.3p.

Cloud-based payment services provider PCI Pal (PCIP) reported slightly higher than expected full year revenues of £4.4m, up from £2.8m the previous year. Total annual contract value is running at £6.7m and this underpins the current forecast for this year. PCI Pal will continue to lose money but the cash outflow will reduce.

Union Jack Oil (UJO) is raising £7m at 0.16p a share to cover the oil and gas company’s share of investment in the Wressle field and fund other work programmes and drilling.

Trading in Phimedix (PHM) shares has been suspended because the shell has not found a suitable acquisition. Prior to suspension, Steven Myers sold his 7.7% stake and Ali Mortazavi further reduced his stake from 8.15% to 7.7%.

MAIN MARKET

Tex Holdings (TXH) has decided to delist from the Main Market by 13 October. Trading has been suspended since 29 April 2019. Funding is required and the board believes it will be difficult to secure the cash as a listed company because of the requirement for a prospectus for a major share issue. Costs will also be reduced.

IMC Exploration (IMC) intends to accelerate its exploration programme at the North Wexford gold project. The drilling will be JORC compliant.

Papillon (PPHP) says due diligence on its potential mining acquisitions has been completed. Kilmapesa has recommenced gold production.

Castillo Copper Ltd (CCZ) says that it has verified high-grade copper and identified gold mineralisation at the Big One deposit, on the Mt Oxide project. There are plans to commence drilling.

Andrew Hore

Alan Green talks Smart Metering Systems #SMS, Xpediator #XPD & Catenae Innovation #CTEA on Vox Markets podcast

Alan Green discusses Smart Metering Systems #SMS, Xpediator #XPD & Catenae Innovation #CTEA with Justin Waite on the Vox Markets podcast. Interview is 21 minutes 14 seconds in.

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

Alan Green talks Advanced Oncotherapy #AVO, Bidstack #BIDS, Brave Bison #BBSN & Xpediator #XPD on Vox Markets podcast

Alan Green discusses Advanced Oncotherapy #AVO, Bidstack #BIDS, Brave Bison #BBSN & Xpediator #XPD with Justin Waite on the Vox Markets podcast. Interview starts at 9 minutes, 35 seconds. Click on the image above to listen.

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