News blog

AIM 50 Digest 10 December 2021

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 13/12/2021 |

Triley Bidco is bidding 883p a share for Clinigen (CLIN) and that values the pharma services company at £1.2bn. Clinigen shareholders will also receive a 5.46p a share dividend. Clinigen management believes that going private will help it accelerate investment in growth.
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Financial services and healthcare technology supplier SS&C Technologies Holdings Inc announced a 1275p a share offer for the robotic software provider Blue Prism (PRSM), which values the company at £1.24bn. The bid, which is recommended by the Blue Prism board, is still not much more than 50% of the share price high in 2018. Vista Equity Partners originally made a bid of 1125p a share and then subsequently increased the bid to 1250p a share before the latest move by Connecticut-based SS&C Technologies.
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Victorian Plumbing (VIC) increased full year revenues by 29% to £268.8m, while pre-exceptional profit was £36.8m. This year, margins may fall back as trading conditions are not as strong as previously and marketing is being stepped up. Revenues are currently flat. The share price has been on a downward trajectory since flotation, but it took a sharp fall on the results. Directors have been buying since then. Chief executive Mark Radcliffe bought three million shares at 96.65p each and three other directors have made significant purchases.
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IQE (IQE) has appointed Americo Lemos as chief executive, and he joins at a time when the wireless demand is weak. Currency movements have exacerbated the problem. The semiconductor wafer manufacturer expects 2021 revenues to be £152m and EBITDA of £18m. That means that there will be a pre-tax loss. Net debt will be less than £10m. Following the trading statement, executive chairman Phil Smith bought 40,000 shares at 38.4399p each, while non-executive director Carol Chesney and her husband bought a total of 40,000 shares at 38.0762p each. 
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Video games publisher Frontier Developments (FDEV) says that PC sales of Jurassic World Evolution 2 have been lower than expected. Revenue guidance is between £100m and £130m, which is down from £130m to £150m. The share price has fallen by nearly one-third since the statement.
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Benchmark (BMK) has raised £20.7m at 62p a share and the cash will help to finance further investment in the aquaculture group, which is set to move into profit this year. Group revenues increased from £105.6m to £125.1m.All three parts of the business improved revenues with the small animal health division increasing revenues by 50% to £7.8m, but still not covering its depreciation and amortisation charges. The benefits of the commercial launch of CleanTreat should show through this year.
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Impax Asset Management (IPX) had £38.9bn under management at the end of October 2021. In the six months to September 2021, revenues were 64% ahead at £143.1m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £16.7m to £45.7m.
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Caretech (CTH) increased full year revenues by 14% to £489.1m, while underlying pre-tax profit was up from £60.5m to £68.3m. Net debt fell to £258.7m and it is set to remain above £250m this year. A 2021-22 pre-tax profit of £73.7m is forecast.
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Gooch and Housego (GHH) reported better than expected full year figures. Revenues were 2% ahead at £124.1m, while pre-tax profit was 29% higher at £12.6m. Restructuring efficiencies are starting to show through. Industrial profit bounced back, while the life science division profit dipped, although that was partly due to a higher allocation of central costs. The order book is worth £97.8m. A 2021-22 pre-tax profit of £13.5m is forecast.
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Serica Energy (SQZ) is benefiting from higher oil and gas production and prices. Production has grown from 20,100 barrels of oil equivalent per day in July to 28,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day in November.
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GB Group (GBG) reported a 5% increase in interim revenues to £109.2m and flat pre-tax profit of £14.4m. There was strong demand for identity services and there was recovery in fraud services. The Acuant acquisitions was announced after the period end.
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Knights Group Holdings (KGH) says that interim revenues were £59.7m and underlying pre-tax profit was 26% ahead at £7.6m. Net debt was £23.1m at the end of October 2021. The Archers acquisition was completed after the period end. The interims will be announced on 11 January.
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Johnson Service Group (JSG) says revenues are being maintained at levels similar to August but there are additional cost pressures. Full year pre-tax profit is still expected to be in line with expectations with slightly better than anticipated revenues. JSG has paid £6.175m for a Belfast-based catering and hospital textiles services provider.
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FW Thorpe (TFW) is acquiring 50% of Netherlands-based Ratio Electric for £5.8m. Ratio is involved in electric vehicle charging, marine and data centre connection systems.
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Abcam (ABC) says that it has talked to investors following the large minority vote against its remuneration policy and the proposed incentive plan at the AGM earlier this year. It argues that the remuneration is fair.
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Vet practices owner CVS Group (CVS) says like-for-like sales increased by 12% in the four months to October 2021, while EBITDA margins have edged up from 18.7% to 19.2%.
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Renew Holdings (RNWH) reported a full year pre-tax profit of £50.8m, up from £38.8m. The engineering services order book has increased from £603m to £679m, while the specialist building order book is worth £70m.
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FD Technologies (FDP) non-executive director Virginia Gambale sold 3,778 shares at an average price of 2210p each. Keywords Studios (KWS) non-executive director David Reeves bought 375 shares at 2651p each.

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