News blog

AIM 50 Digest 13 January 2023

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 16/01/2023 |

Soft drinks maker Nichols (NICL) says Vimto sales were 3.4% ahead in the UK last year. Group revenues were 14% to £164.9m. Pre-tax profit of £25.2m is expected. Next year profit could be flat because of higher sugar, energy and packaging costs. The Out of Home division strategic review should be completed by the time of the final results in March. The performance of the division needs to be improved and it may be reduced in size and refocused.
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Serica Energy (SQZ) has published combined pro forma production guidance after the acquisition of Tailwind Energy of 40,000-47,000 barrels of oil equivalent/day in 2023, rising to 41,000-48,000 barrels of oil equivalent/day. The deal will be immediately earnings enhancing and the enlarged group is better placed to invest in long-term development projects.
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Video games publisher Frontier Developments (FDEV) had a poor end to 2022 and it has downgraded guidance for the year to May 2023. This is down to a poor performance by F1 Manager 2022. Full year revenues guidance has been reduced from £135m to £100m-£114m. Interim revenues will be 16% higher at £57m and second half revenues will be lower than the corresponding period last year. Cash was £42.6m at the end of November 2022. Management is considering the future of the Frontier Foundry games label.
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Johnson Service Group (JSG) continued its recovery in the second half and 2022 revenues were 2.6% ahead of pre-Covid levels. Pre-tax profit should be at least £36m. Management has fixed energy prices for more than 50% of its usage of electricity and gas in 2023.
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Central Asia Metals (CAML) copper sales were higher than expected and the copper price improved in the fourth quarter. Pre-tax profit is forecast at $107m in 2022. A small decline in pre-tax profit is expected in 2023. 
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Sustainable assets investors Impax Asset Management (IPX) increased assets under management by 6% to £37.9bn in the first quarter, although December was weaker. Net inflows were £797m during the quarter. This is helped by the move towards investment in sustainable assets. The management also has strong relationships with investors that take a long-term view and do not get spooked by short-term volatility in the markets. Growth in assets under management should accelerate as investor confidence returns. Peel Hunt forecasts that assets under management will reach £40.3bn by the end of September 2023. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to fall from £68.4m to £63.5m. Peel Hunt has set a share price target price of 1050p.
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Polar Capital (POLR) had assets under management of £18.5bn at the end of 2022, down from £22.1bn on 1 April. Performance fees are down from £4.3m to £1.9m in the nine months to December 2022.
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Wealth manager Brooks Macdonald (BRK) says funds under management were 4.5% ahead at £16.2bn in the quarter to December 2022. The company’s funds have outperformed their market benchmark in the six months to December 2022, although in the latest quarter it was in line. Underlying profit is in line with expectations.
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Woundcare products supplier Advanced Medical Solutions (AMS) should be on course to make a pre-tax profit of £25.7m in 2022. This reflects the management of the inflationary pressures. Changes to EU regulations for medical devices are set to be delayed.
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Gamma Communications (GAMA) says 2022 results were in line with expectations and net cash was £92.2m at the end of the year. Hardware supply problems have been resolved.
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Alliance Pharma (APH) chief executive Peter Butterfield is expected to return to the business on a phased basis starting in the first quarter. An interim chief executive will be recruited to take on the burden of the business and cover the Competition Appeal Tribunal due to start in June.

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