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AIM 50 Digest 19 February 2021

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 21/02/2021 |

Learning Technologies Group (LTG) has made two acquisitions in the past fortnight. The largest is learning and talent management software provider Bridge for £36m in cash. The SaaS-based business lost money on revenues of $21m in 2020. However, Bridge should be earnings enhancing in the second half of 2021. The second acquisition is PDT Global, which is a diversity and inclusion training provider. The initial cost is £13.2m in cash, with up to £7m more payable depending on the performance over the next three years. In 2020, PDT generated an operating profit of £2m on revenues of £4.8m.
Many RWS (RWS) shareholders are not happy with the remuneration arrangements of the patent translation and IP services provider. There were 37.2% of the votes cast against the 2019-20 remuneration report. The continuing pre-tax profit increased in double digits in the three months to December 2020. SDL made a two-month contribution that was in line with the previous year.
Airline and tour operator Jet2 (JET2) has returned to shareholders for more cash. This time a placing raised £422m at 1180p a share. Last May, £172m was raised at 576.5p a share. The latest cash should finance the business during this time of uncertainty and enable Jet2 to be in a strong position when trading improves. Own company cash was £479m at the end of January 2021. All flights are cancelled up until 15 April. If flights do not recommence until September, then the existing cash was likely to run out this year, so the latest fundraising puts Jet in a much stronger position. 
Pan African Resources (PAF) increased gold production by 6% to 98,386 ounces of gold in the six months to December 2020. Full year production of 190,000 ounces of gold is still expected. There was $28.1m of cash generated and this has helped to halve net debt. The first electricity should be generated from the solar plant at Evander Mines during the third quarter of 2021.
Fuel cell technology developer Ceres Power (CWR) says that revenues in the 18 months to December 2020 will be in excess of £32m. The order book is worth £54m. There was cash of £110m at the end of 2020.
Broker Numis (NUM) says that trading has been strong in the first four months of the financial year. Fundraising activity has declined following its peak during the middle of 2020, but new admissions are gaining momentum. The deal pipeline should ensure a good first half and Edison has upgraded its full year pre-tax profit forecast by 30% to £37.3m, which is similar to the previous year.
Semiconductor wafers manufacturer IQE (IQE) has settled a legal dispute over IP. IQE will receive a settlement of $2.5m. The costs of the litigation were £6.3m by the end of June 2020. The announcement does not say anything about additional payments covering costs.
Silence Therapeutics (SLN) has started dosing subjects in the Apollo phase I clinical trial of SLN360 for the treatment of elevated lipoprotein levels. There should be initial data to report in the second half of 2021.
ASOS (ASC) boss Nick Beighton has pledged 10,150 shares as security for a bank loan. The wife of Iomart (IOM) finance director Scott Cunningham bought 5,000 shares at 318p each.
GRG UK Oil LLC has further reduced its stake in Serica Energy (SQZ) from 13.8% to 12.75%.

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