News blog

AIM 50 Digest 25 June 2021

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 27/06/2021 |

Draper Esprit (GROW) has raised £111.2m via a placing and open offer at 800p a share and it is on course for inclusion in the FTSE250 index when it moves to a premium listing in July. The cash will help Draper Esprit meet its target of investing £150m a year. At the end of March 2021, the gross portfolio value was £983.8m and NAV was 743p a share. Draper Esprit has subsequently received £22.8m from the sale of its stake in SportPursuit.
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Robotic software supplier Blue Prism (PRSM) continues to increase revenues and 98% are recurring. There are more than 2,000 customers. The SaaS platform increased interim revenues by 65%. Total interim revenues improved from £66.6m to £80.4m and the loss more than halved to £21m. The cash outflow was also much lower and there was £126.5m in cash at the end of March 2021. Management hopes to totally stem the cash outflow by September 2021. 
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Fuel cell technology developer AFC Energy (AFC) generated revenues of £149,000 in the six months to April 2021, which was generated from Extreme E, and full year revenues are forecast. There are 50 fuel cell development enquiries and some of these should become deployments in the second half. There is still £61.6m in the bank.
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Identity data services provider GB Group (GBG) reported 2020-21 figures in line with expectations. Debt has been repaid and there was net cash of £21.1m at the end of March 2021. Disposals mean that there will be a small decline in revenues this year, but the underlying earnings forecast has been upgraded by 3% to 17.7p a share, which is still lower than last year’s figure of 21.7p a share.
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Electrical accessories supplier Volex (VLX) increased underlying 2020-21 pre-tax profit by 37% to $41.6m, on revenues 13% higher at $443.3m. The underlying operating margin improved from 8.1% to 9.7%, helped by the higher sales of more complex products. Net cash was $7.2m and the final dividend is 2.2p a share. There were trebled sales for electric vehicles, although medical sales were slightly lower. The five-year plan is to achieve revenues of $650m and operating profit of $65m by 2024.
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Social care services provider CareTech (CTH)reported an underlying increase in interim pre-tax profit of 32% at £33.6m. Revenues were 16% ahead. Net debt was £263.1m at the end of March 2021. This sparked a £1.3m increase in the full year pre-tax profit forecast to £67.8m.
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Video games services provider Sumo (SUMO) has a potential pipeline of new business of £500m and the market continues to grow. This year, headcount has been increased from 1,043 to 1,155. Net cash was £8m at the end of May 2021.
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Nick Beighton, chief executive of online retailer ASOS (ASC) has sold 29,558 shares at £51.0012 each. That leaves him with 154,101 shares.
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Andrew Day has stepped down as chief executive of Keywords Studios (KWS) due to ill health. The rest of the management team is still in place. The search for a replacement has already commenced. Trading momentum remains strong, and Keywords could make a pre-tax profit of €72.9m, up from €55m last year. There are more potential acquisitions.
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Marketing services provider Next Fifteen Communications (NFC) generated growth of 21% in the first quarter – organic growth of 17% - and that growth is accelerating. Margins are also improving and that means that this year’s figures are set to be better than expected.
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New RWS (RWS) chief executive Ian El-Mokadem has acquired an initial 40,000 shares at 582.5p each. He has a base salary of £600,000 and a potential annual bonus of up to 150%.

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