News blog

AIM 50 Digest 29 April 2022

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 02/05/2022 |

Soft drinks maker Nichols (NICL) has started the year well with Vimto sales continuing to grow and a recovery in the Out of Home business. First quarter revenues were 29% ahead at £36.9m. The comparative figure was weak because of lockdown. International sales are lower due to problems shipping to Africa. Net cash reduced to £48.3m due to share buy backs. The strategic review is continuing. John Nichols is retiring from the board.
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Learning Technologies Group (LTG) has delayed its results due to auditors requiring more time, but it says that 2021 revenues were slightly ahead of expectations at £258m. Earnings rose 17% to 5.02p a share. The auditors seem to be concerned about the balance sheet presentation. This could lead to a £7m reduction in trade receivables and contract liabilities.
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The maiden results from LBG Media (LBG) show revenues 81% ahead at £54.5m. Pre-tax profit was £14.4m. The global audience has increased to 264 million people. The main growth has come from the company’s own brands, such as LADbible and GAMINGbible. Net cash was £34.3m at the end of 2021.
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There have been upgrades to full year forecasts for GB Group (GBG) after a strong second half. Organic growth was 10.5%. The 2021-22 pre-tax profit forecast has been raised from £53.5m to £56.3m and next year’s figure has been edged up to £68.9m. There are £5m of annual cost savings identified following recent acquisitions.
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Serica Energy (SQZ) averaged net production of 22,200 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day during 2021. Gas is more than 85% of production. The average operating cost is $16.47 per boe. This generated £157.6m in cash flow from operations. There was £103m in the bank at the end of 2021 and a further £113.6m of temporary cash security lodged with hedge counterparties. A dividend of 9p a share has been proposed. Serica’s remaining 2P reserves are estimated to be 62.2 million boe. Total cash could increase to £600m this year. Serica wants shareholders to approve the repurchase of up to 10% of share capital. BP has sold its 5% stake at 365p a share, raising £49.3m.
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Domain name and online marketing services provider CentralNic (CNIC) sparked another forecast upgrade with its first quarter trading statement. Zeus increased its 2022 pre-tax profit forecast $47.7m to $54.2m. In the 12 months to March 2022, the organic growth rate was 51%. The organic growth is being supplemented by acquisitions and first quarter revenues were $156m. Net debt is set to fall from $75m to less than $50m this year.
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In 2021-22, Naked Wines (WINE) sales grew 3%, or 5% on a constant currency basis. Repeat customer sales rose by 11%. There was cash of £40m at the end of March 2022, even though inventories increased by £66m to £143m. The active customer base increased by 9% to 964,000.
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Power products supplier Volex (VLX) says that it is well ahead of its five-year plan announced in October 2019. Full year revenues will be in excess of $605m and underlying operating profit more than $55m. Higher costs have been passed onto customers. Russia accounted for less than 0.5% of revenues.
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MP Evans (MPE) says that the Indonesian government has temporarily banned exports of palm oil to protect domestic supply. The length of the ban is uncertain.
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Alaska-focused oil and gas company Pantheon Resources (PANR) has upgraded the resource at Theta West by 61% to 17.8 billion barrels of oil in place with a recoverable resource of 1.78 billion barrels.
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Warehouse REIT (WHR) has paid £62m for a Milton Keynes multi-let industrial asset. The net initial yield is 4%. 
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Secure Income REIT (SIR) has declared a 3.95p a share interim dividend payable on 7 June.
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Former IQE (IQE) boss and current non-exec Drew Nelson has acquired 250,000 shares at 30.2p each. Gamma Communications (GAMA) non-exec Martin Lea bought 985 shares at 117p each.

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