News blog

AIM 50 Digest 30 April 2021

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 03/05/2021 |

Founder and non-executive director Giorgio Guastalla has sold three million shares in Keywords Solutions (KWS) and raised £84m at 2800p a share. He retains 500,736 shares, which are worth £14m at the placing price. That is worth more than his total stake at the time of the flotation of the video games services provider in 2013, after he sold shares in the original placing. He previously sold 3.978 million shares at 820p each during May 2017.
Keywords is paying up to £43m for Climax Studios, which provides game development services. The initial consideration is £20.2m in cash and £6.8m in shares. The deferred consideration is dependent on growth targets being achieved. Portsmouth-based Climax has been trading for more than three decades. In 2020, it generated an EBITDA of £4.3m.
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Veterinary practices operator CVS Group (CVSG) says that profit will be comfortably ahead of expectations. A full range of treatments has been allowed since the end of March. A practice in Hereford has been acquired. A further trading statement will be published on 20 July.
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Jet2 (JET2) expects to report a 2020-21 loss of between £375m and £385m before any currency movements. The airline and tour operator has boosted its balance sheet over the past year and had its own cash, excluding customer deposits, of £1.06bn. Flights have been suspended until after 23 June and the timing and demand for flights remains uncertain. Ther4e have been bookings for the winter and next summer, particularly for package holidays.
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Draper Esprit (GROW) says that its NAV grew by 21% over the past six months to at least 728p a share. The 12-month increase was 31%. This was achieved even though gains were offset by negative currency movements. In the year to March 2020, there were realisations of £206m and new investments of £128m. There was cash of £161m at the end of March 2021. Full year results will be published on 14 June. 
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Soft drinks maker Nichols (NICL) continued to be hit by the lack of pubs and catering demand in the first quarter of 2021 and the out of home division revenues fell by 92%, against a relatively strong period in 2020, which was mainly prior to lockdown. Higher retail and international sales meant that overall revenues were 6% down at £30.7m. Vimto UK sales grew by 5%. Cash was £43.1m at the end of March 2021. Management still believes that Nichols can achieve underlying pre-tax profit of £18.9m this year.
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GB Group (GBG) performed ahead of expectations in the year to March 2021. The identity and location services provider increased revenues by 9% to £217m and underlying operating profit by one-fifth to £58m. There was sone deferred expenditure and cost savings due to Covid-19. Higher levels of online trading helped the business to grow. Net cash was £21m at the end of March 2021.
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IP translation services provider RWS (RWS) says that trading is in line with expectations. Interim revenues were £326.4m and underlying pre-tax profit was £50m. The original RWS grew its profit. Net cash was more than £10m.  The integration of SDL continues and cost savings of £32m have been identified, which is double the initial assessment. Interims will be published on 8 June.
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siRNA therapeutics developer Silence Therapeutics (SLN) has achieved a research milestone as part of its inflammation treatment collaboration with Mallinckrodt. This has triggered a payment of $2m.
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Social care services provider Caretech Holdings (CTH) is on course to achieve 2020-21 pre-tax profit of £66.5m with the first half trading in line with expectations. Occupancy levels were 81%. Net debt was £263.1m at the end of March 2021.
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Advanced Medical Solutions (AMS) has received a CE mark for its laparoscopic gastrointestinal sealant device, Seal-G MIST. A full commercial European launch is planned for 2022.
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Secure Income REIT (SIR) is paying a quarterly dividend of 3.65p a share on 4 June.
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Morgan Stanley Asia has increased its shareholding in Fevertree Drinks (FEVR) from 3.02% to 4.99%. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management has raised its shareholding in Numis Corporation (NUM) from 5.09% to 6.04%.
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The stake was 3% too years ago. In March, Kayne Anderson Rudnick reduced its stake in Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB1) to 12.6%. Mortgage Advice Bureau director Nathan Imlach bought 139 shares at 1150p each to takes its stake to 20,783 shares. Non-exec director Andrew Stone continues to sell shares in Gamma Communications (GAMA) and he has disposed of 77,000 shares in total, raising £1.38m. he has 150,000 shares left.

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