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AIM 50 Digest 31 December 2021

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 02/01/2022 |

RWS (RWS) nearly doubled its revenues to £694.5m in the six months to September 2021, and that includes organic constant currency growth of 4%. There was organic growth in all divisions.
The patent translation and content services provider reported an underlying pre-tax profit increase of 66% to £116.4m. Adjusted earnings were one-fifth higher at 23.8p a share. The total dividend is raised by 17% to 10.5p a share. Net cash was £45.3m at the end of September 2021.
There have been £16.4m of cost savings generated from the integration of translation services and software provider SDL. There is a move towards a SaaS model.
Chief executive Ian El-Mokadem has purchased a further 5,000 shares at 599p each which, takes his shareholding to 65,000 shares. Des Glass has resigned as finance director, giving six months notice.
Organic growth is continuing in the current financial year and there will be a capital markets day in March 2022.
Video games services provider Keywords Studios (KWS) says that that 2021 revenues will be at least €505m and underlying pre-tax profit €85m. The 2022 profit margin will fall back to around 15%, but revenues should be near to €580m. The purchase of digital marketing agency Waste Creative and Australia-based video games developer Wicked Witch Software will help. Non-exec Neil Thompson has bought 2,496 shares at 2803.5648 each. That is a £70,000 investment.
Marketing services provider Next Fifteen Communications (NFC) is still growing strongly despite any headwinds from Covid restrictions. The company increased third quarter revenues by 38%, including 26% organic growth. Nine months revenues are one-third ahead with growth in all the main geographies and sectors. This means that full year results will be better than previously expected. The new forecast is pre-tax profit of £70.1m, which puts the shares on 23 times prospective earnings. Liontrust has trimmed its stake to 12.9%.
Advanced Medical Solutions (AMS) says 2021 figures will be in line with expectations. Increasing levels of elective surgery boosted demand and margins improved. The FDA approvals for the company’s LiquiBandXL and the high gelling product with anti-biofilm activity are expected during 2022. Recruitment for the US clinical trial for LiquiBandFix8 has been completed. Patient enrolment for Seal-G and Seal-G MIST is ongoing and the results of the initial study should be released by the summer. 
Audio visual products distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) has suffered from shortages of equipment, but it has still done better than expected in 2021 with pre-tax profit of at least £30m. There will be a trading update on 19 January.
Alaska-focused oil and gas company Pantheon Resources (PANR) has received approval for its exploration plans. Great Bear Petroleum has a 4.7% stake, while Farallon Capital Management has reduced its shareholding from 14.9% to 9.58%. This follows the recent fundraising.
ITM Power (ITM) has £34m of work in progress and a further £557m of contracts backlog and tenders. There are new projects under negotiation of around 200MW. ITM should have 5GW of capacity by the end of 2024. Interim revenues were £4.1m and there was a cash burn of £12m.
Alkaline fuel cell technology developer AFC Energy (AFC) signed commercial agreements worth £4.5m in the period from October 2020 to December 2021. The hybrid fuel cell technology platform within the S series range is due for deployment in early 2022. The L series fuel cell has been integrated with ABB EV charging infrastructure.
Smart Metering Systems (SMS) has extended the exclusive smart meter installation agreement with Shell Energy Retail until the end of 2025.
Secure Income REIT (SIR) has paid Merlin Entertainment £33.45m in return for extending the leases of Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Warwick Castle and Heide Park, Germany from 20.5 years to 55.5 years. Rent remains unchanged, although annual rent reviews of the UK properties will generate increases of between 1% and 4%, while the Germany rent will rise by 3.34% each year. 
Soft drinks maker Nichols (NICL) is buying back up to 453,486 shares. So far, it has bought 68,000 shares at prices between 1345p and 1496.8p.
The wife of chief executive Richard Fairman bought 907 CVS Group (CVSG) shares at 2199.75p each and non-exec Richard Gray bought 2,000 shares at 2224p each. Non-exec chairman David Rasche acquired 4,146 shares in GB Group (GBG) at 717p each. 

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