News blog

AIM Digest 16 September 2022

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 19/09/2022 |

Naked Wines (WINE) issued a business update after the close yesterday. It says that it is reviewing operational and financial plans in order to move towards sustainable profitability. Online buying of wine during lockdowns meant that there was a 2021-22 profit, but Naked Wines is set to fall back into loss this year. Management reassures that the existing credit facility is not going to breach its covenants, but there is an indication that more funding may be required. Pratham Ravi, who is employed by a major shareholder, has resigned from the board having been appointed three weeks ago. The shares have dived 41.1% to 85.5p, which is 86.9% lower than at the beginning of the year.
=====
Oil palm plantations operator MP Evans (MPE) increased interim revenues by one-third to $170.3m. There were some cost pressures, particularly in relation to fertiliser, but the higher revenues still helped to increase pre-tax profit by 53% to $61.2m. This was achieved despite the changes in export rules and taxation during the period. Lower levels of independent crops were purchased. The average crude palm oil price achieved was $1,035/tonne, up from $724/tonne in the same period last year. Total cost of production increased from $437/tonne to $598/tonne. Crude palm oil production was slightly lower at 160,800 tonnes, but production has been increasing since the end of the half year. Net cash was $13.5m at the end of June 2022, while the interim dividend was raised by 25% to 12.5p a share.
=====
Smart Metering Systems (SMS) did better than expected in the first half of 2022 and Cenkos has edged its full year expectations for 2022. Interim revenues were 21% higher at £62.7m, while underlying pre-tax profit was 7% ahead at £10.3m. The battery storage portfolio is building up more rapidly than expected. The 2022 pre-tax profit estimate is barely changed at £21.7m, up from £18.3m in 2021, although a lower tax charge means that there is a 2% increase in earnings. The inflation linked increase in the metering contracts next year is likely to be higher than previously thought. 
=====
Abcam (ABC) reported better than expected operating margins in the first half as operating profit improved from £26.5m to £42.6m on revenues 23% higher at £185m.
=====
Monitoring technology developer Big Technologies (BIG) increased interim revenues by 27% to £22.9m, while monthly recurring revenues were 43% higher at £4.3m. Full year revenues are expected to be more than £48m and pre-tax profit of £25m. There is upside from additional contract gains.
=====
Wealth management adviser Brooks Macdonald (BRK) increased underlying pre-tax profit by 13% to £34.5m in the year to June 2022. Net cash is £61.3m. Assets under management were £15.7bn. There were strong inflows in the fourth quarter helping to offset declines in earlier periods. A lower profit is expected for 2022-23.
=====
ITM Power (ITM) chief executive Dr Graham Cooley will step down once a replacement is found. The electrolysers developer has a strong balance sheet thanks to a fundraising last year and a pipeline of potential contracts to add to those already signed. Revenues, though remain modest.
=====
Mixer drinks supplier Fevertree Drinks (FEVR) still believes it can achieve previous guidance even though costs are increasing. Revenues from sales to pubs and bars recovered from weak levels last year, but off-trade sales fell.
=====
Domain name and online marketing services provider CentralNic (CNIC) is acquiring MA Aporia for an initial $11.2m. The social media and native advertising technology company generated EBITDA of $2m on revenues of $35m during 2021. This deal is immediately earnings enhancing.
=====
GTCR LLC is considering a bid for GB Group (GBG). The identification services provider says that it will evaluate any proposals it receives. There is no indication of possible terms or valuation. GTCR says that it is acting on behalf of certain affiliated funds. There is no guarantee that there will be a firm offer. 
=====
Audio visual products distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) increased interim revenues by 46% to £568.6m and a 47% rise in pre-tax profit to £19.2m. Trading is in line with previously upgraded forecasts. Managing director Stephen Fenby acquired 20,000 shares at 500p each. He owns 19.4% of Midwich. 
=====
Woundcare company Advanced Medical Solutions (AMS) reported interims in line with expectations as revenues recovered by 16% to £58.3m. The biggest improvement came from surgical products. The third quarter is going well. AMS is still on course to increase full year pre-tax profit from £25.2m to £28m.
=====
Building material supplier SigmaRoc (SRC) had a strong first half with interim pre-tax profit 243% higher at £29m. There was a large contribution from the Nordkalk acquisition but there was growth in pro forma terms. A new joint venture with ArcelorMittal will set up a quicklime plant in Dunkirk to supply the partner’s steel plant. SigmaRoc will invest £20m. The plant should be open in 2025.
=====
Central Asia Metals (CAML) increased copper production and sales in the first half of 2022, although zinc concentrate production declined. Lead concentrate production was maintained, but sales were higher. Group free cash flow was $52.1m. Since the end of June, Central Asia Metals has repaid its remaining debt facility. The interim dividend was one-quarter ahead at 10p a share. The strong cash position means that management is considering adding to the assets.
=====
In the year to June 2022, Pan African Resources (PAF) reported flat post-tax profit of $75m, while net debt was reduced by two-thirds to $13m. Gold production increased, but that was offset by higher costs. Mining costs could reduce this year. The mine life of the Evander mine has been extended by 14 years.
=====
Oil and gas producer i3 Energy (I3E) increased interim revenues from £26.5m to £101.6m and cash flow from operations jumped from £8m to £48.6m. Average daily production was 18,950 barrels of oil equivalent, and it reached 21,100 barrels in August. The farmout of the 25% working interest in the Serenity project.
=====
Serica Energy (SQZ) says North Eigg exploration well drilling has been delayed and it will take six weeks longer to complete. This has increased net well cost after tax by around £3m. The results from the well are expected in December.
=====
Gamma Communications (GAMA) increased pre-tax profit by 16% to £43.1m and the interim dividend by 14% to 5p a share. Inflationary costs are being passed on to customers. 
=====
Floorcoverings supplier Victoria (VCP) says trading is in line with expectations. Share buybacks continue. The interim results will be published in November.
=====
Aquaculture company Benchmark (BMK) has refinanced its debt via a £64m unsecured green bond issue that matures on 27 September 2025. This will be used to acquired existing bonds that mature in June 2023. 
=====
Renew Holdings (RNWH) chairman David Brown bought 5,878 shares at 677p each.

© 2022 Aim Micro. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Browse by issue
All issues
Popular tags
All tags

betbrokers, financial, gold, health, leisure, media, mobile, resources, services, technology

AIM Micro feeds

Keep up to date with articles published at AIMMicro.com. Subscribe to AIM Micro RSS Feeds