News blog

Quoted Micro 12 September 2022

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 11/09/2022 |

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Samarkand (SMK) has been hit by a large cash outflow, which means that the China-focused e-commerce technology and brands retailer requires a cash injection of up to £3m via an open offer at 55p a share. Covid lockdowns in China have delayed progress and hampered the ability to supply products. In the year to March 2022, revenues fell from £20.6m to £16.6m, although if one-off revenues in the previous period are excluded then there was a 12% improvement. There was an initial contribution from the Zita West supplements brand acquired last year. Nomad software platform revenues were 18% ahead at £7.5m.

Aquis Stock Exchange owner Aquis Exchange (AQX), which is also quoted on AIM, has relaunched the EU dark pool trading operation it acquired from UBS as the Aquis Matching Pool.

BWA Group (BWAP) has been granted a new licence for Dehane 2 at the Dehane heavy mineral sands project in Cameroon. Results from granulometric test work at the Nkoteng heavy mineral sands show rutile is the most abundant mineral.

More news about the investee companies of Evrima (EVA) this week. Eastport Ventures Inc, where it owns 6.85%, has entered a letter of intent with TSX-V listed Auston Capital concerning a possible merger.

Marula Mining (LON: MARU) says that initial test work at the Blesberg lithium and tantalum project in South Africa shows an average lithium grade of 6.1%. Tantalum was also identified.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Rominserv, a subsidiary of Rompetrol. The Romanian company is considering using SulNOx products in its refinery processes.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has received a civil judgement against subsidiary Star C, which has to return £166,000 to one of its distributors.

Ananda Developments (ANA) subsidiary DJT Plants is working on self-crossing cannabis strains to create stable strains. So far, it appears that self-pollination of cannabis plants can be achieved. Field trials for growing cannabis have been successful.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says its advisory clients Blvck Paris and Metalinq Labs are joining together to launch a collection of wearables. The Metalinq technology can be used to convert 2D designs into multi-metaverse 3D designs.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) raised £2.375m at 10.35p a share and the share price fell below that level. This cash will finance expansion of exploration activities in Australia. Significant copper and gold grades have been found at the Halo project in Queensland. There are also zones of high gold silver and coper at Grassy Oaky. A high-resolution gravity survey is commencing at the Red Setter gold copper project.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) reported a decline in NAV to 231.9p a share by the end of August 2022.

AIM

Online musical instruments supplier Gear4Music (G4M) warned that trading has been tough in recent months. The first quarter to June 2022 was encouraging but spending in July and August was weaker than expected even if the hot weather is taken into account. September is showing signs of improvement. Guidance has been lowered with pre-tax profit expected to slump from £5m to £1.1m with a possible recovery to £3.3m next year.

Online competitions organiser Best of the Best (BOTB) is linking up with Globe Invest Ltd, the family office of Teddy Sagi the founder of gaming technology firm Playtech (PTEC), to grow international income. Globe Invest will also buy a 29.9% stake from the directors and related parties at 400p a share. They intend to enter a licensing and distribution agreement and a marketing collaboration agreement. Globe Invest will licence the Best of the Best business model outside of the UK.

Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) says trading is ahead of market expectations with sales of at least £61m and underlying pre-tax profit of more than £9m. The previous pre-tax profit forecast was £8.23m. There could be additional gains from foreign exchange.

Franchised lettings and estate agency business Belvoir Group (BLV) did well in the first half considering the ending of property buyer incentives. In the six months to June 2022, revenues were 12% higher at £15.4m. There was a 1% improvement in the underlying business with the rest of the growth coming from acquisitions. Underlying pre-tax profit fell from £4.9m to £4.2m as the cost base returned to normal. Net debt is £2.5m and the interim dividend is maintained at 4p a share.

Premium bricks maker Michelmersh Brick (MBH) increased interim revenues by 14% to £34m, while pre-tax profit was 9% ahead at £6.1m. Production efficiencies helped to offset some of the cost increases. A price rise has been pushed through in July. Overall brick stocks remain at low levels. Management has secured 90% of energy costs for this year and 50% for 2023. Net cash was £9.9m at the end of June 2022. The interim dividend is 13% higher at 1.3p a share.

Sylvania Platinum (SLP) announced a doubled final dividend of 8p a share alongside its results for the year to June 2022. There has already been a special dividend of 2.25p a share and a $7.1m share buyback. Production declined and selling prices for platinum group metals were lower in the year to June 2022. Even so, net profit was $56.2m and Sylvania Platinum has been able to finance the cash distributions and plough money back into development. The benefits of that investment will show through in 2023-24. There is still $121m of cash in the balance sheet, although the dividend will reduce that.

Avacta Group (AVCT) says the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation for the lead preICISIONdrug soft tissue sarcoma treatment candidate, AVA6000. This provides tax credits and other incentives, plus seven years of market exclusivity in the US, if the drug is improved. There is an ongoing phase I clinical trial.

Shares in AIM shell Advance Energy (ADV) were suspended on Friday after the announcement of non-binding heads of agreement have been signed for the acquisition of a European oil and gas company.

VSA published an initiation note on Prospex Energy (PXEN) and the broker believes there is upside from the development of the onshore Selva gas project in Italy, where Prospex owns 37%. First production should be in the middle of next year. Cash is being generated from the El Romeral gas to power project in Spain.

MAIN MARKET

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) interim revenues dipped by 2% to £106.4m, but they are still higher than in 2019. There was a sharp drop in pre-tax profit from £16.6m to £4.6m. The interim dividend has been reduced from 2.6p a share to 1.6p a share. DIY demand has fallen back and there was also destocking. The EV business should make a greater contribution in the second half.

Critical Metals (CTRM) has published the prospectus for the proposed acquisition of a 57% shareholding in Madini Occidental, which owns 70% of the Molulu copper cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The acquisition is expected to complete on 12 September.

Darktrace (DARK) has ended bid talks. Last year, revenues grew 46% to $415.5m and the AI company moved into profit.

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