News blog

Quoted MIcro 22 April 2024

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 22/04/2024 |

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Coffee shop chain Cooks Coffee (COOK) increased UK store sales by more than one-fifth and overall group sales were 18% higher at £27.9m. There is positive operating cash flow. Results for the year to March 2024 will be published on 31 May.

Vanadium flow battery developer Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has interest from several potential strategic investors. This has delayed the process. Linking with the right strategic partner is important to the growth of the business.

Marula Mining (MARU) has been awarded a mineral dealer’s trading licence in Kenya. This enables the buying, selling and export of manganese ores. A $1.8m exploration programme is planned at the Larisoro manganese mine. There have been £2m worth of shares issued at 3.75p each to pay for equipment and expenses.

Investment company Gunsynd (GUN) reported a slump in NAV from £3.28m to £1.74m in the year to January 2024. The focus is resource companies and the share prices have performed poorly. There was cash of £113,000 at the end of January but there have been share sales since then. Director Donald Strang bought 2 million shares at 0.1196p each.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $550,000 in Mode Labs, a modular layer 2 blockchain network operator.

Phoenix Digital Assets (PNIX) directors and other investors have exercised 71.25 million warrants at 1p each, raising £712,500. This dilutes the NAV and the share price declined 8.75% to 3.65p.

Supernova Digital Assets (SOL) director Nicholas Lyth bought 3.5 million shares at 0.2p each.

Diesel fuel additives supplier SulNOX Group (SNOX) trebled quarterly revenues to £315,000 in the fourth quarter and it is 282% ahead of the same time last year. Full year revenues were £555,000. There are already committed sales of £105,000 in the current quarter.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had NAV of 87.32p/share at the end of February 2024. There is cash of £686,000.

Clarify Pharma (PSYC) has sold its listed stakes with the shareholding in Beckley Psytech remaining. This marks a change in focus to Filecoin staking nodes. The company’s name will change to File Forge Technology.

The NHS has renewed two contracts with One Health Group (LON: OHGR). This covers 2,000 surgical procedures each year.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has signed licence agreements with Nobu Hospitality to build two Nobu properties in Bulgaria. The properties will be on the company’s existing sites.

Visum Technologies (VIS) is no longer acquiring Socrates Imaging.

EPE Special Opportunities (EO.P) has net assets of 324.07p/share.

Quantum Exponential Group (QBIT) has announced a further adjournment of its a general meeting to gain shareholder approval for leaving Aquis to 17 May.

AIM

Market conditions were poor in February and March for online retailer Sosandar (SOS) and that meant that fourth quarter sales were flat. Sosandar has been reducing promotional activity and focusing on full price sales. This is helping margins to increase with a retail margin of around 62%. There was a loss of around £200,000 in the year to March 2024. Trading has improved in April and a move back into profit is anticipated for this year.

Horizonte Minerals (HZM) has been unable to restructure debt or obtain other finance to complete the Araguaia nickel project. Low spot prices for nickel put off investors. Management has to consider its options, which include selling the project or liquidation of the assets. Discussions with creditors continue.

Billington (BILN) surprised the market with a special dividend of 13p/share on top of the normal dividend of 20p/share for 2023. The structural steel supplier’s revenues grew 53% to £132.5m, while pre-tax profit jumped 130% to £13.4m. Lower steel prices boosted profit. Net cash is £22.1m, so the dividend will not make much of a dent in that cash pile. All parts of the group were profitable, but improved profit came from the structural steels division.

Investment company Seed Innovations (SEED) is using part of the proceeds of the £2.4m final payment for Leaf Gaming to pay a 1p/share special dividend. The shares will go ex-dividend on 25 April. That will leave Seed Innovations with more than £4m in cash. There is also an ongoing £850,000 share buy back programme which lasts until the end of May and less than 50% of that cash has been spent.

Carbon fibre brake technology developer Surface Transforms (SCE) has set out worst case scenarios for this year. Sales are expected to grow by at least 111% and possibly up to 165%. This will depend on the company’s ability to produce and deliver to customers. Scrap is being reduced. Zeus has withdrawn its forecasts until it talks to the company. It had forecast a 177% increase in revenues to £23m.

Legal finance provider Manolete Partners (MANO) says total revenues improved from £20.8m to £26.3m. Realised revenues were lower because there was a large one-off case completion in the previous year. There was a positive contribution from unrealised revenues. This led to a return to profit in the year to March 2024. Net debt is £12.25m. The higher level of insolvencies is leading to greater demand for financing of cases.

Surgical Innovations (SUN) reported record revenues in 2023 and it has set out the measures that should return it to profitability. The surgical instruments supplier increased revenues from £11.3m to £12m, but it fell back into loss. There has been an 11% reduction in employees and investment in robotic equipment to improve efficiency. The second quarter order book is strong. Two distribution agreements have been extended. Singer forecasts a £300,000 loss for 2024, but it will reassess the figure at the time of the first half trading statement.

Chain supplier Renold (RNO) traded much better than expected in the year to March 2024. The 2023-24 pre-tax profit forecast has been raised from £19.2m to £21.7m, while next year’s figure has jumped from an admittedly cautious £17.4m to £22.7m. Improved efficiency means that margins are rising. Net debt is also coming down faster than anticipated with £24.7m at the end of March 2024 and there could be a dividend next year. Investors are becoming less concerned about debt and the pension deficit and concentrating on the business.

Metallurgical coal miner Bens Creek (BEN) is applying for its US subsidiaries to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Bens Creek major shareholder Avani Resources will commit to provide a debtor-in-procession financing facility so the operations can be restructured. If BC Carbon does not pay the cash due, then Bens Creek will have enough cash until mid-May.

A first quarter update set out the progress made by Oracle Power (ORCP) and there are plans to commence drilling on the Northern Zone project in Australia in two months’ time and this will help towards a maiden resource estimate. The share price has strengthened since the option to acquire the Black Rock Valley copper and silver project in Australia was announced.

Chief executive Lisa Anson continues to buy shares in Redx Pharma (REDX). She acquired a further 189,500 shares at an average price of 10.01p each. She currently holds 751,683 shares. Unsurprisingly, the departure from AIM has been approved by shareholders and this will happen on 30 April. Shareholders have approved the cancelation of the AIM quotation of Molecular Energies (MEN) and trading will stop on 29 April. JP Jenkins will provide a matched bargain facility.

Peter Gyllenhammar has taken a 3.33% stake in packaging company Robinson (RBN).

MAIN MARKET

Severfield (SFR), which reported an upbeat trading statement for the year to March 2024. Liberum increased its pre-tax profit estimate for the year from £34.3m to £35.8m due to better margins in the commercial and industrial division. Steel and energy prices have fallen back in the past year and 80% of energy costs are fixed for 2024-25.

TFI Friday UK franchisee Hostmore (LON: MORE) is planning to merge with the core TFI Friday Inc business. This will be an all-share deal and Hostmore shareholders will own 36% of the enlarged group. The enterprise value is expected to be £177m and the US management will take over the main roles. Combined revenues would be £490m and the group should generate annual free cash flow of £30m.

Pineapple Power Corporation (PNPL) is proposing the appointment of Dr Graham Cooley as chairman, conditional on the completion of the acquisition of Ilios Hydrogen Canada. Another former ITM Power director Barry Cunliffe will also join the board.

Residential property developer and construction company J Smart and Co (SMJ) reported a decline in pre-tax profit from £260,000 to £205,000. The interim dividend is maintained at 0.96p/share.

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