News blog

Quoted Micro 26 July 2021

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 26/07/2021 |

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Ecotricity has launched a 340p a share cash bid for Good Energy (GOOD). Ecotricity believes the combined group would be better placed to compete in the energy supply business. The Good Energy board rejects the bid.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) reported a bounce back in interim pre-tax profit from £200,000 to £3m. the main profit improvement was at Arbuthnot Latham. NAV was 1292p a share at the end of June 2021. Assets under management reached £1.22bn. A second interim dividend of 16p a share was announced, and it will be paid on 24 September.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says its Hellyer gold mine generated revenues of A$19.8m in the second quarter, while net income was A$5.7m. The major capital investment in the mine cost A$16.4m and was finished during the quarter. NQ Minerals is still seeking to move to a full listing on the London Stock Market.

Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) generated record revenues in the first half of 2021, and it is generating cash from operations. CBD products supplier Goodbody Botanicals is profitable. There have been 47 clinics opened to offer Covid-19 testing.

Apollon Formularies (APOL) says that medicinal cannabis formulations developed by its subsidiary have been able to kill prostrate cancer cells.

Watchstone Group (WTG) management recommends that shareholders reject the mandatory 34p a share bid.

Ervin Kovac has resigned as director of Freyherr International (FRYR) and the shares remain suspended as the company’s financial position remains uncertain. Trading was suspended more than nine months ago.

Harry Hyman has taken a 3.08% stake in Oberon Investments (OBE).

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) is moving from the Access segment to the Apex segment.

AIM

Digital payments business Boku (BOKU) increased interim revenues by 37% to $34m - organic growth was 21%. Investment is increasing in order to take advantage of growth prospects, but cash is also increasing.

Trading is improving at employee benefits services and insurance products provider Personal Group (PGH) and interim revenues were 12% ahead at £34m even though weak insurance sales last year mean that premium income fell. SaaS-based revenues increasing by 50% - helped by the partnership with Sage. Sales of consumer electronics products through PG Let’s Connect has improved by one-fifth.

Insolvency levels remain relatively low, but Begbies Traynor (BEG) still grew strongly last year. In the year to April 2021, underlying pre-tax profit improved from £9.2m to £11.5m – a combination of organic and acquisitive growth. There is more to come this year from recent acquisitions.

Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) managed to increase its pre-tax profit from £18.1m to £19.3m despite the tough trading conditions in the year to April 2021. The property and corporate finance divisions did particularly well last year. This kept utilisation levels high. A final dividend of 5p a share was announced. Gateley is paying £815,000 for Tozer Gallagher, which is a quantity surveyor and construction consultant.

Online womenswear retailer Sosandar (SOS) increased its full year revenues by 35% to £12.2m. It remains loss-making and that is likely to continue this year even though revenues continue to grow rapidly. First quarter revenues jumped by 256% to £5.7m, although the comparatives were weak. Active customers increased by 23% compared with the previous quarter. Singer forecasts double full year revenues to £24.4m.

Parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) is still growing its freight business faster than expected and analysts have upgraded their forecasts for 2020-21 and the current year. The additional business is also more profitable than in the past. DX Express revenues are flat due to lower office mail delivery revenues.

Judges Scientific (JDG) had a much better order book at the end of June 2021. It was 49% higher than June last year. Organic sales growth was 5% compared with full year forecasts of 1.5%.

Open Orphan (ORPH) spin out Poolbeg Pharma (POLB) has started trading on AIM. The shares are trading at 10.875p, which is equivalent to 3.63p a share to Open Orphan shareholders. The Open Orphan shareholders cannot sell yet.

Vela Technologies (VELA) has invested £750,000 in Northcoders Group, which joins AIM on 27 July. Manchester -based Northcoders provides software coding training.

International payments business Cornerstone FS (CSFS) is pursuing potential acquisitions, but it has not secured any since it floated earlier this year. The mix of business remains consistent, although more of it is direct which improves margins, and trading has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels.

MAIN MARKET

New shell Acceler8 Ventures (AC8) has soared from its placing price of 100p to 215p on limited volumes. After expenses, the cash in the company is equivalent to 60p a share. The sector of the potential target has been kept vague.

Sivota (SIV) is a shell that wants to acquire Israel-based technology businesses. The company has just under 78p a share of cash. The share price has risen from the placing price of 100p to 112.5p.

NMCN (NMCN) is making progress with the refinancing and related documentation. The 2020 accounts are expected to show a pre-tax loss of much more than the £24m previously indicated.

Aquaculture technology developer OTAQ (OTAQ) increased full year revenues by 18% to £4.05m, while the underlying loss was reduced from £1.05m to £726,000. Restrictions have held back the progress of the business.

Town Centre Securities (TOWN) has collected 88% of the billed rent of £4.9m for the quarter to June 2021 with a further 8% that was agreed to be deferred.

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