News blog

Quoted Micro 28 March 2022

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 27/03/2022 |

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) returned to profit in 2021 and it is paying a final dividend of 22p a share, having already paid 37p a share for the financial year. Net assets are 1315p a share. Slater Investments has a 7.05% stake.

S-Ventures (SVEN) is acquiring Market Rocket Ltd, which is a digital agency that helps brand owners to sell their products, for an initial £2.25m. There could be further shares issued if performance targets are met. In the year to March 2021, revenues were £500,000 and this year they will be much higher. This is a profitable business.

British Honey Company (BHC) has raised £540,000 after expenses at 80p each. This cash will finance product development, costs related to reducing expenses and fund growth. Mark Jones has been permanently appointed as chief executive. The company is changing its name to Union Distillers.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) is acquiring Aftech, a sheet metal fabrication company, for £1.55m in shares issued at 1.257p a share, plus 24.7 million warrants exercisable at 3p a share. Services provided include laser cutting, bending and forming and the acquired business fits well with existing subsidiaries. In the year to November 2021, Aftech generated revenues of £1.18m and EBITDA of £266,000 and it has debt of £155,000.

AIM-quoted Asimilar (ASLR) plans to join the access segment of Aquis on 4 April. The technology investment company focuses on areas including big data, machine learning and Internet of Things. The corporate adviser is Oberon Capital. Chris Akers has a 6.88% stake and Nigel Wray a 9.43% shareholding. Net assets were £41.5m at the end of September 2021.

VVV Resources (VVV) has signed a conditional agreement to acquire a company that owns the Mitterberg copper project in Austria and a 49% stake in the Shangri La polymetallic project in Western Australia, which takes VVV’s share to 100%.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) increased its NAV from 437.6p a share to 455.7p a share in the 12 months to January 2022. However, the Luceco share price has fallen back since then. The Luceco stake was reduced to 22.1% last year. Cash was £27.6m at the end of January.

Capital for Companies (CFCP) had cash balances of £4.19m at the end of February 2022. Net assets were 68.4p a share, following the payment of 1.5p a share dividend on 3 March.

Jason Brewer has joined the board of All Star Minerals (ASMO) and been appointed as chief executive. The acquisition focus has switched to near-term production and revenue generating mining assets.

AQRU (AQRU) has entered a partnership with institutional lending platform owner Maple Finance, which will offer AQRU customers enhanced yields in decentralised finance. Yields could be up to 15%. The offering will be integrated into the AQRU mobile and web-based platform.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has obtained a new strategic investor and there could be more to come. Ramin Salsali has invested £302,276 at 0.5p a share to take a 4.67% stake. He believes that the CoalTech technology can help to solve the problem of 33 billion tonnes of toxic coal fines. The technology can also pelletise other materials. Several testing phase projects are at an advanced stage.

AIM

Cyber security software supplier Kape Technologies (KAPE) reported 2021 figures in line with its trading statement with pre-tax profit of $75.2m. This was without any significant contribution from the ExpressVPN acquisition, which was made at the end of the year. Pre-tax profit could more than double to in excess of $150m this year.

Geospatial software provider IQGeo (IQG) beat expectations for 2021 with a much lower loss of £2.7m. Annualised recurring revenues were £8.2m. This year the company should move towards breakeven.

Restaurant operator Tasty (TAST) bounced back into profit last year. In the 52 weeks to 26 December 2021, revenues improved from £24.2m to £34.9m. There was £11m in the bank at the end of 2021 and there are £1.25m of borrowings to offset against this. Even if deferred payments are taken into account, then underlying net cash is still £6.8m. Net assets are £1.9m.

Peel Hunt has upgraded its 2022 forecast for promotional goods platform operator The Pebble Group (PEBB) following the recent 2021 figures. Even so, pre-tax profit is forecast to dip from £10.2m to £9.9m.

Leather processor Pittards (PTD) returned to profit in 2021, but cost increases mean that WH Ireland has reduced its 2022 pre-tax profit forecast. Pre-tax profit is expected to be flat at £500,000. Net assets are 101.9p a share.

AI-enabled wound imaging technology developer Spectral MD (SMD) has made excellent progress since floating last year. Studies of the DeepView system have been positive. The technology enables earlier intervention to help wounds heal quicker than they would have done. A validation study for patients with diabetic foot ulcers is planned and could lead to an application for FDA clearance by the end of the year.

Judges Scientific (JDG) increased pre-tax profit from £13.7m to £18.1m in 2021. Revenues recovered in all geographical regions. The order intake in the first eleven weeks of this year is slightly ahead of the 2021 figure. Net cash is £1.4m and cash generated from operations will mean that the cash pile will build up ahead of any acquisitions.

MAIN MARKET

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LSE: LUCE) reported an increase in 2021 underlying pre-tax profit from £28.7m to £37.4m on revenues increasing from £176.2m to £228.2m. The total dividend was raised from 6.2p a share to 8.1p a share and it is more than twice covered by earnings. Luceco has moved into the electric vehicle charging market with the purchase of residential EV charge point supplier Sync EV for £10m – it already had a 20% stake, so the latest outflow is £8m. Annual revenues are £4m.

LeakBot reversed into Spinnaker Acquisitions to form Ondo Insurtech (ONDO). The total cost is £9.8m made up of cash of £1.6m, loan notes of £6.4m and 15 million shares issued at 12p each, including 1.36 million shares issued to Ondo Insurtech chief executive Craig Foster. The LeakBot device uses internet of things technology to identify leaks and stop them before they become more substantial. The core client base is home insurers, which can save money on claims. The share price started at 10.5p and fell to 9p by the end of the week.

RC365 Holding (RCGH) was set up to acquire Hong Kong-focused Regal Crown UK, which has developed payment gateway technology and provides other IT services. The holding company raised £2.02m at 6.2p a share, although £800,000 went on float expenses. The shares ended the week at 7p.

Beacon Rise Holdings (BRS) is the latest standard list shell, and it is highly illiquid with most of the shares owned by nine shareholders. On Sharepad.co.uk there are no trades reported, and the bid/offer spread is 100p/400p. That suggest a mid-price of 250p or a notional 150% gain – although the bid price is equal to the subscription price. Pro forma net assets equal the cash of £744,000.

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