News blog

Quoted Micro 29 January 2024

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 28/01/2024 |

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Aquis Exchange (AQX), the owner of the Aquis Stock Exchange, reported a 12% increase in revenues to £22.6m in 2023. All four divisions raised their contribution with the Aquis Stock Exchange revenues rising from £1.6m to £1.7m. Group pre-tax profit improved 16% to £5.2m. Cash is £14.8m. The full figures will be published on 21 March.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) edged up rental income to £2.71m in the six months to October 2023. Higher finance costs meant that the company slipped into loss even though admin costs were lower. NAV is £35.2m.

Fibre optic cables materials supplier Unigel (UNX) is acquiring 40% of Unigel (UK) for £1.3m payable in three instalments. That will take the stake to 100%.

Fenikso Ltd (FNK) has received a further $806,299 for partial repayment of a loan to Lekoil. This leaves $44.4m owed. Finkso owes $13.9m to Savannah Energy Investments.

Bitcoin miner Vinanz Ltd (BTC) is deploying Luxor Firmware in Labrador, Canada. These bitcoin mining machines are improving their productivity, and this firmware will further boost productivity.

Marula Mining (MARU) has commissioned the Rados Ore Sorter at the Blesberg lithium and tantalum mine. First production and bulk testing has commenced. This method of processing does not use chemical reagents.

Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has issued 3.93 million share to pay consultants and creditors.

Ananda Developments (ANA) has appointed Professor Cherry Wainwright and Dr Katie Sykes as scientific advisers.

Western Selection left Aquis on 26 January.

Pharma C Investments has changed its name to Mortgage Chat (MCAI). AQRU has changed its name to Supernova Digital Assets (SOL). NFT Investments has changed its name to Phoenix Digital Assets (PNIX).

AIM

SmartSpace Software (SMRT) has received a bid approach from Sign In Solutions Inc at an offer price of 90p/share. Management says that it would back this offer, which values SmartSpace Software at £26m. This bid is subject to due diligence. Late last year, venue management software supplier Skedda Inc proposed an 82p/share offer for the smart building technology. JO Hambro, which owns 8.3% of the company, was supportive of the Skedda offer.

Legal service provider NAHL Group (NAH) performed in line with expectations in 2023 and pre-tax profit is estimated to be around £1.5m. National Accident Law is maturing and cash generation increasing. Critical care remains the main profit generator and National Accident Helpline personal injury leads remain subdued. Debt is declining. Allenby forecasts a 2024 pre-tax profit of £4.2m.

Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) has sparked another upgrade with its latest trading statement, which reveals 2023 trading was well above previous estimates. Liberum raised its pre-tax profit estimate from £32.9m to £41m. Cost reductions, hedging and operating leverage all helped to boost margins. The dividend estimate has jumped from 6.4p/share to 17.2p/share.

Revolution Bars Group (RBG) interims were hit by reduced student spending at its eponymous bar chain, while costs are increasing. The Peach outlets are performing in line with expectations. Cavendish has cut full year revenues estimates from £174m to £150m. The loss is likely to be £5.8m and losses are set to continue for the following two years. Net debt is £20.3m and could reach £25.7m by the end of June 2024. The debt facilities total £30m and capital investment is likely to be reduced.

Film localisation services provider Zoo Digital (ZOO) says that delays in film and television productions mean that there will be a higher than expected loss in 2023-24. This is because there was a slower than expected pick up in work after the writers’ strike ended. There should be an improvement in workflow after the end of the financial year.

The Swedish government is backing the Kallak iron ore project of Beowulf Mining (BEM) share price by 53.8% to 2p. The local indigenous community had objected to the development of the project because of potential harm to reindeer husbandry, but the government says the original award of the licence is politically and commercially important for Sweden and Europe. The community still has an outstanding legal action against the government.

Radiation and bio-detection systems supplier Kromek (KMK) has received an order of ore than £1.4m to supply D3M detectors and associated networkable services and this will be fulfilled in the current financial year. The detectors are for the rescEU stockpile that the European Commission is building up to respond to chemical and nuclear risks.

CT Automotive (CTA), which supplies interior components to the automotive sector, returned to profit last year and trading was ahead of expectations. Liberum has upgraded its 2023 forecast from $135m to $140.7m, while pre-tax profit has been reduced from $8.7m to $8.2m. Even so, margins are improving. Net debt is much lower than previously forecast at $6.1m.

Watkin Jones (WJG) reported full year results in line with expectations. There was a loss including £38m of provisions predominantly for replacing cladding. Net cash was £43m at the end of September 2023. There are signs of an improving investment outlook for student accommodation and rental homes, but any major improvement is likely to require a reduction in interest rates. Watkin Jones is assessing other ways to generate revenues that make use of its assets and expertise. A pre-tax profit of £15m is forecast for the year to September 2024.

Piling contractor Van Elle (VANL) reported a 16% decline in interim revenues to £68.2m, while operating profit declined from £3.5m to £2.7m. There is potential for an improvement in the second half even though the housebuilding and rail markets are still challenging. Net cash has improved to £8.9m and the interim dividend has been maintained at 0.4p/share.

Netcall (NET) is using some of its cash pile to acquire cloud-based process improvement software provider Skore Labs. The initial payment is £2m with contingent consideration of up to £4.225m. This will broaden the range of software in the group and provide cross-selling opportunities. Skore Labs was loss making on revenues of £449,000 in 2023. However, annual recurring revenues are £651,000. Netcall interim figures are in line with expectations.

MAIN MARKET

Flavourings supplier Treatt (TET) says revenues declined in the first quarter, although this is a quiet period for the business. This was due to destocking, which appears to be coming to an end. Second quarter demand should be at normal levels.

Neil Sinclair is moving to chairman of More Acquisitions (TMOR) and Stanley Davis has been appointed to the board. Roderick McIllree is stepping down. A placing raised £312,000 at 1p/share, which is higher than the market price of 0.675p.

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