Last week saw some ups and downs in the markets with the FTSE 100 pushing up to 6,874 points mid week from 6,723 at the start of the week and closing at 6,654 points, and the AIM All Share increasing by 5 points to 733, before closing at 724 points. Worries over the US Fed's stimulus plan are thought to have been the main reason for the weak finish to the week for a number of global markets after comments that the Fed was looking to wind down its bond buying programme. The week thus far has seen the markets push higher with the FTSE opening 56 points higher following a positive session in Asia with signs that stimulus programmes in Europe and Japan will continue. The week ahead sees UK and US consumer confidence, and UK mortgage approvals data being announced.
RGO Funding update, ABDP First day of dealings on AIM, ALK Acquisition and Fundraising, APH AGM Statement, AGL appoints manufacturer for Parsortix, ATC Preliminary results, AVAP Open offer, CTEK Trading Update, ETQ Share Buy-Back, GOOD announces financial close on wind farm, NPT Update, ODX fundraising to raise £4m, OMI Drilling Commenced, OUT Admission to trading on AIM, PGB Contract Win, POL Drilling update, QPP Major Contract, RENE Interim data, SSY Trading Statement, SPRP Lapsed Offer, SUN funding from industrial partner, ULT Strategic partnership
2ergo Group (LON:RGO)
2ergo announced on 3 May 2013 that its funding negotiations were ongoing but that no further assurance could be given on the future of the Group until it was able to ascertain the quantum and terms of funding available. The Board has not been able to reach a conclusion with one particular fund raising option which was expected to close last week. The Board has immediately begun pursuing a number of other potential fundraising options and will update the market as soon as possible.
AB Dynamics (LON:ABDP)
AB Dynamics, a designer, manufacturer and supplier of advanced testing systems and measurement products to the global automotive industry, last week announced the admission of its ordinary shares to trading on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange and the commencement of dealings in its ordinary shares. The Company has raised £2.5m before expenses through a placing at a placing price of 86p per share. A further £2.5m has been raised to satisfy the sale of shares pursuant to a vendor placing. The Company will be using the proceeds of the IPO to fund expansion into a new factory, establishing a presence in Asia, further recruitment and the exploration of developing complementary technologies. The Company's operating subsidiary, Anthony Best Dynamics Limited (ABD) was founded in 1982 and has grown to be one of the key suppliers of testing systems to the automotive research and development industry. It currently provides seventeen of the twenty major international car manufacturers, including Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen, with testing and measurement products for vehicle suspension, brakes and steering for use in both the laboratory and on the test track. The Group is seeking to further establish itself as one of the leading providers of automotive testing systems to the global automotive industry through further investing in its technology and expanding its global reach. Originally ABD focused on mechanical vibration and vehicle suspension before extending its offering with a noise consultancy. Today, the Group has further added to its solution set with products that now fall into key automotive development sectors. The Group has a strong international distributor network, including in the USA, Brazil and the Far East facilitating the penetration of growing markets such as China and India. Tim Rogers, Managing Director of AB Dynamics, commented: "Trading in the current year is in line with management expectations. We believe public company status will support the planned growth of our business through funding a new facility and providing increased production capacity. Proceeds will also be used to establish a presence in Asia and the exploration of complementary technologies.” The Company has thus far performed well since floating with the share price rising from 86 pence to as high as 120 pence and now currently at 114 pence.
Alkane Energy, the independent gas to power company, has conditionally agreed to acquire certain of the coal mine methane assets of Maltby Colliery from Maltby Colliery Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hargreaves Services (LON:HSP 877p/£289.08m). The initial consideration for the acquisition of the Maltby CMM Asset is £5.5m, payable in cash, with an additional payment of £2m payable, inter alia, upon completion of the full closure of the mine, expected to be during the first half of 2014. The acquisition will significantly increase the Group's installed electricity generating capacity from CMM, bringing immediately operational assets and cash flow, thus avoiding the development lag of organically developed sites. Alkane is also pleased to announce that the Company has, via a cash box placing conditionally raised £6.0m (gross) at a price of 27 pence per share. The initial consideration of the acquisition will be funded through an extension of existing bank facilities provided at the time of the acquisition along with the net proceeds of the placing. Excess financing will be used to provide additional working capital to support the continued investment by the Group in its core gas to power activities. As part of the financial arrangements at the time of, and conditional upon the completion of, the acquisition, Alkane has extended by £3.5m its Group banking facilities. Neil O'Brien, Chief Executive Officer, commented: "This latest acquisition consolidates Alkane's market leading position in CMM and it adds significantly to the Group's core CMM operating capacity and provides an opportunity to further develop our Power Response business. Investor support for the Placing demonstrates commitment to Alkane's growth strategy. We are committed to continue to develop the Group as the UK is beginning to see a tighter generating market and rising electricity prices."
Alliance Pharma, the speciality pharmaceutical company, held its Annual General Meeting in London last week. Michael Gatenby, the Company’s Chairman, said that trading in the first four months of 2013 has been six per cent ahead of the same period last year, with turnover of £15.1m. HydromolTM sales have continued to grow well. There have been reduced sales of Nu-SealsTM in Ireland although measures to counteract generic competition are helping to mitigate the impact. Sales of the products acquired in 2012 were £1.8m. Adjusting for these acquired products, and for the unavailability of ImmuCystTM, sales have shown underlying growth of five per cent. Michael Gatenby said: “We continue to assess a number of acquisition opportunities and remain confident of bringing further transactions to completion in the near future.”
The specialist medtech company this morning announced that the Company has appointed a manufacturer for its Parsortix non-invasive cancer diagnostic product. ANGLE has selected Cogent Technology Limited to manufacture the Parsortix automated machine. The consumable for the system, the Parsortix cassette, will continue to be produced by specialist nano-manufacturer thinXXS. The Parsortix automated machine can be configured either for the counting and identification of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) in the blood, or for the capture and harvesting of the CTCs from the blood for further molecular analysis. The appointment of Cogent enables ANGLE to increase manufacturing volumes to meet expected demand, initially for the research market and then for the clinical market. Cogent will provide robust manufacturing services and supply chain management in accordance with the necessary quality assurance methods for electro-mechanical products destined for critical markets such as healthcare. The Company’s out-sourcing strategy continues to be the best way to deliver the roll out of Parsortix, without the associated investment and running costs of undertaking these activities in house.
Atlantic Coal (LON:ATC)
Atlantic Coal, the opencast coal production and processing company with activities in Pennsylvania USA, announced unaudited preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2012, which saw strengthened revenues of US$19,657,105 generated for the year (2011: US$13,991,971) and a reduced Group loss of US$2,661,557 (2011: loss of US$3,149,606). On an operational front, the Company saw increased production and sales experienced at Stockton during 2012 - 161,529 tons of clean coal produced and sales of 140,213 tons achieved (2011: 100,139 and 106,403 respectively), whilst also successfully relocating the Norfolk Southern Railroad diversion providing access to approximately 1.0 million tons of previously unworkable coal. Post period end, the Company has seen a 67 per cent increase in clean coal production at Stockton and a 91 per cent increase in coal sales in Q1 2013 to 53,131 tons and 53,324 tons respectively (Q1 2012: 31,729 tons and 27,913 tons), whilst also exercising of lease option agreement over the fully permitted 410 Pott & Bannon anthracite coal mining property believed to contain 4.1 Mt of clean coal. Looking forward, the Company looks to the rapid development of the Pott & Bannon site as a high priority.
The aircraft rental and leasing company announced that further to an announcement it made on the 7th May with regards to an open offer, the total amount of shares applied for were 11,234,661, which is 160 per cent oversubscribed. The open offer was at 60p per share (representing a discount of 20.5 per cent to the closing middle market price on May 3), raising approximately £2.5m (net of expenses), which will be used to fund the on-going "Pre-Delivery Payments" programme for the supply of new aircraft under the 4 March 2011 sale and purchase agreement between the Company and ATR, with such aircraft to be leased to Virgin Australia. The balance of the purchase price for these aircraft is proposed to be funded with debt.
China ChainTek United Co (LON:CTEK)
China ChainTek United Holdings Co., Ltd, the provider of logistics services to manufacturers of consumer goods in China, this morning gave an update on trading for the four month period ended 30 April 2013. Trading for the period has been slightly ahead of management’s expectations with revenue of RMB110.3m (approximately £11.0m), which represents a 7 per cent increase to the comparable quarter in 2012. Of this, the logistics services business represented RMB95.1m (approximately £9.5m), with the inventory solutions business accounting for RMB15.2m (approximately £1.5m). In line with the Company’s stated strategy of diversifying its logistics services’ client base, 30 per cent of revenues in the period came from industries other than sport shoes and apparel, compared to 27 per cent in the equivalent period in 2012. Since the start of the year, the Company has added seven new customers in its logistics services business (one in food industries, four in construction materials industries and another two in other industries) and one new customer in its inventory solutions business. EBITDA for the period was RMB92.6m (approximately £9.3m) compared to RMB83.5m (approximately £8.4m) for the equivalent period in the prior year. PBT was RMB91.6m (approximately £9.2m), which represents a 12 per cent increase to the comparable quarter in 2012 of RMB81.8m (approximately £8.2m). As at 30 April 2013, the Group had a net cash position of RMB210.5m (approximately £21.1m). As announced on 19 March 2013, the Company intends to build a logistics park which will be located on a plot of land in an industrial zone in Jinjiang just 14km from the Group’s existing operational headquarters, and which already houses a number of ChainTek’s existing manufacturer customers. The Company has entered into agreements with the local government and the developer of the logistics park to acquire the Land Use Right over the plot of land and will satisfy the final condition of the acquisition when it pays the final tranche of the consideration, which it anticipates doing in Q4 2013. The Company anticipates that construction of the logistics park will also commence in Q4 2013 and will update the market as appropriate.
The Company announced that it had completed the buy-back of 470,000 Ordinary Shares of 10 pence each in the Company from Elsina Limited at a price of 42.5 pence per Share. These shares were immediately to be cancelled. The Company advised that, following the buy-back and cancellation, the Company's issued ordinary share capital will be 2,860,516 Ordinary Shares. Following the buy-back and cancellation, Elsina Limited holds 470,000 Shares, representing, 16.4 per cent. of the issued ordinary share capital of the Company.
Good Energy Group, owner of Good Energy Limited, the 100 per cent renewable electricity company, last week announced that it has reached financial close on its 8.2MW onshore wind farm site located in Hampole, near Doncaster. Following the acquisition of the consented wind farm site from RWE Npower Renewables Limited earlier this year, Good Energy has now secured the requisite debt financing for the project. The total cost of the project is circa £16m. Under the financing arrangements, Investec will provide a £10.6m non-recourse project debt facility and Good Energy will provide the balance from existing cash resources. Good Energy will retain 100 per cent of the equity in the project. The site has planning permission for the construction of four turbines with a total generation capacity of 8.2MW. Good Energy has agreed to purchase the turbines from Repower Systems SE. The wind farm is expected to generate around 20,000 MWh a year - equivalent to approximately 4,800 homes - nearly doubling the amount of electricity that Good Energy generates from wholly owned generating assets. Commissioning of the wind farm and its operational commencement is expected to take place in Q1 2014. The wind farm will form part of Good Energy's plans to achieve 110MW of new renewable energy generating capacity by 2016.
NetPlay TV (LON:NPT)
NetPlayTV, the interactive gaming company, held its AGM today at which the Chairman stated that Q2 average daily net revenues continue to grow compared with the same period last year. This follows results for the year to 31 December 2012 which saw profits increase by 470 per cent to £3.1m (2011: £0.6m), and a good Q1 performance. The Company is also recommending a maiden final dividend of 0.225p per share. NetPlayTV expects to announce its Q2 KPIs on 9 July 2013.
Omega Diagnostics Group (LON:ODX)
Omega, the medical diagnostics company focused on allergy, food intolerance and infectious disease, last week announced that it has conditionally raised £4m before expenses at 17 pence per share. As part of the Company’s expansion plans, it intends to use the net proceeds of the Fundraising to continue the implementation of its allergy instrumentation strategy and to fund a final instalment due under the Patent Licence Agreement with IDS. A large proportion of the net proceeds will also be used to fund the initial Visitect CD4 inventory build requirement and to roll out the test into field trials. The remainder of the net proceeds of the Fundraising will be used by the Company to explore opportunities that may exist in the HIV viral load area, settle outstanding loans when falling due and for general overheads and working capital.
Orosur Mining Inc. announced that drilling has commenced at the Company's Anillo gold-silver prospect in northern Chile. In line with Orosur's plans, the Company initiated the drilling of an initial 3,000 meters of Reverse Circulation Drilling at Anillo on May 23th, distributed in approximately 10 holes to test the highest priority targets for El Peñon type, high grade epithermal gold mineralisation. This current drilling program is expected to be finalised by late June, with analytical data expected to become available during July-August 2013.
Outsourcery, the pure-play provider of Cloud-based IT and communications services (ICT), was last week admitted to AIM with a market capitalisation of £34.6m. A placing has raised approximately £13m at a price of 110 pence per share. Outsourcery is one of few independent pure-play Cloud Service Providers and is establishing market leadership in the UK. Outsourcery is positioned to take advantage of the systemic market shift in the provisioning of ICT from an “on-premise” or “managed service” deployment model to a Cloud-based model. Outsourcery provides a wide range of Cloud-based IT and communications services via its network of partners to both larger enterprises and SMEs. Outsourcery has secured commercial relationships with companies such as Vodafone, Virgin Media Business, BT, HP and Atos to enable these and over two hundred smaller partners to deliver Cloud Services to their end-customers. The Group has won a number of notable direct customer contracts, including Pearson plc and London Business School. Outsourcery works closely with its partner network to deploy its Cloud Services to their end-customer base. The Company has thus far performed well since floating on the AIM with the share price rising from 110 pence to as high as 140 pence, and now currently at 135 pence. Outsourcery’s Cloud Services are deployed on its proprietary O-Cloud platform. The Directors estimate that the Group has invested approximately £30m to date in developing its business and the O-Cloud platform.
PhotonStar LED Group (LON:PSL)
PhotonStar LED Group, the UK designer and manufacturer of smart LED lighting solutions, announced results for the year to 31 December 2012, which saw revenues increase by 44 per cent to £8.7m, and a narrowing of losses before tax to £0.84m (2011: loss £1.11m). Gross margins in the business also improved from 35 per cent to 40 per cent- with the LED fixtures business margins growing to 38 per cent (2011: 36 per cent) and the LED light engines division seeing margins of 60 per cent (2011:35 per cent). On the balance sheet, a £1.5m raise at the end of 2012 helped the net cash position to £1.1m with available borrowing facilities of up to £0.5m. The Company continues to invest in product development, having spent £0.5m on the development of its LED lighting fixtures and light engines, and £0.3m on plant and equipment during the period. Overall, sales to countries outside of the European Union accounted for 23 per cent of revenues in 2012 and are expected to increase in 2013 and beyond.
Pilat Media (LON:PGB)
Pilat Media Global, the supplier of business management software to the media industry, announced the signing of a new contract with Seven Networks (Operations) Limited, Australia's largest free to air television network. Seven Television is part of Seven West Media (ASX:SWM A$2.12/A$2.1bn), Australia's leading multi-platform media group. The new contract includes the licensing, implementation and maintenance of IBMS, the Company's flagship Integrated Broadcast Management System. Seven Television is licensing the full suite of IBMS modules, and will be implementing the system across its entire TV business operations to support content and rights management, channel and on-demand programme scheduling, media trafficking and advertising sales and billing. The value of the licenses and implementation services initially contracted for is approximately AUS$7.5m which will contribute to revenues this and next year. Additional revenues are expected post Go-Live from additional services and support and maintenance. Avi Engel, CEO of Pilat Media, said: "We are delighted to have signed this strategic contract with Australia's number one media company. Seven is our tenth client in Australia and New Zealand, further strengthening our leadership position in this important region. This contract further reinforces IBMS' position as the world's most comprehensive integrated enterprise-class broadcast management system for modern multi-platform media businesses."
Polo Resources, the natural resources investment company with interests in gold, oil and gas, coal and iron ore, announced drilling results and an exploration update for Nimini Holdings Limited, Polo's 90 per cent owned Sierra Leone gold exploration and development company. The Company has now received all assays from the 2013 drilling programme, comprising of 52 holes and a total of 20,132 metres of diamond-core drilling on 14 May 2013. The results of the initial 19 holes of the programme were reported on the 24 April 2013, with the balance of 33 holes for 12,281 m of drilling having been reported this week. Of these 33 holes, 22 contain significant intersections, defined here as a minimum accumulated Au (grade x width) value of 500 cm.g/t Au on a down hole length basis (which equates to a 5 g/t Au intersection over 1m (down hole) or a 2.5 g/t Au intersection over 2m). The Company has also completed a reverse circulation percussion drilling program over the Southern Structure with the objective of extending known mineralisation along strike and down-dip. The Mineral Resource Estimate incorporating all results to end March 2013 has commenced and is scheduled to be published in June 2013.
Quindell Portfolio, the provider of expertise in software, consultancy and technology enabled outsourcing for the Insurance, Telecommunications and their Related Sectors, announced the signing of a new five year contract, with on-going maintenance and support, with one of the top ten UK motor insurers. The signing of the contract follows a competitive tender and included extensive evaluation and proof of concept. The initial licenses and maintenance are worth circa £3.5m with multi-million pound service revenues and on-going support during the minimum five year term. The contract will see Quindell provide the insurer with a complete integrated technology platform for its UK operation. The Quindell Challenger ICE Solution Set provides a fully web-enabled end-to-end policy and claims administration solution for all lines of general insurance business. The solution enables automation of current manual processes to improve accuracy, faster settlement and more effective customer service together with management information and real-time analytics to assist in managing the client's business.
ReNeuron Group today provided an update on progress with the PISCES clinical trial of its ReN001 stem cell therapy for disabled stroke patients. Interim data from the first nine patients treated in the PISCES study are being presented by the clinical team from Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital at the 22nd European Stroke Conference, taking place in London this week. There were no cell-related or immunological adverse events reported in any of the patients treated. Sustained reductions in neurological impairment and spasticity were observed in most patients compared with their stable pre-treatment baseline performance. Since the above data were collated, the remaining patients in the PISCES study have been treated, with no subsequent cell-related or immunological adverse events reported. As previously announced, the Company has cleared all points arising from the regulatory review of its proposed UK multi-site Phase II clinical trial to examine the efficacy of ReN001 in patients disabled by an ischaemic stroke. The Company also announced that this Phase II study has been adopted by the NHS National Institute for Health Research Stroke Research Network (SRN). This important endorsement will enable the Company to work closely with the SRN to optimise performance against defined targets regarding site set-up, patient recruitment and monitoring activities across the various sites participating in the study. As previously reported, the Company will seek final regulatory and ethical approvals for the Phase II stroke study by submitting a data package including three month follow-up data on the final dose cohort in the PISCES study to the UK regulatory authorities in early July and, assuming approvals are granted, expects to commence recruitment into the Phase II study shortly thereafter.
SCISYS, the supplier of bespoke software systems, IT based solutions and support services to the Media Broadcast, Space, Government & Defence, and Environment sectors released a trading statement ahead of its AGM on May 23rd. SCISYS opened the year with a solid order book, which has further improved in the opening months of 2013. The Directors believe that the Company is on track to meet full year guidance, with trading expected to follow the pattern of previous years in which the second half of the year has typically delivered a stronger performance than the first. The Company has a strong balance sheet and continues to be cash generative from operations. As such, SCISYS remains well placed to consider further acquisition opportunities and, subject to continued satisfactory trading, intends to maintain a progressive dividend policy.
Sprue Aegis (LON:SPRP)
The Independent Directors of Sprue noted the announcement released by BRK, on 24 May, that having received valid acceptances for its Offer representing approximately 1.26 per cent. of the existing issued share capital of Sprue, BRK has lapsed its Offer. The Independent Directors welcomed this announcement and confirmed that they remain committed to building value for all Sprue shareholders.
The designer and manufacturer of creative solutions for minimally invasive surgery (MIS) last week announced that it has received funding approval with its long standing industrial partner worth over £210,000. The funding will be used to develop a bespoke solution for a device delivery system to be used in the on-wing inspection of jet engines. This new funding stream follows a feasibility study carried out in 2012 and revenues relating to the project will be in addition to existing revenues from the use of SI’s patented articulating segment technology in jet engine inspection and maintenance. In 2012, revenues from SI’s industrial division contributed £101,000 (2011: £70,000). SI’s Endoflex™ Industrial product has been specially adapted to industrial applications and is based on core technology developed over the years in its surgical devices business. The product is designed to deliver tools, devices, sensors and probes precisely and repeatedly to a given target zone in a variety of industrial applications. Endoflex™ Industrial can provide access into inaccessible or hazardous spaces and minimises the need to disassemble complicated equipment and systems.
Ultrasis, the developer of interactive health care programs, announced that its US Joint Venture, U(2) Interactive, has entered into a strategic partnership with the country's leading non-profit organisation, Mental Health America (MHA). Depression and anxiety conditions are estimated to affect over 60m Americans and cost the US economy more than $105bn in lost productivity every year. Despite the great efforts of health care providers and policy makers, there are simply not enough therapists or funding available to provide access to evidence-based solutions to meet the growing need. Launching the strategic partnership today, U2 will offer complimentary access to Beating the Blues US between now and the MHA National Conference in June 2013 for anyone making a donation to the work of Mental Health America.
*A corporate client of Hybridan LLP