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Small cap highlights: Abcam PLC, Minco PLC, Proxama PLC, Stanley Gibbons Group PLC ...

This week we focus on bike riders and London buses and, as is usually the case, the buses come out on top
Next stop Opera, Firefox and Edge for Proxama

The wheels came off at Tandem Group plc (LON:TND) this week, as the mobility equipment maker revealed it might have been underpaying import duties.

The company is investigating several import duty classification codes used for certain Pro Rider and ESC products and discussing them with Her Majesty's Revenues & Customs (HMRC). 

The company is obtaining specialist advice but said it is not currently possible to accurately quantify the extent of any underpaid duty, if any; however, should any additional duty be due, the company will seek recovery of any underpayments and other losses from the sellers of Pro Rider and ESC in accordance with the agreements entered into at the time of purchase.

The issue with the HMRC was just one setback revealed in the company's bleak trading update. It also considers the mid-tier independent cycle market to be saturated and highly competitive, and as it does not have a large promotion cycles contract in 2016, its bicycles and mobility division is expected to have a bumpy ride this year.

The shares backtracked around 36% this week.

Also taking a licking was cash-strapped collectibles firm Stanley Gibbons Group PLC (LON:SGI), which is close to closing an emergency fund-raising deal.

Shares started the week at 37.75p but had fallen to around 23.25p on Friday after the philatelist’s favourite  revealed it was on the cusp of issuing shares at 10p a pop to raise around £13mln.

Another company on the fund-raising trail was car dealer Vertu Motors PLC (LON:VTU), which placed 56 million shares at 62.5p each, raising around £35mln to top up its war chest.

The share issue came hot on the heels of a pre-close trading update that revealed results for the year to the end of February will be ahead of market expectations once the numbers are totted up.

Shares reversed around 9% this week.

Things were not particularly AbFab for Abcam PLC (LON:ABC), the life science research tools provider, as it fell almost a quid on the week to around 587p.

Half-year results revealed a fall in pre-tax profit to £20.9mln from £22.0mln the year before, while chief operating officer Jim Warwick announced his intention to retire from Abcam by the end of the year.

Irish zinc-lead exploration firm Minco PLC (LON:MIO) had some good news from m'learned friends, as the legal claim against it and two of its directors was dismissed by the English High Court.

The claim had been made by John Bennington Sears of Maidenhead, and Sippdeal Trustees of Manchester, claiming damages for alleged misrepresentation.

The shares shot up almost 50% on the week.

If an Irish company listed in London but focused on exploration in Canada is confusing to you, it might be wise to avoid trying to get your head around Telit Communications (LON:TCM), an Israeli company listed in London that has its headquarters in Italy.

Monday's results were well-received, and the machine-to-machine wireless communication company allayed fears in some quarters about cash conversion.

In the medium term Telit is targeting gross research & development as a percentage of group revenue of 14%, while for sales & marketing the target is 14% and for general & administration costs it is 6%.

As the group continues to scale-up, these costs will form a smaller and smaller proportion of revenues, whereupon the firm reckons it will start to generate "significant" free cash flows.

We started with bicycles, but we'll finish with London buses – not always a good combination.

Investors clambered on board the Proxama PLC (LON:PROX) bandwagon as the digital proximity marketing specialist saw its market value rise by around two-fifths as it announced it had joined forces with Google to provide live travel updates and advertising on London buses via Google's popular Chrome browser.

Passengers can use the service to see real-time route updates and status, as well as set a reminder notification as they approach their chosen stop, according to their exact location on the bus route.

Proxama said the service will be extended to other popular browsers, such as Opera, Firefox and Microsoft's new offering, Edge.


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